Sunday, May 27, 2012

LAST POST ON THIS SITE: i'm leaving for wordpress

hi team  grass oil - please adjust your sets. i've moved to wordpress. you can find me even easier at

thank you for your support.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Baaaah. Baaaah. Karma is Not a Bitch; it's a Sheep.

Oh my gawd! 

I mean, I just! RRRarrrarRarrrrgh! Ugh! Someone give me a ... a ... a STICK to break! And then throw at ... at ... something!

I hate it when the life lesson fairy whacks me with her wand. 

she looks so innocent and all "who, me?"-stupid, but
she's bloody brilliant.

Thanks to her (really, me) I have a throbby, rheumy lump the size of a Starbucks Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte (no whip) on the back of my head.

I deserved it. I deserved to get the life lesson fairy smackdown. 

I deserved to have her open her can of "what you said?!" on my smug neediness. 

Uhhhhgh. I think I'm gonna barf. I used "smug" and "neediness" and "my" in the same sentence when referring to myself. (Uhhh... upon reading that on review, I activated my gag reflex; I could go into a huge introspection about why I clearly have issues with vulnerability but I'm not in the mood -- one flaw at a time, please.)

Can't say I didn't see it coming. 

Can't say I didn't make it happen. 

Nope, definitely not Little Bo Peep or Little Miss Muffet on this one. 

I know who I am: I'm the wolf who ate the granny and now I'm wearing her lace bonnet and reading glasses, waiting in her bed under the covers for Little Red Riding Hood. But Red is very smart. And patient. And she won, because the wolf was an ass.

Ok, I'll get to the point: I have a thing about boundaries. Boundaries have literally saved my sanity; I construct them (almost typed "constrict" - no Freudian comeuppance there, huh?) for myself. I like doors. I like fences. I like knocking. I like appointments. I like zones. I like phones. I like boundaries of behavior; I like understandings between people. As for social visits, I don't always do well "Hey, we were in the 'hood and thought we'd swing by!" Mostly because my house is a combo newsstand, cafeteria, study hall, music conservatory, library in the midst of a Dewey Decimal inventory, toy emporium, snack bar, art studio, petting zoo, laundry station and soccer gear depot. And apparently, I only like boundaries for myself because other people aren't allowed to have them. 

Well, that's not entirely true. I mean, I do allow for them and I actually prefer them for other people, regardless of the relationship. In fact, even in this particular situation, I encourage them. It's just that, well, in this particular situation, I apparently like to pretend they are biodegradable; that the ravages of time and emotional bonds will render them null.  

They aren't biodegradable. I don't have a backstage pass. They are real. I see them. I have near-sightedness (clearly!) and I can see the boundaries; I have intuition and I even feel them too.

HOWEVER ... In this particular situation, I did a mental, "Hey look! There's Elvis!" on myself and I turned into a sheep. I knocked over the fence, lightly stepped over its remains (which is in reality already a violation and clearly not a "light" step) and I start nibbling on the nice green ivy and grass humming "mares eat oat and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy..." in my friend's yard.  


Mmmunch.... >tasty! get a little closer< mmmmmunchmmmbaaaah.... >sweet! move in a little closer< mmmmunchmmm baaaaahh >there's some excellent clover over there, right under her feet...< mmmmmmbaaaaah.... and ruh-roh. I bit her toe; right through her butt-kicking boots. 

Don't look up. Don't look up. Avert your eyes and definitely keep chewing. Oh look! A four-leaf clover! I'm gonna need that.

I titled this post "Baaaah. Baaaah. Karma is not a bitch; it's a sheep." Because Karma is not a bitch (in fact, I try not to swear in what I write because while imprecations -look it up!- are colorful, they don't always work in my posts... I digress). Karma is an adult 44-y.o.  sheep with #4A natural brown wool wearing a white t-shirt, a flowered skort, and running shoes. I am the bully sheep today. (I am biting on my upper lip as I type this. Man.... Irony stinks.)

baaaah. don't i look innocent? baaaah.

Bully sheep are insidious. They are real pains in the backside. They are immature. They are what Freud called the "Id" - that child part of us; the one who Wants What I Want and I Want It Right Now and If You Don't Give Me What I Want I'm Going To Make Your Life Uncomfortable and Push You to Be Assertive and Send Me To My Room And Then I'll Be Real Mad At You! I Will! . . . .

Unnnntil the superego comes in and I Figure Out What I Did Wrong. 

The Id. It's insIDious. That was clever! You like that, eh? Come back any time, I'm full of 'em.  

The Ids want their own way. They don't want to hear anything you have to say unless it's: "You're right, I'm wrong. Here's $500." 

Fat chance. 

I have often referred to "bully sheep" as manipulators who act weak and sound weak and use phrases like "you're hurting my feelings" and "but I just wanna..." and "please don't tell me how I hurt you; I can't bear to hear it..." to get their way and crowd out the other person's needs with their bleating so that not only is the other person unheard, but the other person can't BE heard. It's all Charlie Brown adultspeak to the bully sheep. 

Hear me! Baaaah! Baaaaah! 

I mawkishly bleated and bleated and bleated the other day. Baaaah! BAAAAAAAH! CLOVER! BAAAAAAH! So much so, that I genetically transmogrified from sheep to another farm animal: Ass. I'm taller so the view is better, but The Work is hard.  Heehaw. "Eye-ore" of Winnie-the-Pooh lore is an ass. He annoys the bejeesus out of me. I used to work with an Eye-ore. He would walk around with his bow on his tail that was pinned on to his fanny and mope around and "Wull, I gu-ess... I mean ... we cooo-ullld do thaaayut..."and I'd want to put on my harlequin glasses for better aim, pull a hairpin out of my chignon, poke it through the fingers of my leather gloves that I would whisk out of my basket purse and slap him across the back of his head.     

not me, but well, it fits the mood.

It's only fair. Karma bleats. I was in the other position (I will *not* say "victim"; that word's not in my vocabulary, truly) a while ago with another person who was the bully sheep and I opened the can of kick-butt. It's the correct order of things. I get what I deserve. Heehaw. But I'm moving on. I've accepted my position in this and I've learned. Boundaries need to be respected; sheep are not allowed in conversations between human beings and that is that. 

The greatest part of this post, for me, is that I've been wanting to write about bully sheep for a while, but the karmic energy (yeah, I believe in that stuff) was all wrong. I was all finger-pointy at the other people, the other bully sheep, and well, that serves no purpose other than being well, annoying and sorta hypocritical. 

But the life lesson fairy took care of that tout de suite!   

Thank you. (Have a wonnnnnderful Memorial Day weekend!) 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

raffle basket and beans

This just happened about a half hour ago.

I am going to make this brief because if I write too much, I'll spoil the story's natural simplicity.

About a month ago, our elementary school had a fun fair to raise money for the PTA.

I bought roughly, oh, 60,000 euros' worth of raffle tickets.

I put most of them in the spa basket and the others in the "Let's Garden!" basket hoppers.

They say life gives you what you need, not what you want.

I won the gardening basket. Thing 3 (8), loves to garden.

This is good.

I do too, although I prefer mostly the flowery kind of gardening.

I have a small herb garden on our deck in a faux whiskey barrel and we have a small vegetable garden in our backyard; it's about 6 feet by 3 feet in size. While it's modest and quaint, symbolic of a fraction of our interest in doing our thing to grow our own food, the breadwinner and I recently overhauled its soil bed. I were a plant, I'd be thrilled to be in there.

Once our wooden playground, that ubiquitous suburban "family lives here" trophy, goes in a few years, we'll make the garden bigger. But then the kids will be grown and closer then to moving on. It's a decision we've waffled on each spring over the past few years: to speed up their youth and take away their play set which they still use or to let them stay kids for as long as we can. . .  we have determined we are in denial, let life ravage us with time, but we're in no rush. The playground stays.

The Monday following the raffle, I untied the tulle netting nestling the basket to examined my loot. The basket was stuffed to the brim with tools, gloves, starter kits, a lovely glazed outdoor planter, tiny terra cotta pots, stakes, spikes and a sole packet of seeds. I was pretty psyched with my win.

The seeds were for green beans.

Didn't Jack get some magic beans? I looked around, but I didn't see a cow in the basket. No goose either.

The packet of bean seeds (which are just beans, let's be clear about this) had already been opened, I'm guessing by nubby hands, curious about how these things go down or maybe even curiouser about whether they were magic beans.

I looked at the packet, which was dated for germination in 2009, considered it for an instant and cast it aside. I have a green thumb with plants that are already living; the ones that come to me as seed ultimately die.

It has been rainy a lot here. I love the rain, it's more than rain to me, it's like a fantastic experience that washes away all the blahs; and when the sun comes back out, as it has today, it's a brilliant and welcome reprise.

Because I'm the only one on staff, I went out to the garden to check on things: the tomatoes have their telltale yellow blossoms, the peas are doing what they do; I have no idea if the eggplant is on schedule, nor do I know anything about zucchini, but everything is still green and larger than it was last week. I nodded at the plants, told them "good show" and turned around.

On my way out, I looked at our collection of raffle basket tools now resting in a decommissioned window planter near the foot of our bright yellow slide. One of the trowels has a massive belly on it; it's more like a bulb planter / trowel combo. It collected about 2 inches of rain. I lifted the handle to discharge the rain water and beneath the handle, I discovered this:

I smiled and actually said, "Hello, beans. You are destined to grow as plants, aren't you?" (My children and good friends will tell you that I often speak to plants and bees and birds. I'm not nuts, I'm excited to be in communion with them.) So I knelt down, picked them up still cradled by their little and futile envelope and put them in the last remaining spot in the garden along the fence-line.

I backed up and regarded the scene, and smiled for many reasons. I smiled most of all because of the reminder that we all can grow, even I can, anywhere, even when I'm feeling lost and confused. We can even grow in our envelopes we've constructed for ourselves; which will try to contain us, but which clearly can't because we're bigger than our envelopes. We just have to relax and let nature take its course.

Thank you.