I love the desert. I love to feel the heat soak into my bones like a lizard laying on a sunbathed rock in 100 degree weather. I love getting into a hot car after having been inside a place where the A/C is ridiculously overcompensating for the outside weather. I love the distinct mountains bordering all sides of Tucson letting the directionally challenged know which way we're headed, and yet still feeling as though you can see endlessly in any direction. I love the unique beauty of life struggling to grow and adapt in a dry land that seems destined for death. I love that cactus viciously defends the life inside that has managed to persevere. The desert is a part of who I am, and the place I feel most at home.

Ill never look at butterflies the same

Scene: Kyla runs up to me with her toy butterfly and pretends to make her butterfly eat me

Me: "Butterflies dont eat people"
Elliot: "What do they eat?"
Me: "maybe little bugs"
Elliot: "Baby bugs should stay with their mommies so they dont get eaten by butterflies"
Me: "Well...I didn't say baby bugs - just little ones... or maybe they just eat leaves"
Elliot: "Butterflies are going to die"
Me: "Why do you say that?"
Elliot: "They should die because they eat babies"
Me: "They don't eat babies. Forget what i said about little bugs - they eat leaves!"
Kyla: (runs around room with her buttterfly held high) "I eat babies! I eat babies!"
Elliot: (running after Kyla)  "Die Butterfly! Die!"

Fight Like A Warrior Poet

Braveheart is probably still my favorite movie of all time. I definitely love the portrayal of William Wallace in all his masculine, uncompromising glory. “Uncompromising men are easy to admire.” But the part that gets me the most about this movie is not the part that’s about the flawless hero who sacrifices all with unwavering strength and principles - “FREEEEEDOM!” (Yes that part is pretty stinkin inspiring though.) The beauty of the story is in the portrayal of Robert the Bruce.

He starts out as a fairly average individual following the expected course of life that’s been set up for him. But he is confronted with greatness. He recognizes it for what it is and is inspired. He wrestles with it – with expectations, peer pressure, physical ramifications.
He fails.
The part of the movie that resonates with me deep inside is when Robert the Bruce goes moping to his father about how rotten he feels after giving into the pressures of what is expected of him. His father tries to convince him “all men betray – all men lose heart..” To which he screams:

“I don’t want to lose heart!”
“I want to believe…. I will never be on the wrong side again.”

The issues we deal with in society here and now are different than Ireland in the 1300’s. But its a familiar cry of heart. Life will try to pummel your heart into silence. And it’s tempting to go there. To give in. To shut down. To accept it as the way it is. But is that a life worth living? I feel like that dialogue between Robert and his father is one that happens within myself. Pragmatism vs. heart.
*shakes fist at self* I don’t want to lose heart!
It’s not pretty. Even after he changed course, Robert still got used and screwed over. He still had to deal with the consequences of his previous mistakes.
But eventually he kicks King Edward’s butt.

Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victorie!    
By Oppression's woes and pains!
By your Sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!
Lay the proud Usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in ev'ry foe!
Liberty's in ev'ry blow! -
Let us do — or die!
-          Robert Burns 

Battles come in all shapes and sizes. Don't lose heart. 

Good Riddance 2011. You Sucked.

Somewhere Different Now

where'd kyla go?

A couple weeks ago i was doing the dishes, when Elliot walked up and asked me if i could go get Kyla. My heart stopped as it suddenly occurred to me that it had been quiet for some time and as i scanned the room i didnt see or hear kyla anywhere. "Where is she?!" I asked, totally freaked out while i jumped over the kids gate i had put up to keep the kids from pulling the dishes out of the dishwasher as i loaded them in.
Elliot replied calmly, "She's in time out."

Yesterday my friend Janice and her two girls came over. Kyla had climbed on the table and when i told her to get down she just looked at me and shook her head no. So into time out she went. Janice hadn't seen what had happened other than Kyla going in time-out, so a while later when she was correcting one of her girls for something i begin to tell her how a little while ago Kyla had flat out shook her head no at me when i asked her to do something. I hadn't gotten very far in the story, when it occurred to me "Wait... is Kyla still in time out?" Janice nodded her head yes and smiled as though she had been wondering just exactly how long i normally subjected my child to time out. Awesome.

And then today... I was sitting on the computer and noticing that Elliot had been playing nicely by himself next to me for a while. I could hear Kyla making occasional noises in her room, but it was odd she would be playing by herself for so long. I figured this meant she must be getting into trouble so i asked Elliot to go see what she was doing. He came back and said "She's just sitting in her room." He usually jumps at the chance to tell me when she's doing something bad so i figured she must be ok. Another 5 min go by and Elliot asks "Mommy can Kyla come out of time-out now? shes been in there a real long time."

Im starting to wonder how many years im going to be forgotten about while i wait in purgatory to pay this off.

I lasted a year

A little over a year ago I had two kids in diapers and had just moved into a project house. I'd had a house full of pets my entire life, but came to a point where there were just way too many entities in the house whos poop and messes i was required to clean up after. So I became petless for the first time in my life. It lasted a year. It was a very nice break. But now that Elliot's potty trained, Kyla's not nearly as demanding of constant attention, and the immediately necessary house projects are taken care of - I got the itch again. It was probably mainly Scott and Janice's fault with their adorable new puppy that Elly and Lucy just adore. Mixed with the fact that my kids had become terrified of getting near anything with fur and this was disturbing to my soul. Most people would think i was mainly a dog person, but really im an all animals kind of person. Its just that Keith is an anti-cat kind of person, so we had not had any cats. But he made the unfortunate (for him) mistake of wondering out-loud if cats were less work than dogs, because he was also disturbed at our children's fear of animals and thought a pet might help. That was all it took, and i spent the next couple weeks reminiscing about the cat i had growing up and searching the classifieds for a kitten. My plan was actually to find one that looked just like the cat i had growing up, name it the same thing, and pretend it never died. I got as close as i could, but since the gender was wrong and the little white paws were different, i decided against calling the poor boy "Mitzy" and gave him a nice respectable masculine name. Rambo. When I was picking out which kitten i wanted, the guy told me this was the friendliest one. At the time i thought it sounded so cute that he followed the guy around everywhere. He wasn't kidding! Rambo follows me everywhere meowing, lays on me and begs for attention all day long..... oh yeah - and climbs up my back to sit on my head while im working on the computer.

I think the world needs a new perspective on bats

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