Monthly Archives: September 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Bodhisattva – “enlightenment-being” or “wisdom-being.” A name given to one who, motivated by compassion, attains enlightenment not for the self, but for the purpose of the betterment of mankind.


She is the first of Mom’s things that I’ve moved into my environment. I can see her from my desk, and she is in my direct line of sight when I walk in the door.

There’s a lot I want to say about my journey along the path I walked with my mother, but I’m not yet in a place where I can do the experience justice with my words. Unlike the Bodhisattva, I continue to seek enlightenment for my own sake, at least about this part of my life. Eventually I’ll transcend the experience, but I’m not there yet.


Filed under compassion and connection, messages from the Universe, on death and dying, ruminating

Ten Things Tuesday

I’ve found myself in love with  Even before I started teaching, I was collecting these cards; now that I AM teaching, though, I find the beauty of succinct thoughts to be compelling, and I’m posting these around my desk to get the students thinking.  Here, then, are ten quotes that inspire me (though not all of them can be found at Quotable…):

1.  You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. ~E. L. Doctorow.

2.  What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?  ~unknown

3.  700172D

4.  You are unrepeatable.  There is a magic about you that is all your own. ~Dellinger

5.  It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~ Eliot



7. Risk more than others think is safe. care more than others think is wise. dream more than others think is practical. expect more than others think is possible. ~ Cadet Maxim



9. Let your light shine. Be a source of strength and courage. Share your wisdom. Radiate love. ~ Wilferd Peterson

10. 700049Dnew


Filed under Uncategorized

Monday Meme

Boosted, with love, from NurseEx.

1. If you could have named yourself, which name would you have chosen, and why?
It took me a LONG time to get comfortable with my name; I didn’t like it until about ten years ago.  I can’t remember what I wanted my name to be when I was little.  I will tell you this, though; I’m VERY happy to have my husband’s last name.  I couldn’t ditch my maiden name fast enough (sorry, Auntie…)

2. If you could relive a year in your life, what age would it be, and why?
I could tell you which years I WOULDN’T relive.  Anything after about 25 would be fine.  My 30s fairly rocked, and the 40s are shaping up to be pretty damned good, too.  I’ve been practicing presence and mindfulness for a while now; I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but where I am right now

3. If you could go back and change one friendship in your past, who would it have been, and why?
I’m still sad about losing WeedWoman.  I wonder if she thinks of me as often as I think of her.  To answer the question, though, I’m not sure that I could have done anything differently.  That break-up hit me upside the back of the head; I still don’t exactly know why it crashed and burned like it did.

4. If you could have dated one person in your past that you did not date, who would it be, and why?
These questions are HARD.  I’m not one to look back and wish that things were different.  Um… maybe I’d have liked to date Brian B.  He was a couple of years ahead of me in high school and he was, in my estimation, a really terrific guy. I think he was also a gorgeous little bit of boy, which wouldn’t have hurt matters at all.

6. If you had the opportunity to live in another country, which one would it be, and why? If you choose NOT to live in another country, why do you want to stay in your current country?
I’d like to try living in Scotland for a while so I can pick up the delightful accent.

7. If you could choose your dream job, what would it be, and why?
See?  This is a boring meme for me to fill out.  I HAVE my dream job already.  Okay, so I’d like for it to be full time, and I’d like to have my own room and my own desk and my own filing cabinet and white board, but all those are picky little details…

8. If you could wish a wish and it be guaranteed to come true (other than riches) what would it be, and why?
Another boring answer; I’d like for people to start recognizing that peace truly begins with them, for them to see that a little bit of kindness goes a long way, and for them to stop being afraid of the “other” long enough to see  that there’s really no such thing.

9. If you could meet two blogger friends (you may choose more, if you wish) who would they be?
I’m going to steal NurseExec’s answer and say I’d like to meet them all.  I’m VERY much looking forward to meeting Carson in the next month or two, and I’m DYING to be in the same room with Snob; I owe her some serious hugs for all the love and support she gave me while I was helping Mom die.  I’d also really love to meet MagicalMysticalTeacher, Meno, Alan, and Improbable Joe who, I’m sure, will bring his wife, NurseExec, with him.  Two for one!.

Happy Monday, Everyone!


Filed under Uncategorized

The Road to Hell

I had a bunch of things planned for this weekend.  I didn’t get to many of them.

I’m not sure I’m willing to beat myself up about it, though, because I spent a fair bit of time enjoying my friends and family instead of doing my chores.  Not terribly responsible, I know, but I figure, after the summer I had, that I’m entitled.

To my credit, I did manage to get some school stuff done.  I cleared my college student’s online drafts (though I think I made a mistake and graded one that was submitted ahead of time).  I’ve got a few ideas about things I want to do with my high school kids this week, but I haven’t had a chance yet to put those thoughts to paper.

Mr. Chili has been cycling laundry through the machines, though I’m not sure we reached an amount sufficient to get us through the rest of the week, so I’m going to have to kick that into high gear.

Beyond that, though?  Nuthin’.  I was planning on cooking this weekend – baking bread, specifically – but that never happened.  I was hoping to re-work a fair bit of my Local U. syllabus to make the kids work a little more than I’ve asked them to do, but that didn’t happen, either.  Neither did a trip into the attic to pull out some autumn-ish clothes (and and attempt to find some pants that fit me…).  I think the best I can hope for is to put together a to-do list and start chipping away at the things I didn’t do over the course of the week.

You know what they say about the road to hell…


image credit


Filed under my oh-so-exciting life


The Chili family decided that this morning would be spent doing autumn in New England-y things.

We started out apple picking at our favorite orchard. We’ve been picking apples here since before the girls were born, and we’ve developed a bit of a tradition that involves apple cider donuts, fudge, and chocolate-dipped, coconut covered marshmallows.

Oh, and apples.  Of course, there are apples, too…

When we were done with the apples – having eaten only slightly fewer than we put in the bags – we decided that this year we would add to the experience by heading to a corn maze.


image credit

Until this afternoon, I was a corn maze virgin.  Sure, I’d heard of the things, and I’d been through the hedge maze in Colonial Williamsburg, but I’ve never been to one of the locally famous mazes that gets drawn every year around this time.

To be honest, I was a little skeptical.  I mean, really?  Walking around in a corn field?  Trying not to get lost and frustrated?  Mr. Chili assured me it was fun, though, so I grudgingly went along for the experience.


I was surprised by how much I enjoyed myself.  This maze is the one from the picture, cut in the shape of a skunk sniffing a flower, and at various points along the path there were mailboxes with facts about skunks.  The idea for these was to choose an answer and head in the indicated direction.  By the time we got to the last mailbox (which contained all the right answers – we got two out of ten wrong), we were grinning, tired, and hungry.  A quick run through the barn to snoozle some friendly horse faces (I can see why so many people fall so deeply in love with the creatures) and we were headed off to lunch.

To top off my day, I’m going to see a concert with Auntie this evening.  I’ve gotten next to nothing done chore-wise today, but I’m willing to forego a little productivity for the sake of enjoying my family.  I hope your day was as lovely as mine!


Filed under backyard wildlife, family matters, fun, Home and Family, Little Bits of Nothingness, my oh-so-exciting life, road trip!

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A Quandry of the Moral Kind

I find myself in a bit of a spot, dear readers, and I’m wondering what you all think.

Last night, my cell phone rang.  It was my cousin Sheryl who, aside from my sister, is the only blood relative I have any kind of contact with.

My first thought was “who’s dead?”

It turns out that Sheryl was visiting her father – my uncle – for his birthday and, during the course of her visit, had occasion to spend some time with our grandmother (our fathers’ mother).

Gram has never understood the rift between my biological parents and me, despite my repeated attempts to explain and Sheryl’s (spectacularly failed) efforts several years ago to get both sides to a place where reasoned, mature diologue could happen (after a couple of months, she gave up and conceded that I was right – there WAS no talking to these people).

Gram, it seems, is starting to come around, and mentioned to Sheryl that she thinks she might have a better understanding, after spending time with Sheryl’s teenage daughter, of how badly my own childhood was handled.  Sheryl, in her concise, Downeaster Maine way, put it thus: You were a kid.  You were acting your age.  Your parents were not.

ANYWAY, in the course of the conversation, Gram mentioned that my father had expressed to her a deep longing to have some sort of connection to my daughters (though, conspicuously, nothing was said about whether he wanted to reconnect with ME).  Gram told Sheryl that my father has access to her email account and wondered if Sheryl would ask me to send some pictures that my father could see without my mother’s knowledge.

My first instinct was to say “fuck, no!” but I backed off of that as I thought about it a little more.  My father is in terrible health and, if his past is any indication of his present, he’s profoundly isolated.  I started to feel a little compassion and sympathy for him and thought, maybe, I’d send Gram a few new snapshots of the girls.

The more I think about it, though, the more I’m circling back to “fuck, no.”  The fact of the matter is that this man isn’t man enough to come to ME to ask.  In fact, he stated, on no uncertain terms, that he was completely done with me and that, in his mind, the only daughter he had was the one who died at birth (and yes, they actually said that).  He’s had nothing to do with me for nearly ten years, and has made no effort whatsoever to contact me in any way.  Sheryl’s efforts to get us together were met with stubborn and self-righteous resistance on their side (I was willing, though cautiously, to meet halfway in a safe and neutral place with a disinterested mediator).  He was openly hostile to her, in fact, and I have heard, through one or two roundabout sources, that he’s had nothing nice to say about me to anyone who’d listen for quite some time now.

My door has been firmly shut, but it’s never been locked.  I can’t help feeling compassion for this man, who’s been too weak to stand up for what HE wants in the face of his wife, but I also feel a fair bit of contempt for him, as well.  If he wants to see my kids, he’s going to have to do some work with ME first.  Until then, I think I’ll send email notes to my grandmother, but no pictures.


Filed under Uncategorized