Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Five

As spring slowly begins to bring a thaw to those of us in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere, I have been watching for signs of renewal and rebirth. It is also part of the season of Lent as well. This week, let’s focus on the signs of spring within us and around us!

Share with us:

1. Your favorite spring flower. (Is it blooming yet? If so, share the joy by posting a picture of that loveliness with those of us still waiting!)
Definitely daffodils. I love big clumps of daffodils, and I also love the neat sentinel rows of newly planted daffodils. I plan to plant a bunch more daffodils in my garden next fall.

2. Your spring cleaning routine. Do you have one? Is there a family memory or tradition around it?
Hmm, what is this spring cleaning you speak of? But seriously, I don't spring clean. If anything, as the weather warms up my office becomes more and more neglected, as I choose to work outside on my screened in porch.

3. A personal area of growth where you have seen some success lately. It can be personal, physical, spiritual or familial.
I have been working intensely on growing my business this year. This has required a lot of re-balancing of my life and work. It would've been easy to fall into the trap of working during my family time. Instead, I've done a good job of creating and maintaining boundaries around my schedule.

4. When does “spring” usually arrive in your area? Are you holding out for late May? Or are you one of the lucky ones who has already put away her sweaters and mittens?
Well, in NC we are usually well into short sleeves by now, but this March has been brutal. This time last year I had already bought my daughter's summer clothes, but this year she's close to out growing her winter clothes with no end in sight. 

5. A verse or set of verses from Scripture that speaks “new growth” to you.
Song of Solomon 2:10-14 "Get up, my dear friend,
fair and beautiful lover - come to me!
Look around you: Winter is over;
the winter rains are over, gone!
Spring flowers are in blossom all over. 
The whole world's a choir - and singing!
Spring warblers are filling the forest
with sweet arpeggios.
Lilacs are exuberantly purple and perfumed,
and cherry trees fragrant with blossoms.
Oh, get up, dear friend,
my fair and beautiful lover - come to me!
Come, my shy and modest dove -
leave your seclusion,
come out in the open.
Let me see your face,
let me hear your voice.
For your voice is soothing
and your face is ravishing."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

John 8:1-11

This is one of my favorite Jesus stories: the story of the woman caught in adultery.
Jesus is confronted by a group of angry religious leaders, bringing with them a woman "caught in adultery." They ask Jesus whether the woman should be stoned, in accordance with the Law. Jesus chooses to reply by squatting down and writing in the dust. What he writes is not specified. But when he is pressed for a verbal answer, he replied that whoever is without sin should cast the first stone. The crowd wanders away until only Jesus and the woman are left.
It's a strange situation. The woman was caught in the act of adultery, which means that there was a man involved. And yet he is not brought before Jesus, even though the specific law in question demands that both man and woman be stoned. What does this mean? It really can mean only one thing: the man committing adultery was given a free pass by the enforcers. I strongly suspect that they planned the whole thing with him - he put the 1st century equivalent of a tie on his doorknob when he and his girlfriend got busy, enabling them to "catch" them in the act. But if he didn't, and they somehow accidentally caught him, he was obviously powerful enough to escape their wrath. They didn't want to stone him, just the woman. The woman was disposable, the man was not.

Throughout history, women have borne the burden of all illicit sex. Giving men birth control is good policy; giving women birth control is destruction of the family unit. Covering Viagra is not even questioned, but covering birth control is a violation of religious freedom, despite the fact that Viagra only serves to enable sex, while birth control offers health benefits beyond the prevention of pregnancy.

It's time that men took responsibility for their own sexuality.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I've got the winter storm blues

The last time I remember a March being this awful was when I was pregnant, 3 years ago. Even then, it wasn't this level of awful. This March is a tease, a flirt who beguiles you with 70 degree days filled with sunshine and then overnight transforms into a 30 degree rainy hag. It seems as though there has been a mid-week snow or ice storm since the first week of January, and this is particularly bad for my SAD.
At the end of February I went to see my regular doctor and confessed that I wasn't sure I could make it through March. We agreed to increase my Lexapro dose and thank goodness! Without those extra 10 mg, I'm really not sure where I'd be right now.
But all is not doom and gloom. T enrolled in preschool this month and is adjusting extremely well. I am also adjusting: I can now actually use my home office. Today, while filing, I listened to Bjork and wailed out the lyrics at the top of my lungs. I cannot remember the last time I was alone in the house and could sing at the top of my lungs without a care. It was glorious.
Eventually, latitude and climate will win out, and I will be able to sit outside all day without my fingers or toes going numb. I'll turn off my lightbox for a few months and lower my Lexapro and let the humidity and languor of summer steal into my limbs. I'll watch T run through the sprinkler and let my skin breathe fresh air until the healing hands of autumn cool me down (thanks to the Indigo Girls).
But until then, the next time we get ice I'm gonna check out tickets to Florida!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Detachable Heart

1985. Outside the gym, waiting for the bell to ring. A.S. walked up to me and asked if I shaved my legs. Stunned and confused I said, "No." A.S. threw a look back to her posse of girls and they all burst out laughing at me. I was 10 years old and had no idea that women shaved their legs. In that moment I knew I was not acceptable.

2014. In Target, watching Tori pick out a Hello Kitty lunchbox for preschool. She twirled in delight and carried it all the way to the register, her pride evident in every movement of her body. I can't help but wince, imagining some cruel kid mocking her lunch box. Maybe not now, not in a preschool, but some day. One day, someone will deflate my darling child and she will believe, falsely, that she is not acceptable, and my heart will explode from the pain of witnessing it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tori Stories

Just a couple of Tori Stories. Yesterday I was driving to the grocery store, and I happened to glance back at Tori. I noticed she was chewing. As I drove, I realized that she didn't have her pacifier and I hadn't given her any food. Fortunately we hit a traffic light just then, and I turned around to investigate.
"What are you eating, Tori?"
She grinned and I saw it.
"What is that?"
"A rock," she replied with the biggest grin I have ever seen on her face. Yes, she has a big collection of pebbles and gravel in the backseat, and had decided to chew one. I reached back and pulled the rock out of her mouth! She didn't complain. I'm guessing it didn't taste too good.

This weekend Tori decided that shoes and socks were not necessary. Sadly for her, we were going out of the house. So I employed the strategy my mom used to use on me. I told Tori her feet were puppies, and wanted to get in their cars! But first, of course, they had to wear their sweaters. Tori was super excited. But once we were finished, and she realized that she was now wearing socks and shoes, she gave me a Look. I don't think that trick will work again!