Who Knew

The FedEx guy is a Tolstoy fan.

Ellery's Invitation

I am inviting her on a girls' night out. This poem I wrote is on the invitation:
Weaver Bird

For you, daughter, I weave

Satin ribbons in your shining waves
God’s very mind there nestled under turquoise, fuschia and tangerine

Laces to hold your feet
Earth binds you there with Her newest green velvet and most ancient sandy canvas

I weave cotton, silk
Steel when needed
To protect your strong back
Warp and wefts of bone
Growing to hold tools of your own

Braided Food
The flight feather to your wing
Adding branch to the nest inside
Walk fair and far, my Lady

I weave dreams of you
Of the love you will find and give
Of the work and wisdom you will live
That you are clothed in the dream you stitch for yourself

Memories for us
Talking breath to eardrum
Four Arms a tangled basket
Figure eight kissing cheeks, eyes, and forehead
Art, science, home and the public square
In our clutch

I am your weaver bird
With my finest loom
The one my weaver bird gave me
On purpose


Short, Hard, and Expensive

Lessons that is. According to this guy anyway. I'm thinking work, family/friends, volunteer positions, etc. Let's discuss:

Superstar employees will leave you no matter what you do to keep them.

The activity you reward will get done.

People motivate themselves.

Disrespect is the #1 grounds for dismissal.

Few people will take responsibility for their results until they have exhausted all opportunities to blame someone else.

Praise in public; critique in private.

Not all problems can be fixed.

Training is expensive, but stupid employees are more expensive.



This is hotel carpet in Desoto Texas. We stayed there (2 queens-4 bodies-we slept head to toe ((no different than how Cyler and I sleep anyway)) overnight to attend Ellery's 2nd (and last) gymnastics meet. The hotel had a buffet and complimentary breakfast in the morning. There was a pool (not heated) and no sauna or arcade like I had been told which was a downer for the kids. We made the best of it and rented "Where the Wild Things Are" in our room.
We had to get up at 6am to do hair and be at the meet by 8am.

Here is what I look like when I haven't had enough sleep (Cyler about split my head open when he kicked me with his toenail), enough water (too much fried chicken the night before), am cold, need a haircut, a cold-sore is starting, and when I was possessed by some demon that made me wear mustard yellow on top of all that. That gym was full of the most colorful leotards, banners on the wall, and moms' bedazzled sweat suits. It was nauseating. Ellery did her routines though--Tramp, Double Mini, and Tumbling. We figure we could give her horse riding lessons for less than we are paying for her to learn to jump on a trampoline. Why did I not see that before? ARGH



One thing I love about my job is that I come across knowledge that isn't usually on my normal radar. Here is something I saw in a routine fax we get from an Insurance company we use.

4 Ways to Smarter Decisions:
  1. Wait until the last minute-but not a minute later. If you're not going to do anything differently tomorrow by making a decision today, then wait.
  2. Don't be afraid to argue. Conflict is good as long as it's resolved quickly. On tough issues, agree first on what the question is and write it down.
  3. Make the right decision, not the best decision. If you wait for the best, it may never get decided. If there are 10 ways to do something, 8 of them will probably work. So pick one and get going.
  4. Disagree-and then commit. Everyone should be heard but once decided, you shouldn't be able to tell who was for or who was against.


Happy Jar

This was my valentine gift from Cyler and the kids. It is a jar full of reasons for me to be happy and feel loved. I took it to work. So the idea is that when I am feeling sad, I reach in and read a reason they think I should be happy.

Some reasons are:

"You are so funny" (from Ellery)

"You took me places I thought were too good to be true." (Soren)
"You are Magical" (Cyler)
Next to a lapdance from Hrithik Roshan, this jar is what I've always wanted!

Snow Dogs

We got like 12" of snow--a record in our area of DFW.
My dogs had chandelier balls of snow hanging from their leg fur.

The snow was so deep they had to hop and jump like rabbits.

My kids had fun too btw.


Sweet Tater No Kosher Doughnuts

It ain't kosher. It ain't halal. Hell, it even bucks at the Word of Wisdom. If it ain't what God intended then, girl, you know it's Southern. This is where Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives meets Paula Deen. Come on now. Ingredients:

3 1/2C all purpose flour
1 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soday
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (grind your own, sister)
1/2 tsp salt
2 lg eggs, lightly beaten
1 C sour cream
1 C cooked mashed sweet potato

Vegetable oil for frying (that's right honeychild)


In medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl combine eggs, sour cream and sweet potato. Gradually add flour mixture-stir to combine.

Turn dough onto a heavily floured surface. Knead in flour with hands as needed (dough will be sticky).
Roll out dough to 1/2" thickness. Cut out with a 2 1/4" round cutter. Cut out centers with 3/4" round cutter. (Girrrrl, we used an iced tea glass and a shot glass re-spect-ive-ly).

In Dutch oven, heat oil over med heat to 360 degrees. Fry in batches 2 minutes per side or till lightly browned. (Praise the Lawd) Drain on paper towels. Ice with:
2 2/3C confectioner's sugar
3-4 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp maple extract
Mix sugar and 3Tbsp milk well. Add extract. Add more milk to get desired consistency.

Now for the blue-collar finish. The recipe calls for pecans. Pecans are nice. Bacon is better.

This is a pretty dense cake dough. The same dirty south treatment could work on rising, lighter doughnut dough.




It's winter white here in Texas. This is the second time this winter it has snowed. It was fun to see Ellery hop out in the backyard before school started to make a snow angel and 'attempt' to jump on a snowy trampoline. Today the roads to work were fabulous but tomorrow will be frozen ice everywhere and I bet schools will close--so a forced day off. Good.

On a side note-I'm getting a migraine right now. My usual MO (for when I can't lay down in the dark) is 2 aspirin and a diet coke and pushing the fleshy pressure point between my thumb and first finger. I also just self massage my head, neck and shoulders and think happy thoughts. K-can't see the words I'm writing very well now. Gotta go. Luckily work will be slow todaydue to the weather.



Brave bloom to come out when it's still so cold. God taught me today in yellow-that hope is always early.


Bear with Me

I have hit the wall. Or rather, it hit me. Last weekend (I'm just now verbalizing all this) I withdrew into darkness/tears/aloneness-and not by choice. It hit me unaware--I have never had a bout before. I'm usually too selfish to give more than I have, too self-preserving to let connection to my sources of happiness be unplugged, too much of a fighter to let go of my hopes and faith. But it happened. I felt I had failed and didn't believe the future had anything different in store. Last week I had to simplify all my goals--I decided to just focus on feeding my family well, not cry during the day, and move through depression as if it was a puddle of mud to be conquered. I never want to go there again. I'm mad that it robbed me of my otherwise vibrant inner life. I'm mad it made Cyler's life harder. My power has got to be more than this despair right? I have to hope that it is. I hope I learn the lesson this episode of sadness is supposed to teach me--is it to simplify/be more realistic/say no more/prepare for uncertainty better/be quiet more? So, sorry. No pictures (eventhough we made cute cups we used to hold our q-tips that we bet with for the Super Bowl), no recipes (eventhough I made Moussaka, shrimp tacos, and homemade chicken pot pie), and no creative ragings (I'm having to relearn that my voice matters in the world-still not sure about that one). Blogging as therapy may help me--to write to everyone-no one. I will treat getting distance between me and despair like I do a workout--specific actions done over and over, small goals to reach large ones, taking rests when needed, do a little better (not synonymous with 'more') each day,