What's it worth to you?

Recently I drove 15 hours for a surprise party that lasted 4 hours. This party was for a good friend that I have kept since my first teaching job in southern Iowa. It seemed like a crazy thing to do, but as the pieces fell together I knew it had to be done. Too often I opt out of things like this just because it's hard and messy. It seems like things can get complicated easily and when you have to get others involved just to make something work for you, it just seems like too much. But I am so glad I did it. I saw people I hadn't seen in 15 years not to mention my friend who started crying when she saw me. This person has the biggest heart and the biggest laugh and the room was filled with people who love her. What a sight. And I was so happy to be a part of it. How wonderful to receive smiles from people that I used to work with- sincere hugs and curiosity about my life. I started my professional career with many of these people and they were so good to me. It was humbling to remember their generosity. So often things like this are about the person being honored or remembered, but it ends up being so gratifying to you. It seems selfish and selfless at the same time. I am not going to pass judgement on anyone who opts for easy- I have done it often and will likely do so in the future. Life is messy. But I do think to myself, hey girl- the mess is the fun part. Get messy. It pays off.

Going Nowhere Fast

A sick child can really bring things to a screeching halt. I was on the docket to work more than usual this week, apply for a community college adjunct position, and write. Well, I scrambled to cut my hours and the rest is a dream. The hub-ster is putting in more than his share of caring for the sick world so I will heal our tiny little village. This is being written during one too many viewings of Scooby Doo--ruh roh!! The pile of homework to make up is tall, the tempers are short after day 3 at home, and I think I am on a quest to find out what else is out there? Ha! What little I have to offer is this: Never make life changing decisions while you or someone you love is ill. You may find your house up for sale, the walls painted PUCE (which is very wrong), or your dog's mug on PetFinder. com. None of these happened to me, but.....you know. I've had a few moments. Little tidbits of joy can be found under Family Fodder- all hope is not lost.

Wanted: Male Followers

A charming uncle of Bob's has noted my blog is estrogen-rich. Well, yes. My own brother hasn't officially signed up though I know he reads. I have a father-in-law who may take a peek or two so here is my call: Ladies sign up again with men's names and men, sign up! I am way short of my 100 goal and April will be here soon!
If Ken McCullough is out there, please sign up and you can gasp at how incorrectly I use my dashes! Old habits die hard. Ken is a former writing teacher of mine and our current Winona Poet Laureate. He is an amazing poet and writer in general, and even though I know I am letting him down, his male internet presence would be appreciated. Other males I am after include Chris Livingston from The Book Shelf (my boss), my dad, Ted Reilly, David Lynch, and Chris Michener. Michael Perry (author of Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, and most recently COOP) would be a long shot but very cool. I wouldn't mind seeing my old speech coach Jerry Hyler's mug appear, along with my high school junior prom date, Jason Holcomb. I don't know what kind of computer skills Larry Wolner, owner and chef at The Blue Heron has, but it seems he would sometimes enjoy this and I can picture Carew from Mugby Junction sneaking a glance now and then. Bill Perry and Jim Warburton may feel obligated, but let me tell you this: any female insight is bound to make your marriage happier. I like men. I married one. Speaking of my man...won't YOU sign up?

Floundering and fearful, but isn't that ok?

I don't know where the time goes. The hours without children fly by, and then they are home and usually crabby- I do bring out the best in them- and then the hours creep slowly until dinner. Sometimes it is apparent I was busy. Other times, not so much. My husband is brilliant at knowing which times to comment.

I feel I need to make some big move for the sake of myself. I was told of 2 more jobs relating to community colleges and so it seems apparent the universe is sending me NEON messages. I can't help but wonder if I want to do it really, or just feel I should. At times I feel so ricidulous for having such a sappy life. For instance, someone needed last minute childcare yesterday so I helped out. It was no big deal, but it was great to be able to say unequivocally YES! A need filled and that's all it took for me to feel like my day wasn't a total waste. I hate that pop-psychology that suggests we don't move because of fear of success. Isn't there some study that suggests that we don't break out of our bubble simply out of fear? I know exactly what I am scared of-- rocking my family's boat. About 6 weeks ago, we thought my elderly grandmother was going to pass. I wanted to see her so Bob sent me on my way for a 24 hour trip to Iowa on my own. That stint entailed detailed planning of childcare for 2 afternoons, rides to and from dance, meal prep that would ease my consciousness, along with reminders about piano and homework. That was for 24 hours only! Then there was bad weather and there was a late start the next morning. Bob found someone to take the kids but rolled in to work 3 minutes before patient number one and exclaimed to his office mate, "I could NOT do this job without Lisa". Well, yes. So while I certainly understand his pressures (most days), I have my own. When I want to rock my boat, I will then rock everyone elses and in the end, it just seems easier to take it for the team for another year. This blog is easy because NO ONE is affected. No, I am not bringing in any money. No, I am not getting published anwhere. However, my fingers are moving with my brain. Does that count for something?

Contentment=Bacon

Last night I said in conversation to a good friend, "I feel a blog coming on!" She had excitedly called me to tell me she found a source for pork! A source for pork? Uh- the grocery store? Yes, yes, that is a good source, but since we are going all local and have successfully found some good beef and chicken, the palette was lacking pork. My parents have kept me flush with bacon- carting it from Iowa whenever the opportunity arises..but now there is happy, healthy pork grazing languidly minutes from my doorstep. Nitrate free bacon could be on my plate as soon as June! Silly-even a little, I don't know, uppity perhaps, because isn't the store good enough? There are poor people in Chile and Haiti and in our own country for God-sakes and I am worried abou nitrate free bacon? I annoy my own self sometimes. But. There are people whose passion it is to farm. If I can help them succeed by supporting their product, I am in. It's something. One can debate cost in many ways. I feed more than one family when I buy their pork. I feed two. That can be a small thing. But it seems big if selling the pork buys another set of tennis shoes for the toddler or pays the electric bill. So I am in. I love bacon. And while I see no career path emerging from this little musing, I do feel content just imagining my future... with local bacon.