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Showing posts from September, 2006

The Poop Chair

The temperature today began at about 60 degrees so we threw open the doors and windows to catch a cross-breeze. Fresh air. Wipe out the doldrums in the house, and diffuse the smell of paint and dust from remodeling. Never you mind about my swollen eyes and burning nose. We sat happily at the table, coloring. Patience, as usual, drew an elaborate picture-story. Today, hers was all about her adventure in Care Bear Land with Wish Bear and Twinkers (yes, big fan of Care Bears' Big Wish Movie ). She had herself floating on a cloud, surrounded by shooting stars and hearts. My favorite part has to be the bright green fireflies, flying with lighted streaks. Persistance isn't much past the scribble stage but she did an admirable job of making the school calendar in this month's newsletter much more colorful and interesting. I reveled in the fact that My Plan was Working: we were Bonding! Having Fun! Doing Good Things! In other words, no mischief or naughtiness, I mean excitement or

Meet My Brother: A Sister's Story of Love and Autism

There is a long history behind this book and why it is so important to me. I'll try to make it brief. My husband and I are planners---well, I am at least and he's happy to have someone planning. Our life plan for children was: get married, wait five years, then have a boy and then a girl. Just like that. HA! Said God. HA! HA! HA! Said God. We spent many harrowing years with our main identity as Infertile. During this journey, I was incredibly fortunate to meet some absolutely amazing people who remain good friends to this day. One friend in particular had a journey longer than mine, that required many more passports. She was blessed with two precious children---a boy, then a girl. Her beautiful boy stuck out to her as unique in some way. In his way, he kept trying to tell her something about himself, and lucky for him, she was listening. He was eventually diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder---Not Otherwise Specified. From the beginning, she wrote me detailed emails

Color me confuzzled by this outcry over modesty

(Let me begin with a sort of apologetic caveat. I'm a big proponent of calling body parts by their proper names. But I'm also still a little gunshy due to the infestation of pervs after the whole "girls" thing. So, I'm going to sorta kinda use some euphemisms and hope you forgive me. Please understand that while I do know the proper names and am not afraid to say them out loud, even to my kids, who are definitely not afraid to say them out loud, even to their grandparents---I don't think Grandpa has recovered from being told he has a penis but no vagina---I am too afraid to use the actual words in my blog.) Does it strike you that somewhere along the way---again? still?---some people got confused about the difference between modest and prudish? And who, what, when, where, why and how their ideas apply? It strikes me that way, yes indeedy it does. It's been a sort of trend when I look back. I am going to call it the Mistaken Modesty Movement (MMM) because I

Confessions of a loving mommy

Sometimes at night, after they are asleep, I sneak into my childrens' rooms. I look at them: not still even in sleep, mouths agape, limbs sprawled claiming as much bed territory as possible, heads tossed back, loveys clutched in arms and stacked around their nightime nest, open hands on my older, clenched fists still on my younger. I smoothe their hair back, kiss their temples, and whisper into each ear, "Mama loves you, you are so precious. Always. No matter what. I love you." I think I hope that this message will seep into their subconscious and will be a truth that will hold them, strengthen them, sustain them---even if they don't know or understand what, how or why. The hugs, cuddles and love remarks through the day bracket the discipline and correction. I worry it ends up a draw. So I whisper into their dreams and hope it hugs their hearts like faith. Always. No matter what. By Julie Pippert Artful Media Group Museum Quality Digital Art and Photography Limited Ed

Me and Dr. Phil

Guess what? The phone! The phone is ringing! There’s a mommy in trouble...yes a mommy in twouble...this is sewious! Okay...clearly, I need therapy so I’m going to imagine that the Most Popular Therapist is helping me on National TV. Yes, I tend to think that airing out my problems on national TV to a viewing audience of apparently lots and lots is the way to resolve my twoubles, er, troubles. It’s my kids. No, really, it’s me. Set: Dr. Phil show Dr. Phil: Today we are going to be talking about Mothers Gone ‘Round the Bend. First up is an old mother of two young girls. I walk out. Climb awkwardly on high stool chair, hope like hades the tummy isn’t poking out and the hair hasn’t begun to frizz. Dr. Phil: Hello. Me: Hi, thanks for having me. No wait, I meant, thanks for inviting me to be on the show. Hee hee I’m not a pervert. And I’m sure you’re a gentleman. Dr. Phil, eyeroll to audience: My wife is right there. (points) I make a little embarrassed wave to Robin. The camera flicks her

Cabin Fever Comes to a Close! Bad weather ending soon?

I stepped outside this morning and...continued on outside, with a smile ! I didn't shudder, moan and wish myself back indoors. I didn't complain or kvetch. I said, "Holy sheeeeeee shaaaawwwww! It's a nice day!" We went outdoors. We walked. We played. Outside. And we enjoyed ourselves in nice weather. I doubt the icky weather is completely finished with us. But this has renewed my optimism and enthusiasm, this brief glimpse into possible good weather. I hadn't realized how down we'd all gotten, how sluggish and lazy-feeling, how the case of the Cabin Fever Shut-Ins had been knocking us low. How much we'd been avoiding the outdoors. But now, the good weather cometh! We can leave the cabin! I can't wait for November and December, January and then of course the best month: March. The last really good month before the Icky Weather re-descends. Woo hoo! ETA: "Icky" to me means melt-your-eyeballs-hot, which is the weather here from June through

The Attack

I'm just a blogging fool lately. What can I say...I must be getting sleep and the brain is working. Another factor might be that the kids are back in school (THANK YOU GODS OF SMALL CHILDRENS' SCHOOLS!) and I'm back working where I do things like THINK! and READ! and WRITE! and INTERACT WITH ADULTS! and LISTEN TO NPR! My personal favorite remains, of course, PEE SOLO!) So, what with all this time to think and read and write and all, I've been blogging a lot. So don't just read this post...skip down a bit and read the last few. They have come bang bang bang---multiplying like naked baby dolls in the night. I had prepared a headline review for today. The headlines of last week were startling...distressing...and something I want to process out loud (by which I mean writing in my blog). It had struck me as "funny" (by which I do not mean amusing in the least) that just when I had decided the Catholic Church and I were just not going to work out (see Fish or C

When you seach for girls...

Apparently boys have lives and girls are bodies . Is this a new twist on old sexism? Boys versus girls? A mechanical reflection of a cultural bias? Or should I not read too much into a limited collection of 1s and 0s? Someone searched for “girls” and found my blog. This is no surprise. I use the word liberally and often. I mean my kids, however. It struck me odd, though, this general search for the plain word "girls." Just for fun I tracked over to see what else this search brought up. My blog was like Bambi the lamb among Bambi Does Hollywood. Just look at what technorati thinks people who search for “girls” might also be interested in: Related tags for girls • Sexy, • Babes, • Photos, • Flickrbabes, • GORGEOUS, • Women, • Hot, • Beautiful, • Naked, • Beauty Charming. Just the world I want to raise my daughters in. As you might already have guessed, the search netted not only the “related” tags above, but also---excepting my blog---a lot of porn. I feel stunned/flattered/bo

And now for String Theory

Just kidding. I'm going to lighten up. I think it's been a little INTJ deep introspective tone of serious around here lately. Which is fine. That's me sometimes. But other times I like to leap up on stage, hug and kiss a rock star and scream out my love. Then's there is the middle. See? Not a fallacy or excluded. Today, let's talk really important things like donuts. It occurs to me that donuts are a bit like Oreos. When you like them, you've got your whole personal ritual around them. First off, church and donuts and cops and donuts seem to have somehow merged into cliche culture. Don't worry I won't ponder that too deeply. This is meant to be a light and fluffy post. But I can't seem to help myself...just a little. And that is my motto when it comes to donuts: can't seem to help myself, just a little. I like donuts. I might even like them better than chocolate. But let's not test that because you can get donuts that are chocolate. So there

A Memorial Anyway...“Not in this chamber only at my birth”

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950). Sonnet IV (1917) NOT in this chamber only at my birth— When the long hours of that mysterious night Were over, and the morning was in sight— I cried, but in strange places, steppe and firth I have not seen, through alien grief and mirth; And never shall one room contain me quite Who in so many rooms first saw the light, Child of all mothers, native of the earth. So is no warmth for me at any fire To-day, when the world’s fire has burned so low; I kneel, spending my breath in vain desire, At that cold hearth which one time roared so strong, And straighten back in weariness, and long To gather up my little gods and go.

Distinguishing between fact and that a 3 pt or 10 pt line weight?

Fact versus fiction. Here's a hint: sometimes it's a fine line, sometimes it's subjective, it typically depends upon the point of view...and history is usually written by the winners. It's like painting, drawing, or photography: it's all in where the light hits and what angle you shoot/draw from. Different elements will stand out, and grab people in different ways. I’ve noticed in the last year a very disturbing trend. It’s disturbing to me as a reader, as a writer, and of course as a publisher. It’s the age-old “literature is dangerous” movement at core, but on the surface, it appears a large number of people in the US are having trouble distinguishing fact from fiction. Worse, it appears some publishers might be taking advantage of that fact. And worse yet, it appears that when a person is dissatisfied and feels “betrayed” by what they read, they can use the court system to demand restitution. Let’s start where it most recently began for me: Dan Brown’s clear-as-c

I meant to keep quiet...but it's such a travesty...such a tragedy

Today I was inspired by David Portorti on Democracy Now. They were, among other topics, once again discussing President Bush (note the respectful use of capital letters, no spitting, or nicknames) and his press conference of 8-21-2006. (I'll add links below...I'm selfish enough to not want you to click away quite yet. I want to make my point first.) In short, on 8-21, Bush announced Resolution 1701, which deploys troops to Lebanon. This is, allegedly, ". . .essential to peace in the region and it's essential to the freedom of Lebanon." Freedom and protection from? Israel? Somehow I don't think so, although Israel is the main threat to Lebanon. Also during this press conference, he attempted to backpedal while proselytizing (note use of respectful word instead of the more pejorative "propagandizing") on the issue of Iraq, and gear us up to invade even further in the Middle East. The terrorists and their state sponsors, Iran and Syria, have a much dark

Another 9-11 nightmare

I do my best to completely block out any association between 9-11 and the actual date of September 11th that occurs every year. It lingers in my subconscious, though, that "tip of my tongue" place where it seems like there is something I am forgetting. I get antsy this time of year, anxious. I avoid news, all news, even more assiduously this time of year. And I've only begun watching news again---after I got on the wagon from my last newsaholic bender---a little bit. Internet, reading, mostly. But it's unavoidably out there, even in the most innocuous places. Like, the memorial link on one of my favorite blogs. Or the special report on TV last night, on the channel near the season premiere of my favorite show. Still, I block. My disassociation is ironclad. Until last night, when I dreamed of it, and this morning when I woke up and said, oh, we're just barely a week out. September 11 will be the 9-11 fifth anniversary. As if such things should have an anniversary,