Friday, August 27, 2010


there is this place i like to go.
a place where the river meets the ocean.
or the ocean meets the river.
however that works.
it's peaceful to me.
the only drawback is this is a popular place.
and i'm more a fan of the unpopulated place.
i go to this place (with the boys).
always with the boys.
there are no options.
i take callie for a walk.
the boys play on 'the rock'.
or they walk with me.
or they play on the beach while i walk.
callie gets in the water.
then i sit.
there's a little concrete slab thing.
when the tide isn't too high i can sit right on it.
the view is truly beautiful.
maybe i should have shown the view.
instead of my purple toes.
looking to the left is the open ocean.
to the right is the river.
not the best photo.
but i don't really care.
the sun was in my eyes.
i am always searching/looking for things that make me feel.
because i spend so much time not feeling.
but then odd out of the blue things fill me with emotion.
things that 'should' make me cry, don't.
through it all, through the last year and whatever it's been now....
i try hard not to focus on the amount of time that has passed...
i hold out hope.
hope for something better in my life.
at some point.
hope to feel 'normal'.
not back to the way i was, because i will never be that again.
but MY new normal.
hope that some day that completely sad/overcome/empty feeling will entirely go away.
sometimes i just don't think i can take the sadness anymore.
my life is SO much better than it was.
i HAVE made good choices.
i recognize and acknowledge that.
but even so, i am still filled with such a sadness.
an emptiness.
and i just really really really want it to go away.
where is that softer me.
instead of the hard-edged not gonna let anyone in again me.
i feel like so much has been taken.
yet i still have so much to be thankful for.
i know i need to focus on that.
some days, it's just easier said, than done.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

my hair is getting damn long.

it's weird to me, to be wearing a fleece jacket, in august.
trips me out.
i love living in astoria.
sometimes, a friend will say something, without malicious intent.
something that strikes a chord with them.....
they in turn, share that thought with you.
the problem for me is, though....
sometimes those shared thoughts and observations.....
they stick with me.
even when i don't want them to.
they focus on the ONE negative aspect of something or someone you hold important.
i don't think they 'mean' to.
it comes from a place i have been.
and maybe am still in.
a place of negativity.
i need to be understanding.
my initial reaction is to pull away.
and keep to myself.
stop sharing.....anything.
this observation that was shared with me....
it came from a place of judgment.
that, i don't appreciate.
but, like i said, i am trying to come from a place of understanding.
and just let it go.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

this is us.

alexander, callie and ethan.
pretty classic.
post-james, anyway.
alexander with a sword.
the kid is obsessed.
it's kind of scary, actually. ;-)
callie going for her (almost) daily puppy walk.
she couldn't be happier.
unless she was plopped down in the ocean.
she loves the water.
and brings home about half of the beach with her. then there's ethan.
always with his hat (a fedora).
always with a stick on the beach.
me following behind with my iPhone.
this is us.
spending what time we can at the beach.
i think the boys have had a good summer.
it's been filled with visits from auntie. and uncle. (seperately).....
visits from cousins (my bro's kids).
a quick trip to seattle.
a trip to spokane.
and our most recent trip.
going to the movies.
playing with friends.
more trips to the aquatic center than i can count.
endless hours of swimming, going down the slide, floating down the lazy river.
the boys....well....just being kids.
being boys.
school starts on sept 7th (for one hour, then 'officially' starts with a full day on the 8th).
two more weeks to go.
james, and i...and the boys.....
we used to be self-sufficient.
all we needed was each other.
i have tried hard to make our family of three feel like family again.
it's hard, when you're used to that fourth person.
he was SO important to us.
i knew the move would either make me completely and totally insane...or...
it would bring us (the boys and i) closer together.
today i would tell you it has brought us closer together.
tomorrow it may be a different story. ;-)
i think i am very in tune with my boys.
i know what they like.
where they spend their time.
who they spend it with.
every once in a while i am completely surprised by ethan.
he is 9 now.
today in the car he and alexander high five'd each other.
a couple of days ago he flat out said, 'i love you little bro'.
out of the blue.
i gave no reaction but on the inside i was passing out.
they either love each other.
or they are fighting.
alexander is coming into his own as well.
mr. independent.
i think james would be proud of me.
for the decisions i have made.
the actions i have taken.
for putting the boys first (while at the same time taking into account what *I* need/needed).
i do, too, from time to time, put myself totally and completely first.
times i try (and this might not be nice, but it IS true) to let the boys completely go from my mind.
it just has to happen.
so yes, there are times, when i put myself first.
when i am selfish.
there is guilt that comes with it.
there are times i just don't care and put myself first anyway.
not sure why, i just felt like writing about the boys tonight.

Monday, August 23, 2010

from time to time.

i want to melt into strong arms.
to not know where they end and i begin.
to surrender myself.
and just admit that i do want that.
from time to time.
no matter how hard i have tried to fight it and say that i don't.
it is SO fucking hard to admit that.
why is that i wonder.
i don't think wanting to be cared for....
comforted....makes me any less of a strong person.
but maybe it does.
took this phot with my iPhone 8.15.10.
first part of our trip was spent with my family in california.
it was good. hot, but good. you undestand i HATE hot hot hot weather.
went from 60s (in astoria) to the 100's (or damn close to it).
and that, my friends, to way too fucking hot for me.
i ended up spending a fair amount of time alone on this trip.
not alone as in gee, i don't have the boys with me and i should be doing something great.
alone as in the peeps i was staying with went to bed.
very early.
and i couldn't sleep.
OR....the peeps i was with wanted to go to loud places.
or shopping.
and i didn't.
loud places and shopping are so not my thing.
so i hung out by myself until they were done.
going away made me realize that i do, in fact, consider astoria home.
all i wanted to do was go home.
i felt homesick.
for james, i think.
AND my home/life in astoria.
i really, really really wanted to go 'home'.
the second half of the trip was spent where we used to live.
turned out to be hard to go back.
part of the reason is, a friend of mine *deep breath* felt it would be good for the boys to visit our old house.
i emphatically stated before we even left that i didn't want that.
but it happened.
against my wishes.
when i found out what was going on i, of course, felt i had to go.
i wanted to be there to answer any of the boys' questions.
to support them emotionally......these little boys equate our old house to their father.
it's where he got up one day, showered, got dressed and drove away to work.
but then never came back.
i felt, and at this point in time, i still think i made the right decision, not to take the boys to see james in the hospital.
i didn't want them to see him hooked up to machines, tubes, everywhere....
to see his non-responding eyes.
the smells.
the sounds.
it was NOT a place for children.
i wanted them to remember their father as the strong, vibrant man he was.
the new owners graciously showed us every room.
even the back yard and garage.
alexander just wanted to swing on his old playset.
ethan wanted to know if his room had been painted.
i painted it blue and he wanted to make sure it was STILL blue.
i was doing fine.
no emotion (that i was showing on the outside).
UNTIL....the new owner walked us into my old bedroom and bathroom.
it was there i could see, plain as day...james standing in front of the mirror...shaving, brushing his teeth, taking his meds....
and i had to get out.
i HAD to get out.
i kept it together and got the boys back to my friend's house and inside.
and then i sat in the garage.
and cried.
after 10 or so minutes i got my shit together, went in and was back and present with the boys.
my friend and i had words over this.
as their mother, i felt it was MY decision whether or not the boys went over to the old house.
that was taken away from me.
the act was not malicious.
it was done with thoughts that going back would provide some sort of closure for us.
what my friend didn't understand is......
it's just a house.
to me, anyway.
to the boys, it was more.
i get that.
and i would have taken them if THEY had asked.
the day i moved to astoria.....
the day i drove away.....
THAT was closure for me.
i never intended to set foot back in that house again.
didn't want to.
didn't need to.
turns out, i did anyway.
my friend apologized.
we moved on.
before dinner with james' mom (major reason for this trip was to keep the connection between the boys and james' family).....
my friend and i took a little detour.
i wanted a little something done.
a new piercing....
turns out so did about 15 other peeps.
the line was incredible.
so we left.
alexander, kyler, ethan, sawyer and riley.
kyler, sawyer and riley are my nephews.
they are my brother and christine's boys.
when we moved i promised the boys they would still see their cousins.
i have kept my promise.
one of the hardest parts of moving the boys has been how far away we now are from these boys (and their parents).
alexander and kyler have a special bond.
ethan, sawyer and riley do too.
sawyer and riley are twins and are very close to ethan's age.
kyler looks after alexander (being the youngest).
it's the sweetest thing ever.
i miss these boys.
the 'first time' going back is over.
won't be rushing back anytime soon.
i know, eventually, i will have to go back.
so the boys can see james' family.
i'll deal with that when the time comes.
for now i am just more than happy to be back in astoria.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

if i could go back.

i own a plane. well, part of a plane. this is alexander sitting in said plane. once upon a time, james was healthy. he wanted to learn how to fly. so he did. we bought a plane (along with a couple of partners so the expense wasn't quite so high). it was an old falling apart plane that james and my brother put back together. it took hours (and hours and hours) of engine rebuilding and learning things they did not yet know. flying was something james loved to do. before we had kids, we would hop in our plane for quick weekend trips. those are good memories people. fucking good memories. learning to fly is NOT easy. it requires ground school, hour after hour (after hour) of instruction (from a qualified flight instructor), access to a plane to fly while learning how to fly, and then logging a couple hundred solo hours flying a plane hoping to hell you don't do anything stupid and end up dead. then you must take a check ride (where you are scrutenized by yet another qualified person). said qualified person decides if you're good enough...have met the criteria....and hopefully you don't do anything completely stupid because you're taking the equivalency of a diver's test up in the air. mistakes are kind of a problem.
once upon a time i took ground school. and decided that *I* wanted to learn how to fly. and then james got sick. and i didn't finish. how could *I* fly the plane if he couldn't?! how would he feel if i was sitting in the left seat and he wasn't? the left seat being where the pilot sits in a small plane(you know, in case you don't know how small planes work)....
so i gave it up.
i walked away.
i put obstacles in the way of finishing.
then i had ethan.
by the time james and i had kids, he had already lost his medical (the FAA doesn't like people with heart problems flying around). so our boys never went anywhere with us in the plane. it was as if that chapter in our lives just ended. that was it.
i am sure my brother is going to kill me, posting a photo of him without his approval.....but....i happen to love this photograph. yes, that is my brother sitting in the left seat of our plane with alexander. while on our little trip (which i will discuss later)......i asked my brother to encourage the boys to take a ride in the plane. once james lost his license (and i walked away), our plane pretty much was flown by my brother (who also got his pilot's license). so when we went to see my brother and his boys last weekend, i asked my bro to encourage my boys to take a flight. the boys know their dad was a pilot. but since james never got to take them up flying, it didn't really mean anything to them. my hope was, that the boys be introduced to something new. something that perhaps ONE of them would love. turns out, alexander was quite excited. uncle let him 'fly' the plane. uncle let him take control of the yoke. they did some zero g's. which, btw, alexander totally loved! right on. lol... the kid is fearless. it was awesome. so, hope was that one of them would be introduced to some of the things that meant so much to their father and that they would like it. every new thing your child is exposed to could open the door to something they hold as a life-long love. it could be the ONE thing that changes their life forever.
will this be the case with zan and flying? i don't know. but i do know that i am so happy he went up. that uncle barry let him fly the plane. that uncle barry let him put the landing gear down. that uncle barry let him flip all the crazy switches (and dude, there are a lot of them)......alexander now has a happy memory to equate with the words "daddy was a pilot. daddy used to fly this plane". alexander wore james' headset. nice touch, though sad (to me) at the same time. bittersweet i guess it is.
now....on to what this meant to ME. i did not go up in the plane this past weekend. i wanted to. just didn't work out. flying a small plane is quite a rush. taking off, landing....there really is SO much to know, and do, and control. it was this particular day, while my brother took zan up for his first flight, that i wished i had not walked away. because flying is something i enjoy. if i had really wanted to, i COULD have finished. james would never have stopped me. he would have supported me. it was a decision *I* made. and one i wish i had made differently. i just couldn't see finishing. i thought it would hurt james. so i walked away.
i believe if there is something you want to do, bad enough, you will find a way to do it. i did not want to fly bad enough. i let too many obstacles/emotions/worry get in the way. i SHOULD have done it. finished. but i did not.
i am very happy, though, that alexander has now been up in one of the planes daddy used to fly. that flying was introduced to him. hoefully he will have the chance again fairly soon to go up in our plane. i want to build on this first experience. i am going to try and let go of this, regret, i guess it is, about not finishing. i made my choice. i know it really boils down to me not wanting it enough.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

work in progress.

this week i have been preparing.
preparing to get on a plane.
to go back.
back to the place that holds so many memories for us.
part of me, doing right by the boys, and james....
is taking the boys to see his mom.
and his sister.
and her kids.
going back is NOT something i want to do.
but i'm doing it.
because it's the right thing to do for the boys.
because if it had gone the other way, and i had been the one that died, i would want james to do the same for me.
worked on this painting last night.
it made me focus.
THAT is a fucking amazing part about painting.
how once you start, and are focused......
IF you can get focused.....
once that happens....
you CAN.
you do.
just that.
you paint.
and breathe.
listen to music.
and just be.
while you create something.
something that comes from inside you.
still not done.
but the tone has changed.
another layer has been added.
it's deeper.
it was nice to paint last night.
i needed it.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

something spectacular.

started this painting two months ago.
haven't touched it since.
another abstract.
work in progress.
it's at a good place.
i like it so far.
sometimes when i like a painting i become afraid to take it further.
for fear of fucking it up.
course i can't walk away from this one.
it's clearly not finished.
this is a big piece (36 x 48).
last night i experienced a sense of peace.
doing something simple....hangin at home....
enjoying the company of those i was with.
it was nice.
a sense of peace.
it was damn nice.
enjoying a glass of wine....
something on the grill....
just your everyday shit.
nothing spectacular....just nice....which, turns out....IS something spectacular.
make sense?
it does to me.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

anyone want to count how many times the word fuck has been written in this post?

unedited iPhone photo.
i have told myself i am stupid about 50 million times today.
for even thinking about opening myself up.
what the fuck was i thinking.
someone snap me out of it.
fucking shake some sense into me.
i fucking lost my mind and was acting crazy.
what the fuck was i thinking.
thinking, 'wouldn't it be nice'.
but clearly i am an idiot.
here is where i'd really like to spell out exactly what it is i am talking about.
but i can't.
unless i quick go start another blog.
so i'll just be vague.
for now.
to think i even thought there might be something.
clearly i am an idiot.
what. the fuck. was i thinking.
today has not been a good day.
a happy day.
it's been filled with holy fuck.
i have to rewind and suck that shit back in.
not anything i've said.
my actions.
because actions speak louder than words.
my actions have been unexplainable.
clearly i lost my fucking mind.
my reaction to recent events has, however, made it clear to me what it i want.
whether i'm ready to admit it or not.
yeah. and i'm not.
i'm going to squash it down.
make it go the fuck away.
i am angry at myself.
i thought i was in control.
turns out i was wrong.
turns out there are some things you just CAN'T control.
letting yourself become slightly vested in anything opens up the possibility of hurt.
and anger.
yeah, that was scarcasm.
holy fucking crap.
did i mention i'm angry at myself?
oh yeah. i think i did.
course, it also opens up other possibilities.
i am aware of that.
and it was only a tiny step i was considering.
i'm finding myself full of shit.
apparently i talk big.
about wanting to life live.
but when it comes down to it...
i am scared.
i feel like i've lost something.
something i didn't know i wanted until the possibility was yanked away.
maybe it was never even there to begin with.
i hope all this fucking shit goes away soon.
i prefer the feel nothing but get through the day without crying option.