Monday, May 25, 2009

getting over my rainbow

My rainbow vanished, but this songs helps me remember that a few short moments ago, I had it in my hands, and that my heart was awash in never-ending possibilities.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

a fistful of fagans

Reilly is on a sleepover tonight and when I called Todd from a friend's house to see what he and Quinn were up to, he said Todd and the boys were over (all of Todd's friends are named Todd, btw). "Which ones?" I asked. "All of them." He said they were eating chili dogs and um, I dragged my sad carcass all over the house yesterday to clean, so I raced home. But also because...

...I haven't seen the littlest boys since they were super wee, and their crunchy mama took offense to my fierce anti-Bush/anti-war stance. So it was such a treat to see these cuties. Not only did I get to revel in their mop-topedness, but I talked cleaning with Todd Fagan the whole time. And there wasn't a trace of chili dogs anywhere. Ahhh...

(L-R: Jeshua, Titus, Silas, Israel, and Quinn)

Friday, May 22, 2009

when it rains... rains vials.

So one doctor says that ongoing sleep loss could be life-threatening. Stop cleaning, don't drive, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, etc.

The other doctor says I'm so anemic I am not to move. Stop cleaning, don't drive, do not pass Go, you got it.

Not loving the languishing at all. Unable to sleep despite taking pills that could bring a fleet of elephants to their knees. Lots of time to sit and assess my shit hole house, and you know, how to mend a heart that has been reduced to powder.

Just as I began to doze today I got my second urgent phone call in as many days, this time saying that my blood work revealed a rare disorder that would make my surgery life-threatening, and that I need to arrive at the clinic within .8 seconds for however many more vials. Only I can't drive, or really walk, you know?

And I have a very unfortunate pathological resistance to accepting help of any kind, particularly if it involves asking. Even if four people offer to drive me, I will refuse them all, because I'm proud (and stupid) like that. I didn't have to worry about help for four years, because I had angel who took the most amazing care of me, through all surgeries great and small. So I'm rusty. And admittedly pretty resolved to never trusting anyone again or letting them see me weak or scared or bleeding.

It is said that God chastens the ones he loves. Man, I am really feeling the love.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

i am one tough cookie but...

...this is what it takes to make this cookie crumble:

Imagine the love of your life, your most trusted treasure/ally, ripping off her face, Mission Impossible: 2-style, revealing a completely foreign, deceptive, malicious stranger who was actually your enemy all along. Friends have been lied to, secrets revealed, blame grossly miscast, and even your children, whose trust had run cell-deep, were slandered. As for a reason? Every option is either too painful or too infuriating to accept. The reason will never be known.

Imagine having somehow survived a couple days in this emotional holocaust, only to find out that the breadwinner of your household has lost his high-paying job. I know this has happened to many of you, and I have fully empathized, and now I sympathize. Once again, answers are scarce, we may be moving, we will most definitely be losing the insurance that keeps me in much-needed medications, and under the treatment of Salem's finest doctor. Imagine a grown man weeping, and your children offering him their wallets.

Imagine having to watch your 9 and 10 year olds cling to your 16 year old dog (see previous post), wailing, uncharacteristically unaware that they are lying on a germy clinic floor. Imagine having to rip your daughter off her dog with clumps of his fur in her tiny hands, which she has since kept in a Ziploc baggie and carried everywhere.

Imagine realizing at some point during this deluge of shit, that there may be a connection between your very nicest friends telling you you look like a ghost, your fingernails falling out, as well as your hair, and the fact that it just occurred to you you've been on your period for like four weeks. Your midwife friend, along with your GYN, confirms that you are hemorrhaging severely. Hm, that may explain some weakness.

Imagine hearing the dreaded, but oh-so-familiar words, "You need surgery immediately." And of course, it needs to be sooner than immediately, while we still have insurance.

Imagine that as a lovely little undercurrent to this torrential downpour of stress, you haven't slept more than an hour for seven weeks. As a person who doesn't require a lot of sleep, it took a long time to grow concerned. First I was just up at odd hours, then I began losing track of days, the time of day (going for cheeseburgers at 7am, which ties in later, as I hate cheeseburgers), losing my train of thought, my focus, lots of near misses on the road and ultimately, running red lights.

Imagine that all of these illuminations happened within three days of each other.

As most of you can imagine, every emotion on the spectrum has made an entrance at some point, and it has been grueling. People have been vocal in their concern for my lack of sleep, but I assure them, I don't really feel tired, just out of focus. I've shared with the readers of Moxieclean that I'm not sleeping much, and different people know a morsel or two of the other things going on. Today, the exhaustion hit me. I had a friend over for another early morning cheeseburger run, and when she left, I passed out cold. But I didn't sleep. I heard altered voices coming from the television, I could hear my kids singing, rather than talking, I kept losing them, we were late for football practice but I couldn't go outside because the aforementioned love-turned-nobody was on the porch, as was the coach, pounding on the door. I startled awake sweating to death, completely at a loss to identify my surroundings. I was so overwhelmed all I could do was go back into that dimension. This time I was awakened by my daughter handing me the phone, telling me it was my doctor. I had no idea where I was but took a chance on answering. He said that the seven vials of blood they drew yesterday that nearly killed me, revealed that I am so anemic I am not to drive nor really do anything until I can drink a silo of iron. Those who know me know that being told to do nothing is something I liken to being told to cut off my own arm. It's completely counter-intuitive, however necessary it may be. I'm a good patient but I'm terrible at recovering because I hate sitting still. Yes, even when my body is so ravaged by sleep loss and blood loss that I'm hallucinating, I'd rather be cleaning. Reilly just got the call that our dog's ashes have arrived but I can't drive her three blocks to get them. And now I know why I've been eating so many cheeseburgers.

So, unable to sleep, for fear of re-entering the Malice in Wonderland alternate universe from hell, and too weak to go anywhere, under doctor's orders, I am left to think about the one thing that makes all the rest seem like a dinner time anecdote. I'm angry. God am I angry. Make no mistake, I am no saint, but when I make a mistake it's in earnest, and you can count on an apology. To have been strung along by my heartstrings, which I'd never even shown to anyone else, let alone given, on a silver platter, forever and ever, with everyone in town knowing there was only one of us in the relationship for a pretty long time, rubs right up against the limit of what I can forgive. To be told the venomous lies about my kids, from someone they deeply trusted, is so far beyond what I can forgive the line isn't even visible. I am angry for the lies, I am angry for the deceit, and for the heart, soul, and time I invested, oblivious to the fact that it was Game Over.

Somewhere in (let's see, which circle of hell am I in?) this, a lurker from a footnote in the past we shared, emerged with enough ammunition to sever my connection to reality, and any chance I had for being okay. The brutality of this revelation is something I've chosen not to share with the person I loved, because, to do so is not the way I love, even in the past tense. I will bear it for both of us. Along with my bullet-riddled heart and stolen soul.

As I've been typing, I was handed an envelope from the woman I never knew, with my house key, and a gift I'd given her that she was thoughtful enough to return (really, I prefer to just be shot), and now I believe, short of something happening to my kids, I could not possibly feel more annihilated on every emotional plane. Friends say if I could only sleep, but my heart cares not for sleep. Nor blood loss, nor surgeries, nor, apparently saving any face at all.

I have tried to use as much discretion as possible in the past month, about everything, but so many people are wise to little pieces of information, and so many people are waiting on me to answer their emails (Mesina, Gail, Amy, Bethany, Emily), and I just don't have the energy. So this is it. This is where I've been. I don't know how I got here, and I don't know where I'm going, but I didn't want anyone to feel unduly concerned a moment longer.

The medical stuff, it ain't no thang. Please. I could care less. My heart, my sense of trust in myself or others, my willingness to confide in/believe people, that's pretty dicey right now. For four years I thought I was holding a Royal Flush. I just looked down and realized I'm holding four Jokers.


All the king's horses, and all the king's men? Don't bother. There's no putting this cookie together again.

Quintuple-check your hand before you bet. But I'll never ante up again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


to me

show details 3:17 PM (0 minutes ago)

MacKenzie sent you a message.

Re: Lo siento

Cheyenne -

That's very nice of you, but I wasn't offended by you at all. I enjoyed meeting you and thought the night was really fun. I hope I get to see you again next time I come up to visit.

Take care, and thanks for thinking of me.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

slip out the back jack

This is our dog Jack. I got him when I was 15 at our small town post office in Seal Rock, where John the postman asked if I had any interest in this gorgeous puppy. I am widely known for missing the gene that goes weak for animals, but I grabbed him and he has been a treasured member of our family ever since. He predates Quinn and Reilly, who consider him a brother.

Sigh. As the circle of life goes, Jack has reached the end of his time with us, and we had to say goodbye to him today. He was in a lot of pain and unable to control his body, but he was still very aware of how loved he was, and that his people (he thought he was a person) were right there with him, loving him as he slipped away. My fierce animal-loving girl, Reilly, has spent five days curled up on Jack's bed with him, and while she understands it is best not to let his pain escalate, she is losing a brother today, and this was the hardest thing I have had to get my kids through yet. Hell I am bawling like a baby as I type.

Bye sweet sweet Jack, you're in a league of your own, never to be forgotten nor replaced, and now you're at peace. We miss you so much it hurts.

Reilly by his side to til the end:

Quinn and Reilly saying goodbye:

R.I.P. Jack (in Reilly's sweatshirt, with her hat and toy):

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

order up

How amazing that this baby:

...whose chubby hand I had to hold up the stairs...

Just noticed that I was trembling from hunger, about to eat a roll of toilet paper, and brought me this:

With Diet Pepsi! And pickles sliced into perfect discs so there's one in every bite!

This is that boy:

And he still gives me sweet kisses. In public. I'm the luckiest Mama.

it's a blog eat blog world

I feel like this is such a whore-ish thing to do, but I didn't take this leap for nothing, so check out my long-procrastinated cleaning blog.

And thank you to those of you who helped in its inception.


Friday, May 8, 2009

my stellar scrabble sweetie

My mom taught me to play Scrabble before I can even remember it. I just know that she always treated me like an actual opponent, which made me feel incredibly worthy. I mean, to the point that sometimes I was certain I had her sweating. Of course she'd verify spelling and such, but she never let me win, a principle she inherited from my beloved grandmother. Saintly, but she never let one of her 15,000 grandchildren win at cards.

I was 16 when I finally beat my mom, and like so many triumphs, it was bittersweet. But from that day on we have become the fiercest of competitors, for I know she is the best Scrabble player I've ever known, and she knows that I can beat her.

Recently Mom has taught Reilly to play, and I'd hear that they played a game, and thought it was cute. Then, it started becoming constant. Reilly could never come home on time because they were in the middle of a game, or she would need me to take her over to Gia's to finish a game, and finally, when Reilly spends the night with Mom and I text goodnight at 1am, and ask what she's up to, she says, "We's playin' Scrabble!" I have a strict rule about the kids using proper English, spelling, punctuation, etc., in text, but I always laugh when she texts this. This game is such a thrill for her. It doesn't surprise me, what with the competitive bloodline and all, but what has taken me aback is how motherfucking amazing she is. I will concede that every planet in the solar system aligns when Reilly plays, and she gets the Q, a U, an I, a Z, and a respectable G, O, and R, while Mom is left with the dreaded A, A, U, I, I, I, T, but still, I have seen my mom break 300 points with shit for letters, and Reilly may have be sitting on a gold mine, but obviously her vocabulary can't rival Mom's yet. Anyway, Reilly's been reading the dictionary, lugging it around, studying short Q words that don't require a U (ie-QAT, and Egyptian tree), Z words, etc. And it finally happened: She beat my mom. Fair and square. Eight years old. Perhaps Mom got a trifle complacent, perhaps she had seven I's, perhaps Reilly has memorized the dictionary, I don't know, but she won, and today while she is at work with her dad, I made her this certificate. I'm so proud of this kid:

(I happened to have some Scrabble embellishments from my scrapbooking days.)

money can't buy (as much) happiness

A few of you know that Todd, like so many others, just lost his job. His company canned everyone, in a non-economy-related shift in infrastructure. However you say it, we're pretty fucked. For one thing, we won't be able to keep our insurance at $1,000 per month, which has dire ramifications. and he's already conjured up some ways in which to tighten our household belt. One of these ways is to reduce the weekly allowance he has always given me. I freely admit I have been given quite a generous sum, and while I fully understand his need to be more conservative, I know I will need to adjust to eating out less with the kids, dropping $15.00 at Starbucks on a whim, etc.

I knew today would be the first day of the new pay cut, and I'm okay with it. But when I saw this, it made me sad. I hate that Todd carries the entire burden, that I can't simply say, "Hey, I'll support us for a while." I'm grateful just to have some cash in my pocket, and told him not to sweat it, but Todd is the very picture of stoicism, so this was hard:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

temptation, thy name is sharpie

Yesterday, in Costco:

Having just purchased a pack of these three weeks ago, just exactly how many black Sharpie fine point pens do I need?


And how long must I stand there, mouth agape, to arrive at this conclusion?

Um...52 minutes.

That's a long time to spend staring at, fondling, this pack of five million identical black pens, pretending to scrutinize them, raising one eyebrow as if to ponder the value, when really, the fucking pens emit a pheromone or something and I just can't resist the urge to buy them whenever I see them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

gaga for gerberas


This is what I plant each spring:

Every counter top, night stand, end table, bathroom, my car, and I have a bounty of them up in the closet. I don't know why, but for the past five years, when Kleenex releases this pattern, I cannot resist the urge to buy every box on the shelf, even if that means spending my last $30.00, and fumbling through Fred Meyer, heaping towers of Kleenex ready to topple any second. There's something about Gerbera Daisies that makes me happy, and I'm marginally chagrined to admit that I sort of use these as a spring decoration. And I'm actually downright humiliated to admit that I am loathe to throw the empty boxes away. I hate seeing the still-cheerful boxes reduced to the bone yard of the recycle bin. We buy Kleenex at Costco, so at any given moment, say, right now, there are 16 boxes in the back room. But who wants the Golden Girls pattern when they could have the modern, kicky, great granddaughter pattern? (Likely, people who prefer to spend 75 cents for double the quantity, rather than $2.69 for five Kleenexes, but whatever, we all have our things.)

But really, why do they even make these soothing, faux-hospitalesque patterns? (Not that hospitals would ever pay for actual Kleenex, but still.)