Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boo! Ellen Rocks Halloween with Great Huge LAUGHS!

Mr. Curry has a HUGE crush on Ellen. He and Lola watch her show every day after he picks Lola up from my work. This is Ellen scaring Taylor Swift and it's hilarious-

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Library

No furniture is so charming as books *sydney smith

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us *franz kafka

My Tat

Monday, October 26, 2009

map of disease

this is so weirdly cool. click ^

image richard gray

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Mr. Curry and I flew to San Jose in the months before Christmas one year, leaving behind our children with Grandma Mary. I was to have my second surgery for endometriosis, at the hands of a specialist I had found through a year of research about my disease and the latest treatments and surgeries. Dr Andrew Cook specializes in endometriosis treatment and surgery, and his center had no black marks against it, only the relieved and grateful voices of many women made free from chronic, debilitating pain through his hands and methods.

We arrrived in San Jose, took the shuttle to the car rental and drove to Dr. Cook's offices for my pre-surgical consultations. After this was over, we had two days of waiting. We stayed at a hotel right down the boutique filled mainstreet, and after eating, walked down the streets, browsing shops. I held Mr. Curry's hand tightly. I was afraid. He spent a lot of time making me laugh and like Nie's Mr. Nielson, smacking my ass. We are big butt smackers in my house. My husband smacks mine every chance he gets.

Stopping in a small boutique, I saw the above necklace and fell in object love. I don't often do this, wether from an inner boundry carved out of poverty or just my personal asthetic, is is rare that I see an object I feel I wildly want to own. This necklace was one of those. I went through each charm on it, tried it on, put it back. The minature white tag with a typewritten price tage made clear that this necklace was out of our price range, especially for a couple about to embark on the most expensive journey of their marriage: health care.

Mr. Curry let me walk out the door before pulling me back in. He knocked lightly on the glass with his large working man knuckles. ' I'd like this for my wife, please, ' he said softly.

He put it around me neck and I spent the entire day feeling it's weight on my chest, fingering the charms, marveling at how happy I felt before a major surgery. At night we lay in the hotel bed eating chicken salad and cheesecake. We fell asleep curled up together, the necklace lying on my naked chest.

It was a scary time. It was unknown what the outcome would be. And Mr. Curry turned it into a time for the two of us to work our way deeper into each other's hearts.

I wear this necklace all the time. The children at my school adore it, moving it around, the babies often grab it and stuff it in their mouths. If I ever lose it, I will be so, so sad. But I will still have the memory of that week in San Jose. And I will not lose that.

In a sweet synchronicity, I went to Mrs. Moon's blog Bless Our Hearts, one of my favorite blogs ever from one of my favorite women, and found this post.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Friday, October 23, 2009

Lola's Eyes, Big Bad Blog Love

This is Lola Moon. Lola is 7. Lola went to the eye doctor, and this is what happened:

" I went to the eye doctor. It was very fun. I didn't need glasses, I was kind of upset because there were these really cool glasses that I wanted. I made my mommy laugh so hard cuz I did a dance and song that goes like this ' ten hand cross, nine hand cross, eight hand cross..' where I do jazz hands across my eyes with the right amount of fingers. And then I did ' subtraction, subtraction. ' My eyes need special treatment called Eye Therapy because my eyes don't focus right and things become double and I skip sentences and words because my eyes aren't tracking and things seem fuzzy. Bye Bye! "

Hey Bloggers. Did I ever tell you how very glad I am to know you?

Because I am, to the max.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Home, Sick

Lola Moon watching cartoons with her hot soy chocolate from Starbucks and Bodie on the floor scratching himself. See Lola's wooden pinapple on top a stack of books on the floor, lower right?
My stack of books in front of the fireplace makes me so happy. The fireplace mantel has a strip of unfinished paint from a job half finished where the wall was removed and replaced due to mold.
Weasley and Bellatrix napping on Lola's bed

Lola and Mr. Fuzz. Mr. Fuzz is a shy and retiring fellow not yet used to our large household.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bates Nut Farm

October in Escondido California, Bates Nut Farm

Saturday, October 17, 2009

oh heavenly day... a tribute to my family

Thank you for each and every moment with my family...

Thank you for every moment, the struggle, the pain, the laughter, the joy, the unbearable joy of love, tremendous and infinite love...

It is worth everything....

It is, in the end, everything

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,

to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First to let go of life.

Finally, to take a step without feet.


I am in love with being a part of a family

For better or worse we take each other,

cleave, nurture, hurt and heal, we are a pack, and we are each other's witnesses
in a life that often feels very lonely,

we are never without a hand to hold
a heart to love, a sanctuary.

I am in love with my family!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a theory of heartbreak

Ever since I healed in the deeper parts of myself, the guts and heart marrow, I have had a theory about myself. I feel I could work my way through anything but the loss of my child. I love Mr. Curry with all my comparmentalized parts, the ones labeled Work Mom Daughter Citizen Blogger Abuse Survivor Friend Lover and all. I also love him with my girlie parts. For instance-

Many days I pick Lola up from school and she comes to work with me, hanging out in the infant room or wandering to her old classroom in the Pre-K, where her old teacher Ms. Donna welcomes her with a smile. Mr. Curry picks Lola up on his way home from work, whenever that is. He walks in, I hear the door beep, and then our infant room door opens ( all our doors have large glass panes on them ) and there he is- looking particularly tall and extremely manly in his work shorts and dirty hands and broad shoulders and sweat creased brow, standing next to baby cribs and eating, crying, laughing babies in a room full of women. Unless we are in a fight, I get the quickening. This is when my heart speeds up a tendril and I can feel my eyes dilating like the wild animal we humans once were, when the room feels brighter and life more joyful because he is there.

Yet if I lost him I could survive. My mind could survive.

All my life I have seen, felt and heard loss and heartbreak. The saying says Pain is Inevitable, Suffering Optional, and I like the inspiration it gives me, the shot of strength, but I don't believe it. I don't believe we are evolved to a point where this is true. I don't believe suffering is always optional, that there is a healthy place we can crawl to in our minds or souls when life is cruel beyond our ability to process.

It is what I cannot accept that kills. If Mr. Curry and I divorced, I would have a period of non-acceptance, and I could choose to let that go on and on and on and suffocate me. But I am thirty-four, finally a woman. I know that I would not choose to do that, and I do believe I would have a choice. When I was a little girl, I could not understand nor accept the circumstances of my childhood, and my suffering went beyond emotional pain and turned into a stillbirth of intelligence. My brain shorted, my mind huddled and hid, and the world turned as foggy and smoky and terrifyingly non-comphrensible as if I had been airlifted and dropped into Murderer's Row on a winter's midnight in an Irish slum. Familiar objects were cloaked in shadow. My own hands were menacing. Everyone was capable of everything, I understood. Anything could happen. My mind melted like snow in my mouth, and I was in a great and terrible sleep for many long years after. This was my escape. It cost me much. It is what my poem below is about.

This crumbling of a mind is called many things and appears in many forms in our culture, our literature, films, and stories we see and read about on the news. I remember when Karen Knott was attacked and killed here in town late at night by a higway patrolman. She was young and beautiful and smart and died horribly. Her father spoke to the media, said the expected things. And then he spoke to the media again. And again. He visited the bridge where she died monthly, weekly, daily, obsessively. And he never stopped. Eventually he died of a heart attack. This is not just a spirit or a heart breaking, this is the mind behind the spirit unable to process the world for that heart, that spirit. The mind is the filter. Without it, we cannot survive in the real world.

I experienced this mind crumble during childhood, and the years after, and put it back together again painstakingly with the help of an angel therapist, prayer, friends, and the behind the scenes faith that one day, it would be different. And it was.

But if I lost a child? I would not be able to tell myself one day it would feel differently. Because it would, it would feel differently, it would get a little better, but the better would never, ever be close. It is like comparing starlight to the star. Touch to voice. Without the light of my children in this world I don't know that my mind would stay put. I know I would do my best. I would, I always, always have. But.

I can understand those characters of novels who lose a child and move far, far away and start new lives with great silences and mysteries that keep anyone from really knowing or loving them. This seems fitting. A great silence. A great space. A perpetual acknowledgment of the void left behind.

I've been around the loss of children. I stand agape, heart and mouth wide open in stupid sympathy. I am thinking this: You have experienced the absolute worst thing that any person could experience. You are feeling a tear in the literal fabric of the Universe as if it were ripped down the very seams of your body. Your soul is on fire. You are in hell. How are you going to take the knowledge that this has happened into your mind without your mind flying apart?

This is really what I want to know.

I probably have an inherent mental weakness. My family is rife with mental illness on both sides. We are an intelligent, accomplished, passionate and crazy bunch. My Nana was a lawyer in the deep South when women were not mothers AND anything. She did that. And, she raised a pack of deeply unhappy and mentally unstable children. This is a repeated situation in my family history. Her husband, my Grandfather, was The Supreme Justice of Mississippi, in a wheelchair from polio complications. And, he left behind a family who fell apart completely from the stress of his premature death, in surgery for polio related issues. My Grandma Elizabath, my mother's mom, lost her son David at age 14 when he drowned in the lake near their home. After that, my Grandpa got sicker than ever and the police showed up at his home on weekends when he needed to be restrained. The rest of their children went their separate ways and paid dearly for what they had to burden in their childhood.

I can go day to day and month to month accepting that life includes grief and suffering and that both, in the weight they can accumulate, are capable of immense destruction, the kind of which wears down on the meaning of life and leaves it meaningless. I can and do find great joy, every day, every hour. But if I lost a child? How would my mind survive?

That's really what I want to know.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

the aftermath of insomnia

gone to mrs. basil's files :)
maggie may ethridge

Date Night

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Light Between the Trees Comes In Flashes

This is Lola's favorite dolly, Abigail. After my co-worker Cathy was recently diagnosed with heart failure, Lola set up a paper cone taped to Abigail's nose. I asked her what it was and she explained that Abigail had a heart condition and that Lola has to attach this cone every night so that Abigail's heart works well.

Dakota is a great card player, as well as checkers and chess. Lola used to cry whenever she lost, but she's developed a more pragmatic approach now. " Let's play AGAIN! "

Evan is Dakota's best friend and like family. We met Evan the first day of 5th grade and they never looked back. He lives ten minutes away by bike and Lola loves him because he " talks right to me Mom ". Plus Evan's mom Mary is has a horse in her backyard, as well as chickens, and never had a daughter, and is always happy to talk and play with Lola.

I love the yellow color in my kitchen

This is exactly the face that Lola makes whenever she realizes that one of her brother's has been pulling the wool over her eyes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stephanie Nielson and Oprah: The Video ( and Love Letter To Nie )

My reaction to watching this was to be re-amazed at the impact Stephanie has had on my life. I have been tremendously influenced by characters from history and from novels before, but never by a person who I have never met, but feel I know so well. Part of what makes Nie feel so 'knowable'- outside of her obvious blog- is that she is a pure soul. She has lived a pure life, by my standards. I don't find her mysterious- although I am sure there are mysteries she contains- because she is as clear as spring water. I think of things that I have come in contact with throughout my life and know that Nie has never been around these things, never been involved with these things. Her family raised her in organic soil. :) What purity I have is through the cleansing fire of forgiveness and a tremendous uphill battle. What purity Nie has is through the clarity of the water into which she was born, and the strength and beauty of her soul.

I started reading Nie's blog right before the crash, and was immediately 'star struck'. How could a woman be so innocent, so joyful, so hard working, so unselfish, so happy? Every glimpse of her life was a glimpse into how I could better myself, thereby bettering the lives of my husband and children as well. After the plane crash, I was mesmerized. How would she deal with this? I was sure how her family would deal with it..they would surely be supportive, devoted, strong. But Nie? The one suffering physical pain that does not cross most lives? The one suffering the loss of her divine freckled beauty before age 30? How would Nie deal with it?

I have watched, and I have truly learned. Tears roll down my cheeks as I write this. I have thought of Nie almost daily for the last year. I will be on the computer at 5pm, exhausted. Like now. I will feel a smidge of self pity. I will feel cranky. I will feel stony, without humor. And then I will think of Nie. I will think of her house, the beauty of her walls, her silhouettes, the paint color of her walls. I will think of the beauty I so admire that rolls in on blog posts filled with pictures of her children, beauty that comes from beaming smiles, open mouthed laughter, mischevous grins caught by a parent paying attention. I will think of her waking in great pain, before opening her eyes already knowing what she must face all day long, and facing it with an attitude that is the definition of grace. I will think of her dinner table, set so lovely,and the feeling that gives a person, and how that feeling comes from living in beauty, and how living in beauty comes from a person willing to encourage it to grow in their home, and all the work that encompasses, and the grace, the GRACE it takes to work that hard, to push that garden to grow, without a scowl, without the harshness that ages women's faces faster and uglier than any fire can ever produce. Bitterness is a quick ugly. Nie is a lifetime of beauty.

Nie has the religous devout's intuitive understanding of the importance of beauty in life, while I had the puritan, intellectual's miscontruct that beauty was of little importance. If I was in a four walled jail cell, it would be important to find the beauty inherent. Nie taught me that beauty is an expression of the joy in your heart. I stop to struggle to convey what that means to someone like me who grew up with such ugliness, in every aspect permeating my childhood. To create beauty in my attitude, my home, my garden, my marriage, my mothering, my workplace...has changed my life. I am stronger and clearer and happier and closer to the life I want to live.

Imagine what this means to Nie, now burnt over 80% of her body. Now imagine what this means for us, for human beings, that a woman who has lived her life like this can be burnt like this and survive and move forward and LIVE LIKE THIS. It means we are capable of miracles.

Because of Nie, I painted my bathroom turquoise.

Because of Nie, I am gardening with Lola.

Because of Nie, I am patient with Mr. Curry when I want to fuss.

Because of Nie, I write love letters in lipstick. ( and so does Lola )

Because of Nie, I take my children's whining or fussing in stride.

Because of Nie, I set a beautiful dinner table.

Because of Nie, I turn on music and dance while I clean.

Because of Nie, I am bemused when I could be irked.

Because of Nie, my life is more beautiful, graceful, strong and in general, more kick ass.

She is a hero of mine. I love you, Stephanie Nielson.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stephanie Nielson and Oprah!!!

Nie Nie is on Oprah, today!!!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gardening with Lola Moon

Lola and I have begun a garden. We are taking care of our large, San Diegan backyard, full of bramble and weed and bluster and cat poop, dog poop and our dead and buried kitten, Boo. We have raked and hoed and cleared and mulched and were able to plant our first batch of vegetables, in 16 rows of hills, five seeds in each, preparing for the abundance of home grown organic cucumber. Lola says soil tastes as good as chocolate. We crouch in the dirt with our gloves on, eventually taking them off. Dirt fills our nails. Our cats weave in and out of the perimeter. The dogs come over and sniff our legs. Lola sets her favorite doll, Abigail, off to the side as she pokes each seed in the dirt. Mr. Curry makes dinner, comes out to help water. The sun is setting. My arms ache from raking. Lola is singing. Dirt smells sooo good, she says. The sun sets and Karate Chop meows at Hermione to nurse. The dogs bark. We go inside to wash hands and eat. I have that amazing peaceful feeling that comes from leaving something better than as you found it.

Next: Planting Peppers, Preparing holes and mulch for bulbs

Monday, October 5, 2009

Anne Frank on Film, July 22, 1941

The first, and only known video of Anne Frank released. Anne at age 12, leaning out the window of her apartment, watching a wedding. Anne died aged 15 of typhus in the German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen, seven months after her arrest and just two weeks before British and Canadian troops liberated the camp.

Like many, Anne Frank has occupied a singular and simultaneously horror stricken and awe inspired
place in my heart since I myself was about 12 years old. She was gorgeous, innocent, intelligent, talented, unique, fiercely alive, and doomed to die in such a horrible way that words fail.

And finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and could be, if there weren't any other people living in the world.
Anne Frank

Sunday, October 4, 2009

French Cherie by Sophia Coppola

Adrienne 1987-2009

Adrienne's Updates is a blog I had recently stumbled across, telling the story of Adrienne's battle with Hodgkin's cancer, mostly though her mother's words. As quickly as I found her blog, Adrienne lost her almost lifelong battle with this shitty disease, at age 21.

We must keep fighting for a cure.
previous next