Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Have Nothing To Say!

I have writer's block. So I'm writing about not having anything to write about. Strike that. I have plenty to write about, but nothing is coming out of this big ol' brain of mine right now.

Several areas are suffering, not just this rambling, mindless blog. If I don't get my head out of the clouds, they're gonna fire me over at Blissfully Domestic Publishing. Well, that's my take anyway.

In other news:

We've literally made the shift to fall this week in Indiana. Highs in the 60's for the most part, going to have to kick the heat on soon at night. This brings me to one of my favorite things in the world: burning candles.

To me, burning candles is a cool weather activity for the most part. Late afternoon every day when it's cold outside, I light all the candles in my house so that it is filled with a warm feeling and wonderful aroma that usually is a blend of pumpkin and apple in the fall and pine in the winter. I know what I like and usually stick to it.

Life Unexpected
My brother, his wife and my nephew (Doug, Mona, and Daniel) recently lost their beloved dog, Rufus, when he was tragically hit by a car and killed. This makes my heart ache and many prayers have left my mind for them, having gone through losing our own golden retriever last year when he died at 12 years old.

You can't really understand the emotions behind it unless 1) you've been through it, and 2) you are a pet lover in the first place. It's a special kind of mourning that you are not quite ready for because you didn't know it existed before it hit you. You spend your time with a pet for the most part acknowledging that, to some degree, you love this being; but knowing that, after all, it is a pet and not a human member of your family.

And that is all well and good until you lose them, at which time you realize that they were more than just an animal, but a larger part of your life and day than you consciously accounted for. Until they are gone.

They lost Rufus, and next year they will lose their only son's daily presence in their life when he goes off to college. It may sound petty, but it's not. Tough transitions never are.

It's funny how life lays itself out sometimes. On my desk right here - to the left of my laptop sits a photo of Hunter, our dog who died last year; and to the right is a photo of Doug, Mona, and Daniel (the only photos on my desk).

These photos have been there for, goodness, at least a year; but are now a constant reminder to pray for them - strategically placed there before I ever knew why.

Also strategically placed near me is our new golden retriever, Buddy, whom we recently adopted from the same rescue organization through which Hunter came to live with us so many years ago. He always lies at my feet when I'm working at this desk, which is also a constant reminder that life goes on, and we move on to a new normal in due time.

God is so awesome.

Project Homebound
In an effort to curb spending and quit running around every weekend throwing money at whatever we happen to stumble upon doing, Sean and I have decided to throw ourselves into projects around the house on the weekends to keep our butts at home. We have several that we've been talking about starting, but have not. Stayed tuned. If I've put it out there for all to hear, then we're going to actually have to do it. That is the theory, anyway.

I'm sorry, Starbucks, that you just lost 1/3 of your profits that come out of my pocket.

Commence Project Finally-Repaint-the-Dining-Room? Project Watch-the-13-Episodes-of-Lost-I-Have-DVR'd-From-Last-Season? Oh, the anticipation!

Green-Eyed Monster
My neighbor is going to Miami for work several time in the next few weeks. I am jealous. That is all.

photo by Christa Richert

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thank You, Hazel Dell Elementary

I cannot say enough good things about Noblesville Schools. Seriously. Our family has had three kids in the school system in the five years since we moved here from Houston, Texas, and I absolutely, positively, supremely love this district.

We've had experience in a Hamilton Southeastern elementary school (in the late 90's), in elementary and middle schools in our former home in Texas, and now elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools here in Noblesville.

My belief is that they cannot be beat.

Specifically, what has sparked this particular happy outburst is my youngest son's life as an autistic student at Hazel Dell Elementary. He is only in first grade, yet he's starting his fourth year in the school, having been there since he turned three and began the early childhood program.

Seth is high-functioning on the autism spectrum, yet he didn't start there. Through years of early intervention as well as private therapies, he has progressed to the point that the average person probably would not know he has an Autism Spectrum Disorder at all. Much of this is due to the outstanding people of Hazel Dell.

From the speech, occupational, and physical therapists on staff to his teachers and right up to the principal - they have done an excellent job balancing what the school system has in place to offer and what Seth needs to not only fit, but thrive. I've not once had to fight for a service or argue that they are not doing enough. They not only have made sure Seth has had the services and intervention that he needs, but have continued some services "just to make sure he is covered" in areas where he is already doing extremely well. I have witnessed the principal himself, in a case conference, read over Seth's paperwork and question why he wasn't receiving a certain service, and then state that he be re-evaluated in order to receive additional therapy.

As a principal, John Land is top-notch. Perhaps the fact that he is a special-needs parent himself makes him uniquely qualified and determined to push his school to the head of the class, so to speak. Whatever combination of circumstances and standards, Mr. Land's Hazel Dell Elementary certainly earned last year's designation of Blue Ribbon School honestly and appropriately.

It's just one of the many reasons that Noblesville is one of the Top 10 Best Places to Live.

Rock on, Noblesville Schools!

photo by Cavell L. Blood

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Who Are You and What Did You Do With My Personality?

Sucksucksucksucksuck. That's what this day has done from hour one. For no particular reason other than the fact that I'm lost in my own house. Which would be great if that were literal and I lived in a supremely huge abode cleaned by anyone other than me.

I'm having a harder time with being alone all day long than I thought that I would, which sounds crazy coming from the woman who was counting the milliseconds until the time came. I'm feeling a bit like my tracks have grown over with weeds.

Let me clarify.

I am encountering large amounts of trouble getting motivated each day, feeling like I'm puttering around the house like a retired hobo. There. I said it.

I didn't feel like I led a particularly meaningful existence to begin with, and now I feel lower than that.

Let me also clarify that I do not wish for my children to be back home all day long. I am enjoying the solitude and house to myself, it is just affecting me differently than I had imagined it would. Instead of feeling full of potential and flying high with the power of time on my side to tackle all kinds of projects, I am struggling profusely to get anything done. Because what I need to get done is not at all what I wish to be doing.

Wow. That sounded incredibly selfish and immature.

Doing what I need to be doing produces the most mundane of feelings inside me - makes me feel like I'll waste away at any moment; and doing what I want to be doing produces terrific feelings of guilt and frustration because 1.) I'm not doing what I need to be getting done, and 2.) what I want to be doing is frivolous and seen by no one and produces no income or really, anything of consequence at all.

Taking my journalism degree and folding it into the shape of a spider monkey seems like it would be about the best use of my time and efforts right now. I'm not sure what the missing piece of the puzzle is, nor do I know where to look for it.

So I putter. And search. And pray. And wonder how long this can go on before I'll need to double my medication.

photo by Cathy Kaplan