6 Months

(Photo by Constantin Dorin Adrian on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

This post started on July 6th, then my week got full of the busy with visiting family plus regular activities. It was our first irl visit since Christmas 2019. It was lovely, overwhelming, a relief and frenetic. We went to the river, played tennis (I watched), went swimming, ate the food, watched the television, played games, braided hair, roasted marshmallows and talked about the things.

6 Months ago we were watching in real time as elected Republicans brazenly supported and encouraged a coup on our democracy. It looks like we’re over it though, since we were unable to get newly elected officials to do anything about it other than mildly address some of the brain-washed lackeys. Typical. Mob much? Fascist much?

6 Months ago we were solidly up in the 13% infection rate locally for COVID and having multiple COVID deaths in our hospital each week. We continue to show below 1% infection rate (.44% last week to .99% this week) and only 1 death in the past week.

6 Months ago I began drinking 8-16oz of celery juice every morning and I am happy to report that my joint pain is now mostly managed. Looking to begin diatomaceous earth in the next month.

6 Months ago I was terrified to leave SonHerisme at home while I went down to Georgetown because we had a dangerous sociopath leading our government. I recently unpacked SonHerisme’s emergency “zombie invasion” safety bag.

6 Months ago we were planning for an exciting day of snow-tubing and it was fun! Next time I’m going down too!

6 Months ago I was thinking about how I might feel on what would’ve been my 19th anniversary to MrexH and how much grief burden I continue to carry around about everything.

We were married on 7-6-02 in a church. I did not want to get married in a church, but my parents insisted it would be important to me later (it isn’t), so I did it. I wore an altered borrowed wedding dress because I did not want to try on wedding dresses, did not want to pay for a wedding dress, and did not want to wear a wedding dress. My parents insisted I would regret it if I didn’t wear a wedding dress, so I did it. A very specific pink was the color because MotherHerisme would not let it go that I did not have a wedding “theme” or “color scheme.” I replied, my theme is a wedding and the color scheme is whatever anyone wants to wear. But, again, I was told how horrible the pictures would look and how much I would regret not choosing a THEME or COLORS. I was able to stick with “wedding,” as the theme, but for the color, I closed my eyes and pointed to a random pink on a pink palate sheet. The wedding cake was insanely expensive and complete shit from a pretentious woman who did not even get the “pink” thing (she topped the cake with purple flowers, which while pretty, were absolutely WTF and stupid). The flowers were also pretty but expensive and not what interested me at all. They said I would regret not carrying flowers, so I did it. I had my hair and nails done – which felt lovely but for sure the hair was entirely unnecessary and not me at all. I don’t even own a blow dryer… much less 10,000 pounds of hair product. I was told I would regret it if I didn’t get all of the products and fancinesses, so I did it. I even spent about $150 on the bra JUST for that day – I never wore it again and donated it to Goodwill about a year after the wedding. I insisted on, and was able to convince my family to agree to an early morning wedding because of the July heat, and an early non-alcoholic luncheon because I did not want to deal with the cost or boozey reception issues. Basically, my wedding was a little knock-off Disney channel show of thin plastic. The wedding industry is brainwashed wacky-town as far as I could/can tell. I’ve never liked it and it sounds like I never will lol Or, perhaps I felt this way because I was moving through prescribed expected motions to get married because I thought this was my chance and I desperately wanted to have a family. That did not work out, as I expect it doesn’t for most of us plugged into being bullied, shamed, and targets for narcissistic abusers. perhaps

There were cute moments. Most of the people came from out of town for our wedding, so MotherHerisme prepared little booklets of schedules, local information, directions (pre-Waze, y’all), and hotel room snacks for everyone. This was very sweet and the best part of the wedding. Wait! The other best part was using my Grandmother’s stash of old stamps on the save-the-dates, invitations, and thank-yous. I loved that part. After the reception, we went to an outdoor orchestra concert down by the river. That was also my favorite part.

6 Months ago I could not predict where I would be now with everyone in the household vaccinated, participating maskless in outdoor activities and yet, still just myself being the me I know to be (be the Pan!).

It’s all I’ve got.

On the 17th at noon EST, I will be enjoying a special date with SonHerisme as we celebrate the midpoint of our July birthdays! Most likely barefoot in the park (not drunk, but with a certain level of silliness to be sure), Thai take-out with a cherry limeade slushie.

6 Months from now I suspect I’ll be marveling at how we made it to 2022 and loving all of the ‘2’s up because it is our very first prime number and I love that too.

I hope that you are a-okay. I am sending out protective bubbles of health, comfort and love to you and all of your loved ones. Keep safe out there, anonymous friends.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. Will I get married again? Trying to answer this would be the same as trying to answer: Will I ever have twenty seventy billion dollars? Unlikely, but you never really know what things are going to transpire or how manifesting manifests (which is why I don’t do it anymore – MrexH much?).

Actual regret – nope, not ready for this yet

It’s alright

iPad See Ew

(Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Two of my lady friends (she/hers) invited me out to dinner this week and I went. SonHerisme was excited to make sloppy joe’s and broccoli for himself and MotherHerisme, and I allowed it. Teaching my tiny baboo bear how to take care of himself (fingers crossed)! We’d been swimming in the city pool all afternoon after a tennis morning, so I showered, put on clean clothes and headed out on my own. SO WEIRD to be on my own. I intended to put on a little mascara and lip tint to celebrate, but per my usual brainiac of dottiness, I forgot. I remembered sunscreen though!

It was the most odd feeling to pull into the parking garage downtown in our sweet hamlet town, park the car, and walk though the alley to the street, unmasked and on my own. Not good, not bad, just… odd. Few people here are masked anymore, although I suspect that will change once Delta or Delta-Plus variants hit. We had a day where our county hospital had zero COVID patients. A bunch of the hospital staff made a big celebration sign and had their picture bumping around all over the socials. Our state has had zero COVID death days and are reporting an infection rate of less than 1% along with at least 73% of eligible first jabs-in-arms administered.

As I walked on the mostly empty brick sidewalks towards the restaurant to meet my peoples, a different friend came to mind as I thought about how much her family likes to eat pad see ew, and how funny that would be if I ran into her at the Thai place where we were going to be eating. And just like that *poof* as we were seated, in popped my pad see ew friend! We had just spent the afternoon at the pool together with our babes, but it was even so many more emotions casually bumping into her at an in-town restaurant where I was dining inside – with other people!

I haven’t eaten inside a restaurant since February 2020 in New York City… Yes, just as the shit was hitting the fan there. Although many of us weren’t quite buying into what was happening just yet bc of authoritarian bullshitty fucked up crappy misogynistic gaslighting abusive asstwat murdering poopy-head jerk-face fascist fuck(s). In case you’re wondering how I really feel, I’ll do another post about this (ha).

I really had to hold back from bursting into tears, I was so happy to be without fear, eating in a restaurant, with friends, unexpectedly also seeing a very dear sweet friend (who was picking up pad see ew, I suspect), and just being me for one hawt damn minute.

But of course, I swung south after eating when I filled in my dinner companions on the state of things with MrexH. Maybe it’s a habit now. I just want to stop myself talking about it and bringing it into context of everything I do or everything that happens.. I want to have different conversations. But I know it’s important because everyone needs to work out their emotions in regards to that situation as it has had an impact on our little community, if in no other way than the effects it has had on SonHerisme. I want something else to talk about. Something positive and less horror-based.

Uh-oh. Now wondering if I want everything to change but I am too afraid to change myself (duh, duh, duhhhhh dramatic climax music cue). I do change my underdrawers everyday, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I was remembering SonHerisme’s first grade year with his now Middle School maths teacher at the park this week. She has a daughter in SonHerisme’s class, MathsDaughter. MathsDaughter and SonHerisme have been friends since first grade. They still birthday party with each other invited and it is very squeezy delicious adorable. In first grade, SonHerisme, MathsDaughter and another first grade buddy came to me after school one day saying that I wasn’t to worry about anything because they were going to find the new stepfather for SonHerisme – they had a plan. I think I cried for days over this – it was so super teeth-hurting sweet. SonHerisme was convinced they were on it like a bluebonnet. MathsDaughter added that she knew all of the things to look out for so that we didn’t end up with a bad stepfather. Kids are beautiful, resilient, kind, hilarious, and wacky. Footnote to babies: that’s not at all how it works, but I love, love, love your big hearts and glorious soul-shines!

Then the baby bird happened. The baby starling (I believe) had fallen out of the tree where it had been waiting with the other two babies on the branch while the parent birds were relocating before a huge storm caught them. At first, I grabbed a large piece of tree bark, scooped the baby bird up from the grass as carefully as I could, and placed it at the base of the trunk of the tree for protection. I put more pieces of fallen bark around the bird to protect it from the storm. Worry settled in as I thought about an animal coming by to eat the baby bird, so I grabbed the bark piece and lifted the baby bird as high up into the tree as I could reach. I couldn’t reach the branch where the other two babies were waiting, so I placed the baby into a maple sapling nearby. Bird secured and safe from the storm and predators! Good job, me! Pat myself on the back! Until this morning’s tennis where I see that lightening or wind broke a branch from the maple sapling, and there was the little baby bird, dead on the ground. Sadnesses

*Sigh*

What’s next on the agenda? A series of regular everyday ups and downs, I suppose. I hope. I continue to struggle with hope for myself. When those moments are hitting, all of my inside bruises are triggered into physical pain. But I am writing down reminders of my bucket list which somehow helps spawn occasional refocus. Sometimes, of course, it just means crying at night. And there’s always SonHerisme. He is hope personified in a 6ft or so, almost-13, tennis playing, soccer playing, broccoli eating, sweet caramel-eyed, giggly package of fun! Currently iPad audiobook LOTRing it whilst building lego and has also discovered elibrary Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition on the iPad – newbie teen times, oiy. As things go, this seems rather harmless and to be expected. I don’t really know – it’s all a single-parent crapshoot. I’m fine, thanks.

I hope that you are having moments of joy in summering (or wintering if you are a Southern Hemisphere dweller)! I also hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and feeling safe. I’m not sure how long we have to be a bit carefree here, but for this moment, I’ll take what I can get!

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. SonHerisme’s final paper for one of his classes was about his desire to emigrate to England (which is new as it was Sweden for many years, and Japan and Portugal before that) – so watch out over there – he is handsome and hilarious and very extremely hungry ALL OF THE TIME.

side note: MotherHerisme commented how shiny my hair has been looking lately. Yes, it has the luster sheen of our little city’s urine-in-public-pool about it. And I’m so happy to be at a pool, with people, without COVID worry (SonHerisme, MotherHerisme and I are fully vaxxed), that I just will take that shiny compliment and fiercely embrace it, neverminding the urine-glow.

Also, I had veg pad thai at dinner out, and it was dreamyum

Bat-By

(original pre-modified Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

One of SonHerisme’s buddies since babytimes turned 13 a few days ago, and also had her Bat Mitzvah. It was a COVID style celebration with zoom services (except for the young lady and her immediate family) and an outdoor drive-by celebration at home with an option to park and stay, unmasked if vaccinated, masked if not vaccinated. There were unvaccinated children, so we opted to remain masked, just in case. Save the babies!

I parked because I wanted a photo of SonHerisme and his babytimes buddy. They were both adorably uncomfortable, very sweet and super generous to cooperate with my photo request. Everyone is turning into teenager adult-prep times. Squeezy squishy human morphers! I also parked because I wanted to give a huge hug to the young lady’s awesome mom – one that’s been on hold for over 18months. And I did. I have missed my friends. I have missed the hugging. I got so carried away that I also hugged her ex. He’s the father of the lovely young lady, and a former member of our merry troop of parents. I say “former” because he mid-life crisis-ed himself into a divorce and total life relocation to Florida, so our community interactions with him are very rare. Although as a busy musician he’s easy to follow on the socials, it just isn’t the same. *sigh* Back in the day when we all thought life was on a certain path that it never was…

Me:  Congratulations!  She's a lovely young lady and I am so honored to be here to celebrate with you all!
He:  Yeah.  Look at me, I'm just the baby daddy.
Me:  You should get a t-shirt with that on it so that everyone understands your role here.
He:  Ha ha ha, yeah maybe.
Me: (in my head - holy shit, I am a bitch and wtf and now it's time for me to leave)

And I did leave after giving the final rounds of hugs and congratulations, we left. All of the AWKWARDS.

Another awkward this morning – MotherHerisme’s cardiologist asked me if I was married yet. I heard him speak and I heard the words, but I could not respond – I think I froze. He asked again. I responded, “oh, no, married? no.” “Oh. I wondered because I asked your mother how you were doing every time we had telehealth appointments.” I just could not say anything because I did not know what to say, so I didn’t. The appointment otherwise went well. MotherHerisme is fine – her heart is tick-tocking in the manner it should be. But this. This was the AWKWARDS.

I’m best at not being seen, even though as a human I would like to be seen. I excel at not being seen. It’s my jam. I guess at least I didn’t make a snarky remark, scream, cry, or run away. All of which I suspect are realistic options, considering it was me there. Maybe next time you can take MotherHerisme? Kidding – I’ll take her. Somehow I like the return after an awkward encounter. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to show back up despite the awkwards. It’s all of my years of Oprah channeling to get through the really terrifying awkward rough spots, I suppose. Or maybe the maturitys again…

Yes, I am pluraling things on purpose despite grammar rules because StarFire helps everything turn into the funnys rather than just weird discomfort.

Yes, I am grateful for the awkwards. They not only provide occasional entertainment when recalled (unless they are scary as frick), but they also give me pause and notice about where I am in this life experience. Like a touch back to the reality of humaning rather than constant survival mode. Humans gotta Human. We can do this… sometimes we can do this… very occasionally we can do this… it’s okay to sometimes not be able to do this – right?

Hahahahha – my friend just texted me and asked if the cardiologist is an old white dude. He isn’t, and I am pretty sure he is married, but that gave me a giggle.

Embracing being grateful for the awkwards reminding me that I am human.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. I have a lot of awkwards, obviously the nature of being me, so these are not anomalies, just recent experiences.

(hi Peter!)

Cultivating

(Photo by cottonbro on Pexels)
(or listen here)

I have been thinking that if I were to place my priorities into a garden, these are the things I would tend to first (not in order of significance):

Health
SonHerisme
Relationships
Career
Artistic Expression
Home
Adventure

Really trying to nail down the things during this Summer of Strength. Well, loosely nail as I am prone to removing all nails thinking that will bring me freedom – which, it rarely does since I am frequently pulling out nails I have no business touching as they do not belong to me. You know how it goes. Focus on everything but yourself to feel any sense of control at all, justifying ignoring your own needs, then shame and regret *repeat.* You feel this – no?

Well, I do feel it and I am heartily soulfully sick of it.

Confession: I have been sick of it for a lonnnnnnnggg time and I do not know if this time I will be able to choose growth consistently. I think I will have to make an intention to do so every day or perhaps multiple times each day? Maybe this is part of the battle I’ve mentioned before (I don’t remember the post, apologies!). This sounds like an addict trying to give up whatever drugs, alcohol, sex, food, shopping etc. Perhaps it is the loneliness, need to feel some control somewhere, shame, hyper trauma response or ? that makes us all feel this similar pattern? Or just a part of maturing up in life? I’m not a mental health professional, so I’m truly stabbing at guesses here.

I have added intentional reading each day, extended yoga practice, a pressure point mat, and at least two flights of stairs. “Added” might not be correct. I’ll rephrase to say, I am intentionally doing these things as they have already been in my life hither and thither – just not intentionally incorporated into my days.

I’m printing out my garden priorities, otherwise I will instantly forget them as soon as I leave this post. When I was doing yoga, I couldn’t remember by the next day if I had done yoga or not – heck, I can’t even remember if I’ve done yoga in the morning by the time I hit the pillow at night!

Scrambled Brain

Carry on peace warriors

Summer of Strength

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. please take good care around that Delta COVID variant – I am sending bubbles of health out to you and your loved ones. My heart wants to grab everyone and bring them to my house for safety and a delicious meal. I have two blow-up beds which do not help the world pains, but maybe a neighbor’s pain which is the same. {hugs}

Also, thank you for reading/listening and not judging my spinach addiction which I am about to indulge again lol

Flop Brain and Wreck ‘Em

(Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

“Flop brain and wreck ’em,” is old timey diner style for scrambled brain. Which is what I have. Unless I am in Olde Towne wherever U.S.A. and then it is olde tymey dinere flope braine and wrecke thine. Still: scrambled brain.

In the way back times I worked, taught, managed and trained in early childcare centers, preschools, before-and-after care, and summer camps. One thing, out of many, that I learned, was that people are people are people, no matter how ridiculously wealthy or desperately poor, people are people are people and want to feel worthy. So, Old or Olde, it is what it is. A lesson learned BITD which I can say because I am *ahem* of a certain age maturity and such now. So very mature that I am perhaps slipping into pre-dottiness, which would explain the scrambled brain of course. Side note – I do not enjoy a scrambled egg. I will make them for SonHerisme and MotherHerisme, but I do not want to eat them.

I eat eggs – but I’m more of a Flop Eve on a Raft with Salsa. Over easy egg on toast with salsa. Not the salsa music. Rather, I am talking about the chilled tomato based deliciousness with cilantro and peppers. I used to have a primary care physician who would play music during appointments. Music which he curated especially for whatever he thought you needed. He would say, “Some people need Mozart, some a tango, and others need to salsa!” Eventually he lost his license for over-prescribing pain medications. No surprise there, I suppose. He was a rebel physician who believed that everyone should be using whatever tools available to live their best life. I imagine he is completely content on a beach somewhere outside of the U.S. still practicing as he is able to do so. He could probably use some Mozart.

Eggs are consumed here in my version of quiche, which makes an appearance at the table a few times each month. A debatable crust might make it a frittata. It is rare that I use a flaky dough crust, because it would need to be gluten free and my brain energy is too low for that most of the time. I either forgo any crust altogether or I use shredded root vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beets, etc), which I pre-bake before adding the eggy filling.

SonHerisme and MotherHerisme also enjoy an egg salad. I do not. I like making the things. My digestions usually respond, “oh hells to the no’s we are not permitting that in here NO WAY NO HOW.” While I enjoy making the things, I typically do not enjoy consuming the things. Don’t worry though, because believe me, my body finds plenty of things to keep it full. More than P L E N T Y. The plentish of plentifuls plenty. Just not scrambled eggs. Or egg salad. I’ll eat the quiche on occasion. Mostly the spinach out of the quiche because I have a serious spinach problem. Maybe spinach unscrambles brains and that is why I am craving it… all of the time? Cooked, not raw because raw gives me massive migraines. See? Scrambled brain. Nothing makes sense. It’s okay. I’m used to it.

My point is, in response to the question I received, “How do you plan out or know what you are going to write about on your blog?” I can only say this: I have no plan. This is my default plan, knowing nothing about any plan. My scrambled brain being able to take note of something on occasion and filtering it into words which might, through divine serendipity, find me at my laptop for a brief unusual period without interruption, is my plan.

Sometimes I see someone turn across the street and the wind picks up the hem of their shirt in a way that reminds me of someone else’s shirt hem, or the color of their eyes, or the smell of them, or the smell of dry-cleaning and those irritating plastic bags and hangers with paper ads on them.

Sometimes I see the half moon so clearly that its splotches make me wonder how thousands of years ago someone thought they saw a face in there and if I am supposed to say, “hello,” every time I do see that in order to honor that ancient ancestor, or the moon. Does the moon get offended? Am I supposed to be showing deference to the moon? Maybe that’s my problem…hmmmm

Sometimes I grab my cozy blanket in bed and try to make the bruising on my heart go away by holding the blanket tightly enough that all of the hurt energies get absorbed in its softness, so that I can breathe and get up to make it through my day, or at least the next thing in my day.

Sometimes RelativesHerisme say or do wacky things which make me think of other things or how other people walk through those moments of crazy in their lives (because we all have this – yes?).

Sometimes SonHerisme is so brave and generous of spirit that it takes my breath away and I want to do anything and everything to give him structure, love and a deep sense of worthiness, love, and belonging.

Sometimes I am flattened by how adept we are at dehumanizing and pretending or not knowing reality.

Sometimes I am flattened by the properties of a dandelion (including the wish making).

My scrambled brain takes these kinds of things in, as we all do, and then brushes them out here, worthy or unworthy. I do not have a plan. Even if I had a plan, the first thing I would do is not follow the plan. My floppy wrecked brain is difficult but I am glad to have it most of the time. Some days I wish it fit more in line with the people so that I could feel more fit in as well. But, who knows? Perhaps I am beyond the age of fitting in.

Thank you for reading/listening and for making it through my scrambled brain word salad. I appreciate that you are here and that I have this teensy amoeba in a grain of sand platform to express my non-plannesses.

I am thinking of you – especially YOU because I like your brainiac – sending you lots of Summer of Strength vibes!

Today’s Summer of Strength finds me making egg salad for the people, running laundry through, tidying the basement (probably mostly a dance party if I’m honest), and chomping on pizza (cauliflower crust, natch and yes I know it isn’t 2005). It is a very rainy day here, so I imagine boots and coats will make an appearance shortly for some outside adventure as well.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

—————————————–

If you are vegan and eating eggs is abhorrent to you, then I am sending you extra love and {{{hugs}}}. We eat local organic eggs because we can and I am too exhausted (and possibly too cheap) to embrace flax alternative. But I am with you in spirit, vegan hearts! You are worthy of being considered too.

Oh! yes and my little friend who is allergic to eggs! You are worthy too and much too young to be reading this, so I’m touching base with your mother asap. Also, please don’t forget to send me a pic of you taking your neighbor’s on-purpose pigeons walking in a pigeon harness. Or is it quails now? Either way, thanks! xo

(psst… I know brain scramble is trauma)

S. O. S.

(Photo by Ian Turnell on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Summer of Strength

Not that we are building actual 6-pack 20-inch python muscles (no judgement if that is your actual jam), but rather more of overall mental/emotional/maybe a little physical strength. Time to flex and shape our post-COVID or COVID-normative muscles in general. Setting intention to do so by:

S  Setting smile goals
T  Tell ourselves we can do this
R  Rest and relax
E  Eat/Exercise well
N  Notice Priorities
G  Giggle
T  Track progress
H  Hold accountability

Summer of Strength

SonHerisme’s school year officially ended on Thursday, June 17th. I gave us the weekend to flex and stretch our commitment muscle before diving full in on Monday.

Is this an overly optimistic set-up so that I can get sucked into the muddy squish muck mire of depression when we inevitably fail to meet our goals? Possibly. But for today, I am all about it. Both SonHerisme and I have used the phrase, “Summer of Strength,” for the past few days to encourage each other to accomplish some little things like: getting onto the treadmill, finishing laundry, driving to the park for a bit of soccering, putting away the last few Christmas and Easter things (judgementors, I patronous thee), and putting more donation boxes into the car.

Summer of STRENGTH!

I am determined to continue to lower my inflammation, and to read more. SonHerisme wants to fine tune some soccering things (SV2 style!), and up his maths game. I would like to make a lovely something out of some sheets we will never be using as bed sheets. SonHerisme wants to build raised garden boxes with tops to add for winter for year-round greens. SonHerisme also wants to clear out his room and paint it black and white (he’s turning teenagery this summer as well!).

Summer of Strength

SonHerisme wants to grill steak all on his own, and make fried chicken all on his own(blech – do you boo). I would like to finish cleaning out the garage and paint it (on the inside).

Summer of Strength

Both of us want to go to a few minor league baseball games, spend some time up at the local State Park lake, NGADC it up, and drive out to the beach for at least a day.

We are very fortunate people to be able to even think about doing these things. *fingers crossed* We are able to do some of the things.

Of course, COVID times have sucked many patterned discipline limits away… but, I’ll take that over any horrific alternative any day. SonHerisme also has a phone call with MrexH in a few hours *sigh* which he does not want to do so the anxiety energy is high up in these here parts of the universe world.

Ready? Set? Go!

Send us strength to make it through the Summer of Strength… and to be strong enough to let the sadnesses and unworthinesses and griefs and all of that to just be. Sort of strong enough to be soft enough to be enough.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

(still wearing a mask on occasion, as needs must)

ps also, I have been… difficult to define this past week or so which is why I haven’t been here. koyc and ciao and I hope that you are well and near something beautiful like the ocean, a lake, river, canal, swimming pool, filled up tub, or maybe a clear glass of water. I hope it so very much for you!

Currently at 284 sent Weekly Progress Reports to MrexH regarding SonHerisme

We are safe, we are healthy, basic Maslow’s have been met (repeat on a drum beat until bedtime with extra cozy duvets for both of us please and thank you)

Black Sarongs and Rabbit Manure

(Photo by Satyabratasm on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

A friend of mine recently entered into a committed relationship with a farmer.

A widowed Hungarian mother of 4 sons, a friend of mine for about 8 years or so, recently entered into a committed relationship with a local hero, community feeding, farmer.

I knew her husband. His sudden death rocked our community, and of course devastated his family. I had a related pre-death experience for him, which is for another day(or not- it’s very hard). SonHerisme was given a pair of his shoes to wear to help work through his own grief, which had burbled up many other griefs. We know how to carry that grief better now.

We’ve been included in a group planting/caring/harvesting plot on one of the Hungarian’s Farmer Friend’s fields, which begins this week. In the organizing-of-us thread, someone asked what we should wear to our first gathering. Paraphrased thread:

The Hungarian: clothes for gardening and dirt 
The Farmer cheekily: oh, I was thinking I'd wear my black silk sarong 
The Hungarian: save that for the luau
Me: efficiency - let's all wear black sarongs
The Farmer: yes!
The Hungarian: who's bringing rabbit manure?
Person I don't know: that's me - I'm bringing it
The Farmer: in a black sarong
The Hungarian: just rabbit manure please

And so goes life. A day where black silk sarongs and rabbit manure get to be in the same brief text thread about planting veg and flowers. Wacky makes the world go ’round.

I have had a very emotionally rough few days or possibly week or so. My sweet friend asked me to explain what was happening with my grief cycle and I run-on spewed it at her about a day later when I felt I could get it out without completely succumbing to it. It was not pretty or enlightening. I did this via text and ending with something like, “I’ll be okay. I’ve been doing this my whole life. I can rally for another 15 or 20 years.” To be clear, I don’t wish to be dead but I also don’t wish to live without whatever it is that might fill up, or at least drip drop, satisfaction in my cup of life. Feeling stuck without any hope of not being stuck, and mired in grief and shame, is an awful dark place to be.

It was my choice to just let those feelings be whatever they were going to be. I didn’t try to add anything to take them away. I chose to keep moving through my day and do the Instagram scroll, ironing, reading, listening to SonHerisme, prep for a board meeting(although my agenda notes were woefully late), coordinate and schedule the summer camps, doctor appts, bandage changes, laundry, cry here and there, and make the things like chicken salad/quesadillas/hummus sammies/white chili/hamburgers and such for the people to eat.

The food is for the people, not for me. I can eat some hummus and white chili – but no meat for this lady’s digestions. For the past 5 months I have been taking celery juice in the morning and diligent about no meat in anything, along with serious dairy limits. The biggest change has been in improved movement by about a zillion. Also, I no longer want to fight that battle anymore either. If my body can’t handle it, f it, I’m not eating it or doing it. It may be boring and uncomfortable for others, but I am done.

Yesterday afternoon I started wondering what is it that I would find satisfying about myself. What feels good, right, or whatever and does not hurt? I really have no idea, honestly. I have theories, but nothing very concrete – except some movements and some limited foods. It’s okay to celebrate bouncing up the stairs, isn’t it? Actually, I don’t care really because for me it is a celebration! I could not do this even 3 months ago. It is a scary but necessary step, I think, to admit these things to myself and then to follow up with all of it.

If someone handed me notes with a briefing, I would be completely fine with standing in front of any group of people and saying whatever (an appropriate “whatever,” of course) and answering any questions I could. If you and I sat down together at a friend’s house, I doubt I would even speak other than maybe asking you questions so that you would talk the entire time. I am the opposite of my live-out-loud friends – by circumstance or nature, who knows?

Awkwardly doing the things and trying to be okay with it – that’s all of us, yes? Or? Doesn’t matter because it turns out, I cannot be anyone other than me anyway. I have tried and done it well (?at least outwardly – high functioning inward failure?) for a long time, but it hurts too much- even more than being myself, if that’s possible. I could wear a black sarong. I could also facilitate the spread of rabbit manure. And I would do it for SonHerisme if it was necessary or asked of in-the-past me on a triple dog dare with cherry on top. But, it isn’t me. It was just a joke – a pretend joke belonging just where it is – in a thread. I cannot do all of things and I most certainly cannot do very many of the things very well.

Thank you for being patient with me irl and for reading/listening/following here.

I hope you find something helpful and satisfying of and for you today.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

PS. Wondering about the brood x cicada emergence in the Eastern US? (Peter?)

Here is what they look like:

Here is what they sound like as I enjoy my spinach lunch, drowning out every single bird and squirrel by a zillion:

(cicada symphony)

Also, I KNOW everyone possibly listen/reading this in the UK is not named, “Peter.” I do an “oh, there you are, Peter!” (my favorite line from Hook after the boy smooshes around on Peter’s face trying to find the Pan inside), whenever I am brave enough to peek and there is a UK ping on the stats. Be the Pan.

Whytest

(Photo by Rahul Pandit on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Do you ever hear something that enters the depths of your ears like the smoothest yellowist not-too-sweet gently warmed custard? Murmur of poems. yummmmy

I would like to be pentagoning or decahedroning back, but I can only ever figure out the circle back to poets.

"To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals."  -David Whyte (poet writer human)

I got sucked into the massive mind muck again last night. I climbed out enough to play with SonHerisme a bit and then drowned myself in list making. It’s the opposite of rest, but it is distracting enough to at least get my breath and carry on with the things that need doing before collapsing into bed. Missed my shower though. I hate this grief process. I know its necessary and I am meant to feel it and embrace it to move forward to the blessings that are just around the corner waiting for me (blah blah platitudes blah). For today, I cannot stand myself and I am letting that be.

PIVOT

Our tiny town had a unity march again yesterday. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, unity is a good thing. Promoting unity in a culture built on and institutionally conditioned to be racist, is a good thing. Acknowledging that a marginalized disproportionately targeted group of people are worthy of humane consideration and treatment is a GOOD THING. It’s a good thing for all of us. Despite my understanding of herd mentality, I truly struggle to accept the reality of inhumane frenzy thoughts, words, and actions with the increase in access to information and community that we have had for many decades. This struggle of mine is an indication of my whiteness. I recognize that I am privileged to be able to step back to even ask the, “why,” rather than fighting against being trampled on.

We all know that the welfare momma is a false trope - yes?  
We all know that the storming of the US borders by criminal Central/South Americans is a false trope - yes?  
We all know that humans, regardless of any biases, deserve to be treated humanely - yes?  
We all know that access to food, water, shelter, healthcare (including basic necessities health care), education, and purpose for all humans benefits all of our survival - yes? 
We all know that marginalizing people is destructive for all of us - yes?
We all know that we live on an over abundant planet with an over abundance of creative humans - yes?
We all know that by sharing our resources increases all of our wealth - yes? 
It isn't a pie.  It isn't a zero sum game.
Unless we make it a pie and zero sum game, and then we ALL LOSE no matter where you stand.

During a conversation about the unity march and SonHerisme’s latest read and school discussions on being anti-racist, MotherHerisme insisted she has never been a racist. She doesn’t see people’s color (ummmmm….). As long as people are nice and work hard, that’s what matters to her (ummmmm…). She even ate dinner with a black family when she was in school (ummmmm…). She just doesn’t want to have to give her money away to people who don’t deserve it because she and my father worked hard for their money (ummbrainglitchmmmm…).

My mouth popped opened and this is what came out: MotherHerisme, we all want to see ourselves as good, kind people, and as individuals, most of the time, all of us are.

The reality is that you were raised in an openly racist home and that you are a racist by your words, actions, participation in and endorsement of racist institutions (examples like STILL BEING associated with the Republican Party and others).  
You absolutely can see that my skin is lighter and that XXXX's skin is darker - you can see the color of people's skin and it influences your opinion of people (examples like assuming the darker skinned people taking up a parking spot you want are just going to be clogging up the aisles in COSTCO because they bring in all of their extended family so maybe COSTCO should have a time for people without extended family, while you are getting ready to bring two carloads of family in to shop with you). 
EVERYONE WORKS HARD - EVERYONE. Who is not working hard?!!?  Who has met someone who is not working hard?  I bet if you have it is a white privileged teen - everyone else is working hard.  Actually, even that privileged teen is working hard, even if it's internally, they are working hard. WTfreakingH does "working hard," even mean? You and daddy worked harder than the single mom with three crappy minimum-wage jobs who has no retirement or savings because she has been constantly struggling to raise her child and survive? Who isn't working hard?  Who doesn't deserve to eat, have clean water, go to the Dr? Who exactly are you talking about?
The mid 1950's in Montgomery, Alabama - what do you think would happen to that black family if they refused to be kind to you, to bring you into their home or to feed you?
Again with the divide between worthy and unworthy humans - who isn't working hard?  Is it me that you're talking about?  Because we do have family members who describe me this way. Is it me, and then SonHerisme, that do not deserve humane treatment? Who is it exactly that is deserving of being treated inhumanely?  

Context – my parents have always worked hard and are also products of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of their time in history.

FatherHerisme was raised in extreme poverty, losing both parents at a very young age. He was raised by his older sister who quit school and got married so that she could take care of my father and he wouldn’t be sent away. She tried to also keep their three sisters, but the two youngest were taken by their father (different father than the older children) and the sister closest in age to her, ran off and got married when she was in 8th grade. Welcome to Kentucky in the 1950’s. A local librarian gave my father a job as a shelver when he was in High School because that’s where he was always hanging out. This librarian also paid for my father to apply for college and to take his entrance exams. My father attended a prestigious private engineering school with scholarships and Army funding (he served for some years after college), and spent his entire successful career as a chemical engineer with the same company.

MotherHerisme was raised in a military family (Army then Airforce) where her ambitious father became a Colonel and head of the ROTC program at a large southern university. Growing up she lived in California, Virginia, Japan, Alabama, France, and very briefly in Ohio. She met, got pregnant and married my father when she was working as a secretary in the Pentagon. FatherHerisme was temporarily at Fort Belvoir for specialized training while stationed in Germany. She was 19, he was 24. A rushed January wedding in Germany followed by the April arrival of my sister. ParentsHerisme raised three children, lived in Ohio (USA), Germany, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are both always themselves and insanely photogenic. I am lucky to still have them and to know them.

Also, I am not woke. I am just me and am a product of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of my time in history. Free to be you and me, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers – all of the people showing us the ways of unity, consideration, healthy boundaries and acceptance. In my smaller than a grain of teensy crushed glorious stardust glass particle sand moment of this particular lifetime, I am trying to guide the humans in my wee circle towards recognizing the infinite circle as they can. Anti-racist, pro-unity, pro-acceptance and healthy boundaries. Many days I am failing. I’ll just keep going until I cannot.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Have you found yourself Yankovic-ing songs?

It’s not the pale you that incites me, that scares and so frights me. Oh no, it’s just the whiteness of you. (sing to the tune of the soulful Norah Jones, Nearness of You – jippity jolly good funnesses).

7 Year Itch

(helicopter flower by me on the trampoline)
(or listen here)

I left the house yesterday evening, sat in my car on the front passenger seat with my door open in the back driveway, and listened to the heavy post-rainstorm drops clap down through the trees to make their final splash on the rocky ground. Those giant three-pronged sassafras leaves happily sproinged up and down with each plop-plop-plop of exhausted expended cloud remnants. Drip, drip drop little April (June-y) showers…

My usual evening grief was trying very hard to become a full blown panic attack. I did not intend to sit in the car and listen to the results of the storm. I didn’t intend to sit in the car at all. I left the house to leave the house before I screamed. I did not want to frighten SonHerisme or make any attempt to engage in explanatory conversation with MotherHerisme. I just wanted out of the house quickly. I could feel the squirming firey swirls of panic burbling around in my stomach and radiating down through to my knees. It’s like my nerves are on itchy fire and screaming at me to just do something, anything, just go, go, go… total flight response. I’m not the only one, right?

I thought about walking and phoning someone. I walked up and down the steepest bit of the driveway hill a few times before I decided to sit in the dry car for a bit while I contemplated who to phone. As I listened to the water falling and birds settling into post-storm nighttime routines, I decided not to phone anyone. I decided to just be and see how long I could be there without screaming, running away, driving away, or phoning anyone. I did send one text at some point, reading, “I need an entirely different life.” I deliberately sent it to someone I knew wouldn’t receive the text until the following morning as they would be well into children’s bedtime routines. Just in case something happened, I wanted to reach out. I don’t know what I thought would happen.

Since early 2014 I have been expecting a complete breakdown. It hasn’t happened, not even close (I don’t believe), but the expectation has been there. And not just from me – family, friends, therapists, my primary care doctor were all on high alert for some time, watching, assessing and speculating about when I would finally break. At some point I suppose I passed an invisible threshold where this became unlikely. I suspect due in part that I have also passed some other threshold in my brain where I am absolutely broken without hope of mending, but have accepted that to be whatever it will be.

No breakdown. No walk. No phone call. No screaming. Just sitting in the front passenger seat of my car as if I’ve arrived home (having been driven by someone else I suppose) or am about to head out somewhere, listening to the late evening post storm noises of the woods.

It occurred to me that I have been driving to and from this house for 15 years. This is by far the longest I have ever lived anywhere. I have been getting in and out of this car in this driveway for almost 13 years. WHAT the WHAT WHAT I know the rocks I am looking at because we have been looking at each other for a very long time now. I know where invasive plants are finally giving up and over to the native plants. I know where trees were that aren’t anymore and where there were none now there are some. I have witnessed how the hill changes throughout the seasons and where the chipmunks go to nest. I know that turtles, snakes, skunks, and groundhogs swap out residence underneath the shed by the back fence. The other night, I spotted a new small Mr. Jeremy Fisher who will soon be big and fat, over behind the rose bushes.

I thought about what changes might happen over this next year with the woods. I thought about how I will be completely different in another year on some cellular levels. My liver will have completely turned over all of its cells by this time next year. And on a total body cellular level, I am in all ways not the same person from 7 years ago. There is nothing physically about me that is the same – every single cell in my body is different. Only ideas, thoughts, memories have carried over – nothing tangible about my cellular physical me-ness.

I am different, regardless of my will to be different or to stay the same. I am not the same.

“I understand that nobody understands me, but I can’t be someone I’m not.” – Audrey Tautou

Maybe this is my heartbreak. I cannot be someone I am not, but I keep thinking I should try to be. “I need an entirely different life,” is what I wrote to my friend, not remembering I already am an entirely different life. Why am I trying so hard to be or to do something different when I am going to be different no matter what? Instead of spending my energies trying so hard to be different than, why not stop fighting, shaming and blaming myself, and just be and see what happens? Time is going to pass anyway. I am going to be someone completely different again in another 7 years no matter what.

Have you read The Midnight Library yet? I read this from the book today, “To be part of nature is to be part of the will to live.” Oftentimes, just about everyday at some point, I do seek solace outside. I try to eat outside at least once a day (unless the weather is too awful), even in 90F heat, rain, snow, etc unless extreme. I love walking outside. The trampoline is ridiculously bougie but fun. My healing body is so happy to be able to move around outside and walk to the creek or lake. I go outside because I need to not hear inside noises and I need to breathe. For 5 months in 2014 I couldn’t open any of my windows in the house or sit outside because of fear. I remember when I knew we finally had some safety secured, I went around the house to open all of the windows, and just breathed. I wonder if I need to be doing the outside things more. Outside in nature or water play were always my go-to’s when troubled emotions became too much for SonHerisme or NiecesHerisme, and they worked every time. hmmmmm

I don’t know what is going to happen next, except that I am very glad to know that I am cellularly not the same person from 7 years ago. I am also glad to know that my liver will be entirely different on this day next year. And I am most grateful that none of this change requires any effort on my part – it just gets to be.

I hope that you enjoy the new you.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps MotherHerisme tears brought to you today by no one (myself or SonHerisme) bringing milk to the table for her on her timeline (SonHerisme was in virtual school meets in the back of the house, and I was not at home). The refrigerator is maybe 20 feet from her dining room table seat… She texted me while I was driving to ask if I could bring her some milk as soon as possible. She is struggling y’all and refuses any outside or water time. Although she was later convinced to shower before the home health nurse arrived for her final visit. Bandage changes and health monitoring for MotherHerisme falls back to me again. It will be fine – just another regroup/reset for my own expectations, which I am skilled at. She is currently loudly cursing (damnit, shit, g-d damnit etc) at her iPad. Yup – just fine here.

If you were hoping to hear something about the movie Seven Year Itch, released in June 1955, then I will say something about that now. The guy is a creepy creeper. Marilyn Monroe is beautiful, funny, and underrated as a complex interesting person. I used to have a Marilyn Monroe CD. I have enjoyed martini’s and also have put clothes in the freezer.

I hope that you go outside today, if you’re able. If it isn’t safe for you to be outside today, know I am looking at everything twice in order to send outside vibes (with productive cicada sounds) to you too!

Pig Coup! Pig Coup!

(Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Pig coup, pig coup! Bless you!

I suppose this could be the introduction for any number of things at the moment… but it isn’t unless you want to metaphor up, which you are most welcome to do.

This is an introduction to an actual pig coup. As in the excommunicated pigs appear to be rallying and setting the stage to embark on a coup for penultimate reign over the farmette down the hillside. Yes, the farmette currently being governed by the very Goat King I’ve spoken about before. The pigs’ sudden boldness comes in part due to a complete upset in rank expectations as it turns out that the Goat King is the Goat Queen (now nursing two tiny hippity hoppity blonde prince and princess goats).

Don’t worry. This is not about to be a “back-in-the-day” share because 1. it is taking place right now and 2. I am my own self, not a former caterpillar, infamous Central American wrestler, or wandering meteor pretending to be a star.

Almost at the bottom of our mountain (which is truly just a very large hill but people insist on calling it a mountain), before the two creeks merge (working together making the journey quicker and more fun to the mighty river, out to the bay and eventually the vast endless ocean), there is a fork in the road. I always know what direction I am going to take at that fork in the road. More importantly, at this fork is a lane which leads back up a smaller hill upon which sits a white two-story farmhouse complete with wrap-around porch and green shutters in the middle of rolling fields making a farmette. A large white barn sits offset from the front of the house and close to the lane, tucked into the side of the hill. If you’re at the top of lane near the house, you can walk into the top of the barn where farming work things are stored. If you’re near the middle of the lane, you can walk into the lower part of the barn housing the seat and court of the Goat King (now Queen). At night there are twinkle sparkle lights all through the barn, just in case there is a spontaneous celebration or other entertainment at court.

The farmette has a few paddocks over the hills, food and water storage distribution huts, and shade areas scattered about. The farmette owner drives a tractor with an American Flag hoisted up on a flag pole behind his seat. It waves this way and that way as he drives around doing the things farmette owners do. Each time we pass the farmette, which is to say everytime we leave our house to go anywhere else other than the woods surrounding us, we have tipped our head in deference to and greeted the Goat King(now Queen), his court, and flock(s). Let’s move forward acknowledging officially the Goat King as Queen. Or maybe she can still be King as a lady goat? Yes, let’s do that then. We greet the Goat King first – respect – then the goat court, and finally the flock(s). The flock are mostly egg laying these days, but the meat flocks (chickens and turkeys) rotate in and out, so to speak.

Almost a month ago now, a new group entered the goat court area, keeping to their own quarters, natch. An entirely new pig court. Sweet little spotty squirmy pokey nosed piggies. We were worried a bit one of the hot days because all of the pink pigs took over their pig court shaded area, leaving the little black pigs out in the sun. It seemed to have been quickly sorted out, as the next time we passed, all of the pigs were snuggled together to fit the entire group into the shade.

I’m not privy to exactly what happened to cause the rift, but it happened just after the Goat King revealed her ladyness by birthing kids so I believe it had something to do with that. One day the pig court was fully integrated and supportive of the Goat King and goat court. The next day the pig court was removed to an entirely new spot on the farmette, two fenced paddocks away. The pig court was excommunicated from the Goat King’s presence.

When we pass by now we see signs of insurrection and an impending pig coup by the manner in which the pigs line up and stare back over the hill at the Goat King’s exclusive domain. Trouble is brewing at the farmette. I hope that the owner is prepared to foster a delicate diplomacy or accept a Pig King in the very near future.

This is my story and I’m sticking to it (as told to little sister friend who, once again, graciously receives it full of interesting questions and an appeal for me to ask the owner for an audience with the Goat King to see if I can help smooth things over).

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

a pivot from yesterday where I also only logged about 4800 steps according to my iphone. blerg. Best foot forward today (or… f the iphone calibration)

today in my brain is another day of challenges with mucking in the mire – I wish there was predictable relief. Maybe driving past the Goat King and excommunicated pig court later will help

pssssst hello Peter(imposed moniker of anyone from the UK reading this)!