Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful #50

Life is buzzing here at Lilypad the last few weeks. Between looking for ways to earn a little extra to sock away for Ase’s dance competition in Las Vegas to Zany’s graduation from high school, writing took a back seat.

After granting myself permission to write fearlessly honest, the hands on projects quiet brain moments are giving me the time to figure out where and how to start. So many topics demand my attention.

I know… just write! You say, but the thoughts come so fast it becomes overwhelming to keep up with them. So this celebratory list will cover the highlights of the last few weeks. My heart brims.

Ten Things of Thankful

1st Sewing.I was given a last minute job for our area’s Basque Picnic. I had five days to make 25 headscarves for the dancers. I was able to budget out my time efficiently. Take brakes when I needed them AND finish on time. They turned out great.

2nd Watson was an ever vigilant help with the project.

3rd A final batch of ducklings. Flare tends to be the first duck to brood in our area, so she typically ends up with two batches of ducklings. We enjoyed their fluffiness while they survived, and are sad to see them gone.

4th End of the school year. All of the paper work is turned in. Most of GirlyK’s work is finished for the year-anything she has left she will finish on her own. Boredom is not her friend. NOW it is about cleaning out the room and freshen it for a new year.

5th Doctor’s appointment. I visited my LA Fibromyalgia doctor and I am still on the mend. The Guaifennesan Protocol is still working-in spite of how weird it sounds.

6th As long as I can stay disciplined on the Clean Eating, Vitamin B complex and flax seed meal my PMDD will stay in check as well. Figuring out Normal for me is a beautiful thing- holding onto that normal (yummy food temptations) is the hard part.

7th Ase caught a snake. Since Steve Irwin it has been on his Bucket List to channel his inner Crocodile Hunter and catch one. We are sure it was looking for water because of the drought. Ase enlisted GirlyK for help and the two made the most of it.

Nothing like catching a snake to bond a brother and sister.

Isn't it funny that his expression hasn't changed? 

8th Clean air and blue skies. We don’t have many of them around here. With the temperature at a medium and a gentle breeze for a day I reveled in the deep azure embraced horizon.

9th Zany Graduated from high school. Just like that. It’s done. The season of boys and shenanigans has come to a close. Now for all the Manly Adventures.

Zany has the same mischievous curious expression.

All five of us in one place! This is becoming a trend.

10th My Sissy. I am grateful to call her friend, not only my sister. The way she fiercely loves life inspires me. In a Zombie apocalypse, this 5’ badass is who I want by my side.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful #47

Ten Things of Thankful

I am grateful for friends who give me projects. (1) These skirts have been on my To Do list for a few months and with Ase's Vegas trip coming I have the motivation to power through them-fibro be damned. The convention fees go out this week. These little pretties will add to the trip fund.

My chiropractor has a new dress, and I made it! Another To Do accomplished this week.(2) I love watching her face light up with excitement when I drop it by.

GirlyK gets her braces off a few months early.(3) She is my rule follower and often catches flack for it, but this time it works in her favor.

We’ve moved up in the world. The Wilderness is a constant contender for the Worst Air in the nation award. (3) This year we lost our #1 spot. We are only #3. It’s ok, there is always next year.

This picture is from a friend's house.
See how the air washes up the mountains like waves?

The Cheshire Cat head is coming along. (4) The first coat is the hardest, but I braved it. Now it sits and waits for what stroke of brilliance will hit it next.

This was my favorite Craft Day of the year. (5) The secret Mother’s Day gift. For our homeschool group, I have the Moms drop off their kids and between GirlyK and I we help them make something sappy and nostalgic. I love the look in their eye as they meet their Moms after, hiding the bag and sternly instructing them not to look. The pride as they leave. It is all the Mother’s Day celebration I need.


I used colored sculpy clay for these.
Ase got his wisdom teeth out. (6) After procrastinating it for a year, they are done. He is healing well and a wonderful patient. Last night before bed he told me, “I don’t need to have another milkshake for a year. Even then it would be too soon.”

Of course the boys had a rehearsal for the spring Alice in Wonderland ballet. It has been a while since I’ve been able to watch Zany dance.(7) The cockles of my heart were warmed.

Tonight is Zany’s senior prom. (8) Of course he is going stag because he is so pragmatic. He has lots of friends that are girls, but none that he wants to spend that much money on. With his own idea of fun he will go, dance with all the single ladies-free and unfettered- true to himself.  

The way the brain works things out in dreams (9).

The Wilderness has three seasons...
Gloomy: November-March
Medium: October- November and April-May
Scorching: May-October
We are in the season of Medium. (10) Soon it will bounce between Medium and Scorching, but for today, I am sitting outside. Ignoring the air and it’s consequences on my sinuses and soaking up the sun and medium air.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful #46

I can’t believe it has been two weeks since Easter. The time was filled with so many good things I feel out of breath.

Ten Things of Thankful

I have to start with Easter Day, cause… well… Brussel Sprouts (1) are the yummiest veggie now that I know how to make them properly.

AND all five of us in a picture (2) Now the boys are men, trying to get them to sit still for family photos is harder than when they were toddlers.

The Cheshire Cat head is coming along (3)

Watson was not feeling well, but he is doing much better now. (4) GirlyK felt sorry for him and went out to lay with him. She ended up falling asleep. I didn’t have the heart to wake her for dance.

Could you have woken her up? 

The ducklings are enormous (5). They come to our back door and knock to be fed at least three times a day.

After all of his lifeguard training, it is official… Zany has a job (6). He will be working for the Parks and Recreation department lifeguarding and teaching swimming lessons.

This is Zany's second longboard design. 

It rained! In the face of a drought, every drop is exciting (7).

Ase attended the West Coast Dance Explosion in Long Beach (8)

Our view from the hotel room. 

for his final dance convention of the year.

And to our surprise, he won the Elite Dancer award (9). That means he is eligible to perform in Las Vegas for a national award in July. Now the fun part starts of how to financially manage it. Good thing I can sew. I’m hoping to throw a few things into my etsy shop over the next week.

We both need to be pinched. 

GirlyK FINALLY got her own phone. What is her first photo? Her ridiculous feet in pointe shoes. (10)

As for the three things that made me feel like a Worthwhile Human Being:

This was ridiculously delicious
i. Sharing a glass of wine with a friend and listening as she told me what was going on in her life. I love listening to others, watching their souls come up for air and rest.

ii. While helping Ase figure out the hotel, on Monday, Mutant had a follow up test from his ER visit. GirlyK had to attend a school for testing. Watson needed to go to the vet- of course all at the same time. I managed it all with a pretty good attitude in spite of being sleep deprived from the weekend.

iii. I break out in song spontaneously. Often I use this power to lighten a mood.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Dance Hope Explosion

I pause today and look back on the week.

My breath catches.

So much unimaginable good.

When Gala was over last year, the seniors took their bows at the final cast call. Ase had a far away look in his eye. Zany stood next to him-a Junior- playing his part honoring the seniors. His face held an empty smile.

It was not nostalgia.
It was not anticipating loss of friendships.
It was emptiness. Their dancing artistic soul was hollow from burn out.

Personality clashes turned nuclear in the spring. It soured the spirit of Ase's senior year accomplishments. Both were reluctant to dance again, nervous about repercussions, but they did. Zany reveled in the roll as Nutcracker’s Mouse King. Ase took classes and focused on a competitive dance team within our studio.

Through the year Ase realized the toll of working and going to school. He couldn't dance at the level he wanted to. Our small town had no other options for him. The potential offer across the country to dance professionally seemed an allusive goal. It seamed to be time to leave dance behind. It was time to focus on school and his future with his second passion, astronomy.

Ase prepared for the West Coast Dance Explosion, the last dance convention for the year. He got off work we piled into the car at 6:30. We knew it was going to be tight-LA Friday evening traffic- and the performances began at 5:00. Ase was slated to dance at 10:00.

Miracles of miracles on a Friday night in the rain, we hit no traffic and arrived with 40 minutes to spare. Plenty of time to calm nerves, warm up, walk it through and go on.

Once settled into our room, Ase opened his heart. Feeling frustrated and discouraged he didn’t want dance to end this way: in frustration. As a family, one of our mottos is:

Finish Well

Saturday started with a ballet class, his favorite. From there the day built to a satisfactory crescendo. The night’s performances were beautiful and there was joy in his eye again.

Sunday held a few classes and a conference audition. In the last class of the day, they are taught choreography then have to audition it. Depending on how well they do as individuals, a prize is awarded.

Ase's number was called and he went; not too surprised, boys are rare in the dance world. After the awards were handed out, I waited for him to find me in all the madness. Just as I was mind numbingly comfortable a friend rushed up to me:


I blinked. “What?”


Double blinked, “What?”

This time she took a breath and with deliberation said, “Ase is going to Vegas. He won the Elite Award.”

My breath caught, “Wait… what does that mean?”

He gets to perform a solo and compete nationally against other dancers. IN VEGAS!”

I directed her to go tell him because I knew he had no clue. The expression from across the room was the “everyone gets a ribbon” face.

I watched as she went through the same thick headed dialog with him. His expression changed to the “deer in the headlights.”

We spent dinner, the drive home and two hours more discussing it. Figuring out fund raising and creative revenue streams were brainstormed. Somehow we will make it work: my sewing, his penny pinching, odd jobs...

Ase will be dancing on a national platform for a week: special performances, classes, auditions and competition against the other Elite winners. It is with this breath of possibility he is revisiting dancing professionally for a year.

Maybe it doesn't need to be over.