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Sunday, July 18, 2010
An open letter to all the delinquents at the park

Dear teenage punks,

Why do you have to be that way? I have two teens myself and neither of them go to your place of leisure and mark up your world with graffiti and trash-do they? No they don't. Didn't your mamas teach you to pick up after yourselves? What is up with all the trash laying around the table when the garbage can is RIGHT THERE.

Seriously?! Like 2 feet away, yet you drop all your shit wherever you want. Everyday I go walk my dogs in that park and I have to take a garbage bag and clean up your mess. I don't even like cleaning my own house. It is starting to piss me off.

Also, your art work is looking pretty crappy these days. You have literally inked up the entire table and benches with your odd drawings of penises, and what I only assume was a vagina-although if it was, either you have never seen a real vagina before, or you need to go tell whoever your mental model was to go get checked. Things aren't supposed to hang like that.

And Syko, you really are the talented one there. Your name is always lovingly drawn with fluffy round edges, and you always add color. Most of the other delinquents just use a sharpie, but not you. you seem to really care about your work. I bet if you were to quit being an inconsiderate douche bag I could really get to like you.

And Lazr orwhatthefuckever, why do you tag the swing set and the slide? Those are for kids. Children. The little innocent ones. And you do realize that fence you repeatedly tag over and over no matter how many times that dude paints it, is illegal-right? And that because you keep doing it over and over, it really says something about who you are-right? Don't you realize that makes you a really bad person, and a complete and total douche nozzle? Oh, and was it you who ripped the leg of the goal post? Because if that was you, you have great strength. Not of character or mind, but of rebellion, and shitfacedness. Congratulations.

I have concrete paint in my garage, and I really think I just may go to the park several times today, and when I see you teenagers there, I will grab my paint and go join you for a let's-paint-over-all-this-crap-on-the-table party. You know, to give you a blank slate to work with. I also want to meet you all. I want to see if I can pick out who is syko, and who is Lazr, and who it is I think has never seen a Vagina. I also want to see if I can find out who is the strong one. Not to turn you in, but to judge you. Sorry, but you in particular have pissed me off. And now you are going to wish you never have. Because I am going to do something so terrible to you, to all of you-that you will regret ever even thinking about being a dillhole and polluting our park.

I am going to become you guys' friend.

And I won't be that best friend whom you adore kind of friend, I am going to be the big fat black woman who is all NUHHHHHH-UHHHHH and finger waving in your face kinda friend. I will be the kind of friend that you love to hate, who always gives advice when you don't ask for it, and loves to chew your ass out when you are out of line. And for her, you are ALWAYS out of line. I will show up every time you get near, and tell bad jokes. Not dirty jokes-y'all don't deserve that-but bad jokes. Like the one you hear that is so stupid you almost feel bad for the person telling it. I will make you like me, but want to avoid me at the same time. Pretty soon when you see my car you all will quickly grab all your shit, and book it before that fat chick with the two dogs comes over and tries to relate to you again.

I am sorry I have to go to such brutal lengths to get through to you all. If you just would have not left your food containers laying everywhere, and could actually have made a few of those slurpee cups go into the garbage can, instead of all around the park, I wouldn't have had to get all extreme like this. Although I will say running from my dogs and leaving those two joints on the table was very excellent. Thank you so much. I was having a really crappy day and that helped. I do hope when you returned to the table and found them gone, yet the smell of it still lingering in the air, that it stung quite a bit. I mean weed is spendy for you kids.

But that is just one of the lessons you will learn from your new friend Shalagh. You will also learn how this is your city, and your neighborhood, and this is your park. This park represents you. What do you want it to say about you? Because right now it says you all are punk ass jerkwads. So let's deal with that, shall we?

And next time I will deal with whom ever is having sex out there in the grove of trees, and leaving their condoms around. Oh yes I will. Just wait until I become YOUR friend.

Thursday, March 11, 2010
Well I went ahead and just did it already!

Well I did it. I upgraded my blog account because it offered all these new fangled bells and whistles. And I love me my bells and whistles! Plus I figured if I actually paid for this site I would post more. I mean, how am I to get rich and famous if I don't post? So hang on people....I'm back!

Posted at 06:54 pm by Shalovee
Venerations Made (1)  

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Yesterday during class we watched a movie called Tuesdays with Morrie  (I think that is his name) and it struck me how he was so loving and kind to all around him. He really enjoyed people and he took a genuine interest in folks. He had a great handle on how to love and be loved. He gave great advice to people about appreciating those you love, and work at relationships. It made me see where I fall short on my own relationships because there is a whole lot of taking for granted going on. I know my family loves me, and they know I love them, and even though we end every conversation with saying I love you, I do very little to cultivate closer friendships with them.

I really am going to spend time getting to know my family better. I am going to invite different members out to coffee, or over for dinners, or out to movies, and really give them my attention. Now that Claude's life is almost over I feel sadness that I didn't do this more with him. As I have gone up to visit him and we talked about shows we like, and movies we enjoy, I realized that we have a lot of the same tastes. There was so much time there wasted that I could have been enjoying life with him, but I took time for granted.

I have felt loss lately as my kids get older and older wondering if I have given them enough special time. With all of us being so busy it is easy to let days turn into weeks, which in turn becomes months, and we haven't spent enough time talking one on one, really getting to love and appreciate each other.

I adore my family, both the one I came from, and the one that came from me, and I am deciding now to make some special memories on a regular basis because The Boy will be heading off to college in three short school years, and Punkin' won't be far behind. I want them to be able to look back and not only know I loved them, but be able to give instance after instance of ways I showed them how I loved them, and cared for them, and fostered friendships with them. I will do this with all my family because as Claude and Rhema have shown me, life is unpredictable and far to short to not pay attention. I don't want to let life come to an end when I'm not looking and feel I really fucked it all up.

Which brings me to the family members I have that are very far from me in heart, and are what is called "unfinished business." These are the two members of my family that I am not close with, and I don't particularly care for because of a large falling out we had. But I feel it is time to address this and get to the forgiving thing that needs to be done. It is really all their fault of course. I am completely innocent here. I have acted like a total angel, almost perfect, if I do say so myself.

Or not.

I will look into that truth in small bite size pieces in the next few blog entries as I don't want to face my faults too quickly or my head might 'asplode. But as God is my witness, I am going to do it for family's sake, for my sake, for my children's sake, for healing's sake, and for God's sake. Because if God has anything to teach me, or show me, then I am open for all lessons. I don't need anyone else dying to get the message.

God help me get my priorities straight, and become proficient in loving and being loved by my family and friends. Please remind me when I get off task, and never let me pass up an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the great blessing you have given me-particularly my family, my friends, and my life. Amen.

Posted at 03:46 pm by Shalovee
Venerations Made (1)  

Saturday, January 31, 2009
Cancer Sucks

For those who don't know my Brother in law Claude (married to my oldest sister) has been fighting Non-Hodgkin lymphoma for over three years now, and after one hell of a fight is slowly losing his battle. Death won't wait much longer for him. As if that isn't bad enough, my sisters daughter Rhema (who is 12, the exact same age of Punkin'-they are two weeks apart) has been diagnosed with a very rare and lethal kind of cancer herself. Although she is at the number one hospital in the world for curing this cancer, the survival rate is still on 33%. It seems cruel to be ending one journey with cancer only to begin another one. My writings for awhile are going to be things I am learning, and how this journey is affecting me and my family.
This term I am taking a death and dying class in school and had no idea when I signed up for it that I would be where I am in life. Things are kinda funny that way- aren't they? Today was my first class in death and dying. I found it tremendously interesting and quite a comfortable classroom to be in. I bonded immediately with a lady named Jennifer and found out she lives very, very close to me. She is someone I think I want to foster a friendship outside of class with. I wasn't really thinking I would learn very many new things in this class, as I have been asshole to armpits deep in death since I was age ten. I thought I would be brought to a place where I would be prompted and inspired to live better, love more, and be helped through my own grief cycle while dealing with Claude's death and Rhema's cancer. But right at the very start of class Marilyn said something that gave me goose bumps and I realized I just may have underestimated how much I would get out of this class.

She told a story of a little girl that was abducted, raped and killed while on a 2nd grade fieldtrip with her daughter's class. She said that she was told that the little girl was not even present while the murder was happening but instead somewhere else, perhaps floating above herself watching, but not suffering, and not terrified, nor in pain. This made so much sense because on all the shows I watch on people who have nearly been killed, they report experiencing an out of body experience where they were above themselves watching the event, but free of pain and fear. It made complete and total sense to me that this was probably very much true, and God is the best God to ever God.

It took some of the fear and pain I feel when I do what every mother does, and that is imagining the very same thing happening to my own children. No doubt that should someone I love be faced with a terrible thing like this, I now know I have a place of peace to take cover in, and I have words of comfort I can offer other people.

   I feel like my family is a good family and our thoughts about death are good and healthy, and each of us will help the next person to overcome tragedy, but I also come to realize I have some unfinished business myself concerning my family. It makes me think that Claude's walk through cancer, and Rhema's diagnosis isn't as senseless as it appears to be because God has a mighty work to do in our family, and perhaps the process of death (and hopefully a miracolous healing in Rhema!)will help us all heal and teach us to live a better, happier, complete life, both personally and as a family unit. Something tells me I am about to under go a transformation and I pray God gives me wisdom to see the right, the will to chose it, and the strength to make it endure.

Posted at 07:05 pm by Shalovee
Venerations Made (1)  

Saturday, June 21, 2008
Punkin' and her great ideas

Well, summer is here! Thank God.

Summer, the end of school, the death of my sister, my birthday, finals, my graduation, and my yearly housing inspection, all took place within three weeks of each other. This was a real bitch to live out, with all its busyness, but now summer is here and my house is clean, my grades are in (all A's and B's), and my daughter is determined to do some projects around the house. We have an area in front of our house under our front window that she wanted to turn into a flowered sitting area. I took her and her cousins to three different stores and got planters, flowers, bark mulch, two chairs and side table, and soil. We then spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning, raking, hoeing,  planting, and arranging one awesome sitting area. We have two long planters boxes, and two round ones. On each side we have large bowls that burn citronella. Her cousins and her then sat out and enjoyed, for the first time in six years, our front yard. It even inspired her to bring a book out and read! That is maybe the most amazing thing.

My kids will have good ideas and I never have the money to do what they want, but I took some graduation money I got (thanks mom and Dad!) and turned it into a source of pride for my daughter. I am so proud of Punkin' for thinking up this idea, picking out the flowers she wanted, and working so hard to make it happen. She is 11yrs old and really blossoming right now, which is fantastic because a couple of months ago she was only a shell of who she is right now. Much of which I can point at my sister and say, "She did it!"

My daughter slipped into a depression and began to hate school about 2 months back, and asked to be pulled out of school and be home schooled by my sister Penelope. She didn't feel like she fit in or belonged, she felt teased, depressed, rejected, and stupid. No school should do that to any child so I pulled her out and she started  PHS (Penelope's home school) right away. My sister threw herself into my daughter as if she was her number one project. She evaluated her and found her holes in learning and then spent hours every night (some times until 5 am!) on the Internet learning the best ways to teach someone these missing skills. For some reason my daughter had no reasoning or comprehension skills. She could not do the simplest deductive reasoning tasks at all, and induction? Forget about it! . When you have a hole in your learning in this area it effects so much of your life. Your self esteem, your math, your reading, science, logic, and even being confident enough to deal with strangers is affected. No wonder the girl never wanted to stay home alone for so long! She never felt like she could handle herself or problems that would arise. So we (and by "we" I mean Penelope mostly) began teaching her and giving her life skills, and immediately her math improved, as did her reading.  My sister tailor made Punkin's education to fit who she is and what she needs, and after a short time my daughters dark cloud lifted and she began to have sparks in her eyes again. She had a new found spring in her step, and now comes up with ideas and we will work toward accomplishing it. This has built such confidence and security in her that she is able to enjoy doing things now that before would stress her out, such as ordering her own food, asking people directions or questions, and taking charge of her own life. She is making her own decisions now and figuring out who she is and what she likes. Punkin' was a follower, and never had her own opinion. If a friend got a new hair cut, she wanted the same one. If they got new clothes, she wanted the same one's. She judged whether or not her tastes were cool and acceptable by judging how other's responded to it. Example: We went out looking for shoes and found some she really liked. Two days later we went back with a friend of hers and when she asked Ashley if she liked those shoes Ashly said no, and Punkin' agreed with her that they were ugly and she no longer wanted them. She would ask other kids if they liked something that she liked and if people said no, she pretended she felt the same way. She could never think up a hairstyle she liked or wanted and then go get her hair done that way. It was like she was physically unable to make decisions like that.

It used to frustrate me because I am so opinionated and don't give two shits if people like who I am or not because I like who I am, and that is enough for me. The Boy is the same way so I just didn't get why Punkin' wasn't. But kids who do not learn to reason, simply cannot reason even simple things we take for granted and do automatically. She needed to be taught reasoning (deductive and inductive) and she needed to practice it. Then she needed to be encouraged to find her own person, whoever that may be, and be that person courageously and confidently. Finally, this dark cloud of depression had a name, and therefore could be understood and conquered.

What a relief! It is terrible to know your kid has something wrong with them and you don't know what. You can see they aren't who they once were, but you don't know exactly what it is or when it happened. All you know is you see your child suffering. Had it not been for my sister who is the world's best teacher, and the most patient, intuitive person I know, who quickly and accurately diagnosed my child and then found out how to fix her permanently, who knows what life would be like right now for us. I imagine it would still be depressed and hopeless feeling. That feeling sucks. I prefer this other feeling we are having right now. Feelings like confidence, ambition, goals, curiosity, and dreams.

Punkin' decided to stay with PHS next year and get completely caught up with all her school work. She is seriously delayed in a few ways, but she began to catch up so quickly with the watchful eye, and help of my sister. I am just so dang proud of my daughter, and so grateful to my sister who has magic in her fingertips when it comes to teaching kids things, and helping them understand themselves and this world around them, that I have decided I want to marry a man just like her some day. I would totally just marry her except we don't live in the south anymore and up here you Yanks frown upon that kind of thing.

I would go on and on longer about all the reasons why my sister is the most awesome sister alive, and why my daughter is the best daughter of any daughter that has ever daughtered, but there is this awesome new sitting place out front that smells all new and bark mulchy, with these pretty flowers out there begging me to join them and drink some hot coffee while enjoying their prettiness. And who am I to tell them no?

Have a great weekend people!

Sunday, June 15, 2008
I did it!!

Well peoples, I did it! I graduated yesterday. Bagpipers walked us in and the moment I heard them I did my usual trying to keep my shit together and don't lose it because if the bagpipers thingy I do so well. We had like 600 graduates and that was an insane number of folks. (As Boo, age 7, explained it to everyone: "There is one-hundred THOUSAND people here!!) Took forever and a day. Graduations would be a blast if they weren't so darn dull and boring. It was all I could do to remain conscious after awhile. Now it is one down, two more to go! In two years (and yes I mean two years! It took me three to make it through my last two years and I am not changing my damned major again!) I will be getting my degree in Psychology, then I will stay in school for one year more after that and getting my teacher's degree. Not that I really want to be a teacher but why get only one degree when you can get two? That's all I sayin'.

My parents, my daughter, and my two sisters and their husbands or children came to my graduation. Once I saw them up there when i walked in, it took me 15 mins to stop the tears from trying to come and destroy my face. My sister Penelope's husband was setting up tables and a BBQ in my garage so we could BBQ up some steaks for the dad's and grad when it was all over. He also spent several hours at my house before the shin-dig mowing my lawn. It looks fabulous now. What a gift and thanks, man! You are the best pretend husband I have ever had!

My sister Penelope went above and beyond, as usual. She made all the side dishes for this BBQ, got the tables, set them all up, got me exactly what I asked for (Corn on the cob, and pea salad) then she cleaned it all up when it was over. She has helped me so much lately, and worked so hard that my friend Jamie asked me after watching her bush whack blackberry bushes and weeds: "Does your sister owe you a favor or do you have something really juicy on her? Because this is A LOT to do just to be nice to someone." If that  tells you anything about the amount of work she had done, and would be doing.

Before my inspection my sister came and cleaned my house from one end to the other, including a bathroom so bad my son refered to it as a crack whores bathroom. Then she invited everyone to my graduation, planned the reception herself and organized it. She then came back over to my house and for three days me, her, and her husband found the ground in my very large yard. Until then there was mostly blackberries, and sticker bushes, and grass to your knees. But I got into trouble for it with the landlords so My sister came and did the first yard work she has ever done in her entire life right here-in my yard. I am so honored. My sister is awesome.

Beyond awesome, actually. When I needed gas, or school supplies my sister would buy it for me. Through these last 3 years of school she had homeschool one, and then the other one of my children, she has kept me sane, gave me kicks in the ass when I wanted to skip school because the sun was finally out. She studied with me, she quized me, she encouraged me, and has in every way, shape, or form, has been there for me in ways that I needed it, when I needed it, and half the time I never had to ask her for it. Without my sister to lean on, school would have been much harder than it was. I have never known someone so selfless in their giving-ever! Had I known a damn thing about the medallion of appreciation I would have bought her one and presented it to her at the BBQ. But I did not know until right before the graduation what they were, and what they were used for. But she deserves it. The person who has most inspired me, and encouraged me, and loved me through every succsess and failure is my sister Penelope. Girl, thank you and I love you. I couldn't have done it without you. We can share my diploma until you have your own.

I LOVE YOU!!!! Thaks for everyone that came, it made it special having people who care about me there to support me. I really love you all. Thanks again. 

Saturday, June 07, 2008
'Bout spankin' time!

Well I did it. I finally got through my first round of college. My last day of my last term was Friday. Next week I take my finals, and next Saturday I graduate at 3 P.M. in the pavilion at the fairgrounds. I thought this day would never come. It took me 3 years to get my transfer degree mainly because I switched my major three times because I just didn't know what I wanted to be when i grow up. In the fall I transfer to Western Oregon University and will get my bachelors in psychology. Then I will remain in school one extra year and get my teaching degree. Why settle for one degree when you can get two?

Apparently this is a really big deal for me. I went to the bookstore to buy my cap and gown a couple weeks ago and when the lady held it up for me to see, I burst into tears. It was totally unexpected and I tried to choke it back but I wasn't fooling anyone. There were 5 people behind me and the lady says "Oh! Your crying! Congradulations on graduating!" And everyone began to clap. I completely lost my shit and couldn't even talk. I kept trying to laugh like I had no idea why I was blubbering but it only made it worse because it shot me into the ugly cry and there was nothing I could do about it.

So later I take it to my sisters house and as soon as I pull it out to show them I burst into tears again. Later I was just talking about it to my sister and began to cry. Later when i got home I hung my gown in the closet and cried the whole time. Apparently I have a chronic case of the saps going on.

It is just that I am insanely proud of me. I did it. AND I managed to be on honor roll the whole three years of going to Chemeketa. I am the first of my parents daughters to graduate from college, and I did it while being a single mom, going to school full time, and working part time. I never liked school when I was a child but I liked it as an adult. I grew so much, and learned so much, made frienships that will last a long time, and it is all such a big, big big deal. To me anyway. Sometimes I thought I would never see the end of the road. But I did and that road ends Saturday.

How very VERY awesome. Venerate me.

Posted at 10:30 am by Shalovee
Venerations Made (5)  

Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I bet you wouldn't have thought to do that

Today I have a house inspection and my toilet was leaking. My sister and I fixed it with a half chewed piece of Airheads taffy.

I am so ghetto awesome.

Posted at 06:08 am by Shalovee
Venerations Made (2)  

Friday, May 23, 2008
A darn good indication of when your parents have "left the building."

When someone dies there is a tremendous amount of planning that goes into giving them a funeral and burial.  There so many decisions that have to be made and all of them need to be made right! Now!  It can be incredibly overwhelming.  After endless phone calls had been made, and countless plans planned, my folks made just one more call to the cemetery which graciously offered to re-open my grandmother's grave and bury Erin's ashes in with my grandma for free.  That was a very nice offer because just cracking the ground for a burial can cost $500.  Mom asked how many people you can stuff in one hole because we have a large family and that was a darn good deal.  He said two people per grave, or however he said it, and this was really funny to my mom.  But she couldn't quite remember how the man said this to her.  So later that evening my oldest sister GeeGee and my youngest sister Penelope sat in the living room planning what songs they would like to hear at the funeral, while I cleaned the kitchen listening to them.  Penelope made a song suggestion and asked my mother what she thought about it, and all the sudden my mother sits bolt upright and excitedly exclaims "Two corpses per hole!!"  Which got my sisters to laughing realizing that mom is no longer with us.  I chimed in from the kitchen, ever the wiseass, with "Doesn't Neil Diamond sing that?" 

My sisters now realize they should just run things by dad and leave my mother alone with her thoughts.  So my sister GeeGee asks my father, who was sitting in a chair with his back to everyone watching TV, what he would want to hear.  Very quickly he spins his chair around to face everyone and says to us "do you know what commercial I think is funny? I think that Sam Adams beer commercial with the guy dressed in the..." and he explains the whole commercial to us.   He then swings his chair back around to face the TV and goes back to watching his show, leaving us girls to giggle.

 We pretty much knew that at this time we might as well start smoking cigarettes and drinking beer because nothing more was going to get decided that day.  Both my parents had officially left the building.  So if you are ever wondering how you can tell when someone has hit their limit of stress overload, random calling out facts that have nothing to do with what everyone else is talking about pretty much is the biggest clue you could hope for. 

Friday, May 16, 2008
It's a beautiful day in paradise

As most of you know I had a very special sister named Erin who had Trisomy 18. Trisomy 18 is a defect of the 18th chromosome and causes severe retardation in the children who have it shortening their life expectancy to only 2% of boys and 3% of girls living to see their first birthday. Against every odd my sister lived to be 27 years old and passed away yesterday the 15th of May just a month shy of her 28th birthday. She was the 3rd oldest child with this disorder in the whole wide world which is a testement to how fantastic God is, what excellent care she got from my parents, and her strong will to live.

My parents had gone to the coast to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary leaving my oldest sister to look out for Erin, and after two great days in GeeGee's care Erin fell asleep a perfectly healthy and happy little girl and simply died at 4:30 am. She had no reason expect those that only YHVH understands, and there was no cause, she simply quit breathing, her heart stopped, and that was that. It was final, it was quick, and it was over. That is a hard way for us to have lost her, but the easiest on Erin. All of Erin's life we prayed for her death to be like that and it is most excellent that that is exactly how it happened. God's a nice guy. We all miss her terribly and I don't quite know what to do without her. I hear time helps these things, we shall see, but as the unaware desk clerk told my parents as they checked out of the hotel yesterday to come home and be with Erin, "It is a beautiful day in paradise today, isn't it?"

Yes lady, indeed it was.

For anyone who knows us personally and wishes to have my parents phone number send me an email and I will get it to you. Do not be afraid to call and talk to any of us about Erin's death because it is then that we get to celebrate her life.

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