Monday, February 18, 2008

the sugarplum tree

i remembered something tonight after watching a movie. i was on the hunt for this book that my grandma used to read to me all the time when i was little. it was called the tall book of poems. i used to have this website bookmarked on my old computer but i don't have the computer anymore because it crapped out and died. anyway, the website had 2 copies of it. they were pretty expensive and every year around tax time i said i was going to buy it and then i never did because the debt won out and i paid my stupid bills.

watching the movie though i realized how important something as simple as a book can be. i loved curling up in the fluffed up feather bed in my grandma's house. getting warm and snuggly under the covers. lights low for sleepytime. she would get into bed next to me and read me the pokey little puppy and the ugly duckling. she would read me my favorite poem from the tall book of poems called the sugarplum tree and as she did i would drift off into a place where everything was colorful and wonderful. i can still hear her soft voice reading the poem just like she did every single time, emphasizing the cho-co-late cat. then when she finished she would read me the sleepytime book and i never made it through page 3 of that book. i *hated* when that book was next because i knew i was going to fall asleep. but the sugarplum tree has always been my favorite poem. here it is for your enjoyment...

The Sugarplum Tree
(By Eugene Fields)

Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
"Tis a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.

When you've got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a gingerbread dog prowls below-
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:

You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
And he barks with such terrible zest
That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
From this leafy limb unto that,
And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground-
Hurrah for that chocolate cat!
There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
With stripings of scarlet or gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I'll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

43 minutes....

only 43 more minutes and i have a whole pack of cigarettes left. holy cow.

not sure what to do about that.

do i smoke them?

do i stick to my midnight cut off and throw the rest away?

i don't know what to do.

i hate wasting stuff.

what should i do!!!???

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

on the reel.....

it's been officially official for a while now... i think too much.

i do this thing, especially when i'm organizing... i make up songs in my head.

for instance. the other day i was putting away the shipment for the cafe and i was thinking about someone and i just started into song. then i realized people were walking in and out of the backroom while i'm in my own little world singing...

"you know exactly who i am..."

over and over i was singing this and then adding this that and the other thing and ended up with this whole awesome song. will i ever remember it? probably not but this happens to me ALL the time. i think of poems or songs or something striking and profound and then i get home and forget. the good news is that my writer's block is over, however getting it onto paper seems to be an issue. which is some ways defeats the whole purpose of wiriting in the first place doesn't it?

i was thinking about my grandma a lot this week and for obvious reasons. remembering all these fantastic memories of decorating way too many christmas cookies on her dining room table, or folding delicate pastry over apricot filling for one of my favorite treats, or playing Go Fish! remembering being handed those nastier than detroit halls menthol cough drops in church when i was hungry. (my sister and i discussed this the other day and got the giggles because even though she's 8 years older, she got the same cough drops) i remember her defending me against my grandpa's hand slamming on the dining room table when i couldn't finish all my food. i remember sitting on her kitchen floor dissolving into a puddle after my divorce and her letting me. no words, not yet. she always has perfect timing for advice. the perfect words for encouragement and the lightest hand of discipline that smacks you across the face with truth and a real life lesson but never pain. so many times i've sat on that floor, always freshly swept. when i was little it was to draw evaporating pictures on the side of her antique black stove with a wet dishcloth that she would rewet when the art was becoming sparse. she fed me frozen corn and peas (my favorite) while i sat there and drew on my self proclaimed canvas. laster on in my teenage years i sat on the stool in the corner complaining about math and my mom. crying about lost friends and changing schools. learning about death and why it hurts so bad and where God is in all of this mess we call life. even later in my twenties crying over one divorce and then another, feeling lonely and lost. all the while she would wash her dishes, make her "supper", or offer me a piece of her homemade sugar bread. listening to every word and never breaking in to interject her opinion or to tell me how i should feel. just sympathizing and then when i finished her words would come. helping me make sense of bad decisions or of what i felt was cruel and unusual punishment for a wife that had stuck by her husband through so much only to be left with nothing but bills and a monthly payoff. she told me stories of her life as an obedient wife and mother. giving me hope for what was to come. giving me strength to never settle but to chase after whatever it is that makes me happiest and ever so gently reminding me of mistakes gone by and the lessons that they held. an inspiration at 5 feet tall with the strength of an ox, but gentle as a babie's eyelash on a soft cheek. she's beautiful inside and out. i could only hope for that kind of soul. a saint as far as i'm concerned.

tomorrow (or today?) is the big day. the last day of being a slave to the tobacco market. rereading my previous posts of why it is i love to smoke and weighing that against why i can't wait to stop. it's going to be a good week. i can't even think about the flip side. succumbing to that negatitivty will only make it worse and will drive me to the nearest amoco. i'm a little nervous to lose something that has become a comforting friend, but it's time to face myself in the mirror and let it all out. i've been holding it in for so long and this habit became a way of keeping it there. locked up in their little vault of confusion, bringing on headaches and exhaustion but never a tear. it's time. looking in these big bright blue eyes, i know i deserve something better than a shorter life.

as far as my current relationship... i'm unsure. not of how i feel. but more unsure of where i stand. am i special? am i something real? something he's always wanted but never had? what am i to him? what i try to be is supportive, loving, open, and a friend to talk to. my walls have tried creeping up to protect me but i'm learning that it will only hurt me. locking up now will only undo everything i've tried so hard to break free from. after my divorce i didn't trust myself to make good decisions about men, so i just didn't make *any*. then i met someone who helped me get out and enjoy life again. someone who lived so entirely for himself, not letting "the man" get him down. not long after, my heart was broken. he lived a little too much in the wrong direction for me. another learning experience. i dated a lot after him, committing to no one. convinced when it was right and felt good, i would. which brings us to my present relationship. it feels right. it was great. we clicked... made each other laugh, played stupid flirty games, opened up to each other, hit it off when we finally got to hold each other for real and then... now. we seem so distant from each other. both cautious not to get hurt but hurting none the less. me being submissive to help keep the waves at a minimum which is so unlike my usually controlling nature. so where do we go from here? soon we'll meet each other's families and enjoy each other's company again. i hate confused love. but nothing in life is wrapped up in a pretty pink box with a bow now is it? it's complicated due to the past creeping it's pudgy little face into something that's none of it's business. why is it though, that life is so complicated when you're in the thick of it, but then so simple looking back? it's like drudging through a thick field of grass but then looking back it's so beautiful swaying in the wind. and you wonder, why was that so hard? how can something so peaceful be such a workout? it's pretty simple i guess... i love him. and that's really all that matters when it comes down to it. at the end of the conversation, i'm still in love. doesn't really matter why.

also on the reel...

work. always work. scheduling. invoices. shipments. inventories. new employees. organization. this check. that check. this customer. that customer. THAT customer. i had a lady pray for my grandma this week. she was at the counter ordering a cheesecake and a grande cinnamon dolce latte and said "i'm celebrating!" i said "that's great! is it your birthday?" she said "no, i had a clear mammogram! after a few lumpectomies, i am cancer free!" i about fell over when i said aloud "really? i just found out my grandmother has breast cancer." something i have never said aloud in the presence of anyone but a close friend or to a manager when asked how my day was going. she asked "what's her name?" "midge" i replied through a choked up throat and glassy eyes. she said " i will keep her in my many prayers." and i almost lost it but then went about preparing the best cinnamon dolce latte i could muster up and poured in cold milk. fantastic. i told her "i'm sorry i just made your drink with cold milk, i need to remake it." and as i lifted the freshly foamed milk onto the steam wand to finish steaming, she looked me in the eye and grabbed my hand "let's pray for your grandma." and she recited the most beautiful prayer for my beloved. a bright spot in my day and a successful latte later, and i was left feeling... better. at work? that's interesting. wouldn't it be nice to have a moment of clarity like that everyday at the place that brings me the most grief? i can tell you that it would be *very* nice. everyday i've told myself, it's going to be a great day, it usually ends up being not half bad. Ha! it's always busy and usually unbearable stressful but with the thought of a great day planted, it all somehow becomes manageable. that whole power of the mind bull has some truth to it afterall. hm.

and so i'll embark on this great journey of tomorrow. the big day. at 2 am going to bed without a phone call. again. but it's ok. it'll come. and when it does i'll make the best of it. expecting a few of those tomorrow. but it will be ok.

it'll be great.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


three days...

as i smoke onf of my last packs...

i'm really getting nervous.

i weighed myself this morning.

i gained weight last week. not surprising with all the bad news but still... really not fun seeing that. i'll be okay though. i'm completely deteremined to be done with this crap.

i added another reason to my list tonight though...

i had to go to 2 different gas stations to find cigarettes and the second one was filled with ickie dudes and a dumb cashier who didn't know what marlboro reds were.... or mild menthols. so then i tried color... dark blue... he reached for green.


i'm so over it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

five days

five more days...

getting nervous. i know i can do this. i know i can.

i'm just nervous about the whole weight gain thing.

and being irritable.

it'll be okay.

i just have to keep telling myself it's better for my health. and i'll smell better.

and my skin will be softer.

holy crap.

i'm quitting smoking.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

she's lovely

My grandma... how to even describe...

She's lovely.

At 80 years old she still bakes her own bread from scratch in her antique mixing bowl. Her house always smells of yeast and white linen. I love her so much. She has always been the one I go to for really good solid advice. She has been through so much in her life that I have and her advice has always been right. Her husband, my grandpa, was an adulterer through their whole marriage and she stuck by him through his heart attacks, MS, Alzheimer's disease, etc. She gave birth to 4 children, one of whom passed away shortly after birth. She struggled with money, working as many as three jobs at a time to keep their family afloat, while my grandpa slowly became more and more crippled and eventually retired to his La-Z-Boy and Nintendo Golf. She fought and survived ovarian cancer. And through it all kept a positive and wonderful attitude. Never jaded, never bitter. Always faithful to her God.

She loves to knit even through severe arthritis, a fantastic cook, an avid reader and gardener. She has always had the most beautiful gardens, giant peonies, green beans that we used to sneak and pick through the long hot summer days... among other veggies and flowers. She has always gone to church on Sundays, come blizzards and high waters... literally. She goes to bible study. She's kind, compassionate, and extremely understanding. She has the best sense of humor, never cries over a broken dish or a kool-aid stain. I know that first hand. Loves animals. She's humble and intelligent. She's the backbone of our family. Literally the glue that holds us all together.

In a word... amazing. Truly.

Not that anyone deserves cancer, but of all people... why her? Maybe because she's strong as an ox and can fight off anything. But damn it. I miss her. I want to be 6 again, sitting at her dining room table drinking tea and eating "sandreeches" as she calls them in her extremely northern accent.

This is how amazing she is... upon hearing the news... she says to her doctor "Well, let's get on with it then because spring is coming and I have a lot of yard work to do."

After everything that has happened this year, I just can't believe it. Breast cancer? My grandma? My rock. My heroine. My second mother. I'm in total shock. I haven't wrapped my mind around this yet. I just can't wrap my mind around this year. I lost my best friend over $100. My car has been destroyed and needs repair. My credit is in the same situation. My boyfriend is going to Iraq. My job is burning me out making me work 60 hours a week with no end in sight. I'm just exhausted. And with this breaking news, I feel like I'm losing everything that is important to me.

As Teresa says, I have become a turtle. Retreating into my shell and making no promises to come out. Unfortunately for turtles, the only way they can move forward is to stick their neck out. I'm trying to stay strong for my family, especially for my grandma. It's what she wants. She wants us to be positive and I know she needs that right now. So that's what I'll do. Crying is not going to help her. So I'll refrain from that as much as possible. Tomorrow is the oncologist appointment where we find out what kind and how bad and all the dirty details. Next Wednesday she has her appointment with the surgeon.

Please pray for her strength, for the doctor's wisdom, and for our family.

Funny how life has a way of making you stronger when you're not up to it. You think you can't take anymore and then....

Monday, February 4, 2008

eleven days

omg... in 11 days....

i will stop smoking.

improve my health.

and be a total lunatic.

holy cuh-rap.

at least ed won't have to kiss an ashtray anymore though.

and i won't smell like a campfire when i talk.

but i might be bitchy.

no... that's a definite.

poor teresa.

poor everyone.

especially the sunday morning crowd.

ever want a cigarette while you're smoking one?

that's addiction friends.

i know i can do this.

i just really feel sorry for you guys.

i apologize in advance.

eleven days in advance.