Saturday, November 30, 2013

Random Things That I Am Thankful

I am a bit late posting my list of things I am thankful for. It is important to me to find the smallest things that make us happy. Some days, those are the only good things we have.

I am thankful for my families twisted sense of humor. It makes things like playing Taboo ways more fun. - Without you we would be up late at night wondering "Who the heck was that actor and what have I seen them in?" 

Malibu Rum

The DC Universe... Especially the women

My Blogging group. You girls are awesome and make me feel better about myself.

My son, or as we think the dog calls him,The Boy. He is awesome on so many levels and in so many ways.We had a Beatles sing a long fest in the car at his request at his request yesterday. 

Mr. J. Best husband a woman could ask for.

Rick. He's my therapy dog.

Sincerely, I thankful for the creators of anxiety medications. There are so many of my loved ones that have benefited from them over the years.

Assassin's Creed. My son and husband have spent much time bonding while playing the game together.

The people that work retail and keep a smile on their faces. It is a hard thing to do at times. Especially at the end of a long shift when everything has gone wrong that day. Been there, done that.

Pablo Picasso. His work rocks.

Julie Newmar, Michelle Pheiffer, and Anne Hatheway. I'll leave it to you to figure that one out.

Smart Phones


Bacon Cheeseburgers, even though I can hardly eat them any more. Oh, and turkey burgers.

Doctor Who, well, BBC in general.

Gerard Butler and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

And, I am thankful that this headache is easing up. So, I am going to wrap this up. I am thankful for a lot more. But, for now, I will leave it at that. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Have a Happy Zanax, I Mean Thanksgiving!

I need a distraction from thinking about people that aren’t going to be here this holiday season. I have had a heavy dose of missing the grandparents and Sarah this year. I am not sure if it is the stress finally easing from the divorce, starting a new relationship and losing Sarah, but  I have had gaps where I don’t have a lot of clear memories. 

They are starting to flood back in.

They aren’t bad memories. They are generally very good ones. But, it’s still hard. When we were children, we would have Thanksgiving at my maternal grandparents. There would be a ton of family there. Same with when my children were small. There were always a lot of people. But, as everyone gets older, we move further apart. Thanksgiving and Christmas were when MeeMaw's pie making skills were shown off. Coconut cream, pecan, lemon meringue and chocolate meringue... all loaded in her pie baskets. Tomorrow, I will load one of those baskets with an apple and a buttermilk. 

I miss her. 

As a child, I remember coming to my father's parents in November to find two large pots of chrysanthemums on the dining room table. Every year. Both of my grandparents birthdays and their anniversary fell in the same week in November. I think of them every time I see a Chrysanthemum.

I miss them. 

Sarah made the deviled eggs. She was very good at eat. I can't eat one without crying, now. The last two Thanksgivings haven't been as bad as I expected. This year seems to be making up for them. I am the least stressed I have been in a long time. 

That may be the problem. I keep thinking of what it would be like if she was still here. The sound of her voice and her laughter. How she would come up behind me and grab me. 

I miss her so much that it hurts.

So, this will be my first medicated holidays. I know I have the right to miss them. But, it doesn't mean I want to.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Grief is Selfish... and Exhausting... and Painful

I am sitting at the computer sobbing.

I was sitting this morning half listening to the television while the story about Jackie's Secret Service agent came on the TV. With it being the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, it is all over the TV. I was half watching while playing with the dog and check my Facebook feed while listening to the TV.

Then I heard something that got my full attention. He explained why he ran to Mrs. Kennedy. When. I have see the video, I always assumed she was reaching out for help. In that moment, she went from being the wife of the President to John's wife. She did what was instinctual when someone is hurt. She was trying to gather the broken parts of her husband.

It's what we do when when we know someone we love is physically sick or injured in an emergency. We go into fix it mode. Especially when you are a mother.  The gentleman got her back into the seat of the seat of the car. She was not concerned with her own personal safety. The shooter was still out there. She didn't care. I can only imagine what she was thinking. (I have included the video from the news story this morning.)

When they swore in LBJ, she wore the dress, stains and all.

It is funny how our minds work in those moments of sudden death. I remember the day that we lost Sarah, there were long stretches of calm with moments of complete and utter despair, wailing and gnashing of teeth. But, there had to be some calm. There were people to talk to, decisions to make. Since her father was still on the way back from Albuquerque, I was the only legal parent there. I had to trust my own decisions.

I remember the dress I wore to the funeral. And, the shoes. It took nearly two years before I could wear the dress, again. I love the dress. A simple black, wrap around. And, the red satin heels Sarah had found for me the first Christmas after I left their father. (Her step-mom wore her plaid boots.) I nearly cried when I messed up the heel of one shoe. I stepped through the grate on the floor at church and scraped the red right off. I was crest fallen.

 I feel guilty, and probably will every time that I drive by a funeral procession, pass a funeral home or hear of some one's death. I go to my own memories first. We all do to a certain extent. And, as time goes on, I am sure that the time the memory lingers will become more and more brief. But, even watching the death of a President takes me back to that morning in Anson, Texas. When I sat screaming inconsolably while people wrapped their arms around my shoulders while I felt myself fall, spinning like a plane plummeting towards the earth.

I take that back. You know how in action movies someone is all ways jumping off a building and there is a series of awnings they keep falling through? Each one I hurts to land on, but the progressively slow their fall. And, by the time they reach the bottom awning, the have slowed enough that they don't go though, or if they do go through, they might scrape their knee.

That is a lot like grief. Falling is scary. Very scary. You know that it's not going to kill you. But, there is a doubt that tells you it might.

You will land. Maybe on your feet. Maybe not. But, you will land. You will be broken and bruised. You will probably limp away. But, the key thing is that you pull yourself to your feet. You get up and move on.

You will not be the same person.

You will be changed. You will be scarred.

But, you can move on. And, you will.

This was going to be a blog about the relationship between husbands and wives. But, sometimes a detour is a good thing.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I made a pie. Does that count?

On a weekend full of potential, I made a pie. Well, I also got laundry washed. That's pretty much it for the entire weekend. My energy level is coming up slowly. A couple of months ago, I wouldn't have got that much done. But, I still feel like I am letting my family down. Including myself.

I am not leaving up to my potential in the least. I tend to be a "why even bother" type when it comes to housework. Especially when my hormones and stress level are fighting against me. I get to find out if the company that rubs our software can fix my boo-boo from Friday when I get to work tomorrow. Between that and the fact that it's that time of the month. If it's TMI for you, then you obviously Donny spend a lot of time around women . If not wasn't for the fact that Zanax knocks me out, I would have taken them over the entire weekend. 

My body locked down, I have a headache and I am nauseated. I can not think straight. I am expecting the worst and hoping for the best tomorrow. But, it has shut me down for today. 

Today I could be sewing aprons to sale for funds to go towards new kitchen equipment. (My mixer died, last night.) 

I could be painting. I could be cleaning.

But. I am not. 

Instead, I am trying to keep my mind from exploding into little bits. Playing a video game helps, a little. But, even the games that don't kick my motion sickness into overdrive give me a headache after a while. 

I do not see much of a productive evening in my future either.

And before you say, it's ok to goof off now and then, I am this way a lot. But, like I said, it's getting better.

Slowly, but surely. Just not tonight.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Diabetes Sucks

November is hard. Really hard. It is Diabetes Awareness month. And, today is World Diabetes Day. You know how you tell your children to ignore the bullies because they are mean and not worth your time? That is how I feel about diabetes.
When I got a tattoo for Sarah, there were people that expected a blue ribbon or a blood drop. I wanted to honor her life, not what killed her. I want the world to remember how she lived, not how she died. I prided myself on the fact that she had diabetes. It didn’t have her. A friend posted a blog on my personal Facebook page. It was a letter that an adult Type 1 wrote to herself before she was diagnosed as a very small child. She wrote of the things her parents would have to learn to do for her. The things she would have to miss out on. Also the things she would have to deal with daily that “regular” kids would not. I found myself being flooded back with memories.
You see, I have spent the better part of the last two years focusing on the best moments with Sarah. Her outstanding personality. Her laughter. Her compassion and devil may care attitude. Her brilliance. But, not on the hard times.
They were my hard times, too. You will see many posts and blogs this month about the things that a diabetic patient has to do and go through. But, you see, it isn’t just a person that has diabetes. The entire family does. From the parents that have to learn an entire cannon of information on a scary new disease to the siblings that are not only scared for the sibling. They also see the fear and stress in the rest of the family. The grandparents are overwhelmed and worried. Will they ever get to come spend the night again? And, if they do, will I know what to do?
Thunderstorms and bad weather would always make Sarah’s sugar drop. We could count on it. They were a huge stressor for her. And, when it fell, it would go fast. There was one night in particular that we had been stuck in the vehicle at my original in-laws because the rain was falling so hard that we couldn’t get out. (I just can’t call them my ex-in-laws. They are still a huge part of my life and I am glad to call my original mother-in-law my friend.) I have never seen rain like that. When we finally got home, I remember opening the door for the kids to get out. We were in a quad cab truck so Sarah was a little above eye-level. I told her to get out. I looked at her face and saw the glazed over, non-responsive eyes. 
Here is come. When her sugars fell REALLY low, she would have a seizure. She started shaking and jerking. Ty, her younger brother that was probably eight or nine at the time was in the back seat with her. He had never seen her have one before. He was terrified. We checked her sugar and got some into her. We waited in the truck until she came to enough to get her in the house. Ty just stunned the entire time. But, he had paid attention.
The kids were staying with my parent’s the next day while we were at work. I called my mother to see if Sarah had checked her sugar. She was on the phone with me when she found her on the floor convulsing. I was lucky enough to have an employer who didn’t mind me running out the door and calling them from my cell phone to tell them that my daughter was having a seizure and I would call them back when I knew more. I ran in the house to find my mother and brother just in awe. Ty had come right in with her kit. Checked her sugar and was giving her the sugar. He knew exactly what to do. He may have saved his sister’s life that day. We are still proud of him for that. My brother and I never had anything near like that happen. But, they had to watch their granddaughter like a hawk when she was there.
The homes of both grandparents had stashes of syringes and partial bottles of strips. There was always something to bring her sugar up and ibuprofen for the headache that inevitably came after a low. They had to be ready, too. Her brother had to keep an eye out, also. He was always aware of if her mood was off, or she had a funny look on her face. I caught him making sure where her purse was on more than one occasion.

And, there are so many things that make it hard on a diabetic themselves. If she left her purse somewhere, she had to go back to get it. Especially once she had her pump. That glucometer in her purse was the only one that would talk to her pump. Her sugar tablets were in there, too. She didn’t always get to have the cutest purses. They had to be big enough to hold her purse.

When she got older, and wore skinny jeans, she had to deal with people asking why she had two phones. She would pull her pump out of the pocket and show them what was basically and artificial, external pancreas. When she was younger, she hated the attention brought. When you are eight or nine around other kids and you open your kit, people stare. Especially kids. And, there are times where you can’t be discreet about it. As she got older, she considered it more of a teachable moment and would tell the person who asked what she was doing and why.
Sleep overs were out of the question for a very long time. Then it was only at homes that were within a certain radius from our house. And, I eventually just made a list to give the moms of directions and phone numbers.  Being in a small town, they all knew Sarah. They were always great to have diet sodas and things that she could eat without shooting her sugars through the roof. And, they were never afraid to ask questions.  But, the parents of her friends still worried.

And, then there were the students, teachers and staff at school. I still vividly remember the phone call from the school that she had a seizure. One secretary was on the phone with me and another with her father. The ambulance was already on the way and her dad beat them there. Luckily, they were in the computer lab with huge tube style monitors, so only a few of the students actually saw her fall out of her chair into the floor. One of the students had to go to the classroom to get her purse and kit for her dad. Did I mention you have to take your kit EVERYWHERE? She did after that.

Then there is life as a parent or spouse of a diabetic. There is the constant checking to see if they are still breathing in their sleep. There are so many fights when you have to keep asking, “Did you check your sugar? Did you dose for that? Are you sure?” It gets worse when they are teenagers. Diabetes is a glandular issue. Yeah, you know those glands that affect a child’s body by releasing those horrible hormones that turn your sweet little child into a raging, hormonal demon spawn? Same system.  So, it really screws with diabetic kids that already feel like they stick out like a sore thumb. And, their fingers are callused and hurt. They are tired of having to be accountable for everything that goes in their mouse. They cannot just go get a coke with a friend. They might get lucky enough that the store has a diet drink that they like. But, it never fails they don’t.
So, you see the person with the diagnosis isn’t the only one with the disease. It directly impacts everyone that loves and interacts with them.

And, it sucks.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How Big Her Brave Is

Today is one month from Sarah's 17th birthday. I have pondered how to word that sentence. Is her birthday... Would be her birthday... Would have been her birthday... But, December 12th will be her birthday. And I am reminded by that with every picture I see of her friends as they are getting older, then I feel guilty. It makes it hard to see the other children without seeing her. It makes it hard to see how beautiful and bright they are, how they have grown and stretched their wings. Especially the ones that were close to her, but I do see it. It brings tears to my eyes as well as a smile.

I stop and wonder when I see the pictures, "What would she look like?" I pretty much just need to look in the mirror. But, would she still have a rocker girl edge? Would she be a little more main stream? Would her hair still be short or would she have let it grow out? Would she still want to be involved in music production? Would she have a boyfriend? Would she have a job? 

One thing I am sure of is that she would still have her self-assured, not always tactful, compassionate, charming, bubbly, non-judgemental, loyal, kick ass personality. She was brave, she was physically and emotionally strong. It didn't mean she didn't have moments when she was weak, but they were few and far between.

I remember her coming home from school one day telling me from across the room (with her head whipping around like a slightly crazy person) about the trip home on the school bus that day. The bus bully was being a jerk and grabbing other kids bags, specifically Ty and one of his friend's. He was trying to get a rise out of them along with the other boy's brother. So, Sarah gets in his face and tells him to give their stuff back. He threw the bags down and threaten to bitch slap her. 

This is where I thought to myself, "And, then she said, 'You go right ahead and try!'" 

She popped of, "I sat down and thought, 'You go ahead and try.'"

I knew my daughter pretty well. 

There was another occasion when Sarah overheard a girl making a snotty comment about a friend that was walking with her and she called the girl on it, loudly. Luckily her art teacher stepped out the door before any punches were thrown. I know you shouldn't condone violence, but I was far more proud of her for standing up for a friend than being upset with her for getting into a fight. The other girl smarted off and was rude to the teacher. After that, the teacher forgot about the girl's verbal skirmish and hauled the instigator to the office. 

Remember those girls I see in the pictures, especially the ones she knew? I know she had an impact on their lives, I hope for the best. I also hoped that she taught them to be fierce, to be strong, to use their voices, to be comfortable in their own skin and to make an impact on them to stand up for others. 

In the words of Sara Bareilles, "I wanna see you be brave."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Rocks, Paper, Scissor, Patterns, Pins, Threads...

Hello. My name is Marlo and I am addicted to fabric. Yes, I sew and quilt. Some. But, mostly I collect fabric. I grew up in a household with a mom that sewed all the time. A lot of my clothes were sewn, too. We were yelled at for stepping on quilts. I totally understood why after I made my first one. I spent may afternoon trips to Hancocks (when it was on Barrow), Clothworld and even the fabric store at the mall. Yes, boys and girls, the Mall of Abilene had a fabric store. It was high end, dressy stuff. So, we only actually shopped there for special occasions. We went to Alton’s on occasion, too. This was when it was on South 8th across the street from where I work now. (Currently, it is a fenced in yeard for a pool company. Also, another note of interest, our local Synagogue is on the other side of the lot. Most people do not realize we even have one. I was lucky enough to attend a service where to Torrah was brought out and the children danced down the aisle. As a Southern Baptist girl, I found this to be very unfair. But, I digress.) 

When other kids in elementary school were complaining that they were never going to have to add fractions, I just sat there and shook my head.  I had do fractions every time we shopped for a pattern. (Well, that and when we baked.) It's probably part of the reason I did well with fractions. Yes, I can sew. I have done crafty sewing, apparel sewing, quilting, and home decor sewing. I even sewed a formal, once. Never again. Satin and I do NOT get along. At all. I have boxes, baskets, drawers and crates of fabric. I hardly touch them anymore. I blame a lot of that on the house being a disaster. I am not even sure I can get to my machine right now. 

I even spent four years or so working at the local Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts. I miss the fabrics, notions and patterns. I also missed getting to help people choose patterns and fabrics for their designs. It's now like have a huge database of knowledge. But, I have enough basics that I pretty well know what I am talking about. I know when I am NOT doing something right. And, I know when I really need to. I know that when choosing a thread to match you need to go darker rather than light. There are some things I know because I was taught by my mother. There are some things I learned from working at the fabric store. And, there some things I have learned from my own experiences. I also learned from my theater experiences. 

I know that you get what you pay for when you pay for fabric. Yes, you can buy 100% cotton at the same place you buy groceries for $2.00 a yard. But, you get it will most likely not wash well. That or it will shrink or fade. Yes, the decent stuff is $6.00 and up a yard. The good stuff is far more. But, if this is a quilt that you want to keep for years, or a piece of clothing that will be worn over and over again, you will be glad you spent the extra money. So, when you see Moda or Alexander Henry prints at anything under $10.00 a yard, you will know you have quite the deal on your hands.

A few other things about fabric that some people do not know...

Always cut the selvage off! The selvages are the sides of the fabric where it is secured together. If you are making something that will NEVER be washed, you're probably ok. (tablecloths, costumes, some curtains, etc.) Otherwise, take the time to cut them off! They do not shrink. They have been heated and or glued to keep the fabric from unraveling. Besides the fact that they don't shrink, they are stiff and don't feel good.

Do not mix fabric types whenever avoidable. Most quilters will only use 100% cotton. Fabrics shrink. They all do when they are first washed. It maybe a small enough amount that you never noticed. But, not always. The more natural the fabrics, the more they will shrink. Keep in mind, good cotton will hardly shrink at all. But, different types of fabrics shrink at different rates. 

When it comes to whether to wash fabric be
fore you use it, you will get different opinions. Often from the same person. It depends of the fabric and what you are going to do with it. But, the key thing is that if you wash part of the fabric for a project first, then wash it all. There is one time I would make an exception. That would be when doing very small hand applique pieces. 

One day, I want to own my own fabric store. I have the name and theme in mind. And, even some of the advertising. There is a store in Fort Worth called Cabbage Rose Quilting. I have only been lucky enough to go once. My favorite thing about the store isn't the fantastic fabrics, great notions or delightful patterns. It isn't even the inviting, warm decor. It comes down to their employees. When you come into a store that sells quilt fabric, you expect a bunch of older ladies ranging from stuffy to old hippies. They have them there. But, they have all sorts of people working there. The day we went, it was all women. But, they were all sorts of ages, personalities and styles. I loved it! The girl that was our cashier was covered in tattoos. That would be hard to find here. I want to make it happen. I want a fabric store to make it happen! And, one day it will.

Oh! And, one more thing. NEVER, EVER under the threat of removal of your limbs with a pair of rusty pinking sheers should you use a person's fabric only scissors on anything but fabric. It will not end well. You have been warned.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Some Days Are Heavier Than Others

Some days are what I call "Sarah Heavy." Days like today. EVERYTIME I open listen to what is playing it reminds me of her. ("Sing" by My Chemical Romance) The CMA awards are wrapping up with her favorite country song. We played Old Crow Medicine Show's version (the original) of "Wagon Wheel." And,  I saw watching all day. The Transam we parked across from, the lady bug ornament, the anchor ornament. I had been considering doing a photographic biography of sorts soon. I am taking all of these things as sign that today is the day to do it. It is more for me than anyone else. But, sharing her memory eases my pain a little.

This was the last picture that I took of Sarah. 
She made it her profile picture on her Facebook page. It's still there.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's New Comic Book Day!!!!

     Wednesdays from here on out I will be introducing a not-so well known comic book characters!! Normally, I will do one character a week. But, today we are going to do three!! Nightcrawler from Marvel, Huntress from DC and Lady Mechanika by Aspen MLT. 

     I chose Nightcrawler first because he is my husband's very favorite character. That makes this a great opportunity to get his to guest blog!

    His real name being Kurt Wagner, son of Mystique and Azazel (later revealed to be Marvel’s version of the devil). During his birth, Mystique accidentally revealed her true form to the local towns folk who thus branded them as monsters and ran them out of town. During their escape, Mystique passed out and baby Kurt was left to float down the river later to be found by his foster mother, a gypsy fortune teller working for a circus troop.
    Kurt grew up living the circus performer life, becoming the star attraction as a freak and well renouned acrobat. As he grew older, the ringmaster of the circus decided to sell Kurt mainly due to a dropping of attendance. Kurt was no longer the draw he was before. It was also during this time that we start to see a correlation between Kurt’s proximity to magic and a loss of sanity. Several times during his timeline, this correlation is further defined.
    Before Kurt could be sold to another circus, he was helped to escape to live as a free man. in his escape, a torch was accidentally knocked over and the circus burned to the ground. Kurt being the sole blame for the fire, he is once again chased by an angry mob and learns of his power of teleportation. He finds himself seeking sanctuary in a catholic church where the resident priest thus taught him to embrace his humanity. The mob which had chased Kurt from the circus tracks him down at the church where it too is subsequently burned down in the scuffle. Before the mob could kill Kurt and the priest, Charles Xavier steps in and and helps them escape their pursuers by convincing them that they both died in the fire. 
    Years after his assumed death, Kurt finds himself yet again with the same circus that he had once fled from. By this time, it had been bought by a Texas millionaire and he then insisted that Kurt be part of the freak show. Appalled at this, Kurt then quit the circus and left for Germany to reunite with his foster brother. He then finds out that this same foster brother had gone mad and had started killing local children. Kurt fought with his adopted sibling in order to stop his rampage, but in the ensuing battle he broke his brother’s neck. The local townsfolk thus blamed Kurt for the killings, and he once again finds himself fleeing from an angry mob due to his being seen as a demon.
    Charles Xavier once again helps Kurt escape his pursuers and is thus recruited as a member of the X-Men. Before heading back to America, Kurt wanted to explain to his adopted sister the reason for her brother’s death to which she still blamed him for. During his stint with the X-Men, he befriended Wolverine and Colossus who in turn helped Kurt become less self conscious and the need to hide his true appearance from the world. It was also during this time that he also helped form the british-based, mutant group Excalibur.
    He took leave of the team several times in a failed attempt to enter the priesthood as well as to mourn for Colossus. Also, in an attempt to reconcile with the people of his hometown in Germany who dedicated a museum in his honor, was tossed into a battle with a mutated teenager who had been cursed by a gypsy. Reliving his mistreatment at the hands of the locals during the tracking and ensuing and battle, Nightcrawler helped defend the teen from the mob. Unable to save the boy from his fate, Kurt returned back to America and the X-Men where he later sacrificed himself to save Scott and Jean Summer’s daughter Hope.
    Devastated by Kurt’s death, Wolverine and the X-Men, cremated his body and with a eulogy held in the mutant stronghold of Utopia. Nightcrawler’s spirit later makes a return inside the mind of Wolverine, helping to restore Logan’s mind and body from hell.

So some of you have seen the Huntress on Arrow. But, that version is a deviation from the original story in the comics. And, if we know anything about comic books it's that they change story lines. It is one of my favorite things about them. A lot. Barbara Gordon went from being shot and paralyzed in a wheel chair while we endure Cassandra and Stephanie Brown at Batgirl and then Poof! Just kidding she recovered with the new 52 line.  
Originally, Helena Wayne was the daughter of Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman and Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman. In some of the story lines she carries over her mothers meta-human gene (think the mutants in X-Men.) I am not sure if it is on Netflix. But, we bought it on DVD. I loved it. She exists as Helena Wayne on Earth Two. Yes, in the DC Universe, there are more than one Earth. They guys at DC find ways to make things work they want to. Marvel people don't really like that. Arrow follows Huntress as Helena Betinelli. She is the daughter of a the murdered mob family. 
In both worlds, she is a complete bad ass. She drives a motorcycle, excels in hand to hand combat and has never met a weapon she didn't excel in. Her weapon of choice is a hand held crossbow. If you took the Punisher and crossed him Elektra you pretty much have Huntress She has no qualms about killing people when it needs to be done. This is a continuing problem between she and Batman.
 There is a fun television series that came out for one short season called Birds of Prey. It is based on a group of characters that the Huntress works within. There are several different variations on the group. She was even Robin at one time!

In general, when a comic book is made by a publisher that is not DC or Marvel, it is considered to be an Independent. And, there are a lot of them out there. Aspen is one of my favorites. The do a lot of Steampunk books. If you don't know what Steampunk is, take a moment and follow this link. No, it's OK. really. We'll wait. Steampunk. They even do some issues that are just pin-ups.

My favorite title is Lady Mechanika. OK, before you consider hopping over to your local comic book store, you might want to bring plenty of cash and a box of cupcakes. There were only a handful of issues written. And, they aren't easy to get your hands on. We are still waiting on issue 4. The artist had medical issues that has prevented any further issues from being released. (I was lucky enough to get a copy of a limited edition Emerald City Comic Con cover autographed by the author and the artist for Valentine's Day last year.) Our main character was found with mechanical prosthesis in place of her missing limbs. Picture a Victorian,  Android Catwoman. She is in search of the person that did this to her. She does not know whether she was saved or used. But, either way, she is searching for answers. She is also well known in the world she lives in. There is a young girl that she meets that is insistent that she is not the real Lady M. Anyone that enjoys the world Victorian world of Steampunk will enjoy this title. If you don't believe me, as Moore Organized Mayhem. She went as her for ComicCon. Check out her costume!

Yes, my husband wrote a lot more than I did. He wrote the section on Nightcrawler. He is awesome. He has his own blog that I wish he would right on more often. The Reluctant Knight Crawler It is a difference in Marvel and DC. They tend to have much more intricate back stories. But, in for someone new to comics, DC seems to be easier to follow if you don't have much back history in the characters. If you want a crash course in the DC Universe, check out "The Blackest Night" storyline. You quite literally meet every character in the series, live or dead. Next week, per my son's request we meet NIGHT WING!

Monday, November 4, 2013

There is No Right Way to Grieve

In the first 6 months or so after losing Sarah, it was really hard to accept that the rest of the world did not have Sarah’s death on their mind 24/7. Even with strangers it was hard to wrap my brain around the fact that they were not aware that I was grieving. I mean, I knew they had absolutely no idea that my heart was crushed and that when they would ask, “How are you today?” that I wasn’t going to answer. OK, to be honest, sometimes I did. It always cut the conversation very short. But, I always got mad. Every time. I would always feel guilty for the anger. But, part of the anger stemmed from realizing how much of what we say to each other as a society is out of habit. When we ask some a person how they are doing, do we really want to know?

It takes time to be able to put it into perspective that our grief lingers while the rest of the world goes on. And, it is hard. When grief is personal, it lingers much longer. It also makes it harder to grieve for others. Especially when it is a child. It is more of a "not again" feeling. Your own memories start flooding back. And, then there is a certain amount of guilt for not putting the other person first. This is my experience. And, everyone grieves differently

I ran into a friend that I had not seen in about four years. Her daughter and Sarah were friends for a while. The conversation was going great until she asked the dreaded question "How are the kids?" I have not had to tell anyone that knew Sarah previously about her passing in a very long time. It doesn't get any easier. And, it isn't that it is hard to talk about. It is just very awkward. It is never easy telling a person that someone is dead. Especially when they knew them. 

In short, this grieving thing doesn't get easier. You get adapt to it and you move on. Be gentle and kind to those who are grieving. There isn't a timeline to follow. There is not a proper way to grieve. Grieving is selfish. But, you have to do it. You can not just keep taking care of others and not take care of yourself. It will come back to hurt you. You are expected to be selfish. And, part of being selfish is letting people take care of you. There are going to be people that want to help. And, letting them do things for you helps them, too. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dia de los Muertos

We celebrated Dia de los Muertos, yesterday. I have a special fondness for the holiday because there is also an emphasis on it being a joyful celebration. I had a very long, emotional day. Which left me feeling pretty rough today. But, I wanted to post quickly about out celebration. We played Paramore, Black Veil Brides and All Time Low while we worked.

Ty stopped by to visit his great-grandparents while we were at the cemetery.

My husband and son cleaning out weeds.

We try to keep sidewalk chalk on her headstone and in the car so that we can leave her messages.

We left her sugar skull cookies, diet coke, Bob's candy canes, pop rocks and tic-tacs.

In case you are wondering what the day is about, here is a link with more information.