Shimmer.

They are too rowdy to be inside. They slam the door despite my repeated scoldings against it. They are full of facts and attitudes, laughter and groans, restlessness and energy. And even though I cannot help but roll my eyes and shake my head sometimes, my heart fairly explodes with love when they share a secret to keep from me, a boyish rough-and-tumble, a silly made-up game.

It’s the beginning of summer — when my oldest allows her younger sister to become her closest confident and chosen playmate for a time. The oldest will be eleven at the end of summer. These summers of play are limited, I know. And they are so beautiful in the backyard, screeching, laughing, filling up their clothes with grass stains. Their hair streaks in the sunlight and I am reminded of one of my favorite lines from Walt Witman:

“You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light, and of every moment of your life.” 

One more summer of careless childhood abandon for the older, and full on glorious golden-day summer for the younger who is finally a “big kid” at seven years old. I want to be greedy. I want these days to never end, even though both will be in here soon bickering about nothing and claiming they can’t find anything to eat in a fully stocked fridge.

And now I am filled with an urgency to get outside. To leave the laundry and the dishes and the overflowing-with-Tupperware cupboard. Because my daughters, they are in the backyard. And they are shimmering. They are shining.

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Poison Ivy & Monty Python and the Holy Grail: an allegory

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This is what I presented to my doctor this afternoon. This is after the standard six-day course of prednisone. Yeah, that rash basically looked that steriod directly in the face, said insulting things about its mother, and then farted in its general direction. And the medication basically retreated all King Arthur ala Monty Python-like, leaving the rash the battlefield to do as it pleased to my body.

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Miserable coward.

So, I went to the doctor and she gave me something a bit more formidable. Something bigger and a lot less wussy, something more along the lines of Tim the Enchanter.

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Hells, YEAH! Now we’re talkin!

So, instead of a measly 84 mg of prednisone over six days, now I get 510 mg over 14 days. And a side of hydroxyzine to help with the itching. I like to think of it as the Killer Rabbit at the Cave of Caerbannog, keeping the rash huddled in fear lest it think about advancing any further across my body.

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This bunny will straight-up rip out your jugular.

As if Tim and the Killer Rabbit weren’t enough, my doctor complimented my sandals. She’s a good doctor.

I can see that my association with Tim and the Rabbit over the next two weeks is going to be interesting. Tim can cause insomnia while the Rabbit may induce drowsiness. So far I feel completely wired. Honestly, if I could go out and run a 5k, then fight the Black Knight, then organize all my closets tonight, I would.

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I noticed even with the wimpy King Aurthur dose, that I wanted to eat everything. Or maybe it was just something. Something that I couldn’t exactly put my finger on, dammit. Well, the craving is back with a vengeance, and we are talking a powerful ambiguous craving that not even Taco Bell could satisfy. Tonight I am dying for a chocolate chip cookie, which I don’t have in the house right now. So I satisfied my sweet tooth by drinking two cups of sweet, warm tea and eating cool whip straight from the bowl. I may need some kind of intervention by the end of the week if I don’t find a way to satisfy this craving.

Tim can make people puffy, and I feel it in my elbows and knees. He can also cause acne. As if my skin needed any more attacks. Why don’t you just catapult a cow at me while you’re at it.

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Whose side are you on anyway, Tim?

After just the first day with the higher dosage and anti-itch medication, I’m feeling better. At least, I’m not itching as much. Tomorrow morning will be interesting, since I usually have several patches of “new” rash when I wake up.

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The doctor says it may take a month before it all clears up. I guess I can wait.

Until then, gang, stay cool and watch funny movies!

Do you hear that?

That sound?  The sound of crickets and cicadas and dogs barking and sprinklers watering and distant thunder rolling and baseball lights humming and lawnmowers buzzing and screen doors banging and ice cream trucks jingling?

That’s the sound of the last exam grade being tallied and recorded. The sound of me NOT carrying home a 10+ pound bag of work to do. The sound of being able to read a book–whenever I want to–JUST FOR FUN. The sound of my recliner kicking back and my ipod on Genius shuffle. The sound of my colored pencils gliding across the pages of my sketchbook journal. The sound of me strolling outside in the early morning, coffee mug in hand, watering my flowers. The sound of me sitting on my front porch in the early evening, sangria in hand, to watch the neighborhood and the fireflies. The sound of my laugher rising easier. The sound of my voice being more patient with my kids. The sound of me happily doing laundry, loading dishes, sweeping the floors, because I have TIME to do it. The sound of me pecking away at my keyboard trying to write something good. The sound of my camera lense snapping as I try to capture the divine in the every day. The sound of me cooking dinner for my family. The sound of my sweet husband getting to do less because I’m around to do more. The sound of me playing with the kids, becoming part of their little games and being privvy to their big secrets. The sound of me being closer to what I want to be–for myself and for them.

It’s the sound of me getting back to center rather than running around in circles.

Wha-huh?

So, how does a delinquent blogger make up for six weeks of silence? Mostly nothing much has happened, but a few big things have happened… so how about a pictoral retrospective of the past six weeks with a promise to fill in the gaps eventually?

We celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.

Which made us feel pretty much like this.

Scoff if you wish, but I totally saw zombies hitching a ride on a trailer on the way home from work one Friday afternoon. Behold, zombie legs:

Despite the fact that it rained a lot, the sun and clouds played quite nicely together for a few days.

We had a nice, low-key Easter Sunday.

We found a new home for Tula. Long story. Details later.

Which brings us up to Mother’s Day. Grandma Wanda is the coolest. Don’t let her age fool you one bit.

I’ll try not to be gone so long this time.

What was that I said about “unpleasant and unforseen circumstances”?

Yowser. Not 48 hours after I hit the publish button on that last post, wherein I mentioned things looking slightly up financially, my dog went and ate something inedible. One surgery and $3,000 later I am trying to remind myself that God knew about this and the money will be there. I’m grateful that this particular animal hospital will let people pay off their bill, interest free, as long as it is paid off within 12 months. We certainly had other plans for that three grand that we don’t actually have right now. And this is exactly the kind of “unpleasant and unforseen circumstances” I was hoping to avoid. But the upside? Now I know how much I really, really love her. She’s going to be just fine…. Dumb dog.

December Views-Day 27: Who wouldn’t wanna?

Well, it is T-minus 1 hour and 46 minutes until 2011, and my kids are running around here like wild banshees, complete with blood-curdling screaming and inexplicable behavior. I, on the other hand, am trying like mad to finish up loose ends and unfinished business for 2010 and I’m not even gonna lie: It SU-UUU-UCKS. Remind me not to do this again next year, okay?

What I definitely do plan to do next year is December Views. I hope y’all enjoyed my little photo catalogue this month.

Sorry I’m not ending on a more cheerful note… but I’m just being honest. Historically, December through February has been a rough time for me, and this year is shaping up to be no exception. My goal this year is to make some much needed changes so that I can enjoy these people more…

…because honestly? I don’t wanna be the kind of mom that sits at my desk and sighs in frustration anymore. I don’t wanna put myself in a situation where I can’t enjoy this to the absolute fullest.

Here is hoping that 2011 brings you fulfillment beyond measure, peace that passes all understanding, and love that overflows your cup. That’s what I’m praying for. Happy New Year, my friends.