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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Priscilla's Pick!!






Apparently Priscilla knows me even better than my husband. Well done!!

I chose the first one. It wasn't within budget, but we managed to get them down to $150, from $178. The man said my mom bargained like an easterner. We're not sure what that means, but he definately pegged her as an original Ontario resident. One of my highly pretentious reasons was it didn't look like a dresser. I have huge objections to conformity and always like to have something 'different'. I'm very annoying to live with. It's an obnoxious trait.

Aside from the fact it's unique, it is very thin. The less intrusive into our oddly shaped room the better! Plus it's extremely simple. I wanted something that wouldn't over power the verticle lines of the beadboarding. I still need to paint it, and I may change the green glass knobs. With only four knobs, I can afford to be a bit extravagant if I choose. I do like the green glass though. It actually holds decent storage and it reminds me of the toy cabinet in Mary Poppins. Sigh... I'd trade a kidney to be Mary Poppins. She was a diva.

Also featured above are my highchair and craft table for the wee one. Shopping in my parents basement is the true defintion of a bargain basement. The highchair was built by my grandfather for my mother 60 years ago! I mean forty years ago, wink, wink. Still it's in great condition. My brother and I both used it when we were young, as did my niece. My parents are sanding it down and painting it white, and I am so excited! We have a Vancouver sized apartment, so everything in it really needs to blend in. My mom's making a cushion as well so he's cozy as can be in there!

The table was a great find at a school fair a few years for $4. Some paint and a few decals and my mom had it looking fantastic! I'm going to replace the decals, but I think our bambino will enjoy lots of craft time at it! I love cheap finds. I live for them!!

So there you have my Island treasures. I can't wait for them to start filling up the nursery! The fact our baby room will one day actually have a baby in it is truly incredible to me. Until then, preparing for them is quite the treat!

Jessaxx

Mama Mia





I'm currently visiting my mother, after being coerced into heading to Victoria for some good shopping. I must be easy to convince because as one of my cousins pointed out,what does Victoria have that Vancouver doesn't? Smart cookie that girl. In terms of shoppping, not much. As my mother pointed out though, shopping with her gaurantees free delivery. Score one for team Mom!

I'm over here searching high and low for a dresser for the baby room. There are a couple things needed to qualify the dresser. One, it needed to have a price tag of $150. Two, it needed to either be white, or made of material that can be painted white. Three, it needed to be small enough to fit in the room. Our nursery is VERY tiny. Four, isn't really a four. It's just a note that like the rest of our baby room it needed to have a vintage feel, with clean lines.

So did I find my dream dresser? Of course I did!! It's one of the above. Since I'm away this week and not doing my usual blogging,I thought I'd play a little game of guess the purchase! This is strictly for my own amusement. I tried to get Doug to play yesterday,but he said the phone was dying. An unlikely story, but it still got him off the hook. Can you guess the dresser? It's not much fun if no one plays. I'm head over heals in love with it! All of the above were great contenders, but one stole my heart. So excited!! Now to bribe my delivery service into bringing it over sometime soon!!

Have a wonderful week!!!xx

Friday, April 23, 2010

What we believe, But can not prove


As I end school for the summer, I've been thinking about one of my favourite classes. In political philosophy we were given a book called 'What We Believe But Can Not Prove'. It is a series of essays by some of the most brilliant scientific thinkers on faith and scientific theory. They range from topics of consciousness, language, evolutionary purpose, life in outer space, and the existence of faith itself. This has me reflecting on what I believe but can not prove.

I believe in God. I know that sounds rather cliche but I do. I don't believe the world is unfolding according to their plan, but I do believe there is a higher power. I don't believe this being is one great entity that looks over each of us. I think they gave us a part of them in the hopes we would look after each other. I don't believe they are male, or female. I don't believe they feel hate, jealousy, or rage. I believe we hinder them with the human attributes we are determined to give them. Perhaps this makes them more relatable, but it also makes them flawed. I don't believe they possess human qualities, beyond the core of goodness. I believe the goodness we have, and the goodness in all beings is the gift they have given us. The part of themselves we have access to. I believe the prideful, boastful, judging entity we often turn to does not exist. Too often, we want them on our side, so we create something that thinks like us. I also think they are blamed out of convenience. If everything is according to God's plan, then God is capable of great tragedy. I think our human frailties make us susceptible to look towards them for answers to choices and actions made out of the selfishness of humans. I believe God lives within each of us, and I believe that part of us the holds each others hand, laughs in each others joy, and cries with each others grief is God. I believe God gave us everything we need. We weren't kicked out of paradise, we were given the tools to make our own.

It's not the most terribly profound belief but it is mine. I loved the book and the concept, and would recommend it to anyone. They are easy one to two page reads, and each is as thought provoking as the next. What do you believe but can not prove?

Have a lovely weekend, and enjoy the crisp spring air!!

J xx

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our Voices


"You're flat"
"You're fat"
"You're not wearing that are you?"
Many women's voices. All friends.

Standing in the grocery line people buy Us Weekly, Cosmo, and Elle. Mainly women.
We pay money to read how we don't measure up, and to watch the destruction of others with excited eyes.
We go home with our bruised egos, and battered self esteem, and call Britney a whore.
We watch public relationships end and pick a side. One the saint, the other sinner.
We cringe at the thought of someone calling our mother, sister, daughter, a slut.
Then we turn around and call someone else's mother. sister, daughter, a slut.
Day after day, we carry brick after brick, to help build the walls that imprison us.

Susan B Anthony, Rosemary Brown, and Elizabeth Mac Cullum all shake their heads in sorrow.
While Hilary Clinton picks up a sledge hammer, and becomes more than just Bill's wife.

We are the change that can save us.
We are the sun.
We are the light.
We hold the power to end our cold, dark imprisonment.

I'm constantly in awe of how as women, we've long lost the ways of sisterhood. We have an incredible amount of freedom in this country to vote, to study, to enter politics. We have rights most women can only dream of. Still though, we're distracted by a powerful media determined to keep us stupid, shallow, and vicious towards one another. Imagine what we all could accomplish if we stood beside, and not opposing one another.

J xx

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Triple A : Anya, Addiction, & Anthropologie















Until recently I was unaware of an amazing store called Anthropologie. My cousin Anya introduced it to me, making her solely responsible for my new obsession. I could spend hours gazing at the designs, dresses, blouses, and dishes. Unfortunately, I'm cheap. Very, very cheap. So this doesn't exactly thrill my pink polka dotted piggy bank, but none the less I'm in love. I do believe in fantasy shopping sprees, so if I won $1000 gift certificate (or someone anonymously sent one to me in the mail -ahem), these would be my purchases! And by $1.000, I really mean $2,000. My general rule of spending is always round down. So if you spend $1,999, it really only counts as $1,000. It doesn't have to make sense, the important thing is you believe in it. J
xx

images from http://www.anthropologie.com/

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

When you no longer sleep together...


I'm in a rather unfortunate situation as of late. We've been here before, but never quite like this. This time, my bed and I may stop seeing each other once and for all. Thus ends a golden era of sleep, drool, and eye crusties.

I'm what is termed a "chronic insomniac". It hit an all time low a few years ago, when I actually considered smothering my dear husband with a pillow, just so I would't have to endure his happy blissful dreaming face while I went on weeks of only a few hours per night. Lucky for both of us, my sleep pattern improved. I look horrible in orange jumpsuits, so spending twenty-five years in one doesn't exactly float my boat.

I survive easily on 5-7 hours a night. I'm one of those people. Fairly energetic in spite of the odds. The last couple weeks though my bed and I have been going through a trial separation. The couch isn't all that into me either. I'm obviously losing my relationship skills.

So it's back to basics for me. Pulling out all my insomniac wisdom I've acquired over the years, and sharing them with you.

Tips & Tricks

1. Yoga & meditation. If any of you are like me you think way too much. My mind rarely vacations, and there is always something to worry about/clean/organize/clean/design/clean.Yoga and meditation are incredible tools for quieting the mind and relaxing the body. We've been off yoga for three weeks now, waiting for our new class to begin which I think has hindered me greatly.

2. Routine. I love routines!! I love systematic tendencies. Mr.Rogers with his colourful cardigans in his front hall closet gives me a thrill. So a bed time routine is right up my alley. Same time every night whatever you think will be relaxing. I have a bath, read, and then bed.

3. Only use your bed for sleep! Well, maybe for one other thing as well. But don't read in bed. Your body will hopefully learn to associate it with rest time only.

4. Get up! This one was a tough one. A sleep therapist once told me to start my day when I woke up. Even if it was only a few hours after I went to sleep. He said to get out of bed, and get ready for my day. Lying in it, stressing about how tired you are will waste even more energy for the day ahead. I found this most helpful... Many times in fact I'll get up and start my day at 3am, and because I'm not stressed I can fall asleep again an hour or two later.

5.No caffeine! I know, brutal, but it messes with your hormones and sleep transmitters. That's a little bit of technical speak for ya.

6.Shut down your home. Start turning off or down lights an hour before bed. Turn off tv's, computers, and the radio. Unless you have really relaxing music I recommend silence. I try and light candles around our house, so it's nice and dark and my body recognizes it's time to shut down as well.

7. Drink enough water during the day so you're not parched at night. There's nothing worse than waking up to pee, and not being able to sleep again. We have a dimmer in our washroom, so I'm not completely jarred awake by brightness.

8. This one is fairly tailored to myself. I really need a clean organized home to function. Fortunately, my home is usually both these things. I can't sleep in a mess, or clutter. I think having a clean home is paramount to good health. Our home is very minimal, and I think it's a much more relaxing place because of that.

9. Exercise! This is so important! My usual schedule is yoga three times a week for an hour to an hour and a half. Alternate days I do cardio three times a week 45min-an hour and half. It makes my whole body sigh.

Those are the tops tips I have. I'm looking into a dawn stimulator in place of our alarm, and I'm hoping that will improve my sleep as well. I'll let you know how it works!! Also, I go to sleep with a face mask. I wake up without one, but falling asleep is so much better in the pitch black.

I hope this helps any insomniacs out there. I need to crank up my sleep dedication as well, so it's nice to remind myself of all the things I've done in the past that have greatly assisted me. Sweet dreams little lambs, J xx


image from www.crayoncastles.com/.../ Counting_Sheep.jpg

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sister Act: Adoption




Today is my dear sister's birthday. She is the apple of my eye, and the spring in my step. Our story is not the typical story of growing up together, pulling each other's hair, and trading off boyfriends. Ours is a story of separation, and reunion. It is filled with the immense joy of meeting long lost family, and the deep sadness of rectifying years apart. It's complexities are intense. Ultimately though, it's a love story.

I was adopted as an infant. I knew very little of my birth mother growing up, and nothing of my birthfather. I suspected my birth mom was Madonna for some time. How else could I explain our similar god awful fashion sense? I requested non-identifying information through the ministry as a teen, and received a letter saying there wasn't any. I then requested a proper search when I was 18, and 11 years later they responded to my request. I received a phone call with the news, there was no news. In fact the search department was being discontinued so it was more of a courtesy call than anything else. I was devastated.

Years earlier I had also registered on www.canadianadopteesregistry.org/. I always knew my birth mom's last name, due to my Mom "accidentally" seeing it on the forms. I registered my birth date, and birth family last name, and as the years passed I forgot about the website completely.

In September 2007, I received a message that the canadian adoptee registry was trying to contact me. I couldn't even remember who they were, and I assumed it was to simply update my information. I returned their call, hopeful none the less. I asked if they could leave me a message stating what this was about, as my curiosity was getting the better of me.I checked my messages at school later that day, and Alice told me I had a sister who was looking for me. I dropped the phone. Tears were spilling down my cheeks and I had goosebumps from head to toe. I had a sister. Oh my god, I had a sister. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. It was the most shocking, beautiful moment of my life. I tried to phone Doug, but had no luck. I went to the bookstore, asked for all the quarters they had, and promptly phoned my mom. I don't recall a single thing I said. It was like my world was upside down, and spinning, and everywhere I looked things suddenly sparkled.

I went to class, told everyone who looked at me I had a sister, and then left early. I phoned Alice, and Cheryl and I set up a time to talk the next day. I couldn't wait however, so I e-mailed her that afternoon. We exchanged photo's and I'll never forget how stunning she was. When we spoke that night we were both nervous. What I remember most though was how easy the conversation flowed. There wasn't the awkward lulls I had worried about, and I felt very at ease with her. We talked for hours during the months that followed, and I discovered not only a sister, but a best friend.

We met in Jan of 2008, and it seemed incredible that she was very much this living, breathing, part of me. I fell in love with her and her daughters, and I can't even imagine sitting here today not having them in my life. Two and a half years later I still adore saying "my sister". The relationship between us is one I treasure most dearly. While there's no escaping the grief that comes from years apart, the years ahead of us are filled with love and celebration. I've always resented the line "You complete me", but in many ways she has completed me. It's as though someone said "here's that arm you were missing", and suddenly it's so glaringly obvious that of course, my arms been missing all this time! I'm very lucky, and if I could have designed my perfect sister, I can't imagine she'd be any different than Cheryl. Ok, that's a lie. If I could change a couple things she would also live in Vancouver, and be wealthy enough to buy me a small island. So if you could work on that my dear, that would be fantastic! No pressure though, just a small tropical island off the Caymans with a personal chef and cabana boy.

The best way to truly describe how close I feel to my sister, is a phone call I made last summer. After our adoption agency's bankruptcy I was destroyed. My mom being the angel she is came over right away and spent the following few days with me while Doug was at work. I was a mess. I recall very little except I bought a lot of shoes. When my mom left to catch the ferry on her last day, there was a half hour I was alone between her leaving and Doug arriving. Suddenly my home was deafeningly quiet, and my body hurt in ways I didn't know possible. It was excruciating. I couldn't stand it. I literally couldn't stand sitting with that much pain. The first person I thought to phone was Cheryl. She answered and I cried, and screamed. I don't recall a single thing I said or she said, other than she stayed on the phone with me until Doug came through the door. It's all rather foggy, but in the moment where all I was running on was pure survival instincts, my life line reached for her. It's a bond I am truly thankful for.

So, Happy Birthday to my extraordinary sister! I couldn't be more proud of you than I am, or more grateful to spend the rest of my life by your side. One day we'll be living together in an old age home, regressing back to childlike behaviours, pulling each others hair, and winking at the same toothless, bald old men playing canasta. Until then I hope you know no matter how many miles between us, my heart is always with you. I love you to the moon and back, Love, Your big sis xx

Updated:

As I was thinking of my sister this morning, I revisited the website she found me on. It stated Alice, the woman who ran the website and who handled our reunion passed away earlier this year. I'm rather emotional as I write this, and wish to remind everyone there truly are angels in this world. Thank you so much Alice. What you did for us and thousands of others is nothing short of a miracle. You changed my life. Heaven must be filled with joy to have another angel.

photo by Karen Lambrick Photography

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Painting Love Built







So maybe we aren't the next Claude Monet, although I'm not ready to concede defeat quite yet. We could always improve. Over time. With a lot of professional help. Alright, we're awful. Do we at least get points for effort?

So for Easter/The D man's birthday we hit up Raw Canvas, a fabulous Vancouver Restaurant where you eat a delicious meal, throw on a painting smock and create to your little hearts content. Here is the result of our combined creative efforts. This is what it would look like if our love vomited all over a canvas. I know, it's breathtaking.

I think sometimes we stop allowing ourselves creative freedom once we enter adulthood. I loved throwing paint on the canvas, and I'm actually kinda proud of the mess that is our art work. One of my favourite things to do when I was a child was put obscene amounts of paint on a piece of paper,fold it in two, and smush it around. I loved the chaos of it all. I loved the rainbow coloured blotches that emerged. To my five year old eyes, I had created a true masterpiece.

This weekend I encourage all of you to partake in some creative venture that brings back those feelings of abandonment. Go to the park, swing, run around, make some play-dough! Don't eat the play-dough though, no matter how yummy it smells. It's really high in sodium and my doctor has assured me it's not healthy. Health advisory aside, embrace your youthful spirit! Take your inner child out for a rootbeer float! I remember being young and thinking how amazing it would be to one day explore my independence and do whatever I wanted. I find I don't exercise this freedom as much as I'd like. So lets all raise a Shirley Temple to freedom!! Maybe later we'll play some hopscotch.

Happy Friday My Rays Of Sunshine!! xx

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Infertility 101- Ch.5 Sure, I'm exactly like Angelina Jolie



Angelina Jolie and I have a lot in common. I suppose that's just stating the obvious. I remember when I was nominated sexiest woman in the world... Ok, that hasn't quite happened... YET. However, I totally won the 'sexiest woman in my condo award'. 4 years in a row. Bow chicka wow wow. Generally when folks find out we're adopting from Ethiopia they say " You're just like Angelina Jolie!" This usually causes me to flip my hair, lick my lips and respond, "Yes. Yes I am". It's a very flattering comparison, however an old fashioned "Congratulations!" would be equally sufficient. We both have long brown hair, tattoos, and incredible sex appeal (yes I see you all giving me the side eye), but I wouldn't say adopting from the same country cements our likeness. I realize adoption is a rather foreign concept to many, but sometimes I long for the normalcy of pregnancy talk.

There's this notion that adopting internationally is trendy because a few celebrities have done so. However, far more celebrities have had biological children, and no one responds to pregnant women with "You're just like Reese Witherspoon!" For some reason adoption seems to invite responses that sound unnatural, at least to me.

I often get questions about why we chose Ethiopia. Why not domestic? Why not China? Why not a surrogate? The thing about adoption is, there is no easy way. Domestic can take years and have numerous complications as can International. All of the "solutions" have their obstacles. More importantly, it's none of your business. It's true, I just told you to mind your own bees wax. I used to be really open about why we chose Ethiopia. We started with Liberia and the program was shut down, so we transferred to Ethiopia. I felt that was where our child was. It's a rather simple explanation, and I'm not sure it satisfies anyone's curiosity. The things is, where we choose to adopt from is no one's business. While we're on it, how much our adoption costs is no ones business. It's between us and our friendly neighbourhood loan sharks. If I wanted you to know I probably would have told you already.

It took our agencies bankruptcy for me to really find my voice on the subject. It wasn't until I saw the media responses about Imagine all over the news, that I became furious with the intrusions. Devastated by the attacks on the International Adoption community, and the amount of sheer hate directed at us. I think realizing that people literally hate you, or worse wish you dead for choosing to create your family this way, alters you. When you are in extraordinary amounts of emotional pain and complete strangers believe you deserve it, I think there's a toughness that emerges. I feel less obligated to politely answer probing questions unless someone is interested in adopting. Otherwise, why would you care how much we've spent?

The other question I receive a lot is "Why?" In all fairness it's usually preceded by "If it's not too personal can I ask?" Again, I've tried to be very diplomatic in my answers. I do wonder though if diplomacy is the way to go. How could that not be a personal question? No matter what your reasons are for adopting aren't they always personal? No one asks pregnant women "Why?" So maybe adoptive parents should be exempt from this line of questioning as well. Chances are we're either infertile and we chose to, or we're not infertile and we chose to adopt. So really what you're asking is are we infertile? Which yes, is a very personal question.

In writing about our adoption, I wanted to start here. I feel it is important to state that while I'll be opening up about our journey, it's not due to any sort of obligation. I love the idea of more people understanding adoption and infertility, but that's my own comfort level. I still classify it as a deeply personal experience, and one I would encourage more people to exercise respect around. I suppose at the core of it, whether intended or not I find many questions we face disrespectful. I look forward to addressing our adoption experience in upcoming weeks. It's long overdue, and I have wanted to write about this subject, my own adoption reunion, and the bankruptcy for some time now. However, please don't take my openness to mean asking the lady next to you at the grocery store 'Why doesn't your baby look like you?", is an appropriate question. Take it from me, you'll look like a nincompoop.

Until next time my pretties! J xx

Days Of Summer









It's April 14th, 12am, and it looks like midnight outside. Alright, I'm willing to concede that may be a slight exaggeration. It's gloomy though. Very gloomy. I know Wednesday is usually my infertility blog day, but I just don't feel like it and you can't make me. I just want to relax, and lounge around attempting to enjoy some summer inside. This involves listening to the Amélie soundtrack, and drinking some homemade french lemonade.

I even found the perfect home to fantasy vacation at. I've been more and more drawn to cottage type houses. I think this is my attempt at grasping the perpetual feeling of sunshine. I'm not quite ready to plunge my condo into summer decor. I still have my bundle of wood next to the fire place, and chenille throws on the couch to bundle up in. So for now I'm going to vicariously live through others.

I was introduced to this blog through Holly at http://decor8blog.com/. This lovely home comes from http://dreamywhites.blogspot.com/. Not only is it refreshing and delicate, but Maria has five children! Her style is both creative and classic. There isn't one thing in her home I haven't fallen in love with. Did I mention she has 5 children?? Looking at this lovely home is enough to make me want to throw on my flip flops and have a picnic on my patio. It also reaffirms my belief that style can be practical, affordable, and delicious. The arrival of children doesn't mean the packing up and shipping off of all things chic and stylish, and her home is a fabulous testament to that.

Thank you Maria for allowing me post photos of your stunning beach home!

I hope these April showers are a preparing us for fragrant May flowers! Love, Jxx


French Lemonade recipe:
6 lemons
2 oranges
2 1/2 cups sparkling water
225 gram (2 1/4 cup) icing sugar

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Love: Tricks Of The Trade



Yesterday I casually mentioned to Doug an article I read about more women getting divorced due to their husband's inability to pick up after themselves. He promptly stood up and rushed over to properly close our closet door, which has been the bane of my existence for some time. I guess I should make up fake articles more often. Tonight I may invent one about women needing more back massages. Whoever said honesty was the best policy, didn't know the benefits of lying.

Marriage manipulation aside, I have been pondering marriage and divorce. Not my own mind you. My Mother has assured me divorce is not an option for us. I'm the only immediate family member never divorced, so there's a lot of pressure on me to make the family look good. When I'm the hope for my families reputation, you know there are too many nuts in our tree.

Marriage is a heck of a lot of work. Our infertility certainly didn't create a stress free environment, nor has adoption. I believe though as long as I can look at my husband every morning and know without a doubt he's my best friend, we're solid. No one makes me laugh like Doug. We have the same awful sense of humour which makes us amusing to each other, and annoying to everyone else. Fortunately, we also share a mutual disregard for the opinion of others.

Love isn't simple. Disney lied, or at the very least left out a few sequels. Love however is worth the effort. We can all choose to make our relationships or marriages pleasant or exhausting. In that, I also include our relationship with ourselves. If you've not in love with yourself, you're missing out on the most rewarding relationship of all. I take myself out on a date night every few months. The conversation is exhilarating, and I always buy myself flowers. So I dedicate today to love. To the effort of love, the joys of love, and the magic of love. J xx

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spoiled Rotten




As I peruse orphanages in Ethiopia looking for volunteer work, I am filled with intense excitement and fear. My activism has always taken place in this safe country, and generally within the walls of my peaceful condo. I've done research and proposals for the third world, but I've never gone out of my safety net to help. My extreme fear of flying has kept me grounded most of my life, therefore I've never been face to face with the intense suffering outside of Canada.

My favourite volunteer job of all time was at Carnegie Hall on the corner of Main and Hastings. East Hastings which has been referred to as "the most impoverished area in North America". I taught reading and writing skills to the homeless for a year, and I loved it. I was 19 and it was the most fulfilling thing I had ever done. However, I was also able to take the bus back home, make a milkshake, and snuggle safe into my bed. I sacrificed nothing.

I'm beginning to give myself pep talks for what will probably be the most phenomenal thing I'll ever do. A trip that will very much involve certain sacrifices, and unimaginable rewards. I've been clinging to Mother Theresa's gratitude, and wrapping myself up in Noam Chomsky's wisdom. An intellectual and a saint, who both seem to understand the gravity of our ignorance. The backlash of a life lived within the confines of shopping malls, and complacent in front of the idiot box. The consequences of being spoiled rotten.

I'm going to leave you with what I find to be a humbling reminder from Chomsky's book Imperial Ambitions. Volunteering in a third world country for a few months is far from extraordinary. The fact I'm already battling nerves, further clarifies for me how comfortable I've become in a home where I have access to everything. Understandable, yes. However, how long do we forgive our lack of proper perspective before we are inspired into transformation? I sincerely hope to emerge a better person.


Imperial Ambitions by Noam Chomsky pg. #39-40

At the talks you give to American audiences, you often are asked the question, "What should I do?"

Only by American audiences. I'm never asked this in the third world.When you go to Turkey or Colombia or Brazil, they don't ask you. "What should I do?" They tell me what they're doing.When I went to Porto Alegre, Brazil, for the World Social Forum, I met with some landless campesinos, and they didn't ask me what they should do; they told me what they are doing. These are poor, oppressed people, living under horrendous conditions, and they would never dream of asking you what they should do. It's only in highly privileged cultures like ours that people ask this question. We have every option open to us, and none of the problems that are faced by intellectuals in Turkey or campesinos in Brazil. We can do anything. But people here are trained to believe that there are easy answers, and it doesn't work that way. If you want to do something, you have to be dedicated and committed to it day after day.Educational programs, organizing, activism. That's the way things change.You want a magic key so you can go back to watching television tomorrow? It doesn't exist.



Have a wonderful Monday my friends, and remember we do have the power to change our world.

J xoxo

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Love Lucy Goes To Ethiopia!




My housewife idol is Lucille Ball, which might make some of you nervous. Especially those of you married to me. It's not just because she got drunk on vitamins, or her uncanny ability to cause her husband grief (although trust me, that helps). It's the spirit in which she embarks on disaster after disaster. Her enthusiasm for trouble is inspiring!

Today I'm having a bit of a panic attack. I am very reluctant to admit I'm terrified of being a mom. I realize this has been a six year journey, and I should have this all wrapped up, but I don't. There, my terrible secret is out. Thankfully it's the least fascinating secret I have. I'd hate to think my closet wasn't full of more juicy skeletons than that. I grew up on soaps, and believe it's important to have at least 5 blackmail worthy secrets at all times. How else are you going to get kidnapped, marry your brother-in-law, watch your husband rise from the dead at least twice, have a lucrative career that involves no work, and be possessed by a demon?? Trust me, I've done the research.

We are now #49 on the list! They are anticipating 10 referrals a month, which means we could be flying to Ethiopia in 5 months! I'm so excited I could throw up. I've also eaten two bags of gummy bears which isn't helping. Believe me, I am thrilled at the possibility. There's part of me though that's looking around at our three cats thinking creepers, we raise the oddest children. I know they're not human, but one of them obsessively cleans the litter box and thinks he's a goat. Is that a bad sign? I'm probably getting myself all worked up about nothing. After all, babies don't even use litter boxes.

I think it's more the idea of chilling out in Ethiopia for a few months with our bambino by myself. It's daunting and blissful all at once. I don't particularly like the idea of sharing him with anyone, so being a thirty hour plane ride from all the family and friends eager to get their grubby little hands on him, is very comforting. That's right, I don't want to share my baby with you. I will even go so far as admit the idea of not having to share him with Doug is oddly appealing. I will miss Doug like crazy cakes, but at the same time ... Just me and the little man? Wow! That thought alone gives me goosebumps. By tomorrow I'll be begging Doug to leave his job and come with me. Adoption mood swings can be tricky.

It's much different than I imagined my entrance into motherhood would be. I pictured more of a frazzled chaos. Phoning family to help out, possibly hiring a cleaning lady for the first month, weekly rant sessions to friends about lack of sleep and too much laundry. Eventually I'd fall into an 'I Love Lucy' pattern of living. A clean house with merry mischief making. Plus her dresses were adorable! I never really thought I'd be alone in a foreign country. It sounds more appealing though in some ways. I rarely phone people when I need help, and I'm a chronic insomniac. So alone in Ethiopia, sort of makes more sense. Besides, it's not like I can't take cute dresses with me right? It's still scary though. Lucille Ball in Ethiopia? I hope I don't get arrested.

So there you have it! Even adoptive parents have fears. At least this adoptive parent. Deep down though, I believe everything will work out perfectly. I have every confidence our children will be delightful little elves, who march to the beat of their own drum, and only require minimal therapy as adults. Which really, is the only way through life. Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I'm off to drag the small goat away from my snapdragons... I really do adore my peculiar little family.

J xx

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Anywhere But Here!











Anytime I start to feel a little bit ooogy, (that's a word right?) I play a little game called 'Anywhere But Here'. Generally this just involves some serious imagination, but I'm so ooogy I'm heading for slooogy. When you hit slooogy it requires much more effort.The above villa in Thailand is where I've chosen to vacation from reality. I'm generally not a huge fan of contemporary homes, but this villa stole my heart. It's so opulent with its divine grandeur, I just want to walk around it calling everyone 'Sweetie Dahling'. By everyone I mean the staff who dote on me, feed me, and give me endless foot massages. I also love having my hair brushed. In this world there is no husband saying "I'm too tired". Ah, sweet obedience.

I've chosen a lovely Versace dress for day, and a sweet Banana Republic dress for evening. I'm also eating a papaya salad for lunch. I've never actually had one before, but it seems appropriate. At least more appropriate than the cadbury creme egg I'm currently inhaling. It's still easter in my stomach.

So pull up a chair and play a round! Imagination is a beautiful thing. Almost as beautiful as the scantily clad man peeling grapes for me...Bliss...

Jxx

Images of villa from http://freshome.com/2010/03/24/this-might-just-be-the-best-looking-villa-in-thailand/