Nov 132009
So, the bad news is that I’ve got The Swine.

The good news is that I’ve also got a team of Superheroes that assembled overnight to serve and protect me in my time of need. Allow me to introduce you.

This is Dog and Chase, my security detail.

Their duty is to work reconnaissance on suspicious pumpkin packages while directing the neighborhood traffic away from our swiney home.

This is Tish, who is generally more comfortable on the other side of the law. Her duty is to entertain me by shaking her pirate booty and yelling “ARRR” on command.

Amma’s duty is to pummel the bounty hunter, cop, or pirate if one of them should happen to lose his or her mind and ask me for anything today. Here she is again, warning Tish…


So don’t worry about me, friends – my crew will see me through.

Have a peaceful weekend. Find some stillness and hand sanitizer.

Nov 162009

I got this thing in the mail this week, from my good friend, Kiran, over at Masala Chica.

Ever since she married Craig’s best friend John, Kiran has dedicated herself to helping my little family function more efficiently and appropriately. She is forever bringing us meals and clothes and toys and other expressions of loving concern.

Last night, Kiran dropped off some pasta sauce that John’s Italian mother made. While we were eating Chase said, “This is so good. It tastes DIFFERENT.” And Craig said “That’s because Italian people make their own sauce.” And Chase said “From what?” And Craig said “From scratch.” And Chase said “What’s scratch?” And Craig said “It’s like…ingredients. Ingredients are…things some people have in their kitchens. And they put them all together. And they stir them. And the things…they turn into other things.” Chase was quiet for a minute and then said, “So…it’s like magic? I don’t understand.” And Craig said “I know. We don’t either.” At which point I interrupted with a reminder that I had a Swiney headache and so maybe we could discuss something less confusing and stressful, like perhaps our family’s ideas for achieving peace in the Middle East.

A few months ago Kiran’s family was over at our house for dinner. I was trying not to cry because Craig had just announced that sweet jesus, the grill was broken and Kiran said “G, why don’t you use the Advantium?” and I said “Why don’t I use the Advatiwho?” And she walked me over to my microwave and showed me these special buttons and black trays which I had always thought were just really, really dirty white trays but apparently not. In my own defense, we had just recently acquired the microwave five years prior. Kiran patiently explained that my microwave was not just a microwave, it was actually an oven, too. And that I could use the special buttons and black trays to cook things. I found the whole conversation baffling, since that’s what I thought I was doing all along in my microwave… cooking things. I wondered what I had been doing to our food for the past five years if not cooking it. I also wondered why Kiran was so determined to complicate the only thing in the kitchen that made any sense. But she seemed so excited to enlighten me that I pretended to be pleased and to understand, and I even showed Craig the fancy buttons right in front of her to prove my enthusiasm.

When it seemed appropriate to move on from the topic of my magical microwave, I asked Kiran if any of my other appliances had superpowers. I was thinking that maybe my refrigerator could mop or my dishwasher came with some sort of discipline plan I could use on Tish. Kiran threw her head back and laughed in the same way people always laugh when they think I’m joking. This laugh is my cue to stop asking questions. A few years ago, in the car on the way home from a particularly embarrassing dinner party…Craig suggested that when someone I’m talking to laughs like that, it’s important that I start laughing too and pretend that I was joking all along. So I did.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

We, of course, have never spoken of or used our fancy buttons or black trays since Kiran left our house that day. There are really only two buttons I need on my microwave, actually in my entire kitchen, and they are Time Cook and Popcorn. Also, I do enjoy using the light switches. I am basically an expert at those. But I appreciate Kiran’s effort. She never gives up on me. And I also appreciate her gift. It took a few days to figure out what the gift was, but all the thinking was worth it because look how pretty it is.

Thank you, Kiran.

Kiran goes back to work today after being home on maternity leave for months. I think it’s probably a pretty tough day for her. If you get a chance, head on over to Masala Chica and leave her some love. We mommies, writers, readers, women… need to stick together.

Nov 252009

This morning I am thrilled to announce the Grand Opening of a New Monkee Sanctuary. We now have another place to play together and delouse each other and get fed.

We have just launched a Momastery Fan Page on Facebook, and you are all invited. Because the first rule of the revolution is that everyone is invited. The second rule is don’t be a jerk. I think that pretty much covers our rules.

Eventually, Craig and I plan to launch a better website where it will be easier for you to communicate with each other. But right now we are having a hard time even getting the family room vacuumed, so the new website will have to wait. In the meantime, the Momastery Facebook Fan Page is where I’m hoping you will share hope and energy with each other. I am humbled, ecstatic, and amazed by the scope and caliber of women who frequent the Momastery. You have shared your hearts with me and all of those beautiful hearts are in my pocket and they are burning a hole in there. I am just dying to share you with each other.

My vision for the Fan Page is that it will be a virtual, welcoming, cozy coffee shop for Monkees and visitors. My hope is that when you find a story, website, book, song, or idea that you think might inspire us, you will post it there. I also hope that you will post pictures of yourselves and your families so that we will all start becoming more real to each other. I hope that you will visit when you are tired or sad or hungry for something other than food. I hope that you will be honest there, and ask for help or prayers when you need them. Because my favorite thing is to pray for people, so that when their prayers are answered I can yell, “THAT WAS ME! ME, ME,ME! I MADE THAT HAPPEN! I PRAYED FOR THAT LAST TUESDAY! YOU ARE SO VERY WELCOME!” God and Craig just love it when I do that.

Anyway, my point is that I’d like the Fan Page to be a place where we lift each other up. A place where first time visitors are shocked to find a large group of women taking care of each other instead of competing with each other. Yes, please.

I am going to ask you to consider one thing when you post. Please, nothing off color. Even if it’s really, really funny. Maybe we could leave that stuff to, I don’t know, every other website. My best friend 2nd to Sister (I’ll call her Adrianne, since that’s her name) is SO rolling her eyes right now. I just want Momastery to be different. I want us to be a place where a Monkee can bring her aunt or daughter or new friend without fear. And if any post hurts your feelings, please let me know and we’ll have a look together. We will take care of each other, because we are only as strong as our most sensitive link. Here are our guidelines for posting…

“Sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – post such things.” Phillipians 4:8 (with a monkee twist)

Please stop by today and post something for which you’re thankful. Let’s throw some love and gratitude out into the universe and maybe we’ll get it back, or maybe it’ll hit another Monkee.

Also, on Friday I will have some very exciting and important announcements for you. Apparently the Monkee Revolution is growing faster than my collection of wooden word signs.

You have a beautiful, peaceful, hopeful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for you.

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