altarflame: (deluge)
feel free to click here for a weeks old entry I forgot about )

(and/)Or, find out how not long after that entry I felt pretty triggered (haha, how ironic).
That led to some serious two steps forward, one step back personal struggles (challenges? INSURMOUNTABLE BARRIERS I'VE SINCE BEEN CHINKING AWAY AT ONE CRUMB AT A TIME?!) with polyamory, as polyamory in general - even in it's infancy - has a way of highlighting every single thing you didn't know you were avoiding dealing with at once. I'm very fortunate to be so deep in a bond that allows for sharing everything patiently, even when that involves stop and starts, and backtracking... Even if we never acted on any of this we know each other so much better, now, and I feel so much closer to him. Paradoxical, I guess, but getting to the "why" underneath every scared and sad feeling is something that's taking us places we might never have gone otherwise. I feel like I'm going to understand life differently and have a different attitude as I get older, because I'm tackling this deep shit inside of me that I've never looked straight at or felt so directly and consciously, before...
I am also pleased to report I can once again take an IQ test without any sense of personal tragedy.

Here are some pics of me and Elise around our neighborhood one weeknight, and some others from a tour G and I took of R.F. Orchids last weekend.


TL;DR - I am on a general broad upswing that involves some hard times and is not a simple curve. I travel this path with a bunch of other people who are also all on varying and irregular (usually) upward slopes. I feel good about life, and also get tired.

I will probably make a way shorter update soon, about apps I'm using and things I've recently cooked. Take heart, if this is just too damned long and convoluted and TMI.
altarflame: (deluge)
Isaac, night before last: My head is hurting.
Me: Have you been drinking enough water? Annie gets headaches if she gets dehydrated.
Isaac: I just drank a whole lot of water.
Me: But what about earlier - maybe you drank a whole lot because you hadn't been drinking enough and were very thirsty, and in a little while when it's had time to move through your system you'll feel better?
Isaac: I think my head is hurting because I fell out of a cooler and hit it on the wall.
Me: Uh. Oh. did that happen?
Isaac: Well, I was trying to sneak into Annie and Elise's room to steal one of Annie's sharpies.
Me: Go on.
Isaac: Well, she caught me and did tickle torture to punish me, and then locked me in the bathroom for 10 minutes.
Me: She locked you in the bathroom for ten minutes?!
Isaac: Well, probably it was only a minute or less because I was fighting on the other side of the door to get out and we were laughing a lot.
Me: What is "tickle torture"?
Isaac: It means she tickled me until I was on the ground. ANYWAY, Jake and Elise were going to help me, so Jake got the ice chest from outside and I got in, and Elise was sliding it into the room so Annie wouldn't know I was there.
Me: *laughing uncontrollably*
Isaac: But she was suspicious right away, and came over and spilled me out and my head hit the wall a little.

Being home is nice.

It was Fall, in Boston. I had counted on cooler weather while we were there, but completely forgot that things look different during the Fall up north. I haven't seen trees change color since I was 6 years old (and that was a single day of seeing it).

I think a lot about this, lately - how people don't understand what I'm on about, when I go on and on about the different and amazing things I experience other places, that seem so normal to the people reading. Miami is different! Americans tend to feel as though they are in a foreign country, when they visit South Florida. If you only lived on flat land below sea level, surrounded by concrete, your entire life, and then you went somewhere very hilly with lots of bricks - it would feel surreal and interesting for awhile. *shrug*


Flying in and thinking, "Oooooh yeah!!!!"

Rainy first couple of (lovely) days.

Showing the kids Christmas trees that grow in the ground ;)

I don't even know what these vibrant things are.

And I actually stopped our borrowed car and jumped out to grab one of these from the many on the ground, in amazement. It turns out they're "crab" apples O_o I brought this one home for my children to laugh at.

Prolific, those crab apple trees.

There was still a lot of lush green around. Everything about being outside seems idyllic, when it's only 70 degrees :)
altarflame: (Default)
This is the rest of my pictures from Aaron and my trip to NYC last summer. I had/have a lot to say that is not said in this entry because I just haven't had the time, and don't see myself getting it...but I'm posting them here partially because I promised some people on tumblr and in my email that I would post this and the Grant and I story before I posted anything else since they're backlogged and keep getting put off.

37 pictures, be warned. )
altarflame: (After the kiss)
I responded to a voicemail this afternoon, to call back someone who wanted a reference for our nanny. We've slashed her hours pretty intensely (she comes on Sundays for a 5 hour block so G and I can go out together, and is open to other things that come up rarely on an as needed basis) so she needed some supplemental stuff.

I ended up talking on the phone with the referral woman for over an hour, about personal stuff, once we got the referral part out of the way. She is in counseling, too, for ptsd - she and her children watched her husband be brutally murdered several months back. She wants to homeschool but doesn't know how, but her 7 year old is one of those rare autistic kids with a genius IQ that is floundering in public school, and by the end of the conversation - she's calling me back for homeschool resources, we're getting Aaron and her son together, we've compared notes on trying to find an attorney and on helping kids who are having a hard time with therapy...she referenced things like Dateline NBC doing a special on their family and after we hung up I found the whole story with some quick googling. She'd never heard of emdr for reprocessing but was very interested. She lost an infant way back in the day, too.

She was completely weirded out three quarters of the way through our conversation, by how much she was telling me. I tried to reassure her I'm used to it and people always just sort of walk up to me and start telling me things.

Grant wants to travel, by himself. He's always had a passion to see things he's never seen before, to be in's how he relates to God best and, well, it's been the biggest thing between us for a few days in a row.

Because I don't want him to go off on his own for days and nights at a time. We've always done things together, I can't even imagine suggesting going off on my own without him. I can't even sleep at night without him in the bed...especially now. We have five young kids that we attachment parent and homeschool, and to me it seems sort of ludicrous to even think that could be an option. I've always valued, SO MUCH, that he is not a man that is going to accept a position with business trips or deployments because family comes first.

He's brought up how as much as we go on trips as a family, it's very limiting to have all the kids with us, and it costs so much more to do it as a group of 7 that it's just not possible to do very often. To that I was thinking, yeah, and feeding us all is a pain in the ass, too - dinner would be so much easier if I just went out and got myself something and then came back when it was bedtime. I mean, really.

And yet...

Grant hasn't gone to counseling, or been swimming at the Y, over the past year. He doesn't have nearly as many real life friends as me, or the online support network that I do. He doesn't write or draw to get things out. He did get a shed and a lot of equipment to do woodworking, with the settlement, and that is good for him, but like my outlets, it's very hit or miss with when we actually have the opportunities to get our creative energy out...

He had to take care of the kids as I recovered and has had to be there for me as I fall apart.

So I'm starting to try to consider this as, maybe this is what HE needs.

Because, honestly, up until now I've just been very hurt, thinking how I can't imagine wanting to go hundreds of miles away from him for days at a time. When I fantasize about getting published, I imagine all of us getting on a plane, or signing things by fax. Yeah, I'm clingy - whatever. He knew I couldn't trust anything or take anything for granted when we fell in love ;) He claims to love me as damaged goods, so it's not like it's any surprise now.

Anyway...I'm working my mental way around to being able to accept him traveling and tell him I'm cool with it. But I have to keep working, or else I'll tell him that and then resent the hell out of him excitedly counting down the days, feel jealous of whatever locale he picks, and then listen bitterly as he tells me what a great time he had, feeling all defensive and overly vulnerable about how much I missed him.

Great mother, sure, Christian keeping the faith through good times and bad, I can do that - but Grant gets one seriously high maintenance mess for a wife. I like to think the lavish meals and fabulous sex offset the long hours he listens and rubs my back as I cry and rant about the jumbled crap in my head.

Honestly I think he has it pretty good and we're both really happy...I'm just emotionally exhausted from going round and round about this - both mentally and out loud with him. We don't fight or yell, we sit and talk calmly and cry and make jokes and break the tension and lay there holding each other talking about why it's hard and have sex and then think of something new to start the cycle over.

For reference: he wants to go set up a tent at the base of some mountains and hike through them and push his body, and rock climb and explore wilderness and take pictures with the fancy camera he's never really gotten to use. He's not at all interested in, like, dining or man made attractions or whatever. Basically, he wants to do things I'm not really physically capable of at the moment, anyway. Which is mostly cool in that it reassures my EXTREMELY jealous and possessive nature that he's aching for solitude, but also sort of awful in that I hate feeling left out or left behind because I "can't" do anything... Like when we went to Bush Gardens and even though I would've been all about the roller coasters a few years ago, now I'm just getting used to life without constant adrenaline from worry and panic again and like things calm. Like how we always wanted to sky dive, and now he's getting impatient to do it right as I'm feeling like I'm not ready yet. He tells me, "it's not like I can only do it once, we can still do it together someday, too", and then I'm torn in half between something like that is NOT the same the SECOND time around, I hate this crap and my desire to not hold him back and have him resenting me.

...This is a long while later. But I'm sitting here now, thinking, and. Come on. The man didn't want cats, or bunnies, but now he's stopping by a pet store after a long work day to pick up a nesting box for baby rabbits. He's building me a chicken coop in our suburban backyard. He's designated Mondays as mine and from now on I get a six hour block during each one to go out by myself...this past one was devoted to swimming, 2 hours of counseling and writing at Atlanta Bread.

The more I think about everything over the years, the more I genuinely want to make a sacrifice for his happiness. Like just thinking of making him happy, makes me happy.

I swear one day he'll have taught me how to love.

Ananda, Aaron and I have devoted a lot of time today to learning all about rabbit pregnancies, baby bunny care, etc. Some of it is really interesting - for instance, countless humans have "rescued" totally healthy newborn rabbits from their "neglectful" mothers out of sheer ignorance. Because it is apparently normal for the mom to only nurse them once or twice a day, when people aren't watching (i.e., late at night and at the crack of dawn). And, they don't hang out in the nest with them - they sit on top of the nesting box or outside of it all day, because in the wild they've got to guard the babies from predators, not entertain them. Likewise unknowing people often sell babies at 4-5 weeks old because they're at peak cuteness then, being ultra tiny yet fully fluffy. BUT, that is the age they're starting solids and are very prone to intestinal disease if not getting the protective elements in mother's milk, too. It's common for commercial breeders to lose half of every litter to this sort of flim flam, whereas if they just left the babies with mom for a full 8 weeks while they made a slow transition to all solid food, it could be almost totally avoided.

We've also had to have a lot of "bucking up" to deal with how one or more is often born dead in a litter, or dies in the first few days of life. I need them to be prepared for that; especially Aaron. And a lot of instruction about scent and keeping our hands off her kits so she keeps caring for them. We put a bunch of nesting materials (strips of old towels, cotton balls, extra hay, etc) in her pen today, for her to drag to the nesting box at her leisure and whim. And moved Shadow to the kids' room with a small litter box and nighttime pen, where he can move freely throughout the day.

I was really surprised to learn, many months back, that rabbits can be litter trained. But it's really effective. Our bunnies are in one of those tall fence style portable playpens with no bottom, on an area rug. We fill a box with hay, then two days later the hay is gone and it's full of poop, and we dump it and add hay again. The rug's been in there for 6 months or more and still vaccums clean and has only a smell of hay about it, that febreezes out pretty well.

Our nanny has a "house rabbit", meaning it roams the house freely like a dog with a litter box, food and water set out. Shadow will be a "room bunny", but shut up at night when A and A's door is open, because I don't think a house bunny would be safe for long with Jake and Elise.

Watching them interact with the cats is awesome: Peter, Aaron's terrified and mostly grown cat, is of course terrified of the rabbits. Chrysanthemum gets along great with Shadow, but chases and pounces on and hunts Hoppy because Hoppy is afraid of her and will run. The best is when Shadow and Chrysanthemum are both curious about the same thing - it's a tiger striped, fluffy kitten with her paws up on something and her head cocked to one side, and a sleak black bunny the same size as her standing on back feet with front paws in the air, sniffing the air and craning forward to see.

I have so much cleaning to do in the morning. Then my friend Kristin is coming over in the afternoon, to measure my kitchen and talk about this mosaic tile I've commissioned her for. It keeps getting so late. I don't want to get up before noon lately if I can help it, but that is rarely an option.

May 2017

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