Friday, May 25, 2007


No, this isn't about my favorite TV show Heroes. This is just a thought about the group of heroes that I've been forced to join. I doubt any one of them chose their hero role. But they are still my heroes. Single Parents. They have always been my heroes. I always knew their role was rough. But now that I'm in it - and just starting out? Well, they are even MORE my heroes.

I know plenty of single parents. Jane is one of my newest heroes. She amazes me. I want to get to the place that I see her in. I want to have the confidence and excitement she has as she attacks each day. And Jane, I know you have your moments - I don't think you're perfect. But you're someone I can look to and say, ok, I want to get THERE. You're an inspiration to me.

My beautiful aunt Brenda. She's another one. I am sadly reliving a version of her story. I find great hope in her story because she ended up marrying one of the most wonderful Christian men ever to have graced God's green earth - my wonderful uncle Larry. My sister has reminded me on quite a few tearful occasions, "Don't worry...God will send you your 'Larry'!"

For the last week, I guess, God has moved me to a much less painful place. When I think of future ex and his girl thing, it doesn't kill me any more. The jealousy, pain and betrayal are all there. Don't get me wrong. But they don't overwhelm me with that heart ache that honestly feels like I will die. I feel more of a...I guess a disappointment. Like, I think about things he's done or they've done to me and I kind of mentally just shake my head and wonder what in the world. I still wish I didn't have to deal with him at all. It would be SO easy if I could just cut all the threads and never have to see him or talk to him ever again. But alas 'tis not to be.

I still pray for God to watch over the big goober. He certainly needs it. He is making horrible life decisions and he needs God to save him from himself. I worry about his own personal issues that have been so glaringly brought to light these past few months. But I turn it over to God and leave it at that.

The stuff that can still put me in panic mode is the child care. Seven years my boys were taken care of in our house by their father. Imperfect man or not, he did a great job. And I never had to worry about them. I watched so many of my friends cry at work after leaving their new babies in the care of someone else. I have no idea how they were able to function. But they did. And now, I have to go through that letting go. I'm much less worried about Lil Bro as he is such a typical three year old. I'm probably worrying too much about The Boy. He'll probably deal just fine. But I do worry about his anxiety disorders and his lack of social boundaries. I've been praying for God to send me the perfect day care solution for my boys. I have some good ones lined up that I am comfortable with. So I am assuming they are what God has planned. But the human mommy still worries.

And then there's the whole money part of it. Holy guacamole! Even down here in the land of affordable housing, day care is expensive. And as all you primary custody parents know, child care payments won't offset even a third of the cost. It just gets scary.

It's hard to keep the anger and resentment in check. I'm so mad at future ex for doing all of this to us. For taking my beautiful boys out of their comfort zone. Of taking their father from them. Of cutting my standard of living. For forcing me to do all of this alone. For making me do all the work.

But God will get me through.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ask and Ye Shall Clog Your Arteries...

I have heard the clamoring. I have heard the masses yearning for the recipe to the fabled chocolate chess pie. Yes, you can find recipes on the web for it. But they have to try to get all stupid and fancy and add all sorts of silly & superfluous ingredients. Let me give you the classic chocolate chess pie recipe that my family has made for years. I have taken a recipe from a dear family friend Lou (my middle name is Lou after her - and I dare say that might be why I'm so attached to her chocolate chess pie!) and made it well known from Boston to Austin.

Here are two from the 2006 holiday season...So here, gentle reader, is the recipe that will make you a regular on holiday party lists. It is incredibly easy but tastes like it took forever:

1 1/2 stick butter (I use organic unsalted)
2 1-oz squares unsweetened baking chocolate
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 9" unbaked pie shell

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Melt butter and chocolate in a pan over low heat (don't burn it).
  • Mix eggs, sugar, salt & vanilla in a large mixing bowl. (I made them for decades mixing by hand. But I've found my recent pies mixed w/ an electric mixer makes them sit higher in the pie plate.)
  • Slowly pour melted ingredients into the mixture in bowl - stirring the whole time.
  • Pour into unbaked pie shell.
  • Bake at 350F for 25-30 mins.

The top will round up pretty high. It will be wiggly when you take it out of the oven because you've basically just made an old fashioned pudding in a pie. So take it out carefully. It will fall as it cools so don't be alarmed.

I find that it serves better when it's completely cooled. If you cut it still hot, it will be a gooey runny mess. I mean, it will taste amazing. But basically use bowls if you serve it hot. Serve it with plain vanilla ice cream and you will basically pass out from happiness. It's good with unsweetened whipped cream (come on, it's got tons of sugar, you don't need sweetened whipped cream!). It's good hot or cold. Honestly, you can't go wrong with this pie.

Here is my secret to making it exactly my favorite way. The above recipe can come out perfect sometimes but often it's too runny for me. So I tend to add 2 tablespoons of flour to the mixture in the bowl. This firms it up pretty well. But it does remove me from a pure "chess" pie - which is generally eggs, sugar & butter. But ask Trish or Kristen...I may not have a "pure" chess pie but - DANG! - it's GOOOOOOOD!

Go and share the pie with the world. It really is amazingly good.

And Kendra, I thought about your dad - the pie shell - he can't have it because of the wheat. I recently saw a recipe for a cake that was basically a chocolate chess pie in a cake pan. So I'm wondering if we tried the chocolate chess pie recipe (minus the added flour) and baked it in a cake pan - would it work for your dad? Hmmm...

05/24 edited because my recipe was very U.S.-centric:
I apologize to the ever-baking Ellesappelle for not clarifying measurements. One stick of butter in the colonies is 4 oz or half a cup. So for one pie, you need about 6 oz of butter.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Taking Stacy's Tag

The lovely and talented Stacy tagged me with a fun little meme. Let's face it. I love any meme. Well, any meme from someone I actually like. I won't take tags from random strangers who ask me to list my favorite undergarments and the like. I'm truly digressing here.

So Stacy's meme is very simple: Someone assigns you a letter (and Stacy gave me the letter C) and you have to list ten things you like that begin with that letter:

Lil Bro [real name starts w/ C]. Honestly. That had to be number one. Have you seen the loin fruit I've produced? He's insane amounts of cute. And he's three. Which is a very fun age.

Christ. Well, that should probably have been number one. But I think Jesus loves my kids even more than I do and he will forgive my motherly human frailty. But I do love God in all of his aspects. The human form of Jesus Christ still amazes me. And I love God for coming to be here with us imperfect dolts.

Children. I love almost all kids. Yes, there have been exceptions. But almost all children are so awesome. I learn so much from all of them. Of course, my two children are my favorites. But I've been blessed with like 952 nieces & nephews and I teach the toddler to three year olds at church. Children totally rock. God will back me up on that one.

Chocolate. Oh how I love you, you dark melty blob of goo. I just finished a very small bar of Lindt 70% chocolate. I could even use a larger percent of cocoa. But that's all they had at the grocery. That movie 'Chocolat' was amazing. I didn't even need a plot. I just wanted to watch her make that thick dark chocolate drink. And I think I want to pronounce it the French-with-a-bad-American-accent way - Shock-o-LAH.

Church. At the risk of sounding like one of those bible-thumping, self-righteous, judgemental idiots that I so despise...I LOVE my church. The Vineyard churches I've checked out so far are the BOMB, dawg (I was channeling Randy Jackson there for a second). But the people at my church (and people are what make up the church, by the way) rock. So my church therefore rocks. It's been a very long time since I have woken up every Sunday and thought, "YEAH! IT'S SUNDAY! I GET TO GO TO CHURCH!!!" I mean, when you're upset that you're sick enough to miss church? You're going to a good church.

Country. My country, in particular. Well, the whole North American continent. And toss in England & Jamaica for good measure because I'm not really that well traveled. But I love my country. I love living here. I love the freedom to be as stupid as we want and to have it be televised, to boot. I love the freedom I have to work from home, attend any kind of church or religious group I want, to be any sexual orientation I want (ok, let's pretend all the intolerant people magically disappeared), to drive from state to state with no worries except how close is the next bathroom, to buy any kind of music, book, movie I want, to experience all different races & cultures, to eat almost any kind of food I want, to have unlimited access to the internet, to walk out side of my house without worrying about getting shot down in the street, to speak out against any of our leaders without suddenly going on "extended holiday" for the rest of my life. I mean, come ON. We are ridiculously blessed.

Christmas. I love holidays. I love Christmas the best. I love the good will t'ward men (faux or otherwise) that tends to permeate the land at that time of year. I love the anticipation of the actual day. I love the trees we decorate. I love getting my kids way too many gifts. I love doing random acts of kindness to strangers that just baffle them - all in the name of a day on which we celebrate the birth of Jesus even if it is totally in the wrong time of year. I love Christmas. And one more reason I love this holiday so much......

Chocolate Chess Pie! Yes, I already said chocolate. But this is chocolate taken to a whole new level. This is somewhere between a true old-fashioned pudding and a gooey brownie - all in a pie shell. It's a heat attack in a pie. If you haven't had one, you haven't lived. If you have had one and you're thinking, "It wasn't such a big deal," you haven't had one of MINE. Oh yes. Chocolate chess pie. I'm drooling...

Comic Books Heroes. Ok, that's a stretch. But I just saw a picture of Wonder Woman and thought, dang she kicks batookie!!! I love comic book heroes. Especially the few strong female characters they have. You know the ones that somehow fight world destruction while barely wearing their costumes. The ones with 18 inch waists, 34 DDD boobs and legs that go all the way up (as a former beau of mine used to say). As someone who can't stomach women who use their girly wiles to manipulate people, you'd think I'd be all hatin' the comic book women. Au contraire. Love 'em. The ridiculousness of their get ups is part of my fascination.

Cinema. Movies. Stories. Love 'em. I love losing myself in a movie. It doesn't even have to be a particularly GOOD movie. I just love to shut the brain off and watch. And other days, I love to have my brain work over time in order to follow a good movie. I love a movie that is good enough so that you stop thinking, "Oh, there's Leonardo DiCaprio in really bad hair extensions," and just get totally caught up in the reality of the story.

I know that as soon as I finish and post this list I'll think, "Oh why didn't I remember to put [fill in the blank with some really cool, relevant C word here]?!"

But that's what was floating in my head at the moment. I refrained from putting obviously catty answers like "Commitment - I would love a man that knows the meaning...." etc. HA!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Boy on the Lookout

Oh the simplicity of being almost-seven.

On Friday night, we were at our local restaurant that has a balloon animal guy on Friday & Saturday nights. As we sat in our booth impatiently awaiting his arrival at OUR table (the boys, not me), The Boy asked me, "Mom...why don't you marry the balloon animal guy and make HIM my step dad?" I could see he was very pleased with this marvelous idea. I mean, come on. Unlimited balloon animals at your beck and call - day and night. Fabulous. Except for a few things: A) He's married and unlike for some people, that's a problem for me, B) He's totally nice but totally not my type and C) I won't be able to entertain the thought of another man (shudder) in my life for a couple of years probably. So I had to explain points A & C to The Boy - I didn't want to have a conversation of "what my type" was with my almost-seven year old. Especially when I've tried to hard to convince him that nothing should matter in making friends except whether the person is nice or not. And since he thinks getting married is just the mom & dad way of making friends, well, I just didn't have the energy to get into that.

So it's nice to know that The Boy is looking out for the next perfect man for me. However, I think his priorities for a step-dad and my priorities for a man-in-my-life will not quite meet initially. I told him that, for now, I'm going to concentrate on being the best mom I can be for him and Lil Bro. And that I wanted to work on being ok with being alone. And God has something in store for us and I'm perfectly happy to wait and see what that is (which is often not true - I'm very impatient and would kind of like a movie trailer of what's going to happen). I want The Boy to see that not having a husband isn't the end of me. I want him to see a strong mom whose priority is him and his brother. I want him to see that one of his parents thinks that ending a 16 year relationship deserves the proper respect of mourning and recovery. I want him to see that I'm not just cruising for the next hot man thing.

I love that The Boy is so open to the idea of a step-dad. I love that he's looking out for a "good man" for me. My mom and I had a good laugh when I got home and told her about The Boy's declaration in the restaurant. Thank goodness he didn't suggest it to the balloon animal guy while he was making The Boy's dinosaur on a leash!

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Boys Rock

My beautiful boys are so awesome. They are dealing with their father's leaving as well as you could hope. I know they are being covered in amazing amounts of prayer. Today was a day that made me see how it's affecting them. And it hit future ex especially hard today.

The Boy went to his weekly counseling yesterday. He meets with a Christian play therapist. I'm told he entertained with a very long story involving dinosaurs (his favorite current topic) and a snake. The counselor usually only gives me vague updates afterwards, keeping the confidentiality. But yesterday he told me that, at one point, the story took a sad turn when all the dinosaurs left one dinosaur all alone. But it had continued on and not really stayed on the sad note. But it had been there and the knowing nod the counselor used while telling me the story in an upbeat tone made me understand it was significant.

Future ex called to discuss some banking business we had to do. We had a long discussion about the boys. It ended with him crying - heart breakingly so, had he not just spent the last 4-5 months figuratively crapping all over my heart and soul. But he is missing them horribly. And it's hard not to just say stuff like, well, gee...this was your decision - what were you expecting?! So today is a hard day for future ex - missing his boys. While the part of me that is still in love with him feels horrible over this, the other part of me that has endured the most horrifying amount of pain at the hands of his selfishness just stood back and watched him (in my mind, of course). I really couldn't muster any real sympathy. Every piece of pain that anyone is feeling has been the result of him following his own selfishness. So join the club, bud. Welcome to MY life. Eat the pain. EAT IT.

Sorry. It was just hard. And I'm sick of it. It's about time he stop just having a nice little vacation with his girl thing and feel the consequences of his decision.

Future ex called later in the evening to chat w/ the boys. He had forgotten last night and was rather upset that he could have done so. I personally was torn between a "well doesn't that just figure" attitude and feeling sorry for him that he totally hit a stereotypical crappy dad thing. Anyway, he called and started out talking to Lil Bro. The one side I could hear was adorable - all cute little three-year-old speech and endearments. Then he spoke to The Boy. And The Boy was all dinosaurs and guess what we were just doing (we had been playing in sprinklers in the front yard in 80 degree weather - sorry Trish & Kristen!) and I love you and I miss you. We were getting ready to head out the door to dinner so The Boy was sitting putting on his shoes while talking on the phone. At one point, he just stopped and said, "Dad? Are you kind of...crying?" I thought, oh man. Then I heard The Boy ask, "Well why?" I can only assume future ex said something like, well, because I just miss you. But the look on The Boy's face...ugh. He is a very sensitive kid and is very affected when someone is crying. Especially a parent. This pained look crossed his face. They exchanged some endearments and goodbyes and he handed the phone to me. Future ex was a mess. Well...there it is.

So future ex is having to deal with the very real reality he has imposed on everyone. I have spent days within months curled up on my walk-in closet floor crying into towels, shirts, pillows, anything I can find. I have spent days within months crying on the floor of my room, begging God to please take the heart break away - take away the pain of jealousy. I have spent days within months feeling like I wanted to die (which would never never end in me hurting myself). I have spent days within months on the phone with various people - some of you regular readers - crying, ranting, bemoaning, hurting, crying again. I have spent SO much time hurting due to the selfish actions of this man and his unthinking psychologist girl thing. So all I can do when he breaks down like this is just stand there. Stone cold. Holding back that small small part of me that wants to speak encouraging words to lessen his pain. I have to lock her up and gag her. It's painful. Because it's not ME - the stone cold observer. She's not me. But she is now.

Whatever. I was going to talk about my boys.

After that phone call with their dad, we were in the car on our way to my favorite local burger joint (Whataburger rocks). I was at a stop sign waiting to go and Lil Bro pipes up with, "Daddy is so far away." I said, yes he is but it's great that we can call him any time we want. And we can send him pictures. Lame. But he just said it again. So I said, "You miss daddy, don't you," and he said, "Yah..." I just said, "I'm sorry you miss him, buddy." He seemed ok after that but sad.

Today future ex told me he couldn't give up his new girl thing because he couldn't break her heart and walk away. It took everything in me not to just spit through the phone. I wasn't the perfect graceful person I could have been. I'm not sure I know anyone that would have held their tongue. So I didn't. I said, "But you can break your sons' hearts and mine...and walk away from all of us. Nice." I'm not proud for rubbing his nose in it. But his version of reality is not aligned with what I'm having to watch here. He needs to see what he is doing to the two hearts that should matter more than any to him.


But my beautiful boys...They are sitting behind me now, watching Tom & Jerry. They are resilient. They are favorites of God. And he has them in his hands. I pray God's protection over their minds, souls, hearts and bodies every night. God is good. He will bring them through this and will make them amazing men.

My boys rock.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Through The Eyes of Sooz

This may seem like a really odd post because of the narcissistic implications here. But I'm going to tell you - when you're husband leaves you for another girl thing, your self image takes a huge nose dive, whether it should or not. You just feel disgusting, ugly, unworthy, fat, loathsome and {insert any negative self image item here}.

I have been wrestling with this for the last few months. When he actually left and went straight to her, what little restoration of self esteem I had done was completely undone again. My head knows that I am wonderful and loved by the One True King so why should I care about the very imperfect affections of one very very fractured idiot. But you guys know what I mean. If you've ever been rejected by someone you love, you know what I'm talking about.

Now all of you wonderful women have been holding me up, standing in the gap and praying for me, sending me uplifting thoughts and verses. My mother and sister constantly do the same. And it helps me SO much. You will never know. One friend that I haven't talked to much lately...she just sent me a mother's day card a while ago after hearing about my situation. And it summed me up so well. It summed me up in a way that I need to remember. I wish I could make a billboard out of it and have it placed right outside future ex's girl thing's apartment. This is what I thought I'd share with you today. Not so much to brag - because trust me, I don't really feel like all of this right now. But as a reminder that each one of us is truly incredible. We just have to remember that. And maybe ask for reminders when we need them.

This is me through the eyes of my wonderful friend Sooz:

...I am here to celebrate the incredible wonderfulness that is *you*. You are beautiful. You are wise and generous and kind. You are freaking hilarious. You can make some of the most absurdly cross-eyed expressions of anyone I have ever met. You can sing better than any living female on this planet and send shivers up my spine like only Ella Fitzgerald can. You are righteous without being dogmatic. You are spiritual without being alienating. You are an extremely hard worker but know when it's time to take a break and play. You love kitty cats. You have beautiful hand-writing. You have the rare creative spirit of an artist while still managing the logic required in computer programming. You love love love everyone in your life with a ferocity. You have one of the most forgiving spirits of anyone I have ever known. You have given birth to the two most incredible and adorable little men in the history of children. You are patient but deliberate. You rejoice in others' accomplishments. You can pull off any hairstyle.

In short, you are amazing. You rock.

If any of you are ever feeling less than amazing, find someone who really knows you and loves you. Ask them to just list a few reasons why they DO love you. It will put things into perspective.

Future ex is giving up all that Sooz mentioned. Sooz could write a few paragraphs listing my faults, too. But love is being able to pull up the good stuff while not letting the bad stuff overshadow it.

Thanks to all of you who help me remember that I am God's special child.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sarakastic's Meme

So one of my favorite bloggers made up her own meme. I'm sure if I tried that, it would blow chunks. But I am a huge fan of The Princess Sarakastic and will take on her tag here:

1. If you could travel back in time & kick anyone, who would it be & why?
Need you ask? I would go back to fall of 1991 and kick future ex when he agrees to get back together with me after a 5 month break up. Because, according to him now during our divorce, he knew he never should have gotten back together with me back then. I would be willing to go back to help him with that. Me and my steel toed boots...

2. When people mistake your name for another name, what is it?
I guess I speak clearly enough to rarely have this problem. Some idiots assume it's ok to just shorten your name even if you've introduced yourself as the real version. So yah, I'd have to say it's all the people who think it's ok to just call me "Lynn" which is a totally different name from Lyn-ETTE, thank you very much!

3. If you could add any question to this Meme what would it be?
See, this is where I'd have trouble. I'm an immensely creative person. I just can't think of interesting things to put in memes. So I'd have to consider that it's going to hopefully be picked up by a myriad of varied people. I would want it to be something that really delves into the heart of humanity. So it would probably be something like "Which Charlie's Angel are you and why?" Yah. That would be it.

05/17 edited to answer my last question - I am so totally Sabrina Duncan. She was beautiful without being just ridiculously so. She had a brain. She didn't need to use her looks to manipulate people. She totally rocked! And a really funny note - when I was in jr high, I was convinced that Kate Jackson was my birth mom. So much so that I wrote her a letter telling her so. Can you imagine if she ever read that??? HA!

There you go. More incredible insight into the world.

Psalm 91

There are quite a few bible verses that really speak to me during my whole ordeal. This is one that God showed me when I was praying for the health of our church music director. He is a young guy with a beautiful young family. Right before Thanksgiving, he was looking at having either a brain tumor or a brain abscess - either way, very scary. The brain surgery he went through was a time of anxiety for all involved. That's when I was searching for a verse to send to him and his wife. God showed me this one. And it has spoken to me for every crisis since then.

Psalm 91
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

The promise in this verse keeps my eyes on God. Especially on those days when I'm in so much emotional pain, I feel like I can't go on. God keeps me going.

And as a praise footnote, Jason, our music director? He made a full recovery and in such a fashion as to amaze all of his doctors and physical therapists. Go God!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Break From My Ranting

I thought we all could use a break from my kvetching about the dissolution of my marriage. I know I sure as hell could use one! And seeing as how a whole bunch of my fancy-pants, book learnin', writer-type blogger pals are doing this hoity toity meme that makes you realize just how pathetically read I am, I'm gonna do it, too.

Now I already gave Stacy the caveat that I will have to adjust the book list for nerdly geeks like me. Because:
A) I was a computer science/physics/math major in college
B) I dropped out of said college
C) I read voraciously throughout my college years and 20s but only sci fi and myth & fantasy.

Hello, my name is L y n e t t e and I'm a total dork.

So if Stacy could make her own book meme, well, I'm makin' my own. Now I can make you all read a list of books where you'll all go, "Who? What book? Huh?" But I will leave a few of hers on there just to keep me humble.

Here's how it goes:

  • Use blue font for everything you’ve read
  • Use red font for everything you’ve started but never finished
  • Use purple font for everything you’ve read but wish you hadn’t
  • Use yellow font for everything you’d never read, even if you and that book were the only things to survive the apocalypse
  • Use black font for things you’ve never read
  • Use green front for things you want to read
  • Use orange font if you’ve read the author but not that particular work
  • Use pink if you've never turned a page of it but you saw a play, movie or TV show based on the work (I added this just so my list would have more than just black)
Stacy's List:
The Bible (I'm probably one of the few people who is being honest here and saying I'm not sure I made it through all the minor prophets and I am sure I never finished Revelations)

Medea, Euripides (I was actually IN the play)
Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
Odyssey, Homer
The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
The Inferno, Dante Alighieri
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare
Tartuffe, Moliere
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (oh dear - I know I just lost some blogger friends with this admission)
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Eve of St. Agnes, John Keats
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
Little Women, Louise May Alcott
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas (and I give myself extra points because I used to make his sandwiches as a prep-cook - not easy, that)
The Awakening, Kate Chopin
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Ulysses, James Joyce
Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck (I read the last page...)
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (Gregory Peck, you rock)
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (extra points because I got this book only because The Police sing about it)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor (never read it but boy do I know it!)
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Joyce Carol Oates
Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
White Noise, Don DeLillo
The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
White Teeth, Zadie Smith

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling
Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson

Untitled Memoir, Trish Ryan
Masochism is Always Funny: a Novel, Stacy Brazalovich

The Nerdly Geek Adendum:
The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, Milan Kundera (this should be pink then blue because I saw the movie as I see all things Daniel Day Lewis. It made me want to wear bowler derbies. I got the book to see how the movies stacked up. I liked the book but liked the movie better. I'm a dork.)
The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper (this should be pink then blue. Again, I'll see anything with a partly clad Daniel Day Lewis. But what a bonus I got with his hotter than hot adoptive brother Uncus. Yes, please!)
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (honestly, what is with the Russian agriculture minutiae?! I read this one because the heroine in The Unbearable Lightness of Being carried it around with her. What a wonderful story this could be if we didn't have to read through all that at crap.)
The Posessed, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (a well meaning, well-read friend tried to up the caliber of my reading list. If I thought Tolstoy could drone on, this made me want to put my eyes out with my own thumbs)
Guns, Germs & Steel, Jared Diamond (I have yet to finish this one thanks to the loss of my long commute once I started working from home. But it should be required reading for all high school history buffs.)

The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
Every other Lord of The Rings book, JRR Tolkien
The Silmarillion, JRR Tolkein
The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
The other two Shannara books from the original trilogy, Terry Brooks (it should have stopped here)
The four really bad books that make up the Heritage of Shannara, Terry Brooks
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever, Stephen R Donaldson (Now THIS is what a fantasy trilogy should be. In my book, these blow away the LOTR. Blasphemy, I know. But there it is.)
The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Stephen R Donaldson (the last book of this trilogy was one of the first books to actually make me cry on a Boston subway)
The five books of The Gap Series, Stephen R Donaldson (I'm loyal to good authors, what can I say. This stuff ventured into sci-fi and it worked.)
The two books of Mordent's Need, Stephen R Donaldson (did this really surprise you?)
The Awakeners - Northsore & Southshore, Sheri S Tepper (she rocks - even if you don't like the genre)
The Gate to Women's Country, Sheri S Tepper (again, you don't have to like the genre to love this one)
Pretty much anything I can find by Sheri S Tepper, I've read
Druids, Morgan Llewelyn (can't type that without hearing Spinal Tap in my head)
The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley (a disfigured Lancelot, a wimpy Gwen, and a Morgan that kicks butt - Camelot from the women's perspective)
A Dream of Eagles (Camulod Chronicles), Jack Whyte (I've read every single one and love love love them. The most probable telling of the Arthurian legend.)
The Foundation Series (Original & Extended), Isaac Asimov
The Robot Series, Isaac Asimov
The Galactic Empire Series, Isaac Asimov (you can see where this is going...)
Anything written by Isaac Asimov
Incarnations of Immortality (all 8 of them), Piers Anthony
The Xanth Series, Piers Anthony (there are over 30 of these. I think I stopped after about 12)

There are so many more that I just can't think of. I have huge collections of Arthurian legend, all things Robin hood, all things druid and Celtic legend. I have started reading up on Rome, it's history, it's leaders, everything I can find - yes, thanks to HBO's short lived series.

Some day I could just bore you all to tears by listing all of the books I've read. Based on the books you all tell me you read, none of you would really know any of them.

It Ain't Easy

Tell me why a man who just spent the last 4+ months shredding every ounce of faith that you had in your marriage, yourself, in men in general...why would that man call you on mother's day and leave a message saying he just wanted to wish you a happy mother's day? Honestly. I'm trying so hard not to be a bitter angry person here. But if being the mother of his children meant something, why didn't it mean enough to tell me the truth for the last 4 years? Why didn't it mean enough to maybe wait until after the divorce to get a new girl thing? Why didn't it mean enough for him to not call his girl thing every day on our home phone while I was in the next room? Why didn't it mean enough to not hide all sorts of horrid goodies from said girl thing all through my house for me to find? I found his happy-sounding little message so inappropriate and insulting. I just spent my first mother's day as a single mom with people who really love me. People who would cross oceans and desserts for me. People who build me up not just as a person but in God. Why does he think I would want to hear any kind of good wishes from him at this early stage?

The first thing I do every morning is try to remember to pray. This is an improvement. For the longest time, the first thing I'd do every morning is wake up and go, "Oh IS real. Damn!" and then get all sad, depressed, angry, jealous, vengeful, etc. So now I just wake up and go, "OK God. Here I am again. You have to take all these feelings of sadness, depression, anger, jealousy, and vengeance. You have to take them because I'll just screw up if I try to deal with them or act on them. Then I have to ask him to take all of the images out of my head that relate to future ex and his girl thing. Even simple pictures like the two of them sitting in her back yard hanging out. Just get them out of my head, God. Help me to concentrate on surviving and getting back to the world of the living. Help me to function at work today. Fill me with anticipation and excitement for whatever it is you have planned for me in the future. Help me to live well and prosper so the world can see how you saved me. Help me to somehow bring glory to your name.

It ain't easy.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day Eve

First off, happy mother's day to all of you wonderful ladies that support me and always send me love. Even if you don't have a child of your own, the nurturing and love that you give to others (esp me!) puts you in that category of a type of mother. So go out and spend a little extra on yourselves today because I think you all deserve it.

Second, I have to thank my friends Wyatt & Shari. They called me today and the first thing Wyatt yelled into the phone was "DON'T CALL HIM YOU SILLY GIT!!!" I died laughing. And then they offered to be my sponsor - I can call them any time when I am feeling weak! A special shout out to them as they are having contractions and may have a mother's day baby. And they better name her after ME!

I'll give you an update on the boys now.

The Boy: He's six (almost seven) and very aware of things. He was crushed when we announced we were divorcing. It's so hard because he just doesn't want this. And neither do I. And that's all I can tell him. I can commiserate and say I don't want this either. But that's it. At one point, we were laying on my bed cuddling while he cried. He kept saying he wanted to die. I could just FEEL the heart break coming from him. It killed me because it was the same heart break I had experienced multiple times over the last 4 months. I just held him and prayed to God to remove this heart break. That happened a few times. But he's doing a lot better with it. Today, he told me that some day he might have a step-dad. It's so hard not to just laugh and say things like, "Not if I can help it!" But I'm not going to allow myself to turn into a man-hater. So he's right. Someday he might have a step dad - although I can't fathom that kind of thing at this point. He was pondering whether that would bother dad or not. Again, I was thinking, "Hardly - since he already has a replacement for ME!" But I can't say that, obviously. So The Boy is thinking a lot and asking questions and talking about things. We also got The Boy a counselor. He's a Christian play therapist. He seems great and The Boy loves him. He'll go every week until we think it's not warranted. The only thing I notice is that The Boy is showing a bit more frustration and anger lately. Nothing horrible. But just having trouble dealing with things not going his way - like most kids. But it's a smidge more frequent and a smidge more...well...too much anger for the situation, you know? I imagine this is so hard on him - the divorce is NOT what he wants. So I think he's overreacting to any situation that is not what he wants. So I try to be patient. Which is hard. Because I feel so overwhelmed. But God is good and keeps me in check.

Lil Bro: He's three. And he worships daddy. This is really hard. Because my pain makes it hard for me to hear anyone worship future ex. At this particular moment, he is not a man that deserves any kind of praise. But I understand that Lil Bro loves his daddy and misses him. One funny thing that happened a couple of weeks ago: The Boy was crying over the divorce news. It was awful and I was trying to just calm him and talk to him. Lil Bro didn't really understand why The Boy was so upset. So I told him, well, The Boy is upset that daddy won't be living with us in our house any more. Lil Bro thought for a moment and then went, "Mommy...we need to get a new daddy!" I mean, it was just too cute and of course my thought was, "No. Actually we DON'T!" So I explained that we don't need a new daddy because their daddy will always be their daddy. I think he gets that.

So I often repeat a few themes the one or both of the boys:
  1. Daddy is still your daddy and always will be.
  2. The only thing that changes for you is that daddy won't be my husband and I won't be his wife. Every other family relationship stays the same for you.
  3. None of this is your fault. It is totally between mommy & daddy. (This one they seem to understand. Because it hasn't had to be discussed often. Which is nice. But I make sure it's repeated every now and then.)
  4. You will always be taken care of and loved. Always. Nothing in this changes that.
  5. You are loved. You always have been and always will be. (That's an easy one as I tend to tell them this like every five minutes.)
I have so many friends and family praying over these boys - including me. They have such huge hearts for God and I just worry that future ex and his new life will not foster that. He had always supported it while we were a family unit. But I count on God to just keep my boys close to His Heart no matter where they are or who is influencing them.

I know most of you are praying for us. Please keep these boys in your prayers. I know I'll survive. I just figure the more prayer coverage these boys have, the better.

So happy mother's day and thanks for all of the wonderful love you're sending our way.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Need a 12-Step Program

I will confess a pathetic addiction. If I confess it to you all, that will be the first step - admitting I have an addiction.

I am addicted to talking to my future ex. And the addiction is much deeper than just wanting to talk to him. I'm very incorrectly looking for resolutions to my pain, heartbreak, feelings of unworthiness. Things like that. I am looking for answers and "fixing" from him. Which - as you can all see from the lovely spot you have outside of this whole mess - is very very wrong. I know I need to turn to God for these things. But sometimes the human idiot me takes over. I have just had a stern talking-to with the human idiot me so she turns to God - not future ex.

When I went to bed last night and couldn't stop crying...I decided to call him. He was my best friend for 15 yrs. He claims to still care about me (although every action for the last 4 months proves that is a near impossibility). So I thought, well, he'll understand. He might even utter something like, "Yah, I miss you, too." Does anyone see that I'm living out some of those awful scenes from bad love stories? The kind that make you yell at the TV things like, "Don't CALL him, you silly git! He's not WORTH it!!!" But I can't hear you all yelling through the TV screen. Or...I hear you all yelling but really like the pain of rejection or something. I'm not sure.

So I called him. And he sincerely sounded sad for me. Which helped. I could tell he felt bad. But then I could tell he was talking very softly - like you do when you don't want to wake up the person next to you. So yah, I should have listened to you all yelling at me to not call him. I had held some small hope that he would respect the end of our marriage by not running straight to his girl thing. But he did. What was I thinking?

I just made a pact with a girlfriend: Whenever I feel like calling him, I'll call one of my strong female friends in stead. So this way, I'll actually HEAR you yelling "Don't CALL him, you silly git!"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Finale - Part 1

Well today, future ex takes a plane to his former home town. 1600 miles away from us. He's leaving a blessed life where the cost of living is actually livable and - most confounding - where his gorgeous boys are. He is walking away from someone who was part of his life for 15 yrs with such ease. It blows my mind. God is good and is keeping the heartbreak down to a dull numb. He is keeping my anger to the same level. I'm prepared to help my boys. It hasn't hit them yet. Pokemon Boy's counselor said it will hit within the next few days when future ex isn't showing up on our doorstep every minute.

Through this whole thing, I have been relatively gracious. He has treated me horribly over the last year - the depths of which I only just found out this past few weeks. He has crushed my heart and taken so much from me. Yet he keeps coming around asking for more. And I give it because, really, what is a little free laundry or a little money or a little this a little that in the grand scheme of things. Some day, I pray he wakes up and realizes the full extent of his cruelty. I hope he wakes up and sees how amazing I was through this whole thing. I hope he wakes up and is truly horrified by every awful thing he did. And I hope his insides are gnawed raw when he realizes he won't see his kids for about 320 days out of each year.

And I still pray that God somehow reveal himself to future ex. In a way that future ex can't just write off as indigestion or some weird dream. May God be the true God of future ex. I'm sad it won't be with me. But I'd rather be sure that future ex somehow ends up in the arms of the only one that can truly bring happiness.

In the mean time, if God sees fit to give him a good whoopin', I'm ok with that, too.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Interesting Developments...

My mother commented last night that God obviously has a plan here and is lining things up.

Two nights ago, my dad gave mom the OK to start looking for houses in the area. Anything from a rental to a lease to a purchase. It was mixed emotions for me. I would LOVE for them to live nearby. But it feels rather pathetic to know that they're moving here because I'm in such a desperate state.

Yesterday, my mom met my wonderful realtor (who is still my good friend after 2 yrs). He took her to see a new house being built in my development and she is going to TAKE IT! It's about a 7 minute drive away. It's near the new pool they're putting in (the place is getting so huge, they need a 2nd pool!) and near this HUGE play scape (the boys don't know that yet). It's also walking distance from the elementary school they're building. It would be so cool if it were in my neighborhood. But hey, this is amazing.

So God has been helping me clean house and free up my spiritual life. Now, he's putting some extra family nearby to help strengthen my little fractured family. I can't wait to see what he does next. My plan is to live really well. It will be the best revenge.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

God's Fast Forward

Well, it's been 2 weeks since the whole thing officially blew up in my face. It's been a total of 4 months that I knew some really horrible stuff was going down. But I always thought it was fixable until April 18th.

Mom flew out (and has single-handedly carried this household). Future ex moved out and spent a week doing really awful stuff that was so painful and damaging to me, it removed any hope of fixing things (even though he tossed the nugget of reconciliation at me even as he played house with his new girl thing). During that horrible week, I begged God to fast forward me through all the crap so I could just make it to the other side as that strong independent woman everyone seems to know I already am. I thought it was just a funny prayer and God would be more like, no, you need to slowly wade through the large lake of putrid horror that is before you and you will learn much, grasshopper. You know, much like some kind of "Kung Fu meets the Lord of the Rings" novel.

This past week, I have been all over the map with my emotions. But I have to tell you...God surely has fast forwarded me through the bulk of the horror show. Future ex would whine that he never knows which me he'll be dealing with each day. Oh poor him. How inconvenient for him that I can't just be stoic and give him blessings on his new life with his new girl thing. Bite me. But my mom and people who are dealing with me day to day? They'd tell you that I sound and look amazing for just being 2 weeks into the most painful betrayal of my life. God has given me some amazing peace. I had two days where I felt like I could have seen future ex and his girl thing making out and I would have just been like, whatever. I've had a few days where I feel much more like removing the leash and muzzle from my lawyer to let him do whatever damage he can do.

But God has my heart. And I will take the high road. I will settle w/ future ex in a fashion that is way more than he deserves. But it will be above board and clean and I will have a clean spirit after all is said and done.

My prayer continues to be that God continue to fast forward me through the whole thing. And that he protect my boys. And that future ex and his girl thing come to reap what they have sown. And on my better days, I still pray that God will reveal himself to future ex. That future ex will some day know the peace and happiness that is brought by God being in your heart - not by money and possessions and toys.

I'll update you on the boys tomorrow. But God is fast forwarding them through this as well.

Love you all.