April, 2008 Archives


She’s BACK

by Pj in Family

How do I know she is back? First clue is my car is gone, my keys are gone and there are dirty dishes. Okay, more than the normal amount of dirty dishes. She did lie next to me this evening to watch AMERICAN IDOL and then she had the nerve to ask me to make HER dinner. What is up with that? So when her friend arrived to whisk her away, I made her do the dishes first. If I cook then I won’t clean! wistiecute.jpg And, since the dishwasher broke this week (just in time for that lovely government rebate!), it was the least she could do. I would take the car, but she has my keys! Good thing I have my bike. Tonight she tried to teach me the cha-cha. Well, that was good for a laugh. Chris was watching with amusement as I tried not to shake my booty! Kind of hard at my age when everything jiggles. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. I am sure another dance lesson is in the works. We argue about who is the guy. Only time neither of us wants to lead. Funny girl — got to love her.


One Question

by Pj in Family

pjcleaning11.jpgTwo days of traveling and two days of … not traveling. I just have one question. Where is it written that Moms go to clean out their daughters apartments so they can receive their security deposit back? Where?
I told Chris to let Wistie pack up and clean and then she could call us and we would be more then happy to pick her up, once the slopes shut down. But NO! “I think she needs our help.” I do not remember my mother EVER helping me clean my apartment. However, I do remember helping CHRIS clean his! At least she comes by it honestly!

chris.jpgNow I fear we have set the precedence for Cierajo. I told her that in 6 years when she is college bound I will be too old for this stuff. She just smiled and looked at her Dad. wrapped1.jpgThe last night Wistie and Cierajo had a slumber party in her immaculate apartment. Pizza and movies and chocolate and no blankets or shower curtain or tooth brush. How could they stand it? I have to brush every two hours or go crazy!

So now the whole family is home for a week. I was home 5 minutes before the crowds started arriving, wanting …dinner! Fortunately, my boys had prepared breakfast for dinner. Brings up another question … Ummm, where did they learn how to cook?


Where Did It Go?

by Pj in Random

We visited two friends in the hospital this week. Both patients are in serious condition. And sitting by their side are their spouses with such looks of bewilderment. I looked into their eyes and saw the disbelief at what might occur for them. A lifetime, a moment, a marriage. Where did it all go? Withered hands reached out and touched the faces they knew so well. Wiping a brow, patting a cheek, tracing the lines etched around their eyes and I know they barely remember days when it was smooth.

In the waiting room they sat and looked … lost. So a part of the other person, so used to holding the familiar hand, comforted by the very smell, the accustomed voice, even the taste of their skin, their breath, their kiss. The years of work, worry and wonder welded them into the wish forever after.

We also attended three weddings this week. Young love, young lives, yearning right now for the unity that will take years of living and giving and taking to achieve. Reach out and hold each other’s hand … then hang on. It’s going to be a wild ride, but in the end you’ll want to go again if you remember to laugh, if you trust enough to cry and brave enough to share what you think and feel and believe.

To be loved gives you courage, to love gives you strength.



by Pj in Random

There is a story in the bible of Jesus teaching in the temple when he was still a child. I love that story for many reasons. Today I love that story because, to me, it shows that those who loved him loved him truly. I believe that when you are truly loved it gives you courage. He was unafraid to do what He wanted and needed to do. He did not need his parents by his side to encourage him or his friends to motivate him. He had the courage, I believe, because He knew He was loved unconditionally. This love liberated Him, even as a child, to do His thing alone.
To me this is really love. Not just parental love, but that deeper, sacred, can’t even define it, kind of love. That is what I wanted and still want to give my children, courage. If they are self motivated to discover what they want independent of me and then have the ambition to go after it then I know they know they are loved.

As they develop other relationships and those relationships are based on that same kind of love, then they will continue to have the courage to do what they want with their lives. In turn as they love others it will only increase their own strength, as those they love are able to have the courage to pursue their life goals and desires. Kind of cool I think..

Something to think about if you want to know if you have the “real” thing that enables you to be the “real” you.


First Thought

by Pj in Random

This is always a busy time of year. School “year-end’ activities, spring cleaning, yard work, allergies, waiting for Cannes to let us know that they loved our movie, picking up returning college students, sending off kids for summer adventures, finishing another documentary, continue writing on this most amazing screenplay, researching another very important and timely writing project, wash the windows, clean the garage, ride my bike to work every day, pay attention to a 12-year old, ignore young adults who act like 12 year olds. Breathe. More of this life stuff. Pay attention to these moments that make up this life stuff.

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” — Norman Cousins

Remember those long Indian summer evenings when the sun was setting and all the neighborhood kids were lying on their backs looking at the darkening sky, waiting, waiting, waiting for it to be dark enough for hide and seek?

The moment when everything seemed possible the happiness of being alive bubbled up and out into giggles. Hugging our legs we could smell the grass stains between the knee lines. We could taste the fresh green grapes squirting juice between our teeth. twilightthought.jpgThe breeze had died to a whimper. Dogs distantly bark and mothers call errant children in for the night.

One evening, as the first star slowly appeared, I had my first existential inquiry. In comparison to that star, I am as small as this ant on this blade of grass. How is that possible? How is any of this possible? Someone make sense out of how we came to be. Ollie, ollie, oxen free. I’m it. It’s too dark to see. If I stay close to the light pole I will always be safe, but that isn’t really playing the game, is it.

Star bright, star light, wish I may, wish I might, not ever had thought about your light in this the darkest of dark nights. Chase away the thought and play the game.


It’s All in the Details

by Pj in Screenwriting

Working on a historical screenplay is more difficult than writing an original screenplay! When I first started researching “the ladies” I thought, “Wow! This is going to write itself!” Now that we have done the outline and the 22 steps and discussed these characters until they haunt me day and night, pjresearch.jpg I have become pathetic on the details. My writing partner is getting a tad impatient with me. “What difference does it make what the name of the ship was? What does that have to do with the story?”

Perhaps she is right, but I think details make the story real and alive. I start writing a scene and then I grab all the books and start looking for information that verifies the story line. This is more time consuming because frankly I have memory issues. I doubt what I am recalling and wonder where I read it or even if I read it or imagined it! So I keep re-researching to make sure I have the facts straight. pjread.jpgNow I have to cut myself some slack. No one else will! We are also researching some other stories and they start to bleed into one another. That’s not a problem, right?

Funny thing happened this week. Cyndi asked me, “How many magistrates were in the court room?” What was fun was that I KNEW the answer. Instead I just looked at her, narrowed my eyes and said, “Hmmm, what does that little detail have to do with the story?” Now that was fun! I grabbed the RIGHT book, flipped open to the correct page and read the answer to her. What a historical moment that was! GREAT FUN!



by Pj in Random

Tonight has been typical. Chris has decided to sand my hutch for the fourth time. I began refinishing my table a few weeks ago. He took over and then moved on to the hutch. Apparently after the hutch’s fourth different color stain (has to be perfect) it was finally finished, he scratched it when he walked by. He did bring in the table. Now that the boys’ names are no longer etched into the wood, it looks nice.

Ben found his old superballs and was tossing them around his room. I asked him to stop playing with his ? and go and help his father carry in the table. I didn’t realize what I said until after I said it! Too late. Everyone in the room’s mouth dropped open. Did she just say what we think she just said? Walk away from the bomb! I turned, embarrassingly and bumped into…Chris. They all found this amusing.

Then Saac decided to see what his new lights for his aquarium would look like. He plugged in the lights and climbed onto a chair and held the lights over the open aquarium. I did mention the consequences that could occur if he dropped the live lights into the water. I had to leave the room. Didn’t want to see those fish fry or my son either.

They are discussing how they can rig up some sort of wire to hang from the ceiling for the new lights. They think it would be cool looking. I asked what would happen if and when the aquarium moved out. They assured me they could repair the roof in no time.

In no time. I have heard that phrase before. Four years ago when we started to remodel the bathroom. Three years ago when we started landscaping. What phrase strikes terror in my heart, “We don’t need to buy that. I can make it.” Elaborate? Sorry, some other time.


The Seasoned Tree

by Pj in Random

The seasons remind me that all will be different tomorrow.
Seasons equate change. So do you and so do I.
And some things appear unchanged.
Appearances hide what we choose to not see.
Reflections reveal more of what still exists
Transparent from pink blossoms to summer harvest
Last splash of color subsides in the snow mist.
The seasons come around again reminding me
All will be similarly different and hidden again.


Room to be Different

by Pj in Random

It is interesting to listen to my children argue. Invariable the guilty one will bring up old hurts or point the finger to anyone in order to slide away from acknowledging their contribution to the situation.

I on the other hand have been reprimanded that I too willingly accept responsibility for everything. “Pam! Why do you do that?” My response? “The buck has to stop somewhere. If people don’t feel defensive then they might be more willing to own what really is theirs.”

Totally bi-polar!

Why does it seem that everyone always has to be right. If you are right then it follows that someone is….wrong. It seems to me that there should be room for just different.

I don’t want to be blamed for your bad choices and I don’t want to blame you for mine. The choices aren’t diminished or excused. They could be examined and learned from. I would hate to think peoples’ opinion of me is based on someone else’s denial to own what is theirs. I would also hate to have people think highly of me when it is others work or effort that really should be acknowledged.

Here they come again. “Mom, look! Look what I found in my bathroom! He left it there!” Great! Now they are providing evidence. Look who’s wrong now!


Change is a good thing…Right?

by Pj in Random

Wistie called and said. Mom, what did you do to your page? I could tell she did not like it. I don’t think she likes change. The times are changing so get on board or miss the train! Good thing she hasn’t seen my hair cut yet!

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