Monday, December 30, 2013

  1. I change our family plans due to the rain and take Jay and her mate Tim to another children’s show instead. It’s a play about recycling and we all really like it.
  2. I check on Jay and she’s asleep in her bed with a big sign on her cover saying “I fell asleep all by myself”. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to say she wouldn’t be allowed to stay up all night on New Year’s Eve unless she went to bed on her own tonight, or maybe it was, because Em and I finally get to talk long into the night about things that bother and hurt her.
  3. I have heard it so many times but it is only tonight that it dawned on me. ‘Absent’. I feel very much at peace having struggled with this for such a long time and finally realizing there is a word for what I have been feeling.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

  1. Jay left me a note under my pillow telling me she couldn’t sleep in her own bed. I haven’t found it but I notice it in her hands while she watches cartoons on TV.
  2. The smell of my apple pie.
  3. Majda and I met at the university. I cannot recall the exact time and place, but I am pretty sure it had to do with checking our scores after the exams and since our surnames at the time both started with the letter –p we must have both waited for the same professor and started talking. It’s been more than 25 years since and we still talk. And we can be ourselves. Today she came visit with her family.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

  1. I start my day on Em’s new stationary bike.
  2. A pot full of cabbage wraps.
  3. I see I have enough time to take Jay to a children’s show to Zalec. Our neighbor’s youngest son (and Jay’s classmate) joins us and we are a happy bunch of three.

Friday, December 27, 2013

  1. At least half of the office is empty with people being on holidays and it makes it so much easier to work efficiently.
  2. I haven’t heard Morrisette’s Hand in my pocket in a long time, but today I have and I really like it.
  3. The children’s show with the magician is sweet and Jay enjoys it a lot.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

  1. I have only had a couple of hours of sleep but the pain from the ear infection is gone although I still have a slight headache. It’s a little too early for a celebratory margarita so I do a 20-minute exercise instead. Feeling good, really good.
  2. There are left-overs from yesterday, so there is little cooking and even that is done at a really slow pace.
  3. A call from T suggesting I imagine participating in her gong session over the next 30 minutes to let go of whatever I want to release. Pain would be fine, pain of all kind.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  1. Nobody knows whether my e-mails can be retrieved or not, once my old e-mail address is restored, and that is the price I have to pay for not being informed about the side effects of this change by B. But the guy on the other side of the line says I might get my inbox all back and that is good enough for now.
  2. Making dinner on Christmas Eve always seems overwhelming task before actually getting down to it but it all works out in time and in a relaxing atmosphere.
  3. I pray for Peace to penetrate every inch of our being, even if only tonight, for very short time.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  1. I really like talking to Renata, the librarian. She is Polish and shares details about their traditional Christmas dinner.
  2. The 2nd Graders’ Christmas performance warms our hearts. Jay reads the opening lines, dances the Autumn scene, does their version of the Cup song… and it is all so wonderful.
  3. I read the book in one sitting.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  1. I saw it on a Candid camera once how a lady entered a diner and it was all empty, nobody around to serve her, and all of a sudden the conveyor belt, set on a counter started moving and out of nowhere came glass bowls with ice-cream topped with whipped cream that would end up on the floor one by one, until the lady started removing the bowls from the belt. But the belt kept going faster and faster and the lady had to hurry more and more to prevent the bowls from dropping on the floor, and had no place to put the ice-creams anymore because there were so many and they just kept coming... She panicked, kept calling out for help but nobody came to her rescue… until “You are on Candid Camera…!”. I keep waiting for the crew to appear and shout “You are on Candid Camera!” here at the office. Imagining this happen cheers me up every time. There is lots of sarcasm behind this, surely. Same with the rubber ball that is still on my desk waiting to be dropped in Mrs. Boss’ office.
  2. I hand him pizza wrapped in foil, and a cup of hot coffee. He mumbles something, shivering from cold, the Lost Man I have seen walking by the side of the road so many times.
  3. My girl dancing on stage. I see her.

Monday, December 16, 2013

  1. I hear the excitement in Jay’s voice over the phone as she shares the news about her reading the opening lines at the parents & children meeting on Wednesday.
  2. Nobody’s missing, all ladies came, and we have a good laugh together. Same time, every year.
  3. I walk up to our house in the light of the big full moon.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

  1. I get up and realize my prayers have been heard: I am given space, even if only for a couple of hours.
  2. I try to make the most out of the sunny day by encouraging the girls to take a long walk together. Em reluctantly comes along and walks back earlier to study for her history test, but Jay is eager to meet up with another friend on the way so she keeps pace.
  3. While Em and her mates rehearse the Little Mix’ song upstairs, and Jay happily participates, I hide away to listen to this.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

  1. Jakob’s free fall on the couch. What a little champ!
  2. It’s been foggy all day long. I give a call to Jay’s new friend’s mom to invite the girl over for playing, and she says they are just on their way to our neighborhood, only that they are by foot and that she would really like the children to spend time out in the open air. I am more than happy about this and we join them on their hike. We end up getting invited in by our more distant neighbors’ for tea and cookies.
  3. My first time brownies. I always dreaded making any other than those from readymade mixtures. But these are delicious.

Friday, December 13, 2013

  1. An encouraging e-mail from a friend.
  2. A call from Em to tell me she will be rehearsing with the girls for their school talents’ show.
  3. A get-together with friends.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

  1. I panic. Then I focus. Bird by bird. Bird by bird.
  2. I step out of the house and there is this big black ceiling again, but with bright stars.
  3. “… and then there will be another group of children dancing like this…” and Jay shows me the moves, “but it won't be exactly like this, because only N, the gym teacher, can do it because she is ‘stretchy.’ ” I laugh out loud.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

  1. I realize I have run out of hemp seeds to add to my granola. But then I remember the bag of hemp bran.
  2. We are a little late but still on time. I love it when I am just a few minutes late and come to find out that I haven’t missed a thing…
  3. Jay is waiting for me in her bed, and Em is eager to try the goodies I have brought from our cooking class. And that is all that matters right now.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

  1. By the time I reach the other side of the hill, which is a 30 minute hike away, my headache is gone.
  2. After Jay reads out load two columns of an article from the daily to me to work on her reading skills, she wants a lesson in English.
  3. I was sent the link to this spot about our local factory, the only one still operating in the area, and seeing my cousin in it makes my late evening.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Last instructions before the school charity event
Nov 22nd, 2013

  1. One e-mail and I become too worked out about the whole situation within the company and with my work in particular to be able to continue. I decide to take my lunch break right away. As I cross a parking lot I hear the woman getting out of her car saying ‘I had to take the f- shoes back to the store…’. I look away because I can’t help laughing at how we are all the same in ways of dealing with issues sometimes.
  2. She stops by my desk and tells me about how impressed she was by Em’s performance at the school charity event end of November, by her ease while standing in the spotlight together with her classmate, announcing the next speaker or the next performer.
  3. Mailing off a couple of Christmas cards. I enjoy mail.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

  1. I really appreciate things balancing out when it seems like it’s happening in my favor.
  2. Something new on our Sunday home menu: Mexican soup and onion pie.
  3. Jay and I go for a walk in the dark. Jay is fascinated by the beauty of it all, the stars, the moon, the lights in the valley.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

  1. The morning sunlight has turned the meadow and the trees behind our house into gold. Enjoying the view right from my bed.
  2. The story about the reconciliation of my childhood friend’s brother with the family is one of the best ones I have heard lately. May there be many throughout this season.
  3. I can’t take my eyes off of the western skies.

Friday, December 6, 2013

  1. ‘Let there be Light!’ We repeat after St. Nicholas and there it is.
  2. It’s been a really successful day at school for Em. She is really good at rhetoric class and got an A for her strong argumentation about the pros of I-pads’ use at schools.
  3. I am grateful I learnt about the incident between my cousin and my Mom only after I had interacted with my relatives. Now I have the time to deal with it myself, and to help my Mother get over it before we all run into each other someplace.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

  1. I panic about the work I haven’t completed at the office but it’s 3.30 p.m. and I need to go home. My desk is a total mess for almost two months now, but I drop everything and just walk out, into the sun.
  2. A 20-minute walk in the cold.
  3. My memory of St. Nicholas and the little devils goes back to my age of about 6 or 7 when my auntie and I hid on the balcony of our grandparents’ house where we lived, and peeked down till one of the devils noticed us and started climbing up the column supporting the balcony, and we ran inside screaming and locked the balcony door behind. Those were times of great expectations and joy, and they are just as wonderful today as I spend them with my girls.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  1. An orange horizon at sunrise.
  2. Halloween photos of his daughter on fb.
  3. Making noise with dirty dishes at nearly 10 p.m.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

  1. I try to get Jay to resume the two stories, but she is joking most of the time which I don’t really mind because I enjoy her humor and her cheerful attitude.
  2. Either I grab a chocolate bar from the bag, full of sweets, hidden downstairs, or I go for a walk in the freezing dark… I choose to get moving.
  3. Em’s been having lots of pain and problems chewing since the last appointment at her orthodontist, but in the evening as we watch our series she says she is feeling a little better.

Monday, December 2, 2013

  1. I love the excitement in the voice on the other side of the line. Jay’s getting ready for her athletics.
  2. Onion has proven to be a good substitute for ham on a homemade pizza.
  3. It was a bitter sweet evening. It started out with my dancing to youtube music in the kitchen and ended up with Em sitting next to me on my bed, asking me how I was which led me to bury my face in my hands and cry without a sound. She was the only one to ask the question. I have much to look forward to, I am just not aware of it sometimes.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

  1. One summer day when Jay was a little baby, lying in her pram, a swarm of bees appeared from behind the house, flying high above the roof and then down over to exactly where the pram was standing. I heard the noise, looked up in horror and ran across the lawn. Luckily, by the time I reached the pram, the swarm had flown up high into the air again and away, not leaving a single bee behind to sting my baby. It is this horribly wonderful event that I remember while listening about St. Ambrose and the bees at church today.
  2. When the dough is ready I call the girls to help. We end up with two plates of gnocchi ready for boiling and a happy face, all three of us.
  3. Jay has learnt to play Silent Night on the piano all by herself. No music notes. She plays it again for me and beams with pride.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

  1. I am the only person out of three working for our category purchase today. I ignore obvious signs that this is the time to have a nervous breakdown. Instead I just want to kill the first big boss, but I am not able to plan out all the details due to one hundred e-mails in my inbox, and another one hundred to be sent out, two meetings and phone calls that are being put through to me from three phone numbers. So for now I just have this black rubber ball with a coffee logo that I covered with a post-it saying ‘I am a ticking bomb’ that I plan to place on the big boss’ computer keyboard… Well, not really, but just the idea of it makes me smile and that is a good thing.
  2. Watching Jay play the piano in a duet with her teacher, with such confidence and deep concentration in a room full of people for the very first time. I am amazed.
  3. I seek for my usb device in my summer purse and I feel sad not finding it… it has stored a lot of my writing… then I realize the inner pocket has a hole and I eventually retrieve it from between layers of fabric.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

  1. We schedule my car service and when she finds my name and address in her computer system she smiles. »I live in the same town, at number 290!«
  2. I look at Joy, sitting at her desk across from me, and she’s bathing in the golden sunlight coming through the eastern office window.
  3. After having spent more than 10 hours at the office I am totally exhausted, and I am more than grateful to have a hot vegetable soup and a crispy burek waiting for me.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

  1. Jay has created her own little presents for my Mom’s birthday. It involved lots of drawing and writing, and afterwards wrapping. I can’t remember ever writing anything for my Mom when I was my girls’ age… but I do remember taking the bus to another town to buy her something nice at the mall. I was still in primary school so that was really bold and I can’t imagine my girls doing that today. We each make efforts to show affection and appreciation for people in our lives. And I really love the way Jay is doing it.
  2. I was really tired and I sneaked into Jay's room but they tracked me down within 2 minutes. I made the call I was asked to do, and I am really glad I did to make her fears go away.
  3. Em and her classmate had got an invitation to meet the Gremo mi po svoje 2 movie crew. It’s taking place this weekend. Em has decided to invite two other mates from school to join her which I think is really nice and should be ots of fun. I wish I was (almost) 14 again and coming along.

Monday, November 25, 2013

  1. I call home and Jay answers the phone with her cheerful voice telling me she is doing just fine and feeling well.
  2. It’s very cold and windy as I wait for my lift at the bus stop but the clouds at sunset are gorgeous.
  3. Home alone with Jay, watching Life of Pi.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

  1. It’s a raining just a little and Jay agrees to go for a walk with me. We enjoy the view from the southern slopes and feel energized by the fresh air.
  2. I can’t remember meeting any teenage girl with such nice manners and overall sweet personality… I feel appreciative of her presence in my daughter’s life hoping they might become good friends.
  3. I pretend it’s not my priority although I know better but I get through the day easier that way.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

  1. I run errands and make stops at the bank, the pharmacy and the drugstore. I am amazed at how much I can get done in 25 minutes and still get to the gym to pick up Jay in time.
  2. I scratch my car leaving the parking lot with Jay. I check it out when I get home and it doesn’t look that bad which is a good thing (at least it seems so in the dark…) so I chose not to torture myself till I have it repaired and have a bill to pay.
  3. We laugh so hard at bedtime that my muscles start to hurt. Jay want to save me (and especially my hair that I washed and blow dried earlier) from Em that keeps throwing a moist towel into my head.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

  1. My colleague brings me the music. I am really happy about it.
  2. Jay is absolutely thrilled about having done so well at her math test. She gives me a call to the office to share the news. And at home she asks me if I am proud of her, more than once. I am very proud of her. This is a big thing for all of us.
  3. Joy is my boss. This is not her name, but I think it fits her perfectly. Speaking of ‘fits’, she actually is the most fit woman I know. And today we joke about the three of us, working together at the office, doing a marathon in March. I mention this to Em in the evening, wondering if she might join in as well, and she starts laughing. She says ‘this is going to be really interesting’, knowing I haven’t been jogging for more than a decade, never ran a marathon and would need to invest a whole lot to follow through and do it. I think it’s time to start thinking why I can do this (and other things) instead of thinking why I can’t.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

  1. After my lunch break I feel a boost of energy and get to work which is good because I had been depressively unproductive for hours.
  2. I am challenged by Em’s bad attitude as she struggles through new and new pairs of Dr. Martens shoes and none fit well. But then at the third store we find the perfect red shoes that she will be wearing on stage at the school event on Friday.
  3. Watching another episode of Paradise with Em while Jay settles for bedtime with her Daddy. The series is naively romantic but we really like the costumes and scenery.

Monday, November 18, 2013

  1. I extend my lunch time for another 30 minutes. I sit in the sun, enjoying the golden rays and warmth, and pretend I needn’t go back to the office.
  2. I have the bills paid, get the groceries and still make it on time to pick up Jay after her athletics.
  3. I do an exercise about the pain and the gain from taking and not taking action, and the outcome is interesting. I often underestimate the effect of writing and exercises like these, but the mind has its own way of working indeed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

  1. I spend more than 30 minutes in the morning reading a printed-out e-book in the booth before actually registering my arrival and walking into the office. What luxury.
  2. She makes small cuts into the dough with a teaspoon and that’s it. Gnocchi on the plate ready for boiling. Simple and yummy.
  3. Evening air crispness on my hot face.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

  1. I had a very different scenario for my afternoon, or what was left of it when I got home from work, but then suddenly everyone around me had their own plans, involving me as a key provider for what they wanted, and I felt the tension build up. And when I had just enough, and it wasn’t just about the quinoa on my plate, I started doing dishes. I am grateful for dirty dishes.
  2. Jay wants to do a presentation of a book tomorrow and spends most of the time drawing the kangaroo and not as much focusing on her retelling the story. And when I comment that she needn’t also draw all the animals from the farm, she says she likes doing it. And I agree that actually that is a very good idea. And I think to myself, so what if it’s not what I had in mind, and if it is a little late and time to take a shower and to brush teeth. It’s something that is giving her joy.
  3. I thought I needed to stay up late again, to finish doing laundry. I start reading about mindfulness and it is only when I get to the chapter about being mindful about our bodies, that I drop everything and go to bed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

  1. I meet my friend at the mall and we have just enough time for coffee.
  2. Listening to John Lennon’s music at really high volume while cooking late afternoon lunch.
  3. Vegetable soup and buckwheat porridge with grated cheese. My girls are delighted.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

  1. I wake up fairly late but do my work-out all the same.
  2. It is raining outside and I sneak into Jay’s bed to take an afternoon nap.
  3. Cookies for my friend’s birthday. Three different kinds. Jay helps out. I especially like the ones with ginger and allspice, and the girls like the ones filled with caramel.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

  1. I gave myself a much needed pedicure and massage last night and my feet and my toes feel great.
  2. We are the last customers in line, as the store has already closed, but the cashier lady is just as smiling and kind as always.
  3. There is a stand-up comedian at the local theater tonight, but I said no yesterday when my Mom asked me if I was going. And I cancelled the reservation for the table at a fancy restaurant for tomorrow. I know these things - and others - used to bring me joy, but I don’t want them anymore. But after I watch Once I check every song from the movie that I can find on youtube and I feel I really want this movie soundtrack and that is good.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

  1. Sun rises on me over a stripe of golden clouds.
  2. Silver snow covered peaks in the far distance on my way from work.
  3. Most beautiful pink belly clouds at sunset as I drive home from the cemetery.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

These days I am struggling hard to write down three beautiful things…
  1. Listening to Bonfire Heart by James Blunt on my way to work.
  2. Jay’s teacher agrees to change the date and time of our meeting.
  3. Watching a nice TV series with Em in the evening.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

  1. For a few minutes I am blinded by the morning sun coming through the office window. That is the only good thing I can remember from the time I spent at work.
  2. I am able to sneak through the door and to the forest before anyone realizes I am not around. Gone with the wind, literally, with southern winds, actually.
  3. I remember the hard times Em and I had when she started piano playing in 2nd Grade. She didn’t like to practice, yet refused to quit altogether or to restart the following year. Now Jay is that age and sits by the piano as long as it takes for her to learn to play the tune she wants. I admire her perseverance tonight as I, a laic in music notation myself, try to teach her the positions of notes on the staff.

Monday, October 21, 2013

  1. A clearing in the middle of the forest, a blue sky with clouds and a butterfly fluttering near the tree tops.
  2. Knowing my Mom needs to be at the gym by 6 p.m. pushes me to do my hike at a much faster pace to get home in time which is good for my lazy Taurus nature.
  3. I bring a big pile of old National Geographics from upstairs to search for some images for Jay’s school project and praise the day I refused to discard them while decluttering.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

  1. Every time I see her at church I am reluctantly enamored by the colors of her clothing. Today I notice her pink shoes. And they are really lovely.
  2. I can’t help to tickle Jakob from time to time, and to hug him, this sweet little toddler.
  3. Sunday is not my favorite day of the week, and while I do Em’s hair (like I do every Sunday evening) I learn it isn’t hers either. We both dread Monday mornings. I think that by knowing this we can make Sundays (and Monday mornings) a whole lot more fun and easier to cope with for one another.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

  1. Everybody loved the clowness show! Especially the red sponge balls we get to throw at the end, pretending they are tomatoes!
  2. I panic because of my sudden left eye inflammation but after a few hours and lots rinsing I am better.
  3. It’s very windy, but Jay and I continue on our way to the southern side of our hill, leaving our 3 p.m. autumn shades behind.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  1. I had a bad day at the office, really bad: a work overload and a low tolerance for everybody around me, having time to talk more than the absolutely necessary, or even to laugh and to joke around. Then, when I want to leave, I can’t find my car keys, and think that is really unfair because I am late and just about to lose my temper, so I plead ‘Please, God, don’t do this to me”. And I open the drawer and there they are.
  2. The scenery I am driving through is stunning: the contrast between the light and shadows, hills covered with forests in shades of warm autumn colors, like they were big soft pillows I would like lay down my head on, and golden fallen leaves over the highway like they were golden tokens someone had thrown into the wind. As much as I would like to just go home and dive into the afternoon with my girls, looking at all this beauty even if from the car is an unexpected gift.
  3. I can’t resist walking down the Miklosiceva street all the way to the Three Bridges. I stand in the middle of the Preseren’s square along with many other people, pretending to be waiting for my date, then shudder from all the memories and continue on my way to the nearest bookstore where I find wonderful treasures for my girls. An unexpected glance at my reflection in the mirror reinforces my sense of reality, yet I feel more my confident younger self than I have in a long while.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

  1. We take off our jackets, then put them on again, look for autumn colors in forest covering the hills around us, and there is just the anticipation of them, but this sun, this bright Autumn day…!
  2. While Jay searches for more stones to throw into the stream I look up and see a girl with curly hair waving in the wind walk downhill towards us. I know her but she seems too adult to be… It’s Em, says Jay.
  3. All three of us manage to get ready for bed by 8 p.m. and I think that is really super for a Sunday evening.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

  1. As I knock on the window pane Em turns and waves back with a smile and then continues on her way to school.
  2. I write an e-mail back saying no to her request. This saves me at least one hour of time at the office to focus on priorities, but that is not the best part of it. It’s the “no” part that gives me the most satisfaction.
  3. Em tells me about the one chocolate that their teacher had brought to class (for not making the recent excursion a nightmare for her) and how her husband had eaten the other one the night before, removed her note that it was for the class and left an empty wrapper and a new note in the fridge, saying one bar was enough for her pupils. We laugh at the thought of her face in the morning.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  1. My desk at the office is covered with papers and I don’t have the slightest idea about what my priorities are. My closest coworker was fired on Friday and my superior that had been assigned to her position a few months ago is not coping. But I am taking all this mess and stress remarkably well.
  2. I look through the window and there are ladybugs everywhere, on the panes, the window frames , roller shutters and walls, all the places that had been exposed to the warmth of the autumn sun.
  3. Jay builds a colorful tower out of crayons that reminds me of the towers in the wooden forts in the wild west. We take photos and then she knocks it down with a magic wand and I manage to catch that magic blurry moment with the camera as well.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

  1. I find Jay with a phone in her hand, having just dialed my number, because she was worried Id be late and she would miss her athletics.
  2. Jay hurts her face but she is brave and doesn’t cry. Late in the evening while talking to my Mom over the phone, she whispers into my ear that I should tell Mom about her little accident because otherwise “she will go crazy when she sees it”. I know exactly what she is talking about and we start grinning.
  3. Em is not in her best mood. She opens up, and there are tears and smiles, and tears again. I listen and try to give comfort with hugs and words, and think about how vulnerable and how tough and again how vulnerable we are.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

  1. At first I feel like I don’t know how to stop her from continuing with her tantrum… but then I just listen to my instincts and have her sit in my lap for a while.
  2. We thought we had missed the beginning of the radio bedtime story, but when we turn the radio on we hear the jingle.
  3. Em returns home from the school excursion impressed by all the things she had seen, and also by all the things she had experienced among her mates, and from the expression on her face and the sound of her voice I can tell it wasn’t all pleasant. She says she will share more when she feels like it. She is obviously dealing with it. And growing.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

  1. Ice-cream with strawberry topping at the office.
  2. We look up at our garden as we walk down the driveway and there are the sunflowers, in late full bloom. We should take photos of them again, says Jay.
  3. I had bought the last edition of the book a couple of years ago, thinking it would be nice if Em had read it one day... Then a week ago she volunteered for an extra assignment at history class to read this exact book and to present it to the class. She walks right up to me tonight, with a smile on her face, saying I finished it, then her eyes begin to shimmer with tears and next thing I know she is clinging to me sobbing. My beautiful almost-14 year-old, safe in my arms, and the book by Anna Frank on the kitchen counter.

Monday, September 30, 2013

  1. I find her in tears and react swiftly by taking her to her athletics although late and with not-exactly running shoes because we had left them at school. Then she is all smiles.
  2. I have a few more minutes to drive around the neighborhood before picking up Jay. Then I spot them both, the houses on sale.
  3. I lock myself up into the bathroom and for 10 minutes I am just me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

  1. By 10 a.m. I have done my morning exercise, made breakfast, boiled potatoes, have a bouillon cooking on the stove and feel super good about myself.
  2. Three girls in the front row at church so live, full of smiles, poking each other and chitchatting.
  3. Jay wants to know when her name day is and when she realizes we have missed it by 4 months, she decides we will celebrate today and sets the table with sweets and nuts. We don’t have any presents ready but she is happy with the violet pot that I had bought for her to take to school (but she would like to take a cactus instead), and with the new boots my Mom had brought her. It’s a sweet celebration on a cold and gloomy rainy day that she so lovingly prepared for us, winded up with a treasure hunt that only I participate in.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

  1. I open the bathroom window and there’s the pink horizon. It's a good morning.
  2. I spot Jay as they run down the track. I keeps turning her head because she loves the wind in her hair so much.
  3. My girls tickle each other on the couch and their laughter is a balsam for my soul.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

  1. I walk out of our offices into the sun.
  2. Em comes looking for me right after she walks in. Then she shows me the choreography and asks what I think about if she had cocoa this late.
  3. I find some stationery that I have forgotten about, and there are envelopes, too. One is red.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

  1. I marvel at Jay’s piano playing as it’s only been three weeks since she started her lessons.
  2. It takes us more than an hour to get back uphill and Jay says her legs hurt but we enjoy our fine early Autumn time together more than a lot.
  3. I see that the envelope on the counter is open. It’s a relief. Watching it sealed for the second day in a row really threatened to trigger me.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

  1. It's a girl! And her name is Naja.
  2. The meeting goes well and for once I feel the preparation was worth the effort.
  3. She is one of my friend from the old times. We talk about the recent trip to the mountains that each of us made, about the physical and emotional cleansing and the deep sense of peace.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

  1. It is only at the library, while waiting for Jay, that I remember to make the call. But the man on the other side of the line answers with a cheerful voice that he is already in the middle of pruning our cherry tree.
  2. I found this post. I printed it out and stuck it to the wall of my cubicle. Neruda’s You start dying slowly had to go. Changing focus. I have got #1 covered. Moving on to #2. Practicing.
  3. Em is tired from her dance session. And her back hurts. She says it’s been fragile ever since she has been paying more attention to her posture over the last few weeks. I am glad my remarks have been considered.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

  1. I sing “… always look on the bright side of life…” as I sidewalk to the office.
  2. “How was it?” “Great. She has taught me sooo much.” Jay’s great expectations have been met and she likes her music teacher. I am happy… sooo much.
  3. I can’t go on like this for much longer. At this point any change is good.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Every year there are at least three milestones in my life related to my children: birthdays, beginning of another school year and Christmas time. Each one of them is bitter-sweet, bringing tears to my eyes when nobody’s looking, and filling my heart with so deep feelings and huge desires that leave little space for my lungs. This is one of those days. It doesn’t get any easier: I don’t get any tougher, any more skilled to not feel like I am falling apart a little, or a lot, trying to hide it behind a timid smile and a wave goodbye.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

  1. I enjoy the show with the raptors enormously. I am especially taken by the Golden Eagle… I still wish I had lined up for a photo shoot with the Kestrel sitting on my hand like Em and Jay did.
  2. The little monkey snatches the apple from the keeper’s pocket and dashes away.
  3. The moment I pour the batter onto the frying pan for the first pancake I hear my mom’s car in our driveway.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

  1. I have all the time in the world to marvel at this morning view.
  2. To feed the parrot with peanuts is scary yet so tempting neither of the girls want to skip it.
  3. A place with so much tranquility to offer, and I can only take in just a little.

Monday, August 26, 2013

  1. I smile a whole lot speaking to strangers passing by our booth, knowing it’s more of a delight to see a happy face than a dull one, although I feel I am far too mature to be a hostess.
  2. I smile a whole lot at my old acquaintance because I am really glad to see him although I may be misleading him to think how overall happy I am.
  3. I smile a whole lot talking to my colleague from work, this energetic 10 years younger woman with a life style so different from mine, that I would hardly ever communicate on a private basis.
And the day turns out different from what I dreaded and eventually everything is fine and worth smiling at.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

  1. I cook while they sew clothes for the dolls.
  2. A rainy day is perfect for Ana Karenina that we have been putting off watching for so many weeks.
  3. I talk and she listens and I still don’t know what to do but I feel better letting it out.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

  1. The smell of cantaloupe as I open the container for my lunch at the office.
  2. Hydrangeas are among my favorites. Unfortunately this summer the blooms in my garden have been badly burnt by the sun. As I am pruning I listen to Jay and her little friend and their interaction is a wonderful example of complementing and having fun together.
  3. Mostly it was about needing to leave the house. But eventually it felt like the right thing to go there, to reunite and to light a candle at his grave.

Monday, August 19, 2013

  1. I felt much better afterwards. I actually stopped biting my nails and got to work which I am paid to do.
  2. Jay wanted to have a serious talk with me about when she can meet with friends when her big sister is going to a birthday party this week and is even planning a sleep-over…! I don’t know how I pulled it through with my suggestion to cycle down to the library together, but I did. And it was good. Humid and hot, especially when we had to walk back up the hill, dragging our bikes, but it was good. For all three of us.
  3. While we talked we held each other tight on her big bed and I felt small but safe, safe in the arms of my 13-year old daughter.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

  1. Seeing them enjoy our weekend away from home, swimming, splashing, diving in the pools made it more than worth the stress I felt doing things differently.
  2. As soon as we come home Jay takes her diary to write a few lines and to glue in the postcard.
  3. I feel a relief seeing that the lettuce seedlings are still alive, although nobody watered them over the last two days.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

  1. The crisp air and sunshine and swings at 1122 m alt.
  2. As soon as I get past the resentment I feel lighter and able to think of all the wonderful possibilities for our girls' weekend.
  3. Although I feel sorry Em and I had to again postpone watching Anna Karenina together, I enjoy seeing my auntie after so many weeks and talking small talk while indulging in our home-made pizza and cake.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

  1. Morning rain, finally. 
  2. The man delivering apples pulled in the moment I got out of the car. 
  3. I know it hasn't been exactly the best summer for her. When she shared her anticipation of her next week get-togethers with a smile on her face I was happy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

  1. Jay created a lovely booklet about letters. Letter A is the most important one, and letter V likes to sleep in late but should go to bed earlier, at 9 p.m. that is (like Jay). Love it!
  2. I ask my colleague at work if she has any sample to spare and she hands me a lovely red box with a bear, perfect size for the cookies we have made for my cousin.
  3. Little Jakob bounces around and smiles all the time, and looks at me in astonishment when I start singing to him – and then, after a while, covers his ears.

Monday, August 12, 2013

  1. I look into the cradle, at the green blanket, and picture the newborn there. What joy!
  2. We make ourselves comfortable on the couch watching the adventures of the tiny, but mighty Chihuahua.
  3. I felt so much rage I feared I was going to lose control and do something crazy, embarrassing and socially inacceptable, which isn’t hard to do in a neighborhood like ours and in a situation like that one. This is not a good thing. Until you deal with it, on your own, locked up in the bathroom, in the quiet and out of sight, and come out human again, humble and grateful for yet another episode, one of many yet to come.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

  1. It was nice having them come visit. And we had a good excuse to serve lots of ice-cream.
  2. We spent some time at the opening of the hops-picking season, but then we left the band and the crowd behind and walked down to the lake. It was quiet and beautiful and it brought nice memories.
  3. It was almost 8 p.m. when I put on my walking shoes and went for a hike into the woods. I appreciated the peacefulness, the fallen trees and the dead leaves and the dying light. It’s all about the life cycle, although we sometimes can’t make sense of its pace.

Friday, July 26, 2013

  1. The assignments the couples participate in to stay in the competition for 1 million dollars on TV are disgusting, but then my sit-ups don't seem that hard and awful anymore.
  2. At the cash register I tease Em about those clothing being just a huge expense and no investment, but then we all check the receipt and I get a 10 € pay-back because of the lady's mistake. 
  3. An event from the past keeps invading my mind late in the evening when everyone else is asleep and I have the house all to myself. I decide to rewrite it, to create a different story. Eventually, I find myself brushing my teeth and having a monologue no one can hear, and it seems crazy, yet healing realizing I can finally express my feelings, and accept them.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

  1. We watch the dairy worker stir the yoghurt with fruit from the window above, and it seems so creamy and yummy, just like in the commercials.
  2. The 10 degree temperature in the Hell underground cave feels like heaven on a blazing summer day, still in a short while we are glad we are wearing all the extra clothing.
  3. The second and third batch of coconut cookies turn out best: chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

Monday, July 22, 2013

  1. I buy train tickets for our ride to Ptuj, and the cashier lady is nice to suggest we buy a special family card to cut on future rides which is tempting and makes me think of all the faraway places we could go... but actually we only take the train once a year... and this makes it a big summer adventure. 
  2. Jay loves the view from the castle, particularly the brick roofs down below. She wants me to take a photo of her alone, and the roofs in the background. 
  3. Jay and I clasp hands and laugh and make fun of Em while waiting for the train.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

  1. The writing prompt encourages me to create a poem. I haven't been writing much in months. Just lists. And all this writing feels good.
  2. I watch her play tennis with the teacher and hear her bold communication. An hour later I listen to her loud singing and see her twirl all around the house. The next minute she is telling me about the books for her school project that she will start working on. So full of life, so full of confidence.
  3. The second time that we watched the movie August Rush. I love this story about the music separating them and then eventually bringing them all back together.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

  1. I know by now that a 1-hour workout a day, keeps my lowest spirits away, so I am back in business.
  2. Jay comes back in, asks for a container so that she can bring me something, a surprise. It is handful of thyme she had picked at the back of our house. “Are you surprised? Will you do something with it?”
  3. “I am so looking forward to next week when you’re home,” says Em with a big smile on her face.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

  1. Cranky in the morning. I choose not to serve breakfast. Pearl white nail polish. I feel so much better. 
  2. I don't think Jay has ever asked for some more lettuce. Until lunch today. 
  3. We are just about to cross the railway tracks when Jay says how funny it was last time when the signal started right then and scared us. To our amazement in that very moment the signal rings and we find ourselves in the exact same scene.

Monday, July 15, 2013

I read this post and decided it was a good day to get uncomfortable...

… like when I need to fill out the tax papers and the deadline is today.
Because I hate tax papers.
But I am grateful I have something to pay taxes for.

… and like when I have to take Em’s shoes back to the store to file a complaint.
Because I hate being the one to complain, to stand out; I’d rather just let go and blame it on myself for buying a low quality merchandise at a high price.
But I am grateful I did it.
And for taking the girls for the best ice-cream in town afterwards.

… and like when I have to insist on Jay’s sleeping in her own bed, in her room.
Because this happens 6 out of 7 nights (she made it a rule to sleep in the big bed on Fridays) and it stressful and it requires a parent’s persistence to stretch at the end of a long day.
But I am grateful Jay eventually understands we all need a good night sleep and comes sneaking into the big bed no earlier than 3 a.m.