05 September, 2008

Garden Cities in the historic Amazon

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Did you know that scientists are discovering that cities once existed in the Amazon rain forest. And that these cities were as large as their European counterparts. At least up until 1500-500 years ago. Yes, they suspect that the owners were killed off by European disease. But what is amazing is that areas we think of as 'virgin' forest were in fact heavily planted and groomed by the people in these cities. It's also theorized that they used much better urban growth planning than we do. :) [like that's hard!]

Here's the link. To the article in the Telegraph.co.uk

There's another article in the Guardian about the same study.

There is also a feed on the Now Public site that has a small video clip of some indigenous people, interesting music.

I found it interesting that so little real attention has been paid to these sites. Maybe because they weren't European based?

from a puzzled goddess

04 September, 2008

Whale speak...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

No it's not Dora...This is an article in the Telegraph.co.uk paper about scientists at Kamogawa Sea World aquarium in Chiba Prefecture, Japan who have taught a Beluga whale to use three identifiable 'words' for a bucket, diving fins and goggles.

It's not that this is a minor accomplishment. Obviously to be reported in the world press it was something unusual and interesting. But I really was hoping that there would be more of a breakthrough in communicating with other species at this point.

This other article talks about whale songs themselves and their complexity.
"Humpback songs are not like human language, but elements of language are seen in their songs," said Ryuji Suzuki, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) predoctoral fellow in neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and first author of the paper.

There is even a sample of whale song on the site. For some reason, I find whalesong particularly soothing. :) Move over Spock and Capt. Kirk we still have whales here.

from a puzzled goddess

03 September, 2008

Better moms need tranquilizers...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I think I'd be a better mom if they put me back on tranquilizers. I'm sure the kids would like me better, and that glowing fog sure would mute these depressive spirals.

I wasn't going to post because I'm so exhausted, but the kids have managed to start their first day of high school without any major problem. One more milestone passed.

Pain visited again on Monday and wasn't a polite guest, so I didn't sleep that night but stayed up to wake the kids and see them to their first day. Sometimes I don't know why I bother to push. I pushed on through the day and into the afternoon, just thinking I'd stay up long enough to find out about the first day of school and then collapse. I'd had Rick stay home to help me because I felt so awful.

I should have known better than to push that hard, but I so wanted to be there for the kids. I was in bad enough shape that the boy and I ended up having words because of the way he treats his sister and the way he was treating me when I was trying to find out what kind of haircut he wanted. [Note to self, let dad deal with teenagers when I'm in this much pain.]

I always bring on pissy attitudes and the sulks. I probably was impatient and snapped at him about the short timing and the effort it takes to drive 20 miles to get anything done. This haircut came out of the blue because his adductor muscle is still strained and he was going to have to sit out of practice. So, for him, it was a logical jump to have mom drive him into Hood River for a haircut when he wouldn't miss practice and would be ready, and able to see, by the game on Friday.

For me, it was an impossibility that made me depressed because I couldn't do it and was disappointed in myself, as I didn't have half my vision field clear...it was throwing spots like a psychedelic movie and it was becoming increasingly difficult to think through the pain. I was glad that Rick was there, and I could ask him to cover it.

But I was hurt that there was no concept that dad had stayed home because MOM was sick and MOM was too sick to drive him anywhere so he was being a demanding, self-involved teenage boy. (Do they ever get better? They must, his father is one of the most loving and patient men I know. There's more than one reason I married him. Though he'd tell you it was just the great sex. *grin*)

I know I jumped him about his chores and his laundry that has somehow piled up on his floor again in less than 24 hours. :| I got impatient when he couldn't pick out a hairstyle on line that would actually cut off enough of the extra growth to clear his vision, and I made the mistake of smacking his arm when he rudely popped off to his sister to shut up.

I hate that tone of voice, and I hate the way it makes his sister shrink inside; hel, I shrink inside when he uses it on me. I shouldn't have smacked the arm, that just escalated his behavior, but it was such a reflex when he used that nasty tone that I've been on him about for weeks.

We've ALL been trying to be better and more loving to each other. It's hard when you all have stresses and physical demands that seem to grow by the minute and are all intelligent enough to want to be treated like rational PEOPLE, whether you are acting like one at the current moment or not. :?

As a goddess of pain, I suck as a mom. I know that I finally retired from the field and left it all to dad because I was crying and depressed and at the point of wondering why I even put out the effort to exhaust myself when it's just taken for granted that I can do more when I'm already so overloaded I O.D'd on the pain meds just to get through their first day.

I'm wishing I felt more of the triumph and accomplishment I was feeling as I watched them walk into the school this morning, but the depression is bad enough that it's hard to see beyond it. I know that the girl tried to cuddle up next to me last night and help me to feel better, but when you feel like a failure it's hard to see accomplishment in being comforted by a 13 year old.

I should though. We're obviously doing something right, the compassion and caring were being expressed, and her very loving presence helps me to feel a bit better thinking about it now. And I know her brother feels them too; even if he demonstrates it at the weirdest moments. :)

It's hard to deal with a mom who's chronically depressed and in pain most of the time. I think they do better than I have any right to expect.

Enough of my five minutes of whining. I'm sure the kids will do something sterling today that will inevitably make this mom's new day SHINY.

I just have to look at the sky and try to remember optimism and the power of positive thinking, right? [Did whoever said that have teenagers?]

from a whiny puzzled goddess trying to make herself a better mom

01 September, 2008

Black never left the building...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Okay...so all the clothes and supplies got purchased, and I'm a little emo'd out. Why do my kids insist on emo stuff? They're not really depressed. Maybe it's because black, white and grey look good on them :)

At that age, I'd have worn black daily if my mom had let me get away with it. But I always got, "Black's too old a color for you." That was back in the days when some widows still wore 'weeds' and people actually wore black to funerals and it was considered VERY poor manners to wear black to a wedding because you were implying that you were in mourning for the bride or groom depending on your sex. (Nowadays, I think you're just showing you're in mourning for both of them...they're getting MARRIED. SUCH a popular institution.)

I can't believe we were silly enough to go to Clackamas Town Center. I knew better. It was like going on the last weekend before Christmas, except EVERY kids' shop in the mall was mobbed. Zumiez was actually smart enough, and big enough, to have a couch in the back corner of the shop for the worn out parents to sit on. Plus it kept our very uncool presence in the back of the store. :) It was embarrassing that I had a low sugar episode and almost passed out after I got up from that couch. But the chocolate shop across the mall forcourt soon put that right again, along with some sprite. (ugh, sugared pop is NOT something I care for! Give me chocolate any time though!)

I had a kick walking around the food court with the kids though. They both looked so cool. But the girl was hugging on mommy's arm and so probably looked a bit dorky walking around with this old woman.

The son on the other hand was walking 3 steps behind, not out of respect, but to disassociate with the very uncool women in front of him. His mom and sister. So I had a great time dropping back to grab him around the neck or hug his shoulders and watch him squirm. I don't think he was specifically trying to impress anyone...just the general teenage feeling of wishing you could sink through the floor rather than acknowledge that you're at the mall with your, gasp, parents!

Most of the time when we go out we don't go places so firmly entrenched in the teens-only mentality so it's okay if mom hugs on him or messes up his perfectly groomed hair occassionally.

By the time they were done scoping out the really expensive black clothes I was more than ready to get out of there, and I was appreciating that couch even more after my hubby got to take the hike out to where he'd found parking for the car. It was far enough out that I never saw it parked. :)

from the puzzled goddess of teenage fashion :)

31 August, 2008

Clothes from hel...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I swear to all the gods that there is a Hel. It is going to the stores during back-to-school shopping with two teenagers...both of whom have very strong opinions on what they will and won't wear. Ugh! We just got home and I had to vent. Added to this nightmare is a nasty list that still has 3 stores to go...the most expensive three. :(

I really dislike going to Zumiez...the clerks always make me feel like I'm 300 years old and totally out of it in less than 30 seconds; it takes my kids at least an hour to make me feel like that. :)

About today. Did you know they only have about 3 different models of court shoes for girls at Big5? They have about 10 for guys...3 for girls. (Imagine that!)

Strangely, volleyball does pretty much need decent shoes if you aren't going to be plagued by shin splints like I was during my school sports era. Of course, in that day and age Nikes and Adidas had just come out and parents like mine regularly refused to spend that kind of money on tennis shoes or "sneakers". It wasn't evident then that shoes DO make a difference to how your feet develop and how much pain you're in during sports.

Me, I'm a soft touch parent as opposed to my parents, at least my husband thinks so. I say that I just want them to have the best experience they can have in school and stay physically active.

Something that I know will be a major challenge for my dear daughter. She's already about 5'5" and stacked to put it impolitely. Poor kid, we have an impossible time getting her the support she needs to run and be active. Until her current coach, she pretty much hated sports and anything to do with them. But her currrent coach is an absolute jewel and realizes that, without specially engineered undergarments, running and jumping are actually painful. Strangely enough, this has started to be addressed in the last few years and their are actually specially designed sports bras for more well endowed women. THEY BEEN A LONG TIME COMING!

I and my daughter have a theory. If guys had that much trouble supporting what was between their legs a heavy duty sling would have been invented in 30 seconds...oh wait, it was, it's called a jock strap. Now that women are finally in the undergarment industry we are actually seeing some clothes produced that help the problems a women's body has to deal with and be comfortable.

They may be ugly shoes and bras and pants, but gee, they're finally comfortable. It's always amazed me how much more comfortable male clothing is than female clothing. But that WAS in the days before guys had to use one hand to keep their pants from falling off their @ss when they walked fast.

My husband has an idea for a bra for our daughter; he found it here.

a puzzled goddess writing from clothing Hel...