May 2007

No, I’m not crying today, nor am I even sad. I’m not calling this “Lacrimosa” because of my mood (which, quite remarkably, seems to be serene for a change…I guess the tumultuousness has finally subsided; for now anyway). I’m listening to Mozart today; specifically his Requiem. Now, for those who might not know, this was meant to be played at a Requiem Mass…or Mass for the dead, and the Lacrimosa was to be done during the part in the Mass called the Dies Irae (which means “Day of Wrath” I believe). This was during a wonderful time in musical history, when polyphonic music was very much prevalent even during a sombre Mass such as a Requiem. I know many people who would disagree with my positive sentiments regarding polyphony and it’s use in something such as a Mass, but I’m sticking to my opinion. To me, the beauty of the music is very complimentary to the beauty of the Mass itself. But I won’t bore you with why…it tends to get too much into logistics. What can I say, I’m a nerd when it comes to such things.

Back to Mozart’s Requiem…it had been a while since I’d listened to it. I’ve always had a passion for classical music. I think it comes from my somewhat classical background…I tended to migrate toward Puccini and Vivaldi when looking for something to perform vocally…I actually did attempt to perform Whitney Houston once; what a fiasco that was! My Laudamus Te felt so much more comfortable. Anyway… what was I saying? Mozart…right. I’m sure many people would think it odd to listen to a Requiem as a form of enjoyment. But I do enjoy it…immensely even. When the first notes of the Lacrimosa begin, I can already feel the beauty of it. And as progresses, it’s almost as if the music is flowing through me as it builds and builds; like the music is a part of me, or I a part of it. I know this sounds really odd…I’m laughing as I re-read the whole thing. But honestly, it’s not something I can explain. Listening to such wonderful music is sheer ecstasy for me. I really do feel it as it is playing. And this is just from a CD…just imagine how it is for me when it’s being played live. In regards to the Lacrimosa, yes, it was meant to be played for the dead. But that doesn’t take away from the beauty of it all. I could listen to it all day, and not feel the least bit melancholy.

I’m not sure if I even have a point with this post. Sheesh…and it’s not even Monday yet. I think I’m just sensing some kind of a difference in myself as of late. I am feeling a resurgence of parts of my past in some ways…parts that I had long forgotten, and yet never really wanted to. I was always a very musical person (despite my poor attempts in playing the tin whistle, but that’s another story). It was more than something I liked…it was a passion for me. It still is, but I think that there are many aspects of that passion that I’ve ignored for far too long. And I think it’s time to indulge a bit in those passions, even if it is a waste of time in some people’s eyes. The more I’m listening to real music (even if it has been only the past couple of days), I’m remembering how much I loved to sing, and be in a choir and just immerse myself in it all…and I’m realizing how much I really do miss it.

Well, this hasn’t been one of my better postings, that’s for sure. Such is life…you can’t always be witty and brilliant I suppose. Or, in my case, you can’t always attempt to be witty and brilliant, since it always seems to be an attempt rather than an achievement; there will be those days that being introspective is far more appealing and therefore spiritually lucrative. I think that’s what I’ve happened upon here. And with that, I’m off to listen to the rest of Mozart’s Requiem


The top 5 things that happened this week that were positive.

1) The lilacs bloomed…I have them in the house, and they smell divine

2) The cold weather left, and it’s been summertime type hot. YAY!

3) I painted my toenails bright pink

4) I found out that Mr Izz’s trip to Chicago has been cancelled…this means that I may actually get my washing machine, the lawn may get mowed, and I may be able to plant my garden. Oh, and he’ll be home just in general, not in Chicago…almost forgot that one 😉

5) I’m sick of listening to Green Day

Top 5 things that happened this week that weren’t so positive

1) The grass got too long, and if it gets any worse, I’m libel to lose a child in it

2) The laundry is so high, I’m going to have to learn to yodel before I can actually wash it

3) I didn’t get too much sleep, so I could almost qualify as one of the undead at this point

4) Mr Izz was gone, which only means I should get a vacation by myself

5) I listened to too much Green Day

So there you have it. The week in review. Back to your regularly scheduled programing.

I honestly can’t for the new look. A good friend of mine, who incidentally takes fantastic pictures, took the picture that I have up on the header now. I like the look much better…it much better suits the look I was trying to go for to begin with.

So thank you, Dub. I am forever in your debt 😉 MWAH!

I grew up in the middle of the woods….and I mean this quite literally. We had them all around the house, and across the road (it sure as heck wasn’t a street). In fact, trees were pretty much the only things to be seen for quite a while if you were to drive down our road. Even the houses were sparse. At that time, I wasn’t too keen on the fact that the place where I lived was like that. I always felt it was boring. I hated the seclusion of it all, and was adamant in my contempt of the place. There was nothing there…no cars, no buildings, no people…nothing. Instead, we had bears, deer, the occasional cow from my uncle’s farm, and silence. Total silence…and real darkness; so dark that if you looked up on a clear night, you could see almost the entire cosmos. It was breathtaking…although I didn’t really realize that then. I was craving the sites and sounds of city life…the noises, the overabundance of people, even the streetlights. I assumed (albeit very naively) that I would fulfill this desire when I made it to Broadway, and became a star of the stage. Needless to say, the dreams of the stage were never realized…but my quest for city life was. When I was 16, I moved to a smallish city…but a city nonetheless…that was about 3 hours away from where I grew up in the woods. I was ecstatic. It was everything I’d hoped for! Even in it’s smallness, life bustled about quite nicely along it’s streets and sidewalks. There was always something going on, and that something was always within walking distance. I thought there was nothing better. Then I grew up. Things tend to change quite a bit when you do that.

I left that city quite some time ago…got married, had a rather large family, and also moved around quite a bit. Since being married, I’ve lived in El Paso and outside of Seattle; near Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. These were real cities…and the more I saw of them, the more I missed what I had come from. I missed the soft sounds of the wind in the treetops, and the brilliance of the stars on a clear, cold night. And the way the woods smelled after a summer rain. I realized, although it did take a bit of time, that nothing could compare to these things…after all, you can’t even see the stars in the city, or hear the wind over the traffic, or smell anything worth smelling after the rain. The more I realized this, the more I wanted to go back to what I had when I was growing up. I wanted my kids to experience all of those wondrous things that I did then (yes, I even realized that those things were hardly boring). I wanted to live on a back road, where the only traffic is the occasional tractor or flock of sheep, and the only sounds are the crickets or the cows lowing softly in the fields. But I married a city boy, and a wandering one at that, so for a very long time, it seemed highly unlikely that returning to my roots would ever transpire. But it finally has. And I couldn’t be happier. Our new house is in the middle of the sticks. I saw so many stars last night, I was awestruck…it really had been a while. I even relished watching the bats at dusk, as they flew about in search of their evening meal of mosquitoes and moths. There is wind in the treetops, and there are cows in the fields. We have deer that like to eat my grass, and I even quite happily had to endure the remnants of a skunks ire, as it wafted in through the open window. And today, Terrence saw a bear near the stream behind the house. That’s not exactly what I was wanting when I was longing to be back in the woods, but I’ll take it…so long as it stays on it’s side of the stream.

It really is good to be back. It’s really funny how much my vision of life has changed in the last 20 years or so. I couldn’t even imagine living in a huge city now…even a small one makes me cringe. For the first time in quite some time, I feel alive again, and that’s a good feeling.

I’ve had a rather peculiar type of day…well, I suppose peculiar isn’t really the word for it. Irksome…that’s the word I’m looking for. Yes, irksome will do quite nicely. My day has been irksome. Aside from the normal, day to day trivialities, I’ve also just been in a foul mood (I’m thinking that in lieu of this, the day has been rather irksome for the kids too, but they’ll survive). My foulness has brought on a “Green Day”, meaning that I’ve been reduced to rebellion and anarchistic type behavior…ie: listening to Green Day. That’s my usual modus operandi on days such as this…in fact, I have it on as I type. Not sure if it’s helping my writing, but it’s helping my mood the tiniest bit. Yes, it has taken all day for it to get to even “tiniest bit”…thank you for noticing. No, I’m really not thinking that maybe having a Green Day isn’t really conducive to creating a more serene outlook and general attitude. The reason my mood is the tiniest bit better is because I’m liking being somewhat rebellious right now. There…objections answered. Let’s move on.

I’m really not writing this to go on and on (and on and on…) about my mood today. I was quote hunting earlier…looking for a new and exciting signature quote for a message board I frequent; one that of course reflects my wonderfully defiant outlook upon life in general right now. It turned out that I recycled one that I’ve used in the past, but since I really like it, I decided that re-siggying wouldn’t be a bad thing. But during my ventures into quotedom via the internet, I did happen upon a quote that I really did like, but didn’t think would be all that appropriate for a message board. So, it shall now, forevermore, grace the hallowed postings of my meagre, and yet somewhat relevant (at least to me) blog. But that’s only because I’m being defiant, and don’t care if it’s offensive (not that it is offensive…but anyway…). The quote is by Oscar Wilde….by the way, after all this quote diving I’ve been doing, I’m beginning to love Oscar Wilde. He really wrote some pretty awesome stuff. I thought this quote was really good…and right on the button:

Men always want to be a woman’s first love; women have a more subtle instinct: what they like is to be a man’s last romance

This is such a brilliant quote! There is such truth and wisdom contained in it. And I really think that this is one of the keys as to the differences between men and women. I’m sure I could launch into some lovely diatribe (oooo..lovely diatribe! How’s that for an oxymoron?) about how this is because women think of more than just themselves, whereas men really don’t, but maybe it wouldn’t be a good thing to go there. Wouldn’t you agree? Good…so I won’t.

So there’s my quote. I really was taken by it…although I’m not sure why. Maybe my anarchist attitude forced certain parts of my cerebral wiring to get crossed. Who knows. And see? It really wasn’t offensive. Very true, but hardly offensive. Maybe that means that the rebellion is cooling a bit…after all, I also really liked this quote by Ian Fleming, that I also found to be quite true, and highly relevant, but decided not to use:

Men want a woman whom they can turn on and off like a light switch

It’s a good thing that I’m finally coming out of this…using that quote would have been more defiant than even I would have wanted to be.

Finals are officially OVER!!! Thank God! I wasn’t sure we’d make it through (when Mr Izz stresses, the world stresses…), but we did and all is actually well. The world is still spinning along nicely upon it’s axis, in it’s rightful place among the other planets; the stars are still brightly shining within the vastness of the cosmos (if the millions I saw last night were the judge of that); and we’re all still here, not having been obliterated entirely by the death glares we got when we asked him whether or not he wanted to have dinner while he was in the middle of trying to study for Anatomy and Physiology (believe me, they were that bad). But while things here should be getting back to normal, the happy dancing will have to wait a bit, since now that he’s done with school for the semester (one down…only three left until I buy him that cute little nurse’s hat), he has business related traveling to do…two weeks of it in fact. I’m thinking that I’d actually like the world to stop spinning on it’s axis for a bit…I need jump off and find another planet that perhaps doesn’t spin quite so quickly. Maybe Venus…all that gaseous stuff that surrounds it might be useful too, for I’d be much harder to find. Sounds good….impractical, since air would be somewhat difficult to find, as well as water…probably food too….but still, a good idea nonetheless.

Really, I can’t complain about it all, because it won’t be that bad. I actually like when Mr Izz isn’t here, to a certain extent anyway. I get far more done…why this is, I have no idea, but I do. Things are way more laid back (that’s because I’m running things…who needs all those “type A personality” vibes running amok anyway?)…we even do silly things like have cereal for dinner, go on picnics in the yard, and stay up late to watch really stupid movies. It’s not that he doesn’t like to do such things (well, except the cereal for dinner part…he really isn’t fond of that), he’s just a “by the book” type of person, and things have to be a certain way all of the time….schedules and charts and lists. All the things that I’m not, although try to be for his benefit because it drives him batty when I’m not (and yes, I do also benefit from some of these things…but don’t tell him that. He’ll just say “I told you so!” and I don’t want to hear that today). But when he’s gone, I can do things my own way for a change. Two weeks of no lists or schedules…..almost sheer perfection!

Honestly, though, I will miss him. It’s not the same when he’s gone, and we all get pretty restless until he’s back. Besides, he has some of the Izzlets with him which always make things empty here at Casa Izz. Two weeks…yeah, I can manage it. But here’s hoping that the rest of the summer isn’t like this. I may get too used to running the show and throw those lists right out the window entirely. 😉

Spring is my favorite time of year. It’s warm, but not too warm, and everything that grows is putting forth new life in their own way…the trees are budding, the flowers are blooming, and the mares up the road from us on the farm have the sweetest little colts now! Everything seems to be so fresh and new and just wonderful. You can’t help but be happy in the Spring….well, I can’t anyway.

Spring is also the time for “first-of-the-year”‘s…the first time it rains and it’s warm enough to kick of your shoes and run around in it (I did this one last week…yes, it was glorious, and yes, Mr Izz thought I was insane. Who cares…I had a blast and came in laughing hysterically and totally soaked. It was worth it, despite the looks I received), the first time you get to wear sandals (did that one last week too!!), the first time the black flies get you behind the ears…that one isn’t too much fun, but for the sake of consistency, it must be noted.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and was also a “first-of-the-year” day. Yesterday, we were able to enjoy the first SEVERAGUS of the year (or, for those of you that don’t live at Casa Izz and don’t know the lingo, severagus is also known as asparagus….severagus is a Torti-ism…a word that Victoria, also known as “Torti”, made up since she can’t say asparagus. I know…things here can be rather complicated for those not in the know). There is absolutely nothing like freshly picked asparagus. Here in the North Country, there are little roadside stands all over the place…with the very large population of Amish here, you can get some pretty great deals on fresh produce all summer. Two of the boys were at my mother in law’s house yesterday (they had spent the night because she wanted to take them shopping to buy new sneakers….but that’s another story). So, Mr Izz and I decided to run over and pick them up. On the way we saw the asparagus stand, but didn’t end up stopping until we drove past on the way home. It was a fabulous price, and it had been just picked that morning. Way better than the withered, wrinkled, greenish-brown asparagus shaped things you find at your local grocery store. How they can sell that nasty stuff and not have a conscience problem, I have no idea. It’s truly vile looking, and I’m sure tastes even worse than it looks. But, getting back to my story here, the stuff we bought looked simply delicious…small, pencil sized shoots, nice green color, and anything but withered and wrinkled. We bought a couple of pounds, and I steamed them for dinner (yeah, I did have to cook for Mother’s Day….). I put them into a big serving bowl, drizzled them with butter…..yum! They were heavenly…if asparagus isn’t served in heaven, it should be, by the way, but I’m pretty sure it must be…they were done just perfectly; not too mushy or too firm. Just right. I could eat it all day. Some of the kids weren’t too fond of them (more for ME!), but when I told them that if they ate it, it would make their pee green, they made a bee-line to the bowl and filled their plates up. Kids are so easy to manipulate. I’m sure that they were later comparing notes on the color of their urine. Victoria, on the other hand, was very easy because she loved it from the very first bite. She asked for at least 3 helpings, and would have had more if it hadn’t been all gone.

So, that was my “first of the year” for this week. Severagus. It was well worth the wait over the winter to have those first succulent bites. Yum! Even if it does turn my pee green.

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