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I'm married to the most wonderful man in the world, and I have a beautiful stepson that I love with all my heart.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sharing a Favorite Poem by Neruda

I have decided that I am going to start posting an occasional favorite poem on my blog. I used to write my own poetry, "back in the day," as my students say. While I was never on the same level as my favorite poets by any means, I could write a decent line or two once in a while. However, it seems my muse has gone into permanent hibernation. The reason? I'm happy. I have always believed that most great art has to come from sorrow, despair, addiction, mental illness, or some other driving influence. When the artist/author/composer is content, the art suffers. When I was searching for meaning in my life, when I was heartbroken, when I felt my life was incomplete, I could write halfway decent poetry. Now, I couldn't do it if my life depended on it.
I could care less. Let the muse sleep the rest of my days. I'll revel in other people's words, and be content with my new life. It's more than a fair trade, to be sure.

XVII (I do not love you...)
by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Translated by Stephen Tapscott

Friday, July 27, 2007

Things are fine at Chateau Hillis...

Great news...Greg passed his CDL (Commercial Driver's License) driving test yesterday!!! I am soooo proud of him! Now he can get a route with Pepsi when one comes open. He passed both parts (written and driving) on the first try; apparently, not many people do that. My Baby is so smart!

I'm getting stuff ready for school to start...getting my lesson plans ready, trying to "get all my ducks in a row" (I love that saying--I just picture a big bunch of cute little yellow rubber ducks all lined up, quacking like crazy--lol), so that when graduate school starts I'll be able to handle it better. I received word that my Masters credits are going to cover 12 of my PhD electives, so I'll only have to take one elective, along with my specialization and core courses. Not bad...

I'm also cherishing every second of what's left of summer break. Not because I don't want to go back to work (I miss it), but because I'll miss these lazy summer days, hanging out on the porch, being with my lil' guy and Greg in the afternoons, having lunch with my lil' Mama, and naps...man, do I love naps!
Take care, y'all,

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Continuing Education this Summer...

This summer has been quite educational for me so far. I have gained several important skills as a brand-new stepmother. These include:

1. The ability to distinguish the difference between Picachu, Squirtle, Charizard, and various other forms of Pokemon.

2. The ability to eyeball the amount of chocolate syrup needed for preparing the perfect glass of chocolate milk.

3. The ability to remove peanut butter stains from almost any surface known to man.

4. The ability to know the exact location of any object an 8-year-old may have lost in the house. I just "know."

5. The ability to fix any ailment with a soothing word, a kiss, and a Spiderman bandaid.

6. The ability to create ramen noodles or Kraft mac'n'cheese in record time when an 8-year-old decides (in the blink of an eye) that he will perish if he does not eat immediately (even though he said he wasn't hungry five minutes earlier).

7. The ability to distinguish between each type of fast-food chicken nuggets sold in town with my nose plugged and my eyes covered, simply because I've eaten the remnants of them all a MILLION TIMES.

8. The ability to recite the show schedule for Nickelodeon, The Cartoon Network, and Boomerang.

9. The ability to create couch-pillow forts that rival the Taj Mahal.

10. The ability to successfully color in a coloring book upside down and from the opposite angle than normal, because the little guy is coloring in the same book across the table.

These skills may not look good on a resume, but I've had a blast learning them.

OH, before I forget, I have developed one inability--namely, the inability to say "no" to a certain eight-year-old.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Wedding Photos...

After wrestling the album from my mama and my in-laws, I finally am able to post my favorite wedding photos...

"You may now kiss the bride..."

Time to cut the cake...

Headed to the Smokies...

The Wedding Party...

Our first photo as man and wife...

My favorite photo, just because it is so "us"...

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Things to do that Celebrate Summer...

There are some things that I can only do in summer, and because of that these are treasured memories the rest of the year.

1. Making dinner out of nothing but fresh corn on the cob and sliced ripe garden tomatoes.

2. Gathering day lilies on the side of a country road and placing them in a vase for the kitchen table.

3. Going with my boys to the drive-in in a pick-up truck, sitting in the truck bed to watch a double feature with cold sodas and lots of popcorn in greasy brown paper bags.

4. Sitting on my porch swing in the dark, listening to the music of the cicadas and tracing the glow of the lightning bugs across the lawn.

5. Taking my rod and reel and "drowning a worm" for a few hours on a riverbank somewhere, eating peanut butter sandwiches and drinking cold cokes, not even caring if I catch anything.

6. Going to the outdoor flea market in Crossville, wandering around the hundreds of booths under the trees, marveling at the things people will buy/sell, and trying to figure out what some things are.

7. Shopping at the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings for fresh vegetables, honey in mason jars with the golden comb floating inside, fresh warm bread made by Mennonite women with work-worn hands and sweet smiles.

8. Going down the street to the dam with our little guy to go wading out on the rocks, watching him have a ball out in the cold, clear water that's been running since before any of us can remember.

9. Concerts on the lawn of the local Savings & Loan, running into people I haven't seen in months, buying hotdogs from the man with the cart, clog dancing on the sidewalk even if I can't dance well.

10. Heading to the local ballfields with the rest of the town to see the fireworks on the 4th. This year, it will be even better; I'll be watching the fireworks reflected in the eyes of my husband and son. A new summer tradition--possibly the best ever.

Happy 4th Everyone.