A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Elk Season
At night, when I am snuggling up with OmegaDotter, getting her to fall asleep, Mr. Omegamom takes the OmegaDawg out for a nighttime stroll. Last night, when I emerged from the Dotter's domain, sleepy-eyed and groggy, Mr. Omegamom informed me that he and OmegaDawg had gone to The Big Meadow, and the elk were out. You know the old James Thurber cartoon where the woman is entertaining her friend in a living room draped with cats all over the place, and explains, "We have cats like some people have mice"? We have elk. When Mr. Omegamom and I drove here the first time, loaded with worldly goods and dragging a 21-foot trailer behind Blue, the pickup, we came through town at about 11 p.m. West of town, we were the third vehicle to encounter the scene...nice young lad of about 16 takes his dad's new cherry red pickup out for a spin late at night on the highway, and hits an elk out for a stroll. This encounter included the idiot driver behind us who pulled out his ought 22 rifle out of his pickup, planning to "put that animal out of its misery!" Mr. Omegamom had A Talk with idiot about how a .22 wasn't going to kill the animal, and, oh, by the way, you're waving that gun in the direction of my wife and various and sundry other bystanders, so could you please put it away? The young man survived the elk encounter; the cherry-red pickup did not, nor did the elk, in the end. This was our introduction to The Elk Problem. When driving back to the log home from visits to Grandma Julie, if it's spring or fall, you are greeting at Natural Lake exit by large highway signs that flash: CAUTION!
(In wintertime, this sign usually says things like, "Winter driving conditions ahead. 4-wheel drive or chains only.") Then, as you pull up over the rim of the plateau at dusk, you find yourself peering into the dimness, wondering, is this an elk herd? Is that? The phantom elk usually turn out to be some tree stumps in the gloaming, but still...Omegamom, normally a lead-footed driver on the highway, tends to go easy on the accelerator in these spots during Elk Season. The competition between a little Subaru Outback Sport and a 900 lb. elk will inevitably weigh more heavily (har!) on the elk's side. Shortly after Mr. Omegamom and I arrived in these climes, we went camping out on Three Lakes Road in mid September. Our method of finding a camping spot: turn off at the Three Lakes Road Country Store, drive down the dirt road, find another dirt road leading off in another direction, take it, find another, smaller dirt road, turn onto it, and so on. We found a lovely camping spot, parked the vehicle, unloaded and set up the tent, etc. (Digression: Why do so many people "camp" right at the edge of highways, rather than venturing further in? This is one of those things that has always puzzled me.) As dusk fell, an eerie sound started echoing through the trees...elk "bugling". For anyone who has only heard the phrase, not the real thing, it sounds more majestic than eerie. After all, it conjures up trumpets blaring a fanfare. But the reality is quite different. This was my first experience, and more than anything else, it reminded me of recordings of whale "songs". When elk are "in rut", the bull elk have very macho encounters wherein they make lots of noise at each other, then rush each other, tangle their antlers together, and clash and bang for a while. A few years ago, while Mr. Omegamom was out in the field for a few days, I heard some very strange sounds in the neighborhood. It sounded like an animal was stuck in a neighbor's utility shed, screeching and knocking over lumber. Screeech! Silence. Clatter, clatter, clatter. Silence. Clatter! Silence. Screech! Screech! Clatter! Silence. I padded out onto the back deck, wondering if I should contact Bill & Cindy next door, to see if the animal needed rescuing. I listened for a while, and finally realized that what I was hearing was a pair of bull elk in the Little Meadow, on the other side of B&C's house, doing their manly thing. A few years ago, in the Dry Year, the elk became our enemy. Our lovely little mailbox garden of hollyhocks, echinacea, yarrow, and daisies would grow, reach about 2 feet in height, be loaded with buds just about to burst into glorious bloom, and WHAMMO! The thirsty elk, wandering down our dirt road, would mow them down to 2-inch nubbins overnight. This happened multiple times. Mr. Omegamom swore revenge. He would waken in the middle of the night, hear rustlings and creakings, and march out to defend our precious poppies and dainty daisies in his white briefs, sandals, and nothing else, armed with a loud voice and a willingness to march belligerantly upon large, thirsty animals. One night, Mr. Omegamom was so incensed (this was about the fourth time our poor mailbox garden had tried to push forth blooms) that he marched out the front doors, scooped up some handfuls of cinders from the World's Smallest Trailer Park landing pad, and ventured forth to do battle with The Evil Elk. He ended up chasing the elk down our dirt road (still dressed only in tighty whities and sandals), shouting and throwing cinders. I will leave you with that image...
posted by Kate @ 8/29/2005 10:01:00 PM   1 comments

Love is work...
Okay, the real quote is "Work is love made visible", by Kahlil Gibron. But I keep remembering it backward. Love is not easy. Love is hard. Love is just plain work. It's a constant give-and-take, on both sides. You have to really love to work that hard. And you have to really work to love that well. I reached a point last winter with Mr. Omegamom where the love equals work equation was overloaded on the "work" side and underloaded on the "love" side. There was a very serious question in my mind as to whether it wouldn't be better for all concerned if I took the OmegaDotter and left. I tossed the dice. I gambled, big time, on Mr. Omegamom and his desire to make things work. And, thanking my lucky stars, it turns out that the gamble was less of a gamble than it seemed at the time, and that hard work on the part of Mr. Omegamom and me actually made our love weather through that time. Mr. Omegamom loves rubber duckies. He grows a mean garden. He cries at the silliest of movies. New coworker, upon being introduced to Mr. Omegamom, confided in me later on that he was a "damned good looking guy!" He commits himself wholeheartedly to causes. I Mr. Omegamom. Even though sometimes it's "work". Categories: [Mr. OmegaMom] [Family] [Group Work]
posted by Kate @ 8/23/2005 10:03:00 PM   2 comments

Beauty, order, chaos...
So a group of us are going to do an entry each week on a common theme. One week's theme was a quote by Pearl Buck, "order is the shape upon which beauty depends." What is beauty? Humans have been debating this for thousands of years. Socrates (or maybe Plato, using Socrates as his mouthpiece) was all hyped on the idea of absolute essense. He argued that all we could see, as human beings, was the shadow of the Ultimate Reality. We see things we call beautiful, and in reality they are only reflections, or shadows on a cave wall, of the Real Thing, the Absolute Beauty. There's a damned lot of people in the world who think orderliness is beauty. I lived for a while in a West Texas city where people would plant one row of tulips, each tulip plant spaced an iron 12 inches from the next, in front of boxy yellow brick houses, with a large lawn in front, and nothing else. I must suppose, since this style of garden decor was quite common, that many people thought it was pretty. I made my rebellion by making sure I regularly drove by the house that had an English cottage garden in front. Mr. Omegamom's rebellion was to transform our boxy little duplex's teeny tiny yard--a patch of desolate dirt with lumps and valleys and a few tiny clumps of hardy grass growing here and there when we arrived--into a luxurious lawn surrounded by oodles of wildflowers. To me, there's a vast amount of beauty in what seems like wild chaos. Give me a vast thunderstorm, with winds whipping to and fro, and I feel invigorated, thrust into the moment, alive, in touch with Where The Wild Things Are. (Different styles: Mr. Omegamom gets rip-roaring headaches from wind, so it doesn't make him feel alive. It makes him feel grumpy.) Or take astronomical objects...to me, whirling clusters of gas illuminated by newborn stars awake awe and a breathless feeling. This, my heart says, is beauty! These look shapeless, chaotic, disorderly. But when you get right down to it, there is order at the heart of these things. It may not be order we can pinpoint as yet. Start with fluid dynamics...delve into fractals...and at the base, there are atoms--electrons whirling around neutrons in nice tidy orbits. Or do they? You learn a wee tad about quantum physics, and get told that those "nice, tidy orbits" are actually a quantum fuzziness, an approximation of where the electrons are. Disorderly once again. But dig deeper--and you get into quarks. Charm, up, down, strange, top, bottom. And they start behaving very weirdly. Is there order down there? Or does it all dissolve into a chaos of uncertainty? While I ponder this question, I think I will go raid the freezer and get some Dibs. (lovely little ice cream morsels covered with chocolate--now that is beauty!) Photos: Plato--Timothy Bays' website, University of Notre Dame; Thunderstorm--LotsofCo.org; Nebula--FreeDesktopWallpapers.ru Categories: [This 'n That] [Group Work]
posted by Kate @ 8/23/2005 07:18:00 PM   2 comments

Coming out of the closet
The Omega family lives in a log home that was originally created as a vacation home. The problem with vacation homes is that--well--they're for vacationing. So the vacationers don't give a hoot in hell about such practicalities as well-designed kitchens, bathrooms bigger than a breadbox, or closet space. Hey. All you do when you go to the vacation home is you lug in a suitcase and unpack it into the sparse closets, you prepare a few meals on the grill and wash dishes and don't worry about the lost space in the kitchen, you shower and brush your teeth in the postage-stamp sized bathrooms. I am now a closet closetaholic. I yearn for closet space. I lust for closet space. I might even, if really pushed hard, kill for closet space. Late at night when I suffer from insomnia, I redesign the house (cheaply) so that there is closet space. Maybe there's a Closet Space Anonymous for folks like me? Categories: [This 'n That]
posted by Kate @ 8/20/2005 07:33:00 PM   0 comments

My lovely Aunt A. died last weekend. She died in her sleep, suddenly and unexpectedly. She was 71 years old. Her brother, my dad, died last year. He was 75. Now my Aunt F., another lovely woman, has no siblings remaining. A. was a sweet woman. She had a very interesting "fuzzy" voice. She was optimistic and forward-looking, and met challenges with vim and verve. She married very young and had one child, then divorced her husband within the year. Rather than moldering away, she moved back in with her parents and threw herself into work. When her son went to school, she did to, getting a degree in accounting. She and I were very close when I was an adolescent/teenager. She introduced me to so much--we all piled into her car and went off to the Grand Canyon when I was 12 or 14. I remember clambering over the rocks on the edge of the canyon with my cousin K., who was ALMOST A GROWNUP! I also remember cousin K. losing Aunt A.'s car keys in the canyon. Not like dropping them in the woods type losing, keys falling out of pocket into the canyon type losing. So we got an extra few days of camping there while a new key was rushed to Aunt A. For one glorious season, Aunt A. got me season tickets to the Chicago Lyric Opera. We would pile into her car, go to a fancy restaurant downtown, then go to the opera. It was a fantastic experience. A few years ago, she had a heart bypass operation. Something went wrong afterwards. She had a stroke. This amazing woman fought back, regained her ability to speak, and kept on keeping on, traveling with her husband to World Cup competitions, painting, doing all her previous things as best she could. Then her husband died. Once again, she kept on keeping on, visiting all her grandchildren, traveling on excursions of her own, and sending out a yearly letter to all & sundry describing her adventures. This last year, she greeted her first great-grandchild, cousin K.'s daughter's son. What a lovely life. What a peaceful way to go. May we all do the same. Categories: [Family]
posted by Kate @ 8/17/2005 11:19:00 PM   9 comments

What does a mom alone do?
I am bleaching rubber duckies. Long ago, in a life far away, I gave Mr. Omegamom a rubber ducky for his birthday on the very first one we shared. I also gave him a little Wee Pals type tug boat with a captain and a real anchor (woohoo!) plus an armload full of purple daisies. I did not realize that Mr. Omegamom was a somewhat obsessive type, or I would have given him chocolate truffles. At least then I would have benefitted. We now have around 100 rubber duckies in the house. They were ostensibly purchased for The Dotter-to-be and The Dotter-that-is. I know better. Mr. Omegamom knows better. Even The Dotter knows better. Those ducks, nominally belonging to The Dotter, are the joy and delight of Mr. Omegamom. He daydreams about redecorating his bathroom so that he has shelves to display his duckies. One time my dad, upon going into the Shrine of The Duckies (oops. That would be the bathroom all guests use) was rather disturbed, and emerged with wry commentary that, boiled down, said that Mr. Omegamom could sometimes be a bit of a kook. Anyway, the ducks have bathed with The Dotter many, many times. Mr. Omegamom, though a wonderful husband and father, lacks a few more housecleaning genes than I do. I leave his bathroom (TSOTD) alone, as I find it rather gross sometimes. But it also happens to be The Dotter's bathatorium, mostly, and the ducks get variously dunked, squished, submerged, transformed into Willies (whales) or NayNays (horses). The ducks are left, post-bath, filled with water. Mr. Omegamom, being on the verge of a business trip, did what any sane businessman on the verge of a business trip does: yesterday, he went on a cleaning rampage. I leave Mr. Omegamom severely alone when this happens, as his philosophy is "Chemicals. Making Life Better." and he bombs the bathroom with various mixtures of Windex, Clorox, Tilex, and other noxious chemicals. He also believes that if a little bit of a chemical helps, then a Whole Lot of said chemical should help a Whole Lot. It's logical, no? Anyway, he always emerges with a blasting headache, and if you open the door to the bathroom, it smells like a hospital. In the midst of all this, he loaded up the dishwasher with rubber duckies. This is good. However, some of the rubber duckies, alas, have begun to grow interesting green scum inside. Thus, after hauling Mr. Omegamom to his office at 7 a.m. so he could get his work truck to haul himself down to The Big City to catch an airplane, The Dotter and I were left to our own devices. I thought I'd try some bleach. Maybe I'll write about Beauty, Order and Chaos in my next entry. Categories: [Mr. OmegaMom] [This 'n That]
posted by Kate @ 8/07/2005 02:53:00 PM   2 comments

Way cool pic Categories: [This 'n That]
posted by Kate @ 8/06/2005 12:33:00 PM   1 comments

I am SO glad I'm past this point
I've been delving into blogs of adoptive moms & moms-to-be. One is at the stage of waiting for referral...she has her nursery all set up...but she's still in that "OMG I can't handle other people's pregnancies/babies/etc." stage. There's been a death in the family, and her SIL is coming with 4-month-old baby in arms, and is staying with her. She is all trembly about sharing her baby's crib--pristine, holy, set up just for M., site of dreams and hopes and repository of years' worth of baby-longing--with the baby. Sigh. I understand. But I don't understand any more. Does this make sense? At the worst of my IF times, yes, I was bitter, jealous, angry, emotionally fragile about babies, pregnant women, baby showers, everything. So I know exactly where she's coming from. But I have to admit--M. never got a nursery! No dainty frilly crib clothes, no fanciful baby-girl designs on the walls, no physical shrine wherein to cherish the coming baby-to-be. I just never got into that stuff. I was actually more scared that they would actually hand me--ME, Ms. I haven't ever diapered a baby!--a child to take care of and cherish. And as time got closer and closer to referral, my locked up emotions began to loosen. I began to emotionally venture forth. I actually threw an itty-bitty baby shower in my own home for a friend, because I was so excited for her and, by extension, for myself and my husband. We were going to have a baby!!!! It was like the first tender green growths of wildflowers in an area that was only recently scorched by wildfire. Gentle nourishing rains instead of a torrential downpour that scours the hillsides and causes floods and landslides and catastrophes. I knew I had really passed the oh-my-god-IF-is-so-horrid-awful-miserable-my-life-is-a-shambles-my-body-doesn't-work-right-I'm-not-a-real-female-me-me-me-misery when I realized I hadn't dipped into alt.infertility or my IVF groups in years. I wish everyone who has suffered from IF could get to this point. I look back and realize how locked into misery I was. I read this gal's blog and wish she could look at the baby-in-the-house as a harbinger of joy to come, rather than a reminder of pain in the past. But emotion is emotion. You can say, till you're blue in the face, "buck up! Joy is yet to come!", but it doesn't mean anything until the person you are talking to is ready to be in that place. I wasn't then, I am now. And I praise the Kosmik All that I've reached this point in time. Categories: [Family] [Our Adoption]
posted by Kate @ 8/06/2005 08:14:00 AM   0 comments

OmegaMom's Debut
Well, hell, everyone else is doing it, I'm wasting more and more of my time on other people's blogs, so I thought I'd do one of my own. Categories: [Bloggy Stuff]
posted by Kate @ 8/06/2005 07:25:00 AM  

About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
See my complete profile

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