My Guy

Cisco’s been really happy lately. I’ve noticed, of course, but other people have, too. It’s odd that it makes an impression at all, because he’s never been an unhappy person – he’s what people call level. I guess he was heavy with life, though. For seven or so years, we forgot how to laugh.

rosefrank 1

Life was so… churny that we couldn’t stop treading water long enough to laugh. There were times (for a while there, almost all the times) when the thought of trying to “find joy” left me exhausted. (In hindsight I’m pretty sure I had depression for parts of it, too.) Infertility is as heavy as an elephant around your neck. Or at least your wife’s neck, in which case you’re drowning, too, buddy. Marriage.

It is desperately lonely to lose the joy you take in the one you love. Now, somehow, it’s coming back to us. Laughter and lightness. Oh, but I love laughing with Cisco. He delights me. And laughter makes fondness, and fondness, more laughter.

rosefrank 2

What a gift. Damn flipping luxury. It’s been so long.


You indeed are my Savior,

and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.

(Ps 63:8)


Cisco and I are not done crying, but we know how to laugh again. Somewhere in there, I don’t even know where, He taught us.

God must be raucous with joy.


Psalm 63

O God, you are my God-

it is you I seek!

For you my body yearns;

for you my soul thirsts,

In a land, parched, lifeless,

and without water.

I look to you in the sanctuary

to see your power and glory.

For your love is better than life;

my lips shall ever praise you!


I will bless you as long as I live;

I will lift up my hands, calling on your name.

My soul shall be sated as with choice food,

with joyous lips my mouth shall praise you!

I think of you upon my bed,

I remember you through the watches of the night.

You indeed are my savior,

and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.

My soul clings fast to you;

your right hand upholds me.


But those who seek my life will come to ruin;

they shall go down to the depths of the netherworld!

Those who would hand over my life to the sword shall

become the prey of jackals!

But the king shall rejoice in God;

all who swear by the Lord shall exult,

but the mouths of liars will be shut!


A Few Things, In The Meantime

My sister told me that this post disappeared for a while. No idea about that, but I reposted it. So.

I’ve been writing a lot lately, but editing myself into oblivion. So much to say, so little coherence. This is a freebie for me, no over-thinking. And there are links to a bunch of things I like at the end.


All my thyroid levels are fine, and the good doctor is baffled. I was so frustrated. It’s desperate times when an autoimmune disease diagnosis looks like a good thing. Because at least then you can get treated or something. Having nothing to go on is so discouraging. The only thing the doc could suggest is a sleep study. Pooooo. I called Cisco, snortling and crying “I’m too tired for a sleep study!!!” He laughed, because what else are you going to do when your wife is losing her damn mind?

I called my sister and cried, too. And then Cisco again, for good measure. I keep thinking about the police man from Doc Martin (do you watch that show? Cornwall is so beautiful!). He was talking about women, and how it’s hard for them to think when “their brains are all clogged up with hormones.” Makes me laugh so hard.

I know, my feminine sensitivity is super beautiful and stuff.

What else? I forgot to pay all the bills last month. That was a fun surprise.

Do you read WellnessMama? So many fascinating things there (this one and this one for starters), although it can be a little overwhelming at first. I happened to read this a couple weeks ago, so I started taking magnesium every evening before bed. After a few days I realized that I was waking up remembering dreams – something I hadn’t done in months and months. Isn’t that strange?

I’ve been taking it for a little over a week, and every day I feel a little more alive, a little less desperately tired and stupid. Maybe it was the sleep? Maybe Seasonal Affective Disorder without the depression? Can that happen?

Anyway, I hope you’re having a super week. Below are some things I’ve been liking lately (I mean “liking” the way people meant it in the olden days, and not the social media way. I don’t know how to do that.)

This house looks so comfy.

I’m mostly over it with soups and stews. Just give me grilled kebabs already. I do want to eat this, though.

I agree with Betty, but sadly Cisco never will.

Don’t know why I loved this book so much as a kid, but I still do. Have you read it?

Speaking of kids books, this is such a cute idea that I am never ever going to get around to doing.

Am reading this right now, and  as much as I’m sick to death of Winter, it’s enjoyable.

If you want a nice vacationy sort of book, all about Italy and wine, read this. I love it so much.

This album is super. Totally unbiased opinion (not). Number 7 is my favorite at the moment, but everyone seems to go bonkers over number 6. And mind, the sound quality is much better on the actual album than on a computer.

Do you know AshleyAnn? Her photos are so beautiful. So are my sister’s, but she never posts any more. Some favorites of hers, though. Come on, Mary, post the photos of your fat, peachy baby with the pudding arms. Or something.

Das it, I’m off to brush my teeth or something. It’s 11:30, after all.

SpongeBrain CrazyPants

My doctor suspects I have Hashimoto’s, and I am pleased to be so exotic. It’s an autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid, leaving you hypothyroid (and occasionally hyperthyroid, though I haven’t experienced that). Am tired as the dead; hypoglycemic; heart-racey; forgetful. You could cut my brain fog with a knife. Then there are the bouts of semi-apathetic anxiety and weird night vision. A little wikipedia tells me that, left untreated, I could develop a goiter (no, really). Maybe I’ll look like this some day. Will join the circus and scare children for a living.

I’m also on progesterone supplements, which make me high. Yes, I know what it feels like to be high. I have enjoyed many a potent pain killer in my post-surgical history. Part of my brain feebly calls out “This isn’t so good…” but I’m high so I don’t care.

I am straight up stupid now. When Cisco asks me a question, irritation pricks across my skin – annoyance over the sheer amount of effort it will take to form a coherent answer. Writing has become a hold-out. An oasis in the stupor – I sift and sort my thoughts; maybe my brains aren’t quite liquified yet. When they drip out my ears, I’ll have another mess to clean up. Balls.

Everything’s sort of funny lately – it’s so absurd, why not laugh? It will be fixed soon enough. Or not. I told Cisco that I wish he could pack me up in a little suitcase and carry me around. He was intrigued by the possibilities for party conversation: “Have you met my wife, Rose? Why don’t I unlatch my case so she can slosh around and smile vacantly at you?”

The flights of imagination are an amusing up-side. We got our first dog a few weeks ago, and he’s the worst. (Shut up, I know. The boys love him, and he’s very nice for a dog. There.) Shortly after we got him I dreamed that he ran away at a park. After a while, someone pulled up in a car and said, “Is this your dog?” Out hopped a mutt the size of a pony – its coloring just like our stupid Oats. “Yup, that’s him,” Cisco nodded, and I stared dumbly as he unloaded a cow-patty sized gift right in front of me. The pony, not Cisco. Ugh, sorry, this is going nowhere good.

And one more thing. Spiritual enlightenment is positively raining down on me. I scribble things on paper – wonderful, holy things that I don’t want to forget. Potent impressions that momentarily dissipate the haze of idiocy. I discover later that maybe they don’t mean much at all.

At least resignation comes easy when everything is so muffled. Why not offer it up?

Good, now a nap.

Valentine Bragging, How Rude

What about Valentine’s Day?! Any reason to celebrate, look at bright colors, drink prosecco, or paint my nails a snazzy color is alright with me. Cisco and I have never made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day – more out of laziness than protest – but in the last couple of years I’ve warmed to it. Snert helps. The kids loves a holiday.

It’s important to be sweet to people. I need that reminder.

So what did I do? Took a nap, sort of. Made valentines and chocolate-dipped strawberries with Snert. And when Cisco got home he whisked us away to see the Lego movie, and it was super! Best, happiest movie I’ve seen in a long time. Please go see it. You don’t need to have kids.

We picked up Chick Fil-A on the way home, and had it with prosecco. Fancy. We tasted a variety of strange chocolates Cisco had picked up from Walgreens (Peanut butter and banana – ooooo), exchanged valentines, ate our strawberries, and admitted that they were delicious though predictable. By 10:30 Snert was begging to be tucked in, and I was happy to oblige. It was a wonderful evening. Unplanned, un-romantical in the popular sense, but totally awesome.

Everything is awesome!

I dunno, it was happy. And I need to allow more of that in my life. I’m one of those people who is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. If there’s a choice between cheesy and cynical (Valentine’s day much?) I choose cynical almost every time. Which is really dumb, because Valentine’s day never did anything to me.

I think I used to be one of those people who equated cynicism and sarcasm with enlightenment. “Look at all you happy people, being so stupidly happy. Don’t you know about Hard Stuff, and Sadness? I laugh at life, too, yes, but in a brave, ironic way that shows I really understand how bad it is! Haha!”

Super dumb.

Anyway, I hope you are happy today. I don’t feel super happy a lot of the time. I feel anxious and scared a lot. I’ve been stress eating. This is a good time for that, actually, with the amount of candy in the house. But whatever. I had a super day yesterday. Not because I Toughed It Out, but just because it was given to me.

Thanks, God.




*January: The world slips down the slushy slope of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and we write our feelings. If it’s bad enough, we stop writing. I am shockingly un-depressed. Thank you, God, and what?

*Cisco is building a toy box in the basement, and Snert is sliding across the ice rink with the neighbors.

*We have an ice rink. Cisco did it, and it takes up our whole back yard, and what with all the snow this Winter there has been a lot of shoveling up in here. One night we got home after midnight, and I tucked Snert in bed, went out back and shoveled with the moon. I could hear the snow fall, and not much else. Cisco came out and helped. He swirled in tight loops, giggling like a six-year-old, while I shoveled in neat little rows. Marital personality switching – what new surprises?

*Don’t we love a new year? So much unknown. What fresh horrors this year, Lord? What gifts? Last year brought three surgeries (me), two failed adoptions, one breast cancer scare and no pregnancies. Looks terrible on paper, doesn’t it? We’re doing fine, though. Huh!

*Dinner-making apathy has reached new lows. I love food. I even like to cook a lot of the time. But it’s gotten to that January place of “What wodge of ground beef/italian sausage/Frozen Fatty Thing did I forget to thaw today?” Soups and stews sound uninspired, and salads insufficient. More and more often I think of the “olden days”, when people had to make it through eight or more months of the year on things like corn meal, salt pork, and old potatoes (can you tell that my only resource is Laura Ingalls Wilder books?). “It could be so much worse” is an invaluable mind trick, even if it is screwed up. I have it so good.

*Still sick of making dinner, though.

*I am stalled half-way through Anna Karenina. I want to like it, and Tolstoy is wonderful wise about people, but Anna is such a drip. Plenty of the other characters are fascinating, though.

*Two of my nephews make me laugh a lot. One of them just turned three, and he calls me Aunt Roses, and his mittens his “fittins”. The other (from a different family) says “I’m two and I’m huge,” by way of introduction. Weird, awesome little people.

I hope you laugh today.

For The Hard Days

Today isn’t a hard day, by they way, so no sturm und drang. It’s better that way. But on those days that are hard, for they will come and come again, I want to tell you about something that gives me comfort. I don’t know the origins of this practice – someone told me about it months ago, and I’ve been wanting to pass it along. It goes like this: On a hard day, or any day, see if you can make it to mass. If you can’t physically make it, direct your heart to the nearest tabernacle. At the offertory, put your struggles on the sacred vessels. Put your whole heart there. Watch as they’re carried up to the altar. Watch as the newly consecrated Precious Body of Christ is placed back down on them.

That’s all. You don’t have to feel anything. It’s less about your sacrifice, anyway, and more about knowing that the deepest needs and desires of your heart are right there next to Him.

(On a related note, there’s a story about St. Josemaria Escriva that I love. I think it was when he was staying at the home of a bishop during the Spanish Civil War. He was praying alone in the chapel, and there were some newly-consecrated sacred vessels on the altar. He went up and kissed each one, so that the first time Jesus arrived there He would be met with love.)

I hope today isn’t a hard day for you, but I’ll put your needs there with mine, whoever you are. And I don’t mean this to be preachy – yeah right – I just think it’s beautiful.

I Did Not Know That

“The Worst Case Scenario Survival Game” may have to become a regular feature around here. It’s both entertaining and helpful. For example:

How To Foil A UFO Abduction

A. Never travel alone in the woods. No UFO abduction has ever involved more than seven people.

B. Dress like a tourist and carry cameras and a map. Appear willing to go with the aliens.

C. Focus your thoughts toward the alien. Tell it, “Leave me alone. Go away, I have a virus.”

I did not make any of that up. The correct answer (in bold) is C, by the way. If I had met an alien before I read that I would have been all, “See my cameras and map! I am a tourist! Take me to the mothership.” Close one.


Wednesday Things

It’s one of those dark mornings, when the night never really ends. It’s good and thundery out, and the rain can’t make up its mind whether or not it cares. It spits or pours on the debris in our back yard – Snert’s bike (oops), the roller skate in the rose bush, bats and things.

Inside, we’re cozy. I’ve had my two cups of coffee, snug in my chair. Snert is finally up, banging doors. I don’t know if there’s much in life that’s more pleasant than a morning started off right. I see us spending the rest of it in front of the fire, reading our favorite books and dreaming about the Spring that’s just under ground. I know it is.

But we don’t have a fireplace, and I get so lazy about reading.

Here’s to the infinite possibility of the day just begun – the peace and warmth inside when it’s booming outside. A metaphor for the soul, what?I hope so, anyway.

I’m so glad to have a home.


For our first date, Cisco took me to Greek town for dinner. He was a dreamboat, so my busting excitement combined with a deep fear of eating-related mishaps (spitting in his face, choking on my own spit, fork missing my mouth, mouth full when asked a question, need I go on?) meant that I could hardly swallow. (Never one to keep things simple, it was also important to me that I not be one of those girls who eats like a bird. (Because that would be a lie, because I’ve never eaten like a bird, or even a small flock of them. Lay off me, I’m starving.))

Even with all of this Very Big Drama, I made it through the meal just fine. Cisco pulled out his stud moves and ordered flaming cheese for an appetizer. That’s about all I remember. Also, he brought me yellow roses, and we were like two years old.

That night comes back to me now and again, and brings with it a mix of emotions: relief that I don’t have to go on first dates any more, embarrassment over being such a spazz, and horror at the pig-dog way I eat now. Yeah, that’s what this is about.

When we were engaged some friends were telling us about the perks of marriage, things like, “you get so comfortable with each other you can go to the bathroom with the door open!” For the record, that is a lie. I have not I will not. That thought strikes me with the same level of disgust today as it did then (but to each his own or whatever?). We don’t need to “go” together, we don’t need to clip our nails together, and we should not eat like a barnyard animal. Me, I shouldn’t. Cisco’s table manners are super.

It’s this eating together every night for years… I forget. You know food amnesia? It’s like road amnesia – when you’re driving a car and suddenly you realize that you don’t remember the last ten miles – except with dinner. You’re spacing out, wondering how long that one chandelier shade has had those weird stains all over it, when your eyes shift back into focus and you realize that you’re hunched over your empty plate um… panting. You look up to see Dearly Beloved staring at you, pale and dead-eyed. Time stands still. You swallow.

He smiles weakly, but it’s too late.

It’s too late.

(Music swells and the lights dim as she breaks into poignant but commanding ballad. Scene.)