A Blog About Socks

Socks?

I’m snowed in for the sixth day. I’ve had time to think about everything in the world. This particular post has been forming for a few weeks, and now I have a little bit of free time to type it out.

It started when my friend raved about Woven Pear socks. I commented to tell her “I have a sock addiction.”

I do. I am a person who hates spending money on items of clothing people never see, camisoles worn under sweaters, bras, panties, etc… But socks, an article of clothing rarely viewed by anyone but the wearer? I spend money on that without a second thought. I want my socks to be thick and warm, because I am prone to really cold toes. I have some circulation issues in my feet.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. When I think about socks, I hop on a mental time machine and land back in 8th grade. Let me channel my inner Golden Girl Sophia for a bit:

Picture it. Hopkins Middle School. Valentine’s Day, 1996.

IMG_0800

I was an awkward 8th grader, to put it mildly. Over the years, I was made fun of for everything from my pale complexion and black hair to my flat chest and crooked teeth. The most common thing people teased me about was clothing. No matter how I tried, I could not wear the right thing. Even if what I had on looked like what someone else had on, I would have the wrong brand, the Walmart version of whatever was popular at the time.

On Valentine’s Day, I was excited to wear my new red baby doll tee. Baby doll tees were in, and I knew this one looked good on me. It accentuated the slight curve of my breasts and waist. It was red and black, which looked good with my dark hair and eyes. That morning, as I got dressed, I chose a pair of red socks.

That was my mortal sin, y’all. Red socks.

It was another case of me almost getting it right. No one had a word to say about my cute shirt, but I vividly remember a girl in my science class pointing at my feet and laughing in that mean way girls laugh when they are certain of their personal superiority to the butt of the joke.

That day, I learned that no one wore red socks. No one wore any kind of sock except plain white athletic socks. My red socks were like a neon sign blinking over my head, exclaiming, “DORK CENTRAL.”

I never wore those socks again.

For years, I never wore any sock that wasn’t white. I can remember, as an adult, needing to wear black dress socks and feeling total panic over the whole thing.

And then, some time after having two kids and fighting through Depression, I bought a pair of goofy socks. Now I own two baskets of socks, ankle socks in one and knee socks in the other. I have plenty pair of white socks, but even the white socks tend to have bright colored toes. I have socks featuring Doctor Who, Alice in Wonderland, gnomes, kittens, etc… And now we can add these Woven Pear socks from my friend’s boutique: Speck and Louise.

 

They are thick around my cold toes AND they are adorable. This month, I will turn 36 years old, and I no longer give a damn what anyone thinks about my clothes.

Thankyouverymuch.

Advertisements

Currently: es enero

Current Books: I am reading (and loving) The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed, and I cannot believe that I share an agent with such an amazingly talented writer. If you come near me, I will gush about this book. Be prepared. I am almost through Richard Rohr’s book on the Enneagram. It has been both enlightening and also confusing. I am 99.9% sure I am a Type 9, but a tiny part of me thinks I am a Type 4. Anywho, I will also talk your ear off about the Enneagram. In the car, I am listening to Caesar’s Last Breath: The Epic Story of the Air Around Us. This is mostly research. I am using air as an overall metaphor in my new manuscript. The main character’s name is Airy.

Current Playlist: A couple of Cranberries MP3s, since Delores died, and I saw the news this morning.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: I binged all of season 1 of The Magicians this weekend. I’m not even sure I liked the show, but we were snowed in, and it was easy to just let it keep playing. Plus, classes start tomorrow, so my binge watching time is basically nil until summer.

Current Color: I’ve noticed I buy a lot of aqua/teal lately.

Current Food: I had leftover pizza for breakfast. Don’t judge me.

Current Drink: Pineapple Fanta

Current Favorite Favorite: I am finished ordering/buying textbooks for this semester. My tuition and parking are paid. I like being done with tasks.

Current Wishlist: Here is my Amazon list. My birthday is the 27th. 😉 WISHLIST

Current Needs: A clear idea of the second half of the plot for my new manuscript.

Current Triumph: I graduated from community college in December. 🙂 I had a 4.0.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Snow and ice and cold. Either I’m snowed in and can’t work (bye-bye paycheck) or I am at work and can’t take the kids outside so they are wild.

Current Indulgence: Running the fireplace and drinking extra cups of coffee.

Current Outfit: jeans, my 1984 sweatshirt, a big cozy sweater, three pairs of socks (my feet get cold, hush)

Current #1 Blessing: My totally selfless husband who also happens to be handsome and strong and in love with me.

Current Quote:  “That’s what bites about the future — there’s no way to predict it. You just have to show up and see what happens.” ― Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children

Current Photo:

Photo Jan 07, 4 58 26 PM

My son is so tall!

 

Viva Escriba

Every year, I ask God for a word or a theme, some sort of lens through which to view the year ahead. In 2017, I had 2 words: Peace and Justice. It was definitely a year of thinking on those things, pursuing a better education on social justice issues, listening to the people around me when they spoke about their lives and struggles. I finished 2017 with the sense that I can be at peace with myself only when I am living a life that pursues justice for others.

What about 2018?

I don’t know.

I have a couple of words, and when I write them in Spanish, they feel like my words for the year. However, they don’t have quite the same oh-so-certain feeling I usually have when my yearly theme lands in my lap. Why?

Perhaps it has to do with where I am in my faith journey. I wrote, last year, about coming to the end of deconstruction and being ready to rebuild. However, rebuilding seems like a distant dream. The foundation is steady. It holds. But I don’t know what it is.

I’m living in a surreal paradox.

I find solace in my faith and also disparage it. For a video I was a part of, my husband asked me to explain the connection between a struggle I experienced and Jesus/salvation/faith. I stumbled through something about Mary and parenting and how God loves us, but my brain was in a panic.

I believe in Jesus, but I don’t know exactly what I believe ABOUT Jesus. I find the Bible both comforting and polarizing. I see wisdom in the pages, but I also can’t elevate it to the level of authority to which those around me have raised it. I believe in God, but I don’t think I believe in the same God those around me believe in… or perhaps I believe in the same God, but approach God’s existence in a different way. We sing worship songs on Sundays and I both love them and find them empty. I feel moved and also wonder how much brain chemistry and music are playing into my experience of the Holy Spirit.

I don’t feel like I am still deconstructing, but perhaps I am being deconstructed. I have spent years tearing apart my religious beliefs and questioning them, rearranging them, shedding them. Now, it seems what is left of my faith is rearranging me.

It is uncomfortable.

It is not permanent, but I don’t know where it leads.

So, with that said, my words for 2018 are:

“Viva Escriba”

Viva can mean, “Live,” a verb, or it can mean, “Life,” a noun. I don’t know if this word is a command, that I am being told to “LIVE!” or if it is an indication that what feels like the death of faith will actually bring new life, resurrection. I can hope. The second word means “Write.” This one I know to take as a command. I have a lot of writing to do this year, in a zillion forms. All of it will stretch me, and I will learn. Writing always teaches me something new.

So, here’s to 2018, a year for living and writing and maybe figuring out who I am again.

And I Read: 2017 Edition

In January

I obsessively listened to the Liturgists podcast.
The word “hygge” entered my life.
I went back to college after 13 years away.
I plotted a novel about a Honduran-American girl.
The Well celebrated their first “Worship-versary.”
I struggled with children’s Bible stories.
Corey brought home a new kitten, Tegus.
I turned 35.

And I Read

Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg
The Trespasser by Tana French
Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue
Return of the River: Selected Poems by Robert Sosa
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
Beowulf
The Lost Husband by Katherine Center
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

In February

I went to Honduras for a long weekend.
Haydn participated in the Lift-a-thon at school.
David had an honor choir concert.
Two of my cousins died in a house fire.
I went to my friend Linda Jackson‘s book signing.

And I Read

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Some Kind of Magic by Mary Ann Marlowe
*Let Justice Roll Down by John M. Perkins
Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Dubois

In March

I took midterms.
I had the flu.
Haydn got his braces off.
The boys went to Winter Jam with the church youth.
Corey went with David to a choir event in Hattiesburg.
Haydn turned 15.
We had a yard sale at The Well.

And I Read

Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
*Dream with Me by John M. Perkins
Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Jesus Freak by Sara Miles
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry
Maci McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
One by Sarah Crossan
*Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr

In April

I binged the S-Town podcast.
David had a choir event in Jackson.
Corey and Haydn went to see Savannah.
The boys went to 6 Flags on a youth trip.
I had an epiphany involving science.
Corey and I spent an entire day out together.
We had a petting zoo at work.

And I Read

Audacity by Melanie Crowder
Gulliver’s Travels/A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett
Audacious by Gabrielle Prendergast
Unlocked by Ryan G. Van Cleave
Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
*Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
*Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson
The Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato

In May

My 4yo class “graduated.”
Savannah turned 17.
David turned 13.
I prepped for and took finals.
Haydn and I went to SC for a week.
David and Corey went to my nephew’s graduation in Florida.
Carrie and I went to see The Producers at Sumter Little Theater.
David left to spend a month with his Grams and Pawpaw.
I started working afternoons with school-agers at the daycare.

And I Read

Soul Chant by Asia Rainey
*This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
*Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott
The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell
*Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Still Life by Louise Penny
*The Fever by Megan Abbott
*A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

In June

I took Spanish II and Intermediate Algebra at NWCC.
Wayne replaced a part on my car.
Corey went to annual conference.
I had a poem published in Tipton Poetry Journal.
I left to spend a week with Leila.
Corey and Haydn left for Honduras.
David went to band camp at ICC Fulton.

And I Read

*Denton Little’s Death Date by Lance Rubin
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
*Home by Toni Morrison
*Dear Idjeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
*The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
*Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Have You Seen Marie by Sandra Cisneros
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (reread)
*The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzales
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
*Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

In July

Carrie and I went to a Honduran restaurant in Memphis.
I came to the end of Deconstruction.
I took Spanish II and College Algebra at NWCC.
Corey did a wedding in Brandon.
I scribbled poems for my verse novel between classes.
I finished summer classes with a 4.0.

And I Read

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
*Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum (reread)
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

In August

David got braces.
I created a sort of Butter Beer Frappe at Starbucks.
A spider bit me twice in my bed one night.
I threw myself into finishing my verse novel.
Haydn made the dress-out list for Varsity football.
The boys began 8th and 10th grades.
I started working with the full-time 4s in the afternoons.
I helped with tailgating at an OBHS game.
I toured the University of Memphis.
The Well held a big back to school party.
There was a solar eclipse.

And I Read

Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
*A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
The Philip K. Dick Megapack by Philip K. Dick
The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
My House by Nikki Giovanni
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

In September

I participated in a poetry “unslam” and did well.
I attended the Ink Festival in Tupelo.
Haydn went to homecoming with his friend, Bree.
Haydn walked in the homecoming parade.
I had some heart rate issues and changed some meds.
I started covering the front desk at work three days per week.
Corey took Haydn to an Andy Mineo concert.
David got first chair in band.

And I Read

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
The Myth of Equality by Ken Wytsma
*The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
Love Suicides by Chikamatsu Monzaemon
*The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
Fantomina by Eliza Haywood
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
*Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
*Casting the First Stone by Kemberla Lawson Roby

In October

Carrie Bull and I went to a World Communion service in Memphis.
Tom Petty died, and I made Haydn listen to his music.
David had another choir concert.
Bert and Gayle drove down for a visit.
I aced my midterms.
I drove to Tupelo for an open mic and Corey met me there.
I revised my verse novel.
I volunteered at a mobile consulate and practiced Spanish.
The boys carved pumpkins.

And I Read

*Too Much of a Good Thing by Kimberly Lawson Roby
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
*Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
*My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Junie B. Jones espía un poquirritín by Barbara Park
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
*Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
To the Power of Three by Laura Lippman
*Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by Ryan J. Stradal
*Chemistry by Weike Wang
After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman

In November

I took off work early and drove to Tupelo for Open Mic Night.
I bought a dress because it made me feel like a sci-fi princess warrior.
I met with my advisor at Memphis.
I wrote a short story for Creative Writing class.
David was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.
I registered for classes at Memphis.
Our boy kitty, Tegus, disappeared and never came home. 😦
I wrote a final paper and took four finals.
We took in a rescue kitty and named her Edna Millay.

And I Read

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
*Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Teeny Little Grief Machines by Linda Oatman High
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
*The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner
Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
*Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Glass Houses by Louise Penny
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
*The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
Out of Wonder by Kwame Alexander

In December

I studied for and took my Spanish final.
I paid my Memphis tuition.
I missed a couple of days of work with strep throat.
I started pre-writing for my new novel.
I did some reorganizing at my desk at work.
I was awarded an Associate of Arts from Northwest.
I Christmas shopped and wrapped, etc.
We visited Savannah in Montgomery and saw Star Wars.
We went to Blaine for  New Year’s.

And I Read

*Brutal by Michael Harmon
*The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
*Beartown by Fredrik Backman
*Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

 

Total: 124
Audio: 37
Non-Fiction: 19
Poetry/Verse: 22

Currently: es noviembre

Current Books: This weekend, I finished Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig and The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. Gravel was absolutely heartbreaking. I started Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas last night, and I have the newest Louise Penny book, Glass Houses, to start this week.

Current Playlist: Mostly audio books, but I also just finished listening to an Amena Brown album.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Oreo cheesecake from Burger King… I get them after class some days.

Current Color: Deep purple

Current Food: Burger King on class days and whatever our cook makes for lunch on work days (I work at a daycare).

Current Drink: peach passionfruit refreshers

Current Favorite Favorite: Open mic nights in Tupelo

Current Wishlist: I might want an Apple Watch. I can’t decide. I’d really love a shuttle service from my door to my college next semester. Parking there stresses me out. LOL. More realistically, there are a bunch of books on my wishlist, as always.

Current Needs: I need to get my weekends to be more productive. This semester, I have gotten most of my homework done during the week, and my weekends should be spent doing housework, etc, but I mostly turn into a sloth at 6pm every Friday.

Current Triumph: I completed my verse novel, and I have been ticking items off the to-do list for transferring to Memphis come January.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Mostly life logistics, trying to make everything fit, etc… I mean, aside from racism, mass shootings, rape, and all of the other stuff that keeps me frothing at the mouth on a regular basis.

Current Indulgence: Single serve mug cakes

Current Outfit: Black Jordache skinny jeans, purple sweater, purple boots

Current #1 Blessing: My husband. He does so much with the kids and the house, and not feeling all that crappy gender role pressure that exists in so many marriages makes being in school a billion times less stressful.

Current Quote: “Something so hard can be so easy if you just have a little help. In the right place, under the right conditions, you can finally stretch out into what you’re supposed to be.”  ― Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

Current Photo:

Photo Nov 05, 1 55 24 PM

New favoite dress

Review: Box of Awesome Things

Last year, I did a few posts reviewing picture books, since I am spending a lot of time reading to preschoolers. Along those lines, I found a neat matching game that I took to school and shared with my students.

A Box of Awesome Things Matching Game

9781524759544

Matching games are pretty timeless in general. It helps kids learn to take turns and sharpens their memory. I found that using all of the cards was a bit overwhelming at first. If I picked just a few matches and mixed those up, it was easy to teach the kids how to play.

What I love about this set of cards is that they are different than the typical kids’ matching game. It’s not cartoon animals or the alphabet. The objects are a little odd in some cases, and kids love odd. Odd things make them giggle.

Here you can see a few of the awesome things the kids get to match from the box:

91khBlXEcfL

“Magnets” and “Science” also made the cut, and I love that because I try to teach my students to care about science and we have a whole set of magnet toys in the classroom.

These illustrations are fun and simple, and I adore them.

 

*I RECEIVED THIS ITEM FROM BLOGGING FOR BOOKS FOR THIS REVIEW.

Take a Knee

Recently, I sat in the bleachers for a high school football game. My son was on the field, and I was pushing past my dislike of sports and humid Southern evenings to watch him play. He loves the game, and I love seeing my kids follow their passions.

So, there I sat, trying to follow what was happening in the game, when a whistle blew and coaches walked onto the field. A moment passed and then all of the players on both teams knelt down. An injury was announced. A player on the opposing team was hurt. I watched my son and the other boys wait silently on one knee until the player was helped off of the field.

This was a familiar experience. Over the years, my sons have played a few sports and I recognized this show of respect being given to the downed player. It didn’t matter that said player was on the other team. Yes, that team showed up on the field with the sole purpose of winning, of taking a victory at the expense of my son’s team. That is how football works. However, a hurt person is a hurt person, and no one will dare cheer for his fall. They will show respect for his pain.

As debate and outrage fly due to the current NFL players’ “take a knee” protest during the national anthem, I thought about that scene on our high school football field. I know many will disagree with me, and I am okay with that. I’ve grown out of the need for everyone to see things my way, but I believe our country is injured. There are injured individuals in our ranks and the nation as a whole feels more broken with every passing day. When there is an injury, the most respectful action an athlete can choose is to “take a knee.”

This morning, I watched a group of NFL players doing just that. As the anthem played, not one of them laughed, joked, or even talked. They held the same air of respectful silence as every person who chose to stand for that same anthem. But our country is injured, and these men took a knee. There are plenty of reasons for our black brothers and sisters, our fellow countrymen, to feel that this nation is the opposing team, that the flag we stand for stands for their defeat. Still, they took a knee.

I can respect that.

I can also respect that there are men and women who lost loved ones to war, and some of them feel differently. Thinking of this made me curious about how we are supposed to respect the flag. See, there are things common in America that I have always felt disrespected the flag. It turns out, I was right about those things.

If you are truly interested in how the American flag should be treated, check out the Flag Code.

Here are a few interesting bits from the flag code (under the section “Respect for the Flag”) that show just how little respect for our flag Americans actually have, whether they stand up to salute it or not…

  • The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
  • The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.
  • The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.
  • It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.
  • No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

 

I know many people and businesses that violate the flag code on a daily basis. I know plenty of military personal who violate the flag code regularly. These direct violations of flag code are part and parcel of daily life in America.

In the end, I am grateful that these athletes have chosen a respectful, non-violent, method of protest. They have chosen the path of Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi and others before and after these great men. I have my own issues with professional sports and our country’s screwed-up priorities when it comes to paying athletes versus teachers, first-responders, etc… But I refuse to dehumanize these men who have chosen a respectful way of demonstrating their pain and the pain of their people and their nation.