Monday, September 30, 2013


Forgetting to smile.

He asked mouse if she were happy early last week in bed, he was rather awkwardly snaked around mouse holding her close. As rhough she were a pillow, with parts of his body resting on her at the same time holding her still. Its not uncommon for us to engage in a little pillow talk, before dropping off to sleep, although we already discussed so much and mouse was feeling content. Quickly mouse replied that of course she was happy. Seemed silly for him to ask that; was mouse not acting happy?. He's always been a bit on the quiet side himself, observant and tends to notice things about himself and others. People,he said, rarely smile, anywhere. Even mouse, he's noticed and probably in himself. Smiles are rare but genuine.

The baby, hopefully like most little kids, since her first smiles appeared has always smiled most of the time. It's enchanting. Sometimes we smile just because of's kinda infectious.

The next day, mouse more aware she supposes, watched people and Daddy's right people rarely smile. Our butcher smiles, all the time and not just his lips, his whole face, and his eyes twinkle. Most others are just so focused on their lives, task (like mouse who was shopping), or job, they don't. Even mouse had to remind herself to smile once she left the butcher. Trying to think happy thoughts, so the smile is actually real. That's the other thing she noticed, people who do smile sometimes seem to fake it.

Like the checker at the supermarket. The one who blandly asks, "did you find everything ok?" and if you happen to reply, "no" says nothing else, because that part wasn't included in their training. They don't smile. Sure their lips curl upwards, it's not real though. Conscious of this, mouse put in effort to smile, but soon found herself in a bit of conundrum, in order to effectively smile, mouse had to think about happy things. Disneyland. People are always smiling those super-charged, they-put-something-in-the-water smiles. However if mouse walks around with happy thoughts of Disneyland, she's not practicing her mindfulness Master expects. Walking around with a fake plastic smile won't do, because the eyes betray you.

Is the butcher just so thrilled with his shop and life, he just naturally looks happy. Like he loves life. How rare is that?

During a bit of downtime, mouse looked through some old photo albums his mom put together. Studying smiles, just an idle curiosity. There were a few years Daddy seemed like the life was sucked out of him. His eyes were completely empty. Even his smiles looked forced. Then a few pages later mouse saw Daddy holding our Babygirl and looked truly happy. The way he looks when he looks at the people he loves.

Maybe instead of thinking about Disneyland, she'll just think of him (maybe in Disneyland). Don't know if it'll work, or if mouse will just become lost in thoughts and forget where she's going,

It's hard though, even writing this, a whole post on smiling and mouse hasn't smiled while writing the whole time. Honestly mouse might feel frustrated if she didn't find it so ridiculous. Really shouldn't smiling be natural -- it's not like mouse doesn't love her life -- is she just that out or practice? Or is it when she concentrates, she doesn't think to smile?

The whole smiling issue is really mouse's personal segue, when she began thinking about outward signs of happiness. How do we identify happy people?


Friday, September 27, 2013

Being Particular

As most who have read our main blog The Power Exchange are aware, Omega enjoys a tidy home -- not really immaculate, but clutter free. Most Fridays mouse cleans for Shabbat. Certain things must be done before sundown. When the days become shorter, the cleaning chores are spread out over two days. Omega now prepares the daily list of what's to be accomplished each day, so when he handed Friday's list over to mouse, there was an error.

It's ok you can gasp.

Omega likes his things neatly arranged, just so. Socks for example are arranged by style, then by color, light to dark. Gym and weekend socks are stored in a completely different drawer. Clothing is arranged the same way. Style and color. It's an easy system, once mouse became used to it.

For Shabbat, clothes must laundered, errands run, towels washed, table cloth changed and washed, bedding, sheets, pillow cases must be changed and laundered. That's just bedrooms. Bathrooms, kitchen must be cleaned, the home dusted....

Yes, mouse becomes exhausted thinking about it.


It's also nice to have a clean home for the weekend.

Omega understands all too well, how difficult it can be to get everything accomplished with limited sunlight on Fridays. Candlelighting is in about an hour (don't worry mouse is finished). This all brings mouse to today's list and specifically what was missing from it.

Omega left no time for ironing!

See, while he's particular, so is mouse and hates wrinkled sheet cuffs.

Actually wrote a little about ironing here before.

It's the sheets that take a while for mouse to get just right, then they're folded and put away for the next week. Why didn't he know? How could he not know?

Well, it seems mouse didn't tell him.

We have two comforters for the bed. One is a Spring/Summer ensemble, with coordinating sheets and towels and the other is more for Fall/Winter. Here comes the quirkiness. When mouse pulled out the comforter in the Spring and packed away the Winter one, she noticed how shabby it had become. It was stained in one area (fruit juice thanks to the kids) and torn a little. The sheets too were looking faded and tired. It should be noted each bedding ensemble has two sets of sheets.

The intent wss to replace it. Just mouse never got around io it, as Springtime faded into Summer, the priory shifted. We went to the lake and mouse really forgot all about it. Since mouse usually makes the switch when the weather becomes cooler, in early October, Omega just said to forget it for now and we'll worry about next spring. The sheets were ironed in the beginning, but then mouse just didn't see the point. Omega didn't bother the housekeeper he hired to clean once a week while mouse was away to do it.

Next week, mouse will be switching the bedding, so this week became more about prep. The sheets that were on the bed weren't laundered, just switched with the clean spring set, and tossed out. But the other sheets that have been put away for half a year, must be cleaned, folded and ironed.

So what did leave off the list?

The ironing of the other sheets.

He had to fiddle and juggle mouse's schedule a little, because it takes time. But it's done and they look and smell great! Yes, today mouse is very tired but next week will be better! Having that part done also helps mouse to find the joy in next week!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Zero Hour

And now we embark on the happiest day of the year! Summer is over and school begins today! Around the neighborhood a collective sigh is heard. No more having to back out slowly (ok we do that anyway), but less concern about kids running around creating mischief and bored. No more listening to the endless baseball hoops and balls hitting the side of houses or becoming lost in our backyard. No more kids running barefooted and hunting for garden snakes (they're probably relieved too). No more bicycles left sideways on the driveway.

You can hear the excitement from parents everywhere. All the supplies happily purchased while the kids lagged behind. In dressing rooms children lamenting -- no more -- please...and the favorite, "can't we just go?!" in just a coupe hours, kiddo will be walking down the road to the bus stop to wait with the other kids -- gosh, mouse cannot wait! Yay! Of course, kiddo's all sullen and even asked why mouse was soooooo happy. Giggling and humming....

How can they understand it's like Christmas for us...a wonderful gift. All the boring stuff we've been putting off all summer can finally be accomplished! There isn't someone calling the moment mouse settles for a moment of peace asking where something is, or asking as they stare into the fridge and lament there's nothing to eat....or ask what's for dinner before mouse is finished loading the dishwasher. lovely!