Thursday, November 01, 2012

Half-Man (MiniWarrior)

Last evening I took Half-Man over to his friends house so he could go trick or treating.

He invited his (half) brother to go with him, something he has never done before.  They went as Mario and Luigi.  It was sweet to watch how he fussed over his little brother, making sure his costume was perfect.  They are only a year apart but his little brother has a more severe form of autism then Half-Man does.

I walked with the group while they trick or treated, keeping an eye on them so they didn't get squished by a car as they dashed across neighborhood streets.  LuLu came along with us, dressed in her pink dragon costume :)

The group gathered a sufficient stash of candy and headed back to the house.  The boys went into the house while Half-Man's friends Dad (let's call him Ed) and I stood outside and chatted.  Ed told me how although he considered himself wealthy, he would give it all up if his son (who is also Autistic) would look him in the eye and totally "get" what he was saying to him without the constant cloud of Autism. He worried (as we all do) of what would become of his son should anything happen to him or his wife. Would he be cared for? Would he be able to make it alone in the world?

Now, I have to say. I adore this man's son. I see a pure heart and an intelligence that flashes through, and I do believe he will be OK in adulthood. He may need someone to help smooth out the rougher edges of life and its multitude of responsibilities but I do believe he will be successful.

It is hard when you are the parent to see past the Autism at times. To see how your child is growing and truly interacts with his or her world. I think because we are their safety nets and we see when they aren't on guard and at their most vulnerable. We see it because we are their safety nets. They can relax and let us shoulder the burden that they constantly have to fight and carry on their shoulders.

What Ed said next, shook me.

"Do you believe in God?" He asked.

"I'm Agnostic. I don't really know what there is out there." I replied.

"Yes, I get that. I was raised Catholic but I'm not sure what I believe anymore."

We stood quietly in the brisk Autumn evening, digesting the complication that is religion while the Halloween moon light flickered through the rain clouds.

"You know something, I think there is a God." Ed said. "I look at your son and have to believe there is a God.  I ask myself, whenever I'm around your son, how can someone be so nice, so genuinely sweet, and not have come from God?"

I have to admit I was a little taken aback at such a huge endorsement of another human being while feeling immersed in a warm swell of parental pride.

My Half-Man is kind. He is sweet. Most of all, he is genuine. And you know what? It is 100% him. I may have helped steer him along his childhood journey but that which people most embrace about him is his genuine character.

I thought about what Ed had said while I took Half-Man out alone while the rest of the Trick-or-Treat group had given up and gone home.

We walked the streets moving from house to house, my big guy in his Mario costume and our little pink dragon dog.  Everyone we passed, even people from passing cars yelled out, "Mario!" to him. Half-Man laughed and taking his Mario hat off with a swoosh he bowed to those who called to him.  People responded with delighted laughter.

At the houses after receiving his candy treat, he would do a little Mario dance and say, "Wahoo!" in a Mario voice. The adults faces would light up, a few reaching from the doorway to pat him on the shoulder. Half-Man would grin and walk away...while the adults remained at the door to watch him with a smile on their faces.

You would think he would be teased or frowned upon. This 5'11 Half-Man, dressed in costume, ringing doorbells, Trick-or-Treating alone...


I watched a group of his peers call out his name. I watched him amble to them with a grin on his face. These "normal" kids greeted him sincere excitement to see him. Fist bumps from the guys and hugs from the girls. They were kids from his Middle School and some from his High School.

I watched him mesmerize person after person sprinkling happiness wherever he went. It is a sort of magic watching him. There is just...something...about him.

Is there a God? Still not sure...but I do think my Half-Man and I were supposed to be together, and I feel honored to have the title of his "Mom".

Monday, September 03, 2012

I Miss My Little Boy

Yesterday I zipped over to our grocery store to pick up some ingredients for our Frittata dinner. While there I did a slow walk through the school supply aisle to see if there was something obvious that I needed to get for MW's first day of school.

I walked through crayons and markers and glue sticks, action figure lunch boxes and brightly colored pencil holders...and realized I no longer had a little boy to shop for.


I miss my little boy. My constant companion. The little guy who looked up at me with his heart in his big brown eyes and called me his princess.

He still tells me he loves me all the time...but now he has a mans voice and when he looks at me he has to look down to see my eyes. My big, muscled, towering half-man who looks past me to watch a cute girl walk by with stars in his eyes.

I have loved every age of my MW. I love watching him become a wonderful man...but my Momma heart mourns for the little boy who once was completely mine.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Someone's Watchin' Over Us

The time is almost here. My not-so-miniwarrior starts High School (Mom heart scream....eeeek!!!) next week.
His Freshman orientation is tomorrow...and I had yet to hear back from the Special Education department who was supposed to be in charge of setting him up at his new school.
Last night I felt a wave of stress slog over me. I felt the pressure of the upcoming school year pressing on me, knowing we were getting down to the wire and nothing was cemented yet.
I spent a fretful night sleeping, my brain wouldn't stop worrying about all the details.

I woke up this morning determined to go to his new high school and do battle to get his schedule down and get some answers. I called MW at his Dad's house and warned him that we were heading straight to his HS (high school) after I picked him up. Always a good thing to prepare him for any changes in his set routine.

Almost as soon as I hung up the phone with MW, my phone rang. It was the special ed secretary returning my call from a message I had left on her phone weeks ago. She was just returning to work and made a point to call me back as soon as she had received my message.

She was very sweet and helpful and did a lot to ease me from my late night stress fest. I gathered my paperwork, picked MW up from his Dad's and headed to the school.

Oh my goodness! The High school is HUGE. It's almost as large as a college campus! My high school experience was very small as I went to a private school. This was intimidating!

We made our way to the school office and they pointed our way to the registrar office. Once there the registrar was very nice and very helpful. MW's schedule had not been made out yet by some strange fluke...and she took the time to fix that immediately. MW was able to get the elective classes he had been eyeballing...Beginning weight lifting, art and a digital video class. But the big thing....the one thing that blew my mind? MW is going to be in general education classes for EVERY CLASS!!!

No more being stuck in a room with lower functioning Autistic kids. No more babysitting classes....MW is going to be able to have the FULL high school experience that we have dreamed for him.

His IEP is in place so he will have less of a work load as regular students...and he is going to be given a chance to go to an inclusive classroom to chill out once a day. A place to de-stress or to catch up on things that take him longer to do then the regular classroom expectations.

Every where we turned today there was someone who showed up at our side to help us. After we got his schedule and the class numbers listed...we stood out in the hallway to sort out the map we'd been given to see where MW's classes would be. We were, to say the least, a little bit lost in the maze of this large school.

A lady showed up asked if we needed turned out it was the same lady who had called me at home earlier that morning! She walked us to the special ed office where there she turned us over to the head of the special ed department...who was a dynamo of action.

She looked at MW's schedule, determined that he was going to need a little more support then it offered, took it on herself personally to work a classroom break into his schedule without him having to lose the electives that he so dearly wanted to do...and told me to call her tomorrow and she'd have the revamped schedule for us. Not only that...but that she would then work out a time where she would personally take MW and I on a private tour of the campus so we could see where his classes would be without the chaos of the freshman orientation meeting set for tomorrow.

I took MW out to coffee afterwards and drew on a piece of paper an explanation of what this all meant. Then spent time talking to him about how he felt...and what changes were going to be happening..etc. He is a bit overwhelmed by it all but is excited :)

I...well I'm still in shock. Everything I've wanted for my MW is happening. It ran so smoothly...I couldn't help but think that someone out there was pulling for us and helping us by putting the right people in our path at the right time. It's mind boggling how well everything turned out.

We are on our way, Peeps! High school...


High school!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Not yet morning...

I awoke at 4am to the call of my middle aged bladder.

I should have turned around and gone back to sleep once the call was answered.

Yet, I am here. Reading old blog posts alternating between wiping tears and laughing as I read what was captured moments of my past.

I have been in some sort of holding pattern since the death of EWO. Time seems suspended. I am living in it and enjoying many things...but I'm waiting for something.

Perhaps it is a good sign that I feel myself slowly wake from this numbing living slumber.

Baby steps...back into life.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lost in Facebook land

I have been spending most of my time in Facebook land and immersed in my photography...sadly neglecting my old Haphazard Blog. Is anyone here anymore or have we all migrated to Facebook?
Retirement is strange. I keep "waiting". My mind has not caught up to the fact that I am not going anywhere...or required to be anywhere other then temporary appointments I make along the way.
Other than my photography, I haven't really accomplished anything new.
I have been enjoying my time with my Not-so-Mini-Warrior, tremendously. He is such a great young man. Every day I seem to fall deeper and deeper in love with my son. How can this be when I already love him to the Universe and beyond?
Lord V and I are so comfortable together and our home life is so peaceful and wonderful, there are times I close my eyes and just soak it in. To have been raised in chaos...and then find peace when middle something I do not nor ever hope to take for granted.

I still have bad days...dealing with emotions from the loss of my Mother (EWO). It comes unexpectedly, blind siding me...and I am filled with tremendous grief and sadness. Time does soften the edges...but sometimes having the edges softened leaves you wide open for the unexpected raw sadness.

I have thought about going to see someone to talk it through...but I find I do not trust anyone to fix this anguish inside me...I fear it would only make me feel more despair if I open the vat all the way to let someone touch my secrets. I find I am not strong enough to risk the darkness.

But that is life, isn't it? The dark, the light, the grey, the bright yellows of living. Right now I am sitting writing this blog on my new Apple Air laptop, sitting in the darkness outside, typing by the light of the fire in our fire pit...listening to the waves of the Columbia River lap against the shore.

LuLu lays between my legs, her warmth adding a cozy feel of home. Lord V sits nestled in a blanket sitting on a lawn chair, reading a book on his iPad. Not-so-mini-Warrior is at his Dad's house, so the evening here is quiet. I find I miss his teenage ramblings...but right now? Right now this peace is nice.

Deliciously, lusciously...wonderful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


We have an unused attic room that (after discussing it with LV) I have decided to make into a little photo studio!

 I went out to a thrift store today and bought some fabric for backdrops and some fun props...I placed the first pieces of it into the room this evening. I hold no wish to do studio photography work. I don't want to do wedding photography...or any form of business with my photos...I just...wanna create. Ya know?

This hobby of mine, brings me peace. It fills a void inside me. When I am capturing things through the eye of Chanda or working to fine tune a cluster of photos...I feel calm. Happy. Content. There are so many people who are much MUCH better photographers than me.

 Sometimes I get disheartened when I feel I've captured a particular photograph and then see someone Else's work and it makes mine look like child's work.


 But I press on. Creating. Learning. Creating. Learning. It's some kind of weird compulsion of mine to capture that one photo that will step out from the photo paper and tell its story. Like those in Life Magazine.

Have you ever noticed that as far as quality work goes, the photo's that take our breath away are not the perfectly sculpted ones...but the ones that demand we pause and listen to its story?

That, my Peeps, is what I want to do. What I strive for. I'm not there.  


But I will be.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Retirement Schedule

Having spent the last couple of days plinking on my laptop, reading books, watching T.V.--basically whiling my life away--I woke up this morning and decided I must give myself a schedule or I'll end up wasting my life away.

I know. I know. WHY schedule yourself you say? Isn't retirement about NOT having a schedule?!

Alas, I'm afraid reality is one must schedule themselves to ward off the razor claws of the dreaded lazy beast.

Once that decision was made--it spurred me into motion and I got more household jobs done in the last two hours then I've done in the last 3 weeks.


*pauses to contort myself into a chicken dance of victory*

*shoop shoop!*

Ok...back to retirement.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Haphazardkat "Retirement" Update

I've been so busy since quitting work to be a "stay at home Mom"--that I haven't had a chance for the reality of no longer having to commute to work--to really sink in!!

I "retired" on Friday, March 30th and flew out with MiniWarrior to Southern California on Monday.

We visited my birth Mom, took a road trip to Venice Beach where MiniWarrior got to work out in the famous Muscle Beach Gym with the big guys :)...and headed back home last Thursday night.

Friday evening I met up with my favorite Chickies where we spent the evening dancing and whooping it up to an awesome band Full Zoo at the Red Lion Inn bar.

Sunday was Easter--where I got to live my dream of making a fantabulous Easter breakfast for my little family and then relaxing in the Spring sunshine for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Monday I was in the Doctors office for a throat maintenance surgery (went fast and I was outta there in less than an hour)...then LV and I headed into downtown Portland where we feasted at Macaroni Grill. I text my old boss and let him know we were in his neck of the woods, he slipped on over and visited with us for a bit. It was strange to realize it had only been a week since I had seen him!!

Tuesday, LV and I headed out to Cinetopia and watched "The Hunger Games" loved it!. I spent Wed and Thursday finishing up reading the rest of the Hunger Game books and spending time with MiniWarrior.

Friday LV and I met with the people who are selling us our new baby Bichon!! She gets her final shot this coming Friday so we get to pick her up then--WOO!!! We are so excited! We have decided to name her LuLu :)

Saturday morning, early, I kissed my little family goodbye and headed out with LV's family to Seattle for a Bridal Shower.

So many people and only a fraction of what was LV's sweet family! We ate at Salty's Restaurant on the outskirts of the city and had a spectacular view of Seattle--including the space needle!

Sunday was the shower--which went really well. Much laughter and girl food--then we headed out on the long 3 1/2 hour ride home back.

We stopped at our favorite hamburger joint--YUM! I text LV a picture of my hamburger with a bite outta it to torture him back at home--LOL--cuz that's just how I roll...hee hee! :D

It's a good thing he loves me!!

It was wonderful to finally walk into the door of our home and hug my LV and our baby (gabbyabby). MiniWarrior is at his Dads so his hug comes later ;)

So...that brings us up to today's activities...

You'll have to go HERE to see what I've been up to! ;)

So. There you have it. You're all caught up!!

For my Blog Friends :)

Someone posted this on Facebook. I "stole" it so I could post it here--because it is so true!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Retirement: 2 weeks and going Strong!

Yup--tomorrow marks 2 weeks since I've been "retired".

I am loving every single minute of it.


Monday, April 02, 2012

Retirement: day one

Sitting in an airport with miniwarrior waiting to fly to see grandma in california. My work life seems like a distant dream. I appear to have made the adjustment of working woman to non--smooth as creamed butter transition.

So far i scoff at the "you'll be bored!" predictions.

Bring on the boredom--bring it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

6 more Working Days...

Six more days, Peeps--til I remove my work cloak and don my "stay at home Mom" apron.

The sound of femanists groaning in despair is overwhelmed by the sound of the happy beating of my heart.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


March 30th I am retiring from 17 years at my job.

My boss told me, while we were walking to coffee this morning, that he was sorry.

"Sorry? For what?"

"I tried to get some kind of award for you, some kind of recognition for the 17 years of service you've given to the company...everyone refused me. I told them that they make a big deal whenever a government employee retires--and that you had given them excellent service for 17 years and deserve some kind of recognition...but they refused."


I am the only surviving member of the 7 different contract companies that I've gone through while working for the government. Everyone else has been laid off or fired.

I really didn't expect anything from the bosses--but to hear that they were asked and then flat out refused?

I am...disheartened.

For all the extra hours I worked. For all the times I was cool in crisis and handled emergencies for them. For multiple letters of praise I have received from Majors and Chiefs down to the smallest working person...For the extra hours I spent off hours planning and purchasing things for Christmas parties for them...ugh...I can't and do not even wish to list all I have done.

I am more then disheartened, I'm hurt.

Ever feel like 17 years of hard work was for...nothing? When I think of all the stress, all the worry, all the times I came in sick because I didn't want to let my job down. The exhaustion of raising a special needs child, not even taking a day off for "maternity" leave because it would leave my coworkers short handed...Working nights, staying up during the day to raise my child...going back to work on 2 hours sleep and still acquiring praise for my level of work...UGH...

I've got to just let it go. Just...

Let it go.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Blast from the Past

I was reading my old blogs...and came across this one.

MW was 4 years old. 10 incredible years later, he is still that sweet, precious boy.

Preparing for High School

I took today off from work to attend MW's (MiniWarrior)High School Forecast meeting at his Middle school.

It is the first such luxury for me--to be able to take time off work without stress or worry--to focus totally on MW and his future.

He sat so tall beside me. So handsome. We were surrounded by goofy 8th graders, hair flipping in their eyes, their wrangly bodies dressed in a variety of sweatshirts and over sized tee shirts. I looked at them all with a smile. They are so young. Their whole life ahead of them. This was the first steps into adulthood for them all.

I walked with MW after the meeting to his classroom. He called out as I was slipping out the door, "I love you, Mom!" I paused, smiled, sighing inside myself.

"I love you too, Baby"

It is a testament to his sweetness that he didn't balk at my slip of calling him Baby.

He smiled, waved and I closed the door, exiting his school world.

I can't express to you how dear this boy is. How sweet. How infinitely precious he is.

He has such challenges but he faces them head on with an openness of spirit that makes those of us who carry scars, wince.

I was so worried he would be bullied when he hit middle school. He never has been.
I think it is his sheer openness. His complete lack of guile that acts as a bubble of protectiveness around him.

He attends a teen night at an open gym on Friday nights. Regular teens hang there with limited supervision. The first time he was old enough to attend the teen night, I paid the fee and turned to leave--thinking not to cling to him and embarrass him in front of the other teens.

"Mom wait!" He called out and pulling me into a hug he kissed me softly on my cheek. "I love you, Mom".

I hugged him stiffly, hoping to prevent his being labeled as a Momma's boy. A group of teen guys watched the display and one of them snorted.

MW turned and smiled his magical, guileless smile at them and I watched the derision wipe from their faces and softness enter their eyes.

MW is like that. Everyone he meets, cannot help but love him.

Have I mentioned how much I love him?


He fills my heart with such joy.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


So many things have changed in a year. I haven't caught up with it all.
Every quiet moment I have, my brain goes into hyper drive and tries to fit another piece into the 50,000 piece puzzle of my life.

So far, I only have the edge pieces figured out and a beginning of the first row inside the frame.

The loss of EWO (my Mother) has turned out to be a vast, endless, vacant space inside of me. A childhood schoolmate described her feeling at the loss of her parents as a sensation of floating alone in an ocean. I couldn't have described it better.

I'm trying not to be an uninhabitable island, but I find myself consumed with so many intricate emotions that I curl into myself, trying to shut out the world so I can find my feet again.

EWO delighted in mental torture of me when I was a child. She was like a child from the Lord of the Flies novel. Untamed, wild, alternating between cruel and childlike sweetness.

Half of my brain says, "Why are you grieving? Do you wish for her to be back and in your life?"

The other half chants, "I cannot believe she is gone...I cannot believe she is gone..."

I walk and feel the wind on my face and I grieve at the knowledge that she, a passionate lover of nature, no longer feels the winds wild kiss on her face. No longer hears the song of trees, rustling and bending.

And I feel like I'm floating, completely alone in the world.

But I am not alone. I know this.

MiniWarrior starts High School this Fall. Every day I am thankful for my wonderful child/man. He has not lost any of his precious sweetness. I feared for his teen years that I would lose the little boy who called me his princess. He no longer thinks of me as his princess--that title has gone to a girl who has captured his 14 year old heart. A first crush. But he never fails to tell me he loves me. He still pauses and demands hugs from him Mom. And I love him with every fiber of my being.

Lord V is my rock. The one who keeps me anchored when I feel myself floating in the ocean of grief. He wraps MiniWarrior and I up, shielding us from the harsher edges of life. I cannot imagine my life without him. I cannot imagine how I lived before him. I don't think I did. I was too busy surviving til he found us.

At the end of this month, I am retiring from my job. The notice has been written, the paperwork is in place. LV has given me the precious gift of time. Time to heal. Time to spend with MiniWarrior. Time to work with him while he moves from childhood to Manhood these final 4 years of high school.
Time to bask in the quiet peace of our home life and repair the cracks inside of me.

I have lost much. But I have gained more. Eventually the pieces of my life's puzzle will fall into place. I jut have to remember to relax and not force a piece into place.