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Filtering by Tag: dreams

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

In the very early morning hours on Thursday, well before my alarm went off, I had a dream. Chris was in this dream. He just showed up and he was alive and well. The two of us were in Portland at one of their food truck halls. Someone placed a crepe with ice cream and fruit down on the table in front of us. I looked at Chris and asked “Did you order this?” He shook his head and replied “Nope.” So we looked around and noticed the people at the crepe place were waiving at us. They had sent it over to us for free. We smiled and waived back then dug into the crepe and we were talking and laughing as usual. Then I said “Wait. How is it that you are here?” Chris shrugged and said “I don’t know. I’m just here.” I nodded my head and said “That’s cool.” We took a few more bites from our crepe and then I said “Oh my gosh! We totally forgot to tell Todd that we were in Portland. I’ll text him and tell him to come meet us.” Chris said “Okay.” and then left to find the bathroom. Todd showed up while Chris was in the bathroom, so I said to Todd “Okay, listen. This is going to sound really weird, but Chris is here. He’s alive and everything and we sat here and ate on this crepe. He’s in the bathroom now, but I’m serious. Chris is really hear.” Except Chris never came back from the bathroom. So I was left trying to convince Todd that I had not completely lost my mind.

By the time I woke up, Todd still was not convinced that I hadn’t gone totally mental. Usually when I have dreams that involve Chris, I wake up crying or angry or both. This time I just woke up. I did want to text Todd and tell him “no I’m not crazy; Chris was here.” I refrained because I know that you should never send a text or email that obviously proves you are crazy. That way it can not be used against you later. Like in a court of law or something. This dream did not leave me feeling sad. Actually it was probably the best dream involving Chris that I have had since he died. I don’t remember what he said or if he actually really did say something, but it felt like he was talking and we were chatting about just regular stuff. Chris has never just chatted with me about regular stuff when I dream of him. He pretty much says nothing at all and the dreams are not pleasant. I also did not walk away from this dream and spend the rest of the day clouded in sadness. Though I did harbor a craving for crepes with some ice cream and fruit for the rest of the day.

On March 14, 1998 Chris and I said “I do” in front of my parents, Stephanie and a couple we knew from college. The ceremony took place at the Chapel of Love in Las Vegas. That was twenty one years ago. I like to think we had a good run while it lasted. Sure, his hoarding tendencies drove my insane and I could get really frustrated with his lack of action. I tried to be more understanding with the later because I know that most of his inaction was due to self esteem issues. We are our own worst critics. But for the most part, we listened to each other and were equally matched intellectually. We spoke the same language and felt comfortable saying what we meant to each other. Our marriage was such a stark contrast to the marriage I was exposed to growing up. It almost didn’t seem like we were married so much as we were best friends who happened to have sex with each other and lived together. So, I guess I’m glad I let Chris talk me into getting married.

I do miss him.

I’m not crazy. Chris was here.

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Two nights ago we lost our house to a flood and a fire. In all the chaos, I ended up hit in the head and left in a coma for six months (yes, time is weird and relative). When I finally came too, I was all alone in the hospital. I pulled out my IV and rummaged around for some clothes. Then I walked back to where our house used to be. Seeing that there was no house, I continued walking until I got to a dumpy motel. Michael was living there some woman he was now sleeping with and all of our family members. Everybody looked rough with worn clothes and scraggly hair. I looked around at the squalor they were now living in and said “what is going on?!?” That’s when Michael, who was naked in bed with that woman I mentioned before, noticed me standing in the doorway. He sat up in surprise, sputtering to get a sentence out. I grabbed the woman by her hair and dragged her out of the bed and then kicked her. “Get the fuck out!” I spit in her face. Then Michael started rambling about insurance money and being broke. He was high or drunk, probably both. I just shook my head at him and then turned around and walked out.

And here I sit now in the light of day and reality (?) wondering what on Earth is going on.

My nights for the past few weeks have been filled with visions of nonsense. Someone said that this probably means I’m not sleeping well at night. That time between 9:30 PM and 1:00 AM is fantastic. I sleep so soundly that when I wake up sometime around one, I think it’s actually time to get up. Except I don’t because that sounds like a dumb idea. Instead I toss and turn, drifting in and out of sleep until around 4:30 ish. This week, I’ve just said “screw it” and peeled my body out of bed at 4:30 AM to get on my yoga mat. These morning practices have not been anything spectacular or fancy. I have just gotten on my mat and moved. Tuesday morning I ended my practice, curled up around the dog on my yoga mat. We lay there wrapped up in a blanket, still and quiet with Josephine’s toys scattered randomly around us. I could hear Michael snoring from his room. I could hear the creek and crack of the house shifting in the cold. Then I heard an owl hooting from somewhere in our front yard.

I heard that owl again this morning.

The hippy dippy part of me knows that these crazy night visions and the odd sleep behavior have to do with the Spring Equinox, which is just around the corner. It is my body preparing for the shifting of time. The sun is already staying out a little bit longer and I leave the house for work in the mornings in daylight instead of the dark of predawn. There is something a little bit uncomfortable in the shift because it is a slow transition. Particularly this year when we are predicted to get three to six inches of snow on Sunday. I always imagine this transition to be similar to the transition between human and werewolf. The movies always portray it so violently and painful. Think of the strain the body would go through to make such a dramatic molecular change, but then slow that molecular change down from seconds to days. I am slowely transitioning into a werewolf.

Or, if I want to be kind to myself, I am transition back into a human.

There is something about being awake while most of the rest of the world is sleeping. It is the time of morning covered in whispers and hushes. In the mist of the whispers and hushes, there is something calming and still. It is not a terrible time of day to be awake. It just sounds like a terrible time to be awake. When I was really little, I went through a phase where I would wake up in the middle of the night. I would get out of bed and quietly shut my bedroom door. Then I would turn on my light and quietly play with my toys in the middle of my bedroom floor. I don’t know how long this went on before I was finally discovered. My Mom opened the door to find me with the light on, playing. She made me go back to bed and turned the light out. I don’t remember getting up again after that, but I do remember that calming stillness. It must be something I just crave on occasion.

I am thankful for the hoot of an owl.

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

The other night, I dreamed that Chris and I were at Six Flags. We were the first ones into the park and headed right back to the biggest, newest roller coaster. There wasn't a line, but we had to twist our way through a maze of ropes and up and down a narrow staircase. The staircase was the scariest part because it was dark and the steps were steep. When we finally made it to the loading station, the roller coaster car pulled up and the seats were just open benches without any kind of harness or lap belt. You just held onto the seat and hoped you had the strength to hold yourself down on the loops. Chris looked at me and said without saying (because Chris never talks in my dreams) "are you sure you want to ride this roller coaster?" but then a hoard of zombies entered the park before I could answer him. Michael and I had just watched the most recent episode of the Walking Dead. By the way, season eight is just plain awful and I don't think I care enough about any of the characters any more to watch.

I realize now that I never answered Chris's question about wanting to ride a roller coaster that was so very obviously dangerous. Dr. Mary gave me a handout from a lecture she did a while ago about seven things for functioning or something like that. She had me read the list out loud and when I got to the second thing on the list, I busted out laughing. Number two on the list had to do with recognizing dangerous situations and avoiding them appropriately. Then I told Dr. Mary about the time I drove an hour to have dinner at a stranger's apartment and how I didn't see anything wrong with this until I got there. Then it was a little bit creepy that the guy only had one light on, no heat and camp chairs for furniture, but I still figured that if I had to fight this guy that I totally could have taken him. I most of the time do not recognize a dangerous situation as being dangerous. This is why Talaura has a video of bison running down the road with Michael's voice clearly saying "get in the car, Cindy." 

A few days after this dream, I spent two minutes in supported fish pose. This pose feels nice between the shoulders but also leaves your neck exposed. I had been warned that I might get a wave of panic having my neck exposed while hanging out for two minutes in fish. You know, like having the feeling that a wild dog is going to come rip your throat out for no reason what so ever. Except I never did get that feeling. Actually, I've never had that feeling in this pose. I've never felt panic or fear in any yoga pose. Instead of fighting fear induced anxiety, I ended up fighting tears. My eyes welled up and spilled down the sides of my face. My throat is the first thing affected when tears attack. It closes up and I can't talk. I can barely even breath. Losing the ability to squeak out a word makes me furious, which in turn, makes me cry harder. It's usually pretty ugly. I wrinkled my brow and wondered why I was suddenly crying in fish pose and still able to breath.

It is not that I purposefully or willfully refuse to recognize a dangerous situation as maybe being dangerous. And don't think for a minute that I am not scared in these situations. It's just that stubbornness is the rock, while fear becomes the scissors in this game. Stubbornness wins every time. I love supported fish pose. I practice that pose ALL of the time. I never once thought about how my throat was exposed or the dangers involved in exposing your throat. Now, all I can think about is that scene from Roadhouse where Patrick Swazye rips that guy's throat out with his bare hand. This should creep me out or make me shy away from poses that expose my throat. Instead, I find it slightly hilarious. That scene is ridiculous, though if you ask the guys I work with, they'll say that it is awesome, in the same way that Bill and Ted are awesome. I am comfortable in dangerous situations, at ease, in my element and even can relax enough to cry. 

So yeah, I'd probably still ride that roller coaster, because that's the whole point and there's something worthy of gratitude in this somewhere. You don't know how anything is going to end, so you might as well enjoy the ride. 

I WILL PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE

Cindy Maddera

Last week, I woke up at three AM from a dream where I was so angry at Michael for something to do with schedules and calendars. I got up and went to the bathroom, but when I crawled back into bed my brain was too hyped up to go back to sleep. I laid there raging and reliving various random moments of conflict and how I should have said this instead of that. I kicked off all of the covers because I was hot and flipped over to turn off my electric blanket. My period starts in three days. The dreams leading up to this have been off the chain. One night I put on eye makeup and it was perfect, but I only did one eye. The next night I tore my closet apart looking for my elephant skirt and was unable to find it. I know for sure that both were dreams because I am incapable of applying eye makeup let alone perfect eye makeup. I checked my closet and my elephant skirt is still there. 

I started watching the Masterpiece Theater show Breathless and there's this episode where an older woman discovers that her husband is having an affair with the secretary. She confronts him and so he takes her to the doctor where he bullies the doctor into prescribing some serious drugs because of her crazy menopausal symptoms. The woman makes a half hearted attempt to stab the secretary with a pair of scissors, is told she needs to get herself under control, and then overdoses on the prescription her husband forces the doctor to give her. There's a moment before she takes all of the pills when she's talking to an older nurse who is telling her to get her shit together when the woman says that she still wished she'd stabbed that girl with the scissors. It is the most frustrating episode I have seen so far because they keep playing off this woman's rage at her husband's infidelity as just symptoms of menopause. Then I got so mad about the whole episode that I picked up my iPad and threw it across the gym. 

I did not.

I had been basking in a skinny phase for the past two months. I caught my reflection in the mirror while teaching a yoga class and thought "Oh! I look skinny!". A week later my body turned into a bloated up bullfrog. I again caught my reflection while teaching a class and thought "Who is that fat girl teaching yoga? Oh...it's me." I closed my eyes to the reflection and never looked back at the mirror again. Saturday, we found ourselves on the Plaza and Michael sent me to Anthropolgie while he and the Cabbage went to look for shoes. They found me just as I was checking out. The Cabbage put her chin on the counter and told the check out lady "I'm going to be a big sister!" The woman then looked right at my belly and said "CONGRATULATIONS!" I didn't say a word. I just smiled and nodded my head. When the transaction was complete, the woman walked my bag around to hand to me. I guess so I wouldn't strain myself picking up the bag containing two shirts from the counter? It was weird and not the first time someone has congratulated me on a pregnancy. 

So, you would think that all of this plus a time change would make me a very ragey person today. Except I knew that all of this plus a time change would set me on a murderous rampage and I made some changes to my routine. First of all, I left work early on Friday and cleaned the house. I mean, scrub under furniture and wash the curtains kind of cleaning of the house. Then, I had Michael hang some shelves in my room which allowed me to free up my yoga storage box. I swapped places with the yoga box and my hamper, placed a blanket and meditation pillow on the box and BOOM! Meditation space. The next thing I did was probably the most difficult. I changed my alarm clock setting from 5:50 AM to 5:17 AM and then I got up out of bed when that 5:17 alarm went off in the morning. Here's what the usual routine generally looks like: wake up around 4 something AM, let the dog out, the cat comes in and drools on me, fall back to sleep for an hour before the alarm clock goes off, seriously consider calling in sick to work, seriously wonder if Michael is getting up, go make sure Michael is up and getting into the shower, crawl back into bed until he's done, seriously consider calling in sick, begrudgingly get up and into the shower.

This morning, I did twenty minutes of meditation and brewed a cup of hot ginger lemon water to sip on while Michael was in the shower. Am I tired? Of course, I am. But I am not as tired as I was before starting this routine. That whole going back to sleep for an hour before having to get up for real was killing me and my sleep inertia was all kinds of disrupted. Every time I fell back asleep, I was resetting my sleep cycle to think I was at the beginning of my sleep cycle, making it harder to get up when it was actually time to get up. Messing with your sleep inertia also leaves you groggy and disoriented for up to four hours after waking this way. I am still bloated. I still had some weird ass dreams last night. But! BUT!!! I feel less likely to punch someone in the face today. 

That' something.

 

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Last night I had a dream that I was over at Terry's. Every one was there and Terry's house had shrunk to the size of a studio apartment. It was crazy which isn't really all that unusual. In fact I think that all the things that occurred in my dream are things that seem totally natural for an evening at Terry's. We were celebrating Bradley's birthday. Bradley had made tacos, but by the time I got there, most of the tacos were gone. I decided to make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with two pieces of a fresh loaf of gluten free bread, also made by Bradley. I pulled out the jelly from Terry's fridge and then I had to climb over a bunch of people to retrieve the peanut butter from the living room. I don't think Terry would keep his peanut butter in his living room in real life, but maybe.

I made it back to the kitchen with the peanut butter and set it on the counter. Then I got distracted because someone was asking me a question. When I turned back around, Luke was just finishing up making my peanut butter and jelly sandwich for me. I told him thank you and he didn't have to do that. He responded with a shrug. Then I looked at the sandwich and noticed that the jelly was green. I said "Oh...I was hoping for a berry flavored jelly, but apple is fine. Wait. Is that relish?" Luke looked at the sandwich and said "No...wait. I think that's relish. Oh my God! I put pickle relish on your peanut butter and jelly sandwich!" Then we laughed and laughed. And I woke up. 

It was a pretty hilarious dream. In fact, I woke up laughing and when I think about it, that look on Luke's face when he realized what he'd done, I start to giggle. Also, the absurdity of a pickle relish and peanut butter sandwich is the best ridiculous thing since Talaura's bread sandwich. The comedy in my life seems to center around sandwiches. Today I am thankful for absurdities. From Chris's hot dog straws to Talaura's bread sandwich. Talaura has these two pictures of her in Sarge. One is serious and the other one looks like they're both laughing. When she shows them to you in order and says "look! Sarge is telling me a joke!" it is ridiculous and hilarious. Todd, do you remember Chris's Schindler's bit about just eating one more shrimp? We laughed until we cried over this. The other day, Michael asked Alexa to pay him a compliment but then she announced that she didn't have that skill. When I asked her and told her to install that skill, She told me something about how I'm good at facts or something. Immediately after this, Michael asked Alexa again to pay him a compliment and she said "Ummm. I'm not sure about that." The Cabbage and I busted out laughing. 

I am thankful for those absurd and ridiculous and hilarious moments.

Maybe I should host a sandwich party. 

I am thankful for a text from Amy telling me a story about C-Rip and how C-Rip was talking about visiting me in Kansas City. That she was going to ride with me on my scooter. She'd bring her own helmet. It was the sweetest thing and it came to me on a particularly difficult day when I was fighting demons. I am thankful for the staycation I took yesterday. I finished my library book. I am thankful for the promise of a lazy weekend. I am thankful for you. 

TINY BIRDS

Cindy Maddera

I dreamed of the tiniest bird I had ever seen that was not a hummingbird. He was the shape and coloring of a sparrow, but he was no bigger than my thumb. I remember marveling at the size of him and how he pecked at some bread crumbs in the palm of my hand, but I remember nothing else about the dream. You should know that there are several sources on the internet containing dream interpretations and what it means to dream of birds. Because the internet is full of every thing from the most brilliant to the most ridiculous. You can find anything on there except your lost keys. 

I only looked at the top three websites that came up in my search for what it means to dream of birds. All of them said about the same thing. They all agreed that birds are symbols of your goals and aspirations, transcendence and liberation, joy and love. Dreaming of birds in various actions can mean anything from an attack on all of those things to an abundance of all of those things. Dreaming of different kinds of birds mean different kinds of things. Magpies are a symbol of dissatisfaction and disappointment. Owls are what you'd expect them to be, symbols of wisdom and knowledge. Dreaming of chickens means you lack will power or are behaving cowardly. Unless it is a dream about a rubber chicken. That one means that you need to lighten up and stop taking things too seriously. 

The only one of those three websites I visited to mention sparrows said that sparrows represent "the ordinary but living parts of you that are special." That gave me some pause. Did that teeny tiny sparrow represent those ordinary parts of me that are actually special? Or does it mean that my living parts are special, but also ordinary? What does that even mean? How can something be ordinary and special? So I edited my internet search to be more specific. Several sources say that the sparrow is a symbol of dignity and pride but also innocence, restlessness and freedom. Most of the sources online say that dreaming about a sparrow is a positive thing most of the time. It can mean anything from being delighted in the simple joys and memories created by my family to a premonition of bad news to come. 

Reading about dream interpretation is trippy and it is very much like trying to diagnose your minor illness through the internet. I've looked at enough pictures to know that the bug bite on my neck is in fact a mosquito bite and not from bed bugs. Any one who reads this blog on regular basis could tell that I often delight in the simple joys of anything. Right now, I think it is particularly hilarious that the cat who used to curl up in Josephine's unused dog bed, now like to curl up in Josephine's dog crate. Now Josephine can found curled up in the dog bed she never even looked at until the cat came around. You know what was truly remarkable about that sparrow in my dream? His size. Small is not ordinary and maybe not special either, but it can be remarkable.  

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Time changes always mess me up. Even when I've planned for them and I know they are coming. That first night when Mom and I were in Ireland, I woke up and realized that Mom was also awake. I asked her for the time and she said "5:30 AM". I decided that I might as well go ahead and get up and do some yoga and was about half way through my practice when I noticed the time on my phone said that it was really just after midnight Ireland time. I announced this to Mom and said "I'm going back to bed." We both did and then woke up at a more reasonable time a few hours later. Of course that was a five hour time change, but apparently I handle one hour time changes about the same. 

The time change and the transition into Spring have made for some really interesting dreams. One night I dreamed that I was out hiking. I walked to a place where I had to climb onto a log in order to paddle over to an island made of cork. The ground was soft and squishy under my hiking boots and covered with moss and tiny ferns. I made my way to the visitor center which was in a small shack next to a water tower, both made of cork. The water tower leaked. The old man at the visitor center told me that they had a problem with couples coming to the island and stealing bear cubs to take home as pets. The bears on the island were angry and the campground was now surrounded by a bear proof fence that was locked at night. I woke up before I decided what to do next. The next night, I dreamed that I went to work without pants bringing a whole new level to Casual Friday. When my boss saw me, he said "Cindy. You're not wearing pants." I scowled at him and replied "You're not even supposed to be here today so shut up." Then I tugged my T-shirt down a little to be sure it was covering my granny-panty clad ass. I don't know what happened next because I woke up thinking it was Friday, but it was really Thursday.

This has been a week of change. That Patty Loveless song about saying goodbye has been playing in the back of my mind for days. That song always makes me cry, but it is the line about 'life is about changing' that has been on loop in my brain, the words circling around and around like an airplane banner. Often those changes come in subtle quite ways, sneaking in so that they are hardly noticed, like the slow growth of green that starts to spread over things with the coming of Spring. These are the changes that we crave without fearing. The bigger, more sudden changes, like a snow storm after a week of 75 degree weather, are the ones that leave us slightly timid to venture forward. This is the time of year when I am reminded to embrace both kinds of changes. I am reminded to be mindful that change happens every day and that it is how I react to the change that is important. I am thankful for the changes of this week. I am thankful for changes to come. I am thankful for crazy dreams that hint of adventures to come and an acquired boldness.

I am thankful for a turn in the weather because we promised the Cabbage weeks ago that we would go camping this weekend. We are headed to the Joplin KOA with plans to visit the George Washington Carver National Park. I am thankful that my mom will be able to join us for the day. I am thankful for vegetarian sloppy joes. I am thankful for the moments I have had on my yoga mat. I am thankful that Josephine didn't attack Marguerite (the chicken) who escaped while Michael was refilling the chickens' water. I am thankful that Marguerite was more interested in the new water than she was being chased around the yard. I am thankful for moments of stillness. I am thankful for you.

Hope your weekend is full of warmth and that you have a truly Thankful Friday.

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Last night I dreamed I was pregnant. My belly was full and swollen and I kept going to the hospital because I thought I was in labor. Every time they'd send me away and say "not yet!" After one of those times, I found myself sitting at a table with all of the guys I work with. One of them told me that there was no way the baby inside me was ready to come out because I was too small. I confessed that I had never felt the baby move. This surprised everyone. I told them that my doctor kept assuring me that everything was good. The baby had a healthy heartbeat and all the tests had come back suggesting that things were progressing normally. I said that my baby must be practicing a lot of meditation. The dream went on and on in a loop of me chatting about being pregnant and going to the hospital. I would wake up for a minute or two but I always fell back asleep to this same dream. 

It doesn't take a physic dream analyzer to decipher this dream. I know that I am pregnant with ideas right now. I'm calmly and quietly growing ideas and possible projects. I have thought about adding some things to the blog. I've been toying with the thought of seriously sitting down and writing something not for this blog. I've been thinking about picking up Michael's old mandolin that has just been sitting in the corner getting dusty and learning how to play it. I've been sketching out ideas for pumpkin decorations for our front stoop. I am pregnant with creativity. Some of those things I'm ready to share, like the pictures I took of the Friday football game last week. Some of those things need more time to develop. There was a time when dreams of being pregnant would freak me out. Now, I'm thankful for those dreams. I like the idea of my belly being full of creative ideas. 

The Cabbage turned six yesterday! We celebrated her birthday last weekend with cupcakes and butterflies. She had recently confessed to me that she wanted to be a scientist and when I asked her what she wanted to study, she said "insects!" I am thankful for year six and the possibilities of wonder this year will bring to her. It has also given me a reason to buy the president and vice president Barbi set from Target. I am thankful that Michael was able to get the yard mowed before all the rain set in this week. I am thankful for walks with the dog and eggs from the chickens. I am thankful for moments of quiet. I am thankful for you.

Here's to a lovely peaceful weekend and a truly Thankful Friday!

LOVE THURSDAY

Cindy Maddera

In a past life, I was a magician's assistant. This was in the late 1800s in England, but we traveled all over to perform our act. The Magician had developed this amazing trick where he'd inject black ink under his skin and then, as I stood next to him, a black tree would start growing out of the tops of my feet and then twist and grow all around and up my body. It really was a great trick and of course other magicians wanted to know how the trick was done. 

The Magician carried everything in one of those traveling trunks. The trunk was unique because from the outside it looked like a regular trunk, but the inside was bigger. There was enough space to carry all of our things and a little sitting area where I could sit and read. It was very cozy and comfortable which was important because I'd often ride in the trunk when we traveled to save money on train tickets. Once inside the trunk, no one knew I was in there. This is where I was one evening after a show. I was sitting comfortably in the trunk, reading a book. The Magician had gone out for the evening. I thought I would have a nice quiet evening to myself until I heard the sounds of someone rummaging around our room. I quickly blew out my candlelight that I had been using to read with just in case the trunk leaked out any light and sat as quietly and still as possible. 

Suddenly the trunk lid popped open and I felt a hand grip my upper arm and yank me out of my cozy little spot in the trunk. The man shook me and demanded I tell him where the plans for our famous trick was kept. I told him over and over that I couldn't. You see, there were no plans. The Magician had never written it down and in fact really only knew how half of the trick worked. I knew the other half, but not the Magician's half. This was how we'd managed to keep it a secret all this time. Incensed, the man gathered up all the papers he could find in our room and trunk. Then he grabbed a length of rope, bound my wrists and threw me back into the trunk. His plan was to dump me and the trunk into the river. I could feel the trunk being dragged down the hall and bounce down some stairs. Then I could feel the rattle of being dragged across cobble stones. 

I screamed as I felt the trunk falling and then landing in the cold water below. The trunk started to take in water quickly. I frantically started looking around for a way to get out or something to cut the rope binding my wrists. One of the great things about being a magician's assistant is that you learn escape tricks. This was how I managed to wriggle my hands free of the rope, but when I shoved on the lid of the trunk to get out, the lid wouldn't budge. By now, water had almost completely filled the trunk and I barely had space to keep my nose out of the water. I took one last gulp of air, dived to the bottom of the trunk and then torpedoed myself at the trunk lid.  But just as I was about to hit the lid, it popped open and there was the Magician. He had been on his way home and just crossing the bridge when he saw a man shoving a familiar looking trunk over the ledge and into the water. The Magician grabbed my wrist and headed towards the surface, where we broke through the water gasping for air.

OK, maybe this didn't really happen in a past life, but is exactly what happened in a dream I had the other night.  Dreams can be scary. They can be weird and make very little sense. Dreams can be insightful, helping to solve a problem you've pondering. They can inspire us to do something great.  But for today, for Love Thursday, I'm honoring those dreams that spark the imagination. Because I believe that great things can grow from that spark.

Happy Love Thursday!

I'VE BEEN LEARNING TO DRIVE

Cindy Maddera

I have a whole thing written up about the chickens, introducing each one by name and breed. Except we have one that is still waiting for a name. The Cabbage gets to name that one. We have her with us for dinner this evening, so hopefully No Name will get a name tonight. Today is the last day of March and just like February, it has passed by in a blink. I was relieved to have February pass by so quickly. The passing by of March has left me with a spinning feeling like I was just spun out of a revolving door too fast. April you say? It's April? I'm not sad that March is over so quickly as much as I am shocked by it. March has been an odd month. Warm then cold then warm then cold. Today is warm. March has been flip-floppy and a month of vivid bizarre dreams.

One night I woke screaming because I had been dreaming that I had caught a rat. I was holding it just behind the head with one hand and the tail with the other. I was screaming for Michael to help me. He couldn't hear me and just sat on the couch eating popcorn. Meanwhile the rat was whipping it's head all around trying to bite me and I was screaming bloody murder. And that's how I woke up. Then there was the night I dreamed that Josephine figured out how to undo the latches on her crate. She got out and took a human sized dump on the rug and then tore up a bunch  of random things. I spent all this time cleaning up after her that when I woke up I fully expected to see a human size turd on my bedroom rug. 

Then, just last night, there was a dream that started out in a yoga class. I was on my mat doing my thing when I noticed this tiny coral colored scorpion heading right for my yoga mat. I spent the class trying to keep the scorpion away while doing yoga at the same time and I was so scared. I knew for sure that the scorpion was poisonous. When I got home from class, Chris was there. It was like he'd gone out to run an errand and came back and was all "hey, I'm back." I was confused and I remember saying something like "hey, that's great, but I'm with someone else now." Chris made a face and told me that maybe I needed to go lie down for a bit. I didn't wake screaming from this one, nor did I wake crying. I just woke up with almost crippling back pain.

I'm so tired of those dreams where I feel like I have to justify this new life of mine.  I can't understand why I'm never telling Chris to go fuck off. I did not leave. I was not the one that got sick and died. Sure it wasn't his choice, but he sure as hell didn't beat around the bush about it. As soon as he heard the doctors say "terminal" he got the ball rolling on passing on from this world. For the first time in Chris's life he did not procrastinate. I don't see why I'm the one left behind having to explain myself or why explaining myself is even remotely necessary in this situation. But my dreams do. My dreams feel the need to remind me of true fear, exhaustion and confusion. "Hey, your life is good now, but just remember. Remember what it's like to be so fucking scared and confused and exhausted, because all of that could happen again." 

All of that is true, but I'm certainly not waiting around and looking for any of that to happen again. You know what I'm going to do instead? I'm going to finish painting this chicken coop Michael built for me (us). Then I'm going to cuddle with the chicks and sing them some lullabies. I'm going to scratch Josephine's belly and then have a make-out session with Michael on the couch. And those March Madness dreams can march their way on out of here. 

RANDOM BITS OF THINGS

Cindy Maddera

I'm feeling slightly scattered. Last night I had weirdo crazy Hunter S. Thompson  type dreams. There was a real honest to God two-headed man and a woman who cried rubber duckies. Like, instead of salt water tears, tiny rubber duckies dripped from her eyes. I don't remember much more than that, other than it just seemed to be one oddity after another. I even woke up around two in the morning, only to fall asleep to more LSD like visions. I woke up confused and had a difficult time choosing what I was going to wear today. I'm not sure that last night's sleep had anything to do with not knowing what to wear, but it seems like a decent enough excuse. Today I am the Hamburgler of words, dropping the "robble robble" for "ramble ramble". 

A few weeks ago, I did an in-home try on of eyeglass frames from Warby Parker. I didn't tell anyone or take pictures of the different frames because I knew which pair I was going with the moment I put them on. It was just that simple. As it turns out, eyeglass frame shopping in a store, for me, is like shopping at Walmart. I am overwhelmed by the amount of selection. I spent hours picking out my last pair of glasses and ended up not really being in love with the frames at the end of it all. I had just reached my limit and said "that'll do pig." For those of you new to Warby Parker, this is how it works: You pick five different frames on their website and they send them to you free of charge to try on. They include everything to ship them back, again free of charge. Five frames. You can pick them or they can pick them for you. You don't even have to really pick five! I picked five. The first one on my list was the one I was really hoping for because I thought they were super cute. They were just 'meh' on my face though. The third one on my list turned out to be the no brainer these are the frames for you Cindy. 

Oh, you might also take notice of my bottom lip in that picture. I am not wearing lipstick because for once in my life my lips are not scabbed over and blood crusted from my constant picking. Last week, my lip split all by itself. No really. I had nothing to do with it that time, but I'm sure I didn't help matters. My lips had scabbed over one too many times and that plus they were so dang dry. That night I went and bought three things of Carmex. I've stashed one at my desk, one in my coat pocket and one on my nightstand and every time I think about picking at my lips, I coat them with Carmex instead. It's working. For now. 

I took my Nikon to Oklahoma with me over the weekend, but never took it out of the bag until Sunday. I had a few minutes to kill before meeting Margaret and Philip for brunch. I pulled on my bunny cap and trudged my way through the slush and ice to take a few pictures. I didn't take many before it was time for me to go inside, but I liked the ones I did take. At least I was happy with how they turned out. I am struggling these days to make time for this camera. It's easy for me to say that I took it with me to Oklahoma because I take it with me every where. It is always in my bag. I just have gotten into a terrible lazy habit of not taking it out of my bag. I spent five minutes on Sunday. Just a measly five minutes. I walked away with six shots and three of those ended up being my favorite. Five minutes a day. I'm an idiot. No...I'm just lazy. It's just gotten easier to sit here and look out the window at all the dead winter yuck and say it's not worth getting the camera out. That's just plain wrong. 

I think that's the last of the ramble. I need to order seeds. Ok...now I think that's it. Sometimes I think that when I'm scattered, it's good to just tell you all of the things I'm scattered with. It's like reorganizing the closet. Mine is sorted by color (because I'm crazy), but sometimes some garment or other gets put back in the wrong spot. Every now and then I have to go in and take that blue shirt out of the gray section and move it back to the blue section. Maybe that's what I'm doing here. Rearranging things in my brain so there's more room for a more focused thought. Defragmenting my hard drive. I'll let you know if it actually works.


I HARDLY EVER DREAM OF ZOMBIES

Cindy Maddera

Early last night, not long after I'd gone to bed and drifted off to sleep, I had the worst stress dream I've ever had. OK. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but I do have welt lines on the insides of my cheeks this morning from chewing my face from the inside out. Michael and I were at the airport trying to get our boarding passes. We went up to the desk clerk and he put in all our information, but when he went to print the passes, his printer started eating the paper and completely jammed up. The clerk said not to worry, that he'd send the information over to the next clerk who could print it out for us. At this moment, Michael realized that he didn't have a coat and that he really needed a coat. So he left me in line to deal with boarding passes to go find himself a coat. I'm standing at the counter for some time before I finally see the second clerk print our tickets and then stick them in a paper bag. I stepped forward to get our passes, but thats when the supervisor stepped up and shouted at me "What do you think you're doing?" "You have to go back and wait in line." I told him that I had been waiting in line and that my boarding passes were ready. I explained about the printer malfunction and passing the tickets to the next clerk, but he just kept yelling at me and he made me so angry. Finally I just reached up and grabbed my paper bag containing our passes. I looked at the ticket supervisor and said "I will be filing a very large complaint about you and I will make sure that you are fired from this job."

I turned and walked away from the counter, pulled our passes from the bag and noticed that our flight would be leaving in ten minutes and we still had to go through security. Also, I had no idea where Michael was. I started running down the moving sidewalk that would take us to our boarding gate. I was about half way down the corridor when I saw Michael running on the moving sidewalk that was going in the opposite direction. I yelled his name, but he didn't hear me. I started running backwards on my moving sidewalk (like going up the down escalator, but way harder). I reached the end and there stood Michael wearing the most ridiculous coat I had ever seen. He replied before I could say anything "it's the only thing they had that would fit me." The coat was huge, gray and furry. To top it all off there was a giant lion skin running down the back of it with the front paws draped over the shoulders and the head of the lion acting as the hood of the coat. Now, let me just say, before there's outrage over me dreaming about Michael wearing a lion skin, the lion was not a real lion. It was a knitted lion. I looked at him and said that we had to hurry, but then I couldn't stop laughing. Every time I looked at him in that ridiculous coat, I'd just crack up. We're running through the airport, laughing and trying to find gate B. For the LOVE OF GOD WHERE IS GATE B!!!!????? That's the last thing I remember before I woke up. 

I reached over for my clock to see that it wasn't even midnight. I rolled back over, trying to go back to sleep, but I couldn't get my brain to stop racing. I thought about how Mom and I had to run through Heathrow to catch our flight to Chicago. We were going through security when we heard them announce final boarding for our flight. I was that person hopping into her shoes while grabbing all of my things and sprinting to our gate. Mom followed behind, shoeless, yelling at me to "Go Cindy! Go! I'll catch up!" I came to a halt at our gate where people were lined up to board the flight and no one was on the plane yet. Final boarding in London does not mean what I think it should mean. That dream left me feeling like I'd just raced through Heathrow again and I couldn't stop thinking about it or Michael's coat. I finally got up and crawled into his bed. He wasn't asleep yet, but his lights were off and I startled him. He pulled me in close so that my ear was pressed to his chest. I have had dreams that have woken me with gasps of terror. I have woken from a dream nearly drowning in my own tears. I very nearly never run to his bed when this happens. Instead, it's the dream that stresses me out the most. It's the one where I end up running the wrong way on a moving sidewalk (that shit is HARD) that sends me to his bed. 

I just had to tell him about the dream. I had to tell him about the rude awful ticket supervisor. I had to tell him how frantic I was. I really needed to tell him about that coat. When I finished telling him all of those things, I laid there a few minutes more until both of our heart beats slowed down to normal and I was finally ready to give sleep another try. I ended up back in my bed where I slept without dreaming for the rest of the night. 

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Last night I dreamed that Chris and I were preparing for a big move. I interviewed with a strange group of people that reminded me of characters from Real Genius, but it was an amazing prestigious place and I was thrilled with the idea of working there. As we packed up boxes, Chris told me that he was dying. He said that he didn't have much longer and we needed to hurry and find me a place to live. The dream is a bit hazy after that. I remember walking with Chris, my hand in his. I remember us both being happy about the new job. I remember crying a lot and wondering how I was going to do any of this without him. 

It's funny that there are times still in my subconscious that wonders how I can go on and be after Chris. Obviously I am doing just fine and dandy. I guess sometimes when I'm having those Chris dreams, I'm looking for some sign or words or something from him to reassure me that I'm doing things right. I know that everyone out there would say "of course Chris wants you to be happy" and "he wouldn't want you to be alone". These are things that we think the dead would want for us living folk. The truth is I don't really know what Chris would want for me. We never discussed it. In those final weeks, we laid in bed talking and laughing about everything not important. We talked about cremation but not what comes after. That's it really. We didn't talk about how my life or what life was going to be like after him. For all I know, Chris is furious that I've moved forward so well, so quickly. Maybe not furious. Disappointed. Hurt that I could love another. 

As painful as these Chris dreams are at times, I'm thankful for them. I don't have them often. At the end of the day, I don't have much left of him but the version of him that comes to me in my dreams. In every dream there's a chance he'll tell me something important. There may come a day when he looks at me and finally says "Cindy, I approve of all of this". It's not that I need his approval really. It would just be nice to know, to really know, that he's happy for me. And not through some random sign like a scooter key. It would be nice to hear him say the words. I'd probably be happy with any words one way or another even if he's saying "I don't approve". Because this is a thing I know about Chris. He wasn't much for disapproval. It was more like whatever, it's your life, I don't really care. Any way. One day, whether he cares or not, he'll visit me in a dream and at least say "I'm happy for you". That dream will probably come the day I finally allow myself to be happy for me.

Happy Thankful Friday

STRANGE DREAMS

Cindy Maddera

Last night, in my dreams, I was trying to make it out to the beach to do yoga. I could see the beach and ocean, but as I hiked with my mat on my shoulder, I just kept getting further and further away. I topped a hill and thought for sure when I got to the top, I'd see the beach and ocean clearly again, but the only thing on the other side of that hill was a partially dried up pond. I turned around and walked back to the conference center. That's right. I was also at a conference. I was at BlogHer with Michael and Jen Tucker. We were sitting in an auditorium and there was this beautiful young woman sitting in front of us. She was wearing a uniform of sorts and I recognized her from somewhere. Suddenly it dawned on me who she was. She was the only American to win a gold medal in the latest Winter Olympics. In my dream, the US Olympic team had done poorly, medalling, but only one gold medal. This woman was not only the only one on the team to win a gold medal, but she was the first African American woman to win a gold medal in moguls. 

I boldly tapped that young woman on the shoulder. When she turned around I asked "Aren't you the only one to win a gold medal in this last olympics?" She grinned and nodded and then she hugged me. As we hugged, I told her how proud I was to meet her. She told me her story and about how it felt to win the gold and tears welled in my eyes. It was the highlight of the conference for me. As Jen, Michael and I stood to exit the auditorium, I just kept going on and on about how amazing it was that we got to meet her. Then Jen started to leave her purse. I snatched it up out of the seat to hand to her and I noticed how nice it was. I told her how much I liked it and that it was odd seeing her cary a purse around. She agreed. Then I told our little group that we needed a plan. I was adamant that I needed a shower, but then there was a debate about grocery shopping. It was finally decided that we'd just eat conference food. 

I went up to the room and showered, but I didn't really have time to get ready so I just put on a bathrobe to wear back down to the conference. The robe had "50th Anniversary of Reagan" embroidered on the front and I had a stack of business cards in the pocket to hand out. Except I didn't remember making cards, so when I stuck my hand in the pocket I was surprised to find them there. I pulled one out and was extremely impressed with the quality. The pictures I'd chosen for the front and back of the card were really good. As I walked down some grand stairs in my bathrobe, another woman noticed the embroidery and laughed. I handed her a card as she said that was going to go back to her room to get her bathrobe as well. Then I woke up. 

Most unlikely thing to ever happen that happened in that dream was the part about Jen carrying a purse. A fancy one at that. I'd love to meet the first African American woman to win a gold for moguls. Actually, I'd love to meet the first African American woman to win a gold

Garden Diaries

Cindy Maddera

Well, I thought it would be at least another week before I could tell how the new stuff we planted was doing, but I looked out there today and was once again surprised to see things sprouting out of the ground. We have a few sprigs of spinach coming up already. The broccoli has sprouted and we even have a couple of sprouts coming in where we planted the radishes and carrots. We kind of just mixed these two together. I think it's a radish sprout but I could be completely wrong. Again with the Spinach

Broccoli

Carrot or Radish

Other things in the garden are still chugging along. We have bell peppers which will be a lovely addition to our soft taco night this week. One may even make an appearance in the tonight's pot pie. The Christmas beans are still out of control. It's covered with little delicate flowers so I'm hoping we get another wave of beans. I also still have chard, something I wish I would have planted more of. I guess I could still go sprinkle some more seeds down, but I'm afraid they may not care for the cooler temps in the evenings.

Future bean ?

Bells

Chard

I still can't get over the entertainment value of the garden. Chris and I are always totally amazed to see things growing out there after years of failed growing attempts. I can't wait for the broccoli. Or the carrots. I just can't imagine what it's going to be like to pull a carrot from the ground.