the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


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Happy Mother’s Day, through Good, Bad & The Ugly

Mother’s Day can be a mixed bag for me.

My whole blogging experience started out with trying to sort out the anger I had with my mother, trying to heal a lot of inner wounds and self-loathing from past emotional rape and other traumatic experiences.  It didn’t help much that HER mother was also part of the dysfunctionally tangled web that was much of my childhood.

I had to set some of that aside when my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

That said, I must give credit where credit is due.  I was born and bred to be domestic.  My mother (and my grandmother) taught me a lot of skills as such that have served me very, very well.   I suppose this was easier to impart as I was the only male child.  I know it sparks a small amount of envy at times: I’ve said that I like certain chores very much (vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, etc.) and some women (who have usually bemoaned their own husband’s lack of enthusiasm) will jokingly ask me to come do those chores for them.  Cimmorene is usually quick to snap back with something to the effect of: “You can’t have him, he’s mine!”

Things got better when I married Cimmorene.  I’ll put it this way: I am not wont to tell mother-in-law jokes.  My mother-in-law still has a few idiosyncrasies that drive me crazy, but generally, I get along much better with my mother-in-law than I do my own mother.

And then there’s my other grandmother- my father’s mother.  I was devastated when she died, shortly before Princess was born.  She seemed to be the only woman for a long time that truly understood me.  (Needless to say, she was the first family member I introduced Cimmorene to.)  She died after a battle with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

This is something that my maternal grandmother is dealing with now.  I’m still not sure if my mother is ready to deal with the full implications of that.  She is with her, my grandfather, and my father now for Mother’s Day weekend.  She called me back a hour or so ago to ask me if there were any cookbooks I wanted– part of their trip was to meet with an estate Realtor to get the house and some of the furnishings sold.

Now, my writing skills tell me it’s very awkward to end here. But then a gut part of me says that should sum up my feelings perfectly well.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

I’ve been in pain, and otherwise busy– it’s almost time for the next photo challenge!

If you’re following  jak & Cimmy’s Journal Jar, you’ll have already seen an example of three there back on Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend.  If you’re not– well, please have a look at How the Journal Jar REALLY celebrated V-Day.

Now, here are three more pictures I took at RadCon 6B:

which should give you a small idea of the things you could find at the convention.

We didn’t take a lot of photos and videos, but if you’d like to see more, please see our RadCon 6B 2014 photoset on Flickr.

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The Journal Jar Celebrates Valentines Day

Even if you don’t like Valentine’s Day (broken hearts for the lose!) please join us on the Journal Jar for some cheer today. TGIF, right?

Comments closed at the tao of jaklumen as per usual, so you’ll be inclined to visit us 😉

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jak & Cimmy's Journal Jar

This is what our family is doing for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy and please share with your friends.

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QotW: December 30th – January 4th

Note how Cap’n S here so deftly sidesteps mentioning New Year’s Resolutions.

Do you think the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions is played out? Leave us a comment at the Journal Jar! Or let the Vox Diaspora know what you’re looking forward to in 2014.

Vox Diaspora

If you guessed that this week’s QotW has to do with the new year being right around the corner, you’re correct!

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

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Thanksgiving 2013

jak & Cimmy's Thanksgiving tableWe 3 Pies of Thanksgiving ArePretty sure that's an apple piePecan piePumpkin pieWhat remains of the turkey so far

This was our first year hosting Thanksgiving, and it was a smashing success! jak cooked, and Cimmy baked.

Come join us at Flickr for more details.

Via Flickr:
Photos and artwork for our November celebration of Thanksgiving. In the United States, a Day of Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.


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Writer’s Block: Personal Holidays

These days, there's a holiday for everything from punctuation to pie. If you could create your own holiday, what would it be and how would you celebrate?

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National Bacon and Jelly Donut day.

Aside from viewings of "Strange Brew", do I really need to explain anything else?

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More costs of being sick.

Well, I just got a bill from physical therapy– apparently, there was a visit that they billed to Medicare when I was stumbling along the path to get all that situated.

Just under $70.  This after my father informed me last Wednesday night that my grandparents had dismissed the idea of a gym membership as a gift as too expensive and that we might as well forget about expecting such.  (My grandparents are health freaks, in a sort of Spartan way.)  I explained to him that I could perceive the strings that were attached to their gift of the gas cards each month, and that I generally did not DARE to inform my grandfather very much if he forgot about sending another one.  I was told at one point– probably my mother– that he did not want to be perceived as a bank.

(I received a $100 check for my last birthday, and spent it as frugally as I could.  Although my grandmother was chattering about wanting to give us kids money now when we could use it, not when they died, she IS growing senile, and I suspect there was dissent and disagreement between her and him concerning it.)

My father and I have a half-spoken agreement that we both have difficultly abiding the small spectacle my grandmother's senility is becoming– she was annoying enough when her mind was clear, and now it's getting much, much worse.  It's like putting a guilt trip on an old vinyl record that skips and skips… no, it's not to the strangeness of how a CD skips yet, but it's pretty close.  I asked how Mom was taking it, and my hunch was correct that she simply isn't, as he replied affirmatively to such.

I told Dad that we would probably invite my baby sister and her new husband here, and minimize the time spent at his house.  I can tell he accepts and even shares that sentiment, but I can see the negotiator gears spinning in his head wishing we had a different, more seemingly diplomatic solution.  I had already told him that I was growing weary of my grandmother's company, and that we were going to my in-laws for after-Christmas dinner this year.

I am a pretty hyperviligant person, and so, as some of you know, I still hate writing about it here because it looks bad, but… I just can't keep stuffing it down… those feelings come back like undead zombies later.

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Happy Easter!

Technically, I'm a day late, but Easter was decent overall.

Getting to church was tough– I was feeling moody and anti-social.  I managed to get dressed and have everyone ready, however, that we made it although we were all late.  Thankfully, everyone was oohing and ahh-ing over my son (as this was his first day at church) so the attention was off me most of the time save the 'congrats dad' stuff, hehe.  I decided to give Cimmy a little break after Sunday School, and I had to change his diaper, so I walked into the men's meeting opening exercises to get roped into announcements.  He was hungry after we were done, so I took him back to his mom to feed and I showed her where my meeting was so she could bring him to me if she felt so inclined.

Well, Cimmy wanted to go straight to my folks as they had invited us over for dinner, but some bozo (with kids in the car, no less) decided to shoot around us from behind on a narrow county road, even with a car coming from the opposite direction.  Well I felt like I needed to lay on the horn and give chase to get a license plate number, but they took off like a madman and so we had to give the police report without it and without a make or model since they took off so fast.

My folks weren't at home (we forgot their ward gets out later), so we went home and changed clothes before going back.  Dinner was good, albeit somewhat typical- ham, potatoes au gratin (or 'funeral potatoes', or 'cheesy potatoes', depending on who you talk to), rolls, and steamed broccoli with cheese sauce, or lemon juice on request.  Before dinner was on, my baby sister called, so we talked tech, work, and baby until then.  My folks wanted to give her their old computer, but she told me I was free to lay claim on the monitor if I wanted.  Our current monitor is a 13" and doesn't support resolution greater than 800X600 very well– it will display 1026X768, but it turns up rather small.

The rest of the time was chatting a bit, and enforcing boundaries with my mother– she remains nosy, nagging, and wont to give unsolicited advice.  Cimmy has been tempted to tear her head off, but I have somehow managed to politely defuse spontaneous and unwanted 'I need to give you advice because I love you' moments.  I shouldn't have to explain every decision, no matter how shortcoming nor seemingly unaffordable it may be… I can raise my kids and spend my money (and Cimmy can spend her own money freely too) however my wife and I see fit.

We escaped to have a walk, with a rest in between, and then a rest afterwards.  It was just long enough to then excuse ourselves to go home.  Then I had time to clean up a bit, sleep for about two hours, and wake up again.  Cimmy is surfing along with me because he has to feed the kid again.  Can't seem to get his jaundice to clear up just yet– so we try to have him suckle at least 8-10 times a day.  Doing it with him with most of his skin exposed to full sunlight doesn't seem to make a significant difference, but we've tried it a few times anyway.  He had a lab test recently, but they didn't call to tell us so call him in for UV treatment, so we'll either bug the docs and/or just go on as usual, maybe asking on the next appointment with the doc, the CNM, or the RN specializing in midwifery (who assisted with the C-section).

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