Saturday, January 29, 2011

Here It Is! My Secret THING!

The History Chicks

"A link? That's it? A. Link. your big secret was a link?"

No,'s not just a link! It's a portal to the past! It's a way of connecting women who have come before us to our current lives! It's a way  for amazing you to hear me laugh at my own jokes, drink coffee with a really amazing woman and talk about other really amazing women in history! It's a way of traveling from this page, to the new website my friend Beckett and I launched as a companion to our podcast--The History Chicks.

"uh- history? Really? Isn't that kinda, dry?"

No, not the way we do it it isn't. It's conversational. And it's not just the past, it's the present..the future. Did you know that there are people who are really passionate about certain historical women? Just like you are passionate about cooking, or reading, or gardening, or knitting, or gnome collecting or whatever it is that gets you all tingly. Well, not tingly like THAT..but fired up, excited...ok, really? Come back from the gutter. We introduce you to those people. too.

Maybe I say a name..pick " Lizzy Borden", for instance. Most of you know one poem about her, maybe some random things you have picked up over the years that may, or may, not be true. In less than an hour Beckett and I will give you the facts about Lizzy, place her with other things that were happening in the world at the time she lived and did her, uh. thing. We will bust some myths, point out ways that Lizzie is still impacting our world. You think,"Wow, this Lizzy Borden was more than I thought" so you head over to our website ( THE LINK!) and see what Lizzy looked liked, see some other pictures, and yes...more LINKS to places all over the Internet that will tell you even more about her and her legacy.

Because we all have one, a legacy. Or we will after we are gone. Perhaps part of our legacy (THE LINK) can lead you to part of yours ( a rockin' axe collection, maybe). Or maybe you just are entertained by our storytelling and banter for an hour. That's good, too.

So it's not just a link. It's a portal to history--ours, yours, other women's--- and a portal to the future.

Here, I'll give it to you again. Click it!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Times They Are A -Changin'

I am not a musical person. I am fairly musically illiterate and must follow along with the stronger voices at church because I have no idea what all the symbols in the hymnal mean. I have never played an instrument, and my singing voice can only be admired for it's enthusiasm.

When I hear songs played, they may take me back to a time, a certain place in my personal history. But if you ask me a few moments later what song I just heard, I will struggle to tell you. Cyndi Lauper and the Clash remind me of college, but there are a lot more things that will ignite my memories than music will.

I suck at games where you have to guess the song from the lyrics. And if I have to figure out who sang the song, or the year, I'm even suckier.

Don't feel too badly for me, I believe that this non musicality aids in my earworm immunity. I never get songs stuck in my head and have been know to take great pleasure in putting them in the heads of others.

That is why it stuck me as really odd when I started humming Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin today. First off, because Bob doesn't write zippy, hummable show tunes. Also, I'm not a hummer. And ,as I just said, I don't associate music TO my life-- it's just kind of on in the background. This gives me more than enough reason to think that this song is my anthem.

The song, written and released while I was still a-changing as a baby, is about adapting. It's about seeing the need to change as the world changes. My world is changing, my kids are getting a bit older, crossing into new parenting territory for Brian and I. I am getting older, careening through menopause. The world, how we communicate, how we share, how we show we care for each other is changing, too.

I read a quote from Mr Dylan that just sealed the anthem deal for me. When asked about the implied ageism meaning of these lyrics, 
"Come mothers and fathers

Throughout the land

And don't criticize

What you can't understand

Your sons and your daughters

Are beyond your command

Your old road is

Rapidly agin'.

Please get out of the new one

If you can't lend your hand

For the times they are a-changin'"
 Bob Dylan said, "Those were the only words I could find to separate aliveness from deadness. It had nothing to do with age."

Damn right it doesn't!

The part I love so much is the imagery of "to separate aliveness from deadness". I want to feel alive. I don't want to feel like my life is ending just because my kids are growing, my body is changing and more candles than ever light up my birthday cake.

I want to feel excited about using the gifts that God has given me.

I want to explore this world that He has created and where all of us reside.

I WANT to be alive to change.

Right now my times are a-changin'. I am morphing from being a stay-at-home mom to being a work-at-home mom. My time, previously prioritized by childrens' needs is now organized by working projects. Mostly writing. You can still see weekly blogs on , and also a weekly column in The Kansas City Star (appears on Wednesdays at - just search for my name, Susan Vollenweider). I love this sahmiam blog, even if the title doesn't exactly fit- it's who I was when it began, remains the number one prioritity in my life, and therfore- it shall remain ever so.

And there is another huge, time filling and personally rewarding project that- sadly- I still can't share with you. But I will. VERY soon. I'm really excited about it, and- trust me- keeping it secret is driving me batty. It's this big chunk of my life that I am keeping from people who previously had open access. And I hate that. But it's necessary.

So, until next time when I promise to share-- go google The Times They Are A-Changin'. Marvel at how many covers have been made, AND find your own anthem. PLEASE comment on this blog if you read it and tell me what your anthem is. You don't need to tell me why, unless you would like to- I would love to hear about it!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I have this reoccuring feeling that the end of the world is right around the corner.

Wow, cheery way to start things off, Susan.

Let me backtrack. I am a Plan C person. Maybe a Plan M. Plan A just never happens to me. I'm ok with that, I've had a lot of experience. You have to start somewhere, right? That is the point of Plan A. The lofty, idealistic Plan A. Then I end up settling for a plan farther down the alphabet and making it work.

But so far this year, and I am tracking this back to just almost the beginning of 2011 (which, I realize was only 8 days ago) but things have been falling freakishly into place. Plan A's are working.

Some Plan As began last year, but they are playing out THIS year. Just as Plan A dictated. Some just pop up. For instance, yesterday I had gotten the dreaded call from the School Nurse. I was not in the middle of anything that couldn't wait, so I hopped into the car and picked him up right away. He had a low grade fever and was waiting to puke, but hadn't yet.

The car that I hopped into was not the child friendly minivan, it was Brian's baby. The car he always wanted but waited and put others things ahead of purchasing and finally got last year. I had Brian's car that day because I had washed and vacuumed it that morning. (I'm a nice wife like that). Now, Kid Logic dictates that Noah would hurl all over the interior of Brian's car. This is a well established fact, and I was prepared for it with a towel and aplastic bag.

But he didn't. We got home, into the house, out of his coat and winter gear, into the freshly cleaned bathroom and then he spewed right into the toilet. He yaaked once more that day, fell sound asleep, and today seems to be doing better. A perfect virus if there ever was one. Quick, neat, over in 12 hours and get back to regularly scheduled life.

THAT is how ALL things are happening. And, quite frankly, it's freaking me out.

Yes, wow, that does sound like me complaining that life is working out, doesn't it? I can't help it. I'm waiting for other shoes to drop. And while I am waiting, I have this other thought: this is my time to have things finally work out--just before the trumpets blow.

Happy and freaky all at once, right? Who knew that both of those emotions could live simultaneously in one head? And they can stay. I'm totally OK with that. Quite a revelation.