Thursday, July 31, 2014

chicken gloves

Sometimes my 7 year old is loud.  He makes me laugh even when he knows I am just about at Mad and don’t want to laugh. He can get carried away with his string bean bouncy body.  He does things that aren’t quite inappropriate but then again just might be.  He has a huge imagination and can remember just about any detail that he encounters.  He is a math wizard and sometimes I wonder if he has enough humility. 

Today I overheard a conversation at the kitchen table as I was crossing through the room.  Just one sentence from my boy.  He said it quietly as much to himself as anyone around.  He wasn’t saying it for show.

  “Never make fun of anyone, except yourself.”

It resonated with me so much.  It was that exact moment when I really, really needed to hear something to encourage me as a mother. I am not sure if I have ever said those words to him but he absorbed it….the knowing of right and wrong.  He has empathy!

So now with each day when I am out in the big world carrying around all my insecurities and my lack of self confidence, I have this.  I am raising children and it is my favorite thing ever, but am I doing it right?  How do I know?  I can do better, I know that!  Sometimes it all flows and the kids go up in height and age and I step back and look at this, the marvel of it all and I feel so vulnerable. These kids need to gain their independence from their Dad and I in the most loving, kind, secure way. And from that very first step that was encouraged with clapping and open arms at each end, they have continued to step forward.

Unknowingly Henry just gave me a big loving boost of courage. 


photo by maggie

PS My husband’s latest deployment was cancelled.  C-A-N-C-E-L-L-E-D!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

early morning

The sky is gray this early morning and all of nature seems slow to wake.  Even me. 

Some mornings are busy with big breakfast making, but this morning is the kind that calls for a cup of tea and a book.  I have done that already so here I sit at my green desk….

A few months ago my husband brought home a very large old bankers desk that someone had set out for free.  His thought was to have it in the barn as it has a nice workspace top.  It was love at first sight for me and he happily said yes I could paint it and use it.  Actually now that I think on it, did I even ask him?  Maybe it was just an assumption that this lovely man would just give me this lovely desk?  Maybe the sound of my sander was drowning out any protests he might have had? 

Well, anyhow, I have a new green desk.



It took my daughter Maggie and I nearly one whole day to figure out how to get it through the doorway into the sitting room.  We got it stuck and had to climb over it several times.  We broke the outside wooden step on the front of our house.  Actually SHE broke the wooden step as I said 3x “this wood here is weak so DON’T STEP RIGHT HERE”.  But she stepped right there.  Also she continuously told me the desk wouldn’t fit.  But after 6 hours of us flipping the desk every which way and standing with our arms crossed staring at it.  Then crawling over it.  Then taking a lunch break followed by some determination-yelling*, we did it.

Told you so, Mags.

*determination-yelling is when a mother has to tell her teenager to pipe down and do it her way!


Monday, July 21, 2014

little Woodrow

We made the mistake of only having one of our two cats fixed and lo and behold we now have two (adorable) kittens.  Do I need to explain it all with our cat getting out for only a few hours and then realizing she was with the big overly-furry-odd-looking cat from down the street???? 

But it is all okay!  Our older girls will each take a cat with them to their apts and we will be left with two cats…Woodrow and Gus…named after Lonesome Dove.


This is Woodrow—as sweet and cuddly as pictured.

And now we will have all creatures of the feline variety get fixed and everything will be just fine.

Hope your summer is purring along like ours…I can’t believe we are on the downhill of July!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

20 very specific happy things

1. finding something you thought was lost

2. laughing, about anything

3. hearing your child sing when they think no one can hear them

4. when it rains straight down and the windows can be left open

5. a good book that makes you want to read all day

6. the first bloom on a garden perennial

7. a burst of energy at 8pm that makes you  mop the whole downstairs

8. realizing someone has already emptied the dishwasher

9. chatting with a friendly neighbor at the end of the driveway

10. an afternoon nap on the hammock

11. the way a bike makes that tick tick tick sound as you coast in a high gear

12. when a young child holds your hand unexpectedly

13. a long gravel driveway that crunches under your steps

14.  a misty summer morning that burns off into a crystal clear day

15. not needing anything at the grocery store

16. crispy clean sheets off the clothesline

17. a freshly baked oatmeal cookie

18. holding a kitten

19. a new box of crayons and the inspiration it holds within

20. giving a gift to someone you love dearly

Monday, June 9, 2014

of planes and plants

When I am outside in the back where the garden quietly grows I occasionally hear a jet overhead flying towards the north.  I imagine all the people on board and the hurried process that they went through to get them there.  I ponder this with the knees of my garden pants soaking through as I kneel and weed. 

Usually I am glad I am not on the plane.  I’m happy to be where I am—in the garden.  It is the first part of June during a somewhat cool weather spring.  The plants are just waiting for a burst of humid summer air to help them grow.  They look small and spindly right now.  It is hard to imagine we will have a bounty ever. 

Maggie was on one of those high flying jets recently.  She went through all the stress of planning and packing and hurrying.  She is in England now, a whole new world.  I can hear the excitement in her voice as she speaks of her adventure.  She plays it cool though…wanting to be calm and sophisticated when really the child in her is giddy with all the freedom she feels in a new city.

We went swimming yesterday in the lake near our house.  It was all I hoped!  It was warm enough out to work up a sweat and the water was cold enough to make you yell yowzah.  {Perfect}

There are good books stacked on my nightstand and only one more day of school.  We will celebrate this with a beach day and cupcakes.  Isn’t it nice to have a weather app to check the weather and not sit through the local news of blah blah blah just to hear the weather guy tell you the forecast in a roundabout way???





Friday, May 9, 2014

running around the house

The boys are so happy to be outside.


Watching them running nonstop outside makes me wonder how we made it through this cold winter indoors.  But we did and it feels as great as if we lived the last several months in an ice cave—because we kind of did.  I have swept out the last of the mess from the wood stacks on the porch. Soon we will give the picnic table a fresh coat of paint and we can officially Eat Outside.



They have already logged in quite a few hours in the sandbox.  This is probably #1 on their list of fun right now.



Henry takes water from the brook and tries to make a pond that lasts until the next day.  He makes buildings while his brother smacks the wet sand in the buckets before turning them upside down.  It’s  good cooperation that I hope lasts for a lifetime.


They also love going to the dump with their dad in his old truck.  On this day they also went to a metal yard to sell off some copper wire.  Exciting stuff if you are a boy.

Other favorite stuff these guys like doing outside :

Whiffle Ball

skipping stones

running a big circle around the house while being timed

sticks and all the hundreds of things they do with them

kicking a soccer ball up and down the back hill

planting anything…their apple cores, grapefruit seeds, acorns

making soup for the chickens with weeds and worms and water

All this stuff sounds so boring but it is really what they like, it is pretty much the same stuff the older kids liked doing, too.  Yes they like toys but eventually the toys are cast aside and their imagination takes over. 

When I watch these two boys playing carefree… their happiness is contagious.  I fall more in love with them, with Sawyer’s ears and Henry’s crooked teeth.  They get so dirty with all the mud around.  We wash up and soon after they are sleeping soundly. 

It’s perfect, really. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

birds eye view

Climbing atop a mountain is a breathless struggle.  Once you do it and are able to stand straight and look around you can immediately realize it was worth all the effort.  Such a metaphor for life.


We drove up to Acadia in Maine. It was so beautiful!  My husband used to live on Bartlett’s Island which is off the coast of Bar Harbor.  He loves it up there and I guess I love it by marriage now, too.  The wind was howling like it was from an old musty novel from years gone by.


We drove up the coast, like all the way up.  Stopping here and there.  I was a little apprehensive about going, lately I just like to be home.  It’s comfortable!  But now of course I am so happy I went! 



Molly and Henry picked a bag full of smooth flat rocks to skip in the pond next to our house.  We spend so much time here at home on those dirty banks looking for the perfect stone to skip….to see those stone beaches with millions of the perfect skipping rocks?  It was too exciting!  Certainly better than any gift shop.


It was a good week and now we are back to our home feeling renewed about all the springtime chores that need doing. It is a long list, but as far as seasonal chore lists go—spring is my favorite.  I have 150 starter pots in my daughter’s bedroom.  She will be home from college soon so I better hurry up and get started!