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Saturday, January 13, 2018

farm life, a post of photos

I have started a blog post too many times over the last week and then axed it.

Too whiny.

Too boring.

Too same old same old.

I am loving gardening lately. Farming really. I am out there with a chainsaw and pruning shears a couple of mornings a week, trying to negotiate some kind of order to our hillside of coffee, macadamia nut trees, wild tomato vines, and 15 foot high weeds.

Baby comes with me. He picks up the nuts with me from the hillside for approximately 12 minutes, then he digs in the dirt for approximately 22 minutes, then he watches "Tall Tales with Mater and Lightning McQueen" on Netflix for approximately 64 minutes, laying in his little wagon.

Ah. Farm mom life.

So before he wakes from his nap and I have to drag the kids off of their weekend iPad doses, er, turns, here are some photos.

I bought a baby pomegranate tree! 

a newly discovered lemon tree down the hillsdie

those spiky guys are pineapple!


my papaya tree i planted from seeds 5 months ago

our sad hillside after cutting down coffee

coffee trimmed three months ago, already sending up new shoots

gorgeous old coffee trees. now to prune back the new growth



our wi apple tree dropping its leaves and fruit

while the mango tree sends out new growth





seriously the tastiest oranges ever



















Wednesday, December 13, 2017

zen parenting at Christmas time

Zen parenting.

At Christmas time.

It's kind of antithetical really. Like. Direct. Opposite. Incompatible.

Can we blame the constant presence of candy in the house?

The lists which seem fun at first and by mid-December, with nothing marked off, seem plain mocking.

MOCKING I TELL YOU.

I have had the ingredients and the tab open for how to make salt dough Christmas ornaments for more than a week.

Yes, that's right folks, I am solidly into my annual Christmas I-Don't-Get-Enough-Cookie-Baking-And-Christmas-Crafting-Done-I-Am-A-Domestic-Failure breakdown.

I mean. It's tradition, right?

So. What do I do?

My solution this year (besides the occasional glass of wine at 3:38pm), to become extremely, incredibly, moment by moment myopic. Well, maybe that is the wrong word. According to the online dictionary myopia also means shortsighted, as in lack of imagination.

And dude, we need imagination in this. This thing called motherhood, especially at this time of year.

So, let's just be moment-livers. Extraordinarily so. Moment-livers and Moment-lovers. Every second. So right now, babies bounce around to cheesy Christmas music, whilst watching Curious George Christmas special on my phone (the baby screams MY PHONE MAMA and I hand it over. HAHA)

A few minutes ago the below was my moment, and I claim it for the day as my zen moment. I was supposed to be at a meeting at 11am but this happened instead. And he has been sick and his little voice is so sad. He will be two years old in just a few short months and moments like this will be done forever, watching my 11yr old gel his hair every morning before school I am keenly aware of how the years fly. Oh this baby boy. So yes, claiming it as my moment, lest the Christmas tree hunting venture up the mountain this afternoon turns less than picturesque, as often happens, I can have this moment.


And then the day winds down, and the sun sets fire to the ocean, and the lights on the lanai will shine, and the new tree will be up, and the babies tucked in, and so much, so much is glorious.

Maybe not always zen. But glorious for sure.

the best christmas parade ever the other night...







Hello zen lanai. Ahhhhhhhh....


Monday, November 27, 2017

traveling mercies

I know, I know. An amazing book by Anne Lamott. However. Also my mantra for this trip to Norway with baby and my mother to teach at a little youth camp way up north on heavy issues like social justice and trafficking of humans and our responsibilities and the intersect with faith and belief and how can we see such things and still find hope in God.

All of it.

Jet lag and kind strangers on airplanes and eating whale at a smiling Norwegian home and seeing gnomes pop out of moss covered trees (I kept expecting) and a toddling determined baby drawing circle after circle in crayon on torn up magazines and the Northern Lights dancing across the sky stretched taut from one end to the other (as I also felt stretched) and insanely stressed phone calls home and juggling kids ipad account updates from thousands of miles away and way too much coffee and not enough chocolate (NEVER) and storage lockers in Minnesota full of memories that make me sob on my knees and trying to grapple with an altogether different generation (I am old) on the power of the dollar in our changing of the world (yes, where you buy your clothes can make a difference!) and images of children bought and sold like merchandise and not enough sleep and tears at 4am and sitting on the warm floors (infloor heating is a dream) listening to the wind whip around us as we talk about Netflix shows with amazing leaders trying to change lives of the next generation of youth rising up in a blessed but depressed region of the world and the moutains rising up above and the sun a mere memory as it skirts behind them barely bringing glimmers of light to the uppermost peaks and more chocolate still and still not enough sleep and wearing beloved boots and sweaters again remembering the drudgery of dressing babies for the cold and hauling a toddler around a city, wind whipping at our faces, grateful for free museums to duck out of the cold, photographs from the 1960s of polar bear skins drying in the sun and smiling blond boys racing down snowy hills with thick wool sweaters and shorts on and what is this world but just a short air flight away to such a different place yet so the same still and mothers chiding me in public play spaces, dont worry if your baby snatches a toy from mine, that is how children learn and I pause my defensive nettled reaction in time and realize how much I have to learn even as I cry for refugee children trapped in camps on the islands of Greece as yet another winter sets in on their misery, the world quite forgetting them.

And back again. Home. To sunflowers blooming and enthusiastic kids (when did you get so tall?) making Christmas lists and decorating for Thanksgiving and eating too much and bottles of wine and sunsets off the lanai and the smell of roasting coffee wafting up from the farms around us and how different it is here. And yet the same.

Traveling mercies. The journey for us all.

And how I love it all here. And out there too. 

And how grateful I am. For all of it.

































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