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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

long winding weeks...long winding post...MARCH

Why is March so loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong?

Seriously. Its like I am just barely hanging on energy wise (homeschool, dishes, laundry, etc) and I look up and BAM its ONLY TUESDAY. Like a slap in the face.

It has happened to me two weeks in a row now.

And now its Wednesday. And it feels like it should be Friday.

So. I plant seeds with the girls. Have them all listen to something educational online (Jules Verne!) and play with some educational toys. (This should be a post later!)

And then they ignore all my efforts and play bear cave in the living room (girls) and Legos in the bedroom (boy).

So I sit down, ignoring the slush outside, with some tea and toasted pecans, and write a blog post.

About nothing really I suppose.

And by the way, about those pecans. Those daily pecans got me into trouble this winter. Damn you pecans. I now only allow myself to indulge on particularly crabby days. Once a week. UGH. METABOLISM.

Little Green has pretty much weaned. At three and a half its about time, right?? Yes, yes, I know. You are either saying, um, YEA. Or, Mine nursed until 5! Ha. But she is done. And I am done.

So. No diapers. No nursing. Meanwhile metabolism spirals out of control. I go to the gym and LIFT WEIGHTS and RUN ON THE DAMN TREADMILL. And cut back on the pecans. HA HA HA.

This got me around to cleaning up my wardrobe the other day. I think I have an inspiring updating of the mama wardrobe post coming, but it means taking a lot of pictures. Maybe I can sneak away now. Undoubtedly as soon as I do shrieks and fights will erupt. This is the way right? Or when I am on the phone.

I keep thinking I am going to get an agent call back for my book one of these days. And then I don't. Just rejection after rejection. Which makes me think maybe its not that great after all. But, I say, I LIKE IT, so SOMEONE MIGHT TOO. Right? Right. Maybe.

And we've put farm searching plans on hold till the fall, for a variety of reasons, mostly to do with banks and money and boring things like that. So the seeds I just planted are ALL FLOWERS, except for the obligatory kale and tomatoes and peppers. And I am going to PLANT THE SHIT out of the yard and gardens outside. BEAUTIFUL FAIRY FLOWERLAND. That is my goal. Move or no move. You know? BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED, and all that. HA.

We are even thinking of planting a tree or two. Why not, right?

WHY NOT, we say. I am thinking a weeping willow, down in the field, and maybe an apple tree or two.

But in the meanwhile. The kids play. We plant some seeds. We avoid glances at the evil white stuff outside. And we wait for sunshine. Also Friday.

I love this song, by the 90s kings, Counting Crows. Also. Courtney Cox is in this video. HA.

Friday, March 20, 2015

lovely things

When you are a mom you often get hung up on the dirty, the messy. Socks stuffed under blankets on the couch (thank you eight-year-old) ketchup smears on the kitchen chairs, sticky orange juice residue on the floor, playdough crumbs in the rug, mounds of laundry everywhere, dishes stacked in the sink.

It's easy to do.

And the same goes for the kids we are raising.

Little guy does this snort cough clearing throat thing that makes mama crazy (recently diagnosed with asthma though so, trying to be understanding!). He whines a lot. He gets crazy obsessed with things. Little miss does this wiggling the nose, shoving dirty glasses up her face with dirty fingers, covered in playdough. She pouts and kicks when she is mad. As I type three year old is dripping shredded cheese all over the floor. Her newest fun thing is walking around pulling things off the fridge, throwing magnets on the floor, to do lists, artwork, etc. Yesterday we had a maddening 20 minute battle of wills over whether or not she would hang the kitchen towels back up after randomly pulling them off the stove hanging rod thingy and throwing them on the floor. Why...WHY?

It is so easy to see the messy. The dirty. The imperfect.

And then we look in the mirror. There we are. Grumpy tired looking messy hair once again in a ponytail. Zits at thirty (ahem ahem) age. Wrinkles in the creases of our eyes. Flubby stomach. Circles under the eyes. Crabby at dada, impatient with kids, tired, lazy.

Messy. Dirty. Imperfect.

And once you start seeing things that way, seeing life that way, it can be so hard to change your perspective.


So. My solution?

Buy a lemon tree.

Did you know I have (oddly) lusted after a lemon tree for seriously years? Dada even once tried to buy me one. For Christmas. What do you know they don't deliver lemon trees to frozen wastelands in the middle of winter. So we canceled the order. And never got another one.

Until last week. When dada's business started picking up and he sent me a text.

"You should buy a lemon tree."

So I did.

I was prepared to be disappointed. It will be a rip off. Covered in slugs. It won't blossom for years. The weather will change after they ship it and I will find it frozen on my doorstep.

Two days ago it arrived. In a narrow but tall box, wrapped in foil to keep it warm. As I started to peel back the layers I was ready, again. The leaves were snapped off, bent. My heart sank.

And then I pulled it out. Gently loosened the plastic off the root ball. Shook out the cedar shavings, per instructions, mixed it with some soil and placed it in a pot with precisely five drainage holes.

And I looked at it more carefully.

Blossoms. Just buds, but they were there.

Lots of them.

And shiny green healthy leaves.

And as the leaves unfolded over the past few days I began to realize. This little tree is going to make it. And maybe even give us lemons, this year.

And this morning??

A blossom opened, with the loveliest citrus-y scent.

A lemon tree.

Lovely things, friends. Lovely things.

And I look around this room, this rather cramped feeling room (mid-winter at least), and i see it, filled with lovely things. So many lovely things.

Including three lovely little people, who are, despite their human-ness (and sniffling, snarfley noises) lovely little people. And their mama, I look in the mirror, and see her, sometimes catch a glimpse, and she is lovely too. Scars and flub and greasy hair and all.

Lovely things.

And it is Friday. Which is also lovely. And I have two kinds of boxed wine sitting on the counter. HAPPY FRIDAY TO ME.

Wishing you a wonderful, lovely-filled, lemon-tree-ish weekend mamas!

out little inside-awaiting-spring tradition of planting a fairy garden

seeds and planting pots, ready to go

lovely things, in the chaos

Katniss cowl, underway

new tire swing in a snow-free yard

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saint Patricks day, June homeschool style

So. This is how I am. Saint Patricks day morning and I find myself googling. Uh. A story. A project. Poetry. Something, something to go a little deeper into the meaning of this day. We are Irish. I mean a teeny tiny bit, but I like the kids to know a bit of the story.

In any case.

And here is what I came up with and I will share it here. For reference next year anyhow. HA.

First a story from my favorite site...(More of a detailed version here)



A FEW years before Alaric invaded Italy, a boy was born in Britain, probably on the western coast, who was to become the famous Saint Patrick. It was a wild, rude country. There were bears and wolves and wild boars. It was damp and cold; there was much fog and little sunshine. There were worse troubles than a disagreeable climate, for pirates from Ireland or Caledonia sometimes dashed up to the shore, made savage forays into the country, and sailed away with bands of captives to be sold. as slaves. This fate befell Patrick when a boy of about sixteen. For several years, he was a slave in Ireland and spent much of his time tending cattle. He had been brought up as a Christian, and as he watched his cattle on the hills, he prayed, some days a hundred times. At length there was a chance to escape, and he fled to his home. All his kindred welcomed him and begged him, now that he was rescued from such great dangers, never to go away.

Still his heart was with the Irish. He dreamt one night that a man held before him a letter which began, "The Voice of the Irish;" and as he read, he seemed to hear the people who dwelt by the western ocean calling, "Come and dwell with us," and he made up his mind to spend his life preaching to them.



When the time had come that he felt himself prepared, he returned to the island where he had been a captive. Other preachers went with him, and they traveled up and down the land, telling the people everywhere of the religion of Christ. They wore sandals, and a sort of long cloak which was no more than a large round piece of cloth with a hole in the middle to put the head through. The fore part of their heads was shaved, and the rest of their hair hung down upon their shoulders. When they went on long journeys, they rode in clumsy, two-wheeled wagons; but if the journeys were short, they traveled on foot, staff in hand, chanting psalms as they walked. They carried mass-books and copies of the Gospels and portable altars, and bells made by riveting two pieces of sheet iron together into the form of a rude bell and then dipping it into melted bronze.



Generally the people were willing to listen to the strangers, but nevertheless, the lives of the missionaries were often in danger. The chiefs were always at warfare among themselves, and it was not safe to go from one district to another without an escort. In one place the people thought the long, narrow writing tablets of the preachers were straight swords, and that they had come to make trouble. It was some little time before they could be made to understand that the strangers were their friends.



There is a story that at one time the missionaries were in danger from Laoghaire, the chief king. At twilight King Laoghaire went out with his nobles to light the fire of the spring festival. On the Hill of Slane he saw another fire. It was forbidden on pain of death that anyone else should kindle a fire so long as the king's was burning, and Laoghaire sent men to learn who these daring strangers were and to bring them before him. It is thought that Patrick's poem, called The Deer's Cry, was written at this time. Part of it is as follows:— [ETA: this is actually known as "The Rune of St. Patrick" according to further googling...This poem is also found in the book "A Wrinkle in Time" and little man had memorized it already back then! So he was excited to hear it here again.]

At Tara to-day in this fateful hour,
I place all heaven with its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And fire with all the strength it hath,
And lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its starkness:
All these I place,
By God's almighty help and grace,
Between myself and the Powers of Darkness.
The thought of the poem is that everything that God has made will help to guard the man who puts trust in His protection. The missionaries told the king that their fire was not to celebrate the coming of spring, but Easter and the resurrection of Christ. He listened closely, and finally gave them permission to preach to his people.
The grateful Irish loved Saint Patrick and were eager [90] to make him gifts, but he would never accept them. There is a pretty story that the little son of an Irishman whom he had baptized loved the good preacher so dearly that when the tired man had fallen asleep, the child would creep up softly and lay sweet-scented flowers upon his breast. The boy afterward became a bishop and succeeded his beloved master.
For many years, Saint Patrick preached and taught and built churches and schoolhouses and monasteries. These monasteries, and others that were founded not long afterward, became the most famous schools of the age. Thousands of pupils came to them from the neighboring countries; and from these seats of learning and piety earnest teachers and missionaries went forth, not only to Britain, but to every corner of Europe. This is the work that was begun by one fearless, faithful, unselfish man.

We then googled the symbol of Saint Patrick and drew it in our books, along with some rainbows and leprechauns for fun.

After some difficult negotiations I wrote down the above poem in little man's poetry book. He usually copies them himself for copy work. know. There is a really great version read aloud here.

And then a taste of Irish music, this lovely version of "The deer's Cry" by Saint Patrick.

or this...

More beautiful poetry here. I seriously want to read more of this, so interesting. 

And here is my wish for your week! Happy Saint Patrick's day! 

May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!

And then some rainbow pom pom play time with numbers for "Math."

little man's latest prize possession. HAGRID'S HUT. its SOOOOO cute. and
officially PART MINE. ha!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

this happened...

Because spring break with sick kids means movies and teeny tiny farmstead paintings (coughing and fevers again! Germs hate me this winter) 

Complete with garden, sunflowers, pond, barn, pasture, apples trees, and goats out to graze. Pretty please. Can this materialize just for me??? 
Tuesday, March 10, 2015


I have such a great list of posts I want to do swirling around in the dark corners of my brain. But, this week the temperatures have skyrocketed (to 56 degrees, HA) and the sun is shining and the sky is bright blue and all the snow is melting away. We just ate lunch out on the deck. The kids are running around in shorts. I just raked the yard in a tank top.


No serious. Do you get this??? SPRING.

It snuck up on us this year. A few days ago they were sledding. I was prepared. MONTHS of cold. And now I hear a robin calling as I type. Spring, really?

The kids have been outside for 4+ hours, and counting.

And I just can't even.

I'm delirious.

Also. I have been lusting after an indoor lemon tree for years. And I just bought myself one.

The sun. The birds. The children OUTSIDE (which means quiet mama blogging time INSIDE). And A LEMON TREE. AND dada had a work victory this past week so he is bringing home champagne.

Could my week get any better????

So, you will forgive my lack of inspiring posts at the moment. Perhaps tomorrow I shall try again, if the sun and birds and blue doesn't distract me too much.

But. For serious. YAY.

Wishing you sun and warm and lemon trees and bubbly melting snow happiness this week!

do you see that look?? over the rim of the glasses?? that look. it's a killer. she does it a lot. cause she knows how to use it.
HA HA :) 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

letting Mondays be Mondays

Sometimes. Sometimes you have this Monday, that is so very Monday, its rather cliche. Its like you want to yell out to the universe, oh for PETE'S SAKE, come ON...ridiculous.

I had this day yesterday.

No real reason, oh just a culmination of lots of reasons really...But it's March now, I told myself, that is good. And it's sunny out. Also good.

So why the hell am I lying on the couch feeling so sorry for myself and mad about everything in the whole wide gosh darn world.

My bones ached. No, literally, ached. I have autoimmune attacks on occasion. Like my body is freaking shutting down. Super duper fun and yes, everything ached. I yelled at the kids. No. DON'T SIT ON ME. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE FOR 15 MINUTES SO I CAN BE STILL. I took Tylenol. Aleeve. Turmeric in warm milk. Everything.

And the kids were grumpy and yelling. Missy wanted to do her science experiment kit which involved lots of toxic chemicals and etc. Little man was getting over a 24 hour puke fest, courtesy of germs brought home from Cub Scout camp. Little Green was running around the house pulling books off of shelves.

I wanted to run away.

But what is wrong, said dada? Everything I said. Didn't you know. EVERYTHING.

And then I woke up this morning. It was snowing. Fresh white everywhere. Newness.

And Monday was gone, done with.

And no one woke up puking.

And my bones ached less.

And the sun started shining, brilliantly, after the snow finished, and flakes flew off the trees in the wind, dancing in the sunshine.

And we went outside and played. And little man had a rose to his cheeks again. And the girlies played for hours on their own, happily.

And Monday was gone.

And I realize - perhaps as I grow up a little more each day- how important it is to leave the Mondays behind. Those sucky crappy Mondays that threaten to derail the whole week.


I stood watching the snow whirl in the sun amazed at myself, at this realization, huh, must be a new life skill I think. Nothing has changed, except my perspective. I can just let that day be that day.

Done with.

And now my girl is painting a birdhouse. And I am calmly supervising. And the sun is shining in on a pile, nay, a MOUNTAIN, of dishes awaiting me. And the crappy things from yesterday are still crappy. But, I am impervious. I am resilient.

I am Mommy.


I mean this is what we tell ourselves, right?

But, when we can actually do it, let go of the bad days, revel in the sunlight of a beautiful afternoon, blog with a cup of hot tea while the kids play iPad, it IS a victory.

So, claim it. Right?

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