Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You just never know you you will meet!

A young friend of mine named Annie, asked me recently if I thought it was sadder to lose a pet dog or a pet crab. I told her that I thought it is incredibly sad any time something dies. She seemed relieved. I knew she had pet hermit crabs and suspected one of them had died. After this conversation, I started to think about how you talk to children about death. What can you say? A friend of mine with cancer recently said to me, "bodies wear out and this is how my body is wearing out." Bodies do wear out. Crab bodies included.

I believe dealing with death is like watching the leaves die on the trees at the end of summer and then fall from the trees to the ground. We are sad that summer is over. We will miss the warm feeling of the sun, but it is time for a rest. The leaves die and fall to the ground to nourish the tree while it rests in the winter. In the spring new leaves always come back. The crab dies so its soul can rest a while until it is time for the soul to live again as another crab, or a heron, or maybe a person. Who knows? It makes me feel better to know that all energy including life energy never dies, not ever. So my dear friend Annie, your crab is still with us, her soul is just resting. Be sure to be kind to all creatures, you never know when you are saying hello to your crab's soul wearing another body like, I do not know, hummmm....a squirrel!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

To sled or not to sled

Another snow day. Well, that's ok. Hummm.. What to do with the kiddies?? I cannot spend endless hours on the computer trying to edit my blog layout to add the perfect music. At least, I cannot spend another hour doing this. The kids want to go to the only hill within miles of us to go sledding. Sounds great right!! Problem! It is cooold. 14 degrees. I am a wimp when it comes to cold.

My kids do not feel cold. A 50 degree day is perfect weather to get in the water for these kids. The other day I posted pictures of some of my brood in our backyard in the creek. They went out to play and I watched them inch closer and closer to the water's edge. They could not resist. I snuck-up on them and caught them with my camera. Then Caroline decided to get a picture of me, "the fun sucker" making them take their blue toes out of the water in February. I am sooo mean! Caroline gave me this name last summer. She said that I just always "suck the fun out of everything. You are a funsucker." And everyone thought it was sooo funny that the name stuck. Well, I say someone has to be the grown up around here! I tell Caroline not to worry, one day in about 30 years she will get to be the funsucker as well. Ohh the power! She is sure that will never happen. We'll see!

To sled or not to sled. What to do....

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day!

We finally have a snow day! We are snowed in! Hooray!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Help! Cat Stuck in Hair!

So, okay once a cat got stuck in my hair. Really. I was sitting waiting for my daughter, while she was having her guitar lesson. My daughter's guitar lesson is at the teacher's house, which is also his art/music studio, so it has this cool funky vibe there. He has several of his paintings, sculptures and Cd's displayed. He is yet to be discovered, but really cool. So I am sitting there feeling cool myself, you know. Reading my book. Then one of his two cats comes over to do the usual sniff test. These are the crazy kind of cats that act like they like you, but if you try to touch them they nip! Well, today I pass the sniff test. I do not know if this is a good thing or a bad thing at this point. On that particular day I took it as a complement. Oh the cat likes me!
So, he is starts sniffing and rubbing his cheeks on my boots. He rolls on his back like he wants a belly rub. Well, I do not fall for that familiar trap! I ignore him. Well, in cat speak this means, I will have her!!! So he jumps up on the window sill behind me and starts to sniff my ear, neck and hair. I must admit I am sort of enjoying this. I know, I am weird. He then gets really interested in my hair. Now, I have this crazy, curly huge mop of hair. Not all of my life, it is just middle-age's gift to me. At forty, my nice wavy hair got a wild hair up it's ass, so to speak and just went berserk. This head of mine apparently is a cat's dream.

I am just sitting there freakishly enjoying this attention from the cat. Feeling pretty cool, absorbing the artistic energy here and then cat gets his paw stuck in my hair. We both kind of look at each other. Neither one of us knows what to do. We are both embarrassed. I am afraid to touch the cat because I know he will bite me and he is just a little tooo close to my neck and ear!!! So for some reason, he decides to put his other paw in my head. Great!!! We look like some weird politically correct version of Tar Baby. I am mortified that my daughter's teacher might see what is going on out in his waiting area, but also sure that someone is going to be injured severely without assistance asap. Luckily, just as quickly as the cat got himself stuck in my hair he bites my scalp and gets himself free. What was the bite all about!!! The cat was mad at me! Maybe I enjoyed that neck and ear sniff just a little too much!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Be careful what you wish for!

Ugggghh! I am trying to pack up my kitchen. It is so overwhelming. I wanted to remodel the kitchen. What was I thinking?? I live in my kitchen. I spend most of everyday in here. Baking cookies, making lunches, making tea, doing laundry, cooking, eating, looking out of the window at the pond watching the seasons pass, feeding pets, making lists, washing dishes the usual stuff. I hated this kitchen when we moved into my husbands childhood home last year. I missed my old kitchen with it's big table; ample working space; metal door covered with my children's art work and our calendar, the open space. This new small L shaped kitchen with no where for a table, no work space, the washing machine and dryer focal point, the free standing microwave oven cabinet with trashcan stored underneath (yum)...had to go! Now!

But here I am a year later and I am reluctant to disrupt my life for something new. I have adapted to this new space. I do not love the kitchen, but I use it! I have put the contractor, John, off for a week and now one more day. I just started packing yesterday and I have so much more to do. They are coming tomorrow at 8:00 am to demolish everything. Yikes! My sweet kitty eats on top of the dryer so the dogs cannot get her food. Where will I put her food? I have tried to turn the dining room into a makeshift kitchen, pantry, office area. It is going to be crazy! John, the contractor, says he should be done in about two weeks. Well he said one week for our foyer remodel he did in December and it took one month!

I guess I really have to be careful what I wish for because here it is and I am second guessing myself. Do I really need this? No! We could have gone on with the old kitchen and been just fine. My hippie girl inside feels guilty for the waste and that we cannot afford a totally "green" makeover. My peaceful, private girl is not looking forward to workers coming and going in my house. All the noise! Well, I am getting what I asked for tomorrow. Here goes. I hope in, I don't know maybe, three months when the kitchen is done I will write the most joyous post, praising my new kitchen. Describing all of the reasons why I am soooo glad I put my family through this.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face?"

I took a picture of Terryn taking a picture.

A letter to my friend Terryn, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Hi Terryn,

I have wanted to write you for months. I have shopped for cards and started this letter so many times. The cards seem so sentimental and my letters seem so self-serving. I want to be totally honest with you and tell you that this sucks! I know I have absolutely no idea of how much this sucks, but I know that it does. It blows actually. I am using terms that I hate. Terms that if my children used I would tell them that they are being lazy and not using language properly. I would tell them that they need to use their brains and come up with something more creative to say. But I have thought about this and these are great terms for this cancer.

I want you to know that I love you. I do. I don't even know you that well. We have not spent very much time together. But I know I love you. You inspire me. And not this sucking, blowing cancer fight either. You inspire me to be a creative and better person. You did this before the cancer, I just never would have actually told you.

To hear my mother-in-law, you are the perfect mom, homemaker and volunteer. I was so terrified the first time you came to my house to visit!!! I had heard for years about your beautiful home, the beautiful kitchen you designed. I had seen the lovely hand-made cards and gifts you sent. I thought, "Great, Martha is coming. I just want to run and hide." I knew that when you saw my mess of a house, you were going to be horrified. I just knew it. I was sure you lived in a perfect home.

And then you arrived and you were gracious and lovely, beautiful inside and out. I found out that you were funny and fun to be with. Your family was so easy to have around, the perfect guests. And instead of feeling like a lazy lump after the visit was over, I felt inspired to do some of the things we talked about. I started projects. I felt productive.

We had a great time visiting you guys this summer. When I got to actually see your mythic house I loved it. I loved it because it is perfectly Terryn. It is not perfect. It is artsy and fun. It is the kind of place you want to go to have tea, cookies (oh god, your famous cookies) and curl up on the couch and just talk. Your kitchen is the most cozy and wonderful place. I love the cats and dogs everywhere. The kids. The garden. The pond. It is so you. I saw what your secret is...You are just being yourself. That is why it is so comfortable and wonderful to be with you and be in your home. It is lovely and in my world perfect.

I did not have the best role model for mothering, so I go around mentally collecting certain things from people I know, that I think are doing the whole wife, mother thing well. I added you to this list a long time ago. I just wanted you to know.

You know this cancer sucks and blows. And it does. You will get through this. I know you will. I love you and I think of you more often than you know. Have some tea and think of me. Hope your day is going well.

With all my love,

Friday, February 20, 2009

You just might go to your daughter's science fair with your shirt on inside out

I realized yesterday that I went to my daughter's science fair with my sweater on inside out. Great! Okay, here is what happened. Remember the other day when I woke up and walked for 2 mins. 47 secs. Well, my day got even more interesting after I wrote and posted my blog entry. Emma and I made brownies naked. Emma was naked (it is a stage all of my girls have gone through at 3) definitely not me! Absolutely, positively the only person who would want or be allowed to see me do this was at work. God love my husband, he loves everything I do.

Back to my day....Emma and I made brownies and did our usual daily slacker activities. I looked at the clock in the afternoon and realized I needed to get ready to pick up my girls from school. Yes, it was 2:45 pm and I was still in my pj's. Life is great! So I took a quick Dr. Bronner's towel bath. Okay, I need to stop here and say if you do not know about these, you need to. I but the soap at my local Trader Joe's. It is called Dr. Bronner's 18 in 1 Magic Soap. I discovered this perfect slacker bath one day while lounging in the bath and reading the label of the bottle, which is like reading a short story. I learned long ago that being a card carrying hippie girl can be a wonderful excuse to be a slacker...papers everywhere - recycling, dishes piled in the sink - saving water and electricity, need to get those roots touched up - reducing my exposure to harsh chemicals...You get it, right. Well, no time for long shower - Dr. Bronner's towel bath. Great stuff!

Okay, really, back to the story...So I quickly do my towel bath and decide that I am not going to give up, after I get back from picking up the girls, I will run! So I dress quickly in my actual running clothes, grab Emma ( who is no longer naked) and run out the door. I pick up the girls and come back home. Somehow the afternoon flies by in a flurry of homework, whining, guitar practicing, dishes, what have you and I never get in that run. At 5:30 I sign Caroline's planner for the day and see that the science fair starts at 6:00 and not 6:30. Great! I either have time to shower and dress in real clothes or feed the kids. Those darn kids do have to eat! So I feed them and we get ourselves down to the school. I talk to everyone! It is a small town we go to anything. It is a wonderful night, Caroline wins a medal. I take her picture. We are all so proud. We come home and get everyone ready for bed. Then I fall asleep while snuggling Emma in my running clothes and sleep all night.

Well, morning comes and I pop up and get those kiddies ready for school. I drive them into town and come home. Emma and I dance. I write my blog. I actually go for that run and while I am running I realize that I can not zip my sweat shirt up. I have it on inside out. Great!! How embarrassing... So, I would like for my girls to know that slowing down and trying to stay in the moment is a good practice. If you don't, you just might go to your daughter's science fair with your shirt on inside out and she will win!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I am just living my life

Well, day three. I still have not gone for that run, but I am writing. Hey, I can not do everything. I listened and danced to a wonderful children's CD with Emma this morning. I spent too much time reading past articles on Zen Habits about GTD (getting things done). I was not getting anything done!! But, I felt better about how I do spend my time. Yes, my house is a mess. A low-level mess I would say. It is not perfect, but we have clean clothes, clean bathrooms and clean sheets. I will never promise my family more than this. And hey, most of the time my family does not even really mind not having the those things. I am blessed, what can I say..Yes, we have clutter. Books everywhere, markers, paper, a shoe, blankets, shirt, stuffed animals, cd cover, a plastic plate, among various other things I won't mention ..all decorate my lovely living room. No, my house is way beyond perfect. The spiders need those webs, right???? I am a slacker, but I have read some wonderful books, spent lots of time with my four girls, gone on some peace-filled walks, beautiful kayak adventures, got stuck in the mud at the end of my dock trying to take my girls swimming in the creek, taken beautiful photos, listened to great music, shared a make-shift dinner with friends, tried to train a crazy dog, stayed on the couch just because my cat just climbed in my lap and made my girls late for school, played games, watched cautiously while girls climbed higher in trees, napped all afternoon with a precious baby, been worshiped completely by a wonderful husband...What can I say...Do I need perfection in my housekeeping when I have such a beautiful complete life???Why do I worry about what other people might think??? To borrow the words of one of my girls favorite songs, I am just living my life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Never make a schedule

Okay, I have five minutes...I woke up this morning and made a schedule for my day. I should have never done this. I immediately rebelled against my own authority. First on the list - walk on treadmill for one hour. I walked for 2 mins. 47 secs. and decided I was just too tired. I had a meeting last night and took the meeting to bed with me. I tossed and turned for hours. I was planning on getting my two school aged girls off to school and then running (to save time) on the treadmill, may as well get dressed when I get back right and run right??? I forgot that my daughter Caroline's science project needed to be delivered today as we were walking out of the door to go to school. Listen, you might think I am dressed in some kind of work-out attire when I started with the 2 minute walk when I woke up. Well, I was not! I am a roll out of bed, throw on my tennis shoes, bed-head treadmill walking kind of girl. And yes, I am one of those embarrassing moms that drive their kids to school in their pj's. Yikes!! Caroline is struggling trying to carry a gallon of vinegar, a pound of baking soda, the project board, her backpack and lunch box. I am certain she can pull this off and I will not have to drag my lovely self into the school building. God love Caroline!!! She is willing to try, but it is clear that I am going in. Kate, my middle school aged daughter, who is willing to do anything to delay going to school says, "hey, mom just drop her off first. I'll walk her in." I love my wonderful children!! Yes, my dear Kate, thank you!!! I will let you be late and rescue your dear crazy mother. I went home after dropping Kate off at school and tore up my list. I got myself dressed and took little Emma to story time at the library. I will run before I pick the girls up from school....

This took longer than five minutes. I have a 3 year old in my lap. She loves to help, what can I say? She always wins!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is how I'll do it

I am really doing everything I can to avoid housework. Today, instead of spending time with my daughter, I googled fun things to do with your preschooler. How sad is that??? Ok, I did not do that today, but I have actually done this. I am trying blogging now. I have about five minutes to spare. I am going to write for five minutes each day. We will see how it goes. I may write today and never come back to this again. I hope not.