Friday, March 28, 2014


If he's forging notes from me now at five, what will he be doing when he's 16?  Oh how I  love my 'Little Doleens'.

 Joining Mamabyrd in her weekly 'Impressions' post.

Friday, March 21, 2014


He called out for me from his top bunk, worried, I hurried to his aid.  I found him sitting up in bed, his forehead pressed against the window, 'I think I just saw a shooting star!'  Relieved, I asked him if he'd made a wish, 'Yes..... it was that you'd come see me.'  I guess shooting stars are special, and wishes really do come true.

Joining Mamabyrd in her weekly 'Impressions' post.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Soul Gardening

My knees are muddy, my shoes are full of dirt, and my hands, they are the ones who suffer the most.  They're cold, stiff, cracked, swollen, and bleeding, not even my fingernails are safe.  The gardens have beckoned, and I cannot ignore their call, not when I've anxiously awaited to hear their requests.   

I've dabbled with some spring gardening the last few weeks.  Nothing too serious, a little cleanup, raking, and sweeping.  But all of that changed today, today I craved a chance to really get my hands dirty.  What I can find while working in the soil is what others seek in the bottom of pill bottles.  Gardening is my medicine.  A serious disagreement with an eight year old..... pull, pull, rake.  Dealing with the stresses of motherhood.... drag, yank, turn.  An argument with a husband....  till, plow, plow.  What to make for dinner....  pluck, clear, and then maybe..... discover.  I've lost and then found myself in the time it takes to clear one winter neglected flower bed.   

Nothing is as instantly rewarding as preparing soil in the spring.  Clearing out the old, so that the new can thrive.  In a few weeks I can plant some of our cold hardy crops in the garden, but until then I've got plenty to do.  With dozens of flower beds in need of attention, it's always the same one that draws me in first.

Under all that dead, I find my favorite iris flowers

A bunch of sword like leaves crowded and crammed around a street post in the front corner of the yard, that's all it was, a cluster of irises that never bloomed.  I was determined to see what color those petals would be, so that second spring, I dug, transplanted, and expanded outward from that sign post. giving those sword leaved plants room to show me their blooms..... to no avail.  Year three, this would be the year, especially since I'd spent hours carefully weeding out each clump of entangled grass..... still no luck.  Year four, maybe I have some seriously old irises, can flowers get too old to bloom?  Still not ready to give up I weeded, cleared, stacked stones, planted a tree, and waited..... and there it was, one bloom among a hundred plants, finally I had an answer.... yellow.  So why on that fourth year, what had changed?

In my search for answers I discovered Iris is the Greek goddess for the Messenger of Love, her  flower is the symbol of communication and messages.  I found no need to look any further, I'd found my answer, I knew why my bloom came when it did.

Last year, I was rewarded for all my hard work, dozens and dozens of beautiful yellow flowers.  Is gardening therapy?  Absolutely, I'd found a much needed message in the middle of my flower bed.  I think I'll be busy for the next several weeks, I could use a little gardening right now..... well that and a good remedy for my hands......   but not any medicine...... because I've already got all the medicine I need for my soul. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Around the Kitchen Table

 Growing up my mother always felt it important to eat together as a family.  There was some late dinners in my teen years, with busy agendas, and having to work around four separate work schedules.  That hour or so spent eating was a time to catch up, a moment to check in with the rest of the family, even just a chance to spend a little time with the ones you love.  So now with my own family a 'together dinner' is something that I also find important.

I have to admit, I don't have the dedication of my own mother, so on the nights of late schedules, when the whines of hunger pains from little ones start, I'm alright setting a table for four instead of five.  I can fill Dad in later, meanwhile the four of us can still mutually enjoy a meal together.  More commonly however, we are able to gather, all five of us, and give thanks, share stories, make plans, and grow closer. 

Trigger wasn't the only one on cleanup duty, there was also a clucking feathered friend pecking up leftover scraps.

So does it matter that our kitchen table is really just a worn blanket, and our dinner meal is actually a breakfast favorite...... not at all...... three little boys thankfully cleaned three plastic plates, I heard all about Jo's adventure while riding home from a friend visit, we made a plan on what to have for desert, and we'd all moved in a little closer.... together. 

Friday, March 14, 2014


As the days grow warmer I hear their tiny voices, like a whisper in the chilled breeze.  It's so faint I can barely hear it, soft and slight, it's there....... "Hey.... Mom.... can we get out the Slip'n Slide?"

Joining Mamabyrd in her weekly 'Impressions' post.  Feel free to add your own, here, or there.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Some Big Lucky Memories

Our memories, hopefully one of the few things we'll always have.  They make every move, no matter how far, or home square footage, they'll never see the discard pile.......if only it was that easy.  We always take the good for granted.  Why do the great memories seem to blur and fade, while the ones you yearn to forget linger?  I aspire to make plenty of good memories for my own little ones, I know I mention this often, but only because I feel of it's importance.  Childhood is short, too soon you face the stresses of adult life. Why not do what I can to put in plenty of good, before life brings on it's own set of demands.  I've found while they're young and naive it's fairly simple to take an ordinary event and turn it into something special, something that leaves an impression.  Another memory stored, and with any luck a happy one.

Aren't we lucky, a few of us got the opportunity to make a fun memory.  A memory full of green, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, and a pot-o-gold.  Seems Lucky the Leprechaun paid our little preschool class a visit.  He made for a fun few hours of shared stories, activities and crafts.  And after our green inspired lunch, he led us to our very own pot-o-gold.

Lucky the Leprechaun, what a great little guy, he doesn't have to do much to make a day special.  His annual clover shaped update letter accompanied with a few sweet golden pieces is all we really need to remember our fun St. Patrick's Day traditions.  So I'll let others find the annoyances for the need to make every holiday a big deal.... their missing the big picture.... it's all about big fun and big memories.... the green is optional.        


Monday, March 10, 2014

Country Bumpkin

I'm not totally sure when it happened.  Perhaps it was our second summer, when we planted our first real garden.  Or when we proudly scrambled our first egg from our own chicken.  Maybe it was that first mountain winter with all that snow.  What about the birth of an anchor baby, was his birth what defined our status, declaring us true locals of our little country ski town?  One day we were carefully designing and leveling a predictably new concrete walk, and the next we were using found barn wood and rusted corrugated metal to build fences and flower boxes.  I am certain that these things didn't happen overnight, our transformation to country folk was gradual.  It was gradual enough that I didn't even notice when only a diaper (and often even less) became an adequate clothing option for the day.

Hot summers, lazy days for Abe hanging out in the flower garden

Sol might avoid more scrapes if he wears more then just a diaper while skateboarding

I remember the stories my mother would tell me about her parents, the stories of the absurdities of the big city.  They'd leave their small Southern Utah town and make the 130 mile trip to the Salt Lake, and no big deal if you happened to pass your freeway exit, her farmer father would just throw the car in reverse and back up to his missed I-15 turn off point.  The excitement of big department stores, the mystery of parking meters, and the possibility of a delicious treat, like soda, candy, or if your really lucky a can of tuna fish?  And before heading home the opportunity to eat at a restaurant where a waitress asked if you wanted sour cream with your potato.  Sour cream, yuck, that's what happened when a bucket and it's contents was forgotten after a milking.  The city was another world, one while in those younger years she'd only visit.  Times change, and city life soon called, and so there was soda in her fridge, stacked cans of tuna in her cupboard, and candy at her fingertips.  Country ways soon to be lost but not forgotten.  With the passing of several decades history has a way of repeating itself, except now I feel the absurdities of the big city.

It's only a twenty minute drive to Ogden, but I find myself making that trip less and less often.  When I do make the drive down the canyon, it's to the same relaxed stores, or to the comfortable houses and places for our regular visits.  My children make these trips even less often then myself, maybe this can explain their utter amazement at Ogden's own small Newgate mall.  I was puzzled at their reaction, they stood completely dumbfounded,  gawking at the size, sights, and sounds, had they not been to the mall before?  Of course they had.......hadn't they????? 

We all got the chance to expand our horizons this weekend when we made a trip to that 'big city'.  Finding a parking space was only the first of many foreign experiences.  The mere amount of people was dizzying, and even though I know I'm not current with the latest style, I was still a little self conscious seeing that I was definitely out styled and accessorized by most of the male population, what happened to just jeans and a t-shirt?  The upgrades to downtown were pretty impressive, we even made a couple purchases.  I wasn't surprised when the lady behind the counter laughed when I repeatedly tried to swipe my card on some sort of device that she'd waited to informed me was for a phone app..... what..... an app..... at check out..... one more reason I don't think I'll ever own a cell phone.  With shopping done it was time to battle some more traffic to get to our final destination, a place I used to call home.  But as I gape at the rows and rows of newly constructed homes and businesses, one scarcely different from the next, I barely recognize my home town.

Time to head home, it was a good visit, full of the faint yet familiar, it seems my city ways are also lost but not forgotten.  As we made the final turn on some empty roads towards home, I was glad to meet the stare of one giant yak as he lazily chewed his meal in the middle of a neighboring pasture.

Yes, despite my own wants, I believe more trips to the city are in order.  My children may need to travel outside town limits to experience and hopefully gain knowledge of all life has to offer them, even if this means traffic jams, and people in the masses.  But for me, I'm happy to give up shopping spots, for hiking spots, current styles for lake currents,  parking lots for lots of messy fun, and rows of houses for rows in our garden.   

Yes pajamas are totally acceptable working in the garden wear, well only if you have your muck boots on


I wore overalls with muck boots last week and it wasn't even Halloween.  I matched my three year old, also in overalls and muck boots.  Together we road my three wheeled bike through town, we were hoping to catch a glimpse of some newly born baby goats.  No babies yet, so instead we just waved to the llamas, clicked at the horses, cautiously maneuvered through a flock of wild turkeys, and reenacted our reaction when we had spotted two gigantic moose walking through town a few days prior.  So yeah.... it's good to be home..... and aint I so lucky..... I've got soda in my fridge, cans of tuna in my pantry, and candy at my fingertips. 

Friday, March 7, 2014


It started out as 'Once their was a snowman', and ended melodically with a gift of flowers from a baby unicorn.  I've always been a sucker for love songs..... especially when they're composed and performed just for me.

Joining Mamabyrd in her weekly 'Impressions' post.  Feel free to add your own, here, or there.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Recent Finds

not pictured one plastic sword already lost in the abyss of weaponry in the basement

I'm inspired daily by friends and the things that I regularly read on their blogs.  I always enjoy seeing and reading about their 'recent finds'.  Because of this I've been inspired once again, and have decided to join their trend and post some of my own fun finds.

A tiny wire basket, it'll look great at Easter holding one pastel egg.  A new wooden puzzle for my little preschool class, we're in need of some more princess items with another girl joining our class this week.  One green, size medium, boys t-shirt.  Nothing special about it, I'm sure I could have found it at Old Navy a few seasons ago.  But as I made my way to the front of the store to pay for my purchases, it caught my eye.  How my boys love to camp, their favorite part is sleeping in tents, funny I think that's probably my least favorite part.  So even though another t-shirt is not on our need list, I knew the excitement it'd bring, so it appropriately accompanied me to the check stand.  And with the possibility of it being worn by three different camping enthusiast it was a good $2 investment.

Books, it doesn't seem to matter that we frequent the library at least a couple of times a week, there is something about owning a book of your very own that justifies the large space they consume in my shopping carts.  So yes I did come home with a dozen or so books for all my boys, old and young.  How can I not, especially when my finds include, an almost new paperback copy of the 'Hobbit', a book in the next series created by the same author of our favorite 'Captain Underpants', and the handful of stories I loved as a child, and with all of them at just a quarter or two a piece I can't leave them on the shelf.

My most favorite find for the day was these two matching vintage sugar substitute bowls......

While casually making my way down each isle, a friend wasn't too far from my mind.  A friend who also loves a great second hand find, and always remembers to bring me flowers on an emotionally filled date, hard for her to miss with her own emotional date just a week after mine.  Instead of an unexpected loss of a mother, an unexpected loss of a father.  We'd just spent the night before reminiscing about fathers.  Hadn't I just shared a story of my childhood desire to show that I was a true 'Daddy's Girl', even if it meant splitting his morning coffee with him?  I'd painfully clench that mug as I took a couple of chugs from his morning drink of choice, it was awful!  I'd only pretend to find it as delicious as he did, because really I was fighting off a serious dry heave.  I wonder if he knew, I never was all that good at keeping a secret.  It's hard to share his love of almost black instant coffee, with only a couple of pink packets of Sweet' N Low to enhance that dreadful flavor.  That's the reason for this twin purchase, a small gift to share, one for her and one for I, a reminder of our shared father stories.  I think it will look great filled with flowers, maybe even some blossoms.

As we walked into the thrift store Abe asked me if this store sold weapons, the ones made of plastic that he loves.

        'Maybe.  You'll have to look and see, this store is full of treasures, you've just got to find them.'  
        'Like a pirate!  I'm going to find my treasure Mom!'

I couldn't have said it any better myself.  I left with a full treasure box.   A treasure box full of books, a basket, a shirt, a puzzle, a couple of great jars to be shared..... and yes, one extremely creepy, violent looking, quadruple bladed sword.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Warm Weather Casualties

Casualty  #1  Two Pairs of Boots
Everything defrosts when you've had days in the 40's and 50's, not to mention days and days of rain.  Warmer weather draws everyone outside, exploring the yard for the first time in months, I really wish that was only mud on the bottom of a couple of pairs of boots.

Casualty #2  Abe's First Shorts
It was warm enough that I even let Abe wear shorts out of the house.  So was it warm enough for Abe to wear shorts all day?  Not exactly.  If your thinking Abe's pants look a little like swimwear, maybe swimwear belonging to 10 year old friend that was found under the seat of my car and gratefully used when Abe  possibly had an 'accident' while asleep on my lap as we were waiting for our windshield to be repaired, you're right.  I only wish I could have found some similar swimwear in a few sizes larger for myself.

Casualty #3  Jo and His Bike
With warming temperatures we see an increase of foot traffic in front of the house, including foot traffic belonging to two young ladies coming to visit one 8 year old boy.  Initially he came running to the backyard, blushing, giggling, and flustered, seeking some reassurance, but after a little encouraging he was surprisingly smooth in his actions..... except for when he carelessly through his leg over his bike and the both of them tumbled to the ground spending the next several moments tangled and hollering for help.  I fought my urge to run to his aid, even though I obviously heard him from my spying post, he'll figure it out, just like he figured out politely and attentively seeking girls company in play will get you all the ladies.  (No way that girl was only 8..... she looked much older like at least 11)

Casualty #4  A Dead Rubber Lizard
It wasn't just one dead rubber lizard that made a reappearance this weekend from it's extended vacation under a blanket of snow.  However he was the one that startled me the most. I'll let him stand as a representation of all the random objects lazily left in the yard this fall.  Maybe come next fall I won't be so distracted and I'll be better at gathering everything that should take cover before it's forgotten under the snow..... maybe?

Casualty #5  Broken Pottery
Every spring a few more pieces of pottery either find a decorative place shoved in a flower bed or meet their tragic trash bin end.  But I was more hopeful for these five pots, I even tried to protect them from the snow.  The hours spent digging and planting might just be wasted, I don't know how safe they'll be with jagged edges and bare feet?

But out of death comes new life.  Sure the garden looks pretty neglected, but there is more then just jagged broken pots beginning to emerge from the soil.  We even fired up the pizza oven to enjoy dinner cooked by an open flame.  And who could forget the love of discovering a new space.

With the forecast calling for three separate winter storms this next week the warm weather has been a nice distraction.  I guess I won't pull out all the gardening gear just yet, I think we'll have a few more weeks of movie watching and indoor games of hide and seek.  Maybe it's for the good, I wasn't quite ready to pull out the hose and scrub brush and deal with the damage a small flock of chickens have done to a few stored rocking chairs anyways.     

Happy Birthday Dr. Suezzzzzz...... Tra La La!

There's been a major 'BUZZ' around here the last couple of dayz.  Jo excitedly announced that in honor of Dr. Suess's birthday, come the weeks end each student got to dress up as their favorite book character and parade the school halls.  Can you guess what favorite book character Jo chose?  What about Sol, what is his latest book interest?  It seems the 'Fly Guy' book series is a favorite by all in the house.  I'm sure Jo's three year obsession over Ted Arnold's creations, staring one boy and his pet fly, had something to do with Sol's character choice.  Still I was surprised that Sol's choice was a small winged creature, and not some sort of superhero or brightly colored ninja, both of who's books fill more than one shelf of our bookcases.  But no complaints here, Sol really is the cutest pet fly I've ever seen.

With only two days to prepare for their character debuts I quickly started on both costumes.  It wasn't until I was almost finished with one flesh colored bodysuit that I realized Jo's character choice could possibly be inappropriate for school.  As my internal battle raged on, I added the last finishing touches to his costume, a simple red cape, a fleshy pink beenie, and one pair of......... tighty whities?

TRA LA LA..... one amateur Captain Underpants costume, complete with one baldish head, a pair of barish feet, an over sized belly, and one milk stain, evidence of his hurried cereal breakfast.

I know what typical school standards are, and I know that wearing underpants on the outside of your cloths is probably a great way to get sent to the office, but I also know the fragile position we are in with Jo's new found love of reading, and what brought on that love.  So even though I knew better, I went ahead and stitched his protruding belly in place, I didn't want it to slip with all the bounding rescuing he'd be doing throughout the day.  The rest of my uneasy feelings quickly faded when I saw Jo's reaction to his costume. 

My funny boy, it's no secret that he's the one I worry about the most.  He plays at home, and even with close friends with complete ease, no insecurities, no lack of confidence, nothing uncomfortable about it.  When he enters the doors of his classroom however, he goes through some sort of transformation, gone is the confidence, gone is the ease in his actions, gone is his self certainty (but his eyes still glimmer with that clever sense of humor, I am grateful for that), can you imagine my surprise when I witnessed this for the first time?   His shy awkwardness is all too familiar for me to watch.

Shyness, if only it was as simple as it sounds.  That cruel ailment still haunts me as an adult.  I wish I knew exactly what causes that choking nervousness in unfamiliar situations.  And why are some relationships so simple and easy, and others leave you so full of anxiety you never fully let your guard down? Are we not  social creatures, if so why is it virtually impossible for me to engage in a conversation with someone new without feeling anxious and flustered?  I suppose it's just another one of life's challenges that's suppose to make us stronger.  However, it's a personality trait I'd hoped to never pass on to any of my children.  But it has, only adding to my worry for this, skinny, quirky, unathletic, school challenged (all said out of love not critisism), boy, so now he too must find his own coping skills.  But all my worrying is for nothing, for Jo is much faster than I at finding a coping skill.  And what is it..... his humor and his ability to entertain, of course.  It was good to see my familiar outgoing Jo even as he made his heroic steps through the school doors.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who noticed Jonas with confidence in his stride.  Figuring it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission, I sent my naked costumed Jo to school with an apology letter for his teacher.... well that and a pair of shorts at the bottom of his backpack.  The phone rang at ten to nine, the caller I.D. said 'Valley Elementary', I took a deep breath preparing to repeat my rehearsed explanation.  But there was no explanation needed, it was Jo's teacher, she'd gotten my letter, and.... she loved Jo's costume, it was soooo funny, she hoped I didn't mind she'd already taken his picture and sent it to all her own children, in fact she was even planning a trip to the school office so that Jo could do some further modeling for any one who might have missed it before, and to make sure (GULP) the principal got a look.  So why the phone call, was the love of Jo's costume the reason why she slipped away from class only minutes into the school day?  The real reason for her phone call quickly became apparent.  She enjoyed seeing Jo with so much confidence, a glimpse of his fun personality, and a pure love to see him so comfortable in his own skin (well... maybe not his own).  Just one more reason why I love Valley Elementary, looks like it isn't a typical school after all, but a school who's teachers take a personal interest in every one of their overcrowded classroom students.  What an amazing principle Jo has.... so fun and understanding of Jo's controversial costume...... almost relate-able...... HMMMM..... did I catch a glimpse of a red cape from under the collar of his shirt..... I wonder........