Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Boy's Mom

My little boy slipped his hand in mine last night and I noticed that it was almost as big as mine. The smallest stretch of a finger separated the lengths. And my memory flashed back to images of a small hand reaching up to wrap around one or two of my fingers to receive comfort or instant balance, or just to know I was still there.


He still reaches for my hand sometimes; worn out from hiking up a long trail, or unsure of which way to go, or still just to know that I am there. And my biggest challenge in helping this once small son of mine grow into a man is balance. As I try to navigate how to give him wings and let him fly, but not too far and not too fast, just yet. I often cringe and take a deep breath when he is scaling some slippery boulder or testing his limits on a bike.


I want to give him a safety net, but I also don't want to clip his wings too much. I want him to learn courage and strength and I know that sometimes those things come from facing down something hard. But sometimes it's really hard not to want to pull my still smaller son in my arms and make the consequences go away.


So for me, as I teeter with the balance, I constantly reach up for a bigger Hand than mine and I ask for the strength, and the courage, and the wisdom to best parent my boy. And I regain my footing and know that He is still there.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A(nother) word about chickens

The egg laying production is really crankin' up around here. Ginger is adding her lovely greenish eggs to the mix. Katy (our scrawny runt of a chicken) is the only one not earning her keep, and she can't sneak it by us because she is the only one who will lay a white egg.


The twins: Tikka and Pippi have been best buds since we brought them home 3 days old. They started laying eggs within hours of each other. One day I even caught them in the same nesting box side by side. Sure enough, when they hopped up, there were 2 little matching brown eggs. When they lay an egg; they celebrate. (which I think is very fitting--if I were to lay an egg I would celebrate as well.) They start cluck cluck CLUCKing. Which is special chicken speak reserved only for this occasion. Then comes the chicken prance (?). They proudly sashay down the ramp from the coop swinging their fluffy bottoms left to right like a woman in voluminous petticoats and high heels.


Quinoa: they love it. In fact, Katy, who is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order and usually hangs back when the treats are out, only picking up the pieces that fall on the outskirts, turns into Crazy Velociraptor Super Chicken and will take on anyone and everyone-don't you dare come in between her and the quinoa. Think an angry Clark Kent shedding his shy alter ego when say, Lois Lane gets kidnapped by Lex Luther. Ginger feels that way about advocados.

Ginger: She loves her feathers. She is very meticulous and a bit prim and proper. I really should have named her Duchess or Princess or Your Highness as she is a true southern belle. If we had a mirror in the chicken coop she would probably never leave. (I think that is why she has a little bit of a rivalry going with Katy because Katy does not take nearly the same care with her feathers as she does) Ginger is the one who usually organizes Chicky Spa Day and gets the whole sisterhood involved in feather washing, and primping, and general all around chicken beautifying. If someone is on the nest when she needs to lay (nevermind the fact that we have 2 boxes) she will bossily harrass and torment the poor soul until they can't possibly concentrate enough to lay an egg and hop off.


I wonder what it says about me that I spend so much time talking about my chickens?

Sunday, July 24, 2011


The plants looked so little when I put the starts in the ground. And I confess that I may have not really paid attention to the suggested distances too much. I used heaps of horse manure, sheep manure and homemade compost. My garden now looks like this:


The designated pathways that looked so precise and clear when I put my wee little plants in have been overgrown. And now I have to tip toe delicately through the vegetation exploding into every available space. The pumpkins are on a bid to take over the world. It's a good thing I don't mind the organic free flowing look.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sometimes, things happen that really make you stand back in awe. Chris and I have been working in Aidan's room like 2 small whirlwinds. (Just between you and me and the whole world, I will be fine if I never have to mud and tape a room again) One of those monumental days was one that was following another one of those different kind of days where I spent the whole time in that blasted room. The day was inching close to dinner time and I was mudding and taping in a frustrated tangle. So I called for backup. Nevermind that the backup wasn't quite 5 feet tall and able to wield a knife yet. "I need you two to make dinner. But first, you have to figure out what to make, and then go get the ingredients." Those two little chefs, inspired by watching the Iron Chef while I was working, put their heads together and created a masterpiece. The appetizer was Aidan's own recipe of chipotle chicken over cream cheese on a gluten free almond cracker.


Oh yes, that was scrumptious.

Dinner was two cheese and two bean enchiladas with a handmade sauce. They were a perfect team as Aidan did the cooking and Chloe put everything together and arranged it all.


I may never cook again.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Today is deliciously rainy. But yesterday was perfectly sunny. And what better way to spend a sunny summery afternoon than shelling peas with two of my favorite people.


With a cup of Portland's Stumptown coffee in hand, and the table overflowing with a symphony of green peas, fava beans, and colorful bowls.


Grubby little hands, earned from playing in the garden, alternated between filling the bowls and filling their mouths.


It still amazes to remember that first little pea shoot that has sprung into a table full of sweet pods that, according to Aidan at least, taste like vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Happy Egg

A friend asked me how our newly laid eggs tasted. (Both of the Buffs are duly cranking out eggs after starting to lay on the very same day) The eggs are still quite small. But with a recent diet of mangos, strawberries (they were on sale) and hand fed peas and greens from the garden; our eggs tasted: happy.