Thursday, March 29, 2012


Spring makes me deliriously happy.  In Colorado it doesn't come suddenly and with force.  It creeps in with a gradual awakening from a long winter's slumber.  Almost like winter is reluctantly releasing it's hold with a long sigh and slowly letting go, one finger at a time.  I pruned our crab apple tree today and filled my workspace with the fresh branches, hoping I can keep them alive a little bit longer.


Aidan asked me why I loved Anne of Green Gables so much.  And I told him that it's because she was able to use her imagination to create the story that she wanted to be living.  Unlike (one of his current favorites) James Bond who lived a life that was adventurous and exciting, but totally unrealistic, and unreachable for the ordinary person.  If we're longing to live a life that will never happen, it's hard to be satisfied.  But if we're creating our life into something extraordinary, because of the way that we view things, how amazing is that?

Spring is full of hope and promise of new life.  And it never gets old for me.  So here's to spring, and simple joys. Breaks from school that are filled with long afternoons on the trampoline, lazy mornings on the couch with books and gourmet pancakes, and the time to sit and eat almond butter from the jar.  Lunch of fresh rosemary bread and goat cheese with figs.  And a night spent looking at the stars with a family slumber party on the trampoline (while being serenaded by LOUD Spanish music from the nearby lumber yard-that part I could have done without-and the fact that is still gets quite cold at night which made it kind of like sleeping with your head in the refridgerator). 
My son told me that I was more "playful" than most moms he knew.  Which means I'm doing at least something right, because what I remember most vividly, and fondly, about growing up was the times that we spent "playing" as a family. 

I hope you find something that makes you happy and that you dance with all your might when music plays that won't let your bones stay still--all through out life.  And I'm gonna try and do the same.

Monday, March 26, 2012


I've been sadly neglecting this little blog.  Lately it seems like life has sped up, and I'm doing my darndest to just hang on.  I've felt like my days have been an out of control version of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" over and over.  Spring break is bringing a great big sigh of relief for us though, and we are going to tuck in and soak it up by committing to absolutely nothing. 

I've started planting a few things and getting the garden ready for the season.  Only we have 2 chickens who have decided that they are going to be free range--against my will.  They have been flying out with increasing regularity and systematically destroying everything green that pokes through the surface.  Except for the weeds of course; they won't touch those.  Prima Donnas!  I walked out this afternoon to see my newly planted spinach bed freshly plowed under a layer of chicken scratches.  That does it, as soon as those two sneaky girls get off the nesting box, I'm going to clip their wings. 

We have one chick that I have been raising for a friend who seems to have some gender confusion.  She doesn't look quite like the other 2 of her kind, and seems to be acting rather unhenlike.  I expect her to start crowing any day now.

There is a woodpecker outside who spends all of the daylight hours making it's trilling call with increasing desperation.  It was cute at first, but that wore off really fast.  Seriously, if he's looking for a girl, there has got to be a better way to go about it.

And just for fun, because I love both things that are yellow, and quirky:


Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Second Page

Pippi is still hobbling and Aidan tells me, "Mom, now I know why when someone wants to threaten a mother, they threaten to kill her child".  That boy loves his chicken.  And this was the point when I realized that any ideas I had about living on a working farm where you actually have to *gasp* kill your animals would never actually work.  And I have to admit that the thought of putting that sweet little chicken in the stew pot makes me a little sick as well.  So I guess the idea of raising rabbits for Rabbit Fricassee and gloves is tossed out the window as well.  The young lady at the vet's office muffled her giggle rather well when I called to ask if they saw chickens.  I had to explain that it was my son's chicken, and he loves her, therefore I have to do whatever I have to do.

We met with the principal the other day.  It was completely draining in a way, as we spent and hour and a half talking about feelings-my feelings, Aidan's feelings, Chris' feelings, the teacher's feelings, and her feelings about all of our feelings.  She made a rather poignant comment, though, when she said that our children complain to us because they know that next to our knowing that they are breathing, they know that we want them to be happy and when they are not-it gets our attention.  It's true in a way.  I mean, I want a lot of things for my kids, but what I mostly want to know is that they are okay and they are happy.  It was interesting to me how when we started talking about the situation, the layers and layers that appeared and how we were only one cog in the big picture.  Aidan's principal was very fierce on his behalf.  In fact, I walked out hoping that I never got on her bad side.  And man, oh man, she was unhappy that this bullying had been going on in her building.  I was actually surprised at how seriously she treated it.  She promised that this would stop, the girls involved would be seriously punished, and then provided a multi layered plan to protect Aidan from further harassment, and provide him with the tools he needs to understand how to counter when this occurs in the future.  Because part of the problem was that my sweet boy just shouldered it all, and tried to ignore them until the burden became a bit more than he could bear.  And his non response fed their need for power.  He would have had no problems if it was boys doing the bullying...but he has been raised to treat girls with respect.   She gave Aidan a list of 3 adults in his school that were his people even-telling him that if he needed to get up and leave class without permission to come talk to her, that was totally fine, and creating a secret code between his teacher and him that communicated if someone was being ugly so the teacher could come down on them without it being apparent that "Aidan told".  Basically, she wanted Aidan to feel safe, and sort of powerful-like he could do something about it, and rebuild his trust with the authorities that if he ever said anything, it would be taken so seriously.  In fact, she alerted everyone in the school that if Aidan ever said something, it had to be high priority because he was saying stuff and his teacher was not doing anything about it.

I'm happy with the way it went, and hopeful that things will be resolved.  But also, that Aidan will come out of this having learned something and grown stronger.  And that his story will become better because he faced conflict and overcame it, and that the next time he has to climb a mountain in life, he can do it with more confidence and endurance. And kudos to the principal for learning the best way to disarm an angry parent is to treat their kid as special as their momma thinks he is.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


A couple of days ago one of the neighborhood kids dropped one of our chickens.  She is Aidan's chicken, and our sweetest one, Pippi.  But this girl just suddenly let her go, one of her legs went off to the side when she landed, and now she's limping.  I was standing there with Aidan watching her struggle to walk around the run and Aidan wanted to leave because it hurt him to watch her.  I told him that this is what Mommas do and he replies, "Momma's just sit there and watch your child hurting when you are helpless to fix it and you want it to stop?!"  Yep, pretty much.  But we stay there so that you know you are not alone, even if we can't fix it.

Momma Bear is going to come out of hibernation and lumber off to the principal's office today. Chris and I have never requested a meeting with the principal before.  But these 5th grade girls have been making school miserable for our son.  We've tried on our end to help him come up with strategies to resolve the issues, but it continues.  On one hand I feel angry and protective, but that wars with compassion in my heart.  Because I've been around enough to understand that life is not lining up to hand those girls roses.  I understand that some of their home lives stink, that what they really need is nothing that the school can give them.  I get it.  I do.  I know that they are longing to feel loved and accepted and nobody wants to be on the outside so they all gang up together like a pack of wolves.  But I don't know of anyway that I can help the root of their pain, and the fallout is landing on my boy.  And Aidan's not the only one who's being badgered.   I was mentioning this to a friend the other day, and when I said that I had missed middle school because I was homeschooled, she told me that I had gotten a free pass out of hell.  Really?

We're trying here to raise a man of integrity and courage and honor.  I know sometimes he has to fight battles on his own.  But I also know that he's still a boy.  Nobody messes with Chloe.  And the few times that someone has, she has simply crooked her finger for her big brother and he's showed up and that was the end of it.  Sometimes as parents, I think we need to sit and wait, and sometimes we just need to show up.