Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ode to my boy...


Here I am, 6 am, drinking my coffee, making oatmeal and not really believing it.  I keep fighting back tears that nobody will see anyway.  I roasted a chicken and baked a salmon fillet last night at 11:00, just to ease my mind a little.  Kindergarten does not really fit into our lifestyle thus far.  How are we going to do this?  This means we will have to get up early every morning, pack lunches the night before.  But mostly, I will be away from my boy more than I ever have been.  We are tight.  I fought this transition for a long time.  I was planning to home school until just a few months ago.  And here we are with backpack full of supplies and school clothes laid out on the couch.  And, somehow, I think it's going to be alright.

I will give this a try because I need to.  All along I was making the decisions for him, planting the homeschooling seed, choosing who we played with, meddling in every conversation he had with anyone.  I'm going to see how this goes.  He will choose who to play with,  and what he is interested and not interested in.  He will decide whether public school is his thing or not.  I'll stand back and observe, assist when needed, and listen wholeheartedly.  If he likes it, he can stay.  If he doesn't, we will figure it out.

I can say one thing though; that school is going to be psyched that I can't pry myself away from this boy.  They have a very eager volunteer on their hands.  Most importantly though, he will know that this is our school because my heart is walking around its hallways and classrooms. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This moment

Joining Soulemama in This Moment.  Something I want to pause and savor.


Hope must be an inherited gene that some folks get, and others don't.  I've always been hopeful.  It doesn't mean I don't have dark moments, but in general I know things will be alright.  And usually I think they will be better than alright.  Maybe my bar for how bad it can actually get is fairly low.  I know I can live without a savings account, health insurance, a new car, or an i-phone.

The other evening, a friend and I decided to take the kids to the Missoula Symphony in the Park.  It's a free public performance that happens once a year. Our kids were enjoying themselves and so were we.  It was a beautiful evening, we were sitting on the fringes of the park to allow plenty of room for our kids to be active and noisy, as kids are.  They were climbing in a tree, talking to each other with the volume a little above "inside voices", but not yelling.  A woman came over with a pinched up face and told me to "shut him up", talking about my kid.  And, wow, just retelling it now, my heart is racing, my stomach slightly nauseous, and my hands are shaking.  I don't talk to people like that.  I don't talk to my kid like that.  What I wanted to say was "go fuck yourself you stuffy bitch".  But instead I told her I didn't appreciate the way she was talking to me, and that she was being really rude.  More words were launched by her, and then this nice man sitting behind her came to our defense and said he was enjoying the sounds of kids at this free public event.  Thanks dude.  We have every right to be here.  And, contrary to popular belief within the fifties-something crowd, children deserve to be treated with respect. 

Anyway, this all got me thinking that some folks need to have such tight-fisted control over their environment, that if it doesn't pan out exactly how they envisioned it, they lose their shit.  Maybe they just haven't had enough hard experiences in their lives?  They haven't had enough taken away from them, or they haven't lived without, so that small annoyances become so intense for them, that it ruins an experience that would be otherwise perfectly enjoyable for a more well adjusted person who hasn't always had to have control over everything.  The sun shines and I see a beautiful river raging before me, and I am happy.  I don't care so much that someone else is doing something I don't care for.  I'm just loving my scene. I can't control the nineteen year old who is annoyingly smoking a cigarette three feet away from me. 

We, meaning my family, are going through some trying times. On any given day I feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, relief and fear. And also hope.

Today, I feel hopeful for the future, and ready for change.  My kids are healthy and happy.  I have a lot of really great friends.  My family loves me.  I can make really good food from cheap ingredients.  We have pear cider in the root cellar.  I soon will have enough time to make apple cider with my family.  I have a new studio in a really inspiring environment.  I have confidence in my abilities. 

That poor lady who felt so enraged by the sound of kids enjoying themselves must have it a lot harder than me.  To feel that out of control must feel really bad.  I imagine if she is that tightly wound and prone to rude behavior because of it, she might not have many friends.  She might not find joy in anything but the sound of a symphony, and her moment was taken away by noisy kids, so she didn't even get that. Maybe she doesn't feel any hope at all.

I'm not sure where I am going with this except that, I'm glad that I've had to overcome a lot.  I am easy to please.  I know it can always get way worse, and that I can always find something awesome in pretty much any situation.  I feel pretty hopeful about that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

summer lovin'

Trying to squeeze in as much river dwelling as possible.  
Hoping for an Indian Summer to extend the goodness. 
Trying to focus on what is good.  This here is good.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This moment

Joining Soulemama in This Moment.  Something I want to pause and savor.  And, I did!

Happy Weekending out there!  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dwindling days of summer

I can't hardly believe how quickly this summer has flown by.  Really.  I say this every year, and really mean it, but this year?  Exponential.  Warp speed.  It was the end of June one moment and next thing you know, here it is nearing the end of August.  And, even if the end of August is the same temperature as mid July, it feels different.  Mornings feel a little crisper, the light has changed ever so subtly, it starts to get dark a bit earlier each night.

And yet, even though I feel I could use a few more months worth of July, I am happily preparing for Fall.  Apple harvesting is really on my mind this year.  We have a 120 year old orchard that still produces apples.  Not tasty or pretty apples, but apples nonetheless.  I have wanted to do something really useful with them in previous years, but usually lose steam sometime between picking them and pressing them for cider.  Now, don't get me wrong, cider is very useful.  However, I want something even more useful.  Something like Apple Cider Vinegar.  Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.  So, if any of you have any useful tips or information, please let me know.  I'll do my own research, and find recipes and stuff. But currently I'm just going on a dream and star.

We have one pear tree that has produced some decent pears in the past.  Andy made pear cider from them, and it really is a tasty drink.  He says the not-so-pleasant taste of the skin really shines through with this last batch, so to counter that he added some Angostura bitters and a sprig of fresh basil from our garden.  It turned out delish.

On a completely unrelated note, I think Agnes is back.  I was peacefully hanging up clothes outside by our big locust tree, filling up our short clothing line quickly, and needing more space to hang more clothes.  I decided to start hanging them on the branches of the locust tree.  Suddenly, a robin dive bombed toward my head chirp-yelling at me in a very familiar way.  She was puffed up and clearly giving me a warning to stay the f away.  It took me awhile to find it, but sure enough there is a nest in the middle of this tree with some little wee robins in it.  And, again, a pair of robins are guarding it with all their might.  And, I think that possibly, the female is Agnes.  Could it be?  I'll never really know, but she sure looks a lot like her.
For some reason I thought birds laid their eggs in the Spring, and were pretty much done with it by the end of summer.  I really do learn something new every day here at the Homestead.

Cheers to knowledge!  Happy late summer to you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

::3000 miles later::

Our journey east to northern Minnesota was epic.  All told we drove at least 3000 miles; through our enormous home state of Montana, then through the farmlands of North Dakota, and finally into Northern Minnesota.  I was pleasantly surprised by the terrain of the western North Dakota badlands, and found the flat never-ending-farm-land-middle and western part to be comforting and honest.

We swam in lakes nearly every single day.  I ran in drenching humidity every morning.  We went to The Taste of Dorset, an annual celebration in a town that only exists in the summer, and has more restaurants per capita then any other place in North America (or so they say at least).  We fell asleep to the call of loons every night.  We ventured to the North Shore and dipped our toes in the extremely cold Lake Superior, and slept in the sweetest little log cabin you have ever seen, in the woods. 

: Jumping off the dock at Marguerite's house :
 : Feeling sun-kissed :
: Little Sparkle :
: Asa found a buddy :
: Andy, Bill, Asa and Marguerite :
: The Taste of Dorset - Minnow racing :

                                                  : Some serious karate kid moves :
: Grandpa Wayne:

                                                        : The North Shore :

Saturday, August 6, 2011

On vacation!!

Just when I decided to re-do my blog, and start posting more regularly, I also decided to go on vacation!  Actually it has been in the works for a long time now.  So, I won't be posting much, if at all, until I come back on August 15th. 

We are busy swimming in lakes, getting mosquito bites, playing ball in Grandpa Wayne's front yard, and staying up late watching beautiful sunsets and listening to loons.  It's glorious.  We'll talk soon.