Monday, December 12, 2016

T.M.I.

My daughters health book discussion questions caused my child to ask me what the dating scene was like in my high school.  We had a long chat about healthy friendships and what that looks like as well as friends that get us off track.

As I looked back I realized I only dated one person from my high school. We went on a total of one date. Upon which the next day he called me and said something along the lines of "I can't date my best friends sister it's just too weird." and I was like "Ok cool, no problem." because I thought it was weird too... I'm not even sure I told my friends I went on said date...

I just can't picture todays' besotted must have a boyfriend or a girlfriend teens doing that.  
Can you imagine how it would be today... 

Betty gets asked out sqeeeeeeeeee!
She snapchats her besties and posts screen shot on FB/instagram.
They both changed the FB status too in a relationship...
Lots of their friends like the posts.
Bob picks her up and they do a selfie which lands on multiple social media sites.
They go out and post photos of food on Facebook, "check in" at the restaurant. 
while on the date their friends get play by play details via texting.
Bob drives Betty home and does the whole good night kiss thing. 

Betty is unimpressed, but she texts him as soon as he leaves the house... 
because we must text often he's my BF.
She then texts her BFF's some more and adds more "look at all the fun we had on our date" photos on FB/Instagram etc... (instead of going to bed.)
Bob goes home and realizes Betty just doesn't light his fire, but automatically responds (like pavlov's dog) to her texts, when he's done driving home (hopefully). Before he goes to bed he checks the football scores and sees how much Betty posted. 

Now can Bob break up???? I mean look now it's a break up! it wasn't "just a date" to check each other out and see if it works... No it's got a following all the good stuff none of the bad stuff. How can they back out now? Everyone knows they are an official item. If he leaves her now or asks another person out, he's now going to be labeled a playa. I'm amazed at how much more social pressure is being placed on my kids than was placed on me as a teen.

I think the social media sites and texting is very unhealthy for budding relationships. It's too much information to soon. To much contact/connection too soon. I think my kids are just bombarded with images and ideals of what the media says a relationship is. Instead of being able to explore, think, contemplate how things are going. They are pushed to conform to the idea of a relationship. Only presenting the how awesome it is (when maybe it wasn't). When things do go south it's all over social media with memes like these. *sigh* 




Edit: The guy in question is positive we dated more than one time... Ahh how differently we remember our history. 



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Patience

So many people over the years have looked at me and said "Wow you have so much patience. I don't know how you do it."  Want in on my secret?  Most of the time, I'm faking it till I make it. Seriously I'm just faking it. I look like I'm really calm, tolerant, persevering, long suffering... but I'm not Caillou's mom. Nope I just have made a habit of being that way on the outside.  Where as on the inside I could be seething with impatience (I don't have time for).  

I can hear my Mom saying "Andeale Vamonos"  (meaning move hurry) in my head as I wait in line at Starbucks wondering if it is ok to use my Mobile App to order drinks... get out of line and grab the 2 comfy seats in the corner before someone snaps them up.  I find myself timing things. For example it takes 10 minutes to get to ballet practice if I don't catch the 3 lights on my way there, but if I get all the lights it will take me 14 minutes... unless there is a stray car and that one light that is always green goes randomly red because SOMEONE needs to turn left, then it's 16 min. If ballet practice is in 20 minutes do I have enough time to find the socks Tippin stole, get my shoes on and herd these kids out the door? Hey look kids, life is word problems. To sock or not to sock that is the question. 

My sighs are not sighs of forbearance but ones of come on move it! It's just too tiring to be all hepped up on all the teen drama, in fact it's exhausting... so when I'm not "faking" my patience, I'm usually just to tired to bother. I'm in that stage where at 6pm I can and often do fall asleep if I sit down.  But I'm wired for sound at 1 am in the morning? What is up with that bio rhythms? You need to get in line with the sun!
 

How often do we look at a situation and only see the outer shell, the public persona. That person we think we know from Facebook and Instagram.  When in reality the opposite of what we see is what is actually happening.  When that person gets home do they too primal scream in the back yard, and later that day do they too dance in the "Super Moonlight" with their beloved?  I hope they do, because  this election cycle we all need a bit of primal screaming and being someone's beloved. 




Friday, November 11, 2016

Some Thoughts at 2am

So I'm sitting here again watching the hype on Facebook and realizing what a huge wide ranging group of friends I am privileged to know.  They span the globe and span the range of left to right, liberal to moderate to conservative.  I love you guys *hug*

Ya know I'm totally reminded of 1999 right now.

Do y'all remember Y2K... Oh the hype the freak out, the fear... and New years day 2000 ushered in a year of the electrical stations continuing to work and everyone being able to turn their lights on. Yup I'll admit it, I did spend the years 2000-2001 figuring out how I could hide powdered eggs in things to use them up. We also ate lots of rice and beans. Well you know we had to be prepared just in case.  Ok I did freak out, I did worry, and all it got me was a sack full of beans...

I'm sitting here meditating in my small way on Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

All that fear over Y2K for nought, I spent so much emotional energy, time effort for what?  A sack of beans...  My hubby composed a song in 2005 so I'll leave you with it Nothing New Under The Sun it's quite catchy, he even let me be a beatnik poetry reader type in it.
Blessings


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dog Instagram Accounts

Dog Instagram Accounts 

or an exercise in silliness 


So my friend has a Instagram account for her dog I mean seriously Look at that mug!
Photo used with permission of Tosh's Mommy
Follow him at tosh.corgi

How can you not just love that face? She encouraged me to make one for Tippin which I promptly did.  I'm so glad I did. I think it is the most fun you can have as a homeschool mom on social media.  Instead of stressing about how many friends or likes you have. One just can post silliness about puppies. I absolutely love pretending to be a puppy.  Lying on the floor to get a dogs eye view of the world just because I can.  

How amazing it would be if you never were allowed on the couch and managing to sneak up on there. Dogs are always so positive, please note grumpy dog did not go viral. 

The awesome sauce that comes across my screen everyday is encouraging, makes me smile and laugh out loud. How can you not love dogs being dogs. other people pretending to be dogs talking like dogs it's hilarious. You too can experience many "Awwwwwwe" moments as the puppies and baby sloths pose for the camera and fill you feed with love. 

I highly recommend it.   

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

My Love Affair

Meet Tippin
Seriously How can you not just love, love, love this face. 
So back in July my dear sweet hubby said yes to my proposal! It was almost as exciting as his proposal back in college... ha ha ha.  I showed him a site that had links to where there were Old Time Scotch Collie puppies for sale. One lady was near Austin, he called her and she asked us lots of questions and finally agreed to sell us her last male puppy. She said a family friend who wanted him but since he tended to kill goldfish she was hesitant to send him that way. She was planning on breeding him and I can see why.  This dog has the best temperament. He is sweet and smart. I love how much of a family dog he is. Our smallest fluffy butt is bonded to only one person in the house. It takes a full slice of bacon to get him where I need him.  Ransom would rather sit all day every day at my feet leaving the kids feeling a bit left out. Where as Tippin seems to be happy with whom ever he is with.  Happy to chase a frisbee and bring it back once or twice... but after that *squirrel* and he is off to dig in the Zen Garden. At least he is not making holes under the fence right... 

One reason we got him was to be an all around farm dog. Good for laying doodies around the perimeter of the yard to keep away things that prey on chickens, and to discourage flying missiles (hawks) from taking out our free ranging chooks.  He seems to have a feather fetish.  Just a few days ago I noticed all the chickens were in their yard... they can fly over but he can't get in. So I let Tippin out to run around the back yard. He was so good for about 45 minutes... I'd be peeking to make sure he was where he was suppose to be. I looked and saw he had a chicken! He had Mama the one that successfully adopted the chicks we brought home from the store.  EEEk! I walk over, he runs away, because he knows chickens are not for chewing. I give him a few choice nose tweaks and say no eating chickens. I'm worried the chicken is injured. I look and look can't find her. Little miss Sunshine looks. We're looking front/back/side yards. No chicken, "Well she is mobile." I think to myself.  Eventually I spot her hiding in the long grass in of all places the dog run. No one said chickens are smart... this is the 2nd time Tippin has licked her right good. She was one wet hen. She had 1-2 feathers munched on but mainly she was just wet. I checked her wings her legs her neck, no squawking or I'm hurting sounds. She flapped her wings and huffed off after I put her back in the yard.  Today you would never tell she was sat on and licked. She waddled past him as if nothing happened. Not a feather out of place. Go figure. 


This dog has been a joy to my heart, up beat on the most depressing of days and happy, so happy. Give him a kong full of peanut butter and he just expresses contentment. He is smart too, I could see by the twinkle in his eye he stole that sock knowing that if I say drop it, I will give him a nice chewy treat.  He steals one sock just about every day. Were still working on "come here" oh he knows but some times he stands there and thinks.  I have to convince him my treat is better than chasing the toads.... Seriously stop it,  the toad are good for the garden.  Yet this trait of thinking is good. He may one day be out there and have to confront a possum. For example one day last month he just would not come in! No matter what I offered, so I put on my muck boots and went out to get him. When I scared the hawk out of the tree... I then proceeded to herd all the chickens into the covered run and locked them in.  See, good thinking Tippin! 

I love how he sleeps on his back next to the wall, how he jumps up on me when I'm lying down and gives my back a massage. How he desperately wants to get on the couch and cuddle but knows he's not allowed. So he gets all but his back paws on the couch and looks at one mournfully like Oliver asking for "more please."  Such a big baby that is a sweet sweet lover. What can I say I'm smitten. 

If you want to follow him on Instagram his moniker is TippinOTSC. Soon I'll blog about the joys of a dog Instagram account, really its the most fun one can have on social media. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Garden That Didn't Grow.

I had a great talk with a local lady at the Tiny hometown Trunk or Treat event on Saturday.  She was wearing a shirt that said "Farm wives aren't afraid to get their hands dirty."  I commented on how much I loved her shirt and we started chatting.  We discussed chickens, rabbits and gardening. Oh the gardening. She said she had given up because of the back earth... note not black soil. Black soil is good rich soil full of nutrients. Black earth she described to me as having been contaminated with oil.  Make plenty of sense as there is oil in them thar hills to the east of us. I have 2 kinds of soil in my yard. On one side I have soil that is black and holds together like crusty shells and glue that is the black earth. On the other side I could dig, dry and sieve the clay, and make sculptures with it. Neither side is ideal for gardening. The only plots that did well are the boxes out front which I have discovered have heavy duty landscaper paper under them keeping the roots of my plants from coming in contact with my land.

Now armed with this information I do believe I will be digging out my boxes laying landscaper paper down and when necessary starting from scratch. Luckly I have a child with 6 rabbits... anyone want a rabbit??? seriously anyone?? So if the 4H youth informations is right I'm looking at 3 tons of manure per year for my garden beds.  Can you imagine! The great news is rabbit manure requires no composting. It is not a hot manure. Unlike the chicken coop poop that I need to toss in the composter, (when Tippin isn't eating it all) I can have my child clean the rabbit area and just dump it in my garden boxes. 

My dear husband wants to just raise the level of the boxes fill them with rabbit droppings and plant... 
Meanwhile... 
I'm wondering where I can get biocentras (sp?) bacteria that eats oil, eliminates it, and then dies off for want of anything else to eat. One would think natural selection over the entire time this soil has "just been this way" would produce an oil eating bacteria, but my poor yellow stressed out plants showed me this year totally negates that thought process. 

I'm still trying to solve the mystery of who ate my garlic. I planted it, it grew, it started to die back.  I went to harvest and no garlic bulbs just holes in the garden, the soil smelled of garlic I was not imagining things I did plant it it was here... now who or what would steal garlic? 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Peas & Peppers Oh My!

My beans are starting to climb and I planted wheat just to see what it would be like to grow wheat. 

I'm starting to get peppers sweet banana! 

The cherry tomatoes are setting fruit. 

Sadly my lettuce is weak, the carrots did not pop up the kale got eaten... 

My pansy's haven't stopped blooming and the herbs are getting bigger. 

The dill is starting to take off. 

I love how sage grows so well! 

I had a few potato sprouts in my potato bin so I tucked them in the soil. 
Hopefully this cool weather will last a bit longer they are so happy! 

This is Purslane it tastes lovely in salads. and it blooms too!
I was so surprised to see it in a hanging basket. 

the beets I sowed in February are getting leaves and a few carrots here have popped up. 

sadly the peas have gotten powdery mildew. 
It will slow production but the top most parts still have flowers so here is hoping for more peas. 

I was excited to see my fennel is up and making leaves. 
I can't wait for fall and roasted fennel. 

I saw a lonely beet. only one seed popped so far I may have to reseed. 

The cukes, beans and peas have stopped looking as wan and yellow. 
I treated them with alfalfa tea still not sure if it is the excessive rain or not enough nitrogen. 

My first fooled ya JalapeƱo. these are sweet or so they say the proof will be in the eating. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

With Much Sadness





From:  http://child.tcu.edu/karyn/


Oh my heart is breaking Karyn Purvis lost her battle with cancer yesterday. Altho I know she is in heaven I'm sad for our loss here on earth. This woman wisdom has helped me connect with my children in ways I never thought possible. When I no longer "liked" my child (but still loved!) her guidance and advice brought us back together as a family. She was there, up on stage frail and obviously battling cancer last October. People were surprise she just spoke and then retreated without taking questions but I understood cancer is terrible. I thought her so full of passion that she would still speak even if it was unbelievably hard.  I'm grateful for this wise woman who gave me the most counterintuitive advice ever, but it sure worked. She will be greatly missed.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Go Play!

I looked oddly at my daughter, after a year of turmoil and grief she had suddenly taken to play. This my child who lined up toys and yelled at me if I made them talk. The child who slapped my wrist because I play wrongly. Is playing... Yes she is a teen but who cares she's playing!

Earlier in the week she was asking for a sand box, because the big pile of sand left over from the septic system installation is being moved into garden beds. As well as hopefully becoming a Zen Garden for my knight to relax in as he rakes the sand.  I scavenged the yard for previously used wood and with lots of help from my spouse we built a sandbox with seats, even,  Yeah! Less sandy jeans to wash!  It's a nice change from the child that wouldn't let her hands get dirty.

Now here she was in the dollar store asking me if we could buy play dough, and chalk, and bubbles... It's weird.  Easter afternoon I watched her gleefully mix all the colors of the play dough together. Really child??? Ugh you used to do this exact same thing when you were four. She reveled in just mixing it and stopped while it was still in layers of yellow, green, blue and orange. Her sister started to berate her and tell her she will only end up with all gray if she continues. Sweet Potato fired back "It's the way I want it." I intervened and said, "It's not what I would do, but it is her play dough. She can make it gray if she wants too." Inwardly I'm cringing, if it was me I would be making tiny plates of food and people to eat the food. Lets face facts she's not me, she is herself.   Annnnnnd if she wants to mush it all up together, go for it kid.

She spent part of the afternoon writing with chalk on the driveway. Playing with the 7 year old neighbor girl. I know it looks odd, weird, strange even. Some people might say she is in regression. Yet I know Kayrn Purvis would be rejoicing. You see when a child of trauma does this, it is a sign the brain is rewiring itself in healthy ways. Developing the way it should have if she hadn't been abandoned by her birth family, If she hadn't traveled half a world away to find a family of her own.  It is most excellent she is progressing through these modalities of play she never really participated in before. Seeking sensory experiances like play dough and sand is wonderful. It shows she is healing. When I shared these things with our play therapist she rejoiced and said it was time for us to change her therapy plan as my darling daughter had turned a corner. What a beautiful opportunity God gives us to rewire our brain for more healthy thinking, to drive up dopamine and drive down depression. We are so fearfully and wonderfully made, and look at this amazing creation that is our brain that can rewire it's self for happy and healthy.

So much of parenting a child from hard places looks funny to others.  I love the phrase from a support group I was in "The llama in the back yard look." You know that look you get when you are all hanging around the play ground with other moms and you announce "I have a llama in my back yard." yeah that look on your face right now. Often as parents of children from hard places we look like we have a llama in the back yard. Our parenting techniques involve connecting the child to us not sending them to their room. It exhausts us with the high level of nurture and structure we have to include in our day to day life. Creating an environment where our children can have "felt safety" is a daily requirement and challenge. One our life this past year was made nearly impossible for months on end. 

Many parents would be freaking out if their child suddenly took to playing with non age appropriate toys.   Instead I'm over here cheering her on. And I don't care that you are looking at us funny. Go ahead were the family with the llama remember?  In fact I may just go and get a coloring book and sit down next to her and color now. Because I'm sure not playing with that gray clay... she soon will be mixing up. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Will it Grow.

So we have moved onto an acre of land. We were forced to lose some viable gardening space to the new septic system. But we still have plenty of room to plant a lots of veggies.  So after reading up on Miniature farming and looking at different options it looks like a modified square foot method is what we will be pursuing. Apparently I need 700 Sq feet of garden to supply my family with food year round. That is a lot to cultivate. Thank goodness the books I have been reading are saying to ramp up over time. So 300 sq feet this year and 300 next year, meanwhile in the fall I should be planting asparagus and fruit trees.

As for now I have all the boxes built and I have started planting out the seeds I have been growing by the windowsill.
Planted Beans today 

Pepper Plants are popping up 

Radishes and kale and lettuce 

Radishes, and tomatos

Onions, beans, and tomatos

Oregano, rosemary, thyme, and pansies

Rhubarb, lavender, and sage, dill, chives, broccoli (some are small) 

See here is the dill. 

bolted lettuce, radishes, onions, and tomatos

Swiss chard, onion, garlic, carrots, beets, spinach and kale

Beans and cucumbers 

Peas, lettuce, onions, beets, carrots 

Weeds! 

Here are my chickens I love them 

Only this one has a name. We call her Dora as she is always getting out of 
the chicken yard and exploring her world.  

Well we will see how well my garden will grow and how much loss we will experience this year.  

Monday, February 29, 2016

Try & See

37 years ago there was a child sitting in a dining room sighing. She had played with the toys, she had eaten bacon and refried beans in a tortilla for breakfast, She had made works of art with the paints but now she was bored.  That child was me. My grandma looked askance and said "Child you need something to do, come here." I wandered into the living room, with it's china Matador, and Spanish bulls always ready to fight and gave that look.  You know the one your bored kids give you with the tilted head.  

Sit down, take this crochet hook and watch me, my Grandma demonstrated how to make a basic chain stitch. I tried, I failed. She made me unravel it, gently discussing how knowing how to crochet is a useful skill for man or woman.  She nattered on about how she doesn't know the stitches names but she was sure some book could tell me if I was willing to go look it up in the library. As she repeatedly made me pull out my stitches and try again. She just talked to me about how you can make up your own patterns if your just willing to think about it.  

As she let me do a one chain, then a single stitch (very bumpy) made me unravel my work. With a mix of gentleness and sarcasm, she challenged me to try try again.  When she was satisfied she taught me how to do a double stitch, and then a triple.  She covered where to place the stitch, in a loop or in the hole created by the stitch. "See how that changes your pattern?" she asked. She taught me how to keep all my lines on one side. How to skip, how to add a line with out increasing, or decreasing... Next up was adding stitches into a single loop to increase on purpose or make a pretty pattern.  Then how to do it in a circle and how you add rows to things that are round. "How many extra stitches do I add per row when it is round Grandma?" I recall her answer "Oh darling you go figure that out for yourself, it changes as you grow, never be afraid to unravel your work."   

One boring afternoon, turned into a life long skill and a fond memory.  I'm not that good. I still have to translate the secret code of stitches with a cheat sheet guide. Yet rarely do I use patterns. It's way more fun to wing it and see what happens. That sense of "Let us try and see" is still with me. I once set out to make a cap and made a beret instead that was fun. Considering I had tried to follow the beret pattern and gave up on it the month before. Maybe the pattern just needed time to sink in. 

On my birthday I got skeins of yarn from a friend.  I was amazed could I?? after 37 years could I??actually make an afghan? Did I wing it... yup I did. Did I unravel a bunch Yup. I finished it. I cuddled up under it and I was warm. It's so soft and I'm a bit in awe.  It is so big. It is the biggest thing I have ever made.  I of course see my errors but yet I don't think you will even notice. 

What a fine present my friend has given me, the yarn was a means to an end.  On cold winter nights I binge watched Netflix. As the afghan grew, it kept more and more of me warm, and each time I picked it up to work on it; as I placed the first stitches, the memory of my grandmas voice guiding me came to mind and brought a smile to my face. 


Sometimes my heart is heavy. Little Miss Sunshine has learned to crochet, but Sweet Potato thinks it is useless. Often citing how Ron Weasley of Harry Potter fame hated the sweaters his mom made him. Store bought is better, don't cha know.  Why spend so much time on a blanket? When you can buy a nicer one at the store and you don't have to work for it. I shake my head, how do I reach her? How do I get her to understand the value in things crafted by hand? Maybe I never will, or maybe someday she will make something she is proud of. Something she could not buy at the store, something just right for that space. Something she had just as much enjoyment in making it, as she will in using it. Oh child I hope someday you will see the pleasure is as much as in the creation / the journey as in the possessing. 

I leave you with those words of wisdom: "Oh darling you go figure that out for yourself, it changes as you grow, and never be afraid to unravel your work."   

Friday, February 26, 2016

New Life is Blooming in Me.

I looked at my plant. I was so disappointed in it.

Yet again it had made buds and the buds fell off.

Why???  I asked myself is this plant not blooming. My heart was hurting, we were praying about leaving GFA.  Each spring (and sometimes even fall) my orchid would bring me joy and and week upon week of blooms.  My heart sank, I love flowers and this one plant had uplifted my spirit for years. In this household that squeezes each penny till Lincoln screams, fresh flowers just didn't happen very often. The long gloomy spring continued as I asked myself why is this plant not blooming? I reflected on my spiritual life. "It's like me Lord."  I want to bloom but I'm missing something, I felt so stunted.

I bought orchid plant food. I repotted it. The flower stalk started to grow again.  I hoped.  Sadly I was disappointed, the stalk stunted and died right about the time we were leaving the ministry.  My friend took in my plants as my stuff went into storage. My life continued, I learned how deep grief can go. I learned how tragedy grows our spirits, gives us compassion and drives us to our knees in reliance on Him.

I marveled at God's precious grace as he guided us to a new church, to new opportunities to serve him, and new friends that completely "Get Us."  My heart is so tender now, I cry at commercials.  The years of pride in my "We're the only ones doing it right ministry" is sloughing away and God is showing so many amazing people in the previously disparaged american church.  People willing to accept an X-missionary with open arms in such love and grace.  The walls around my heart are breaking down and I feel like the Lord has so much to teach me.  The moments of happiness and contentment I am experiencing is helping me so much. Finding joy in my garden, the animals God has graced our home with, and just being at peace.

All the striving, the push and messaging to save the lost is fading from an urgency to a normalcy. Yes it's important but I no longer feel like I'm supposed to exhaust myself to reach them.  And really I asked myself is striving/suffering/exhausting the right way?

And then I watered my plants.

Did I strive for this blossom? No. I figured the stalk would shrivel and die like every other one had for the past 2 years. I didn't feed it. I didn't exhaust myself for this blossom. I didn't do anything but water it, and once I attached it to the bamboo because hey it might bloom but I doubt it.  First Corinthians chapter 3 talks about watering, planting and who ultimately is responsible for the increase. I'll give you a sneak peek.... It's not us! 
God is the one who makes things grow.   
Each of us has a part, but there is such freedom in knowing I'm not totally responsible for the increase. This chapter has a warning as well, admonishing us to be careful. You can see Paul is chastising us too not get prideful, to be aware of how we build/work for Gods Kingdom.  If we do not build rightly it will get burned up, we still get to be saved whoo hoo! even if our work is full of pride and built with non enduring materials.  

 KP Yohannan stated in so many of his messages to staff (I'm paraphrasing here) "Crowds of people will greet you in heaven saying 'Thank you for sending us missionaries'."  I wonder will there be?  This encouraged MY pride in the work, I wonder how much of my work was built  with straw and how much was built with Grace?  Only Death can revel this mystery, I'm willing to wait! but for now I hope to not labor in vanity or pride and be diligent in doing the work God has set for me. 





Sunday, February 7, 2016

February Gardening

So today was a very productive day for me I wonder if I hit my 10k steps yet... I love Texas because NOW is when I can start to garden.  Yippie!

Unbelievably my Winter garden is still going. I have managed to cover it every frosty night, and the lettuce is happy... The onion sets and that tiny row of radishes were planted in January. I have been so blessed by my garden.  Being able to eat what I'm growing as well as having it produce all winter long yippie I didn't kill it.  Lettuce has always been an elusive plant for me in the Lone Star State. I always plant it too late in the spring. This time the September planting has been producing as a cut and come again all winter.  Happy Happy Happy!
 Last week 6 new babies came to roost under our roof. So far only one of these chickies has a name.  The one on the wooden board is called Queenie because she is always at the top of the brooder surveying all she can see. If I find a cricket she snaps it up and runs allover the place trying to eat it all by herself. She is of course chased by all the other chicks.  Today I was holding her and a cricket crawled up my pant leg. He had no chance once she saw it she pounced and almost got away from me.  I don't know why but she is my favorite.
Here I have started my peppers and tomatoes I bought a bunch of heirloom seed samples I can't wait to see if they grow.  Every other year I have tried, I have failed. This year I plan on having a huge garden and My friend CM is going to come play and grow with me. I figure if I actually plant more than 2 plants I might succeed with a few.  I figure if I start getting horn worms I'll run the chickens in the tomato patch, or eew gross pick them off and feed them to the chickens.

 I got a head start on beets and carrots. we will see if these seeds germinate.  I have orange and yellow carrots and those beets that are striped inside. My swiss chard is also still happy I keep cutting it back and I keep getting new growth. The garden is such a peaceful place for me. It grounds me, calms me, frees me. There is something so inherently beautiful in planting, watering, and harvesting. Eating the product of your garden, it tastes better because you knew all the steps that brought about your harvest. All the failures that went before, the tomatoes eaten overnight by rats, the leaves devastated by horn worms in previous years are forgotten in the moment of harvest. Each year is unique you never know what will grow well or what will fail... with the exception of cherry tomatoes which always grow in profusion and in the worse  year manage to produce tiny red globes of deliciousness.  I still remember convincing a child who hated tomatoes. She had never had anything but hot house tomatoes. I gave her Yellow Russian Pear tomatoes, she loved them.  Tomatoes from the garden taste so much better than anything from the store.

Years ago I house sat for a friend in the 90's. I found a pile of Iris's in the North corner of the lot. They were in a dark place and did not bloom.  My friend said they never had bloomed for her.  Can you picture the bemused look on my face? They were in the wrong place. I dug them up and moved them to the south side along the drive way. As I dug I found rhizome after rhizome.  They bloomed like mad the following year.   I split them and took them with me to my house in Rochester. I shared them with my neighbors and I had to leave them behind when I moved to Texas.

Today I found a patch of Iris's on our property stuck in a back corner. I dug them up and moved them. Now they are in a bright sunny spot where they can brighten my life as well as those passing by. Hopefully they will bloom this year.  I was having flashbacks to the 90's and being happy it is as if God is restoring the things I lost when I moved to Texas to serve him. God is good.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Letting Go

How can I hold on to this pain, this relationship gone awry.
How can we both be the same, yet be so far apart.
In the land of he said, and she said, and lies and deceit.
How do I live?

As the gulf grows between us my grief fills the gully.
I wonder will you be like the prodigal son?
Shall I wait out your disgust, your distain, your deceit?
Accused of being a Judas, by a lie... a machiavellian defeat.

Where oh where can I find a cure for this pain.
I wonder are you the thorn in my hand?
Like MacDonalds' Lilith holding on to pain?                       I should let go.
The laughter, the joy, the sorrow, the suffering we all shared.
Is not strong enough to bind us when we are scared.

Shunned
By the child,
                  the father,
                                  the mother,
                                                    the friend.
It hurts.

         It Is Meant To Hurt.      

I understand.

Like a child I run to my Fathers arms.
He pats my hand and tells me to free it.

Free it in Love.
               in Pain.
                   in Joy.
                       in Grief.

                                               Free yourself.                
Let It Go.

I am your Yahweh Rapha
All the pieces jumbled and littering the floor.
I see the the whole brokenness.
Restoration and healing are mine.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Do Homeschool's Give Detention?

So getting back into the swing of things after the winter break, did not go as well as one could hope.  We have been focusing on independence for Sweet Potato, otherwise know as "Lets all get Mom to stop being a nag."

Some things that were suggested but due to distractibility and what I call the "Ho Hum Factor" we have tried that before and it flopped in motivating her.  Let her do one subject then get a mini reward such as drawing a picture or candy...

Why this doesn't work for my kiddo...
If you stop her she looses traction. She doesn't like to draw and she doesn't like most candy.

Let her have a 15 min break every 45 minutes (like Finland!) This was a flop.  She took 15 minutes to get into her work and within 15 minutes was asking when the next break was.  Sadly this worked out as 30 min of work then 15 min of distracted non work 15 min of play, 15 min to settle down into her work, repeat. Epic Fail... sorry Finland.

An event scheduled later in the day: This was 50-50 in success but tiring for mom.  It also backfired into us having to get ready for an event and her not being done, thus making us all late. *Fume*

One thing that worked wonders is telling her she could go to Macy's and spend her gift card. Wow that motivated her in a major way she was done and done well by 1pm that day. Both her therapist and I decided 1. This was not cost effective. & 2. Not a good plan, ever!

So you ask have I found something that works?  Well I think so, it maybe too soon to declare it a winner, but I have great hopes. I sat her down and talked about her need to do her work well, be on time for school and not be late. We are talking 9 am here, In PJ's is fine, but she needs to have all her medical stuff done, she needs to have eaten, and finished self care by "School Start." I took the approach that if this were her job she would get fired.  Of course she took this opportunity to point out, in her world that wasn't a bad thing. Fired From School Wooot!!! Can I have Instagram now and the keys to the car too???  Back tracking I told her getting fired from school was unacceptable.  If she is on time and does all her check listed items she gets "jewels." (Dollar store). When she has 30 jewels she can spend up to 3$ on an app or buy a song on her iPod.

I continued with: If this was a public school you would be tardy, and unexcused tardiness gets you dentation and "No, playing with the dogs for an hour is not an acceptable excuse."  In fact there really is no excuse other than sickness, you live and work here. You can present yourself ready at the proper time if you choose to, the choice is up to you.  Oh and how ever long you are late, is how long the detention is, It is all in your hands my dear. During detention you will write lines, but not with Professor Umbrage's quill that would be cruel.

Day 1 Late
Day 2 Late
Day 3 On time barely because Mom broke the rules and rousted her out of bed *Bad Mommy*
Day 4 Late
We are not talking 5 min late some days she was 1 and a half hours late. It was amazing the dawdling she could come up with.

I thought this is not really getting the job done. Conferring with the principal brought about a brain wave... the mindset of our parents, what would have happened to me if I got detention in high school?  Oh wait I did get detention in High School... ONCE... my dad was the Vice Principal at the time, I toed the line in and out of school or there were pretty sever consequences. It was not an act I wished to repeat... EVER.  It wasn't worth the risk. Now after 1 detention (for being disrespectful to a teacher) I got grounded at home. Just once... here this child has been in detention 3 times...  So she got grounded for being in detention 3 times.  It was not fun.  While she was grounded, she had to do school work. No sitting around in your room alone. *nope* (She got one and a half school day's finished!)

Day 5 On time

The next week (Day 6) she was late AGAIN! not so badly but still late. I was PMS'ing I hit the roof. Mom doesn't want to nag I don't want to loose it, I don't want to be angry every morning, it's not peaceful.  It hit me I was having her write the wrong things. I changed what she had to write about being late. It is not respectful to be late. I will treat my teacher and school with respect. When I turned it around and asked her if when she went to public school if she would have been late 4 times? She said NO!

OH wait I sent her in once without an excuse (yup you guessed it dawdling) she got lunch detention and never ever did that again.  So why did she "hurry up" for school??? because she didn't want to let her teacher down.  Can you picture me rolling my eyes... So How bout now? How bout we try this?

New lines about respect and pointing out as parents we still will give consequences for "school" misbehavior. Grandma would never have put up with a kid that got multiple detentions. Nope not happening. Not tolerated, you want a life? You do your "job" of school or your life gets uncomfortable real fast. So you were late again, guess what school gives you detention and Mom and Dad give you extra chores that eat into your iPod time.
Oh and we have decided the iPod is not healthy so it's now limited to 4pm-8pm.
Day 7-11 On time sometimes she's early and has already started. 
*boing* *boing* *smash*
That's my eyeballs falling out and my jaw dropping in shock.

Today she counted out her jewels and bought a song her sister also wanted. Since we have family sharing, her sister also got to download it. This is so unusual and awesome! Sweet Potato choose a song she knew they both wanted. *Win Win*