Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Magic

 
I see this family of deer pretty regularly. They hang out along this trail that I often walk. The first time I came upon them they took off running. They did that for a while. Eventually they just kinda treated me like the unpopular kid and allowed me to be near, but walked away like,"Oh, it's just her again. She tries too hard."

Then last night I came around a curve in the path and there they were. Their heads popped up from the soft green grasses they were nosing and their bodies tensed, ready to bolt. They looked at me and then went back to eating. I froze. I watched. I drew closer. They just kept on eating. 

Of course I have seen that infamous video of a deer attacking a hunter and I really didn't want to push my luck, they are wild animals. I don't want to encourage them to be comfortable around humans, or well any other human, I reeeeeaaaaally want them to like me. So I didn't push it. I stood there watching them for some time. 

I stopped taking photos after this one as I didn't want to scare them with my motion. One of them walked to within maybe five feet of me. I desperately wanted to approach and pet its velvety snout, but I restrained myself. Eventually I just slowly passed by as they watched me with little interest before returning to their dinner.

It was just magic.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Parenting is Hard!

 
Some days parenthood is extra challenging! It can feel like everything we try fails, like bad moods are contagious, that phases will never end, that we are somehow doing exactly the wrong things. Other days are so easy and magical that I can hardly even remember what a difficult day is like. Most days are a mixture of the two extremes.

Yesterday was a challenging day as a parent. There were some really fun moments, but there were also a few hard moments for Eric and I to weigh in on. How do we best help or children to grow? Are we helping them to be independent or are we pushing too hard? Are we doing it right? What is the best response to a given situation? Should we be consistent or is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome insane?! 

If you are a parent...or probably just a human with human relationships...you know what I am talking about. 

There is really no right answer. Well I guess there is, just to love...and we have no shortage of that.  We have no end to love or forgiveness and that is what we want our girls to know, that no matter what challenges they face or present that we will be here trying our hardest to figure things out.

So last night as I checked on each sleeping girl one last time before I went to bed I allowed myself a little break. I listened to their even breathing. I looked at their smalls forms under heavy blankets made by loved ones. I heard the hum of the heater keeping them warm. They are ok, they are gonna be ok. We are doing it to the best of our ability and I let it go. 


Monday, May 22, 2017

I Can Almost Taste It!

Ick! Isn't that a creepy thing to say? "I can almost taste it." I mean, I don't really want to taste most things unless they are vegan and garlicky or chocolate. Anyway, what I meant by that title is that I am so close to a sort of break. We are wrapping up homeschool! Elise is at the end of preschool. Homeschool science and art classes are almost done. The classes that I taught at the college are done for the summer (with the exception of the student who texted me about a grade at 12:35am this morning) and I am just tying up a few loose ends.

I am sooooo so so so ready for a break! Of course there is no real break, but my time will be more flexible and I won't have to drive people everywhere all day long. Seriously, you have no clue how much I drive on a given day. 

Today though, I was up before the sun. I answered my students' midnight text with a 6am reply (a little passive aggressive I will admit) and did some follow up work on her concerns. I worked on a drawing. I made dough and then pizza for Elise and Cordelia as the preschool is having track and field day with a pizza party. Since they aren't providing vegan pizza I set to work early. I made breakfast and packed a lunch for Eric and shuttled people to their different locations. Then homeschool, Cordelia is working on her math while I am here writing this blog post. It isn't even ten in the morning and my day is already buzzing along.

I am not complaining, it is crazy and busy, but it is also a gift. I am thankful that I get to be present in the lives of my children. I am thankful that I have the health and energy to keep on top (more or less) of these things. I am also very thankful that I have a break coming! 

In a week or so we will be onto a much slower pace and that will be so welcome! Playing with the kids and gardening in the days and working on art shows and commissions in the evenings. And now we are off to track and field day! 

 
Photo of my girls reading to each other!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Quote: Forgive

 
Forgive yourself for your faults and mistakes and move on.
-Les Brown

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Atomic Betty Sprinkles vs. Eric

Betty Sprinkles loves to be super cozy. She is also pretty weird. If you ask me what it is about her that is weird it is kinda difficult to define. She's sweet, she's loyal, she likes to be comfy, she's weird. Betty doesn't really engage in normal dog behaviors. Sometimes when I take her for a walk she will abruptly stop walking, lay down, and refuse to walk anymore. When she stays at my parents' house she will sometimes just sit in their yard and stare blankly at them when they call her to come in. She mostly just follows me around the house and happily lays near me as I work on one thing or another. Sometimes she will decide to be scared and do a low gruffly bark at people with whom she has no problem. When I write this it sounds like dominance issues, but she is also weirdly submissive and will roll if you even give her the stink eye. She is on the bottom of the heirarchy, even after the cats who will often steal her spot.

We love her in spite of her strangeness. There is one area of her strangeness that really irks Eric to no end. Betty is not allowed on furniture, the dogs have cozy orthopedic beds. Anyway, Betty is dead set on sleeping in whatever location looks the most comfortable to her at a given moment. She is sneaky about it too! She will quietly peer around corners, waiting for us (really just Eric)  to let down our guard. Then she will tip toe, basset style, onto a bed or the couch and fall asleep, or maybe fake it, in record time. If you scold her or try and command her down she feigns hearing loss. If you try to force her off she will give full dead weight. Or sometimes she will go from eyes closed to a full run out of the room. It's weird. She's weird.

Eric tries to make sense of her behavior, to train her. I watch their battle with bemused indifference. Eric trying to train the untrainable, and not very bright, Betty. The obstinate basset standing her ground.

 
This morning she took shelter in the overturned tent in which the girls had been playing. That is her look, the one that shows she is determined to be there, that she will give full dead weight if you try and move her.

Anyway, there will be no resolution, this is just how things are...

Friday, May 19, 2017

Phone Photo Friday: 5. 19. 17

Hello and happy Friday!

 
Last Friday we took an awesome all lady mini-vacation and went to visit family.

We hung out at my grandma's house. My mom prepared a vegan meal!

 
 There were a great many snuggles.

 
There was pool time.

 
And sisters galore.

 
And more snuggles.

 
It was a fun trip!

 
Sunday we had a Mother's Day picnic before I went home and worked for a few hours.

 
Monday was the preschool's annual Teddy Bear Picnic. Cordelia brought her dog Fluff and Elise brought Iceberg.

 
Cordelia.

 
Ha ha ha!

 
Chair ride while they visit my dad at work.

 
Daily drawing.

 
Sewing with her grandma.

 
Daily drawing.

Hope you are well and happy Friday.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Grandma School

This morning Cordelia is sewing with my mother. Just another gift of homeschool.
 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Squirrel

Sunday afternoon we had a Mother's Day picnic at the park. All was fine...until the squirrel approached.

 

It was one of those squirrels that is living like a queen or king on leftover picnic food and human handouts. These are the type of squirrels that make me nervous...no fear of humans. They enter a space like they are pop stars, assuming we all care about them, and if we ignore them they just amp things up. Basically it is like being terrorized by a very small and nimble homicidal maniac. 

What should one do?! Run away? 

Look. I did the wrong thing. I panicked and threw food at it, hoping it would grab-n-go. Instead it stuffed its face and brazenly drew nearer. Asking for, no, demanding, more food. Food or our blood. I could tell, the squirrel was threatening us. Black eyes staring into the corners of our minds, seeing our darkest squirrel shaped nightmares.

Now, I am not sure if this is clear, squirrels scare me a lot. I am torn about them. I love all animals and I want them to be happy, but like on a special squirrel planet a million light years away (oh that is the stuff of nightmares). Anyway, log story short,  squirrels really freak me out!

 
Ugh. Then my dad did this! I died. Too much! Dead. 

The end.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Growth

I have been filled with garden joy lately. Since I have teo covered beds I started growing a bit earlier this year and things are really happening. I am not actually sure how much a covered bed will protect my babies, but so far so good! 

 
For my birthday Eric bought me an arbor. I had previously made arch out of three giant sticks and twine that had miraculously lasted for three years before falling victim to a windstorm. Instead of replacing with another shoddy stick arbor Eric purchased a metal beauty around which I planted some clematis. Eventually the plants will grow to cover the whole arbor. It is gonna be amazing. For now the baby clematis on either side is really growing, only about three feet high now.

 
I already have some basil growing, but it is still in need of tender care on especially cold nights. 

 
A friend also recently offered seeds for giant sunflowers. I took a bunch and now I have it all over. I think giant sunflowers are crazy beautiful and amazing! I can't want to see them grow taller than me!
 
 

 

 

All of these babies are growing like crazy in the covered beds.

 
I am so happy to spend a little time in the yard each day, marveling at nature and working to grow things for us to eat or just a feast for the eyes.

 
I hope your growing season if off to a beautiful start.

 
I also really hope this forecast is wrong. No more snow.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Road Trip

Friday afternoon my mother got of from work early. We piled into my vehicle: my mom, Cordelia, Elise, and me at the wheel. We drove to the town in which my grandma, aunt, great aunt live. We have other family there too, but this is who we visited over the weekend. 

 
Pit stop at a pond in a very small Wyoming town.

 
We threw some rocks and then it was off to our hotel.

 
After checking in we went for a swim. The girls HAD to swim immediately.

 

 

 
Next it was dinner with my grandma and aunt.

 
Then off to bed.


 
 The next morning after more swimming and breakfast it was back over to see my aunt Tina and grandma Grace. We were also joined by my great aunt Michelle.

 
Since I don't have a sister I took the photo of all of the other sisters.

 
My mom and her sister.

 
We went out to lunch and did a little thrifting before heading home.

 
Hugging their great aunt Tina goodbye.

It was a short and sweet trip! Fun was had on the ladies only weekend!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Quote: Always the Beginning

 

 
 

A mother's love is always the beginning.
-Amy Tan

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Road Trip

On a road trip! Update soon! 

 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Phone Photo Friday: 5.12.17

Hey-oh! Friday!

 
Last Friday was the annual child well-check exam. Both girls are thriving and healthy, but they didn't inherit my tall genes; they are going to be petite like the women on Eric's side of the family. 

 
Waiting for the doctor. He said that he is happy any time he sees kids who aren't obese. I guess he sees a lot of that these days. That made me happy for girls, but so sad for unhealthy kids. Anyway, we have two healthy vegan girls. Elise got three shots, her kindergarten shots (???!!!!), and took them like a champ with no tears. She just needed a snuggle afterwards.

 
Studio time with my hubby! Our evenings often unfold in the studio.

 

 
One more time, the mud pit shots.

 
Elise and mud.

Muddy Cordelia.

 
Vegan breakfast of mini-muffin omelette (made with chickpea flour), hash browns, cantaloupe.

 
Walrus drawing.

 
Eric and Cordelia at the park.

 
More vegan food. BBQ seitan (homemade seitan and sauce) with broccoli and rice.

 
Daily drawing.

 
Daily drawing.

 
Elise, being Elise.

 
The girls and I walked to three parks in one afternoon.

 
Sweet girl is getting so big. She often will ask me if she seems more mature.

 
Hey!

 
We have had absolutely perfect and beautiful weather this week!

 
Ignore my filthy window. I was creeping on these sweet sisters as they were eating and giggling in the hammock.

 
Evening walk.

 
Daily drawing.

 
Vegan sandwich.

 
Spontaneous haircuts!

 
For a couple of years we have been fixing the mullet that Elise was given by the worst hairdresser in the world. I think yesterday we have officially left the last traces of mullet on the salon floor.

 
Ahh! If you see my girls just act surprised about their hair and pretend I never spilled the beans here on the blog. 

 
My sweet girls. They are getting so big!

 
Happy Friday!
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