Thursday, May 31, 2007

Picture of the Day #8

Busy day

Well, we have a busy day planned today. First off, I was up at 3 am, to make sure the Papa Dude woke up, and said goodbye to him. Crawled back into bed for a couple three hours, and now I am back up- way earlier than my body wants to be.

Today we head over to the east side of the lake. First stop is Gramma's house. The kids will stay there and do a bit of school while I take her to the Dr.'s for a blood draw. Then we will visit for a bit. We will stop by the B. family's house and feed/water their chickens, and gather eggs. Then I stop in at Crissy's to pick up the banner.

We will get lunch somewhere, then head to Unity of Bellevue, where Piano Girl and her piano teacher will have a lesson- one last run through before Sat. While they are busy, the Fine Young Man and I will get to look after her little son, Abe, and also deliver some eggs.

Then we head back over to our neck of the woods, and I have to get the strawberies and peppers planted in their pots. I also have 15 fabric postcards I need to make before Monday (which I haven't started yet, sigh.) and also get some more school in.

Busy day. I do have a picture to post for today too. I have to go use the FYM's computer for that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So what did you two do in school today?

About Picture of the day #7

So Dy and Pamela want more info on the motorcycle picture.
The beautiful man holding the bike up is Mr. R. He is one of the Dude's new co-workers. He is a delightful man who loves to ride. He was at our house at the beginning of May, and offered to take me for a ride.

I hadn't been on a bike since before Piano Girl was born. If I did one of those "7 things you don't know about me meme's", #1 would be that I absolutely love being on the back of a motorcycle. When I was young and dating, that was one of my first questions when seeing if I wanted to go out with someone..... "Do ya' have a bike?"

Of course, now that I am grownup and have kids, I rarely get the chance, but when I do, man, I am so in heaven!! I swear, I am so not the person I used to be. She is hiding in here, but deep.

I was thinking just Monday, how different my life would be if I hadn't had children. I am glad I did, and I am also glad I had a bit of time before I did, to be a bit wild. Sometimes I miss the chick who wore leather and loved dudes with Harleys. Not too often, but sometimes. Now she just shaves her head and works in the studio.

So there you have it. Why LB is wearing her Dude's leather jacket, sitting on the back of a stranger's bike, with a sh*t-eating grin on her face.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Piano Girl Update

Just FYI, there is a new post up over at Piano Girl. There are only 4 days left until the concert evdent of the season! If you live near us, I hope you join us. If not, there are a couple of ways to help. GO check it out if you haven't been there in a while. We thank you for your support.

Now back to your regular blog posts.

Picture of the day #7

Who they are talking about when they use the phrase, "Motorcycle Mama"

Garden update

Well, after reading about everything that KathyJo and Ernie are up to on their new farm, I started feeling bad that I haven't got my garden in yet, so I really focused on that this weekend.

We had our garden party last weekend, and came home with tons of plant starts that needed to get into the ground. Got a bunch in this weekend.

In the ground now are large and small pumpkins, green zucchini, pattypan and yellow squash, green and lemon cukes, watermelon, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, eggplant, chard, and a few basil plants.

We only got in about 30 toms instead of the 45 or so we had last year. This year we are focusing on the squashes- should have tons of those! I am hoping the melons grow this year. I had only one watermelon last year- it only got as big as a softball, and never ripened.

Going into pots tomorrow are strawberries and peppers. Also need to plant the celery and cantelope starts.

Still need to get in beans, greens (lettuces and spinich), radishes, carrots, and beets. All the beds are worked up, though they need some horse doo asap.

I could have easily killed and had for supper one of the Girl's chickens. She has been getting out of the run and sleeping under my blueberry bushes. I would not mind this, but she ate all the tender little white flowers off 2 of the bushes. Now, the deal is, I haven't had to share my blueberries with anyone in my family- they all know how much I love them, and the bushes are always my birthday presents. So to have her dingbat bird eat the flowers off was just untolerable. Good thing I don't have a gun, because I just might have used it on this bird!

We have baby plums this year, and my baby fig tree has 13 figs on it!!! This is the first year it has given me fruit! I love figs as much as blueberries, so this is very exciting.

I have seen a few baby pears, but not as many as I was hoping for.

Tons to do in the garden, but thought I would give a bit of an update as to what is done.

Anna Quindlen article

Funny how the universe works. Everything is so interconnected.

My Fine Young Man and I were playing with PianoGirl's music teacher's son (let's call him Abe) this morning. He is 21 months old, and in the year I have known him has really grown- he has learned to walk, to talk, to play, and interact. Today we were joyfully playing "I'm gonna git you", the FYM and I taking turns, one of us running after Abe, the other "protecting" him from the one doing the chasing. We had a hilarious time, and I was struck by the memory of playing this game with the FYM and then with his sister. My how my kids have grown! How amazing they are! My 15 yr old boy, scooping the baby up and planting kisses all over his face, was once my baby.

Then when we got home, I hit the computer, and was visiting my usual blogs, when I found this, over at Frieda's blog. Thought you might enjoy it. As Dy would say, "Kiss those babies." They don't stay babies forever.

Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author:
All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach, T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, have all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.

What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far a long, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.

I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China . Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, "Remember-When- Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, "What did you get wrong?". (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking? But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less. Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be.

The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The long awaited wedding meme from the gal who didn't have a wedding

OK, I promised that I would do this meme on our anniversary, which is today. Not sure how it will work, to answer a wedding meme when we didn't have one, but I will do my best! You may want to get a cup of coffee or tea- this could take a while!

1. Where/How did you meet?
We met in 1986. I had just started a new job at an immunodiagnostics lab- we made cells and supplies for path labs, and shipped them out every week. I was in the lunchroom, filling out my W-2 forms, when in walked the most beautiful man I had ever seen. He was wearing a white lab coat, jeans, and a flannel shirt. He had piercing blue eyes, and long hair pulled into a ponytail. He sauntered up to me, looked at what I was doing, and told me I should claim x many deductions. He then poured himself a cup of coffee, and sauntered back out of the lunchroom. I said nothing out loud, but thought to myself, "Who the hell was that nosey, beautiful man?"

2. How long have you known each other? Almost exactly 21 years to the day.

3. How long after you met did you start dating? I will try to make a long sordid story much shorter than it is: We didn't really date- we worked together for about 2 years. He was married when I met him, and I became good friends with his wife, too. We ate lunch together, and I played softball with he and his wife, etc. We often worked in the same lab, so we got to know each other well.

Then, after 2 yrs of working at the lab, I decided to travel to Europe. I stayed with not-yet dh and his wife before and after my Europe trip. Shortly after I got home, 2 things happened- I started having seizures, and his wife left him for someone else. Not-yet dh and I became platonic roommates for the next two years. During this time, I supported him as he worked on emotional healing, and he supported me as I worked on physical healing. I was also dating. It is wierd now, that dh knows all of my dating past. During this time, I fell so madly, deeply in love with him, but didn't think anything was ever going to happen between us.
I was dating a guy whom I knew was my second choice, but I was trying to make it work with him. It was a long-distance relationship, and he was not supportive or helpful when it came to my health problems. I broke it off with him, and decided I was never going to be happily married to anyone.

4. How long did you date before you were engaged? After being platonic roommates for 2 years, not-yet-dh and I became not-platonic, but he was still scared of commitment and love. In May 1991, he went on a month-long trip to see his 9 siblings in Southern Cal. While he was gone, a very nice man asked me to go out. He was VERY interested in me. To be completely honest, although this man was very kind and handsome (and rode a motorcycle), I knew I was never going to love him, as my heart was already taken with not-yet-dh. But when he asked me out, I said yes, just to make N-Y-DH jealous. Luckily, it worked. When N-Y-DH called home to check in and heard I had a date, he asked if I was going. I asked him if there was a reason I shouldn't go out with this nice man, who was obviously taken with me and not afraid to show it. There was silence on the phone line. I went out, and only had an ok time. My heart really belonged to N-Y-Dh.

5. How long was your engagement? After going out with this man twice, it was very apparent that he was serious about me, and wanted a relationship. I didn't go out with him again, not wanting to lead him on, but didn't tell N-Y-DH. I decided to be brave and be true to my heart. When N-Y-DH came home from his trip, I met him at the door with a piece of paper on which I had written 2 pages of what I now refer to as my vows to him. He burst in the door, insisting on talking first, and started shoving a piece of paper at me.

Turns out, most of dh's brothers and sisters are on their 2nd (one on her 3rd) marriages, and have children, and are very happily married. They showed him he could have a happy life after a divorce, and made him realize how much he wanted me (I still say knowing someone else was bringing me roses and telling me how beautiful I was helped a great deal here.) to share his life.

6. How long have you been married? Right then and there, we exchanged vows, and pledged our love. It only took me 5 years to marry him! 16 years today.

7. What is your anniversary? It was May 28th. We got pregnant that very night, lost that one, and were pregnant again at 3 months together. In hind sight, I probably would not have done it this way, but this is what happens when you are a "fertile Myrtle" like I am.

8. How many people came to your wedding reception? We didn't have a wedding- were never even going to actually get married, but did get legally married when I was 7 months along with the Fine Young Man. The health insurance we had at the time was going to demand a heel poke of the baby to prove paternity every time we made a claim (sucky insurance!!), so we found a justice of the peace, and he came to my mom's house. My best friend from high school, her husband, her mother (who was like a mom to me), our future kids' Godparents, and my mom were our witnesses, and the two of us, stood in my mom's dining room for the "ceremony".
When the J-O-T-P asked us if we had vows to say, I basically ran off some of the ones I had written down, and then when he turned to dh, he said, "Ditto." We still say that today when one of us says I love you.

We don't celebrate this day as our wedding day, but I do remember it was sometime in February.

9. What kind of cake did you serve? No cake, but it would most likely have been white, with coconut. And fresh flowers dripping down and around it. In other words, this is what it will be if we get our anniversary party some day.

10. Where was your wedding? Exchange of vows took place in the 16 X 20 ft A-frame log cabin we were living in at the time. Pseudo wedding at my mom's house.

11. What did you serve for your meal? No meals.

12. How many people were in your wedding party? See # 8.

13. Are you still friends with them all? Yup. Love them, love them, love them.

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony? Nope.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day? Honestly? Just knowing that all my patience with this man, not pushing, etc. had paid off. At one point, I thought I was going to have to settle, or to never be married, and then to have him decide he wanted me, was so wonderful.

16. Any funny moments? Just both of us standing there, in the doorway, trying to talk at the same time, and get the other to listen to us declaring our love.

17. Any big disasters? Although I guess (honestly, I am not sure it would ever have mattered- we have always been committed to each other) I am glad we ultimately got legally married, it really made me mad that we had to- I felt forced into it with the whole insurance thing.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Just before we did the legal wedding thing, we went to Port Townsend, and stayed at this beautiful B & B, where they had a tower room, "dripping with lace" as the brochure stated, and there was a big clawfoot bathtub in the room. It stormed and was beautiful to watch from the tower. THere were these cute teddy bears and teddy mooses on all of the beds, and dh bought me one. The Fine Young Man still has Randy (for dh thought he was a randy-looking fella of a bear) on his bed.

19. How long were you gone? A weekend.

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? Well, we were really too poor to have a wedding, even if we had wanted to. What I want to do, is at 20 years, have a huge anniversary party, and do it up right. An off-white (I look sick in pure white) simple dress, lots of dancing, and 400 guests.
21. What side of the bed do you sleep on? THe right side, due to neck injuries, I have to sleep on this side, and that way, I can still spoon with dh.

22. What size is your bed? Queen. Dh has been saving these gorgeous redwood planks, and someday will make me a king-size 4 poster bed. Someday.

23. Greatest strength as a couple? Humour and devotion. We have been through some tough stuff, but we are committed.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple? Starting right off with kids was hard. Making time for the two of us, and making our relationship important has been hard in the past, but I notice the more we do this, the closer and stronger we are together.

25. Who literally pays the bills? As Jess said, "Whoever gets the cut-off notice! haha." This has been an issue in the past, but at the moment, we are both working together on them, and that makes it easier.

26. What is your song? Don't have one. There are many songs we both love, and when we have our huge anniversary party, I am going to play them all!

27. What did you dance your first dance to? n/a

28. Describe your wedding dress: When we met with the J-O-T-P, I was wearing black (maternity) slacks, my teal silk shirt (still have it, don't fit it), and a floral blazer, which didn't button over my little baby belly.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? n/a, but they would have been roses, probably the Peace variety.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? We didn't have rings (always had the story we couldn't afford them and didn't care anyhow) until our 8th anniversary. Dh surprised me with a beautiful ring- Celtic designed 4 strand unbroken braid to represent the four of us. Not describing it well. I found the site, but couldn't find our rings, but you can get the basic idea from looking here.

31. How old were you when you got married?
I had just turned 26, and dh was 36, almost 37.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Aaacckkk! I am here, guys. I am alive, but I have been busy. We have had illnesses ranging from the vomity flu to lice, to the cold that will never end (is that you, Pleghm?). We are also at one week till the benefit recital, my husband has been traveling, the kids have been being teenagers, and my mom has been my mom.

I am hoping to post the wedding meme for Dy and everyone, as Monday is our 16 anniversary, and I have over 200 pictures to download and post.

I will try to be better here, but who was it, oh yeah. Amy told me she always knows when I am busy living my life because I don't blog about it. 'Bout says it all.


Friday, May 04, 2007


Mornings. My favorite time. not.

It is 8:12, here in the lush Pacific Northwest.
One kid (and her waist-length hair) is in the shower, taking water away from the fishies. The other kid has been getting out of bed when an adult walks into the room, and then crawling back into bed for the last 20 minutes. He is now in his pajamas, scooping out the litter, with a scowl and an attitude.
And me? Well, I would love to still be dozing in my bed, half-listening to NPR, with a sketchbook, and a pencil, and a pot of plain green tea which I didn't brew sitting on the table near the window.
Gotta run- the 15 yr old just finished the litter and is back in his room, and I gotta go save some water for the fishies.

On to my morning. The one I am living right now.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pecan Delite Surprise

Hey Dy,
Since you posted your yummy sounding recipe, I will post mine. It is even more vague than yours.

It came from the food bank, and at one point had a piece of paper with a recipe on it near the bag of ingredients. They include crust, filling and pecans. I added coconut milk to the crust ingredients, and put them into the oven. While that was cooking I cooked down two big granny smilth apples, then mixed them with cinnamon.
Then I opened the filling bag. Sugary caramelly yummy stuff. I added the creamy part of the coconut milk.
After about 10 minutes, I pulled the pan out of the oven, poured the apples on top of the crust, and the caramel filling on top of the apples. Then I cut open the bag marked pecans, and poured them onto the filling.
Cooked about 25 minutes. I just pulled it out. THe caramel apple part reall did brown up nice, and the dough part cooked up and through it, kinda like a puff pastry.
I served it with the fatty part of coconut milk, whisked with caramel syrup (the clear kind you put in coffees). It is as close to whipped cream we get around here.
The kids are still dong math, and starting to collapse around me. I may actually turn to tube on, or read to them.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tidbit #11, Girl humour and Boy Birthday

The Piano Girl/Young Miss was scrambling eggs this morning, but got caught up with chatting instead. I came over and reminded her to stir the eggs, so they didn't become rubber. They turned out yummy perfect. The Fine Young Man asked her recipe. The PG/YM replied, "Salt, pepper, and a tich of negligence." Good one!

We're on our own, the Dude just left for Nevada? I think it's Navada for a company wide meeting. Work continues to be a challenge for him, but is providing the opportunity for all four of us to have breakthroughs in the area of family community. He is committed to having this business be a success, and is working hard. I am so proud to have him be my Dude.

We spent the whole weekend celebrating with our FYM his fifteenth birthday. Lots of good stuff there, and three whole days in a row with Papa Dude.

The kids and I have recommitted ourselves to the Green Dragon Academy. As it stands, I am finding it hard to fit it all in, and I would rather just be dedicated to my life's work. I am also being an enthusiastic teacher, and bringing that to my school.

I have discovered I feel calm and feel loving when I get time in the studio daily. Luckily for me, the kids' window cubbies are in the other part of the basement, so I can monitor independant study time ( I live for the day when it does not have to be monitored, and is done joyfully.) and make art at the same time. I make myself available, and have a couple of chairs pulled up to the woodstove for impromtu tutoring sessions.

I have been working in the studio, but haven't taken pictures. I want to be there more. I need to take pics, and let you see what I have been doing. It really is my happy place.

I have pictures from three different nature study fieldtrips I have yet to load up and show you!

I am leading my Classical Ed group meeting tonight, so will have to cart kids to Gramma's later, and fit in a giant double shopping trip. I also need to teach Classical Writing and light a fire under the FYM in regards to his reading of the Illiad (should I let him skip the introduction?).

So I am here, and alive. I miss talking to you, but the good news is the Dude gave me a headset for my phone! Yay!