My Apologies

It was bright, sunny and unseasonably warm when I discovered that we needed to replace our wood stove.

The weather was already cooler the next day as we swapped it for the old one we had in reserve.stove pipe

At this time of year, on a bright sunny day, we can heat the house using the greenhouse. But, when we held pieces of stove pipe up above our heads and tried in vain to fit them together like giant, dirty legos, the sun went away.

Today, as I stare at our defunct stove and we wait for the parts and pieces that we need, it’s cloudy and cold.wood stove

Old Murphy and his law have struck again. Our main heat source goes and just like that, snow in the forecast tonight and our first real freeze tomorrow night.

My apologies, I didn’t mean to ruin the nice weather!



Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman

As a mother of girls, I love this book.

But when I looked at it’s reviews online it seemed that for as many people who love this book there are just as many who don’t think children will like it, that it is nothing more than a book for mothers-to-be.

My children and I are here to respectfully disagree.

I asked Clara (5) to show me her favorite part.

Clara (flipping pages as she goes): “This, and this, and this, and this…”

Me: “Yes, but why do you like those parts?”

Clara: “Because they are so COOL!”

Then I asked Ivy (7). She said, “My favorite part is…” and proceeded to take the book and read it to me.

Jane (2) answered my question with an enthusiastic, “Gifts for a blueberry girl!!!”

And, if you need more convincing to check it out, here is the animated trailer for the book (I know? Who knew, right?) read by Neil Gaiman himself.

Would I recommend it? Yes, for expectant mothers and beyond.

There Are Days…

There are days, many days, when the children are the cause of 95% of the chaos and frustrations of the day.Ivy

But now there are days, rare days, that life is the cause of 95% of the chaos and frustrations of the day and the kids help put it back together.Clara

Two years ago, I never would have thought it possible.

Today, it’s amazing.


Good Jeans*

Someone once told me that there are people who can jump out of bed and right into rational thought. But they told me about these so called “people” early in the morning and I was unable to determine over the course of the conversation  if this is in fact true or just some fairy tale to further confuse those of us who have an extra hard time in the morning.

Today my foolish morning brain said, “Self you don’t want to wear your good jeans*, put on those old holey ones instead.” Had my afternoon brain been available it would have replied, “Dude, what are you nuts! I’m going bird hunting on the edges of a marshy mess known for it’s terribly thick cover that I will no doubt want to dive into because that’s where everyone else will have chased the birds to. Lets put on the good jeans*!”

Sadly my afternoon brain was sound asleep.

I wore the jeans with no knees.

Hours later I was doing my best human bulldozer impression. Having already become fed up with the terribly thick cover catching my hat, whistle, shock collar remote, game vest, sunglasses, shirt, neck, face and bare knees I was now pushing backwards, through the forest of ten foot tall, dried out plants. Each time I stepped back I would feel the tug of the 3/4 inch round stems, as their 60 grit sandpaper coating caught on my game vest and then I’d watch at my feet as they pulled out of the ground, each connected to a four inch plug of mud. Sometimes I’d get lucky and they’d snap off and stab me, occasionally I would tangle my feet and slowly, supported on all sides by the forest of stalks, sink to the ground in an undignified, swearing heap.

The vegetation behind my dog in no way resembles what I walked though. The vegetation behind the dog is like a golf course in comparison. In fact the only thing that is similar between this picture and the experience above is that my dog is still running and the sky is still blue.

The vegetation behind my dog in no way resembles what I walked though. The vegetation behind my dog is like a golf course in comparison. In fact the only things that are similar between this picture and the experience above is that my dog is running and the sky was just as blue and beautiful.

Today was my first bird hunt of the year and I feel the dogs, the gun and I have left ourselves wide open for improvement. The dogs- will not wander off in the midst of a horrid forest of sandpaper stalks. The gun – will stay in one piece when I shoot it. And I –  I will find my hunting clothes the night before.

* “Good” in this case has nothing to do with fit, wear or stains, only the absence of very large holes.


Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth (again)

In my world there are two good things about Halloween: candy pumpkins and this book.

Would I recommend it? Yes, even crazy people who loath candy pumpkins have been known to enjoy this sort of ghost story.

You can read a more through review on this book that I wrote three(!) years ago here: Zen Ghost by Jon J. Muth  

I still hate Clifford and I still hate Halloween but three years later we all still love this book!




It is the phrase I have attempted (with help from Jim & Charles Fay and twenty billion reminders from John) to teach myself. It is the phrase that insistently lets the kids know they are in trouble yet gives me time to think what to do next.  It is the phrase that can stop my mouth from uttering ridiculous edicts before my brain has a chance to think about them. It is the phrase that keeps me from saying,  “That’s it! You are never getting a glass of water again!” when confronted with a mess purposefully made with a glass of drinking water.  It is a good phrase.

But now I have a problem. Jane is beating me to the “Uh-oh.” Now I walk in a room and I don’t even have to scan for issues, I just listen. If I hear “Don’t say ‘Uh-oh’ Mom! Don’t say “Uh-oh’!” I know there is trouble in the making.Jane

Yes, I can hear you laughing from here and you can stop anytime now. Because seriously. Seriously.  Does she really think she can get away with all sorts of trouble just by talking fast and looking cute!?! Talk about an attitude guaranteed to make a mothers blood pressure spike!

After all, that’s my line! I get to say “Uh-oh!”  I get to use that to pause, and breath, and refrain from issuing crazy threats or giving her to the next delivery man that knocks on the door.  I say “Uh-oh.” Don’t be stealing my line Jane- I need it and unless you want to be shipped to Abu Dhabi  ala Garfield, you do too!

Furthermore, frantically repeating “Don’t say ‘Uh-oh’ Mom! Don’t say “Uh-oh’!” while continuing to do the offending activity lets me know, not only, that she knows that she shouldn’t be doing whatever it is she’s doing but also that she thinks she can get away with continuing what she’s doing  right in front of me if she’s a fast enough talker.

But the really big problem is that Jane is awful cute and listening to her panic as she tries to finish getting into trouble is, admittedly, pretty hilarious.

Which means that it’s true. She can totally get herself out of trouble and keep her mother smiling  if she’s a fast enough talker.Jane

I’m so doomed.