Spring Is Here

The sky is overcast.

Rain, or something like it that is colder in a way that’s best not to acknowledge, is spitting down and the spring that seemed imminent just days before has blown away in the cold gusty wind.

Yet the howl of wind and wet is abruptly muffled as the door closes behind you. Replaced by a soft symphony of tiny peeps and a friendly ring of red light and warmth.

baby chick drinking water

Baby chicks, delicate beings that defy everything about a cold spring day.baby chick

Tiny scraps of fluff proclaiming that spring is here.




Still Life with Chickens by Catherine Goldhammer (And a Chance for Real Mail!)

Are you a used book shop browser?

Always, I have been convinced that hiding amongst the throngs of books on the shelves are tiny gems waiting for me to discover them.  Perfect little books I wasn’t even looking for that will jump off the shelf and beg me to take them home. And it happens! If you spend enough time browsing book shops those books will find you. Now, I know there are many people who don’t like buying books – but I’m not one of them.  I like to have the books I love on my shelf. I, not unlike a dragon with it’s hoard of gold, like to have piles of my favorite books around to count, organize and admire.  And, quite unlike a dragon but more importantly, I like to have them available to put in the hands of people who I think may like them as much as I do.

Sadly, small children have cut down my used book store browsing time to exactly nothing.

But, luckily for me I have like-minded relatives. At a recent family gathering, my cousin handed me a cute little book with baby chicks on the cover and told me she thought I might like to read it. She found it in a used bookstore and started reading it standing in the aisle. Many minutes and a good way into the book later, she thought that for a dollar she ought to just buy it.

I’m glad she did.

Would I recommend it? Yes. In fact, because this is a book that begs to be shared, and because I’ve been blogging for five years without ever giving something away, and because everyone loves to get mail, I’m going to take this cute little book in my hand…


… wrap it up in a nice little package and mail it to one of you who would like it.

So, if a book about chickens, and moving, and starting over sounds appealing, (And it should. It made me chuckle and sigh and there is one passage about moving that will stay with me forever) just leave a comment saying so before next Wednesday and I’ll mail it out to a randomly chosen person. (Open to those that live down the street or across the ocean. So long as the post office will recognize your address I’ll send it!)


Never Say Never

“I’m never getting back on a plane with the kids until they are all at least eight years old!” – A vow I made in complete sincerity just after I was one of those people on a plane.

Four years ago I was the pregnant mother with the screaming two year old at the airport. The mother from the family with the seats in the back of the plane. The mother who had to carry her screaming recalcitrant two year old down the entire length of the plane. As if announcing to all the passengers- here we are- and it’s going to be ugly. And oh was it ugly. Screaming, and more screaming- and seat kicking- and that was all while we were sitting waiting (and waiting, and waiting, and waiting) for take off. Shortly after we took off, my screamer fell asleep on top of me and despite the uncomfortableness that comes with having a small child sleeping in your lap in a tiny airplane seat when you are six months pregnant with your third child while your needy first child is crowding you for attention, I left her there – because I had a serious fear of more screaming. When we emerged from the hot sweaty hell that was the airplane. I swore I was never doing that again.

Until I did.

Last Christmas my Grandpa approached us with an incredibly generous gift. A Florida vacation to visit him and my Granny there in the early spring. His offer involved super nice things like a flight and a rental car and even letting us stay in their condo. But, and I checked, it didn’t come with the offer of a nanny to fly with our kids. I internally cringed at the thought of flying and said yes anyway.

And that is how I found myself headed up the stairs to wake up the girls (ages 3, 5, and 8) and head to the airport to break my vow from four years earlier.

I was prepared.

I had plans. I had been given advice. I was armed with new coloring books and tiny toys and snacks and kids who are experts at long car rides.

I was ready.

And then I went to wake up Jane.

The three year old.

The wildcard in all my fears for the flight.

And, while her sisters had bounced out of bed in excitement, she didn’t want to wake up.  Uh-oh.

When I did get her up she promptly re-fell asleep on the couch. Uh- oh.Jane sleeping on couch

That’s right, I was about to get on a plane with three kids, two of whom were under my randomly assigned age requirement and one of those was sick.

“But”, I mentally reassured myself, “she’s just tired sick. I can carry her. John can herd the others, manage the tickets and we’ll be fine.”

And that’s what we did.

Then, as we were standing at the front of the line for the security check, she said it: “I think I’m gonna throw up.”

Not fine.

Just like that, we were gone from the line. I was holding her over a garbage can, John had disappeared looking for barf bags and a very nice woman was trying to convince me it was going to be fine. The garbage can was unnecessary. John came back- with bags. We re-herded the other two, got ourselves back in line and just after showing ID’s she said it again…

“Right this way Ma’m”

Jane and I were ushered through a security check point faster than I thought possible and directed to the nearest garbage can on the other side. Fortunately, it was yet another false alarm.

So we waited, in various states of health, excitement and dread, for our flight to board.Jane sleeps on airport floor

And while boarding went smoothly, I’m afraid Jane didn’t take in much of her first airplane ride.Jane's first airplane ride

Of course, we didn’t have a direct flight. We had to change planes with a bit of a layover because the only thing more fun than flying with small kids is herding little naive country children through large metropolitan airports trying not to lose them in the crowd.

Clara whistled while she wandered her way through the airports so at least we could hear her...

Clara whistled while she wandered her way through the airports so at least we could hear her…

Safely at our new gate, all in one piece and with some lunch beside, Jane perked up. Had a bit to drink. Had a bit to eat. Announced that she was gonna throw up and promptly did so all over the carpet at gate C21.

Not fine.

Interesting things of note:

-Some strangers will supply copious amounts of napkins, quickly and without being asked.

-Some strangers will affect not to notice the pile of vomit by their feet.

-No one will relocate to a different spot.

-Puking always makes kids feel better.

-And, despite the fact that she slept most of the rest of the way, I still really don’t like flying with kids.



 (Not to worry, by the next morning Jane was her usual cheerful non-puking self and we had a wonderful vacation… Except for the turbulent flight home where she looked at me and said, “My belly hurts!”)


Did I Just Say What I Thought I Said? XII

It’s the twelfth edition of “Did I Just Say What I Thought I Said?” in which I share phrases that I never thought:
A) Would ever need to be said in the first place,
B) that I would need to be the one to say them and
C) that I wouldn’t just be saying them, I’d be yelling them.

“Stop putting grapes in the flowers!”daffodils with grape

And, as if that wasn’t enough:

“No! No goldfish either!”

Thankfully, I was talking crackers.

Apparently daffodils make irresistible cups for small bits of lunch that you are no longer interested in eating.grape in a daffodil And, to be clear, it wasn’t the daffodils I was worried about so much as the vase, an as of yet unbroken wedding gift.   I refer you to The Anarchist 2.0 and the Goldfish to refresh your memory as to the nature of my concern. But I’ll give you a hint.

Kids are masters at wreckin’ it.

Fortunately, due to my new “No grapes in flowers rule,” the vase is safe… for now.




The Cull – Bloodline by Eric J. Gates

“Am I going to have to stage an intervention?” asked John as I tore myself away from the book and hopped into the kitchen arms flapping talking about vampires, secret services and possibly never sleeping at night again.



“No, it’s just that I think I know what’s going on, but I’m not quite sure, but it’s all crazy, and then… but… AHHH!”

And then I dove back into my spot on the couch in front of the fire, burrowed up to my chin into my hooded sweatshirt and used the rest of a singularly icky April day to finish the rest of the book.

Would I recommend it? Yes, and don’t tell John but I’m going to have to read the next one…



“Mom, do you know two reasons I’m glad to be home? Not having to wear sunscreen all the time and knowing what kind of flies are here.” -Ivy

But the sunscreen was worth it…

And, as much as Ivy hated those biting flies, braving a few strange bugs for this kind of wildlife?

Not a problem!

Thanks Granny and Gramps for a trip full of great memories!Granny and Great Gramps

Now we’ll do our best to warm up the weather for you before you get home!