Together

Yesterday my family gathered together on what would have been Grandpa’s birthday.

Sunset fishing on the pier. Picture by Ivy.

What a man, to have left behind a family who knows how to work or play all day together.

Everyone Mothers Differently

There are mothers who, for a variety of what I can assure you are very valid reasons, get by with what is required of them and nothing more.

And there are mothers who, for a variety of what I’m sure are very valid reasons (but that I have no personal experience with), always go above and beyond.

Happy Mother’s Day. No matter the style of your parenting or the size of your nest, I hope it was a great one!

Not A Hoarder

Have you ever noticed how nobody lets you say you stink at something anymore?

Is it midwest nice? Has the ugly and pervasive habit some people have of saying they are bad at something just to hear others tell them that they aren’t seeped into our souls so we think it’s expected of us? Have we swung to such a stupidly positive culture that we can’t admit our faults anymore?

For instance. I am a bad housekeeper. However if I say this I am immediately met with claims that my house is in fact nice, tidy and clean. Since I can count the times I’ve washed the floor in this house on both legs and don’t believe in dusting these claims are ridiculous, uneducated and clearly false. My housekeeping has maxed out on the level of “not a hoarder”. And I am for better or worse totally fine with that.

Neither am I one of those who will claim to be poor at something just so that I can be praised. I’m not a huge fan of telling people my faults. I’d rather run with the idea that I can do anything, but of course I can’t, or in terms of house cleaning, won’t. So if I humble myself to admitting that I’m terrible at something don’t try to talk me out of it. That’s terrible for my ego and John still has to live with me.

In an effort to once and for all say, “I am a terrible housekeeper” without trying to be talked out of it I give you Exhibit A:

This tenacious little plant grew in my sink strainer under a large pile of clean dishes. Yes, I was home the whole time. (No, John was not, which is certainly a factor in its appearance.) Yes, it does have a root that goes down just as far as it is stretching up for light and yes I did transplant it into my greenhouse next to the other tomatoes. And yes, I can tell you, after raising many tomatoes from seed, a tomato plant doesn’t grow that fast overnight!

Now, next time you hear me say I stink at cleaning the house you can sympathize, you can tell me about your own plants you accidently grew, you can tell me it doesn’t bother you but please, for the love of sprouting tomatoes, don’t try to argue that I have a clean house!

Red sky in the Morning…

I woke with a start to a room bathed in red light and the sky on fire. Certain for just a second that the apocalypse was here, brought on by yet another foolish time change.

In the next moment I realized that it was nothing more than a red sky of warning for any inland sailors foolish enough to go sailing during today’s brewing late winter storm.

But I still hate time changes…

Ivy’s Favorites at 14 Years Old

Ivy, what’s your favorite…

Color? – Pink and Black

Animal? – *looks around the room for inspiration* “Not sure.” (This from the girl who has been begging me for years to re-start the favorite posts. Maybe she wasn’t expecting such a tricky one…)

Farm Animal? Do you have one of those?- “Maybe, yes. Yes, I like the ducks”

Not a duck.

Bird? – Eagles or owls

Food? – Ice cream

Clothes? – Sweatpants, sweatshirt and a tank top. (No kidding… Covid has been rough on all of our wardrobes but Ivy lives in this 24/7.)

Dog? – “Goose, but don’t tell Trip.”

Cat? – Cassie

Thing to do? – Read, hang out with you or watch anime.

Thing to do inside? – Read or watch anime (delivered with a sigh, apparently this question was repetitive).

Chore? – “Laundry or washing dishes.” (Hooray! It’s true she does laundry and washes dishes!!!)

Time of day? – Morning (Weirdo.)

Place to go? – Grandma Mary’s

(Note the clothing choice.)

Song? – I have lot. It might be Dacing in the Dark. (This must be true since she walks around with one ear plugged into music dancing and lip synching along 95% of the time.)

Flower? – Tulips

Thing about school? – “In quarantine? I don’t have to change my pants and I can do school in my pajamas. In general I really like my teachers.”

Friend? – “Natalie (can I say my top three?) Hyja, and Kyla.”

Movie? – Brave

Thing to do with Clara? – “I like playing card games with her. She’s the most willing out of everyone to play.”

Thing to do with Jane? – “I like when we are both in the same room and we are both reading and it’s quiet. I also like playing in the hammocks or silks in the garage with her.” (Hmmm… that first answer speaks volumes…)

Thing to do with Dad? – “Play board and card games or hiking.”

Thing to do with Me? – “I like playing ecologies with you and I also like swimming when you are coaching.” (She likes it when I coach? Amazing! Maybe it’s because I don’t outright tell her I like to watch kids suffer like John does when he coaches?)

Sport? – Swimming

Book? – The lunar chronicles plus Heartless (That’s like 6 books btw…)

Author? – Marrisa Myer or Cassandra Claire

Meal? – Brunch

Thing to do in the car? – Read

Thing about winter? – Skiing!

Season?- “Fall” (Why?) “because swimming starts and it’s also really pretty.”

Part of living during a pandemic? – “I don’t like the pandemic… I get to play more games with you guys.”

What do you want to do when you grown up? –  “I. Don’t. Know.” (Someone has to choose her first high school classes and this question is looming it’s scary head quite often in a more real way than it ever used to.)

When you get older what kind of problems to you want to help solve? – I don’t know that either.

Anything else? – One of my favorite classes in school is Spanish and I also really like art.

Last time I asked Ivy her favorites she was only 9 years old, take a look back and see how things have changed!

Ivy’s Favorites at Nine Years Old

Happy 14th Ivy

Ivy turned 14 today!

She chose to spend her birthday skiing with a group of families where she is the oldest girl by far but Ivy loves skiing with her five year old buddy.

Then we had a family birthday party with Grandma, Grandpa, one Great Uncle and Great Granny. The festivities ended in a card game where she happily crushed her grandpa’s game and gracefully lost to her dad.

Ivy chatted with everyone from 2 to 96 today and while she has a special birthday treat planned with a friend in the future, John and I couldn’t help but glow with pride at the way our young lady handled herself today.

Happy Birthday Ivy!

Measuring

I start my day in careful thought,

Measuring out my energy in drips and dots.

A splash for breakfast,

A smidge for chores.

Waking the girls will require more.

I allocate a pinch for lunch,

But the drive to town requires a bunch.

Time at the pool gets a generous shake,

And it’s hard to see how much is left when there is dinner still to make.

I dole out smidges, dabs and bits,

Until the children’s night time hits.

I tuck them in and say goodnight,

Struggling to keep my words coming right.

I collapse on the couch, the well run dry.

But tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll measure better.

Or at least I’ll try.

A Dead Possum Day

This morning while outside doing my daily chores Goose brought me a possum.

He unwillingly held it for a moment while I took a picture and then spit it out into my hand (never pass up an opportunity to practice good retrieves). Having no real issue with possums, I always stick them up in a tree when the dogs bring them to me and let them come to and wander off when they are ready. This morning though I had a better idea, a way more fun idea. I put the possum up on a platform bird feeder in the backyard, well out of the reach of the dogs and then went inside to announce to the entire house of schooling and working people that their was a possum playing dead in the birdfeeder and they should keep an eye on it so they can see it walk off.

John came down from his office to adjust the possum so he could tell from his view when it woke up. Kids ran to windows. The excitement a possum can bring to this household is not to be underestimated.

And then we waited…

And it turns out that while every other time the possums the dogs have retrieved have been playing dead, this possum was dead dead.

It seems like a perfect analogy for those days that seem like they’ll be shiny… and then… no.

A dead possum kind of a day.

Somedays are like that.

Until next time,

May your health be fair and your dead possum days be few.