I listened to The Thick Thighs Save Lives Podcast today. It’s a fitness podcast, generally aimed at women, and today’s episode was called “Lift Like a Girl.” While the whole thing was great, the part that really stuck with me was when they pointed out this:

Why do we, as adults, go watch all our kids games and activities but when it comes time for us to go for our workouts, our practices, our games, our races, we leave them with the babysitter? Or we forgo activities altogether because we don’t have “time” in between their activities.  We are their roles models. I want my girls to see me work hard at something I love. I want them to see me succeed and I also want them to see me fail and try again. I want them to see that because that’s what I hope they grow to aspire to do themselves.

Photo by: Foster Chaffee Photography taken at the 2018 Natural Family Expo.

Admittedly, I already drag the girls along to many of my events but I’ve always felt a bit guilty for doing it. Not any more. They might not always love it, but that’s okay. Moms having been forcing kids to do things they didn’t want to do because it was good for them since the first two year old said “I don’t wanna!” It’s basically a requirement.

Not only that, I want them to see me as more than just a mom. I am a mom but also I’m a “real” person, who does things she likes to do. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of family life. So easy to put the kids’ needs ahead of your own and suddenly, if you aren’t careful, the mom who facilitates everyone’s plans only has time for a quick bath and calls it “self care.” I want more than that for me and my girls. I want them to see me as a mom who still has a sense of self. And if they go down this road of motherhood, I want that for them too.


You have heard of ant lions. Those bugs that build funnels in the sand and then hide at the bottom waiting for some happy little ant to blunder into their trap and become their next meal.

That was me this morning. Not the ant lion waiting to pounce but the happy little ant. Well, it was morning, so perhaps the blundering ant is more accurate.

I was just stumbling along through my morning when it was decided that Jane was too sick to go to school. That was the edge of the funnel and I didn’t even know it.  I blundered my way down into the sandpit, dragging Jane along with me to my parents to be half sick at their house while I helped with an all day plumbing project.  I spent the day thinking I should have sent her to school, watching her wilt and then thinking that I should have kept her at home to recover all while crawling around under summer cottages, removing dead raccoons and praying 100 year old plumbing would keep it’s issues to a minimum.

When the two of us returned home I was just happily cruising toward my doom without even knowing it. Jane was on an upswing, the other girls were in a good mood. Then John was really tired. And Clara threw up.  And John went to bed early with her. And then right at bed time (after a few more good vomits from Clara) a thunderstorm swung in and Jane was too scared to sleep.  And John was too busy getting up with Clara to sleep. And Ivy was sleeping until she was puking on her floor.  Which is how at 11 o’clock at night, as I was pulling old pet hair out of the steamer vacuum so that it had enough suction to get the rest of the puke out of the carpet, I realized that I was the happy little ant about to become lunch.

Cross your toes for me, I don’t think the ants make it out alive very often…

Stories with Granny: A Penny’s Worth of Stones

When Granny heard “pebble” was my blogging prompt of the day, she said that reminded her of buying a penny’s worth of stones.

“Would you tell me again so I can write it down for my blog?”

“Sure, I can do that, but where do I start? The beginning I suppose?” 

“Yes please!”

Well, the beginning is back in the late 1920’s and early 30’s when I was a little girl and we lived in a small town that had two general stores. One had a candy counter and if you went in there you could choose from a lot of different kinds of penny candy. My favorite candy was “stones”. It was a hard candy with coating on it that made it look like pebbles of various sizes and shapes. I’d stop on the way home from school and if I was lucky enough to have a penny I’d go to the candy counter and ask for a penny’s worth of stones. The store keeper, Pinky (because of his faded red hair), would measure the candy out in a little, round, wooden, barrel shaped scoop about two inches high and an inch and a half across and pour it into a very small brown paper bag. Then he’d twist the top so the candy wouldn’t fall out and hand it over to me.

And then for a penny you got a nice assortment of pebbles to eat!



When faced with a real mountain I’ll hike up the trail to get to the view, the trout stream, the summit, the goal, whatever it may be.

I’ll hike with tired legs, heavy packs and blisters to reach my goal often only to remember that tops of mountains are windy, cold, really high up and I hate heights. That’s alright though, next time I get a chance I’ll trek the trail again.

It’s possible I just really like the challenge of a goal.

When faced with a mountain of laundry however I’ll turn and walk the other way.

Tonight’s relatively small mountain. Just three baskets is more like a large hill… but the washer is about ready to be turned over one more time before I call it quits for the night. 

Maybe that’s because laundry has nothing on the adventure and beauty of hiking new trails.

Or maybe it’s because one can’t “summit” the laundry mountain because there is always more laundry and no one likes an unattainable goal.


What’s your least favorite “mountain” to climb? 

Make Believe

In the world of make believe anything goes, right?

Except, maybe it doesn’t.

Even in make believe we, or perhaps just I, am only willing to suspend so much reality. Of course you can have magic, but it must have rules. Yes, butterflies can fly in snow, but they better still have six legs because they are still insects. And, as per a recent conversation on the book we are working on now, yes, you can have a snowman ride in a bike basket driven by a bee through the autumn woods without him melting… but that bee better be able to reach the pedals. Otherwise it’s just ridiculous.

Tooks (my illustrator), thinks perhaps I’m crazy (in a laughing, loving way.) She’s probably right – but I still think that there is a line to walk. If you are going to create a world with magic, it should have rules and magical realism needs to preserve a sense of “realism” or it devolves into utter nonsensical silliness. On the flip side you have to have some goofy silliness to make the magic work. Like I said, walking the line, though I’m willing to concede that my “line” is crooked and random as we create another book of “what if’s” and magic and we decide what is fun and what doesn’t make sense!

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