The sound of silence…Or how I got my to do list done before 8am

I woke up really early this morning, but it was after almost 9 hours of sleep so I was thinking maybe I should get up. During my decision making process, I stumbled into the bathroom, which is when my life became a random sequel to If You Give a Moose a Muffin.

You see, during the thunderstorms a dog had pooped on the floor…and the bath mat…and the floor again. And you can’t just ignore that and go back to bed. So I began to clean. And since one thing had to go in the laundry, I might as well start a load. On top of the dryer is a bottle of Soak for my brother that I had to mail, so I figured I’d pack that up as well as some stuff for my sister-in-law and nephew. As I was packing I thought it would be cute to make labels with my Silhouette machine, so I drug that and the laptop out onto the dining room table, too. Unfortunately, Sada had placed the power cord to the laptop somewhere safe, so I began the hunt. While I was hunting I found a cute package of cards and decided to write some notes. As I was writing, I realized this could be a blog, so I grabbed the iPad (as I still haven’t found the laptop cord) and began a draft.

At this point, I think I will enjoy a cup of tea. The rain has stopped for a minute, the birds are beginning to wake up, and the sun is on the rise. A moment for myself before I go to Publix, cook breakfast, finish this Silhouette idea, and put away the laundry. Happy Saturday, you guys!

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Sometimes it just takes hard work

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

I have a bunch of seeds – really – A BUNCH! And I think I’m super excited about them. Their lovely unsuspecting packages, so simple and full of prospect.These non-GMO, heirloom seeds come from Baker Creek with simple directions on how to plant, with the assumption that they will grow and flourish under my watchful eye. My mother, the expert gardener, gets giddy with the prospect of this task. Her eyes gleem, and she grows tons (literally tons) of vegetable a year.

My beautiful garden

My beautiful garden

Instead, I’m inspecting the plot of land that I’m planning on putting those seeds in.  Yeah – it looks good doesn’t it.

So my thought today is that it’s going to be a lot of work to clean up these beds, plant the $100 worth of seed I have, and tend them over the next several months. To get what? Some vegetables that my kids might or might not eat and that I might or might not have time to pickle, can, or cook with.

But I’m excited about it because it IS going to be hard work. I DO NOT LIKE GARDENING! I do love hard work though and the feeling of accomplishment that I get from it. It stokes my pride when I know what happened from seed to table. And there is something just amazing about getting really, really dirty and sweaty for something other than exercise – which I also do not really like.  So sometimes the task isn’t what is important – it’s just working hard at something that makes us happy.

Plus – the ability to grow food might help me survive the zombie apocalypse….

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Happiness defined…I hope

“How was day?” A common question that is usually followed by a litany of all the things that kept me busy, stressed out, anxious, or exhausted. Although I would consider myself a happy person, my response rarely includes the word happy, or, for that matter, it rarely includes anything positive.

So how was my day? It was actually pretty good. My job is stressful and hard, but I have people that enjoy working with that make it better. I got to go to the store with Samantha and sniff some essential oils and buy expensive cheese…and search for mason jars I liked. I was quite an adventure. I got to come home and hang some laundry on the line (which makes my clothes smell amazing) and cook homemade marinara.

I have a friend who has been participating in a reflection inspired by 100 Happy Days – and I’m intrigued. Can I really find happiness for 100 straight days? I’m already thinking of all the things that can go wrong with this plan BUT I’m going to try to post a picture every day on Instagram about something that made me happy….although I’m scared that my list for today might exhaust all my good ideas…

Dinner - yummmSo where am I going to start with my happy adventure? Well, today I cooked – really cooked, like used all fresh vegetables, sauteed the tomato paste, simmered and stirred. It smelled amazing, it tasted fantastic, and it fed my family well. That made me happy – the experience and the end result. Especially when my sullen teenager said, “Thanks, Mom. That was really good.”

That’s a nice day.

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Let’s Go Leon!!

I’m exhausted from a whirlwind trip down south to watch two different groups compete for state titles – volleyball and cross country. The trip down was filled with excitement, and the volleyball match was even more so – winning, winning, losing, then WINNING! The Lady Lions are the 2011 6A FHSAA Volleyball Champions!!!  I have a boss who likes to point out that kids are not the same as they used to be – and it’s probably a good thing. My volleyball girls prove that point:

Leon VolleyballThey practice five and six days a week – work out from after school into the night – while managing their course load. Of the eight seniors on the team, there isn’t one who isn’t in a college level English class, either dual enrollment or AP Literature. The team GPA beats a 3.5 easy. Several SGA officers are leaders of the squad. Almost every girl is an active member in Pierian (our honor society), Anchor (a service group), and/or a content-specific honor group (Spanish, French, Social Studies). There are leaders of the school both on and off the courts….and they’re just plain nice.

Amazing, right?! However, it terrifies me!! Next year, I have a high school student. How in the heck am I going to balance that schedule? Parents out there who do it – advice, please!

Last night, was thrilling! The celebration went on into the morning with parents, staff, and kids. I LOVE being a Leon Lion! I cannot imagine being anywhere else – what a cool community.

Sleep deprived but ready, we scurried over to Dade City to watch the boys place 9th in XC, with several running in the top of the pack. Woot! So, what did I learn the last 24 hours?

  • Leon High School students are just plain amazing.
  • I am not as good on limited sleep as I was in college.
  • Supportive parents can lead kids to accomplish levels of success that are out of this world.
  • Diet Coke is fantastic.

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And sometimes….they just impress you

Life just whirls along…and suddenly, it’s fall. Saturday I got to spend a couple of hours with Samantha. We headed off to the yarn store, which is always an adventure, to pick up a couple of cheap balls of yarn to make an Auburn hat – don’t ask why.

During the drive there and back, conversations wandered from school to people to life in general. She commented on my new diatary habits – for those that don’t know, after more than a decade I’ve started eating meat again, which is another story for another day. Our conversation went kind of like this:

Samantha: Mom, it was really weird watching you eat the sausage last night.
Me: Yeah, it’s weird eating it. Some meat so far is great, but I really don’t like chicken. It’s kind of plain.
Samantha: You know, Mom. You should really try steak. It’s amazing. I would only eat steak if I could…oh, and bacon and maybe peperonni. I really like meat. Maybe we can share more stuff now – I mean, besides your shoes.

While we were at the store, Samantha talked to store owner into Googling around and found a hat she HAD  to have – yes – it’s Ron Weasley. It took four balls of yarn, and she chose Cascade Superwash wool blend. A lovely yarn that is great to knit with…and costs $11 each. The hat sells on the Internet for $20. But her excitement was great. Also, I took this opportunity to procure her her own sticks so that she can start taking her own requests. 🙂

So we are traveling home and we see a car wreck. A young lady is walking away from the car destraught and crying. We pause to see if we can help, and the tears aren’t for the car but for her little dog that has jumped out and run off. Samantha and I spent the next hour and a half walking neighborhoods, whistiling, talking to strengers, and tramping through backyards. Samantha wouldn’t stop looking until we had covered every street – never complaining about her flip flops, never chekcing the time – just looking. Saddened that we couldn’t find the dog, we went home, and Samantha was teary-eyed.

Me: Baby, we did what we could to help find the dog.

Samantha: I know, but I’m sad for her. She lost the one thing that would have made her feel better about the wreck, though. I’m glad we stopped, though – I can’t believe other people were just driving by.

Me: Well, sometimes you don’t know if they need help or have already called someone – everyone has a cell phone these days.

Samantha: Well, that’s silly. If you don’t know if someone needs help, you have to ask them. People should just stop more often.

Yup – people should stop and check on each other more often. My quick trip to the store turned into an adventure with Samantha where she just impressed me.

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Knitting and Philosophy

So – I knit a leg warmer. And not just any leg warmer – a bad ass leg warmer with a really cool fish scale cable up the back. I made up the pattern to go with this cool variegated red yarn, and I’m stoked about it. Can’t wait for cold weather!

Here’s my bad attempt at a photo, but check this thing out! I will have to get a better shot of it when someone else is around.

Here in lies the problem with a leg warmer though – I have two legs. (Similar problems arise with gloves, socks, or even sleeves on sweaters.) I have to do the same thing all over again. But WHY?! my brain usually screams. You have proven you can do it, why do it again?

So, often times there are unfinished pieces of knitting lounging about the house, eyeballing me when I stumble across them. Some only require that I sew a hem or tuck in some loose ends, while others need a little more work.

Now instead of bucking up and casting on, I’m waxing philospohical about how knitting really could be a metaphor for life.  Often there are projects that require practice and repetition, even when it’s boring…like long rows of knit stitch for the back of a sweater. But what really makes us awesome humans is how we finish something. Do we take the time to put all the pieces together, block it to fit, weave in all the ends, or do we just slap something together and call it ok?

When I finish I this, I’m heading to my new chair to cast on and finish the other leg – I can’t wait to show them off. I think that they may require me to buy a new outfit to go with them….

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Mother of the Year

So, I often read blogs, Facebook posts, or tweets about the little successes of being a parent. These great moments in time remind us that our kids are cool little humans, learning the ways of the tough world they live in. Less frequently do I see notes about the other 99% of the time. These moments are the ones where I often award myself the Mother of the Year award. Today was one of those.

I’ve been letting my 13 year old have some leeway in her homework and organization routines for eighth grade…well I checked on those today. And then my head spun around and I lost my cool. Really?! Really? How HARD are the first two weeks of school…yup – probably the wrong way to attack the problem.  So today, I share some of my favorite Mother of the Year awards…

  • There have been times when I have partied a little too much on a Friday or Saturday night. In their innocence, both of my children have brought me a beer the next morning, saying, “Here, mom…you look like you need a beer.”
  • I could be quoting as saying, “Sorry, honey. We’re out of band-aids. Maybe we could just put a towel on it for a little bit.” or “I don’t see any blood so you’re not really hurt.”
  • After stepping on yet ANOTHER Barbie shoe, all small pieces were gathered into a bag and disposed of. “What, you can’t find her boots, teacups, etc. I have no IDEA where they could be.”
  • And one of my favorites…The kids were younger and we were hanging out at the farm. I was watching Sada and the twins ride around in the Power Wheel Gator – and run over Baby Kate. As I run to rescue her, I couldn’t figure out what to do with my wine. I didn’t want to spill it or break the cup. I mean, it was glass.
Me and My Girls

See...we have our happy moments!!

Yet after all of the events like this, no one has come and taken the girls, and I think they’ll still turn out ok. I guess the best advice I ever heard is what my mother told me – Make sure they go to bed knowing that you love them. So, with that, I’m going to go make sure the rest of Sam’s homework is done (5 hours later) and then I’m going to hug her and tell her to go to bed.

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