For Dale: Once upon a time

 Once upon a time a girl met a boy and fell in love. It was that young, rash, throw caution to the wind, deeply, madly, wildly in love kind of love. The sort that fairy tales are made of. It was just the beginning, only the beginning, because so much lay ahead for this boy and this girl. They were blessed because behind them, surrounding them, lifting them up was a village of people who loved them. They would be there to guide, to share joys and sorrows, to hold and lift them up when they needed it. And so they were blessed. 21 years later, 5 amazing children, and their village still lifting them and loving them. But blessed most of all because that boy asked, and that girl said yes, yes with all her heart. ❤️ 

This

    This. Just…THIS. This night sky greeted my eyes moments ago when I gingerly stepped outside for a slow, cool, soothing breath. Today I had 4 shots in my spine to abate the chronic pain and inflammation that I refuse to give in to. I thought, with great hubris, that my husband, Dale, would be able to simply pick me up from my work and take me back after the procedure with this small inconvenience only a blip on my screen for the day. I had plans, but hubris, that’s what I had more of. Getting up from the table I was met with the unplanned, the un-allotted for, the how-dare-I-be-human reality.  It was more painful than I expected, but I’ve had 5 kids, so this is small potatoes. If hubris is my fatal flaw, perspective levels the field as my dear companion. This won’t take me down, there are much worse things that could happen. I’ll carry this one gladly. However, nausea, deep, sweeping nausea from my toes to the hair in my head, met me. Unceasing, sweaty, dizzying nausea that I know with certainty will be a faint memory in a matter of days, hopefully replaced by a spine that won’t defy me all the time, met me with a desperate intensity sending me home and banishing me to my bed. But this nausea is so overwhelming, and the dull ache in my back and legs cause a restlessness and drive me out of my bed and into the evenings embrace for fresh air and peace. And with that first, slow, cold breath filling my lungs I opened my eyes and saw this beautiful, brilliant sunset. This. Here. Now. Peace.

The Chicken coop caper

image Barnyard update: Our not so wee chicks head for the big time (AKA: the great out doors)!

Our wee little chicks have out grown their kitchen based domicile. Being still quite small compared with those big boned gals in the coop-de-ville, an interim base camp was needed. With hubby away, and the itty bitties bursting at the seems inside, I headed to the local hardware store armed only with desperation and a half baked, hair brained idea taking form. Lacking a working knowledge of the tools in our shed, strong spacial skills, basic math abilities, and solid upper body strength, I decided to rely solely on materials I could tie together and drag around the yard myself. The plan was simple: construct a basic rectangular box out of PVC pipes and 3 way joints to connect them, at which point I planned to wrap the entire thing in old chicken wire, held to the form with the 3 zip ties I found rummaging around the house, a 5 foot length of wire I found stumbling around the poorly lit shed, and a huge pile of twisters I usually reserve for tying Christmas lights to the eves. It was fool proof! A kindly gentleman at the store, blessed with the patience usually required by parents of 4th graders the night before a science project is due, listened while I used wild hand gestures and vague descriptions to communicate my “blueprint”. Amazingly he understood enough of my native language (utter hooey) to help me gather the required supplies, even cutting the pipes to my non specific, arms stretched out to indicate lengths, directions. I was on fire. Upon arriving back home I enlisted the help of the two unlucky children not otherwise engaged, and used the same eloquent articulation to convey the plan. Less than half an hour later, I stood proudly gazing at our handiwork, my hands and arms covered in a multitude of tiny cuts because I refused to use common sense and wear protective gloves to handle the chicken wire (a hellish mistress with a devil of a temper), pride swelling in my heart. The result is a fantastic, inexpensive , light weight and portable “mini coop” that can even fit into the big coop at night, and most impressively, is so simple to assemble, even a team of reluctant monkeys can do it. Success!

*For anyone facing a similar dilemma and as apt at “construction” as I am, the PVC pipes are 1/2″, are sold 10 feet long at less than $3 a length. The one I made is 5 feet long by 3’4″‘s wide, 3’4″s high. The odd measurements are because I had the guy cut 2 of the poles in half (5′ each half), and three other poles equally in 3rds (hence the strange 3’4″ lengths! A side note: you only need 8 of them so you end up with an extra 3’4″ length). I used eight 3 way connectors (4 at each end) to make squares and then connected the squares with the 5’ poles. One roll of chicken wire will cover 4 sides and the top. I HIGHLY recommend coughing up the extra money for a big bag of zip ties, way faster and easier than twisting a million actual twisters all around the thing to hold the wire to the frame!

It’s complicated

  

She’s a complicated girl. I think that’s what I love most about this picture. It says everything you need to know about this time in a young persons life. A foot in each world: the child and the adult circling around in one body, trying to make peace with each other, trying to find where each one stands, trying to find that elusive balance that will free you to go forward without losing sight of all the magic and joy that comes from those moments of wild abandon and limitless dreams.

To live so long

 I am happy I have crows feet around my eyes that tell everyone immediately at a distance that I laugh. I laugh A LOT. Laughter makes everything so much more manageable and the unmanageable stuff, well slightly better. I am happy I have a belly that hangs a bit over my pants, and bulges a bit at the hips like a delicious doughnut that proclaims I break bread with my family and friends on a regular basis.  I may not grace the covers of swimsuit magazines, but I happily salute any woman comfortable enough in her own skin that she lets herself shed layers and revel in sunshine and water in a bikini or even a one piece if that’s daring enough for her to manage. It took a while but I made my peace with the silver hairs that sprout by the dozens around my temples. They testify that I have lived long enough and interestingly enough to have earned them. Truth be told, I am more than a little amazed to have made it so far. ❤️

At the end of the day

 

At the end if the day

I am always up before the sunlight manages to wedge it’s fingers between the dark folds of night, and the cold drops of dew still clinging to windowpanes. Up before the thoughts in my brain are more than a haze, muddled and murky. Everything swings into motion, a high speed chase after children and tasks and busses and work. I blink and try to clear my mind, slow the roll, breathe, but the world moves too quickly and insistently, not caring about my desire to savor and watch. I look to the side and scenes fly past, a blur. I find myself standing already in the evening, when it feels as if the days just begun. Time slows in the movement of the zipper I pull gently down my back, and I inhale. I close my eyes and stand still in my room. I can hear the children downstairs, already engaged in a game. I can smell dinner cooking, and feel the heat kick on to ward off the evening chill. I love this time, at the end of the day. We come full circle and our paths collide, at the end of the day.

Worth waiting for

 Edit If you could see what I see.  If you could look through the lense of my eyes and see yourself, see your worth, see your light and your beautiful soul,  you would know that you are worth waiting for. You are worth getting to know. You are worth long conversations and equally long silences. You are worth walking with. You are worth crossing a room for, crossing a street for, crossing the universe for. You are worth the wait.

You are in a hurry to grow up, to fall in love, or even wildly in like, and to be wildly liked and loved back. Your passions sweep through you like wind through the trees, waves on the ocean, and fire through brush. Please take your time, please savor the moments and relish the days and don’t hurry so. Believe me when I tell you that the someone’s that matter, the ones that are meant to be, are also worth the wait. They will look at you like I look at you. They will see you as I see you. They will feel the rush of passions as you feel them and they will wait for you, because you are worth waiting for.