Thursday, June 3, 2010

Road Trip

Two weeks ago I flew to Virginia, to help my husband finish packing and then move back home. He had spent the last 17 months in Virginia. The military had sent him there for his last assignment before retiring. But I stayed here, as we had a son graduating high school, and I take care of my elderly grandmother.

So my 2 adult daughters moved home to *help*. Only one moved out before dad came home.

My husband rented a truck to move his stuff, and a trailer to tow his little truck back in. And then we drove cross country. He had a bit of an agenda, wanting to stop and see family in the midwest along the way. We didn't make any of the sightseeing stops I wanted on the east coast. We did stop at the sapphire mountain in Montana, because our daughters asked us to. More about that another time.

It took 9 days. It was good, in that we got to talk, catch up, plan for the future, without the interruption of other people. It feels good to sleep on my own bed again. But, I don't like mountain passes. Scared the heck out of me. I clutched the pillow while my sweetie navigated them, telling me it wasn't that bad. And at least there wasn't snow, like when he drove east a year ago. So glad I didn't make that trip!

Now my house is full of boxes. I cannot believe how much stuff he brought back. And we need more bookcases?? And a whole box of boxes of cereal that he bought on sale & with coupons?

As soon as I got back, there was the trip to the hospital with my grandmother. Of course. Fortunately it wasn't anything serious, and could have been avoided if charting had been kept better by visiting nurse.

One of my daughters moved out just before I left. But my other daughter is still here, while waiting to hear back on job interviews .So the poor house is stuffed to the gills Lots of boxes. LOTS of books.

 And we are trying to get ready for 3 of 6's college graduation next week. She's the one that moved out.

And getting ready for my oldest to come home for that, with his wife & baby girl. And boxes everywhere.

Does life ever slow down?

This is the Powder River in Montana. Appropriate because my husband was in the 91st Division. (, 

Unfortunately there was no where to stop to get a better picture. And we were trying to meet our schedule. Maybe we'll make it back next year. And the girls can't hunt for their own sapphires.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Little Romance....

My husband, on his facebook page, posted a picture of some of the activities of Grad Week at West Point,  the United States Military Academy. He was reminiscing that surely it hadn't been that many years since he had taken part in all of that.

What I remember most vividly about his graduation day is this little story....

My grandparents had driven me up for the ceremony, so I was not sitting with his family during graduation. After the ceremony was over, I saw one of his sisters, who gave me a general idea of where on the field he was last seen. As I started to climb down the bleacher, we saw each other, so he knew about where I was coming from. Once I got on the field though, it became a sea of grey and white uniforms, and families looking for their loved ones.

But after a few minutes, just like in a romantic movie, the crowd parted, and there he was. Of course I ran into his arms..... it wouldn't be a romance without that scene, would it?

The day after he graduated we were married at the Old Cadet Chapel. Next week we will celebrate our 28th anniversary. A romantic trip? Oh yes, driving a Uhaul back from the east coast, where he has spent his last year before retiring from the Army. I stayed here at home this past year, as we had a teen graduating high school, and I take care of my grandmother. It's been since November since we last saw each other.

A Uhaul trip cross country can be romantic, can't it?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Garden, early spring

This past week the weather was nice enough to get some garden work done. I replanted some deck planters, refreshed the soil in a pots of existing planters.

But some work I didn't need to do, all I needed was to take my pruning shears and snip a few blossoms.
The big purple bloom in the above close up is from my tree peony. It took 3 years for it to really start blooming, and now it blooms like crazy.

In the picture below is the same blossom, in the vase with some white lilacs. When we bought out house, 12 years ago, I bought several lilac bushes on clearance. I thought I got several different color lilacs, and planted them in several spots in the yard. Unfortunately they were mismarked, so most of them turned out to be the usual light lavender color. One was white. 2 years later I added another white lilac. Last year we found a dark purple lilac and my daughter planted that.

I love flowers, and I love flowers with a soft perfume to them. But my rose garden is in rough shape and needs a major overhaul. But for now I have lilacs & hyacinths.

My oldest daughters, 5 of 6 and 4 of 6, started several different veggies inside and transplanted them in late April. Unfortunately the slugs, squirrels and deer enjoyed most of them. Except for the pea plants, so we will have peas in abundance. A trip to the farmer's market, in the next few weeks, will be needed to get bigger vegetable starts. Andwe'll need to do some beer traps. Any other ideas to keep the slugs out?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I am not an organized person

I have been working on cleaning, rearranging & reorganizing my room, since my husband moved away(thank the armed forces) a year ago. I am still not done.

Procrastination is my middle name. And I have terminal pack ratitis. So not only do I not want to go through things, the "keep" pile is always bigger than the trash and giveaway piles.

But I am leaving in a week to fly to my sweeties current duty station, and then we are driving back, cross country in a Uhaul. Sound like a great way to spend our 28th wedding anniversary, don't ya think? But at least he'll be home. And can help deal with a 4 and a half year boy who still can't *aim* straight.

Back to organizing- I think I missed out on the gene that makes this a snap for some people, so I am looking for tips, a chore chart, anything to help me:
1. Stay on task
2. Make it regular
3. Keep it simple
So that it doesn't become such a huge chore again. Any ideas?

And here is a small snapshot of something I did get organized. Went through all of my spices, wrote down the names. Gave duplicates to my daughter. Put them in new jars, with new labels- courtesy of my new Brother P-Touch PC label maker.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The weekend

Mother's Day weekend I got to do 2 things that were exciting.

The first was on saturday. I went to the open house of The Birth House, the new, free standing birth center the midwives who took care of me during my last pregnancy opened in Olympia, WA.

If you are interested in home birth, or a birth center birth, and looking for midwives, please check out:

The second event of the weekend was on sunday afternoon. I attended a BOLD Red Tent event. Women of varying ages came together to share their birth stories in a safe, accepting environment. Sitting with several women, sharing their stories of the birth of their babies, on Mother's Day, was a joy and privilege.

 I was blessed not only to share one of my birth stories, but to listen to other women share what happened to them through their pregnancies and deliveries. Also at the event were 2 women, one the mother in law of the event's organizer, both midwives who had or were still practicing, from California. There was over 40 years of experience in birth & birthing in that room.

I am always amazed at what woman can and do go through to bring children into the world. No matter if our births go according to our *plans* or not, it was good to share and be affirmed in  that amazing transition into motherhood.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Motherhood chose me....

If you had asked me, when I was 16 or so, if I ever saw myself as the stay at home mom type, or homeschooling, or home birthing, I would have cracked up laughing.

I was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. I totally planned on college and work. Probably marriage, maybe 1 or 2 kids.

I started nursing school at a local community college, and fate stepped in. A friend arranged a blind date with a guy who went to a  4 year school with her fiancee. He was tall, handsome, funny, looked really good in a uniform. We met in early October, were engaged by February and married the day after he graduated in May.

At the wedding everyone told me to make sure to finish my degree.

Tell that to my ovaries!

 In 4 years we had 3 kids.  4 years later we had number 4. 4 seemed to be a good number, and we thought, at the time, that maybe we should quit there.So we did. And when he was 3 we talked about it again. And decided not to make any "permanent" changes to fertility.

 At a well woman check up 4 years after that, because I was having erratic cycles, I was told I probably wasn't ovulating regularly and should take my temperature before rising, and chart it. I charted for 5 months, I stopped charting when I started throwing up in the mornings. I pulled out that chart, but darned if I could tell where that temperature change was that was supposed to have indicated ovulation.

5 of 6 was my first home birth.  I wished we had done all of them this way.

2 years later my mother moved in with us, due to failing health because of long term diabetes. She thought we should go for number 6. I told her she was number 6. She died 3 years later, and I threw myself more fully into getting my oldest children ready for the adult world.

Four years later and again I was have erratic cycles, and I assumed I was entering the world of perimenopause. But erratic is annoying. A friend, well versed in herbals, suggested red raspberry leaf tea as a regulator.

Yeah, it regulated just fine. 6 of 6 was born a month before my 42nd birthday. Fortunately our oldest had been  out of the house for a few years.

I do not know why God, fate, the universe, chose me to be the mother of these children.  I still feel inadequate for the job. After 6 kids, I am still not patient enough, yell a bit too much. But I do try and give them room to learn and grow, let them become who they are supposed to be. Be supportive enough, I hope. Equip them for life in the real world.

I'd really like to rewind time, in each of their lives, so they were all young enough to still be home. So we could homeschool in our pajamas, or have movie day when we got snowed in. But 4 are adults now, one a teen, and then there is the 4 year old. And I can't rewind time. So I try not to worry about what I can't control, where they are living, jobs, education... And just let them be who they are meant to be. Be there when they need me, keep my mouth shut when they just want to talk and not be lectured, give good advice when they do finally ask for it.

I don't know why motherhood chose me, but I am very glad I have these 6 kids to mother.

 I hope they see me as the mother they needed.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Morning tea

This is my morning. Tea is first on the agenda, and waking up. I am not a morning person. I need hot tea to unclog my head & my mind. Usually 2  green Constant Comment teabags and 1 Red Raspberry Leaf.  I have a sitting area in my bedroom where I come to check my email, get my day lined up.

My little table started life as someones funky, homemade padded footstool, that I then made a pull on
 slipcover  for it.

When I rearranged my bedroom last month, instead of being used as a side table, I pulled it in front of my loveseat. But I was afraid that it would end up with teen agers' feet on it, since the tv is right across from it. So I decided to make sure everyone knew it's function.

And this was where I first started picking up aluminum trays. I saw this one in an antique store, for not much $, and realized it would suit my purpose...

Then I just collected my items and set them up. A tiny milk glass sugar & creamer, though since I started a low carb diet I haven't used them. Sometimes one of the kids will join me, and they do use the sugar & creamer. A pretty grape embossed vase serves as a spooner. A little milk glass berry dish is my *waste* bowl. A Buchan pottery Thistle teapot is just big enough to hold 3-4 cups of tea, and sits on a  milk glass plate I got at a thrift store. The tiny handle-less mug is for my 4 year old, 6 of 6. He likes to have tea with me.

Usually I will also have tea in either the late afternoon, or after 8 pm. Afternoon teas are usually Stash's Moroccan Mint, and evening tea is Good Earth's Green Jasmine tea. One of these days I am going to branch out into loose teas. But I haven't quite got the energy to adding another step to my morning routine. Maybe I'll start loose teas for afternoon tea.

My private oasis, until someone starts calling for me anyway.