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Things my children will remember

September 26, 2015

While I hope they remember feeling loved, and safe, and comforted. Here are the things I hope they remember too and why we did them.

  1. We didn’t have paper plates
  2. We used cloth napkins
  3. We didn’t use a mix, except for that Trader Joe’s one.
  4. Pancakes almost every Sunday
  5. Movie night almost every Friday
  6. Strawberry picking every Summer
  7. Apple Orchards and Pumpkin Patches in the Autumn
  8. Macy’s 8th Floor around the Holidays
  9. Homemade snacks afterschool a couple times a week
  10. Play dates with friends in our home
  11. Sewing and Knitting in the Winter
  12. Cookies oh so many cookies for the holidays
  13. Composting in the back yard.
  14. Tending our back yard garden
  15. Eating raspberries directly off the bushes every morning.
  16. Eating green beans and pea pods fresh from the garden in the summer.
  17. Dad walking them to school almost everyday.
  18. Mom waiting on the step or at the front door for them almost everyday
  19. Eating dinner together at the table with no screens almost every night.
  20. Mom making them wash their hands immediately upon entering the house after school
  21. Buying clothes and household items used when possible because mom would rant about unsafe working conditions and slave labor.
  22. Clothes lines full of clothes almost every day during the Summer.
  23. The smell of Thieves Oil and vinegar when mom was cleaning the kitchen.
  24. How dad would sneak us cookies and ice-cream when mom wasn’t “looking”
  25. Lava lamps and jazz music every night to go to sleep
  26. Volunteering is important.
  27. Speaking up is important
  28. Integrity is important
  29. Living your truth and not following the crowd is important
  30. People matter more than things.
  31. Money is time, so spend it wisely.
  32. Riding our bikes everywhere in the Summer
  33. Bob Marley and Michael Franti are good eggs.
  34. Hard work matters. Effort counts
  35. Be Kind. Be honest. Be aware of how you treat others.
  36. My home was stable. My home is a soft place to land. My home is my refuge. My home is a safe place to be.
  37. Last but not least, don’t talk shit about Bob Dylan.

I mean I could go on and on and I am sure my kids will come up with MANY more when they are grown…and may even disagree with many of these. No matter what I hope these kids know they are loved, cherished, valued, heard, and amazing people just the way they are. And it’s an honor to be their parents. Honestly they are really awesome and really different from each other. I can’t imagine life without them, and childhood is going way too fast. Sigh. (My childhood seemed like it took forever, that’s perspective for you!)

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First day of Autumn

September 23, 2015

Today is the first day of Autumn. I have a mixed relationship with this season. It starts so sweet and subtly. A cool day here, the Sun angled a bit more there. The colored leaves and honking geese over head, and dry leaves and yellowed grass underfoot. Each day straining to give us that one last hurrah. One last poof of warmth, of sunshine, until it’s all spent. The leaves fallen, and dehydrated, leaving bare arms and twisted fingers contrasted with the sky. The breeze turns into gusts of sharp cold air. The Sun, tired, finds its place behind the horizon a bit earlier each day. Until Autumn has lost and the white flakes of surrender fall and Winter emerges.

Biking, Eating, and Shanties

September 21, 2015

Today Guy and I (sans kids) biked to breakfast at Colossal Cafe. (Highly recommend it. Come hungry the portions are large.) We then split up and I peeked in the local fabric shop and Guy popped in the local used book store. I then joined him in the bookstore and we browsed. I sat down and made myself at home in front of the various gardening books. Guy was lurking around many areas. We left with a book about gardening month to month in Minnesota, another about adventurous women in history (for Amelia) and lastly a book about following your gut intuition. Great choices on Guy’s part.

We then biked over to Max’s former preschool teacher’s pet project, a small urban cabin in the city. It is small with a foot print of about 18 X 30 feet. They used the space wonderfully. Guy is slightly obsessed with the Tiny House movement. I am sold on it with the exception of having a bathroom Guy would use in such tight quarters. If we made an outhouse of some sort for him, then I think I could do it. Pemly’s house was full of repurposed items, quirky finds. I really loved the energy and the look of the space. It really energized me. I love how Saint Paul has such a thriving community of people.

We then biked home and while Guy went and got the kids, I went on a walk with a dear friend, Megan. I talked her down from a house she fell in love with after putting an offer on a different house. I find house buying very akin to dating. Once you have an offer in, you don’t start prowling the dating websites. BUT this is not to say you well NEVER find another person or house comparable or attractive. There are many different people and house that could be compatible with you at any given point in your life, but what is rational is to love the one you’re with. To be content with what you have. This is of course barring any severe deal breakers. And sometimes we need to sell our homes for various reasons, too small, etc.. and move on.

So the other house was very good looking, and had great structure, but there wasn’t a lot of long term potential with it.

While it looked nice and would be fun and novel for a while, it lacked the depth of long term compatibility she needed.

I type this with my legs up and sore. Glad to be alive with working legs.

Making Elderberry Syrup

September 20, 2015

Last night I tried my hand at making elderberry syrup.

It was kinda a disaster.

I bought 5 lbs of fresh elderberries! Ok… let me share with you fresh elderberries are a huge “UGE” PITA! I won’t ever buy them fresh again. Next time I will get the dried ones. I spent a LONG time picking them off the umbrils… it was very tedious, yet relaxing at the same time.

Last night Guy went out to a Whiskey tasting with his Whiskey Club. They now allow ladies in the tasting room, progress I say! LOL  I decided last minute to cancel on my husband, since hanging out with a bunch of old dudes and their old stuffy wives really wasn’t as appealing as sitting at home destemming elderberries and making elderberry syrup. Yep. That was my Saturday night. I am now officially old. I guess if getting older equates listening to that inner voice that says, “Stay in, do that something you want to do just for you. Fuck all those people. Screw the status quo.” Then yes I am old. So there I sat destemming teeny tiny elderberries, cooking them down, infusing juice with spices and herbs. The kitchen smelled amazing!

I was working on my third batch of berry destemming when I noticed a stem moving. Then I realized it wasn’t a stem but a fruit fly larvae. So I threw away about 45 min of plucking work (literally). I spied in the bag of berries, and noticed several more wigging about. Completely grossed out I stopped for the night. Popped the bag back in the fridge.

I was brain storming in my sleep apparently, since I woke up at 5 am and had the thought to put them in the freezer. So I got up and stashed the bag in the freezer. I do this with our flour if I am going to store it, as it kinda “Pasteurizes” it, as in kills any bugs , larvae and their eggs. So I am going to look at the berries and see how many larvae there are after freezing. I am not super yucked out as much as I am disappointed. I was hoping to sell some of the syrup, but I only have enough made so far for my family and I don’t feel comfortable selling or gifting any syrup based on the fruit fly larvae. Darn it!

While plucking berries, I discovered a new netflix show, Grace and Frankie. Hilarious.

I will add some pictures to this later!


July 1, 2015

It’s all so fleeting. I try to stay present, calm, and concentrated on my children, yet I am yanked away by life, and meals, and well my own inner dialogue. Time never stops. My children are growing each day, and there is nothing I can do about it, and honestly I wouldn’t change that if I could. Sometimes though, I wish I could just linger on a moment here, and a moment there, and just hit the pause button for a day or so. Our Zoey, will be two in September– my heart aches at the thought. While I know we are done-done-done having babies, and my rational mind is a-ok with this, my sentimental mind aches for another. For anything to savor the youngness, the tiny child phase just a bit longer, to have something to hold on to, as if I could possess time in my arms. If I have just one more baby, then they aren’t all grown, up just yet. I don’t rationally live in this denial but, my heart aches for the tiny baby noises, wrinkled little fingers grasping the air, and the sweet smell of breast fed poo.  My youngest, even though she is 21 months, is still very much a baby. She still nurses, grips my finger, and babbles incoherently. She also is talking in short sentences, running, throwing complete tantrums, and growing a clever sense of humor. Vacillating between time –the pendulum swings back and forth. Back and forth. So, while I sit here grasping for some solo time, I forfeit snuggling with Zoey. I feel guilt, and panic. This is the internal battle of self-care, motherhood, and being present, while maintaining a my own individuality. Back and forth…back and forth. Time stops for no one. Each day at a time.

Presence-Acceptance -Rhythm-Contentment- Vulnerability- Release

May 23, 2015
“Until one is committed there is always hesitancy,
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness,
concerning all acts of initiative and creation,
there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising to one’s favor all manner of unforeseen accidents and meetings
and material assistance which no man could have dreamed
would come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Wild Geese

(I’ve shared this before, it is too wonderful to only share once.)

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver 

© Mary Oliver

Tell Me
There are many people who spend their nights
on the subway trains. Often one encounters
them on the morning commute, settled in corners,
coats over their heads, ragged possessions heaped
around themselves, trying to remain in their own night.
This man was already up, bracing himself against
the motion of the train as he folded his blanket
the way my mother taught me, and donned his antique blazer,
his elderly, sleep-soft eyes checking for the total effect.
Whoever you are-tell me what unforgiving series
of moments has added up to this one: a man
making himself presentable to the world in front
of the world, as if life has revealed to him the secret
that all our secrets from one another are imaginary.
 by Anne Pierson Wiese, from Floating City

Older, Younger, Both


I feel older, younger, both
at once. Every time I win,
I lose. Every time I count,
I forget and must begin again.
I must begin again, and again I
must begin. Every time I lose,
I win and must begin again.
Everything I plan must wait, and
having to wait has made me old, and
the older I get, the more I wait, and everything
I’m waiting for has already been planned.
I feel sadder, wiser, neither
together. Everything is almost
true, and almost true is everywhere.
I feel sadder, wiser, neither at once.
I end in beginning, in ending I find
that beginning is the first thing to do.
I stop when I start, but my heart keeps on beating,
so I must go on starting in spite of the stopping.
I must stop my stopping and start to start—
I can end at the beginning or begin at the end.
I feel older, younger, both at once.

“Older, Younger, Both” from Coming Back to the Body by Joyce Sutphen. © 2000 by Joyce Sutphen. Used by permission of Joyce Sutphen and the publisher, Holy Cow! Press.

Source: Coming Back to the Body (Holy Cow! Press, 2000)

To Be Held


To be held
by the light
was what I wanted,
to be a tree drinking the rain,
no longer parched in this hot land.
To be roots in a tunnel growing
but also to be sheltering the inborn leaves
and the green slide of mineral
down the immense distances
into infinite comfort
and the land here, only clay,
still contains and consumes
the thirsty need
the way a tree always shelters the unborn life
waiting for the healing
after the storm
which has been our life.

Linda Hogan, “To Be Held” from DarkSweet. Copyright © 2014 by Linda Hogan.  Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press.


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