Monday, February 24, 2014

Saturday, January 07, 2012

I've neglected you all for so long, and I'm really sorry. I miss you, my friends.

Monday, November 21, 2011


At least my browser recognizes my URL now. Heh.

I dreamed last night that I saw a movie that impacted me deeply. The main character, played by Matt Damon, (?) had a string of traumatic experiences in his life. He later went back to the places and at the scene of each trauma, he pulled out his cell phone, snapped a picture, and then left the phone on the spot and walked away.

In my dream I was floating in a river and thinking about the deep impression the movie made on me and how it would likely change my life.

Friday, November 11, 2011

here I am

It's been so long since I've been to my own blog that when I typed in the address last night, my browser didn't even pretend to recognize the URL. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it isn't a good feeling.

The head cold that grabbed my daughter Wed. seems to have finally grabbed me. Sigh. I thought maybe I had successfully dodged this one.

It's cold now. Frost. So, if you know me, you know I'm in mourning. I think I'd be able to escape most of the winter blues each year if it weren't for Christmas. No rant this time, just an observation.

You know what I do with most of my time? I read. Not for me- for my daughter. Yes, we have school and that takes the majority of my time. I clean and cook and garden and do taxi service to soccer or basketball and violin and the grocery and whatever and manage church music, but mostly it feels like I read. There's the school reading (I read everything she reads for school), and then there's the preview reading. Our ritual goes like this: we go to the library where my 12 year old picks about a dozen books from the young adult section. I quickly scan them and usually reject at least one before we check out. After we get home I run all the titles past Common Sense Media. Sometimes there's a hit and that helps a lot. I don't always agree with their age recommendations, but their breakdown of content is useful. Next I do a Google search on parental reviews for the other titles. This usually turns up one or two helpful reviews. The reviews don't necessarily mean I won't preview the book, but I have a general idea about it. After yesterday's library stop, I'm left with just 6 books to pre-read, which is less than usual. (I vetoed two and approved several already.) It isn't just the reading. It's also the constant questioning about how much sexual, violent, dark, pessimistic content is too much for a 12 year old who reads almost as well as I do. It's exhausting, but it's worth it. I know that I won't have a kid I can nurture for long and that when we get beyond this point I can read anything I want and I'll wish more than anything that I had a few books to preview for her. So that's what I do.

I'm going through one of my phases about church again. If you've been reading here (and actually came back--thank you), you know that it's a cycle with me. Tolerate church. Don't tolerate church. I'm in the don't spectrum right now. Probably has to do with cold weather, but there are some other things too. Now Ruby is in the youth group and, while she never felt she belonged in the children's ministry, she does feel like she belongs in the youth. That's important. She has needed it. So when I think about flying the coup, I stop. I still think some other things, though, and they're unsettling. We still lead music. Seven and a half years is a long time to do any job you began thinking that it was a temporary volunteer position-- if we thought anything at all. I'm not really sure we did think anything, really. We were asked, and we knew we could, and so we said okay. That was it.

How are you?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

coming soon

Ummm- something! I don't know what, but it's on it's way. :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010


It was 66 degrees in the house this morning, so I guess I have to admit it's finally fall in Alabama. I don't love it, but I'm trying not to be a big baby this year. :-)

We had a much needed week away last week in honor of Ruby's 11th birthday. A kind friend let us stay in his beach condo since it's the off season, and the weather was absolutely beautiful. The water was too cool for me, but the other two spent some good time in the ocean. I spent my time on the beach where it wasn't swelteringly hot like in summer. We came home on Thursday night and Friday we turned around and went north for the Moundville Native American Festival. A good addition to our Early American studies this year. A little too much time on the road for my taste, but a good week nonetheless. We also got to have dinner with both of Keith's siblings and at least part of their families--one in Panama City and the other in Tuscaloosa near Moundville.

We've gotten off to a good, though rocky at times, school year. Parenting/teaching a pre-teen is decidedly different. Each year requires new adjustments, and this year is no different. You know how, as a parent, you must continually change approaches with your child/children? It's the same with homeschool, only a bit magnified. Plus, I'm having to re-learn trigonometry, which has been... interesting.

I've had relatively few full blown migraines for the last couple of months. A lot of "threats," so to speak, but they have been backing down without too much prodding. This morning, though, I was awakened by the migraine I thought was just a "threat" last night. It could be worse, but this is our first normal Friday in weeks, and I was really looking forward to a good day and quiet evening. It could still happen.

My mom will be having a stent in her leg re-opened next Tuesday. I'd appreciate your prayers for her. She hasn't been especially well for months, and she still has much pain from the shoulder she broke last December.

We're still adjusting to the new pastor who came to our church in June. It's been a big adjustment. I think it's fair to speak for Keith, too, in saying we are wearying of this process. Three pastors in six years.

I planted a small fall garden consisting of broccoli and turnips. I also intended cabbage and lettuce, but apparently we had too many 100 degree days after planting time for those to come through. So far so good on the broccoli and turnips. We've harvested several batches of turnip greens already.

I'll go now. Just thought it was about time for an update.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life goes on

I was just looking at my blog header. The beach where I took this photo has oil all over it now. There is nothing new I can say about this that you haven't already heard or read. It breaks my heart and makes my blood boil. My favorite place has been defiled. The beauty of creation has been smeared with the filth of our wastefulness. I take responsibility for my part, but I'm not sure what to do about it.

So much. So much! It's been constant, this life thing, for months on end. Hasn't it always been constant? Why is it that I can no longer fit my life into the space I'm given?

Many of you know that we lost Cupcake (also here) in April. We miss him so. I still cry sometimes, but not as often as at first.

We finished up a great school year in early June. Ruby is a wonderful person, and I feel so blessed- and honored- to get to teach her. Her violin (and fiddling) is improving all the time, too. I'm awestruck by the fact that my "little girl" can make her own (amazing) music. Getting ready for 6th grade in August!

We enlarged our vegetable garden from 8X10 to 10X45 this year. Would you believe it's 10 times the work when you enlarge a garden by 5 times the space? I also learned this last 2 weeks of being away from home a lot that even a day without tending can have serious consequences in the garden. The happy news is that we have a few quarts of squash in the freezer. We're regularly eating squash, green beans, and now corn from our own garden, and the tomatoes and okra are almost ready. Actually, I managed to let the first of the okra over mature. Frustrating! Know what else I've learned? Organic gardening is HARD!! It is sooo tempting to just get some common pesticide and plunk it out on the plants as I watch them being eaten away. The organic remedies are out there, but most are expensive and they require constant application. I won't give up, but I will stomp around the yard in frustration some more, to be sure. :-)

Keith and I recently celebrated our 25th anniversary. It was a bit like turning 40. I expected it to feel like something new, but it didn't. :-) Thank God for my patient and loving husband.

For the last week and a half Ruby and I have been volunteering at Maxwell Air Force Base in the International Family Orientation Program. We were in the 5th-6th grade class. What a great experience! Ruby has some new friends from all over the world and we learned a lot. I was merely helping the main teacher for our class. Monica did an amazing job with this group. I felt so inadequate next to her! But I was oh-so-thankful for her boundless energy and great ideas. You might not guess it, but 18 10 and 11 yr. olds, some of whom speak only marginal English, can be a little challenging to contain and engage! They are precious kids whom I will not forget.

Ruby leaves for camp for the first time on Sunday. This is a watershed moment, to be sure. I love that she's going. I hate that she's going. Ugh.

This Sunday a new pastor will begin serving in our church. As employees, this is a nervy time. The United Methodist itinerant system is hard on all UM church employees, I think. We will see and time will tell. Hoping and praying for the best in the meantime.

I recently read Julie Clawson's Everyday Justice. I can't recommend it highly enough. I also started Half the Sky. I so admire Nicholas Kristof and the work he does. I don't really do book reviews, but I think you and your world would be edified by both of these books.

This shot of the garden is almost a month old, but you get the idea. It seems big to us, but compared to many of our neighbors it is just a little baby garden.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

dear anonymous

Thank you! I'm here, and I'm honestly going to rejoin the blog world any day now. It's awfully nice to be missed!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


hi there :-)

We're out of school this week. Yay. I got almost nothing done yesterday and I loved every minute of it. I do have a few things to do this week, but boy did I need the free hours. I read some of your blogs this morning. Haven't done that in a while. I've been regular on Facebook because it has the appearance of taking less time that actual blog reading and posting, but that's an illusion. It could be quicker, but it's not because of all the built in distractions. The thing is, I connect with so many more people there than here, it's hard not to lean in that direction. But I feel like I'm betraying my blog buddies who held me up for so very long. :-(

I'm looking forward to crafts and gift making with my daughter this week. The only hitch will be the violin recital Thursday night. She hasn't been in one in a couple of years due to teacher changes, etc, and she's really stressing about it. If you think about it, please offer a quick prayer for Ruby's nerves. Her first-and-only-child temperament weighs heavily at these times.

My mom is having shoulder surgery this morning, possibly as I type. She fell last week and broke it and dislocated it at the same time. She's in a lot of pain and I'm worried about her. She is 80; these things take their toll. Could very much use prayers for her.

I'm not stressing over the holidays as much as I was. It always gets better once I dive in and remember it's not usually as bad as I expect.

Keith and I worked really hard on a special song to do in church last Sunday morning, and nobody but the pastor said a word to us about it. I tell myself my music is never about the thanks or the compliments, but things like this inevitably hurt my feelings; so I'm obviously not being honest about my motives.

Keith has a thing going on with his right eye. It stayed red and irritated for over a month so he finally went to the Dr. and found that he had a staph infection. He used the antibiotic drops and it improved quickly. Then it started to bother him again. He said it felt like it was scratched. He finally (read: after I nagged him yet again until he could no longer stand the sound of my voice) went back yesterday and the Dr. said the whole cornea is all scratched up from little bumps under his eyelid- which could have been there before or could have been caused by the antibiotic drops. Eye problems are scary. I hope the new treatment takes care of this.

We got a puppy on Halloween. His name is Mickey and he's adorable.
He's a poodle mix. We suspect the other half is beagle. He's smart and mischievous and funny, and has slightly webbed toes. We needed some clear cut joy around here even though we didn't need another expense. Some things are worth a thousand times what they cost in dollars. Mickey was a rescue. He was about 5 mo when the shelter got him, and not at all housebroken. Turns out 5 months of no training is hard to un-train, but we're getting there and we love him so much. I wish you could meet him. You'd like me
better if you met my dog.

If you can't tell from the photos, he's teething, but he's great about sticking to his chew toys when we remind him. My daughter wants to save his baby teeth so we have a little baggies with the bloody baby teeth we've found in it. :-/ I drew the line at putting them under his bed for the doggy tooth fairy.

And my husband just informed me that our daughter has set up a yard sale on her bed. ?! You never know what will happen on school holidays!

Monday, November 30, 2009


I'm sorry for being such a whiner! I'm working on that; I promise.