Ready and Waiting

Ready and Waiting


My Fascinating To-Do List

I have so much to do.  I’m not really complaining because most of my tasks are self-imposed.

I have essays to grade (I assigned them).

I have garden plots to weed and prep (I decided to have 3 this year).

I have a speech to write (I accepted when asked-yikes).

I need to organize the planting of strawberries and raspberries (I agreed to be the garden director).

I have two more pairs of fingerless mittens to knit (I plan to gift them to my yoga instructors).

I have 4 cabled  wash cloths to knit (teacher presents).

I have a new course to plan (I pitched it).

I need to redo my yard where it was torn up when the garage was being built (Only self-inflicted because I can’t have an ugly yard).

I need to build raised beds for the west side of the new garage (I don’t have to do it this year, but I want to).

I decided to create a new flower bed, and change the shape of another (to accommodate a new path that will lead from our house to the garage).

I also have to teach, clean, parent, be a wife, and play with my dog.

I need to find time to work out.

I have neglected my blog because of this to-do list, which makes me feel guilty.  I decided to combine the two, which probably doesn’t make for fascinating reading (despite the title), but it is helping my organize my thoughts.

So thanks for that!  🙂

Here’s a nice picture to make up for my boring post.  When I get time, I will write a post about the three-day Montana Judicial Institute I just attended.


The view from Apgar Lookout

A Dozen Homemade Organic Garden Remedies

I think I may have to try some of these…

Hope Gardens

12 home remedies

Veggie gardens need special care. Vegetable plants are prone to all sorts of disease and fungus. They are highly sought after by pests both big and teeny teeny tiny. A slight negative change in their environment can cause them to stop producing. And we aren’t happy when our veggie garden is just limping along…we want it to thrive!

We also expect our vegetables to be nutritious and safe to eat; and as if that’s not enough, we demand our gardens be harmonious, attractive and a boon to their environment.

This is a lot to ask of our humble garden, but it can be accomplished! Generations of our ancestors have done it, and they’ve done it with less. Maybe we should follow their lead…

You can do it with less by using homemade natural remedies to treat pests and disease. With readily available ingredients, fertilizers too can be mixed up right…

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Why I Hate the Science Fair

Okay…maybe that isn’t the most befitting title.  I don’t really hate the science fair–I hate what happens in our house during the science fair.  It is hands-down the most unpleasant time of the year in our house.

It starts in January.  The boys attend after-school meetings or workshops designed to help them  with their project.  While I am sure they learn some important information, in none of those meetings do they actually seem to get guidance with their individual projects.  This means it must all happen at home.

Now, my boys love science–and my husband and I love science.  But when it comes down to putting all the pieces together and making sure the parents don’t do too much of the project, it gets complicated.  The boys never really seem to understand what is expected from them, and Eric and I certainly don’t know, except from what we read in the science fair packet.  Narrowing down a topic is tricky as well.  My eldest child will pick a topic and WILL NOT BUDGE.  We may try to offer some variations, or suggestions to make it more straightforward, but he is not having it.  My younger son, on the other hand, picks a topic, then changes it, then changes it again, then adds ten things to it, so on and so forth.  He wants to try it all.

We swore after last year the boys would decide their topics right away and space out the work throughout the month.  This…sorta happened.  We try to help, we order and cajole the boys to work because “we aren’t doing this for you”.  We try to get them to do a little bit at a time so as not to have the meltdown of last year.  This…sorta happened.

In the meantime, we are planning and executing both boys’ birthday parties.  We have sleepover parties.  We have tired boys.  We have new games and toys that want to be played with.  We have a February 26 deadline.  We have tears.  We have pouting.  We have stomping. We have parents tearing what little hair they have left from their heads.  We have parents raising their voices, threatening lost computer privileges.  We have negotiations.  We have many promises made, some promises kept.  We have whining.  We have boys with terrible colds.

Noses are blown.  Reminders are given to cough into elbows.  Boys wander away, boys are corralled and returned to the work site.  Nobody is happy.  Everyone is exhausted.  We hope this doesn’t destroy any and all love of science.

Finally, at long last, after much trial and tribulation, the boards are made, the reports are written, and the notes are prepared. Next Tuesday, we will go to the sweaty elementary school gymnasium and wait for 2 hours or so for the judges to makes their decisions, ribbons will be awarded and it will all be over for another year.  We will wonder if they will want to do it again next year.  They will.  They always do.  Sigh.

Who is with me?  Do any other parents experience the Science Fair Meltdown?

Science fair exhibit (butterflies), probably t...

That Was Then This is Now

Today is my eldest son’s eleventh birthday.  He is smart, handsome, funny and I am very proud of him.  He is also only about 4 inches shy of being my height.

So, on this important occasion, I decided to look back and consider what things have changed in my life from when he was brand new until today.  I’m not really talking about the obvious stuff:  I am older…I am heavier…I have two children…I have a giant Newfoundland…my cholesterol is higher…my knees are lower…

Instead, I wanted to see how I was different from my younger self in less obvious ways.

So here it goes:

I am actually taller, by 1/4 inch, thanks to my chiropractor.  Not quite 5 feet yet, but closer.

I eat green beans.  Not the disgusting mushy ones from a can, but ones lightly sautéed in EVVO and balsamic vinegar.  I also eat asparagus.

I don’t smoke.  It’s been nearly four years.

I don’t drink Diet Coke, which was once practically synonymous with my name.  It’s been six weeks.

I’m not as obsessed with a clean house.  I used to not be able to relax when the house was a mess.  Now I can–I don’t always like it, but I have come to realize that I don’t want to spend my free time after work cleaning up after 2 boys and a slobbery Newfie.

I knit passably well.

I don’t remember what it is like to be bored.

I am now a Nationally Board Certified teacher.

I drink beer–I hadn’t done that since college.  Mostly Coors Light because it tastes the best of the low-calorie beers, though I prefer a Session or Kokanee or Stella D’Artois.  Or my neighbor’s home-brewed Ginger Beer.  I used to drink wine–mostly Sauvignon Blanc–but after babies I now get a headache while I drink the first glass.  Boo.

I garden, providing all sorts of yummy goodness for our table.  In addition, I am actively involved in the Columbia Falls Community Garden.  I learned how to can food.

I don’t know what it is like to not wake up to the slightest sound.

I cook…and I even regularly use more than 4-5 ingredients.  I can even improvise, although I still like the safety of a recipe.

Added 2/14/13:  I care more about avoiding things such as GMOs, pesticides, commercial fertilizers, etc.

Just a few things…I’m sure there are more.  Without question, I am different because I am a mom to two completely awesome kids whom I adore and enjoy.  I am less selfish, more contemplative, more realistic, and a whole lot sillier.  And I am very, very happy.  I was happy 11 years ago…but I also had  anxiety about too many things.  While I still worry, I am better recognizing what I can control and what I cannot, which has permitted me to release senseless feelings of disquiet.

Vita bonum est.

preganant croppedWhat about you?  In what small ways have you changed over the last decade?



A Random Thought about Miss Saigon

I grew up watching musicals and listening their soundtracks with my sisters.  We could act them out, we knew them so well.  Clang clang clang goes the trolley.  I want to live in America.  Bless your beautiful hide.  That ain’t it kid, that ain’t it kid.  The waving wheat can sure smell sweet.  Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep.  You are sixteen going on seventeen. Shining, gleaming–streaming flaxen waxen.  I don’t expect my love affairs to last for long.  What’s the buzz, tell me whats a-happening.  Sorry–I could go on and on.

Today, as I was vacuuming, singing Miss Saigon music to myself, I pondered yet once again that as Kim was singing, “Nothing must stop what I must do…my son I’ll give my life for you”, did she realize what she was really doing?


Kim and Tam

Of course I know she knew she was sacrificing her life so that her son would be “an American boy” with Chris and Ellen.  But did she think about the fact that for the rest of his life, Tam would have understand that he was the reason his mother killed herself?  Because, as an adult, don’t you suppose he might think, “Jeez, Ma–maybe if you had just waited and talked to Dad…” or “if you’d loved me, you would have tried to go with me”.  Can you imagine the neuroses that would engender?

Don’t get me wrong…I can still enjoy and weep and sing a long with the tragedy of it all.  Something being “realistic” isn’t a criteria for enjoyment for me, or I wouldn’t be able to read all of those Diana Gabaldon books over and over again.  Man, I do love me a good time travel story.  But when characters touch me, I always imagine how it should have been different.  That’s what well written characters do, right?  Make you think of them as real people who have choices beyond the lines written for them?

When I finally made my husband sit down and watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, he just could not get past the premise…kidnap and bunch of girls for months, and they will fall in love with you?  I protested that the girls already loved the boys (such singers! such dancers! such handsome shirts in primary colors!).  I can definitely get past the premise.

So I will try to understand Kim’s martyrdom…or maybe she did it to force Chris to “hold (her) one more time”?   Sigh.  I don’t know.  Miss Saigon is still near perfection, regardless.  And I will try not to think so much.

Could you name all the musicals I quoted in the first paragraph??