Chicken coop

Chicken coop

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I may be fat....

The other night when my husband came to bed, he shook me awake and complained about my snoring and promptly rolled over and started sawing wood to beat the band.  It was so loud that I clicked on the TV and then couldn’t hear it for his volume.  He doesn’t usually snore, but when he is sick he will roar like a tiger.   Well this morning he announced as he was leaving for work that he is getting a cold.  Bless. 

So, after 30 minutes I moved to the couch, fell fast asleep and woke in the morning with painful fingers that were so swollen that they blanched.  I tried to get off my wedding ring and was unable to do so.  I figured I would land in the ER later in the AM to borrow the ring cutter.  After doing dishes and having a hot bath I was able to tease the ring from my finger and put it promptly in my jewlry box.  Okay, so now I have to admit that I may be fat.  At least fatter than I was when I got married.  I examined myself in the mirror without my reading glasses mind you, not so bad….tomorrow I may have the guts to repeat my examination with my spectacles on.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Father Vernon

We have a dear friend, who is a priest.  It is a tough job, and he does it with such vigor and absolute joy!  A job steeped in tradition and the gems of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. 

Father gave his homily on prolife issues from cradle to grave and everyone sat on the edge of their seats, no mindless hand picking witnessed, from the youngest to the older folks, as I looked about I was amazed how everyone was hanging on his every word.  He spoke of the love of his own mother to give him life, and how life begins as all scientists agree at conception, not birth and how miraculous this GIFT of life is and mirrors the love of our Savior and God.  He spoke of the battle of good and evil and how it is our duty, each of us to support the value to all life.  He spoke of the physically ill and of our duty to them, and was specific to not denying, those able; food and water and how this is such a dangerous topic for those without a voice. 

On the ride home there was lots of life going on in the back seat, giggling, wiggling, seat kicking and generalized nonsense and I was struck with awe at the privilege that God picked me to be their mom and love them as all I can love, to teach them what is right, and to be an example to them of how to honor God in all things. 

Recently, I had an outpatient procedure and my well meaning doctor showed my husband my negative pregnancy test that is done routinely on all women preoperatively of childbearing years.  He smiled at my husband in a, “whew….you dodged the bullet this month” sort of way.  He had no idea of our missed pregnancy 2 years ago, and how both Joshua and I grieved at the loss of a precious baby that we had created in our Marriage Covenant with God.  I have been very blessed through our marriage that my own husband has been so open to all life in our household.  He has always been delighted by our news and with two miscarriages held my hand and lifted me up in prayer and presence. 

We are blessed by our friend, that visits his own parents in Brevard every year, and they so graciously share him with us.  He brings a message of encouragement and peace.  We feel a great privilege to call him Padre, friend, brother, and confessor.  These are times of moral crisis, and he is encouraging, mentoring, and yelling, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” 

Go, Father…Go!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Aunt Betty RIP 10-14-2010

My Aunt Betty passed away this afternoon.  She had suffered much the last few months as Alzheimer’s stole her mind and a fractured hip with all the associated complications took her body.  She was surrounded by her beloved husband, daughters and son.  She was loved and cherished as every woman desires, it wasn’t perfect, but it was all hers.  I think of Uncle Martin so sad to lose this woman who had given his children life, and given him friendship, love, and a relationship that made it through all the tests of time.  He is left to morn her, what she was and what she became.  Sometimes it seems that in the end in order for your mate to let you go, there must be suffering.   I carry them in my heart this day, that the Father of all has his sweet Betty beside Him in all her Glory!  Amen!

Tiea Dawn Beauchamp Simmons

Tiea will even tell you that she knew the moment we said hello in that elevator that we would be lifelong friends.  This is how our story goes.  

I have had the loveliest of friends in my lifetime.  Some I have picked like flowers from my garden and others that have picked me.  The first time I set eyes on Tiea was in an elevator at the hospital.  She was wearing a linen suit, it was summer and quite hot, she looked cool as a cucumber and she had this smile, the smile of someone that knows stuff.  Tiea was the epitome of sexy.  She had long slender legs, short skirts and high heels.  She owned every length of pearls made, and had the perfect pair for each and every outfit, and she never would be caught dead with a run in her hose.  She didn't own flip flops and she had a cat named Ted, and Ted had a cat named Bill and lived together with a crazy divorced gal with wild hair named Amanda Ruth in an adorable apartment in Grove Park.  What I didn't realize was that she did not have a bit of insulation in that place and the winter breeze would actually billow the drapes! The first winter of our friendship I nearly froze to death.  Tiea and I spent our first year as friends working the night shift.  This was how we sealed our friendship as forever as we were totally engrossed in each other’s lives as only single women are capable of.  We had no obligations to keep us from staying up late watching old movies and just hanging out as people with youth are prone to do.  You can really get to know someone this way, and this is why our young friendships have so much depth.  We cash in the time machine and whiddle away our time figuring each other out. 

After working in the ER for 20 years together Tiea had to retire due to Polycystic Kidney disease.  She is the single most brave and principled person I know and she would cut you in your sleep if you harmed one hair on the head of either of her nieces or her nephew.  She loves her family enough to live 50 minutes away from them, and forbade them to ever drop in on her, and this is something one must never due  because, "'s rude you know. " Not that she ever had anything thing to hide, well most of the time anyway.  She and I were perfect opposites, and we've had few cross words and many fits of absolute laughter.  We've had the same dream on the same night, we've been accused of being lesbians, we've vacationed together quite harmoniously seeing that we never spent more than 30 minutes sitting together on the beach.  Tiea only comes out before and after the sun has gone to sleep, where I prefer to sit, in the sand like a sugar cookie with a good book and a 6 pack of diet coke.  That's another thing, she drinks Tea.  Earl Grey, Sleepy time, or just Luiaziane Tea seeped in the sunshine, for her it is always Tea.  

I've known Tiea to do just one illegal thing in her life, and that was the funniest ride to Dairy Queen I have ever had.  She later moved in next door to me and shacked up with my neighbor David, who we both love to this day.  We've had Valentines parties when there weren't any Valentines, we both love Dr. Berner our favorite ER personality and all the songs he sings and his marvelous boyish charm and the fact he is madly in love with his wife Lynn who followed him on her knees for so many years that he had to marry her.  For Dan, the unrequited love affair of the the 90's and how it broke my heart that I bear a grudge to this day.  He would never be worthy of her love, not in a million years.  For Winston the dog who needed a jock, canasta for a whole summer, knitting, walking, waxing, and the drives to the country in the Miata were just moments of time passed in each other’s company.  Of all the people I have know, she accepts me just as I am and wouldn't change a thing.  She finds my children lovable and accepts my love for my husband without complaint.  She is the very first person I called when I was so scared, as my husband lay dying with me powerless to help him.  She held my cell phone so I could close my eyes and made sure the sheets were white and perfectly clean with a cat hair in sight.  I understand that her Daddy singlehandedly won the Great War, and would never think otherwise.  She and I actually have a song….”Why do Birds suddenly appear, every time you are near.” 

I no longer talk or see Tiea every day, or every week, or every month.  She is only 50 minutes away, but in my crazy life of mother to 4, wife to one, nurse to many it is hard to find a moment.  But every once in a while it works out and we sit and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.  Several months ago, I took my son to IHOP for a date and Aunt Tiea joined us…..I looked across the table and she was looking at him with such love in her eyes, and I again remembered why she is a girls very best friend! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Carol Chappy

When I was a 21 year old young lady, fresh from Nursing school with one year of experience under my belt I moved from Orlando, Florida to Highlands,NC.  A huge change in my life, leaving lots of friends my age and moving to a retirement community in the mountains.  I was dying on the vine.  There was one other young nurse...the first time I met her she was laying over a patients bed with the patient draped over her like a mink.  She was ambulating the post-op patient when he decided to just lay down, and down on the bed they went.  She was a consummate  professional, so getting caught by the administrator and myself "laying" down on the job embarrassed her and she shrugged me off.  I had already decided that we would be friends much to her disagreement.  One cold winter after I knocked on her front door until she let me in,   I had seen her spying from the upstairs window to see if I was still there...."C-A-R-o-L let me in!"  She tells me that I was like a stray cat out there yelling until she let me in.  She was fully dressed with a thick cotton robe over top of her clothes, her house was cold; I complained and she showed me to the door....that was day one, but I got in and she never turned me away after that.  She later told me I was the sunshine that showed all the dirt on her tabletop.  Our friendship was even the demise of her closet- boyfriend the one that was such a red neck that she could not bring her Miami self to introduce him to her friends.  We would hang out at her house, drink wine, she was also a closet-smoker, and she tired of hiding all the ash trays from me.  

I called Carol the other day to meet me and my children at Cliffside Lake in Highlands, as we wanted to escape the heat of the summer with the spring fed lake.  Carol will always drop what she is doing and meet me with lawn chair in hand, and will stay until she has to have a cigarette, as yet she is still a closet-smoker after all these years.  I was telling another dear one how much Carol means to me, and I was playing back some of our trauma together, the traumas that only dear friends lock in their hearts and bring out the pain to dust it off and shelf it in a freshly lined drawer in our hearts.  Carol has a beautiful son, he is my godson who I pray for everyday.  When he was just a toddler Carol had another pregnancy.  She was expecting another son, and eagerly awaited his arrival, one morning she did not feel the baby move, she was 38 weeks.  A trip to the OB/GYN proved fetal demise and off she went for an induction, many hours of labor, and delivery of her little one that never had a chance to take his first breath.  Her husband summoned me, after working a night shift in the ED, I rushed to her bedside to find her with hypotension, tachycardia, and her IV infiltrated.  We were unable to summon a nurse as the only two on duty were in a delivery.  I put her in trendelenburg, restarted her IV, and went into Tracey nurse mode....."Don't poke the bear!"  I only left that evening to return to my duties in the ED.  As we have navigated the rough waters of loss, parenting, many miles between us, we come back together as no time has passed.  I see her tired eyes, and think of her exquisite beauty as a young woman, I know there is a magnificent painting of her, a present to her husband many years ago that caught her bloom in it's glory.  Another year has passed and I have not forgotten that wee one with the curly black hair that has a spot on top the mountain next to his grandpa, but his spirit soars with God the Father of all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Aunt LaDonna

At first sight my Aunt LaDonna was my hero.  I was 5, she 55; although we were never sure of her true age.  She claimed to be 39, and when my mom would laugh hysterically she would say..."okay 49..." and take a drag off her cigarette....Virginia Slims.  She was (gasp) a divorcee in the early 70's, quite the scandal amongst the neighbors.  She had jet black hair, short shorts, micro minis and gold lame go go boots.  She drove a white cougar with a light blue top and she always parked straight down the driveway making it impossible for anyone else to pull in.  Thus the Schneider-ism of "you park like Aunt LaDonna"  and this is NOT a good thing, and often was the source of irritation for my father arriving home from work.  She had an uncanny ability to drop in just in time for supper.  My mother thought her to be very colorful, and since  my father relocated our family from NY to Florida, she was just the show stopper my mother needed at the time.  Quite the diversion.  Aunt LaDonna would take us girls, Melissa, Monica, and me for an overnight, she would paint our toe nails bright red (our mother would never allow that then or now) and we would make crank calls well after our official bed time.  Her favorite was, "Hey mister is your refrigerator running?"  The man would say sure, and she would say, "I know I just saw it running down the street."  And we would explode in gales of laughter on her big king sized bed with a black rotary phone that weighed at least 20 lbs.  She had two poodles that she dyed pink and blue.....painted their nails and put bows in their hair.  She was a card.

Every Christmas she would get a fresh tree, paint it with white snow so the needles would last the whole year and with each Holiday she would change the decor for the season.   February would bring hearts and cupids, shamrocks for March, Easter eggs in April....4th of July red, white, and blue.  My Father was always amazed that the whole house did not catch fire.  She was a bright light.  The last time I saw her was my Nursing School Graduation Party.  She was in a tight white dress, her skin tanned, bright red lip stick, her hair was still coal black, but under her war paint was a 75 year old hot mama.  She was headed to Vegas for a change of scenery as she had tired of the sunshine state.

She is no longer at our dinner table but her legacy still lives on!  I still paint my toes bright red in her honor, and I can still her her laugh as she always had a joke to tell that would make my mom gasp.

Matty's letter to Mike Rowe

Matty, my first born; wanted Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs to visit with his crew....this is his letter.  PS  He also used it for a writing assignment for school.

Dear Mike Rowe,

We have a fabulous dirt bike trail at our house, we have lots of acres to run, ride bikes, and my favorite is the Dirt Bike Trail. We are digging more trials, clearing bushes, and this is really a dirty job. We live in the mountains of North Carolina, and my brothers and me....well we get dirty. So bring the gang and your play clothes and I even have a bike for you, either at 110 or 250 if you could handle that kind of power.

PS My dad is building an outside shower because we get so dirty. Oh by the way, my name is Matty and I'm 8. Bye Mike Rowe, I love your show, but mom says you need to clean up your mouth....too many bad words; she has a bar of soap for that kind of thing. Dad gave up bad words for lent. This makes mom and God happy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Tooth Fairy

Tooth Emergency…..

Nathan needs his tooth pulled, I tried to do it I even wiggled it a little…..just can’t.  This goes back to my own childhood, I was terrified.  At age 7 I stopped eating for two weeks because my tooth “may” come out during the exercise of eating.  My mom thought me ridiculous, totally true; and I was mistrustful of her, “let me just wiggle it a little” tact.  I held on to the front tooth until it was drawing flies.  My mom sent me down the street to the home of our family dentist and it literally came out in his hand without any effort.  I cried, yelling, and sobbed all the way home.  I totally realized how silly I was and how overplayed the incident was, but none the less I held onto my twitchy self and was terrified of teeth.  My grandmother’s false teeth were no trouble because after all…..they weren’t really teeth.  Childhood logic!    Can’t imagine how this phobia came to fruition but I can tell you the cost to my ego.  As I grew, it followed me.  I was in Nursing School and was home for dinner one evening when my mother spit out her crown on her plate, I took one look at it and the next thing I knew I was on the carpet with most of my dinner on top of me.  Yes, I passed out cold; and no, that was not the only time. 

I was on duty in the ER triage area after 11PM when a young man in uniform…basketball I think, came running in with his parents, keep in mind 20 plus years ago, we didn’t even have security on duty in the ED and when security was needed we called and one of the Maintenance guys and they would show up with a huge wrench in their back pocket.  That was usually enough to stop the reasonable fool, if not the police were summoned.  So it was me, the parents and the patient.  I smiled at them and asked what brought them out to the ED this evening and as the boy smiled his broken tooth smile, opening his hand that had several pieces of teeth covered in blood, as did his broken smile.  Boom, I passed out cold face down on the table, my arms hanging at my sides.  I could hear the panic of the said parents as they rushed about looking for a staff member to help, but all the staff was behind a locked door.  The father picked up the phone on my desk and called the hospital operator and explained the nurse was out cold.  Next thing I knew I was being dragged, not too carefully and flopped unceremoniously on a stretcher.  My coworkers laughed at me for days, weeks, months, and years.  Finally, all the witnesses to my drop have moved on to other things and I rarely get any teasing, as I am the last left to remember.  Later In my career, I realized that the tooth thing extended to the nose as well.  As I was circulating in a plastics case one morning and the MD was hammering on a woman’s nose, and I quickly exited knowing what would come next…more pavement. 

So as you can guess, I am not any help to my children in pulling their teeth.  Healthy white non-gunky teeth are my favorite and I will brush their teeth even floss their teeth, and never pull their teeth.  That is what Grandmas are for!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Oh my goodness, I'm finally figuring this format out.  Not bad for a 40 something year old?  Spoke with 2 of my 4 sisters today, kinda makes me sad not to hear from everyone during the week, Melbur is the most elusive.  Maggie second, only because she is managing being a newlywed, having two homes for sale, and trying to get in a volleyball game or two.  All of my siblings are so important to me, all in very different ways.  At times, some are easy...and then not so much.  But always they are precious to me.  The sisters that also have children are easier, because we share the same daily grind....but gosh when we get together it is noisy.  A great kind of noisy! Our children dearly love each other and nothing is more fun than the cousins.  My cousins were always 24 hrs drive or more away, so it is so nice to have family so close.  My sisters need no explanation on what makes me joyful or what makes me sad, I don't have to describe my childhood or who my parents are....but I am amazed at how very differently we relay the same events.  Our family had two sets of kids...the big girls and the babies.  I was the oldest....a member of the big girls.  I led when they would follow.  I listened, and housed several as they made their way through college, my young adult life was full of fun and had a sister in every adventure.  As we have grown, we have grown closer but you can bet at the next family dinner you will see us revert to our family "role".  I thank my parents regularly for the gift of my dear sisters and they are built in best friends.  I love you, Melbur, Monica, Maggie, and Ruthie!
                                                                 The Cousins Easter 2010

Father's Day Blessings

Just had a wonderful Father’s Day with all parties, two terrific Dads….My own Father and the Father of my children.  We had brunch with my dear ole Dad and BBQ dinner with my wonderful husband and all four children.  We hailed Grandpa at Brunch and of course the funniest “Spanking” stories were drug out of the closet.  They reappeared funny as ever and we laughed together remembering the twice my Dear Ole Dad had to spank us children as he mostly left the discipline to my mom.  We knew he always had her back! Both instances our Mother was off do gooding, and left my father to manage all 5 children which he did kindly and sweetly.  He worked hard, an executive at Xerox and he was home by 6 in his three piece suit, and often would drop in his recliner fully dressed with paper in hand he would nod off and we would tiptoe around him, not being instructed in any way to leave him alone; but out of respect for his labors.  His only interruption was my youngest sister Ruthie, a preschooler, who would back into his lap with a book insisting to be read a story by her favorite person, Dad.

After returning home from a lovely brunch at my parents, we all had naps/quiet time and then Joshua was out at the dirt track with the boys practicing one of their favorites, dirt biking.  Everyone came back full of smiles, Joe collected eggs from the chicken coop while Joshua and Matty cleaned up the bikes and put everything away neatly and with great care.  My husband has always been a maintainer of his things.  He believes everything has a place and should go directly there after a thorough cleaning, of course.  His hammer is never misplaced and his tape measure is always exactly where it should be.  I love this man, and I love the way he is teaching our boys to be men.  Many blessings this Father’s Day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

YMCA Camp Week

My children are at last home, seems like a lifetime without their noises in the house.  My sister Ruth decided our children should go to the YMCA camp in Hendersonville, she had a plan.  The children would go to camp Monday-Friday 8AM-6PM and she would drop off and pick up and have my three boys spend the night for the week so I didn’t have to drive to Hendersonville twice a day.  You know when a plan is coming together…sounds great…..I can get some painting done.  Next week I’ll have her crew for several days while she goes to a conference.  Our children are finally at the age, where going to Aunt Tracey’s house is big fun. 

Little did I know that the Sinus infection that I have been fighting for the last month with high powered antibiotic is still alive and well?  I showed up in my Allergists office before business on Wednesday and he graciously saw me first thing, and then went to ENT office for a mini head scan of my sinuses.  The machine was so small and resembled a panorex, I was sitting straight up for the scan.  Then back to the Allergist, and as I walked in the phone was ringing, it was said Allergist and he said, go back; your scan is terrible and you need to see the surgeon.  So now I have to tell my boss….not looking forward to that, still putting it off.  Back on antibiotic and high doses of steroids, my husband groans as the steroids make me aggressive.  A wonderful trait in a sumo wrestler, terrible in a wife and mother; but I digress. 

So I went to pick up the children, and met my sweet and wonderful husband downtown for a little family fun.  Gracie barely made it…..DOA.  More fun than her 4 year old self could keep up with at grandma’s house.  She had a week with her grandparents and now thinks they will be terribly lonely without her 0700 ready to go self.  My parents enjoyed their time, but they were probably in bed by 8PM.  I don’t blame them, but with these steroids I’m not sleeping and it’s starting to make me a little crazy, on the up side I am getting so much done.  At some point I’ll just fall down.  Tomorrow it’s bathrooms and laundry, or maybe later this evening? 

The bottom line is, kids are home, husband is too and home is definitely where the heart is!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

old photos

Old photos are amazing in the fact that they are so powerful.  They can drum up a memory like it happened yesterday.  They can make you miss people, remind you of the girl you used to be, and bring joy or pain.  My children love to look through their photos of the first year of their life.  My dear friend Christy H. introduced me to Creative Memories 15 years ago and I have been scrap booking ever since.  I did a "first year" book for each of the children that includes my pregnancy to their first birthday.  They recognize themselves and their family members and love to tell the story of their it all runs together, but the pictures keep it fresh.  I can almost smell the new baby smell looking over the pictures.  Yesterday I was one day post op from a procedure and I laid around most of the day with my mother here to assist.  So the kids took the opportunity to drag out the photo books and we relished in their milestones, and I had a moment to appreciate how far we have come in our journey.  Matty, my first born has the biggest book and they thin as you go down the line of the four children, as one would expect.   But with the advent of digital photography, there are many many photos to enjoy.  It isn't often that I take the time to dance down memory lane, but the opportunity of rest presented itself from the usual race to finish the day and I totally enjoyed the pictures of precious little faces.  I am truly blessed.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Joe Bear

I have a son, named Joseph...we call him Joe Bear.  When he was 8 months old or so he sounded like a baby bear and when you would hold him close he would hold on like a baby bear, and his skin is a beautiful brown color...unlike the rest of the white people who live here.  He gets this from his very Greek Grandmother.  He has huge eyes, and tucks his lips in, the most adorable way.  He can work around his mother, and frequently finds himself in big trouble, as his curious nature brings trouble his way.  When he was only 3 he fell in love with vacuums.  He couldn't believe after plugging it in that it would make the most marvelous noise and suck up dirt from the floor and we had several.  He had a red dirt devil that he would cart from room to room.  He especially made his Aunt Tiea nervous with the plugs.  He was fascinated by the whole process.  When he was 4 he turned by new environmental vacuum over and stuck his thumb in the roller while it was in motion.  It skinned him and he had a dripping wound for 6 weeks or so.  He really injured himself, a degloving and has the scar to prove it.  Last month while my eldest son was swinging from a rope swing that goes over a 20 foot drop off, Joe thought he should pull an Indian Jones and jump off catching the rope, he hung on until the swing passed over the drop off and did a flip mid air and landed flat on his belly scaring his Aunt, cousins, and mother half to death.  He has no idea that he is travelling too fast on his bike...(break neck speed).  And he thinks that our sitter Nicky is out of her mind because she will  not let him ride his bike on the cement, only on the grass.  She has full understanding of what he is capable of.  Joe recently burned his index finger with a match, he found a small box of matches and squirrelled it away until the perfect moment, and even had his sister, (the narc) sworn to secrecy.  Joe also rolled up a band aide and stuck it up his nose.  Why?  His nose was itching.  After a trip to the ED, they couldn't get it out, an appt with the ENT doctor to remove it with a scope was scheduled for the next day.  The following morning it was laying on his pillow, he had sneezed it out during the night.  Joe has been know to hide sweet n low packets under his pillow, and snacks on these as needed.  He has forgotten about more trouble than most know, and when you correct him he looks honestly sorry, but would do it again in one hot minute.  My Joe is a living testimony of prayer.  He is now six years old and has notified his father and I that he does not want to be in first grade that we should send Gracie his younger sister instead.  Since we home school our children, he will have to belly up to the school table late August with the rest of his siblings.  My job is to keep him in one piece for the summer.  This keeps me on my knees.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dad's are forever

We set up camp at a friend's camp ground Sunday after church, and settled in for some fun on the river for Memorial Day.  I had worked until 3:30 that morning, so I was dragging a bit, and my husband kicked into high gear and set up both tents and all the odds and ends.  He and the children swam in the French Broad River until they were all exhausted and positively happy to the bone.  After dinner, I went back to work for a 7P-11P short shift to return to bed down with the family.  Early that morning it started to rain....drizzling at first and then the flood gaits opened.  We went to breakfast at 6:45AM, and went back after to finish packing up the wet tents.  After arriving home, everyone was so cheerful and happy...not exactly what I expected after 24 hrs of lots of work, lots of fun, and lots of rain.  I had to run back to the hospital for several hours to work on my Pear report and upon my return trip home I heard a program from Focus on the Family about a gentleman remembering his father and his great love for him and just how pivotal his relationship with his Dad had been.  He related all his success and failures to this first true relationship of love.  I immediately thought of my own husband and the relationship he has with his own children, our children.  How he regularly cries thinking of them, their successes, their struggles, their lovely ways, and the gift they are to us.  My husband spends every weekend caring for our small brood, as I work at the hospital to help ends meet and get a dose of humanity outside of our home and continue my lifelong ministry of nursing.  I never had to remind him to "feed the children", or to get them to bed on time.  He sees to every need, like a mission and he delights in the small special moments.  This radio program brings me back to center, and stills the pendulum of my busy life to see the miracle that is my spouse.  He nearly died two years ago, and I would be living a very different reality and my children would miss their Father forever, as I am MOM and he is DAD.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Linen Closet

What is the deal with the linen closet?  I open the door and stuff falls out.  I carefully organized it 6 months ago...and it's back to it's disorganized self.  This will be first on my list for Tuesday.  I pull everything out and reorganize, throw out the old and tattered and again in  months things will be falling off the shelves.  This reminds me of the sin in my life...occasionally I will sort through it, throw things out, deal with the mess and close the door.  Then it keeps throwing it's dirtiness at my feet and I'll deal with the stinky sinful me.  Note to self...get to confession monthly so the stuff doesn't pile up.  That is my ah ha moment for today.  In the meantime, I'm going to clean, organize, and throw some stuff out!!!  Thank goodness for Dow Scrubbing Bubbles!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Forever 26

Okay...seriously, when I am not near a mirror I swear I am 26.  You heard me right, 26, not 36!  It blows my mind when I have trouble doing a cartwheel in the yard with the kids...or climbing up the stairs of my kid's tree house...why is this hard...oh yea, "I'm 44."  Crazy.  When I'm 70 will I still be 26 in my head?  When does this change.  Now I'm officially the age of my dear mother when I thought her officially OLD.  Am I old?  No...but definitely middle aged, but the soul is still a young girl.  My daughter said to me the other night that I am too old to have a baby.  She is just mimicking my mantra, but still I paused and said, "Hey...I'm not old."  Yes, another of life's paradox.  When does the soul and body reconcile to the same age grouping?  Not sure, I will let you know if this ever happens.  Until then, I cartwheel away....when no one is looking of course.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Sale

My friend Jen B says that books are her crack!  I totally agree.  We journeyed to Winston-Salem for the Homeschool conference and attended the book sale.  This is a huge conf center with wall to wall vendors selling their wares.  It boggles the mind and frankly all the senses to see the sea of people who have chosen to school their children at home.  The once very hot topic has become status quo as everyone knows someone that homeschools.  This is so popular that a school system in Florida offers option out of the public school system.  We made our way to the booths that caught our interest and made our purchases, then it's back to the cool green mountains where we belong.  It's back to mommy duty.

Eggs, eggs, eggs

Joe just brought me 2 doz eggs from the coop in a big yellow dump truck..."I didn't have a bowl...I dropped one and Mickey ate it."  Mickey is our mentally challenged Labrador.  The method of delivery was a first...should have taken a picture.  That Joe...he is amazing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Grandma's house

My older two children are spending the night at Grandma's house....well Grandpa lives there too, but it is referred to by all as Grandma's house.  This house has the magical fridge, at any moment she can pull dinner for 12 out without any notice or planning.  It's just like she has been expecting you!  The bathrooms are always clean, and the children love to be there.  Upon telling the said children that their Grandparents are away, these same children will insist that you drive by...just in case.  There is always Sunday Brunch, Diet Coke with Splenda, cold can beer, and munster cheese in the fridge.  You will never have to ask for a kiss as they are freely given, and Grandpa will steel away from his adult children as they gather to talk with his brother on Skype across the big ocean...their devotion palatable.  Their TV will never have more than 5 stations, and the Sunday paper will be spread across the coffee table, along with the newest Ignatius Press Best Seller.  There is a rosary in every chair, a crucifix in every room, and prayer is just easier there.  This is a little piece of heaven...home.

Swimming at the "P's"

Had our first swim date at our friends the "P's"....short for a very long Polish name with lots of vowels that none of my children can say....the water, extremely chilly, crystal blue and way fun!  The "P" children left us on our own to swim while they went in for showers, because it was too cold.  Pan in to my crazy children that were all in the water.  This reminds me of my childhood in Florida and how our cousins from NJ and NY would come and swim in March, which was a month too early for us.  The was the plight of the "visitors".  Does this make us the "visitors"?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


All the little people that live here are in their beds, quietly detoxing from their day.  I love the evening stillness.  Thinking of the book sale on Thursday and I'm almost sure I will be going with Teaching Textbooks.....just love the computer driven teaching and immediate feedback.  Kids are reading Saddles, Stars, and Stripes The Pony Express and I must admit, I am enjoying it as well.  Just finished a book on Purgatory....I need to pray more.  Will try my parents on Skype.  Goodnight!

Chicken coop has been mucked

Okay, so you should muck out your chicken coop twice a year....well it's been a year and we are just getting to it...and when I say we, I mean hubbie and first son. We have a coop that is 24x24 with a wood floor and wooden sides on 3 walls and the 4th is chicken wire that we cover with a clear plastic product used for greenhouses. This gives our girls plenty of ventilation.