Monday, February 27, 2006

Over the weekend I went on retreat. It was peaceful with a few moments of self discovery. Quite removed from all retreat topics, I realized I am a racehorse, especially when I'm emersed in a creative project. I love to jump headlong into tasks and keep running until I'm sweating, breathing hard, and blissfully tuckered out. To my disgrace, I tend to run roughshod over obstacles along the way. Sadly, this might include my dear husband or children most often. Also, I might not take the time to really just be with others, since I always have an agenda rolling around inside my head. I know enough to be on the lookout for these flaws in myself, and in fact, I recognized I surround myself with a bunch of pasture people who cause me to slow down for strolls in the fields or to stand completely still in the quiet with the sun on my back. It also occured to me that there is purpose in choosing a home literally surrounded by rolling hills, trees, pasture. I need and seek down time even though I'm made to race madly. This has been so since I was a child. I remember studying for as long as I could sit still with my nose in a book, and then crave a way to burn through built up racehorse energy, like run outside, stretch out my arms wide and spin wildly around in circles till I fell flat on the grass. In college, I'd study, run, study, put on loud music and dance around, study, go get the mail, study, draw or paint, study, walk to the store. Burst of creativity followed by a physical release. With the realization of this pattern of behavior, I think I can avoid running over folks if I am sure to include both creation and physical exertion in my day. If I have thinking time and skip movement, I think I'd be at risk to bite someone's head off to burn off the leftover energy.
Anyhow, I wonder how this spins for you. How are you made? Are you a
pasture or racehorse type? Or maybe a dog, cat, or beaver when it comes to work?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dinner Out In Which I Cannot Eat

The sweet pitter patter in my heart has turned to full blast pounding. The elegant butterflies in my knotted stomach circle madly. My crazy brain is positively spinning. Meredith Lee astounded me with her simple art directing ideas for my project at dinner. Once she finds the source for the packaging she proposed, I'll order, assemble, and present a sample to my publisher, Kate. Hold your horses, Kate. This. Will. Be. Good. Who knew Meredith Lee could review my work and come up with amazing ideas on the spot which I can carry out? I honestly thought she'd have to get back to me after spending some days with the materials, but her first idea out of the gate took flight instantly. The only part of the dinner I concentrated enough to actually eat was the salad, and that was only because I needed to do something to occupy my swirling thoughts while Meredith Lee read over a few of my papers. When our entrees came, I forced down approximately three mouth fulls of chicken marsala and one bite of penne pasta marinara, because there was no way I could take in the delicious moment and delicious food at once. I'll eat from the to-go box tomorrow. Tonight I'll savor the hope of things to come.

A Step

Hear that faint pitter patter? It's my little heart filling with joy. You see, I'm having dinner with Meredith Lee tonight, and she's agreed to look over my writing.

Nine years ago, Meredith Lee found a work I was created to do, and she cleared a path for me to do it. I distinctly remember the day all those years ago, I looked on a library shelf we shared and finding a surprise. She'd inserted a pretend book of cardstock in between our references. It had a lofty title in her lovely script and me as the author. Pointing to her handiwork on the shelf I spoke something like, "You are so funny, girl. Me writing for these scholars? That will be the day." I gave an uncomfortable giggle. Not swayed by my silliness, she took a serious yet gentle tone, "True, you will do this. Mark my words."

"That will be the day" is coming. Though I've already published a few things, the project Meredith Lee wrote as a title on that pretend book is in the works. In fact, I recognize it as the culmination of nine years of study- a self made thesis of sorts though not exactly scholarly. It's nothing like I thought it would be, and turning out to be much more interesting than I'd ever knew.

Meredith Lee is a talented art director, and hopefully (crossing my fingers here) she can suggest how to make my complicated " idea bird" fly. Having been long time friends and partners in involved projects, we have developed an easy short hand of communication I don't share with many folks. She gets me. Tonight we'll mull over and push around a series a engaging and creative meditations I've written which happen to look really strange and even confusing on paper. I know so because I asked one of my independent publishers, Kate, to consider the work a few years ago. Kate smiled sweetly then referred me to other people I don't know well (Yikes!) who just might be interested (read: she wasn't interested), and I wasn't about to hand my own baby over to strangers. So I shelved the publication idea and continued to enjoy the materials with friends. Over the summer, I attended a course under this same publisher, and she agreed I could lead opening prayer for an entire week. I set up one set of the very same materials I sent her years ago, and the experience sparked fire. Kate wants to publish to launch the materials at an upcoming conference in October.

So this morning, after my shower, I put on my favorite aqua blue sweater accented with matching pearl buttons and wool flowers, sleek black pants to wear over my squish-the-tummy black undies in preparation for dinner in several hours. I know it's just dinner with Meredith Lee, who would eat dinner with me every week if I asked, and please pardon my romanticism, but I consider this to be another step, forward on a fulfilling journey of my destiny. Where will this winding road take me next?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I spoke to a man I respect, Mitch, the other evening about war. He's a soldier, a father, a leader in my county. Mitch is optimistic and outspoken. How is that possible for an American soldier in 2006? Just when I'm sure I disagree with him, he comes around and validates my thinking. For example, the topic of media coverage of the war. It seemed that most everyone in the conversation thought media didn't belong in Iraq covering real time war; that the atrocious Abugrabe photos released insited further terrorism and insurgency. However, I believe media coverage to be something which keeps America accountable and free. While Mitch holds that the press should have strict guidelines, he affirmed my opposing position. I found the following statement Mitch made to be interesting:
Here are all the things we need to know about war. It's violent. It's
horrible. It's expensive. It's messy. It stinks. It
costs lives. And it is necessary. Everybody wishes
there was some other way, but there isn't. If we aren't willing to have a
strong military, someone else will, and we won't be free anymore.
What do you think?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Of course, no advertisement would ever actually show what this stuff really looks like.

The Perfect Food Attempt Number 2

My children gathered around me as I dumped the scoop of the Perfect Food into a white bowl, "What's that stuff, Mom?" "The Perfect Food, my dears. But I don't want to talk about it just now." I reply in an unconvincingly controlled voice. Huh? My ragamuffins shot puzzled looks to one another. Apparently they noticed my look of sheer disgust as I gazed down at the strange mound which appeared to have suddenly multiplied from one scoop to enough to cover the entire bottom of my dish. If only it didn't still smell like the kelp I give my goats. I tried hard not to breathe. If only the powder weren't that all too natural shade of bright green even after sitting untouched on the shelf for another two weeks. This time I intended to eat the mix dry instead of mixing it into the undesirable prescribed drink. I collected an ambitious heaping spoon full and stuck it into my mouth and pleaded with myself silently, "Swallow. Just swallow. Come on. You can't just waste $35.99 on some grand health experiment. Swallow the darn stuff." Gulp. Gag. Spit green globs into the sink. Swig water like an alcoholic downs Mad Dog. Dash to find any food which will tackle the wretched taste in my mouth. "Mom doesn't like that stuff" my wide eyed children conclude. Yes, I can and will waste $35.99 on a grand health experiment today. I poured the remaining powder from the bowl back into the can. Helen says I should sprinkle it on my broccoli. Today is not the day to try that approach. Maybe I'll wait another few weeks.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Do your eyes light up?

Today I was profoundly moved for a second time by a statement revisited on Oprah. Okay, please snicker at me if you want for still liking, yes admiring her work over twenty years. Maybe she isn't cool anymore for trendy folks or conservative enough for other tight individuals, but Oprah is a hero to me. It's obvious to me she may not have arrived, but she's moving forward on a journey to be her best self. And I've grown myself from watching that process.

Mind you, I do not watch her show every day or every week even, but now and then I catch an bit or piece.

Anyway, the show went back to an interview with Toni Morrison. If you are unfamiliar with Morrison's work The Bluest Eye, then I strongly urge you to put that next on your reading queue (if you are up to staring harsh tradegy in the face with Toni). What Toni told Oprah in the interview hit the mark on my soul, again. She asked something like, "When a child, your own or another, walks into the room, do your eyes light up? Or do you keep a bothered look on your face? They feel that as harshness directed at them. Children find love or not in their caregivers faces. What expression do you wear?"

Gracious. I spend too much of my day rolling my eyes, drawing my mouth up tight, pointing at the disturbance of my peace, then huffing, "Who left these legos in the middle of the living room floor?" or "Why can't you put your cup in the sink instead of always leaving it on the counter?" "Your room looks like a disaster. Don't ask for dessert until it's picked up." "Put your laundry AWAY, not on top of the dresser." "Quiet! Take that boy energy outside!"

Do my eyes light up when I look at my child?

Not enough.

It takes great effort for me to lay down my crowded agenda to look my child squarely in the eyes with a loving sparkle he longs for from his busy mom.

Tonight, and hopefully many to follow, I will be conscious to let love show in my eyes. I will stop and pet the cat Peace holds right in front of my face. When I pet that feline at my son's request, it's nurture to my son's spirit. When my daughter asks me to watch yet another dance, I will stop and admire her moves until she bows. I will listen to Wise One's dream about dinosaurs sleeping in his bed with him. I will cook with Tator tonight, because he want's to learn how to make fried rice. It's all love and all good.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sometimes when hearts overflow with joy, some spills from the eye.

Friday, February 17, 2006

It's Sproutin' Time Again

Anyone else thinking it's time to pull out the peet pots and pop in the secret miracles known as seeds?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A New Day

[p]All, with the exception of Tator who has bronchitis, are well again in this household.[p] The car is fixed. Hallelujah! [/p] [p]The water leak is not only repaired but the utilities board attributed the problem to be somewhat their fault and will reduce our bill. Can I get an amen? [/p] [p]The garage who last changed the oil in our van, filled our van with oil, replaced the missing cap, and sprayed the engine clean. Glory![/p] [p] I even made it to the gym, and am putting finishing touches on a new material I've been writing. Somebody say God is good![/p] [p] I'm ever so grateful for a new day dawning. [/p][p] However, Scott from Swept Over the paragraph thing isn't working out on![/p]

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Happy Vomitine's Day

Valentine's Day

What's that? You say Valentine's Day was yesterday? Did I miss something? Yes, I missed it, completely, because for our family it was Vomitine's diarrhea Day. Four of six, experienced the most unpleasant February 14 th ever as we huddled shivering under covers in between dashing bursts to the our porcelain friend. And here's the rest of the story, something fell off my husband's car on his way out of the garage day before yesterday, and it needed a tow. The water company failed to tell us the water meter at the road a quarter mile from our house was submerged, yes under water, due to a leak which is on our side of the meter (can-you-believe-it!), and we now have a zillion dollar water bill for last month and a terribly sick husband who couldn't lift his head from the pillow yesterday to access whether he can fix it or not. Another thing which needs our immediate attention is our van; the garage who did our last oil change last week, accident's left the cap off after changing the oil, and the engine has been sprayed with black gunk and the oil light keeps flashing. Then there's the matter of the one wheezing sick child, my dear slightly recovered husband dragged himself out of bed to take to the doctor this morning. A dear friend called yesterday to offer a meal, and it was the first time I laughed all day. While it was a very generous and sincere offer, noone here wanted to talk about food in any way, shape, or form. I do feel better this morning, though sore and winded. And the sick people's bathrooms and bedding bid me, "Wash before I spread my terrible germs to the remaining children." Somehow, certainly not today, I will need to make up for a very sorry Valentine's Day to my eager little girl who begged to put up Valentine decorations the day we boxed up Christmas. I told her she'd confused me with our friend Mrs. Roberts when it came to bedecking the house for every holiday; I don't own any Valentine's Day decorations. Maybe I could find it in my heart to make heart shaped cookies and have hot tea with her in little cups soon. All that is love is not lost, because at least she got a valentine from a friend at ballet class Monday and one from Grandpa and Grandma M, and some matching jammies to me though they don't fit. Next is the matter of a neglected husband. I got the new Charlie Hall CD and cute Bambi pajama pants for my present. In return I gave him a G.I. bug. Hope he'll be able to forgive me someday.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Am I making my children into nerds?

I am more than convinced after an out-of-town week of children, including mine, who were constantly looking to plug in and zone out, that I would be a horrible mother of children with Game Boys, Game Cubes, X-boxes, televisions. It seemed to be a constant battle for me, and I honestly don't know how other parents do it, to coax children away from those enticing electronics into real life and relationship. And if your answer is "limit on screen time", and please be honest, I haven't met an interested child who doesn't try to play sneaking under the radar of their parents yet. Longer and more seem never to be enough for the child.

Or maybe it's not a painstaking chore for other parents with more patience, less children, or more obedient children than mine to monitor and moderate screen time.

When my children were small, I drank in a delicious lecture about allowing children to explore wonder, and I made the tiny leap that a screen was no place to really experience anything. Years later, another I attended another lecture on "raising your children to love literature". The speaker boldly admonished that her approach would not work if parents were not committed to totally unplugging their children. So, I did.

We're safely home now to Tennessee, and back into our own family's routine. So, here's how my guys spent their day now that we are away from beeping, singing, boinging devices beckoning to hiding youth like the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, "Candy. Lollipops. Icecream. All free today." Two boys played lazer tag over the hills and woods of our yard this afternoon while another hung out with the dog and goats in the field. My girl dressed up and dragged out every doll in her closet. I read aloud for some time in the afternoon to the gang. And since it's dark and rather cold (otherwise my boys still might still be outside) they have spent the evening gathered around a book on CD building with legos. It's very pleasantly peaceful evening.

We may watch Home Extreme Makeover or some Olympic action together if they wish.

So, am I cursing my children to nerdom by depriving them of the American Boy's Electronic Dream, simply because I don't want to deal with the hassle? I do wonder what other segways between boyhood toys and grown up jobs are available which don't involve power sources. Is it sad to you that my boys are so mesmerized when a TV is on in the same room, and they can't manage to play around ignoring the program like others who tune it out? Would moderation serve my children better than my deliberate household fast? I'd love to hear your opinion.

No show on the snow

Okay, the snow did fall but it melted almost on impact. To all you lucky folks meandering in white winter wonderland, I'm envious. The only pristene landscape of snow I've seen today was watching the Olympics on television. And everyone looks so bundled and cheery- except for the competitors who have lost.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Everything Stops

Being from the north causes me to puzzle over why the south comes to a grinding halt with even the threat of snow. At 8 am, we got the call from the basketball coach saying all games are cancelled today, and there wasn't a snowflake in sight. In fact, many businesses will close and social events will be cancelled all around. What is so scary about freezing white powder? The fact is, that the greater Knoxville area doesn't usually get much snow, so precious few snow plows, salt trucks, and small salt supply are budgeted. Only major roads and highways get blessed by scraping and crystal flinging vehicles, leaving everyone else without a major snow vehicle stuck at home or on sliding sideways into one another's cars. It's chaos. I'm a great snow driver from northern experience, but Tennessee natives do not follow slippery terrain protocol. For example, the wait-at-the-top-of-a-hill-until-the-car-in-front-clears-the-next-hill rule; TN drivers honk impatiently behind me, even steer around me to end up spinning out to just barely missing the car I was waiting on to clear the hill. So, I avoid going out like the other zillion Tennesseans who stockpile milk and bread and don't darken the doorway of the garage until thaw. Thaw is usually a few minutes or days after snow here. My family will drink hot chocolate if and until the snowfall crests over the grass. Then Buck and the children will suit up for snow ball fights and snowmen and snowmermaids if or while the snow lasts. I'm a coward when it comes to slippery- no further knee surgeries for me, thank you. So, I'll watch from inside snuggle in my toasty red blanket with a book. Buck promises to make chocolate chip cookies. Finally. I'll get my long awaited snow day. BTW, Blogger wouldn't allow proper spaces or paragraphs today. What's up with that? What if I'd have wanted to write a brilliant poem on The True Vyne? I wish I had a place to pose such questions and others to blogger. Anyone know of any way to do so?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Yesterday we visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. A tour was about to start as we entered so we rushed meet the guides. A friendly knowledgeable man educated us on a tour with just my children and I.

First, I learned about the international problem of slavery. The U.S. held only 3 million of the 15 million slaves world wide. Even Africans held slaves themselves and perpetuated the trade. He showed maps and slave ship pictures. I found a record from Tennessee courthouse for the purchase of slaves to be particularly interesting. Two men and one girl sold for $1,500 around 1830. Our guide equated this sum to about $15,000 today. If one transported slaves from the northern U. S. to the south their value became significantly more due to the great need and fortune being made in cotton production.

I was surprised to learn that native Americans were sometimes enslaved too, but not as desirable. These folks could find home if they escaped captivity, and if too many native Americans were collected, there was danger of war. I also didn't know that African slaves would sometimes escape and become part of tribes which took them in.

The Freedom Center houses a slave holding cabin from Kentucky inside the building. The owner would collect slaves and chain them upstairs until he amassed about 30 or 40 people. Then he'd walk them 600 miles to the south to be sold for big bucks.

One section large section exhibits the Underground Railroad. One can watch a short movie about a boy deciding to run for freedom or stay with his family as a slave. A hall outside the theater room, houses computers around the displays where one might run with the boy from the movie and make decisions along the way, "It's been days since I've eaten. Do I go without food or try to steal some food from a barn?", "Do I stop at the house with the candle in the window, or is it a trap?", "Do I walk by a creek in the open so dogs will lose my scent , or stay in the woods where I might hide?" There are posters of people and stories who conducted or escaped on the underground railroad. A house was on exhibit which asked, "Where would you hide here if a slave catcher me after you." Yesterday, was the first time I understood that even if the people escaped to the north, they had to continue to Canada for true freedom. And because of the great value of slaves, bounty hunters chased them all the way to the U.S. Canadian border. So, the underground railroad spanned not just the south, but all the way north.
Oprah Winfrey hosted a longer movie about the crossing of slaves from Ky. to Ripley, Ohio over the Ohio River. Thousand of former slaves made it over with the help of two men, a former slave who bought his freedom, and Presbyterian minister who dedicated his life to the abolitionist cause. The minister's house is preserved to this day. Wish I remembered these men's names.

Another section of the museum is devoted to slavery and oppression today. The music and projected moving images were too powerful and overwhelming for my five year old Pooh Bear to spend any time in there.

The Freedom Center stands on the Ohio River just across from Kentucky. There is an encased flame on a veranda facing the river, reminding us of safe haven, as a beacon of light announcing freedom for all, in memory of all those who suffered and died for the cause.

One point was brought home to us in a simple fact. Construction of the bridge which links Ohio and Kentucky, and stands just across from the museum in full view from it's huge glass windows, was started before slavery ended in the U.S. Our guide reminded us, "Everyone thinks slavery was so long ago, but the bridge we still use today contains stone and labor from that time."

To sum up the experience, I'll use a quote if I can remember it-

"Freedom should be like the air we breathe, always there but totally invisible."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Pooh Bear stamped one delicate foot, stuck out her perfect and rosy bottom lip and shouted, "But I don't like art!"

"So, you don't want to go to the art museum today, right? And whose child are you anyway?" I question.

"I just told you I don't like art." Pooh Bear asserts again.

Well, I do. Boy howdy. Since my red headed aunt took me at age seven to the Cincinnati Art Museum I fell head over heels with high ceilinged galleries, walls lined with paintings, artifacts, sculptures. Looking at a painting by Mary Cassatt of a mother sitting with her back turned from the painter holding a toddler sucking on his fingers, I'm instantly transported to an age of high lace collars and impeccable culture, meticulous manners and sprawling flower gardens I otherwise never would have known.

This was a day of opportunity to explore the very same museum (CMA) with my own children for the first time, and Pooh Bear ended up being a rather good sport about it afterall.

We began in ancient middle east. The illuminated Koran texts reminded me Christianity is not the only religion to dearly love its sacred texts and preserve them in magnificent art form.

Later, I was wowed by a special exhibit called "Cat Chow"of women's clothing made from impossible items; coils of folded dollars sewn together for a dress, a continuous zipper wedding dress, a shift made entirely from glue sticks and copper rings, swirly designs of washers for an evening gown, ivory soap bar wrappers sewn together for a frock, a dress made old thick coiled bandaids, a jacket made entirely of facial tissue.

Peace liked a glass sculpture which he thought looked like Atlantis. It was a block of glass with a chiseled city inside somehow. I have no idea how one does that.

Wise One's favorite exhibit was the Damascus room, preserved from the Ottoman empire. Ivory and gold inlaid doors, intricate painting, a prayer section spoke to him of another place and time too.

Tator loved the Japanese knives and swords- gorgeous metal work and design full of snakes and dragons.

Pooh Bear loved the "Genius of the Water" who tops Fountain Square's fountain in the heart of Cincinnati's downtown. She's at the museum for a close up look while they are restoring the fountain. Her feet were gigantic- something I'd never have guessed while she was high atop the fountain water flowing down from her hands.

All our mouths dropped open when we discovered a piece of work over 2,500 years old.

I was a bit disappointed but educated to find that my personal favorite CMA piece "Grief", a 1981 painting by Fishle (I think) was not on display. The information lady informed me that 97% of the acquisitions are in storage, preservation, or lent. The displays are frequently changed out.

While I was in college at University of Cincinnati a hundred years ago, and my heart was desperately broken, I'd drive myself through tears to the museum, dry my face on my thrift store wool coat, and sit and stare at that particular painting. For an hour. Maybe two. From what I remember, the oil painting included a life-sized magnificent man holding someone naked, dripping, and drowned raggedly hanging from his muscular arms on a dark rocky seashore. The painted rescue came too late, and the deep melancholy and dark side of me wondered sorrowfully if my rescue would also be delayed until death.

On this day in 2006, I wondered what the picture would have done inside me among my steady abundant life. I'll not know until I venture back up here to Porkopolis and "Grief" hangs back in it's spot for me to gander upon.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Perfect Food

I conducted a little experiment today.

I bought The Perfect Food at the health food store at a cost of the low, low price of $35.99. It's just one step down from juicing all the green veggies you need for the day in an easy powdered drink. The container is supposed to last a few weeks, but I have a feeling it make take me a bit more time to consume.

I grabbed the kitchen scissors to cut off the plastic seal, unscrewed the lid, and peeled back the safety and freshness seal. At which point I was assaulted with a fishy grass smell. I gazed down at the fine powder which likened itself to the kelp I give my goats occasionally. My caprines gobble their kelp like Christmas candy, so why would I just love this mix myself?

I found a large cup and scooped in two tablespoons of pale green flakes. I poured on 8 ounces of bottled water. Who in their right mind would use tap water with the Perfect Food?
I stirred and water turned fresh forest green instantly. Glob balls of green dust burst to the surface, and before long, I was holding in my hands, what resembled the primordial soup from whence we came.

Right then and there I knew I needed distraction to coax me through the process of drinking it. I got two books and some writing and sat them beside my glass. Two books in case one lacked the inspiration it would take to finish the concoction. Writing because I planned for my muse to appear beaming before me after such a healthy and fulfilling activity. I read a few sentences from the first book while I downed my first gulps. "Not bad" I thought as the liquid poured into my throat.... that is "Not bad" until I stopped drinking. The aftertaste was of kelp in fact with hints, I mean blasts of broccoli and spinach interspersed. While I like the latter two vegetables just fine, I wouldn't dream of imbibing the water I've just steamed them in. I read another paragraph to occupy my shaken thoughts in preparation for my second go round of gulps. After which I gagged. I put the book aside in order to speed up the daunting task and soldiered through more of the liquid after which I gagged more seriously. The fourth swig I threw up in my hands. Enough to concern my niece noticing my green covered face, sleeves, hands dripping with gunk as I dashed for the kitchen sink.

I readied a granola bar to shove in my mouth hoping to combat the aftertaste of the dregs in the cup. I threw up granola and green ooze into the shiny stainless steel bowl and washed all my sorrows away with the clear flowing water from the faucet.

I now have further insight into the profound saying, "Goats will eat anything."

How can this be the Perfect Food if it tastes so very awful?

Perhaps I will successfully get rid of the aftertaste today with the delicate blend of peanut butter, spaghetti O's, and bananas, and milk. If that doesn't work I'll try limburger cheese. Okay, I've never eaten limburger, but I've smelled it, and more than likely it could take on kelp and grass flavors.

Tomorrow I might try to eat the powder straight from the tablespoon washed down quickly with eight ounces of pure spring water, followed by a dainty puke.

So, stay turned for another exciting episode of Girl verses the Perfect Food. It costs too much to waste.

Now, please excuse me while I go wash the chlorophyll off my stained shirt sleeves.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Miss Rumphius and Me

This morning I looked over and spied this book in a Pooh Bear's pile, and it served as a simple reminder of why I homeschool. Without these moments, I just might chase the yellow bus down the street one day and stuff all my children into it, pour myself some ice cold milk, whip up chocolate chip cookies, wrap myself in my luciously warm red throw blanket, and read the book of my choice. All day.

Last winter, I read this particular story to my children. Miss Rumphius is a book about a lady who was the Johnny Appleseed of Lupines. She went about spreading beauty in the hidden form of seeds and changed the world to a better place. After reading, I realized I didn't ever recall seeing a Lupine, so in the spring I scattered hard,black, round seeds resembling whole pepper in the flower bed in front of our house. Last summer, broad star-shaped green leaves popped out of the ground, but it takes two years to get bloom. If I am blessed enough to wake up alive and well each day, this summer I may have five foot stalks of cone shaped beauties to gaze upon just beyond my beloved porch swing.

If I'd have picked a grown up book and snuggled by myself on the couch, I'd have missed the great anticipation of glorious blossoms due in just a few short months after a long year of waiting with expectation.

What else would I have missed? If we had not read this story, our entire family might be unfortunate enough to pass a Lupine in all its splendor and have it's foliage remain completely unnoticed.

More than that, it wouldn't have been me to catch this tender story and sprinkle its majesty and potential over four precious people in my specific bundle of folks to love deeply.

Here's what I hope to find in my flower bed in June.

Here's the first year's growth of Lupines.