Sunday, May 3, 2015

Change comes on the wings of small birds

There are many things I could share with you that I have been keeping to myself as of late. But last night, as I tried to sleep in a new tent with the full moon literally staring me in the face, I forgot about them all.  

At least for a few moments.

 This spring i have intensely felt the stress of the birds in my surroundings. Starting with the nesting wrens on my porch who mysteriously abandoned their full nest while we were out of town, to the mocking bird who tried in vain to save her egg from my cat, to the sandpiper who's nest was unfortunately located between the carpark and the swimming hole. I have fully felt the stress and worry of those momma birds and have brought it into my daily life as unhelpful, zingy energy which keeps my focus completely scattered and probably adds to the chaos of this season. 

But that stress-free blissful moment under the full moon is what life IS at its best. I cannot change nature. I cannot protect everyone. And try as I might to protect everyone from injustice, Mother Nature has been at this Spring thing with the birds a lot longer than I have. I'm fairly certain she's got it handled, though that won't stop me from spraying my cat with the hose when he's getting too close to a nestfull of eggs. Perhaps my newly refound peace of mind can flutter over to the parts of the country riddled with a similar stress, worry and need for protection.

Here's to a less stressful, but just as meaningful, loving summer. 
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Namaste.
Until next time.
Blessed be.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

a collection of things

You know it's bad when your 5-year old sighs and says: mom you've gotta get that song out of your head!

Aoife has pink-eye due to taking a handful of sand in the face. Less than a week before we begin April, the month of road-schooling.

In the grocery last week, Aoife spilled a container of berries, and had smoothie all over her face. I joked about her being a mess and needing a bath. A grocer overhead me and commented: "at least they are girls. With boys the mess never ends."
"I don't know." I replied. "Last week when the snow was melting and everything outside was nasty, these two got 3 baths in one day and generated 2 loads of laundry. So, I don't know of its a boy thing or just a kid thing." He went back to his lettuce with a pensive look.

I spent all last growing season with the song "like a snake in the grass" whispering in my ear each time I stepped through the garden fence. Today, I met the snake. A passive, pillbug-eating brown garden snake. And I am thankful for the help controlling the pests.

We have just enough training pants that if I skip doing laundry mid-week, Aoife has to wear regular panties or a diaper. After two weeks in trainers she is anti-diapers. However she detests wedgies. Her big girl panties are a tiny bit big and do not stay in place. She runs around screening "poopy poppy!" Whenever they have traveled to uncomfortable locations.

Three years ago i watched as a bee pollinated my store-bought tomato plant. it then clumsily flew to the fence and slowly died. i vowed to start growing all my garden plants from seeds. Two years ago, I found a jar of canned cherries in the back of my cupboard. We opened it and enjoyed a few by the pool. The jar got left on the banister overnight and by morning was overrun with bees. The bees drank all the syrup and reduced the quart of cherries to a mere handful. Last summer i saw lots of bees hovering about my marigolds and radish flowers all season long. This spring, my neighbor discovered bees swarming out of the trunk of her pecan tree. I am hopeful that both colonies will survive another year. 

Please don't spray your flowers. The bees, butterflies and some types of wasps (who trap and eat spiders, including the brown recluse) need them to be non-toxic.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Just checking in

Good morrow everyone! 

Spring break is upon us and you are overdo for a dalton family update!
Since our last meeting, we have been iced in, rained out, snowed on, iced again and now flooded as everything tried to thaw and dry out. And naturally, thunderstorms are on the horizon as we begin tornado season. Don't be surprised if you hear about dallas and Mosquitos in the news a lot this spring. It's gonna be a bad one.

That said, we planted our early spring crops just before the first freeze and everything survived! At least until the chickens jumped the fence, ate the kale and thinned out the lettuce. Everything else is going strong and I plan on getting the rest in the ground as soon as possible. Which is difficult for me as I have commitment issues with silly things like plants and stickers and scrap fabric. I mention this because we have started the process of buying a house. I loathe doing all the work of putting in an amazing, organic, square foot garden thoughtfully companion planted and rotated from last years planting just to leave it all for someone else who may not appreciate, or eat, any of the produce.

*Le sigh*

But with scrap fabric! I am bound and determined to turn this pile into a skirt, 3 dresses and a car seat cover! Hopefully I can get it all done before we find our new home.

Also, taking apart that bunk bed again is not on the top of My Fun Things To Do list. But at least the kids sleep in their room for a while now. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tis the season


Well, it's time. 
Garden planning and early planting is here. Perhaps this time of focused new growth will bring back a bit of author interest in this blog space. I've been off doing other things and just haven't been making time for you, Little Blog. I do apologize. As I get my fingers muddy and spend more time outside, dreams seem to materialize and so I hope to share them with you all again. Just as soon as they germinate and take root I will let you know! In the meantime, enjoy the beginnings of actualizing your own dreams. 
What do you want to grow this spring?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Today

Today started with finding a small flood in the back hallway. There were/are no explanations for this flood or signs of its origin. Therefore clean-up ended with mimosas, because floods equal a great excuse for using the New Years champagne we never opened.

This flood, plus Pete's need to watch football today, naturally escalated into Aoife pouring coffee down my back, Pete creating smoke in the oven for the second day in a row, and a bowl of popcorn getting tipped and flown all over the kitchen. Before noon.

I'm writing this to remind myself to breathe. Most days have been like this lately. I wake up running and I don't really get a breath until Aoife goes down for a nap and then it's time to power clean or prep dinner. While standing near my kitchen windows in a pile of Aoife's lunch offerings rejected by the dog, I stopped long enough to notice and count the 18 eastern bluebirds in my front yard busily turning over leaves looking for treats brought out by last night's rain. That short 2 minutes brought a little calm to my shoulders. It helped keep me from screaming like my children have for the last month straight. 

Living in chaos is not my favorite way to be. lately my family seems determined to turn our house into a disaster zone, added bonus if someone goes down screaming. Triple points if the focus of the war breaks, mom'll fix it. My life is chaos since all my time is focused on repairing everything around me with barely any time to breathe before the next meltdown or mealtime.

 It may feel as though all i do is clean, repair toys and tend to injuries, but I know that's not true. Life and parenthood can seem overwhelming (and I know this seems like a lot of whining) but it is not the truth. The truth is I live with caring people who love life. They have big emotions and imaginations to match. Cleaning up after a fairy balloon ride over the mountains and through the woods of my living room is not on their radar. I do get help with fun chores like mopping and making vinegar volcanos in the bathroom sink and replacing puzzle piece 'cookies' on their baking sheets. I do get a few minutes to read real books when i ignore the state of my floors. And lately reading books with pages full of text is more appealing than the Internet, than dishes, than playing princesses, editing photos or journaling. Reading and gathering in, sitting quietly and absorbing knowledge is appropriate for these cold winter months. 

Now if only my children would learn to read and we could spend hours each afternoon doing just that. It'll happen soon, or so they tell me. For now, I have to keep them from strangling each other as they fight over plastic beaded necklaces and clean up all the spilled food. It's a small moment in their lives, a small moment in mine, and how easy it is to get stuck in these small moments. 

Today, I choose to get stuck in a small moment watching little birds splash in puddles and turn over leaves. What do you choose?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

.this moment.


Right now I am

• thankful for the brightly wrapped surprises hidden in my closet. If they were under the tree, Aoife would've opened them all by now.

• sipping hot coffee

• curious how best to help my coughing, hacking cat

• enjoying a winter-like day in Texas with overcast skies, drizzle, and a high in the low 50s.

• debating which of my favorite treats to bring along to our Yule celebration tonight.

• listening to the chirping of cardinals and sparrows as they enjoy the safety of our yard

• grateful Hawk has not gotten any of them or my chickens yet this season though she is also in my yard every cloudy morning

• hoping everyone's mailed treasures arrive to the destinations when expected

• wondering how my cat manages to open the closet 

• about to finish the annual card mailing

• loving the stillness before the children stir

• snuggling my furry friends

• wishing you all a joyous and safe season of celebrating. May blessing find you throughout the year to come!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sundays

At our house, Sundays are our family day. I would say "day off" but what does that mean to parents? We don't turn off our alarms or the chickens would remain locked in without access to food or water, so someone has to get up and take care of the animals. We don't seem to ever turn all screens off for a whole day. Pete never truly has a day off from work; people are always calling, reporting how tests went, complaining about a broken plane, adjusting schedules. The children stay by our sides throughout the day.

Sundays are the day when we get 2-person fixit jobs completed. For example, I clean the hen house, he keeps the toddler from eating the poop. He mends the pergola while the older one hands him screws and I keep the little one inside. He replaces insulation in an outside accessed closet that a squrril fell through. (That's a fun story!)

Some Sundays we go to the pool because the indoor slide is open. Some Sundays we bake or visit the library or a park and we all go together. Sometimes I wish Sundays happened on Wednesday and we could visit a zoo or an art museum as a family.

Sundays are usually free of time constraints and outside demands. We pick what we do or don't do. We eat an awesome brunch because we tend to go back to sleep after feeding the hens. Apart from the occasional work call, we have time to slow down, to look each other in the face, to be completely engrossed in play, to read not just at bedtime, to be together. 

Sundays are my favorite. I actually feel more On on a Sunday. If my Sunday is stressful or my Monday morning solo time is messed with, I feel Off the rest of the week. I have become a fan of slow living. And you know what? I'm okay with that.