Archive for August, 2010

about a week ago, during that crazy time i think of as “dinnerbathbed,” the bean came up with a plan.

“let’s bake carrot muffins!”

my inner dialog, “um, no.”

my shared response:

deep breath.  “right now it is a little bit too late in the day for us to start a project like that which will take a long time.  it is almost dark out so we know it is time for bath and bed soon.”

followed by much protest.

followed by a lightbulb moment.  “why don’t we get some paper and come up with the plan of how we will make the carrot cupcakes?”

“but i can’t write.”

“that is ok, you can draw the plan.”


that night we talked about what things we might need to bake carrot muffins.  mixing bowls, aprons, measuring spoons, flour and the like.  while we talked he was busy drawing:

the plan

after we had thought of every possible thing we might need i reminded him that i was not certain because we needed a recipe.  so, of course, i had to find a recipe.  right.now.before.bathbed.

trusty favorite bread book to the rescue:

the bread book that changed my life

after i found the recipe (for carrot bread) i was instructed by my bean to write each ingredient on the back side of the the plan so that we knew exactly what we needed.  example, “carrots A LOT.”  (a lot added by a certain four year old.)

the plan was a popular item.  night one he slept with it.  in the morning he ran to the master bedroom to show it to flash.  it got toted around with us in our bag.

the next morning he woke up and wanted to get baking.  at 6:14 am.  i reminded him (gently i am sure) that we did not have all the ingredients we needed.  we agreed we would go to the store later that day.  i made my own grocery list and he brought the plan.  he insisted that i carry the plan so that i could read each ingredient i had written on the back and make sure we bought it all.  mission accomplished.

for a day or two there was no mention of the carrot bread project so i let it slide.  remember, around this time flash was suddenly on crutches and i was feeling busy enough.

last night, once again during the magical dinnerbathbed time beanie suddenly perked up. i was wary.

“we need to grate the carrots! for the cupcakes!”
oh yes. i mean, “ok. we do need to do that to make our carrot bread. right now we can’t start that project though because it is too late. it is going to be dark soon so that means now we need to do our bath and bedtime. we can make the carrot bread tomorrow.”
“but, i want to make it now.”
“i know. we are not making it now though. there is not enough time. i am tired.”  some dictator some honesty.
“you said that already.”
“we need to remember to make it earlier in the day,” i suggest.
“i always forget,” he scowls.
“i can remember,” i tell him. feeling of course that sudden guilt that i have remembered and simply chosen not to delve into it.
“i will remember for us tomorrow morning,” i promise.

of course i didn’t have to.  we got to work promptly after waking up at what i like to think of as dawn because then it sounds quaint and romantic.  we mixed in all the ingredients and then he looked at the plan and said, “wait!  we forgot something.  it is a bottle with a top.  um, it is a small bottle with a top.”

ok, readers, please scroll up and look at the plan.  just to see if you are as impressed by his recognition of objects he drew as i was.  i looked at the recipe aagain and we had not forgotten anything so then i had to think of what i might have thought we would need and mentioned to him before we found a recipe.

“vanilla?” i tried.

“yes!  vanilla!”

so i threw caution to the wind and added some vanilla to the mix.

by 8 am we had our batch of carrot bread rising and a few minutes ago we put the dough into the loaf pans to prepare them for actual baking:

carrot bread rising

now it is baking as i type and it smells good. it is funny how these things often end up bringing me joy after all the myriad ways i resist them – imagining them to be just extra work in my day. what might be so bad about carrot bread?

oh please, don’t ask the bean that. i can assure you he won’t eat it. he only eats three things. bacon, parmesan cheese, and sticky o’s.

he has not yet discovered the joy of all things food but he clearly is being raised in a family that loves cooking…


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doing and doing

on thursday we received the news that flash will be on crutches for about four weeks.

it could be less, it could be more – a lot more.

talk about the bottom dropping out.

on friday we ate take out japanese food and discussed how we would make this work most smoothly.  on saturday we started strong, got snippy with each other by five, and fell asleep around eight thirty.

sunday i baked him some gluten free bread (i have him on a strict detox diet to increase his chances of healing), i put up my first food — blueberry jam, i got him set up to make us his gazpacho, we kept the house in order, i hired a neighbor to mow the lawn, and i pulled together a salad and grilled chicken for dinner.

blueberry jam!

gluten free bread!


we cheered ourselves at the end of the day.

it is hard doing more.  it is tough being the only adult who is mobile.  harder though is the worry, the concern, the fear that sneaks in around the edges when you suddenly have a more serious issue on the health plate.

last night we were in bed about to doze off when we suddenly heard the screaching of brakes and then a loud thud.  we both sat up.

car accident?

soon there were police cars and rescue vehicles at the end of our driveway, where the car crash was just out of view.  i kept looking out the window at the lights of the police cruiser flashing blindingly in the night.  i kept thinking of the sound of the thud and wondering what the car hit and why, why?  i considered getting dressed and walking down the driveway but what was to be gained by discovering the wreckage?

i am a little obsessive and controlling about my laundry folding.  it may stem from years of work in retail.  it may just be a little chink in the ease of my brain waves.  but the folding compulsion means that i don’t let flash help with the folding at all – except his clothes.  on thursday evening, our first night after getting the news and him coming home on crutches, we set up with a load of laundry at the dining room table.  normally if i got out laundry to fold after dinner he would roll his eyes at me and tell me to take some time to relax.  normally if he offered to help me i would roll my eyes at him and assure him he could not meet my standards.  but on thursday night normal has shifted.  we sat at the table and i got the basket.  then i spent ten minutes talking him through the exact way that he was to fold the socks.  and i assured him that socks and napkins/towels would be his only folding assignment that night.  he listened carefully and folded  just how i described.  we talked about our days, our fears about his injury, the kids and the doglet.

there was no television, no take out food, no netflix rental or glass of wine.

it was the best date we have had in awhile.

a folding laundry date.

in which i let him into the messier and more compulsive bits of my world and he entered respectfully.

maybe every second of crutches will not be a curse.

maybe the person who knocked our old stone wall over last night found some new light within his heart.

maybe the universe has a plan.

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*inspired by soulemama and all that jazz*

walking her dog

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the other day, driving to pick up our new raw milk share, we once again passed the small farm one town over that houses a few llamas.  both kids were eagerly anticipating the llama sighting and we talked about it for several minutes leading up actually passing the farm.  the pea tried out making several different sneeze like sounds and asking, “dat what llama says?”

“i am not certain,” i continued to insist.  “i am not sure exactly how llamas sound.  but i do know that sometimes when they are upset they make a noise.  kind of like when ivan is upset that castle james is playing too rough and he hisses at him.”

“llamas hiss?” the bean asked.

“not exactly but sort of, ” i hedged.  not fully remembering if llamas hiss or spit and also not certain i wanted to offer spitting as a form of communicating upset.

“why do they do that?” he continued.

“only if they are upset – then they do it.”

“why would they be upset?” he pressed on.

“hmmmm, i wonder.  i am not sure,” i admitted.  “why don’t you ask them?”

“but llamas don’t talk english,” he told me.

“no, they don’t speak to us in english.  not in words like we speak to each other most of the time.  but if you want to know something from them you can ask them and then listen quietly and you will be able to hear something.  you will feel them answering you.  you will know.”

i ran out of the language that felt appropriate to express the idea of listening to the llamas so i just fell quiet.  and for awhile the only sound in the car was the occasional gutteral sneeze like llama noise that the pea had invented.  then i spoke up, “we are almost there.  just a few more houses to pass and we will be at the -”

“SHHHHHHHHHHH!” bean yelled at me.  and then more quietly, “shhhhhhhhhh.”

“sorry,” i started.  “i was just trying to tell you -”

“shhhhhhhhh!” he interrupted me again.  “shhhhhhhhh.  you need to be very quiet because i am listening for the llamas.  i am trying to hear them.”

thump thump.  my heart.  he is listening for the llamas.

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i had set myself a goal of getting up a “professional” site some time this spring or summer. suddenly yesterday i realized it was late august and i still had no web presence. so i sat down and created something. because something tends to be better than nothing. if i waited until i knew exactly what to say and how to say it and i had the perfect text and professional images i was going to just hang myself up on the art of desiring perfection.

i promised myself instead to “bang out” a site and make no apologies about it.


if you actually visit this blog (as opposed to just using a reader) you may notice i took off my “animal communication” and “spiritual counseling” pages in favor of simply linking to the new site.

go check it out and tell me if it works for you. i am more of an animal communicator than a technology communicator. in case that wasn’t glaringly obvious by now…

goal reaching

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i went walking

on a rainy sunday morning i went for a walk with my pup pup.

we walked across the fields and through alleys of woods.

the ground here is parched and the light rain sprinkling down on us felt like a prayer, something sacred, nature’s soft kisses.

the green of the ground cover was bursting lush breathtaking in the wetness.

as we walked the land, land i know so well, land that feels like home to me, i knew this morning walk was filling me up.  was renewing me.  was connecting me to spirit, the divine, and my self all at once.  i felt the time was a gift and i chose to feel deserving of such wonder.

occasionally i paused to capture an image of a favorite spot.

thank you great earth for filling me with awe.  thank you to the spirits of the land for filling this space with balance, with peace, with riches.  as i walk my path i intend to tread with lightness and grace.

may you walk in beauty

happy sunday


* all photo’s taken with my trusty iphone *

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there are moments here, with a 2 (pea) and 4.4 (bean), that i begin to notice small things i do for myself.

not the BIG things like my 7am on wednesday workout class which if you mess up for me i will lose my ever loving mind and yell at you in the fashion of a young child in tantrum mode — just ask flash.

the small things.  the itty bitty things that i used to not even find time to weave into the day.  a few moments of a novel snuck in before i go to sleep.  a breakfast eaten sitting down.  putting on a necklace.

intuiting the right herbal tea mix for the week and drinking it iced in a giant glass jar:

i like the reflection of the tree’s on the hood of my car/truck at the bottom of this photo.

i like even more that i took a moment to take this photo upon realizing that it was a little something special i had done for myself.

have you seen we deserve this? this new project/blog/space has helped me remember that it is these little bits of self love that make a difference in my days. a difference i deserve.

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