Friday, June 27, 2008

the clothesline is up!!!

after a few months of getting all the stuff i needed (which really wasn't much and shouldn't have taken so long) and letting the posts settle, i finally got to use my clothesline!! hoping for a long sunny day! i know i'm going to have to rethink how i normally do laundry. as in, doing 4 loads once a week is going to turn into doing 2 loads twice a week. also, as i'm hanging up stuff i'm remembering how i used to hang stuff and that i'll get better with practice. and i know i'm going to have to tighten my lines when this load is done!

another thing is that i'm looking at what i'm hanging and i'm thinking "was this REALLY dirty?" i think using a clothesline again will remind me that not all clothes are as dirty as we think they are. not that we wear and wash. we've never done that. i know if you look through our pictures you'll see how we tend to wear the same things for days. which is why for a family of 5 we usually only have 3-4 loads a week. i know people who do that much every other day. but i would like to look more closely at what we are washing that could most likely still be worn. i think of the things hanging right now that actually needed washing there's underwear and scotty's work pants. maybe a few t-shirts that had been worn until i said "please change your shirt!" (that's usually for silas).

i also wonder how having clothes out will effect my hoping for rain...


Thursday, June 26, 2008

black tiger swallowtail

at the end of may, sadie found a little green caterpillar! she wanted to keep it and help it become a butterfly. we weren't sure what kind it was so we poured over the books we had recently gotten from the library on butterflies. we got them because she wanted to order one of those butterfly kits and we were reading about butterflies and caterpillars. we never were quite sure what kind of butterfly it would be. none of the pictures or descriptions were good enough to really tell.

she fed it wild strawberry leaves and plantain everyday and it got bigger and bigger and brighter! it was amazing to watch it just plump up like that. and it was like something from a cartoon because the colors were just that vibrant and unreal. and before we knew it, literally within a few seconds one day, it was making its chrysalis. i never knew they made them that fast! well, once we saw the chrysalis, we were able to identify it as a swallowtail. there's no mistaking its chrysalis hanging there by a single thread. so we read about them and found that it would take about 2 weeks for it to come out. we would be on vacation for part of this time, so each day she would ask me, "do you think it's come out yet?" she was really worried she would miss it.

when we got home, it was still in the chrysalis. but the VERY NEXT DAY, it hatched. sadie was the first to notice it, and she screamed and scared me to death!!! how lucky was that, if we had stayed over another day like i thought about doing, we would've missed it!!

we waited for silas and scotty to come and see it before we went outside to release it. surprisingly, it just hung out with us for awhile and sipped some nectar while practicing using its wings. eventually, it did fly away. high and far up into a tree, i couldn't believe how long we were able to watch it. it was so big! sadie cried for a little bit but she knew that it only had a month to find a mate before it died. it was a really exciting day!

here are some pix of the whole process:


Monday, June 23, 2008


shit piss fuck cunt cocksucker motherfucker tits fart turd twat

george, you will be missed!Share

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

all kinds of journeys

we recently returned from a really big trip to charleston, sc and then to deltona, fl to visit with our friends. it was long, exhausting, and wonderful!!

when we moved away from charleston, i left a lot of pieces behind...just like i did when we moved away from here. i felt like i had these big huge chunks of myself just all over the place and that i would never feel whole again. amazingly, i no longer feel that way. getting to be with friends again, especially seeing my childhood best friend in florida, brought all the pieces together. even knowing that it was just a visit and that i wouldn't see them again for awhile, i was still at peace.

i learned a lot about friendship and its power and importance. i experienced a tremendous amount of generosity and hospitality (but no martini & rossi asti spumante...LOL...rhyming is fun!) sadie's best friend, maggi, and her mom, nicole, had a room set up for us to use with flowers and a key to the house. we felt so welcomed and at home. my friend, gaetana, in florida's daughter, gabby, gave up her room for us as well. at both places the boys had their sleeping bag on the floor but nicole provided an air mattress and gae a featherbed to go under it. they fed us and took us places, and over all just made us really really comfortable.

we visited with friends at the apartments where we used to live. that was emotional. i felt like all i had to do was walk into my old apartment and i'd be home. like right behind those windows was our old life. it was weird. the kids were thrilled to hang out with their friends at the pool, just like old times.

we went over the big bridge a few times to visit friends. tracy in mt. p. and jess on iop...and their families of course. those were big emotional days as well. it felt like no time had passed, just comfortable and enjoyable. i kept wishing we had longer than one day to spend with each person. it just didn't seem like enough.

i came away from the whole trip with a sense of well being. of personal strength and growth. of knowing myself just a little better. long hours driving are good for thinking even when you are singing at the top of your lungs sometimes. and spending time with people who truly care about you is uplifting and nourishing to the soul.

seeing the ocean again didn't hurt either. but coming back over the mountains towards home, i was in awe of the beauty and the lush green of it all. i hadn't felt that way in a long time. this is home. and i now know that it's okay to have my heart it many places, and still be happy here.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

this shadow

yesterday, i had a moment. a moment where i realized something very important. normally, i would say i had an epiphany. but it doesn't feel like that just yet. but maybe it is.

i realized that for as long as i can remember i have been trying to be at peace with myself. with my life. with who i am. with what i do. that i have looked for outside approval to tell me i'm okay. that i'm good enough. needing external validation. i thought i had let go of a lot of that. but no, it's still there.

but i was making myself a salad and it just hit me. i have got to learn to be okay with myself. if i don't i will drive myself crazy. i cannot be what i think other people want me to be. or what other people are. i can only be me. and i need to stop abusing myself for not being "good enough!" i have to rejoice in my own goodness, my own worth, my own way. i have to let go of these measuring sticks i have in my head of other people's lives and stop using them to check that how i live my life is the right way.

i sometimes turn myself inside out trying to make sure that i fit some sort of ideal mold. wife, mother, daughter, friend, human being...all these roles that i try to play out perfectly. especially when i look at myself through other's eyes. i feel like i don't stack up. it's tiring and painful.

i know i have been trying to let go of this for years. i have always felt its presence. this voice inside me that says "you ARE good enough...your life is beautiful, LIVE IT!" i push it down because i don't believe in it. i tell it, "NO, i can do better, be better, be more, do more!!"

i want to listen to that voice. i'm not talking about settling or complacency. i'm talking about embracing my life and true self with joy and honesty and love. to stop racking my knuckles for all my imperfections.

samuel has been watching the show "heroes"...i said i am not going to watch it because i don't want to get caught up. but i was working around the house and listening to it in the background. and got caught up. there was a line from a show we watched yesterday and it was really powerful. i'm not sure how it relates to this post but i wanted to put it in here anyway.

"The Earth is large. Large enough that you think you can hide from anything. From Fate. From God. If only you found a place far enough away. So you run. To the edge of the Earth. Where all is safe again. Quiet, and warm. The solace of salt air. The peace of danger left behind. The luxury of grief. And maybe, for a moment, you believe you have escaped." -MohinderShare

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

juice juice juice

lately we've been getting back in the habit of juicing. twice a week, i make a little under 2 gallons of fresh juice. it's really, really good. but what to do with all the pulp?? i could put it on the compost...but i would much rather put it into our bodies. i used to not juice much because it seemed like a waste of perfectly good fiber. then i figured out that i can use that pulp for baked goods. so that's what i do once a week now as well. bake with pulp. the first thing i did was make cookies, they were really good, then i made muffins, then waffles, then muffins again. we still have some of the waffles in the freezer! i made some whipped topping for the waffles that was a big hit as well.

for roughly 2 gallons of juice i use 6 pounds of apples, 8 pounds of oranges and 8 carrots. i save the apple and carrot pulp together for baking and use the orange pulp for smoothies if they have no seeds. if they have seeds, the pulp goes on the compost.

and of course, there are pictures!!! like i've said before...what did we do before digital cameras made us feel the need to document the hell out of everything???


Sunday, June 01, 2008

square foot gardening

i have wanted to have a garden for years. when we decided to move out of our charleston apartment and back to east tennessee and into a house, i knew that i would be growing a garden. not that you HAVE TO be in a house to grow something. i've tried pot gardens with little success in the past. but i know it can be done.
within a week or so of moving in, i was working on my square foot garden plots. i had been so scared about starting a garden, that when i found the SFG book at the bookstore i knew that would be the thing to help me get over my fears. so i got the book for my birthday! the thing about it though, is that while it takes you through all the easy steps, there isn't a whole lot of learning about gardening going on...beyond the very basics anyway. it reminds me a little of when i was in college taking a printmaking class. the teacher gave us the sheets with all the steps. he warned us though not to just memorize the steps. to actually understand what it was we were doing in each step. he said the problem with just knowing the steps is that if you forget a step you're lost. knowing something, understanding it, can keep you from getting lost...or at least help you back on your way if you do. this is what i'm thinking about the SFG method. it gives me enough information to get going. but i needed more. so i've been reading other books as well. and learning how to ask questions.
but, for the most part, i think it's a really good system. plus, i got to make boxes!!! and that is something i could not have enjoyed more. i have been making boxes (in art) for as long as i can remember. so this was the fun part for me!

then there's the setting it all up, putting weed cloth underneath.

mixing up the magic mix of vermiculite, 5 different kinds of compost, and peat moss,

and filling them in.

putting on the grid system...

a finished plot...

my four complete square foot garden beds.

these were all taken in early april, before any planting or growing...or harvesting, which we are doing right now. i know, i'm just skimming the surface here...but there is more to come.