Thank You!

My mom asked me if I feel nervous about blogging after guest posting on Ann’s blog.  Yes, I do!  So, if I do a bunch of nervous rambling over the next week, you know why!  But truly, I want to thank all of you for the incredibly kind feedback you have given me in response to the piece I wrote for Ann’s blog.  I deeply appreciate all your comments and emails.  Thank you all so much!  It’s a wonderful if not overwhelming thing to see beauty being pulled from the sad parts of my past.

I have to share one funny comment that was left on the post I published here the day my post went up at Ann’s:  “Ha!  I love this blog, loved your guest post, and think it is hilarious that my favorite blog on the internet now has a snake warning system!”  (Thanks!)  I was honestly kind of embarrassed that on the same day that Ann ran my super serious post, I was explaining my new “snake warning” system.  (I wrote the post for Ann a couple weeks ago, and had no idea what day it would run.  In fact, I convinced myself that she probably wouldn’t.  Ann emailed me mere minutes before she hit publish on it.)  I’m not a big planner when it comes to blogging.  I rarely write in advance and schedule my posts.  I’m very much “in the moment” here and the snake warning system needed to be addressed!  I guess we’ll just be known as that snake handling family.

I wrote some time ago about trying to shift my focus from everything I’d like to accomplish to focusing on what I actually do get accomplished every day.  Reality demands that I keep to-do lists because otherwise, I’d forget important things such as piano lessons.  But at the end of the day when I’m exhausted, and the day’s activities have kept me from doing all that I planned to, it’s really good to make a mental list of what I did do rather than look around my house at all I didn’t do while feeling defeated.  For instance:  Today we harvested five frames of honey.  Given that this is only the second time we have taken honey from our bees, that feels like a big deal.  The kids and I also cleaned out our van.  It was long overdue.  Have you ever had fruit flies breeding in your vehicle?  Ummm…no, of course not, right?  Yeah, me neither (wink).  That would be really gross.  I also finished giving the last of the end of year tests to the four of my kids that require testing, so that’s done too.  Then there was baseball practice (where Silas has developed a relationship with a search and rescue dog) and getting Keats and Gabe fitted for next season’s uniforms.  I could go on and on.  I find it amazing how much I do in a day, only to end it feeling like there’s more left to do than when the day began.  Hence my effort to focus on actual accomplishments.  That just feels better.  Mulling over all that I got done while I’m knitting is even better!

(With the help of Silas and Beatrix, Larkspur made backyard stew along with pine needle upside down cake and a bunch of other recipes from this adorable mud pie kitchen cookbook this week.  She was very serious about her mud pie makings and I was very curious about why the mud pie kitchen had been moved indoors.  I had to put a stop to that!  Outside!)

Garden Girls

One of my little parenting strategies is to try to find at least one common interest that I share with each of my children, and most importantly my older children.  It isn’t always easy.  I think it’s important to pay attention though, to find that one thing, and if I’m lucky, maybe there will be more than one.  My thought is that during difficult times we can return to that common ground, and move forward from there.

Over the past year or so I’ve realized that Larkspur shares a serious interest with me in growing things.  We are a dangerous pair at a nursery, or anywhere plants are sold.  A few weeks ago we came across a couple selling lots of great herbs and perennials at a farmer’s market.  Yesterday, I finally got all we bought put in the ground.

Larkspur collects seed packets like other kids collect…I don’t know…baseball cards?  She likes to pull her packets out and arrange them on the table, naming each color of zinnia (she has lots of zinnias because they were giving packets away at the farmer’s market) as she goes.

I’m not sure how it happened, but she has a potted garden on one side of our front porch now.  Mostly zinnias, some marigolds,  sunflowers, and herbs.  I need to clear a bed in the garden so she can transplant some of them there.

I think the most fun that Larkspur has had in a long time was when she recently had a friend over for the day, a friend who shares her love of growing things.  They spent most of their time together filling pots with soil, planting seeds, and labeling the pots.  Little garden girls, those two.

That must be the best part of all, having someone with whom to share the things that you love.