Friday, March 30, 2007


elouai's doll maker 3

OOOO another hobbit house

Another earthship type house. I am fully cognizant of my in-the-dream place right now, but I hope to infect Paul with the possibilities that we have before us. I like our house fine, except that it's wholly grid dependent. It would be fine as a passive solar house, but whoever built it oriented it improperly on the lot, so it actually superheats the house during the summer, rather than cools it. There's no feasible way to retrofit that, so I can just dream of another plat of land....somewhere.....

It's much more rustic than what I want to actually live in but I am thinking this would be a fab playhouse!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


G was 10 months old on her first sleepover. She stayed with her grandparents, while P-Daddy and I went to Myrtle Beach overnight. She stayed up all night, ate things she shouldn't have and they let her CIO. Flash forward to now, at 6 years old, where she is on her first cognizant sleepover. She's with the C-family, with whom she has woken up many times before, and I am not worried about her. But I do miss her-- I forgot last night and was jarred a bit when I checked on her before I went to bed.

I was proud and a little sad when the phone beside my bed didn't ring.

I hope it is just my tiny anxiety about this little separation manifesting itself, and not a harbinger, but I dreamt of my Grandmother last night. My Grandfather wasn't there with her in her kitchen, but her mother and her sister--both deceased-- were. Many of us were there, eating and being loud together in a Southern, family way. My dh woke me from my dream, which made me angry. I didn't show it, but I was upset to leave my Grandmother's table when I didn't strictly have to.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Three days in a row

And yesterday, while dh and ds shore fished, ~G~ and I made a fire on the beach. I love this life.

Probably my fave pic ever.

There's a sleeping toddler beneath those bundles.

That's our beach. That cliff? That's our neighborhood.

A secret way home, through the Harry Potter woods.
A seal washed in with the recent high tide, probably casualty of a boat prop.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Well it didn't work

the sun didn't show and it sprinkled all day--but we had a fabulous time. FABULOUS! FABULOUS!

Nikirj and MacAttack came over with their three kids each. If we'd had sun, more people would have showed but it was probably perfect the way it was. All the kids got along well together and their field trip to the low tide beach was fun to watch.

I should probably note that all but two of the children were waiting just outside the front door while MacAttack and I gathered the last of the bags and food (which we didn't eat on the beach anyway, because it was too wet down there). When Nikirj appeared in the front door to check on them, they literally ran down the street toward the beach, her own toddlerness in tow. So she phoned us en route to let us know that "we aren't in the front yard anymore, and your boys don't have coats on."

Investigating the little critters and learning about what they eat and how they move made for great fun for all of them, and the tide was so low we could get to the abandoned pier, where the little monkeys climbed for a while before deciding hot chocolate and cookies was incentive enough to eave the beach.

Not before one of our little monkeys decided to lick a fiddler crab, which decided to latch on. We think the fiddler crab is probably in the sewer system now.

The vortex took hold, and even got me too, because by the time we all straggled back to our house, P-daddy was home. That really jarred me, because I had no idea it was 5.30. So we had cookies as promised, then cobbled together an appetizer / soup /sandwich bar supper for everyone. It was cool. Even with a toddler jumping off the new bunk bed-- I guess it's ok because she landed on her feet!

And MacAttack brought us SAUSAGE! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

More pix on nikirj's blog!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sunshine, Sunshine

I am calling forth the sunshine that I had been promised when I invite an atomic butt-ton of people to our beach today for a picnic. The tides are finally in summer mode, which is great-- yards and yards of beach--but I wanted the whole tamale. A friday, with sunshine, and an afternoon low tide makes for a damn fine playdate.

And now, it is grey. Grey and cold. I have faith. It is the PNW! Weather changes on a sneeze.

N is contributing to the calling!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A lot like pizza

Nikirj couldn't conceive of a pizza made with tofu as a crust, so I made some "pizza bites" to show her how it's done.

The recipe is taken from Fran McCullough's tome The Low Carbohydrate Cookbook.

Once the tofu is sliced then and pressed out, you pan fry it:

Add salt, pepper, and herbs to taste:

Add the cheese and sauce:
Run it under the broiler for crisping:

Finis! And it's tasty!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Had a wonderful weekend

We really enjoyed the break from the constant rain and got our backs into it in the back 40. We have been trimming the trees and pulling out the dangerous crap we never noticed from the winter falls. N was instrumental in this, and enjoyed how "strong" he is by felling and hauling the tiny trees.

G and I went Sunday to purchase a hermit crab for N. She knew that was the plan, after sufficient waiting time after his goldfish finally passed. She was pretty insistent, and he was happily floored when we came home with his new friend.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Homestyle Defenders

A cool op/ed piece from up there. I had to include this!

Matt Ramsey, The Province
Published: Sunday, February 18, 2007

Some things -- like stripping naked, making breakfast and sipping coffee in the buff -- are better done at home.

Comfort and privacy, not to mention nonstop nude coffee action, are the primary reasons Euphemia and I are opting for a home birth assisted by midwives.

Now, if it's your desire to have a hospital birth, with or without midwives, then power to you. Whatever floats your boat on the amniotic sea is your business.

Unfortunately, domestic delivery for anything more than a pizza is often viewed with a skepticism bordering on reproach, which is why I find myself in a position potentially as hazardous as buck-naked bacon making -- Homestyle Defender.

Home birth is dirty, we are told, dangerous for mother and baby, you'll have to sterilize the house, boil the cats in bleach, etc., and even then you're taking a huge risk. It hurts too much to do it without drugs. Plus you'll annoy the neighbours. You're a crazy hippie, global warming is a myth and your mother dresses you funny.

Here is what a year-long study comparing outcomes between home and hospital births among B.C. women who were able to choose between the two found in 1999: nothing.

Fewer interventions during labour for home birthers, fewer maternal infections, fewer episiotomies and no significant differences in perinatal mortality. Oh, and because women who are able to birth at home typically stay there, homestyling is cheaper for the system, too.

The study concludes: "There was no increased maternal or neonatal risk associated with planned home birth under the care of a regulated midwife."

Studies in New Zealand, the U.K., U.S., Switzerland and the Netherlands have made similar conclusions -- home birth with qualified caregivers is as safe as birthing in a hospital. Just last week, another study showed women who choose caesarean section without medical justification face a five-fold risk of postpartum cardiac arrest over natural births and the wound infection rate was five times higher. The old-fashioned way, vaginal delivery, is actually safer than a C-section.

That may be surprising, but so are many accepted elements of birth we just assume are correct.

For example, lying down with feet up is the worst position imaginable for a labouring woman, like standing on your head and attempting a bowel movement. The beetle-on-the-back position grew popular only after Queen Victoria decided in the late 1800s that chloroform was precisely her cup of tea. Vicky huffed and puffed on the stuff while birthing so was naturally unable to stand up. The upper classes must have assumed she was on to something good, adopted the recumbent pose as fashionable and the rest is history.

Victoria also married her first cousin and claimed she smoked cigarettes to keep the flies away, but who doesn't?

Pregnancy is not an illness and we are not going to treat it as such. If we need to go to hospital to safeguard mother or baby's health then we will go and do whatever is needed. In the meantime, the coffee is on and the curtains are drawn at home -- where women gave birth long before there were hospitals.

Matt "Homey" Ramsey, whose wife Euphemia is due March 20, writes regularly about The Grub's impending birth in Unwind.

A solution!

Do you think this weaning bra might work?

from Qarin

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


We're having a troll problem on my favorite message board, so I temporarily disabled my blog while I took care of bidness over there. We're back up. To our so exciting, scintillating, earth-shaking revelations.

All the things I want to write about I can't because the blog is so public anyway. I like it that way, but I want to ramble on about things that are private in nature. I want to talk about my pregnant friends, but that stuff is theirs to tell. I want to talk about the blessingways another friend and I are planning for our beloved mommies, but I can't because that would ruin the pleasure of the details. I want to talk about my marriage, but the contents of those kinds of discussions aren't appropriate for what is largely a blog about my homeschooling, and the issues I have are subtle to the extent that a reader who doesn't know us both wouldn't get it anyway.

So I am feeling very odd. Odd indeed!

I made a new category label just for this post.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

Little Mommy-- Files of evidence

~G~ changing ~D~' diaper (she's 4 here)

This was right around the time Nikirj explained that wool catches really well. Those bedsheets got changed daily prior to the switch to fluffiness!

On Polar Bears and Evil

Right up there with my feelings on pseudoscience are my opinions on it's blood-brother, scientific censorship. Don't like the obvious conclusion drawn from overwhelming scientific data? IGNORE IT! HIDE IT!

WASHINGTON - Polar bears, sea ice and global warming are taboo subjects, at least in public, for some U.S. scientists attending meetings abroad, environmental groups and a top federal wildlife official said on Thursday.

Environmental activists called this scientific censorship, which they said was in line with the Bush administration's history of muzzling dissent over global climate change.

But H. Dale Hall, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said this policy was a long-standing one, meant to honor international protocols for meetings where the topics of discussion are negotiated in advance.

The matter came to light in e-mails from the Fish and Wildlife Service that were distributed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Center for Biological Diversity, both environmental groups.

Officials want advanced notice
Listed as a "new requirement" for foreign travelers on U.S. government business, the memo says that requests for foreign travel "involving or potentially involving climate change, sea ice, and/or polar bears" require special handling, including notice of who will be the official spokesman for the trip.

The Fish and Wildlife Service top officials need assurance that the spokesman, "the one responding to questions on these issues, particularly polar bears" understands the administration's position on these topics.

Two accompanying memos were offered as examples of these kinds of assurance. Both included the line that the traveler "understands the administration's position on climate change, polar bears, and sea ice and will not be speaking on or responding to these issues."

Polar bears are a hot topic for the Bush administration, which decided in December to consider whether to list the white-furred behemoths as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act, because of scientific reports that the bears' icy habitat is melting due to global warming.

Hall said a decision is expected in January 2008. A "threatened" listing would bar the government from taking any action that jeopardizes the animal's existence, and might spur debate about tougher measures to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that spur global warming.

So basically, don't talk about that yet! Environmental scientists discussing the drowning polar bears because well, the polar ice caps are melting? Whatever would make that a cause for environmental concern? UGH!

For me, this obnoxious, fascist censorship is a clear acknowledgment that Buscho is well aware of the implications of it's environmental :cough cough: policy. It should be ashamed of itself. Not just for it's policies, but for partisan-politicizing a global crisis. That is so wrong.

I have worked for government agencies before, so I well understand the sensitivity a job like that requires. You're not allowed to speak to anyone publicly without a list of talking points because even if you're a secretary, you're going to be cited as a "government official." The press will run with that if it can. But this is global, people. Global.

We won't stop polar bears from drowning or the honeybees from disappearing from the East Coast until we acknowledge that this is not a partisan issue.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Link so I remember where it is:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Still Spring Cleaning

It amazes me how much cleaning one house can tolerate, particularly when you have five people and a zoo. I am not talking about the regular ho-hum stuff, I am talking about the wonderful everything else.... the windows, the gutters, the sidewalks, the interior walls.... the spaces behind the appliances. Everything. Compulsive neat freaks really need to own homes. And maybe visit mine. A lot.

Almost done with the boys' room. Their nightlights are installed and that half is painted. D slept two nights in, then yesterday decided diapers were GREAT and he needed to stay up until 11 PM. So he slept with us. I am not crushed; I've had three children, so I get it by now that we're still headed in the right direction even if he needs to backpedal a bit. That's a lot for a little guy.

Friends coming over today. I think I will finally bust out the wiggle room junk.

Ok so I didn't do that. But I did enjoy my friends' company! And the sun came out! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!

Monday, March 05, 2007


D-meister insisted on sleeping in his own bed last night. We didn't even suggest it. He even helped build the bed, and wouldn't let me lay down with him. I can't tell you how stoked I am over that. Let's see how that continues when the novelty has worn off..... If I get my way we'll keep the novelty happening until it's become a habit!

I have been one week on this diet. I know, I said diet. My energy level is up and my weight is down by 6 pounds.

IKEA today, to get D a nightlight of his own.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

He says he is a baby....

and I will gladly go along with that because, after all, he is my baby. But this week he has voluntarily ditched the binky ( "the chickens ate it Mommy!" ), started wearing underwear full time in the house, and has refused to use the toilet inset for several days.

So, baby or not, he's feeling his boyness and we're going to reward he and his brother with the long-promised bunk beds. Our assumption has been that we'd get a set that matches G's, but Schnaygirl gave P-daddy a tip for a deal he couldn't refuse, and those are the beds we went with. They were inexpensive enough to match-beat IKEA on the beds I wanted so I was fine with it!

Anyway, whether he migrates to his bed is at his discretion, because he has gone through some big developmental milestones recently, but should he choose to add sleeping independently-- beneath big bro, of course--to this list, we're certainly going to enable him!

Bye bye, random, leftover, snowboarder dude! The before shots (as always, click to see):

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Sad Today

Life is so good for us right now, and so hard for so many of my friends.

I am counting my blessings and blowing belly kisses to my friends in pregnant bubbles, safe from the hubris!

btw-- I got your message today.

My own blog is about my family and is supposed to be a celebration of our life, a record of our time here. Of course it's going to be positive. If you have quit me, that's your business, but just know I won't ever be able to remember you in a wholly negative light. You changed my life in a fundamental way, and that's not something I will forget.

Musings on the infancy of parenthood

I remember when my dd was born, how the world had changed.

all newborns look / act alike

wait for the differentiation, the problems

the kids, the talent

bewilderment to surety to acceptance of others

some stuck in dogma, some mired in whatever floats your boat

shock of peanut allergy to shock of liking homeschooling

now: life is full of babies and challenges and death and choices

globalization of human experience. focus from our child's eyes to the world around us