Monday, June 30, 2008

Locking down again

I am having some feelings of overexposure. It seems this happens to me annually, but I am feeling pretty vulnerable right now, so I am closing the blog. I may still have to cull some people as I need to process things that aren't necessarily pretty. I hope you understand if my blog goes "poof."

If I had transferred to wordpress already I could just seal off the few posts here and there, but of course I had to procrastinate. I am always procrastinating.

I have made a few big mistakes in the past several months, and they are coming now at some heavy cost.

We will be ok; we always are.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Indoors spiked 90 degrees Saturday

---and it's been such a long time coming I really didn't mind. Today we spent our annual escape to the beach as a family day biding our time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What kind of bee nest is this?

I was hoping for honey but P-daddy is thinking yellow jacket. I am asking about the larger hive on the right, not the smaller paper wasp hive on the left.

Friday, June 27, 2008

First Strike! Strawberries!

1/2 flat of organic, local strawberries: 11.95

1 bag of leftover pectin from last year: I forget so it's free

Making 3 quarts of strawberry jam and 3 quarts of preserves with your 8 year old girlie: priceless

{PS: "Can I lick that?" was the happy refrain of the afternoon!}

(no pix because of forgetting to pass broken camera along to the Cesco for repair: expensive!!!)

This is from 2004 when we went strawberry picking in SC. Another bonus to this post: cute, old pictures. She is three here-- one month to go before her birthday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Grandaddy's Kitchen

I have been thinking about him so much lately. So, so much.

Here's his kitchen:

My nails are dirty

and some of my online friends are complaining.......... that tells me it is truly summer now!

Gardening eats us again.... let's hope the short season still lets us have a crop!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

My inbox this morning was FILLED with Happy Birthday email!

I received greetings from Mama Drama and Diaper Swappers!

I received Birthday coupons from Fire Mountain Gems and Borders! Wheeeee!

I also woke up to two emails from real friends so that made me happy as well!


(I got lots more nice emails throughout the day!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blogging Strike

With the notable exception of Reeciebird, it's like my local blogosphere is on strike. Come on people! Update your blogs!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Birth is NOT a medical situation

It never was. It never should have been made into a medical event. The events surrounding birth certainly can be enhanced by the benefits of medical science, but normal pregnancies do not require medical intervention. It has been shown more than adequately that birth is actually hindered by medical interventions.

This is clearly not accepted by the AMA. In yet another step of "doctor knows best" Big Brother behaviour, the AMA has recently released it's intention to introduce legislation outlawing homebirth, criminalizing the mothers who have their babies at home.

Grandma? Great Grandma? You're crooks, hear me? What were you thinking???

Here is the text from the Big Push for Midwives Campaign:

CONTACT: Steff Hedenkamp, (816) 506-4630,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 16, 2008
Father Knows Best Meets Big Brother Is Watching
Physician Group Seeks to Outlaw Home Birth—Is Jail for Moms Next?
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 16, 2008)—Just in time for Father’s Day, at its annual meeting last
weekend, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a resolution to introduce legislation
outlawing home birth, and potentially making criminals of the mothers who choose home birth with the
help of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) for their families.
“It’s unclear what penalties the AMA will seek to impose on women who choose to give birth at home, either for religious, cultural or financial reasons—or just because they didn’t make it to the hospital in time,” said Susan Jenkins, Legal Counsel for The Big Push for Midwives 2008 campaign. “What we do know, however, is that any state that enacts such a law will immediately find itself in court, since a law dictating where a woman must give birth would be a clear violation of fundamental rights to privacy and other freedoms currently protected by the U.S. Constitution.”

Until the AMA proposed ‘Resolution 205 on Home Deliveries,’ no state had considered legislation
forcing women to deliver their babies in the hospital or limiting the choice of birth setting. Instead, states have regulated the types of midwives that may legally provide care. Currently, 22 states already license and regulate CPMs, who specialize in out-of-hospital maternity care and have received extensive training to qualify as experts in the types of risk assessment and preventive care necessary for safe and high quality care for women who choose give birth at home. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), who are trained primarily as hospital-based providers, are licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The resolution did not offer any science-based information for the AMA’s anti-midwife or anti-home birth position. “Maternity care is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States,” said Steff Hedenkamp, Communications Coordinator for The Big Push for Midwives. “So it’s no surprise to see the AMA join the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in its ongoing fight to corner the market and ensure that the only midwives able to practice legally are hospital-based midwives forced to practice under physician control. I will say, though, that I’m shocked to learn that the AMA is taking this turf battle to the next level by setting the stage for outlawing home birth itself—a direct attack on those families who choose home birth, who could be subject to criminal prosecution if the AMA has its way.”

The Big Push for Midwives ( is a nationally coordinated campaign organized to advocate for regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and to push back against the attempts of the American Medical Association to deny American families access to safe and legal midwifery care. Media inquiries should be directed to Steff Hedenkamp (816) 506-4630,

The AMA website itself does not display this latest resolution, but they do proudly post their amicus briefs in the court battle against midwifes in MO last year. It's legal to practice midwifery there now, so they lost that fight. Now, I suppose, it's time for another tactic.

I don't believe this will pass. It's a publicity stunt in response to all the good press homebirth has been receiving, namely via Ricki Lake. What annoys me most in this is that, akin to homeschooling, where most teachers you speak to privately think homeschooling is perfectly appropriate and efficacious, most doctors I have personally spoken to think homebirth is fine. The professionals in those fields have their ideas and have concerns I may not share, but they acknowledge on the whole that within certain parameters, life at home is at home. It's safe. It's when you get the advocacy groups, the lobbyists together, that we have a problem. The associations perceive any stray sheep as an assault on their supremacy, an attack their bottom line. The groupthink at their conventions drives us all into an us vs them mentality that is just unnecessary. See for the horse's mouth; they even released yesterday that they were simply copying the ACOG resolution from last year. Groupthink!

Last I checked, I stand sovereign as an American Citizen. Patriot Act bedamned, I am not willing to sacrifice my rights, and the rights of my children, to groups of employees. Your paychecks will not be guaranteed by constraining our freedoms. We the people will not stand for it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

THIS is our life-- this is it.

The sunshine returned, at least for today, and it was a true Northwestern summer day. What a great Father's Day for P-daddy. We all kicked into gear. All of us. Even G-girl, inspired, totally organized and cleared the school room shelves from the chaos of a month or so of new deliveries and neglect.

It's 7 PM and I am a little shocked by that. I remember this clearly from last year: "How did THAT happen?" I came in only because I got smacked with stinging nettle and had to take care of that before the burning got any worse.

The content of the day--the laundry list of what we did without even leaving the house-- including leisurely loafing, showering and chatting on the net, is huge. I LOVE this life. The kids spent all day outside, swinging and then riding bikes with each other and with their parents.

N-man's daisies are blooming to beat the band this year. He planted them in his special garden when each big kid had their own garden plot. They take a couple of seasons to mature, and he abandoned the plot last year. Now they are standing tall, looking for all the world like a floral square in the grass, as he had planted them around the outside of his little garden. He's so ecstatic and proud.

The kids, the neighbor girl, P-daddy and I cleared the weeds from the gardens outside the kids' room. Their view has always been a bit dismal, despite the beautiful trees bordering the yard and the climbing rose between their two rooms. That side is where we store the trashcans, the recycling, the wood cradles and the lawn equipment. It's easy for the winter months to turn that into a dumping ground, and I don't like that my children see only that through their windows. We got all the seeds planted, some of the garden art in, and a pretty clear plan for the rest of the next month. The girls even wild harvested some transplants of bleeding heart and foxglove for the backdrop.

We moved on to the herb / rose garden, where it was just G-girl and I. The boys had been drawn to the grill where P-daddy was preparing ribs, and she was still fully invested in being in the garden with me. The herbs were in a horrible state of overrun; this year the herbs will finally be "organic," as that was a very bare, formal garden when we moved in. Anyone who has transitioned from chemical fertilizers and herbicides to natural methods can appreciate the crazy weedage out there. (We really need to invest in a truckload of compost / mulch but I need to see how much that would cost before even thinking about it. )

G and I worked steadily together, chatting and marveling at all the babies we've gotten from letting the herbs seed out. Maybe not this year, but definitely next, we will have at least a partial English garden out there. And she gets it. This is the part of watching her grow that dispels some of the heartache of losing that small child. She's growing into this unique, feisty person who not only shares some of my interests, but knows she does. We connect on levels that one could cultivate with new friends, and I think that bodes well for staying connected as she grows into an adult.

As we worked-- before my nettle encounter-- I told her "I love this. I hope we garden together for the rest of our lives."

I so mean it.

Kefir report

sorry- def filed under boring ramblings

milk kefir-- perfect. best tasting I've ever had, not as thick as some but I can also live with that.

the water kefir smells a little like anus and was "off." not anywhere near as tasty as what niki brought here, so I shouldn't have monkeyed with the flavor I think.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunny all morning

So far so good!

And my honey talked with me in a very supportive fashion today. That's so what I want in married life.

Feeling very kitcheny again-- I have been growing sprouts this week, tending the kefir grains Niki gave us. Feeling at home.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Little Things

I am feeling way better today. I thought yesterday's post was darkly funny, but Niki tells me next year I will look back on it and wince.

However, knowing me as she does, she has insisted for a while that I use Pandora. Now that I have a smokin-hot new machine, she emailed me the link again. I am hooked. Nothing like music, tailor spun for me, to bring a loft of peace and joy to my heart.

Thanks, darlin'.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Taking it personally

I really am. It's hurting my feelings.

I know that my responses are irrational, unfair and counterproductive.

I know it.

But I am willing to compromise, while my adversary is not budging an inch.

It doesn't have to be HOT or even very warm, but I need to see the sun.

And the clouds just aren't departing.

It's really screwing me up.

Friday, June 06, 2008

My Birthday Girl

She is eight years old today.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The luge-line!

Marie got the luge line photo from N-meisters birthday! It's on her blog here!

Rockin! Thanks Marie!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Settling in

While in Charleston, I had a lot of time to think about our life out here. From my perspective it is still "new," but being home for me drove home-- pounded it in, actually-- that this life, this "new" experience is the totality of my children's existence. Being without our own space, our own belongings and our own routines was exhilarating for G and I; we truly vacationed. The boys were less enthusiastic about it, but were good sports and had a great time.

When I made time with my old friends, reconnecting on an individual basis, many of us commented on the sense we all had that between us, it was as if no time had passed. As adults, we get sucked into our rhythm and begin to measure time by holidays and years. The children however, both mine and the ones we left behind, shattered that complacency. Time had passed, and in droves. It has been three and a half years since we had seen anyone in quality fashion. Staying with Uncle Monkey, who had just visited us the month before, was a stroke of grace. The children love him to distraction and Aunt Swoosie was a gentle, quiet presence, so they had a place where they felt they knew someone. N-man had story-memories, and he did his best, but he felt a little fuzzy when it came to all these people. D-meister, bless his heart, didn't know anyone but Monkey, but everyone he met seemed to have a claim on him. Our true Party Boy, he just rolled with it!

As is usual for me, I experience that split, that familiar anguish stemming from desperately wanting to live two lives at once. More like, wanting to exist in two places at once. The friends who have remained connected with us while we moved out here still mean so much to me. These are relationships which are simply irreplaceable. Now, we have those close-knit dynamics both in Washington and Carolina. The quality of life in both places is very high, in terms of abundant natural beauty and personal expression. Even in Charleston, they are becoming more progressive, with new CSAs opening, dairies selling raw milk as fast as its bottled, and new birth centers coming available to women. That didn't exist even a scant two years ago, there. Society, culture, art, food and community are important in both regions. Despite their apparent similarities, the highlights that make a place livable take wildly different shapes in both my homes, and it becomes very simple for me to see objectively where I should be. With the economy the way it is, we couldn't sell and move anyway, even if I were feeling a desperate longing to return there, which I am not. What amazed me, what stunned and relieved me, was that for the kids, there is no such split. Washington is home. THIS is what they know and what they want.

So what is it? What is it that makes me come home here and has me feeling uncomfortable, as displaced as when I first arrived? Sometimes, I feel it is because I am identifying too strong with someone who is experiencing that move for the first time. Her experiences remind me so much of what we went through. At other times, I think maybe I am in a rut. Anyone could point at the climate here and say "Wake up! It's been 45 degrees and blue for 6 months. Who wouldn't feel a little down?" Perhaps it would be wise to say that my feelings of angst could result from a little of all of it. I think more to the point is something even more simple: we haven't feathered our nest. We move things around, we plant trees and roses, we install shelves and hang a few pictures here and there, but we have yet to actually decorate, to make it our home. This is high priority in a Charleston home, and it is just something I have not done here. Watching my friend move in at all, much less efficiently and carefully, certainly highlights for me that I have yet to really move in, from a Charlestonian perspective. I have done this for the kids, but not for the house at large.

I realize this may sound vapid, but in an economy where gas has surpassed 4.00 a gallon and in a climate where indoor living is the default, feeling at home in your own home has to be more important than I have been treating it. I've gotten "neat" but I haven't hung our art, painted or anything. For some reason I just left that aspect of myself behind and I don't understand why. In my haste to explore the totality of myself, I think I have forgotten to include parts of me that I actually like. My trip was a reminder of that, and of boundaries that I need to tighten, straps I need to pull. Do we all have to learn, relearn and learn again? Is all human growth two steps forward one step back? It's tiring. It feels like I waste self-time just living life.

Here's hoping I take action on these ideas and get us comfy in our own space, all of us.