Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monday Gardening Club

I really love the idea of posting a garden update every week. Thanks to Aliceson over at Feet Off the Table for starting this.

I have to say I'm in a much better place than I was a couple days ago. I went out to water the garden and found these little blue balls in the garden beds around the deck.


I was furious! Our rent includes lawn maintenance which I unfortunately assumed meant simple lawn mowing. I bent over and picked out every little blue ball, all the while expressing some not so child friendly language. Fortunately, the child had gone inside by this point. Ironically, the landscaper stopped by on Saturday and I talked to him. I found out what he used and it seems it isn't so bad, but it's definitely not organic. *sigh* Anyway, I told him that I only want them to cut the back lawn. No chemicals...nothing else, just cut.

On a better note, things are growing!

Chard


Carrots


Snap Peas


Strawberries


Spinach


Everything is getting bigger. I'm not the most patient person in the world (okay, that's a big understatement) but having a garden is definitely a practice in patience.

Happy Gardening!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dog Play

Princess has a variety of little animal figures. On this particular day she tried to make a pile of dogs.




Then she gave up on the dog pile and decided on just two dogs.

She was finally satisfied with this.

I just had to giggle.

Friday, May 29, 2009

His Last Day

Last year the Lizard King learned that his company, Boise Paper, was laying off 300 employees at his location in St. Helens, Oregon. He was supposed to be done some time in January. Then the powers that be realized that they needed someone to restructure and get things in order and they asked him to stay on until the end of May.

The last several weeks have been so stressful for him. Today was his last day and he has breathed a sigh of relief. He will receive three and a half months severance and can collect unemployment until he is able to find a job.

He has been job hunting for quite a while now, but with the state of the economy jobs aren't all that plentiful. It's all good. The right thing will come along at the right time.

After leaving work early today (his final day), LK came home and we had a lovely afternoon together at the Oregon Zoo.



After the zoo, Freckle, the Ogre and Blue Eyed Boy came over to our house for dinner. We had a wonderful time!

We now look at the time ahead with a little uncertainty. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I also believe that something very good is coming. I look forward to it all. Life is a big adventure...we might as well enjoy it.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flashback

I dropped Princess off at art class and drove off to pick up milk and eggs. These items are, of course, in opposite directions. I turned on the radio and listened for a while, flipping stations in an effort to find something I wanted to listen to. For a long time I was unsuccessful.

I changed from the stations saved in 'A' to 'B' and found 105.9 "The Brew". The radio display showed 10,000... Well, I knew the song was not 10,000 Maniacs. It turns out they are playing 10,000 songs with no commercial interruption. Okay...sounds good to me, I hate commercials.

I turn the music up and realize I am listening to Def Leppard, Foolin'. I turn it up. Nope, not loud enough. I turn it up some more. Still not good enough, so I turn it up some more. Yeah, maybe a little more Suddenly, I'm not a 44 year old mom driving down the road in a mini-van. I'm 17 and I'm cruising on a beautiful day. Windows open. Wind in my hair. Music BLARING.

Def Leppard was followed by Joan Jett, Boston, Queen, Van Halen and well, you get the point.

I invite you to your very own flashback. Be sure to turn up the volume to LOUD.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday

Check out the Harley rider.



Man, can she cruise on those training wheels!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Can we just pretend it's Monday?

I meant to post my Gardening Monday Club yesterday, it being Monday and all. Oops! I got a lot of laundry done, though!

A day late, but here's my update.

My seeds are beginning to sprout! Here we have the beginnings of spinach. It looks like grass, right? I'm told it's spinach.

The cucumbers are getting new leaves.


Lettuce is getting bigger. I cannot wait to eat lettuce out of my very own garden.


Okay, it's really hard to see (with all the yard debris - we have an insane amount of yard debris) but the chard seeds are sprouting. If this grows I'll save so much money. I eat a ton of chard.


We also have one snap pea sprouting and some chamomile, but they're really small. This gardening stuff is pretty cool!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Swimsuits

The Bantering Blonde posted here about swimsuit shopping. Head on over and check her out. She is a total crack up! Yet again, my comment turned into something more of a blog post, so here I am. I know it's Gardening Monday, but I'll talk about that later. I hope you don't mind.

Going out on a limb here and sharing that I am a size 10. I tried the board shorts thing and evidently, my thighs and ass are too freakishly large for women's board shorts...at least the board shorts at the Portland Swim Company or whatever it's called. I bought men's board shorts because we were leaving for Florida (back in January). I hate them. They aren't anything even resembling cute.

Then there is the top. My boobs are not that insanely huge, yet I can't seem to find a swimsuit that will contain them. Of course if I wanted a bikini it wouldn't be a problem, but nobody wants to see this tummy. I'm 44 AND I've had a child. I've got more rolls than I care to count. Let's just keep the tummy under wraps, thank you very much.

Why is it so difficult to find an underwire tankini top that's larger than a C-cup? I would love a one piece that can contain the "twins" with a skirt that actually serves a purpose. Why do the skirts always hit "right there" at the perfect spot to accentuate the bulge on my outer thigh? Or the skirt is all clingy so it hugs all the wrong spots.

I have this idea in my head for a swimsuit and in my head it looks awesome. It's feminine and flirty and fun. With all the women who have swimsuit issues someone could make a fortune on this. Don't you think? If only I could sew, I would make one for myself. *sigh*

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mom For the First Time At 38

There are many reasons why a woman waits until later in life to have a baby. Zayna and I got into a little discussion on her blog the other day and where I commented that it wasn't my choice to wait until 38 to have a child. She inquired as to what happened. I decided it was a better blog post than a comment, so here I am!

As long as I can remember I have wanted a child. I have always dreamed of becoming a mother and breaking the cycle of abuse. I went through a ton of therapy and continue to work on myself, aspiring to be the best mom I can be.

At age 34 I finally gave up waiting for Mr. Right to come along. At that point, I had been dating about half my life with no prospects, only bad relationship after bad relationship. I decided that I was done with that. No more dating for me AND I was going to have a child on my own.

I did a lot of research. I joined Single Mother by Choice, a support group for women who intentionally choose to become a single mom. I researched sperm banks and fertility clinics. I made my choices. I purchased sperm and began intra-uterine insemination (IUI), knowing I would get pregnant quickly. That didn't happen.

For six months I went through IUIs with no drugs, with clomid, with injectable drugs. I went through various procedures. I had surgery to check and see what was going on in there. After six months of perfectly timed inseminations, I was still not pregnant. Each month was heartbreaking.

Then I met the Lizard King. Neither of us had intentions of dating or getting involved. We were friends for a long time, but I never shared what I was doing. One day LK kissed me and everything changed in that instant. When I saw that things were getting serious I thought I'd better tell him what I was doing. He was amazingly supportive. That last insemination was unsuccessful as well.

At this point LK and I were pretty serious and I decided to stop the inseminations. Time went by and we got engaged and then married. We tried to get pregnant, but nothing happened. We went to the fertility clinic to get checked out. He was fine. I was not. They told us that without a donor egg, my chances of a viable pregnancy was 1%. The cost? $15,000 with no guarantee. There was no way we could afford this.

I cried. A lot. Finally, I accepted that I would never have a child. Four months later, at age 38, I was pregnant.

So that's the story of why I "waited" until my late thirties to have a child. There are pros and cons to having a child later in life, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I am so very blessed to have my sweet Princess.

Monday, May 18, 2009

An Amazing Weekend & MY FIRST GARDEN EVER

It felt like an early summer this weekend. We hit 82 yesterday. It was my goal to be outside as much as possible and I have to say, I believe I accomplished my goal. Saturday morning we walked to the Beaverton Farmers Market. I love the location of our house! We can walk so many places!! We strolled around the market for a bit (not long enough for me....maybe next week) and then Princess wanted to head over to the fountain for some water play.









The Lizard King finished work early on Saturday, so we got a jump start on our garden. On Sunday he built a step onto the deck, extended the deck to have a place for the grill and added some fence for climbing plants. Yes, the man never stops. (He also washed his jeep, vacuumed out both vehicles and I forget what else.)







Did I mention that I have never gardened before? Ever! Here is my first ever garden:

Here we have rosemary, flowers, spinach, snap peas & strawberries.



Brussel sprouts and some red lettuce


Red lettuce, romaine & chard


Onions (Walla Walla), cucumbers, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers& serranos


Tomatoes, pole beans, peas, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots


We even had time for a date, just LK and me! We went to a restaurant, ate outside and talked to each other without interruption. Wow! Thank you Freckle for bringing over Blue Eyed Boy and Toothless Fairy for a babysitting playdate. You so totally ROCK!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

He Made My Day!

A random stranger, that is.

I was walking home from the library today, toting my wheely cart filled to the brim with books, when a guy drove by me. He turned around, heading in my direction again and I went into my typical paranoid mode, thinking he could be a serial kidnapper/murderer. Completely logical, I know.

As he approached, I turned to make sure no crazed human was jumping out to grab me. He slowed down beside me and said, "Excuse me, miss, are you single?" I responded with a "no, I"m not". He said, "Oh, okay. Well, you're very cute." I smiled and said "thank you".

Aaaahhhh!!!

He totally made my day!! =)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Toasting to Motherhood

Foosball is a contact sport. I bet you didn't know that was possible. Yes, I managed to smash my face on a Foosball table. Your heard that right.

When you mix a fabulous Mother's Day party and a bottle of tequila, shared with friends, amazing things can happen. I'm not sure if it was 5 or 6 shots ("To motherhood!), but who's counting anyway?! All I know is that it hurt more the next day and the day after that and the day after that.

At least I won the game!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!


I wanted to wish all the moms a very happy day. I hope that you all are doing something special with you families. Me? Well, I'm heading over to Freckle's house for a celebratory BBQ. There will be lots of moms, dads and kids. It promises to be a good time...after all, there will be margaritas!
A friend forwarded this story about Mother's Day to me. She received it from her Rabbi, Daniel Isaak:
Though I have heard it claimed that Mother's Day must have been invented by Hallmark or alternatively by florists as a purely commercial venture, that is clearly not the case. The history that I discovered is far more interesting.

Julia Ward Howe, after authoring of the famous poem, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, became overwhelmed by the horrible effects of war. Not just the death and disease which killed and maimed the soldiers, but she worked with widows and orphans of soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. She became aware of the devastation, the economic crises and the economic restructuring of both North and South.

Distressed by the realities of war and convinced that peace was one of the two most important causes of the world (the other being equality in its many forms), and understanding that Europe was then engaged in its own Franco-Prussian War, she called in 1870 for women to rise up and oppose war in all its forms. Calling it a Mother's Day for Peace, she wanted women to come together across national lines, to recognize what we hold in common rises above what divides us and to urge us all to commit to finding peaceful resolutions to conflicts.

In calling for a Mother's Day of Peace, she was influenced by Anna Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who in 1858 had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mother's Work Days. Jarvis organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began to work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.

Anna Jarvis' daughter, also named Anna Jarvis, knowing of both her mother's efforts and those of Julia Ward Howe began her own campaign to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in West Virginia in 1907 in the church where the elder Anna Jarvis had taught Sunday School. The custom spread eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared by states officially in 1912 and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day.

In her effort to create a Mother's Day for Peace Julia Ward Howe wrote a poem. We will distribute that poem at services this evening and read it together as the fight to end the horrors of war continues in our day.

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If you want a totally hysterical read about Mother's Day, head over to Heathen Family Revival and follow the link to the NPR Mother's Day story.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Supplies

You know you're a homeschooling mom when your linen closet looks like this.




You'd think we had all the craft supplies we need, yet we found ourselves at the craft store yesterday buying more.

Along with craft supplies we keep a variety of science experiment supplies. You never know when you might have to perform a sudden experiment. Hmmm...it's been a while since we made slime. Perhaps we'll do that today.



You may be wondering where my linens are...
Well, LK put some shelves here for me. We have way fewer linens than craft and science supplies.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Library Card

A while back I posted about Princess' reading success. Since then her reading has really skyrocketed. One day, about a month ago, we were at the library and Princess asked when she could get her own library card.

Here she is smiling proudly with her new library card and her first library books.

Here is the most recent pile of books that she requested from the library. She loved that the hold slips had her name. She wanted to request level 2 "ready to read" books about...wait for it...PRINCESSES! I guess it's not necessarily all about the pink.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad

I figured I'd say it here since I can't say it to him. We haven't talked to each other since the Disney World trip. There has been no communication at all since our back and forth email discussion ended February 25th. For those who don't remember, my father broke up with me back in February.

Well, today is his birthday and I can't call him, but I did send cards. It's just weird. I thought I would miss him more than I do, but it actually feels good. I'm not being judged on a regular basis and I get no guilt trips that he claims aren't guilt trips. There is so much more, but I fear I would bore you all with the messy details.

I guess all I really wanted to do was send a birthday wish out to the universe. Maybe one day my father will realize the importance of family and that relationships take work on both sides.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Composting, Gardening & The Lizard King

The Lizard King works way too hard. He hasn't had a day off in a long time. He was scheduled to leave for Cancun for some well deserved rest and relaxation...and then the whole swine flu thing hit (not him) - vacation cancelled.

He then decided that he would take a day off from work. This was supposed to happen on Friday. Then one of the people he does side work for needed some work done. It was only supposed to be about a half day, not so bad. Well, a half day turned into a full day. So much for taking the day off. He also worked Saturday and half of Sunday.

When he came home we went to pick up a new "work van" he just bought. I can't begin to tell you how excited he is about this. It will make doing side work easier because he can keep all his tools in this and have everything he needs available to him.

Then, because I guess he just hadn't worked enough that day, he built a compost bin!
Isn't it beautiful?!?! Yes, I'm way too excited about this. And no Freckle, as you can see it isn't pink.


We've started using it already!


He built two raised beds over here.


And another one here.


I was supposed to call and get a price to have dirt delivered...but you guessed it, I forgot. I did get a lot of other stuff done. It was a fabulous day. We didn't even notice that it was pouring down rain all day. I love Oregon!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fairy Festival

Fairies are a big part of our world. Every year we look forward to the Fairy Festival which takes place on the first Saturday of May. We spread the word, far and wide, so that others might enjoy the fairy celebration. Freckle and especially her daughter were excited to join us. Until she twisted her ankle the night before the festival. I couldn't let her daughter miss the festivities, so she happily joined us.

Here are Princess and the Toothless Fairy as we arrived at the festival.

There was a Maypole...


and music...


and a fairy parade...


and flower fairies...


Princess' friend "B" found us there...


The fairies cleaned...


and made fairy crowns...




and made fairy wands, lanterns and potions...




and chased some dragons around...






enjoyed some fairy snacks...


and had an all around fairy wonderful time.