Snow Art

Silly people, who said snow had to be white? This was an idea that I had seen on Pinterest last year. I admit, I was a bit skeptical. When would it ever be warm enough to take spray bottles filled with food coloring outside? Mother Nature was kind enough to grace us with a warm spell last week. As a parent, you have to love anything that your children really get into.

For the Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

Fridge Art


In an effort to teach my daughter letter recognition, I have been writing out her name in block letters and getting her to paint them. It isn’t too long before her attention span wanes. She begins to paint her belly and arms and chases me throughout the house with her blue fingers.
Since the Weekly Photo Challenge is Alphabet, I will share her current rendition:

A…B…C…D…E…M…O…P…in the potty…W…U… my sunshine

My Little Homemade Remedy

Where do I go
When life is a little rough
I get on my knees
And look in her eyes
For me, that is enough

It is enough to remind me
Of what is important here
Not the bills to pay
How clean my house is
Not even my career

When her blue eyes are twinkling
And she is giggling with glee
I can’t help but laugh with her
And wonder
“How am I so lucky?”

I should record her laughter
The way it echoes through my home
I could listen to it
In my golden years
After she is gone and on her own

If I could preserve her spirit
And bottle up her energy
I could sip it,
Like medicine,
My little homemade remedy

My written response to “Where is your happy place?”

Patience Please!

If you have some extra patience
Could you please send some my way
My child just doesn’t understand
There are things I need to do today

I woke up an hour early
So I could get a head start
But she woke up early too
And blew my plans apart

She began to help with breakfast
A simple, daily chore
She cracked some eggs in a bowl
And dumped them on the floor

We took our efforts outside
To tidy up our lawn
One moment she was there
And the next moment – gone

And where would I find her?
But well beyond the trees
Up on the road, with the dogs
Acting just like the puppies

After that I had decided
That she should have a nap
I brought her inside the house
And snuggled her on my lap

I thought I had achieved success
When her eyes started closing
But then the damn phone rang
And it prevented her from dozing

The rest of my day was filled
With very similar events
Forgive me for complaining
I just really needed to vent!

Now she is tired and cranky
Clinging on to my knees
So if you have some extra patience
Could you send me some, please!

Writing 101: Day 14: Recreate a single day

The Openness Scale

My husband says I have trouble communicating. For the life of me, I cannot understand why he feels compelled to constantly tell me this. I suppose, in his defense, that it stems from years ago when I used to bottle everything up and explode in a slew of screaming swears and wild and violent hand gestures. I imagine he just says this in case I am withholding some pertinent information that he will only hear about during my next angry outburst.

I should add that my outbursts, now, are less angry and more of a highly emotional variety. I am pretty sure it’s a woman thing. And I am pretty sure my hubby can’t tell the difference between the two.

I am hoping that, by the end of this article, I will have some solid answers for him but I all ready have my doubts. Please bear with me while I work through this.

My husband works away from home and phones me every morning. A typical conversation goes like this:
Him: ”How are you?”
Me: ”Good. How about you?”
Him: ”Alllllriiight. What do ya got going on today?”
Twenty ideas flash through my mind. My reply? ”I dunno…”

That’s communicating… right?

He asked me the other day “On a scale of one to ten, how open are you? I am about a nine.” I agree with his number – there is some crazy shit that comes out of his mouth.
”Six.” I say. My stomach clenches and curls inward – I know I am lying.
”Really?” His tone is disbelieving.
I concede.”Okay it’s more like three or four. Six on a good day.”

Why is the real question. I love him and trust him and do not fear his judgement. While there is a certain amount of tongue biting and holding back in every relationship, I do not feel like I do this (often). Granted, it is not my first response to phone him as soon as something funny or tragic happens but I do intend to tell him during our next conversation. If I am honest, sometimes I just forget. So, why then, would I only give myself a score of four?

The more I searched for an answer, the more I began to realize a few things.

1. My to do lists are consuming my brain. Initially I created them as a way to focus my time and energy. I could be proud of my accomplishments – look at what I got done! Now they are a source of frustration and guilt. A large portion of my day is spent glancing at the list I made three weeks ago and wondering which one of those things I could conquer and scratch off. The other portion of the day is spent grumbling because I don’t want to do any of them.

2. I am not one to reiterate every small thing that transpires in a day. It doesn’t appeal to me . My sister can do it. Just yesterday she told me about her trip to Wal-Mart, the new sale items she picked up and how, at the end, she debated about stealing cherries because the guy never looked in her bag as she was leaving. The conversation lasted 120 minutes and I was thoroughly entertained through them all. I do not have this talent.

3. My husband isn’t a part of the day-to-day things that occur here. I know he wants to be that is why he asks me all the time. It is his way of being supportive even though he is miles away.

4. We are what we know. My parents were not very open. Sure, we had the normal conversations at the supper table – my dad would ask what we learned in school and we would give the common reply of ”nothing”. Their sentences never started with “When I was your age..”  When we weren’t getting along my mother would say something threatening like “Should I get the spoon?” And dad would shake his big, thick index finger and offer us “tsks” of disapproval. They didn’t tell us how they solved disputes when they were younger. They never entertained us with stories of their past.

The meager amount I know of my mother’s childhood, I learned on her deathbed. And my father? There were some amazing, eye-opening facts that I learned from his sister as she read his eulogy.

I am crying now. I cannot help it. It is not necessarily because I miss them – because there will never be a part of me that doesn’t wish they were here. I am sobbing over the missed the opportunity to learn about the things that shaped their lives. The small insights that I do have only make me realize how similar I am to them. How, a generation later, I can see both of my father and my mother in me.

I refuse to lament and say ”if only we had more time.” Because the time and the opportunity  were there – they just didn’t take it. And I was too young to ask. It saddens me to admit that there is more to parenting than teaching your child what is right and wrong. It is about you, who you are, and how you came to be. Your life experiences will reflect on your child’s.

So I implore you to tell them. Tell them how when you were little you used to skip out on chores and run to the creek to pick flowers. Tell them that you dropped out of school at the age of fourteen to hunt and trap fur-bearing animals to help support your eight younger siblings. Tell them that everything you learned in your life was self-taught, through a lot of experiments and errors. Tell them about your trials and tribulations and the dreams you surrendered in lieu of being the provider that your family needed you to be.

Because years later, as they grapple with grasping aspects of their own personality, they will remember your tales. And it is only then that they will truly have a better understanding of themselves.