Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Birds Series: The Feeding

Those that know me know that I have an irrational fear and hatred of birds. (Actually, I think it's perfectly justified!)  "But Why?" you might ask. There are a number of traumatic experiences to point to and, in an attempt to bring some levity to your day, I'm going to chronicle as many of those moments as I can remember.  So...keep a look out for The Birds Series.

I have one other memory from that blasted bird pond. This one foolishly involved food. I have, sort of, learned my lesson when it comes to having food around birds… (not really - see here)

Back at the pond in the city park, but this time with a large bag of bread to feed the birds. Why I agreed to this madness I don’t know. I do know that I quickly realized my error and threw my bread pieces at the swarm of ducks descending and then took some giant steps back from the hoard. My poor foolish brother didn’t have the self-preserving fear that I did and thought the whole things was fun – he’s younger, he didn’t know.

Everything was going swimmingly, other than the skin crawling uncomfortableness I was feeling while watching him feed them, when the geese got wind of the free lunch being handed out on the grassy knoll. A pack (I know it’s a ‘gaggle’ but that word doesn’t carry the ominous foreboding that the word ‘pack’ does…) of large white geese came barreling toward the small blond boy in the crowd of frenzied ducks.

Now, my brother is brave and, when eye to eye with geese that outweighed him, he kept pulling out bread crumbs from the bag and throwing them out for the geese to gobble. But, geese are mean and greedy and their honking attracted another gang and the pace my brother set wasn’t fast enough and pretty soon his little blond head was all that was visible as those geese tried to grab the bag from him and devour every crumb (and maybe him by accident).

Mom, finally realizing that the odds weren’t in his favor, waded in to save him, tossing the bread bag to the side to distract the giant birds. (That is the sign of a true mom – wading into a mob of beady eyed geese to save your child! I just hope that I never have to do it! But I will…and then I will wake up my husband with my nightmares years later.)

Sometimes I’m traumatized by just watching something happen. I also learn from other people's experiences. I don’t feed birds.

Other postings in this series:
Birds, not just your feathered friends
The Birds Series: The Chase

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sweet and Sour

Sweetpea filched one of the stalks of rhubarb from the bag without us noticing and then went to town... Sourness is no deterrent to the exhilaration of choosing your own snack!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Strange happenings on Pinterest

Do you know of Pinterest? I'm sure I'm late to the party but I've finally made it and let me tell you, it's fun! It's such a happy place full of beautiful pictures and inspiration.  I won't bore you with all of the "pretties"...but I do have a few questions about some of the "strange" things I've noticed...

  • There are a lot of pins that involve very intricate fingernail polish applications and designs...Do people really spend that much time on their nails? I'm just happy when mine aren't broken off into jagged little nubs!

  • If you need a cute baby animal picture there are many at your fingertips.  My heart squeees at each one but I'm not sure why I need a pin board for them. Do people go back and just look at cute animal pictures?
  • There are lots and lots of quotes. I'm not terribly inspired by most of them but it confirms my sneaking suspicion that I should start keeping a quote book. Or at least a book of the important passages from books that I can never seem to find again and then I go crazy from the looking!

  • There are a number of recipes to make your own Starbucks drinks at home that taste "just like Starbucks!"  Is Starbucks still setting the bar for good coffee? I don't think so (rest assured, I'm happy to drink their coffee.)

If you're looking for inspiration or just to waste a little time (because who doesn't have spare time just sitting around asking to be wasted, right?) check it out. I will invite you if you want me to...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bedtime Conversations

The Princess and Mommy at bedtime

Will Jesus give us food?
Yes, Jesus gives us food.
When will he give us food?
Well, he helps mommy and daddy earn money so that we can buy food.
But does he give us food?
He gives food to people that don’t have any.
Will you come with me and Jesus?
To the grocery store to get food.
Sure, I’ll go with you to the grocery store to get food. But Jesus went to heaven so he won’t be with us at the grocery store so that we can see him. But he loves you so much and if you love him he’ll be in your heart and always be with you.
I love God and Jesus so, so, so much.
I’m so glad. They love you so, so, so much too.
I love you and Sweetpea and Daddy.
I love you and they love you too.
And I love myself (with a little smirk, like she was checking to see if it was ok to say that.)
That’s good. You’re very special and you should definitely love yourself.
Are there children there?
In heaven with Jesus.
Oh yes. Jesus LOVES children so there are lots of children with him.
Mommy, I want to go to heaven.
Well, you’ll get to go to heaven one day. Jesus loves you and if you love him then you’ll live with him in heaven one day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Green Thumb

This is either the start of a love of crafting or gardening...  

I can help with the crafting, she's on her own with the gardening.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Sweetness in the Bottom of the Pie

There are so many good books out there. So many books that are insightful, important, gripping and even life changing. I've reviewed a couple here and have so many others on my "favorites" list.

But, then there's another classification, the ones that just make me smile. They're whimsical, charming, enchanting, funny and poignant. They're the ones that I want to read over and over and make mental notes to share with friends and now with my daughters. They're the ones that come alive and set up shop in your brain and maybe your soul. I'm thinking Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, Betsy and Tacy...and now, Flavia de Luce.

I just finished The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. I was in love by the second page. Seriously, how a seventy year old man can write a book about a precocious eleven year old girl solving a murder mystery while obsessing about chemistry and plotting revenge on her older sisters is beyond me. It was, in a word, delightful!

It was a fast and funny read - perfect for summer.  Go out and get it - it'll definitely put the "sweet" into your summer!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


She observes the kitchen activities to make sure that nothing untoward is going on.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Stories We Tell

Sometimes I feel a little self-centered and narcissistic keeping a blog that’s centered around me. Maybe my time should be better spent focusing on other people in my life. Documenting minute details of my life like paint color and the latest bird attack aren’t of significant importance no matter how much time I do (or don’t) spend writing up the story. Perhaps a more outward focus rather than inward focus would be healthier and more productive. All of this may be true but I’ve been confronted with the importance and power of stories in the past couple of weeks.

Heather took a recent trip to Bangladesh to learn about a project involving women and death in childbirth. I won’t go into the details, she’s written it all up here, but did it ever start a conversation (as is wont to happen with anything involving Heather.) It was a conversation about talking versus doing. I came away from it thinking that talking is underrated when we live in the US where we can talk anytime, anywhere and about anything. Elsewhere, telling a story and having someone listen to it is significant and can be life changing.

A friend of mine has become so passionate about working to end sex trafficking that he’s started a blog. We’ve heard the statistics, we’ve read an article but it's the story that conveys the emotion, the passion and elicits a response. He’s telling stories as a starting point for action.

I listen to, watch and read the news and work hard to sort out the bias from facts. But Six Stories from Seven Continents gives me content to hang those facts on. I get to know the little details that make the facts real, relatable and memorable (and as I get older I need all the memory help I can get!)  

Of course, Cookies for Emergencies isn’t going to change the world, but it’s my story. My story is significant because it affects the ones around me. If I can document my daughters’ lives in a way that gives them insight into who they are and where they came from, then it’s significant. If I can share a story that makes people laugh, gives them a smile on a day that sadly lacking in them, then that’s significant. If I can process my thoughts and opinions so that I am confident in the choices I make and how I participate in this world, then that’s significant.

We often feel that if we’re not actively working towards a specific goal then we’re not doing anything of importance. But I think we underestimate the power of listening to someone’s story and sharing our own. Taking the time to share and to listen is saying that the essence of the person is the most important thing; more important than my to-do list and 5-year goals and the flurry of information being thrown in my direction at any given moment.

Stories make us human, they reduce us to our basic elements and give us a connection that no statistic, no rational argument, no list of facts and figures ever could. So…I keep thinking about these things and find my spare moments to document a few of them… One day I’ll look back at my own story and probably laugh and shake my head at some things but I know I’ll  be really glad I took the time to write it all down – if just for the laugh on a bad day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


It's amazing what a couple of tiny bath toys can do for getting small people into the bathtub quickly...totally worth the impulse purchase!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heat of the day

The Princess isn't really clued into the idea of heat. Hence the fleece pajamas in 80 degree heat...