Friday, May 30, 2008

Idea of Self

Who are you? How do you define yourself? Are you true to you or do you yield to stronger voices and personalities-- or are you the stronger voice.

While admittedly I'm rather bi-polar, I find this to be THE question.

If we are defined by our actions then I am not who I want to be at all...

What defines me? My messy house? My scattered and flighty mind? The fact that I capitulate to my hunny constantly?

What would I do if I could do anything? My big dream? My heritage farm... and my books being published... Every advantage for my boys... and an attentive, supportive, loving, partner in my husband...

I'm not trying to sound dissatisfied-- I think I have a hard time feeling that my bliss is even a consideration at all-- I feel more practical about not being able to afford anything... so I end up here with a question of self... who am I?

I am Anne Elliot!

Take the Quiz here!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

News Flashes

* Bobo lives in Sells now where he is being spoiled by a girl appropriately named 'Grace'

* Gimli lives here with us. He's 12 and probably will not be with us much longer

* Drew gave the talk in primary on Sunday and blew everyone away-- esp. as he normally doesn't talk in public. He did so great! Mom and Dad cried.

* Drew is reading more every day-- we have created a game where he picks out words to create sentences.

* Sunny is spoiled, cute, and ridiculously short. Most people think he's a walking talking 9 month old baby and it freaks them out, because he talks very well and very clearly... 'Extuse me, pease, do you like my soos?'

* I'm currently researching houses so we can move in Jan/Feb.

* I'm teaching myself guitar

* I got the boys cheap tiny violins and will be teaching them how to play as soon as they arrive. Drew's is a 1/4 size, Sunny's is a 1/10 size.

* Hubby's internship is finally starting to pick up a little. Is it a good sign when things are slow at the Federal court?

* We're planning on going away for a weekend soon to get our never-had almost-honey-moon.

* We're planning on weaning Sunny (but he says 'No! The boo-boos are MINE! I like them! THAT one!')

* Sunny is addicted to the Wiggles

* My best (read: only) friend is moving to Pennsylvania and I'm royally bummed out

* I have a banana tree

Day One

My guitar from ebay ($.01 plus $32.00 shipping LOL) arrived this morning via UPS. We went to the library, so I didn't get much of a chance to play with it until after Noah's nap-- and then most of it was trying to tune it. It hasn't been holding it's tuning long (new string issue?)

BUT I'm pretty proud of myself. I'm on for their guitar section and I know three chords and can play 'leaving on an airplane' after one hour of messing around.


But now I have blisters on my finger tips. Hello! Who else does that? I'm truly unique.

My MIL says I'm a wimp.


It was fun to sing and play and I cracked up when I realized that my voice was automatically leaning towards the celtic side of folk in sound. Go figure!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memory all Day Weekend

We had a blast on Saturday, driving up to Queen Creek with my SIL and her family to pick apricots and peaches at a U-Pick orchard. It was wonderful. I loved seeing my little ones picking fruit right off the trees, and riding on straw bales behind a tractor. It was a tiring day, but well worth it-- more about it later.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


It's really hard to lose all your dreams and ambitions all at once... and it's really dumb to lose them because of guinea pig food.

The boys got into the guinea pig food and scattered it on the floor. No biggie, right?

Wrong, it's based on alfalfa. I'm on day three of vomiting, very severe joint pain, and all over severe pain. Alfalfa is my worst allergy-- I actually blacked out from this! I'm scared that it's the one allergy I have that could actually kill me.

So, how am I ever going to own any livestock?

I can't. No horses. No goats. Nothing.

And what if I want another baby and this happens? I obviously can't be the mom I need to be for my boys if I'm puking and my joints have me literally crippled. Am I ever going to be able to have another baby?

So, what am I supposed to learn from this? What is the lesson? How can these allergies make me stronger when I'm already so weak?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Conscience of FOOD

I do get tired of people talking about being vegetarians because of the cruel way in which animals were KILLED so we can eat them. That's not really the issue. The way they die is much more humane than the way they live. We pump them full of feed that hurts them, we fill them with hormones so their bodies behave unnaturally, and even have bred into them the inability to reproduce. To me, their LIVES are the crime, not their deaths.

So, I don't believe that eating meat means that we are compromising our spiritual relationship with the earth-- if we know where it came from and can condone its experience.

It's not just spirituality-- it's health. Everything we put into those animals is put into us and becomes a part of us. Want growth hormones? Here's a nice glass of milk!

Animals can live happy and productive lives in a more natural environment, without being filled with improper diets and drugs to manipulate them for the table. The food from such animals is much healthier-- and it really doesn't take that much.

I'm the first to admit that my family eats a lot of meat in a year. I figured my amounts by the week, and rounded (up) to how much meat my family consumes annually. That was my first step. I figure we eat around 200 poultry (chicken and ground turkey mostly) 300 lbs of beef and 200 lbs of other meat. I know, it sounds like a lot-- but thats about 150 chickens, 50 turkeys, half a steer, and half or so of an oinker...

Eating chickens cost about 13 cents each when you buy them as chicks from a hatchery. In twelve-fourteen weeks they eat, poop, drink an incredible amount of water, and are ready for slaughter. A crossbreed-- these birds cannot survive much longer than that on their own... or you can go for meat bird that CAN live and reproduce and wait 16 weeks to be ready to eat them. As long as they are protected from wild animals and have ready access to food water, and grass, you don't really have to worry that much about them-- happier lives already.

One young steer costs, around here, about $50-$150 at weaning-- they cost between $100-$300 at slaughter age (under a year). The neat thing is-- they graze.

Squealers (pigs) love leftovers. They're omnivores. They also forage well.

Eggs from grass fed, free range chickens have more Omega-3 fatty acids in them-- they have less cholesterol in them than the ones from the grocery store...

But who want to raise all this themselves, right?

Luckily there are animal shares available all over the place. Organic, free range animals should be bought directly from where they were raised when possibly, so you can guarantee that they really are organic and not just 'by the letter' organic.

I do intend to do this myself. I also intend to use animals more suited to my area-- miniature cattle that eat less and still produce well, pygmy and miniature goats for dairy. Heritage plants that breed true so you can use the seeds the next year would be in my garden.

I would like to build a straw bale house-- using locally grown straw-- have my own well-- have solar panels-- rely as little on the outside world for food as possible.

But not everyone wants these things. But I think education about this sort of life is important-- does agriculture have to guzzle gas? What about Shire Draft horses pulling a plow? What about getting ones hands dirty?

Where does your food come from? Has it consumed more gas energy than you get from eating it?

What's available locally, do you even know?

I hope to open my doors at my heritage farm to allow tours and schools-- to show people how to make yogurt and butter and cheese the old way, how to garden and preserve and store food, how to live with what we have-- and live well. Teach how to spin, to weave, to make beautiful fabric by hand-- using local plants to dye the material.

I'm not talking about taking my kids back to the stone age. I want to have everything we have now-- but live better food-wise for my calories going into the earth and coming out again as beautiful, healthy, food, that I know everything about.

Eating without returning anything but wrappers to the earth makes me feel strangely-- I feel that I should be putting something of myself into everything I eat. The small harvest from my current garden (in flower pots on my front step) are so much more satisfying to me than anything we buy.

I think my interest in this topic is strengthened by my food sensitivities. I can't afford to put something in me that is going to hurt me. My diet is so limites already-- without wheat-- without legumes-- very little dairy (just cheese, really, and that sparingly), citris and tomatoes on occassion... I have to be very careful about what I put into my body. It would be nice to pretend I don't have the food issues, but I do, and I intend to live well anyway-- better than well-- I intend to live healthier and better than those who don't have my health issues.

Yes, animals die to feed us, so do plants-- everyone of us will eventually die-- we will return to the earth and become part of the molecular build up of our planet. What's unnatural is our lack of involvement with our food-- not that we eat it at all.

Who will plant the wheat?
Who will harvest the grain?
Who will grind the wheat to make flour?
Who will make the bread?
Now, who will help me eat?

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Oh... and...

Did I mention?

That you are REQUIRED to read:


If I want to have another baby, and not stress out my honey, then I have to figure out:

How to get to appointments without a car and without him.

There's a midwife here who does homebirth, or hospital birth in place of choice... she brings the appointments home to you...

How to be prepared for the days when I can't survive-- who can I call if I have 24/7 barfing.

My relationship with my MIL is such that I can pretty much go over any day and have help after 3:30...

How to quell nausea without gluten... they usually say crackers etc... brown rice work? Anyone know?

Preggie pops are made with ginger and lemonade etc, right?

Timing-- which is essentially the most important. This is my hunny's last year of grad school-- when should I time my three months of morning sickness, when should I plan on giving birth?

We're also planning on moving next May-- so, how do you not leave the brunt of moving on someone when you're pregnant?

The truth is, my pregnancy with Sunny was so bad I'm kinda surprised he's even mildly open to the idea of having another one.
I'm guessing we'd start 'trying' in later Sept. or October.

There's also the matter of getting off of Zoloft, but I want to anyway, because it's been really messing with me lately. :p

You know, my house isn't perfect, but I don't think it has to be for us to have another one. I really desperately want another baby. My arms are empty. I feel it so strongly all the time.

What do you guys do when pregnancy is at its worse? How do the older kids not suffer for your sickness???

Monday, May 12, 2008


THREE Fevers, Two hubby assignments, Cranky, Lonely, Isolated, Miserable

Stupid Mother's Day

Stupid Birthday

Friday, May 9, 2008


Just when you think things are getting more normal.

We took our chickens over to my MILs this afternoon, as we couldn't keep them at home. We put them in the garden area, which is fenced in.

Not much later, we found my dog, Boromir, in the garden structure. Every chicken was dead-- not even slightly eaten-- just shredded all over the whole garden. When I tried to reprimand him he rolled over, but he looked as if, if I pushed him too far, he would snap and go after me.

Bo is 9-- as he ages he seems to be getting more and more aggressive. I find myself worrying about the boys-- Bo is aggressive with the other dogs, he will growl at all of us over food, he's territorial, and it's getting worse as he gets older.

I picked Bo out at the pound when he was 8 weeks old. He's been my baby and my dog, and now my best alternative, to make sure he doesn't hurt anyone, is to put him down. This breaks my heart. I know, in my mind, that it is the best, but I look him in the face and he can be so sweet! It's just that I can't risk being responsible for him hurting my little boys. I have to sacrifice Boromir for them...

I tried to post Boromir to a non-kid home on craigslist and got REAMED. People love to kick someone when they're down, but, nicely, a few nice ladies commiserated with me with their own stories, and helped verify with their experiences, that this is actually probably the best thing to do-- for him, and for all of us.

He's 9. Better to end now then to bite someone and have everything blow up.

I'm so sad!


I love my husband, but I'm feeling rather cranky with him at the moment.

I was up all night with a toddler with a fever. He's not feeling well, still this morning, and I think I may be coming down with the same bug.

Drew has a thorn in his foot that looks like its getting infected and he's not all peaches and cream today.

I called my hunny, who was out working out with a friend and he said....

"Oh, ok... I'll say a prayer for you."

In the most normal voice-- no concern.

So, yes, I'm upset. If he can workout at a friends house he can help out, right?


Thursday, May 8, 2008

I think that I have a tendency to believe myself to be inadequate in so many ways. I don't actually believe that my diagnosis of 'depression and anxiety' has been beneficial to me, instead, it's become a crutch that's preventing me from learning how to walk. I just want to press forward, to stretch my boundaries. I am afraid, I worry that my limitations will keep me from taking the boys to school, to games, that I will limit them because of my unease, and that makes me feel sick, because the last thing I ever want to do is limit these brilliant boys.

I think a lot of it is how I talk to myself. I know that I berate myself about everything, that I let despair into my heart over very small, ludicrous things. I allow myself to get overwhelmed easily, and then I bemoan my life, which is nothing to bemoan about-- I have a wonderful life, amazing children, a gorgeous home to live in, my husband is working and going to school and we do not find it difficult to live within our means. We'll never be rich, but we don't really spend much, so we don't need to be. Our needs are simple.

I think I get frustrated, because I want to reach out and create the future I see in my head NOW. I find it difficult to wait for my hunny to finish school and get a job. I want to start tilling the ground, and moving forward, and waiting makes me restless! It's good for me, right?

I don't want to bite off more than I can chew, and I know that's a distinct possibility. My heart may just be bigger than my strength. Why, then, do I feel this overwhelming drive? I feel that my desires are righteous, and perhaps I really should just leap in, but I need for Evan not to get overwhelmed, and I need to create balance in our home.

But I don't believe in putting life on hold. I believe we create our now, and if we truly desire something, then we are responsible for its fruition.

Balance. Balance. Balance.

I guess I can set the groundwork now, and then put the knowledge to action in the future. I just need to quiet my impatience. I need to quiet myself all around.


Compassion is a strong, beautiful, thing-- having compassion is a huge blessing, but it is not enough. Feeling bad that bad things are happen does not lend itself to anything but futility, and, in compassion, as in most things, it isn't the thought that counts.

So how can a person help, when we feel that we are not in a position to reach out and really help in the large, frightening realities that are out there? Not all of us can adopt that child who breaks our hearts, not all of us can foster animals that would otherwise be euthanized until they can find a new home.

And compassion can be taken too far-- what joy is there in the life of the foal that 'rescued' must live its life unable to run, or even walk, as it was born with a badly deformed front leg. Is it compassion to save them for a long, pointless life, or is it compassion to let them die.

After all, death is not the worst thing that can happen. Cruelty is worse than death, correct?

But what to do, when our hands are tied? What to do, when we want so badly to reach out and make a real difference? And, know just how much one person CAN make a difference, still know that you are not equipped to assist anyone, that, for the time being, your hands are tied.

And so your heart bleeds, you empathize with every child, every beast, that you long to care for, that you long to set towards a happier future... and you know that it's just not enough-- that you are turning your back on true beauty-- on the glorious nature of true compassion-- which requires action.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Meet the... Pig

That's right. Meet the pig.

Hehe, got you-- he's a guinea pig. We decided that the small, but resiliant, very cute pet that would be best for our boys was not a dog, but a guinea pig.

His name currently changes by the house. He's been called Mater, Bob the Builder, Turtle, Nascar, X, and Cutie.

He's the nicest G.P. I've met-- and I've owned a few, and they were nice. This guy is a baby, and very mellow, and laid-back. He lets Sunny catch him and hold him. He's somewhere between gold and red and has the SOFTEST coat ever.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

People are so...

I don't even know how to finish that sentence.

The lady I've been speaking to about getting Max has suddenly decided her kids cannot part with him, so now MY kids are going to be sad.

And now, my sweet honey says that he's adamantly against having a dog.

Drew knew he was getting a little dog to be his friend... now what?

Eight Bells

Filly Eight Bells got second in the Kentucky Derby.

After the race she fell to the track. Both front ankles broken.

She was immediately euthanized.


I'd love advice from you longer-term nursers out there-- on how you decide when to wean your little one.

My heat intolerance is a problem for me, and I feel so READY to not have Sunny nursing. He also nurses all the time-- he'll skip meals and just nurse every hour or so-- and then for a long stretch of time. I'm tires, and done-feeling.

But, how do I do it? With Drew I was pregnant and had to wean because I didn't want to tandem nurse, and I was having health issues. I sat down with him and said 'you can't nurse any more' and more or less that was it.

I said that to Sunny and he laughed, pulled up my shirt and said 'MY boo-boos... eat THAT ONE!'

Am I rushing things? He'll be two in August...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Turtle Power

I should probably explain why my son is running around shouting things like 'Turtle Power' and 'Cowabunga, dude!'

And why names like Beebop and Rocksteady are commonplace in this house.

Drew came across a live action version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a while back, and I didn't care for it-- it was shoddy compared to how I remembered the cartoon being, when I used to watch it about 20 years ago.

So, I went on Netflix and rented the whole first season.

Drew watches them pretty much whenever we let him. He will steal butter knives or spoons and go around in the backyard spinning them like knives.

His favorite turtle is currently Donatello, because he builds stuff. He calls Sunny Leonardo.

Sunny is on his way to being as obsessed as Drew is.

When the generation gap catches up with us, we'll always have.... the Turtles.
M: (Drew) You are so cute!

D: Mom! I think you're right, I think we should call it Max still... (singing)_ Max and Ruby... Ruby and Max...

M: (Sunny) What do you think? What do you want to name him?

S: (points at Drew)

M: Drew?

S: No... Puppy. Ha. Ha. (Very sweetly and quietly)

M: You are goofy.

D: Turtle Power!!!! Watch out, big pillow coming through!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Second Hand Dogs

My old riding instructor, Sandy, told me once that 'second hand dogs are like getting second hand underwear.'

Leaving you with that disturbing thought, I guess we'll be finding out! Yes, that's right, I am opening my heart to a new canine.

This is our newest family member, who we will be meeting tomorrow. Isn't that a charming little face? His name is currently 'Max', but I've got lots of ideas for that.

Yes, I am certifiably insane.
Sunny is getting way to big. As I sit here he just came up to me...

Sunny: Mom, I don't want hat.

M: You can put it on Drew's head.

S: No... On my head (puts it back on)

M: Ok

S: Now all done. (Climbs on my lap) Mama... want boo-boos! No... not that one! I want THAT one... (points)

M: Love you, baby

S: (SLURP) hmmmm

He's been trying so hard to be big... He runs around all day 'Drew! Drew! Drew!" The way he says that is so cute. (Well, not Drew, but you know, the real name :))

Yesterday, when Drew was asleep, Sunny tried to pick him up and put him on his lap!

These boys control my life! But, I wouldn't have a life without them!