Saturday, August 30, 2008

Giving Him Wings

Well, for all of you who have been following the saga of Maestro going off to school this week, I thought I'd take a moment and update you.

We made it through it all, which is a good thing. However, I've not given myself the permission to just breakdown and cry out the anxiety I've had about it all. Consequently, I have a cold sore on my mouth the size of Rhode Island. It may get it's own zip code soon.

Thursday morning dawned early here and Maestro was very excited about getting to go to school. We ate a nice healthy breakfast of cereal and yogurt. The boys were not at all amused to have to reduce their morning tv viewing time since I wanted them to have more time to play together. The anxiety started to get to all of us, and so we went on a long bike ride to work out some of their not-so-pent up craziness. This brought us to our new very early lunch time. I'm not crazy about having to eat lunch at 11:00 am, but this is the time he needs to eat to get down to the bus stop on time.

Grammy arrived to take Little Red out to lunch and over to the local orchard to feed the ducks that congregate there. He had a wonderful time, this is his first time EVER being without us. That was two big milestones in one day for our little family unit. Music Man came home and ate lunch as he wanted to go to school with us as well. We waited down by the end of the driveway for the bus, which was a bit later then expected as the driver was learning her new route. I rode the bus to school with Maestro, who had never been on a bus before, so that was high adventure for him. He especially loved how "bouncy" it was on the bumps. It gave me flashbacks of the immeasurable hours I spent on the bus as a child driving from our hometown many miles to the closest middle and high school. Funny how these moments take you back. I really did not like riding the bus at all, I was tortured on the ride to school because I was one of the last people on and no one would let me sit down as the bus was already over capacity by then. The driver would not move until I sat down, so most of the time, I would just perch on literally 2 inches of seat the many miles to school. Good thing I rode horses, those big thigh muscles came in handy!!

So, we got to school and disembarked from the bus and found our way to Maestro's classroom. His teacher is a no nonsense lady who's been teaching for, in her words "over a hundred years". Music Man arrived a few minutes after us and we worked together to find Maestro's little places in his new world. He had a great time playing with toys and shyly checking out the other kids. The new teacher, we'll call her Mrs. Anklebiter, read them a story and went over a few rules with us newbie parents and that was the end of his first day of school. Then, he and Music Man got on the bus to go home. The ride home for him is 50 minutes long. This is a VERY long time since we only live about 4 1/2 miles from the school. Yowser!

That was day one. No tears, nothing like that. In actuality, it really eased my mind about his surroundings, teacher, other kids, bus ride, the list goes on. I'm eternally thankful for our hometown for arranging such a day to ease the kids (and parents!) into this huge milestone gently.

Day one by himself was a little harder. He got on the bus without so much as a look back. I said "goodbye!, have a good day, Sweetie!" to him. He's too young to be embarrassed by such motherly smooshiness and I'm gonna give it while I can. In any case, I stayed at the bottom of the driveway until the bus went by again with his little soul on board, waving for all I was worth. I watched that bus drive away until I couldn't see it anymore, and the tears started to fall. I was able to shed a few before my neighbor came over to talk. She had just put her son on the bus with Maestro and she was just wanting to see how it was for me and make sure I was okay. I still have not let myself absorb it yet. I was folding his new school clothes the other day out of the dryer and getting all weepy and thinking that this is the new era of our family. I'm happy that so far he seems okay with it all, but it's been hard for me to release him and trust the world, I've not quite accomplished that yet.

When he arrived home, he was quieter then usual, he's usually a non-stop talker (just like his wonderful Daddy!). After a little bit, he told us about a new friend he met on the bus. A girl that lives up the road from our turn off. He was happy to tell me about her and her family. It made my heart warm to hear him making friends. He's had a bit of a solitary life here with us because there are not many stay at home moms and families in our area that are available to play with. And I've always sort of chosen his friends for him by the people that I'm friends with. So, it was interesting to hear that he's chosen a friend for himself. It's a new day for us all.

Anyways, at some point, I will have a good cry about it all and then I will continue on with a brave face. It's the brain that's behind the face that shows that's hard to convince. I'll get there and let my little man go out in the world and pray that he will be okay and happy and healthy and loved. It's all I can do so that don't drive myself insane. More on Little Red's daily life now that big bro is away a little later. These two days were really Maestro's, and that's the direction we'll leave it for now.

Letting go just a little ~Peacemom

Monday, August 25, 2008

You may say I'm a dreamer, I hope I'm not the only one...

Howdy All,

Here it is over a week since I last "blogged". I'm getting the hang of this lingo thing! There are times in my life that I feel more left behind then a 90 year old person. Some of it is intentional, such as I'm not sure all this technology is good for our brains or our bodies. I think physical labor is as meaningful, if not moreso, then computers are for sure. And perhaps another reason is because I'm a stay at home mother with no real need for technology in our day to day survival. I can work the computer if I need to and that suits me just fine. It's a problem for when I re-enter the work world, I realize and I will need to "update my skills" at that time. But for now this is okay.

As Music Man can confirm, I SHOULD NOT surf the web since I end up invariably on, imaging all the horrible things that can happen to us and our children. Why is the media so slanted to the violent and horrible, and why are we so fascinated by it? I've basically just taken to reading the headlines and not the whole story, because otherwise you just start to believe that's all this world is now. And I know in my heart that's not the case. Being that I am not at all fascinated by it and just wish that good news could be more mainstream then the occasional smile in someone's bi-line. There are gobs of good things happening all over the world every day, but is this what they report?? No, I guess the old adage is true: sex and violence sell. But what is this telling about our culture and world? What are we passing on to our children? It makes me so sad to think about this on a broader scale, when we are depending on the very generations we are allowing to witness these horrible acts time and time again in the name of entertainment.

I have a neighbor who is a nice woman. She's got 4 boys, 2 of them are virtually the same ages as mine. When we first moved in, we used to play together, but at the time our two similarly aged boys were 27 and 6 months old. Now that her boys are older, in the 10, 5, 4 and 1 1/2 range, we've had to stop playing with them somewhat. We find their play to be too violent and aggressive. One of many occurances was when we were at their house for a short visit a few weeks ago, one of her sons came and pointed a play gun at Maestro. Maestro just looked at it, and said "What's that?". We have the household that we've chosen, and the non-violence that I want my boys to live. However, it made me terrified at the same time that they don't have a clue what these "toys" are and consequently, how can they know that they aren't toys at all? Why are we giving instruments of death and violence to your children as playthings? I don't know how to resolve this conflict in myself. I have called the Local Police Department to ask if there is an officer that could sit down with the boys, show them a real gun, explain why they don't play with them and to tell an adult if they see one. The police department will not do this. They told me to contact a local gun club and ask if they have someone who could do this for us. This is infuriating to me because I am trying to answer my son's questions about guns. They have 3 officers that work with children in the schools, dealing with drug issues and whatever else they would deal with. But not how to possibly prevent a horrible accident by telling a child why NOT to play with guns. Makes me hopping mad!

This family that I posted about earlier is a nice family. They have well mannered boys. But, the boys play is violent and aggressive. They completely model what they are allowed to watch on tv. Since basically birth, they've been watching things like Star Wars movies, the Pirates of the Carribean, Spiderman and the list goes on. Now, these have been marketed as "okay" for kids to watch. I don't believe that to be true. All of them model and glorify violence and are not suitable for such young, totally impressionable minds. If they are so conditioned to seeing these images with suffering and death, why would they not become blase about it all? We wonder how children can walk into a school and gun down their classmates and teachers and feel no remorse or kill themselves? They are just conditioned and don't even know that dead is dead. That taking that life is more precious then anything. But, if they don't feel precious themselves, have not been taught self-discipline and compassion and haven't been shielded from these things, then they don't know. Teachers can only do so much to catch the signs, parents can only do so much to catch the signs, I think the only way to stop this is to stop laddeling this crap into our children.

Imagine what a better world it would be if they were laddled good images, positive and hopeful images instead of death and destruction. Image how they could change the world with feelings of faith and hope and non-violent power. I, for one, would like to see that fed to our kids instead of always horrifying them with violence and sex. But, I know, as my family and friends may tell you, I'm so annoying with my hopes and dreams. Maybe it's just me and John Lennon, huh?

I promise, my next post will be more upbeat. I'm a little upset today.

Imaging, ~Peacemom

Friday, August 15, 2008

Well, it's decided, he's stuck with me

Hello All,
The third sunny morning in a row here in waterlogged New Hampshire. It's been a completely unbelievably wet summer here. And to think that in early July, I was worried about the drought, which was about 4 weeks long. Both weather extremes give me an appreciation for farming as a vocation. My little garden has tomatoes that are literally bursting from too much water, zucchini that has succumbed to the afor mentioned powdery mildew (the devil's sneeze as I like to think of it!), and peas that were overtaken by some brown slime. WAY TOO MUCH WATER falling from the skies.

Today is Little Red's 4th birthday. Four years ago, right now, I had been in labor for about 28 hours with no progress and had to face the fact that he was going to join our world through a cut in my body, as did his brother. By God, it was not for lack of effort on my part, I'll tell you that. I so wanted him to come naturally and when the doctors told me that they were not willing to wait any longer, I was devastated. I endured the pain for a 40 hour labor with Maestro and a 28 hour labor with Little Red and neither one was able to enter the old fashioned way. But after lots of tears, lots of praying and drugs that caused me not to remember his entering the world at all, here he is. He's such an amazing little goofball. He has the best sense of humor and gives me an honest belly laugh every day. He's smart, fun and a little go getter. A better hiking partner, you'll not find anywhere. The pain of a c-section gone somewhat ary, recovery that included things in my body that should not have been cut to get his stuck little head out of my pelvis, all that is gone in the moments now that he is here and wonderful. I can look at both of my boys and feel the deepest love that I've never had for any one else in my whole life. Even Music Man, and it goes without saying for those who know us how much genuine affection and love we have for each other. But those boys, well, how can you explain it? I've heard it said it's like wearing your heart outside your body. I think that perhaps that's true, but I also feel the complete sense of responsiblity to them to be a better person, to love them completely and unconditionally and hope that the decisions we make for them are the right ones.

This all leads up to the difficult decision that Music Man and I have made. Little Red will be waiting one more year to attend preschool. With the trouble he's having with potty training issues, he's reverted terribly in the last couple of weeks as school talk is more prevalent in the household. He's also reverted in his maturity, going back to whining constantly and his temper has taken a turn for the worse. We feel he's just not quite ready. Though I was dearly looking forward to a couple of hours a week to myself, something I've not had since they stopped napping 2 1/2 years ago, he's just not there yet. So, he will get to spend the afternoons with Mommy and we'll find him things like storytime at the library where he can go once a week without me for 45 minutes and get used to life on his own. We're also going to look into daycare one afternoon a week to see if he can get used to the idea.

This was a difficult decision for us, we hope we are doing the right thing. After talking to the before mentioned friend with the wonderful son, we made the decision last night. She's a 3rd & 4th grade teacher and I deeply value her input on what's what with education. I asked her if she's ever seen any negative aspects of a child basically being held back a year and her resounding answer was no, never. She sees no reason to rush him. If we were to send him to preschool this year with the intention of him starting kindergarten next fall, we don't feel he's emotionally ready for that. And there's the added fact that we can only afford one year of preschool ($1,800 for 9 months!), and it needs to be the one that is the year before he starts kindergarten. Little Red will only have been 5 for two weeks if he were to start kindergarten next fall. Maestro, who is academically far ahead of Little Red, will be 5 for only 3 months when he turns 6 in Nov. We realize this is the first big decision that will affect their school lives that we've had to make. We only hope we're making the right one. How can you know? We have to go with what our little internal voices are telling us and for Music Man and myself, we feel he's not there yet. So, he's stuck with just Mommy for one more year. I'm going to treasure the alone time I have with him to build a stronger bond and help him on his way to independence a little more slowly. Every child is an individual after all and we're so lucky to have the opportunity to make these choices for him at all.

Celebrating today the birth of my son...~Peacemom

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

school and trepidations

Top O' the Mornin' to you!
Hmmmm, today's post has me thinking ahead to the upcoming first day of school jitters. Maestro will be starting school in exactly 16 days and Little Red will begin his foray into the educational experience at preschool in exactly 23 days. Those of you who remember what it's like to send a child off to school may be able to help me with this milestone for my little men.

Maestro is so excited he can barely contain himself at the thought of school. He's a smart little whippersnapper, sometimes it's truly exasperating to keep up with him. He's a complete sponge and needs constant input. I do not say this as a bragging right of any kind, but the kid's a brainiac. I was the same at his age, so I'm told, so this is not completely unexpected for us. But, I have gained a new sense of appreciation of just why my parents were so tired when I was a kid. He's up at the crack of dawn and the second his feet hit the floor (which is not until 7:00 am, it's a rule) he's full of energy and questions and curiosity. Me, I just want to get in the first cup of tea before I need to answer the big questions in life, like what's the state motto of Nebraska, how is rain made and what's the square root of 245? Okay, so I made the last one up, but it won't be long that he will be onto such things since he's already reading at a 4th grade level (yep, I did say he was 5 folks), and doing math at a second grade level. He's known his alphabet, upper and lower case since was 18 months old. He can read words like Washington, scientific, and prescription and knows what they mean. It's amazing. But, it's also very exhausting as a parent. We just don't feel like answering the 45th question in a row, sometimes I just need to be inside my own head for a while. So, I have to tell him, "hey Einstein, that's enough questions for the question machine, it's closed for repairs". We have researched things on the internet that I can't possibly know the answers to. He loves the computer, though so far he's only been allowed to surf the PBS and Peep and the Big Wide World sites (oh, if you've not seen Peep, you HAVE to tune into this show. It's absolutely hysterical, no really...a children's show that doesn't make my mind melt into mindless goo is always a good thing!!). So, to say he's excited about school is putting it mildly.

Little Red is somewhat less enthusiastic for school. He's never, in his whole 4 years been without either myself, his daddy or big brother. And I do mean never. So, he was all excited for school until he asked me the other day if I would be there with him "the whole time". I had to burst his bubble and tell him that no, I would not be there, he would go to school for a couple of hours by himself and make new friends and play with new toys and then I would be right there to pick him up after he was done. He was virtually silent for a while and then said "I don't want to go to school". And that's the way it's remained since that conversation. No amount of trying to talk him into it is working, he wants no part of it.

Now, those of you who know us, know he's not potty trained yet. Believe me folks, this is not for lack of trying on our part. We have tried EVERYTHING. We've been at this process for almost 9 months now. We did the hard line, took pull ups away, that was the end of that. Well, he would not go for up to 9 hours. He's a camel, I'm convinced. After a week of this and him crying and circling me for literally hours begging for a pull up, I finally called his pediatrician to see if he could be doing permanent damage to his bladder with this withholding situation. Sure enough, my worst fears were real when the nurse told me under no circumstances should he do that, he would permanently damage his bladder by doing that now. Great, so there is no answer for this. She told me "he will give them up when he is ready". Okay, gauging by his "readiness" for other things, I will have the only child in the history of the world to go to college in a pull up. Do they make them that size or what? He's supposed to be trained by the time he goes to this program, but on the advice of my sister-in-law, we're sending him anyways. She's a preschool teacher and has seen other children get the hang of it seeing their peers go to the bathroom, so maybe it will work. If not, well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. He can make it the 2 1/2 hours he'll be in class, so hopefully that will work until he's decided to give up the security blanket, oops I mean pull ups.

So, we're anxiously awaiting the upcoming first days of school here. I put on the brave face and tell them how much fun they are going to have and now much I loved school when I was a child, all those things good parents do. But on the inside, it's a whole other story. We've made a conscious effort to raise our boys completely non-violent. We don't even watch tv around them that may have the hint of violence in the commercials. Consequently, they are "nieve" about such things in the world. Having witnessed boys at their ages playing guns and spiderman fighting and all those things, well, I'm terrified to lose our innocent, wonderful, beautiful boys. Them turning into violent, gun playing, fist fighting little war machines. I don't approve of children seeing violence from a young age and firmly believe that is what is so wrong with our society today. When I was a child, the worst thing I had to contend with was getting picked on for my weight, poor clothes and southern accent. There was a little pot around in high school, but that's about it. Now, they have to worry about if they can hit the floor in time to dodge their classmates bullets and that meth, tried just once, can make them an addict for life. I'm projecting into the future again, I know since I'm sincerely hoping these issues have not made their way down to kindergarten yet. Live in the moment, mommy, live in the moment.

But, these are the things that keep me up at night. If I didn't have to go back to work, we would seriously consider homeschooling. But, we've intentionally positioned ourselves in a town with an excellent public school system (with these taxes, it better be!!) and have to hope that the values we've instilled, and the open communication we're working hard to develop will pay off for them. That they will have the spiritual base to make wise choices for themselves and their bodies. What more can parents do? I will hold their hands, kiss them goodbye and lead them to their classrooms and pray that it will all be okay. I must have faith that the world will take care of them when we can't be with them. That spiritual foundation must start with me and their daddy, and we'll rely on it to see us through the inevitable tears.

Until next time, ~Peacemom

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Friends so dear

G'day to ya!
I've been spending the afternoon with loved friends. They up and moved their adorable little boy all the way down to Texas with them last year. Being home for a visit, they popped by to share some time with us this afternoon. We were blessed. I have a special connection to their son, not really sure why that is, but I was welcoming him long before he was even a glimmer in his parent's eyes. He's adopted from Korea and the minute I saw his little face in the picture his parents emailed to all who had been passing the time with them, waiting for their referral (when they find out who their child will be), I was smitten. He's smart, funny, handsome, adorable and sauciness all rolled into one fetching little package. He and I have had a connection since he came home.

Now, I have my own little men that I have been given, and for them I'm thankful every day. They make getting out of bed in the morning have more meaning then I ever thought possible. Yet, I can appreciate that this little boy is just a spot of sunshine. And two more loving and deserving parents for him do not exist. They are by far some of the finest people I know, and I don't say this lightly. Wonderful hearts, big intellects and the patience to carry this whole parenting thing off. It's amazing to me that after trying so long to have their own biological child, they were granted the child that fit them perfectly. God's grace truly exists. And now, they have told us that they are starting the process to adopt a little brother or sister for him and I know that child will be as blessed as he is to come into that family. They are deeply spiritual people, and knowing that they will be passing their faith and love onto another child is music to my ears. Some people you meet, sometimes you think, perhaps they just shouldn't have been parents. These are two people who were destined for that role and play it naturally.

His mom is one of my favorite people on the planet. She is so filled with grace and light herself. Ahh, am I gushing? Perhaps, but kindred spirits are tough to find and once you do, you never want to let them go. Which is why when she told me last fall that they were moving the baby and themselves all the way to Texas, I was deeply saddened. I miss their presence in our lives, and their fun to boot. They are hysterical. But, I know that the child that will come into their lives soon will be just as loved, wanted and blessed as their son is now. And he'll be an awesome big brother some day. Families are made in so many ways, and I know their children will be so happy to have them for parents as they grow. Adoption is the matching of the hearts that should be connected. Love is not biological, thank God for that. No, really, thank G-O-D.

Wishing you grace in your lives, ~Peacemom

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It could be instinct...just not sure

This morning, I was preparing some green beans that I bought at a local farm stand. I was snapping the ends off and stringing them (for those of you who don't cook or prepare such things, I was taking the tough strings off the "seams" of the beans). As I sat there, listening to the satisfying snap! of the beans, in the beautiful sunshine, listening to the boys playing on their scooters, Music Man mumble, mumble as he spoke on the phone in the house...I had the thought that I am blessed. In that very moment, for that speck of time, I felt truly blessed. Now, those who know me know that I am diligently trying to live more in the moment. I tend to project things that will happen in the future and have really been trying to just stay where I am right now and not think about what's coming all the time. Of course, to some extent, you have to do that, don't you. But, there are moments that can be just perfect and for me that was one of them.

For some reason as I've gotten older, there's a part of me that is totally connected to autumn. My sister can attest, as she's a fellow autumn worshiper, that I will start thinking about autumn long before the first shade of red, orange or yellow will dapple the leaves with color. I am passing this obsession down to the boys as they delight in telling me the first hint of color to appear on our otherwise lush green surroundings. We were waiting in a parking lot the other day, and Maestro tells me, very excitedly "LOOK MOMMY!!! Autumn's coming!!" as he points to one single leaf that was red on a maple full of green. I smiled and my heart warmed, I hope they can appreciate the seaons as I do.

I was fortunate enough to have been transplanted from hot, sticky, unseason-changing (okay, so I made that term up) humid Florida as a 10 year old to the wonderful, breath-taking mountains of New Hampshire. Since I grew up from that age being able to follow my intense (you horsegirls know what I'm talking about) passion of horses at a local boarding stable, I soon connected to the seasons. For anyone having grown up in rural New England, you can remember the times when you would get off the school bus, air crisp, firey leaves fluttering on the branches, the already fallen ones crunching under your feet, sky the deepest blue and you felt the promise of something to come. It was completely intangible, that emotion, but it swept you up in a moment of joy and perfectness. I remember many days like this as a child. I would get off the bus, trek the long walk from the bus stop to the horse barn sometimes with other children with me, sometimes not. I actually preferred the solitary walk so I could listen for geese flying overhead, the scrunch scrunch of the leaves underfoot and feeling the excitement of riding my horse on such a wonderful afternoon. I even liked the blustery ones of the late fall season, when it would be downright cold and I'd have to bundle up and the frigid rain would fall and the leaves would swirl around me as the wind whipped my hair this way and that. It was a feeling of just being ALIVE.

These were the memories of my childhood that I cling to and for me, I still get a sense of that girl walking in the wonder of autumn and believing that there was magic in it somehow. Having never had that exposure until I was 10, I think it was not commonplace to me, I never took it for granted and I hope to pass that wonderment onto our boys. Hiking in the fall is still one of my favorite things to do, it connects me in a way to the natural world like nothing else possibly can. When I was a teenager and was able to make a horse of my own happen for myself, I would ride Dixie on the many miles of trails in the woods surrounding the horse farm. Those were perfect moments themselves. It honed the senses that I still carry today in the woods of listening for animals. The adrenaline rush I would get when Dixie flushed a partridge, or seeing deer grazing in an otherwise unoccupied field, or a bear in the distance as it ate berries at the edge of a stream. I remember actually seeing a bobcat once cross the road and feeling like it was there so I could see it. I think it's possibly akin to the way Native Americans feel in their heritage. I felt an intimate connection to the landscape and animals that were all around me. When I say we lived in the sticks, seriously, folks, I'm not kidding here. There were so many acres of total wildness around the places I played as a child. And it has instilled in me the love of that wildness, even now. I actually feel sad for the boys that they may never get to experience what that was like. To sit at a stream and take off your sneakers and dangle your feet in the water and listen to the crickets and watch the tiny fish nibble your toes. These are perfect moments as well, and ones that I feel are so important to teach them about.

But, how do you do that now? When everything is so "DO NOT TRESPASS"?? How can we find those places when we can't afford to own them ourselves? It's a scary proposition to me that children now just don't even get to be wild and free themselves, connecting in this way to woods and animals and water. How will they know this is worth preserving if they don't get connected to it now, when they are children? I don't know, but for me, I think loving it is part instinct and part nurture.

Blessings and perfect moments to you ~Peacemom

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It's a start

Well, friends, family and good folk've encouraged me to start writing and so I thought I'd start here. A little background about me would assist you in deciding that perhaps I've got something to say, and perhaps I don't. I never know for sure if anyone else will even care about my escapades. My life is a little amusing, a little frustrating, a lot of struggle but mostly fulfilling. I never know if I'm supposed to give out very much info in these things, or even how much is enough so I'll just give a little info for those who may be wondering what I'm all about.

I'm the mostly stay at home mom of two wonderfu, crazy, loud and at times completely frustrating little boys. One is 5 (we'll just call him Maestro) the other is 4 (Little Red is his moniker, the hair and the temper match the name so well). I'm married to a loving, smart, hard working, honest packrat, we'll call him Music Man. We live in a smallish town in Southern New Hampshire that's known mostly for it's apple orchards. I love living here, but wish it was closer to the ocean which is right up there on the top of the list of loves for me. I'm a bit of an environmentalist (I'm sure you'll see me go off on those topics from time to time), I love nature (it's my church, really). I consider myself a Quaker, but we don't have a meeting house in our area, so I worship in solitude to some extent. I love my boys with all my heart, but do find that being a stay at home mom can be very isolating at times. Sometimes I have to work to actually get dressed each day in clothes that match so that it doesn't look like I let the boys pick out my wardrobe for me. This will become even more important as both boys are starting school in just a few weeks for the first time and I will need to be sure to get out of the jammies before I embarrass them to death someday by picking them up in my tattered (most favoritist!) flannel pants.

I also am an amateur gardener and have had my little plot to feed my family for the last 3 years. My mom was my inspiration for that. She has the most beautiful little garden and even though she has some disabilities, she has adapted those raised beds (with the help of my father, of course) so that she can grow her own little bits of vegetable heaven each season. So, I call her from time to time with questions like "what is that fuzz all over the zucchini leaves (powdery mildew, don't even get me started on this topic)" or "are tomatoes supposed to be mealy when you pick them". Things like that which I could probably google and find just the same, but it's a very nice connection for me and my mom. My parents live about 3 hours away from me and I miss their company and wisdom.

One of my other loves in life is photography (which is another passion my mother shares with me). I'm told I have an eye for it, but just don't have the time right now to learn all I'd like to learn about it all and my camera, hoping that will come in time. I'll try to figure out how to post some photos here from time to time to see if I can make that work. I truly enjoy the art of photography and hope to get a digital camera (a Nikon D80 is my hopes, I'm watching that price just waiting for the below $500 to happen). Right now I do all my serious stuff on a Nikon N65, which I love, but hate the processing costs and would be a better photographer if I didn't have to budget to get the developing done.

I aspire to be a homesteader and have recently joined the locavore movement of eating locally. I get a little giddy high when I can make a meal that is completely local, one I did not have to drive very far to obtain. I have my little garden of eden here and I am very fortunate to have many farmstands within a short distance from my home. I love reading about the local food movement and have recommendations for you...if you've not read Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life run, don't walk to the library or bookstore and obtain a copy. She's funny, serious, informative and entertaining all at the same time. It's time well spent and will help you get on the path to understanding and embracing locavorism yourself. I also really enjoyed the book Plenty: One Man, One Woman and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and JB Mackinnon. And any book by Michael Pollan would make my list as well. As you may be able to tell, I'm an avid reader, though also dabble a lot in mystery fiction. On a cold winter's night, you just never know what you'll find me snuggled down deep in the comforter, drinking a steaming cup of cocoa or tea and reading up on.

So, here ends my first blog entry. Man, I'm so totally inept with computers that I can't believe I'm even doing this. Good thing Music Man is a computer geek, otherwise I'd be lost. Adios until next time! ~Peacemom