Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fishing for Fun

Such unadulterated joy!
Today was the first fishing experience for our boys. We took them to the local pond and they practiced casting for awhile with the weights, then Music Man put REAL hooks on them. We loaded on worms and after a lot of casts and some instruction on NOT reeling it in EVERY 2 seconds, they both caught their VERY first fish. Literally seconds from each other with Little Red having the first honor. They had so much fun with it and we all enjoyed a great family day.
Wishing you wormy fun family time of your own, ~Peacemom

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I could not miss this duo any more then I do. My dear friend and her adorable son and husband moved to Texas years ago (it pains me to realize that it really HAS been years). Sometimes in life, you find a kindred spirit on some level. We met while working at Fidelity Investments years ago. We became good friends there, often taking walks together on our afternoon break. She left Fidelity to pursue a degree in teaching (and so where her gifts lie, God saw fit to see to it that such a person would work with little people, bless him). We lost touch somewhat as our lives took different turns. We would keep in touch with Christmas cards and it was good to have that connection remain.

I am unsure exactly how it came to be, but we got back in touch and went out to dinner one night when my Little Red was a baby. She and her husband had been wanting a child for a long time, but were unable to have a biological child. I know it was painful for them to experience this, but I also believe it was God's plan for them. It was at this dinner that she informed me that they were going to adopt a child from Korea. I was elated for them, knowing that that would be one of the luckiest children on our planet to have them as parents. Both of them are so well suited to this very important task and God knew that there was a little boy in Seoul just waiting for them to be named his parents.

Their son came home when he was 4 months old. Adorable, precious, loved and so very wanted. I don't know how much more of a blessing could be bestowed on him then that. I know they in turn were given so much from that little bundle of joy, but the best of all in my eyes was the opportunity to be parents. They moved away from me just weeks after their son turned one to follow a job opportunity in Texas. I know they wish they could be back in New England with us all, and perhaps some day they will. But not before they are adding one more precious life to their family.

The family is currently waiting for their second son to come home from South Korea, in fact are in the final days of months and months of waiting. I think it's sort of their gestation period, I guess. Only their son will be almost 11 months old when he comes into their arms. Yet again, such a lucky, loved and so badly wanted child. To be taken from a situation where that baby is not wanted by it's biological parents for whatever reason, and be granted to these two parents
who are just amazing people, well that's the grace of God. It's all in his master plan for them, that their children should come to them with the deep wanting and loving of them already in place and so developed. Lucky, lucky boys. And, the new baby gets an even bigger bonus then their first son got, a fantastic big brother. What a wonderful blessing because now, they each have a brother. And being the mother of two brothers, that's the best gift to give to each of them. A lifelong love for the other, I'm always amazed at how wonderful they can be together.

So, here in NH I pray each morning for them to get the call that tells them to come get their son. I wish for them, hope and pray for them that the trip will come sooner then later and be safe and uneventful. My love from here all the way to Texas and to a little baby in South Korea, waiting to be held by his parents. His Mother and Father. Come on, God, the suspense is killing us.

Happy Mother's Day to you, my dear friend, ~Peacemom

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Bird Sitings

So far this spring, I've seen:

1. Downy Woodpecker (above)
2. Hairy Woodpecker
3. Gold Finch
4. Male and Female pair of gorgeous cardinals, so red!
5. Purple Finches, the NH state bird
6. Male and Female cowbirds
7. Starlings
8. Grackles
9. Blue jays
10. Blue bird!! the first I've ever had at a feeder
11. Turkey Vultures
12. Turkeys
13. Broadtail Hawk
14. Red Tailed Hawk
15. Tree sparrows
16. Nuthatches
17. Titmice
18. Red Bellied Woodpecker
19. Pileated Woodpecker
20. Chickadees
21. Robins
22. Oriole
23. Many, many crows
24. The coup de gras for me was the Bald Eagle that swooped about 4 feet in front of my windshield on my way to work one morning. AMAZING!!

I will probably think of some I have forgotten, but my friend sent me a great email about her first ever cardinal siting and it made me think of all the birds I've seen so far this spring. Wonderful time of year, welcome back my bird friends!

Cheeps, peeps, and sqwacks to you, ~Peacemom

And So It Goes...

This weekend, I planted.

This may not seem like such a big deal to my friends that have big gardens and harvest as I used to do in my old homestead. Last year, my tomatoes were half planted when we decided to up and move and so I didn't really have a garden. It was a sad time for me. I very unexpectedly fell completely in LOVE with gardening when I decided to give it a go when Little Red, just a babe, was learning to walk. I started it as a way to lower our produce bill, but the experience became something completely uexpected and nurturing. A way to slow down what was, even then, a very hectic life. You just can't rush the growing of a garden plant, or the harvesting of a strawberry, it just doesn't work like that.

Over time, that little patch of relative solitude became a respite for me in many ways. I enjoyed the quiet of the morning when I would sneak out while the cherubs were still sleeping to water the plants. All the while enjoying the quiet of our still sleepy neighborhood and listening to the bird songs. I watched the arrival of the dragonflies as they learned there was prey in my organic haven, and a misty shower from my hose. I enjoyed the mouse family that nested in the corner under the composter. I listened with delight to the baby chickadees in the bird house the boys made me for my Mother's Day gift one year.

That little garden evolved over time to be so much more then a patch of dirt with some plants. It became a place for my soul to rest, recouperate and grow. A place where all my nurturing had tangible results, a place where I could produce food to nourish my family, a place to learn to try and succeed and sometimes try and fail. All the while, feeling pride and satisfaction for new life skills learned. But more then anything, feelings of gratitude and thankfulness. It's the place I began to feel as if, if I am just patient and give love and care, the things I nurture will come to fruition. Much easier then the nurturing I give my children, where that outcome is so much more complicated and so much less certain.

So, today, I planted. I found a big hole in my life without my garden. In realizing that we'll have to leave this place before anything would be harvested, I had decided once again not to plant a garden. But, slowly and almost unnoticed, the depression of my life overwhelmed began to get the best of me and I longed to get my hands dirty and feel seed and soil in my fingers. So, I decided to do some container planting as it can come with me when we go to our next endeavor. Today, I planted some organic sugar snap peas. I will not get the harvest that my great 6 foot trellis afforded me in my old garden, but I'm satisfied with the chance to grow something just the same. Last weekend, Little Red and I went to the garden center and got some beautiful pansies, which are pictured above.

I have learned more then one thing with the adventure of my garden. But above all, I learned with my whole heart...

... I am a G-A-R-D-E-N-E-R.

Wishing for you what nourishes your soul, ~Peacemom

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Have you ever had so much going on in your life that you just don't think you can take ONE more thing to deal with? That's my life in a nutshell recently. I'm feeling totally overwhelmed with the number of things to plan, keep track of, clean, move, work, feed, the list goes's an example:

1. After water in-flow into the basement has finally subsided after 2 solid months of it coming in, we're faced with packing what didn't get ruined into tubs. Music Man has yet to sort through the wet stuff, so that's stressing me out somewhat. As is the mold now grown about 3 feet up the walls and the allergy medicine my kids are on so they can breathe because of it.

2. Music Man is diligently looking for work with no bites in sight. He's at it for hours every day (except weekends, I pretty much insist on no search weekends). This causes us to be thinking about this all the time (read: stressing out! about this).

3. We have two separate housing rental options open to us. One is approved after submitting applications and getting the okay that we could have it...costs more then this place, but at least it's dry. The other home is 2/3 the size of our current place at 1,000 square feet, but it's in the running because, although we'd be SCHMOOSHED in it with all the kid's and Music Man's beloved STUFF, it's more affordable for us...and this is important because...

4. Music Man is enrolling in college to finally get that degree he's been wanting/needing for many years now. It's going to mean great things for our future as he's pursuing web design and so will earn a better income then he was making, so I'm all for this. Plus the added benefit of really helping him to feel accomplished in an area he doesn't feel very satisfied about now. Go, Music Man!...but that also leads us to...

5. Getting him registered and finding the funding for this endeavor. Financial Aid is a nightmare, but of course will be more then necessary for us as we're pretty much getting by on the hairs on our chinny-chin-chins...

6. Maestro was just in a play this past weekend, which was fun, and entailed practices and some backstage Mom volunteering by yours truly. Just one more thing I didn't really have time to do, but it was fun and brought back so many memories of the fun I had in high school performing in plays.

7. Though my job only pays me for 30 hours a week, of course I have so much more work then that affords me and so am currently working for free about 5 hours a week. I know, not good, but I NEED this job with all it's crap and no benefits or time sick days, no holidays, no vacation pay and was just told, though they LOVE me, no raise until next Feb at working two years with no raise and no time off. Can you say "Machine Mentality" . Just burn 'em up, and spit 'em out, welcome to working corporate in The Great United States of American 2010 style...have we learned NOTHING?

8. Just trying to budget on so much less money every month since Music Man was laid off is stressful and causing me to miss copious hours of sleep every night. I'm down to about 3-4 hours a night now...also not good as the heart condition tends to get a little NUTS when I'm so tired out. I actually feel asleep at 8:30 last night. Pathetic.
This is just a pop shot in time for me every day...I didn't even mention about getting the kids up and out the door each day (Music Man has been helping with driving them, which is a welcome relief), making lunches, cooking breakfast (the boys are on a cereal strike, it's nothing but complaining if they know it's cereal), cleaning (though not as often as I need or would like to), laundry, cooking suppers, making sure homework is done, everyone's fed, clean and healthy, working my job in between all these things as well, and trying to find the energy to be ...let's just suffice it to say amorous with my dear husband... and you'll have some indication of why the heck I'm so distracted, at times cranky and certainly emotional. It's just more then one person should have to handle in a lifetime, never mind all at once.
...Oh, and did I mention we're also going to have to add packing to move in here soon as well...ugh.

Wishing more peaceful times for us all, ~Peacemom

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ocean-born Peacemom

In my life, I've felt a strong attraction to the sea. I spent much time in my young childhood at the beach in Florida. I have vivid memories of many things from the beach, which included severe sunburns (I'm sure my parents probably used sunscreen, but I don't remember it) which included blisters and pain...I remember a day we found many horseshoe crabs on the beach, maybe this was after a hurricane, not sure...many, many tar stained feet as the blobs of tar would come up on shore from the oil tankers that went in and out of the port near the beach...stepping on an invisible jelly fish that was stranded on the sand...a jetty that seemed to go forever when you're a child...long days spent in the sun, playing with my sisters and cousin with shovels and pails and boogie boards...then...we moved north.
From the age of 10, and that's kind of funny, because I wholeheartedly feel that Milan, NH was my home town, but I didn't move there until I was 10. We moved to the heart of the beautiful, tree havened, black fly and mosquito infested White Mountains in 1978. Now, I can tell you, that is no where near any ocean. And it's funny to me to look back on it and see that my parents were also ocean loving people, and yet, we ended up living where I did not see the ocean again until I was 17 (save for one summer vacation spent in sunny FL visiting the relatives I had left 5 years earlier). The next time I can remember seeing the ocean was a trip to Old Orchard Beach with some high school friends the year I graduated high school. And I don't think I missed it all that much during those years because I spent them immursing myself in woods, trails, brooks and fields. I had horses, which at that age was all I ever wanted to do, in my life then. I had many friends at a local stable, where I was never able to have a horse of my own, but managed to ride, show and care for other people's horses. It was a great way to grow up in so many ways, and a really painful one in others. I realized that my family didn't have the money to ever have a horse of my own and so I started working when I was 13 picking snow peas and cleaning barns to earn enough to get my own horse. When I was finally able to free lease one, which means I paid all the bills and board for the horse, but she was owned by someone else, I had to work 7 nights a week at a local luncheonette cleaning until usually about 12:30 in the morning to earn enough to keep her. It was exhausting and incredibly hard to do along with finding time to ride and care for her and be in school as well. I remember those days in my life as fleeting and tenuous, always worried about how I would make the board and put shoes on my horse that needed special (read EXPENSIVE) shoes, would there be enough money to enter that horse show I so desperately wanted to compete in? It was a lot of pressure for someone so young, but certainly taught me how to deal with it as I've aged and the pressures continued, but now it's children and the mortgage.
When I met my now husband, I felt a kindred spirit in him since he also loves the ocean. We will go coastward on a lovely day, knowing that there will be rejuvenation and comfort in that smell and the sound of waves. When I am troubled and just need some thinking space, it's to the ocean I go. When I'm celebrating and feeling joy, it's to the ocean I want to go. Just wanting to slip my kayak into that salt water, feeling the resistance of the water on the blades and hearing the glup, glup of the blades in and out of the water. Yes, those moments and the smell of salty, fishy, briney air thrill me in a way no mountain can do. And I love the mountains, but oh, that surf...that rocky coast...that solice. It does a soul good.
Music Man and I are raising children that love the sea as much as we do. Invariably, when we plan a surprise adventure with the boys, it is to the coast we head. They have both learned to check first in the back of the van to see if the big green bag of beach toys are back there. If they see them, they will just get silly-giddy, knowing they are in for some digging in the beach, splashing in the surf and waves and hunting for treasure along the tide line. We hope we are instilling in them a love and appreciation for what the ocean has to offer, not just food, or recreation, but also peace and time to reflect and meditate. For if they don't learn to love it, how can they ever want to care for it? More time, less stuff...that's one of my favorite mottos.
Salty, foamy brine to you, ~Peacemom

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Here are our little bunnies! Hope everyone is having a lovely Easter Day. Of course, the real reason we celebrate today is that Jesus has arisen, and we are taking time to honor him today.

And, we also dearly still enjoy the visits from the elusive Easter Bunny. After enjoying the carrots and water we left out for him, he filled the boys baskets with lots of goodies, I'm pretty sure he shopped at Big Lots for most of it...and the boys enjoyed it. The highlights were the miniature replicas of Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch's Nascars and the chocolate race car driven by the bunny. Mommy's favorite of all of his treats were the "tomato grow pots" which Little Red replied, "I guess the Easter Bunny doesn't know I don't like tomatoes". Funny kid. So, I told him we would be happy to eat whatever he grew and he thought that was okay then.

After unloading their baskets, we had an exciting Easter egg hunt which the boys found the sports ball eggs that were hidden by Mr. E Bunny last evening. He did a great job hiding them and the boys had a lot of fun finding them. That's a definite highlight to their Easter morning experience.
Currently, the organic farm-raised pork shoulder (thank you, Patrick & Daniella!) is in the smoker...yes, okay, so a little unconventional for Easter dinner, but ya'll outta know by now, we're not very conventional. It's dry rubbed with some Montreal Steak rub with a lovely mesquite smoke, it's gonna be delish! Serving along with some scalloped potatoes and french cut green beans along with an apple tart for dessert...yummo!

I'm hoping you're all having a relaxing, joyous Easter day today. We're taking the day to be thankful for all that we have even in these trying times and to enjoy a day at home all together.
Blessings to you, ~Peacemom

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hello All!

Yesterday was a fabulous spring day here at Casa de Peaceable Kingdom. Maestro had a half day of school, Little Red has no school on Fridays, and so we decided it was a great day to have an adventure. Music Man reminded me that we wanted to get over to Plum Island, and so that's where we headed. Though we had heard about birds galore this time of year, we didn't get to see very many at all. That part was a little disappointing, but we had a wonderful family day just the same.

We particularly liked the boardwalk loop trails that let us go right into the marsh habitat. I know in the summer, it's probably just unthinkable with the mosquitos that I'm sure just fester there, but this time of year, pre-skeeter season, it was fascinating. We got to see some beaver damage where they had cut down trees that they had absolutely NO hope of ever moving, the brush is incredibly thick there, but try they had. We also walked up onto a dune on the boardwalks, climbing stairs that were pretty steep in some places to come to the top for a wonderful panoramic view of the Atlantic. We could even see the Crane Castle in Ipswich across the inlet, which is where my dear friend Michael was married. Very cool day indeed.

Though we didn't get to see many birds, we did spot two grand white swans, and a multitude of ducks. We checked out the bird blind where you can go to observe the tidal salt marsh and all the birds that inhabit it. It's great because you can do it without disturbing the birds in their nesting territories.

We know we will definitely be checking out Plum Island and the wildlife sanctuary there again soon. It was a great experience for the boys to get a nice view of some nature they don't see that close to home, and we enjoyed the walking and photography opportunities. Above you'll see one of those, all my guys watching the birds and salt water...a fine day indeed.

If you're in the area of Plum Island, Massachussets, I highly recommend taking a walk through the sanctuary, it's well worth the $5.00 per car it costs to get in. Take a picnic and some binoculars and spend a day with someone you love enjoying all the sites of coastal nature.

Salt marsh and boardwalks to you, ~Peacemom

Thursday, April 1, 2010

More bits of Spring!

As a dear friend of mine says.."Aren't they cunnin'?" Whenever she sees something she is particulary enchanted by, so I'll leave that quote to these flower and let you decide...."aren't they cunnin'?"

New life in your yard to you, ~Peacemom