Friday, June 29, 2007


Hi everyone!
Things have been mighty irritating around here.

I got the new notebook. Thank God - because my damned desktop bit it! It started wheezing and snorting and refusing to cooperate like the day before, if I remember right.
I thought at first it was my fan's failure, so my machine was overheating, because the first time after I left it off for a couple of hours it started back up. Then it started up again, but this last time it's been a full 24 hours, and no loading up.

So get this - the night I recieved my notebook via UPS, I put a password on it so Trev wouldn't tear into it while I was sleeping- I haven't had time to show him how it works, yet.
The next morning, I typed in my password - my serious same-old password, and it didn't work! I had typo'd my password and the verefication!
:0 !
What the hell do I do now?!? I wondered. Didn't make a backup, as it's the same one I use for my more serious stuff.
Let me tell you how long that took me to happen across the very same typo. I misplaced my hands on the keys in a hundred different positions, mixed up common letters, (for instance 'teh' or 'nad' for and, I do that a lot), etc.
I was really starting to despair, when finally I got it. It was only one letter off.
God! What a relief that was (and pretty lucky, too).

So no sooner did I straighten out that mess, and went to add my camera software into the new notebook, and found my dear friend Little Canon dead!
Dead, folks. My right hand! One of my truest friends. It's not the battery.

In the meantime, my desktop works then doesn't work, and I put (at least I thought) some important documents onto a cd. Well, that was the last time I managed to get into it.
Since then, it's refused to work at all.
C0uld be the processor. Could be the hard drive. I've been too busy to have the time to mess with that (on top of all my other stuff), too.

The good news is that little notebook is cooperating, (after some tweaking), and I was able to get most of my stuff done for bc.

Anyway. So that's where I've been.
Started this note three days ago, and just now publishing it.
Didn't I say in 103 Things that I wanted to have two "up and running"?, and not just that "I want a laptop?" I sure hope so!

Been trying to figure out what it means to me (karmically) that two Very Important (communicating) machines died in the same day!
I'm not feeling especially 'cut off' simply because I did recieve the notebook in a very timely manner.

But still doing some soul searching about that one (the Why of it)....

Monday, June 25, 2007

What grade are You in?

I have to admit, that as advanced and free-thinking as I suppose myself to be, it had not ever occurred to me to think of adults as being 'graded'.
So, what grade are you in?
Meaning I'll judge you according to a standard. I'll judge your spiritual development, how far you've gotten past shallow or mainstream thinking, what religion you are (how advanced it is), how good of a mother you are, how much father-time you have with your children, where you stand on world ecology, whether or not you eat meat, who you voted for in the last election, where you attended college and how much money you spent (still owe) for you college education, what trouble you go to recycle and pick up stray garbage, how fast you moved up the corporate ladder, how may times you've attended the opera, how popular you were in the office, how much time you spend watching the history channel, and what books you like to read.
All of these things will determine what grade you're in.
And... You'll not pass into the next grade until those 'above' you have deemed that you are worthy.

Now I'm not speaking of a matter that should between you and (your) God (should you believe in any), or you and your conscience, folks - this is a matter of being judged by your fellow man. Those that for some reason suppose that they are superior in one way or another to you.
Those that imagine themselves to be the ones "in the know" as far as your own personal Rights of Passage are concerned.

Don't get me wrong here - I'm not angry, and getting all fired up about this issue.
Where I am coming from is the mind of the mother of a "kindergartner".
Not that I judge my son to be a graduate, or failure of such a thing. Just that I have had a certain amount of comfort with the idea - "five years old, kindergarten" sort of thinking.

I read Ren's post today, and it sent me reeling.
"Of course!" thought I. "Why had this not occurred to me?"
Now I knew - understood - that grading and rating in such a way wasn't a very unschooly or healthy outlook. I don't do it. I don't think in terms of "my son needs to get this (pressure/pressure) in order to be up with his peers". But I had not considered it actually harmful.
I don't know why not - especially since I am obsessed with shedding all things judgmental lately. (Not that I am completely free from such binding thoughts, only that I strive to be.)

But I hadn't even considered that judging my son, and putting him in a "grade", could be detrimental to his own thinking, or mind, or freedom in his growth and learning.

Some might say that there's no harm in it.
But to me, there is.
The harm lies in the fits and starts of the parental ego.
Where one has beamings of (parental) pride, one also has shame-faced downfalls, as all children (as all humans do) have interests and disinterests.
If one accepts a grade level, one must attach oneself to expectations, and "should be's".

I'm not interested in that.
Where is the magic and the individuality and creativity and the celebration in "You Must Be"?

Seems to me there's no happiness or self discovery in striving for You Must Be.
And I feel it's my duty - indeed, it's my life and breath right now - to provide my children room for Happiness, Personal Growth, and the Soul's Magic.
It's not even a choice for me, Dear Reader.
It is just what I absolutely Must Do.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Here Comes the Sun King

A glorious day in the sun, Friends.

Recycling Becomes Mandatory

Today the county issued these beautiful bright blue containers to the World At Large (now not just for those of us who pay an extra monthly fee).

One small step for Man.... one giant step for Mankind.

midsummer's magic

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


#20 is Go on family bike rides.
Woohoo! We did our first one tonight - and it was super fun!
We went up the street a ways, and then up to the next block then back down and around, and ended up at the neighborhood church cruisin' in the parking lot.
Maddie ran and ran, Trev chased and shouted "I'm gaining on you!", and we in general just raced and frolicked and had a most excellent time.
I love my new cruiser! And the new bike trailer.

My dad called today and said "you mentioned a laptop, I have this one for x amount of dollars, you'll have 90 days to pay for it (through Dell - it's on his account), do you want it?
Eric said okay, so we should be getting that in the mail in a few days.
Looking forward to it!
(Not so sure about Vista, but we'll see!)
Almost two down!
I really gotta get that list finished.

I'm so tired - maybe I'll get up early tomorrow (it's Midsummer!) and have a bit of wit in the morning.
Remember to say hi to your fairy friends tomorrow -and leave them a bit of milk and honey.
Sleep extra well on this shortest night of the year! And Blessed Be.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, everyone.
I hope your day is full of your Best Dads.
I hope it has rumpusing, and wrestling, and squeals of delight. I hope you hear "Hey, Dad!, Wanna....?" a hundred times.
I hope you'll get to grill up something especially fine.
I hope there is bird identification, and bug naming, and firefly catching.
I hope there's watching the races, and playing golf.
I hope there's hiking and fishing and bike rides.
I hope there's horsey and piggy-back rides and steamrollers.

I hope you find a dozen ways to celebrate your life with Yours.
In Love and Joy.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Disclaimer - sort of.

here's the thing.
I truly believe that God, and all those that are "above" us - I mean this in a perhaps physical sense as well as sort of higher up on the food chain- have a really grand sense of humor.
I remember a religious friend mentioning last year getting a Play-Mobile Nativity set for her children two Christmases ago.
She mentioned being a bit chagrined - but laughing, too - that her child was taking the head off of baby Jesus, and tossing him around, and Mary wasn't being treated with reverence, etc.
My thoughts on it - and I expressed them to her - were, "Well, the good news is that Jesus wouldn't even be slightly offended at such treatment. He'd think it were just precious child's play."
This is where I'm coming from for those of you who might be offended with my last post(s).
I just really believe that God et al has a Marvelous sense of humor.
How can we be anything greater than God?
Better parents, more loving, more caring, more forgiving, etc.
Whatever I am, or manage to be, I figure those that have it dialed (are perfect) are far moreso than I.
So I say God is a jolly old chap, who understands me, and can laugh at a good joke.

DP Follow Up

My husband had no idea where I was going with that post, so I guess I had better hurry up and explain.

I was feeling rather attached to our general goings on.
My attachments looked like "my children aren't reading anything." "cartoon network games? can't you at least play one of these great educational games?" and "the tramp, again? how about tangram blocks, instead."

This right after, Dear Friends, indeed - the very same day!, that I wrote about how fulfilling unschooling is! I am a jack-ass, in case you haven't noticed. (who loves the word jack-ass entirely too much.)

Attached was I. To stupid things.
To something that didn't suit me. Didn't fit me. Didn't serve me well. Was heavy and irritating to lug around. Much like - you've guessed it! A Detachable P.

God has a Grand Sense Of Humor, to my mind, and gave me the song Detachable P to ponder.
And ponder, I did.

With very liberating results.
I am happy to say that I have rented out DP, I am only hoping whomever was in need of it extends their lease, and doesn't return it early.
I certainly will not miss it.

Detachable P

Alright. I published it. I then took it off. Now I'm publishing it again, because, well, sometimes life aint pretty... (6/16)

Here's an Official Warning - along with an apology to my family and any readers with delicate sensibilities - if you aren't up for a not PG rated post - please skip this one. I've gone back and forth about sending it - but I figure it's a big part of my day - so here it is.
This post ain't gonna be pretty.
I'm not in a very pretty mood (though I'm feeling much better having written this post!)
Chances are I'll be removing it - but for now I gotta say what I gotta say.

For a few days now I've had a song in my head.
It's by King Missile, and it's called Detachable Pe- - -. (think male anatomy.)
I'm not saying the word, because I don't want my blog to come up for any wierdo's who are doing a blog search for said unit. Not because I'm necessarily against the p word. (though I don't say it much in every day conversation.)

In a later post today I'll relate why oh why I have such a thing in my head.
But for now here is the song (it's really rather humorous, and not terribly offensive, unless you just can't bring yourself to think a story about a missing p might be funny.)

Detachable Pe - - -
I woke up this morning with a bad hangover
And my p was missing again.

This happens all the time.
It's detachable.

[background singing begins: "detachable p" over and over]

This comes in handy a lot of the time.

I can leave it home, when I think it's gonna get me in trouble,

or I can rent it out, when I don't need it.

But now and then I go to a party, get drunk,

and the next morning I can't for the life of me
remember what I did with it.
First I looked around my apartment
, and I couldn't find it.
So I called up the place where the party was,

they hadn't seen it either.

I asked them to check the medicine cabinet

'cause for some reason I leave it there sometimes

But not this time.

So I told them if it
pops up to let me know.
I called a few people who were at the party,

but they were no help
I was starting to get desperate.

I really don't like being without my p for too long.

It makes me feel like less of a man,

and I really hate having to sit down every time I take a leak.

After a few hours of searching the house,

and calling everyone I could think of,

I was starting to get very depressed,

so I went to the Kiev, and ate breakfast.

Then, as I walked down Second Avenue towards St. Mark's Place,

where all those people sell used books and other junk on the street,

I saw my p lying on a blanket
next to a broken toaster oven.
Some guy was selling it.

I had to buy it off him.

He wanted twenty-two bucks, but I talked him down to seventeen.
I took it home, washed it off, and put it back on.
I was happy again. Complete.

People sometimes tell me I should get it permanently attached,

but I don't know.

Even though sometimes it's a pain in the ass,

I like having a detachable p.

I'm feeling rather like I've been lugging one around for a few days. I really wish it to be detachable.
Having said these things, I am feeing better already!

disclaimer: this post is in no way meant to be offensive to my brothers in this world - this is just something I am relating to/hearing in my head these last few days.

101 Thing in 1001 Days

I ran into a blog today via Sally from Happy at Home that was comprised of her list of 101 in 1001. It is/was a Live Journal Community goal setting thing a couple of years ago.
I'm really intrigued by the idea.
So I'm going to start my own list.

I'm not a goal setting person. They aggravate me more than anything; with the setting of goals comes pressures, and attachments, and an idea superimposed on a day that just may not be made for a particular task. In my life, things such as goals tend to mean expectations, and bondage to thoughts or ideas that I may have since changed or shed.
So I don't do them.

However, there are things in this life that I know and love - things like recognizing the magic - that I can only believe will aid me in living a life of joy, and truth, and fulfillment.

So that, friends, shall be the composition of my list.
Things that will remind me to live a life of joy, truth, and fulfillment.

I'll be starting my list today. I'm not sure how long it will take me.

Just for fun, I am making it 103 Things, and I am giving myself until my 41st birthday to live or begin these joys. (I am thinking that ought to get me through any rough spots of turning 40 pretty nicely!)

So, my title shall be 103 Things in 861 Days. Or however many days are left when I get my list finished.

I'm quite thrilled with the idea.....
I'm now off to begin my Joyful Quest...

Friday, June 15, 2007


"Let the questions be the curriculum." Socrates, (469-399 bce)

As amazing as it is that I would day by day grow even more comfortable and into unschooling, it is happening.
Today I can attribute my sudden burst of enthusiasm to Evie, and before her a couple of days ago Melissia (who wrote her take on formal education in an online group), and a day before that was someone whom I cannot recall, but had this quote in their signature. (When I find who it was, I'll replace this with her name.)

Let the questions be the curriculum.
A concept I believe well in, and have for quite some time.
The thing that really solidifies it for me (and is really starting to for dh) is that we have these amazing and unlimited resources.
Edie's son asked her "Do ants sleep?"
Several years ago this question would probably have taken quite some time to answer. I think maybe we may have found the info in an encyclopedia, but maybe not. If not, such an obscure question could have taken several days to answer - maybe even a hand-written letter to a nearby university's entomology professor, provided none of your library's resources were forthcoming with the requested information.

But now it's so easy!
We quite literally have the world - any pertinent information that we require - Right At Our Fingertips.
There is simply no reason that I can see (other than it costs time, energy and money for a parent to learn and educate at home) to stick a child in a room full of other children to learn things.
First - it's pretty well accepted that the learning "time line" is arbitrary. So the only benefit of encouraging rote learning within that time line is a matter of pride, as far as I can see. It's really of no benefit to the child - as the child will forget the information commonly, or if given the choice, the child will learn it on his own... and at exactly the right time for him.
Second - it's just not necessary to place a bunch of children in one room to share very limited and hard-to-come-by resources. Supplies are abundant. Books are everywhere. It's so easy to find a reasonably priced microscope, and art supplies, and math manipulatives, and abacuses, and so on. Even if one's budget is tight, you can use water and measuring cups, science experiments, library books, free day at museums and zoos, build bridges with coins, nature walks, and on and on.

So the only question that remains is "Will he ask the questions?"
Every parent knows that children ask questions. It is what we humans do. There is something in us - maybe simply evolution, maybe spirit, maybe self-preservation, maybe it's a grander version of animal instinct - I think we all accept that we're different from all other earthly life forms. Regardless of different beliefs about whether there is spirit or not - people are different. Because we are Thinkers.

So the answer to that is.... Yes - but even greater and more important and life-changing ones if the world is an interesting place. If he is encouraged his interests. If she is allowed to pursue passion. If he is permitted exploration of his own thoughts.
People ask questions regardless of their enchantment with the world around them.
But when one is fascinated, the questions are fascinating.
When one is full of joy, the questions are joyful.
When one's life is rich - the questions are even further enriching.

Letting "the questions be the curriculum" is a celebratory and extraordinary way to embrace one's life, and to find happiness.
I believe it is also the key to discovering one's remarkable Self.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


There's a lot of stuff flying around my world lately about how I handle contentious situations between my children.
The call to Recognize and Address this issue has come to me through many mediums - friends have discussed it (their own trials), I've written a bit about it, and today another friend wrote about something that happened just yesterday, and how when she was still stumbling with "what to do?" her little four year old handled the situation beautifully, simply by showing curiosity, empathy, and kindness.

I certainly can't say the same for myself. Apparently this would be good time to change my ways.

I typically handle squabbles in an accusatory manner. "What's going on?" in a good moment, and more like "What the hell is going on?" in a particularly bad one.
Not on purpose, but when I hear the baby cry out - often she's been poked in the eye, metaphorically speaking.
Usually the shouts or screams will determine how intensely I react.

What I need to do - what I am being called to Recognize and Address is far different.
I think I need begin somewhere near "Is there anything I can help with, Trev?". Or "are you guys all right?"
Instead of my usual rather violent manner. (accusing, inducing guilt, putting someone else in a position of defense, etc.)

It ocurred to me today that anything that is far removed from the way that we live our lives needs to go.
Why would I assume that in these particular situations my children can just be "told" something, and they'll do it? I don't do it with anything else. "You need to learn this today." "If you hold it the other way it will go further." "This way is best." Those directions are just not a part of our every day lives. I'll naturally still do things the way I do them, and if they choose to observe the efficiency, and copy the movement, or ask they will, but I don't say automatically "This way is better."
I don't necessarily even believe that it is, it just works best for me. And also I appreciate their ingenuity and creativity.
So, why would "How can you handle this better next time?" necessarily help?
I'm not saying that's a bad way to address it, necessarily - only that it isn't working.
I think a better place to begin is to work simply on empathy (my own).

Something like "Is everything alright, Trev?" gives him the opportunity to assess for himself how bad the situation really is, and he can answer accordingly. "Maddie keeps turning off the tv, and I'm trying to watch this." Or "Maddie keeps pulling my hair," or "Maddie is wrecking my dinosaur land", whatever.
And then I can respond (after I have first and foremost empathized with his plight). "It seems like Maddie is having a fun game with the tv, she really wants to play." Or "Maddie, remember to be gentle with Trelly." Or "Is there a way that you can let her play, too?," and "How can we do that?" Offering the solution to him. He often comes up with great giving and caring options.

Also, I have come to see - been blind-sided with it enough lately - that "Hey," doesn't work, no matter how gently. I need to first be on Trev's side in these matters.
Not that Maddie doesn't matter, because of course she does. The truth is, she is rarely actually hurt, and more just upset when she screams in these moments. And she is too young for us to expect from her a whole lot in the way of empathy and consideration (not quite two).
But if her examples are her family members - who all treat each other, and her, kindly and with empathy, then of course she will learn it also, she'll not know any other way.

I'm not in the slightest bit worried that if Trev bops Maddie, or snatches something from her rather violently that my loving response will only encourage his "bad behavior". First of all, he takes no pleasure in violence (why would he?) and secondly, my good and loving example of being empathetic towards him (even -especially!- when he makes a mistake) can only make him more assured of himself, make him feel more worthy of love and consideration - which will of course spill over into his relationships, and how he treats others.

It is simply the answer. It is how it must be done.

Teen age girls yelling threats and name calling over the fence to somone. (making others around them somewhat nervous.)
Little child goes up "What's going on?"
Teenage girls say "They called us Ugly, so we're fighting back!"
Little child says "I think you're beautiful."

And just like that.... the situation is over.
Teenage girls turn to play with the little child with appreciation and love in their hearts.

It is the answer. It is how it Must Be Done.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Samantha Stevens

The other day I put the question to a few friends (The Mama's) and my sister.... "Who/what is your Ideal Mother?"
I answered first, saying that I would choose to be a combination of Samantha Stevens, Mary Poppins, and Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus.

My friends (being the paragons that they are) all listed Mother Theresa as a vital part.
Doh! Forgot Mother Theresa!
At first I was like "(sigh), I still have such a long way to go, they're all paragons, and I am waaaaay over here, flipping and flopping and flailing about!"

But then again....
Something really great happened to me right after composing that list.
I became Free.

While including Samantha Stevens - I was including all of her. Her ability to set things right by a twitch of the nose. Dishes, broken down car, (grin) nosy neighbor, whatever. Her "Well?!?"s, her gasping "Oh My Stars!" which I also say, her irritating mother, her crazy relatives (I don't have any, but have always wanted some), her quirks, her imperfections, and her Samantha Stevens-ness. She's not perfect. She has personality, and sometimes shrewdness, and pretty much does things - regardless of grave council- the way that she thinks is best.

Mary Poppins is Practically Perfect In Every Way, of course. But she is not Perfectly Perfect. She walks a little funny. She's a bit too prim. She doesn't laugh much. She's too serious. She leaves you wondering if she approves of you or not.
But she is always game for issuing guidance. And she knows cool people. And though she may be a bit stiff on the outside, she accepts life's magical moments in stride... as if it's understood by all that these things can and do go on in Every Day Life.
She assumes that everything, I think, is Practically Perfect. Or at least - with a little help from her.

Ms. Frizzle. The ultimate unschooler!
She has tools. She has a light heart. She doesn't demand. If you want out, she'll certainly let you out, and leave you in a position that was just what you needed.
She can lead you to places that are so remarkable - so fascinating - so splendiferous - that you are left feeling, "How have I ever lived my life on this earth not knowing such a Grand and Fascinating Thing?" Indeed, she is responsible for much of my own voracious delves into All Things Science.

I'm not saying (or thinking) that my answers were superior, or smarter, or more realistic than my friends'. I am saying that They Were Me.
I am flawed.
I am impatient (though I am getting better, thank you very much).
I am not Mother Theresa.
I have an amazing ego (well!?!), a sometimes scowling disposition, a general "hmmph"ing attitude - similar to that of an Eccentric Dowager Duchess - without the blue blood and "right" to assume such a lofty position, I'm bossy, and often self-centered, and, and, and, and.
I'll stop in the name of self preservation.

Point Being!
In that space, somewhere in that thought that had not yet been entirely thought out, or had not yet culminated into an "ultimately this is who I would like to be" I chose women whom I admired, but who were flawed.
In doing so, I left a wide open space for me to include all that was Me.
In mentioning women (albeit fictional) that I find an affinity with, women that are imperfect, but that shine regardless of those imperfections, I left room for imperfections of my own self.

It wasn't with intention.
But in that space, I found not an excuse to be complacent, but still a place that could and would allow me to grow and learn.
A freedom to be Me.
A comfortability with that Me.
An acceptance.
An understanding.

For the first time - I was good enough.
And I was Welcome.

8 Things About Meme - Again

Evidently Madeline is not aware that I already talk about myself too much, or I'm sure she never would have tagged me! (doh! said that last time, too. :/ )
I did it here, where I accidentally thought it said "8 Things About Meme", :), so I"m calling it that.
I respond one - because I like her, and two - she has three things in her list that can be said almost almost exactly the same as me!
So! I"m beginning with those.

Here's the prerequisite:
Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.~~~

1) I smoked for 17 years. Also Camel Lights! (marlboro's are so stinky) A friend asked once if I smoked a pack a day, and I responded "If I'm on my deathbed." More like two. Was really worried about what was going to happen if pregnant (much stress over it with dh), we were trying to conceive, I quit about one week before conceiving my son. Accidentally. Long story.

2) Speeding tickets - Only had one. I was going about 15 over, which is about usual for me, -except strictly under 25 in residential. Officer Evel Knievel told me that he was giving me a break, that 15 over would be way too expensive. The discounted ticket was $95. I almost had a stroke.
Same as Madeline - I rely (knock knock knock) on good mojo to warn me of a coming problem, and always bless those I pass who have gotten pulled over in my stead. Much blessings and love to all of them!

3)I have one more that Madeline had listed, but I'm not going to tell what it is. Someday I'll be ready, but not today. (this is the half)

4) I'm one of the few (I think) people on this planet who do not believe in the proverbial "Life isn't Fair" philosophy. I truly believe that we are responsible for our reality. And can change it if we choose.

5) I take great pleasure in small silly things - kicking a hackey sack in the backyard while holding a beer. Well, not me personally, I'm not any good at it, but watching the comraderie and play makes my heart so happy.

6) It makes me truly happy that my children are sassy - it reminds me in that moment that I have not treated them respectfully (which they expect), and it's a "check" for me.

7) I wore a mohawk for about three years. (shaved sides and all.) This was 84-87 or so. (ages 16-19)

8) When I'm eating I twirl my fork in the air. (good thing I'll never be visiting Court, the Queen would probably have my hand whacked off.) When I'm thinking (writing) on the pc I run my cordless mouse in circles while staring out the window. I have to change the batteries about every two weeks. (thanks Costco!)

There. That wasn't too bad. Hope I don't seem too arrogant for doing this again. I didn't have much to write today, anyway, and it was killing me. :)

I tag our newest Blogging Mama: Aubrey! Welcome to Blogworld International!

My sister Kim. (I think I did before, but she didn't respond, as of last night.)

I don't think I have anyone else - I don't dare issue to them twice. Malina, Julie, Melissia, Teri, LeeAnn, -Evie just did it, seems like I missed someone... consider yourself tagged!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Connections - of a Spiritual Sort

Evie at The Road Less Traveled wrote the other day a great post about her child making connections. She wrote "Connections happen all the time in all kinds of places and it's impossible to prevent learning from happening." It's such a marvelous thing to experience - your child putting things together on his own. ( I don't mean that parents aren't facilitators, I mean that the putting together can only be done in one's head.)

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm finding myself amid a bunch of connections (and realizations) myself.
It's like they are shooting and dashing around me in the sky (universe), and all I have to do is to see them, and they come zapping to me, like lightening, and once I have them they turn into a liquidy silver or gold in my hands, and then all that remains is for me to pour them from my hands into my jar for safe keeping. In the jar I find sustenance.

The Connections I speak of might look different from the ones that Evie noticed and spoke of so well, but I'm not sure that they are entirely different. I think maybe learning is learning, and experiencing how you fit and relate to this Universe might very well bind them together. I don't know that we can entirely separate the mind and spirit (if at all), so perhaps connections can and do involve both.

I am speaking of Synchronicity. Finding things -relevant to your life and your present quest for Truth- anywhere and everywhere. Having come to notice their arrival to your door at a staggering rate. Everywhere you look there is something that can be pondered and examined that helps you during your current quest.
Some folks experience it by opening a random page in a bible. Some toss coins, like the I Ching. Some read runes, or stones, or meditate next to a babbling brook, or listen within.
There is a line in Conversations with God that says
"The words to the next song you hear. The information in the next article you read. The story line of the next movie you watch. The chance utterance of the next person you meet. Or the whisper of the next river, the next ocean the next breeze that caresses your ear-all these devices are Mine; all these avenues are open to Me. I will speak to you if you will listen. I will come to you if you will invite Me. I will show you then that I have always been there.
All ways."

I see it happening all around me right now.
In one way it's like the same truth repeats itself over and over until you finally get it. Until you find understanding. Enlightenment.
Not only that, but the same thing seems to be happening for other people.
It doesn't even have to be something life-changing or astounding.
I'm seeing it in simple things, too.

In another, there seems to be a Common Consciousness going on.
I'll write on something, than go reading what others are up to, and I come across a post written two days ago that speaks in different words the same thing I had just written.
Or I'll write something, and someone will say "I was just thinking about this today."


I'm really starting to find - for the first time in my life - ways that I can actually connect with the world around me.
Instead of seeing only the difference, I'm starting to notice The Connections.

Monday, June 11, 2007


They sound something like this.
And lastly..
They are Mine, friends, and not my children's.

"They" are connections, of course.
I stand agape and amazed at their sheer numbers.
Magical (goodness I've been using that word a lot lately. -Maybe I should just say, "Lucky Me!").

They've even crossed over the barriers/compartments in my mind.
Gone from homeschooling and ru and into Motherdom. From motherdom to All. From All to Collective Consciousness. From collective conscioussness to World Peace.
Here it is. See it. Think on it.

I realize this is scattered and maybe a head-scratcher - but understand that it's all happening so fast that I can barely keep up!

Connections everywhere!

Life is magical.
I am a lucky, lucky girl.
Or Blessed and happy.
Thanks friends.

Probably more on this subject after I have a minute to make sense of it all.
And catch my breath.

not for us, Honey. not for us.

My dh tells me of a sad, sad tale about a really stressed and stretched relationship between a dear friend and his daughter.
I've known this girl since she was about five - she and I were confidantes. She is now eighteen.

She identifies currently with teens known in hyp circles as Emo's. You know of these? It's been along time since I was hyp - we were reasonably near the original punks, and certainly the original Generation Xers (in fact I am a fan of Generation X -the band - Billy Idol's band in his younger years.)- long before that term was coined- and certainly the original "grunge" kids. We invented it. I'm not boasting or complaining, it's just the truth. Alright - I'll get off my "I Know Nonconformity" soapbox now.
Now, among others, there are Emo's. This nickname means The Emotionals. Those with a sad story to tell. In my youth it was shouted by some in a disdainful aggression, today it is whispered in a sighing martyrdom sort of way. Gothic. Artsy. Dark. Deep.
Young Friend has fallen in with this group. Not necessarily a bad thing on its own.
But with the martyrdom has apparently come some (physical) self abuse.
Dad (long time friend of dh) lashes out and blames boyfriend for daughter's self-inflicted wounds.
"Never darken my doorstep again!" he tells the Sad Martyr Boyfriend.

That appears to be the end of the story. I think we all know it's hardly the end.
Father fights for control. Grasping and beating his chest and screaming to the heavens and shouting his primal cries.
Desperately threatens with the very last weapon at his disposal "It's 'My Way' or else!"
Daughter shrinks further inside herself and her heart, weeping and plotting.
"They don't understand! Why must it always be this way?"

Dh relates to me the story.
He finishes it with "I wanted to say so much. But I just couldn't. It seems too late."

"Aaaaaargh", I moan internally.
Sad. And frightened. And worried for these people that mean so much to me.
"Not for us, Babe." I promise.
"That's what I was thinking when he was telling me. But how can we be sure?"

I think now "Because it's every day. It's in the moments. It's in the freedom, the understanding, the respect, the love, the "you matter"'s, the life and breath of our commitment."

We've had an hour or more now since the telling of the tale, and time to reflect.
Dh says now, while we're discussing it again..."Not for us, Babe."

No, Honey, Not For Us.

Poisonwood Bible

Was drifting through unschoolers blogs this morning and I ran into Barn-Raising again.
I've visited before. I like the blog.
Turns out, she got Poisonwood Bible, too, and she was quite pleased.
Said it's one of her favorite books by a favorite author.
Said being a Belgian Waffle meant that she's all full of deliciousness and goodness and love; and not fluff, as I saw it.
My goodness.
Maybe I'm okay.
Says to me that someone we all know (ahem) might have been a touch defensive.
Thanks Madeline.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


What I really meant was "Damn!"
Now I gotta come up with another happy post to follow - quick-like - that last one!

I dreamt last night...

I dreamt last night that I lost some of my friends.
I think it's because I've been considering signing on to the "Kind Blog" ring, and my post yesterday was far less than kind.
I don't think I was particularly mean, as much as just getting some poisonous things out of my head and heart.
Anyway, in the dream I was taking my friend...we'll call her Mel.... and her husband to our local amusement park. I was driving, but they somehow had their own car, too. My madre was talking with them, and said something that offended them, then they were asking her to change the subject, and she didn't, and they asked again, and she didn't, and eventually they said "We're leaving."
I was crushed.
Next was something else that I cannot recall, but along the same lines.
Next came a permanent severance (from the same sort of thing) of the friendship with my dear Sam.

Most depressing.
I'm not blaming my mother, you understand.
I believe I had the dream because I am feeling guilty and selfish and shallow and self-inflated about the things I expressed yesterday.

I think maybe I just have a different sort of expression than my mother does.
For instance - my mother expects and puts a great deal of stock in greeting cards. She says that she'd rather have the card than the gift.
I hardly ever give cards.
When I do, they're hand written (even at Christmas/Yule), and never just signed at the bottom.
Not that I don't understand the importance and value in a well-picked card, for I do.
But I just don't think that something pre-packaged is all that personal.

So - to make sense of all this hullabaloo -
I am feeling guilty.
I am trying to make sense of my need to express my resentment over her not welcoming certain (important!) parts of me.
It's hard for me to imagine not caring what my children are up to.
What calls them, enchants them, intrigues them, and fulfills them.

Maybe you just get to a certain point - when your child reaches adulthood (I've been an adult for quite some time)- that you become unattached to their interests. Especially if you feel that at this grand ol' age of 62 (a very young 62!) that you are finally coming into your own.
That this is the time for you to find out what you're about.
That others' truths just complicate things, that the focus needs to be on "me".
Maybe I just need to allow her to live her truth.

Letting the Sunshine In (Or... Finding the Magic)

In case you missed it - this post is about finding happiness in this very ordinary day.
My scouring powder.
Strange, you might say. But consider that I make it myself, and it's full of goodness. Baking soda, borax, and a delicious combination of essential oils - lavender, orange, and peppermint. Mmmm, seems to clean my soul as I scrub.

A perfect cantaloupe - first one of the year.

My new tennies.

Cottage flowers.

My firepit.

Fresh clean sheets.

A clean bathroom.

Open windows.

This pitcher and bowl filled with roses.

Maddie's bedroom.

Window boxes.

Laundry on the line.

Lemon balm.

The magic colors of twilight (I'm anticipating)- silvery lavender through a beautiful purple, to deepest indigo.

This shade garden.

A glass of cold beer. (You saw that one coming, didn't you?)

Wicker patio furniture.




All the beautiful colors in my son's hair glowing in the sun.

This room - glowing the sunlight.

The way my son adds "ment" on to the end of words. "This is my happiment."

The way Maddie says "I'n" instead of "I'm". Today it was "I'n dant-cing!"



My home.

A glass of iced tea.

A good night's sleep. (made especially luxurious if I get it just with my husband(as there is room to stretch) - when the babes happily snuggle on their pallette next to us all night.)

This picture.
A cool drink of water.

The way my son just said "knithe" instead of knife. And the way he still says "free" for three.

The beauty of finding magic in an Utterly Ordinary Day.

Inviting Magic Into a Regular Sort of Day

Eric is already out the door (gone fishin') on this beautiful Sunday morning, the babes are still sleeping.
I was removing some of my posts that are drafts, and was reminded of one I wanted to do, inspired by my sister's lovely post about things she loves.
While it's a glorious morning, life doesn't seem to be particular romantic today, but I'm thinking that while dusting, and organizing, and cleaning, and laundry, I"m going to do my best to capture (on film or with words) today things that I love.
I think I'll do it for olm, too.
Invite in the magic and sunshine.
Blessed Be.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

These Things Take Time

I get home from work, and go into the backyard to look around, and I see a toy that we bought yesterday lying on the grass, partly chewed up.
I picked it up, looked at the damage, picked up some arms and legs, and took it to Trev.
No lecture, no anger or frustration.

I showed you a picture the other day of Trev's room (oh - that was olm). Chaos. Little tiny pieces of chaos, too.

No screams, no hollerin', no anger, really, though being in there made me sort of tense and overwhelmed after a while. I did tell him to take off his tired legs and keep cleaning when he complained, but I was sort of teasing, and that was only because we decided that we would do it together - because neither one of us was really excited about it, but we both didn't like the mess.

It's sort of strange for me, because it appears that change happens, but that it just takes a while.
As much as I believe in manifesting, and changing, and creating my own reality, and as much as I long for and believe that you can change your mind in an instant - it seems that there must be a process to mastery.
That's not something that I understand yet. The why of the process, I mean.
Perhaps it has something to do with the peace I've been talking of lately - if it comes in a sudden flash, it can just as easily be lost.
If it comes slowly thought by thought, it is more able to be counted upon and sustaining.

Maybe the entire process - the erring being as equally valuable as the successes - is what makes up the path of Becoming.

Mother's Approval

I'm thinkin' that this post could get pretty personal (and possibly whiney) so if you're not up for it, please pass this one by.

My mother and I spend quite a bit of time together. She watches my children on Saturdays when Eric goes to work in the afternoon, and until I get home shortly after five. Saturdays is the only day I work. We talk on the phone at least once a week, depending on how much she's working, and if she can get ahold of me (dial-up).

She loves me. I love her.

My mother always kept her children's faces clean, and our hair combed, and we always went to church on Sunday. She always told us "You can be anything you want to be."
I never believed it.
I really wonder if she even believed it.
She dominated her children - physically, emotionally, and probably intellectually.
She's one of these people that have the exceedingly irritating quality of being the first to gasp at the atrocity of another's sin (such as withholding a lollipop until a kiss is received) and then do the exact same thing. And shout out a denial when you point it out, and with more affront than if you said to the Queen that she had poor table manners.
She's trying to understand radical unschooling.
Well - let me take that back. I often wonder if she's just going through the motions, and not really trying to understand it at all.

Herein lies my complaint.
I take it as "my mother has no interest in understanding me." She isn't interested in the scars of my childhood. I thought not long ago that we were finally getting some where - somewhere that I could start to forgive and forget some of the worst of them, but after a few confessions, later my mother acted like the scars upon her spirit that she had told me of had no impact, whatsoever. Like I had made it up. And it wasn't in a defensive forget-I-ever-told-you way, but in a "why on earth would I say such a thing?" way. Like the tears were a pretense.
So I am left even more befuddled than before. And a bit angry.

Tonight when I got home from work (she watched my children at my house) she was playing Solitaire here on the pc, and I offered to show her mine and my sister's blogs. She skimmed briefly over a few pictures on mine. My sister didn't have any up into her blog yet, so she wasn't interested. (Never mind that we had spoken just yesterday how funny, witty, and sharp my sister is.)

I felt compelled to say "I put in counters in my blog at the beginning of the month in May. I've had lots of people come read what I've written. I've had over five hundred visits since then." (none of them my own.)
"Who visits?"
(shrug) "Just people. Some people like the way I write. I've even had compliments on it."
"Hm," ... in a "huh, imagine that" sort of way.
That was it. There was nothing more.
This huge part of who I am - and a place where I feel competent and able (it doesn't matter if it's warranted or not, I still feel good about it most times) - and it doesn't even merit a question of "what do you write about?"

I almost said to you, Dear Reader, that I don't know why I felt compelled to boast to her. But I do. I was seeking her approval. Even better - her admiration. I was hoping for some real life evidence of "You are something", instead of just hearing what has always felt like platitudes - never compliments out of her own mouth, either, always second hand.

I was wondering if I was trying to get back at her disinterest in me by writing on this subject here - a place I know well she will never visit.
I don't expect her to be sorry. I don't want remorse, really, either. I just want an acknowledgment. I just want her once to look at me, and say, "aah, I see."
You came out of it well.
You are amazing. You are special.
You are something.

Why is it so important?

Some People Have Not-the-Same-ness

Well, since I absolutely believe in synchronicity, I am going to explore this topic.
I'm not sure if the things (ideas, topics) come to me because it's something I need to think and write about, or if I just write about them because they come to me. Being a great believer in self-evolvement and personal growth, I choose to believe the former.
The ideas of labels, differences, abnormalities, judgments (Not-the-Same-ness) has come up in my life a lot lately. In online hs groups, reading on others blogs, and personal involved conversations (when is our next session, Melissia?) (it's probably pretty horrid of me to mention her name all the time, considering I've never once asked her if I may...)

What pretty much demanded that I begin this post today was reading a post from Zamozo on Learning in the Unzone.
"My fear is that using labels to describe our children's personalities can too easily lead to inadvertently focusing on those traits to the detriment of recognizing and celebrating the child's wonderful uniqueness and qualities and to the detriment of their self-esteem and future joy. These are the considerations that led me to make a conscious, deliberate decision to vanish these tendencies from my own behavior as I embraced radical unschooling and mindful, unconditional parenting."

There are many reasons that folks decide to homeschool. Some irritate the hell out of me. Some I find scary. Some I just don't understand.

"My child is different." All children are different. If you let them be.
"My child has special needs." All children are special and deserve special attention and care.
"One of my children needs more than the school offers, the other does just fine." I truly believe that all children shine more brilliantly when brought into the light, and allowed to grow in that light with love.
Some are religious.
Some are dominating.
Some parents feel compelled to control the environment.
Some folks feel they need to turn their child into something.

Since I have family and friends that are not home educator's this is a tricky place for me. It's a place between freedom and what I feel is right.
I believe in freedom. But that freedom extends to all, without exception. So as soon as a freedom oppresses another in any way, it loses its integrity. It becomes a thing of non-freedom.
I guess it's like my view on the world at large.
I believe in others rights to worship, think, feel, love, grow, learn, and practice their lives as they see fit. On the other hand, I don't think that they have the right of dominion (in their governments, religious practices, slavery practices) over another.
Is it possible for everyone to live that way? It's hard for me to say, because there are many politics and religions on this green earth of which I have no understanding. But it seems to me that a great many principles or religious practices can be held without oppressing another. If one chooses a law, principle, or idea because one's heart says it is true, then therein lies freedom. Regardless of how it may appear to an outsider.
And while as I said I am viewing these things on a global scale I think the same thing applies to parenthood, and the treatment of our children.

I have a really hard time accepting such things as adhd. And hyper-activity. And special needs. And many of the childhood ailments that I feel are inappropriate labels on a young person who thinks and acts differently when judged against another.
I am certain that young humans have always acted and thought in ways that have the damning labels attached to them today. The child existed long before the common name-calling.
I just don't think it's a good idea.
I think that people sometimes can't see the way to reach their child, because they think differently, and so in frustration the parent or teacher calls in the expert, and demands "What is wrong with this thing? It isn't working the way it's supposed to. Tell me what's wrong, Mr. Mechanic, Sir, so that I can fix it." And if the fixing it by ones self becomes too taxing, or too arduous a task, we'll put the thing on a treadmill, and tighten its bolts, and change the fluids, and switch some parts around until it works in a way that we think it should.

I feel again compelled to include the story/film of Animal School (originally by R. Z. Greenwald.) I wrote about this quite some time ago, but it fits so beautifully into what I'm trying to say.

Once upon a time the animals had a school. They had to create a curriculum that would satisfy everyone, so they chose four subjects....
and swimming.
All the animals, of course, studied all the subjects.
The duck was very good at swimming. Better than the teacher, in fact. He received passing grades in running and flying, but was hopeless in climbing. So they made him drop swimming so that he could practice climbing.
After a while, he was only average at swimming, but average is still acceptable, at least in school.And nobody much worried about it... except for the duck.
The eagle was considered a troublemaker. In his climbing class he beat everybody to the top of the tree, but he had his own way of getting there that was against the rules.
He always had to stay after school and write "cheating is wrong" 500 times. This kept him from soaring, which he loved, but schoolwork comes first.
The bear flunked because they said he was lazy, especially in winter. Summer was his best time, but school wasn't open then.
The zebra played hooky a lot because the ponies made fun of his stripes, and this made him very sad.
The kangaroo started out at the top of the racing class. But became discouraged when told to run swiftly on all four legs the way his classmates did.
The fish quit school because he was bored. To him, all four subjects were the same. But nobody understood that, because they had never seen a fish.
The squirrel got an A in climbing. But his flying teacher made him start from the ground up, instead of from the treetop down. His legs got so sore from practicing take-offs that he began to get C's in climbing, and D's in running.
The bee was the biggest problem of all. So the teacher sent him to Doctor Owl for testing. Doctor Owl said that the bee's wings were too small for flying, and that they were in the wrong place.
The bee never saw Dr. Owl's report, so he just went ahead and flew anyway.

It concerns me by believing in 'making the world a better place by wholly loving one child at a time' that not enough people are interested in applying enough energy and love into seeking understanding of their perplexing child.
While I find may descriptive words and phrases helpful for grouping and expressing ideas and commonality, I feel that labels often are extremely debilitating to one's psyche, and that they often lack empathy, and can be just down right mean.
Instead of name-calling why not just treat the child as an individual - with love, care, ingenuity, understanding, open-mindedness, respect, and kindness - and see how he shines?


ed·u·ca·tion [ej-oo-kay-shuhn] –noun
the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession.

Thanks! (at work there is not a dictionary. Who ever heard of such a thing?!?)

This, folks, is the definition of education.
Nowhere anywhere did it say anything about anyone being considered educated only if they go through a rigorous (and unimaginitive!) process laid down by the government, or whomever appoints themselves the Greatest Authority On The Subject.

I have started a new post series on olm called The Five W's - though it should probably be called "How and the Five W's".
Schuyler says on Warts and All "I am a mother to my two fascinating and fascinated, amazing and amazed, interesting and interested children." I love that! What a sparkly nutshell for unschooling.
In line with this thinking, I have decided to start recording all the the fascinating questions that my little son asks me each day (who, what, when, where, what). Most of our learning, conversations, and investigations each day arise from his very interesting questions.
These peeks into his "fascinating and fascinated, amazing and amazed, interesting and interesting" mind are so inspiring that I cannot even fathom that anyone could possibly judge us to be uneducated.
Learning about the world, and how to best get along in it are the breath and light of our days.
It is what we do!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

June 7

Earlier I was experiencing a mild feeling of betrayal, as if perhaps I had seemingly bad-mouthed my son.
Not my intention.
Love him, love him, love him.

It worries me that he might feel the same betrayal as I did as a child, overhearing my mother speaking to a friend, and tattling our misdeeds.
It is very, very important to me that my children see that I do not find fault with them.
My irritations, grievances, and upsets are my own. They speak of a lack of composure and grace.
The greatest thing about The Mamas is that when we express dissatisfaction, it is never about the child, only about the way we handle the situation.
We may joke or use strong words, but the underlying tone is always "help me to understand this" and never "help me to fix my child."

I never want to appear to be saying -in any moment- that my children are less than they should be.
This life (our life) is about You are you.
And you are Greatness.
And let me help you to Know it.

Letter to my Little Son

Dear Darling Boy,
I am writing you this letter on the heals of my latest (very public!) posting.
Since it is my intention to periodically publish (privately) all of my posts into books for you and your sister to look at, peruse, remember, and smile over, I wanted to have this letter among my prattlings to explain why I say embarrassing and seemingly incriminating things to the World At Large.
First of all, Little Son (though grown up now enough to read this!) it is and was never my intention to say anything to embarrass or shame you.
Please know that all of the things you say to me, the things you do, I see as a great blessing to my life on this earth, and indeed, vital to my very spirit.
I asked someone once, a long, long time ago, if parenthood had made him a better person. More of himself... more great... more More. He looked at me as if I was impossible to understand. He simply said "No."
And I thought... "How strange."
You see, even then, I knew that I would become More when I had you in my life.
More magical. More interesting. More loving. More romantic. More involved. More Me.
So I am always so grateful just to have you in my life.

The embarrassing things - and there will probably be many- are not said to embarrass you. As I said, I am so thankful for them. Anytime something... off...happens, as I tell you now, and I hope you remember hearing the words when you are grown, is that you are never to blame for my disgruntlement, dissatisfaction, irritation, unhappiness, anger, or upsetment. (You have charmingly taken to saying "ment" on the end of words, and I thank you for that, too, as my Writer Self doesn't have to work so hard to come up with something suitable.)
My complaints are never about you.
You are always the Hero of the story.
The things I live courtesy of you and your sister are Calls for Courage. They are Challenges for the Spirit. They are Demands for Growth. Acknowledgments of Truth. They, now, in this magical place called Motherhood, are my life and breath.
How could I have any disdain for that?

Sometimes in a quest for realization, or for understanding, one must voice one's thoughts.
Especially if in your most sacred place you understand yourself best by expressing yourself through words spoken only in your head. For some of us, the deliberateness and unhurriedness of putting words together through our hands is the only way to that understanding. Some of us are writers.
You, Darling Boy, are unlucky enough to have a writer for a mother.
And even more vexing!- one who loves the inspiration received from others who respond. Just as I need you and your sister, and your father, and the air, and love, and joy, and peace to grow, so is this an important part of my finding my Truths.

It is not my intent to try to justify my actions and words, or to place your needs below my own.
I hope that you never, never feel ashamed, remorse, or guilt over the stories I have shared here. They began as a way of keeping track of your childhood, and have now become so very important to me.
In reviewing my moments I have come to cherish every bit of the things you say, and do, and believe, and imagine, and explore, and love.
Your loves are my loves. Your triumphs are my triumphs. Your discoveries lead me to my discoveries.

I can only thank you with every bit of sincerity in my possession for all that you are to me.
Instead of being embarrassed, Darling, please be proud.

You make my life so delightful.
You are my salvation.

With adoration always,

In Peace - The Seeming Interruption

I mentioned in my last couple of posts that perfection was not a part of this Peaceful, Easy Feeling that I've been experiencing.
Meaning, I've not been without lapses of composure.
Last night for me was a doozy.
sidenote: this post goes into details of my evening, some may find it an irritating, gross, and tedious read.

It had been an eventful, noisy day.
When late in the afternoon Maddie wanted to paint, I started getting them out. As soon as I had put one paint on the palette, she wanted to begin, so I hurried and fetched a piece of paper, then started pouring in the rest of the paints. (This getting ready to paint process took a while, as I had to clean off the table, first, which had raisin bran stuck to it from earlier - no, I hadn't cleaned it off, yet. I had been busy, thank you. Cleaned the den so we could have a dance party. Cleaned the kitchen floor so we could play with the car. Cleaned the livingroom before dominoes.) So this was about a fifteen minute process, as there are lifement interruptions in all processes. No sooner had I turned to grab the camera to take a picture then "I'n done."
"What? You didn't even paint." Two little spots on the paper.
"I'n done."
Paint brush in mouth -with big glob of paint-, "no, don't do that" or "it's not for eating", something like that (they smell funny, and I don't know what's in them).
"Mommy, I'n done."
"Fine, let me get a cloth to get things cleaned up." She proceeds to paint the table some, which is alright with me, at least she's painting, but then she wants to paint it, sit in it, scoot around, paint some more, then get down and get into the livingroom. A No Painting Zone, to be sure. "Ack! hold up!" Groan.

So I must have been here writing (a respite) in the interim, for I can't think of what the children were doing for the next bit - I was ready for a few minutes of quiet time, and I hadn't eaten but two sausage links in the morning - I kept meaning to, but when I went to fix my sandwich my ingredients had all been snacked upon, and I wasn't up for hunting again - waiting for Eric to get home. Eventually I fixed a grilled cheese, because I could feel myself sliding into a not enough sleep and low-blood sugar grumpy place that I didn't want to be.

Life goes by, I think I was still back here on the pc, almost time for Eric to get home, I go into the living room and Trev had busted my door on the entertainment cabinet. I went to shut it, and the wood was broken.
I'm thinking "what the hell?"
"Trevelyn, did you break this?"
"Uh!" this is how he always starts defense mode I'm-in-trouble statements "I'm sorry! It was Total Accident!"
Getting angry. "What did you do? Why is this broken?"
I can tell you what he did, he banged and bent it backwards so much that it split the wood. Which I am beginning to view as a disdain and disregard for my home and possessions.
What the hell?
Eric comes home during this event - a pleasant welcome home for him after a long day - and I say after talking/arguing with Trev "I just want to sit here for a minute and eat, and watch television (CSI is just about the only thing I ever watch) for a minute."
A few minutes later my naked son grabs my sheer curtain in the livingroom (which had been washed that very morning because he did the Same Thing yesterday!) and scratches his bottom with my curtain!
What the hell?!?
"Trevelyn! Not cool!" I think I said something totally lame like "shall I poo on your pillow?" or some such thing. He laughed at my stupid question. A bit more arguing.
"Go wash your hands." I send him for underwear from the dryer, (my mistake) turns out they're all clothes for Maddie, so no underwear, he dumps out the dryer clothes onto the sorted dirty laundry on the floor, comes back "no underwear", I go look elsewhere (and discover the clean laundry now mixed with dirty, but I wasn't mad over that - my fault) find some jammy bottoms instead. Back to the livingroom, playing and jumping, then hands in the pants again, then comes in the livingroom with a big piece of chicken from Maddie's dinner, I'm totally grossed out, "Make sure you eat that chicken, do not put it back in the fridge. I don't want it, do you, Eric?" "No, I don't want poo chicken, either."
Dominoes and tangram blocks, videos and dvd's all over the (clean livingroom) floor.
"Please clean this up. I'm getting in the shower."
(tired smile just thinking about it) I locked the door.

So the latter part of the day, as you can see, I just had no wit and no resources and no skills. I got to a point where I just threw in the towel. I didn't care. I wasn't interested in reasoning, or communicating, or salvaging anything. I was in total Survival Mode, and I was using my penchant for bossiness for my benefit. Didn't care.

Oh the bliss of a new morning when the children are still asleep.
I wonder how I might have changed all that.
Melssia Darling questioned the other day how one can tend to ones Self before (er, long before) one finds herself throat deep in the quagmire.
Obviously I let it go way too long.
Obviously I was having other issues.
I was overwhelmed.
For some reason I was feeling disrespected - not sure what that's about. Where it came from, I mean. Usually I get feeling that way when I'm cleaning; oftentimes, especially when I'm on an agenda, and the babes are messing as fast -faster!- than I'm cleaning up. But my house has been in disarray for a few days now. Which usually would explain it, but in finding this new Peaceful Place I've been able to be unattached to it. I've been happy regardless of the various messes.
So was it Trev's inattention that I found insulting? His not paying attention to his actions? His lack of self control? The result was my feeling disregarded (not blaming him for my emotions, but me), but what started that thought in the first place? Tiredness? I'll still need to think on it.

Anyway, the Real Point of this story is that I still find myself -even after all that unshininess- in a really great place (state of mind).

I was thinking while lying bed this morning that I've had this thing come over me where I've lost my need and expectation for Perfection. That's where the peace comes from. As I mentioned yesterday, this is the first time in my life that I've felt such a thing - that my erring self is acceptable.
(When I put in the link for Melissia's post, I jetted over there to 'copy' the address, and I saw that she has written something this morning on perfection, too. I'm very anxious to read it!)
Before my peace/happiness had always been so conditional. Time for exercise, time for meditation, time in the morning to myself (I still really need this one!), a clean house, lots of quiet gentle time, never raising my voice, never parenting reactively, never getting irritated or impatient, etc, etc.

I think it goes back to what I've already mentioned in my last two posts - that just by going inside my own heart and mind, and not comparing myself to others that "do it right", I've managed to stumble into my very own wonderland where Me is acceptable.
I'm not speaking of complacency, or trying to justify my mistakes, or saying that this new and un-improved me is Good Enough. I understand well the necessity of kind, loving, respectful, and joyful parenting. It is something that I will strive to be/obtain for the rest of my days. It is a huge part of who I am.
I'm speaking of acceptance. And not judging. Not condemning. Not damning myself.
I'll continue to embrace this Uninterrupted Peace.
I'll make mistakes.
I'll get grumpy.
I'll say stupid things.

But I'm keeping this new found peace in Letting Me Be.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In Peace - The Process

I called the preceding post The Acknowledgment because I knew as I was finishing it that I wanted to further explore the topic.
Maybe I want to tap into the how so that I can come back to this place if I feel it is eluding me.
I'm not at all sure (or have a clue, really) of how I got here.

I was questioning early on if all of the books and ponderings had brought me. But that didn't really make sense, as I have not mastered my emotions and responses in a stressful situation.
And certainly remembering back on a time when I hadn't even raised my voice for a week or two wasn't bringing me closer to that point again, I was only noticing the lack of such an experience - therefore driving it further away.

For a moment I wondered if it were a matter of slow deliberation, intention, and practice.
Like it was coming to me all along in slow and steady increments.
Like my flowers growing. And my tomato plants. Reading a good book.
Process, process, process.

But I really suspect that above all it was just my being preoccupied.
The Peace found me, by way of The Path of Least Resistance.
Instead of getting angry at myself because I can not materialize this thing (right now!) that I'm trying to create in my life (peace and perfection in this case), I just sort of backed off. Not with the intent of hurrying it to me, but just out of preoccupation. I spent my time inside my own head instead of inside (and comparing myself to) others' (those I view as masters). Thinking about other things. Speculating on different ideas. Allowing my thoughts to drift elsewhere.
I just quit worrying about it. Maybe even gave up.

Now to the question of how to keep it?
It was so very helpful to me that whimsigal wrote a comment for the last post about "hitting a stride". It hadn't occurred to me that I might consider it as such. But what a wonderful thought! I thank her sincerely for those strengthening words.
Instead of worrying that my Peace will be destroyed, or shattered in a moment of chaos and frustration, I can view it as an entirely different thing.
I can choose to view it as evolvement. As self acceptance. As a confidence that where I am in this moment is a Fine place to be. (Which is an entirely new concept for me.)
I don't have to hurry this particular knowledge along, to make it grow into something even more important and encompassing.

So that's what I'm going to do.
View it as my stride.
Bask in the self acceptance until I feel called to push forward.
Just Be.

In Peace - The Acknowledgment

I'm a little hesitant to look this one in the eye (jinx), but I'd also like to note this peace I've been carrying with me lately - for a little over a week, now.
It's not something (she laughs painfully at herself) that comes from any sort of Mastery.
On the other hand, it's not that I'm ignoring or pretending that my "bad moments" are not happening.
Yesterday (grin) - I did mention on olm that the first part of our day was not exactly ideal- ...we were getting ready to depart -loaded down with rod, pole, backpack, children, and oh-damn-it Annabelle has chewed through her leash and broke it, etc.- for our journey from the truck to our 'day hike', and all of a sudden dh said
"You're talking to me like I'm one of the children."
My comment was something like "Well, of course!" It wasn't my intention to be insulting, I hope you know.
And he continued complaining, saying "You're like... Trev, du-du-du. Maddie, du-du-du, Eric, du-du-du-du." (Meaning I was spouting orders.)
"Well," big smarmy grin "at least I treat everyone the same!"

But as unevolved as this quip is, and not exactly demonstrative of respectful living, I really think this thinking has contributed to my peace, of late.
Meaning I've allowed myself mistakes and errors, and haven't made a terribly big deal of them. I'm not chastising myself about it.
I'll notice it, and very quickly examine it, but then I'll say "Hey, Trev, I handled that badly, and I"m sorry. What I really meant was......" and he'll say something like "Ah, no problem, Mom!", being the very grown-up and ready-to-take-on-the-world boy that he is at five years old (I can say that for four more weeks!).
And I miraculously Move On.
It's forgotten.

I mentioned the other day that I haven't been reading a lot of How To books.
I'm referring to books like Non-Violent Communication, The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, etc, etc. It's not that I don't respect them, or cherish them.
It's that when I study these matters I usually only remember the how of one or two key points, and then I get frustrated with my failure to practice them.
The thing is (and this is my point of this posting) is that usually they're things I can discover On My Own when I'm especially present and mindful. When I need them, they're there.

I'm finding a real peace just by going within.
I don't mean a formal within - as in taking twenty minutes to meditate on this matter - it hasn't even required that much.
It's almost as if I've processed all I need for the time being, and I just need to live.
I'm not sure how to voice it.
Because it's not even a matter of remembering all that I've learned, and consciously keeping in line with my Truth. It's even more subtle than that.
It's just being.
I'm in a great space, simply by being.

I"m not judging. I'm not fretting. I'm not feeling defensive.

Book Burning

Have I mentioned my thoughts about "Burning the Book" yet?
This thought isn't really related to Freedom of Speech so much as it is Burning Bras.
The Book would be my own personal copy of What Your Kindergartner Needs To Know.

The reason? Oh. Well. There are many.

One very good reason would be that I don't want to judge my son according to what another tells me he should be. (I should say that most of the things that My Kindergartner Needs To Know he already knows... just by living his life in this world.) He should know Christopher Columbus. He should write his name without help or reminders. He should be familiar with stories of early American government, which may or may not be true, but which are definitely biased. He should be interested in this, or that. He should tie his shoes - even if he doesn't own any shoes that have strings.
And I should feel bad about the fact that he doesn't yet know or care about these things. I should worry. I should fret.
Even though he has a sometimes astounding vocabulary. And a love for the earth, and its creatures. His imagination is inspiring and delightful. His reasoning is remarkable. His curiosity about a great many things is unsurpassed.

I've heard too many times (from school teachers) that learning timelines are Completely Arbitrary. They have barely anything to do with developmental readiness, or interest, but rather they are an adherence to a schedule, so that all children can get taught and pushed through the system in a twelve (or thirteen) year program.
That's it.
The Reason.
One of the blogs I visit regularly is Our Life, Our Adventures, and Candice said that she home educates because she doesn't believe that people should be be mass-manufactured (at least I think it was Candice, I can't find that quote, now). Amen to that.
So why hold my children to a public standard, when they are not the public standard? They are thinking, believing, questioning Individuals. They are two children learning freely.

We have a fifteen-or-so inch tall human body complete with organs, bones and blood vessels. We have and use a microscope. We have tons of tangram blocks and cuisenaire rods, measuring tapes, and a balance scale. We have paints, pastels, a set of PrismaColor pencils, and really nice set of watercolor pencils. We have books, and software, Animal Planet, and the History Channel. We have four libraries within a couple of miles of our house. We have music. We have books. We have our garden. We have mountains, and deserts, and ghost towns, and caves and mining tunnels and lakes and rivers and museums and ponds and farms and country fairs and cultural festivals and aquariums and puddles.
We are not in any danger of becoming disinterested in our world.

My last reason is even more personal.
Fire seems so cleansing, to me. Often when I'm done with papers, I burn them. It seems a wonderful way of transforming something (a worry, trial, residue) of yesterday, and freeing myself entirely from it.

And that's what I'd like to do. Be entirely free from judging my children's learning, knowledge, and intelligence against anothers.
Be free from another's (society's various) opinions.

I'd like to be free from all judgments - my own as well as others.
Seems like a really loving way to embrace the world.