Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Kim King

monica's mom died last night.
monica and her 2 sisters were both there.
it must be such a relief to see her out of pain...but still so dreadfully hard ...kim was only 50 years old!!! half a lifetime lived.
there are services monday and tuesday...viewing and then burial...i FALL APART at funerals...i think of my mum, i think of my kids, i think of my gut honest feelings of not wanting to die just yet and earnestly pray that i won't....
funerals are so centering...
like nursing homes in some way.
reminders of how precious precious our moments are....that all of us will get old (we hope and pray!) and that right now we are more capable and younger than we will ever be...though as i write this, i know in my heart that our capabilities are not to do with an activity level...for certainly our worth is in Christ's love for us alone...and not what we produce...but what i mean is that it is unimportant and futile to wish for another time or lament a wrinkle (though haven't i done this) or "wait until we are ready"...for today is the best of our selves....
alas, i am waxing on...
my heart is just hurting for monica and her family and it does spur me to want to live and live well.....

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Disappearance of...

the WHOLE package of fig newmans ....ON THE WAY HOME FROM WALMART!!! so, maybe i didn't eat chocolate for one day, but i consummed all 18 of these little gems instead! well, ok, jack had maybe 2...so, 16! my sugar cravings are quite unbridled. but i have to say, if you haven't tried these...and even if you aren't a regular newton-eater, these are delectable. ahhh, and worth it. =) even if i do feel a little full.

Grindstone

i forgot to comment on the grindstone.
when my grandparents died, my mum and my brother went to england to choose the things that she wanted to have shipped back to the states. i can't imagine how difficult this must have been...i was in college and heard tidbits of stories...that was enough for me to understand how hard it was to choose a few items that will forever be the physical memories of her parents.
anyway, my grandparents were quite endowed with antiques...which to them were just the normal stuff they used everyday...but nonetheless, it was an old rambling stone house filled with treasures. it is a part of who my mum was that was so beautiful to know the items she chose. an old cracked cast iron kettle, an enormously heavy grindstone, tattered recipe books, and a few pieces of furniture she wanted my brother and i to one day have. if i remember correctly, she had a weight limit, and it just so happened the items she wanted were REALLY heavy so it negated her bringing much of anything else.
so i love this stone...i don't know a lot about it other than it sat in her garden with the kettle as a child...and i want to embed it somehow into the cob...any ideas on this would be so welcome!~

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cob "Blueprint"

Josh called me en route home from work a couple days ago to say that clay was on its way..nay on our drive!!! i was SOOOOO excited!!! there are just so many other important things going on right now...like the extension and raising our children =)...even things like watering the garden and keeping house are on that list of things that don't fit into each 24 hour interval we are given each day. so, josh getting this clay is such a gift...bc i know he did it for me...bc i love to cob and bc even though there is so much else to "do" this is like bringing me flowers when we haven't a lot of moola handy...it is just so thoughtful....
ANYWAY!!!
i was so tickled i drew up some "blueprints"....hehe
we'll see how it resembles the photo when it is actually finished =)
he can pick up the sand himself in his dumptruck...this is soon to come too...
and then we can begin!
i tell jack that he and i are going to build this house and i love his complete trust in my logic. he says "ok mommy, build house" like he says "ok mommy, ride bike"
for those interested, here are a couple wonderful sites to read a bit more and view some great photos concerning cob.
the first is http://www.cobcottage.com/ which is where i learned after reading a book about cob...a great place out in oregon. the second is http://www.buildsomethingbeautiful.com/ which is the site of man named kevin mccabe who josh, jack and i visited in england who is one of the few building new cob construction. (as opposed to renovating centuries old buildings) he sold the yellow house for about 2 million~!!





Fishing with Uncle Matt

after my brother matt fixed our computers, fixed a camera grace gave me, made our dinner (i gave him root veggies from the garden and he cuisine-arted them for soup) and showed me how to use a camera he was bequeathing to me, we went fishing. =)
jack fed the ducks.....all at one time. =)
and josh spent most of his time snuggling jack or untangling messes of line jack created...esme and i loved watching...even though no fish was caught to add to our soup.









Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Visit with Grandpa and Granny (Grandma?)

haven't decided yet...sandra's other grandkids call her "granny" ...which is easier to say than grandma...but the verdict is still out for jack..we'll see what precident he will set for esme...for isn't it interesting that this is something that second and third children just learn from the first...i wonder what else fits that category.
anyway, good visit...they cleared the underbrush cleared so you can see the lake better and it looks wonderful..what a difference!! jack LOVED riding with dad on the lawnmower...he could have done this for hours and hours....and sandra and he threw stones in the lake quite happily...
i have a little garden envy though...their corn is so tall!!! could it be that ours is competing with a slew of weeds?? and sandra's squash is already with squash...like being with child....they are quite pregnant with vegetable....mine are in the "o my goodness, you are pregnant" stage....not very matured at all.
anyway....maybe i should water more....i'll try that.




Josh's Parents in Rome

Josh's parents live in a "barn"...and it is beautiful. they moved into one side while tom renovated the other...and then he built the garage/loft apartment (left in photo) which is still under construction. like i said before, their road reminds me of an english country lane...lots of hedges and farm animals and fields with swaying colors and shades of wheats and grasses. it truly is a relaxing place to be...
jack received his first real haircut...which is horribly unevevn but at least not a bowl cut =)
jack loves his "pop" and "grammy"....and they love him...it is just so sweet to see....



Home again Home again jiggitty-jig!!

i feel like i have come home!!
the return of the internet!! yipee!!!
my brother came today and with the delivery of a new motem and his brains both computers are up and running!
will upload a cool quarter million photos this evening...just wanted to stretch the fingers a bit! =)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Early Mornings

i used to thrive on mornings. if i woke up past 8 it set a tone for the day that i was missing out on all i could have done. in college when i lived with heidi, jenny and nikki in the natahala house, i'd get up around 5:30 and ride my bike to school. it was such a neat time in athens bc i was one of the few out and about...i'd pray and sing and breathe the morning air....so clean and fresh and ready to be used that day. it was my quiet time.
now, things are a little different =)
i rub my eyes to get them to open and am amazed at the creakiness in my body when my feet hit the floor =) i think we'd just almost returned to the place of full nights sleep and the love of early mornings when jack was about 2...i mean, he had been sleeping well for a while, but we just had a lot of commotion in our lives that past year...er visits, getting used to the whipoorwills =), being pregnant....alot seemed to disrupt our sleep...but i know it will come again and these months of sleepiness will be a faint memory.
all that ramble to say!!! that the past couple mornings, esme has woken up early and as not to wake up the household, i've wrapped her up and we've walked haywood valley road...one of the prettiest roads in georgia. there are so many birds and critters waking up and the mist that settles in this valley is magical. it has been a glimpse of remembrance of those college days and how i loved the time before the sun.
the time here has been good...and restful...chatting with grace and walking with tom and the kids...i am hoping to go to my dad and sandra's tomorrow...if they are home for memorial day...and then on home me thinks...i miss my josh....i realize even more when i am away from him how he is an extension of almost all i do...i feel a little less myself without him.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Romeward Bound

i am at josh's parent's house in rome...well, actually summerville...it is so pretty up here...their road always makes me think of an old english country road...with hedges and fields and working barns...i love it here.
i decided to come on a moment. i have been meaning to come for ages but keep putting it off until i feel really well...so i can come and play...but instead i just sorta crashed and came for respite. 2 days of mastitis...or a plugged duct..not sure...but just SO achy and fevery and sore...hot baths and tylenol solved it though..without antibiotics yippee! (thanks mb =)) but my body seems to cave on me a little when i am physically stressed or emotionally but lately it has been just a physical toll. so i have ecxema...how do you spell that? all over my face....and just SO tired....esme has taken to an abnormally early waking time....5ish...without a lot of naps....
but i wouldn't trade my life for anything....i am truly soooo happy and soooo tired at the same time....so tired can certainly color the scene a bit and make me feel overwhelmed but when i stop and get out of my cloud of sleepiness every once in a while, i see o so clearly how perfectly happy i am.
so, quick summation of the past couple days....
after last post, i went to bed early with jack...esme sound asleep too by about 8:30...aaahhhh.
well, around 10 i woke up bc i couldn't breathe well....i opened the bedroom door and couldn't see esme's crib for the acrid smoke!! seems josh jokingly lit a candle for pete to take his bath next to and it got a little hot and set the wall on fire!! josh was working in the cob pumphouse and pete was on the back porch...but pete came in just in time and put the fire out....it is AMAZING how fast things like that happen....pete said that the fire kept relighting when he doused it with water...and he knew he either needed to put it out in the next few moments or it would be too big too handle....THANK YOU JESUS we were all fine....
the relief of that "okness" allowed us to bake brownies at 11 and eat and chat and laugh until late that night....pete is sugar-free in his diet...very wonderful results for him too....but josh and i alas, are vampid (is this a word?) sugar/chocolate eaters so almost polished off the brownies that night.
we rose the next morning to find our internet is totally not working...(that sounds like a valley girl said that =)) which was actually good for me for a day...jack and i just lazed on the back porch futon and watched winnie the pooh and peter rabbit and just rested....and washed clean-up towels from the night before...
but then i decided i had another addiction...
chocolate AND the internet...
i love keeping up and feeling connected...and that makes it sound so justifiable doesn't it? if i add in how hard it is to get out with 2 kids, then i'll really have a case =) but really, it is calming for me to write about my day and read all about other's days...it has sadly or not-so-sadly taken the place at this season of life of reading lots and lots...i find i can't concentrate very well on reading books as much as i usually can...i enjoy rather a quick look on facebook to see who is doing what or to be all the way honest, a quick download of "lost" or "grey's anatomy"...something mindless (and altogether ammoral on the grey's anatomy watching) which feeds the "entertain me" desire without any work besides a few finger clicks.
oooo, esme is crying...off to cuddle.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"More Soon"

this morning jack announced that he wanted to draw so i gave him a green marker (obviously i wasn't completely awake yet) and sent him outside with some paper. i glanced out at him and saw he was drawing well...coloring his hands too but nonetheless mostly on the paper. well, i gave him about 5 more minutes and went out to collect him for a walk and found harry, THE DOG decorated with green!! i said "poor harry" and pete said "he probably thought he was getting a good scratch" =)
later this afternoon, pat, pete's mom came for a visit...she rocked esme on the back porch and esme just fell right asleep...it was so sweet. jack and i stayed on the futon and we all chatted away...it was lovely...i treasure the time with pat, she is such a neat lady.
then, i took the kids to meet up with marybeth and mabry...and they played in one of the big fields at the intramural fields....i love watching jack interact with mabry...he loves her so much... and time with marybeth is always balm for my soul....
you can imagine the snaps i missed!!!
anyway..you can imagine it...
it is softly raining now...
i am heading to bed...i think i have mastitis and am achy from head to toe with a throbbing utter =(

ALAS!!

today was such a restful day and i had so many peeerrrfectly delicious photos to post!! but alas and alack!!! my camera was full and i didn't know it so i didn't actually take any photos! why didn't i know it was full, you wonder? well, for those of you who have seen my camera, you are not wondering....jack dropped it quite a few times so the screen looks like modern art and then on some recent subsequent drop, the sound muted...permanently. so for the past year or so, i just direct it in the place i want to capture the scene, take copious amounts of photos and then am pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised at what they look like when i load them on the computer.
moreso, i am sad bc there were special folks in my photos today....
baby esme crying! more soon!

Monday, May 19, 2008

What Beautiful Weather!!

this morning we got up and i was amazed to see it had rained last night! i am usually woken so easily nowadays but non last night! everything is so verdant after a storm and i love having one less thing to do in the mornings...watering the garden...a restful thing to do but all the same nice to have it done for me =) josh and esme read this morning while jack got ready to build with me =) i try and do a little something each day down at the cob site....albeit somedays it is as simple as carrying a tool down there i'll need sometime...but it still makes me feel like i am working on it. today, we put in "deadmen" on the door frames...this is what will hold the wood of the frame into the cob. anywhere we want a window or door or even shelf inside, has to have one of these naily bits of wood to hold onto it.
then we had a visit from joan!!! it was so sweet bc when jack saw her, he ran to her and yelled "joan joan, want hug!!" and gave her a great big bear hug...she is so precious to him. joan had been on a trip and brought jack a dinosaur egg! =) it has to sit in water for 48 hours and it will crack and out will hatch a dinosaur! who says they are extinct!
before lunch, the kids and i went to the grocery store and jack picked out some clothes to wear as somehow beforehand he'd covered himself in mud =) he chose one of esme's dresses!! (i think a recent gift from marybeth!) anyway, i thought he looked just fine so we went happily away...
pete is putting up the walls downstairs!! it looks great! he is so precise and good at building...i think this is why josh can just trust it all to him...it is exciting to see it coming together. (we miss you kassie!! hope you can come soon! =))
while the kids are napping, i went out and cleaned the chicken house (which actually houses not 1 but 2 roosters!! and 9 hens) and added straw to the shelves we just put in...they should start laying next month sometime...and they say 1 to 2 eggs per hen a day...we are going to have a LOT of eggs....






Saturday, May 17, 2008

Creek Walk

We drove down to the creek and then played for a while...the smell of honeysuckle so rich and wonderful...jack tugging on my arm all the way one direction saying "come come" over and over with such enthusiasm...and then confident on the way back that i had to be sure to keep up with him and not lose him. pete and jack rode in the back of the truck up the dirt road....a lovely evening...though josh did say he pulled 15 ticks off of him!!! (he walked on the creekside)


Arrival of Beth and Bryce

Beth is 5 bmonths pregnant and looks adorable! they arrived last night en route from nashville to augusta for faye and jeff's wedding...which we are so sad to not go ...we had every intention but decided last night that the kids were just out of sorts enough that we'd be standing in the halls with them instead of being a part of the celebration. but what a perfect day to get married!!! it is beautiful!!
everyone ate breakfast outside...the dogs enjoyed the company =)
beth amade esme this onesie!!!! isn't it amazing!!



Friday, May 16, 2008

Hanging the Door

the rooster follows you around and seems to want to be held! we have named him jameson...jaime for short! =)



Jack Hugging the "Kicken"

video

At the "kickens" Request

they need a door. so jack and i built them one! jack felt lots of nails in one place would do the trick =) i just washed him for the second time today and both kiddos are asleep....should have time to hang the door....
good news on scout and silver...pete and kassie's dogs..they don't seem to be too interested in chasing our little egg machines...i am so glad, i'd really be sad to see one go...but the dogs don;t need to be tied up either...that's no fun while at adam's theme park! we just need a sign "look but don't eat"

The Art of the Morning

well, our chickens are truly free range and it is the neatest thing....
they have such personality! the rooster doesn't like his girls too far from home so tends to stick with the one furthest away from the coop...as shown here...the rooster is the blonde with the brunette on his wing. there is a patch of grass between the garden and their home and it reminds me of looking both ways before CHARGING across the street....they FLUTTER and RUN across the open space to get to the garden and then the slightest scent of a dog hurries them home again. harry is much used to them though...he is not even very curious anymore unless jack wants to play. =)
but jack was painting this morning! i gave him a bucket of clay and water and a brush and he happily drew "a snack" a snake....and a moon and lots of coloring in...he was a MESS when finished...
i picked some greens from the garden which are ending up in everything we eat...salads, soups, stirfrys...i feel like we are getting our vitamins!

and yippee!! pete has returned to work on the extension!! alas, kassie couldn't come...i'll miss playing with her... having visitors always makes me long for a commune =) (no free sex josh don't worry!!) hehe...that is always his distasteful joking response to me wanting a commune =)
anywho..that was probably inappropriate...oops. =)



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jack's Dream Day

this morning i told jack that his friends were coming to play and so until they arrived, he asked many times "want kids?" i even fed him his lunch at 11 bc i suspected he'd be too excited to eat once there were kids to play with! and i was right...he did force down a strawberry popsicle and a theived biscotti...he must have been that hungry =)
rachel and her 2 boys, andrew and jacob (who i don't think stopped smiling the whole time!) came....and suzanne and her little bethany came (esme was happy to see another girl...though she couldn't quite vocalize this) ...ana and her daniel came (daniel is truly not afraid of anything! i have a feeling that he and jack could get into some proper mischief)...
it was WONDERFUL...i loved girl time....and most of the urchins are at that age when they can play (albeit with saws and hammers and up ladders) and we ladies can sit back and watch and chat....i felt i really had some good conversational moments with everyone....i remember the days early on when i spent most of my time during "play dates" entertaining jack...which was still wonderful but different from being able to have adult time too....
and they all brought food!!!!
(suzanne, i ate 2 burrito wraps with the yummy blackbeans inside probably before you made it to the mailboxes!)
how incredibly blessed we are...
the "kickens" were a little reticent to play however...maybe it was the sheer number of kids...they are usually pretty confident that if jack gets rowdy they could outrun him...but i think they must have felt their exits would have been blocked by more "jacks"...
well, the kids are BOTH asleep and the rain is pattering down...
pete returns tonight to continue building!!! so i just put on a stew....
ground beef and lots of veggies (happily some from the garden...turnips, onions and rutabaga greens....)
josh had a doctor's appointment today...we thought to get scoped from the top down in his intestines...but it was just to "schedule" the scoping...why this couldn't have been done over the phone is a mystery....so we will wait until next month for him to have this done...
he had an entero-scope thing/colonoscopy which showed no signs of crohn's disease...the hope is that this top down scope will show similar results pointing to something other than crohn's which would make treatment more effective than it is presently.
and would allow us all on the same insurance...yipee!
more on that when we know it...
off to snuggle with jack and maybe even dose off.....ahhhhh.....











Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bobwhite Quail Call

I heard a bobwhite call this morning!!!!
(click on this link to hear it... http://www.mangoverde.com/birdsound/spec/spec37-10.html)
i love this sound...josh and i use it as our "call" to eachother.
when we are in a grocery store or big party or in the woods and want to find eachother, instead of yelling one of us calls with this sound and the other returns it...
it has become such a part of my brain to expect to see josh when i hear the call, that when i am in the woods and hear it, my heart gets a little disappointed to find it is the bird and not my josh =)
but they are so rare it seems anymore....their habitat has been so changed...it makes me so happy to hear them in the woods...

WONDERFUL book!!

my brother matt gave me this book 8 years ago after i dropped some not too light hints about its wonders =) it is written by eugene walter who writes on many culinary topics with such verve and passion. in here is a group of foods listed alphabetically, some common and some wildly notso...their history, interesting uses and fascinating recipes that you really won't find elsewhere. all this with silly sketches too! here's a fun excerpt:
holly
"the seasonal use of holly apparently comes from the ancient Roman custom of sending boughs of holly and ivy to friends along with other gifts, a custom adopted along with many others by the early Chirstians. Dozens of legends in many countries and languages associate the holly with Christ, relating that the tree sprang up in his footsteps and is symbolic, with its thorny leaves and berries like drops of blood, of his travail on earth...in many parts of France, where holly proliferates and reaches greater heights than elsewhere, the young stems are gathered dried and bruised and served with great success as fodder for cattle through the winter. the resulting milk is considered particularly healthful and butter made of it of an especial excellence. In the Black Forest, holly leaves are used as a substitue for tea. ...all hollies have been used in treating intermittent fevers and rheumatism, and modern laboratory science has corroborated the tradition by isolating a bitter alkaloid called Ilicin which occurs in the hollies...thrushes and blackbirds adore them though children should stay away....etc...."

anyone with a passion for cooking or food would enjoy this book...it includes info and recipes on such foods as honey, garlic, sassafras, mustard, mistletoe, pineapple, pomegranate, sesame and cucumbers and lemons!!

Adding Door Frames

each morning esme sleeps for about an hour (though she is going on 3 this morning!!! growth spurt i suppose) either in my sling or nestled in her crib. this morning, after i put her down in her crib, jack and i darted outside and made these door frames for the cob house...he found it exciting to have to be quiet and do it "fast fast"...turns out we would have had plenty of time as esme is still asleep and jack is eating lunch!!
it's funny though, i miss her!!!
i think i will go wake her up and snuggle her!
bye!