Making A Mess

We have a giant garden. We actually have three, make that four, no five places where vegetables or herbs are growing. I’ve posted glorious pictures of the produce and declared how resourceful we are -- our own backyard grocery. 

As I write these words, everyone else in the family is sitting at the kitchen table stringing gallons of green beans, debating over what in the world we are going to do with all of the squash and growing giddy with excitement that we finally have enough okra to pickle. The window sill is lined with almost ripe tomatoes, and the cucumbers are coming in steadily.

We spent all of spring waiting and watching tiny starts push their way up out of the soil and lost sleep rushing to their aid when frost threatened their tender leaves. We planned out rows, neat little rows. We snatched away any and all weeds before the even had a chance to bully our plants. 
It is now mid July. Our gardens are officially wild jungles. The squash plant has dinosaur leaves shoulder high wi…

Mother's Day Garden Rescue

At 5 a.m. this morning, I felt a cold breeze brush across my forehead from the window above me. Immediately I remembered we didn’t cover the tomatoes. Or the squash. Or the basil. Or any of the fragile life tender green and growing. Growing because we planted it and because we watered it and because we want it to feed us and because our family has spent countless hours prepping soil, dragging water, and watching the weather closer than the Weather Channel. 

There have been five other nights that we remembered to cover the plants in preparation for a coming storm or freeze. We’d already been up in the middle of the night rushing to protect it all as the winds whipped at us. We had found every last bucket and canister and jar that would cover our precious starts. Most of our work felt in vain because we hadn’t had a frost or a wild storm actually do enough damage for the shelters to make a difference...

Truth -- I was frustrated because we had covered all the plants the night before and t…

Make Some Meal Magic

Our food supply had dwindled. We were trying to wait as long as possible to go back out for food. There were some cans of tomatoes, a can of coconut milk, some potatoes, two cans of chickpeas, some rice, and we always have eggs. George bravely agreed to take this one on. He pulled out a vegetarian Indian cookbook (one of our three cookbooks to choose from) and then the smells started coming from the kitchen. Fortunately our spices are plentiful and the magic began. 

Exquisite smells floated through the house. We could hardly wait. George announced that this meal had courses. We would start with a tomato curry soup served with a boiled egg, followed by potato dal cubes in a creamy coconut sauce. 
As we sat to eat, I realized we were about to taste a pile of interesting, unique, and new flavors. As four curious kids sat around the table, I had an idea. 
“Let’s pretend we are food critics and we are going to write an article describing these dishes!” I suggested. 
We needed descriptive words…

The Hard Work Of Waiting

Have you ever planted a seed in the ground? You stick it in the earth and wait. If you give it water and make sure it has enough sun and good soil, it will sprout. There are two minuscule leaves that first appear. Do you know what they are called? They are called cotyledon. Once they have stretched their little green selves as far left and right as their little arms will go, the next set of leaves arrive. The first set look different than the rest. Spinach makes long slender leaves. Kale, little round guys. Basil, a heart shaped set - of course! A cucumber's first two leaves sort of look like a cucumber, very unlike their other leaves. 

 I love to watch those leaves appear like a miracle. It will be another 60-90 days before the flower and fruit appear. 
During that time, we can't give up on those precious leaves. They are vital nutrients for the entire plant. They are tender and fragile. They need just the right amount of water and heat and sun. Too much or too little and th…

Love Them. Feed Them. Talk To Them. The Rest Is Icing On The Cake.

We've been homeschooling for ten years. At LEAST once a week I think that homeschooling is the worst possible thing on the planet. I look at my kids and think, "I've got nothin'!" It is scary. It is hard.

How many hundreds of times have I called my extremely patient husband and yelled, literally screamed into the phone, "I CAN'T DO THIS!"

There was a day, in the middle of a lesson that wasn't going well at all, that I walked out the back door, walked to the pool, jumped in fully clothed and yelled as loud as I could under the water.

I got back out of the pool, calmly walked inside, changed my clothes and continued with the day feeling much relieved.

George, my husband and biggest cheerleader - also a major part of our homeschooling life, is diligent to walk me off the cliff of homeschool despair. When I feel like I am failing our children, he offers me this morsel...

Before I give you his advice, I would like to mention at this point that Georg…

Twenty Four Mondays: Don't Stop Being Brave

Last week, after working through a small set back, after a long hard run working my way back up to an even longer run, the news came that the race, for the first time in the history of the race, wasn't going to happen in seven Mondays. 

Last week, these were the last words I wrote...
The good news that we all can take with us is that we are NOT in control and we don't have to be. It is important to practice discipline while training for this race. It is good to be ready, but in the end, God is in control. God is the one that has all the stars and planets aligned. He has all the days counted out. And one thing I know for sure. God is good. He is good if my toes are rotting and he is good if they are crossing the finish line. And, this is more real to me today than it was last Monday. Is it frustrating? Yes! It is! Not only was I training better than ever before even with a set back, but I was having a blast sharing the journey with you all and working to challenge myself in areas…

Seven Mondays: A Set Back

Marathon training reaches deep into the furthest places of the mind, body, soul, and heart and courage and endurance and patience and tenacity and whatever it takes to get to that day where you wait to start running and hope that all that you did — all of the woven pieces stay together long enough to get to the finish. 
I feel like I’m careful about everything. Careful about sleep, food, cross training, weight training, stretching, timing runs, shoes, pace, sunglasses, cool downs — all of it. I try to remember to not go barefoot outside during training and I definitely wear shoes that won’t mess with my feet. 
I’m not sure what happened, but something happened. The second toe on my left foot is angry. It is so angry that I feel it when I sleep, when I’m awake, when I walk. It is red and purple and weird. It is tingly and tender. It is swollen and huge. I can’t fix it. I’ve tried to rest. I’ve tried ice, heat, oils, balms. I tried digging into it to see if there was a splinter.…