July 14, 2012 § 1 Comment
While visiting my parents recently I spent an hour in a really truly junk shop. Exploding overflowing overwhelming piles of all kinds of flotsam. I didn’t find anything I wanted. I could really see anything for all the stuff in the way!
July 13, 2012 § 1 Comment
The drought friendly symmetry of succulents is very much in vogue this year. Lots of trendy home decor stores have stocked them and I can not get enough of their blossomy shape. On our recent spring/summer wandering, we spent 52 days and over 7000 miles enjoying new places and people. I brought along planted cups of succulents to leave with some of our gracious hosts. Pinterest shows many images of the beautiful plants. I ordered a box of 36 assorted succulents from Amazon here. Though it arrived badly bashed, the plants were packed pretty well, and most survived transplanting and thrived.
I used a glass bit to drill holes in thrifted pots and dishes, and got the colorful mugs from Marshalls. Succulents are planted in special soil which I got at my local nursery and seems to be crushed rock. They must drain well. I covered the soil with gravel, which makes it look pretty and professional.
I carried them in a crate in the car and they traveled beautifully. They can take the heat of a hot car and only need to be watered about once a week! Here you see them in our car contents on the right.
May 31, 2012 § 4 Comments
Adaptability! It very high on my list of parenting goals to teach. Long drives, scads of new people, pallet beds, and varied food. They are learning; adapt or be miserable. Your day is determined by your attitude.
In this stage of life all the things we see are amazing. All the words I say, they believe them. All the things they learn are soaked into their brains with delight . I am the most wonderful person in their world. This trip is a gift of time to feed their minds and hear their hearts and cement memories.
I get hours of talking, singing, answering questions. My sometimes divided attention is still more focused now than at home with the calls of cleaning and cooking. We discuss everything and nothing.
In all the driving and the visiting I get to teach skills. Map reading, license plate games, how to be a blessing and not a burden to hosts, sign reading, and story-telling.
As the only parent for a time, I’m on duty. Every hour. I can’t grouse to Ed about the children’s behavior, so I just deal with it, and we’re all happy. Another tiny carving off of self. My character is built when I recognize this as a time to cherish, and not to complain.
Flowers and photo courtesy of my children.
May 27, 2012 § 3 Comments
We are 2400 miles into our longest road trip yet. Across the US and back, just Mama and three little ones, enjoying all the wonderful people we know, and loving on this great wide country. 16 overnights with friends and family so far, each a delight and a treasured memory. We have a blessed and giving family of welcomers, spread out geographically, but close by the grace of God. We have stores of friends and relatives who set us up, feed us, talk for hours, enjoy shared memories and send us on our way refreshed, happy, and thankful. Our goal is Daddy, the beloved. He’s working for a time away from us and we will join up with him in a week for needed togetherness. And then many more miles back home, with more friends to see. It has been an amazing trip and I’ll be sharing more in days to come.
For starters, here is the gear we tote. A very adequate minimum, perfectly suiting the four of us. We took the commuter car instead of the big family one; it’s a diesel miracle of gas efficiency, keeping costs very reasonable.
On the top: purse, bag of sewing, camera and kindle, address book, etc, and rolled duvet.
From left to right: green tote with computer, cords, school books, wipes, candy, Bible, cords, headlamps, and a beading activity. Tackle box first aid kit. Peapod baby sleep tent. Picnic mat for all the grassy roadside lunches. 2 sleeping pads. Empty backpack for the hikes and the all-important atlas. Mama’s duffle topped by a stack of bedding, enough for all of us in a pinch. And the versatile towels, good for mattresses, blankets and swimming. A purple activity backpack. Blue bucket with snacks, frappuccino supplies, and baby food. The most important section; the audio books. A small duffle for each child and the best stuffable versatile running shoes. Boys activity bag and a crate of hostess gifts. And that is it! 6 more weeks my friends.
Things you can’t see: a coat for me, a large pack of diapers for the baby, 3 car seats, plenty of trash bags, a small empty cooler (shouldn’t have brought that, wasted space), and a pile of skipping rocks the kids keep adding to until we find a suitable pond. I love Lesportsac. And I’d save my Nalgene with lightning bug lid in a fire.