Monday, May 2, 2016

It was a Hail of a Storm

Yesterday, we had a fantastic thunderstorm. It was here and gone in 5 minutes, but it left a large amount of hail and flooding behind.

If you've never been to our house, it's hard to appreciate the flooding. Our driveway, to the right is flooded. Water is pouring over the driveway because it's not fitting in the storm drain. This is the first time in 9 years of flash floods that's happened. Our trees to the left were swamp land. In the background, you can see the aftermath of the storm, the 'steam' coming off the wet ground. Again, this happened in approximately 5 minutes.

In hail storms, our deck always collects a lot of it. It just pours off the roof onto the deck. This time was exciting because it was pouring off the roof, and blowing from the other direction.

All dogs like to eat ice, right?

Have you ever really looked at hail? It's quite beautiful when it's not causing damage. It looks like geodes. Gary brought these in for me to see. If you watch the video below, you can hear him explaining to Dominic how hail is formed. In this picture, you can see the multiple layers representing the many times those ice crystals were thrown back up into the clouds.


And then there was Bear. She loved the hail. When she was younger, she was terrified of thunder, but seems to have gotten over that fear completely, for which I'm thankful. We have a lot of thunder storms here. Perhaps that's why she's gotten over it. Who knows. Anyway, she loved snow, and seems to think hail is pretty fantastic.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

On Forgiveness

When I was 13, I became a peace loving hippy. That's what Gary calls me, a hippy.

But, in 1999, my older brother drowned less than a year after getting out of prison. The pain and grief was immediate and inconceivable. In 2000, we moved back to Oklahoma, and that pain and grief expanded as I realized that the church I had grown up in was making it impossible for me to re-integrate into my family.

Then, 9/11 happened. That grief and pain exploded into anger and fear. And for eight years, I rode a wave of grief, anger, and fear. During that time, I had my remaining three grandparents die, my father died, and a year after him, a beloved uncle died.

We moved to Kentucky, and my best friend, the love of my life, began to travel. He was gone as much as he was home. And during his first deployment after moving here, he was gone over the month of April. The April that was at the end of a line of Aprils in which close family members had died. My emotions took over, and subconsciously, I wrote him off as dead. When he came home, I was already in the depths of grief. I didn't know how to turn that around. Of course I was thrilled that he was home, but I hated him at the same time. And that, that hatred for the man that I loved more than life itself, that broke apart the shell of grief, pain, anger, and fear that I'd been living inside for ten long years. It allowed the light that had always been present, but buried deep beneath the darkness to shine through once more.

It truly was a breaking. I had to work hard to stitch together the pieces of my soul. I had to reach deep inside myself and find that light and let it shine again. And then, after all that work to repair myself, to remember who I am and what I believe, I had to forgive myself. That may well have been the hardest part of all.

A friend recently asked the question, "What would you tell your 21 year old self?" She got many answers, most of them about dreaming and believing in yourself. At 21, I was one of the biggest dreamers I've ever met. If I could tell my 21 year old self one thing, it would be, "Don't let fear and grief change you. Hold on to yourself. And, if all else fails, forgive yourself in the end."

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Work in Progress Wednesday

Our house is super busy with projects right now. All of them in progress. We're trying to clear out the clutter in our house, while simultaneously painting, replacing the carpet, and packing.

Gary and I decided to combine our bureaus. So, after 15 years of having two bureaus, we're down to one. When we replaced the carpets in our bedrooms, I refused to allow anyone to move anything back in the rooms that we aren't keeping. Since we're planning to downsize considerably, that means getting rid of a lot of stuff. That box is stuff Gary and I are getting rid of out of our closets and bureaus. It doesn't include all the shoes that were tossed!

My grandmother always said, "Five moves equals a burnout; you should move every five years." This is sort of my philosophy when it comes to moving. I take it as a chance to get rid of as much stuff as possible. It's harder this time. I have very sentimental children.

I am almost done with my Rocky Coast Cardigan. Since taking these pictures, I have finished the sleeves and am now working on completing the collar and trim. It's been my bedtime knitting, as I haven't been doing much knitting these days.

My socks haven't gotten ANY knitting done. I really want my cardigan done, then these will be next on the agenda.

This is a downsizing project. We were going to get rid of the chair, but it's incredibly comfortable. I decided to replace Dominic's pile-o-pillows with this chair. After we move, Xavier and Dominic will be sharing a room, and I plan to put the gaming systems in their room. I think they'll need somewhere comfy to sit. After wrestling with those arm cushions for quite some time, I decided to just cut them off. Everything has gone smoothly since. I expect to finish this tomorrow, since I'm not going to be home most of the day today.

Our poor puppy got spayed yesterday, which is a good thing, but she did not react well to the anesthesia. She's a little more mobile and wiggly today, but still pretty subdued. We'll be watching her pretty closely. At least she's eating without vomiting today.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Gabriel's Out of Touch

This is a repost from March of 2009. It showed up in my Facebook feed and made me smile. It's still true today. He's much more aware of things going on in the world, but his ideas and fascinations are still not those of the typical 18 year old. He is still obsessed with history and loves mythology. He is incredibly interesting to talk to.

And, it's not my fault. I mean, let's get real. I am not a big fan of non-fiction books. Gabriel lives and breathes them. I have never been a fan of history, although I am starting to enjoy it, now. Gabriel has always loved history. I would much rather do math or read smut any day of the week, than force myself to sit down and read a book about the fall of Rome. Now, don't get me wrong. Now that I am an adult, I am learning to love history. In fact, I think it is one of the most fascinating subjects we study. But, it isn't something I do for fun. Most children don't obsessively read about the Greek gods. Gabriel does.

The other day, Gabriel was preparing for a Tae Kwon Do tournament. I told him that he needed to stop thinking, and just let his body do what he'd taught it. I told him, "Just do it. Like Nike says."

Gabriel looked at me with a funny look on his face and said, "No, she didn't."

*sigh* How many 11 year old male children would immediately leap to the Greek goddess, Nike, instead of the shoe company? He's obviously out of touch.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Finding Peace

Dear Mom,

You see that kid in that picture? He's 12. He's going through a really great spell right now. His attitude is fantastic. He's ever helpful. When he is in a bad mood, he apologizes for it afterward. He does his work willingly and throws himself into everything with joy. We consistently get compliments on his behavior and manners from strangers. He is an absolute joy to parent and homeschool.

Several months ago, everything was hard. Everything. Everything was hard for him. Everything was a struggle. He wrestled with his emotions. He wrestled with his reactions. He wrestled with every single thing. It was so hard for him. So, of course, it was hard for all of us.

I remember being like that. I remember when every emotion I felt had to be analyzed and struggled with, even when the emotion was joy. Remembering doesn't make it easier for me to parent him. I think, in some ways, it makes it more difficult because I know what he's going through and empathize with him.

I also have other children. One is 15, the other 18. Sometimes, they are a joy to parent. Other times, I want to curl up in a ball and cry. Sometimes, I do. If only I'd developed an app to track the number of hours I've spent balling my eyes out over my children, I could have been the big winner. 

It's hard to be a parent. When my children are depressed, it makes me depressed. When my children are happy, it makes me happy. I cannot completely separate my own emotions from theirs. When my chronically depressed child is struggling through depression, it feels as though our walls are drenched in tears dripping down the walls like wet paint applied too thickly. The darkness seems to close around all of us, keeping us from leading normal lives. But, especially me. It is hard to parent someone who is in the throws of depression. Sometimes, I get angry at him. And, while anger is a valid reaction, it is not the one that will help us. I need him to help himself, but that's not how depression works. 

So, I call my husband. He's my anchor in the middle of the emotion storm that rocks our house. He calms me, and listens. He holds me and understands. 

Moms, you don't have to go it alone. Reach out. Find an anchor. Look for the lighthouse. We, the human race, are all in this together. We can help you. Find someone who cares. Keep searching for that light. It will guide you safely to shore.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Chicken Soup Recipe

This recipe literally took me 10 minutes to throw together before we ran out the door for an appointment. It is more of a formula than a hard recipe. I would like some ideas to make it creamy. Maybe add potatoes, thicken the broth with flour at the end? Ideas?

1 piece of chicken for each person (we prefer chicken thighs, but you can even just cut the chicken off a rotisserie chicken for ease)
1 c vegetables for each person (We use carrots, celery, onion, fresh ginger, and garlic)
1 quart chicken broth

Place the chicken on the bottom of the crock pot. You don't have to cut it up. At the end, you can just pull it apart with a fork. Dump the vegetables on top. Pour the broth over everything.

If you want noodles, add them at the end and let it cook for another 20 minutes.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.


Related Posts with Thumbnails