Friday, October 31, 2008


Presenting the Fire Chief and Queen Lucy of Narnia
We carved punkins and then went out and about in the neighborhood. We have a great neighborhood for trick-or-treating. Almost everyone gives out candy, neighbors chat in yards, grown ups dress up, the kids have a good time. Granma stayed at our house and passed out treats while we wandered around. Nate had to be carried the last leg and gave up early, bypassing a few houses once he 'got a bunch' of candy. Nate's bucket was sorted...he had about 1/4 left after I removed all the allergens, but we had plenty to replace it with and Emo got all his rejects. Friends came over with their little one, we had pizza, pulled our children off the ceiling and called it a night.

Fall ponderings

In the fall, I experience an arrhythmia of great heart changes it's chest thumps with the misfiring of a few beats of pre-ventricular tachycardia that lasts for a millisecond. Before I have time to cough, hold my breath, or bear down there's a sinus pause followed by some bradycardia before my electrical system finds it's equilibrium...The relief that follows ushers in a slower pace...a slower sinus rhythm replaces the tachycardia caused by crazy schedules, being late to all the activities I promised that I wouldn't let crowd my life, stress from overcommitment and the pressure to do it all, too much caffeine and too little protein...and wondering what my hematological profile will reveal (enough iron and hemoglobin?) or if my blood pressure could be up.

What comes is nirvana...ahh, AUTUMN. A different state of mind. A time when to slow down, pause with a cup of coffee and realize the air is a little crisper and the sky a little clearer. A time to reboot and enjoy the spoils of the hard work of the harvest.

Amazingly this moment comes annually, but always catches me by surprise. I'll be driving along on the way to somewhere behind schedule (as usual). Children squealing in the back, one hand on a pen and a to-do list in the passenger seat capturing a thought and the other on the wheel. And, suddenly between whirling thoughts of where I have to be next and the endless list in my head I am awestruck by the fact the leaves are actually transforming!

I feel myself begin to transform as well. My memories are sharper and my senses in tune with the season...

Scenes of the past attack me...scents of golden hay bales stored for winter in the old house, tobacco stalks speared and hanging on sticks to cure in the barn, potatoes being dug and the muskiness of the turned over autumn soil that is spent from nurturing them, the rough feel of those potatoes in hand as we complete our task of picking them up and delight in their shapes. Shiny glass jars with golden lids lined on shelves. Filled to the brim with home grown, home canned green beans, peaches, chow-chow, tomatoes, too many varieties of pickles to count, and the grand finale: homemade vegetable soup. Cinnamon Apple butter with red hot candy simmering in a copper kettle over a wood fire, thin cane sugar syrup magically turning to dark thick molasses after hours of being stirred in long seven foot vat, coal fires lit in pot belly stoves as the evening air gets heavy with frost. The moon hanging slightly lower in the sky...larger than life.

Ahhh, autumn. For me, this time of putting away of things, the feeling of failure...failure to feel...and the getting of furrows ready for the next seasons planting, is all about preparing my heart for the coming spring growth.

Two little girls playing

What would C.S. Lewis think?

If, when standing with a listening ear to the door of a little girls' room beheld sounds from a land of adventure another world away? If he could eavesdrop on the goings on in the next room...he would hear creativity and dreams in action. Emily and her friend P are pretend-playing...their imaginations soaring in adventures and a journey in a land far, far away...Narnia. Em is Lucy, the youngest sibling and P is cast as Susan...although Em has been known to play either role. She tended to favor Susan while reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe...Lucy while reading Prince Caspian. Em and P have been enjoying this pretend game together with Thomas G. since pre-school. About the time we read her The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe during our evening family time for the first time, about a year before the movie came out.
This is a game often played at our house and depending on the playmates, several roles can be cast simultaneously. Inside and out...and always with props. Sticks have been tied and carried on backs as bows and arrows...long pocketbooks and cloth pouches have provided snacks for the long journey to find Aslan and while fleeing from the White Witch...the long dresses adorn the queens of Narnia when appropriate...and crowns made of zoobs (small plastic building toys with nubs on the 'em!) for the Kings when they make appearances.
and Mr. Lewis' adventures continue. I hope it would make him smile!

Personality Type...

Your Type is ESFJ

Qualitative analysis of your type formula You are:
slightly expressed extravert
moderately expressed sensing personality
distinctively expressed feeling personality
slightly expressed judging personality

someone's opinion....
Extroversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging

Warm-hearted, popular, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute.

Tend to put the needs of others over their own needs. Feel strong sense of responsibility and duty. Value traditions and security. Interested in serving others. Need positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves. Well-developed sense of space and function.

hummm....most of this is true ;)

Joy and Sorrow

Joy and Sorrow

by Kahlil Gibran

Then a woman said, 'Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.'

And he answered:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises

was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,

the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the

very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit,

the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart

and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow

that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,

and you shall see that in truth

you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, 'Joy is greater than sorrow,'

and others say, 'Nay, sorrow is the greater.'

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come,

and when one sits alone with you at your board,

remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales

between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you

to weigh his gold and his silver,

needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Zoo Day

Joe was finally able to take a day off and we went to the zoo. We actually did the membership which also lets us get in the Fort Fisher Aquarium (which we love to visit when we're at the beach) and several other zoos.
We hadn't been to the zoo since last fall when , sans daddies, we went with the Stewart family...a lot of fun! I'm pretty sure Nate does not remember that trip.
Our favs were Jonathan the chimp who sat right at the window and made faces and 'played' with the kids...giraffe's who were just across the ditch....elephants in the new area of the zoo...rhinos..oh my! the lions are always a disappointment and as usual were sleeping (21 hrs a day???!!!).
We had a good time, started at the African side, worked our way to North America, had a packed lunch in the back of the mini-van (stow and go makes a nice pic-nic area), and then went back and finished up North America and the Kid Zone.
We stopped at T*N*'s in Troy and picked up part of Nate's new big boy bedroom suit (the beside table and headboard were missing)...Joe's going to put it together this evening.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Hope" by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing...

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Boy...

He won't remember the party...the friends... or the fun. He might have a vague distant snippet of a memory from looking at the pictures. But, we will remember...and we'll remember what he wanted for his birthday...and how cute he was talking about it all the time...and that he got to climb in a firetruck the day before...and that he laughed and played and had a great time...and that he really thought his firetruck cake was cool...and him laughing and playing with friends...and Emily's first day wearing her new glasses...
It's wonderful to have great friends who are such an important part of our lives...who care about us, love us and love our children. It's nice to take the time just to be together and share in living. That was the real gift. What more can you really want for your birthday?
Oh, yeah...a "fiyur-tuk bed"...
(nope...didn't make the's a Barbee creation...isn't it beautiful? and it's allergen free!!!)
Love y'all...