Friday, June 20, 2008

Why I Haven't Posted Anything Lately

Isn't this evidence enough? The weather has been hot, and I've had some good days. Which makes for a good time swimming at my friend's house, who has been so kind and gracious as to fence in her beautiful pond so as to keep the youngest from falling into it. Except that Eleri ended up falling in while she was chasing a butterfly.

The kids love their auntie's pond. They love to try to catch the fish in there. And the fish are dumb enough to allow them to at least touch their tails.

I haven't a clue as to what this red bloom is. Anyone have an idea? It was growing in the woods under a tree.

The pic above is a mayflower. When I was growing up, I never got to see the actual flower. I was either too early or too late into the woods to see the bloom, which doesn't last very long. And the fruit that appears after are mayapples, but I don't think they're for eating. I wouldn't try, at least.

We've had some great walks in the woods that are not that far away from the house. And we found some beautiful flowers in them; I've never seen some of these before.

We found one path that led to a grove of huge tulip trees, and the tulips had freshly fallen to the ground. Eleri brought them home (okay, I actually brought them home in the baby backpack where Em was riding most of the time) and we had some fun with them. It was Eleri who arranged them into a wreath in the bowl, and I added the candle. Isn't that awesome for a four-year-old? (Hint: the answer is "yes.") Hee.

Anyway. This is hopefully how we shall be spending most of the summer. Outside and in a pool or under a tree or by a pond or in the woods or riding bikes. You know, the things that summer is made of.

Nope. No pics of folks in bathing suits. Go somewhere else for that sort of thing! Go on!
So I'll see you guys in a bit. I'm off to make more memories. For them, and for me.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fountains of Fun

A few days ago we took the kids on an excursion to a shopping mall in Columbus. Okay, well--I had an appointment with a specialist to see what could be done about my chronic pain that freezes my muscles in whatever position I happen to be in at the moment. (I give new meaning to the word "statuesque." Even though I'm rather short. Tallish for short, but still short.)

Given that Columbus is a good drive away from home, we knew we'd have to give the kids some fun, too. And preferably some that didn't cost too much. Hence the shopping mall.

You can see here that they loved it! Ethan and El ran through one of the two fountains that are set on random sequences and are actually made for running through or standing in. Eleri watched Ethan first, then got into the fun of it.

Em thought that her brother and sister were just crazy for doing this!

I did bring extra clothes for all of them, thankfully.

They also got to see a garden railroad. Eleri was hoping that Santa Claus would show up, but we told her he was in the North Pole, already working on presents for the next Christmas.

Oh, I cannot forget--I promised someone that I'd post a picture of a strange-looking phone booth. Strange because we don't usually have phone booths like this around these parts.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Yeah, I know. I usually blog about everything else. Kids, the occasional trip, other family, other things.

I hate blogging about myself. Or talking that much about myself.

Oh, I have my secret blog. The one where I do reveal a bit more of what goes on between my ears. The one that's painfully voyeuristic. The writer part of me says, "Hey, that's pretty good stuff! Intense. So what if you're stripping naked, there? It's an effective and affective read."

Still, I hold the link to it pretty closely. It's for someday, maybe.

A great and wonderful internet friend who died recently told me once, "Och, Shelly! You've never had to search for your sorrows! But 'tis all grist to the mill for the writer."

She's so right. Whenever anything happens, no matter how negative it might be, there's this small voice back there whispering, "Man, this would be a great story!" Sometimes I know I separate my life into two categories--Interesting and Not So Much.

Yeah, I know. I'm a housewife. In a small town. How could anything interesting happen to me? Well, you'd be surprised. I know I have been. And I continue to be. I have stories . . . yes, I do.

And well, I guess I should say something about turning forty. It's not so bad, really. Surprising to me that I've made it this far. Sometimes wishing, even, that I were twice this age--sometimes I'd rather look back on the life I've led than to be living through it, now. Strange, eh?

But turning forty hasn't allowed me the introspection that others might think I'd have. It's not like I planned my life out and then have milestones in my life with which to compare that plan.

I grew up not knowing what each year would bring. Thirteen schools in twelve years. Many, many moves many times that number. Finding whom I thought was the love of my life, and discovering that not only was he not that, but in the end--he almost cost me my life. And that's one of those tales that indeed belongs in the "Interesting" category, but the telling of that one must wait.

And of course, finding the love of my life and my best friend as a result of the direction my life took when I married that first time.

Someone recently asked me why we take the risk of loving someone when it is so likely we might get hurt. I told her it is because the potential payoff is often worth the risk.

I'd go so far as to pose the question, "Is it ever a mistake to withhold love from someone?" I suppose it depends on the type of love I'm referring to, and what type you are thinking of. I like to think of my love as a gift without strings. It is there for the taking. I give it freely. Even to people who don't much care for me.

Yeah, I know that sounds grandiose. It sounds over-the-top. But if we have to choose which and how to feel--if there is something within us that calls out to us to make a decision as to how we feel about a person and not an idea, I have to choose love over hate. I may hate what a person does. I may hate ideas that people have. I may disagree with people. But I choose love.

Is that choice easy? Hell, no. It's incredibly painful. Infinitely so. But worth so much more than hating someone. Even if he/she hates me. Even if he/she even seeks to hurt me. By choosing love, I am not allowing them to control my actions. And I can weep with them unseen at the pain they must be feeling to cause them to act in the ways they do. I can still see the parts of them that are beautiful, even when they act in ugly ways. Because we all have those times when we aren't pretty. It's a wonder and a privilege to look past those things and see the beauty that lies just beneath.

It's not a perfect system, I'll admit. I can be much more gullible because of this choice. I can set myself up to be hurt many times over. And there will always be some people I will refuse to look at in this way; Ted Bundy and people who seem to have no soul in them escape my ability to forgive them right now, to release them for their crimes. People who prey on innocents. Especially children. And people who hurt the ones that I love.

But given that I grew up with many occasions to harbor resentment, I choose not to. I choose.

I choose.

Those are powerful words for someone who grew up without having choices.

I choose love.

I like those words even better.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hi, Aunt Tammy!

Just saying hi. Because well, we already catch you up by phone. And email. But still. Have to say hi, right? A big heelbeely wave to you!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Funny, but I noticed I have only one pic in here that has my husband in it. How sad is that? I suppose it's because one or the other of us is always the one taking the pictures.

Anyway. You can see he has a nice twinkle in his eyes. His eyes are so dark they are almost black, actually. And he has black hair streaked with silver at his temples--they shine in the light like tinsel. He has a ready smile, beautiful cheeks that beg to be pinched. No, not those cheeks! Heyy, hands of my man, there! And lovely teeth, too. Which I told him even when we were dating. He found it to be a strange compliment, but he married me, anyway. Whatta guy!

The first picture is Ethan's first day of kindergarten, taken at the end of August. He's grown so much, even since then! The second one is from vacation in 2006.

The last one, of course, is from our wedding day. Fifteen years come September. We got married in a park by the Muskingum River, and it was a perfectly gorgeous day. Even if it had rained, it would have been beautiful, though.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

You Know it's Spring When . . .

the Bunny Tree has leaves, again.

This picture is from autumn of last year, I think. But can you see the bunny? From the side, you can see that the tree has a long trunk and doesn't really look much like a rabbit. The tree marks the place where we turn onto our own road, so I see it every day.

What I find odd is that no one seems to have noticed the resemblance to a bunny until I point it out. Am I odd for noticing, or are they odd for not noticing? I don't have a clue.

How could I forget the dog?

Heh. Now someone has asked me what our dog looks like. Well, he's big. We found him at the local animal shelter and he was so young he still hadn't lost all his milk teeth. The shelter told us he was older than he really was. He looks like a blond German shepherd, mostly. We think he's probably largely a cross between a golden retriever and a shepherd. With a few other things thrown in.

He seemed like a friendly dog, so we asked to see him. We'd lost our last dog to old age two days before Emmory was born. And Eleri seemed to need something to boss around. We were hoping that the dog would distract her from trying to boss around Emmory.

They brought Comet out, and he came over to each one of us and greeted us with a kiss on the cheek. Even the baby. We knew then he had to be for us.

Sometimes he still gets a bit rough. But he lets Em wrestle him and he lies there and just takes it. He loves to chase dust motes when the sun shines through the window in the afternoon. He also loves to chase bubbles that the kids blow. He's a happy dog, and most of the time we're glad he's around. (Not so much when he gets into the garbage or tears up something. But geez--if that were grounds for getting rid of a family member, we'd have "dropped our kids out into the country" a long time ago.)

Children of the Corn

I was talking to some of my online friends about girls and their girly things, and I remembered Eleri dressing up as a fairy princess for Hallowe'en in 2006.

She says that when she grows up, she will go to college to learn how to be a princess and then she will live in PrincessLand. I'm trying to drill into her that because she has such beauty on the outside, she has to try that much harder to behave in such a manner to match that beauty. Um, I hope that will work.

She truly is a lovely, charming girl. When she wants to be.

Oh, and whilst looking, I came across a few other pictures taken around the same time. Like the one of the kids peeking through the holes of the cornstalks when we took a visit to the local farm where they have a corn maze and hayrides.

And also some pics from when we came back from vacation that year and we found some great roadside trails. It was a lovely, happy accident to have found such a lovely site where we could get the kids out of the car and walk about a bit.

Friday, April 04, 2008


I love ketchup.

Always have. Not as much as I used to, of course. Seems to be that way with kids, doesn't it? Ketchup on everything, and I was no different.

My kids carry on that grand tradition. That, and other strange things they seem to have picked up from me from osmosis, maybe?

For instance, my husband is appalled that my children like Parmesan cheese. And not as a condiment. They like to have a small pile of it on their plates to eat--like a sort of cheesy Pixie Stick dust. I reminded him that well, it is cheese. He's not completely satisfied with that answer, but he's acquiesced, some. They can have a little bit. Not a bowl of it. He also allows them to eat breakfast for dinner, now. He's come a long way.

But--back to ketchup. Or however you want to spell it. It also is one of those words I like to use when I need to catch people up on current events.

Hmm. Let's see. Eleri had her tonsils and adenoids out and had tubes put in her ears. She was having problems hearing, I noticed. And other, little things that caused me to think that all was not well with her health. Her voice sounded thick. She was missing social cues. She would vanish into her own world. Her moods started swinging wildly. And I'm not ready for a four-year-old to hit puberty, just yet. If ever. So--after seeing a specialist who confirmed that I'm not a mom with an overactive imagination or a desire to have my kids undergo unnecessary medical procedures, she had the surgery last week. So far, she's been a brave little girl. However, I was hoping that more attitude would have been removed along with the tonsils, honestly.

She's been enjoying her recuperation, though. She's gotten Get Well gifts and of course, lots of ice cream and Popsicles.

Ethan is always well, Ethan. Sunny and happy and thoughtful and just a bit odd, but in a good way. A silly, funny way. And he's not quite given up his lullaby every night. He hasn't outgrown turning around in the middle of the schoolyard when he's dropped off and yelling, "Mom! I love you!!" before joining his friends. I love how he embraces everything so fully.

And Emmory. My Bitty-boo. Where has my little baby gone? She's the typical baby of the family, though. Spoiled by everyone. The goofball, the clown. And I want to laugh when she gets angry with me because she glowers at me and stomps her foot.

There are times that I am glad that my children are as old as they are, even as I long to feel another child growing inside me, again. I loved that feeling. But I love watching my children grow and change and test themselves with new talents, new skills, every day.

Bittersweet, it is. That stab of pain mixed with such pleasure that the meaning of the word transcends the word, itself.