Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Day

Home for Christmas, I was a bit groggy and discovered after one day that I can't handle percocet. Tried just one every 4-6 hours, and then moved down to 1/2 of a tablet every 4-6 hours and I found that it does help with the aches and pains, it puts me straight to sleep, so I was sleeping ALL THE TIME. And I didn't like that at all. So my drug of choice now is Tylenol, works great and I am awake.

Christmas was such a delight. I was so prepared. The boys did not want to open ANYTHING until I came home, and fortunately it worked out that I could come home Christmas morning. Everything was ready except the stockings, and I knew Jackson would not be able to figure out what went into whose stocking. So the boys and Jackson came in to the hospital Christmas morning, well around noon actually (morning for the boys), Jackson made rounds as he was on call for Christmas. I saw physical therapy around 1:00ish, and we were out of there and home by about 1:30-2:00. Jackson brought all my little bags into the living room and helped me stuff stockings, while the boys waited in the family room, and then we celebrated. It was such a joyous time.

The boys got their IPODS they have been wanting. And Dallen got Rock Band 2 and Phillip got Guitar Hero World Tour (I think those are the names of them) and both have been enjoying each ever since. Along with a few books, computer games etc. Just lots of fun. As I said, at that time I was taking the percocet that was prescribed so I was sleeping on and off most all of the day, and spent the day on the couch. We love Christmas here, just a celebration of everyone we have in our lives, and are grateful for. And of course my delightful Nuernberger Lebkuchen, Jackson buys me a box every year for Christmas from the Schmidt company. DELICIOUS.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Eve

Jackson had Christmas Eve off, well he had to make rounds in the morning but the afternoon was free, so we decided to go hiking. It was a hike I had planned for our hiking club a few weeks ago, but it had been raining so we canceled. Christmas Eve was raining as well, but it was relatively warm, and not pouring just drizzling a bit. So off we headed to the Tom's Creek Falls hike. A nice short, 1 mile round trip, hike listed as "easy". And it was easy, a well manicured, beautiful hike. Easy traveling up to the waterfall, which was beautiful. We were all enjoying this hike. And it was the first time Jackson had been able to join us, just the four of us. Usually the boys and I go with out homeschooling friends, mid-week and middle of the day when others are usually busy, and trails are less crowded.

As I mentioned it was raining Christmas Eve so we were the only ones on the trail, nice and quiet, peaceful. At the falls we stopped at the bottom and took a few pictures, then we could see that the trail went up the water fall a bit. Part of the trail had been washed out so the incline was wet and muddy. Easy enough, we ventured up a bit and took some more pictures. The trail veered off and we decided to turn around and head back to the car, it was afternoon, getting darker and raining harder. As we were heading down that muddy incline, Jackson and Dallen had gone on ahead just a little bit. I looked at Phil and said "how are us short people supposed to get down from here?" Well Phil just ran down the incline, spry little thing he is, and as I was heading down, my right foot started to slide down and my left foot did not follow. So my left foot was bent back at the ankle (reminiscent of Harry Potter 2, when Lockhart bent Harry's hand back). As I landed and pulled my left leg forward my foot flopped back forward and to the side. I knew instantly that it was broken, and broken so that it would need surgery.

I remained very calm, talking and explaining things to Phil and Dallen as Jackson splinted my ankle. It hurt and was so unstable that I couldn't even stand on my good leg to sort of hop out of the forest. So Jackson and Dallen worked to make an A frame that I sat on and Jackson hauled my butt out of the woods. We were fortunate that the path was well manicured. Jackson was able to drive the car in about 1/2 way so he dragged that frame, with me on top, about 1/4 mile.

There were so many things that could have happened, and I have processed a lot these past few days sitting on the couch. But I am not a "wallow" kind of person. It has all been about moving forward. Being grateful that things were not worse. And realizing that the universe needed to just hit me on the head to get me to slow down a bit. I trust that everything will be OK. The surgery was a major job, and I have one more day surgery ahead of me, along with about 12weeks of recovery time. Jackson has been doing Reiki on my leg morning and night. And a friend came over to do some energy work last night. The boys have pitched in so much to help out, and Jackson is rearranging his work a bit to accommodate my needs. Moving is slow, crutches have been a challenge. But things are moving forward. I was able to be home for Christmas, and the boys really liked that, although a bit groggy. I hope to post Christmas pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Catching up

I have some blog catching up to do. So hopefully over the next couple of days I can post about all the exciting things going on in our lives. First was Winter Solstice. After the longest night we wait for the sun to come up in the morning, keeping a fire going all night. It was wonderful and this year it was sunny, although cold, and clear. So we could see the sun as it rose up over the tree tops. So beautiful. Jackson had a full day so he went to work early, before sunrise and he set the alarm for me. I did not realize how much I disliked getting up to the alarm, it has been years since I have woken by alarm, and I do not like it. But it was all OK in the end. I waited about 30 minutes then woke the boys.

As we waited for the sunrise Jackson drove home, just in time. And we were all so excited that he took time out of his busy day to come home and watch the sun rise with us. It was spectacular. And after watching the sun rise we came into the warm indoors and had hot chocolate and wish bread for breakfast. What a wonderful family time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Card

OK so our cards are finally in the mail. No, they won't reach you by Christmas but they are on the way. We made our own cards this year. Dallen drew the picture on the front, then Jackson and the boys came up with the note on the inside. The outside has been done for some time now, and I love it:

The inside reads: "Happy Holidays and May You Level Up in the New Year."
Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

By Candle Light

I am really enjoying our newly painted living room. The color is a darker, warmer brown, and I made curtains of the hemp fabric I had been saving. The other night I turned on the Christmas Tree and my NEW solstice lights I received in a solstice light trade, and I lit all the candles. It was so beautiful and warm I had to take some photos.

This is a tea light holder that a friend gave me for Christmas this year, yes I opened it early ;-) You can see my drum in front, and our naming sticks behind the drum (see the feathers on top), and the light is hanging inside an old yolk we picked up in Germany.

This is a game cabinet Jackson made for some of our board games. On top you can see candles, incense burners and my solstice lights, the poinsettias, in the background.

This is the left side of my new mantle. You can see a couple of candle's I bought this year, and hanging from the branch is my Buddhist prayer beads, and some Native American artwork.

This is a candle Jackson bought me last year for Christmas. It is a salt candle, very purifying. It sits on the right of our mantle and you can just see my chalice in the background.

I just love all the warm glowing light of candles.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Time to blog

I have been knitting my fingers sore lately. For my etsy store and for friends and family for Christmas. I love creating. One pattern I used lately for a couple pair of socks was a pattern that a friend at the ARGH gathering was knitting, just a simple knit 3 rows, purl 1 row, pattern. But I really think that little bit adds so much texture to the sock. I hope she finished her socks as well. And I have been working on scarves. Really plush, soft scarves. I think those will make nice Christmas gifts for my family in Maine, brrr.

So I haven't had a whole lot of time to blog lately. I do have to get pics of our tree up. It is such a beautiful tree. My son Dallen picked it out and chopped it down himself from our pasture. It will be a well loved tree during the season, then we will cut it up for fire wood and chip up the branches for mulch for the garden. Not a piece wasted. But right now it decorates our home. OK so let me go take a picture right this second and get that on here now while I am in the mood.................................

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Home

I have kept this doll safe in her box since the Live and Learn Conference in September. I knew she would have a permanent home on our mantle, when we made a mantle. I had a picture in my mind of what this mantle would look like, and it would hold all our most treasured possessions. And now it is complete. The mantle is finished and you can see the home of my doll, isn't she beautiful. Robyn made her, you can see more of Robyn's work at her etsy store, and also read more about the process at Robyn's blog. So now she sits in the corner of the living room, where she looks out at the whole house. Just the perfect spot for the perfect doll.

Robyn puts so much love and detail in everything she creates. Every time I look at my doll I see more beads, more detail that I have missed. Just so much creative energy. What a blessing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A New Sweater

It has been so chilly here lately. I decided to make our dog Cinnamon a sweater. She has so little hair and what she does have is so short. I always feel like she must be cold when she goes outside. Maybe not, but it makes me cold to watch her. So I crocheted a sweater. She seems to really like it. And we think she looks gorgeous in it. Although getting this boxer to hold still long enough to get a photo was a challenge.

Isn't she cute!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


A friend and I are working on a quilt. Well we are each working on our own quilt using the same pattern. I won't say how long ago we started but have recently taken it back up with the intent of finishing this quilt before Christmas. That is my goal anyway. It isn't an easy pattern, it has so many interesting pieces. Our quilts are coming out so different even though the pattern is the same. We just have different taste in fabric. Both are looking so beautiful, the more I work on it the more I want to finish to see how it will look all complete.

Anyway this is the center of the quilt. All finished. Now I have some boarders to work on. Pieced boarders, so it may take a little time. We will see. The pattern is called "New York Beauty". In case any of you get the urge to start or resume quilting or are just looking for an interesting pattern.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Climbing Tower

I organized a day to go to Chimney Rock Park and use their climbing tower. It was a dreary day so the view from the top of the tower was nothing to sing about. Well for the boys anyway, my feet stayed firmly planted on the ground. On a clear day I bet you can see for miles, the tower is on the side of a mountain.

It was a struggle getting there, a tractor trailor was stuck on the highway, trying to get around a hair pin turn that his truck was not build for. But we did make it and the attendant was so nice. Even gave me names and places of things the boys might also enjoy. We had a great day with Charlie and Scott McMakin, as well as Travis Barklage. Then we all went out for pizza in the nice town up there near the park.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Graveyard Fields

Another hiking day for us. A beautiful day, fall in the mountains of NC, although overcast and a bit chilly toward the end we enjoyed every minute of being together. It is amazing that each hike is just so different. And beautiful in it's own unique way. Also since we can pretty much go hiking when we want, we avoid the crowds by going during the middle of the week and the middle of the day, YAY!!!

Here are a few pics of this hike, Graveyard Fields, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, south of Asheville NC.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Let ME Eat Cake

We were talking on the Consensual Living Yahoo list about food issues. A common topic whenever you are talking about parenting. I usually share our experiences with our children, as well as my upbringing. This past discussion I happened to have gone out to eat the night before and dealt with my own "food issue" and thought I would share. Then thought I would expand on it a bit and blog about it. It just seems that sometimes we get stuck in the "what if" and forget about the "what is". I know it is hard, and I know that the what ifs can be kind of scary, what if their teeth rot out, what if they are unhealthy, what if.....and that leads to "if I control it for them, then this won't happen".

Anyway my experience was when eating out. I had a meal of....oh I can remember now...the dessert was the most important part for me. I had the most delicious chocolate ... CHOCOLATE cake. Did I mention the chocolate. Usually my boys order a slice and I can have a bite of theirs, which is enough for me, just the taste of that chocolate. I have dairy issues so as you can assume this cake is ummm shall we say "not so good" for me, LOL. The boys, that day, decided they didn't want a piece of cake or any dessert. So I went ahead and ordered one for myself. Which is a change for me. Well a change from my childhood. Growing up, my mother controlled the food, when, where, how much and for reward and punishment etc. So I am relearning how to let go and not feel deprived. I ate about 1/2 the slice. I knew it was not going to agree with me, knew it before I took the first bite. Knew I would *pay* for it. And I DID, I was so sick that night, for at least 5 hours after the cake. So sick that I just laid in bed, then slowly started feeling better. BUT it was soooo worth it. That does not mean I have no self control, or that I will always eat this way. As I mentioned, as a child Iwas very controlled, in many ways, including food. I still struggle with food. I have no one around me controlling my food now, it is up to me, and I am really learning now how to listen to my body, make those judgement calls, make decisions, find information, figure things out.

OK is there really a point here..... just something that happened yesterday. If I had someone there to restrict my cake intake yesterday because they wanted to look out for my best interest, protect me from being sick, protect my teeth, preserve my health, I think I would have just felt deprived and controlled, although would not have been sick for hours. The craving for the cake would not have gone away because someone said Icouldn't have it. And the damage to the relationship might have been more damaging than that piece of cake.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Our family loves getting together with other like minded homeschoolers and having fun. We have been members of FLT for...hmmmm....let me think.....for 6 year now, and have been attending FLT gatherings for 5 years. Wow that is a lot, didn't realize how many. The Eastern Tenn. Unschoolers decided to start hosting their own gatherings, so of course we wanted to participate. TN is close to us, although I didn't realize how close this gathering would be, so we signed up. Just about 1 hour and 15 min drive and we were there earlier this week having a wonderful time. Just playing games, knitting, working on other crafts and enjoying each other's company. I enjoy talking with and making new friends, as do my sons.

So this is the only picture I took the whole time (three days) we were there. I brought my camera with good intentions but the camera never left my cabin. But here is the picture. It is of my boys holding their sugar skulls. They wanted to watch the skulls burn in the fire so we took a picture first.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So many things to post about

I have so many things in my mind, things that I want to write down before they leave my brain. But so little time. SO much talk about election politics I wanted to share a little about what means so much to me.

My boys.

We spent so much of last week working on Halloween costumes. They had specific ideas about the costumes. All revolving around their world of warcraft characters. So we looked at pictures online, talked and talked about different ways of making these things come to life. And this is what we came up with:

There you have it, dwarf and night elf. They were so happy, it was wonderful to see that joy. And on a bit of a side note, for free children who do not have, and have never had their food controlled, as we were getting out their plastic pumpkins we found last years candy in each. LOL. And for those of you curious, yes candy can last for a year, and taste yummy. ;-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Holiday Traditions

This is the theme for the November Unschoolers Blog Carnival. I love the carnivals, and the topics are always wonderful. It is finding time to create the post. I usually put it off, thinking of things to write until it is too late. Not this month. I don't know if I have any pictures, will have to look but here are some of our traditions.

1. We make wish bread, as a family before the winter solstice. To make the bread I use a regular bread dough, that is a little sweeter than normal (just add more honey). Let it rise once, then we get together and form the dough into balls. With each ball we make a wish, we can choose to share our wishes out loud or keep them to ourselves. Then we roll the balls in sugar and cinnamon and put them into a bundt pan, sprinkle the top with the remaining S&C and let it rise once more before baking.
2. We go up on the roof right before sunrise of the winter solstice, and watch the sun come up over the mountains, welcoming the sun. Then we come down, start a nice fire in the fireplace and eat our wish bread with some tea or hot chocolate. YUM.

3. Another traditions is on Christmas, we always make pizza for lunch. We have tried the big Christmas dinner before, but it just isn't for us. We don't have any family around to share in the moment. Our lives are just not focused on food, and we are vegetarians so no ham, roast or turkey for us. Instead we cook what we love. Jackson (dh) and I make pizza, while the boys play and enjoy their day, we all love pizza.

4. Also on Christmas we have a fire in the fireplace and once we let that fire burn out, we save the last log from the fire and use it to start next years fire. It carries all the wonderful times from year to year. It sits outside our home so every time we come and go we see the log and think of all the smiles and happiness of Christmas.

hmmmm we have so many traditions like that. We have our advent calendar, and our advent wreath. We make ornaments every year. Our tree is simple, just tiny lights and our ornaments. The angel on the top was from my family. When my parents both crossed over, I kept the angel from their tree and it lights the way every year on ours now. Jackson and the boys make a gingerbread house, well not from scratch, from a kit. We totally enjoy making cookies throughout the season (well year round really...LOL).

OK that is enough tradition sharing for this year, have a happy season.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Sunrise-Sunset

I finally uploaded the photos from our trip to the Florida Keys what....three weeks ago....seems like it has been longer than that. It is a sunset photo from Key West. Ohhhh wish I was back on vacation....ahhh...

Oh and here is one a little later, with my boys.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hiking Wilson Creek-Harper Falls

This past Wednesday was another of our monthly hiking days. We hiked Wilson Creek-Harper Falls. Even though I am not in the "best" physical shape, LOL, I still love these hikes. We hike mostly easy-moderate trails. My goal is the easier ones. And this was the third of our hikes and it was beautiful. A wonderful hike in Pisgah National Forest before we reached the waterfall that was our destination. It provides a time of connection with my boys as well as the physical benefit to my body. While hiking the boys, especially Phillip, will go from hiking and talking/exploring with their friends to holding hands and hiking/chatting with me. So nice to be able to share these moments of peace and wonder with them. And of course we live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains so we have all the hiking we can possibly want, and we meet some really interesting people along the way.

We had a nice picnic at the conclusion of the hike and headed home to share the details with dad/dh.
For the next couple of months we are moving a little bit south, as it is getting colder here. But for now we are enjoying the beautiful fall scenery. Next month the leaves should be at there peak. How awesome is that to be able to watch the changing of seasons.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


OK back on track and another wonderful sunset from the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii. These photos were from Kilauea Volcano at Volcano National Park.

Amazing how different the photos are from the ones I took at the coast.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Drive Home

We just arrived home early this morning. 17 hours of driving from Key West to North Carolina. It was a wonderful vacation. I could tell the boys were ready to be home. We tried to be sure they have all the comforts they need for the ride. They are fabulous travelers. They had their DVD players, movies, Ds and games, books, drawing pads, snacks, water, pillows, stuffed animals etc. As we were pulling out of Key West, after breakfast, Phil was getting a little anxious and started saying "I am bored". That can mean almost anything for Phil. Can mean he is tired, needs to get out and move around, needs to rest or just wants to be home and is not excited about the drive. So we both listed options for entertainment including playing a game with me or his brother. Nothing was appealing, and he just kept repeating he was bored. I validated his feelings, and we talked a little. Didn't seem to help. We were still driving, well Jackson was, I was chatting with Phil. Phil just seemed at an end, like there was this stumbling block to moving forward with the return trip. So I just popped up and said, "what if we found stopped at Walmart so you could get a little lego or something 'new' to work on for part of the ride?"

He didn't say yes or no, but suddenly his mood changed dramatically, he started talking with his brother about a game they want to create, he got out his ds and actually asked if the next time we stop for gas if I would help him find a movie to watch. Sure I can help with that any time. I think just him knowing there were other options NOT in the car, was a path to help him move around the obstacle in his way. He didn't necessarily need that option in the moment but just knowing it existed allowed him to move forward and engage in other things. Suddenly there was not this unsurmountaible boulder in the way.

And about 8 hours down the road he asked if it were still possible to find a Walmart. Of course (even though I really do not like Walmart, they do have a great selection of legos), if that is what he needs in the moment we will do whatever we can to help him. And we found a Walmart, and a lego and hours of enjoyment, and a nice ride home.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More Hiking

We really enjoyed the last hike so decided to go hiking again today. Today it was Table Rock. Nice hike straight up!! The view was awesome as you could see into the gorge and all around. Would be even more beautiful in a few more weeks when the leaves are all bright fall colors. The boys had a wonderful time. I think this outdoor activity is just what they were wanting but didn't know it. Once I grasped the shift in my head it has all seemed to fall into place. There was a time when we just couldn't go hiking easily. With one of me and two toddlers it was impossible. And we were busier with the homeschool group as they got older, so we dropped off the hiking, without even really realizing it. But they are getting older. And this is just perfect for who we are now.

And we are really enjoying it!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Sunrise-Sunset

I found a cool meme today, and while it is about photos of sunrises or sunsets, I believe mine will probably be more about sunsets than sunrises. I just like my sleep too much to venture out that early in the morning. I just stumbled upon this so am going to use a picture or two I took while on our trip to Hawaii. The first picture is of the sunset, the second of course has my family in it, Jackson, Dallen and Phillip. We were playing on the beach outside the hotel while the sun was setting so I took advantage of the opportunity for some great photos.