F*ck It Up Y’all!

We finally sold the house.

I am so grateful and I feel so fortunate.

After 15 months and 2 weeks of hopeful planning, double mortgage and utility bills, unexpected job loss, devastating setbacks, blood, sweat, tears and a whole lotta love and hugging it out…


We moved into our current home at the end of January 2018. It fits our family so much better. The yard has so much potential. The basement is a fucking mess.

It is done. It is off the budget, off the calendar, and off the agenda.

The house and gardens where I raised my kids for 8 years, 9 months, 2 weeks and a day; is now someone else’s vessel and home base of hopes and dreams. There, is where I planted my best efforts. On that land and under that roof I loved endlessly and laughed joyously. Yelled loudly and wept quietly, tempered anger and frustrations, successfully and not so much. It is sprinkled with a little sadness and defeat, but was fed a steady diet of endless hope and boundless optimism.

It was a lot of hard work. My kids are worth it and so much more.

Earlier this week, we put together the housewarming items for the new family who closed on it yesterday. It felt right. It felt good. I wanted to make a card I couldn’t buy. So I did.

I made this card in my graphics program which was being super glitchy and frustrating. I was surrounded by my children. They sensed something in the air had shifted and I was intent upon finishing without fucking it up. I was focused on something other than them. Naturally, that meant be all up in Mom’s business so she can’t finish this last piece.

To stay on it and focused I started thinking out loud as I am apt to do, a lot. I can hear my thoughts better. I can hear myself think above the din of my beloved spawn. Peppered with comments and questions I carried on. I get anxious about anything I want to make special. Which then translates into a special form of performance anxiety.

I’m going to try not to fuck it up.

Yup. That is what I said.

My youngest came traipsing up right when that gem came out of my mouth and it quickly became a song with dancing and giggles sprinkled in.

Fuck it Uuuuuup! Fuck it up! Fuck it up! Fuck it up!

*twirls* with eyes closed for affect…

Fuck it UUUUUUP!

*more twirls*

“No, I meant fudge it up.” 

Nice try Mom but no bueno.

“Nooo. *giggle* YOU said fuck it up!

Fuck it Uuuuup!

I finished the card. Everything got delivered. It all went into the house new to the family who moved in yesterday. According to our old neighbor friends they were all smiles. It is good.

My 4 year old has added to her inappropriate word bank.

Fuck it up now resides next to What up Bitch in her lexicon.

I cannot take credit for that last one. I truly have no idea where she learned it but I want to blame YouTube.

And with that…

Fuck it up y’all!


2019 Winter Garden Plans

Taking inventory for early spring planting

We have had so much snow this winter! No complaints here, as we need the moisture. I love the blanket of silence the snow gives. Every dull brown sign of winter is bright and cheerful again. Snow brings hope where it once was forgotten.

March 4, 2019

Gardening is an endeavor of hope. It is an active engagement of optimism and grounded communion.

It is one of the most rewarding hobbies in which I’ve invested my time and efforts. Opening a seed catalog takes my mind off the winter cold and allows me to look forward to the warmth of the sun and the greening of spring. If I get seeds started before April I notice a shift of attitude in myself and my children. In keeping with the rhythm of our home, we observe what each season brings by enjoying the outdoors as the weather allows.

Planting seeds together brings joy and anticipation inside, of warmer days playing outside, and in the gardens. The kids get to make choices and take ownership of their plants and gardens. I get to spend time with my kids sharing my love for them and gardening.

Sowing, planting, and growing exalts trust in the earth and fervent anticipation of future harvest.

It has been bitterly cold this first week of March. Right now the temperature is 17 but it feels like 11 degrees. By this Saturday we are supposed to be enjoying temps in the 50s and I am counting on it. It has been a long cold winter.

Rough diagram of espalier 2018. Does not include stone fruit trees and berries.

I am looking forward to taking stock of how many plants and trees survived and how many I will need to replace. Last spring I planted several fruit trees, bushes, and vines. I believe this winter may have finished off the rest that were struggling. The dead trees and vines are from bunnies and the scorching dry summer we had in 2018. I don’t know that the bunnies allowed me one blueberry or blackberry plant.

Different vantage of beginning espalier to the right. You can see the tree and grape plant tags.

This spring we will be installing the wires and eye bolts to train the trees and vines. We covered the small heated pond with a plywood board. It needs to be cleaned and replenished. Our border collie kept eating the dead plant matter out of it and getting sick. She is our lovable little weirdo. We have so much cleaning and planning ahead.

‘Luna’ aka ‘Luna Petunia’, ‘Luna Bear’, and ‘Luna-toons’

Until then, I will be seeking the breaking buds, peeking tulips and crocus; looking for daffodils to announce the long winter slumber has ended.

“I Don’t Believe in Abortion Either”

“I don’t believe in abortion either.”

This is what she said to me as she ambled to my side. I was watching my children play in the children’s zero depth pool. It was the end of summer preschool outing for my two eldest children. My eldest son was almost 5, my daughter had just turned 3 and I held my youngest in my arms, who was around 10 months old at the time.

I had been enjoying myself. I was exhausted caring for 3 under 5, but I was enjoying the sunshine and laughter of small children splashing in water. I was especially enjoying my children. I sat on one of the many lounge chairs along with several other parents. My youngest on my lap, I enjoyed soaking in the sun as he gnawed on his fist. When he got restless I walked around keeping him entertained in my arms. To put him down meant a constant effort to keep him out of the water.

My husband couldn’t make it out of work that day. There was another mother or two who donned their suits to join in with their younger children. I hadn’t wanted to try on swimsuits. I just wasn’t ready. This was my choice.

Still, I had been enjoying my children and myself.

I was happy, dammit.

“I don’t believe in abortion either.”

Her words took my breath away. I waited for what would come next. I was horrified but curious. What was this preschool teacher talking about? Why was she saying this to me?

“Um, whaaat? Actually, I believe in a woman’s right to choose.” What the fuck.

Her words that followed made no sense to me, as if she were speaking in a different tongue, foreign to my ears and my heart. I struggled to make sense of what she was saying. She had three children. The last a boy. She grieved over not wanting that last child. Boy, had she not wanted that last child.

“Well, it took us almost 4 years to have our first child so I’m very happy with our decisions.”

Still she kept talking.

She hadn’t wanted three children but she made the best of it and now they were all grown and doing well. I stood listening, holding my sweet baby, wondering where she was going with this one-sided conversation. I wondered how this all had anything to do with me. I knew I didn’t like what she had assumed and I knew this would not end well.

The other assistant teacher present was much younger, maybe in her mid-twenties,  sat with her back to us and her feet dangling in the water. She had been listening and turned her head to interject only to state she would have only two, if she had any at all.

I could feel the rage in my calm but incredulous demeanor bubbling to the surface. I had kept a conversational tone, that, up to this point had included “Oh”, and “I have enjoyed and wanted all of my children”. This hadn’t made her stop talking.

The 60-plus year old assistant teacher of my children’s preschool class kept talking like she hadn’t made her point perfectly clear. I felt a cold heat rising in my neck, reaching my ears, and then like a geyser springing forth from my mouth, I said it. I said the nicest thing I could think at that moment.

“I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your children.”

“Oh. I enjoyed my children.”


We studied one another’s face.

I broke the silence.

“Oh, ok.”

I can’t remember any words that followed. I knew she was trying to justify her words. All of those putrid misguided words. She couldn’t. Not to me. I excused myself to watch my children and to wash clean the vileness that had clouded my experience.

They had been watching me that morning, making awful assumptions, and then acting on them. Dear God. What the hell is wrong with people?

What is wrong with me? I should have shut that shit down immediately. I didn’t. Again, horrified but curious me actually wondered what I had done wrong that morning. Did I deserve this treatment?

I scoured all my actions and feelings leading up to that moment. I am a pretty self-reflective person so this affected me more than it should have. I honestly, couldn’t think of anything leading up to this day that would justify this treatment. I had felt good despite my husband not being able to attend. Though, I had felt in my gut I really needed him there and now I knew why. My gut is never wrong.

I vowed never to allow any more of my children to be in any of her classes. This was hard, because she assisted in teaching the main preschool classes at the art center we had decided to make our children’s preschool community. I was pissed and hurt. I felt utter betrayal. I felt something very special had been taken from me and my children. The world was a colder place.

I thought about talking to the director. I thought about how my demeanor had been misread in such a horrible way. Maybe it was my face. Maybe it was how tired I was. Maybe.

Maybe I looked unhappy even though I knew I wasn’t. I was just tired.

Maybe if my husband had remembered to take off work, this wouldn’t have happened.

Maybe that horrid woman shouldn’t have made assumptions about my life or my children and then without thinking, accosted me with it.

“I don’t believe in abortion either.”

Abortion. What the fuck.

Clearly people, the only reason a woman would have a third child isn’t because she wanted that third child. She just doesn’t believe in abortion. Gross.

Aren’t we allowed to be tired? Can’t we, as mothers, allow one another to be joyful and tired?

An older mother with grown children made some pretty base assumptions based only off my demeanor as a tired mother of 3 under 5.

Shouldn’t she know better?

Well, maybe she does now.

If I am honest with myself she had been a judgy bitch towards me the whole summer session I had my kids in her class. I got the impression she thought I was younger than I was, and gee, my kids sure are spaced close together, and of course all the other judgments that come with having more than 2.

Over the following years I enrolled my children in other classes at the center she didn’t teach. We also didn’t go there as much. When we would see each other there was no eye contact. She ignored my husband and I, our children, and that was just fine with me.

Yet it speaks volumes.

She hasn’t learned a damn thing.

Age does not belie wisdom.

Never stop growing as a person because so many do.

Do not ever let anyone put their baggage on you.

Do not ever let anyone dim your light.

Speak up.

Trust your gut.