consistently inconsistent

First, about the peas, a small clarification.  When heating them without water, don’t use butter, just pour them into the pan and put on a lid.  They steam using their own condensation.  It was the fancy bag of peas from Trader Joe’s that already had butter on them.  Sorry about the confusion.  I hope you haven’t all been putting on weight from cooking your peas in butter over the last two months.

Yes, it’s been two months since I last posted.  My cousin emailed me earlier this week to inform me that it had been exactly two months and two days since I posted.  A gentle suggestion to get back to my regular schedule.  Ahem.

Regular schedule, you query?  And we all laugh.

I know, I know, my posting is intermittent at best.  I’m consistently inconsistent.  Long stretches of silence.  In the spirit of openness and disclosure, and possibly some vulnerability, let me tell you why.

First, this has been a very difficult year emotionally.  Lots of stuff going on.  Most of it is shared story – other people share it with me – and I can’t in good faith speak publicly about someone else’s private business.  Interestingly enough, I have made a shift this year from being happy to keep my private stuff private, to really really wanting to talk about it.  To be seen and heard and vulnerable.

I generally write here about what I am thinking about at the time I sit down to write.  So as I’ve been working through all of this stuff (which has been huge and consuming), I sit down to write and think, “Can’t write about that, can’t write about that, or that.  Or that.”  Which leaves us with a lot of silence.

(I’ve also wondered how much other people like to read an ongoing account of a person’s inner life.  The process of working through grief, for example.  I think that generally we as readers don’t mind a post here and there about something heavy like grief, but if it was to go on and on in blog form as it does in real life – would we tune out?  Click away?)

Second, scheduling.  Writing in the evening is generally not a good idea.  I get all wound up and have a hard time going to bed at a decent time.  And it takes me half of forever to write a post.  I’ve tried to whittle it down to half an hour to make frequent blogging more sustainable, but it seems I average at about an hour a post.   That’s a lot of time to invest in something.  Especially when it has to be an hour without children.  Those hours are very few and very precious and have a lot of things clamoring to be chosen.

Third, existential queries.  What is my purpose here as a blogger?  What is my writing voice?  What is the theme that is coming through my writing?  How do I want to interact with the world in this space?

Devo has been telling me for months, maybe even years, that he thinks I should change the title of my blog.  He doesn’t think spinning in my teacup reflects me accurately or adequately.  He’s right, of course.  I’ve long outgrown spinning in my teacup.  But how to find a name that I won’t outgrow?  Or, if that’s too lofty a goal, at least a name that captures the essence of right now?

At which point we circle back to the above questions.  In summation, what on earth am I doing here?

http://www.I’mnotreallysurebutIhavesomeideas.com

I’ll tell you what I do know.

I do know that I cannot give up the title of blogger.  And by that, I actually mean writer.  Whenever I think of throwing in the towel or letting bygones be bygones, I can’t let go of this.  This and singing and yoga.  And maybe my doula dream.

I do know that people read what I write and, at least occasionally, it brings help or light or laughter.  Or something.  I know that people read and appreciate because so many have taken the time and made the effort to tell me so.  (Thank you.)

I do know that I have reached a place where I am ready to move outward again.  The baby years are reaching their end.  It is time to forge a place for myself in the world outside of home.  I want to engage with the world in the way that only I can.  I want to work creatively.  I want to make a difference in people’s lives.

I’m just not sure what this all is going to look like.  Right now it looks like me posting this before I can talk myself out of it.

 

 

 

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31 days, frozen vegetables, and math

smashball{from a trip to the beach a week ago, because I didn’t think a photo of frozen vegetables would be nearly as endearing}

:: 31 Days

I’ve thought really really hard about joining the 31 Days project – blogging about a topic of choice for the 31 days of October.  As you can tell, I’m either a day late or decided not to.

Option B ruled the day.  Hello, practicality.

There just isn’t enough protected time to commit to something like that.  And by that I mean – unnecessary with a deadline.  Especially the deadline bit.  Try to avoid those whenever possible.

{I just discovered that if I hold two fingers down and click a word, I can have immediate access to a definition and synonyms! My writing life as I know it has just been revolutionized.  <GASP> it works in Pages, too.  Coooool.}

But I am really jazzed about my topic of choice, so I’m actually writing out my series anyways and having a grand old time.  At a pace my life can manage.

I’m writing about “31 Days of Becoming”.  Devo even made me a button in case I decided to venture forth into Deep Commitment.  Truthfully, another reason I decided not to publish it is because it contains a lot of personal stories that I still feel vulnerable about.  There is vulnerable on purpose and there is vulnerable please-don’t-hit-me.  The internet is probably not the wisest place for sallying forth with the latter.

But I may change my mind.  Because I can.

 

:: Frozen Vegetables

Speaking of revolutionary discoveries, let’s talk frozen vegetables.  I grew up putting the frozen vegetables in a pan, covering with water, and heating on the stove.  It took long enough that generally I would either find that there was a frozen mass that had formed when I added the water or they would boil and I’d end up with overcooked color-leached mushiness.  Then we would fish our vegetables out of the water with a slotted spoon.

About a year ago (or maybe two?), I watched my friend Andrea break out her bag of Trader Joe’s peas with some buttery goodness and all she did was put them in the pan, cover it with a lid, and stir occasionally.  Whaaaaaa?  You can do that?

You can.

I don’t know what sparked that memory (maybe I had finally worked through the incredulous, paradigm shifting jolt of the new method), but a month or so ago I tried it for myself.  It’s awesome.  It has revolutionized my life as pertains to frozen vegetables.

I realize that everyone else in the western world has probably been cooking their frozen vegetables this way since the Dark Ages, but in case there is someone else out there like me with an iceberg in their pan, I’d just like to put it out there.  Try it.

 

:: Life of Fred

On the recommendation of a friend, I ordered a new math curriculum for Lia.  She had been ho-humming through Math-U-See, not protesting but not particularly engaged either.  Just putting in her time.

I ordered Life of Fred on the premise that the program is story based.  Maybe a good fit for my voracious reader.  I read that each book should take about a month to work on, so I ordered the first three.  We’ll try it until Christmas, I thought.

She finished the first book within 24 hours, and the first three books within a week.  She can’t wait to get to calculus (I think because there is the promise of learning Fred’s entire history).  She sits every morning (and sometimes in the afternoon) with her little notebook, reading and working her problems.  There are only about five problems to work per chapter.  Just the right amount to feel competent and eager to get to the next chapter.

I think she’s on book five now, but I’m not really sure.  I can’t keep up.  Every couple of days we sit down together and l catch up on the story (she always wants to share the story) and we take a look at the work in her notebook.

There are definitely some holes in her understanding of the material.  That doesn’t bother me at all because (a) she’s interested and intrigued by math for the first time ever and believes herself to be competent – that in and of itself will give her everything she needs (b) who ever completely understood everything before reaching out for more? and (c) she goes back and rereads the books because they are so much fun.

Amelie can’t wait until she’s ready for Life of Fred.

Minutiae

:: waxing philosophical for a moment

I believe in minutiae.

Minutiae happens.  Minutiae is important.  Minutiae is revealing.

A lot of minutiae tells a story.

A lot of stories make up a life.

{Has anyone written a “This I Believe” based on minutiae?  I’ll have to google it.}

I’m really starting to embrace the validity and importance of minutiae.  Especially here on this blog.  I think I’ve finally closed the door on the everlasting search for a “message” or a “theme” or a “topic” that successful bloggers are supposed to have.

This blog is about my story and my story is made up of, you guessed it, minutiae.

Maybe I should create a button to pin on my lapel.  (Do I have any clothes with a lapel?)

I LOVE MINUTIAE!

<smile>

:: fussy baby

Kiri has been very fussy.  She has big big lumps on her gums – the molars are coming.  She can be heard squalling most of the time.  (What must the neighbor’s think?)

Her favorite squalling word is “owww-oooooooo!”.

Not because anything is owie.  It’s just a good word for howling when somebody takes your toy.  Or somebody touches you.  Or somebody looks at you.  Or somebody doesn’t look at you.

She kind of sounds like a wolf, “ow-ooooooooo!”.

Poor baby.

:: what a pain in the … head

I’ve had a recurrence of the weird headaches I had last year.  I am entirely unable to think about anything remotely confusing or requiring concentration.  Anything with eye movement (Facebook, triominoes, grocery shopping) makes me motion sick.  It’s so weird to get car sick when reading to the kids, but it makes total sense.  Wiggle, bump.

Anyhow, I’m pretty sure it’s thyroid.  Again.  (The only other time I had this was when I had swung to hyperthyroid).  We’ll find out tomorrow.

Between Kiri and the perpetual headache, I’ve been taking things very very slowly and carefully.  Nothing taxing.  We may or may not get all of our practicing in this week before piano lessons.  C’est la vie.  Or, rather, que sera sera.

:: bug catching

For science today, we kitted out our hiking backpacks with a bunch of loot from our awesome Young Naturalist and Insect Collector Backpacks.  Binoculars, magnifying glass, specimen bags and vials, field notebook, and bug-catching net.

The young naturalists let Mommy have a go at the net.  I dashed about the backyard, swooping the net and stalking winged things.  It was hot and I was barefoot in the wet grass with a sleeping baby on my back and an inquisitive explorer by my side.  We finally caught two insects – we think one is a moth.  Bug catching is harder than it seems, but a ton of fun.  (Thanks, girls, for sharing!  I had so much fun!)

Next up, learn to use the flower press.

Maybe I should start titling these posts by coming up with a sentence that uses the main concepts from each section.  Like “Fussy Baby Catches Philosophical Bug.”  Or “Bug Catches Headache and Philosophical Fussy Baby”.  Or “Philosophical Headache – Bug or Baby?”.  

Then again, maybe not.

 

Blogging, Blogs, and a new computer

{Photo from our road trip up the Central California coast.  We rented a 12 passenger van and had a whale of a time.}

:: Blogging

I’m {slowly} becoming resigned to being an occasional blogger.  In my ideal world, I’d be a three times a week blogger.  But lately (can you say “lately” when it spans several years?) I’ve been more like a three times a month blogger.  Or three times a quarter.

Seasons, I tell myself.

It’s not that I have nothing to say, as was the case a couple of years ago when I just felt perpetually blank and empty.  Even now I’m practically twitching, hoping I’ll get out all I want to say before my precious alone time with a computer is finished.

I have a deep affinity for Agatha Christie who, I understand, would spin her mystery plots while doing dishes.

Agatha spins mysteries, Leilani composes blog posts.

I’ve lost the youthful, burning desire to reach out and change the world in this little online space.  Didacticism just isn’t my true voice.  Convincing people is not one of my strengths.

But to touch people because we connect through the gentle and compelling medium of stories and minutiae…  That’s cool.

:: Blogs to Read

Speaking of blogs, I haven’t been reading as many blogs or posts as usual.  This decline in interest started when I realized that the hand pain I experience in yoga probably isn’t from yoga but from holding my phone for extended periods of time while I peruse my reader.

Lame.

Also, how did it take me this long to figure it out?

My reader backed up to 300 unread posts after this discovery and seems to hover there even though I’ve been deleting blogs I don’t truly love.

Clear favorites have emerged over time and since I haven’t done a good blog round-up recently, I thought I’d share them here.

My current Must-Reads are::

FIMBY.  I start every day here.  I can’t say how much Renee has guided our family towards simplicity and outdoor adventures and a personalized homeschooling philosophy.  She’s so cool.  (Okay, that’s twice I’ve said cool so far.  Let’s go for a third.)  Someday when I have regular time on a computer, I’m going to comment regularly and be a friend.

Testosterhome.  This may be the blog I have read consistently for the longest amount of time.  As in years.  Rachel cracks me up and illuminates and comforts and then cracks me up again.  Perennial favorite.

Posie Gets Cozy.  This is my stop for the reminder to look for and craft small moments of beauty.  Also, I totally dig her home decor style.

Angry Chicken.  Unusual homeschooling resources, a sewist with three girls who love to dress up in historical costumes, and food that I either absolutely love or absolutely hate.  Also funny.  Her archives are the bomb.

Then there are second tier, third tier, and only-if-I’m-interested tier reads.  Not to mention friend’s blogs, which are on a whole ‘nother sphere.

(I couldn’t manage the third “cool”.  But I did get in “dig” and “the bomb”.)

:: New Computer?

It has become apparent that I either need to get a new computer or just deal with the current situation.

(Current situation is one old laptop with no battery, dim screen, and no word processing software.  One iPad.  One iPhone.  One truly archaic iMac that suffers from extreme narcolepsy and supports absolutely nothing.  And one good macbook Pro, which is Devo’s work computer.  It makes for a scattered technological existence.)

We drove out to the Mac store last week, ready to purchase a Macbook Pro.

I’ve been so hesitant to spend so much money on something that isn’t truly a need.  Needs are things like air, food, shelter.  Is it responsible to the world, responsible to our budget?  I suffer from the inability to spend money with confidence.

And what kind of computer should I get?  A family computer with a large screen to double as a TV so we don’t have to drag the behemoth of a Panasonic circa 1997 out of Levi’s closet every time the kids watch a movie?  Or a more portable (Mommy can hide in her room and work) laptop?

I was sure it was the big iMac.  Then I was sure it was the laptop.  As we headed into the store, I just breathed a little prayer that we’d make the right decision.

Our decision was guided by a sudden descent into tearful uncertainty (desktop or laptop? desktop or laptop? isn’t it too much money? desktop or laptop?) and an unusually disobedient preschooler.  Picture, if you will, a family standing outside in the blistering heat while the mother sniffles, the preschooler stands (or stomps, rather) in the corner, and the father holds the squirming baby while trying to manage the predicament.   (The girls were off window shopping with my sister).

It wasn’t our finest moment.

But it did become clear that the most favorable resolution to the problems at hand was to abandon ship.  With haste.

And then our car overheated on the way home and we were stuck by the side of the freeway in 105 degree weather with four kids, one sister, and a partridge in a pear tree.

It wasn’t our day for a computer.

And frankly, I still don’t know what to do.  I just haven’t found that place of internal peace, where I could bring home a computer with joy instead of cringing.  The way hasn’t become clear.

I do find it interesting, however, that I am completely ready to bring home a rather expensive wall unit from IKEA with joy.  Our living room is so very empty.  The only thing holding me back is…would it be irresponsible to buy a wall unit that is basically just aesthetic when what we really need is a working computer situation?

Pity my husband and pray for me.

 

laura’s grand adventure

So my friend Laura is in Ethiopia following her dream, her vision, her calling.  She left behind her husband and her two small boys and is traveling on her own, faithfully responding to the call.  It feels momentous.

You can read about what she’s doing in Ethiopia here.

And you can follow along with her beautiful photos and real life descriptions.

I’m wondering if her husband, Tim, will post his own  “back at the ranch” posts.  That would be entertaining.

Paper Clutter Potential…goodbye

I wasn’t intending to join Simple Mom’s decluttering shebang.  After all, I’ve been faithfully overhauling closets and other unseen ‘crooks and nannies’ in the house for weeks now.  Doing what my house needs when my house needs it.  Or when I need it.

And then I got to the end of last week and realized that I had inadvertently done the week’s hotspot…the master closet.  Out of necessity, you understand…it was time for the big maternity clothes switcharoo (goodbye small clothes, I’ll see you again in two years…a year and a half, if I’m lucky).

I didn’t get any ‘before’ pictures, so it seems rather unfair to post the ‘after’ picture…I wouldn’t want anyone to think my closet looks this good normally.  Of course, I’m fully intending for this to become the new normal…but you know how it goes.

Also, I don’t have the patience to take one picture and then work for 30 minutes with the camera cord at odd angles, getting cramps in my wrist trying to get the picture to upload.  I must have at least 200 photos to make that worthwhile.

Once I realized that I was on the Simple Mom decluttering bandwagon whether I wanted to be or not, I decided to do my best and join in the fun.

This week’s assignment is paper clutter.  Lucky me, my paper clutter is currently one very small stack on the kitchen counter.  Trifling.

That doesn’t include the two file drawers that have been quietly hiding in the closet for three years.  Trifling.  Certainly not bothering anybody.  At the moment.

Of much more concern is all the stuff that ends up on the counter.  My counter paper pile isn’t usually trifling.  I just happened to be lucky this week.

So rather than reducing the paper clutter that exists, I have taken my own spin on the assignment and have been working on reducing the clutter that ends up on the counter.

This way I don’t have to take a photo, you see.

Mail Clutter

I’ve signed us up with the National Do Not Mail List. And have put Devo in charge of saving me one piece of mail from every junk mail company.  There were great ideas and resources in the Simple Mom post and comments.  Reduce waste!  Reduce stuff that comes into our house!

Lists

I’m researching options for getting rid of…wait for it…my lists.  My paper lists.  My paper lists that I love.  My paper lists that proliferate.  And then get stolen or drawn on by small people.  I have an iphone now (thanks, love!) and want to make all those lists available to me on-the-go.  No more lists on paper napkins in the car, jotted on the backs of envelopes, organized in a child-enticing notebook.

Dropbox? Can’t edit on the iphone.  Google docs?  Wi-fi is not always available. … I’m working on a solution.

I am not, however, going to move to making my grocery lists on my iphone.  I have a line up of magnetic notepads on the fridge, one for each store, and they work magnificently.  Wiping hands, putting in passcodes, and finding necessary app does not work in the middle of meal prep (which is when I add to my lists…)

<This would be an excellent place to put a photo of my beloved grocery list line up.  It’s so pretty.>

Calendar

I’m thinking seriously of ditching a paper calendar and going techno.  I looove my calendar.  (Well, I don’t love it quite as much since somebody drew on it’s pretty green cover, but I love seeing things at a glance and I love writing things down).

But that calendar is mostly just clutter on the kitchen counter…someone is always moving it or putting something on top of it (or drawing on/in it).  And when I get appointments through email, I don’t often stand up and fetch the calendar and pen.  I mostly just let the appointment lie quietly (sometimes forgotten, oops) in my inbox.

So I’m thinking google calendar.  And an iphone app called Calengoo, which has really great reviews and syncs with everything.  I like syncing.  I’d like it better if it didn’t involve wires.

And if Devo moved over to google calendar, we wouldn’t have to spend stressful half hours going over our schedules…we could just sync!

I’ve started a trial run, I like it already.

Misc. (Mess)

Receipts aren’t a problem, we stuff them in an accordion folder by month.  No sorting unless needed, dump after taxes.

Mail isn’t a problem (Devo takes care of that, and very ably, I might add).

Coupons are a problem.  I only keep coupons from Joann Fabrics, Michaels, and Costco.  But I paper clip them to…my paper calendar.  Ummm….

Children’s art/projects are a problem.  I’ve considered storing them in file folders…one file per year per child.  But I’m also thinking of getting rid of almost all of our file drawer space (since we’ve obviously used it so consistently and extensively, cough).  Should they eventually reside in a file storage box, instead of a file drawer?

As for the misc. (“mess”, as my Grandma calls it), I think a simple filing system will take care of that.  So perhaps I should deal with the real paper clutter this week.

Where I’ve Been

And I’m back in five, four, three, two…

I’ve flipped back in my calendar to the date of my last blog post….November 3.  But it hasn’t helped much.  Too many things missing.

I started out this post by reviewing the month.  But I soon decided that I would (a) either get overwhelmed and never finish, never publish or (b) you would never scroll all the way down to the end.  So I thought we would go through the highlights post by post.

Ready?

Quiet Time

Quiet, this blog has been so quiet.

For awhile it was quiet because I was enthralled with other people’s blogs, learning new stuff.  But I guess I’m over that because my reader is getting backed up and I’m sticking only with my old faithfuls.

For awhile it was quiet because I kept writing posts and then just tucking them into the drafts folder.  I have quite a collection now.  Don’t know why they stay there.  Maybe it was a case of chicken.

Currently it’s quiet because I get to the end of the day, and nothing there is truly representative.  The posts I conjur up in the daytime look vastly different to what comes out of my fingers at 8pm.  And I like the daytime stuff better.  So maybe it wasn’t a case of chicken, after all.  (It was a case of turkey, haha).

In daytime hours, it’s hard enough to get the space to do what critical thinking I’m required to do…much less recreational thinking. If you know what I mean.

But, ugh, I haven’t been doing much of anything in the evenings.  Not anything creative, for sure.  Some mindless internet clicking until I realize that what I’m reading just isn’t interesting me.  Read a chapter in a book here, a chapter there…none of the old stand-bys have been doing the trick.

The only thing I’ve been wanting to do after 8pm is to watch reruns of Scarecrow and Mrs. King.  Did any of you watch that?  We must have watched a great deal of it in my childhood, because as soon as the theme music came on, I was swept away with happy nostalgia.  Scarecrow has completely overtaken Iron Chef America, Devo’s and my previous mindless viewing choice.

But, hey, quiet isn’t bad!  Faithful does not necessarily equal constant.  I guess you could say that I’m consistently here some of the time.  Which is pretty good, don’t you think?

Looking At…

Nesting Place :: The Nester talks (right to me) about what belongs in our houses with her confession It’s Stuffy in Here.  Her thoughts on the matter have been a major catalyst in my recent Nights of Eradication.

Mila’s Daydreams :: A new friend introduced me to a new blog last night.  And I’m already enamored.  Adele says about her blog, This blog is my maternity leave hobby. While my baby is taking her nap, I create scene around her and take quick snap photos. Literally, sleeping baby with some sort of a scene laid out around her.  Like the absurdly cute Little Pink Riding Hood – the head kerchief is just, just, just darling.

Juniper Moon Farm :: A small sheep farm in Virginia.  With dogs.  Sheep.  Goats.  And, most recently, a baby pig.  Named Charley.  Lia asks every day if there are any new pictures of Charley.  We think we’d like a baby pig, too.

Baking Bites :: Upcoming on our Sabbath dessert list…Homemade Fudgsicles!

The Painted House :: A one of a kind post about Angela’s 90 year old neighbor, Mrs. L, who has lived in the same house for 56 years.  Back when they got their milk delivered.  While you’re there, let’s all wish we lived in North Carolina so that we could rent out Angela’s cottage in the mountains, or meet Angela herself who completely won my heart by emailing me the first time I commented on her blog – not to mention stunning us all with her beauty.  A friend!

Blogspot :: I’ve been thinking of picking up, bag and baggage, and moving to Blogger.com.  I came to wordpress with hopes and ideas of being, you know, HTML savvy.  Due to an incompatibility problem between code and my brain, that didn’t pan out as expected.  I’m thinking of something much more click and drag.  I can do click and drag.

Click.

Post-mortems

It’s really too bad that blogging time comes at the end of the day.  When my thoughts just don’t have the get up and go to leap from one synapse to the next.

Fizzled.  Reduced.  Fried.

I know there was something I was going to blog about tonight.  Last night I was going to post the video from Lia’s recital, along with a picture or two.  But my computer couldn’t handle the exertion and my psyche couldn’t handle the computer.

I think this is Murphy’s Law coming in to effect, this end-of-the-day lapse I’m having.

As usual, I was still eating while everyone else had finished their dinner and gone on their merry way.  So I finished my dinner on the back patio swing, watching the kids play with a pot of potting soil they had overturned.  There were 45 minutes until bedtime and all I had to do was a few dishes, put on jammies, brush a few teeth, and the day would be done.  Devo had taken the kids swimming this afternoon, and they were all bathed and ready for bed.

This reprieve from the usual end-of-day wildness was so invigorating, I began to entertain pleasant (!) thoughts of doing some housecleaning after the kids were asleep.  Unusual, very unusual.

Well, I never finished getting the dishes put away, much less anything more adventurous.

Next thing I knew, Amelie was crying because there was something in her eye.  Which would be the potting soil.  Because if your sister puts potting soil on your head, it is going to fall into your eyes.

Levi had also been similarly, but more lavishly, decorated.

And by the time I was done showering them for the second (and Levi for the third) time, all enthusiasm for nightly pursuits of cleanliness had fled.

And this is really too bad, because we had a very very nice day.  Got up on time, went for a family walk, got compost at the nursery, managed both naps on time, practiced the piano, cooked meals (okay, so it was pasta and burritos, but hey…), went to the library to pick up 40 pounds of books about volcanos and sea creatures, read said books, played dominoes, visited with our neighbors, weeded, fertilized, and mulched the tomatoes while the kids swam.  We had a very nice day.

But as I said, it’s really too bad that I blog at the end of the day.  It makes for one post-mortem after another.  Haha.

Launch of our new blog, Three French Hens

I’m so excited to announce the launch of our new blog, Three French Hens at frenchhen.wordpress.com.

This is somewhat of a family endeavor.  Although we haven’t really figured out where the ‘family’ part fits in.  But, hey, we haven’t really started yet.  It’s a blog dedicated to our ‘locavarian lifestyle’…that is, eating locally (as in, the backyard), and connecting with this deserty smogness we’ve landed ourselves in.

In case you were wondering, it’s named Three French Hens because eventually we are going to have three chickens and we are going to bequeath them with preposterously French names like Antoinette.

Anyhow, head on over, if you’re so inclined.  I’ve been working on this for weeks (I know you won’t be able to tell yet, but it’s true) and tonight is The Night it launches into the big wide world.  Enjoy!

BTW, Spinning in my Teacup will remain as is, a haphazard journal of our crazy daily life.  So no need to worry.

Dear Friends,

I know it’s been too long since I’ve blogged when wordpress has signed me out of my account.  There was that one unpublished post from last week when I ranted and raved about life being wild and overwhelming.  But then I decided to just deal with it —this is my life— and I’ve been much happier since.  Happier and more composed.  Less catatonic in the face of adversity.

We went camping over the weekend.  We had a campground all to ourselves, air mattresses in the concrete pavilion, a grill, and a refrigerator.  I could see the ocean from my bed.  The full moon was as bright as a street lamp, but infinitely more beautiful.  It was perfect, perfect, perfect.  Even including the competition for most mosquito bites.  (Levi and I seem to be the most immune, Devo and Amelie the most bitten, Lia somewhere in the middle.)

Monday we bought the mount for my step dad’s flat screen and spent the afternoon mounting it and rearranging the living room.  Jesse (my step dad) is currently in the Philippines at a golf tournament, so this is our surprise Christmas and 50th birthday present for him.  Amelie and Levi were sleeping, so Lia got to spend some time at Grandma Ruby’s all by herself for the first time.  She helped clear the lunch table, helped sort nuts for Grandma’s famous nut butter, and induced Grandma into playing somewhere between 14 and a million rounds of Go Fish.

Tuesday was a holiday for my mom (public schools here follow the Catholic calendar, so she was off for Immaculate Conception).  We took everything out of her room, rearranged the furniture, organized the stuff, and put it all back in by lunchtime on Wednesday.  Including a trip to the pool and dinner with my cousin’s wife and baby.

Grandma and Grandpa wanted to know when the home decorators were coming over to their side of the street, so today we mounted their new flat screen TV and we will rearrange their living room tomorrow or Sunday.  🙂  We think of this as our contribution to three months worth of rent.

Liana’s bell choir Christmas schedule has started — their bell choir plays at different hotels and functions all through the Christmas season.  She has something pretty much every night/afternoon through till Christmas.  We’ve still managed to keep swimming, though.

My aunt Donna is set to come for a visit starting next Wednesday.  She’ll be staying and Grandma and Grandpa’s so that will add a new dimension to our daily routines.

Today Levi figured out that crawling is a legitimate form of transportation.  The world has become a big, exciting adventure.  It’s so darling.

I’ve decided to go to yoga classes.  I’m truly truly suffering without a regular class.  There is one Sabbath morning that Devo and I might go to together while the kids go to church with my mom.  My idea of a romantic Sabbath date.

We reach the midpoint of our sabbatical sometime in the next week or so.  We haven’t decided yet when to start talking and thinking about the future.  Maybe January.  Seems like a misuse of sabbatical time to think about work.

I keep putting off blogging because all the pictures are on Devo’s computer.  The obtaining of which would require at least one extra step in the process.  I guess that it’s better to write without pictures than to never write at all…

Love, Leilani

A Celebration of the Big 501

Apparently I missed yesterday’s big milestone…my 500th post!  So, instead, we’ll celebrate the 501st post.

Hello, my name is Leilani and I am a recovering perfectionist.

Wow, 500 times I’ve clicked “publish” and not gone back to delete the post 30 seconds later.  I think that is significant.

I thought I’d celebrate by asking something of you dear, dear people – the people who’ve stuck with me through 500 (or less) posts.

So this is what I’m thinking…

I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell me the following things…

#1 Where in the world are you?  Guam? South Africa? Florida?  North Dakota?

and then, if you have another moment or two…

#2 How did you find my blog?

and if you have yet another moment and some available memory…

#3 What is one of your favorite posts? (Youtube videos count.  If you don’t remember the exact title or the exact content, for heaven’s sake, don’t go looking!  Unless you’re in the mood to browse, that is.  Otherwise, just jot down a few of the words or thoughts that you remember from it.)

Happy 501, everyone!  May the worst of the next 501 be the best of the last 501!

Disney Princesses, Be Gone!

I did it.  I just took off my two most viewed posts.

Disney Princesses got 46,509 hits since I posted it on May 25, 2008.

Disney Princesses – 23,976 hits.

Can you believe it?

If you googled “Disney Princesses” and clicked “images”, my blog was the first up.  It got off the list for awhile, and then came back up first.  And then I stopped checking stats and forgot all about it. Until tonight.

Being that I get comments like “i luv princesses”, I don’t think that it’s really pulling in the readership I’m aiming towards.  You know, like, thinking people.

So, off it goes. Let’s all say bye-bye now.

(I still think they were good posts, so I’ll put them back on after awhile and take off the link of the picture.)

But if you’re interested, here’s an article my friend Trisha put us on to about Disney Princesses…for the thinking people.

Back to Normal (?)

I should have never, never  assumed that I would be blogging the last few weeks.  My apologies for stringing all of us along in the hope that I would find minutes together where the entire family was happy at a time I had available brain cells for putting together sentences.  Hahahaha.

Devo’s parents left Wednesday morning after a relaxed three and a half week visit.  I especially enjoyed our day at the beach (and got lots of great pictures).  I think my favorite times, though, were the evenings when we would eat dinner on the back patio in the cool of the evening.  The girls would play and we would just…sit.  And enjoy the birds, the girls, the air, little bits of conversation.  I’ve never spent very much time just sitting, but I’m beginning to find it addicting and refreshing.  And then, lo and behold, we discovered we can see the fireworks from our patio…what a great Fourth of July!

So now we’re trying to get back to normal life and normal routines.  Not that this week is normal.  It’s VBS, biggest week of the year.  (Two hundred volunteers and who knows how many children this week).  Wild times.

Important updates:

1) Yes, Levi is still sleeping 8 hours at a time.  Bless his little baby self.

2) Yes, we are still house hunting.  And it’s starting to cause me emotional stress.

3) Yes, I’m still reading.  Of course!  Latest book is The First Paul by Borg and Crossan.  And timely, as the VBS theme is Rome and Paul.

4) Yes, the meal plan is working.  But it doesn’t work unless you go grocery shopping.  Friday farmer’s market, here I come!

5) No, I have not found a new purse yet.  But I’ve been looking faithfully.  And carrying my purse in my hand.

6) Yes, I have been speaking more confidently.  When I can get a word in edgewise.