Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sailor Talk

Having an outdoor space that we can actually move around in is one of the reasons why Scott and I liked this house so much. The girls have a great place to play and run around and actually get to be kids. Towering trees, a pond and a gazebo make it an excellent place for young explorers.

The only draw back we’ve discovered is that despite all of our camping trips, the girls, mostly Cyra, are not 100% sure which bugs, spiders and snakes to avoid. So I found a friendly blog about snakes that live in Florida that had some amazing pictures.

“Look, Cyra,” I say pointing at the screen, “this one is an Eastern Diamondback Rattler. Stay the Hell away from this one.”

“Do they live here?”

“Yes. But you probably won’t see on in the yard. Besides, you’ll hear it before you see it anyway.” I click on the next picture. “See this one?”

“Yes.” Cyra says. “What is it?”

“It is a Southern Copperhead. Stay the Hell away from this one.”

“Okay, Mommy.” She pulls her feet up onto the couch and looks anxiously at the floor.

“Okay.” I tell her clicking on the next picture. “This is a Coral Snake. Really stay the Hell away from this one.”

“Mom, but the Scarlett King snake is okay.” Ashleigh pipes in.

“Yeah, but to be safe, stay the Hell away from both of them,” I reply.

“Mommy, I know that if the red and yellow touch it’s venomous,” Cyra states.

I nod and click on another picture.

“Look, this one is a Cottonmouth. Stay the Hell away from it.”

“I get it, Mommy.” Cyra says.


“Mom? Shouldn't you just tell her to stay away from all the snakes?” Ashleigh asks.

“Well, yeah, but like this one?” I click to another photo. “Eastern Indigo. Good snake to have around. And they’re pretty.” I look at the picture for a minute. “This is the one you saw, Cyra that made you jump 12 feet into the air shrieking like a banshee!” I pause, “You should probably just stay away from snakes.”

I swivel the desk chair around to face the girls. Cyra’s feet are tucked up tight beneath her.

“I am never going outside again,” she says.

“That’s silly,” I tell her, “What are you going to do when you see a snake in the yard?”

“Stay the Hell away from it!” she exclaims.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cramped For Space

1300 square feet is actually not all that much space, especially coming from 1700 square feet and an attic. I am discovering just how attached I am to certain things (like books and crafts) and how completely unattached I am to other things (please explain to me why I have four queen-sized comforters/quilts).

Before we moved, I did a lot of dejunking. A lot. Bags and bags of books donated to the library, boxes of miscellaneous mismatched dishes, old linens and clothes. As much as I thought I could get rid of, I did.

But I am finding that it wasn’t enough.

We have a great deal of storage space but it is all outside storage. And right now, I am a bit concerned for my many boxes of Christmas decorations, teaching supplies, crafts and books that are in a hostile environment.

Oh! The humidity. The blazing heat. And let’s not get started on the bugs.

I went to Barnes and Noble today to browse because I have a gift card (yes this is related). I picked up nearly a dozen books throughout my leisurely stroll around the store. Yet every book I picked up went back on the shelf. I can wait until the library has it, I thought. I’ve got a ton of books that I just checked out from the library. And then, a most horrific thought: Where exactly would I put this book? On what shelf?


Ready to leave, I walked to the front door empty handed right past the shiny display of Nooks and the delightful saleslady making an exuberant pitch to a little old lady.

I paused. I picked up a display Nook secured tightly to the counter with a white springy wire. I pressed a few buttons and the screen whizzed into action: menus, demos, apps. I sighed quietly at the price and put the Nook back on its display shelf.

I turned to leave and the saleslady caught my eye for just a second. Her glance clearly screamed, “No! Don’t walk away! I know you want this and I will be right with you! Please!”

I smiled and walked out of the store.


1300 square feet is just almost enough motivation and justification for buying an e-reader.

But then I think to myself, there is just something so nice about flipping the pages in a book, the smell of the paper, the stiffness of the spine.

I am sure one day, I’ll get an e-reader or the next Great Thing, but it will be the day when books are no longer published on paper. A day when paper maybe too costly to use or too rare.
And that day, my Friends, that day makes me sad.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Potting and Plotting

In the old house, I had a bunch of flower pots left over from the previous woman who lived there. One pot, had a bunch of amaryllis bulbs in it that every year bloomed faithfully even though I didn’t ever do anything for them except occasionally pulling a few weeds out. The other pots pretty much just had weeds.

I kept them around because even though I do not consider myself a gardener or a person who can actually keep a plant alive, I know how much large ceramic garden pots can cost.

I always figured that someday, I might just be ambitious enough to start a container garden.


If scientists ever create genetically modified flowers that are indestructible.

In any case, when we got ready to move back to the St. A. I decided to take the empty pots with me. The house we found to rent has nearly 2 acres with it and the Girls were excited to have space to plant a vegetable garden.

Knowing my propensity to kill green things, I opted to wait before digging into a garden and do research. (It is one of the things I miss most about being a slacker college kid)

While I research the girls bounce around me begging for a garden.

“Okay,” I tell them, “but we will start small with what we have.”

While Ashleigh was off frolicking on a GS trip, Cyra and I wandered around Home Depot picking flowers solely on prettiness factor and color. Luckily, most of them turned out to like sunshine (we get a lot here!) and I eventually figured out the difference between a perennial and an annual (remember, black thumb over here!).

And people, I totally have a garden!

Red one.

It's a pink one! We also got the same kind in a dark pink and white!

It's a purple one!

Firecracker Flower

Some type of Daisy

Balloon Flower - Cyra's Favorite

All planted and ready for the Sun!

The ease of which these plants went into the pots makes me almost confident about a larger garden down the line. Now let's see if we can keep them alive...

Dreaming Big

I only discovered Miss Britt a few short weeks ago and I’ve been lurking ever since. She’s totally living my life! Well, the life I totally want to live.

Liquidate the assets.
Buy an RV.
Home school the Small Fries.
Travel the continent.
Blog about it.

Totally. Want. This. Life.

But for now, the best I can do is to vicariously live through her spectacular blog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back And Better Than Before. Probably.

I’ve been in dark places before. Back in high school I went through a stupid dark place.

I haven’t posted here in a while because I was once again in a dark place and I had no interest in blogging about it. I still don’t, so don’t look for me to go into the details now.

But I am coming back to myself, I think, with a new location, a new attitude and a new purpose. I’m ready to talk again, ready to write here again.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride it is sure to be exciting…at the very least quirky and maybe even entertaining. There’ll be adventures in parenting, writing, teaching, crafting, gardening and maybe some chickens.