Monday, April 30, 2012


I probably have mentioned we have thirteen for dinner every night with the age ranging from 21 months to 85 years old.   We are an interesting mix.   I am trying to think of a name for our camp so we can all keep our humor.   The funny thing is I used to think I wanted to be a camp director when I was a youngling so voila!   Now I am.   One of the scheduling issues I am currently pondering is how to make it possible to allow for individual time for everyone.   We have to all get out of our gated community every so often and then of course there is the natural result of having people around you all the time.   Phew.  Teaching everyone that I am not really a mind reader will probably be the most helpful strategy.   Perhaps a communication board.   I am open to ideas.   I also wish I could find a good read on elder care and link in somehow with some people with experience.   I am grateful I did get some breaks this weekend so feel a bit better about facing this coming week.   I of course need to practice "run away from my laptop" to make sure I am actually keeping on top of things.   So far so good.   Here ends this rambling post.    Input welcome. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flower power

Flowers have some sort of power over my thrift.   I love outdoor plants.  I kill indoor plants.   My favorite plant nursery is full of miniature plants and they are so very cute.   The owner creates fairy gardens with tiny little houses and people and tiny little live plants.   It appeals to my creative self.   Erik and I went down for my first visit of the year to take a look around.   We actually ended up buying a pink dogwood to plant back near where our little one is buried.   It was Erik's idea and I thought it was a good one.   One favorite part of biking in the country, is seeing other people's flowering trees, shrubs and gardens.   I am hoping to prettify the whole area around where the tree is planted.   I did plant tulips there last fall but the deer thought they were the salad bar so will have to rethink what to plant there for next year.   I got a few woodland flowers as well to light up the entrance to the woods.   My 85 year old father-in-law enjoys a nice walk through the woods so cleaning it up and making that safer and more enjoyable will be something fun to work on with the kids.   May is creeping up and the temptation to forsake the kids schooling to live outdoors annually becomes quite the battle.   Maybe I can garden by moonlight too.   Hmmm.....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Skin to skin

You read about the benefits to an infant to immediately make contact with their mothers (or fathers if the mother. is somehow not able) to warm their bodies and to find security in the warmth of another human being as they begin their little lives outside their mothers.    As I have been staring at and pondering all the humans around me of all ages, I have been considering the benefits of this skin to skin benefit.   Obviously not literally skin to skin but every human benefits from warm, secure, human contact.    It seems a rarity or cast aside in our lives as not a priority as you know, 'we all have things we need to be doing.'    Doing.   I get so weary of doing.   Doing, doing, doing.  

 My three year old has a case of the screamie meanies.    Should I toss her in time out every time she screams???   What if I took her up in my arms and hugged her and spent time with her rather than get her away from me?   Emotional energy comes from emotional support.   Emotional strength and energy comes from contact which helps sooth us and not repel us.    I suppose I could consider how very badly I  need emotional support myself in caring for so many people and perhaps could benefit from time spent with all of my kids and family in a closer way rather than running away.

My nearly fourteen year old has struggled with showing emotion for several years.   It could be mostly from the fact that there are many who need this attention from me.   It makes me sad to think of the time I have not been able to sit with him and make physical contact just by allowing him to be by me.  

We all learn from our experience.   If we experience distance, it takes some time before there is comfort in closeness with other people.   Modeling telling my kids I love them has resulted in a greater ease in them to be able to say it back to me and anyone else they come in contact with who might say that.   It is a long lesson to learn and takes time and patience.  Five years is about how long it took for comfort to seem more natural.     I have no doubt the same will hold true with the kids finding their comfort level in being able to receive the comfort of just having someone give them a hug etc.   This was not modeled for me and it is not something I come by easily.   In fact I feel like somewhat of a dork if anyone other than my nuclear family gives me a hug and even that happens with such rarity (sadly admitting) that if someone else gives me a hug??????   Horrors.   Takes effort and the only way for it to not take as much effort is most likely to come from practicing offering my family and friends hugs?   Sit closer to my kids.   Offer to have my kids cuddle up next to me for reading time more often????    Time.   Patience.   Breathe.   Forgive.   Love them.   

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dagwood sandwich

I am feeling a tiny bit like a Dagwood sandwich.    I have nine kids under me and then there is the husband and his parents above me.   I am sort of in the middle and do what I can to keep the peace around here.   No one is being particularly troublesome but it is a bit to keep up with.   I have always had a strong need for alone time ever since I can remember.    Well......alone is not what I would call myself.    Like I said, no one is doing anything horrific but everyone has their quirks including me and since that is quirks times thirteen (I think) including my neighbor who comes over to help, I am having trouble not wanting even more alone time than would be reasonable.   There are really fourteen different sets of quirks including me.   Have I mentioned quirks and alone time.   Yeah.....I guess I have.    We are muddling along and the elder group is learning the meaning of patiently not being the only ones contending for my attention.  Tomorrow is another day......

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Sometimes I am just tired.   This weekend was extremely nice with my oldest daughter coming for a visit.   All told we had fifteen people at most meals.   I know how to cook for fifteen people pretty easily so that is not a big deal.   The interaction is awesome but wow, I don't realize how tired I can be at the end of such a weekend.   I wish daughter dear could just stay.   Sad to say goodbye.   It had been since the end of Christmas break since I last saw her.   We talk on the phone but it isn't quite the all.   But now she has gone back to school and I miss her.   This is sort of a blah, blah, blah post.   Not sure what my point is but now I want to go retreat somewhere for a bit.  Went to bed right after dinner to read and do basically nothing productive and now I have written the blah, blah, blah  post.   Sometimes I am just tired.   Just saying.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Gated Community

I tell my mother-in-law that we live in a gated community.   She and my father-in-law moved in last weekend.   For those of you who have never been here to visit our community, about 15 years ago we installed a fence around the perimeter of our ten acres.   Our old dog, not to be confused with our current old dog, used to escape with great regularity and go visit the neighbors garbage cans.   Our old neighbors also decided to use part of our property to build trails on for their enjoyment so......we followed the old adage of fences make good neighbors.   No more Christmas hams eaten off of the neighbors back step.....

Anyway, my father-in-law is 85 and has a hankering for wandering around through the woods.   My twenty month old also enjoys wandering down the driveway to the gate (not good).   So I told mother-in-law that we live in a gated community.   Charley's dad does not have Alzheimer s but he is pretty easily confused at times.   He loves walking in the woods which probably comes from growing up and living most of his life on 200 some acres in Pennsylvania.

Charley's mom is having a nice time too being able to stretch her legs, help with cooking and cleaning and basically having some freedom and space to move around.   So far so good, we are a pretty good match for them.   And.....we live in a gated community.   We do let some people in but you never know if you will get out.   Kidding.....