Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I came to a very cool realization today.  My children are known quantities at the local library and the locally owned book store.  Dominic and Sophia are familiar faces in places that bring both joy and knowledge.

It gives me great satisfaction to see my seven year old son greet members of his community with a smile, to see his ease at getting in line, alone, to ask a question.  My kiddos have no problem with asking questions.  (When I asked a question at a cooking demo this past weekend, my husband remarked, 'so that's where they get it from...')
I love that they feel that they own a voice within their community.  They have their own individual identity in the eyes of adults and kids alike. 

Both Dominic and Sophia have become friends in their own right with people at the book store and library.  Their friends, adults, know what book series the kids love, enough to recommend other books and authors.  Today, at the bookstore, Sophia struck up a conversation with a young girl about a favorite author.  To watch the ease with which these two girls, complete strangers, developed a rapport together, it really filled my heart.  Watching the ease of their social interactions is especially fufilling to me because I worried that our kids wouldn't be 'socialized' properly with our choice to homeschool.  Now I can just laugh at the ridiculousness of that...

A man approached Dominic at the library, or I should say he approached the top of Dom's head as it was buried in a book.  "You like reading?  I think it's boring."  The man, in his futile effort to be "cool" with a kid, obviously picked the wrong one.  No worries though, Dominic didn't hear him; he was too busy reading.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Daze

Summer reminds me why I love Wisconsin; it's February that makes me quickly forget.  Wisconsin people are so wonderfully kind all year round, as a gross generalization, but in summer, it's as if we are all children again.

Today the family, myself included, went to a book festival.  I have to say it warms my heart that my kiddos get as excited about books as they do ice cream, and that is pretty excited. (sidethought-what if a small, white truck drove around the 'hood, playing obnoxiously loud music and handing out books?  I think Dominic would seriously spontaneously combust)

ANYway, some of you might remember that I was bestowed with the great honor of being one of the "Lousiest Chefs in SE Wisconsin".
(Dom still calls it the 'dirtiest chef', which sounds really bad)
Well, today,that 'Lousy Chef' was front row at the cooking demos thank you very much!  Wisconsin Veggies and Herbs are now my friends!  I got this really groovy book too:

Nancy Stohs, the wonderful reporter that chronicled the 'before' and 'after' of the Lousy Chefs, namely myself and a gentleman named George, kindly warned me that there could be a follow up down the road to see my progress, or lack thereof.
Well, we now belong to a CSA, Wellspring,, we have our own garden, and I even made the famous Bartollotta's Spinach lasagna for two other families.  If all else fails, I will heavily bribe my family when we get the call...:)

Just imagine what I can do when our oven gets fixed!  (that is a tale for a different time)

Final thought-the peeps and I went camping at Mauthe Lake last weekend and had a fantastic time with many friends.  That has always been a dream of mine, to go camping with the kids, beyond the backyard.  To wake up to blue sky and majestic pine trees, what a gift. 

Thanks for reading, and I wish you joyous summer days in tents, gardens, hammocks, and loving arms. 
Be well!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Home Alone

My kiddos are at a sleepover, Tony is doing the soccer thing until later tonight, so unless you count 2 Weims,


But in case you are a serial killer, my Weims are trained to kill.

If you are wondering why this is a big deal, well, I guess it's because it doesn't happen all that often, and that is okay with me.  Does that make me a better mom than someone who goes out more?  No.  Does that make me weird?  No.  It is what it is.

It's always a delicate balancing act isn't it, taking care of people while taking care of oneself.  I am reading an interesting book, raising HAPPINESS by Christine Carter Ph.D.

The first chapter is called "Put on your own oxygen mask first" and starts with the following quote from Carl Jung: "Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically...on children that the unlived life of a parent."

Wow.  I guess I am trying to be there for my peeps, including my dashing hubby, while at the same time I am trying to be there for myself, just like everyone else.  (Quote from Yoda now in my head: "Do or do not; there is no try." Yoda kinda looks like Jung...)


I am doing well with oxygen.  I really feel like I am at a time in my life where I have stronger bonds with other women than I have ever had.  I value those friendships tremendously.  I am at the point too where I don't need a lot of acquaintances.  It's easy to tell if I am on the same wavelength as someone else or not.  If not, no worries, but for others, it's as if we are of the same karass (Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle) the moment we meet.

I love my husband more everyday.  Sometimes, I feel as if I am just playing house with my best friend.  These children in our house are now full blown individuals with passions, moods, attitudes of their very own.  And we made them.  How crazy is that?  It's pretty amazing that I get to spend time with these people.  I have to remind myself from time to time that they are lucky to be spending time with me too.  :)

The world would be a happier place if we were less concerned about everyone else, in terms of judging or gossiping, and more concerned with ourselves and what we bring to the table.  I love the quote from the recently passed John Wooden:

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."

And now, since you are not judging me, I am going to eat some cookie dough and go for a run, in that order.

Be well.