things not made of cheese…

As we drove home tonight, the moon was round and large. The soft light shown on the roadway ahead of us and off the leaves and branches of the trees. Violet pointed to it, and I remembered the moon of my childhood. The Old Man on the Moon. I would look up at his face and wonder at his expression which seemed different every day; some days he was sad, on others he would be smiling ,but usually his expression was just benevolent. Sometimes when I was little, we would all take our blanket and pillows and sleep out in the yard. We’d stay up late and tell stories, try to find constellations, and look up at the face of the Man on the Moon. My mom would always sing this song, “I see the moon and the moon see’s me. God bless the moon, and God bless me…”



When my second brother ( I have 5) was about 2 or 3, he would repeatedly vocalize any action he was doing. You’d tell him to go hide for hide and go seek, and he’d put a couch cushion over his face and say “Hide, hide, hide, hide.” Not all the time, just often enough to make it a memory.

One day my dad took the first two boys with him to an estate sale to get some tools. He found a box of stuff, but didn’t want to carry it around while he looked, so he told Coloray and Trustin to guard the box for him so that no one else would take it. As soon as he left, Trustin hovered protectively over the tools and started saying “Guard, guard, guard…” so that everyone would know he was guarding the tools. Apparently Coloray got embarrassed and told him to stop. At which point, a man walked up and took the box of tools.

memories are important to write down; someday you will most likely forget them.

Once, Coloray and I had a conversation in which we both agreed that everyone goes through an ugly phase. For most people it is shortly after their adult teeth come in and they’re all gangly, big-toothed, and not old enough to be selfconcious enough to make sure they look ok. We were probably 13 and 11 when we had this conversation and we concluded that we were so relieved to have our “ugly years” behind us, but when I look back at our pictures from this age, we look every bit as awkward as we did in our “ugly phase.”

When my sister Angel was a little girl, she was convinced it was her destiny to be ballerina. I told her that every little girl feels this way, and that she’d grow out of it when she was as “mature” as me. She was very mad at me and pointed her tiny toes insistently as if their cuteness was proof of her destiny. She eventually grew out of it, which is good, because she’s way too short to be a ballerina.

Anyway, this post goes out to Trustin who will be 22 in a few short days. One more Trustin story.

When we lived in eastern washington, we had no running water or electricity. Plus, we lived “off the land” between farm animals and a huge garden. Needless to say, Jello was no everyday occurrence. Once for a special treat my parents got some jello from the store (or maybe someone gave it to us, I don’t remember which). Since we had no electricity and therefore no fridge, we decided to chill the Jello in a plastic milk carton. It was lime, I only remember because I was kind of cheated out of it, but I’m jumping ahead of myself. My mom and I poured the jello mix and water into the plastic jug. When it was done setting by chilling in the spring, we would cut the top half off the carton to serve it. I headed down the hill and tied the jug by the handle to a stick so it wouldn’t float away.

Four hours later, in eager anticipation Coloray and I headed down to the spring to get dessert. Too bad Trustin had been there first and had eaten it ALL when it was still soft enough to shake out the top opening. We didn’t think it was funny.


To Do:

suck the helium out of your daughter’s old birthday balloons and sing to her. She may be indifferent to the tonal changes in you voice, but I promise you’ll get a kick out of yourself.

So apparently, there’s this place socks go to. I’m not sure where it is, or how they get there, but somewhere there is a giant room full of mismatched socks. When I still lived at home with my parents, all my siblings knew where that room was because I kept losing my socks. If you share a house and a laundry room with nine other people, there’s bound to be at least one person with a sock-vendetta in the laundry room at any given time. I was quite relived once I got married and moved in with AJ to find that he had no idea where this room was either, and so we lived many blissful years of matched socks. The end.

oh wait, we had a baby. Not only does she know where this room is, she aggressively searches for socks to put there. When I was folding laundry this afternoon, she crawled up and snatched one out of the pile and headed off to find a suitable portal to the sock room.


“I belive I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky. I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away…”

yes, the quotation marks are there to make sure you know I didn’t actually make that title up.

Anyway, what does an old camper canopy, a patio umbrella, and Mary Poppins have in common?

Magic, my friends…pure magic.

One summer afternoon the summer I was seven, a moving truck went past our house and a patio umbrella fell out of the back. My mom tried to flag them down, but they were long gone. Either way, by the time the patio umbrella got carried up into the front yard my imagination had already changed it’s title to teepee/playhouse/carousel tent/fashionable accessory, and most important of all–a parachute. I figured, Hey, airplanes weigh hundreds of pounds and they can fly–the only thing that’s keeping me on the ground is the lack of a giant umbrella. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the summer climbing up on top of the truck camper canopy and jumping off while holding onto the umbrella. I was confident that if I could just perfect my technique, the umbrella would catch a gust of wind and I’d be flying around the neighborhood. It never worked, but i’m pretty sure that’s only because the camper top wasn’t high enough.

in case you’re wondering, i stole these pictures from various websites.


day 4 of amazingness

so, the best part about great weather? AJ goes snowboarding and comes home with the worlds best goggle burn. meaning that all the exposed skin on his face is bright red. I’ve been making fun of him all evening to break him in gently for the guffaw that is sure to meet him when he walks in the door at work tomorrow.

Also: Violet almost has teeth. This time it’s for real. I can just see them under the gums–all white and tiny. The two bottom front ones for the benefit of the Grandmas.

Today we had a playdate with Kristin and Emery while AJ and Gerad were out snowboarding. Last time Violet and Emery were together, he was pushing her around and all over her, but this time was different. Partly due to her practicing babywrestlemaniawith her friend Isla, but also due to the fact that Emery had just woken from a nap and the poor unsuspecting kid was eating a cereal bar. Violet has a “no holds barred” fighting policy when it comes to getting food from someone. In general, she was much more impressed by him than he was of her.

I’ve just looked outside and the clouds are starting to roll in. Too bad. It was nice while it lasted; Violet and I even got to be barefoot in the park today. Of course, when I was younger I was barefoot all the time–which explains the three-inch scar on my foot I guess. Not that it stopped me; I remember having races with my brothers to see who could run the farthest from the house in the wintertime, which now strikes me as a sick contest, but we were tough kids–or at least that’s what we were going for.


this reminds me…

my bedroom is a mess. M-E-S-S. This reminds me of a goat named Pammy.

Goats are smart…forget dolphins or monkeys, goats are the possibly the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom.  When I was little, we lived on an old farm, with an older house. Everything about that house was like a mini-time capsule to the days when my great-grandfather was a farmer.  The walls were insulated with sheep’s wool, the floors were made of brick, and the only doors with wobbly knobs were outside doors.  Having goats, this meant that anything inside the house was not only a huge source of curiosity, but also available to any goat with enough determination and concentration. Usually, they would work on the door knob till it wobbled open and then it was a mad dash to the open bag of dog food inside the door till they were caught. Of course, if the door was open, the whole house was declared “open season” by all other nearby animals…and chickens.

The worst attack ever occured on a Sunday. We were gone to church all morning and afternoon, which meant there had been plenty of time for a determined, concentrated goat. As we pulled up the hill and the house came into view, we knew immediately something was up when the front door was open and a chicken was standing in the open loft window. Running into the house, we found 5 or 6 goats and a dozen or so chickens running out the other door and leaving a ransacked house in their wake. There were still a few chickens we caught in the kitchen, a goat that had wandered up to the loft and was taste-testing a pillow, but at the end of the house we found the instigator…the oldest…the smartest; Pammy. She looked up at us, placidly chewing her cud as if to say, “It’s Sunday! Why else would I be lying stretched out on the biggest bed in the house with an open bible in front of me?”

Pammy was a milk goat, so we didn’t eat her.


Say What?

It snowed 3 inches last night. I guess the thing that irritates me most about snow, is when it never gets in the forecast till just before it snows. Somebody at msn weather needs a paycut.

So I want to move. We live in a condo, and this summer I really want a garden. Last summer i had some potted stuff, but its just not the same.

We always had gardens when I was growing up. Massive. Intensive. Rewarding. We’re talking an acre. (trust me, an acre is big when you do everything by hand). I remember hot days in July the summer I was 7. Sitting in the middle of the rows of potato plants picking out potato beetles; the creases on the skin of my knees deeply lined with dirt. We had to get all the beetles out of the plants and then squish them between two rocks. Nobody told us that rhubarb was poisonous when raw, so you’d find us out in the middle of the garden; weeding, picking beetles, whining, and eating stalks of red rhubarb. Good hard work never killed nobody. You can quote me on that one. Later when I was 11, watering the garden meant carrying bucket-fulls up from the river and splashing precious drops on the acorn squash plants that would later feed us in the frosty months of fall and winter.

Sometimes just because it’s easier doesn’t mean it’s better for you. Sometimes the best parts of life can only be found by dirty feet dangling over a river bank after a long, hot day in a garden.