Showing posts from June, 2009

Blog Tag, Photo-style

A fellow writer friend over at The Koala Bear Writer tagged me in this fun game. Here's my version... When Annie was just the tiniest of babies, I'd take her outside and sit her on a blanket in the yard. Within seconds, she'd roll or crawl off until she she was totally surrounded by Earth. She was the only baby I've ever known to really love the feel of prickly grass or crunchy mulch, and I couldn't keep her off of it. She was coined "my dirt baby." Late Winter/early Spring in Ohio is really not that pleasant, and this photo was taken in March when the entire outside was cold and damp and dreary. The wet and mud was just too much for me to haul the kids outside, but Annie wasn't going to give into the bad weather. At just over a year, she pushed the chair up against the back door, climbed up, and stared outside at the back yard. I had to snap a photo, it was just one of those simple moments of everyday life that are so easily forgotten, and ye

New shoes are good for the sole and the soul

“God made dirt, and dirt don’t hurt.” I can’t remember when I first heard that, but it is most definitely my motto when it comes to raising kids. I have always wanted real kids, ones who aren’t afraid to go out and play in the mud, to come home with scratches and bruises, that consider jumping in puddles, and I have been blessed with such children. So actually, it’s more than my motto. It’s my excuse. Last week I had to scrub, literally, the dirt off of my daughter’s legs. “That’s what you get when you creek walk,” she told me in her matter-of-fact way. And my baby manages to get dirt in the most peculiar places, as if when I wasn’t looking she took off all of her clothes, rolled around in the mud, and stuck a piece of mulch in her ear. But more than anything, my son has proven to me a hundred times over, that my motto has come back to haunt me. Followers of this column recently read about his three-week underwear, and I can assure you that that is the tip of the stinky iceberg.

Small Successes

Small Successes this week: 1. Remembering to write down my Small Successes! (I forgot last week...not very successful.) 2. Sewed the girls matching skirts which is quite an accomplishment because sewing is not something I really know how to do. 3. Had an extremely productive day today, including going shopping with three kids hyped up on donut sugar and mowing the lawn in 85 degrees!

A short story about a tall tree

I wrote this for an assignment, "a story about your childhood." Just wanted to explain the randomness of such a sweet story! We didn't spend much money on fancy flowers or trees at the cottage. It was just a little cement block house in the woods and even though the forest was endless and the lake enormous, the land we owned was tiny. But it was ours, and we wanted to surround it with the nature that surrounded us. Local plants, you might say, which is why one day my dad and I set out with some buckets and a shovel in search of a few saplings. "The woods are full of them," he said. And so we went, trudging over the hills for what seemed like hours and hours before we headed home, my dad carrying the buckets and I dragging the shovel behind me. Our hands were dirty, but we both smelled of pine sap from the load we were transplanting. After a quick glass of iced tea, it was time to get planting, which we did without whine or fuss. We put a few pines down by t

Three cheers (and soy lattes) for the toad!

The little toad in the fairy house poem won me some Starbucks cash. I never knew I loved toads so much...but now I do. Read more here and check out the rest of the Zook Book Nook blog too, she does an amazing job with it!

Fairy house has a new renter

Earlier this year we constructed a fairy house in the backyard. (details here ) Since then we've been patiently waiting for the fairies to arrive, but apparently we've attracted other such visitors. We think he's waiting comfortably on his bed of moss for us to use our little iron-weathered sandstone dishes to serve him a little toad tea party. And little toadie will never know, but he's also inspired 20 little lines of verse, which I'm sure I'll tuck away for the kids someday... Thanks to Kim at the Zook Book Nook for inspiring me to write this little poem. Wooded lot, new carpet, dishes provided To build a fairy house, one must first Think just like a fairy. Things that sparkle, things that glitter, All colors light and airy. Make sure to add a touch of moss For their dainty little feet. Add flowers for some decoration And to make the air smell sweet. Prepare to serve your fairy guests With tiny cups of tea, Provide them with cups and saucers, In natura

Dad’s slogan deserves a hot handmade card

Every good dad has a tagline, or some phrase he can call his own even if he doesn’t know it. These slogans are said frequently and with such vigor that they inevitably become part of that person. My Grandfather must have told me 5,000 times to “eat slow and eat a lot.” In fact he’s still telling me, and I’m still eating more than my fair share, at a reasonable pace. My father’s catchphrase was a little less instructive. He must have told me 5,000,000 times that I was “letting out the BTU’s.” Whether it was door or a window in the house or the car, if it was open and it wasn’t a balmy 70 degrees outside I was loudly informed that I was “letting out the BTU’s!” “Do you know what a BTU is?” he’d impatiently ask. “Nope,” I’d answer, thinking that if I switched the letters around a little it’d be rather funny to be letting them out. “British Thermal Unit,” he’d remind me, as if it was a shocker that I didn’t know. “It’s a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise one pound

Blog is the new blah: Adding images

You know, like when Seinfeld made "yadda yadda yadda" famous in the early 90's, and then somehow that transformed into "blah blah blah" which snuck its way it everyone's daily vocabulary. Now we're nearing the twenty-teens (?) and I find myself saying "blog blog blog" more than the old standby. And not so much as in the meaning of "yadda yadda yadda" but more about the fact that blogging, a term so absolutely foreign just a few years ago, is such a part of my life. I get up. I think about blogging. I lay in bed at night. I think about what I'll blog about tomorrow (should I actually get the chance to sit and write.) I spend my day with camera in hand, hoping to snap a couple of decent shots to include my blog, although since losing a photo card in my good camera I'm forced to use the freebie we got from the credit card company last year and my pictures don't come out like those beautiful shots I see on other blogs. Mine

The dirt-lover/book-lover comes out: book review

Just had to share some of these excellent books that I am reading or re-reading this summer. Another good Tom Brown Jr. book just arrived in the mail. I've already let the dishes stack up a little too much for reading this book. Not only does he show you the practical side of nature with children, but the first part of the book talks about teaching awareness in the environment, about how to break down the barriers put up by society so that you can truly be aware of all that is around you. Important stuff! Scratching the Woodchuck is a re-read. David Kline ranks as one of the best authors I know-- anyone who can give you a complicated image or thought without the use of a thesaurus is tops in my book. I should add "science-lover" to the blog title too. This book is excellent!!! It is supposed to be for ages 8-12, but I found that my 5 and 7 year old can get them with appropriate clues and hints. The names used are a little weird (what happened to Bob and Sue and Mike and

The indisputable boy and a new species

I should really pay more attention to the laundry, but the truth is that I try to ignore it as much as possible. In fact, I do my hardest to think about anything but the laundry while I am washing and folding. Sometimes I talk on the phone or listen to music, other times I just blankly stare into space and think about anything that doesn’t involve stain removers and popsicles. So it came as no surprise to me that I completely overlooked the fact that I had not washed, dried, folded, or put away any underwear for my son for quite some time. And for as many hugs as I get from my five-year-old, I can’t believe the odor didn’t tip me off before he spilled his secret. Our family is fortunate to have a place to go to unwind and get away from it all. A small cabin in the woods, with a pond and acres upon acres dirt and forest to run in. We spent every weekend of my entire childhood in the wilderness of central Ohio, and the rolling foothills of the Appalachians hold a special place in my hear

Small Successes

This week's Small Successes 1. I didn't shoot my mouth off at the Doc's when he was running over an hour behind, even with all three kids running around the examination room. 2. I stood up for myself and my beliefs and made my family promise at least one family dinner each week. 3. I remembered the great joy I feel when I watch a young child hold a pinecone, a stone, a stick, a snakeskin, a feather. Not to mention laughing at a pignut hickory shell.

Nightmare on Craft Street-- my future pledge

"COME OOOON!" I said, in a completely audible tone, on purpose and for all those in earshot of me, including my three kids, the neighbor girl, and everyone else in the checkout lane. Everyone, that is, except the cashier whose brain had rung one too many paint bottles. I have a love/hate relationship with the mega craft store. I love it because I can always find a bargain (who doesn't love a cheap flowerpot?) and am always in need of a few dozen extra paint brushes because I forgot to clean them and the entire lot of them turned to stone. I also love to walk down the aisle with all of the foamie crafts and laugh at the people stocking their cart with the stuff because while it's an easy sell, it's just awful smelly stuff that takes up too much room in your cupboards. Not to mention the aisles upon aisles of scrapbooking materials (see previous post here ) and the stickers that cost more than a spare kidney. Are you starting to sense the frustration that starts to

Iced tea with Crystal Light and a deck of cards

My grandmother passed away this week. It is less of a tragedy because she really hasn't been herself in quite a long time. Time and age had eaten away at her mind and her body so much that she was barely recognizable, and she certainly couldn't recognize anyone. But that's not how I want to remember Grandma. Grandma always had two things: a pitcher of tea in the fridge and a deck of cards nearby. She was a ferocious card player in her day, and if I close my eyes and think of her, the first thing I see is her sitting at the end of the table, a TV tray to her side holding an ash tray with a smoldering cigarette and a card shuffler. She'd be drinking either a cup of coffee or a glass of her special tea, which was nothing more than Lipton tea bags and crystal light lemonade. It was her specialty. She had a curio cabinet in her house. Gold, and shaped like a hexagon or something. In the bottom is where she kept crayons and old coloring books for me, although I'm p

Pay no attention to the mother behind the camera (aka anti-scrapbooker)

Among my closest friends I am known as the anti-scrapbooker. I am anti-fancy paper and anti-glue dots and anti-scalloped scissors. I like to pretend it’s because I don’t have the time to spend crafting each and every photograph into a memorable work of art, but actually it’s because I really stink at cutting and gluing so much that I don’t even know how I passed kindergarten. Not only that, but I am also a very disorganized person so much that my so-called desk has morphed into Mt. Paperandjunk and my computer has been officially kicked to the kitchen counter. So you can just imagine what my family photos are like. Our family photos, all thirty seven thousand of them, exist either on cameras, computers, haphazardly jammed in photo albums, or in a series of shoeboxes that I have so specifically labeled “2000-2005, plus a little 1999.” Put this scenario up against some of my friends, who travel to special stores to buy supplies for special weekends away when all they do is put togeth

The old gray mare likes campfires. And bacon.

Coffee just ain't cutting it anymore. I remember, back in my so-called youth, that I was shoot a couple of cups o' joe when I needed to be fresh, to be alert. To take a test, to drive somewhere new. It was an excellent drug of choice. And now I might as well be pouring it on my toes becuase it just doesn't work anymore. This all became a sad realization when the call came in from the groomer that I had missed the appointment that I myself scheduled for the dog today. A second "aww, snap" went off in the old noggin because I remembered then that I had also forgotten a vet appointment earlier the week for the dog to get the shots that could allow her to go to the groomer. Two appointments, completely forgotten. Granted, I have had a rough week with my fair share of obstacles, but still. Two appointments? I am slipping. Slipping like a kid in mid-July on a long piece of plastic that has a hose running down it. So tonight, instead of doing things I should be doi

Relay for Life "performance"

" Campfire Karrie ," er, me, is scheduled to play at the Orrville Relay for Life event in the Kids Camp on Friday, June 12. Calling all children with a fierce love of I've Been Working on the Railroad and anyone who can spit out Jenny Jenkins' " foldy - roldy - tildy - toldy -seek-a-double-use-a-cause-a-roll-a-find-me" (or however you spell such gobbledygook .) See the official entertainment schedule for exact times, or just veer off the track when you hear me strum a C chord.

A haiku for you

Everyone loves a good haiku, right? Here's the thought for the evening which really seems to wrap up my running-but-feels-like-i-got-nothing-done day. Fast-paced life got you? Running on the old treadmill Just get off and walk

Note to self...

If your kid begs for a bowl of cereal at night and then eats it in the family room where he knows he's not supposed to do, and then if that kid dumps the bowl of cereal (milk and 5,000 Rice Krispies) on your good rocking chair, and then if your daughter tries to make things better by running for the Dustbuster which won't work on the soggy mess, it's best not to: 1. Yell 2. Grab the Dustbuster 3. Throw the Dustbuster across the room in anger so that it breaks open and spills its entire contents all over the rest of the floor I have learned this the hard way, and now know that I should have: 1. Taken 500 deep breaths 2. Gotten out the big vacuum 3. Prepared for the trip to the dry cleaners But hindsight is always 20/20, right? Sigh.