Showing posts from April, 2012

An Arbor Day Anthem

“People!” she said with a sawdusty sneeze, “I’m not the Lorax. But I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. And I’m asking you, people, at the top if my lungs”- she was very upset as she did shout and yell, “Don’t you have a tree that you once knew so well?” Perhaps it was in your yard’s back or the side, Maybe the trunk was thin or quite wide, Was it the kind that had leaves that turn in the fall? Or needles so green that they don’t change at all? Did you play underneath it, climb to its top? Take a big leap that ended in flop? Did you once find a nest hidden safely so high And watch as the birds had their first chance to fly? Did you take the branches that fell to the ground And turn them into swords for the enemies you found? Did you take the leaves red or orange in their looks And press them between paper, stacked between books? Did you sit in its branches and contemplate life? Did you carve in initials with

Dirt really doesn't hurt

God made dirt, and dirt don’t hurt. I can’t take credit for this phrase that I use so often.  I first heard it somewhere lost in the wilderness of New Mexico from a friend on a backpacking trip while discussing living in our own filth for the past five days. “God made dirt, and dirt don’t hurt,” she said, and then we scooped up a handful and wrote empowering words all over our selves with the dark brown mud from the forest floor and went on our way.  Filthy, stinky, and quite happy. As it turns out, we were really doing ourselves some serious good by using the natural body paint, and even more, my friend’s phrase seems to be truer than we accepted. Researchers from Oregon State University have concluded that dirt does more than just not hurt.  It may actually be healthy for you!  (Feel free to go outside, dig up a good mushy bit, and slather in all over your face right now.  I don’t, however, suggest eating it.) The basis of the article is nothing new, that playing in dirt

Our own hunger games

Please don’t think there is any more violence than normal in our kitchen.  I can assure you that the only bloodshed is by myself, mis-slicing an onion.  And the only things that truly goes from alive to dead are the meat and vegetables we eat. But there are games we play, and there are battles we fight.  And like you might imagine, there is a definite government among the people and just a bit of monarchy when it comes to ruling the refrigerator. And because we all know the story of the Little Red Hen, I can sum it up in one sentence.  “There’s the stove, and if you don’t like the meal that I planned, purchased, and prepared, make your own lousy dinner.” As you might expect, they don’t make their own meals, which is a rather good thing because we would eat butter noodles and chicken nuggets and huevos rancheros (I have one wild eater) every night of the week.  Their stunning apathy when it comes to meal preparation leaves me in charge, the sole and absolute ruler of the kitchen

Things that go bump or blah in the night

It started with a pork roast, but we’ll get to that. Sleeping next to the same guy every night, in the same room, with the same surrounding noises, has had very different responses over the years.  I don’t think either one of us considers ourselves necessarily a light or a sound sleeper, and on any given day, I just count my blessings that I’m actually sleeping at all. Such is the life as a parent. And there doesn’t seem to be any real rhyme or reason as to what jerks me out of a deep sleep and keeps my husband snoring away, or what keeps me in dreamland and has him racing frantically through the house.  There have been times that the mere cough of a tiny infant has had me rocketing up and sprinting down the hall, and other times when a bulldozer could have backed into the kitchen and I would have not noticed a thing.  I’ve also become quite adjusted and able to sleep through his alarm clocks, his late-night business phone conversations, and when he was on the volunteer fire de

Running Away

I would be lying if I said I’d never thought about running away.  There are fleeting moments of hopping in my car and my last words being something like, “you guys drove me one mile past crazy.  I’m outta here!” There are other times when I feel like gathering up the whole crazy-inducing gang and leaving town and living in the middle of nowhere so that my kids are safe and protected from the scares of the day and the mean kids in school.   I would venture to say that I’m not alone when it comes to the thoughts of heading for the hills, and this week I’ve had to deal with two runaways from my own home.   When the dog took off after a bunny or a cat, I knew she’d eventually come trotting home.  But it boggles my mind why anyone would want to leave this miraculous place where their mother feeds them, clothes them, teaches them, and horror of all horrors makes them get along, practice piano, and do their homework.  Still, such was the case a few days ago when I almost lost a redheade