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Friday, July 18, 2014

It's better to have loved and lost.........No. Eff that shit. Why do things have to die?

 I am so torn. Even as a grown woman I am rocked when someone or something I love has any sort of tragedy. I am a softy. There, I said it. I love hard and I hurt so bad when people or pets die. This makes explaining tragedy to my 11 year old very hard. In a way I feel like I can only cave in and be emotional in private because I don't want to encourage the dramatics that teenhood has already bestowed on us. And in another way I truly feel like there's a healthy dose of reality in seeing your parents be real and even vulnerable. I know I am not weak because I cry when my heart hurts or when I feel sympathy for someone else. Being strong is just as important as having enough compassion for your fellow man to feel their pain too.

 But. This morning when my teeny tiny rooster died of an illness he has been fighting, I cried so hard my chest hurt. Like it was the very first fish I ever had to flush down the toilet. I know the reason that I was mourning the tiny rooster. Because just yesterday we found out my dad had a mild heart attack he hadn't told anyone about and had been rushed by ambulance to the hospital. And again, my father is not invincible. I kept it together. I stayed perfectly calm to explain to the kids that grandpa was having some health problems. I stayed logical and levelheaded and didn't cry when I told my husband about it. And then when I found my tiny rooster calmly quietly asleep forever, I caved in. I sobbed for everything.

 Explaining all of this with kid gloves to a child who lives part of her life in an extremely sterile and emotionless environment is very hard. At our house we cry. At our house when we are angry or upset we talk about it together. It must be tough to turn your feelings off and on based on what weekend it is. She has a heart of gold and she's extremely tender so when she feels things she feels about 10% more than the rest of us. It's hard to balance the line between sending her over the edge into a dramatic tween crying sobbing the world going to end episode, and just telling her everything is A-OK. Neither is appropriate in this instance. Thankfully she took my father's heart attack very seriously and held it together and asked me how I was doing which is an amazing amount of compassion for an 11-year-old. We went out to water the garden together and talked about life and death while discussing the rooster this morning. She has a very good head on her shoulders and enormous heart for her age. It amazes me every time we have to have a serious moment. Then we did the usual and she asked about God, I talk about creation and the way that I understand it and we shared feelings about love and loss in very logical terms. And I caught myself just kind of going through the motions because I am really hurting over the last couple days  happenings. So at one point I caught myself crying again and feeling the feelings inside of my body I haven't felt since I was a little kid. It's the feeling of fuck this it's all garbage why the hell do people have to die life is unfair. Though I didn't say it out loud and she didn't say those exact words, I know we share the same heartache about it. I've lost a lot of close loved ones. She has lost a few distant relatives she barely knew and one great gram. I think the hurt is the same when you have big sensitive hearts.


 I know in my heart of hearts the reason I'm so emotional about this tiny rooster isn't because he was just simply wonderful loving and kind. I know it's because my dad's getting old and with every rush to the emergency room I feel him slipping  away from me. I also know that I'm not invincible and someday I will die. A little too much real life tends to get under my skin. I like to pretend these things will never happen because I don't know how to deal with it. In those ways I am in fact too soft.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Open letter to my eleventeen year old and her peers.

Dear teenager,

  This is the hardest time in your life. Adults should really cut you more slack. It's a really bizarre place to feel like you can't emotionally miss your mommy and at the same time be tough and strong and independent. Not a baby but you're not an adult. Your emotions and your hormones are running rampant and your life is basically a catastrophe. Your friendships are all being put to the test because all of you are raging hormonal idiots. Boys stink. Girls are motional basketcases. How on earth do we make it to adulthood? How on earth do we make it through this trying time in one piece with any friends left? We rage and rage against literally nothing but our own frustrations. Being a teenager is a nightmare.

 This is a time when you feel like no one is taking you seriously and you can say everything it's in your head and it'll never come out the right way. And if anybody respects you and really treats you like a grown-up you start to miss being treated special like a little kid. You're in between stage and nothing makes sense. All you know that you just want to grow up get out of your parents house yada yada yada yada. Also "when I grow up I'll be nothing like so-and-so and such such".

My dear teenager. Just know that everyone goes through this passage. Most make it out alive. And everyone is better for the lessons they learn teenhood even though it seems like the struggle is stupid. All the drama all the friendships all the arguments all the fights with your parents. Those will all be worth it eventually when you're grown-up. When you have a teenager of your own, you will literally hear your parents words coming through your mouth and your very own teenagers will roll their eyes and sigh dramatically because now you "will never understand what they are going through". That déjà vu in itself is just as dramatic as what you're going through as a teenager. I promise.

 With your body changing and all the things you're learning in health class being so disgustingly real, we should probably just give you breathing room to vent and try not to point and laugh when you're hysterical. Because even though we think what you're crying about screaming about laughing about maniacally being crazy about, is super stupid and pathetic and trivial. That doesn't mean it's not the end of the world type of important to you. As grown-ups we should try to pull from our memory banks and recall what it was like to be you. Remember what it was like to be teased or taunted for having big boobs when you're sixth-grader. Or be laughed at in gym class if you are a boy because you're skinny and small and in jock minds inadequate. The world is cruel almost all the time in different ways. But I feel like it's the most cruel to a teenager. Not only are things complicated, but dammit nobody understands you! since we were once just like you we should try to remember and try to understand you.

Sincerely,
Some teens Mom


Ps. And grownups, if were nicer to our youth maybe we can expect them to be nicer to each other.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Getting over myself: Shorts edition

  Last night after seeing the predicted million degree weather, I set my mind on the task of wearing shorts to work. This may sound stupid but I am not really an out in public wearing anything above my knees kind of person. I can wear khaki, black or denim shorts to work that are no shorter than three inches above my knees. Perfect because I am no braver than three inches anyhow. But am I brave at all? My legs are whitey white compared to my new farmers tan and I am self conscious about all the dings and marks adorning my thicker mom stems. I work with a team that looks like a cast from an old navy ad all joined up to be camp counselors and frankly I would put money on the odds that most have in fact been camp counselors. Our attire is campy yet clean at work basically. So this morning I search my stuff for shorts, select a couple pairs and jump in the shower to tend to the art that is not slicing myself to ribbons with a razor while absentmindedly shanscaping my nine miles of leg. Here is the inner monologue that transpired while I got ready.


Geez I hate shaving.

Good thing I'm married. hehehe.

That's so sad.

Why do I have so much skin?

This takes too long.

::out of shower trying on shorts::

Khaki makes my skin look paler.

How's that even happen?

Maybe denim is better.

I wonder if a rolled up jean short looks to young for my age.

Is it short? Or shorts? A rolled up jean shorts sounds stupid. Must be singular kinda.

I don't feel super fat in these.

Can I work in them? ::doing lunges and bends::

Hal: "what are you doing?"

Me: "nothing go eat breakfast"

::back to lunges but in my room instead of in front of the hall mirror::

I think these are good.

Hmmm, they have a little "fashion tear" by the pocket.

I wonder if that looks trashy.

::put the khaki shorts back on::

Hal: "what shorts are those?" ::making a rude teenager face::


::put on jean shorts and add a belt::

Fuck it. These are great.







I hate shorts.















Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Work/ Life Balance

  This is the current status of life. I feel like I am prioritizing like a person with a new job should. But I would like to flip this cart for the sake of my sanity. Even if the portioned amounts don't change I would like to be on top ya know? What does your priority pyramid look like right now?

  Really I suppose it's more of a work, life, wife, mother and friend balance. To tell you truth I do not have it organized for shit yet. I have the work part down. I absolutely love my job. I get to nerd out all day about things I enjoy with my peers. If I took the people I adored from my times working at past jobs it would only be similar if Nordstrom and the motorcycle shop made a baby. And those are our customers too. That blend. All in all I am in my element with other people who enjoy where they are too. I couldn't ask for a better spot right now at all! So everyone cross your fingers that I get to stay there for a long while.

 Now try to add in half day morning pre-school Monday -Thursday for the boy with an early bedtime. And a dash of heavy workload for the husband. Pour in a dinner schedule that is completely falling by the wayside, two scoops of tween angst that needs motherly attention she just doesn't get anywhere else, a pinch of friend time and shake vigorously. Things are blending but just barely. I am feeling the guilt lately of spreading myself too thin. The gym has fallen to a back burner though I am still dedicated to my fitness ( 30 lbs down ya'll!!!! whoop whoop!!). The time to travel to and from the gym has become an addition I struggle with. I have to sort that out because it's part of that ME time I promised myself. Just because I enjoy my job that does not make it time allotted for me as free time. Me time equals free time, not paid time. I don't know why I have to remind myself of that fact but I do. Almost as though enjoying anything makes it less work which is soooooo not true because I enjoy my son and ohmygod he is a tough job.I miss my friends terribly and phone dates are even becoming impossible to schedule. Thank god I am not an in demand or popular social butterfly because holy crap I don't even know.


 So. How do I pepper in the things I miss? Like Bunco or lady dates or art ( last on my list but I miss it). I don't know yet but I do know how grateful I am for my friends who aren't assholes about the flake I have become. Life is hard you guys.


 In this same basket of thoughts, I have a deeper respect for my friends who work so much. And have husbands, kids, lives and social stuff to balance. I get it now. I am nowhere near the zen shit like you guys but I get it. It's ridiculous how much a no-school day can derail my whole life!!! When you get free and make it to the gym just know I am cheering you on. Because I get it. Eventually I plan to have this system running on cogs of magic and I will see you there. Hopefully soon.


 I do wonder how you all get from here ( total chaos) to there ( where you have some actual finesse to a schedule). Any tips are welcome.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Manic Monday

  What an amazingly emotional Monday. Today was our yearly evaluation with a panel made of specialist and teachers and autism experts that all know and love my boy. Same as last year at this exact time. I am scared to go back and read what I wrote about it honestly. I probably wont right now because I am reveling in all the glorious milestones Aidan had checked off his list at this meeting. The path from last year to here has been completely heart wrenching and filled to the brim with struggle. With all of those seemingly impossible hair greying stretches of insanity, watching him just be, not improve, not regress, but time standing still. There have been massive miracles. I am happy to say we finally have communicative speech at a level worth documenting with certainty of at least some permanence. Longest time period without regression. Real attempts at sharing and also showing patience and restraint. So many things to list because the pages and pages we all read over together as a group was just overwhelming.

 I cried like a tiny baby. Lump in my throat with both relief and pride through all of it. I wanted to scoop the boy up and cover him with thankful kisses every time his teacher moved on to another area of honest to goodness improvement. Each goal we made together as a team seemed actually achievable this time where as I remember feeling like "who knows" or "wouldn't that be nice" when we put pen to paper about it last year. I didn't have that same secretly pessimistic thinking I was being realistic and not allowing myself to get my hopes up sort of feelings this time. This is real. He is really doing it. And he is officially moving up the food chain into a larger ratio in the fall. Again, more crying. What I thought was a dark cloud called Kindergarten is really only a year away in the planning world. Again, more crying.

 I must have been a crying mess because I tried very hard not to wipe away tears with my hands. Mainly due to the newly discovered fact that habanero peppers will adhere a terrible terrible amount of searing capsaicin into your skin. Deeming my own hands weapons. I made peach pepper jam this morning like an idle handed idiot. So basically I added to my own tears. I digress as usual but the jam turned out amazeballs in case you were wondering.

 This meeting was one of the more important ones for me selfishly because this is the first one we walked away from overjoyed and smiling. As hard as this stuff is to live, it is epicly rewarding to hear the pride all of these women feel for my son and his accomplishments having also put in so much hard work and love into his needs. We basically all hugged and high fived.


 So raise your wine glass tonight and keep thinking happy thoughts for us. The good vibes seem to be helping fight the bad.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Birthdays get so weird

 I always have to do the kid math now. Like my age is based on how old Aidan is. I had him at 30 so I just count it out. Kinda weird that I actually have to stop and think about how old I am turning. And if you ask me mid year, no where near my birth month I probably have no clue. Birthdays lose importance as we age and have children. The celebrations nearly extinct and sometimes you get a cake. Way cooler if your kids are old enough to make cards and pick something nice to make for dinner. I haven't really ever been a big party animal on my own birthday but I love to throw a party for others. I don't know why that is but it just is. I loved last year when my sister threw me a theme party. That felt more acceptable than throwing it for myself. Maybe it's like not throwing your own baby shower, or not hosting your own engagement party. Social stuff is hard. I want to fast forward to when I am an old lady and those rules no longer apply. I will just do whatever.

 May is a great month for a birthday because gardening is in full swing by then and I am all happy and positive and things feel fresh and new. I was really meant to be a spring baby for sure. This year is a new leaf for me fitness wise and I am excited to break out my hoarded bin of summer clothes that will actually fit again. It's like getting a whole wardrobe for myself. I keep everything. It can sometimes be considered a problem ( depending who you talk to) but I have yet to be offered a spot on that show, so we're good. It does make it hard to buy me anything though, I was just told. And the yearly question from hubs made me actually sign up for Polyvore finally so I can combo this post as a Birthday Post and a Polyvore files post linking up with sixcherriesontop and others sharing their awesomeness. Here is my wishlist this year. And yes, those are a pair of SHORTS! Whaaaaaaat? I know. Knew me this summer I tell ya.










Ps. If anyone can tell me where that shirt originated I will give you several virtual high fives.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Onward and upward

  Though I am sad to say I predict that we will not raise enough to join our local farmers market this year, we are still rocking an awesome start to the garden. Having started almost everything from seed, and most seeds are from our harvest last year, we have over 30 kinds of veggies going now. The plants I have put into the beds already have taken off at a rapid rate! I have to give credit for that to the chickens and all the work they did all winter turning and fertilizing the sold in there. Really cheap labor I tell ya.

 So far we have an entire bed dedicated to over 80 kale and lettuce. The radishes, two kinds of beets and 4 kids of carrots are planted and greenhoused for a bit while they grow. And the trellises for our cucumber jungle are built and ready. I cannot wait for this massive crop to be big and amazing already!






  

 There are also some things I have started that will go out onto a farm plot that is a garden share type thing. Where many plant, we all tend in rotation and we all share the bounty. That is exciting too because I don't want to grow corn and pumpkins here where it takes all my valuable real estate with sun hogs or ground cover that need very little maintenance before harvest time. They are all germinating and popping up as we speak in a small greenhouse. It's amazing what can be accomplished with little money and utilizing sun space.




So the list currently for Feltifarm produce is as follows:

  • romanesco (cauliflower) 
  • husky cherry tomatoes
  • white corn
  • Cinderella pumpkins
  • yellow crook neck squash 
  • watermelon radishes
  • beets
  • butter lettuce
  • red romaine 
  • dino kale
  • lace leaf kale
  • arugula
  • dragon carrots
  • yellow carrots
  • danver carrots
  • lemon cucumbers
  • baby arm cucumbers (our own hybrid from last year and the name stuck) 
  • gherkin cucumbers
  • marketmore cucumbers
  • mini red bell peppers
  • mini yellow bell peppers
  • red plum tomatoes
  • Italian stewing tomatoes
  • zucchini
  • patty pan squash
  • yellow patty pan squash
  • butternut squash
  • snap peas
  • snow peas
  • purple bush beans
  • yellow wax beans
  • rhubarb
  • artichoke 
  • blueberries   

A variety of herbs too. 


All you need is a little patience and this turns into food. I seriously love it so much.

 (this years seed starts)

(from last years yumminess)


 We will be offering a bit of a friends and family CSA or farm share for sale. Veggies eggs and maybe some canned goodies if people are into it. If you are local let me know if you want in. I think this will replace our market plan unless of course the sky rains money.

















Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Food Day Recipe #1 Poached Egg

 Poaching an egg!! Super hard sounding and super easy to do I swear. Eggs Benedict, crazy awesome pizza topper, or just over hash browns with some tomatoes and basil. You will be amazed at the things you can add a nicely done egg to. All will be meals you can get all show-offy about if you know how to do this. Don't feel bad, I learned last year. I just found the simplest way and added it to my cooking toolbox for life. Also, it makes you feel like the queen of brunch. Just add mimosas.


  First grab an egg.


Crack it into a small bowl or cup. This way you catch any shells and also it's so much easier to add to the water this way trust me. 




Wait for your pot of water to rapidly boil. Then TURN THE HEAT TO LOW. You want the water to be hot but also still. If the bubbles are rapid you'll have so much movement it will scramble your egg when you add it. And that's just gross egg soup. You pour your egg in when the water is calm and it will just sink into a pile and cook.
Wait till all the white is cooked. Only takes a couple minutes because the water is still hot. Then using a slotted spoon scoop the egg out. You will have some wispy egg whites floating around but that's normal and you just ignore those.




Top your prepared dish with it and a dash of salt and pepper. Voila!!!


Enjoy!



This was made using our farm fresh eggs right from our hens that day. The golden yolks are like a butter sauce and the whites are fully cooked and still have a fluffy texture. A poached egg has easily been my favorite thing to make with new home grown awesomeness. You can of course make more than one at a time in the same pot. I only do about four max because I end up overcooking them but that's me. You try it and see how you like yours!








Friday, March 14, 2014

Things that are free are always cooler.

 I am more excited this year than last year I think and I'm not sure how that's possible. I have been feeling great and the sun is shining. Getting out in the fresh air with a plan is seriously my absolute favorite way to spend my day. And yesterday I made a Thursday feel like a Saturday and made it my bitch like it was a Monday.

 Being a massive salvage junky and a recycling addict, this is probably one of my best scores so far. I am amazed at how much I can find for free or nearly free between craigslist, Freecycle, and ReStore in Beaverton. My yard is made up of so many things from these places it would blow your mind. Sure it's more like a treasure hunt to find exactly what you are looking for but if you are somewhat patient and keep your eyes pealed you can find gems. Ok in most cases rocks and you turn them into gems. Like this for example. I found these fence panels on feet!! On craigslist for free!! They are untreated cedar and perfect. I was figuring I would have to spend a pretty penny on lumber and fence wire to make this happen. I paid nothing. And made a ton of stuff with it! Check it out.







   This fence was really important for me to build because it keeps the chickens out of the planting beds but it is also in easy to move sections. I wanted to maintain the chicken space in different shapes and spaces every few weeks to make sure the lawn doesn't get depleted in one spot. It gives the greens to the birds and refreshes the lawn with fertilizer and aeration. So switching it up in rotation is great for both! Plus if I want to just fence off the Garden and let chickens roam for a bit I can do that too. It's really nice to have lucked out with panels randomly. What are the odds?




 I only needed the frame part for the fence project but after removing the inner planks I found uses for some of them. They combined with a free shipping crate to make a 4x3 raised bed.




  And a table top for my planting bench. Also from a 2$ cabinet from ReStore. Needs a paint job then its all set.




   Don't worry, all of the building was of course overseen by an extremely watchful foreman.




  The next FeltiFarm post will be plants for sure. We have already started the leafy greens that are cold hardy and I am sprouting seeds next. So excited for this season.



**We are still taking donations for our Farmers Market goal until May 1st if you are interested in contributing you may do so here --> http://www.gofundme.com/Farming-for-Our-Autism


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Marinate on this.

 I have been kicking around this idea of adding some recipes and how-to video snippets to the bloggity blog. Food is a massive happiness hobby for me so it would be extra fun and uplifting to share. I like to think I am a pretty good cook and I know I have skills under my belt that my Granny taught me from back when cooking IS what a woman did full time. So, that being said, I would love to know what you want to cook. What do you want to know? What foods to you eat that you wish you could make? Give me some to start with. Make my Julia and Julia dream come true. I do think I will start with a simple way to poach an egg because I made a how-to for a friend a while ago and she was stoked! Thus making me want to do this even more.

 I think I will attempt to dedicate Tuesdays to Food and my Foodies!! So kick ass recipe posts can be anticipated. Requests needed! Ready Go!!