Saturday, November 6, 2010

First Full Week Of Our New Life

It has been 12 days since we took Mary out of school.  
And to say the VERY least it has been an interesting 12 days.  
Last week was more of an adjustment period.  I told her that we would not start actual classes until the following week (thinking I would have the full curriculum that weekend).  
However,  she she had a different idea all together... imagine that!

I stood my ground for a while and then I ultimately threw in the towel and gave in. 
I know... 

but, even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.
In my surrender to her demands of...


I was able to show her 
she needed to TRUST me
and do it "MY" way.

She fell apart and had a complete and total melt down...
it was UGLY!

Yet, as all things usually do ...
everything worked out EXACTLY as it was meant to.
We began a serious dialouge about all the things she was unhappy with.

Because her wanting to be home-schooled was so much more than just the bulling problems.

Life is not "black" and "white" or "right" or "wrong".
Life is much more complex than that. 

There are so many variables and I can not prescribe one remedy to cover them all.

My daughter is far from perfect...
Thank God!

She is beautifully and perfectly flawed as all of us are.

Mary has many social skill deficits of her own...
like all children, 
some more than others.
She also has some self-esteem issues  to now also deal with.

Like Horses I believe that children need to be "Gentled" not "Broke".

Misty of Chincoteague

Sorry, the terms were not of my own conjuring.

I want my daughter to be an independent thinker.  I want her to think outside the box.
Public School isn't for all people...

Albert Einstein - Funny Face - 24x36 Poster

So what if she does't fall in line and behave as others do... 
we aren't all meant to be the same.


The first several days were difficult, emotional and full of "hard labor".
We dealt with the emotional fall-out of  some buyers remorse.
Establishing some limits and boundaries.
Creating and organizing some Homeschool spaces.

And finally getting ready for the Unbirthday Halloween Party.

Mary finally decided to have the "make up" birthday party she missed back in March.

Because of my brothers surgery, and other happenings last spring she didn't get to have her party.
She was going to have it over the summer so her cousin could come.
But that didn't happen either...and then she just kinda gave up on the idea.
She had originally wanted to have a...
"Alice in Wonderland" Birthday Party 

Alice in Wonderland

Where everyone had to dress up as their favorite character.

So, I suppose it was only fitting that as the Halloween season drew closer, she became inspired again.
So, we decided to have a Halloween Unbirthday birthday costume party.
Shew... that was a mouth full.

The scene was set...

and a spooky Halloween Slumber Party was had.
It was a full weekend.
She was invited to another Halloween party and then to tie it all up a Trick or Treat nite out with the girls.

Rag Doll

Needless to say our first full week of homeschooling got off to a late start a few mornings in a row following all the festivities.

And for those who may think that Halloween and Faith do not mix...

how Halloween can be redeemed
Check this link out

A rainy week also helped us to stay focused.
Because we are down to only one vehicle and a motorcycle and Bill took the truck to stay dry we were able to keep our nose to the books and out of the horses manes.

Even though this is a bit overwhelming and time consuming.
I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have done the right thing for our family.
Even with all the chaos, I feel at peace.

I already see a wonderful peace coming over Mary as well.

We have been able to slow things down and reel it all back in
(Granted this is a work in progress...)
focusing on some fundamental basics.

We have brought our faith back into a daily learning routine 

The Catholic Youth Bible® Revised


Heifer International's 
Fill the Ark 

Chore Groove

She has gotten into a better routine with her chores and other responsibilities.


Given my tendency for clutter...
I think this isn't too bad for a begining week of homeschool.

Big Dissapointment

This yarn...

ugggh, this stuff is Terrible!  I thought I would really like it... all fuzzy and soft.
Nope, it just kept breaking.
This was a much easier fix than some of the problems we had in MATH.

.I just put that yarn away and grabed a different skein of yarn from my stash box.

Keeping Up

Keeping up on my cleaning is much more rewarding than keeping up with the Jone's.


This is the subject that Mary struggles with the most.  And it has hindered her in her other subjects.  
Don't get me wrong.  
Mary has been a strong A, A/B student.
She would have been an even stronger student if her reading was more solid.
It frustrated me that she did not enjoy reading.
I had always loved it and still do.  I couldn't relate to her dislike of reading.
She gave up on reading when she wasn't asked  back to the AIG reading class in 2nd or 3rd grade, she was heart-broken. It isn't that she is able to read... she simply doesn't want to slow down enough to phonetically sound out a word that she doesn't recognize. 

I tried so hard to get her interested again.  She has an extensive bookshelf to prove it.

We won't be lacking in the reading department that's for sure.
I am confident that we can get her back up to speed.

It's That Time

It is time to bring in some of the more sensitive plants.  We fell into some pretty low temps last night.  I believe we even had some frost inland.

Just for Me

This entry is for you my soul sista!
See Robin...
I DO still have time to do something for Meeeeeeee!

Even if...  it was partly out of desperation since those hounds from hell won't give up the taste for ...


I will keep the comments PG

I think everyone get the picture.

For my Bugga B.

I finished this off for my baby bruda a couple days ago.  His favorite colors, red and black.  I made him a headband last year to keep his ears warm while he worked outside.  I had begun a matching scarf but those hounds also have a taste for bamboo... and ate the scarf  right off the needles.

So this was the second attempt at a scarf for Paul.

It's funny, a couple of my knitting friends made a teasing comment about how they needed to show me some other stitches.  What I didn't have the emotional energy to say at the time was...

"I know how to do other stitches, I just need to simply knit"
I need the thoughtless rhythm... it calms me it keeps me balanced.
Having to keep count and pay attention would be more than I could handle at the moment.

I am leaving in 30 mins. to pick up my little brother for his PET Scan.
I am bawling my face off while I write this.

and it HURTS!

I am calling all prayers and vibrations to help me and my family.

And I have a BIG Family!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Daisynconcrete: Little Brother


I started to blog this morning but as I began to write I was having "issues" with my computer and my post.  I decided to take a break and go to my dashboard and read some of my favorite blogs...

I got as far as...


then I was stopped in my tracks with...

Daisynconcrete: Little Brother: "So I don't even know where to start with this one. I guess I could start with cancer can BITE ME. I mentioned before that my brother's cancer..."


Zero Tolerance? 

Look at this face...
 why wouldn't I wanna take her out of the public school system?

We had the conference with Mary's teachers last week and it went better than I had anticipated.  Unfortunately/fortunately I became aware of some issues at school that Mary had not informed me of.  

"Some students and teachers brought it to the vice principal's attention that Mary was being Bullied pretty bad."      

Mary's teacher defended her knowledge of the actual events that took place, only that the vice principal had come and pulled Mary out of the classroom to speak with her.  I imagine that the rest of her "understanding" of what happened is water cooler conversation.  

I am not shocked nor am I surprised by this.

I just do not understand why no one feels it necessary to send a note, an email or make a phone call to me, "the parent".

Mary tells me about the mean things that the boys say and do...
but she only alludes to the cruelty of the girls...
and we girls know how nasty the gal pals can be.

This age is horrible...
and it is only going to get worse.

What is a "FRIEND"?
How many should you have?
Do we take our cues from "Facebook" or "Myspace"?
The Playground?
Our family?

Navigating the "social" climate of school, clubs and organizations is difficult enough for adults, I can only imagine what it must be for my child.

Zero Tolerance...

Upon finding out that I was taking Mary out of school or that I did... 
a similar response has echoed.

"Mary, Bullied?

But, she's so."

She's ...

Big Hearted?

...SO WHAT?!

Nobody should have to suffer from ridicule, intolerance, hate, isolation, or pain.


This simply validates our decission to take her out of the public school.

We can not afford a private school nor would I consider this an option at this point.
I believe this problem is much bigger than just our little school.

I want to spend the time with my daughter!
I am confident that we have made the right choice for our family.


I am not going to "Radically Unschool" my child...

However, I do believe in the fundamental premiss that our children already have a built in desire to learn.
I also believe that children thrive in areas in which they are passionate.

I am DONE with the "politics" of it all!

"I will give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's..."

the rest?

Well... the proof is in the pudding.

Monday was Mary's last day of school at 

It is a little sad, and A LOT scary.... however I am excited and ready!

I believe and TRUST that everything will and does happen exactly as it should.
The road signs are there I just need to be WILLING to follow them.

I had a free full 5th grade curriculum dropped into my lap, Sunday!

Seton Home Study School

It is one that I am familiar with and have made inquirers on and received information packages on many years ago when I began to research a curriculum for homeschooling.

I will not justify, defend, explain my decisions or apologize for them, unless it is part of my "story" and my path.

I feel very blessed and I will be using this as a base curriculum for the time being.

I know that I will have some trial and error till we find what works for us.

This is what I am drawn to...


Circle of Children

This time here on Earth is brief...

I have enjoyed much of it...

I have "struggled" to survive through much of it.

I choose not to struggle anymore, I choose to...


I can not force anyone to be kind...

I can only live by example.

"Be the change I want to see!"

Be present ...

"Be Here Now"

I am Human so I am imperfect.
I will make mistakes...

I just need to keep looking down at my feet and remember that 
I am exactly where I am....
right here, now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Road Signs Ahead

In Between

I can't believe it has been almost a month since I last blogged!


It has become such a regular part of my routine that I don't feel complete if I have not been in my blog space.

For the first time in a very long time I have not over committed myself with a million major responsibilities.
And I have gotten much better about
"shoulding" on myself.
I have removed many of my former hats and am trying to focus on

this can be some very creepy territory sometimes.
That means that when I have "issues"
I hit them head on
and feel them full strength.

My typical mode of operandi of days gone by were ...
(and some are still works in progress)

excessive crowded activities,
taking everyone's inventory minus my own...
"looking for bread at the hardware store"...
more food,
over commitment,
setting unrealistic goals and expectations for myself and others,
having expectations in general...
lack of personal boundaries,
"people pleasing"
too much fun,
not enough fun,
fear, fear and more fear.
and then more food!

This list could go on and on.  To put things in a nutshell...

Anything to keep me from feeling how uncomfortable I was in my own skin...
to avoid my emotions...
to numb, mask or medicate
to keep myself separated from people, myself and "God".

After my daughter was born, I began to "clean house."
I started to remove some of the "clutter" in my life.

I hope that you find the irony in my symbolism.

I actively worked to remove some of the more obvious "distractions" from my life.

As I do this, I have come to realize that...
I have disturbed some very old deeply rooted FEARS.

I still struggle with some of these distractions...
some more than others.

But this I now know,
"never pick a 'green' gourd afore it's time, or it'll witch ye fer sure"...

It's all part of the "BIG PICTURE"...
every stinking, sticky, icky part of it!

No matter how I choose to respond or react to what life presents to me...
it is all connected and it's ALL...

Most of my "Crazies"  are self inflicted.
So, fortunately I get to choose when I can come back to the land of  "milk and honey".

This is some of what I have been "up to".

At the beginning of the month we had our annual school fundraiser.

I was part of this fundraiser in it's conception, however, I relinquished my position and allowed it to gone on with out me.
And you know what?
It did!
I showed up with my cookies for the Bake Sale, bought two beautiful pumpkins and enjoyed the fair.

I figured hey...
This is Mary's last year at this school, we might as well enjoy it!

I made these tags
 and attached one to each paper bag for the Bake Sale.

Mary's Infamous Cookies

I used my mom's recipe....

That she passed up to her mom and then passed down to me.

Hangin with Splash

I have been spending a lot of time at the Hay Center.

This is quickly becoming my most favorite place to be.

I absolutely LOVE the company I've been keeping...
I kinda like the people too!

And Mary is content as well

Speaking of Mary,

Bill and I are at a crossroads with Mary.

Over the past several years basically since she began public school Mary has progressively voiced her displeasure with going to school.

I have had my reservations about the public education system and did my homework when Mary was a baby about the alternatives to public schooling.

Montessori, Waldorf and Homeschooling

Just to name a few.

Now, let me first say that I was brought up in the public school system and I made pretty good grades at least until I became a social butterfly as a teenager.  My feelings are not based on a negative experience of my own nessisarily (well maybe one or two).  I just simply don't agree that teaching all children the same information in the same conformist style works for the best intrest of my child or any other child for that matter.  My child is not a mindless drone who fits perfectly into a neat and tidy box that other people are comfortable with.

My Indigo

Anyway, as I was saying...

Mary's displeasure with going to school...
I know that most kids dislike going to school... and some may say, "tuff, they don't like cleaning thier room or eating vegetables either but that doesn't mean that we as parents shouldn't force them to for their own good, that's our job."

I say... "I don't agree!"
How many parent have rolled their eyes and wondered...

"when will all these questions end?"
I believe most children have an appetite for knowledge.
I know mine does.

Her questions are limitless...
she shows a passion for just about everything she does.
It is absolutely exhausting sometimes.
And it is down right overwhelming when she is board.
No, she isn't ADD or ADHD...
compulsive and impulsive, yes!  She is genetically related to me.
She is an Indigo...
If you do not know what that is... well that is another blog for another day.
But, if ya can't wait ....

She is my daughter and I love her unconditionaly, and I feel as if I haven't enough time in a day to listen to all her questions, theries & stories sometimes.  I imagine only a special kind of teacher can foster a student like Mary, without breaking her spirit or damaging her self-esteem.  They are a rare breed and come far an few between. Thankfully she had one last year!

My first instinct was to homeschool her but as she began to SPEAK...

I thought oh my...
she is a mini-me, there is NO WAY I can homeschool her.  We will kill each other.
However, because she is a mini-me, this is exactly why I had my reservations about sending her to public school.

Bill and I have a conference with her teachers today, to discuss why "they" think Mary is having so much difficulty in the public school setting.  I'm not completly sure why  we are doing this because we have for the most part, made our minds up.

We have decided to pull her from public school and "unschool" her.

I am fully aware that people may start wondering...
what is she smoking?


to even my own surprise I can tell you that I haven't
smoked a cigarette or drank anything alcoholic in over 7 years.

It has been even longer since I used any mind altering substance,
I couldn't even tell you...
it's been that long.

Sorry, I cannot say...
"I never inhaled"
"I did not have hallucinogenic relations with that mushroom"

But, I am not running for President either.

I just want to become the person God intended me to be and raise my daughter with the same intention.

I was not born to follow the masses to the slaughter.
I use to dance to the beat of my own drum.
I never belonged to a "clique" and if I tried...
it didn't last long.

I wasn't afraid to speak my mind or fight for a cause.

I had passion and purpose.
It is time to plug
back in!

I wanna...
"Be here now"

if ya haven't seen this movie...
Check it out

Ram Dass: Fierce Grace

I fell asleep a while back
and now that I have begun  to awaken...

I have found myself becoming a bit overwhelmed by the speed of which it is happening
and the shock of forgetting in the first place.

And coming back to a place of love and acceptance.


Uterine leiomyosarcoma

I wonder what this is?

Friday before last, I took my "Baby brother Tall",
to have some out patient surgery done.
They found something resembling the photo above,
on a groin muscle.

They sent it off for pathology.

If this wasn't enough to shake the ground beneath me...
the fact that he has blown his doctor off and is chasing his 2hrs. with Christ
has brought me to my knees.

Figuratively and literally!

Then there is this sty in my eye...

This picture was taken the day after I took my youngest brother for surgery.
My older, younger brother Michael...
 came to town the same day as Paul's surgery.

No convelesing for Paul... he is out on the town with his big brother.

I love both my brothers!

But, there is this sty in my eye!

Louise says...

I am "Looking at life through angry eyes.  Angry a someone"

so pick a number.

She also says...

I need to say an affirmation.

 "I choose to see everyone and everything with joy and love"

I believe she has a point!

Time to Play

One of my new friends of the human kind at the barn has bestowed gifts upon me.

She has given me two nice bags of wool.

One from "Popcorn" her...Rambouillet

and one from "Blackie"
I don't remember what Blackie is.

Kim keeps sheep in Virginia to aid her with her dog training.  She isn't into the fiber.

These are not pictures of my wool, I couldn't take any yet because my little 15lb.  "Homie" cat knocked my camera off the table and is no longer functioning.

So, I have borrowed these photos from my pal Google.
Till I have a replacement camera.

Now I think it is pretty interesting that she gave these bags to me... only a week after I received this used book in the mail, from


Spin It: Making Yarn from Scratch 

I don't believe in coincidence.
I just follow the road signs!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Animal Zoo → Medicated Goo"

Woo... Hoo????

Woo... hoo...
is the call my "Meema" rang out when entering a house or calling out for you!

I sure do miss hearing that call.

This photo was taken on the front porch of Boswell's Tavern during the visit I spoke of in an earlier blog.  
The one when I went back to Ben Lomond with Meema, 
the old farm....

I found these pictures from that trip the other day and thought I would share them.

The Exchange Hotel

The Exchange Hotel was used as a make-shift hospital during the Civil War.

This building was the subject of many a ghost story told by my "Oompa"
Wow... he sure could scare the britches off us grand kids!

I  lived about 4 blocks from this old Hotel in Gordonsville, VA.
It sure didn't look like this then though.  
However, the remodeling and restoration began just before we moved.

I had just finished 3rd or 4th grade.
Those years are a bit foggy for me.

Ben Lomond

So many memories here...

There is a pool now, just behind that white fence.  

I think that was one of my biggest shocks...
it never occurred to me.

We always swam in the lake!

The lake...
as I look at this picture several images flood my mind.
First and most memorable for me is the infamous tubing accident.
Until that day...
I had never broken a bone in my body, I was 13.
I came away from that experience in a wheel chair and many broken body parts.
However... I learned that day that there was a very bright, warm, white light in my future
and drowning was not the way I was going to leave this earth.

After that accident I was given a book to read during my recovery...

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Thanks Aunt Angela!  It made quite the impression!

The second image is of a water spout coming up and across the lake.  And then running up that hill as fast as we could go, to the house.  Looking back only to see Siobhan and someone (Zac maybe) holding one of the aunts hands( Angela I think)  and being lift up off the ground.  Everyone screaming and racing to the front door, fighting the wind to get the door to open .  There was quite a storm that night.  I remember a very dark candle lit evening and a very restless night in the bunk bed room.  The next morning we woke to find a HUGE tree up rooted and laying fantastically between an assortment of  cars.

There are many more images filled with fishing, cousins, music, ice skating, lily pads and water skiing.

I had my High School graduation party here...

April 13, 1986
 Dad, Mom and ME

This was one of the last BIG soiree we ever had at 
"Ben Lomond Farm"

This was my cousin Tolli and my cousin Willie's UVA Greek party.
Willie and Tolli had two of these parties, I attended at Ben Lomond.

I believe this was the one Indecision played...

Older and Wiser

Here is a pretty cool tid-bit of information...

my cousin Libby who was probably around 8 at the time of this party, 
 married Craig, the drummer for Indecision.

Woo hoo... I married an older man too!

They were married at Boswell's Tavern, and what a beautiful wedding it was .

Side or Front?

As a kid I always thought it was strange that everyone referred to this door as the side door.

I thought the "front" of the house faced the road?

It was the door used most for coming and going.

See that tree, to the left of the photo?
I don't know what anyone else called it, all I knew it as...
"Monkey Cigar Tree"
If I ever noticed one again I couldn't say until...

I went to Newport News to help clear out my husband's grandmother's farm house. 

I have since then discovered that this tree is also called a
Catawba Tree.

Another Generation

Another generation is greeted and bid farewell at the front door by Meema.
Or is it the side door?

Boswell's Tavern
A new set of memories
But all with a familiar ring.
"Woo Hoo"

This is no where close to the size of the lake at Ben Lomond.
However, does my daughter seem disappointed?

I don't think so!

I can  not begin to tell you how blessed I feel to have such a wonderful and colorful bag of memories.

Let' Try This Again

I picked these round pointed needles up at the store Friday.

And I stopped looking at the Hardware Store for bread.


We stopped here on our way home from church Sunday.

My Mary got to get her feet wet and I got to get a little more perspective.
When we got home, Mary and Bill went to a benefit for a local 13 year old girl.

Isabella Rainey

who suffered a brain aneurysm

I don't know if this is true of not.
But, Mary heard that Bella was having a typical mother, daughter difference of opinion.
And right in the middle of their exchange,
Bella fell to the floor.

The other day Mary started crying and said...
"What if she dies and the last thing she said to her mom was mean?"

Now, I can't help but wonder ...
what my kid's internal dialog must be.

Do I sense a bit of identifying going on here?

This is a difficult age for so many young girls,
(and moms too) 
when there are more clashes with Mom 
than these tender moments of exchange.

God Momma Mary

This was the first Thanksgiving weekend that Mary Neva's band 

She and Maah Huff had somewhere else to be.

To my joy...
Mary Neva was by my side in the same tiny, little church
I took my
First Holy Communion.

Momma Knows Best

I love ya Miss Neva!

Now it has been raining for 3 days straight and we have a coastal flood warning in effect.
I have to chuckle, 
I know that I was asking for rain and all, but daggg... I am finding it kinda difficult to get my arss out of bed and bust a move.  
My motivation wants to playing hide and seek with me today, I can't seem to drink my coffee fast enough to keep up.

Gotta Have the Right Tools

I truly believe that every situation presents an opportunity...

Wa... la...
my perfectly flawed bathmat!!!!

(made from recycled and re-purposed fabrics)

Of course when I actually use the correct tool from my tool belt
the job was a breeze and was finished in no time.
I imagine it would be rather difficult to build a house with a wooden spoon.
I am sure it could be done...
talk about an opportunity to practice patience

Let's Be Jolly

Now for a footnote in today's blog...
I want to say that my baby brother has poked his head out of seclusion.
He is showing an interest in the Gerson Therapy

Woo... Hoo