Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lone Star Ma #10 Is Live!

Hours early and pretty good for a first try at the whole online thing, I think!  Please read it and let me know what you think!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cutting Down On Resolutions

I still want to get healthier, do more writing, be a better wife, mother, teacher, citizen and all that, but....I am lowering the bar in a big way this year.  I need a retreat from "shoulds" this year, a sanctuary of mind and heart in which to grow strong amidst the chaos, so I have only two resolutions:

1.  Take good care of my daughters.
2.  Survive.

That will be quite enough.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I don't know how to get Blogger to do it, but I have totally fallen for American Typewriter font - just so you know.

Arms Full of Daughters

Another doctor's office waiting room and the sixteen-year-old is tired and hungry after waiting an hour there.  Her head nestles into the hollow of my neck and shoulder - she is slouching so that works because she is really taller than I am - and I rest my head on hers as we wait.  My mom, thinking it weird when I go into exam rooms with the Girl at her request, says I'll have to cut the apron strings eventually, but even at sixteen this daughter tells me that I can come live with her and my future grandchildren when I am old enough to want a retirement I will never be able to afford.  I will make her go away to school because she must stretch her wings, but that's not the same as a bunch of differentiation hogwash.  And I know that my twenty-three-year-old sister still climbs into bed with my mom whenever there's a space available so there is no need to worry about what my mom says about such things. 

In the night, I hear my seven-year-old cry out from her room and I rush in to gather her up and snuggle close.  She only wants snuggling after nightmares, whispering an inaudible account of her dream but settling back quickly to sleep in my arms.  Her hair still smells like baby, her tiny limbs like a bag of sticks, the march of years so hard to fathom.

Channeling Grandmas

Mentioning motorcycles (I believe after the grossed-out Girl said that in retribution for having to watch her father and I kiss, she would get a boyfriend and bring him home to make out with him in front of us all the time - I thoroughly approved of this plan and asked if his name would be Scar and if he would be a biker), I reminded the Lone Star Girl that her Grandmama is so not overprotective and the two safety rules she had after working as an ICU nurse were:

No motorcyles
No trampolines.

LSG:  Everyone thought it was so weird that you wouldn't let me get on trampolines.

Me:  You know that if my mom says it is not safe, it is not safe.

LSG:  How come you are so overprotective when she's so not?

Me:  I think it skips a generation - I'm more like my grandma that way.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sleeping, Crafts And Trees For Boxing Day

I spent almost all of Boxing Day in a benadryl-induced fog, sleeping cozily beneath piles of blankets with my mucous.  My few waking moments were very nice, though.  I ambled out to the kitchen for some cereal in the mid-afternoon and found that the table was covered in drying art work that the Lone Star Baby had done with her new Christmas art supplies and that the Lone Star Girl was busy weaving with her new butterfly loom.  

Lone Star Pa got me my long-desired Mexican lime tree for Christmas and he offered to plant it, as well as the loquat tree that I won at a craft fair drawing awhile back.  He and the Lone Star Baby worked industriously at planting the trees while I puttered about the garden weeding and re-potting and fussing over the succulent nursery.  It was ever so nice.

I read the first chapter of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe to the Lone Star Baby for a bedtime story -  Santa brought her the Chronicles of Narnia.  Late at night, I watched a couple of episodes of Dr. Who with the Girl, in honor of Boxing Day, but then she was too scared to go to sleep alone (Don't Blink) so I tucked her in to her sister's bed and they always look so sweet when they are snuggled up asleep.  

Written like that it seems like a great day, not a lost day.  Maybe I should spend more days under the covers.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Castle

The Lone Star Girl's castle project for World History (the towers, the tallest parts, come up to my seven-year-old's nose in height - my Girl thinks big):

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One For My Blog

That's what Lone Star Pa said when he reported to me  a conversation he had with the Lone Star Baby today:

Lone Star Pa:  What's your favorite thing about America?

Lone Star Baby:  That Rick Perry isn't President yet.

Christmas Cards

I got Christmas cards mailed today -  yay!  

I know it is probably too late for anyone to actually get them by Christmas, and I know that I am probably missing about 30 people from my address list to whom I would have liked to send Christmas cards and, well, the paint was still a little wet on some of them so the envelopes may look artistic indeed...

...but it's done!  And anyways....

Season's Greetings to All, whether or not I can find your address!  May Love and Peace be yours, now and always.

Monday, December 19, 2011

First Day School: The Glorious Impossible

Although I have gone to Meeting by myself with the other adults a few times in the interim, yesterday was the first time I've held First Day School for our youngest Quaker since some hardships sort of floored me in the summertime, experiences I've been very slowly recovering from ever since.  

I am sure I would have forced myself to get with the program sooner had the Meeting had children other than my own to worry about, but my kids are the only ones and most of our tiny band of members and attenders have had a rough year, so my lapse was not all that remarkable, except for it being mine-  as I am certainly the member with the vested interest in First Day School.  And I am not proud of neglecting the religious education of my children for two seasons, or of falling down in my commitment to fellowship with my Meeting, but...we all have to treat ourselves as gently as we can during hard times and I, as well as other members, have needed lots of rest.

Now we are pulling things back together.  I managed to do the Glorious Impossible lesson for my "little Friends/Lower El Class" of one yesterday and it was so nice.  Being there always reminds me of all that I love about First Day School.  I also love the fact that that particular lesson points out that angels are messengers of God and they are scary.  So I have always felt since the first words out of their mouths are always "Fear not!"

I aim to be a better Quaker parent as the rest of the year unfurls.  I'm still going to be gentle with myself, though.

Christmas Pageant

The Lone Star Baby insists that hers was not a Christmas Pageant - perhaps having a negative association regarding the other kind of pageant - but it was full of sweet child pageantry as far as I'm concerned and thus - her Christmas Pageant. 

Her tiny bilingual, Montessori home-schoolish school rents its space from a church that was having a Christmas program and they invited the school to be part of it.  The children sang Noche de Paz and Feliz Navidad.  In between, the Lone Star Baby performed a poem in Spanish about the true meaning of Christmas.  She was great!  I think my favorite part of the performance, though, was during the singing, when she kept her hands on the shoulders of a three-year-old classmate standing in front of her, taking care of him and keeping him on track - so sweet!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Collective Nouns of Tacos

I am writing a poem that involves a surplus of tacos.  The title will be "A (Collective Noun) of Tacos".  I spent a pleasant piece of time going through lists of collective nouns and thinking of which ones I think would be a good fit.  

This is the sort of thing that tickles a wordsmith.  

The following is a list of collective nouns that are being seriously considered:


Which do you like best for the purpose?  Have you others that I should consider?  Please discuss.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feeling A Little Overwhelmed By School Christmases

The presents and field trips and parties and cards and practices and bake sales and ... just a few more days to fit everything in and and family time.  It will come.  Joy to the World.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What It Takes To Make It Out There As A Gingerbread Girl

I have been looking for a Gingerbread Girl cookie cutter for years, as I am tired of just making Gingerbread Boys.  I finally found one last week and was so happy.  

Our house has been full of giant papier mache castle parts for several weeks now, as the Lone Star Girl works on her World History project (photos soon) and today they have finally been somewhat cleaned up, preparatory to taking them to school (in stages, as few of them will fit in the car at once) next week.

Now the Girl is filling the house with gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies for the Invisible Children bake sale their club is having and for holiday presents for friends and teachers.  My cookie cutters came just in time ... or so I thought.

I asked the Girl a few minutes ago if I could have a Gingerbread Girl that was cooling on the counter.  Her reply:

"Yes, but I gave them pants so they could survive in the business world."

Friday, December 09, 2011


Last night, Lone Star Pa and I went out for dinner while the Girl minded her sister for us.  They didn't call us or anything, but as we turned down our street coming home, we could see that, further down, on our block, the street was lined with firetrucks, police cars and an ambulance.

Oh, my heart.

Thankfully, they were not there because anyone had been hurt at our house (or anyone else's house).  We got home to find both girls charmingly asleep in the Lone Star Baby's bed, quite unaware of the commotion outside.  The emergency was at the house of the new-ish neighbors who had recently put up some fabulous Christmas decorations in the yard, winning our eternal admiration.  The fire was not from the decorations, but the heater (heaters are so scary) and everyone is alright, heavens be praised.

Too much excitement.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Last night, the girls each put a shoe under the Christmas tree and this morning they each found a gift from St. Nicholas inside their shoe.  The Girl got a tiny bacteria-growing kit and the Lone Star Baby got a littlw gravity-goo science kit.  Experiments!

I hope you are having a lovely St. Nicholas Day!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Harbor Lights

I had a nice time this evening taking the girls to Harbor Lights with my mom and my sweet baby sister!  The Lone Star Baby decorated a reindeer bag in the craft tents and then we hurried off to watch Santa arrive in his motorcade and to watch him light the tree.  Then we watched the illuminated boat parade.  It was lovely.  It is becoming an annual tradition for my mom to visit for Harbor Lights each year and it is so nice.

Friday, December 02, 2011

December Writing Goals

Again, a little bit, every (day or) night.  Hopefully, I'll do better this month.