So I work at a day care, right? Most of the time I watch kids who are two to three. Adorable, right? Minnie monsters! I adore them, especially this one little boy that I work with specially because he benefits from having extra care. He's little, very little, so everybody calls him a baby, but this tiny child is two and a half! And the whole time we've been working with him, he hasn't talked. He said "mi" and "ni" and occasionally "bubble", but other than that, nothing. No babbling, not Ma or Da, nothing.
Now, children learn to talk at different ages. One of the one year olds I work with on occasion says "bubble" and "hi", but another hasn't found his words yet. Those two babble a lot, but little man doesn't, just "ni ni". He did learn how to say "wee!" when going down the slide and can kinda say "yay!" He loves to laugh--light of my life!
But Monday was the day of days. That day, he unearthed more than twenty words. They weren't all perfect and shiny, but to me they were more than perfect. I would run to write each one into my phone for his mom. The best moment of the day was watching his face as he blurted out "All done!" at lunchtime. watching children grow like this is one of the best things in the universe. Those magical little baby steps, and even watching them learn to crawl. I know before I said that I can't work with kids. I worry about them, I am terrified for their future, and it gets depressing. It does, and I don't know that thoughts like that will stop, but I do know that moments like these make me happy. During these moments, nothing could make me feel sad. I will remember these precious moments all my life.
Thank you so much, kids. Know that you are beauty, know that you are grace, and even when you feel you fail, Know that someone out there is proud of you and that you changed their life. You save us every day. Keep growing, we love you.
The past two weeks have been a time of going through every item my family and I own. We call ourselves the shit warriors. I think it is a very therapeutic activity--organizing, packing, and thanking your things, thinking about how much joy they have brought you. Some things, I will find and run up to my Dad, "were you missing this?" and watch as a smile springs to his face. Yesterday, it was an old sweatshirt from Bryce Canyon; today, it was as simple as a staple remover--his dad's. However, the best thing about finding these treasures, are the hugs I share with him after returning the lost, the old, the cherished. He is my lost, old, cherished. Sometimes, we lose ourselves, and that is just a part of life. I miss him, though he is right upstairs, sitting in his chair. He isn't taking much stuff with him when we go, no pictures, no do-dads, just the really important, functional things. The minimalist himself. I've missed him for a long time, and sometimes I sit and wonder if I ever really knew him, if anyone did. But I know the forests and cornfields of his childhood did, I know the arrowhead amulet around his neck does. I envy those who know him, who understand him. How could someone be so elusive their entire life? How could someone keep all of their secrets and stories from their wife and children? He simply folded himself into his work, folded himself into the everyday nothingnesses of going to the grocery store, feeding the squirrels, taking out the trash. He became simply what he does, which is so complicated I've never understood it. I used to think he was a spy, which would explain everything.
I hope to one day know him, my Daddy, sweet little mouse-man. I hope to one day hear his life story, to understand why, to understand how. This man holds all the secrets of the universe. I sit next to him at dinner every night. I will never stop loving him, but like understanding god, I fear I will only know in Heaven. Regardless, I will love him, without prying, without feeling bad that he has never talked about himself.
I love you, Daddy.
The photos posted last night are of my sister in her lovely prom dress. I am so proud of her! My sister just got admitted to the University of NC School for the Arts in film making. This was her absolute dream, and I am so proud that she accomplished so much! I still see that little mini badass chickadee in our little garden at our first house when I look at her, but my how she has grown up. She stands by me to support me every single day, especially on the bad days, and often is the only person I feel I can really trust to understand what I'm going through. Seeing her in this moment on prom day was one of the most amazing moments in my life. Prom is special. Now, despite the theory of it as mainly first-world consumption that disregards all the many problems of the world, prom is magical. Prom does just that, it sets aside all the issues of the world for one magical night--just a few simple hours of celebration. Prom celebrates beauty, something humans are internally, eternally attracted to. But this girl, here in the pictures, is ridiculously special. Principally beautiful to the fibers of her heart. Though we have our really bad days, and even mildly bad days, we have to remember the beauty in the everyday. Every day, every action of life should be a celebration like prom, a celebration of beauty and love for life. I love you, Josephine, shine on.
About a week ago I had my long awaited Oaks tea party! Oaks is the big race the day before the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Here are my recipes and what I served!
- Bag of frozen peaches, cubed
- A couple of roma tomatoes to taste, consistency, and quantity (around 4), cubed
- 1/2 yellow onion, caramelized
- 2 tablespoons garlic
- 1 cucumber, cubed
- Apple cider vinegar to taste (around 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- Sea Salt
First, caramelize the onions with the garlic and a bit of olive oil.
Thaw the peaches, or use frozen to add a bit of a chill to the soup. Blend them smooth. Add in tomatoes and cucumber cubes (reserving some for garnish) and blend smooth adding apple cider vinegar, Olive oil, and seasonings along with the caramelized onions and garlic. Add in garnishing cubes of tomato and cucumber and serve!
- Good bread, sliced
- Earth balance vegan butter or olive oil if desired
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pile the bread high with diced garlic and seasoning to taste, toast, and serve warm.
Guess who's vegan again?! It's me! I was vegan for about five years from my Freshman year of high school through the summer of my Sophomore year of college. Then, for to help attempt to bolster my mental health, I started eating fish. Eventually, I became a full on carnivore--the stuff of my vegan nightmares. I think it's kind of funny--no, really funny. I used to be terrified of milk and disgusted with beef--which I haven't eaten for about 10 years--well, before my carnivorous outburst. But, after 60 pounds gained and no improvement in mental health, I have to say, I liked being vegan better. Now, there are days when all I dream about is Little Debbie Fancy Cakes and Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Bars, but I have to say there's more to life than gorging yourself with packaged food. It can be fun, but also, there is the joy of rosemary sizzling in a pan with olive oil and sea salt, fresh cubed zucchini, frozen peaches in the blender with thick roma tomatoes and apple cider vinegar, a hint of apple juice. Peach summer gazpacho. My favorite! Served with Fresh bread toasted with garlic and caramelized onions.
This is my first week, four days in. Today I had Biryani with vegetable dumplings. It is fancy rice seasoned with garlic, cashews, raisins, and several other little delights. I am excited for all the delights to come. No more queso, no more Chick-fil-a sandwiches--this girl is picking up her life in her own hands and running forward with utter glee.
A few months ago when I started this blog, I began with coming home. I had come home from the mountains, to my home in the largest city of a very agricultural state, Louisville, KY. This place has been my home for, oh, how long? 12 years. It taught me what home means.
To me home means family. We aren't always the closest--for years we hardly ate dinner together, and now we are all fixing to go our separate ways. We love each other and we've made each other who we are. We have grown together, laughed together, cried together. Through the good times and the bad, we've told our stories. My heart kind of breaks when I look around myself at the packed boxes and know that in about two weeks there will be a for sale sign in our yard. I look at our cardinals and goldfinches and breathe heavy, thinking about how much I love them.
But, notice I said my heart kinda breaks. I am utterly excited about moving. My mom said something very wise, "don't be sad about moving and wishing that we could stay here, be happy for all the life and love that this house is going to give to the new family who moves in". After watching all of Marie Kondo's Tidying Up, I believe in the power of a house as a home. I believe in the life within it. My walls look naked now, and it almost looks like a sin to look at them, bare, without all of my pictures and little things hanging up on them. My walls were totally plastered with pictures, anything and everything from newspaper ads to concert tickets, to college acceptance letters. Those walls lived with me. And even though they don't talk anymore (and I'm very glad that they don't) I feel deeply rooted to them. Rooted to the walls...? Maybe not the best metaphor, ha!
So I've been doing the KonMarie method of going through my things as I've been packing, and all I have left to pack are my dishes and my camping gear. Her method is to go through your things one by one and ask if they bring you joy and functionability. Is that a word? Oh well. But you ask yourself if these things bring you joy in your life going forward, and if they don't, you thank them and let them go. So this weekend, we yardsale! I used that word as a verb once in a different way, you see, in my family, yardsale means to totally lose all of your shit and fall on the ground. People were so confused.
But now, I have all of my things packed. It's hard to look at some old things that you haven't looked at in half a forever, thinking about all the joy they could bring you in the future, but knowing that they won't bring you that joy. Then subsequently understanding that you have to let go. And I'm a big crap-holder-onto-er. I just dumped out almost all of my school papers from middle school and high school. It's actually a big relief. Honestly, packing has been one of the most therapeutic things I've ever done. Moving, however, is one of the most stressful things. We shall see.
But listen, I'm going home. This past semester has been among the hardest times in my life. It has buried me deep deep deep. But springtime is upon us, and I have finally poked my head out of the deep earth. I can finally let my leaves bask in the sunlight, and peer into the stars in the nighttime. I am going home. After a revelation, I have decided to go back to App State. App was my dream, and is my dream. It has given me nothing but love. I came home to protect myself, and I'm so glad I did. Getting medication straight is hard. Getting therapy and good therapy and the right therapy for you can be even harder. I still, to be honest, haven't found the right therapist for me. I'm thankful for my family and extended family who have loved me and held me close and talked me down and made me laugh. I've learned that there's more to life than getting the perfect grade--I even failed a class and just let go of the guilt. In the past I would've berated myself for years over that. But mental health is more important than some stupid class you can retake anytime in your life if you want to. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You are worth it. You are worth life, because you are life. We are all connected and losing someone means losing a part of ourselves. We have to protect each other.
So I'm going home to the mountains, one of the places that changed me the most in my life. It gave me love, it brought me to my friends, it saved me when I was lost. When I was alone Senior year of high school, very depressed, under constant abuse and wondering when I would have the courage to let myself go into the great beyond, App state was calling me, asking me if I needed help on my application. I am sad that I'll have to move away from Chris and do the whole long distance thing again. I am sad that I'll have to leave my adopted home state. But I'm so excited for the life to come, and that's what I'm giving myself. Healing comes by letting yourself live the life you've envisioned for yourself. Now, that doesn't mean letting yourself live in a big mansion with a million billion bucks. It means treating yourself the way you want to treat yourself. You deserve the love you want to receive.
Disco Chicken of Love
sTate fair ready!
seed starting 2019
ky state fair quilt
A sustainability major at U of L, beginning farmer, crafter, and writer.