I’m Making Dish Detergent, Y’all.

When I married Calvin and had children, I developed this romantic idea of creating a homesteading life complete with gardening, making soaps, canning, and using a lot of DIY home care recipes. I wanted a simpler life that reflected the good memories I had living on a farm and watching my mom garden and can food. My paternal grandmother tatted, and being a depression era woman, she would pull the strings off the grain bags my dad discarded and use them for her work. She said the store bought thread was too expensive. Little did I know this was my first experience in reducing and reusing, but it was also a major seed that was planted in my fiber journey. Read More »

books, fall, and scarves

I know it’s just the beginning of August, but I crave fall. My favorite season seems that much farther away since we moved deeper south. Still, I can sense a change in the air, a shortening of days; the casting of shadows lengthens, and the morning feels a bit cooler (well, maybe that’s just wishful thinking). The boys and I are already reading Halloween books; I’m thinking of spicy breads and beverages, and in the morning I add an extra dash of cinnamon to our oatmeal. I’m soooo ready for the coziness of autumn!Read More »

Panaway, My Gateway

I’m familiar with essential oil blends, but I mostly have experience with single oils, such as lavender and rosemary. Panaway is one of those oils I didn’t have a way to compare with other oils. The first time I massaged it on my husband I thought it smelled like something my brothers used after football practice. I didn’t really touch it for a few days after using it, not that I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t what I needed at the time.Read More »

Masks

I used to make myself up everyday. I was in my twenties, and I had a great deal of self expression, which is good, but what was truly at play was a need to put on a mask so that people wouldn’t see the real me, the vulnerable and insecure me. I was a contradiction, I wanted to be seen and hide. I thought my self worth was wrapped in how I looked and what I did for others. All in an effort to like me.Read More »

Lessons

We all begin somewhere. Not one of us is born knowing everything or anything. I watched Quinn write the beginning letters of our names, having to instruct and guide him with proper placement. As an adult, it took me a long time to realize that what I didn’t know could be learned, and what I did know could be unlearned. That there is no shame in having to find the answers or ask for help.Read More »

I’m doing a thing

We’ve been in our new town for five months. It’s been a great transition for us, but not without its challenges. This has all been an adjustment with a new state, city, home, schedule, and two littles ’round the clock.

Lately I’ve been revisiting my purpose here, you know, who and what I am outside of mom and wife. I’ve gone from running a nonprofit at a historic site to planning activities for a four year old and trying to keep the one year old from putting toys in the toilet. Really, it is so much more than that, though. I love this time with them.Read More »

Under the Pecan Tree

We walk every morning in our new town.

One of the delights about our neighborhood are the abundant pecan trees,

Which Quinn requests every time we go.

We scour the ground on Tuskeena Street, under the shade of the pecan trees.

We look for the lightest colored shells, they usually give us the sweetest nuts.

We smash them under our shoe. Quinn brings his heel down, shoes flashing green.

The nut rolls, I bring it back to him.

He tries again, it’s almost pulverized. We check to see if it’s a good nut.

My little boy, so young, has already learned about bitterness.

“This looks like a good nut, Mommy.”

It was, plump, sweet, giving.

We stand there, sharing the moment.

I see the early Autumn sun shining on him, his brother. There’s a cool breeze.

I am reminded of these moments with the women in my life.

My memory is of picking black berries with my grandmother,

Watching her tat with strings pulled from grain bags.

Walking out to the field so that she can dig up thistles. She had her own personal vendetta against them.

They were as prickly as she was.

My mom gave me an appreciation of old things, antiques, historic sites, experiences.

We gardened together.

I remember her diligently taking care of me while I was sick.

She showed me what love is.

Imperfectly.

I look at my son’s darkening hair in the sun, his blond locks long cut off.

I have a thought that I am creating a memory for my children. For Quinn.

He, too, will look back on this with fondness.

He, too, will say my mother loved me.

Imperfectly.