Unintended Consequences

Tuesday by Rieshy
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With the exception of a hiking trip, Fall Break at my house this year is not very sexy; it's yard winterizing,  less limited movie/computer time and slightly more festive food, and pumpkin carving.



It's also paper writing time.

Is there anything more fun than writing research papers over fall break? What about teaching children how to write research papers?

Actually,  I love research papers... if only a pesky moral base initially inculcated by my upbringing and then later internalized hadn't interfered I would have loved running a business writing other people's research papers.  I even think teaching my own children how to do a research paper could be fun.  Except it's usually not.

They may attempt a smile (or not) but I'm not feeling the joy.

Winterizing the yard- what's not to love?  Wind, slight rain, mud, that earthy autumn smell, sweat and sore hamstrings. Some of us felt the joy. My 6 yo in begged me for all of us to work together in the yard again this morning.    I got to say, "You will have to wait until tomorrow to work in the yard."  My 19 yo (piano performance major and thus hand-selfprotective) had fun working with her little brother digging up bushes, plus the bonus of enjoying a joyous adrenaline rush when said 6 yo missed her hand by an inch while chopping at a stubborn root ball.  Give a 6 yo a pick axe...





Personally, life is fun.  Even the nitty gritty paper writing.  Having a week "off" is fun- even if it is a lot of work.  Long ago I learned that well-rested, well-fed, and underworked children get bored and fight.  Whereas well-rested, well-fed, and tired-from-work children appreciate life.

But in the end it boils down to deciding to love life.  I can't make my children love life; I can't even make them be happy but they can look around and see concrete things that they know they accomplished or learned and feel competent.  It's a step.

At the very least they can look forward to the relaxation of starting back to school... and my yard looks tons better.


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Farewelling

Thursday by Rieshy
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I dropped my two middle children off on a 4 day hiking trip this morning.  My in-car farewell was a general, "Don't break anything by being stupid." Which was followed by a short, extremely pointed, and child specific:  "Don't jump off anything high!"- actually this was repeated 3 full times a little louder each time and, "Don't lord it over your brother."

I'm sure my children heard, "Blah, blah, blah, blah... we are here."

Hopefully, even through all their hyper-ness and excitement they also heard the subtext of, "I love you and will (eventually) miss you both terribly."

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Green Summer Past

Wednesday by Rieshy




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My last time here I was bemoaning the Boot.  I tore my gastrocnemius muscle (which sounds really gross and intestines related but isn't) and spent the entire summer decked out in a sweaty hot black ortho boot.  It was one busy boot.  Our summer was a whirlwind of activity partially because of this young beautiful Swiss woman living with us for the summer.


Among other things we drove 19 hours to and from Colorado to visit one of my sisters, have fun with Grandparents and share the scenery with our visitor.  It was amazing and I did NOT GET ONE PICTURE. Not one.

Did you know you can hike in the Rocky Mountains in an ortho boot?  Many, many miles in fact.

Did you know you can belt-test for Goju-Shorei Karate in an ortho boot?  If you have awesome Sensei like I do you can.  Hardest test ever.

Then to end summer with a bang my 18 year old broke her jaw... in 3 places (along with 10 stitches and some wicked road rash) while trying out long-boarding.



Did you know you can't do anything with your mouth wired shut?  Really- not much of anything at all.

The moral of the summer to a western tune: Momma's, don't let your babies grow up to be long-boarders.


Summer's over, school is a whole quarter in, the boot's long gone, the jaw's unwired, and I'm back.

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Siren Sky to a Pulled Muscle

Sunday by Rieshy
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Blue air and clouds calling for,
swinging limbs,
rhythmic lungs; albeit noisy older ones.
Dripping sweat 
and a brain slowed to mere systems check.

Sports chew wrapped in wax paper 
assuming role of proverbial carrot.  
Must wait, must wait.
Just one more mile marker,
then dig it out of soggy sports bra pocket without looking weird,
hopefully.

Freedom, torture, joy, blessing.
Aloneness under Siren Sky.

Aloneness 
most gruelingly refreshing.
Skill not required, just endurance.
and
mothers are made of endurance;
But
by definition, not aloneness.

Except,
 the penalty box of injury, 
 turns each blue clear day into a siren wail of enticement,
singing low and sweet, "Lost miles, come and play, 
you were only 22 on that facebook real-age survey anyway." 

Mock my infirmity, oh Siren Sky. 
Promise the world, promise toughness and oxygen, promise sharpness,
 but in reality you offer only


further boots of ortho-shame.






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A Jaunty Monday

Monday by Rieshy
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My garlic tips its cap to you.



Horton will be by shortly


to listen for Whoses.





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Double Checking

by Rieshy
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Early-thirty one morning I was answering an email from the director of my senior daughter's high school tutorial. They needed to finish a powerpoint presentation that was to run on a large screen during the reception after graduation exercises.  Two of the questions were:

1.Scripture you pray for your student
2. Words for the future


 Our daughter is taking a gap year (a year in which one recovers from burn-out, makes some money, and assesses the color of one's parachute) and is trying to figure out what direction her life will take, so the verse and blessing that came immediately to mind was from Proverbs- the verse about trusting in the Lord and how he will direct your path....  So I glibly typed in Proverbs 5:6.  

"Or is it Proverbs 5:4-6," I wondered?  "Hmm.  I think Proverbs 5:6-7."

I was in a hurry.  I was already way late responding to the questions because having to be thoughtful in a public way terrifies me.  I'm not sentimental; I fail entirely at "making memories" and had already answered the school's query of, "Would you like space at the reception to make a memory display for you daughter?" with a thoughtless return email of, "Just shoot me now."

Being thought a good mom of daughters sometimes feels as though it hinges on being able to design gee-haws and tie hair bows-  both of which I've never mastered.  Only at the last moment, right before I pressed send I reflected on how incredibly sleep deprived I was and how that sleep loss is known to impede memory.  

So I double checked Proverbs 5:6 and its surroundings.  Too bad I did.  In large letters on the screen at the reception people could have looked upon a cute photo of my daughter's 2 year old self, dimpling a smile while dressed with an apron configured as a cape, accompanied by the following caption:  (according to the NIV):  

but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
6She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

Now that would have made a memory.



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They're Just Words

Friday by Rieshy
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I just emerged from a puddle of reading entitled, The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green. Terminal illnesses and dying children.  My kids like to give me hand grenades masquerading as books because they love me.  Who did I relate to? Who else but Hazel's mother... And Augustus.  I too want a valiant quest filled life while living a day to day one.

I type now with that disjointed feeling of emerging from fiction to realize it's only 8 a.m.  At some point I'd thoughtlessly given permission for my youngest to play a video game on a weekday morning just so I could cry through the last chapters.

One of my favorite poems is Erlkoenig, by Geothe, because, well because I've been on that horse riding "geschwind"  with my child while trying to veballly prevent him from dying as we raced to the hospital..  And my son and I? We've defeated the Erlkoenig.  We've won.  Every time, every separate race..  Reading the words of the poem guts my heart for the fictitious father yet simultaneously fills it with a heady victory.

Words aren't medicine.  Words aren't cures.  But then again they are.

"In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1



"I'd always associated belief in heaven with, frankly, a kind of intellectual disengagement.  But Gus wasn't dumb." Hazel- The Fault In Our Stars


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