Tuesday, May 01, 2012

I have been tagged by a blogolicious mother of two...

I was recently "tagged" by a fellow blogger mom - Read her stuff here Jaimalaya. She is definitely one of the funniest blogger moms that I read right now, she is from Meade Co.- Enough said. She is a "lovable dork with big boobs".

1. Book or movie and why?

Pre mommyhood, I would definitely say that I was a book person. My mother is an avid reader and passed this on to me. I will admit however, that I have a large collection of unread books. I also have a tendancy to read 3/4 of a book, decide that I love it, get very busy and not finish it. This is the case 70% of the time with the non-fictions that I pick up. Now that I make less time for books, I see lots of movies at home. Although, in the case Twilight and The Help, I made sure to read the books pre-movie. Having said that, no way I am probably going to get through The Hunger Games - just not motivated.

2. Real book or e-book?

Both - I read every Twilight book and many other great books on my Iphone. I have a good collection on my Kindle / iPad and a solid library of actual books at home. If I read an ebook that I fell in love with, I would most likely purchase a hardback copy to treasure. I love paper. I can't imagine not sharing my love of real books with my kids. Reading The Cat in the Hat is not the same on a screen ....

3. Funniest thing you’ve done in the last 5 years?

Gosh, I am funny every single day of the week people....
I will say, I got lots and lots of great feedback from sharing a photo of my 18 month old child strapped to my body in an infant carrier.

4. Do you put yourself into the books you read/write or the movies you watch?

Absolutely! Who else would I write about?
I never put myself in books or movies I read / watch. I like to escape myself, that is the whole point.

5. How would your best friend describe you?

Funny, with a touch of bitchy.

6. Favorite kind of car and why?

I really would love to have a small SUV that has four wheel drive and some space for two children and my dogs - Yes, I am pregnant with my second child. Consider this my official media announcment.

7. Would your choice of party be a catered meal or barbecue out back?

Backyard barbecue on paper products.  Catering usually means some sort of rubber chicken.

8. What’s your favorite season and why?

Autumn. There is something very beautiful about the falling leaves. Maybe the calm before the storm? I feel more creative in every way in the fall. I do more fun things with my family and of course there is my favorite holiday, Halloween.

9. What specific lesson have you learned – Spiritual, educational, occupational?

I think the most transferrable lesson I have learned in my short life is that you can't reason with crazy people. Once I quite trying to control or make sense of the crazies in my life, things became quite clear for me. Sometimes this means letting go of friends and family. That has been the hardest part.

10. Besides writing, what’s your favorite thing to do when you get some extra time?

Watch tv on Bravo. I am quite lazy when left to my own devices.

11. What’s one place you can be found at least one time every week?

McDonalds. I am pro-McDonalds. Its a consistent, cheap place to eat and you rarely hear of food poisoning coming out of one of those joints. It is the breakfast of champions here in Vincennes, Indiana. That is how sad this place is......


The Flannery Files

Park Promulgation

Homemade by Jill

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Year #3


Should I just SCREAM or move to France - I cannot decide.

This week I have been glued to my latest read, Bringing Up Bebe. It has been a fantastic read. If you are not aware of the book, definitely check out the amazon summary and reviews. In short, American journalist ends up living in France with husband, gets knocked up, births a baby girl and begans to obsess and observe. Her findings are so interesting, she writes said book.

Without spoiling your reading experience, I will only share that I am so relieved that there is someone else that thinks that America mothers live life under such an immense amount of pressure. Pressure to breastfeed, pressure to breathe every single moment of their existance for their wee little one, pressure to be too damn perfect.

I knew I could not have imagined that. Author finds the same to be true in her comparison to the French mother who is proud to send her tiny tot off to the government run child care center, proud to have a coffee a time or two during her pregnancy, proud to say "my child took formula". Now, I am not saying that the French have it all right when it comes to raising their children or that I would actually move to France, however, what I wouldn't give to live in a place where everyone didn't have such an opinion about how I choose to raise my child.

Mommy friends out there - read the book and don't be afraid to be un-perfect.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

What I would have shared on FB this past week.


Just ordered  Bringing up Bebe from Amazon- can't wait to read it.

The birds are back! We plan on putting out some awesome bird feeders tonight for our feathered friends. We made various forms of peanut butter pinecones for the birds over winter, they worked out marvelously. This time I will plan on adding some dried fruits I have sitting in my pantry.  Just watched this funny birding movie, 2 thumbs up! Definitely check it out!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

All good things are wild and free. You may have heard that I gave up Facebook for Lent. Yes, I have gone totally roque. It has been a productive but a somewhat boring week or so. So far, what I miss the most is the quick ease in sharing great things with the world. Below you will see a few pictures of my wild little one. So hard to believe my little one is TWO!

I mentioned that in addition to the "giving up" of something, I also wanted to use my time to be more creative and productive at home. So far, I have enjoyed some quiet nights of reading and reflection. It has been great. I picked up this title from Amazon and while I started it about 5 days late into the season, so far I am pleased. It has some great meditations and practices for the Lenten season that focus on simplicity of life and humility.  So far so good. I have been letting go of many items in order to become more "free" this season. Today I cleaned out my junkiest desk drawer and tonight I will be cleaning a dirty corner. It is a fairly easy process to let go of those things that are really of no great importance to me any longer. It is, however, proving difficult to let go of those things in my mind and heart that are of no great importance. I guess that will be my ultimate challenge.

How do you let go?

All good things are wild and free. - Henry David Thoreau


Thursday, February 23, 2012

It was a VERY productive day.

So how did Day 1 go, you ask? Well, it was very productive. While contemplating my lenten sacrifice, I wanted to really give the idea of a lenten "discipline" some focus. Obviously, living without FB will be something. But what else? What good, positive, meaningful things will I take on in the absence of dear ole FB. I am blogging again, that has been good, but I decided what I really needed to focus on was to purging some things. Cleansing myself of  some of the crap that plaques me every day- some physical stuff and emotional stuff of course.

SOOOOO - My office is was attrocious. If you know me, you know I have an issue with clutter. Yes, a few more years with no intervention and you might find me on an episode of Hoarders.

So many of the items in my office serve no real purpose. They have meaning, but no purpose and so as I sat amongst stacks and stacks of papers, and lots of trinkets, I realized that I needed to clear the space and on some grander level, clear the air. It is sometimes too thick, too tense, too much! Cleansing my space of the "extra" was quite a rewarding experience and while its not paradise up in here - it is certainly peaceful and a good place to focus, especially with my Thelonius Monk playing.  I have a sweet reminder of what the Lenten season is all about close by. I have taken some of my very special items to my home and thrown much away. Was it a good day? Absolutely! 

Can I promise that my workspace will stay this way, HELL no!

Thought for the day:

"Don't own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire."
Wendell Berry (Farming: a hand book)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shall I Break Out My Scapular?

Back in 2004 I was working full time at the University of Florida and working half time toward my Masters degree in Agricultural Communication. It was busy, chaotic, and fun. I was also planning a wedding - that was busy, chaotic, fun for about two weeks.... but a beautiful day it was. I joined Facebook right around this time out of complete curiosity. Most of the younger, cool, kids at UF were doing it so I thought I would give it a whirl. Initially FB was just a college thing - you had to have a university email address to even register. Overtime, it turned into - well you know.

Facebook has been the most amazing way to stay in touch and connect with people who are miles away from me. My mother has joined Facebook and we "chat" quite often. It is the perfect way for me to share pics of my baby  boy with my family members. I have connected with my Aunt Peggy, my Aunt Donna, my cousins, nieces and nephews and become a fan of Stull's Country Store in good Ole Andyville, Kentucky. Those are just a few examples. It has been a great way to stay in touch, not debating that.  Every student who I have had some sort of impact on has found me on FB. I have watched students I had 8 years ago, grow in to successful professional people (well a good portion of them - Some of you guys need to lay off the sauce and party life - grow up already. )

On the flip side, it has been a black hole for my productivity. I have said things I regret. I have made people furious with me on Facebook. I have let people drive me insane on Facebook. I have been defriended and refriended. I have had to block people on Facebook. I have had people try to fraud their way into my bank accounts. I am not sure if it is all worth it.

With that said, I don't intend to abandon my Facebook friends and family. That is part of this. I plan on writing notes to some of you, on paper - you know, like with a stamp and stuff? I will Facetime more, write emails more, send packages. I also plan on looking at this as a challenge for a new creative and productive discipline. I will blog weekly. As you can see, this is my first blog since Aug of 2011. I am excited to tell everyone about my life in a positive, creative, and rewarding way. You will see my life unfold and hopefully be entertained enough to comment and let me know that you are out there. You will also still see pictures of the Taj - no worries.

I cannot conclude this post without leaving you with something to chew on. Meditate on this tonight:

"You and I have been created for greater things. We have not been created to just pass through life without aim. And that greater aim is to live and be loved and we cannot love unless we know. Knowledge always leads to love and love to service." Mother Theresa

" I spent some time in a convent training to be a nun, I got expelled due to my dirty habits" - unknown

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

An Old Facebook Note. MOST of it still true.... You can guess the parts that aren't.

I tagged you so you would read my note.

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under the plus sign on tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I grew up on a farm where i was comfortable with the culture of killing animals for food and shooting animals for sport. Now i think i would cry if i had to shoot a deer. NOW, if the deer was attacking me that would probably be no problem. Having said this, I still enjoy hamburgers and porkchops but I think the corporate feedlot led to the demise of honest ethical agricutlure. I am conflicted about all of this...

2. I want to adopt a pot bellied pig when i have a few acres for it to sloth around on.

3. The idea of childbirth really grosses me out and if you talk to me about your own birthing experiences it will make me want to vomit. I cannot explain why and I wish I could change this. Also, i think it is wierd to post ultrasound pics on FB and myspace. I mean I am not trying to offend anyone here, however, that is the inside of you - and that to me is personal...

4. I have a yellow bellied slider turtle named Monk. He might be a girl.

5. I own over 40 handbags.

6. I have a nice Wizard of Oz Collection, most of it still resides at my parents house.

7. I sew, design handbags from recycled menswear, can tomatoes, and bake my own bread. I think Martha Stewart is the cat's pajamas. I like it that she has served time in prison. I also like it that she is really bitchy. A few people in my life have told me "you have too much time on your hands, have a kid already" and i did not talk to them for a long time afterwards

8. I LOVE teaching people.

9. I want to travel to India Dec 2009.

10. I love my dogs like they are my children. They are shelter dogs. I think shelter / rescue dogs are the best and I will never compromise on this. YAY for hybrid vigor.

11. One of my favorite childhood memories was playing basketball with Jeremy and then realizing it was 8:00 and racing into the house to catch the latest Cosby show episode.

12. When i was in the 6th grade I played center for our elementary school basketball team in two games. I usually started forward.

13. I will NEVER miss an episode of Project Runway and I think Heidi Klum hung the moon.

14. When I was a sixth grader I placed third in the Kentucky State Junior 4-H Swine Judging Contest.

15. I took a quiz on belief.net about what religious group I should join and it said that I was 80% Quaker.

16. My favorite part of back to school shopping as a kid was definitely the school supplies - specifically the trapper keeper.

17. I am very particular about what kinds of paper and pen that I use.

18. I am 29 and I have a ton of gray hair. I mean way more then the average 29 year old.

19. Another great childhood memory I have is having my best friend Natalie over on Sundays. I remember sitting on the front porch swing and being SOOO excited when her mom's station wagon would pop over the hill. We had lots of good fun.

20. I cannot sleep well unless my sheets, blankets, and comforter are perfectly placed.

21. I think kentucky is God's country.

Heaven is blue, Kentucky has bluegrass... it all makes sense to me.

22. I have a really bad temper and unfortunately hold grudges. I know this and I have been working on it for the past couple of years.

23. I used to sling vegetables for a living. I was laid off and this changed my life. That is why I love working in career development.

24. I feed off of making people laugh. I am wise enough to know that I started doing this because i am the baby of five and like to get attention.

25. I worked in retail for all four years of college and a couple summers in high school. Because of this, I will NEVER shop on the day after Thanksgiving because I know it is the crappiest day of the year to work and people are really really mean when it comes to buying cheap christmas gifts.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Nature Table Part 1

Tonight we started on the Nature Table project. It was interesting....

I took Tajaroo on a little expedition in the flower bed to "explore". He was interested in the flowers and I assisted him in picking a two zinnias from my bed. He watched as a I pulled weeds and he attempted to imitate by pulling up grass. The big problem is..... he will not move in the grass. It is as if he has stepped into concrete. He just won't do it. I have to practically force him to even enter the lawn. He has no issues coasting on sidewalks, tromping around in the dirt, and hitting a fevered pace in the driveway but my boy is no fan of grass .. for now. We noticed an abandoned bird's nest which my husband made me promise not to touch... ITS DIRTY - he screamed from the lawnmower. So for now - our nature table consists of :

1. A small birdhouse (a potential hiding place for the gnomes).
2. Two cut zinnias.
3. My Aunt Juanita's box - adorn with a beautiful rose on top. - it keeps things safe.
4. A bird / gnome gazebo.
5. Two tiny chalkboards - adorn with flora and the sun.
6. A scrap of cotton fabric with lots of posies.
7. Two peg people -soon to be gnomes.


on Mothering...

The past 17 months of my life have been overwhelming. Filled with joy and tears the same. Everyday that I take my 8 minute commute to my office, I think about what my child is doing at daycare and who is taking in all of his cries and his wonderful laughs. I wonder who is getting the best of him and the worst of him. I love my daycare but everyday the guilt associated with leaving my little guy with someone else gets bigger and bigger.

Recently, I have the opportunity to learn more about Waldorf education. I can only say that it seems like such a wondrous way to raise a child. I have been doing a good bit of research and while I can't exactly walk out on my financial responsibilities by quitting my job, I am hopeful that I can incorporate some of these themes and traditions into my household.

This week, Taj and I will begin to build our nature table. An old coffee table (just his size) will start us off and I plan on using the rest of the summer to fill our table with fun elements from the world around us. Here are some great examples of nature tables I am using for inspiration.

Raising Little Shoots - Nature Table

Blue Bird Baby Nature Table

Uncommon Grace

Are you interested in learning more about Waldorf inspired activites?
Check out these titles:

Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents
You Are Your Child's First Teacher
The Creative Family

Friday, June 03, 2011


Over my 32 years I have become a "collector" of sorts. I collect nothing too terribly valuable because who can afford that... Some of my collections started strong and then stopped for one reason or another. Some collections are supported by my friends and family with minimal effort on my part. For those of you that have contributed to my collections - Thank You, ever piece reminds me of you..

I have a nice collection of keychains representing the travels of my students, friends, family, and colleagues. Only a handful of my keychains were purchased by me.
Honorable mentions from this collections:
Anna Moon Glass  Ghana
Ryan Schelb           Bamako, Mali
Kathy Tancig          Taj Mahal, India
Lisa House             Holland, Italy, Austria, Purdue
Dusty Bass             London
Casey Alford          Paris
John Lai                 Paris
Lane Andrews       Paris
Melissa Short         Egypt
Kristen Kovalsky   Egypt
Chris Vitelli            The Georgia Egg Commission
Charlotte Emerson  The Pilsbury Doughboy
Lisa Hightower       Ireland
Shubin Saha           Spain

I participated in a Tea Cup Swap via SwapBot that inspired this short lived collection. I swapped teacups with someone from Argentina and Hawaii and have also collected special teacups from family members who have passed away.
Honorable Mention
Janet Stull  (mom)           Dorothy's (my grandma's) teacup

Recipe Books
I have more cookbooks than one family needs and a vast majority of them I have never cooked a dish from.

Wizard Of Oz
I have a small collection of Wizard of Oz Memorabilia that was purchased by my family mostly. It includes Barbie collectibles, christmas ornaments, books, and other dolls. I even have Dorothy christmas lights.

Byers Choice Halloween Carolers
Each piece in this collection has been a gift from my MIL who is also a caroler enthusiast. This is a small but fun collection and now includes Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting back to my love of the "stuff".

You may recall that I started blogging long ago about stuff.
Today, I return to the orginal mission and will talk about stuff.
Today I write mostly about baby stuff since that is what I obsess about..

Here are some items I am currently loving....

1.  Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets. Amanda and Taj approved.
He won't part with his blankie for naps or night night.
I prefer the ones straight from Aden and Anais instead of the Target or Diapers.com versions.

2.  Cabbage Patch Cutie
A tiny, fun version of a doll I loved as a child. This was a gift from his Papa.

3. Plan Toys Tea Set
Every boy needs a tea set. Atleast that's what I think. We have removed the smallets parts and saved   them for when Taj is a little bigger - but we have lots of fun with this.

4.  Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are lots of fun. They are safe for the slobbery, teething kid who wants some relief on those gums. They also make good things to clack together.... He loves them:)

5. The Kindle
I love it. So convenient and reads just like a New York Times bestseller. I still hit up the library and bookstore but this makes reading so easy and fun! I love scouring the internet for great FREE ebooks.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Forgive me Father for I have sinned...

and forgotten how to blog.

So here it is, a long overdue update.  Life has been chaotic. Happy. Sad. Heavy. Lite.

Over the past few weeks, it seems that we have be flying around like two sparrows in a hurricane. Taj Kumar has morphed into a little boy and this weekend I spent a short time grieving the loss of my "baby". On May 12, he turned 15 mos and after months of hesitation we decided to finally wean the kid from his bottle. I was prepared for the worst. Apparently, I don't know my child very well. After a brief tantrum and puzzled look, he proceded with life as usual sans bottle.

Winter has been hard on the wee one. On average, Taj was sick every 4 weeks through the cold and flu season. We are ready for spring dammit! And she was supposed to be here a while ago. You wouldn't know it today in southwest Indiana. It is chilly again and I am wearing a fleece pull over today at work. I have some big plans for us. I have sunflower seeds to plant and plans for more vegetables. An amazingly aggressive crop of weeds in my flower bed as well. I guess we will get to those eventually.

Taj has decided to approach his next physical milestone with the same form as all of the earlier milestones. Much like his Momma, he has a "wait to the last minute" mantra. This weekend he took his first solo steps but seems hell bent on training to break some world record for speed crawling. He has also taken to the art of throwing his head up and down like a raging bull while crawling... its entertaining to say the least. I anticipate he will walk like a champ in the next four weeks, but I am not rushing him... Life is one overcrowded 5k and I have never been a runner.

This week I got some sad news about a very dear family member who has been diagnosed with cancer in several areas of his body. Certainly I am sad for him. God's great puzzle seems even more complex when I hear news such as this. Since I got the news, I have a new anxiety to obsess about... praying. There is a litany of research and literature that supports the theory of the power of prayer. However, I feel like I have forgotten how to do it. I close my eyes usually before bed and begin some sort of dialogue that starts with "I know you haven't heard from me in a while but...." I am pretty sure its not supposed to start out that way. Soon enough, my mind becomes too crowded and distracted and I lose my focus. Will someone please remind me how to pray!!!! I need some suggestions. There has got to be some treatment for the prayer ADD that I am currently experiencing...

Also, can someone please remind how to forgive? Thats' not working out for me too well either.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Its finally Friday, Im free again, got my motor runnin for a WILD weekend.....

I love that song. There are a collection of good old school country songs that I revel in from childhood - that is one of them. I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing...

Professionally, this week is a blur. I feel like every single minute was planned and I spent the majority running, typing, talking, grading and yada yada. 

Personally, I attempted to wean Taj from the bottle .....  It took me about two minutes to figure out that life is too damn short. I choose not to rush this kid into childhood. Everyone needs a cocktail around the 5:00 hour so he will have his and I will have mine, maybe after he goes to bed :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - Homemade Forms of Fun

1. Cupcakes - with cotton candy on top.
2. Scrapbooking
3. Building a felt playhouse for my son
4. Sewing ..
5. Redecorating this house so its my own.
6. Photographing everything
7.  Blogging :)
8. Cardboard box fun
9. Writing that business plan Ive been talking about
10. Delicious bread making.

Where did it go?

How did that little guy grow so quickly. Celebrating my son's birthday this past weekend was bittersweet. As much as I love to see Taj grow into a booming being of curiosity, I am deeply saddened that his infancy is over. I look at him today with tear filled eyes knowing that soon enough I will be asking- where did those five years go? I don't intend to make this post purely about my son, even though it is so easy to do, but looking at my one year old - I am reminded of what I need for my life before five years escapes me.

I had the opportunity to talk with a handful of students today about reducing stress. Awww. a novel idea - reducing stress. We started the hour with a life wheel exercise which helps one become aware of the areas in life that need more attention. For me, my wheel was unbalanced. Where was I lacking? Fun and Spirituality. This year, I will restore fun. I will find a way to communicate with the God I talked to all the time as a child....
Saying so and doing so are much different, here's hoping the doing is easy.

Happy Days