The Best Presents…

The presents I love most always come free and unattached to any Hallmark holiday. This little gift of peonies are fresh cut from my garden and the smell is heavenly. Which is interesting. Because I’m allergic to perfume. But not to the incredible scent of these beauties. But this bouquet is especially special to me because it carries a secret message.

peonies in vase

Did you spot it?


Cait is always leaving me little notes expressing her love for me. I’ll often sit down to my computer to open up some work only to find a short (and always colorful) love […]

2019-06-07T23:03:05-04:00June 3rd, 2012|.Cait and Me, Life|3 Comments

Outstanding in the Corn Fields — Odyssey of the Mind World Finals 2012 Ames, Iowa

ootm 2012 logo Cait and I’ve spent the last several days in Ames, Iowa at Iowa State University. She and her Odyssey of the Mind team won 1st at Regionals and 2nd at States, which qualified them to compete at Worlds. Which is sort of like the Olympics for creative mind types.  Here’s as good as any explanation I can find on what Odyssey is, if you’re not familiar with it:

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Kids apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. […]

2016-10-24T09:56:28-04:00May 27th, 2012|.Cait and Me|0 Comments

Totally like whatever, you know?

Cait, having two parents who make their living from writing, has been doomed from birth. She sticks out like a sore thumb in any conversation with her peers. That is, she has an impressive vocabulary and she’s not afraid to use it. Her speech is also remarkably free of teenage idiomatic stutters such as “like,” “ya know,” and “I mean.”

So I was not surprised when she told me that she wanted to share her new favorite poem (as she is also an avid reader). But that she wanted to read “this great poem my teacher read in class” out loud so that I would hear it with the proper inflection peaked my curiosity. After she finished, I understood why. I […]

2016-10-24T09:56:32-04:00March 11th, 2012|.Cait and Me|4 Comments

Home Again, Home Again…

Thank you to all the wonderful French families who so generously took our kids into your homes. It was a gift for them to get to experience your wonderful country through your eyes. I know one girl who won’t soon forget!

2016-10-24T09:56:33-04:00November 20th, 2011|.Cait and Me|5 Comments

Dogs Have a Universal Language. Why Don’t Humans?

Sign Post to International CitiesCait is going on a foreign exchange program soon. We’re in the countdown to liftoff, with its attendant flurry of activity. That means that along with going over packing checklists, we’re running through cultural and language checklists as well.

Having lived in other countries, I’m keenly aware of the fact that because all humans essentially look the same–two eyes, two ears, a mouth, etc–we tend to make assumptions that people everywhere else are pretty much like us. And therefore we can mostly accurately interpret all other people’s actions and behavior through our own cultural lens. Sometimes that can cause some funny and not so funny misunderstandings.

I can […]

2016-10-24T09:56:33-04:00October 30th, 2011|.Cait and Me, Dogs in General|8 Comments

Chaos Math, Implicate Order, and Driving Lessons

Cait is of the age where it’s time for me to teach her how to drive. For as exhilarating as she finds her lessons, that’s how nerve-racking I find them. So when we get in the car for another lesson, I take comfort in the way she falls back into our usual “long drives” routine.

She starts with her customary opening line, “So what should we talk about, Mom?”

As Cait has a tendency to drive a little too close to the shoulder of the road, I say, “We should talk about how you should stop listing to the right and stay in the center of your lane!”

Cait makes the correction and says, “So Mom, me and […]

2016-10-24T09:56:33-04:00October 23rd, 2011|.Cait and Me, .My Favorites, Life|4 Comments

Life is Still Good

As per usual, I made the trek to Cait’s school to pick her up from after-school activities. She threw her too-heavy backpack on the back seat and slid into the front, pulling the car door closed after her. Before I could even ask how her day went, she launched into conversation.

“Mom,” she said, “You won’t believe the most wonderful thing happened today.”

Not usually the opening line when Cait hops into the car these days, I was curious to hear more. “What was it?” I asked.

Cait was so animated that I was expecting some personal great thing had happened to her. As the story unfolded, I’d discover that she was merely a witness.

“You know how I told you last night that […]

2016-10-24T09:56:33-04:00September 18th, 2011|.Cait and Me, Life|0 Comments

Two of Our Favorite Drinks

While I truly love growing things, I also really enjoy harvesting straight from nature. I’ve been a wild edible collector for almost as many years as I’ve been a gardener. This year, even Cait seems to have taken to foraging. All that was required was to have her taste the sweet nectar of these two drinks for herself to get her scurrying out the door for more.

This first drink is a tea that is delicious hot or cold. We collect enough of it to dry and have throughout the year, but it’s really good freshly made. Just collect a few red clover heads easily found in fields and along roadsides.

redclover.jpg

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