Sunday, May 13, 2012

A little ditty on my mom - long gone but remembered in my projects.

I wish I had a picture of my mom in her overalls (yes) and a hammer.
This is one of the last pictures of her taken a few months before she died.
Like her recipes, actual pictures of my mother are a rare thing.
Update: This picture was from my older sister's (far left) informal wedding which was only two weeks before my mom  passed away.   My other sister (far right) was almost 3 months pregnant in this picture, her boy just turned thirteen! I'm the one right next to my mom in the striped shirt and that is our younger bro behind me, he was fifteen. 
It has been forever (thirteen years) since my mother died.  She was killed in a car crash when an off duty police officer ran a red light sending her Ford Explorer flying.   It's been so long that I really don't consciously think of her that often.  I used to think to call her when something was going on or wish I could when I was trying to cook lasagna the way she did - note to all you parents, write down your favorite recipes, your kids may want them one day.  All in all though, to be honest with you, I don't think of my mom that much.  Today is mothers day and I didn't remember my mom until my sister mentioned her and if I remember correctly this is usually how it goes.  On Mother's Day I think of my amazing step mom, Kathy who stepped up to the plate and has been such a God sent blessing to my dad and our family.  I think of my aunt Deb who has influenced me so much over the years.  I mostly think of myself and my darling kids with their gifts of homemade cards, a pine cone, yard picked flowers and bag of earl grey tea, plus the frequent snuggles I am getting today. 

The times I mostly think of my mom are when I'm in the "workshop" crafting, building, painting, planting and creating.  My dad is the most handy and competent do it yourselfer that I know but DIY dads don't always create DIY daughters.  It was my brother who was alongside dad putzing around in the garage, on the house and on random vehicles.  I didn't start doing my own crafts and tinkering until I was married.  While my dad helps walk me through projects I credit my mom for the desire and gumption I have to do the stuff I do.

There was nothing my mom wouldn't do.  My parents liked to buy houses, fix them up and then sell them.  I'm not sure if that was the plan or if they just got bored once they had the house how they wanted.  One year they moved us into this old farm house we called a barn.  We hated it until we loved it and then of course they rented it out and bought a house a couple streets over.  When we moved in to the "barn" you could sweep the upstairs and just push the dirt into the cracks in the floor to the downstairs.  In the actual barn/shed that was on this property there was a pile of wood from an old gym floor.  My mom used it to build the most beautiful wooden floor, sanded and sanded it, stained it and wala totally upgraded the house.  She textured walls, she changed the brakes on a VW bug, laid sod and even did some body work on an old pick up.  My mom was totally capable and she operated on whims - a lot like me.  She NEVER ran out of ideas.  Whenever I talk to my uncle and tell him what I'm up to even if it's just painting a room, he says I'm just like my mom. 

My mom truly thought I was awesome.  To this day much of the confidence I have I know stems from the unconditional love I received from her.  My sister and I ran cross country in high school and we sucked - as in we were always at the back of the pack. I felt like a loser until I saw how truly impressed and beside herself my mom was that we could run a three mile race.  She actually thought I was brilliant.  She was tickled pink by us kids - like I am with my kids.   

To all the moms, all the STEP MOMS - who are often less recognized despite the fact that their job is harder than any other, to all the dad-moms, all the aunts, grandmas, friends and caretakers who speak love into the lives of others and empower them with your awe, bless you and Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lets Talk About Underarm Hair

This is why I don't shave my arm pits.

It's gross, it hurts, it leads to ingrown hairs, chaffed skin and zits.  There is never a period where the skin is simply hair free, smooth and supple.  It is a very rare occasion when a woman who shaves lifts her arms and it is clear, fresh and smooth skin.  Obviously there are some of you out there who shave without side effects and whose hair remains gone long enough to get you through whatever it is you shaved for.  Most ladies like it smooth but for me it just doesn't work.  If ever I do this again it will be electrolysis.  Back in the day when I removed my body hair on a regular basis I actually waxed.  Maybe I would do that again but it is rough on the underarms and eventually (sooner than later) it gets stubby again.

Top Ten Reasons I don't shave my arm pits:

10.  God gave me hair under my arms I'm guessing for a reason - it's cleaner!!!

9.  I like to look like a woman.

8.  I have better things to do with my time.

7.  My husband thinks I'm sexy with hair.

6.  Going natural removes me from the pressure of current fashion standards.

5.   Shaved underarms (and its aftermath) is not attractive to me.

4.  Shaving (and its aftermath) hurts.

3.  I want my daughter to love everything about her body.
2.  Men - at least most men - don't shave.

1. I just don't want to.

That said, I might get my underarm hair laser removed one day.  I'm more turned off by the actual shaving and the fact that I think it looks gross than attached to the principal of not shaving although I would have to do some reconciliation on the matter if the time ever comes.  

One of the very first and most frequently asked question anyone brave enough to mention my hairy pits asks is, "What does your husband think?"   This makes me appreciate the prize of a hubby I have all the more.  I usually tell them I don't mind if he is hairy or if he shaves and he doesn't care about the status of my hair either - although he has expressed reservations about me permanently removing the hair.  

Most of us are taught what is beautiful and not beautiful from a very young age and I could hardly hold it against anyone what their preference is regarding underarm hair but for me I hope the next time I get a wild hair to shave I remember how uncomfortable it is AND that I don't do it the day before I'm supposed to run ten miles! Bad move.

I have a friend who went without shaving for a while and documented the process.  It's been so long since I stopped shaving and I didn't really monitor my thoughts on it when I did stop so it's cool to see her capture it here and on a few other posts on her blog.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring Garden

Here is a picture of my spring garden as it is now and my super into making her own food daughter.  I planted a few seeds mid-March.   I LOVE crops that can be seeded right into the ground without having to start indoors. It has been a slow go of it but I'm starting to harvest radishes, the lettuce is looking good, bush peas are getting ready to go.  The broccoli and cauliflower just seem to be starting.  I've seen just a few carrots sprouting and one cilantro.

Yesterday I added a lot more radish in between the existing.  To be honest I've never planted radish because I just didn't think we'd use it but the fresh from the ground radish I tasted yesterday is fantastic and we can eat it plain - even the kids - it's so delicious.  I tried again with the carrots, running them in between the lettuce.  I added some spinach seed and some green onion.

I also added two types of basil to some pots and threw some dill seeds in the not so soil rich flower beds so we will see if anything happens there. I just can't even describe how much easier it is to have the raised beds with the earth all ready for planting.  Before, I always had to spend some serious time digging up the earth before planting time.  This year all I had to do it put the seeds in the dirt!

While I buried vegetable seeds my daughter chopped up some radish, parsley, thyme and dandelion for a salad!  She didn't actually eat much of it - it was a little heavy on the parsley - but she sure was proud that this time the salad was technically fully edible!