parenting

Claire riding Mozart

Riding Beyond Fear

I made a commitment to do 30 days of ClickPublish, which arrived serendipitously at a time when I could really use a jumpstart and some discipline in my own personal creativity, so I’ll be posting every day for the next 30 days. If you’d like notification of when I publish, you can follow me on Twitter, and if you’d like a digest of what I’ve written and the TL;DR, I’ll be mailing that out on Saturdays. Yesterday, Claire texted me that she had forgotten her water bottle at home, and asked if I could bring it to the barn. Usually, I’m deeply focused in the middle of the day and I don’t have bandwidth to watch her ride. But yesterday was different, and I needed …

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The Rock Wall

The Rock Wall: Being Kind in the Face of Conflict

In Mount Shasta, the house we lived in had a lava rock wall in front of it, a defining feature of the property. It was difficult to mow around and there were more chipmunks per capita living in that rock wall than in all of Northern California, but it was beautiful. There were a lot of rocks; it took months to bring them from the lava fields to the property according to the people who helped to build the house. The man who built our home there had built the house as a labor of love, and often I felt as if I was living in a museum rather than a home. Hardwood countertops, amazing tilework throughout, a homesteader’s dream garden. It was hard to …

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Somehow, it goes on

I woke this morning, went on a walk with Max and Bodhi, and out to breakfast with Claire and Mark. It has been a great day. Even though the weather in Phoenix refuses to simmer down, we’re finding ways of coping. The air conditioner has only quit on us once, so I consider that a blessing. My heart and mind has been focused on friends in Mount Shasta and the relentless fires and smoke that have plagued that region of the country. Though we left Mount Shasta before the first fire, I’m still checking fire updates daily and checking in with friends who are suffocating in the blanket of smoke. God, how I remember. It was last summer’s smoke that drove me to finally capitulate …

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Someone Moved

We moved to Phoenix in mid-June. I don’t yet feel at home. The oppressive heat has been wearing on me, but I can see an end to the furnace-inspired onslaught soon. I find ways to stay positive and adapt. I like the skies here.  Last night, a dear friend from Mount Shasta called. Before I could even lament the heat, he said, “I know you’re homesick. I know it’s hot there. But if you were here, you’d have to deal with the heat AND the smoke. When the winds are from the north, it’s smoke from fires in Oregon. When they’re from the south, it’s smoke from Redding.” The fires have been giving me a strong case of survivor’s guilt. My heart is still firmly …

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On Writing; the Drought of 2017

A new acquaintance asked me why I stopped writing. “Life. Work. Kids. Mostly life,” I answered. “Well you have to have all of that if you’re going to have something to write about,” she replied, knowingly. I had promised that no matter what came along, I would not stop writing. Promises made to ourselves in the quietude of a perfect Sunday morning never get kept, you know. They are the red-headed stepchild of promises. 2017 wasn’t one of my best years in many ways. I lost my dear beloved Alex though I tried valiantly to keep him alive. He acquiesced quietly and obediently, suffering through lymphoma until I was ready to say goodbye. My readiness was fleeting during the pre-dawn hours of a Saturday morning …

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Peace in Perfection

It’s been a while since I’ve written. And yes, I have an excuse, but is there ever a good excuse for not writing when you fancy yourself a writer. 🙂 It has been a whirlwind spring and summer, and all of the sudden I find myself looking at the leaves turning colors and the kids are back at school. How did that happen? This spring, an opportunity popped up in my email to get back into tech work. I went into it thinking, “Hey, I know this stuff, and this might be fun.” The company I’m working with set everything up as a challenge at first, and that’s the kind of thing that sucks me in and gets me going. Challenges. I tend towards not …

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The less than perfect parent

Less than perfect parent

Last weekend at Target, I came across this journal in the stationery section. It’s a journal with writing prompts for parents to write why we are less than perfect and to check off our parental shortcomings. No, really. I knew you might not believe me, so I took a picture. Are we supposed to bring this to a confessional when they graduate from high school to become absolved from being imperfectly human? I don’t know a parent alive today who needs a reminder of the enormity of the therapy bill they’re racking up just trying to keep it together.  From paying bills, juggling work requirements, keeping the house clean enough to keep the health department at bay, getting homework done, extracurricular activities, making dinner, etc., modern day parenting might …

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Claire riding

How horseback riding helps kids

Claire has loved horses for as long as I can remember. For her, it is much more than a passing phase. Of course, living in a neighborhood full of equine enthusiasts amps up her desire for her own horse, a desire I’ve been reluctant to fulfill. Last fall, Max was teasing her, as most big brothers do, and found her “diary.” In it, she wrote, “OMG, my mom is so pasave agresave because she won’t buy me a horse.” Of course, I had to share on Facebook. It’s pure comedy, as most days with Claire are. A local friend, after saying how much trouble I am in, suggested that I get her riding and learning about the equestrian world before I even consider buying her a horse. …

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Catching up

So, where have I been? I have tried to write a few times since October, but something would always come up. Primarily, I was spending an inordinate amount of time working with Claire and some of the challenges a gifted kid runs into at school. We had decided to bump her up to third grade last year, as she was pacing with the second graders. In fact, she was doing better than many of the second graders, though she was technically still in first grade. We decided to officially keep her in second grade (primarily to avoid having to go through the rigorous testing at the end of the school year), though she would work with the third graders in the classroom. The Challenge of Gifted …

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manifest your dreams

How to use your emotions and beliefs to gain freedom

We’re still fostering kittens. Sapphire got sick at one point, and it upset me a lot more than I thought it would. Whenever there is an upset and emotions coming up around an issue that feel a lot more powerful than the event warrants, there are usually beliefs that need to be cleared. Our emotions are not us, even though we might say, “I am sad,” or “I am angry.” Our emotions, however, are wonderful tools for getting at the various beliefs we hold that may cloud our reality.   Emotions, beliefs, and freedom A friend and I have been talking recently about Dr. Bruce Lipton‘s work on the biology of belief. He came across a process, apparently rooted in NLP, that can be used …

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