Monday, May 25, 2009

VBAC consent form for the docs

For the women who want to have a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) and can't find a doctor who will listen to them or cooperate with them... for the women who feel pressured to do what they do not believe is best for their babies or themselves... Giselle has a post here that you have got to read! Yes, folks, it is a different kind of consent form, one for the ob guys to sign.

I found out about this breath of fresh air over here, on the Enjoy Birth blog, where there are some other great things to read, too.

Check out both of these.

If you are going to be giving birth, it is important to be informed! These two links have some good information in them. Also, down on the right of this page, you'll find a widget with links to Jan Tritten's blog. Jan is a woman who really knows her business. What she says reflects the latest research as well as ancient women's wisdom in matters of pregnancy, labor, and birth-giving. Jan is the mother and editor of the magazine Midwifery Today.

It matters how we give birth. It matters because we are giving life to a new generation, and the way that generation begins life can shape their future. And they will be the ones who shape the future for all of us. So as far as possible, give the best, most peaceful, loving start to the baby who has been entrusted to you, starting when you are pregnant.

It really matters how we give birth. It matters because women who give birth in joy and with an awareness of their power are never the same afterwards. Nothing, noone will be able to fully convince them they are weak, ever again. They know better. They have a confidence about them. And that is good for everyone.

It matters how we give birth, it really does.

Go check out those links, and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Things that make me smile

These are things that make me smile...

139. little girls in yellow tutus

(This is my friend Ellie... isn't she sweet? Her mom took this picture.)

140. that bright orange Baltimore Oriole out on my picnic table!

151. strawberry shortcake (I ate the whole thing for lunch - a great big bowl! Sooo good!!)

152. Strawberries shaped like hearts...

153. picking lilacs to put in a vase on the table - fills the room with that scent that only comes at this time of year

154. blowing soap bubbles in the breeze and watching them float far over the countryside (or city-side, whatever... the world)

(It's hard to chase these little guys with a camera!)

155. sweet, floral-scented breezes bringing the smell of flowers I can't name right to my very senses.

Monday, May 18, 2009


It's spring at my house. The trees are finally leafing
out and the lilacs are blooming. This is my front yard with deep
purple and white lilacs on tiny bushes at the edge of where we mow.

We have lilacs of all colors in the yard. The weather's been cool, and apparently the lilacs love it, even if the farmers are getting antsy to plant. All are hoping that last night's frost is the last of the season. I hope to plant tomatoes next weekend, if it looks safe.

Out in the yard to pick lilacs for the house, I spotted these two deer in the trees out front.
They watched us carefully for a while, and finally trotted off.

The rain was still clinging to the lilac blossoms.

I do love lilacs!

(Looking across the driveway.)

It's that time of year Grandma Grace used to call
"ten shades of green".
I wondered whether the trees' various colors,
even some shades of red and orange, indicated the colors
those same trees would take in the fall.
I asked my brilliant biologist son, who said, yes,
sometimes that is the case.
The green chlorophyll acts kind of like sunscreen
to protect the tiny new leaves from the sun's rays.

The back yard, with (left to right) mountain ash; dark purple lilac; lighter, old-fashioned lilac, and an apple tree, all in blossom. And across the golf course, trees in variegated colors on the hill.

Our road, with the trees just leafing out.

This mama robin has built a nest in our garage! Today when the garage was closed, she must have lain an egg outside, which the children found and placed in the nest for her. We will leave an opening to the garage from now on. Sorry, mama.

Two sisters - one just home from school -
hanging out in the back yard.They were enjoying each other's company.

My front porch, looking south
across the valley.

Here's my redbud!!
Two years ago it looked almost dead. I thought it would never have buds. But this spring it was loaded with tiny pink flowers!

I was so glad!

Redbuds are about my favorite blossoming tree. Lilacs are about my favorite spring flower.

(Except that I love all the spring flowers and they way they fill the air with rich fragrances.)

Sometimes when I step outside, the breeze carries some sweet scent right to me from a bush or flower somewhere out of my sight, and I am caught off guard by the wonder of it! Nature brings me such perfect gifts.

This time of year is to me the most wonderful time of the year. I love it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Bathroom

So last Saturday, Husband and son left to go get one daughter from school far, far away and bring her home. School is done! (for her) Yay! I am so glad to have her home!!

They were gone for four days, and I had a surprise project planned...

(I am so sneaky.)

While they were gone, we painted the upstairs bathroom. It had been white since we moved in and cracks had formed along the ceiling and down some of the corners of the room as the house settled. It looked dingy. It was high time for a freshening up.

We sort of passed "freshen up" though, and painted it deep purple. It looks dramatically different and I was really glad (relieved) that they liked it when they came home.

I knew we could put dark color in this room because there's a lot of white already: on the floor, the tub, the shower curtain, plus a white-curtained window at the end of the room lets in a lot of light, and there's a huge mirror to reflect all this. I figured we'd be ok with a deep tone.

My biggest concern was the old border of pink hearts along the top of the wall -- I didn't know how to get it off. It's dated and ugly and stuck really well, and so I called my brilliant carpenter son and his family to come help us.

Meanwhile, as they ate breakfast, we got things out of the way and stirred the paint:
It looked bright red when we got it out of the closet. It's been resting there since last summer when I bought it and had time to settle. Sweet girl and I thought it looked pretty cool as she stirred.

I masked off the mirror and put a little paint on the wall. I was a little anxious about the color. It was quite a change! Putting that bit of paint on the wall did not help me feel better about this.

This son of mine really knows what he is doing, and insists on doing it right. As a result, the project took longer, but turned out way better than I'd anticipated.

He brought all the right tools , and got that border off, though it did take some time. Clearance wallpaper border, cheap and hard to get off.

(Two light bulbs burned out in the process... water dripped on them.
I was told they sizzled and smoked real cool! ... simple pleasures, I guess.)

As he worked he noticed the cracks. We'd talked about it before, he and I , and he knew I wanted to put up crown molding, but I just didn't have the extra money for it right now. So the plan was to paint and make it look as good as possible, and I would add the crown molding later. He also noticed the ceiling had never been painted.

But they surprised me! For Mother's Day, he and his wife bought the crown molding I wanted and also white paint. He put up the crown molding and painted that and the whole ceiling pure white!! So nice!!

(Getting more paint on the walls did not help my anxiety, either. The first coat looked terrible.)

He also took down the ceiling light and cleaned it, and then repainted it... it looks like new!

We had a great time painting all together.
Joking, teasing, and some good, fun music made it a good time.

Even after getting the second coat all on, I was still nervous and not sure if I liked it. I figured I could change the whole room with a quart of paint on the far wall if I needed to. Maybe a lighter shade, or even something contrasting if I wanted. It was not till we got everything back on the walls and I accessorized the room that I really liked it. And when the family came home and they liked it, I felt much better. Now I love it!

And this is how it all turned out!

(The other end of the room.)

I bought pretty washcloths, a candle, and this little silver thing that says "family" to go up on the shelf... and that's all (besides the paint which I bought last summer). So I did not spend too much on this project, and that feels good, too.

I'm glad we did this.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday, and how can I not be thankful...

for so many things:

133. the gentle, misty rain that's filling the air today, and making all the colors even more alive.
134. the fun of running errands all day, a break in the routine
135. this wonderful, life affirming time of year, when all nature sings His praise
136. creeks that ripple, chuckling for the sheer joy of being!
137. knowing God - not completely, of course - but as a friend, getting to know Him better day by day... Wow, friends with God! Who deserves such an honor? Not me, that's for sure, and yet here we are, God and I, friends. Wow.
138. being loved by the Creator of the universe! It floors me!

Maybe I should make a point of thankfulness on Thursdays,
because it'd be easy to remember,
and I want to take time to be thankful, to express gratitude.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pictures of Our Land

It's springtime, I know it.

But here are some pictures of our land in other seasons. I love it here... and you can see why!

As the autumn sun settles down in the west, sometimes its last bright rays catch the tops of the trees to the east of us and make them glow! Breathtaking!

10.18.08 (8:31 am)
When the nights are quite cool, as they often are in October, and the morning rises bright with the promise of a warmer day, then a mist rises from the pond on the golf course.
It looks like magic!

In the winter, I live on the front of a Christmas card.

(8:41 am... remember that really, really cold day here? This is what I woke up to!)



This is the creek down at the corner, rippling quietly under its blankets.

And this is the aptly named natural beauty road.


Of course, now it is spring, and the natural beauty road sings with the sound of birds and creeks waking.

It wears greens instead of white, and this,

~this right now~

is my favorite time of the year.

Spring is exploding into life!

How can I not be thankful?

(ps. Please remember that these pictures are ones I have taken and therefore are my property. Please do not use them without my permission. Thanks for understanding. I promise not to take your stuff, too, ok?)

Monday, May 4, 2009

cleaning in the kitchen...

today's entry in my journal :

Today I cleaned the popcorn cupboard above the fridge. The floor of the cupboard was stained with ooey, sticky old grease from years of storing the old popper up there, putting it away and having the warm oil drip out when I didn’t realize it.

I used goo-gone, which cut through the yuck with a little time and a scrubby sponge. It smelled up the house like citrus -- strong -- but we opened the slider door to let fresh air in and cleaned away. The cupboard is clean now, and it feels so good to have that done!

While I was up there, I figured I might as well clean the top of the fridge… and in order to access the back part of that, I had to pull it away from the wall. When we did, I found a really gross mess on the floor that I had to deal with!

So - instead of a quick one cupboard job, I ended up cleaning out the popcorn cupboard, the whole top of the fridge (which was dust-encrusted and desperately wicked!), and the floor under the fridge. Wow - More than I intended, but it’s so good to be able to do it. We’ll put it all back later, after I have help cleaning off the side of the fridge, which has spills dried on it. But right now I am taking a break and that’s final.

The weather is gorgeous today, sunny and warm - high in the upper 60s! The kids are convinced that schoolwork should be banned on days like this and I had a hard time getting them to finish the Weekend Kitchen Recovery in a timely manner anyway, what with breaks for squirt gun fights in and outside the house, playing in the sandbox, chasing each other, etc. Getting them to turn to schoolwork after that was difficult. But they are now upstairs doing just that. Ostensibly. We’ll see.