getting ready, and mountain lions

If we receive no more snow, I’m cool with that.  When it snows kids and dogs run in and out, in and out of this house, which makes Tennessee clay mud on my pickled white floors.  I spread out beach towels for the kids to put their wet stuff and muddy boots on.  I try to wipe the dogs’ paws.

To no avail.

It’s just a big muddy mess for days until the snow is finally gone, and then I swoop in and clean like a madwoman.

We’re waiting on Spring.  We’ve had a few wonderfully balmy days.  Ordered some seed from a new (to me) company called Sow True Seed out of Asheville.  I’m waiting on a grow light kit to come in the mail.  Cleared out a corner, got out the card table, seeds upon it….

P1070006In the very meantime I’m trying to wrestle this quilt through my machine, and finish a scarf for my sister, whose birthday is in a few weeks.

P1070010That movie there is a must see, according to my dad.

P1070011I love the smoke coming out of his gun.  Looks like a trick lighter.

Also helping my daughter make a demo quilt from a pattern in this book for quilt camp this summer.

P1070005So, more rambling, but a few weeks ago some animal cut through the wire on our chicken coop and helped itself to a chicken.  I’m a little depressed about it.  We always see evidence of animals trying to dig under the coop (they’re unsuccessful–the wire is buried, with concrete pavers around the perimeter for good measure), but in seven years nothing has actually sliced through the wire.  We know there are coyotes, bear, racoons, and skunks on our property.  Probably foxes too, although I’ve not seen them near our house, just a few miles down the road a bit.

My dad, who lives next door, said that’s interesting because he saw a mountain lion last week behind their house.  I thought he probably meant bobcat.  Because mountain lions are an animal that lives far, far, far away from here, like in California.  I Googled it.  Turns out mountain lions do live around here, and most of the sightings have been in Sevier county.  Where we live.

Mountain lions.

Lions.  That live on mountains.  They’re like 4 ft. long and well over a hundred pounds, and their teeth can cut through a tortoise shell, and they like fowl.  And attack people.

We’ve had so much trouble with predators, it’s not even funny.  Mainly coyotes, raccoons, and snakes.  The lone bear that walks his lonely, long circuit seems to stay back, happy to just eat blackberries and stink.  My friend has otters come into her yard and chase her chickens, but she’s a lot closer to a big river than we are, so otters haven’t been a problem for us.  But mountain lions? Seriously? Wow.  New level of concern.

Speaking of cats and prey, have you seen this?

OnceUponATimeIAteYourHampster{via here}

Ohhhhhhhh that makes me laugh.





cohesionMy kids and I just concluded a science chapter all about water.

Several pages into the text we came upon this author’s definition of cohesion.  I read aloud, “Cohesion: the phenomenon that occurs when individual molecules are so strongly attracted to each other that they tend to stay together, even when exposed to tension.”  I paused.  The kids waited.  I paused some more.

It was just that I was thinking that was the best definition of marriage I’d ever seen.

I got married when I was 19, my husband was 22.  That was 17 years ago.  The tension has been palpable.

We used to own only a futon.

Vehicles only sometimes worked.

My college, his college, my college.

Moving, pregnancy, moving, pregnancy, moving, adoption, failed adoption, moving, psychiatric wing.

There were and are Family issues–issues that everyone has–issues you cannot share because people are alive and at this point it’s just insult to injury.


We didn’t call a divorce attorney.

And we didn’t call a divorce attorney.

And we didn’t call a divorce attorney.

We pretended, still do, that we’re on a nice vacation even when we’re not because we can’t afford it, and all we’re really doing is touching each other.  Just touching, one hand on another hand.

We chat about nothing late at night in bed, the only private moments we have.

He comes up behind me and kisses my neck while I stand at the stove.  I tousle his hair as I pass him with some laundry.

We laugh at the same things.  We tear up at the same things.

I tell him his son still loves him, that it’s ok, he’s just going through a phase.  He tells me our daughter still loves me, that it’s ok, she’s just going through a phase.

I like the low rumble of his truck engine when he backs into the driveway after work–and I know he’s home safely, one more time, thank God, and I’ll get to see him one more time, thank God.  Thank You, God, for this man.

My greatest fear, the fear that is laughed off by my more pious friends: What if in Heaven it’s not like this? What if he’s not mine, and I’m not his, and there is no sound of him coming home in the afternoon?

I don’t know about any of that, how it works there.

Don’t even know how it all works here, really.

But I know marriage is still the best we’ve got.


Valentine Tree

Did it.  Made centerpieces.  Spray-painted branches from backyard (my sweet husband did, actually), made dangle-ey hearts for branches, and stuck it all in a bottle.  Works for me.  If you want to cut your own dangle-ey hearts, download my Tree Heart file.

Valentine's Tree copyOK, back to more paper cutting.

TokiDoki Unicorns: A Possible Addiction

Look at these wee unicorns:

unicornsAt my local Books-A-Million they sell these things.

They come in little boxes.  All the boxes look the same, and you cannot see inside them.  I don’t think this is fair.  I told the clerk, “I don’t think this is fair.”  He blinked and said, “Yeah….”

Because little mystery packages are for, like, small kids whose parents don’t mind shelling out money for their kids’ trading cards.  Or for old people who still think Cracker Jacks are the thang.

But I’m a middle-aged girl!  I need all of those wee unicorns!!!  I don’t have time for MYSTERIES!!  It’s killing me.

The wee unicorn company isn’t going to be making the wee unicorns by the time I collect enough money to collect them.

My family thinks this is a bizarre and uncharacteristic obsession.  I tell them to look just look at the wee unicorns–how could one not want them?

I have three.  It’s taken me a year to get three.

Two are the same.

So basically I have two.

And I gave the not same one away, Sergeant Rumble, because he looks camo and matches my niece’s camo purse like they were made for each other.

So basically I have one.

I’m going through a rough time here.

Groundhog Day Cupcakes

My daughter just made these.  But I cut out the groundhogs, so I got to rightfully eat some.  Cupcakes.

groundhog cupcakesThe cupcake toppers are from Lily Jane.  They’re free.  We like free.

And we like cute!!!!