Saturday, February 28, 2009


The weather surprises me every time this year as it vascillates between 60 or 70 degrees at times to the now 30's with sleet. The daffodils are clearly confused as am I. We're warming up to this again inside:

A few days ago we decided we'd had enough of winter and flipped the calendar to March thinking it would somehow make the last few days of February go faster. I also got a new haircut for Spring, it'd been about 6 months (!) since my last one and I was so overdue. I decided to chuck the bag lady look and ever-present ponytail (I'm much too old) and got about 6 or 8 inches taken off and I couldn't be happier. Still have my graylights right in the front but they're apparently here to stay. I'm not complaining, I've earned every single one of them and am hardly ashamed to be 38 (so young, so young).

I'll leave you with thoughts of Spring and not woodstoves. One of the many things I love about living in the country is the surprise flowers that pop up in the middle of the woods. I forget about them every year and then one day, out of nowhere, there they are again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Can I just take a minute?

When the customer who purchased my booties a while back told me what she was planning on doing with them I thought, now that is a great idea for a baby shower cake topper! While I thought it would be cute I certainly wasn't expecting this! How great is that cake?

Thank you Etsy for opening up my little business to the world and thank you to my wonderful customers (this one in particular!) who make my creating extra enjoyable and sometimes elevate it to a whole other level. Literally!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When all else fails

When you're trying to keep your mind on working and can't, when you're trying to feel something and you're not exactly sure what, when you need to see color and spring hasn't sprung, just pull out your daughter's watercolors and start doodling. What has gotten into me?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

As far as the eye can see

I'm drowning in booties and hats here, working my fingers to death putting together a wholesale order--my biggest one to date. I'm so excited about the whole thing and the prospect of being an ongoing supplier to my new client that I want to have everything finished immediately. But I keep envisioning the tortoise and the hair, (no kidding, I really am) and have to picture myself lumbering along like the tortoise in order to stay on track.

Last night out of the blue Kevin asked me what my plan was when my fingers were too arthritic to keep working this way. I said I didn't know and that I didn't have a plan. This was before he went to sleep and could see me with my hands wrapped in ice packs. Needless to say, it really helped.

It's at times like these when I picture smiling, rugged, wrinkled women in Peru or Chile, let's say, with numerous kids and a baby strapped to their backs, working away with the bright, cheery yarn and patterns they use to make all sorts of things. You can picture it, right? They work all day with their hands and probably never complain and I'm not about to start. But I will say that I've been thinking more and more about recruiting them to help me!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Just got the news that I'll be vending again at the Goochland Farmer's Market this summer! You may remember how it all started and the little bit of press that I thoroughly enjoyed and was surprised by and how I met great friends and ate great food and brought home pretty flowers any time I could. We taught men to knit, dodged the rain and did I mention the food?

I'm so looking forward to another season I can hardly wait. Each year the market grows by leaps and bounds and this year should follow suit with more vendors applying than ever before and an increased interest throughout the area to buy local, eat fresh and participate in keeping small town America alive and well.

And if the knitting wasn't enough, or all the crazy ideas Kevin and I have been entertaining about what to do with ourselves (ie. chickens, additions, etc.) we've added another one to the list of things to do "one day". I'll give a more in depth account of how the notion was born (it's my fault), but for now, click if you dare.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This is so wrong

So I was just sitting here on the computer minding my own business when I hear this little snickering behind me and I turn around to see that Kevin has brought the entire wheelbarrow full of firewood in the room. And then the full on giggling starts when he sees that I see what he's doing. "I'm really tired, man!" is his only explanation. The rest of the unloading took place on the porch where it usually does.

And then I see this:

Should I be worried that the 13 year old cat allows herself to be covered up in the kids' blankets while wearing a Mr. Potato Head hat? We're losin' it around here, Spring can't come soon enough!

Inside looking out


"Yes, Allie."

"Can you get my pillow for me? I'm not comfortable in the T.V. room without it" she says in a very small voice.

"Sure. I'll be right there."

She waddles out of the fireplace room, half walking on her blankie, still in pajamas with a rats nest of hair on the back of her head. We're inside today, well just us girls, the boys are off at baseball evaluations (PC term for "tryouts"). We're staying behind in part because of the cold but mostly because of Allie's fever. But if it's anything like Lauren's this past week, it'll be gone by tomorrow and she'll be back to school feeling fine on Monday.

It was a strange start to the morning, one that makes me think of that book I never read about Mars and Venus, you know the one. Where Kevin is increasingly disturbed about the state of the country and the economy and the idea that things are only going to get worse before they get better as we've all heard, and I'm focused on Allie's fever. He's reading about the new gun laws that apparently went through with the stimulus package and I'm thinking about the miracle of new life and how the sun still rises. He's entertaining ideas about how to be more self-sufficient here on our little plot of land and I can't stop thinking about watching Good Will Hunting last night. That movie is going to be with me for days I'm telling you, days. Wrecks me every time. Think I'm going to need a nap, I stayed up till after 1 a.m. to do it and five hours of sleep just doesn't cut it anymore.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Short on words

Enjoy some of my new handmade "buttons" for the booties. They really aren't as tedious as I thought they'd be!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sketching and dreaming

I am not an artist. At least I'm not the kind of artist who can draw, but I tried today anyway. We've gone round and round in our 10 years in this old house about how and if we'd put on an addition one day. You may remember me rambling on about this a while ago and I'm at it again.

Of course I've already been through the phase where I completely talked myself out of the idea (at least anytime soon) and I really tried to talk Kevin out of it to no avail. All my talking and complaining about the previous addition plans did were to cause him to lose several hours of sleep one night coming up with a new one, and his own laundry list of the reasons why we should do it soon. Honestly, between you and me, I'm soooo glad I complained because two things came out of it:

1. A less expensive addition that still gave us a master bedroom with closet and bath,

2. and......drumroll please.......a home office/studio for moi!!

Can you believe my dumb luck? It doesn't seem like it would be possible, but he got creative with the space and came up with a plan that I think will look so much better and like it was meant to be there rather than a zit added on as an afterthought. (yes, I said zit, I borrowed the term from Kevin).

So if you can make out any of the scribbling in the picture, you can see a schematic of the inside and a view of the current outside and the new one, which basically looks like there was a front porch the entire width of the house that we just enclosed. Clever, huh?

Oh yeah, I think I've also convinced him that we have to refinish the claw foot bathtub that we found out in a field when we moved in (the cows were drinking out of it), and use it in our new bathroom. I told him any good farmhouse worth it's salt needs one, right? And that way I don't have to scrub any shower tiles!!!

I'll add my little caveat here that while this may never come to fruition, or if it happens next month or even in the next 10 years, it sure is fun to play around and sketch and dream on a rainy, cold day in February.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Turning up the heat

Today was not one of my most shining moments, friends, not at all. You should first know that we burn things out here in the country. Things like financial info, receipts, credit card solicitations (identity theft, you know) and large, unusable boxes, various other paper items. I struggle with what is the least harmful to the environment, my burning or the energy used and pollution created to transport and recycle paper items. So for now we burn paper trash. It's legal (certain times of the year) and saves trips to the dump. There is always a burn pile as well with yard waste. Just as soon as one is burned another takes its place and is quite large before we know it.

Above you'll see the barrel where the paper goes and the brush pile next to it and the large black area in the foreground is our vegetable garden, dormant this time of year of course. I lit some trash today, buried some food scraps for compost and set off to walk Sunny, my usual routine, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted low flames faaaar away from the burn barrel. I grabbed the nearest shovel and took off running toward the wayward fire (knowing full well it's illegal to burn open fires this time of year), with Sunny bounding along, twirling around and biting on her leash not making things a bit easier.

So I'm pounding away at the flames, adding good oxygen to them and wonder how in the h**l I'm going to prevent the brush pile from raging, as it had slowly started with dry leaves, thinking I sure could use some water right now and lots of it. I decided I'd better put Sunny back in the yard and ran to the window where Allie was and told her to bring me the phone, which she did and I frantically called Kevin who was luckily working in the barn next door. Of course he doesn't answer. So I call his Dad who is also working in the barn right next to him and I tell him to get Kevin to come help me, I've got an inferno going for goodness sake.

I see him coming across the field as I'm sweating and putting out flames and he's talking on his cell phone. He keeps right on talking, walks straight up to the hose bib which is next to the garden (some smart person put it there thinking we may want to water our veggies from time to time) and proceeds to calmly put out the fire all the while not breaking stride with his conversation on the cell phone.

It was right then when I remembered back a few years to a panicked Kevin who ran in the house shouting, "I've caught the woods on fire! Call 911!". I ran outside, saw an enormous fire ablaze, right under some trees (we still don't talk about why he lit it there), grabbed the hose out of his hands that he was sprinkling over the top of the flames and I aimed it right at the base of the fire and within 10 minutes or so I had the whole thing out.

I guess you could say we're even.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Letting in light

One of my favorite things about this house is the fact that it faces East and we get to watch every bit of the sunrise. This morning as I ate breakfast it caught my eye in an unexpected way and I thought it was worth the capture. To make it even better, we have no curtains or window treatments of any sort in the whole house. Well, there are blinds on the bedroom windows, lest I completely wreck the children's sleep patterns, but other than that, just big, open windows with flat, wide, white farmhouse trim.

I tried when we first moved in and for a few years after to dress several windows in the house, but each time I felt like I was ruining a good, simple and pretty thing. I thought I had to have window treatments like all the other houses that had women in them who knew how to decorate, and I so desperately wanted to create a home for us and thought I had to be like every one else to do it. It took me a while, but I realized finally that I was just wasting money and if I really liked the windows as is, then that's exactly the way they should stay. Sometimes I'm a slow learner or perhaps just slow to change.

So we let in the sunlight and all the warmth it gives in the winter when the trees are bare, and even though it shows me where the dust is and the spider webs that normally are hiding, I wouldn't trade the view.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

On repeat

And so she woke up
woke up from where she was, lying there
said I, gotta do somethin' about where we're goin'

~lyrics from "Running to stand still" by U2

I know that whole song, word for word, note by note, without the music. I sing it over and over and over sometimes in my head while I'm walking Sunny, it's the perfect beat and rhythm for my pace. I remember so vividly when that album came out, near the end of my time in high school and playing that song on repeat day after day. I loved it. Still do. Some songs I know the words to only if I hear the music, but that one, I hear it in my head exactly as if it's playing on the radio, and remember every single word. Strange, because I don't really know what it means and I don't exactly think the subject matter is too happy to tell you the truth.

But there it was, in my head while I walked and the kids played on the swings, I walked and they climbed a tree (or tried at least), I walked and Sunny tried to yank my arm off to tackle the kids, I walked and Kevin headed under the house to investigate how on earth we woke up to the strong odor of skunk in the house, I walked when he gagged and coughed (because of the dust) trying to find a shred of evidence that they'd somehow infiltrated the fortress, I walked and he came out sweaty and dusty exclaiming, "I don't know how that happened, it definitely doesn't smell under the house, whatever happened thing's sealed up for sure now!"

It's enough to make many cringe, or want to leave and I can't say we haven't thought about it, but we've decided we're here to stay, and so have the skunks, and groundhogs, and mice, and snakes, and chipmunks and that's just the way it is. We know first hand that history often repeats itself whether you're talking about the economy, politics or rodents and we've learned to never say "never again". It makes me think back to that song, how little we actually control, and how life moves forward as it cycles at the same time, listening to the way it so quietly ends,

she's running to stand,

Friday, February 13, 2009

Deja vu

Hats and chickens, hats and chickens, more of the same today. Luckily I have 3 friends who all have chickens and experience with them ranging from 1 year to 77. With all that knowledge so close at hand we ought to be able to figure the whole thing out. But from what I understand one can start the venture only but so well prepared. A good bit of the process comes from doing, observing and probably some minor mistakes here and there as well.

So we're pretty excited about the future, Kevin and I, today really seems like the world is wide open. Such an optimistic statement in such uncertain times, but it's pretty amazing what an evening spent with good friends followed by a full night of sleep can do for a person. I've really underestimated the power of an evening spent knitting and chatting with the girls. I feel renewed and energized, thinking a bit more concretely about what the next year may bring.

I've talked a bit about this subject before, that fateful day when my youngest travels off to Kindergarten, and it's hitting me again now--that need to be prepared. Not emotionally prepared, I'm planning on just going with my emotions when the time comes, fully accepting that they don't stay home or babies forever. No, I want to be prepared as to what I'm going to do with myself. I could be a normal person and realize that just because the kids are gone part of the day doesn't mean there's nothing to do. Oh no, there's plenty to do I just know myself and that I will find more than plenty to do, and I just want to make sure I think this through before I go ahead and do whatever it is I'm going to do.

I'd always just assumed that I'd go back to working 10 or so hours per week as a PT (right now it's just 1 day per month), but with this whole knitting thing and the booties (for heaven's sake, the booties!) my imagination is running wild all over the place with the endless possibilities. Hope I can reign them all in and make some sense of the right direction to take.

In the meantime I'm going to be designing a chicken coop. ha! Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dorothy, head for the cellar!

The wind over the past 24 hours has been relentless and from the looks of the news, we're actually the lucky ones, with no tornadoes and as of yet, no major destruction or at least I've not heard of any in the area. But it was so loud last night that Kevin insisted on sleeping with the TV on so as to block out some of the sound but all it did was keep me up half the night--the light coming from it mostly. I'm running on caffeine and sheer will right now.

It was difficult to take outdoor photos of this hat, but I managed to get a few good ones and will try later when the light is better and the wind hopefully has moved on. Blue Sky organic cotton yarn just does something to me I tell you, it is fantastic to put it mildly. Pink and chocolate are next.

I thought I'd show you what I'm reading right now too. No, it's not some fabulous new book with a catchy title, fancy pictures, gorgeous styling, hearalding the "next big thing" or how to go green. This little gem was written in 1935 by a long-time farmer and my version was actually 1973!! The language is quirky and some of it is quite outdated as you can imagine, but its fundamentals are heart-warming and dare I say true to this day.

You see, we seem to have a case of creative ADD lately, bouncing from one idea to the next, trying to figure out which one will stick the best and the current idea (which we've been mulling over for the past 5 years) is to get some chickens come Spring. I believe this is the year that Kevin is determined enough to build them some housing, an obvious necessity.

So if you find yourself curious about how to build your next ice house with a dumbwaiter to keep your food cool, or you'd like to personally put in your new septic system with a hand shovel, or maybe you just want to learn about the functions of water and irrigation, feel free to direct your questions my way. I'm learning all about it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wanna help?

For all those brave folks out there who want to be a part of the grass-roots effort to create a fair and effective yet safe amendment to the CPSIA (in reference to the last post), I applaud your dedication as an American and as someone who believes in the simple goodness of handmade products for children and in those artists who create them. Here is a cuddly little teddy bear, welcoming you in to the myriad ways you can help. Yes, you CAN help!! (layin' it on thick, aren't I?)

Save Handmade Toys

Just click on him, he won't bite and you'll see that it's simple. If you're not quite ready yet, I'll put him over in my sidebar on the left so when you're ready he'll be there. And a special thanks to puffthemagicrabbit for the reminder to put the little guy on my blog. I should have done it yesterday. FYI, the hand made buttons are coming along nicely, but the postman just plopped a big box of Blue Sky Alpacas organic cotton yarn (dyed and undyed) on my porch and you know how I just can't resist a fresh hank of yarn.....

p.s. thank you! let me know if you have trouble with the link. you know how inept I can be in the mysterious ways of the computer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hello lemon, meet lemonade

Okay y'all (and I don't say that word often because I'm not from the South I've just been living here for 17 years, but when I do it's usually a sign of desperation), I'm seriously bummed and looking at a ton more work I have to do because today is doomsday for the small crafters in America (okay, not doomsday but it's darn serious) --February 10th, 2009, the day the CPSIA goes into effect. What in the world is she talking about? Well, I'll tell you to the best of my ability.

Remember a few years ago when there was a huge mess with product recalls of children's toys/products from China due to the fact they contained dangerous amounts of lead and something called phthalates? In reaction to that, the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) made new rules about how much lead and phthalates could be present in children's products and it goes into effect today. There's a huge stink among manufacturers and small crafters about how the act was written and how difficult its enforcement will be and who will do the testing and the fact that as it is written it includes things like books in libraries and second-hand stores, etc. , etc. But one rather large problem it poses for the small crafter is the exhorbitant cost it will take to have their products tested -- under the law as it stands at this point.

I've been sitting on this information for quite some time, quietly signing petitions online and urging the powers that be for new rules and regs in various and sundry ways, just hoping against hope that something will change and the rules will be fair for all and most importantly that products will be safe for the country's children. All the fuss has stirred things up enough in Washington that two important things have happened so far:

First, the CPSC has exempted certain items from testing in a recent memo such as wool, cotton, pearls to name a few. And in other HUGE news, the CPSIA issued a stay of enforcement which postpones the enforcement of the act for 1 year so that it can be properly reviewed and hopefully re-worked during that time so it is amenable to all. Okay, so maybe I was being a little melodramatic using a word like doomsday, but I am feeling the pressure to comply sooner rather than later so there is no ambiguity about my products.

I can tell you that most of my items are completely fine but where I run into trouble is in the area of buttons. Buttons, buttons and more buttons. When deciding what to do, I took the "out of the box" approach and decided that I'd simply MAKE my buttons out of the same materials I use to make my booties. I will do the same thing for the buttons found occasionally on my hats. So my world isn't ending, the bunnies are in the clear, jewelry is fine (for adults), I'm making mountains out of molehills perhaps, but simply's Whew.

Luckily, there are alliances and highly determined folks out there fighting for a reasonable amendment to the CPSIA before it is enforced next year at this time. Whether you think this law directly affects you or not, you're bound to see some changes, after all it doesn't just apply to children's toys, it applies to ALL childrens products (for kids under 12--I guess at 13 we can give them all the lead we want--oh, I'm getting catty!) from diapers to barrettes to clothing, books and school supplies. Hmmm, I wonder what the spiral in spiral notebooks has in it?

So you'll notice a new button style on my booties that, while it's adorable, will hopefully look more boyish on the boy booties than the pink one above. You may not agree, but I'd be willing to assert that this new design, while still functioning as well as a traditional button, is actually a whole lot cuter. And don't worry, hopefully tomorrow I'll be back to posting like my normal self.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The colors of Valentine's Day

When I think of Valentine's Day I don't only think of red, I actually prefer pink and as I was listing the hat above in my Etsy shop yesterday I was struck by how much it made me think of food, or candy, or better yet chocolate with some scrumptious pink sort of filling inside.

So with the holiday fast approaching I thought I'd show you a little knitting (it's long overdue!) and share a personal credo: there is nothing wrong with having a little chocolate every day. And for those of you who won't let yourself go there, might as well wear some, or maybe just put it on your baby.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Passing it on

I received this nice little present the other day from a fellow Virginia blogger who I like to think of as the goat lady. Oh, and make that bunny lady too. Her highly entertaining blog can be found under the name puffthemagicrabbit and if you visit you'll see that she clearly knows all things goats, bunnies, roving, fiber, spinning, crazy cats and how to best feed your goats coffee. I thought I'd pass it right along back to her and just a few close friends, tenten, yarnandpaper, Hickory Green Farm and kindnessgirl who may or may not choose to play along. Whatever you do ladies, just know that I love popping in on you, and feel like I know a little bit of what's going on in your lives even when we don't get the chance to talk. So in this month of hearts, flowers and chocolate candy, I'd like not to forget my friends who mean so much.

Award - Lets be Friends

The award says: “These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.
Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Friday, February 6, 2009

The photoshoot

"Oh, Mommy, that's a cute hat! Can I have that hat?"

"Yes, but you have to let me take pictures of you wearing it, and then it's yours."


At first she's clearly not happy about standing still.

I think I'll move a little 'cause I'm tired of all this composure nonsense.

You can see the mischief creeping in...

and it was all downhill from there.

Oh please.

Maybe one or two pictures I can use in the shop, but I'll definitely have to try again tomorrow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Can you see the cold?

It's so cold. My chin was numb after my walk with Sunny. She was panting. It's supposed to go from the teens into the sixties by the weekend. And no, I did not enhance the color in these photos, can you believe the sky is really so blue?

Last night my head was spinning. The constant juggle of family life, food, cleaning, laundry, drop-offs, pick-ups, doctor visits, sick children, medicine schedules, play dates, dinner menus, showers, homework, make-up homework, after school activities, snacks, packing lunches, walking the dog, making sure everyone in the family gets undivided attention (including husband), coupled with running a business out of the home--knitting, crocheting, keeping up with orders, cotton balls, ribbon, shipping labels, envelopes, blogging, post-office runs all while simultaneously developing the next product/design/photos was at an all-time high.

So when I finally plopped down on the bed next to Kevin and took a breath, I came to the realization that I wanted to look at things from a new perspective, with a blank slate, from square one both as a mother and a business owner. I'm focusing on enhancing what I do well, rather than reinvent the wheel or worse yet, mimicking others.

I remembered that when I feel like speeding up I need to slow down, when I want to do more I really should do less and when I think I just don't have time to take the time to walk Sunny, that's exactly when I should go walk her. I also soothed myself with some of the yummiest organic cotton I have and a bamboo crochet hook and it felt decadent.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Looking out my kitchen window

Looking out my kitchen window I watch the seasons pass. The bright yellow forsythia of early spring leafs out into a full green in summer, then finishes with vibrant red and yellow leaves that carpet the ground underneath in late fall. Winter is perhaps one of its most beautiful times although it would seem unlikely, but it's here and now when the numerous and unmistakeable red cardinals sit on its branches and fluff themselves up so full. Even the brown females are all pretty and puffed up only you have to look much harder to see them. I like that, having to pay close attention.

Other times there are mornings such as this, which, with one look informed of last night's snow. A wet, cold, slushy snow. The snow itself had a secret to tell, that Sunny had made a trip to the top of the picnic table and apparently danced a little jig up there, leaving her footprints behind.

I expected some delays but school was on, only John remained behind. Our 2 1/2 hour visit to the doctor ended in a strep throat diagnosis and plenty of Sprite, t.v. and antibiotics which I could kiss if it would mean anything. When I think of how many days in the winter I'm home with sick children, I wonder how working moms manage to hold down a job.

Monday, February 2, 2009


It's February and things are brown, all except for the sky which has been an incredible blue and putting on a spectacular show. It has been warm too, I love warm. In response to the blue and brown, I'll be listing this new little pair of organic booties in my shop.

There is a blue and brown pair already there, but I thought I'd provide the organic option as I know how some folks are partial. These are also a little more interesting in my opinion because the yarn has little flecks of cream in it making it look oh so earthy.

We are sidelined therefore not because of weather, or lack of yarn and fun things to make. Not because it's February or Groundhog Day or a school holiday or what have you, but rather because that brave little boy I spoke of yesterday now has a fever and an unrelenting headache. And the cycle begins again.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Shining through

My foray into the buttons was cut short on Friday by a boy who jumped off the bus, tears streaming down his face, running all the way down the drive toward home with his sister chasing after yelling, "John! What's wrong?" over and over. And me, dumbfounded, concerned and a bit shocked, after all, this is the boy who hardly ever cries. He was the baby who hardly ever cried and never changed his ways. If he was hungry, he grunted, sleepy, he grunted, poopy, more grunts. Never wailing, never moody, just steadily happy, energetic, enthusiastic about life and now he was sobbing. Problem.

So I followed inside, careful not to be overly alarmed, careful not to say too much, reminding myself I needed to listen to what the problem really was without injecting too much of myself into the situation. Turns out, after a good deal of back rubbing, catching our breath together, lap sitting and even rocking (that worked the best) it seems it was an altercation after school which upset him so. I did my best to talk him through it, to remind him that he wasn't a bad kid, that he was really a great kid and that sometimes the grumpiest, meanest and biggest bullies (adults included) in the world really have more problems with themselves than the people they take their anger out on. I counceled again as I have before that there are certain people in the world that once we know who they are (as we did in this case), we are best served by going the other way when we see them. And that what comes out of their mouths often is best when we let it roll off our backs. So much easier said than done.

I refrained from calling the principal and giving him an earful, although I wanted to and told myself I needed to think that through before acting. I filled Daddy in as soon as he came home and said John could really use his input on the matter. Not being one who easily lets things go I added, "How do we teach him that, you know, to just let things roll off his back?". With his head down, processing it all, Kevin mumbled something I didn't quite get and he went to work his Daddy magic and I left them be.

The matter had dissolved when I came back and our weekend had begun. It wasn't revisited until today when John and I went out for our lunch date we'd been planning for the past week.

Over ice cream I asked him how he felt today about what had happened Friday afternoon. He paused, his eyes searching, "Oooohh, thaaaat. I forgot all about it."

"Until I had to bring it up, huh?" I asked, regretting my decision.

"I'm fine" he said. And the matter was dropped.

Whatever we did, I guess it worked but I always wonder if I'm doing the right thing in those situations and if it's enough. I'm learning to try to follow my feelings, to pay close attention to what I see and hear, and to react with a peaceful and patient heart. I'm so glad he feels better.

Herein lies one of the greatest gifts of having children, that sometimes our weaknesses are revealed to us in the most unexpected ways and if we realize it at the time, we have everything to learn just by watching our kids.