25 May 2012

on my way back home

at dawn's early light, the caravan de girl friday will be pulling out en route to the mother country {aka tennessee}-the place i couldn't wait to leave at 18, the place that wooed me back because i fell in love with a boy, the place where i had all my boys, the place that still holds my heart. 
while there we will be lauding our boy of 13 years, boating/fishing with grandpapa, fattening up at nana's and celebrating the nuptials of our sweet friends gabe and ryan. 

i can't wait to tell you all about it once we return {if i return}. until then, i bid you adieu...
xo gf

24 May 2012


this morning i sat with my 9 year old as he shared his new book on fly fishing. "look at all these pages! these are just about bait!" i said, "did you know these are called 'lures'? why do you think they are called 'lures'?" i asked. "because they lure the fish." and that reminded me of reading. 
my oldest loves to read. he is like his parents. whenever we are at a thrift store or a flea market, he gravitates to the books. the other three, not so much. they love being read to, but when it comes to choosing a past time, they will choose legos over books any day of the week. 
a few months ago i was trying to get the middl-ish child to sit to read to me. he is a reluctant reader-slow, and uncertain. he becomes overwhelmed when there are a lot of words on the page so i decided poetry would be a good gateway to a lifelong passion for reading. few words, some rhyming, beautiful syntax. and he took to it. he was so inspired that he began writing his own poetry. here is one of his original pieces:
the forest is fun.
the forest is playful.
no where is better than the tree.
the second born has the memory of an elephant. he can remember the slightest detail from a book we read 3 years ago. it is quite helpful really. he is my go-to whenever i forget whether or not we have read certain books. 
the littlest is a busy guy. he sometimes needs coaxing to sit for a story. when we began our journey through chapter books {me reading/him listening}, i needed a little back up so i began allowing him to enjoy a sweet whilst we read. you might say i used sugar to lure him to reading. yep. i remembered a book called the bee tree by patricia polacco. in this delightful picture book, a reluctant mary ellen is coaxed to read when her grandfather shares the adventure reading can take you on when you hunt for it like a delicious drop of honey. the two head out on mad cap adventure to find the bee tree where they procure honey that the grandfather ceremoniously smears on the cover of a book as he explains, "There is such sweetness inside of that book too! Such things...adventure, knowledge and wisdom. But these things do not come easily. You have to pursue them."
and that pretty much sums up my love for a great read. in this stage of life finding the time to read a book just for fun, just for me is rare. so when i choose to sit to read to my brood of boys, we read treasured books that i would enjoy even if they were not around. a good excuse to reread charlotte's web, dr. doolittle or a favorite field guide. 
with summer approaching, my bookshelf is teeming with books i hope to find the time to taste whilst we visit the shore or enjoy a siesta from the daily grind of school time routine. what about you? xo

23 May 2012

the birds and the bees

Last week we ventured back up to Blueberry Hill for a lesson on honeybees {we tried to get Mr. P to do a lesson on the "birds and bees", but he wasn't having it}. While we were there we decided to board the Blueberry Hill Express for a little hayride through the vineyards. The day was magic. And to share it with my boys and my homeschool homies made it all the sweeter.
xo, gf

22 May 2012

Girl {Friday}, Interrupted

Dear Boys o' Mine,

It has recently come to my attention that you didn't know me before I was a mother. Well, how could you really? But before you were throwing up on my sofa and peeing in my bushes, I had a life that was adventurous and spontaneous. O, sure your father and I didn't have a lot of money. We were young, newly minted grad students, who rented cute places around exciting cities and called it "a broadening experience". I had a career that involved working with little people in the field of education. We traveled. We relished our Friday night pizza and movie date nights snuggling on the sofa. We frequented State Parks and quirky flea markets. Hiking was our passion. Before you interrupted our lives, we read and ate good food. 
we heart ny
And then you came and well, you know what? Nothing changed. We are still renting cute places around exciting cities and calling it "a broadening experience". I am still working with children in the field of education-you guys, you knuckle heads. You guys still talk about the trip to Chicago to see the Egypt exhibit at the Field Museum that we took when George was 6 weeks old. O, and taking the train to New York was fun too. All those trips to the ocean-both Atlantic and the Gulf. And just this weekend we went to not one, but two flea markets. You guys hiked the entire section of the Maryland Appalachian Trail-all 41 miles of it. Hmmmm. 
mama in an apron-check. candy in mouth-check. book in hand-check. dog at our feet-check.
Our evenings are still spent with our nose in a good book. You guys named the dog after a favorite author-Rudyard Kipling. State Parks are our favorite destinations when we have a little extra time to play. Our fair state of Maryland has more than you can shake a stick at. 

As for eating and enjoying good food, you guys know how to throw down some tasty vittles like no body's business. Two of you have begun to enjoy the art of blending with the help of a superpower blender.
And we still relish our Friday nights of pizza and a movie only there are few more people on our sofa for snuggling. I guess the one thing that changed is that now we drink a little more beer and sip a little more wine because, well, raising kids is fun.{cue smiles}
i prefer to drink my fruit.
Now that I think about it, my life hasn't changed really all that much since you arrived. You came. And we kept on going. Sure hope you know how glad we are to have you along for the ride. 

Your Mom, aka Girl Friday

21 May 2012

running with shearers

shearers of yore-can you imagine how difficult it must've been?
We were invited to watch a sheep shearing. My friend Wendy of Persimmon Pond has 4 sheep. She harvests their wool once a year to spin into yarn that she sells at the local farmer's market.

Ruthie's, {the sheep} shearing went great. Then the little boys decide to run her and Cracker Jack {her BFF} around. Not. Good. I am still traumatized. Maybe you know this. We did not. It is never a good idea to chase a sheep. And they are herd animals and must be with at least one other sheep. Double yikes!

Much better
Fortunately our host and hostess were incredibly understanding. And Ruthie recovered just fine. 

Before: Ruthie and Cracker Jack

I told the Sheep Shearers, who are second generation shearers, they should call themselves the Sheep Spa. Whilst the husband sheared the sheep, his wife clipped their hooves and dewormed them. If that isn't getting the treatment, then what is? 
The wool came off in one big sheet. 

All's well, that ends well.
Yours truly {a wanna be farmer},
 Girl Friday xo

18 May 2012

rest stop

yesterday the 5 year old asked me to play legos with him. i must confess, there were other things i needed/wanted to do, but i left what i was doing to sit with my boy in the late afternoon sun. when it comes to legos, my creativity wanes, but just sitting with him was all he wanted. as i neglected my to do list, i realized, there is a time for play. so i sat and played. a rest stop in the midst of a busy day.
after legos, it was time for dinner. second helpings of red velvet cupcakes fueled "all hands on deck" and "many hands make light work". with our floors swept and dishes cleaned and put away, we enjoyed another rest stop as we sat together looking at old pictures, musing over comic books and wrestling with the dog. 
in our family, we work hard so that we can enjoy our rest/play fully. there is a time for work. there is a time for rest. 
i hope your weekend is wrought with rest. today we are going to enjoy a hayride through the vineyard and check out a honey bee hive at our favorite blueberry hill. fingers crossed no one gets stung. tomorrow the teenager and i are going to luckett's spring market. {i'll miss you, cari, catherine and lauren} can.hardly.wait. xo

17 May 2012

About a Boy

"if i have one monument in this world, it is my son. he is a joy, a sheer delight."-maya angelou
my firstborn came out yelling. he yelled in utero. the doctor observed, "i don't believe i have ever heard a baby cry from inside his mother." he yelled as they walked him down the hall. then the doctor put this crying baby in my arms. i said, "it's mama, baby. it's mama." and as my sister looked on, this fussy baby quieted. at that moment i realized, "he is mine."
this boy, who is 13 today, has carried the responsibility of his parents' fledgling attempts to "get it right". he has shouldered the weight of being the big brother to 3 younger brothers. and he has managed to keep a dry wit and a passion about him despite my best efforts to ruin him.
o, how i despair when i consider the many times my lack of patience got get the best of me. yet, his stalwart desire to cultivate his curiosities prevail. if this is not god's kindess to me, then please tell me what is. 
my boy, who is now a teenager, shows his compassion in ways that are foreign to me. i extend a hand to the hurting. his is through his unquenchable enchantment with nature. 
he is enraptured with the moss he finds in the Eastern Forest, the name he gave to our backyard. ferns, spores, dicots, and gymnosperms are words he throws around like most boys his age quote sports statistics.
he far surpasses me in subjects of science and math-and he is not in the least bit reticent about it. his father is his best friend and can readily keep up with his growing interests long after my eyes begin to glaze over. 
html and java script interest him over texting or facebook. he doesn't enjoy his brother's love of rock and roll music as much as blue grass and classical. he can be a little grumpy and ill-tempered much like an 82 year old man, but he can also be ever so eccentric and winsome. 
he reminds me of wendall berry, with his proclivity for resourcefulness. while his brothers burn through their allowances, he saves his money. things do not interest him the way abstract ideas and scientific theory do. 
upon arriving to any spot, his first observation is, "well, these trees are great for climbing." 
o, what a joy and delight this boy has been to my heart and soul for 13 years. i guess you could say, he taught me everything i know about being a mother. and he would say, his work is not finished. xo

15 May 2012

14 May 2012

just like that

 Several years ago I wanted to be a mother, and it happened. Just like that-no drama, no heartache. For that reason, I am grateful. If I told you about my day yesterday, it would sound like every other day. But instead of moving through my Mother's Day with expectation and entitlement, I felt a deep sense of gratefulness. And that was the best Mother's Day gift I could ever hope to receive {the poems written, flowers picked, guitar solos played and coupons created for my enjoyment were icing on the cake!}. xo

The next time you see me, ask what made me laugh so hard. You will laugh too-I promise. 

11 May 2012

field hands

yesterday my girlfriends and i were bemoaning, "we only have them under our roof for a few more years. then they are off to unchartered territories {or that's what we are hoping}." so whilst they are still under my roof, i plan to use them wisely. firstly, picking my berry bounty for a weekend of canning, baking and dehydrating. i sure hope this weekend finds you with the sunshine on your face and a delicious drink in your hand. strawberry martini, anyone? xo gf

10 May 2012

mama's little helper

the other day a few of us moms were sitting around talking about things like: husbands who  abuse their wives, babies who die before they're born and the proper length of a teenage girl's shorts when she is working at a camp serving disabled adults- you know the typical girlfriend chat-when one of my friends mentioned "taking supplements". i said, "yeah, i have a little flask i keep in my handbag to take 'my supplements'." anyone who spends more than 2 minutes with me, knows that i can weave a little booze humor into any and all topics of conversation. lest you think i am crying out for help {which i am, but not that kind of help}, let me tell you-when it comes to consuming an adult beverage, i am ALL TALK and no drink {well, a little drink, every once in a while-but just one otherwise you'll find me passed out-not cute}. so anyway chatting about my flask reminded me of my darling niece rachel who just had her first baby a few months back. she knew she was having a girl so when i went to pick out her baby gift, i took a little detour from her gift registry and decided on the most darling pink paisley flask you have ever seen. small enough to fit into her diaper bag-and a whole lot more useful than a diaper genie. how's that for a mama's little helper? happy first mother's day, my darling niece. may you drink and diaper responsibly. xo
rachel & hadley