Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Interesting Morning
Perhaps it started when I hit the snooze button one too many times. Oh, all right, 3 or 4 too many times. Rick had to take his shower since we were up too late working on math last night for his nightly ablution. While Rick was in the shower and I was walking the dog, Ron decided to straighten his brother's glasses which had become distorted through normal boy activity (wrestling, basketetball, sitting on them). Ron is handy and was confident that he could fix them. He might have been successful if he hadn't popped the lens into the unflushed toilet. Note to their future wives - don't blame their Mom for this bad habit. I've been working on them for years to take one second (or less) and push that little lever.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Little Bean River
Come back with me to a time
long gone
My ancestors walked this
They came from the north and the
Following this river down
This river, my river
Gave them life; now
No one sees the water

My husband wrote this last semester as part of an assignment to write a poem in the style of the Chinese poetry they were studying in his Humanities class.

The Miami Indians called the St. Joseph River the “Little Bean River,” thus the title. When the Miami moved into this part of Indiana, they found the river that the French called the St. Joseph.

My husband's ancestors truly walked the banks of the St. Joseph and the banks of Cedar Creek. In the late 1930s, his grandfather was on a crew that built dams on the St. Joseph at Leo and Spencerville, as well as the dam at Cedarville on Cedar Creek.

The St. Joseph is ignored by most people despite its historical significance to this area. Ten thousand coaches cross the bridge on Coliseum Blvd. everyday, yet no one even looks at the river. The St. Joseph River is arguably the primary reason that Fort Wayne was settled; yet, Americans ignore their rivers, and their past.

His poem, “Little Bean River,” was inspired, in part, by “Passing Ti-en Men Street,” by Po chu-i. Po chu-I mentions mountains twice in the poem; the first reference is in line 1, when he names the mountain, and the second reference is contained in the last line when he says, mournfully, that no one looks at the mountains. This line is the line that inspired, partially, “Little Bean River.” When Po chu-I says “a thousand coaches, ten thousand horsemen pass,” my husband was reminded of the traffic on Coliseum when “not one man” will “turn his head and look at the river.”

We have two properties on the St. Joe River and spend a lot of time on it and by it. The "Boys Club," just north of Leo, is where we camp and canoe. And, yes, there is a boys club on the land. I'm allowed in but not allowed to decorate. "The Highlands," upriver near the Covered Bridge, is where we have our tree farm. A day at the Highlands is usually a day of hard work.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Being a reader, I was attracted to this quiz. I'm not sure about the results - but I am a cynic and a dreamer.

Darling, it seems that you belong in Gone with the
Wind; the proper place for a romantic. You
belong in a tumultous world of changes and
opportunities, where your independence paves
the road for your survival. It is trying being
both a cynic and a dreamer, no?

Which Classic Novel do You Belong In?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Gardening Fools
Phone Message: Help! I found a list my husband made: clean asparagus patch, clear out creek bank, clean iris beds at church.

This message was left by the wife of one of my favorite gardening buds at church, who also happens to be a spiritual giant and a stubborn man. Unfortunately, his hip problems restrict his activities, which means he can't do the heavy gardening on his To-Do list. So I told her that I would clean up the beds on Tuesday after Bible Study. One problem solved..or so we thought.

He saw me in the garden, went home and changed into his gardening clothes, and knelt down on the ground with a groan as he started grubbing the old leaves out. Of course, he rejected any suggestions that he supervise and I labor. So I worked like a maniac trying to finish fast so he would stop working.

The beds look nice. And I plan to be in the garden at his age.
Front Porch Guests
During the last week, we've had some unusual guests come to our front door: a huge crawdad, a black salamander and, tonight, spring peepers. We enjoyed their company but didn't invite them in.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Ron called me back to his room last night after he went to bed. He gave me a big hug and said, "Mommy, I love you." I can't remember the last time this kid, who is taller than me and shaving, called me Mommy. For a long time, I wasn't sure we could pour enough love into these needy boys to fill that hole in their hearts caused by bouncing between an abusive birth home and foster homes. Every day I am encouraged.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

No Change
I just found out that I didn't get the job at the non-profit. They hired someone with employment experience in the non-profit world. While I had mixed feelings about going back to work, I'm so darn competitive that I'm disappointed! On the other hand, the CEO may be interested in hiring me for some consulting work, we don't have to figure out what to do with the boys over the summer, and I will have time to garden this spring.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Different Perspectives
Ron started Hapkido, a martial arts class, a month ago and got his first stripe tonight. The instructor questioned him about school and home before he presented him his stripe. "Is your room clean?" "Yes! Sir!" my son answered him in the proper Hapkido manner, "I cleaned it two weeks ago."

Saturday, March 13, 2004

After talking about it for several years, we finally have a corn burner, an A-Maize-A-Blaze. Someone had fun with the product naming. Instead of a freestanding burner in the new room, we went with the fireplace insert. It's very efficient and there is a rich fire glow in the room at all times. I'm still getting used to this black thing stuck in my beautiful fireplace though. The product literature said that the "klinker" - fused ash - could be used in the garden to add potassium. I'm going to check some more before I spread it on my gardens.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Changes Brewing
A friend asked me to comment on "how you're feeling re potential return to work. I know it would probably have me all stirred up, and wondered where your head's at about it. Trepidation? Resignation? Anticipation? Some mixture of these?"

Definitely mixed feelings. I worked for a large insurance company for 31 years, started as a clerk in claims and ended as an officer in marketing. I mostly enjoyed it -- the variety, the opportunities to learn, the friends I made and, of course, the income-- but it ended poorly over two years ago. The situation had become so toxic that it affected my physical and emotional health. Then three days before the company was acquired and a hiring and firing freeze was enacted, I was "terminated without cause."

Thanks to faith, family and friends, I entered a new and renewing season of my life. Being a full-time mother (what mother isn't?) to two teenagers can be stressful, but it is a healthy stress which a sense of humor helps put into perspective. I've had time to volunteer (results of one effort) at church. I took Master Gardening classes and have volunteered for the horticulture educator of NE Indiana. I've done several consulting jobs to keep my marketing skills honed. I've accepted several speaking engagements. I took piano lessons for the first time in my life. I expanded my garden and tackled some large landscaping projects. I've done work on the house. I was a charter member in one book club and then helped start another book club at church. I'm a regular at "Mothers In Touch" and attend a morning Bible Study. And I've had time to have lunch or coffee with friends. My life is rich.

Then one day my husband and I were discussing the problems with the boys' HMO doctor and our desire to get them on another policy. This led to talk about return to work. Steve is a full-time student and works at the Writing Center, so I resisted the idea of him cutting back on his school hours to work while I stayed at home. We left it at that, though, and took no action. Two days later, a former co-worker called about a job opening at a local non-profit on whose board she sits. I've had two interviews and will probably hear about it this week. It would use my marketing skills for a worthwhile cause and they even suggested that the job could be part-time (with benefits). I'm skeptical that the job could be done on a part-time basis, but I love the idea.

So I am left with mixed feelings. If it happens, we will adjust and I will enjoy the work. If it doesn't happen, we will try to get the HMO doctor changed or perhaps I can pursue similar jobs with other non-profits. Since this process started, I've seen two similar jobs in the paper.

My biggest concern is that this opportunity comes at the spring of the year. I will miss having the summer with the boys and I will miss the time in my flower beds.
Who Am I
I hate how this blog signs my entries with "Honey." It's suppose to say "Earth Girl" and I can't figure out how to change it. Oh well, the honey comes from "Honey Bee," a name I entered when I set up the blog. I am NOT the type of person who likes to be called Honey and I am NOT one to call others Honey.

I've also been thinking about changing my description on this blog. It defines me by roles and former roles - wife, mother, marketer. The gardener is a little better since it is one of my passions. At Christmas, I became intrigued with the phrase, "wild and sweet" from "I heard the bells on Christmas day..and wild and sweet their words repeat..." I wondered if the phrase, "Martha, wild and sweet" better defined me. What do you think?

Monday, March 08, 2004

We launched the church's website yesterday. This has been absorbing my time for quite a while, but I had a fantastic group of people working with me to make it happen. Go poke around. Let me know if you see anything that needs to be changed, added or clarified. We are starting the "tidy it up" phase as well as deciding what to put up next.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

First Bouquet
I just picked my first bouquet from my garden - nine crocus in various shades of yellow. They first bloomed on Friday, but now it is snowing with a bitter wind blowing. I forced a crabapple branch (more accurately a limb) that the propane truck knocked off about a month ago. This six foot limb is bursting into bloom next to my bed. And I bought three white hyacinths at the store last week, so the house smells like spring.