Monday, May 26, 2014

Spring Wedding - Kaede Gets Married


Last night we returned home from a trip to Seattle to attend the wedding of my step-daughter, Kaede.  She and Joey were married in a quaint art gallery space in a ceremony that was a perfect blend of solemnity and lightheartedness; ceremonial in nature, yet uplifting in spirit.


A happy event such as this takes me down memory lane; from where we are to where we've been. Join me for a moment on a little side trip while I remember this very special young woman when she entered my life:
Jimmy, Kaede, June, Big Thompson Canyon Colorado, Rosedale

Kaede's dad Jimmy and I lived in a little cabin called 'Rosedale' in Colorado's Big Thompson Canyon during the mid-1980's.  Kaede stayed with us on many occasions, and on the weekends when her dad was working playing music, we spent a lot of time together.  You might say that this played a fundamental part in our getting to know each other.  I have many fond memories of reading, art projects, tea parties, dress-up and scrambled eggs with cheese.  She loved wearing dresses and her favorite color was pink.  She was smart, funny, imaginative, observant and very, very sweet!  Oh, and she loved animals, both the real and the pretend kind.  Here are a few more of the moments I caught on film:
Kaede
Visiting a farm in Eaton, CO - August 23rd, 1986 - Age 5

Kaede, June
An Easter Sunday in 1986 - Age 6

Kaede, Big Thompson Canyon, Colorado
Big Thompson Canyon, July 1989 - Age 8
In the late summer of 1989 Kaede moved with her mom, step-dad and siblings to another state.  I was very sad to see her go, and it was always a happy time when she would come back to Colorado for visits:
Kaede, Emily
Kaede, almost 10 years & Emily, 3 months - July 1991

Kaede and Emily - July 4th, 1996 - Kaede 14 & Emily 5
Several years have gone by now, and well, we all know how life moves at such a fast pace and we tend to be busier and busier... but this past weekend, I was happy to make the trip, slow down, and take in the event, one moment at a time.  Watching Kaede walk down the aisle, confident and engaging, made me feel so proud to know her.  So, thanks Kaede, for being awesome, for reminding me that life's celebratory moments are really what we live for.  Congratulations, and I wish you and Joey every happiness!
Kaede on her wedding day - May 24th, 2014

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Things My Mother Taught Me

Soon my mother Emily will be 91 years old. Obviously she knows some things about being a mom.

Emily
The biggest thing that stays with me is seeing how she was always there for someone, no matter what. She often says "We are family" and is always ready and willing to help out a family member.  She taught me that sticking by someone, even if you don't always agree, is what helps keep a family strong.

Hard work was never a source of complaint to my mother. She just knows how to dig in and get something done, and to keep at it. Having grown up on a farm in Wisconsin set the stage for a lifetime of work. After she left the farm, she moved to Chicago and worked in an airplane factory during World War II, became a stay at home mom, and then worked at various retail shops until her retirement. For her, work was just another necessary part of life.    

And lastly, my mom learned to sew at an early age, and became a gardener much later in life. She taught me to sew when I was a teenager and to see the value in time well spent on something you love to do.

Thanks Mom, for showing me the way. And Happy Mother's Day!

Hendricks Park Rhododendron Park





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Saturday, May 10, 2014

On Motherhood

"Don't stand unmoving outside the door of a crying baby whose only desire is to touch you. Go to your baby, go to your baby a million times."  - Peggy O'Mara 

The roots of my mothering began in the mountains of Colorado over twenty years ago. It was then that I discovered Peggy O'Mara and her magazine, Mothering. The challenges before me, about how to birth and raise babies, were presented there; each editorial, each article, gave insight into and argued for natural childbirth, breastfeeding, the family bed, and attachment parenting. 

The editorial page, A Quiet Place, focused on current information, much of it scientific and cross-cultural, and gave me good reasons to choose to parent in this way. I will never look back with regret at those choices. They stand the test of time; they are grounded in love, compassion and a desire for a harmonious family relationship. I miss the early days of our family, and so, on this Mother's Day, I created this scrapbook layout to commemorate days gone by...

Hello Sweet Babies, 12x12 scrapbook page
Hello Sweet Babies





































These babies are grown now, one a young adult and the other a teen. The challenges of parenting are as ever-present as those first days, of course, but what has changed is that I have learned to rely on my own inner voice, the voice that Peggy O'Mara assured me was there from the very beginning. Sure, sometimes I stumble, or even fall, but the bedrock of my parenting style was laid long ago and I have a solid foundation on which to land. And with these two by my side, I know that we can weather whatever challenges we may face as a family.

Emily-Audrey, June, Takeo, Hendricks Park Rhododendron Garden
























Emily-Audrey, June, Takeo, Hendricks Park Rhododendron Garden

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spring Garden - Candy Tuft, Peony, Strawberry and Camas

At this time of year, the garden seems to change on an almost daily basis.  One day you notice something popping up out of the earth, then before you know it, there are buds and blooms everywhere. Here's a few glimpses into what I've been noticing in my garden:

Candy Tuft
The candy tuft above did not return this year as hardily as in the past, with only a few rich blooms.  This, and my dracaena, which did not come back at all, may have been affected by the freezing winter temperatures. But the peony below, which has been in my garden for two seasons now and has not produced any flowers, will be debuting some very soon.  I'm excited about that!

PeonyThe strawberries will be plentiful again this summer.  This is one of the first blooms:

Strawberry
And lastly, I purchased this camas at a plant fair two springs ago, and this year, it has spread from one plant to three.  Soon these beautiful purple buds will be starry bluish-purple flowers:

Camas
 I hope you've enjoyed this garden glimpse, and thank you for looking!

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

National Scrapbook Day

Here in the U.S. today is National Scrapbook Day.  Of course it doesn't matter where you live, participation is easy.  Join me today by creating a scrapbook page and participating in the on-line activities over at twopeasinabucket.com or at bigpictureclasses.com. Here's a page I recently created just for fun:

HELLO, Maggie Holmes Crate Paper, Echo Park, Little Yellow Bicycle, K & Company, My Mind's Eye, Die Cuts With A View
HELLO
And remember, even Hugh Hefner makes scrapbooks (time.com)!
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