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Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Just Couldnt Think of a Title so I put a : )

Reading, it is essential to my well-being. I do not remember what it is like not to know how to read. My father is a big reader and he taught me before I started Kindergarten. Lol And that’s back when kindergarten was half days and the main curriculum included learning your phone number and address. 

Books, Books, Books, they are all I ever wanted for Christmas. My parents would let me open the wrapped goodies and then confiscate them only to ration them off later. If they didn’t do this, I would just read through them in one day. In 5th Grade, it was not inconceivable for me to put away a 200 page book before bedtime.
I always did well in school and I believe whole heartedly that this is due to my love and ability to read. If I read something, I remember it. Tests were never a problem for me and book reports and research were great too because they still involved reading. Math, ahhh, math, now that was a problem for me. My brain just does not compute numbers well.

Now, to my youngest son, the one this post is meant to be about. He has struggled with reading all of his life. He never had the patience to lay down at bedtime to read books with mom. It was mostly me reading with him asking random questions about whatever popped up in his head. As, he was older, reading became something that I had to force him to do. We got tutors, work with reading “specialists” and hooked on phonics. Nothing. His brain computes words like mine does numbers. He is a number specialist. The boy loves his math. He begged to learn multiplication tables in 1st Grade.  We now practice “reading” by doing math story problems. For awhile, I struggled with anxiety that he will struggle all through school because he has a hard time with reading.  I mean reading is what helped me coast through high school and college, what would my boy be up against. The other hard thing is in elementary school so much of the day involves reading “out loud” in class, would this effect his self-esteem to struggle in that way in front of the whole class? Kids, the greatest source of “freaking a mother out” as one can get.

As I ramble, I should say that this post boils down to a conversation this morning that I had with my boy over his breakfast. He said if he is half me and half his father then his brain got only our stupid parts. Um, heartbreaking.  I just swooped his ever growing body up and hugged my little boy and I told him,  I don’t make stupid. You see, my children watched me graduate college with honors. They saw all the pretty color cords and sashes I got to wear with my cap and gown and somehow that registered “Moms a genius” in their heads. I told my boy that he got the best part of my brain, he took my numbers away, my love of science and social studies,  and he got my determination and my stubbornness. These are all the things he needs in life to over come how hard reading is for him now, because he really is brilliant.  

Now, I am writing this as he gets dressed and I am preparing to send him off to school. Have I said enough this morning? Will he doubt himself again as soon as that school bell rings?  Why can’t we just hold them and keep them small forever?
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Hey Diddle Diddle

 Last night, as I was finishing up washing dishes, I noticed we are getting low on spoons again. How does one get low on spoons? Well the proverbial sock eating dryer does not reside at my house. Oh no, we have the run-away spoons.  It seems that every so often, I have to make a trip to the store just to purchase more silverware. The pretty spoons that came with the set that I purchased when we bought our first house are long gone. I have remnants of forks and knives but alas the spoons have deserted us.  

“Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon,
The little Dog laughed to see such sport,
To which the Dish ran away with the Spoon.”

I can’t help but think of the nursery rhyme Cat and the Fiddle and its dish running away with the spoon. There must be some old myths underlined with truth in this rhyme.  You see, our spoons are not the only wayward thing at our house. The bowls must have also seen what fun the spoons were having and they too up and leave.  Now, I could very easily be persuaded and sure that the spoon and bowls are left outside by 2 boys that also reside in my house. They could have been thrown away without a look back because a friend knocked on the door, but the nursery rhyme loving girl that resides in my heart likes much better to believe that the bowl and spoon have up and eloped. I am sure they are honeymooning on a beach somewhere. Enjoying the sun and the crash of waves, even though as the snow melts, I am likely to find them nestled under a bush next to my front porch, victims of a spur of the moment football game in the yard. 
Image from

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chicken Therapy

Chicken Therapy, what can that possibly be? It is the profound sence of simple and natural and organic that comes over a person while they watch chickens just being chickens in their yard. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be in their own yard, Chicken Therapy can be done in other peoples’ yards. The main component is the chickens, the place can be anywhere. 

Today, February 4, 2012, was a beautiful day. For Michigan, the weather was unseasonably warm, a balmy 43F degrees. The sky was that of the bluest blue with spots of fluffy bright white clouds. There was a gentle breeze that still held the chill of February within its wafts but the smell was the perfume of coming Spring.  It was a perfect day to indulge in some Chicken Therapy.

Silver Laced Polish
I wondered out to our coop and opened up the run. The chickens, 5 pretty little hens, sauntered out into the yard. They pecked at yellowed grass, scratched at the soft dirt and just generally went about the business of being chickens. It is just so peaceful. It can also be comic relief. You just never know what those fat little hens will do. They chase each other for worms. It cracks me up every time. I have 2 chickens that are referred to as Polish breed of chickens. They have puffs of feathers on the top of their heads in place of combs. One, the Silver Laced Polish, has a puff that sometimes makes it hard for her to see. She is known to walk into things and then squawk loudly at an offending stick or coop door for being in her way. Sweet girl. 

These hens provide my family with eggs daily. Their poop is great in the compost pile which I use for our garden. Chickens also thrive on the bugs they find in your yard.  Beyond all the pest control, food and manure, you know, the usual things one might think of when considering the benefit of chickens, they bring peace.  It is Chicken Therapy at its best. The chickens will be chickens no matter what else is going on in the world. They are chickens and they are ok with that. Chicken keeping is just good for the soul…

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