A Growing Man

blog 3-3-2015 grown man carrying wood
Fourteen-year-old Thing-One started learning to duck in doorways almost two years ago, but no one would look at his face or hands and mistake him for a grown man. His voice, low and still hesitating, belies any maturity suggested by his broadening shoulders and long legs.
There are times, however, when even I, who has been carefully guarding my time with this child, am fooled. The confusion doesn’t stem from his size or matching appetite or even the flashes of independence he displays when refusing to do his homework.
I have been flummoxed more frequently over the last two months as an injured leg has forced me to delegate more physical activities to others. Thing-One, always charged with bringing in some firewood, has taken responsibility for the few loads I used to bring in, and he has stepped up in other ways.
He fetches. He hovers when I walk from car to door, constantly watching to make sure the person who taught him to walk doesn’t fall. I still need to sit on him to get homework done, but a few days ago as we drove home in a snowstorm, I realized what I’d been seeing for a few weeks. The windshield wiper was shredded from the ice, and Thing-One suggested pulling over.  A few minutes later, he was out of the car and scraping the window before I could get my seat belt off. I started to open the door, but he yelled you’re the windshield, “Mom, I got this! You just stay there and be careful.”
And in that moment I knew I might not be seeing a fully grown man,but the person on the other side of the windshield was no boy. He was a growing man, and one who was doing a great job of it.

March Common-Thread Give-Away

Welcome to the end of Winter.  Okay, okay, officially it’s a few weeks away, but I dare you to look at this blanket and not think of something warm.

This month’s Common-Thread Give-Away Artist is fiber artist Maria Wulf.

Maria’s offering for March is making this Common Thread’s artist wish she could be in the running.  This 50″ by 60″ fleece blanket is a replica of a quilt she made for  Blue Star Equiculture, a Working Horse Sanctuary.  Maria described the design as a symbol of the ancient bond between people and horses and the importance of keeping that relationship alive.  The proceeds of the sales of these “Restore-the-Bond” blankets were given to support the horses at the Blue Star Sanctuary and horses around the country, and this month the lucky winner of the Common-Thread Give-Away Drawing will receive one of these special blankets!

To register for this drawing visit Maria at Full Moon Fiber Arts and leave a comment for her anytime Monday through Wednesday. The winner will be announced at the end of this week!

Then take a moment to check out our other Common-Thread Artist’s websites:

Jon Katz, Bedlam Farm

Jane McMillen, Little House Home Arts

and Kim Gifford, Pugs & Pics

T’is the Season

Porn for Gardeners #fiftyshades

I don’t like to repost things, but it’s March 1rst, there’s a few inches of fresh snow on the way to cover up the few feet that are already out there, and I really needed to satisfy my quest for something really dirty.  That’s right, it’s seed catalog time.

So what spring flings are you dreaming about?


Meeting Virginia


Last week was school winter break.  This week, to prevent a stay in the rubber room, I took a stay-cation.  I’ve been catching up on housework and writing and I’ve had a few rendezvous this week with an old friend.

Nothing says mental health day like a low-key lunch date with a book while someone else does the cooking and dish washing, so Monday morning I packed up my bag and grabbed a book from the piles that had grown during my attempt to carve a path from the door of the Mom Cave to my desk.

Sitting at a table of my own, I began re-absorbing Virginia Woolf’s treatise, A Room of One’s Own.  It was the first hour that had been completely mine in weeks, and, even thought I knew I should be writing, meeting Virginia for lunch was the best decision I would make this holiday.

Before my salad arrived, Virginia had told me once again about being chased off the lawn at Oxbridge, one of England’s finest universities, because people with ovaries were not allowed to walk on the grass, let alone enter the library without a male chaperone or letter of introduction (all those books were so dangerous apparently).  She had asked why so few women had excelled in the arts, specifically literature, and she had begun to remind me that, for a woman to write – for the nanny or the coal miner to create – one needed the princely sum of 500 £  a year (the amount of an annuity left to her by an aunt which, even adjusted for inflation would require herculean budgeting skills to survive on) and a room of one’s own.  The soup arrived as she was detailing how to lift up women (and men) to do their best work and not only the work that lured the stock broker and the barrister indoors on a glorious day to make more money just for the sake of more money.

Virginia and I had lunch again on Tuesday, and I began wondering how to create my own annuity – or at least the time that one could buy with it.  The work of parenting will not change for me for quite a few years (I’ve barely had a bathroom break of my own in the last decade and a half).  The work of earning a living, however, has been creeping into the rest of my life lately.  Virginia reminded me that earning a living, while important and even valuable, is not the same as making a life.  That task is just as valuable.

Wednesday I made a lunch date with my keyboard, but I was pretty sure Virginia was looking approvingly over my shoulder.