Oct 22, 2013

As a child, I was probably the easiest kid to discipline. Being a people pleaser and craving acceptance, I merely had to be told that someone was disappointed in me to be crushed. I would avoid getting in trouble at all costs and definitely never stayed there long. Whatever attitude or behavior modification was required, I was quick to figure it out. This mantra has repeated itself throughout my adult life. I still crave the need to be accepted and approved by those around me and even those I barely know.

As I talk to more and more women, this appears to be an indicator that points to our femininity. At work, at home, during our kids soccer practice, we are numbing our souls and our abilities to make new acquaintances or even go deeper with the people we already regularly see because we'd rather be accepted. We reduce our stories to ones about our kids, our work, our wardrobes; or worse, we don't tell a story at all, we mindlessly check out of every situation by clicking through our electronic device. 

Why do we try so hard to be acceptable, even at trivial or ridiculous things like nail color, hair color, fashion? Do we really care that our hearts are out of alignment and our families are craving for our attention and neither of those issues require opening the latest fashion magazine?
Why are we secretly yearning for community and connection, yet are able to settle for gossip and chatter? When we will we know that being risky and vulnerable is more fulfilling than being guarded and "safe"? What if we pressed into one another more strategically, instead of letting our main level of communication be facebook "likes" and re-pinning one another's dinner pins?

Oct 9, 2013

Growth Indoors: An Experiment

So it may be a smidge understated that I am having a hard time dealing with the cooler weather around here. The thought of not being able to play outside in the garden and watching every thing in our backyard freeze over always depresses me slightly.
By January, I'm over the weather and the bickering kids on the weekends and am ready to start pruning trees and tilling dirt. This year, I decided to experiment with growing a few things inside in order to combat a post-Super Bowl depression (that really is the only reason there is a January right?). The Hero seems to believe that I have once again taken my projects overboard, but I think I kept myself in check for the most part. 
Exhibit A: Our dining room table. One tomato plant, a jalapeno plant and a Tabasco pepper plant. This area of the house gets great sunlight and we never eat here, so these babies are guaranteed to have a warm and safe winter.
Exhibit B: Our kitchen counter across from our giant window that overlooks the back yard.
Exhibit C: Window sill in the kitchen. Those two tiny little sprouts are romaine lettuce. We'll see how they hold up. I am fully aware that lettuce can be grown outside for awhile past cooler weather and even some times past frost, but our immediate neighbors have decided feeding rabbits are a great idea. Apparently, they love eating here better, so I'm forced to try inside earlier than I would have liked.
Any one else growing something inside this winter?  How else do you bust the winter time blues?

Oct 8, 2013

Garden Planning 2014: Bat Houses?

Spring of 2014 will be my third spring planting a garden. I never would have thought a little hobby of ours would have grown into a 1/4 of our backyard and one of my favorite parts of every day. As I am making my list of what I want to add for next year, I've been researching a lot of garden supply blogs and stores online. 
Since Oklahoma didn't have much of a harsh winter last year, our mosquito population exploded this year. It felt as though every evening in the garden was cut short to being covered with whelps and bites over every inch of our bodies. The Hero sprayed organic spray, we doused ourselves in repellent before going outside and we avoided the most prevalent times of the day to work out in the garden, but all was for not. 
As I researched ways to rid ourselves of mosquitoes and Calamine lotion, I read that bats are avid mosquito hunters. In fact, one bat can eat between 500-1000 mosquitoes in an HOUR?!! I was intrigued. 
Bats appear to not cause damage to property, butterflies, pets or kids. And the only thing you need to do in order to attract them is to put up a bat house. A house for bats? I know. Right. I never knew there was such a thing. 

Take this beauty for example: 

It is a two chambered model, offered by www.gardenharvestsupply.com at is a two chambered model. Breeding couples are housed on one side and single bats can live on the opposite side. The instructions state that the house should be placed fifteen feet above the ground, and for quicker occupation, place the house on a pole or a structure as opposed to a tree; as bats seem to dislike navigating around tree branches and leaves. 

This model claims to hold up to 100 bats! 

Ok. Fess up. Are you intrigued or creeped out by watching a bunch of bats over your garden at twilight? Anyone familiar with bat houses? 

Oct 7, 2013

International Day of the Girl: A Letter to My 10yr Old Self

Today is International  Day of the Girl. In honor and support of the Raise Your Hand campaign, bloggers were asked to write a letter to their younger selves.

I chose me at ten years old. Not that I can remember anything specific about being in fourth grade, but ten is always a nice, round number. And as my daughter always says, after nine you are in double digits for a long time.

Dear Lindsey,


Turn around.

Go back inside the house.

You're probably headed to be outside under a tree somewhere reading a book. Go into your bathroom, the one with the horrible red sinks and look in the mirror. Look past the freckles and your goofy, large front teeth. You'll soon learn that good makeup and braces can only fix so much about a person. You're right about clothes and boys, even at this age. Boys are gross and will continue to be. For much longer than you'll discover. Clothes are meaningless, unless they are your favorite pair of jeans, and until we are talking about shoes. Cinderella was on to something. One pair can equal a life change; whether they be stilettos or running shoes. Redefine what you believe to be beauty. It's inside you, not outside of you.

Now grab that book and go back outside under your favorite mulberry tree. The one Papa planted before he passed away. The one where he feels the closest to you.  You will spend much of your life believing that people who live in the spotlight are the only ones that matter. Disregard ALL this nonsense. Introverts change the world that extroverts attempt to dominate. Being a people pleaser will get you no where. There is power in telling those around you that you need time to process, think, just be, and develop thoughts, before they demand an answer or a response from you. The earlier you hone this skill, the easier you can exhale.

Baby, know this: you are stronger than you know, loved more than you'll ever believe and able of doing things to change the world. Laugh more than you cry, give more than you take, good manners and a perfect lip gloss will cover a lot of sins. You already know how to work hard, but remember to allow times to slip away and just be. Religion is different than following Jesus. A Buddhist will show you how to pray, a Hindu will remind you that you serve a living God, a Muslim can change the way you view everything and a Catholic will be your best friend.

Remember that God gave you the stars to remind you how small you are, he gave you animals to know that you never want that much dominance and he gave you people to show how deep you can love. That Corvette you always wanted isn't as much fun when you're paying for it, but nothing is as freeing as wind in your face. Live on less than you earn, save and then buy; credit cards are tfrom he devil.

If we were having tea right now, I'd tell you that your first instinct is always the right one; that boy you think you'll love first will break your heart, but do it any way. It's the experience and not the result that brings about the best learning. Skip law school and do what you know turns you ignited each and every day and allow whatever that is to change every ten years or so. Never stop learning, praying or giving. God is in every thing that you chose to allow Him and only those humans who've earned the right to be in your life should be allowed to stay. Hug Nannie tighter each time you see her. Trust me. The open wound she leaves will burn, even though you're supposed to be fully grown. And make her write down every recipe she knows; the woman keeps horrible records.

I love you. I don't want you rewasting the years I spent learning how to say that to you.

You are loved. Just as you are.

Knobby kneed and completely silly.

Freckled and socially awkward.

Loud mouthed to those you love
and jittery around those you don't.

You got this.

Life is so much bigger and scary now than it will be in a few years.

And when they hand you the diagnosis saying you'll never have children...cry over it. Loud and long and hard. Mourn the period that infertility plagues your mind and heart. Just to say you gave it respect. And then move on. Yes, a wee one will never come from your body, but your home will be filled to the brim with laundry and crayons and laughter.   And your boobs will stay a little perky a little longer than your friends (yes, you will get boobs. It will take at least until your 20).

May you experience every joy and every heartbreak to the fullest. It's the only way you'll ever know how to do anything, all in. It's the thing I love the most about you.

Hugs and Love,