121 :: 365

121_hard_day

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

— David Whyte

Harry

hen house

If you are visiting this page for more information about Harry, thank you.  We are looking for a new home for Harry because our baby is approaching toddler age, and we don’t feel safe with them together over the next few years.  You will find our story and more photos below.

Update :: Harry has found a new home.

118_doggiedilema

I have a doggie dilema.  I don’t trust Harry with Wallace.

It all started last summer.  Harry was hit with a stick by a young boy (who was too little to understand how to act around a dog), and ever since then Harry has been leery around unpredictable children.  I watch him very closely when new children come over to play.  I do my best to show children how to pet him and talk to him.  But sometimes he growls unexpectedly.  And he even snapped at a friend’s four-year-old daughter.  She was not harmed but I was mortified.  That was one of my worst moments last year.

Dog training is mostly about training people.  But children too young to control their bodies cannot be “trained,” and Harry is a terrier.  He is not a docile beast.  I’ve never worried about him with our girls because they raised him.  He obeys and respects them.  And the girls know his quirks.  But Wallace is beginning to reach out, grab, and move himself around with more force.  Harry clearly knows that Wallace is his baby (sniffing, licking, tail wagging), but I don’t trust his terrier instincts around unpredictable movement.

Ideally we would just hold Wallace in our arms for the next two years until he is old enough to touch Harry gently — every single time.  But that would be rather ridiculous.  How would he learn how to crawl and to walk?!  Or we could keep Harry gated off in his back hallway when we’re not holding Wallace.  But that wouldn’t be fun for anyone.  Which leads me to my point: I think it would be best to find a new home for Harry.

Harry has been a part of our family for four years.  Just looking back at photos makes me start to tear up.  He has grown up with our girls.  They have learned so much confidence while training and handling him.  They’ve experienced unconditional dog love.  And pure doggie joy.

baby dog

Harry sit

july pup

tug of bread

And — oh — the antics we went through with Harry and his sister Nancy!

rain

How did we manage to train him not to murder chickens?!  (Oh, wait.  He did murder one.  But just one.)

his birds

Uggy

Harry's Hole

Hours on the beach.  In the woods.  And in the snow.  Walking.  Running.  Chasing.  Barking.

run

snow dog

run

queeny anne

tree light

harris

Are you crying yet?  I am.

Alas — we are in a different chapter of life now.  And I feel strongly about trusting my instincts.  I know I won’t feel safe with Wallace crawling and toddling around Harry.  I don’t believe any measure of training will change that.  Harry is a wonderful dog.  But despite his upbringing and our efforts, he can’t be trusted around active babies and toddlers.  (Unless maybe in the presence of a dog whisperer?)  And so, I’m officially putting out the word: if you know of someone without little children in their life who is looking for an adorable Irish Terrier (well-loved, healthy, four years old) — please put them in touch with me!

112 — 117 :: Adventures in Miami

112_ontheplane

We are complete homebodies.  How we pulled ourselves together to fly across the county for a family wedding in Miami, I’m still not completely sure.  Now that we are home, it feels like a dream.  Honestly, if it weren’t for this 365 project I wouldn’t have packed my camera.  I knew I would have my hands full, and I don’t typically think about taking photos in unfamiliar places (Funny, right?!  I wouldn’t make a very good travel photographer.).  But now, I’m so glad I had the motivation to take my camera along.  What an adventure!

113_florida

Wallace loved being warm.

113_bedbuddies

As I took this one, I was thinking, “I traveled all the way to Miami to take photos quite similar to what I would take at home?!”

113_firstswing

His first swing.

114_weddingparty

I snuck behind the wedding photographers to snap this.  The ceremony was at a beautiful, historic church — and it was such a joy to be a part of their day.

114_family

Thanks for taking a family photo of us, Aunt Kim and smile assistant, Cora!

114_kimandcora

Beautiful Kim and Cora.

115_cousins

Cousins in the fancy mall.

115_oceancousins

Why did I not take more photos at the ocean?  Because we have Lake Michigan.  (This photo could be from our summer up north!)  The girls loved finding shells in the ocean but not the salt on their skin and hair.

115_unclescott

Miami Beach is home to unbelievable high-rise development.  The wedding weekend events were hosted at the Sea View Hotel, which was actually the first high-rise built on Miami Beach in 1954.  The bride grew up across from the Sea View when it was the place to stay.  But most of the rest of the (giant!) hotels along this coastline have been built with in the last two decades.  Mind-boggeling.

116_everglades

After the wedding we wanted to see wild Florida, so we went to the everglades.  We visited the Miccosukee Indian Village, which was both very educational and very sad.  It was such an incredible contrast to Miami Beach.  I could write quite a lot about my reflections, but I will leave it at that today.

116_classictouristphoto

(As I was taking this photo, I was thinking how touristy (and overexposed) this is .  . . and it made me laugh!)

116_babyalli

(Phone photo from Jeffrey!  I was in the car with napping Wallace when the girls held baby alligators.)  We were amazed to learn that alligators can go two years without eating anything.  And they can live to be 75 years old in the wild.

117_backinmichigan

Even after waking at 5:00 am and traveling for many hours, these two girls were cracking each other up in the airport with a rabbit fur they bought at the souvenir shop in the everglades (Side note: who pulls out their camera on a moving walkway?!).  Shortly after I took this photo, we had an epic parking garage saga.  But alas I have no pictures of that!

And now, we are safe and sound, at home again.

111 :: 365

111_washing

They are washing . . . no, not the dishes.

Snail shells.

Because when you are getting ready to go on a six-day trip — scurrying around preparing for your house sitter — scrubbing snail shells until they shine is high up on the list of priorities.  Seriously, Mama.  This is important.

111_snailshells

109 :: 365

109_firstbouquet

The first bouquet of the season.

Her little hands.  Not so little any more.

One of the most difficult parts of adding baby Wallace to our family has been telling her to “be quiet” so often.  I don’t like to tell her to be quiet.  I like her voice.  Even when it is loud — which it often is.  But babies sleep a lot.  And our baby is easily awoken by high-pitched squeals of delight or dismay.

There was a lot of waking up today.  And a lot of . . .

“Use a quiet voice.”

“Please talk softly.”

“Shhhhhh!”

“BE QUIET!”

Oh, I don’t like to be a broken record, hushing my child again and again.  I want to hear her voice.  I want to hear her thoughts.

107 :: 365

107_greenhouse

For the past three years I’ve been fortunate enough to start our garden seedlings in a full-size greenhouse on an organic farm.  Our friend, the farmer, generously offered us space, and it had become my most treasured spring tradition: taking the girls to the greenhouse in late March (usually with lots of snow still on the ground), shedding our layers, and starting a new growing season enveloped in the warmth and humidity of baby plant heaven.  But our friend’s farm has grown (happily!) and his greenhouse is now full-to-bursting.  When he told me that he didn’t have room for us a few weeks ago, I wasn’t surprised but I almost cried.  What would we do?!  I started 800 plants in his greenhouse last year.

Well, Jeffrey and I talked and talked and then . . . he gave me the best birthday gift ever: our very own greenhouse!  Jeffrey spent most of yesterday putting it together, and I couldn’t be happier.  Today I started 100 more seedlings: celery, cilantro, chamomile, dill, marigolds, asters, larkspur, blue balloon flowers, cosmos, and sweet alyssum.  When the greenhouse is full, we hope to have about 1000 baby plants growing in here.