Cora had her 4 year old visit with the doctor yesterday. Yes, she turned four a month and a half ago, but we switched doctors so it was a little late. She weighs 40 pounds, which puts her in the 81st percentile for her age, and she is 42 inches tall, which puts her in the 87th percentile for her age. At her three year check she was in he 80th percentile for both height and weight. I can't wait to see what her numbers look like when she's five.

At any rate she is a tall, lovely girl who detests shots. I have never heard a child yell as loud as her when the nurse brought the needle toward her. She used to be just fine, but I think having seen Magnolia's reaction to shots combined with not really remembering her last round of immunizations made for a perfect storm. (Magnolia's first immunization resulted in projectile vomit, and she screams as soon as the nurse calls us back for our appointment (every time).

I'm using the blogger app, so I'm not sure where the picture I'm posting will end up, but we have a gigantic rose bush in our back yard. This evening I counted 178 buds (that's not a typo). I'm going to let them all bloom, but I feel like (I know) the plant needs help in the pruning department, and I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. Any suggestions?


Tonight we planted the first plants in our newly formed flower beds. They're so cute and tiny and completely un-impactful in the huge beds, but I'm almost certain is will be amazing in a few years.

We wanted to do some edible landscaping, so besides our vegetable garden, our flower beds will host the "prettier" edibles like cabbage and basil and rosemary, artichokes and lavender. I'd like to add some chamomile as well.

The perennials we planted are Indian Hawthorn, Peony, Autumn sage, rosemary and lavender. We have an existing bridal veil, and plan on adding a dwarf pink lady apple tree and some ornamental grasses on the east side, as well as more annuals and of course, some sweet potato vine. It feels good to have part of it done. Preparing the beds was no small task.

Now we just need to plant our vegetable garden and...the biggest part, get our grass a growin'. Have I ever mentioned the terrible condition of our lawn? BAD! We're going to reseed as soon as soil temperatures are favorable for Bermuda grass. We're trying to keep everything as native and sustainable as possible.

Speaking of native, I have been missing my homeland: Arizona. I don't know why it started, or why it's such a deep down achy missing, but it is. Someone posted a picture at the Mesa Temple while they were waiting for the Easter Pageant to start. The sky was so big and that scene so familiar, it was insta-tears. The big stages, the rows and rows of chairs, the crowds of people. I can smell the grass, hear the cars on Main street and the wind blowing softly through the palm trees that reach seemingly impossible heights. I want to see the angels lifted with their trumpets and feel the rumble of the thunder right after the crucifixion.

I grew up in a great place. I know that I'm not moving back any time soon, if ever at all, but I've spent hours scouring for what house I would live and what city in the valley I would pick, and what schools my kids would go to. I mean, none of the houses are Dot, and she's my favorite, but there's something so familiar about soaring vaulted ceilings, tile roofs, stucco and rock landscaping, attached garages and a certain uniformity. I'm sure peonies wouldn't grow there, and I'm anticipating a long lovely relationship with my new plant. Maybe I need a little cactus garden as well.


I've been thinking about random things. Magnolia is on the upswing after a bout with croup. She got a steroid shot at her first appointment with her new pediatrician on Friday. Jake and I have whatever silly virus Magnolia had that caused the croup. Cora is healthy. Phew. We returned home yesterday after a delightful spring break, more on that later. But we did go hiking at Robber's Cave. Legit hiking. Like we were elevated. Oklahoma does have mountains and I have seen them, and it satisfied this really big homesicknesses I've had for Arizona in the last few weeks. Phew, again. Random things: I hope I always live where I can hear church bells. It's one of my favorite sounds. Thank you, St. Luke's. We've been working out our garden and flower beds, and I just can't get over how amazing seeds are. Like for one, it's ridiculously gratifying to grow something. But mostly to me, right now, like how do the roots know how to grow down and the plant up? You throw seeds in any which way, and they just do their thing. Magic.

Pins and needles

I just made my first batch of laundry soap. I gave it a tough task for its initial go around: Whites. They are swishing as I type. I can wait to see how they turn out.


After we had dinner with Vaughn and Tracey on Saturday (before they went to a Thunder game), we called some friends who just moved into a house a few blocks away near our old duplex in Jefferson Park. I'd been driving passed their house for a few months watching the progress of the renovation because I knew they were going to buy it. I couldn't wait to see the inside, and they graciously agreed to let us come by.

Before we could, we needed to drop something off at home. Jake ran in while I sat in front of Dot in the car (still to be named) with the girls. We were talking and listening to music. When he came out of the house, and started making his way toward us, my heart skipped a beat.

Somewhere along the way, in the midst of these years we've accumulated between us, his face has become more familiar to me than anything in the world. I look at him and in some ways feel like I'm looking at myself. It's more than the texture of the green afghan that covered me every night of my youth that my fingers will never forget. More than the grassy hills and black earth on the way to Eagar. More than the smell of the desert after rain or red clay clenched in my palm and oozing through my fingers...

Seeing him is being home.

For real? Yes. What did you think was going to happen?

Rick Santorum won the Super Tuesday election in Oklahoma. No joke. Romney barely came in second, separated from Gingrich by 1,605 votes. That comes out to about 1/2 a percentage point. The fact that this surprised anyone genuinely surprised me. Disappointment is one thing, but that's how Oklahoma elections go for anyone who would be disappointed by Santorum taking the cake. Surprise, however, no. What did anyone, Republicans alike, think was going to happen?

Santorum is straight on with the atrocities that have been making their way through the house and senate here. I recently posted on the Personhood Act(s), and since people in Oklahoma have been voting for the legislators writing such legislation, it seems a natural thing that they'd vote for someone who talks like he's writing those piece all the live-long day. According to him and his zero tolerance for abortion, it would be best for women who become pregnant as the result of rape to accept their pregnancy as being what God had in store for them. Does that make rapists kind of like heavenly messengers? Please PLEASE! someone tell me how one can be pro-life and pro-death penalty.

And there's a fun twist: I'm Mormon. Did you know that? Did I just rock your world? And not rocking it because I'm Mormon but because I'm a left leaning democrat Mormon. Yes, I said the d-word and the m-word in the same sentence. Mormons can be liberal dems, and there are more of us than you think, we just don't frequently out ourselves in Mormon circles where majorities are still overwhelmingly conservative.

Back to point - There are many surprised/disappointed Mormon Romney supporters here in OK, and the same above paragraphs apply to them, but there is great irony. Most of them are very conservative. Like WAY more conservative than Romney, he is the moderate Republican option, remember? And I think it's soooo laughable. Yes, I said laughable, that they can't understand what Oklahoma was thinking when in reality, the peeps in OK who voted for Santorum were thinking what they (really conservative Romney supporters) are always thinking with the exception of having any investment in a Mormon candidate. We're the reddest state in the nation, of course the rightiest right uberest of uber conservative would win. If you take pride in/contribute to the color of your state, you can't be disappointed/surprised when the "moderate" doesn't win.

In all fairness, Romney broke my heart several years ago. Way back when my voter registration card still had an "R" on it, back when Romney was actually moderate. I was really excited about him, in hopes that he could save the Republican party from the severely right "Christians" who were ruining the party I was still trying to justify. A post from way back when. Those darn super PACs and a certain movement identifying themselves as a "party" within my former party. It's so unfortunate that politicians have to sell their idealistic souls just to get elected. Nothing new with that thought, no more surprises, right?

Have you read the Audacity of Hope yet? Please do. I need to read it again. Until then, I leave you with this poem by Lauren Zuniga (it's one I previously shared, and the words that made me okay and not want to pack up our home and move back to Hyde Park after the last Oklahoma gubernatorial election):

A poem to progressives plotting mass exodus

Do not let them drive you away. Here is where you are needed the most.

There is a sick pit in your stomach.
A plantation in your front yard.
The static flicker of black and white.
An absurd talking picture,
where sepia skin is now villain.
You are not sure who to trust anymore.
Everyone walks backward in your neighborhood.
You are surrounded by billboards with hate-sized font.
You are looking for a secret handshake.
A fish with feet drawn in the sand.
Blue paint on the door frame.
You resent even the dirt for being so damn red.
At night you are a furious search engine.
Screaming down the track toward
some kind of Shangri-La.
Portland has no jobs.
Canada doesn't want you.
You hear property is cheap in Costa Rica.
Even Cuba seems safer than your next PTA meeting.
Anywhere is better than here.
But here is your home.
Here is where you chose to raise your kids
because the people are so friendly.
Do not let them drive you away.
Here is where you are needed the most.
Here is where the sunset stretches its arms wide as forgiveness across stolen plains.
Here is where Clara Luper sat down at the Katz lunch counter and asked to be served.
Here is where black and white soldiers fought alongside each other for the first time.
Where Kate Barnard was elected before she could even vote.
Where hippies squatted in Paseo until it became an art district.
Here is where Charlie Christian learned guitar.
Where Wayne Coyne keeps the bubble.
Where Woodrow Wilson Guthrie played the harmonica for sandwiches.
Here is where the healing has to take place.
Tell them you are not moving.
Oklahoma is worth the wait.
Sometimes evolution feels like
the stinging cramp in the back of your knees when you grow too fast for your outdated bones.
Sometimes it feels like a house in the city
with three goats, 10 chickens and 12 wild kids.
Tear up the sidewalk.
Plant a garden.
Bake a squash casserole and invite
all your terrified neighbors over.
Say "As-Salamu alaykum" to everyone you meet.
Fill out all government forms in Español.
Check all the boxes for your race.
Ride your bike to work. Make art in the streets.
Feed people without a license.
Go to city council meetings.
Sit in at the state House and Senate.
Wear a purple boa. Don't apologize for your presence.
Write love letters to mothers and fathers in prison.
To the wardens, the police officers, the judges.
Write love letters to queer kids and their bullies.
Tell them you are staying here for THEM.
Kiss a Republican on the cheek.
Show them how to love someone you don't understand.
DO SOMETHING with that tight fist.
That broken heart.
That liberal mouth.
Progress is a series
of small bold moves.
Don't leave.
Here is where
we need you.


I've been trying to find the words to describe an experience I had yesterday. I've said it a few times over in my mind, but I haven't figured out how to begin. Oh well....

A little after three o'clock yesterday afternoon, just as I was preparing to go to the park, one of our few-blocks-away neighbors who has three little girls all around my girls' ages rang the doorbell. Her oldest daughter and Cora always like to play together when we see one another at the park, and she said that her daughter had been asking to play with Coco, and she asked if she could stay and play for about 30 minutes. I obliged. I even gave her 45 because I had some people coming to give me an estimate on trimming our trees.

She went and came back in about 40 minutes. We'd played a bit and eaten popcorn. Her daughter made a number two, so I got to take care of some extra business. All was good.

This is the part I don't know how to say exactly right. This lady is gorgeous, or like major potentially gorgeous. She has what I can only describe as meth mouth. I think she's also potentially really smart, and while she seems with-it, something is always off. She seems a little too with-it to be on something, and a little too not with-it to not be. But she's always really nice. Even if she does smoke at the park, and occasionally yell obscenities at the park when her youngest little girl gets out of the van and starts making a bee-line for the street. Or when she says the "s-word" in my house in front of my girls promptly followed by a mouth cover up gesture when describing the feeling you have when you're about to give birth.

So yes, she was telling me the stories of each of her daughters' births, which also leads me to add Amazonian to the list of words to describe her. She had her third daughter at home on the bedroom floor. Her babies come fast. In the midst of these stories, she went into the bathroom because her second daughter had a number 2 accident in her panties. This is where the extra weirdness began.

She got the poop out of her panties and threw it in the trash can next to the toilet. All right, whatever. I've thrown poop away without thinking about it once or twice when Magnolia was rockin' her cloth diapers (like little bitty poop). She puts her on the toilet to finish taking care of business and her youngest daughter has to go potty. She sits on our little training toilet. It goes off without a hitch until it comes time to pour it in the toilet. She pours it behind her other daughter and it gets on the toilet seat. Whatev again. We're just talking. Then her second daughter falls into the toilet. She pulls her out and grabs my hand towel to dry her off. The moment I saw the poopy streaks on my towel was the moment I stopped thinking "whatev," and started thinking about sanitizing my bathroom. She didn't flush the tinkle when we left the bathroom, "If it's yellow, let it mellow." right? How green...

We went back to the living room, her daughter numero dos went back into my girls' room. I was asking her what she did before becoming a mother, "I can't believe I'm going to tell you this, but I was a dancer." I didn't even ask what kind of dancer, but I quickly found out when she started talking about her moral code and stage name. I am not surprised, and I am reveling in this conversation because it is no ordinary one. I asked her if she stopped when her oldest daughter was born, and she said she took some time off, but stopped dancing for good when she was six months pregnant with her second daughter.

My world is a rockin', and I was so disappointed when our conversation was interrupted by another accident. Same daughter, major poopage. Apparently she wasn't quite finished and was too promptly taken off the pot when she fell in earlier. Her mom is working on getting her out of her clothes. There is a big piece of poop on the hand towel on the floor. I'm handing over wipes as fast as I can to get her cleaned up. The poop went in the toilet when I was getting some clean undies for the little girl. Her mom is washing her hands and says, "You know some things shouldn't embarrass you, but they still do."

This is where I feel like a Jerky McJerkerson. It wasn't about the poop, well the accident part, but all I could think about was how there was poop on a hand towel that was on my floor, and was now on my pajamas that I hadn't moved out of the bathroom from after my shower earlier that morning. I was nice. I was reassuring, I mean, hello! I'm a mom, too. I just wanted to clean my bathroom. She was sort of trying to gather children, sort of trying to talk still.

I was getting mixed messages, so I just started telling her girls that I was so glad they got to come over and hoping they could come again soon. She was running from room to room trying to gather her youngest two. I told her I was glad she came and then she sort of laughed and said something about me trying to get rid of them, and I felt extra bad because I thought she was trying to leave, and because YES, I wanted to clean my bathroom, and I wish I wouldn't have been thinking about that, but legit, now instead of just numero uno in my bowl, she'd rinsed the poo out of the panties and didn't flush that.

I was being selfish, still kind, but my mind was being impatient. They eventually left. All told from when she dropped her oldest daughter off, they'd been there for about an hour and a half. When they left, I pulled out the big guns, my big ol' jug of bleach that I never use.

Bless this woman's heart. I think she's interesting. Her girls are cute as cute can be and her oldest is really sweet. She calls ideas "ideals." She likes to share her ideals with me, and I like to listen to them. I used the first one she ever shared with me around Christmas time (let your kids pick out the wrapping paper they want Santa to wrap presents in, leave it out a few days before Christmas and his elves come and pick it up for him to use - then they get to see it on Christmas day). When she walked into my house (this was their first time inside) she said she had "ideals" like this (about some of my decorations), but just needed to get her house cleaned up to do them. I dropped her daughter off one evening after she left her with me at the park, and her house was so bad. I didn't even go in, but I could see through the windows and the smell was, whoa. It's like who could this so gorgeous, smart woman with beautiful children and so full of "ideals" be if she was living up to her full potential? If she knew what she was capable of? Why is it that I can be intrigued by all of her idiosyncrasies, but very nearly repulsed when they cross the threshold of my home, namely my bathroom? [But PTL that it was the bathroom not my girls' room.]

I don't know the answer. But I do know that I want to be friends with her.

On the mend...sort of...I hope.

My body has been in bad shape for the last two weeks. Tomorrow will be the actual two week mark that I hurt my foot. I went to see my friend and owner of Knight Wellness Center on Monday. She adjusted my bone back in place, we worked out a wellness routine, I got homework, etc. My foot felt better, still sore, but less painful. I started coughing a little that night. No biggie. 

I got up the next morning, felt fine, and then just before I left for yoga, I felt like I hit a brick wall, you know that heavy, achy all over sick feeling? That was me, but it didn't come on gradually. I refused to miss yoga. I got the girls loaded up, I drove a few blocks, and then decided to turn around to go back home, but Cora wanted to go. So I surged on, turned back around twice, and finally, when I was all the way in Bethany, about to turn on the street of my destination, I turned around for good and drove the 8 miles back home. The magic of the ride was that Magnolia had fallen asleep. I hooked Cora up with a movie, put Magnolia in bed, and I crashed. It was seriously a miracle that Magnolia stayed in bed. I woke up in time to make some lunch and get Cora to school. I felt better, so Magnolia and I ran a few errands. 

By the time the evening rolled around, I was out of commission again. Every part of my body hurt, I was freezing, but I didn't have a fever. I put my trusty OCU hoodie on and went to bed right after the girls went to bed. I stayed in that hoodie all night and didn't take it off once the next day. I only left the house to take Cora to school. If anyone would have come up to our car, they would have smelled the Vick's emanating from my skin. 

On Thursday, I had my "yearly exam." I scheduled it several months before because I actually wanted to get in with my doctor rather than his NP. I wasn't going to miss it, but I could hardly move. When I got out of bed, I heaved up some junk, but I was so happy I didn't pass out. I made it to my appointment. My doctor took mercy on my and wrote me a prescription for a z-pak to help with the sinus infection that the initial virus had evolved into.

Somewhere in all of it, my foot had started hurting again. I went in on Friday for another adjustment. My bone was still where it should have been, so the chiropractor recommended seeing a foot specialist if it started hurting again after she adjusted it. It felt great until this afternoon. We took a walk around out neighborhood after dinner, and the pain was right up there if not worse than it's ever been. I'm going to give it a few days in hopes that it's a fluke. This is a majorly major bummer.

On the bright side: She also worked some magic on my sinuses and immune system. I'm feeling so much better every other way. YES! One of the most unfortunate things is that mothers don't get sick days. We need them. In the spirit of feeling better, I made dinner. Jake found the recipe and added it to our weekly menu. I was skeptical at first, but it was SOOOO GOOD! I have more-favorite-er mashed sweet potato recipes, but the black eyed peas 'n greens. They're knock-your-socks-off good.

Hottie Black Eyed Peas with Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Apples from the Post Punk Kitchen

Making this made me feel all Southern cook-like, which is a big deal because I'm horrible at frying things. Mostly things that require some sort of breading and frying. Fried okra, really. I've tried and tried and tried. I've had two lessons even. Two lessons for the fry-it-up master, Meemaw. And still, no. But dang it, I made beans and greens, and that means something!


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