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New header for new times

Posted by on 24 Feb 2014 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, house building, stidmama, Uncategorized

I am going to be making a few changes as the house starts to reach its conclusion (they taped and mudded the walls today). I have realized that my page that tracked the development of the plants and yard needs some re-thinking. A rethink-reconfiguration-replacement will go up this Summer (sooner if I have time on my Spring break).

But first, I thought a new banner for the front page was in order. For several years I have had a rotating banner up. But, as I am anticipating a new year with the return of the lovely native lilies (trillium grandiflora) I decided to make those a feature on the website for now. The banner you see is from the Spring of 2011.

We have ordered the tile for the master bathroom. This weekend, I hope to go buy the paint I want for the bathrooms. High-gloss enamel stands up better to wet conditions than standard latex gloss paints, so I am looking at options for that… so many things to consider. Little things I forgot seem to be adding up quickly. NOT making major changes, just things like how much GROUT for tiles will cost! Or remembering I will need to prime certain things before I paint. And realizing I have to wait for a while to paint because the plaster from the taping needs to cure for about 30 days.

*Impatient mama look*

At least things at school seem to be going well!

Repost: 2009 “Writer Profile”

Posted by on 23 Oct 2012 | Tagged as: musings, parenting, stidmama, teaching, Uncategorized, writing

I wrote this for the class I took called Ecology of Language and Place. It was posted on April 13, 2009. Although I would rework it some today, the essence of the piece is fairly intact. I was actually looking for something else, and discovered that the class blog was still active! Here is a link to the original, I believe you can get to other things I wrote at that time through this.
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Children are a Joy…. (yeah, right)

Posted by on 07 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: caring, children, editorial, Family Matters, Gardens and Life, good things, hope, Making a Difference, parenting, stidmama, Uncategorized

Here’s a “bah-humbug” post for the season. Consider it my cynical attempt to help control the world’s population.

I know many young people who think children are fun, cuddly, adorable. Basically like teddybears that you get to dress up and take out in public.

Here’s a warning: they don’t stay small and easily controlled for long.
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A New Story Idea

Posted by on 17 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: Babble, friends, fun, pirates, stidmama, storytime, Uncategorized, writing

When Dr. Nut asked me to write a pirate story, I said “sure thing” without giving it a thought. After several days of trying to get my ideas to gel, I was about to give up. But Nut is tenacious… so I finally finished it and she put it on Babblecast for your listening enjoyment. It’s about 20 minutes’ worth of pure silliness.

I have also put it on this site, under the Stories section. You can read The Valiant Valkyrie in its entirety — and future sequels — here!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you.

This is interesting… ~a site that rates blogs

Posted by on 14 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: stidmama, Uncategorized

I can’t remember how I came across this website,, but I visited it yesterday, entered this site in and within a day they had given me a pretty good rating! You can surf away from the page that highlights my blog to look at entire categories, rated and ranked.

I am in the “Stay at Home Mom” category, though there are probably several I might have easily fit into, with my eclectic tastes.

Below is the official rating scale… perhaps in future I will see what I can do to improve my blog. In the meantime, I will keep on with what obviously works…

Rate this Blog at Blogged

For comparison, here is a blog that received the highest possible rating, TechCrunch, and one that appeals to me just on the basis of being a subject I enjoy (rating 9.3) – This Garden is Illegal.

Finally, the worst blog they ranked that I could find… 4.8: Haute Talk. Perhaps it’s just too pink for them? Or just not updated recently…


Posted by on 25 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: books, education, friends, fun, stidmama, Uncategorized, wordplay, words, writing

Like a challenge? How about adventure, romance, thrills and chills? Aspire to be/do/say something a bit more than the average?

November is National Novel Writing Month. I think I will give this a try. I managed to write a chapter in the BabbleStory today… 978 words in one hour. How hard can 50,000 words be?

Thank you, LiveJournal for the timely announcement to your users’ list!

If you want to join me, please let me know and we can keep each other company!

A new me?

Posted by on 06 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: art, stidmama, Uncategorized

I wanted a font that represents me exactly. So, a little rough around the edges (and only one of the letters actually “done-ish”), here is my new icon. Themes and variations will appear eventually.

a pretty pink, oh-so-me! letter S

additional notes: I also wanted to change the colors on the page, today (October 7) I have added a pink border, and the large “S” logo. Why pink? Well, in the rest of my life, I am surrounded by practical things:  by my family of boys-and-man, by brown dirt, gray skies, dark green trees and a bit of blue sky when I am lucky. I figured this was the place for me to re-assert my feminine side!

Missions accomplished, and some on hold

Posted by on 16 Sep 2007 | Tagged as: musings, stidmama, Uncategorized

Never quite sure what sort of categories posts like this belong to.  Oh well…

I feel very good about my activities the last couple weeks.  I researched and designed a bulletin board for the local school which is going to do a “One Book One Community” project on the AH MO book, a collection of stories recorded by Judge Arthur E. Griffin (died 1947) and edited by his great-grandson, Trenholme Griffin.  The school and the local tribe are collaborating to provide the children of our community a very real gift:  the gift of knowing the history of place.  Children who are tribal members will see their own history reflected in the school this year, the way that I, growing up in Virginia, saw mine  [ only as an adult did I learn I had ancestors who walked the streets of historic cities before, during and after the formation of my country].  Children who descend from the first European and American settlers may have a greater appreciation for the challenges their forebearers faced.  And children who are more recent transplants will have a handle on the culture and lifestyles of the people who were here long ago.

I am also helping pull together a pamphlet/flyer; coordinating and inviting some of the people who will be involved; and may end up teaching an art class (this would be fun for me, if work) later in the year for children after school.  We’ll see about that last…  I might enlist a friend who is a certified teacher to lend that idea some merit in the eyes of the decision-makers.  Today I got the last of the bulletin board ready to go, and printed out the first draft of the flyer.

I am doing good work in Mother’s classroom also.  Her children this year are a delightful group…  if only there weren’t 26 of them!  Still, with two of us there the kids are getting enough time and monitoring — already they are beginning to settle in.  I know that as the year progresses the routines will be familiar enough that I won’t be needed, but I also know that every moment these kids spend with a caring, safe adult is a gift — and every small thing that is caught because there is an extra set of eyes in that room will help.  Though I don’t want to be a teacher, I really think I want to consider working in the schools full-time at some point.  And I really see in action the effect that over-full classes can have, and how the presence of just one extra adult can mitigate some of that.

Well, with all my “doings” I am seeing a trend, one which I had predicted:  Yes, I can work outside the home and be reliable and productive!  No, I can’t seem to get anything else done on the days I am promised away from home.  The boxes in the office still need sorting.  The mail and papers are piling up on my desk because I don’t have the energy to decide where they belong.  The yard is even less kempt than before.  The days I don’t “work” I spend a lot of time napping.

And I am feeling good about it.  The boys and Tom are picking up the pieces that are important.  The other pieces can rest and wait.  As my body adjusts to the new schedule I may begin to have more energy when I am at home.  Or not.  Either way, we will have more data to evaluate how I should go about achieving what I want within the context of being part of the family.

Hoping all your endeavors will be succesful!

Just in Time for School!

Posted by on 04 Sep 2007 | Tagged as: children, school, social justice, stidmama, Uncategorized, weather

Yep, you guessed it…


This is the first day of school for my mother — and for the first time in years, truly for me. I leave in 12 minutes to help in her classroom.

I haven’t had jitters like this in a long time…

Still, I love doing what I will be doing, working in her classroom, giving the children the extra attention they need – and deserve – but for which the school district either can’t or won’t pay. 27 children (as of yesterday) were assigned to her class. Not unusual in middle school or high school, but unreasonable in a first grade classroom without extra aides in the building.

Of course, this is a volunteer position, and less than half-time. About 12 hours a week, I expect. Not too stressful or strenuous, but a good chance to see how I hold out after so long.

And on the first day of school… rain.

Tomorrow is my children’s first day. I won’t be here to see them off to school, but Tom will. It is possible it will rain tomorrow also, probable that it will at least be cloudy.

I think rain on the first day of school isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It lets the kids be a little less antsy about the sun and all the things they could have been doing at home in the yard, riding their bikes or climbing trees.

But this summer has been SO DREARY the local paper even took notice. Take a look at the actual statistics for days of sun or rain/clouds toward the bottom of the article. Not one of the three months were even halfway sunny!

No wonder my flowers are less than enthusiastic and all the berries less sweet…

But today: School! I will pack up my flowers for the teacher and head out in a few minutes.

Wish me luck!

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Eventful Weekend

Posted by on 03 Sep 2007 | Tagged as: children, Family Matters, friends, fun, good things, pirates, stidmama, storytime, Uncategorized

Well! What a lot can happen in a few days on a long weekend! The in-laws came around for a visit, and unlike their often whirlwind in-and-out, they stayed overnight nearby! YIPPEE! I like to spend time with them, but living on the other side of the mountains, and with them going away most vacations we have… well we don’t see them very often. Arriving Friday afternoon, we had supper out, then they, Tom and the elder kid went to said kid’s first high school football game…. he plays in the band. I went home with the other kid and we just “hung out” for the evening.

Here are the two boys, joking around with the little plastic football their father caught at the game (I wonder what happened to my old football? probably enjoyed by a dog sometime in the last 27 years…). You can see on the TV what we were doing when the fellows came in!

kid holding plastic football

Next Day, we tootled on into town to the Farmer’s Market, acquiring a few pics. Here is the paternal side of the stidfamily….

Stidkid#1 and #1 Grandpa:

kid and grandpa discussing camera

The boys with their grandfather:

kids and grandpa

Me, with the kids and inlaws — my mother in law is in profile, but the one that showed her well didn’t show the kids as well…

stidfamily missing stidhat

A pic of the “stidstuds”… look at the “wings” on the youngest!

four stid guys

And then the grandstids were off, and the rest of us wandered over toward the water. I had seen a few pirates in the market while we were there… And sure enough — not only pirates, but some of the Tall Ships were in port for Harbor Days! Of course, I had completely forgotten that it was this weeked, but it explained the difficulty we had finding parking!

We sat and listened to one pirate singing chanties while we drank some mango juice, then the fellas wandered up to the top of the observation tower while I waited, enjoying the music and the people.

Here is our town, looking south at the Capitol building from the edge of the actual port:

the state capitol building

Here are the fellas, enjoying the view:

the boys on the observation tower

And here I am… the lovely bouquet was $8 from Dan’s Dahlias. The man who runs it got his start selling dahlias as a child younger than my boys are now, to build his college fund. He now (after graduating many years ago) sells both the flowers and the tubers (those are available through his website) and is full of great information and advice for the hobby gardener like me.

me, from the observation platform

We ran into several people while we were downtown on Saturday… including stidkid#1’s first trumpet teacher! This young man was in high school when our budding trumpeter seemed to be ready for lessons (at age 8). Though he hadn’t taught anyone before, he was the perfect first teacher… and I think they had fun. Now, he is all grown up (just like Dan of the Dahlias), and finishing work on his second Master’s degree!

Here he is, with the boys on Sunday.

trumpeter, trumpeter, trombonist

And finally, though hardly very important…

I have a new project going, reading the Babble Story aloud for the website. I have the introduction (called “cover”) and a couple chapters done as of yesterday, will try to get more today as I am relatively immobile and trying to rest up for the busy four days this week. I will put a review of the two software/freeware things I found to help me at LiveJournal.

Tomorrow, I start my year-long project, helping my mother in her classroom. It will also be an experiment of sorts, to see if the kids leave the house standing if they are allowed to have an entire morning unsupervised…

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