My pretty foot.

My pretty foot.

All the way around to my ankle.

All the way around to my ankle.

These were done by Daphne.

Yep. They were among her first attempts at even doing any sort of henna tattooing.

This all came about because of my sweet sister.

At the beginning of our Sisters Retreat Weekend, we are asked to stand up and announce to the Circle who we are, and what we bring to the community. Some women respond with, I’m a massage therapist. Others say, I’m really good at listening. I spoke of my own truths and talents. Daphne’s response was: I’m Daphne, and I’m not good at anything. I don’t have any talents.
😦

My sisters strove to change her mind on that. And Saturday morning one sister asked Daphne to put a mandala on her belly. She, like many of us, know about Daphne’s talent for free-handed drawings of mandalas. She brought some henna and told Daphne to decorate. So she did. After all, even Daphne knows not to speak back to one of her aunts. LoL

Beautiful henna - made even more so by the little boy inside.

Beautiful henna – made even more so by the little boy inside.

I am so grateful to her, and the others, who encouraged my child. To the ones who complimented her talents. To her for decorating my own foot and ankle. I feel so ubber pretty with my decorations. The only direction I gave her was to start at my big toe, and end around my ankle area. I think that she did an amazing job. I am looking forward to more of her talents being displayed upon my body.

At the end of the weekend, we are asked to give our thoughts on our experiences. Daphne said, “I’m grateful that I now know what my talent is.”

((*BIG MOMMA SIGH*))

Another 4th of July – another cold day in Sacramento. LoL

It’s so funny, that people here think that it’s hot. And it is over 100*. But it feels chilly to me. The temps are only in the 80’s and 90’s at home, but it’s hotter there.

Elise and I did a great job today with our teamwork. We managed to get Tim dialyzed and still cooked up Macaroni salad and Potatoe salad. As well, as breakfast and some communications with people in the world, via email accounts. We rock!

Boogie and her entourage showed up around 7pm, just in time for our Shrimp and Chicken kabobs. Elise and I had fun with a countertop of veggies and skewers. Tim did his best to not laugh at us too much.

Colin, the master of fireworks gave us a spectacular show. I was part of the pre-show entertainment, by throwing on long pants, under my dress; and Tim’s large jacket. Hello… it was dropping down below 70*!

The piece de resistance – The Birthday Cake that Elise got for the occasion.

Love my friends' sense of humor.  And it was lemon... which is sooo yummy with the fresh raspberries.

Love my friends’ sense of humor. And it was lemon… which is sooo yummy with the fresh raspberries.

I love these new traditions that we are creating. My Western Family. *sigh*

The Great American Camp Out!!!

Happy 16th to you, my Sweet daughter!

NeNe,
I love you.

Thank you for choosing to be born, and to walk around on this planet. You simply amaze me with your strength… The lessons that you have chosen to learn, in this lifetime would freak out the strongest adults I know. You blow them all away.

I’ve watched you grow and change so much in the last year. You are no longer my little girl. No longer content to just climbing up in my lap and letting me sooth away all of the pains that you have. Physically you are the one who is larger, and when you allow me to hug you; your arms wrap around my body and hold me to your chest – instead of the other way around. *sigh* You are a great hugger.

I am proud of how you’re finding your footing and becoming more of a leader within your ROTC group. You may not think it’s a big deal, but I know differently. You will treat them fairly, because you’re always wanting everything to be in black and white. Not just with the rules, but with everyone you are in contact with.

You also took the first step – or the first wheel – this past year into adulthood. Teaching you to drive a car has taught me new meanings to my lessons of learning to not always be in control. I’d still love to see you give a bit more leeway to the car in front of you. But you’ll have to learn that lesson for yourself one day. I pray that it’s one with very little physical or emotional damage. LoL

Happy Birth… day my sweet girl.
Mom

Dear Bronwyn,

My sweet youngest daughter. So brave and so full of fire. You’re turning your world upside-down and striving to find your place here in our family, and in your circle of friends, and the world. You faced adversity this year, in learning some pretty hard lessons. But you managed them with a grace that speaks to the age of your soul.

When you didn’t make the cheerleading squad this year, you took the time you needed and honored your feelings of disappointment. Yet you never lashed out at anyone else, or blamed anyone else for the situation. You even took responsibility for the decision, knowing that because you hadn’t been there competing along side the other girls in the football season, you were not as honed up as they were.

Your sisters, and you, did a lot of soul searching and growing up this year; coming to terms with the divorce of your parents. It broke my heart to watch you making some pretty difficult choices. Trying to find that balance between hating the situation, and loving both your dad and me. Not to mention, truly understanding the reasons of why we chose this path for our family, and accepting the truths of the situation.

I love you my darling. So I won’t even go into a whole bunch of details on your blossoming into a woman. With all of its challenges and responsibilities. Just know that I am so grateful that you chose me to be born too. That you allowed my body to be the vessel to usher you into this world. That you allow me to guide your growing up, as you choose your own path of beauty to walk.

Thank you for choosing to be born.
My love and blessings upon you, as you’ve blessed me.
Mom

My 3 beautiful daughters.

My 3 beautiful daughters.

And the last of my daughters has come into her womanhood.

Tonight I was contemplating the energy in the house, while I was tending to my own personal needs. My daughters were moving about, talking, sharing things, settling into their night patterns, finding a phone, finishing up homework, right along side of me. Russell was off in the living room, watching his SpongeBob show. All was right with my home. When I realized that something was off. Not the first time of course. But enough that I asked them, as they were passing by, and going about their lives: Okay, who went into moon?

Daphne mentioned that she had just finished up. And we were noting that she is in more regular pattern now. Which makes her feel better. And worries me less. Then said in the end, “Yeah, right along with Bronwyn.”

Bronwyn then started laughing about it. As if she were teasing me about it. “Yep. Just finished up.”

I thought that she was joking and told her that she must have been. They went on laughing, knowing that they had gotten one over on Mom. They had hidden the fact that Bronwyn came into her Moon – 2 months ago!

2 months ago.

I finished up my personal needs, and bantered with the 3 of them about this. Rebecca calling Bronwyn out on the fact that she was using her sister’s things, without telling her. Rebecca felt better, knowing why now. Daphne was the only one who knew, but only a couple of days after the fact. Seems that Bronwyn didn’t want anyone to know at all. 😦

I would shout it from the rooftops, but I can’t. The most I get is to journal about it here, and my feelings regarding this part of their growing up. I guess its better than I handled Rebecca’s, when I secretly texted the females in my family, and told them to come and read about it. I won’t be doing that with Bronwyn. So it will be slim, to unlikely that anyone will know about this very special time, that occurred nearly 2 months ago.

When I came into mine, I learned it by accident from reading a book by Judy Blume. I was shocked to find out that the reality of her books, dated from the 60’s, were so different than the reality of the 80’s. I was expecting a party. Maybe a special mother and daughter luncheon with a shopping trip to Bloomindale’s for my own special belt. Preferably one with bows and lace on it. Instead on the 1st day of the 7th grade; the 1st day of Jr. High School, at a new school, 2 months after my 12th birthday; I’m screaming for my mom to come to the bathroom. Her complete response, was to leave, then come back shortly with a box of Tampons, and said: “There’s directions in the box.” Thus ending our extensive talk about the birds and bees, and all that ‘womanly’ stuff.

I wanted differently for my daughters. I wanted them to know from the get-go that this was magical. Special. Awesometastic. I wanted them to at least be proud of their changes. To be happy, along with accepting, about them.

I pulled Bronwyn into my bedroom. We sat on my bed, and began to have a talk about her body’s changes. She was as cooperative as her sisters had previously been. Which was like pulling blood from a stone, instead of her flowering body. Eventually I pulled the “You can have this conversation with me, or you can have it with your Dad” card. She opened her mouth, and talked about the responsibilities that come with her Moon blood… the monthly birthing process… a hazard of becoming pregnant… and how there was nothing wrong, ugly, or icky about her body. Not even this part of her body.

I asked her if she wanted to have a Moon celebration. She declined that part too.
She, like her sisters before her, didn’t want me to know. Doesn’t want a party. Or a ceremony. Doesn’t want to have anything special occur. Doesn’t want to be a women. Doesn’t want to belong to this part of our circle. Doesn’t want to grow up.

So while none of my daughters feel happy about this part of their growth cycle, and none of them feel special, or want to celebrate it. At least they do allow me to have 1 small talk with them this, and agree to come and talk with me in the future about it.

Today is MY Holiday.

I have loved Valentine’s Day since grade school. Other people liked Christmas or Thanksgiving. I liked Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, its great to get presents. To eat a big meal. To spend time with your family. I liked decorating my tissue box in class. The one for holding all of my love notes. I cherished those little notes. Looking at them, even when Valentine’s day became Easter, Mother’s Day, and my birthday.

Yep. The one day of the year when everyone had to tell you that they loved you. It was the rule. You couldn’t skip over anyone in class. You had to give EVERYone a love note. Even the geeky, teacher’s daughter, who wore glasses (then glasses and braces), who sat in the back row with all of the other boys, cause of alphabetical order.

Then there was years as I got older, when the love notes were sent via a friend, or secretly directly into my locker. Some of them were not kind. A couple of them were. I held onto the latter ones.

There was the year that I met my ex-husband… and while last year was hard for me to reconcile my love for Valentine’s Day, this year it is not. I’ve decided to reclaim my favorite holiday. It was my holiday before I met him, and will be years from now. After all my own orenda speaks of this holiday. How can I stop loving the holiday that was named for me?

I am Love… and this is my holiday. My wish for everyone is to”

❤ Love one another, be kind to one another. This is my Valentine's wish for you. Let your love show through your actions. ❤