Spring Gardeners! Start Your Engines!

The last couple of weeks have been rather ‘surreal’ as I play out seeing delayed, maybe never delivered orders placed around first of March hang up in limbo – all while the ‘forecasted blizzards/snow’ just really haven’t panned out, here, AND a graze of green growing prairie grasses have really just taken off in the past two weeks and I realize – if we don’t get a few more spring storms – alas, I’m already behind the curve/8-ball, if you will – – thinking I was ‘playing it safe’ by not diving in on gardening purchases/activities during our usual “Fake Spring” weather – –

I drove 100 miles round trip today, to stop at 3 places, to pick up supplies, for those who let me order online, pay and pick up OR those who never stop with emails telling me ‘to order now!” then announce ‘delivery/order online & pickup options” changes their website some Sunday afternoon and the order I spent hours… no, days…to get infrastructure in place items, as I looked at what I could afford, played out in face of runs on stores, hoarding, transportation/inventory delays, whatever –

I missed the ‘buying boat’ on some things, and ‘caught the boat on others’ by showing up – but seriously? Switching to ‘in-store’ only purchases instead of just saying, “out of stock, sorry Charlie’ had me grousing yesterday afternoon – what, they gonna check my ID to see if I’m a local or what?

This is for TOP SOIL in bag size I can throw around by me self to load/unload/put in place – mind you –

Sigh –

And so, I rather got ‘er done today, via online, visit another store that doesn’t have online/pick up in store, but was on the way and WALLA! Scored without wiping out stock for others, and one more stop to ‘pick up online’ order that had one only, instead of the 2 I was allowed to get, or smaller size/higher price substitution, of same thing, for those little luxuries that haven’t run out completely yet – like cheese, baking soda, milk, raisins and mustard…to name a few…

Guess I can let go of my A1 steak sauce preference –

Since couldn’t find where I stopped (limit stops, just get what you really need, or think ya need…) I will learn to either make homemade that I like, or go without – seriously, I’ve been told for years given the good meat I get from local ranchers, that putting A1 on it is just a crying shame and I should be flogged over the blasphemy – and yet, I can’t quite just work myself up to take a swig of it straight from the bottle when the ‘craving hits’ – so – there ya go –

I’ve learned how to live without Mike & Ikes, on purpose, I can do this, out of necessity, me thinks – 🙂

Did I get everything I wanted?

Nope, but that’s okay – I got what I really wanted to build for future local food operations – like right out my kitchen door….

Did I leave some ‘luxuries’ in the shopping cart, while assessing budget needs? Yup –

I bought 1 box of generic Ginger Snaps and 1 pack of Oreos – one for me, one for the man-child, as…yup, I’m rather busy wanting to do other things, have never really gotten the hang of baking cookies in the toaster oven (long ago, I had a full range and one day every 3 months or more was given over to ‘cooking baking, freezing for future desires/school thingees no one let me know about until 11 pm the night before operations…).

I didn’t hoard, I didn’t buy bulk, I paid more for the substituted smaller size, and yet, still spent less money because the time between putting in the cart, placing the order, and then going to actually pick it up meant quite a few things were substituted and/or no longer available –

Okey dokey – but I got what I needed – top soil to mix with stuff I already have, to build new garden beds –

So in my world, it’s the top soil, responsibly made, near crisis of Spring 2020. Or perhaps the baking powder/cream of tartar crisis? Who knows – but – alas, I needed to restart and maintain a sourdough starter anyhoo – so there ya go – 🙂

Now for the FUN stuff!

Spring has Sprung in the past two weeks –

I arrived home with a few t-posts, a small roll of garden area fencing, and top soil to mix with compost/local offerings, hoarded supplies of cardboard that no one else wanted anyhoo, so I can get ‘going’ on finishing out the south side ‘cottage garden’ area – –

As I walked around to assess stockpiles of straw bales, wood mulch (local), cardboard that has weathered in the destroyed ‘insta-shed’ that had a ‘big hunk of dead tree removal fall on it a couple of years ago….), I found myself walking right back into the house to grab my camera – because a fellow blogger, Green Bench Ramblings, sparked my ‘oh, why don’t I do that more regularly’ creative spirit with his post sharing his garden journal/how he does it.

And so, I give you, the Colorado End of March, 2020, Journal….

The Bad

First injury of the garden fiscal year was incurred today – was busy loading/bucking bales/sacks of top soil to mix with local compost stuff to build new beds over cardboard sheet mulching (instead of fighting durable, deep rooted prairie grasses for seasons to come) and promptly ripped off a ‘too long for summer time’ nail about 1/2 into the quick –

Alas, this kind of stuff is like paper cuts to me, as in my shock over how it happens, when I notice it happened AND the level of blood and/or pain that occurs on such little things – sigh – –

Here’s the photo montage of winter nail growth while I’ve worked in computer land/not spent as much time in essential oil concoctions and how bad I am at doing manicures on me self – scroll on by, if you wish, cuz, yes, given the before, injury, after pictures for getting ready to spring, as I resized them for upload across slower rural internet, I was rather shocked to see how awful my cuticles, callouses, and skin condition was overall-

Ahh well – still not bad enough for me to want to carve out hours of time and/or $ for supplies/professional to do regular ‘manicures’, that could be better spent on other things I notice everyday – not stuff I notice once every 5 years when I actually take a picture of how I’ve injured me working hands – AGAIN!

Winter Growth of Nails with no babying/support from me, cuz, um, yeah, I don’t think about it until taking pics to ‘report’ – sigh – –

And, I promptly managed to injure myself just ‘getting supplies’ –

I arrived home with an aching finger, blood on the left leg of my old ‘going to town to load supplies’ jeans and ahhh…..to little douses of straight Lavender oil later? Much, Much better……better than those papercuts from office work/filling – who knew papercuts were so painful? When they slice your dry, unkempt cuticles? (Yup, I’ve lived this way for years!

That long ‘ring finger nail’ got ripped right in half, bled like a stuck pig,

Ta-Da! Nails now prepared for Spring/Summer Operations and not sticking out like something that is just waiting, WAITING I tell ya, to stick out like a ‘sore thumb’ –

Nails clipped short – no I didn’t do manicure or file them, they were clipped over trashcan in bathroom and I moved on to more important/interesting things – – 🙂

The Good

Ahh…what a difference two-weeks AND no spring blizzards/severe cold fronts make – all around me, stuff poking it’s head out to ‘greet spring temps/gear up for summer’ – – Puhlease, Mother Nature, deal with these babies and elders as kindly as you can, will ya?

(Yes, I mulch in place by not cleaning up in the fall – this spring stuff keeps holding on and the forecast declares “winter really, rather over” I’ll clear out and either mulch in place or put in the compost bin those too tall/didn’t fall over to the ground by themselves, thingees, to clear the ‘sky’ for new babies – just not yet – those same things rather blunt the brunt of cold winds, blowing snow, etc., and new ‘garden babies’ for this year just seem to survive better if they have last year’s elders standing guard around them – –

That said, yes, you are free to call me out on my lazy gardening ways – I confess it and you might as well have the satisfaction of saying it outloud…too! 😀

The Spring Line-Up

Poplar

Poplar on West side of house that I’ve trimmed back, but not ‘trained/pruned’ to be a mighty truck with sky high branches – nope, it provides more west winds coverage if I just let it do it’s own thing – the buds are on the branch –

Lilac

Grandmama Lilac that’s probably been growing for over 50+ years and provides babies to dig up and transplant to other areas on the place in need of winter gales protection for…um…lest strong of character, thingees (so many vegetables sold in the store are really, rather a pain in the arse to get to maturation/harvest, here without waiting on them hand and foot like they were divas or superstars…..). Buds here too – how I love lilacs – don’t preserve them, nothing – just greet with joy their beautiful leaves, and, if Mother Nature kind that spring, their short-lived but oh so fragrant blossoms – –

Sedum

The long ago ‘free, take it, it will die’ clearance table sedum offering is still going strong – should I go back to store to pay the $1.75 I saved by boldly plucking it up and taking it through checkout with me? Nah – too much book work for them is what I was told one short year after I called to say, “It’s still Living and doing well!”

Elm Volunteers Growing

The volunteer elms around the place are budding out – how many of them have grown to provide shade/heat/drying wind protection now they aren’t getting mowed down 2-3 times a month – Alas, a neighbor opined they are siberian elms, not chinese ones, and also told me in the first (drought year) I lived here, to cut all of them down – how glad I didn’t, for they have become beloved entities that protect, and carry on, if just given a chance, and don’t whine if I cut them back here and there –

Transplanted from Mama Lilac, to north side, Lilac babies

Onion? Big Butt Garlic never harvested? Who knows – certainly not I, just now….

Yup, have no clue, but suspect this year, as I did last year…maybe the year before, too, this is a ‘never harvest, always meant to dig up/split/confirm what it is’ for the past two years – – given it’s leaves/size, I suspect it is one of the many, many ‘perennial onion’ varieties I tried planting in with the garlic roses bed on the South side of house, that never did take off – meh – it goes along doing it’s own thing, and maybe, maybe I’ll remember to ‘investigate this next fall’ –

Yup, I KNOW, this one is garlic! LOL

Nestled in between the wild roses on the west side, is the first peeps of prairie grasses/some hard weeds that poke through 3 layers of mulch – sigh – but this? The garlic I planted in fall of 2018 and haven’t ever harvested yet (except when I oopise, pull up a small one while doing spring weeding operations – – maybe this year they will be populated enough to start harvesting here and there….

Vinca Minor

Vinca minor gifted to me in August of 2013 just trucks right along with no help from me – at all – and on the North side of the house (shade, cold, etc.) Yet to appear in this ‘chillier than other places” area is the white tulip that rather got dug up and gifted to me, too, with the vinca transplant…..

Thin-leaf Yucca and Tulips

Tulips on the south side of the house are up and raring to go – no rabbits have hit yet, we shall see, however – check out the now pretty and healthier yucca plant! Yup, dug up the yellow, dying, behemoth 1 or 2 falls ago, knowing durn well I wouldn’t get it all – but probably good I didn’t try to – – Dish soap seems in short supply nowadays at stores, and well – don’t ya know, yucca roots have..um..what’s the technical term? Saponins? –

Whateves – you can mash young roots, mix with water and wash stuff with it – so glad to see it going fresh and strong once the dead stuff got dug out – 🙂

And last, but by no means least – the dry bed with no watering, no protection, etc., and home to prairie grasses, weeds blown in from miles away, etc., but don’t ya know?

The Rhubarb poking it’s head out, along with it’s neighbor irises, although they aren’t as high as the irises on the more protected, right next to the house, east side of the place – but still – Rhubarb and Irises have made their appearance!!!

Rhubarb and prairie grass native

Rhubarb and native cool-season grass – think it’s a ‘brome’ family type? On the place and unless it grows grain, all I care about is ‘it it friend or foe” and try not to get too hepped up over ripping it out, unless absolutely necessary – Prairie grasses have spent millenia figuring out how to survive drought and have long root systems – thus, I don’t worry about wiping all of it out, as long as it is playing nice with it’s neighbors that were ‘rescued from mowing’ too – 🙂

Rhubarb, first Iris of the Southern Dry bed this year…..

Another Rhubarb (one of 5 plants here) surrounded by irises – alas, despite careful searching, this western, no protection at all, dry bed, revealed only one iris feeling the need to pop out to greet the spring…

My check in update complete – hope you, your loved ones and, if you garden, your garden doing well –

Catch ya on the flip side!

P.S. – ALMOST forgot to include the pic of the rose hips (1st year of abundant fruit in 2019!)

Last fall, I harvested some for me, but also, I left about 2/3 of harvest for the birds, for winter, since I don’t spend money on birdseed, and even if I thought about it, would talk myself out of it, for I do not wish to ‘man’ the feeders when it’s winter….for the squirrels to raid….Plus, birds a plenty show up here, if I ever choose to take up birdwatching and trying to do better at remembering their names than I do plants… 🙂

Hmmm… I guess, thus far, it’s been a bountiful winter for the birds – – they haven’t gotten desperate enough for food to come pluck the berries off the the bushes I left for them – ah well – – I may try to make sun tea with the non-eaten berries and/or just let them do their own thing and see what happens – haven’t decided, just yet ….. 🙂

Whether this is do to mild winter after not as severe of drought summer OR the fact that many of my neighbors man the bird feeders, I don’t claim to know – but check out those pretty red wild rose canes with dried berries on ’em – 🙂

On the Fence and Checking In….

Given local proactive steps to be cautious in stemming spread of the latest virus to spread globally, thought I would just check in and clear my latest post being one on parenting, which I no longer am in charge of for those not of adulting-it age….

(dare I name the virus and appear to try to hit SEO searches? I think not – If you do not know of what I speak, then I’m not certain how you have avoided this information, but even more surprising is you have avoided seeing the news, social feeds AND yet, here you are reading this…..Amazing!)

I’m not a regular news follower…

At least via station daily news or cable news. Usually, if I need to know something, the local errands run to the Post Office/Store, OR here at WordPress, Or a couple of Facebook groups I’m in, ensure I don’t miss much…although, was saddened to hear I missed the news of loss of a neighbor recently and was unable to attend the funeral/celebration of life…sigh –

That said, my world of ….hermitude? Obliviousness? has been impacted by the virus of which we shall not name, in attempt to not garner folks landing here thinking updated information is available…sigh – algorithms make me nervous – – LOL

Well, my daily operations have been affected, not hugely, but still….which is rather surprising to me, although, in retrospect, totally understandable –

Here’s the list:

  • More website content work that keeps me up to date, whether I actively pursue or not, as some of my clients are public schools and one of them, along with other schools in our ‘local rural area’ are closing proactively for 16 days to deep clean and disinfect, and in hopes to stem spread possibilities now we have cases in our state (Colorado) AND Spring Break travel plans loom. Locally, we are nearing our usual Peak Period for annual seasonal flu stuff, anyhoo, so really don’t see any of it as a bad thing….
  • Since I do regular, rotating, bulk ordering from various vendors who sell the below items, I was disappointed to learn that I’ll either wait longer for orders planned for this month/quarter, to be compiled/shipped and on the fence, should I go ahead and place, in case panic/hoarding get bad? Or wait, to give my beloved small biz’s a break?
    • Dehydrated Veggies (read, prepper/survival food stores)
    • Essential Oils
    • Herbs
  • My financial teams were johnny on the spot – they let me know last week and before that about how if I would just PUHLEASE put their app on my phone, they have my back – Since I’m staying home and try to keep up on all things via desktop – I guess if things are bad enough I don’t have internet/electricity OR they don’t have personnel to handle/keep online operations going – we’ll each cross that bridge when/if it comes up
  • I spent last weekend in a hospital, while family member had surgery, in a county, where, to date, there is still only one case, due to travel, and so far, doesn’t appear any of us were ‘exposed’ – discharge came and family members all left for home about 4 hours after the first visitor restriction signs went up…
  • That said, I kept one doctor appointment (annual) upon arriving home, checked my mail and picked up a few items, but pretty much, just got home and stayed home to wait and see – proactively, as I have no reason to believe I was exposed – but why be an extrovert when I don’t have too and don’t want to be?
  • A friend’s time off from work to celebrate her birthday via a concert with friends at metro area some 2 hours from us was laid waste given concert cancellation and cases showing up in that area AND, she works at a nursing home, so she is being good, too, on limiting what she might expose herself too. Perhaps I’ll rearrange the living room, set up the vaporizer full of essential oils, set up the mini bar and tell her, if she figures I’m ‘safe bet’ on b-day celebrate pal, she can come over and I’ll play tunes and give her a spot to drink and dance – –

All that said….

I’ve already been accused of ‘not taking this seriously enough’ in various real life/online forums, which dismays me, as, I believe I’m doing my part to limit spread, not feed the ‘fires’ of panic and fear, and am well placed to fix meals and deliver to homebound neighbors should the need arise – cuz ya know, I have a freezer full of bones for broth making and buckets of dehydrated veggies for making light on the tummy foods, when folks don’t feel up to cooking for themselves – –

What else do these folks want?

Oh, and BTW – I’ve have PLENTY of Toilet Paper – I was in town for something else awhile back and needed a couple of items from Costco, and heck, while I was there, went ahead and got the TP I’d need to order in April/May, and bought extra dog food early, too, to avoid shipping charges, if I ordered online, instead of stopping by when in town anyhoo – I don’t get to ‘town’ (metro area an hour away) very often ….hermitude…saving the planet one gallon of gas/low tire wear/oil use at a time…. LOL

I have supplies for if a blizzard hits (we just got some snow showers today after nearly 2 weeks of what we locals call “Fake Spring” during which I didn’t get much sheet mulching done to ready for all the seeds I ordered in February).

I also have my emergency plans if a tornado its and quite frankly, these weather/power outage preparation things pretty much meet any ‘prepare for the pandemic’ lists posted and shared that I’ve seen – except for face masks – – sigh – I have a few in the first aid bucket – I think…or maybe in the little carry and go kit…they are somewhere – why hit the store and buy them out?

No Blizzards lately – we are due for one or more spring storms – 🙂

I also have an oobers old 1/2 left bottle of bleach (quit using some time ago and hopefully it’s still in liquid form…), rubbing alcohol, vodka, everclear and kick-your-butt moon shine stores here and there around the house – for various reasons, rarely for actually DRINKING! but, still…..

So maybe I appear ‘too laid back’ about it all – but seriously? Just by saying my thoughts out loud, to those in my circle who have survived blizzards, tornadoes, no electricity for extended periods, droughts, floods, the Dustbowl and Great Depression?

They view me as one of the ‘fearful panicking city slickers’ if I even bring up the subject – –

So as usual, I plan for the worst, hope for the best, watch it all unfold and manage to tick off or concern everyone with my apparent failure to grasp the severity of the situation…. sigh….

But, I did look at the travel restrictions map when I was putting together a quick click resource list for my clients, should they wish to put up any closure or operational delay notices – and am now thinking of my bloggy pals who reside in the countries showing up in darkk orange on the world & USA travel restrictions/notices map –

Stay safe, be well and here’s hoping you are safe at home, in peachy condition and just LOOKING for an excuse to break into the moonshine stores, for an afternoon cocktail to go with your book by the fire, or book in the garden….. :).

The same folks who roll their eyes over pandemic fears cuz they’ve lived through quite a few things, swear moderate amounts of kick-your-butt hooch kills viruses & bacteria without totally wrecking your brain or tummy – – haven’t tested on myself, so who knows?

But most of them have spent a lifetime saying, “Well, I’ll either be dead or better in six weeks, so why go see a doctor?” unless a bone needs set – 🙂

A long ago picture of the March Moon, in my neck of the woods – – yup, we have a bit more snow laying in various areas – but not much green showing up just yet ….

Does it Matter?

This morning’s news feed contained a headline reading:

“Parenting Doesn’t Matter”

Article, Daniel Engber, Slate

No, I didn’t give you a link because I didn’t click to read it mainly because:

  1. I’m no longer the parent of children young enough I am ‘in charge’ as it were and
  2. The title, itself, saddened me.

If I didn’t read, nor do I plan to read, why on earth would I link for you to go do so?!? But, the info is there, should you want to search and read it – 🙂

For all I know, it’s an article written with an eye towards getting the pendulum swing of helicopter parenting to move back towards the center of reasonableness.

The title did, however, accomplish one thing – it took me back in time to some of my favorite memories……


A long time ago, in a galaxy just over the county line, I worked as a truck stop waitress. The travel complex was one of six owned by a man who lived two states away.

The rumors and stories told to me as a new employee to be hazed, were, to my mind, beyond belief of what was allowed in workplaces in need of adhering to Fair Wage & Labor laws, but one thing was made clear to me, quickly…

The fury of the Boss could explode at any moment, so best keep your head down, do your job perfectly and hopefully, you too, might survive the visit from headquarters.

When the Boss came to town, he came by private aircraft. And piloting his plane, was J.

J was a compact man, handsome, quiet, still and peaceful. He stood in stark contrast to the legendary-for-temper Boss, who, upon arrival, strode in and headed straight for the complex manager’s office with an energy that seemed barely contained.

J, on the other hand, strolled to the back dining room, often with reading material tucked under one arm and ordered a meal or drink and settled in to wait.

The back dining room was normally closed if not needed and was a place where waitresses were allowed to take a standing smoke/coffee break, while keeping an eye on their few tables, through a slit in the folding doors, as long as such breaks weren’t abused and all your work was done.

Such little allowed ‘perks’ made up for the times when tour bus after tour bus flooded in and you spent 8 hours flying from one task to another and went home, drained, and realized in your stupor, you could quit smoking, as your last cigarette was 9 hours ago…..

I waited on J a few times during my tenure there. He always tipped, even though his meal was comped, which, in service folk land, indicates integrity and character more than a firm handshake does…

Because I was a smoker and had prepared for The Visit by spending the shifts prior making durn certain my usual rotation of deep cleaning was all done, again, whether it was needed or not, just so I wouldn’t have to witness a storm inside the building, J and I would often converse while I smoked and he waited.

As you can tell by now, this is a story about J and how talking to him, those few times, greatly impacted my parenting views.


J was well-read & educated, I imagine. I don’t remember ever conversing about his background, where he grew up, went to school or what he did before becoming a pilot….

He was more about asking questions, then listening to your story.

But should you pick any subject or further the topic he introduced via a question, you would find an enthralling conversation partner.

Philosophy, psychology, history, astrology, you name it, when J sat waiting and I could take the time for a break, well, those few conversations were memories to be saved and pressed into Ye Olde Book of Life, to withdraw and muse over later when Life meant I was in need of some companionship or advice.

Time passed, no one got fired that I recall, and then came the day when he arrived, to find me noticeably pregnant and just as noticeably, missing any jewelry on my left ring finger.

J’s eyes were compassionate, and yet, I did not sense any judgement from him as I had encountered in so many other areas of my small rural community life.

He asked open ended questions and congratulated me on cutting down to two cigarettes a day, instead of my usual pack and thought my plan to work as long as I could a good one.

He laughed over my relapse from being a vegetarian back to omnivore because the child had demanded a cheeseburger and the craving had been too hard to resist.

He chuckled over my current love of drowning just about any meal I ate with creamy Italian vinagrette or green chile and said such things were apparently providing nutrients my body needed, followed by his opinion on the virtues of both vinegar and peppers, although he expressed doubt over both sauces being combined in one concoction…

And then he asked me a question that to this day, I do not remember the question, just my reply…

“I just hope and pray I can stay out of the way enough to not mess up this perfect little soul that’s been gifted to me”

He thought it odd I should worry about such things as messing up the child and asked me why I thought such a thing? I answered,

Through observing others, talking to adult friends and hearing about their horrible childhood, so different from mine and what I observed in families around me as a child. The things that wounded me as a sensitive child and sometimes still bother me, as well as knowledge of some of the most terrible parents in the tomes of mankind’s history….

And then he did some of his ‘magic’ through either astrology, tarot or palm reading…maybe a combination of all of the above I don’t rightly remember now… and proceeded to tell me my child would be a boy, a leader among mankind and that I must be very special for such a soul to pick me, for their mother.

In short, he just said out-loud the various hopes, dreams and inner talking to most first time mothers rather give themselves, in order to get their ‘game on’ for the coming two-decades or so marathon where courage, strength and stamina are needed in order to ‘do what is before me to do’.

I thought his prediction of the child’s sex odd, as I had already told him I didn’t know the sex of the child, didn’t want to, didn’t care, just wanted it to be healthy and already had names picked out for either a boy or a girl, and was buying baby stuff in either white or variety of colors, so I’d be set, no matter what showed up.

To this day, I don’t know if J knew more about the child, me or both than I did, but he said it was so and left it at that.

I wasn’t naive enough to buy into all he said, but I was, on the inside, quietly grateful for the external-to-my-own-mind chatter, pep talk.


J left to fly the Boss back home.

I went back to waiting on tables and waiting for the miracle child to arrive.

I do believe, that was the last time J and I had a conversation.

He was right, you know. I had a boy, who became the lead cheerleader and accountability personage in his ‘teen-pack’ of peers. If the universe had told J Morgan would die young, I’m ever so grateful he didn’t tell me that day.

I never forgot what he said – and never forgot my vow, although, through stress, overwork, illness, there were times I messed up and wasn’t the calm, peaceful, sage parent I wanted to be 24/7.

I did learn, through the years, and know in hindsight….

What you do as a parent Damn Sure DOES Matter

But often, it’s more about actively working to not destroy through human failings and leadership failings, the most pure and precious little thing that landed in your charge –

Protect their body when they are too young and inexperienced to know how.

Protect their mind from the trash the world and ignorant folks want to fill it with, until they have formed their own gatekeeper. Guide them in the ways to form their gatekeeper, even on how to have a filter for you and your blind spots.

See their soul as unique and individual, not as a Mini-Me.

Run coverage, blockage or let them rest on the bench and take the field for them when they are outnumbered or outgunned and ask for help.

Let them fail early and often at the small things, so they increase their resilience and coping with disappointment skills as they mature.

Broaden their horizons through literature, history and philosophy, so they understand both how unique they are, and also, they are but one grain of sand on the beach of the cosmos and rarely is there anything new under the sun.

Teach them to follow their dreams AND to listen to nudges from the universe that maybe, just maybe, those challenges or obstacles to the dream are there for a reason….

Let them learn early about other religions, cultures and ethnic groups – especially if you live in a diversity desert.

Let them go to worship with their friends when they are old enough to spot those who would abuse positions of authority and try to bully into them a skewed vision of reality.

And finally, whenever your teenager comes out in the morning, and says,

“Mom, I seriously need a mental health day. My grades are okay, can I puhhhlllleassse just stay home? Or go to work with you today?”

Say yes and lie if need be about the severity of ‘symptoms’ when you call the school.

Then, either at home, or on the road for business, declare it “Our Day of Freedom”, crank up the tunes to sing and/or dance to, and laugh yourselves silly.

And never, ever forget, those morning pleas happen because THEY see what a mess you are getting yourself into and decide to help YOU out, because, in the end, our children are our mentors in the art of “A Human – Being”.