My Last Field Trip

It was so much fun being with Peyton and his classmates today. Some of them had never been to El Mercado before and they all loved it. We saw an exhibit at El Museo Alameda and then were free to explore some of the sights in downtown San Antonio. The kids sang happy Birthday on the bus on the way back. Thank you my precious husband for this tribute to Peyton…..Happy 18th Birthday,Peyton!  Click here to see Thomas Peyton Parish

A Mother’s Day Poem

This was given to me today, May 9, 2010, by my almost 18 year old son.

The Lily Pad: a stepping stone: a brief respite from treacherous waters.

The Closed Bud: beautiful but not yet fulfilled: a hint of what’s yet to come.

The Carnation: incredible beauty that is not kept but instead given: the will to share.

To me you are a lily pad, always there to comfort me, a piece of love amongst the world.

I am your bud, you nurture me and care for me so that I may bloom.

To all you are the carnation; sharing your motherly love.

Happy Mother’s Day

Love,

Peyton

A Place In Time

Rockin' P Ranch

When our two boys are here in this house, everything is surreal. I could sit and stare at them forever and never be less amazed at the intensity of love. Tom has modified this image to add high definition and saturation and a little bit of mystery to the effect……That’s the way it feels to be a proud mother. Every emotion is magnified a billion times. “You been drinkin'” Christopher laughs at my silliness. Yep, your smile is intoxicating and I am drinkin’ it in. With a face like that you don’t need money, honey…..

What Are We Going To Do Today?

The possibilities are boundless….”Let’s not tempt me to spend any money” Christopher and I both spoke in unison. Regardless, his choice was to head into San Antonio with time on our hands and amazing CANON digital equipment to accent his gifted and talented genes ……let's go take picturesthanks to Grandmother on my side  and Daddy Bub!!!! Grandson of the master George W. Parish“What do you think, Mom?” Christopher asked. “Where should we go?” GQWe both settled on the newly renovated Pearl Brewery and he shot images that will surely be incredible, while all I could do was focus on the awesomeness of the incredible gene pool that created this beautiful son…

The Oldest Profession

I may change this title, it could bring confusion, but when I am thinking and thinking about something I need to write it down. Lately I have been thinking about the profession of motherhood. Anyone who does not consider it a job…..granted with unequaled benefits, well they simply are not a Mom. I try to be a good Mom and I have been in the business for a long time although I only have received two bonuses for my 27 years of dedication. I mean to say ONLY,  not like it’s a bad thing, but I just never want to retire and be put out to pasture. I started thinking about this when I took Peyton to the mall with his new girlfriend. He was thrilled, I was nervous. They had Chinese food, my stomache was in knots all day. They held hands, I tried not to be in their face. Driving to her house and trying not to judge the neighborhood,  he asked if I would hang around the whole time. We had never met, so I said that if she had too many tattoos and body piercings and was dressed like a slut, yes, I would hang by his side, but if not I would be like an invisible wallet that appeared magically when needed and would just as quickly recede into the shadows like a human ATM machine. Don’t let me mislead, Peyton is not greedy, materialistic or anything but adorable…..so if first impressions mean anything, his new little heartthrob is adorable as well….so I could relax and read a great book about 20 feet away.

Paint By Number

moo

moo

I must have a million brushes. Some are almost worn out, but I never throw ANYTHING away. You can look in my closet (if you are brave enough) and see my collection of never once worn items. Then there is my collection of pencils which include charcoal, graphite, mechanical, every shade of pastel and watercolor. My favorite is a Staedler super fine point. My collection of erasers is in a drawer by itself. Peyton is taking an art class this semester and I offered him his pick of these prize possessions. He declined my offer. He has one wooden pencil with an eraser that went through the washing machine.

credit goes to fotosearch.com

credit goes to fotosearch.com

I had to google” pencil” to get a photo of this relic. My son is a no frills artist……..What he has done so far with his pencil rivals Van Gogh, Pollock and Picasso…..I am SO bad about my stuff that I almost forgot what were the primary colors. I have every shade of any color that you could imagine and feel the need to duplicate each hue in acrylic,egg tempera, goache, watercolor, pencils (see above),  oil (hmmm…..expensive, but SO YUMMY)and maybe encaustic wax in the future. Am I inspired? Yes, but I still can’t throw ANYTHING away!artist.med

It will be fine until I get into life size sculptures of all our animals, then we may have a problem…..

Wicker Park & Bucktown

Last week  was spent vicariously enjoying a great time  had by Chicago’s Golden Boy.  Christopher  moved from what I considered an amazing place on N. Michigan Ave. to an even more energetic  location for the 20 something crowd. Bucktown is already  sounding like a faster paced totally fun place to live. I’m just glad it’s him living there and not me because then I would have to feel very sorry for him  here….at home….slopping the hogs, like his Dad and I. 

  In between packing and moving, he sprinted over to Grant Park to run the Terrapin 5k race on Thursday night. I would have liked to just go there and eat the pizza, Cherry Garcia ice-cream  and listen to the Grateful Dead cover band at the after party. Can you believe the race packets had tie-dyed T-shirts and other stuff?  Read about  it and even see the results here. I checked it out……Chris Parish time:24:11. That is a 7:47 jet pace……homepageA great way to celebrate the move to N. Milwaukee Ave. was to enjoy  the Wicker Park Fest . Great music, food and an opportunity to meet the neighbors and be hip to the latest styles. Mullets really got it goin’ on!

wickerparkpony tail WP FestWP FestmulletsLots of  shiny happy people and ……on Sunday  a concert by  Back Yard Tire Fire.

To round out the week-end, there was a baby shower for friends Ross and Hailey. What better place to meet girls who want to settle down?

Run, RCP, RUN!!!!!!!

RCP

RCP

Joy And Contentment

nhsnhs-peytonchrisgreat-nhs-shot

I admit that I am no Einstein, but in his words…..

There are two ways to live your life.

One is as though nothing is a miracle.

The other is as though 

everything is a miracle.

I see babies everywhere and think of them all as little miracles. Looking at their little feet makes me wonder where those little feet will take them. When I look at my two boys, I am in awe of where they have already gone and where I know they are capable of going in the future. I sit here struggling for the words to express the way I feel about my role in all of this. I have loved them since before they were born and really that is about all I know how to do. I can’t always be there for them to lean on, but I know that if I have done my job the way it should be done that they will not need to lean on me.In fact they really never have needed me as much as I need them.  My role is obsolete. That is not easy to accept, but otherwise I have failed. Having an empty nest is not going to  kill me. It will fulfill me. Did I just say that?rcp-white-houselevipeyton-white-housewhite-house1

 Listening to Peyton on the brink of seventeen talking to his friends and reminiscing about their junior high and high school years together, I could easily have had a downpour thinking about how much I will miss these times with all of them. I feel like I’m balancing the highs and lows of letting go and I am excited to witness the miracles created by God in me…….

Is That You, Koduck?

Our first ducklings were growing up, they were flying around the ranch and staying gone longer and longer. I was really missing the days when they depended on me for fresh water in their wading pool and the scoops of feed they would get every day. They were about five months old and fully mature and independent, but they were always ready for me to herd them into the aviary at night. One night I found a shallow nest with an egg outside the barn, right where it could get crunched by a horse or eaten by a predator. I brought it into the house to check to see if it was developing. I  cut a hole in the top of a box and set the egg in the opening and put the box on top of a lamp. Nothing much to see, but I wrote the date on the egg with a pencil and put it in my incubator. The next few days I found 4 more eggs scattered in different danger zones and put them with the first egg. Later I found out that I could have simplified the hatching and brooding process by putting them in at the same time. About a week later, I was candling  them again and each one had a  little black spot that was the eye. I would carry them back and forth just about every day and I would always write little notes on their shells. One was really active and I loved to see the shadowy image jump around in the lamplight. I drew a little heart on his shell and named him Koduck. I loved to check on them several times a day during the 28 days of incubation. I would check the temperature, 101 degrees was perfect for ducks and add water to keep the humidity adjusted. They were on a rack with an automatic turner to keep them from sticking to one side of their shells. I read all about the birth defects that can happen, like when they stick to the shell or get a crooked wing or neck……not cool! On the 26th day I was peering at them and I heard a little peep! It was Koduck making an early appearance. His little beak was showing through a little crack in his shell. They are born with an “egg tooth” and the process is called pipping. He took his time to enter the world and I have hours and hours of videotape of the blessed event. I hurried to get the “nursery” ready with a red heat lamp and a tiny bit of water. When a duckling is hatched without a mother hen, they do not have the benefit of waterproofing that she would provide them. The Mama has a gland that enables her to coat her babies right after hatching so that they can swim with her immediately. They will develop their own gland a few weeks later. Koduck finally managed to free himself from his shell and I resisted the urge to help him out. He hopped over to his egg mates and started rolling them around. They had been on an automatic egg turner until the last fews days, this gives them a chance to settle into position for pipping. His feathers were still matted down and I scooped him up and put him into his warm little home.eastman-koduck1

The other four hatched one by one and joined their older brother. They gobbled up their feed and grew noisier and messier every day. Their little peeps soon turned to quacks.  At a few weeks old they were ready to come out for a few supervised swims in the wading pool and some early flying lessons. This consisted of our son Peyton racing and chasing after them to encourage them to take flight. I’m sure that they would learn by themselves, but without a Momma duck around, we wanted to ensure that they would be able to flee from the raccoons, possums and coyotes that lurked nearby. When they took their first full circle around the barn it was great fun to see the little flips and rolls when they made their crash landings while learning to navigate around the house and barn. It still amazes us to see them circle around the ranch and our world comes to a halt every time as we marvel at the beauty of these awesome gifts.

First Flight

First Flight