Colors of Fall

I took these pictures on the way to work, October 26, 2011. It began with the fog rolling in over the Willamette River covering a portion of the St. John’s Bridge. I’ve noticed the colors along Germantown, Cornelius Pass, and Brookwood/Helvetia. My route to work takes me through fields, trees, and great seasonal changes. Lastly, I ended up downtown. So, I parked in my favorite spot: on top of the parking garage.

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Regrets of a Stay at Home Mom

Reading Time
My mother and Levi. Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

Reading the Price of Motherhood was depressing. This article further articulates the grim realities mothers face when life doesn’t go as planned. I choose to work because our society doesn’t give me the option of staying at home. I have school loans to pay. What if my husband got injured on the job and couldn’t work? What about my career aspirations of what I should do?

Yes, I choose to work. Yes, I would encourage you too, to work. Yes, I understand it’s all about choice. For me, the risk isn’t worth it.

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Small Hands Have a Big Impact Too

Submitted by Emily Patterson (@epatt1062) on behalf of Primrose Schools: child care with a balanced learning curriculum.

Children in Jerusalem.
Image via Wikipedia

Compassion and empathy are among the most important traits that most parents hope to instill in their children. Nowhere are these qualities more easily gained and nurtured than in the realm of volunteer work and community service. While it is helpful for children to see their parents contributing to their community through volunteerism, the true personal worth of such activities must be experienced first hand to be fully understood. For this reason, engaging your children in volunteering and acts of service at an early age will benefit them in both the short and long-term.

Volunteering helps build character and teaches children that they can make a difference and affect positive change in their community and the world. Children can begin to learn and practice acts of service at an early age, and should be encouraged to do things for others with no expectation of personal gain as soon as they are able to comprehend such concepts.

There are four key points you’ll want to consider as you set out to engage your child in volunteer service.

  1. Army Community Service celebrates 43rd birthday with community barbecue
    Image by Aberdeen Proving Ground via Flickr

    Formulate goals and be clear in your own mind about your motives as well as your expectations for your child. This is a step that people often skip and it is essential in providing the best possible experience for everyone involved.

  2. Choose a cause that is meaningful to your family and a non-profit or service agency in your community that is familiar and comfortable with engaging younger volunteers. Don’t be afraid to talk with the organization’s volunteer coordinators specifically about their needs and service opportunities.
  3. Select age-appropriate activities, keeping in mind that especially with younger children, you want to be sure that they are engaging in activities where you child can see clear and immediate results from their work.
  4. Talk with your child beforehand about the opportunity to help others, why it matter to you and what you hope to do by volunteering with this agency or organization. Use simple, straightforward language and age-appropriate concepts as opposed to trying to explain over-arching goals which may be more abstract.
Children cart dirt and debris away during a co...
Image via Wikipedia

Finally, if your first activity or volunteer experience does not go as planned, that’s ok. Remember that you are working to instill life-long qualities in your child and no single event or task can do that. As you engage with your family in volunteer work, over time, chances are the personal rewards and sense of community you hope to teach them will take hold.

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Lack of Writing

Blog Pictures - 1
Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

You may be wondering why I haven’t really written anything lately. I took a week hiatus, and then have posted mostly pictures or sketches. What is up?

September and October have turned into an incredibly busy time. There are numerous work obligations on top of the run-of-the-mill daily things. Additionally, I have been and remain over-committed with outside-of-work-and-family obligations. This balancing act is hard!

So, when I come home, adjust to new schedules, and think about the day, I really have no desire to write. I don’t want to comment on these conflicted thoughts in my head regarding priorities and where I want to be. I don’t want to dissect the latest strange human interaction that has me puzzled.

What I really want to do is veg in front of the TV and sketch. So, I have been. I’ve watched more late-night-silly TV than I care to admit. It’s not helping get some of these other obligations done, but it is helping my brain breathe.

My current goal is to get through the middle of November. I have done a lot of reflecting lately on what and where I want to be now and in the future. I made specific choices that got me here, and although it’s uncomfortable, this is where I feel I need to be now.

So, on with the balancing act trying to figure out how to capture my sanity, assess and articulate my needs, while working on practicing my strengths to enhance skills for future careers. All the while never neglecting the wifely and motherly duties that have been a part of my life for so long now.

While I assess, behind the scenes, I will be trying to post an image a day. The image might include some notes on what, where and why, but it might not. The image might be something from my phone-camera. The image might be from our little-better-than-phone-camera digital camera. The image might be a scanned sketch from my journal. All will be relevant to the day. Some images might be pre-dated if I forgot to post it on the day taken. All images will be by me (or my family).

Thanks for following along in this year of posting once a day. Thanks for reading and being supportive in your own ways while we all figure out these crazy balancing acts.

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Sunday Oct 9

Roast Beef and Crimini Mushrooms in Balsamic Vinegar
Roast Beef and Crimini Mushrooms in Balsamic Vinegar
Chard Stems, sauteeing in butter.
Chard Stems, sauteeing in butter.
Fresh, Chopped Chard
Fresh, Chopped Chard
Chard, Roast Beef, and Chard Stems
Chard, Roast Beef, and Chard Stems

Everything in tonight’s meal was prepared from food from my food club. The ingredients include roast beef, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, rainbow chard, potatoes, and butter. The only thing not purchased with my food club was the milk used when mashing the potatoes. Our pastured milk vendor has fixed some equipment problems, but we’re still out of his milk and have been out of home-delivered milk since summer.

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