Friday, April 20, 2018


I did not write a blog post today.

I sat and dozed in the warm sun.

I read a book in the warm sun.

I watched the ducks swim in the wading pool in the warm sun.

I watched my children play baseball in the warm sun.

I watched J. put in posts for the outdoor run of the chicken coop in the warm sun.

There is supposed to be more warm sun tomorrow. You may or may not get a blog post then, either. It's difficult to see computer screens in the warm sun.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Eschewing the limelight

I am not actually a fan of attention being focused on me. I know that might seem a little odd, given that I write a blog talking about my family and do some public speaking. But the former is because it's therapeutic, a way to keep track of what my family has been doing, and (I hope) can help other people not make the same mistakes I have. This is also why I speak to groups. If I can make use of the things I've learned over the years and perhaps help other people along the way, then I'm happy to do that.

So when a friend approached me asking if she could do a documentary on our family, I was torn. We are really not ideal documentary subjects. (I think our friend would concur... I think we have been a trial to her over the past five or six years.) My children don't care for cameras, and I can be, um, crotchety and uncooperative. As she has heard me say over and over and over, we are not really anything so special. We do not have super powers. Truly, anyone could do what we do, they just haven't taken the plunge into chaos.

And there is my dilemma, I want to show people that we what we do is not anything special. It's just living life, and learning that "normal", whatever that is, isn't all that it is cracked up to be. I want people to realize that they can do so much more.

I also have the perpetual tug between advocacy and privacy. When we first started, I talked with H. She wanted to help other children find families. When she first came home, H. was amazed that there were so many mommies and daddies out there. In her previous world, parents were a rather limited commodity. She spent her first year home astounded that there were so many children who did have families. H. was willing to help others find permanent families by sharing part of her story.

The reason why I'm sharing all this is because this documentary has reached a new point in its existence... the fund raising stage. As a result, I'm starting to see a little more traffic to my blog, and felt a brief explanation was needed. It's a peculiar tension to both want to see something do well, but wishing I could pretend it was about someone else. I'd feel so much less odd about sharing this if it really were about someone else. I can think of quite a few other families I'd love to see a movie made about, and I'm quite sure they would be far better subjects than me and my crew.

This is probably not the best way to do my part in the 'helping with fundraising' category. (See? I'm a difficult documentary subject.) It just all feels so very awkward. So without further ado... or anymore vaguely squirming uncomfortableness, if you feel so inclined, take a look at the Hayden and Her Family Production Fund Kickstarter campaign. But only if you want to. And if you know me in real life, you will probably never hear a word about it coming out of my mouth.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Equal time

After I posted L.'s poems yesterday, G. reminded me that she wanted to be an artist, and decided it would be best if I put a picture that she drew up on the blog next. So that is what I'm doing.

Super Panda

Let me tell you a bit about Super Panda. In his tool belt, he is armed with (from right to left): Silly Spray which makes people stick to things; a candy that makes him turn so cute that other people freeze; boomerang; more silly string in case he runs out; a hot dog for a snack; another snack; a hook gun which hooks onto things so he can climb them; a baby bottle for his drinks. He's holding a bamboo sword. 

Here is Super Panda next to Pandy, who is never very from from G.

This girl adores pandas, can you tell?
I have another new article published: This is Why Photolistings are Important

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Free verse - A dog triptych

In the midst of All Math, All the Time, L. (age 8 1/2) has decided to write poems. Here are her latest works. (Well, technically, these are the translations of her latest works, her spelling is still on the more inventive side, though she can now read it back consistently.)

The Sunset Dog
One puppy, alone and scared
In the mist, as thick as fur,
And bone that stared with icy eyes
A glimmer in the dark.
And then he strayed
And was never heard
His sharp bark cried out, "I'm done."

Kenzie, the nicest dog
His fur is gold, his head is soft
He really is the best.

Olive the dog
She can run as fast as a fox.
Although her brain is tiny
She really is smart.

And in other animal news, if you are in the horrible never-ending ice age of the north, you might not know that along with your being miserable, small birds are in a critical state. Read about the Bird Emergency and the simple things you can do to help these animals survive until spring actually arrives. The page I've linked to will give instructions as to what food to provide and how to warm any birds suffering from hypothermia which you may find.

Monday, April 16, 2018


February 75th,

Dear Diary,

Every morning I wake up and realize that I am still in this alternate universe. I spend most of my day trying to figure out how I got here, and more importantly how to get back to the place I belong. I have yet to find an answer or solution to my questions.

Vocabulary is currently the trickiest thing to navigate in this particular universe. When I say the word 'spring', I have in my head warming days where I can feel the sunshine. Of course there will be rain, but it is a warmer sort of rain that makes the plants grow. Here, in this universe, 'spring' means something different. Spring seems to be what they say when cold weather isn't in the negative digits. There is still snow and cold, and while I see the sun in the sky, I certainly cannot feel the warmth of it on my skin. I miss that!

So far, in my quest to figure out how to get home, I have tried wishful thinking, clicking my heels together and saying, "There's no place like home," wearing clothing appropriate to my universe's idea of spring weather, and pouting. None of these has returned me to the proper dimension, much less the proper temperature.

I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out. If I could figure out how to send a distress signal, perhaps a rescue team could figure out how to get through the barrier between dimensions and take me back. At the very least, perhaps they could send a supply of new winter clothes and hot cocoa in bulk amounts. I don't know how the residents of this dimension hold out in the face of this grinding and perpetually cold weather.

A frightening idea plagues my thoughts as I try to figure out a means of escape. What if there are not seasons in this universe? What if they just call groups of months by different names for ease of telling the passing of time? What if it never gets warm here? If this is truly the case, I may go truly mad.

Here they tell of mythical lands to the south where the temperatures are high enough that one can go outside without a coat. If I cannot return to my rightful home, perhaps I will venture forth in search of these mythical lands.

I will do my best to hold out for a while longer. Every night when I go to sleep, I comfort myself with the thought that I will somehow be magically transported home during the night, and will wake up to warmth and sunshine and leafy green spring. A soul can only take the crushing reality of this not happening so many times.

Until tomorrow,

Saturday, April 14, 2018

An actual phone conversation

J.: Is there anything you need me to pick up from the store on my way home from work?

Me: Spring. Maybe a couple of boxes.

J.: I think the stores are all out of stock. We'll have to wait until they get a new shipment.

Thus, many children (the ones who are not sleeping) are spending their Saturday doing math (their choice) and I'm working on the checkbook and bills. Saturdays don't get much more fun than that, do they?

And the chickens are still inside my house.

I love the photo-bombing chicken in the background.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday bullets, April 12, 2018

Yesterday was beautiful and warm as promised, and we spent nearly every minute of it outside.

  • I spent most of my day trying to free some more of the trees that had become overgrown over the years. Here's a couple transformation photos.
From this...

to this. There really was a tree under there.
I also worked on this one.


  • Why does something that takes hours to do, always look like such little progress when it is all done?
  • Y. adores math, and did over 20 pages on Wednesday.
  • TM needed a photo of himself to go along with his auction basket, so he took this one. Isn't it cute?
  • D., by all accounts, is having a grand time visiting the H-S Family. He has been to the ocean, ridden a ferry, explored Seattle, learned to ride an ATV and a dirt bike, gone hiking, and seen otters playing. Real life is going to come as rather a shock, I'm afraid. He returns very late tonight.
  • I finished the last book in the Invisible Library series. It was a sad moment. Now I can only hope the author writes the next one quickly.
  • A word of warning to everyone. If you plan to be picking up ducks and carrying them about, do not wear nice clothing. I moved the ducks into the baby pen to enjoy some outside time, and when I looked down, I had duck poop down my leg. I was wearing jeans, but it was a good lesson as to what to be aware of when moving ducks.
  • Also, if you are picking up ducks, watch out for those webbies. They may look cute and harmless, but the claws they have at the end of their toes are sharp. I also think duck feet look like dinosaur feet.

Do you have any idea exactly how difficult it is to get a picture of duck feet?
  • Now that the stinky ducks have moved out, I am much more aware of how bad the chickens smell. Their days are numbered. We just need some good weather when J. is not at work to get the coop and pen finished off so we can move them.
  • Olive does not have to wear the cone anymore! Hooray! We are all celebrating. Olive now spends her days attacking the wicked, evil cone that took possession of her.
  • My speaking gig is a week from today. I suppose I should spend a little time working on it.
And that pretty much sums up the week. Enjoy your weekend!

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