6 months

Here's the 5 and 6 month belly shots side by side (almost) - same clothes as last time for comparison. Bring it on, I'm feeling great!


night terrors

I have a five-year-old who had a war nightmare so bad that she's had an upset stomach at bedtime for a few nights in a row. This is a kid who doesn't watch news, doesn't even know anyone in the military and lives in Canada. I didn't get the details of the dream but from what I can pick up our yard was invaded by soldiers who were going to do something really, really bad to us.

She has asked good, insightful questions about death, what a soldier does, why there is an army at all, and why can't people figure this stuff out without war. We are open when she asks us and don't pretend to really understand why people do that to each other.

It's hard to be honest and reassuring at the same time. She might sleep better if we don't tell her the truth but who does that help in the long run? I don't want to reinforce our strong tendency as individuals and a nation (world) to ignore the bad things if they're not happening in our backyards. I've gotten pretty good at blocking it out so my life is more comfortable. That is the opposite of what we want to model to our kids but it's so painful to see that creeping into early childhood. Is there some sort of balance between being sensitive to the pain of the world around us, taking action and staying sane?

Her dream is similar to the ones I often had as a kid. Mine were spawned by hearing about the persecution of Christians in Russia when I went to church. "Communism", the "cold war" and the "iron curtain" were the labels that went with it (I'm not saying they're justified). Running, hiding, waiting in terror, loss, being separated from loved ones. That's a lot for anyone to deal with, nevermind at 5.

The conversation is making me think of all the kids who never had a childhood (figuratively or literally) of any kind and the adults trying to protect them from real dangers. It's overwhelmingly sad, depressing and infuriating. I don't have the answer for that one yet but I would love to sleep tonite.



spur pruned divided Scott Henry?? And if yes, does that technically make it a double divided Smart-Dyson? I think I need another class on this.

I finished my viticulture class a week ago and have apparently been too fried to write about it. That's not really true - it got me so excited about growing things that I've spent a lot of time outside poking around in the dirt and scheming rather than computing.

Some of the content of the course was way over my head, like the molecular structure of various minerals (quick now, the symbol for potassium anyone? Yup, singled out the gardeners in the readership). It twigged some dusty remnants of knowledge stuck in the back of my brain from bio & chem in high school but it was a slow grind. It felt good though. If it had all been easy and familiar it would have been a waste of time. The highlight of the week was definately the field trip on the last day. We wandered around various vineyards observing trellis styles and grapevine selections while soaking in views and sunlight. After four solid days in a classroom with no windows it was most welcome.

I particularly enjoyed the parts about incorporating the intrinsic qualities of the land into the overall vineyard plan. Seems obvious, but how often do you see farmers bullishly trying to grow something where/when/how it doesn't want to grow naturally? Choose the right crop and methods for your soil, orientation, growing season and market demand. You'll have to do a lot less "managing" and will have a better outcome - basic agricultural theory. I'm referring to for-profit agriculture here, I'm not about to slag someone for trying to grow a personal food crop in near impossible conditions because it's all they have access to.

Ultimately it was fun to learn and get excited about something. I'd like for it to translate into some contract/part time work at some point so I can find out if I want to pursue it further - Vineyard Manager has a nice ring to it. I'll take the rest of the year to make some contacts and have babies and stuff, then by next spring I might be ready to take another step. Or maybe I'll be excited about building model airplanes by then. Who cares as long as it engages me?

barista buzz

We have used the espresso machine pretty much daily since we got it, sometimes a lot more than once. It's so fun it's almost embarrassing. I'm not really getting the aforementioned buzz from caffeine because it makes such good decaf compared to drip - I'm assuming that's better for me in the long run and am hoping it results in a babe that will sleep more compared to one that's wired. Mmmhmm, right. I'll need some luck on that one.