Buried, Unburied. Buried Again.

‘There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

January, February: Where Did You Go?

If there is one constant in this household, it’s change. No sooner am I pontificating and annotating an account of one hectic month than another passes in between. If change had only one speed, I’m certain it would be fast.


Rescued Monarch Caterpillars

Is it really March already?

I heard on the news that St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday and that tomatoes are going into the ground in gardens all over Houston. Mine are still in their little pots.

Serves me right for putting my nose to the grindstone, letting time slip away from me like that. When there’s too much loaded onto the schedule, it’s easy to just jot a few things down in a digital journal on the fly or upload phone snaps to recall for later. (I rely heavily on photo date stamps anymore.) What’s not easy is piecing together the myriad items into a relatable post, kept to under 1,000 words and 10 photos.

Ain’t gonna happen.

I’ve been here before at the shores of Will-The-Blog-Die, and again the water laps at my ankles. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the new normal until the teenagers are all away at college. Maybe four back-to-back kids wasn’t such a smart idea after all.


Beach Crab
San Luis Pass, TX

Still, I feel the need shine a few highlights on my Life and Times here, lest I forget where it is I’ve been.

  • I am mother to a trans gender child. It has been a long, purposeful road traveled getting here, but we — our family of six — have firmly adjusted to his true identity. From now on, the world will know too.
  • Paul Shapiro — author of Clean Meat and someone whom I admire greatly — did something very cool: he popped over and liked one of my blog posts. It was like being hugged by my super hero! If you want to meet him, watch this Ted Talk. (But I would love if you bought his book or donated to HSUS. Or both.)
  • All four of my children are insanely talented with visual art or  music — or both. Keeping up with their growth is daunting,
  • To toot my own horn, the elementary school where I volunteer as a science extension teacher (on living soil) voted me Volunteer of the Year. I am working up the plans for a (paid-for) after school program for future school years, perhaps even different schools in the district.
  • It’s official. We are upending a turf-grass backyard to install a pocket prairie ecosystem. Heck — we’re kind of already doing it. This 1/4″ acre section of our yard will serve as pilot program to what will (hopefully) be a 2-acre one for hundreds of elementary school kids and teachers to enjoy.

The March to March — The Great Unplug

If there’s one thing we look forward to every year is taking a trip out west. Colorado being a relatively short drive from Houston (16 hours short) makes it an easy destination for Spring Break. We all need it, Mom from her car and calendar, kids from testing, Dad from the rigors of bidding unwinnable projects.

Not a care in the world!
Manitou Springs, CO

Non-conformist Diagonal Aspen

Care-free hiking
Always with birds!

Unlike the Big Bend in December, we left the camping gear at home and opted for a state park cabin instead at the base of Pike’s Peak. It’s usually bright and sunny, cool and dry, perfect for daily birding and hiking excursions. ‘Breakfast with the birds’ and ‘wherever there is snow’ are always the top vote gets. We are only too happy to oblige.

The week started out well enough. Midway into the week, the weather took an unexpected turn. Not even the locals saw it coming, so we provision’d up, hunkered down, and weathered the blizzard with the park volunteer and a few unlucky tent campers.

Snowball Fortress

Stick Fort Party

Stuck and Buried
Snowicane 2019

People-less Sledding Hill
(Roads are CLOSED!)

Cabin Backyard
Knee-deep Final Hike

Back To Life, Back To Reality

So it’s all greened up over here in sub-tropical reality now. But the tractor mower — with 600+ hours of faithful service — is starting to show signs of a slow, expensive and painful death. So there’s that. I hate shopping for new stuff, which means I may be push-mowing and weed-whipping for the time-being.

It’s also greened up at the school gardens. Switching gears from cool weather plants to warm weather ones means volunteers need to get coordinated. That chore isn’t exactly doing itself.

Automobiles need maintenance. I’ve been called for jury duty, not once but twice. A driver’s license renewal (at my age) now requires a wait in line, rather than renewed on-line.

Here we go.


Orange blossom

Kale Blossom

Just like nature in its own time, all these things and more will eventually get done. And you can bet I probably won’t have any free time to blog about any of it.

Happy Spring!
(… in advance, because it is coming.)

30 thoughts on “Buried, Unburied. Buried Again.

  1. I’m happy for you that you got to experience a bit of real winter that’s unavailable on the Texas coast, even if it interfered with your avian plans and kept you from visiting your friend.

    How did you get called for jury duty twice? Different jurisdictions?


    1. Yes, with the county first, with the city the next week. As for snow and mountains, we are still bummed to be back, even though spring and bird migration takes the sting off a bit. I’m crossing my fingers that Tanja can make it here instead!

      PS – If you and Eve ever want to come romp the coast sometime in April, I hope you’ll let me know!


  2. Your kids are very lucky to have you! I’m glad you’re nurturing their artistic talents instead of possibly forcing them to focus more on “real world” pursuits like a lot of parents these days. Real world pursuits are important, too, but I think balance and nurturing is important.

    As a 29-going-on-30 this year in a long term parnership, I’m almost thinking having kids so close in age could be a great thing! My partner has a lot of siblings while I only had 1 and I think its really nice they always have family around to relate to and hang out with. While I’m still unsure if I want kids, if I did, I think that’s the way I’d go as long as I was able.

    Your prairie project sounds amazing. Looking forward to reading more about it! Keep up being awesome ! You inspire me.


    1. There are plenty of opportunities for real world pursuits; the kids never get a break from them it seems. So YES! Talents and nature help balance out the mind against the rigors of ABC’s and 123’s. Thank you for the nice mommy compliment.

      Big families have their upsides and downsides. That we are all very tight-knit is an upside; having four in college at once might be at least one potential downside. However it is, I vote for at least three kids! Four keeps the birth order from having a middle child; everyone is always paired up which works brilliantly according to plan.

      Oh wait .. did I PLAN all this? (No I didn’t.) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear it only gets faster. Einstein’s Dreams was a nice book full of short stories that tease at different ways time could work in different realities.


      2. No surprises on the space-time continuum. I think it’s in my home library somewhere; my husband reads everything ‘physics’, especially Einstein and company. I’ll add to the stack of summer reading. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your Spring Break looks like you had a lot of fun!! I went to KY/TN to see daughter and family. It is hard living 600+ miles away from them but I can’t imagine going back. Someday maybe but not anytime soon.. 😉


    1. Kentucky is on my list for future travel, Courtney .. so beautiful! I had no idea you were from there. Or maybe you aren’t and I just read into that. However, I’m glad you got to see your baby girl again; I’m sure it was well worth the long drive. Grandkids too??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry I haven’t replied before today… been taking a bit of a sabbatical from all social media.
        I am actually from Ky. Born and raised. 97% of my family is is the Western part of the state. Daughter lives in Nashville and I have a brother and cousin in GA. No grandkids but nieces amd nephews I miss terribly.
        Hope you arw having a good weekend! 😊


      2. Oh, no worries. I too am on a digital sabbatical; we are in the thick of spring migration now so the pocket computer converts to a tool (bird count, recording device, field guide). Even texts can be routinely ignored the month of April. I appreciate your coming by nevertheless, with your cheer and life view. Keep coming, Courtney!


      3. Oh my gosh, you are too, to kind to this weary blogger! I just wish I could get back into weekly fashion. Not looking good at least ‘til summer. Thank you for sticking with me, Courtney. (And no need to rush over each post .. I’m not going anywhere.) Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It is good to remind yourself that time does not simply pass you by, Shannon, but that you are getting countless things done. I am glad you had some downtime during your recent trip, even if wasn’t entirely planned that way! Enjoy your spring!


    1. It turned out fine, even with the unexpected snowfalls (and getting the bus stuck!). The downside is that we didn’t get to see the birds we hoped for, and I missed the friend that I only get to see once per year!

      Still Colorado is so very beautiful and like a nature sanctuary. The people are friendly and earth-y; if only there was employment, we might up and move relocate. Divide is my heaven on earth.

      There’s always the next year to try again — and April to maybe see my friend. Cheers, Tanja!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the update. 🙂 Glad to have you back, but no worries about a break in blogging: that’s sometimes really needed. I took one for the first one and a half months this year. {But now I’m back with a vengeance. 😀 ]
    Thanks for the pictures of the blossoms. Here, out spring blossoms [on some of our trees] are out, too. [https://wp.me/p4uPk8-1El]
    Take care,


      1. You’re welcome, shannon. I did enjoy the break. 🙂 To my shame I must admit hat I haven’t done as much as would be necessary on our property. What I really need to do (very) soon:
        – take care of the thistles
        – get rid of all the absolutely dead grass {we have a fungus that is killing our St. Augustine] and then put out Bermuda seeds {unfortunately Bermuda seems to be the only alternative]
        – ger rid of grass around (most of) the oaks (and other trees) and replace that with compost and mulch
        – plant some of the trees from my nursery in our wildflower patch
        – and then, of course at this time of the year, start mowing and put out some fertilizer
        Oh my! That list seems to be growing longer and longer. 😦 Anyway: some day soon I need to tackle it, very likely with some hired help.


      2. Sounds exhausting! I am not a fan of St. Augustine or Bermuda grasses or the fertilizing and watering both require. You’ll do well to favor your trees and the mulch they love over these domestic ground covers; they offer nothing except softness for human foot soles. I can think of a number of better natural alternatives! After all, I’m a soil and insect girl first and foremost.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think some of it will be hard work, and that’s why I’m really on the look-out for a handyman.
        I know about the “problems” with the different grasses, especially the watering, but somehow or other we can’t replace about 2 acres of grass by something else. We’re trying to reduce that area some, though. And with Bermuda, if needs be, we might even refrain from watering. I’m pretty sure it’ll come back. The other problem: I actually hate Bermuda because it’s so dang invasive.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Shannon,
        I have a favour to ask. Would you, please, check out my post about our Bodarks and their Mistletoe [https://wp.me/p4uPk8-1EH] and then give me your take/advice on how to deal with the Mistletoe? I’d appreciate that very much.


      5. What I know about mistletoe fills an eyedropper, and that is somehow related to the myth that if you stand underneath it, some awesome person will come and kiss you. (Hasn’t worked for me yet.) I’ll see what I can find out for you!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thanks, Shannon, but don’t do too much research. I’m planning to contact our local extension agent in the next few days.
        As to the myth: as I anwered to a comment on the blog, my wife and I don’t need mistletoe for kissing. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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