The oaks have been good mentors over the past year. I will miss them.

They tell me not to worry about it. I am trying to listen.

They also tell me that no matter how well I listen, I won't ever be a tree. We're migratory creatures, some of us more than others. Few of us flit around quite as much as the blue jays and the cardinals, but we all spend our lives skimming along earth's surface. This, too, is okay. The trees reassure me that humans are fine and lovely creatures with their own kind of wisdom.

I get the idea that they aren't entirely clear on the concept, but they take it on faith that we exist with a life as rich and vibrant as their own. That is enough.

Their ignorance has taught me as much as their knowledge. Out of all that there is to know, we will always be ignorant of most of it. I had better learn how how to become good at being ignorant. I had better learn how to reach into the dark with fearless love.

Trees are not afraid of the dark. Half of their life is hidden in the underworld, where earthworms nest in their branches.

I am not a tree. The dark of the earth is for me a place of death, and I am not strong enough to feast on unfiltered light.

The oak trees spread above me, mediating glory, and beneath me, recieving burdens to great for me to carry. For them, it is no burden. It is the stuff with which they gather light.

And now they urge me on to go do likewise, but in the human way, spreading my roots into migration's deep rich heritage.


The trees here are very wise. They reach down into the underworld, and invite the earthworms to nest in their branching roots. The earth gladly recieves our burdens. What is trouble for us is a feast for the creatures below, and what they cast aside, the trees take up, transforming it into light-catchers. The oaks invite us to rest in their shade, and bathe in their softened glory. It is good to sit beneath their branches, alive with light, and listen to their teaching. Quietly, quietly, they whisper the ways of bearing one another's burdens until all is transformed to joy.


All belly, no button

Amos happily pointed out his own belly button, and Daddy's belly button, but nothing would induce him to look for a button on Mama's 8-month-pregnant belly. As he skipped away, he paused briefly to issue a correction over his shoulder. "No, it's a belly helmet!"


Sailing toward morning

When I asked Willie if I could post this picture on the Wuggy Chronicles, he was a little bit confused.

"But there isn't anything about ships in the Wuggy Chronicles, is there?"

I said that I guessed we'd have to change that, and his eyes grew wide.

"You mean the Wuggy Chronicles are real?

I nodded.

"All that funny stuff really happened in our family?"

He was very impressed, and as a writer, I was gratified to discover that my kids had been enjoying the dogeared two volume compilation (thanks, Mom and Dad!) as literature more than as family lore.

I'm not sure how he jumped from the idea that the Wuggy Chronicles are changeable to the idea that they are true, but somehow the connection feels exactly right.

Because truth is a vast ocean, and my ship is very small. May God breathe tenderly upon our fragile sails, and give us eyes to see the stars.


Coffee resuscitation

All the cool mommy bloggers shop at Aldi's. Then they post amazing tips about how they effortlessly feed their families nutritious gourmet food for mere pennies, and you could too... if only you had access to an Aldi's.

Well. Now that they've opened up an Aldi's right next to the fine arts academy where I teach, it's my turn to torment all of you.

Seriously, Aldi's is great. The prices are good, but the shopping experience is even better. It's so... simple. And straightforward. And so... not an endless vortex of confusion and manipulation.

Their coffee, however, is decidedly not great. I suppose the upside is that they really push fair trade. Their fair trade coffee is solidly mediocre, but a few weeks ago I tried their uncertified coffee, and was severely punished for my error.

Not. Even. Drinkable.

But necessity is the mother of invention, and coffee is definitely a necessity for a mother of six wuggies... or, for that matter, any other caffeine addicted human being with a boatload of stuff to get done.

I got my idea from bulletproof coffee, which obviously presupposes access to nice coffee and grassfed butter. The stuff I had on hand definitely wasn't going to make me bulletproof, but I wondered if my cheap Aldi's butter might make my cheap Aldi's coffee slightly more tolerable.

It took some tweaking too get the recipe right, but eventually, it worked. I put four "cups" of coffee in the blender (coffee-pot cups, that is) with a tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons of milk. Then I add as much sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg as I feel like, and maybe a drop off almond extract. I whiz it up until it's foamy and wonderful...

And then I try to persuade the wuggies that they really don't need a sip of my coffee.

That's the hard part.



Once in a blue moon we all get up early, to watch the uncracked dawn split open in the darkness, and bleed across the face of the moon until it turns to blue-gray ash.

Which sounds kinda macabre when you put it like that, except it wasn't. It was glorious and peaceful, except for the part where we were squabbling over the telescope, but even that wasn't too bad, and when that blinding sliver of moonlight reappeared against the deep periwinkle sky... well Willie said it looked just like any other crescent moon, but Nathan said out was like that bird that's reborn from the ashes.

We looked at it through the telescope, and that was nice, but not as nice as sitting on the park bench and just being there. I tried to take a picture, but all I got was a grainy shot of darkness with a tiny fuzzy spot of light that insisted on spreading out beyond its boundaries.

The way light does.

Now it is full daylight here, and the moon is free from our shadow. It's a perfectly normal morning.


Surely it comes as no surprise that Isaiah fell asleep over the newspaper.


Wuggy Science Fiction: Isaiah's Space Roller Coaster

What if there was a roller coaster that went around Earth, and was in space? It would be a big hollow ring that goes around Earth.

There would be a station where spaceships would drop off passengers and take them back to earth, like at a train station. There would be a big line.
The roller coaster would probably take a couple of months or maybe even a year to go around earth, so probably they would have to have a bunch of food and drinks. I think people might get bored after a while, because the roller coaster would be going on for days.
Even a space roller coaster would get boring after a day or two.