Mama Says Om: Train


I love words with multiple meanings. When I read the theme of mama says om was train I immediately thought of the choo choo type and then went to the idea of being trained or training.

For awhile when I was 19 or so I worked in the city. I would drive to the train station each day. If I wanted to catch my train, I had to be there by 6:23a.m. In those days I was free to schedule my morning around minutes not half hours as I do now.
At 19 I was a newbie in the corporate world and in reality I was only a visitor. I would watch and listen to the veterans of the corporate cattle call. I had to be trained to ride the train. I remember my dad giving me a few tips before my first trip down, "don't get there to late, stand at the front of the station so you are on the first car and can get off first". I did as he said, trying to blend into the mash of first car riders. I don't think my hippie skirts and birkenstocks ever really blended into the crowd.
I would pull into an open spot, walk quickly to the station, order up a Coke from the cafeteria on wheels and join the other riders of the train. Small talk would ensue between the regulars, I would pop open my Coke and watch and listen and learn. First you would hear the ding, ding, ding of the train and then the mass would move closer and closer together, each person being careful not to cross that invisible line of comfort with the person next to them. The train would blow by and then screech to a halt. Pssst, the doors would open and the mass would move as one, patiently, quietly onto the train. There were the uptop riders that sat alone in their seats, sipping coffee and dreading the day ahead. There were the four packs that sat together each day, playing cards or just shooting the breeze. These were the most entertaining groups and I remember how amazing it was that these people formed a relationship with only their train schedule in common.
Most of the riders sat alone, taking whatever seat was available. Maybe they knew one or two people and said hello or asked about the kids. These riders seemed to give you a glimpse into what grown-up life was really like. Enjoy the hour or so that you have to yourself, rush to your job, rush back home to your family. Many people read books: romance, history, mysteries, I myself was on a Tom Robbins kick at the time. Some people knitted or did their cross stitch and a few worked on reports. Most of the people read the paper or slept.
There seemed to be all these rules that everyone followed, fold your paper so as not to crowd your neighbor, keep your briefcase between your legs, avoid smelly foods and please keep your voice down. I love people watching and I am quite the little rule follower so I was the perfect trainee for this unwritten set of train etiquette. I learned to stand and wait in line before the train made it to the station. I would follow the mass off the train, lighting a cigarette as I made it through the doors, up the escalator and down the road. This ensured that I would make it to work by 7:18, just enough time to get my gold jacket and be on the floor.
In the afternoon I would turn around and do the exact same trip only the rules would be relaxed as the regulars had an after work beer or snooze and students and old ladies in town for a shopping trip joined the train car. I myself always slept on the way home (I only missed my stop twice).
Once in awhile when Annie asks me to ride the train I think about my other life as a train rider. It's like a little present I hold for my girls and will one day give them. As they grow they will think they know everything there is to know about mommy and I will have all these little pieces of me tucked away that I can pull out and share with them. One day maybe Annie or Madison will land a big job in the city and become a corporate commuter and I will be able to tell them to stand near the people at the front of the train so you can get 3 extra minutes of sleep each morning.

I'm gonna do it....


Allright, for a really long time I have had this crazy notion that I should enter a pie in my local fair. It was kinda one of those "someday I am going to enter a pie into the county fair." Well, last year I was at the Sandwich Fair and saw all these vegetables, flowers, cakes and pies that were entered and thought I could do this. I went to the web site this year and found out you could enter knitting and sewing and collections and all sorts of crafty suzy homemaker kinds of stuff. So I thought maybe I should give it a whirl this year. I did a bit of searching of blogs to see if people do this-people as in crazy 35-ish gals from the suburbs -and gosh oh my I found
State Fair Along

I signed up a bit ago and waffled on whether to enter or not, a friend of mine even gave me a premium book (that's where you find out all the catergories). I would page through, dream of fair glory and put it down. The deadline loomed, the deadline was today.
So after dropping Annie off at school Maddie, Autumn and I went for a lovely drive in the country to sign mommy up for the local fair! I am officially entering items in

Category 6 Entry 5461 Soft Molasses Cookies
Category 12 (Color Digital Prints) Entry 5191 Patriotic (image of statue of liberty)
Catergory 4 (Black and White Prints) Entry 5231 Child Life
Category 11 Entry 4291 Apron, kitchen, without bib
Category 16 Entry 4416 Tote bag
Category 22 Entry 4440 Stuffed Animal, any other dressed

Here is my Digital Print entry


Here is my Black and White entry


Not sure on the apron, I may try to whip one out this weekend, the stuffed animal will be my red bunny from the wee wonderfuls pattern and I have not picked a tote bag.


(Just returning to this post after a 4 hour hiatus and now it's Project Runway Time.)

So if you are anywhere near the sandwich fair be sure to check it out. It is tons of fun with all the good fair stuff: monster trucks, antique tractors, a train ride, carnival, pork chop dinner, animals galore and my little bits of handmade goodies looking for a bright blue ribbon. See ya at the fair.

School starting, making crayons and mudpies.


Here I am with all the big talk about my New York adventures and the great blog fodder it would bring. Well, it seems so darn daunting to tackle that big trip, with the many pictures and stories and condense it into a somewhat entertaing blog post. So, I am going to skip the big New York trip until tomorrow when Dan can grab the kiddos and leave me for some uninterrupted time to write. Given that it is 12:30 am and I have just run my fanny off at work all night I thought I would give my addled brain a break and share the easy to write about stuff with ya'll tonight. So here are some of the goings on around here this week.

Annie began her second year of preschool on Monday. This is her walking in to class...


from this picture you would think the girl is a bit shy. Not so much. She ran in said hello and and was right in the thick of it again.

While Annie was off at school, Maddie and I did a bit of harvesting from the garden.


The best part was when Maddie said "Mama, I like pickin' green-beans!" She also made me sit down with her on the bench and enjoy a few beans before we made it inside. Such a smart little girl.

I finally decided to do something about all the broken crayons in the house. I put the girls to work peeling all the paper off (score with a knife first). We then broke them all up and placed in muffin cups with liners and baked at 300 until melted, but not too melted. They didn't come out great but the girls had fun and we have some new crayons. Sorry forgot to take a picture of the crayons. For more on this look here and here.
crayons crayons2

We also did something crazy around here.....

annietoes1 annienails

painted our finger and toe nails. Big fun for both girls. ( I once did a project on household hazardous wastes and have not bought nail polish since, so this was a crazy big deal for us.)

So right from girly girl to mudpies. Our local park district had a mud morning complete with pigs. It was quite fun and definitly muddy.

A tentative start


followed by some mud swimming


then a bit of scooping and ladeling


and onto the grand finale a mud angel.


And thankfully they had big hoses to clean everyone off.

Hope you all had a fun filled week.



Made it home safe and sound. Had a wonderful time in NYC and laughed and laughed and laughed. Way to much to share today, Annie starts preschool tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. so I need a good night of Central Time zone sleep. Lots of pictures and stories to tell, soon.
I Love NY!

Mama Says Om: Laugh


Papa: "Oh, Anya you're so smart, one day you'll know more than I do."
Anya: "Sometimes I already do."
Papa: "Yes Anya, you do."

That little exchange gave me my best laugh of the day.
I also was treated to a few laughs as I
sang Miss Mary Mack (the Ella Jenkins version) in the car.
washed the car and sprayed Anya with water.
tickled Madison.
joked with customers at work.
snuggled Annie during rest time.

I am hoping to add a lot more laughter to my weekend. I am off for 3 nights and 4 days of crazy tourist delight in New York City, without my children! Yep, I said it without my children. I am so lucky to be taking this trip and it is very, very needed. I am going with my sister-in-law and her wonderful sisters. We should have a great time, lots of laughs to be had. This will only be the 2nd night I will be away from the children- in more than 4 years. I do believe it is much needed and well deserved. We will be laughing at a few shows, chuckling down 8th Ave as we shoe shop and giggling over cocktails at whatever hip bar will let a tragically unhip mommy in. (I do think I'll miss everyone, just a little bit, but not enough not to go.) And the best part is hubby took a few days off of work to be with the girls. If you see them all over the weekend try not to laught at their mismatched outfits and unbrushed hair.

Have a good laugh.

Little Red Rideing Rood with Diffent Charters to!


A few weeks ago my nieces came to stay for the night. Annie and T.T. spent all morning putting on a puppet show. Everyone got into the act, including Madison as ticket taker and Katie as my theatre companion. Click the link below to enjoy a little slideshow of the performance.

View slideshow

Turkey Run!


When Dan and I first started dating we would do some camping. I only remember using a tent when it was snowing. We usually just slept out under the stars. We had both done some backpacking and our camping trips were pretty bare bones affairs. We made coffee in a pot of boiling water with a bandana (not a recommended method) and brought very little food, usually a bottle of wine. As time went on we did less and less camping and then the girls came along. This year I finally convinced Dan that it was time to use that lovely Eureka tent we bought and used once. So we loaded up the car....


Yep, that's a fan and a radio and not only a tent but a rain canopy. So much for the bare bones camping experience. The easily packable bottle of wine was replaced by some Mike's Hard Lemonade and Hard Apple Crisp-yum.

and headed to Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. Eveyone enjoyed the trip, even Madison, between her cries of "Wont go hooome, wont go hooome." We did a bit of hiking, ate s'mores, didn't sleep much, hung out at the lodge when it rained, swam in the pool, tried a pony ride, and kept meal cooking to a minimum (cereal in the morning and hot dogs and hamburgers at night). The best part was the hike into the gorge and playing with the sand and sticks in the creek. We also were lucky to see a pair of Indigo Buntings flitting about. There is a great nature center with activities for the kids including feeding the birds in the morning. We saw red-headed woodpecker, downy woodpecker, blue jays and a groundhog.

Camping with the kids may mean 2 times as much stuff and 2 times as many feet to get blisters, but it also means 2 times as many opportunities for really special camping moments. Here are a few of ours:

wedgerockanniemaddie wedgerockannie treewalking

Some great hiking through "giant rocks for dinosaurs"

campfire creekswimming

Their first campfire and a dip in Sugar Creek


This is Annie leaping with glee as she ran across the suspension bridge on our first hike.

More camp at Mama Says Om

Simple Summer Fun!


Foot Painting

For more simple see Mama Says Om.

Have a simply fabulous weekend.