Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Magic and Motherhood

There's a lot of talk about magic around these parts lately.  'Tis the season, after all:  The season where a carrot in a shoe can turn into chocolate; dancers on a stage turn into mice, fairies, nutcrackers, and a whole kingdom of sweets; siblings who often can't be in the same room together spend hours making a gift for another sibling; adults turn into 'right jolly old elves' in spite of themselves;  a time when mere ingredients such as flour, molasses, egg whites and sugar turn into a house fit for a fairy tale; a time when the lights on the neighborhood houses make everything sparkle; a time when a kind word and a polite response to the people who are in our every day means even more;  a time when I say yes to adventure, late nights and silly requests more often.   And really, why not?  I tend to spend a lot of time with the mundane details of motherhood:  laundry and grocery lists, taxi-like service to and from dance, fencing and horse riding,  reminders to practice those precious instruments, to be kind or quiet or careful again.... and being in this season of light reminds me--I can be magical, too. 
I had a massage when I was pregnant with Forest and worried about how to mother this passel of kids I seem to have acquired.  The massage therapist told me, "Remember that you are magical... that's what they need from you."  I spent some time wrestling with that in my head--the practical mid-westerner in me (oh yeah, it's still in there somewhere) said, "Ha!  Magical!  Ha!"  and then the free-spirited forest dweller said, "She's so right"  Guess who won?  Both.  Neither.  It's still a wrestling match.  Some days I feel too wiped by the aforementioned mundane details to be very magical.  The laundry piles up, no one likes what's for dinner, the baby pinches and bites and hits me, homeschooling is a fight and no one played their instruments.  And then I remember that I am magical and powerful beyond my wildest dreams in their lives, simply because I am their mother.  And, I can use my magic to sprinkle just a little more fairy dust into their lives before they slip out of Neverland forever (the baby teeth are nearly gone, and each one lost is rejoiced over!)  Or, I can be the wicked queen who pushes my agenda on those in my realm.  Gee--it's a tough choice.  Actually, it is not always easy to choose to allow them to follow their dreams and feel their feelings fully---it makes for a lot of noise and mess, and sometimes I just want my fairy godmother to come in and offer me a spa trip and a massage--I'll be back by midnight, really, I will.
 I hear my mama friends out there wishing for it all to slow down, and even stop--because the Christmas machine starts early and runs full tilt until the end of the year.  I feel it too.  I have to avoid getting sucked in and burnt out by it, too.  This year, my tactic for that is to remind myself 'remember the magic.'  What I mean when I say that to frantic me (and you?) is:  Remember that they are only small for a short time and that all of the little traditions are what make for good memories.  Remember that if it is feeling stressy and not fun, to just let it go--that tradition has lost a bit of it's magic and may return another year, or not!  Remember that the connections that we have to each other are where the magic grows and lives and is carried beyond this season and into the others.  Remember the magic of gratitude every day.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In Gratitude

It has been a month of gratitude, a month of yoga, a month of partying and fun with friends and family, and I am so grateful to have so many awesome people in my life who make for so many great experiences.  I haven't blogged forever--life has been so full of settling in and making a house into a home again, but now that we have had several gatherings and much of my family has seen our house, and more family to come this weekend, I feel like I can breathe and start to post little bits of our life here on Shadypeak.  I am also going to stay in this place of gratitude for the next month or so, so that I don't careen off into that other place.  Today's sweet memory is that of my sweet Lucy who sat right down and started to play out of the new piano book and then sang with me as I poked out a few songs from my new copy of The Reader's Digest Christmas Songbook (the library was a bust--I guess the Beavertonians are more hip to checking this thing out for the month of December than the Corvallis folks!)  Ahhh... music!  Forest thought it would be a good idea to stand on the piano shortly thereafter and so I had to stop playing.  Oh well!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wee wee wee all the way Home!

We made it, just like that last little piggy.  All the way to our new home in Beaverton, OR.  We did not travel by prairie schooner, Conestoga (or Calistoga as R. often says), covered wagon or on foot.  We had only about 97 miles to go, rather than a couple thousand.  And, it's a dang good thing, because we had a whole heck of a lot of stuff packed into that little house in the big woods.  We took 3 truckloads, had lots of help on both ends (Thank YOU everyone including neighbors, friends who took extra kids and family) and no babies were harmed in the operation.  In fact, everyone seems no worse for the wear, excepting maybe the grown-ups who are crossing their fingers that the hot tub guy who is coming tomorrow can really fix that thing.  We hope y'all will come and visit sometime, because for suburbia, our shady peak is a sweet spot.  We will miss our last sweet spot forever, I am sure.  So many friends and we have said, "Well, maybe you'll be back"  Right now, we are going to enjoy being all together as a family on a daily basis, having family dinners (they will save the world), going on new walks nearby, getting new library cards, and being from Aloha.  Aloha.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ways to spend a 10th birthday:

Being kissed 10 times by your mama, brother, sister and dad when you wake up.
Wearing a brand new mama-made dress.
Playing with your friend before breakfast.
Helping to make breakfast/brunch just the way you like it.
Playing with your friend and sister after breakfast.
Waiting patiently while people finish up handmade gifts.
Dancing around the living room with your sister.
Creating a beautiful birthday cake and helping make birthday dinner.
Going on a bike ride to see what's in the mail.
Reading books to your little brother.
Receiving fresh picked cherries from a neighbor.
Hosting your dear teacher/friend for cake.
Blowing and blowing and blowing to get your trick candle (surprise!) to go out.
Eating yummy homemade birthday cake with friends and family.
Receiving handmade gifts from your brother and sister.
Crawling into bed tired and happy.
I think that when they are grown, I will miss these homemade birthdays the most.  Maybe we can still have them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

10 Years ago right now....

I think I had probably gotten out of the birth tub for the last time, because in a half an hour, Ella was born.  It took me a week to believe that she was a girl, because I had not wanted to hope for a girl--I had only hoped for a healthy baby.  Here we are 10 years later and she is such a lovely girl.  She is strong, kind, brave, graceful, and totally loved by all of us. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


It is the middle of the night.  I have a nursling and I should be sleeping.  A boy the size of a giant is asleep in my bed, but the actual giant is in his 'other home' so there IS enough room for sleep, and yet, here I am, unable to sleep.  So, why not blog?  Don't answer that.  Tomorrow I will go on a journey to view what could possibly be the next home of the Cirque de Doggett.  This probably has a lot to do with why I am not sleeping.  My sister, the saint, has moved something like 15 times since she's been married.  She can probably do it in her sleep, she seems to do it with such grace.  Or maybe she just has enough sense to not tell me all the nail biting horrible bits.  So far, our house has been on the market for exactly one month, and we've had exactly one visitor.  The house-selling part has been what you might call slow here on Slow lane.  The circus performers have ditched their normal acts for laundry folding, bed making and bathroom scrubbing--not bad habits to hone.  The 'oh hell' room has had a serious attitude re-adjustment, and the lack of clutter has actually opened up room for creativity just like all those clutter hating neat freaks say it will.  I hate it when they're right.  And yet, and yet..... this is not the first of nights when two cups of chamomile and two hours in bed lead to me getting up to contemplate my life.  Am I worrying?  Maybe.  See that photo up there?  This is the oasis from the rest of the world to which I have come home for the past seven years.  I remember when we first moved in, and I would come home on hot summer days to the coolness of the forest and think, "Ahhhhh... I live in paradise."  I still think that.  And now I have a whole community of friends surrounding me, and they are just not being very easy to leave.  None of them suck, not a single one.  That's why this moving thing has been all hot air for so long.... two years!  Two years ago I was newly pregnant with baby #4 and wondering how the heck I could move away from all that good stuff.  I couldn't and I pretty much told my husband this.  Two years and one 15 month old later, and here we finally are at this crossroads.  Here is my list of things that I think about when I can't sleep:
How will I find quiet in a city when I sometimes have a hard time finding it here?  Oh yeah... it's inside. 
Are kids really as resilient as everyone says they are?
Will it be as easy to make friends as it has been here?
Will I find a place to buy raw milk and fresh eggs?
Will moving have the desired effect of more family time?
How will homeschooling look in a new place?
Will I be able to say no to the constant stream of interesting looking activities in a city that's so big?
Am I cool enough for Portland?
Will my brother and his wife get tired of being my only friends?
Is this really the right thing to do?

Oy vey.  My eyelids are getting droopy now.  maybe that means i can sleep.  i hope everyone else is getting a goodly amount of zzzzzz's tonight. 
In other news:  Sound of Music curtain/clothing project nearly finished.  Photos to follow
                         PhotoSunday postponement is not permanent.  Keep transfixed to this spot for news
                         Country Fair this weekend! 

Oyasumi Nasai

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PHOTOSUNDAY! : postponed!

Ooops,!  we are busy packing so that we can all live in the same city and we haven't done our PhotoSunday! assignment this week, in fact I didn't even post it.  Eleanor chose it and it is:

The Rule of Thirds

Don't know what it is?  Well, it is not scary, but a little more challenging than our other assignments, maybe that's why we haven't done it yet!  Here is Wikipedia's definition:

And, I think there are some great photos if you just type 'rule of thirds' into the Google Images search box.
Let's make this sunday a PhotoSunday! instead!  :)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day Eve :: Inspiration:: the in breath

'Twas the night before Mother's Day and all through the house...

I have just returned from a really lovely evening.  First I went to the Heart of the Valley Birth Network's showing of Guerilla Midwife.  Robin Lim, the 'star' of the film, is truly a brightly shining star in this world of ours.  She is living and working the idea that gentle birth will create a gentler world.  It was such a gift to see this film on the eve of Mother's day, and to think about my own Mother, who birthed me gently, and inspired me to do the same with my children.  It was lovely to sit next to and in front of our two local midwives and know that they are doing the good work.  It is not easy work, but oh, is it good.  It is nice to have validation every so often that the path that I am on is the right one for this life of mine, and watching that film was very, very inspiring.

 My sister, Molly, is cooking something up over there at Go Running Mom!  She, having just run the Lincoln half-marathon, and just become an instructor at her local Y, is giving a big push for us all to notice that it is :
Oh yeah, that's right.  She has a lot of events posted up on her blog.  I would also like us to notice this, and because I'm me, and waited until the last possible moment to do this, I'm doing a more informal celebration in my life.  I was pondering it all in the shower this morning.  Here's what I'd like to do:
Spend each day of this week focusing on a particular aspect of Health.  I have a lot of friends and relatives who seem to be on a health journey right now, (or, maybe we ALL are??) and I think recognizing that we can all help each in making healthy lifestyles our vernacular is a big step in making it reality for more women, and thus, families.  

So, here was my brainstorm:  The Japanese names for the days of the week are similar to English, but there are elements of nature involved too, so I thought I would use those names as a guide for focusing on a particular aspect of health each day of the week, and also to shout out to all my women friends to celebrate with me. 
Sunday =日曜日 = Sun Day, also Mother's Day.

Today when you wake up in the morning, spend a few moments in gratitude for the sun, it's warmth, it's light, the beauty and bounty we experience because of the sun.  Me, I'm going to do some Sun Salutations, too.  Will you join me?  Spend the day experiencing gratitude for everything:  family, friends, food, clothing, home, dishes, laundry, diapers, sticky hands, smooshy kisses, all of it.  Celebrate your Mother!  And remember where Mother's Day has it's origins:  Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation

Monday =  月曜日 = Moon Day
Today is a day to recognize our connection to the Moon... we are connected you know, as are the tides of the oceans.  It is also a day to honor our menstrual cycles, and female organs.  Like so many mamas, I often think that our fast paced lifestyle is really not conducive to having a healthy cycle.  Sleep too few hours and spend too little time being in nature so that our cycles have stopped being tied closely to the moon.  Here's a challenge (for me, for you?):  Can you see the moon every day for a month?  Today, before bed, I will do Moon Salutations.  I will also contemplate how I can have a healthier cycle--more nourishing teas?  Yes!  

Tuesday = 火曜日 = Fire Day
What is it that fires you up?  What are the things that make the creative juices flow?  Where is your passion.  Part of women's health is truly living our passions.  I was reminded of that today at the movie.  When we are doing our life's work, people around us are inspired and impassioned as well.  Today I will remember that which inspires me and make note of it in some way, through journaling, art or just talking to someone about it so I can really remember.  I like that little expression:  Remember who you wanted to be when you grew up. Today I will also spend some moments meditating.  Please join me!

Wednesday = 水曜日= Water Day 
Today is a day to recognize the flow of the universe and the gift of water in our lives.  Here in Oregon, we spend a lot of time being grateful for rain--it is so incredibly lush with green growing things.  When the rains finally stop in July or so, I find myself feeling a bit dried out.  I have been feeling that way lately because I have been forgetting to drink my water.  I'm a nursing mother, for goodness sake.  It's no wonder my lips are parched and my skin is dry!  Today I will drink lots of water, please join me!  I also want to say something about Water Birth.  I am a mother of four children, all who were born at home, three of whom were born in the water.  I believe in water birth as an amazing, gentle way to welcome babies into our world.   I want to recognize the work that women like Barbara Harper with WaterBirth International are doing. 

Thursday = 木曜日= Tree Day

I have been a tree hugger since way back.  Now, I live in the forest.  Trees clean our air, provide us with homes and food, house our animal friends, give us shade, and maple syrup, and cures for diseases.  Today, let's honor the trees by walking in them with friends.  And, while I'm at it, I'm going to manifest up a new home that is also surrounded by trees.

Friday = 金曜日 = Gold Day

Here's a good chance to examine our relationships with money, honey.  How does my financial health relate to my physical and emotional health?  Where can I find sustainability in my financial life?  How am I working towards goals in this area?  Where does the fear lie?  How do i vote with my dollars?  Am I spending with integrity?  Today I will walk with my children by the river, where will you walk with yours?

Saturday =土曜日 = Earth Day

Let's dig in the dirt.  I don't think i was always this way, but I love getting dirt under my fingernails now.  I love the feeling of planting and harvesting.  Today I am so grateful for the earth and all it's bounty.  Even if you do not have a garden, you can find a place where there is earth and sink your toes in.  Come on, do it!  And while you are sinking into Mama Earth, remember this feeling of grounding, connection to that which is constant, solid, and yet constantly changing.  

Monday, May 02, 2011


It's PhotoSunday! again!  Hmmm... I thought we could get some takers for our photo project.  Maybe y'all just are wondering how to get your photos up.  There are two ways: 

2.  Email me your photos:
Feel free to send photos for this weeks project anytime!

You know you want to be a part of it!  Here are are photos for Sunday, May 1st:
 The theme was:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New things! PhotoSunday! Fonga Rhythms!

It's spring, like I said earlier, and spring is a time for new things.
First: walking baby.
Really walking, not hardly even the drunken swagger he had at first.
And is he proud of himself? Oh yes. He's a big boy now.

But, sometimes he likes to pretend hes' a 'tiny baby', and then he crawls into the library book basket, (which he has first rid of all library books by tasting them and then throwing them on the floor) and his siblings take him for a ride. He loves it!


Please join us in our photo projects. I've made a new page just for PhotoSunday! We had a very successful first attempt at photo sharing this Sunday. We spent a few minutes with each photo, offering each other constructive criticism. It was amazing to hear the children talk to each other and to us about our photos. This is going to be so much fun!

PhotoSunday! Flickr set.

In other news:

We have spent two wonderful afternoons at fellow homeschoolers' home doing some WEST African Drumming. This was great fun for all. The first time, Forest slept through the entire thing, so neither of us got to participate, but this time we were there. We learned a Fonga rhythm from Senegal, which our teacher, Michelle says is played at important events like parties and weddings.

It made me so lonesome for my brother Pete--that is DOCTOR Peter Hoesing to you! My little bro is now Peter Hoesing PhD! I call him the Doctor of Drums. I hope that's okay with him. He is an inspiration to all of us. I only wish I could have been a little fly on an anthill when he was the drummer for the wedding while he was there.
By the way, Dr. Uncle Pete says there is a special song for kids like forest. It means something like "Will toddle to anthill and eat the white ants" Maybe I can get him to say it for me again in Luganda.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring has sprung

You know it is spring in the Oregon Coast Range, when the temperature hits 50 + degrees and your children are in their bathing suits, jumping into the creek and requesting sno-cones and popsicles. "Can we set up the kiddy pool and put Forest in it, Mama?" asked big sister last week, when the temperatures soared beyond 60 even.
The kiddos were gone from the house without any breakfast before I'd even done the first diaper change of the day, with grand plans to 'walk the creek', which I think involves getting your boots filled with water. "Can't we get out our summer clothes?" "Where are my sandals?" Yes, indeedy folks, that big yellow thing in the bright blue sky does indicate that the seasons are a changin'. I am never one to complain about the rain, I love how everything is so green, especially at this time of the year. The greens seem to take on a whole new level of green-ness. The moss is happy, the usnea is silvery, the ferns are beginning to uncoil, and all with help from the rain. Nevertheless, it always cracks me up and makes my heart sing with the young 'uns around here welcome the first sunny days with these crazy requests.
Forest has discovered the great outdoors. Recently, he went out, clad in his 'snow suit' (mostly it's just a protective coating against mud at this point) (Thanks, Susi!) and it was quite comical watching him put his hands down to crawl and then lifting them up to examine the damp surface of his pudgy palms with a quizzical look on his face. Soon he got the knack of crawling around in springtime weather, testing out several new delicacies: soil from potted plants, woodchips, sticks, rocks, moss, and today, black oil sunflower seeds. I like to take him with me while I feed the birds. I pull him around in the wagon delivering seed to our two feeders. Today I had to jump several times to grab the branch so I could put the feeder up and he just cracked up giggling. Apparently white mamas can't jump either.
Each of the big kids has been welcomed into the realm of camera-toting Doggetts, and as such, we have had our first 'photo assignment,' which was to capture something of the spring. So, watch this space for the results of that assignment, which will be posted after we weed through all of the photos (one of us took 4000 photos! that's a lot of weeding!) Until then, Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ladies: At Home

(me: at home new hair photo taken through computer's camera....)

I have just returned from a 'Ladies At Home', a gathering of women at my neighbor's home. One of the other guests said that an 'At Home' was something the ladies of Cincinnati held in the early part of the previous century. How delightful it always is to be in the company of women, many of whom are friends, and others who seem very much to be kindred spirits. The conversation was in turns interesting, hilarious, educational, raunchy, nostalgic, sad, touching, sweet and revealing. We were without our men and children, and yet, of course, they entered into those conversations often. Several of us are dealing with some really harsh, hard stuff. What a comfort to sit among these women and laugh, cry and share stories and a meal. And I ask myself--why do we not do it each Saturday??? Oh, we are busy and it would just be one more thing to add into our weekends which are often the only family time that we have. Seriously, though, my mental and emotional health just got a big boost tonight from being among my women friends. I feel like encouraging all the women I know to host or be a part of an 'At Home' evening with friends.
My sister recently told me that she has been chosen to be part of National Women's Health week. She says she's going to ask for my help, too. Between talking to her about that, and the women tonight, and a dear old friend on the phone yesterday, and another newer but just as dear friend today, I really see that having and being friends to our women friends is what keeps us going, what keeps us from going insane, and what really, ultimately, makes the world go round.
Not cheese... women.
Yup, you heard it here. I was not drinking tonight, those some were, and yet, I still feel a sense of euphoria often associated with chemical alteration. We are so powerful together. My neighbor has a book of women's song with lovely photos of women--suffragettes, beautiful hippie songstresses. I bet she was thinking we might sing some of those songs, which would have been nice, but I enjoyed just perusing the book and checking out lyrics and photos, remembering my Women And Radical Social Movement class at UCSC taught by Marge Frantz, and the feeling of being in the lecture hall with so many young, vibrant women.
Somewhere in the noise and confusion of being a mother, I think I sometimes forget about the power of women together, how healing it is to just sit in a room with a bunch of women. I have other thoughts about mothering, feminism, freedom and liberation, but they're going to have to wait for a night that's not so late, when I can rub two thoughts together to make fire.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One whole year.

Totally unbelievable how time flies when there is a baby. I can't believe you're one, sweet Forest! You have made our lives better in so many ways. You wake up happy, and we start our days with smiles. You make us laugh with the funny things you do. Your curiosity is insatiable, and reminds us to be curious all over again. We are so lucky to have you in our family!