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Why? my blog title "Better2me"

As a woman, mother, and wife my first instinct is to take care of those around me. I nurture those I love in many ways through out the day, but sometimes find myself neglecting me. Recently I realized that I need to nurture myself as well. So this blog is about ME!!!!! What fills my heart; my simple life of kids, husband, animals, home, and creativity. For being better2me leads me to be better to those I love.

Friday, November 30, 2012

True Nature

One of Keaton's P.E. teachers pulled me aside recently to tell me about an interaction she had witnessed with Keaton. The students were picking teams for their next activity and some popular boys had asked Keaton to be on their team. He agreed. But then he realized his friend, who is more academic than athletic, was team less and he asked him to join their team. The other boys protested and when it come down to it, they gave Keaton an ultimatum; Keaton could stay by himself, or he could go with his friend. The teacher stated to me that Keaton did not hesitate and looked at his nonathletic friend and said, "we'll I guess it is just you and I, on our own team" and walked away.

Moments like these, show me the true person he is, and are more priceless than gold.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Treasured Gift

The last birthday gift my sister, Denise, gave me before she passed away was several packages of special teas. She had gone on vacation with my twin sister, and their spouses, to San Francisco and happened upon a little tea shop where the owners made all their own teas. The story behind the gift was as fun to hear as the present was to open. Soon after, she became too ill to travel and four months later she was gone.

I have held these teas, in their pink and opaque packages, in my tea drawer, and every time I see them I think of her and the way her face lit up when she told me the story of the funny couple and their passion for tea. I am afraid to use them because, in my thoughts, when they are gone, so too is the last present I will ever receive from her. However, I also realize that she would have wanted me to enjoy them and instead hold on to the memory, just as I do with her.

This week I set out on mission and found a tea kettle. With its Japanese lines, and cast iron material, not something I would have chosen otherwise, but seemingly perfect for this tea ceremony. Today, I cleaned and worked and when it was time for a break I heated the water, primed the teapot, opened the beautiful packaging and thought of my sister as the tea seeped.

As I savored the complexity of the favors, I remembered my sister and realized that this tea; that is flowery, with hints of sweetness and tartness represents her so well. And I enjoyed it immensely.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Foto Friday

Talked Kevin into creating this lamp for the Mammoth house. It is made from an old pulley from my great grandfathers farm. He was reluctant but fell in love with the finished product as much as I did.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I didn't promise.....

So I promised my youngest, who decided last night, at the zero hour, to dress up, ( and thus ensued a last minute trip to the drugstore for makeup), that I wouldn't put his picture of him as a pilot, who has been in an accident (hence the makeup), on instagram or Facebook, but I said nothing about my blog.

He wore his fathers uniform and when I asked wouldn't it be bad if he was the pilot and the plane crashed, he stated no as he was the co-pilot and the pilot just didn't listen to him. My creative son :).

I realize I must enjoy it as it goes too fast, as when I spoke to my older son today to tell him of his brothers last minute change of heart, ( he too remembers that he was the same way),and asked what he was doing tonight on the day of the dead, he stated simply.....bible study and intermural soccer game.....

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Picture Friday

This is what occurs after a three day science trip.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Usually I am a summer type of girl, love the heat, the outdoor activities the growing and cooking of food, but with the intense heat we have been experiencing the last few weeks I have been longing for a taste of fall. We today we finally got a tidbit. Although of course it came when Keaton traveled to the nearby mountains with his school for a three day science camp. My never am I going to wear a sweater son, may find himself a little chilly. Anyway, I spent the day enjoying some of the joys cold weather has to offer.

First I met girlfriends for our weekly coffee klatch, something I would never miss whether hot or cold or blizzard or heat wave.

Next I gathered ingredients from trader joes and headed home to watch a scary movie.

Made some soup........Parmesan, basil, and tomato and chicken curry.

Rewired two old(I'm talking 30 and 40 year old ones) lamps.

Light a fire and listened to the thunder and lightening, although Roxy was not too happy at all about it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What I Have Learned in the Last Twenty Years

Twenty years ago on October 3rd I was getting acquainted with my first child, Kellan. It had been a difficult birth. I thought I would easily conquer the pains of labor and deliver him naturally. Hours into it, I was ready for any pain relief possible and asked the doctor to just hit me over the head, unfortunately the baby picked that moment to go into distress and medication, of any kind, was out of the question. When his heart rate started to decline, after five hours of pushing, they decided to use suction to help him along. Of course that along with the screw monitor in the top of his head where the two things my Lamaze instructor warned us to absolutely not have. When he came out with a head that looked more like a Hershey kiss, I just knew he was maimed for life.

That night after the room filled with In-N-Out eating relatives departed, I sat suckling my new son and as I gazed upon him I wondered what he would be like. Would the trauma of birth handicap him, or would it have more to do with the fact that he had me as a mother do the most damage.

From that moment on we became inseparable, I had found the reason for being on this planet, that of motherhood. As he grew I became his champion, his confidant, and his friend, as well as his mother.

Today, that son turned twenty, and things have been much different in the past few months. He has made friends that fill the spot that I have held for so long, confidant, mentor and friend. He has grown independent and wants to make his own decisions. He calls me less, and is more interested in telling his opinions, then in listening to mine.

However, as I sit contemplating these changes I realize that holding that child on the day of his birth 20 years ago, I could on dream of the person he would become, today I am blessed with the man that far exceeds anything my imagination could of created. For being his own person was on the top of my list even twenty years ago.

I am SO proud of him.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Favorite Foto Friday

If one could only do what one wanted to all the time.........Keaton would do this a lot:)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Favorite Foto Friday

A sick child and a spoiled one eyed kitten.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Keaton beats to a different drum.

My youngest son, Keaton, has his very own and unique rhythm about him. One that use to worry me, but now which I embrace wholeheartedly.

For example, last week on a day off of school we took a fun day to the beach with friends. He had been hounding me for weeks that I had promised to take him before school started and I had not fulfilled my word. After the 1000th time, I gave in and off we went.

His main motive was to try out his new fishing rod in the ocean,a new experience for him. So after a few minutes with the other kids in the ocean, he headed off to the pier in the distance. The other four kids with us followed suite. After several hours the other mom and I set off to the pier to see what they were doing. 45 min later we reached the pier and found the four friends on their way back, but no Keaton. They had left him a couple hours before when one of them got mad because Keaton would not let him use his pole. (he had called said person the night before and told him he would be fishing and that he should bring his own pole.) We headed back hoping he would make his way back soon. By the time we had reached our spot, I had began to get worried, only because it was 3:15 and I had told Keaton we would be leaving at 3.
At 3:30 I received a call from Keaton, he had borrowed someone's phone, to find out which lifeguard station we were at. He arrived at 4:00, due to a change from state to city beach the life guard stations we out of order, and so he had to stop and ask further directions from a lifeguard. I know the person I was with was flabbergasted at the whole situation, something she would never condone, and politely she stated that at least I wouldn't have to worry about him being a follower......but the truth was that I was so proud of him, not only had he gone against the grain, something that would have bothered me earlier, by doing what he wanted and standing up for himself, but he had been so resourceful in taking care of himself and getting himself where he needed to be.
Since I have let go of the criteria of what I want for him, I have seen the uniqueness that is him. Keaton is hardheaded and black and white, but he is also the kindest person I know, with a great ability to succeed in any avenue he wishes and extremely resourceful. And when I allow him to follow his own path he flourishes, he has already found a friend very similar to himself who he connects with.....without my intervention:)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meme meme meme memeeeeeeeeeeeee


So, I'm kinda liking this meme thing......it gives me a subject to write about that is lighthearted, but also gets me thinking about other things in my life. Thanks kendra. (ps thanks for making me learn, from the last meme, how to tag other blogs.)

What do you eat for breakfast? Not a breakfast person, in fact my least favorite meal of the day and my husbands favorite one to go out for, so I usually have a cappuccino, hot or iced depending on the season. Then around ten or eleven I will eat something like leftovers or a sandwich, then around two I am hungry for a snack, then dinner.

What's your favorite television show? Flying Wild Alaska is a show all of us LOVE, Suits, Leverage, White Collar, and cheesy Sci- Fi shows.

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were in kindergarten? A Vet. Until I had chemistry in high and realized I would never pass the science and math classes needed.


What food would you never eat? Veal, I use to work down the street from a veal farm and seeing them restrained in little boxes upset me greatly. Of course there are other things that can't eat cuz my stomach wouldn't let me, but we won't go into those.

When was the last time you got a speeding ticket? A few years ago, with my girlfriend Melanie, coming back from Mammoth. Darn those sneaky highway patrol men.

How many pairs of shoes do you own? Like Camen and Kendra I'm going to guess, but unlike them I know I will over estimate cuz I don't have very many. I'll say 10 pairs at the most.

What are your favorite blogs? My blogs change depending on my mood and what I am interested at the time, but I always read Kendra's The Adventures of the Headless Family, Carmen's Mom to the Screaming Masses, Posie gets Cozy by Alicia Paulson, and just started Debby's Just Breath.

What's your guilty pleasure? Chocolate and sweet tea, if I could give up these I would be soooo skinny.

How many hours a night do you sleep? It varies every night.

Have you ever had a nickname that you hated? In school they use to call me Karen the red baron, it use to drive me crazy until I realized it wasn't even bad, and just darn right stupid. My dad use to call me Kegglebee, which he shortened to Keggy, which I love. My family calls me "K" which people who don't know me well think my name is actually "Kay" .

What are you afraid of? Same as the rest, losing my husband or kids, also failing at anything.

Tag! You're it!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Music to my ears


So this is a newbie for me, my friend, Headless Mom, tagged me in a get to know you type game for bloggers. Sounds like fun, in that I have to name the top 15 vocalists that have influenced me in some way. Not that I am a big music buff, but that is what makes it interesting in that everything that relates to music for me also has a memory of some sort. (ps the hardest part will be figuring how to tag people in it, so wish me luck. Also pathetic is that although I read blogs everyday, I don't know them personally, so I will be borrowing some from Headless Mom, and sending some to unsuspecting bloggers who I read.)

The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen vocalists that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. And in no particular order. Tag fifteen friends, and me, because I'm interested in seeing what singers my friends choose

John Denver, the only concert I have been too. Laugh if you want.

Nicolette Larson, her Sleep, Baby, Sleep, is one that made me enjoy my children even more.

Frank Sinatra, his My Way, is my husbands favorite song

Elvis Presley, again all about hubby and his "should have been born in an earlier time.

Not an artist, but You Are My Sunshine, is the first song I ever learned from my dad in a station wagon on the way to Utah.

Josh Groban

Jack Johnson, led me to my favorite style of music.

Roger Miller. His King of the Road was played hundreds of times growing up.

Little brown jug, first song I learned to play on the flute.

Led Zepplin, Stairway To Heaven of course.

Bee Gees. All about Jr, High and High School.

That song that says "took my Chevy to the Levi, but the Levi was dry." is that american pie? My oldest sister played that song over and over non stop.

Clueso, a group that Kellan brought back from Germany, that makes me melt every time I hear it.

Weird Al, no matter how hard I try to get away from him, I can't. He is like fingers on a chalkboard.

The last would be my mom and dad, every year they would call me on my birthday and BADLY sing Happy Birthday to me.

I did warn you I wasn't a music person.

p.s. your tagged:

...Kendra

...Carmen

...Elizabeth

...Debby

...Alicia

...Christie

...Karen

...Beki

...Sue

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I want a script for life.

Two posts in two days have made me realize that I feel the need to write when things are stressful for me, while when things are good, as during the summer months, I have no driving force to do so.

Today has me wondering if I will survive these two years that my youngest will be in junior high. He is lucky to have good teachers, but I worry that the lack of individual attention and his learning style and needs will make things difficult. I was hoping that things would click this year and I wouldn't have to worry, nor put so much effort into making sure he gets what he needs and make sure school work is not just done but also understood, however that has not been shown true.

Already in the first four days of school I have seen confusion in what is expected of him in almost every subject. As in today's homework he did not understand what he was required to do. I was proud of him that he asked his teacher after school to clarify it, however the teacher still did not give him an adequate response. When I read the requirements I was able to explain it to him and he completed the assignment. Although, I had to argue and cajole to get him to listen and got even more conflict when working on his math.

I worry pushing too hard will lead him to feeling bad about himself regarding learning, such as I did as a child, but also that not pushing enough will have him unable to achieve the goals he wishes too. Plus, I am already tired from the worry, and fluctuate between giving up and allowing him to succeed or fail on his own, or taking over and checking on each assignment to make sure it is understood and correctly done.

I am so angry that I do not know what to do for him.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A First of Many



The first week of school is, well, full of firsts. Especially when your youngest child enters seventh grade and therefor junior high.

Firsts, such as having many different teaches, in many different classes, with many new students. But the "first" that worried my son the most was one that came with having to dress for P.E., and funny enough had nothing to do with actually changing in a locker room full of boys that he didn't know, but instead had everything to do with having to open the lock that comes attached to his locker.

A necessity that he thought he would never conquer, he asked (pleaded, demanded) that I buy a locker he could practice on. Small motor skills are hard for him and so I understood his angst. For $3.95 at Target I got a little piece of mind for him. I showed him how to do it and then he took over. Twenty-some tries later he gave up in frustration. I couldn't figure out what he was doing wrong because when I watched everything was perfect. I showed him again and still no dice. I let him go wondering if he would give up or come back for another round.

Thirty minutes later he picked it up and tried again.(my heart soared for it is not how good you are at something quickly, but the fact that you keep trying that I feel makes a person successful.) This time I saw something he did differently than I. Being left handed he twirled the lock to the left before he began the first number in the combination to the right. This small change made all the difference and from that point on he got it unlocked 100% of the time.

A smile and sense of accomplishment radiated from him like the rays of the sun. The first goal of the year realized and a small seed implanted, hopefully to grow, allowing him to realize he can do anything if he doesn't give up.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Picture of the week.

Piper, aka Frankenstein, born with cataracts, attacked by a dog and lost an eye, broken jaw in two places, large laceration on the top of his head, blind as a bat, and still purrs every time you touch him.......

Friday, June 1, 2012

A single moment

A moment from the week that captures a memory I wish to hold on to.

In this case Keaton's sixth grade graduation, full of laughter and goofiness which is so unlike him to do in front of the camera.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How does my garden grow?

I understand the appeal of spring. The darkness of winter(I know being from Southern California I'm one to complain) leads to a new beginning each year, as the process of renewal begins. It is my favorite time of year as the drudgery of repeaticious housecleaning is put aside, so that one can venture to the outdoors and begin to nurture things that will grow and prosper.

This year the experience has been extra thrilling due to the building of a new chicken coop, which influenced my hubby to become emotionally involved in my garden. It has been so good to work together and has allowed us to appreciate each other more.

Being in the suburbs we are so lucky to have such a big piece of land, those of you in other states can laugh at us, which also allows us to enjoy our passions. I love my chickens and garden, while hubby enjoys his barn that houses three antique John Deere tractors. One was his grandfathers, that he rode as a child, another is a friend of the familys, the third his great Uncles, all restored to their former glory. Rides through our suburb of Los Angeles have earned him the nickname "the John Deere tractor guy!"

My amazing hubby roto tilled my garden

Roxy goes nose to nose with a Mason bee in the lavender

One of the several trips made to the lower yard each morning and each time Berkly has to take a dip in the pool.

The newly finished, the sign just went up yesterday, chicken coop my hubby built.

Mornings in the garden are so serene.

My blackbird that never leaves the garden.

The back of our house from the garden.

The garden, chicken coop, and tractor barn.

My first attempt at rhubarb, I can't wait to experiment with it.

Many years ago I made stepping stones from tiles, even a favorite teapot that was chipped and broken became one. I still use them today.

My jalapeƱo is the first thing producing and it will be salsa this weekend.

Nothing prettier than a row of peppers, minus the sprouting weeds of course.

My hubby thought I was crazy when I told him I could reuse the bedsprings from our sons Ikea bed. After they were painted and staked in the garden with old drapery rods and finials, he thought they looked great as cucumber and tomato trellises.

Growing small things, like radishes, in galvanized tubs allows me to keep a watchful eye on them. I also use the tubs for lettuce, which in California the sun becomes too much for them, so I have been known to put an umbrella over to shade them.

My blackberry has already started bearing fruit, a replacement to the huge grapevine we had encircling the garden that died for some unknown reason.

Can you tell which chicken is top of the pecking order. Wilma is SO bossy!!!!!

Most would consider Morning Glories weeds as they are so prolific. But I LOVE them, our last chicken coop was covered in them and I hope this little start will also (I also have planted some red ones). The nice thing is the chickens love them and spend a large amount of time trying to get to ones lying just outside their reach.

Berkly just waiting to "retrieve" a chicken or two.

Taken from the back of the barn, our chickens are in heaven protected from the wind and predators.

FarmVille USA meets southern California.

Pinterest got me painting pots this weekend and brightened the patio where we spend so much of our time.

Tomato explosion. This refugee spent the whole winter on the patio and came back with a ton of cherry tomatoes.

Too hot to grow peas in the garden, I find that when grown in a slightly shady spot on the patio they do quite well.

That is of course if you can refrain from popping the young peas Into your mouth.

One of my favorite things ever is the pizza oven my hubby surprised me several years ago from Italy. The grapes growing on it will someday be our own wine.

Thanks for taking a tour of my garden with me. I hope you come back when everything is in its full regalia.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A snapshot of life.

In the spirit of soulemamma a picture capturing the week. However in this case these weren't my pictures but ones taken by my niece Cara, of my nephews family, Marc, Monique and my great niece Aubrey. Although I couldn't settle on just one because each captures a different personality......look close at the one with the three of them with Gpops and you might, if you believe, see the spirit of my sister, Denise standing with them.

about me

Alta Loma, California, United States
I am a wife of 28 years to Kevin, a pilot, a mother of 22 year old Kellan and 15 year old Keaton. I am caretaker to a zoo of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, fish, birds, turtles, etc. I am a gardener, a cook, a writer, a painter, a teacher, and I am truly blessed to be able to live life the way I wish too.