Friday, May 17, 2013

A Wombat Celebration of Mary

I've hijacked the Hussy's blog.  I know this lovely lady isn't likely to toot her own horn, so I'm doing it for her.  About a month before Mary's birthday, Paul Bunyan sent the following e-mail out to the Wombats:

         After much deliberation and emotional stress I have come up with a simple plan. Many could not swing the Tuckermans weekend (we'll have to revisit that in the future because I found a rental for all the families!) and I decided it should just be the girls because you ladies have more fun without us guys anyway. Also, I was told there was some discussion about a more intimate party and I know that Mary would prefer this to a big event. So, save the night of Fri the 19th and I will be sending you all out to dinner @ The Kitchen Table Bistro in a semi-private room. The reservation I made is @ 7:30. We will keep it a surprise and Medora will be taking Mary out to dinner because her looser husband is taking her to hang out with her in laws for her 40th. You can all dress in black tops and decorate the room how you like or whatever you want to do to pimp her. I will take care of the tab with the exception of drinks and gratuity if that sounds all right. Details to come.

Love to All,
Paul Bunyan

And so, it was decided that we would don ourselves in sequins and celebrate this fine lady in style.  In an attempt to honor our gal Mary, we all wrote a little something about this fine lady.  After some dancing and delicious food, we shared our words,  Here they are:

From Susan

Blue sky a mornin’
Happy Hollow girl with big beaver
Pond skating decades.
Chicken Pot pie love.
Peanut butter frosting love.
Homesteading hussy.
Forty years old now.
Year after year you amaze
Me, With strength of self.
The forties are fab.
No directions are needed.
Create your sweet path.

From Jules

Beautiful Mary
Knitter of coveted hats
Our Venus in furs
Sensitive badass
Friend, earth mama, doula
Roller derby next?

From Andrea

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
how does your garden grow?
with friends and dogs
and hops and hogs
and hand knit hats all in a row

Mary, Mary, extra-ordinary
ain’t nothing this chick can’t do
she skates and writes
and swears and bites
with more than enough sass to share

Mary, Mary now yer forty
What are you gonna do?
Spanx it up
Fill up a cup
and let us celebrate with you

From Jenny

Mary, sweet Mary
So beautiful contrary
tell us how does your sugarbush grow?
When 1st we met twas wooly and wild

Lately I’ve heard ‘tis trimmed and ready to go!
Her spirits relentless
whether fur clad or pantless
and her heart as big as the moon

Oh Mary, sweet  Mary
fabulously contrary
Oh how you make us all swoon!

From Lee

There’s Something About Mary

Magnificent at everything you do
Always with a beautiful smile
Ravishing in that hot pink dress
Your holiday soiree's and gal pal gathering are one of a kind

Girl you are amazing
A wombat to the core
Never without your charming sassy wit
Zesty fun lovin’ fabulous mom
Everyone wishes they looked that good at 40
Nifty knitter
Many incredibily lucky ladies call you their friend
Underwear fashionista
Lady extraordinaire on the ice
Everyone loves you!!
Rockstar in a fur coat

Cheers to you Mary!! Happy birthday my lovely dear friend!
A million xo’s

From Mud

Ode to Mary

I love that you are my friend.  Your presence comforts me and puts me at ease.  I love walking through the woods with you surrounded by canines who race back and forth like trout moving upstream.  We walk through mud, snow, and ice talking about dreams of the future in our woods, about friendships and husbands, about addiction and growing old.  Sometimes we talk a lot, and sometimes there is silence.  What I love is that it is not uncomfortable to be quiet with you.  In silence we learn who is a true friend.

When I am falling behind on a run, or struggling to keep up with a group, you are always there for me with words of encouragement.  You could easily race to the top and get their first, but instead you stand by me.  You have been my anchor through a slew of storms over the past 10 years.... through miscarriages, death, infants, toddlers, family mayhem, trauma, post traumatic stress..... you have helped me stay strong and carry on despite sadness, frustration and loss.  But through the madness and fog of the tough times, is the light and warmth of the good.  Warm summer days, sitting by the pond, a cocktail in hand watching our children play together with smiles on our faces and theirs or looking back at our tracks on a powder day, panting and grinning from ear to ear.....

You say you don’t know what to do next in life, but what you don’t realize is how much you are doing now.  I am in awe of your ability to juggle 3 children and live your dream of making a living off the land.  I am amazed by your athletic prowess and dedication to your team.  You are truly an inspiration.

Ten years from now, on your 50th birthday when the boys are 18 and most of my dogs have died, we will go south to warmer waters with our husbands and start a bed and breakfast for cute young sailors.... I will be the bartender, and you will cook the food.  Austin and Spencer can do the cleaning;)

Just know that no matter what else happens in life, one of your biggest accomplishments is being such an amazing friend to many and especially me.  I love you old lady.  Here’s to 40 more!!!

From Catherine

Here's to the Hussy
There's one thing you're wrong about, Miss Mary… one thing you're wrong about indeed. You think only three people read your blog? Ha! You make me snort and laugh if you believe that. Or, maybe I should put on my Hussy tone to respond to that. "Who are you fucking kidding? Fuck you crazy lady for thinking that!"
I'm not a weekly reader. I like to let some time lapse, and then make a pot of tea, and sit in my gross bathrobe and have a long read so I can soak it all in.
Impressive insight.
Wondrous wisdom.
Brutal honesty.
Rude, crude, downright hilarious humor.
An artistic eye.
Beautifully crafted words.
Usually I laugh. Sometimes I cry. I love it when I cry because I'm laughing so hard. Often, you make me think about things I normally don't take time to ponder. Usually shit having to do with the meaning of spawn.
Today, in preparation for your 40th, I made that cup of tea and read every post in the Wombat category. All 33 of them … Thirty Three! Thank God we have you, Homesteading Hussy, documenting the highs, the lows, the milestones, the minutia, the outrageousness, the traditions, the growth, and the meaning of it all. It would be a crying shame to let these moments fade with our memories. And, as much as I hate your fucking camera, I do love it when you point it at other people, or at the back window of an Econoline van where we're drawn penisis and vaginas for the world know … Mary G and Her Wombats have Here!

To know you through words is quite a unique gift indeed – perhaps a more clear reflection than I could pull out of you myself.
After 33 blog posts and 3 cups of tea, I think about your very special gift that brings your thoughts to life. But then I take a step back and realize all of the special gifts you have, and how blessed you are to be such a Jill-of-all-Trades. Amazing writer, photographer, cook, craftsperson. Builder, brewer, athlete. Parent, doula, friend. Explorer, adventurer, boat-rocker.  Beautiful and one-of-a-kind BIATCH!
You are a gem, Mary, and we are so happy to celebrate the very special YOU tonight!

From Katy
Mary, Mary Mary

What can’t you do?  
  • You are one of the few people I know who was not only a division I athlete, but one that played in the final four every year and almost made the Olympic National Team
  • You are one of the few people I know who has continued to be a team player--even into your 40’s.
  • You saved my ass when I signed on to coach high school field hockey and had not a clue as to how I could coach these girls.  
  • You have raised dogs, chickens, cats, alpacas, and pigs.  
  • You grow veggies and children like you were born to do it
  • You  had twins with a 2.5 year old and you nursed them and used cloth diapers.
  • You have always been my role model for how you have raised your children-- with lots of love, but understood limits.  
  • You hand spin, dye and knit the most gorgeous textiles I’ve seen
  • You know how to make a great cocktail-- those L.I. teas I was introduced to 9 years ago at Green River will never be forgotten.   
  • You bake the most delicious cakes I’ve ever had-- you’ve made a wedding cake for 90 people!
  • You write with humor and wit and sincerity that I will make you famous some day.
  • You rip on tele skis, a mountain bike, hockey skates, and I hear you are also a really good golfer, too.  
  • You’re an amazing artist-- look no further than behind your stove!
  • You have incredible will power-- whether changing your diet, fasting, or going on jaunts on the wagon.
  • You are tougher than nails-- you hardly let us know how much those Lyme buggers are bothering you and carry on with such stoicism and strength.
  • You suck the marrow out of your summers.  You get around and you make it happen.  
  • You adore your husband and model the give and take that a healthy relationship should emulate.
  • You don’t give a shit.  You say what you want, you do what you want, and you don’t get bogged down by worrying what others think.
  • You dream and you dream and you have come it with so many amazing ways to grow old....... tent platform B & B, brewery, post partum doula, writer, .......
  • You have a heart of gold.  You’d do anything for a friend.  When someone needs you, you are there....... doing exactly what that person needs, even before that person knows she needs it.  You were literally my angel when Cally broke her leg and I had a 3 week old...... You came to my house every week without even asking if I needed you -- preparing meals, strapping Hazen to your body, having your children read to and entertained Cally, and giving me the much needed break I needed to ski or just let go and breath.  I will never forget your generosity and find such comfort in knowing that your friendship is there for me.  
  • You wear your heart on your sleeve and that honesty and sincerity are something I cherish.

Thanks for being you.  I’m so glad you came into my life over 10 years ago.  Having you here has made me a better person.

From Jen (with help from Mud) and sung before the event:


1.   Here’s where we begin our song
This road of friendship’s grown so long
Our Mary with her heart of gold
Has reached that point, the bitch is old

2.   Don’t expect---that we’ll go easy on ‘er
--If we did, this song would be a yawner
“So listen up you pack of bitches!”
(We say that only in her honor)

Mary, Mary, don’t be fussy
Just cause you’re the homestead hussy
Don’t mean we can’t take you out
Dress you up, scream and shout

“Lordy she’s one gorgeous bitch
Can’t be more than 26
Forty if you’re really countin’
What’s she do on that there mountain?”.....

3.   She’s a lover, and so funny
Loves her kids and loves her honey
--We’d all learn a thing or two
Watching her do what she do

4.   But Jesus Christy, she's so feisty
When she drinks Long Island iced tea
Watch your back, she’ll take a smack
And leave her hand print ‘cross your crack!

"I refuse to smoke your weed
I just never felt the need
Now pass the margaritas please”

5.   Her talents have so many shades
She’s a jackass of all trades
Fiber spinner, gourmet dinner
Gifted writer, rooster fighter

6.   Photo taker, blog creator
Shit’s so good you gotta hate her
Pig pig miller, beer distiller
Veggie grower, Bunyon blower


7.   Baby charmer, homestead farmer
Pubic hair is now a goner
Lime diseaser, husband pleaser
Helpful doula, girl you rulah

8.   NC double A offender
Once an o-lymp-ic contenter
Rippin skier, you should see ‘er
Crossfitelia--let me feel ya!

9.   Plays ice hockey like a chick
Likes to hold that big hard stick
You won’t find this lady lunching
Nor will she be carpet munching

10. Self deprecating, masterbating
Gets off on alpacas mating
Likes to show her pubic shanks
In the hole of her beige spanks

“Though I can’t suck my own tit,
I have a very special clit
And I will crush you in crossfit...”

CHORUS x 2, repeat last line

I can't think of a better reason to put on the sequins and celebrate!  The Wombats are lucky to have Mary in our lives!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 40

Well, I've had some time now to think about what 40 tastes like.  It tastes a lot like tortilla chips, salsa and beer...a few of my favorite things.  It was an ordinary day in Arizona- my actual birthday.  I always eat ice cream for breakfast.  I started this tradition in high school because I was feeling sorry for myself that it was vacation and I had no friends around and I had nothing to do.  I remember sitting on the back porch in the sunlight.  I had slept in and decided that ice cream for breakfast was a perfect way to start my ordinary day.  So I do it, still, to make ordinary birthdays seem, well, less ordinary.

We took the kids to old Tucson Studios. 
 Where I got nasty looks from my 11 year old.

Just another ordinary day.

It became even more ordinary when we went to the pool and then went to get Chinese food for dinner.  Very ordinary indeed, until Paul Bunyan was up all night with food poisoning.  Definitely not ordinary.

Well, this 40 Days of 40 was really a good thing to do because despite my ordinary birth "day" I've had a very extraordinary celebration.  A whole lot of love and appreciation from everyone around me. I looked at the world from a different angle and saw what was positive and bright.  And if I could pull the camera back and view beyond the last 40 days; if I could view the last 40 years of my life what would I see?

I would see myself as a child eating liverwurst sandwiches and chasing fireflies.  Roller skating in my basement to 70's disco music.  I see my brother wanting to beat me at everything we ever did together and I see my father, sometimes angry.  But I see us playing softball together on the front lawn too.  I see my mother's devotion.  I see all the coaches and teachers that ever touched my life- mostly grateful for Cramer who taught me how to play field hockey and Mrs. Hammond, who taught me how to type.  I'm grateful for my penmanship teacher, too, but I can't remember her name.  I'm getting so old. 

I see my best friend, Bridget, and I making up radio shows on old recorders that you had to rewind and tape over just to delete something.  How my stomach would ache from giggling so hard with her.  I remember tears because of mean friends and finally feeling triumphant over their power in high school.  I see lots of boys and never really knowing which one to stay in love with.  I think I broke a few hearts.  I see the stress of choosing a college and the excitement of leaving home for the first time. 

I see blood, sweat and tears at Iowa and the shell of a person I was when I left.  Empty.  Heart broken.  Anorexic.  Alone.  And that's when I met Paul Bunyan.  I've known him for 18 years.  That's almost half of my life.  And I think, I really think, he has fixed what was always broken in me.  Doubt.  Worry.  Anxiety.  Fear.  Self-deprecation.  

We've built a family, a home, an idea here.  The last 40 years have been about moving towards that idea.  And there are days when I look around and am so grateful that we arrived.  But the funny thing is the idea just keeps moving like a piece of moldable clay and so that there really isn't any end to the idea.  The list gets things crossed off and then something gets added.  But what I see now, that I haven't always seen, is potential.  I see possibility.  I see piles of rocks that will be a pizza oven and I see piles of wood that will be tree houses and I see apple trees and pear trees that will someday produce fruit.  There is so much possibility!  I really do believe there is only one man that could have ever changed my outlook on life so astonishingly.  I've never had any teacher or coach give me so much confidence in myself as Paul Bunyan has.  Or hope for the future.  Or belief that it'll all be okay.

I used to prepare for the worst...just so I'd be ready.  I'm really excited to spend the next 40 years dreaming for the best.  My massage therapist at the spa a few weeks ago said that 40 is like an invisible light switch.  I couldn't agree more.  A light has gone on inside me.  It's bright.  And it's shining on that part of me that I haven't really seen yet.  I think it's somewhere next to my heart, near my lungs, possibly where my appendix used to be.  It's blinking its sign like a beer light in the bar window: "self love". 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 39

 Let me finish this thing already!!

On the day we were supposed to leave Sedona I sat by the pool and had one more  prickly pear margarita and just breathed.  Mark, the man that was serving me, asked where we were headed next.  I might have frowned and said something about having to go hang out with my children again in Tucson with my in-laws.  And so he said, "You guys really should go check out Jerome."  And I said, "Great!  Where is it and can I have anotha?" 

He told us about the restaurant the Asylum, which is attached to a haunted hotel called the Grand Hotel.  You can see it here in this photo- it's the grandest building in Jerome.  I got on-line after Mark recommended we stay there and I saw that there was NO vacancy.  But we decided to go anyway.

Jerome turned out to be an amazing hill top village pollinated by retirees and artists.  I think the town now only holds about 400 people but at its height it was a booming mining village.  They took billions of pounds of copper and some gold and silver too but after the mine closed in the 50's the town became a ghost town.

Before we found the Tex-Mex place Mark recommended we eat at, we decided to just see if the hotel had an open room after all. And low and behold it DID.  Not only did we get the last room but we got the room right across the hall from the most haunted room in the hotel!  We decided not to go up to the room yet, but rather to walk into town first to enjoy this little gem of a restaurant. 

 It had very funky decorations.

 Very cool art.

 And an awesome tin ceiling that reflected the changing lights. 

Okay, so maybe we imbibed in a few of these but, damn, were they good.  However, we were not drunk which makes what I'm about to tell you even more real.  We made it back to the hotel and had a nightcap at the Asylum.  At the bar we met some ghost hunters who were at the hotel trying to capture any paranormal activity.  We were told the hotel was the third most haunted hotel in the world.  It originally was a hospital and that 10,000 of the miners and their families died in the hospital in a 25 year period- mostly because of black lunge disease.   The bartender told his stories about "seeing" people that weren't there and the night person at the front desk told us his stories of the elevator going up and down when no one was in it.  He even mentioned the one time he was sitting at the desk late one night and the heavy front doors to the hotel opened outwards.  Cacacarazy. 

So as we prepared to enter our room I really started to get a little nervous.  I mean I wasn't scared because I knew I wouldn't get hurt but I didn't know what I would do if the faucets turned on by themselves in my room, as I was told they sometimes do.  Paul Bunyan expected to "feel" something in the old elevator but we experienced nothing on our ride up to the third floor.

When we stepped out of the elevator we could see where the ghost hunters had set up their cameras outside the hotel's most haunted room.  You can barely see the cameras in this shot but they're there.

Now, the room was very basic and had all the same plumbing in the bathroom from the hospital's day and age.  I think the bathroom freaked me out the most, which is why I wanted to keep its light on all night.  Paul opened the windows because the room was super hot and the radiator was on for some reason despite our attempts at turning it off.  

I believe I fell right to sleep that night but I was in and out of sleep most of the night because of the noises that the ghost hunters were making in the hallway.  The drapes in the window were moving slowly because of the heat emanating from the radiator but there was no breeze.  My brain was watching the bathroom window for reflections but I saw and heard nothing.

And then.  Then something incredibly wild happened.  At once, I felt a hurricane force wind enter my body from the left side and move rapidly toward the right pulling me, my facial muscles and my breath with it.  It was only a few seconds but afterward I realized that something was inside me.  I sat up and look around.  I made sure there was still no wind outside and I made sure I was okay.  When I laid back down I contemplated waking Paul but realized that he, being half asleep, wouldn't believe me.  I also wanted to think about what just happened to make sure what just happened really just happened because I was having a hard time believing it too.  I laid awake until I could see the first glimpses of sunlight hit the mountain behind us.  And then I finally fell asleep.

I was glad Paul believed me when I told him the next morning that a ghost entered my body in the night.  Needless to say it was a very "moving" experience.  One that I'll never ever forget.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 38

We're getting close!

Now on Day 38 we went for a mountain bike ride together before leaving the resort.  Paul Bunyan had a plan and a map and I was excited to go.  I don't really mountain bike anymore; although, I probably should since it's great exercise and it's free and I can step outside my door and do it.  But I just don't and I think it's because I usually spend the majority of my time trying to catch up to someone.  This has always been the case when I ride with Paul Bunyan.  So a couples ride with Paul Bunyan usually is just a solo ride by myself until I catch up to him waiting at a trail juncture.  Fine, whatever.  It's always beautiful and worth the exercise just to be able to drink more prickly pear margaritas. 

So as I was riding solo through the desert I had lots of time to have my opening(s).  I cried three times but I'm not sure they were for no reason.   I think I do have some legitimate excuses and here they are:

1) the first time I cried while mtn. biking through the desert alone was because I was thinking about the people who lost legs in the marathon bombings and I just couldn't get over the fact that they would never be able to do what I was doing at that moment.  And what saddened me the most was if, perchance, they enjoyed doing these kind of (solo) rides with their partners then they would have to learn all over again how to do things together. 

2) the second time I cried while mtn. biking through the desert alone was because I was so far away from Paul Bunyan that I got very scared of being snagged by a mountain lion and dragged away into its cave only to be devoured.  I was then thinking about whether or not Paul Bunyan would find another woman who enjoyed taking solo couple mtn. bike rides.  And it just made me sad that I would no longer be able to do this with him and that some other woman would.  I wasn't and am not ready to share.

3) the third time I cried while mtn. biking through the desert alone was because I was just feeling sorry for myself that I couldn't keep up.  But I kept breathing.

I think it was an opening but I'm not sure- whatever it was it opened me up for the ghost that entered my body later that night.  But that story will have to wait until tomorrow.  

Day 37

I know I'm catching up here but I was having too much fun to post.  On Day 37 we woke up and went to the morning ritual, where smoke from burning sage was wafted in my general direction by a feather toting woman.  After this we decided to learn more about the vortex and went on a vortex walk, which led us to the ley lines, in which Paul Bunyan felt energy come into the left side of his body.  I didn't have an "opening" per say, but I was open to having one.  An opening, they claim, can occur in many forms.  Breaking down and crying for no reason is one of them.  I just kept breathing.

After the vortex walk we went to Yogalates.   After that I drank a beer.

And then we decided to hike to the beginning of Boynton Canyon.  During the hottest part of the day.

We made it.  Paul Bunyan went a little further over the cliff to look for cave drawings and I sat down to find a rock for my rock collection.  The 5 sided striped ones are my favorite.  I feel bad for the child who has to clean my house out after I die.  I wonder which one it will be...

I decided we hadn't done enough for the day so I did a little yoga on the way down.  Paul Bunyan decided we hadn't done enough for the day so he went on a mountain bike ride when we got back.

While he did that I drank a margarita made out of prickly pear juice while sitting in front of this....and I kept breathing.

Couples detoxifying mud wrap and a private dinner outside under the full moon.

40 just doesn't get any better.

Day 36

Flying through the air to the other side of the country all while continuing to breath.

And then my husband kidnaps me away from my children and takes me to the vortex.  You can read about it here.

BUT then he spoils me and takes me HERE!!

Which was completely luxurious and, well, I continued to breath.

Day 35

Lost to laundry and packing.