Kilter Annie's…

thoughts, musings and the like


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And here I sit…

My request was mailed on March 25, after having to drive up to see my daughter so SHE could request my OBC for me (because I have no proof of my name change that happened a few years after she was born). Our check “entered the system” on April 1st, and cleared our bank April 7th. Here I sit, trying to wait patiently and plan for the trip back up to see my daughter when it arrives in her mailbox. She’s been looking for it for almost a week. Meanwhile, my husband will be leaving town tomorrow for almost a week.

I try to prepare a plan for when it comes, because I require a plan in my daily life. I know I will Skype him, should it arrive while he’s gone. Will my three daughters want to be with me when I open it, and do I even want to wait for anyone else? So much of my life has been spent alone, secluded…even though I was adopted into a family of six older brothers. I’ll not say that there haven’t been times when I’ve appreciated the space, though. I have to wonder if it’s selfish of me to want to open that envelope alone or if I’ll want someone there. At times, I feel as though my large family is smothering and oppressive, just because they actually LIKE to be around me, and that my need to be separate and removed is a handicap.

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Now, Then, and Yet to Come….

It’s been over a year since I’ve been here on the blog and for that, I apologize.  I realize that you’ve not lost much sleep over it, and that’s okay with me, but I also know that I’VE needed it.  It’s been a period of all kinds shifts and hermitudes.  I know that’s not a word, but see how I’ve kept typing?  This is me letting go.

In this past more than a year, I’ve learned more new things about myself than I can impart, and the process is ongoing.  I’m here now to put down my thoughts on how gains and losses can happen so very quickly.  I’ve been researching the effects adoption has had on my life for the past few years.  There have been many “a-ha!” moments in which I realized that many of my traits were less about me being a screw up and more about me being a part of a larger group of people who have such similar experiences.  So many shared traits.  I have seen the support of my family and friends in doing what they can to push for legislation that will FINALLY allow me access to my original Ohio birth certificate.  There are so many of us who will have the information that many of our countrymen have had at any time they wanted, yet we have been denied.  I thought this day would never come, but it will be here on March 20, 2015 and I will never forget this day.

As I’ve been waiting this past year out, from the time the law was passed to the future date of March 20th, I’ve been riddled with anxiety and excitement all at once.  I can’t say it’s been an easy ride for my family, bless them.  For Christmas, The Colonel put together some lovely “De-funk the Funk” themed gifts.  He’s the best gift-giver I’ve known, but he outdid himself with one of them.  It still brings tears to my eyes as I type this.  Even knowing what it was for a month, because the company does nothing to hide it’s name on packages (even when marked as a gift) and I was the one to get the mail, I was speechless upon opening that present Christmas Day.  I had received a DNA kit from  I’m not joking, I cried and couldn’t speak for at least 10 minutes.  I took the test and mailed it in.  And then I waited.  I knew it said it wasn’t likely to come back with any results for 6-8 weeks, but it didn’t stop me from checking in weekly.  At some point, I found out it had been received and they had begun the process.  Again, please wait.  One morning I checked the site.  Nothing.  That afternoon I checked my email…and there was a message from Ancestry.  My test results were in.  I briefly considered waiting for The Colonel to get home to open it together, and quickly knew he’d understand.

Wait, I’m SCANDINAVIAN?  And Irish?  Okay, I’d have never guessed!  In learning about this kit, I had decided that, should it not come up with relatives, I’d at least be happy to know my ethnicity.  I mean, knowing I’m German, Polish, and African was great, but I knew there was more to the story and I surely wanted to know it!  But…I had cousin matches.  A LOT of them.  Hold up.  A second cousin?  That’s pretty close!  And she’s brown?  That meant we were (most likely) related on my birth dad’s side.  I know a little bit about birth mom’s side of the family (and I mean very little), but bDad has been a complete mystery!  I’m leaving a fair amount out now, but the quick story is that I contacted a handful of matches and then had to wait to hear from them.  Would they be willing to talk to me?  To help me learn about who I am?

Then, late in the evening, the night before Valentine’s Day, I received an Ancestry message that said something to the effect of, “…your description of your birth father sounds like my brother…”  Are you flipping kidding me?!  No.  Way.  Emails have flown back and forth and I have found family that I never thought I’d know.  In the same day that I found my birth father, I also lost him.  He had passed away some years ago.  But his sister, my aunt, and I share so much in common!  I also found and lost a sister, another aunt, and a grandmother.  There is still the unknown of my bdad’s father, but so much has been filled in for me.  I still have so many questions yet to be answered, but I’m also learning so much.  I’ve seen someone, other than my kids, who looks like me.  I’ve spoken to someone so like me in interests and personality that I feel as though someone is spying on me and is catering their interests to mine, yet I know that’s not the case.

It’s all so surreal and, in the end, it makes me appreciate the loving support of my family even more.  I’ve not been made to feel guilt about wanting to know more about myself, like so many others have.  My family has been excited right along with me as I’ve shared what I’ve learned.  I’m sad that I’ll never get to speak to my father.  I’m glad that I now have even more of a legacy to share with my kids, one that comes from those who raised me and another that is based in genetics.  I now have a history that extends beyond the day I came home to my (adoptive) family.  There is just so much….

Wild Things Round Up: Low-Cost Meals (Autumn Edition)

Butter Wilde over at Hunger and Thirst has a big heart and feels deeply. She hosts a a themed Wild Things Round Up where she invites others to submit recipes. Her most recent fall edition features ways to utilize wild foods in support of low-cost meals. With cuts made to supplemental food programs, Butter’s heart was breaking and she wanted to do what she could to help those to be affected. Like I said, her heart is big, and it’s warm. I suggest you take a hop over to her blog and check it out. It’s so darned esthetically pleasing to boot!


Snowshoes, Anyone?

Well, the snow is here on the Front Range and so is the cold. A high of 18 degrees has me pleased to know that my munchkins will be enjoying indoor recess this week. It also tells me that they’ll be playing some sports on the Wii to get their sillies out.

I hate the cold. I mean, I HATE it. That said, I do think it’d be pretty cool to have a pair of snowshoes for each of our family members to enjoy some icy outings. Who has snowshoes, and how much do you love them? The Colonel has been wanting to get some for quite some time now. But, the expense! Any recommendations out there? Or maybe you have some you’d like to donate? Hmm, I’m pretty sure I should start with getting some snow pants for myself…

What do YOU like to do when the cold sets in and the snowfall has begun?


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So Very Many Things

Bridesmaids Bouquets

Bridesmaids Bouquets

Where does one begin? It’s been so long since my last confession. Since that time, last June: The Colonel and I have survived an auto accident in which our car was smashed by a semi-truck (Yes, we now know what it feels like to be “hit by a truck”. That said, we’re so thankful for our Nissan Pathfinder that we got a new one.), jumped on a plane four days later to spend time with the dad-in-law, came through the Colorado floods virtually unscathed (my kids’ school took a lot of damage, which meant they were home with me for almost a MONTH), managed to put together a lovely bridal shower for DL, ended up also planning the bachelorette party in lieu of my other two daughters (Man, am I glad DL isn’t a huge partier and DIDN’T want strippers!), hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for about twenty (without drying the breast meat), and…married off DL to MW! And I’ve survived ALL of it! DL and MW put together what could possibly be the most genuine, natural and beautiful ceremonies known to man. I’m not joking, she was actually asked to teach a class on wedding planning. It was THAT good.

Now that you’ve been brought up to date, I can tell you why I’m here…I missed you, or “it”. Blogging, that is. I need the introspection. I need to be checking in and identifying what I’m feeling. I can tell you that, as I continue to have pieces of glass removed from my body, I am thankful it was US, in OUR car that DIDN’T have kids in it, that were in the accident. Any smaller car would have been crushed to pieces; at least our car did some damage in return. I am thankful for my sis-in-law and our family friend who came for the wedding, because they kept us grounded and calm in the chaos. I am thankful that my dad didn’t throw away the turkey skin when he carved the bird, even though he thinks I likely used it to make stock. I am thankful for the technology that allowed my mom and step-dad to be present at my daughter’s wedding when they weren’t able to be there physically. And I am thankful that we were all able to bring DL’s mom to the wedding festivities in spirit.

I can also tell you that I was so very sad to see the foraging season coming to an end with the cold and snowy storm that was to blow in this afternoon. What a wonderful surprise to be able to connect with my girl Butter for one last outing! Dandelion greens, prickly lettuce, wild onions and horehound will go into fresh salads and meatballs, infused oils and butters, and be made into candies. And who DOESN’T love a friend who sends you off with peach-chili chutney for her young apprentice, along with chokecherry jam and Queen Anne’s Lace jelly?! To find out just how amazing Butter is, check her out at Hunger and Thirst.

What I needed most today was to recharge and ground myself. I am so blessed to have had it. And now, I can look forward to the Christmas celebrations! Believe it or not, I started shopping last month! This, for me, is HUGE. Yes, the little things and the baby steps. Onward and upward, and all that jazz! (*Insert spirit fingers here.)

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The Nitty Gritty Of Our Natural Body Care Products

Kilter Annie:

I love, love, LOVE this post! A wealth of information, right at our fingertips.

Originally posted on Star Creek Country:

I love to see how people react when they find out that we don’t use the normal beauty products you find on the grocery store shelf. It’s usually either a big grin, followed by a “Me, too!” or it’s a “Really…” as they move backwards slowly. We do not have any of the normal shampoo and conditioners, liquid hand soap, or wall mounted air fresheners. What you will see are hearty bars of homemade soap, bottles filled with apple cider vinegar and tubs of oil.

Most people who come to our home eventually get around to asking, “So, what do you use all that for?”

And then I just smile, because I love telling people they do not need to be shnooked into spending bookoos of dollars in their grocery cosmetic isles! And their body will thank them with boundless thanks in the long run.


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Hunger and Thirst’s Wild Things in June…Cattails!

Head on over to Hunger and Thirst and learn what you can do with Cattails (this month), or submit a recipe. This is probably my favorite blog out there…and she’s become my friend and mentor.

Hunger and Thirst: Wild Things in June – Cattails


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Identity, Motherhood, and Why My Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Kilter Annie:

So well said and so very true. I’m fascinated by this woman already.

Originally posted on Black. Bunched. Mass. Mom.:

Quote of the Day: “Revolution begins in the self, of the self.” Toni Cade Bambara

I’m trying not to be a “mommy blogger.” I don’t know what I am. I don’t even know if I want to identify as a “blogger.” I’m a woman who is writing about her experiences, and more and more, I’m finding that there aren’t a lot of women out there who see the world as I do. That’s not a terrible thing, though it is an intimidating one. It is a lonely internet world out there. So on Wednesday, I caught up on some of the reading from my other friendly blogs. My first stop was Faking Picture Perfect, an amazing blog that you absolutely should be reading. She wrote a beautiful article about patience and presence, something that every mom thinks about at some point in time. I appreciated her reflection (as always) and wish I…

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The Six “KNOWS” of Harvesting Wild Plants

Originally posted on Oakmoss Education:

Using the wonderful wild plants of Earth can result in so many benefits for our physical and spiritual health. However, all due care should be used in this process. And remember to be a responsible forager. When harvesting, ALWAYS LEAVE PLENTY OF SPECIMENS BEHIND! We want our wild herbs to reproduce so be sure to take no more than one-third (1/3) of a stand. In addition, certain plants only should be harvested during certain phases of their life-cycles. For example, Trout Lily should not be harvested if the specimen displays more than one leaf; it takes this plant more than one year to flower so do NOT harvest it if the plant is showing two leaves otherwise it may fail to reproduce. Also, if the plant is endangered (i.e. American Ginseng, certain ferns, etc.), DO NOT HARVEST – it might be illegal and certainly does not help them propagate for…

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On life, loss and new beginnings

When it comes to me, what you see is what you get. There are no great mysteries, save those bestowed upon me due to my adoption. I’m a hippie. I like herbology and holistic health, and I’m a big fan of simplicity.

I say this because our our eldest (DL), one of my step-daughters, is getting married in November. Yay! Wahoo! Congrats! This is exciting…and I’m TOTALLY clueless. You see, her mom left this plane twelve years ago, making me the “Mother of the Bride”. This honor comes with great responsibility, like putting on the bridal shower. She started talking about color and lunch themes and totally left me in the dust. Say, WHAT?! You mean, I can’t just make it a potluck and call it a day? Apparently not. To counter my casual style, DL is Little Miss Put-Together, OCD organized, Coach handbag- girl. Her dad and I had a promise ceremony on a beach in Mexico. I am so out of my element in this endeavor.

Here’s where you come in. The bridal shower is planned for September, which just so happens to be DL’s birth month. I need ideas to help me fuse her organized style and my casual hippie style, because I’ve been the main mother figure in her life since she was eight (more on the reason for that at another time), while recognizing her birth and growth and honoring her mother.

I’ve been trying to come up with ideas of how to subtly infuse and honor DL’s mom at the shower, and for the wedding, but I don’t have much to go on. The Colonel (my man’s had this nickname for quite some time) doesn’t know his ex’s favorite flower and we don’t have any of her jewelry to pass down that DL doesn’t already have. Sadly, that is the extent of my creativity in this regard. I want it to be more than just a photo of her mom somewhere in the room. I don’t want to upset her with the blatant visual reminder that her mother isn’t there.

Please help me celebrate the union of DL and her fiancé MW, in a way that bring presence to her mom. I know it hurts her tremendously to not be doing this with her mother.


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