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Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Raising of a Wild Thing….Without Breaking His Spirit

My son just turned 14 a few days ago. I was not sure he would reach this tender age in one piece, since teenitis & hormones, as well as some genetic traits, have turned my sweet pumpkin baby into a wild/furious/outrageous/smartass/compassionate/sweet mess.

It is like living with a version of Jekyll & Hyde. One minute, my son is articulate, sweet, intelligent, compassionate…..and the next…..a totally outrageous smartass. If you are shaking your head right now, saying “How can you call your son a smartass, you horrible mom??” I suggest you push the delete button and do not read on. It gets worse.

How can two children, raised by the same parents, in the same environment, be so phenomenally different? I do get the “boy” energy thing. I remember vividly being told: “You have a boy now, things are going to very different!”. Naive, unwise Heike thought she knew it all better. “I am going to raise him the same way, all will be well!”


First of all, who could have foretold that my angelic boy would inherit all my crazy traits? MY crazy traits. The things that drive me nuts about him the most are when the “Little Heike” steps forward. I did not realize this until my own mother pointed it out to me one day. “Who does that remind you of?” I really had to step back and realize that this was the truth. This realization helps me deal with the situation in much calmer & organized fashion. Plus, he can no longer push my buttons, because I sit there going “Isn’t that cute, I tried the EXACT SAME THING when I was 14!!”.

Please, if you are video game proponent, or fanantic, don’t email me about the next thought. I will not change my mind.

Video games are screwing with his cells.

Honestly, I can see & understand the lure of video games. I am an Atari child, and how many hours did we spend pinging the pong back & forth? Pac Man & Mario Brothers were the bomb in my day. Unfortunately, video games now are so much more realistic, and they are like crack for my boy. I feel they make him agitated & angry.

My remedy is a spontaneous romp in nature. I disconnect him, pack him and the dog in the car, and we drive to one of favorite “run wild” spots. Here, he and the dog, will run off leash & crazy. Or, we go the river, take the long way down, and sit and make rock towers. I see an immediate change in my son’s demeanor. His whole body changes, and I can just feel his spirit glow. The exhaustion from running with his dog and being outside just makes the world a better place.

What I have learned while being allowed to raise this beautiful, complicated human:

  1. Don’t fight an outburst with an outburst.
  2. A boy can turn anything into a gun, so go ahead and let him play with NERF guns, and take him with you shooting, since you can never be too safe about real gun handling. Especially since all his friends seem to have BB guns & Pellet rifles. He will shoot them, make sure he is the safest kid on the block.
  3. 14 yr olds still need their Mama.
  4. Alaska State Troopers is an excellent favorite show to have with your son. The troopers are fantastic, and a boy can look up to them. Plus, Alaska State Troopers have to have a clean record. Come at my boy with drugs or alcohol, and he might just call his Mama on you. Also, he has learned more about the law than I could have ever dreamed, and he will never let a friend ride in his car with drugs or alcohol “because the driver always gets in trouble”. Thank you, Super Trooper Cooper!
  5. 12 to 14 year olds are constantly switching between the world of “little boy” and “young man”. Don’t make them grow up to fast, honor the child when it needs to come out.
  6. Find the things that make their spirit dance, and make them happen. Sometimes, you have push someone into their happy zone. Once they are there, you can step away and let magic happen. I encourage cooking and baking, watercolors, building Lego things, felting. Pretty much anything that does not include a screen or guns.
  7. Praise the good things! Point out the bad. I don’t believe in sugar coating bad behaviour. If he acts like a butt, let him know that that behaviour disappoints you.
  8. Never go back on your word. Never. Even if it means you have to pull through on a punishment you blurted out in anger (this is why I have learned never to counter an outburst with an outburst.). Step away, get your brain together, and then talk consequences. Strong Mamas make good young men :).
  9. Love him!!

Most of all, enjoy your boy. The same goes for girls, of course, but my girl is her own story, and she gets her own post :).
Much love,

Let me dig in your past / Tell me a story.

Estate sales are my passion.

Let me tell you a little story…….

I began going to estate sales solely because I am nosy, and have a “thing” for houses. Most houses store years of energy, can you imagine what happens in a Victorian? Houses fascinate me, and so to avoid getting arrested for stalking, I became an estate sale regular. I don’t need to go early, because my mission is not to buy & resale, but to slink around the houses, enjoy the nooks & crannies, secret passages, etc.  Due to the fact that by the time I get there, there are so many strange humans in a tight spot, I usually did not get much energy sense of the house and its past inhabitants.

That all changed one day when I went to an estate sale early and stood in line with lots of people talking china, furniture, etc. I came early because I had spotted a few slips on the estate sale listing (this is when I was into converting vintage slips into dresses) that I wanted to try and get. I took my children as back up and strategized :).  You must understand, estate sales can be pretty cut throat. People PAY others to get in line for them so they can be the first in. Lots of resellers who buy cheap and resale in their stores. To each their own.

This house was TINY. When we finally got in, I headed straight for the bedroom, but then stopped. In another room, there were tables set up with piles and piles of neatly folded children’s clothing.  Vintage cotton that was clean & pressed, you could tell it was stored with love. Also, piles of tatted lace. Real tatting. If you have ever seen this in action, it is an intricate dance of sticks, needles, and fine thread. And then there were people, ripping through these items like a fury, throwing things on the floor, ripping lace off of items.

I stomped in and began taking things from right under one of the perpetrators, and stuffing them in my bag. When it was filled to the brim, I went to look for my kids. My daughter already had a stack of old photos to show me.

To make a long story short, I bonded with the woman whose items I clutched to my body. I would not find out why until 2 weeks later. That is when I went to the store of the estate sale company (they are one of favorites), and talked to one of the owners. I told her how I had this bag of stuff I will never use, and why I had it.

Some of Rita’s treasures.

She proceeded to tell me the story of a fabulous woman, who I named Rita, because she looked like a Rita to me. Rita had a sad, but magnificent story. In her pictures, she looked glamorous. She was German. She raised German Shepards. She overcame sickness, and grew up a few houses from her real family, who had to give her up secretly for adoption because they were too poor to raise another child. She was kept indoors or away with aunties, because her parents were afraid the resemblance to her siblings would expose their secret. She was a strong women in our community, and did great things and shared her talents & wealth. Unfortunately, she died and left behind no heirs, so her treasures were fair game.

I am now the owner of some of Rita’s baby clothes, tatted lace, family albums, slips, crock, and
other miscellaneous items such as costume jewelry, buttons, post cards, stationary. Too bad I could not find her sunglasses!! Some of these items have found their to my Witches.

Everything is saged, washed, and ready ride with the Witches!

Rita’s items catapulted me into a new passion. Find out who these people were. I am not like a history sleuth, when I find quirky houses, I dig in. I have since met a Senator’s wife who was secretly a herb witch,  a man who traveled back and forth to France to learn how to make wine from flowers & herbs, and met his lovely wife while doing it (their naked lady picture hangs in my bathroom!), and lots of other marvelous people. Their items are treasured in our homes, many of them finding a second life here or becoming part of the Kitchen Witches & traveling.

Sometimes, I walk into a house that just emanates sadness & dispair, and I end up turning around and leaving. Even when the houses feel happy, I am cautious. I LOVE these items & their stories.  When we get home, everything is carried in the back yard, and saged, finishing up with a thank you & a blessing for their new lives. Then everything is either washed, soaked, or brushed clean. This is the one rule I have: NOTHING comes in my house uncleared. That is also the one tip I give everyone, remember all these items carry memories & energy, both good & bad. I learned that the hard way. I bought and painted a dresser, and put it in my studio to hold my paints. It was gorgeous, but every time I walked by it, I could feel a weird vibe. And it smelled weird to me. Only to me. After a few weeks, I just cleaned it out and put it on the curb.

I will continue to collect treasures & stories, and hope you enjoy them as I pass them on.