Humboldt Home Birth

Unassisted Home Birth

Home births are on the rise, especially with COVID still lingering in the hospitals. I am eighteen weeks pregnant with my first child and here are my steps in deciding on home birth. 

I want a natural birth so I could feel all the adrenaline of birth. I want my child to naturally come into this world and I want to do so as peacefully as possible. I want a spiritual experience and I want to be as connected to my child as possible. 

Humboldt County offers many great birthing opportunities. I would like to talk about the ones I researched so that if you want to have a natural birth but don’t want to go as far as a home birth here are some awesome options for you. This was also a big step in my decision-making process.

Dr. Stokes at St. Joseph Health Medical Group, is the OB I have decided to go with. Even though I want a home birth I want to get the tests, the ultrasound, and guidance of a professional without them interfering with my childbirth. I’ve been able to receive the professional doctor visits I need, without fearing that I will be judged or misguided due to my decision. 

The Moonstone Midwives: I cried in awe when I went to the Moonstone Midwives orientation. They offered a group of five midwives that work with you closely and stay on call if you need to get a hold of them any day. The experience is a personal one, where they attend to your needs and desires so you have the experience you long for. They have a beautiful birthing center where each room looks like your own private bedroom equipped with a bathtub. They talked about building a relationship with their clients. They offered some strict rules for home births because of COVID, but the option was still available. It is recommended to only have one family member at the birth and nobody that has traveled out of the area at least two weeks leading up to the birth (for me this meant my mom and my adopted daughter, who will be taking a vacation prior to the birthing.) Unfortunately, they do not take MediCal so I was unable to move forward with this option. 

Open Door Community Health Centers: This Obstetric was highly recommended. They have midwives and Doulas that are on call for any question that you may have. They have a hotline for good and bad foods and herbs you can eat while pregnant. They offer yoga, swim passes, birth baths, counseling, and they take MediCal! Unfortunately, due to COVID, you cannot birth in the birth baths and many of the exercise amenities are closed. This option wasn’t much different than that of St. Joseph Health Medical Group, so I stuck to the doctor I’d already met with. 

Planning a home birth can be overwhelming especially with all the fear that escalates around it. I immediately found support in Facebook groups, surrounding my feed with like-minded individuals, and I quickly came to realize that my fears and challenges are shared with other pregnant mom’s, simultaneously. These groups have helped me tremendously to gain the confidence I need to give birth, I really appreciate their support. Here are the groups I joined:

Doing it at Home Birth Group

Unassisted Home Birth Support

Pregnancy and Motherhood

Next, accompanied with countless amounts of YouTube videos, I piled on the books. I’ve read more books since I’ve been pregnant than I have ever before, (sometimes five books at a time on different subjects,) and I’ve always been an active reader. These pregnancy books are easier than they seem. Some of it I skim, while other parts I jot down in my notebook for easy finding. 

I was gifted What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. This book goes over A-Z about being pregnant by week. This book was a great start to preparing for my pregnancy and soothing any worries. 

Once I decided to have a home birth I got Home Birth on Your Own Terms by Heather Baker. This book is a must for home births but there are suggestions in it that I take with a grain of salt. It prepares an expectant for a home birth and has pictures to help the reader visualize it. She goes over everything from herbs, to birthing positions. It’s a step-by-step book on how to do it at home. 

I also received Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. This book is different than I expected. It prepares the mother for the spiritual and psychological aspects of childbirth. It has many exercises to strengthen the bond between mother and child and held mentally prepare the mother for birth. At the beginning of this book, the author mentions Lucy, a Homosapien who also gave birth in her natural environment without any prep or planning. 

My supportive OB recommended Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. These books are a more in-depth look into childbirth and offer more medical advice than the other books listed. I highly recommend these books for a woman looking to have a home birth. 

Guarding the Moon: A Mother’s First Year by Francesca Lia Block follows her own experience with the joys and fears of motherhood. Francesca is an incredible writer who incorporates magic, honesty, and vulnerability in her telling’s of birth and the first year of childhood. 

The books are a must but something is also a must, telling the folks. I’ve been warned to not tell anyone that will not be supportive but, since my family and I have a close relationship, I felt obligated to. 

After the shock of telling the mothers in my family that I was planning a home birth, they all said the same thing: Women all over the world have been giving birth in their natural environment for centuries. As I head into my journey I have the ancestral support of millions of mothers that gave birth outside of a hospital and, now, I also have the support of my own mothers.

When I knew it was what I going to do, no one could stop me, and with confidence came support. 

My husband and I found a birthing class called Heart of the Rose, that utilizes the book Birthing from Within. Her classes are local to Eureka, CA and help prepare the mother and partner for childbirth.

Now, I plan the birth. That’s right, I plan it. I told my mom I was going to send her my birthing plan before I told her I wanted a home birth and her response was: I’ve never heard of that before (that was when I knew I had to tell her.) So here is a rough draft of my plan. 

I talk to my baby and tell my baby that we are doing this together, we are birthing at home, and to be ready to cooperate, after all it’s me and baby figuring this out. I feel like I’ve gained a deeper relationship with my child by talking to it daily (we joke around and laugh a lot, my baby has a sense of humor.) And from there I have this plan:

I listen to classical music when no one else is around so my child and I can relax and that way it is attuned to certain artists and songs. When I give birth I want these songs to be played. I do full moon rituals that fulfill my pagan practices. I would like to smudge the room I give birth in and invite my ancestors to join. I enjoy essential oils, lately lemon and lavender. I would like for these smells to accompany me. I have written down affirmations. I tell these to myself every day my favorites being, “My baby and my body know what to do,” “The waves can’t be stronger than me, they are me,” “Tough times never last but tough people do.” I want to give birth in the tub but I am prepared to be in many positions according to what my body tells me. I want to hold the baby in briefly, with my hand or my husbands, to allow fluids to drain and to prevent ripping. My husband will catch the baby and lay it on my chest. After the placenta has stopped pulsing, he will cut the cord. My friend will videotape the birth and record the time. My mother will watch my daughter, bring hot water to the tub, and receiving blankets when ready. I want to birth mostly alone and when it is time to birth, I want as little interaction with others as possible. I imagine my daughter thinking beautiful and positive thoughts, which I will prep her for since she is seven and might feel fear. I want to record the baby’s weight and prints. If the baby comes two weeks early or two weeks late, I will consider going to the hospital for my birth, otherwise during my birthing process I want to be reminded that this is my birthing plan and I don’t want anyone to suggest or listen to me if I suggest, going to the hospital.

I am capable of giving birth at home and so are you! If you are thinking about a home birth do your research and don’t be afraid. Millions of women have given birth outside of hospitals and so can you! 

Planting Trees in your Humboldt County Community

by Natascha Pearson

February 2, 2021

The Redwoods are bound to make you realize, “I love trees!” Loggers have left sites naked with nothing but flammable debris and fires in California, this year, have destroyed thousands of acers. The longing to help out such an old and sacred plant may raise the question, “How do I plant a tree?”

You can plant trees on any property that the property owner has allowed you too. First determine the area you plan to grow and what trees are native there. You can collect seeds from community trees, buy seeds of native plants, or you can clone the trees that you find are thriving in your community. You have the option to plant urban trees, which can provide shading and bring tranquility to your surroundings or forest trees, which often times grow large and must be supported by surrounding shrubs. All trees help the environment because they filter access CO2 and pollution and they cool the air, protect from floods, houses hundreds of animals, insects, and plants. They employee millions and reduces stress and anxiety while providing shade. Trees are an answer to the climate crisis.

Walking into the Redwoods a feeling of divine spirituality, profound being, and an alter in consciousness occurs that may help us feel connected to the whole. Redwoods are resilient. They can withstand being burnt, their stumps will live on after the tree has been cut, and they live up to 2,000 years old and on average 500-1,000 years. When you’re in the redwoods feel free to connect with them; talk to the trees, touch the trees, hold the trees and hug the trees!

Let’s get back to growing some trees.

Seeds from trees vary, Redwood trees come from mature cones that are a greenish yellow color. The cones must be dried and then tumbled to remove the seeds. Like growing any plant from seed, not all the seeds are guaranteed to grow. Till the area you plan to plant and dig a small hole. Plant the seeds at least a foot distance from one another. Water your seed and allow your seedlings to grow. In a few weeks, transfer the sprout to a pot. Once the plant has grown to be approximately two feet you can transfer this little guy to its permanent home.

Sparsholt College Rosie Yeomans photographer Sarah Cuttle: propagating clones.

When cutting clones, cut the branch at an angle, as well as removing any new green growth. Dip the bottom of your clone in a rooting hormone. Leave your cone in a cup of water out in the sun to grow more roots! Plant your clone in a pot or cup with soil and water it. Place it in a humid place to trap all the moisture. When your plant is about two feet tall you can plant it in your desired location.

It’s important to not plant your trees in grassland and peatland areas that are rich in biodiversity and need to be protected. Planting shrubs and smaller trees around your Redwood trees will encourage birds to spread seeds. A list of these plants can be found here northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/gardening-under-the-redwoods/Content?oid=2818112 . Make sure to give the tree trunk some space.

There are a few organizations to check out in the Eureka area, if you are interested in planting a tree.

Eureka Street Trees Program: Plant a tree on a sidewalk ($75) or on a green slip.

Community Fruit Trees: Free fruit trees to residence

Plant a Redwood: Donate money and get a tree planted.  

How to Conquer Homeschooling during COVID

By Natascha Pearson

Mother working from home with a kid. Quarantine mode.

January 28, 2021: Parents all over California are pulling out their hair as another semester has rolled up and our counties have not opened up their school districts. As a Humboldt, California resident, I felt safe with our low numbers and the promise of a reopening. With the exception that nothing has changed, here are a few quick tips to keep your child focused while going into the next semester.

Write out a schedule and have your child adhere to it. An alarm clock that is scheduled for Zoom appointments will keep your student’s attendance up, such as the Nument 5 Times Alarm. Let’s say your child has an alarm that wakes them up, and then they have an hour or so to do their morning chores. The next alarm will remind them of their first class.  After their first class, they indulge in homework. An alarm goes off for their second class and after attending they check their schedule and are reminded to do an hour of physical activity (perhaps a list of physical activities that they can do around the house or in the yard,) and then they can eat lunch. Afterward, they attend their third class. An hour of homework or art follows the class, and it is almost as if your student attended a full day of school!

Get posters to hang around their room. Not their favorite television show but Educational Posters to help with homework and further understanding. It might seem like a cheat, but your student will learn by searching the posters and memorizing the information on them. Creating a similar environment as their classroom will put them in the headspace that this is study time, not playtime.

Pre-make their lunch. They don’t have to bring their bag lunch to their bedroom desk but having designated snacks and a lunch to eat will keep your child from asking for food and using it as an excuse to distract them from their studies. During this time where we’re stuck indoors for a great portion of the day, healthy snacks, and lunches are vital to have a functioning mind and body. When you think of the amount of time that you are being taken away from your own work at home situation by your kids demanding food you will find your child being more self-sufficient if you prepare ahead.

Check their work. Every child can be at fault for telling a white lie and now is no different. After the day has finished checking their assignments, particularly tests, to see that their grades reflect that they have been studying. It is easy to click through the answers and move on to the next assignment without receiving a passing grade, there is no teacher after all over their shoulder telling them to keep their nose in the books. Take the time to check the assignments and for every wrong answer have them figure out the right answer. They will be less likely to take shortcuts knowing that they will have to revise the wrong answers later.

Playtime is in the afternoons. Just like when the kids are in school, we don’t let our daughter out to play until after 3 pm. Keeping to an isolated group of friends that are in your “COVID” circle is crucial. This is also a good window for videogames. With the restrictions of not being glued to the screen an hour before dinner seems like a good time to allow your children screen time. Video games heighten hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and releases dopamine, the right amount of which is healthy for our children. 

Go to bed early. Just because there’s nowhere to physically go in the morning a scheduled bedtime will help your child wake up in the morning preparing for the next day of work. A book before bedtime will help the creative mind work within the realm of dreams. If your child is having a hard time sleeping, don’t ignore it. Play music for your child, leave the door open, put on a nightlight, whatever it takes to make sure they fall asleep at a decent time. Make sure your child eats dinner and any dessert at least an hour and a half before bedtime. Eating at night will cause the digestive system to be in action which can be a cause of not sleeping.

By making changes to your home to allow proper space for studying and activities you will find that your child no longer has to come to you for help or to look for a distraction but is focused and self-sufficient. Their grades will reflect their new routine and there will be less obstacles with a thorough studying habit along with a healthy amount of play time. School will become a healthy focus that will give you the space you need to excel in your own work.

Writer’s Exercise

I have been reading Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner. I highly recommend this book to fiction writer’s that fancy tarot cards. Here is my first writing exercise, I’d like to share with you based on the Tarot Card, “The Fool.”

Tarotlovers.com

Description

The fool is upside down like his ultimate plan of disaster has a higher consciousness guiding him through his travels. His dog looks at him intently. A guard dog, his companion, is a strong dog of the night. The moon shines behind the fool’s head. His makeup has been done with precision. He holds a staff with a pointed edge for the tough journey ahead. The road is long but promising. The fool is in his best outfit and stands with confidence.

Short Story

How very excited am I, to leave this dreadful town behind. Goodbye milk-maiden and laundry girls who never bat me an eye, I am off to better things. Where the road goes, I do not know, and I am sure my mother will be worried about me so. With these charming looks and my trusty stead there is nowhere but up for me.

-The Fool

Oh, look at that fool. He is leaving everything behind and when I was going to set him up with that beautiful broad coming to town to live with her mother and her new step daddy. Now I must devise a new plan. Oh shamats, Dwiddle, where is my paperwork! The fool has made a move! He has left his safe haven and now wonders down the path surly to be eaten by the wolves. I can’t have another one of my men die so young, I must find a better plan for him. Yes, a great plan, indeed! I will stir up a potion, make a concoction, and I will see that this fool makes it to Olympia so he can compete… with the gods! Scrawny, yes, I’m aware. Dimwitted, self-absorbed, melancholy by nature I see. I can work with this. I will turn him into a man, Dwiddle, just wait and see.

-The Creator

Diadromous Fish in Humboldt County

By Natascha Pearson

January 8, 2021

As the rivers fill with rainfall and fish fill the once empty streams, fishers cast their lines and enjoy catching Humboldt County’s gorgeous aquatic creatures. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife clearly states their fishing regulations (https://wildlife.ca.gov/) but why are these rules important to follow? For various reasons that span from extinction/ overfishing and protection during spawning, fish also help transport energy and marine-derived nutrients to the forest and ecosystem. These fish are called diadromous fish and they help keep our forest healthy similar to how the omega and other nutrients in fish keep you healthy. Diadromous fish spend an equal amount of time in the ocean as they do in freshwater, their bodies transition to survive the different environments.

Fish in Humboldt County that are diadromous fish include Pacific lamprey, Pacific salmon, steelhead (trout,) Pacific herring, and American shad. The nutrients come from a lifetime of fish-eating nitrogen-rich food which is dispersed by their waste and decomposing bodies. Diadromous fish load up on nitrogen 15 while living in the ocean and they bring these nutrient backs to freshwater which is later distributed into the surrounding ecosystem.  The salmon need the forest to canopy their breeding ground. After they spawn their life cycles end and their bodies will find solid ground and their nutrients will go back into the earth. When fish die and sink to the bottom, mass fungus and bacteria grow over the carcasses and dead flesh attracting bugs and other aquatic life that eat the fungus and bacteria. When the fry hatch after their parent’s spawning, they eat the bugs and algae that accumulated from the bacteria from their parents then return to the sea bringing with them these rich nutrients. When the river is flooded it spreads these nutrients throughout the forest. When the beds are dried up the richest soil comes from these streams. Like the seagull will catch fish and its waste or the fish carcass will find land, other animals such as wolves and bears who eat up to 600 fish (per year), catch them out of the river and distribute nutrients into the forest. The bears distribute the fish into the woods only eating certain parts of the fish like the brain, guts, and eggs. Therefore, they leave room for other animals to feed and disperse the leftover carcass until finally the maggot’s consumer what is leftover and eventually become food for the birds returning in the spring and further disperse the nutrients to the north and south continents.

         While many fish are abundantly available through hatcheries some of these same fish are hardly surviving in the wild. For example, the “Lingcod has an estimated 92.5% decline in the population [in North America},” according to researchgate.net. American shad, Pacific herring, and Pacific salmon all face a natural and human-induced decline in population. These fish are essential to our ecosystem. You can find all fishing regulations for Humboldt county here: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean#310671027-finfish-and-invertebrates. Thank you for reading and enjoy your local wilderness.

References:

  1. Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. Diadromous Fish Species. The University of Maine. 
  1. Garwood, R. (2017). Historic and contemporary distribution of Longfin Smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys) along the California coast. California Fish and Game 103(3): 96-117
  2. California Department of Fish and Waterlife. (2021). Finfish and Invertebrates. Wildlife.CA. https://wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean#310671027-finfish-and-invertebrates
  3. J. A. Musick, M. M. Harbin, S. A. Berkeley, G. H. Burgess, A. M. Eklund, L. Findley, R. G. Gilmore, J. T. Golden, D. S. Ha, G. R. Huntsman, J. C. McGovern, S. J. Parker, S. G. Poss, E. Sala, T. W. Schmidt, G. R. Sedberry, H. Weeks, and S. G. Wright. (2000). Marine, Estuarine, and Diadromous Fish Stocks at Risk of Extinction in North America (Exclusive of Pacific Salmonids). Research Gate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237801672_Marine_Estuarine_and_Diadromous_Fish_Stocks_at_Risk_of_Extinction_in_North_America_Exclusive_of_Pacific_Salmonids
  4. Bland, A. (Dec. 10, 2019). What’s Behind the Decline of the West Coast’s Herring? 

East Bay Express. https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/whats-behind-the-decline-of-the-west-coasts-herring/Content?oid=28151512

  1. Bohlen, L. (July 6, 2007). Water Nature Wildlife. Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/water-nature-outdoors-wildlife-3049262/
  2. 7. Robin, C. (Nov. 14, 2019). Animal River Water. Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/animal-river-water-stone-fish-4623023/

Family Hiking: Staying Fit and Staying Close

Guest Blog by Amanda Jordan

     Hiking is one of the best ways to get outdoors and get a good workout in. However, with times being what they are it is not always easy to find the time to sneak away for a hike. With kids busy with home school and people working remotely there is always something going on and fitness rushes to the back burner. This doesn’t have to be the case and you can make it all.

     Getting the entire family involved in fitness is the perfect way to guarantee that you will always get your workouts in, as well as spend quality time as a family. With work and school being remote it means that people spend more time sitting down in front of screens than they ever did before. This is bad for the body as it allows for less blood flow. It also makes it harder to burn off the extra calories you take in by being at home more. There are so many different outdoor sports and exercises that can be done, and hiking is one of the best.

     Hiking is great for anyone because there are different levels of trails from easy to advance and you can pick which one works best for you. Alltrails.com is a great free site to find local trails near you and all the information you could possibly need. Here you will find where the trails are, how long they are, and how difficult they are. You can sit down with the kids and figure out what trail you want to try out and make plans to do it. This will be a great way to get some exercise, get your kids off of the couch, as well as off of their screens, and you get to spend time together. This is a win-win situation.

     This is something you can do at any time of the year as long as you do it the right way.

     Safety is number one when it comes to any outdoor activity but very important when you are hiking. Make sure to prepare for the trip and take all of the essentials with you. You can even find a hiking checklist to use that will guarantee you have everything. A few key tips would be to dress properly, make sure you have energy type snacks, plenty of water, and a first aid kit. There are lots of things you should take to make sure you are prepared and safe. This is supposed to be a great workout and a chance to have some family time, so you want to do it right.

     Hiking is one of the greatest ways to enjoy nature, spend time with your family, learn new things, and burn some calories. Make it a new family tradition to go on a hike once a month and explore new areas. This will get you all moving and bring you closer as you make memories your kids will always treasure.

Amanda Jordan

Author/Weight Loss Coach

Www.Mightygreatfitness.com

Fires in Humboldt County

Orange sky in Eureka, CA

SEPTEMBER 9, 2020 (9:00pm): As our state burns, we watch it from our doorstep. The sky is orange, thick with a dreadful smoke and the sun’s gamma rays burn through the ozone layers, thick from the fires that burn around us. As the August Complex Fire and Rock Complex fire burn into one another, we look at over 491,466 acres that are now ash (Cohen,2020). The Butte/ Tehama/G Fire burns also to the south of Eureka with a 58% containment and a total of 2,782 acres burned and to the east, there is the Willows Fire with fourteen homes destroyed and no sign of containment. Talk of the apocalypse floods social media and the fear of jobs and livelihoods hang by a string.

In the chaos of 2020, our country is anything but contained. A fire burns within all of us and displacement has reached many in our country. A total of 41,051 wildfires and 4.7 million miles burned. The eeriness of destruction is among us. I can’t help but to wonder how Indian’s survived before us and why the practice of controlled burns is not still used today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_use_of_fire_in_ecosystems

Within the day, I saw from my window, children run and scream down the streets in laughter, illuminated by the shades of red in the sky. In this time of chaos, I am reminded of rebirth. For months I have been struggling to find my place in the struggles of the BLM movement, Save the Children, and COVID. As there is no fire to light when the world is lit it is a good time to slow down and reflect, if this was the apocalypse where would you be?

Rather in San Diego, San Francisco, Humboldt county we are all experiencing confusion, displacement, and fear. We are constantly being divided yet the fire that burn our country calls for unity within the community. Loss of jobs, homes, and family resonate with many and the need to rebuild is more relevant than ever.

After the fires, towns will need to regrow. As I have seen in the past there is a phoenix that rebirths. The community rebuilds, together gathering resources as locals reunite. Jobs flood the area, when a community rebuilds and people come where there’s work. With the help of devoted locals, property insurance and community funding a candle is lit and the flame is reincarnated in a different light.

Be safe out there<3

For the most current information on the Southern Humboldt Fires please click the link above.

Humboldt County fairgrounds is open for evacuated animals. Call 707-496-8841 to arrange a drop-off.

A Wedding in the Redwoods

Sequoia Park Garden

It was a beautiful Monday in Humboldt county. It was only the day before, my husband had recommended I go to his co-workers wedding, even though we’ve never met.

A group of four of us waited by the bathroom in Sequoia Park for the bride and groom to come. When they had arrived, the minister had also joined us making a total of seven (safe for COVID standards.) From there we wandered around and by an attendee’s suggestion we stumbled upon the Sequoia gardens. In the time of COVID the park’s gazebo was closed off but the beautiful array of flowers with the backdrop of the Redwoods was undeniable a ceremony space. My daughter and I hid our bikes off to the side and huddled beside our group, among roses and daffodils.

The lovers smiled that smile we get when we know the focus is on us and when decisions need to be made (big and small.) The moment of time flowed with the breeze. The flowers opened up to the sunlight. They exposed their nectar and pollen and encouraged the bees and butterflies to roam.

The couple tossed me a camera and without hesitation “the moment” began. I stood still, afraid to ruin the video while another gentleman had the bride’s family on zoom. The written down vows were filled with words of everlasting love and commitment. After the exchange of vows from one heart to the other, they kissed. Hollers and hoots came from the entrance of the garden and our little wedding party couldn’t help but to attract a crowd. A woman approached us, congratulating the couple, in her mask, showering them with love and appreciation for their commitment.

And it was over, just like that… but it wasn’t over, was it? It had just begun. That might have been where we parted but this couple is on the road to a life of love and light.

I remember during my own wedding how quick the moment can be. I remember thinking, it’s only a moment and that there was nothing to be afraid of. Things happen fast and it’s worth making time to create space, breathe, and create intentions.

I let the sage burn and was grateful for the moment shared with new friends and the start of a new chapter in their lives.

Love is such a magical thing and marriage is a sacred event. It deserves a sacred space. It doesn’t have to be planned. It doesn’t have to last forever, but giving it the option too with positive intentions sets the fire to a new wick.

Humboldt Botanical Gardens

A Garden in the Woods with Littlings

As the semester begins and the first few weeks kick things into gear, my 6-year old daughter and I couldn’t help but to already feel the bubble of isolation. The zoom meetings are great but there is nothing like playing with kids outside on a slightly cloudy day, barefoot in the grass.

Red Rover, Red Rover bring Susan on over!

Where to start, we just moved to a new town in the midst of COVID19. Starting a semester online and having no friends could seem like home life is the only life but fear not there are always resources available.

Researching Facebook Groups, I found like minded homeschooling parents that were looking for answers just like me. After a few weeks of establishing myself in the group an opportunity arose, someone else had reached out desperate for a playdate for their little one and I jumped on the opportunity.

We were invited out to the Humboldt Botanical Gardens in Eureka. Both, my daughter and I are a little shy so we sat by the directory sign as we watched a mother and her children play Simon Says! (I couldn’t remember how long it’s been since we played.) When the organizer pulled up, her three daughters ran toward the entrance and the “mingling” began and the family playing Simon Says joined us.

At first the children didn’t want to socialize, and that was alright, with plenty of flowers to explore, the adults enjoyed the silence. Until we remembered what we came here for. “Go play!” And so, they did. We sat in front of these large beautiful greenhouses while the kids ran and laughed in the grass. Characters from all types of platforms came rushing into their creative play as they used imaginary ropes to tie each other up and used fire-y, butt powers to melt the ropes away.

We continued to walk through the flowers afterwards and the other moms fluidly told their children the names of the plants as I quickly read the signs, taking in all the shared information. My daughter expressed pure joy as she explored the homes of the fairies.

If you’re reading this for a review on the Humboldt Botanical Gardens then here’s my advice: walk the forest path. If you rear to the back left of the gardens you will notice a path creeping up the hill. The path was so well maintained you might get the feeling your stepping on a soft cloud instead of detritus. Here, we ventured into the woods and I gave the children a chance to take shots with my camera.

Humboldt Botanical Garden Mascot

My daughter I both dreaded the walk back, so thankful to be around others, we didn’t want it to end. We said our goodbyes and our hypothesis was right! You can’t beat playing outside with friends.