Monday, July 31, 2006

A Little Bit Slow

I can tell y'all 've been missing my writing from all the comments (NOT) I've been getting this past week. Oh, well, the ego is a grand thing until it's not being fed. Where have you been, you ask? (Okay, you didn't ask, but it is a sign of my mental health these days that I can have a total two-sided conversation with myself.)

It is but a week before our annual trek to the beach for a family reunion. Which member of dh's family originally came up with the idea of going to the beach for a family reunion is unclear. We think it might have been Aunt Kathryn. Imagine though: the beach is one place where you let it all hang out. No makeup. Almost no clothes. If you're lucky, you know someone with a good bottle of wine, so no normal inhibitions in conversational topics.

So I see these people, my inlaws, only once or twice a year and they are going to be able to see every new wrinkle in my face, and every new dimple in my thighs which are beginning to look like slightly dehydrated oranges. I suppose that's why they call them family.

Like other moms, I began making my list of things to bring and things to do before leaving. Unlike other moms, I started my list just this week. Procrastination is my middle name. On my list was balancing my checkbook, which despite having the latest Money program, was two months behind. My list was (is) as long as my arm. Thinking I might get it all done if I work many hours late into the night, I received a phone call from my daughter's piano teacher.

I design his website with his help. His new school year is to start the week we are gone, and could I make a few changes to the site? The changes turned into a major re-design, and though it isn't finished, it is looking good. But, as I labored over it, zoned out, obsessed with getting it done. I am now permanently in the shape of a desk chair.

In addition, the predictions I made about my back have come true. Carrying Wm. has caused some serious damage. Today, I was helping him into his car seat when I felt a jolt of electricity down my spine. I couldn't move. My daughters laughed with me, but it was the crazy kind of laugh, like seriously, this hurts.

To prove my tendency towards procrastination, I've decided to finally answer TC's tag from oh, um, 2005. I've not forgotten, TC, I'm just a little slow these days.

7 Things To Do Before I Die (not in order of importance)
1. Balance my checkbook
2. Clean out my closet and desk so people don’t say, “God, how could she live like this?” and so dh can actually find things he needs to find.
3. Travel with my dh, including to St. John's
4. Become an endurance horseback rider.
5. Volunteer to help underprivileged people
6. Get a book published.
7. Solve the Global Warming thing

7 Things I Cannot Do
1. Solve the Global Warming thing
2. Get my kids to pick up their rooms
3. Get Wm to talk quietly
4. Win a “best dressed” award
5. Shop until I drop
6. Follow directions.
7. Get organized.

7 Things That Attract Me To My Husband
1. He's sexy
2. I love talking with him about all sorts of subjects
3. At a dinner we went to, he actually put his left hand in his lap and had table manners.
4. We laugh together.
5. Sense of humor.
6. He always knows the right thing to say to me.
7. His laugh.

7 Things I Say Most Often
1. I love you, too, baby.
2. Wait until I get off the phone.
3. Did anyone feed the dogs?
4. Whose book is this on the kitchen table?
5. Go to bed.
6. Get off the computer.
7. Will you please read something other than Harry Potter?

7 Books or Series I Love
1. Diana Gabaldon – Outlander series
2. Harry Potter books
3. Janice Holt Giles books
4. Dumbing Us Down by J. T. Gatto
5. The Little Engine That Could
6. The Red Tent
7. Big Stone Gap - Adrianna Trigiani

7 Movies I Watch Over and Over Again (or would watch over and over if I had the time)
Firstly, I would say that mostly, I don’t like watching movies over and over. But if I had to:
1. Dangerous Liasons
2. Amadeus
3. The Ugly Daschund
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
5. Much Ado About Nothing
6. “House” re-runs
7. Phantom of the Opera

7 People I Want to Join In, Too
1. Dad
2. PitaWoman
3. A Hint of Lime
4. Lauren
5. Chris
6. Polly
7. Gina

Those of you without husbands (or those of you wishing you were) are free to delete that question. And, like me, you are allowed to procrastinate for up to one year.

Barn Demolition

Not much left of the barn, but still some work to do.

Working Like a Dog

I like this phrase, but frankly, our dogs and horses don't do a lick of work. They lay around all day, privates exposed and tongue hanging out. I, on the other hand, am expecting my bones to disintegrate into a pile of dust any moment. Combined with carrying Wm around and working in the heat to finish a chicken tractor, trying to get the garden in order and of course, that doesn't include all the housework and cooking, I'm plumb "wore-out".

I was fool enough to bowl on Saturday night at a birthday party for my mom's first cousin's husband. Bowling is a sport that should be outlawed for old folks like me that don't go often. I have developed the flexibility for horse back riding, but evidently, bowling uses some muscles in my left hip that I don't use on a regular basis. I look like a version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame walking around. To top it all off, Wm gets his cast tomorrow which should add another 10 pounds to his weight.

You know what's worse than having a broken leg? Having a four-year old with a broken leg. For the first few hours when I brought him home, he played the typical male I'm-sick-can-you-bring-me-drink-and-change-the-channel-and-cover-me-with-a-blankie. By that afternoon, we caught him hopping up the stairs on one foot. We've been carting him around in the wagon when possible, but he's learning to get around in the house by scooting on his rear.

At the bowling party, Wm whined, "Why do THEY all get to bowl and I don't?" Um, you have a broken leg, dear. So we improvised. He sat on the lane, spread his legs, and we together pushed the ball down the lane. He got a strike. A few minutes later and three lanes down, I saw that one group had started a game of "sitting-down bowling", a new type of bowling Wm invented. It improved their scores.

Check back later today for progress on our barn demolition and photos of my chicken tractor.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


We Freecycled our barn. Built thirty years ago by yee-haws who didn't know the first thing about construction, it was coming apart at the seams, literally. So, we planned out a new barn to be built by the Amish, and included in that was the price of demolition of the old.

It costs a lot to destroy something. Though kids are usually very good at demolition, it was a dangerous job. Also, the barn contained some very old, very hard and 2" thick yellow pine that was tongue-in-groove. It is speculated that it was recycled from an old factory floor or perhaps the floors of old railcars. I hated to see it go into a dumpster.

So, I connected with a man and his family that were willing to take the barn down in exchange for all the wood. In addition to being thrilled to have this work done, I've enjoyed getting to know Jim and his family.

They've been working on it all week. Here's a video of a side coming down:

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing

Friday, July 28, 2006

Beauty Tips

My mother was always very good about giving my sisters and I beauty and longevity tips:

1. Always wear a good moisturizer with sunscreen in it. Don't forget your neck. (You can always tell a woman's age by her neck and hands.)
2. Always wash your face last thing in the evening, first thing in the morning.
3. Splash water to rinse. Pat, don't rub, dry.
4. Always take your calcium.

And so on. Very practical tips.

I thought I should also record the beauty tips I share with my daughters from time to time.

1. If you smell horse pee, it's probably you. Take a shower.
2. Don't walk in the chicken coop barefoot. Chicken sh*t is hard to get off your toes.
3. If you are going to wear a dress or skirt, you should probably scrub the manure off of your ankles.
4. If you are wearing sandles, toenail polish will cover the dirt under your toenails.
5. Wash your hair frequently to avoid blemishes, and to check for ticks, burrs and so on.
6. If you want to live a long time, don't stand behind a horse.

And so on. As you can see, there is a generational difference.

Trampoline Story

A witty friend of mine wrote by email:

This story will grow over the years until William is a teenager, at which point you will hear him telling someone about the time you “made” him go on a trampoline so that he broke his leg…….

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Stick to Your Guns

In the next few weeks, if you see walking down the street a little old lady, hunched over with her hand on the small of her aching back, it's probably me. I'll be carrying an extra forty pounds with me for the next six weeks. No, I didn't win a role in a movie requiring me to eat loads of ice cream to play a larger woman. I wish.

It happened this way. We were headed to my friend's house for dinner. On the way up their 1/2 mile gravel driveway, while concentrating on not running off the side of the road, William began a litany to get me to allow him to use their trampoline.

"No," I told him. "I don't like trampolines. Did you know that most emergency room visits..."

"We know, Mom," the girls said in an exasperated tone. "Trampolines."

I drove on, neatly turning around a 180 degree turn.
William began again.

"Oh PLEAAAASE can I go on the trampoline. OH PLEASE OH PLEASE Why can't I go on the trampoline I'll be careful and jump careful oh please why can't I Mom other people do they have trampolines please why not can't I jump just once please let me jump on the tram-po-leeeeeeeen."

Finally, in a moment of weakness, I said, "OKAY! If you'll shut up for just one minute, you can jump ONE time."

He broke his leg. One time on the trampoline. We spent most of today in the Children's Hospital Emergency room getting an xray and waiting. Can you tell me why it takes HOURS to take and read an xray? Gees, I felt like saying move aside, I'll do it myself. All around us kids were hacking with germs that probably were deadly contagious, but we were trapped.

Anyway, the crack is so tiny I'd have missed it as a shadow had she, the doctor, not pointed it out. He'll be casted and immobile just in time for our annual trip to the beach. Sand in the cast ought to feel good, eh?

My friend felt terrible, but she shouldn't. It was all my fault. I commited the mommy cardinal sin and gave in to achieve a moment of peace. My new mantra is "stick to your guns" and we will definitely be avoiding trampolines.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Developmental or Just Mental?

Boys can't read as well as girls, says one study reported by Fox News. Several reasons are cited including that girls mature more quickly, that boys tend to have more learning disabilities, and that boys "disengage" from school as they get older. Why?

Perhaps, in doing their own thing, homeschoolers have found the answer:

"Here's a fascinating fact," she said. "There is no literacy gap in home-schooled boys and girls."

"Why? In school, teachers emphasize reading literature and talking about character and feelings," she said. "This way of teaching reading does not turn boys on. Boys prefer reading nonfiction, such as history and adventure books. When they are taught at home, parents are more likely to let them follow their interests."

Perhaps this explains a few things about reading to my boy. When I read a story, I enjoy the flow of it, the sound of the words, and like to read it uninterupted. Recently, I read Stone Soup to him:

Cathy: Three soldiers trudged down a road in a ...
Wm: What are those things hanging on their sides?
Cathy: Swords. ...Strange country. They were on their way home from the war.
Wm: What are those things on their backs?
Cathy: Backpacks. Besides being tired, ...
Wm: Wait, wait! Go back, what's in the backpacks?
Cathy: I don't know...they were hungry. In fact, they had eaten nothing for two days.
Wm: Why hadn't they eaten? Why?

This continued sentence by painful sentence. We finally made it to the third page, where the peasants are hiding their food, as they don't want to share it with the soldiers. Of course this elicits Why don't they want to share, Mommy?

As he is more interested in the details, and less in the story, I find it easier to read non-fiction books to him. I have, however, recently added to my knowledge of the inside of my car engine and the names of all the contruction machines. To make matters worse, I am supposed to understand it all.

I recently was quizzed in the car about the sizes of gears as they relate to the speed we are going, and of course, I have no clue. I don't want to give the wrong answer and permanently etch his brain with misinformation, but when he asked if the gears were red or blue, I was able to confidently lie and say they were definitely blue.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


How you know that your little boy spends too much time thinking and talking about tractors:

We were having spiral noodle salad for dinner.

William asked his sister, "Lauren, can I have some more of those noodles shaped like post hole diggers?"

Thursday, July 20, 2006


My private high school alma mater periodically sends a glossy magazine crowing about academic and sports awards of their current and past graduates. They include a list of marriages, births, and deaths, and awards to alumni who exemplify the ideals of the organization. As the years go on, I’ve noticed that my graduation year has, for the most part, ceased to be mentioned in the marriages and births, and is more likely to have an alumni mentioned as newly-made grandparents, obituaries, and awards recipients for lifetime achievements.

Thankfully, I’ve not made it into the first two categories yet. Neither have I made it into the latter, which is leaving me feeling a little deflated. I am at the age when women who have been achievers have started being awarded “Woman of the Year” type awards. You know what I’m talking about. While I’m at home wiping butts, emptying containers from the ‘frig that look like a science experiment gone bad, and scrubbing toilets, she’s out saving the world.

Case in point: this year’s recipient grew up within walking distance of my house. Like me, she has a Chemical Engineering degree and worked for a bit after getting married and before kids. She quit to adopt SIX special needs kids, whom she home schooled (she, of course, was running the homeschool organization for eight years) until they were mainstreamed. She has, amongst other things, taught Sunday school, Baptismal classes, organized committees at church, visited the homebound, worked with teens on Right to Life (taking them to Washington, D.C.), worked at a pregnancy center and on a hotline, speaks at churches and is President of her local Right to Life organization. And in addition, she got a full scholarship to get her masters’ in physics, graduated with honors, ya know. Now, she is a research assistant at a university and has taught high school physical science, geology, and chemistry.

Well, I’m going to slink back to making beds and fixing the break in the septic tank line later today (using my Chemical Engineer’s knowledge of pipes and all). I did get an “I love you” from my fifteen year old the other day, and that, from what I hear from other moms of teenagers, is worth all the “Woman of the Year” awards that exist.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

On the Radio

If you happen to be reading right now, go to and hear me read a commentary about dh's purchase of a grill. It should air around 8:35 a.m.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Potter Finger

When I awoke this morning, the ring finger of my left hand hurt. It felt as if I had smashed it the day before and it ached. I looked it over closely and could find no injury. I was stumped. (Not literally, of course.) I mentioned it to dh before he left for work. He suggested maybe I slept on it? Possible, but to just have one finger bent back?

As the door closed behind him, I got my coffee and most recent book for a brief few minutes before my little taskmaster (Wm) woke. As I picked up Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6), a light bulb went off. I had Potter Finger. Not from working hard at the pottery wheel, but bent-finger syndrome from holding the massive book in my left hand as I drank my coffee with my right. The ring finger of my left hand supported the greatest amount of weight.

I am reading this because Anna LOVES Harry Potter books. In an effort to keep in tune with my daughters' interests, I thought to read it, too. As a homeschooler, I guess you could say it's like part of my job. I wonder if I can get Workers' Compensation?

The Political Nature of Education

In a recent Smithonian Magazine article, it quotes author Vaclav Smil as saying that "two of every five humans on earth today would not be alive if not for [this man's] invention". This inventor won the Nobel Prize in 1918 for drastically altering the future of humanity and probably had an effect on the opening to China to the West in the Nixon days when they recognized that this technology was necessary to them or the country would starve.

I have had a decent education, as had dh who also holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering, yet neither of us had ever heard of Fritz Haber. Neither have you? It may be that your world would have been radically different if not for this man, yet no one seems to know who he was. His contributions have also radically changed the ecology, some of it not for the good.

But Fritz Haber used his brilliance for both good and evil. He used his knowledge of synthetic nitrates to make bombs for the German war efforts, made poisonous gases with other chemicals. He later used his knowledge of synthetic nitrates to produce synthetic fertilizers, which is where the change to our world comes in. The combination of synthetic fertilizers with the development of hybrid corn around the same time revolutionized not only food production, but our entire economy.

I find it interesting that someone who had such an impact on our world would have been written out of history. It is true, a good deal of what he did was used in evil ways, and I am not saying he should be glorified. The truth is, however, that he was an inventor who changed our world, and we should have been taught how this invention has revolutionized our world. It make you wonder how the rest of history has been passed over or re-written for similar reasons. Are we taught in schools the real story?

The article itself has much more to offer about how corn is vital to the American economy and how it is tied to the petroleum industry and how it is affecting global warming. I highly recommend it and the Magazine.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

How Do You....

...find the time to blog? I am often asked this rhetorical question at the end of an email with positive comment about a post. The answer is quite simple: time has to be made to do it, and some things go undone. Like housework, for instance. Cleaning cobwebs. Cleaning out the linen closet. Some people can't stand it unless their house is neat and orderly. I can't stand it if I don't write.

These blogs, like this one, write themselves. As I go about my day, a topic will enter my head, perhaps something that happened that day. As I work about the house or drive the kids to various activities, the blog writes itself using my brain and by the time I sit at the computer, I mostly just type out what is already written. Since I've started blogging and made it a habit, not writing causes the words to go into a spin cycle in my head and they won't go away. Once I've written them down, the words quiet.

Often, my family will say things like "this isn't going in the blog, is it?" or "that's blog-worthy", knowing that any occurrence is fodder for my blog. Often, I'll be at the computer and the girls will be ready to leave.

"Are you almost done?" I hear this question many times a day.

"Are we going to have any dinner?"

"Mom, William is peeing in the front yard." I keep typing. Right now, for instance, I am supposed to be getting everyone going to get the horses ready for a parade this morning. But, I must finish this first.

There is much written about the blogging phenomenon. There are now over 30 million bloggers. There has been condescension about blog writers, particularly mommy bloggers, but the truth is we are writing. It may or not be important writing, but it is an important process.

As a parent, it is important for my kids to see me write. How many of us expect children to learn to write, to learn the writing process, to turn in paper after paper, only to see that their parents, released from schooling, never write for pleasure or profit? Never make it a priority? Often people ask me how to get children to read more and write more, eat better food. My answer is always the same: model the behavior.

Well, this blog wasn't particularly well written but was begging to be put in type. Now I can move on to getting everyone up and ready for the parade, which should provide plenty to write about. Tell me, what possesses grown men to wear a fez (hat) and ride around in cars sized for their grandchildren?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Birth Announcement Part II

This birth announcement is a little late, but I know that Chicken Lickin' has her fans. She hatched two more eggs last Monday evening. One, whom I named Caesar, was born by caesarian section, after being pecked by his two day old sibling. Bleeding, we hastened him out of his shell to see if we could help the injury. He was okay. It was a dramatic moment in the chicken world. Caesar was soon followed by another chick, both removed to save them from Cain, their murderous sibling.

Chicken Lickin' had moved off the hatching eggs for some reason, and appeared confused as to whether these were her own hatchlings. When we showed her the chicks, she tried to peck. So for two days, the two new chicks were separated in a separate chicken ward. We then re-introduced them to Cain and Chicken Lickin' and the family is once again happily reunited.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Renaissance Faire IV - And then on to other things

I had hoped that the RenFaire would prove to be an educational experience, count as a "field trip", but I must admit that though it was a fun mix of mud fights, booty-licious outfits, and weird sights, there's a good chance it gave a false impression of what life might have been like. It was just good fun, though, I'll admit and gave us a taste for looking for more of them.

The girls, I do think, learned more in preparing for the faire. What time period was this? What fabrics were "authentic" and what colors? What strata of society would the clothing we made represent? For example, we learned that the lower classes would have worn linen, the higher classes cotton. Now, it it reversed in terms of cost of the material. The girls had learned that the bodice should be very tight, because Queen Elizabeth was flat-chested, and so a lady would want to imitate that (although spilling out the top because of it.) Well, I guess I'll close this chapter and move on.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Renaissance Faire III

My greatest impression was that the "Faire" was a most impressive display of boob-age. Were people of that time so immodest? Well, the bodice was their "bra" of the time, worn on the outside and providing support (or not, as I saw several times). The bodice often barely covered the breasts. I saw more of some of the participants than I desired to. It did give us something to jab each other in the ribs about: "Pssst. Look right, woman in red skirt." One rather well endowed and substantial older woman sat in a stall of goods. "See anything you like?" she called out. Her sisters were trying to escape her very loose chemise. "Uh, no," I'm thinking to myself, "seeing something I'd rather not see." Still the long skirts hid a good deal of flaws and were a refreshing change from today's world of displaying one's backside crevice.

The grandest thing was that the people "working" there appeared to be enjoying every minute of it. Set in the woods out in the country and with a wooden wall surrounding the entire towne, it felt realistic, though I'm no historian. Okay, there were a few times when I thought that a few of the people were missing a few French fries from their happy meal, but mostly, people just seemed to be having a good time. Without TV! Without electricity! Just the sound of music from instruments and the laughter following a good joke.

Had I lived in those times, I'd be considered old, being over forty years of age, and likely would have my physical complaints and no teeth. Yet, there was something about the simple pleasures and being outside. We laughed with the boy who laughed each time his dad threw the hatchet at the target and missed. We enjoyed the mud show and laughed at the people in the front row who got splashed (we were pre-warned). The joust was fun, as the girls ride mounted games that have similar activities, though thankfully do not try to unseat the other riders.

Many vendors were there, and like vendors of those times, were desperate to sell, calling to us, "Come, my lady, and look." The food was good. I had kettle corn unlike any popped corn I've ever had. Delicious. I had fun looking at all the clothing for sale.

Simpler times. Better times? I don't know. Less stress maybe. Less things. Only a few things to take care of. Closer to nature. More respectful of the few things we do have, maybe. It think of this today as I do laundry. If everyone only had one work outfit and one good dress......

Yet - I've never gone hungry. I've not watched my children die from what are now preventable diseases. I don't have to be hot or cold. I can take a shower. I can read and write. We have BOOKS! Yes, I enjoyed the faire, and maybe there is some of it I can incorporate into my life. I do think it would be fun to do a whole week living in such a place. But I'll stay here in modern times, stress and all, thank you.

More information about the faire, which will be held annually in Eminence, Kentucky at I will make a web page of more photos when I get a chance and link here on my blog.

Renaissance Fair Part II

Okay, I don't have time to blog at the moment, but I'll leave you with a photo of Lauren and one of the characters in the Muckmasters, a bawdy play involving a good deal of mud. More later.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Renaissance Fair

The date we'd set aside for the Renaissance fair was approaching. Two weeks before, the girls had decided that to get the full experience, they'd like to go in costume. We looked on eBay and other sources and found that while there is quite a market for the clothing, it is also expensive. Very expensive. So, the girls decided that they could make the costume.

"I don't sew," I said decisively. Sewing is torture. All those patterns and directions written in English but somehow sounding to me like someone Chinese wrote them just after completing ESL class.

We know, we know
but just help us get started.

"Just take us to Wallyworld to get the pattern, just help us get the fabric."
"Okay, but you'll have to get someone else to help you sew." Right.
As they looked at the pattern, Wm. danced up and down. The toy department was strategically (sadistically?) placed next to the fabric department. "Can I have this (4 foot) Superman doll? Please? Can I have the little one, then? Please, oh, please oh please oh please, oh, pleeeeaaaaase!"

"I can't do this," I said, giving up. We left. The girls understood, but they hadn't given up. After a search of the internet which yielded some, uh interesting, costumes (people are WEIRD! do ya know?), we found the Tangled Web site that had how to make the costumes simply and without a pattern. Did I mention that I DON'T SEW??

We know, we know
but just help us get started.

We got the fabric (sans Superman aka Wm.) and started sewing. Did I mention I don't sew? The skirt actually was rather easy, and the girls did a lot themselves. This was a learning project, I kept telling myself. But by Friday, (the fair was Sunday), all they had were the skirts. So Saturday, I told them to step aside, I'd have to work quickly. They helped with some of the hemming and ironing, but we actually got done! My whole day, the whole thing, sun up to sun down, was spent sewing. I guess now I can say I sew a little, but don't plan to repeat the experience.

Here are the costumes and more later on the next blog about the festival.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sleep Study

Did you miss the sleep study blog? No, I hadn't written it yet. I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep. Why is it that a place, designed to study sleep is the least conducive to getting any? It was quiet and clean, but cold enough to hang meat. I knew that the evening was going to be long when I viewed my bed that looked a good deal like a marble slab with one thin blanket. William, of course, had a regular hospital bed, which was no more comfortable but then he can sleep sitting up in a car seat. But he snores and can't seem to get enough air at night, so we hoped that this study would give us answers.

The nurse was kind, but also not conducive to sleep. She was a nurse on caffeine, no doubt, as she had the enviable job of working third shift and watching people sleep. Can you think of a more monotonous job? What her job lacked in excitement she made up for by talking as much and as fast as she could. Calming she was not. After hooking William up to look like a human carburetor, she left us to go to sleep.

"What's that red light up there?" he asked. I told him that it was a night light, which it was in a sense, to help the camera see in the dark. All he needed to know is that people were watching us. It was eerie enough for me to think of sleeping under surveillance.

Then began the long night. Used to the quiet of the country and the sound of crickets, I couldn't sleep to the sound of car horns and the vibration of mega-stereos. William pushed the nose piece off his nose repeatedly throughout the night. I'd hear the machine noise change, and so I'd wake up and wait for the nurse to come fix it. Several times, she didn't show, most likely counting a few zzzz's herself, and so I did it. It was a miserable night.

The worst of it is that after a month of waiting for the appointment, it's another month's wait for the answers. I'll be dead of exhaustion by then.

Birth Announcement

After much sitting, Chicken Lickin' hatched one of seven eggs. This little one is very strong and growing already. William, as you can see, is very enthralled with the new arrival.

You might be interested to know that the very first day, chickies start eating and drinking. Unlike some helpless baby birds, they find a lot of food on their own.

Chicken Lickin' does feed him a little from her beak, but mostly, she'll make a special sound that says "this is food". The chick will come out from under her and start eating.

The sound she makes is similar to the rooster's sound he makes when food thrown to them. He'll pick up a piece, put it down, make the sound and point it out for the hens. He won't eat it, but goes around pointing out choice pieces for his harem. When he's satisfied that everyone is eating, then he'll take a bite.

Chickens, lacking teeth, have to peck food, to break it down into smaller pieces. I had to laugh at one chicken that had found a particularly nice morsel, but too big to swallow. All the hens were chasing her down for a share. She could not eat the food because she had to put it down on the ground to eat it, but she could not put it down or it would be stolen. What a dilemma!

He Sure Knows How to Hurt a Gal

William and I were driving last Thursday to Kosair's Children's Hospital. He was to have a sleep study for snoring. I didn't want him to nap along the 30 minute drive, so we were talking.

"I wish I lived with Grandma and Grandpa."

"Oh, why?" I asked, prepared to hear more about the golf cart.

"Because then, I could play with Aunt Kaffy [Kathy]."

"That would be fun," I replied. "But, I would miss you if you lived there."

"Wouldn't you just get over it?" he asked.

"No, I'd never get over losing you," I said in my best Mama, Do You Love Me? book voice. Then, I ignored the adage to not ask a question unless you're prepared to hear the answer: "Wouldn't you miss me?"

"Well," he replied, "I'd have [sisters] Lauren and Anna." Ouch. Stab to the heart. I guess I should be happy that he has confidence he'll survive in my absence, but would I?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Notes of All Sorts

Heard from William: "I wish we could live with Grandma and Grandpa." Why? "So Grandpa could ride me around in the golf cart all day."

More or Less

We went to the county fireworks display on July 4th. For a small area, it was a big display, over 30 minutes. I noticed, however, that many people left before the "grand finale", perhaps bored after seeing "Thunder over Louisville". It is sad how it is so hard to impress people these days.

It Must Be the Weather

It is strangely cool this morning, so much so that it was too cold to drink my morning coffee on the front porch. But I noticed that it is an egg hatching day. Yes, we heard a peep from Chicken Licken's basket this morning. (I admit I'm the only person I know with a live chicken in my kitchen.) Sure enough, an egg is hatching. It is taking a long time, but progress is being made.
In the barn, a swallow laid eggs in our box of rubber gloves. Two have hatched so far today.


William has snored since birth. It has gotten so bad that finally, with sometimes a pause in his breathing, that I took him to the ENT, who referred me to a sleep specialist who gave me appointement with a sleep clinic. All these referrals, months ago, bring me to tonight's sleep study for him. Of course, according to Wm., he's not going. And of course, after waiting and losing sleep over his losing sleep, he seems to be not snoring hardly at all anymore. Doesn't it figure?

Like Being in a Candy Store

After recording another blog at the radio station today, we went to the downtown public library. The girls and I had a hard time stopping ourselves - all this "free" stuff. We could hardly carry it out to the car. So much fun!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


He came over the day after the reunion, and though we were not home, left several containers of maple syrup (one of the family businesses) and an invitation to a barn party that he would be having the next day. So Monday night, we went to see Beetlejuice and his friends. He is, I have to say, one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, but I can only describe our evening as a cultural exchange.

Dh advised me to wear my jeans, a t-shirt and my gym shoes. This time I listened, for the most part (I did wear my sandals). We'd have to walk through who-knows-what, he explained, in the dark. Pulling into the residence, we passed the old, white farm house and several old barns, parking near three campers, tilted at odd angles and quite a few pickups that were being used for parts or were vehicles of party-goers. It was hard to tell. We picked our way to a barn-like structure. In the dark, we found a 10-foot (at least) stairwell to the second floor.

Children, dogs, men and women were all over the unfinished room occupied by a pool table, bar, amplifiers and electric guitars. A bearded, older Willie Nelson wanna-be sang to himself in the corner as he played the drums. My brother-in-law had pre-warned us not to go on the balcony if there were a good number of people out there, for he wasn't sure of it's structural integrity. I stood with one foot out the door, and one inside, not venturing out where several were gathered to watch fireworks and set off their own.

I watched in disbelief as long-haired and bearded men, holding a beer in one hand, held bottle rockets lit from their dangling cigarettes and watched them sail into the sky. No one was seemingly concerned about the fact that children were darting in and about this balcony which, evidently unfinished, did not have a railing all the way around. Dh discussed barn demolition with our host, another of the family businesses. In fact, this building was made of wood from dh's family's barns that they'd dismantled.

I moved back into the building sipping my now warm beer. I wanted to get into the middle of the building because I could feel it sway. I prayed that my children would not be deprived of their mother and father, buried in rubble of a collapsed building. This concern gave way to a fear of fire, as the band members began what I think was tuning their instruments, and the lights occasionally flickered from the amps being pulled. Still, I sat on my vinyl ottoman, which was missing one wheel, and tried to look non-plussed about it all.

After checking wires and mikes, re-assigning who would play bass and who would play acoustic, I thought at least I was going to hear some good, maybe not great but good, music. I have never heard such caterwauling in my life. The thought crossed my mind that I wished I knew rock lyrics, for I certainly could do no worse.

After the second song, I began regretting having two beers and politely asked where was the potty room. I was told it was anywhere you wanted it to be outside. #$#@^%). Now what was I going to do? Dh offered to stand guard but I declined. I tried to ignore the pain of a too-full bladder while having my ears assaulted at the same time. A great furry dog tried to burrow under my legs, scared by the fireworks outside.

Finally, a woman came up to me and asked if I needed to "potty". Yes, I nodded gratefully, and as she led me down the steps, she said, "It won't be pretty, but it'll do." I pictured an outhouse or port-o-let. Gross, but I could handle it. Maybe one of those run-down campers. Dirty, but serviceable. We got outside, she handed me a Kleenex and directed me to the rear of an old pickup truck.

"I'll stand here, honey and no one will see you." I looked up and saw children and men leaning over the balcony, twirling sparklers.

"No, thank you," I said and briskly walked back toward the "barn".

"Oh, honey," she called after me, "you're making me feel bad."

"It's alright, really. I don't have to go that badly, and I'm just not a potty outside type."

We returned to the room, and me to my cantilevered ottoman, and I wondered how long I'd last or if the whites of my eyes were yellow yet. The next song began, and I vaguely recognized it as "Tequila Sunrise". I looked at dh pleadingly. It was late for us, and I hoped we could leave. He made our excuses, and we slipped out.

Well, you might think, she lives in Kentucky, what can you expect? Come on now, how many of you were thinking that? Now that I'm home, I can tell you that the Reunion and party were in northeastern Ohio, where dh grew up. I don't think I'll tolerate Kentucky jokes ever again!

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Reunion

I knew that dh was right about the dress code the moment we pulled into the parking lot and I saw Beetlejuice. He was dressed in a black t-shirt and jeans, with a chain dangling from his pocket to keep would be pick-pockets from stealing his wallet. I was momentarily distracted from the presence of celebrity while I counted the tatoos on his wife. I dragged my eyes away to the couples slowly making their way to their 25th high school reunion.

"Oh, no!" I gasped, taking off my killer (literally) shoes. I slipped on my casual sandals I had prudently brought "just in case". Nearly all the attendees were dressed in capris, jeans, and shorts. When they said casual, they meant Casual. As in Picnic Casual. Still, I was happy to be in my skirt and blouse, which weren't too dressy. Better over dressed than under.

It was the usual reunion: people checking nametags before speaking, trying to match the face before them with the memory of a face. One woman walked by. "Did she have those in high school?" I asked dh. He didn't know who she was. I saw from her name tag that she was in their class, and surmised that her new figure was purchased along with her orange miniskirt or dh would have remembered her.

We had a nice dinner and enjoyed the "awards" ceremony. They had the typical awards - longest married, travelled farthest to be there, most changed. "Who is most recently divorced?" the MC asked. No one wanted to admit to this dubious honor, but one man, dressed in a yellow tank top and sporting a pony-tail, yelled out that he might be the longest divorced. When people laughed, he again yelled out that if they had an award for youngest second wife, he might win that, too. We would have won an award for the youngest child except that dh did not want attention drawn to himself and wouldn't claim it.

I had to admit that dh was right (boy, that hurt! but he was gracious about it)- capris or jeans and a t-shirt would have been okay. Live and learn.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Some Like It Hot

I was on a search and destroy mission. Shopping. It's right up there with mucking stalls for me. Take that back, I enjoy mucking stalls compared to shopping. Perhaps it's because they don't make clothes that fit my short petite frame. Or maybe, because my feet, deformed with bunions, don't fit the sexy type of shoe that my friend Becky says screams "take me now". (Okay, she used a different word that won't form in my mouth or my fingers won't type.)

But, shopping with an agenda was my assignment today. Dh's 25th reunion is tonight. Right after shopping, I list going to parties where I don't know anyone in my definitions of Hell. But, I wouldn't think about sending him there without a woman on his arm. Me, that is. So, off I went.

Hours later, dh called my cell phone. Was I lost? Was I okay? I was almost finished after dropping an obscene amount of money. My idea of a good buy is a Hanes Her Way t-shirt from Walmart.

It was a difficult assignment. An outfit that looked smart and rich, slightly sexy but not sleazy, and definitely not below my age. This was an impossible combination. Oh, and it had to make me look taller. Finally, at one store, I saw a jacket that I loved. It exuded good taste and style. Alas, it was also $178 just for the jacket. Although it retailed for over $500, it still was outside my price range and size. Plus, I would have looked silly just wearing the jacket for I couldn't afford the rest of the outfit.

Yes, I had found what I needed and I'm late for getting ready. At least the time tonight won't be wasted. I'm sure it will provide loads of good blog material.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts