Lauren was trying to read her book before little brother and friend had other ideas.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Personally, I don't agree. I think the different spellings not only link back to their origin, they also make the English language interesting. For example, their limericks are quite amusing. If spelling was simplified, we would not be able to
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Technically, I'm probably not a good candidate for a portable instant stain removal product. I don't go out much and am about half as likely to be wearing jeans and a tshirt as I am to be dressed up. In fact, I own this product and only remember using it on other pople, not myself. They asked how embarassing it is to get a stain on myself in public. Ha! That's assuming I don't go out looking that way to begin with. I have kids, what do they expect?? I have animals.
I almost asked them if the product removed manure stains but thought that might not be their target audience. Likely, they are not looking for women whose teen daughter pointed out that I had hunks of chicken manure on my shoes and I was tracking it through the house. Still, I didn't share this more glamorous side of myself with the panel, and hope to parlay this opinion-giving into another career.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Lauren and I made 12 pints of strawberry jam, and then went to ride. Our horses were scared by a flock of buzzards and several times, by deer. Also saw a girl on a motorized scooter. I wondered at that - why motorize something that would give a child some exercise? I guess we'll have to ask Wm, who owns a Peg Perego John Deere Tractor and is saving for a gator.
Better go now, before I get caught blogging.
P.S. The deer flies are out.
Friday, May 25, 2007
After about an hour, the novelty wears thin and everyone has tasted and picked all the strawberries they ever hope to see again. They've filled a flat. Perhaps I should empty that flat and say "fill it", for only then would they understand the drudgery of it. But, being soft and wanting them to remember the day with good memories, I instead bought them homemade ice cream in the roadside stand.
Note the cowboy boots. Nothing says style like cowboy boots while wearing shorts.
The other thing you would find unusual was the owner, Trish, who always seemed to be there in her long flowing dresses and a huge smile on her face. I remember her saying things like "Let me show you this!" or "You've gotta see this!" and her enthusiasm for toys was contagious. In the paper, she is quoted as saying that the store is for kids of all ages, because "How sad if you don't still enjoy playing". That makes me think that Trish and I should have gotten to know each other better, for I feel much the same way. But now, she's gone at 57 after a brief illness. I was quite surprised and sorry I couldn't go into the store just one more time and see her standing there, smiling.
Her obit surprised me - for she was more than what she appeared to me, an eclectic toy store owner. She'd been in the Air Force during the SE Asia Conflict, a graduate of two universities, a councilor for the UN, teacher, artist and cared for refugees in Turkey, Yugoslavia and Rwanda for the United Nations. But all I knew is that she ran a small shop in a small town. How often we make assumptions that what we see is all there is.
I'm sure her store will go on, run by her husband and by Faith, a friend of Trish's that worked there. But somehow, it won't be the same. Another lesson in appreciating the here and now.
If you live in our small town long enough, you'll likely hear someone claim to have special powers. These powers manifest themselves in the pessimistic ability to call trains. You see, in our small town the tracks run down the middle of Main Street, dividing our residential area from the highway and just about every business in town. You need be only five minutes late to an appointment and you can guarantee there will be a train stretching to Kansas pulling through town.
In their ability to think far into the future, our city forefathers declined an offer by CSX years ago to relocate the tracks to avoid "downtown". The train was considered integral to the town's image, even reflected in the town motto, "We are on track". I suppose it does lend an old town feel, and we've all learned patience with something beyond our control, but thirty trains a day roll through a town much larger than they could ever have imagined. Eating dinner at the Irish Pub, diners smile at each other, and raise their voices a notch as a train rumbles by less than ten feet from their tables.
Dh and I felt at home in this town that had the look and feel of both of the towns where we grew up. Eleven years ago, few people lived here. Now, driving to the grocery, two miles from my house, can take 20 minutes without a train. It has to make one wonder where this town is going.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Terrorizing the chickens is bad enough, but the chaos inside the house caused by my beagle-dor (half Beagle, half Labrador) and her two miniature sidekicks is enough to drive anyone insane. I cannot let Beagledor outside to pursue, fearing a large vet bill. So, I went down to the garage and grabbed a can of spray paint. I painted a spot of red on each dog, but remorsefully, followed it with blue because the red looked a great deal like blood. Despite my antagonism towards the dogs and owners, I didn't want to make them appear hurt.
Later, I did relent and call the chickin' killin' dog's owner and request, respectfully, that he keep his dog home in the morning. I plan to get some bright orange spray paint, however, and mark each time the dog has been here. Being nice hasn't worked. It's time to get resourceful.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Exasperated, he asked, "If it is a secret, why are you telling me?"
Today, among other things, I installed box fans in the horse stalls, filled a trailer with horse manure for a neighbor, composted even more manure, took Wm to the park for a meeting with his pen pal group, went to the library and recycle center, stopped by the thrift store to dumpster dive for an adapter for a toy Wm bought yesterday (and found it, only to discover it's not the right one), cleaned the chicken coop, and made dinner. That's not all, but you catch the drift. My blog, like flowers that need water, droops.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Each year, I marvel that these young adults put so much effort and care into planning the day. I am uplifted by the interaction of young people who will soon be parents bending over to help a small child. I am encouraged as all ages laugh and run together. I laugh as a few adults, including moi, who managed to fall on my face out of the tires, try to show that they're game, too.
I considered myself blessed to be surrounded by such children, but also women that are willing to look a little silly to have some fun with their children. Here is Marilyn, organizer of the Teen Group, not looking silly but handling the course quite competently. Her score, however, couldn't touch the time of this six year old.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
"Mom," whining, "I fell asleep before I brushed my teeth last night and now, my tooth is going to fall out! Can I go upstairs and get my toothbrush and brush my teeth right now??"
Each night, I get him to brush his teeth with a reminder that brushing keeps our teeth clean and healthy, keeps them from getting cavities and falling out. Stupid me, I neglected to mention frequently enough (for surely I have mentioned it, haven't I?) that teeth naturally fall out at age 6 or so, making room for our big teeth. Evidently, I didn't make that point clearly for the boy was in a panic.
Feeling the tooth in question, I detected a slight wiggle, and my guess is that though he's a little on the early side, he will soon lose his first tooth naturally. (I say "naturally" because he had a tooth removed and three caps put on top teeth when he was but a baby. That's another story.) It's hard to believe he's gotten that old already. Now, I'm in a panic.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Ellen DeGeneres received this submission from one of her viewers in response to a contest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show:
"We had this great 10 year old cat named Jack who just recently died. Jack was a great cat and the kids would carry him around and sit on him and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on a mat in our bathroom.
Well, we have 3 kidsand at the time of this story they were 4 years old, 3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli really loves Chapstick. LOVES IT. He kept asking to use my Chapstick and then losing it. So finally one day I showed him where in the bathroom I keep my Chapstick and how he could use it whenever he wanted to but he needed to put it right back in the drawer when he was done.
Last year on Mother's Day, we were having the typical rush around trying to get ready for church with everyone crying and carrying on. My two boys were fighting over the toy in the cereal box. I was trying to nurse my little one at the same time I was putting on my make-up. Everything was a mess and everyone had long forgotten that it was a wonderful day to honor me and the amazing job that is motherhood.
We finally had the older one and the baby loaded in the car and I was looking for Eli. I had searched everywhere and Ifinally rounded the corner to go into the bathroom. And there was Eli. He was applying my Chapstick very carefully to Jack's . . . rear end. Eli looked right into my eyes and said "chapped." Now if you have a cat, you know that he is right--their little butts do look pretty chapped. And, frankly, Jack didn't seem to mind.
But the only question to really ask at that point was whether it was the FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat's behind or the hundredth.And THAT is my favorite Mother's Day moment ever because it reminds us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious little creatures, there will always be that day when you realize they've been using your Chapstick on the cat's butt."
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
This weekend, months behind the desired schedule of starting the garden, Wm and I finished putting out the tomato plants. I kept repeating in my head: I'm growing a boy, not tomatoes as I answered question after question, reminded him to watch his feet, and lost the quiet solitude that gardening has held for me in the past. "It doesn't have to be perfect, does it Mom?" he asked, a question he is often heard voicing. No, it doesn't have to be perfect, probably the greatest lesson I've learned as a mom. The quest is to do and to enjoy the learning, the journey. Too often, we search for perfection in the end results, and miss the perfection in the togetherness that got us there.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
That's Stupid #1:
I took Wm and a friend to the local science museum. The young friend, while bending over to pick up something off the floor, stood up and struck his head on a Plexiglas display that jutted out just at his height next to where they played. The boy clapped his hand over the spot, crying because of the pain. I could see some blood through his fingers, so guided the boys to the front desk.
I asked to see the first aid person so that I could clean it and see how bad was the cut. Slowly, the assistant manager walked over, I explained what happened and asked for something to wipe the area: antiseptic wipe? baby wipe? wet towel? gauze? They offered me an adhesive bandage, and claimed that they could administer no first aid. I was getting hot under the collar and well, blew up a tiny bit.
"I'll do it myself, just give me a baby wipe." Surely, there are people that come in with kids and need to clean them off. No - they don't give out baby wipes because someone might react to the chemicals on it. "We can only call 911......" For a cut. I stomped off with the boys in tow into a closed area because I knew a bathroom was there (that wasn't supposed to be shut off either). There I used paper towels and water to clean it and see that it was a tiny cut, and easily cleaned. He would be okay.
Returning to the desk, we were offered a chemical cold pack (seems they are allowed that) and again, an adhesive bandage (for an area covered with hair). I apologized for my outburst and asked who made the stupid rule that they could not offer basic first aid? They didn't know, but it was the rule. The manager then offered that I should watch the boy, and should he develop a headache, I could give him Tylenol. Oh, so they could not give me gauze or a baby wipe, but they could dispense medical advice. What if he became allergic to the Tylenol which I gave on her advice???
Returning home, I called the zoo to check their policy and found that they did indeed have a first aid person for bee stings, cuts and scrapes. Though she would not promise what they would do, she said they did have a trained person. The museum will be hearing from me.
That's Stupid #2:
For her birthday, my mom wanted a magazine subscription. I took the subscription card, wrote out her name and address, wrote on it "This is a gift subscription to my mom" and included a check containing my name and address. I put it all in an envelope and sent it off. This week, Mom got a notice of the subscription starting, and a bill. Looking it up online, I could see that my check was cashed.
I called customer service and was informed that the mistake was made because I didn't fill out the gift subscription form. I wrote it on the card from the magazine. Didn't have a form. We didn't have your name and address. It was on the check you cashed. You did look at the card because you got my mom's address off of it. Oh, but the card was probably read by a computer and not by a human. So, the computer decided to cash a check and not associate it with the card. Well, I can fix this for you if you could just be a little understanding, but our normal cost for a gift subscription is $18, not $15. Why? Are they not both for a new subscription? It is for the cost of the additional mailings. Now, I've fixed this in our computers. Your mom may be receiving several bills (what does the postage and paper cost for all that?) she should ignore them, it's too late to stop them. You may also receive some bills for the gift subscription (more postage, more paper) but just throw them away. I'm thinking the extra $3 is for stupidity.
- First things first. She should be required to take grammar and spelling lessons with fifth graders, because she obviously isn't smarter than one.
- She must buy all her clothes and personal effects at Walmart for an entire year. (She was quoted as having said, “What’s Wal-Mart? Do they sell like wall stuff there?”) Idiot.
- Send her to Haiti. Make her serve food to the poor, help them pick through the garbage dumps for their next meal. Have her decide which child will starve today, and which will eat, since they can't all have food every day.
- Send her to Africa, to a village to carry water for women who spend 3 hours of their day walking to and from getting water, carrying it on their heads. Have her care for the children of the village with diarrhea because the water isn't clean.
- Send her to live in Afghanistan, where she can come to understand what it is like to be a woman with no money, no education, no power and covered from head to toe with black cloth. It would be hard to make your living on your sex appeal if no one can see that you have a body.
- Have her work in a nursing home, serving wrinkled, old women who no longer have men gaze at them with lust in their eyes, because Paris darling, your looks won't last forever and someday, you'll be that wrinkled old woman if you are lucky enough to live that long.
Really, one hundred years from now, who will remember her? And what will they remember? My girls could only identify a handful of the names of sex symbols of the 40's and 50's. A whole long list of them, famous in their day, are forgotten by the next generation. Here was someone who had all the wealth to make a difference in the lives of people, and she's throwing it away.
Sort of related, this phenomenon is not confined to our times. Have you ever heard of Mary Bolelyn? She was The Other Boleyn Girl. Before her sister Anne became the second wife of Henry VIII, Mary was the favorite of the court and Henry's mistress. She was at the top of the world. Yet, unless you've read this book, likely, you have never heard of her. And this will be the end of the story for Paris. She will likely not be remembered, and it will be no loss.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I'm sure there are many remedies for each little symptom, but the bottom line is that mothers are the energizer bunnies of the world - we keep on going. I did, once or twice, look longingly at my bed, and then continued putting away clothes. I have mulched several flower beds, used the tractor to plow a new one, weeded the old ones, mucked my stalls, cleaned house, etc. Just as I would do if I were not sick.
As badly as this virus hit me, I told dh that he'd better hope that he doesn't get it. He asked if I were implying that he was a poor patient. I plead the fifth. (But look here. Need I say more?
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
The papers were full of supposedly famous people that I'd never heard of. You had your Piddle Daddies and Puff Doodle rap stars (I don't listen to rap), a good number of ex-NFL football players (I don't watch football), lots of TV celebrities (if it isn't on House or Bones, I don't see it), and other supposed celebrities that have no other credit to their being than having acted or sung on TV or screen. Most of them, I not only would not know them if I passed them on the street, but if I did, I'd not have anything to say to them. Somehow, I suspect they don't know anything about what to put in their garden this time of year or how chickens like to hide their eggs from you. There to see horses? Perhaps we could discuss the best manure fork design. Oh, you don't really like horses, just the endless boozy parties. And being seen. I get it.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Now, I don't know where you live, but Kentucky definitely does not need more ass. Helloooo....we are home of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Kentucky ranks as the sixth fattest state in the union. There isn't one person I know that I want to see riding a bike naked, 'cepting maybe my dh just for the pure humor of it.
Dh mentioned that the whole idea sounded decidedly uncomfortable. Picture the little seats on a ten-speed bike seat - on the other hand, let's drop that line of thinking. Dh said he would turnout for World Topless Bike Ride Day, which, however, ruins the slogan.
It won't happen here - home of where we make Derby a holiday: we invite over friends, sit on the couch and eat fried chicken and buffalo wings while watching horses run. But exercise ourselves? In the nude? Will never happen.
Happy Derby Day!
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I was discussing this with Joe, the farmer from whom I buy hay for the horses. Our idle chat turned to the cost of horses, and yet, the value of them in a young teen's life, how it keeps them busy, requires responsibility and focus. I asked if he'd seen the statistics and the resultant letters to the editor claiming that the problem is (use whiny voice) there's nothing here for a teen to do.
I asked Joe if it wasn't true that he'd lived here all his life, and he replied in the affirmative. And, I continued, isn't there more to do here than when you were a teen? He threw his eyes upward, oh gosh yes. He told me that when he was a teen, he and many of his school mates didn't have time to get in trouble, as they had to come home to the farm and work. He raised his daughters the same way, and though peers sometimes made fun of them for being farm girls , they grew up hard workers and good people.
Good people. What if - we've given our youth all the privileges money can buy, schooled them in every subject known to mankind, got them to regurgitate this back on tests so that we can say that no child was left behind and so that they can get a good job, but we forgot to parent them to be good people?
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
- "I'm sorry"
- "I forgive you"
- "I love you"
I had to laugh, because just recently I heard something similar, which was advice to a man on what to learn to say to his wife to have a successful marriage:
- "I'm wrong"
- "You're right"
- "I love you"
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