Monday, May 18, 2009

The Longest Weekend

So many things I want to share as I go about my busy days. I need a head implant so that I can blog as I scoop manure and transmit directly to the blog: I ought to tell people that pi$$ ants are back. I'm sure you'd want to know. They are actually parasitoid wasps that hatch in the spring and you see them all over the manure piles. Why do I like them? Well, they show it is now really spring and warm, but more importantly, they are predators of house fly larvae in the manure piles and keep down the flies. I am fortunate to have my own colony, but you can also buy them online. Yes, so as I scoop manure each morning, I think of sharing this with you because my life is so full of manure.

So what have I been up to? Just this weekend, Lauren and I drove 380 miles to two piano competitions (she won third place in DePauw University's competition and we await results on the other) on Saturday. On Sunday, we attended Church, baseball practice, the high school graduation of three wonderful homeschooled teens, and left from there to go to a piano recital that included Lauren and the children of several close friends and my niece. Dh, who was at his aunt's memorial service in New Jersey this weekend, flew in and got there just in time to hear Lauren play. What a whirlwind!

All this and we are all fighting a virus that gives one a terrible "I can't talk" sore throat that lingers and sometimes, develops into a cold. I have had the sore throat for a week and a half, but no cold. Anna and William can't hardly breathe, and Lauren appears to be getting it now that her commitments have been made and she can afford to get it. Dh has been lucky so far. And yes, we've tested for strep - it's not.

Other notes:
Roxie (miniature horse) was reaching for that one little last blade of grass when the board of the fence gave, and being small, she stepped through the fence. At five in the morning, she was in the middle of the road. A good Samaritan neighbor on his way to work stopped and put her in our yard and closed our main gate. We found her later at 7 a.m. and his card telling us what happened. He stopped by later that day and introduced himself, (we'd not met previously) and I thanked him. Cars were going by, he said, and he could not just leave her there and turned around and came back. Thank God that there are people in this world that are willing to look out for their neighbor.

Both my bantams are broody. One sits on three fertilized eggs. I don't need more chickens and hope to give them away. The other sits on two pitiful little green eggs but she has no babydaddy so they won't be hatching.

I look at the yard and my planting gene starts working, but I don't have time. I should be growing food - the economy, you know.

I'm sure there is more I meant to write, but as I said, I've not gotten that brain implant yet, so I've forgotten more than I've written. Check back soon, and maybe I'll remember.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Birthday to Anna

In the dimly lit, quiet room, I reached down and was the first human to touch you. In a few more moments, you were in my arms, the first arms to hold you. But I knew you already - you were my Anna. You seemed, already, to know me. For days after, I am told, the hospital staff talked of the wonder and beauty of your birth. I was not surprised, and still am not. Your quiet gracefulness and inner beauty continues to give me and our family joy. Would I could, I would hold you in my arms like the baby you once were, but I know that I must now embrace the woman you are becoming. Happy Sweet Sixteen, my darling girl.

And - Congratulations for winning BEST OF SHOW! in the art contest last night!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


A slide show played on a monitor in the waiting area at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. We were waiting to speak to the admissions officer - with a seven year old boy who did NOT want to be there. Sit and watch the photos, we tried to distract him. He looked over at the current display which was of costumed ballet dancers.

"I'm not going to look at that! They're not even wearing pants!"

Perhaps they can't afford them after paying tuition.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Go Two!

When teaching kids, it is always instructional to make sure they understand the terminology. Recently, while driving home from baseball practice, William mentioned that he enjoyed playing but did not understand why the coach was yelling "GO TWO" after his hit. Well, I explained that meant the hit was good, and he should go two bases, round first base and keep running to second. If he shouts, "GO THREE" that means go to third base.

"What does he mean if he shouts 'DIG, DIG, DIG?'"
"Well, that means he wants you to dig your cleats into the dirt and run faster."

William, who grew another inch since February, hasn't quite grown accustomed to his bigger body. "I don't think I can do that," he replied. He still runs a bit like a preschooler and acts goofy to boot. It will take care of itself.

At any rate, it does no good to shout at kids if they haven't any idea of the meaning what you are saying.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Happy Cinco de Mayo! To celebrate, we went to a Mass in Spanish held for the Hispanic and youth community. After, our youth group hosted a taco bar for everyone, taught people to dance the merengue, and the kids beat on piñatas. The piñatas were the highlight.

The Hispanic man in charge was a delight. He tied his shoes to a rope and threw them twenty feet in the air to the bottom branch of a towering oak. It took several tries as we all shouted encouragement and tried to avoid being hit by the shoes on the failed attempts. We all howled with laughter as the piñatas danced around and up and down around the blindfolded (and later, unblindfolded) kids, particularly the teens who wanted to beat the daylights out of it. No one laughed harder than the Hispanic man with holding the end of the rope - he truly enjoyed his "job".
These were no ordinary piñatas - they were made by the Mexican grocery in town and were very tough to break. Before they did, the stick broke, and I had to retrieve William's baseball bat to finish the job. Finally, the pinatas broke, and the kids, screaming, ran to get candy. William gathered all the coupons for a free personal pizza. I made him share as he'd found five.

Our yard is fluorescent green. Finally, the weather I've been waiting for. I love spring. Still, I am curbing my planting impulse and going very slowly. I love to plant things, yet by July, I am usually so busy, my plantings go to weeds. I am very good at growing weeds.

Monday, May 04, 2009


At the end of our street sits a house that is a landmark of sorts. I always use it in directions to our house: "At our street, you'll see a brown brick house with pink and purple trim. You can't miss it." As we passed the house the other day, William remarked, "That house is hideous. Don't you think that house is hideous, Mom?" I agreed it was not within my preferences. William continued, "I don't even know what hideous means, but that's what that house is."

As for the house, I am told that the inhabitants are a bit different from the rest of us - they painted their fences brown, a true standout in our black fence region. A statement?

I have been on the road, college shopping for the girls. I am astounded at the changes to my alma mater, the University of Cincinnati. Buildings have sprung up from the earth, though some of it remains the same. The very old classic building where I spent many a sweaty, hot class is now air conditioned. How did they pay for it? Well, when I attended there, I think tuition in-state was about $2000. Now, it is about $9400, and out of state, which my children would be, will be $25,000, not including living expenses. Not to worry: they give 10, TEN, full scholarships for the entire university (read with sarcasm). It was beautiful though.


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