Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Yay! A batch of new Polish Pottery arrived last night. Shelley (who is now in Suburbia instead of Poland for the moment) and Joan did the shopping in Poznan, and a short-term missionary team member brought the goodies back over the Atlantic before mailing them on to Texas. So, today I offer three patterns not previously posted on this blog...

Monday, September 29, 2008


Last night Katie decided that she hates middle school (Who doesn't?!), and I should home school her. Erin thinks this is brilliant, and she would also like to give home school a whirl. Evan ignored his sisters and their insane ideas. This morning Kate realized that public school is where she is learning to play french horn, and the horn she is using belongs to said public school. This is the only potential issue she can come up with to possibly detract from the homeschool idea. So I am going to research, and pray about this because I do not want to blow either daughter off.
We considered homeschooling, but really, there is a need for the kids to be in the public school setting to shine in the darkness that separation of church and state has become. Our home is pretty well-lit, but there are some very dim spots in the local elementary and middle schools. I also know that they are developing a worldview that can handle the garbage found in the wider world without robbing them of their Christian faith because we are able to teach them and guide them through the difficult and scary situations and scenarios that crop up rather than eventually having them suddenly shocked by the big, harsh world.
That decision was also made without consulting the kids who were much younger at the time. I have no real concern about "socialization" because we have a wide circle of friends, and there are several active homeschool groups in our area, too. "School" could be accomplished in fewer hours than are currently allotted, and there would be more time for family, socializing, exercising, and Bible study than the children have now. Several families we know are homeschooling, and their kids are well-adjusted, bright, interesting people. So, we will again address the homeschool option because the original decision was made without the children's input, and now the children are old enough to have their ideas given some consideration. It will be interesting to see what the arguments for and against look like whether we go forward with public school or give homeschool a shot.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


We have had a death in the family. A flurry of notifications have gone out, and relatives have begun to trickle in to attend to the usual ceremonies. This is somewhat unique in my experience because someone else has always taken care of the assorted details of planning for memorials without any input needed from me. This time has been different.
Sitting in the funeral director's office with my Dad, Grandma, and Great Aunt was an education in how the process of showing respect and love for our deceased works. (I can only imagine the sorts of conversations the directors are privy to on any given day.) Our session was a bit of an adventure because my Grandma has developed a case of dementia that has become incredibly evident. She introduced me as my mother, and there were several points where we repeated assorted conversations because she was having them again for the first time. We worked through the selections of clothing, flowers, music, dates, times, stationery, locations, and what-not until it was time to visit the specific plot in the "memorial gardens". Finally, the last paper signed, the last tissue tossed into the trash, and we were loading into Dad's truck for a lunch so late it was practically dinner.
There is not much left to "see to" at this point. Daddy will drop off the photo of his uncle for the obituary so it can run tomorrow in Big City paper and Uncle J's Bible to be included in a floral arrangement. Mother will fly in tomorrow afternoon along with an assortment of other relatives. We will all gather tomorrow evening, except for two of my kids who are foregoing the viewing, to receive visitors and mourners (which are not necessarily one and the same) for a couple of hours. There will likely be be tales that I have never heard and repetitions of some particular favorites. On Saturday afternoon, we will complete the celebration of a life well-lived.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back and Forth

Sunday evening Don and I loaded up the girls and headed for our Bible study group. Erin was off to play with the other kids. Katie was serving as a helper to the babysitters because our group has a vast population of wee people. Evan was staying home alone. He has aged out of childcare, and we are transitioning to a stage many of his friends have been enjoying for months. He has been of a legal age (12 years old in Texas) to stay at home by himself for the past year and a half, but he has not been ready to do so emotionally. Our group leaders have said we can bring him, but Evan has repeatedly balked at being expected to follow the babysitters' instructions because they are only a chronological year older than he. That can create some bigger issues with younger children who need to obey the sitters to avoid absolute chaos. So, I feel like the boy needs to stay at home unless he is willing to be subject to the sitters or join in the study discussion.
We have been talking about maturity and independence lately, and his body is all thirteen-and-a-half while his emotional age seems significantly younger in many instances. He recognizes this, but he seems to either disregard or not recognize the consequences of this immaturity. Like most people, much less teens, he wants all the privileges and opportunities of thirteen, but he balks at the responsibilities of those much younger. It was a flying leap of faith to leave hime home alone, but it was also an exercise that will help to garner him a greater level of parental trust and to build a little confidence.
His food issues surfaced moments after we left the house. Half an hour after pulling out of the driveway, my phone was registering a call from Evan. He asked me to come get him because he was "already getting into trouble." *sigh* I left Don and the girlies at our group's meeting place, and drove back home. Evan had ice cream all over himself and the kitchen, but he was glad to see me. We cleaned up the kitchen and Evan together. I told him that he did well to call when he could not handle the responsibility of being in charge of himself. He was all set to head out the door when I dropped my bombshell: he was still staying home alone. I was going back to group without him.
He was shocked to hear that despite his ice cream escapade and the disruption of his almost immediate phone call, I would still expect him to be able to stay at home like any other eighth grader. Because I know he can do it. We spent some time determining that Evan has difficulty deciding what to do with himself while on his own. Then we brainstormed things he would like to do that his sisters fail to appreciate. We considered Star Wars movies (which the girls dislike) and Harry Potter movies (which the girls do like) because those movies would run way longer than the time the rest of the family would be out. I went to the kitchen to fix him a snack that would be a bit better for him than an ice cream bonanza, and while the popcorn was popping we realized that there was likely either a Food Network Challenge or an Iron Chef battle running on t.v. that would help him to track the time passing until the rest of us would return home.
I finally headed back over to the group leaving the boy in a good mood talking to the t.v. chefs and gnoshing microwave popcorn. The social period and most of the discussion was already over, but Don and I had the opportunity to walk and pray together a bit in the final half hour of the group. Afterward, we all arrived home to the chatter of food network in an otherwise quiet house. We were greeted by the dogs and the cat, but not Evan. He was zonked out on the couch. I woke him up, told him that, "You did it! I knew you could!", and sent him off to bed.
Next week will be another opportunity. I may have to come back home again. I may miss much of this study's discussion. It will be worth it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

BBC meets FBG

The Bad Bella Cat has only recently met a human baby. I imagine her tiny cat-brain response being similar to that of Miss Lady in Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" though. Bella's first exposure to a baby came a week ago when Favorite Baby Girl and her big sisters came over for a visit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


In a previous post, I mentioned being pleased to sign on as part of a prayer team that is committed to praying to prepare a young engaged couple for something far more amazing than their wedding--- their marriage. One of the ladies on that team has given permission for me to share this tale she offered to encourage our couple who are in South Texas because it's a tale too precious not to pass on...

"My sister and brother in law live in Texas City and so had to evacuate for Ike. They stayed with friends in Spring who happened to have room and plenty of food to share with them. It just so happened that the friend’s son had a wedding planned in Houston for Saturday night, Sept. 13. Because of Ike it had to be postponed. Mind you, they had been engaged for 9 months and everything was set. Everyone cancelled their plans and stayed home. But on Friday night, this couple came to his parents’ house, power already knocked out. Who was there, but my sister and brother in law. Did I mention that my brother in law is a preacher? That night he performed a very intimate candlelight wedding with a few witnesses and made a lasting memory. The ‘mother in law’ house out back ( where grandma would have been that night) became a honeymoon suite! The big wedding will happen eventually, but the marriage began Friday night!"

Wow. I found this tale in my inbox along with the following scripture (from a totally unrelated source), "Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."- Hebrews 11:6 That last bit is huge. Knowing that I can seriously let go of my needs and wants because God will reward me (in ways that I may not even be able to imagine) for being faithful is challenging to grasp, much less simply accept. It goes against all learned behaviors and cultural norms. ("God helps those who help themselves," ring any bells?!) I am amazed by this, but maybe one day I will really "get it", too. Prayer Partner's story was a tale I needed to read yesterday while I wrestled a bit with this particular snippet of scripture. I love that God provided for the newlyweds in this tale, but also for the pastor's family who were given shelter from the storm and plenty of food (One wouldn't want a wedding feast to go to waste surely?) while being put in place to perform that wedding ceremony. Awesome.

Why Blog?

A questioner has asked why I blog when I prefer more direct means of communication. I blog because I like to write. It's entertaining to watch the streams of thought spilling out into a series of words dancing across the screen or page to flesh out the ideas in my head. Sometimes a post is silly. Sometimes it contains some small nugget of philosophical or theological truth. Most of the time it is simply a chronicle of my responses to life in general.
It's something of a diary and a public forum coming together. Initially, I sent out links to people I knew in "real life" thinking it would be a way to keep in touch and up-to-date, but most of those folks fell away quickly because they can have in-person updates or are simply not "computer people". My initial foray into the blogosphere has grown to a dozen blogs I read regularly, and a batch that I visit whenever the writers leave a comment somewhere that draws me to further peep into their worlds. Blogging allows a mild sense of community, the opportunity for writers of varying ability to share what they produce, and can be part of one's support system through the comment feature and the option to e-mail. I read and peruse for the artistry in some posts, tales of lives I either identify with or cannot even imagine living, parenting tips and trials, to consider others' perspectives and editorializing, find recipes, enjoy photos and poetry, and because I just get a kick out of the personalities that come through in some of the material.
Words are a window to the soul. Written words require a reader who intimately knows the tone of the writer to truly bring them to life as intended rather than a creative interpretation. Yet the interpretation is open to personalization when one writes so that the reader may participate in the adventure however vicariously.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Last week a teacher told her students, one of whom is household member, that they needed a copy of Steinbeck's The Pearl. Because this was not of any interest to my kid, it was promptly forgotten. Until yesterday. When the book was needed in class. And the need again slipped my child's mind until this morning when panic set in causing a phone call home to cash in this year's "freebie".
Each of the kids gets a "freebie". Theoretically, my offspring are capable of keeping up with their possessions on the way to and from school, and notifying us of any needs. Sometimes the theory does not hold up so well. When one of our lovies calls home because they have forgotten a needful thing of some sort, they are given a freebie. A freebie means Mom or Dad brings the tem needed. Once the freebie has been cashed in, such calls home are met with a somewhat steely, "...And you want me to do what about this?" After a couple of these calls, the children do quite well letting us know about any needs in advance and of keeping track of their assorted stuff.
The freebies are going fast this year. School started three weeks ago, and two freebies have been exercised already. One darling used the freebie the already because eye glasses were left at home. Child No. 2 blew the freebie today on The Pearl. This freebie is a real challenge. 125 or so other parents whose students also need that book have already scoured any retailer within three zip codes or so for the book. This is not so good. I have also put out feelers via phone and e-mail in search of some soul with a copy on hand either from a love of the book or a kid who needed it for school. No luck.
Tonight I will venture a few more zip codes from home for a Girls' Night Out birthday celebration of dinner and a movie. I am in need of great friends, a good meal, and a laugh which I hope "The Women" will provide. Perhaps I will hit a bookstore or two that is a little outside my normal range while I am out on the town.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tag, I'm It!!!

Yay! After much reading of others who get tagged...
6 random things
Whoo-Hoo!!! I've been tagged. And I feel the need to live up to the challenge, since it was written, "6) Holly. Because I know you want to. Oh, and your pottery is on a plane on it's way to Atlanta as I type!" by Shelley in Poland who is still in Poland for the moment before heading back to the States for a few months. One does not pass up a tag by someone who is a) one's pottery connection and b) absolutely right...
The "rules" of the game are as follows:
1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you're tagged, DO IT and pass on the tag

Since it's all about me...

1) I can still do the splits.

2) I lost 80 pounds and kept it off for over a year.

3) I am a native Texan.

4) I adore the crazy, heady scent of gardenias.

5) Don and I got married in my parents' living room.

6) I seriously considered only posting 5 items because it would then appear that I am either a rebel or really forgetful, but I am entirely bound to convention so I must add in this sixth random tidbit: I love rules, definitions, and boundaries.

Hmmm... Do I know of six other bloggers who might actually see this post?! We shall see. (Or at least I will because I am disgusted with trying to get the links to work, and am giving up on it.)
1) Lori, because it will be fun.
2) Green Girl in Wisconsin since it will give her two in a row.
3) Don because he hasn't posted anything in a couple of months.
4) Fannie because it's not what I ordered, either.
5) Patience Crabstick just in case she has a moment.
6) Mrs. Bradley E because I like to see the world from your perspective.


I keep hitting the "refresh" button on my browser. The weather tab is showing a temp in the high sixties at an hour 'til noon. In September. In Texas. Even more bizarre, are forecasts indicating temps only expected to hit the high seventies for highs this week. Crazy world. I do love this year's unexpected cool days in what are normally the miserably hot months of August and September. It gives me hope that perhaps this year will see something closer to a real winter rather than the usual trend of mowing the lawn for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Weather aside, it is Monday. I love Monday because it means going off to play with Favorite Girl Baby (FGB) during one of her now multiple daily "alert times". How precious those hours with this sweet girl who will not remember the care given to her. Still, I am thankful for the opportunity to just pour a little love into this sweet child. Her middle sister is another favorite, but she goes down for her nap shortly after I arrive so there is less opportunity for me to botch her schedule. She is two, and some days she is my precious friend while others times she meets me with great suspicion. (2 year-old is the child found in a July post about how I am occasionally so Not the Mama she hopes to find in her kitchen.) Today I plan to do a better job of putting FGB down on time. Last week and the week before I was busted playing with the wee one when she was seriusly supposed to be sleeping. Uh-oh. While I am pleased to have passed on from the Pre-K days with my own brood, I do delight in sharing them with these other children of my heart.
So I am off to play with little ones while reveling in today's lovely coolness. Ahhh. It just does not get much better than this. Well, it could be better if it was cool enough to need a coat. And gloves. And a scarf to wrap around my Strep-ridden throat (Several days worth of antibiotics mean the contagion has been halted so I can play with the wee charges...) and I could really get into a little cool weather.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Don I picked through our individual memories of riding out Hurricane Alicia twenty-five years ago over lunch yesterday. Apparently we were both allowed to go outside while the calm of the eye passed over our suburban homes only to be shuffled back indoors before the outer rings of the storm again passed over slinging more wind and rain. I was laughing at Don's apt description of the smallish trees in our respective suburbs leaning over (complete with hand gestures) during the storm only to stand straight again during the eye, and lean back over going the other direction as Alicia completed her pass over Houston. That storm was less scary than exciting from the relative safety of our homes under the seeming protection of our parents.
At the time, I was greatly offended that all hurricanes were "her-icanes", and I wanted to know why the storms did not have male names, too. (Early feminist leanings? Sense of fairness? I dunno.) Many years later, I trawl the internet watching for news on Hurricane (Himicane) Ike glad for the cousin's family who went north, but concerned about the in-laws who are staying at home.
What I find is a victim of Hurricane Ike that I did not even think to be concerned about until I saw the name listed as a casualty in an on-line article. Brennan's, a downtown Houston restaurant with New Orleans roots, burned in the midst of Ike's march into town. I visited this landmark of fine cuisine only once, but it was a memory that I treasure. My mother took my Aunt Nancy, who was seven months older than I, and me to the restaurant for dinner once when she was staying with us for one of the extended slumber parties we called visits. We rode in a taxi, which was a disappointment because I expected something grand and very "Breakfast at Tiffany's" rather than the grimy, smelly reality. I ate something off the menu which was somewhat less exciting than anticipated (and nerve-wracking because I recall not wanting to upset my mother with my picky eating habits on this special day). The dinner was not the high point of the evening. We were absolutely wowed by one of the signature dishes of the landmark eatery. Nothing like a flaming Bananas Foster to impress a child! I think Mom was disappointed when I ordered a something chocolatey instead of the super-cool treat afire.
It was an adventure where I glimpsed my mother as she sees herself, and Nancy was the best friend who would never move away or grow away because we were family. I have since learned that families are not quite inseparable or infallible. Nancy did not ever move away. She remains forever a young teen instead of the lifelong friend and confidante expected following a car accident a couple of years after our Brennan's adventure. I find a small sharp sense of mourning for the place that was the scene one of our happy memories.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Girl

Don had "Donuts with Dad" this morning at the Elementary with Miss Erin. This is the child who was still at home when we moaned and groaned about having to go to the yucky school events with her sibs during her formative years. She is highly appreciative of our attendance at any school function because she knows we are only there out of love for our kids. (She is also observant enough to recognize the parents who are a little too invested in their kids... those mommies and daddies living vicariously through said children rather than simply supporting and encouraging the little darlings. While she would on some level like one of the "always there" moms, I think Square Peg is relieved to have the freedom to be who she is without having to be crammed into a round hole formed by excessive parental expectation.) She informed me that I did not have to attend--- me not being a Dad and all. I explained that I was merely along to photograph the event for posterity and the yearbook committee. She seemed to accept this as a reasonable excuse for Mom to tag along to the premier Father-Child event of the elementary social scene.
As we walked to the school, she informed me that she really does not like pig-tails. This is, in fact, her least favorite hairstyle. She says, "I don't really like pig-tails. They just look so good on me that I have to wear them." I am not touching that statement directly. Trying not to choke on laughter barely held back, I respond that she does not have to wear pig-tails in her hair if she does not like them. I start to tell her that she does not have to wear anything that makes her uncomfortable--- until the many possible repercussions of this statement runs through my mind in a rapid fire series of situations where she will likely endure styles she finds uncomfortable like pantyhose in July, underwire bras, ugly bridesmaids' dresses, or having her hair swept into an up-do with poking bobby pins. I am glad to have avoided my "freedom to be yourself" commentary coming back to haunt me on some future occasion when I will need this unique little person to tow some ridiculous party line for the sake of appearances.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Were Here

On the September 11th, I was on the phone with Sylvia like I was every morning from 2000 until the second time George W. was elected. Don had gone into the office for the dreaded chore of cleaning out his desk after being swept up in the lay-off tide that was washing out the telecom industry. Evan and Kate were at their respective schools. As I fixed myself a cup of coffee with Erin on my hip, Sylvia said, "Are you watching the news?". To which I responded with my standard, "Of course not. You know I totally rely on others to let me know if there is some smidgen of news I need to know." She then said something wholly unexpected. "Someone just flew a plane into the World Trade Center."
I could not reach my husband. He did not have a cell phone because we could not afford such luxuries at that time. I could not watch CNN because our antenna could only pick up PBS and occasionally the Spanish channels. I relied on Sylvia to describe the endless news loop. Erin and I eventually just load up to go over and stare in shock at Sylvia's screen while CNN raked in the ratings.
Finally I reached Don by land line hours later. He was relatively unaware of the momentous goings-on in the larger world because he was being slowly crushed by the weight of financial provision for our family and the reality that his paycheck would dry up and go away entirely in six weeks. Only the seconds ticking away inevitably in his head and the bitterness of knowing that the faceless company did not care how hard he worked or what a good job he did were real for him in the fog of depression. He did see that someone on his floor had a t.v. and was surprised by the oddity of a plane inserting itself into a solid building and the specks that fell from the heights before the very heights themselves descended to Ground Zero.
These moments are indelibly imprinted in my memory. I will always hear Sylvia's voice relaying that the unthinkable was not only possible, but true. My mother knows exactly where she was when Kennedy was assassinated, and for her that day brought the impossible into the realm of reality. I remember sitting in science class when the school's P.A. system announced the explosion of the space shuttle despite my belief growing up in Houston that N.A.S.A. was pretty much infallible. Holding my infant daughter and rocking her while hearing of the atrocities committed in a school building in Columbine followed years later. I wonder what else I hold impossible today that will be entirely too real tomorrow or a decade from now?

Random Thursday

Two more hours to go. Don goes to the dermatologist today for the latest in his round of re-checks following last year's melanoma. It does not seem like it has been a year since that teensy patch of black popped up on his arm, but it also feels like that situation occured a forever ago. As soon as Libby heads off to school this morning we will be off to the dermatologist's office. Maybe he won't need any biopsies at all this time? It could happen. All done. He gets to wait six months before his next follow-up, there were no biopsies taken today, and he only has three little "watch this" spots.
Today will be full of MDs. The Boy's psychiatrist is no longer on our insurance. There seem to be a dozen pediatric psychiatrists around here, but our past experience has been that it can take eight weeks to get in--- or longer. Some MDs do not want to deal with a kid who has a messy dual diagnosis (one neurological and one psychiatric--- the combination keeps life exciting), and we need to to refill his meds in the next few weeks. This is going to be more challenging than I am prepared for on a random Thursday. I am sitting on hold, but this could be resolved today. Or not since the rep says that the phone number they called and left for us to call is not the number they need for us to call. Oh, and the ID number on our insurance card? That is not our ID number for mental health. This is not going to be done today, but at least I will have the list of MDs to start calling this afternoon. Yuck.
The Boy also needs a physical. I should have done it back in July when no one else is getting physicals and we are outside of flu and allergy seasons. Special Olympics starts up for the 2008-2009 school year on Friday, and Evan will need a physical and permission slips on file in order to participate. I am hoping we will have until the actual event rather than the practices to provide documentation. Maybe, in a perfect world, it will even turn out to be every twelve calendar months? Score! Physical set for next week, AND all three kids are now scheduled for their flu shots next month, too.
Well, yuck. I would really rather just crawl back into bed than deal with this day. At least it is Thursday which means "Date Day" for the Mister and I. We went out for breakfast after his appointment, and it was glorious to just hang out for our brief little bit of "alone time" this morning.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gratuitous Kitty Pictures

What Bella Bad Cat does while she thinks everyone else is sleeping... alternately titled, "Why I cannot ever find an oven mitt".

September Showers

Baby shower is off or will happen at some other time. Instead of a weekend of baby stuff, we will have Special Olympics, a yummy Latin festival with tacos and assorted Latino stuff, and whatever other stuff had been previously off the schedule due to the prior commitment. I suspect we will see our fair share of yucky weather, but hopefully no "storm-spawned tomatoes" will tear through our neck of the woods courtesy ofthe latest hurricane.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I remain impressively easily distracted, but I can at least claim a medical cause for said distraction. It appears that my oh-so-super-sensitive Thyroid uptake (The synthetic hormone pill that I take daily is supposed to regulate of the other rampaging hormones surging through my system.) has gone wonky again. My face is a wee bit puffy, my concentration is poo, I have flaky skin, and intolerance to cold. Okie-dokie then. I'm already managing this lack of thyroid with wee little pills that I take two per day, except on Sunday when I take one. I guess we will see what the nice people in white coats (the lab techs, not the ones who probably should come to take me away... Ha-Ha! Hee-Hee!) have to say about hormone levels later. In the mean time I am just pleased to have lost a pound in the last three months. "Yay!" for me. (This is doubly impressive considering the ice cream habit I have been regularly indulging, and the exercise habit that has been somewhat derelict.)
It's been a weird and busy couple of days. Yesterday was pulling down Christmas decorations from the Worship Arts computer area and making fifteen sandwiches at church. (It's a long story. Use your imagination... I'd love to hear the explanations that are likely far more entertaining than the reality.) I played with my favorite baby girl who is now a whopping two months old while her Mama went to a staff meeting. I failed to put Baby Girl down for her nap, so I chose to make a fast exit when the wee one began to loudly protest the over-stimulation of her playdate with Mrs. Me after her Mommy came home. Today was a trip to the endocrinologist, lunch time with my favoritest (Is so a word.) friend who I see far too infrequently and the opportunity to chit chat without the inevitable intervention of our combined seven children, four dogs, three cats, or two husbands. One middle school open house, a photo-taking expedition, and a couple of hours with a friend at Starbucks and the day has come to a close. Whew.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Time has been in its usual supply around here fopr the last ten days or so. The catch? Many more bits o' flotsam and jetsam have been swimming the currents of time in the twenty-four hour cycles we call a day. The moments and minutes have housed transitions for many of our loved ones, and transition can be a bit consuming. There have simply been more needs, prayer requests, and conversations to share with those we love in the most recent days. It does not look like things will be slowing in the future.
In the midst of friends with new jobs, job losses, homes on the market, new homes, moving, looking for a home, returning to a transatlantic home, children starting college, children starting home school, children beginning kindergarten, spouses going back to school, newborns, spouses with stress, spouses with cancer, spouses out of town all week, siblings at war... *sigh* I find that the precious people around me are giving constant opportunities to build into their lives and to care for them even as they grasp for the golden ring of hope from the grinder of daily chaos. Every moment invested in others is time well spent.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mommy 9-1-1

Uh-oh. The big kids were riding their bikes to school. I was happily venting my ire over the idiocy of Yahoo! in publishing on-line a story beyond stupidity, and hoping for my post-infusion headache and nausea to subside before I have to go see another MD this a.m. The phone rang, and I could hear one of my incredibly loud children yelling throught the handset. (Doubly impressive since their father answered the call.) Don said, "We'll be right there." and hung up. He headed for the cabinet with first aid supplies while I ran off to put on clothes I can go outside in without scandalizing the neighbors.
Once he told me that the situation was an injury, I figured that I was the more likely parent to go deal with the situation. Don stayed with Erin, while I drove down the street to find my kids with a growing crowd of the adults who we regularly see during our daily walks. (We don't actually know most of their names, but instead refer to the majority by their dogs, as in "Boots's people".) The adults semi-scattered as I emerged from the car with my box of bandaids and the first aid kit. Once they were assured that the boy with his profusely bleeding arm was in good hands, the assorted neighbors headed off to continue their morning walks or return to their homes. I patched up the boy and sent the daring duo off to school again.
While I frequently question the logic of children carrying cell phones, I am glad that today my kids could call home when one of them was injured because they did have a phone. It is profoundly reassuring to know that they do have the sense to call us for help even when they are in a relatively minor moment of distress and close to home.

Stupid is as stupid does...

What?! How does a story about Irish bookies and their bets on whether or not Sarah Pallin is asked to step down as Republican running mate to McCain count as news? Yahoo has sunk to a new level of stupidity this morning with http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20080902/pl_bloomberg/azjwbcginwsg making the home page. Who freakin' cares what Irish bettors think about U.S. politics?! Even from a "world stage" perspective the topic is positively idiotic.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


My connection for all things Polish, but especially pottery (!), is coming home. Aw, well, okay, my friend Shelley is headed stateside for a few months. After hearing the good news that she will be in her U.S. home for celebrations like her Dad's 65th birthday in October and her own birthday this Fall, I was first thrilled to hear that she would not be across the ocean on these family days.
After the "Yay!" for her began to fade into a"Hmmm... I wonder if...", I e-mailed asking if she would please bring me back a bit of the pottery. (While my Polish was sufficient to keep me from saying "I need to pee like a racehorse." in greeting a missionary moving to our area from Poland, per Shelley's impish instructions, it is woefully inadequate for navigating pottery web sites created for native speakers.) I'm not looking for wacky pieces like a cheese lady or an apple baker, but just a couple of mugs with saucers to eventually build into a tea, coffee, and dessert service. (Not that I have given this much thought...) She e-mailed back a website. I did manage to get from the Polish into the English section (Yay, me!), but then I became distracted by all the patterns and shapes. *sigh* A bad case of the "I wants..." later, I ended up snapping a photo of my not-so-vast collection of pottery to avoid duplication and give her an idea of what I particularly liked. The numbers for a batch of patterns and the photo zipped off across the internet to Shelley.
The fascination with the seemingly mundane plate, bowl, and cup instilled in me early on by my auntie has yet to abate. I can wander through a china department or the dish aisle at the local megamart with equal enjoyment. Thanks to the internet, I don't even have to go out to get my fix. Part of the fascination is that dishes tell something of a story and they give glimpse into history through the specialized pieces unique to a country or time, the patterns popular during a specific decade or century, and even the materials and craftsmanship (or lack thereof) common or unique to a certain geographical location.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Storm-spawned Tomatoes

I've been updating Don on the news coming across re: family evacuating from southern Louisiana in the face of Gustav. While our assorted relatives did not hang around during Katrina, instead becoming part of the mass exodus piled up on the highways and by-ways, they did see the aftermath of the storm and flooding. That was sufficient for the whole crew to pack up and leave before the latest hurricane whirled into the state.
I was reading the e-mail update from Don's mom regarding the caravan of his cousin and the assorted people and dogs that have headed further than their original stopping point of Jackson, Mississippi out loud to him and the boy. I followed the personal news with a more general news report found online. As I quickly reported what news was available, I skimmed over the text regarding the risk of storm-spawned tornadoes to state the concerns of [far more disturbing ] "storm-spawned tomatoes". Whoops. One really must be wary of those flying tomatoes. Nasty things. The boy found Mom's report way more amusing than the real news.