Monday, June 27, 2011

How many times can I possibly write about the same topic?

Every May I look with envy at my neighbor's yard.  It spends every May through September in glorious color and bloom.  Okay. I'll admit that I get a little jealous when I look at my own barren and dead yard.  So every June I buy a few flowers and look smugly at my two pots and think how jealous my neighbor probably is of how beautiful my flowers look with so much less work than she has to invest.

Then in July, I ask the nursery employee why my flowers are dead and the neighbor's are thriving.  The employee will warn me about over watering and needed nutrients and about measuring sunlight.  I always have a witty retort that sounds suspiciously like,  "Um.  
What was that you said about 'watering' ?" And then the employee will guffaw about having never heard of anyone killing flowers by NOT watering.  Ha! Ha! Ha!  "Do you feed your children?"  Ha! Ha! Ha!  "Don't YOU eat?"  HAHAHA!!!!  

It's at that point I leave the nursery because I cannot be bothered with feeble-minded idiots.

Last fall, I outsmarted myself.  I picked up a catalog and pointed to a few bulbs and ordered them.  A few weeks later those little, oniony-looking bulbs went into a couple of potting tub-thingies, and I covered them with newspaper and put them under my despised camper to rot.

Of course, I didn't mean rot because I knew exactly what I was doing.

This spring my husband needed to pull the camper out of the garage, and look at that!  There were those pots that I had forgotten clearly remembered.

I proudly put them in front of my house.  Take that, green-thumb neighbor!!!  And then, while flowers came and went all around her house, my family and I enjoyed lots of spindly green something or others in our potting tub-thingies.  Occasionally, my children would inquire about what they were, and I would smirk.  "Silly, dear children!  They're our flowers!"  My precious children would begin to question me again, and I would quickly silence them by going for ice cream.

But look what happened this week!!!  We have flowers.  Nine things I don't know the name of colorful, graceful, elegant examples of my horticultural talent.  Take that, condescending nursery employee!  Be jealous now, talented gardener neighbor!  Enjoy, oh ye children of little faith.

Checkered tells me that we might even have rain for the next few days, and we all know what that means:  these nine flowers have a chance to live until next week!!!!!

Sometimes, I absolutely amaze myself.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fragmented, choppy, and all things me

I can't seem to find the rhythm of blogging these days.  I think it's hiding somewhere at Dairy Queen, so while I go in search of that, here's a small window of how my mind really works:

The merits of logic gone wrong: My youngest boy sadly stated that it's too bad his brother will never be able to become a fire fighter.  The reason?  His butt is apparently too small  ???

And then there's the part where I fool myself: I made some muffins to take to my friend's house and was pleased that they were still warm when I arrived.  Her response? "These are pretty good for a mix."  HOW DID SHE KNOW?

And speaking of knowledge, have you read the ebook, Sentence of Marriage?  You MUST.  Now I am reading the first sequel, Mud and Gold, and it's almost as good.

Here comes the work reference: my students and I read an editorial yesterday about how even as society speeds along technologically, we are clamoring more and more for a hands-on, slower connection to life.  The editorial then cited the Etsy stores as a prime example of our longing for more of a human connection.  Not one of my 27 students had any idea what Etsy is, so that kind of shot a hole right through the article's theory.

The students did, however, better understand Dave Berry's advice that women would be happier if they only looked at themselves from the front.  He says we get into trouble when we look at our image from other angles such as the side or the back.  He says men have perfected the art of the one-glance, front view only and are much happier as a result.  I think he's right!

And speaking of men, isn't it the most awkward thing as a woman to have a conversation with a male acquaintance whose fly is open?

And speaking of things men love, some women and I were discussing the merits of breast liposuction.  Two other women stood next to us and talked about their longing for breast enhancement.  Seriously, if they can do a person-to-person blood transfusion, can't they do a person-to-person boob transfusion?

Now I'm done speaking.  So head over to Mrs. 4444's place, and see who else is feeling especially fragmented today

.Mommy's Idea
And if you're mature enough, stop by here:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nope. Not for me.

I sincerely do NOT like camping!

Too much fresh air.

Way too much togetherness.

  Limited kitchen supplies.

    Sand.  Dirt. Sand. Dirt. Sand. Dirt.

  Bored children. 

Annoyed teens who could actually be having fun at home. 

Gross public bathrooms which are so much friendlier to boys. 

Camp stores that sell moldy donuts.  

Nope. Camping is absolutely not for me, and there is nothing that will change my mind.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Help is on the way

Along the shores of Michigan it used to be common to see life saving stations. The stations were intended to help shipwreck victims struggling in the cold dark waters of the Great Lakes.  Volunteers would pull heavy, wooden boats down the shore, and desperately row out searching for survivors.

These days we don't have many shipwrecks around here, and we have greatly evolved our lifesaving skills.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same.  If you get in trouble in the water near Port Austin, Michigan, pray some kind-hearted volunteer sees you, can pull the boat into the water, and can row like crazy.  

Staying on land is just so much safer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Longing for Deeper Than Pink

I am and have always been pink.  Agreeable.  One of the group.  Good at fitting in.  

Pink is good.  Pink is lovely. Pink is very safe.

But the older I get, the more red I want to be.  Individual and independent.  Unfettered by public opinion. Unafraid to be me.

I suppose the trick is discovering who that "me" really is.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Work Will Wait

There's so much I need to do this week.  Next week brings the end of school for my children and all those exciting last week activities.  The week after that my own summer class begins.  I need to get ready to spend the next six weeks teaching my reluctant students how to write in an argumentative manner.  So there are things I really need to get done this week.  

But these two like to camp out under my favorite desk area - right where I want my feet to be.

It's a pretty sweet inconvenience.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Caution's True Tale

This morning, despite sunscreen and a big hat, I have the sunburn to prove that I actually spent part of my week-end watching youth sports.  And just to prove that I didn't spend the ENTIRE time looking at my Nook, here are three lessons I learned:

 Of course they're not okay
When someone gets hurts and collapses on the ground, we often get frightened and start asking, "Are you okay?! Are you okay?!"  Since the person is on the ground, since the person is apparently in pain and not talking, since the person has just begun to take inventory of the injury, give them some time and assume that they are NOT okay.

You know why you got hurt, don't cha?
When someone is injured, why do we think it will help if we point out all the reasons they just got hurt? Can't we allow people a minute or even ten before we tell them what they did wrong (as if they don't already know.)

Sometimes parents are idiots
The woman grabbed the seat next to me and although there were people without a place to sit, she guarded that seat but didn't use it.  What she did do was continue to call someone and leave voicemails.  "Please come to the game.  The kids want you here.  We sure could use your help getting his equipment on.  The game starts soon.  I've got a seat for you.  Please be here.  Please?"  She made approximately 10 calls while I unashamedly listening.  She was, after all, holding a seat hostage.  Eventually her kids came and gathered around her.  "Where's Dad?"  "Please tell me he's not sitting in the car." "I knew he'd do this again!" "He's not coming, is he?" "Why do you bother calling him?"

Then one last question from the kids, and this comment most certainly wasn't a joke.

"Dad's high again, isn't he?"

Mom gave a weak smile, but had nothing to say to her precious children.  I so wish she hadn't first seen me staring at her before she looked down, her face blazing in shame.

Next week-end I'm going to leave my Nook at home, and will ask the good Lord to help me see people the way He does - less in need of my judgment and more in need of my love.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I've got some things I need to say!

Whew!  It's Friday. It's sunny and warm. And it's pizza night.  Things just don't get better than that!

  • My little stick tree was coming along well until a fateful night of heavy rain.  The little stick snapped in half and my electrical tape fix apparently wasn't sufficient.  I can't believe how sad we feel.  I think we'll try one more Forest Pansy Redbud.
  • I decided yesterday about this time that I would like to be skinny.  That desire was thwarted later by the need to finish some cherry chocolate ice cream (but only in the interest of cleaning out the freezer, of course.)
  • About the same time I decided to be skinny, I was helping enhance my hair color.  Have you ever had a panic moment where you KNEW your hair was going to turn out mustard yellow?  No, I haven't either.
  • My youngest son thought about how busy he would be today with a party and field day at school and asked if he could use deodorant.  He came back out of the bathroom and proudly said he had put a lot on - all down his back.
  • Let us hope he doesn't need first aid as a result since I am the one manning the first aid booth at field day.    Please pray that no one bleeds or throws up today, okay?
  • Here is youngest son wearing his new accessory.  His joy is pretty obvious, don't you think?

  • Did you hear about the couple in Canada who picked up two hitchhikers?  One of the guys thumbing was Bono. Can you imagine? It seems that Bono and his friend got caught in a rainstorm during a walk.  And, yes, the couple who picked them up got free concert tickets.
  • Have you ever had a famous person encounter?  I don't think I have, and I don't know if I am good with that news or not.
  • The closest I ever came to a famous person encounter was meeting Mrs. 4444's last summer.  Bono can't hold a candle to her!

Mommy's Idea

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good Guys

Maybe it's the element of the masculine ego tinged with the tenderness of a parent.  Maybe it's the deep voices saying the sweet words of love.  Maybe it's all those rough whiskers softening into a smile when the splinter finally comes out.  

Whatever it is, it gets me every time.

Earlier this week we sat in the blazing sun at a track meet.  The heat index was about 100 degrees, and our dinner was burning in the oven at home.  Kids were overcome by the heat and a couple threw up, but still we sat there waiting for our son's run.  Checkered repeatedly took work calls and handled a couple of crises.  The dad below us tried valiantly to finish a work project on his laptop. We were all there for the same good reason.

A few seats over from us sat a dad in his heavy work clothes.  He looked entirely miserable.  His eyes, though, never left his son.  In the stadium, in the infield, on the track - those dad's eyes followed his boy.
Eventually the boy made his way up the bleachers to his dad.  They stood there, awkwardness all over the place and no words between them.  Finally the boy said he had to rejoin his team and he walked all the way down the bleachers.  Then he stopped.  Looked around at all the people watching him.  And again climbed back to his dad.  He leaned over in that heat and with all of us looking on, that teen-aged boy kissed his dad.
"Dad?  Thanks for being here." 
 And then he ran down the bleachers and was gone.

I thought I was the only one with a melting heart until I heard one of the ladies near us asking, "Did you see that boy?"  Of course, the lady asking had already complained that she had just spent $85 on her hair just to have it ruined in the heat and the wind.  But she said it was worth it.  

A dad's love surely is a grand thing, isn't it?