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Monday, November 05, 2012

Ran across this while looking up a movie on a Christian website.  Thought it was extremely insightful.

"The lie is eternal.

We don't think about lies as such, not at first. Rarely do we think about them at all. We don't build them to last or construct them with care. They are ugly, utilitarian things; lingual shields we forge with frenzied fury and cower behind when danger comes close. We think we need them to save what we treasure—reputations, friendships, careers—and then, when the danger passes, we try to discard them as so much scrap.

But we can't. Lies stick to us. We carry them with us—silent reminders of that moment of fear, that threat of disgrace. They stay with us always and sometimes grow, the weight pulling us downward as we become hunched, contorted, exhausted. It's the paradox of prevarications: After we form them, they form us."

Definitely worth thinking about this Monday morning.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mouse Tragedy

We had a tragedy today.  One of our baby mice died.

I noticed this afternoon that he was pretty listless, so I took him out and held him.  He's gotten much smaller than his brothers and I was concerned that he was starving, so I put him in a food bowl and held him for a long time.  I finally took him into Deanna's room and we discussed the problem.  I was afraid he was dying, but decided that I would clean up one of the cages we weren't using and put him in his own house alone, away from greedy, bigger brothers.

Deanna held him for a full hour while I prepared a new cage for him.  I filled it with special treats and lovingly set up a wheel and tunnels for him.  Then I took the cage into Deanna's room where we put the little guy and set it up on top of the nursery, the cage where our female mouse (the mother of this guy) lives in Deanna's room.  He was very inquisitive and spent a good bit of time looking over his new home.

This all happened while I was making dinner.  After dinner, I went to check on him and found him dead in his new cage.  I buried him outside, but it really saddened me.  I don't know what happened.  Perhaps he was ill.  Maybe he caught a cold or the heat from the kitchen up near the ceiling, where his other cage sits, was too much for him.  I don't know; he just died.

Daelyn cried.  Deanna moped.  We're all grieving the loss of another of our babies.  We only have 2 left out of a litter of 9.

This isn't exactly the way we wanted to get rid of them.  We would prefer for people to adopt them, not feed them to the dog or kill them off one by one.

They're ALL confused!!

Daelyn:  "Mom, what's for dinner tonight?"
Me:  "Pork loin."
Daelyn:  "Oh, darn."
Me:  "What's wrong?"
Daelyn:  "I just wish you'd cook something other than chicken sometimes."

Later . . .
Deanna:  "What's for dinner?"
Me:  "Pork loin."
Deanna:  "Isn't that from, like, around the crotch area?"
Me:  "Do you mean 'groin'?"

Later still . . .
Don:  "So, we're having chicken crotch for dinner, I see."

And people think THEIR families are weird!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


My children's school is, literally, a 2-minute drive from our house.  I pull up in the carpool lane, they jump out, and I drive off again - 6 to 7 minutes max from start to finish.

Mornings at my house consist of waking Dane, waking Daelyn, throwing a load of laundry in the washing machine, waking Dane, checking on Deanna, popping into our bathroom to say hello to Don, waking Dane, making breakfast, waking Dane, preparing lunches, nagging Dane to finish dressing and walk the dog . . . , I've gotten into the habit of running into my bathroom at the last minute, throwing regular clothes on the top of my body, and tearing back out again, leaving pajamas on the bottom half.  I don't have time to bathe until the children are gone, and I don't really like to put clean clothes on a dirty body, so I keep the jammies on until there's time for my bath.

On my way home from dropping the children at school this morning, I realized I had neglected to tell Dane he was riding home with someone else today.  Grandpa has a doctor's appointment and I'm not sure we'll be home in time to get the children, so I made other arrangements.  Everyone is coming home with someone different, but they should all end up here in close proximity to each other, hopefully, because Deanna's the only one with a key to the house.

I thought about calling the school and leaving the message, but there's no guarantee that they will always get those messages.  I thought that if I passed another car on it's way to school, that I'd flag them down and ask any Middle School kids in it to give Dane the message.  But what if I didn't pass any other cars.  Or what if Dane thought it was a joke and didn't believe the person.  I made a quick decision, checked the clock, and decided that it was still early enough that the Middle School boys would be standing around outside the door.  I could get back in the carpool line and holler out the window at Dane.

I turned around and headed back for the school but noticed as I approached that nobody was standing outside the Middle School doors where the boys are required to gather before school.  All their stuff was there, blocking the doorway so you could hardly get in, but no boys.

I parked, jumped out of the car, and ran in the door.  I passed one young man and asked where they were.

"Setting up chairs in the cafeteria," he said.  Oh, boy.  Here we go.  So, in my pajama bottoms, I rounded the corner from the hallway into the cafeteria, hoping Dane would be close to that door.  Nope.  Of course not.  He was the boy the furthest from me.  And, just then, everyone started filing out the door past me.  As each boy passed, he smiled, most spoke, and EACH ONE discreetly averted their eyes downward at my pajama bottoms.  No one commented, no funny expressions crossed their faces, just a quick glance.

It took me several minutes to get Dane's attention and tell him about his ride situation this afternoon.  In the meantime, more boys were milling past me, with the ever-present "sneaky" glance at my pajama bottoms.  As I finished with Dane and walked back out to my car, I couldn't help but laugh.  Polite boys we're raising here.  Not a single one of them mentioned my pajamas, nor laughed, smiled, or commented about my choice of clothing.  But not a single one of them missed noticing, either.

My secret's out now.  I wear pajamas to bed and don't change out of them first thing in the morning.  In fact, some days I stay in pajama bottoms half the day.  They're comfortable.  And, if I get busy cleaning or cooking or doing laundry, I don't always want to take the time to get my bath and fully dress.  I do normally, though, attempt to dress before leaving the house for things other than the drive to school.

Just so you know.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Intelligence by Association

I have a child who has hit puberty with a vengeance.  Gone are the sweet, cuddly moments.  Gone are the snuggles at bedtime.  Gone are the earnest chats about life, problems, etc.  In their place, I have a snarling, disrespectful creature that barely resembles the child I birthed.

I'm a talker - from the word "Go".  My response to problems is:  1.  Talk them out; 2.  If that fails, punch out the perpetrator (I still have Irish blood in me).  Neither of these solutions work with this child.  However, since #2 is definitely out of the question, I have given added attention to my #1 way of dealing with problems.

In an effort recently to help this child understand the emotions he/she is having towards me right now, I explained that puberty causes all children to think their parents are idiots.  They will one day wake up, often in their 20's (we all pray it happens much earlier, though), and realize that their parents suddenly got really, really smart.  They understand things.  When could this possibly have happened?  I wanted this child to understand that thinking his/her father and I are stupid is a normal part of puberty, but it's also not the truth and that feeling will go away one day.

This morning, this child smiled at me (boy, is that ever rare) and told me he/she has decided I'm not the dumbest person in the world.  Surprised, but cautious, I asked,

"Oh?  So is your father the dumbest person in the world?"

"No!" this child said, emphatically.  "Daddy's brilliant.  And I figure, with him being so smart and all, he wouldn't have chosen a dumb person to marry. So, you MUST be reasonably smart."

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Extraordinary Ordinary

To all those stay-at-home Moms who wonder what you're really contributing to the world:

"We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.

Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.

So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one."

Excerpt from "The Inner History of a Day"
by John O'Donohue

Friday, February 03, 2012

A Small Reminder

During breakfast yesterday, I glanced through the kitchen windows to the bird feeder on the deck.  I LOVE watching the variety of birds that come to visit our feeder.  For several years now, it's been a favorite hobby for our family.

I could see one of the male cardinals who live in a tree behind our house waiting in a pecan tree for his turn.  But what really attracted my attention was the bird on the feeder.  He was brown with reddish markings, but not rust-colored.

"Is that a robin?  Look at that bird, kids.   What is that?  Is it a finch?"

When the kids saw me looking outside, they all turned, as well.  At the same moment I said, "Is it a finch?", Daelyn blurted out,

"A PURPLE FINCH!  Look, Mom, it's a purple finch!"

As soon as he said it, I realized he was right.  My father-in-law has house finches that feed on his feeders quite often, but we don't often get to see purple finches.  He was beautiful, although I'm not sure I would have called his color purple, exactly.

What struck me the most about this incident was not the beauty of the finch, although I loved that, but the fact that my 9-yr. old son knew what kind of bird it was.  AND - was excited to see a purple finch at our feeder.

There are moments in life when you think you've done something right.  They're never often enough, but those little glimmers into the thought that I've made my children's world better carry me through many hard times.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

More Technical Knowledge than Me

When Dane has his infrequent check-ups, our doctor always has to dig stuff out of his ear so he can see the eardrum.  He affectionately refers to them as "potatoes".

While driving home from Atlanta on Saturday, I noticed Deanna had her index finger in her ear and was jiggling it up and down.

"Mama," she asked, "do you get pickles in your ears?"

I chortled then, before bursting into laughter full-tilt, I responded,

"Not very often!"

Turns out, she really asked if I got pimples in my ears, not pickles.  But, I assure you, it sounded exactly like pickles.  And then it occurred to me.

"You know, honey, we can stop planting gardens.  You can just grow pickles and Dane potatoes out of your ears and we can save a lot of money on fertilizer and bedding plants."

Deanna didn't appreciate my humor at all.

Then, on Monday, after school, Daelyn was recanting a story from his day.  His teacher's husband (who's also a teacher) had gotten a new Iphone4S (I think that's what they called it) and was asking it questions.  First, he asked,

"Where should I put a dead body?"

The iphone answered, "Some suggestions would be a funeral home, a dumpster, or your house."

I cracked up.  A phone with a sense of humor.  Then Dane asked,

"What's a pilate?"

Daelyn, our little techie, launched into a definition of pilates.  Deanna and I looked at each other and she interrupted Daelyn.

"Dane," she explained in her older sister voice, "Daelyn said 'Where should I put a DEAD BODY.'  The word pilate was never said!"

Dane and Daelyn responded together.


Apparently, Daelyn hadn't picked up on the fact that Dane had potatoes in his ears and couldn't hear well.  He really thought Dane wanted to know what pilates were.

After a short break for laughing, Daelyn continued with the story.  The teacher asked the phone if it would marry him.  It responded,

"I don't think we know each other well enough."

When the teacher pressed the issue and added the word "please" to his request, the phone responded that his contract didn't include marriage.

I was flabbergasted.  How in the world have they been able to program a mini-computer in a phone to have a sense of humor?  It couldn't be accidental.  Every answer was humorous.

I finally voiced my question aloud.

"How could they possibly have programmed humor into a cell phone?"

Daelyn responded with two words:  "Steve Jobs".

See.  Our little techie.