Dear youngest child of mine,
you know that song, “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happeeee when skies are grey!”
Well, you are my sunshine. Not the only one, but you get to be a member of a small and select group of people I consider sunshine.
So, you’re 12 today. You’re almost as tall as I am now, and starting to show signs of…y’know…(PUBERTY!). As I flip through the photo albums, and look at the squishy little marshmallow baby, always chuckling, and the little boy in overalls zooming his tonka truck around the back yard, and the dignified 3rd grader in his apron in the kitchen, it seems like you’ve only been here a year or two, and it’s been a real treat.
you scared us a couple of times. Your skin tried to fall off for a year or two, but that got fixed up. You spent a week in the hospital after turning yourself inside out from both ends, but that got fixed up as well, but all in all you’ve been a healthy and happy kid. and I thank God for that every single day.
You’re smart like your brothers, confident like your father, and artistic like your mother. You’re generous and kind, and excel at seeing people as individuals rather than some demographic (that’s a new word you’ve learned recently, and you were slightly appalled that people were lumped into groups like that). Your teachers comment on your kindness with others, and how you are not swayed by peers to do something you know to be wrong.
But what I love about you the most is your straight up sweetness. Every night, even at 12 years old, you want to read a story or just sit on the bed and talk. Every morning you sit next to me and ponder what the day will bring. Every afternoon after school you get home, pop a bag of popcorn and share it with me. Every evening you set the table with commentary about how nice it is to sit down and have dinner together. The good stuff never gets old with you, and you keep me mindful of the amazing blessings we have as a family.
I hope and pray every day that you will hold on to that inherent sweetness through the inevitable turmoil of the upcoming years.
Happy birthday #4! I love you very much!
They do not like the rain. It makes them lazy(er) and bossy(er) and noisy(er). The brown one, Lily, is already constantly making some kind of gross noise, burping and farting and slurping gulpy nasty grunty noises that people think “oh that’s so funny” until you have to listen to it constantly then I just want to bop her on the head and tell her to STOP. Sometimes I do, and she does, after giving me an accusing stare for a few seconds, as if to say “if I were a human I’d have nicer parents than you” and I tell her “you’re a dog and here by my pleasure and it doesn’t please me to listen to you slurp and fart all day long.”
The cats aren’t fond of the rain either. Phleud has sense enough to determine that it will soon rain, and come on inside. Gracie chooses to wait until the evidence of rain is irrefutable, then bursts through the pet door, spitting and hissing and cursing a blue streak. She’ll then spend the next hour or so informing the inhabitants of the household of her extreme displeasure and possibly even look for a shoe to poop in. Fortunately it’s never mine. Once she has recovered her composure, she and Phleud are unconcerned with the meteorological conditions, and resume their regular household activities.
Here lately it has been raining a lot. It’s typical Spring weather, with downpours and violence and occasional mayhem. I like it. Grey boring blah rain is grey,boring and blah. Violence and mayhem appeal to my need for violence and mayhem, without me having to take the blame for the results. It’s like getting to be a Viking for a couple of hours, and watch the world (and pine trees) wail at the injustice of my mercurial moods,only they aren’t mine, so NO ONE can point their finger at me and howl “YOU DID THIS!” Not even CJ, who discovered 2 inches of water in the floor of his car. He swears up and down he didn’t leave the sunroof open, but I have my doubts about that one.
So instead of responsibility for the grass seed washing into the ditch, I can sit in the warm chair, and watch it wash, and go “tsk…” while I drink a cup of hot tea and listen to the dogs grunt and slurp.
This morning I woke up at 5:30, to the sound of softly falling rain and thought “why am I awake at 5:30 on a Sunday?” So I laid there until 6, pondering the dream I had, where my children were 4,2, and 1, and decided I was profoundly grateful the were no longer those ages, because it was not easy. Not in the dream, and not in reality.
Then Terry left for work, and I got ready for church (with my new short haircut that took less than 5 minutes to fool with YAY!). #4 and I went, then as I was pulling into the parking lot, realized that I’d completely forgotten the crockpot full of chicken and rice for the potluck lunch. So 4 was deposited, and I whooshed back home, thankful the the Statesboro Police take Sundays off, and made it back in time to get the last muffin from the bowl, and a seat in Sunday School. Dinner after church (somebody bought a big bowl full of strawberries. I could have just dropped my face straight into it and been satisfied. As it was, Tina and I nearly got into fisticuffs over who would get the last scraping of juice for their pound cake)and as we were leaving the sky was turning ominous.
and now the sky is an interesting shade of sage green, making all sorts of rumbly noises, and intermintently hurling large quantities of water at the ground. The garden will be pleased. The dogs, however, are not. Nor the cats. Gracie just came in, yowling and spitting her displeasure at the universe for having the temerity to make her wet. Phleud had more sense than Gracie, and recognized the possibility of Wet, and came in before it actually happened.
the party went well! By 6:45, most of the boys (one was later due to a soccer game) were in the back yard, pelting each other with pine cones. Who needs video games when you have pine cones? I can hear it, 80 years from now, they’ll be sitting with their great grandkids and saying things like “Holograms! We didn’t have no holograms when we were kids, why, when I was a boy all I had to play with was PINECONES and proud we were to have them too!”
Then they ate, 6 boys, 36 hot dogs and 2 giant bags of Doritos and 48 cans of soda. You do the math. Oh, and 2 cakes that looked like Lego bricks.
When dusk started in, CJ (he’s 19 and really wanted to be here) took them all into the woods across the road,with flashlights. Other than The Pastor’s Son meeting up with a briar patch (he took it in stride, and so did his father, our church’s youth pastor), and The New Kid getting a bullfrog tadpole dropped down the back of his shirt. The New Kid moved to town about a month ago, and kudos to his mom for letting him come. TNK even got a nickname, “J.Bob” and there’s no surer sign of acceptance into a group than to get a nickname that isn’t derogatory.
By 9 people were coming for their kids, and they all seemed reluctant to leave, which is another good sign. As they trickled out kids were settled in with a video game, driving badly and wrecking their race cars and making any parent watching ponder the wisdom of teaching them to drive in a few years.
And it would appear they enjoyed it enough that #4 wants to do it again, for no other reason than to do it again. Maybe in May, before school is out and everyone evaporates for the summer. If all it costs is 36 hot dogs and 48 cans of cheap soda, I’m ok with that.
I am feeling sorry for myself. Oh sure, what I should be doing is looking at all the good things going on, and yes, there’s plenty of them. but that’s not what this post is about. I am feeling VERY sorry for myself because I am inconvenienced.
Yes. inconvenienced. When I get hungry at lunchtime, I want to crack open a can of tomato soup and make a grilled cheese sandwich with a couple of slices of American cheese in between 2 slices of plain old ordinary bread. Or, I want to go to McDonald’s and get a quarter pounder with cheese and a box of tasty salty fries. Or even have lunch with a friend and give it no second thought at all.
But…I can’t. (awwwwwwe) Too much salt. A can of soup has more than entire’s day allowance, and that’s even the low salt healthy choice stuff. forget American cheese, that’s completely out of the question. Restaurant food of any sort, except perhaps a salad bar, is not something I can have. Oh sure, I could get what I want, but then I’ll pay for it the next day with swollen hands and feet, a terrible thirst, and generally feeling yucky.
I JUST WANT TO EAT A CAN OF SOUP!
Having to constantly monitor everything I eat, carefully measuring and monitoring and evaluating, it’s a pain in the ass. I’m tired of it.
I want to be able to wear my wedding band without wondering if it will pinch off my finger, or slip on those shoes, and I want to wear them WHILE eating anything I want.
Ok, that’s all. I’ll go back to my salt-free culinary boredom.
#4 is having a birthday party tonight! he’ll be twelve in a few days, and the next weekend, which is actually closer to his birthday, is the first day of Spring Break so absolutely NO ONE will be in town, thus the party is tonight. He wanted it to be a sleepover event, but everyone invited (the entire male population of the 5th and 6th grade at his school, which sounds ominous but in reality is only 9 boys) has something Major in the morning: a Math Team competition, or a baseball game, or soccer match, therefore only Andrew will be spending the night, and he’s here nearly every weekend anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah…not a sleepover, but a party nonetheless, with cakes and junkfood and once it gets dark, Spotlight Tag on the golf course behind the house.
The cakes will be made to look like lego bricks. I’ll use a loaf pan and mini muffins for the studs on top. Even though I hear all the time on Cake Boss and Amazing Wedding Cakes and such how wonderful fondant icing is for a smooth finish, I have never made it before and the effect would be lost on a pack of 11 year old boys. Therefore I am going to use the frosting in a can (homemade buttercream would also be wasted on 11 year old boys) colored with food coloring, and do the best I can. Yesterday I was in Dunkin Doughnuts getting my Thursday bagel and coffee, and since they share the store with Baskin Robbins, as the bagel was toasting I perused the freezer case of ice creamcakes, and noticed that they were all perfect rectangles that with the addition of studs on top would look like lego bricks nicely. however at $20 each and it would take 2 to feed the masses, and the masses would never know the difference, I opted out and decided to stick with Betty Crocker In A Box.
So. The game room is cleaned up. All the Christmas stuff is inthe attic (thank you David and CJ) and everything is neat and tidy and ready for the masses to mess up. The hot dogs and chips are bought, drinks are ready to put in a cooler full of ice, pool table is cleaned off and ready.
I’m just not sure I’m ready for #4 to be 12 years old.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Sometime yesterday I did something to my right wrist, and now it won’t bend properly and kinda hurts.
Sometime a few days ago I apparently crashed into a piece of furniture and left a tennis ball sized bruise on my thigh, and now it looks like someone gave me a whack with a baseball bat.
Sometime a couple of weeks ago I bashed my left hand against the counter, resulting in a pair of quarter sized bruises on the back of it.
I swear, I am a not a victim of anything more sinister than straight up clumsiness, even tho it looks like I have been badly mistreated.
I’m constantly forgetting the boundaries of my own body, and cracking into things. It happens so often I don’t notice it’s happened until Terry asks me to wear long pants, or a long sleeved shirt, because of the technicolor evidence. They say that not knowing your own physical boundaries is a symptom of something psychological and I am sure there’s a fancy word for it, but I prefer to think of it as simply a case of myown mind is busy on other things, too busy to be concerned with where my arms and legs are.
Do you ever do that, crash into something that has been right there for 6 years, and you really ought to know better? Do you ever forget where your limbs are?
Filed under: home and hearth
Tuesdays seem to have not much to offer. Nothing special happens on them. Mondays are Weekend Recovery, Wednesdays have Prayer Group. Thursday is my Day Off (no chores, no appointments), Friday is FRIDAY, and we all know about the weekend. Tuesday is just TUESDAY. more chores, finish up the laundry, no place to go special, sometimes a doctor’s appointment where I have to find out my blood pressure is too high *and* stand on a scale. Bleh.
It’s not even close enough to a weekend on either side to recommend itself. It’s not close enough to a payday (always a Thursday) to be able to treat myself to lunch (that’s my payday HOORAY reward, and why I like taking Thursdays off)
Today, however, might be ok, for a Tuesday. There are 2 major cleanup jobs to choose from. I love choices. I can tackle the game room, as #4 will be having a birthday party this Friday and it needs to be ready, or I can get on my knees and weed the herb garden. Lord knows it needs it. The weather is gorgeous, and would be perfect for weeding, but so would tomorrow. If the game room is cleaned up I’ll quit stressing about it. Oh sure, #4 will do his share in there, but there are things that need doing that he can’t- like putting the Christmas decorations in the attic, and recognize the need to mop, and clean up the catbox. Yes, he *could* clean up the catbox,but the cats are mine and I promised The Power That Be (Terry) that the aquisition of cats would not be imposed on the rest of the household, as I was the one that wanted them and everyone else was indifferent. Anyway, dusting, mopping, general puttinguppedness will ensue.
So I guess the decision has been made: gameroom today, weeding tomorrow. It’s supposed to rain Thursday, which makes it a perfect day for doing nothing but watching Netflix movies and eating a Subway turkey on wheat.
All that still doesn’t make Tuesday interesting, but at least it should be productive.
Filed under: Uncategorized
See the header? That’s the wisteria on the patio right now. The office window is right there, and the door going from the kitchen to the patio. I get to benefit from the sweet scent of wisteria all day, breezes blow right across it and into the house.
Across the street, all tangled up in the trees in the wooded vacant lot is a tangle of Carolina Jessamine,bright yellow and fragrant as well.
There’s buds on the roses, they’ll soon be gracing the table with their peach and yellow blossoms.
The salad greens will be ready to start picking in about a week, and the english peas are about 5 inches high. Cilantro and basil are up, as well as morning glories and cardinal flower on the fence. It’s time to plant the evening primrose, but I’m not sure where. Around the mailbox? Somewhere in the front yard for a patch of soft pink?
I love this time of year. Plants grow and things bloom, no matter what else is going on.
OKAY! The weather report says it will be pretty until Thursday, when there might be rain, then pretty again for a few days, then a day of possible rain, and so on. Lather rinse, repeat. typical Spring weather.
The guy is supposed to come today or tomorrow and start on the house. Pressure washing it first, then going upon the roof and checking things out, caulking what needs it, trimming other things, getting all the pine straw off and checking the shingles, that sort of thing. He says that should take 2 days. If he comes today he’ll be done in plenty of time for Thursday’s rain.
Then he’ll start in with the repairs, replacing rotten boards on the eaves, trimming, putting up molding, tucking all those dangling cable and phone wires behind the molding, generally getting it all ready to paint. That should take 2 more days.
Then he’s going to paint. He said for me to go pick out some chips of colors I like, which white I want, and so on. He knows a painter and can get the paint for $90/5 gallon. If I went to Lowe’s and got it myself it would be $130-$150/5 gal, so that is happy-making. He’s figuring 15 gallons. It’s only the upper 1/2 of the house what needs work and painting. that should take another 2 days.
The weather report is putting 3-4 days between rains. I told Mark (the guy doing the work) that I wanted it done by June 1. He said it really is better to do it all fairly quickly, as you want to paint while it’s all still clean. That’s fine, I said. You do it on your time table, as long as it’s all done June 1. Chances are it will be done by May 1. That would be awesome.
I’ve been reading all the HGTV and TLC websites on how to get your house ready to sell, and the good news is we’re doing the right things. It’s all about the aesthetics. Neutral colors, sparkly clean, not too crowded. Yesterday we went through the house and made a list of stuff to put into storage, in order to biggen up the rooms. The piano, an old desk and a small dresser, another desk. I’m also going to box up some of the books to lighten up the bookcases (of which we have many that are kind of double stacked with books) and change the pictures that are hung. They recommend that you replace very personal pictures like family photos with generic artwork. I don’t know that I will like doing that, as 99.8% of the stuff hanging on the walls are either family photos or artwork made by family.
In other news, we’re all healthy and seem to be doing fine.