Ask a simple question…

The children are “ice skating” to their self-created music in the nook normally used as the dining area.

Jay is filling out some huge survey, occasionally trying to engage me by asking questions.

I am trying to cruise through my reconceptualized novel despite the activity, and Jay reads from the survey:

“Do you have trouble concentrating or making decisions?”

Me: “YES!”

The Straight Life

I am the regular lawn-mower at our house.

I used to think of it was a man-job, and didn’t really consider doing until my mom asked, somewhat scandalized, why I let Jay keep mowing the lawn when it attacks his allergies so badly.

He had this whole system of putting on long pants, tucking his cuffs into his socks, etc.  Then he still had to shower as soon as her finished if he didn’t want his eyes and skin to be itching horribly afterward.

Honestly, it never entered my mind, and I was happy to take over once I actually noticed.

It’s proven very nice for me too.  I am able to gift Jay with something important to him– a nice-looking lawn, and I get both necessary exercise and time to myself with my iPod (we always use hearing protection, and that goes a long way to putting me in my own little world).

Weekend before last I was mowing along listening to the playlist I have for one of my novels (I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve always loved ordering my music in a sort of home-made soundtrack for the stories in my head), and I came upon a dog-bomb I’d missed in my pre-mow sweep.

Thankful I’d seen it before I mowed it, I stopped the mower and found a shovel to clean up.  As I bent to collect the wad, a Kenny G song reached the vocalist part:

I was thinkin’ that I’d always be lonely but God came up with someone like you… Just to think I had made up my mind love was over…

And I had to laugh, of course.

In a perfect world, this is what all that romanticism leads to: the straight life.  The world where you push a mower once or twice a week all summer and pick up dog poop.

And God knows I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Family Quick-Takes (Vol. 2)

Another brain-dump thanks to Jenn’s lovely idea at Conversion Diary.

Enough on my mind I did two this week (another one at UntanglingTales)

~ ~ 1 ~ ~

Elisha broke 3 last month (I had a sprained knee the day of his annual check-up and missed it– still haven’t rescheduled), and he is decidedly no longer a toddler.  He is a little boy, becoming increasingly verbal, and increasingly understandable at that.

He’s stacking blocks right now, and he loves playing in the dirt (right now our trouble is getting him and his sisters to play in the garden and not in what was last year’s dirt-pile and this year’s dog yard.

~ ~ 2 ~ ~

I love being married to an engineer.  I love that he includes me in his world (that he imagines parts of our vastly different worlds to be related enough that inquires for and values my opinion.  And it’s really good for getting me outside myself when he calls in the middle of the day with, say, a question about embroidery hoops.

~ ~ 3 ~ ~

I’ve been playing piano again (in bits) and Natasha said this week she wanted to do a song together (me and her) for the church some day.

She sat next to me for the next half hour as we sang her choice and more, then asked for directions about playing one of the songs herself.  She’s grown since the last time, or gotten stronger, because she can play both the A and D cords now.  Not quickly, but deliberately.

~ ~ 4 ~ ~

How do you be friends with someone you have nothing in common with– other than wanting to be friends?  I keep digging for new things and it only highlights what opposites we are.

And I’m not talking in the “opposites attract” way that some people believe in.

We’re talkin’:

music vs. no music
My movies vs. “scary”
reading and writing (self) vs. “not really interested in that stuff”

She has a very sweet spirit and she’s been homeschooling *years* longer than I… I just have no idea how to build relationship without similarities.

Suggestions? Advice?

~ ~ 5 ~ ~

I pick what parks the kids and I visit based on whether they allow dogs.

I’m sure 10 years ago I would have thought this was weird, but now I feel it’s not really fair to leave the dog indoors while we go play outside– and kind of counter-productive too, since I’d just be needing to exercise her later or deal with wired-dog all evening.

~ ~ 6 ~ ~

Natasha has a tooth coming in behind her lower teeth.  She’s wiggling the one in front, and has hurt herself several times biting wrong, but nothing’s ready yet to come out.

~ ~ 7 ~ ~

Melody is so close to reading.

When we left Forget-me-Not bookstore on Monday each of the kids was reading their own books and Melody looked up and asked, “What’s an enemy?”

And that is one of the words in her new book (a Dinosaur adaptation).

I am *so* thankful for that bookstore.  I love having the chance to own so many neat books.

I try not to be scared or sad about how devastated I’d be to lose them in a fire or something.  So many were unique finds I can’t imagine replacing them all  (certainly not for the amount they were collected originally…).

You’d Think We’d Know By Now

And in our own defense, when we’re not sleep-deprived we do remember.

We were at a wedding reception tonight where the main course was pulled-pork. We put the sandwiches together ourselves at a buffet-style table where there was also coleslaw to put on top of the meat. All this was very new to me.

Really, I was doing my best not to feel too self-conscious building three sandwiches on two plates, and not hold-up the line too much.

I reconvened with Jay and the kids and almost at once he had to get up for a new sandwich because the coleslaw had raw carrots in it. I know he’s allergic to those, but there was his sandwich.

After Jay’s run back through the line, he returned with a handful a cherry chocolate kisses and unwrapped one. “Here’s dessert,” he said, starting to put it in my mouth. I managed to drop it before it touched my tongue and hastily reminded an annoyed-looking Jay that I can’t stand the cherry flavor used in candies.

He let it go that easily, and said, “You’d think I’d remember by now.” I pointed out that I’d just made the mistake with he carrots, so it wasn’t like he was alone.

And that is why I call weariness as our defense. We’re really zonked right now, and it really explains everything.

We’re so Cute…

Jay and I were sharing a hug and kiss just inside our room as our girls ran past, down the hallway.

Natasha  (4 years old) stopped in her tracks with a soft, “Awww,” and a wispered, “Come’ere” to her little sister.

We held each other a little longer without looking at them, me silently fighting the giggles, so I’m not sure who made the blissful little sigh before they moved on.

I’ve aways  felt children like to see their parents happy together.   This was a fun reminder.

Power struggle

Jay and I had an… incident yesterday evening.

The short description was that we both wanted to be in-charge and not to back-down.

The irony of it all (and the point of this post) was that right before this all began we were reviewing our second Navigators verse, Galatians 2:20.

“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”


I pointed this out during our discussion of the incident, after the girls were asleep. Jay promptly began quoting, with the modification, “Part of me has been crucified with Christ…”

Family dinner

I made Angel Chicken (my standard crockpot meal) and strawberry yogurt muffins and brought those to the hospital along with plastic odds and ends to eat with/on and a kool-aid type stuff.

My main concern was that there wouldn’t be enough food. I needn’t have worried. Seems like the others aren’t much more interested in eating than I am. It was good to be together and at least act like a family. It wasn’t the same, of course, as sitting around one of the tables. And the uncles left at least three times in the hour I was there to go “warm their noses.” I sat by Grandma and tried to talk to her, and couldn’t say anything normal (in a normal voice).

She has an Oxygen mask now (with a bright blue tube that starts just below the chin), instead of just the nasal cannula, and she still coughs, but can’t spit the junk out. She responds (sometimes) it seems to some things said, or people that speak, but she hasn’t opened her eyes for a long time.

Sarah said Grandma smiled at her, and laughed at a story Uncle Bill told about his son, Adam.

This grief thing is surreal.

When I left Gma’s bedside the first time, I went back to Jay, who pulled me into his lap. I wilted, and whispered, “Don’t be too nice to me, I won’t be able to hold it together.”

“‘Don’t be too nice’?” he whispered back, pretended shock, and almost a rebuke. “I’ll be extra nice.” I just clung to his neck and nodded.

“Yes; that will hold me together.”


Currently Watching
House, M.D. – Season One
see related

Jay and I were talking again last night about how were alike, and different.

At the store yesterday, I was on-assignment to buy the first season of “House” with a 20%-off coupon. While I was there I ended up buying an additional 4 movies. There was a display of $7.50 DVDs and I just grabbed two I was interested in, then two I knew Jay would love.

Later I asked Jay if it bothered him I bought something extra (unessential, un-budgeted for) without checking in with him. He pointed out his (much more) expensive purchase a few seasons ago, that he knew I wouldn’t like and he did anyway. (He also liked that I picked out the two for him, so he wasn’t inclined to feel annoyed).

But what we each chose was what led to the discussion. He bought a snow machine helmet (though we don’t own a snow machine), and I bought movies.

He bought something for doing (especially with his brothers/family) and I bought stories.

Making Progress (Today was better than yesterday)

Currently Reading
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Narnia)
By C. S. Lewis
see related

Yesterday I was (basically) scolded by a nurse for quitting Elisha’s thrush-med regimen so soon, and then got another hand-slap for quitting even though I’d been on antibiotics (which are notorious for encouraging yeast growth). And then I was told the med record said we were supposed to come back in 3-4 days if the thrush hadn’t improved. Continue reading