Saturday, October 31, 2009


The husband NEVER dresses up for Halloween. He borrowed this costume from a co-worker and came home dressed up. The kids really thought it was too good to be true!

Goldilocks in possibly the worst costume I've ever made. I tried to not procrastinate, I really did. But, in the end, the dress was made on October 31st and was never all-the-way completed.
Goldilocks thought it was pretty, though, so I guess it was successful.

The cutest Pippi around. I'm telling you, this girl is an absolute gem.

A bunny who had a riotous evening. It is a great age for Halloween because they are just flabbergasted that people would keep handing them candy, candy, candy.

Little Red Riding Hood. Her grandma frequently tells her the story over the phone. I thought she was darling until my husband told me about a terribly freaky movie with Michael Douglas and a dwarf in a Little Red Riding Hood costume. I'm glad it was near the end of the night when he divulged. If it had come earlier in the day, I would have been frantically sewing yet another last minute costume.
Facebook Jim. I'm pretty sure I'm a bad parent evidenced by the fact that my ten year old knows Jim Halpert.
We had some friends come into town for the day and had a really great holiday.
Today is November and coming up on Thanksgiving. I am so glad. This upcoming holiday is more our style.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sharing a Room

My sister and I shared a room until she got married. For part of that time we even shared a bed. Let me tell you a story.

I have never been a tidy person. Is it a part of my DNA? I don't know. I just know that it was very hard for me to remember to put the clothes in the laundry basket, hang up my coat, and to put my toys away when I was done playing with them. Mollie, on the other hand, was usually pretty neat. She made her bed, put away her folded piles of laundry (instead of my tactic: putting them on the end of the bed until they had all been worn or they fell off into the abyss that awaited on the floor below where they would be trampled until they needed to be tossed in the laundry again), and probably even dusted. I wouldn't know. I was busy throwing a fit.

It was called a tantrum, by those who saw it. It was my staple, my bread and water, my first response, my conflict resolution. Someone tried to make me eat lentils? Flail on the floor. You ate out of the bowl that I wanted to use? Screaming, hot face. I wasn't supposed to put the crayons on the baseboard heater, and I knew that, so you scold me? Stomping feet and "You are so MEAN!" But the premium tantrums were saved for, "Emily, you need to go clean your room, please."

"WHAT THE HECK? You want me to do WHAT? Have you SEEN my room? Do you KNOW who made that mess? Are you aware that I can scream like this for longer than it would take you to just do it yourself? I HATE the world! No one understands me! And (my family's favorite) I TRY SO HARD and STILL I have to clean up after myself? NEVER!! I will NEVER!!!"

Mollie quietly set to work while I lay on the bed kicking (literally) and screaming (literally). She cleaned her half of the room while I hyperventilated on the bed. Soon she decided she'd had enough of the mess and began cleaning the whole room. Yes! I thought, She's doing it for me. I knew if I just played this part long enough sooner or later I would get out of this demeaning task.

Not so.

Mollie picked up Samantha, my precious doll that lay haphazardly in the middle of the floor (where she belonged) and lobbed her onto my bed. Next came the pink teddy bear and then a shoe. Soon I was being showered with everything from "my" side of the room.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? WHY ARE YOU MESSING WITH MY STUFF? I LIKE IT THERE!" I screeched, as I suddenly came to the realization that she wasn't really helping me. Mollie didn't say a word, she just kept cleaning the room and putting it all on me. Okay, that's not entirely true. She would say mean stuff, like, crybaby, but so quietly that Mom couldn't hear. I tried tattling. It never worked. Dejected and exhausted from the duration of my standing up for justice, I slowly stopped crying and just lay in my mound of clothes and school papers and hair brushes, hiccuping. Mollie swept my side of the room and scooped the dirt up into the dust pan. She walked patiently over to my bed and dumped it on me. With tingly, stretched out lips, I wailed, "You'll be sorry, Mollie! I'll remember this!!"

And I always have. HA. Jokes on you!

Today, it all came back as I watched my namesake throwing the fit and my second child dutifully cleaning "her" half of the room.

This picture is true blue. It has not been retouched or photo shopped. One side of the room is being vacuumed, the other is nearly as deep as the bed.

Yep. It must be in the DNA. And our Dear Heavenly Father has a sense of humor.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Yesterday I woke up not wanting to have school. I really wanted to get started on the fifty-two Halloween costumes I am required to assemble each October. I did eleven loads of laundry (and you think I'm exaggerating), lots of scrubbing, sweeping and vacuuming then pulled out the sewing machine. I sketched the desired designs (and it looks so NOT Project Runway that my heart crumbled just a bit at my lack of talent) and scavenged fabric scraps from my material bins. The baby was ready for her nap and I was ready to get sewing. It was not to be. My daughter found some terrible fun rainbow yardage and decided she needed a purse. Being only eight, she still needs me pretty much right there to guide her. She is thrilled with her new bag--I still haven't started on the costumes.

Knowing we have busy Tuesday afternoon/evenings, I started New Orleans Red Beans and Rice early in the day. It is a wonderful recipe that works every time.

It burned out of water while we were at dance.

After reading with the children, I started a movie for myself to watch while I folded clothes. I finally crawled in bed exhausted, though with a clean house and the last load of laundry in the machine.

This morning I didn't feel like having school. Several months ago I printed a dozen black and white snapshots of our family. I wanted to hang the random sizes in random frames in our new family room. Today I got a large part of it done. It's coming together and is looking like a fun game/movie room.

My Costco card expires at the end of October and there are a few things that I love to buy from Costco. At about 1 o'clock, we were starving so I decided it would be a good time for that Costco trip. You can't beat the hot dog deal for my fleet. We had a great time at Costco. I love my children. They are loud. Really loud. They are naughty, sometimes really naughty. But they are so fun. We teased and laughed our way through the massive warehouse, eating samples and sliding on the slippery floors. We oohed and ahhed over Christmas stuff and concurred that they should allow us to get through Halloween, at least, before putting it all out. "They just skipped Thanksgiving!" one child lamented. We purchased the items on our list and added a bag of that amazing black licorice. Skipping and singing our way to the car, we unloaded and re-buckled.

Tomorrow, we will have school. The oldest two have become accustomed to the routine--as has their mother. I am caught up on laundry, dishes, projects and have finished the book I COULDN'T put down. It has been a good mini-vacation.

Also, I had a dream that I was eating dinner with The Pioneer Woman and she wouldn't talk to me. She kept answering my questions with the shortest possible reply they looking away. I started to have my feelings hurt and kind of touched my nose with the back of my hand. I had a huge booger on the end of my nose and NO ONE told me about it. People: when I spell something wrong or have any other gross error in my posts, Please tell me! I have nightmares!

A big ol' basement spider crawled down my neck today while I was talking to my sister on the phone. I squealed and threw the phone. Spiders do not freak me out, but having one crawling on my neck did.

I just wrote an entire post and had nothing real to say. But, off to bed. School tomorrow!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rabies-like Symptoms

I have a beef I need to get out of my system. I don't know why you all read the sludge lingering in my soul, but here is some more.

My issue today is food storage. My church has taught the importance of physical preparedness for nearly 100 years. It is not doctrine, per se, but is definitely a correct governing principle. When I say physical preparedness, I'm talking about emergency 72 hour kits (for in the case of evacuation from fire, storm, chemical spill, etc) and food storage. Basically, we are instructed on the importance of being ready for any disaster. We are taught to have the survival essentials for every member of our family for one full year (water, flour, salt, oil, etc) and every day food for at least three months (Mandarin oranges, ketchup, and baking cocoa type foods).

I am an absolute believer in the importance of these teachings. New Orleans would have been a different place after Hurricane Katrina if every member of the community had a backpack full of necessary items to sustain them for 72 hours. People evacuated from the recent California wildfires would testify to the usefulness of having something ready to grab when you are told you need to leave your home NOW.

As for the long-term storage, we have been university students for four years now. There are times when we are out of money. Out. But I still have something to feed my family. My storage is severely depleted after this long stint, which I think only proves it's necessity. There are many great reasons to have food stored, few of which are apocalyptic.

One consideration when building your storage, is the cost. Few people can afford to go out and buy a whole year's worth of food. Most of us just buy an extra canister of salt, a case of beans at the case lot sale, or spaghetti noodles when they go on sale. We bottle free fruit from the neighbor's tree and freeze produce when it is in-season and cheap. When I was a newly-wed, I had a very small amount of extra food, but I was doing all I could. It takes time and work to obtain a year's supply of food.

Now we come to my complaint: There are many, inside of my church and out (Mormons do not have a monopoly on kooks), who spend a great deal of money and time building up their Year's Supply. Once obtained, I have heard many say, "I have my Year's Supply, now I need to get a gun to protect it!"

Really? Is that the Christian thing to do? Your newly-wed neighbor has about a two-week supply. There is a transportation crisis and she runs out of food. She comes to you desperate for food. Are you going to brandish your gun screaming, "Get out, thief!!"?

The family across the street has been out of work for about nine months. After a forced quarantine, they soon run out of food. You're going sit on your porch stroking your rifle as you watch their children starve because you were wise enough to prepare . . . and they weren't?

There is a hurricane which forces the evacuation of an entire city just south of you. People, many of whom have a supply of food in their now flooded basements, come only with the clothes on their back. You are not going to feed them? Is that what Jesus would do?

I even know some who refuse to gather food because they would have to share. Huh?

Okay, I know the "realists" would argue that in the case of, say, a nuclear attack, gangs would erupt over night, track down those who have food and steal from under our noses. If that were the case, would your one gun be enough to protect that food supply against a mob? Doubt it.

This is not an anti-gun rant. I firmly support our right to own firearms so don't send me hate mail. This is also not an invitation to not make an effort to store your own food. Even if all of us who have food do share, we'd run out a lot faster if others didn't do their part.

I'm just saying, you had the faith to follow the counsel of the Prophet. You sacrificed in order to do it. Now, you're going to turn your back on the teachings of Jesus Christ and not share in the time of crisis? Don't forget, He's the one who fed 5000 from five loaves and two fishes.

And if there is a disaster and you don't have food? Come to my house. I don't have much, but what I have, I'll share. . . as long as you don't complain about what is served. 'Cause, Honey? I ain't got no patience for that! Ask my pods.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Got To Be In Her Class

Charity by Frederick Morgan
You may not want to hear anything else about my near-perfect mother (not that she is a perfect person, but she is a pretty darn near perfect mother--she is a perfect grandmother), but I like writing about her. I think she is inspiring.

She teaches a weekly religion class for adults. The two hour class is based on scripture and Mom doesn't try to rush. Quite the opposite, in fact; she took an entire year to cover the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), for instance. I know from living with her that she STUDIES her lessons. She reads and searches, prays and discusses, ponders and deduces before she even sits down to write an outline for her lessons. Not only is she a correct teacher, she is also a good teacher. She is interesting and enthusiastic. When I lived near her, I went occasionally. Now, obviously, I never get to attend. She frequently tells me about their topic of study, a thought that was shared, a lesson learned, or a question introduced. The other day, she shared some of her most recent lesson with me by email. I felt bad that I couldn't be there to learn and grow under her careful tutelage.

Then I remembered: I was in her class for eighteen years.

She was my first and most dedicated teacher. Though she didn't always know the answers to my exhausting questions, I don't recall her ever answering with, "Just leave me alone." Mom studied carefully so that she was more likely to know the answers when the questions came. She prepared for the class my siblings and I attended with as much--or more--vigilance than the class she teaches now. Sometimes a school teacher would say something like, "Ask your parents about this when you get home and I'll bet they won't even know the answer." Mom always did. Of course, we sometimes brought home schoolwork that she didn't understand. She would say, tongue in check, "I could tell you the answer, but you need to find it out for yourself." And we would. Then, we'd explain it to her.

Thank you for leading the way, Mom. Thank you for letting me sit in on your class for those valuable, valuable years.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Seeing the Results

I cleaned under the fridge and range today. It is a job that has been on my list for, like, two years. It began because something we needed fell behind and I figured, since I was back there, I would do the dirty work.

It is such a satisfying job. I yank and pull and push and drag to get the range away from the wall. Then, the washing begins. I wash down the wall--greasy dust is a cinch! The cabinets next to the range always offer glued on surprises that I get to scrub and scrape. Dust the back of the range, sweep, and generally dispose of all surface dust. Now scrub and scrape at the random, non-recognizable dried pools of a former food substance. The walls, the cabinets, the floor now sparkle so that you can almost hear the *ting* as the light refracts off the surfaces.

Repeat the process with the refrigerator. Add to the job the vacuuming of the vents and coils.

I yank and pull and push and drag the heavy appliances back into their places and take a deep breath. I am sweaty, and kind of out of breath. I have a dirty mop head and gray rags to prove that I have just done a hard job.

Then, looking proudly at my completed work, I realize that YOU CAN'T TELL. It's all covered up by a range and a refrigerator.

New post on The MotherShip Home Schools today. Mom and Me Journals

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Too Slow!

Grandma recently sent new outfits to all of the children. My happy baby was about the cutest thing on this planet in her Old Navy jeans and I wanted to capture her adorable-ness on film.(Well, not "on film" anymore, but how do you say that in digital terms? On memory card?) Now we have a real problem. There is no standing still for this 16 month old delight of a girl.

No. Standing. Still.

We're talking climbing,
and maneuvering,
but not standing still.

I put her down, run several paces back and try to snap the picture before she gets to me.

Remember that game where you hold your hands out for someone to slap them, then jerk them away at the last fraction of a second? "TOO SLOW," you'd jeer. We were playing something like that.

This shot? Nope. Not even close.
Got the jeans here, but she was attacking me so the camera went down at the last second.

Can you see the absolute delight in her naughty face? She is thrilled with her game. (And, oh my gosh. Don't you want to pick her up and squeeze?)

In the end, though. The MotherShip won. This is an important rule for all children to learn: Mom will always win. She is also always right. Another thing, Mom's know everything (picture Woody turning his head and speaking in that creepy voice) so play nice!

I'll have to try again for the tush. That was the cutest part of the jeans.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Pharmacist Earning His (Future) Pay

Just to give you an idea why I haven't been seeing my husband much, here is the notebook for a recent eight week module. He had to know everything within this stack of white sheets . . . in eight weeks. These are his flashcards for said module.

And that is just one class.

Your Parents' Music

My daughter really, really, really wants an MP3 player. Really, really. She won't stop bugging us about it, but . . . Christmas, it turns out, isn't until December.

Anyway, the other day, my husband wasn't using his (which he often uses for recording lectures) so he let her listen for a while.

Next thing I know, I see her dancing all around the house with big head phones on. "I LOVE The Eagles," she exclaims--the name of the band she only knows because it is emblazoned on the display in bright blue letters.

She was dancing a with a little less vigor for the next song. On through Christopher Cross, Joe Jackson, and Hall & Oats, she listened, with her dancing and be-bopping becoming more and more sluggish. By the fourth or fifth song, she was sitting on the couch with a concerned look on her face.

"Dad has weird music," was all she could say.

Led Zeppelin and America didn't really speak to me when I was eight.

Should I tell her that even though he's been in the news a lot lately, this was a pretty big part of my childhood?
And that, though you can find these new at Claire's, they are actually twenty-five years old?

Yeah, get used to it. You're parents' stuff is comin' back!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I received a surprise package in the mail today. It was from someone in Maryland. I only know one person who lives in Maryland (or so I thought) and it was not her return address. A bit flummoxed, I cut the tape and opened the box. Inside I found this:
and a note that explained it was for the MotherShip.

This is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have received. The sender used to live in Idaho--a long way from Maryland. In a recent post, I lamented that I did not live in a part of the country that had acorns. She sent some to me.
It just goes to show: it doesn't have to take a lot of time or a lot of money to serve or make some one's day.

Thank you, Ellie. It was the best surprise!
New post, today, on The MotherShip Home Schools. Rummikub: A Number Puzzle Game

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Probably Own Mom Jeans

I'm having a moment.

I have carried and nursed five children. That is nearly four combined years of pregnancy and nearly eight years of repeated filling and emptying breasts. Lets just say that everything's a little stretched out.

My husband is a student in the pharmacy program here in our small college town. He goes to campus every day--a campus that is populated by firm, twenty year old . . . um . . . girls . . . and their bodies. It used to irk me when I would see a girl wearing not much. I'd want to go up to them and wrap a big, ugly burlap bag around their parts them and then give a good long lecture about giving the frumpy stay-at-home moms a chance respecting themselves.

Now, however, I've instructed him to never read the words or phrases on the back of the sweat pants, and only befriend ugly girls. So, all of you cute girls that talk to my husband? Please stop. He may not notice your tiny little shorts, but I certainly will!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Do You Know Your Neighbor?

Our across-the-street neighbor is a crazy drunk. In fact, I call him Crazy Tom . . . 'cause he is. His tall tales are a constant amusement to our family. He is, among other things, a bicycle repairman, a nuclear engineer, a stage actor, one of the top five chefs in the nation, one of the most eligible bachelors in our town, a Jew, a Christian, and a Navy Seal. In one conversation, he told me he was asked by three different senators to testify in front of the United States Congress about health care because "I have viable alternatives." He has never graduated from college, but knows a lot of people who have--making his advice and criticism more valuable. His chocolate lab, Koko, was an award-winning police dog, has killed a pit-bull, and is trained to find lost children and crack cocaine. He informs me every other week about the money he's about to come in to, and every week opposite about how he was screwed by this hospital or that company.

In all, I don't listen to much of what he says, but I try to be a good neighbor and kind person.

The other day, Crazy Tom asked me to come over and get something from him. "I'll be right there," I promised, "but I can't stay long because I have a house full of kids." He assured me I would be in and out.

He gave me what he needed to give and then started a conversation. Oh, great. I thought, Now I'll never get out of here.

He said, "Well, are you just as pleased as I am that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize?"

Being one who doesn't pussy-foot around most any issue I bellowed out, "WHAT?? No, way!" I then gave a short diatribe about the reasons for my opinions. He countered, I responded. We then talked about every president for the last fifty years--policies, actions, corruption, success, and failure. Neither of us was shy about expressing our opinions. He loved Jimmy Carter and could not be dissuaded. Later in the conversation, it came out that Carter was a Navy man. "Ah, Ha!" I exclaimed, "That's why you like him! You are being loyal to your fellow sailor!" He admitted it to be so with a slightly embarrassed chuckle.

After the presidents, we talked about war, Shakespeare, The Ottoman-Turks, the reasons he uses beer for his drug instead of prescriptions, Einstein (Tom thinks he was a plagiarist, I don't), recipes, floods, and the solar system. I'm telling you, we covered the gamut. He sat in his underwear in his wheelchair; I stood on the porch where I could keep an eye out for renegade children darting from my door. At the end, he told me I was better educated than he had thought, "I thought you were a flake over there teaching those children." I told him he was more lucid than I had ever seen him. It was a good conversation.

I came home sad. When he wasn't drunk, he showed quite a depth of knowledge and thought, but here we have been neighbors for four years and I had never seen evidence of that knowledge until then. What a tragedy, what a waste. This one scintillating conversation put me in my place: Don't judge a book by it's cover, Emily! Tom, though worn out, full of stories, and scarred by poor choices, surprised me.

Every soul is valuable, even that of Crazy Tom.

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another Example of the Difference Between Boys and Girls

My husband recently asked our two oldest pods (8 and 10) to write him a Halloween story. Then he went to class. It happened to be Language Arts day, so I thought his assignment would be a perfect opportunity to teach some writing ideas. To practice brainstorming, I had them do the web thing.

In the middle, I instructed that they write Halloween Story. I then explained that they weren't to write the story, but to just come up with a slew of ideas from which to choose. They loved this activity and kept busy for quite some time.

Later that day, I had a chance to look at their work. The sweet girl wrote pumpkins, candle, trick-or-treat, candy, ghost, sheet, holes, witch, pointy hat, black cat and scarecrow.

Then, I picked up the boy's work: ax, blood, haunted house, werewolf, demons, massacre, poison, dead zombies, scream and the like.

He does not belong to me. He must belong to his father.

I will not be reading his final work.

Friday, October 9, 2009


***Warning: Disturbing image below.***

My three year old was playing outside. She had this in her mouth. It was not mine.
You have never seen a woman move so fast. You have never seen a child swish so much mouthwash.
No one ever told me about these kinds of parental tragedies.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Um, No. I'm the Winner

Today, this headline popped up on my homepage:

Somali pirates attack French military flagship

Now, number one, shouldn't they have capitalized a few more of those words? Words like Pirates and Attack and Military and Flagship? Okay, just checking. Journalists often mess up grammar. But I digress.

The bigger issue is number two, YES! The pirates tried to attack the freaking Navy. Oops!

NAIROBI (AFP) – Somali pirates attempted to storm the French navy's 18,000
tonne flagship in the Indian Ocean after mistaking it for a cargo vessel, the French military said on Wednesday.

Doesn't this story just rock? It's kind of like when a bully starts in and Pedro's cousins come to offer their protection.

Or like when Stanley Yelnats gets the long buried treasure--right under The Warden's nose.

And, of course Karate Kid.

I still get chills when Eowyn saves the world. It's good in the movie, but in the book? Oh, my heart. It is amazing.

Everybody wants the ____(fill in the blank with your favorite synonym for "jerk")___ to get hosed like this.

What's your favorite example?

Evidence of an Invader

There is evidence of an invader in my house.

The damage is centered in the basement food storage.

My stomach begins to turn, thinking of what creature was gnawing through our food.

Then I found the hungry beast, with brown sugar still on her lips:

She has mastered stairs. She has teeth. She does not understand the meaning of "No." The food is no longer safe.
* * * * * *
New Post entitled Family Read Alouds today on The MotherShip Home Schools.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Nursing Staff

Sunday morning I woke up in a tight fetal position, quaking with chills. I thought maybe someone had stolen my blankets or turned on the fan. I opened my eyes and realized with a jolt that I had a terrible headache. I'm not a headache person, so when they happen, it kind of kicks my hiney. I slowly tried to uncurl my shivering body and every joint in my skeleton moaned. This is what old people are feeling when they whine about their "aching bones," I thought. As soon as my bare feet touched the icy sheets at the unoccupied end of the bed, they involuntarily jerked back up into fetal position. "Ohhhhhh," I groaned aloud.

"What's the matter, honey?"

"I'm sick!"

He reached over and touched my head, "You're burning up."

"No, I'm not, I'm freezing!"

And this, dear readers, is why I am convinced that the natural place for a woman is beside a man. He curled up next to me and wrapped his hot limbs around my cold ones. I was still cold, but at least I didn't feel like I was on a wind swept mountainside without a sleeping bag. Plus, I was comforted.

After a while, the children came down to see why no one was making them breakfast. "Mom's sick," my personal heater explained. Each child gently stroked my face or kissed my cheek as they worried about me and showed compassion. A few minutes later, one came down with this: It was to be my regular snack. There was also some half-buttered toast and cold water in a syringe that I was to take every time a small fist jammed it into my mouth.

The children took pride in their job to nurse me back to health. One ran me a bubble bath then sat on the edge of the tub and scrubbed my feet. One brought me blankets and socks. Another brushed my hair. Two of them rubbed my feet--yes rubbed, it was no massage--with a generous dose of lotion. My husband, capable of massage, rubbed my head and face to help relieve the pain there. They tried to keep it quiet by hollering through the house, "Be quiet!! Mom is sick!"

By Tuesday, I was feeling much, much better. Such is the life of a mother. We love tepid hot cocoa, dandelion bouquets and another crayon colored rainbow. I'll take their compassion even if it falls short of actually helping.

And a lot of Tylenol.

Monday, October 5, 2009

United Nations Sponsored by Walmart

As I was eating this treat the other day, I began absentmindedly reading the ingredients on the back of the package.The papaya and pineapple are from Thailand, the golden raisins are from the USA, Argentina and Chile, the bananas are from the Philippines, the cashews are from India and Africa, the apricots are from Turkey, cranberries from USA and Canada, and macadamia nuts are from Costa Rica, Brazil and Australia. I had the United Nations in my mouth, for $1.43.

It made me wonder two things: 1. How could Sam's Choice make such an inexpensive product when it had to pay shipping on all of those goods? and 2. How would my life be different if I could only eat locally grown foods?

Apocalyptically speaking, I think one the first things to go would be transportation. Transportation is why we have the food we have. In my part of the country, it is why I have bananas, blueberries and wheat. You may have those things, but lack apples, asparagus, and cherries. When I look in my pantry, I realize that there is a lot I would have to live without. Peanut butter! Peanuts do not grow in zone 4! We do have sugar beets, though, so we would have treats--treats without chocolate chips. We would have potatoes three meals a day. Tomatoes, squash and beans grow well here, but not oranges. I certainly wouldn't be having papaya from Thailand and cashews from India.

If you had to eat locally, what would you miss?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Glimpse Into My Conversation Pool

My daughter came and randomly informed me that, "When I grow up, I want to be a person who takes care of de animals."

This is completely new to me. We have fish. That's it. No cat or dog, no hamster or parakeet, and certainly no livestock. (We will have animals someday, I just think it's mean to buy a dog and make it stay in our tiny backyard.)

"Oh, really?" I asked. "What is your favorite animal?"
"Mickey Mouse."
Of course.
We then talked about what animals she would like, "Cows that type--click, clack, mooo" which is from a book. So Mickey Mouse and cows that type. Quite a farm. She also wants some ducks, a pig, and a bear.

"Aren't you afraid the bear would eat the cows?"

"Um, no. Dese are nice bears," she explains.

"What are your bears going to eat, then?" I probe.


What is wrong with me that I do not see these obvious answers?

With no segway, she puts on a very sad face, complete with the pouty bottom lip and says, "I really miss my Grandma Cheek."

She doesn't have a Grandma Cheek. She has a Grandma Chinn. (Her last name really was Chinn, by the way. We didn't just call her that because she had a wart on her chin or anything. This answers a question my son once asked.) Grandma Chinn is her great great grandma. They never met.

"You do? You miss Grandma Chinn?"

"Yes. She's is so, so nice." At this point she sniffles and wipes her already dry eyes.

"Oh, look! My jamies have a kitty on dem."

My Sister Had a Baby

My sister had a baby. Just a little while ago. My sister had a baby and I am 550 miles away. Sisters are supposed to be together at times like this. We are supposed to be there to touch his tiny toes and smell his still-damp head. We are supposed to be there to admire the dimple and gape in amazement that her baby weighed three pounds more than mine. But, mostly, we are supposed to be there to clean her toilet, make a casserole, arrange the flowers, wash the faces of her older children and listen to the nitty-gritty details of her labor and delivery that no one else wants to hear.

Sisters are supposed to be there, but I'm not.

Okay, I'll stop throwing my tantrum, now.

Isn't that boy lucky? Look at his beautiful mama. She is a good mother. Her children love her and want to tell her everything. They are a close and happy family. She is what every mother hopes to be. My nephew is a most adored surprise. I'm afraid he will be a touch spoiled by all of the people who love him, and that is not a few.

My dear sister-friend had a baby today. She has one in college and one on the breast. My heart is full to overflowing.