Wednesday, December 28

New sofa

Because I'm sure everybody's so interested in our new furniture, right?

I'm excited because it's the first new furniture we ever picked out and bought ourselves. We went shopping for used furniture, and we liked this one. Also I dibs'd a rocking chair. I've gone three babies now with no rocking chair. It was time.

The sofa is dark green, and makes our tiny living room look quite fancy indeed.

I'm going to attempt to sand down and refinish the rocking chair over the summer, because the finish is flaking off.

We didn't realize until my hubby and brother were trying to lift the sofa into the truck that it's also a hideabed. Because it weighed approximately 5000 pounds. I helped them muscle it into the house, and we were all exhausted afterward. But we had wanted a hideabed if at all possible, and we got one completely by accident!

Does God care about sofa shopping? Because He sure seemed to direct us to the right one. :-)

Tuesday, December 27

Tuesday ramble

I had a few minutes to sit down and update blogs. And now that I'm sitting here, I can't think of anything to say.

Not much has been going on since Christmas. I'm glad it's over, personally. So much stress and anxiety. I do think that I ought to become Orthodox, just to celebrate Christmas on January 6th. Think of all the loot I could pick up during the post-Christmas sales!

Or Catholic. Do Catholics celebrate on the 6th or the 25th? My ignorance of this is embarrassing.

I got a bunch of great books that I've been wanting all year. Those on top of my unread library books, I'm all set. I've also been devouring freebies via Kindle. I haven't read so many genres in a long time.

It's also a good way to read books I'm not sure about *cough*christianfantasy*cough* without shelling out 20 bucks for them, then being stuck with a lemon on my bookshelf.

Although, since we got rid of the sofa and chair, there's nowhere to sit in here. I'm going to go shopping after new year's and see what I can scrounge up.

The poor munchkins haven't had any of their new books read to them, because it's so hard to sit on the floor and read to them.

So there you have it. Not much going on to speak of. The sick munchkin is finally well, but she was sick for an entire week. This morning she played with toys, and I was so relieved.

Sunday, December 25

Christmas 2011

Even though a sick child necessitated canceling our family get together on Christmas eve, it was a nice Christmas anyway.

Wednesday, December 21

Childlike Christmas - unintentionally busy

This is the spot where the couch was. Now there is a Christmas tree. This happened this morning.

Our couch and chair were on loan from my mother-in-law. I wanted to get some new furniture, so we arranged to move her sofa and chair to storage. For some reason, that didn't actually happen until this morning.

The couch had accumulated a lot of junk beneath it and behind it. So as I was frantically trying to clean up this fantastic mess, the guy shows up at the door to fix the cracked tile in the bathroom. (We put in the work request about a week ago and I forgot all about it.)

So my hubby and my brother hauled the furniture out, I cleaned the living room with three enthusiastic munchkins underfoot, and the repair guy rushed in and out with various tools and minor demolition mess.

But as you can see, now it's all clean, and the Christmas tree actually touches the floor this year. The kids have been playing there nonstop.

I'm not sure how this relates to a Childlike Christmas. It was just our crazy morning today.

Monday, December 19

A Christmas story - Candle in the Forest

I thought I'd post this on both my blogs today. This is my traditional Christmas story to read every year. I always try to share it with folks online, too, as it’s just a little short story, and so lovely. No barbed sting in its tail to make you cry, unless you cry at happy endings.

Candle in the Forest
by Temple Bailey

The small girl's mother was saying, "The onions will be silver,
and the carrots will be gold--"
"And the potatoes will be ivory," said the small girl, and they
laughed together. The small girl's mother had a big white bowl in her
lap, and she was cutting up vegetables. The onions were the hardest,
because she cried over them.
"But our tears will be pearls," said the small girl's mother,
and they laughed at that and dried their eyes, and found the carrots
much easier, and the potatoes the easiest of all.
Then the next-door-neighbor came in and said, "What are you doing?"

Sunday, December 18

Kindle books

I swore that I'd never get into reading Kindle books. Paper and ink all the way for me, baby!

My opinion of the Kindle was not improved upon acquaintance. It was clunky and hard to use. And ugly.

Then my hubby bequeathed his old ipod to me, and it had a Kindle app. I bought an ebook or two for it, and reading stuff on the ipod wasn't too bad.

Then I discovered the Kindle store on Amazon. Or, more specifically, the free books section.

Every old book that I've adored in my life is free on the Kindle. I found House of a Thousand Candles, and everything George MacDonald ever wrote, and GK Chesterton, and Dickens, and a jillion more. I keep thinking of new authors to look up.

The Kindle isn't half bad when you can get truckloads of free books. GOOD books, too.

Wednesday, December 14

Christmas thoughts

I informed Grandma how the munchkins had no concept of how close Christmas was. She graciously found this calendar for them. We hung it up and the munchkins have ritually moved the marker each day.

The anticipation is building. I love it when the munchkins tell me they want such and such for Christmas. I get to shrug and say with an all-knowing air, "You'll have to wait until Christmas and see." Then they look at the little calendar and count the days. I remember doing the same when I was little.

When I was young, Mom had this counted cross stitch Christmas tree with bells sewed to it, and little ornaments to hang on the bells for each day. They were so tiny that the least breeze knocked the ornaments off, so there was always a sprinkling of tiny candy canes and gingerbread men on the floor beneath it.

Ahh, good memories.

Monday, December 12

Refracted light

I had set my quart jar of drinking water on the table beside our little Christmas tree. I turned around and saw this.

I had captured a jar of light.

Tuesday, December 6

Childlike Christmas and chats

Going to cram two memes into today's post!

First off, Pom Pom's Childlike Christmas. It's my first time participating.

Here's one of the little waifs, looking very Tiny Tim in mommy's big hoodie.

Seeing as they're only 4, 2, and 8 months, they're just trying to grasp this whole Christmas thing. They understand the whole "getting presents" thing very well. We're doing Advent candles with Bible reading in the evenings, so hopefully they'll have some idea about the Christmas story.

On Saturday we went to the library, and they went to the storytime thing the library puts on for the kids. The lady had a craft afterward where all the kids made paper ornaments with glitter and those little fuzzy balls and stickers.

I should have taken a picture right after we got home, because they had a lot more stuff on them.

As you see, the fuzzy balls and most of the stickers have been peeled off for use elsewhere.

I'm sad to say, I don't have many pithy thoughts about seeing Christmas through a child's eyes. I feel like that's how I see life right now, and it's actually more difficult to see Christmas as an adult! I do wish I had a nativity creche, so they could play with the little Mary and Joseph and Jesus. Maybe next year.

Now on to Patrice's Farmhouse Porch Chats:

Have you ever had a blog slump?

Yep, all the time. Usually when I'm terribly busy, or sick, or tired. I just have nothing to say, so I look at my blogs and go, "Eh."

Lately I've been playing games with my husband in the evenings, and it's really cut into my blogging. But it makes my hubby so happy. And I've read stuff that talks about how you should keep playing with your husband, because that's what you did when you were dating, right?

What's your favorite way to serve hot chocolate (cocoa)? Marshmallows on top? Whipped Cream? A cinnamon stick?

Marshmallows or whipped cream. The best hot chocolate is the kind where you heat the milk and cocoa and sugar on the stove to make a hot base, then mix it with milk to cool it off. Man, that is the absolute best.

How do you handle it when you see someone you think you know, but cannot place? Do you approach them and ask, shy away, or just go home and hope you don't think of it at 2am?

I remember names, but not faces. I've heard that this is a trained skill, and alas, I never trained it. I'll see someone, smile vaguely at them, and go the other way, wondering why they look familiar.

What was your position in your family? Were you the oldest, a middle child, the youngest or an only child?

I'm the oldest of six. That means I handed down the smacketh from on high when I thought Mom and Dad were being too soft.

And now I have a son who does the same thing. And I don't like it. Oh, the irony.

How do you handle accumulated possessions (stuff)? Are you a pack-rat, a minimalist, or somewhere in between?

I hate having too much stuff. Once in a while I go on a clearing-binge and throw everything away, or haul it to Goodwill. The trouble is, I wind up getting rid of things I probably shouldn't have, and wishing for it later.

Wednesday, November 30

Christmas chats

I like talking about Christmas, so Patrice's questions appealed today! Also I'm sitting here listening to Sixpence None the Richer's Christmas album, and laughing my head off at Christmas Island. I want to see Santa sail up in a canoe.

What's your favorite day of the week? Why?

I really do like both days of the weekend. That'll probably change once my hubby is working, and then I'll prefer whatever days he has off. But for now, Saturday and Sunday are my Get Out Of The House days. I go to the library, and sometimes church, if I'm feeling brave about the germs. So far, out of all the times we've gone, there's been one visit that we didn't bring home some horrible bug. I've sworn church off until after the holidays. Isn't that pagan of me?

What's your favorite Christmas movie?

Does Home Alone count as a Christmas movie? There's also Its A Wonderful Life, which I haven't seen in years but can probably quote it word for word. Of course, watching it re-enacted in 30 seconds by bunnies scratches the itch pretty well, too.

Is there a Christmas Carol that's special to you?

Well, I like O Come Emmanuel, but really only the haunting version by Eden's Bridge. There's just something about Celtic music ...

Is there an art or craft that you'd love to be able to do?

I keep thinking about getting some clay and letting the kids make Christmas ornaments. Then I remember how messy acrylic paints are, and I shake myself and think, "Maybe next year."

Do you have a live Christmas tree or an artificial one?

Fake one! We have a nice little 3-footer that lives in a box the rest of the year, but it's all we have room for. The kids dearly love it, and plugging it in every morning has become a ritual.

Tuesday, November 29

Socked in

This has been our mornings for the last week or so. Until we get some real weather to push it out, the valley fills with fog and stays that way.

It smells like the inside of a freezer.

Saturday, November 26

Thankful weekend

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. We met at my parents' with our spouses and children, and my folks smoked a turkey. I'm so thankful for my family!

Munchkin A ganking an uncle.

After dinner, it was time for games. Here's the gang learning how to play Resistance.

That left me and my mom to watch the munchkins. Poor Mom came down with the awful cold we've been trading around all month, and I couldn't leave her to watch five toddlers all alone.

They never held still. See how blurry my pictures turned out? Here they are, demolishing apples.

I'm so thankful that my life is fairly uneventful. I'm reading blogs about peoples' divorces, and spouses who are dying or who have died, and the heartbreak bleeds from every word. I'm so thankful that we're all healthy and we all like each other. We can weather all of life's other bumps just fine, as long as we just cling to Jesus like limpets to rocks.

Wednesday, November 23

Cook-frenzy Wednesday

It's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. That means it's the day to pre-cook everything!

I'm thankful for:

22. That moment when the tired baby lays her head on your shoulder and sighs.

23. Coconuts.

Because coconuts are awesome. They may be a pain in the butt to get out of the shell (I read that they take 75 days off the tree to ripen, and once ripe, the flesh peels right out of the shell), but fresh grated coconut and coconut milk is out of this world. Here's how you make coconut milk.

Anyway, I'm off to make coconut cream pie, and look up a jillion recipes for sweet potatoes with those marshmallows on top. Mine will be full of butter and brown sugar and cinnamon, and be as dessert-like as possible. Think pumpkin pie, but with marshmallows.

Monday, November 21

A night at our house

21. I'm thankful for a sense of humor.

Sunday, November 20

Rainy Sunday

It rained almost all day today, and it was wonderful.

I'm a bit behind on my thankfulness list, so here we go:

18. The rain! The glorious rain and how good it smells! I know it's supposed to rain Thanksgiving weekend, too, but I don't care. This is semi-arid Bako, and we need every drop.

19. That I got well so fast. I was sick all day Saturday, and it was lame. But I was a lot better today, and I even got to take everybody out to visit Meg at her craft show. The kids got to see each other for a few minutes, and it was nice. I can't wait to visit longer on Thanksgiving.

20. That we've been so well-provided for this year. I'm so thankful for God's hand providing on our behalf, and I know that He will continue to provide for us. (I keep reminding Him that when he gave us our third child, He promised to give us the means to feed her. He just tells me to be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make my requests known to him.)

There. Now we're all ready for Monday.

Thursday, November 17

Thankful Thursday

I just got up from a nap. I've got a crockpot of taco soup cooking, and it smells so delicious ... I think it's actually what woke me up.

Anyway, today I'm thankful for my sister-in-law and this blanket she made my daughter as a baby blanket.

It's a vast, fuzzy, warm blanket, and I shamelessly appropriated it for naps when the weather cooled off. I sleep so good under the thing. I justify myself by looking at the kids all bundled up in their own blankets. They don't need one more. Right? Right?

I'm also thankful to have Meg as my sister-in-law (and here's her blog!). We trade ideas back and forth, and I enjoy the things she knits (I also have a pair of her fingerless gloves). We're having babies at the same time, and it's so much fun to have a friend who's at the same stage of life that I am. And special bonus is that she's family!

Wednesday, November 16

Thankfulness and boring

Head munchkin playing with his train in the "snow". I thought that was pretty creative.

I've discovered by updating my blog almost every day that I really am very boring. There's nothing much to report that would make a good blog post. "Yesterday I ran out of laundry soap. I bought some cheap stuff, and only read the directions after I found it caked all over the clothes after the wash."

Because that's so interesting.

Anyway, thankfulness!

15. How much fun I have with the munchkins when we're all just being silly.

16. My husband, who is so kind to me. Have I been thankful for him yet? I think it'll be a recurring theme. I am so very thankful for him.

Oh yeah, that's why my brain is shut down about yesterday--I tried to read Hank Hanegraaff's The Apocalypse Code.

*insert stock image of a brain exploding here*

Mostly the book's about how much he hates the Left Behind books, and he uses every study technique that he can to show that Revelation happened in 70 AD. Monsters and demons and meteors falling? All metaphor. Anything that applies to helicopters, tanks, and nukes? Boy, that's all literal!

When I learned about Bible prophecy, we were taught about how every prophecy is in layers, and each layer applies to something different. Sure, some things in Revelation and Daniel and elsewhere apply to 70 AD. But there's multiple layers there. It wasn't completely fulfilled then, and I think to state dogmatically that it was, you remove some of the multidimensionalness of the Bible.

Anyway. I didn't mean to blog about that. I find that it's dangerous to talk about things I don't fully understand, and Revelation is one of those things.

Monday, November 14

Thankful Monday

It's been a busy Monday! I have a whole weekend of thankfulness to be thankful for. Does that even make sense?

12. An efficient heater that warms our whole apartment within fifteen minutes, which is really nice when I forgot to turn it on before bed, and I get up at 4 AM with ice crystals hanging from the ceiling.

13. Soap and hot water. Having just bathed the munchkins, I'm thankful for these things. Also watching certain dirty, unwashed protesters on the news. Are they protesting personal hygiene, too? I'm beginning to wonder.

14. Doctor Who. It gives my husband and I so much to talk about. I'm starting to have violent Doctor withdrawal, so we're going to pick up where we left off in season 2. Good thing I like David Tennant. :-)

Friday, November 11

Windy Friday

Since the weather cooled off, the munchkins have been really into indoor activities. Like art.

Here they are, showing off their handiwork with the markers. They're so proud of their pictures.

Today I'm thankful for the stormy weather that isn't all that cold, and that my mom is willing to watch the kids while my husband and I go on a date. We haven't had a date in months, and I'm so looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 9

Thankful chats

Doing both my memes today before it's too late!

What accomplishments make you the most proud?

Being married, having kids. Each new baby is a huge accomplishment, but now I have to raise them. That'll be a huge accomplishment in and of itself! I think that's what I'm thankful for, too. For my husband and my munchkins. I'd be so lonely without them.

When did your family first come to the country which you now live?

Um ... my mom answered this question over on her blog, and for the life of me I can't remember what she said. I'm tired. This time change does not like me.

What's your favorite way to serve carrots?

I like them steamed with brown sugar and butter, but the rest of my family prefers them raw. So I serve them raw. Sigh.

Do you decorate with anything that has Santa or Father Christmas when you prepare for Christmas?

No, because I don't have room. I'd rather have a Nativity scene than a Santa, anyway. I want the munchkins to know why we're celebrating this holiday in the first place.

Do you prefer big dogs or small dogs? Something in between, maybe?
I'm not really a dog person. I like medium-sized dogs, if I had to choose, though. We saw this Pomeranian today that was the size of a chihuahua. I think it was a miniature Pomeranian or something. I snickered at it the whole time it was toddling past us on its leash with its silly little rat-legs.

Tuesday, November 8

Food blogs

Guess what I'm thankful for today? guessed it!

Food blogs.

The reason being, I can go into a panic about dinner, spend ten minutes online, and have dinner ready in the next 45 minutes. This evening, for instance, since it's an early dinner evening, we're having chicken nachos, but without the Chipotle peppers because I forgot they were part of the recipe.

I might just go with red bell peppers.

Because red bell peppers are divine.

I sound like Pioneer Woman.

So yes. In years before the internet, it was all cookbooks and cooking magazines. And now, not only do you have a vast library of step by step recipes at your fingertips, you can leave comments like, "Gee, I didn't have any Chipotle peppers and it turned out just fine!"

Monday, November 7

This tumultuous life

Tis Monday night, and I have two more things to be thankful for:

1, For having a warm, dry place to live, as more storms prepare to march down into California, and

2, having an interesting life.

By interesting, I mean every word that is not Boring. Exciting. Fascinating. Entertaining. Frustrating. Thrilling. Hilarious. Just thinking of the day I spent today, cleaning house around the edges of holding Claire, who has a cold and did not want to be on the floor, and watching the other two bounce off the walls ...

Yes. All of the above adjectives, and more.

For some reason it makes me think of Psalm 1:

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

I've been reading Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, by Madeline L'Engle. I may not understand her fiction very well, but this book is absolutely wonderful. I want to quote huge passages of it on my blogs because they have such deep thoughts.

One thing I liked was the phrase, "Be time." You know how people go on about needing a little "me time"? L'Engle says, "I've long since stopped feeling guilty about taking be time; it's something we all need for our spiritual health, and often we don't take enough of it."

It's when you get off by yourself and watch the wind blow the trees, and the birds fly, and just be quiet. But I've never been able to articulate what that is until I read that.

So anyway. Busy day today in which I didn't accomplish much, other than talking to kids a lot. Ryan eventually had to run the vacuum for me, because it was dinnertime and I still hadn't gotten it done. My man is a saint.

Saturday, November 5


I'm thankful for ...

4. Naptime!

5. Books!

Naptime lets me get this blog updated, and books entertain me in quiet moments when the munchkins are asleep. I picked up a random one at the library and I'm enjoying it immensely. I also picked up Something Wicked This Way Comes by Bradbury, but I don't know if I'll have the nerve and/or the time to read it by the time my books are due.

It's brilliantly blue and sunny outside, but also chilly. Of course, 50 degrees feels absolutely frigid after months of 70s to high 80s. We have another storm coming, so the sky is starting to be sprinkled with little gray clouds. It's funny that they're gray, not white, like they have more water in them.

Thursday, November 3

Giving thanks in November

I'm going to try to join this little Giving Thanks Challenge by South Breeze Farm. You're supposed to be thankful for something each day until Thanksgiving.

Since I'm starting on the 3rd, I'll list three things to start with:

1. Our new car.

2. My dear husband and his new lease on life.

3. Having enough money to buy food with. This is a Big Deal, because this time last year, we barely did.

Hopefully this will encourage me to write a blog post every day. :-)

Tuesday, November 1

November chat

Here's the munchkins shortly before we set out on our trick or treating adventure last night. We went out about dusk, because I didn't want to be out a long time after dark. We just stayed in the apartment complex, and visited apartments that had decorations up. So we visited about 8 apartments, heh. Everyone was very nice and handed out handfuls of candy, because there were no other trick or treaters.

The decorations of spider webs, witches, ghouls and skulls were a bit much for them, though.

Anyway, on to the meme! This is from Everyday Ruralty.

Alison asks: What's the biggest obstacle you've overcome or need to?

My own laziness. Always have battled it, always will battle it.

Julia asks: If you won $100,000 what changes would you make?

I'd buy some shelves and look into bunk beds for the munchkins. I think we have just enough room, as long as they were child-sized.

McGuffy Ann asks: What's the most unusual pet you've had?

A couple of iguanas. I wasn't a very good pet owner, though. My first one died because I didn't know they needed a heat lamp, and the second one only got fed when I remembered him. He eventually was given away to a guy who raises reptiles, and hopefully is immensely fat these days. I liked my chickens much better.

When do you start decorating for Christmas?

Usually in the start of December. I have, like, two decorations to put up, and a little artificial tree that the kids decorate. It still makes it feel so Christmasy in here. I do wish I had a little Nativity scene like my mom's, that the kids could play with.

What's your favorite type of magazine to read?

I used to devour Reader's Digest before their format changed to Women's Home and Garden. (Remember the Drama in Real Life column? I remember it. Sigh.) I don't really read magazines aside from the occasional cooking mag that my mom lends me. Taste of Home is always nice.

Monday, October 31

Halloween morning

Here's the munchkins with their jack o' lanterns. The youngest is still a bit small for a pumpkin.

I tried and tried to get pictures of them playing on their 'slide', but their constant motion defeated me. I finally just took a video.

And this is BEFORE the Halloween candy. I think whatever they get tonight will go in the fridge and be carefully rationed ...

I also made some candy apples, but I let the caramel burn early on in the cooking process, so they came out kind of speckled and ugly, although they tasted good. Also, burning the caramel so demoralized me that I didn't cook it all the way to firm ball stage, so they were also kind of goopy.

I ran out of sticks for apples, so I had about two cups of leftover caramel. I didn't know what to do with it, until my husband asked me to make it into Chex candy. So I recooked it (over very low heat!) until it actually reached firm ball temperature, then mixed it with the cereal.

The trouble being, it's so sticky and stiff that it takes a while to gnaw through the candy. But it sure tastes good.

Thursday, October 27

Three is company

I was folding laundry on the bed, and I had tucked Claire into the corner of Alex's bed, where she could sit up. She thought it was great fun, and so did the other two.

Today we went costume-shopping. He wanted to be a pirate.

She wanted to be a cat, but there were no cat costumes to be found. So I fell back on the ol' tiger ears and tail. I'll draw a nose and whiskers on her with makeup.

Aside from carving pumpkins, we're set for Halloween!

Monday, October 24

God's providence, again

Last summer was a hard, hard summer. No job, no money, little food, little hope. Relatives paid our rent and helped with necessities. I took art commissions and we paid bills with the small amount I made.

Then, right in the middle of it, I got pregnant. We reeled. But we chose to believe that another baby was a blessing, even though we couldn't see it from the circumstances we were in.

There's this little book called Be Fruitful and Multiply, and it's filled with all kinds of encouraging Bible verses that talk about how God blesses the womb first, then he provides material blessings so the family can feed and clothe this additional child. I clung to those verses.

Our financial situation improved a little as my husband went back to school on the GI Bill from his time in the military. At least we could pay the rent and buy food again.

Then Claire was born.

And now, six months later, God has seen fit to give us a bigger car.

(Not the same exact one, just the same model and color.)

A relative died and left it to us, so it's completely paid for and almost as good as new. We rode around in it yesterday, and I was completely astounded at God's grace to us. I took him at his word, never expecting a new car. And for some reason He saw fit to give us a new car. (Admittedly, we had completely filled the other one and rode around like a can of sardines.)

This means that my husband can get a job now, and he and I both have the wheels to go places. I'm hoping that a job will come next. It's been so long. God said that He will provide, though, and I'm still hanging on to that.

Friday, October 14

Playground visit

On Wednesday the kids and I walked out to the playground. It was the first time since I had Claire, because it was both cool enough, and I was strong enough to walk that far.

Claire even got to ride in the baby swing. She thought it was awesome, especially when pushed by her big sister.

I loved Holly's look in this picture. We took a picnic lunch and had a nice time eating it. Ryan met us at the park later and drove us home.

This scrub jay flew to the roof of the picnic shade over us, and proceeded to try to crack open a nut. It sounded like somebody knocking on the roof.

Saturday, October 8

The support role

Last night I was struggling to extract refried beans from a can, and cut myself pretty badly. Somehow I managed to cut the middle knuckle of my ring finger.

I discovered something interesting about my ring finger. I always thought it was just a kind of wimpy finger, since it's not all that dextrous on its own.I thought it was just there to take up space, to make a nice hand of five.

As it turns out, the strength of all my fingers is in my ring finger. Since I have to favor that finger, the rest of my fingers have almost no grasping or lifting strength. I can barely even use that hand.

It made me ponder. Our culture looks down on the submissive, stay-at-home wife as something of a useless wimp. She remains in the background while her husband goes out and does business with the world. He's the thumb and the forefingers.

But the wife is the support role, and to be the support role, she has to be the strong one. It takes an incredible amount of strength to pull for all the other fingers and take no applause or attention. And when that supporting finger is disabled, the strength goes out of all the others.

Isn't it interesting that the non-glamorous supporting finger is the one that gets to wear the ring of gold? Its very back-seatness becomes its position of honor.

Wednesday, October 5

Glorious rain!

Today we got our first rain of the season. Rain! Glorious rain!

About maybe an inch, if we're lucky. Probably half an inch. But it was enough for the kids to get thoroughly soaked in. Claire was not allowed outside, although she'd like to be.

She's to the stage where she scoots around and bites everything. I think we have a few teeth on the way.

Saturday, October 1

October at last!

Hooray it's finally October! Maybe it will drop below 90 and we can wear long pants!

Of course, that hasn't stopped the munchkins from wearing long pants for weeks prior to this.

Wednesday, September 28

Wednesday porch chats

I'm doing Chats on the Farmhouse Porch today. Hooray!

Would you rather cook or clean house?

Well, I can't cook until my house is clean, or at the very least, my kitchen. My workspace is so miniscule, I can't function unless it's clean and tidy.

Who do you resemble in your family? 

Oh, a little of column A, a little of column B. I have my mom's build and my dad's nose, my grandma's eyes and a slather of introspective creative bent from both sides. And plenty of OCD.

We always muse that every genius, from Beethoven to Einstein, would have been labeled obsessive-compulsive, or attention-deficit, or some other label, and then heavily medicated, thereby eradicating their genius. Says loads about our culture, doesn't it?

Have you tried e-books yet? 

Yeah, I don't care for them. Staring at a screen is not the same as reading a book, and you can't loan it to anybody without handing over your username and password. Not to mention the issue with batteries and Amazon being able to remotely wipe your Kindle. Stick your device on a shelf for 15 years and see if the book is still readable. But paper and ink books? Still kickin'!

Do you collect anything?

Books. I collect books that I love, mostly by long-dead authors. I have a collection of Albert Payson Terhune that lives at mom's, because I don't have the space here, and the books are too old and delicate to go into storage. I even have one that is a first edition with the original color plates. I'm currently sniffing about for other authors to collect. I'm sampling lots of writing right now.

What's your favorite fall tradition? 

Halloween! It's kind of funny. When I was little, I loved Halloween because I got to dress up and have candy. Then when I was a teenager, I was too old to dress up and felt guilty about still liking it. Now that I'm an adult with kids, I can dress them up, decorate with pumpkins, and hand out candy. It's so much fun having kids! They make a great cover to do all the things that I'm supposed to have grown out of.


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