Mom Ears

I lost my mom ears.

You know, the super sonic hearing ears that let you know every time your child rolls over, coughs or calls out your name.

They broke.

It’s the best thing that’s happened to me in years. Now instead of me jumping out of bed when kids cry or make other random noises in the night, John does. I don’t hear a thing, he has to tell me about it in the morning.

It. Is. Amazing.

I think this is what he felt like all those nights I was up nursing kids and banishing boogey men. (And yes, I nursed those girls, we have YEARS to go before John is even close to catching up with late night waking hours.)

There is one problem though. Since I don’t hear the girls I don’t know they are coming until they show up next to the bed. John can attest from his years on the night shift that when I wake up with someone next to the bed, I scream. For years I woke up to John saying “It’s John! It’s John! It’s John!” until I turned my siren off.

Clara recently got a new blanket, a zebra blanket. It’s soft and fuzzy and has a “hood” on it with a stuffed zebra head she can pull over her own. She loves it. Clara wears it around the house while getting ready for school and sleeps with it every night. It is her new favorite thing.

This was not staged. This is just what she looked like when I went to check on her tonight!

So, when Clara came down to our bed in the middle of the night, I didn’t hear her coming. I didn’t notice her standing next to the bed. In fact I didn’t register her presence at all until a zebra was climbing into my bed and it’s big black zebra nose touched my face.

Facts.

1) I really hate it when things touch my face when I’m sleeping.

2) Zebras are more startling than small children.

3) Screaming in a panicked fashion in your child’s face does not make them feel better.

I lost my mom ears. It’s pretty amazing but I do feel a bit bad for the kids.

 

 

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Seven Days of Black and White

There is a photo challenge going around, one week of black and white photos. No explanations, no people. I love this challenge, I’ve done it twice now. But this week, this week was a hard week, and I wrote down a bit about each photo as I took them, a snap shot of a diary on a  rough week.

Day 1: A few years ago Grandma picked up this book, A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, off the bookshelf and noticed that “Verses” was ripped off the front of the book.   Ever practical Grandma stuck a few stickers over the torn part, and knowing that my girls loved books gave it to me to bring home for them. She read this same book to me when I was a kid, and I have read it over and over to my girls. Grandma Elma died this morning, and I’ve read this poem innumerable times since she used to read it to me but this verse I still hear in an echo of her voice every time I see it.

Day 2: I’m sitting on the floor in my grandparents living room (my other grandparents) I can hear hum and gurgle of Grandpa’s oxygen tank and his terrible rasping cough behind me. Granny is watching me play marbles with Clara and Jane and my Mom comes over to laugh at how terrible we are. We take turns visiting with Grandpa when he’s awake as we do our best to make some good memories during hard times.

Day 3: I’ve only been home for four full days in the last two weeks and when I walked back in the house tonight I find a friend has been at work and I can do nothing but stand in my clean kitchen, look at the meals in my refrigerator and sob with gratitude.

Day 4: John helped me carve out time to go to capoeira. I love my fellow capoeirstas and you can’t worry about anything other than what you are doing when the kicks start flying. It was a much needed break this week.

Day 5: I’m ready to drive back home from spending another day with my grandparents and parents. Driving alone makes me cry. The days are long and hard but worth the tears and the miles.

Day 6: Spinning in circles with a rare night at home. I think I forgot how to be at home, and then I found the fire and figured it out again.

Day 7: Back with my family. Grandpa is failing quickly and everyone, even the puppies, are exhausted.

 

O Lawnmower How I Hate Thee…

O lawnmower, how I hate thee. Let me count the ways…

  1. You are noisy, so noisy hearing protection is required. Sometimes the earmuffs that I leave over the steering wheel attract earwigs. I have so far always found them before putting them on my head. So far…
  2. You bounce and you vibrate the whole time I drive you. This makes me jiggle in unpleasant ways and reminds me that I have more jiggly parts than I’d like. Ride you long enough and even my non-jiggly bits start turning to jello and I slide off feeling like I’ve been living on a couch, eating potato chips my entire life.
  3. You cut crooked. I’ve tried to correct it, but you insist on cutting one side higher than the other. As a result even a freshly mowed area looks like a bad haircut.
  4. You run out of gas at the worst times. Is it because I run you at highest possible speeds at all times? Or because I never check before we set out? Whatever it is you’ve never run out of gas near the garage or a gas tank, nooooo always at the far end of the orchard. Always with the job almost done. You have terrible timing lawnmower. Terrible timing.
  5. You break. Your belts break and your doo-hickys fall off and the thing-gummy gets clogged and even when I fix them for you, a job I detest, they just go ahead and break again. Are you trying to tell me that zipties are not the fix for everything? How rude lawnmower, how rude.
  6. The important parts of you never break. You are the lawnmower that will not die. Do you even know how old you are? I have run you over sticks and stumps and small brush piles. Got you stuck on rocks and ditches but will you quit on a hot day and give me a break. Oh no, you will not!
  7. Your tire leaks. Slooowwwllly. So slowly as to not be worth patching. So quickly that it needs to be aired up almost every time you are used. No one likes a square tire lawnmower. No one.
  8. You don’t cut in reverse. You claim it’s for my safety. I say that’s total BS, you are just lazy. If you cut in reverse we’d be done so much faster.
  9. You don’t corner for beans. You are a lawnmower not a flatbed truck. Why do you have the turning radius of a school bus?
  10. But the thing I will never forgive you for is that because of you, I mow the lawn.

In related news my lawnmower dislikes being left outside in November with no gas and is now waaay out in the orchard with a dead battery and a flat tire. And though I removed the mouse nest and gave it some fuel, it still refuses to run properly. Ungrateful beast, it better shape up before the snow flies! 

 (Yes I know, most of these things are my fault. Yes, I know I shouldn’t have left the lawn mower outside. Yes, I still hate it anyway.)

Mysterious Noise

There is a noise in my truck.

Sort of a cross between a cheep and and a squeak.

It’s the kind of noise that might be made by a small animal or bird.

It’s also the kind of noise that could be made by some sort of springs or belts doing whatever mysterious things they do.

Unfortunately, I have the kind of truck where neither source of squeaking would surprise me.

Lessons From The Civil War

Attending a civil war reenactment has taught me many things over the years.

-Deserters will be shot – and then their boots will be stolen.

-General Grant never wanted to be a solider.

I don’t know what this man does when he isn’t General Grant but he does an amazing job. A natural story teller with an encyclopedia of knowledge!

-Some doctors are better at cleaning their instruments than others but all of them will cut your leg off if they need to.

Notice Ivy on the fanning assist in the background?
Patient was a young girl that was hit by a stray bullet. No bones broken, she kept her leg and she had one of the best doctors, I think she’ll be fine.

-The horses are amazing.

For real. The training they do with these guys is impressive!

-And never say the last bend has been taken out of these instruments so that the “noise” carries back to the marching soldiers. That’s music that comes out of those horns.

Or so I have been told…

Anniversary Storm

Sometimes wedding anniversaries are fun, magical days where you can bask in the knowledge that you ended up with just the right person to spend your life with.

Sometimes wedding anniversaries are a perfect storm of events that mess with even a modestly planned date night and you go to bed slightly aggravated at the world but still certain you ended up with just the right person to spend your life with.

Before the Storm

Yesterday was our 14th anniversary, it didn’t go as planned. But that’s okay because the ribs John grilled were delicious, the lightening storm was impressive and he’s still my favorite man.

Happy Anniversary Honey!

(That’s a ten minute time lapse of the lightening over the neighbors corn field- it was awesome!)

Puppy Names

The new puppy has arrived!

And his name is Goose.

Despite many people’s dubious reaction to his name, I’m keeping it.

Partly because within the first two hours the kids had already called him Goose 7 gazillion times (revisit the saga of Sarah Cat and wonder why I didn’t learn my lesson) and partly because I like it (and Mom still gets ultimate naming power because I did learn something from the Sarah Cat saga).

Besides, his dad’s name is Turkey so it makes perfect sense.

But now what I need is an official registered name for Goose. On paper he’s the offspring of Mr. Impressive and Fearless (none of this Turkey and Trixie business on the official documents) but so far my inspiration has only taken me as far as Super Goose.

And so, brilliant people of the internet, give me your best idea for a registered name for Goose!