Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I am inspired by the following two things today (beware, things are going to get sappy around here)...
- A quote from Moulin Rouge "The greatest thing you will ever learn is to love and to be loved in return."
- Time spent serving and preparing a community dinner for people who need it on Sunday.
First, the quote... it's just a great quote. I am going to give my boys and the kitty and Timmy and maybe the guinea pig (Not all at the same time) a big squeeze. Peter really needs a big squeeze. He was feeling a little low yesterday. So, if you see him before I do, squeeze him until he squeaks.
Second, the dinner... A&P and a friend needed some more service hours for school so off we went to the community dinner. The boys all worked very hard and made me very proud. They worked for four hours straight to help get dinner on the table for about 50 people who come off of the street once a month for a meal. Some of the people leave prayer requests behind.
I should tell you that Sunday was a miserable rainy day. People came in dripping wet and cold. Some smiled anyway.
I have to tell you about these prayer requests.... if I was homeless or downtrodden and needed a meal... I would be miserable. I would be a pill and a half. I would be pulling my hair out and I would pray for indulgent things like a job and an income and a place to live. This is because I'm selfish and I have too much to learn about how to live my life. Do you know what these people left prayers for? Not a single prayer that I picked up was for something indulgent.
They prayed for...
- the missing oil rig workers
- miners in West Virginia
- some signed their names and said thank you
- some didn't say anything at all
Remember, give Peter a squeeze.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Shall I explain the picture? In preparation for a newsy little post of vermicomposting or some such thing, I decided to find a picture of an earth worm. Instead I found this lovely photo of the Nibelungen Bridge over the Rhine at Worms, Germany. Obtuse? Indeed.
Curiousity got the better of me so I turned to google to find out some more stuff about Worms. Did you know it was founded by Celts and that the people of Worms fight with the people in Cologne about who has the oldest town in Germany? The only thing I ever knew was that Worms was where Martin Luther had his temper tantrum.
Now get this about the name... the Celts back in the olden times before calendars named their little town Borbetomagus which means "settlement in a watery area." How nice and direct of those Celts. Anyway, the Romans came along and started calling it Vormatia and that's just a fancy way to say "worms." I'm not sure the Romans did them any favors with the name change but with Romans stomping around, I'm not sure that the Borbetomagusians had any room to argue.
So there we have it, worms.
I bought a composter. I don't know anything about worms, but I'm going to compost my coffee grounds and my black and white inked junk mail.
All Hail Mighty Worms.
Monday, April 19, 2010
TCWICRN (The Child who is crazy right now) made me so mad yesterday I could have locked myself into this tower forever. He was ranting and raving and hollering and exhibiting various kinds of buffoonery. I had been secretly congratulating myself for a week that I had not jammed him into a UPS box and mailed him to Russia with a note that said "I know he didn't come from Russia, but it seems like a good place. Thanks."
I tried to wrap my head around the insanity. I said supportive things like "this will pass"; "you are great", "I sure do love you and would never sell you to gypsies." But after 7 days of this nutso wackiness, all I wanted to do was climb into a tower and grow my hair for 25 years.
So I hollered "you can't be crazy anymore! you are driving me bananas! pick a different kind of crazy! if you're going to stay crazy, make it different every time for goodness sake!"
He stared at me. He regarded my red face and snarl. And, he stopped being crazy. I called out the crazy and he left, just like that and in his place was the regular kid.
What did I wait 7 days for?
I still want to be locked in the tower because I think crazy will come back sometime before high school graduation.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
While we were on vacation we ran into some new victims who had never heard any of our crazy A&P stories before. While regaling the new, hapless, trapped listeners, Andrew burst out in a guffaw. "You got to write this stuff down, Mom."
Dateline: April 15, 2000
A&P: Age 3
I was on the phone with my brother. The boys were locked in the backyard. I could see them as they pushed their toys around the driveway. They were behind a gate. I was 10 feet away, albeit in the house, but I could see them and jump to their aid should an alien space ship land on the lawn.
Suddenly, they were gone.
Where the heck do two little boys who were happily pushing molded plastic toys two seconds ago, go?
Really? Freaking out.
I slammed down the phone and ran outside in complete panic.
There they were. So cute, so short, so standing in the middle of the flower beds holding handfuls of landscaping rocks. Whatever, I removed the rocks from the boys and the boys from the rocks and scooted them in the house.
It was April in Ohio. It gets cold at night. Our house got really cold that night- inexplicably.
The next morning, Tim ventured to the basement to figure out why if we had it set at 80, the house was 58. The furnace was flashing alarmingly. Yellow and red. "No clue," Tim said. "You should call someone."
Within the hour, the furnace people appeared. Within 5 minutes I had my answer.
My lovely children had, in the 15 seconds I could not see them, stuffed our furnace flue with handfuls of landscaping rocks. About 75, one inch landscaping rocks to be exact. They had completely crammed the flue. Thankfully, our furnace had the good sense to shut itself the heck off or we would have had a serious issue.
I put a squirrel cage on the furnace flue. Days later, I found the boys standing again in the flower bed, one with the squirrel cage and the other with a handful of rocks. I probably yelled. Really loud.
Several years later, we had to replace the furnace. Imagine that? Not sure why a furnace would have trouble when stuffed with stones. When they unhooked the old furnace, more rocks fell from the piping.
Now they just pummel each other in the backyard. Progress? I'm not sure.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
We had our regularly scheduled Atkins family breakdown about half way down the mountain. This time there was no aggravating incident just some frayed 13 year old nerves. This turned Andrew into a melted mess and Peter into a hiking machine- apparently in an effort to get as far away from the other 75% of his family as quickly as possible. He's a gazelle when motivated like this. We saw him again somewhere near the stream below.
Monday, April 12, 2010
On Friday afternoon we arrived at the inn. Our legs were a little wobbly since we're flatlanders, but we made it in pretty good time. (Less time than predicted on the trail signs- take that trail!)
We had a great tour of the grounds including their worm farm and the composting toilets. If you really want to know, I can fill you in. I still have the willies.
After a fabulous dinner, we settled in for an evening program because there is no TV!
Folks around these parts come to the inn to volunteer. This particular volunteer developed a completely awesome ultra light camp stove out of a pop can. We were riveted. And screwed up because again, despite my best intentions, Peter is on the left.
The inn was awesome, you should totally go. Do it.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Do you notice a problem? Yes, I am the shortest. That is a problem. Do you notice the other problem? Peter is on the left. That is about the wrong-est thing that can happen in one of my pictures. Ten years from now I will be totally screwed on who is who. Andrew is always on the left- except in this picture because no one listens to me anymore. I think I'm going to have a short snit about that. OK, I'm done.
Anyway, here we are at the top of Amicalola Falls in the state park of the same name, Georgia. We were ready to start our walk into the woods. (If you have not done so, you must read, MUST, I SAY MUST READ, A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson. Indeed, required for this blog.)
Off we went. Normalcy was achieved as above you will find Andrew on the left. Phew. I thought Mercury was in retrograde there for a few minutes. This picture was taken right before the half way point Atkins family meltdown, a.k.a. fight. This time it was about a dented metal water bottle. (Sigh. It's not worth repeating.)
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Guess who I might like to send to the moon? You would not believe who I literally ran into today at KSC. Never. Don't even bother guessing. I had this boss one time who was horrid- fairy tale, wicked stepmother, except he was a man, horrid. He personified everything that anyone ever might hate about corporate life working for "the machine." Anyway, he was always slightly clownish, and I have not seen him since I left for greener pastures- UNTIL TODAY. There he was, with his pants hiked up to his armpits in line for some food. How on Earth did I end up at KSC on the same day as this Evil Corporate Tool?
Anyway, that's who I would like to send to the moon. No, I am not one bit bitter.
It was a good visit (except for being shadowed all day by the Evil Corporate Tool) with the space stuff as evidenced by A&P and the lunar node thing . I think they used this node thing on Apollo 11. We were all pretty happy today and our only meltdown involved Mountain Dew at lunch. We did see another family with kids about A&P's age having their own very public meltdown. I wanted to hug them all and thank them for being human.
Tomorrow is another beach day and I'm pretty sure that I need a lobster for lunch. Late in the day we'll work our way up to Atlanta. Friday is when we hit the Appalachian Trail for a hike and an overnight in the mountains with no cell phones, TV or computers. Heaven!
A&P keep asking when we can take a normal vacation like everyone else.
Define normal, then we'll make our plans.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
But our visit in Athens was short and we were soon off to sandier places outside of St. Augustine. It's amazing how easy A&P are to spot in the water. They're a bit pale after an Ohio winter.