Sunday, February 27, 2005

Two Ways

Two Ways
After our second graders left the Sunday School room this morning, hubby said something and I started to cry. I had to stay for the last service and he went home. In the empty room, I finished my cry and tried to compose myself. Of course, a friend popped in to tell me something and caught me. I told her indirectly what was wrong, but I almost never share out little tiffs with anyone. I know we will work it out because we are committed to each other.

And work it out we did when I got home. He brought it up almost immediately because he could not understand why I was upset when he was making fun of himself. I totally misunderstood him. I thought he was criticizing me in an area that is especially tender for me. That is not like my hubby and I should have clarified what I thought I heard before I reacted emotionally.

In one of those emails that gets passed around, probably What Men Would Like Women to Know, this statement hit home for my hubby: If I say something and there are two ways to take it and one way makes you cry, I meant it the other way.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Rose Order

Knock Out
This morning I wrote about delighting in the present as an antidote to cabin fever and this evening I ordered ten rose bushes in anticipation of spring. I've been considering Knock Out roses in the perennial border for some time due to their long bloom season, disease resistance, winter hips, and compact habit. I just didn't like the colors (and I wish they were more fragrant.) Finally last year they started selling a soft pink cultivar, Blushing Knock Out, which would complement the lavenders, yellows, whites and pinks in my garden. So I ordered it tonight. Well, "it" was actually ten bushes. I'll plant a few in the church garden but where am I going to put the rest? I think several would look lovely by the Perovskia atriplicifolia, partially line the walk with a few more and put the rest in the bed vacated by the English Ivy. ( Follow this obsession here, here, here and here). The new bed may not drain well enough for roses and I still have a cubic yard of dirt, stones and large roots to excavate.
Do you know the spell check on blogger does not recognize the words blog and blogger?

Enjoying February

February Delights
This post is a conscious effort to live in the moment. I'm tired of winter and long for spring, so do I just wish my life away or enjoy it as is? At my age, why would I want to hurry time along anyway? So here is what I delight in this morning, February 26. Watching the almost full moon set while the sun rose. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. The flock of geese who flew across the moonview this morning. Joking with hubby this morning. Sons got up when called. Three hours at home this morning without husband and sons. Samson came when I called him. Wool socks. Coffee and more coffee. Finding the one piece I needed to link a large piece to the edge of my jigsaw puzzle. Several good books waiting to be finished. The friendly visit from the neighbor. Prayer walk at church and people praying for our schools based on the display I completed this week. The funny, sad, insightful, thought-provoking blogs I just read. Time to jot off this post.
Jigsaw Puzzle
On impulse I bought a jigsaw puzzle for 25 cents at Goodwill. I don't do puzzles often, perhaps one every two years or so, because they are like a siren song. Every time I walk by the table, I have to find at least one more piece. And what redeeming value is there in a puzzle? Please tell me that research has shown they stave off Alzheimers or something. This one is a killer, an Oregon meadow. I quickly assembled the edges and several distinctive features, but now the pieces look all the same and it is only half done.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Thursday Three

Thursday Three
Courtesy of Possumblog
1) What is the strangest car you have ever owned?
It is strange only that it was SO not me (and SO my ex-husband) - 1957 souped-up Chevy.

2) What is the worst car you ever owned?
I'm not a car person so I can't tell you the make or year, but it was an old van (60s? Dodge?). I remember the color - turquoise and white - and I remember when it started belching black smoke as I left the parking garage at work.

3) How many wrecks have you been in?
Age 16 fender bender (my fault, but that woman in front of me shouldn't have slammed on her brakes to avoid going through a yellow light). No accidents for most of my adult life until 2004 when I hit a deer and then hit a friend.

4) SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION! Recall for us your most memorable drive-in experience.
I've recalled it. Thanks for the memory jog. More recently, we went to the drive-in outside a small town north of us, over the boys protests as they wanted to go to the large movie theatre in the large city south of us. It was their first time at the drive-in and they loved it! We backed in and they lay in the back of the Suburban with pillows and blankets and snacks and drinks while Mom and Dad sat in lawn chairs and made snarky remarks about the movie.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Ron had a physical this morning and last night at the dinner table I told him that the nurse practitioner (female) would be giving him the exam instead of the doctor (male). "I'm not so sure I want a woman to give me the physical. You know, the cough." Hubby pipes up that he would rather have a woman do it than a man. I immediately laughed and then caught the look on my sons' faces - shock that their father said it, amazement that I laughed, transcended by the excitement of the thought of a woman... I figured I better relieve the tension, so I shot back at Steve, "Only if she was a battle-ax." Both boys burst out in laughter totally unwarranted by the remark.

Oh, Ron grew five inches and gained 40 pounds in one year.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Late Posts: I found these posts in my "drafts" and wondered why I didn't publish them. It appears that they are from April 2004. I'm publishing them now, not for you, dear readers, but for me so I will have a record of my incredibly interesting life. Ha!

Wisdom Teeth

Rick went to school today with swollen jaws and he was concerned about kids making fun of him. I counseled him to respond, "Yes, it was quite painful, but I toughed it out." We'll see tonight how that worked.

And he did tough it out. He had a hard time eating but finally got half a milkshake down, so I gave him the prescribed dosage of pain medicine. It made him very shaky and he vomited repeatedly. I called the pharmacy to confirm that the dosage was right, since he only weighs 80-odd pounds. They confirmed it was appropriate, but I checked it against an old prescription for me, and it was a full dose. Poor guy, no wonder he got sick. He then refused to even take it, so I gave him regular Tylenol.

For the first time in my life, I was ambivalent about the arrival of spring...until the temperatures reached the upper 50s yesterday. You see, we put in several hundred feet of drainpipe in December and the yard is still tore up. I was sooooo sick of mud and was glad to see it freeze and then the snow covered the mess. I knew I was facing major mud this spring, what with a dog and boys.

Then it got warm, and the crocus started to break through the soil. A crabapple branch I brought in is starting to bloom. I spent all weekend outside (when I wasn't nursing Rickers). We cleaned out the scrub trees and bushes between the meadow and the woods and had a huge bonfire. The activity felt good and I slept so soundly.

Windburnt Cheeks

Windburnt Cheeks
Why do I enjoy pruning so much? I spent Saturday afternoon at the Highlands, our tree farm, snipping away at the hardwoods, envisioning how each cut would make the trunk straight and tall. Ron brought the dog along and, while they spent most of the time exploring, Ron was quite intrigued by the art of pruning, discussing where each cut should be made.

I pruned five rows of walnuts and oaks interplanted with pines, with wild cherry, tulip poplar, and sycamore volunteers. The current theory in forestry is that the pyramidal shape and faster growth of pines will create competition for the walnuts that will cause the more valuable hardwoods to grow straight tall trunks. You then thin out the pines to give the hardwoods room to grow. It is difficult for us to test this theory, thanks to the varmits (deer and rabbits) that think the juiciest morsel on the tree is the terminal bud, thereby creating tree candelabras.

When pruning young hardwoods for a crop, the key is to create a strong straight leader. For the candelabras, you select the straightest, strongest shoot and train it to be the new leader through pruning and taping. Here's a link and another that explains it well. I didn't do this research until now, but relied on the counsel of Uncle Sandy, the family tree expert. He taught me well.

Pruning season is through March in this area and I have thousands of trees left. So I hope we have some more sunny, relatively warm (upper 30s) days soon. While I may not live to harvest this crop of trees, I will start to see the results of my pruning this summer and can make corrections next winter.

Oh, and the wind blows all the time at the Highlands. That's why my cheeks are red.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Carnival of Recipes #27

Carnival of the Recipes #27
Want to try a winning recipe. Check out the carnival.

Thursday Three

Thursday Three
Since I submitted the questions, I should have thought of answers first. Having a marketing background, I'm used to throwing ideas out and then picking the best, but the ol' Possum decided to use them all. So here goes:
1. What did you give your Valentine this year?
er, nothing but my love and a few spontaneous poems during our nightly walk

3. In grade school, what was the Valentine’s Day protocol?
Grade school was over 40 years ago (how can that be?) but things haven't changed much. We decorated boxes before the Big Day, brought in cheapo cards and decorated heart-shaped cookies. Back then we did not have to bring in a card for every person so much angst went into picking just the right card for each person and then extracting the deeper meaning for every card received.

4. Did you ever have a secret Valentine?
For four years in high school, I received a huge mushy card in the mail and I never did figure out who the shy lovesick boy was.

5. What would be the most romantic day/gift you could have?
Time alone with hubby! I never realized how precious it was until the children came.

6. Are you and your Valentine romantically attuned? (Huh? I mean, do you have some need to express and receive romance?)
Yes, we are both romantics.

7. Is Valentines Day a non-event for you? If so, what, if any, romantic traditions replace it?
It is a non-event. We detest Hallmark days and think every day is a great time to express our love for each other.

8. What was the most romantic time you had with your Valentine? (Romance, not sex, guys!) [I am not certain that pointing out this distinction should necessarily be directed at the male of the species. But, be that as it may, it is probably best that we stay away from discussing things that require doing a load of laundry the next day. Ed.]
Don't laugh, but one of our first dates involved walking through a frozen swamp in the moonlight, including crawling through thickets on our hands and knees. He said he fell in love with me that night because I put on a warm hat. That really sounds unromantic but....I guess we are attuned romantically.

9. What do you and your Valentine find romantic that others wouldn't?
See answer above.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Wait a day

Wait a day
There is a saying about Indiana weather (and perhaps said many other places also) - if you don't like the weather, wait a day. Yesterday felt like spring. It was warm and overcast. Hubby even took a bicycle ride in the afternoon. Then last night the rains came, followed by sleet and then snow. (If rains came, then should sleets and snows come too?) I awoke to a hushed world of white.

As I turned on the TV to check for school delays, the power went out. Ricky was immediately up and out of his bedroom, flashlight in hand, ready to take charge of this emergency. Of course, he had to replace the batteries first by my candlelight.

As the house got chillier and there was no coffee (why o why didn't I make it as soon as I got up?), Steve took charge. He fired up the generator so the corn stove would work and I could make coffee. I took my coffee outside just as dawn was breaking, with the soft colors of a winter sunrise. The stars were still shining in the west and the sky turning blue in the east. It was awesome.

The power came back on in time for showers and the house cleared out as the males went to their various schools. And I looked at my store boughten daffodils and longed for spring.

NOTE: At Ron's request, I deleted several sentences about a minor uproar that ensued after Ricky put the batteries in the flashlight. "Mom, you can only put up good stuff about us." It wasn't bad, just typical teenage brothers squabbling, but I'm glad Ron is uncomfortable with his behavior.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

February Garden

February Garden
It feels like spring. The snow has melted, except where it was piled high by shovel and snow blade. The melted snow reveals the dog's treasures in the front yard - blue promotional balls from the HS basketball games, red water bowl, a green Mountain Dew can. These are the only splashes of color I see when I go outside and they are soon picked up. It is a gray, grey, gurray day. I've seen other bloggers post pictures of crocus blooming. That is still a month away here in northern Indiana, although I find some crocus leaves emerging, a hopeful sign of spring. So I turn and walk indoors to enjoy the daffodil bouquet on my table, courtesy of Krogers.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

High Speed Internet

High Speed Internet
Life online has become much easier as of a few hours ago! I was holding out for DSL, but finally caved in for the more expensive cable access. Of course, the boys continue to be appalled that we did not get cable TV also, but when the boys have their own homes, they can make that decision for themselves. There is enough electronic distraction in this house already, and hubby and I watch TV perhaps an hour a month.

So the first thing I did was play around with the free web space they offer and came up with this so far. I added links, tested the photo section, and used the 500 words they gave under "About."

Update: I can't make the above link work in any browser, but I'm working on it!

Link now works!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Are you challenging me?

Are you challenging me, young man?
When Mom lived in Arkansas, several families often visited at the same time. One fall we struck out on a cross-country hike to Strawberry River, where we always had great fun wading, building dams and generally messing about. There was no trail so when we came to a small stream, Hubby, ever the gentleman, offered to find an easier fording spot for his 75-year-old mother-in-law. With a look of annoyance on her face, she demanded "Are you challenging me?" She then jumped across the stream in a spry manner, and continued after the others.

Several years later the families took a hike on North Sylamore Trail from Gunner Pool to Blanchard Springs. My sister and I tried to talk Mom into skipping the hike. No luck. At the halfway mark, Sis and I took a break and laughed at how Mom was outhiking everyone except her 8-year-old great-grandson. Don't challenge her!

I really should have learned. When Mom moved home into an apartment last fall, I insisted that she did not have enough room for a family gathering and that it would be too much work for someone who was almost 82 years old. This week she had an elegant and delicious sit-down dinner for 20 to celebrate my brother's birthday. Don't challenge her!

Thursday, February 03, 2005


This entry was inspired by a great line from PossumBlog:
I said a small prayer of thanks for being so uncool that such an embarrassing situation as had transpired had absolutely no impact on my overall level of hipness.
As a parent of a student council member, I worked the concession stand for last Friday's high school basketball game. As I was stashing money in the ultra secret spot, I turned my head to say something to someone. At that very moment someone dropped a bottle of Mountain Dew, I stepped on it and went sprawling in front of a gazillion ultrahip high school kids. Son did not even consider this embarrassing but came right over to help me up. The ladies insisted on bringing the trainer in to look at my knee and ankle and all I could say, "No, I didn't shave my legs."

Which brought to mind the great country western title, "Did I shave my legs for this?"