Monday, July 31, 2006

Eating in and out

D1 is not, as toddlers go, a picky eater. Not only will she eat nearly anything that's put before her to eat, she persists in trying to swipe raw onions off the cutting board, even though every time she makes a face and spits them out. Hope springs eternal.

Nonetheless, there is definitely a hierarchy of preference in her eating. Peaches come above waffles, for instance. And thus, when peaches came on the waffles, she decided to make use of her carefully-honed food-hiding skills, casually dropping them into her bib as she went along. She asked for waffle after waffle, and I absent-mindedly handed them to her and went back to cooking the rest of the waffles, eating my own food, feeding D2, and playing cribbage. It seemed odd that she was eating two entire waffles, but sometimes she's hungry.

Unfortunately, food hiding, like murder, creates the problem of disposal of the evidence. She pulled the waffles out of her bib, plopped them back on her plate, and, as if nothing had happened, asked to be excused. We informed her we would be happy to agree, as soon as she had eaten the waffle skeletons that remained.

As it turned out, it was a good thing she ate such a big breakfast, since we went to Home Depot that morning and lunch was delayed more than two hours while we matched screws, compared shower rods, and waited in line for our screen door behind a lady who needed ten of them.

Thanks to a kind friend, we had a house-warming gift of dinner out to use up that night. Now, when I eat out, I want to eat something I would not cook at home. I see no point in paying $10 to eat mediocre mashed potatoes. DOB is adventuresome as far as cuisine goes, but he was a bit skeptical about the neighborhood of the East African Restaurant I had read about, and also not impressed with the dour demeanor of the proprietor, who seemed upset that we were monopolizing a table for four when there were only two adults in our party.

However, when a giant platter arrived, covered with a piece of flat sourdough bread and piled with various stews, DOB's concerns vanished. The core grain of Ethiopian cuisine is teff, something I once tried to cook with when I was allergic to everything. I didn't know what to do with it, though, and it never tasted good. The cook, who was as jolly as her husband was solemn, clearly did know what to do with it, as well as what to do with collard greens, red lentils, cooked cabbage, and other foods that I never have had much luck with. D1 gobbled up the spicy meat, the boiled egg, and the greens and lentils, but she seemed a little skeptical about the bread. Maybe she'd already had enough for the day.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Technological Lags

As you might have guessed from renewed ranting, we are back online. Moving means all your appliances break down simultaneously and all your possessions get lost at the same time (throw in cranky kids off their usual schedule and surroundings for good measure). One by one, things are coming back into function, although it seems like we're losing or breaking them just as fast.

Anyway, we're back in the twenty-first century when it comes to internet access. Our laundry facilities, however, are hovering circa 1950, as the washing machine is hooked up, but we can't figure out how to get rid of the gas dryer that came with the house so we can hook up our own. (DOB is supposed to call about it, but keeps forgetting because we've also lost his Palm Pilot. Maybe this will help.)

So I've been hanging laundry out on my small rack, on the patio railing, and on a kind neighbor's fence. All those rhapsodies about the smell of sheets fresh off the line are very well, but they didn't mention how many ants and spiders you have to kill in the process. (It might help if one had an actual line and clothespins, and thus it didn't blow in the grass so much.)

The ducklings love the new park, which is much larger and older and more squirrel-infested than the former park. We haven't made much use of the back yard yet, as I suspect poison ivy. Plus all D2 wants to do is climb the stairs, which gives him splinters.

Meanwhile they are growing up whether or not I have time to notice. D2 has learned how to stand on his own, much to his delight. He also is fascinated with raising both hands above his head, perhaps indicating a current career goal of either being a grizzly bear or a Pentacostal preacher. I say "Roar" when he does it and DOB says "Hallelujah!" So far D2's utterances sound closer to the growl.

D1 is, at last, starting to discover the word, "No." She still uses it primarily in an informational context, wandering around muttering to herself: "Is D2 eating pizza? Noooo. Is D1 eating pizza? Essss." She has also started making up random rhyming words ("Pizza-dizza"), something she picked up from Papa. I greet this with mixed emotions, knowing it's an important stage in linguistic understanding and vital for ultimately developing reading skills . . . and also knowing that inevitably, she will quite innocently come up with an obscenity, probably at the top of her lungs in the supermarket.

Boring Parents

The number of catty things to say about this woman who is bored by her children are mind-boggling, so I will limit myself to one. Given that the only things that seem to interest her are her hair, shopping, and work, if she wants to find the source of boringness in her household, the mirror is a good place to start.

What truly mystifies me is why it is presented--by both sides--that the only parenting approaches are either devoting one's every moment to waiting upon their every need, or dodging them at every opportunity. Are the only places to put one's child in the priority list somewhere well above God or somewhere well below the hairdresser? Must one either talk as if one delights in wiping up every drop of drool, or spend one's days complaining to the girlfriends about the fiends you bore?

I certainly hope not, because neither approach sounds human to me, or beneficial for children or parents. What one does with children is raise them. This implies that they start out rather lower-downish and end up rather higher-uppish. It also implies that the parent is higher-up and remains there until the child catches up.

So, no, good parenting does not require one to remove from one's mind every thought or interest that has not entered the mind of a two-year-old. Quite the opposite. My chief duty as a mother is to be a worthy person of emulation: spiritual, intelligent, curious, interesting. My second duty is to actually spend time with them--and yes, enjoy it-- so they have the chance to know and emulate me.

Fortunately most pursuits worthy of human endeavor are every bit as interesting to children as to adults, especially if the adults give them half a chance to understand what's going on. I feel no obligation to surround my children with things I don't care for, no matter how proper they are considered to be for children. I don't like children's television, beeping electronic toys, elaborate crafts. We don't have them. I do like reading, cooking, music, running around outside. We do those--together.

There still are, especially at this stage, a fair proportion of things that they enjoy that do not particularly enthrall me. I do not get a huge thrill from climbing up a flight of stairs over and over. I don't like drool. That's ok. Love means caring enough about a person to put up with an occasional divergence of interest or moment of ookiness. I also have no interest in football, but I do not run screaming from the house every time DOB wants to check the stats, nor do I proclaim to the world that my husband is a boring lout. (Because, as it happens, he is not.)

The author winds up by proclaiming that all children need is food, clothes and being told that you love them. Perhaps. But if you tell them that you love them while avoiding any contact with them, what exactly do you mean by "love"?

Edited to add: A belated HT to Barbara Curtis of Mommylife for passing on the article. Although I shouldn't need such kind remarks to remind me of my netiquette, I do very much appreciate them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

If I had a hammer

We spent the past weekend in northern Indiana at a family reunion. Yes, it's insane to try to do a three-day vacation the week after you move. (Especially if you're trying to fix all your food in a hotel room housing six people.) But we had a great time, nonetheless. We went biking and boating. D1 wowed everyone with her knowledge of colors. D2 played in the dirt.

On the last evening, everyone was gathered around playing games and such. One of DOB's second cousins had brought a large array of scrapbooking materials to show another relative how to make a miniature scrapbook out of paper lunch bags. Scrapbooking isn't really my thing, but DOB and brothers were not yet up to speed on playing Dutch Blitz, so I thought I'd try it out for a little while until they had practiced some more.

After I selected the bags and folded them in half per Cousin's instructions, she set her cutting mat on the floor and gave me an awl-like tool and a small hammer, to punch holes along the edge.

"Now, you have to put some oomph into it," she said.

It's been a while since I built a tree fort, but swinging a hammer is something one never forgets. If oomph was needed, oomph I could supply. I took the awl in hand and swung five or six times.

When I started to take the awl up, it seemed a bit stuck.

"Oh, sometimes it sticks in the mat," Cousin said.

I pulled harder. It came free, leaving a neat circular hole not just through the booklet, but all the way through the cutting mat. I decided not to investigate to see if I had cracked the brick floor.

Fortunately she was good-humored about the destruction of her cutting mat, but she was more careful in her instructions thereafter, and I tapped the remaining holes more gently.

Perhaps I should take up carpentry instead. Or maybe roofing.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Moving interlude

I'm blogging from the library because, you're right, Uncle Steve, I'm addicted. We're supposed to have internet next Monday, but who knows when we'll actually get the computer set up.

The moving advice I read to pack the can opener in your purse was less useful than it might seem, since we didn't eat anything canned for several days, unpacked the other can opener in the first box, and left my purse behind. However, it was handy when we needed to open a package of cheese in a hurry.

What would have been good moving advice would be to make sure the Martha Stewart Baby magazines are thrown away before you move, instead of lying around as the only available reading material. It's not good, when one is struggling to find the diapers and supper, to start feeling guilty because one has never hand-appliqued gingham animals.

Yesterday I locked us out, on the hottest day of the year, without hats, shoes, or water. A good way to meet the neighbors.

Friday, July 14, 2006

So long, farewell

Until whenever it is that we get the internet hooked up at the new house. It might be awhile, since the last time we looked it over, we couldn't even find a phone jack. (That kind of settled the question of whether we should try to get by with dial-up.)

And while you're missing us, you can play with this. HT to Text Savvy.

I've heard the screams of the vegetables

No, this has nothing to do with what I found when I cleaned out the refrigerator, although there was a strained encounter with some three-week-old tuna salad.

It's the Duchial Anthem. Or at least its Theme Song. If I've posted it here, it hasn't been for a long, long time. It's Carrot Juice Constitutes Murder, and if you don't have it memorized, you need to listen to it. You really do.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Moving angst

The thought occurred to me today that perhaps it was only the labor associated with moving that I hated, and perhaps if I had someone else doing all the work and hunting up all the boxes the thrill of a new adventure would override the turmoil.

No such luck, I'm afraid. I do like adventures. But at the end, I like to go home. And moving doesn't just mean changing homes; it means ripping apart one home and having to wait for another to be built.

Oh, I know, home is supposed to be about the people inside and not the place. Maybe it's because I lived in the same house for the first twenty-four years of my life, but for me, home must be the place, too. Not just the pictures, but that picture in that spot on that wall. Not just the people, but the ghosts of those people in years past.

Home changes over time, of course. It changes slowly and sporadically, like the people and relationships in it. Moving out is like ending one of those relationships. Suddenly all the forgotten promises and all the misguided actions come back to haunt me: the spot where I was going to put up a shelf, but never got around to it; the scrape on the wall where the chair bumped it; the wall I thought about painting, but didn't. There it all is, and instead of working things out with the house, I'm just walking out cold. Memories of failures in my earlier relationships come back to haunt me, too. I never did get the closets sorted in the other places, either.

There's the new house, all glamorous and waiting, of course. It is a nice thought. But I'm getting jaded. It has its flaws too--I can see them more quickly now. I know the work that will go into getting settled in. I know it will be months before it feels like home; before we finally get that bathroom wall painted and the towel rods up; before I find the right spot to keep things. I suspect I'll never get the closets sorted.

Add to this that my brain quickly overloads on decision-making and sorting; add the challenge of putting things in boxes faster than the ducklings can take them out; add fatigue and the need to keep everyone fed and clothed and napped while moving all the materials. Sorry, I tried. I still hate moving.

The good news is twofold: first, it will end someday; both this move and all moves. Someday, I will be Home. Second, I have angst to spare on my houses because I don't have any in my love life.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

You know you really need a break . . .

. . . when you find yourself looking forward to a visit to the dentist's office because you'll get to lie quietly for twenty minutes.

And you know the situation has become critical when the visit exceeds your expectations. The chair was exquisitely soft, the river raging past the window relaxing, and the gentle scratch of metal upon enamel a soothing lullaby.

It was fabulous.

The hygienist said that if I really wanted, I could make another appointment for next week.

We're packing up everything

Wake up and smell the chocolate

Among the many reasons I have had for not developing a taste for coffee, its inherent wimpiness has always been a strong one. It always seemed to me like it would be embarrassing to confess (as many people proudly do) that one cannot get out the door in the morning without the aid of artificial stimulants.

This week, I need artificial stimulants. I am rediscovering the truth that a sleep deficit works like a monetary deficit--if you run up a large debt, and then return to your barely-getting-by state of existence, you will never get caught up. This is also my first move where I have no born organizer standing at my shoulder telling me how to do it. No, this time I must think. And my head hurts, probably because I whacked it on the towel bar at 4 a.m.

Last night, as I was rejoicing in the strength and comfort to be found in a bowl of vanilla fudge swirl, DOB pointed out that I need to give myself permission, when necessary, to administer chocolate medicinally when alone. I don't eat for fun while I'm alone. When I'm alone, I eat cold leftovers and raw fruits and vegetables spread with peanut butter, and just enough to keep from keeling over. Chocolate should be savored with a very good friend.

Today, I needed help. I could barely keep my head upright and the piano movers were coming at 10:30. (We helpfully cleared a path to the patio door, only to have them decide the ground was too wet and they had to go out the front, so they moved all the boxes out of the way again to go out the front door.) So I ransacked the cupboards and boldly consumed the stimulants I could find: a cup of black tea and two squares of organic dark chocolate.

Yeah, I'm an amateur. But it got me off the couch.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Parental ramblings

Things I vowed I wouldn't do but now do:

Snap my fingers. My mom always did this to get our attention when she was on the phone or we were out in public. It drove me crazy. Now I do it. It's handy, not too loud or obnoxious to those not targeted, and gives me a brief moment in which to gather my thoughts enough to figure out what words to use.

Say, "We don't do X." I always thought this was quite false, although my actual memories of it date from it being applied to younger siblings. Maybe Mom didn't do X, but clearly the child did or why would it be an issue? Now I realize that it's more a way of communicating that the prohibition of X is a law of general moral or practical applicability (We don't bite, whine, play in the toilet water) rather than regulations limited to a specific time, place, or age (You may have only one cookie). Of course, my own childhood experience ought to demonstrate that it doesn't really communicate that, so perhaps I need a different phrase. Maybe "We shouldn't do X."

Things I still vow I won't do:

Say, "You're being a bad example." Now, I concede that occasionally, pulling an older child with a strong personality aside and briefly pointing out their potent influence on the younger and more impressionable children in a group can be productive. I'm not talking about that, but rather about the promiscuous use of this phrase in front of other people of every age and condition. I've heard it used in the grocery store. I've heard it used on children not yet two. I've even heard it used when I, as an adult, was the only other person present. Clearly in these cases the parent was not trying to develop latent leadership abilities. I was completely puzzled as to what they were trying to do, when I finally realized the unspoken end of the sentence: "You're being a bad example . . . of my parenting skills." Too bad. Children don't exist to exhibit your parenting abilities, and they're not going to be moved by your embarrassment. Nor should they be.

Take my children out in their pajamas. (Except possibly to very early morning church services.) On the other hand, I have not the slightest qualms about putting them to bed in their clothes; in fact, I nearly always do, since cotton play clothes are cheap and readily available, while cotton pajamas, past 12 m size, are rare and expensive.

Things I refuse to feel guilty about not doing:
Daily baths. D1 at least got them every other day when she was a baby, and she had terrible diaper rashes. D2 gets baths about once a week, but yesterday he got two hot ones in a row in an effort to soak an infected scratch on his leg. This morning, for no other apparent reason, he had his first-ever nasty diaper rash. I'm going to subscribe to the theory that frequent bathing washes away natural protective oils. Fortunately his scratch is about healed.

Baby signing. This is the thing to do these days if you're an involved and concerned parent. We tried a few with D1, and she picked them up, but she usually learned to say the word about the same time. I'm trying to convince D2 to learn "more," but he prefers his own invented sign, which is banging both hands on the tray and hollering at the top of his lungs. He would seldom have cause to use "all done." And I don't know enough other signs to really teach him much. Sure, baby signs are supposed to help stimulate verbal development and improve communication skills. But I bet Demosthenes, Cicero, and Patrick Henry never had such advantages. So I don't think I'll permanently stunt my children if I never get around to teaching them.

Random Conversation:
DOB: I love the smell of Crayola crayons. Basically for the same reason you like the smell of your grandpa's cigarettes.
QOC: Your grandpa smoked crayons?

Random Observation:
If you have a baby who is learning to pull himself up, you should either always wear long, sturdy pants in his presence or shave your legs.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Sorely Trying Day

DOB wanted me to chronicle last Friday in the hopes that we would reread it next year and remember to watch a fireworks display close to home. It's so difficult to recapture the overwhelming nature of everyday difficulties, but I will try.

So we were all tired and cranky after not only staying out past eleven on Tuesday night, but leaving for the airport a six on Thursday morning to welcome home DOB's sister and a friend from Taiwan. We survived Thursday surprisingly well, but when Friday came we were all quite tired.

D1 and I spent the morning at loggerheads over the issue--I'm sure I could have settled this in five minutes on a normal day--of whether her baby and bear could drink real water or would have to settle for imaginary water. I finally distracted her with playdough. (Anyone who thinks small children have a short attention span has never encountered them in their natural habitat.) D2 climbed around on things and clonked his head intermittently, as is his custom, with a bit more crankiness than usual.

We went to the chiropractor, which was a good diversion, and when we got home it was nearly eleven. All the better, I thought, we'll have an early lunch and then I'll put them to bed. I was more than ready for both, myself. I soon realized I had forgotten to feed D2 since early that morning, and as far as he was concerned, lunch should have started half an hour ago. So I begged him to give me a couple of minutes to attend to some personal business, and then I settled down to nurse him. D1, meanwhile, was beginning to protest that she wanted some lunch, too. My tolerance level for other people's misery was skating close to zero. Still, I thought, if I can just make it to naptime.

Then I heard running water. It was not any appliance obligingly doing its work without my input. It was the toilet, and by the time I realized what it was and got in there, two crying children following me, the bathroom was an inch deep in water. Despite an overwhelming wave of panic, I managed to stop the water by unorthodox means, threw any towels within sight on the floor, shut the door and went back to feeding D2.

We were mostly through with his feeding when D1 asked to go potty. This could not be done in the customary spot, but we went to the other bathroom. Unfortunately, it was too late. Doubly unfortunately, it was her first accident of the day, which meant she was still in regular underwear and there was a puddle at some unknown location amidst all the boxes and piles of things to be put in boxes. D2 cried some more.

I went back into the other bathroom to get dry pants and realized water was seeping under the door into the carpet. I grabbed all the remaining towels in the house and threw them on the floor. This helped, but now I needed a place to put them, which required taking the drying rack covered with clean diapers and pants out of the tub. Since I never did figure out where my bag of clothespins went after the Christmas pageant, none of them were attached and several items fell off into the lake.

D2 was still crying. I set him in his chair and tried to finish his breakfast leftovers, but he was too tired to really eat. D1 had found the experience of using Papa's potty so thrilling that she wanted to repeat it, even though she didn't need to go. I had her sit down and eat lunch, but she whined through most of it and finally declared herself all done and ready for a nap. I declared D2 the same and put them both down as quickly as I could. It was not quite noon. I sat down and ate a little myself, as I cannot sleep on an empty stomach, and lay down to take a nap.

Usually, on a day like that, everyone sleeps a long, long time and awakes in a much better disposition. I think they were too hungry to sleep long. Anyway, D1 woke up at one o'clock, just as I had had enough nap to get thoroughly groggy. I figured he was still hungry and fed him some more. He ate obligingly but showed no interest in going back to sleep. I decided I didn't care and at least he would be safe in his playpen. So I put him back down and ignored his occasional protests. By this time D1 was beginning to protest, too, but my legs were unwilling to move.

At about two I finally gathered enough strength to get up and go get D1, who was protesting with good cause, having had another accident. The bathroom still wasn't clean. D2 wanted to follow the action wherever it went. The house looked like Thing 1 and Thing 2 had just visited. I was still too tired to move.

DOB, meanwhile, had been apprised of the situation and did what he could: he called his sister and entourage to come over and help. The thought of people actually seeing the state things were in moved me, and after sitting down and reading a few stories the ducklings were in a better mood for playing alone, so I frantically cleaned up the bathroom, put the surviving hanging laundry away, cleared the dining room table and consolidated the dishes into the sink. There was plenty left to ask for help, which they graciously supplied.

I'm still tired, although today it's been complicated by trying to play softball yesterday and being too stiff to move. What I want is a workout, a leg massage, three hours alone to clean up the house, and someone else to fix dinner. What I might get, if I work hard, is a workout and half an hour of intermittent opportunities to get dinner and the dishes moved along.

But at least the toilet hasn't overflowed so far!

Friday, July 07, 2006

And the winner is . . .

DJ! At least, he got the answer that agreed with mine, perhaps because he was the only one who interpreted the song the same way I did. (Technically, yes, the little one isn't "left out" when the ants go marching one by one, but he always stops so he always gets left behind and has to hurry to catch up.)

The easiest way I can think of to set up the problem is to mentally line up all the numbers involved (10)(9)(8)(7)(6)(5)(4)(3)(2). You must include 7, because no other number under 10 is divisible by 7. If you keep 9 and 8, you don't need 6, because any number divisible by 9 and 8 will be divisible by 6. You can eliminate 4, 3, and 2 for the same reason. You already have a 2 in 8, so you don't need it in 10--just keep the 5.

That leaves 9x8x7x5=2520, plus the little one.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Shopping Aldi's

After we moved, we discovered that our grocery bill had jumped $15-20 a week, an amount that adds up very quickly since we, like many people, eat every week.

Despite two growing appetites, we were pretty sure we weren't eating that much more, and I watched carefully to see that no frozen dinners were leaping into the cart. After a few months of calculations, we finally realized the cause: I didn't have an Aldi's close enough to shop at any more.

With that kind of money out of pocket, DOB was even willing to take on part of the shopping excursion himself. So he found an Aldi's close to work and now plans to go there at least every other week.

To prepare himself mentally for this exercise, he read up on the Evil Empire. Apparently they're even worse than Wal-mart. They actually pay employees high wages in an attempt to bribe them out of joining unions! Can you imagine? They strong-arm the oppressed, like Kellogg's! And they make obscene profits of 3%, twice the standard in the industry!

Furthermore, since they're privately owned, they don't tell anyone what they're doing with all that money!

I know I, for one, would rather spend more on my groceries in order to support greater inefficiency in the grocery industry and public inquiry into the private spending habits of reclusive German tycoons. But DOB is not convinced.

Packing up

I actually am packing now. (Well, not now, although I should be.)

I have learned something from the last few moves, but not enough.

One thing I am doing differently this time is making sure my good dishes are packed with the company placemats and napkins, and the everyday dishes with the everyday dishtowels. Somehow they got swapped last time, which was most inefficient in unpacking.

Also, I am NOT going to wash everything once it gets there. I'm putting clean dishes and towels in clean boxes, and they will go in a closed truck or car. They're not going to get any dirtier than if I was taking them to a potluck. So if you come to visit us in the next couple of months, consider yourself warned.

I am not following the excellent advice I read to pack stuff in the same boxes as last time so as not to create doubts on the labeling. Every time we have moved we operate on the grab-a-box-and-get-moving principle. A few more moves on this system, and every box will have had the chance to hold every household item. We must waste a terrific amount of Sharpie ink.

I have learned that cheap packing tape does not save money.

I still haven't learned how to keep track of the scissors, tape, and pen. Do not offer helpful advice like "Put them down in the same place each time," or even, "Wear big pockets and put them in the pockets." If you think that is helpful, you do not have a random mind and cannot possibly understand.

D1 likes to help, of course. She wants to dictate the labels on the boxes, which would be unclear as she only knows four letters. Fortunately we're doing "CHINA" today, and as that begins and ends with her two favorite letters, she is satisfied.

D2, who could be parked in a carseat six months ago, is now ready to try climbing the piles of boxes. I had better go find him.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fourth of July

We had a good Fourth of July, which, as I grow more maternal, means no burns, bites, or temper tantrums. I accessorized a new skirt, courtesy of Their Majesties, with a string of beads swiped from D1's bead-stringing pouch. I figure at this stage of life I can get away with it. D2 loved playing with it.

D1 got blindsided by a volleyball being used as a kickball, but recovered quickly. She and DOB had a fabulous time on the hayride. D2 was amazingly still and willing to watch all the excitement from the confines of my lap. They both remained fairly cheerful right up through the fireworks show, which was spectacular but eventually put D2 to sleep.

During the day I had a chance to speak with a friend we only see occasionally. Her little girl is within a few weeks of D1 in age. We chatted about the joys of potty training and the lives of toddlers. Then she mentioned her news. This past early spring, while I was struggling to adjust to another baby in the house, she and her husband were burying a tiny baby with the same name.

We talked through the causes and consequences, and then she asked about my family. She hadn't heard about my father's remarriage and we talked about the adjustments people were making.

Later on, I wondered. Would I trade the little boy wiggling on my lap to be able to confide in my mother? Would she trade the intactness of the family she walked away with to be able to play with her son?

I don't know. I can't know. I'm glad I don't have to know. It is a mercy that the things which are so far beyond our wisdom are also so far beyond our control.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I Need to Keep This Link Around

This is something to read on "I am an Evil Mommy" days. Even right before a thunderstorm, I can outdo daycare.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

It would seem logical to post . . .

. . . that we did, in fact, close on our house this Thursday, though it was a matter of nail-biting suspense until the last minute, with mortgage-company calls, late attorney, departing seller and all sorts of fun and games.

Yesterday we started working on getting the floors washed, waxed/sealed and ready to move in. There's little else to be done. Here's two pictures to show some of the work we didn't have to do:
Our sellers live right down the road; they have done this for several houses around the neighborhood. Apparently the husband gave up more lucrative work in the building industry just because this is what he likes to do. I like that. I also like people devoting their time to conserving things, refurbishing things, and making their own neighborhood a better place to live rather than just moving on to something new. Plus, it's nice to think that if the wall falls down, we know where they live.

Today, we got a beautiful, Danish-make table with pull-out leaves and three matching chairs at a yard sale for $50. It should round out perfectly what we need in the kitchen. The seller even drove DOB over to drop it off at our house. DOB found it unusual to ride in a truck sporting a skeleton-in-a-suit bobble-head on the dashboard, but apparently his taste in home decor was better than his taste in truck decor.

While we suffered from a shortage in tables, we still have too many bookcases and china hutches. (Unfortunately, they are not easily converted.) But we think we can squeeze most of the bookcases into our bedroom. What better place for them?