Merry Christmas to Us!

We finally broke down and bought a new washer and dryer. Our Christmas present to ourselves. Yep, the last set lasted over 20 years–GO, KENMORE! We actually got this set before either one had broken down, too. Do you know what that’s called? Being proactive! GO, TRUBEY’S! The previous washer was a wedding gift from Mom Trubey…”because I don’t want Ann to have to go to the laundromat.” So sweet. So we bought the matching dryer at Sears back in June of 1988. It’s strange that I actually felt some waves of nostalgia wash over me (pun intended) during the days leading up to getting rid of that old set. The strongest ones related to washing baby clothes in that old set. I remember so desperately wanting to become parents. The devastation of bringing home a baby girl only to hear the most terrifying words ever spoken to an adoptive parent by an adoption attorney–“the birthparent has revoked”–and then Jeff came home after we gave that baby back, and he stripped our tiny log cabin home of everything “baby”…but then I pulled a load of laundry out of that dryer and found one teeny, tiny pink sock. And lost it all over again. And then came Sophie. And we had loads of whites, darks, colors, and glorious pinks. And pink LINT in the lint trap. And folding those darling little outfits was just delightful. I truly didn’t mind. Then came Emma, and how was it possible that one little angel baby from China seemed to double, or triple the laundry? But still, it wasn’t really a burden to do the laundry until recently when it seemed that the washer was getting lazy about squeezing out all the water, and so the dryer had to be spun again…and again. And so it seemed laundry was never done. So we took the plunge, and these babies were set to be delivered on the 23rd. I have to confess I did clean the lint trap one last time–just didn’t seem right to send it off full. And I wiped the tops off. Will there be any more baby laundry in the new washer/dryer? Will China ever get those dossiers moving again? Have we seen the last of baby clothes lint and tiny socks in the laundry? And what about that birthday coming up tomorrow? The numbers keep going…up. Sigh. Then in came these pretty red machines–oh so cool! Emma put in her stuffed dalmation puppy (minus a tail that Shadow chewed off) today, and we watched him go ’round and ’round. And Sophie even asked to be awakened EARLY the day after the set came so she could help do laundry (that’s over now). It’s a blessing to have something so nice to make life easier! Oh, and that nostalgia for the other set? What other set???img_0030


Published in: on December 26, 2008 at 7:23 pm  Comments (2)  

Multi-tasking gone awry

Just starting to feel energy coming back after ending one of the more tiresome semesters I can remember.  Tiring for all kinds of reasons, from all fronts.  I’ve done goofy things like put my shirt on backwards on three different occasions in the final week before Christmas break.  And on the blessed Saturday morning when I woke up and knew that I was officially on break, I still woke up around 5:00, but I went downstairs, the house silent, and a sense of peace began to settle upon me.  I fed my dogs and poured a bowl of Cheerios for myself.  Grabbed the milk.  Looked for the Cheerios.  COULDN’T find them.  Yes, my counter contained the usual clutter, but c’mon, how can you lose a bowl of cereal?  I slowed my scanning of the counter top and deliberately viewed each item like I was doing a “what’s wrong with this picture” page in a kids’ magazine.  Hmm.  To the background noise of my lovely golden retrievers Shadow and Abby slurping up their chow, I noticed there was still one bowl of kibble on the counter.  Yep, Abby was delicately scarfing Cheerios out of Pfaltzgraff.  Go back to bed, Ann.

Hey, I just eat what they feed me!

Hey, I just eat what they feed me!

Published in: on December 26, 2008 at 4:39 pm  Comments (1)  


Here’s Shaddy-Boy’s broken toe x-ray (taken w/my cell phone camera–amazing how much you can learn about the technology you own if given time to figure out how to use it!)  Poor boy!


Published in: on November 28, 2008 at 9:09 pm  Comments (2)  

How to save your Thanksgiving turkey

After trying to make a pumpkin pie WITHOUT Shadow’s help, despite his million attempts to assist, I couldn’t fathom how I was going to do turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes–the works.  He’s maybe not any worse a counter surfer than Abby, but he’s taller, ergo, more successful.  I had planned for the last 2 weeks since the local dog park had opened to take the dogs down and check it out…it was close enough that Abby’s normally car-queasy stomach could probably make it.  So, before I did any more cooking, we all had a blast taking Abby and Shadow to the new Spring Hill Bark Park.  There were lots of dogs, and with the exception of one very possessive senior golden girl who didn’t want anyone to chase tennis balls but herself (which Shadow was not about to stand for) everyone got along great.  Miss Bossy got put on a lead right away and everything went great.  Shadow and Abby played their hearts out and made lots of friends.  We noticed toward the end that Shadow was limping slightly, favoring his back left leg.  Abby was ready to go, examining the gate where we’d come in.  (That girl’s never been a dumb blonde!)  We headed home, and the dogs were basically passed out the rest of the day.  Sophie made a fabulous apple pie, Emma was a wonderful stirrer of everything that needed stirred, she set the table, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, and hardly knew the dogs were there!  They did have the presence of mind to come to enough to scarf down their Thanksgiving-dinner laced kibble, but then went right back to sleep.

This morning, however, Shadow was unwilling to put any weight on his foot at all.  We took him to the vet this afternoon, and found out he has a BROKEN TOE.  I have a nice, plain as day picture of the x-ray but I can’t figure out how to post it.  Just something about a doggy x-ray that breaks my heart.  Looks like it was just snapped completely sideways.  Don’t know if it was the scuffle with Miss Bossy or one of the many romps he made through the park, but he’s going to have to wear this cast until CHRISTMAS.  Oh boy…wondering how we’re going to make it.  Keep in mind, he has to GO OUT to potty.  It’s supposed to stay DRY, theoretically.  The boy was born on Thanksgiving last year.  Guess he felt he had to do something big to celebrate.  I sprayed the cast lightly with nasty-tasting Bitter Apple hoping he’ll leave it alone because he wouldn’t stand for the e-collar we tried to make him wear…it’s gonna be interesting.  Right now he’s sound asleep at my feet.  “Keep him as still as possible,” I was told.  Yep.  And anyone who has been around this fellow is laughing.  I do have some tranquilizers and pain pills.  We’ll see.  We’ll all make it to Christmas with the sweet boy, one way or another!  Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!







Published in: on November 28, 2008 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why you should save your old bridesmaid dresses…

I wore the dress Sophie’s wearing in a wedding back in ’89, I think. The dress has outlasted the marriage by some time, sadly. The one Emma has on was given to us by a friend who was thinning out stuff before moving…her kids had been in a medieval-style wedding (the little boy was a court jester…we have that one, too.) Such fun for dress-up! Sophie went along this time, to Emma’s delight. So, why should you save these mountains of satin you’ll never wear again?

Reason #1: You spent a fortune on them.

Reason #2: I know, that was a lame one that any professional organizer would trash. I’m reading your book right now, Peter Walsh. I get it. OK, I truly did save them because I was thinking, some day I may have a little girl who will feel like a princess playing dress-up in these. But it’s heaven (or hell, I guess, depending on how you look at it) to hear her say, “Whoa, Mom,…you were a STICK!” Because, see, I never, ever, thought at that time, that I was anything close to a stick, or even a slender log.

Reason #3: So you can have pictures like this.



Published in: on November 27, 2008 at 7:42 am  Comments (1)  

Baby’s feelin’ blue

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written anything.  (Not counting all the writing that goes on in my head…so many things I want to write but haven’t had time!)  But this, I don’t want to forget, because I’ve personally followed this political race more closely than any other in my lifetime.  I know it, because of Emma’s comment a few posts back about turning on the TV and maybe John McCain would be on.  Too much Fox News.  Maybe.  Well, OK, when she hummed/sort of sang the commercial “Viva…” (can’t bring myself to even type the rest…) I knew I’d been leaving the TV on in the background too much.  Forgive me, Lord.  So ANYWAY, we went to vote early, about 10 days ago.  Emma was blue when we left.  WHY?  “Mommy, I didn’t see John McCain there!”  And tonight, on the way home from Kroger, it dawned on me that she didn’t know the outcome of the election.  I told her, “Sweetie, John McCain and Sarah Palin didn’t win.”  I heard sniffles from the back seat.  Really.  The sweet baby was crying.  And when we got home, she was truly sobbing in the back seat.  Somehow, she had made a connection with that man and woman every time she saw them on TV recently, and she realized that they hadn’t prevailed…she knows what it means to “win” and to “lose”.  So we had a little lesson about how Senator Obama will be our president, and how we will pray for him and how he will be in charge of America, John and Sarah will still be around helping, but God is in charge of EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME…such a sweet, tender little heart Emma has.  Sophie was tickled/amazed as I was to see Emma’s tears and helped me comfort her and explain it all.  Pretty cute.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 9:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Through Emma’s eyes

I just love the way she sees things. I will never get tired of her little running commentary on the world. Two recent ones have been on how the dogs choose to finally settle down for the night. They really like to lie on the cool ceramic tile floor in the master bath. Of course, if I run for the camera they’d have to follow me and I wouldn’t be able to capture the moment anyway, so I’ll have to do it with Emma’s perfect words. The other night they were in perfect formation, lying identically on their sides, Abby in front, Shadow lying right behind her, his nose resting on her gorgeous fanned out tail. Emma said, “Mom, it looks like they made us a small choo-choo train.” And my favorite? Another time they were lying on their sides, this time feet to feet making a mirror image of each other, and the space between their front and back slightly forward-flung legs made a perfectly-shaped heart. Emma’s observation? “I think they’re marryin’.” Life with this little girl? Enchanting.

Published in: on September 19, 2008 at 8:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Go Tell Aunt Rhodie

Yes, I could recognize the tune this afternoon! “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is old news now. I do feel sorry for the old gray goose (some poor unsuspecting farm animal always has to bite it in these elementary music songs, don’t they?) But our girl is learning trumpet, following in her dad’s footsteps now that she’s finally figured out how to make it from her last period math class out in the portables to the band room, grab her trumpet, and still manage to not miss the bus. I feel a bit guilty to confess that when we were told she would need a trumpet but that we could “wait on a mute for a while”, I slyly thought, could we wait on the trumpet and just get a mute for now??? (You have to know our Sophie…)

So Shadow is quite intrigued with the trumpet…slinking up to check out the bell where the sound comes out, shrinking down, backing up, pawing at it, barking…he did have the presence of mind to bring a tennis ball this time in case Sophie wanted to play. Today she played “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and I just died laughing because Emma, ever the encourager, exclaimed, “Wow Sophie, could you play that again?” I glanced at her–and she had both fingers plugging her ears.

Published in: on September 10, 2008 at 8:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Too much political TV??

Hmmm…maybe.  How do I know?  Because tonight I went in to check some e-mail.  Emma said, “I’m going to turn on the TV for you.”  She picks up the remote.  Says, “I think John McCain will be on.”  Seriously.

Published in: on September 5, 2008 at 5:05 pm  Comments (1)  

God bless teachers

Two weeks down, thirty four or so to go. Or, 10 days down, 170 to go. But you know, I really don’t think about it that way, except every once in a while when I feel a little overwhelmed. I’m tired and have a ton of things to do, but this second week of school was so much better than the first, and I have a very nice class, we’ve gotten the stress of being prepared for Parent Night behind us, and are starting to gel as a little family in the classroom. They are starting to realize I’m kinda goofy, and I’m comfortable enough to act goofy, and it’s all good. At the beginning when you don’t know the kids it feels like you are just knocking yourself out, have lurched out of summer into high gear like you’re on a high speed jet and it’s all for…what? Little needy people you have yet to meet, and then you meet them but don’t love them yet like you did last year’s kids…and then you meet them and start to bond. You see all their unique qualities as individuals that are, once again, different than any other kids you’ve taught, and this class as a group also has a flavor and a feel that is different, and you realize that even though you are tired, it’s most of the time a good tired. This is the rhythm of the school year that Jeff has grown used to, living with me all these years.

At home, we are thrilled to see things settling in for Sophie as well. We were so nervous to see her heading off on that bus. Would she make friends? We were taking her from Trinity and people she knew. Middle school is always a big step, but hers would be bigger than most. Amazingly, she’s found a new friend who is in all but one of her classes and she’s right here in our subdivision…they can ride bikes between houses. The phrase “all my friends” is in her vocabulary often. She talks about her teachers often and loves the funny things they say. She read two good-sized chapter books the first week and was very concerned that she not lose them and get them returned to her language arts teacher’s library. She’s forgotten to turn in a couple of things, one that was forgotten, one that was beautifully done and left on the kitchen table…par for the course for her. But she was concerned and is learning…it cost her some “Character Cash”. She especially likes her science teacher and compares him constantly to her 5th grade math teacher, Mr. Nelson. And she told us almost as an afterthought that she’d made the news broadcast team at school last night. Wow! This was because she was in a rush to get out the door to go to a friend’s–the phone had just rung, she’d answered it, and I heard her say, “Yo, Kat! I’m coming!” We are so proud of this kid. Once again, I have to say, God bless teachers. Sophie had a great foundation at Trinity. She’s ready to go because of all the TLC and great teaching she received there. I’ve meant to post this photo all summer. It was taken on the last day of school when Sophie was helping her teacher, Mrs. Meredith Voelz, clean up and move her classroom for the third time that year (LONG story)…Meredith was the perfect person to help Sophie through a tumultuous year and I can’t thank her enough for seeing her job as a mission, and for seeing our girl’s wonderful potential. Yep, God bless teachers. God bless us, every one.

Published in: on August 23, 2008 at 6:36 am  Comments (1)