Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Do You Do With . . .

  1. Half-burned candles -- I don't burn candles anymore. I've heard too many scary fire stories from people to close to me.
  2. Worn out jeans -- I know that fabric is good for something, I just don't get around to using it.
  3. Baby teeth -- as the tooth fairy, I have a collection of baby teeth, not clearly identified. Seems somehow ghoulish to hang on to them, but disrespectful to throw them out.
  4. Unmatched socks -- I never know when to give up hope that the mate will appear.
  5. Old photos -- I have digitized many of them, but can't bring myself to toss them. Photos of the children of friends. I was delighted to see them at the time, but is it OK to toss them after a year or so?
  6. Old booze -- how long do you hang onto a half drunk bottle of madeira wine, Baccardi rum, Tequila, or Tanqueray gin -- they must be at least five years old.
  7. Old unplayed musical instruments -- we have two flutes, a piccolo, three guitars, a drum set, a violin, a set of bells. and a piano.
  8. Empty flower pots and vases -- I always think I'll use them some time, but in truth, I just move them from one cupboard to another.
  9. Rubber bands -- I have a drawer full of them -- some rotten, some good.
  10. Old lunch boxes -- still good, only used one year -- doesn't every kid want a new lunch box when school starts?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New and Shiny

Haircuts are a family affair for us. Holly cuts our hair and she also entertains us with her show "50's at the Hop" now playing in Branson. We plan to take it in sometime in August, possibly when a German foreign exchange student joins the family for the school year (not our immediate family, but our larger local family). My hair color is now entirely natural -- all coloring has long since grown out -- wonder how long I'll be able to leave it that way.

Also new and shiny is my new cell phone. I thought about getting an iphone, but I consider additional features a liability, not an asset. I'm from the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) design school. You have to first learn about them and then you have to use them in order to justify their existence. I'd rather use all that time quilting instead.

I've ordered new and shiny minimalist glasses as well. They should arrive in a couple of days.

My new and shiny dishwasher is getting my old and dull dishes bright and shiny again and my new garbage disposal makes keeping a bright and shiny sink much easier.

I'm dazzled and dazzling -- maybe I should have ordered new sun glasses.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ben



Ben blows out the fifteen candles on his fruit-filled birthday cake while great-grandparents Bernice and Arlan look on. We celebrated a couple of days early so the family could be together. He shares his birthday week with Krista -- we celebrated her yesterday as well.

At fifteen, Ben continues to be a wonderful, kind, and considerate person. He is very bright, loves to read and play on the computer, so his birthday gift of a Kindle was joyously received. He happily spent the day reading the pre-loaded owner's manual and hasn't yet downloaded any books. (I wish he'd hurry because I'm eager to download a title for me so I can determine if I want one for myself.) The size 30/34 jeans I got him fit pretty well, although if they made 28/34's, they would fit better. He is very slim, but seems quite strong and healthy. He eats meat very reluctantly and would much prefer to be a vegetarian. He chooses fruit, especially any kind of berry, over other sweets. I have no idea where he comes by these preferences, goodness knows I provide a horrible example.

His feelings about eating meat stem in part from his love for animal life. This past year, he changed his career goal from entomologist to biologist, deciding his interests were broader than just insects. He seems to prefer animals in nature to pets. He would love to save whole species and wishes he could go to the rain forest to do that. He is very eager to travel and complains on occasion that he has never visited a foreign country except for a brief visit to British Columbia.

His social outlets are mainly through groups. This fall he will participate in both band and choir and he enjoys his affiliation with the church youth group. Today, he will travel with the band to Kansas City to watch a band competition -- they aren't going to participate. He relates very well to adults and holds sustained conversations better than I do when my friends call. And people enjoy talking to him, commenting on his social skills and maturity.

He looks forward to learning to drive and will be eligible to get his permit after his birthday. I plan to leave the driving lessons to his grandfather.

He continues to bring me joy on a daily basis. I am so blessed to have him (and his brother) in my life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night


I've mentioned before my idiotic habit of standing outside during an electric storm, wildly clicking away with my point and shoot digital camera. My hope is to randomly capture a photo of a lightning bolt. So, last night I was at it again, standing on the front porch frightening the neighbors either because they feared I was insane or because they didn't see me standing there and assumed that each flash of my camera was yet another bolt of lightning. If you have used a camera like mine, you know that the operator has limited control. I can push the button down, but the camera, with a mind of its own, decides when it will really get around to taking the picture -- the delay ranges from microseconds to an eternity -- at the whim of the camera. It has a lot to think about, focal point, light, recovery from previous manic clicking, etc. So, the photos I'm posting are three consecutive photos taken from my front porch last evening over maybe a minute's elapsed time.
I actually caught a flash of lightning, unfortunately no bolt was visible. Ah, well, another storm is forecast today and I have a fresh supply of batteries.
In the meanwhile, I have to go suck up the water from the floor of my flooded John Deere room.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Logan's Itchy Bumps


Logan has been getting itchy bumps on his arms, legs, and torso for several days now. They erupt either as an itchy semi-round elevated bump surrounded by a flushed area or as an elevated line also itchy and surround by redness. He's been spraying them with Benadryl and they quickly subside only lasting less than an hour. That makes it hard to take him to the doctor because they come and go so quickly. They itch like crazy when present and look a lot like hives except I've never seen hives in a semi-straight line like on his arm in the picture above


This photo shows one of the line type and a few of the semi-round ones. I was thinking allergy to the dog, but we were out of town for a couple of days and away from the dog and he still got them. I do think it must be some kind of contact dermatitis. Any ideas?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ben's Birthday Quilt (ssshhh)


Here is Logan holding Ben's birthday quilt -- he was determined to get in the picture, so I didn't crop him out. Ben doesn't know I'm going to give him the quilt, but I asked him if he preferred the blue one or the one below and he chose the blue. Logan has said he wants the copper one, so I guess I'll hang on to it and give it to him for Christmas. By that time, it will be cold again and we will enjoy snuggling under them when we sit around and read by the fireplace.


Ben's birthday is on July 20th -- he was born in the wee hours, just past midnight. This year, at his birth hour, he will be riding a bus on his way home from a a Drum Corps Festival in Kansas City. He is going as a spectator with a bunch of kids from his school band -- they ride up Monday afternoon and arrive home at 2:30 A.M. and guess who gets to go pick him up when the bus arrives. Also guess who is very eager for him to turn 16, get a driver's license and drive himself home from late night events!

The Sunday before his birthday we will have a "feast" (his word) to celebrate his birthday and also Krista's. He loves the tradition of having people gather at our house to celebrate. I do too. Want to join us?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Doin' 40 on 4 on the 4th on the Back 40


The fourth of July came a day early this year. We celebrated on the third with Rachel's family in Paola, Kansas -- our third year with them for a potluck and fireworks. It's hard to say if the fireworks or the quads are the bigger draw as far as Ben and Logan are concerned. This is the first year they were able to ride alone and they loved it. They rode a circuit around the property, behind the pond to the fence back by the tree line. With three vehicles and at least a dozen riders, they kept the engines roaring for several hours.

Fireworks with Kevin are a tradition we established nine years ago and Ben and Logan look forward to it each year. It seems as if Paola is also becoming a part of the tradition.

Nick is showing Logan how the thing works -- he should know, he lives here and it's his machine, but Logan was a fast learner (and a fast driver!) In the background, you can see the other two vehicles just heading back in.

This morning we drove home from Kevin and Rachel's, arriving just in time for Julia and Arlan's birthday celebration at Ash and Amanda's. As usual, Amanda did a beautiful job as hostess with lots of red, white and blue food -- pretty to look at and tasty, too!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Caption Contest


  • It's a Dog's Life
  • You Play, You Pay (this taken the morning after an overnight party)
  • There's Got to Be a Morning After
  • In the Good Old Summertime
  • Wake Me in Time for School
  • I Was Just Faking, I wasn't Really Asleep!
Winner will be awarded a two hour uninterrupted nap. Decision of the judge is final.