Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Noah:  I want to name my son Sean.  I also like Mitchell.
Me: What if you have a girl?
N: I don't want daughters. They're too expensive.
M: But what if you happen to have one?  Will you give her a name?
N: I'd name her "Too Expensive" and call her "Tootie" for short.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Flower dissection

We've been learning about plants in biology, and this week's lab assignment involved dissecting a flower.  I couldn't find many flowers in the wild, so I went to Johnson's Floral and asked if they had any old flowers they were throwing away that we could use for dissection. She said they didn't have any old ones, but she generously gave me a lily, a tulip, and a carnation and wished me happy dissecting!
 Shadow almost started the dissection without us!
 All the cats were very interested in licking the flowers and would have eaten them if I hadn't rescued them.
 First he peeled off the sepals and petals, then pulled off the stamens and cut open the pistils.  It's all very fascinating!
Noah will have to wait till later to fill out his lab report, because Shadow is standing on it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

poop sniper

Noah was wearing a pair of long underwear, and I pointed out that they were backwards, because the wiener flap was on the back side instead of the front.  He said he wears them backwards on purpose because there's a hole in the knee that he's trying to hide.  I told him that he could poop out of the wiener flap if he was very accurate in targeting.  He said, "Oh, I'm VERY accurate when I poop. I'm like a sniper!"

Scenes from this morning

Nothing super exciting happened on my trip to take Sarah to school this morning; I'm just feeling bloggy.
 She wore a flower crown to school, which reminded me of my favorite character from one of my favorite movies...
Dead Poet's Society
 I dropped her off at school without incident.  Mike gets into a regular honking battle with the bus drivers when he drops her off, but I don't make any waves.

I was impressed to see the principal, Mr. Hoffman (a.k.a. Mr. Hotman) filling in for the crossing guard.  Very impressive.  I'll bet he was impressed by my pajamas too.

On the way home, I came to a stop sign, and the person on the other side of the intersection was stopped at his stop sign.  He motioned for me to go, and I thought, "Woo hoo! It's my turn!" but before I blindly entered the intersection just because some stranger gave me permission, my better judgment took over and I checked for traffic.  Good thing I did. The guy was waving me directly into oncoming traffic.  I made a mental note to make sure Noah knows to use his own brain and not rely on the vague gestures of other drivers.

Then I came to a sad part of town: the run-down building that was the former site of a church that has since moved into a newer building.  It takes up an entire city block. It used to be a lovely church, but now it's just an eyesore.  The sign out front still proclaims:
But really, is this glorying God?
I think they should change the sign to something like, "God loves you way more than He loves this building" or perhaps, "Do you have holes in your life?  Let God fill you up!"

I started this post by saying that nothing super exciting happened this morning, but I just remembered that something did!  There was a song going through my head, and I was mentally singing along, and when I turned on the radio, that song was on...right at the part where I was singing in my head!  That's happened to me a couple other times in my life, and it always blows my mind!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

This plate has a story to tell:

This is the final resting place of one of my plates.  Shattered and scattered for almost a whole block of South Ohio Avenue.  How did this happen?  I'll get to that, but first...

When I was 23, I bought my first house.  It was a tiny two-bedroom in the slums.  I used old mismatched dishes from garage sales, reasoning that I would put fine china on my bridal registry.  Shortly thereafter, I gave up on ever finding a man to marry me, so I bought my first set of matching dishes: a lovely set of Corelle at an outlet store.  Literally the next week, I met Mike. He must have been attracted to my dishes.  We got married without ever registering for fine china, because after all, I had my $45 set of Corelle.

I don't think we broke any of it while we lived childless in that little house in the slums.  I think some of it got broken in the move to our first house that we bought together.  Then we moved it to our first house in Morton a few years later.  The next move was just across town to our current house.  By now we had children, and they had probably broken a few dishes in the course of being children.  But by far the biggest number of casualties occurred on the tile floor in this kitchen.  I'd never had a tile floor before and hope I never do again.  It's like a dish magnet, and it has no mercy. 

So we were down to only three plates when the tragedy occurred. Yesterday Noah was outside playing basketball and eating a burrito.  He left the plate on top of the car.  Then we went to Pekin.  Noah was driving.  We made it a few houses down the street when we heard a crash and I turned around and saw shattered glass.  I asked Noah if he had hit a glass bottle or something, but I thought it was odd that I hadn't felt a bump.  That's when he remembered the plate.  He said, "I apologize to you, and to the plate, and to the people who might run over what's left of it."

This year we celebrate 22 years of marriage.  The set of dishes I bought as an old maid gift to myself has been whittled down to two plates.  It's kind of ironic.  Soon our teenagers will fly the nest, and it will be just the two of us left with one plate each.  I refuse to buy any more good dishes until we live in a house without a tile floor.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


I am a non-waster.  My kids accuse me of growing up in the Depression.  I didn't, of course, but I was raised by this guy, who did:
 I hate to waste anything, especially food, which is why I still have a bag of split peas that I bought for my biology class a few months ago.  We extracted pea DNA from a few of them, and it's been a challenge to use the rest of the bag, because I despise split peas.  But I don't waste food, so every time I make soup, I throw a few split peas in the pot.  Not many, because I don't want to see, smell, or taste them, but they get lost in the rest of the soup.  There's only about a quarter of a cup left in the bag now.
 There are about 20 split peas in this whole pot of soup.

I don't even waste the parts of food that we consider inedible.  These rinds are going out to my compost pit. 
 These are cards from the spelling curriculum I used several years ago.  The backs are blank, so I write my grocery lists, notes, etc. on them.
 I have a scratch paper file that is full of any junk mail that has a blank side.  Noah uses it for figuring long math problems.  Then it goes into the recycle bin, along with lots of other stuff:
 A true non-waster would make her own vegetable broth from vegetable scraps (and sometimes I do), but sometimes convenience wins.
   When I've squeezed out all the toothpaste I can, I cut the tube open and scrape out another week's worth.  Same with lotion, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
I don't even waste my cats' fur.  When I brush them or give them a trim, I throw their fur out in the yard for birds to use as nesting material.  Last spring I watched the parents of these baby robins pick up bits of cat fur from our yard, carry them back to this nest in their beaks, and weave them into it. I love the fact that these little birds grew up surrounded and warmed by my cats' fur.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Just another manic Monday

It's cold, windy, and rainy, so I know the school pickup is going to be crazier than usual.  I leave early to get a good spot, but all the spots (good AND bad) are already taken by the time I get there.  I  circle slowly with all the other vultures, waiting for the doors to open and vomit out our junior highers.  Twenty minutes later, an angry, waterlogged creature whips open my door and starts complaining about where I parked.  We argue about that most of the way home.  Then she wants to know what's for dinner. 
Me: Soup.
Sarah: What kind?
M:  Potato, sausage, and kale.
S: Real sausage?
M: Real veggie sausage.
S: *SIGH* I'll just find something else.
Now we're home, both kids at the desk working on their individual algebra lessons.  They both hate algebra.  I like it, but these people are getting close to making me hate it.  They both want my help.  Sarah looks at her problem, full of variables, signs, and numbers, and asks, "What kind of witchcraft is this?!"
I shush her and ask her not to distract Noah, who still has a lot of work to do.
Ten minutes later, Noah is having a fit about his problem, and I shush him and ask him not to distract Sarah, who still has a lot of work to do. 
After I help Sarah untangle her witchcraft, I try to make cornbread muffins, but I have to continually mediate the sniping going on in the school room.  Not my favorite kind of day.