Friday, October 20, 2017


No school today, so I took the kids to Rader Farms.  On the way there, Sarah said, "Is it just going to be us, or are we going with friends?"  I said, "It's just us.  Aren't we enough?"  She said, "Sometimes you're a little too much."

Thursday, October 19, 2017

No funerals here!

I had my first parent-teacher conference this morning.  As I was getting ready, I realized I don't know what one is expected to wear in this situation.  I assumed pajamas would be inappropriate, and sweatpants were probably not a good idea either, but are jeans good enough with a nice shirt?  That soon became a moot point, because my jeans are all too tight at the moment.  Must stop eating so many chips.  Anyway, back to the drawing board.  I put on a decent pair of black capris with a forgiving waist and a black shirt.  Then I feared I might look like I'm going to a funeral.  I went to the living room and had a conversation with Sarah:

S: Is that what you're wearing?
M: Ummm...maybe? Would that be wrong?
S: Depends on the look you're going for.
M: I guess I'm going for...responsible parent?
S: Don't you have a blazer or a cardigan to dress it up a bit?
M: No. I'm not a blazer/cardigan kind of person.
S: I guess it's OK, but you look like a child.
M: Thanks.
S: What are you going to do with your hair?
M: Well, I washed it.
S:  Hmm..
M: I'm going for the clean look.
S: Why don't you go blow-dry it and then I'll curl it for you?
By the time I located the blow dryer (which I haven't used for years) and dried my hair, there was no time for curling.  I decided to go for the on-time look.

Turns out the funeral attire wasn't necessary, because every single teacher had great things to say about Sarah.  The science teacher was especially impressed and seemed to know her well and genuinely like her.  I asked him how she was doing socially, if she got along well with her peers and was making friends.  He said yes, but when I pressed him on it, he admitted, "She's a little bossy, especially with the boys, but they need that, and I think they respect her for it."  Every teacher said she was respectful and well-adjusted.  She is thriving, and I'm very proud of her!

Here's her first quarter report card:
 As for Noah, he finished his driver's ed class at the high school with a 97, and the teacher gave him a pass so he won't have to take the driving test when he gets his license.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The one that got away

Whenever my kids ask me to do something for them, I always try to show them how to do it themselves.  They can both quote this line, because I've been saying it to them since they were little:  "Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime." 

Today Noah asked me to sew a spot in his shirt that he had ripped.  I showed him how to thread a needle and make the repair.  Later he came to me with the gash ripped open again, and he said, "Our fish got away..."


I was teaching Noah about Archimedes and his famous quote: "Give me a long enough lever and a place to stand, and I can move the earth."
Noah was unimpressed.  He said, "Give me a phone and fast enough internet, and I can do anything."

Friday, October 13, 2017

Barkless and biteless

Noah was giving me parenting advice at lunch.  I can't even remember what it was now (because it wasn't good advice), but it was something involving threatening Sarah with some ridiculous consequence.  I told him that idle threats would ruin my credibility, and he said, "Well, I do it all the time.  I'm all bark and no bite.  Actually, I don't have much of a bark, and I have absolutely no bite to back it up."

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Biting the magical genie

I was making a grocery list, and Mike and Sarah were giving me their requests.  I said something like, "It must be nice to just wish for something and then when I come home from the store, it comes true.  I'm like a magical genie or something."  Sarah mumbled, "A magical genie that gets angry sometimes..." and Mike said, "Hey, don't bite the hand that feeds you!"  Sarah replied, "If I bite it, won't it just drop more food?"

Special friends

Carol was probably at least 50 years older than I was, but we always liked each other.  We had similar interests, and I appreciated her gentle, fun personality.  She died a few years ago, and her daughter was left with the daunting task of sorting through years of Carol's collections.  Among her possessions was a box with my name on it, and her daughter gave it to me recently.  Inside were lots of letters I had written to Carol over many years.  The first one I found was written in my ten-year-old-just-learned-how-to-write-in-cursive writing.  I wrote letters from summer camp, college, and my first home as a newlywed, and she kept them all.  She was always faithful to write back too, but I didn't keep her letters.  Also in the box were newspaper clippings from when I made the honor roll, my college graduation invitation, and pictures from my wedding.  I sure loved Carol.  She and my grandma were both rare treasures, and I look forward to seeing them again someday.

Here's an excerpt from a six-page letter I wrote to Carol on October 5, 1997:
     We do get some sun on our house, but we have a couple big shade trees. Unfortunately, they're messy trees that spit walnuts all over the yard and the neighbors' yard, which doesn't make them happy.  We're thinking of having them removed (the trees, not the neighbors), but I think I would miss the squirrels that scurry around in those trees in the winter.
     I hope you can come over for lunch on the 20th.  You can get to know Mike better.  He's a wonderful person, and the more I find out about him, the more I like and admire him.  I'm now writing with one hand pinned down by a sleeping, purring cat.  Doesn't having a peaceful cat on your lap just make you so happy?  We have one cat that purrs at the mere anticipation of being petted.  They're so easy to please.  I can't imagine why everyone doesn't own at least one cat.  The world would be a happier place.  That's my theory anyway.  You can see why I'm not running for President!  My whole campaign platform would be "a cat in every lap!"