Friday, July 30, 2010


I have been writing a number of posts that I have not posted. Because upon review, I feel like Goldilocks - ooh, that one's a little too maudlin. Yuck, that one's a bit self-indulgent. (This term just makes me feel like Simon Cowell .) This one is definitely too pointless! Just excuse my summer brain. Further proof that I am in a moment of dislocation. Which you would know, had I posted those posts.

Please enjoy lovely pictures of my lovely children at Apple Hill. We stopped at Moravian Falls, NC on the way home from Cleveland. I love that place. And I especially love my friends there! In a special coincidence, Tom & Naomi were there visiting - our long-time family friends from Blue Ridge, GA, and the minister that married Rick & I. Old home week! Four uses of the word love in one paragraph - stop my beating heart! Remember, what you repeat becomes true - I love Friday!
Enjoy your weekend...

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Open Letter

An Open Letter to the Various Manufacturers of Newborn and Infant Products:

Dear Sirs/Madams:

I have been receiving heavy mailings from many of you recently.

High-value coupons for Newborn Swaddlers, monthly coupons for $3-5 off of formula. I have even received two formula samples in the mail, and a stray newborn diaper sample or two. Gerber infant food coupons, baby life insurance - it is a veritable deluge.

(Universe, you are not funny!)

The first few mailings I could take, and laugh off to error. But when the cans of formula started arriving in the mailbox, and even a bottle sample?!? I had to take action.

I appreciate the quantity of personal reproduction information you must have filed away on me. I am the first to admit that, yes, I have a number of children. And I can see how, according to your calculations, it must be time to add to that number, as my youngest has just turned two. I truly applaud your initiative, as it were, but I have a statement to make for the record.

Dear manufacturers, whom I have supported well and often over the past nine years: I will no longer be needing your services. It is not, in fact, breeding time again. Not even your glorious $5 coupons can change my mind this time, though it pains me to say it. Your itty-bitty diapers did not bring up a well of sentiment, and your baby food especially did not make me wistful.

I ask that you stop and desist these erroneous mailings immediately! I am no longer laughing, and in fact, when I fetch the mail and find infant information - I am prone to language that my chidren should not be hearing. Sending newborn mailings to a mom home with four in the summer is just wrong!

Now, if you have any summer camp vouchers handy, or valuable food coupons - those I could use. Or, and I know this is stretching it - some Pull-up coupons? With Toy Story on them? That is completely in line with the direction we are going. Really. Age it up a little. We are still in the toddler phase, after all.


PS/FYI: I have tried on numerous occasions to give away our infant carseat over the past year, to no avail. I even took it to Goodwill - and they refused it. Again, Universe. Enough with the Not Funny.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Story telling

Rick got home from Arkansas late last night.

I had saved up the week's stories for him, and we sat up chuckling over the kids and their week of quotes and adventures. He said I tell the stories the same way I write them. (Or don't, as the recent case may be!) Or maybe I write them the same way I tell them?

Which came first, the story or the voice?

Well, I've been missing my writing time lately. Summer has proven too busy for me to steal many moments alone. And when I do get a moment, it is punctuated by noise and interruption. Imagine!

It's hard to be creative when the noise of a Tonka fire engine is blaring under my chair, so I just wander away from my desk, feeling incomplete and overflowing. I'm realizing that if this writing is ever to be more than a hobby, I will need to carve out time consistently. Time to get the stories out of my head and into the light of day.

And that time can only come with the summer's end - which I am not too eager for. Lazy unscheduled days...

One thing that I have had time for is my inbox. Clicking and deleting takes very little concentration! I confided to you about the over-600 number of messages - and I have now cleared out over 1,000. Which leads me to add, blushingly, that the over-600 number was for unread emails only. EEK! I must be on Hotmail's hit list. Most Frequent e-Subscriber That Never Reads Her Subscriptions. Who knew that cleaning house would include an inbox?

That's my story.

I leave you with the Tea Party from last week's visit with Gigee. (Whom Phoenix calls Dea, so we are trying to switch her name to Dea, to be more user-friendly! Youngest makes the call!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Almost Wordless Thursday

And hey! It's not even truly wordless! Since it's not Wednesday anyway, who cares. Though, honestly, this needs no words, which was why I intended to post it last night. Oh the sweetness of that first tooth... and the wonders of all the stuff that fits in the space. (Hey Mommy! A straw fits in here!)
So then Phoenix had to show me his (non)lost tooth. The tooth fairy really needs to stock up on one dollar bills. I mean, she has paid out the same ones *several* times now, the ultimate recycling! (Sure, honey, I will keep your money safe for you...)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Mama Comes to Visit

The whirlwind keeps spinning - next up is a visit from my Mom!

Nothing like a pile of kids to distract one from life's gravity. And that is what will surely go on here - lovin' and distractin' to the core.
This is a shot from my quick Washington visit. After all the funeral occasions were attended, we disappeared to Lake Jehu ( behind Mom's house) for a few hours.
It was so relaxing to sit in the midst of family and just enjoy being. Being... alive. Being... healthy. Being... connected. Effortless, really. To sink into a comatose, gazing state brought on by grief and exhaustion. And blink into awareness in time to savor the small moment of quiet beauty. A grandmother and her boy. The cycle keeps spinning, and though we see it, we do not always savor it.
This photo goes out to the savoring part. Cherish the mother. Smother her with that pile of kids and their lovin'!
Thank you so much for your sweet words, cards and emails over the past weeks. Being connected isn't effortless, but it's worth it... ;-)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back in Black!

Sorta. I mean, I do like to wear black. Mostly I'm just *back!* from *Cleveland!* I almost told you all I was going, but then I got randomly freaky about these here internets, and I deleted that part. So, hey! - we went to Cleveland to catch up with The Lear Famille. And then a best bud of mine said I had been missing in action, and in light of the recent posting, I thought Hey! I could've slipped into depression! I need to let The People know I was only in Cleveland!

So here I am and the only black today is the mood that Todzilla put me into. He was all like "Scree!Argggh!I'm SO TWO!!!" and I was all like, is there a toddler military camp handy? Tasmanian devil.

Then he fell asleep and was so dear that my eyes got teary and I forgot how awful he had been. And that is why mothers are given such short memories. The end.

I am about to spread bedtime wishes and kisses to more Learlings, but I wanted to check in before Things Begin to Happen again tomorrow. Here are the kids and some cousins from Ohio, and me with Rick's niece Marie. Are we not so totally patriotic? My SIL Mary got us all shirts, and I was part of the family, and I found it fine. Fun. Plus, me with some hollywood eyebrows going on? I love this shot. I'll be black *in* blue next time. Wearing blue, that is. I don't know why. I just like the sound of that.