Hasty Hog ...

... and Swine Flew
My big boys are in day 2 and 3 of swine flu. That's why I missed posting as usual on Monday. Lots of catering, temp taking, and hand sanitizing going on here. The attendance secretary at the local high school said to expect them to be out all week! I thought two days --- three days tops, and they'd be back in the swing of things. But it looks like a long week.
Send prayers!


A Little Crack

Give a ten-year old a camera and sit him in the back of a truck on a long drive .... and you're likely to get a picture of a crack. What crack --- whose crack, you wonder???

The crack of his own arm, of course! Aim the camera just right, and any parent might be fooled into thinking they'd found a photo of some other kind of crack in the photo cache.
Oh, the joys!


Seventeen Years Ago

My Oldest - born today, 17 years ago! I was probably the greenest mom you ever might've met. At my baby shower, I mistook the baby bathtub for a baby carrier. The other, experienced moms just took another bite of their hanky-pankies and looked at each other in an "oh, my" sort of way. And they were right. What a shock that they let us drive away from the hospital, all alone, with this little, fragile person! We made lots of little oops-es with him along the way, and since he's firstborn, we're STILL making
oops-es as we muck through parenting him as he approaches adulthood. The lot of the firstborn is certainly challenging!
What a handsome and thoughtful baby, though - nicely round c-section head. Very little time in the tunnel for him before he had to be yanked out from the other direction. Poor, poor baby!

We took rolls and rolls of photos in the hospital as we got to sit up and play with our new babe most of the night. Learning to breastfeed took up most of those long hours. Neither my husband or I will ever forget the lactation consultant's embarrassingly odd coaching, "Make a sandwich!" Husband promptly went out to re-park the car. I wished I could disappear, too.

Seventeen years ago today!

Father, thank you for gifting us with this son seventeen years ago today! Please continue to guide and grow him, more and more into the image of your Dear Son!


Brotherly Love?

When my boys were little, they LOVED each other. Fond smiles, caring pats and sheltering hugs were part of their daily relationship - as well as angry swats, sneaky shoves and bratty gestures. But still, along with the nasty was the nice! They weren't inhibited at all about demonstrating either back then.

As they've grown into almost-men, they've left the nice far behind and rarely are seen even fondly smiling at one another. I miss that for them (and myself), but society does have its way with our boys as they grow, even if immediate family ways contradict.

That's what makes this picture so much fun! Did I happen to snap a photo of brotherly love? Sort of ... not really. It was during an exciting game of family b-ball that this happened. The hug is really just another funny way to get the ball away from the brother and back into play. But, for me, it was also a reminder of those milder times. One of those glimpses I am treated to, as my sons grow into men, of the little guys they used to be.


"Swift Transition"

I don't like change. I don't even move the furniture around. During my career as a classroom teacher, our teaching team adopted a year-long theme of "Change" - I found that to be uncomfortable, too. But, as the saying goes, "Change is the only constant!"

The first time I heard this song, I was driving to a OB appointment, about to burst with my first son. I had recently quit my teaching job and was trying to adjust to the overwhelming change of leaving that behind to become a full time mom. Hormones raging wildly, this song gave me a reassuring word, and I rewound my little cassette tape to listen to it over and over. Blew out two of these cassettes (Under Their Influence by Russ Taff), and finally bought a CD from ebay.

While listening to my iPod this week, this song came up and the words touched me especially again. My life is especially filled with "swift transition" right now, and it's giving me a few (figurative) hives and kinks. I listened to it a few times and grabbed onto His unchanging hand a little more tightly. Thought to post it here for you - sure would like to let you hear ol' Russ sing it, but I can't find a link for you that doesn't have Bill Gaither involved somehow! Enjoy these lyrics!

Time is filled with swift transition
Not of earth unmoved can stand
Build your hopes on things eternal
And hold to God's unchanging hand

Trust in Him who will not leave you
Whatsoever years may bring
If by earthly friend forsaken
Still more closely to Him cling

Hold to God's unchanging hand
Hold to God's unchanging hand
Build your hopes on things eternal
Hold to God's unchanging hand

When your journey here is ended
If to God you have been true
Fair and bright your home in glory
Your enraptured soul will view


Fair Finds

Another installment of the Country Living Fair Photo Finds! What a great time we had out there in Columbus in the fall sunshine - wish I could take a do-over on that day.

This sun sculpture with the eyes! They shone like this from far away, too. I've got the zoom up on this photo. Nice to look at, not nice in the home - much too creepily cheerful.

Concrete soap dishes...??? What? It was in a 'primitive' items booth. Guess that explains it.

Funky/chic mannequin. There were people actually dressed like this in the crowd!

Not your typical fair food! I stood in line for the bruschetta and roasted red peppers - skipped the meatballs. It was delicious! I didn't miss a corn dog one little bit!



We're listening to From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler on audiobook right now. Of course, you have to visit the art museum as a field trip for this book! I love the art museum, so this was no hardship for me. Although I used to take my boys years ago, when they were smaller (for classes and tours), I haven't been for a while. Having teenage sons in the homeschool is not conducive to the art museum trips - at least it wasn't my family. But taking my Youngest, who didn't even remember ever having been to there, seemed like a great idea. The color, the history, the architecture, the nudes.....!
I guess I forgot how many nudes there are in art. Nude women in sculpture, probably the most startling for My Dear Boy, as they are full-sized and, ahem, so realistic. But naked ladies were on bowls, canvas, coins, and ancient drinking cups, too! My Youngest mostly ignored it mostly, to his credit, not snickering or pointing. He did scold me for taking this photo, above, though. "Mom! Don't take a picture of that!" It is beautiful, though - isn't it? Graceful and fluid. I couldn't resist taking a snap of it against the beautiful green background of trees and sunlight.

He did feel it was needful to talk about it on the drive home. Puzzling over what he had been told about turning the channel when 'immodest' women appear on TV during football game commercials, and trying to reconcile that with all the breasts on display at the museum on a school field trip. I puzzled my way through some explanations - art for art's sake, the beauty of the human form as God created it, differences in cultures and time frames, etc. But I'd like some clarification, too. So let me ask you Other Mothers something:

How would you explain nudes in art, specifically the difference between that and nudity in the media today?


The Mud Cure

Hey! Did you see Monday's post on the Apple Carpet? (below) You moms had to be thinking about how dangerous that must be for the children. Were you? Did you? Well, you were right.
My Youngest took a hefty sting from a yellow jacket. He tried to be brave, but yellow jacket stings are just - OUCH! So, I made the sting cure-all --- a nice mix of mud. Seems like that wouldn't do a thing but get a boy even dirtier, and yet it works! Way back when my Ohio Sister-In-Law first came into our family, she told us older moms about this cure, and I have to admit, I politely nodded while scoffing in my heart. But you now what? Next time one of my little guys got stung (while running wild and naked around a inflatable pool), I tried the Mud Cure. The tears stopped within minutes, and the mud was easily washed off later. This many years later, I'm still faithful to the Mud Cure. It may look messy, but it works! Go ahead and scoff, but next time there's a nasty sting, make some mud and watch those tears dry up.

(I managed to get this photo because he wanted to see what his own sting, and the mud, looked like.)


Apple Carpet

When we moved into our home fifteen years ago, we discovered an orchard of apple trees. I say "discovered" because we didn't know they were there! We visited the house, which was for sale by owner, several times before buying, touring the house, yard, and basement. But we never noticed the apple trees (or the single peach tree). I'll never forget the day my husband came running inside to announce what he had uncovered. Did I say the house and yard were in bad shape? Yep, heaps of junk inside the house, basement and outbuildings, and entire areas of our one acre yard covered with invasive vine.
The peach tree, a white peach, died a couple of years ago, and only a few apple trees are left now. We didn't spray the fruit when the kids were small, not wanting them to walk around chewing pesticide-laced fruit. And you know they would have. Making matters worse, we didn't prune - have to prune the fruit trees to get a quality yield, right? This summer, several branches have snapped under the weight of the fruit. The apples are not good for pies, or even for eating, since they are badly misshapen and shared by many other critters.

Just look at all the apples on the ground! It's a carpet of rotting apples! Glad my Grandma can't see our lavish waste spread out on the grass - a feast for bees, wasps, butterflies, and yellow jackets. If you click on the photo below for a close-up, you'll see the many, many yellow jackets enjoying our apples and making themselves a danger for anyone wandering near.

If I could just find a cider press....


Aging Beauties

The zinnias are aging their way into fall.

A fresh bud...

... later, in its glory ...

... and getting old but still wearing a crown!


Fair Finds

Here's a little more on the Country Living Fair in Columbus. Because I loved it! So many SIGHTS! I think I might be a little odd, in my craving I have to see new, different, unusual things! Or maybe we're all that way? And this Fair was just jam-packed with something remarkable at every turn of the head. Unusual people, objects, activities!

The Fair was held right next to (?) the Ohio State Fairgrounds in a historic town - Ohio Village. Not only were there wonderful vendors and antique dealers everywhere, you could go into the buildings and experience history through a re-enactor. We visited the Female Seminary and learned all about Victorian tea rules - My Wonderful Husband was fascinated.
This dear woman (below) was one of the park volunteers who assisted in the square dancing. Her tag says "Columbus Bucks and Does"! I thought that was very funny, and thanks to the zoom on my new camera, I could get this photo without embarrassing either of us. Or my Husband!
She wasn't dancing, but the other Bucks and Does were helping volunteers through a round of square dancing. You know I begged Husband to play square dancing with me and the Bucks and Does- but he was a brick wall.
no way
My man has his limits - no square dancing and no charades at parties.
But here's a little of it for you to enjoy.

I greatly desired (!) this blue sewing basket still jammed with its original goodies. Bought it with my camera -

Of course, hats were everywhere! I thought this one was particularly "special".
I love hat events!

The Village had a garden. Every plant was from heirloom seed, having been preserved through generations. How cool is that! I did manage to frustrate (oops) one re-enactor by asking too many questions about that heirloom seed thing. I mean - think about all those plants being grown from seeds originating in the 1800's! I wanted to know more about that, but didn't get very far in finding anything out. The sunflowers bent down to look at us while the garden re-enactor harvested sweet annie.
More fair photos to come!