Tis The Season

It's Spider Season.
And the spiders are attacking. 
One almost as big as a mouse thumped around in here the other day. 
That's AFTER My Wonderful Husband sprayed Ortho Home Defense Max.
It may say KEEPS BUGS OUT on the tag, but what it should really say is, 
"Will cause every spider in the near vicinity to parade across your living room floor."
It's like the Go For It Spider Attractant.

That's my product review, unpaid for, unsolicited, and I'm not taking it back!



I wonder about lots of things.
I ponder over a handful or so.
I entertain angst in honor of a few.
Musings on life come and go through the corridors of my heart, and in and out of my spinning head.
Notions about which I am certain have been amended or just discarded, and up- or down-graded.
One surety remains of all.

And that is huge.

I've told people that I'm in transition.
It seems like the home-ed years might be coming to an end after this one.
Maybe, maybe not.
It seems like I'll need to find something else to DO.
Maybe, maybe not.
It looks like the next part of my life is on the horizon. 
Part III, I'd name it, if my life was a novel.

In sorting, in beginning the sorting, of what to keep and what to eject, 
this simple revelation is like the North Star.
It's the touchstone that is returned to over and over, and over again, beginning in childhood -
Jesus loves me this I know ...
It's a stone grown smooth with the wearing of my wondering, pondering, and sometimes anxious hand.

Are any of you in transition too? Anyone else out there sorting, keeping and ejecting?
Has this truth sunk down deeply enough in your soul to be an anchor? The anchor?
Does knowing this lead you gladly to repentance, again and again and again?
Is it your North Star too, leading the way into the Father's arms?
Does having this knowing in place cause the rest of your life 
to seem to sort itself?

It can.


Long Haul

Have I mentioned my husband lately?
I should have, then.
Sunshine, blue skies and puffy clouds
storm clouds, lightning bolts and drenching drizzle - 
we're in this together, for the long haul!
It's a forever sort of friendship. 
What a gift - it's our Great Wealth.
He's my "Friend With Benefits".



I love Friday nights at our house.
The work week is finished, and the weekend is brand new.
Oh, the wealthy feeling of standing at the beginning of a brand new weekend!
Burgers on the grill with a slab of pepper jack cheese.
(2 lb ground beef + 1 package of Fresh Take Cheddar Jack and Bacon = slobbering and thankful men)
Enjoying the patio scenery while waiting for the burgers to be finished...

After dinner, a trip to the local park for some running, walking, biking, gawking.
The dog got to come with us this time - that doesn't usually happen. 
And look at those clouds that lined up over the ball field - 
is that amazing or what?
Don't you just love the sky show the Lord puts on every single day?

And us. 
I'm glad to be glad to be with my best friend on a Friday night.



Hanging clean laundry, enjoying the unending task of imparting order to chaos,
 a mother abruptly raises her head, cocked to listen --- what is that?
Oh, no - it's another Suspicious Silence.
Wearily frantic, she slides around corners on the way to finding her youngest. 
And there he is, using the time-out chair as an ascent tool
From that perch, her baby can more easily misuse his older brother's cassette tape player. 
Her firstborn stands by in stunned disbelief adopting a posture that 
only a first-born can command at will.
"Look at him, Mom-n!"
She's not sure why he calls her that; 
maybe it's his own separated version of MomAndDad?
"I told him not to do that, over and over, but he wouldn't listen! 
I think he should get a punishment, Mom-n, don't you?!"
The mother approaches her almost two-year-old, giving an acknowledging nod to her older son along the way - it's all he needs to feel justified in his indignation and free him to move on to the greater demands of raising Duplo towers. She'll have time to deal with his self-righteous attitude after she removes the diaper-wearing bandit from his roost. 
His posture is a portrait of repentance, the I'll Never Do It Again 
sort that she's wise to by now. 
As her hands close around his tiny ribcage, he twists and bends into her, sniffling contrition into her chest. She says his name and tilts his chin upward, seeking his eyes with her own. Great green eyes swim with tears as she provides the needed correction and assists in his delivery of a toddler's semi-remorseful apology. His eyes seek hers again, checking for forgiveness. She's bewildered at the emotional intuition of this son 
and fleetingly wonders toward the future.
His plume of untameable hair brushes her chin as, satisfied, he struggles to the floor from her lap. His eyes spark and he rushes off on miniature legs, probably  to begin the conjuring of another escapade in the life of his older brother.
And she heads off again to the closet, smiling to herself in guilty anticipation.

Linking with:
Miscellany Monday at Lowercase Letters


True Grit

Have you ever seen a praying mantis ready to take on four grown men and a dog?
This is how it looks.
Has he got some pluck and guts, or what?
He was standing, people --- standing on two legs, mouth open, pinchers poised,  
ready to take on all comers.
'Cause sometimes you gotta fight instead of hide, even if it's a sure thing that you're gonna go down.
and if he just had a weensy, tiny gunslinger belt...



Sunlit Zinnias
The zinnia patch is getting tangled and overgrown.

And so, this is its best time of year.



Hide and Seek
(photo taken 
from a blue chair 
under the sweet gum tree 
on a lazy Sunday afternoon)

miscellany monday at lowercase letters


Speaking BAT

Late summer nights are edged with a bit of magic, don't you agree?
All you gardening folks with datura (witches' weeds) just opening when the sun goes down - 
I've been watching your now-mature bushes do their thing as I'm driving by in the evenings.

And my moonflowers are finally strutting their stuff out on my front teepee.
Their huge round blooms seem to almost glow in the dark! They send their thick fragrance wafting around in the mysterious darkness of the front yard - it's romantic, all right!

When I'm up in the night, if there's any moon at all, I pull the drapes all the way open on the french doors in our bedroom, climb back in bed and wait to see if I can spy any nighttime critters en route to rob my greenhouse. 
And one night this summer, as evening came into our yard, I discovered ---
I was talking to the dog who was romping through the zebra grass, not really talking to the bats. My Youngest would be quick to remind that it was the waving that started it all, and that's true. 
They just work so hard, flying floppily over our small acre, gobbling up pesky bugs!
 So I greeted the first little brown bat of the evening with a friendly wave, and we imagined that it seemed like he had seen us. As if the bat had dipped its wings, so to speak, in return greeting.

Hey, we're out in the country - the only possible witness is the spinster neighbor, and I'm pretty sure she's seen me do much crazier things than wave to bats.

It became plain that I speak bat  as I was calling to the dog in my special dog voice
You can probably imagine what that sounds like. 
The bat I had been waving to earlier swooped dramatically toward our perch on an old stump. We ducked, clutched each other's arms and ... tried it again. 
This time the bat swooped low enough to clear us from the stump, and it was proof positive ---


Story Keeping

I don't usually watch the news.
In 2001, when my boys were 8, 6 and 2, I rarely saw the news or cared to see the news.
If something important was happening, someone would call me. And that's what happened on September 11th, eleven years ago. My nephew called me.
"Aunt Suzy, have you seen the news? 
A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center in New York!"
He and I decided that it must have just been a sadly misguided small-engine pilot. 
Poor guy - really bad day for him!
I turned on the living room television in time to hear commentators exclaiming in disbelief. 
With two sons home schooling and one still in diapers, it was a busy morning and I hustled them out of the room and off to their morning tasks, leaving the TV still playing. 
In only a few minutes, I was standing back in front of the television watching in horror as the second plane hit and the crashes were declared not accidents, but attacks on America.

I declared it to be LEGO DAY, sending the children upstairs and away from the screen. I was so very grateful that my children were at home with me and not  in a classroom down the street, too far away from my anxious arms.
The vulnerability that Americans rarely feel really sunk in when more planes fell in other parts of the United States. 
I wondered what would happen next? 
Would nearby cities be the next targets? 
Would bombs drop?
I'm sure that my account of where I was when on September 11, 2001 is just like millions of others. But as I watched the ceremonies with My Youngest this morning, I watched it as the mother of an adult son. Listening to those mothers announce the names of their lost sons, still choked with grief after eleven years -  it all hit me in a different way. 

And the two year old, now thirteen, doesn't even remember any of it. 
So as we watched, I told him everything again. It seems important to keep that story from slipping from memory.

I wish I knew what all of you were doing on this morning, eleven years ago and how you share that with your loved ones!



You can tell it's almost time for them to leave.
They're guarding and fighting almost all the time.
Why do they get all ornery* like that just when it's time to see them fly away
on their own? When the feeder empties this time, I think I'll store it away for the season and send them on to the Great Southern Beyond. 

There's a spot near our feeder where you can lay down on the cellar doors and watch
the hummingbird wars. It's pretty cool. At this time of year, they don't care a bit how close you 
get to the feeder, as long as you don't hold your finger over the opening.

*If you have time for nonsense, click the pronunciation for ornery found at the dictionary link. It's fun to hear the proper Dictionary Guy say that silly country word. 


Sign Funnies

Just a few fun signs to share with you from our Indiana get-away:
For the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would want to burn this incense.
And yes, I smelled it. You would have too.
And NO, it didn't.
I know some friends who would not think this a very funny joke
This one was polite, and how well I can appreciate the angst that caused the owner to pen and tack this sign right at eye level.
But how to tell where some item would actually belong?
I think there's some blame shifting is going on...
Then the signage got a little bit violent. 
I think it's probably better to find another income source if you find yourself
printing out messages like this one to your shoppers.
But I didn't say so.


Aunt Tique

Stepping through the door of this shop made me wonder if my inhaler was in the car or not.
Lots and lots of dusty age is floating around AUNTIQUES, and your eyes are likely to pop in an effort to see everything.
And I think there is one of EVERYthing in the world crammed on these shelves.
The green section of the shop.
Oh, I love those green glass salt and pepper shakers!
The bookstacks were neverending. Have I mentioned how wonderful old books smell? That musty paper smell reminds me of the Methodist church lending library where I used to borrow Cherry Ames books. 
I also remember paying late fees even then. I couldn't have been more than 8 or 9 years old. Back then I paid in coins. Now I rifle my purse for bills, or even a check. They don't take a card - I know this.
Scary Baby. Very Scary Baby.
If that isn't a label for any of my posts, it should be. 
"Steve had an Twilight Zone moment as he beheld his Doll Daughter for the very first time... "
And this would be ... The End.
There's lots to say here, but it all just seems too inappropriate
Fill in the blanks on this one yourselves. 
You know you can!


Wide Awake

Falling asleep in the car - does anyone else love this?
Or is it only me?
What could be more cozy than drifting in and out of a doze while a game drones away on the radio, and your Dear Love whistles the miles by, while patting or squeezing your leg occasionally? 
Not much.
But if the clouds look like THIS, well then, I'm going to stay wide awake. There was a stunning sky-show of epic proportions all the way to Indiana on our last get-away.
These (Mario) clouds were floating over fields of tall corn. 
Intermittent stands of trees or beautiful farms with shiny, tall silos dotted the fields every now and then. 
(How cool are those silos?)
I can't imagine what it would be like to live under all that uninterrupted sky. I think I'd certainly spend less time dozing off...



Sometimes you just feel raggedy.
Like a soggy wet, molting cardinal.
And it can lead to impulse overeating.
Been there?

miscellany monday at lowercase letters