Sunday, August 30, 2009

When God Hands You Lemons, Smile

I had plans today. Plans to get out and do something fun. Just the kids and I. Toby had another engagement he was committed to and I thought to myself, "It's rare on a weekend when it's just the kids and I." So I thought something fun and out-of-the-ordinary was in order.

But, then my plans changed. I was left with no vehicle. "Hmmmm," I wondered. "Now what?"

I was tempted to be a tad miffed and even grumble. The temptation came to fruition and I did express my irritation ever so slightly. It seems to be the trend of my life lately... get plans, crash plans, no plans.

Inwardly, I made desperate exasperations like, "Why can't I just have a normal life? Why can't things just be predictable?? Why can't we just have a fun day?" And as I selfishly mused and grumbled in my heart on these depressing thoughts, I was convicted to think in a more logical sense.

And I came to a million-dollar answer to that age old question: What is normal life??

Normal life, as I have come to realize for myself, is when no loved one close to me is dying or has recently died. All the other little hiccups and bumps and bruises in life are really pale in comparison to what the death of a loved one can do to you.

The heart ache. The pain. The constant reality of death. The uncertainty of life. The dooming despair of another sad funeral. The quickly-emptying Kleenex boxes. The "I-don't-want-to-go-through-another-day" feeling. The despair. Death of a loved one really is one of THE worst things a person can go through. Even if the departed one is in Heaven. Goodbyes are just cruel.

As I observed my little disappointment today and the trite way I felt slighted because I had plans change once again, I thought, "Really Court, no one died; quit acting like they did."

And so the kids and I did things like sweep the porch. (Toddlers are easily entertained.) And in the process of sweeping the floor, the littlest one found a spider in the milk can. He stayed happily occupied with that for quite some time. He went on to do things like look for other bugs. Next thing I knew, he had a leash fastened to a log and he was dragging the whole contraption down the side walk. The older two played "marching band." And happily played and helped me tidy the porch.

I was pleased to find that it doesn't take a "day away from home" to make life more fun. That you don't need a vehicle to get to a fun place. That kids don't need a trip into town to feel like the day was fun. I knew all this stuff before but never really agreed with it. My bad.

It's funny how easy it is to 'make lemonade' when you right your attitude after life God hands you lemons. It gives life a normalcy feeling that is otherwise lost in the fray of change and despair. And it makes you realize that life really isn't as bad as you'd like to think it is.

Life IS uncertain. But, a smile doesn't have to be.

Friday, August 28, 2009

And The Point Is....?

I thought when I started back into blogging a few weeks ago, I would be divinely inspired with an ability to blog on a regular basis. It's funny how I base my plans on mere thoughts that hold no promise of fruition. Real funny.

So I tried to think up some blogging material. You know, something that held the slightest indication that it could make sense. Or be worth reading.

It dawned on me I could write about everything I've been doing offline around here. But, my life really isn't THAT interesting and I haven't taken pictures with my camera lately. So. No pictorial update today. Or journaled account of my life, for that matter.

(I have no idea where this blog is going just now and I can't guarantee anything that won't be mumble jumbled. You are welcome to go on to the next blog in your bloglines if you wish to do so. Feel free to check your friends' facebook status too. Or even take a walk out to your mailbox and see if there's any "snail" mail waiting for you.)

It's funny how in our day and age, we have to indicate what electronic device we used to take pictures. We also have to indicate what kind of specie-of-living-thing identifies with our mail out in THE mailbox (ie., snail.) Don't get lost with me here... let me explain...

You may notice I said in one of the paragraphs above that "I haven't taken pictures with my camera lately." That sounds like a rather redundant and pointless thing to point out. What else do you take pictures with, right? The question you should consider is, "What do you do with a camera besides to take pictures?" Because there are more devices to use to take pictures with than just a camera. And there are more devices to hold mail than just a mailbox at the end of your driveway.

The one device I'm thinking of in the "take a picture" department is an item that starts with "p" and sounds like "f." Real tricky clue, I know. When you get that word figured out, you are welcome to read on.

The mail thing I'm thinking about is something that starts with "in" and ends with "box." Why don't they just call end-of-your-driveway-mailbox-mail mail and that "inbox" mail stuff "instantmail" or"cheetamail" or "superchargedandfullofcaffiene racehorse mail" etc.? Why do we have to call good, old fashioned mailbox mail, snailmail? It's just not fair to change the name of something that's always been.

Seriously though, sometimes I wonder what kind of age of technology my kids will have when they grow older. Will there even be such a thing as a laptop computer? Will phones even slightly resemble the contemporary phones we have now? Will mailboxes only be used for yard decoration? Will the tires on our cars today be displayed in the next generation's landscaping just like those old iron wheels are displayed in our yards? Will you be able to open a door without pushing a button? What about chairs... will they still have 4 legs?

It's weird how technology, as nice and good as it is, only instills fears of uncertainty in some people. It doesn't always bring the kind of hope and change the computer engineers would like us to think there is.

Education will probably change too. Pencils and old fashioned rulers will be replaced with, well, who knows what. Kids will never learn how to read Roman Numerals. Such a shame. Especially since us adults use Roman Numerals everyday of the week, all the time, all day long. Seriously, what would we do without Roman Numerals?! And arithmetic... will kids even know that word? I have this feeling that math books will be condensed in fancy, schmancy, rigged up calculators. Which really isn't a bad idea because seriously, have YOU used algebra since you graduated from high school?

And blogging... will there even be such a thing as blogging 60 years from now? What if a person's thoughts were immediately flashed onto an electronic device and published to the entire world for all to see? What if there were no filter between a person's brain and their expression of thought? What if their fears and inner most thoughts about mail and education and cameras just spilled out in a mumbled jumbled form and any person subject to reading it had to decipher the logic behind it?

What an awful way to live that would be...

Monday, August 24, 2009

God Knows

Life's strange twists and turns seem to be overtaking at times. But, when I remember we've been sent forth as sheep in the midst of wolves, it's no wonder this ole' world can be a cruel place.

Yesterday's message in church was on being Christ's disciple and the cost that is. I've been thinking about that cost but even more so, the cost paid by the Lamb of God. As sheep we can follow a Shepherd Who Himself knew all our grief and pain. Because He Himself was the Lamb sacrificed for my sin. For your sin.

And as each pathway comes into my life, I can know without a doubt that the Great Shepherd has already gone before me and will only allow into my life what He Himself has approved.

"Everything that comes to us has already been filtered through the loving hands of our Father." (A frequent statement a dear friend shared often with me during her time on earth. After a harsh trial with cancer, she now knows the physical presence of being with her Father.)

I ran across this poem recently and thought the timing of finding it was profound...

Fear not, little flock, He goeth ahead,
your Shepherd selecteth the path you must tread;
the waters of Marah He'll sweeten for thee,
He drank all the bitter in Gethsemane.

Fear not, little flock, whatever your lot,
He enters all rooms, "the doors being shut;"
He never forsakes; He never is gone,
So count on His presence in darkness and dawn.

-Paul Radar

Friday, August 21, 2009

Seasons Of Life

People talk about "seasons of life" and the way they talk, it almost seems like "seasons" only change once in awhile. But, I have come to realize that life with Alex and his two older siblings, provides many opportunities for the seasons in life to change repeatedly. Time after time. Over and over. In one day.

For instance, the day he impressed us all with his amazing abilities to survive the incredible day he seemed to have planned out well for himself, was only a fraction of the true intellect of his 23 month old brain.

Since that amazing day, he has continued to throw himself whole-heartily into the goodness that life is for a one-year-old graduating to become a two-year-old.

Forks, knives and running out the front door are three of the main things he indulges in frequently. But then, it didn't help when the front of our glass stove exploded into a million shards of glass and Alex discovered the wonderful fun that can be found by digging tiny pieces of glass out of hard to reach places. He retrieved enough of a handful that he was able to tinkle them into a large, glass jar. The sound it created was delicately delightful and he was impressed with his exploration.

This all happened in the course of time it took for Alex's mother to use the bathroom. Alex knows how to use his time wisely and the course of action he takes at a moment's notice puts even the most brave Navy SEAL to shame.

So much so that after the glass incident, I looked up from the creative musical mess my son had made with tinkling glass and I saw the hand writing on my dining room wall. It said, "People who survive the age of two, have a much better chance at living."

But I blinked, the writing disappeared and I was suddenly alerted to a new and exciting dilemma going on out in the driveway. It involved two adventurous children aiding and abetting two illegal piles of sharp tinkling glass. Glass identical to the fugitive glass Alex was attending.

Since this time, I have decided to avoid using the bathroom as that seems to only create easily-given-into-temptations and as a good mother, I have decided that my children need...

5-5-09 10:37 pm


Just like that, the blog ends there. I have no idea how the author planned to finish it. Perhaps she needed to go save a life again that day. Or maybe those kids found more broken glass. Some things in life we'll never know, I guess.

I found this piece of drafted blog in my draft bin and decided to brush it off and attempt to polish it up. It's hard to polish up something that's been sitting in the bottom of a stale blog bin for over two months though.

Episodes described in the above story are common occurrences of my day. Each day is a life changing saving event. And we still end up with bumps and bruises and blood. It's a wonder anyone survives.

But yet, I have an inkling of a feeling that this season of life we're in now, will only last for a short time. Kids grow up and get old! The nerve of them... And instead of worrying about them playing with broken glass, parents worry about much bigger things like, um, you know, dangerous stuff like matches or... um, (that doesn't sound very scary)... Well, just fill in the blank with something really scary.

Or maybe parents grow old and worry about their kids who grew old and now play with small children that play with broken glass? Now that's something to worry about right there.

No wonder my parents have graying hair. Man! I hope my grand kids treat their parents better than my parents grand kids treat these parents.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Subway Experience

I have undocumented proof that Subway Sandwich Servers must take a "Make-Customer-Service-Not-Your-Forte" class. Across the United States of America, this great land we live in, I have had the occasion to visit all most of the Subways along I-80. And across the board land, they all have the. exact. same. customer. service. rating in my book.

First of all, the way they look at you abruptly with plastic-gloved-hands-hanging in mid air while asking you, "What kind of sandwich do you want?" And of course, since they're making you feel obligated to answer quickly by holding their arm out with a hand extended towards the bread shelf, you start stuttering and mumbling wondering what kind of sandwich you do actually want. All the while pitying their extended arm that is sure to get a cramp in it.

In your mind you can just SEE their foot tapping anxiously on the floor.

So, you say, "Uh, um, the, um, yeah, ah, what kind of bread do you have?"

And they look at you with this shocked look on their face and answer you as if you've never been to a Subway before in your life. With a quick tongue, they roll off a bunch of words and you hear something about Italian and oatmeal and flat bread and herbs.

So you pick a bread, like wheat or white since that's the only kind you know off the top of your head, and they happen to grab it abruptly from it's nestled little bread shelf and hack into it with a huge knife. And then they stare at you again.

You don't know if you should ask them how they're day is going, how long they've worked at Subway, if they like working at Subway, if they ever feel like their hands get too sweaty with the gloves on, what town they're from, etc. Before you have a chance to engage in any friendly conversation, they ask what you'd like on your sandwich with this lets-get-down-to-business air about them.

You start to answer but then realize that there's a whole butcher shop of meat organized neatly in all those little tin containers so you ask politely what kind of meat they have.

They look at you like you've never in your life even heard of Subway.

So you pick a meat and then they wonder if you want cheese. Of course you want cheese but they have to know what kind of cheese you want. You say the name of one of the cheeses they listed off to you and then they slide your sandwich quickly down to the veggie side of the sandwich bar and head back to intimidate help the next customer.

The Subway Veggie Specialist asks you what you want on your sandwich. And since you heard a customer ahead of you say "everything but the..." you decided to try that answer.

So with a ready answer you say, "Everything but the..." and before you can say what thing you do NOT want, the Subway Veggie Specialist happens to grab a very generous handful of the very thing you do NOT want on your sandwich before you can even say "lettuce."

You find your heart beating faster, your palms getting sweaty and your voice getting weak. With all the strength you can muster, you squeak, "No, um, ah... everyth--ah, not the lettuce though."

As you look at the veggies neatly housed in each tin container, you recognize a few other things you wouldn't like so you name off a handful of ingredients you do NOT want on your sandwich. You just know your Subway Veggie Specialist is thinking in the back of her mind, "Didn't I hear you say 'everything'?"

A squirt of oil and vinegar and a couple shakes of salt and pepper and your sandwich is swaddled up in a nice, crisp sandwich paper and with that, slid into a bag. You remark to yourself that you never thought to put salt and pepper on a cold meat sandwich at home, maybe you should try it.

And then comes the bill. You have no clue how they tally up your order or decide how much you should pay to have that kind of sandwich but you did notice the $4-foot-long advertisements in the window. At Pizza Parlors, you normally pay to have each kind of topping put on your pizza but at Subway, you hope the same rule doesn't apply. Because remember? You did say "everything on it."

When your two 6" sandwiches and half a dozen cookies and two little bags of chips comes to close to $14, you decide that maybe trying a little salt and pepper on your cold meat sandwiches at home would actually save you money.

And the feeling of intimidation.

Monday, August 17, 2009

On Hard Heads, Hard Cement and Hard Days

It's one of those days where it's four in the afternoon and caramel syrup is sloppily trailing down the side of my coffee cup. And I don't care. I lick my fingers and wipe them on my lap before tapping on the keyboard. I rarely have caramel syrup with my coffee and I rarely have coffee at four in the afternoon and caramel syrup rarely trails down the side of my cup after it explodes it's self all over the vicinity of my cup when I attempt to just take a little bit. But, some days just don't go the way of calmness and collectiveness. It's on those kinds of days you need caffeine and caramel. At least I do.

Today started out pretty sweet. I had the house to myself after my most amazing, dashing, handsome good husband (he hates when I gush like that) left for work with our charming little son. I actually drank a civilized cup of coffee for about an hour and read my Bible and was encouraged and enlightened in several Psalms and Proverbs. It's been years since I read the Proverb for the day so found it inspiring to pick it up again.

After that, I actually showered in a very civilized manner and of all things even fixed my hair. Our bed was made, the house was presentable and then the kids started waking up. Even then, things seemed calm and collected. I felt a twinge of illness though - like slight nausea - but chalked it up to my vitamins that I had been godly smart enough to take earlier.

Things went fine until I gave Alex watermelon for breakfast.

Watermelon is a nutritional way to start the day and I made no apologies for it at all. Except for the seeds that were in the "seeded" watermelon. I showed Al Baby where to put his seeds on his tray (in a nifty little cup holder) and then went on to do something else.

I made a few phone calls and while trying to carry on a civilized conversation, I motioned for Janae to turn the music down in the kitchen. A lively choir of children were making a joyful noise over on the CD player and I waved my hand indicating the volume needed to be lowered. She batted at something in the air with a smirk on her face and continued singing right along.

I got off the phone and I asked if she knows what I mean when I wave my hand at her like I did when I was on the phone. She admitted she did; that I meant turn it down but then she said, "But I told you Mom to just go to the other room."

Nausea continued to wave over me and I wondered about that little box you get in the pharmacy section at the store that basically tells you if your life is drastically changing or not. I quickly pushed the thought out when I came back to Alex and found that the only watermelon seeds in the cup holder were the ones I put there and the rest were in an even layer across the floor surrounding the high chair.

Way to go, Alex. He's got the spitting-seeds-talent down, that's for sure.

Next, I washed him up (which was no small feat) and sent him out the back door with Janae. By this time, I had full fledged nausea and began to see visions of another seed spitting adorable little Nelson child. After cleaning up the seeds that had been planted all over the dining room carpet (whoever started the carpet-in-dining-rooms phase should have a class action law suit against them), I looked out the window to check on my healthy and rambunctious kids. They were playing quite nicely until I really looked out the window and got a better look at what they were doing and realized the situation was not good.

See, just the other day, I had neatly re-arranged all the landscaping bricks to perfectly line the edge of the wood chip part of our yard. The bricks had all been trampled and over turned thanks to small people and animals. So, I trimmed the yard up and fixed the bricks and was glad to have the yard back in place again.

The same thing happened again this morning -- the bricks were all over-turned and messed up.

The culprits were pleased though; the effort to over-turn each brick had produced an impressive sized cricket and that very same cricket was cupped carefully in a little hand and brought into my the house and placed in a nice, clean jar.

I sent the little culprits back out to put the bricks back and assured them I would not hurt the cricket.

Knowing nausea can be caused by taking vitamins on an empty stomach (check), being exposed to the flu (check), and is also the sign of early pregnancy (?), I decided to do something about the predicament and test accordingly. I can't take a test to prove that the vitamins in my stomach are indeed the cause nor can I take an at-home test to show if my immune system is fighting off a bug. But, I CAN take a pregnancy test.

So I did.

While waiting for the test results to see if I passed or not, I looked outside to check on the progress of the re-landscaping-brick-project. It was quite impressive.

"Mommy, we're building a sand castle," Janae informed me as I looked on in shock to see all the bricks were in a neat stack about 10 feet from where the majority of them needed to go. A nice, tall wall was just being finished up with Alex being the chief builder and I watched in horror as he hoisted a brick a good foot-and-a-half off the ground and at the top of the teetering "sand castle." I cringed when I noticed his helpless bare feet were within a straight-gravity-influenced-bulls-eye-shot of the brick.

I redirected Janae and went back to the bathroom to check on the test results. Envisioning an overwhelming herd of small brick layers taking over our suburbia back yard, I was quite relieved to see a single, solitary line indicating that our family has only one brick layer/landscape-project-demolish-er. At least at this point.

Another trek out the back door lead me to find the bricks in a pile. An it-looks-like-a-tornado-just-went-through looking pile.

I again redirected Janae and learned it was quite impossible for her to finish the job she started. Even though she could over-turn each brick, she was quite incapable of putting each brick back in it's place. And even though she could carry the bricks several feet in order to build a meticulous sand castle, she was quite incapable of carrying them back again and putting them in a straight line on the ground.

You see, she was hot. And then she needed a drink. And then she needed her coat. And then her feet hurt. And then she couldn't pick the bricks up. And then she needed to go to the bathroom. And then she needed to eat lunch. And then she wanted to pick tomatoes. And then she thought Alex should help her. And then she decided to throw wood chips instead.

I consistently re-directed her motives and got her to realize that she absolutely had to pick each brick up and put it back. She resisted until I told her she'd have no lunch all day if she didn't get her bricks put back.

Within minutes, she had the job completed. I was impressed and coveting 2 lines on that pregnancy test I took earlier. Which would of course indicate the potential of another partner in crime life-long friend for Janae. With behaviour like this, she deserves a sister, I thought to myself.

After that, things didn't seem quite as monumental as the brick episode did. It's funny how big issues like an entire landscaping project uprooted by your four-year-old, helps put all of life into perspective.

Janae's cricket did attempt to bite half her hand off just before it got loose in the house. I had no idea crickets could bite. Until today. That was quite exciting because she wouldn't let go of it and screamed her head off while it was biting her. I had to use half a roll of toilet paper just to grab it because I. can't. stand. the. way. bugs. feel. when. you. touch. them.

Then, an un-named child succeeded in damaging the bathroom sink drain so bad when they washed their hands from the cricket goop, there is absolutely no way water will drain from the sink. Probably ever again. I'm hoping this means we need a whole new vanity, sink, faucet and medicine cabinet now.

While swinging on the porch swing a little while later, I watched Alex out of the corner of my eye while he flipped over the back of the swing. I turned to look just in time to see the top of his cute little head, land soundly on the cement floor just under the porch swing. It was a very slow motion-ish event and turned out to be a pretty emotional moment. No one has ever done this on our swing before so I'm wondering where he got the idea from.

After that, we came inside and while I gave cooking instructions over the phone to one of my stay-at-home-mom colleagues, a shattering crash shook the house. I inspected it immediately and upon investigation found that for reasons beyond what human reasoning can compute, a cord to a little lamp sitting in the corner of the dining room had amazingly wrapped itself around a chair leg. When the chair was moved, as is oft to happen to a chair at the dining room table, the lamp crashed to the floor. And voila! it broke the glass shade. Just like that.

A guilty child, who shall remain nameless for now, expressed audibly that they really did need that chair and they said it in a tone that basically confirmed they really didn't care about the lamp. The now shattered-with-glass-pieces-in-the-carpet lamp.

I happened to talk to my husband right around that time, you know, the father of all these healthy little children, and I informed him that if he came home to a telephone number on the dining room table tonight, it was the number to the daycare I took the kids too. He just said, "Okay, sounds good Honey! Gotta run!"

Shortly after that, Janae helped herself and Alex to the bottle of vitamins in the fridge. She seems to have taken hers and Alex's health in her own hands and I guess they'll be good and healthy for sure now.

As I was changing Alex's diaper before nap time awhile later, his clean diaper completely disappeared.

"I put it in my trash can," Janae said with a smirk on her face as she saw me frantically tear around the house looking for one of the THE very last diapers we have in the house right now.

With that, I plopped the two of them in their beds and went upstairs to take a break vacuum fleas. A lit candle, a cleaned up house and reclining on the couch all make me think that I just may still be part of the civilized breed of occupants in this house. Even if I do have sticky fingers from my out-of-ordinary cup of coffee on what I hope will always be an out-of-ordinary kind of day.

But, what really did me in was the fact that just as I'm completing this blog, Janae woke up from her nap a little too soon. Soon as in, only-an-hour-long-nap type of soon. After eating her snack of buttered raisin bread, she found my Blackberry, attempted to delete my call log and succeeded at putting buttered fingers between my phone glove and my phone.

"Janae, don't touch Mommy's phone!" I wailed as I wiped smeared butter off the little Blackberry keys, "It costs a lot of money!"

To which she replied, "No, phones don't cost lots of money; only houses do."

She went on to say, "Then, don't put your phone where I can touch it," in an attempt to excuse her disobedience. She then wandered off and scraped the paint off the built-in hutch in our dining room with her bare finger.

I sigh and and wonder where the paint can is so I can patch the white scrape on the hutch. Of course I was planning on painting today, right? And I muse to myself, while she stands here giving me all the reasons why she really needs a sucker, that the test I took earlier actually could've had two lines.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

About That Facelift...

Just so you privileged readers (or other such blog reader support-ers) know that you should come directly to my blog at

I would hate for all my hard work to go un-appreciated, if you know what I mean.

Friday, August 14, 2009

On The Frontline with Fleas

I know it's rare that I blog anymore so it's probably rare that anyone reads my blog anymore. It's probably better this way because there's a topic on my mind that I think I'd probably like few people to know about.

So why blog about it for all the world to see, right? The only excuse reason I can come up with is because it's therapy for me. Seriously. It beats having to pay my therapist this week.

You see, I am blessed to live in a wonderful country. America's my home and for that I'm grateful. The city I live in is a cute, little country-farm-folk-mid-western town with a cobblestone street right down the middle of town. The lawns are well cared for. No gangs roam the streets. Mangy dogs are unheard of. The neighbors are kind, thoughtful and considerate. Everyone keeps our town looking modern and civilized.

We have electricity, running water, carpeted homes, dishwashers, wash machines and freezers. We have indoor kitchens complete with a refrigerator and some of our sinks even have a garbage disposal. We have air conditioned homes and vehicles and a reliable heat source in the winter. We lack nothing when it comes to civilization standards and nothing in our town reflects anything close to a third-world-country-type issue.

Basically, we appear to lead a clean, sterile, modern life. It's all so perfect.

But, despite living in our nostalgic little town with all of our modern conveniences, the house on our street that we call home inhabits an infestation. A horrible infestation.

It's so bad, we find them in our beds, our carpets, our furniture. We finally put a bounty on them and anyone willing to catch one and drown it, gets a penny. One hunt will get you over $0.65, easy.

You can stand in different places of our house and feel like your standing in popcorn. Or feel like sand is being thrown at your feet. The infestation thunders your skin with it's existence and you feel like a giant, living pin cushion. Or like a lab specimen that gets it's blood drawn on a constant basis. You feel like the lively hood of an entire population of something sub-human.

You itch constantly. You fidget consistently. You can't stand to be in your house. You know, that place you call home.

The infestation I'm referring to is called, fleas.

So. We decided to exterminate the fleas and get "flea foggers." We planned the day accordingly, arranged the house just so in order to fully utilize the foggers and we followed the instructions carefully. You have to keep your house sealed up for 2 hours while the foggers fatally fog the flea's family farm's factory and facilities.

The fleas only got worse. They upped flea larvae. They increased flea bites. They attacked the victims of this house with even greater vengeance.

So. We decided to exterminate the fleas and get stronger "flea foggers." The kind of foggers where you seal the house for 4 hours instead of 2. And you set 8 off at once instead of just 2.

I stripped all the beds and piled the bedding in the middle of the living room. I collected all the throw rugs and piled them on the bedding in the middle of the living room. I gathered chair pads and throw blankets and piled them on the rugs piled on the bedding in the middle of the living room. I picked up any fabric-type object under the beds that could possible be a flea factory and piled it on the chair pads and throw blankets piled on the rugs piled on the bedding in the middle of the living room.

There was an Eiffel tower sized pile in the middle of the living room.

It was a big job collecting all that stuff, cleaning out under beds, moving furniture to get to hard-to-reach places and I was tempted to give up because it felt so futile. And exhausting. And pointless.

But, then another flea would bite my ankle and I'd remember once again why I was on this mission.

Before you start on a flea raid, I found that it helps to do something like fix your hair or put on a cute skirt or spray some perfume because you'll then feel at least half civilized.

With a vengeance we attacked the fleas. 8 bombs went off at once and we fled our house for several hours. We patronized a local laundromat and activated 17 loads of laundry. We folded it all and neatly piled it in laundry baskets. And in random stacks around the van.

Upon arriving home, we aired our house out, like the directions said, before bringing the kids back in. While opening windows in the few short minutes I was in the house, a words-can't-describe-how-terrible-he-is flea bit my foot. The fleas are undaunted!

After the house aired out, Toby and I meticulously vacuumed all the rugs and carpets, steps, mattresses, cushions, nooks, crannies, you name it. Fleas continued to bite. We carefully made the beds with only the bare necessity blankets (I have a thing for a pile of blankets on a bed) and bagged up the rest of the blankets and quilts in large plastic garbage bags.

The fleas continued to bite.

To this day, they have only worsened. If I go on a blog strike again, don't take it lightly. Maybe give me a call or text or email or something just to make sure we haven't been taken hostage. Or carried off as war refugees.

Nothing would surprise me, really. These fleas are possessed and certainly the cause of our sure demise. I'm ready to put a for-sale sign up and sell our house as a scientific lab to some poor college student who is researching the evolving species called, the flea. Or maybe just send a notice to the city clerk that our house should be condemned. Not sure the city clerk would care to know but at least I'd feel better informing someone that our home has become a flea bag and we're the unlucky victims that get to live in it. And the city clerk does sound like an official sounding name for an official sounding person.

So. With that, our therapy appointment has ended. Come back soon for another life changing account of this far-fetched-flea-fairytale. The festivities are sure to continue.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Blogging Debut

So, I decided to make a come back. You know, a come back to the blogging world. I have nothing to blog about today but since I do have a blog, then certainly I'm entitled to blog about whatever I want. Even if it means to blog about nothing.

My brain is like a wilted flower that got too much rain and then stood in the sun for too many days without rain until it got completely dry and then was suddenly watered on by a dog. Just kind of limp and burned out and wilty. If you don't know what that looks like, plant a flower, over water it for 6 days and then set it on the picnic table to dry out in the sun. When it's dry, set what's left of the flower out in the middle of the yard and just wait for a willing neighbor dog. Take a picture and tag it with my name. Now you have an idea.

There's no reason why I'd have to look like this either. Or feel like this. I mean, we did only have a nasty cold for a week and if Toby wasn't getting me up during the night to mumble at me in some strange language, Janae was trying to slip into MY side of the bed for a middle-of-the-night snuggle. Not to mention the fact that my normal eleven-o-clock-bedtime was rudely switched to 2am. I know; my bad.

But that cold was sure a doozy. We all had it but my dear Toby had it the worst. He didn't take too well to my doctoring abilities since I also was under the weather and seemed to fail to remember any type of effective cold treatment. I caught him guzzling cough and cold syrup right out of the bottle one day and soundly scolded effectively reasoned with him as to the anti-health benefits of such practice.

When my head cleared a bit, a faint memory of something called Bite A Man Sea flashed a merry tune in my head. I kept hitting my forehead trying to remember why I was experiencing Deja vu all over again when it dawned on me that the memory stick in my brain was a little coated with snot cold drainage and I was hearing the message unclearly. So, I de-coded the message and sounded out "Vitamin C!" I took that as a sign that I should give Toby some vitamin C. And I continued to do so until the promptings ceased.

The kids fared pretty well. They all got sick a few days before their parents did so when we were at our sickest, the kids by that time were back to feeling pretty perky. Real perky. Like, poop-all-over-the-house perky. Of course it would figure that I'd get a phone call at the same time, have a text to respond to on another phone and find out right then that my husband was leaving for the rest of the morning. I've tried to space out such abnormal happenings in my day but it never works. It's like the phone call just can't wait for the poop to get cleaned up and my text blocker just doesn't activate automatically when it's obvious I'm doing 23 other things right then.

Sunday rolled around and we were desperate for social interaction. You know, like church or something. Of course, hacking and sniffing and blowing snot everywhere wasn't a very presentable way to go to church so we decided that just getting out of the house would be the best idea.

We went to the lake and got a good dose of sun, 'presh air' (as Landon calls it) and water. We caught a couple dozen little fish because Toby accidentally dropped his line into a school of fish. I didn't know fish went to school on Sunday. Come to think of it, maybe they were having church...

Apparentely the preacher was preaching on the dangers of hooks with worms. Or maybe it was a teacher teaching the class on what to look for in a worm. Either way, Toby was an excellent assistant and aided the preacher/teacher in teaching the church/school the dangers of fishermen. The preacher/teacher used that time to inocculate the audience/class to the wilds of a baited hook and since each one of the parishoners/students were too young for the frying pan, the preacher/teacher was confident they would learn their lesson AND gain permanent freedom. So now there's an entire church/school of fish in a lake in Nebraska that will never bring joy to a fisherman's heart thanks to the hands-on, life-lessons they learned that day.

We played "catch and release" for an hour or so and the kids were thrilled with each little fish they pulled out of the water. I did the honors of pulling the hook out of the fish's mouth and was pleased with my abilities to handle live fish, bloody worms and staring at fish tonsils over and over. While I did that, Toby was casting in another line and setting the next kid up for their fishing experience. The four of us had a regular system down while Alex ate sunscreen fresh out of the tube. He's a little over cautious about the effect of a sunburn on his tongue.

My late grandpa, who was an avid fisherman, would be impressed with my fishing skills. I owe all my luck talent to him. I think it's genetic because nothing in me enjoys pulling sharp objects out of paper thin lips and reaching my fingers into toothless mouths of living things while they stare at me with huge, beady eyes. But when it comes to casting the line in, well, we just won't go there yet. (My Grandpa would NOT be impressed...)

The wind was blowing pretty strong that day (welcome to Nebraska) and there were hundreds several speed boats on the lake. That combination made for some pretty impressive waves. Bear in mind that I've never been to the ocean so it doesn't take much to impress me when it comes to waves. Even my bathtub can produce some pretty sweet waves.

The combination of the beautiful day (it wasn't too hot), the sound of the waves, the 'presh air' and the nice time to just be out together like one little happy family on a lake, made for a peaceful and relaxing day.

Not to mention that subconsiously it created many blogging moments. Which gave me a ticket back into the blogging world. Which is a good thing since how can a blogger have a blog if they never blog like a blogger should?

"I'm back," said the little fish as he swam swiftly from the treacherous shore. Never mind there's a hole in his lip and his scales are a little messed up; he's off the hook and no longer a fish-out-of-water. He's happy to dive right back into the life he loves.

And so am I.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Watch Out....

A face lift can only mean one thing, right?

Stay tuned because I have a hunch the blogger is back!