Monthly Archives: July 2010

A Toilet Paper Story


Tonight I bought, get this — 124 rolls of toilet paper!  I also bought diapers, Kleenex, granola bars, lemonade, and 30 rolls of paper towels.  A few other things too.  And then my credit card was declined at the gas pump, where I paid $.45/gallon, because I’d just swiped my card twice in the grocery store.  I filled up two grocery carts, piled higher than my nose!

Most of you know that I’d never buy so much toilet paper unless there was a sale going on, or I had coupons, or my gas tank was empty.  All three applied tonight!   My toilet paper came to $.17/roll.  Everything else I bought was cheap too, due to great in-store sales and coupons.  Plus, the gas points I earned let me get 30 gallons of gas for frrreeeeee!  Well, not quite.  But almost.  My momma trained me well!

I ran into a creepy dude.  Guess that’s what I get for going to the grocery store at 10:00pm!  He was standing behind me in the checkout line, and said, “I hope those weren’t the trees in your front yard!”  (Referring to the paper towels)  He also asked if I was a democrat, told me I was a young girl who didn’t have a clue, and said, “You’d need a pretty private place to use those purchases.”  (Referring to the toilet paper.)  To the guy behind him in line, he said, “I’m not afraid!”  The other guy said, “Why should you be afraid?”  Creepy dude said, “Good question!  That’s the smartest thing I’ve heard in a long time!”  Good grief.  I threw my toilet paper in the back of the Suburban as quick as possible, so creepy dude wouldn’t know which vehicle was mine.  I still had to go back and load up my cart a second time.   Believe me, I triple checked my back seats before I climbed in that Suburban.

But back to toilet paper.  My sweet husband helped me unload groceries when I got home.  I told him I bought a lot of stuff, but the amount of toilet paper in the backseat still made him laugh!   Wait, can I brag on this guy for a minute?  While I was gone, Derek  totally cleaned up the supper mess, cleared out my fridge of old food, loaded the dishwasher, and washed dishes by hand, all while minding four children — children he also tucked in bed!   I love my man.  I told him we probably have enough toilet paper now for my family to stay with us for five Christmases.  Anyone else is welcome to come visit us too!


Peaches and Corn


Is it crazy that I just now put my sliced and sugared peaches in the freezer, at 11:46pm?  Or is it crazier that the time feels perfectly normal!  What I find crazy is that it was only three quart bags!  Seems like it should be more, after peeling and slicing peaches all evening.

We’re in the middle of harvest here on the farm.  That means everything else takes a back seat until the food is safely in the freezer.  Right now it’s corn and peaches, and my kids are in heaven!  They love the machete, husking the corn, cutting the worms out, playing with the corn silk, the (really cool!) corn silker machine, and pigging out on corn on the cob.  And peaches!  I’m pretty sure my kids will be orange soon.  They probably ate ten peaches each today.  Watch out, septic system… and diaper pail.

I usually go up to the “big house” to help my mother-in-law with all the freezing and canning.  The kids help, or pound nails, or kill flies, or roll around the basement on Derek’s mechanic’s roll around thingy.  (I can never remember its real name!)  Tonight I offered to bring  two baskets of peaches home, so Derek and I could watch a movie while I peeled and sliced more peaches.  Plus, Derek put up a huge stink the other day when I didn’t save him any sliced peaches out for peaches and ice cream!  So I had to rectify the situation.  I made him a big bowl of peaches and ice cream.  Mixing bowl size.

Mom H. got like, eight bushels off her peach trees this year?  Something crazy like that.  I should know my facts, but I can’t remember!  Oh well.  I’ll ask tomorrow.  We’ll be doing more peaches!

Life, and death, and babies


Life is a beautiful thing.  And precious, and oh so fragile!  My heart is sad right now.

Yesterday, I took my kids to Cowen’s Gap again.  What else are we going to do when it’s 103.3 degrees outside?  My friend Heather, and her 16 month old son came too. (Bryce Eric is two weeks older than Megan, and it’s so not fair, because I was due first!)  Another friend, Angie, and her 14 month old daughter Sophie followed us up to the Gap.  I tell you, it was just a swimming kind of day!

Angie lost a baby recently due to an ectopic pregnancy.  While we were at the beach, another friend from church was giving birth to a dead baby girl.  She’d been carrying her baby for seven and a half months, so the death was unexpected.  Aren’t most deaths?  I cried, because I know how special children are.  I know how much a mom bonds with her unborn child, even from the moment those pink lines show up on a pee strip!

This morning, I was grumpy because I didn’t get to drink my coffee before it turned warm.  (Not even cold, just warm!)  Then I remembered the Kipe family, and how the death of their baby girl is just consuming their life right now.  I thought, “How foolish and petty I am!”  So many times, not just today.  I get frustrated when Megan crawls after me and cries.  And since I have to hold her, I can’t wash my dishes and then my kitchen is filthy.  Toys and dirt on the floor get on my nerves, and many times I wish Cameron would stop saying, “Push me on the swing?”  All day long!  Yesterday, first thing in the morning, when my eyes were still half shut, I tried, “Just wait until Mommy’s eyes are open.”  Cameron pointed out, “Your eyes are open.”  Yes, well, that’s just a technicality.

Cory used to beg me all day long to push him on the swing.  He doesn’t anymore.  I wish I’d pushed him more.  I wish I would learn one of these days that dirt and dishes and toys don’t matter in eternity.  Children do!  I have them with me for just a short time.  It could be even shorter than I think.  Lord, teach me to treasure every moment!

The Gap Beach


Today I was spontaneous.  I love spontaneity.  (Sometimes, especially in my case, I think that word is a cop-out for poor planning!)  This morning at 10:00, I was sipping coffee and watching Cameron and Megan bounce on my bed, when I decided I wanted to go to the beach too!  Kirstyn and Cory were having too much fun without me.  So I hopped in the shower, tried not to step on Cameron or Megan, and an hour later we were in the car headed for Cowen’s Gap State Park.  (To be really spontaneous, I should have skipped the shower.  But I wanted to be a cute mom and have silky hair and non-hairy legs for a day at the beach!)

Cameron and Megan loved the sand and water!  We usually just play in pools, offered to us by kind friends.  Or the creek of course!  Megan thought she was hot stuff, crawling into the water up to her chin.  I only had to save her from drowning every five minutes.  She’d giggle, spit water out, and truck back in!  I carried her and Cameron out near the 5ft. markers a few times (not to the 5ft markers, since that’s only 2in. over my head), and she’d arch her back and scream at me when I told her she couldn’t get down.  She thinks she can swim.

Cameron loved having most of my attention for once!  We  dumped sand on our legs, chased each other through the water, and caught a minnow.  Only because it was sick, I think.  It went belly side up in our plastic container, so I threw it back into the lake.  Where all the kids were playing.  So that was kind of yuck!

Both Cameron and Megan found some pretty girls to play with.  Megan went for the two-year old, and Cameron went for her mom!  She was, in fact, adorable!  Short, spiked blond hair with hot-pink bangs and a scorpion tattoo on the back of her neck.  Cute voice, too, ’cause I talked to her!  I sort of had too, since both my kids were hanging out near her.  I want a tattoo someday!  And a body piercing!

Kirstyn and Cory got home around 9:oo this evening.  Their cheeks are glowing from all the sunshine!  I heard wild, wild tales about sharks on the beach, riding killer waves on a boogie board, a silk deer (with a tick on its antlers) that they pet, dancing crabs in the dark, ponies right outside the tent at night, and a baby pony that looked like a giraffe.  Kirstyn and Cory brought me home three buckets of seashells, and sand too!  I love it.  I love my beautiful children, and I love having them all home again.

Beach Bums


Playing hooky again!  “Lover, Lover” is playing in the background, at #7 this week on the country charts.  I think Carrie Underwood is up next.  I really don’t care for that girl.  Sorry, any Carrie fans!

 I stayed home from church to see Kirstyn and Cory off to the beach.  I miss them already!  Aunt Chrissy called on Friday and said she and Bruce were camping at Assateauge Island this weekend.  Would Kirstyn and Cory want to come?  Um, YES!  When Kirstyn found out, she came running to find me, her face all pink with excitement.   She said, “Mommy, guess what?!  Me and Cory are going camping with Aunt Chrissy, and Cameron and Megan aren’t coming!”  Cory couldn’t stop saying, “We get to skip church!”

So I packed up swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, jammies, more clothes than they needed, plus a sweatshirt in case they get cold, lots and lots of underwear for Cory, another swimsuit and towel each, flip-flops, pillows and loveys, snacks, and new toys/coloring stuff for the car.  (It’s been at least a decade since Bruce and Chrissy had to deal with, “Are we there yet?”)  Forgot toothbrushes.  Shoot.  Toothpaste on the finger will have to do!  I’m sure they’ll love it.  And both Kirstyn and Cory should find a note in their suitcase tonight.  (My dad started this note-leaving tradition a long, long time ago.  I was probably Kirstyn’s age?  Yeah.  That was a long time ago.)

Megan is sleeping now, so the house is silent.  Until Cameron gets home from church in an hour!  I should do something productive like fold laundry.  Uh-huh.  I really should…

Double shoot!  I just remembered I forgot their sleeping bags!  Oops.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, I LOVE Steve Azar’s song “Sunshine!”

Bug Killer


I’m not usually cruel to animals.  Ask anyone that knows me well, and they’ll tell you I’m a big softie.  I break for toads and groundhogs, I grab birds from the cats, I sneak the kittens inside when Derek isn’t looking, and I still cry when Bambi dies!  But I squish bugs.

I wasn’t always so mean, but it’s their fault, really — the bugs.  They never should have come in my house!  I won’t put up with japanese beetles and other crawly things in my bed, ticks on my legs, stink bugs that fly at my face, or spiders hanging over my toilet.  The ants are getting on my nerves.   And the flies!  I hate the flies!  Yesterday a fly landed on the ring of my coffee cup.  While I was drinking my coffee!  The nerve!

So I don’t feel bad — at all — when I smash those flies.  Today I found myself thinking violent thoughts about them.  “Die! Die! Die!” was running through my head as I chased flies around the house and killed them off one by one.  Problem is, I can’t ever kill them off completely!  They come back!  With buddies!  Like Percy Jackson’s hydra-head monster.  Maybe I have a sign on my roof: “This lady thinks she can kill us?  Flies Unite!” 

I guess I don’t hate the other bugs as much as I hate the flies.  If the spiders stay in their corner and don’t crawl in my mouth while I’m sleeping, I’ll let them stay.  They eat flies, right?  Heh, heh, heh…  The stink bugs are irritating, but not germy or carnivorous, as far as I know.  Ticks are creepy.  I will kill those!  The beetles can stay, if they stay out of my bed.  Ants are actually amazing little creatures, but I just don’t want them in my house!  I don’t know what to do though, because Megan sucks on the ant traps. Even if I hide them, she finds them.  (I’ve never called the poison control center in my life.  Does that make me a bad mom?)

Oh, and I realized today, in my fly smashing frenzy, that fly-killing is a great stress buster!  And my kids love to help smash them, so it’s a great summer activity.  Right up there with “bike-riding” or “water balloon fights!”  It’s a tv-free activity, works your arm muscles, releases tension… Yep!  I think  “kill flies” should be added to all those official summertime lists.

Rain Makes Mud


Today I’m praying for rain and kitties.  I just hung laundry out, so there’s a slight contradiction in my actions, but oh well!  I can throw it in the dryer if it rains, and if it doesn’t rain, I’ll have nice fresh-smelling laundry.  And I’ll have saved, what — $.50?  I don’t know.  I’ll have to research that.  I’m sure it’s at least $.25, which will buy me one diaper.  If it is $.50, that’s a pull-up!

It rained a little yesterday, and we all ran outside and played in the wet grass and mud.  Except Derek.  He stayed inside and ate supper like a sane man.  Hey, it was an exciting event!  It hadn’t rained here for months.  The corn everywhere is dry and pointy, and half my flowers are dead.  (I have huge flower beds, so that’s a lot of dead flowers!)  I have to water my baby crabapple trees and japanese maple trees every other day, and Derek’s mom and dad have to water the garden and orchard constantly.  We still need a lot of rain!  I’m sure we’re not the only ones praying.

My cat and her kitten  disappeared Sunday.  I’m really sad about this!  Kirstyn is sad too, of course, since the kitten, Tiger, was her very own to keep.  I keep waiting to see if they’ll just show up again, but it’s been three days now.  They probably found a new home, due to Erin’s cat Cassie.  Cassie has always been an aggressive cat, and now that she has kittens of her own, she’s turned nasty to the other cats.  Naiah (an old, sick cat I wanted to get rid of anyway) disappeared two weeks ago, and Annie and Tiger are gone now.  Tiger had been already been attacked a few times.  The whole top of her head was all bloody and missing huge chunks of fur.  Stupid Cassie.  Erin, get a house!

On a completely unrelated topic, I finally have a child that eats boogers!  Cameron!  No, I’m not proud of this, but I was actually surprised that none of my other kids discovered this childhood activity.  This morning I noticed a booger in Cameron’s nose, and then it was gone.  I asked him if he got it, and he said, “Yep.  I ate it.”  I’m like, “Eww!  Gross!  Don’t eat boogers — who taught you that?”  Cameron pipes up with, “You.”  I didn’t!  Honest!