Showing posts from 2014

Last pair standing

When you’re married for a few years, life has a way of just starting to flow in an unspoken smoothness.  Some may call it a well-oiled machine. In our house, there are certain signs that alert each of us to something going on in the other’s life.   If my husband heard me tossing and turning or handling children during the night, he will have the coffee made before my eyelids finally push their way open.   Likewise, if I know he’s had a rough day at work, I try to gather the troops and welcome him home with love, hot food, and if at all possible, keep the kids from fighting with each other.   Sometimes, though, the simple situations are more practical and less emotional.   Not being a milk drinker myself, if we’re out of milk there will be an empty jug placed on the counter and I’ll know immediately to add it to the shopping list.   If we’re out of shampoo, there will be a bottle out of place on the bathroom counter. Same goes for the kids when they stand at the fridge and not so p

Back in my day…

  My kids should know better by now than to tell me they are bored during their summer break.  Not only does it instantly turn me into a drill sergeant, barking out orders to re-clean the windows and bathrooms, but it also sends me into a spiral of what my childhood days were like.  Way back when.  It goes like this: “Back in my day, we didn’t have all these “camps.”   We had one camp.   It was called swimming lessons and we went there at 4:00AM when the pool was barely above freezing and had to wear these awful swimming caps that were made out of industrial strength rubber that squeezed your brains, gave you a rash, and made you look like an alien.   And that’s if we were lucky to go.   Most of the time we woke up, ate a few bowls of brightly colored cereal and watched nothing on TV because we had four channels.   Most of the time there was nothing good on, unless you liked to watch the news, a game show, or reruns of shows from the 1970’s were everyone had big hair and bigger

Save yourself: swim in a lake

Like a good child of the early 80’s, about once a week my mom loaded up her woody station wagon with baby oil and Kool-Aid and all the neighborhood kids and drove us to the local public pool.   We got there early and set up our blanket and cooler and my mom talked with her friend for hours while we swam happily in what I have recently learned is a vat of toxic fumes. I feel lucky to be alive even reminisce the days of when we found a candy bar floating in the shallow end and went and told the lifeguard to fish it out with that super long scoping net because when it came right down to it, we weren’t 100% sure it was a candy bar at all. Public pools have been around for a long time, and I fully trust the years of science that have gone into keeping the yucky germs at bay.  I trust the strength of the chemicals in a well-maintained pool to kill the bad things without burning my skin. We don't care if it's pee-free or not!  (??) I don’t, however, trust the other patrons of

Pay no attention to your smoking mother

"Bye Bye Birdie" was an amazing production to be a part of!  If you haven't yet checked out Orrville Community Theater , please do.  It's good people, doing good things, for good reasons.  I love them dearly. I was a good kid.  I rarely got in trouble.  I never broke the rules.  I wasn’t a rebellious teenager in the least.   And though I admit to trying a few of my college roommate’s cigarettes, I can honestly say that I have never smoked. So why my son asked me the other day if I ever smoked, even when I was younger, I could honestly say, “no, I didn’t,” although I’m not sure he could take me seriously because I had a cigarette hanging out of my mouth.    “No way I smoked.   That stuff will kill you.   Literally.   Like I’m not even joking, it’s really insane.   Now how does it look when hold it like this?” I asked, moving the thing from the between-the-fingers position to the thumb and index finger hold. “You look ridiculous, mom.” And I knew I did, whi

My number one summer

It was my fault because I had just said, “nothing crazy has happened to me lately.”  I wish I could take I wear gloves now.  And goggles.  I swear. it back because now I find myself kicking off this summer season with my hand held high in the air, sporting a perpetual symbol for number one.  It’s like I’m cheering on an invisible sports team or constantly asking a question to whomever I pass by, while being wrapped like a mummy. Most readers won’t know, but I also have a small homemade soap company that runs under the same name, “dirt don’t hurt.”  I make soap from scratch using fats and lye and give it natural smells and color and most of the time, it’s a hobby turned side job that I absolutely love.  The artistry of fragrance, the chemistry of the soap, and the mission to tell people to love nature and play in the outdoors because, as I remember hearing often when I was younger, “dirt don’t hurt.” The problem is that lye does. There are moments in one’s life that should no

Card carrying member of the clean plate club

It was not an easy club to be in, but through the forceful voice of my father and my mother’s excellent cooking magic, I was a proud member of the Clean Plate Club for most of my life. And for most of my life, I honestly thought this was something my dad made up so that I would finish my food and make me feel like I had been inducted into a secret society that was full of healthy people who had eaten copious amounts of vegetables and pot roast.   And eggs, in their entirety. It was the morning of the fifth grade science fair.   My father had requested fried eggs and as I joined the breakfast table, I did my usual thing and dipped my toast into the yellow yolk and left the white part on the plate. He wasn’t so happy.   Growing up in a family that barely got by, every ounce of food was precious.   “Eat the white,” he said. “But daddy, I don’t like the white,” I replied which was pretty stupid because there was no way I was going to win this battle. “Look,” he said, taunting ph

The Days of our Yards

There was a short spurt in my life when my first child was an infant that I became hopelessly addicted to a soap opera.  Once when the show was cut out due to dangerous storm coverage, I actually wrote the station a nasty letter complaining that I missed my program because of their overprotective forecasting.  (I am still fairly ashamed of this.) Thankfully my addiction didn’t last long and besides that bit of time, I have never been much of a person to enjoy watching the drama in someone else’s life.   I love a good storyline, but can’t stand to spend my spare time wrapped up in the problems of someone else when I have plenty of my own. So I don’t watch soaps.   On television, that is. Every spring when days get warmer and brighter, I get much better at keeping my bird feeders full.   “You spend more on those birds than you do me,” chirps my husband.    I can’t help myself, though.   Those birds become the soap opera that I never thought I’d ever watch, but I do. I stand at