Showing posts from June, 2015

Number one summer

5/25/14 It was my fault because I had just said, “nothing crazy has happened to me lately.”   I wish I could take   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. 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. 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 not be replayed, either out

The days of our yards

May 11, 2014 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

Card carrying member

May, 2014 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 sai

On the job mom training

 I never played with dolls.  I didn’t have tea parties or strollers.  I didn’t dress them up and feed them.  The only feeding of dolls I ever did was with a certain doll that had a digestive system and came with little packets of gel powder.  You’d add water and make pink goo and feed it to the baby, pump the handle in the back, and wait for proof that what goes in must come out. Then I gave her a haircut that would make you think she had a lawnmower for a beautician, and she ended up in the bottom of my toy box. There were other dolls that people gave me, thinking that surely a little girl would hone in her mothering skills and enjoy them, but I didn’t.   I didn’t have mothering skills.   I had other skills.   I had rock collections and rode my bike with no hands.     Being an only child, I always considered myself the daughter my parents always wanted and the son they never had.   So when I got married and my husband told my parents that he wanted to have six children, my pa

Black Jelly Beans

I’ll let you in on a few secrets.  First, my children don’t read the newspaper.  Second, my husband reads them all on the weekend after I’ve clipped my column and stashed it safely in a shoebox.  Third, the good candy is hidden under the spice drops.  And lastly, my childhood philosophy of the black jellybeans still reigns strong today. There was always a candy dish in our living room.   A fancy blue painted one with a gold trim.   My mother kept a variety of candy in there that would change seasonally, but near Easter it was always filled with jellybeans.   Everyone knew it was there – friends and all of the kids in the neighborhood.   In a matter of minutes, the candy dish would be empty except for the black jellybeans because no one ever liked them.   So it would go that the candy dish in my very own house that should have belonged all to me (I have no siblings to share with), would more likely be bare than not.   Except for those leftover black jellybeans. One day I decide