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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Winds of change

The wind is changing. Can you feel it?

I don't mean just the approach of spring, although that's certainly a relief (and even moreso for my kith and kin in places that got more than their usual share of snow and ice by degrees of magnitude). No, I suspect there's a sea change afoot.

Because Boy #1 has asked for seconds. Of protein. Whose name didn't include peanut butter or nugget. I know!

I made pork chops for dinner. As it turns out, they weren't even particularly good pork chops, but they were fine. Gave each boy one half. Boy #2 dutifully ate his half and inquired after more mashed potatoes. Boy #1, however, snarfed his down and asked for more.

Never. Happened. Before. Never-ever.

And I know there are those of you saying,"You'll be sorry you asked for this," regaling me with tales of escalating grocery bills and never being able to keep milk in the house. I know. But I've looked for this day for so long. . .let me savor the victory just a bit longer. Because if pork has fallen, broccoli can't be far behind.

And that change has got me thinking about how very different my kids' childhoods are than mine was, particular when it comes to technology.

Of the many things my children inherited from me, intense curiosity about who might be calling when the phone rings is not one of them.


Our kitchen phone looked something like this, but with the really long cord that, presumably, allowed you to get stuff done while talking. In reality, it served only to tie itself in maddeningly tighter coils that kept you tethered to the wall (in solidarity, I guess) with it.

I loved to answer the phone.

When I was 7 or 8, I'd entered a poem in a contest to proclaim my dad the Father of the Year (or some such) with our local radio station. <This isn't nearly as impressive as it sounds. In our rural area, the station probably had 15 listeners, tops.> And I won.

They called early that Sunday morning to let Dad know he'd been chosen Father of the Year. We were getting ready for church, and Dad happened to be in the shower. Guess who answered the phone. And promptly told the announcer -- and however many tens of people might have been listening -- where my dad was. He took a fair amount of ribbing at church that morning.

But my kids don't share that fascination. The oldest will occasionally check caller ID, but the youngest doesn't even bat an eye when the phone rings. I guess it comes from growing up with answering machines and voicemail; there's just not much excitement in the ring anymore. Ah, let them eat pork.

-ma'am

Friday, November 15, 2013

Say what?

Ever since I was a teenager, I've prided myself on having a thick skin -- that is, not being easily upset by what others say to or about me. Generally it's an issue of interpretation; most folks just don't go out of their way to be rude. . . at least not on purpose.

But my children seem to have missed my personal pride in this facet of my personality. Not only did they miss it, but they often trample right over it -- and me.

Just this week we had 2 such occasions, both on the same day.

At breakfast, sweet and funny Boy #2 turns to me, wide-eyed, and asks, "So, Mom, did you ever have any friends?"

Perhaps it was the lack of caffeine or still-sleepy ears, but I'm pretty sure he emphasized "ever" just a bit too much. Smoothing my feathers mentally, I explained that I do have friends, most of whom he knows. They come over, we go to their houses, we meet out at places. . . we do stuff together.

"I meant," he explained slowly and loudly (why is this boy so loud in the morning?), "when you were a child."

Yes, of course, I had friends then, too. In fact, some of them are still my friends now. "Oh. Okay." And he sauntered upstairs to brush his teeth.

Sitting down to dinner that night -- and not to be outdone -- Boy #1 looks at his plate and exclaims, "Oh good, overcooked! Yum!" Honestly, it's an exact quote. And he said it with much gusto and enthusiasm, not the snarky, in-a-year-or-so-I'll-be-painfully-sarcastic-every-living-moment attitude we often hear.

I gave him my patented you'd-better-watch-your-step glare, while The Husband suggested he rephrase what he just said.

"Oh, I just meant the cheese gets all brown and crunchy when Mom cooks them this way," he gushed, cheerfully. "It's how I like them!"

So there you have it: Proof that hair isn't the only thing to thin with age.

-ma'am


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Anybody seen my green thumb?

I have a confession: the gecko green room (belonging to Boy #1) is really pretty nice. After the first coat -- OK and the second -- I was pretty sure it was horrible and that we'd have to find somewhere else to say our bedtimes prayers. Because there was no way I'd be able to set foot in it ever again.

The painting begins

Behold: gecko green abounds

But somewhere between coats 3 and 4 -- oh yeah, you read that right. We needn't go into now why Sherwin Williams is both my most and least favorite of paint stores -- it started growing on me.

Which is good. Because I'm having trouble growing much of anything else at The House. For instance:

Sorry tomato plant

Close-up

My <ahem> lovely tomato plant. Actually, it's two plants: one regular tomato and one grape tomato, plus a sweet red pepper for good measure. With all our rain this summer, it's actually produced a decent crop. The grape tomatoes were huge -- looked like mini romas -- and were pretty tasty. The single sweet red pepper it produced was wonderful. 

But something kept tasting the full-sized tomatoes. And then the ones that hadn't been sampled ended up tasting sorta fishy. How? No idea. And yet, look at the close-up: there's new growth and blossoms alongside the sorry, dead shoots.

And then there's this: 

Once upon a time, when it was gifted to me, it was a lovely succulent with sweet little yellow flowers. Now it's a stick showing off just a bit. It's a good thing I don't take this personally. . . and that I can grow other, normal houseplants. 

Also that we live fairly close to the grocery store. 

-ma'am