Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dangerous Weekend 2

A week after Hubby sliced his hand and had to be sewn back together, we were running late for church. That is not the dangerous part, for that happens all the time. We have been picking up a couple young teens in our town from a very un-churched family, so we rushed out the door.

I believe I had taken my shower that morning, instead of the night before, which put me even further behind. I discovered the kids had only eaten applesauce (from Gigi's house, and full of corn syrup. Yuck!), and knew that wouldn't hold them through church. I think I dished up some cottage cheese (protein!) for the milk-tolerant, and set some quinoa on the stove to simmer up quickly for Li'l Artist. In the hustle and bustle, I never served her the quinoa.

In fact, I didn't think about it until an hour later we were sitting waiting for church to get started, and the kids were a little wild. I considered what they had eaten, and the thought of applesauce led me to the other breakfasts... I hadn't served Little Artist. Apparently a horrified look fell upon my face, and I hurried to the back where Hubby was sipping coffee to ask if he had done anything with the quinoa. He had not. "I don't think I took it off the stove..." I said. 

Breaking speed laws, we are at least 20 minutes away from church. Hubby said I should call our neighbor (who is retired, lives alone, and had been sick). I did so, but could only leave a message. I told him, "this is already an emergency." He suggested I call another neighbor who lives 3/4 of a mile away, an organic gardener who I'm friends with, and he took the van and hurried in the direction of home.

I must say, what follows is kindof humorous in hindsight. This dear woman has been *in* our house only once. It was December 26, 2009. The 10 days or so prior to that had me madly sewing/knitting/whatever for gifts, then a few days spent at Gigi's, then back home to cook/bake like crazy, both for our home, for the Christmas Eve goodies, and the holiday meal, both at my inlaws, and the house, post Christmas, literally looked like a bomb had gone off. There was NO WHERE to sit; not a single surface that wasn't a complete disaster, and you could barely walk between the boxes and bags of christmas gifts/things hauled to and from festivities/kid mess/coats/boots/laundry/etc. I was exhausted and in fact hadn't even gotten out of bed by the time she and her husband stopped at our house that morning. Mortification is too mild a word.

Last year of course, I was moderately ready for a visit (i.e. there was at least a place to sit), but not surprisingly, they did not come. :)

So, I considered calling this lady, knowing full well that Sundays were only slightly better, generally speaking, than the-day-after-Christmas in our house. Saturdays I often try to get 'projects' done - sewing, or organizing something, an outdoor job if it's pleasant, but the kids tend to slide on their chores, and I tend to slide on enforcement, so the house was - again - not guest ready, by any means.

So I considered... call Mrs. S. to save the house, knowing she'll walk through and SEE it, or just let the house burn down altogether...?  Oh my. You know you need to step up the housekeeping if THAT'S how you weigh such a problem.

As Hubby hit the road to go home, I called Mrs. S. to ask if she could go see if my house was burning down. I did not advise her as to where to find the scrapbooks; if it was afire I would be spared the embarrassment of AGAIN having her in unexpectedly.

She called back before Hubby had made it home, saying things were 'fine' (i.e. the house was still standing), though the quinoa was quite burnt, and the house was filled with smoke (she opened a window). She placed the pan in the sink and turned off the burner, and left. 

I haven't used the pan again, though it's my best little oatmeal pan. I fear ruining anything I try to cook in it, but I haven't relegated it to the feed sacks either. 

I am grateful, for my scrapbooks' sake, that she did not just close the door after one glance, and let the place burn... :)

(Truly, I AM so thankful to God that He brought this to mind before we could do nothing about it! One minor careless act could've cost us so very much, and we are SO grateful for His grace..)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Oo, That's A Giveaway!

You can win books (maybe all of them!) by my favorite author, Francine Rivers.

Go here for details. :) :) :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dangerous Weekend

Weekends have been a little troublesome for us.  We're not the only ones, and I'm sure for most people it's not limited to weekends (in our small church, we have a young mom completely laid up after back surgery to remove big bone fragments that came loose and attacked her spinal nerves after a bout of strenuous exercise [that's what you get for exercising, right?], a grandma [the one taking care of the mom] with a broken toe, a businesswoman with a broken foot.. Lest this seem minor, this probably constitutes 20% of our regular attendees).

A few weeks ago Hubby was changing out a doorknob, and instead of getting the proper hammer and chisel, he tried to carve out room for the new latchplate with his leatherman.

He slipped.

He sliced his palm about 3 1/2" long, up to a quarter inch deep (I thank God his skin is tough and leathery, else it might've been so much worse), right along one of the creases of his hand.

This photo was taken with my crummy camera, text-messaged to my sisterinlaw, who emailed it back to me. Forgive the travel-weary state:

It became our first-ever actual ER visit in the nearly-11 years we've been married. It was a busy Saturday night there, and I was surprised at the number of little babies in carriers that were waiting for treatment.

He cut himself sometime around 7, and I didn't know it until I came out from sewing to see what his earlier groaning and muttering was about. He had his grubby hand wrapped around a paper towel. He showed it to me, and I gasped, then followed up with, "really? Really? What are you thinkin' man? Maybe we should WASH that a little bit?" Said with a partial smile. We went downstairs and did a little first-aid and considered our options. We were on the fence regarding the necessity of further treatment, so called various people for second opinions. My dad encouraged us not to risk a workin'-man's hands, and to get it stitched up. With a sigh I took the pot of reheating soup from the stove, and made a call to my inlaws who agreed to watch the kids. The kids were told to each grab their pajamas and to get into the van. My motherinlaw offered to inspect the wound to give her opinion, but I was pretty sure if *I* was on the fence regarding an ER visit, she'd be completely convinced it was necessary. :) I was right, and after dropping the girls, we went to the hospital. We got out around 11pm, and used a drive-thru Walgreen's to pick up Vicodin at midnight. Weird.

Ten days later we had my motherinlaw (she's a nurse) begin to remove the sutures per the instructions of the PA that did the job. The wound was not healing right, in fact the more stitches she removed, the more it kindof gaped open, so she stopped halfway, and I spent the last little bit of savings on yet more bandages and wrap tape. :) The good news is that it HAS healed, if not the way it was first intended. His tough, calloused skin went together under the PA's needle, but shifted after that, and while the gash didn't close itself, it did heal inside the walls of itself.

What do you suppose a palm-reader would make of him now? "Things will be cut short." "You have a split personality." "I'm unable to read this language." :)

Truly, we thank God for healing, and for available medical care to tend to it.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Spring Signs

Well, I can't leave that last depressing post at the top. I'm hoping it is/was hormones, winter blues, kids cooped up for months...

Today Little Artist headed out to the van to search for her $3 used roller blades, but burst right back into the house.

"[Big Sister]! I hear the tweeting of summer birds!"

Big Sister hurried out with her and confirmed the song of the meadowlark has returned to us. Truly, that song is such a welcome gift, whether March or August. And so too is the excitement with which my six-year-old announces such a thing. :)

At six, I certainly wasn't tuned into the signs of the seasons like that. I'm grateful that my girls *are*. :)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Last night I went to a monthly bible study for Moms. It's a varied group; many churches represented, several homeschoolers, and it's a lovely group. The venue changes, and last night we were able to switch last-minute: the neighbor of our intended hostess wasn't going to be able to make it since her husband was working late. She welcomed us to her home instead, so she could attend for the first time.

After the study, we enjoyed some pie and ice cream, and then took a tour of her older home. It's near where we first lived in town, but bigger (not BIG mind you, just bigger than our tiny 872 sf home), and beautifully remodeled/fixed up. Apparently there are still things they intend to do, but really it was breathtaking. Not because it was just *so fancy*, but because they have four children, the oldest of whom is 7. *I* have four children, and my oldest is nine.

I'm trying to be inspired. I really am. But it wars with discouragement, and I'm not sure which is winning today. Her carpet is soft, and new, and there are no apple cores to be found within its fibers. Her children's rooms are painted beautifully, and no one has taken a pen or marker or pencil or sharp utensil to them. Their beds have (coordinated!) blankets, and none of them were on the floor. Her converted attic loft/guest/storage area, for which she apologized, looks like any "after" photo I might take after a real effort at cleaning/organizing/decorating. How does she do it? How does anyone do it? Why can't I???

I sat with the kids today, and we held hands and prayed about this. I pointed out that I had vacuumed up all the cornmeal two days ago. Someone poured more on the floor of the schoolroom. I told them the miracle(s) that brought this house to us. I asked them if they gave someone a gift, if they would want that gift to be loved or not. I showed them the (pieces of) crayons I just picked up from all over the floor - for the second day in a row. The tape stuck to the floor in great, wasteful lengths. The bookshelf overturned in the bedroom. Who does this kind of thing?

I am not completely ignorant. I have not completely neglected the training of my children. But oh my gosh it sure looks that way. Where am I missing it here? Why the glaring, glaring difference between two otherwise similar households? I do not (seriously) require the jacuzzi tubs, or a fireplace in my bedroom suite, or glassed-in showers, or the stainless fridge-over-freezer. But oh, an apple-core-free carpet would be fantastic. A little order to rest in, without sacrificing three times over when the girls have five minutes to their own devices. Without abandoning sleep altogether, what can I do to close the gap??