The 63rd Day

It’s the 63rd Day of Christmas. I counted.

I’ve changed vestments from Advent to Ordinary time to Lent.

I’ve had the flu, traveled to a conference, and worked too many hours, and have been so tired that One More Chore wasn’t gonna happen. The Christmas tree stayed up.

Then February came. It was time to watch The Olympics as any dedicated couch potato would do, and lead the Ash Wednesday service. And a family member had minor surgery.

But that was not enough! I procrastinated on tax preparation (that’s almost done) and ignored the vacuuming until the dust bunnies picketed me. I have several sewing projects piled high. To keep my mind sharp, I am reading three books at once. My ability to find things to do except for that one task I MUST do is legendary.

How do I know this? It’s simply that, finally, on the 63rd Day of Christmas, we took down the tree. I think that to celebrate my birthday in June, we’ll put the boxes away.

I just wanted to let you that besides making procrastination an art form, I’m a real human being who loves Jesus and hates certain chores.

As you were.

Keeping life weird. One day at a time. 

This week #2 Daughter and I made applesauce.  And applebutter. And canned them. 

We have tested them both. They. Are. DELISH!!! 

Now that you’ve stopped drooling…

Our efforts in preparing to can them were hampered by the fact I couldn’t find the canner! (Nor all of the canning rings and lids. But I digress.)

This evening, my bearded spouse found the bin we had ALL looked right past. Because on the outside it was labeled:

And yes. On the inside?

All the swear words. All of them. 

I’m sure I’ll use this as a sermon illustration for Luke 15 some time. At the moment, I’m too busy laughing at myself. 

Just keeping life weird around here, one day at a time. 

Ants in the Coffeepot (and other things that make me crazy)

IMG_0460-0For the last week or so, we have spotted ants on the kitchen counter. It was usually after a heavy rain, and it’s also as the weather begins to cool. We thought it was just the periodic foragers for fall, and made our usual precautions: moved the sugar bowl off the counter, put the honey bear in a water moat, and were scrupulous about cleaning the counters. We put out a few random “ant traps” but didn’t cover things with chemicals. This is, after all, where I prepare food!

This week the ants were busier, and there was a “line” of them. Stopping and “talking” in “ant code” and then bustling on back to their terminus, we would clean a few off the counter and go about our day. We kept looking for home base but didn’t find it. The usual suspects (the compost bucket and the honey bear) were carefully monitored. Last night I thought I had found the nest – under my African violet. I quickly rinsed the pot, moated it and went to bed, feeling victorious.

HUZZAH! No more ants!

(You know where this is going, don’t you?)

This morning, as Bearded Brewer was on his daily inspection and sleuthing of the ants, he moved the coffee pot. Lo and hehold, ants came streaming out of the back of the coffee pot! It’s the kind of pot that has a reservoir and a “cup-at-a-time” dispenser. And apparently, the dark, heated spot was ideal for warmth-seeking ants. He quickly poured his as yet uncaffeinated spouse a cup of coffee, and then moved the coffeepot outside.

I went to look at the pot. The bottom and inside were COVERED with ants! Not the part where the coffee brews or the reservoir where it is stored. Just all up underneath in the “guts” of the heating element and the wiring. I couldn’t wash it, and I didn’t want to put ant poison on it. Coffee with ant spray just doesn’t cut it.IMG_0459

This morning I’m going to buy a new coffeepot. I’m also going to call the refrigerator repair place and find out when they can come fix the ice-maker which is ( — correction — WAS) spraying water all over the kitchen wall, onto the floor.

Then I think I will solve one of the biggest mysteries of the universe: why cats always hork a hairball at least twice, and ALWAYS in the middle of the step. On carpet.

It’s the random little events that make me nuts. Not the big crises. I seem to be able to rise to the moments of greatest need for myself or those I care about.

But the jerk on the Beltway that cuts me off? Ants in my coffeepot? Hork on the basement steps? A busted refrigerator waterline? THOSE nibble at my patience and scrape away at my self-indulgence. And they are minuscule inconveniences in the grand scheme of things.

May we each remember what matters and get upset by the things which are world-changing. Despite my desire for morning caffeination, ants in the coffeepot doesn’t make the list.






Love, Life and Loaves of Bread

It’s been a busy couple of days for someone who hasn’t left the house except to shovel…

Monday night through Tuesday, we were blessed with a real, measurable snowfall here in the DC area. Enough to have an excuse to use the snowblower twice. Today with the highs in the low teens, I’m more than content to stay in and work on some writing assignments.

Henry. Couch companion and general snoopervisor.
Henry. Couch companion and general snoopervisor.

This met with Henry’s approval, though he is not a fan of laptops and books and other contraptions that take away his human’s attention. However, he is more than willing to share a lap and stay warm. Priorities, you know.

Bearded Brewer is on travel, and so I have found that there is more time to indulge in my bread-baking habits. Monday, a loaf of herb bread (to accompany vegetable soup) filled the the kitchen with yummy aromas. Today, because it was cold and snowy, I made a batch of oatmeal bread. It again made a cold, windy day feel warmer, even if the thermostat said otherwise.

Oatmeal Bread. YUM.
Oatmeal Bread. YUM.

The carbovore in me is quite content. There are loaves for my freezer and loaves to gift to friends.

Life is meant to be shared with friends and family. I’m grateful.

Derp. Derp.

Yesterday was a crazy, busy day. Reedy Girl needs her passport renewed. She also had a pit orchestra rehearsal. I had a half day of CPE. There were multiple around-the-house chores to be done, like taking down the Christmas lights and decorations. And I have a 20 page consultation paper due, like, yesterday.

SO. I packed a lunch. Worked on my consultation paper while I waited for Reedy Girl to get out of school. Got her to the post office  late (after I stopped to pick up the forgotten paperwork and passport photos), meeting Bearded Brewer. Only to discover… they had us on a different day.

But… but… on my brainiac phone (not necessarily smart) I had it on my calendar for January 6th.

No. We are down on their calendar for Jan. 13th. And both parents do not need to be present for a child over 16.

I took Reedy Girl back to rehearsal and went home and looked at my calendars. You know, the paper kind. One said it was on the 6th. The other said it was on the 13th. Bearded Brewer checked his personal calendar, and it said the 13th.

I felt lousy for messing up 3 people’s days, and then being confident that the post office employee messed up the date.

Derp. Derp. Yup. It was 99% likely it was my fault.

So, what do you do when you have one of these Derp. Derp. moments? You stop. You pray. You apologize. And then you try again. It was a dose of humble pie. My least favorite, but most necessary flavor.

It’s not often we get a do-over. But I did. And I’ll extend the same to you. Just remind me. “Post office.” That’ll do it.

It’s a easy as…

It’s as easy as… backing a trailer.

Recently I have been trying to be a writing coach and personal organizer to my progeny. The organizer part I can do. Well, sort of. The writing coach part, not so good. There’s certain things that I do well, and seem to do them instinctively. How do you teach instinct? You don’t.

Even if I give a step-by-step, there’s really no substitute for experience, dang it. Practice makes perfect. Or may it should be “practice makes better rough drafts.”

I just decided that this “writing” business is very much like backing a trailer. Anyone can do it, with enough practice, enough patience, and the right skill set.

It also helps if you know left from right… kinda like writing.


That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!



See you in a few weeks…

BECAUSE… it’s the end of the semester!!!
I’ve got 2 papers due.

The kids are away at camp or with friends this week and it’s prime writing time.

My beloved spouse is dealing with a bunkered down wife in the piles of journal articles and books.

Back when the dust settles and the last papers are emailed…

and THEN??? It’s time to CHILL OUT for the summer!!!