Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lies, Lies, Lies and a New Home for Shark

Pet Store Guy: "I can't sell you a baby shark without a full tank and a filtration system."

Me: "#$*&%!!, Fiddlesticks! ... say .... could you sell me another kind of fish and just say it's a shark?"

Pet Store Guy: "Sure thing." [With a wide smile, goes to get the 'shark'] "Here boys; take good care of this baby, orange shark; when he grows up, he's going to be ferocious!"

Back home, we named our shark "Orange Shark" and decorated his tank with dinosaurs -- of course!

In Developing News

That lady at church

who handed Pete her camera

to take pictures of a special service

is going to be really surprised!

When In Doubt

Sew blue wings on your sleeves,

Hand a pair of yellow ones to a friend of your feather,

And fly the afternoon away.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

God is Faithful

Has it been a year already?


Simeon's Song

Simeon Shepherd, my son, you guide me to His Heart,

But to you it's just a song, a little ditty I hum when we're together.

Simeon Shepherd, my son, you bring me to my knees,

But to you it's just a tune, a tiny trotting melody I breathe when I wipe the counters.

Simeon Shepherd, my son, you set my feet dancing, stomping away shadows till there's only light,

But to you it's just a jig, a thumping two-step on creaking floors.

Simeon Shepherd, my son -- you are song and I'll gladly sing you forever.

Happy Birthday, my smiling baby. Happy Birthday.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just Swiped This

But thought you'd like it just as much as I do.

Happy Day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Do Butterflies Make Butter?

Haven found Pete's old science book.

It has inspired a lot of questions.*

A lot.

Pufferfish, eels, sharks, spiders, chipmunks and armadillos (who woulda' known they breed 4 to a same gender litter every time -- fascinating!).

And with that, we're well on our way to being that weird homeschooling family with kids who just can't act right! Hooray, socially maladjusted land, here we come!! I'll be the one with the outdated glasses and fanny pack full of really lame snacks -- organic granola anyone?

* oh, the shirt around Haven's waist is actually a set of terrifying bat wings ... of course!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Vomit Dialogues

[Posted for a Cyber Friend to fulfill the assignment of "7 Quick Takes on Friday" -- hopefully, I won't come up with all 7 .]

[The following play made its debut last weekend in a small, lesser known, off-off-off ... off ... Broadway Theater, also known as my living room]

Act I

Setting: My pancake syrup-drenched home. I return from Mass (my husband and I having gone separately in order to keep kids at home and their puking epidemic from spreading throughout the diocese).

Husband is relaxing & reading a book on the couch. Children are smiling but, like the walls, are evenly coated in a sticky, maple hue.

Husband: What's for lunch?

Wife: I don't know; Turkey sandwiches, I guess.

Husband makes and eats two sandwiches and returns to couch while wife cleans children and walls and tables and chairs and couches and carpets and stairs and rails and toilet seats and bird feeders of maple syrup.

Husband leisurely walks to bookshelf to make another selection while Wife feeds children, changes diapers and settles over- sugared tots down for afternoon naps. Wife then surveys the war torn state of the kitchen and approaches husband with an observation:

Wife: Oh, Dear One?

Husband: Yes?

Wife: Do you realize that I'm doing enough work here to deserve a medal of honor while you hover nearby taking up space? Not to mention, you've had breakfast and lunch while I haven't had a thing but residual maple syrup via osmosis! WOULDJA MIND CHIPPING IN ALREADY!!!!????

Husband: Oh yeah ... of course ... why didn't you mention you were stressed?? Here, let me help ... and oh, I forgot to tell you ... Haven threw up on your side of the bed ...

Wife: What do you mean he threw up on my side of the bed?! Did you clean it up?! [note to reader: my bed, with its white quilt is OFF LIMITS to tots; I know that's mean but it makes me happy to have one spot in my world sacred.]

Husband: [Triumphantly, with fist to the sky]: No! But I can SHOW you where it is! [He runs to the bedroom; I follow] It's RIGHT THERE!!

Not surprisingly, a fight with vicious name calling ensued. But all I know is that after I stripped that bed, laid down in it and slept deeply for 2.5 uninterrupted hours, I woke to find the whole exchange hilarious and obviously blog (and theater) worthy.


Setting: Later that same Sunday. While preparing family for afternoon walk, Husband waves a sock cap at me accusingly.

Husband: Did SOMEBODY use MY HAT to clean up VOMIT??!!

Wife: Well seeing that the 2-year-old probably wouldn't clean up his own throw up, it appears you are accusing ME of such an act.

Husband: Well did you? You probably did. I mean look!!! Wait ... is that vomit? Or something else?

Wife: If I was on the fence on such an issue, I'd probably just find a different hat."


Fortunately, I don't have my own personal ACT III to share as there wasn't one. Fortunately. However, for the sake of The Rule of Three, let me conclude with a story about one of my dear friends and her new mini van and her son Noah. Here goes: he puked in it.

The End


Moral: Puke and kids are oftentimes, literally, bedfellows. Add laughter to keep it light.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lady Charlotte

Here's my latest column at Blue Mountain Moments. Enjoy!

Everyone is Interesting: A Series

This Month: Charlotte – Lady of the Library

I caught up with Charlotte on a wintry afternoon over a cup of coffee at Beanheads. Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” blared in the background, annoying me a bit. I almost asked the owners to turn it down. But when a few questions cast Charlotte’s way led to a novel-worthy story of steel magnolia strength, I remember thinking [although Charlotte will shake her head, blush and laugh out loud at the following statement] the song was an anthem all too fitting for her life.

You see Charlotte was a single mom back before the phrase was coined. Deserted by her first husband, she was left to raise two small daughters alone in the northern region of Philadelphia. She worked nights and weekends and was always determined to pay her mortgage, keep her kids in Catholic School and not receive financial assistance. “By God’s grace,” Charlotte said, “we got by.”

A few years into the life of single mothering, Charlotte met David, that distinguished- looking chap you so often see on her arm, when she paid $12.00 to have her eyes examined at his optometry school. She later saw him at church. They stood outside to chat as the next service started up. By the time folks were leaving, Charlotte, David and her girls were still talking in their spot on the sidewalk. Shortly thereafter, the couple married and David adopted daughters Anastasia and Andrea as his own.

A job in Hazelton took the family on a road trip through Jim Thorpe. They found it so appealing they ended up settling. They’ve been here 30 years. During which time Charlotte raised her girls, dug in her garden, and even once hung from a tree to take just the right black and white photograph.

As our coffee cups drained, I hit Charlotte with a few of my more, let’s just say, open- ended questions.

“Talk about beauty,” I said, thinking she might stare at me blankly as she probably should.

But Charlotte didn’t miss a beat.

“I see beauty in children,” she said.

Charlotte then described how she cherishes her time with granddaughters Sara, Claudia and Sophie but didn’t stop there.

“I love it when the kids come for story time on Tuesdays,” she said, “all the toddlers with their mommies – they’re just perfect.”

Charlotte’s specialty, she said, is trying to match a young person up with a book.

“I look at what they’re wearing and ask them their interests,” she said, “Certain boys will strike me as “fantasy” or “science fiction” and I’ll walk them over to Tolkien. Sometimes a girl will remind me of my granddaughter Claudia – a deep thinker – and I’ll walk her over to the Newberry’s.”

So stop in the next time you’re passing by the Dimmick, especially if you’ve got your tots in tow. Charlotte will be waiting with a warm smile, a friendly ‘hello’ and if you need help, she’ll even match you up with a book.

-- Wanna know more about a particular local? Email Sarah at scranton55@yahoo.com to recommend someone for the next Everyone is Interesting column because … Everyone. Is. Interesting.