Archive for March, 2013

Dylan’s Homework is FINISHED!

I went over to pick Dylan and Jacob up tonight to take them over to our house for an overnight visit until tomorrow evening so Mommy could sleep after she got off work. (They go back to school on Tuesday.)

Mommy handed me their overnight bag. She asked, if I had time, whether I could possibly persuade Dylan to maybe get a couple of pages of homework done. Seems Dylan did not WANT to do homework over his spring break. (Go figure!) There were eight or nine pages of it which seemed a little excessive for a five-year-old kindergartener. He’d done three pages the entire week with a lot of drama for Mama. He had one more day to get it done.

“If you don’t get any done, it won’t be any big deal, but even a page would help!”

“Yeah, throw it in. No problem!” Mommy probably does not remember HER epic tantrums about her homework. Dylan’s tantrums don’t even compare. “We’ll get it done before we go to the beach tomorrow!”

“We’re going to the BEACH?” Dylan asked, throwing himself around my legs.

“Yep, just as soon as your homework is finished!”


Meemaw has learned a few things in her multitude of less-than-illustrious careers working with both the public and with public officials. One thing I’ve learned is that physical violence is sometimes necessary. I have no objection to it when warranted. However, real enthusiasm and cooperation about getting the job done often requires incentives or rewards. Incentives work with small children as well. The compensation they require is just smaller in monetary value. We might call them “rewards”. In business, they are often called “incentives” or “consideration”. Had I been caught and prosecuted, no doubt the law would have called them “bribes”. Whatever it takes to get the job done.

So, Mommy, if you are reading this during a lull at work tonight, you can rest easy knowing that you will not have any tear-filled drama tomorrow night. Dylan worked diligently at his homework from @ 8 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. and finished it. I gave him the option of saving some for tomorrow, but he just sighed and said he might as well just do it all now so we could go to the beach early.

Nope. Mommy was never that easy.

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Happy Easter!

Brantley NelsonHope the Easter Bunny hopped his butt off around your house!

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He is Risen

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Advice From Me? You Have to REALLY Want It!

I had a dinner date with a couple friends a few weeks ago. They were talking about their marital problems and relationship problems respectively, and asked me what I thought.

I came close to snorting my adult beverage out my nose. “Uh, why are you asking ME? You KNOW how I am about things like this!”

One friend said “Because we know that you will actually tell us what you think and won’t try to pretty it up and spare our feelings if we’re wrong.”

The other friend concurred. “Yep. When anybody asks your opinion, they have to really want to know, because you will tell it like you see it. EXACTLY like you see it.”

Hunh. I think I may now know why I do so poorly in places where happy feelings are stressed over actual outcomes….

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Life is Just That Way, I Guess

We are halfway through “spring break”. SwampMan has had SUCH a bad cold/bronchitis (probably pneumonia, truth be told) that he has a hard time breathing. Naturally, it turned off cold again. If it was warm, he’d probably be recovered.

We spent Monday rebuilding his CNC machine frame. It is something that he has wanted to do before we really got started in production work. We started with fairly lofty ambitions…everything must be square, and level, and stable.

He was on the cold concrete floor underneath the machine squirming about on his back. I was the gofer cutting materials and mitering and screwing in additional bracing on the outside of the frame. I was also dropping things and cursing and noticing that when I was in a cramped position for a prolonged period of time, it was a little hard for me to immediately obey commands. For example, I’d be toting things and cutting things and then down on the concrete floor on my knees with a heavy-ass drill attaching things, and SwampMan would say “Okay. Down at the other end now.” Meanwhile, I’d be on my knees in this 1-foot space between a solid concrete wall and a table with delicate electronic pieces that I could not touch, wondering how in the hell was I going to get up? SwampMan would repeat as though I had not heard: “Okay, the OTHER end. I need you down at THIS end.” Struggle struggle. No room to get my feet back under me. How did I manage to get down here? Oh, yeah. It was hard. “You’re at the WRONG END! I need you down here with ME!”

“Well, if you had something I could maybe pull myself up on, I’d be DOWN at THAT damn end!”

“Oh. Getting OLD, aren’t we?”

“Shaddup. This is NOT FUNNY!”

“Yes. Yes, it is!”

“Okay, maybe it is!” and somehow I’d wiggle out to a spot where I had enough room to get my feet underneath me, and down to the other end I’d go. “Seriously, you need to attach some ropes or something to the ceiling so I can pull myself up if I have to do this shit again!”

Let us just say that our lofty ambitions of square, level, and stable had flown completely out the window by the end of the day. We were into serious settling territory by then. We settled for mostly square, kinda level, and completely sturdy.

We limped outta the barn giggling at each other and settled into our easy chairs and debated whether we were truly getting old (NEVER! Okay, maybe a little!) or whether we were just too dang outta shape.

I called Mom, since I hadn’t talked to her since we’d first became ill, as though germs can be spread over the phone. She shared all the news and, as we were about to hang up, dropped another bombshell.

“Oh, another spot popped up and they think my cancer is back. I have to get another biopsy.”

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March Was a Good Month for Babies!


Ah, finally have a picture of the great niece born a couple weeks ago. She was two weeks late, to everybody’s consternation, and weighs in at almost 10 lbs. She’s going to need that extra insulation up there in North Dakota!

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Bad Weather

I thought that I had everything under control when we left to make a run to the library. I had barns open for shelter for the sheep, I had fed all the chickens and newly hatched ducklings and chicks before I left so that they would have full tummies during the bad weather, and I’d moved the pens of newly hatched chicks and ducklings with their mothers to higher ground, or at least what I thought was higher ground. I knew we were going to have rain during the afternoon. I did not know how much rain was coming, though.

We were actually gone far longer than we had intended to be due to the storms. I got out in the driveway to open the gate and was instantly soaked through with cold rain that felt like it was coming out of a high pressure hose. I argued briefly with SwampMan. He wanted me to jump back in the truck and ride up the driveway to the house and come inside. I wanted to go check the chicks, ducklings, and livestock. He pointed out that I was recovering from bronchitis and I wasn’t Superwoman, even if I thought I was. That truck sure did feel nice and warm driving up the driveway after getting soaked through in just a minute or two at the gate!

We came inside and got out of our soaked hoodies, tees, and blue jeans. I put on dry socks, light pants, and another sweatshirt and baseball hat to check on the babies. *sigh* I thought I’d gotten my little chicks with their momma up far enough but alas, I hadn’t. The momma and seven of the chicks were okay. There wasn’t room for the eighth chick on the big branch I’d put in there just in case, and it had succumbed to hypothermia in the cold water. The caged Momma with the ducklings also had a duckling death; I believe this one was stepped on as she was trying to keep the ducklings warm.

It is 11 p.m. We’ve just had another severe thunderstorm pass through and there’s a lull outside in the rain. I hear thunder off in the distance heading this way. I better run outside and make sure everybody is okay before the next one hits. We have electricity here so far and no trees are down here that I know of, although lots of folks aren’t so lucky. Lots of storm damage in some counties. Guess we’ll know more about it come morning.

Update: I was wondering about the, er, intelligence of wandering around in water while the skies were intermittently lit with bright lightning flashes and the ground was shaking from thunder when the skies opened up again. Damnit. What I could see (more in the lightning light than the dim flashlight) looked okay. I didn’t make it to the duck pens. A lot of the ducks have elected to spend the night on the front porch which is going to be right mess to clean up tomorrow (sigh). You KNOW it’s a bad night when the ducks head to shelter.

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