Melted by the Midwest Swelter

Have we set a new record yet, of summer days over 90º in the Midwest of the USA?! It’s the only optimistic viewpoint I can latch onto right now…that we set a long-standing record. If that comes to pass, I’ll … Continue reading

Encounters of the Creepy-Crawlie Kind

Rodents and spiders, snakes and crawdads, slugs and salamanders, insects and warty toads, and caterpillars of every variety – in my life I’ve held each of the above-mentioned critters (and then some) in my very own hands. With my rural upbringing … Continue reading

The Prolonged Pernicious Pollen Fog (a sequel)

It seems we are having a “late spring,” or so says the omniscient “they.” This is why the pollen release of death continues to stalk some of us so menacingly, with its cloudy claws unsheathed and its treacherous teeth bared. … Continue reading

A Pollen Fog as Thick as Pea Soup

This morning I rolled out of bed with a headache and obscured vision. It took me a while to come to my senses. When I finally did, I realized that the skin around my eyes was so puffy, I could … Continue reading

The Near-Miss Adventures of Motoring with the Mr.

My husband likes to drive, which is nice when we‘re on a long road trip. I usually offer once or twice to take a turn, but he always declines.  It saves me from the stress of navigating through the highway … Continue reading

Tuckered-out in the Twin Cities

“Our family is really close, because we live in a small house!” This is a direct quote of my oldest daughter, from way back when she was about 8 years old. Yes, we were close, all right, with a small cape cod, 3 bedrooms for five people, and only one full bathroom. You learn military scheduling and crafty maneuvering in such tight spots, and even with those skills, inconvenient glitches often occur. With a useable toilet in the basement, bunk beds in the big girls’ room, and an extreme distaste for clutter, we survived quite well.

My two oldest daughters, now married mothers/homeowners, also have small houses. This simple living is the best choice when mama wants to be able to give her attention full-time to the little ones. However, now that we live further apart, these tiny houses are starting to cause us trouble. I can no longer find a workable, comfortable plan that will allow our oldest daughter and her family to bunk with us. And, with their growing family, the rest of us now have to travel in shifts to go visit them in Minnesota. We pushed the limits this time, by four of us coming at once. My middle daughter, her husband, and their foster baby, along with me, are all here at the same time. I got bumped out of my usual basement bedroom for the sake of the three of them. The oldest sent out a message through a neighborhood social media site, asking if anyone nearby had a room to rent. (I am so proud of her for doing this, because it is totally something I would do….have already done! 😉).

It took a few days, but some lady living close-by, in half of a duplex, replied to my daughter’s request, to say that I was welcome to stay with her, no charge! (A great example of utilizing my, “It never hurts to ask” life philosophy!) It’s a lovely little home, very clean and nicely decorated, and wonderfully quiet….except for her little dog. He’s a sweet boy, but it’s one of those “yippy” breeds of canines (by which I mean that he has a high-pitched, piercing bark that penetrates all possible defenses deployed for blocking out unwanted noise). That does not bode well for someone like me, who has trouble sleeping in any bed other than her own and needs absolute silence. The first night of our stay, I did not sleep well, mainly because of the new environment. By the second night, I was exhausted and ready to get a good night’s sleep. It was going really well until 5:30 am, right after my “landlady” left for work. Apparently, doggie sensed my presence, and thought I should wake up and keep him company….or, maybe there was just a squirrel outside. Whatever it was, the yipping started and didn’t stop. I grumbled to myself, pulled out my earplugs, turned off the fan, and went to tell him to be quiet. He did so….for about 3 minutes. I got up again, went to the bathroom, and told him again to be quiet. He obeyed. I laid back down, and tried to relax. Not happening, because now I am wide awake. I gave up and rolled out of bed once more. I shuffled downstairs to the kitchen, and fumbled around for a source of caffeine. Too tired for a shower, I headed over to my daughter’s house with my hair sticking out every-which-way. I somehow managed to make it through an entire day of baby bouncing, baby talk with so much smiling my cheeks hurt, reading to the older girls until my throat was feeling scratchy, playing pretend, and helping to hand-wash the dishes after supper. Luckily for me, the little ones go to bed pretty early, normally tucked-in by 7:30pm. By 8:00, I was at the “boarding house,” getting ready to settle in for (what I hoped might be) a long, winter’s nap.

I am happy to report that my landlady was also looking forward to sleeping-in that morning, so that meant that doggy would be sleeping, too (and quiet!). I slept until nine o’clock the next morning (over nine hours!). I had a nice, leisurely breakfast, chatting with my newest friend, then took a shower. My oldest daughter texted me to see if I was okay. The next daughter down called to tell me that the granddaughters were getting impatient, wondering where Mimi was. Gee whiz, people, give this old girl a chance to catch up on her sleep and squeeze in a quick shower. I should be there before the little ones head down for their morning naps! Tell them to start working on a stack of books for Mimi to read, and I’ll bring my throat drops. Gotta capitalize on this time together, so I’ll push myself to the limits (and sleep in as often as possible!).

Lightening Bug Lullaby

I grew up in conditions that were….shall we say, less than ideal? There was alcoholism, abuse, and neglect. My parents were two very broken people who came together to form an extremely dysfunctional relationship, and then brought forth children in … Continue reading