June 21, 2012

a most pleasant drone

Our house sounds like a wind tunnel, on this second day of summer.

I remember a friend using that phrase, "wind tunnel", to describe their house, post-flooding, as the insurance company set up serious airflow control to dry out the rooms.  She didn't sound particularly affectionate when she said it.

For me, though, the whir of fans is a pleasant noise, somnolent and nostalgic.

I remember sleeping in my grandma's ancient guest bed, the one with the headboard that went on forever, with a reading lamp centered conveniently above my head.  It was summer, hot, the curtains drifting lazily in and out in the recalcitrant breeze.  But I, I had a breeze:  a weighty box fan set on a kitchen chair mere feet from my restless body, blowing ceaselessly across me and the off-white candlewick bedspread.

That night epitomizes my grandma for me.  I got a nosebleed, I think, and went down the dark stairs to find her.  She was still awake, in her nightclothes.  She gave me tissues, rubbed my back, and heated milk and honey on the stove.  I drank love from that mug, hot and sweet.  And then I went back up the stairs to my fan and slept like a baby.

Fans make me think, too, of my father:  sometimes minister, sometimes grammar police, sometimes physics teacher to his children.  Always a safe place - even the kittens knew, somehow.  He taught me all I needed to know about airflow:  on a hot night, set a box fan in an open window, blowing out.  It blew my childish mind, to think of "wasting" that air, blowing it out into the night when I wanted it blowing on me!  But look! go to a window on the other side of the house, and feel! the air is coming in there, cool and fresh!  Turn the fan off, and the breeze magically stops.  On, and it's back!

I remember a summer spent volunteering in northeast Georgia between college years.  We'd take cold showers just before retiring to bed, and then lie in our loft beds, trying to feel benefit from a small oscillating fan hung from the ceiling, the damp of the shower turning into the damp of fresh sweat.

And nights now, many years later, too hot to sleep despite sprawling in minimal nightwear under the ceiling fan:  I should be miserable (and sometimes am) but instead feel the excitement of a slumber party, remembering the day in muted voices, laughing over something the children said or did, all to the reassuring soundtrack of the box fan in the window.

: : :

If the heat stays too long, we'll probably abandon the fans in favor of window units.  But, curmudgeons that we are, we like to hold out as long as we can.  Here, we don't mind a little whirring.  We like our fans.


June 20, 2012

gasping for breath

It's hot today.  Ninety degrees even, in the shade.  I haven't been in the sun since before lunch, and I have no intention of going there just to find out how hot it is.

The cats are melting on the porch.  Sensible, as always, cats.  Practical.  No guilt for not getting work done; they just nap when napping is clearly the most logical thing to do.

Unlike me.  I saw the forecast - two blistering hot days after a week of cool - and I decided I'd take two days off.  Just give myself permission to lay low until more humane temperatures returned.  No unnecessary cooking or baking or cleaning, just read and hang out and watch life go by.

The problem is, I feel guilty actually doing it.

I do "pretend" work instead - checking email and making lists and phone calls, redesigning homeschool log sheets and tidying up and "just sweeping the porch a little."

Ugh.  I can't rest.  Have I forgotten how?

Or, am I waiting for divine permission, somehow?








"Be still, and know that I am God."  (Psalm 46:10)

{This should be a longer post - resolved, somehow, with a tidy answer and a shout of victory at the end.  But I have neither answers nor victory, yet.  Just hope.  Patience.  That will have to do, for a start.}

June 5, 2012

multiple choice


Your toddler has developed a definite whine, despite no apparent physical maladies.  His insistent and, er, melodious "Mommmmmy - UP!" grates on your nerves and increases in volume as the morning progresses.  You have fed him breakfast.  You have held him.  You have reminded him to say "Mommy, up please" in his "nice" voice.  You have played trucks with him.  You have balanced him on one hip while trying to  make the printer do what all good printers should (namely, to print!!).  You have helped him pull a chair to the counter to watch you chop onions.  You have finally had enough.  You scoop him up lovingly, put his sandals on and hold his hand to walk outside.  He plays happily with a kitty.  You call over his capable older sister, instruct her as to his care, and kiss him adieu.  He breaks into a heartbreaking (and earsplitting) wail and trots after you, tears streaming down his bouncing little cheeks, as you attempt to head inside.

Do you .... :

a) ... turn around, pick him up with a resigned smile, and tell yourself that it's just for a season .... he'll be off to college before you know it?

b) ... turn around, lose your temper and tell him in no uncertain terms what you think of this childish behavior?  [irony intended]

c) ... walk resolutely back into the house, knowing that the boy is loved and safe?

d) ... walk back inside, wanting to cry yourself, completely unsure of what is best for him?

e) ... respond with wisdom and grace by _____________ ?


June 3, 2012

on the level

I'm going to level with you.

This sugar freedom thing ... I can't do it.

I hope you don't feel that I've strung you along.  It's been over a month (36 days, 25 posts) of education for me.  I've benefited greatly, and I hope you have, too.  I've learned a lot about biochemistry and I've learned a lot about how my body responds to sugar.

I've also learned a lot about my limitations.

Be it a lack of follow-through, a lack of discipline, a lack of character ... I just don't have it in me to do it at this pace (which, actually, is kind of what Kathleen DesMaisons has been saying all along ....  Supposedly the "sugar-sensitive" biochemistry comes with a sort of all-or-nothing personality; we tend to jump right into things, give 150%, and expect results within 48 hours.  So 36 days, really, is a kind of accomplishment.).

Don't worry, I'm not going to go have a big bowl of ice cream after I hit "publish" (although that does sound good).  I've learned enough science and enough "me" to know that that would not feel as good as I think.  I'm still going to aim for higher protein than what I used to get.  Breakfast within an hour of getting up.  Noticing how I feel and how it relates to what I've eaten.  Shoot, I'll still probably have the potato (or apple, or toast) three hours after supper.

But I think I've learned that this journey does not make for very exciting play-by-play.  It's not a 3-hour game.  It's not even a marathon.  It's more like ... mothering, or watching a flower unfurl.  It goes slowly, by baby steps.  Week by week, day by day, choice by choice.  So, no more "sugar freedom" blog series.

Instead, I'll give you ordinary:

Tonight on the hammock, I whistled through my thumbs with a blade of grass for a reed, and my daughters finally caught on to the trick.  We looked at the elderberry blossoms.  Lil' Snip brought me a corncob, proud.  He found mushrooms:  "Have some!"  (I told him no!)  We turned cartwheels on the grass in a sudden shower.  Back inside, they colored.  Tumbled on the sofa and read books about cats and nature crafts and birds.  My Farmer wrestled with an old doorknob somehow stuck on "locked."  We sang and read and prayed and tucked them all in bed.

Life goes on, despite my success (or lack thereof) at sugar freedom.

What's new in your life?

June 2, 2012

a day in the life ...

Since life's not all about sugar (well, okay, for me it is, right now, but ...), I thought I'd give us all a break and  do a snapshot of our Saturday  .... to kind of let my blog experience some "sugar freedom" as well.


Sugar and Spice just finished painting their toenails.  Sugar did her own, for the first time.  She was going to do Spice's, too, but when I came out to check their progress, Sugar's eyes looked suspiciously watery.  Spice was patiently waiting, so I did hers for her, and upon request, re-did one of Sugar's.

Nice and Lil' Snip are having their bath.  My Farmer, to my eternal gratitude, does the honors.  His apparently infinite patience is a little better suited to the task than my, er, shorter fuse.  He also recently took over my suppertime duty of feeding (and, usually, disciplining) Lil' Snip ... also to my eternal gratitude.  I think both Lil' Snip and I will learn a lot from this change.  And we will all get to hear each other's conversation a lot better!

I spent the better part of my morning assembling photo collages for Sugar and Spice's homeschool portfolios ... only to realize that my printer does a lame job of printing color photos, and printing them through Snapfish (my old staple, back when I actually printed photos) would necessitate hours and hours of redoing my work to size them for 8x10s.  The satisfaction I felt this morning when the collages were finally done evaporated pretty quickly.  Back to square one.  *sigh*

My Farmer spent the morning helping a friend move.  When he came home after lunch, we crashed on the sofa and didn't wake up till the girls came down from Quiet Time.  Ahhhh, bliss!

A few years ago, I went away for the weekend with some girlfriends, and when I came home, there was one more door in our house than when I left!  It had been there all along, covered in siding for decades.  Having that door opened up has made a huge difference in lighting and airflow, as well as the convenience of a more direct route to the backyard.  The only problem was that it didn't have a screen door.  Tonight my Farmer started fitting a door from another part of the farm.  That will help with the flies when it gets hot again!

An hour or so since I started ... teeth are brushed, hands pampered with our Saturday sugar scrub ritual, clothes laid out for church in the morning, and everyone is tucked into their beds.

A good night to all, and God bless us, every one . . . !

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