Apr 02

The Folks

Throughout the night she would occasionally become conscious of the sound of running, the sounds of padded feet and claws would shift as they moved from tile to hardwood floors and to the carpet of her bedroom.  With two dogs the sound was simply part of the symphony of her house and she would roll over and let herself sink back into the darkness of sleep.  In the wee hours of the morning she was wrenched out of that comfortable darkness as the sound of a baby crying filled the air.  It even woke him up.  The man who once slept through a typhoon.  They jumped out of bed, all traces of sleep gone.  It soon became clear that the sound was coming from under the bed.  That the terrible sound was coming from a rabbit that had had the bad luck to cross the path of her pointer and would not survive the encounter.  With tears in her eyes she walked out of the room and left him the undesirable task of ending the rabbit’s suffering.

That is an overly dramatic telling of what my mother and father went through a couple of weeks ago

when their dog brought a rabbit in through the dog door in the middle of the night.  I decided to post it on my blog because of what happened after the dramatic event was over.  My mother returned to her room to find evidence of the struggle all over her carpet.  The prospect of living in a room with bloody

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carpet was one that she had no intention of entertaining.  She grabbed the hydrogen peroxide and poured it liberally on the stains and let it sit for a while.  When she returned with a cloth she didn’t even have to scrub, the stains came right out.  Since she also has a puppy that is currently potty training, she has also successfully used it to get puppy piss out of her carpet without any discoloring.  Although, I usually use vinegar when my dog, or my son for that matter, have an accident on the carpet or the couch, because it isn’t too harsh on the material and it gets all traces of the smell out, so the dog isn’t tempted to revisit that spot.  Of course, getting stains out of carpet isn’t the only thing that hydrogen peroxide is good for.  One Good Thing by Jillee did a whole article and the magic of hydrogen peroxide, if you’d like to check it out.  I have recently heard that hydrogen peroxide is not the best thing to use for first aid as it can actually eat away the skin around the abrasion you are trying to clean.  Here are a couple of links, do your own research and make an informed decision before continuing to use it for first aid.

Since this is the second time I have featured my mother on my blog, I want to take a minute to feature my father as well.  He hasn’t started crafting homemade hand towels or anything like that, at least, not to my knowledge.  But he does have a blog of his own and he spends considerably more time on his than I do on mine. He’s coined himself the biking fencer, because he likes to ride motorcycles and fence.  2057_1072057728698_845_n

For as long as I can remember, my father has spent some time each morning translating his Hebrew bible to English.  Growing up in Israel, he was once fluent in the language, but once he moved back to the states he found himself losing his Hebrew.  That was the origin of his morning devotionals, an effort to keep the Hebrew language fresh in his mind.  He would sit around the table surrounded by at least two bibles, a Hebrew/English dictionary, and various texts that offered in depth explanations of what he was reading.  The translation was finished sometime after I graduated college.

After more than a decade of working toward a goal, I would have danced around the house boasting about how awesome I am and then locked away my hard work, only to be shown off so that others could bask in my awesomeness. Is that what my father did? Well…maybe a little, but then he sat down and started the process all over again!  Craziness!

Now that he’s retired, he has started a blog of his own.  He painstakingly goes through each book of the bible, using resource material to piece together the back story of the historical characters portrayed.  At the end of each book he posts his report to his blog.  Honestly, the only reason I have visited his blog is to read his introduction, which is basically a family letter that allows us to catch up on what is going on in his life.  It helps that his writing is superb, and I always look forward to reading about the latest happenings.  And reading about myself and my little family from his perspective is an intriguing experience, that always leaves me filling fulfilled.  However, since I had decided to brag about his blog, I decided to read his most recent post, rather than the intro only.  This was a pretty easy task because the current post is about Jonah, and the story of Jonah and the whale was one of my favorites as a kid.  It is also a very short post.

I found the post very easy to read and understand.  The resource material that he combs through provides background information and helps to explain what was going on at the time and why people thought and acted the way that they did.  And the intimidating prospect of reading an extensive review of Bible books becomes much less daunting in my father’s elegant hand.  I think I’ll have to go back and read more of what he has written.

Of course, if you decide to visit his site, all efforts I’ve made toward anonymity will cease as he posts pictures of his family every chance he gets.  But that loss of anonymity is fine with me if it gets my father’s blog a few more readers.

 

 

 

Mar 26

Giving Up

About three weeks ago I was having dinner with a friend and she asked me what I was giving up for Lent.  Without giving the matter any thought I answered, “I’m not Catholic”.  When she stopped laughing she said, “You don’t have to be Catholic to give up something for Lent.”  She went on to tell me that she was raised by one Catholic and one Protestant parent and that they both honored the tradition.  When they were children, she and her brother would often give up something really easy, like Kool-Aid.  This year, however, she’s giving up Soda and all fried foods.  Not an easy endeavor.

While I’m not unfamiliar with the concept of Lent, I didn’t really know a lot about it.  I know that my mom and other family members have observed it over the years, but I didn’t really know why.  And since I wasn’t participating, I didn’t really care either.  It had never occurred to me to take part in Lent, but after that brief conversation with my friend, I did start thinking about it.  I came up with a very simple reason to participate: Why not?  It’s only a few weeks, and it would be good for me to learn to go without something for a little while.  All that was left was for me to decide what to give up.  I didn’t have a lot of time to think it over, as my friend and I were having dinner on Fat Tuesday, and Lent started the next day with Ash Wednesday.  That night, while I was sleeping, I decided that I would give up fast food.  I eat it far too often, and I’m always looking for ways to improve my diet and reduce my spending.  It seemed like a good idea.

The first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday, something I had never even heard of until I moved to St. Augustine.  I grew up Baptist, so it wasn’t a day that we observed, but there’s a pretty big Catholic community here.  When my hubby and I first moved here I worked as an innkeeper at a local bed and breakfast for a few months.  One Wednesday, a family that was staying at the inn asked for directions to the Cathedral.  A couple of hours later they came back with gray smudges on the foreheads. I took one look at the matriarch of the family and tried to sidle up to her inconspicuously.  ”Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you have some dirt on your forehead.” She looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “It’s Ash Wednesday” and walked away.  Since then, I’ve thought of Ash Wednesday as the day that people walk around with dirt on their heads, but when one of my coworkers asked what it was, that didn’t seem like a very good response.  I know one thing about Ash Wednesday: it starts the day after Mardi Gras ends.  Armed with that limited knowledge I told her that it’s the day for people to repent for the sins they committed during Mardi Gras.  Before starting this post I decided to actually look it up, turns out that I wasn’t that far off.  The purpose of Lent is to commemorate the time that Christ spent fasting in the wilderness.  It lasts 40 weekdays ending the Saturday before Easter.  Ash Wednesday kicks off Lent.  In ancient times ashes were used to express mourning.  On Ash Wednesday people have their priest use ash to make the sign of the cross on their foreheads to express their sorrow for their sins.

For the most part, giving up fast food has not been terribly difficult.  I have to admit that I cheated today and grabbed a fish sandwich from Wendy’s because I underestimated the time it would take me to run my errands during my lunch break, and I had to pick something up really fast.  Generally speaking, I’ve really enjoyed avoiding fast food.  In fact, I’ve learned that Chile’s has fantastic lunch specials.  I can get a turkey club sandwich and fries with a soup or salad for $6, and it’s way better than anything I can pick up in a drive thru.  The only time it’s been a burden is the really long days when it’s just me and my son and the last thing I want to do is make dinner.  But I suck it up and find something simple to make.  So it’s saving us money too.  .

Now, before I say so long, here’s a couple more pictures of the bathroom renovation that my wonderful hubby is working on.

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Mar 20

Accomplishments!

This week has been a whirlwind for us!  The bathroom is so close to being done.  The only thing left to do is caulk the tile, but when my husband went back to Home Depot to get another can of caulk they were out and wouldn’t have more for week!  So, he’s been taking a break from the bathroom for a few days, but I expect it will be done before too long.  Thankfully, it is close enough to being finished for us to use the shower as needed.  I’ll put some pics of the renovation up, though, since it will be a bit longer before it is officially finished.

He’s also managed to spend some time in the garden. he planted garlic, celery, and onions. I hate to admit it, but he’s better at gardening then I am. So far, everything that he’s planted is still alive. I am happy to say that our fig tree is showing signs of life after the bitter wind and cold we have had the last couple of months.

I have accomplished quite a bit too, I just keep forgetting to post to things that I’ve done. I need to make a notebook with ideas for posts, so that I always have something to write about. What I’m most proud of, is organizing our bedroom closet. I wish I had taken a picture of it before we organize it, but trust me, it was pretty bad. I’m very happy with the end result, and even happier that it has stayed so organized over the last month.

We also moved my son out of the nursery and into what used to be our guest room. The guest room is where our roommate has been staying, but as my son neared his 4th birthday, we spoke to our roommate and found him quite willing to trade rooms.  I found him a nice twin bed at Ikea for a steal and was able to put it together all by myself. I love Ikea. We also lucked out and found a bunk bed with a futon bottom on Craigslist for less than $100. That I could not put together by myself, in fact, it took both my husband and myself almost 3 hours to put it together. When my son came home after his birthday party he absolutely adored his new room. He won’t sleep on the top bunk, but loves to climb up there to watch TV. Every time he climbs into the top bunk he says that he’s going upstairs.

I have a confession to make. I recently bought deodorant, rather than making my own. I still love the smell of my homemade deodorant, but the texture is not the best. It tends too clump under my arms, which is gross. In fact, my husband won’t use it at all for this very reason. When I bought a travel size deodorant for my trip to Virginia I found myself  oohing and aahing at how smoothly it went on. I’m not ready to give up on homemade deodorant, but I’m going to start searching for a better recipe. If you have any recipes for homemade beauty supplies, like deodorant, I  would love to hear them.

I’ll have to post the pictures of the closet and my son’s new room next time, though.  I forgot to transfer those pictures from my camera and I’m not certain of the camera’s current location.  I also have more pictures of our bathroom renovation on the camera, but the pictures I have already uploaded are posted below.

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