Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Garage Sailing

Where I grew up, garage sales were a once-in-a-while kind of thing.  Both for the person holding the sale and for the one dropping by.  Generally, the people we knew had enough space to keep all the junk they wanted, in whatever barn they wanted, for as long as they wanted.  And besides, if you had the desire to get rid of your stuff, you could always give it away to a friend, take it to the dump, or give it to Goodwill.

Where I live now, garage sales are a way of life in the Spring and Summer months.  Ads are put in the weekly papers and some sellers even list specifics of what they are selling.  Those organized garage sale-goers make a plan ahead of time about which sales to stop at first and in which order.  And of course, one must always arrive early--right when the sale starts, or even before.

I've started to think of it as not just garage sale-ing but garage sail-ing.  Though I've never been sailing, it seems like one of those activities that would warrant an early wake-up.  And then, of course, the boat/sail preparation... and then the actual time, the "adventure" if you will, of the sailing.  Going from place to place driven by the wind--or, the best bargain as it were.

I have seen people as excited about garage sales as a person could be about a sailboat.  Having not grown up in such a culture, there are times the idea of it all sets me to laughter.  And there are other times that I can't help but get caught up in all the adventure.  Going from house to house looking for something great, something great AND cheap.  Oh how marvelous!

But, garage sale-ing for me is about the same as sailing.  I'm not sure I truly have the umph to get out there and do it--too much time, energy, and, well, money.  Even at a bargain, spending any money at all is more than staying home and NOT spending money.  Though, there are times I can be persuaded to do it.  Especially when I'm looking for something in particular and the thought of getting it at a bargain outweighs my laziness to go garage sale hunting for it.  

Usually, though, I'm content to stay home and listen to the stories of garage sale adventure from the professionals.  I'd much rather hear about the tales of getting a brand new dress, with the tags on, for $5 (haggled down from $8) than go through the trouble of finding that deal myself.  I have a good imagination; I can live vicariously through their deals.  It's good enough for me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Logic of a Man

Oh differently we think, men and women....

We have been trying to get our three-year-old out of diapers at night the last week or so.  This entails keeping him in underwear for bedtime and then making sure he goes to the bathroom as often as needed before he <<finally>> falls asleep.  My husband has also been waking our son to take him to the bathroom around midnight, when we're going to bed ourselves.

Last night I was exhausted and headed to be earlier than my husband.  I was fast asleep when he came to take our son to the bathroom, and so I was unavailable to take part in the decision-making.  This fact is important only because there were decisions to be made.  Our son had already peed in his bed.

Now, if I had been awake, my own logical response would have been to change the sheets.  We have two sets for that very reason.  Take one off, replace it with another, and then put the sleepy child back where he belongs.

Of course, I was not awake, and so my husband was left to do the responding.  His own logical mind had another solution: just put the boy on a dry spot on the bed.  This, however, was difficult, since most of the bed was wet with pee.  The top portion, where ones head usually lays, was dry.  So, he placed my son vertically on the bed, curled up, since he obviously was too large to stretch out on such a small space.

In the morning, I wondered if our son was in bed at all.  I only saw a bunch of sheets stuffed by the wall at the top of the bed; the rest of the bed was completely empty.  Where on Earth was our child?  No, my husband assured me, our son was not missing. He was merely on the dry spot of the bed.

Right.  And to him that made sense.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Time for Blogging

People have often asked me where I find the time to blog in the midst of taking care of two small children, working some hours during the week, and being involved in the church and community.  I'd like you all to recognize that I am not superwoman, I merely prioritize.  And I always prioritize blogging, or anything else more exciting, over housework.  I took some pictures just so you could see what I mean:

Exhibit A:
This is our dining room table....

Exhibit B:
This is supposed to be a table for my son to use for his own creative activities.

Exhibit C:
These are toys....all over the floor...much the same as any other "walking" space throughout the first floor of the house.

Lately I've found myself crafting flower clips in my "spare" time, but it's all the same really.  When it comes to that time of night after the children are finally in bed, I rarely do what needs to be done.  Instead, I do the things that I feel like doing right at that very moment.  It's a shame, really.  Our house is quite a disaster.  I often find myself thinking back on my childhood and the impressions I had of people based on the inside of their houses.  I shudder to think of what people think of us.  And truly it's all my fault.  I would love a clean house, but I just don't seem to have the motivation.  I'm much more motivated after a long day to do a craft or watch a movie than I am to wash the dishes or clean the floor....or organize my stuff....or go through the important mail....or fold laundry....or put away said laundry....  
I'm sure you get the point.

So, it's Sunday and tomorrow we start the week afresh.  Perhaps this week I will spend more time on the need-to-dos instead of the want-to-dos....  Or, perhaps I will just continue doing what I have been doing. Old habits are so hard to break, aren't they?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Please, say it the right way...

I hail from eastern Pennsylvania and my husband is from northern New Jersey.  Though most of our dialect is similar, there are a couple of words that we emphasize differently.  And while I might not say aloud that my pronunciation is far superior, I will admit that his leaves me irritated at times.

This morning I was pouring the gooey, rich, sugary substance on my pancakes that I have informed my son is syrup <seer-up>.  My husband walked by and mentioned something about the syrup <sir-up> on my plate.  My son quickly turned up his head and looked menacingly at his father.  He asked me, "Mom--why did Dad just say 'sir-up'?  I don't know why he just said that."  Not surprisingly, I responded, "Hmmm, that is curious, isn't it?  Why would he say that?  That is so silly.  That's not how we say syrup..."

Ha.  I did it.  I firmly established in my son's mind the proper pronunciation of the word.  My husband came back into the room  argumentative (though only playfully of course).  Try as he might, he could not persuade my son that there might be another way to pronounce the word properly.

Moments after the disagreement had subsided, my son concernedly looked up at me and said, "People should say seer-up instead of sir-up.  And people should say ay-men."

The first part of this comment I could clearly understand based on the recent conversation, the second part perplexed me.  Thankfully, my husband quickly came to my aid:  "Yes, that's right," he said.  "Some people say ah-men and some people say ay-mean, don't they?"

"Yes," my son replied, "and they should all say ay-men."

This is not good.  He must have caught on to my feeling of pronunciation superiority.  I can already see I have a problem on my hands.  I just hope he doesn't correct someone out in public.  This could be very embarrassing.....

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fearing Growth

I bought a little greenhouse with my three year old two weeks ago in an effort to make myself a more well-rounded person.  (Side note: I am already quite well-rounded physically, especially being 5+ months pregnant, but this is an effort to bring my character more in line with my body shape.... :-P  )

I was never the grower in the family throughout childhood, and a recent trip back home reminded me of this.  I decided that I needed to step up to the plate and try to plant some useful greenery.

My son stood alongside me as I dirtied my fingers dropping teeny-tiny basil seeds into our little greenhouse.  There were 72 little soil patches, and most we filled with basil.  My son had also decided he wanted to plant some nasturtium, so the last six or so pads got to have a nasturtium seed.  I put the greenhouse, covered, in the kitchen window and waited.... somewhat hopeful, somewhat fearful.

Three days passed and I started to panic.  There were no signs of growth.  Surely I'd done something wrong.  My husband rolled his eyes and chuckled.  He calmly slid the original seed packets from under the greenhouse, since I had kept them for just this very reason, and pointed out that the plants were not expected to germinate for 5-10 days.  Oh.  Right.  No problem....  We'll just see what happens in the next couple of days....

Sure enough, within a couple of days, I started to see green.  Within a day or so, every single one of the pads had a green shoot popping out of the brown soil.  Success!!

Or is it?  The more I looked at the sprouting green, the more fearful I became.  Suddenly I was faced with a terrifying dilemma: what now?  72 plants??  Oh my gosh.... what am I going to do with 72 plants?!

Then it set in... I was doomed.  I looked at this growth and all I could feel was fear.  Surely within weeks I would kill them all.  It would have been better if they had never even gotten this far.  How on earth will I keep them alive??

The more I think of it, the more I see that this is a great metaphor for certain things in our lives--we fear growth because we know it means change thereafter.  And we don't really know how to take those next steps--or where it will lead.  At this point, I get chills just looking at my little greenhouse.  Every day the shoots are growing and I'm scared to think of what will happen next.  Where will I eventually put them?  How will I keep them alive?  What if I kill them all....?!

I suppose only time will tell.  I hope that my little garden metaphor for life can be a reminder to me to calm down and remember the hope I have.... that God, who gave me the strength to get this far, will give me all that I need to continue on and do what He's called me to do.  At least, the theory works in life--I'm not sure how exactly that will play out in my garden.  We'll see!