84 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-7-18

  1. Morning all. I am still letting a roast cook in the crockpot. I started it earlier, but later realized that I had forgotten to check if the plug was on. Yup, here our plugs have switches to turn them on and I forgot to check. Perhaps I should just check the roast in the middle of the night?

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  2. Morning! And those are indeed the most lovely Mimi flowers I have yet to see!
    A big β€˜ol owl is hooting loudly right above the front porch…Lulah is undone not knowing what to do about it all…snow on the ground, 16 degrees…we are wintering!! πŸ˜ƒ

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  3. Good morning again.
    πŸ™‚ I just checked my iPhone and all my people are where they are supposed to be.
    I really like “find friends”.

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  4. Continuing the discussion regarding infant care over here. I do not think day care is a good thing for a very young child. Even the best childcare workers can only give so much attention to each child and very young children can be exposed to illnesses that they are not yet immune to. It is better when a woman can bring their little ones to work with them. I remember one fellow student, when I was taking classes in maternal-child care, who was on maternity leave (the course was for those who were already nurses and were upgrading their education) and brought her baby to class. It seemed like the perfect place for that to happen. I like seeing women in different work setting with their children with them. Some of the houseworkers the team employed would bring their babies bound to their back and I saw other working women around the village carrying or nursing their babies while working. This Easter, the worship team who sang and played the hymns included, appropriately, several women, one being the worship pastor’s wife, who sang with her months old baby tied in a sling. Some work settings would obviously not be safe for babies (the hospital, for instance), but there is no reason why a teacher could not teach with their little one – it would be an education for the students – or an office worker bring their little one to their cubicle. Maternity leave is quite long here, but I heard some women discussing how having children was problematic in trying to get promotions in a corporation, since maternity leave set the woman back since she was taken off all projects. Bringing babies to work could be one way of preventing that setback.

    As for not liking babies, in our adolescence Eldest sibling and I were never much for babies. Second sibling had great skill with small people, and was in continual demand as a babysitter. Eldest babysat some school aged children, but actively avoided smaller folk, while I was too absent minded to give proper heed and only worked as an auxiliary on the rare occasion to Second. Having children of her own accustomed Eldest to babies, and she took tender care of her own little ones. She now is delighted to hold her own nieces and nephews, an attitude the Eldest of twenty years ago, who openly stated her dislike of infants, would not recognize. She only acquired nieces and nephews almost five years ago, while the rest of we siblings got our first niece nearly sixteen years ago.

    I welcomed my small relatives, and love them dearly, but I still do not go out of my way to be with children in general. I am glad to see little ones, and treat them with the gentleness and respect they need, but I also give them their space. If I’m needed to help out with a baby relative, or if my mobile small nieces and nephews want me to play with or read to them, I am available. But, I do not try to be the most popular or most present adult in their lives. I am there when they need me. I taught in a Montessori preschool for a year, and apparently I did a good job, but I find it as difficult to interact with children I do not know as with adults I do not know, and the difficulty never gets any easier with experience. I did a community placement this semester to learn about public health nursing, and I was in a centre for families with young children, and I found it as hard to interact as ever. I managed in my own way and am satisfied with what I did, but the other students (who were from the mainstream of the nursing program, rather than my stream, and thus had only recently come out of high school) were always playing with the children and thus appeared to the centre staff to be more involved. I am old enough, however, to not worry over appearances anymore.

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  5. What’s funny about the flowers, is obviously, I am not used to receiving them. (See past rants this week). Southern Veranda is THE florist in town. As you can probably remember I have double front doors that are windows halfway down, so I saw the Southern Veranda van pass my house and thought “Somebody is getting something special”. I was headed out the door to check the mail, as I turned to walk back to the house I saw Mr P. standing on the corner of our yard talking to the neighbor and he was holding them. My first thought was someone thought it would be funny to send HIM flowers on a safe delivery.
    The card enclosed reads:
    Congratulations Mimi and Grandpa
    Weeping with those who weep
    Much Love,
    Yule
    They smell wonderful and my whole house smells like them. The florist spelled the last name incorrectly but with names like Cotten and Hurlburt I feel your pain.
    I smile every time I see them. Yesterday Gramps and I got to hold Miss Maddie. Obviously, she is PERFECT. I am impressed with both the Mommy and the Daddy. I really don’t think she has been put down alone yet.

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  6. Roscuro, I get the “not trying to be the most popular adult ever” motif. I’m good with children–I can teach them, play with them, read to them or let them read to me, take nature walks they enjoy and learn from, make crafts with them, communicate with them (in person, not really on the telephone), keep them safe . . . but I’m not a rah-rah exuberant sort of person. I’ve counseled at camp multiple times (10 or 12), and I long since noticed that there are some people whom the kids flock around like flies (including one of my brothers–children who don’t know him just come to him) and I’m not one of those people. I’m the person one quiet boy or girl will drift to and quietly talk with. But what I realize is that as a child I was that quiet child who connected well with adults but wasn’t part of the raucous group of children. Those adults carry their own importance, and are sometimes vitally important to that one child. I vowed to name my first daughter after one such adult (and dedicated my first book to her, instead, since I wasn’t married and saw no children on the horizon).

    One of the big blessings of my eight years in Nashville was that it put me an easy drive from two families of my siblings (my favorite brother, who lost his first wife to cancer during those years; and my sister, who completed her family while I was there but lost her husband after I married and moved away). My brother’s children were already grown and out of the house, but my sister-in-law invited me back for each of their birthdays, and it was a great satisfaction to hear about one after the other of her children being happy for the connection. My sister was still bearing children, and I was present for each birth and nearly every Christmas, and a couple of other times a year; they got to know me well and I them. And I purposely was never the aunt who showed up with gifts on each visit (Christmas yes) but just the steady presence in their lives. I call each child on his or her birthday. They now really love their uncle (whom they know fairly well); each time we visit, we take one child at a time out for breakfast or the store with us. So the relationships are solid even though I am not the adult who makes animal balloons or does wild and crazy things and always has children swarming on me.

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  7. Continuing the conversation on daycare and bring-your-baby-to-work:

    1st Arrow was a daycare baby from the time he was 4 months old until a little past his 3rd birthday, when I stopped teaching school. The next three babies sat on my lap or reclined in an over-the-shoulder sling I wore while nursing them during the piano lessons I taught in those years.

    I stopped giving piano lessons to the general public when I got pregnant with 5th Arrow, and didn’t return to it until 6th Arrow was 7 years old, so those two were neither in daycare, nor children of a work-at-home mom in their early years.

    Cheryl, reading your comments from late on yesterday’s thread reminds me of something a co-worker told me the first day of school after ending my maternity leave with 1st Arrow. I’d already had him in daycare for the two teacher-inservice days preceding the school year, and I didn’t cry or anything, leaving him at the sitter’s house.

    But the third day of work (the first day the students returned to the elementary school), all of us teachers stood inside the front door of the school, greeting the children as they came in the door. Some children noticed me standing there and came running over to hug me, telling me how much they’d missed me.

    And then I just lost it. All I could think right then was how much I missed my baby. Tears sprang to my eyes, rolled down my cheeks, and I had to leave the scene and run into the restroom as more and more children poured into the building.

    When I emerged a little later, more composed, one of the 6th grade teachers, a mother of three children, told me, “Don’t worry — it’ll be easier with the next one.”

    Something struck me about how sad that was, if true, that it would be easier to leave any subsequent babies I might have in the care of someone else.

    I didn’t cry about leaving 1st Arrow anymore after that one day, and I continued teaching school for three years, but after 2nd Arrow came along, I closed the school-teaching, leaving-kids-in-daycare chapter of my life. I’m glad I never found out through experience whether it does indeed become easier to leave them, the more children one has. It seems so against the nurturing nature I believe most mothers have.

    Some natural feelings end up being squelched, IMO, in order to keep leaving them.

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  8. The ages of children I most enjoy working with has changed over the years. I did a lot of babysitting as a teen, and even in my early 20s, and enjoyed all those ages — babies, toddlers, preschool and school age.

    While teaching school (I’ve taught kindergarten through 12th grade, as a vocal music teacher), I greatly preferred the elementary age to junior or senior high.

    With piano teaching in the early years, again, it was the elementary ages with whom I had the most fun.

    Now, however, my favorite age of piano student is high school / college age. I can relate to them better now than I could when I was hardly much older than them, and I enjoy the challenge of tailoring piano lessons to their specific needs. The younger kids, it’s fairly cut and dried what they need to establish a good musical foundation, but the real variety comes in branching out into various other musical realms with older kids who are expanding on their foundations.

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  9. Beautiful flowers

    And that mirror is fascinating — I think you (Kim) said it was an heirloom of Mr. P’s?

    I need to find a place for my grandfather’s very plain, wood-framed “shaving” mirror around here.

    I was up early (after going to sleep reading a magazine on how to be more organized, lol) and have cleaned the kitchen, picked up in the backyard (in the process of trying to rid the area of ‘junk’ like broken pieces of the old sewer pipe) and swept the floors.

    Speaking of junk in the backyard, I have several large metal sheets — they’ve probably been on this property for 40 years, belonged to a former owner who had used them to build a dog kennel behind the garage, she bred and raised the white Alaskan dogs whose breed name escapes me.

    Anyway, I’ve told the workers we need to get them out — one of them suggested using them to ‘plug up’ the spaces underneath that new fence where there are gaps that dogs and cats and coyotes certainly could get through. I said no, it seemed a little too rural a look for me.

    But I guess they forgot because when I got home last night (late, 7:30) they had gone and done it anyway (to be fair, that conversation was a long time ago and it’s 2 guys so I think maybe I only had the conversation with one of them and it was very brief).

    It doesn’t look as bad as I thought — and I figure by the time some flowers start growing back there it’ll be hidden anyway. But it looks like the metal sheets are destined to hang around here into infinity.

    At some point they’ll be considered backyard heirlooms.

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  10. Don’t you love happy endings–particularly with stories attached? πŸ™‚

    Especially if they’re Holy Spirit inspired?

    Monsoon “Pineapple express” finally broke about 5 this morning. I think it rained hard for 36 straight hours, so we should be good for water this year. I’ve yet to read the paper, however, to find out if there were mudslides. Nixile was busy yesterday warning folks.

    I like nothing better on a rainy day to lounge around reading a good book, but it looks like I missed the chance! So, back to efficiency and writing, etc. this morning.

    Nice, though, it’s the last Saturday in a long time without anything on it to do. Here’s looking at you . . . May 26?

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  11. I babysat a lot in high school, my girlfriend and I landed gigs with a couple of the LA Kings hockey players who would come here from Canada to stay for the season — they all stayed in the same apartment building next to the arena, all in our hometown.

    One of the more memorable occasions was when I was filling in for my girlfriend with ‘her’ family, there were numerous children, seemed like 10, I think it was 3, and shortly after I arrived for an afternoon job (this family was renting a house) and the parents had left, the dog somehow got out and all the kids bolted out the door after him. Then I bolted out after them.

    There we were, a long line of frantic beings running through the neighborhood.

    The dog was finally captured and brought back and I pleaded with the kids not to tell their parents that I’d completely lost control there.

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  12. Good morning Wanderers.

    A lot going on the the L world. We found out my 92 year old father is not going to be getting any more cancer treatments. There are spots all over, so the doctors are letting him enjoy what life he has left. He and my step-mother are planning a trip to Hawaii in June. We’ll probably take another trip out to Arizona later in the summer. We have plans for a December trip, but will probably have to go earlier. I hope not.

    Now some good news. My sister-in-law and her daughter (my brother’s step-daughter) are going to St. Louis later this month to get sworn in as citizens. They are from Mongolia. It took a long time because either Mongolia or our State Department lost the daughter’s birth certificate. We’re all happy for them.

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  13. Send the rain south, Michelle. We were supposed to get some rain today but I think it’s been cancelled — though it may rain northeast of us and who knows, we may get a few measly drops.

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  14. Due to all the extra cleaning and such that I’ve been doing to prepare for our brunch, I am way behind on reading comments. Just jumping in here with this. . .

    Earlier in the week there was an indication that Mr X would be taking The Boy this afternoon, overnight, and for most of Sunday. His mom is the go-between with him and Nightingale in making plans. (Remember, he cannot contact her directly due to the protective order.) Nightingale has texted X’s Mom a couple times over the past couple days to find out what’s going on, such as when he or she will pick up The Boy, but X’s Mom is not replying.

    We know she’s doesn’t like being the third party, so we think she is doing this as a passive-aggressive way of showing her displeasure. But hey, I am partially a third party, too, as well as being caregiver for The Boy, and having to walk him up or down the lane when X picks him up and drops him off. It’s just something that has to be done for X and The Boy to have time together.

    Quite frankly, I was looking forward to some quiet alone time to relax after this brunch. But if X does not pick up The Boy, I will be babysitting tonight and tomorrow. I am tired, and would rather not, but that’s the way it is.

    This surprised me. . .Yesterday, The Boy referred to me as one of his parents. I told Nightingale, thinking she would be displeased, but instead she replied, “I’m glad he realizes that.” Not that she thinks I have the full authority of a real parent (or step-parent), but that I am more than a grandmother to him. As I’ve said before, having him here, being his caregiver and a part of his daily life is a blessing and a privilege, but it is also a responsibility – one that weighs more heavily on my heart now that his Papa is gone.

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  15. Having said the above, though, I LOVE teaching my 10-year-old daughter (6th Arrow) piano. She has advanced amazingly quickly in her less than two years of regular piano study.

    May I share a proud mom moment that I’ve been sitting on for a couple weeks?

    Sixth Arrow participated two weeks ago in her first District Auditions put on by our local affiliate of MTNA (Music Teacher’s National Association), of which I am a member.

    There is a musicianship (music theory) test all participants must take, and various “tracks” of applied piano to choose from to complete the playing part of the auditions.

    Sixth Arrow went state track, and needed at least 80% on her musicianship test, and at least 14 points on her repertoire. (Three pieces, memorized, with a possibility of up to 5 points on each piece.)

    I was thrilled to learn that daughter scored 94% on her test, and got 14 points on her pieces. She is going to state! πŸ™‚

    One of the pieces on which she’d gotten a 5 she had also performed at a piano festival in January. At that point, she’d had the piece memorized for maybe two or three weeks. But it was her first time playing for an audience other than a few relatives in our living room, so she was a little nervous, and had a memory slip just a few bars from the end in her festival performance.

    She figured out how to get back on track within a few seconds of forgetting (which seemed like an eternity), but finished strong.

    I wondered if that would bother her, that she had forgotten a little part, but didn’t let on that I was thinking that, but I am pleased to report she took it well in stride, and decided to continue working toward the District Auditions experience.

    I was proud that she got back on that horse, figuratively speaking, and has continued preparing for more performance experiences.

    State is in May, and I just mailed her registration for the state competition today, so it is official now! πŸ™‚

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  16. Wow, a lot of comments have come in while I’ve been typing. Time for me to quit yakking and start listening to you guys!

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  17. Peter, sorry to hear about your father. But thankful for the good citizenship news.

    Kare, I saw a report this morning on my email homepage about the hockey bus crash you mentioned on yesterday’s prayer thread. So tragic.

    How is your daughter coping?

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  18. Love it that I have next-door neighbors to the north of me who have lived there forever — her grandmother owned their house in the past and then they bought it from her when they got married so they’ve lived there since sometime in the latter 1960s I believe. But they have a lot of first-hand ‘history’ about the neighborhood and my house also.

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  19. It is either a Greek or Egyptian tableau. Most probably from the “Gilded Age”. Mr. P’s father was born in 1926 and his grandfather in 1892. Looking online I can find something that looks like the Federal Period. It is falling apart and some of the pieces are in a ziploc to have it “repaired”. I don’t want to repair it too much and ruin it. I think it works there in the entryway over the table. You can also see the “priceless” shells that are more valuable to Mr. P. “than rubies or pearls”. πŸ˜‰

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  20. Thanks for asking 6, she was okay last night (had transported one of the victims to hospital). I just messaged her, but haven’t heard back yet. We’re praying for God to protect her mind and her spirit from all that she had to deal with yesterday. She is a very sensitive empathetic person so, needless to say, we are a bit concerned. Any advice from parents of emts/paramedics or actual first responders as to how we can best support her would be welcome.

    It’s just so tragic for the families who lost their boys.

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  21. There are things to enjoy seeing in children at all ages. In the brand new, it is seeing them take their first wobbling glances at the world around them and figure out where they fit in this new world – I have two nephews at this stage whom I do not yet know very well. In the older infant, and the toddler, it is seeing their delight as they conquer one function after another and witnessing them test their limits (I certainly do not encourage their disobedience, but I have a sneaking sympathy for the strong willed child as I think that stubborn will will be very useful once they learn to control it better) – I have a nephew and a niece at that stage and sometimes I have to hide my laughter at their antics. In the preschoolers, it is their eagerness to attain the knowledge that comes from reading and doing things – I have two nieces and a nephew at that stage that I cheer from the sidelines. In school aged children, it is their creativity and joie d’vivre – I have a nephew just entering and a nephew just exiting that stage, and they are so much fun to be around. In adolescents, it is the odd, sometimes quite weird, charm of the half child-half adult – the two eldest of my young relatives are now in that stage and it is a pleasure to become more of their friend than an auxiliary parent to them.

    I have read many story books brought to me by my young relatives, and rocked and sung them to sleep with lullabies I know in three different languages, and taught them the old rhymes and singing games that were taught to me as a child, and told them the family stories. We have made crafts together – there is a paper model of a real castle at my parents’ that I made with my eldest young relatives when they were preschoolers that each successive child has admired and wanted to have down from the shelf to look at, just as I would ask to look at my father’s model boat as a child. Third nephew, this past Christmas, when we were to go on one of our traditional hikes in the forest, declared in his effervescent way that he would not go without me, since he felt safer among potential wild beasts when I was around – a view he has held ever since I returned from killing snakes in Africa. Eldest niece does me the honour of actually wanting to talk to me every week via the internet, although she has many more ‘hip’ acquaintances than her spinster aunt. So, yes, I give them their space, but I find they come to me, which delights my soul.

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  22. Kare, I’ll be praying for your daughter, too. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to process something like that.

    I was just talking Thursday with my piano student who is a senior in high school. She plans to study in the medical field, and wants to do some EMT work as part of that. She’s a very sensitive person, too, and, though I didn’t tell her this, I’m concerned about how emotionally difficult some of what she’d likely come across would be for her.

    She told me that an older friend of hers, in his first day on the job as an EMT, was called to the scene of a collision between a semi and a motorcyclist. I’ll not share everything that she told me, but the motorcyclist’s whole body wasn’t intact…

    Her friend took time off after that, but returned to the job at some point.

    I wouldn’t be able to put gruesome images from a scene like that out of my mind.

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  23. Those shells are actually quite amazing. Did he collect them himself? We have a couple on the piano, Memories of good friends and times gone by. It is amazing to think that God designed them so intricately, though they are rarely ever seen and yet every detail is done with an eye toward beauty.

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  24. Talking to “teens” (we prefer the term young adults): talk to them like they are people. Talk about the big stuff and ask how they would solve the problem.

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  25. Mumsee, yes, Eldest niece and I talk together as adults. She really is leaving the adolescent stage at this point, and entering the young adult stage. She has a difficult world to navigate, but she is grappling with it courageously so far, and I never discourage her as I was discouraged at that stage by laments about how evil the world is becoming and how the Second Coming cannot happen too soon.

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  26. I was the only child of an only child who was terrified of babies. I had never been around many of the little creatures. I certainly didn’t know what to do with one. I never gave much thought to having “rug rats” or “curtain climbers” until I was told I couldn’t have one of my own.
    I had her and she could have been anyone’s baby. I felt nothing. Then about a week after she was born I fell head over heals in love with her and wanted a house full. I LOVED everything about being a mother. I was irrational about her ever getting a bottle. If I was with her she nursed. It was the only thing I could do for her that no one else could.
    Of course now she is 20 and she and her Nana still have an exceptionally close bond, but Nana has that with all three of her grandchildren. I could be jealous of how much she loves her Nana, but I am not. It is something BG has that I never had with either of my grandmothers.
    Several years ago we went to Texas to keep Second Grandchild while her mother attended a class there. I never gave her a bottle either. I picked her up when she cried, she started rooting around to nurse and I felt a flood of emotions and had to give her and the bottle to Grandpa. He loved it that he was the Man In Charge Of Feeding (of course she was getting breast milk in a bottle).

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  27. My father, being from a Maritime province, had shells and bits of driftwood in the model boat on the top shelf, and two big Conch shells beside it, which, on the occasions we were allowed to handle them, we held up to our ear to ‘hear the ocean’. They are still somewhere around the house – I should dig them out for the next generation to enjoy, as I dug out my father’s records.

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  28. I’ve never been good with children.
    but I did take my granddaughters to the park.
    I think I told you before about the time I kept Chuck and a baby girl while Elvera and another lady attended a meeting.
    I changed Chuck a couple of times. but the girl never wet her pants. I thought.
    That’s when I learned that baby boys and baby girls wet their diapers in different places.

    But I came here to say something else.
    I am reading “United” by Tim Scott & Trey Gowdy. In passing Gowdy makes an important statement:
    “The quality of any communication is always determined by the listener.”
    Right: If you don’t speak the language, you haven’t communicated.

    Case in point. When a well educated man says something like “It was given to Bob and I” He loses me then.

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  29. There are shells that turn up at the dog park quite often. Kids, or children, there with their parents love to collect them, especially when they can find ones still intact and not broken.

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  30. “Man in Charge of Feeding”. I loved that job too. When KJ (our first) was born, Mrs. B had a job and I did not. Six weeks later, when Mrs. B’s leave was up, I still did not have a job.

    The very day Mrs. B went back to work, I got a call with a job offer. I arranged to start two weeks later. I called Mrs B at work with the news, and she immediately gave her two-week notice. For those two weeks I remained “Man in Charge of Feeding” (breast milk), after which I went to work and Mrs B came home.

    Those two weeks had a couple of nice results. It helped cement my bonding with my 6-week-old firstborn. It helped confirm for For Mrs B that she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. If she hadn’t gone back to work she might always have wondered if she would have liked to. But for those two weeks all she wanted was to come home and be with KJ.

    I don’t think I did nighttime feedings routinely. Mostly I just got up to get the babies and bring them to Mrs B.

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  31. BG aspirated when she was 8 days old. We took a ride in the ambulance to the emergency room and she came home on an apnea monitor. I was terrified. I went back to work at 8 weeks because I wanted somebody who knew what they were doing with babies to be in charge. 😦

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  32. Addendum to my post at 11:20, about 6th Arrow qualifying for state piano competition:

    I was pleased with the patience and understanding my daughter’s adjudicator displayed with her at district auditions. All students are given the opportunity to warm up on the piano in their assigned audition rooms. I had told daughter she’d be allowed to do that, and that she could play a scale, or little snippets of her pieces, or whatever she wanted to play when the judge invited her to warm up.

    Most of the auditions that day were “closed,” meaning no one was allowed in the room except for one student at a time with the judge. Anyone wanting to listen, though, could stand out in the hall and hear the audition through the closed door.

    When my daughter walked into the room, the door monitor closed the door, and at first I couldn’t hear anything. But I could see my daughter seated at the piano, and see the judge filling out the last critique sheet of the previous student’s audition.

    And then, very faintly, I heard a little plink. πŸ˜‰

    Silence…

    Plink.

    I looked in the window (from a distance, so as not to be obtrusive) and saw daughter, with one finger of her right hand, lightly touch another key, up high. Plink.

    Pause… Left hand, one finger, down low. Plink.

    This went on for a minute or two, then she launched into her first piece, and later, her second and third. And nailed them quite well, with all the robustness of her usual playing style.

    At the end of the day, my daughter’s judge came into the auditions results processing area (where I was working — all teachers who enter students are required to work part of the auditions day), and shared with me that she could tell my daughter was a little nervous, so she just let her continue with her little “warm-up” until she felt comfortable enough with the piano and the environment to proceed with the actual playing of her pieces.

    I thought that was such a generous thing to allow her basically unlimited time for such an unconventional “warm-up.”. My daughter was the very last performer in Site C, and after nearly seven hours of judging, the adjudicator was probably looking forward to being done for the day.

    That extra time, though, that she gave 6th Arrow to acclimate was so beneficial, and, I think, a significant contributor to her success that day.

    Most of the judges are piano teachers of school-age children, but this particular judge is a university piano professor. She certainly has a good feel for understanding the needs of younger students than the ages she typically works with.

    I’m so thankful for my daughter’s positive experience that day, and wrote to the District Auditions Chairperson about how and why I was so pleased with my daughter’s judge. The event is really a wonderful educational opportunity, and I’m glad she had such a considerate judge in this her first experience with such an event.

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  33. And now, one more music post, then I’m off to other (offline) adventures.

    Tonight is the big night for my duet partner and me. Almost a year ago, we decided we wanted to perform the Schubert Fantasie in F Minor for piano four hands, and have been getting together regularly for the last about 3 months to practice it together, after probably around 6 months of practicing our own separate parts.

    A challenging and beautiful piece (I linked it here a while back), we will perform this tonight at the end of the Spring Piano Concert at our usual venue.

    There are nine acts before us, then we play those final 20 minutes.

    I am very excited that the performance day has finally come! We needed all that preparation time, though, and it was a usually-enjoyable, sometimes-a-little-frustration trek through one of the greats in the piano duet repertoire.

    Wish us luck? Pray for us? Do as you like, and know that we’ll have smiles on our faces (so will 3rd Arrow, our awesome page-turner), whatever comes about in our playing.

    To God be the glory.

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  34. My mom had always wanted a sister. My sister and I are the only pair of girls on Mom’s side of the family (including all my siblings) except that one of my brothers adopted a girl, I married and got two girls that way, and one of my uncles had his firstborn girl die at birth (a later daughter survived). And Mom had to have six children before she got to that second girl. (Biologically, my married siblings who have children have one girl each, and two have four boys and two have two boys–an average of three boys and one girl per family. Oh, and all of those families wanted more children than they had.)

    Anyway, Mom grew up with two brothers but no sisters, and my sister and I were 15 1/2 months apart and very different. When we argued, she would tell us we should get along, as she always wanted a sister and didn’t have one. I silently answered here that didn’t mean that my sister was anything special. As teens, our father died, and I put my arm around her and told myself that she would let me that day; years and years later I told her that and she had the same thought that day. About the time I was 14 we attended a home-church plant, and the wannabe pastor had two daughters close in age, but about 21 and 22, and I watched those two get along and thought there was hope for me and my sister.

    At 18 I started working at McDonald’s, where she was already working. We were an excellent team in drive-thru–no other two people could handle it during the lunch rush, we were that busy. But they usually put three people in there rather than putting the two of us there. About that time, she and I started talking about getting an apartment together (she was already out of the house), and we talked to two other girls from work and one of them said yes. That girl got married a year later and my sister and I moved into a one-bedroom apartment. We have never gotten along perfectly, but we get along well.

    Well, I noticed that Mom was jealous of the fact that we got along, jealous that we were closer to each other than to her. I made note of that, because it actually made perfect sense for two girls so close in age, who grew up together and shared the same bedroom for about 17 years, attended the same church and the same school, and so forth would be very close.

    I see that in my own girls. They love me, but they have a special and unique bond. And it is not a threat to me. Even if I had given birth to them, it would be natural that they would be close to each other in a way that I couldn’t enter. That is part of the reason that people have more than one child–you are giving your child the greatest gift you can, a sibling. (Not everyone can have a second child, and that is in God’s plan, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I forgot to wake up and check my roast! But, it is great, the meat is just falling apart and will be perfect for serving on tortillas with hummus. Now if I could just find that hummus recipe….

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I’ve been out watering wildflower seeds after putting down more ‘amend’ soil nutrient. Even if only 1/2 of the seeds take, I’ve scattered enough that it should produce quite a few flowers in a couple months.

    But the spigot in back on the patio is sure leaking. Will have to get that fixed.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Daughter came in from her walk, “Mom, I found a gun up past the mailbox. I picked it up and set it on a rock so people could find it.”

    Like

  38. I have been over on The Knot looking at Nieces gift registry. I want to get something special that she will keep and always remember that her Dee gave her. No one registers for fine china and silver anymore–really who uses it that much except me.
    I could channel my father and buy the cookware set she wants. I could buy a whole set of it for what it would cost to buy one piece of the Le Creuset she chose. Or I could buy the set of flatware she has chosen. I used mine for 20+ years before Mr. P told me to buy new if I wanted it.
    Of course the dress I bought for BG to wear was the same price as the Le Creuset dutch oven and then it needs to be altered and because it has beading on it will add to enough that I will have spent the same amount on the dress as I will spend on the 10 piece cookware set. I am leaning towards the cookware set because I have a set of Salad Master cookware that my dad bought for me when I graduated from college. I use it every day and have eventually been thankful that he bought it instead of the tanzanite ring I really wanted. πŸ˜‰

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  39. Turned out fine. It was one of our pellet guns that disappeared several years ago. I suspect the other sixteen year old took it and hid it up there. He does that sort of thing quite a bit, or used to. The funny thing about his little habit was last night he came to the living room, “Mom, I left my wallet in the bathroom and now I am missing a one hundred dollar bill.” Me: “Yep, that sort of thing happens.” I continued working my soduku. He stood, helpless and hopeless. Eventually, I finished the puzzle, looked up, and said, ” I suppose you would like me to go get it?” “Yes, please.” I did. Eleven year old had taken it from his wallet. He gave it back. I later commented, “I guess what goes around, comes around, eh?” He, sheepish, “Yeah” and chuckled sadly.

    Back to the gun. I told her she did well by reporting it but would have done better to leave it on the ground, half buried, where she found it. Things like that, the real ones, can go off accidentally and are best left untouched but by those who know what they are doing.

    Liked by 4 people

  40. I never was comfortable around babies, only babysat older children and didn’t do well with those except the ones who were well-behaved and really only needed a babysitter in case of emergency. In college I took a class on Christian Education of Children (part of my Bible major) and was greatly dismayed when I found a required project was to spend two hours interacting with actual children. My professor arranged for me to spend part of an afternoon playing with children of a local family, and I was very very nervous about it. Fortunately they weren’t as uncomfortable being asked to play with a stranger, and it really didn’t go badly.

    When I got married I told my husband I was worried I wouldn’t be a good mother, because I had grown up hearing my mother tell us she didn’t know how to be a good mother because she hadn’t had one (her mother lived in a hospital of some kind, until she hanged herself). My mother loved taking care of babies because all she had to do was show affection, but she had no idea what to do with a child old enough to say No. My mother told me for years she thought I was her mother, reincarnated. I’m not sure how much “mothering” I did for her but that was how it seemed to her. (I was always considered mature for my age because I was so serious, and because I followed rules so well and didn’t do childish things.)

    My husband convinced me I would learn to be a good mother, but when my first son was born I had no idea what to do with him. My husband changed the first diaper because I was so nervous about it. And I never had that feeling of “falling in love” with my baby that some women have. But I got more comfortable with him as I took care of him, and by the time my second son was born I was fine. I even helped in the nursery at church a few times, but I never felt the ease with other children that I did with my own.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Speaking of sons, my younger son did his Eagle project today. My task was to be the “first aid person,” staying near the sign-in table in case anyone arrived late and being there in case there was an emergency. The Scoutmaster suggested I sit in my car since it was so cold, so it seemed like a pretty easy, comfortable job. I did get a lot of reading done (one late arrival, no emergencies). But apparently sitting for so long was not good for my hip. Maybe I’d have been better off carrying cinder blocks after all (I had told my son I didn’t want to lift anything heavy because my back had been bothering me earlier this week).

    Maybe some ibuprofen will help. But I will not make the mistake I made earlier this week of taking it without food. Within half an hour, I wasn’t feeling well, though I couldn’t figure out quite what was wrong until I finally threw up an hour later and had leave work. I can’t say for sure it was the ibuprofen, since I’ve taken it plenty of times before and never got sick from it. But usually I take it with meals because it’s easy to remember when to take it that way.

    Aside from having trouble moving my right leg when I am sitting down, I am very happy with Al having finally gotten the project done. I never imagined when my husband signed him up for Tiger Scouts (then my husband went and got a second shift job and I became one to go to all the Scout meetings and activities) that he would finish out a single year having to interact with other children like that (back then his autistic tendencies were very obvious), much less ever come close to being an Eagle Scout.

    Now we just have to help him find time for some more long hikes (he has never been a good swimmer, though as a teenager he finally passed the beginner test), so he is doing the hiking merit badge as an alternative. I wish I could go along, but even short hikes are more than my knee and foot can manage these days (old injuries that never completely healed).

    Liked by 8 people

  42. I have dreamed a couple of times that I had a baby. In one dream I was holding my newborn baby boy (we weren’t still in delivery, but I think I was sitting in a car holding him and getting ready to put him in a carseat or something). When I awoke, my feelings of love for that baby were so tender that I lay awake just treasuring that dream even though it had been a dream.

    BTW, I sent my sister the link about skin-to-skin contact, and this was her response (speaking of her 14-year-old middle child): “Thank you. When E. was born his temp was in the low 90s. The nurses jumped into action to take him to the neonatal unit to warm him up. I stopped them and said I wanted to place him on my chest to warm him up. I could tell they had never heard of that and were quite skeptical. I thought they were going to say no, but they finally, grudgingly agreed to give me 10 or 15 minutes. They came back in a few minutes to take his temp again, and I don’t believe I mistook the look of disappointment on her face when his temp was 98.6 Kangaroo care saves lives even for seriously underweight premies!”

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Haven’t been able to catch up yet today, as it’s been a very full day. Just wanna let you know that Mr X ended up texting me himself and arranged to pick up The Boy late this afternoon.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. I knew nothing about babies and the two experiences I had babysitting infants prior to giving birth resulted in hysterical screaming and anxious neighbors knocking on the door to help.

    So, I approached pregnancy and motherhood as a research project. My mother, a teacher, always said if you could read you could do anything.

    I was better with pregnancy research than motherhood and confessed at my first Lamaze class that I had no idea how to even dress a baby. Since we were entering a New England winter, the teacher explained, “One more layer than you’re wearing.”

    My husband later determined the baby was cold–which is why he cried at night all the time. Sigh.

    Anyway, I had changed one diaper before giving birth and remember lying in my Navy hospital room (with three other women) and wondering who was going to change that crying baby in the bassinet beside me.

    Me?

    As it happened, that first diaper was a meconium disaster–black tarry mess everywhere–baby, clothes, bassinet, me! The roommate beside me, a mother of three, laughed at this brainy woman who couldn’t manage a diaper–and called for a corpsman.

    The indignity only grew when a tall gangly 19 year old guy looked down at me and suggested I take a shower and he would manage the baby . . .

    We all felt better half an hour later when, both of us clean and one of us wrapped like a burrito, settled back into bed.

    It was about then that my roommate’s husband drifted in, the father of now three girls, and wistfully looked at my son.

    “You want to trade? Your husband’s not here, he’ll never know.”

    R had left 20 minutes after the baby’s delivery to drive to his next duty station.

    I declined. I figured my rstatic husband would remember the baby he saw delivered was a boy . . .
    See? Another reason why a guy should join his wife in the delivery room! LOL

    Liked by 4 people

  45. Do y’all hear me whistling? That is as in “whistle while you work!” I can whistle at the size of numbers of refunds and payments whether large or small. The numbers can be quite impressive (and depressive). Poor Miss Bosley! I miss her ❀🐱❀

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Cheryl, I used to have dreams that I was pregnant, they were very real, but haven’t had one of those in a while πŸ™‚

    Like

  47. Nite Jo….Morning everyone else….ugh I have been up since 3…one cup of coffee down and oh so many more to come….the Lord is good and time spent with HIm…no matter what the early morning hour might be, is good indeed! πŸ“–

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Thanks, Cheryl. The concert went nicely. Neat variety of music — classical, ragtime, hymn arrangements, a Mary Poppins medley and a Stephen Foster medley, and all well-played.

    Our audience was wonderful, and showered us with their thanks afterwards.

    And my duet partner and I got a standing ovation after our piece. πŸ™‚ First time she or I, separately or as a duo, ever got one. I was humbled. We’d made a few mistakes, but people couldn’t tell. πŸ™‚

    The mom of one of the young women who played (there were two high school girls, and one young man in his twenties, with the rest of us performers being old people, lol) thanked us profusely for all the work we put in on our duet. My daughter who turned pages for us said that was the lady who started the standing ovation.

    I was pleased how many people complimented my daughter on her page-turning. They recognized the important contribution a good page-turner makes to an ensemble, and she had a lot of pages to turn, with the work being close to 40 pages!

    In my inbox this morning was a forwarded email from my duet partner. A friend of hers who attended the concert last night wrote this:

    [M] and [6] – your performance was so lovely. It was entrancing. Thank you so much for bringing us such beautiful music, beautifully played.

    That and the many kind thoughts expressed last night by other concert-goers were so lovely. It’s just phenomenal to me how God gifted so many fine composers to write what they did, and being a part of delivering that music to an appreciative audience is such a privilege and blessing.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    Liked by 4 people

  49. Sigh, the senior pastor of the city church is retiring. It is not entirely unexpected, as he is getting up in years and he did well to remain with us after his wife’s death a year ago, but it brings back memories of what happened in my family church after Pastor A retired. I do trust the Lord for the future, but I know from experience that we do not really want to know what is in the future as it can be quite uncomfortable. God is with us, but that does not keep us from sore trials.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. There, that is how pessimistic I can get. I have been having a bit of a difficult time lately. My health seems to be wavering again. I was studying for the exam with my mother last night (I teach her what I have been learning), and I had to stop talking and say goodbye because I was becoming faint and out of breath. I knew that neither my heart or my lungs were in imminent danger of failing as my pulse was fine and there was good circulation to my fingertips (fingernail beds are one of the first places to turn blue if there is a serious problem with oxygen supply), but I could feel my joints stiffening and I could barely swallow, as if my throat was going into spasms. It is something that I experienced several times before – I had those symptoms during some of my several attacks in West Africa (I lost the ability to speak more than once), and I have had them a few times since, including last summer. The first time such attacks happened was in the spring months following my uncle’s death. It is not like a panic attack, as it is always somehow related to my asthma and difficult breathing, but I wish I knew why it happens. I am not about to die anytime soon, as I ended up walking to church this morning and then sang in the choir without any trouble, but I recognize the signs of a possible asthma crisis approaching. It happened the first time in spring, and it has happened in spring several times since.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. The ladies who played right before we did (also a duo) did two pieces with a piano/organ pairing. There’s an old Hammond organ off to the side of the stage with the Steinway grand, and the music they chose was beautiful.

    First they played Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, then followed it up with Evening Prayer from the opera Hansel and Gretel.

    The lady who played the organ also played, a bit earlier in the program, a Lorie Line piano solo arrangement of How Great Thou Art. She introduced the piece and said that that arrangement had had special meaning for her.

    She is a recently retired public school band director, and she said that the day after 9/11, her band students needed time to process what had happened, so she sat down at the piano and played that arrangement of How Great Thou Art for them. It helped calm them.

    I can’t find that arrangement on YouTube, but I’ll link to a peaceful video of Evening Prayer to end the day here.

    Good night.

    Like

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