Some Good Medicine and Other Stuff


Last night Gregory heaved a gusty sigh as it sank in that he had really, truly done the last lessons in third grade: “I cannot believe tomorrow I will be a free man!”

At five this morning Gabe kissed me good bye and went to work. I sighed, rolled over and promptly fell asleep again. At 6:30 the piping little voices started up in the girls’ room, and then a loud screeching disagreement, apparently over who would be the mom and who would be the children. I sighed, got up, sneezed violently four times and made coffee.

It is gonna be a fine day! The boys really did finish the 170th lesson in their books yesterday. All that remains is logging in their field trips and finishing up their portfolios. I should really do that today, but probably I won’t. They have never gotten done this early in the year before. This success is due to very few vacation days and a lot of Saturdays. I think the motivation comes primarily from the uncle who always beats them by starting early and doing Saturdays. 🙂 He still got done first this year, but not by such a big margin.

I have been scratching my perennial borders this past week, moving stuff around, trimming bushes. It makes me so happy! Gabe thinks one should plan the plantings with research and care, then step aside and let them grow, but I am incapable of doing that. This year I moved two bittersweet vines from the shed to the fence where they can climb all they want and not damage any roof shingles. I moved a rose bush and a hydrangea from the shady side of the house to more sunny locations then put hostas into the shady places. The peony plant that I have been babying in an obscure location is now big enough to bloom by the picket fence, and some of the Dutch irises took a fast wheelbarrow ride down to the pond where they grace the bank. So it goes; I really cannot help myself. Nearly all of my flowering plants are gifts or swaps from friends or family. One cannot plan that and must simply move with it.

Last summer my husband spent almost all of his spare days working at trenching and draining our swampy land into the pond. This spring we  have a new spot for a garden patch/orchard. The soil is hard clay, so we have a lot of work to do before we plant trees, but I am so happy for this space! The men around here have been building a fence to keep out the critters. We will finally have a garden big enough for vining things like melons and squash! Actually, it is huge, like a field. 🙂 I am quailing a bit at the thought of all the maintenance, but Gabe is the one who does all the fruit growing around here, and that will be the bigger part of the work. Unlike perennials, fruit does take a lot of research and knowledge, and he is the right one for the job.

I have been living life in my red rubber boots, only taking brief breaks in the kitchen to cook up double batches of food so that we can eat leftovers the next day. If I were to hire domestic help, it would be a cook or a maid, but definitely not a gardener. 🙂

On the rainy days I have been working on the book I bought for myself as an end-of-school treat: The Father’s Tale by Michael O’Brien.  I haven’t given the children their books yet, but I couldn’t wait, and with over a 1000 pages, it will take me a while. What I should have done is wait to crack the book until the portfolios are finished and ready to be evaluated, but I have discipline issues.

Olivia mourned, “I never win anything,” after dropping her name into a door prize drawing. And then she won a doll, which is now the Favorite Child in her little doll family. “Mama, what color are your eyes?” to which I say, “Blue.”  She concludes, “Well, since mine are brown and this doll’s eyes are blue, she must have gotten a gene from her grandma.”

And lastly there is Addy, capering around in a towel after her bath: “I am a fancy little Egyptian! A fancy little Egyptian!” I ask, “Whatever do you mean?” and she explains matter-of-factly, “Egyptians dance in just towels.”

So there you have the funnies that had me laughing in the last 24. Why don’t more mothers draw comic strips?


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