A Little Linky Love

When we took our long trip out west last fall, we made sure to have a goodly supply of audiobooks along. We have been collecting them for quite a while, and if you watch what you are doing, you can actually get a lot of them free. We have been favorably impressed with the quality of the recordings on Audible. You get a free month trial right now, which would put you right into March and springtime. How is that for a deal? My highest recommendation from Audible is God’s Smuggler, by Brother Andrew. It is almost 9 hours long, and all of them are worthwhile hours.

We also like Christian audio, which has a free book featured every month. Sometimes they feature biographies, like Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. We have bought books at both of these places, and have no complaints. Some of the books are on both sites, but this is two ways of getting free ones and deciding whether you want to buy more. 😉

And finally, I have a link for episodes of Adventures in Odyssey. The ones on this site are free samples from their CDs. (Thank-you so much, P.D. and Leeny, for telling us about this. 🙂 ) Our children have listened for hours this winter, and they never tire of them. I want to buy them some of the CDs in time, but for now they are happy with the partial stories.

The time to listen to audios is… anytime. We do it while we cook or while we fold clothes or even while we pick up the stuff around the living room. If the work slows down too much because of how absorbing the story is, I just pause it and everybody jolts right back to reality quickly so that Mama starts the story again. Happy listening!


Why I Need Coffee Today

This morning I stirred a bit and mumbled a good bye when Gabe left for work at 5:15. It may have been a little while before I got up and thought about the day. This is what I thought, “I need coffee. Nice and strong. Coffee.” I have a percolator just like this, and I really like it because it fits into my cupboard, thus saving valuable counter space. When I picked up the stem thingy that holds up the cup for the grounds, I discovered that the spring thingy that keeps the cup at just the right level so that the hot water runs over the grounds and not straight down the sides was missing. Wait, what did I just explain? Oh, yes, the spring was missing, which causes the end-result of coffee to be weak and sorry.

So there was nothing for it but to ask the children, one of whom was already awake and said she saw Gregory playing with it. Here is what I did. I woke Gregory and he said, “No, it was Rita, and she was playing with it when she was making stuff with clay and all I did was put it back on the counter.” I kneaded the clay, but didn’t find the missing part. Rita was still pretty sleepy, but she insisted that she had no idea where the spring went. I gave up on their dubious trail of breadcrumbs and brewed without the spring. It was weak and sorry. When Alex emerged for breakfast, he remembered having played with the spring last night before we went to church. I assured him that he would be spending some time looking for it before school.

Everybody ate their eggs and toast like the chipper little devouring chickies that they are. All except me, since you may recall that I am on a diet that says toast is bad. Coffee, yes, toast, no. And then Alex did find the spring and he also gathered the dirty laundry, of which there was a considerable amount, what with church twice yesterday. There were also a number of perfectly clean things that got chucked into the girls’ hamper when someone zealously cleaned up their room.

We started school with me checking the last three days’ worth of assignments and especially tests. I discovered that my 6th grade boy totally did not get the chapter in History on the government with its three main branches and numerous obscure sub-branches, therefore bombing the test. I feel really bad about this because I had planned to tutor him on it before he does the test, since he had also bombed the quiz, but I forgot and what’s more: I never really understood it myself. DVD school does not fix all problems, that is for sure. There was also the little matter of skipped stuff in math lessons for both boys, necessitating penalties and a pep talk.

The wind is not in my sails this morning, so I am at a dead-calm, sitting in the water, writing. I have encountered 2 little clay snakes placed in strategic locations by my second boy and I have not even blinked, much less screamed. This is his idea of a joke, but it isn’t working on a half-asleep mom with only weak coffee. I am on the third load of laundry, resolutely plowing through the loads, grateful for a dryer on this damp and raw day.

Eventually I will deal with the watery tea party that the little girls set up on the sofa while I was busy checking tests and feeling bad. We will likely be sitting on towels for a few days. I will put away the dishes that they cleared out of the dishwasher and I will supervise a major clean-up of all areas, but especially the places where I like to walk. Tripping does tend to hamper progress and frustrate productivity, I have found. In due course I will fix my bed and figure out lunch and dinner.

Probably what I will do next is go fix the children mochas with the weak coffee and I will put whipped cream on top. They will think it is amazing and give me lots of compliments. I may just feel a gust of airy ambition flowing toward me; the sails are starting to flap.

Anybody else need coffee today?

Discrepancies, Hilarious or Otherwise

Last week when I was at the library, I had a sudden desire to read about the Mason/Dixon line and the Underground Railroad. A search of the computer files brought up a book in historical fiction and I was fascinated to find that the story is set locally. Today I was reading the first chapter, where the little boy catches his first catfish and his friend shows him how to scale it and fry it in a cast iron frying pan. Huh? Wha?.. I thought everybody knew catfish have no scales and now I don’t want to read any more of the story because I am so disappointed that the author did that to his readers and I am totally disenchanted because of his probable lack of research concerning the Mason/Dixon line as well. Unforgiving? Maybe, but really, all I can think is “catfish scales” when I want to read.

This sensitivity to discrepancies in writing may stem from a story I once wrote for a literature class, in which I, the main character, was driving home after dark and the headlights got dimmer and dimmer as the battery died. Oh the prayers and teen drama as I crested the last hill and drove into our lane in the quite inadequate starlight. All the guys in the class grinned knowingly and explained with maddening superiority that it would have been an alternator problem. Lesson learned. One should do one’s homework. Which also means one should not attempt a novel about the Amish if one has never been Amish, because an arranged marriage with a young and handsome bishop will be the tip-off that one truly does not understand one’s subject.

In other news, I have been sorting and rearranging and stroking my fabric stash. I decided to go through both totes and cupboards, do a thorough job. This way I know what I have, which may possibly be a slap on the wrist the next time I see a lovely piece I can’t resist. Or maybe not. I found record of a few dismal failures that I had tucked out of sight when they happened. It is very difficult for me to simply discard an article of clothing I worked on that just cannot seem to leave the ground, but today I was firm. A casual onlooker would have wondered why it was such a big deal when I chucked out the rust colored skirt with the fall leaves, the slippery one that hung crooked at the hem and was too big at the waist. There was my wedding tablecloth in one of the totes, as well as a curtain that never stood right on the rod. I found a skirt that simply needed the hooks and eyes refastened and a dress with a split zipper, which I replaced. Also a dress with one panel in the skirt taken out the wrong way, so that the sheen on that panel is different. I still don’t know what to do with it, since there isn’t enough fabric to replace it, and it’s such a pretty color. Then there was the Woolrich jumper of green plaid that I bought to repurpose into boys’ pajama pants, which Alex promptly did today. There were scraps from blankets I made for nieces and nephews, as well as some lovely Peter Rabbit flannel to make a nightie for my little girl.  I totally eliminated one tote, sorted out another for cutting into quilt squares for the ladies’ sewing day at church. The cleanse was both inspirational and cathartic. 🙂 And I wished for my sister so I could ask her why in the world does she think I ever thought this strange paisley swirl was pretty fabric?

It is really, really cold outside, and I have inflicted upon myself a diet in which it seems that all comfort food is verboten. Stinks, really. And please, nobody say anything about Skinny Chocolate. Off to eat my spinach salad…

Hello friends!

Today when I was trolling around my house, doing what homemakers do, (laundry) I found myself picking up odds and ends in the strangest places. The amount of the pickings is a phenomenon directly related to the number of people who live in a household, especially little people. Lollipop sticks, stray buttons, butterfly hair bands, plastic frogs, and what-in-the-world-is-it-doing-here? a permanent marker… all get a quick deposit into my pocket until I have time to sort them out.

You see, we really get into pockets around here. It isn’t just the mama. Where else would little boys keep their knives and rubber bands and springs pirated out of pens? Everyone knows little girls have to have a place for tissues and shiny candy wrappers and doll shoes.

When I found myself ruminating on a new blog name, I chose “Wocket in My Pocket” just because we love that book by Dr. Seuss, but mainly because I thought it described life around our house rather well. I hope it is easy for you, my friend, to remember. Thank you for stopping by.