laura’s grand adventure

So my friend Laura is in Ethiopia following her dream, her vision, her calling.  She left behind her husband and her two small boys and is traveling on her own, faithfully responding to the call.  It feels momentous.

You can read about what she’s doing in Ethiopia here.

And you can follow along with her beautiful photos and real life descriptions.

I’m wondering if her husband, Tim, will post his own  “back at the ranch” posts.  That would be entertaining.


Juliette of the Herbs

Juliette of the Herbs

Karen, our midwife, loaned me a documentary of a pioneer herbalist, Juliette de Bairacli Levy.  Really fascinating!  You can peruse her books on amazon and visit the documentary site  Wisdom!

My Mother’s Day present this year will be parenting books of my choice.  Her book Nature’s Children is on that list.  Also on that list is Parenting as a Spiritual Journey.

Levi’s Birth Story

Levi Aaron will be one week tomorrow.  (Yes, we finally named him.  Took some thinking.  I was gratified to find, after we named him, that we chose the most popular name on the baby name poll.)  One week ago right now I was starting labor and I wasn’t very happy about it.

I actually started having contractions on Sunday night.  After a week of “peace and safety” (read: absolutely nothing, not a twinge, not a cramp), things started up again.  And this time they were cramping in the front AND along the back. And to make them a little more believable, I had lost part of my mucus plug that morning…and my other two were born the same day as losing the mucus plug.

So I bustled around and fed the girls dinner and put them to bed and started making phone calls, to let the various people know that there might be a possibility of labor in the near future.  Karen (my midwife) decided to forgo the last night of camping with her family in San Diego and headed up towards home, only 45 minutes away instead of 2 hours.  My mom assured me that her day was clear.  And Devo came home after the church meeting.

And the contractions just moseyed along.  For another 24 hours.  At either 5 minutes apart or 10 minutes apart.  I thought, “At this rate, the baby will ooze out by next July.”

And then I thought, “Maybe this baby likes privacy.  Maybe I shouldn’t have called anybody.”  Hahaha.

So I slept, fairly fitfully, and took a nap, and went to the library and mailed boxes and went to yoga.  And, oh, yoga was great.  After a day of back cramps, the slow deep stretch class was just what I needed.  Things slowed down, I think I only had three contractions in the hour and a half.  By the end of class, my spirits were dropping and all I wanted was to go home and crawl into bed and sleep.

Devo went off to tennis and I put the girls in bed.  And that’s when it decided to start.  Of course the girls didn’t go to sleep easily.  And I was grumpy already.  And now trying to manage them with these annoying contractions threatened to send me over the edge.  So I abandoned my children to their mischief (which I could hear plainly) and crawled into the bathtub.

I’m so glad I didn’t know I was going to be in labor for seven more hours.  I had really been banking on two hours.  Ha.  Maybe next time.

By the time Devo got home, my mental state was tremulous indeed.  I squeezed out a few tears of self-pity.  And then I lay back in the bathtub and worked at pulling myself together.

Devo put the girls to bed, got me a heater and my swimsuit top and my toothbrush and the ipod with my relaxation and affirmation tracks, started filling the tub, setting out supplies, calling everyone.  Assuring Karen that I “looked pretty serious”.

My bath water got cold, so I transferred to the filling tub in the living room.  Lia woke up and came to watch.  Marni arrived.  Karen arrived.  Devo climbed in the tub with me.  And I labored.

It was a very relaxed labor.  I would have a contraction and then, nothing, for quite some time.  I imagine the gap were like 5 to 7 minutes between contractions, but what do I know?  Time is blessedly distorted in labor.  It would give me time to relax or to pull myself back together again.  Or to ask Lia for water or a towel (she was so sweet and helpful).

Amelie woke up and Devo got out of the water to go get her out of bed.  Amelie is in almost every picture that was taken during labor.  She played right around the tub, holding my hands, giving me kisses (“I love you, Mommy”), dabbling in the water, chatting away.  Amazing the empathy she has at just barely two.

Lia spent her time (that I saw) with Marni, reading and snuggling.  She would come to help me any time I asked.  People are so shocked at the idea of letting your children be with you during labor and birth, but I really don’t know why.  It is such a beautiful experience.


Now, about hypnobirthing.  There is one visualization exercise that involves turning a dial on your “sensory panel” from ON (which is where it normally is) to OFF.  The idea is, letting endorphins work their magic and only experiencing comfort and relaxation.

It didn’t work for me.

I don’t know if I didn’t practice enough, didn’t have enough “faith”, or what.

But I do totally believe that eliminating fear eliminates tension, which in turn greatly reduces pain.

I also really liked the birth affirmations, which I had recorded myself (didn’t want to pay the additional $18) adding certain psalms and Bible verses in between.  Having them run continuously gave me something to ground myself with in between contractions.  I’d catch a blip here and a blip there.  The background music was my favorite “monk chant” that I got from my yoga teacher.

The Slow Breathing advocated by hypnobirthing was great.  Bradley also espouses ‘abdominal breathing’, but I like the hypnobirthing variation better.  Inhale for a fast count of 20 (or a slower count of 10), exhale for the same.  And, this is what made all the difference for me, pushing the stomach out out out while inhaling.  This extending of the stomach helped keep me focused and changed how I felt the contractions.

I found that if I could stayed calm and focused through two to three breaths, the main part of the contraction would be over and I’d be homefree.   In a manner of speaking.  In almost all the pictures, I look so relaxed, it’s almost funny.  My whole face is so slack, I laugh when I look at the pictures.

With Lia’s labor, also long and slow (9 hours), there was always an underlying current of pain.  The only moment of ease I experienced in her labor was when I threw up.  It was my favorite part of the whole experience.  Haha.

With Amelie’s labor (short, fast, and wild…2 hours), I had breaks in between the contractions, but the contractions themselves were so strong and overwhelming that the breaks were merely moments to try to recover my shattered self.

But this time I’d have a contraction, a manageable one, and then a long break.  It was rather…glorious…comparatively speaking.

Devo spent most of the time in the pool with me.  I’m surprised his arms weren’t sore…he pushed on my sacrum most of the time.  Towards the end Karen showed him how to squeeze my hips together.  The only problem was that when I’d try to tell him a contraction was starting and to push harder, he couldn’t hear my murmuring over the ipod.  I remember once just yelling out, PUSH! and then wondering if they were laughing at my imperious, demanding tone.  (He says they weren’t).  In between we’d just lay together, or I’d relax back on to him.

Sometime around 11, I asked Karen to check me.  I had decided that if I was at 4 cm, I’d need to brace myself for a long labor.  But surprise, surprise, I was 7-8 cm!  That was the best news.  I could feel myself grinning like a chessy cat, all proud and happy.  I perked up so much I thought I should tone it down.

I also thought that if I just willed it, I could dilate completely in a timely fashion.  So I concentrated on relaxing during contractions, and thinking “open, open, open”, and opening my mouth (a clenched jaw can inhibit dilation).

But to no avail, things just kept la-di-dah-ing.

Finally, finally, probably about 1am, Karen said I was complete.  I was starting to get uncomfortable AND impatient.  I had read so much about feeling the baby starting to move down and the mom moving quietly and seamlessly from Slow Breathing to Birth Breathing.  I was looking forward to that, the end stage.

Yeah, well.  Spent some time on the toilet, which to my surprise felt (comparatively) good.  With Lia’s labor, I had begged to pee in the shower, because sitting on the toilet made it so intense.  Tried the birth breathing.  Tried some pushing.  He wouldn’t budge.

There was a lovely, bulging sac preventing everything from moving.

Finally I decided to ask Karen to break it.  She suggested that I first try to pop it with my fingernail during a contraction.  No such luck, it was like thick plastic.

I think it took her like 7 or 8 tries with the amniohook to pop that sac.  It was a thick sucker.

By this time I’d had enough.  I was ready to be done.  Forget birth breathing, I was going to push. Back to the pool.

Now that the bag of waters was out of the way, pushing gave me results.  I think I pushed for 12 minutes (according to the video) after rupturing the membranes.

I was like a pushing machine.  I remember as he was crowning and it was stretching and burning thinking, “I was right, this isn’t the worst part”.  I was so proud of myself, I pushed and stopped and pushed and stopped and eased his head out. (I DIDN’T TEAR!!!! WOOHOO!!! …that’s a first).  I reached down to feel his face and had Devo (who was sitting behind me supporting me) feel his head, too.  Devo hadn’t felt the baby’s head with either of the girls, and I was eager for him to get to this time.  It is, after all, the best part…such an amazing moment when things are neither here nor there, suspended in space.  I asked Lia if she wanted to feel, but she didn’t.  I don’t know that she could have reached, anyhow.

And then, I don’t remember this from the other two, but I actually felt his head turn to align with his body.

I heard Karen asking if I wanted to catch the baby, but I didn’t respond.  She gave him a little support while I pushed out his shoulders and his body, and I heard her ask Marni to take a picture of him under the water before I lifted him out. Karen said that while he was still underwater, his eyes were open and he was moving his arms and legs.

1:58am.  April 21, 2009.


And then I lifted him up and out.  On the video I heard a shriek, a holler.  It was me yelling, “I did it!  I DID IT!”  I don’t remember that at all, but I wasn’t surprised.  My little self-pep talks through the whole labor consisted of, “You can do this.  Leilani, you can do it.”

And Amelie said, “Baby Brudder born!  Put him in the carseat!”

And Mom said that Lia’s eyes were wide, wide, wide.  Not quite scared, she said, just wide.

And then he didn’t breathe.  And we rubbed him and he didn’t breathe.  And we rubbed more vigorously and he didn’t breathe.  Karen felt the cord and decided to cut so that she could work on him.  So I stood up so that she could get at the cord (my cords are always embarrassingly skinny and short), and the shock of the air must have done the trick, because he started breathing and managed some cries.

And we were all happy.

girls with baby

Lia cut the cord.  She wanted to wear a blue plastic glove like Auntie Karen.

And then I lay back on Devo and we all admired our perfect new baby.  He looks remarkably like Lia.  Dark skin, dark hair, very similar features.  I had thought he was going to be dark.

It took forever to deliver the placenta.  Like 45 minutes or something.  I finally had to get out of the tub and nurse to help things along.

The baby had some moisture in his lungs, so he was patted and got it all drained out.  A nurse named Beth came along to assist Karen, and she took good care of our little baby.

I voted he was 7 pounds, 4 oz.  Somebody else thought maybe 7, 6.

He was 8 pounds, even.  21 inches long.

Long, long fingers.  Dark hair.  Beautiful little body.  Toes that can spread wide wide wide (good for yoga!).  Lots and lots of vernix.  Lots of downy, soft hair on his shoulders and back.

I took a shower…not quite the soothing glad experience I had so fondly remembered…the water never got very hot.

I had orange juice.  And cheesecake.  And, boy, was that cheesecake good.

I noticed that I was the only one to finish my piece.  I guess cheesecake doesn’t sound quite as good to normal people at 4am.

Devo put the girls to bed, I’m not sure what time.  But it was so amazing how they were awake virtually all night, and as happy and cheerful and contented as can be.

The baby was so peaceful, so contented, so quiet.  The next day he cried, and Devo came in from the other room to see what he looks like when he cries…he’s such a quiet little guy.

We crawled into bed about 6/6:30.

The girls woke up around 8:30, and we were off on Day 1.  My loving husband made me a delicious breakfast and we spent the day admiring our perfect new son.

I felt so good on Tuesday that I was asking Karen when I could go back to yoga and admiring my new, svelte self in the mirror (I love the deflated belly look…at least, I love it for the first week or two).  I was bustling about (okay, not really bustling, but compared to my energy level after previous births, I was bustling) taking care of myself and the baby while Devo did absolutely everything else.  Not tearing and not being exhausted from the labor made all the difference.

I’m going to try to jot down the different things from this last week that I wanted to record.  Hopefully I can remember them.  But now that I have the birth story out of the way, I feel I can jump forward to NOW without guilt.  🙂

Prop 8

I’m just a little peeved.  And disappointed.

Since when does the SDA church tell me how to vote?  Or even strongly encourage a specific vote?  Or even endorse a position on what is obviously a divisive issue?

Prop 8 is on the ballot here in California next week.  To quote wikipedia, in case you don’t know what that is:

Proposition 8 is an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot titled Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. If passed, the proposition would “change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.” A new section would be added stating “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

According to the bulletin insert from Church State Council of Seventh-Day Adventists (entitled “YES on CA Prop 8”) that is supposed to go into church bulletins in California and Arizona this week, to vote no on prop 8 would:

“rebel against the authority of God and the wisdom of his law by voting in favor of same sex marraige.”

Mighty strong language when the church itself is divided on this.

AND, can I just say that I find their logic a little illogical?  To vote no on eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry is NOT the same as voting for same-sex marriage.  Hello.

But what really gets my goat is that my church is telling me how to vote instead of telling me to study the issues for myself and vote according to my own conscience under God.

I think a better option would be like the one published in the Pacific Union Recorder. Balanced, brief, leaving the decision in the individual’s hands.

Anyhow, no matter what the officials say or think, I’m still going to do my own homework and form my own opinions and vote how I think I should vote.

And I encourage you to do the same.

What to Do on a Fall Evening

The sun is going down earlier and suddenly evenings in the garden, or at the park, or going for a walk don’t work anymore.  It’s too dark.  It’s too cold.  The long evening hours stretch forth interminably. Bleak.  Formless and void.

But luckily I’ve recently read two books that painted beautiful pictures of quiet family evenings at home.  The Trapp family sang all evening, of course.  And Almanzo Wilder’s family knitted and popped popcorn.  And they painted such beautiful pictures of family togetherness that a tear came to my eye, and I resolved that there would be no more shapeless, bleak evenings this fall.

Tonight, the girls and I (Devo’s at meetings tonight) cooked macaroni and cheese from scratch, singing and dancing to the Chipmunk’s Christmas album.  Over our candlelit dinner, we began the season of thankfulness by going round and round with things we are thankful for.  Even Amelie got into the spirit of things and would pipe out “Ama” whenever her turn came around.  We translated “Ama” as Emma, Grandma, and Ouma, to keep the conversation from stagnating. (She was also thankful for apples).

Some more dancing to the Chipmunks while we cleared the table (“Mommy, why can’t we cry because Santa is coming to town?”).  And when the teapot whistled we bedewed our marshmallows with hot chocolate and were blissfully happy.  A book about being thankful for the bedtime story and I tucked my chipmunks into bed.

So after one successful night of family togetherness on a fall evening, I believe myself to be sufficiently experienced to offer suggestions to the world in general.

Here’s a little list of suggestions for things to do on a fall evening.  Think cozy.  Think comfort.  Think togetherness.  Resist the urge to be busy and just enjoy being…together.

Eat an early dinner so that you can savor the evening.  Soup and bread, baked potatoes…comfort food.

Light a fire.  Real wood or duraflame or even your own techy iYule, a fireplace in your pocket.  I know someone who should totally put this in their rigged up Christmas stroller this year.  Not only all the Christmas music you could want, but a portable crackling fire, as well.

Blankets. Snuggling always works better with blankets.

Hot chocolate with marshmallows, apple cider, or tea.

Read a book out loud.  Try a classic.  Or a Thanksgiving-themed story like Louisa May Alcott’s “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving”.

Sing songs.  Fall is a perfect time to teach your children the Christmas songs and carols so they’re ready to sing along in December. Five weeks simply is not enough time for Christmas songs.

Roast things in your fire (not the iYule, though, unfortunately).  Marshmallows, apples, nuts, potatoes, corn on the cob, or, as google suggests is extremely popular…a whole pig.  Oink.

Make s’mores or that crazy yummy variation, banana boats.

Make popcorn.  Or popcorn balls.

Act out Bible stories.

Memorize Rindercella together.

Listen to music.

Play games.

Make crafts.  Get started on Christmas presents.

Tell stories.

Aimee’s Baby Shower

My friend Somer came up with the most brilliant baby shower theme I ever heard of.  Aimee (35 weeks) has already had a gazillion showers (literally like 5) and has therefore gotten all the necessary STUFF.  So, when she was willing to drive two hours out to her old stomping grounds (our neck of the woods) for her college friends to give her yet ANOTHER shower, we thought that maybe we should do something a little out of the ordinary.  And Somer came up with this:

“Great Expectations”.  A book-themed baby shower.  Perfectly fitting for Aimee, who loves to read.  Here are the invitations:

See, the bottom is a library card with DATE DUE stamped on it.  Isn’t that just tooooo cute?

We were a little worried that everybody would show up with a copy of Goodnight Moon and Cat in the Hat.  So nobody got Goodnight Moon or Cat in the Hate.  I got her some Laura Ingalls and Runaway Bunny.

The menu was loosely fashioned around a book signing menu…wine and cheese.  More like Izze with spinach dip, a cheese ball, vegetable tray, and…Neddi’s artichoke dip.

Neddi was the music department’s secretary when I was in college (she still is) and she often tucked students under her wing.  And those lucky ones were rewarded with her divine artichoke dip.  I haven’t had Neddi’s artichoke dip since college and let me tell you, tears actually came to my eyes when I took my first bite.  And my second bite.  And my third bite.

And then cupcakes (strawberry and chocolate to match the invitations) and mochi balls.  And we were very happy.

We had contemplated doing the menu according to foods found in famous children’s books, but the only thing we could think of was green eggs and ham.

The one game we ended up playing was to make names out of “Aimee” and “Kristian”.  Which, let me tell you, is a lot easier than making names out of “Leilani” and “Dewald”.

Somer brough onesies and paint and stencils and we had a competition to see who could make the “nerdiest” baby onesie.  It was fun.  Lia’s looked like somebody had ground mustard into it.  (Aimee, you are under no obligation to keep it any longer than it takes to get to Salvation Army.)  Mine said “Brain @ Work”.  This is Jenn and her mom’s…you can’t really see but on the top it says “iBaby” and it’s a computer with emc2 on it.  Very cute.

The party favors (again provided by the Somer Wonder) were these:

Each had little rubber stamps on them with letters.  Lia got a P for princess.  I got an H and a G.  I’m thinking, “Great Heart”?  “Happy Girl”?  But no, it’s Hostess and Goddess.  That’ll do.

It was really nice to see friends I haven’t seen in a long time.  We sat down after exhausting the party stuff and eating way too much artichoke dip and just … SAT.  And chatted.  And laughed.  Lia thought she was one of the girls and it warmed my little heart to see my pre-baby friends loving my babies. 

Linda and I.  Lia’s favorite part of the shower was “playing with Auntie Linda”.  As Somer said, “Every child needs and Auntie Linda in her life.”  (For Lia to choose Linda over cupcakes, icecream, and fizzy drink, is really saying something.)

The whole crowd.  See those pink tissue balls?  Somer picked them up at Wal-Mart, they are Martha Stewart.  And then she made my day by leaving them here.  I’m thinking of relocating them around the house every few days.  They’re so cheery and happy.

And here is me with Aimee, the beautiful mother-in-the-making.  Next time I see her, she’ll have a little baby girl.  Good luck, Aimee!

My Word

Who am I?

A question that bears asking, and then bears asking again.  And again.  And again.  Especially when so submerged and involved in the care of small beings entirely dependent on yourself.

Well, obviously, it’s not a question easily answered.  I have such a hard time answering it that I can’t even write a decent autobiography for my blog’s About Me section.

Kathy had us contemplating “who am I?” at yoga on Monday and I got nowhere profound, as usual.  Although I did get so far as to wonder if being a mother is more of a role or more of an integral part of who I am.  But when I was cleaning out my blog’s folders this evening, I found at least part of the answer tucked away in an obscure draft.

Last year (I can’t remember if it was last school year or last YEAR year), Devo and I read “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert together.  It had been on sale at Costco for months, calling my name, before I finally brought it home.

We really enjoyed it.  The story is Elizabeth Gilbert’s travel to Italy (eat), India (pray), and Bali (love) as she sorts out her life post-divorce.  I must admit that reading the India section, which is pretty much a spiritual autobiography, goes a little slow when you’re listening to someone read to you late at night.  But I perked up when I heard…


Which also happens to be, apparently, Elizabeth Gilbert’s word.

Here is the excerpt from #69, with many thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert for finding it:

By the way, I found my word….

I was reading through an old text about yoga when I found a description of ancient spiritual seekers.  A Sanskrit word appeared in the paragraph: ANTEVASIN.  It means, “one who lives at the border.”  In ancient times this was a literal description.  It indicated a person who had left the bustling center of worldly life to go live at the edge of the forest where the spiritual masters dwelled.  The antevasin was not one of the villagers anymore–not a householder with a conventional life.  But neither was he yet a transcendent–not one of those sages who live deep in the unexplored woods, fully realized.  The antevasin was an in-betweener.  A border-dweller.  And he was a scholar.

When I read this description of the antevasin, I got so excited I gave a little bark of recognition.  That’s my word, baby!  In the modern age, of course, that image of an unexplored forest would have to be figurative, and the border would have to be figurative, too.  But you can still live there.  You can still live on that shimmering line between your old thinking and your new understanding, always in a state of learning.  In the figurative sense, this is a border that is always moving–as you advance forward in your studies and realizations, the mysterious forest of the unknown always stays a few feet ahead of you, so you have to travel light in order to keep following it.  You have to stay mobile, moveable, supple.  Slippery, even.  Which is funny, because just the day before, my friend the poet/plumber from New Zealand had left the Ashram, and on his way out the door, he’d handed me a friendly little goodbye poem about my journey.  I remembered this verse:

Elizabeth, betwixt and between

Italian phrases and Bali dreams,

Elizabeth, between and betwixt,

Sometimes as slippery as a fish…

I’ve spent so much time these last years wondering what I’m supposed to be.  A wife?  A mother?  A lover?  A celibate?  An Italian?  A glutton?  A traveler?  An artist?  A Yogi?  But I’m not any of these things, at least not completely.  And I’m not Crazy Aunt Liz, either.  I’m just a slippery antevasin–betwixt and between–a student on the ever-shifting border near the wonderful, scary forest of the new.

Other Funnies

Thinking of Lia brought to mind other funny things she’s been saying.

She has an imaginary friend.  His name is Johnson.  She talks to him on the phone (actually an archaic ipod that the girls get many happy hours of play out of).  He’s in London.  He speaks Spanish.

Devo: “Why does he speak Spanish if he’s in London?”

Lia: “He’s from Mexico.  But his mother lives in London.”

Smart girl.

And now Amelie has an imaginary friend, supplied by Lia.  His name is Olag.  And he lives in Russia.  So whenever Amelie is talking on her (ipod) phone, we know that she’s talking to Olag.  But Olag and Johnson don’t know each other.

Mommies and Pappies give each other “swabbely kisses”.  (That would be “slobbery kisses”.  Don’t laugh.)  And Lia is going through that phase where she’s eager to imitate swabbely kisses.  I never know when my head is going to be grabbed and I’ll find an intense face, head at an angle, aiming for mine, mouth wide open.  It’s a little frightening.

Of course, there are still the “Olympsticks”.

And when something is really wild, really exciting, it’s “crazable”.

Politics from a Parent’s view

I’m going out on a limb here and am going to talk politics.  Just a leetle.  You can be assured that it won’t happen often.  I like to keep my friends.

Funny thing is, I find that I am more apt to be open-minded about someone’s religious views than someone’s political views.  Maybe that’s because I view politics as the working out of faith and understanding.  Or maybe it’s because I figure that God can defend Himself, but the poor can’t.

But on to politics!  A very watered down, tongue in cheek version.

I’ve always said that if someone is going to be great or do great things in whatever field (pastor, politician, academician, writer, etc etc etc), someone is going to pay the price for it.  And it’s most likely going to be the spouse or the children.  Or both.

Therefore, in my humble opinion, great people shouldn’t have children.  Or should work at being great only after their children are grown.

Great logic, I know.

But if you’ve ever had a workaholic in your family, you know what I’m talking about.  And if you’ve ever had to make a decision between your work and your child, you know what I’m talking about.

The announcement of mom Sarah Palin as McCain’s VP has all the mom blogs a buzzin’.  Mom of 5, oldest daughter of whom is pregnant, youngest child of whom has Down Syndrome.

Now, I think that Sarah Palin is just darn cool.  Exciting.  Fresh.  Unexpected.  And I wish that Obama had made a similar choice.  (Sorry, Biden is just a little boring in an otherwise exciting and entertaining race.)  I really expected better from Obama.  Or more exciting.  Or a woman.  For goodness sakes, man, we finally have a chance to have an African-American for president.  Might as well upturn the entire apple cart and put a woman in there, too!

But back to Sarah Palin.  Who looks remarkably like Sally Field.

Is this really a good time to be advancing her political career?

And what about Obama and his little child who wanted to know what city he was in.  Is this really a good time for him to be advancing his political career?  I know that people want to invest in their careers before having children, but maybe he should have done it the other way around.

The bottom line is that I cannot vote for either Obama or Palin with a good conscience.  They are parents of young children who need their time, their energy, their investment, and their consistent presence.

Therefore, I have to vote for McCain and Biden.

Life Gets Tee-jus, Don’t It

For Grandma, who mentioned it in her comment on Family Traditions.  I’ve always wondered exactly where the oft-used phrase “and I’m gettin’ dandruff” came from.  I love google.

Carson Robinson, 1948.  Life Gets Tee-jus, Don’t It

The sun comes up ‘n the sun goes down,
The hands on the clock keep goin’ around;
I just get up ‘n it’s time to lay down,
Life gets tee-jus don’t it?

My shoes untied, but I don’t care,
I ain’t figuring on goin’ nowhere;
I’d have to wash and comb my hair;
And that’s just wasted effort.

The water in the well’s gettin’ lower and lower,
Can’t take a’ bath for six months or more;
But I’ve heard it said and it’s true I’m sure,
That too much bathin’ will weaken yer.

I open the door and the flies swarm in,
Shut the door and I’m sweating again;
And in the process I cracked my shin,
Just one darn thing after another.

You know that old brown mule, he must be sick,
I jabbed him in the rump with a pin on a stick;
He humped his back but he wouldn’t kick,
There’s something cockeyed somewhere.

A mouse a-chawing at the pantry door,
He’s been at it for a month or more;
When he gets through there, he’s sure going to be sore,
There ain’t a darn thing in there.

Hound dog howling so forlorn,
Laziest dog that ever was born;
He’s howlin’ ’cause he’s sitting on a thorn,
Just too tired to move over.

Tin roof leaks and the chimney leans,
There’s a hole in the seat of my old blue jeans
I’ve ate the’ last of the pork and beans,
Just can’t depend on nothin’.

The cows gone dry and hens won’t lay,
Fish quit biting last Saturday;
Troubles pile up day by day,
Now I’m getting dandruff.

Grief and misery, pains and woes,
Debts an’ taxes an’ so it goes;
And I think I’m getting a cold in the nose,
Life gets tasteless don’t it?


While helping Lia in the bathroom this weekend.

Lia: Mommy, why do boys pee standing up.

Mommy: You mean pee-pee?

Lia: Yeah, pee-pee.

Mommy: Because they have a penis.

Lia: Why do girls sit down?

Mommy: Because of the positioning of their urinary tract opening?

Lia, informatively: Girls have a China.


Mommy: You mean, a vagina.

Lia: Yes, a vagina. That’s so cute. (She thinks for a moment). I want to call it an Indian.

Women in Art

Actually, maybe this should be titled, “White Women in Western Art”. And as long as we’ve gone that far, we might as well finish the alliteration and call it, “White Women in Western Wart.” Or not.

I just find the female face so very beautiful and bewitching. I wish I could hang all of these ladies on my wall. That would put new meaning to the old supposition: “If these walls could talk!”