strawberry fields for ginny

Ginny has now gone through the basic veggies.

carrots, sweet potatoes, green peas, squash, green beans

all were accepted without a fuss.

She is ready to graduate to fruit next week.  But there is one fruit we will not be starting any time soon: strawberries. Because I don’t want this to happen to Ginny like it happened to Ike.  Also it is recommended not to introduce strawberries till at least a full year, some folks even say two years.

So how do you torture a child on a lovely spring day? A child who at 8 months wants to put everything in her mouth and is enjoying new tastes every day?

I’ll tell you how.

When your mother calls in the middle of the day and says “I want to go strawberry picking” you, the sensitive mom blithely says “sure! and don’t forget to dress Ginny up and get photos of her in the strawberry patch”

Sheesh I am SUCH a goober.

poor kid.  She did have fun though.  Even though she REALLY wanted a strawberry.  She doesn’t even know what it is, but she was certain that she wanted to put it in her mouth.

Here is the photographic evidence of my baby brother Stephen and my mother torturing my sweet little Ginny (kidding)

walkin in the berries

walkin in the berries

mmmmm can I have one?

mmmmm can I have one?

I know her face isn't showing but this shot was just too cute

I know her face isn't showing but this shot was just too cute

if you're happy and you know it......

if you're happy and you know it......

um..can I puhleeeeeeease have one Uncle Steve? please?

um..can I puhleeeeeeease have one Uncle Steve? please?

how many different sweet, yummy, makes you wanna just eat them up cutie-pies can we pack into one photo?

how many different sweet, yummy, makes you wanna just eat them up cutie-pies can we pack into one photo?


morning funnies

My brother doesn’t do mornings.

Frankly neither do I.  Or at least I wouldn’t if I didn’t have to in order to make a living in the real world. *sigh*  Most mornings I would love to have a cup of tea delivered to me, wrap up in a blanket, sit on the porch, read a book (do my devotions?) and then go back to bed for another few hours.

I like sunrise.  I just want more sleep in my life AFTER I watch the sunrise.

Unfortunately work doesn’t leave time for such luxuries.

And I think I’m rubbing off on Ginny.  This morning, my normally sunshine-y, happy, thrilled-to-see-you baby girl  who normally greets me with laughter and smiles just rolled over and tried to hide.  She desperately wanted to go back to sleep.  I had to work at it to wake her up for a diaper change and the ride to Grammy’s house.  When I sang our morning song (This is the day that the Lord has made) to her she looked at me with a slightly offended expression and snuggled her head into my shoulder.  Poor kid.  I know exactly how she feels.

Of course I come by it naturally.  My mom doesn’t get up well either.  She requires at least an hour of sitting up in bed and drinking multiple cups of coffee before she is even remotely coherent.  When I was in grade school my dad used to deliver her coffee and my hot chocolate to our bedsides every morning.

Yes.  I know I was spoiled by that.  When I finally lived alone I had to learn how to get up and make tea in the morning for myself and it was rough let me tell you.


My brother never got coffee, tea or hot chocolate delivered to his bedroom, but still, he doesnt’ wake up well either.

So I was quite a bit surprised to find him wandering down the stairs this morning (6:45 a.m.) when I arrived at my mom’s house to drop off Ginny.  Of course he immediately informed me that he wasn’t REALLY up early…he was up LATE.

Ah that explains it.  mystery solved.

Then he hung around the kitchen chatting with us while we rushed around trying to get everything done in record time.  Nothing wrong with that. I  like my brother.  He is funny.

But he is also big and tall.  And he moves slowly in the morning.  Whether he was up early or late or whatever.  and every where I tried to be – coffee pot, fridge, silverware drawer, microwave – Stephen was always in my way.

I kept having to ask him to move and eventually I just said “Stephen you have a gift of always being where I need to be!”

His response?  “oh please don’t tell me that!  That means I’m just like Daddy.  You know I call him Visa.”

…….quizzical look from me……….

“He’s everywhere you want to be”

I nearly dropped my coffee cup I laughed so hard.

a prayer for my brother

For all my regular readers (all four of you) sorry, I’m talking to God today.


Please help my brother.  Let him feel your love.  Somehow break through his conviction of non-worth and let him understand that you love him and his family.

Give him a good day.  Or better yet a good week.  Even if he doesn’t deserve it (I know I don’t deserve all the good days you have given me).

Let his car get fixed and the mechanic not over-charge him.  and please God, let it stay fixed this time!

Let the children be learning to be calmer and better helpers for each other and around the house.

Let his job and his college studies be going well.

But most of all bring a mentor into his life who is FROM YOU.  Someone he can feel a connection to, someone he can respect.

Surround my brother with your love.  Today and always.

thank you,


when a 14-year-old says it’s too gory……

Okay, so I love musicals, right?

and my brother played Sweeny Todd in Highscool and did a fantastic job! (not just my opinion by the way, the local paper said he was scary. “Too creepy to possibly be a teenager” or some such comment that indicated their awe of his towering talent.)

Anyway, I love the music from Sweeny Todd. My family will sing bits and pieces of that thing at the drop of a hat. It’s rather disconcerting for guests actually, to be sitting at a table full of my family and we all break into song with (from their perspective) no warning whatsoever. What they don’t realize of course is that something that has been said at the table has given us a cue and off we go into “it’s Priest, have a little Priest. Is it really good? Sir, it’s too good at least.” Leaving our guests wondering what on earth they have stumbled into.

When we heard that Tim Burton was doing a new movie version of Todd my family was thrilled. Hoooray! Yipee! We shall all go. It will be a family outing. We will sing along with the movie. Wonderful.

Then the trailers came out and it seemed a bit….dark. Yes, I know, I know it IS about a guy who goes around killing people indescriminately but on STAGE you can only get just so gory, so the true depth of darkness doesn’t really come across. Also OUR memories of the songs are fun and filled with laughter. Because we sing them around a table or on road trips. This was clearly not the……feel that Mr Burton was aiming for.

So the movie came out, and I put off going to see it. Christmas week just didn’t seem like a good time for blood and carnage on that level. Not really in the Christmas spirit, ya know? and now weeks later, I get an email from my 14 year old, goth-inclined niece. She has gone to see the movie. Guess who took her? My brother (her dad) who once played Sweeny Todd.

my niece emailed me afterwards to inform me that I probably shouldn’t see the movie as it was, now get this

Too gory for my brother (her daddy) to handle!!!!!

Well, I guess I’ll be striking Sweeny Todd off my list of possible movies to see. When a modern-era, 14 year-old, gothic tomboy who loves vampire movies and japanese anime violence tells you that it’s too gory,…..folks. its. too. gory.

oh well. There’s always the sound track.

No crises today

Odd. I started this blog to keep track of my inner anguish over my infertility. The Tragedy of My Childlessness.

But almost since the week I started it I’ve been doing much better.

Maybe it’s just that I’ve been so busy with Christmas and moving my brother out…. Maybe it’s that his step kids are such good “birth control” … Maybe it’s the joy of having my house and privacy back…. Maybe its all the chocolate I’ve eaten? … Maybe it’s my doubts about my ability to handle a “challenged child” (more on that another day)….  Maybe God has finally given me the peace I’ve been begging for…. Maybe its a bunch of things.

But for today and the last couple of weeks, I’ve been……….. alright.

No crippling sadness.  No wracking guilt about the two perfect little embryos that didn’t “stick.”  No wistful gazing at every small child that walks past.  I can’t even work up the almost obsessive desire and energy that it takes to get back to working on the adoption applications.    I still want kids, but it’s not an all consuming drive.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. How could I possibly complain about the fact that I breathe a little bit easier these days?    But I do think it is strange.  Was Christmas just that hard on me? or was it the shock of my co-worker turning up with an unplanned pregnancy?  Why was I so completely overwhelmed for a few weeks? will it happen again?

Don’t know. But clearly these dark tunnel things do have exits and I’ve found one. However temporary it may prove to be, at least I’m out in the sunshine for today. yea.

No picnics today though, as it’s 18 degrees outside.

back amongst the sane people…..

So I’m back at my desk after being gone more than a week.

We have two faculty candidates coming in on Monday that I need to arrange schedules for (one of which I knew about before and one of which I just found out about 20 minutes ago !!!!!). We have a Christmas tree in the lobby that it is my responsibility to take down (since it was my idea to begin with), three huge bins of mail to be sorted (and no student assistant to fob it off onto), a coffee machine to re-fill (again, no student to hand that fun task off to), construction of a major new building next to ours (complete with the archetypal jack hammer pounding away)  and 30 faculty members all with various needs/demands/requests that all need to be taken care of right now please.


Compared to the last 11 days with my family, being at work is like being in heaven.

First we had the family Christmas with all the attendant hassles & headaches and then the post Christmas “fun” of moving my brother and his wife and four kids into their new home.

I’m really out of my element when dealing with leaky faucets, ovens that won’t light, heaters that click endlessly, a plumber that won’t show up, piles of boxes, blinds that need to be hung and furniture that needs to be put together. I guess I’m just not the handyman type (or a domestic goddess for that matter).

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, and we really enjoyed setting Steve and his family up in their new home, but right now I’m really glad to be back in an environment where I can feel competent to handle almost anything they can throw at me.

So bring on the unexpected guests to be scheduled! Bring on the endless piles of mail! This I can deal with.

Happy New Year everyone.