Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Back to Normal

It’s time to return to normal.  I’ve heard from at least one friend who is having trouble focusing.  Walmart is moving Valentine stuff to all the empty shelves and bringing lawn furniture back to the shelves where the Christmas decorations sat for a month or so.  It’s back to school time.  Back to normal time.  Back to making plans for a new retreat season:  Winter Retreats-- I have four coming up.  Time to clean the fridge and throw out any fattening food that you didn’t scarf down in the last two weeks.

Yesterday I took Beaven on the fastest, easiest and cheapest shopping trip he will ever go on.  He didn’t even have to leave his chair.  I went to the absolutely darkest part of the back of his closet, the place where shirts have hung undisturbed for a couple of years.  By merely moving those shirts to the front center of the closet he gained 18 shirts that he hasn’t seen in years.

Family Day was a wild success.  The custom puzzle I had made from one of our favorite photos was a big hit. I took the puzzles out of the boxes and gave them only the bag of 500 pieces. I was interested in seeing how far along they would get before they figured out the picture.  They had no visual clues at all and still Sarah figured it out almost as soon as she opened the bag. She claimed she recognized Beaven's sweater.  Huh?  Five hundred pieces to the puzzle and she figured it out from the color of the sweater? Go figure.


The photo was taken on Grandparents Day at school when she was in Kindergarten 

I also had a snap of Essie but that one was a dismal failure.  Never, ever, EVER, have a puzzle made from a black and white photo.  Ever. Five hundred pieces that looked exactly alike.

We ate waffles at midnight which might be a great new tradition.  For our New Years Day lunch I brought a couple of free-range chickens from a small local farm and for our other big meal we had a pork roast. We had a cheese and fruit tray to snack on--but, of course, nobody ate the fruit.  And Sarah made chocolate cupcakes.

Elizabeth and I took Sarah and Essie on a hike down the mountain to look at the waterfall.  Emily and Beaven stayed behind because that's one of the rules of Family Day:  Nobody has to do anything they don't want to do and hiking down a mountain then back up again wasn't on their list of things that sounded like fun. Elizabeth and I were both surprised at not only finishing the hike without dying but neither one of us was even sore afterwards.  And this is a stiff hike, friends.  It was like climbing down about 20 flights of stairs then back up again--except the steps were steeper and loose.  This is a mountain, folks. Elizabeth lost her balance once and almost took the express ride down to the bottom, watching her expensive camera go a few feet farther down the trail before it mercifully stopped.



OK, it's not the biggest waterfall in the world but it is a good hike.

I haven’t come up with a resolution for the new year.  I’m thinking I might resolve to pass up the donuts at church every Sunday. I once gave up chocolate for Lent and I'm never doing that again. Past resolutions have been:  Talk less.  Laugh more.  Mind my own business.  Practice compassion.  Some of these resolutions were complete failures unless you count being more aware of my shortcomings.  I think that might count. The Laughing More year was a success. My kids certainly appreciated the year I minded my own business.

While we were relaxing in Arkansas I got a couple of facebook messages from the ladies at the rehab asking if I had been in my front yard lately.  Beaven worried that our house had burned down.  I sensed a smiley face icon somewhere in the message and predicted some sort of prank.





Sure enough, when we pulled into the driveway it became clear that there had been a flamingo party at our house.  There hanging off our gate was Francine, Frank, Farfel and Fern.  I looked for Fannie and Fred.  No one ever misses Fred because he is so disagreeable and Fannie’s absence was understandable.  She’s always off on some sort of mission. Fred may have been with his buddies watching the football game on TV.  I sure hope he doesn't  invite them to our house to watch the Cowboys play next week.  He hangs around with a bunch of grackles and they make a huge mess with their cigars and beer cans.

When the birds lived with us briefly a few years ago. Fred stuffed Francine’s left leg down her throat when she wanted to vacuum under his feet.  She never should have tried that while he was watching Jerry Springer on TV.

As we drove down the driveway I could see another flock I know well.  There was Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Francis, Faith and Flobella.  That was the flock that got into so many religious arguments in the back seat of my car until the day Flo hit Faith upside the head with her bible.  I ended up with pink feathers all over the car. After that I made them ride in the trunk whenever I took them anywhere.

I don't think I've seen this many flamingos together since the Garland youth had 24 of them gathered for a fund raiser.




The rehab girls left a note with their phone number if I wanted them to come collect them. But I'm not in any hurry to return them--at least until I've learned their names and gotten to know them a little better. Also their legs were horribly bent and I want to give them time to heal.

Oops.  I’ve come to 1,000 words and haven’t said anything valuable. I guess it will take me a week to get back to the groove.  Thank you for stopping by. 

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