Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fritz T Get Lesions

Fritz T has some sort of skin condition that oozes and bleeds.  I'm sorry to say it.  Just be thankful I decided not to take a picture.  It's the same thing for which Brent made the protective sock head covering.  That spot healed but many, many more have broken out and we made an emergency trip to the vet today.

They shaved him.

Down to the quick.

But only in the spots where he had lesions, so now he's shaved naked in some spots but not others.

Oh, Fritz T. Fritz T. Fritz T.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

S.S. Minnow

This is a true story but to protect the innocent I will call the main characters "Mom" and "Dad." This may or may not be their real names.

Last Thursday before all the small town water festival excitement began, I was having dinner with my grandma (you know we call her Gigi), my uncle, the boys and "Mom" and "Dad"  outside at our local lake side restaurant. It had been sort of a grey and yucky day but was shaping up to be a nice evening, so I said, "Beloved family, what a beautiful evening.  Let us go together to the lake shore and take my father-in-law's pontoon out for a leisurely drive" . . . or something like that.  They all said, "Yes, Lisa!  You brilliant thing!  Riparian entertainment is just what we need!" . . . or something like that.

So we gathered Brent at water festival coronation rehearsal and off we set to the pontoon.

Now before we go any further, you must know that "Mom" is not big into water sports.  She is particularly not a fan of water on the face.  If I search back in my mind, I can gather a misty memory of her lounging on a floatie, or paddling a canoe, but given a long list of summertime entertainment I think "water sports" will not be at the top of the list.

You must also know before we go any further that "Dad" has booked them on a cruise to Alaska in a few weeks, something "Mom" has said in the past (and I know she may try to deny this, but I have witnesses) she would not do.

So here we go:   Gigi, "Dad," the boys, my uncle, "Mom," Brent and me on my father-in-law's pontoon.  Now his pontoon is not the shabbiest thing on the lake, but it's by no means the largest either, and we were sort of cheating having that many people on the pontoon because we were counting the boys as one person.

Off into the sunset.  Off for a tour of lake homes.  Off in a wonderful bonding experience.

When we got as far as the fancy schmancy summer resort about 5K from town, Brent and I looked at the ever darkening sky and agreed we needed to turn around, which he did.

Into a wave.

With "Mom" and Preschooler D sitting right next the sign that reads, "No persons should sit here while the boat is in motion."

I should also mention, in case you do not know, that the front pontoons on a pontoon boat are pointed like v's.  It makes it easier for the heavy pontoon to slice through the water, but they also act like little anchors if they get under the water -- which is exactly what happened at that moment.

To my horror, the front of our water vessel started to sink with "Mom" and D in the front.  In my most commanding take-charge voice, I shouted out, "Brent!!!  We're sinking!!!"  Brent in his most commanding take-charge voice said, "Hey, 'Mom.' Better move to the back.

She did.  The pontoon returned to normal.  "Dad" dug a life jacket out of storage with visions of non-refundable cruise money flashing before his eyes, and we returned to shore just as it started to storm.

Ah! Fun times!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Poem for Tuesday

Yesterday I was still recovering from all the excitement of having 20,000 or something people crowd into my town of 2,400.  Today we must have a poem.

We may have already read this one and I probably should save it for Labor Day, but since I make up my own rules, here's a little more Walt Whitman.

I Hear America Singing
Walt Whitman

I HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics—each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat—the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck; 
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench—the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter’s song—the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother—or of the young wife at work—or of the girl sewing or washing—Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day—At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grandma Scrapbooks

It's Sunday which isn't usually a blog day for me AND we are in the middle of small town water festival (just put my chair out on the parade route), but I must stop for a shout out to Sue in Florida.  I can't reply back to the comment she made,  so I hope she reads this.

Sue's mom was looking for a poem and the only line she could remember was "everything comes into focus with a crocus."  Sue googled it and found it on my blog on a "Poem for Tuesday" day.  I know you know, dear friend and loved one, but let me explain to Sue that poem came out of one of my grandmother's scrapbooks.  Grandma taught school in a two-room school in rural Holmes City, Minnesota, and put together scrapbooks, I suppose, to keep the kids busy during their down time.

I am just so blessed and tickled that Grandma's scrapbooks came in handy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's All About the Water

I think we've talked before about festival time in a small town.  Ours is this weekend.  It's the 10th anniversary of the year Brent was the president or "Admiral" of the festival.  Part of me wants to tell you we are celebrating by hiding in another town -- but we would never do that.  No, tonight Big Daddy goes to coronation rehearsal practice and I have received scripts for the two parades I will help announce.  It's sort of like the Hotel California.  "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

Anyway, one thing I forget until we are in the middle of it, is that this weekend brings visitors - the kind that stays and the kind that drops by.  Both are fine and perfectly welcome, but I forget that this happens and so today I have been running around trying to clean things up a bit.  We get maybe five unannounced visitors a year.  There have been five today alone.

Now, is it just me?  I will have spent the day running around tidying up the house entertaining in the midst of this cleaning chaos and now no one else will come.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Poem for Tuesday on Wednesday

I took to my bed yesterday with what I was sure was consumption.  Brent assures me I had a shot for that. Now I think it's probably the Vapors which will be a little harder for him to disprove.  At any rate there was nothing to watch on TV. No thing.  I did have an old Netflix envelope laying around which contained Grey Gardens -- the HBO movie, not the actual documentary.  I thought it would be sad, but it wasn't really.  I thought it would make me want to clean the basement, but it didn't.

I also watched a couple of episodes of "Touched by an Angel."  There was one starring Ann-Margaret with a poem I thought would be good for today, but it turns out it was either misquoted or misrepresented or made up by the writers.  In any case, we can't have that one.

Instead, let's have a salute to my small town water festival this weekend on Minnesota's 13th largest lake:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by W. B. Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quiet Day at Home

It's a quiet day at home today -- thank goodness!!

I am not -- repeat NOT -- the hardest working person at VBS, but it was one crazy week and I am glad to be sitting in an old NPR t-shirt catching up on things today.

In addition to leading 250 kids in song and dance last week, I co-hosted two church bridal showers, had two different sets of overnight guests, met one out of town friend for lunch, rehearsed and sang at a farewell program, gave my all helping in the church kitchen for potluck, etc, etc, etc.

There was too much excitement for one week, so today -- shhhhhhhh - I'm not even wearing mascara!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What I'm Doing this Week

That is my dear and beloved pastor Rol in the role of Sailor Jack.  He and I have been Vacation Bible School partners for four years in a row, and we have this much fun every year.  At the end of the week he is retiring to Texas to be near his grandchildren.  I am very happy for him, but I guarantee you I am going to get weepy before this week is over.  For the time being, we are just going to keep having fun.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yo Ho, it's VBS Week!

Well, kids, it's VBS week.  This year's theme is High Seas Expedition.  Maybe that's your theme too.  I am leading the opening and closing times, and I have a sailor hat.  Oh, yes! I do! (I also have sailor hat hair which is not helping the mid-life hair crisis.)

Colin is in his last year of VBS.  He's a good sport.  He and about three other kids his age are doing the actions. The others are too cool and stand there with their arms crossed looking angry.  Why, oh, why are you even here?

Preschooler D . . . Well, D is just barely old enough and I was SUPER excited for him because I figured he was just going to love it.  He took one look at the gym full of other anxious preschoolers and screamed he wasn't going.  I had no time to waste.  If the opening song time is late, the whole thing is late, isn't it?  I scooped him up and took him to the nursery, did the opening song time and (hooray!) managed to coax him out of the nursery and into his small group just in time for the exciting story of Peter being freed from prison.

This is one of my favorite Bible stories because it's sort of humanity at its hilarious best. I'll tell it to you, but it's Acts 12 if you feel you must check my work. I've been told I paraphrase a bit freely.

So Peter is a friend of Jesus, right?  And after Jesus dies, rises and goes up into heaven, Peter starts telling people that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.  Well, the king gets all upset because he's in an awkward political position and he has Peter arrested.  Peter's all chained up in prison when an angel comes and gets him, releases his chains and walks right out of the place.

Meanwhile, Peter's friends are holding an all-night prayer vigil for him.  "Please, dear Lord!  Free Peter from prison!"  So Peter strolls up to the door and knocks. Rhoda, the servant girl, hears that it's Peter and flips out and doesn't even let him in.  She runs back to the group to tell them it's Peter and they're like, "Shhhh!!! Rhoda!!! Please!!! We are trying to pray for Peter's freedom!"  She insists that it's Peter and they go on, "Rhoda! You have lost your mind!  You are hearing things!"  Finally because she will not calm down, someone goes to look and sure enough it's Peter.

Love it!  Isn't that just what we would do?  An answer to prayer falls in our laps and we say, "Rhoda! Not now!"

Friday, July 9, 2010

Writer's Block Friday

Blah, blah, blah . . .

1. I am having a slightly better hair day today.  Thank you for asking. Crisis averted for today.

2. I can't remember if I've told you, but I have traded my cartoon Facebook farm for a cartoon Facebook homestead.  I have been playing too much.  The other day I drove past a big round hay bale and said to myself, "That would make a nice addition to my . . . homestead . . . no . . .This one is real.  Homestead is cartoon."

3. Fritz T has some sort of oozing sore under his ear that is itchy. He probably needs one of those plastic cones to go around his head, but for now Brent has fashioned something from an old sock.

I'm not sure you can see that very well, but you get the idea.  Yes, of course, I feel sorry for him . . . okay, also annoyed for having an oozing sore in the first place. Yes, more sorry than annoyed.  Sure.

4. Next week is Vacation Bible School.  I will do my best to check in with you, but it always gets a little crazy.  Preschooler D is going to go for the first time.  I am taking a "don't ask, don't tell" stance on his potty training.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mid-life Hair Crisis

Like many women past the age of (cough, cough) 40, I am having a mid-life hair crisis.  I would like to grow my hair out a bit -- to pretend I'm 20 or something?  I have no idea.  For whatever reason, I have the urge.

The problem is my hair has only been of any serious length three times in my life.  Once when I was in 5th grade.  Once when I was in high school and somewhere between the ages of 20-23.  All other times in my life -- short.  Now that my hair has reached my ears I am remembering why this is.  I have bad long hair. Bad. It has just enough curl to be odd looking, not cute.  It has dried out even with regular hair trims and is so  full of conditioning hair product it looks wimpy and straggly no matter what I do.  It's sticking out where it shouldn't.  It's laying down where it shouldn't.  I just don't know.  I just do not know.

I know what you're saying.  You are very sweet.  You are saying, "Mary Lisa, it cannot possibly be this bad.  Live the dream.  Stick it out.  It's all in your head."  You are a faithful friend and that's why I keep you around.  I briefly thought about taking a picture today so you could see the truth, but I just can't bring myself to do it.  It is that bad.  But I am going to tough it out for a few more weeks -- see if you're right,  Maybe I'm just in an awkward stage.

Besides, I may need the Samson-esque power to kill the mice.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Death '10

Do you remember last summer when I struggled with committing slugocide? In the end the death of my flowers was more unnerving to me than poisoning the slugs.

I have a new problem this year. Mice. Mice in the garage.  They're eating the bird seed.  Making nests.  They're not hurting anything.

Not true.  They made their home in two car seats we were saving.  They chew my gardening gloves.  They (oh, ew) poop on my gardening gloves. And for whatever reason, that is the thing that is grossing me out.  Tiny little mouse poops on my gardening gloves.  For this, I will consider poisoning another living creature.

I have to think about this.

Darn you, Free to Be You and Me 70's childhood!!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Poem for Tuesday

We might have done this one already, but it's a really good one, so we're going to enjoy it again!

The Swing
Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

Monday, July 5, 2010


Where was I all last week?  I have no idea. I was tired -- slightly foggy.  I don't think I got much of anything accomplished at all.

But it's a brand new day . . .

So last week, several dump truck and backhoes descended upon the farm near where Jacob Wetterling disappeared.  If you're not from Minnesota, maybe you don't remember his story, but I remember it like yesterday.  St. Joseph, where Jacob was abducted, is about an hour from my hometown.  My sister Cyberspace Sarah was the same age as Jacob. I was in college down in the southern part of the state.  I was not that far removed from being a lonely country road bike rider myself.

I couldn't believe that anything so awful could happen in a small town like that.  I drove through St. Jo many, many times on my way to St Cloud which is the biggest place to go from here before you get to Minneapolis.  I remember the press and the questions and the drawings and the pleas.  I remember thinking maybe it would be better if Jacob were not still alive because maybe something truly bad was happening to him.

Now, of course, I am a mom of a boy the same age as Jacob was and my perspective has changed quite a bit.  I met Jacob's mother Patty several years ago.  She was lovely and gracious and calm.  I think I might have spent the past 20 years in tears.  The most horrible part of the whole thing is not knowing.  If he was dead, you could grieve. If he was alive, you could hope to find him -- maybe alive and well and absent of the memory that he'd ever been anyone other than who he is now.

That's the best case, I suppose.

Many good things happened as a result of the very, very bad thing that was Jacob's disappearance. The Jacob Wetterling Foundation was formed.  We could probably never know the lives that have been saved or changed by this group.  I imagine Patty would just as soon have her boy back, though.

I pray that your sons and mine ride their bikes safely through town today.  We have to let them go.  We can't live our lives afraid . . . but I certainly do hope they find something in all that dirt they hauled out of that farm last week because somebody knows where Jacob is and that person isn't telling.