Monthly Archives: August 2012

~ Home ~

I thought I’d show you where we live.

I keep the kids in the attic upstairs, and My Captain and I have the lower levels.  Of course, the servants live in the basement.

Our front yard is kind of sparse, but the view isn’t too bad.


….the neighbors can be nosy as hell.

OOoooooh, wait, this isn’t our home.  This is the Prince of Wales Lodge, in Waterton, Canada.  Silly me.  It’s so much like our cottage in Dickerson, Maryland, I was momentarily confused.  Forgive me.  I’m just so used to living like this, you see.

And by ‘I’m just so used to living like this,’ I mean I live nothing like this.

Except for the locking-the-kids-in-the-attic part and the servants-in-the-basement part, of course.

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~ This Just In ~

…and in unrelated news, a Varmint sighting occurred earlier this afternoon.  Even though it was well camouflaged in an English Floral Blouse on an English Rose upholstered Chair, observers were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the elusive creature while it was eating an Asian Pear.

This is particularly interesting because you don’t see many Varmints in the wild anymore.  It is believed Marlin Perkins died before achieving such a feat.

Live, from Dickerson, Maryland, this is Mamaboe, reporting.

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~ Shirking The Dishes ~

Tonight was “Take Mama To School Night”.  And by that I mean I was taught a lesson or two.

Critter and Varmint’s friends, Richard and Megan, joined us for our weekly dinner at Grandma Jane’s Orchard.  Tonight Grandma’s boyfriend, Mike Buchanan, joined us on the big screened porch for dinner and hilarity.

Dinner is not always served with hilarity.  But when Mike is over, you can usually expect it to be a side dish, if not the main entrée.  Mike is a retired newscaster, and believe me, he KNOWS how to work his audience.  The kids didn’t know what hit them.

So tonight we were not to be disappointed.  Mike had come with brain-teaser puzzles in hand, and intent to charm.  Both were a complete success.

The evening was spent with all four children completely engaged in the conversation, and respect and love mingled with joy and laughter.

Me, I never expected all of this. In fact, nearly all of my expectations for the evening missed their mark.

I figured the Tuna Noodle Casserole would be pushed away.

Wrong.  Gobbled up.

I figured the kids would want to skidaddle away from the table and not stay to talk to the grandparental units.

Wrong.  They gobbled that up, too.

I figured Mike would grow bored or tired of the 9-year-old and 11-year-old company.

Wrong again.  He enjoyed himself hugely.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say everyone was fed well by the end of that meal.  The kids, with quality time with their elders,

Grandma Jane for seeing her loved ones so happy,

Mike, for seeing his lady-love so content,

and me….

…..for getting out of doing the dishes!





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~ The Old, Damp Bench ~

I watched them carefully.  I knew they were fearful.  I knew they were full of tension and stress.

They were to leave the house a full hour and a half apart from each other for the first time since they started conventional school.  There was a lot of change happening today.

I knew what my job was.

I’ve spent the last few weeks encouraging, teaching optimism, and offering perspective.

But, as with anything in life, they had to face this change on their own.

We waited for Varmint’s bus, and took her yearly “Back to School” picture that would be uploaded onto Facebook for friends and family later.  But My Captain and I noticed her smile did not reach her eyes.

So I quietly sat down with her on the old, damp bench and listened to the early morning sounds surrounding us.

“Be the light,” just popped out of my mouth.

“Huh?” she turned to me.

Be the light.  Be the smile that comforts everyone else at school today.  Don’t focus on your own feelings; help the other kids who are anxious.  You’ll know them because their eyes won’t match their smile.”

She pondered that as we sat in the morning stillness.

Then the bus came and as she got on, she turned to me with a smile that reached her eyes.

An hour and a half later, it was Critter’s turn.  Same thing: Picture, smile that didn’t match his eyes.

“Have a seat.” I told him, and marched him over to the old, damp bench.

I started the “Be the light” lecture, but he just crumbled into me.

No lecture was going to help this little boy right now.  He’s wasn’t as anxious as he was depressed.  Social dynamics are difficult for him at school, and some days it can be long and torturous.  And he felt trapped…he knew there was no way out.

All I could do was hold him, as I held back my own maternal tears.  I ached for him.

“I love you,” popped out of my mouth.

“I love you, too, Mom,” he whispered, a hitch in his breath.

The bus came. He got up, squared his small, thin shoulders, and bravely got on, without looking back.

Do I think they’ll be fine?  Yes.

It’s the waiting that is the hardest part.  Sometimes change and challenge are coming, and we know we are helpless to prevent it.  We know it’s not on our terms; there is no choice but to meet it.  And let me tell you something….

that is when an old, damp bench comes in handy.

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~ The Swing ~

We had a bonfire at Grandma Jane’s Orchard last night.

She has the most wonderful Grandfather Hickory tree near the bonfire Ring, and on one of its ancient limbs hangs a well-worn, wooden swing.  The kind of swing you’d hoist your barefoot, sweaty-self up on after gulping down an ice-cold glass of Mom’s lemonade (with extra sugar on the bottom of the cup).

The kind of swing you’d jump off of time, and time again, because you knew, you just knew that if you kept trying, eventually you would fly just like Superman.

Varmint and Critter jumped on it together while waiting for the bonfire to be lit.

It’s not really big enough for both.

But it was fun trying.

And even though on any other given day they wouldn’t want to touch eachother; even though it was muggy and the mosquitos were out; even though they probably got some splinters on their cute rumps,

they enjoyed every bloomin’ minute of it.

Which makes me happy.  Which is a good thing, because ‘if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t Nobody happy’.

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