Monday, October 17, 2016

Let Me tell You How I'm Voting

For the first time in forever we have an election sign in our yard.  Prior to this year we have never allowed anyone ever to place a sign in our yard (even if we liked them a whole lot), so as to avoid even the appearance of telling anyone how to vote.  (We take the separation of church and state pretty serious around here.)
But this year we have a red, white and blue campaign sign right out in the yard where God and everyone can see it.  As the pundits are fond of saying, this is indeed an unusual election cycle.
I don't have my mind made up on all the issues and fewer of the candidates, but on this issue I am confident of my vote.
We moved to a small town with an outdoor pool when the princesses were middle and highschool age and the Goob was three.  It is good to live in a small town, but it is not easy to move into one.   The small town we had moved from did not have a pool.  The princesses learned to swim at pools in neighboring towns.  The Goob learned to swim at the pool in town.
The pool in town was where we spent summer afternoons. It was where we met other kids and other mothers. It was where we cooled off on hot days.  Some days we packed a lunch and stayed after swimming lessons.  Other days we went later and had supper at the pool.  Some late afternoons and early evenings we had the pool almost to ourselves.  The pool was one place our whole family could enjoy and a place to enjoy each other.  The pool was a place to picnic and swim on the 4th of July. Where the STP had as good a chance as anyone's dad of winning the cannonball contest.  The pool was a place the youth group could rent for an evening swim.  A place to host a party.
The pool was where the Goob learned things besides how to backstroke.  He learned to take turns. He learned that somethings are for adults only, and that 'adult swim'  was a good time to visit the concession stand.  He learned to love Nerd ropes.  He learned to listen to authorities and follow the rules.  He learned that passing the 'deep end test' was a rite of passage that was a cause for celebration and a reason for ice cream.  He learned to be an encourager with the confidence to help his friend overcome his fear of going off the diving board.
When we moved to Dodge City, they only had an indoor pool.  The Goob was a lifeguard there until it was closed.  He was responsible for the safety of children learning to swim, children dropped off by their parents for the afternoon, and middle aged women doing aqua-zumba.  He learned CPR and what to do if someone went into labor at the pool.  (By contrast, the oldest princess, who did not have a pool in her town when she was growing up, worked a summer job at the convenience store selling cigarettes and lottery tickets to people buying gasoline and renting questionable movies.) 
The pool has been closed and gone for several years.  When the best grandkids in the world visited Dodge City, we went to the neighboring town to swim.
I do not need a pool to entertain my children, to provide jobs for my teenagers, or to take out of town guests who occasionally visit.  But I will vote YES on the pool issue and I will gladly pay my tax increase on the properties I own in Dodge City.  Because Dodge City does need a pool.  Because a pool is a place where community happens.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Not What I Really Wanted

Continuing the documentation of the fulfillment of the "anything I wanted" list from the first of the year:
I would have several skin spots checked/removed

So after the big run in June, I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist in the big city.  And I arrived at my appointment with a mental list of all the spots that needed looked at.  One on my back, one on my hip, one on my knee.  Some of them have been around for a while, one was relatively new. Almost all of them met some of the criteria for skin cancer.  On particularly imaginative days I could convince myself they were all melanomas.  Which is why I waited until after the big race to see the doctor. (I didn't want my chemo treatments interfering with my training.)  I was prepared to have them removed.  The good doctor dismissed my concerns.  Evidently old women just grow big ugly brown spots that have odd medical names that old women can't remember and that are nothing to be concerned about.  The young doctor was not concerned.  He did not remove them.  
He did have a concern about a bump that was growing in the middle of my birthmark.  Dermatologists are always interested in my birthmark.  They have offered to remove the whole thing.  The good young doctor thought it wise to remove the bump in the middle of my birthmark.  So he cut it out, leaving a big hole in the middle of my birthmark.  A big white hole.  I was not prepared for this.  I've always been kind of attached to my birthmark.  To have a big chunk of it missing made me sad.  To have a big white scar in the middle of it a little sadder.  (I contemplated painting it green.) 
But it has healed and filled in and just this week I noticed that it is growing new brown skin on top. This makes me happy.  The pathology report was negative.  This makes me happier.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Total Count

Seventy two spaghetti squash. 
 As opposed to the 'plant one-get one' economics of onions, spaghetti squash are 'plant one-get twelve'.  Only have a dozen left.  Spaghetti squash seed should be sold individually instead of in packets.  Just saying.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Peculiar and Maladjusted

Endeavoring to do four unselfish acts of kindness or generosity this week.

You know, to remind myself that I am maladjusted to the world.

Reading "The Good and Beautiful Community".

And applying some creative intentionality.

Lot's going on here.  Try to keep up.

Monday, October 03, 2016

And the SFG

 Not to be outdone, the square foot garden produced very well this year as well.

But a note for the future:  Two heads of cabbage is too much for a square foot of garden.  Just saying.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

An 'Anything I Wanted' Update

"I would plan and install a garden
 in the backyard of the house next door"
After pinteresting multiple garden designs, I settled on this simple 2 L-shaped bed design. One garden for upstairs.  One for downstairs.  Free bricks from the swap and sell site, put in place by volunteer labor.  Free mulch from the Dodge City branch and leaf pit.  Put in place by forced labor.
The downstairs family planted sunflowers, pumpkins, zinnias, and lettuce.  
The upstairs family moved out just before planting time.
So I planted six spaghetti squash seeds.  
And everything grew.

And this is my spaghetti squash harvest tally.
That's right. Fifty four spaghetti squash to date.
And still more in the garden.
And out of the garden.
I have twenty spaghetti squash in my car to take to church tomorrow.  Because we are sharing.
With the birds.
And the bees.
And the bunnies and the deer.
And with anyone who wants a spaghetti squash.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Son Number One

This guy.
Who had the best quote of the summer.  "I'd rather motor back to shore with one fish than row back with two." 
Who was out on the water, not once, but twice.

 Who hung out with his family.
And was supportive of his sister.
Who got out of the car at three, 
count them,
three national parks.
Who got a haircut.
 And posed for multiple family photos.
 And wore a tie.
That one time.
Before he headed back to school.
  This was the summer we finally cleaned out the toy box (ala Toy Story 3), he learned to cook something other than ramen noodles and cardboard pizzas, we searched for a common interest so that we had 'something other than finances and his future to discuss'.
Enjoyed my summer with this one.  Miss him just a little bit.