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Little Black Rain Clouds

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It's been hard to sleep.  I lay down and my exhausted body rebels.  It's too hot.  My skin itches all over.  There are too many blankets.  It's too noisy.  The fan tickles.  My legs feel twitchy.  It's too bright.  My mind whirls with a million plans, worries, and disappointments.  Slowly, everything unravels and relaxes, and at 3 or 4 am, I sleep.

My thoughtful husband stayed home this morning and made breakfast so I could keep sleeping.  I woke up to a small boy snuggling into my bed before he ran off to play.  Then I woke up to the neighbor's muffler pointed into my bedroom window.  Then I woke up to little footsteps skittering through the kitchen.  It was glorious to fall back asleep after each interruption.  When my eyes finally opened, I felt rested, beautiful, light, and hopeful - things I haven't felt for a long time.

Within a few minutes, however, I feel the weight crushing back on my shoulders.  Life is heavy right now.  I'm struggling with the s…

Inked Pillows

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I have a great big giant bed, and only two of us sleep in it.  More people are in it at other times - two big boys were sprawled across it last night, looking at pictures of a recent camping trip; and two littler boys with cold feet were snuggled in it with me much-too-early this morning.  I have great big pillows that fit on the bed, but I prefer to use the regular sized pillows.  Partly because they are Goldilocks-just-right, and mostly because of the nice pillowcases I have for them.


My grandmother made these pillowcases for my mother's trousseau.  I don't do fine handwork like this, so I can only imagine how many hours she spent embroidering and crocheting the edging.  The pillowcases went from her loving hands to my mother's cedar chest - where they stayed for decades.  My mother never used them.  I don't know whether they seemed to fancy to actually sleep on, or whether it was residual bad feelings from her short first marriage, or whether she just forgot about t…

Snippets

A neighbor up the street replaced the grass in their nature strip with rocks.  A few times every week, they have to get after the neighborhood kids for throwing rocks or kicking them out in the street.  They told me they were plenty surprised when they answered their doorbell to find my Angel on their front porch.  She opened her hands to show a collection of rocks and asked timidly if she could take them to school for show and tell.  She loves pretty rocks!
Freddy has a loose tooth.  It's on the lower left side,  and he's been wiggling it a bunch.  These first graders are so proud of their missing teeth!  He showed me the wiggler, and I told him that Georgie also had a loose tooth.  Before I could mention that Georgie's was on the opposite side, he grinned and exclaimed, "I know!  And it's the very same tooth!" I guess it looks that way when you face your mirror image. 
I drove to the high school to pick up David after his track meet.  I was people-watching wh…

Easter Ants

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I was too tired to do a big Easter this year.  I didn't do Passover or Easter egg hunts or coloring eggs or even Easter dinner (we had Easter tacos).  Trent, remembering the big Easter celebrations of his childhood, put together some Easter baskets for the kids with random stuff he had on hand.  I am always amused to see what random stuff he can pull out of his sneaky hiding places!  I did get Angel a new dress, because they were at the store and she is so cute.  After church and before we started getting dirty making Easter tacos (I think that should be a new tradition... wait, Sunday tacos IS our tradition), I pulled one of the boys outside to take a quick snapshot of our Easter dresses.

We posed for about 20 seconds before we realized we were standing in an ant nest and they were crawling all over our legs.

Yup, that's how holidays seem to go down around here!

Today I...

Today has been a busy day.  I gave Chris some pointer on the biscuits he was making for breakfast.  I won't say I helped him, because he did a great job solo!  I led a great family discussion about how to handle kitchen cleanup when Ben and Chris move back home for the summer.  And then I helped clean up the kitchen.  I don't mind cleaning up when I didn't have to make the food - Trent and Chris made a fabulous team for biscuits and gravy this morning.

I helped Angel sort through the dresses in her closet.  She has a dozen of them, but only wears two.  We pared down a few, and she remembered some that she just loves - maybe they will see more wear time.  Or we can pare down a few more.

I assembled a shelf, with the help of four additional hands, and figured out where to hang it.  Trent is better at the power tools, so I let him hang it on the wall.  I also located a spider in the bathroom sink and allowed him to kill it for me.  See how nice I am?

I supported a neighbor&#…

Pioneer Face

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A couple of months ago, Trent and I had a little weekend getaway.  As we were driving around the city, we stopped in at a historical society museum and looked around.  I've always been drawn to old things and historical stories, so I could have easily spent several days there.  On every wall hung portraits of people long since gone.  Posed family portraits, individual faces mounted behind rounded glass, formal wedding pictures, stiff groupings of social events...  The old photography rendered their bodies still and their faces grim.  Rarely did I see even a flicker of a smile.  

I wonder who these people are, and what the occasion was for them to have a formal portrait taken.  Was it in joyous celebration of a life event?  A memento for a too-distant loved one?   I'm sure their expressions wouldn't have always looked so grim, but that's how I always see them portrayed.

I know some of their stories, and I've read of hardships that my own ancestors faced.  It seems,…

Spring Break

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It's Spring Break around these parts.  It is a Very Important Week, and that is why I capitalized it.  Actually, for the kids it probably should be written SPRING BREAK!  With probably a dozen or to exclamation marks and a random assortment of silly face emojis.
We aren't able to go to Disneyland or even camping this year,  but we thought we'd make the most of it at home.  Today, we built tent forts in the back room.  Yes, they do want to sleep there, so sure why not go ahead and have a tent fort slumber party.
I mopped the kitchen floor and made it cry in happiness because it has been so long since it got an all-over, proper mopping instead of a quick wipe here and there with a washcloth under my foot.
Yes, of course we went to the library!  I figured that if the kids had some books to read, then we could have some nice quiet time without anyone punching anyone else.  Not that we ever have punching.  And I even picked out a few nice books to read.  They have nice covers,…