NOTE:  DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU ARE AT ALL SQUEAMISH.  I'm not kidding!  I am serious.  I'm going to attach a picture of something completely disgusting.  I had to see it in real life.  I had to DEAL with it in real life.  So I thought I'd make you all share in my experience and feel very sorry for me.  But I'm dead serious when I say STOP READING NOW.  Because I'm a good writer (despite what all of my English teachers said growing up).  I'm going to suck you in.  You're going to think this is a sweet post, but it's not.  See you're already sucked in.  So just quit.  Do it.  You will never be tempted beyond what you can handle.  This is your way out.  Take it.  Or get a trash can ready. You may want to vomit.  I did.

Randall was out of town this week.  So my heart is going out to all the single mothers right now.  It always does when he's away.  Being a parent is hard and we weren't meant to do it alone.  Years ago, Randall left on a trip for a few days and I stayed home with the boys.  We have a lot of fun when he's gone.  We make sure to plan special things to keep our spirits up because we all miss Randall.  By the end of the week, it was obvious that Isaac, Asher and I were getting sick of each other.  The boys were driving me crazy.  Constantly whining and misbehaving.  In the midst of a tantrum, Isaac had an epiphany.  "Mommy, I'm acting like this because I miss Daddy," he said.  What a smart boy.  He was sick of me and knew he needed his Daddy.

Well, I needed his Daddy today.  These boys are driving me up the wall!  I called Randall at 8:30am and told him he could pray for me because I'd already had enough of the bickering and bouncing off the walls this morning.  These kids have too much energy.

More importantly, I needed Randall this afternoon.  In a house where four boys live, I had to mow the lawn today.  I don't mind mowing at all.  I kind of enjoy it.  I'd much rather mow than clean the house, that's for sure.  But it's supposed to rain for the rest of the week so I have to get it done now before my house becomes the scary place where "the crazy lady who puts crap in trees in order to lure kids in so she can eat them" lives.

But Steve came out of the house to let me know that there's a dead bird in the yard.  Thanks Steve… That's got to be moved before I can let the dog out, much less mow the lawn.  So I wait around and text Randall and tell him there's a dead bird in the yard, secretly wishing his reply says something like:

"Oh no!  I'm so sorry!  I'll get it when I get home.  I'm hopping on the next flight.  See you in a few hours."

But this is the reply I got:

"Don't let Tabby get it."

So I gave him another chance:

"I know.  That means I have to get it." I write.

His reply, "Is it one of the baby ones?"

We have four baby chicks growing in our grill.


Yep.  Our grill.  Randall saw some grass sticking out of our grill and opened it up to find it stuffed with grass and a nest hollowed out.  He cleaned it out once or twice but then one day we looked to find four blue eggs.  We decided to watch them grow.  They just hatched the other day!  Very exciting.

Anyway, unfortunately (?), the dead bird was not a baby bird. I would have handled that much better.  They're small.  Nope.  It was a big black bird.

Now is the time to stop.  If you weren't able to stand up to the temptation earlier, this is your last chance…

Ok…. Don't say I didn't warn you.


And it looked like it had been dead for a while.  It smelled like it had been dead for a while.  Tabby had probably been the one that killed it and tried to take a bite. Thankfully, she didn't like the feathers?  I don't know.  I'm pretty sure she knew it was there and had had her way with it already.

So I decided to buck up and just get rid of it.  I covered a dust pan with a plastic bag.  Then I grabbed a large thick plastic bag to put the bird in.  I approached it.  Smelled it.  Saw all the flies already around it and cursed Steve.

Then I got up the courage and tried to get the dust pan under it.  The wind was blowing hard and the dust pan did nothing but over turn the bird.  That's when I first screamed.  Because this is what I saw.  I'll make it small in case you couldn't refrain yourself.  But you can click on it to see it full sized in all it's gory.


Oh yeah.  Those are hundreds of maggots crawling in and out of the birds eye and ear.  I will never be clean again.  Long story short… I got it in the bag after I screamed a few more times.  No one came to my aid.  I had to bag the bird and then bag the bag from the dust pan and then seal them shut within a couple more bags to stop the stench or bugs from leaking out into our trashcan.  

I will never be clean again.  I will never be clean again. I will never be clean again. 

I'm not mowing the lawn today.


The Boo on our Block

They just don't make things like they used to anymore.  That makes me sound like an old person.  But I've been thinking that since I was a kid.  I had an awesome Care Bears lunch box in elementary school.  I loved it.  I took it to school as often as possible.  But my favorite part about it was the thermos.  The cap would screw off and could double as a cup.  I could pour the contents of that thermos right into the cap and drink it.  The problem was, my thermos leaked.  I remember it ruining my lunch too many times.  I quit using it shortly after I got it.  I remember thinking of the older tin lunch boxes and wondering why don't they make things to last like they used to.  

My friend, Dani (babysitter back then), introduced me to classic movies with actors like Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant.  My dad introduced me to classics like Alfred Hitchcock movies.  I grew to love some of the best movies of all time and the best music of all time.  Etta JamesBillie Holiday , Louis Armstrong's version of What a Wonderful World (tell me that song doesn't make you smile), and Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra

These days, we seem to do something to cheapen good things.  We throw in rude humor to great story lines in movies. We have talented musicians (and not so talented musicians) playing crap all over our radio stations.  We make things to BE cheap and disposable, quick and easy.  

You may or may not know that To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favorite stories. There is a thread in this story about a mysterious neighbor named Boo Radley.  In front of his house, there is a tree with a hollowed out knot in the trunk.  Scout and Jem Finch find all sorts of treasures inside this tree.

 Well Isaac and Asher have found a similar tree in our own neighborhood.IMG_6032

But unfortunately, they just don't make them like they used to.  Ours has been framed with chewed up pieces of gum and inside we've found treasures like a golf ball, and easter candy wrappers…  I took this picture of Isaac and Asher looking into the tree, but a second later Asher said, "They all smell minty."  I didn't realize they were smelling the "abc" gum.  Gross.  Anyway.  I've taken it upon myself to become the new Boo Radley of my neighborhood.  I'm not going to hide inside or spread rumors that I stabbed someone with scissors but I am going to find trinkets to hide inside this tree and see what happens.

"Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between.  Boo was our neighbor.  He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives." — To Kill a Mockingbird

Last Time

Last week, Asher was struggling to overcome a cold.  The boys wanted to play outside and I thought some exercise and good old vitamin D would help.  After some running around and playing, Isaac accidentally hit Asher and made him cry.  I picked Asher up and could tell he was just exhausted.  He could barely keep his eyes open as I held him.  So I decided to give him a little rest and I held him and rocked him to sleep on the bench on my front porch.  I don't remember the last time I rocked either of my boys to sleep.  Asher is 3 now and Isaac is almost 5.  I thought I may never get a chance to rock them to sleep ever again.  So I soaked it up! I sat in the shade on a warm sunny spring day and watched as my not so little baby fell asleep in my arms.  He fought it a little at first.  He'd keep opening his eyes to make sure no one was having more fun around him.  But then his eye lids would grow heavy and close again.  I listened to the pattern of his breathing and could tell he was fast asleep when his mouth parted and the air started swishing past his plump lips.  I knew for sure he was out when my hand rumbled as my sweet baby boy passed some gas… boys…IMG_4872

It was one of those moments… another "thin place" where the membrane that separates Heaven and Earth is so thin, you get glimpses of Heaven from here…  So many of my thin places these days are with my sweet boys. I love having adventures and exploring and learning new things.  I love sitting with them and wrestling with them and laughing with them as they grow older.  

But that's one thing that sometimes bothers me.  I have always loved the idea of Peter Pan.  The idea of a place of adventure a boy can go and always stay young and never grow up.  When I found out Isaac would be Isaac when I was only 20 weeks pregnant, I bought a bunch of Peter Pan books.  I want this idea of staying young at heart and having adventures to always be a part of my boys' lives.  Lately, I find myself acting more and more like a pirate.  I am often impatient with my boys and every once in a while I even think to myself, "Grow UP!"  Once I said it out loud, but I wanted to reach out and grab the words and take them back before they reached Isaac's ears.  

Please, Isaac and Asher, grow. Learn. Have adventures and experiences.  Become a better you, but don't grow up.  Never grow old.  Don't be a pirate. Stay young at heart and let your mommy hold you and kiss you and rock you to sleep every so often, okay?