Friday, July 29, 2011


Some anticipation, and some satisfaction:

0 days until Youngest Daughter returns home from horseback riding Girl Scout camp – they’re home! 

4 days until Son finishes his course of antibiotic ear drops.  Thanks to God and a different prescription, it looks like he's getting over this ear infection. Which is good, because we’ve got to get back to driving lessons.

Exactly one week until Bible study – I’ve missed the past two meetings, and can hardly wait until next Friday.

13 days to the big USDA grain production report.  I would say we’re holding our breath, but we’re not.  Instead there are twice weekly meetings to discuss, revise, dispute, decide.

20 days to my 50th birthday.  But I don’t feel a day over 29 years old.  Except when my knee hurts or I can’t remember what I went down to the basement to do.

Less than a month to college move-in day for Oldest Daughter.  We are not ready. 

Exactly one month until school classes start!  Time to buy extra pencils and find all those book sox.

Two months to the Jewish New Year.  Apples and honey!

One year minus 4 days to Youngest Daughter’s bat mitzvah.  So many arrangements to be made, but who has the time?

What satisfactions and anticipations does your calendar bring to you right now?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Common Household Proverb

Verily I say unto you, do not spill pickle juice on the kitchen floor, lest it flow under the refrigerator.  And it shall come to pass, even if you clean up the visible pickle juice, that after three hours the smell of the pickle juice under the refrigerator shall be an abomination to me, and my wrath shall wax hot. And you shall consider yourself lucky that you have already escaped to summer camp.

For lo, if you had heeded my instruction always to properly tighten the lid on the pickle jar, yea, on all jars in the household, then you would have avoided this abomination. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hope for Next Week

It has been insanely busy in the Common Household lately.  More accurately stated, the Common Household Husband and I have been insanely busy with all the usuals, plus extra work and travel.  Meanwhile, a certain member of the household has been known to sit for hours in front of the TV dumbing herself down watching “Sponge Bob Squarepants.” 

You reply to me that there are no children under the age of 12 in the Common Household, so why is this show even thought of, much less watched?  Call it summer regression.   Mom’s too busy working or getting ready for the next trip or driving to get another kid to/from their trip to stage an intervention.  Mom is also tired of the reaction to asking said 12-year-old to do anything useful:  growling, stomping, ignoring, walking away.

But we have hope.  Next week the 12-year-old will be TV-free at Girl Scout camp, riding horses, singing camp songs, swimming, and chasing away mosquitoes.  And I will NOT be at camp. 

That’s next week, though.  If the blogosphere has an helpful hints on how to get a 12-year-old to do something useful during the summer, please tell.

Summer Hope, in photos:

The tomato plant on July 3

The tomato plant on July 13

Monday, July 11, 2011

Science Talk

Some recent conversations in the Common Household, about Science:

What was learned in Science class at school
Son:  I forgot to mention that in Chemistry I learned Frank’s Law.  PV = nrt.
Oldest Daughter:  That’s Boyle’s Law.
Son:  No, it’s not.  It’s the ideal gas law.  Boyle’s Law is V1P1 = V2P2.
Youngest Daughter:  R2D2?
Youngest Daughter:  Did Boyle boil water?
Son: Probably at some point.  He was British so he probably had to boil water for his tea.

On the way back from Scout summer camp:
Scout 1, to my son:  What merit badges are you going to get at Advancement camp next week?
Son:  Chemistry, Engineering, Composite Materials, Electronics, Robotics, and Nuclear Science.
Scout 1: Hey, you’ll have all the merit badges you need to be able to construct a Weapon of Mass Destruction!
(Me, thinking to myself:  There is a merit badge for Composite Materials?!)
Son:  Maybe the first requirement for the Nuclear Science badge is “Build a particle accelerator.”

I am expecting to hear a large explosion from the general direction of scout Advancement camp.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pursuit of Happiness

"...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."  Read the full text here.

Here's how we pursued happiness on this Independence Day 2011.

Thanks to all who make this life, this liberty, and this pursuit of happiness possible.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Merit Badge Heaven

The Common Household Son is leaving tomorrow for scout summer camp.  Today has been devoted to packing. He has used up all the household’s gallon-sized Ziploc bags. Ain’t no way his stuff is going to get wet.

My husband asked him if he had packed any games. He had just packed some card games, because, he said, the only free time is for one hour after lunch.  No time for chess, Risk, or Settlers of Catan.  He will be spending time earning merit badges, despite the fact that he has completed all his merit badge requirements to reach Eagle Scout rank.  This time around he’ll be going for Shotgun Shooting, Rifle Shooting, and Electricity.  Those should provide plenty of excitement for the week.

As parents we often find ourselves wishing that there were some additional merit badges offered.  The most obvious one, to any Mother of a Scout, is the Sewing merit badge, starting with these requirements:

Requirement #1:  Sew all your insignia onto your uniform yourself;
Requirement #2: Sew your merit badges onto your sash yourself; 
Requirement #3: Do not beg your mother to sew on even one more badge, especially not 30 minutes before the Court of Honor;

My husband wants him to take the Cleaning the Refrigerator Coils merit badge and the Replacing Rotten Wooden Planks On the Deck merit badge.  I am also hoping for the Caulking the Shower merit badge.  (Guess what projects we have on our slate for this summer.) 

Maybe I should just settle for the Putting your Own Dirty Dishes in the Dishwasher badge, although why that would be meritorious enough for a badge I don’t know.  He did take the very useful Plumbing merit badge last year, which came in handy when the kitchen sink pipe got clogged at Thanksgiving with too many potato peels. 

What merit badges would you want your local scout to earn?  What games do you like to take on vacation?