Friday, August 19, 2016

I Shall Be Random, Vol. 11

~ 1 ~
Since we don't have a TV, we haven't been glued to the Olympics (like I probably would be if we did have a TV!); but one evening last week, we went down to my dad's house and watched some of the Olympics with him.  The kids got an education in what modern-day Olympics are like, and I got an education in HOW MANY COMMERCIALS THERE ARE ON TV.  My goodness, we would watch the Olympics for just a few minutes, and then there would be a commercial break which seemed to last longer than the segment of the Olympics had just been!  Then back for a few more minutes of action, and then another long commercial break.  I wasn't impressed with that aspect of it.

I did, however, enjoy watching the various track and field events and some of the swimming competition.  But as impressive as the athletes were, I couldn't help but think that it would be a lot more impressive if, during each race, a "normal" person would be allowed to compete so that we could see just how fast the Olympians actually are!!  :)

~ 2 ~
During one of the days the boys were taking swimming lessons a few weeks ago, Moriah and Benjamin and I ran a quick errand before we needed to pick the boys up.  As we were pulling into the Target parking lot, Moriah spoke up from her seat two rows behind mine.  "I'm a good looker, huh?" she said.

I was about to agree with her that yes, she is very lovely (although perhaps an admonition about humility was forthcoming, too) when she continued, "...because I saw a slug bug and an axi taxi."

Aha!  She wasn't speaking about her appearance at all!  Rather, she was complimenting herself (still might need a lesson in humility!) about how well she looks at things and notices what is around her.  That's different!  :)

~ 3 ~
When I was growing up, we called VW bugs "punch buggies"; but in Jeff's family, they called them "slug bugs," so that is what our children call them; and sure enough, whoever is the first to spot one and say "slug bug" gets to hit someone else in the car as we're driving along.  

But why stop with just "slug bugs"?

In our family, when we see a taxi, we call out "axi taxi" and are then allowed to chop someone like an ax.

When we see a tractor that is moving, we say "tractor compactor" and are then allowed to squeeze someone's arm very tightly.

At one point when I felt like the boys were too competitive and were slugging and axing and compacting each other too much, I declared that we needed something more loving, so when they would see a mail truck, they should blow me a kiss.  :)

Then we decided that when we see a police car, they should blow Daddy a kiss.  :)

Some time ago, I read somewhere that it is wise to teach your children to notice motorcycles when they are small, so when they are old enough to drive, they will already have a habit of seeing motorcycles, thus making the roads safer for bikers.  I couldn't come up with a clever way to incorporate this into our game of looking for various vehicles as we drive, but fortunately, Jeff was.  He had the idea to say "like bike" when we see either a motorcycle or a bicycle in motion, and whoever is the first to say "like bike" gets one round of protection from any "slug bugs" or "axi taxis" or "tractor compactors" that someone else sees.  :)

Hey, if it helps my kids be more careful drivers when they grow up, I'm all for it!  :)

~ 4 ~
From time to time, I think ahead to the future years when I will be riding alone in a car much more often than I do now.  As tedious as I sometimes find the "slug bug" etc. game, I know I will miss it when it's gone...especially the kisses I'm given when the kids see a mail truck.

It dawned on me recently that, whenever I see a mail truck when I'm alone, rather than lamenting the fact that I no longer have someone small to ride with me and give me kisses, I can turn that around and use it as a reminder to give thanks for all the years that I have been blessed with a multitude of kisses from my children.  Oh, sure, I'll be sad when they're gone, but sad and grateful is much better than sad alone!

~ 5 ~
I've come to the conclusion that it's impossible to be both a prepper and a minimalist.

There's a part of me that takes after my mother with her raised-by-country-farmers-right-after-the-Great-Depression-so-they-never-threw-anything-away mentality.  Mother's motto was "always be prepared," and she always was.  :)  When Y2K rolled around, she and Dad were well supplied with a woodstove for heat, propane for cooking, a cistern for water, a generator for electricty, and plenty of rice and beans (as well as lots of home-preserved food in the cellar and the freezers) to stave off possible starvation.  She was a prepper before the word was invented, and we have had fun by gently teasing her many times through the years.  :)

I have her inclination towards preparedness within me.

There's a part of me that is drawn towards the simplicity of the modern minimalist movement.  Throwing off the shackles of possessions and living light and free sounds SO appealing (I've written some about that before).   If we're not currently using something and haven't in the past year or so, why hang onto it?  Let it go, so it can bless someone else, and so that we can live unfettered by the accumulation of extra stuff.

I have an inclination towards this free-spirited, God-will-provide mentality, too.

It's an uneasy coexistence, one that doesn't really work very well.  But I still try to straddle the middle line between being a prepper and a minimalist, mostly by trying to accurately assess how valuable a particular item might be in the future, especially if that future includes a hardship like a bad storm that knocks out electricity for a while...or worse.  If the item would be quite helpful in a crisis scenario, I don't mind stocking up.  Dry beans?  Sure!  Triple antibiotic ointment?  Absolutely!  Three boxes of cheap plastic toys from fast food restaurants?  Negative!  They can go!!  ;-)

~ 6 ~
It's not as if I've gone around to all the neighbors' houses, sniffing outside their garage doors; but even without that proof, I think it's safe to say that about a week ago, we had the smelliest garage in the neighborhood.  :)

This is the reason.
After we harvested the onions from our garden, we needed a space to lay them out to air and dry a little.  Because of all the rain we've been having this summer, outdoors under a tree wasn't an option, so we parked the minivan outside for a while, and into the garage the onions went.
I'm really grateful for the abundance of this harvest, but wow, did they ever give off a strong fragrance!!  :)

~ 7 ~
These days, one of Benjamin's favorite things to do is sit on my lap while I play the piano and bang on the keys, too.  If I get in his way, he's quick to let me know by pushing my hands away.  ;-)

It's a joy to spend time with him like this, making music (errrr, noise!) together!  :)

~ 8 ~
Benjamin LOVES to swing his legs up and down, and one day recently, big brother David was imitating him.  The things that are cute when a baby does them sure look funny when someone older does the same thing!  :)

~ 9 ~
Life right side up can get boring.
It's a good thing Benjamin has a daddy...
...who occasionally turns him upside down.  :)
Ah, the view is much more interesting this way!!  :)
Maybe we should all try it.  ;-)

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