Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Duck Quilt

"Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?"  Ecclesiastes 4:11

My Granny Donaldson gave me this quilt.  She called me one day, sometime before I got married in 1997, and said she had something for me.  She was quite the quilter and had a huge quilting machine in her house.  I was less than impressed with the duck quilt, considering I’d seen some of her other creations, but I remember her telling me “I thought it might keep you warm.”

Granny Donaldson died in 2001 at the age of 96.  The duck quilt never found a prominent place in my house.  It’s a bit manly.  Doesn’t really go with anything, and the 20 ducks on it are a little too brown and orange for me.  Plus, Granny Donaldson is gone now and I’m never getting another one, so I should put it away and save it.  But…

In 2007, we experienced an ice storm here in Northeast Oklahoma that caused horrible damage and power outages and constraints on normal folks that I wish not to live through again.  Trees literally exploded with the weight of the ice breaking enormous branches.  Standing out in front of our house the next morning, we thought we were in a war zone for all the explosions of trees around us.  Our power was out, but the husband had secured a generator from his workplace for us to use. 

There was a mad dash to secure a generator if you did not have one, and we provided the cash necessary for our neighbor to buy a large one from a wholesaler who had come to my bank to sell generators.  Everyone was desperate!   

We have a wood burning fireplace, so we camped out in the living room for 13 days without power!  One of the things I did to conserve heat was to place this quilt in my doorframe that leads to the upstairs of our house.  I remember thinking then that “it had kept me warm” just as Granny Donaldson had said it would. 

It was without a doubt the worst camping adventure I’d ever had and I hope not to do it again!


And then yesterday, our air conditioner to the upstairs decided to die.  While we didn’t have to worry about freezing to death, sleeping was a high priority last night.  We camped out, once again, downstairs, but this time we slept in the extra bed and bedroom since we didn’t have to keep the fire going.  And once again, I hung Granny Donaldson’s quilt in my doorway to conserve energy.  And I’d say it is working!  The upstairs thermostat is currently reading 81, while we are sitting at 73 downstairs.  The air conditioner has only kicked on a few times in the past hour, so I’d say the quilt is keeping me cool too! 

Thank God for two air conditioning units, local repairmen who will hopefully show up today, and a less than impressive duck quilt from someone who knew I would need it!

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Page - Zack Heroes

In an effort to support the ongoing artistic endeavours of my 7YO, I have added a page titled Zack Heroes (a name he picked out) and have started him his own artwork blog at www.zackheroes.blogspot.com.  See the page up there by the Home tab?  I've posted the hilarious pictures he drew of me in his "About My Mother" book he completed in first grade this week.  He's pretty excited about his own webpage.  Every 7YO needs their own webpage, right??  Ha!  Before long he'll be running this one instead of me!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Brotherly Love

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.”  Romans 12:10

We always say the above bible verse is my 7YO’s verse.  His name is Roman and his birthday is December 10th.  So Romans 12:10 is HIS verse.  And he does a pretty good job of loving his brother. 

For the most part.

I told you about Mitten’s kittens, and how the orange one showed up straight from Jesus, so it was only fate that we should have to keep that one.  But now we have this other ginormous kitten that is older than all the others, who plays, and jumps, and eats cat food in a horribly cute way the others cannot.  The kids have named him Max and have started petitioning for his adoption as a “family cat” as well.

We do not need to keep two kittens.

I repeat. 

We do not need to keep two kittens. 

We’re full up on cats.

No room at the Cat Inn.

The litter box runneth over. 

Which is a whole other issue entirely since they are all outside cats and refuse to potty anywhere but the litter box in the garage so that I have to clean it out!!  

We like to think we’re good parents, but we also like to give our kids a hard time.  It’s part of our master plan of not making it too easy here, so that they will one day want to move out!  So we told each of the children individually that they could keep both kittens, but they had to give up their brother.

The 9YO quickly recounted and said that he didn’t want to keep the kitten. 

The 7YO thought about it for half a second and said, “OKAY!!”

Brotherly love. 

A beautiful thing!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Foreign Language

“The Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.’”  Genesis 11:6-7

Okay, so my husband is Russian, but I took a lot of Spanish in school.  In fact, I almost came out of college with a minor in it.  But I think I would have had to take one more semester and it didn’t really seem worth going to school any longer for.  What good would it have done me anyway, since I married the Russian? 

Anyway, in college I had had so much Spanish that I had to give presentations in front of the class in Español.  I was always self-conscious when speaking Spanish because of my accent – read, hick from Oklahoma – and felt kind of like Sean Penn’s character on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  “Dude… Cómo está usted?” 

We had a lady in my class from El Salvador, whom I asked if she could even understand me, and she said yes, but maybe she was just being nice.  Oh, and my college Spanish classes were taught by a Cuban who’d gone to school in Russia and married a Russian lady and spoke Spanish, English, and Russian.  Fate, I tell you! 

So, I am the authority on Spanish in my household, even though I don’t speak it, read it, write it, or even understand it anymore. 

Here was the conversation at breakfast this morning:

9YO: “What does español mean?”

Me: “It means Spanish.”

9YO: “No, what does it MEAN?”

Me:  “It means Spanish in Spanish.”

9YO: “That’s not what I MEAN!  What does español mean?”

Me:  “Español is the Spanish word for Spanish.”

9YO: “So what does it mean?”

Me: “It means SPANISH!  It is the Spanish word for Spanish!”

9YO:  “So how do you say English?”

Me: “Inglés.”

9YO: “Ohhhhhhhh!!!  Now I get it.”

And to think that conversations like this would have never existed if the tower of Babel had never been attempted!  What would the world be like if we all understood each other?  Who would we assume was talking about us just because we don’t understand what they are saying?  What word would I use for “You got me?” besides capisci to sound like a mobster mother? 

Thank God for differences, and children, and laughter, and entertainment that stems from us all trying to understand each other for thousands and thousands of years!