Sleeping baby

My grandson Luke is four weeks old today and I’m pretty sure he’s a genius of some sort. Although I have no demonstrable proof, trust me when I say that we Gigi’s are very intuitive about these things.

Just ask any of us.

Of course, be sure to allot enough time to see the pictures.

It might take a while.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that he has mastered the art of sleeping. My daughter swears to me that he opens his eyes and even cries on occasion, but I’m pretty sure she’s not telling me the truth. Every time that sweet little bundle is in my arms he demonstrates his superb sleeping skills. (I’m pretty sure Albert Einstein slept a lot as a baby.)

Occasionally he yawns, stretches a tiny arm up over his head and make a brief lamb-like bleat which I recognize as a baby prodigy-speak for, “Feed me.” I oblige with a bottle of milk his mother has supplied. He settles in, eyes still closed, lounging in the hammock that’s the crook of my arm.

While contemplating baby quantum physics, for sure.

Afterwards perched on my shoulder as I attempt to summon a burp, my husband manages to capture a wide-eyed picture. Unfortunately, he looks vaguely annoyed with me. (Luke, not my husband.) He was probably on the verge of a scientific break-through.

When I bring him back down to my arms he immediately lapses into a milk coma. Sweet baby sighs and soft rhythmic breathing follow.


Being brilliant is hard work.


Why I Don’t Like Math

At the risk of offending mathematicians everywhere, I have a confession to make.

Numbers are not my favorite thing.

1. I happen to like words w-a-a-a-ay more than numbers. Non-mathematical words, that is. Have you ever noticed how extremely difficult it is to pay a compliment using math terminology? In my own experience, “Your mass looks very nice today,” has never been well received.

Even in the best of circumstances.

2. Math can be difficult to grasp for creative thinkers like me. Let’s face it, there is absolutely no romantic mystery in numbers. If 2+2 always equals 4 every single, stinking, solitary time, what’s fun about that? Make a puzzle out of it like 2+__ =4 and the answer is still the same.

It’s 2, people. Number 3 never even had a chance.

3. And as far as I’m concerned, algebra is just a smoke-and-mirrors technique to get us right-brainers to consider doing math. By sneaking in some letters it makes math appear vaguely interesting. It never works for long. a+b=c inevitably translates in my mind to Anne+Baking=Cookies so I end up with a spatula in one hand and a bag of chocolate chips in the other.

4. Calculus. Need I go on?

5. Lastly, it is incredibly annoying to me that I just numbered all of the things I don’t like about numbers.

Evidence that there must be a tiny pull of mathematical logic buried somewhere deep in my brain.

That must be the part that allows me to enjoy the beauty of symmetrical patterns in nature or the complexity of a simple eight-note musical scale. It might even be the part that draws comfort from the predictable sequence of events that order my existence.

Okay. The truth be known, I don’t really hate math.

But if anyone comes up to me and tells me I look solid, I may have to reconsider.

The ones that got away

Two snow days tacked onto the end of a generous Christmas break with a third day impending for the next…the time had come. I could put it off no longer.

It was time to clean out my sock drawer.

Sadly, that is what my life has become. Even sadder is the fact that I have fourteen socks with no mates. Now, half of those socks are ones that I never wear any more  – I always like to state the obvious right up front– but the other half  belong to socks I wear on a pretty regular basis.

Or are they?

Come to think of it, I may have been wearing mismatched socks for a long time now. It’s true that my bedroom doesn’t get a lot of natural light in the winter. And after I have committed to covering my feet in the morning I don’t give my tootsies a second glance. In fact, there may have been one occasion when I actually wore mismatched shoes in public.

They were both pumps, similar style, one inch heels. Well, at least one of them was a one inch heel. The other was more like an inch and a half which gave me an uneven gate. Very runway model-like.  After nearly tripping, I discovered that the right shoe was navy and the left was dark green. I like to think of myself as somewhat of a trendsetter. Others may have another name for it.

Still, back to my socks – FOURTEEN! How does one go about their normal sock-wearing life in complete oblivion when there are more than a dozen socks at large? That’s a basketball team roster of socks (with a few on the injured reserved list) roaming around the house somewhere between the dryer and my dresser drawer. Unless an unmarked package of neatly folded socks appears on my doorstep I may have to resign myself to never uncovering the whereabouts of my AWOL socks.

Maybe they’ve gotten into a pick up game with the missing forks from the silverware drawer.

The best intentions

Today was the day I had originally slated to begin a juice fast. With the advent of the new year I had decided to set aside some special time to fast and pray. However, winter blew in a ferocious snowstorm which landed my younger daughter, her husband and their dog at our doorstep. So I made chicken and dumplings instead.

Oh, and I also may have baked a loaf of molasses wheat bread, too.

And about four dozen chocolate chip cookies.

Not exactly what I had planned, but you seriously can’t expect a household of people which includes a pregnant woman (my daughter, not me) to exist on a diet of juice and water when it is -17 degrees outside. We’re used to cold winter weather in the Midwest, but yesterday the temperature was actually warmer in Alaska than it was in Indiana. The land of igloos and sled dogs would have been balmy compared to what it felt like outside my front door.

So instead of fasting, I feasted. There’s something about a houseful of family that beckons me to the kitchen. A homemaker at heart, I love to cook from scratch and serve up heaping portions to whomever gathers around our big dining room table. I can’t help it. It’s like it’s programmed into my DNA.

But then, of course, I know that I was designed by an awesome God who put me together just the way He wanted. He is the One who placed the desire in my heart to love and care for others. And He is the one who taught me that by serving others I can show His love for them. So I’m not going to guilt trip myself into feeling bad about not beginning my fast today. The year is still young and there will be another day soon to devote to fasting.

Just as soon as those cookies are gone.

I Can See Clearly Now

Her friends recommended that the young woman have her eyes checked. She dismissed their concerns with a vehement, “My eyes are just fine,” and then quickly changed the subject. She’d been wanting to try a popular local restaurant. Each day as she drove down the highway on her way to work she noticed the prominent sign and asked if they knew anything about it.

“It’s called Food, Lunch and Munchies and it must be really good because the parking lot is always packed with cars.” None of her friends had ever heard of it, but told her they would try it out soon.

The next time they got together she was sporting a pair of brand new glasses.  They were all relieved she’d finally decided she had a need for them. Then someone asked about the restaurant that she was anxious to try out. Had she been yet?

She told them that she wouldn’t be going there for lunch any time soon. After she had gotten her glasses she had driven by the popular place on the highway and was more than a little chagrined. Suddenly she realized why there were so many cars parked in the lot. The sign clearly read Ford Lincoln Mercury.

The Kirby Salesman

Recently I went shopping for a new vacuum cleaner and it brought to mind my husband’s brief stint as a vacuum cleaner salesman. During break from college one year, Phil sold Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door. It’s hard to believe there was a time when door to door salesmen were common and people routinely opened their front doors to complete strangers. Of course, not everybody did. As a ten-year old I remember playing at a friend’s house when a salesman came to the back door. Her mother made us get under the dining room table and pretend we weren’t there. I thought it was strange that a grown woman would crawl under a table and sit in controlled silence in an effort to avoid a salesperson. My own mother would have just gone to the door and told him that she wasn’t interested.

Obviously, being a salesperson could be a tough gig and I have to tell you that Phil didn’t set the world on fire selling vacuums that summer. He did set up a lot of appointments, though. He even arranged a demonstration with my mother knowing full well she wasn’t interested just so he could practice his pitch. Anyone willing to withstand the hour long presentation got a free gift. At that time, the gift was a large mulit-purpose knife with a serrated cutting blade. Later my mother reported it was the best knife she had ever owned and I’ve heard it rumored that she may have used it to cut down one of the trees in her backyard.

Even though most of his appointments were prearranged with supposedly interested potential clients, it was a grueling business. This monstrosity of a machine was heavy and cumbersome to drag from house to house. Never-the-less it was said to be a marvel at cleaning. It had settings to clean high shag carpets or low pile rugs. Snap on an attachment and it could fluff your pillows, dust your upholstery, make an intimate candlelight dinner for two and shampoo the dog. Okay, I’m not really certain about those last couple of things, but you’re welcome to check the owner’s manual for clarification.

Unfortunately, no one seemed particularly interested in purchasing this type of  top–the-line vacuum. Funny how he still had a lot of appointments. Maybe there was  just an abundance of dead trees that summer.

Of course, we’ve never had such a fancy vacuum cleaner of our own. Just because you tried to sell them didn’t mean you actually got to own one. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit that the reason for my recent shopping trip was that my own vacuum was in such terrible disrepair. In order for it to work, a large amount of duct tape had been applied to the frame to keep the entire bottom from falling off.  The worst part of it is that it had been like that for the last six months. Which brings up an important question – just where is a Kirby salesman when you really need him?