Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, May 10, 2004


Got to the park just in time to see Reba and the rest of the brood ambling to the car. (She had to get them there for Cat's game at 9:30 and Boy's team pictures at 11.) I wheeled into the parking lot and beeped the horn, which brought a very excited Tiny Girl to the window screaming at me that she won her game. 7-1 it was, and she even got to KICK THE BALL! Boy's photos went fine, but he had to wait another couple of hours before the start of his next game, so they were all going to head back to the house. Catherine decided she wanted to ride with me in the car, until I received permission from Miss Reba to take a small amount of time to go get the prodigious pile of wool trimmed from my head.

Once Cat heard I was going to the hair cutting place, she bailed, as did Oldest. I think I have finally found a way to have more Me Time! I really should do a better job of keeping my hair trimmed, you know.

Off I went and stopped at the Head Start down by Winn-Dixie, where, sadly, the girl who looks like Mandy Moore was not in attendance, but rather the woman who looks more like Roger Moore. Oh well. 15 minutes of furious scissor action, and I was 20 pounds lighter. (It's been a couple of months.)

Over to the Express Oil Change to have the oil expressly changed in Reba's car and be handed the usual line of BS about my trans fluid being dark. The sampling method consisted of dabbing some fresh ATF on the side of a filthy used oil bottle, then rubbing some trans fluid off of the dipstick beside the spot of fresh. This is then held up to the light, just-so, and knowing eyes are squinted and the vital fluids compared and contrasted. Only slightly less scientific than reading goat entrails. Luckily, they aren't real hard sell about it--if you refuse, they go on about their business, but I wonder how many times people are told they need their fluid changed needlessly. As long as you follow the manufacturer's recommendations, you shouldn't have a problem.

That done, back to the house, where I happened upon the entire family attempting to make a getaway without me. They had books to return to the library, it turns out, and needed some more. I am amazed, given my efforts of three weeks ago, why we would EVER have to go to the library, but, there you go. It Must Be Done. So, park one vehicle, jump in the other, and go bother the quiet people.

Hop out, go inside, children scatter. One I am able to track by the shrill nervous laughter--Oldest had found two girls from her class there, and they immediately all began acting like they were in their own rooms. Again, another pet peeve is people who treat the library like it's a hog-calling competition. I realize this is fast becoming a sign that I am just an old fart, but still. Come ON, folks!

I tend to give a pass to other kids, because I figure their parents just haven't taught them well enough to know they shouldn't act like troglodytes. But ding-dernit all, MINE know better--although you'd never know it sometimes. So, YET ANOTHER lecture, given through clenched teeth, to PIPE DOWN. Receive Look of Hate, etc., etc.

Finally got them all satisfied with books--Catherine found one that I remember from when Captain Kangaroo read it on his show--The Story of Ferdinand. It was a read-along book with a tape, which she greatly enjoyed listening to. After she tired of listening to the tape, she read it herself, charmingly pronouncing Ferdinand to be a "bool."

ON to the park for the last game of the day. Jonathan's team was playing Chelsea, who had come from way, WAY down south on Highway 280 in Shelby County. Due to the fact that it was 190O, the rest of us bravely decided to stay in the van and watch from the hillside parking spot. ::sigh:: What to say? They played like they always do, with two boys in particular doing their dead-level best to steal the ball from their own teammates. Final score was something like 5-0 or 6-0. Jonathan did really well again, despite the heat, although he did take a hard shot in the wrist and then the ribs as he blocked a shot. And he really ran hard this time--not the odd little jumpskip he sometimes does. Obviously, though, one kid trying to play like a team doesn't go over real well.

Back to the house, where I noted that the front yard needed to be mown. TO which, Miss Reba replied that she thought she would run to Lowe's and go buy plants. TO which, I responded that maybe we could first set out some of the pile of stuff we already have percolating in various pots and bowls and stuff, and, you know, maybe save a bit of money. TO which, there was much silence and no small amount of poutiness. ::sigh::

She managed to overcome that and dragged me to the backyard to discuss where I was going to put the existing stuff out. I looked around and around, trying to find a way to say again how much the front yard needed to be cut, but finding no easy way to say it, I said, "I think the corner right her by this tree would be good for the rose bush, but the crape myrtles might need more room."

Moving, touching--I know the emotions you must be feeling right now, but control yourself.

At this point, Catherine came out of the house in a bright tie-die colored swimsuit that fit her like shrink-wrap. "I WANNA PLAY IN THE WATER THING!" No.

More pouting.

Reba and I decided it might be good to repot the ton of small crape myrtle cuttings she has amassed from her mom's house, so we set about to clean out some old flower pots and dig the old roots out of them. Cat continued to run and beg for the hose to be turned on her, and then Jonathan came running outside with his swim trunks on. Good grief. Still, no. No soppy wet kids.

I sat on the stone bench by the little pond I had made, and decided I really needed to fix the frog spitter. I had come to the conclusion it was leaking since after turning the pump off, no water drained out of the liner. Grabbed it, and found that the tube on the back was loose enough to pull off. Well, that explains that. Clamped it back on, powered it up, and once again a happy spitting frog. Yay.

Went back to repotting plants, with some help from Rebecca, who enjoyed getting black dirt under her fingernails. For some reason. Finally got it all redone, and got the spray wand to clean the porch off. And spray the kids. I kept telling them to back up, but they wouldn't, so I had to let 'em have it. Nothing like being a kid in the water in the sun. I sprayed them and slung water on them and turned the hose off and back on again right in their face (it's a big shower head sprayer, so it didn't hurt them) and put it under their legs and on their heads and under their armpits and in a few minutes they were thoroughly saturated. And begging for more. I suppose I can cut the grass Tuesday night when I get home.

SO, more water. Then Rebecca came out all dressed in her swimsuit and so I had to get her soppy wet, and then Ashley came down and got in the act. I went back inside to see what Reba was doing, and found her stacking up the books we had culled last week and putting them in boxes, so I helped with that a while until I heard the inevitable shriek of agony from outside. ::sigh:: Always happens. Not content to have fun, someone has to turn the whole exercise into a contest.

Downstairs, turn off the water, roll up the hose, pass around recriminations and towels, and send everyone inside to go bathe. Suppertime, then bedtime, then churchtime.

Sunday morning, two teachers call in. Beginning to get rather tiresome, you know? As is trying to get everyone to wake up and get dressed. I think I'm going to have to start getting them all up at 5 just to get out of the house on time. Of course, that's AWFULLY hard on me, so maybe not. Don't suggest alarm clocks--they all have them, and they all sleep right through them. Again, about the only thing that gets sure results is to do the Gunny Hartman route of beating on a garbage can with a swagger stick. (I don't really do that. However tempting it may be.)

Finally got everyone going more-or-less toward the door, at about ten minutes later than usual. Which is fine--I mean, you know, the ol' blood pressure had dropped back down to normal during the night, and we can't have it hanging around not doing anything.

Sunday school, then church, and then time to go meet my mom for lunch!

About which, later--right now, I have a MEETING to go to! Yea, meetings!

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