1. House (almost) cleaned prior to Thanksgiving trip.
2. Dr. appointment for Mercy made (to see if she has an ear infection) prior to Thanksgiving trip.
3. Christmas presents wrapped (we're also celebrating Christmas during our Thanksgiving trip.)
4. Van needs to be emptied and vacuumed prior to Thanksgiving trip.
5. Laundry (almost) finished prior to Thanksgiving trip.
6. Suitcases need to be packed prior to Thanksgiving trip.
7. Give away leftovers in refrigerator prior to Thanksgiving trip.
8. Pack snacks for the car ride prior to Thanksgiving trip.

Jeremy arrived home from work early today with a Man Cold. His pall-bearers deposited him neatly into bed where he barely groaned out his last meal request: spaghetti.

I'll add it to my list.
So it has come to this. I never thought I'd say the word hate and library in the same sentence, but this past Thursday during storytime, Liberty's class learned how to make stone soup, a mixture of water, a stone and various donated ingredients. Miss Bobbie read the story while cooking the ingredients that we had brought from home, and she stressed the idea that ANYTHING can be included in stone soup. That's what makes it so much fun.

We moms had been instructed ahead of time to bring a half cup of any chopped vegetable that we had on hand. I thought about bringing carrots, but since I don't like cooked carrots much, I nixed that idea. Then I decided to bring an onion. I reached into the bag and touched something slimy. The bag and all of its contents quickly hit the bottom of the garbage can, and Liberty brought chopped potatoes -- as did most of her classmates. Thankfully, we also had celery, corn and macaroni in the pot. And the stone. It all tasted lovely!

Three days have now passed since our trip to the library. My plastic bowl cabinet is empty. My carpets are drenched. My stuff is missing.

Anything and everything has become an ingredient in Liberty's Homemade Stone Soup. Her latest batch included a medium-sized stone from outside, two beaded necklaces from Grandpa and Nonna, a plastic measuring cup (I reclaimed it), a fuzzy pom-pom, my hair clip, Kimmie's miniature barbie from McDonald's, two of my good silverware spoons (reclaimed), a plastic chain link, particles of what used to be a square of clean toilet paper, four animal crackers (I stopped her just before those met their watery demise) and Mercy's foot.

Mercy was not pleased.

But, it has kept Liberty quiet and busy for DAYS. That's where my love part comes in.
Only five more days til we see Grandpa and Nonna for Thanksgiving, and guess who's complaining about their ears hurting? Liberty AND Mercy.

We're eating oranges for supper tonight, and I might even buy some lavender oil.

Can you tell the packing is looming? My posts keep getting shorter and shorter.
That's from Goonies, right? I can't quite remember. UPDATED: My sister Charity has informed me in a slightly incredulous comment that the quote is actually from Star Wars.
Our pen-pal process is officially progressing! Lisa and I have typed several little notes back and forth, and we are now FRIENDS!!!


PS> Liberty pulled out my Bible a few minutes ago and started "reading" it out loud. I asked her, "What do you know about Jesus, Liberty?" And she said, "He forgives me. A LOT."

Me too! Yay for us!
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I know what you're thinking. Missy is becoming a pen-pal? Missy???? The one who never mails anything??? I feel sorry for whoever is on the other end of this deal.

Normally, that thought process would be correct, but this time, I've got a twist up my sleeve. (Did I just mix a couple metaphors?) I can't quite picture a twist in my sleeve. I pictured a slice of lemon or lime maybe. Then I pictured a corkscrew in my sleeve. Now, my sleeve is all tangled, and none of those convey the element of surprise and glee that I was hoping for. Although a slice of lime sliding down my arm would be a surprise and possibly gleeful depending on how hungry I was at the time.


On my hall in my apartment building, there are four apartments, one is ours, one is vacant (ooh, that word sends shivers) one belongs to Mandy and one belongs to Gary and Lisa (who my brain constantly tries to rename Larry and Nancy, figure that one out - cuz I sure can't! It's frustrating, is what it is. I always have to pause for an internal correction before I say hi.)

Mandy and Lisa both stay home all day like I do. Mandy just had back surgery and cannot leave her apartment much anymore, and Lisa has something wrong with her leg. She, too, rarely leaves her apartment. I visit Mandy on occasion, but her apartment is crowded with valuable glass objects and two small dogs that don't mix well with my toddlers. Lisa told me a while ago that she would love to have visitors, but she has a psychotic dog that forbids it.

So here we live, three women who would enjoy each other's company if it were possible. And I got a "bee-dea" as Liberty says. That's big and idea mixed together. WE CAN BE PEN-PALS!

I lay in wait for Larry as he passed my apartment door at lunchtime. Correction: Gary. See? I didn't type Larry on purpose. He just looks like a Larry. Strongly.

Pause. "Gary!" I called out, two smiling girls peered from between my legs, and L- Gary grinned at them. His one gold tooth reminded me of the fake policeman at the beginning of Home Alone. "Do you think Lisa would like a pen-pal?" I inquired eagerly.

Perhaps too eagerly. He looked suspicious. "What do you have up your sleeve, now, little girl?" he questioned me with a twinkle in his eye. (Gary's the one who I abruptly announced our cheese mishap to several months ago. Oh, maybe I never told that story on this blog. I'll have to remember to spin that tale for you another time.)

(And by the way, what is it with my sleeves today? They must look freshly stocked or something.)

I explained my bee-dea of taping notes to each other's front doors every day, and he laughed.

I do need to inform you that it gets tiring having one's ideas laughed at on a regular basis. I understand that some of the ideas that strike me are not done regularly by most people. I understand that the kinks of those ideas have been worked out in my brain before I present the finished product to others, and that they may not realize the kinks are solve-able. I understand that I've had a lot longer to dwell on the practicality of said ideas. But it sure would be nice to have someone enthusiastically shout, "YES! GREAT IDEA!" and then sit down to figure out how it could be most practically carried out, instead of laughing at me, and leaving me to sound slightly rushed and earnestly defensive when I explain why it really could work.


Gary then suggested that we email each other instead of writing and taping written notes. He struck disappointment into my soul with such a cold suggestion. I should have just gone with Plan A which was to introduce my bee-dea to Lisa by leaving a taped note to her front door. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm got the best of me again, and I couldn't hold the idea in long enough to carry out that plan. I just had to share it with Gary since I saw him walking into the building.

I protested, albeit very minimally because I realized he was actually taking my suggestion fairly seriously, and I liked the idea that he was contributing, too. Also, I couldn't figure out how to explain to him how cold his idea sounded to me without looking very silly. Finally, I said, "Well, talk to Lisa, and see what she thinks about it all," hoping that her imagination, too, would be caught by the fun side of taping written notes. He agreed, and continued on his way home for his lunch.

About ten minutes later, Gary knocked on my door holding a sheet of notebook paper. My heart skipped a beat! My first note from my new pen-pal!

Gary teased Mercy a little bit to see her smile before he said to me, "Lisa wrote down her email address for you."


The bittersweet feeling of a messed-with bee-dea come to fruition in all it's cold, corporate spontaneity.

I sent off my first email a few minutes ago!
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Rainy afternoons. It sounds like a song title, doesn't it? I can just hear the melody.
Rainy afternoons, cozy living rooms.
Sleepy little girls, tiny golden curls.
Waking from their nap, asking for a snack.
"Mommy, let's play Ball & Catch," turns into "Mercy, fetch!"

Um, I ran out of lyrics. You can finish it off for me if you want.
1. I usually ignore all of the quizzes on Facebook, but my sister sent one called "What Is Your Native American Indian Name?" Mine turns out to be "Sunny Stream - You are content and happy. Like a leaf that floats on the water, going wherever it may take you." I like the sound of that!

2. Jeremy and I were on the phone with my mom around midnight last night, and apparently I fell asleep. Today, Jeremy informed me that in my sleep, I told my mom she could have some apples if she wanted. After more questioning, I told her that she could not have any grapes because we're all out. At least I was accurate in my sleep: we ate the last of the grapes for supper yesterday.

3. I walked silently into the kitchen a while ago and found Liberty standing in front of the open fridge, deciding. I made a small noise with my throat, and in one smooth motion, she slammed the door shut and whirled to face me, an innocent smile decorated her features. "Hi, Mommy. It's nice to meet you," she politely said. Then she shook my hand and left the kitchen.

4. My daughters are growing up, but that was not in our original contract. I pulled it out this afternoon and examined it with my magnifying glass. It explicitly states that any children born to Missy and Jeremy are to start out at six months of age and/or able to feed themselves and sleep through the night, and to perpetually use cute baby-ized English and thought processes. They are not to grow more than two feet tall or be able to open doors, think for themselves, or tell me "Nussin'" when I ask what they've just been doing.

5. I just returned from Liberty's room where she has tied her new helium balloon from the dollar store to a wooden spoon to weight it down and then planted it on the floor of her carpeted bedroom. What a great idea! Except that she also watered it so it would grow.
Inhale deeply. Savor the aromas.

That's right, I just baked chocolate chip cookies. Ah, the heavenly smell.

Before that I gave the girls a bath and shampooed their hair. Nothing smells as wonderful as freshly washed baby hair. Unless it's a just-baked chocolate chip cookie.

Before that I made egg salad sandwiches for lunch (thus creating the need for baths). Mmm, the aroma of boiled eggs, still slightly warm, mixed with mayo and mustard and piled onto freshly toasted bread makes my mouth water every time. Nothing smells as wonderful as warm egg salad sandwiches. Unless it's freshly washed baby hair. Or just-baked chocolate chip cookies.

Before that I opened the patio door and crisp fall air rushed into the room. Crunched leaves, distant wood fire, cold. They all combine to make a uniquely FALL smell. Nothing smells as wonderful as Fall. Unless it's a warm egg salad sandwich, or freshly washed baby hair, or just-baked chocolate chip cookies. (Or Spring!)

Before that I changed Mercy's stinky diaper.

Oops, you inhaled a little too deeply.
I have been pondering Christmas presents for my beloved husband for several months now, about eleven to be exact, and it wasn't until thirty seconds ago that inspiration struck after I read this post by my friend Beth.

I know the PERFECT gift, and I CANNOT WAIT to give it to him!!!!

Let the Christmas count-down begin!

PS> It's top secret, so don't even think you'll get it out of me. You'll just have to be surprised like he will be.

PPS> Ooooh! I'm excited!

From two beautiful girls!