Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Sock Monster

We have a monster that lives at our house. His name is "Sock Monster". He even has descendants, they're called "Spawn of Sock Monster". Sock Monster is invisible but leaves traces of himself behind frequently. I'm the one who has to pick them up. I call this invisible creature "Sock Monster" because the presents he leaves me are dirty socks. Usually I find them by my husband's favorite chair, sometimes the socks get folded up in the footrest of the said recliner. The poor socks always look so tired and worn out, like they have been worn all day. The Spawn of Sock monster are not always found in the same place, they seem to get around a little more easily than their creator. Sometimes I find them under the dining room table!

I used to complain about picking up Sock Monster's leavings. But then a dear friend, who didn't have a Sock Monster living in her house anymore, reminded me that the gifts that Sock Monster left me really were reminders that he was around and was really thinking sweet thoughts of me. That didn't make much sense to me until I realized that her Sock Monster had died a few years ago, and the Spawn of Sock Monster had long since grown and moved away. She had chosen to see the leavings in a more positive light than I had. At first I didn't really like her words! I told her that she must not have had as prolific a Sock Monster as I did! I mean really, one day I picked up no less than five gifts from Sock Monster!! But, then I decided that my response to Sock Monster was a response that I would make depending upon my own attitude. (hate it when I learn stuff like that!!) Truly though, she had a very valid point and I'm grateful that she shared her positive outlook with me. Since then, I can't say that I look forward to Sock Monster's gifts...but I do see the gifts as more than just dirty socks now.

But, then yesterday happened! I awoke to the usual stillness of the morning. My husband had already gone to work and the children were still snuggled in their beds. I wandered into the kitchen to turn on the tea kettle. I looked out the window over the kitchen sink to see the hummingbirds and other morning creatures. I glanced over the sink...but then had to quickly look more closely into the sink to figure out what the mass of dark wetness I saw there was. There was nothing on the counter, nothing in the sink, nothing on the floor, all was clean.....but for the lonely mass in the sink. Perhaps you may be able to guess by now that I saw socks in the sink. However, I'm sure that you wouldn't have guessed the state of the socks. They were folded together (just the way my mom taught me) sopping wet, and draped across the sink divider. I picked them up to make sure that I was actually seeing what I thought. My mind fleeted backwards over all the gifts Sock Monster, and even Spawn of Sock Monster, have left me over the last 16 years. Never had he left me a gift like this. I was completely baffled about what could have caused this gift and the wretched state it was in. Poor Sock Monster! What on earth had happened to him??? All day long the children and I invented all kinds of stories about why and how Sock Monster's gift had come to be soaking wet. I meant to ask my husband if he had heard any unusual sounds in the night, or seen anything strange on his way into bed the evening before. But, my day got ahead of me and I forgot to ask him when we chatted quickly on the phone mid-day.

When my husband came home from work we discussed dinner and then he went upstairs to change clothes. By now, I had completely forgotten poor Sock Monster! As my husband returned to the kitchen he shyly said to me, "So...did you see my wet socks in the sink this morning?" I quickly looked at him and said, "Yes! We did! All day long we wondered what in the world had happened. We thought perhaps Sock Monster had actually drowned....or something!"

The story he told me was this: You may recall that I had posted that we are trying funny new ways of being green. One of them is to put an empty bucket in the shower to catch the water in as the shower water heats up. When the water is hot, we take the bucket out and then proceed with the shower. The collected water then is used to water a few plants. My dashingly handsome husband had done this for his morning ritual Wednesday. After he had gotten dressed, he put his socks in his pants pocket--the front one--and then picked up the bucket and gone on with the bucket down to the kitchen. As he opened the door to the deck to set the bucket out for me to water the plants later.....his socks fell right into the bucket with a sad little plop.

So, now we knew how Sock Monster's gift had gotten ruined. I must say that we had come up with better stories. I certainly hope that the poor Sock Monster is not so embarrassed by this one ruined gift that he doesn't leave me more gifts later!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday Morning

So, if I call this post "Tuesday Morning" that means that when I'm behind this week, say like by Thursday, my blog will be as behind as I am. Soo....I suppose I should not leave the title as "Tuesday Morning". But, maybe it's a good challenge to see if I can keep up. Hmm...we'll see.

This morning I'm going to a class called, "Moving On After Moving In". It's a study group based on the book by Susan Miller, "After the Boxes are Unpacked". It's all about how to transition well after moving to a new community. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is moving. I have moved 5 times, so I know a lot already about how to make a move work for my family. However, the insight that Susan offers is just wonderful. Not only does she have practical hints she also offers support to you as you read her book.

We had a great weekend, celebrated DH's birthday. We went on a short trip to a State Historic Park, called Marshall Gold Discovery. It was the location of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill by John Marshall. The park was lovely, had a lot of cool buildings and historic stuff. I had my camera....but I had the wrong lense!!! I didn't take many pics at all. I was sad.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back To School

We started back to school here yesterday. I think everyone was actually excited to get going again. DS is now a Freshman while DD is a fifth grader. I am looking forward to new things this year, especially as we journey the High School road.
One of the new things we are doing this year is taking 30 minutes each school day to do some guided journaling. I thought I'd play along with my students so that I would have something to share on my blog.
For today's assignment we are supposed to write a letter to a person from History who is no longer alive. We had fun talking about who we thought would be worth a letter. We also talked about using a person who was truly historical, or just someone we had known who had died. DD said she was going to write to Jesus; then said, "But, you know, He's not really dead." DS is writing to Thomas Jefferson. I'm writing to my Grandma Gladys.

Dear Grandma G,
How are you anyway!? What is it like in Heaven? Were you glad when grandpa finally joined you? I'm guessing that you are enjoying lots of fun things in heaven, like eating homemade bread and custard whenever you want it, or singing just like an angel! Then there is the constant Holy presence of God and His son, Jesus. That must be awesomely amazing! Someday I'll be there too.
For now, I thought you might be interested to know that since you've been gone, I've gotten old myself! Last year was my big 4 OH birthday. It was a big celebration in Liberty with many friends, good food and fabulous music, all arranged by my wonderful husband of 17 years. I felt like a movie star that night. This year I've just added a one to my sort of felt anti-climactic after last year. I keep plugging away every day.
Your great-grandson just turned 14 last weekend. See, I told you I've gotten old! I was 13 when you left, which was just surely I don't really have a 14 year old myself! Ah, but I do. You also have a soon to be 10 year old grand-daughter. Both of them are kids to be proud of. Not only do they do their best in school and other things, they both love the Lord and have asked Him to be their Lord and Savior. They are really good friends to each other as well.
I "retired" from teaching Public Speaking when I turned 30, and have been a stay-at-home mom since then. It is the most rewarding job ever! Really! Each day we have school at home, learning new things together. What a joy.
Speaking of school at home, it is time for me to wrap this up so that I can get back to teaching. Before I go I wanted to let you know how much I love you. You were always there to listen to me when I needed to be heard. I loved playing games with you even if you tried to bend the rules a little bit just for fun! Thank you for helping me become the woman I am today. Thanks too for all the things you taught my mom who also helped me become me!
Love you!! Give all the people up there that I know a really big hug and tell them I love them and look forward to one day joining in the singing with them.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Saturday was my son's 14th birthday. I can hardly believe that I'm old enough to have a child that old! There is no sense in moaning about it because time will continue on, no matter what I have to say about it.
We had a fun day of celebration that we let the birthday boy plan. We began the day with a trip to the Oakland Zoo. This zoo is not very big at all, so none of us had high expectations. Before we left for the zoo, we went to Whole Foods to the deli counter and picked out what yummy sandwiches we would eat for a picnic lunch at the zoo. As we were paying for our sandwiches, the checker asked us which zoo were were going to, Oakland or San Fran. He said that he thought each had their own good points. According to him, Oakland is more intimate because it is smaller, but they have less programming than San Fran. Then he said, "Well, at least no one has died at Oakland!" Last year three boys were attacked by a tiger because they were taunting it. It was very tragic, two of the boys died, the tiger had to be put down. So sad for so many reasons. I will admit that was one reason that I had chosen the Oakland Zoo over San Fran!
I digress...the Oakland Zoo was really nice. We got there at about 9:30am and had prime shade parking. As we walked into the zoo, we were greeted by the strangest noises. They sounded as though someone were screaming a sort of melodious scream for no reason...unless they were insane! As we followed our ears, we came to the "Howler Monkeys" also known as Gibbons. Oh, my, goodness!! They were loud and so hilarious. It was mesmerizing. I have never heard or seen anything like that in all the zoos I have ever been too. I think we must have stood there laughing at them for 15 minutes. DJ didn't really like them, so I didn't take a picture. What was funny about this, to me anyway, was this sign that the zoo had posted on the sidewalks: "Quiet Please. Our Monkeys are highly sensitive to loud noises. Please use your quiet voices!" What??!! Across the way from these guys were the White Handed Gibbons who were also making noise, but not quite as loud.
My next favorite thing that we saw was a big exhibit of fruit bats. Weird, I know. However, I have never seen a bat in the daylight...let alone 19 of them at once all hanging upside down and folded in to their six foot expanse wings! It was so cool. When they moved around, they used the hook like claw that is in their wing. As I watched a few of them moving, I thought they looked just like Captain Hook! Interestingly, there was a banana palm plant in the exhibit. It has big fan like leaves that are colored slightly green with red veins all over them which makes the leaves look rather more red than green. When the bast opened their wings and the sun shone through, the wings looked just like the coloring of the banana palm leaves. So cool! I already said "cool", didn't I?
We finished the zoo around 1pm and headed out to have a picnic. By now the parking lot was packed, people were even circling looking for a parking spot. We found a nice shady spot on the park grounds which surrounded the zoo. Then we came home and took little naps.
For dinner, we went to the Cheesecake Factory and celebrated in grand style. It was a wonderful day.