Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The New Poor

Growing up without being able to take the easy life for granted is a good thing. It builds character, increases gratitude, and forms a strong work ethic. If you want it, you've got to work and save for it. I remember one occasion as a child, I tried repeatedly to give Mom back a quarter she'd given me to spend. I'd overheard (ok, I admit it - as a child I "overheard" lots of things) her talking about how tight money was, and couldn't bear to squander such a large chunk of the family budget.

There's no denying it's affected both of us, though in different ways. By the time he was an adult, Jack loathed chicken, after several lean stretches meant chicken served morning, noon, and night, in every conceivable way, shape, or form. Fortunately he became a vegetarian, so that's not an issue for him any more. And his moratorium on poultry fortunately didn't extend to soy chicken. We don't like to spend money, and don't habitually carry much cash. I'm doing good to have $2 in cash on me, and tend to deal mostly in coins. Jack isn't quite as bad, and usually has $5-10 on hand.

Last night, Devon the Incorrigible Snoop picked up Jack's wallet and began idly looking through it. When he came to the cash pocket, it was empty except for a receipt. His jaw dropped and his eyes bulged. "Mom! There are no dollars in here!"

His face fell, and his brow furrowed. Sadly he asked, "Are we really this poor?"

Of course I didn't want the little fella to worry, so I made sure Jack left with some money in his pocket.

Hey, $2 is better than no dollars.

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Happy Joy Picnic

Today was Devon's ninth birthday, thanks to his guardian angel. Who would have pictured this day nine years ago yesterday, as I reached over and held onto Jack as we prepared to go to the hospital. Grandma, a little confused, asked Mom, "Doesn't Tina mind that Noni is leaning on her husband?" Mom wasn't much help. "Noni IS leaning on her husband." Ah, pronouns.

He missed being a Valentine baby by less than a half-hour. At first I was miffed, since my labour had stalled out just long enough to put his birth after midnight on the fifteenth. Now I'm very happy, since all kinds of stuff is on sale. Cheap presents, cheap wrapping paper, cheap decorations...it all delights my cheap little heart.

Thus I made a quick trip into town this morning, took in the bargains, and hurried home to prepare for the Happy Joy Picnic. that Tina had thought up. The setting was beautiful, a secluded little park frequented by birds and deer. During the migrations, this park is a focal attraction for birders from around the world.

The sun was shining, the air crisp and clear. It was the perfect day for a picnic.

The play area is charming, with baby swings, teeter totters, and other attractions suitable for children of various ages.

We sipped our juice,

devoured our succulent fruit,

and enjoyed delicately cut finger sandwiches.

The kids had great fun frolicking on the playground, much of it vintage. Merry-go-rounds have been nearly done away with in California, largely thanks to the efforts of catastrophic children like Devon.

And finally, the children took turn warming their hands around the fire.

It was the most wonderful Happy Joy Picnic you could imagine, and we're already making plans for next year. Tina is prominently featured, of course, and there have also been a few requests for S'mores. It may take a little longer to roast them over candles, but such is life in the chilly northland.

Happy birthday, Devon!

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth

Friday, February 5, 2010

Helpful Hints from the Northland

When you have a person,
especially a child,
most especially a Devon,
who is prone to frostbite,
keep all sensitive areas well covered.

Not much we can do about the teeth.

Update from the Technologically Unsavvy

Several major events have taken place since the last blog, as well as some earth-shaking photos. Well, you'll just have to wait for the photos. I figured out how to get them on here, but now Mozilla and Exploder are both acting up and won't upload. I just tried to uninstall and re-install Mozilla, and it may even turn out to have worked, later, but for now I can't even open Firefox. Great, it's even worse than it was a few minutes ago.
One major event is the kids started school here, their first time in a non-SDA school. You'll be glad to know that I've finally trained them to just call it "school", instead of "PUBLICschool". Used as in, "My mom sent all of us to PUBLICschool." Or, "Mom, it's not 20 below zero today. May I walk to PUBLICschool?"
Now that I have so much time freed up every day, I've been too busy to sit down. So much cleaning and unpacking had stacked up, it was unreal. Of course that's just a figure of speech, since it was actually real. Very, very real. I've made such good progress, though, and am looking forward to catching up on my poor, neglected blog. I mean, I haven't even gotten the photos of Taco Bell on here! That gives you some idea how long the internet's been acting up. Only 13 more days and we go back again, not that anybody's counting.
I'd better get to bed, since I'm typing more words backwards than forwards. I'll leave you with the immortal words of Tina, in her retort to my complaint that her blog has no pictures. "Oh yeah? Well your pictures have no blog!"
Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth