Thursday, April 15, 2010

Auspicious Beginning...


Note: please rest assured that this blog post will contain no photos or other objectionable material. Well, no photos anyway.

At 5:45 am, my day got off to a raring start of the wrong sort.


That stupid Mr. Clancy-pants barfed a giant pile of Ol' Roy Gravy Chunks all over my bedroom floor. Red-eyed and bushy-haired, I retched and heaved my way through the cleanup. Only the day before, he'd had diarrhea all over Tiggy's room, and how grateful I was that I didn't have to clean it up myself. Now it was my turn. Erp.

By the time I finished, it was time to wake Damon and Tiggy up to get ready for the festival. As I walked through the living room to call them, I saw that Clancy had also thrown up on the carpet. Twice. "Damon!" I hollered up the stairs, "Hurry and get down here - I need your help. Clancy's been puking."

Just then, Clancy started hacking at the front door. "Damon!!! Damondamondamondamondamon!!!!!!!!! He's going again - huurrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!" Sigh. "Take your time."

He hurried anyway, and there was a sudden bellow. (Hmmm, a lot of that going around.) "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" [insert wordless growl/roar] "THE NEXT TIME YOU CALL ME TO COME CLEAN UP PUKE, TURN THE STAIR LIGHT ON FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

All good humor instantly restored at the thought of his cute little bare toes, I twinkled up at him, "Oh Honey, you're a big boy now, and you need to turn on your own light."

Step, squish, step, squish, step, squish.

He got his foot cleaned up again, and with about 20 minutes till the scheduled departure time, we found out that Clancy had also had diarrhea - again - all over Tiggy's room.

What followed was not pretty. As quickly as we could, and only a little behind schedule, we got Clancy chained up and us out the door.

After that, festival could hardly help being anticlimactic. No one spewed anything at all, and the performances were very nice. The choir judge worked with the young men first, talking about the differences between speaking and singing. "You don't dance like you walk," he quoted one of his old professors as saying, "so you also don't sing like you talk."

He had them work their voices higher and higher. "If you're flat, and I tell you to go higher, lift your hands up. Lean back if you have to. Raise your eyebrows." He pointed to one student with eye-level bangs. "I know he's got eyebrows under there somewhere."

The house still smelled offish when I got home, though I was nice enough to let Mr. Clancy in for a while to warm up. It's probably going to take several days to get it completely fresh in here. The kids have to sleep downstairs while we run a fan in the upstairs window to air things out. With a low of 25 predicted, it's just a little nippy to make even naughty children sleep up there.

Tomorrow is the last festival day, with solos and ensembles. The best are chosen to go to the state performances in Billings, come early May. If they go, I go. Woohoo! Come on, guys and gals; I'm rooting for ya!

I'm going to try very hard to get a good night's sleep tonight. No staying up late, no dreams of WWII-era behemoth dirigibles crashing into warehouses, and definitely no early morning ralphing.

May the next adventure not involve any bodily functions,
Noni Beth

PS We've been here too long - both boys just called soda "pop". *THUD*

Rumble on the Plains

It was indeed ambitious to schedule the spring music program for Tuesday night, two days before the Th/Fri high school music festival, but it worked. All the hardest practicing was done ahead of time, so now stress levels are much lower than they would have been.

And since I only played 14 songs this time, it was much easier for me, too.

Even the younger kids had their part. Have you ever seen Devon in a group of kids, clanging his finger cymbals and hollering, "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt"? No? Well, you've missed out.

For me, the highlight of the evening was watching the grade 6-12 band perform Rumble on the Plains. It sounded good, which is always a plus for a music program, but had the added benefit of getting to watch the percussion hijinks.

The band, for all that it had close to 40 kids in it, still didn't have enough percussionists to fill all the vital roles. So throughout the whole song, two and three students at a time would leave their instruments, go back and beat an extra percussion instrument for a bit, then go back to their seats in time to play their horn again. Up, down, up, down, like popcorn. Truly amazing.

Afterwards we had scrumdiddly-umtious desserts. I went through line twice and took some good-natured kidding. Oh well - I teased back whenever I wasn't too busy chewing.

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth


John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt...his name is my name, too...............

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Month of Sundays

Today has been sooooooo long, and it's not over yet. It's been one of those days where the kids (Devon) are bouncing off the walls, and no matter how hard I try to keep them (him) occupied, it just isn't enough.

Earlier, I was on the phone when Devon walked by drinking a can of orange soda (they call it pop here, but it's still soda to me). That alone would be plenty, since the last thing that little hummingbird needs is a large dose of straight nectar. What was odd is the can looked as if it had come through a hailstorm, and Devon was slurping the soda right out the side.

Sigh. Devon, what happened to that can of soda? "I opened it the old-fashioned way." What's the old-fashioned way? "Like at Leoni Meadows." Huh? "You take the can, and throw it up in the air. Again and again and again. Then you drink it through the hole." Double sigh. Stop dripping on the carpet, Devon. We'll finish talking about this soon.

He wasn't finished. While looking for the game controllers (hmmm, I wonder why he couldn't find them???) he ran across Jack's old pepper spray in the top drawer of his dad's dresser. "My this looks fascinating," he may have thought, if indeed he thought at all. "I wonder if it will spray if I hold it upside down and push this little.....oh, shoot."

The house quickly filled with minute, sneeze-inducing particles. I'll give him this; he did come immediately and tell me what he had done. However, then he went to try and neutralize the scent by spraying bottle after bottle of Febreze, Old Spice, and Axe. By the time he was done, no one could breathe and we had to leave the house open till we were nearly frozen. I'm still snuffling like an upagus.

Tomorrow they'll be back in school. It's looking like a really good day for some bon-bon therapy.

Until my nose clears,
Noni Beth

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Not Easter

The Superglue saga continues. Jack's computer keyboard is losing its keys, so it's very hard to type. The arrow keys I don't miss as much, but "S" and "E" are considerably harder to do without. I've tried to Superglue them back on, and it hasn't worked as well as I'd hoped. I have to press vry hard, and ven thn it don't alway go.

Anyway...we don't celebrate Easter as such, however we do buy a little candy on sale (remember how much I love clearance!) and hide it for the kids a day or two later. Nana, my grandmother, used to always hide little chocolate eggs, first for us (even when we were all in our teens), and then for the great-grandkids.

Today I got a bright idea that outdid even my usual cleverness, if I do say so mylf. Myself. The kids had trashed the living room, again!, and I had some candy to hide. Hmmmmmm. So I went all around the room, hiding eggs under everything I wanted taken care of.

The kids got home, listened eagerly to the rules, and immediately all my worst fears came true. When they finished their rampage, the room looked worse than when they started. Not out of resources, I confiscated the loot until the room was done. And of course it helped that there was one egg they hadn't been able to find, and I wouldn't give thm a hint till it was clean.

In the course of cleaning, the children were appalled to find a chocolate bunny, Sally Forth style. Heh heh, Mommy's just full of surprises!

And as they scrabbled around gobbling eggs, any number of marbles and Legos nearly went down the hatch, too. Wow, when I told them to clean up, I had no idea they would take me so literally. I expected to have to vacuum afterward.

A microwave Peep (blech) Tournament capped things off. Grandma never knew what she was missing.

Until the next adventure,
Noni Bth

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Eight Wheels Are Better than Four

We biked out into the country today. After my fabulous results yesterday - both boys asleep by 7pm without eating their supper - I was hoping to repeat the experiment with the same results.

It was gorgeous, and only about 2 miles each way. Good thing, since every muscle in my body is now aware (and complaining) that I haven't biked for quite some time. There were so many interesting things to see. Birds, a barn owl, wide vistas, and several hundred aluminum cans. If I'm too sore to ride again tomorrow, maybe I can totter along and pick some of them up. Maybe it will tire the kids out, too.

Today at church, Devon was telling everyone an interesting little story of the sort that every mother hates to hear. "So I had the Superglue..." *thud* "...and put it all over my hand." *I moan softly* "It felt hot on my hand..." *fan self weakly* "...especially as I shook it all over." *whimper and lose consciousness again* That explains the large quantity of glue he was picking off his hands last night. Superglue - who knew?

Anyhoo, my little experiment hasn't turned out quite the way I'd hoped. They aren't asleep yet, and I know that no matter how quickly they keel over, I'll pass out first.

Until the next adve

A Year in the Life of a Tree


I am learning that digital cameras weren't meant to function in subzero temperatures. Not my digital camera, anyway. It took the picture, but complained bitterly.


Tina and I both thought the tree would surely be covered in snow, right up to the tippy-top. Though plenty has fallen, it keeps blowing away.

Yes, I'm serious!

A little later in the day I took this one. And wow, the tree is still there!

It's been foggy some, freezing fog of course, but this day was sure a doozy. Driving along, about all you could see was the road for a little ways ahead, since everything on the sides was white, and the snow blended seamlessly into the fog.

MARCH 2010

Does this photo look familiar? I'm having such an odd sense of deja vu all over again.


The only time I had ever seen anything like this was in It Could Happen Tomorrow about the ice storm. You can imagine what the poor power lines looked like! We had more outages than you could shake an icicle at.

APRIL 2010

What a difference a month makes! Almost everything has melted, and things are just beginning to grow. The red-winged blackbirds just returned, and if their songs could show up in the picture, there would be so many you couldn't even see the tree.