Monthly Archives: July 2008

Aunt S

My husband has this aunt. Good old Aunt S, we'll call her. I love Aunt S. If it weren't for her, nothing would ever get done. I have actually invited her to events precisely because she is such a take charge type of person–she keeps everyone in line, and everything on track. I like that–then I don't have to stand up there and clap my hands and say, "Everyone, look at me, Iisten to me, do what I say." I'm happy to be a drone,you know?

So yesterday, Aunt S had invited everyone over for some races and games in her field before our traditional fourth of July dinner/reunion. I was one of the first people on site, so I walk over to the garage. Aunt S has an armload of clipboards and a sack of balls over her shoulder and she is picking up a five gallon bucket full of more equiptment. She's a strong little lady–no doubt. Probably close to 70, but strong. I would never dispute that. But hey, my hands are empty, so I say, "You want me to get that?"

"Oh, no," she says. "I'm probably in better shape than you are."

"Aunt S!" I say, "I think I'm going to have to arm wrestle you for that!"

"Oh, you might win," she says, as she starts off down to the pasture, "But you kind of walk with a limp, you know."


Random thoughts from the old people.

So later, we've all laughed about this. I think it's pretty funny. (Although I have to admit that if she hadn't said that, I probably wouldn't have run in the footrace.) We've been making cracks all day about my having misplaced my wheelchair, etc. And is she getting senile? But we don't really think so–it was just some weird thing she said, right? So I'm sitting on the front steps with my sister-in-laws M and K, and she comes up. "M!!" she says, all concern. "My goodness. You're almost bald! Has your hair always been that thin?" Might I mention that M has really been struggling with this. She has done everything she can to minimize the problem, to look nice inspite of it.

More random comments from Aunt S.

If it weren't so funny, it would be sad or terrifying. She seems to be entirely coherent. Except for these comments–so either she isn't all there, or she's just . . . developed a really rude streak? 

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Weapons of Mass . . . wetness?

Okay, so now that I have the cynicism out of my system.

For Family Night we had a little water game.


Separated them into teams of three each, with a hose down the lawn between them. Two, five-gallon buckets on the porch full of water. A ladder set up on each side of the yard with a tissue wrapped target hanging from them.

Objective: Destroy the other team's target without crossing the center line.



Mom and Dad lay on the grass and watched.

In a word: Hilarious.

Next time we'll have to buy eight guns, and join in. Pretty cheap entertainment for a summer evening at a dollar a gun. They all broke by the next morning, so my green conscience could be blackened, but C'est la Vie, eh?


This is my favorite picture. The ten year old totally thinks he's got someone in his sights, and has no clue that his little brother has come up from behind. See the buckets? When we started, Marty put the buckets on the porch; team one immediately took the time to carry the bucket down the hill to the center of their field. Team two, on the other hand, left theirs where it was. They kept running back up the hill to refill on the porch, until it finally registered that they were at a distinct disadvantage.

They had the targets down in about two minutes, at which point it became a complete free-for-all. The funniest was when they all ran out at the same time and attempted to refill at the same bucket. As you can see in the next sequence, it wasn't an easy thing to refill, and stay dry.


I'm not really sure why only two kids dressed for the occasion–maybe the older ones thought they wouldn't get wet?


At some point, they realized that you could get your opponent a lot wetter, a lot faster, if you just picked up the entire bucket:





My five year old finally discovered that he could duck down behind the weeds next door and shoot his siblings from hiding!

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I’m not sure what all’s wrong with this country, but I’m pretty sure it works at the Courthouse.

Today Marty and I went to apply for passports at the Law and Justice building. Just tucked back into the cozy little neighborhood of brick homes and picket fences, this courthouse and razor wire topped compound. Bizarre.

Not as bizzarre as the conversation I had with the clerk. As soon as I had it, I envisioned relating here, on this blog. And then I felt guilty, because I'm always mocking someone, or some institution, at any rate. But it just beggggggs for blogging.

I hand the lady our completed applications.

Government Employee: Are you applying for the passport book or the passport card?

(I hadn't checked the box, because I didn't know what the difference was. I've never heard of a passport card.)

Me: Umm, what's the difference?

Government Employee:  The applicant's preference, Ma'am.

Me: Really? That's the only difference?

Government Employee: With the card you can only get into four countries, and only by land or sea.

Me: So why would I want that?

Government Employee: Applicant's preference, Ma'am.

Me: So there is no advantage to applying for the card, whatsoever?

Government Employee: Applicant's preference, Ma'am.  Passport Book is your best form of identification. (She's getting bored of explaining this to me, but I don't get it, why would they offer this option?)

Me: Is it cheaper?

Government Employee: Yes, Ma'am.

(Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. I'm envisioning my six kids and the fact that I can't afford passports to get them all home to Canada, at this point. So yes! There is a difference! Yes! There are advantages.)

Me: So I could get the cards for my kids and we could drive across the border into Canada?

Government Employee: Yes Ma'am. Only we don't offer cards at this time. The system isn't set up to accept or process them yet.  Quite honestly, they may never be available.

Me: Oh. Okay.

We stand there, staring at each other for a few moments. She has her pen poised over the little boxes still, where I was supposed to mark for passport book or passport card.

Government Employee: Ma'am? Can we continue? 

Me: (Flustered, feeling guilty for asking what? Were my questions that assinine?) Uh, yeah, sure. Go ahead.

Government Employee: So did you want to apply for the passport book or the card?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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