Monthly Archives: July 2011


This morning I walked past the front door with a load of laundry, which I dropped to grab the camera.

Here’s why:

ATV mechanic

He tells me he was ‘checking it out.’ I can only assume he felt it necessary to inspect his machine after running it down the patio steps and overturning it on a too-sleep slope, both of which he did last week.

Oh, see those wheel tracks in the foreground? Those are the ruts he laid down last week while running that machine ‘round and ‘round the front yard. The grass can’t recover because it’s so dry. People must drive past this house and wonder who lives here and why the occupants don’t take better care of their shit. Good thing we don’t live in Ladue, we’d be on speed dial of the HOA president.

Well, at least he wears a helmet.

Blackberries and Peaches.

Ethan and I decided that today, one of the hottest days of the  year, was the very best day to go pick peaches.

We crossed the big river into Illinois and visited Braeutigam Orchards. Yes, I always have to look up how to spell that.

We really liked it. Very different from That Other Orchard Up The Road.

I didn’t get  a single solitary photo of Ethan picking peaches because, well, most of that was left to me. The ripe ones were up pretty high and by the time we got out there to the orchard it had to be 90 degrees. This was at 9 a.m. and the sweat was rolling. As you might have guessed, I was in a hurry to get out of there.


Hot as it was, we couldn’t resist stopping by the blackberry patch, too.


Ethan’s main concern was hitting the kiddie play area, so not only were we rushing around because of the heat, but we had to get done, GET DONE, so he could play. We didn’t linger.

finally looking at the camera!Goatskiddie tractorstill looking at the camera!

But we’ll be back.

A Momentous Occasion.

Last night Ethan lost his first tooth after worrying it for several minutes as we watched, captivated.

Like any kid, he didn’t want to do the ‘final deed’ and pull it out, so I finally convinced him to let me do it even though it gives me the heebie-jeebies. All it took was a paper towel to get a grip on it, and voila! It didn’t even hurt.

The Tooth

Look, Ma! No cavities!

This is a bittersweet rite of passage for me, because I remember when he first got that tooth.  But I hid my heartache and reveled in a little boy’s joy at something very, very big.


Yes, the Tooth Fairy came, and yes, she left him a whopping $5, which according to the research* Greg did, is the going rate for first teeth these days. It’s a good thing the Tooth Fairy didn’t short him, because if she did she’d have to deal with me.


*Yes, research, as in bar graphs based on voter response when asked. Can you believe the Internet these days? And the things people will look for on it?

July 2011.

For a time I considered putting this blog on hiatus for the entirety of Laurel’s stay at the Joseph Baldwin Academy. My line of thinking was that I didn’t want her to read what we were doing and then feel like she was missing out, thereby causing a big homesickness calamity.

But as it turns out, she doesn’t really care.

The word on the street is that she’s having a great time and is staying busy. That’s good. We don’t want her to be homesick. Plus, she beat a boy in a foot race, so rock on, Laurel!!

And that’s why we’re soldiering on here at The Boneblog. A quick synopsis of our July so far (after the 4th, that is – I didn’t take any photos that day because I am a bad blogger):

First, we dropped Laurel off at JBA in Kirksville. We went up the night before and camped at Thousand Hills State Park. It was all Laurel could do to wait until it was actually TIME TO GO to the dorms in the morning, but to her credit she was patient enough with her brother to sit next to him for breakfast.

breakfast at camp before JBA

We got her installed at camp and then returned to our camp and decided to rent a pontoon boat. We did, we swam around the lake for a couple of hours, and I was so worn out I could hardly move. Being on a lake does that I guess.

All our pullets but one are laying now. We are averaging about three eggs each day, much to our delight, even if the latest pullet to lay is laying the skinniest, pointiest little eggs you ever saw. I figure she’ll grow into them. If not, well, I guess some of our eggs will look like mini Goodyear Blimps. Our Easter Eggers are both laying, and Elvira (named for her black and orange plumage) is laying far bigger eggs than she did even one week ago. Observe:

last week vs this week

Ethan and I spent some time at Mastodon State Historic Site last week, hiking around. We hiked about two miles in the sweltering heat before we dragged ourselves back to the truck. This heat, I should mention, was actually on the coolest day of the week – a mild 87 plopped square in the middle of several 99s (though I have to say the humidity was awful and the heat index was around 100). But it was worth it, because at the end of the hike we got to watch a couple of fawns, still covered in spots.

mastodon hike


And today I took Ethan for a desperately-needed haircut. The kid looked like he was walking around in a blonde motorcycle helmet from the 70s. Seriously. He looked just like Ponch, only he’s not Hispanic. And doesn’t work for the California Highway Patrol. And his helmet was one of hair. So maybe he didn’t look like Ponch, but Ponch was cool and deserves a shout-out here anyway.

But now! Now he looks like he has some style. Just look how happy he is with his new cut!

ethan's haircut

Okay, maybe it’s the gargantuan lollipop in his mouth that’s making him smile like that. I’m going with the haircut, though.

Higher Math.

I made one of my all-too-frequent mistakes the other day.

Ethan is in a half-day camp this week, and I could have sworn it was from 9-12 each morning. Hell, I even thought I had double-checked it.

With Monday being a holiday, he started on Tuesday. The short week was by design – he doesn’t have the best track record of behavior when he’s away from home. Most teachers don’t seem to possess my flair for hard-nosed drill sergeantry. That probably says more about me than about them, but I figured a four-day week meant less risk of receiving a phone call informing me that I am an awful parent because my son is incorrigible.

Okay, to be fair, nobody has actually ever said that, and were they to do so, they might leave the area relieved of their dignity if not a tooth or two, but look – any parent knows that’s what it feels like they’re saying when you get The Call.

But I digress.

Back to my mistake. I was wrong. His camp was actually 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., and of course I didn’t figure this out until we showed up there. Ha ha, egg on my face, super duper awesome. Oh, well. I told him we would just have to go back home and come back after lunch, and to his credit he took it very well.

Here’s what redeemed the whole thing on the way home:

Ethan: “How long until we get to come back?”

Me:  “Four hours.” (bracing myself for Meltdown 2011)

Ethan: “Four hours? Oh, well, that means we can go someplace that takes an hour to get there, stay there for two hours, and then drive back. Then it will be time to go to camp.”

Me: (blink)

Really, I didn’t know what to say. I was just so grateful he understood that concept. I think I stuttered something about how awesome he was to understand math that way and that it would serve him well in the future, I liked the way he thought, and all that malarkey.


By the way, we just finished day 3 of camp and although I have been on pins and needles each and every day waiting for The Call, guess what? No phone calls! He’s having a great time, making volcanoes and Flubber, tie-dyeing shirts and playing with magnets, and tomorrow?

Tomorrow he gets to make ICE CREAM.

The success this week has brought almost – almost – makes me dread his Kindergarten entry a little less.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Our First Egg!

This morning the chickens were acting funny. Laurel reported that they were acting weird when she was picking up trash from our fireworks. A little while later I went outside and heard a clucking I hadn’t heard before.

So I sent the kids down to see what was going on, and one of the girls was sitting in the nest. So I went down to lend my opinion to the situation, and sure enough, that hen looked like she was laying.

Fifteen minutes later I checked again and found this beautiful, perfect, little pink gem:

our first egg

I’m not sure who feels more pride – us or the chicken. Either way, I’m pretty sure that puppy’s going to get boiled and set lovingly atop a chef salad tonight. Don’t tell the girls, but I think that chef salad will include some grilled chicken.

She Might Find Jesus Tonight.

Laurel:  “How come I have to clean my room?”

Me: “Because it’s a good habit. Cleanliness is next to godliness, they say.”

Greg: “And you don’t believe in god, so that pushes cleanliness to the top of your list.”