We’re expecting company. Now, where are all the forks?

I’d really like to know.  Where are all the forks?

All the dishes were washed.  And yet, I only had five decent forks.  Oh, sure, reject forks abound, but what happened to the normal forks?

What?  You don’t have reject forks?  We have a drawer full of reject silverware.  This is cheap silverware left in the house by the previous owners.  I bagged up most of it but somehow, for reasons that are no longer clear to me, I left a sizable collection of random, cheap silverware in the silverware drawer, next to the matching silverware.

I will not use a reject fork, but my kids have no such qualms.  Listen, I have standards.  I will not scoop food into my mouth with a weird fork.

Possibly, I have “issues.”

Anyway, tonight I finished washing dishes and discovered a grand total of five normal forks.  This was a problem because I was expecting ten people at dinner–six are my own clan, so that’s really only four extra people.  Still.  Not enough decent forks.

I sent the children on a search for forks.  Two more forks showed up.

So, we used some of the small normal forks to supplement the regular normal forks.

But I’d really like to know.  Where are all the forks?  Did I ever have more than six in the first place?

And furthermore, did the dish run away with the spoon?



We’re expecting company. Now, where are all the forks?


My husband got word that a dear woman from our previous church died over the weekend.  She’s flown down to San Diego at the very end of September and we spent an afternoon and evening with her and her family who had joined her on a final vacation.  We were included in this precious family time because my husband was her favorite pastor and she’d asked him to perform the funeral.

I hadn’t seen her for years and to see her in a wheelchair with an oxygen tube was jarring, especially when contrasted with her cheerful demeanor.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been with someone as peaceful and joyous in the face of impending death.  It was hard to even believe that she was dying.

(Then again, we are all dying, aren’t we?  We just don’t usually notice because we do so in such small increments.  We don’t have to acknowledge this unavoidable fact.)

I come to a full stop here, unsure of where I was going with this blog post.  What more is there to say when you talk about someone passing from this life to the next?  Do I really plan to prattle on about the week’s plan, about how my husband will be flying to Seattle for the funeral?

I just can’t.

Instead, I will carry the awareness of the shortness of life with me into the coming week as I think about our friend’s family and whisper prayers for peace and strength and comfort for them.


Soccer Saturday

Today was the last game of our regular soccer season.  (And when I say “our,” I mean my 11-year old daughter’s soccer team.)

Our opponent was a team that beat us earlier in the season (score 2-1).  As a matter of fact, the team was undefeated all season.

So, my daughter was determined that not only would she score her second goal of the season, but her team would also beat this opponent.

From a parental standpoint, watching soccer games every Saturday since September has been pleasant.  The weather is almost-always gorgeous here and even if it’s a little warm, sitting under an umbrella while feeling the sun warm the tops of my feet is not a bad way to pass time.  Oh!  And watching our team of girls improve and have a winning season has been a thrill, too.

Unfortunately, our team did not win today, but the score was only 1-0.  The other team made a goal which our coach questioned (our goalie had her hand on the ball and a player on the opposing team kicked it out of her hand which is against the rules).  We did not score at all.

And so, we lost a hard-fought game.  (But it was sunny and about seventy degrees.  Perfect.  Delightful.  Lovely.)

As we walked down the sideline afterward, I wanted to mumble mean things under my breath at the opponents.  I felt disappointed and annoyed and frustrated that things did not go our way.

But I’m a grown-up.  I didn’t say anything, just passed by lugging my chair and umbrella.

My daughter joined me and we headed to the car.

She said, “That was so unfair!  That goal was not even a goal!”  And then she said things like, “I’m so mad!  I want to punch them in the face!”

And, of course, I told her that she shouldn’t say such things, that they played a good game and should be proud of the effort and sometimes things just don’t go our way and besides, they should have made goals.  Pretty much it sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher, I’m sure.

Anyway, I thought maybe that’s one difference between being 11-years old and being 48-years old.  She expresses those ugly feelings and I suppress them. (At least she expresses them privately only to me!)

Another difference?  I spent my afternoon napping while she spent it not napping.

Soccer Saturday

Short and sweet

Today I decided to take the afternoon off.  I imagined a nap and some reading.  Instead, I found myself renting a Rug Doctor and cleaning my carpets.

It’s likely I wouldn’t have done that if I’d given myself much advance warning.  Sometimes you just have to spring these things upon yourself.  Sometimes dog vomit makes these things happen.

In other news, it was windy and cloudy and about twenty degrees cooler today than yesterday.  I quite enjoyed it, even the few sprinkles of rain.

I would dredge up something more to talk about except that I am falling asleep at the keyboard.

(Also?  I can’t believe we are halfway through November already.  Why does time speed up so much when you get older?)


Short and sweet

Wait, what season is it?

This photo is from last year at about this time.  My daughter indulges my obsession with jumping silhouette pictures, fortunately.  I hope she never outgrows the willingness to leap for the camera.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have a hard time feeling like Thanksgiving is approaching. The weather here goes from sometimes-hot in the summer to occasionally still-hot in the fall.  It’s hard to know what season it is.

The main difference in seasons as far as I can tell is the time of the sunset.  These days, the sun sets at about 5 PM and it’s all but impossible to get myself down to the beach to watch it.

That, my friends, is southern California autumn.

To be fair, the nights do get cooler and sooner or later, the days might be chilly, but in general, this is such a mild climate.  We all pretend to need a sweater from time to time, but those times are rare.

Anyway, I put out some pumpkin decorations and soon I’ll put up snowmen decorations and a Christmas tree in an effort to make it feel like the winter holidays.

Honestly?  It’s strange.

But strange in the nicest way you can imagine.

(For those keeping score at home, I’ve been living in southern California for two and almost-a-half years.  And not once have I missed having wet feet from stepping into a puddle. I have not missed watching soccer games while huddled under an umbrella that didn’t keep all the rain off anyway.  I have not missed gray days stretched out for as far as the eye can see.)

Wait, what season is it?

The reason for the furry tumbleweeds

Almost two years ago, this puppy came into our family.

We had a choice between another puppy and this one–and someone in our family chose this one–the “feisty one” because that sounded like more fun for the kids.  (That someone was not me because my ideal dog is kind of like a bear rug that just lies on the floor by the fireplace, not moving.)

So, Lola the Dog has been wreaking havoc ever since.

She ate a bunch of ibuprofen once, for instance, and ended up in the specialty hospital for three nights.  That hospital charged us by the hour.

She’s eaten shoes that do not even belong to our family.

She steals food from the kitchen counters.  She cannot resist butter and has more than once eaten a bag of tortillas.  She gnaws on my kitchen utensils and has left toothmarks on my Tupperware measuring cups.

Lola the Dog is smart but unless you have a treat in your hand, she may or may not cooperate. Lately, if she wants to cross the street and walk on the other side, she will just stop and look at me until I say, “Do you want to cross?” and then, if I head across the street, she’ll happily follow.  Otherwise, no go.

I kind of remember the days before this dog with longing . . . you would, too, if you saw how much she sheds.  I wonder why we complicated our lives with a feisty dog who eats stuff that is not edible.

She is a dog who cannot contain her joy when we return after even two minutes away from the house.   She sprawls under my desk while I work.  She barks her fool head off when we get a delivery.

When she comes to my chair and I try to pet her, she reaches up and holds my hands with her paws.

She’s a pain.  She leaves her toys everywhere.  She slobbers on me.  She keeps digging random holes in the lawn.

But she is a big fan of everyone who lives in our house . . . and of everyone she’s ever met.  (She is more hesitant about The Cats.)

If only she could do laundry.

The reason for the furry tumbleweeds

Cat’s in the cradle

Some years ago, a friend stopped by for an unannounced visit.

With some horror, I gave her directions to our  upstairs bathroom, not knowing what condition she’d find it in.  After all, with three small boys, you never know if you’ll see a sink full of dried toothpaste, an unflushed toilet or worse.   (Much, much worse.)

She came out of the bathroom saying, “Oh, I remember when we had Power Rangers in the bathtub!”  Her boy was ten years older than my oldest boys.  Those days were long gone for her.

I think of that sometimes, especially when my daughter uses the big master bathroom tub and leaves her little family of animals perched on the edge.

These days don’t last forever.


Cat’s in the cradle