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Archive for September, 2007

Sunday Post

little church on the road

“The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer.” — Oswald Chambers

Psalm 46:10

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Well, it’s happened again. Remember this, about how having LG in this particular Grrl Scawt troop makes me feel like I’m in the parenting twilight zone? Yea, still there. The details of transportation for all the scawts were discussed ad nauseum at the unofficial cookie meeting, a couple of weeks ago. Since LG and Roxy, the leader’s daughter, are on the same bus route, it was agreed that LG will just get off the bus at Roxy’s house (where the meeting is), about 1/2 mile away from our house. Emails have circulated since that time, all confirming how each scawt will get there, and each one had LG riding the bus home with Roxy.

So, first, it’s a miracle I even bothered to check. But I did. After LG had left for school, after I had given her instructions about what to do (go to Roxy’s house) and advised her that I did not plan on being home this afternoon, and just before I went out for the day.

What the hell? The (titular) leader completely changed the plans, giving me and my child no notice whatsoever, and apparently with no plans for giving that notice, other than her child telling my child what to do after school. And that “what to do” included getting off the bus at an empty house, and walking alone to the meeting, without my knowing any of that was happening. Am I in the freakin’ twilight zone? Am I lost in the ’50s (even though I wasn’t born in the ’50s)? I INSIST upon knowing where my 11-year-old is! And on being the one to decide when and under what circumstances she walks somewhere alone!

Here it is:

From: Susie Fairchild whatwasit@comcast.net
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To: Iminna Fogg i.fogg@gmail.com
Subject: GS Meeting today
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2007 8:53:50 AM

Hi, Iminna,
Just confirming, LG will get off the bus with Roxy today, right?

Thanks,
Susie

###

From: Iminna Fogg i.fogg@gmail.com
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To: Susie Fairchild whatwasit@comcast.net
Subject: RE: GS Meeting today
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2007 9:13:50 AM

Well, that was the plan. However, Roxy decided that she did not want to miss rock climbing after school, and will not be riding the bus home. I asked her to tell LG to go ahead and get off the bus at her own stop, and walk to our house. However, I’m not sure if LG will be comfortable walking to the meeting alone. So, don’t be surprised if she comes home first! If she does come home, would you like Amy to pick her up?

Sorry about the mix up. Children don’t always go along with our plans.

Iminna

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From: Susie Fairchild whatwasit@comcast.net
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To: Iminna Fogg i.fogg@gmail.com
Subject: RE: RE: GS Meeting today
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2007 9:30:50 AM

OK. Gee, I’m glad I asked! I had arranged to be at work this afternoon, expecting that LG was going home with Roxy. I’ll call school and get a message to LG to come home, I’ll arrange to be here, and I’ll bring her to the meeting. Thanks.

###

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“How was your work tonight?”

“Not good. I feel terrible. And my family won’t stop farting.”

“We’re not farting.”

“No, not you guys. My client family at work.”

“They . . . just fart? Do they apologize or . . . ”

“They laugh. They all fart and laugh.”

“Do you laugh?”

“No. I’m not amused. They say they want the kids to be well-behaved. Going in someone’s office and farting and laughing . . . I don’t call that good behavior.”

“Have you told them to stop?”

“No.”

“Well, you have to. It’s part of your job, isn’t it?”

“Yes. I know. It’s just that there’s so much other stuff going on, that we need to work on. And I’ve never had to confront an entire family about farting before. I’m not sure how to make people stop farting. I haven’t studied “fart cessation therapy” or “flatulence management.” How about you come in with me as a guest consultant, and you tell them?”

“You’re asking for my help at work?”

“Yea. I’m not in the mood. And I’m not sure how to bring up the subject . . . ”

“I would recommend throwing something at the next one who farts.”

“Yea. That’s what I’ll do.”

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Sunday Post

gateway in Jamestown

“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom.” — Marilyn Ferguson

Isaiah 41:13

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Pirate Biscuit
An encore photo presentation, in honor of “Talk Like a Pirate” Day


When I went to pick up LG from the Girl Scout meeting at a house in the neighborhood, I was mightily impressed by the family mutt there in the doorway. She lay right in front of the open door, facing out, as tweens ran and walked and zipped all around her. She “said” nothing, and barely moved, just occasionally cocked her head to one side, then the other, in a most adorable fashion. While marvelling at this dog’s composure, I thought of my own Very Bad Dog back home. If this had been at our house? Puh-leese. He would have been scratching and sniffing, barking and licking, head-butting and butt-heading, bouncing and pouncing. I wanted the Mom at this house to come over and Super Nanny the VBD for us. Now this, this is the kind of dog we needed.

While the Mom of the house and I chatted on the porch, waiting for the girls to get their cookie sales stuff in order, I said, “That is absolutely the most well-behaved dog I have ever seen.”

“Oh, thank you,” said the Mom of the house. “She’s blind and deaf.”

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Sunday Post

Karin' Barber Shop and Quality Meats

“The things Jesus did were of the most menial and commonplace order, and this is an indication that it takes all God’s power in me to do the most commonplace things in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels and dishes and sandals, all the ordinary sordid things of our lives, reveal more quickly than anything what we are made of.” — Oswald Chambers

Colossians 3:23

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Crotchety

An exchange with Nils on the previous post reminded me of an amusing parenting gaff from LG’s preschool years. We always used “proper” names for body parts, rather than euphemisms, with her. She could identify her own parts, nose to toes, and those parts that were other than her own, on illustrations of little naked boys in her toddler sex ed books (yes, they exist; I got ours at the Christian bookstore).

One day when she was four, she was on the floor playing with her dolls, I was scurrying around trying to get us on the road to somewhere or other, and the TV was on. There was a ubiquitous movie ad that came on, for “What Women Want,” with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. Mel could read women’s minds, somehow. In the clip shown, Mel asks Helen, “Did you just look at my crotch?”

While LG had learned the terms for specific body parts, we’d never had occasion to teach her the more generic “crotch.” It had never come up. So hearing this on TV, she tilts her adorable preschooler head quizzically and says, “What did he say? What was that lady looking at, of his?”

I don’t know why I didn’t just tell her. It was no big deal. But I was rushing around, and it didn’t come to me instantly how to concisely explain that “crotch” can refer to both genders, both as a region of the body, or as an area on an article of clothing, blah blah. So I lied. I said, “I think he said she was looking at his . . . watch.”

LG continued arranging her dollies on the floor and said, “Hmm. That’s funny, I thought she was looking at his penis.”

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Pop Nostalgia

I’ve always been a big TV fan. I even studied TV in college — the history, the cultural implications, production, direction, etc. Love it. And I’ve passed that love on to my kid. I didn’t let her watch as a baby, and I’ve always monitored her viewing closely, but I knew, when she was in second grade and we had this exchange, that she probably watched too much:

Susie: OK, what time is it when the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 8?

LG: Eight, seven Central.

I still love TV. And so does my kid. But lately I’ve found myself longing for the days of Andy Griffith and I Love Lucy. The Waltons. Bonanza. I remember when . . .

  • No one said “penis” on a cartoon at 8:01 p.m. Or any other time. But definitely not at 8:01.
  • I had the opportunity to learn about erections before I learned about erectile dysfunction. There’s just a certain order in which things should be presented, I think.
  • I never saw Laurie Partridge/Susan Dey’s crotch with a black bar over it. The girls I read about in Tiger Beat wore panties when they got in and out of cars. At least as far as I knew.
  • Kristy McNichol didn’t send her boyfriend nude pictures. Or, again, if she did, I didn’t know about it.

::tangent:: First, I will proclaim, “I am not a prude.” Then I will prudicate: I don’t mind that the High School Musical star sends nekkid pictures to her boyfriend. She’s (technically) an adult, and that’s her business. I wish my kid and her friends didn’t know about that, though. And it’s not even the nekkid pictures. It’s the sending them on the internet. For the love of Walt Disney, if you are THE role model, movie idol, pin-up for preteen and younger girls, please hand-deliver your nekkid photographs. I haven’t gotten around to talking to my daughter about nude photographs of herself, and their proper handling. I guess I was saving that for age 12. But I have told her, repeatedly, “Don’t send anything on the internet that you don’t want the whole world to see.” You’re not helping, Vanessa, dear. ::end tangent::

  • I never heard anyone’s weight mentioned when I was a little girl. No one’s. Now, you can’t go an hour, if you have the TV on, without hearing about someone’s weight, or a diet aid, or bariatric surgery. And this week, there was Britney. I saw snippets of the VMA performance. It was sad for many reasons. And yes, by pop-star standards, and by today’s (although not yesterday’s) standards of what one should look like before one appears on TV in a sequined bikini, she was “unfit.” But to go on about her being “out of shape”? Before seeing Britney this week (and btw, I am not, never have been, a fan), I would have said that I’m “out of shape.” If she’s out of shape, though . . . I’m in a whole ‘nother geometry book. Give her — and our daughters, nieces, etc. — a break.
  • When I was 11, I didn’t think it was the norm for famous, successful, gifted people to get arrested. Criminals and celebrities were in two different categories. I never admired, nor aspired to follow in the footsteps of, people who got arrested.

I continue to try to steer LG toward TV Land. Do you miss the TV of your childhood?

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Gosh, I love you guys. As is usually the case with these Sunday Post things, it means something to me and/or I have one person in mind who reads here, for whom I thought it might mean something. AND I think of it (the photo, the quote, the scripture) as being “projective,” i.e., it means whatever it is that it means to you.

This photo was taken just over a week ago (“before the fall”), for use in the intern training program at the agency. I put together a brief slide show to show them the vast differences in “lifestyles” of the clients that we serve. From this:

Riverview backyard

To this:
Oak Forest

And everything in between. So that’s the origin of the photograph from the Sunday Post.

Now, what did it all mean to ME? A few things. On a personal level, there are many ways in which I am confused to the point of my sofa being up against the fence (where, of course, no sofa belongs). My physical self is profoundly confused (so says the acupuncturist, I’ll post more about that another time). In the wake of the physical confusion, my emotional and spiritual selves are quite befuddled as well. My couch is up against the fence, and there’s a pile of trash, but, hey, occasionally the kids in here still bounce on the trampoline and laugh. Thank God.

On a more global level, the picture and the quote refer to my consideration of current events. The war. Little Madeleine. The upcoming elections. These are hella confusing times we live in. Our metaphorical sofa is smack-dab up against the fence in the backyard.

And you know what happens after something has been where it doesn’t belong for a while? (And that something may be a relationship, an ideology, a habit, a physical state of being, a messy closet . . . ) When it’s been that way for some length of time, we stop seeing it as it is. Who doesn’t know that the sofa doesn’t “go” against the fence in the backyard? But it takes a relatively short time for that to become its place. For it to blend into normal. The familiar becomes comfortable. Even when it’s not right. We need (I need) fresh eyes to take note of what’s wrong, no matter how long it’s been that way, and see what needs to be changed. To me, both the photo and the quote are both funny and sad. I hold funny and sad in balance, most of the time.

And the scripture? I hold that, too. Regardless of what I see, I will keep the faith.

Thank you all for being the kind of people I love to hang around with. Concerned, thoughtful, thinking, good people. And musical, too. 🙂

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Sunday Post

Riverview backyard

“Anyone who isn’t confused really doesn’t understand the situation.” — Edward R. Murrow

2 Corinthians 5:7

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