A Tire in the Mud (and other anecdotes)

“Mom, can you sing A Tire in the Mud?”WP_20180929_10_57_24_resize

I looked at my beloved 5-year-old. He blinked slowly from his bed, blankets tucked around his chin. I blinked back at him. I know he’s tired, but…

“What?” I said.

“A Tire in the Mud. Can you sing it?”

“I don’t know that one, buddy.”

“Yes you do! You know, There’s a tire, tire, wonder-working tire. There’s a tiiiiiire in the muuuuuud.

“…you mean Power in the Blood?”

“Oh. Yeah. That one.”

One track mind, that child.

This one too.


Indy regularly aims for (and knocks down) magnets on the fridge. He stands on his own, takes a step here and there. His coordination is scary. He’s barely 9 months old.

Ever since raspberry picking, the neighbor Mr. F has employed LK on occasion to help him with yard work. I now have an inkling how my parents must have felt letting me work at the pony school. Where has the time gone?


One of the Dearliest’s customers wanted to trade him a boat for some work. Since the Dearliest has taken a recent and keen interest in fishing, he agreed. The boat is set up for fishing, with things like a live well, fish finder (an old school one from the 90s), and trolling motors. It’s a big step up from the little dinghy.



A couple days ago he took me out on it, and it was grand fun. Quiet and peaceful (except when we were “up on plane” i.e. cruising at 25+ mph, then it was just plain fun). I didn’t struggle with even a hint seasickness, which was a welcome surprise.


After the sun set, we passed a machine unloading a barge. It dropped sawdust into the hopper, where a conveyor dumped it into a semi trailer.


I was pleasantly surprised the camera on my phone was up to this shot.

We are nearing the end of grape season here. We have made raisins and juice and battled wasps and yellow jackets through it all. The kids have learned to not be intimidated by them, and they are all experts with the fly swatters now. Some of them are experts with whatever they can swat with–cardboard, shoes, hats, gloves. I’m grateful for so many dead wasps. I’m more grateful nobody has gotten stung, especially now when the wasps and yellow jackets become nastier in anticipation of colder weather.

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Ahead of us is walnut gathering time, and perhaps elderberry picking. We shall see what tomorrow brings!

The Benefits of Walking

And I’m not just talking the exercise part or the “I’m going to wear the 3-year-old out so she naps” part.

We were out for stroll last month, enjoying a morning that wasn’t 109 °F. The city is installing sewer lines a block over, and it wouldn’t be a proper walk without stopping to see the progress and equipment (Arc especially loves the huge excavator on site).

This particular day our usual route home was closed due to said road work, so we detoured down a street we hadn’t been on before. It was providential, because there at the end of a driveway sat a large grill with a FREE sign on it.

(Aside: Before summer started we had to throw our little one out. The legs were rusted out. Other parts were damaged and unreliable. It had to go. We were sad, but we figured eventually we’d buy another, bigger one. Back to the story…) Continue reading

A Glimpse of Canal Boat Life

(This post is written with permission!)


Leeds & Liverpool Canal

I’ve known about canals and locks for ages, but it wasn’t until several years ago that I truly learned about them. My internet friend Patch lives in the UK (we bonded over yarn I forget when), and her family vacations every year on a canal boat.

What is a canal boat? It’s a long, narrow boat suitable for traveling the canals. Last year they traveled up through Scotland and she shared photos of all the lochs they visited. Right now she’s Instagramming photos and videos of the Trent & Mersey, Bridgewater, and Leeds & Liverpool canals, the Barton aquaduct, tunnels, and even took us on an inside tour of the boat.

I find it all fascinating and cool. So cool, I’m sharing it with you all!

Check out her Instagram here.

If you’re not on Instagram, you can bookmark her blog, as she says she’ll be posting about the trip after she gets back.

(Photo source: Pixabay)

Bonus Level: The List

​I’m still hearing from people how much they enjoyed the posts on how the Dearliest and I met, and I’ve had thoughts for a while on a few extra stories to share.

In Level 1 I mentioned a list of requirements and preferences when it came to a relationship with a guy. I started it at first as a joke (because I was never getting married, you know), and there were only three things on it.

“A Christian, speaks English, taller than me.”

Then I entered college, observed all kinds of young men, and realized that even if I didn’t want to date, a list would be a good idea. A couple of the guys who asked me out genuinely wanted to know why I said no. I wanted to have more of an answer than, “I’m here to learn, not date.” The List helped me flesh out why certain character qualities and habits were important to me…and why I found some repulsive.

Then I met a guy I actually came to care about. The problem was, he didn’t meet even half the things on my list including the #1 most important thing to me. Still, I started revising the list to make allowances, and when you start compromising on character, it never ends well.


When the whole situation finally ended, my list became twice as long as it had been. I’d learned there were some things I needed. And some things I couldn’t tolerate. A co-worker chided me once for having it at all. I bit my tongue and didn’t point out that his lack of one hadn’t helped him any. Instead I simply mentioned I used it to avoid certain things, not to actively seek “the non-existent perfect man” or however he phrased it.

The List didn’t change again. There was a young man who came close once, but after a few months I had to acknowledge that “close” wasn’t enough. It was Providential because less than 6 months later the Dearliest entered my life, and it wasn’t long before I realized he met the List completely.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The List 

(somewhat abridged, because this is a public blog and all)

Continue reading