November 2012

A Year of Biblical Womanhood – Rachel Held Evans

by Priscilla on November 29, 2012

I liked it.  I’d recommend it.  Short and simple.

There’s a lot of to-do about this book, and quite frankly I don’t know why.  Well, I do know why, but I guess I should say I really don’t understand why.

Here’s what the book isn’t.  It is not an exegesis on the Bible.  It is not a Sunday school story.  It is not a paper, a prophecy or a pragmatist’s view of Scriptures.

It’s a curious woman’s honest effort to try to make sense of the Bible, and for those of us who are Christians, it’s not wrong to admit that there are a lot of things in the Bible that don’t make sense, and that it is our responsibility to ask some tough questions (the story of Jepthah’s daughter) about this God we love and serve and about the book we follow.

Rachel Held Evans started with a simple  question: What would happen if I lived biblically for a year?  And so she did, and as luck would have it, Rachel is also a gifted writer and storyteller and invited us readers to join her on her sometimes fun, sometimes unnerving adventures.

Along the way she met women – lots of women.  Women who grew up Quiverful families (think the Duggars), Jewish women, Quaker women, Amish women, Bolivian women all of whom played a part in her different months of biblical living (She divided her various projects into months and in turn her chapters are written according to her months, which makes her various efforts easy to follow.) She asked questions, she studied Scriptures, she remained silent and she cried.  There’s a lot of crying particularly on her kitchen floor.  Who wouldn’t cry when you are wrestling a fake baby, teaching yourself to sew, studying the ethics of the coffee and chocolate trade, residing in a monastery, contemplating sex and the Song of Solomon, camping out in a tent during your period and cleaning the leaven out of your house for Sabbath all within one year’s time?

Rachel Held Evans did all of this and should be praised on the project alone.  Just as intense her project, so too is her writing.  It’s witty without being pithy.  It’s questioning without being disrespectful.  It’s honest without being doubtful.

So much touched me personally as a now 40something woman raised in an evangelical church.  I mean what are nephilim and why are they even in the Bible? Where did Cain’s wife come from? (Evans doesn’t tackle the nephilim, but my point is that there are a lot of questions in the Bible that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask outright and discuss and wrestle with both singularly and corporately without large Christian denominations telling us how things are.  Period.  We have spoken.  Follow it.) What does the Bible really say about marriage and motherhood?  Like Evans, I really struggled with that one. My husband and I waited nine years to have kids, and quite frankly, I never once had a longing or urging to be a mom.  Thank goodness for a wise older woman at church telling me my feelings were normal after being told by church people my whole life that I needed to be fruitful and multiply.  Whenever I’d hear that verse thrown around, I’d reply  that was God’s directive towards Adam and Eve not Priscilla and Tony.  Some people didn’t like my interpretation.  They’d tell me so.  I’d tell them we just liked practicing at being fruitful so we could get it right when the time came.  That would shut them up.  Nothing shuts up people at church like telling them about your sex life.  We even went and talked to our pastor about whether or not to start a family.  Our pastor gave us some great advice – pretty much telling us the decision was between us and God and to do some soul searching and Scripture studying.  We did and, viola, Twin A and Twin B.  I don’t think our pastor laughed so loud as when I told him what was coming down the pike for us after my first visit to the women’s clinic.

But that’s our story.  It may not be your story. After all, the Bible is full of single people and married people and mucho married people. (Helloooooo Solomon.)

I digress.  Ignore all the naysayers out there in the blogosphere – from the atheists claiming Ms. Evans is repressed for following this idea wherever it took her  to the Christians swearing she is mocking the Holy Scriptures.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

It’s a great read.  It’s an intelligent story.  It’s a guffawing adventure.  It’s an honest search.  It’s a teary tale. It’s a lot of heart and soul and love for God within the cover of a book….kind of like the Bible itself.

(Oh, my, my last sentence may get me in trouble there.  People will accuse me of heresy or some such, but I am reminded of the prayer of St. Teresa of Avila that Rachel shared that is helping me in my writing: Let nothing upset you. Let nothing startle you. All things pass; God does not change. Patience wins all it seeks. Whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone is enough.)

Eshet Chayil, Rachel, and thank you.


The Trouble with Julia

by Priscilla on November 29, 2012

Right now, I’m listening to Dearie, the biography about Julia Child by Bob Spitz.  In a few days I’ll write a review…if I get to it.  Suffice it to say it’s a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

The trouble with someone like me who listens to a lot of books is that I get all kinds of fired up about the subject matter – whatever it may be – and then I want to be like that person or character.

I want to submit myself completely to Christ like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  I want to master all thing Habits.  I want to search the Scriptures like Rachel Held Evans.  I want to do grand things like set aside land for National Parks like Teddy Roosevelt.  And now I want to master the art of French cooking like Julia Child.

The problem with all of this – beside the fact that I used the verb want which is pretty weak and my college creative writing instructor, Professor Simons always preached the use of strong verbs so want is really bugging me. But here’s the deal, I need to write this, but I also need to go buy a 10 pound bag of alum and new printer cartridges for Twins A & B science projects so I need to crank this out and hit the road. Whew!

Like I was saying the problem with all this – besides my incorrect punctuation up there on that last paragraph – is that I have children in my home right now so I can’t sacrifice myself for the cause of Christ, or spend copious amounts of time on hermeneutics, or engage in huge policy making ventures involving lots of trees that will affect generations to come.  After all someone needs to drive the girls to swim practice, and talk to them about alcohol and how it affects the brain and bodies, and why it’s important not to be an ass about it when they go to college (last night’s dinner discussion), and explain to them why Blair from the Facts of Life  is in the Philippines with matted hair right now, and no, I don’t think she’s seen Nana, and Lolo who are over there for the winter.

But I can cook.  Can’t I?  Listening to Dearie, I get the idea I can,  so I set about last night whipping up a hollandaise sauce to serve over the tilapia. My kids would prefer tilapia with a side of Ranch but that ain’t happenin’.  Not after my listening to Dearie all day anyway. I wrestled the Joy of Cooking  (What a crock that title  is, huh?) out from it’s hiding spot way in the back of the crevices of my kitchen counter, turned to sauces and found a quick Hollandaise sauce recipe.  I clarified the butter  (Clarifying is just fancy talk for melting butter and skimming off the frothy part.) and commenced to slowly stirring in the egg, water, lime juice mixture.  That’s right.  Lime juice.  The recipe calls for lemon juice.  I didn’t have any.  Lime juice it was.  Don’t judge.  You do the same kind of substitutions in your kitchen as well, only you aren’t brave enough to announce such things in a public forum.

I stirred.  Slowly.  I was so proud of my standing and stirring slowly.  If you know me personally, you know I am not a stand for a long time and stir slowly kind of gal, so this seemingly small gift of hollandaise to my children was turning into quite a sacrifice.  It was all coming together quite beautifully.  The searing of the fish.  The slow cooking of the beans and potatoes, the carmelizing of the red onions, (That’s right I said caramelizing.  That is just how inspired I was last night.) the stirring of the sauce…until something happened.  I can’t remember just what exactly, but a child or a pet was involved , and I had to step out of the kitchen for a minute, and when I came back the Hollandaise sauce was transformed into scrambled eggs.

After telling Twin A all about the great Hollandaise sauce I was making and what was in it, etc, she wasn’t too impressed with what sat on the table in front of her.

Isn’t this just scrambled eggs? she asked.

Well, if there is one thing I’ve learned listening to Dearie, it’s that Julia never apologized for any mishap.  Period.  It was her rule.

So I didn’t apologize.  I just blamed her or a pet or George Bush for making me step out the kitchen when I was supposed to be stirring slowly and voila, tilapia a la scrambled eggs.

It wasn’t a total loss.  Twin B liked the potatoes and green beans.  Twin A liked the fish and the caramelized onions.  I liked my wine.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking is sitting in my Amazon cart along with a few other of Julia’s books. It may just have to sit there a while longer.

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That’s it. I’m going to hell.

by Priscilla on November 28, 2012

Where is the stable? I yelled from the basement while scouring my unpacked moving boxes for Christmas decorations.  Girls, do you hear me?  Where is the stable?

I think you threw it away with our Polly Pockets stuff,  replied Twin A quietly, aware of the consequence of the words she was uttering.

It was true.  Our nativity scene – a very devout Peanuts version, made by our Chinese friends – somehow ended up in my daughters’ litany of plastic play things – Barbie, Pollies, Ponies, Kens, and this summer, when the kids were off at camp and I ventured into their room with giant plastic  bags, many broken parts ended up in the enormous trash receptacle at the back of the house….along with a barn….Jesus’ first home.

People.  I threw away Jesus’ home.  Do you get what I am saying here?

This is worse than my culottes not being long enough when I was trying out for cheerleading when I was 17.  This is worse than my first slow dancing experience  with a nice Jewish boy which in turn  led to some unholy thoughts when I was 15.  This is way worse than sneaking a wine cooler from my sister’s apartment when I was not of legal age.  So. Much. Worse.

Oh, sure, everyone looks happy in the picture.  After all, Woodstock has come to save the world from sin.

But I’m pretty sure I am in some big time trouble seeing as I literally yanked away the roof from over his head.


Seventeen years ago I lived in Germany, and while living in Germany I fell in love with all things European Christmas including Advent calendars.  When we moved back to the States, I forgot about Advent calendars until Twins A and B came along, and then, Mr. TIS and I, like a lot of parents rediscovered the joys of all things Christmas because, let’s face it, Christmas with kids is pretty darn fun.

Return Advent calendars.  But not just any Advent calendars.  Not some $.95 cardboard cut out from Big Lots for my kids.

Every year when Christmas rolls around, the girls hang up their Advent calendars  and wait for the all things Advent to roll in for 25 days straight. It hasn’t been an issue before, but tonight when I came home from swim practice, I walked in on this…..

Gnome guy found Inga and Helga.

Who are Inga and Helga?

Don’t you have giant Advent She-Elf Dolls?


Exactly what the heck do I have hanging in my dining room, you ask?

Well, a few years ago, when I saw these Advent calendar dolls in a magazine I was drawn in.  They were from Sweden (the lure of all things European does it to me this time of year.  I can’t explain it.)  They looked all kinds of cute and happy, and, I got the idea (this is where things always go very wrong) that my girls needed these dolls.  These dolls would provide a wonderful yearly tradition, and one day, when Twins A and B have their own Twins A and B, they’ll have Giant She -Elf Advent dolls to share with them.  What a great mother and some day grandmother I am! What odes to me will be sung.

Until a 20 something walked into my house and said, “What are those?  They creep me out.”

Stupid 20 somethings.

Actually, these weren’t stupid 20 somethings.  They were really quite intelligent…and kind…and creeped out by what I thought was going to be a wonderful family tradition.

For a long time now, Mr. TIS and I have supported a great organization called Young Life, and when we lived in Lafayette, IN, we’d host Young Life leaders every so often  for dinner in our home.  Most were Purdue students studying all kinds of engineering I’d never heard of and in their spare time mentored youth in the community. Then they’d come to my home, eat my food and tell me my Advent Giant She Elf Dolls were creepy.

Funny.  They weren’t creepy in the magazine.  Then again, they weren’t five feet tall hanging on my door in the magazine.

Another something I hadn’t thought of was what in the world was I going to fill all those stupid pockets with.  25 pockets! X2!  I had to buy 50 tiny somethings to fill up those stupid pockets all because I thought I needed to be the World’s Greatest Grandma by  2042.

So anyway, here we are – our first Christmas in our new old house, and Twins A and B have found and hung the Gigantic Creepy She-Elf Advent Calendar Dolls.

They have attracted the attention of Gnome Guy who defected from the Thanksgiving Crew.  Actually, only one  has.  Inga.

Helga isn’t happy about her sister’s choice in Gnome friends.  Helga isn’t happy about a lot of things to be quite honest.

So I had a talk with the Giant She-Elves and then headed up to put Twins A and B to bed.  When I came back downstairs, I was happy to find them enjoying a sweet sisters moment.

(Downton Abbey is their favorite show right now.  Too bad they will be packed away in the basement come January when season 3 comes out.)

I caught them on my computer.  They left evidence on my Photo Booth application.

It’s going to be a long December.  I’ll keep you updated.


Dear Mr. Pat Robertson,

by Priscilla on November 23, 2012

Oh, my.  You’ve gone and done it again, starting a big kerfuffle with your words about Christmas and atheists.  You told all of your viewing audience there at the 700 Club that atheists were trying to steal Christmas because they were miserable, and they want everyone to be miserable. To be fair, there was only 37 seconds of you speaking on the bit I saw and read on Huffington Post.  Knowing that the news media likes to parse and cut and shrivel and skew words of anyone and everyone (both Christians and non), there’s a good chance you might have been making a bigger point about Christmas.  I went searching for a longer clip.  I even went to your website but couldn’t find one, and by that time my twin girls were crawling into my bed asking me what’s on the breakfast menu this morning, two cats were wrestling under the bed causing freakish sounds that both disturbed and intrigued me, and I could hear our geriatric dogs whining and scuttling around on the wood floors downstairs alerting me to the fact that I needed to get my fanny out of bed right quick or I would find poop balls on the living room floor that right now is covered in garland waiting to be strung across our huge fireplace. (You probably don’t have to deal with poop balls, but I’m kind of a average woman living in flyover country with an amazingly average life so poop balls are a common occurrence to me as are tears over tangled hair, failed attempts at homemade bread and finding the utility bill stuck to the orthodontist bill with honey. )

The garland is ready to be hung in honor of Christmas – time when Christians all over the world celebrate in a variety of ways the humble entrance of God into our miserable (to steal your word) world and give us the hope of life eternal.  What a glorious occasion, and what a wondrous event to celebrate.

Only here’s the thing.  Not everyone believes the same way we Christians do.  And not all of them are miserable.  And I love these people.  And I love Jesus.   And I want them to know Jesus the way I know Jesus, and you, Mr. Robertson are not helping.

I thought of writing lots of Bible verses to support what I have to say, but to be quite honest for the better part of 40 years I’ve been surrounded by people who have insisted on using the Bible as some kind of holy firearm ready to annihilate those who might believe differently than they do on a myriad of social and biblical issues.  Since, my aim is quite bad and since sometimes I forget to load by Biblical BB Gun or even worse show up with absolutely no ammo, I’ll spare you and everyone else the Scripture lesson.  Instead, I’ll just tell you about my atheist friend, Amy, and my agnostic friend, Hope. (There are more, but these two are fun to write about.)

I love them.  I mean it.  I love them with the love of God, and I love them just because.  You know why? Well, for one thing they aren’t miserable.  I don’t know about you, Mr. Robertson, but I don’t have time for Debbie Downers.

Hope just organized a huge weekend concert and festival for veterans and their families and pretty much the entire community where she lives.  She’s passionate about all things American military. She’s outspoken about the needs of military families, and instead of sitting around wringing her hands about how tough it is for some of them, she did something very big and very hard, and she pulled it off and in the process brought a lot of joy to a lot of well-deserving people.

 She’s organized and tenacious and belly laugh funny.  She’s responsible for getting me one of the best most intriguing and satisfying jobs I ever had.  She’s always been straightforward with me about her religious beliefs and has always, always, always been respectful of my Jesus following ways.  Not once has she stolen a wise man from a church’s manger scene although she has been known to plant some pink bikini clad flamingoes in unsuspecting neighbors yards.  To my knowledge she has not ripped the bell out the hand of a dedicated Salvation Army volunteer nor has she screamed I CELEBRATE THE SOLSTICE, YOU WANKER!  into the face of a nice Target cashier who wished her a Merry Christmas.

She hasn’t done all these things because she’s not a miserable person, and she doesn’t want me to be miserable.  She’s so nice she doesn’t want you to be miserable either, Mr. Robertson.

Now, Amy, might want you to be miserable, I don’t know. She’s a feisty one. But I do know this.  She’s not miserable.  And get this, even though she’s an atheist, she celebrates Christmas with her mom because she loves her mom and her family and doesn’t want to be some killjoy screaming YOU STOLE THIS FROM US PAGANS every time she sees a Christmas tree. She actually follows the Honor Your Parents commandment.  She decorates a tree with her kids.  She hangs lights.  She makes cookies that put Martha Stewart to shame.  She buys her  family gifts. I could be wrong, but I think she attends the local Christmas parade.  That’s right.  They still call it Christmas Parade where she lives, and she is not miserably marching in the middle of it with a placard reading I AM MISERABLE AND I WANT YOU TO BE MISERABLE TOO!

Amy is a talented web designer.  I hired her to design this blog.  She was patient and helpful and more than fair on pricing.  I know she would like to see me do more with this site, but knowing that I am all things technologically challenged, she doesn’t push me out of my comfort zone. I’m just not there yet, and since she doesn’t want me to be miserable, she keeps her ideas and opinions to herself until I ask.  (Come to think of it, Amy and Hope are pretty darn Proverbs 31ish, and since evangelicals love to throw that Proverbs 31 gal around like some Righteous Rachael Ray, I think my friends are doing okay.)

Mr. Robertson, I know Christmas is important to you.  It’s important to me too, but celebrating it is not my God given right, and if the US government declared a literal war on Christmas tomorrow and stripped us of all our candy canes and twinkling lights, I’d be okay.  (By the way, the US government would not make such a declaration because Christmas is a CASH COW, and in this country cash is king.)  You know why I’d be okay, because I believe I have Jesus within meChristmas is in me. Think about that.  Pretty huge, huh? You know, Jesus, don’t you Mr. Roberston?  The one who taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves?  I don’t know about you, Mr. Roberston, but I pray for my neighbors…and my atheist and agnostic friends.  I pray they will come to know Jesus in the real and personal way I know Him, but I also pray for God’s blessings upon their husbands.  I pray God’s blessings upon their children and their businesses.  I pray for success for their endeavors. Why?  Because I believe that’s what I should be doing as a child of God, and I like praying for people.  I am in awe of the fact that the Lord of the Universe says, I’d like to have a conversation with you, kid. (Truth be told I conversed with God before setting my ideas to computer on this one because I’m not real big on commenting on public people or kerfluffles.  And I’m not all that confident about my own ideas and opinions.  I’m really quite nervous when it comes to this stuff, so while I’m not exactly Moses saying Yes, God, I’ll lead your people to the Promised Land, writing this blog post is a huge  step of faith for me right now. )

So, there you have it Mr. Robertson, my humble but sincere plea to please knock off the name calling of my friends.  I wish you a Merry Christmas, and I wish my unbelieving non miserable friends the same thing as well.


It’s quiet in my house right now. Except for one cat investigating all the paperwork I refuse to file here in my office.  I call it my office, but it’s really a former bedroom now housing a computer, filing cabinets and a  she- cat who insists on crawling all over my hands as I type and rip to shred the back of my chair. Now she’s bedding down on my wrists and staring at me with her,Why are your wrists  right where I am trying to lay my body? look.

If my girls were here, they’d be asking what’s for breakfast and then howling if I saying anything but cereal.  They are cereal fiends.

But they aren’t here.  They spent the night at Grandma’s and are helping her making turkey place settings with apples and raisins and marshmellows and cloves. (My mom has been making turkeys out of apples, raisins, marshmellows and cloves for over 40 years now, so back off Pinterest.  People have had creative thoughts long before you showed up to the party.)  They are also helping her set the tables complete with martini glasses.  Don’t get too excited.  Grandma’s a tee-totaler so we get sparkling grape juice instead of martinis.

If my husband were here, he’d be rolling over in bed saying something like, Hey, baby, want to see how thankful I am for you? But Captain America is not here this holiday.  He’s off doing Captain America-y things so I get to spend some time downloading photos to tell you what’s coming up for me in a few short hours instead of finding out his level of thankfulness for me.

I have to include lots of photos because when I tell people what Thanksgiving is like at my house, they don’t believe me.  My nieces and nephews tell me they encounter the same thing. So here’s the proof for everyone who needs it.

Yes, we have the traditional meal with the traditional bird and traditional side dishes minus the green bean casserole.  That one never took off with our family.  Sorry.  Mom told me Super Sibling Dan is bringing the turkey because he raises them.  Of course he raises his own turkey because it’s not enough to be a super smart scientist with five patents to his name, or compete in masters level swimming or play trombone in various and sundry places.  No, now he and his wife pretty much raise all of their own food.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a vineyard weren’t in the works here soon.  But I digress. (The cat is making typing difficult now as she has inched her way onto the keyboard and shows no signs of moving as my right arm is extending over her neck.)

So, anyway, I have a few minutes to show you what I’ll encounter today when I show up at my Mom’s.

What do you mean what the heck is it? Your mother doesn’t do this?   It’s a mannequin dressed as a pilgrim lady standing at the front door ready to greet guests as they arrive.  Tomorrow, my brother is possibly bringing an international student along with his family for a visit.  The reactions of international students (or national students for that matter) to my mother’s love of all things pilgrims is always fun.  We’ve also managed to weed out quite a few perspective fiances and fiancees this way as well.  Don’t knock her.  This pilgrim gal serves many purposes.

What do you mean what are those and what do you do with them?  Doesn’t your mother have a collection of pilgrim bonnets and insist her female guests don them for dinner?  (You’ll be shocked to know I rebelled from “The Donning of the Bonnet” years ago.)


What do you mean your mother doesn’t still have your Pilgrim Couple from 35 years ago (left)  and now has your children make Pilgrim Couples (right) as well?


What do you mean your mother doesn’t have pilgrim candles? (I think Mr. Pilgrim got one look at those bonnets when he arrived and got the heck out of dodge.)  You don’t have a Pilgrim nutcracker?  Isn’t that unAmerican?  (Actually, when I lived in Germany I bought that for my mom.  I was so excited when I found it in a nutcracker factory.  Only now, she tells everyone my brother, Dave, bought it for her.  True story.) (Shout out to Kellie who now has me saying True Story way too much.)


What do you mean your mother doesn’t have a giant Mayflower hanging on the dining room wall complete with passenger lists and supply details?  What are you people?  Barbarians?

(Shout out to my now 20something nieces who created all the pilgrims and sailors years ago.  You guys rock.)

My father traced our family’s roots back to the Mayflower.  He envisioned this bunch as part of our ancestral line.

Truth be told, though, I think this fellow’s shenanigans probably played a bigger role in our family than Dad cared to admit.

(To my nieces, A and A, I don’t know which one of you created this guy, but hands down, he is my FAV.  I giggle through stuffing and gravy looking at him.)

But for all the mocking and moaning and irreverent blogging I do about my family, I love them all, and I’m thankful for the home my mom and dad created for each and every one of us….even my super sibling brothers.































Bad News

by Priscilla on November 21, 2012

Much like Lot of biblical fame ignored the teachings of his Uncle, Abram, (or was he Abraham by then?) and chose the greener pastures of Sodom and Gomorrah, so, too, is Garden Gnome being pulled by promises of peppier music, fabulous gift cards and gingerbread treats, ignoring the urgent pleas of wise  Priscilla Mullins and Sacagewea (who showed up unexpectedly at the behest of Priscilla, a childhood friend.)

It is a sad day, in Mudville, indeed.

(Wow, I can really mix a lot of literature/history together in one post.  Just call me the Oliver Stone of the blogging world.)



War With Christmas

by Priscilla on November 20, 2012

A little holiday message from some of my favorite peeps (and, apparently, a mercenary):



(Shout out to my friend, Amy for giving me this idea.)


Somewhere off a lone county road in northern Indiana, tucked carefully between cornstalks much like Moses was tucked into river reeds by his loving mother, sits a McDonald’s cardboard tray holding two half full cups of orange juice and an Egg McMuffin with two bites missing.  There are also a few napkins as I like to think of myself as having some semblance of decorum even when littering.  To the naked eye of someone who drives past and sees orange juice peeking out from corn stalks one might immediately, tut-tut the lazy litterer, but on approach, the Judgmental Joe would smell that awful smell that some of us with very strong gag reflexes cannot live with and understand why the said cardboard tray was slipped discreetly into a corn field.

Yes, I littered.  I am sorry.  I am anti-litter…unless throw up is involved.

I don’t do fecal matter, and I don’t do throw up which is why I never done my B.S. in nursing because let’s face it, a huge part of what nurses do is wrapped up in those two human phenomenon, and I don’t have the stomach for either one.

Let me back up.  It’s Saturday morning which in our house means it’s Get Up At Ungodly Hour and Hit The Road for a Swim Meet Somewhere in the State. I’m not complaining. It was my genius idea to get my kids into swimming because I loved swim team when I was their age.  I loved all my little swimmy pals, Hope, Susan, Laura, Erin, Sheryl.  I have no idea whatever happened to my amigos, but they left me with warm fuzzies of cheering on a very close free relay race, playing truth or dare while waiting out our heats and eating copious amounts of jello powder straight from the box. (Somewhere along the way someone said Jello straight from the box would give us energy.  All it gave me was stained red and purple pointer fingers.) I loved spreading out my big sleeping bag for others to gather around and play long card games of War and Go Fish together.  I loved reading my Nancy Drew books in the car on the way to the meet.  If you notice, there’s really not much about loving the swimming.  I loved the swimming to be sure, but as I write, I’m getting the distinct feeling it was really more about the socializing for me.

Anyway, wanting my girls to experience the thrill all things relay related, I signed them up for swim team. There’s just one thing I forgot.  I’m the mom now.

I don’t sit and chat and eat sugar and play card games and share secrets about crushes.

I drive the car.

I sit for five hours to watch a total of three minutes of swimming.

I shell out the money for invitational shirts and replacement pairs of goggles.

And now, I clean up the throw up that occurs ten minutes before arriving at destination Gobble Gobble Invitational hosted by the Steuben County YMCA located in the middle of four cornfields in northeast Indiana.

We left the house this morning at 0 Dark 30 and stopped for gas and breakfast.  Not a peep for an hour from the two girls inhabiting the seats behind me….until I hear a very small, Mom, I feel sick.

I turned in time to see a green faced Twin B and shouted, In the McDonald’s bag.  Grab the McDonald’s back.  And she did, poor thing.  And she hit her target….for the most part…except the part that didn’t hit the target.

 That lovely smell quickly filled the car, and I turned off the small two lane highway onto an even smaller country road where I jumped out, opened the back seat doors and surveyed the damage.

Commence dry heaves.

I am so not the good mom.  I won’t mention the messy clean up beyond the aforementioned OJs and half eaten Egg McMuffin left in an undisclosed location.  I won’t share that I’m never prepared for these things like the good moms who always have plastic bags and the hazmat suits packed away in their glove boxes for such occasions. The one thing we had going for us was that since we were on the way to a swim meet, we had towels.

I don’t know if it was nerves or the stomach virus going around their class at school, but after using towels meant for swimming not cleaning up sick patients,  I decided no Gobble Gobble Invitational was in the works for us today.

Of course, I had no one’s number to call and relay this info.  I mean,  I had numbers.  I had the parent contact list, but since I only know parents by their swim names of Kelly’s Mom or Collin’s Dad, and whoever made the contact list made the mistake of using legal, given names, I had no idea whose number I was dialing so I just drove the 10 more minutes to the pool, notified a parent and the clerk of course of the cause of all my dry heaving, got back in the car, ordered the girls to put their winter coats on, and drove the hour and fifteen minutes back home with the window down. Why didn’t I stop at a store and buy something to conquer the smell?  Um, well, I don’t know if you have traveled the highways and by-ways of northern Indiana, but it’s mostly Amish country.  So while there are a great deal of fabulous bakeries,  there aren’t whole lot of Lysol carrying stores along the way.

They were very good about the whole situation and spent the time traveling back home arguing about if one of them had contracted scarlet fever, and if cows played charades.  (The school keeps informing me they are gifted, but I have serious doubts based up the conversations I overhear.)

So here I am now plopped in front of a computer instead of poolside.

Twin B is watching TV.

Twin A is working on her science fair because Twin A is always working on her science fair.

My vehicle is airing out after being scrubbed with bleach water.

And somewhere, in a lone Indiana corn field sit two cold plastic beverage containers filled with orange juice, wondering what they ever did to deserve being thrown up upon and abandoned by the side of the road.

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Twenty Questions – the final four

by Priscilla on November 16, 2012

I have to admit I’m tired right now.  Too tired to think of any questions so this may be pretty lame.  See, my kids’ swim coach decided to retire mid season, and since I swam the anchor leg of the Nassau Swim Club 9/10 Girls 200 Free Relay in 1981, that qualifies me to help out with practices now, so I just finished with two straight hours of, You have not done a 400 – you’ve barely done a 200 and Quit doing dolphin dives in the middle of the lane and start swimming freestyle.  I tell you what, these eight year olds will be the death of me yet. So anyway let me see what I can come up with.


17.)  Twin B doesn’t want me to ask your address b/c that wouldn’t be safe.  Good girl.  She wants to know your name. She’s not really helping me here.  I’m trying to squeeze something out of her.  Okay, she came up with a good one Do you have a job, and if so, what is it?

18.) Do you have any children? Pets count as children.  For whom are they named and who chose the names?

19.)  Oh, my Twin B, this could be dangerous for your mother Do you have any questions for me? (She also wants to know if you have problems like money or bills or taxes or a death in the family.  She’s my empathizer.  You don’t need to answer the personal stuff. But I am pretty impressed that this is what she wants to know from strangers.  I’d like to think it’s empathy.  Maybe it’s sheer nosiness. She also wants to know if you are a liar or not. Or have you been in jail or committed a crime.  You know what, maybe asking my eight year old what I should ask wasn’t such a great idea after all.  I just sent her off to bed.)

20.) Finally, what’s the one place you’ve been that you’ve loved to go back?  And what’s one place you’ve been that if you never saw it again for as long as you live, that wouldn’t be long enough. Does that even make sense?  You get the idea don’t you?

Cheers!  Have a great weekend, all!