Friday, June 26, 2009

Number Three on the List...

Violet and I keep a list of God's Five Greatest Gifts to Mankind. Violet always has five things on her list, but once in awhile, one gets bumped off in favor of another.

I, on the other hand, am the kind of person who, once the List is complete, wouldn't think of changing it. So, I have just now, today, added a number three.

I'm sure you are on the edge of your seat, wondering what holds places number one and two.
So here goes:

Number One: Indoor Plumbing.

I maintain that I am richer than Solomon in all his glory, because I have wonderful, albeit humble, bathrooms in my house. A full one, and an extra half-bath on the first floor. Sure, people in newer homes have like, four bedrooms and five bathrooms. Wouldn't our great-grandmothers roll over in their graves to think of more baths than bedrooms in a house?

Number Two: Chocolate.

Really, is any explanation necessary?

Number Three: Hardware Stores.

Now, this is not a new thought. I love, Love, LOVE hardware stores. And their big-brothers, the big-box home improvement stores. So many things you never even knew existed, all there begging you to take them home. And me not even knowing how much I really, really need them!
But right now, I'm talking about the regular ol' neighborhood hardware store.

This morning, I took my good scissors into the hardware store:
My mother bought me these scissors before I went to college. Her comment: Everybody needs a good pair of scissors; they will last you a lifetime. Of course, I knew about don't-use-fabric-scissors-on-paper-or-they-will-be-ruined. Throughout the years, I have kept and broken and kept and broken that rule a few dozen times. But they always sharpen up nicely.

Over the last couple of years, I found myself having to tighten the screw more and more often. Finally, no amount of screw-ing helped. That little screw was done Stripped.

I looked over all my cheapie scissors, thinking that I would steal a screw from one of them.

I found out that cheapie scissors are held together with rivets, not screws.

I looked online and found a place I could get a replacement screw. The screw was pretty cheap, but of course shipping costs would be involved, as well. So, I decided to try the Friendly Guys at the Local Hardware.

I asked for the Screw Expert. I didn't know if there would be some sort of Specialty Screw involved. After all, the screws in a pair of scissors don't just sit there, they are Moving All The Time. Turns out their screw expert was a teenaged girl. She took me back to the Screw Desk. (which was also the extra-house-or-car-key desk...) She began by working to get the old screw out. Fully five minutes later, this is what we had:

I don't think you can see very well. The best part of the screw shows that the threads are worn down to almost nothing; near the head of the screw, there are no threads at all--absolutely smooth. I *have* had the scissors for thirty-six years. I guess thirty-six years of faithful service should earn a guy a new screw, right?

So, to wrap up this long story, two employees took twenty-five minutes to finally narrow down six different screws (and a lock-washer) to one. That means fifty minutes of man-power. The final bill:

Fifteen cents.

(plus a penny tax.)

My scissors are happy.
So am I.
I love my hardware store.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Busy Summer...

...and it's still June!

My nephew Phil (far left) is off to Korea to help defend our freedom. It is such a blessing that his cousin Mike is already over there. Evidently they will be together a good deal of the time. (also in this photo: back: Johnny Tremain, cousin Derek [Mike's brother], and our own Laura Carrot. Front: Alvin Fernald)

Next we have my nephew Nate, and his lovely bride Sarah. It's just been Party Central this summer!
While in South Bend for Nathan's wedding, we stayed with Violet, whom you may remember is a dorm rector for a women's dorm at Notre Dame. We took a little Tour Down Memory Lane on Saturday: (Charming and I met there thirty-five years some time ago.)

Alvin decided that he would be the Travelocity Gnome Guy on the tour. Here he is in front of the Library (Touchdown Jesus, if you are a fan of ND football).

The Main Building (Golden Dome) is so, so beautiful. We went inside and saw the gorgeous murals. The a/c was set none too high, so we cut our tour a little short.

Next we have Alvin standing in front of Charming's old dorm room. There was a Definite Sales Presentation goin' on from Daddy to Son on this one.

Finally, a Dad/Son moment on the steps of the dorm.
We finished our day with a visit to Queen Darl, Charming's dear mother, always a treat!

This weekend, *I* get to stay home. HOORAY. I am going to redeem my time with rest, because we leave in another week for vacation. And, as every mother knows, vacation does not happen without a lot of Planning, Shopping, and Packing.

Sigh. I think I'm tired already just thinkin' about it. But, Oh The Joy when we finally get there!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Four Score and Seven Years Ago... Daddy was born!

photo: Daddy and Alvin Fernald, 2007

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

So, so many stories I could tell you, of course, about a man born in nineteen-and-twenty-two (as his father would say). The time at twelve years old, on Halloween, putting an outhouse up on the roof of the bank building downtown. Going to the neighborhood grocer on Thursdays, with his dad's paycheck in hand. The grocer would "cash" the check, pay the family's bill for the week, and Daddy would leave with a handful of vanilla cremes the grocer put in his hand on the way out the door. It was Daddy's job to coax the furnace to life in the mornings. Then there was the time he woke up with inches of snow on top of his blanket. And on. And on.

He skipped his senior year of high school to care for his baby sister after his mother had surgery, then went back and graduated a year late. He married "the girl next door" at nineteen. Three months later was Pearl Harbor. He proudly served in the Army Air Force. When he came home, he began a forty-one year career at General Electric. Mom and Daddy's life had many joys as well as sorrows--he has nine children waiting for him in heaven, as well as his "pretty girl." For his fifty-year high school reunion he wrote a tiny biography, and called himself "a simple man, raising a family, married to the love of his life."

But of course, he didn't tell the whole story. How he is the ultimate in human role models for How to Be a Godly Man, and How to Live Your Life with Integrity. About Duty and Sacrificial Love and Fun. About how all you had to do was watch him awhile, and you could see the Father God's love shining through him.

And, of course, he could fix anything. And do anything.

Because he's my Daddy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


During this growing season:

"Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: Thou greatly enrichest it with the
river of God, which is full of water: Thou preparest them corn, when thou hast
so provided for it.

10Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: Thou
settlest the furrows thereof: Thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest
the springing thereof.

11Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and
thy paths drop fatness.

12 They drop upon the pastures of the
wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side.

13The pastures
are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout
for joy, they also sing." Psalms 65: 9-13

Nature all around us, tells us what the Lord is doing. And, Nature is rejoicing! Shouldn't we be rejoicing as well, at what the Lord is doing?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Playing with the Big Boys

I just love Monday nights this summer! Johnny Tremain, MacGuyver, Rocky Balboa, and Alvin Fernald are on our church softball team. Alvin is so excited, because the minimum age to play is fourteen, and, of course, he is.

Last night was the third "played" game (with one rained out). Alvin struggled the first two games--after all, he's never played softball before, and the rest of the guys were seasoned, and men.

He missed fielding a couple of balls, struck out a couple of times, "flied" out on others. But last night was Different. That boy was On His Game. He caught a line drive, foiled a run, and got two hits, one an RBI. He was also part of a double play, but later he told me that the second guy didn't quite get out. Oh, well. For this Mama, that didn't make no difference!

I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that my other two sons and son-in-law had exploits of their own. It seemed that they just couldn't miss catching a fly ball when it came their way. I'm not sure, but it seemed to me that my four boys are just about the best players that the game has ever seen!

[Why, yes, I DO need to sew four or five buttons back on my shirt, from bustin' with pride!]

On the sideline front, fifteen-month-old Oxford had his first taste of dirt. Like many of us, it will not make his list of fave foods. But Mommy Forget-me-not was there with water to wash it out, and grapes to take the bad taste away!

This morning, I watched three of Lily's, while she went to the homeschool used curriculum sale. I made the girls these Lazy Days Skirts: (click on the link for the free pattern)

(That is Laura Carrot on the left, and Sweet Pea on the right.) I didn't have the ribbon that the pattern called for, for the border, so I just used a contrasting fabric.

Charming has had yesterday and today off. The weather has been great, and it has been a relaxing, wonderful two days. If you read my other blog, you'll know that Charming is under a lot of pressure at work, and will probably be "downsized" this month. This "weekend" has been very therapeutic for us. Of course, any day filled with our children and grandchildren has got to be great, right?

Sunday, June 07, 2009


I've been thinking again. Go check out my other blog!