Month: October 2008

  • taking up biking… and other musings


    Wow. Where to begin after not writing or taking pictures for nearly a month?! This past month has been so soo busy for us – I think I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually been on the computer in these 30 days.

    We’ve been…

    ….saying very sad goodbyes to Wes & Ginny after hoping so badly they would be able to stay here!
    … planning a farewell ladies luncheon and a church farewell for them
    … helping our friends Eric & Linda a few days/evenings here and there, and now they are moved into their lovely new home!
    … having a fun quad-date with 3 other couples one night – so so fun!


    [yes, we all had our pictures taken at the sappy but oh-so-fun-memories-and-photos-to-be-handed-to-our-kids place. Rembrandt happened to be our artist that night]

    [and three of my lovely friends here in the south! linda, veronica, carmel]

    … making hot lunch for ladies sewing at church
    … making hot dishes for church functions
    … making hot lunch for the school kids
    … totally “cooked out!!”
    …going to birthday parties and luncheons and suppers
    … getting into biking just a bit (more on that later)
    … dealing with a grouchy, teething baby
    … beginning piano lessons (teaching) to a few students
    … helping one of the youth girls from church re-do her bedroom
    … doing work projects with the youth group for our pastors (it’s Pastor Appreciation month)
    … going to a rodeo that some of the kids from church were in
    … watched “Fireproof” (excellent, excellent!!!)
    … having a garage sale and selling almost everything I took out
    … enjoying the lovely memories when Wendall & Mary Jo came down and spent the weekend here
    … doing just a smidgen of fall decorating in the midst of this crazy schedule!


    [and just another'n - outside our garage (the southern entrance: no one uses front doors. okay, almost no one) bummer I couldn't find those awesome white pumpkins like this girl has... but this will do for now. maybe next year I'll plant some of those myself]


    Hmmm, I think that sums it up in a nutshelll. I may elaborate on a few items, but will keep it to a few for the sake of getting too detailed and thus boring everyone to tears.

    I do have a story to tell though…


    Monday began as a normal day – a quiet day at home after another fun but busy weekend. No plans at all, which is highly highly  unusual these days. Just a few things on the list to do around the house: home blessing day, which means a thorough cleaning of all used areas of the house; make bread; make supper. Not a big deal.

    Making bread during Zoe’s awake time was near-disastrous, but she was ever so happy to be placed on a chair right by the action, and hey, the house hadn’t been cleaned yet, so why the fuss about flour on the floor.



    She was thrilled thrilled to the depths of her 14-month-old soul to be dumping flour into the Bosch mixer, er – onto the floor. And I, amid giggles, was telling her in great detail how to make whole wheat bread. Totally in jest, because I think I could recite the recipe and each important ingredient’s funtion in great details in my sleep  because my mother was THE Bosch dealer of Lancaster County for many years and we heard the same lines over and over. Things like “dough enhancer makes your bread softer, and lighter, and fluffier.” Those lines still run through my head every time I see a container of dough enhancer. Some things always stay with ya. Thanks, mom! =) I know Zoe’ is totally sold on whole wheat bread because of that. She even wanted to eat the dough, instead of forming it into loaves, like I showed her. That resulted in a near-choking episode at which she kept begging for more dough to eat and I kept telling her it wasn’t a good idea to eat it raw.

    Ben called partly through my bread baking and wondered if I felt like cooking that night. “Sure,” I responded, “whatcha hungry for?” “Oh, nothing in particular,” husband said, “just wondered if you want me to bring home Japanese take-out for supper?” I, like the virtuous wife who never accepts take-outs but is always trying to save a few pennies with her supper already in the crock-pot (okay, forget the crock-pot. I never use it), assured him that everything was fine and I was sure I could manage a pot of soup, or something simple like that. Bless his thoughtful heart for asking, I thought to myself, but we should probably save the money and use it on something else instead.

    Part way through breadmaking, I remembered an idea for a housewarming gift that I had seen on “It’s a Wonderful Life” and read on one of those free pamphlets I get in the mail sometimes. I used my normal bread recipe instead of theirs, but used the basic idea for our friends that are moving into their brand new house.


    Bread: so you’ll never know hunger
    Salt: so misfortune will be kept from your door
    Wine: so you’ll always know happiness

    Bread baking, child napping, house cleaning itself after the hurricane Zoe’ was finished with her flour and dough. I suddenly had an inspiration to go biking. Well, first I wanted to go walking, since Zoe’ has been teething and nothing soothes her like being in the great outdoors. Then I would take over the little housewarming gift in the car. But hey, why not do the exercise and gift all in one? Sure, it’s a 5 minute drive, but it surely wouldn’t take very long biking. After all, South Georgia is relatively flat. How difficult could that be?

    Very, I discovered. First, my tires weren’t pumped up as much as they should have been. Second, I had a 25-pound daughter sitting on the back tire (in a seat, of course). And thirdly (and probably most important), I have not biked in a very long time. Too long a time to suddenly break out the bike and take a Tour de Georgia.

    I felt the strain in the first 1/2 mile, but it was on a dirt road, so that was surely the reason it was so difficult, I reasoned. The next few miles went by rather well, considering I was terribly out of shape and felt every 1% grade on the road between here and there. Zoe’ was loving it, and was singing songs to me upon my request, clapping along to herself, patting me on the back now and then, and even fell asleep the last mile or so. What a delightful bonding time between mother and child, I naively thought. The beautiful changing leaves were admired in their scores of different colors.

    The gift was delivered, the new house admired, and off we set for the trip home. This time Zoe’ was not quite so delighted to be out on another bike trip. In fact, she wailed the whole way home. I tried to smile and wave without panting too badly at the neighbors I passed on our trek, they peering at me like “why don’t you just go home and get your wailing daughter out of the miserable seat?!” “Well, that’s what I’m aiming to do, sir. I only have 5 more miles to go…”

    The changing leaves up north were thought of wistfully as I biked past acres and acres of nothing but pine trees and swamps. And everyone knows, autumn in the south has lovely weather but nothing much else lovely about it.

    All warm and fuzzy feelings about mother and daughter had vanished amid the howls [from daughter] and pants and puffs [ from mother]. Now the thoughts went places like the persecuted church, and I felt that in a small part I could relate with their being pushed to the point of not going anymore, and began to pray like fury for any suffering soul that came to mind. I thought of my sister, Jana, who is going through nursing school and maxed out with it. And prayed that if she ever feels mentally like I felt on that killing bike trip, that God would just bless her to pieces, and I told Him that she has every ounce of my admiration too. Perhaps the praying was partly selfish, because I was hoping that it would pass the time more quickly. But I truly was as sincere as I ever was.

    We finally arrived home, the 5-minute one-way drive turned into more like a 45-minute one-way agony ride, but we arrived home without stopping. That was my goal. Call me wimpy for hardly being able to bike 12 miles, but at least we didn’t stop for a break until the end of our driveway to get the mail.

    Zoe’ was hungry by the time we arrived home, and I was ravenous. So I set her in the high chair to eat a banana while I scrounged up something for myself. You must understand, my bike is quite a lovely though modest bike, but the seat is designed to hold a rider for only a mile or two. Thus, there were certain parts of my body completely void of feeling. Well, actually, not quite. The feeling that remained was, um, quite painful, I must say. So I was staggering around the kitchen, not even able to walk properly due to the great discomfort. Plus my knees and legs felt like a combination of jello and rubber – or something that doesn’t stand very well on its own. My little daughter sat in her chair just giggling and giggling – she thought I was putting all this on to make her laugh. Putting on I was definitely not, but at least she was happy now.

    Snacks eaten, baby in bed, and – oh no! It was nearly suppertime, and even a simple pot of soup seemed far too unreasonable to make a champion biker cook after such strenuous exercise. What to do? Ahhh, perhaps husband’s offer was still standing. On second thought, take-out would be SPLENDID!!  was the text message Ben received, all thoughts of money-saving and frugality forgotten.

    Take-out was gotten, rest was taken, husband was told the story and thought it was the most hilarious thing he had ever heard. He was still laughing late that night in bed. I’m not sure what was so funny, except that perhaps it was one of the dumbest things I’ve done in a while.

    So that’s my story.

    The next day was spend recuperating.


    …i might mention that the especially exhausting twelve miles,
    as well as the constant tiredness causing my internet absence,
    may be attributed to
    the oh-so-beautiful reason 
    that this little pair of boots shall,
    in about six months time,
    be passed down from
    big sister zoe…