Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cambridge Area Yard of the Month

Thanks to the Old Man's green thumb, we've got one of the best-looking landscapes in town, and we've again received the Cambridge Area Beautification Council's Special Recognition Award.
This is the second time we've gotten the certificate in the 10 years we've been working on the house and yard.
Our newest flower bed was completed today, almost a week after our names appeared in the paper.
Everyone in the family helped make this bed and everyone loves it!
The bed is the focal point of our new on-street parking pulloff and widened driveway. The concrete for these new areas was poured last week (the day of the choking incident).
The new bed features a huge sandstone boulder which was retrieved from my grandparents' farm in Noble County. It was a cornerstone from the foundation of a wash house on the century-and-a-half-old Watson family homestead. Another accent in the bed is a sandstone address marker that David carved when he worked for a local stone yard.
A professional landscaper for more than two decades and gardening enthusiast, David knows his plants and tonight we made a list of all the perennials, bushes and trees in our yard.
Our newest bed - full sun - features lemon balm, red cardinal flower, China girl holly, Asiatic lily, Stella de Oro daylilies, coral bells, variegated liriope, mums, bells flower, hibiscus (annual), whiteconeflower and blanketflower.
Other perennials around our yard include autumn joy sedum, hens and chicks, purple aster, red and yellow daylilies, purple coneflower, green liriope, at least 10 different varieties of hostas, double knockout rose, old-fashioned yellow rose, Fourth of July rose, Pom Pom Scot's Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce (tree), Cherokee Chief red flowering variegated dogwood (tree), rhododendron, dwarf burning bush, blue sedum, Indian paintbrush, Mimosa (tree), iris, black-eyed Susa, lilac, spiderwort, zagreb coreopsis, hydrangea, oriental poppy, dianthus, green and white euonymus, green and yellow euonymous, lamb's ear, red yarrow, clematis, loosestrife, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Alaska daisy, crimson pygmy barberry, wand flower, lamium, blueberries, Ravenna grass, sedge grass, mock orange, Texas scarlet quince, ostrich fern, and blanket flower, Little Princess spirea, and Creeping Jenny.
We have lots of annuals too including geraniums, petunias, marigolds, verbena, salvia, dahlia, bacopa, million bells, coleus, lobelia, begonias.
Plants are like clothes for the yard and I think David and I both are always looking for new places to put plants ... but we've run out of closets!
Our backyard, though seldom seen by the passerby, rivals our front yard. So if you're in the neighborhood, take a walk around the house and enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2009


This morning one of my worst fears came true. One of the boys was choking and I was the only adult at home.
My kids are bad at the breakfast table. Lately I've been making them eat in shifts so they have no one to entertain. They tell stories, make jokes, yell and scream and laugh, laugh, laugh and sometimes it gets out of control. Today it got out of control.
In addition to uncontrolled laughter, today's cereal time included snorting like a pig, which is another blog for another day.
Just before the choking incident, I warned them to Stop Laughing. No More Snorting. Someone Is Going To Choke.
I warned them I would use the spray bottle on them (for the cats), and perhaps even the wooden paddle, if I heard another outburst.
I ran upstairs to exchange one blouse for another.
When I came downstairs I headed to the table and noticed Lee was acting like he was choking, then I realized he was really choking.
Will and Christian were still.
I stood Lee up and thought "OMG, he's choking!"
I performed a poor imitation of the Heimlich Maneuver. I think I was too high on the chest.
As he continue to suffer, I became worried I would need help.
Three men were pouring concrete outside our house.
I guided Lee to the enclosed front porch, within a shout of the men, where I tried again and he expelled one of the chocolate balls (as in Cocoa Peanut Butter Spheres) and some other goop.
I was relieved I didn't have to call on the concrete workers' help but I wasn't afraid to.
Lee says he told his brothers, just before he choked: "I'm gonna cough up a blueberry!"
He must have been thinking of blueberries.
Lee is alright.
Thank God!

I am going to look into taking a Red Cross CPR class.


Just came in the house and found Lee (superhero son) looking at a book called The Beginners Bible "Jesus Walks on Water." This story facinates Lee, who through a really cool nightly routine, is learning about Jesus and God.

For as long as we can remember, David (the Old Man) has prayed nightly with the children. Christian has his own room and just before bedtime, the boys and their father gather in Lee and Will's room for some conversation that sometimes turns silly but always ends in David asking the boys: "What do you want to thank God for today?" Their answers are simple and sometimes awesome. A lot of times they thank God for material things like Nintendo DS, PlayStation, skateboards, etc. but a lot of times they thank God for the sun, moon, stars, grass, trees, food and water, mom and dad, and Mary, Joseph and Jesus!

This routine is followed by The Lord's Prayer and Now I Lay Me prayer.

Anyway, today, Lee announced, "I'm going to draw a picture of God," after I asked him if he was going to draw a picture of Jesus because he was eyeing the cover of the book.

Here's what Lee says God looks like.
He has fiery eyes, white hair and a white beard, and he has white hands.
He is wearing a white robe with a golden belt.
"He has powers," says Lee.

Lee's picture of God is posted here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yard sale kitty

We're having a yard sale Friday.
Aside from marking all the merchandise is having a yard sale kitty ready to start the sale. I obtained this monetary list in the late '90s from from a library book. I wrote the information down and have kept it in my yard sale folder for reference.
The $50 kitty
-15 one-dollar bills ($15)
-3 five-dollar bills ($15)
-1 ten-dollar bill ($10)
Plus $10 in change:
-15 dimes ($1.50)
- 10 nickles (50 cents)
- 32 quarters ($8)
A kitty this size will allow you to immediately break that $20 bill that someone hands you for a 50-cent item.
I keep my money in a lidded coffee container. As the sale progresses I take big bills in the house for safekeeping.
At one sale this summer I saw a woman wearing tube socks. After I paid she folded the money and slipped it into her sock for safe keeping.
When adding up the profits from your sale make sure you subtract $50 from the total so you have an accurate record of your earnings.
Happy yard saling!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beauty salon

Today I got my hair cut and highlighted at my favorite beauty salon in town. This is the first time in many, many years that I've splurged and let the shop do the highlights. Usually I buy the box at the local department store and pull it through the cap at home.
When I picked up the boys from the sitters they immediately noticed my golden locks.
Everyone agreed that I looked stunning.
Later, the oldest son announced that I looked like an "old lady."
I can't seem to lose that title.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mercer Mayer

The inspiration for our blog name came from my superhero son who loves to draw and read Mercer Mayer Little Critter books.

Superhero son illustrated his own Mercer Mayer book recently, which he titled Just A Soopr Day... thus the name of our blog. His "Superhero" Critter character (an original) also appears here.

Our blog will be a place where you can come for useful news and where the Old Lady will seek parenting, cooking, homemaking, laundry advice, etc. from others.