High-Minded Thinking

I just realized something. I could nickname this blog "DUMD" (Dogs Under My Desk), but that doesn't make much sense. But Dogs Under My Bum would work: DUMB.

These are the important things I think about.

Dark Cloud

Sometimes I really hate Onna...

Well, I don't really "hate" her. Hate is a strong word. "Dislike" isn't really correct either. Maybe "annoyed" fits better. And the only time I am annoyed with her is when she insists we go for a walk when all I want to do is sit at home under a dark cloud.

You see I have realized the past few weeks have caught up with me. Since August 30th I've tried to be a positive player in Megan's life. That was my job. To try and add some kind of light to her life, even if it was a sliver of a glimmer. Not sure if I succeeded, but amid the dishes and loaves of bread, I tried to be "up." My heart is broken for my broken-hearted girl and I will do anything I can to help her.

But now that I am home and dismissed for the time being, I find a dark cloud hanging over my head. I keep telling myself Jim was just my son-in-law so I shouldn't be so affected—that belongs to his mother, kids, and wife—but he was part of our family, an important part, and now that part is missing. We all feel it.

I have a list of things I should be doing—clean the garage, spray the weeds with RoundUp, organize the Crippen boys to help me put the backyard to sleep, clean the oven, etc, etc—but I have no desire to do one dang thing around here. Am I lazy? Gosh, I hope not. I think it's just grief. It's weeks late, but I think it finally caught up with me.

Grief is a funny thing. It has hundreds of faces and you are never sure which face it will show you when it's your turn to host it. And as an unwelcome guest, it can also shift from one emotion to another in the blink of an eye, and with no warning. And then there are the triggers. A word. A picture. A sound. One never knows the Thing that will summon sad feelings.

In moments of productiveness I have managed to scratch out a few thank you cards in my less-than-legible handwriting (typing really is best for me), but after all that has been offered me, and all the acts of service that have come my direction, a "thank you" hardly seems adequate. Actually I have yet to find the perfect words to convey my appreciation. If I could put my words into body language, I would be slump-shouldered, with my hands hanging limply and helplessly at my side in complete surrender.

I penned a poem to tuck into thank you cards, and perhaps it will begin to explain—however inadequately—how I've felt:

In the blink of an eye everything slides,
And one simple phone call creates a divide.
The ground is shaken and hot pain prevails,
And needs do arise that tip our heart’s scales.

So in comes the calvary—here come our friends,
And the straight stab of hurt softens and bends.
Love stretches out and gathers the ache,
Holds us together so we crack but don’t break.

Yours are the arms that reached out in love,
To lift and to help like aid from Above.
Though we adjust to our new broken heart,
Your gift has kept us from falling apart.

Star Doughs


So Amazon—not the river—had this great little homepage special for Star Wars' delights. How could I resist the vintage print wall clock? Megan called me one day and told me she had the revelation that she had been raised by a nerd. And most certainly she is well versed in Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as most significant musicals. I may have skipped many important parental responsibilities, but I did cover the basics of sci-fi.

While in Sparks I made bread. I asked that my sourdough starter be brought back with Nathaniel, Katelynn, and Luke who had stayed at our Elk Ridge house for a few days. Megan made the observation that I like to keep things alive—plants, children, animals—and as of late, sourdough starter. The jar of living bacteria made the trip across the desert and after I retrieved it, I gave it a shot of flour and water a few times and it (I have yet to name "it") got busy and bubbly. Once It was ready I pulled out Megan's attractive, yet inferior, KitchenAid mixer, and made a loaf of delightful sourdough. The miracle of sourdough bread is that it is all of three ingredients: flour, water, and salt. That's it. You can add other things if you want to get fancy, but really, in its basic form, there are just three ingredients.

After conjuring up a loaf I discovered something important: Megan loves my sourdough bread. The girl is not all that much into eating lately given her stomach is so close in proximity to her broken heart, but Mama's bread can break through. I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing I have the power to tempt her to eat. Trust me, people, it isn't easy.

Since I was away from home for a total of 44 days out of the past two months, a few strange things happened. One being the tomato plants in the back yard. They morphed into red pumpkin plants, belching out some tomatoes the size of your head.


Also, Hook, the hanging ivy plant, gave up the ghost and died. Probably because it missed me. The rest of the 30-some-odd plants lived, so Hook was the weak link and deserved to die. If you are a plant and can't live up to my expectations, you might as well wither and expire. Unless you're sourdough starter. Then I will pamper and feed you to the bitter end.