Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today's Word of the Day -- Decomposition

So, I spent most of my day today doing yard work. It was time to mow for the first time, then I spent a couple hours pulling weeds. While weeding, I ran across at least a hundred earthworms - they are decomposers, you know. After I finished the weeding, I picked up a cubic yard of compost and put it in the garden.

This afternoon one of my tutoring students came for help with geometry. He showed me that today's homework was from a chapter titled Vector Decomposition (no lie!), and he didn't understand it. That was fun!

Then just before dinner, Cheyenne delivered the "very sad news" that her pet goldfish Dorothy had died. Her dinner insights were as follows. "It's okay, she's gonna go to fish heaven....that's the toilet, you know." After dinner, she gathered us in the bathroom for the official flushing. She gave her tribute, then asked, "Do you have anything you'd like to say, Dad?" Dad offered a thought. "Do you have something to say, Mom?" I gave the concluding remarks. Flush! And so the decomposition begins.

And now for the serious thought of the day:

After weeding, I was driving our groovy 1984 pickup to get the compost. I was looking pretty scary in my sloppy t-shirt and exercise pants that were now dirty. I noticed my hands were stained from the dirt and mud I had been digging in. It made me think about the whole process of Spring and new birth. It occurred to me that new birth, growth and progress are sometimes messy events. I realized that in order to get the beautiful flowers of spring, you have to get your hands dirty and you might get a splinter or two. To get the lush green grass to enjoy in your bare feet, you have to cut down the grass on a regular basis. And to get new blossoms and stronger branches, you have to prune the trees.

Everything about the thought process made me think of life and the ups and downs that come along with each of our lives. Sometimes life is messy. Sometimes we're covered in dirt or mud, or even someone/something else's decomposing material. Sometimes we get cut back, but we might be a little lusher when it's over. And haven't we all been pruned once or twice? Let's hope we come out a little prettier, fuller, and stronger because of it. And in the meantime, may we all just enjoy the spring!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pickles, Tickets to Alaska, and 1,000 French Bread Bags

I recently told a friend that I think it would be an interesting exercise to record my daily life in 5 minute increments. It's so varied, so interesting, sometimes so bizarre. However, my 5 minute increments are usually so full that I don't get much of a chance to record anything. I'm determined to record a little of my life, just to make me appreciate the tapestry that is my "Wildelife."

Note: What I really want to do here is have a collage of pictures that you could click on and see details. But, alas, I am technically incompetent. If any of my readers who are savvy enough to teach me to do such a thing, I'd love for you to stage an intervention. I really should break out of the basic mode of just inserting one picture at a time followed or preceded by text! Until then, here goes!

When we went to visit my parents the day after Easter, Grandpa sent Cheyenne home with the mega jar of pickles. She was thrilled. And because she wanted to be sure it made it safely back to our house, she even buckled it into a seat belt for the journey home. It almost made it home before it fell and went tumbling to the floor. There really aren't words for how grateful I was that it didn't break. A lifetime of dill pickle/van smell sounded pretty awful.

Spring Break brought a variety of tasks, moods, and adventures. There was homework, there was swimming at Colleen's and the dinosaur museum with Cathy. And then there was the snowstorm. This is what 8+ inches of snow looks like in mid April. Gotta love Utah!

And let me not forget to mention that it also brought my first ever chance to catch and pick up a live chicken because it didn't want to go back in its coop for the night. Yeah, that means that if you need us, the Wildes do chicken sitting.

On Friday we had some friends over to play games. At one point, we had all the parents playing against all the kids. When we (the parents) got a couple of answers right, Daniel's teenage buddy accused us of being "telepathetic." I think it was an attempt at using a big word, but it was probably a true Freudian slip.

Between Friday night and Sunday afternoon, Dale and I made a somewhat impulsive decision to take our family to Alaska this summer. Thanks to Angie for being willing to house us in Anchorage on our visit, thanks to Delta for having a frequent flier program, and thanks to all of you, my friends, who believed that someday your "telepathetic" friends could make a quick decision to do something fun. This will truly fulfill a lifelong dream for me as well as cut my list of states left to visit from 8 down to 7! (For future reference, that list would be North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Delaware, Texas, Hawaii, and Alaska.)

Monday's activities included watching Daniel and his friend destroy a chocolate bunny with the aid of a fuse wrapped around its body parts which was then lit by a magnifying glass. Following the melting, they entertained themselves by driving the death-r-mobile they created down a nearby hill. It was composed of a hand truck, a scooter, and a lot of bungee cords.

The afternoon was also highlighted by the arrival of 1,000 French bread bags. The intention was to buy a few for Daniel to use for his Saturdough bread-making business. Well it was only slightly more expensive to order 1,000 of them than it was to buy 100 of them off of ebay. So, we did what any self-respecting parents would have done, and we ordered the big lot. Maybe we'll sell them in groups of 100 on ebay. Or if any of you need some, please let us know. And thanks to my cute nieces for coming to make bread that night so we could give away our first two bags! 998 bags in the box, 998 bags. Take one out, give it away, 997 bags in the box!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Fun Tale

Once upon a time (actually it was Tuesday, April 7), Dale and I saw a UPS truck pull up to our house.

"Are you expecting something?" "No, are you?" "No." "Well, we're getting something."

Outside, Cheyenne said, "Thanks!" then came running in the house screaming, "It's my pickles from Grandpa! It's my pickles from Grandpa!" (Picture confused and confounded looks on Dale and Cheryl's faces.)

Cheyenne ran to the kitchen and grabbed some scissors where she began attacking the box with zeal.

Before long, a bundle of bubble wrap emerged. More scissors.

Sure enough, it's pickles!!

Mom: "Cheyenne, why did Grandpa send you pickles?"
Exasperated Cheyenne: "Because I wanted some! They're the cute little ones!" (Cute little dill pickles)

Cheyenne ate a pickle then put the lid on.

Cheyenne: "I need to run and tell Noreen (the next door neighbor) that Grandpa sent me pickles."
Voice trailing off...."Noreen! Grandpa sent me pickles!"
This scene was repeated at the next neighbor's house.

Wednesday, April 8. "Can I have a pickle for a snack?"
Thursday, April 9. Cheyenne just finished a yummy breakfast of eggs and pancakes. "Now can I have a pickle?"

Cheryl's Conclusions from the last couple of days:
Jar of pickles: $2.50
Cost of postage: $7.00
Smile on Cheyenne's face and thrill in her voice: PRICELESS

Thanks, Grandpa, for a very fun treat.