Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Miscellany

* October is fundraising month around here, and we are soooo glad that it's over! I really don't have a lot to do besides help Laurel sell. We have a fantastic fundraising coordinator for our American Heritage Girls troop. She does all the planning, collecting, and distributing of our annual citrus sale. But Randy, as Cubmaster of Duncan's troop, isn't so blessed. No one has stepped up to coordinate the annual popcorn sales for the past few years, so he does it all: planning, communicating, collecting, encouraging, and adding up all the money and the leftover popcorn. It's a really, really big job. But now it's done for the most part, and tonight we are reveling in a fundraising-free home.

* Our dog got into the Halloween candy. We now have 7 distinct stains on the living room carpet where she had diarrhea. Big stains. And she smells gross. Anyone have a great idea for getting poop stains out of carpet?

* Every Tuesday evening my parents come over for supper. It is impossible to express how much I cherish this tradition. Tonight after supper we played a game of Mahjong, which we are all struggling to learn, and than a game of our favorite card game. (It's called 500, in case you are wondering. You've probably never played.) But best of all, my father told stories after we played. The word "stories" doesn't seem quite right; really, my father tells memories. He is a master storyteller, with a gentle cadence and a penchant for poetry. Tonight he told about a certain "refugee" family from the "Missouri boot-heel" who moved to his small southern Illinois town and worked on his family's apple orchards. The story progressed through years and years, winding through college and the war and back to southern Illinois. I love stories like that. We also visited Omaha Beach, where my father's battalion landed just two months after D-Day. I am so blessed to have this man as my father. It's not just that he is the perfect Dad and a hero and a historian and a brilliant scientist, but he has a poet's heart.

* I love this week. I have virtually no extra activities.

* Which makes me wonder, yet again: why do we do so many things?


  1. Your Tuesday dinners sound lovely. I really can't wait until we live close to family again. Whenever my in-laws are over, we always play "Pitch" (a card game). I don't think many people play card games anymore. Your father sounds like a wonderful storyteller.

    No suggestions about the carpet. That has to be really frustrating. That's why we put in hardwood floors in the living room. 5 messy kids = stains. The white (yes white) carpets in their bedrooms are destroyed....

  2. Oh! You got my full empathy at the dog/carpet thing! Just today I was putting the freshly washed Duvet on our bed and noticed several little stains that were cat pee. Urgh. Now that I am a mom I have come to realize that I am an animal lover in theory only.

  3. Try Hydrogen Peroxide on the carpet (after cleaning it as much as possible) but test for color-fastness first. That stuff works great for biological stains, but does bleach a bit on some fabrics.

  4. Fail-safe cure for poop stains: utility knife.

  5. Sarah,
    I heard stories also when Dad came up here for coffee at UT and also when riding around with him that I'd never heard. We need to always tape them when he starts to talk and remember. He remembers the stuff but for me it is the first time I've ever heard them.

    His stories about fruit breeding are unbelievable, cover the world, and are very detailed and have much to say about the state of research at the land grant universities of today. One of his latest memories were going back to the idea of owned plant material and where that started.



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