Allergies to bees, lead and sweat

Sean has been in a creative mood all week. He’s done some drawing and painting, but, most wonderfully, he leaped up last night and declared “I’m feeling inspired!”
“Inspired how?” I inquired of the grinning fellow, posing like a superhero before me.
“Inspired to cook!” He proclaimed, and sprang to work in the kitchen. These are the best days.


Practical projects make my heart flutter. Anything that simplifies or brightens daily tasks is worthwhile to me. My superhero name is The Obviator. Though it doesn’t really improve the functionality, refurbishing this coffee table was my great accomplishment of the week:



  • Crappy old coffee table
  • Unwanted maps
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Polyurethane to seal the top

Paint the coffee table, water down the glue a tiny bit, affix the maps making sure to minimize air bubbles, add a few coats of watered down glue to the top, allow to dry, seal with polyurethane. Don’t let your cats jump up there during any of the drying phases.

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On Wednesday, we totally pigged out on nori rolls and watched Frozen with Ian. We talked big talk that day about key lime pie and key lime pie ice cream. Since Freckles is our only layer right now, we’ve had to wait a while to accumulate the necessary eggs for these projects. I made the pie a few days ago, and we’ve had to employ great self-control to keep from finishing it off before it can be added to the ice cream (which takes four eggs). Thank goodness we picked up some pullets this week. We are not getting enough eggs.

We were chasing the pullets out of their sequestration in the henhouse one evening (Cappy and Freckles wouldn’t let them out) when a wasp stung Sean right in the nose. His cheeks and top lip swelled up so much that he looked like Hermione’d jinxed him to hide his identity from Snatchers. We drove down to the neighbors’ and Nancy took one look at Sean and sent us on to the doctor. The folks at the doctor’s office giggled over the comparison between his swollen visage and the photo on his license, gave him a steroid shot in the butt and a prescription for an epi-pen and sent us on our way. Sean wore sunglasses in public for a day and a half like a starlet trying to fool the paparazzi.

Yesterday, our neighbors took us for a ride in their party barge on Moon Lake. While we were floating on foam noodles in the muddy oxbow lake, succumbing to our first sunburns of the year and talking about allergies (Sean was still looking vaguely rodentine), Nancy told us the story of her grandfather’s death.

The year was 1921 and my grandfather had just acquired a divorce, a rare thing in those days. He was a bit of a lady’s man, and he’d been fooling around with the secretary in his office at the county courthouse. She was under the impression that he planned to marry her, though he had no such intentions. When she realized that he wasn’t serious, she came to work with a gun to shoot him right there in the courthouse. He didn’t want to get shot, so he tried to take the gun away from her. While they were struggling, her daddy came in, and, remembering that my grandfather kept a gun in the desk drawer, reached in, took out that gun and shot him in the gut. Shot her, too, on accident, but didn’t hurt her. My grandfather, it turns out, was allergic to lead. He died a week later.

In other news, we’re getting ready to teach summer school at Lee. I’ll be teaching Algebra 1 to two groups of kids each day in 90 minute blocks. I’m so excited! I’ve always wanted to teach 90 minute blocks, and I love teaching Algebra. Bonus points: the money is really good and we’re working only until about 12:30, so we still get to work in the garden and get outside in the afternoons. I’m going to try something new where I don’t have rules exactly, but instead I have a poster that reads something like this (shoulda taken a picture: whoops)

In this classroom you will…

Challenge Yourself

Respect, Honor and Support Everyone

Follow Directions

Ask Why

Learn from your mistakes

Act like and be treated like a young adult

I like it because it sets positive expectations for the kids and for me. These are better than rules: These are facts. You will do these things. I can give both positive and negative consequences based on these statements. I’m really super-stoked.

Canoeing Montage!

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As for me, I’m not really allergic to anything, but working out(side) in Arkansas in the summer makes me sweat, and sweat makes me itch and go all bumpy from eczema and before you know it I’m a mess. It’s a great excuse to come in and take frequent, cool showers.

6 thoughts on “Allergies to bees, lead and sweat

    • YES DOMINION! It’s so nice having time to play: the school year is so crazy we never do anything fun. We busted those out last week and played game after game after game.
      Bakewell pudding looks delicious and like nothing I’ve ever eaten before. Maybe we’ll try to make one.

      • Oh we love Dominion – although we are playing a lot of Race for the Galaxy at the moment which I think you might enjoy!

        I’ll blog about the Bakewell Pudding when I make it if you show some pics of the Key Lime Pie and ice cream!

        • Please do blog about the Bakewell Pudding, though alas, the pie is gone (much of it into the ice cream). There’s a lot of ice cream to photograph, I just need to talk Sean into writing a post about how he made it. He’s the culinary genius in the house.
          Next time we are in town, we’ll see if we can find Race for the Galaxy. I haven’t run across it yet, which is exciting! Maybe our board-gamey friends in Helena have it…

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