Friday, April 30, 2010

Life in My World in Which I Combine All Posts for the Week with Only One Picture of Asparagus

Traveling Tuesday, a Tip from Someone Else

When Grace called to tell me about their first ultrasound she said, “It looks like a grain of rice.” A few weeks later, I asked Abe how their grain of rice was doing and he said, “It’s a blueberry now.” A week after that when I asked how the blueberry was he said, “It’s not a blueberry anymore it’s a kidney bean.” A month later it was the size of a shrimp.

Each Friday Grace looks up on what size the baby is and where it is in its development and then Ty calls her and finds out what it says and names the baby for the week. This week he appropriately named it Bell as it is the size of a pepper. Bill, Bell. No matter. Grace finds out next week what it will be and then we will do our very best not to weasel it out of her while she waits for Abe to call from Iraq so she can tell him. We’ll do our very best not to eavesdrop while she’s on the phone with him for then Abe will call us and tell us what it will be. My guess this week is Bill. Last week it was Bell.  

"Mini-Makover" Self-Portrait Tuesday (Minus the Picture)

I thought I was the luckiest girl when Melanie began cutting hair in her home. And I was for many, many cuts and colors. And then she moved away and I felt sad and unlucky indeed. And then my luck returned when Grace moved home with Calvin and me for now we have a cosmetologist living WITH us. In the last couple of weeks she has colored, cut, waxed, filed, and painted. For the next year a makeover is as close as our kitchen sink and I’m counting my lucky stars.

Saturday Calvin whistled when he saw my nails all freshly painted and said, “Whoo-eee!” and then, “How much would that have cost Grace?” We both know how to count our lucky stars.

Homemaking Tip, Asparagus Bokay

“Pray, how does your asparagus perform?”
(John Adams in a letter to his wife Abigail)

Ande’s job this summer is driving through various fields taking soil and water samples. She asked the other day how to find asparagus so Calvin taught her where to look along the ditch banks. She doesn’t even like asparagus. I’ve tried steaming, grilling, and creaming it and she has always turned up her nose. But now she has a friend that likes it and all be darned if she hasn’t decided it’s good. Enough so that she wanted to gather a bunch of it for him. Asparagus makes a lovely bouquet. Since Ande hadn’t been able to gather any, she suggested we buy some at the mercantile next to the asparagus fields when Grace and I went down to the temple yesterday. Hmmmm. What do you want to bet a few more meals with this friend and she learns to like stew, green beans, broccoli, and squash, too? I like this friend.

Thursday Thinking

I recently read about a study conducted on fish in the Potomac River. The scientists discovered that the female fish were normal but that 80% of the males were producing eggs instead of sperm. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Scientists discovered a similar phenomenon of emasculation in male alligators in central Florida. The study suggested phthalates (which plastic bottles are made from) as the contributing source of the hormone havoc. Further studies suggested that this chemical may actually damage a boy’s brain and encouraged aluminum or glass beverage containers instead of plastic.

I picked up a few bright colored aluminum water bottles at the store today—gray for Calvin, green for Ande, pink for Grace, and blue for me. Later I remembered the experts’ suggestions that there may be a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s.

Hmmmmm. Aluminum or plastic? Alzheimer’s or Feminization? Decisions. Decisions. I liked it better when I thought we were invincible and seldom paid attention to studies.

Kid Catch-up

Ty leaves for a summer exchange program in China soon, but is only 52% as excited as he was a month or two ago . . . something about missing someone while he's gone. 

Cali no longer works the dreaded ICU night shift but works days instead.

Ray was promoted.

Ande likes her job, and her friend, and asparagus.

Grace is noticeably pregnant.

Abe sees orange skies during the sandstorms and rarely eats dessert or chocolate anymore.


Nikki said...

I loved this whole post. But the end made my heart ache. The bit about Grace being noticeably pregnant made me smile until the next bit about Abe not eating dessert and chocolate anymore- and me realizing he's far away from Grace. *sniff*

Deanna/Mimi said...

You are the most gifted person. I am so very impressed with your writings, your intelligence, your ability to take the simplest things we take for granted and make them gifts from our creator. I loved this covered such an array of life in the Payne family. Thank you for sharing. Brilliant!!! Uplifting!!!

Ty said...

It's Belle Mom. I love you.

Michelle said...

You never cease to amaze me. Just when I tought I had seen your best - you out did yourself today with the NJP Newsletter. I do not even know how to put into words how I felt after reading it. I was touched and made to do some thinking and much-needed soul-searching of my own. Thank you!

Tiffany Fackrell said...

just so you know, there is a little stand not far from here, pasco, that has 20 lb boxes of asparagus for 20 bucks! If you want that much let me know and I can get you the info and where it is. We bought a box and froze it, I LOVE asparagus!

I love your "life in my world" posts. I hope to see Grace noticably pregnant, I am sure she is ADORABLE! Although, I might start crying just thinking about her situation, i do everytime I pass your driveway. I can't wait to find out if it is a Belle or a Bill!!

Becky said...

I always love reading about your family! {And Jeff gets a kick out of me scrolling through the pictures and telling him who everyone is as though I have known you my whole life}

I loved so much about this post...I don't like many vegetables but asparagus is yummy *and* pretty.

The last line hurt my heart, but it also gave me a great idea for a Cub Scout den meeting...if I mail you stuff will you be able to get it to Abe? Let me know.

Cali said...

I love you mom. I don't really have a comment... other than WAHOO for no more night shift. I agree that you are one gifted writer. You put out two masterpieces today; this blog and your newsletter.


Amy said...

This post was pure delight to read. I love your updates, your whimsy. And your writing always makes me feel like I know these strangers that are your closest kin. What a gift your blog must be to them.

Alisa said...

I too feel like I know everyone you write about!
So fun to get the whole weeks catch up in one post.
Your covered it well.
I think if you were to write a Christmas letter (maybe you do!) yours would be the one I would look forward to reading the most.

Barb said...

have I been skimming? I didn't know you were going to be a grandma! Congratulations, that is the most exciting news I've read all week.

Lucy said...

How exciting to watch the growth of your first grandchild. I love that Grace is part of your family and that you get to support each other while Abe is overseas. Looking forward to finding out if its Bell or Bill:)

melanie said...

I don't know from what you've posted and told me about Ty, he has insight so I might be changing my guess to go along with his. Belle.

Love this post Jane. Miss you so, so much. I love that you have Grace. For support. For makeovers. For gender contests. What fun.

Of course I want to know more. We could always find 'more' to talk about. Love you!

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

I can't wait to see what grace is having. How fun. I also love the update on life and your kids. Grace is the cutesy pregnant woman ever.

tina said...

Love this post Jane! Pretty asparagus - I don't know that I have seen it so purple before. Maybe I just didn't notice. I love putting some seasoning on it with some olive oil and throwing it down on the BBQ. Yummy! Thanks for sharing!

Ande Payne said...


Yes that WAS a great post. One of my favorites of yours. I loved all the details!

And I never said I LIKED asparagus, just that I wanted some for said friend. Stew will always be out of the question. Not even garlic could save stew.

I hope it's Belle.

Ande Payne said...

Also. Great title.

Heather @ Multiple Hats said...

Oh, thanks for the update. I want Grace to do my hair in your kitchen - are you the appointment secretary? Don't think for a second that Darla and I missed the fact that there's a "friend" in the picture - we are ever so excited :)

Jenny said...

I am going to have to steal that bouquet idea. Love it!!

michelle said...

I remember well when I was pregnant with Max and we would call him "rice baby," "bean baby," and "potato baby." I like Belle.

You are lucky to have a cosmetologist in the family! I think every family should have one. Calvin is smart to be thankful for that as well.

I think the asparagus bouquet is fabulous, and so great that Ande is branching out! I hope Lucas has a friend like that someday...