Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goodbye July, Hello August!

I can hardly believe that July is almost over with & with it comes the end of yet another summer. I always feel a little sad when the 4th of July rolls around each year because in my mind it is the 1/2 way point of the summer & the last half always goes so much faster than the first half. Tomorrow is the first day of August, which means (for me) there are only 10 more free days until school starts back up again. 10 more days to do what I want with, 10 more days to hang out with Luke & witness all of his changes firsthand, 10 more days to share with my 1 son before 1000 other kids enter into my world again. Don't get me wrong-I love my students & I love coming home at the end of the day & being able to share the stories they tell me or that I have about them with Scott, but it sure is nice to only have to worry about one small little boy right now instead of him plus all of the students I see on a daily basis. I am, however, looking forward to getting back into the "grind" & a regular routine again. I love being able to have a routine of getting up at a certain time, getting myself & Luke ready to go, & leaving the house to serve a "purpose" (other than just being Luke's mom, which is a good one!) & trying to be a positive influence in other people's/kid's lives, which some of those kids need so badly. I always thought that I would want to stay home with my kids (which would still be wonderful), but financially we need me to work, & what can I say I LOVE teaching! I love being able to impact someone's life for the better (anyway I hope that is what I do!) & it is a career that works very well with being a mother too. I get the joy of spending my summers with my kid & hopefully future kids too, plus weekends & holidays. Although, I may not enjoy every aspect of it (school politics, cliques, etc.), it has been a very rewarding career for me thus far. So, as my summer is quickly coming to an end, I am a little sad to know that the babysitter (who we LOVE!) will be spending more time with my son than I will be, but since she is so great-it makes it a bit easier to get back into the groove of school again & back into the lives of my students, coworkers, etc. Plus, the start of another school year has always been kind of an exciting thing for me so Goodbye July & Hello August!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Toe Fun

Over the past couple of days, Luke has found a new pasttime. He is scooting all over the place & really starting to get into a lot of things. One of his favorite things, though, are my toes. If he sees me standing in the room, you can bet that he is going to make a beeline for my feet. He likes to get himself situated in front of my legs, then take his fingers & jam them between my toes. Now this would all be fine & dandy, except that I don't really have a very good range of motion in my toes. (They basically all move together as one & don't separate very well on their own.) So as you can imagine, it is a very odd sensation to feel these little fingers moving around in between my toes & trying to yank them apart. Of course, I try to stay calm during all of this, but unfortunately my reaction of "Eeeeeaaaaaw" results in a fit of giggles (from Luke) & me hopping around on my feet trying to avoid the next attack of his little fingers (which starts again as soon as I react). I'm glad he enjoys it so much, but as for myself-I could do without the strange sensation it creates between my toes. Maybe I could just look at it as cheap physical therapy for my toes!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summertime Resolutions July Update

Another month has come & gone so that means it is time for another update on the summertime resolutions. I think this month was a bit more productive so I'm happy about that.

Read, Read, Read: My books this month mostly revolved around a couple of series that I have started & would like to complete. I read By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was an easy read, but I really enjoyed it. I have never in all of my 27 years finished this series, in fact, I don't think that I had ever actually made it to this book in the series so it was a good feeling to finally be able to motivate myself to read it (especially considering I teach reading to elementary students!) I think I only have about 2-3 books left to go now in this series & they do seem to get better as Laura matures through the books. The next two books I read are also part of a series (a very popular series that as a teacher-I probably should have read a long time ago too!) I read the first two books in the Harry Potter series Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone & Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Both of these books were excellent, although I'm not really sure why they became such a phenomenon. Harry & his friends make for great characters & these books felt like reading a mystery novel set in a "fantasy" world (two genres that I tend to like) so they both definitely made for good reading. I'm ready to read the third one, but I'm working on another novel (a western) right now that is part of yet another series so it will have to wait for a little while & that is okay by me. (I know, I know, what are you thinking Anita? Trying to read books from 3 different series at the same time-I hope I can keep them all straight! I guess if I start thinking that there are wizards & indians "out west" & that Laura Ingalls is attending Hogwarts then someone better give me a good shake!) The last book I finished was one that is required by the school (work) because we will be receiving training in it once school starts up again. It is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. It is a "self-help" book, but I actually really enjoyed it. I thought that it had a lot of good advice for teens (& adults), but since it was geared at teens-the examples were slightly off base for an adult reading it. We were told that it contains much of the same info as the adult version of the book, but that the teen version was a much easier read & easier to follow so that is why it was chosen by the school for the staff to read. In addition, I found out that I am a "grape" & boy, did the description of a "grape" (me) hit the nail on the head! It contains great life skills for anyone to put into use in their own lives.
Exercise: I'm a little proud of myself on this one because I have actually been getting more active this month. I've also been using her to hold myself accountable, which has helped tremendously. I finally got back into doing my Pilates videos 1-2 times a week (usually twice-yeah me!) & I have been working walks in a couple times too, however, since all of the hot, muggy weather set in over the past couple of weeks I have been trying to incorporate other types of activity into my week when walking isn't very appealing. I like to throw a CD on the player & dance around the kitchen & living room while holding Luke (an extra 20lbs makes a HUGE difference) or sometimes we play chase/peek-a-boo around the island in the kitchen (Luke is in his walker so he can't actually fall down/hit his head/hurt himself when we do this-unless laughing too hard counts.) What can I say? Luke & I have quite a bit of fun during the day sometimes!
Get my photos organized: My photos are all pretty well organized on the computer into files that I am happy with. Now it is just a matter of trying to go back and edit the ones that need editing & continuing to sort out the pictures that have come from various locations (Scott's mom's camera, picture CD's, etc.) & finally getting my pictures printed/ordered!
Get my house in order: People are now allowed to enter the Master Bath & Living Room. :) Scott & I have been doing an okay job of keeping the Dining Room straightened up after my efforts last month so that is 3 rooms of my house that have been cleaned in great detail! Hooray! The next room on the agenda is Luke's bathroom+the 1/2 bath. These should go fairly quickly-I hope!

With school starting this next month, I'm hoping to stay on top of all of these things & get back into the groove of going to work every day again, so wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One Year Ago...

One year ago today is the day we received the call about Luke. I wrote about it in a journal later that evening (actually it was the last entry I ever wrote in that journal too, which seems appropriate since the rest of it was filled with my feelings about the woes of infertility). Here is what I wrote:
"I can hardly believe that I am going to write this, but we've been picked! Someone
(her name is Lisa) wants to let us raise her baby! I can't even express the pure joy
and excitement I felt when the agency called this afternoon. I think I've moved into the
shocked mode (did that really just happen state). I keep checking the caller ID just to
confirm that the agency did call. I've even talked to the birthmom already. [omitting details
about the birthmom for her privacy] She said that she liked our pictures and wants to meet
us. We're talking about heading down there in 2 weeks to see her. She is due Sept. 7th,
but will have to have a C-section because of major back problems. [Birthmom details omitted]
It hardly seems possible that in a matter of a few weeks Scott & I will have a son if
everything goes as planned. She is very insistent that we be there for the delivery & wants no one,
but us to take the baby. I can't even put into words how I feel right now. It's a sort of elation
I've never really felt before along with a "Holy Crap" feeling. I'm definitely going to enjoy this
time in our lives! We've told grandparents and no one else yet-they were excited & I know
everyone else will be too when we do let the secret out! I still need to get in touch
with Susan [lady from the agency] to find out all of the specifics of where we go
from here, but it's pretty wonderful to finally have something more concrete to hold on to!
More good news from the agency-they told me that they also contacted my cousin Brian &
his wife Kyra about a baby today as well! What are the odds of that! I hope we both have
babies home with us very, very soon! :)"
It's hard to believe that it has been a year already. Looking back on it all-it was such a crazy period in our lives those 6 short weeks, but it has all been so worth it. As for the cousins I mentioned in the journal, that specific child did not work out, but they were blessed with being able to adopt a son who was placed with them just a few short months later & who was born exactly a week after Luke! Our families have both truly been blessed!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Crazy Lady on our Porch

Saturday, I decided it would be a great idea to hose down our porch since we would probably be having company the following day. It had not gotten done this past spring like we normally try to do so I knew it was pretty bad. Meanwhile, Scott was going to be hacking down the weeds leading up to our porch by hand, since he had let them get way out of control (Did I mention that last summer both our push lawn mower & the weed eater broke down & they have still not been replaced?! In addition, our "great buy" of a riding lawn mower hasn't really worked more than 1/2 a season since Scott bought it 4 1/2 years ago, so our yard gets pretty out of control each summer!) I love my husband, but he is usually not overly motivated to work on these things or the yard after he gets home from work, which can be frustrating. If the equipment was operational, I would try to help out during the day (if Luke allowed for it), but since I'm not mechanically gifted & don't feel like exerting the effort to clip everything by hand-our yard becomes a jungle most of the time. (Sorry got off track-back to the story!) So Scott got all of the hoses hooked together & I went & fetched a broom to knock down all of the spiderwebs down(& it also makes for a nice "scrubber" to get the dirt off the siding while using the hose). I got Luke put in the stoller so that he could watch all of the festivities & Scott began hacking down the weeds. I need to mention here that we did have a couple of wasps nests in the corners of our porch too that Scott had previously sprayed with bugspray to kill the wasps before I started cleaning. Well, as I start spraying, here come the wasps floating through the air. Now they weren't really trying to attack me-they were just minding their own business, but just seeing them made me not want to spray the water because I didn't want to tick them off! Scott informed me that some of them would be fine ("muddabbers") because they don't get mad too easily, but to watch out for the paper wasps because they DO & they will come after you. I asked him how I could tell the difference & he could not really give me a good answer, so I decided to treat them all as paper wasps. To add to the problem, there were horseflies roaming around the porch too! So I started spraying down the siding, but needless to say, anytime I saw a wasp &/or horsefly I shrieked & jumped (which happened quite often). Scott kept looking at me like we wasn't quite sure what was wrong with me & Luke kept looking at me from the stroller like "Whose the crazy lady on our porch!" Well to make things worse, a horsefly landed on the porch right in front of me & I thought "What a perfect target?" so what did I do, I sprayed him with that hose! Of course, he didn't like & it flew off, which resulted in me jumping/shrieking & flinging the hose around (not paying attention to my whereabouts) like a crazy person trying to chase it through the air with water. All of a sudden, I hear "Hey! Watch it! What are you doing?" Yep, you got it-I had totally sprayed Scott with the hose (while he was hacking weeds) & probably Luke too in my madness! Scott wasn't mad (just wondering what was wrong with me!) & did end up helping me after he finished up with the weeds. So if you're ever passing by & wondering who the "crazy lady" is with the hose on our porch,well, it's probably me!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Toe Guards, Please!

Luke LOVES his walker. He likes being able to move around on his own trying to get into cabinets & pulling things off of the endtables (thank goodness he can't do too much damage yet because of the width of the walker.) Since you can walk around the main floor of our house in a circle, he loves to walk "laps" & always throws us one of his sweet smiles as he passes us (so long, suckers!) He also likes it when we throw some of his whiffle balls in the bottom of it. They make a fun sound when he walks, plus they can't get away from him when he kicks them because the base of the walk keeps them contained. I'm glad that he enjoys the "freedom" he gets from being able to "walk" on his own & I like knowing that he can't really do any "damage" yet since he can't actually get into things from the walker, but I do not enjoy the fact that when he sees one of us he comes running at full speed crashing into our feet/toes/heels. (Let me clarify-I am glad that he is happy to see us, just not happy about the pain that is soon to follow!) Now I have learned that if I lift my heel or toes slightly, I can use them like a bumper to stop the walker before it runs over part of my foot, but sometimes the little guy is just too quick or I misjudge the timing and he gets me. "OUCH! (try not to insert profanity!)" So I know they sell shin guards for various activities, but has anyone heard of such a thing as toe guards? If so, I may just be interested!!! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Help! I've fallen & I can't sit up!

I'm sure that this is what Luke is thinking when he has somehow managed to let himself fall onto his back. He tries to keep it from happening, but every once in awhile (especially when he is tired) it happens & then he lets us know about it. It usually starts with a small whine (GA, GA, GAAA!) & then escalates from there. Now, mind you, we are not trying to be bad parents by ignoring his initial protests, but we ARE trying to see if he will get himself out of this position on his own. All it requires, is for him to roll over to his side & try to push up. Does he even try it? No. What he tries to do instead is lift his head & feet off of the ground like he is going to sit straight up out of a lying position. That would be great if he could do that, but it's hard to do (I even have trouble with it-it requires a lot of effort & good abs, which I don't have, but Luke should definitely have by now!) So, when he realizes that we aren't running to his aid immediately when he beckons us, he just lies back & relaxes for awhile. Does he ever roll over? No, but he can sure lay there for awhile until Mom or Dad caves in. Is this a problem? Well, yeah, developmentally wise, he should be able to do this by now. Do we work on it with him? YES, but now we get to let the "experts" have a try at it & see if they can get him to do it or if his stubborn/lazy side will continue to win out!
Keep tuning in for updates of "Luke vs the Experts"! :) Maybe we could get our own reality show!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Love Hurts!

My son is definitely a lover & not a fighter (yet, anyway). He loves to give hugs & kisses, especially when he is getting tired. Of course, all of this loving does come with a fair dose of pain. To give a kiss, he usually feels the need to grab a hold of the hair on each side of my face with his little hands & pull my head towards his little mouth. The result is a wonderful, slobber filled kiss. His hugs tend to begin the same way too, but instead of the longer hair-he tends to be able to grab a hold of those tiny little hairs at the base of my neck & then pull. Ouch! (I can handle the longer hair pulling, but the other is very painful!) I don't believe that he is intentionally trying to inflict pain upon the receiver of his loving affections, but that it is just the easiest way for him to get the hug/kiss done. It makes me happy that he is an affectionate child & Scott & I love receiving his little "gifts of love". We hope that he will always be as happy as he is right now & cherish these moments because we know that he will probably not always be this affectionate towards us (Hello, middle school & high school years), but that doesn't mean that we can't soak it all in now (& maybe use it down the road to embarass him in front of those middle/high school friends!-Would I do that?!) ;)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Random Thoughts

I've had several ideas for blog topics rattling around in my head this morning, but couldn't decide on just one so I decided to put them all together into one! Welcome to my brain!

*I've always lived in the country & I love it, but it can have it's pitfalls too. This occurred to me as I was taking a walk with Luke this morning. We were about 1/4 mile from home when I spotted a deer standing out by the corn in a field. It was such a pretty site-I turned the stroller around so that Luke could see the deer (wasn't sure that he would notice or care). The deer stood there for about 30 seconds & then started running toward the trees (which finally caught Luke's eye). We started on our way back home & after taking just a few steps, a grain truck came hurtling past us at what seemed to be a fairly fast speed. That's where the downside comes into play-no sidewalks-so while you're able to enjoy Nature at its best, you're also in danger of being taken out by someone driving too fast & not paying attention.
*Luke has really started to "talk" alot over the past couple of days, which is one of the sweetest sounds to my ears & I love watching him "talk". (Someone please remind me of this when he is a teenager!)
*Why do skunks want to take up residence around our house & that of our in-laws? Scott had to chase one off just going out to get the mail last night! I guess they're suppose to be good mousers though-maybe we should keep them & get rid of the cats!
*I LOVE naptime (Luke's, not mine)! It's such a peaceful time to get things done or just do nothing at all.
*Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever think my family is "done" Luke is quickly approaching that 1st birthday & it has definitely gotten us to thinking about when to start "trying" (keep in mind-you never know how long/short the adoption process could be so being both financially & emotionally ready is key) for baby #2. With him coming to the end of the "baby" stage, I can't help, but want another sweet little one again because it really does go too fast, however, I wonder when the time comes for baby #2 &/or any other future children to be outgrowing this same stage-will I be wanting to go through it all again just as quickly! I have always wanted my kids to be part of a big family.
*The thoughts of feedings every 2-3 hours, not knowing why the baby's crying, having to get up in the middle of the night again can still send a shiver of panic through me sometimes, but it was all definitely worth it & would be again!
*Scott is a good husband-I couldn't ask for a better one, but I do wish he could tell shorter "stories" sometimes!
*A good book is one of my most favorite things, along with Luke's laugh. I'm glad that he is a "giggler" & that I have a shelf full of books to read!
*Life has been good to me thus far (even though at times it didn't always quite feel that way). My struggles have only strengthened my faith & belief that things work out as they should & that God most definitely has a plan (even when we think he has forgotten us!)

Enjoy your weekend! I'm looking forward to another weekend filled with family & friends, so it should be a good one!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mealtime Fun!

A typical mealtime with Luke is starting to become quite frustrating for me. Can he use a "pincer grasp"? Yes. Can he pick up a piece of fruit or bread and then get it to his mouth? Yes. Can he feed himself a whole cracker? Yes. Could he make mealtime easier on himself & me? Yes. Does he? NO!
What happens? Well, to begin, he gets put in his high chair & gets excited (arms waving, squeal of delight) as his bib is put on him & he sees the food being brought out. I usually try to begin with some fruit (trying to set a healthy example) before giving him any meat/bread/etc. & as I'm cutting up the bananas/grapes/pears/etc. I place them on his tray. He does a wonderful job of picking up a piece & eating-a couple of times-usually until I stop cutting up anymore. Once I stop, he continues picking up the food & begins ever so casually lifting it up, moving his arm over, & dropping the food on the floor. He then completely stops trying to pick anything up by himself & looks at me with that "Well, feed me lady!" look & then proceeds to squeal (high pitched, eardrum shattering squeals) when I don't start feeding him myself. (Wasn't he just doing it for himself-why does he think he needs me to do it all of a sudden?) So trying to be a good mom, I try to encourage him to do it himself again by putting the food in his hand & moving his hand to his mouth where he then eats the food out of his/mine hand. I feel as if this is the wrong move, but I've tried not doing it & he just sits there & doesn't even try to eat anymore. Now I have read that this can be the baby's way of telling you that he is full, but he's usually only had 2-3 half slices of banana/fruit at this point-I can't believe that my 10 month old child is actually full after so little food! Eventually, Mommy gets tired of all of this trauma drama & just gives the kid a cracker because at least he LIKES to feed himself one of those & she can get a much needed REST before the next round of eating begins! Is that so bad? (At least it's a multi-grain cracker, so it's a bit more healthy!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Living Behind the Times

I've talked before about my growing education about the world of technology, but boy have I figured out just how far behind the times I am living this past week. Some of you may have thought that this was made extinct long, long ago, but trust me, here in rural America "Dial-up internet" is still alive and well. Why? you might ask. Well, it's rural America (therefore, not so many people) & we're told that there just aren't enough consumers for the phone company to bother with laying new lines in order for us to receive DSL services. (It is quite humorous to go into a "Best Buy"/"Circuit City" type of store & have an employee try to convince you that you can indeed get it from the phone company-they tend not to buy your arguments until they check the computer for themselves and read "Service is Unavailable") We do have the option of wireless/satellite internet, but with the high installation costs, it can be difficult for many people to afford. Blame it on ignorance, but I've never really been bothered by or noticed just how sloooow my internet really is. Oh sure, maybe right after that one brief glorious year in college when I had DSL, but since then not so much until this week that is.
What brought all of this up? I read an article in our Electric Cooperative magazine about the availability of Broadband in rural areas (& with my new found understanding of technology terminology :) I understood exactly what they were saying!) They talked about how a good dial up connection gets about 50ish kb/sec (mine usually averages around 40) & broadband gets between 200&300 kb/sec (that's a huge difference!) They even mentioned that some places in the world get 4 mb/sec & South Korea has the capablity of 20 mb/s. That's a lot of information in a short amount of time! Now that I am digital scrapbooking it's great to be able to download free items, but not when your computer is only downloading about 4-5 kb/sec and some of the kits can be 30-50 mb (that's a LONG time to let your computer sit connected to the phone line!) So, what's the solution-I don't know, but what I have chosen to do is start using the school's internet after I'm done with my summer school kids each day to download things I want (or upload pictures) onto my memory stick. It works for now, since the kiddos & most of the teachers are out and about so the system is not bogged down with alot of users, but summer school will be over soon & I don't intend on using my $4/gallon gas just to drive into town to use the internet.'s to dreaming of the day that I have a better internet connection of my own & catching up with the rest of the world 200 kb/sec at a time! :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Grandmas & their "Things"

We have just finished a fun-filled weekend spending time with family & friends (umm, yeah, I know it's Monday, but Scott took today off-so it is the end of our weekend). It was one of those great weekends where you get to see almost everybody that you're really close to & in all of these different settings spread out over a couple of days (& not all in one day like at Christmas). You don't feel rushed to get from Point A to Point B, plus you still had an extra free day (today) to get things done around the house without feeling stressed out. It was WONDERFUL! I'm ready to get back to the normal routine of the week though & all of the festivities have gotten me to thinking. I have a son now, that means some day I might be a grandma, which means I'm going to need a "Thing" someday. A "thing", you ask? A "thing"-it seems to me that every Grandma I've had in my life has had her "thing". My one grandma (dad's mom) is lovingly know as the "M&M Lady". She always had M&M's at her house and anytime you visited her you had to get some (still do to this day actually). She will always bring them to any family function or party where she is invited. (Who wouldn't invite her in that case!) It has also become tradition to give her some kind of M&M related gift at Christmas. Plus, kids who live close by that may not know her very well even know that they can get M&M's just for stopping by to see her! Now I've always known that this is her thing, but it really struck me this weekend just what effect she has on children because of her "thing" when we were at my sister's house for a cookout & my niece (who is only 2) had just heard that Great Grandma was coming over said "Great Grama nice, she bring M&M's" :) My other grandma has been gone for several years now, but I always fondly remember her chair - a yellow recliner that was great to play with, but was definitely her seat when everyone was visiting. She also always had the best peach jam on white bread-Yummy! When Scott's grandma died this past January, it was fun to sit and listen to all of the grandkids talk about always having to eat Fig Newtons out of the refrigerator, which seemed to be her "thing". My mom has been a grandma for a couple of years now, but I think she has been honing her skills with her "thing" for awhile now. She always brings finger Jello to every family thing & some of my younger cousins have now come to expect it of her each time & she gladly accomodates them. After discovering, that Luke loves Jello this past week, I was kidding her about her finger Jello & she said "Well, I will have to keep making it then if the grandkids like it!" So she may be come to known as the "Jello Lady" :) Scott's mom, has also been a grandma for a few years now & doesn't quite seem to have just her one "thing" yet, but she does always have something sugary sweet on hand for her little "sweeties" :) Marshmallows, chocolate shaped critters, snack cakes-you name it, she's probably had it on hand at one point or another. Maybe she could be called the "Sugar Lady" (what kid could resist that!) :) So after thinking about it, I figured that if there's even the remote possibility that I could be a grandma someday (way, way, way in the future)-I better come up with a "thing" at some point down the road! Not sure what that "thing" will be yet, but from thinking back on all of these lovely women & their "things"-it's obvious that it must need to be food related & apparently something quite tasty & sweet! Mmmmm!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Dirty Dishes?

I'm sure Patrick Henry would be rolling over in his grave if he heard me misusing his famous quote like that, but in honor of Independence Day-this is the one chore I would love to be liberated from! I HATE to do the dishes (yes, I know, hate is a strong word, but it is true). I will find just about any other chore to do around the house before I resort to doing the dishes. So, instead, they keep piling up (what? oh, you thought maybe Scott does them then, ummm...HA, NO!) & the problem keeps getting worse. I am fully aware that if I could just bring myself to do them each night-there wouldn't be as many to do each time & my life might be easier, but when have I ever taken the easy road! :) I think I'm just waiting for a magical invention that automatically takes care of the dishes for me (& yes, I have heard of the dishwasher-very nice invention that does make life much easier, but sometimes things don't come out clean[therefore needing to be washed] or there are some things that just can't go/don't fit in the dishwasher[which also need to be washed by hand]. I also realize that there is such a thing as paper plates & plastic silverware that can just be thrown away when you're done, but they won't work for cooking anything unless all of your food is microwavable & it adds up in the $$$ department after awhile & isn't very good for the environment. I would love to just be able to put my dishes on the counter & somehow they would then magically turn up in my cabinets clean without me having to hire a maid-is that too much to ask! If Scott would just choose to do them-FANTASTIC, but I'd take little elves coming during the night like they did in that fairytale about the shoemaker or maybe I could try to find a real life version of Rosie the Robot from "The Jetsons". Unrealistic, yes I know, but any of those sound better to me than the idea of me having to do them! So this Independence Day, be grateful for the freedom that we have in this great country of ours, but maybe think about what you would like to be free of too (if you could be free of it) & I think maybe I'll go do some dishes...or maybe not! :)