Browsing Archives for October 2009

First Frost 2009

October 8th, 2009

Frost greeted me like a long lost friend this morning.


A long lost friend that I have been waiting for…





Because I planted a garden this year.






And that garden resulted in nine hundred and ninety nine thousand tomatoes.






They dominated my kitchen counters for months.

In buckets and tubs and every mixing bowl in the house.






Like the ancient Egyptians of Moses’ time…

I could not stop the blood red tide

Nor defend myself against the massive black swarms

of killer fruit flies…





I worked late into the night – cooking, canning, roasting and freezing


…All those stupid tomatoes.







Waiting for you, Frost 

To come and save me.

The Bull on my Roof

October 7th, 2009

I would like to thank alert reader Mr. Brown for sending me the following e-mail a few days ago…

Hey, Rechelle, have you ever noticed that up on the roof-line of your house (in the picture at the top of your blog) a tiny man is riding a tiny bull toward your chimney?

When I read this e-mail, I frantically pounded out a missive to Mr. Brown that I would check my virtual roof line immediately for any such bull on my roof!

After I looked, I sent Mr. Brown this correspondence…

Mr. Brown,

Are you sure it’s a bull? I think it could be a lion.

I waited breathlessly for Mr. Brown’s response – wondering if he would agree with me or if he would insist that he was right, at which point I would be forced to suspend all further communication with him.

Mr. Brown answered back with this…

Why, yes, now that I look at it more closely, it IS a lion. And, looking closely, I do believe the lion-rider may be a woman. Yes it certainly is. A chubby little woman. No doubt sent up there to clean the chimney (with her Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.).

I wrote him back and I said this!!!

Dear Mr. Brown,

Who are you calling CHUBBY!?!

Mr. Brown’s answer came quickly…

Of course not you!!! The daring lady on the back of the lion can’t be mistaken for you. You’re not chubby and you don’t do chimneys.

I am not sure what he means with the whole “I don’t do chimneys” remark, but he did retract the chubby statement and he said I was right about the lion. I think I have found not only a new roof inspector but also a new friend. We may have bonded over bull, but as long as he keeps sending me e-mails like this, our future looks bright.

Thanks for the letters Mr. Brown!

Kind of chubby,


Postal Script

A few days ago, I sent Mr. Brown an e-mail to let him know that I was considering using our recent correspondence in a post and I am sorry to tell you this… But Mr. Brown’s response was absolutely SHOCKING!

Because I found out that Mr. Brown is not a Mister!

Mr. Brown is actually a Missus!

After recovering myself from Mr. Brown’s… or…er… uh…Mrs. Brown’s gross misrepresentation of himself… or of herself… or of whoever he/she is -I asked her/him if it would be okay if I referred to her/him as a mister anyway! Because the story… my little story… well… it had to be a man. Mr. Brown had to be a Mister and not a Missus. This whole story… what little there is of it… is preciptiously balanced on a tension between the sexes!  None of it makes any sense if Mister Brown is a Missus Brown!

I told Mr. Brown…. er… uh…Mrs. Brown about my problem and she did not mind at all being represented as a man. She said that she was a former creative writing teacher and stated in yet another very eloquent, yet strangely masculine letter that she could never “stem the flow of a writer’s creative momentum over a mere sex change”.

So I turned Mrs. Brown back into Mr. Brown.


You are now Mister Brown!

And then… in memory of the former Mrs. Brown… I turned the lion back into a bull.


You are now a bull!

It was the least that I could do for her…or… uh… him…or… whichever it is!

Hot Water – Bring It

October 6th, 2009

This summer one of my children had a homeschooled friend over to play.  This is a conversation that took place.  I am not making any of it up.


Me – So how is your baseball season going?


Child – Not that great.


Me – Why?  What is wrong?


Child – It’s public.


Me – What do you mean?


Child – It’s a public team… the kids say a lot of cuss words.


Me – Do you mean public like in public school?


Child – Yes.


Me – My kids go to a public school.


Child – I know… but your kids are different.


Me – No, they’re not.  They’re just the same.  Public school kids are just the same as you and me… 


I didn’t feel like I could really say what I wanted to say to this kid or to his parents – especially his mom –  who I am sure is the source of this type of thinking.  This kid is from a religious homeschooling family and they have successfully taught their children that public school students are somehow less than their own kids.  Which homeschool curriculum does that come from?  


Example #2


Last year, I was at the grocery store.  A woman from our community who homeschools her family came up to me and said, “I was reading your blog and I wanted you to know that sometimes when my daughters and I see kids behaving badly at a park or in a gym we just roll our eyes and say, “That is so public school.”  

I don’t know why she said this to me.  I think she might have mistaken me for someone else she reads on the internet.  I just looked at her strangely and then asked her about her kids to change the subject.  


Example #3  

Countless conversations with other stay at home moms (when I was still a young mom with little kids) who had decided to homeschool their kids… 

The first thing these new homeschooling moms always said when discussing their decision to homeschool was, ‘I don’t want my kids to be influenced by the bad behavior of the other children.”

These young moms were talking about kindergartners.  Those bad, bad kindergartners.  Those evil, evil kindergartners. And also those evil kindergarten teachers!  Oh, how those kindergarten teachers are so clearly the spawn of Satan with their seasonal sweaters and their seasonal earrings and their cheerful sunny smiles and their cheerful sunny classrooms.  I have never felt the flames of hell burning hotter under my feet than when I stepped inside of a kindergarten classroom.  

I volunteered in each one of my sons’ kindergarten classrooms.  I helped the kids on an individual basis to learn the animated alphabet and eventually to read simple words.  I never met a kindergartner that wasn’t the sweetest, most cuddly, most adorable child on the face of the earth.  All of them.  Every single one.  They all did whatever I asked of them.  They loved the one-on-one time.  I put stars on the words they had learned and let them pick the color.  I got to work with my own boys too.  The only demons I saw were the ones possessing the brand new homeschool moms.  

Quite honestly, I can perfectly understand being worried about negative influences from other kids in middle school and high school – but strangely this is when homeschoolers often choose to stick their kids back in the public schools.  That has always seemed backwards to me if bad influences are truly what motivates you to homeschool.


Beating a Dead Horse…

When was the last time you read something online that said good things about public schools?  When was the last time you saw a family committed to their local schools because they believed in them and they wanted to be a part of something bigger than themselves?  When was the last time you thought about the great public school teachers that helped make you who you are today?  


Christianity and Homeschooling…

This is really where I come unglued.  This is the source of all my ire towards homeschooling.  It is this bizarre belief that homeschooling is what a good Christian mom does.   I don’t know how this belief got started and how it has spread so voraciously all over the Midwest – but it has.  These days, if you love Jesus – you homeschool. 

This has never made any sense to me.  How does it fit in with the whole ‘love your neighbor as yourself thing?’  How can you love your neighbor if you don’t even allow your kids to talk to your neighbor because your neighbors kids are not homeschooled?  How can you love your neighbor if you don’t even know your neighbor because you sequester yourself into a safe little homeschooling group? 

I was raised in a very conservative church.  It had broken off of a more ‘mainline’ church over some silly dispute about communion years before.  This is what Christians do these days.  If they disagree about anything in their church, they just pack up and go find another church.  Slowly, this attitude has spread from church shopping to school shopping.  If Christians are dissatisfied with their local school, for whatever reason from the lunch menu to the student/teacher ratio – they just yank their kids out and homeschool them.  Or, they buy into this paranoia that public schools are corrupt from the start.  Before they even step in the door… before they even talk to a teacher.  

Sticking with something… committing yourself to something… tolerating anything that is hard… seeing the problems in yourself as well as the problems in your church or school… and working to make things better… these are things that Christians don’t do anymore.  They just pack up and leave.  And they take their kids with them perpetuating this idea that relationships with people are secondary to personal beliefs and struggling through difficult times is something to flee.  

What would happen if Christian homeschooling moms chose to channel all their homeschooling energy towards improving their local schools instead of just teaching their own kids?  What if instead of focusing on their own family, they got right down in the trenches of pubic education with their neighbors to make life better for all the kids in their community? Would that not be a fine example of loving your neighbor as yourself?  Would that not be a fine thing to teach your kids?


Here ends my sermon series on homeschooling.  

Next up – Sprinking vs immersion and how one of these methods of baptism leaves big chunks of your immortal soul in eternal peril.