My hired help showed up this morning around 10:30 and I put them straight to work. First I gave them each brooms and assigned half of the porch to Owen and half to Gibson. This job seemed somewhat daunting to the boys. There were a lot of leaves on it, blown in from the trees in the yard, many of them in hard-to-reach places behind flower pots.
"You have so many plants!" Owen said. "It adds to the awesomeness of your house but it's really hard to sweep around them!"
Well, he was correct on both counts. While they broom-bristled leaves about I scrubbed the glass top table and told them about my wild yeast. Owen thought that was really cool. We went into the kitchen to smell the starter and look at the bubbles. Neither one of them had ever heard about sourdough bread.
"Is it sour?" they asked.
I assured them that it was.
After several breaks and glasses of ice water, the porch was at least somewhat cleared of leaves.
We moved on to the windows in the doors in the hallway, front and back, and the panes beside them. This went somewhat better although they used up all of the glass cleaner and about half a roll of paper towels. I did the highest parts. I also determined that my all-purpose cleaning solution of Fabuloso, white vinegar and water works quite well on glass. The last chore was the sills on the back porch. I know I've said this before but the dirt in Lloyd is black as night. In fact, when I first wiped the table down and showed them what the rag looked like, Owen screeched.
I mean, it is BLACK. And sort of sticky. I think it's because of the over hundred years of trains rumbling by on the tracks behind my house.
But after the sills looked a lot better, cleared of at least some of their Lloyd dirt, I offered to make them toasted cheese sandwiches. I gave them samples of the sourdough bread to see if they wanted me to use that or regular bread.
They loved the sourdough.
And then it was time to head over to the Wakulla River. Since school was out today, there were quite a few people but it wasn't crazy. Jessie and her boys and Lily and Maggie all joined us and we set up our blankets and towels and chairs and snacks in the shade and the fun began. There was a bus from a church and it appeared that all of the little boys they'd transported were playing football. Owen, instead of jumping in the river started watching the game.
"Go ask if you can play," said Lily, but of course that's hard for a ten-year old boy. Finally when the bigger guys took a break, Owen did join them and by the time the older ones came back, he was fully invested in playing. And he played football with those boys for about two hours.
"Come get in the river and cool off," we'd tell him when he came over to slug down some water.
"No," he'd say, and then he'd jump back into the game instead of the water.
I think he had a great time.
Gibson and Maggie and August played together in the water and on the sand. Jessie had brought a big blow-up float and they enjoyed that a lot.
When I got in the water to cool off, all three of them pretended to be alligators and chomped me. "Don't chomp the mermaid, you alligators!" I kept telling them. They giggled and chomped some more. Levon mostly hung out on the sand although he was pretty interested in the snacks. Here he is sitting on Lily's lap. She did his hair for him.
Jessie keeps saying it's time for him to get a haircut but I think he looks good with his little surfer-guy blond hair.
And so it was a perfectly relaxing afternoon. We kept an eye on the kids and talked and people-watched. We handed out snacks. The kids can entertain themselves at the river forever although after about two hours, Levon walked up to this mama and said, "Back home now."
"Do you want to go back home?"
"Yes," he said.
And eventually we all sighed and packed things up. Gibson had hip-hop dance class this evening and Jessie knew her boys were about worn out.
So there were hugs and kisses and everything was stowed back into cars and off we all went to our various destinations.
I tidied up where things had been cleaned and made up another batch of sourdough to rise. Last night I prepped a casserole made of rice and spinach and the getting-funky greens I hadn't finished during Mr. Moon's trip, so I added milk and egg and cheese and spices to the rice and cooked greens to get it ready for the oven. I watered the porch plants. The many, many porch plants which add to the awesomeness of my house.
It's gotten warm here again today but the forecast says we're going to get rain tomorrow and the next day too. And just as I wrote that, I caught the whiff of ozone in the air and damn if it isn't sprinkling just the tiniest bit. With the rain cooler air is supposed to come and that will be tremendous.
I've got house sitters and critter tenders lined up for the week we'll be gone. This takes some of the worry off my mind. I still haven't figured out a place for us to stay in Jacksonville. I need to do that. And look!
My bananas are getting ripe!
It's still raining.
Have you heard about ACE's? Adverse Child Experiences? Scoring them? And also, resilience factors?
Jessie and I listen to the podcast Armchair Expert made by Dax Shepard and on one of his most recent shows he interviewed Nadine Burke Harris, California's surgeon general which is where I first heard about the screening program based on ACE's. It was fascinating.
Go HERE if you'd like to learn more.
And go HERE if you'd like to learn about the podcast.
Shepard is quite open about the childhood sexual abuse he experienced as well as his battle with addictions, his sobriety, and his increasing awareness about how the experiences of childhood affect us throughout our entire lives. Not all of the podcasts are life-changing by any means but they're interesting and I enjoy them.
But this one in particular was pretty darn enlightening and I wish that every child in the US was screened by this criteria in order to get help in learning healthy, positive ways to deal with trauma.
That's my little soapbox moment for today.
Damn, it smells good.
I read about ACE awhile ago and what shocked me was the effect that childhood trauma had on physical health. It's frightening and sad and we could actually change the future if we tried to make the lives of children better.ReplyDelete
I know! It's absolutely bizarre and yet, it makes so much sense. It even makes financial sense.Delete
we screen our kids on the side before we refer them to the social worker- pretty much everyone qualifies which is sad indeed.ReplyDelete
Terribly sad. But I'm not surprised.Delete
Far too much to think about tonight, but I shall.ReplyDelete
Oh well. It's a lot to think about.Delete
I’m fascinated by ACEs and resilience factors in children. I am in awe of people who as adults manage to make themselves whole, scars and all. I think we can learn so much from them. It sounds as if you had a perfect and beautiful day in all its different parts. Owen wanting to play ball, then finding his way in, touches my heart.ReplyDelete
My beloved therapist told me once that one thing she could never figure out was how some kids who had such terrible backgrounds could be a phoenix and rise from the ashes while some kids never can. I suppose genes may have a bit to do with that. But I don't know.Delete
I thought the same about Owen. I was proud of him.
yesterday I had the sprinkler on because it is still dry here and that bit of cold is gone and it's hot and I looked up and it was full on raining out of nowhere and I jumped up and ran out and turned off the sprinkler and five minutes later it had stopped.you have mention the hall in your house many times and I think it's a dog run, right? a hall that goes straight through the house from front door to back door with rooms opening off either side. there was an old house in my city neighborhood that had a dog run and when it was for sale we went stopped looked at it when we saw a realtor there showing it to someone. we had only had our house for a couple of years then. it was a very cool house and if I could have I'd have sold mine and bought it. I loved that dog run. the people that did buy it completely remodeled it and had it taken out. they destroyed the character of that house.ReplyDelete
Yes. A dog run or what we sometimes call a dog trot. I love that about this house. It makes so much sense to me. What assholes those people were to take theirs out. Why did they buy the house in the first place?Delete
What a fun day for your family in the water. Those children are very lucky to be able to bond with each other.ReplyDelete
I absolutely loved seeing your front doors and porch. If those doors could talk, they would know all who came and all who left. I would love to sit at your glass topped table on your ample porch and have a mint julep and admire your awesome plants.
The ace test. When I was done with both, I patted myself on the back for doing as well as I do. As I say when asked, I was raised by wolves. I didn't leave home, I escaped. There is a big sign above my door that states "There will be a $5.00 fine for whining."
I will give your cleaning formula a whirl. I use alcohol, vinegar and distilled water, plus few drops of Dawn. Waded up newspaper for glass.
Do you know that I've never had a mint julep in my life?Delete
But I suppose I could try and make one...
Especially for someone who admired my plants.
I did the same about patting my own back a tiny bit after getting my own ACE score. But I had a lot of help in the resilience department and I know that. There were people who showed me love and believed in me, even though they had no reason to do so. And yeah, I feel like I escaped too.
Bravo to the cleaning crew! It sounds like they worked wonders on your place. I'm glad they got to recreate later at the springs. I'm so impressed Owen jumped into that football game with the other kids. I don't think I'd EVER have done that as a kid.ReplyDelete
Owen's pretty awesome although his sweeping skills could use some work.Delete
But I am so proud of him for getting into that game. He did it and it wasn't easy for him. I could tell.
Rope in the grandkids to help with the cleaning and make it feel like fun. Such a good thing to do. I think kids like to help if they get sufficiently appreciated and rewarded. Black dirt, tell me about it. I don't know what causes it in London but I don't like to think of it settling in my lungs all these years. And the swimming is starting to look like paradise as the weather gets colder and greyer here.ReplyDelete
I think about breathing that black stuff too but then I try to comfort myself with the thought that one of my neighbors grew up in this house and then lived across the street for over ninety years.Delete
The river is always paradise, no matter what time of year it is. The water was crystal clear yesterday.
Your bananas are great. Are they sweet or the cooking kind? When we lived in our tropical paradise, we had little pink ones the locals called lady's fingers. Their taste was exquisite and I haven't been able to eat a "banana" here since.ReplyDelete
Your hired house help did an impressive job. I hope you paid decent rates.
Love the grand kids and your bananas! I feel like a lucky escapee from how bad my life might have been as an adult because of helpers along the way, good grandparents, therapists and making better choices as I worked through crap. I have been sober for a long time. Thanks for the links.ReplyDelete