The cat who came for Christmas

This is a cat. She came to our porch and cried, and it was very cold, and we let her in.


Faith immediately fell deeply in love with her. Before she was here ten minutes I knew she would be here for the rest of her life. She lets Gloria lug her about and doesn’t flicker a whisker at Bede moaning and running back and forth.

Her name is Mistyfoot.


Also. I love Sean. I went and told him about the new addition, waking him from a sound sleep in the process.



“Sean, there’s a cat in our kitchen.”


“There’s a cat. In our kitchen. She’s staying.”

“Oh.” Pause. “Do I need to go to the store for anything?”

What a guy.

go with the flow in more ways than one

The plumbing issue continues to plague us; we have misaligned pipes. With a little lip of pipe for things to catch upon it’s no wonder we keep having trouble. I think we’re going to see about buying our own power auger.

Sean had a second interview today at the same joint he was at earlier. The intervening days have given me time to get used to the idea and I’m now 90% excited and 10% anxious, and officially hoping he gets the job. I reckon we’ll find out next week. He said the interview went well.

Tonight we had a simple potato soup and homemade bread. One of those delightful plain meals that get overlooked for more sophisticated fare. Potatoes, onions, milk, butter, salt. Honestly, what’s not to love? I made enough to feed our army with a bit left over and then some – I had planned to feed my niece and her boyfriend as well as the Gleesons, and he was unable to make it. So there’s enough for lunch tomorrow as well! Yum. It’s especially good with grated cheddar in it.

Bede had another rough day. He seems to be ‘stuck’ more than he has been in the recent past, and gets more and more agitated as the perseveration goes on. I find that it’s very difficult to break him out of it once he gets started, and even if I do he’ll return to it later with renewed insistence and frustration. Whenever possible we have been trying to avoid situations where we have to bluntly say “no” and instead we are smoothing the way beforehand – keeping things he will become agitated about out of sight, attempting to compromise in the early stages of a ‘moment’ and so forth.

I am not unconditionally saying okaysure! i getchoo whatever it is you want! because I don’t like the precedent it sets in his mind: if I am insistent enough, loud enough, physical enough, I will get what I want. Sometimes there are just “no” moments: you cannot sit on your siblings or assault their persons; you cannot eat food, chew it to a pulp and spit it on the stairs; you cannot do many things. And so on. So when they occur I try to Just Be with him, consistent and kind and empathetic.

The hardest part about these times, beyond the episodes themselves, is the uncertainty of the peace when everything is calm. Knowing that the calm can be shattered any moment by an upset seventy pound autistic boy is more than a little nervewracking. I am on edge and jumpy, which makes things even more tense, and Bede more likely to react in kind.

All the more reason to keep the peaceful, easy feelings in the fore…


Today the bathroom pipe was clogged in such a way that the entire system was backed up: sink, tub, and most importantly, toilet. We have one bathroom for eight people,  so it’s more than just an inconvenience. Sean fixed it.

Sean also had a job interview today, wow! I am simultaneously excited and filled with dread at the idea of Sean working fulltime outside the house. On the one hand: money. On the other hand: no husband. Bede, Gilbert, Trixie and Gloria have never had a daddy who leaves every day. But interviews aren’t job offers, so I’m trying not to be anxious. Much.

Oh would you look at that, the pizza is ready.

Sean is my Faustine.

Sean and I celebrate Faustine’s Day, February 15, instead of Valentine’s Day. If you celebrate Faustine’s Day you get to take advantage of the fortuitous sales on lovey stuffs.

My favorite gift each year is the love poem Sean writes me. Here’s this year’s offering.

“Faustine’s Day”

Today as lovers and mating pairs
Have finished loving and mating,
And confectioners discount their wares,
‘Midst balloon bouquets deflating,
The world hath pitched its gaudy woo.

Still, in two hearts, love is rife!
I refer to yours and mine.
This day, as ever, I pledge my life,
My love, my dear Faustine,
To thee. I mean, to you.


the GREAT State Fair of Oklahoma!

Like every other year ya went!

Sean, Faith, Abby and Gilbert are off to the State Fair this afternoon, possibly under heavy clouds but hopefully no rain. I think this will be the first time Gilbert’s been old enough to do any rides, so I hope he has fun. He wants to ride the Ferris wheel, which he has examined for months in Go Dog Go! “Go around again!”

The girls have planned out the entire trip, I am told. Rides and food and rides and food and rides. And food. And cows and chickens.

Have fun kids!

power low, then out, then back

Our circuit breaker box made a loud fzt! sound yesterday afternoon and our stove stopped working. And our air conditioner and clothes dryer and hot water heater, but we didn’t really notice them til this morning. After flipping all the appropriate switches and scratching his head and squinting manfully at the fuse box, Sean called an electrician we’ve used before, TJ.

TJ showed up a few hours later with fresh bakery danishes from Ingrid’s Kitchen, now that is the kind of electrician I like to have, I tell you what. “Figured you guys would enjoy these so I picked some up, what will all these little ones running around” he said. He and Sean went to examine the fuse box some more.

Turns out it wasn’t the fuse box, it was the cable leading from the electric meter to the house. Both men were outside when I heard the fzzt! again and then “Wow!” and “Good Lord, look at that!” I wandered over to see as well and was told that it emitted many sparks and much smoke (it still smelled acrid) and was basically completely burned up and frankly it was a wonder that we weren’t dead. Well, ok, nobody said that last part, but I was thinking it. But the electrician said it was OG+E’s box so they’d fix it, and he left.

When OG+E came, they too were impressed with the level of destruction inside the box, so much so in fact that they said we had to have all the power shut off. And furthermore they couldn’t fix it, it wasn’t their wire, call an electrician. Bede was completely freaked out by the power outage. He asked me every question he could think of in an effort to get things back to normal. “Want see fix it your Dell computer? Want see fix it the television? Want see Daddy come fix it lights?” and so on, until he was reduced to a puddle of boy in my lap, sobbing pitifully. It was awful.

So Sean went off to the hardware store to get what he could to try to fix it himself. On his way out the door he ran into our friend Chet and his son Aden, here to pick up milk for baby Emma, and Chet insisted that Sean take his cell phone so we would have a phone to use. I have awesome friends. Sean came home and was squinting manfully some more when the OG+E guy came back to give us a part they supply for free. Sean got him to come look at what he was doing and he stayed for two hours helping! Sean tried to pay him and he flat out refused. Wow. My mother was also heroic at this time, showing up with a package of cookies and many extra flashlights and batteries. With this many kids one or two flashlights is not going to do it, you know?

The wiring done, Sean called OG+E to get them to turn us back on. The guy who helped said they’d be quick, and we’d be back on tonight! Yay! So the turn-it-back-on OG+E guy comes and the final round of squinting is done, this time tinged with suspicion.

“I cain’t turn it back on if it ain’t been inspected by the City,” he said.

Sean pleaded, “But… but… we… but!” and finally TIBO OG+E guy relented.

“Well, if you promise to get it inspected in five days or less, I reckon I can turn it on tonight.”

Sean assured him we would and then… drumroll please… POWER!

Air conditioning has never felt so good.

Labor Day meme

Via Melly and Melissa

How long were your labors?

  1. 8 hours
  2. 12 hours
  3. 16 hours
  4. 14 hours
  5. 12 hours
  6. 6 hours

How did you know you were in labor?

  1. Water broke while I was napping, contractions started about an hour later
  2. Contractions woke me up around 5AM
  3. Contractions woke me up around 5AM, petered out from 10-2, reorganized, he was born late that night
  4. Contractions woke me up around 5AM
  5. Contractions woke me up around 5AM (are you sensing a trend here?)
  6. Erratic stop start labor all day, water broke at 1AM and labor began in earnest.

Where did you deliver?

  1. Hospital
  2. At home
  3. At home
  4. At home
  5. At home
  6. Same hospital as #1





Who caught the baby?

  1. OB
  2. Midwife
  3. Midwife and Sean
  4. Midwife and Sean
  5. Sean
  6. Sean

Ford Econoline

We just got a new (to us) 1988 Ford Econoline Club Wagon diesel van! Our friend Kenny gave it to us because he’s just about the most awesome man on the planet.

It looks a lot like this:

Sean’s not a gambler, and we’re Catholic, not Mormon. Oh, and we have six kids instead of five, so I spect he’s got nothin to worry about.

But go have a listen to Nancy Griffith singing “Ford Econoline” anyway, because it’s just a great song.

She drove west from Salt Lake City to the California coastline
She hit the San Diego Freeway doing sixty miles an hour
She had a husband on her bumper
She had five restless children
She was singing sweet as a mockingbird in that Ford Econoline

She’s the salt of the earth
Straight from the bosom of the Mormon church
With a voice like wine
Cruising along in that Ford Econoline

Now her husband was a gambler, he was a Salt Lake City rambler
He built a golden cage around his silver-throated wife
Too many nights he left her crying with his cheating and his lying
But his big mistake was him buying her that Ford Econoline

Now she sings her songs around this country
From Seattle to Montgomery
Those kids are grown and that rounder knows
You cannot cage your wife
Along the back roads of our nation, she’s become a living legend
She drives a Coupe DeVille but her heart rides still
In that Ford Econoline

mosquito teen repellent and autistic annoyer

Kristina Chew blogged recently about The Mosquito, a device that emits a high-pitched obnoxious whine that is generally only detectable by people under 25, and is used to deter teens from hanging around a given area. As we age, our ears lose the ability to detect really high sound frequencies, so it doesn’t bother adults with normal hearing. It seems to drive many autistic people up the wall, however, whatever their age, so some businesses are not going to use The Mosquito any longer. (Here’s a BBC article about the device, if you’d like a little background.)

So, my question is, can you hear it? Post yes or no, along with your age if you dare, in the comments.

It’s the pulsing “beep beep beep” noise, not the voices and background noise. I expect nearly everyone who’s not hard of hearing or deaf can hear that.

Dong ma?

So Sean and I are Browncoats. Sean would never say he was, he’d say “I enjoyed the canceled television series Firefly” or something like that. But me? I’m a Browncoat and proud.

I found this site tonight which has translations of all the Chinese phrases that are liberally sprinkled throughout the series. For a geek like me it’s pretty addictive!