Monday, June 30, 2008

WRONG Answer

Rachel asked me why a certain group of boys are "nice and normal" when they talk to her but "act all weird" when more girls are around. I told her that the boys probably feel comfortable around her because she is nice to them while the girls she mentioned are often giggly and flighty.

"What do you think?" I asked Mr. Rellim.

Mr. Rellim replied, "Well, Rachel, the truth is that boys have only one thing on their mind and it makes it hard to concentrate."

"What thing?" asked Rachel.

I shot the man the look of certain death if he were to continue.

"What thing?" asked Quinn.

"Oooooh!" said Rachel, then fell into a silence that lasted until she and her brother started laughing hysterically.

I hope they were thinking about Scooby Doo or American Idol.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friends for Lunch

Haven't seen Mr. Rellim for about 30 minutes. I'm getting lunch ready for some friends, so he decided to go detail the van. OK, so I asked him to do it (for my birthday 3 weeks ago!). Better late than never?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

All Smiles

Quinn with his spoils after four days of basketball camp. Seems he made two of ten free throws in the contest today to claim the free throw champion medal for all boys his age.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Friends of ours recently welcomed a baby daughter into their family. (Keep in mind these friends raise pigs.) Their four year old son asked if he and his sister were illiterate.

It took them a while to figure out that he was really asking if he and his sister were littermates.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Corpse Flower

We just missed its blooming - and it only happens once every six years. Oh well, that means we also missed its stench. They don't call it a corpse flower for nothing. Yes, it really is about six feet tall. Native to Indonesia.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fancy Schmancy Wedding

Yet another Rellim wedding provides food and fun. This one was a bit on the "uptown" formal side. At least I thought so, until the bridal party joined in the paper bag dance. During this dance, everyone placed a Jewel/Osco paper shopping bag over his head to have a dance-off. The set-up was that only one person was unknowingly left to dance while the others watched. Very entertaining. Congrats to Andy and Kristi!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Elizabeth Jane circa 1845

Rachel spent the entire day as a volunteer pioneer. Most of the morning she hoisted a scythe and harvested a wheat field. For noon victuals, she made biscuits at the fireplace and picked lettuce from the garden. Now at home, she is enjoying a long shower. (A person can only rough-it for so long!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guess Where We Were?

Rachel and my mom posed near the Arch in St. Louis. We did not take the tram to the top. Did it once in 1977. Scared me enough to last over 30 years. The elevator at the Hilton was exciting enough for me.


Do students no longer receive instruction on how to address envelopes? My twelve-year-old daughter practically needed hand over hand assist to complete this task today. I'm serious! She didn't even know where on the envelope to write the address (offset center). She put the zip code on the line under the name - in front of the street address. She didn't know the abbreviation for Illinois.

Her explanation: "Who writes letters anymore? I only send emails."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rachel's Prayer

(As best I can recall)

"Dear God, please help Mom realize that when she dies and goes to heaven - and I think it is a pretty good possibility that she will get to go there - that there won't be houses that need to be cleaned or picked up. So help her to GET A GRIP and take it easy on us because a messy house is not the most important thing to worry about."

Monday, June 16, 2008

New Home?

One of my sisters called to tell me about an awesome home with over 17,000 square feet of living space for sale near me for only 68 grand. Not sure how much it would cost to take out the asbestos. We risked trespassing charges to photograph the brick giant. I think the chain link fence, blacktop and metal swings come with it.

Happy Belated Father's Day

"Fathers have an incalculable impact on their daughters. Most psychologists believe, and I am one of them, that all future romantic relationships to occur in a girl’s life will be influenced positively or negatively by the way she perceives and interacts with her dad."

— Dr. James Dobson, adapted from his
Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide

We're Back

During a four-day experience with family, one often receives interesting counsel. We have settled on our favorite from this past weekend.

"Don't walk with your hands in your pockets. If you fall down, you'll break both of your elbows!!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How to Annoy your Brother

. . . in five words or less - "Remember when your gerbil died?"

Next, say it over and over again while he's trying to eat supper.

Upon return to the table after being sent to your room for starting a screaming argument, apologize by saying, "I'm sorry for talking about when your gerbil died."

When your mother reprimands you, stare at her quizzically and say, "WHAT?!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dear IRS

My son doesn't know how he got this hole in his shirt and I don't know why you keep sending us letters. I mean, YES - it does seem sorta unusual that someone would sell feed as a side job and actually incur more expenses than income, but isn't that what happens in the ag industry?

Once when Mr. Rellim was out of earshot, his family banker asked me, "Do you know what a farmer would do with $1 million dollars? Keep farming until he needed more money!"

Anyway, keep your pants on, IRS! The reams of supporting documentation are headed your way.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

What Is It?

These big balls are all over a huge, old tree alongside our house. Nobody has been able to identify the balls or the tree. We have no idea. I do know what they sound like when they hit the roof and side of the house going 80 miles per hour, propelled by straight line winds. SCARY.

Friday, June 06, 2008

More Talk

I was showing my daughter certain "accessories" necessary to deal with a monthly cycle, and I questioned how well she was taking this serious discussion. You see, most interactions in our home are informal and often sarcastic. (I'm sure you can barely believe that.)

I suppose I was relieved (sorta - in a strange way) to notice she was attempting to stick something in her right nostril. Anything to help lighten the mood of the discussion.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Smart as a Fifth Grader?

I was helping Quinn with a crossword puzzle and asked him the continent where the Sahara Desert could be found. He said, "I don't know. Probably somewhere with a really warm climate."

Monday, June 02, 2008


Rachel was stealth-snacking on one of those drumstick ice cream treats. I gave her the "caught ya!" look and pointed to the sofa cushion next to her, indicating a piece of chocolate coating that had fallen. She picked it up and popped it into her mouth.

I then noticed a chunk on the floor, so pointed toward it. Again, Rachel picked it up and put it in her mouth. But this time, she started spitting and hollering. Uh . . . it wasn't chocolate. I think it was dirt.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Linus has his blanket. Sponge Bob has his Patrick. Mr. Rellim has his pillow. I'm assuming he has had this pillow since BC (before college). It looks as if it has survived a few roadtrips and maybe even a thunderstorm or two. In 1994 it kept him company the week he slept at his hog-buying station in Iowa.
I've tried to "air it," hide it and cover it. I have even tried to lose it. The pillow returns.
Today I gave him the option of shopping for a new pillow for his Father's Day gift. He stared at me but did not answer. I suggested that we first put the pillow out to sea in a gasoline-soaked boat, then shoot flaming arrows at it. He asked, "Who do we know with a bow and arrow?"
Aha! I think we are heading toward a compromise.