Sounds and Smells

Friday by Rieshy
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I may be weird but most sounds have an accompanying memory-scent. They are all linked in my brain. These are 10 of my favorites.


A baby giggling. Any baby giggling. The smell is clean skin and powder; it makes you want to nibble sweet little necks.

The cadence and pitch of the voice of a 5 year old "teaching" something to a younger sibling. Play-dough- I smell play-dough and sunshine when I think of this. My husband calls this the Kindergarten Smell.


The early morning chirping of birds through open windows on that first morning of open windows. Fresh air and pungent onion grass always accompanies this sound.


The coffee pot percolating because my husband or a child woke up and turned it on while I lingered in bed. Guatemala Antigua- it's the best coffee smell in the world.


My husband's laugh. Which reminds me of how my dad would tease my mother by drawling, "You sure stink good."


The sound of a group of people a capella singing "It is Well With My Soul." This has a papery smell in my memory- all those old songbooks.


Acoustic guitars and last minute lawnmowers at twilight. Is the smell of lingering heat and humidity lifting off of asphalt as my husband and I walk on summer evenings.

The harmony of siblings singing. This one is a visual instead of a smell; you can almost see the music twisting along DNA strands.


The wind through heavy tired foliage in late summer.  Smells like cicadas and clean dirt. Yes, cicadas smell.


The sound of the mail truck accelerating from my neighbors mailbox and then braking at mine and then accelerating off again. It's the sound of possibilities and it smells like cinnamon because Christmas time is it's heyday.

Anyone else want to share their favorites?



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Smorgasbord

Wednesday by Rieshy
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My brain has been misfiring a lot lately and I keep misplacing things.  Important things.  I lost my cell phone last week.  It stayed lost for days.  Being cell-less was weird and actually pretty wonderful for a while.  Except I realized that I don't know any of my children's phone numbers.  Or anyone's current cell number.  Luckily, I do have a friend who still has the same phone number she had 14 years ago and even luckier she has my kid's numbers on her cell.

She's my bff from bc -before cells that is.

I tried to prove to myself that I'm not completely brain dead but I'm not sure the ability to rattle off phone numbers from when I was 9 proves much.

Problem is I've not been sleeping well.  Sleep is chocolate dipped truffles served with the sounds of waves crashing in the background while elves play acoustic guitar.  Not Keebler elves mind you but the tall androgynous kind of elves from Lord Of The Rings. I'm sure they could play pretty awesome acoustic guitar.

 I got up the other night after a few hours snooze and talked my oldest son into watching The Walking Dead, which I had never seen before; he seemed a bit confused that I wanted to watch it.  Roku should not, I repeat, should not, automatically play the next episode of a t.v. show.  Partially frozen by horror, lack of sleep and by anticipation I lost track of how late it was until my night-owl of a son finally left the room saying he had to be able to get up for work in the morning.

Now I'm contributing to the delinquency of minors- well, at least he's not technically a minor anymore.

I always do this lack of sleep dance when I'm really over-extended because that's precisely when the only time left available to wind down is the time when I should be sleeping.  And perhaps also because that's when I start drinking a tad bit too much coffee.  But no more said about that.  Mentioning possible over-consumption of coffee to a mom, any mom, is as savvy as asking an angry woman what time of the month it is.

Instead of focusing on drinking less coffee I've spent the last two days trying to drink more water on the obviously faulty theory that being full of water will keep me from wanting to drink coffee, which in turn will help me sleep more.  This has not been a success.

The whole point of this post is that on top of everything else going on I rashly promised my older kids that I would join them in a writing project due this weekend- we are all supposed to write a short story based off of a theme one of them dreamt up.  The point you ask?  Oh yes, since I should be spending my limited writing time fulfilling my assignment I'm procrastinating with public grousing. It makes perfect sense.

 So...

If you hear sloshing and see a frazzled woman who has lost her keys and should be writing a short story, that would be me.



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Sibling Liars

by Rieshy
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I am blessed/cursed with a heavy case of skepticism. I rarely share anything on Facebook, Snopes is a way of life for me.  I always want primary sources listed.  I'd like to think it was because I was classically educated in logic and rhetoric- but, I wasn't and I'm not.  I realized today it is because I was the youngest sibling.  Youngest siblings are lied to constantly.

Oldest siblings, admit it- you know what I mean.

Thanks to my lovely older sisters I was afraid, for years, to pull my hair back in a proper pony tail because of bats.  Yes, you know...  Bats will swoop down and bite any girl-exposed ears.

I had not properly realized the origin to my skepticism until today on the way to the hospital for routine lab work for two of my boys.  Our hospital has funky blue tube shaped architectural elements whose meaning and purpose is evidently the stuff of legends.





As we pulled up to park at the hospital my youngest leaned forward in his seat belt and asked with equal measures of exasperation, fear, distrust, and 6 yo bravado, "Those tubes are not for shooting children up into the sky to be caught by aliens... are they?"

Both older brothers were grinning  and looking out opposite car windows like the guilty liars they were.




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Back Stance, Legos, Psalms

Thursday by Rieshy
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Some mornings before my eyes open and before my feet hit the ground my brain begins flipping through a mental calender of the tasks ahead while in the background Psalm 100 sings.

Some mornings before my eyes open my brain begins to flip through a mental and weighty tome entitled, "All the Times I Have Fallen Short."  It's sequel, "Personal Parenting Failures," is even weightier.  They both have exceptional indexes for easier mental referencing.

This morning, after being unable to decide which genre of mental book to flip through, I started thinking about the Abominable Snowman and his song, "Put one foot in front of the other."  Which is remarkable similar to Lao-tzu's much quoted "A journey of thousand miles starts with one step."  Imagining which martial art the Abominable Snowman would practice is enough to get anyone out of bed.

The night before I had realized I've been doing my karate back-stance incorrectly so I tried practicing it correctly, in the dark and with my eyes closed, on the way to the bathroom.  "Ah," I thought, "This is a great way to practice it, I can really sense now why it should be done this way."  And feeling quite ninja-like I tripped over a tub of legos put inexplicably in the middle of my bedroom floor.

All of which got me back to Psalm 100.  Somedays the "I will" means I will because my feet are already dancing towards the new day and the Lord of Heaven and Earth.  Somedays the "I will" means  I will, because I will keep on trying- in sort of  The Little Train That Could fashion.

Today I will :

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
-Psalm 100:4

and I will watch out for Legos.



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Faith and Prof. Trelawney

Monday by Rieshy
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I ran across one of the bravest prayers in the Bible recently.  

Psalms 139:23

"Search me oh God and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."

If I were to be a character out of Harry Potter I'm afraid it would be:

and not just because of the frizzy hair but because Trelawney desperately doesn't want anyone to discover that she may actually be a fraud.  She herself is not sure thus she vacillates between pride and despair.

Asking God to know my thoughts?  It's funny, really- because he already does.  But he's a jealous God and likes to be asked.  I want to be so brave.



I really like how this Psalm reads in the heutigem Deutsch translation, it seems more powerful- though maybe it's just the accent:

Durchforsche mich, Gott, sieh mir ins Herz,
prüfe meine Wünsche und Gedanken!
Und wenn ich in Gefahr bin,
mich von dir zu entfernen,
dann bring mich zurück auf den Weg zu dir!








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To Seuss

Thursday by Rieshy
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 All who like to wash and fold
should have a 
six year old like this


at home.





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Musical Brain Damage and Lack of Sleep

Saturday by Rieshy
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Yesterday morning I pulled on my running clothes in expectation of a sunshiny run.  Instead I took my 12 year old son to Starbucks where we did math and he scored a free large frappucino made "incorrectly" for some other picky patron.  The free frap was after the hot cocoa I bought him... his math was done in a glow of sugared caffeine.  Best    math   class   ever.  Think of the espresso scene from The Iron Giant.

I still hoped to run so I didn't change.  The sunshine glowed, my arthritis glowed brighter.  I've been eating all the wrong foods and the more I do the more I crave them until the party's over when my arthritis flares.  It's anecdotal at best but since I lack the clones to do a triple blind study on what flares my arthritis I generally go with what I know...  and lots of sugar and flour makes my body ache.

At an impasse with my body I didn't  change out of my running clothes... or go running.  

I ended up going to bed still wearing my running top.  You know, the type of running top that's so constrictive it makes every woman look like a 10 year old boy.  I think it did some kind of brain damage.   I woke up in the night singing, "The Story of My Life" so loudly in my brain that the neighbor's dog was barking in protest.  This happened all night long.  I couldn't shake the song.

I'm singing a boy band song?!?  A parody of a boy band?!?

Lucky thing I'm going on a date tonight to hear Strauss’s Rosenkavalier. I'm so excited I can barely contain myself.  I won't even wear the running shirt.  In fact I might wear grown up clothes and make-up.  I might * gasp* do my hair.  

Of course, then my husband might feel guilty for going on a date with a woman he doesn't recognize but that's o.k. because I'll be so cranky from going cold turkey off of sugar that he probably won't like me very much.

This is the first version I ever heard of The Story of My Life- thanks to one of my teens.  I think it's the best.  Except at 2 a.m.





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