Before we get around to that, though, let me address some of the comments that some of my precious & few readers left for me:
Jen (Knitters, Knitters), Brett has been duly notified and educated about what a "porn-stasch" is.
Yes, Pam (dear sister), I drooled all over Brett, literally--and now the world shall know why. We drove to his college campus at the end of the summer (1978), so he could start moving in (just a 2-hour drive, as my parents were still being old-fashioned and wouldn't allow me to go on a sleep-over with my boyfriend). Unfortunately the night before I waitressed the evening shift, which lasts until 2 a.m., (typically when the male customers are such cut-ups for hitting on the female wait staff and leaving hilarious 2-cent tips), so I fell asleep on the drive down. I slumped over and landed on Brett's shoulder. He decided not to disturb my peaceful slumber, being the nice guy he is. I woke up and mopped up his saliva-soaked arm, sleepily apologizing that I didn't know I had that much spit. That seemed to amuse him.
I know "engaged" isn't a verb, but I panicked in the moment and wanted to sound intelligent. Brett's strong suit is math so he didn't catch it. Thanks, Cousin Luke the Grammar Nazi, (posting as "Fred"), for pointing it out though. I know it would have been impossible for you to read it and not comment, so I shall comfort you by patting your hand and saying "Their, they're, there."
A couple of years ago, I obtained a gmail address. Yes, it was time to stop paying $28 per month to our internet service provider that we hadn't used for over a year (we moved) just to have their domain name on my email address. It was more of a procastination issue, really, with the added bonus of not ever having to explain again that it was "earthlink" and not "earthling." I probably would have kept it if it really *was* earthling. It would imply an intriguing intergalactic choice.
However, my name was already taken. I'd be willing to make book that my maiden name would have still been available. While it's common knowledge that I married for love, despite what those who whipped out their abacus's thought when our first-born arrived 10.5 months after the wedding, I also figured that at least my last name would never again be misspelled.
That was a horrible error in judgement on my part.
Nonetheless, as I signed up for gmail, I couldn't just have my name since it was already taken. Google gave me several suggestions. I wanted it to remain as simple as possible so added the number 1. Taken. Kept going up the number scale. Taken, taken, taken. Finally determined that the number 14 after my name was available. Whee! Hey, that's also how many rogues progeny we have. Serendipity, thy number is 14.
As we age, we tend to have less room in our brains for the minutae of life, such as algebra and remembering your mother's maiden name so you can access your bank account. Sure enough, I'd forget from time to time that my new email address had a number after my name, so would occasionally sign up for web accounts with just my gmail address with no number. Turns out the lady with that email address actually existed, and for some reason didn't want to pay for my gourmet coffee. WhatEVER! So the company called me and I explained the error, then emailed Susan the First to apologize, and all was put right. She was quite nice and understanding.
Turns out other people have the same problem remembering that my email address has a number on it, and I'll get the occasional forwarding from Susan the First, saying "I think this was meant for you." And she was always right. Thankfully they were mostly emails from machine embroidery and gourmet coffee sites, and thankfully not from all those former lovers I've taken.
A few months ago, she forwarded an email she figured was for me. It was from a dentist's office several states away, reminding Susan Easley of her upcoming appointment and complimenting me on my wise choice in in dentists.
I thanked Susan the First for thinking of me and not wanting me to miss out on my dental appointment, and explained that the message was not for me either, but no doubt for one of the Susans 1-13. I suggested that I call the dentist's office, schedule the appointment, then split the insurance payment while giving my address as to where the check would be sent. She said she liked how I thought. I suspect this is not the end of our erstwhile relationship and it's only a matter of time until I get another forward from her, updating me on something I should already have known.
We had guests recently, missionaries who serve in Bolivia. I mention this only because it was during their visit that I discovered Ceiling Cat. Several weeks ago, for Easter, I'd printed out several sheets of DIY Ceiling Cat and gave them to the children. Over the following weeks, I'd found the sheets in various places, usually crumpled up or colored on, and threw them out one by one. Imagine my shock when I was in our dining room, chatting with the mom of the family when something on the ceiling caught my eye.
After my initial gasp and subsequent chest pains, I remembered I'd printed out Ceiling Cat. Thank you Judson, who continues to find amusing ways to shock his aging mother. After regaining the gift of speech, I asked Judson how he was able to keep it a secret for so long. He said that it didn't matter how long it took, it was worth it to see my initial reaction.
I made this the other day. It's on the floor baseboard directly under Ceiling Cat. We'll see how long it takes Judson to notice.
Therapeutic horseback riding lessons have started up again. We've enjoyed ourselves and the children who participate have learned quite a lot. Each lesson for each child is tailored to their special need, and the volunteers and workers are quite amazing. Gideon, diagnosed with autism two months before he turned 3 years old (because he hadn't spoken a single word, not even "mama"), has now spoken consistently to his side-walker for the first time. Justen is so good with him and I've never seen anyone who can make Gideon laugh like he does. Justen imitates what Gideon does and makes him feel as if no one has ever understood him before. Perhaps that's true. Here, Justen imitates Gideon's "noodle body" and tells him to straighten up and ride proud.
And here he is, trotting properly on Dakota, minutes later.
Good work, Gideon! Justen is ever-encouraging. A good match, to be sure.
Isaiah helps break in Chance. They worked well together, and Isaiah's vision issues seemed not to matter to such a wonderful horse and instructor. Thank you, Elizabeth & Mary Jill!
He does quite well with his sidewalker and his horse, Boomer.
By this week's lesson, he was allowed to trot off-lead. Great job!
Mercy Grace foot-reins her horse, Hope, and all is well. How could it not be, with the names Mercy Grace & Hope? She's graduated to riding on her own, and does well with all the commands to Hope.
Susannah practices turning, and was able to ride off-lead during several trotting sessions--a huge improvement over last fall. Here, she's practicing turning on T.C. (Too Cool).
Abigail is off-lead more than anyone else. Hard to get a good picture of her, she likes speed.
The rest of our summer has gone rather swimmingly so far, too.
Have a great pre-weekend, everyone! Good wishes to all.