Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Life At the Circus

I have decided
that I should have gone to circus school
and taken up study for becoming a Ring Master.

When Violet was first starting to home-school,
she didn't like it,
mostly that she HAD to do it everyday.

So to help motivate her,
I made a chart of chores and school,
and when she filled it all in,

we told her we'd take her to the circus.

She had a fascination with circuses at the time.

As I sat at the circus,
watching all the activity going on in the rings,
I became convinced that this perspective of keeping it all together
while watching the possibility of imminent disaster
in different areas under the big top...

was very much like my life.

Take Sunday, for example.

In ring number one is the animals.
We have two cats.
These two cats, Moon and Tiger,
entered our lives directly after their predescessors,
Candy Kiss and Mr. Knightly,
were hit by cars and killed,
both within a week of each other.
There's something about losing a pet
that makes you cling a little bit tighter to the next pet
when it arrives.

To put it more bluntly,
Moon and Tiger were spoiled.

The two pampered felines have been over-indulged by soft cushioned seats
over-abundance of food.

The rat infestation in the barn was becoming incredibly obvious,
and my Farmer is a believer
that all bodies dwelling on his farm
shall produce behavior that makes them worthwhile
to intake food sources 
depleting necessary funds from the
ever-diminishing wallet.

Moon and Tiger were taken to the barn.

Let's just say that they quickly discovered the way back to the house,
and a constant battle has ensued,
in which upon opening the door,
a flash whips by at the feet,
and an uproar of
"Get that cat!"
frustrates matters worse by sending the intruder into hiding,
usually three stories upstairs 
under one of the beds in the bedroom.
This would not be so intolerable
if the intruders were not so destructive in their feeding behavior.

Although proving to be an exceptional hunter,
Moon also enjoys the tasty morsels the kitchen has to offer
and has figured out the way to open the bags of bread
or bagels
or anything else within his reach of 10 feet high
with the use of clawing the plastic bag to open it.

He also has discovered the compost bucket
from which he must drag his snack out
contributing unnecessary goop to the kitchen floor.

To compound matters,
Moon has tasted one too many things from the bucket that have not agreed with him
such as the small portion of saurkraut left-over from a crockpot meal.

His response overwhelmed him while I was out shopping that day
and my Farmer,who was home at the time,
had the unfortunate responsibility
of cleaning up Moon's reaction to it
all over the floor
under the table.

I'm surprised  none of you heard the uproar that followed that one.

Needless to say,
cat-diving has become a new sport in the house,
a sport that I do not have time to participate in as we also have issues with
Mr. Mayonnaise.

Have you ever heard that if a fox comes within
a mile of your home
and he has mange
that your dog can get it from him?
I don't know if this is an old wives' tale,
but I do know foxes carry it
and we have foxes around these parts.

I know this now.

If you ever see a fox in your neighborhood,
put a diaper on your dog,
and never let him outside again.

You will thank me for this.

We have fought this nightmarish battle with our 
dog's skin
for the past few months
and I am well beyond weary of it.

Vets do not know how to cure mange.
I went twice to ours
and he did nothing.
If you are a vet and you do know,
you are hiding it from me.

And I dislike you intensely.

To make a long story short,
we have finally fallen on the fact that mayonnaise cures lice
so perhaps mayo would also help with mange.
We have been rubbing down the dog with mayonnaise 
every other day or so
for the last few weeks,
and it's working;
but from what I've read, it takes 6 weeks to cure.
Six weeks of mayonnaise smeared dog.

He is growing hair back
and doesn't scratch every second of the day,
so that is improvement.

But we now have a balding grease-ball for a dog 
that smells like canine mixed with potato salad.
And he's used to living indoors.

Yes, my life at times is full of unpredictable adventure.

And then in Ring Two, I have the kids.
Whenever I decide to cook
they appear from wherever they were hiding
and want to "help."

Sunday was Father's Day,
and I decided to "help" Violet make a butterscotch pie
for her dad; it is his favorite.

As the second year birthday of my "baby" approaches,
I am determined to be back to the weight that I was before children...
three children
who were born as very large babies;
who made me a very large maternity case.

So here I am,
helping Violet make a pie,
looking into the pie section of the recipe book
on a super-serious diet.
Have you ever looked at a dessert section of a cookbook
while dieting?

"Let's make three pies while I have the oven on.
I need to use these 3 frozen crusts up.
Let's try this chocolate recipe.
I can freeze it for another time," 

I wipe my lips.

"And cookies.
Oooo, let's make some cookies for Granddad from Daddy
for Father's Day."

And so we did...
in between stools being pushed around,
kids hands tasting too many ingredients,
adding ingredients,
stirring ingredients.
Too much ingredients.

Then suddenly,
"Hey, where'd he come from?
Get that mayonnaise dog out of here!
Who let him in?"

As Violet escorts the dog out,
I hear something
and wonder what happened to the cookie stirrer,

"What's that noise?
That weird noise?

What IS that?"

I hear something coming from the bathroom.

It sounds like a shower.
But there's no shower in that bathroom,
just a toilet and a...


As I look around the corner,
I see a shower coming out of the bathroom.
I can hear Levi and it sounds like he's sputtering and gulping.

Being four,
he has newly acquired skills that he improves upon everyday,
or tries to improve upon.
He likes the fact that he can now reach the faucets,
but he hasn't quite learned the different techniques
to the pressure of the water 
spouting from them.

The intensity of this sink was a misjudgment on his part.
Wanting to wash the sticky from the cookie-a-thon
he'd just tasted,
he'd blasted the water on
and the spray had plastered his face.

Not being one to give in to defeat easily,
he struggled to find the knobs to shut the water off,
only spraying his face more with the onslaught.
It was as if a geyser had gone off in the bathroom.

I came to his rescue,
as well as the rest of the bathroom
shutting the water off,
proceeded to secure more towels for the mop up
while he exited the typhoon dripping,
eyes reddened
and hair and shirt soaked through.

cookies were burning,
cats raced in
as Mr. Mayonnaise had been let out.
Cookie covered fingers were now cat-diving,
 and the mixer continued to beat eggs til dry as styrofoam,
rather than the recommended "fluffy."

As the first batch of cookies cooled from the oven,
eager clamoring cooks nestled their anxious 
sticky and wet fingers on their first products and then...

these don't taste very good,"
my brutally honest daughter states.

"What?  What do you mean they don't taste very good?
What's wrong with them?"

I bit one,
hoping Violet had just eaten too much dough.

But she was right.
I breezed over the recipe card and fell upon the missing ingredient:

We'd put the brown sugar in
and that gave enough taste that the dough was delicious in it's cookie dough state,
but the cooked product did not taste good.

Later that evening,
after chocolate chip cookie whoopie pies
with extra sweet filling had been made,
 and some had been packaged for Granddad,
my Farmer came in from baling and unloading several hundred bales of straw.

He wondered why I hadn't thought enough to take a thermos of cold water up to the barn
 for him while he was unloading.
My poor Farmer.

It was then that I realized something more about
the circus...
perhaps Ring Master study would not have helped:

just like today,
I was sure I'd be incapable of managing all the clowns.

Linking up to the fun at:


  1. Tonya, I thought only my house was a 3-ring circus when my kids were growing up !!! By the way ,that was a nice save of the cookies I hope your Dad enjoyed them :)

  2. This was so entertaining and well-written. I really enjoyed it and could definitely imagine the whole thing.

    (sorry, but i smiled and chuckled a little)

  3. Since I'm not that far away...could I come to the next circus? Loved the pictures along with the story as usual!

  4. Chocolate chip whoopie pies?

    Excuse me?

    Did you write about anything else here?


    Fun post! Thanks for letting me visit so long.

    Now, I'll just have another whoopie pie before I leave...gotta keep up my strength, you know?

  5. I actually caught myself laughing out loud. too funny!

    We used to yell "Get the Cat" too because ours would bring in half dead (from being played with) mice or birds. And poor poor Mr. Mayonaise. Reminds me of a dog that used to hang out at the County garage. The workers found him half starved and almost eaten up with the mange. They doused him in motor oil and that's how he got the name 30 Weight, and got rid of the mange, and found a permanent home. He was so spoiled by the men.

    Love your blog! I am your newest follower.~Ames

  6. Nice to meet you ! and thanks for your comment, as for the moment I am in Istanbul I only have limited time.

    If you want to write about your cats Moon and Tiger, I have a cat group "Cats on Tuesday" on my cat blog http://gattinamycats.blogspot.com/

  7. Cute post. Loved the pictures along with the story. I have discovered that living a "circus life" is quite exciting; never a dull moment! :)

  8. What a fun post!

    The funniest part it that I felt tired after reading it. Having experienced the "circus life" of children myself, it was as if I was right there with you. I believe they call that flashbacks. Mwahahaha!

    Have a great day!


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