A poor wastewater man’s daughter

She gets dragged on jobs with her Daddy.

And sometimes they are not installing new, unused systems.

Sometimes they do maintenance on systems in use, systems that need trouble shooting, tweaking or filter cleaning.

On this day, they are checking and cleaning grease traps, which Rachel discovers is offensive to her nose.

Don’t feel too sorry for her though.

At the end of the day, she gleefully enumerated all the contraband her Daddy supplied her with to make the day palatable —

  1.  breakfast at McDonalds made arising in the early dark and entering the cold a motivational experience
  2. lunch at a campground cafeteria they worked at
  3. an over-sized cinnamon bun from Stick Boys to make the long drive home a bit less tedious

She also saw 2 dogs, one Sid knew was named Nollie.  Rachel took the liberty of naming the other dog Corey, because really, how can a girl pet and become acquainted with a dog without a name to address it?  She also met a friendly cat who sat on her lap,.  She named it Longtail, because  . . . .well, she is a practical girl.

To top it all off, her lunch experience was enhanced by this fellow . . .


By her smiles, chatter and good cheer, I doubt Rachel thinks there is anything “poor” about being the daughter of a wastewater man.


It is amazing how a little help

sometimes turns into a lot of help.


Our interior walls have never been painted, only primed.  Anyone who has lived with primed walls knows there is no cleaning or maintaining them, and drywall surfaces are more easily damaged.  The paint provides a layer of protection and makes wiping splattered and flown food a breeze.

Note my definitions:

Splattered food is a splay of drops on the wall in a food prep area, usually within one foot of the kitchen counter.  It is understandable.

Flown food is dried food found in unusual areas several feet from food prep or food eating areas, sometimes on ceilings.  It is often chunkier in nature.  It is completely illogical and the mind cannot create a believable scenario in which the food should have arrived at that spot.

I didn’t believe painting food splattered and food flown ceilings and walls would produce happy results, so I cleaned the ceilings and walls first.  After that chore, I realized all the light fixtures and switch plates needed to come off.  Funny thing about light fixtures and light plates — there never seem to be enough.  Until you you need to paint around them, and you begin to think “Good grief, who needs 3 separate light switches, 7 light fixtures and 8 outlets in the kitchen?!”

Fortunately, I had a little help.

Painting amidst scampering burrow rats

Our Shakespeare and Chemistry Studies have been postponed in favor of gardening, VBS, Robotics Camp, Forensics Camp and house painting.  I depended on Sidney to help with ceiling painting.  Actually, it was more like he painted the ceilings, and I helped him.

He reinstalled the lighting with a bit of arm muscle from his dad.  I think Sidney took a 120 volt hit only once.


There is something about routine interruptions, housing projects and moving furniture that inspires my kids to new play.

Prairie, the burrow rat, flees for her life.


Below, Prairie, the burrow rat walks sedately.

“Burrow rats like to snooze or impress the ladies or go for a little walk,” she says.


Rachel, the cheerful, happy-go-lucky burrow rat, is unaware of the danger lurking just behind her . . . . . .


Lincoln, the slit-eyed, leering burrow rat — creepy.

I felt happy and nostalgic with my burrow rats romping at my feet, getting in my way and their happy noises intruding into my consciousness.  At ages 9, 11, 13, and 16, those kind of days are mostly behind me.  It was a sweet reminder of other days to have the younger three kids romping about like preschoolers.

Lunch Fairy

I should have done this a looooong time ago.  But the kids grow so fast, too fast for me to keep up with changing their responsibilities.

I finally announced that one of the kids would be responsible for providing lunch every day at 12:30.  Prairie jumped at the chance.  The very next day, she laid out a lunch buffet and called us all for lunch.  She even wore her long-forgotten apron.


We have leftovers —– black bean and chicken soup, butternut squash . . . . .


mixed nuts, cheddar cheese, not sweetened tea, sour cream . . . . . . .


water (COLD), and thawed blueberries.


She even put on shoes for the occasion.

Albeit, they were not HER shoes.  These shoes were in a bag with other shoes in my pantry, to go back to my sister.  Prairie can not resist a bag of new-to-her shoes.  She is such girly-girl, but with an uncommon fashion sense.

Now, she just needs practice sweeping the floor.