Monday, July 4, 2011

All-American Work Ethic

This Independence Day is being honored at our house not with shows of red, white and blue patriotism or fireworks, but with a day focused on the uniquely-American phrase muttered by those with determination and a heads-down work ethic: "Git'er done".

I've been at it since 2:30 this morning, when Kiddo woke us up. "Mama," he called, "there's something stinky in my bed!" Aside from the fact that this is something no parent wants to hear at any time of day, I trudged down the stairs and into Kiddo's room. A bleary-eyed survey of the room showed no trace of anything really bad (namely, poop), the sniff test revealed nothing. I sent Kiddo to go potty and then lay down with him.

"Mama, there's something stinky." he said, face to face snuggled up with his arm wrapped around my neck.

Yeah, dude, it's your breath, I wanted to tell him. Instead, I reminded him that it was A Sleeping Time and I Wanted To Sleep. So, he nodded off and I woke in fits and starts and he drilled into me with his hard little head or ground his elbow into my ribs. At seven thirty, when he finally woke, I headed back upstairs to catch up on a little peaceful sleep, newly thankful that in our land of large and excess, king-sized beds did actually exist.

Up again and busy an hour or so later. Played puzzles with Kiddo while I drank my tea. Watered the garden, showered, made some tabbouleh for dinner (because nothing says "Fourth of July " like tabbouleh, right?), made lunch, then researched clocks for Kiddo. I've wanted one of those "Okay to Wake" clocks, with a colored light clock face that changes color at the waking time. But besides the fact that they are so ugly and received marginal reviews, the price and the shipping time were both deterrents. Nothing like a little necessity to inspire a little creative thinking, so after lunch we headed to the store for a 24 outlet timer and a blue night-light bulb. Bingo! Foolproof, other than now we will be even more cranky when Kiddo wakes us in the wee hours because of bad breath. "Do you SEE the blue light on? No. Go to sleep." stomp stomp stomp back upstairs to our own beds.

As I type, I am still in the process of turning at least 2 quarts of cherries into sauce. Rinse, sort, trim off the bad spots, pit, mix with cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, brandy and water and bake in the oven forever. And I've still got eggs to boil for the macaroni salad. Joe's been busy, today too, picking cherries, cleaning out a problem-room of his (you know, one of those places where it all gets dumped and then forgotten), and doing dishes when my own dishpan hands look like wrinkled raisins. All this cooking requires the dishes to be washed again and again.

So, this is my snack time, sipping an iced tea with fizzy water and thinking about the spirit of the day. The United States wasn't  founded on star-spangled songs or dyed-daisy flower arrangements, but on a strong work ethic. We've had to 'git'er done' for a long, long time. Today was just one day, but it's been a busy one. I'll be glad at eight tonight when the last dishes have been washed, my stomach will be full with good salads and smoked salmon, and I sit around watching something silly and enjoying the rest of the day. Oh, and eating some vanilla soy ice cream with cherry sauce. If that isn't wonderfully red and white, well then I don't know what is.

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