Monday, September 24, 2007

Chapter 10 What To Do About Alex

Evening had settled at the St. John household. The children were in bed. The little ones asleep.

Riley, Rowan and Jada in the little bed.

Jessamyn and Ellery in the crib.

Daniel Jim and Silly Old Hound dog on the floor.

Marybeth and Marley were making plans for a Saturday shopping trip to the craft store with Aunt Sister.
Meanwhile out in Basil's shop.......

Pete looks at Basil and says, "You really are taking to lace aren't you?"

"Worn the darn apron so much lately, I forget I have it on," Basil sadly answered.

"I tried to talk to some of the guys at work. None of them wanted a blind date with Alex. I tried to mention all of her good qualities, they kept asking, 'What's wrong with her?' " Pete grumbles.
"The same happened at the dispatcher's office." muttered Pete.
Basil griped, " I just want to come home to a happy wife and a nice meal. Is that too much to ask for?"

Tyler, Esme, Sister, Elissa and Emme were wondering why Alex had thought they needed help managing their lives.

Esme said, " I love her dearly, but sometimes Alex transfers her needs to other people. I've been hesitant to tell her about my graduate classes. If she were to find out I'm studying toward a PhD in Early Childhood Education, she'd be wanting me to start my own school. When Jessie is ready for kindergarten, I hope to find a position as a Preschool Director. Not take the leap to my own school until I'm sure that our family can handle the demands on my time.

Tyler answered, "Her heart is in the right place. She wanted to make our lives better. Being single she doesn't realize how much we want to be with our families. Like Esme, I plan to focus more on design work when Baby is old enough for school. The work involved in designing along with meeting the needs of school age children will be a huge endeavor."

Sister agreed, "Santa and I don't have children, but we think of the Elves as our family. My days are spent racing from one need to the next. My little run-about sleigh is a life saver, between running the children Elves to Elf school, visiting with the shut-in Elves, helping Dr. Elf with his prenatal Elf visits and filling in on the production lines. Its all I can do to keep track of where I am and what I'm going to do next!"

Elissa has been looking around the room at the others. "I feel so grateful that I had all of you to help me when I was a Resident at the hospital the year Marybeth was born. Matt and I don't know how we would have managed those long shifts, without the four of you to help nurture Marybeth. I always knew she was safe and loved. When we were expecting Jim Dandy, I just couldn't be apart from him the way I had to be when Marybeth was a baby. In three years I plan to work full time again. But for now this is best for us."

Emme replied, "You needn't feel grateful. We all loved having Marybeth. She and Marley were like a couple of puppies, wriggling and laughing. I agree our lives are a compromise about what's best for our families and for ourselves. Now how do we make Alex understand this?"
"A handsome prince" Tyler giggled.
"A young, manly assistant" Esme smiled.
"A Caribbean Cruise" Elissa laughed
"Well," Emme chuckled " I'm voting for the young, manly assistant, who is actually a handsome prince, taking Alex on a Caribbean Cruise!!"

Chapter 4 The Tammy Convention

The Online Tammy Convention will be held Friday and Saturday,
September 28 and 29.
The web address is :
Pepper is so excited! The 2007 Online Tammy Convention is this weekend. She found her outfit from the 2005 convention and it still fits!!

Patti thinks Pepper looks beautiful. Maybe her mom will let her go to the convention with Pepper.

Grandma's not sure about the length of her dress. She's worried someone might see her varicose veins and cellulite.

"Mo-therrrr...." Mom sighs, "You look so pretty. I can't see any veins or lumps."

Grandma finally gives in about the dress.

Tammy comes downstairs in the dress she's chosen.

Mom, Pepper and Grandma are all wearing shades of turquoise. But Tammy has on a black floral sheath.
Pepper wonders, "Why doesn't Tammy want to match the rest of us?"

Grandpa is looking forward to the weekend. He's thinking the Tammy Convention is women's chatter and he can have a restful couple days watching football games with the boys. They may even take the little boys to the ball field and play some touch football.
At least that is what he's hoping.

Grandma wanted a picture of the two of them to send in for the customized Tammy page. When she starts talking about taking his suit to the cleaners--he knows his restful football weekend is out.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Chapter 9 Confusion

The guys have had heavy hearts this past week. They don't want to think that Alex might have been right. That the women were very disappointed in them.

Basil has spent hours in his shop working on the furniture that Emme wants him to finish.
He'd do anything to make Emme happy.

Matt has been helping the kids with their homework each evening.

Marybeth is typing her paper while Marley practices on the pink guitar. Then they'll switch. They've learned to tag team their homework.

Riley, Rowan and Jada are drawing in their journals. Daniel Jim found an old book of his Daddy Matt's to read.
Matt has known since the moment he met Elissa, that she is the joy in his life.

Pete has been feeding the babies, then giving them their baths. The first evening it was rather dicey.

The babies are so slippery....They splash and laugh and try to eat the soap. Then when Pete tries to wash the strained vegetables out of their hair, they cry hysterically.
Pete soldiers on though. He is so proud of Tyler and wants her always to be glad she's married to him.

Basil has really improved his cooking repertoire. Tonight he's making hot dogs, chips and a pan of brownies from the deli. He never realized how exhausting cooking could be.

Elissa's day at the pediatric clinic was so hectic. Two ear infections, an upset tummy, a bee sting, a dozen immunizations and on and on.....She needs to prop her feet up.
Esme had an equally busy day teaching at the nursery school. There was an accident at the paint easel. There was an accident at the water table. There was an accident and the gerbil escaped his cage. She needs to sit for awhile and calm her nerves.

Tyler always looks perfect. But her day was also long and frustrating. One model gained 7 pounds over the summer. Another model dyed her hair. The third one to come into her office wanted to take an extended vacation. Then there were problems with the photographers. And finally, her computer crashed.
Sister had a wonderful day! She always takes time to shop when she visits Emme and Elissa.
Sister is emptying her bags for Tyler. A bright yellow lantern for Santa, a teddy bear for the new Elf baby, a bright pink plastic tote, the cutest lavender camera, a gag gift for Goofy Elf and the new doll collecting book she's been wanting.

Emme has had a bear of a day. The upholsterer put the wrong fabric on the settee. One of the assistants spilled coffee on a newly finished set of drapes. Another assistant ordered the wrong carpet for the house Emme wanted to finish this week.
She just wanted to come home and make hamburger gravy and mashed potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, some homemade applesauce and maybe pull a pie from the freezer.
Then she comes home to find Basil cooking a miserable dinner for the 6th night in a row. Pete splashing water all over her kitchen. And Matt attempting to help the kids with their homework.
All she wants to know is why? Why are the men acting so strangely? Why are they making such a mess of her finely organized home? And why does Basil keep making them eat hot dogs?
Alex walks in, "Looks like my talk with the guys did some good! I was hoping they'd come around. Now you ladies have no excuses for not putting all your energies into your careers!!!!"

Chapter 3 Dad's New Windows

Dad's telling Grandpa and Mel about the new windows he and Ted installed this past week.
"Top of the line aluminum clad double hung windows that tilt inward so Mom will have an easier time wiping them down. I have to say, I really appreciated Ted's help. I'm not as young as I used to be." Dad rumbled.
Tammy has had a busy first week of junior year at college. She's working toward a teaching degree. Mom's been volunteering at the library and hopes there will be a job opening by the time the twins start first grade.

Grandma exclaims, "You young women! In my day we worked until we married, then we worked at making a happy home for our husbands."

Mom and Tammy sigh.............

Upstairs Pepper and Patti are playing quietly with Pepper's new doll. Patti wants to brush her curls. Pepper wants to find a cardboard box and Mom's scrap bag to make the dolly a bed.

Dad's brother sent little Pete and Salty new jerseys and a football.

The boys love going to watch Ted's team play on Friday nights. They know they can make some of the plays that the big boys do. Salty is holding the ball while Pete gets ready to kick.
They've forgotten that Mom tells them not to play with balls in the house.....
They've forgotten that Dad and Ted replaced their bedroom window yesterday.....

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Chapter 8 Alex Scares The Men

The older kids are watching a little television, winding down from their busy first week of school.

The dishes are done, now its time for a little girl talk.

The babies are trying to figure out how to get out of the baby cage.

In storms Alex. She tosses her briefcase on the table and declares, "I want a word with your husbands!!!!"
"Esme dear," she continues "I just cannot believe that a 'business slash golf' trip can last 4 years!"
"Sister, when the big SC shows his face, he and I are goint to have a discussion about moving him into the 21st century."
"Where are the other guys?" she questions Emme, Elissa and Tyler.
Meanwhile out in Basil's shop.....

Basil is griping to the guys, " I work all day, come home to a crying baby, Riley wanting to be held and Marley practicing on that *#*!! pink guitar. Then Emme tells me she'd like me to work on some furniture out here!"

Matt comiserates, "I feel for ya man....Can't stay and help though. Elissa has a movie she want to watch tonight. She's going to make real popcorn with butter."

"I have to give my truck a tune-up," drawls Pete. "Then I need to head home to my own chores. Tyler wants me to help her with the steps she learned at dance class this week."

They hear the door bang open and slam shut.

"All of you should be ashamed of yourselves. You have wonderful, good women trying to take care of your children and your homes. Then they try to carve out a little time for their careers. Do you help them?!?"
She points at Matt.
"Elissa could be a recognized specialist in Pediatrics and yet she spends three days a week scrubbing your toilets!"

Then she turns her evil glare on Pete. "And you could listen to Tyler's request that you adjust your trucking slightly so she can concentrate more on building her modeling agency."

Poking a finger into Basil's chest, she demands, "Basil, did you know Emme has a waiting list for room redecs three pages long! She has a wonderful sense of color and dimension. While you are more interested in her wonderful cooking than in her reputation as a designer!"

The outside door bangs open and slams shut

The guys don't know what to think. They thought their wives were happy.....