Mission Work

I’ve just finished writing about chapter three of Bill Strickland‘s Make the Impossible Possible. One of the things I really took home from this chapter is his take on helping people. Strickland has started a new arts center for the struggling youth of the Manchester ghetto. He’s gotten funding, built a beautiful facility, stocked it with clay and tools and equipment….and he has very few people come to visit. Those that do wander by just watch awhile and then leave, or play for a moment before moving on. Strickland realized “I wasn’t going to save anyone who wasn’t ready to be saved, and if I was expecting gratitude for what I was trying to do, I was on a fool’s mission–the people I was trying to help hadn’t asked me to help them, and they didn’t owe me anything. All I could do was share what I had to share with whoever was willing to listen.”

This thought really hit home. How many times have I faced the same situation? How many times have I just let the fact that trying to ‘save’ people who aren’t ready to be saved is fruitless….stop me in my tracks?

Years ago, my hubby and I thought seriously about going on mission to Haiti. We had located a Christian television station that needed someone to take over operations, and were considering moving our then family of three to Haiti. After a few months of discussion we decided to table the idea until after we had a second baby, and during my pregnancy with Middle Child the political climate of Haiti made going there difficult, if not impossible.

I mention this because I think that my motivation for wanting to go do mission work at that time was all wrong. My idea of what it would be like was simplistic and naive. I wanted to go where there was extreme poverty, bring the good news, help people by getting my hands dirty and digging in the dirt. What’s wrong with that? Only that I wanted…and expected…to be a savior of sorts. I wanted adventure, I wanted tangible results, I wanted to see the seeds I planted grow and flourish before my very eyes. In short, I wanted what I wanted, and I wasn’t listening for what God wanted.

Instead, we stayed in the city. We grew and went through changes, we had Middle Child and then we had Youngest also. Slowly I realized that where we live is mission territory. In many ways, it’s as much mission territory as Haiti is. The difference is, the poverty isn’t visible, it isn’t (by and large) financial, and it isn’t always easy to spot. The poverty is spiritual, and it’s a different kind of mission work we’re called to right now. A mission of compassion and honesty and faith, a mission of life-style evangelism and quiet chipping away at the facade that exists everywhere we turn. It’s much less glorious, it’s much more subtle, and the chances that I’ll be present to see the fruits of my labor are slim. But it’s where God has me.

Will we ever get to go on the sort of mission that I long for? Maybe. But in the meantime I need to focus on the one we’ve been given and not be frustrated by the fact that all I can do is share what I have to share with whoever is willing to listen. Like Strickland did when his new art center was unknown and empty, I can put on my shoes and zip up my hoodie and go out seeking people who are looking for more, people who are longing to hear what God has to offer. I am finding that when you let your light shine out rather than hide it under a bushel, people sometimes even come to you. And I’m learning that letting God use you right where you are is first step to any kind of mission.

Other book club posts:
Born Identity at High Calling Blogs (by yours truly)
Laura’s Dream On
Marcus’s Beauty Inspires Hope…
On Getting It by LL Barkat
nAncY’s Book.Club

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Gluten Free, Soy Free Snacks…how to feed an allergic toddler

My friend LL Barkat’s very talented 11 year old daughter drew this cartoon, and by coincidence LL published it on her Seedlings in Stone blog this morning. Isn’t it perfect? Thanks to LL and Sara for brightening my day!

A friend of mine just found out that her toddler is allergic to wheat, soy and almonds. Ouch. There’s nothing like having to re-vamp your entire diet, this I know from experience! Those first few months are difficult, because you quickly discover that allergens are in everything, particularly in the foods that toddler enjoy most!

But you get used to it, and in many ways having food sensitivities has been a blessing to our family. We eat much better now, we read the labels on every food product that comes into our house (an enlightening process which I highly recommend to everyone…you’ll be shocked at what’s in so many processed foods!). We cook most things from scratch now, and I have learned to plan meals and shopping ahead to make sure we’ve got meals and snacks in the house that everyone can eat.

In our family, we’re dealing with Gluten (wheat, barley, and rye), dairy, nut, coconut, and raw tomato allergies or intolerances. We used to have to watch soy, too, but that seems to have gone away (praise God!). It sounds awful, but it’s not really as bad as you’d think. You just have to learn to work around things!

Cooking gluten free is something that takes a little time to learn, but once you do it’s really not much harder than cooking with regular flour. But those first few weeks when you’re wondering what on earth to feed your kid…and everything you look at seems to have at least one allergen on the label…are really tough. Here are a few products that we have tried that are great quick snacks or basic kid-friendly foods to get you started. You can find them in a local health-food market (Whole Foods is a good bet), and many of them may be found in a regular grocery store. If your favorite grocery doesn’t carry something you like, ask a manager if they can start stocking the food for you. We’ve done that, and our local grocery store now carries some products that we used to have to drive elsewhere to buy!

One thing I want to add before continuing is always check the label. Sometimes companies change ingredients, and something that was safe last week isn’t OK to eat anymore. I’ve fallen into that trap more than once! So I’ve just gotten into the habit of reading it before it goes in the cart.

I have meal plans available for gluten free dinners here, and if you want some recipes for cakes, cookies, etc. try here.

Without further ado….a list of gluten, soy and tree nut free snacks and meals:

A few “normal” snacks that are naturally allergen free:

Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
Rice Chex cereal (we use these for bread crumbs in recipes, too…just pulverize them in a food processor)
Philadelphia cream cheese (check label on anything but the plain kind)
Boar’s Head meat products
All natural peanut butter
Bits of all natural cheese (check the lable)
Rice crispy treats made with puffed rice (just rice…check cereals for soy. You can get plain puffed rice or Millet in a bag without additives, and they make good treats), butter, and marshmallows. We like to add some peanut butter, too!

Some allergy free products (look online at www.allergyfreeshop.com for these):

(the allergy free shop allows you to choose which allergens you need to avoid…a great resource for shopping or just for getting ideas!)

Glutano crackers. Taste like a Ritz! Great with peanut butter, cheese and meat, peanut butter with slices of fruit, cream cheese with meat or fruit. You can make a lunch for a child with the above suggestions plus some fruits and vegetables.

Puffed amaranth hot cereal. Sort of like instant oatmeal, just add hot water and (I suggest) some brown sugar or maple syrup, maybe a few raisins or sliced banana.

PerkyO’s cereal. A Cherrios alternative made from bean flour…also very high in protein.

Ian’s (a great allergy free brand!) french toast sticks. These are wonderful for when you make a nice breakfast for the family and don’t want your allergic child to miss out…heat them up and serve them with pure maple syrup, real whipped cream, or fruit.

Donuts by Kinniknnik! Mmmm. They are expensive and you have to keep them frozen, but they taste a lot like a regular donut. Cut them up into bite-sized pieces for a fun toddler snack.

Wylde Pretzels are great. They taste like a regular pretzel and are great for traveling in the car or in a diaper bag. Serve them as a snack with cream cheese or peanut butter for dipping.

Corn Thins make a great grilled cheese sandwich. Spread butter on one side, place a slice of cheese on top (and maybe even some soy free lunch meat) and place another buttered thin on top. Grill like you’d grill a regular sandwich.

Ener-G dinner rolls and hot dog buns are great. I’m not a huge fan of their breads, but they are soy free (my favorite brand of gluten free bread is not soy free, sadly). These are best toasted. I often slice buns into 3 or 4 thin slices, and use them instead of sandwich bread! The buns somehow just taste better and are softer than the breads. Great for hamburgers, PB&J’s, sloppy joe’s, pulled pork and whatever else you might want to eat on bread.

Tinkyada pasta. This is my all time favorite gluten free product. Also soy and dairy free! This tastes the most like regular pasta (and believe me, I’ve tried a lot of pastas!). It comes in just about any shape you’d need, including lasagna noodles and some very cute pasta shapes that are great for kid’s mac and cheese or casseroles. Cook them just like you’d cook regular pasta. It can pass for “normal” pasta, so you can serve this to the whole family without complaints (although it’s much more pricey than regular pasta). Use this along with….

Velveeta cheese! Ok, not my very favorite and “cheese” probably isn’t the right word for it. But there are some things you just need Velveeta with! Cook up some of the noodles above, and then make a sauce with velveeta and milk. Yummy, kid-friendly mac and cheese, just about as quickly as you could make it out of a box! Make a big batch and then keep it in the fridge, leftovers make great lunches. If you can get away with it, add peas or broccoli bits and maybe some chopped chicken or soy-free ham (Boar’s Head is always grain and soy free).

Ian’s brand again…these fries are yummy and so cute. They are more expensive than regular frozen fries, so consider making a big batch of regular fries and doing these on a separate tray. Due to the cute shape, you’ll be able to tell which fries are OK for your allergic child to eat, and it’s not a bad thing for the child with allergies to get something special once in a while.

And more praises for Ian’s….”Nuke-able” meals, allergy free! Here’s one favorite…the chicken nugget meal. They also sell chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and mini corn dogs (along with a few more complete meals like the one to the right). These are wonderful for quick meals when a babysitter is coming over, or if you’re sending your child to spend the night with relatives who may not be good at understanding what he or she can and cannot eat. I buy regular microwave meals for the other kids and an Ian’s meal for the one who’s allergic.

Kinnikinnik Pizza crusts are great. Use a little tomato sauce, some cheese, and whatever else your child likes on pizza (be cautious with the pepperoni, make sure you read the label because processed meats are notorious for having soy). You can even pre-make pizzas and them freeze them for later, so that if your family is eating frozen pizza or wants to order out, you have something on hand for the allergic child. Yea for pizza!

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Beauty and Hope

I’ve been reading Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland. We’re doing a book club over at High Calling Blogs, and this first selection has really gotten me thinking about the insidious nature of poverty, and about how a few simple things can make a real difference.

What has struck me lately is how we all end up with little attitudes and beliefs that keep us ‘poor’ in one way or another. In the second chapter of his book, Strickland points out that despite the fact that they lived in a dangerous ghetto, his mother refused to let their surroundings become a part of who they were. You can come from a place and not be of that place. Where you live, what you do for a living, how much you own…these things do not have to become who you are. Strickland writes of his mother’s take on life…” ‘Just because we’re poor,’ she’d say, ‘we don’t have to live like defeated people’.”

What makes poverty so hard to rise out of? Certainly there are many economical and social reasons why it’s such a struggle. But Bill Strickland has found two very powerful antidotes to poverty and personal defeat: Beauty and Hope.

There’s not much beauty in life in the ghetto. Buildings are crumbling, paint peeling, rust encrusts everything once shiny and weeds grow through every crack. It becomes a downward spiral…the worse things look, the less people are inclined to look after them. You develop tunnel vision, you don’t see the ugliness because you become immune to it.

We are creatures designed to love beauty! To be deprived of it does something to the soul, takes away some piece of life and leaves you longing. Strickland’s mother seemed to know this intuitively, and fought hard to keep beauty in her household. He tells of weekends spent scrubbing their wood floors, on hands and knees. Scrubbing with a brush, buffing with a rag, and polishing with floor wax each week. A task he hated…and yet, the gleaming floors in their house spoke of possibilities. Told them that they were worth beauty. And that made a difference.

How do you find hope in a seemingly hopeless situation? Strickland’s book has made me rethink some assumptions I’ve had. I always thought that reversing hopelessness was like turning around the Queen Mary….a huge undertaking that would take many years and perhaps a team of experts. And yet, Strickland found hope as a teen that turned his life around in a few short months. He discovered that he enjoyed…and was good at…pottery. This simple addition to his life was the turning point for him, in a matter of months he had found direction, confidence, and hope for a future he hadn’t seen before. A few short months, a simple lump of clay…that’s all it took.

These thoughts are turning around in my mind. Strickland’s own past, and his amazing success turning people’s lives around with a program based simply on beauty and hope have proven that perhaps it’s not as hard as I thought to turn things around. Perhaps we could make a huge difference, just doing little things to infuse beauty and hope into the lives of those around us. It’s an exciting thought!

And although they are little things, I’ve already changed a few things in my own life because of this book. I’ve become more aware of the things (both literal and figurative) cluttering up our life as a family that have become part of the landscape and go by unnoticed, and I’ve started to clean them up. I’ve made a point to bring more beauty into our home, and to give the children a little extra leeway to pursue their hopeful plans (the existence of the kids’ Rattery is probably in part due to my reading this book!). And I’ve scrubbed all our scared old wood floors with a brush and hot water scented with Geranium cleanser, and waxed them with two layers of floor wax.

It does make a difference!

Join us in our discussion over at High Calling Blogs! It’s never too late to read the book with us, or just come over and leave a comment or two. There are more posts on chapter two over at L.L.’s Seedlings in Stone and Laura’s Wellblog.

Project 356, Week 12……

Project 365, week 12: March 15-21

Sunday, March 15: Isaiah with his rat, Raphael. The other rat, Ruffles, belongs to Sarah…and we’ll probably be getting another this week. I’m not sure how I feel about the kids running a rattery, but I have to admit they are learning a lot and as long as the rats stay where they belong–well, it’s been good so far!

Monday, March 16: One of Costco’s all beef Kosher hot dogs, expertly decorated by Isaiah. He felt it deserved a photo, and so here it is.

Tuesday, March 17: Working on a St. Patrick’s day card.

Wednesday, March 18: We had corn beef chowder and Irish Soda Bread for dinner…I had fun decorating the soda bread, and felt it deserved a picture…so here it is!

Thursday, March 19: The girl with no pearl earring. Hubby took this and thought it looked like Vermeer’s famous painting. I think he flatters me and the similarity is all in the weird headgear, but it’s a sweet thought.

Friday, March 20: We went out as a family! It’s been ages since we’ve gotten to do that. We went to a movie at the dollar theaters (Bolt….worth seeing, we all enjoyed it). Then we went out for fast food at a local Greek burger joint. Mmmmm, charbroiled Apollo burgers with pastrami and cheese, wrapped in lettuce! And this lovely chicken strip belonging to Sarah, who thought it was shaped like a beaver and therefore deserved a picture. So here it is!

Saturday, March 21: Saturday, beautiful Saturday! The weather was so wonderful. We had friends over for dinner, and this is Isaiah waiting for his friend to arrive. He’s got his new cap gun that he bought for a dollar, and Hubby’s lawn-mowing hat on. Bare feet, of course. I love this picture…and he still doesn’t know I took it. Shhhh!

RAP: Dawn

In the indigo light
of emergent dawn
shadows take shape
details develop
like a Polaroid picture
above mountain’s rocky ridge
a burning sliver of sun
breaks softly, silently
pours liquid light
over waiting peaks
and on bare branches
etched against a glowing sky
one small bird awakens
fluffs feathers, stretches wings
sings its brave song
into the break of dawn
This was a spur of the moment poem inspired by the sound of Spring birds returning. I got a little carried away with alliteration…I guess that’s what happens when you’re teaching a poetry unit with your kids and you try to write some yourself! I’ll try to avoid writing one the day we study onomatopoeia (tweet tweet!).

More Random Acts:

LL at High Calling Blogs FedEx Your Soul
LL Barkat’s Song of Myself
Laure’s 10 O’Clock Morning Hour
Yvette’s Sin is Like That
Photo: stock photo from the Big Box of Art

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Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care….

Shakespeare’s Macbeth quoted here, pulled from my mind. My mind, which seems clogged and sluggish, like a car engine trying to start in below-zero weather, or molasses being poured from its bottle, right out of the refrigerator. My sluggish, sleepy mind.

Eldest has not been sleeping this week. It started Friday of last week, an inability to fall asleep compounded by his young mind running rampant over all sorts of rocky terrain. Stumbling, falling, running again. He’s always had this tendency, I remember one conversation with him at the tender age of four where he described his inability to fall asleep as an inability to turn off his mind. His mind, racing like a toy car that winds when you pull it backwards…held over the floor with the wheels disengaged. Running, running.

What to do? We’ve had bouts with insomnia at various points, usually points of intense growth–physical or mental. They came and went, and it’s been years since we’ve had to deal with a sleepless child. But this time, it’s been nearly a week and he hasn’t fallen asleep before midnight despite going to bed at 8:30 or 9:00. The longer it goes on, the more anxious he feels about falling asleep, and the harder it is then to relax and let sleep take over. We have tried prayer, we have tried Valerian Root tea (smells like sweat socks), he has come close to memorizing the entire 23ed Psalm in his hours lying awake. We’ve tried allowing him to read until he can fall asleep, we have tried the company of various pets, we’ve tried leaving the light on in the hall (which results in the dog and cat playing all night long, and the whole house can’t sleep for their antics).

I am suddenly thrown back into my own battle with insomnia…the Mother insomnia that is so familiar from younger days. You put them to bed, not knowing at what hour you’ll be back up with them again. You sleep with your ears open, half asleep and half awake. You battle worries of your own…what if this goes on longer? Would using Benedryl to help him fall asleep teach him to medicate his difficulties rather than deal with them on his own? Would herbal remedies be any better? Could this be a problem with vitamin deficiency, as the medication he was on for his GERD depletes 3 of the minerals that are supposed to help with sleep?

I don’t know. It’s that simple…I don’t know.

I guess we just wait it out, there seems to be nothing physically wrong and there is no new stress or problem in his life that could be pinpointed as the cause. It seems that the problem lies mostly in the frustration and anxiety that he might not be able to fall asleep, which of course becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. He seems fine all day long, and we haven’t seen signs of sleep deprivation at this point. But I am starting to dread bedtime.

Oh, how I wish I could fix this. I know this, too, shall pass….but in the meantime I’m praying for strength for the journey. Strength, and good rest.

The rest of the story (an answered prayer)

Following up on yesterday’s post, I wanted to share the rest of the story and also to thank those of you who have written comments or notes to me about it. I feel compelled to say that although I am very proud of how my kids are growing, it’s not we…hubby and I…who deserve credit for moments like that. Really, my example isn’t always good. I fight “no” in my own life, I struggle with it, and I am not always (not often?) graceful in that. We do the best we know how, muddle through, make mistakes and pick up again and carry on. I’m always worried that our lives sound and look picture-perfect here in this little cyber-space, and they’re not…we’re just a family getting by each day by the grace of God, some days more gracefully than others. There’s a beauty in that, too. We lean on Him, learn the beauty of forgivness and mercy and grace.


One thing that I am thankful for is that God often seems to answer young children’s prayers quickly and in ways that are easy to see. I love that about Him! As Middle Child was bending to His will and accepting no with thanksgiving, a great thing happened. One option the kids had considered before deciding on Guinea Pigs was breeding fancy mice. They discovered it was very hard to find a pair of the type they wanted, and after much research they looked into fancy rats, which were also not easy to find and tended to be as expensive as a Guinea Pig when you could find them.

I’m not a fan of rats, let me just insert this here. I like mice, hamsters, bunny rabbits…for some reason, rats just don’t do it for me.

However, not long after our family prayer I was looking at some classified ads and found three Rex Rats for sale….for a fraction of the cost we would have expected them to be. I showed the kids, we called on them, and the next day the kids had a pair of very cute baby rats, with curly fur and whiskers. We brought the third rat home for friends of ours, who luckily know quite a bit about rats and can give us tips on rat ownership.

Am I as thrilled at the prospect of my kids running a “Rattery” as I was about the Guinea Pigs? Nope. But the kids are, and that’s what counts.

God is good whether or not we get what we want, and whether or not He immediately replaces what we want with something better then we could have thought up on our own. But I’m so happy that He worked it out this way…as an adult I should be able to wait years (even a lifetime!) to reap the benefits of submission to His will. But it’s a wonderful lesson for the children to get to see this so quickly, so that the connections will be easy for their young hearts to see.

He knows what we need and what will make us happy even more then we ourselves do, and we can rest in that.

If that lesson means that I need to learn to love….rats….then so be it! I must admit, they are actually quite cute and they are very good natured. I’m getting attached to them and I can see why people say they make great pets. It’s going to be a fun adventure!

The Sweetest Prayer

Often I find that there are important lessons learned from listening to my children. It’s not that they are wise or that they are consciously teaching adults, it’s that there are so many things that they themselves are learning…and the lessons are often so simple and poignant that I can’t help but grow from being with them.

Eldest and Middle Child have been planning to become guinea pig breeders for months now. They have done the research, they had drawn up a business plan, they had made numerous phone calls to pet store, other breeders, and the president of the local guinea pig club. They had saved up enough money to purchase the animals and cages, and we had scheduled a trip to a guinea pig show in a nearby city. They were beyond excited, and proud to have done all the work (a prerequisite that was imposed by yours truly).

On a whim, early in the week we were to go to the show and purchase the animals, we stopped by a pet store and asked to hold a guinea pig. It was cute. It was fuzzy. It was sweet and snuggly.

And Eldest broke out in hives, everywhere the guinea pig touched. Big, itchy, angry red welts. A minute later, his nose also started running like a faucet. Allergic? Seriously? Just to rule out the possibility that it might have been something (anything?) else, we waited a day or two and tried again. Big, itchy hives.

What a disappointment! All that work, and all that planning. They already had names picked out. Middle Child in particular had been so excited about the project that she had required frequent warnings….”please, no more guinea pig talk”. She couldn’t wait to groom them, feed them, even clean out their cages.

The kids were heartbroken over the disappointment. Middle Child especially had many tears to shed over the loss of their dream. We comforted, we commiserated, we encouraged them to move on. My heart really hurt for them.

And then, at dinner that night…

We sat around the table, praying over the food. And before we could say “amen,” Middle Child had something to add. “And thank you, God, for letting us know that Isaiah is allergic to guinea pigs before we brought them home.”

Thank You, God. The sweetest prayer, the hardest thing to say when your prayers have been answered with no. At that moment, I couldn’t have been more proud of my little girl…all the research, the planning, the work put into her dream was an important accomplishment. But a far greater lesson, a lesson that is life-changing to those who are able to accept it is: Submission with gratitude. Lord, I want this but it is not Your will. I submit to that, and I thank You for protecting me from having something that You know would not be best for me.

How many times do I whine and complain about hearing “No”? How many times do I look back on life and regret the “no’s“, wishing that I could have had what I wanted? My nature is to rage against loss and failure, rather than to look for the good in it and embrace it as part of God’s loving protection. Sometimes the losses are simple desires that I can do without. Sometimes, they are life-changing events, losses that seem to make no sense and have no benefit whatsoever. And yet like a little child, we need to somehow find the strength to say Thank You. Thank you for the grace to get through, however haltingly. Thank you for giving me the strength to get through this one day. Thank you for knowing what is best for me and for protecting me from having everything I want…because so much of what I want would be damaging in ways that I cannot understand.

The sweetest prayer…and the hardest….Submission and thanksgiving in the face of hardship.

Project 356, week 11…

Somewhere along the way I’ve gotten my photo organization a little off, and I’m not sure I’m doing a good job with this project right now. I always mean to put the post together Saturday and schedule it for Sunday, so that I’m not blogging on Sundays. However, the past few weeks I’ve missed that goal and ended up doing it Monday…which means that I ought to be doing the week’s menu, the 365 post, and also the book club posts are going out on Monday over at High Calling Blogs. Plus, I have a Bible Study and homeschool co-op on Mondays. This is not working for me! So this week, here’s the 365 post (with more boring than usual photos…sorry!). I’ll do the menu tomorrow. Next week, I’ll try and get those photos up earlier…but I may have to concede to fact that there is too much on my blogging plate and re-arrange things a little in the future! Anyway, last week’s photos:

Week 11, March 8-14:

Sunday, March 8: Rachel, wrapped up in a blanket as we play Rummykub by the fire.

Monday, March 9: This is a card Isaiah made for a friend’s birthday. I thought it was clever, if a little scary. The second picture is the back of the card, which worked out great when he burned the hole in the middle (yes, there was an adult present…don’t try this at home kids!)

Tuesday, March 10: Sarah, deep in concentration

Wednesday, March 11: This one made me do a double-take.

Thursday, March 12: Rachel made this card…entirely on her own…for an uncle’s birthday. I love how she did the cut-out lace and taped it all around the heart.

Friday, March 13: The cat, finding a comfy place to sleep

Saturday, March 14: Our friends came over after a conference at church, and we celebrated a birthday (late) with cupcakes and a painful round of our infamous “happy birthday” song. Our family has a tradition of singing it as loudly and off key as possible, which leaves the ears ringing for hours after!

RAP: Soul-sucking laundry

soul-sucking laundry

i found my soul
at the base of a mountain
of dirty laundry

i had the feeling
something was missing
but oddly enough
i hadn’t realized it was gone

until yesterday
when i reached over and
pulled off a dirty towel
stuffed it into the washer

when i turned back around
there it was
hands on hips
left toe tapping
eyes blazing mad

for crying out loud
it said as it climbed back in
and settled where it belonged
shoving aside the clutter that
had accrued in its absense

i sheepishly resumed
stuffing laundry in the washer
poured the soap
slammed the door shut
and pushed start