Vulnerability: A Lesson Learned From Sickness

Sickness causes vulnerability

Sickness left me feeling vulnerable.


It was my first day back to work after being home sick for two days.

Being home sick is unfamiliar territory for me. The last time I can recall needing two days off for sickness was in the 4th or 5th grade when I had the flu.

On Thursday night my fever was gone and my stomach, while quaking, had not erupted for a few hours. Therefore, I prepared my lessons with the expectation that I would go to work the next day.

Friday morning came. I left my house, a bit unsteadily, and hoped for the best.

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Expectant Mother at the MMK Maternity Ward

Our newest expecting mother at the MMK Maternity Ward

Two different bird deliveries in one year!

We are becoming a wildlife refuge over here at MMK.

I mean in terms of the outdoors that is. Were still somewhat civilized indoors.

I wonder if National Geographic would like to do a spread of our active bird maternity ward.

If so, I’m sure they would want to know our secret as to why the birds keep coming to our house.

Hmmm, what would I tell them.

Okay, I got it. Here’s the recipe.

Slam doors, pour in two children screaming, add a poorly seeded/mowed lawn, a spice of parents yelling, and finally a huge heaping of Minecraft induced quiet.

Yep, that sums up much of the activity of my house.

So, why do we have another bird choosing our house as a maternity ward?

I have no idea!

We’ll just enjoy it.

Anyway, meet our newest expectant bird mother Rosa (as named by BR and SJ) the Dove. She is expecting twins.

And we at the MMK maternity ward could not be more proud of newest bird mother.

The Chore Exchange

Chore Exchange Business

Join the chore exchnage!

I believe the barter system has real merits. And you should trust me because my undergraduate degree is in Economics.

So, I’m practically a know-it-all when it comes to financial issues.

Okay, okay stop laughing. However, I do have a real proposal to make that could earn millions for some tech geek visionary.

Some background is needed.

The other day I mentioned that I hate to mow the lawn (Please Don’t Make Me Mow The Lawn). I told you it was my least favorite chore for many reasonable reasons I liked to add. At the end of the post, I asked others to note chores they did not like.

Some people took me up on this and mentioned chores they don’t like. For example, JackB hates doing the dishes. Jesse Clemence hates cooking.

That’s cool. No judgment. To each his own.

Both of the bloggers mentioned above noted that they don’t mind mowing the lawn.

This got my mind moving.

What if we had an exchange? We all have chores we hate and chores we don’t mind. It’s the nature of the beast.

So, what if you did my chores and I did your chores? Pretty awesome – right?

Okay – it might not bring peace to the world, but if I did not have to mow the lawn, I would be a happier person.

Anyway, I did some research on Google and found there is nothing out there like this. There are similar business. One such business is called Task Rabbit where you can hire people hired to run errands. Another site, Do My Stuff, allows you to post a chore that needs doing and then individuals or businesses will bid on your proposal. Finally, I also found Agent Anything where you can get a college student to do your dirty work for you at an affordable rate.

Each of these services reuiqre you to pay someone to do your chores/errands.

And that is not what I am talking about.

On my site – The Chore Exhange – people would have a profile which includes chores they don’t want to complete and chores they are willing to do. People do your chore and you do theirs. No charge.

As part of my profile, here are the chores I want someone else to do.

1. Mow the lawn. I already told you about that, so there is no need to elaborate.

2. Go through mail. Remember when you were a kid and you loved when you got mail? Yeah, those days are long past. BR, by the way, loves to take in the mail and sort it. Of course, what he really wants is to receive mail. You should have seen his face when he got something from Publisher’s Clearing House. For a minute, he was convinced he won a million dollars.

3. Load and unload the dishwasher. Maybe, I’m not into the dishwasher because we didn’t use ours much when I was a kid. To me, it feels like extra work to load and unload the dishwasher. I’d rather just do the dishes.

Then, these are the chores I would be willing to do for someone else.

1. Food Shopping. If you have read at least 10 MMK posts, the you probably have heard me say, I don’t mind food shopping (Food Shopping). I’m also very good at it and if there were an Olympics for food shopping, I’m certain I would represent my country well.

2. Making the Bed. I enjoy making the bed. A bedroom looks neater when the bed is made. You have the challenge of making the covers lie evenly on each side and making sure there are no creases. Fun stuff!

3. Shoveling. I find shoveling snow invigorating. It always warms me up and leaves me feeling I’ve taken care of my land.

I’ve let you in on a Brilliant Idea before. I see the money rolling in for The Chore Exchange as well.

Now , I could go to the people at Shark Tank or other random venture capitalists. However, I choose you.

Whose with me?

Please Don’t Make Me Mow the Lawn

My lawn - after the lawn was mowedI wish my lawn would stay at its current height. It should just freeze and stay as is. It would be nature’s version of Mrs. Havisham.

You may be wondering why I want to overturn the rules of nature.

First off, let me say I do appreciate nature. I love to hike. I enjoy seeing the trees in bloom in the Spring and the colorful leaves of the Fall.

But I hate mowing the lawn.

Don’t think I’m lazy.

I’m really, really not. It’s just I hate mowing the lawn.

By the way, there are plenty of chores I don’t mind doing. I’ve told you multiple times of my odd affinity for food shopping.  I don’t mind making the bed. Washing the dishes is no big deal. Vacuuming lets me escape into my own thoughts.

Clearly, I’m domesticated.

Yet ever since I was a teen, I have not liked mowing the lawn. I blame the lawnmower. I know the saying a poor craftsman blames the tool. However, before you leave me with that title, listen to the facts.

Back then, the lawnmower and I were engaged in a perpetual battle.  I had to yank the cord multiple times before the lawnmower would turn on. Then while mowing, the lawnmower would go off. For no apparent reason!

Every time the lawnmower went off, I had to walk it to the pavement and go through the process of starting it once again.  Why did I walk it to the pavement? Well, the lawnmower would not start on the lawn. Can that be any more ironic?

I think the lawnmowers know how much I hated using them. And therefore, every lawnmower my family had over the years gave me this issue.

My permanently calloused hands remind me of these former battles.

Now that you know my history, you must be able to understand why I hate mowing the lawn.

But, wait there’s more (no, I don’t mean ginsu knives).

At the risk of sounding like a whiny kid with all this complaining, and I know there is nothing worse than sounding like a whiny kid except if you are a whining adult, I’ll go on.

Mowing the lawn is boring. I find it so boring that I rush through in order to finish as fast as possible.

In addition to that, our lawn has brown spots where lawn should be. When we first moved in, I tried planting seed. When it didn’t work the first year, I tried again the second year. When it didn’t work the second year, I grumbled and tried to forget about it.

So, I spend an hour of my time mowing the lawn, and in the end, it still doesn’t look particularly good. It’s like putting a suit on a pig. Nice suit but still a pig.

Not inspiring.

Here’s my wish: the lawn would just stay short. The height of the lawn could stay petrified like astroturf.

You know how when you see a young person who you haven’t seen in a while you’re always surprised at how much they’ve grown?  It’s as if you expect to see their height stay frozen in time.

My lawn could take the place of those young children. People could walk by my house and think, “Wow this lawn hasn’t changed a bit.” Wouldn’t that be comforting?

My brown patched lawn would provide stability. That is something I could be proud of.

P.S. What chores would you like to avoid?