Thursday, March 31, 2011


Duck chases dog.  Really, do things like this happen at other people's houses? 

Surely, it's not just me.  Surely.

Smiles from the farm,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Then there's this guy...

Who sometimes smiles so hard we worry that he'll hurt himself...

He is the cream in our cofee, the frosting on our pop tarts, the laces in our boots... If he could talk it would sound like a song, if he could walk, blue birds and butterflies would follow...

You know the James Taylor song that goes, "Whenever I see your smiling face, I've got to smile myself..." well that's Liam.

Every day is the Fourth of July, Christmas and the first day of Spring for him.  Thanks Little Bud, for the perspective.  We couldn't do this without ya'...

Monday, March 28, 2011


I am credited a lot for being strong. 

Most of the time, I am. 

But sometimes, I look at the angle of his jaw and the way the muscles in his neck stretch when he turns his head.  I wonder what he would be like if things were different.  Would he be funny or serious?  Would he be naughty, but so damn charming that you couldn't stay mad at him?  What would his voice sound like when he needed me?  Would he call me mama or mommy or mother?  Would he be artistic?  Would he play the guitar, like his father?  What would a Kool-Aid mustache look like on his upper lip?  What kind of young man would he be?  What kind of girl would he bring home?  What would he want to be when he grows up? 

Most of the time, I am strong.  But sometimes I mourn the man he will never be.  I curse the fragile organization of DNA.  When I hold him tight as his body convulses in seizure, as he falls asleep, exhausted from the back sore from carrying him,  I am not strong.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever find my strength again. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Even though I can not afford any of these just makes me happy that they exist.  More things should be pink. 


Saturday, March 19, 2011

MOVE THAT.......goat?

In the middle of the chaos, right smack dab in the middle of it...the boy's physical therapist nominated our family for Extreme Makeover Home Edition.  Which is an honor, truly.  Although I don't know if  I want them to knock my little house down. 

There are a lot of things that I don't over share on this blog.  I have mentioned that my boys have special needs, but I try not to focus on that.  I never want my children to be defined by their disability-though it is the first thing you notice about them.  If you spend any time with them at all, you see so much more.  They are amazingly sweet kids and I am blessed that someone up there thought that I had the fortitude and strength to parent them.  But the fact is that they are sick.  They have a very rare metabolic condition that has only been diagnosed in about 60 cases worldwide.  We have two.  This condition affects their vision, their physical development and their cognitive development.  Essentially they reached about a five or six month old level and stopped.  They will never walk or feed themselves or swear or throw rocks at the UPS truck and the doctors have given them a lifespan of mid to late teens.   That part sucks.  Bad. 

I like our house, and I have shown you the pretty parts of it.  I have never shown you the rotting sills or the leaking roof or the fact that we have two bedrooms and there are six people living here or the fact that we have one bathroom and it is not wheelchair accessible.  Our little house is 900 square feet and 111 years old.  We can't fit two wheelchairs into the house even if we could get them through the door.  So, yes, a handicapped accessible house would be AMAZING.  I'm just leery of opening up our weird little life to the world to maybe get it... 

So anyway, that's whats going on there.  If you want to, and please don't feel pressured to, here is the facebook link that the physical therapist set up.   TWOMBLY FAMILY

I appreciate any support you can show our boys, but please know that we won't be devastated if we don't get this.  It's just such an honor to see how many people truly care. 

Smiles from the farm,

Friday, March 18, 2011

And then it got REALLY weird....

I have been sitting here for ten minutes with my fingers poised over the keys trying to begin to tell you about my week.  It just can't be done.  You wouldn't even believe me if I could tell you.  So I will just stick with the definable truths...

Jake is doing well physically.  He is still suffering from a little PTSD and needs lots of reassurance that he is not a bad boy.   I am anxious for him to regain his confidence.  I don't do well with needy men. 

Jake was hit on Tuesday.  It was a slow motion kind of day, scary and introspective.  One of those days that you can't wait to be over.  Well on Wednesday it got weirder.  There were police and ambulances involved.  The elementary school was put on a visual lock down so that we could exit without scaring the other children.  Then there were tazers and 16-year old daughters being hauled out of school.  A report of a vicious dog.    Continuous phone calls to check on our well being and a video camera focusing on the not so decorated and lovely aspects of our home.  Then, of course,  a goat went into labor, because, yeah, why wouldn't that happen...

Everyone is ok.  No one was arrested (or even close-it's actually a pretty funny story.  When I stop shaking, maybe I'll share it).  My house is still standing...for now (another surreal story, that I'm just watching unfurl in a haze of confusion).   The goat looked around at all of this and said, no thank you, I'll wait a few days. 

On Thursday we called in sick to school and stayed in our pajamas and watched Spider-man cartoons and ate pancakes for supper and felt blessed to be able to do that.   In light of the horror that is happening in Japan,  we are so very blessed and humble for a week wherein the pieces have fallen back in place, askew and worn perhaps, but at least somewhat in order. 

Smiles from the farm,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Very Bad Day...

Seven words you don't ever want to hear...

"I think I just killed your dog."

Followed by...

"He might still be alive, but he's in pretty bad shape." 

I stood on the steps and cried and couldn't move.  I think I scared the guy who thought he'd just killed my dog.   At the thought that he was dying in the road, alone and hurt I was able to go to him.  If he was going to die, I wanted him to know what a good boy he was and how much I loved him.  He wasn't dead.  He was in pretty bad shape.  There was a lot of blood.  He thought he'd done something wrong and he put his head down and looked up at me with those eyes and my heart broke into a million tiny pieces and I'm still not sure I gathered every little one up, there may still be some lying out there amongst the melting snow. 

I picked up his broken body and rushed him to the vet.  They all looked at me with those eyes and handed me tissues and asked what my financial limit was because it didn't look good.  He was in pretty bad shape.  And I sat down on the floor of the examining room and put his head on my lap and cried because I wasn't going to be able to save him.  Money's tight right now, stupid money was going to kill my dog. 

I gave them my financial limit and they nodded and asked me to sign a DNR slip.  I went home and disinfected my kitchen.  I washed the windows with vinegar and old newspaper.  I finished the laundry, called and checked on my taxes, swept the back hallway.  I called my best friend and she cried with me.  I kept opening the back door to check on him.  The top step looks huge with no black and white dog on it. 

At 2:00 the vet called and asked how I was doing.  I said ok.  And then there was a pause.  I don't know if they teach the pause in veterinary school.  I don't know if it works either way, for good news and bad news but it kind of sucks.  Just so you know, if you are in the veterinary profession, the pause sucks.  She told me he was going to be ok too.  No broken bones, no internal injuries.  Just a cut on his nose, a lacerated tongue and an abrasion on his leg.  He had been knocked unconsious and was severely bruised but he is going to be ok. 

We are installing a run in the backyard for when we can't be outside with him...oh and my children may not be able to go to college, but Jake is ok.  That is good.  Very, very good. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Duck Prints in the Snow

A heartwarming drama inspired by the true story of Stanley The Duck who overcame a dibilitating disability (read here) only to undergo a personality conflict that had him believe that he was not a duck at all.  Left in his formative years without duck peers, Stanley forms a bond with five rag tag Nigerian dwarf goats in this epic period piece directed by Ron Howard The Duck.  Filmed on location in the goat barn, Stanley struggles through his journey of self enlightenment and self preservation.  Starring Dottie as the weathered matriarch with a sharp tongue, sharper horns and a heart of gold, Betty as Dottie's wild and unpredictable daughter, Stella, the innocent ingenue who longs to move to Paris and write romance novels on the banks of the Seine, Alice,  Stella's illigitimate daughter whose beauty and poise move men to tears and in her breakout performance, Chi-Chi as the conflicted girl from the country who refuses to relent to any man's embrace and fights barnyard convention that a doe need to flag her tail and stick out her tongue at any buck who ventures past and finally Jake the Dog who gives an Oscar winning performance in a role that he was born to play as the simple farmhand who unsuccessfully dreams of gaining Stanley's respect...

Probably not coming to a theatre anywhere, near anybody, ever.

Smiles from the farm,