short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Painting Problem Solution

Mommy says that she likes to paint, but sometimes I wonder if she really does. Maybe it is not that she likes to paint but rather than she likes to have things painted.
One time, when we were to have someone named Vanessa staying with us for a while, Mommy decided to paint Vanessa's room herself. She wanted it to be clean and pretty.
Mommy knew what was needed. She bought the right kinds of paintbrushes, enough white paint for the whole room, and a large, plastic drop cloth. She was ready.

Mommy carefully covered the green carpet with the drop cloth. Then she shook and poured out the paint. Now she was really ready!

Mommy quickly put a lot of paint on the walls. Mommy usually works very fast.

However, she always misses details, and this time was no exception. As she painted, she kept moving closer and closer to where she had placed the paint pan. That made her work go faster and faster. Soon Mommy had painted almost all of the room.

She backed up to see how much she had completed and how much more she had to do. As she backed up, she stepped into the paint pan. Oh, no!

Mommy was very frustrated. She had white paint all over her feet. She comforted herself with the fact that at least she had not spilled the paint when she stepped into the paint pan. She bent over to pick up the paint pan, but her feet were slippery from the paint. She fell down, ripped the drop cloth, and knocked over the paint pan. Now the carpet was the same color as the walls!

Well, Mommy gave up about the same time that Vanessa showed up. Vanessa offered to finish painting, and she did a very good job. She also did not step into the paint pan. Mommy came to watch and was very pleased with how Vanessa was painting.
Tom Sawyer liked to paint, too. He painted very much the same way as Mommy—with the brush in someone else's hand.

Conclusion: If at first you don't succeed, get someone more knowledgeable to do it.

This story is excerpted from a collection of vignettes that I helped Doah, my severely mentally challenged youngest son, to write and publish several years ago (copyright 2003). It was my attempt to help him understand literacy and the purpose of writing and reading.


  1. 'Mommy' sounds so much like my father who could innocently mess up any 'job' and my mother would take over with a shake of the head...while he stood back and admired!

    Love this.

  2. Works the other way around in my family, but I know the type -- intimately!

  3. Funny! I couldn't stop laughing at the picture this "painted" in my head! Stuff like this keeps us humble.
    I've stepped in worse, Elizabeth. I have a small dog named Zeb who has accidents in the hall during the night and when I get up to use the bathroom I do not turn on lights. I'll leave the rest to your imagination :)

  4. Hi Elizabeth .. that's wonderful that you and your son Doah produced this together .. that must have made your heart sing .. and he must have so enjoyed the project with you ..

    Lovely and heartwarming .. Hilary

  5. It was indeed a very special experience, Hilary.


About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.