Learning At The Potter's Wheel is a collection of articles on home, family, marriage, parenting, natural medicine and herbs. . . along with a few other items of interest. Have fun sorting through my junk drawer of assorted thoughts and ramblings.


The Potter has persisted in giving me treasures I don't always understand or appreciate. Patiently, He is teaching me to trust that all I really need to know is that I am in HIS hands. . .


Okay. It seems that cheap peanut butter and the old standby for rodent control proved to be just the right blend to get rid of our house guest.

Duke rose to the occasion and emptied the trap when he left for work early. He woke up my little hero to show him the results of a rodent encounter with a spring-loaded trap. (ugh!)

The boy was so impressed, that he couldn't wait to describe it to me before breakfast.Yuck.

I agree that those who abuse or torment animals should be stopped. When it comes to having my home invaded, however, I'm happy to bring these fellows to a quick and certain end. He didn't live long enough to be abused . . . although his last meal wasn't organic. . . I don't think it made any difference in his overall health.:wink:

Meanwhile, I think I'll leave the traps out for a bit to be sure he didn't leave a forwarding address for his friends.:smile:


Well, it's official. We have an uninvited and unwanted guest. He or she didn't even have the decency to knock and had the audacity to leave little calling cards in the dog's dish.

That's right. A mouse is in my house.

No, I'm not a squeamish woman. I enjoy watching films of surgery, and watching Duke get stitches (which he seems to do at least once a year) is an intriguing pastime. If you've read about some of our spec-poop-ular times, you know I've got that covered also. I'm not afraid to squish a bug or two in the name of domestic tranquility. At one time, I begged my parents for a snake.

But rodents are another matter. They defecate where they eat. . . and where I eat; they carry plagues and disease, and they destroy property.

I looked up from my work and out of the corner of my eye saw a fuzzy blur dash across my kitchen floor. I'm old enough that it could have been just a spot or something with my vision, so I got up and checked behind the trash can. Nothing.

I got back to work and looked up just in time to see varmint poke his nose out from underneath the fridge.

That was enough to prompt a telephone call to Duke at work -- not something I do often. (And yes, I KNOW that isn't what I would look like in a chair! LOL) I told him about our interloper and offered to remove myself from the premises if he had no other solution. He was sure there was another answer.

My middle son saw an occasion to play the hero. He went and donned his camouflage jacket, his plastic gun, his plastic knife, and an assortment of sticks. Also he put on his shoes and then assured me that this mouse was toast. He armed his brother with a fly swatter and then (it's sad that THIS part is my legacy to him) he made a list of mouse weapons and had each of us sign the list as he provided us with munitions. I told him I would be fine, thank you.

It was all I could do not to laugh when he went and got a plastic piece of corn and placed it before the refrigerator. I asked him what he was doing. He said he was trying to lure the mouse out into the open. This was after he started placing some crumbs around. I put a stop to that as I didn't really want to FEED the mouse.

We ran errands after Duke got home. On the way back to the house, we stopped to get some traps and cheap p-nut butter. What? I'm not givin' him the GOOD stuff!

So, I dabbed the cheap p-nut butter onto the traps, set the trigger and placed them strategically. To Duke I said, "I'll load them, but I don't unload them."

Duke grinned.

That's okay. I know who my real friends are. That's the little guy that organized a mouse posse and got out all of his best weapons to take care of his mama. When it comes to taking care of me, my boys are loaded for BEAR! That boy gets the BIG piece of chicken tonight.
read more “LOADED FOR BEAR”


We've started the adventure of flea marketing. Duke has decided that we need to simplify our lives, so to that end, we've started lightening our load of 'stuff' at the local flea market. He's been quite pleased with the process . . . AND, it turns out, has just one or two extra coins in his pocket as a consequence.

This has meant that in the last month, we've actually been able to visit our favorite eatery a couple of times.

A couple of weeks ago, dear friends were in town and we went there after a day of fun in the sprinklers. While there, we celebrated their 4-year-old's birthday by singing to her with the whole candle in the chocolate chip cookie thing.

This past Saturday, we went there for lunch after the flea market as Duke's treat to us all. It tickled me to realize that our boys have now just accepted a couple of things as fact. The 9-yr-old has decided that it is a GRAND bargain to get tokens for the arcade and trade tickets he's won for about fifty cents worth of plastic. I agree that it's well worth the entertainment, but I couldn't help but grin hearing him talk about all the 'stuff' he'd won as though it were treasure. It's his money, he'll figure it out soon enough that he could have bought three times as much 'stuff' at the dollar store for that same amount. I doubt he'd have had as much fun, though.

His perspective came to light as we enjoyed our lunch and "B" spoke in glowing terms of the 'champion' of ticket winners. That guy had his picture on the register along with his 3,000 tickets. Boys love having something to conquer! What I see as pennies worth of plastic is to him the spoils of war!

Then there's Z-man. Remember in my earlier post (Happy Normal Birthday, Z-Man), when I said we didn't get out much? Well it's true. So, this month has been an exciting change of pace. However, for Z-man, The Flight Deck has become the place you go to eat a meal, and then have everyone come out, clap and sing "Happy Birthday" with a lit candle in a cookie. Well, it happens every time we go there lately. Seems like a logical conclusion, right?

This tidbit of information came to light as Z-man polished off his lunch and then looked around expectantly and said, "Okay, NOW Happy Birthday!"

We laughed and explained to both boys that no, we don't have to play in the game room every time we eat at Mr. Ted's, and no, we don't have to end every meal there with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday To You.

*happy sigh*

It's nice having children remind you what fun it is to find occasions to celebrate.
Let's party!
read more “A TIME TO LAUGH”


Yes, you read that right! Pearl Books is promoting the sale of Debi Pearl's latest book, THE VISION on Amazon.com. If you purchase your copy of THE VISION by going to Amazon.com on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009, then you can present your proof of purchase to receive two additional copies from No Greater Joy free . . . PLUS you will receive a discount code from Bulk Herb Store for 25% off your next internet purchase between the dates of July 22 and July 31, 2009.

In order to claim your free copies and your internet discount, follow this link on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 and purchase your copy of THE VISION by Debi Pearl.

When you receive your receipt from Amazon for your purchase dated Tuesday, July 21, 2009, THEN forward your documentation including your full shipping address and email address to melcohen@hughes.net or fax to 931-593-2494.

Remember, this offer is only for purchases made at Amazon.com on Tuesday, July 21, 2009. Receipts must be received by July 31, 2009 and the offer ends midnight on August 1st. Of course, the offer is void where prohibited.

Be a part of the Amazon blitz! Order your copy of THE VISION on July 21 and take advantage of a 25% online discount for your next internet order at the Bulk Herb Store July 22-31!

If you haven't seen it, here's a video trailer to promote the book that you can watch here:



I'm shaking my head as I sit here. Not because I'm surprised, mind you. I'm shaking my head because I should have seen this coming. I should have known better. It's my own fault really. I know what sort of people I'm surrounded by, and I continue to operate under false assumptions. Like:

  • I assume you have a grasp of the English language.
  • I assume that when I emphasize something, the listener grasps its importance.
  • I assume that eye contact and nodding accompanied by associated noises imply you were listening.
  • I assume that I have effectively communicated something when I heard myself say it to a person I thought was listening.
You can see where I'm going with this, can't you? Or, at least you THINK you know where I'm going with this. *wink*

This post isn't about husbands or children. It may be in defense of them. Rather, this post is about how we wives and mothers often think it's just limited to our own household that these oddities exist. It isn't. In this world of electronic gadgets constantly vying for our attention, you pretty much need an orchestral sound track and backup singers to be SURE you have someone's attention.

I'd forgotten that. I had started to think that it was just MY children and MY husband that sometimes just can't 'tune in' to my channel. Boy, did I get a reminder!

How much? How often?
A male relative came over to my house for me to help him with a poultice application. I sent him on his way with several items. Included was a colon cleanse that included an ingredient to get things moving along. Another item helped pull out toxins. They work together.

I instructed him on how to use both products, how often to take them, what amounts and when. I reminded him that the labels were marked clearly if he forgot and that he should call me if he had any discomfort (which shouldn't occur if you follow instructions). He nodded, asked questions and seemed to easily comprehend all that I said. In fact, he drove himself to my house, so I KNOW he was alert enough to operate heavy machinery.

Today, I asked him how he was coming along. He said he wasn't doing too well and hadn't been able to really do the cleanse because the first ingredient (that moves things along) had really been harsh. I asked him if he had cut back to only one capsule (taken with the evening meal, 1x a day). He said, "Yeah, one capsule with every meal, just like you told me."


That poor man had not heard what I said. He hadn't read the label and he had just proceeded as he thought he should. He didn't hurt himself, but he sure feels a lot lighter.

When I corrected him on the application, he defended his actions by saying, "You know you have to get my attention first. Just because I'm looking at you and nodding doesn't mean I was actually listening."

I had to laugh as I replied, "I'll bet this is one bit of instruction you won't forget." He agreed.

The funniest part of all of this is that I've mistakenly believed that this behavior is odd or uncommon. It's not. It's all too common, and I forget too often to move within that reality.

Good Advice Too Late
Duke has had the reverse experience trying to live with me. He couldn't figure out what was so confusing to me when he tried to warn me of impending danger. When we married, I can't tell you how many times I nearly got hurt because I was constantly confused by him calling out to me 'careful.'

In my grasp of the language the term careful means to take care, to stop what you are doing and rethink your method. So, when Duke would say, "CAREFUL!" I would stop and try and figure out what I was doing that was so dangerous.

Apparently, where Duke comes from, it doesn't mean that. "Careful!" means to take cover, duck, get out of the way. It's like a golfer yelling, "Fore!" or a military lookout hollering "incoming!" -- at least that's what it means to Duke.

He also employs the term to children that have fallen and hurt themselves. By calling out "CAREFUL!" the moment after an injury has occurred, the blame of the hurt is placed firmly upon the victim and the person calling out the word is absolved of any responsibility. As a parent, Duke calling out "Careful!" is the playground equivalent of "Not it!" The funny thing is that the children (having grown up this way) understand Duke's use of the term perfectly.

Imagine someone carrying a large heavy object on a collision with another human yelling "Careful!" while the other party (me) stands there looking confused as to what to do (because I didn't see it coming and I'm not doing anything to be careful of), then you've got a pretty good idea of what we are talking about here.

All this time, I thought it was something that was unique to Duke, but my male relative and Tim Hawkins reminded me today that I'm the one that's odd. Watch the video below for further explanation.

read more “CAREFUL! WHAT?”