Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Trinity Church and Poison Ivy

This morning Miriam had a rehearsal at the Johns Creek United Methodist chapel, where she played on the organ that used to be in Trinity Wall Street Chapel, so of course we were still singing Hamilton songs at the dinner table. Technically Hamilton never saw this organ—since it was constructed in 1846—but Hamilton was buried at the Trinity Church Cemetery, so perhaps his mouldering ears snacked on a note or two. Probably not. But we sang about Hamilton, anyway. 

At the dinner table, specifically, we broke into a lovely rendition of Aaron Burr, Sir:

Pardon me, are you Aaron Burr, sir?

That depends, who's asking?

Oh, well sure, sir
I'm Alexander Hamilton,
I'm at your service, sir
I have been looking for you

I'm getting nervous

Sir, I heard your name at Princeton,
I was seeking an accelerated course of study


I wanted to do what you did, graduate in two, then join the revolution
He looked at me like I was stupid, I'm not stupid
So how'd you do it? How'd you graduate so fast?

It was my parents' dying wish before they passed

We got that far in the song and then, well, then there come a line where the name of the Lord is taken in vain. Hamilton is sometimes a tricky song for us to sing along with because of the swear words sprinkled throughout it. If you recall we had issues with Damp Fools at our house. Anyway, the next line in the song goes:

You're an orphan? Of course!
I'm an orphan, God, I wish there was a war...

Rachel, Miriam, and I kind of petered out, but Benjamin confidently plowed ahead:

You're an orphan? Of course!
I'm the Orphan Guy! I wish there...

"Wait...what?" we asked. 

"Those are the words," Benjamin insisted.

"Orphan Guy?"


"What...what makes you think those are the words?"

"Well, it just makes sense. Hamilton is essentially and orphan at this point, but he gets involved with orphanages later in the story if you pay attention."

Because Eliza opened an orphanage to help disadvantaged her husband—The Orphan Guy—once was. 

It was a wonderful case of misheard lyrics (and Benjamin proudly said, "This is funny enough it should be showing up on the blog by tomorrow..." so here it is, as requested).


Zoë had a little adventure today as well. 

Sometimes our school days get interrupted and instead of returning to our regularly-scheduled studies the kids around feral. I'm not saying that always happens. I'm just saying sometimes happens.

Today I had the septic tank people coming to probe our backyard, to find our tank, to empty our tank (because you're supposed to do that every 5 years or so...but we're a family of eight on a 1000 gallon septic I figured I didn't want to wait the full five years). It took them a while to even find the tank and I was in the backyard with them, trying to hunt down the file for our septic system on the city's website (Andrew eventually sent it to me) and the little kids were all with me, playing in the yard...despite the daily drizzle that had turned everything to mud. 

The guys found the tank, but there's been so much erosion over it—it seems our storm water has been rushing right over the top of it—that they wanted to do some drainage stuff in the yard at the same time as the emptying the tank. So they're writing up a proposal and are rescheduling their visit. 

They also were afraid (their words!) to bring their big truck down the driveway because it's so steep and—currently—slick that they weren't sure they'd be able to get back up again (especially since their truck already had been used for a pump already that morning and was half full). 

First off, yeah. Our driveway is terrifying (though, it's small potatoes compared to Reid's). 

Second off, yeah. I didn't want a septic tank stuck in front of my house. 

"Trust me, we don't want our septic tank stuck in front of your house, either," they told me. 

So, we'll be rescheduling the tank-emptying process for a drier day. And now they know to bring their small truck/tank. And they'll excavate the tank, re-level the ground on top of it, and dig a trench for us to turn into a dry creek bed that runs away from the septic tank (which we've wanted to do for a while, anyway). 

But figuring all of this out took quite a bit of time and the kids were having a blast...and were all wet and just left them cavorting in the backyard rather than calling them in for science lessons.

The way I figure it, they probably picked up a thing or two about erosion while the septic tank guys and I were talking about our runoff issues. And we can always do a double science day later. It'll even out.

I came inside with Phoebe to get some things done and soon Zoë sheepishly came back inside—hopelessly muddy—and said, "Mom, just so you know, I lost my balance outside..."

"I can see that."

"...and when I did, I grabbed a tree! And on that tree there was a vine! A hairy vine! At first I thought, 'Wow! This is a hairy, hairy vine!' and I found that very interesting because it was very hairy, but then I remembered that you taught us that poison ivy vines are hairy. So I just wanted you to know that I think I touched some poison ivy just now."

See? Our science lessons are paying off just fine!

"I'm very glad you told me," I said (because I was). "Here’s what we’re going to do: First you’re going to take off your clothes and toss them into the washing machine without touching anything else. Then I’m going to start the shower for you and you’re going to hop in and wash your hands with lots of soap. After you wash your hands you can wash the rest of yourself...but not before. Careful not to touch your face or anything. And let's just hope we get any oil off of your skin before it burns you."

I had her show me where she fell (in our nextdoor neighbour's yard; there's no fence so it's not like the kids understand which part of the yard is theirs and which part is the neighbour's) and there is, indeed, a very hairy vine hugging the tree she used to catch her fall. It looked like poison ivy to me...and my plant identification app quickly agreed with me. 

We should know within 4 hours to 4 days whether or not our prevention worked.

We're at hour we have a bit of waiting to do still. 

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