Thursday, 31 May 2007

squeaky clean

Some nights I don't want to do the dishes or clean up. At least until the junior members of the household have shuffled off to Buffalo, I've had some me time, and the house is quiet.

Then I'll clear up, fold laundry, whatever. It makes me feel good to know that when I wake up in the morning I don't have the congealed dishes lurking in the sink or six million billion quadrillion lots of toys left around.

Some days, though, this backfires.
Some days it's plain I should have been paying more attention.

Rosey was messing around in the kitchen this morning. She likes to load and unload the dishwasher (NOT discouraging that, no no!!) and feed the dog. The dog is happy, she gets to splash about in the sink, and usually this is a wonderful thing.


Tonight (Umm, thirteen hours later??) I scooped up the dog's dish and thought idly "R must have been sharing her juice with Jasper again" as the bowl was half-full of pinkish fluid.
Except I couldn't rinse it out. And it smelled...fruity. Tropical, with a hint of....clean?

And when I asked her why Jasper's dish was half-full of dish soap, R shrugged.

"Jasper likes, Mama."

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

lovely things

Around the edges of this window are little stained glass roses - beautiful at night with the lights shining through.

There are a fair amount of these wonderful old bridges still around. I can't imagine anything replacing them would be this picturesque. What happened to pretty architecture? (And what's with the garish signs?)

And across the road from the bridge? Someone's pride and joy and a gorgeous tree.

Everywhere you look, pretty bits abound.

Monday, 28 May 2007

he knows us so well

There are advantages to using the same doctor for years....

Ze bump, she is still there. Smaller and harder, but still there.

I (finally, I know) went back to the doctor - he still feels it's a cyst, but since it hasn't gone away, I'm to have an ultrasound. If things look dodgy on film, then a mammogram and a bonus needle biopsy. He really thinks it's just a cyst.

The doctor stripped off his gloves. "How's B taking this?"

Saturday, 26 May 2007

dust to dust

I'd forgotten all about the damned porcupine.

What do we need? Bread, milk, better see if they have any of that corn-on-the-cob....

When all of a sudden there was a shout from the back.

'Mommy! That's disGUSting!'

and I looked over to where C was pointing to see THE BIGGEST CROW IN THE WORLD flying off with.....with.....

Porky To Go. Or pieces of.

Amidst my (fumbling) explanations of how the crow thought of the porcupine as food and wasn't being mean or nasty and how this was a natural thing, C looked faintly nauseous and nodded. 'Okay, Mom." he said. 'But I don't want lunch.'

Right. No fried chicken. How about some (nice, safe, non-dead) peanut butter, hey?

Thursday, 24 May 2007

what a strange day it's been

This morning, I found my first white hair.
I can't even say it was grey - it was almost translucent - but what a strange thing to see on my dark-brown head! It was easily five inches long, which means it's been hanging out there awhile. (When I remarked on how long it was and how I couldn't believe I hadn't seen it lurking there before, Helpful B said 'Oh, I saw that. I thought you knew.' Then he screamed in pain as I went for his shins.)

Today I had lunch with the Premier.* Nice guy, for a politician. He's done some good things for Health Care here in Nova S, so maybe (just maybe) good will come out of his meeting with the Health Board.

And I stepped out of my lunch meeting with the suits and saw this:

No idea if he was looking for his bagpipes, or what was going on....

Later, was blinded by beauty -

and then came home, where I taught C the rudiments of addition and we all stuffed our faces with too much pizza. My boy just glows when he gets a concept. Or a third slice.

*Equivalent to Governor.

Monday, 21 May 2007

71% of the world is covered in water

We took the kids out for root beer whips last night and took the scenic route home.

We'd passed by this sign many times before but I'd never seen the spring nor asked about it, and it was a surprise when B said while he was growing up, his family would stop and have a drink there.

The spring is tiny, (a trickle, really) and runs through a pipe at the edge of the road. It tastes of cold, and dark deep places where ancient things move slowly.

I'd never seen anything like it before.

Another of the many differences between our upbringings is water. He's always lived near the river, the constant rushing coloring his memories and experiences - while I grew up near Lake Michigan, where the hiss of the waves on pebbles almost echoes your heart.

The first year we were here I missed the sound of the Bay more intensely than I thought possible. It was a great deal of my home-sickness, I believe, realizing that this new place hadn't the rhythms I was used to. The air itself was different - and where I was used to the smell of the fresh water, this atmosphere had sudden unexpected hints of the sea. Tantalizing, yes, but different and alien in ways I mourned.

This makes me wonder for Cass and Rosey - if we moved*, would they miss the sound of the river as well? What would that do to a child, to take something so basic away?

How deep does the water run?

The funny pokey thing in the stream? A rock with three cormorants on it, sunning themselves.

*and this is not an announcement that we are

Saturday, 19 May 2007

don't wake me if I'm dreaming

There is very little nicer than getting out of the pouring rain into a house that smells like (sniff? ahhhh) garlic toast and home-made (home-made! By someone other than me!) spaghetti and meatballs.

"Oh, and I did the laundry", said Bear, nonchalantly.

St. Bear. Kinda has a ring to it.

Monday, 14 May 2007

the greening

The air is softer these days and green bits are definitely stirring and pushing forth.

Even the ash pile is growing something soft and fuzzy:

Many colors of green....

Some are pleated fans

some are frankly phallic

These frilly vines are at the top of the hill

Some show off

While others I need to hunt for

And some, year after year, are things I look for so I know Spring is here.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

award winners

Go look at this - I found so many old friends and half-forgotten books. Brace yourself, Amazon, me and my gift cards are coming in!

Saturday, 12 May 2007

sally ann's

All the dead people stuff goes to the Salvation Army 'round here.

There are a huge proportion of polyester blouses and sprung suspenders, musty Christmas decorations and faded geegaws and doodads, all smelling old and tired and a little desperate.

Later in the summer the represented age group will shift - especially if there's a string of wet weekends, and then the thwarted garage sale things will flow thick and fast.

I was digging through the linens (I have a huge weakness for embroidered pillowcases) and spied something in the bin that made me stop and pick it up.

It was a book. And seeing it, suddenly I was thirteen and reading under the covers again, trying to get in a few more pages before my mother would demand I go to bed.

The Island Of The Blue Dolphins.

It even looked like my old copy - the same white cover with the Newberry Award leaping horse on it, same picture.

It could have fallen out of my thirteen-year-old self's nightstand. And now here it was, snuggled under three moth-ball smelling (horrible orange striped things) blankets, waiting for me.

So it came home with me, along with a copy of A Wrinkle In Time, because the two were jumbled in there together, and really, why break up such good friends?

Especially when suddenly I'm dying to re-read them both.

I may even break out a flashlight, just for old times sake.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

wild kingdom, and a snicker

Earlier this week the kids and I saw a porcupine on the side of the road, contentedly munching on something, looking benign and foolish the way quill-pigs usually do. I pointed it out, the kids plastered their noses up against the glass for a quick look at Ma Nature, and off we zoomed.

Yesterday we saw him again. 'Look! There's the porcupine!'

Today while we were driving home I saw him again. A little farther up the grass, but still with his head down, snacking away.

I mentioned him at dinner tonight. Bear looked a little askance.

'Up there at the turn-off? There's been a dead one there for a week or so.'

No! (B nodded.) He moved! (B shook his head.) He's right side up! I...was...sure? (B nodded without laughing his head off.) GREAT.

So for the last week we've been cheering on ...roadkill.

I think tomorrow morning we'll take the long way around.


This (totally legit! I swear!) has been up downtown for a few weeks now...

One of the old buildings is putting on an addition.
(You may want to click on these to enlarge them.)

Now the company name ALONE is enough to make me giggle, but the best? The absolute best?

Is the tagline.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

van mocked by der leader

I have a Dutch last name. It's extremely easy as Dutch monnikers go - if you can say his name,

then it's a good bet I'll turn around if you sing mine in the supermarket.

Coupled with my husband's short and to the point verah, verah easy name, my last name is a mouthful but relatively simple to say. Most people sail right through it.

Which is why I paid no attention, carrying on the getting-to-know-you prattle that you say to the person sitting next to you for the day until a silence fell and I finally turned to see the reddening face of the woman leading the training.*

"Excuse me!" she trumpeted said loudly. "Are you Jessica Dutch name Dutch name-easy name OR NOT?"

Now, I hate being the bad kid. But I hate being made an example of even more.

And it gave me great bitchy pleasure to say 'No, you've got it wrong."

*She'd been snarky through most of the pre-meeting gibberish. Obviously this was not her favorite thing to do.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

sunday sunday

Not a lot going on but I can't stand having the 'cutey' post up top for too long...

So, bullets:

  • It's Large Garbage Time again, so today we'll be digging out the broken, the tired, the listing, the old and tossing them gleefully. Well, I will be. B will probably be wringing his hands and trying to sneak things off the pile when I'm not looking. Project this weekend: Cleaning out the sun-porch - the kids need more room!

  • I've been working on a post for forever that I can't get to come out right. It's about imagining yourself living a different life, but every time I write it, it either comes out as if I want to discuss re-incarnation, or it sounds like I want a do-over - neither of which are true and not my point anyway. Frustrating when I can't make my (typing fingers) mouth say what my brain is thinking.

  • I've been trying to find out the name of a song the last week and it's driving me insane. I have no idea who sings it or really what the lyrics are, the main thing I'm struck with is it has this Indian wah-wah jingly thing going on with the beat. (aren't I descriptive?) This unfortunately means whenever I try to explain it to someone I say things like 'bump bair-na-nair-nair-nair' when I describe it. Yeah.

  • Off to go to town for a bit - I'll come back and hopefully finish this with more (snicker) interesting news!

Thursday, 3 May 2007

silky toddler skin

Last weekend, I discovered that using the bribe of 'You can play in the Hallow'een costumes if YOU HELP CLEAN!

Except it buggers the dog, who went all red-eyed and goofy to KIIILLLL the strange animals that were
attacking the small people who pet me, Woman, don't you seeee?
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Rosey: Mama, get the dog to leave me alone.
Jasper: Must...lick....

I also discovered that Dove Cream-Oil Body Wash Ultra Rich Rosewood and Cocoa Butter* (whew! out of breath just typing that!) is lovely stuff in terrible packaging. The flip-top opening is at the bottom, which results in goo getting caked on and blocking the lip from closing completely. Overnight this will translate to a puddle just right for fastgirlfingers to grab and smear everywhere -
I pitty, Mama! Smell delicio-oos.

You do, sweetheart. Go find your father and ask him for a bath.

*sample available here, althou' did I just do a commercial?

Yarn over and over

Someone, an old babysitter maybe, taught me to crochet when I was six. I remember making long braided loops of yarn and thinking how pretty ...