Saturday, 31 May 2008

smiling through the sparkles

It's raining tonight, a clear rain that will soak into the ground and help green this area.
A sweet rain.

Rain doesn't really make me blue - it makes me remember things, things that stand out in my memories from long ago...

Like stepping out after a middle-school dance into a misty shower, Bryan Adams still blaring 'round my brain and the cologne of the boy I'd danced with still caught in my nose, wide-eyed and stunned with wonder that everything outside still looked oddly the same while I was so different inside....

Like having my very first real kiss in the middle of a thunderstorm. (We were gathered around the windows, watching the lightning flash, and he (The Boy! The one I didn't know liked me!) said my name in this odd voice and I turned and he was right there, and I wondered if he could hear my heart pounding....)

Like driving through states in the pitch-black with a couple of friends, trying not to get lost and knowing even if we did it would be okay because we were together.

Like the first night I spent in my very own place, wandering around and touching the walls, thinking this is mine and realizing I was, finally, growing up.

And the first night B and I started moving my things up to live here. We stayed somewhere on the East coast that night, and I remember shifting things around in the UHaul and carrying the giant cage we had the cats in into the hotel, all with the punctuation of far-off lightning, and how the puddles caught all the neon from the highway and reflected it wetly back.

So rainstorms make me thoughtful.

And thunderstorms still make me blush.

Friday, 30 May 2008

fingers gone walking

Listening to Keith Olbermann, thinking absently: Must run down absentee voter ballot.

Stop: Have I ever received absentee voter ballot?

Realize: Why no. Not since the last presidential election.

Must: Shift arse and get another. How?

(do I
really have to go back to the consulate?)

Stare: at computer screen. Ask friendly computer!

Computer: (robotic voice) bleep..bloop..try this page, human master*

Fiddle: with mouse, read screen. One click. Two clicks. A short form filled out on-line and printed out to mail.

I'm: done.

I'm : registered to vote, far away from home.

How cool.

*Yeah, not really. But wouldn't it be awesome if it said things like that??

Thursday, 29 May 2008

boutonnieres and big chaps

Cass is affecting different accents these days.

Today he's Fast Draw McBoy, pretending to wear a side-arm, boots and a (what must be a) ten-gallon hat, riding the range, catching those mangy cows that try to out-run his branding iron.

And he does all this with a stomp of his boots and a hearty yell of:


I said, unwisely,'hon, I think you're thinking of 'Tarnation' and was roundly scoffed at: Why on earth would cowboys be talking about tar??

mmph. Right.

get along, little dogie!!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008


We're a sea of differences here at the daysgoby's house. This gorgeous, uplifting weather partnered with the sobering fact of a family member in the hospital, and all it entails.

The trying to be positive for the children (especially Cass, who notices everything and KNOWS something is wrong, even more than we've told him) coupled with the brittle, snappish silences born of stress and standing too long on the edge of fear and horrible what-ifs.

The moments of complete harmony until one or the other of us remembers....

Trying to be normal (going to the library! doing homework! eating ice-cream!) and then obsessing that we don't have a cell phone with us what if someone is trying to get a hold of us right now?

Wishing we could do more, whatever that is, however we can help.....

and hoping, hoping, hoping........


Tuesday, 27 May 2008

well, postage shouldn't be much...

look at who's got our Hanes on now

I can't make this stuff up, people.

sneaking around on you

I've been...distant lately.
Tied up in so many things. Not paying enough attention to everything.

No, there isn't someone else. Really. You know I love you!

But there is a new project.

I can't tell you how glad I am we've had this talk!

Confession is good for the soul...or something......

Monday, 26 May 2008

memorial day

Remember our dead today. Remember that they were once people too, not just names, not just uniforms. Remember that they once played hide-and-seek in wide open spaces

Stared up at the blue, blue sky, watched cloud animals
(and probably thought about painting their houses, too)

And made up their own funny walks and dances and hummed little songs to themselves.

Remember today.

Think of them as people, not just guns and spit-shined boots and peaked caps or quiet coffins, all in a row.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

instant messaging

Friend: So do you still vote?

Me: Yes

Friend: So you must be voting for Hillary, huh?


Friend: Well, you were always so liberated, right? So I figured you'd be voting for a woman...was I wrong?

Me: I don't understand. Since her hoo-hoo and mine match, she's automatically the better candidate?

Friend: Well, no. But she's a woman! It's important to all women to have a woman as leader!

Me: Okay, wait a minute. Think about this. So - using your logic - if I was a man, I should vote for the guy with a penis? And probably bonus points for the one with the same color as mine?

Friend: Uh. (thinking about this) That is what I just said, isn't it? (laughs) I guess I need to re-think that. Hey! That'd make a great campaign slogan!

Me: What? Bonus points for the same color as mine?

Friend: No, I need to re-think this.

Me: We could make Hillary a t-shirt!

Friend: You are SO BAD.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

roaming through michigan, circa 1949

Oh, this makes my heart hurt. This neat old movie spotlights the area I grew up in. Actually, we used to play hookey and go to the Dunes (although we never went over them in dunemobiles, 'zactly) and the movie also mentions Traverse City, my old stomping grounds.

(sniff) Some days I miss where I've been.

Friday, 23 May 2008

catching up

Why, yes, Virginia, I didn't post yesterday! Thanks for noticing. But I'm still good for Blog 365 because I posted somewhere else. (wiggles eyebrows)

Let's see. Wednesday it was the girls' turn to be shorn - between Rosey and myself the hairdresser probably had six or seven pounds of hair on the floor when she was done. Rosey looks perpetually surprised with a chin-length bob (her errant expression is due to my being lax with the trimming scissors and R hurrying things along herself) but once her bangs grow over her forehead again she'll be lovely.

Thursday I worked at the manse and had the exquisite/excruciating experience of trying to give a very dear (and almost totally deaf) gentleman the web address for the church.

Me: _______pdc @
Him: (repeating as he writes it down) _________p,d,c,a,t
Me: No, no. _________p for paul and d for dog and c for charlie
Him: Okay, ________pauldogcharlie,a,t
Me: It's an ampersand. (and here I was wrong - an ampersand is &, not @)
Him: Now how do you spell that?
Me: The whirly sign.
Him: (blows out a big breath) Got it. Okay, now: _________p,d,c, whirly si....AT, then what?
Him: __________p,d,c AT eastlink d,o,t,com. You know, I'm giving this to Soandso, so he can send the office something. He's really good with computers.
Me: He'll know exactly what you're talking about, don't worry. If he runs into any problems sending the documents just give him the office phone number and I'll talk to him.
Him: I don't suppose you made up that email address, did you?
Me: (uh?) no?
Him: Why do they make them so long? Someone must be getting paid by the letter.

And today was spent having a lovely breakfast with Rosey (we dressed up a little and went to one of the local tiny spoons, just the two of us) and then driving around the small ways and by-ways, trying to locate B and the beeg yellow taxi bus so I could take him home.

Also, thank goodness for a spouse who spots things while driving - it would have been a wet and sobby drive home if he hadn't seen that outhouse on the other side of the park!

The wee ones can only hold their wee so long, you know.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

the kid with clown hair

Cass has inherited hair patterns from both sides of the family. Unfortunately, this means that not only did he get the *seven* cowlicks in back from my mother and the distinctive whorl in back from his grandfather, he also got my heads' habit of growing all the (thick) hair forward. Put those together? You get a young boy whose hair sproings everywhere if we cut it too short (the cowlicks asserting themselves with a vengeance) and gets progressively more curly and poufy when it lengthens out.

So, my young son with Clown Head and I went to go get his hair cut yesterday.

He's decided to let it grow a tiny bit longer (I think he just doesn't like it so close cut) so he launched into a flurry of explanations at the poor woman who was poised to cut his hear. She glanced over at me seeking permission, and I nodded.

It is his head, after all.

And he came home beaming. Of course, I think he looked like a pineapple,
(or some other round thing with leaves at the top.)

but this morning I taught him how to use a dab - a dab, dude, not the tube! - of hair goop and

suddenly his hair was all poking up, and he looked

incredibly handsome.
And so grown up.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

free air travel

Whoo-ee! Psychic Geek is at it again! Go here to enter her giveaway for 100.oo voucher from American Airlines!

Monday, 19 May 2008

and I sat on a deck-chair in bare feet

But how could you not, on a day like today??

My quince is quincing.

Lemonade in hand, I clinked my glass and dreamed of what's to come this summer - it was that sort of day.

It's almost June.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

miss jackson if you're

(Girl on tummy in bath, doing complicated maneuver where she brings her legs up under herself, then jumps and does a frog kick back while dropping her face into the bubbles. Legs piston. Jump. Frog kick. Piston. Kick. Giggle.)

Mom: Whoa there, jumping bean. Are you an acrobat?

Rosey (grinning) No, Mama, I'm NASTY!

Mom: (the eighties song beginning to beat in her head) Really?

Rosey: Yup! I'm a Nastiest!

Mom: (opens and shuts mouth a few times as visions of far-off proms spent in jail cells run through her head)

Rosey: On the balance beam!

Mom: (relieved) Of course! You're a GYMNAST!

Rosey: Mama? Why are you LAUGHING AT ME?

Saturday, 17 May 2008

casa dolce domestica

Today, a rainy drippy day, I made roast chook (stuffed under the skin with butter and basil leaves, rubbed with a a little olive oil and salted) cooked in the pan with long, skinny organic carrots left unpeeled and uncut, basting themselves in the chickeny goodness, and bread salad.

Panzanella, made with italian bread and olive oil,wine vinegar and fresh tomatoes and black olives and basil, thin cut strips of fresh basil, so green among all the bright red and bread chunks, and garlic smooshed to a paste and tiny-cut red onions. Probably not an authentic recipe, but one that filled the house with the scents of my dreams of Italy.

I've always wanted to go to Italy.

It started out being interested in their cookery and multiplied a thousand times when I read (and saw!) A Year in Provence (yes, I do know that's set in France) and the books of Frances Mayes and Ferenc Mate.

So I stood at my oven and dreamed, the sounds of my children squabbling fading away, trying to pretend the flat gray day was the golden light of Italy. That there were Mediterranean breezes blowing through my house, that I was soon to set lunch on the table for my family, where we'd sit and eat the good peasant food, happy just to be with each other.

(There's a subset to this, where I would be basking in the joy of my family's appreciation for the food and not a single person would say 'Yick! Tomatoes!' or 'Oh, Mama. You know I don't like green stuff.')

I was almost there, the children's quarrel sifting into background noise, the smell of the roast chicken and the good wine vinegar whisking me away, when a crash! and a 'He broke my pony!' came through, jarring me back to reality.

Because in my daydreams, Paolo and Francesca don't fight over the demise of a pink My Little Pony. Ever.

Friday, 16 May 2008

in stereo

Have you ever noticed that when one kid begins to cough, the other will start sniffling?

After awhile they can perform an odd sort of duet.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

and a cloud went o'er the sun

I worked most of the day,

then we did a little of this...

then we went home and played Crazy Eights and did puzzles until bedtime.

A bucolic afternoon.

I read this post, watched the clip, and then couldn't hide the tears welling up in my eyes from Cass when he swooped in for 'One more kiss, Mom'. After making him understand that Keith Obermann wasn't yelling at me, I ended up trying to explain what he was yelling about.
Oof. Not an easy thing to do with a primary student.

And somehow I thought we'd be having the sex talk first.

But sex talk or no, this is important stuff. And I think he understood that I have questions about why the war began, but he lost interest when he figured out this was all happening in a land far, far away.

I can forgive it from him. But I can't forgive it from myself.

Go. Read Mr. Lady's post. And think of something you can do.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

bullets over tuesday

  • Boy home today. A *cough, cough* sore throat, j*u*s*t bad enough to make him beg to stay at the house and not go to school. He's had friends over the last two days - I think it may just be exhaustion. R was too tired to go to school yesterday...they and Cass's friend were playing a game Monday where one would take off on a bike, pedaling fast and free into the field, and the other two would run after them full tilt and try to catch them.
  • Y'know, I have suspected the dog is as dumb as dirt. And now I have proof. R brought home a school project last week - it's potting soil tied up in a nylon with googly eyes stuck on. After a few days of watering it faithfully, grass seed began to grow through the netting. Well, tonight the dog.....ate it. Dirt and all. Yumm-o.
  • Am trying to convince B he can take R to have her haircut on Friday. I will e-mail a photo of what I want, absolve him of any differences....B is not convinced. He does have a bad history with haircuts.
  • Tomorrow night's supper: broccoli and cheese calzones - the bread for the crusts is rising now, and the air is yeasty and sweet.

Except, of course, where the dog is burping potting soil and running his tongue questioningly over his teeth.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

extreme fireblaster monster trap

God, I love this kid. Cass's* class is in a study that is focusing on how boys learn from their fathers (or male role-models) in their lives - each week he brings home a giant zip-lock full with a new project, and then B and he tackle it. There have been games to play, books to read, posters to make, poems to's been fun, and great for Cass to spend some special time with his Dad.

This week, though, I've been drafted to help with part of it.

This week we needed to (re) read (there are houses with little boys who DON'T have this book?) Where The Wild Things Are, discuss it, then draw either a monster...or a monster trap.

Ladles and gentlemaracas, I present to you...


From far left: Cass, with remote control for machine. Monster. Then the FIREBLASTER, then a scarecrow, wearing a hat made of....chicken.

The way it works:

The monster, smelling the chicken (you can see the scent wafting around his head) steps into the trap (over the orange bombs.) Roaring his terrible ROAR and gnashing his terrible TEETH, he heads for the scarecrow (wanting a nosh on the yummy chicken apparel - he is apparently just as fond of roast chicken as Cass is) and is brought up short by the (multicolored! fierce! huge!) EXTREME FIREBLASTER. There is a BOOM!!

Dust settles.

Cass then leaves the scene of the carnage, grabs the baby monster, and donates him to a zoo. (Where one hopes he'll be fed lots of chicken and given some bereavement counseling.)

You have to admit if there were a few EXTREME FIREBLASTERS (um, and monsters that liked chicken??) around, the war would be long over. And the zoos would be full of monsters.

Oh - and Cass wanted me to know when I tucked him in at night that he'd ONLY use the EXTREME FIREBLASTER (yeah, I know, enough with the capital lettering) for good.

Not evil.

He'd never, for example, use the EXTR....mmph... machine against...say, his sister.

He'd rather give her to the baby monster to play with.

*I LOVE how Blogger spellcheck still insists this should be ass's. Is that even grammatically correct?

Monday, 12 May 2008

blood ties

Last week, Rosey had a mishap at supper.

She's just gotten to the point where she'll grab a bowl and wait for it to be filled up, then take it and sit at the table - beaming at the big kid duty - this time, something slipped and first there was a crash, and then a wail. Rounding the corner from the stove I saw her, spaghetti strewn about, a giant spot on her shirt, her little face going all red and twisty.

B was bending to tell her not to worry about the bowl when I shoved by him and knelt down.
'Baby, are you okay? Are you burned?'

She burst into tears. ' Is Accident!'

I had her out of her shirt and out of her footwear in seconds, (she had sauce all over her shoes as well) touching her belly gently, looking for any reddish spots. I didn't think it was that hot, but who knew? And now I had a half-naked crying little girl who needed reassurance that the sudden loud noise and the broken crockery weren't terrible things.

She was fine. B scooped up the spilt dinner in the dustpan (using it like a shovel - a smart move I wouldn't have thought of) while I rustled up some new jeans, a tshirt, and a (smaller and lighter) bowl for Rosey.

She sat, mollified, eating while B and I finished clearing up. "I didn't think to check her for burns." he said, upset with himself.
"I think it's a Mom thing. You're not the Mom - that's my job."
He still wasn't satisfied. "But I'm the Daddy. I should have known."

I opened my mouth to say (and quickly snatched it back) Why? She's not yours. She's mine.

Genetically, she is his - so much like him she makes me smile - but he didn't grow her. She is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone, and the ties from that go deeper, are stronger.

I've been ruminating on this for a few days, trying to decide if this is a bit of mommy-rhetoric, or if I've always thought this and have just never had the words to say it to myself before.

But this isn't new. This feeling blossomed the first time I saw her, lines and tubes and smudgy black hair, wetly snuffling. Before she was born she was merely 'The Baby', something both B and I had made and that would grow (God willing) and develop because we had made it. It was a team effort.

But once she was born? When I was wheeled down to see her and I kissed her sleeping head and she yawned, fluttering those shockingly blue eyes at me?

She was mine. My baby. My flesh made.

And like flicking out a splinter or swabbing a cut (or any number of things that jolt us and make us sizzlingly aware of ourselves) her pain will always, ever, be mine.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

mothers day

This morning I have been the happy recipient of TWO home-made plaques with my kids handprints on them -Cass has been secretive about this project for weeks- and a strawberry-jam sandwich served on a cookie sheet.

('It's a tray, Mommy.' said Cass.)

It doesn't get much better than this. It can't.

Now I need to go get dressed and change the sheets to get all the crumbies and strawberry smears (it was a generous sandwich) out, and tickle my rascals a bit. Funny how they make you smile, isn't it?

Happy, Happy Mothers Day.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

she was asleep five minutes later

You know, after three hours of sweet, close-to-unchaperoned freedom, pluck-a-duck and plinko and sucker pull and the cake walk and having a hot dog and your own piece of chocolate pie *and* a root beer and guessing how many pieces of bubble gum are in a jar and bidding on an auction and getting two tattoos and playing Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution and scoring a Dora movie (although your mother The Great Big Meanie wouldn't let you bring home all six that were there) and eating a luridly pink sugar covered bunny cookie and winning a stuffed pink duck and talking to lots of people and seeing friends and running around and around joyfully weaving through a sea of grown-up legs? Sometimes a girl just has to come home, pull on her cuddly tiger costume, and veg out.
With her new friend the duck, of course.

Friday, 9 May 2008

note to self

Bringing a book to work is allowed.
In fact, the department I'm in today has a shelf in the back of loaner books.

But bringing a Bill Bryson that you've never read before*?

Not so smart.

Because it's really, really hard to explain to your co-workers and the patients why you're sniffling and snorting and have mirthful tears running down your face other than to say 'Here, read this!'

And then they don't get any work done either.

*The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid (A memoir)

Thursday, 8 May 2008

why yes, a photography course is a good idea

Un-broke my camera tonight.

Yip, I've been frantically putting new batteries in it, screwing and un-screwing the lens, checking everything over, because noooo my camera can't break right before Niagara Falls and the kids haven't touched it and I didn't break it and WHY ISN'T IT FOCUSING ON IT'S OWN and nooooooo

and then I read the directions.

And on the side of my lovely, mondo-expensive camera? Is a twee little lever with the letters AF and MF written on it. Automatic Focus and.....Manual Focus.

Guess which position it was in?

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

the sights and sounds of spring

It's getting to be green around the yard!

Leaves are unfurling, birds are chirping,

Pink flowers are emerging, chipmunks are scrambling,

If that wasn't enough, strange little red fuzzy things are growing on tree limbs:

Look! Over there! My checkerboard tulips came up again:

And the one sure-fire herald of spring (besides the robins and baby raccoons)

(B says: #%$@#! Something built a nest in this thing during the winter!)

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

on a brighter note

I have two great new roommates and a shiny airplane ticket!

Okay, that's a lie. But 'I have a print-out that's going to get me a boarding pass!' just doesn't ring the same, y'know?


Monday, 5 May 2008

i swear I'm nicer in person

......three days later, I give up and call the Enterprise main customer line......

Phone bring, bring!

Customer Assistant:
(chirping) Blah Blah Blah Welcome to the Wonderful World of Enterprise Rent-A-Car! How can I help you?

Me: (to Bear) God DAMN it. It's another machine.

Customer Assistant: Hah Ha Ha! No, this is Blah Blah Blah from Enterprise Rent a Car! How can I help you today, ma'am?

Me: (sighing) I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. In July, I want to fly to Rochester, New York. Once there, I will be renting a car to drive around New York State and I will be spending a few days in Niagara Falls. Now, the website says that individual offices may allow cars to go over the border. I need to know if I can take the car over the border to Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls, Canada.

Customer Assistant: Do you have any idea what size car you'll be needing, ma'am?

Me: (warily) Why? Does that matter?*

Customer Assistant: No, not to answer your question, ma'am. I can just check and see if any cars are available on the days in question for you.

Me: No. Thanks. I'll do that later.

Customer Assistant: (reading aloud) Now it says here that you are allowed to drive cars into neighboring states, ma'am. So I would say that wouldn't be a problem. Ma'am?

Me: DON'T MA'AM ME. Please. And um...I live in Canada, and Canada? Isn't a state.

Customer Assistant: Ma'a...excuse me?

Me: Canada isn't a state. So the statement that cars are allowed into neighboring states might not apply.

Customer Assistant: .........Hmm.

Me: Can you please dial the Rochester Airport kiosk directly for me?

Customer Assistant: (glad to be rid of the rude Canadian) SURE!

Phone (bring, bring)

Customer Assistant #2's voice: This is the Rochester Airport's Enterprise Rent-A-Car location. We are open from 7:30 to midnight. If you'd like to leave a message,

Me: (to Bear) God DAMN it.

*Actually, the 'size matters over the border' thing cropped up when I was moving here. You can't take the comfy, easy to drive Uhauls that look like little vans over the border. Nuh-uh. You must have the huge, who's-your-daddy-now? mongo 18 foot trucks.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

and round and round it goes

lately it's been all:

Okay...I can't book the hotel until I know if I have one or two room-mates and I shouldn't book the car until I talk to my father (because I've invited myself there for a few days) and I can't book the flight until I know what date I'm flying out on.

Also, can I take chocolate on the plane?

This is all mixed up with 'this is a lot of money for a weekend' and shutup! You need time away! And this will be fun! And what if I get lost? what if I get mugged? what if I lose my camera?

and then the really fun ones kick in:
Oh my God, you're going to be the biggest one there. Can you handle it?
and my irrational side says nooooooooooooo
and my rational brain says: Yeah! This is going to be fun! Interesting people! Grown-up people! Julia! Intelligent people who make me think and laugh and cry and...

But what if you don't like anyone?
And what if they don't like you?

Well, that'll be a shock. I'm sure I'm going to like these people. If not, then I'll just have to enjoy the Falls.
And if they don't like me, then I guess they're missing out.

And then my irrational and rational selves decided a dish of strawberry ice cream would soothe everything out and unite everyone. And a chopped-up banana in there.

Tomorrow I'll call my father, buy the flight and rent the car. I have until June something to get the rate for the hotel, so that's not emergent. And then that will be done. And I shan't fret about it anymore.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

25 things of which I never tire

by Schmutzie, via blackbird, from awhile ago (hey! It's the weekend! I'm allowed to use my post file sometimes!)

1. Hot tea in my favorite cup.
2. Backrubs.
3. Coca-Cola in a big glass with ice.
4. Getting into a clean, freshly made bed (new sheets!) with new pajamas on, right after a shower
5. Listening to water - the bay, the river, the ocean
6. Putting my cold feet and rump on my built-in-furnace (aka HotBear)
7. Taking pictures
8. Old linens - the feel of them, the way they look, the way they remind me of my great-aunt and great grand-mother
9. Being called to bed by the cat*
10. Hot sunny days that smell of green things and possibilities
11. The Kentucky Derby. ** Also, hearing My Old Kentucky Home sung.
12. Roasted chicken. Ala Joke. Or Badger.
13. With roasted tomatoes ala Kim.
14. Crossword puzzles
15. Being the last one awake in the house.
16. Highway driving with the radio on. (Note: This isn't city-highway driving)
17. Reading with the kids. Or even better, being 'read' to.
18. Baths.
19. Seeing neighboring wildlife, like Harrison, the squirrel that lives in the tree right outside, and the deer in the orchard.
20. Good chocolate. Dark chocolate.
21. Baking (and mixing, and kneading) bread - it's a way to clear my head
22. Good smells: Green grass, coffee, the kids, lilacs, lavender, the ocean.
23. Kitty zen. (I know, I know, not supposed to blog about the cats so much, but he has the most wonderful comforting basso rumble purr - sends me right off.)
24. Spotting something wonderful in a second-hand shop.
25. Fine-nib pens.

Do you have a list?

*Every night. The first inquiring mmm-row?? comes between 10:30 and 11. Then the big yellow kitty gets progressively pissy (and louder) if B and I don't come to bed already, damnit! Around midnight he stomps downstairs and fixes us with yellow eyes o'doom. (Clearly his hoomans have lost their mindz.Sleep dis way!)

**And oh, wasn't it awful today when they had to put that poor filly down!

Friday, 2 May 2008


Happy Birthday, little brother. You've always been the best present I ever begged my parents for.

(And yes, that includes the car.
And the Rick Springfield cassette tape.)

Thursday, 1 May 2008

moderato con expressione

Well, it wasn't a round.

It was, to Cass's utter surprise and something akin to horror, a solo.*
Which meant up on the stage alone.

He went, bravely, stood on his mark, and at a whispered command from his music teacher tried to smile....except one side of his face wasn't working and the other looked like he suddenly couldn't remember what muscles to move to make it work. After a moment when he looked like he had a giant invisible cigar hanging out of his mouth he finally (like he had a toothache!) smiled, and then the music started.

And he sang. And we could hear him. Could even understand the words.

Afterwards, of course, hearing the applause, he grinned like a champ and sauntered off the stage, waving with both hands.

Ten boys singing the same song. Then a pause. And the judging.

He's decided the third-place ribbon means he's going to do it next year, too.

*I'm guessing they all practiced together every time? Well, no harm done.

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 ...