Monday, 31 March 2008

i was in with blogging royalty

Yesterday, I (little old me!) was in the company of a real live, wise-crackin, toothy-grinnin', blog superstar.

And she looks cute with icing on her face, too.

I'm speaking, of course, of the incredibly well-mannered and lovely Bumper, whose visit here was marked with celebratory apple juice and a giganticus sprinkled cupcake, along with bites of cookie. Her eyes went like saucers and her mouth opened wide and she bit right into the frosting - my kind of girl.

And if her delightful company wasn't enough, her mother - Motherbumper - and her grandfather were there too. Swoon.

Lovely, lovely people. Smart people.
People I could listen to all day.

But all too soon, the cupcake was gone, the juice finished. Bumper grew tired.

My offers to adopt her (well, her mom could come too) were laughed off, and they prepared to depart.

Hopefully next time we can visit longer. Next time, I'll get the inn to serve bigger cupcakes. MUCH bigger cupcakes.

Bumpers, come back soon!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

six small words that mean a big thing

I am very honored to know Julia. And I love it when she tags me with things.


1) Write your own six word memoir;
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like;
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere;
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links; and
5) Don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!


It sounds great, doesn't it? Major B even came up with a great one - poignant, strong, short and sweet.

Mostly happy, with bouts of blue.

But I - I choke on this. My feeling is that (while I'm not claiming additional personalities) my life has been cut into chunks - by space, time, situation - and I've been a very different person in each.

So I started to look around. Y'know, the tagline for this blog is six words - This is not my beautiful house - but while I love the song (and its assorted meanings) it's a bit mournful for a memoir.

The Mommy in me wants to assert herself with these:

  • Put your coat away - and boots! Blah.
  • I love you, goodnight, sleep tight! Hum - and it's not expressive of me, at all.
  • Learning new and exotic things everyday. Now I sound like a Wild Kingdom commercial.
Wife-me? Any ideas?
  • Holy crap, this is hard. Who're you?
  • So glad we're together. Kids bathed?
  • Sometimes I love you. Sometimes...not.
Ah, good. Thanks.

Okay, this is harder than I thought. Free-thinking.

  • Southern girl finds love up north. I'm not really Southern, and that sounds like a first-year journalism headline.
  • Be polite. Granny, who let you in? And it's not the right amount of words.
So many of these six word sentences come out in my head sounding like I'm playing the Acronym game. Clunky, and just a little odd.

O-kay. Back at it.

  • Creating new lives as she goes. No.
  • I am not as I appear. Ooh, I like that! Except it sounds like it should be followed with 'I'm actually your step-sister's masseuse's long-lost cousin from Upper Chesapeake!
and on and on.

Finally (what is it about memes that take so long?!?) I found something. Something that resonated with me - a little mysterious, but still blunt and honest and easy to read.


  • Pictures fail to tell the story.
I like that.

Has everyone been tagged? No? Okay, if you haven't, then you are now!

Saturday, 29 March 2008

it was a dark and snowy night

At eight o'clock, our lights went out.

The kids didn't mind as much as I'd thought - Rosey sleeps with a crib aquarium (a hold-over from her 'little girl' days) and Cass just opened his curtains to let a little light in the room - and I went around switching everything off and realizing how spooky-still the house is without machines humming and banging and whooshing and talking.

Okay, the last one was the television. Only a few of the other machines talk.


I curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and the lap-top (runs on batteries!) and tried to remember how the damned thing worked. That took awhile. Then I spent about twenty minutes going through my old files I had on it, realizing it had been over a year since I'd last used this beastie....

And then it was 8:22. Time goes slowly when there's nothing going on.

Tea! Tea was good. Hot sweet milky tea. Which was all gone. I should have put the kettle on the woodstove. Damn.

The rest of the hour, I watched the fire, remembering the first year B and I had moved into this house. It had been quiet then too, less furniture and animals and kids, simpler and less cluttered. A year of going to bed early, to talk and laugh into the night, establishing habits that would set the tone for our lives together.

We were so connected.

9:09. I yawned and went to go hunt up a nightgown, wincing at the bright light searing my eyelids in the bathroom. After an hour, I preferred the dark.

A quiet, more connected life. It sounded like a good prescription for everyone.
Maybe (just maybe) Earth Hour was the start of that.

march going out like a lion

Blecch.



Okay, it's pretty. And there is a bright side. Oh yes!

I can still legitimately drink Snugglers!




Y'know, the silver lining is (hic) okay sometimes!

e-vendor

I'm considering starting to sell things on E-bay.

I looked at all the rules, the regulations, the procedures to follow awhile back - I can't remember why I decided not to do it then - probably laziness - but while it sounds interesting, I'm not sure it's worth the work. It's not as if I intend to make small fortunes from this - more like a clearing-out of things that I don't want to freecycle - but I can't help but wonder how narcissistic is it for me to think that other people would be interested in my bits and bobs.

It's a puzzle. But an interesting one. Something to turn over in my head on a snowy day.

Friday, 28 March 2008

reminder

At eight o'clock tomorrow night, the lights should go out.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

dictionary definition

adorable
1.very attractive or delightful; charming: What an adorable hat!
2.worthy of being adored.

adverb form: adorably (ə-ˈdȯr-ə-blē)




alternate pronunciation: a-dora-belly

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

we bloody well did it

backstory here

The school board meeting was packed with concerned parents. Nine separate recommendations, most dealing with the closing or amalgamation of small schools. Seven heartfelt petitions read.

Eight recommendations passed, heart-broken people gearing up to do whatever they could in the next step of the process.

Our school was the last recommendation to be read. And the motion to review the school (aka get ready to close).....

FAILED.

Our little school -the village school - my son's school - will not be targeted to close. It will stay open, open and welcoming to the children of the area. Teaching them life-lessons and rooting them in their surroundings, showing them their history. Giving them roots and wings in our community.



Sometimes failure is a good thing.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

not always the most brilliant mom

A few days ago, the sun was shining, the tang of spring was in the air, and I was sure it was just around the corner.

Time to hunt out the sandals and summer shoes from their hiding places, to get out the big bags of summer clothes stored for the winter, to begin the exchanging process and start deciding what clothes we keep for next year and which are going to be outgrown.

After 'liberating' the shoes from their long winters' nap, the kids were clamoring to wear them. I'm as tired of winter boots as they are, so this wasn't too big a stretch, and everyone chose a pair.

Except....Cass came home from school with a frown. 'I think we might have jumped the season, Mom. My crocs were great outside for first recess, but second recess Mrs. S saw me playing on the ice and sent me inside.

Whoops.

Monday, 24 March 2008

birth carnival post

more here (bottom of page)



I slouched into the hospital, trying to hold my stomach up independently of my body and hoping like hell that this time the induction would take.

I was so tired of being pregnant.

Two weeks overdue, I was beginning to wonder if there actually was a baby in there. Before B figured out I was pregnant, I had been convinced that I was slowly dying of something. Maybe it was just a baby-shaped tumour. With a heartbeat.

Once there (I had the same room and was blearily surprised to open the closet and find the coat I'd left a few days before still hanging there waiting for me) I stripped off, put on the disgusting hospital gown, and hiked myself up on the bed.

Properly smeared with gel, I then spent forty minutes watching two nurses and a student doctor watch my stomach for signs that anything was happening.

Nothing was. No contractions. I began to prepare myself that this wasn't the day.

After an hour, the nurses wandered off. The student doctor went out in the hall to chew gum or tie his shoes or something, and I sent B to the cafeteria for a drink.

Three minutes later, the machine next to me recording heartbeats began to shriek. I looked over and the numbers were falling like the speedometer of a DeLorean whose Flux-Capacitor had been....incapacitated. I hollered for the nurse and hit the panic button at the same time. It says 53! I'm hoping that's me!

It wasn't, and the room was suddenly full of people. I was tossed around (Lay on your side! On your knees! Quick! Other side! Oxygen!) and nothing made those numbers go up.

Induction suddenly over.

'Your baby doesn't seem to want to come out that way, Jess. He's showing a lot of stress, and his heartrate isn't recovering like we want him to. We can wait, but I'd feel better if we started things moving now.'

I looked at the doctor. I knew what he meant. And suddenly, I didn't care.

Bye bye, birth plan.

I am apparently quite sensitive to epidural medication (something sadly I did not remember for my daughter's birth) and so was loaded up a bit too high. Feeling like Two-Ton Tessie with cement legs, I was hoisted up on the operating table and quickly unzipped. I spent much of the operation blearily watching the reflection of my insides in the operating room light (Whoa, is that me? Looky the colors!) and didn't react much to the alarm bells that began to shrill again.

Bear knew enough to know those sounds were not good. He sat, swallowing, patting my hand as the doctor made a few hurried slashes and hoisted the baby out, giving him over to the waiting staff that would check him over.

I was waiting for a cry. Or for someone to tell me (The half-empty Glad bag on the table) what was going on.

There were a few scccchwick! noises as the baby was suctioned. Then silence. It was strange - everything in the middle of the room (where I was) seemed so peaceful - quiet, serene - while over in the corner of the room there was frantic activity and an ominous hush.

I licked my lips. "What is it?"

B patted my hand. He was tense. 'I think it's a boy' he said, craning his neck to see, and visibly relaxed as a furious wet-cat squall echoed through the room.

One of the nurses smiled. 'It is.'





My daughters birth story is here

Sunday, 23 March 2008

my heart

early morning enthusiasms

The kids are delighted with their Easter baskets. Kudos to the Bunny.


The hero of the morning is Bear, who made coffee as soon as he came through the door at 7 am and noticed one small(ish) son wandering the halls with the light of jellybeans in his eyes.

Cass is chomping away with great abandon while Rosey futzes with her Barbies. (and the dog enjoys the delicious and unexpected snack of Barbie shoes)

Now to prop open my eyelids (toothpicks, anyone?) slurp a few more mugs of coffee and watch the kids heads' rotate with all the early morning sugar - always a fun time!

Undergoing MyBlogLog Verification

Saturday, 22 March 2008

disjointed post (I'm tired)

Kids in bed, loot out....
Easter outfits hung and bits and bobs sorted...


There is a pork tenderloin marinating in the fridge with a couple big crushed cloves of garlic, a thin-sliced lemon, some green onion and a mixture of butter and olive oil in the fridge....I keep opening the door to get a sniff.

What to serve it with?
Quartered potatoes, browned in the oven with rosemary and sea salt?
Rice, confetti-ed through with bits of lemon peel and green onions?

I want to try to bake biscotti.

Why do I watch Losing Isaiah when I know it's going to make me cry? And it irritates me tremendously that I do cry, since I spend most of the film hating Jessica Lange's character and can't stand Halle Berry's wooden-ness and find it hard to feel any sympathy for any of them?

(It's the film du jour to run late at night)


Tomorrow we'll be doing the bunny here, then packing up and showing the kids off at my sister-in-laws, where they'll hunt for treasures and get spoilt with chocolate by their grandfather. We'll eat strata and fruit salad and rejoice in family.

And now, to bed. New library books await!





Happy Easter, everyone. I hope your day is happy, full of family and fun.

Friday, 21 March 2008

rituals

Bed-time. The sweetest part of the night.

And I say that not just because I love my me time, or because I relish spending a few lazy hours just being a grown-up with Bear*, but because saying good-night to my bath-scented children is one of the nicest things no one ever told me I'd love as a Mom.

First to Rosey's room, where she's curled up on her bed, legs planted firmly on top of her covers. (She's very literal about the tucking-in.) So I lift her sweet little pajamaed legs up, smooth the coverlet and Blankie over her and find her Emma-rabbit (Bronwyn is already tucked in at her side.) Kiss her goodnight, recite a quick 'Now I lay me down to sleep**' with her, and then we say goodnight. And it's not just good-night, but it's:
Me: Sweet dreams.
Rosey: I love you, Mama.
Me: I love you too.

Then over to Cass's bedroom, where he waits, feet under his duvet but with his light burning, stealing a few quick minutes to read before bed. Same prayer (he likes to talk about who he's asking God to take care of) and then I find GeorgeJason the dinosaur and Beau and Charlie the dogs and set them around him. Kate the cat (real, not stuffed) is usually up on his bed by now, (he is her boy) and she settles in, purring and talking to him a bit while I fuss with the covers and say my final goodnight, sleep tights, I love yous.

Out in the hall, a smallgirl voice floats out towards me: Mama?

Me: Yes, Rosey-Posey?
Rosey: (there's a small wet thwack as her thumb is taken out of her mouth) Don't let the bed-bugs bite.
Me: You either. I'll see you in the morning, sunshine.

And then there's quiet (maybe a rustling as one or the other turns over in their beds) and a moment before I grip the banister and head downstairs to think

I am so lucky.



*not really a euphemism. Honest.
**We don't say the 'If I should die before I wake' bit, because why would I scare them with that? Instead we say 'Keep me safe all through the night, and wake me with the morning light.' Then we say 'Thank you God, for this good day.'

Thursday, 20 March 2008

lyric slayer

I've always loved music - I'm always humming something, and now I'm trying to pass that on to the kids.

However, I've always been bad with lyrics. Trust me, I thought it was 'Don't know where he got to, Mr. Roboto' for years. In retrospect, I probably loved a lot of English punk and pop in the eighties because no one could tell what they were talking about. (And they were pretty. Le sigh.)

This song, though, I couldn't tell what they were talking about on a bet. And it cracks me up. It's like my lyric deficiency on a grande scale. I can't remember where I saw this - it was awhile back - but oh, lordy, my sides hurt....

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

the pursuit of

The air was crisp and sweet with the promises of spring
beginning to stir
and the kids ran and ran and chased each other
and there were flying toys


and snow-melted places to squelch your boots through


and sweet new growth on the trees


and a mystery....
Yup. It's a rock. With a chain attached to it.
In our meadow. We don't know either.


Wasn't it a beautiful day?

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

yup, still a city girl

I had a nap today.

Rosey had a hard time settling down last night, so I re-read an old book about forensic anthropology in war-torn Yugoslavia, tried to avoid her knees and elbows (she's a tosser, that one - and a bed hog, like me) and surprise! didn't sleep so well.

So today I had a nap. For a few days after I have a bad night, I have incredibly vivid dreams - very close to the ultra-colorful, psychotically strange, and normal-life-just-turned-up-a-notch dreams I had all through my pregnancies.*

My nap? No exception.

So I woke sweaty and horrified at the things people can do to each other in the name of war, came downstairs, and took the dog out.

While he picked and choosed the perfect spot, a rustling in the far meadow caught my attention. There was a white? thing? moving in the trees.

I squinted. Surely that wasn't a person? With a pillowcase over his head? Running drunkenly, frantically, wobbling from side to side into the watershed?

Holy God, there were four of them. What the hell was going on in our woods? I tried to see through the scrub in between where Jasper was finally peeing and the fleeing......



......white-tailed deer.


No more falling asleep to the news. In fact, maybe Rosey should be singing lullabies to me.


*My dreams were frightening - I'd have a dream about a situation so real I'd wake up and not know if it happened or not.

Monday, 17 March 2008

spectacular but mundane

Last night there was a perfect corona of cloud around the moon - a spectacular, eerie sight, with the stars twinkling down in between. I burst back into the house (dragging the dog with me - I think he was done watering the lawn at that point) and called B to come see! Come see!

I expected him to be mesmerized like I was, to wonder about what on earth caused that, to be entranced...

But no. He stuck his head out the door (didn't even put his foot over the sill!) and dismissed it. 'It's a moonring, Jess. It means we have bad weather on the way.'

He went on to explain that it was high-altitude ice crystals in the air that caused this, and I let his (perfectly reasonable! scientifically sound! correct!) explanation wash over me.

I was too busy looking at the spilt milk in the sky.


credit this page


And tonight, as the wind whips the trees around and my daughter rustles in her bed (the wind wakes her, she'll pad into my room soon enough) I know his reasoning was all well and good.

But I still like to think up there, high above our heads, there's a flying bovine searching for her lost bucket, annoyed at herself for kicking it over again.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

groovin

Cass loves his MP3 player.

I love watching him discover music.

He came tearing into the bathroom tonight while I had R in the tub, all grins and dancey motions with his shoulders and feet and gave me an earpiece. "Mom! You've got to hear this!"

He forgets that I load his music. But then I seem like the coolest Mom in the world because I know all the good songs.

The little tune playing was...oh eighties flashback, here I come...Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) and we doodled along in unison for a few minutes, doing jazz hands and not realizing how strange we must look until I turned....

and caught sight of Rosey, sitting very still in her tub, watching her mother and her brother sing (badly) off-key stretches of a song and bopping to a beat that she couldn't hear. So, her expression said, what else is going to happen here?

The song ended. Cass stopped hip-hopping and waited for the next to start.

I started swaying to the first notes, recognizing CCR's Mustang Sally, preparing to be cool (or cool-ish) and mug up a little, and I must have overdone it, because Cass stared.....

Then he raised his eyebrows at me, took back the earpiece, and nicely said 'You've had enough, Mom.'


Um? Oh, okay.....

Saturday, 15 March 2008

salutations

Rosey's friend P turned four today - Happy Birthday, P! - and Rosey went to a pizza party to celebrate.

It was a lovely party - four girls, three moms, a dad, a grandmother and a grandfather - the perfect size for one long table, lots of root beer, and pizza.

Oh, and blowy horns. And cake. Ice cream cake.



'That was fun, Mama' said Miss Rosey on the way home. 'I love P.'

It's funny-strange to see her making friends, to think that these girls that laughed and giggled and blew horns at each other and chased balloons on strings could possibly be hanging out in my livingroom a few years from now, watching tv and talking shorthand about boys and teachers and lip gloss.

Or maybe they won't, but I'll still have the pictures of when they were terrific friends - on the day beautiful P had her fourth birthday.

Friday, 14 March 2008

wanted: industrial-strength earplugs

I've talked about this before..

Rosey's hair looked like a rats nest. A rats nest in a high wind. And there was something stuck and dried above her right ear.

Even though it was the middle of the day, faced with combing that mess out, I opted for the easy way out and bundled her up to the tub to wash her hair.

(Funny, the rolling around and gnashing of teeth brought on by the obviously insane suggestion stopped when I mentioned the new shampoo and lavender bubble bath I'd brought home.)

She was sweetly making bubble beards and talking to her bath toy Duck (it's a bluebird,actually, and he'll probably get a post of his own one of these days) when Bear turned on the tv and a few notes of a familiar theme song began...

R's eyes lit up and she began warbling 'Bad boys, bad boys' even before the singing started, all head-tossingly proud that she not only knew this song, but that she knew the words.


Whimper. It's all of them now.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

dancing dinosaurs

Cass had been psyched about today for a few weeks. First off, it was March break, and secondly, today he had THREE activities - an afternoon about dinosaurs (and Mom? Mom! Did you know there were dinosaurs RIGHT HERE? HERE, WHERE WE LIVE? I predict his favorite thing to do this summer will be to go looking for rocks.) where they made fossils of their own (trilobites? Are cool.) Then they all looked at fossils. You could have heard a pin drop for most of it - the circle of boys was all agog at real! fossils! Plants and animals!
Why, this could have been stepped on by a dinosaur!
Then the boyishness of them broke through, and they all roughhoused and crowded each other for a chance at the magnifying glass.



After a quick snack (I needed coffee) and a few minutes downtime, we were back. For Dance Dance Revolution. C was awed by these girls, who kicked and stepped and danced in unison.


Dancing is cool.


When it was all over, we sped home, gave him some downtime, (wrestling with his sister, natch) fed him supper, and hurtled out the door again. For his first dance.

Yes. His first dance. It was as noisy and chaotic and crazy as I remember school dances being, and he loved it. Held in one of the local fire halls by the Parents and Tots Organization, (who all know how to party!) it was an absolute hit. He came home smiling and exhausted, streaked with pink and green and yellow squiggles (ink stamps that glowed in the dark?) and full of stories of classmates, wars*, pizza and cheezies.

He fell asleep taking off his pants getting ready for his shower, intoxicated on excitement and being so grown up.

*wars seems to be groups of boys, roughly divided into good vs. evil, chasing each other through the hall all night.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

whoosh

Today, I'm:

all aghast and listening to this Spitzer/Ferraro mess,

Writing out a massive grocery list (even my back-up meals are getting thin now; I've been putting off going for awhile)

and laughing my ass off at Simon's Cat.



There is another on YouTube. Very funny.

Tomorrow there's lots going on - the kids have activities and I'll have the camera.

But tonight, studying....and bed.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

(not) (breast) feeding carnival post

explanation here more stories here

I've had two babies, both bouncing, happy children now. Funny they can't remember me trying to breast feed when I so clearly remember the weeks of sobbing and crying....

Cassidy is my first born.

A lovely, lovely boy baby who didn't enjoy breastfeeding at all. Floods of tears of pain and regret - what was I doing that hurt him so much? And why wasn't this working? - We tried breastfeeding for a little over six weeks and when his weight was still dropping, (host of other problems - inconstant supply, shredded bleeding nipples, bad latch - and yes, I had three different LCs - The La Leche League used to draw their skirts aside as I passed, and after the pumping odyssey (Mah nipples! They've taken on a life form of their own! Honey, are they supposed to look like that? No, I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to bleed into the milk.)- went exclusively to bottle feeding. The difference was night and day.

Night and day. He'd always been a good sleeper - but now instead of five hours, he'd sleep seven...maybe eight. (Which, as a new parent, was a gift straight from God.) He'd been hungry. And filling him up, holding him close while the nipple of the bottle fed him, staring into my not-starving baby's eyes as he happily ate - was so worth it.
So worth not breast feeding. I did feel bad about not breast feeding from the health standpoint, (as I believed it then, anyway) but I never missed the feeling of closeness - I had that with bottle feeding. *

Rosemary came along three years later. Almost to the day. (She was born twelve days past C's third birthday.)


Her birth was suddenly traumatic and terrifying, and she was given glucose water from a bottle before I even saw her. (B okayed it, thank God, I was still rocking in the free world aka Too loopy to know my name.) She probably would have loved breastfeeding - she used to hunt for my nipple - but my milk never fully came in more than a trickle and soon petered out. By the third day, it was obvious she needed supplementation, and we transfered over to formula by six days - because starving two babies? Not in my nature.


*This issue could probably make an entire post by itself, but I never understood how people could talk about 'missing that feeling of closeness' when choosing bottlefeeding over breastfeeding. (Although it could have something to do with breastfeeding being a morass of pain and confusion for me, eh?) B finally asked one lady in the grocery store who was blathering on about the 'special closeness' if she picked up her child when she fed him, or if she just left him on the ground. (My hero.) She wasn't amused but I giggled about that for days.

Holding that sweet baby close to you, smelling that new baby smell and having your baby look at you while she feeds is the best part. I don't give a hoot about how the food gets into her.

Monday, 10 March 2008

hell hath no fury like Grandma

My uncle sends me all the best funnies....

Lawyers should never ask a grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a
youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said,

'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'

Sunday, 9 March 2008

achieving your dreams *updated*

Randy Pausch is an incredibly charismatic professor from Carnegie Mellon who is dying from pancreatic cancer. His last lecture on achieving childhood dreams and living your life in a decent way is embedded here. It's striking. I embedded the 10 minute version here:




Striking. Striking and compelling.

*He's in surprisingly good condition right now, actually. Here's a link to his blog-style health page.

a mom of very little brain

I've begun to notice that the shows my kids are really gravitating towards are slightly off:

Beast Wars movie - oh.my.god. Brought to you by the makers of Transformers, this stars half-animal half-robots with names like Tigatron and Predicon. Good versus evil in a very stupid and convoluted plot. And it's long - an hour and forty-five minutes I'll never get back.

Max and Ruby - Brother and sister rabbit, live all alone in cute house. Brother doesn't talk any more than two syllables, but big sis Ruby takes up the entire show with her bossy ways and ordering the younger Max around. There's a grandmother that pops in every once in awhile, but where are the parents? Best guess: they couldn't take Pushy McFlowered Pants and hopped out of there.

Wonder Pets - The continuing story of a chick, a duck and a turtle who save baby animals. Really. And watch out for the theme song - it's an earworm waiting to happen.

Nova. The Four Winged Dinosaur. Now, I love to watch these with Cass. He gets a kick out of them and I love watching his mind open up. I just have to remember to not attempt them with Rosey. (At least not for a few years!) Mama, what's that? Mama, what's that? Mama, what did he say? Mama, what's that? Mama, how did the dinosaur die?

Yes. My children are trying to make my brain bubble out my ears.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

the vet loves me

Yesterday was the big chocolate dogs turn. He's been itching at his ear, and after trying the Advantage routine (it kills ear mites too) we were back at the vets office again. (This time under much better driving conditions, and sans chilluns.

Right out of the gate he shat on the floor. They don't blink much about that at the vets, so it wasn't a catastrophe, although hanging on to your dignity while your huge hound mistakes a brick tiled floor for the great outdoors? Not so easy.) This happened at the same time I was passing a mason jar-ed litter-encrusted spatter from the cat* to the tech.
'Poop here, poop there', she said with a shrug.

They said not a word about J's portliness, but I think the vet will mention it next visit - it took him a long time and a few grunts to straighten and put doggo el grande up on the table.

Jasper was delighted to be at! face! level! and set about slurping everyone, his feathered tail knocking pictures off the walls and his butt shimmying almost off the table with enthusiasm.

I grabbed his head. The vet tech grabbed his middle (smartly forcing him to sit and pushing his rear up to the wall) and the vet checked out his ear. Jasper panted adoringly and shed great gouts of fur, nuzzling the vet every time he had a chance. In lab world, apparently nothing says lovin' like a big slobbery kiss and a liberal dusting of hair.

Afterwards, he led me around the parking lot a few times then climbed into the Blazer and fell asleep even before I started the car. Because getting ear wax cleaned out is exhausting business, y'know.


*They did a fecal float, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Kate now has two pills in the morning and one at night, and won't come near me if she can't see my hands.

Friday, 7 March 2008

news at six

Heinrik the One-Antlered Moose was a little disoriented. Spending the winter buried under snow out in the yard had been bad enough, but snatching him away from the bitter remnants of his stash of last years' grass was too much.

He was prepared to sob out a few hungry tears when the cupboard door swung open and he had a good look at where he had been placed.



Jackpot, he thought. And no lousy superheroes.

Heinrik's story starts here

Thursday, 6 March 2008

the disapproving pink maw

So this morning I suffered through the Elizabethan* glare from Kate after I did my duty and pilled her, did the obligatory grunting and talking through my lips at the dentist, discovered a computer problem at the manse, fed half-day-at-school son lunch, ran him back to town, checked out books for me, books for the two, books-on-tape for the two, and a movie, visited my father-in-law (who may be home soon!) picked up daycare daughter, succumbed to the 'but we never get to eat at McDonald's' from the back, taught C what the phrase 'blatant lie' means, drove home and am now staring in shock and awe at the freaking enormous pile of laundry that must be done if I don't want to send son to school tomorrow in nothing but a pair of shorts and a pajama top. And perhaps some mismatched socks.


It's six o'clock. I really need a houseboy, because I think I may be too tired to open the wine by myself.

And the cat is still giving me the stink-eye.



*You were my favorite. But you have DISAPPOINTED me.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

drive to town

Rain rain rain cold wind blows gray fog descends rain rain rain icy roads icy trees icy sky windshield wipers can't keep up rain rain rain cold wind buffets the car car thinks about skidding I stop that foolishness and switch to four wheel drive rain rain rain Cass pet the cat and make her hush cold wind icy road icy sky icy wind damn those big trucks drive fast (and kick up a lot of water) radio mutters something about black ice snort like it could get blacker than it already is? Cold rain rain rain the heavens drip and....there's the turn. Off the highway, onto a secondary road that's slicker than goose grease and this is Canada don't these people know how to drive in this weather? Rain rain rain icy branches thwack the car (which upsets the cat again) and...we're....there.

Slowly, slowly into the parking lot (please don't let me hit the vet's car) creep into a space, shut motor off. Kate caterwauls a few times and falls silent. Cass flips off his seat belt and eagerly volunteers to take the cat in. He jumps out of the car and neatly slides under the (parked and car off, remember) wheels, the ground is a solid sheet of ice. Reach down and haul him out from under the car, grab cat in box, drag son, hoist cat. Do best Quasimodo impression into the vet's office.

Oh! Hi, Jess. How's the mister? And what's wrong with Kate today?

Hmm, those roads must be wicked.


You think?


P.S. The old kitty has been having pooper problems. Not thyroid, not diabetes. Sent for the long drive home with steroids (because they want.to pump. clap her up!) and if she continues shitting on everything to have litter issues then we'll have to take another sample back.

Preferably on a better driving day.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

aliens are eating my brain

It's dark outside, and the wind is whistling 'round... not a quiet night, for sure.

I tossed my book down, swung my legs off the bed, and crept walked silently to the top of the stairs. There was only one light in the living room burning - where was B?

And what was that noise?

Some sort of grunting or mumbling or something was coming from downstairs, the sound filling my head full of horrible pictures.

But wait! Wouldn't the dog have barked? He barks at everything else....

I hesitated at the first stair, calling myself all kinds of foolish. But the mumbling and the chomping? Was that chomping? noises kept going.

I had to save him. Or at least find out what was going on.

Halfway down, creeping noiselessly down the narrow treads...heart in my mouth.....

Bear: (noisily) Aw, hell!

And all thoughts of saving him from certain death were stopped dead in their tracks by the sight of my husband - thankfully in one piece -

playing video games on the livingroom floor.

Monday, 3 March 2008

not to sound like britney

But y'all, I am so excited. (obligatory hair flip)

I was talking to the human resources lady today at the hospital (she was telling me I didn't get a position I interviewed for: Boo hiss, but not really unexpected news...) and she brought up the fact that in order to go anywhere with the job I'm currently in (aka gettin' on the permanent payroll) I need to have a Medical Terminology course.

(I had to stop and think a few minutes before I could think of a time I've had a medical term thrown at me in the course of work that I haven't known. Computer codes, yes, but odd medical terms? Nu-uh. Because my job isn't on the diagnosing side of things. My job is to order lab tests. Tests from other departments. Not diagnoses. This is clearly bureaucratic overkill. )

But! I digress! Back to the excited bit!

I am, at the ripe auld age of thoity-seeks going back to school! (Okay, it's a distance course, and I'll be taking it over the computer, but hey! I'm buying a new pencil case and a couple of cool folders anyway!)

So slap my ass and buy me a bag of Cheetos! I done be doing it one more time!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

the mouse and his child

I started a new book with Cass the other day.

'The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane' is about the voyages of a china rabbit, who is lost by his first owner and has to re-learn to love. (I am done with being loved, thought Edward. To love is pain.) It's a sweet story (although I did some glossing over when Edward is given to a consumptive little girl who dies*) and Cass liked it, he being of the age when his dolls come alive at night just for him. I haven't liked any of the authors' other books, but this one resonated a bit and twinged some memories for me of my father reading to me - not the same story, but one along a similar vein.

The Mouse And His Child by Russell Hoban (he wrote the Frances books!) was the story of two wind-up tin mice, father and son, who search for the meaning of life. I thought it was magical and an incredible book and loved every page of it. I haven't had a chance to read it to Cassidy yet - although he found the movie at the library and tried to watch it. (True to form, the movie was horrible - WHY do people insist on making cartoons of children's books? Even Disney doesn't do it that well.) He turned it off halfway through - probably because I was moaning and gnashing my teeth the whole time and he couldn't hear it - but all the better for him, right? More surprise when we read the book?





Oh, and Happy Birthday, Grandpa! May your 91st year be the best one yet. I know your love of language helped me learn that books were my friends.




*We're treading softly around the idea of death right now, as one of the clan is in hospital.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

the beginning of march

Yes, it's muddy. But the bikes need to go outside.

The floodplain behind us, now frozen.

The edge of the floodplain. You may need to click on this to see it, but there's a gigantic piece of ice in the tree where the high water line was.


And along the edges of the river, bits of ice sparkle like diamonds.

Pretty, huh? It snowed again today.

There's been a lot in the papers lately about border fences. In the case of the US and Canada, I don't really believe we need them - 'cept maybe for all your snow, which we'd appreciate it if you just KEPT. Thanks, and all that.