Thursday, 30 March 2006

reely cain't type

Tonight is Go-To-Jesus job night, and I've been wrestling with an Easter letter for hours. The bulletins are done, folded, sorted, ready for pick-up, and it's just me and the ancient computer with brokken spill chk. I just thought I was doing a tremendous job typing - glanced it over quickly, tossed it in the copier, and whizz-bang, 129 copies of an Easter letter that starts out:

With the cold and dark of winter behind us, our thoughts turn to Spring. Did you see the robins, the early crocus, the pussy lows? All are signs of new life. (I'm really thinking the church elders aren't trolling for dates here.)

and continues on the next paragraph:

Eater is a time of new lifeandbeginnings (Eater likesrunonwords, too. Good boy, Eater! Go haveacookie.) a time when we can worshop and pray together and let the massage of the new life in Christ touch our souls.
(A spa day! First we worshop, then we get massaged!)
I'm sure the neighbors wonder why the crazy lady roars with laughter over her work sometimes.

Think they need a massage?

recipes for crow

And because I was snappish and shrewish and ready to assume the worst yesterday, karma (bad luck? Somebody upstairs? Girrafo the kitchen troll?) has slapped me on the ass and gleefully called me Shirley....

B got almost done with the ceiling last night and noticed a few rotten floorboards. So now:

  • The sewer pipe needs to be replaced (where it runs through the wall in my living room, natch)
  • The entire floor of the bathroom must be replaced
  • The toilet must be capped off, moved, the floor replaced, replumbed and put back
  • All the ceiling tiles just put up will have to be ripped down

We will live like gypsies in a caravan, I think. A tent in the backyard?

I need to start drinking. What time is it again???

And nevah, nevah open my mouth without getting the full story first - or at least pausing first!!!

Yummy, yummy crow. Tastes like chicken!

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

wasting a good mad

I got home today (tired, hard day, overworked, two tired-hungry kidlets in the car, typical working mom blah blah blah) and walked into remodel hell. My jaw dropped. Nothing had changed since this morning!

Actually, that's not true. It was worse.

The floor was littered with drywall bits. The furniture was pushed around and it looked like a bag of nails had burst when it fell from the ladder. There was grit over everything.

I started to see a fine red haze. B had been here all day! He had promised he would get this done, and done before I got home! So much for the long conversation we had about finishing the job while we didn't have to worry about 'Let Me Help, Daddy!' and his sister, 'Guess What Tools I'm Hiding In My Diaper!' weren't around.

I tossed out some playdoh on the kitchen table (they had to have somewhere to play that was clean!) and whisked upstairs, bent on bestowing some wifely indignation. The computer was on, I noticed with a sniff as I tromped by, I'll bet he was on the computer all damned day.... and he was in the shower. I flung open the bathroom door.

"What happened today? And why didn't you...." I trailed off. Bear stuck his head out the shower curtain.

His eyes looked like they'd been boiled. His skin was flushed, and the air ....why did my bathroom smell like charcoal?

B coughed. "I just got back from town. They had us on standby out near the edges, patrolling to make sure nothing broke out this way. This morning we put out a grassfire here in the village - damned lucky two houses didn't go up."

Yeah. The guy I thought was sitting-on-his-ass all day? Was out fighting fires.

I swallowed it so fast, that mad never even got a chance to bubble.

The fire pictured above is one of six so far in a three county area - it is the biggest, so far burning 300 hectares (741+ acres) and is proving very difficult for the firefighters to get to - three water drops later, it is still burning merrily along. - Picture from the Queens County Times

Monday, 27 March 2006

how many tylenol can I take?

Posey has decided that we've put all the construction materials in the house so she can play with them, so this weekend was not relaxing. Her brother didn't help - he was too busy setting a bad example (I'm completely aware that this concept is only part of my philosophy and he has no clue) by making ramps of bits of two-by-fours and zooming little cars all over the place. He was, at least, having fun.

Rosey was not.

Rosey was frustrated. Mean Old Dad wouldn't let her climb the back of the ladder to be near him and (the worst indignity!) wouldn't share the power tools. Mean Old Mama just laughed. Her brother was no help. What's a baby to do?

We had a lot of wailing last weekend.

Damn, I wish she'd talk.

'The injustice of it all! Don't these people know I'm a princess? Now I have to make the pouty face.....'

Saturday, 25 March 2006

being twelve

B's Dad lives not far from us and was working on a project of his own today.

Bear: I was down at Dad's while you were gone, helping him find some screws.
Me: Okay, but you realize your Dad is old enough to get his own dates, right?

Our project bogged down when we ran out of certain necessities.

Bear: I'm going to run down to the store and get some more nails and screws.
Me: Are you wearing your wedding ring?


Friday, 24 March 2006

not sure I'm cut out for this

This weekend C is going to a birthday party. He's squirmy-can't-sit-still excited and chattering. The little boy turning five is one of the boys C plays with the most, so I'm sure he'll have a terrific time. I was chatting with the mom in question this morning and she mentioned what the boys will be doing. Remember when birthday parties were just cake and ice cream and run around the back yard? Me too.

This weekend, he'll be painting little wooden cars, watching movies, and bowling. A party down our way last fall had the kids dressed as pirates, with a buried treasure hunt and rides on a haywagon kitted out to look like a pirate ship. One next month has a Spiderman theme - kids are encouraged to wear their costumes (or pj's) and there will be skating and a Tai Kwon Do demonstration.

Are these people kidding me? He's four and a half. I'm all for giving him new experiences, but this is an arena I'm unwilling ( and unprepared) to compete in.

I like to think I'm a relatively creative person. I'm never going to be a designer, or the person people run to for style advice, but my house is attractively put together (okay, I have ideas about how to attractively put it together) and I'm not boring.

But I'm not sure I can do this.

Judging from the current crop of kids' parties, I'd best get a move on picking a theme, favors, goodie bags, games and entertainment.

Do kids still like magicians?

October's gonna be here before I know it.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

the list

I married a man who came with scores of tools. He was impressed by my independent-woman-apartment-dweller box of tools I owned when we moved in together, and I was dazzled by the sheer array of power everythings he had. He can fix almost everything, and usually does.

That being said, he is an extremely busy man, too, and right now he's got about an eighteen month backlog of projects. (Which, come to think of it, is about the age of our daughter.) During the winter it doesn't bother me that things are slow to get finished in the house, but come Spring, things change. Handyman magazines start appearing in the bathroom, and when we go for drives we point out to each other the changes we see in the neighboring houses.

When the gardening catalogs arrive, I spend evenings camped out at the kitchen table. Humming delightedly, I sketch out my proposed flower gardens and ponder where I'll put the herbs in and whether it would be a clever idea to train ornamental pea vines over the old apple trees or not.

(Most of these plans end up being castles in the air - we live close to the river and the woods and the deer eat everything.)

Today, after some (cough) gentle reminding, B began a job we've been needing to finish for about a year. He was busy today, ripping wood and measuring and making trips to the lumberyard - so when I saw him after work he was dusty and tired. He wasn't receptive to hearing about the new! project I think we should aim toward starting this summer, the one I saw in a magazine article today, the one that has me plotting and planning and thinking about how I can help, what I can do, how I can make this work. He wants to finish this job before he plans another, so I'll whisper it to you......


And this is why Bear hides all the Canadian Woodworker magazines from me now.

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

frankie said relax

The radio at work was set on an All-Eighties station, and we played 'Do You Remember This Song?' all day. I can't believe how much eighties crap I have burned into my brain. Even worse, I remembered a lot of the videos. (And what I wore to the concerts, but that's stuff I try to squash back into my subconscious)

Can someone explain to me how I can remember all the words to songs I haven't heard since high school, and forget to buy milk on the way home? And why is the memory of Herb Alpert's 'Rocket' video taking up brain cell space? Wouldn't that space be better used for...reminding me of day-to-day functions, like stop at the store, Jessica, you're out of milk?

It's a wonder I haven't forgotten where I live, with all this decades-old stuff washing around in there.


It also appears I've lost a post. Blogger said mmmm, chomp chomp.

Friday, 17 March 2006

perusing Joke's past

Perhaps a day late and a dollar short, but here are my answers to Joke's First Semi-Annual Contest....

and damn, Joke, that was long....

What is the best brand of products to preserve leather?
My alcohoroscope shows me to be what sign?
What do I like to drink in those teeny tiny Petrossian glasses and what do I enjoy eating as an accompaniment?
Cognac and potato crisps
What's my Myers-Briggs personality type?
The Mastermind
What do I use to clean the burners of the porn grill?
Lethicin and canola oil.
How long did I actually have (in the physical sense) the car that sucked?
That I don't know but I know you wanted it for about twelve seconds after you got it
What Rat Packer am I?
What, in my opinion, is the worst part of living in SoFla?
The way hurricanes want to shake hands and how-de-do with your house
Who is the artist being honored (in absentia) at JokeFest2006?
Sammy Davis Jr.
How many "tuxedo-able" bow ties do I own?
What is my most heretical recipe?
onion dip
What is the title of the first book I recommended on this blog?
The Hitchhikers Guide to the the book, DON'T see the movie...
Do I consider myself a metrosexual and why or why not?
Aren't you petrosexual?
How many turkeys did I grill for Thanksgiving 2005?
What did I spend 1/1/05 doing?
Downloading forgotten songs and reveling in the musical past
What scary thing did my 8 year old ask Santa for?
A black hoe
What's wrong with MOST organic milk these days?
It doesn't taste any better than the milk down at the 7-11.
What airline couldn't get us from "here to there"
American Airlines, NOT flying the friendly skies near you
What do I call the day in which Poppy and self became pals?
You celebrate your Drivelversary, so the actual day would be...Drivel?

What is my medical directive to my wife/children?
Keep me alive, unless I'm in pain or peeing on myself.
What holiday was the subject of a LONG and hilarious blog entry that, sadly, Blogger ate?
How did I describe the ::cough, cough:: Cupid garden statue TFBIM got? (BONUS! What happened to that statue?)
Billy Barty dressed as an Indian.
Which relative vexes me telephonically the most?
Gotta be your Dad!
How many times has an Italian car left me stranded?
What did I consider (at the time) to be better than sex?
A hot shower!

and now, to bed.

Thursday, 16 March 2006

irreverent christianity

I just put together bulletins for two services. The bulletin for the smaller church has (along with the regular announcement sheet) a flyer and a bookmark, the larger church has just the bookmark and an announcement page. They both have the same cover. There's a pretty picture this week on the cover, ivy on an old columned building, with curvy script underneath reading "I AM THE WINE."

So I put together about forty thinking (every time I saw the cover) 'I am the cheese!' and giggling to myself.

Then I realized it didn't say 'I AM THE WINE'; it actually reads "I AM THE VINE."

It makes more sense that way. Of course, it's not as funny.

Unless I can come up with some Tarzan jokes.

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

burglers beware

Bear was working a twenty-four yesterday, a shift he doesn't like because he doesn't get to see the kidlets at all. Usually I get a phone call from him to talk about our days, but the shore was hopping and it was very late. The house was quiet and I was just contemplating the choice of either a shower or a bath when the front door slammed.

The slamming door didn't faze me too much, as it had a Bear-like sound to it, but then....there was no noise. No cheery hello.

I called out 'You'd better be my husband!' and footsteps started coming up the stairs.

Now it struck me. I was alone in the house with two sleeping children. The protector-mama in me started to rouse. What could I defend myself with? I was sitting in the bathroom, so I grabbed the first few things I saw. Armed, I waited.

It was Bear, who responded to my wide eyes and deer-in-the-headlights-stare with 'I wasn't sure you were up. I just stopped in for a minute to see....umm, do you need a brush with that?

I looked at my hands. Yup, I was all prepared to fight off the intruder with....a can of shaving cream and a digital camera.

Go me. Sometimes I am so fierce I can't stand it.

Monday, 13 March 2006

i don't remember this with the last one

My daughter has a clothes fetish. And it's fast becoming an obsession.

She doesn't want to wear any.

Every morning, she'll greet us with happy noises, standing in her crib, proudly offering us her diaper, (Look! A gift for you!) her pajamas crumpled in a heap on her floor.

Getting her dressed isn't difficult - she doesn't kick or scream - it's just that as the day wears on she divests herself of clothing.
Like we won't notice.

It started with her boots. She would kick her boots off in the car and then take off her socks. I took her slippers to the babysitters.

Then...we noticed we couldn't put her to bed in a nightgown anymore without spanky pants. If she could get to her diaper, all bets were off. Then she learned how to wrestle with onesies.

She's begun to slyly disappear into the other room and stroll back in, bare chested, waving her sweater like a flag.

But this afternoon....this afternoon was the pinnacle. This afternoon....we had Nekky Baby Blogging. Then, we had Nekky Baby Laundry Dumping, followed by Kiss the Kitties, Nekky Style. (and the cats were sooo thrilled about this...)

I've begun to fear for her future reputation.

Sunday, 12 March 2006


Yesterday was one of those days where 'I think Spring might be coming' was on everyone's lips. The ground smelled thick and musty, and the wind teased, dancing with the apple trees and sending old leaves before it. We could see wild rabbits soaking up the weather along the edges of the forest, and so many birds! Where have all these birds been?

The kids were house-crazy, so we set them free on the yard and they both took off, shrieking gleefully, to chase balls and push a walk behind toy over the winter grass. B and I walked around and talked of small, out-in-the-sunlight inconsequential things like birdfeeders and gutterspouts. The children wore themselves out and came back with dirty knees and pink-cheeked faces and were starving for snack, so we all went inside for baths and slices of watermelon. (Out of season, and hugely overpriced at the supermarket, but watermelon! It felt like a gift!)

Oh, and did I mention the sky?

Friday, 10 March 2006


The Mom shield held up...mostly. I didn't get the full gamut like the rest of the house, just achiness and a sore tummy - so I went off for bed and left Bear to handle everything for twenty four hours. (he did a splendid job.) But now everyone is on the road to recovery, so no more vomiteous talk from me!

I'm even (sssh!) back at work today, busy as ever.

No news on my brother - of course, this only means that he's still in rehab and hasn't walked out or left the program, so in this case I guess no news is good news, but I wish I could talk to him.

I'd just have to figure out what, exactly, to say.

We have an odd relationship - we don't talk often, but when we do it's connective - he's like an old friend that I can catch up with once in awhile and feel good about it. Except now I feel like I let him down, like I wasn't there when he needed me.

I must get back to my roots - too many of my family are under this same 'catch ya later' umbrella - and I need to be the one to start trying to be closer.

Except, again, I have to figure out what to say.

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

and they all fell like dominoes

Yup. They're all sick. Cass is on his way to mending, Littlegirl needs to get rid of her fever and bathroom difficulties, and Bear

But the whole day wasn't bad. Cass went to the babysitters (a bit tired and cranky, but otherwise okay) and Rosey stayed home to cuddle with her Dada, and I went to work.

(I've been working at an old job I love for three weeks, not the one far far away)
And... they've offered me two more weeks, with the possibility of a third.

Yay me!

The dots on my happy dominoes?

My brother is in in-patient rehab tonight, for a 17 day program. My heart aches for my baby brother, who is going through such a hard time and trying so hard to figure out how to begin his life again.
Being three thousand miles away doesn't make me feel helpful, either.

Thank God he's getting the help he needs, and I hope with all my heart that this time he is able to make the lessons he learns there work in his day-to-day existence.

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

and the carnage continues...

Rosey's babysitter called and told me that R was sick.

"I've never seen so much vomit come out of someone so small!"

Great. Just grrreeaaat.

Monday, 6 March 2006

pizza-free house

Is it possible to catch germs over the internet? Several of the moms I chat with daily have sick kids - including wicked viruses - but there's a big difference between feeling sorry for a sick little girl in West Virginia and having your son puddle once-used supper over you.

Oh, and it was as fun as it sounds, believe me!

It was late at night, and I'd just turned the light off when Cass came padding into my bedroom. Standing on Bear's side of the bed, he said those words that every parent knows are trouble: 'I don't feel good.'

Then he erupted pizza over the bed.

Bear, who was asleep (and who had the covers pulled up, thank god) didn't move, but as soon as Cass got done decorating the blankets over both of us, my boy climbed into the mess and threw himself at me, sobbing. And of course, threw up again. On me.

My husband is a brave, honorable man. He has training in crisis situations I hope I never experience. I doubt very much that any of his training covered waking up in a smelly bed with the boys foot in his face. He did recover remarkably well.

Since I now had mess up to my eyebrows, I took the crying child and put him in the bathtub. Once the water had sluiced most of the crud off, Bear took over and I stripped our bed and sprayed Lysol and Febreze like a crazed woman.

Bear, despite his choice of careers and medical training, suffers from a weak stomach. And it is bothered by two things - puke, and poop. Halfway through throwing our blankets in the washer, I heard a shout from the bathroom.

It wasn't just vomit anymore.

Baby boy and I were up most of the night (we hung out, sipped ginger ale, he'd vomit, we'd clean up)
we watched tv, changed a lot of pyjama bottoms and finally drifted into an uneasy sleep around four am.

Bear was home with him today. Cass has NOT thrown up two freezies and two doses of Gravol, all other substances (jello, ginger ale, applesauce, toast) are still a no go. At the moment, he is sleeping the sleep of the sickly drugged and unless he tosses up again, I don't expect to hear from him again tonight.

So who sent me the germs, and where do I send them back to?
Because we don't really need them, thanks.

Sunday, 5 March 2006


And of course, after that last post -

The Boyo: You know, you're the bestest Mom. You're even better than Chelle.*

Me: Thanks, sweetie.

The Boyo: When we're done with the puzzle, can we make muffins?

Me: Sure we can.

The Boyo: And I won't pick up Katie (one of the cats) and squeeze her anymore.

Yep. Still liking being a Mom.

*Chelle is the babysitter - this is high praise.

lather, rinse, and repeat

I'm feeling a bit shrewish lately.

Wonder Boy:
Don't carry the cats around!
Don't run the scooter into your sister!
Don't pour that out! Not there!
Where are your pajamas?
No! You can't eat ice cream for breakfast!
Are you picking up the cat again? No!
No, you can't go outside without mittens!
No! No! No! Those are your Dads' tools!

The Flower Child:
No! Don't hit your brother!
Don't bang your hands on the window!
Why are you throwing your sippy-cup?
Why are you crying?
Why are you crying?
Why are you crying?
Why are you crying?

The Hopeful Hubs:
Are you kidding? I don't need to relax - I need a vacation.

Thursday, 2 March 2006

stuff I knew in grade school

(To distinguish between the spellings of principal and principle)
The principal is your pal.
The principle of saving money is simple.

(the names of the great lakes)
it spells homes, get it?

(how to spell arithmetic)
A Rat In The House Might Eat The Ice Cream

(how to tie shoes)
Here's the rabbit, now where does he run?
Around the tree, and into the hole
So quick!

Miss Suzy had a steamboat
The steamboat had a bell
Miss Suzy went to heaven
The steamboat went to

Hello Operator
Please give me Number 9
And if you disconnect me
I'll kick you right

Behind the refrigerator
There was a piece of glass
Miss Suzy fell upon it
And broke her little

Ask me no more questions
I'll tell you no more lies
Miss Suzy went to Heaven
And on that day she died!

I could also make nifty tissue paper carnations.
And ribbon barrettes.


I took about a hundred names off my facebook friend list tonight. Really, it went surprisingly quickly, with only a few 'who was this ag...