31 05 2005

I just found out, merely by accident, that my daughter has started an extensive (already) collection of used band-aids. It was mere coincidence that I even found out. I had told her to take off her toe band-aid before she took a shower last night. Instead of heading to the garbage, I saw her go into her room. I really wanted to catch her throwing it on the floor, because then I could rant and rave, etc. Instead, she crawled onto her bed, laid down, looked underneath her bookshelf, and stuck her band-aid to the bottom of the shelf.

I asked her what the heck she thought she was doing, and then I went to recover the band-aid to make her throw it away. Imagine my surprise when I found almost a square foot of the bottom of her bookcase shelf covered with a myriad of different cartoon bandages. Who knows how far this collection goes back…..

She smiled at me, very proudly, and announced that she collects band-aids, but only the cartoon kind.
Incidentally, this is the same kid that aspires to be a dead-animal-picker-upper ( My heart swells with pride once again.


Camping Update

31 05 2005

Okay, I was going to wait until I could post pictures of my camping trip, but I just can’t. We had such a fantastic time, it exceeded all expectations! And I must say my expectations were high.

We arrived Friday afternoon at about 2:30 and proceeded to scout out a camp site. Dave had mentioned that a creek with a waterfall ran behind his house. I pictured a small waterfall, but it was actually a large (about 15 feet across) waterfall that fell over exposed lava flow and tumbled downhill through large, moss-covered boulders. It was gorgeous. The girls played in the freezing water all afternoon and evening. I can’t wait to post some of the pictures I took of them!

The Coleman stove (aka- perfect gift) came in quite handy for our dinner and subsequent breakfast the next morning. Many hot dogs were consumed.

We hiked along, through and up the waterfall on Saturday. It was 90 degrees that day, but we were in comfort hiking through the glacial spray from the creek. The girls played with Dave’s dog Juno until she collapsed and refused to rouse from her dog-nap coma. And we capped off the day with a campfire where Maya, Sophie, Mang and I all ate copious amounts of smores, and later threw all inhibition to the wind and ate the marshmallows straight from the stick!

We left around noon on Sunday and came home to scrub the filth from ourselves and launder clothes that had never seen the amount of dirt that we had accumulated. We had such a great time, but I know that the maximum amount of time I want to camp is no longer than 2-3 days. The main reason for this is I do not like peeing in the woods. And the other bodily function? My body has this magic ability to absolutely stop any normal urges until it walks through the door of the place that it calls home. This was a good thing, but I can foresee problems if this went on for a length of time. Know what I mean?

Pictures will be coming, I promise. (of camping, not bodily functions)

My Birthday

27 05 2005

You know that “Best Day Ever” that happened not too long ago? Well, I must say that it has happened again! Yesterday was my birthday, which immediately qualifies it as an awesome day. I do not buy into this “Woe is me, I’m getting older” bull that so many people do. What a terrible way to spend the day that you were brought into the world. I find it the height of low (?) self esteem. (Maybe that should have be depth of low self esteem).

I had an incredibly short work day, an appearance really, which was great. When I came home, I pulled into my driveway I saw a huge package and a beautiful potted flower. My greatest friend Megan, (hi Megan!) left it for me, and she is so smart that she got me a Coleman stove for camping with my girls this weekend. It is exactly the perfect gift. Because

  1. I was thoughtful and illustrated that she actually listened to me prattle on all month about my camping trip.
  2. I was going to borrow hers, and there is always some concern about borrowing other people’s nice stuff.
  3. It wrapped up nice and made an impressive package with not only it’s sheer size, but weight. (Big things come in small packages? pshaw!

THEN, I left to get my daughter from kindergarten, and when I came back to the house there were MORE flowers and a card sitting on my front porch. Mickey, my older (we like to call it more experienced) friend with red hair and a thing for Tom Selleck, left me a great big bunch of Mums. (PSSST…. Mums the word, but I love mums).

So, obviously all I wanted to do is leave my house all day so I could return to presents. I didn’t, however, because I had to try to figure out how to pack for our camping trip . I’ll tell you what, trying to fit 2 coolers, 3 camping chairs, a 4-person tent, a tarp, a blanket and pillow, 3 sleeping bags, a coleman stove and various necessities- like a totally reasonably sized watermelon- is almost impossible to fit in a Ford Festiva hatchback. I think I am about ready to start strapping things to the top, although, even the reasonably sized watermelon could change the center of gravity of a car that size and send me rolling down the road, end over end, like a tumbleweed of festiva-ness. I plan on taking pictures of the finished product, and try to post them after we get back.

And that’s not all! At the end of the evening, another friend dropped by and brought me a whole flat of gerber daisies (a favorite of mine). So now, my back yard Eden is shaping up quite nicely. The front of my house is so beautiful right now, I have three rose bushes blooming like crazy and am waiting with great anticipation for my sweet peas to wind themselves around my fence and bloom and smell good and do all of the things that sweet peas do best.

So, to sum up, awesome birthday! Great day! And wish me, the kids and the reasonably sized watermelon luck on our weekend adventure!

Peel-A-Cat Services

25 05 2005

Thanks to my daughter Sophie, I have been thinking about jobs lately. When you are little it always seems that the job that you want is either a great heroic position like say, astronaut – or a service position like doctor, nurse, etc. No one ever wants to be an insurance salesman or a janitor. I remember I always wanted to be either a noodle-blower, a bull-rider or a cat-peeler (you will understand more, just hold your horses). These things were heroic in my mind.

Well, the other day while walking to school, Sophie saw a dead possum on the side of the road. she was with my sister at the time, but it bothered her so much that she insisted that we drive to the location of the accident to peer dejectedly at the dead possum and occasionally wail in grief. She told me to pick it up so that we could take it home and bury it, and I totally understand where she is coming from, but if you think for even one second that I was going to do that….. well, you are wrong.

I lovingly and patiently explained, between wails, that there were people whose job it was to drive around, pick up animals that had died, and then take them somewhere to bury. I thought that this may elicit an “Ew” or at least a wrinkled nose; I got just the opposite. He eyes lit up, she stopped wailing, and I SWEAR I saw a light bulb abover her head. She said, “THAT’S what I want to be when I grow up!”.

The strangest thing about this, and I admit that there are many strange things, is that I wanted to be the same thing when I was little! Here is the sad, sad story about my best friend, Gray One, the cat. (Yes, shannon, I am going there) My very best friend when I was small was a beautiful tom cat named Gray One (yeah, I know, original). We hung out in the hay loft of the barn and I stole cans of condensed milk, a can opener and a bowl from my Grandma’s house so that he could eat in style. I loved him. Oh, I loved him. He had blue eyes. Oh…

So, ANYWAY, one day as we were all coming home in our family vehicle, I noticed a disturbing lump of gray hair in the middle of the road on the bridge near our house. I worried. I walked out there after we got home. Yep. It was Gray One. He was not just run over, but absolutely squished flat, flat, flat. He had been there for awhile, I think. I grabbed his tail and peeled-literally, peeled him off the road. I cried and held him up for my mother to see – and all she said was, “Don’t you dare bury that thing! Throw it in the burn barrel!” As if burning MY cat with the GARBAGE was at all acceptable.

Since then, every time I have been angry at my Mom I bring up the tragic story of Gray One. She still has no empathy for me and defends herself by saying that the dogs would have dug up Gray One. But I still like to use it against her. She just encourages me to open my “Peel-a-Cat Services” and laughs. Well, the last laugh’s on her, I will now give that serious thought. A family business involving peeling dead animals from roadways – she will be so proud.


23 05 2005

I have been staring at this word all morning…..


and I am having a hard time. It looks weird. I know it is spelled correctly, but…..


looks right to me.

This irritates me more than it should.

OH, and another thing – my spellcheck does not recognize the word “spellcheck”. That is funny.

Pediatric vs. Geriatric Entertainment

22 05 2005

Last night some friends came over to my house and it was the best time we have had in a long time. We started talking about all the games we used to play as kids. Do you remember playing rock, paper, scissors and the winner would lick their pointer and middle finger and smack the losers forearm as hard as they could. The welts would be amazing. I am a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I did play quite a few rounds of this game with Stephanie, who takes no prisoner in the smacking department. She, however, had no idea that she was playing with the zen-master, Obie Juan Canobie (sp) -you’re-my-only-hope, MASTER of rock, paper, scissors. I have no idea why, but I rarely lose at that game. (this turns out to be a great way of getting what I want by seeming to leave major decisions up to chance)

And how about “Light as a feather, stiff as a board. Light as a feather, stiff as a board. Light as a feather, stiff as a board.”? Bloody knuckles? The hand slap game that I can’t remember the name of? Or what about those cool body games including the one where someone holds down your arms by your side while you try to push up against them. You must do this for about 1 minute, then let go and relax and your hands magically float upwards. Or the one that feels like someone is pulling a string out of the center of your palm. Or the one where you pick up a chair by bending over with your head against the wall (at a 90 degree angle to the wall), and then stand up. Only women can do this, men can’t. It has something to do with center of gravity.

Then my sister called and did a Vulcan brain meld thing with me and sang all the words to the big hit for young children in my family, “Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts”. It goes a little something like this….

“Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
Mutilated monkey meat
Little birdies’ turdy feet.
All stirred up with petrified pelican puke.
Wish I had a spoon.”

A cult classic, I tell you.

And if reliving my youth wasn’t enough for the day, I also got to put in some practice at becoming a cool old lady. I stress the importance of practicing cool old lady things, on the off chance that one may forget what cool old lady things are. Aging is a mysterious thing. Sooooo… We drank wine, yelled and said bad words, all while playing a rousing game of canasta. I am bad at canasta, but I like it just the same.

So, to summarize, remember your youth, practice for old age.

The Best Day EVER

21 05 2005

Yesterday was one of those great days that just keeps going and going and going. Most of my days are pretty damn fantastic, I must say, but it was just a bunch of little touches that catapulted it into greatness.

  1. My paycheck was more than I was expecting due to some overtime and bonuses! Always a source of joy, that is.
  2. My workday was full of great people who actually had a sense of humor when they called.
  3. I was able to work in the words “Kamchatka Peninsula” into one of the calls that I took. That always makes me feel smart.
  4. I came home to 2 letters in my mailbox. They were not bills! Whoo-hoo! One was from my chiropractor and another was from a woman I met through my job. She sent me- unsolicited mind you- a burned CD of awesome music. It included Natalie Merchant, a disturbing rendition of “Ring of Fire” sung by Billy Bob Thornton and some great Zydeco cuts. Speaking of Zydeco…… (flashback music, cue swirly flashback vortex)

When I was living on the family ranch after I came home from college, a man by the name of Dago (Day-go) wandered into our little town. He was a very interesting man for a number of reasons. He was Cajun (I had never met a real live person of Cajun persuasion), he did not talk my language as far as I could tell, and he had come all the way from Looosiana with two mules named Crystal Gail and Loretta Lynn. True story.

5. I got to pick up my tent and two sleeping bags for the girls. More info to come on this …

6. It was my favorite weather and lighting all day. Dark purple clouds, insanely heavy rain, then bright sunshine, then rainbows, then rain again. Awesome.

7. I found really cheap guinea pig food at the farm supply store. I was able to get them a huge bag of super fancy food for only $7. They (Frere Jacques and Sunny Cisco) now think I love them even more than before. It never can hurt.

There were two things that tried to bring my day down. The first was Evil J having a bit of a fit regarding, well, everything…..again. And the second was Dave (stupid Dave) cancelled the camping trip to Packwood because everyone else wants to go to the ocean. Dumb ocean. But, here is the good news…. I could give a good god damn what J thinks, and I will camp with my girls in my front yard if I can find no other place to go. So there. Ha.