Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hoi polloi

I went to Walmart yesterday. In our house this store is known as "The Devil Store". We heap scorn upon it because of the consumer mecca it is. Because of the little local stores it squashes. Because of the waste it engenders. And yet, since it has so successfully obliterated the local competition, when I am left making a choice between box stores I often end up choosing it because it's the closest.

We started our adventure in the returns line, where I had ample time to contemplate the intellectual abilities of the cashier on duty. The unwashed hair. The coats that couldn't close over the beer guts. The very special choices of hair cuts. The mass produced cheap clothes that are saying lots of things, but none of it worth hearing.

After completing the tour of the store we got in the checkout line, and both Boy and I were astonished to see what appeared to be a very, very small turd on the floor. A turd. On the floor. We skirted around it and moved up in line to take the place of the people who were just leaving which is when I was washed in the odeur of raw, human sheee-yit. Seriously. I believe the man in front of us in line had pooped himself.

It was at this point that I began to feel a growing sense of panic. Usually I'm the great apologist in the family- the one to point out that no one poops themselves if they can help it, and people have it hard these days, etc.- but right at that moment I was hung up on two horrible thoughts. The first was that everyone here was so common. This store was grotesque, a freak show hawking a peek at the horror that is the working class.

The second horrible thought?
I belonged there.

The Bug's coat was all manky around the edges from some cream cheese on a bagel fed to her in the car. Fed to her in the car the day before yesterday. I lose points for feeding her in the car and for not washing her coat.

The Bean's coat was in better shape, but her hair was sticking up "ever hwhich uhway". I smoothed down the worst of it with my fingers, but no amount of smoothing is going to hide the unbelievably bad job I did of cutting her bangs. I know how to cut bangs, but I didn't do a single thing I know I should do, and the result is that most people think she cut her hair herself. I lose points for not brushing her hair and for mangling her do.

I myself wasn't in the best state. I'd hid my hair under my hat rather than do anything with it.

I understand that people are the way they are for a reason. We generally make the best choices we can with the knowledgeand resources we have at the time. Spending time at Walmart, however, does not bring out my compassionate side like I want it to. I get overwhelmed by the ugly and the stupid and I want to run from the store, tearing my clothes and screaming. I feel so classist. I desperately want to be able to say that these aren't my people. That this place is beneath me. That I don't belong.

Sometimes I think I will never again step foot in that store. Other times I think I need to shop there until I have conquered by inner classist and regained solidarity with my fellow man.

I haven't gained any real insight from this. All I'm left with is the feeling I need to shower.

Going to make her snobby self another cup of coffee,
ephelba

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ooo! Ooo!

Here's a good Idea- Candle Night! It's non-religious, doesn't require buying shit, there's no big meal involved- the point is to hang with your loved ones. That's a holiday I can get behind.

Thanks, Z, for directing me there!

Going to go wash some socks that are three sizes too small,
ephelba

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wish

I wish that every woman on the planet knew what her natural hair looked like, and that if she decided to mess with it after that, it was because she enjoyed doing so.

I wish that every woman could enjoy the sight of her own face without makeup on it.

I wish that every person could appreciate their body for the miracle that it is, whatever color, size or shape it comes it.

And while I'm putting my order in, I'd like a large peace-on-earth and some extra good-will-towards-men.

Love,
ephelba

Monday, December 08, 2008

Notes for Posterity

You're a year and a month old now. You've finally gotten the hang of walking. We'll tell people you walked at a year, but it was probably the very last day of that last month before you started to take a few steps by yourself.

You love fuzzy things. Hand you a stuffy and you'll plop flat over so you can smoosh your face in it, then you'll waggle your head back and forth so you can really enjoy the soft. Oh, the soft.

You've got Four teeth on top, three and half on bottom, and one molar's worth of prickles in the back. Three more molars are about to come through.

You have quite the vocabulary- "Moooommm-my!" (ascending pitch) means food, me or Poppy. SooSee! (Descending pitch) Means Lucy doggie. "Hi" is self explanatory, and rare. "Gank Goo" means Thank you and is spoken after every bite of food. You also spend a lot of time saying "BaaaBoo!", but I couldn't say why.

Just this week you've been spending a lot of time learning how to walk whilst holding something. It's proven to be very tricky. You've also been devoting a lot of time to Sip, your sister's stuffed guiney pig. She is less than thrilled, so we've been trying to convince you that Cookie Monster is a suitable alternative. You usally agree, because he says things, like "Dumdeedumdumdum" and "Cooooookie" and he burps. Sip never burps.

Your brother noticed that you are very photogenic. He's right. Seems like all the pictures we have of you are good ones- big smiling baby face. Everyone should be so lucky.

Nothing much else to say, I just wanted to make a note of how wonderful and fun you are right now, because it all goes by so fast.

Love,
Mom

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jiggety Jog

Home again. Sort of. I didn't mention it here, but I went on a trip to MI to go see Loon's new baby whist she was still new and squirmy and mewling. And of course, I couldn't go all that way and not show off my own babies to the family we've got out there. Most of them had never even met the Bug,and they hadn't seen the Bean since she weighed more than a sack of sugar.

I realized several things on my trip. Almost immediately I realized that I would not be able to visit every store/place/person I miss in Ann Arbor/Ypsi. I also came to realize that making plans with small children in tow is like making chairs out of spun glass; when the time comes to use them they seem to fall apart. Honestly though, I can't blame it all on children. You think you know where you're going, but there's construction; you tentatively agree on four hours, but arrive to find they've only got two; you're rushing from one place to another for a meet up, but you forget to email the people you're meeting directions. Throw nap times and snacks in on top of it and it's a wonder I saw anyone or did anything.

Things I did do:
*Held a Very cute, very small baby.
*Make lots of noise in Loon's house. The better to appreciate the quiet with when we're gone:)
*Made her baby smile. This is a new skill and suitably rare.
*Go to IKEA.
*Drive through Ann Arbor and visit the Salvation Army and my favorite Chinese grocery store there.
*Look up a few friends we were afraid we might have lost. Phew, that was close:)
*Met my brother-in-law's and cousins' girlfriends. I approve of their choices and hereby suggest they get on with things and marry them already. Nobody's getting any younger.
*Realized there is a whole class of toys that the Bean has no experience with, namely toys with pedals. Huh.

Things I did not do:
*Did not get to go to Jerusalem Garden, The Peacable Kingdom, Zingerman's, The Big Ten, The Recycle Reuse, Jewel Heart or Fizzywigs. It appears Fizzywig's may have gone out of business. The Discount Bookstore on Main that was there FOREVER, where many people I new worked, has gone out of business or moved. I didn't look, but now I'm wondering about a the other used book stores I hung at.
*Take pictures of my children with Loon's child. How did I miss that?!?
*Get in touch with my old boss. I tried hard enough that I won't feel guilty about it.
*Get drunk and tattooed. Shit. I should have thought of that while I was still there.

I am now back in NY. The whole trip really reminded me of how many people we have left there. It's where we belong. Our trip back to NY took 12 hours, but when we got here I felt like we had come back to Simon and left home behind us.

Of course, coming back to Simon was very good. We were apart for 10 days. That's the longest ever in our six years together. We agreed that being apart that long really sucked and said that we shouldn't ever do that again, but I'm starting to think the reunion is a lot of fun. Maybe we shouldn't do it often, but it might be healthy to do it every now and again.

Alright. Enough of this. There's unpacking to do and windows to caulk and children to chase.

Glad she skipped Nablowme this year,
ephelba

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Life goes on.

Huh. Guess everything Scott Westerfeld writes isn't meant for young adults, huh? Who knew? Here I was expecting a nice story about angst ridden teens in space, and what I got was rough and rowdy butt sex. That is, I didn't actually have butt sex myself, I mean, the characters in the book did. It was a good story anyway. Not that I have anything against butt sex. Especially if I'm not having it. To each their own.

ANYWAY.

The baby is busy climbing up things she can't get down from. Actually, I lie, that part only takes a minute. The baby is busy crying because she can't get down from what she has crawled up on. I am busy getting her down so she can do it again in another spot. I have tried moving her little legs in some kind of attempt to teach her that crawling works up AND down, but she's too busy crying to pay attention.

Boy is busy talking on the phone. Everyday after dinner the phone rings. Neither Simon nor I so much as look at the phone. It will not be for us. We don't giggle nonstop. We don't wonder whether she likes us, has asked so and so out, is going to be asked out by so and so, can be connived into saying "Yes" when asked, etc. We don't have a prank to play on someone over the phone, such as pretending the connection isn't working. Above all, even if we did, we couldn't make conversations about all this last for several hours every single night. Which is why we're not teenagers, I guess. I'm not complaining. About being a teen, that is; I am complaining about this addiction to the phone.

The Bean is busy being terribly cute. She is especially fond of stories just now, and if we're not reading one to her, she is reading one to the baby, or the dog, or the world at large. I don't know how to impress upon you how cute this is, because I don't have words for it and fonts don't come with a cute button. Imagine a "Hello Kitty" font, then imagine me using it to type "She's soooo cute!". That cute.

I have an idea!... wait a sec... there!

See? Told you she was cute.

The Simon is busy working. Six days a week, every week. But when he's done, six days a week, he pulls onto our street and I tell the girls he's home**. The dog starts barking, and I let her out to start the parade. Then the Bean says "Oh! Poppy!" and goes to day hi. Once he's in the door and the baby realizes what's going on, she crawls over at her fastest speed- thumpthumpthump -and says "HAI!". It's an event. Maybe it makes up for the working, at least a little bit.

I am busy being housewiferly. I made jam. I had never canned anything before, and we had these grapes we didn't know what to do with, and now we have deep purple delight in many, many little jars. I like it. I just may do it again. Boy is awed by the notion that Simon is making our bread and I am making the jam that goes on it; in short, he's amazed that food can be made by hand.

I also made chili sauce with a box of Gorgeous chilies that my NSES* sent. Yummy. And I roasted some, and am drying some. And I cut up and froze a mess of peppers and some leeks. And dried the leek leaves to use like chives. And made soup for lunch with radishes, leeks and miso, which gave me the wind so bad I like to died, which is probly TMI. And then I went to library, the bank, the store where I pick up milk and veggies, the grocery store and the farm where I get meat, all whilst toting the girls.

This morning I am so tired I poured granola into my coffee instead of milk. Oh, how I wish I were joking about that.

Going to pour herself a less chewy cup***,
ephelba

*Not So Evil Stepmom.
**His truck needs some muffler work.
*** Of course I drank it! I couldn't waste a whole cup, now, could I.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reading

Lately I've been indulging myself in children's lit. Simon thought it was bad that I'd been reading YA, but I've regressed even further. I'm a sucker for STORY, man, give me some STORY, STORY is where it's at. Adult fiction writers generally go light on the story and heavy on the, ummm, introspection? Contemplation? Navel gazing? and when I finish the book I can't recognise whether I got the point or not. I do understand that one is meant to have a certain ambiguity there. It's meant to be art, something that you look at that fires the neurons and acts as fuel for thinking, and yet, sometimes I just want them to tell me what the hell it is they're trying to say.

I abandonded the family last night and went wandering in the stacks. It's a new library to me. Soon I'll be able to tell what row I'm in by the colors of the covers, but just now it's like a cross between a shopping spree and a reunion. Hi Orson Scott Card, see you're still using that tacky cover art. Howdy do, Mr Foer, the movie turned out well, didn't it. And who are you, my little pretty, with your Japanese name and a clockwork elephant on the cover... The truth is, when you're browsing the aisles all you have to go on is the title, name and cover art.

This time I found myself skipping entire shelves because I felt like I'd read one too many male names there. Nothing deep, I'm just in a mood. I want to read something by a woman that isn't, ummm, romantic? Soap Opery? Anything Renee Zelwiger would want to act in? I want an interesting story written by a woman, and it can't have dragons, corsets, political intrigue or hot breathy moments in it. It can't be about women falling for men who are cunning sleuths and fierce street fighters and grand master chess players and award winning chefs and geologists and lovers (I particularly loathe that kind of book...) I want a good story, lots of plot, heavy on the wit and clever, and a big dash of surprise. With a spoon. Gosh, if I could find some books like that I might need a bib.

So anyway, I started out in the adult fiction, grabbed some Pratchett in spite of myself, wandered through some nonfiction which brought me around the corner and back to YA, what the hell, so I grabbed some graphic novels. At least I didn't end up in the children's section.

Hey, I know several of you guys have youngsters of your own. If you're looking for a creepy Halloween read, might I suggest Coraline, Rosemary's Witch (Please ignore the atrocious cover art on the Amazon site, it's a good book in spite of that:) , and/or Well Witched . All of these are seriously spooky, so I think they should be read alouds for the 7-10 set, especially if they are of a sensitive nature. I'm especially fond of Rosemary's Witch. It's super creepy, yet there is a possibility of redemption in the story which you don't often see. Well Witched has that going for it too.

If you've got olders, say, 10/11 and up, I can recommend Baltimore. Very gruesome and scary. Boy loved it. The only complaint I have is that the three narrators are supposed to be very different people, but their voice is the same. The sailor who had no real education sounds the same as the dude who grew up posh. Ah well, no book is perfect.

I checked out The Graveyard Book, I'll fill you in on it the next time I write.

And with that, I'm off to wash dishes. If you've got some book recs for me, feel free to share. Not that I need to spend more time reading, but if I'm going to neglect the housework anyway, it's probably time I was doing it in the name of reading grownup books.

Heigh ho, heigh ho,
ephelba

Friday, October 03, 2008

HAHAHHAHAAHAHA!

SO he says, I'm out of dishes to wash, HA!, like that EVER happens, and I'm all what about the ones on the table, and he's saying there aren't any on the table, and I'm saying what about the salad spinner and the pan , I mean, if you wouldn't eat off it it needs to be washed! GAH!, and he's saying but they blend in, and I'm saying, you mean, with the other dishes that need washing? on the table? the table that you said you couldn't find anything to wash on? and he says, Isn't there anything to wash that isn't a pan?

And he starts to complain about how many dishes he's having to wash, and how low I've stooped to have him wash them all, and I ask him if he really has any idea how much he scared us last night. To which he says, no, but all of them? And I say, You know what? and he says no, nevermind, I take it back, forget I said anything.

Damn straight,
ephelba

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Baby steps.

Why do I persist on forgetting that the key to accomplishing any large task, especially when you have small children, is to work on them a little at a time? Hell, I'd go so far as to say it's the key to accomplishing small tasks too, because the little boogers always need rescuing from sisters who are attempting to inflate them with bicycle pumps, or someone to get them another glass of juice-not-milk-no-no-no-NOT-MILK-fine-if-it's-all-I'm-going-to-get-milk, or someone to go get their bike from the police station because they forgot the combination and the guy at the Y shooed off the little fuckers who were trying to steal it before snipping the lock and sending it away with the cops. And yet, every damn day I forget this and wake up in a tizzy wondering how in the heck I'm going to finish putting-stuff-away-caulk-the-windows-put-up-the-drapes-make-pants-for-the-Bean-that-don't-fall-off-get-the-"cooking once a week"-thing-going-etc-etc-etc-etc.

Maybe it's because I like to start a thing and finish a thing. I enjoy finishing a task. When I'm interrupted, by the very children I may have been performing the task for, I get Very Annoyed. It's silly and it's stoopid and I wonder how long it is going to take me to learn to take baby steps. I have to believe you can teach an old dog new tricks. Probly, the truth is I've got PMS and I just need to get over myself.

On another note, imagine that you fastidiously keep your real world name off the internet because you've gotten some gruesome hate mail before, and it's shaken your faith in your fellow man. Then imagine that on the one video you have on You Tube, a video of your littlest baby, you receive the comment "I know where you live, (Real Name Here)" You look at the user name and you don't recognize it. The choice of favorited videos makes you think it's a teen aged boy, but the age given is 33. You double check all the profiles you can think of, but your given name isn't on any of them. You send a polite email asking the person if you know them, but inside you're dying to think that some creep would post this on a video of your baby. Your baby!

Then your son gets home and, thinking it might be one of his friends, you ask him if he recognizes the user name.

"Oh yeah, that's mine."

So you explain in graphic detail how scared he made you feel, and explain why it was STOOPID, and why it isn't funny, and why you don't use someone's real name online, and why he can go wash all the dishes without a single tiny thought of a complaint whilst you rest on your laurels and contemplate why a boy as smart as he is does dumb shit like this.

Firmly believing he'll learn to use his powers for good, and wishing her daughter wouldn't try to drink milk with a spoon,
ephelba

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why do babies catch colds?

So that, once they're better, you'll be giddy with glee they woke up at four in the morning.*

Ha. Ha.
ephelba

*That is, as opposed to 10:00, 12:00, 12:30, 12:33, 12:36**, 1:30, 2:00, 3:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 7:00.
**Three minutes being the time it takes to soothe a baby, assume she's gone back to sleep and get back in bed yourself.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Newspaper Bag Project

One of the blogs I like to read is written by Z, the very same Z who leaves comments here now and again. If you've got a moment, click through to see how to make shopping bags out of newspaper, like her son does in his greengrocer's shop.* Of course, I know all you guys already use reusable bags**, because you're cool like that, but it's good fun, especially if you've got kids. If you do make a bag and post a picture, tell 'em Z sent you, K?

join the newspaper bag project

TTFN,
ephelba

*I love reading the Z's blog because her world is so different from mine, and because she writes about it so well, and because I just do. Go on, go have a look at it.
**With the exception of the ones you keep in your pocket when you go for your evening walkies with the dog, because I also know you guys aren't the type to leave big steaming stinkers on the sidewalk either. I love you guys.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Hadron Collider is On.

Did you notice the end of the world? Seems to be the same shit, different day over here. Apparently, now they're saying it will all go kerflooey in October. Can't say I'm worried. Seems like a good excuse to party though.

I'm slightly more worried about whether or not we'll be seeing house centipedes in these new digs. Every other house we've lived in has had them, and with all the spiders (their idea of a tasty lunch) here and the lovely wet basement (preferred digs) I can't imagine them skipping this shangri la. Don't know what a house centipede is? Aren't you lucky! Here is one for your screeching pleasure.
Now, imagine that two inches (just the body, not the legs and feelers and whatnot) long tearing across your floor and up your wall and under your bed. They are wicked fast. When they zoom along, they go with an amazing wave motion to their feathery legs, and when you smoosh one end the unsmooshed bits keep going. Bug websites say things like "Oh, they hunt bad bugs in your house! They nosh spiders! Isn't that great! You should love them! In Japan they keep them as pets!". All I have to say to that is that the people writing these articles have either never witnessed the terror, or they're bent.

The only thing that makes me hesitate when throwing shoes at them is the knowledge that they can live for years. If I swat a fly I don't feel bad because I couldn't have shortened its life span by more than a few weeks, but the thought that this might have lived for five years or more before I screamed at it does give me pause.

They always show up in the fall when their 30 tootsies get nippy outside. So I'll know soon. In the meantime I'll be happy watching the squirrels. There's a walnut tree right outside our window, and the dog and the babies just discovered the squirrel who likes to hang there.

Do you have a squirrel near your house? Does it quack? This one absolutely does. Sounds just like Donald Duck. It puts on quite the show for Lucy. Lucy stares with rigid determination. I am confident that she's trying to use telekinesis to bring the squirrel inside. This is much preferable to barking like a mad fool all day, which is what I'd thought she'd do when she noticed it.

We've also discovered a Big Bertha. A Big Bertha is the highly technical term for one of those barn spiders (Araneus cavaticus), the same kind of spider as the ever so famous Charlotte. Everywhere we've lived we've had one make her web (they're always a girl, doncha know) on or around our house. In every case, we've become sort of fond of her, and kept track of how she was doing. Every winter she goes away, but since we see one again the next late summer/fall, we tend to pretend it's the same one.

And on a note that has nothing whatsoever to do with creepy crawlies or atom smashers, Loon is still on track to take home a gorgeous baby girl tomorrow. It is, ummm, harrowing (?) to be in the no man's land between the birth of the baby and actual legal adoption of the baby. She's busy holding the baby today, and tomorrow she'll be busy bringing her home, but when she gets the time to post I'll to it.

Going to see if Betha's writing notes,
ephelba

Friday, September 12, 2008

For me, it's like this,

I'm going through stuff and bemoaning the fact that I've already given away the premie sizes, and where have the receiving blankets got to (?!??) and this isn't too grotty, is it, and can I afford to send this overnight and why don't we have a health food store in this town, honestly and shit if this doesn't go through and they're heart broken (again) and then this box turns up on the door step that will really, really, suck, like "Hello, painful reminder here." (sing to the tune of "Speedy Delivery) but then again, it's all stuff they'll need for the baby that they are going to mother when she does arrive, because it is going to happen and of course, there's no reason to think that this isn't the time it's going to happen. This is it. This baby is so going home with them and they're going to be up all night and if the Bean didn't have strep and I had gas money I would so be driving there because who is going to bake casseroles for them, dammit.

Imagine what it must be like for them.

Crossing my fingers till it hurts,
ephelba

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Huh.

You're probably saying to yourself "She really isn't herself these days". I'm so not myself that I've turned into my son, and typed up a mess of silliness in the new post window. Then, I came to myself and hit publish, because I knew that I would embarrass myself a little if I did, and because I'm proud of how well I write.

If you can follow that, you're good.

What happened was, I was starting to write a post, then I had to get up, so Boy started typing in my absence, and I thought it was funny and hit PUBLISH POST, because I knew he'd be slightly mortified and slightly pleased.

I'll finish that other post later,
Have to wash some windows just now,
ephelba

Waiting.

Ahhh, the joys of a new house. New houses are a joy, in a joyful way. Many debate the exact extent to which a new house is joyful, but even these debates are joyful, in their own way. Alas, they are not new houses. To see a discussion board on the difference between new houses and debates, click here. In short, new houses are joyful, and I have big saggy boobs.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Yes, I'm still here.

Not quite my usual self though. Until I return, I thought I'd post a list, just to remind myself I have a blog.

Things I'm grooving on right now:

*Loon getting a freshly minted baby. I am in ecstatics and am tripping over myself trying to decide what to make for the coming munchkin. Cross your fingers that things don't go all wonky.

* Starbucks Mocha Dark chocolate (they say it's ethical and sustainable:) eaten with red Swedish Fish. Nuff said.

*The girls when they're giggling together. Cockaboody in the making.

*The Bean making sentences with the words she has. "Eat nana peese. Uh huh." "In bag" "No baby! No!"

*Having a drier. Simon and his friend put in a gas line and now we've joined the modern age. Of course, it's been sunny most days since it's gone in, because the universe is ironic like that.

*Simon had three days off in a row last week, and he gets Labor Day off. I loves me some Simon.

*Making things. I've got a list of projects I'm working on and am slowly dinking away at them. So far I've dyed some playsilks with koolaid and have been getting a skirt ready for dying. Hopefully, by the time xmas gets here I will have a set of gnomes made for the girls, maybe even some clothes made for them with my own hands? My own hands and what time, I wonder.
Today I hope to help Boy make some t-shirts for to wear to school. Indie clothing:)

*The girls going to sleep easily and sleeping (mostly) all night. This, my friends, is a biggie.

*Terry Pratchett.

Things that I am not grooving on:

*That the babies in most board books are white. White and blond haired. Boo hiss.

*That my baby cries like the Nazgul. It does not make me feel motherly.

*That, whilst I am having a shoving match with depression I really should avoid the beer. Oh beer, I miss you much, your flowery hops, your bibbledy bubbles, your golden hue.

*That none of my bestest friends live in the same state as me.

*That my mother is coming to visit. Hilarity is sure to ensue.

*The Bug, at 10 months old, discovering the joys of toilet bathing, dagnabit. The Bean is 2 and a half and still hasn't indulged.

*Squirrels in the attic. (Literally, not figuratively.)

* The Bean's periodic assessment. She is who she is regardless of how she scores, and I understand the tests are somewhat, ummm, problematical in how they work, but no one likes to read that their kiddo is seven months behind in anything, or that she's in the 18th percentile. I don't like to read that because she's 110 percent perfect to me. She's perfect and wonderful and precious. Also, I don't like to read that because I begin to wonder if she's going to catch up. For my wonderful, precious daughter, I want the kind of life you have if you catch up. Ah, worry. It's the perfect companion for guilt. The matched set of free gifts that come in the parenting fun kit.

Going to take the kids outside before it rains,
ephelba

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sad

MyFarmer has up and moved away to Pennsylvania. I have been helping her pack up and whatnot while somehow managing to pretend she isn't moving. Now that she's gone, I have to face facts. Which means that yesterday I was a mean old bitch. I feel like I'm all alone in New York. This is silly, because I do still have friends here. Good friends too. I'm just really missing her.

Sigh.

Last night we had one humdinger of a thunder storm. Usually storms rumble through. A few weeks ago I thought we had a doozy because the wind was whipping and the thunder went Bam! and made the usual storms sound like they're mumbling in their beards. Last night it wasn't thunder that woke me up- it was a new thing altogether. The lightning itself was super bright, and it went POW! Sometimes it went CRACKPOW! It took a while for it start to rumble, and even then the rumblings were so loud they shook the house, not just the windows. It was eerie to hear the rain and the hail and the thunder without the sound of cars or, as is usual whenever it rains here, the sound of sirens. Once the storm petered down to a massive rumbling I began to hear church bells. They rang for a half hour. I can not tell you why. Once the storm really had begun to blow by all the emergency crews broke out and raced all over the place. What I did not hear were two little girls sitting up and crying. Honestly, it sounded like bombs going off, and neither one woke up.

Wishing I could sleep like that,
ephelba

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Summer of Bugs

Here's the ginormous beetle, with Boy's finger for scale. It is a really big beetle, no?


Here's a happy beetle we saw on vacation. Notice the feathery antennae. I have little idea what it is, although I would guess it's some kind of sand loving scarab. And no, I did not make that up.

Here is a moth that we grew from a catterpillar. I don't know what went wrong, but that butt just ain't right. However, seeing as how it's a gypsy moth, I think I won't feel guilty.



Update: That butt doesn't look natural, but apparently it is. The female gypsy moths got back. And How.

Re-Double-Update- I just discovered you can click on the pictures and see them in much larger glory. So large, you can see the dirt in Boy's nails and the lobes on the ginormous beetle's antennae. Dude!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Close Call

So I was returning a movie to the video store, and there in the parking lot was a gorgeous, ginormous brown and polka dotted beetle. I had to share, of course, but what could I bring him home in? In the trash outside the store there was a candy box, so I scootched him in and brought him into the van. The Boy held the box closed till we got home, then taped the end down while we began the nightly rituals. Before Simon went to bed I wanted him to behold the glory, so I got the box out and realized the window on the side of the box didn't have plastic in it. The entire time we were holding the end of the box down, the glorious, ginormous beetle could have traipsed right out the side. As much as I enjoy bugs, I'm glad he didn't.

Will post a picture tomorrow when it's light enough to take one,
ephelba

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just when you're ready to quit.

The Boy is 13. Sometimes, now that I've been telling him the same thing for all of those years, I get discouraged and begin to think nothing is getting through. And then the Boy tells me that when he was on vacation and was invited to kayak, he used every tool I taught him. He took a deep breath, and he gave it another try, and so on and so on- he said the most useful tool was the one where you just do a thing. And when it was all over, he had such a good time he wants to do it again.

I guess I am having an effect after all.

Just keep swimming,
ephelba

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Well hello there!

Hi! How are you? We're doing pretty good. Enjoying the new house. Missing Boy, who is off visiting friends. This morning he called, and the Bean got on the phone with him and was just so pleased to recognize the voice on the phone. I don't think that had happened before. She lit up and said "aHA! Bubba! Hello!", which was altogether too precious.

The little one is crawling. As in, eventually making forward progress on her hands and knees, not as in, zipping across the floor getting into everything that is dangerous or gross. I figure I've got a week or two before that happens.

The house is full of flies. I was sitting in the yard with the girls thinking "Wow. Would you look at all those flies!" The flies were flying into my house thinking "Wow, Would you look at that wide open door." There are so many I'm going to have to open it again and let them out.

On that note, why is it that whatever window I am near has three flies in it. Are they the same three, following me, or is it some strange kind of fly equilibrium?

I've been trying and trying to find funny things for us to watch of an evening. It's surprisingly hard, but I found another winner. The first was Extras. The latest is The Office. As we're watching the manager behave like a complete and total twat, Simon looks at me and says "This you can watch?" The difference is I sorta like the characters in the Extras, so it hurts to watch them blunder, whereas I have no love for the Manager at all. Nope. None. It's refreshing.

The inlaws are bringing Boy back to us from MI, then we're all going to go stay at a "Cabin" on the lake. That's "Cabin" as in "Nicer house than we live in", I expect. My kind of vacation. I find no joy in leaving the life I lead to go sleep in uncomfortable quarters and make do without creature comforts like, oh, running water or electricity or a stove. "Whee! Pooping in the woods!" How is that fun? No, going to stay in a space with more amenities than I usually have is where it's at. "Whee! Dishwasher!" See? That works.

Last night the girls or I were up every hour. Yeah. So this morning I was good for nothing. Of course, come noon we all slept for three hours straight. So. I suppose it's time to be getting on with things.

Look for me in a week or two,
ephelba

Monday, June 30, 2008

Funny things

Extras.
I can't figure out how to link to it in Netflix. You're smart people, you can find it. Loon turned me on to it, and I laughed myself silly. That is, when I could stay in the room, because the kind of humor where people are doing things they shouldn't do frequently makes me squink, and I have to leave and then bug Simon from the kitchen- "What is he doing now? He didn't say yes did he? Did he? Is it over? What is he doing?". I can watch spouting blood, scary monsters, things that go bump and boo, but a person lying for comedic effect is just too much. You should have seen me try to watch Borat.

Dried Apricots.
Mimi has pointed out they look like little monkey scrotums. I completely agree. And now I shall say that to myself when I eat them. "Nom nom the mon key balls." And when next you see them, you will think this too. Ha! Your brain has been polluted.

Elmo, Zoe and Telly Monsters
At least, the Bean think so, because when they were trying to figure out how to line up with Elmo Between, she was ROFL. She can't talk, but she can laugh at Sesame Street. I think it's a good sign.

Someecards.com












Well, they make me laugh, at any rate.

snicker snicker,
ephelba

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

If you gave a witch some money...

If you gave me more money, I'd go buy children's books on Amazon. If I bought all the books I wanted on Amazon, they'd bust the shelves and fall through the floor. If there was a hole in the floor, the land lord would get mad. If the land lord got mad, he'd kick my book buying butt out onto the street.

So it's a good thing I can't afford to buy books like these:





































Sunday, June 22, 2008

On the usefullness of attics.

Most of our stuff is up in our attic. I'm guessing half of it will end up going away. Right now, the downstairs is almost pulled together and it has all the stuff we need in it. It is very freeing to be able to put everything away in a home just for it.

Ahhh.

In truth, I am alternating between the joy of creating an uncluttered house, and the crushing weight of the sheer volume of work required to get there.

I think listing some achievements will help.

1) I've organized the girls' toys into bins and will only have one bin down at a time, thus preventing clutter and toy-overload. I am pleased, because in doing so I realized they don't have too many toys. I hope I can keep it that way. My plan is to get/make open ended toys, like blocks, play scarves and boxes. They'll have to use their imaginations. Plastic fantastic stuff will have no home here. Now, if I can just get the grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and relations on board:)

2) You can get to the pantry now. The pantry is organized. Thank you, ancient architect, who designed it to perfectly hold a Clementine's box. Thanks you, crazy self, for having two hundred Clementine's boxes to put in there.
This is, of course, a mixed blessing, because now when I want to throw something away my crazy self will say "But maybe you'll come up with a use for this, like you did with those Clementine's boxes".
I would like to achieve Farm Status with my stuff. That is, there are no useless animals on a farm, there should be no useless stuff in my house. I am a long way away from this, but getting closer.

3) The living room is good. The furniture is arranged, the toys are set, the floor is clear. Lovely.

4) Boy's room is arranged. It has issues, but they are the issues born of a room too small for the furniture in it. It's as good as it can be till we build a loft or some such.

5) The end is in sight in the dining room and foyer.

6) Boy met a kid across the street who is his age, going into the same grade, and isn't a hoodlum. Super!

I will take a deep breath and do one thing at a time. Eventually, it will all be sorted, put away or gotten rid of.

Feeling better,
ephelba

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Surprisingly Traumatic

Somehow I thought we'd move, and the sun would come out and angels would sing and life would be perfect, because we would be living in a better house. I know this is teddy bear thinking*, but I did expect that when we got here the worst of the stress of the move would be over.

Nope.

In an attempt to cope I've been trying to think of things as adventures. Alrighty! A new grocery store! What an adventure! Where is my granola?!? And then I realize they don't even have it, Quaker's granola, for crying out loud, and I start to feel a little panicky, because what if they don't have my favorite noodles or my toothpaste or anything? Going on an adventure to find your stuff is one thing, going on an adventure where you have to learn about all new stuff is quite another.

I left feeling completely wrung out. Silly, but true.

Yesterday we just drove around to see what we could see. We found another grocery store, the local Y and a community arts center. We did not find a bookstore. Not even a jinky one that sells used romance novels. What does this mean?

After lunch we made our first trip to the local park. Lovely equipment, sat upon by a bunch of middle school twerps swearing in front of the Bean**. No doubt they're the same ones who wrote the same swear words on the play equipment. That night I couldn't sleep for thinking about the fact I'm sending Boy off to school with those twerps (or twerps just like them) next year.

And then it hits me that we've moved. OH YEAH BABY! I know I'll end up loving this town, and this park, and these twerps. I know I'll make new friends. The sun'll come out. Whatever. But just now? I feel slapped in the face by the enormity of what a move means.

Going to unpack a box,
ephelba

* Teddy bear thinking - the belief that a chance in circumstance will make a chance in the substance of your life. Example- "If I move to Chicago I'll be happy, even though moving to Chicago will do nothing to fix my low self esteem, perfectionism or halitosis."

** Yes, we swear around the Bean, but I expect at least a "Oh gosh, sorry!" when others do.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Time for something completely different.

Are you gearing up for the upcoming election? I feel a nail-biter coming on. Whether you're voting for McCain, Obama, or Mickey Mouse, I think you need to see this. It needs to be said.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself,
ephelba

PS,
If you need an explanation, one can be found here.

Bye Bye Old House.

This is the view from the entry of the apartment we lived in for the past two years.

This is where the Bean grew from a five pound baby ball into a giggling toddler. Her first steps were here. Her first words too.

This is where her sister was conceived. Where the Bug had her first bath. Her first bite of cereal.

The Boy had three birthdays here. Two years of homeschooling. One and a half broken bones. Lots of growing up.

Mabel the dog is buried in the back.

As glad as I am to be out of there, I can't help feeling a little sad. It was our home.

Going to go unpack,
ephelba

Monday, June 16, 2008

Too many Posts!

I know you can't see the posts yet, but moving has given me much to say without giving me the time to say it in. Suffice it to say we are done putting the stuff into this building. We will now commence with saying "Has anyone seen the ???" for the following, ummm, year.

Enjoying saying "Hello there!" to all her things, and planning on saying "Goodbye" to many of them,
ephelba

The Aerobed

Feeling like I'm going to slide off the side - One and a half hours of sleep.
Having the sheet ride up under me, leaving me stuck to the rubber mattress - One Straw*.
Discovering we were sleeping on the thing upside down - Priceless.

Feeling much better now,
ephelba

* The last I had. I went and slept on Boy's bed after that.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

These days

The Bean is always squealing. Either she's running through an empty house and enjoying the echo, or she's bewailing our state of non-stop transition. She's actually been having a lot of fun. Hiding in closets, exploring our new yard, getting into EVERY BOX TWICE - once in this house, once in the new house.

The Bug is frequently dismayed. She is 7 months old and doing what 7 month olds do, namely, crying every time she sees me leave the room, edge toward the room's exit, or think about that one time I was in another room by myself.

The Boy is very helpful. He is 13, did you know? That means he can go up and down and up and down and up and down the stairs and not get as tired as we do going up and down once.

Lucy the Dog is delighted to discover our new neighbors have cats. She's not so fond of other dogs with their nosing of her nethers and their friendly attempts at playing. She prefers felines, which she expects to befriend her, cuddle up with her and clean her ears. I doubt the new cats know what she has in mind, despite her attempts to explain.

Simon and I are hot, sticky and tired. Sometimes we switch it up and become tired, sticky and hot.

Today Simon and Boy got their asses soundly whupped by me and my fun noodle*. They will tell you otherwise. Do not believe them.

Just now I must go empty the local ice cream parlor of a family's worth of kiddie cones,
ephelba

*You know, the swimmy things....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The latest suck

If you're going to give your baby up for adoption, chances are, there's a fair bit of drama in your life. Drama and suck. If there weren't, you'd probably be keeping your baby, no?

The baby momma has drama, which, sadly, is not of her own doing, and the whole thing may collapse in a heaping pile of suck. Which sucks for Loon and her wife, whose heart strings are wrapped around the tiniest fingers you ever saw, but much much much much more for the owner of the fingers, and her sister, and her momma. It's just a really sucky situation.

Loon and her wife are focusing on alleviating the suck for this little family. This is good and healthy.

The whole thing still sucks, though.

Ouch.
ephelba

Monday, June 02, 2008

I'm an Auntie!

Loon has a baby! I'M JUST SO EXCITED!* Bet I'm not as excited as she is. I'll leave it to her to tell the story, but she's too busy by half right now. Sooner or later, it will be up here.

It's a tiny little girl. She will grow up and play with my girls and it's just going to be great. Wish I lived a lot closer.

Going to send her a ham**,
ephelba

* (!!!!!1111!!!11!!1!)
**Like flowers, only tastier.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My new favorite song.

Rats and Pizza.

I heard it on Pandora, and will be buying the whole album soon. I fell in love with it even before Boy pointed out it was about Upchucky Wheezes, and now that it's obvious I love it all the more because I completely concur.

Enjoy!
ephelba

Friday, May 30, 2008

Things to be grateful for.

I'm grateful I live in a mostly functioning democratic country.

I'm grateful that we have so much money that we can afford such things as light up balloons. As Boy said, they are the Best Balloons Ever.

I'm grateful we're all pretty healthy.

I'm grateful we got to see the fireworks and no one was hurt, even when one seemed to go off awful low.

I'm grateful Simon cajoled me into folding laundry. Stupid, poopy laundry.

I'm grateful for public schools.

I'm grateful I have a son who isn't lazy.

I'm grateful I have a warm comfy bed to sleep in,
ephelba

PS
Loon may be getting picked to have a baby! I'm just so excited!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Firsts.

Today was the first time I paid more than $4 a gallon for gas. I honestly thought the sign was wrong. I had to think, have we already gone all the way through the $3s? And then I decided yes, we had, and now the suck is here.

Yipes.

I can remember when the first Bush made a mess in Iraq and the price of gas jumped. I was cleaning out my car for cans because you had a hope of getting a gallon of gas with what you might find. I also remember thinking gas was expensive then. Now,here in NY, I'd have to have 85 cans floating under my seats to get a gallon.

On a happier note, today was the first time the Bean had her own ice cream cone. She knew just what to do with it. It dripped on her hand, and she couldn't have that, so she tried to wipe her hand on her pants and she dropped her cone. Simon said "She can't eat that now, can she?" I said "You can't stop her, can you?" and it was back in her mouth just like that. Then she got a napkin and tried to clean up the ice cream that was on the ground.

She's terribly cute today. She saw some paint on the ground and said "LELLO!" I said "Blue." She said "BLOOO!" and then I tried to teach her the Blue song. She's been working on the katamari damacy song all day, and proceeded to sing that instead (You can hear it here.).

On a completely random note, our local brewery is afire even as I type. We are sad. It made pretty good beer, and I was hoping to go on a tour with the whole family this summer. Instead, I went to the grocery store and bought two kinds of their brews. It'll just have to do.

Going to bed before the beer wears off,
ephelba

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wrastling with donkeys.

Myfarmer is off to go see the big mouse down in FL, so the Boy and I are doing the farm. This is, by far, the easiest round of farm chores ever. There's grass, so we don't have to haul hay. She has a spring on her farm and lots of water here and there that they are penned around, so we don't have to haul that either. Boy collects the eggs and washes them whilst I take grain to the chickens and geese and do a walk about to see that everyone is hanging loose.

We're waiting on two sheep to lamb. They got into the game at the last possible moment. Everyday I walk out there and stare at them and feel really stupid. My goal is to notice when they lamb, catch the lambs so I can sex them, and check on the mom. The honest to goodness truth is that every time I go down there I have to figure out who the pregger sheep are all over again. You'd think tt would be really obvious- they're the two fat ones, but I swear some of the nursing moms are pretty portly too. I always end up staring at each sheep in turn "Ok, that one is a boy, that one already has lambs" etc etc until I get it figured out.

The donkeys and the horse have a history of taking advantage of my good nature and conniving me into feeding them more than they need to eat. Last winter I was worried we were going to run out of hay before Myfarmer got back, because they were going through 8/9 bales a day. Myfarmer said that was ridiculous, and I should cut them back to three or four bales. When she came home there was hay on the ground around the hay-holding-thingy, which the critters usually eat up when she was on duty. She expressed dismay, and the horse started picking up the hay and putting it back in the rack, as if she was shamed of how they'd played me.

Of course, I was again worried they were going through the grass sort of fast, so I decided I'd just set up more fence and then I wouldn't have to worry. I'm like a farming Jewish mother "Eat! EAT!". So in the process of laying out new fence, I lay a section on the ground for a second, forgetting what the purpose of a fence was. The donkeys did not forget, and promptly traipsed through to the fresh grass. They completely ignored me yelling "NO NO YOU FUCKING BITCHES! GET!" Maybell the horse heard me beg, "Please, Maybell, Stay in there. No! NO!" but she was all like "What? Huh?" as she walked past. I can not figure out how to tell that horse "No".

So. I figured, if I keep one donkey here, the other won't go too far. The donkeys don't care about the horse, but the horse cares about being near the donkeys, so if I've got them She won't go far either. It was a sound plan, and in the end it worked, but in order to put it into play I had to grab a donkey.

Donkeys are smarter than sheep. If the sheep are out and you show up they go the other way. Sometimes it's tricky, but you use this fact to herd them to where ever you want them. When they reach the edge of the pen they say "Rats! Foiled again! A pen!" but because of the herd's inertia they go in anyways. Donkeys are clever. When they see you move they say "Why is she going that way? OH! Because she wants to get in my escape path, cut me off, and put me back in the pen. Bet I can take her." and then they run. With stealth and speed I did manage to catch the younger of the two. I put her in a head lock and yelled for Boy to hurry. She expressed her frustration by stepping on me. She really wanted to kick me, but she'd have to get loose to do that. Thinking things through she decided to try and bite me. When that proved useless she decided she'd just drag me along wherever she intended to go. Of course, I weigh enough to be annoying, so when she got annoyed enough she'd try again to shake me off and bite me.

Eventually Boy brought the grain and things went according to plan. In the meantime? I spent a lot of time wondering just what donkeys were for, and how they'd taste*.

Oh! I forgot to mention, we took a neighbor kid with us on this adventure. He's never gotten to hang out on a farm, so it was a true adventure for him. He said several cute things, such as "I wonder if the wind is alive..." and "The geese hissed at me. I guess they learned that from hanging around with the cats." When he gathered the eggs I told Boy to make sure there were no hidden eggs- the hens are trying to go broody. When we explained they were trying to get the eggs to hatch, he asked if that meant these very eggs would hatch if you kept them warm.

Possibly.

He kept one egg in his hand the whole time. I gave him a dozen eggs, including two turkey eggs, to take home and eat. They came from the batch that included some eggs that had chicks in them, because he seemed to think that was neat. Not that you want to eat those, but because he could see what goes on. Instead of eating them, when he got home he put them in a muffin tin and put a lamp on them. Honestly, I have no idea what will happen. The ones that had gotten started and then got put in the fridge are already dead, I'm pretty sure. But the ones that hadn't started yet might still be viable. If he doesn't get bored turning them. I don't know. I do know the turkey eggs are duds. The Tom likes to hump anything with feathers, including the chicken hens, but he just can't get the hang of how humping works. He's very serious, but when you watch him his tail is miles away from the girl's tail. Miles and miles.

I do hope that someday we end up with the space to some farming of our own. Not enough for other people, just enough for us to have meats and eggs and veggies, and maybe milk.

I've been spending a lot of time day dreaming of how much farming we can legally do in our little city yard. Plants are easy. I've been wondering about rabbits. Myfarmer says they're the most efficient meat to grow. Can we use them for lawn mowers? Am I strong enough to break a rabbit's neck?

Simon is reading over my shoulder, and says no.

Simon also accuses me of mommy blogging. While ignoring the children. I counter this is not a mommy blog.

going to feed the children,
ephelba

* I do not have the visceral response to the thought of eating horse/donkey meat that most of you have. When I was little I asked what hamburger was made out of, and somehow I got it into my head that the answer was cows and horses. It wasn't until I was almost in high school that I learned otherwise. The upshot is that the thought totally does not gross me out at all, and I find it slightly amusing how gross other people think it is.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yay!

Last week I was hustling the kids up the stairs, and when I opened the door both Boy and I were like, WHOA, because there was the most overwhelming smell of bandaids. I'm making the Boy open his window and putting the girls to bed and then running through the house like a hound dog, sniffing the air and saying "Do you smell it in here?".

The Oracle says it could have been heroin. Crack and crank have more of a burning plastic thing going on, apparently. Truly? I don't care, I just want OUT.
O!
U!
T!
OUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUT

I spend so much effort into making sure my family eats healthy foods, and does healthy things, and then to have some kind of vile smoke invade my baby's lungs just makes me crazy.

As does the toxic waste in our backyard. See, back in the day, every building in this town had something to do with the mills. Either it was a mill, or it housed the mill's workers, or it sold things to the mill workers, etc etc... Then such things went overseas. The mills closed. Before selling the bits and pieces of the mills, they used solvents full of polychlorinated biphenyls to clean them up. I ask you, how is that cleaning? Especially when you just throw the runoff out the back door? I wasn't there, maybe it was an accident, but the up shot is that the dirt that blows around from the empty lot behind our house has PCBs in it. So does the creek that runs through there that the children played in all last summer before the announcement in the paper about the PCBs.

OUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUT

So, it is with great relief that I announce our move.

Except, of course, that it means moving. What a load of suck that is. The packing, the sorting, the finding of new grocery stores, new gas stations, new friends and neighbors, the unpacking, the more sorting, the losing of things for at least a year.

At least we'll be doing it smoke free. Whilst enjoying having our own bedrooms, a second toilet and a basement. And a yard. A yard AND a porch. A YARD and a
PORCH and a GARAGE.

I suppose I shall look at like this: Whee! We get to sort through our stuff and get rid of crap! (I do, actually, like that part. It's very liberating.) And then we get to have adventures and check out all these new places! Super! New stores! New people! Alrighty! And I can stick everything we own into our huge attic and only let it down when it's learned to behave! Yay!

Thinking it's definitely worth the suck,
ephelba

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ready or not? (A brief swinging of the arms at the monster of ignorance)

If you ask a white West Virginian if they are ready to have a black man for president, they say "no".* On camera. They say they don't want a Muslim for president. That they want someone who knows the pledge of allegiance. That they want someone who was born in America.

Essentially, they say "I am ignorant."

A. Obama is not Muslim. That is not a matter of opinion. You can't just say "I think he's a looking a little Muslim-y today. A little Islamic around the edges.."

B. Obama knows the pledge of allegiance, having had to say it everyday in school like everyone else because

C. he was born and grew up here. You Can't be president unless you were born in America, you big fat-heads.

How bout this. How bout you decide if you want a president who gradated from Yale with better than a "C" average.** Who can actually speak coherently.*** Who organizes things.**** How bout you get over his dermis and pay attention to his mouth.

If you vote McCain because you want four more years of Bush, that's fair, ok, whatever, but don't you dare vote for McCain because he's not black, you dumbass mother fuckers.

And lastly, can we all quit saying "Hard working white voters" as if the ones who aren't white aren't hard working? For less pay?

Thank you.

* I suppose there are exceptions. I also suppose many of them ain't from round there, and are sorry they ever did move there, bless they hearts. I bet they's fixin to move.

** I don't know this for a fact. Having listened to him speak, I'm willing to bet on it.

*** I'm not saying "My, isn't that wonderful diction from a black man!" I'm saying "What a relief to hear ANYBODY give a speech WELL for once!" I have to turn the radio off if I hear the Bush talk, because he's just such an awful speaker.

**** Hillary and He were in, umm, Ohio? Maybe? He had headquarters all arraigned ahead of time, with his number in the phone book and everything. She had to take what rental space they could find. Her number in the book? Not so much.

***** Yes, I swear much. The Bean can now say "Shit" perfectly, and at the appropriate time.

saddened by the truckloads of stupid she heard and read today,
ephelba

How cool is this?

Ok, So I could do with a little less of the Music Video , but the idea can't be beat. What do you think?


Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Aha!

I think I finally figured out how to force the bitrate and convert my .mov files to .avi without any hiccups, and also how to compress the files so they're a manageable size. Which is all to say, you can now see the Bug suck her toes.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Just to give you a better picture...

So I walked down to the family dollar wearing my "I make milk, what's your super power?" T-shirt. Two dudes were in there putting plastic fantastic stuff on the shelves. One reads my shirt, starts giggling, and tells the other what it said. Then he says, "Wait. But that's not right- she can't make milk..."

Wondering where the cavemen got their formula,
ephelba

Monday, May 05, 2008

What doesn't work.

Making a conscious effort to choose what I'm doing and piddling away at things a bit a time works, but only if you're in a physical state of functionitude. Functionitude can not be attained if you stay up too late, the baby wakes up, the toddler wakes up, and then you don't go back to sleep.

So.

I'll be the kind of mom who tries really hard to go to bed on time.

This weekend Boy had an event to go to. The Oracle told us to go here, turn there, take a "slight right" there and lo and behold we arrived in the middle of nowhere. The middle of nowhere has its own high school, did you know? On the way there I felt bad because we drove past some Amish who were having trouble with their carriage thingy. It was right in front of their house, so I didn't feel too guilty about not stopping, but still. I knew it was their house because a little girl was holding the reins, the Dad was walking up the road, and every last one of their other kids was running running running to go help. Nothing on this planet is cuter than their youngest daughter running twice as fast as everyone else just to keep up. Boy asked if he would be that cute if he ran, and I said he was that cute when he was little, because he was.

We spent a large part of the ride discussing the Amish. Not that I know much. I've read a book (which I recommend). I buy cheese from some. I've heard stories. I've got a healthy respect for the wonderful communities they have, and for the way they make their living. I tried to explain that to Boy, but he's too stricken with the limitations they've accepted for themselves. They give him the creeps.

Wondering if she should sew some bonnet thingies for her little girls,
ephelba

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Things that work.

Parents can't do everything. There's too much- too much to do, too much to teach. I didn't learn everything I needed to know from my Mom, but I can't fault her for it. I just have to teach myself. I have been trying to learn, but sometimes when I look around and I look at how much I want to improve I feel guilty and overwhelmed.
For years I've been trying to work on the guilty part. I figure I'll beat it sooner or later- guilt doesn't get anything done and I'd rather be productive. As for the rest: two things have been working for me lately. The first I learned rather recently from playing Zelda. If you work at something a little at a time you will get even huge intimidating tasks done. So. Instead of doing the perfectionist's freak out because I can't start and complete a task like I want to, I just do a little bit. I haven't finished much yet this way, but I am confident I will because I'm plugging away at it. The second I got from a fellow blogger's post. She was saying if you don't want to be the kind of person who has a messy house, go clean it. Which is sort of obvious, but the thing that got me was the wording. The "kind of person" part. So now and then when I'm faced with a choice, I asks myself does I want to be the kind of person who (fill in the blank). And then I know what I will do. Can't honestly say the house looks much different, but I sure feel better about things.

Just thought I'd share.

going to be the kind of person who runs the dishes and goes to bed on time,
ephelba

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hi.

How are you? What's new with you? What's the best thing that happened to you today?

Me? I'm good. I did not get a speeding ticket yesterday. I did this by not speeding. Duh. I didn't see the copolice hiding behind the sign, and then I was automatically afraid I was speeding, even though I hardly ever do, and then he pulled out, and I was all "Oh Shit", and then he pulled somebody else over. I felt so smug. I was all "Ha! Take THAT for Speeding! Yeah! Bet you wish you weren't all up in my business now!" because when you don't speed, everyone passes you and you begin to feel like they're all commenting on you somehow. Ok, so maybe it's just me.

ANYWAY.

Apparently clothes take away the Bean's superpowers or something. Like, if cloth touches her skin she'll melt. Some kind of Samson-esque thing, with the addition of clothing = the cutting of hair. She's convinced, at any rate, because the worst tantrums for the past few days have been over clothing and diapers. Usually I just give up and let her run around butt naked. Of course, hilarity ensues because she isn't potty trained. Yesterday she comes up to me saying "Butt?" and holds out a hand full of turd. I shriek "Uk!", to which she replies "Uk!" and drops it, splat. I laughed good and hard at that. No really, I did. It was funny. Last night and today she's decided a better idea is to poop in the diaper, then take the diaper off and bring the whole mess to the grown up in charge. Hilarity, folks, hilarity! It's like Easter, only the eggs aren't chocolate.

I miss my husband. I know he's around here somewhere. I've been carting the Boy to acting rehearsals and what have you, and he's been home finding those special eggs. It's funny, because it's not like we've spent That much time apart, it's only been, maybe, three days this week, but it feels like much much more. I love him and I miss him.

My little baby sleeps with her feet in the air, like this:


I ask you, how?

It is warming up here in New York. I'm still wearing sweaters, but I usually do that till about 75 degrees. I'm just pleased there's no snow.

ASIDE:
Die, snow, die! Hahahaha! You've melted! I fart in your general direction!
I FEEL MUCH BETTER NOW, THANKS

Tomorrow we're going to be drinking margaritas in celebration. Simon has made a bet with Boy that he can get me to eat the worm. He can't believe I've made it this far in life wormless. He says three drinks and the money is his. I say, I can't have three drinks, I'm nursing, and even if it were thirty drinks I still wouldn't eat the worm. The bottle says the worm is there because it's traditional blah blah the worm is a key blah blah blah something something it's not there for looks. It does not say "Super tasty! Doesn't even crunch like bug! Yum!" I say it's there because a bunch of Mexicans are chopping agave and thinking "The sun sure is hot, and these things are prickly, but at least I can get a chuckle out of the notion that some drunk idiot gringos actually eat these nasty ass grub bugs". I refuse to be pwned thus.

Imagining how hard it is to get those little pincher things out from between your teeth, whilst apologizing for the randomness and atrocious run-on sentences,
ephelba

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Definately a bad witch.

So, the night before I cooked some spag sauce for the folks staying home, insisted the Boy make a dinner to take with him to his play rehearsal, and forgot to feed myself. I got some fast food and opted for Coke to drink, thinking I'd get some shit done when I got home. What I hadn't counted on was the caffeine high lasting till two in the morning. Or the Bug going on some wild sleep strike, waking up at six in the morning, and pretty much not sleeping the rest of the day. I was whupped.

This would also be the day that the Bean doesn't eat breakfast. She throws a record tantrum at lunch, but in the end consents to eat. Because of this I have high hopes for her demeanor after her nap, but Boy has Jazz band practice smack in the middle of her nap time. After much heart ache, I decide she needs the nap too much, and he needs the practice too much, so I'll put her down and pray the house is still standing when I get home. Only she won't go to sleep either. So. I pack everybody up and we all got to the school to discover there is no practice.

Ooooo Kay.

Later I drop the Boy off at his rehersal. I'm really hurting by the time I get home, and as I open the door I listen to see what kind of mood the Bean is in. She's nearly always throwing a fit over something lately. I didn't hear her, so I listened for the baby, and that's when I realized she was downstairs in the van.

Horrors!

Simon and I watched a few episodes of the Wire, and then I was getting the Bean her medicine and changing diapers and trying to get the silly baby to sleep, when the Boy called to ask why I wasn't there to get him. Oh, sorry, it's because I have forgotten you.

Shit.

I blame the tired. I just can't beat the tired.

Going to bed now,
ephelba

Friday, April 18, 2008

Book Slut

Simon has accused me of being a book slut. He says I'll read anything with a cover on it. The truth is, I don't even need a cover- I'll read blogs, pamphlets, even cereal boxes. However, I counter that because Simon reads the same books I read, he must be a book slut too. He says he's just slumming.

Mostly, he picks on me because I read YA novels. YA novels rock because they're an easy, quick read. When you're too mommy brained to remember to put diapers in the drier, an easy read is good. I do read adult books, but I find myself frustrated. Take, for example, The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I'm reading it, and I'm very pleased that I catch almost all the Geek references. I know enough Spanish that I can make most of those references out too. I do have a basic understanding of the literary tools used- the author uses other characters to narrate Oscar's life because he wants to emphasize Oscar's singularity. I think. And there's obviously symbolism employed, because there's a great golden mongoose that keeps showing up, and large animals that aren't really there have to symbolize something, I'm pretty sure. My problem with the book is that once I'm done reading it I can't tell you why everyone thinks it's so great. I don't get it. What was the point of Oscar? Why do we spend so much time following his mom? What the hell does the mongoose mean? I'm not left with the warm fuzzy feeling of having read a great book, I'm just left feeling stupid.

Taking refuge in the fact she was a chem/math major,
ephelba

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Children

What an odd day. The first half went sooo well, and the second half soooo bad.

Morning: got the kids together enough to go eat lunch in the park. Even remembered the camera. Remembered to wash and dry the diapers. Folded laundry.

Evening: I took a much needed nap with the girls, and woke up with a sore throat and a general craptacular feeling. I told the fam it was cereal for dinner, then took the little one with me to the grocery store. Did not cook for the family. Did not make a list before going to the store. Was not the kind of mom/wife I want to be.

I am totally fighting a cold, I can tell, but I have high hopes that I will win.

On another note, there was a dude at the grocery store wearing a t-shirt that said "Fuck you, You Fucking Fucker". It is my opinion that such a t-shirt was meant to be worn at, say, an adult party, perhaps, or maybe at a bar. It was not meant to be worn at a grocery store where one is likely to run into nine year old kiddos. At such times, the meaning of the shirt changes from "Fuck you" to "I'm a Tremendously Large Asshole". And that's what I have to say about that.

Hoping to wake up feeling snappy,
ephelba

Monday, April 14, 2008

Well, she's ours.





Ain't she pretty?

Myfarmer took me to get her. When I saw her I felt so, hmmmm, awed. Yes. I was in awe. I knew I was going to buy her and she was going to be the most awesome vehicle I had ever owned.

ASIDE:
I say "I" but I mean "We". You know. I'll be driving it the most though.
BECAUSE I LOVES ME SOME SIMON:

The Nissan? I loved her. But. Imagine if you will, being nine months pregnant. You've put your daughter's carseat behind your seat for ease of putting her in the car, but that shoves your seat up. You have stand on one leg, fish the other leg around the steering wheel, lower your rump to the seat, grab the wheel and haul yourself into place. Getting out is just as fun. After the baby arrives you add her carseat to the mix. Now both of the front seats are shoved forward. The Boy has to inhale to reach his seatbelt buckle. Every time you go anywhere you know that a car wreck means your legs are going to be soooo screwed, but you know you won't care as long as the children are safe. Sadly, you're not sure you can count on that either. Then the littlest one needs a new carseat, and suddenly you have to take two cars to go anywhere as a family.

So. It was time. Now we've got sooo much room it's like driving a house. I can rest easier about the kiddos being safe. The little things are nice too- like having a heater and a cd player and lots of pockety places to put things. Oh! And it's a great excuse to get some flash new deedley balls. Behold:
Detail:
And today I got some matching placemats to put over the seats where the girls put their feets, because we want the seats to stay nice.

In other news: The littlest girl grows a tooth. Apparently she plans on using it to take my nipples off.

The house is still clean (Yay us! Everybody, even the Bean, has helped with this.)

I am not pregnant. Hormonally bitchy? OH YES.

The dog has received her annual spring haircut and is on her way to looking fly. Or at least, not matted.

And with that, I go to bed.

Goodnight,
ephelba

Thursday, April 10, 2008

We might have a winner!

A 2000 Honda Odyssey with slightly less than a million miles on it. If things work out, as soon as we buy it we'll have to take it to the shop because it's due for its 100000 mile maintenance fest, but they are good vehicles, they are, and the price is low, it is, so we're calling it good.

It took me more than 30 years, but I've turned into a minivan-driving-mother of three.

Huh.

I think I'm ok with that.

Guess I'll have to sign the girls up for soccer next,
ephelba

Can Zofran get you high?

Ok, so, like, No. It's for nausea. Nausea is a fancy way of saying "feeling like you're going to throw up and wishing you could just die". Zofran doesn't make you feel high, it makes you stop feeling like barfing.

It's twenty dollars for 4 milligrams. You can't find a cheaper way to (try to) get high? Might I suggest cough syrup?

How bout you check out 52 projects, or Learning to Love You More, or the Generosity Game or You Are Beautiful. How bout you go for a walk. How bout you learn to be happy with the life you've got?

Who am I kidding? I'm talking to the kind of asshat who steals Zofran from their grandfather who's dying of cancer.

A little tired of people finding her blog this way,
ephelba

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Things to be proud of.

Today I could have taken a nap, because the planets aligned in such a manner that both the girls slept at the same time for nearly three hours. Instead of taking a nearly three hour long, lovely, golden, sweet, delicious, warm, fuzzy nap, I cleaned the kitchen. I even mopped the floor a bit.

Damn skippy.

Also? I made dinner, including the cooking of the eggs* all by myself, on time and with more than one item.

Also? I kicked the monkey off my back and didn't drink any coffee. Of the caffeinated sort.

Also? I researched, called, emailed about and dithered over, like, a million and a half cars, minivans, suvs and such. Yeah. They're still sofa king expensive. And how.

Also? When the Boy got upset about whether he'll be able to hack going to school, I didn't beat him with a chair whilst shouting "WTF? Dude! Quit thinking up things to upset yourself with and go to sleep because guess what! You're homeschooled!!!" I wasn't super sensitive caring Mom, because this kind of shit pushes my buttons, but I was nice enough to talk him down before I sent him back to bed.

Also? I was tempted with the Hanging Out With Friends after the meeting, but I knew Simon and the girls were waiting and I didn't want to let them down, so I came home right away. Even though I really wanted to stay and play. I didn't. I was good.

Ummmm. I think that's all. Cleaning your house, feeding your family and not beating your children is supposed to be a given. It's sort of sad that I feel like it's an accomplishment. Seeing as how that's what I want to have happen in my house, though, means I can be glad that I got what I want. I would like to think it only gets easier.

Going to go to sleep in her cleaner house much earlier than usual, thus earning even more bonus points,
ephelba

* I can and do cook, but Simon is the Egg Master. I know eggs seem like a simple thing to cook, but I generally cock it up somehow. They're always edible, but rarely super. I did pretty good tonight.
The other thing I tend to do is cook one food and call it dinner. Like, if I said "We're having pancakes for dinner" then we're having pancakes. No bacon, no eggs, not even syrup. You think I'm kidding. Simon knows I'm not, and wishes I'd consent to at least using plates on pancake night....

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kirikou and the Sorceress

This takes the prize for The Cartoon With The Most T1ttays Ever! Some are round, some are flaccid, some have pasties, but none are covered. This is appropriate, one could argue, given the setting of the cartoon. They aren't really sexualized. Seriously though? for us Mericans it takes a bit of getting used to.

The actual story line is ok, but I was bothered by (what I took to be) the blatant message "Sex makes you a man". The baby Kirikou heals the Sorceress, then talks her into kissing him and grows instantly into a handsome man. She, of course, is still kneeling, which creates a tableau that made me and Simon laugh heartily. Then she and he decide to "Stay in the forest a while". Oh yeah they do. Boy says I'm blowing things all out of proportion, and anyways, sex does make you a man.

Obviously needing to do some more parenting,
ephelba

PS
Cars? They are sofa king expensive, and I'm not even kidding. I'm going to end up driving a cozy coupe.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

I R HAZ STOOPID

Alright, so it's a given that I can't be trusted with my own fertility. No news there. And we know that, although the plumbing has been rerouted, the baby juice is still lingering in The Mister's pipes. OK. Yeah. So. See, even though I'm nursing, my body kicked into "We could make a baby"gear last month. Cool. I was down with that, because This time we would be Good and use condoms and stuff when we were supposed to. Yeah. Which would have been on such and so date. Which means that yesterday my Aunt should have come to visit. But she didn't. Nor did she come today. Ok, Fine, Shit, Whatever, I take a pregnancy test and it says "Hey! You passed! Alrighty! No Baby for You!" except I'm like "Hey? Where's my Aunt?" so I consult the Oracle and it says "You big dumbass- nursing can cause random wacky cycles complete with extra fun fertility at unpredictable times" and I'm all like "Shit! How can I not know this !?! Because ACK- Like there's been so much fun lovin lately and who the hell knows what is going on!"

If I make it through the next two months without getting pregnant it will be SUCH a miracle.

Going to look at minivans on Craigslist,
ephelba

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Indeterminate

When you're talking about a system of linear equations, indeterminate means you've either got infinitely many solutions or none at all. Our life is indeterminate right now.

Our apartment is perched at the intersection of four other functions. We smell the smoke from one neighbor's apartment, hear the music from the other, wake to the parties and door slams of the bar next door, and worry about the PCBs from the old factory site behind the house. The solution to this system? We could move. Anywhere. Somewhere warm, maybe? To the neighboring town? To the town where Simon works? That would be the set of infinite solutions. We could stay here and suck it up like we have been sucking it up for the past two years. That would be No Solution.

Then there's the transportation problem. Simon drives a truck that we can't all fit into. I drive a little Nissan Sentra that I Love, but frankly, when we all piled in we looked like we were in a clown car. Then the Bug grew out of the baby bucket car seat and into a new carseat that doesn't fit in the back with the Bean's seat and the Boy. Now when we go somewhere all together we have to take two cars. The water pump and possibly the timing belt have gone on it (EEEP). It's in the shop awaiting a diagnosis, but it brings home the point that, really, we need a new car. Do we spend the money to fix the Nissan? That doesn't fit us? But is cheaper than buying a new car? That would fit us? Infinite Solutions or No Solutions.

This year is setting up to be a good year for us financially. Simon got a raise. We're going to be able to pay off most of our debts. We're hoping to be good little Americans and make some long awaited purchases. It's frustrating because it seems like whenever we take two steps forward we have to take one step back.

I suppose the truth of it is that all the available solutions are good. Either we're moving to a better housing situation and driving there in a new minivan, or we're not changing a thing and we're no worse off than when we started. Somehow it just doesn't feel that way.

Right now, as I'm typing this, Chef is singing "Suck on my chocolate salty balls" and Boy is about to see Mr. Hanky for the first time. The girls are fairly entranced too. Ahhhh, South Park.... the cartoon your whole family can enjoy.

Feeling oh so proud,
ephelba

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Stumped.

Can't think of a name. Ideas?

And while I'm asking for advice, on Facebook is it considered rude not to friends everyone you ever knew, or met, or maybe passed on the highway? I know more people than I have friendsed (?), because I'm picky like that. I tend to make a couple of friends and then devote myself to them like, like.... like a, um, loyal devoted thing. A squire maybe. Anywho, it seems weird to friends people that I was never that close to, or maybe didn't even like. I've friendsed people I don't know but would like to know better. That feels right. I don't know. I'm not going to bother worrying about it, really, because that's just silly.

We watched an animation collection tonight. The funniest part was the introduction, but there were a couple of good bits. Several pieces by the same folks who did Harvey Krumpet. Boy and I found a very good piece of music by way of a short about cuckoo clocks. He's tickled pink that he got an itunes card for his birthday and gets to buy songs all on his own. I just hope he picks out good stuff that I want to hear too- our world is very small and the walls are thin.

Which reminds me, a while back Boy said "The baby sure was noisy last night!" and I said "No she wa... YES. YES SHE WAS. The BABY was very noisy last night".

Going to stick a sock in it,
ephelba

Thursday, March 13, 2008

In case you were worried,

I decided I'd tell you the test results. Unlike any of our Dr.s, I am capable of letting you know the results when I get them. I got the results by talking to the secretary at the Dr's office in Syracuse. She wasn't supposed to tell me, but she had mercy on a worried mom and told me I didn't need to worry.

Bless her heart.

She said to act surprised when they called. She thought they'd call today, because she was faxing the results just as soon as they were official. She said this at nine this morning.

Still haven't heard a thing from a Dr. I'd be miffed if I weren't so relieved. For once, it's not one thing or another.

In other news, I'm discovering Facebook. Many things therein are good unto me. Finding people is very fun- a bit like treasure hunting. Many things are just big-ole time wasters. I'm not too tempted by most of them, but Scrabulous is fabulous.

And in still more news, probably between the classifieds and the sports pages, it was Boy's b-day. The dog decided to eat one of the Bean's crayons and leave bright green presents for him all over the house. One day he'll look back on that memory and laugh. He wasn't laughing today. He got to watch a movie, go listen to a pianist, and hang at a coffee house with some friends, but he started to moan about the dog ruining his birthday. I threw a small fit and told him he was in charge of how well his birthday went. He could either focus on the one bad thing or all the good things. If he wanted a pity party for his birthday he could help himself, because I've spent 13 years giving him the tools to handle this sort of thing, and I was feeling done.

He came around. Please, please tell me that he learns to do this without me at some point.

Wondering if you're on facebook,
ephelba