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,

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

Thursday, May 29, 2008


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.


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,

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.


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,

* 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


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.

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.


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

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,

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,

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


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,

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.


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,

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,