Monday, June 27, 2005
Please. Tell me you can look at this stuff and not think it is just fucking cool.
Next. Well. I had a huge rant going on in my head about closed minds and art and culture and diversity and.... well, I'd love to tell you all about it but the baby is calling, the weather is good, I have half a day off and I want to go create a little art of my own.... in the garden.
Ok. Background. We’re Rednecks….. is that news to anybody? But we are Special Rednecks….’cause we’re Educated Rednecks. (and, yes, we do know what an “oxymoron” is…) And not just community-college-two-year-associates-degree-in-welding educated… we are talking nationally acclaimed liberal arts college educated. But wait… I brag & I digress. So, as Rednecks we claim stubborn, poor but proud, hard-working and creative as our birthright.
What does this mean?
Well, we don’t have cable. And, I was thrilled to discover, neither do other people we know.
We can’t get cable where we live… or DSL… or anything but satellite. And (see “poor but proud” above) we have chosen to live on (and pay for) our overpriced-but-delightful homestead rather than have some of the more common modern expenses like satellite or car payments or memberships to the wine-of-the-month club. (Although I’m still hoping for that as a Christmas gift… anyone?)
In the past, we lived in town and got 6 tv stations. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS & the religion channel. Then FOX turned into PAX and we got more than our needed dose of “Diagnosis Murder.” In our current home we can get NBC & PAX on the tv in the living room via rabbit ears. Upstairs we get CBS & ABC. Gone are the days of watching “Red Green” and “Antiques Roadshow” because we can’t get PBS anywhere in the house. I miss Red. I don’t really miss that toothy guy on the religion channel… he made me nervous.
But… HERE’S THE NEWS PEOPLE…. PAX is turning into The WB.
What does this mean?
Well, I’m not sure since I’ve never really seen The WB…. But it can’t be worse than PAX, can it?
Friday, June 24, 2005
How do I know the beer fairy is a she? ‘Cause a male beer fairy woulda left Bud Lite at our house.
Oh, and can I just add… the on-line tech support for Canon SUCKS.
Sunday we had tons of family to our house for lasagna and picnic leftovers. Good thing we had plates & plastic utensils left over from the weekends before.
We also had a big ass house warming party this month. We put my father-in-law to work as the grill man and got a keg of Blackfoot Brewery’s Driftboat Amber. I had no idea we had so many friends.
Throw into the mix Sweet Boy’s first birthday party and a few other random family and friends visits…..
And the fun never stops…. My best friend will be here next week with her clan of children…. Margaritas and egg hunting for everyone.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Also note the DYSON box behind him.... yes, we got an anniversary-mother'sday-father'sday-birthdays gift. It Rocks in Socks. There was a whole 'nother dog in that sexy clear canister when I was done. And it is turquoise and purple WITH SPARKLES. Can you imagine anything dreamier??
Yesterday we were shopping for a new dress for me (Hot Husband & Sweet Boy were there too) and she was overheard saying, "Well, that fire extinguisher won't put out flaming metal."
She also likes to quote Bob, the helicopter pilot and say, “A Chinook helicopter looks like two Hueys humping a dumpster.”
“Maybe it is more fun if you don’t have teeth.” On why babies like pacifiers so much…. Followed, of course, by test-driving the paci and not really enjoying it all that much...
Friday, June 10, 2005
My sewing machine is toast.
My camera is down. I think (hope) it is the battery. They are expensive but not as bad as a new camera. The lcd screen no longer lights up… just for a few minutes when the camera is fully charged and then it goes dark. Still takes pictures but it is darn hard to delete pictures on the camera when you can’t see the menu screens. I have a lot of projects counting on me getting my camera fixed because, of course, I want before and after pictures.
The coffee pot no longer has the “pause-n-serve” function. I discovered this today when I pulled the pot out to pour a quick cup for the guy-with-the-cute-ass as he was heading out the door.
The dishwasher leaves a strange foggy film on plastic containers and glassware.
The receiver for my stereo died… with smoke.
All (three) thermometers in our house have dead batteries.
The air conditioning in the Dodge is failing.
The lawn mower…. Don’t get me started on the lawn mower.
The electric cat litter box died. I am very sad about this.
The toy chainsaw (that I just bought) quit… but it may have taken a small flight off the porch.
It is like I have some strange electric current around me that makes all things mechanical just DIE when I am in the room.
Deer Resistant Plants
According to California Extension Leaflet #2167 and other sources the
following plants are considered deer resistant:
An online version is available, with links to the plants we carry.
Spaeralcea(Orange Globe Mallow)
Anthum graveolens (Dill)
Shrubs & Trees
I’ve also heard:
Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis)
Mexican hair grass (Stipa)
New Zealand flax
In my yard I have: peonies, daisies, grape hyacinth, daffodils, chives, bee balm, thyme, mint, silver mound, salvia, Russian sage, columbine, anemone, bleeding heart, iris, sedum, hollyhocks, cosmos, lily of the valley, paprika yarrow… the deer seem to leave it all alone and I occasionally mist everything with deer repellent… the minty kind.
The deer ate my tulips (I’m transplanting them somewhere that I can net for next year). I have spinach, delphinium & asters growing under nets. I planted some annuals, basil & cilantro in pots on the deck and I have two roses in whiskey barrels on the deck.
I plan to add more wildflowers next summer but I will try to stick with things on the list. Except sweetpeas…. I want sweetpeas. I might have to build a big planter on the deck for those or create another deer-net sculpture to protect them.
My mother-in-law lives up the road a ways and the deer eat her daffodils & bleeding heart…. Go figure.
Oh, and can I just add that I love the highcountrygardens.com website?
Thursday, June 09, 2005
And there is a badger living at the curve down the road and badgers are mean. Really mean. Forget “Wind in the Willows” and all that….. badgers will eat your shit if given half a chance.
But I don’t mind badgers half as much as the stupid feral cat that sprayed all the pellet bags in the lean-to. Nasty. I woulda 5-pumped that cat with the bb gun if my husband would honor my wishes and get me a bb gun. 5-pumps…. that’d sting.
He won’t get me a bb gun because he’s afraid I’ll shoot at the deer to keep them out of the tulips. I won’t shoot the deer because the deer eat the leaves off the lawn and I like that and I’m transplanting all the tulips to one spot so I can net them and only gardening with “deer resistant” perennials in the rest of the yard.
I’m no redneck bb gun freak. I know you can only 3-pump and aim below the shoulders on a human target. I’ve never torn apart a vacuum cleaner bag to get out bb’s to shoot at the neighbor’s dog when it was chasing my horse. (Hhhmmmm…. I wonder who did that…. Does he, by chance, desire to drive a Travelall???)
Truth be told…. I have a soft spot for the deer…. There is a reason for the term “doe eyes” and I’ve seen it. They are like little kids. They give you that look and you just have to forgive them for turning the front flower bed into an all-you-can-eat buffet. I even forgive the big buck for beating the hell out of my evergreen when he was in rut last fall. It was a pretty funny sight once I figured out what all the ruckus was about. I wonder what he would do if I got one of those fancy juniper topiaries all trimmed up to look like a doe…. On second thought… I don’t want to think about it.
So, just to recap, there is a moose on the loose and I’m going to try to get some pictures.
And that is my Wildlife Lesson of the Day for you.
By my count there were 18 people. The original 4 cousins plus their spouses. Then their kids (4 kids made the event, plus 3 spouses) and then the next generation….Sweet Boy & his two girl cousins.
The rest of our family drove (2 days) but we flew. (That is the payoff for using a frequent flyer credit card for all of our gas & groceries for the past many years.) Flying with a small person wasn’t as horrible as it could have been….
I, of course, drew the ticket with the “SS” on it…. I think that means “Seize & Search.” So I am being questioned about the Cheerios race car in my pocket & why my entire spinal area makes the wand go “bbbzzzz” while #1 Husband wrangles the kid, the diaper bag, the contents of his pockets and his hiking boots through security. Is there any graceful way to handle it? It was like a bad Three Stooges flick. And, of course, Helena International Airport is under construction so everything is taking place surrounded by scaffoldings and black tarps. Oh, and here in Redneckia, we walk out on the “tarmac” to get on the “airplane” to take off. We were on one of the little planes… of course. As luck (and nasal decongestant) would have it, Sweet Boy fell asleep for the entire flight to Salt Lake. The flight & car rental & drive to Cannon Beach went well. Gorgeous green country.
We rented a couple of houses on the beach. We walked on the sand. We gossiped by the fire while it rained. We drank.
These people know food & wine. We ate. And we ate. And we drank. It was fun! Sweet Boy got to try abalone (he liked it) and smoked salmon (not so yummy) and this amazing seafood stew stuff (it has a name I can’t think of) that Uncle G put together.
One cousin (We’ll call him Abercrombie because he could, truly, model for Abercrombie & Fitch…. I guess that means we call his girlfriend, Fitch, doesn’t it?) got engaged that weekend so we all took lots of romantic pictures of them on the beach. His brother, the-guy-who-works-in-Hollywood was also there. I’d never met TGWWIH before but we instantly bonded over the knowledge that we both love vodka & grapefruit juice. The women of MIL’s family are all very tiny & very active…. Really, it was like being surrounded by woodsprites on caffeine or a herd of humming birds. I felt very…. Large.
Much walking on the beach, lots of rain, a little shopping.
Husband left a day early… he had to be back for work stuff. Sweet Boy & I flew out the next day from Portland. I got him a fabulous beanie with a propeller (and a matching one for daddy) and he was the cutest guy in the airport (Sweet Boy, not daddy).
Of course, travel being what it is, we had some, um, mishaps, on the way home. I opted to send the diaper bag home with the daddy and just carry on my big purse from Old Navy crammed full of dinosaur crackers & sippy cups. Well, the buckle on the strap broke and the plane was late and we had to do the full-on Sampsonite commercial sprint through the SLC airport. Picture this: The Mama, looking fit and trim in her favorite Solomon tennies & capris, hauling a broken purse and, in the sling, The Baby… big-eyed and wearing a propeller hat…. Laughing as we run. We were cracking up ourselves and everyone around us. My brother had warned me about running and getting on and off those moving sidewalk things so I was prepared for that part. (And I prepared my sister who did it the next week coming home from Vegas… what is it with us and delayed flights??) We made it. But barely. I hate flying out of the “E” concourse in Salt Lake.
It was so nice to get home. Husband had the house all cleaned up and pizza ordered. I started a load of laundry and curled up on the couch with my family and a refreshing adult beverage and we broke down the highs and lows of our vacation.
I’m ready to go on another vacation. MIL and I decided we should go on a “bigger” vacation every other year and in the off years go on vacation somewhere local. I’m making a list of localish places for next year. Chico Hot Springs. Flathead Lake. Glacier Park. Radium Hot Springs. Big Sky.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I spent the first day of the long weekend alternating between wanting to go into labor and knowing that my doc was out of town for the weekend. He told me on Friday to not go into labor until after 8:00 pm on Monday.
The second day of the long weekend I pulled weeds and tidied my flower beds. I had a long conversation with the-one-who-was-my-child and explained that there comes a time in a young baby’s life when s/he needs to get out and see the world. Baby said, “uh-uh.”
On Memorial Day the-man-with-the-nice-ass & I went to dinner at his parent’s house. Steak on the barby. I was completely and totally resigned to the fact that I would, indeed, be pregnant forever. I was many days overdue and my body had stopped believing pregnancy was anything special… no more peeing every 5 minutes, no more heart burn, no fatigue… nothing….. just the acceptance that this was the new “way it is” and would continue to be so FOREVER.
I woke up around 1:30am (Tuesday) feeling, well, odd. I decided this was probably labor and settled in for the long first phase. I told my husband I was in labor but “not to worry, go back to sleep, this first part takes a long time.” Things were, frankly, a bit more uncomfortable than I had been led to believe they would be so I took a long, hot shower, shaved my legs, washed with fancy microscrub cleanser, and used up all the hot water. By now it is around 3:00 and my husband is awake and calmly reading a paperback.
I put on grey eyeliner and my favorite grey yoga pants. (I wore them to the hospital and home from the hospital and I’m wearing them right now too.)
Around 3:45 we realize the contractions are two minutes apart and I said, without a single notion of how insane I sounded, “Well, maybe only every OTHER one is a contraction.” We had several Three Stooges moments while my honey tried to call the doctor’s office, the emergency room & the on-call doctor….. every time he would get an answering machine he would hang up, panic and then ask me for the phone number again…. Until I snapped, “It’s in the fucking speed dial.” Not a proud moment for me, but pretty funny.
I distinctly remember at about 4:30 stretching my arms across the kitchen table, looking at my sweetheart and saying, “Dammit, And, this really hurts.” I was rapidly losing my faith that I had a high pain tolerance. I was not entirely sure I could handle 36 hours of this. Yes, 36…. Because that is what baby school taught me…. 36 hours of labor. Suckers.
We arrived at the hospital around 5:00am and Three Stooged our way into the emergency room. See, in baby school we learned that, “If you go into labor after 8 pm but before 7 am go to the emergency room entrance.” So we went to the emergency room entrance and I stood stupidly in front of the automatic doors for a full 10 seconds before I realized they were not going to automatically open for me…. So I hiked it around to the ambulance bay and went in that way.
So, when you get to the emergency desk, what do you say? Hi. I’m pregnant. It was one of the more absurd moments I’ve ever experienced. One savvy old nurse rolled up with a wheelchair and told me to hop in. We went careening down the halls to labor & delivery…. My husband sprinting along behind us with the overnight bag flopping everywhere and reams of paperwork half filled out. (Stupid, really, in hind-site… the paperwork he was filling out was the same stuff I had filled out earlier and was on file in labor & delivery AND I had a copy in the overnight bag.)
Thank heavens we had the sense to only bring in an overnight bag and leave the “what if” stuff in the car. My best pal (a former labor nurse) told me they used to delight in sending home expectant parents who showed up to labor carrying the car seat.
My first L&D conversation went like this:
Nurse Prissybritches, “Are you sure you are in labor?”
Meek Me, “Well, no, I’ve never done this before.”
Nurse PB, “So this is your first baby?”
Meek Me, “Yes” (What the fuck? Doesn’t it SAY that right there on the pre-registration paper you have in your hand that I filled out THREE WEEKS ago… do you think that has changed in the last three weeks?)
Nurse PB, “Well, we will put a sheet on the bed so you don’t mess it up for the next delivery when we send you home.”
Meek Me, “ok” (What the hell? This might not be labor? What is it? I may die…. Ok, if I die I’m taking as many of you with me as I can….)
Nurse PB, “Whoa, you are 5-6 cm.”
Me, hopelessly, “You mean I’m only half way?”
At this point my husband actually said, “Think glass half-full honey.” And then looked at the nurse, dead-pan, and asked if I was really in labor. I love that man.
My sister showed up about then and the nurse actually sent her down the hall to get another nurse & the delivery cart. The doc-on-call came in and the nurse whispered to him and his eyes got huge & he said, "I'm going to go call your doc and hurry him along" and he left and we never saw him again. I was cruising around during the contractions.... I absolutely could NOT hold still or sit during them. My honey was boggled.... it was not going according to what we saw in the video.... he was not "slow dancing" his wife through the contractions or rubbing her back. (He still owes me all those backrubs.) Never did get to use the birthing ball, the jacuzzi tub or watch the videos we brought for during the long early-active labor stage. I really wanted to get in that tub but the nurse said I didn't have time if I wanted to get threaded for the epidural. At that point I was thinking I was in for 36 more hours and I wanted the drugs.... little did I know…...
So she couldn't get the IV in.... and Nurse PB LIED about it to the anesthesiology nurse… who also couldn’t get the IV in…. interesting since I have giant you-would-be-a-fabulous-heroin-user veins. Finally the anesthesiologist did it. They gave me the interthecal..... loved the interthecal. Right when he got it started I told them I wanted to push... they all said "Don't" but that's like telling someone not to throw up.... it just doesn’t work. My doc was there by then and he examed me & said, "Ok, no cervix is there and you are at 10cm so go ahead and push if you want too." I'm thinking, "You mean I did all of the transition without any DRUGS??? In baby school we learned transition is the ouchiest part. I didn't mean for THAT to happen."
I pushed for about half an hour & I could feel everything but the pain was minimal and ta-da… baby. At one point, Husband had one leg, Sister had the other & the doc was catching and he said, "huh, well I guess we don't need the nurses, we can do this" and he looked over at the nurses and said, "Uh, we're crowning over here" and they all scurried around.... apparently they were all impressed with our speed & efficiency. He was born at 6:58 am. (Do the math…. I got to the hospital around 5:00 am….. the nurses said I was easy to chart.) And, of course, he was perfect. 8 lbs, 10 oz & 22 inches long.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
** LB- Please note... I CAN be taught.
Love is realizing you can't go to the grocery store alone anymore because the stocker is looking at you strangely when you say, "The tomato is red. Mama likes peas. Daddy likes lettuce. Lettuce is green." and suddenly you realize you don't have any shopping cart passengers to justify this conversation.
Love is moving towards someone who is barfing.
Love is going to work with (someone else's) snot on your sleeves.
Love is a little person climbing (fully dressed) into the shower with you.
Love is buying a black nursing bra. (Hey, we all try....)
Love is simultaneous footrub swaps on the couch.
Love is telling your wife she's sexy in her black nursing bra.
Love is a baby (I mean, big boy) feeding you dinosaur crackers.
Love is sharing a paci.
Love is wearing fleecy footed jammies and snuggling with your mama while you let her read you “Barnyard Dance” again…. Because you know it is her favorite book.
Love is red roses and romantic dinners out or dandelion bouquets and pizza in.
FOR THOSE OF YOU STILL READING (AND NOT GAGGING ON THE SUGAR) NEXT WEEK'S TOPIC: FEET.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Think of the Walter Mathau (sp?) character's ride in "Grumpy Old Men." If Brother reads this post perhaps he will fire a picture of one to me to post.... it is his dream vehicle and he has found one to buy & refurbish.... almost as cool as the 1984, baby blue, 4-door, diesel Volkswagon rabbit.
I’m trying really hard to continue to be a good employee…. but it is pretty hard to fool people when you show up for work at least once a week wearing your slippers.
Here’s a story you will appreciate. In November I had a big budget meeting. I mean big. My two bosses, the governor, the gov’s budget director, the legislative fiscal analyst. We get done with the meeting and are walking out and I make a discovery. I’ve just attended a meeting with the highest officials in our state government with a dirty diaper in my briefcase…. Ah, politics….
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Do you see the look on his face?
Do you see where his finger is?
Do you wonder about the future when you realize there is a pajamaed crusader with his finger on the dynamite box?
Son, use your powers for good.
You know that girl in high school that you never got along with? The one who made your life difficult in so many petty little ways? The one who now sends out shotgun emails about her new quad-level house, her recent vacation to Disneyland and how she is dashing off to “the club” so she has to go? You know that girl? I got an email from her this morning.
Well, I just had to look…. It’s like a car wreck. I see who it is from and think, “I should just delete this.” But do I? No. I read it. I think. I try to let it go. But I have to respond….. You all need to know how it really is. Consider this the Christmas letter I’ve always wanted to write….
You have a fat ass. You have always had a fat ass. Yes, your waist is slender and lovely but cinching a tiny belt around it does not, in any way, de-emphasize the largeness that is your rear. And me? In spite of the THIRTY pounds I have gained since high school graduation I still have a fabulous ass. Know this.
Know that telling me you are dashing off to “the club” does not impress me. My friends & I go to the gym, sometimes, to sit in the hot tub or take the kids swimming and sometimes we even work out a little… but we do not “dash off to the club.” Ever.
You casually drop into an email that you HAD to take a picture of your daughter driving the New Expedition. Yes, I see that it has nice leather seats. Yes, I covet your leather. No, I have never owned a Brand New Vehicle. No, I probably never will. I still have a fabulous ass.
You went on vacation to Disneyland with your small children. I wonder what combination of heavy-duty pharmaceuticals and alcohol made that experience bearable?
It is so good to see that you still wear your hair in that attractive mullet style. Oh, and can I offer a friendly suggestion? Maybe try Rogaine for Women.
You never talk about your husband. Is that because he is a pussy-whipped, miserable little man with a smallish penis? Or are you simply such the perfect woman that you don’t actually need to acknowledge him?
You did so many horrible things to me in high school. It wasn’t a case of the popular girl picking on the nerd. It was really more a case of a mean-spirited, prune-faced, horrible girl trying to make everyone around her look bad so she would look good. Guess what? It didn’t work out so well did it? Did you know we, the girls you knew in high school, all roll our eyes and email each other and talk about what a twit you are?
In a twisted way I feel sorry for you. You are so insecure as to think these things matter. As I grow and mature I look back on your past behavior and I can see it for what it was. Yes, it still hurts, but, really, it was a pathetic attempt, on your part, to get attention. So I forgive you. And I hope some day you learn to forgive yourself for whatever it is you have done that makes you think you need to prove something to the rest of us. We would accept you… hell, we might even like you…. If you would just stop being such a show off.
Oh, and yes, I still have a fabulous ass.
When someone posts a comment on my blog I feel great. Even if it is just a simple thing I think, “Wow. Someone actually read this?” This need for validation cracks me up. The whole point of starting a blog was not to write for an audience but to have a visible method of chronicling daily life in a creative way and, well, because it is cheaper than therapy.
So if I don’t post on your blog it isn’t because I’m not reading it. I’m reading it. Believe me. Just understand that the inner geeky me (the scrawny 4th grader with the big glasses who got yelled at for reading too much on the bus and was always picked last for dodge ball) is simply amazed and overwhelmed and just a little afraid…..
Um. Ok. I need a flickr tutorial now. I keep trying to do “blog this” and it keeps making me re-register my blog and then I get trapped in an endless loop and I feel like Alice in Wonderland when she ate that shrinking mushroom.
And I need a linking tutorial. How do you do that thing where you type someone’s name and have it link to their site? And how do I make a link to another post on my site?