Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What a Slacker!

What a slacker! No new posts in a whole week?!?! What's up with that?!? Eh, been busy again. Busy with what, you ask? Well, I promised Sweet Pea I would paint her room for her. A couple of years ago. Yes, years. We needed the time for planning. So, last weekend we started by emptying her room of most of her stuff. (Everything but the bed, a dresser, nightstand and some of her crafty stuff). What else is there, you ask? Oh plenty! She has a huge book shelf with 'stuff' on it - everything from ponies to knick knacks to scrapbooks to silk flowers to craft supplies. All stuffed onto the shelves. She has a smaller book shelf with books, a plastic set of drawers, a little plastic table and chair for doing artsy stuff and a laundry basket. And somehow it was all squeezed into her room. As you can imagine, there was no room for moving around in there. It took quite a bit of time to get it all out and cleaned up.

I should have taken some 'before' pictures, but trust me, you really don't want to see it in the shape it's in now. And I've been too lazy busy for picture taking anyway.
Then this weekend we had to vaccuum up all the dust bunnies that had been hiding behind the furniture. You should have seen them scurrying off and trying to escape the vaccuum, but I got them in the end! Then I had to haul the remaining furniture toward the center of the room. Then we covered everything in sheets, masked off the parts we didn't want painted and got to work. And by 'got to work' I mean I sweated and slaved and hauled and painted and rolled and gasped and heaved while Sweet Pea complained endlessly about how boring painting is. Hmmm. Maybe if she was actually painting it wouldn't be so boring. I think what she meant was that watching someone paint was boring.

None of her friends were available and all of her 'stuff' was out of its usual spot so she couldn't find it. The only choice she had was to mope around and complain about how bored she was while I sweat.

But at least she broke it up here and there by antagonizing her brothers and instigating some very energetic arguments. So then I got to sweat, slave, haul, paint, roll, gasp, heave AND yell. It made it go so much faster.

But at least I'm done with the worst of it. I hate the cleaning and masking and preparing part. Now that really is boring. The painting is OK. Not real fun, but at least the room isn't huge. But finally that part is done. Now, only the fun part remains - transforming it.

The next step is to paint clouds on the ceiling, transform the closet door into a waterfall, paint trees in each corner, grasses and bushes around the floor and intersperse is all with bunnies, porcupines, chipmunks, squirrels, owls, red-winged blackbirds, hummingbirds, wood peckers, butterflies, ladybugs, bumble bees, geese, deer, bears and maybe a few well placed woodchucks. Should be a piece of cake. I'll post pictures.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yard Bunnies

This is our yard bunny (one of them anyway):

Isn't he sweet? We love looking out the window and seeing the little guys out there munching on clover. The kids will creep outside ever so quietly and try to sneak up on them. They can get pretty close, but of course, not close enough. Eventually the bunny takes off, 3 kids in tow.

We've watched bunny games where 3 or 4 of them chase each other around the yard. We even had a squirrel join in the fun once. It was very funny to watch a squirrel repeatedly goose a bunny! And sometimes the neighbor's cat will just sit and watch the antics. He never interferes, but just watches, probably hoping a defenseless little baby bunny will show up.

And so far they haven't gotten into the garden (thanks so a fence) or the pots on the deck.  So it's all good. 


Monday, June 21, 2010

Scraped Knees and Squashed Frogs

While taking a walk to the park the other day we came across this sweet little frog. (Or maybe it's a toad. I don't know. In any case, it was cute.) Sweet Pea was on her roller blades and wanted me to carry it home for her. I didn't have a problem with that except I really suck at holding onto squirming little things for some reason and he kept escaping (the same thing happens when I try to hold onto the gerbil). So, after a few leaps from my hands to the ground Sweet Pea decided it would be safer if she carried him home, despite the roller blades.

And it worked out fine. There was no roller blading incident involving scraped knees and squashed frogs, or scraped frogs and squashed knees, so everyone was happy. We got the little guy home, showed him off to Daddy, played with him for a bit then let him loose on the back hill.


Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm Gonna Make You an Implant You Can't Refuse

Several months ago, for some crazy, go-only-knows-why, wtf reason one of my teeth decided to commit suicide. It slowly but surely ate itself from the inside out, dissolving it's own root. Nice. Very nice. Thank you tooth. So, I had it yanked. Now my poor tooth sleeps with the fishes.

Let me tell you that was no fun. But, what's even less fun is that I decided to replace it with an implant. Expensive as all get-out, but a good idea I'm told. Sounds reasonable. But wow! I look like Marlon Brando in the Godfather. Well, half of my face anyway - the puffy, swollen, rounded, jowley-jawed, marbles in the
cheek-pouches part. Other than that I don't resemble him much - at least that's what hubby has tried to reassure me.


The dentist, when he suggested this, actually said "I'm gonna make you an implant you can't refuse. Okay? I want you to leave it all to me."

So I said, "But I need a million dollars in cash. I need all of those hygienists that you carry around in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes."

And then I continued to tell him that I wasn't sure about the whole thing and he said, "I spent my whole life trying not to be careless. Women and children can afford to be careless, but not dentists. Besides, what are you worried about? If I wanted to overcharge you you'd be broke already. Get the implant in."

The hygienist was appalled at his response and she said, "What's the matter with you? I think your brain is going soft with all that Novocaine. Never tell anyone outside the dental practice what you are thinking."

He replied, "Don't tell me you're innocent Margery (the hygienist). Because it insults my intelligence and makes me very angry."

Despite all that, I decided to have it done anyway. Once the drilling and sawing and shoving and pushing and stretching and hammering was done, I decided to take a souvenir, you know, to remember it all by. But as I was walking out the door, the dentist noticed. "Leave the drill! Take the cannoli,"  he says.

So, I didn't get to keep the drill as a souvenir. But I did get a nice cannoli. It was delicious.

(And in case you missed it, those are all (slightly modified) quotes from the Godfather movies. And no, I don't particularly like the movies, but I've seen them all because Hubbsterama is a big fan. And of course, I look like Marlon Brando from the movie so I had it on my mind. Yes. I know.)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

He Has Found His Calling!

The kids school had a deal going with Barnes and Noble last week. For any purchase made that evening a percentage of your sale would go toward the school's PTO. Part of the 'book fair' included kids from the school reading some stories they had written. Sweet Pea read an awesome story she wrote called 'Indiana Gerbil'. It even had a soundtrack that she sang in places throughout the story. It was very cute!

And, what is a book fair without a mascot?! They needed a mascot and were looking for volunteers. So, good ol' Daddy volunteered. Here he is:

I think the hubster has found his calling! He pranced and danced and shimmied and twirled. He shook and bounced and danced. (And he sweat! I feel sorry for the  person who had to wear that costume after him. I hope they are a good swimmer!) He was leading kids around and shaking his dragon tail and wiggling his dragon wings. He was almost cuter than the kids.


Monday, June 14, 2010

More Haiku - Seeds, Soda and Apples

How about a few more haiku for your reading pleasure?

Seed beneath the earth
Tiny, insubstantial, small
Filled with potential


Seed beneath the earth
Pushing up, out to freedom
Unfurling magic

Empty soda can
Dry, taunting, making me thirst
Sitting on my desk

A new green apple
In branches too high to reach
Tempting, tart and sour


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dig if You Will A Picture (Give a Girl a Little Privacy!)

So, we have this snail named Frisky. She is one of the original two snails. In fact, she is the mother of all of our other snails. The father, sweet Mister Sinister, passed to the great snail playground in the sky shortly after all his offspring were born, er hatched. But Frisky is still around and she is still very Frisky for a snail. I mean she really gets around the tank.

Now, normally, when you have apple snails you leave a little room at the top of the tank; an inch or so, to give the snails a place to lay their eggs. They like to lay them just above the water line. Well, the last time I changed out some water I filled it a little higher than usual. There was probably only a 1/2 inch between the water line and top of the tank. Now, that still leaves that 1/2 inch, plus some of the black plastic edge, plus the 'ceiling' where the lights are. I've found eggs on the ceiling before. But apparently that wasn't good enough for Frisky this time. She wanted space. She wanted room to move. She wanted room to breathe darn it! So what does she do? I'll tell you!

Before I went to bed she was at the waterline. I noticed that her foot was curled up more than usual. The snails do some funny and cute things and this wasn't unusual, but I noticed. I figured she was probably there to lay eggs because she was actually out of the water most of the way. So I fed the fish and went to bed. Gotta give a girl some privacy to lay eggs, right?

At some point during the night she apparently decided to look for a better place to lay her eggs. Someplace more secluded perhaps. So she climbed all over the tank investigating. And she discovered the 2 inch cut-out area in the cover between the heater and filter where there is a gap. And she crawled out. Up and over the edge and down the side of the tank (you thought I was just making up those Mister Sinister stories didn't you? I know you were. But they are true!) Then she crawled a few inches to the wall, then up the wall. And, I kid you not, she laid a big ol' honkin' pile of eggs right on the wall. Gross huh? (I should have gotten a picture! It's always good to share the gross stuff.)

And then, apparently, she was exhausted and she let go. Clatter, clatter, clatter, clink, roll. Yep. The hubster couldn't sleep and was up at 3 AM watching TV and he heard a funny sound like a marble dropping. He went to investigate and found little Frisky just lying there, panting and exhausted and tired from her trip and trembling and scared from her fall. (OK, so she was just lying there, but INSIDE her shell I'm sure she was panting and trembling). He picked her up and put her back in the tank where she belongs.

Now, dig if you will a picture (yes, I loved that song in the 80's) of little Frisky inside the tank where she belongs, sliding up the side. She slides up to the top, waving her tentacles in the water and having a grand ol' Frisky time. She curls up her foot and pops herself off the edge. And she slowly wafts down, floating slowly through the gently filtered waves of the tank, waving at the guppies with her tentacles as she glides to the bottom. Nice and gentle, tranquil, relaxing.

Now, dig if you will, this picture, of little Frisking sliding up the side of the wall. She lays her eggs, then curls up her little foot and pops herself off the wall. But this time, instead of slowly floating down through warm waters, she drops like a rock and clatters across the surface of the table and rolls loudly to the edge of tank - clank! Not quite what she expected I'm sure (if snails actually have expectations - but of course they do!) I'm sure it was quite a surprise. I imagine she was scared almost out of her shell. I bet that shell door snapped shut like a spring-loaded, um, something (I need a good simile here, help anyone?)

Poor little silly Frisky.

So, I guess the lesson is to leave a little more egg laying room and to cover that gap somehow to keep adventurous snails in. Of course, if she's anything like Mister Sinister, she will learn pretty quickly how to open the top door to the tank. Then watch out! Snail slime on the TV remote again!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Random Quote of the Day

And yet another quote. (I've been too busy to be more creative).

"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls off a string."
-- Montgomery

Playing catch in the backyard, sharing a tasty dinner, chatting before bed, snuggling on the couch in front of the TV, petting the guinea pigs together, tucking little ones into bed and feeling little arms wrapped around your neck in a hug, listening to stories of exciting school days, tickles and giggles. Those (and many more) are my pearls.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Random Quote of the Day

This is another cool quote that I really like. It's just sort of plucked out of the middle of a story with no context, and at this point, I don't even really remember the story (I'll have to read it again), but I really like this:

". . . The wolf, who is not the monster that we think her, but God's dog, half-mad with hunger and the memory of his hands upon her head."
 -- from the story The Death of Koshchei the Deathless by Gene Wolf in the book Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Random Quote of the Day

This is my favorite quote ever. I discovered it while reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods and it caught my eye. If I ever have to visit a haunted house, this would be the kind:

"The house smelled musty and damp, and a little sweet, as if it were haunted by the ghosts of long-dead cookies."
--Neil Gaiman, American Gods


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our Garden

Garden and pots are planted for the summer! In the garden we have peas, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, carrots, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash and sunflowers.

In pots on the deck we have green beans, tomatoes, green onions, green peppers, various herbs (basil, mint and parsley), strawberries, poppies, pansies, star flowers, moon flowers, marigolds and zinnias.

Holy cow! That's a lot of stuff. Especially considering we really don't eat much in the way of vegetables. I mean, we'd like to. We really would. They are good for us and all. That's why we plant them. Now we just have to actually get ourselves to eat them!

But we do somewhat. Last year we ate quite a bit of lettuce, peas, spinach and tomatoes (put into tomato sauce). And we've been using the onions and carrots from the freezer over the winter. The broccoli never quite became edible, the cabbage, watermelons and squash were dismal failures, and the peppers never really got big enough to bother with.

We also shared the carrots with the guinea pigs (especially the odd shaped ones) which they thoroughly enjoyed.

So, we did manage to grow some and also to eat some. We're healthier because of it. I'm sure. Really.