Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby

Though the rest of the lyrics to the Tune Weavers classic do not apply, this passage suits my sentiments perfectly:

Happy, happy birthday, baby
No I can't call you my baby
Seems like years ago we met
On a day I can't forget

I am sitting here, listening to you as you start to stir in the other room. And I absolutely cannot believe that you are three years old already. I love you so much. You amaze me in ways I could never adequately express, and it is my continual honor to stand beside you as you grow. Happy Birthday, Violet Grace.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas...

...and my older sister REALLY wanted a peek at Santa Claus. Her naughty plot didn't work out for her, though...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just Coughed Up a Ball of Nastiness

I am trying not to panic. Really. But the last time I coughed up something this gross, it meant I had a cyst in my sinus. I did get to have fun x-rays and a CT scan of my face taken. But I was on antibiotics and severely dehydrating monster decongestants for weeks before that bad boy broke up entirely.

So, it would be nice to see a doctor today. But it's a Saturday. And in the world of military health care, the world stops on Friday at 5pm and resumes Monday at 8am. The office of my PCM is conveniently closed. I can't go to the hospital, because coughing up an odd foreign body that resembles brain matter probably doesn't qualify as an emergency in Tricare's book. I can use the point-of-service option, but I don't have an extra $300 for health care in my budget after my last dental claim was summarily rejected.

My only options are to plug a vaporizer in, crack myself out on pseudo-fed, and seethe in silence at the so-called benefits of my respective health care plans.

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound bitter. That must have been the cyst talking.

Or perhaps I am not as good at self-diagnosis as I think, and I am actually losing parts of my mind. If that's the case, I pray that the chunk of brain I coughed up took the 80s hair-band lyrics with it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Dragon

Because Snowmen are for the highly unimaginative...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Ham

This is me, as a toddler, showing off my brand-spanking-new Christmas PJs.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Lipstick Incident

This is what happens when the location of grandma's purse has allowed exceptionally easy access to a tube of bright red lipstick. Note my older sister's look of angst at having been caught. Also note that she decided it was okay to confine her lipstick mainly to her lips, whereas my entire face needed a fresh coat of paint. In truth, I do not look impressed in the slightest by her artistic endeavor.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tripping, Repeatedly, Down Memory Lane

Rather than allow myself to sink into my usual pattern of creative idleness and depression, I'm going to post old pictures and provide a little narration.

It seems I started hitting the bottle at a very young age. It's all been downhill from there.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How Squirming Squid Made Me Feel Like Chopped Liver

It was a typical Friday night, stateside. I eagerly awaited the opportunity to chat with my husband online. Since he is currently stationed in South Korea, I should have suspected that he might have other plans.

And he did.

He and the fellas were planning a day trip to Seoul. Their aim? To purchase, then ingest, an octopus immediately after it had been killed.

I make it a point not to eat anything that's still moving on principle. In addition, there's the yarf factor to consider. What on earth, I wondered, could have possessed my normally discriminating husband to want to eat something like that???

I can only assume that some kind of man-ultimatum had been issued. This was the result.


As my husband said of the experience: "No matter how hard I chewed, it was like I wasn't chewing it. So, I had to force myself to swallow it."

Oh, the blech.

For my part, I wasn't too upset with him for ditching me Friday night. After all, how could chatting with me compare to such a texturally and culturally enriching experience? Seeing the clip also made me infinitely more grateful for the lovely meal my mother prepared last night. We had ham. Nice, dead ham.

Still ham.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Douche, anyone?

Plagued by post-nasal drip and making a grocery list, I decided to Google possible phlegm-cutters. I happened upon this article, which refers to a sinus wash as a "nasal douche." And the fifth-grader in me snorted. Then, I choked, because snorting isn't a good idea when you should be douching every day...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

From Lamb of God to Sweeney Todd

I am attending a performance of "Sweeney Todd" in Nampa tonight. And I am so incredibly excited. My friend Victoria, who is performing in the orchestra, provided tickets for me and another dear college friend. So not only do I get to catch up with these lovely ladies, but I actually get to see a LIVE ARTS EVENT.

This morning, I realized that the last live performance I attended was a death metal concert in San Antonio, circa 2004. The headliner was Lamb of God, though there were three other bands opening for them (Throwdown, Children of Bodom, and Fear Factory, to be specific). Though those who know me might be shocked by this, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. I was particularly impressed with Lamb of God. Normally, I enjoy it when performers vary the material from their albums and improvise a bit. However, considering the complexity of Lamb of God's music, I was far more impressed that they were able to successfully replicate their works with such perfection and intensity. I still think their lead singer looks like someone I might hire to do my taxes...

But I digress.

I imagine that attending "Sweeney Todd" will be a far different experience. There will be music, of course, and plenty of theatrics. As with the metal concert, there will also be underlying themes of death, gore, and destruction. But I somehow doubt that the Nampa Civic Center encourages the formation of mosh pits, and concertgoers burning things.

If I am mistaken, it will be in my report.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why I Need to See the Doctor (Unfortunately, Dr. House Doesn't Count)

Violet and I need to get flu shots. So that we don't contract the flu and inadvertently kill my grandfather early. Oh, the fun never stops.

On a somewhat related note, in addition to watching "House, M.D." like a junkie on the USA network, I have been watching the episodes in order starting with season one (thank you, Netflix). And I have decided that my very least favorite medical word is necrosis.

song chart memes
more music charts

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not So Itsy Bitsy Anymore

We decided to have a local pest control company come out to do a one-time spider barrier treatment. Unfortunately, the gentleman who treated the house said there was nothing he could do about the largest of the spiders. Instead, we have been forced to invite him inside, and treat him as one of our own.

Welcome home, Stan.

Potty Prayers Answered

It worked!!! HALLELUJAH!

Praying to the Porcelain God(s)

In a last ditch attempt to have this child potty trained before college, I’ve put her in training pants. I told her not to pee in them, and to tell Mommy when she needs to use the potty. Every time I ask if she has to go potty, I get an excuse. “I’m going upstairs,” she replies, or “I’m too busy.” When she was in diapers, she could not wait to (at least) complete the routine, even though number one and two didn’t factor into the equation. Now, she won’t even go near the toilet. I know that her training pants are full of pee right now, but she’s refusing to let me change them as well. And if I make any demands that she considers unreasonable, I will be rewarded with a slapping and screaming fit. HELP ME, OH YEA POTTY GODS.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Spider Woman

Appropriately (or not), I was watching “Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends” as I called pest management companies this morning. The national estimate for year-round spider control was $630: through a local company, the estimate for similar service was $425. These pest management places sure make a killing (HA! I kill me!). I was surfing the Web (the web? Get it??), and it seems there are several steps we can take to prevent the black widows in the shed and greenhouse from infiltrating our home. So Mom and I are going to put on makeshift chem. gear, clean out the offending areas, and spray the hell out of them. I admit that I might take a certain satisfaction out of destroying the little MFers myself. I also admit that the prospect of going into the outbuildings and locating the critters makes me want to wet myself. Or perhaps I could crawl into a cocoon of denial and just avoid the yard altogether…

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dot dot dot

I thought I would consolidate my three blogs after purchasing my own domain name. Naturally, after I bought said domain name, I discovered that there was an error associated with such recent purchases. This issue has persisted for a few weeks, and I admit that I'm getting quite frustrated. At any rate, I will start to update this blog more regularly once the kinks are worked out. In the meantime, here is a fun little distraction...

more animals

Saturday, August 16, 2008

In Summary

I found out a few Thursdays ago that we were leaving for Idaho in less-than-24 hours. We attempted to pack the van, then ended up re-packing and sending an additional three boxes to Idaho. We stopped at a hotel, then with friends, then with the husband's family. We arrived, at long last, on a Monday (the fourth...I think). The mother-in-law flew in later that week, and left two days ago. I have not had time to catch my breath, or even to try to process that my husband and I will be a world apart very shortly. Of course, have also not had time to contemplate how Violet will react when he does not return within the week. Am dreading this. Immensely. I also still have many moving-related tasks to complete, such as notifying appropriate agencies (the bank, for starters) that I have moved. More wine. NOW. Will write more when the mythical thing called "time" decides to grace me with its presence. If I'm not a total wreck by then.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dude, Where's My Shirt?

All this talk about voting (and the fact that we soon have to change our address) had me thinking. Whatever happened to the mythical anniversary present that my husband ordered from these awesome people? It was ordered in April, and the hubby assured me that it should arrive within 6-8 weeks. Here we are, at 12 weeks…and no dice. I even had the hubby check under the porch to make sure the delivery man hadn’t dropped it between the slats.

Disconcerted, because we are about to move (at the end of this week, no less), I contacted Drew. His response was lightning-quick. I have never had such prompt or polite customer service. The best news is that a replacement “Voting” T-shirt will be on the way as soon as their store re-opens. Whoo-hoo!

So, in homage, I must add Drew and Natalie to my meager links lists. I was so glad to stumble upon their comics a few years ago. They make me laugh, every day, which is no small feat.

Married To The Sea

Friday, July 25, 2008

Just an Ass

I admit that I am just an ass, and one who has very little idea what she is braying about.

However, over the years, I have come to conclude that my vote for the next American Idol will ultimately count more than my vote for President of the United States.

There was much hooplah regarding the abolishment of the Electoral College after the 2000 election debacle. Where have the naysayers gone since then? We have once again become complacent with a flawed system which does not necessarily echo the voice of the American people. We are willing to accept the system because, with three glaring exceptions in our nation’s history, the popular vote and the results of the convoluted Electoral College happened to match up.

I’m not asserting that I have a solution for this problem. I will continue to vote, regardless of being disheartened by politics in general. Because, at my core, I am a simple citizen who wants this country to thrive. And I will do whatever I can with my small power, and my small brain, to help achieve that end.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Some Order, at Last

Our follow-on base has been assigned, so we should have the associated paperwork this week. The good news is, we're not too far from home: the bad news is, we're going to be far enough away that I'll have to pack and ship a lot more than I was hoping for. So...yeah. For the next two weeks, I'll be the lady locked up in her house, resisting the urge to rip her hair out.

Regardless, it's such a relief to know where we're going.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Edible Anarchy

I finally found the motivation to purge some of our paperwork yesterday. During my daughter’s two-hour nap, I managed to separate old receipts and all the miscellaneous junk sitting in the mail sorter.

Once we have our move date, I will have a better idea of when I can sort and pack more essential items. For example, I’m not packing and sending sippy cups and other toddler place settings until a few days before we depart. I also need to figure out what food items, if any, can be shipped to my mother’s house. I am determined to eat or donate anything that remains in the cupboards. In an effort to reduce excess, I have incorporated many of the lingering groceries into our menu for the next few weeks.

But there are a few random, surplus food items that have me wondering.

What would yams cooked in tomato sauce taste like?
How about adding some water chestnuts to that Italian Wedding Soup?
Would shallots somehow add a little class to my Ramen Noodles?
Taco Shells filled with Easy Mac and Rice-a-Roni? I think so.
Egg noodles, tossed with tomato paste, jalapenos, and dry roasted peanuts? I’ll have seconds, please.

Screw fiction. I smell a cookbook simmering: “Applesauce and Vermouth: Last Resort Recipes for the Military Spouse.”

They can put an ad for it in the deployment planner.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mini Monet

I bought Violet some washable watercolors earlier today. Here is what my little artiste came up with. They’re genius, I tell you. Pure genius.

Oh, Snap

The late Mitch Hedberg was right: “Rice is great if you’re really hungry and you want to eat two thousand of something.” And this afternoon, I found out that Rice Krispies are not so great when you don’t want two thousand of something, soaked in milk, all over your floor…

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thank You, Smash Mouth

Due to poor placement of the transmitter, our atomic clock is currently displaying an outside temperature of 107.6 degrees.

As a result, “Walkin’ on the Sun” will be stuck in my head for the remainder of the day.

Friday, July 11, 2008

On Waking

I woke up, and stared at the ceiling. My eyes began to wander around the darkened room. Suddenly, there was wetness on my face. I panicked momentarily, thinking that it must be a nosebleed. I then realized that the offending substance was coming from my eyes.

I was crying, and hadn’t realized it.

Oddly, I don’t remember feeling sad. I don’t remember thinking anything, other than, oh, I’m awake again, and, I wonder how long this will last. Then, tears. Even when I realized what was happening, and willed the deluge to stop, they kept rolling down my face.

Was I mourning some fragment of a recent dream? Or am I just more messed up right now that I will allow myself to admit?

Eventually, I slept again. But it was broken sleep, fraught with nightmares.

No wonder I prefer staying awake.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Absence of Order(s)

Wow. It’s amazing how bright my computer looks at 3:45 in the morning.

I’ve been wondering if this recent bout of insomnia is due to stress, or whether it’s all these troublesome thoughts in my head wandering around aimlessly because I haven’t had time to furnish a home for them. Hmph.

Speaking of homes, we are pretending that we’ll actually have the opportunity to leave ours in the next three weeks are so. Unfortunately, my husband still has no official orders, and therefore we have no idea when, exactly, we’ll be able to leave.

Perhaps I’m being selfish. You see, I had hoped that the hubby would be able to visit extended family for a few weeks before he’s overseas for the year. Maybe that was too much to hope for. I am well aware that we are not the most unfortunate military family regarding orders, or lack thereof. Every time I open my mouth to complain, I am told some horrific tale of Airman or Staff Sergeant So-And-So, who was only given a week’s notice when they dropped orders on him. Naturally, So-And-So had to leave the family behind, and the wife had difficulty obtaining a POA so that she could move their household goods, etc, etc…

I am well aware that things could be worse. After all, without these orders to Korea, the hubby would have been deployed to a very high-risk area in January.

I am also well aware that all the military branches are currently involved in, say, a massive-scale WAR right now. So letting my husband know where exactly he’s going after his tour to Korea might not be very high on the priority list.

But come on, people. He’s had a reporting date for Korea since January---

Instead of bitching further, I will end with this…

I have stripped the walls of pictures. They are very nearly naked. And my arms hurt from playing with caulk all day.

*Insert “That’s What She Said” joke here.*

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I hate sounding sanctimonious and depressed. *Click.* *Delete.* Ahhhhh, yes, that feels better.

Because She’s a Pussy

The cat’s been giving me the stink eye this morning.

I think she knows.

It couldn’t be the me-sized stack of packed boxes standing ominously in the corner of the bedroom. Or the fact that she and Turbo recently had two sets of shots. Or even the unusual number of guests we’ve had over to the house these past few weeks. No. Nermal knows something’s amiss because I’ve been moving our precious stuff around.

And she absolutely hates that.

She grew quite upset with me yesterday when I infringed on her territory under the bed. I needed to pack some shoes. She took my actions as some sort of personal betrayal. She glared at me, and refused to move even when I pushed one of the storage boxes right next to her. I’m standing my ground, her shiny eyes seemed to say. You just try to pry me out from under this bed, and see what happens.

I know that by this afternoon, her complaints will increase. As I begin to take pictures down, she will alternately mewl and hiss at me, as if to ask, “Why? Why are you doing this again? Why, oh why, can’t we stay in one place? Don’t you know how much I hate change?”

I do know how much she despises these all-too-frequent cross-country trips and relocations. I know because she undergoes a distinct personality change every time we move. When we relocated from Texas to South Dakota, she reverted to the full-fledged paranoia she displayed as a kitten. For months, she sought out every possible hiding place in the house. Last year, when we stayed in Boise with my mother, the stress of living around dogs must have been too much for her. She became uber-territorial, and took her angst out on Turbo. Nermal incessantly bullied the older cat, and wouldn’t even allow her to go in the litter box.

I did everything I could to help Nermal calm down. I even purchased some expensive kitty pheromones designed to relieve stress. Nothing worked.

I love my baby cat dearly. But part of me wonders if she would be better off with a non-military family…

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Shiner

My daughter has her first shiner.

It’s not a black eye in the traditional sense, really. The bruise is more of a line, which extends from her eyebrow and swings down to the middle of her cheek.

She had been running on the playground next to our house this morning, and I was watching from a short distance away. As she ran toward the metal climbing dome, her back was to me. So I didn’t see where she hit when she fell down, but I saw her tiny feet fail her, and then heard a dull *thunk* as she whacked her head on one of the metal bars.

As my own feet took flight, the internal mommy monologue was going full speed: Oh my God she hit her head it sounded bad she probably has a concussion I have to check to see if her pupils are the same size as soon as I’m close enough…

Violet, in the meantime, stood up, rubbed her head, and started to shriek. I scooped her up and started toward the house, asking if she was alright. Instead of the usual response, “Yes, I fine,” she continued to cry.

Oh my God where is my baby book I’m calling Jerry and we’re going to have a fun family trip to the hospital…

Violet really began to shriek when she realized that we were going inside. She was still upset from having hit her head, but she was not about to let me use her injury as an excuse to cut her outside playtime short.

Ok, calm down, I thought. She didn’t lose consciousness. Give her a few more minutes outside, and see what happens.

We walked to the other little playground area across the street. When we got to the basketball court, I could see the bruise starting to form on her precious little face.

As much as I hate to admit it, I was a bit relieved. I thought she’d hit further up on her head, thereby making the possibility of a concussion far more likely. I’ve already consulted What to Expect the Toddler Years and Baby Center, so I’m going to watch her like a hawk for the next forty-eight hours, just the same.

Curse you, confounded, outdated metal playground equipment.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

And a One, and a Two, and a…

My princess is lately quite confused. She thinks that her throne is merely a chair.

This is not the only communication problem we’ve had regarding her potty. The verb “go” in relation to said potty is apparently misunderstood. When I ask Violet to “go potty,” she usually picks her potty up and takes it somewhere else. As a result, I’ve tried to use other verbs in conjunction with the potty. “Can you make poo poo?” “Can you put your pee-pee in the potty?” Violet indicates that indeed, she can.

But she hasn’t yet.

Also, she seems extremely humiliated by the prospect of having to make the dreaded number two while there is another soul around. We’ve given her no reason to feel shame: in fact, if one of us happens to catch her in the act, we encourage her. Once the awful deed is done, we applaud loudly and exclaim “Yay!!! Good job pooping!”

She hides behinds the rocking chair, holds her hand out in a stop sign, and insists that we “just go away!”

Last night, as she was playing in her room, we heard her yelling. My husband graciously realized that it was his turn, and ran downstairs to check on her. A few seconds later, I heard his voice from the monitor: “Come down here, Honey. You’ve got to see this.” I complied. When I arrived outside of her room, I saw that she had taken off her clothing.

Okay. This was not unusual. So?

Her father then inquired if she had pooped (as if his sense of smell was failing, somehow). She reached her hands out in supplication, and said “Yes.”

Pardon my language, but NO SHIT.

Both of her tiny hands were covered in poop. My husband and I burst out laughing. I continued to laugh as I helped her wash her hands repeatedly, though the poop juice leaking from her diaper was staining the back of my shirt.

I suppose I should be thankful she didn’t have time to use it as finger paint…

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On Packing Hats

Though it is very cramped, and has its share of problems, I am going to miss this house.

I will miss it for no other reason than it is the house that I brought my daughter home to. It contains her essence, and perhaps her earliest memories. For now, it contains the ballerina wallpaper border her doting father put up when she was still in the womb: delicate, girly, and watchful over the playtime giggles to come.

I will miss this house because in it, I found some measure of stability. When we were in this house, we were whole: we were family.

Without this house, we are apart. God knows for how long.

I will miss this house, and pray that its new tenants are successful on their own journey through this strange life, with the orders and the inherent unpredictability.

Until it is demolished, this house will always be new to someone…

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mommy’s Muddled Math

How fondly I remember word problems from my elementary through college education. I am not a math whiz by any means. In fact, it takes all the brain power I have just to balance our checkbook. But, reflecting upon my recent days as a housewife, I think some of the math problems should have gone a little something like this---

A sleep-deprived woman is attempting to make lunch for her daughter. If the French fries need to be cooked at 450 for 10-15 minutes, and the fish sticks (which need to be flipped after 12 minutes) must cook for 17-19 minutes on 425, and the chicken nuggets (an alternative, in case of fish stick rejection) need to cook for 13-15 minutes on 400, how long will it take the incompetent mother to burn the house down?

I’ll let you know the answer when the sirens start wailing…

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Good Mourning!

For no apparent reason, my daughter decided to sleep in this morning. This was a happy coincidence, since I downed half a bottle of wine last night and stayed up until the alarming hour of one a.m.

My remaining brain cells, which presumably are still in mourning for their dead comrades, thank her profusely…

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Feline Frets

My cats have no idea what they’re in for tomorrow.

They’ll know as soon as the cat carrier is set in the foyer, though. Yes, it’s time for another traumatic trip to the V-E-T. Never mind the fact that the vet’s office is less than five minutes away. First the required but ineffective hiding will commence. Then, pathetic yowling will prevail when they are forced by their dear Daddy into their roomy pet carrier, destined to be stuck with needles.

Poor kitties.

I admit I’ve been a lousy pet parent these last few years: I only remember to update their shots if we’re about to move. Once in a while, if Violet is in whirling dervish mode, I even neglect to feed them again in the afternoon. I was hours late today when Turbo hopped up on the computer chair and meowed directly in my ear. And, being the freaking genius that I am, I still couldn’t figure out what was bothering her. Another hour later, I finally looked at their empty dishes, and apologized profusely to my furry friends. As if my Rubenesque beauties are under-fed or something…

There are a number of other reasons I feel guilty about Nermal and Turbo. A few years ago, I developed an allergy to cats. Naturally, this makes living in this small, carpeted house an interesting and phlegm-filled experience. I’m not able to pet them or brush them as often as I’d like, because my nose runs, my eyes water, and my hands start to itch. And naturally, I feel bad when I cannot adequately defend them from the affection and curiosity of my child. “Don’t do that to kitty!” is an oft-used phrase in the house as of late, as my daughter pulls, pinches, and points out body parts (“kitty eye,” “kitty ear,” etc.).

Of course, my biggest source of guilt is that these poor creatures, who do not travel well, are going to be forced on a two-to-three day venture to Idaho soon. There, they will be forced to live with the dreaded D-O-G and another, unfamiliar, feline.

I’m not sure they will ever forgive me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

For Her Dad

There is nothing I love more than listening as Violet makes her Daddy laugh. Jerry was an exceedingly loving and devoted father from the moment she was born. In fact, Jerry’s vigilant care for his daughter helped create the funniest story of Violet’s first days. He was cradling her, a naked newborn, in one arm, headed for the changing table. Before he reached the table, she started to pee, and poor sleep-deprived Jerry tried to catch the falling urine with his other hand. I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my face…

When he is across the world from us, every time Violet asks me where he is, it’s going to break my heart.

For My Dad

My dear father was always outnumbered by the women in the house, and so the responsibilities of insect eradication fell primarily on him. One evening in the summer, there was a beetle on the deck so huge that none of us females would dare go near it. Since we kids had a habit of playing pranks with plastic insects around that time, my father assumed the beetle was fake. He kneeled down, stretched his hand toward it, and was on the verge of picking it up before it sensed danger and scurried away. My father leaped backwards like a cat. It was the only time I ever heard him scream like a girl.

We miss you, Dad. Every day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Topping the Toddler Train of Thought

Since taking Violet to see Thomas the Tank Engine the other day, my husband and I have been bombarded with requests to see him again.

“See Thomas? Ok, go see Thomas.”

“Outside? Go see Thomas?”

“See Topham Hatt?”

“Go car. Go see Topham Hatt.”

Sometimes, she requests to go in a whisper, as if her tone will change our minds.

“Pssst, hey, Mamma,” she says softly. “Go see Thomas?”

Jerry and I have tried our best to explain that seeing Thomas in person is a once-a-year event at best. My husband eventually resorted to telling her that Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt had to go home to the Island of Sodor.

This approach worked for about two days.

This morning, as I was checking my email, Violet was watching one of her Thomas DVDs. She approached me, and looked at me hopefully.

“So-dor?” She said uncertainly. “I-da Sodor? Okay, go I-da Sodor!”

Wish me luck with explaining that the Island of Sodor is an imaginary place…

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Limbo (How Low Can You Go)?

It is approximately seven weeks until we move (or so we think). I know where we are going for the year, but my husband still has no official orders, and no indication of a follow-up assignment.

I am about to go absolutely nuts.

Since my daughter and I are not immediately moving to the follow-on base, the bulk of our household goods will be in storage for the year. Until I know where we’re going, I can’t pack or ship anything to my Mom’s house. Because, if by some miracle we are assigned Mountain Home AFB, our stuff will be in storage locally, and the shipping expenses would be a tremendous waste of money.


To make matters worse, our shoddy base house seems to be falling apart lately. I have to make yet another appointment for the shower, which wasn’t really fixed the last time the maintenance man graced us with his presence. He half-assed it and improvised, so now I have to call back and complain like the whiny, bored housewife that I am. The dial on our dishwasher has also taken a crap for some reason. The wash cycle works, but the timer doesn’t, and the dial is very hard to turn. I feel it will break off in my hand every time I run the dishes through.

I’m also not doing so well regarding the lovely prospect of being away from my husband for the year. We recently learned that one of his best friends will be stationed at the other AFB in South Korea, which is good news. At least he’ll have some measure of support a few hours away. And thankfully, Violet and I will have my family. I vow this time to be less of a depressed-hermit-bitch during the separation period, so I am hoping to see a few old friends while we’re in the Boise area.

Speaking of friends, I’m trying to figure out when we’ll have the opportunity to socialize here before we leave. With illness and other obligations lately, we haven’t been very good about keeping up with many people. My bad attitude and crap-I’m-about-to-cry-in-the-grocery-store-for-no-good-reason episodes aren’t helping matters. I pretty much just want to crawl into bed and have Jerry wake me when it’s time to move.

When I look in the mirror lately, I see Tweak from “South Park” shuddering back at me.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Surly 'Bout my Fringe on Top

Armed with the how-to section of a recent edition of Hallmark Magazine, I was determined (possessed?) last night to cut my own bangs. The results were not quite as scary as they were on my first attempt, but the process was more difficult than I’d initially anticipated.

The magazine’s instructions were useful, but incomplete. The article suggested a method of trimming similar to what I saw my stylist use. Yet, the editors of Hallmark should have included a disclaimer for us illogical types, such as: BEWARE, MORON. When you trim your own bangs, the risk of scratching your cornea is approximately 90% higher than if you just fork over fifteen bucks and let a professional do it.

Oddly, when you cut your own bangs as instructed, common sense dictates that a lot of it will fall directly into your eyes. As it turns out, the whole seeing thing is kind of essential when one is holding a sharp pair of scissors so close to one’s face. I’m quite lucky that my eyelashes are still intact. Unlike the smiling, serene woman in the final illustration, I ended up swearing profusely and clawing at my eyes, trying desperately to rid myself of the tiny pieces of hair stuck to the surface of my eyeballs…

All that effort, and I still look like the bastard child of Diablo Cody and Mr. Spock.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hunger Strike

Can one subsist on orange juice and Lucky Charms marshmallows alone? Somehow, I doubt it. And yet, Violet is refusing all other forms of sustenance today. And yes, though it is easily a thousand times more profound than this post, I now have that Temple of the Dog song stuck in my head…

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Training Pants on Fire

My daughter recently figured out how to lie. On a visit to the grocery store the other day, a few patrons in line asked her how old she was. Violet thought about it for a second, then proceeded to put four fingers out in front of her. “Four,” she said softly. “You are not four, honey, you’re two,” I replied. I then took her hand and configured her fingers into a peace sign. “You’re this many.”

“No,” she insisted, and then turned to the inquiring customers. She once again put four fingers out in front of her, and whispered her inaccurate age as a secret: “Four.”

So young, and already lying about her age…

Yesterday, she had a bought of diarrhea while wearing training pants, and decided it would be best not to tell me. Naturally, the overwhelming reek tipped me off.

“Violet,” I asked, “Did you poop?”

“Nope. No, no, no,” was her reply.

You would think such defecation would be difficult to deny when it’s running down your leg. However, when I placed Violet on the exercise mat to change her, I repeated the question. And even though her moving legs were smearing poo all over the mat, she insisted that she had not pooped.

Hmph. Someday, she’ll make an excellent politician…

Monday, May 19, 2008

Class-A Stress Case

Last night, my husband and I compiled a three page list detailing tasks to complete before we leave. Since we are moving to different locations for a year, the impending travel arrangements are slightly more complex than those of our last separation. I was hoping to start yet another alphabet on one of the other blogs, but I’m fairly certain I don’t have the time or energy. Posts from me, at all, will henceforth be…sporadic? Random? Nonexistent? Hopefully not the last of the three options, since this silly thing is the only thing standing between me and a chasm of utter insanity.

In lieu of rambling further, here are some recent photos of one of my other babies…

Friday, May 9, 2008

Crayola Crapola

I left Violet coloring in her high chair while I went to the porch to scrape some mud off of her shoes. When I came back in, she had eaten the tips from three of her brand-new crayons. Thank God they’re non-toxic. Why can’t she just tell me when she’s hungry???

Thank You, Shrek 2

My daughter, as usual, woke up at around 6:30 this morning. As was also usual, she was delighted to see her father, who was (as usual) still lying in bed. Violet burrowed under the covers and snuggled up next to Daddy.

“Come on, Violet, it’s time to change your diaper,” I insisted.

“Go away,” she replied, putting her hand out in front of her like a tiny stop sign. “Go far, far away.”

“Let me get this straight,” I replied, amused rather than annoyed. The rational part of me knows that she simply got the “far, far away” part of her demand from watching Shrek 2. “You love Daddy, and you want me to go far, far away?”

It would seem so.

Unfortunately, with his looming orders to Korea, the exact opposite of what she wants is going to be true.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Log Dialogue

Violet enters stage right, clings to the bookshelf, and makes straining noises.

Me: Are you pooping?
Violet: No. GO AWAY.

A few moments pass. The sound of typing is heard, and Violet’s straining noises continue. Suddenly, there is silence.

Me: Violet, are you all done pooping?
Violet (adamant): GO AWAY!!!

I’d better go change her, since she’s decided to go sit (sh*t?) on Big Bird…

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


This morning, as I filled my water bottle in the kitchen, I heard the sound of typing coming from the living room. Violet, in an attempt to imitate me, was playing with the keyboard. She was at the computer desk for less than 30 seconds, and since nothing appeared to be missing from the desktop, I assumed that she hadn’t done anything to our files.

This afternoon, as I sat down to pay bills, I noticed that my folder for household affairs was missing from the desktop. Panicked, I took a closer look at all the folders, and noticed a new one entitled “mmmmmmm.” I opened the folder, and all the household information was contained within. I’m just thanking my stars that Violet simply renamed the folder instead of deleting it, because (naturally) I haven’t backed it up in a few weeks.

Guess it’s time to start locking the computer down when I’m not sitting at it…

If I May

I’m a tad overwhelmed this morning, as we rearranged our bedroom this weekend, but didn’t fully complete the task. This is mostly because upon attempting to rearrange items on the shelf in our bedroom closet, we noticed that said shelf was about to come out of the wall. The maintenance man came by to remount and repair it yesterday: naturally, there wasn’t a new board large enough to replace the warped one. But, since we’re moving in just a few months, I suppose the split, caulked-up version will have to do. The maintenance man informed us that many shelves in the other housing units have already fallen out (I love it when they reassure us with such useful information). The items and containers that were on the shelf are sitting in the middle of the garage, and I need to clear them out before the snow (100% chance of heavy snow, no less) begins to fall tomorrow evening, so we have a storm-free place to park the van. Indeed, it seems we will have a frigid first day of May...

Friday, April 25, 2008

To Five Years

Tomorrow marks my fifth anniversary of being a ball and chain. I haven’t yet convinced my husband to watch our wedding video: maybe I’ll have a formal party and air it on a big screen when we reach ten years (insert maniacal laugh here). Here are just a few pictures of that long-ago day in Vegas…

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dress Up

The natural disaster alarm went off on base this morning. The follow-up announcement indicated that a tornado warning was in effect. The second such announcement began and ended with the words, “Exercise, exercise, exercise,” thus indicating that the warning was, in fact, fake (thanks for mentioning that the first time, fellas). Anyhow, in the time between the first and second announcements, I closed the storm windows and took Violet downstairs. We then got the scarves and hats out of the closet…

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Opening Doors?

I’ve had far less opportunity to write lately. This is partly due to the fact that my daughter recently conquered the doorknob concept, thus making child care a more interesting experience. All the items tucked safely away in closets suddenly became accessible. I made a trip to the mall yesterday and found doorknob covers: so far (fingers crossed), they are working. There have also been other impediments to any kind of mommy-time. Since we recently took down our large child gate, Violet now randomly runs downstairs and hides from me. Occasionally, she is content to read books or watch a few minutes of a television program: otherwise, chaos reigns.

Speaking of chaos, we are also beginning our preparations for the impending move. We do not yet have an assigned base for when Jerry returns from his overseas tour, so much of our packing and shipping will have to be done after he receives those orders. In the meantime, I need to purge this entire house of anything we don’t absolutely need. I’m starting with our file box, since I’m a paranoid soul and don’t want our personal documents hanging out in storage (potentially, thousands of miles away) for a year. So I suppose I need to consolidate our files into a single, small storage box, and take those with us. I’m not looking forward to the tedious process of sorting and shredding.

Even now, as I write, Violet is under the computer desk, examining the dangling cords and deciding which one to yank first. I am beyond stressed out, and fighting the temptation to put the gate back up…

Friday, April 18, 2008

For the Glow Worm Omnipotent Reigneth

My child finally decided that it was time to pass out.

I instigated the nap process at 1:10 PM. Since I took her to the park this morning, fed her lunch, and then gave her a bath, I assumed her obviously exhausted self would not object. After brushing her hair and letting it dry for a while, I placed her in the crib and proceeded to read her five bedtime stories. We then sang along with her glow worm, which has become a customary part of the calming process since she decided to climb out of her crib last week. I am terrified that she will try it again, so I sing to her for a little while. She is usually content to let me leave after “Rock a Bye Baby,” and she promptly falls asleep.

Not so, today. I could hear Violet talking to herself as I spoke with a friend on the phone. After several minutes of overhearing her baby jabber, I decided I should check on her. She had been playing with her feet: upon seeing me, she sprang up and immediately put a leg up on the crib rail, ready to climb out. I, instead, lifted her out. She ran upstairs, insisting that we watch Superman. I complied, and gave her some milk in the hopes that a fuller tummy might make her drowsy.

Now, several books, many admonitions not to climb out of her crib, an empty threat of spanking, a baby back rub, and many (many) songs later, I am sitting here utterly exhausted. Even after I left the room, I could hear her calling me. “Momma, come here. Momma, come HERE.” Of course, when she says it, the plea is pronounced with an accent reminiscent of New England: “Mommuh, come eee—yah. Mommuh, come eee—yah.”

Hard to resist such adorable heckling. But I’m very glad I did, because she is FINALLY ASLEEP.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Free Range

You could say I’m in a bit of a mood today. Violet woke up at about 6:30 again, which would have been fine if my own sleep schedule had worked out as planned. We were all trying to go to sleep at about 10:30, when I heard Violet’s glow worm go off. I jumped out of bed to retrieve it: she had rolled over right on top of it, but was still asleep. When I got back into bed, I could not go to sleep for the life of me. The last time I remember looking at the clock, it was 11:54. I woke up at 2:58, and couldn’t get back to sleep until about 4:30. So, all in all, I got about five hours sleep. I’ve survived on less, but I’m still grumpy.

My husband had a late night teaching a class, so he slept in for a bit after Violet and I got up. I would have been jealous, but in all likelihood, I would not have been able to fall back to sleep if given the option. So I got up, fed my kid, and then fed the cats. To protect her identity, I will refer to the cat who threw up yesterday night and this morning as “Evil Furball #2.” Last night, she chose locations to ensure that our bedroom would stink like wet-fishy-cat-food puke for the next week. This morning, she threw up next to and on the gate that blocks Violet from getting to the computer.

Resisting the urge to drop-kick Evil Furball #2, I got the Nature’s Miracle (awesome stuff) and a cleaning towel out. Unfortunately, I had to wait for hubby to trudge up the stairs and dissemble the gate so I could adequately clean the floor. We then made the (perhaps unwise) decision to just take the gate down. Violet needs to learn the meaning of the word no, I asserted. I spent the next thirty minutes childproofing the desk area, and then let Violet come back upstairs.

I’m surprised to say that Violet’s doing quite well with her newfound freedom thus far. I’m still worried about the paper shredder, which the OCD part of me wants to put in the garage. My husband says we should just leave it in the off position, but I know that I would probably forget to do so on occasion. She’s also pretty good at figuring out how to turn things on, so…yeah. Hmph. Maybe I’ll just unplug it for now.

Jerry brought home a Sesame Street pre-deployment DVD last night. I don’t think I should watch it with Violet this morning, because I’m too tired and emotional. I don’t want her to see me cry…even if I look a little sad lately, she comes up to me, pats my hair, and says, “Don’t cry, Momma.” Even writing that is enough to make me cry.

Must get sleep. Brain and heart might work better.

Speaking of which, I’m about to fall asleep just sitting here so perhaps it’s time for MORE COFFEE.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dream On

Langston Hughes famously pondered: “What happens to a dream deferred?” Naturally, this inquiry by Hughes had broad social ramifications regarding his contemporary environment. I don’t mean to degrade its meaning by attempting to apply it to my odd and comparatively insignificant life. Yet, my question, this morning, is this: what happens to a dream, modified? Does it seethe at former dreams in resentment? Does is sit idly on a shelf for fear its author will be chastised as a bad housekeeper yet again? Does it get swept under a rug by said housekeeper, or is it planted and allowed to blossom despite the inevitable conflict it will create? Does it wither and hide every time an unsupportive soul walks by? The answer, thus far, appears to be all of these.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I Love SD in the Springtime

Violet and I made the long (eight door) trek over to our friend’s house this morning. Our purpose was to feed the little kitten Emma, since her parents are away for formal wedding preparations and celebrations. The journey of less than half a block is not normally so arduous: but this morning, icy snow whipped at our faces. I could hardly see, and Violet kept saying “Ow, ow, ow.” I picked her up and shielded her face against my coat, and looked down, because looking up was not a viable option. We made it to the house, and Emma was quite happy to see us. The trip back was a little better, since the wind was to our backs.

Now, safe and warm in our house, I’m looking at the forecast. It seems we can expect precipitation throughout the day with a possibility of 49 mph wind gusts. Joy. I think I’ll wait to check on Emma again until Jerry gets home, so Violet doesn’t have to endure this lovely weather again. Or maybe I’ll be a real puss and drive over there (sadly, I think I could actually see where I was going that way). How I wish I could take Violet to the park. Normally, I hate warmer weather and its associated allergens, but my poor kid (who is currently spitting on her glove and trying to clean the T.V. with it) really needs to get out.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Apocalypse: Now?

I am currently two loads away from being caught up on the laundry. If brimstone starts raining from an open wound in the sky, I'll keep you posted. Right now, the forecast is only calling for more snow...

Thursday, April 3, 2008


So I decided to give it one more shot, even though I've felt rather ostracized in a certain situation. And I've found that some people are simply not worth my time. I wish I was catty enough to truly be hurt by what just happened, but instead, I'm taking the intellectually superior road. Instead, I'm laughing at the absurdity of their poorly constructed dramas, and their apparent self-righteousness and contempt for those they have chosen to exclude. Instead, I'm reflecting on the insight their actions have given me, and I must thank them. They have given me excellent models on which to base characters in my fictitious works, because there are too many in this world who are equally low, petty, and downright stupid. I might be a b****, but at least I'm a smart one, and one who (strangely) deeply considers the feelings of others...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Naughty, Naughty

So I’ve been reading about “Naughty Spots” and “Naughty Stools” and it all sounds…a little…wrong to me. My mind is incessantly in the gutter, and the word “naughty” just reminds me of a HORRIBLE John Parr song from the eighties. My problem with the whole concept of the time-out place is that our house is small, and filled with miscellaneous junk in every corner. There is no area away from toys, or potential toys (Mommy’s old history reports from Jr. High, anyone? She likes the sound of pages ripping). I don’t know whether I will buy an actual time-out-type mat or not. But I am determined to design a place that is bereft of any kind of FUN. The twisted wheels in my head are turning, and lubricated (another naughty word) by vanilla vodka. Insert maniacal laugh here…

A Pox in my House—Part Deux

My husband was told at his check-up the other day that his smallpox vaccination was no longer contagious. Yet, as fate would have it, I have developed several strange bumps on my back. When I felt the first bump, I simply thought I had a pimple in an odd place. Now, there are several of them, and they are red and itchy to the point of distraction. I’ve washed our sheets in very hot water (yet again), and now I am separating MY clothes from my daughter’s, just in case. I’m really hoping that I had a localized allergic reaction to something else. It’s a distinct possibility, given my many odd allergies. But hives would probably be more widespread, and the persistence, pain, and itchiness of these bumps makes me suspect that I may have been inadvertently inoculated. I know I was only five when I had chickenpox, but if I remember correctly, it was a similar (and exceedingly annoying) sensation. Guess I’ll be making a call to the ever-faithful treatment facility tomorrow, to see if there is anything I can do to relieve my symptoms (other than gnash my teeth), or prevent further contagion to my daughter. Ah, the JOYS of military life…


My husband took a six o’clock flight to California this morning. We were due to pick our neighbor-friends up at 4:30, since Jerry’s co-worker lives about eight doors down and he was also assigned the same flight. Jerry and I woke up at four, and he took a shower while I washed my face and got dressed. While I went upstairs to assemble a sippy cup, Jerry woke the baby and got her dressed. It was not until I got her home from the airport that I realized he’d put her left shoe on her right foot, and her right shoe on her left foot. And we let him drive to the airport, Brittany!!! Glad I’m not the only one whose brain function is compromised by waking up before 5 AM…

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Golden Moments

No matter how bad your day seems, when your child decides to put on her snow boots and pee in a laundry basket, it’s time to laugh.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Procrastination is a wonderful word. My brain sings it to the tune of Rod Stewart’s “Infatuation.” This simple mental exercise, in my opinion, makes the word roughly ten times better. Violet is watching Toy Story and playing with the Sesame Street Easter pals that her aunt brought her yesterday. The cats are meandering about, and thankfully, Nermal is not repeating yesterday’s performance of yacking on the stairs. There is a mess in my kitchen, and I’m trying my best to ignore it. There will be time to catch up later, and hopefully, a little time for me to sleep. I was awake from three to five this morning, largely due to the large amounts of orange juice and vanilla vodka I consumed over a period of about six hours yesterday. I’m quite surprised that I’m not severely hung over this morning, though I seem to have misplaced a few trillion brain cells. Oh well. It appears my daughter has been rolling around on the couch: her hair resembles the inside of a plasma lamp at the moment. It’s supposed to be a lovely day today, so as soon as it warms up a bit, she and I are going to the playground. Right now, I will sit a bit longer and stare aimlessly at the wall, lamenting the fact that my husband didn’t leave me enough coffee this morning. If I had a little more motivation, and a few of those brain cells back, maybe I’d just get off my ass and make some more…

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Head, Shoulders, Ernies, and Toes

I keep trying to teach my daughter where her elbows are. But she insists on calling them Elmos, and then she just gets confused…

Monday, March 17, 2008

You Learn Something New, Every Day

Apparently, green and blue crayons taste better than the red and purple variety. Hmph. Must keep this information in mind when I make my next casserole…

Friday, March 14, 2008


Pardon my parental gushing, but my daughter gets smarter and more adorable every day. A few nights ago, she was running around playing with Daddy shortly before bed. She ran to the stairs, and accidentally bumped her nose on one of them. A loud cry and many tears ensued. My husband hugged her for a while, and then handed her to me. I sat her on my knees and looked at her. I then inquired, “Violet, are you okay?” “Yes,” she replied, and then she paused, with tears still falling from her little eyes. “I’m fine.” It was soooooooo ridiculously stinking cute. Yesterday, after I unplugged her video game, she repeated the question, “Why did you do that?” for about five minutes. I love that she’s starting to speak in complete sentences, but I’m always taken aback by it. The transition from senseless babble to perfectly articulated thoughts makes me realize how fast she’s growing. If we can only get her potty trained, she will be ready for college.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Back to Black (More Bang for Your Buck )

In anticipation of my 30th birthday, I attempted to give myself a Bettie-Page makeover. Getting my hair chopped off and dyed was simply the least destructive mid-life crisis I could concoct. I couldn’t quite pull of Bettie’s haircut, so I opted instead for an A-line bob. I like the bangs, and I like reverting to black hair, but I think I might need to grow the rest of the ‘do out to shoulder length. The bob is fine when it’s wet and flat to my head, but as my hair dries, I start to resemble a goth Raggedy Ann doll. Hmmmmmm. It must be karmic backlash for my recent criticism of emo kids.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fast Eddie: Gone in a Blink

It’s been six very strange years since my father passed away. Here is a top-ten list of things that remind me of him…

10. Watching Superman with Violet.

9. Vanilla Ice Cream/Nilla Wafers/Andes Mints. I can’t go to the grocery store without being reminded of some of my father’s favorite foods. Every year, we bought him handkerchiefs and Andes Mints for Christmas. Incidentally, my daughter adores Nilla Wafers…

8. Hollywood Gossip. My father had subscriptions to many celebrity gossip magazines, including “US Weekly.” He always knew who was dating who in Hollywood. When we were watching movies, I admired how adept he was at identifying actors. He would have enjoyed scrolling through, I’m sure!

7. Puns. My father made us laugh with his placement of puns. He also enjoyed the old novel/author puns, such as “Under the Bleachers by Seymour Butts.” If you ever cringe at any particularly bad puns in my blogs, please forgive me—I’m simply trying to carry on the tradition.

6. Movie previews. My father rarely got agitated. But if we arrived late to the movie theatre, and we missed the previews, he would get upset. Every preview I see, I reflect on whether my Dad would have wanted to watch that particular movie.

5. Video Cameras. My mother and father were always there to support their daughters for extra-curricular activities. At every performance where it was allowable, my father brought his camcorder with him. Even through college, I would see a little red light in the audience, and I knew my parents were there. Now, every time I record my own daughter, I remember how my father faithfully catalogued our memorable moments and milestones.

4. Mail Trucks. My father served his county in the Air Force for four years, but he served the U.S. Postal Service for nearly thirty-five. My dad was the happiest, most well-adjusted Postal worker I have ever encountered. He had a wonderful relationship with his customers. His nickname was “Cliff Clavin,” but not because he was inept—“Clavin” simply rhymed with “Slavin.” He survived many dog attacks, including one instance where a smaller dog jumped through a plate-glass window at him. Despite the inevitable stressors, he always maintained a sense of humor about his job. One memorable anecdote he told me involved an elderly customer who complained that the self-adhesive stamps “tasted terrible.”

3. The Yankees and Softball. I was only able to attend a few Yankee games with my father. The last game we were able to see, two of my father’s brothers were also in attendance. Other fans sat in awe at the amount of Yankee trivia my father and uncles knew. The ultimate Yankee fan, my father collected many shirts and memorabilia throughout the years. He also attempted to practice what he preached: on any given year, he was on one to three softball teams. He was buried with his glove, and the Yankee symbol is etched on the back of his gravestone.

2. Music. My father was a fan of many genres of music. He was even more aware of the popular music of the day than I was: he would often ask questions such as “Have you heard that new Britney Spears song?” Shortly before his passing, he became a fan of Mary J. Blige. When I was younger, he took us to a number of concerts, from U2 to Alanis Morisette. He even endured New Kids on the Block, because it made his daughters happy. One of my last memories of my Dad was watching the 2002 Grammy Awards. After watching Alicia Keys accept an award, my father commented that she was an excellent singer, but “not a very good talker.” There is another musical incident that stands out in my memory, though. After an almost-rained out game at Yankee Stadium, my sisters, father, and I were sitting in a booth at a 50’s-style diner. My father selected one of his favorites, Elton John’s “Your Song,” from the tabletop jukebox. Years later, when I saw Elton John and Billy Joel in concert, “Your Song” was the first song Elton performed. I couldn’t stop crying.

1. My daughter. Since she was a baby, my daughter’s face has reminded me of my father. She has certain expressions that mimic him perfectly. I know she would have adored her Grandpa Slavin.

Thank you, Dad. I have far too many good memories I could enumerate here, because you were such a wonderful parent and mentor. Your ladies miss you, very much, every day…

Monday, March 3, 2008


Our house was not built well. Scratch that. Our house was not even built up to code: these housing units were initially condemned. So imagine my husband’s chagrin when he found a vent in the laundry room that was not connected to the ventilation system. The little vent, which cannot be closed, simply leads to the area ender the porch. After making this fun discovery, my husband blocked the vent off. The entire downstairs area is already considerably warmer. I always wondered why I could hear the wind whipping around when I was in the laundry room. Now at least I know I wasn’t hearing things again...

Friday, February 29, 2008

A Pox in my House

So the husband had to get vaccinated for smallpox the other day. They injected him with bovine smallpox, and he warned me that he is “mildly contagious” at the injection site. The little hole they punched in his upper arm is supposed to swell up like a pimple, burst, ooze, and then crust over. Eventually, it will heal, but the process is going to take 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, he has to let the area air out. He is going to wear undershirts that the wound can ooze onto. We have a biohazard bin (aka old laundry basket) set up so he can separate the contaminated items, because they need to be washed in very hot water. FUN STUFF. I’m hoping I can get him to handle the pus-stained laundry items. As gross as it’s going to be, it also remains an interesting reminder that smallpox has not been eradicated in all parts of the world.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Prognosis: Phlegm

Looks like the cough is going to be more productive than I am today…

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hackity Hack

So I’ve managed to contract the lovely virus that’s kept my daughter up many nights this last week. My throat has been sore for the last four days. Last night, to my husband’s amusement, I lost my voice entirely while extrapolating on the outcome of the Oscars. I have my voice back today, but I sound like a bass, and I can’t fight the compulsion to cough. At least poor Violet is feeling better today: she, too, had been losing her little voice off and on. It would cut out while she was in the middle of singing the alphabet song. Yesterday, she woke up suddenly from her nap, coughing so hard that she couldn’t catch her breath. Her coughing today has been far more sporadic, and she seems in better spirits. I wish I could say the same for myself. I’d like to crawl into bed and sleep for about a week, but unfortunately that’s not an option…

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Notes for the Hubby

Dearest Husband,

It is called a dishwasher, not a "cheese eater."

Also, the cat does not appreciate it when you wear her as a scarf. That is why she makes that peculiar yowling sound...