Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The TeeVee

Charles and I come from very different TV backgrounds.

Growing up, we had a small black-and-white set until the early 80's. His dad got the newest and biggest color set as soon as each model came out. We (sister Gail and I) were allowed no more than 1/2 hour of viewing a day. At Charles's house, it was always on, even during the night. And, well, cable, schmable. You know whose house had it and whose didn't.

As an aside, it is hardly surprising that Charles is heavily into things audio and video. We have 3 TVs, although none are in the bedroom (she says as though that makes up for anything, sheesh!). One a plasma; one a large set downstairs in the basement for games (and is also currently the only working internet access); and the really big one in the (ahem) home theater.

Yes. Charles has realized his dream of a theater in the damn house. Good thing he married a doctor, huh? Too bad she works part time in a low key (and therefore relatively poorly compensated) field. God knows what he would put in the theater if I were a cardiothoracic surgeon. The newest acquisition is a bigger sub-woofer (the thing that makes the room rattle with low sounds and booms) the size of a small refridgerator. I must say, though, he does sniff out the good deals and with the trades he does, he comes off fairly well. He has also corrupted several friends, many of whom have started down that long, dark road of electronic equipment amassment.

I suppose he could have worse hobbies, or chase other women, or do drugs. (Floozies and coke would be cheaper, though.) And it does keep him home. The treadmill is also down in the theater, which makes it almost a pleasure to run, as the run is in front of a big screen with THX surround sound. Poor Colin and Sara will be spoiled for life.

Back to childhood TV: The only exception to the 30-minute-a-day TV rule was Saturday morning cartoons. Gail and I were allowed to watch from the minute they came on (6am, following the test pattern--this was network TV, remember) until 10 am. We each got, as an added incentive to let our parents sleep in, a Pop-Tart, unfrosted. So we watched Bugs Bunny and Superfriends, Scooby Doo and Shazam, all slack-jawed and tranquil.

The network, however, obviously felt the need to sneak in some nutrition during these mornings, in the form of Schoolhouse Rock, which we, of course, hated as we saw through this and felt obligated to resist. I mean, what were they thinking, putting educational stuff in the middle of the refined sugar that was Saturday morning cartoons. Just plain wrong. Of course, over several years, all the little ditties about no more kings and naughty number nine stuck. I even owe getting an essay question right on a high school Rights and Responsibilities test to this ditty.

When the collection came out on DVD, we had to have them and now I inflict them on our kids. Colin likes the multiplication ones best and Sara is more partial to the grammar ones. Me, I have several favorites but think Rufus Xaviar Sarsaparilla has them all beat. How can you not sing really loudly to that one.

I even sent a copy to Gail for Christmas this year, along with a box of Pop-Tarts. Unfrosted, of course. I haven't heard if she has watched it, but have a fantasy of her, while tidying the condo, singing and dancing along, thinking nostalgically about her childhood and nibbling a stale Pop-Tart.

Anyone else with me on this? Anyone have a favorite or even remember them? Lioness, did you have anything like this?

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Friday, May 27, 2005

Minimum Wage

Spurred by a surprise blog visit from a voice from the past, I bring you a glimpse of the Southgate Years.

(Warning: This is certainly of no interest to anyone except 2 or 3 people, including me, but I have nothing else to write about, so there. Feel free to wander about the internet. I won't be offended. I actually encourage it.)

Well, don't say I didn't warn you.

Charles got the job first.

It was 1985 and he and I were broke and in college. Just a hop across the river, in the suburb I grew up in, was the Southgate Theater. Yes, it was part of a chain, including the imaginatively named Westgate and Eastgate, located to the west and east. Southgate was to the south. It had 4 screens, and was completely basic, shaped like a large box, sitting on the main drag, next to the pizza place. But the hours were great for a student and, hey, minimum wage, what could be better. Much better than his last job of washing trucks for UPS at midnight, during December. For that job, as the temperature was in the teens (Fahrenheit), he sprayed water on the trucks, which froze on contact. He then sprayed on the soap, which froze on contact, and then more water, which again froze. When I would go to pick him up, he would be encased in a coat of ice, himself.

So this job, pushing popcorn, pop and candy seemed cake, especially with the fringe benefit of free movies. After a few months or so, I signed on, and worked my way up to that cushiest of jobs: The Box Office. This was truly the best, as all you did, especially after the remodel which put "the box" outside the theater in, of course, a box, was sell tickets. In the summer, you sold tickets and Fun Packs, these coupon books. You got 50 cents commission for each one you sold, so that was even better. During the down time, you read or studied. If you worked on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, there was almost total down time, so you were paid to sit and do your biology reading.

The best part about it, though, was the crew. My sister, Gail, ended up working there, as did Stacy, her best friend and "the little sister Charles never wanted". Of course she was my adored friend, too. Brian, Maryann, Pearl, Doug, Jake, all those guys. We partied together, several dated, and Brian and Maryann got married. All but one of the 8 bridesmaids and ushers in our wedding worked there.

Charles eventually became assistant manager. ("4 dollars and hour, wear your own clothes, looks good on your resume", went the mantra we chanted at him when he asked why he agreed to do it. Never mind you stained all your own clothes with grease from the "butter flavoring" we squirted on the popcorn.) He then moved on to projectionist, truly the best job, as you got to wear jeans and t-shirt, made the same 4 dollars an hour, and didn't have to deal with the public at all. The only down side was when the film broke, but the people usually took it out on the manager, not him. He was safe up in the booth.

According to Stacy the building is empty now, which is kind of sad. I was told it was a dance and cheerleading school for a while but apparently that went belly-up, too. So here's to the old Southgate, we knew you well. Good times, good times.

And my worst job? I think that would be the summer I hostessed at Denney's restaurant, home of the Build-A-Breakfast! where I wore a brown polyester wrap skirt and an orange and brown polyester peasant top. They were grooming me for waitress but, tragically, school started and I really needed to concentrate on my studies. So sorry. The Christmas working for the scummy PayLess doing cashier work was a close second. That was in the days when there were no scanners, you had to key in everything, running the credit cards through the hand-slide thingy, that pinched your fingers. And the stress of balancing out each night. (Shudder)

The worst job I ever heard of was what Charles's friend, Frank, spent doing. He picked up chicken carcasses that these 3 old lady chicken killers threw down on the ground, after they had broken their necks. Apparently they cackled while doing it, one delighted in using her teeth, and they looked like they were straight out of Macbeth. He lasted a whole week, but Frank was made of stern stuff.

So there you have it. Youth jobs. Got me where I am today. So glad I stayed in school.

And you?


Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I am tired. A good tired, but tired none the less.

Good busy day, tried to make a difference and all that sort of thing, and topped it all off by getting what is, I hope, the last of the year's mulch.

Had my usual Same Day Care clinic this morning, followed by quite the busy County Health Dept Family Planning clinic, the second week in a row. I usually only do an afternoon a month, which is about what I can take as it is such a manic place. I love it but can't do it all the time as I turn into a small puddle afterward. Today I saw 18 young women in 4 +1/2 hours, tackling everything from 2 solid months of heavy bleeding on Depo-Provera despite added birth control pills, several with pelvic pain, the usual discharge stuff, irregular periods, one who needed contraception but might be pregnant but if she wasn't then couldn't abstain from sex for the 2 week wait to make sure she wasn't pregnant but was too late for the "morning after" pill. I suspect some abuse but she denied it. Another with the mentality of a 5 year old, no schooling past grade 4!!, couldn't read the intake form, and having sex with whoever, whenever. She is terribly sweet and will certainly end up used by mean people over and over. It is just so sad. Another with no money, no insurance, needing further (read expensive) evaluation. Managed to get her signed up with the other clinic. Will be a delay but at least she will get the care, provided she follows through. I think she will but am not sure as her English is very rudimentary. Thank God for interpreters. My Spanish just isn't good enough and comes so slowly. I can get the basics but not the detailed answers.

And so the cycle will continue. If they could just not get pregnant. Finish school. Finish college or something similar. Find someone who treated them well. THEN have the kids.

Sorry. Usually it's not so much of a battle. Some of them are the most amazing successes, though. Horrible family lives yet get through the muck, unscathed, pulling themselves along to achieve amazing things. However do they? I've been doing stuff like this for 16 years now and people still never fail to amaze me, both the successes and the tragic ones.

How the hell did I get so lucky?

I live in fear that the re-incarnation believers are right. No way I can ever have it this good again, no matter how saintly I live.

Well, tomorrow, back to housewifery and gardening. Tonight there is a book and a nice glass of wine with my name on it. I haven't truly earned it but feel I have.

Here's to being blessed.


Monday, May 23, 2005

The Screaming Heebie Jeebies

Just yesterday morning I was thinking how wonderful it is to live in the beautiful country. Lots of trees, meadows, wild flowers, space, quiet, deer and other critters.

Then the horror occurred.

The scene: About 10 pm last night, our heroine snuggled under the covers, drifting off or perhaps actually asleep. Who knows?

(tickle.....tickle....tickletickle) very small, focal sensation near top of scalp.

Diana: (possibly awake but possible dreaming) scratch, scratch, scratch. ahhh. zzzzzzz

(tickle, tickle, tickletickle) same place.

Diana: (fairly certain she is awake or close enough) scratch, scratch, scritchscritchscritch, scratch. AAAAaaahhhh. (Lies there. Starts to drift off, after all it is a work day tomorrow.)

(tickle.Tickle...TICKLE!) same place.

Diana: (Absolutely awake.) SCRATCH! SCRATCH! feel, feel, feel, feel? What's this firm bump? Where did it go? Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

(tickle. rustle. rustleticklerustle.) same place.

Diana: (Never more awake in her life.) Gently reach up and trap the firm bump in her hair, near the scalp. Go to bathroom, look for comb. No luck. Go to son's dresser, look for comb, no luck. Go to kid's bathroom, find comb, scurry back to own bathroom. Why not stay in kids bathroom? No answer for that. Sorry. Feeling like the last teen alive in a slasher movie, the teen that only had a few sips of beer and no nasties because she is plain and not slutty and therefore fated to find out what the hell is in the basement, she reaches up with comb and, steely-nerved, firmly runs the comb across the scalp and through the hair. As she is bending over the sink and has sort of long hair, she hears, rather than sees, something firm "plunk" into the sink.

She knows what it must be.

She looks with revulsion and horror.

She is right.

A tick. Wriggling. On it's back. Fortunately not engorged. Fortunately a dog tick and not a deer tick for obvious Lyme disease ramifications, although was not embedded, so even if was lyme carrying deer tick, would be OK from that standpoint.

Back to bed. Points for not waking Charles, who is peacefully sleeping, softly snoring. Lie there for 3 hours sensing here and there OVER WHOLE DAMN BODY, INCLUDING HER EAR CANALS "tickle, tickle" and responding, "scratch, scratchscratchscratch".

And why this nocturnal assault on her body? Well, it would be retaliation from those she-bitches, the thistles, which she has declared war on. But that tale is for another day.

Tickle. Tickle.


Sure was a beautiful morning again, today.


Friday, May 20, 2005



(the sound of my body flopping on the couch, in the basement, where the sole working computer is)

Well, what is new?

Actually, not much. At least nothing earth-shaking or of particular interest. I worked. I came home. I worked some more and then worked at the county clinic, doing paps and dispensing various forms of contraception, as well as reviewing all the STD clinic charts, making sure all found diseases were given last rites.

The last 2 days have been spent coming to grips that, yet again, the 2nd spring in a new home does not bode well for things garden. You see, the first year, I just wing it. Stuff gets planted and I am just pleased for that fact. By the time the second spring rolls around, the pressure sets in. By then, the house is as unpacked as it is ever going to get and the yard and garden should be well in hand. For Pete's sake, what have I been doing all winter long? I always forget how little time I have to put these plans in to play, however, between thaw and planting. The second year, you see, I always build the raised beds.

The last 2 times, I have used big old concrete cottage stone blocks. They are spendy and oh-so-tedious to place and level in all 3 planes, but they look reasonably good and will last forever, something important as for each move we have vowed never to move again.

So, for the month of April, we built the damn raised bed, in the shape of a large "C", hemming in the strawberry plants, which will spill out of the center of the "C", into the raspberries, providing a pretty ground cover that will choke out all grasses and weeds. Unfortunately, I once again ran out of time. We have raised walls, but not beds, as the actual ground level is, well, ground level. Not raised. Well, maybe a few inches, but that's it. It does keep the dog out, though. Which, in and of itself, makes it all worthwhile. Next year, we will have to order the dump truck full of topsoil.

So, there we have it. A hemmed in garden, that I tilled last weekend, approximately 2+1/2 times what I had last year, all ready for the plants. I spent last week or so amassing them: many tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, red and yellow peppers, pumpkins, acorn squash, and buttercup squash. I am probably forgetting some others, but it doesn't matter. Sadly, I somehow seem to have bought 10 times the plants for the extra space. As a result, the squashes, melons, and all are planted about a foot or two apart instead of the recommended 6-10 feet apart. Oops. Even with training what I can to grow vertically on a sort of trellis of stakes and twine (works great for cukes) and a 50-75 % mortality rate, I fear overcrowding of a Texas penitentiary scale.

Maybe I will be glad of the 2+1/2 foot walls of the bed. Maybe I should build guard towers and top with razor wire. Not to keep the deer out, but the desperate vines in. And everybody knows tomatoes get a bit psycho in August. I don't even bother with those silly tomato cages. I ram a 6 foot metal fence post down next to each one and bind them with nylon strips. Actually, maybe I needn't worry, given the solid covering of dandelions and thistles doing their best to pretend to be lawn. Maybe they will have a huge pitched battle come September and all will die, allowing us to start over next spring.

Normal people just plant flowers and buy their produce good and dead at the grocery. Why can't I?


Monday, May 16, 2005


So, darlings, how was your weekend?

Me, I hauled out the little personal tiller on Saturday and opened a big ole can of whup-ass on the vegetable bed. Sadly, I seemed to come out on the receiving end of the session. The nice thing about my tiller is that it is light weight and I can wield it with reckless abandon on thing weedy and soily. The bad thing about it is that it is light weight and leaves me feeling like I have been used with reckless abandon by a jack-hammer. Regardless, much compost (last year's horse shit) has been forced to mingle with good-old Wisconsin clay, for the good of the growing. I still have some more compost to till in and a lot of top soil to add, but the top soil will be an ongoing process, over the years. Basically, one more "easy" till and I can stick in the plant babies. If it ever stops frosting at night. I also hauled lots of heavy things like compost and concrete blocks, from point A to point B and back, in the wheelbarrow.

Sunday morning, I was not a pretty sight, even from my own low morning standards. Now, I must say, sheepishly, that I am a conditional morning person. As long as I can have quiet, a hot cuppa something, a leisurely nosh, and either quality time with the computer or a book, I can cheerfully rise with the sun.

Sadly, sometimes I rise with the son.

To whit: Yesterday morning. A Sunday morning, for Pete's sake.

We have our beaten and broken heroine sleeping without visible signs of life.

4:30 AM: Her adored husband wakes, gets up and leaves the room, quietly shutting the door and taking the dog with him.

5AM: Suddenly, loudly whispered tones of "MOM! GO AHEAD AND TAKE A NAP FOR A LITTLE WHILE! IT IS NOT MORNING YET!" penetrate her consciousness. These words are accompanied by a head with bed-hair not 3" from our heroine's nose. He then exits stage right, leaving the door open. The dog, of course, takes it as an open invitation to make sure that I am not really dead, just pretending to be so, and sticks her extremely long and pointy (and cold and wet and ?loud?) nose in my face. I swing my crippled arms uncoordinatedly at the nose and it finally disappears as I manage to roll over to the middle of the bed. Sadly, the curtains had been left open, letting the newly risen sun shine in at the perfect angle to ricochet off the dresser mirror to the center of the pillows. Sun so bright that not even a large pillow over the head keeps its rays at bay.

I know when I am beaten.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Benefits of a Public School Education

The Scene: The kitchen of the House O'Piffle, after school, Colin and I standing, having a snack.

Colin: Mom, what does this mean? (giving me "the bird")

Diana: Oh. Well, that's a very rude gesture that kid's shouldn't use. It would get you in trouble if you did it, especially at school.

Colin: Oh. Mom, what's the F-word?

Diana: Ah. That's a really bad word that kids should never say.

Colin: But what is it?

Diana: Honey, I am not going to say it for you to learn it. You will just have to trust me on this one. (I flash to an image of Colin saying "fuck" at school, being asked where he heard it and, being the truthful kid he is, telling them precisely who taught it to him. So not going to happen.)

Diana: Where did you learn about these things?

Colin: Alex knows all about them. Is the f-word "effy"?

Diana: Nope. "Effy" is fine to say.

Colin: So, what is the f-word?

Diana: I'm really not going to tell you. You will learn it someday and when you go to college, you can use any words you like, but until then, it would be best if you didn't, if you don't want to get in trouble, OK, honey?

Colin: OK, mom.

Colin: So what is the s-word?

I swear I did not make that conversation up.

Actually, I swear like a sailor, or, more accurately, someone who went to college, med school, and residency. Swear words were as natural as breathing, in the appropriate venue, of course. Obviously, not in front of the nice little old lady in for a heart problem, but often along with the young guy with cancer and a history of drug abuse. It helped with the trust thing, knowing that I could talk honestly with him. Of course, among my colleagues, the swear words flew and still fly. But not in front of my or any one else's kids. Colin can learn them the way we all did, on the playground, from Alex.

OK, here's a test question: What's more pathetic than going to Northern Michigan for your paid-for-by-your-medical-group conference that most other people go to in Bermuda or Vail or Palm Springs?

Answer: Not going to go at all because your husband's district rescheduled the mandatory administrator's retreat for part of the week of the conference. Also spending ages online unsuccessfully trying to find another conference to go to in July. Actually, I did find one but the topics don't really apply to me and the place is one of those horribly formal places where men are expected in jackets and ties and the women in skirts or slacks after 6pm. I really don't think that is for us. I refuse to wear anything other than t-shirts and shorts or jeans to such things. We all have our issues.

Shit. Fuck. (waves the bird)

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Can't Talk. Gardening.

Of course, the title of this post is said in your best Homer Simpson.

I suspect there is something very wrong with me.

This year, as he does every year, Charles asked me what I wanted to have / do for Mother's Day. And this year, as I have invariable chosen for every single Mother's Day, I chose a trunk full of plants and the time to plant them. Not a nice brunch, not the day lolling in bed, not time alone at the mall with a credit card, not diamonds. Hard labor and dirt so embedded in the skin of my hands that it won't scrub off, but has to be worn off.

Obviously, it is the second half of the wish that is the vital part.

So, with an eye to the sky and the online weather radar, we set out Saturday morning to a decently sized Midwestern nursery (small by Northwestern standards, but you take what you can get) and grabbed a huge wagon, about the size of 8 of those little red wagons. I headed first to the tomatoes, as the rain began to fall. 45 minutes or so later, with Sara and Charles back in the car, doughty Colin and I pulled that laden cart through the innards of the store to the check-out line. The poor checker tried to put a brave face on it and did smile at me, but I saw her shoulders sag. 20 minutes and many, many dollars later, we loaded the booty into the rear of el minivan. With the back filled, (including the area where the rear seat usually is) as per wish, we headed home. The heavens then parted and the clouds fled.


My deal with myself was that I would plant when it wasn't raining. I had been counting on being forced to nap and read as it stormed outside. But a deal is a deal and out I dashed. 5 hours and 42 4" perennial pots later, the front beds actually look like the beginnings of a garden. If they live, this time next year it should be more green than mulch. I also ripped out miles of weed-block that was under the mulch (my approach to weeds is to plant and mulch so densely that weeds have no chance), and removed one of 3 hated cinquefoil that live in the middle of the bed.

The next day, Sunday, it still was not raining, so I put the few remaining plants in the back, and was thankful that the tiller had no gas. I also schlepped several wheelbarrow loads of last year's horse shit, which is this year's compost into the raised vegetable bed that we built. Just needs tilling and topsoil and then I just stick the plants in and glare. And mulch. And water. And glare some more. Isn't gardening good for the soul and one's mental well-being? All for a month-or-two's worth of produce.

So what did I plant? Skip this unless you have some blinding and sad need to know. Only the most plant-obsessed of us will find this remotely interesting.

OK. In the front: Lupines of various types, Pacific Giant delphinium (mistakenly got the dwarf ones last year and will move them toward the front at some point), Icelandic poppy, various penstimon, nautia, something else similar whose name escapes me, globe flower, another something similar and also yellow, several different evening primrose, hardy geraniums, obedient plant, bell flowers and balloon flowers. Also two of something that I've never heard of and really don't remember grabbing and have no idea what it is as I threw out the pots and can't remember the name or even what it starts with (maybe an "S" or an "N"?) but what the hell, let's see what comes up. There were some other plants that I am forgetting, but you get the picture. I also put in bare-root phlox and dahlias.

In the back: bleeding heart, clemati, rosemary for the herb garden and some freesia bulbs.

All in all, about 100 plants.

It's a good thing Mother's Day only comes once a year. Pass the Advil. And the masseuse.

Oh, OH! I forgot to tell about Colin's Mother's Day gift, made by his own hands and composed by his own mind:

Mom Poem
by Colin

My mom is as beautiful as a flower
My mom smells nice
My mom looks like my dad
I love my mom because she tickles me

It was framed nicely with pictures and stickers of hearts, bugs, flowers, a box of chocolates and a photo of him next to tulips. Adorable.

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Friday, May 06, 2005

If I Were a Meme Maker-upper...

Skipping through the blogroll this morning, while watching Colin wait for the bus through the study window, I blinked after reading Gerah's blog and finding my name as one of the next in a meme tag. I find it rather odd that I should delight in these as I have steadfastly refused to continue any chain letters. Both the pen-and-purple-ink ones of my youth (With heart dotted "i"s, of course. Don't tell me you never went through that phase. It was junior high, for Pete's sake.) and the E-mail perpetuated ones of the present, were ended with gleeful cackling. "Take that, denizens of fate! I dare ye, gods of fortune, to rain down your worst! I am breaking this chain willfully and with malice aforethought!!!!!"

So far, I am alive and relatively unscathed.

My deep rooted suspicion is that I am delighted to take part in them as: 1) I get to nominate others to follow, publicly, and 2) it delays that inevitable day when I have to admit that there is absolutely nothing I have left to natter on about. That I reached that day 3 months and 4 days ago is irrelevant.

So, on to THE MEME!

As I understand, for this one, you pick 5 of the following occupations and complete the sentiment, adding an occupation of your choice to the end.


If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an archaeologist...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a servicemember...
If I could be a business owner...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be an agent...
If I could be video game designer...
If I could be photographer...
If I could be a circus performer...
If I could be a spy...
If I could be a fashion designer...
If I could be a high school student again... (Gerah)
If I could be a clothing designer for very small dogs... (Diana)


(I have chosen to sing it to the tune of "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof)


If I were a Librarian, a diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle dum,
All day long I'd sit and read a book, giving dirty looks to all!

If I were a Farmer, a diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle dum,
All day long I'd play in the muck, wouldn't give a #*@& at all!

If I were a Writer, a diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle dum,
All day long I'd actually have something to say, more than just my day in blog!

If I were a Llama Rider, a diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle dum,
I'd sneak out to the field and ride her off into the sunset (to the Andes)!

If I were a Video Game Designer, a diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle dum,
I'd never make a cent as my women would be dressed and no bigger than a C-cup, that's sure!

(Cut the music. Stop singing. Please.)

Now, the fun part: I choose Rozanne (who got me last time), as well as Jamie and Mojavi (because I am evil like that). Lioness, I hope you appreciate your absence from the list. Don't say I never did you any favors.

In further news, the mother bird seems to be back in the nest in the small fir tree on the deck and has laid a total of 4 eggs. She is a chipping sparrow. We'll see how many hatch. She seems to be gone more than she is there. These sparrows raise 2 broods, so it looks like the tree is not going to be planted for a while. She doesn't seem to mind when I water it, which I wait to do when she is absent from the nest. I think of her as a teen-mom and look out for her. The dog will not be going out via the deck for the foreseeable future. The mom-bird seems fine with us going out those doors, though, even though we pass within a foot of the nest. With her at the back and the house finches at the front door (the barn sparrows in the barn don't count as we rarely use it and don't seem to threaten them much) we seem to be hemmed in by birds and are rapidly running out of doors.

I am eyeing one of those window ladders you climb down when your house is on fire as a possible egress. Life in the uncomplicated country, my ass.

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Monday, May 02, 2005

3 Days Older, 3 Days Wiser?

Things I have learned over the past few days:

1) If you disturb a newly nesting house finch (that has made her home and hearth over your porch light) at night by opening the front door to let your guests out, she will fly into the light that is your living room. It will take a while for her to find her way out, but she will, being smarter than you are, with your waving of the arms and barking of the dog. All you need to do is just chill and close all the doors to the other rooms, keeping the outside doors open. Take a lesson.

2) If you do not periodically clear out your old e-mails containing all the pictures your friends are sending you of their lovely 6 months in California to make you jealous, you will not get to get the new lovely e-mails from your friends, as they will bounce. So, so sorry.

3) It can officially snow 8 months out of the year in Wisconsin, regardless of what your own definition of spring is. For instance, it snowed yesterday morning, last night and spit flurries as we drove in this morning. This May morning.

4) If tantrums were an Olympic sport, your darling daughter would be invited to compete in the trials. She gets bonus points for saving the worst and loudest of them for the restaurant and the grocery store. More apologies to the other patrons.

5) A bag of carrots makes a good makeshift thing for your 2-year-old to cuddle, as do a bag of craisins, and will prevent more tantrums. Until it is time to buy them. For some reason, grocery checkers look confused as you shove the bag of carrots at them and beg them to quickly ring it up. The look changes from confusion to horror as your adorable toddler winds up to scream bloody murder. Fortunately, they scan the carrots on the 1st pass over the dohicky and the scream is cut off quickly, to everyone's relief. (Note: We first gave her the bag after she had calmed down, not as a reward for the tantrum. Tantrums in the house o' Piffle are not tolerated. Similarly, the coloring book she got at the bookstore was not restored to her person until she calmed down and asked for it nicely. Fortunately, that took place in the car, much to the relief to all others on the planet, except her brother.)

6) If you fail completely in your task of getting the lid of your travel mug screwed on correctly, you will find this out as you try to take a sip while the car hits a large bump. Coffee will not be repelled by the zipper of your coat but will seep through, without your knowledge. The stains down the front of your shirt will be pointed out by your partner as soon as you step in the door. The dribbles will also completely fail to be concealed by the white coat you throw on. So very professional.

And how was your weekend?

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