Sunday, February 26, 2006

Conversations With Sara II

Our scene: The kitchen. Our heroine at the sink doing something kitcheny, probably the dishes. Sara enters, stage right.

Sara: "Hi Mom! A cookie for Molly, a cookie for Madison, a cookie for Sara."

Diana: (Mind on the dishes, answers absently.) "Hi Bear!"

S: (Gleefully) "A cookie for Molly, a cookie for Madison, a cookie for Sara!"

D: "You mean a "treat". A treat for Molly, a treat for Madison, a treat for Sara."

(Note: In our house it is very important that a doggie food reward be designated as a 'treat' rather than 'cookie' or 'biscuit' or 'snack'. With dogs that are too smart for our own good, we learned the hard way that we have to start spelling words of dog delight. For instance, with Maia, our first and brightest, we had to end up spelling 'treat', 'breakfast', 'ball', 'out', 'outside', 'play', 'raccoon', 'squirrel' and 'Hottentot'. There were more but I forget what else. You get the idea.....What? Why 'Hottentot'?....Well, that came about because we were teasing her one day about "Where are the Hottentots, Maia?" and pointing to the heat vents in the floor. She picked that one up very quickly and, after that, would go ballistic, barking madly as she ran from heat vent to heat vent, warding off the Hottentots when asked. "Are there squirrels?" would cause her to run to the sliding doors and bark at the trees. "Are there raccoons?" would cause the same behavior except with the barking at the floor in the bedroom, presumably where a raccoon had died, having crawled to the back of the crawlspace under the house, as for a few weeks there was the inexplicable smell of rotting fish coming from under the floor area at the back of the room. After a while, it resolved; once again, confirming for us that if you just leave something alone, it will eventually go away.)

Anyway, as 'biscuits', 'cookies' and 'snacks' are things people make and eat in our house, and 'treats' are generally not the chosen word, well, the less the spelling (and the less often a large dog goes mistakenly racing to the kitchen in a dancing, jumping fit of rapture for a Treat-Treat-Treat!!!!), the better for all involved.

Back to our conversation:

S: "Yes! Treat! Treat for Molly, treat for Madison, treat for Sara!!!"

D: (Noticing for the first time that the words of her progeny are muffled.) "Sara....are you eating something?"

S: "Treat!"

D: "Sara, where did you get the treat?"

S: (Going to the cupboard with the box of puppy treats and opening the door.) "Treat, Mommy! A treat for Molly, a treat for Madison, a treat for Sara!"

D: (Pointing at the box of treats.) "Sara, did you just eat a puppy treat?"

S: "Treat!"

D: "Let me smell your breath, sweetie." ....sniiiiiiff

Nope, just the sweet smell of graham cracker. Too bad; she would have had a soft, silky coat and strong teeth.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Usual Suspect

Exhibit A.

The crime: The removal of one (1) formerly nearly full bottle of massage oil from the nightstand to under the bed, contents dramatically reduced, top (with functioning hand pump) removed and chewed to small bits (no longer functioning, nay barely recognizable), and anointing of carpet under said bed with an unquantifiable amount of massage oil, assumed to be the initial total volume minus amount consumed by perpetrator.

The police line-up: Colin, Sara, Madison-kitty, and Maul-y pup.

The case against the accused:

-Guess which one has no iron clad alibi for the entire time frame of the crime?

-Guess which one was found red-pawed under the bed with the bottle?

-Guess which one has been found under the same bed with one (1) child's soldier, partially mutilated; two (2) mismatched socks, slimed, fitting one of the occupants of the bedroom; and one (1) plastic coat hanger; each an individual episode and occurring en toto within an hour of the egregious massage oil incident?

-Guess which one smells really pretty with essence of lavender, chamomile and sage?

-Guess which one was observed by several witnesses to be frequently licking her chops after being accused of said crime?

-Guess which one is not remotely sorry?

Oh well, the bedroom smells really pretty, now, too.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

How About If He Buys You Two Cars?

It's Saturday morning and it's -17 degrees F (that's -27 C). This doesn't factor in the wind chill. Seems we finally have us some winter.

Unfortunately, Molly thinks it's too cold to poop. As she is not completely housebroken (meaning we can trust her to whine at the door when she wants to go out), this is disappointing. Charles has had her out 4 times so far and all he has gotten her to do is look at him as though he were completely deranged. Doesn't he know how cold it is?

Trust me, he knows. He's even promised to buy her a car when she is 16 if she'll just go ahead and go. So far, no dice.

Soon, I will know, too, as Charles is off to the basement to work out, leaving me with the pansy dog.

Inside, she looks longingly at the corner of the dining room. What's the problem? It's not like we've never cleaned up puppy poop before. After all, were the situation reversed, she'd let us.

She'd even clean up after us.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Little Creatures

Finally, it has snowed, again. A lovely load of snow and a sunny day, with most of my chores completed, except for the wash, which has been set in motion. Now I just need to wrangle it from machine to machine to baskets to closets. So, Sara, Molly and I will go out and play in it in a bit, once it warms up a skootch.

Now, my learned friends, I have a question. I know that cats will be cats and their sole purpose in life, aside from stealing things from the dog, sleeping in the sun, and climbing the furniture, is to simply puzzle their people. It's just that I can't figure out why the cat-dog chooses my face as her preferred place to sleep at night. Not the top of my head or under my chin or beside my cheek. Frequently, nay multiple times through the night, I waken to find myself under her person, with fur in my nose and mouth as she has draped herself over my face. Purring. I have many soft, squishy parts, but my face is not one of them. I do not have pillow lips. My chin and nose jut. I am flummoxed.

As you can see, Mad-kitty has been thriving on her diet of puppy food and easily reaches into the dog's bowl with all feet on the floor. This morning, Molly decided that turn about was fair play and snuck into the laundry room and licked the kitty's bowl clean. Twice.


A couple of nights ago, I opened the door from the kitchen to the garage, where the recycling bags sit, all in a row. I heard small rustlings. "Ah," I thought. "Mouse. Damn. Mess. Find." I have pity for the poor cold furry creatures, with big eyes and whiskers, as much as the next person, more than some, but mice in your personal space is not a good thing. They gnaw and poop and destroy lots of things you just really wish they hadn't. There is no reasoning with them, either. Plus, there is a nice, warm shed with plenty of straw and horse poop, where they can winter.

So, I start moving the bags, one by one, but no scurrying creature. I stand still for a minute and the furtive scurrying and tiny, soft squeaking picks up, again. I look in the bags and find this.

Yes. Mouse. Mouse whose tail has been dramatically (and, I assumed traumatically) shortened. But wait. Mouse seems to not have big eyes, rather I can't see eyes at all. And the feet are webbed and stick out from the sides. Plus, it doesn't seem to be shaking, like a mouse would, just keeps trying to crawl straight ahead, into the corner of the bag, and not making any progress.

So, I freed what I thought was a mole INTO MY GARDEN as it was late, and I was tired and clearly was not thinking with even one little neuron. Fortunately, I have now convinced myself that it was actually a short tailed shrew and am feeling better about it. Maybe it will remember me and eat extra bugs? Or maybe it is now really pissed off, with all the snow and soon to be sub-zero temps, without factoring in the wind chill. Damn. I'm still not sure how such a creature, with the legs to the side, climbed into the tall paper bag.

Oh, well. Time to go out and get the small ones really cold and tired so all and sundry will sleep for long stretches this afternoon.

I'm such a good mom.

There are also some new Molly pictures up on the sidebar, too, if you are interested. My, how big she is at about 3+1/2 months old.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Yeah. Still With Nothing Going On.

I've seen this in various permutations floating around the blogosphere. This particular one comes from Linda, over at Indigo Girl. I think this doesn't have any overlap questions from other memes I've done. If so, don't tell me. (Mom, some of these things you might want not to know. Just keep telling yourself, " Hey, she was young and she survived!")

Four Jobs I've Had:

1) "The Hostess with the Mostess" at the local Denny's. This one was over summer break after my freshman year in college. Yech. Really looked forward to going back to school and writing papers after this, I tell you. They offered to keep me on and train me as a waitress but I regretfully declined. The uniform? A striped polyester brown, orange and coral peasant top with dark brown polyester knee-length wrap-around skirt. Gives me hives thinking about it.

2) Cashier at the local PayLess over Christmas break my freshman year in college. This was in the way-back days where you had to key prices by hand into the register and use that machine that ran over your credit card (and fingers) manually. Oh, the stress balancing out at night against the receipts. Again, they offered to keep me on after the season. I fled.

3) Busgirl at a local "all-you-can-eat" called "Terry's Buffet". It was run by Terry and Roger and had been previously open as "Roger's Buffet" prior to that, but closed and re-opened with a New! Name! as a New! Restaurant! It folded after about a year, lasting slightly longer that it had as it's first incarnation. Busing heaps of plates of smooshed mac-and-cheese and chicken bones and melted soft-serve will put you off your appetite for days.

4) concessions, and then ticket sales, at a local 4-plex cinema. I did this for a couple of years during college and it rocked as a college job. Popcorn for dinner saved on the old food budget, too. (Sorry Mom.) Plus, I made lots of good friends there. Charles worked there, too, as did Stacy.

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over: (Only Four???)

1) Pride and Prejudice (1995). I rave and rave about it. The Best. Ever. I haven't seen the new one as I am just not *sniff* ready to see anyone new.

2) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. What can I say. I am a huge geek. Or is it a dork?

3) Bridget Jones's Diary. I can't explain it. I just love this movie.

4) Sabrina (1954). I actually haven't seen it in a bit but need to. I went through a time where I watched it at least weekly for months (sometimes twice a day). If I were a movie star, I'd wear nothing that Audrey Hepburn wouldn't have worn.

Four Cities I've Lived In:

1) Phoenix, AZ. Born there and left after a few months. Mom tells of large cockroaches. My close friend from college told of large cockroaches. I don't think I need to go back and see the large cockroaches for myself.

2) An Air Force Base in Masawa, Japan. Followed by an AFB in Tachikawa, Japan. You'd think living in Japan for 3 years I'd have at least one memory, but no. I was 3 and some months when we left. Pity. I'm not entirely sure if I'm spelling them right or if they were in the reverse order. Doesn't really matter. To me they are both in my head as lore.

3) Now defunct Chanute AFB outside tiny Rantoul, IL. Flat. Dusty. Lots of nice neighbor kids to play with.

4) Milwaukie (suburb of Portland) and various places in Portland, OR. Mom and us came back "home" to Milwaukie when ever Dad was stationed somewhere families weren't allowed (Viet Nam, Greenland). When Dad came to his senses and left the service, we moved "home" for real. I liked it well enough to stay for college, med school, residency, and after a year in Bellingham, returned to PDX until we left for good in 2000.

Four Non-current TV Shows I Love to Watch:

1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I loves me my Buffy.

2) Firefly. Face it, Joss Whedon is amazing. If I were Queen, I'd order those idiot network geebs to pull their heads out and re-instate the series. (By the way, Dana, as you are Queen of the Universe, why have you not attended to this?)

3) Farscape. Some of the very best things about Firefly are there in Farscape. Plus, it goes for several seasons.

4) Due South. A Canadian Mountie in Chicago! What's not to love? Truly. Get the first season and watch it and tell me if you think I'm wrong. And it's not just because Charles is 1/2 Canuck.

Four Current TV Shows I Love to Watch:

1) Scrubs. (I'm actually not watching it on network TV but behind via DVD.) Linda turned me on to it (kisses, Linda) I had Netflixed the first season and Mom got me 2 seasons for a Christmas present. I'm now working my way through season 2 as Charles has other shows he'd rather watch (he wants to see it but several other series are ahead in line). I was skeptical as I usually hate medical shows but this one does not purport to be factual (although it often is) and I love the little touches, like the chest x-ray being sometimes turned backward and sometimes not in the opening credits. It really catches the spirit of residency. I laugh loudly out loud. True, oh so true. Plus, two of the main characters are internal medicine residents, the least cool of all the branches. (As portrayed by this joke: Why are internists called fleas? (It's true, we are) Last thing off a dead body! Hahaha. (Yeah, asshole, unless it's the nearly-dead body in the ICU from a complication from the surgery you did, eh, Mr Surgeon-God. Then you are loving us fleas, aren't you? Who's your baby, now?) I know all these people and love/despise them dearly.

2) Gilmore Girls. Has some down spots but overall, I am a sucker. I have rented through season 5 and am waiting for the current season to come out on DVD, so, again, not really watching it in real time, but it's as close as I get.

3) Huff. Very brilliant. On HBO. We watched season 1 last year and are awaiting for season 2 to start in April. The DVR will be set.

4) Six Feet Under. Also HBO. Again, renting it and am into the second season. Excellent acting, very complex characters. You want to slap and hug each of them. (Wait. As I do the link, it seems that the series just ended. Oh well; my blog, my rules.)

Four Places I've Been On Vacation:

The Oregon Coast: I could easily retire here and spend my days eating fresh seafood and walking for miles on the beach. Can't wait to go back this summer with the kids.

Victoria, BC, Canada: Simply gorgeous. We honeymooned there and have vacationed there a few other times to boot. My very favorite city.

Door County, WI: Pretty. Quiet. Cherries. Ahhhh.

Guadalajara, Mexico. Went here for 2 weeks with my Spanish class as a high school senior. Lovely city with lovely people.

Four Of My Favorite Foods: (Only four??)

1) Seafood. Let me clarify: Fresh seafood.

2) Pie.

3) Chocolate cakey type foods. With chocolate frosting.

4) Chicken Caesar salad.

Four Places I'd Rather Be:

1) Up in the small loft above the living room with my plants; kitten on my chest, book on my stomach, quilt over my person, pillow under my knees, tea and cookies at my hand, and kids napping for a few hours.

2) At a quiet beach; say Rockaway, OR.

3) Doing a month long walking tour of a wine and food region of Italy or southern France. I'm not picky.

4) Doing a long tour of Britain and Ireland (pubs, gardens, manors, seeing my cousin and his family, that sort of thing.)

Four Albums I can't Live Without:

1) Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense

2) Carmina Pirhana: Revenge Poems. This band was in Portland in the mid '90s. The CD is some amazing, sultry, rich, rock that was written by the band for a performance of the Oregon Ballet Theater. It blew Charles and I away and we bought the CD at intermission. It is truly one of the very best things I've ever heard. Chills, baby. Chills.

3) Ani DiFranco: Little Plastic Castles, unless it's Not A Pretty Girl, or maybe Up, Up, Up, Up, Up, Up. Ok, ok. I know. Living In Clip and be done with it.

4) Fleetwood Mac: Tusk

Four Vehicles I've Owned:

1) My Grandad's 1967 VW bug. Beige. This car loved me and I loved it. My uncle has it now.

2) 1991 Subaru Legacy. Loved this car, too. I want another Sube.

3) 1996 Volvo sedan. "They're boxy, but they're good." Charles made me get this so when I got smashed into on the "Deathfield" freeway driving to and from work, I'd live. Car never had an accident, of course, but I knew he loved me.

4) Charles's 1970-something dark brown El Camino. No, not mine, but I rode in it enough to count it. Leaked carbon monoxide so you had to drive with the windows down at all times. (Sorry, again, Mum.)


Friday, February 10, 2006

Lessons Learned

It's the end of a completely typical week. I feel compelled to put something out there as I am bored with seeing the same post for too many days running and the pressure to have something new up mounts. Initially, you feel that it is time to write. Sometimes you have an idea. Preferably a funny idea. Keep 'em laughing. Then your standards start to slip. And plummet. And now I'm in freefall.

See, nothing happened this week.

But that's not really true, is it? Life, by its very nature is things happening.

So, I will challenge myself to come up with something that was learned by each member of our little stuck-in-the-doldrums family.

Charles: Ah. Charles learned not to bite and chew a Snicker's bar when he is trying to keep a temporary crown on, until the permanent one is in. He also used up a packet of tooth-luck as the new crown came in early and was, in fact, on site when he went in bright and early on Monday morning. He also learned that, despite having had, now, 3 root canals and 3 crowns, that it does not get less unpleasant with experience.

Diana: Sigh. I learned that denial is a powerful thing. Even if you are 24 years old and have 3 children and have come in to see me for abdominal discomfort and flank pain and you are usually very regular with your "monthlies" and, well, it's been around 5 months since you last had your period and you don't have a partner now, but last did this fall and, well, you didn't use any protection... And when I come in to tell you that you not only have that rip-roaring bladder infection but are quite likely approaching your 3rd trimester of your 4th pregnancy, based on the size of your uterus on my very limited exam and your less-than-certain dates, and you sit there completely stunned, well, what is there to do but to hold your hand and pat your shoulder as it all finally sinks in. Sigh.

Colin: Hm. He learned, once again, that Mom means what she says. For instance, if, in a fit of pique, he was told that if he undid the straps of his snow pants so that I had to unknot and then re-feed them through the clips ever again (instead of just unzipping the damn thing and taking them off over his shoulders) he would lose computer privileges. If, once again, he did just that, well, he would, indeed, be off the computer, no matter how very sorry he was. Grrrr.

Sara: Sara learned that if the whole damn household has fallen to a virus, it is just a matter of time until she gets it. Fortunately, she has a great constitution and was completely better in a couple of days. She also has honed her nose-blowing skills nicely.

Molly: Nope. The dog-human has not really learned anything this week. Not to jump on the couch. Not to jump on the humans. Not to reliably come when called. Not to stop nipping. Nothing.

Madison: Now, the cat-dog has learned a couple of lessons. First, if you bite your person's nose in the pre-dawn while she is asleep, you will be batted across the bed and onto the floor. This is called a "reflex reaction". Second, if you jump on the edge of the tub right after splashy Sara has had a bubbly bath, you will slip. Given your trajectory, you will fall into the tub, still rather wet and full of mounds of bubbles. You will then have a very difficult time getting out, well, because of all the slipping and sliding and loss of purchase for ones feet. When your worthless person comes to see what the hell all the ruckus is about, she will be incapacitated by laughter as all she sees are flying paws and tail, leaving you to get yourself, finally, all bedraggled and bubble-splattered, out of the tub. Hiding out behind the toilet will not screen you from the laughing and pointing. Even the dog joins in the mirth at your expense.

Diana: I learned that I just should keep my camera looped over my arm as I never have it handy for the really good shots.


Oh! I know! Molly did learn something this week: She learned that she no longer fits under the living room couches. Of course, this knowledge came after getting herself stuck under there several times, placing her at the mercy of Mad-kitty, who is still quite small and can scamper around the marooned puppy, batting her across the nose and chewing on her tail. Once, again, did we come to the rescue?

What a silly question.

Of course not.

What better way to learn than by facing your own consequences?


Monday, February 06, 2006

My Turn II

Well, I warned you that if things became dull, I'd revisit this, and dull things are. Dull in a way things can only be in early February in Wisconsin. I am not as grey as I am in January, that long, cold, dark month (nevermind that this year, it was more of a March, except for the length of the days). January you just grit your teeth and get through, maybe clean out a closet to pass the time.

February, it gets noticeably lighter and it is a short month, so your expectations are there. Still two months until spring but you should get those first bulbs blooming by the end of next month! That's just, like, 6 weeks away! Practically now!

And, yet, it is not now. Gah! I see why so many people go off on cruises and such, although the bathing suit displays in the Penney's, at one end of the strip mall in which I work, do not help those of us who are not jetting off to sunny climes. Damn them.

So, I turn to you, my darlings, to amuse me. Same rules. Not a meme. Answer what you wish. Make shit up. Entertain me! (kiss, kiss)

1) What's in your winter coat pockets? I feel like Gollum for this one. In my heavy but oh-so-warm and beat-up brown leather bomber jacket I have: (1) green web short dog leash. (1) pair of thin maroon gloves, actually matching, despite one of them attempting to escape this weekend, but found by Charles in the yard when he went to investigate what Molly had in her mouth. Multiple Kleenex in various states of used-up-ness. (1) Chapstick. Some quarters and a dollar bill, folded. A baggie of puppy treats. Also a generous handfull of puppy treat crumbs at the bottom of each pocket. Fuzz.

2) What did you have for lunch today? The last of the left over duck soup from Christmas. Carrots. An apple. Cold coffee. No chocolate. I'm still hungry. Maybe there's something in the candy drawer...

3) If you couldn't do your current profession / the profession you are trained (or are training for) / what-have-you, what would you do? Be a kept woman with lots of plants. And one of those 4 wheeled garden carts. And an irrigation system, so I don't have to schlep hoses all over the back 40. In a clime with either a longer growing season and/or a hell of a greenhouse. That or a chocolate taster. (I knew someone who was a taster for Nestle. He didn't care for chocolate and never did. What a waste of a dream job!)

4) If you were forced at gunpoint to take part in a talent show, what would your talent be? Yoda impressions.

5) What's the best present you've ever received? Charles is a phenomenomal present getter. (Makes up for sucking as someone to buy presents for, as he buys what he wants himself, the asshole.) He's come up with some great ones, including the bomber jacket mentioned above, 10 years ago. I think the coolest one, though, was the telescope.

OK. I'm dry and off to forrage for chocolate. Your turn!

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Haikus For Tea and Sympathy

Never kiss your kids.
Advice I never follow,
so now I am sick.

Colin got it first,
with chest and nose all full of
snot and icky stuff.

Then our mighty Charles
was felled; he slept all weekend.
Now he's on the mend.

So, it is my time.
Only fair I take my turn,
see what they went through.

So very tired,
stuffy, sore; green and brown goo,
like the clinic walls.

Advil, Sudafed,
better life through chemistry,

And, thank god for tea.
It soothes the throat and balms soul,
steams open my nose.

As I am not that
sick, the part I dislike worse
is wanting to whine.

Whine, whine, whine, whine, whine.
Whiny, whiny, whiny, whine.
Whine, whine, whine, whine. Wine?

(I must be feeling better?)