Monday, November 26, 2007


So, Diana, what's going on out there in the land of brats and cheese, corn and cows? You've had a thing or two going on and have provided no feedback. What gives?

Well, thanks for asking! (Aren't you the kind ones to do so?)

Let's see...

Thanksgiving was nice and quiet and all the food turned out, so that was pretty perfect. Sadly, we were to a man Jack of us (Woman Jill? Kid Joe?) coughing and hacking (the bouquet of the phlegm blended so nicely with the gravy), so Lilian decided that an upper respiratory infection just wouldn't go well with her sternotomy scar and stayed away from all the festive nose-blowing. As her skilled nursing benefits were up (and as she was up and around), she and her few belongings shuffled across the small parking lot and back into her own apartment under the watchful eye of her neighbor, on Saturday.

Yes! Lilian has re-entered the building! She was to have come to us after leaving the nursing home, but, again, the coughing and sniffling and liberal usage of tissues made this not the place to be. She still plans on returning to us in the near future, though, so that's where we are on that front. So, cheers!

After our usual 2 false-alarm forecasts, we had our first snow on Thanksgiving, which was pretty and went away after a few days. Molly-dog and the kids were ecstatic. I was cooking. So, cheers!

After 7 months, my favorite road re-opened, "New! and Improved!". Before all the grading and paving and levelling and all, it had been this thrilling roller coaster that, if you theoretically (ahem) exceeded the speed limit, you could get the pit of your stomach to drop several times along it's length as you crested hills and plummeted down the other side. Yeah, sure, it was somewhere north of hazardous during a winter storm, but who the hell drives a roller coaster during a blizzard? That's when you take the interstate that's flatter and frequented by lots of snow plows. Now, while not flat, the high hills and big drops are gone, which is sad. I'm assuming it's still pretty (one of my favorite places on Earth is along this road: a bucolic pasture where cows graze and calves gambol and a stream wanders through it) but as it's dark when I drive in and dark when I drive back, It's going to be a while before I see more than the newly installed guard rails with their high-visibility reflectors. The whole thing has the feeling of a top-secret military landing strip. (Remember, this is waaaay out in the country where we don't believe in such wussy things as street lights. The moon and the stars were good enough for our fore bearers, so that should be good enough for us. If you're stupid enough to be out on a moonless, starless night, well, you just deserve what you got coming. Plus, most of the dark months are accompanied by a nice, reflective blanket of snow, which should be more than enough for the team of horses pulling your sleigh to see by, right Half Pint?)

Still and all, it's good to have the county road back, face lift and all. Trims a good five minutes off our commute each way. So, cheers!

For some reason, I'm just not in the holiday spirit right now. I've dragged out a few decorations (and by "few" I mean "3"). Santa has ordered a few things online but hasn't the slightest interest in trotting off on Rudolph to an actual store. This is very odd as I'm usually a Christmas fool. Good thing we've got a few more days this year. I'm thinking I'm going to need them.

As of yesterday, I think we've finished Lousefest '07. The last dousings of Rid were done. The final combings of the locks were clear. The microscope was returned from the counter of our bathroom to it's rightful place, the microscope-shaped space in the dust on my son's desk. Well, it's mostly done. The toys and such in the plastic bags in the garage still have a week to go, but think of how happy we'll be to see them. Sort of like a mini Christmas at the start of December! Maybe that's my problem. I'm missing my wood-handled, soft-bristled hairbrush. The nasty-assed cheap-o hard plastic brush that I found at the back of Charles's drawer is so cruel to my delicate scalp. The kids are well-versed on the evils of coming into contact with any spare hats or hairs of anyone else on the planet. They now don't even flinch when I leap out at them from various closets and doorways shouting, "True or false! We never, never, upon pain of death, even if it's 180 degrees below and we've forgotten our own hats put someone else's hat on our head?!?" More importantly, they get the answer to the question right with 100% accuracy.

I'm also positively giddy at the thought of not dealing with 2-3 times the amount of laundry in the course of a week and am looking forward to not having to make my kids' beds more than once a month. (Hey. They're little. They don't stink. Much.) So, cheers!

Sara's first kid birthday party went well. It was apparently the first birthday party for several of the little girls in her class and quite the social event of the season. The pinata was an especially brilliant touch, as it took up lots of time in first, getting everyone in their coats and shoes, then trotting them out and around the back of the house, where we'd hung the damn thing from the balcony (it was a large, pink crown. I'm regretting it wasn't a huge Dora The Explorer head or something equally despised) and then giving each kid multiple whacks with first, a soft bat, and then a hard plastic bat and finally, a hefty stick, until one girl had enough and took it to pieces. Go her! Then more time was spent with all the gathering of the candy and putting it in their bags and then going inside and shedding coats and shoes and all. Basically, with the pizza before and the cake and presents after, that was the whole damn party! Double cheers!!

Colin's birthday is in a few weeks and none of us, including the birthday boy, himself, can decide on a party idea. In a few years, he'll be old enough to do the planning himself. I'm secretly hoping he'll go my route of least bother and just have a family party from 5th grade on. And if he doesn't decide on that, I'm thinking a well-placed bribe may swing things in my lethargic favor.

I just don't do parties well. Guess that's one more thing for their future therapy sessions.

Speaking of which, that may be an idea for Christmas: Therapy gift certificates as stocking stuffers. That and journals in which to write down all my parental failings, birthday parties and all. I get why children's party planners are in business. I can see the appeal of just pulling out a check book (or applying for a bank loan) each year to give Junior a lovely birthday without ripping parts of your soul out to do it. I'm even dreaming of googling the location of the nearest Chuck E. Cheese, which goes to show the depths of my desperation. I won't actually do it, mind, as that'd take effort, but I'm dreaming of it.

And the furry ones? How are they now that they've turned 2? Very much the same. Mad-Kitty still has the propensity of getting herself shut in drawers and not meowing for release (meaning we still get to literally comb the house at 10 pm after we've gone to bed and realize that not only is she not in her usual place, curled up next to me, but we've not seen her for hours). Molly-dog still loves everyone and pees at any bit of praise or censure. A few days ago, Charles was dismayed to find her at the study window watching the UPS guy deliver a package. She was not barking (like any respectable German Shepherd). She was not even just watching. She was wagging her tail so hard that her body was moving back and forth, her ears flat to her head, whining in excitement that here, at last, was someone new! Someone she might possibly get to go out to greet and pee all over the shoes of, just to, you know, demonstrate her adoration and all. And, by the way, if here were interested, show where we keep my grandmother's silver and the stereo equipment. Clearly we need another dog if home security is a concern. We'd wanted a Shepherd who was submissive and non-agressive, but this is ridiculous.

And, finally, there've been no further zombie squirrel sightings on the UW campus, and I never did get that caramel latte, with or without the ricotta.

So that's the state of my Union. Yours?

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Blogger The Rotten Correspondent said...

Well, you've had a lot going on, haven't you?

I'm glad that you're all on the mend AND louse free. I think we've skirted it here - looks to be just a bad case of dry scalp on Gumby's end, thank heavens. Buy stock in Head and Shoulders.

I can't seem to get into the Christmas swing either. Hopefully it will pass soon.

Congrats on MIL and finished roads.
Woo Hoo!!

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really terrorifying, a new road to get lost on. I have gone into Diana's office for medical tests and gotten lost both times. This really cheeses me as I have both a GPS and a compass. Oh well. I got lost coming in here 2 months ago, so why break the string?

Molly will pee even when I come upstairs. I see why she gets put into her crate when the kids return from school. And why I will never have a dog. Cats have boxes that take of their business.

Looking forward to welcoming Lilian here. I am now pinned to the house while Sara is not in school. Not that I need to go places, but it is nice to be able to.

The Ole RF-er

1:54 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Sounds like a perfectly fun party to me! What kid doesn't like a pinata?

And, trust me on this, the party was way better than Chuck E. Cheese. You'd never make it out of that place alive.

Sounds like Lilian is doing really well. Yay!

10:49 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Glad everything is going fine!

I am with you on kid's parties. I feel lucky with the October kid - we did Halloween, decorated balloons and called it a day. The kids were just excited to wear their costumes. I am already planning something equally simple for the July kid. Life is too short to stress over a kid's birthday party every year. Maybe our kids can go to therapy together to whine about their lack of birthday party extravaganzas. It would save them money, no?

1:00 AM  
Blogger Voyager said...

OMG I went to a Christmas party on Saturday and donned a full head & hair mask. I now can see it and my scalp crawling with critters. I feel like aiming a flame thower at my hair.
Seriously though, my son is 21, and there was only one head lice warning the whole time he was in school. Is it on the incease? I hear so many parents complain about it now.

4:09 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Julie- Thank goodness for Gumby and dry skin! For some reason, even though I know the critters are gone, I'm still feeling all crawly.

Dad- Stick to the route you know. Less woe. Just remember to never look Molly-dog in the eye and you're fine. At least she's no longer peeing when Charles and I come home from work, yes? (And you're only with Sara 3 mornings and 1 afternoon a week--take advantage of getting out the other 4 mornings and 6 afternoons!!!)

Rozanne- If only a pinata were such a party bonus until they were 14, I'd be set. (Along with the pizza, cake and presents, of course.) I need a cache of party games or something. I googled this a year ago and really didn't find much aside from 'duck-duck-goose' and pin the tail on the donkey, which we did.

Cagey- We need a party support group, definitely! And then we can hire one therapist to do a weekly group for Children of Party Impaired Parents and split the cost.

Voyager- Ew! Ew! EW!!! I only remember a couple of episodes in my schooling. I don't do pediatrics but it seems that head lice infestations are much, much more common than 20 years ago. Poor Teri has been battling it for ages. I'm sure this is not going to be the last time for us, either. In my crazier moments, I see why some parents have all their kids' heads shaved because of it. We're going to have weekly louse-combings for the duration, believe me.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Glad you're de-loused! Good to hear your MIL is considered well enough to return to her own apt....gotta be a wonderful sign and she's surely past the worst.

We are in a slow-mo state of decorating lights on boughs but just hanging pots and window boxes with burgundy bows.
I have baking done already, although I don't do much, and I am busily practising for two Christmas church cantatas which are challenging but so beautiful I get chills every time we practise in the church...can't beat churches for acoustics!

Hope your Christmas spirit arrives once we've turned the calendar over to December and another dump of snow that stays! That should do it!

9:49 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I love country roads that have the deep hills and the possible roller coaster feeling. Those are the best.

Keem decorated. I made bead ornaments. They're very exciting, albeit not very well made. They are springy.

Hope you remain louse/pleghm free & glad to hear Lillian is doing better. Yay!

10:22 AM  
Blogger Lioness said...

god, so much to choose from i'm paralysed, i am. so i'll just bow to your brilliancy and say CHEERS!

(was that the lama road, she asks suspiciously)

2:29 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ruth- It's finally getting cold but not yet continuously cold so that I can put the roses and saplings to sleep. Soon. I have always loved singing in a choir. That 'chills' feeling when the music soars and your voice is part of it is just magic. I received a collection of beautiful glass ornaments in the mail, yesterday, which has gone a long way to dispell my grinchiness. Now I can't wait to get our tree.

Dana- And Eddy? How's he faring in the decorating? I love sparkly, beady, glassy ornaments. Springy is nice.

Johnny- Actually, the face lifted road intersects about a Km away from the road that houses llama's digs. Close. Very close. Haven't seen the llama in ages with the winter darkness. Perhaps this afternoon as I am off earlier? I'll blow a kiss to him from you. I'm sure he'll accept it with a sardonic face.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Marvelous to see things are doing so well. Sorry you didn't end up getting the turducken, though. TFYO's fifth birhtday is coming up, and it's going to be her first "kid" party , too. I like the pinata idea. You're right, it would have been better as Dora's head. It's so big, that would have been a LOT of candy.

Oh, and, YAY for Lillian. Glad to hear she's up and about. Cheers!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

never, ever, ever, ever say that you are deloused. You only tempt the gods.
you have been warned!

Yay for Lillian! give her our best!

We have a christmas wreath hung. Along with our purple and orange halloween lights...

9:54 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Jen- Some year, Santa needs to bring a freezer that I can put in the garage that will hold all my frozen whims, like turducken and 20 gallons of soup stock and many, many loaves of cranberry bread. As it is, I'm now forced to actually EAT what I've stuffed in the freezer before I can add anything else. Sheesh!

Teri- NO! NONONO! I only said that round 1 seemed to be over. We have a bottle of Rid in the bathroom and shall never again be without it. I think what we really need is some sort of universal Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-New Years-MLK-St Paddy's-Easter-etc-etc-etc decorations that we can just put up and ignore. Care to go into business and design such atrocities with me?

9:10 AM  
Blogger listie said...

Racing by to say I'll catch up later.......

10:07 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Yeeeeuuugh, shudder. Head lice. I remember being checked for them all the time as a youngster, but I never actually knew anyone to get them! I wonder if it has become more common, as you suggested.

I've had a cold, too. I think everyone has had a cold, if all our blogs are any indication! WTF? Can they be transmitted via the internet? (no virus puns, please)

9:53 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

What a wonderfully-exhaustive rundown--all things I was wanting to know more about. So, cheers to you!

I love the idea of a pinata of the head of someone I detest. A G.W. Bush pinata?

11:06 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Listie- Shhhhhhhhh, shhhhhhh, honey. Deep breaths. Have a cuppa. Have a cookie. Your friends in the computer are going nowhere (and neither are their silly posts, unless damn blogger has a fit.)

Jamie- Me neither as a kid but as a parent it seems that more families than not have had at least one encounter. I've heard some parents actually get so fed up that they shave their kids' hair off.

Jocelyn- Exhaustive, indeed. I'm a wordy thing. I thought the enormous Dora head would be scary enough for a birthday party. The GDB one belongs squarely at the end of a haunted house, after the pool of blood and the room of live tarantulas.

8:55 AM  

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