Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Special Delivery

I adore my job.

Under the title of medical director of the county STD clinic, I just received a box of 1000 extra strength lubricated latex condoms in lurid purple. They are in a large (but hopefully not lubricated) box on my desk.

I'm thinking as Halloween is just around the corner, maybe someone wants me to hand these out as treats to protect against the 'tricks'.

Now to decide whether to put them out in a candy dish at the main desk or hand them out to the deserving in little jack-o-lantern baggies. What would the little elderly church ladies who come in to see us say?

Too bad they aren't flavored.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm Not Dead, Despite Rumors To The Contrary

Actually, I'm nearly all well. As are the kids. It's marvelous.

Sadly, we've had a bit more of the ill-health wind, this time involving my poor mother-in-law, who lives with us 1/2 the week and makes sure our kids have vegetables with their meals when I'm not there.

(Actually, as I'm not there, the presence of vegetables may be sheer fallacy, as she tends to be the indulgent sort with the grandchildren, but I prefer to hold firm to my vision of plates laden with vegetables and nary a candy bar or Cheeto in sight. And lots of time spent reading and working on various mentally stimulating and emotionally satisfying activities while listening to the collected works of Mozart or Billie Holiday.)

While not sharing confidences that are not mine to share, I can say that she's now home with us from several days in the hospital and doing better. Charles and I have split time off work to be with the kids and thankfully my mom and step-dad's visit starts tomorrow, so we will have some breathing room. We are hoping that my mother-in-law recuperates nicely and will be able to continue to marshall the small-handed ones, as it is so much nicer than day-care and she really enjoys it, but we will do what we have to. Time will tell.

It's been a stressful several days on top of the plague-ridden several weeks, so I've had little time for you-all, my dearest darlings. (Plus work has been a whirl-wind of meetings scheduled during my pre-work blogging time, not to mention all the patients, bless their phlegmy little souls, who are coming in droves.)

So that's what's been happening. I've also spent time shaking my fist at the filthy house and the hoard of flies, both house and fruit, who have invaded my house despite my best efforts with vacuum and plastic baggie traps. (Last count: 47 houseflies have met their maker in the bowels of the trusty vacuum and well over 200 fruit flies have either been dispatched via vacuum or trap.) For once, I'm not going to be sad to see the first nights of hard frost.

Please don't count this as a real post, just a whiny explanation as to why I'm seeming to ignore you, yet again. I suck, but we all knew that.

I'll be back soon, hopefully with something amusing to writing about and I'll continue to slowly make the rounds while cramming a hasty meal in my mouth. Love you all.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Act II

Of course, you knew how this was going to play out. Our heroine finally gets on some drugs that start her finally on the road to recovery and the blush of health, when her adored offspring decide to do their rather impressive impression of viral surround-sound.

To get the full effect, it works best to recline one child on the love seat, the other on the couch; positioning yourself between them, lounging in the Big Chair.

To the tune of Strauss's The Blue Danube:

"Cough, cough, cough, cough, cough!"
"Hack, hack. Hack, hack."
"Cough, cough, cough, cough,COUGH!"
"Hoik, hoik. HOIK. HOIK!"
"Cough, cough, cough, cough, cooooooough, snort, snort, snort!"
"Wheeze, sneeze, wheeze. Wheeze wheeze. Sneeze, sneeze!"
(Snort, snort.)

If you are me, and find yourself crammed in the Big Chair between the two plagued ones, though, you will get to experience the extra sensory bonuses of surround-tactile-enhancement. This is sort of like those seats that are set up to vibrate with the movie for more realistic involvement with the theater experience.

But instead of merely shaking the seat with the coughing, you have the bilateral waves of heat giving you the impression of being in the Sahara. Add in the multi directional showers of phlegm and snot, and it will make you feel that maybe it's not the dry dessert of the Sahara so much as the hot, humid Amazon rain forest, and that maybe the horrible sounds are the mating calls of the very rare Giant Speckled Tree Toad.

Put the film, "Amazon" on the TV and you are in for a multi-sensory experience that people would pay good money for.

(In case you were wondering if I was harboring any guilt over giving my kids my illness, I will rush to deny that I did any such thing as the incubation period would have been 2 +1/2 weeks (too long for it to be my fault, thank goodness) and that their crud seems quite different from mine. So. Not My Fault and I think it'd stand up in court.)

Sadly, tomorrow is "School Picture Day", which they are almost certain to miss. This means that it all comes down to "Picture Retake Day" to get it right for the picture frames of the extended family. (School pictures are one of the staples to be sent as one of the Christmas/Hanukkah presents as well as being tucked into holiday greeting cards to our nearest and dearest.) One doesn't care to waste School Picture Day, especially if one's youngest can't seem to get the idea that for a nice picture one needs to both smile and open her eyes. She either looks like she wants to take your head off or she's doing her rather brilliant Stevie Wonder impression, sans dark glasses: eyes shut, dreamy smile, head tilted back and to the side.

So, as you can see, I was rather counting on the option of the picture retake.

And finally, send your very best hopes that poor Charles knows when to breathe and when to run from the room covering his mouth and nose, as I think his days of good health are numbered and the one thing certain to make his already crazy-busy life as grad-student and middle-school principal (not to mention father, husband and chief dog-tire-er-out-er) is to get good and sick.

Now is not the time, bugs. You hear???

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Friday, September 07, 2007


Yesterday marked a large day in my little universe and yet I let it slide past without immortalizing it in the form of a post.

Sara started school yesterday.

I now have entered into that stage of parenting where I can legally toss my progeny to a state sanctioned institution for 5 hours a day (including bus transit time).

I now have time alone in my house.

Let me repeat that last sentence: I. Now. Have. Time. Alone. In. My. House.

For those of you without small children, you may not fully grasp the hallowed nature of those words.

For almost 9 years, I have had at least one small person with me constantly, unless I'm at work, going to work, or coming home from work. They have been with me in the bathroom. In the closet. Even in the cupboard under the sink where I once tried to grab 5 minutes of 'alone time', wedged between a box of steel wool pads and a petrified banana peel that had escaped the garbage. In one way, it's delightful. I adore my kids and think the sun rises out of their heads in the morning and sets in their behinds at night.

I am also someone who craves time alone.

And now I have it.

For the last year or so, I have met the thought of handing off my youngest child to school with a slight lump in my throat, truth be told. I had quite a time doing so with Colin. He was so small getting on the big, yellow bus all alone. I do miss the small-handed ones when they are away from me and I thought that when the day came to hand Sara off to school, I'd have at least a few tears prickling my eyes, possibly even stooping to openly sobbing.

Nope. I loaded her in the car yesterday, drove us down to school, trotted her down to her class, passed her off to the fabulous Mrs B (who was Colin's beloved kindergarten teacher), kissed her soundly on the cheek and headed for the door. The car keys dancing in my fist.



Or at least I would have been alone, had the repair guy not been waiting at home, trying to fix the satellite and dismantling Charles's rather complicated theater system for much of the afternoon. ("So. What channel does the TV have to be on to get the satellite?" "The one it was already set to." "Oh. I changed some things around." "Well. You're on your own, buddy. Here's Charles's work number. I don't touch that shit.")

But today, there are no repair guys scheduled. There are no errands I am running (sadly, I'm still sickly. Actually getting more sickly. But I'm getting more antibiotics; bigger, better antibiotics, so things WILL be looking up in the future. At some point. Yes?) and I have plans to wear the fabric of the sofa cushions bare with my lounging ALONE for 5 hours, this afternoon. If someone rings the doorbell, they'd better be delivering a large box of chocolates, otherwise I shall cough purulent goo all over them and wither them with my glare of contempt.

And Sara? How is she doing with being abandoned by me? Heh. By 8:00 this morning, she was asking for her lunch, (she'd had her breakfast an hour before) as she knows she gets to get on the bus to go to school after lunch.

I think she's ready for this as well.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Status Quo

Tomorrow, I'm back at work. Colin is back to school. Sara goes off to meet her teacher (starting for real on Thursday). My mother-in-law is back from her summer in Latvia and my garden is sad.

There's something about August that always seems to kick my poor garden's ass. What is green and thriving and ready to fruit in July is crispy and blighted and bug-gnawed (and prone to rot) in August and September. I'm still harvesting plenty of tomatoes and enough beans and cucumbers, eggplant and chard for our uses, but it all looks like ass.

In a small way, in a few short weeks, when the first frost kills everything for good, it is always something of a relief. All dead. Start anew next spring. Next round in the bug wars to be planned. (Next year, I'll try putting down planks for the damn squash bugs to hide under and be caught and destroyed, theoretically, more easily than looking under each damn leaf, inevitably missing a cluster or two of eggs, which leads to the wasteland of August.

Damn bugs.

We hates them, Precioussssssss.

Still haven't regained my voice. It's been over a week and, even for someone as non-talkative as me, it's gotten old. T'will be, um, a challenge (irritating? annoying? hair-pullingly-slow?) to try to obtain medical histories via whispers and written notes. Will keep my phoning to a minimum, though, so there's that.

What else, what else? Charles heads back to grad school, so we miss him two days out of the week until the Christmas holidays.

So that's where we are, now. Back to where we were. Comforting, in a way. Looking forward to the delights of real fall in a few weeks: fresh apples, cold nights, jeans and sweaters. Hard to believe it's just a couple of weeks away.

How goes it for all of you; the start of the other side of summer?