Thursday, April 24, 2008


Pictures for you

After 4 years of living in this house, I've finally learned how to get the upper windows to swing over so I can clean them. With this knowledge, I then spent 30 minutes cleaning one window. I'm guessing 4 years between window cleanings is probably too long. Actually, it was probably longer than that as the previous owners were house cleaners on the same level as I am, so make that 8 years.

So, to celebrate, I've decided to admire the lone clean window and, as an added bonus to seeing how nice and, well, transparent it is, I've decided that to reallyreally get the full shiny effect, I should not clean it's brethren until after tomorrow morning, when the morning sun has really shone upon the glass.

So, that's one down, 19 to go, meaning another 9+1/2 hours, give or take.

So nice to have settled that.

It's finally spring, here and all the green things are green and all the bulb things are blooming and all the other things are doing what ever else they do.

And for final proof of spring, yesterday, I saw the year's first patient presenting for 'removal of retained tick parts'. Her husband had only been successful with decapitating the embedded tick in her shoulder and his attempts at blunt dissection with bathroom implements did not have the outcome they hoped for. But she's better and I got to excise and suture, so win-win, yes?

Of course that was preceded by the tick that dropped of my mother-in-law while she was reading on Tuesday and followed the tick I found under the computer desk yesterday. For an encore, I encountered one in my hair, getting ready to mine for red gold this afternoon, so I'm feeling a bit less sanguine, but I'll still take the spring.

It's been such a long damn winter this year. Record snowfalls and all that, and while I firmly avow that colds, flu and gastroenteridities are all caused by various viruses, I can't help but notice that Sara's missed more days the past few months of school than she's attended and yesterday was the first time in 2 weeks that I've been what I consider well. Not symptom free, but not ill, if you get my meaning.

So I feel a little symbolic (and actual) house cleaning is in order.

I also got those scary morning glories planted out by the front porch. Hopefully, they will scramble up and drape themselves picturesquely over the railing. Realistically, they will scamper up and strangle the lilies, monarda and butterfly bush and I won't be able to stop it as I'll be prostrate inside on a couch in the air conditioning wilted from the heat and humidity come July. Actually, I'm fine with summer, I'm just bone lazy, but it makes a better tale to say that I'm swooning like an Edith Wharton character.

What else, what else?

Oh! We should now take time to pat Marvelous Charles vigorously on the back. He's gone and landed himself a position as Superintendent of Schools. "Schools" as there are, indeed, two schools in the district, but we are very excited. It's tiny (the whole district has fewer students than his current school) and they have no textbooks. Well, that's not precisely true. Apparently they do have a social studies book written in the early '90s, and lord knows the world hasn't changed in the last 15 years. So we'll be adding Friday night sports events come the fall and he'll attend all sorts of school board meetings and have new tales to tell. That'll be the end of riding to and from work together, but it really is time for him to do this. It's also about 15 minutes closer than his current district and in the more stable state of Wisconsin.

He's also taking his comprehensive exams for his doctoral program tomorrow, so that's one more hurdle he'll have jumped. He's got, we think, 3 more classes to take and then he launches into all the ballyhoo surrounding the proposing, writing and defending of The Dissertation and so, with luck and a few bribes, he should be a newly minted 'doctah' in 2 years, give or take. Then we can mess with callers who ring asking for 'Dr Piffle'.

So, if you happen to have time on your hands Friday between the hours of 8:15 am and, say, 5:00 pm CDT, and you feel like sending a good thought his way as he hunkers in the basement of some cement walled ed. building on the U of W Madison campus, feel free to send them his way.

Me? I'll be taking the day cleaning another window, musing on the nature of spring and wondering if there's a service you can call to come and vacuum your property to remove all those blood-sucking parasites that make living in the country not quite so nice as it would otherwise be.

Pictures for you

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Blogger Lioness said...

Oh my God, a few days ago you were puking your guts out and of course it makes sense to clean windows the very first day you feel well! *shakes stubborn person vigourously* I truly hope this is the end of it, it's been too mad for words hasn't it.

Congrats to Charles, yes, and since I am a bit lost with the CTPHMN time thingy I'll assume it's still 6 hours behind me and will thing good thoughts all day, just in case. But we all know he'll be brilliant, there's that. Must be all the early sleeping!

[Papoila has gone and got herself a trigeminal roots lesion somehow, her left masseter, temporal and oculomotor muscles all but disappeared in 5 days! And all she needs to qualify for for Horner's is miosis! AND I DIDN'T NOTICE! BCS I AM AN IDIOT! AN IDIOT WHO ACTUALLY ATTENDS VET SCHOOL! *sigh*]

3:08 AM  
Blogger Dumdad said...


You should sing this ditty (When I'm Cleaning Windows by George Formby) when you tackle the rest of the windows.

4:36 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Good thoughts being sent to Charles as we speak but I may be a tad early. But I have put them on slow release so they last all day.

Congrats on getting to suture as it sounds like something you enjoy. It gave me good insight into the mind of doctors. :-)

8:52 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

You are truly insane. Window cleaning when you just start to feel better? Yikes. But you used the word sanguine in a sentence about ticks so I totally love you and forgive you for being one of those clean people...

You have no idea of how much I am looking forward to your planting stories. I'm not sure how you do it but I've become kind of a groupie. Not enough to actually plant anything, of course, heaven forbid I get my hands dirty.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finished the window washing in one day is wonderful. It took us the better part of a week to accomplish the same for all windows. But then they had many panes to keep us distracted. But then we had only washed them once since moving in 20 some years ago. First rain and they will be toast again. Focus on this!!!

Best to Charles. I was tempted once to do the PhD thing but it meant doing 1 year in residence in Eugene--our equivalent of Madison. So I passed after about 20 minutes of researching the catalogues. So I know of what I speak when I say how proud I am of him and you for sticking it out.

The Ole RF-er

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

red gold! sanguine! you are HILARIOUS. Tell Charles I want to marry you for your excellent sense of humor.

Erik is GONE on business again. What are you doing for dinner tomorrow (saturday)? I am inviting myself over because I have no manners. ;)

10:15 PM  
Blogger Lioness said...

[You'd think SOMEONE might have found the time to update, one line would suffice! Am choosing to believe people have a hard time writing when drunk, and you didn't say anything bcs you're both thoroughly happy and pissed out of your little minds. Sober up,I need to yell mazel tov!]

3:33 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

I'm not sure who I'm prouder of: Superintendent Charles or Window Washer Diana.

We so totally live the same life, except deer have eaten all our daffodils already. But our windows have needed washing for four years, and we vow it will happen this summer, except it takes too damn much time.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Congrats to Charles. I hope the exams went well. It all sounds very intense and horrifying to me. I am in awe of anyone (and that includes you) who can endure more than four years of post-secondary schooling.

Glad to hear (and see) that spring has sprung in the frozen Midwest. About time!!!!!

12:43 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Johnny (1+2)- Bah. Replied to you earlier but Blogger ate it. Tcha! You can speak, you with the closets? But Papoila! Does she live to cause you worry and woe? Yes she does. Who needs children when one has such a dog? And don't beat yourself up. For almost a day I mis-diagnosed Colin's appendicitis as 'stomach flu'. Sadly, weren't pissed, just exhausted and asleep before 9pm, so all is right with the world, yes?

Dumdad- I Youtubed Mr Formby and had a good giggle. Now I've got another song of his in my head that I've known for years, the one that goes: "Imagine me on the Maginal Line, sitting on a mine on the Maginal Line..."

Lauren- Should he pass (and why not?) I'll attribute part of the success to your slow release thoughts. We do love a good suturing or a nice, fat, juicy boil...

Dana- Clean. Hah. That's so hilarious! For that, I'm naming all the tomato plants after you because I'm evil like that. You will have namesakes in the garden but will be forced to despise them.

Dad- Yes, he is very proudworthy, is Marvelous Charles.

Ariella- Emailed you. Blast. Didn't get this until Sunday morning. I'm glad you got the wordplay.

Jocelyn- Ah. I've yet to do another window, so maybe I'll set my goal of a window a month. That shouldn't be too taxing, should it? Wait. Back up. Deer eat you daffodils??? What sort of cyanide-swilling, arsenic-snorting deer do you have up there? Daffodils are one of the few things ours won't touch. I'm truly frightened. Word has it that the volunteer firemen can be hired to come with truck and ladder to clean your windows while you sit and watch the show, but as it requires phone calls, I don't I'll get around to finding out if it's true.

Rozanne- He was pasty and a bit shaky upon arriving home and needed a strong beer and some chips to regain color and balance. Did you know it's supposed to snow today??? Snow!!! And it's nearly May. The trees are leafing out. I think they've decided to take matters into their own hands.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

There is nothing like a sparkling clean window. I just have to find them, the boxes are still in front of them.

Congrats to Charles on his new position.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

A round of you for window-cleaning beyond the usual (HA!HA!) and not being SO sick, to Sarah, too for the same non-sick event, to Charles for landing an Ace job plus achievement in the Doctoral Category. and to Spring for actually coming this year when we had given up! Some places near us got snow this morning, which tried to cover the tulips!

(My niece played for the UW Badgers Hockey Team for 4 years on a scholarship and she loved the whole place!)

10:00 PM  
Blogger The Rotten Correspondent said...

Okay, I know I'm tardy, but I feel all caught up with your happenings. Wow. You've got a lot going on there.

I've sent belated good luck wishes to the second Dr. Piffle, although I'm sure he flew through just fine.

And ticks? Ugh.

12:17 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Ticks are icky. Really, really, really icky. They kind of freak me out. Not as much as spiders freak me out, but pretty dang close.

Love the look of the clean window. How marvelous! When you get them all cleaned, want to help me clean the windows that will hopefully be mine? (You don't have to, but if you really, really want to, I wouldn't object.)

I'm going to be asking you loads and loads of questions soon about gardening. Because you're the expert that I know. And you rock.

Best thoughts for Charles. I hope it all went well and that there are two doctors in the house of Piffle.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the 30-minute clean one window plan.

However, if I tried that at Birdie's house, she'd have me shot.

She's a true sadist, windows and walls done twice a year!!

4:24 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Christina- See, this is why I'M NEVER MOVING AGAIN. The boxes. Oh, how I hate the packing and unpacking of THE BOXES.

Ruth- Yeah, snowed on us, too, but thankfully nothing stuck on my tulips. I'd have sobbed. (Charles takes a group of students up to see the UW women's hocky team play each year. They have a blast. It really is a great school.)

RC!- This IS a good sign! With all you've had going on, I'm thrilled to see you over here. (Here's a big, sloppy hug on Snoopy feet.)

Beth- I'm so excited to see how the house huntin' goes. I love it when other people get houses. As I've still not cleaned another window, I'm guessing you'll be 10 years older by the time I'm done, so I'll happily give you the worthless promise to help you when I'm done.

Babs- She's a nutter, that Birdie is. I mean I get the whole getting to actually see out of the windows and let the light into the house that comes with cleaning windows, but washing all the walls? Walls get dirty? Isn't that what new paint's for? And those magic eraser thingies?

8:35 AM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

OH, two doctors in the house. Sounds marvelous, do restaurants still favor reservations from doctors?
One of the pleasures of desert living, no ticks here, and very few fleas (non on our dogs in five years!)

10:37 AM  
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