Wish I was there . .
My passport is ready and I can be packed in minutes.

23 March 2009

Rest Now.

I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:

And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung

A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,--
"Guess now who holds thee!"--"Death," I said, But, there,
The silver answer rang, "Not Death, but Love."

- Not Death But Love

Elizabeth Browning

Rest now Gram. I love you and I'll miss you.

20 March 2009

Watch For Wide Load Ahead

It's been a bit of a madhouse here this week. On Saint Patrick's Day, I went to Hew's class and we painted blarney stones, tried a new recipe for Guinness Bread (that didn't go to the preschool), and there was gymnastic class. Wednesday I attended a play with my daughter's class. I sat next to a sweet young boy who could not sit still to save his life. I considered gluing him to the chair.

Yesterday was Hew's birthday - my four year old boy is now my five year old boy. The birthday boy needed to bring a non-chocolate, non-peanut, non-allergy snack for his class. His choice - pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting! So I whipped up 24 of those babies (yes, I know he only has 14 kids in his class, but we had to have a few for home). The muffins were a hit with all of his classmates except for two degenerates who refused to try them because they had "vegetables" in them. Then, for his birthday cake, Hew picked a chocolate cake with strawberry frosting. I have never had luck with strawberry frosting and this time was no better. By the end of frosting the round cake, it looked a round mound of Pepto Bismo or one of those Pink Snowballs that come in a package of two. Plus, the dinner choice was pizza, of course.

So now that we have consumed thousands of calories this week, I'm off to dinner with some girlfriends tonight. Do you think we could possibly put the bathing suit season off just a few more weeks? Or maybe another month?

16 March 2009

One New Year's Resolution

Spring is here - well actually it has been 80°F/26°C plus so I think we have moved straight into summer. And here are the initial sproutings of one resolution.

Green Beans







Just For Looks!
Stay tuned for carrots, peppers, and lettuce!

12 March 2009

T Minus Five Hours . . .

. . . until arrival of MIL for weekend. Please send emergency provisions of wine and chocolate. Check back for survival in 72 hours.

11 March 2009

A New Friend . . . or Not

Every Tuesday after school, the kids and I stop at a local park for about an hour. They sit and do their homework and have snack, before it's time for gymnastics. Usually it's pretty uneventful. We've seen lots of birds and once some wild baby pigs at a distance. But yesterday, Mr. Armadillo sauntered up to visit with the kids.

I thought the kids quickly moving about for a closer look would send our new friend scurrying off, but instead he slowly kept moving forward. It was only after my four year boy had, shall we say, a noisy release of gas that our new friend beat a quick retreat.

Or maybe it was our giggling that sent him packing?

Taken March 10, 2009

06 March 2009

A Night Out

Last night, when I should have been tucking myself into bed with the beginnings of a cold, I put on some cute boots, jeans, curled my hair, grabbed hubby, and went to my first concert in about fifteen years. What made it even more special was that the performers were the same ones I had last seen in Massachusetts in 1994. And Hubby had never been to a concert - although this was a bit more of a gray haired crowd than the concerts of my youth.

Billy Joel and Elton John still put on a great show. While Elton John was a bit more mellow, Billy Joel brought the gray haired crowd to their feet with Scenes from Italian Restaurant, Angry Young Man, We Didn't Start the Fire, and Only the Good Die Young. Unfortunately our babysitter has a curfew and we had to sneak out as the men joined up for the finale. Today, the head cold has hit, I have lost my voice, and feel like the bottom of a bird cage - but last night for a few minutes I was twenty and life was simply fun. Happy Friday!

03 March 2009

Can't even come up with a title for this one. Have meeting with financial guy today. Forced to actually sit down and look at the loss to the kids education funds and our retirement. Have been watching, but wanted to believe that we just need to wait this out. Thought we had done the right thing -paid off our college loans, carried no credit card debt, only borrowed a third of what bank offered when we bought our house, put maximum contribution into employment offered retirement, and took every bonus and any left over money and put it in college funds for kids at very conservative investment rate. What idiots we are. Understand how damn lucky we are - have house, job, health, family, a modicum of security. But seeing the kids' colleges funds plunging down the crapper is a bit much. Sorry - will be better tomorrow.

02 March 2009

Spin Cycle

Since Thursday, I have felt like I have been tossed about in a perpetual spin cycle. It's been constant motion all the time.

Thursday was the delivery of the "soil" to fill the garden boxes. Hubby assured me that he had given the correct box measurements and the "soil" people were given a fairly mixed sample of actual dirt and cow poo. No such luck on both accounts. First, the mixture contained a high level of fresh (i.e. smelly) manure, thus requiring the mixing in of top soil so my seedlings would not be burned by the high nitrate levels. The nice poo transport man explained this to me.

And Hubby's calculations for the amount of poo were off . . . .

by a rather large amount . . .
By the time this picture was taken, I had filled the boxes to the half way mark and look at all the remaining poo! The shadow is of Hubby after he arrived home from work. He is laughing and snapping pictures of the giant poo pile with his phone. This pile was as high as my son's hip! I am less than pleased. However, no time to deal with giant poo pile because it was time for T-Ball.

Thursday night, as Hubby takes kids to T-Ball, I run to store to find a wheelbarrow (to move the above mentioned poo) and try to clean up, do laundry, and mentally guess when Hubby's mother and brother are going to arrive. As of 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, it had been announced they were coming "sometime" for the weekend, but they were unsure of a day or time.

Friday was spent with a bus load of four year olds visiting a farm as a field trip chaperon. Hew loves all things farm related and rolled around in various animal feces in order to hold chickens and ducks, and milk the cow (I wonder if the increase of animal poo was a symbol of the impending visit . . . . ?) . After a loud day, I raced home, washed Hew - he was the only kid who managed to get duck poo on his shoulder, ran through the grocery store as it had now been decreed that MIL and BIL would arrive an Saturday, and then met the babysitter at the door. Hubby and I went off for a quiet dinner and a movie (Slum Dog Millionaire -loved it!). We had just put in our order at the restaurant when in walks Hubby's Dad and his fourth wife. I nearly wept at this point - but they graciously realized that our date nights were few and far between, and after a bit of conversation they left to meet some friends for dinner.

Saturday morning was a mesh of making beds, cleaning the bathroom, building another garden box, T-Ball, and gymnastics. BIL arrived during T-Ball and taught Hew how to fist bump. Hew immediately taught his friend in the field, both boys ignoring the little white ball that rolled right past them. Once the kids were settled in for nap, our attention turned to the poo pile. Fearing the impending rain which would have turned our poo pile into liquid fertilizer than would run right onto the property of the one neighbor we actually like, we convinced BIL to help shovel and move poo in exchange for beer and the promise of dinner. After that it is a whirlwind of dinner, the arrival of MIL, hyperactive children, videos, breakfast, more videos and hyperactive kids, rain, the loss of power, lunch, and finally once everyone was on the road, a nap - for me.

Thankful, it is Monday, the in-laws are gone, Hubby is at work, the kids are at school, the poo has been dispensed, and I'm ready for another week.