Thursday, November 29, 2007

random thoughts

I have, as those knitty people put it, a FO! Aunt Rose's chemo cap is ready to go. I would love to post a picture for you, but the charger gremlins have invaded my house, apparently, and I need to recharge my camera---but I can't find the charger to do so, etc. So there it is. It looks great. :p I need to turn this task over to my dear husband A, who can find anything in short order. As I was puzzling over my misplaced charger last night, he smugly said, "I haven't looked for it yet. Don't worry."

And he still hasn't looked for it yet, so no charged camera.

There's a bit of snow in the forecast, and that sends D and S running to the window every so often to check for flakes. D. was sitting at his window last night, blinds tilted open, just in case. So far, disappointment.

Because of the cold, the guinea pigs have temporarily been moved from the covered back porch and taken up residence between the love seat and the bookcases. They are so funny to listen to, and even funnier to watch. They're so greedy and selfish, it's like watching fuzzy little toddlers as they grab carrots and run away to hide to eat them...stealing lettuce bits from each other...playing "king of the igloo" and not allowing any other pigs to sleep in the hidey-holes. The whistling and squeaking that accompanies these activities is rather charming.

I stayed up WAY too late watching a movie the other night (1 AM). Idiot me: I am not a twenty-something anymore who can shake this off by the next day. My reason, though, was for my dear son, who loves loves loves King Kong (1933). He wanted to see Peter Jackson's 2005 version; therefore, A and I had to "proof" it first. THREE HOURS LONG. They make mighty free with the names of God, and the Kong ritual by the natives is rather freakish, so we're limiting access to just the really cool scenes once Ann gets past the wall on Skull Island and Kong takes her. And skipping the Valley of Insects part, where Andy Serkis's character gets eaten headfirst slowly by a leech...ugh. I really liked Kong in this movie, though. Very cool gorilla.

And the carrot that gets D this Kong privilege: finish your November school requirements. So he's counting up how many of this and that lessons he has left to accomplish and occasionally despairing of EVER being able to watch King Kong...I am firm, however. He and his sister have taken a few days off school, taking advantage of my being occupied teaching other students. THIS is why I only teach piano part time.

Okay. School awaits. Kids must put guinea pigs away to do their work. I will let them read aloud to the pigs, but the pigs are counterproductive when it comes to accomplishing math, vocabulary, or just about any other subject.

Be well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

you never can tell with bees

Today I sat in the van while my kids were in swimming lessons. It was quiet, sunny, warm. I'm knitting a chemo cap for Aunt Rose of a lovely, soft merino wool the shade of plum. As the van--and I!-- basked in the sun, I heard a buzz from the rear of the cabin. Turning around, sure enough, I saw a fat yellow jacket bipping against the window, trying to escape to the outside. Sighing, I put down my knitting, opened the window on the sliding door, and shooed him outside to where he belonged.

I resumed my knitting and basking in the sun...when I heard that sound again. "Bzzzzz...bip...bip...bipbip....bzzzzzz." I turned around again. Another one! I popped the hatch, slid the door, and opened the front side door to give him all possible avenues of escape. I flapped him out the back hatch, and he promptly flew around to the side panel door and landed... on the inside. If I closed the door, he'd be right back where he started! I grabbed a newspaper and went to work, guiding him to freedom and Life Outdoors. He was having none of it. He flew back into the cabin, landing on a wreath of fall leaves I had in the back. I set the wreath outside. Go, little bee, go. And indeed, he left the wreath... and flew back into the cabin of the van. AUGH!

Finally he landed on the open passenger door, at the opening for the latch. He crawled inside the hole. I waited for a few minutes to see if he'd come out... then figured I could probably kill him if I slammed the door shut. I'd already tried to rescue him enough, and he was keeping me from my knitting, after all, so , WHAM!

Peace and quiet once again.

I'd been sitting and knitting for maybe 5 minutes when I heard another low buzzing sound. Feeling rather like I was in some Candid Camera show at this point, I jumped up and out of my seat, whipped open my door, and whisked that sucker out of the van. I slammed the door behind the bee, and wouldn't you know, it turned around and landed on the window of the van, clearly seeming to want back IN?

I'm sure the other people sitting in the parking lot waiting for THEIR kids to be done swimming were amused at my antics: jumping out, running around the van, opening and slamming doors, waving a newspaper (the comics page, of course) around my head, talking to unseen creatures. I was rather amused myself... but it was getting old, and I wanted to sit and knit and be warm, not have to deal with buzzing critters that sting.

Eventually the bee on the window flew off, presumably to join its sisters for a laugh at this stupid human. D and S returned from swimming, and we started home. We were about halfway there when I heard a quavering "Mooooommm....there's a hornet back here..."

I rolled my eyes. I can't win!

We opened the windows. It sufficed to keep the bee blown to the back of the van until we pulled into the driveway, where I popped the hatch, and shooed yet another bee to freedom.

So now I'm a little paranoid about whether the bees have built a hive in the van, or if they were merely hitchhikers on the wreath that Mr. Jones gave me at church Sunday. You never can tell with bees.

Monday, November 12, 2007

well, duh.

Note to self re: Science labs: When separating ink colors using paper chromatography, do NOT use a Sharpie waterproof pen. Because it doesn't work. Waterproof, and all that.


it's here!

....the rainy season!

We are under a High Wind Warning from now until about 4 p.m.

There's nothing quite like November in Puget Sound. Gusty winds; heavy, persistent rain; leaves clinging desperately to increasingly bare limbs, then whirling forlornly around the street, clumping up in sodden masses in the gutters; puddles that grow to touch fingers and eventually become one with the puddles across the street.

Hot chocolate, apple cider, and popcorn. Knitting socks (for D), warm, soft caps (for my Aunt Rose, who starts chemo tomorrow) and scarves (for me!).

It's a GREAT DAY, people.

Praising the Lord that we have heat and power! :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

the (positive) influence of Hollywood

The movie Ratatouille just came out on DVD, as most of you probably know. We had not seen it yet, so I purchased it at my local Costco and brought it home for a night of popcorn and enjoyment.

This movie has paid off in a lovely way: for the past two mornings, S. has been in the kitchen, whipping out omelettes for the family dining experience! Yesterday it was cheese; today it was turkey pepperoni, ham and cheese. D. has also gotten in on the act at the dinner scene, donning my toque and apron and speaking in a French accent. I put him to work slicing potatoes and monitoring the overall cooking progress of fried potatoes and Aidell's chicken apple sausages.

No, that's not really a gourmet meal, apologies to Remy and Co.. I continue to be plagued by this cold, which keeps me awake much of the night (I just can't sleep if I'm mouth breathing). So I'm not really "overthinking" on meals right now. I can't taste them anyway. Basic food with good texture is good enough to sustain my family for a few days. We'll get fancy with the spices when I can smell again.

Meanwhile, a-caking I must go. I am so paranoid about cross-contamination with dairy products that I'm washing and wiping things down a couple of times. I want Micah's 5th birthday party to be memorable for fun things, not that Crystal had to epi-pen him because of my dairy poisoning him. :p

To the kitchen!

Monday, November 05, 2007

not wounded, but dead, sire!

Crystal is such a thoughtful friend. I feel so.... loved! By all means, spam my email account! or just post comments on the blog, because those make it to my email as well. >:) I'm always watching.

Yes, I AM alive! Wifehood, mommyhood, teacherhood--all these make great demands on Life, as you all know so well, since you have similar demands on your time.

And my children have thoughtfully shared their cold with me, so I have the first sniffles of the cold and flu season. I must be well by Friday when I bake cakes. (They're gonna be great, folks, stay tuned for pictures.)

So as I was driving in the car the other day, frustrated at my seeming inability to have any quality time in the Bible, I was singing the line from "If I Were a Rich Man" (from Fiddler on the Roof, for any Philistine readers I may have) - where Tevye sings, "If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack to sit in the synagogue and pray..." and nodding my head in sympathy. Yesssssss, if only I didn't have all these responsibilities, I'd be SO SPIRITUAL.

Then, of course, Reality Check set in. I DO have these responsibilities. And God, in His divine power, has provided every single thing that I need to live this life in a godly way--by the knowledge of Him Who called us. (2 Peter 1:3, E's version) AND even better, He knows my frame, that I am but dust. So, I don't have to be perfect. (Of course, I can't be.) He knows that I am doing the best I can with what I can. And yes, there is room for improvement. But I can't go around mentally chastising myself that I am not like those mom bloggers (whom I really do admire, how DO they do it?) who manage to be crafty, prepare a hot meal every night, keep their homes immaculate, and are always sweet and cheerful with their dear hubbies and dear children.

No, my reality is not like that. I yell. I think bad words (because of course that's so much more spiritual than actually saying them, right? /sarcasm font) . I stomp my feet and toss papers around. Sometimes we have to eat at McDonald's because of swimming lessons followed by piano lessons followed by choir practice. And I clean... oh gads... I clean all the time but it never stays that way. Even when channeling Flylady. And I have two knitting projects that are not going to be ready for Christmas, I'm sure.

So life is pretty much normal around here. I'm just not talking about it. Sorry I'm so behind on your lives. I do think about you all often and even PRAY FOR YOU. Now I just need to get caught up on your lives by reading your blogs!

So can anyone tell me the name and author of the poem to which my title alludes? *evil laugh*