Friday, June 20, 2008

The Battle for My Yard

My yard is fighting to turn back into forest, and this is the first spring/summer I've been (semi) home enough to show it who's boss. It's slow going, but I put my foot down about a few things. I arranged to have our rotten tree chopped down and hauled away (by redneck ninjas) and I made a new little flower bed in front. I replaced a bunch of half dead shrubs with flowering perennials and I planted our raised garden beds.

The next thing on my list has been the grass. My front yard is actually starting to look like the forest floor. Our 2 huge oak trees drop acorns all over it, plus there's moss, mushrooms, wild violets and other random weeds crowding out my ever thinning grass.

A couple of months ago I started saving Tru-Green coupons and I bought a big bag of fertilizer/weed killer and one of those broadcast spreaders you assemble yourself.

Thank goodness I haven't gotten around to dousing my yard with all those chemicals! Over the past week I discovered a little frog hopping across my yard. My daughter was so excited to hold him. We put him into our garden and set up a little shady spot for him with a cool whip container of water. I haven't seen him since, but I hope he's hopping around back there somewhere.

Then today a tiny bird exploded out of one of our shrubs. I looked and sure enough there was the tiniest little nest in there. Hopefully I didn't scare the mama bird away for good with my picture taking. I also discovered a nest of baby birds in the beams supporting our upstairs patio.

No way am I going to fertilize my yard now. I guess the forest wins this round, but I feel like the real winner. And hey, my yard might not be very grassy, but it's green! Now I just need to get my daughter excited about the great outdoors:


Okay, so, I haven't showered in two days.


Been doing a lot for work, baby's got me on my toes, blah blah blah.

I am only sharing this because it's the only way to explain why I am not wearing pants at 1:27 PM.

See, the beauty of consulting, and working remotely, is that I'm at work the minute I sit down. There's no two hour process of "getting ready." I wave goodbye to the Perfect Husband, feed the baby, and start typing.

Today, I realized that my jeans from yesterday should not be worn again or they will run away on their own. I have a clean pair, but tonight is date night and I will need them. Putting three day butt into clean jeans isn't okay, because if I do that, I can't wear them for more than one day. I need to shower first. I will shower as soon as the baby naps.

Well, okay, when the baby takes his NEXT nap, because I need to finish this spreadsheet for a presentation.

The doorbell just rang. It's my neighbor, the one who always looks so together and charming. She has earrings on at 7:10 AM to take out the trash, for crying out loud. There's only one spot in this room where I can't be seen. I'm sitting in it, frozen, and pantsless.

For this I went to grad school.

Is the 'hood quiet?

We have a small 'hood, but it's a nice 'hood.

It's made up of a decent mix of folks, and a pleasant amount of children of varying age ranges. This means my pre-schoolers have friends to hang with, my daughter has kids to be hooliganish with, and I have moms to chat with. We have lots of dogs, too. We have people who have no children, people who have no dogs, and people who have children, but no dogs, or dogs but no children. Don't even get me started on the cat owners.

On a weekend night, the common area out back becomes alive with the sounds of people grilling, making a fire, chatting and general life. Kids are out playing games, running around, doing hooliganish things, people are laughing, dogs are chasing dogs, or lolling about, the grass in the circle, and it's fun, lively and least of all, quiet.

Not to say it's noisy, it's not, not by any means.

But it's not quiet.

It's the sound of people living in the summer. Oh come round here in the fall and winter, and it's as dead as any other place where people hide out when dark hits at 4 and there are school events and shows to go to. But the summer and spring brings out the life in people.

So when I was talking to my neighbor about our new neighbor, she said the new neighbor asked if it was quiet 'round these here parts. When my neighbor explained about the weekend life, the new neighbor said 'Oh, I was hoping it was a really quiet place.'

Well, it's not noisy...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When Bad Design Happens To Good Babies

There are two groups that are constantly targeted with pure crap, with the assumption that we'll buy anything at an inflated price if it makes our hearts go SPROING. (It's only fair, every ad running during football season uses as its premise that men who like sports will buy anything if it makes something else go SPROING.) Anyway. Those two groups are "brides" and "new moms."

The sheer amount of overpriced dreck that was flung at me as soon as I made it known I was planning a wedding could have drowned a whale. Caterers doubled their prices. Bakers tripled them. Stationers hid all the stylish options and coated every invitation with unadulterated twee. Rented halls threw in white twinkle lights and tulle banister wraps and called it a Wedding Package for four times the cost of, say, a retirement party. And don't get me started on the shoddy construction of nearly every dress I saw. I guess charging five hundred bucks for a dress with unfinished seams is rational considering the wearer is so irrational that she's paying five hundred bucks for a dress she'll wear once.

After my wedding, I dusted off my hands thinking I was done with this marketplace weirdness.

Oh, I was SO WRONG.

Stuff for babies less than six months old falls into two groups. Group one - designed by someone who has actually met a human infant, and is aware of the sheer amounts of unpleasant bodily fluids generated from every orifice. Group two - designed by people who think "oh, a teddy bear, mommies looooove teddy bears."

For the record, I have bought a wedding dress. And I also have dressed my child in an outfit I knew was a bad idea as soon as I realized the sleeves were tailored with no stretch. I don't know what that says about me, but probably nothing good.

This outfit tricked me. The long line of front snaps (creating a large head opening), the snap crotch (diaper access), it said convenience. In practice, it was like trying to put a tuxedo on an octopus. It combined the annoyance of a pullover outfit with the nitpickiness of snaps. But it had a teddy bear!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

BSG addict


In most ways, I'm like most sane people.
And some sane people, like me, are slightly addicted to Battlestar Galactica.

I lock my children in their rooms and send my husband away, sit down, and ignore everything and everyone for the show.

I've obsessed only slightly about who the fifth cylon is, and have tried to restrain my slight and only-human ire at the other fan (but not addict, I wouldn't call her an addict) I know because she always TiVo's it and is never caught up. I not-so-secretly think all non-fans are missing out on some of the greatest television ever, well, televised. Don't even get me started about how it's sci-fi. It is so much more than sci-fi.

And the only thing I can think about today, to write about, as I mull over the chances of my being the fifth cylon (I mean, so cool, don't you think?) and mull how I hate having to wait more months now before the final BSG episodes show up (those mini web-episodes are as filling as mini-snack packs) I'll give my list of who I think the final cylon could be, because well, that is what BSG addicts do. But, to give it a slight twist, here is also a list of who is NOT the fifth cylon:

In no particular order:

Not Cylons:
Baltar (I mean, seriously, but I do admire his love for himself)
The doctor
The lawyer
The baker, butcher and candlestick maker can also be ruled out
Starbuck (cuz duh they said so)
Tom Zarek (could the fifth cylon really be so extremely power hungry? I think not)
Cally (clearly not)

Cylon Contenders
Lee Adama (it could be!) but I swear I heard the unboxed toaster correct a human and say that four were in the fleet
Zak Adama (this would be both kind of neat and a let down at the same time)
The ship itself (that would just rock)
Someone found on earth that is unknown. (This actually makes the most sense, but then, how would that cylon actually get them there if said cylon was on earth).

Now, at this point, Rainy, you must stop reading, because this contains spoilers to the last episode before the break, which you haven't watched yet, which is why I'm posting about it rather than gabbing about it to you.

As you can see, my list of cylon contenders is very short. It's because the last cylon is so important, that it wouldn't be someone trivial.

It would be someone motivated to get both the cylons and the humans to earth. The ship itself has been working toward that end, orchestrating things so that information is given at just the right time. Who could that last final cylon be that could send the signal to the four cylons that the location to the earth has been revealed and draw them to the altered viper now that the Cylons were with the Galactica? Also, unlike the other four cylons, this cylon must know it's a cylon, because of the pervading sense that 'something' is controlling events and circumstances to lead these groups to earth. It'd be hard to imagine that the fifth cylon is as clueless as the other cylons. So, who is everywhere on the ship, but nowhere to be seen on the ship? Well, the ship certainly.

Okay it's very likely it's a person. For all we know, Zak Adama is hiding on the ship running around fixing things. It could beLee, but then you have to explain how everything is being orchestrated so well. The fifth cylon has to be playing a part in getting everyone to earth, including taking the cylons, who, btw, have also decimated their race. Isn't it a strange coincidence that there's only one Galactica and one Base Star?

Hmm. Things to ponder over the next few months.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Note The Date

Yesterday I got my pre-pregnancy jeans back on.

In related news, I was grilling brats for my husband's Father's Day Dinner, and stared at them in fascination while the cooking sausage swelled and strained against the casing. The meat seemed to undulate, and the juices pulsed, and when I flipped them with too much enthusiasm, the casing surrendered and sprayed grease everywhere.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Wonderful Father

I don't want kids, he said, on one of the early dates.

Well, that's a deal breaker for me, I replied in a light tone of voice while my stomach turned to lead and sunk through the floorboards of the '86 Celebrity. I don't know if I want kids, but I do know I want the option.

He didn't answer for several days. He really thought about it. And he came back and said, well, I'm willing to consider the option with you, someday.

A few years later, after several rounds of discussion, I said, I love you forever and I won't end our marriage over this, because if I can't have your kid then I don't want kids at all. But I think if we end up not having a kid, I'll be unhappy for a very long time. I want our kid, with my brown eyes and your sweet smile, and my words and your art, and our music.

He didn't answer for several days. And he came back and said, well, let's see what happens.

A few months later, as he held our dog and comforted her during a storm, I said, you're going to be a wonderful father... in February.

It didn't take him a few days to react this time. It didn't take him until February to polish the parenting skills, either. He was always the things that make a wonderful father, protective and strong, wise and caring.

And our little boy has brown eyes and a sweet smile, one he only gives his daddy.