Monday, May 31, 2010

remember the fallen

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Mama.  Mama. (poke) Mama. (poke poke)  It's time to get up. Can we go downstairs?

Yes, I suppose we *can*, but will we?  Of course we will.  And we do.  

The dishwasher wants to be unloaded.  The French Press is begging to be useful.  Honest, it begs me.  The laundry wants to be folded.  The laundry wants to be put away (or does it? One can never be quite sure about that.)  The cat wants to be let in.  The other cat wants to be let out, but of course not at the same time.  The short people come trip-trapping down the stairs, smelling of sweat and sleep and a desperate need for a serious toothbrushing, but that will come.  The short people want to be fed.  And attended to, and dressed and played with.  The chickens want to be fed, and let out of the pen to roam the yard.  The lawn wants to be mowed, the garden wants to be weeded.

And so I oblige them.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

hi. i'm pamela. this is my blog.

I am a mama.  I am a wife.  I do the best that I can to make sure the people in the receiving end of those roles get what they need, and then some.  Today, my house is mostly clean.  Everybody ate appropriate meals at the designated times, and some laundry was done.  (Clean and dried, but not folded and put away.)

I would love to be an official, certified hermit, and that might surprise a lot of people.  I love being home, doing home things.  I bake bread, and cake and pie.  My people like them some pie.  I do not bake muffins because my muffins are a dismal failure.  I make all of our food from scratch because it tastes better.  It's better for us, and cheaper, too, but mostly I cook because I like to eat tasty things and I know I can count on me to do that.  We get our milk from a real, live cow named Clara, not from the store.  Pasturized milk tastes icky to me, and my short people don't like it much, either.  In the warmer seasons, we get our vegetables from a CSA.  I can like a fiend in September: tomatoes, pie filling, pickles, jams, fruits.  Also? We don't buy commercially raised meat.  The Sausage Man from the Farmers' Market raises a pig for us each year, and we get a little more than a quarter of a pasture-fed Black Angus steer in the summer, because at $2.30 a pound, you can't beat the price.   We have 8 very stupid chickens growing in our back yard, and they'll grow for 4 more weeks (or so), at which time we will take them to the nice man in the next town over and he will chop off their heads and pull out their feathers and return them to us packaged nicely in plastic bags.  We also have 5 moderately stupid chickens living in our yard who lay about an egg a day, each, and we will not be taking them to the nice man in the next town over.

We also have two cats.  Two weeks ago, we had three cats, but now we have two.  Sore subject.  Moving on.

I sew, for money and fun.  Also I knit, but I don't crochet because it makes me say bad words.  Loudly.  I went to music school, and behaved myself mostly until my senior year, when I drank a lot and failed a math class (completely unrelated to the drinking, I swear) and then got to have a second senior year.  It's hard to be as awesome as me, I know.  Eventually I got my diploma, and my teaching credentials, and shortly thereafter I discovered that teaching makes me say bad words, and that I am not actually fond of other people's kids.  (You and you?  are not other people in this scenario.)  So I don't do that any more.

We homeschooled our daughter this year.  Homeschooling was something I never, ever, in a million billion gazillion years thought I'd be doing, but Miss O and public school was not a match made in heaven.  

So tell me... who are you?  I'm terribly curious to find out.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

the one where i just tell you things as i think of them, and yes, i know there's a name for that.

I had a dream the other night, which is odd in and of itself.   I've been thinking about it for days, but now that I am thinking about it so I can write about how weird and totally symbolic of what's going on in my life, it turned all fuzzy in my brain.

It ended with me being shot in the forehead.   Charming, I know.  But for the record, I  clearly remember dodging five bullets before taking one in the noggin.

Two weeks ago, I bought a sewing machine at a garage sale.  The seller had put one of those cute little roundy neon pink stickers on the thing, telling me it was NEW and $50.  I bought it for less than $50, because I am that girl, after all, and last week when I sat down to try it out, I discovered that a) it was not new; and b) the Sewing Backwards Lever was missing.  And I said bad words and tried to decide between leaving a note in the seller's mailbox saying, "I just want you to know that I know that you lied to me about the sewing machine", or just taking it back to her, or finding out how much it would cost to get the part replaced, and then stomping my feet at her and letting my children trash her house until she gave me the money to cover the repair.

And when I got all of that out of my system, I got over it.

Today, I was cleaning up my sewing area, and I was telling God I really just wanted him to throw me a bone, because I'm that girl who tells God things.  As I finished demanding things from His Mightiness, I emptied an antique crock I had purchased from an entirely different garage sale on an entirely different day.  And at the bottom of said crock was the Sewing Backwards Lever.

Coincidence?  Thrown Bone?  Either way you look at it, it's pretty stinking cool.

I sewed a dress yesterday.  I was planning to wear it to my brother's wedding, but apparently it makes me look fat.  The phrase that was used by someone I trust was HORIZONTAL PUFFINESS.  I have no desire to be HORIZONTALLY PUFFY.  I don't even know what that is, but I have the good sense to avoid it.

Also?  My mother-in-law said it was the most amazing Reduction Garment in the history of the world, because I looked flat as a preteen... well, flat as a kindergartener, seeing as how the food hormones have the little girls looking not so little.  And if there is one thing I am not, flat-chested is it.

Someone told me once that once you start having a lot of sex your breasts grow.  I don't know if she was trying to make me feel better, or encourage me to not be so prudish or what.  I wonder if the inverse applies?????

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

he sings.

Just checking in to let you know I'm not dead or anything.  Life is life, and, well, you know.

I took the short people to Wendy's today, because sometimes I just can't. eat. another. peanut-jelly. And also? The leftovers were just too good for you to be any sort of enough for me.

Naturally, each of the short people needed to take a trip to the bathroom, and none of those trips coincided with one another.  And also, not unexpectedly, the women's loo was out of order or something, so we had to go in the men's.  (Men. Really? Come ON.  There's a BRIGHT RED SPLASHMAT in that thing. How do you miss?)  And also, because it is entirely inevitable, HB needed to take care of Everything.  So there I stood, in the doorway of the men's loo, door open to allow a little fresh air, waiting and waiting and waiting.  And also waiting.

Because that guy? TAKES HIS TIME.  Dude masterfully crafts his craps.  Or something.  And to wither the time away whilst craftily crapping?  Dude sings.  Today, he chirped out an original number I have entitled (based on the lyrics) I WISH FOR DADDY.    It was freaking adorable, people.  His sweet little voice, wishing for daddy, echoing off the cold tile, punctuated with grunts and splashes.  It left me wishing for one of those cute little Flip cameras, because that is just the sort of thing that should have been captured and saved for, say, the video montage at his wedding.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

you know what day it is today?

I promise, if anybody brings me cake (ahem, everybody) I will eat it with a fork and not smash it all over myself and the floor.  Because that's just cake sacrilege, that's why.

And I pinched this photo from the Googles.  Because that is obviously NOT one of mine, and also I would never allow that kind of cake waste.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

in case you were wondering

I'm not a fan of the nicknames, despite assigning them to my family members here.  One of my most hugestest pet peeves ever is when I introduce myself to someone by saying, "I'm Pamela.", and they come right back with, "Hi, Pam."  And I say, "My name is Pamela."  And then they call me Pam again, and I say, "Not like the cute girl on The Office.  I'm Pamela, not Pam."  And then it just goes on and on.  Really? Are we as a people that self-centered and un-listening that, upon receiving CLEAR directions, totally ignore what another person has said?

I told you it made me peevish.

Also? When people make up their own nicknames for my short people?  Also peevish.  Changing my little boys' names into little girls' names?  IS NOT CUTE.  So knock it off, I don't care how old or usually lovely you are.  And no, we are not going to shorten ELLIOTT to ELI.  Not. Gonna. Do. It, just like Forty-One.

That being said, we do have a pet name for Miss O each of the boys.  And sometimes, I just call them My Loveys.  It eliminates the hole Remembering The Names Of Each Individual Child Thing.  I kid.  Honest.

Today I sat on the red flowery sofa, nursing my not-so-little baby, and HB climbed up next to me.  He nestled himself in between the couch cushion and my shoulder, and pressed his cheek up against my bicep.  Because it's supersofty, that's why.  And he patted my cheek and said, "Mama, you are still my Lovey.  You are my Lovey forever.  Forever and ever."


Monday, May 10, 2010

once again it is monday

Good Morning, friends. I like to think about you, even the many yous that are hiding out there in West Wherever, whose faces are like little secrets of mine. Sometimes, well, usually when I write, I think of you sitting with me, on my red and flowery sofa, drinking coffee, and that we chat like the oldest and dearest of friends.

Usually we talk about the weather, or the guy in my neighborhood who mows his lawn in a Speedo from April to November, about the chickens or the gardens and what we will eat for dinner. Sometimes I listen to you tell me about the myriad things going on in your neck of West Wherever.

We laugh, we chatter, we sit in the quiet.

Today I am sad and overwhelmed and unmotivated. There are dishes to do, and laundry to move along and fold. There are orders I need to cut and sew for pretties people have ordered from Revel Baby. There are pictures to edit and delete, and I desperately need a shower. DESPERATELY. I am painting scenery for the play I'm directing, props to gather. Miss O's flower girl dress for next weekend's wedding sits as a pile of chopped up material. My dress for next weekend's wedding sits folded up, one uncut piece of material hidden by a thousand tissue paper pattern pieces. The piano music sits in a folder in the bottom of my blue birdy bag, waiting to be practiced for next weekend's wedding. Because I'm the pianist, naturally. Or insanely. Either way.

Next weekend's wedding unites my younger brother and his love. It will also put my entire family in a room together for the first time in nine years. Mother, father, two brothers, their wives, me, The Mister, our children, my nephews.

Nine years. It weighs heavily on my spirit today, as is has for the past however many thousands of days.

I don't know if I'm up for the Happy Family Game. Do you know the one I mean, friends? Equal parts denial, pretending, and choking? People play this game all of the time, but I just don't know how, and I don't think that I want to learn.

We will make cupcakes, from a box because we have no butter, and we will frost them with frosting from a can, also because we have no butter. We will pick up sticks from the windy weekend, and paint scenery. The laundry will wash, and dry, and sit folded on the green sofa until a date to be determined by the direction the wind blows in combination with the availability of willing labourers and also the price of tea in China. We will eat Swedish Fish and have pasta for dinner.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

you know you want it: gazillion bubbles

Usually I ignore the Tweets that say, "Looking for a mommy blogger to review a (you fill in the blank)!!! DM for details!!!"


The short people. The bubbles. The true love. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And also?  Bubbles are superfun to photograph.  Seriously.  I shot over 400 pictures in fifteen minutes.  I have a crazy trigger finger, yo.

So I DM'ed Gazillion Bubbles speedy quick.  And they said my blog was cute (really? cute? is it?) and sent us a big honking package in the mail.  And then the weather was icky, and there was the rain, and the cold, and the windy, and then, one fine day, we just couldn't wait any longer.  And that little bubble machine was big fun.

The bubble machine was a huge hit with all five of the short people (Elliott was sleeping, and we borrowed a few).  But the four year olds? LURVED THAT THING, I tell you.  We set it directly on the grass at first, and, meh, bubbles, yeah, cool.  But then we plopped that there Gazillion Bubbles machine on the back of our little red wagon, and that is when the crazy erupted.

This is my girl, Cute Mystery Woman, giving me the Finger of Warning not to post any pictures of her on my blog.  That's why I doctored her up real good so nobody will recognize her.  You're welcome, mama, don't say I've never done anything for you.  Also, please do not think that I am saying that Cute Mystery Woman erupts with teh crazies.  Because I'm not saying that.  Especially on the interwebs.  She only erupts butterflies and clouds and marshmallows and love and blue moons.  Never crazy.

I would like to take a moment to address the Catching of The Bubbles On The Tongue.  But I don't even know where to begin.

Moving on.

Except there is no moving on.  If you give your four year-old a tongue, they will want a bubble to catch on it.

And should said four year-old catch said bubble, the bubble will be promptly consumed.  Possibly.  Unless it pops first.

Thanks for the superfun afternoon of bubble chasing (and eating).  We had a blast.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

baby needs a new set of brake shoes

Our Cozy Coupe is about to bite the dust.  And in an effort to not waste my money going to every garage sale from here to Pennsyltucky, I'm trying to win one here.

Don't even click on that button and enter to win one yourself.  Or HB will cry.  Hard.  And I will tell him it's your fault his heart is broken.


there's nothing like the bubbles

More fantastic Gazillion Bubbles action shots tomorrow... 

Monday, May 3, 2010

this day.

This day, with its sunshine and bird song and warm breezes, is a lovely one.  This day is an unexpected Monday at home with the family for The Mister.  This day began with mediocre coffee and chattering babies and the regular foot-stomping about the regular things.

This day finds us with one less family member.  And I cringe as I am typing, because I never thought of myself as one of Those People who would be crying about a pet.  It's embarrassing, in a way, but more than that, I'm embarrassed that I'm embarrassed.  

We have three cats.  Well, now we have two cats, and one buried beneath the apple tree.  Two were mine, that I brought here when I moved home from Ohio.  They were brothers, I found them at the animal shelter, curled up in a tight ball in the corner of their litter pan.  How could I have adopted just one of them?  I couldn't.  I didn't.

We called him Fat Jake.  Once, Miss O wanted me to draw pictures of the cats with sidewalk chalk, and write their names.  So I did, in HUGE.BLOCK.LETTERS.  Sully.  Sebastian.  Fat Jake.  A neighbor walked by and her eyes practically bulged out of her head when she saw the ginormous FAT JAKE on the sidewalk, because another of our neighbors was, coincidentally, both named Jake, and rather obese.  Anyway.

He had been losing weight, and was sleeping all the time.  We tried to help him feel better, gain weight, stop vomiting.  But he wasted away.  And this day was the day.  This day he is buried under the boughs of the apple tree, the place where he would spend every pleasant afternoon.

My babies' hearts broke in a million gazillion pieces.  I don't want my kitty to die!  I want him to be with me!  I hate vets!  I want the vet to die!  And the tears, and the red cheeks and the puffy eyes and the sad.  Oh, the sad.  The saddest of sads.

I want Jake to stay.  I wish he could stay.  Why did he have to get sick?  Why did he have to die?  I really want my kitty.   But I don't want him to die.  I really want kitty.  I didn't want him to die.  I don't want him to die.  I want my kitty back.

Me too, baby, me too.

so sad.

My favorite kitty is dying.  The Mister is taking him to the animal hospital now.  Maybe Fat Jake will come home later with meds, maybe he won't.  Super sick kitty, super sad mama, super sad babies.