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Showing posts from January, 2007

The Rocky Raccoon Horror Picture Show: Man vs. Beast

It all started the month before Christmas with the first indications of a break-in to our house. I'm a pretty light sleeper, especially after having kids. One night, some noises downstairs woke me. It sounded like someone was opening the pantry. Persistence , I thought, annoyed, on another midnight food raid . As I worked to open my burning, exhausted eyes, and convince my body It Had to Get Up and Go Save the Baby, I spared one irritated moment to wonder whether we had properly closed and latched the pantry before bed. When I got downstairs, the utility room and kitchen were trashed. And Persistence was upstairs asleep in her bed. I called my husband down. After much investigation, we decided our hyperthyroid cat Bubba must have lost his last noodle and gone on a bender. This theory held up in that every single morning that we got up, the cat bowl (filled completely the night before) was totally empty, and someone had been biting his way into the dog food bag and cat food containe

Is the road to hell paved with good intentions or role fulfillment?

(This is a bit of a follow-up to the previous post Underwater Basket Case 101 . Comments and other thoughts kept rolling out and making me think.) What people think of me---of me and my children---matters to me. I am aware of, and concerned with, public opinion. It comes from good intentions, you understand. Caring what others think is a good goal, and is the basis for respect and consideration. I just never learned healthy boundaries for it. So as I entered adulthood, I tried to find a happier medium. It's been a struggle. Public feedback is a mixed bag, and very confusing. I'm not really clear what people's expectations are, or how I am supposed to respond to them. It doesn't come naturally to me---determining how much opinion and expectation ought to matter in a healthy way---so I have to consider it. I'm probably too conservative, expecting high need and harsh judgment. It's what I learned from and experienced. Therefore, out in public, I tend to assume that

Underwater Basket Case 101

This is the post wherein you realize I am so not kidding when I tell you I am not even a contender for a spot on the team for Mommy Olympics. My kids are very creative. Long-time readers, and those who caught the recap in my questionable sanity post, know this well. I don't say "creative" as a euphemism for "poorly behaved" or "poorly disciplined" or even "inadequately supervised." I say "creative" meaning: children who are actually unbelievably curious, extremely ingenious, with true scientific explorative natures---above and beyond the usual---that compel them to Try Things and Do Things (despite rules, repeated warnings and lots of supervision and positive directed activities) that often lead to stories within which I use humor to deal with the really horrifying, terribly messy, unbearably annoying, or horrifically embarrassing This drive to Do In Spite Of, I believe, is a result of nature rather than nurture (or perceived lac

Photo essay: The View from the Center of My Known Universe

Adding in Friday 1/26/2007 check-in: That's almost a three pound loss from last go round. Thanks, Lotta , for hosting this great check-in and weight loss support! Girl Con Queso tagged all unsuspecting visitors to her site with the "What's it look like out your front door?" meme-thingie going around. Because today is finally a beautiful sunny day after (I think) 40 days and 40 nights of dreary rain, I finally felt motivated to whip out the camera and quickly snap off a few shots out my door. They are what I like to call rushed raw honest shots (read: I used PHD mode). I added in some other gratuitous shots to put the door shots in context. Literally, out the front door in the last hour. What you don't see: that my little lighted Christmas trees are shockingly still on display out front. What you do see that I feel sort of apologetic about: the big yard mess. In defense, we've had dreadful weather and storms and always have a lot of debris to clear after that

An Unaccountable Capacity for Happiness

Who are you, you unaccountably chipper people, or more importantly, how are you? How do you glide so gracefully through life, effortlessly and naturally finding the lemonade in lemons...without clenching your teeth and repeating---a la protesting too much---that there is a silver lining to this cloud there is , there is , there is ! Were you born? Or were you made? What makes a Harvey Ball ? Who is Harvey Ball? He's the artist behind the original smiley face ! He Made the Whole World Smile The Harvey Ball Story When three of Harvey Ball’s comrades were killed by a wayward shell as they stood next to him in Okinawa during World War II, he did not ponder if fate had saved him for a greater destiny. Harvey, a tall, lanky, laconic Yankee from Worcester, Massachusetts, was not much given to introspection, socializing, talking, or even smiling. But when he died in 2001 at the age of 79, Harvey had figured out his purpose in life. As he told People Magazine in 1998, “I taught the whole w

Live like we do...and your little dog too

This is my dog. Isn't he a fine specimen of doggiehood? Handsome. Son of champions. And, probably from his breeder's point of view, utterly wasted on us: the people who love him simply as a member of our family. We don't compete with him, or hunt with him or hunt compete with him or anything. His main claim to fame is the ability to lick a dirty baby clean in under 10 seconds and one time he swam across Ipswich Bay from Wingaersheek Beach. A sailboat tried to rescue him, as did two sea kayaks, but he was determined. His favorite tennis ball was at stake. With many seacraft and a few life preservers around him, he paddled and paddled until he had rescued that ball and then---and only then---did he return to shore. That, my friends, exemplifies how stout of heart and body my dog is. He also strongly adheres to his own code of ethics. In other words, he is pretty resistant to training. We went through doggie kndergarten twice, obgility twice, hired a private trainer once, and

MILF check, and seriously, you've NO IDEA how far 4 lbs of sugar will go

So...only down a little over a pound this week. I accept it. It's the Weight Watcher's target loss per week. I'm still progressing. More importantly, I'm down at least two sizes and am now comfortable rather than slightly tight in the smaller size. My wardrobe just doubled. While we're on the subject of pounds, let's talk about exactly how far four pounds of sugar can stretch. In point of fact, it can stretch throughout the breakfast nook and kitchen and all the way to the living room rug. Yes, how coincidental...just the very week when I am yapping on and on about my creative kids, they out-creative me! It's not really a coincidence. I am discussing all of this because they are having an extra creative week. I am trying really hard not to press "post!" on the eBay ad: Two kids, cheap, all accessories included. Flash back... Yesterday, I sat them down for a snack---the strawberries, if you must know, from the ill-fated jam-making attempt . The ph

"However do you stay SANE?" is a legitimate question when it comes to parenting

Danvers State Insane Asylum . My old stomping grounds. Danvers, that is, not the asylum. Boogiemum's comment in my last post got me thinking. "I think I could write an entire blog on instances, like the one you mentioned, on things that my 3 kids have done," she wrote in response to my confessions of adventures in parenting my creative kids. In fact, come to think of it, to a large degree, I have. More to the point, I love doing it. First, it records adventures my kids and I have at this time in our lives. Second, it helps me find a healthier (read: more humorous) take on the situation. Third, and most importantly to me, it is empathetic fodder. Oh how I love to hear from the other parents who have been there , done that and lived to tell about it. My husband and I were talking about the kids last night, and it struck me how fortunate I am to have so many outlets for connecting with other unbelievably valuable that is for me. I love my real world friends

The naked truth: This is why my friends always invite me back

You wish you had a friend like mine, or maybe you do. She goes to the local farm every week and walks around thinking things like, "Wow, the strawberries look great, what a good price, too! I bet Julie would sure like some!" Then, magically, with no effort, you have awesome fresh produce, lots of it organic, for better quality and price than in the grocery stores. Even better, when you drop by to pick up said produce, apologetically late in the day, she invites you to stay for dinner, which includes grilled salmon with ginger, soy and Japanese bread crumb crust and crunchy noodle salad. Not only delicious, but Weight Watcher friendly. And loads better than the left over gumbo you were going to eat...again. So this is us on Sunday. As I took my quart of gorgeous looking strawberries and other assorted yummy produce, all the while effusively thanking her (again) and trying to do things like wash the dinner dishes to make myself worthy...I asked what she was doing with the two o

A post not about Martin Luther King, Jr. on the occasion of his birthday (observed)

I have tremendous respect for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He made many speeches that are noteworthy and repeat-worthy, which are often ignored in favor of his most-popular "I have a dream" speech. This barely rankles me because that speech still chokes me up. The other thing that still chokes me up is the "This American Life" story where the dad explained to his young child why we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. His ideas scared many people, because they were based on love and tolerance, rather than hatred and oppression, the dad explained, and so some people got too scared and killed we celebrate his life, and try to live by the principles he preached. Kind of like...Jesus, the child said. The dad---and I---marveled at such a complex understanding and observation from such a young chld, stated is so few words. As MLK Day approaches, I get excited and look forward to it. I look forward to celebrating the fact that we are reaching, many of us, towards