Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pop Quiz!!!

Hey everyone!!!

What's even stupider than ripping out a giant section of the Wart That Ate Pittsburgh while you're in the bath????

Doing it while you're in bed. Reading. Idly plucking at way at the cavernous maw you created the other day.

When the forensics guys come, they will discuss the spatter pattern at great length. "Yes there seems to be some on the mattress - someone has tried to clean it up. And here, on the carpet, something dripped on here for quite some time, in a remarkable number of places ...someone's taken Spot Shot and a scrub brush to this ...ooh and look - traces all over the bathroom floor ..."

They'll never believe it's all from one Q-tip sized wart. (thickness, not length)

The good news is - how much more of that wart can there be left? I may not have to go see that specialist after all. I'm really nervous about seeing Dr WartGuy, because ...well, I've heard that getting a wart cauterized, you know, HURTS.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

And one of B by himself

(guess who's looking over my shoulder. This is Very Young B trying to make a break for it)

Photo Palooza

Seriously, where did the time go? That girl in black in my previous post? Just a few days ago she looked like this:

(1999 in Pleasanton)

or this (she chose the fabric for this dress, and the pattern. She was really into frilly dresses at that point in her life, but told me "With a black background, it's best to keep it simple.")

And before that, she looked like this:

and after that she looked like this:

What a ride.

moments of light

A is off to Bible camp. It's Junior High camp, (although no-one in this house gave any of my children permission to be that old), and there is a Date Night the last night of camp. Date Night seems to primarily consist of a nice dinner that you're expected to show up dressed up for. When I asked A what she wearing for date night, I offered to sew her something, expecting a long look (parents of 11 yr old girls, you know the look) and a slight head shake.

"Oh that would be AWESOME", she said. "Then I could design it myself!"

Those of you who have sewn with me are wiping beverage off your computer screens right now. Those of you who have watched me cut out little pieces of paper to add seam allowances to Burda patterns (which are printed WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCES! what is THAT about???) are laughing. Those of you who have watched me painstakingly refold unused pattern pieces along the original fold lines so they will fit back in the envelope are skeptical, and those of you have watched me iron cotton BEFORE laying the pattern pieces down are quite sure this post ends with a trip to Old Navy.

Well, ha. I'm braver in my old age. More experienced, more willing to wing it. And it's not like I didn't try to convince A I couldn't sew without a pattern. I did try. Hard.

"Pffft" she said "we've got loads of used patterns. We'll just go through those."

I sputtered and flapped my jaw but there was no budging her. And then C got sick, and I spent a lot of time at the hospital and camp got closer and closer and there was no sewing done, and I started praying that I would not let her down.

We had a lovely few days. She was in a teachable mood, and we sewed companionably together Friday and Saturday. I remembered sewing with my mom, and how she would always do the hand-basting for me, because I hated it. At least that's the way I always saw it, but I get it now. (This getting it thing is starting to happen on a daily basis) She did the hand-sewing to have a place to connect with me. Thanks, Mom. Also thanks Auntie J, who would breeze into our house on a visit from Northern Ontario and announce "My kids need summer clothes, I'm going to Mitchell's." and off she'd go, to the discount fabric store in the city and come back with yards and yards of fabric and no patterns and by nightfall there'd be a neatly folded pile of clothing - pants and shirts and shorts and one memorable summer, unbleached cotton tunics decorated with liquid embroidery. She couldn't stop making those - my two cousins got one each, and I got one, and my best friend and her friend and finally Auntie J had to go home, so it stopped there.

Wait where was I? Sewing. Without a pattern. Here's the masterpiece - bear in mind that this was A's vision. A long pantsuit with wide legs "so it looks almost like a skirt and a sheer over-thingy that has interesting points." So the focus is not my sewing, but the fact that this outfit was designed by an 11 year old girl.

Friday, July 27, 2007

FYI (and also, ouch)

If you google "big ugly wartish growth on the bottom of my heel", NOTHING comes up that suggests you try to rip it out by the roots while you're having a bath. Even if it seems nice and soft and pliable and like it just - might - be - possible.

There is a good reason for this.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

And there was evening and there was morning and that's where my week went

Peripartum cardiomyopathy. Google it if you want to, but not if you have a precious friend who has been diagnosed with it.

The good news is that she is going from the hospital on Friday, barring any setbacks. And her baby is finer than fine, has adjusted with no wobbles to being breastfed one minute and bottle-fed the next, appears to find formula as reasonable a way to get nourishment as any other, will allow her mother to bottlefeed her even when she smells like the Old Way of Doing Things ...

The bad news is a long, slow, laidback recovery for a woman who likes to be out and about on a daily basis. And there is no guarantee of full recovery - the possibility of a lifetime of heart trouble is still there.

As of last night, there are two grandmas in town to help with the care and feeding of the children and the hanging out at the hospital with mom and baby, so I'm off duty. My children are reportedly looking forward to seeing me again :)

Right then. All of us back to our regularly scheduled lives. I covet your prayers for my dear friend Carolyn and her beleaguered heart.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thesaurus, anyone?

Standing at a street corner in a small crowd waiting for the light to change. I hit the "Push for Walk" because I want to, even though I'm sure someone else already has. I note with amusement that the next person to arrive at the street corner does the same thing. He notices my grin.

"Yeah I know" he nods "it just feels better to do it myself."

I laugh and nod back. "It's just more emotionally satisfying that way."

He shakes his head in disbelief. "Emotion?? Who said anything about emotions??? What is with the EMOTIONS, again*?"

*I found the use of word "again" curious, as I have never laid eyes on the man before in my life, and I've been busy inventing back story for that one word all evening.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Smorgasbord

1) Anonymous, it won't work. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, on my last post I got an anonymous comment saying something about needing therapy, signed "Guess Who." So I went a little nuts guessing and the next comment was signed "In Therapy" and then I realized what a fun hobby it would be, to go around leaving anonymous comments on people's blogs, making the authors ask all their friends if they were In Therapy ...

2) Floated down the river today - great fun. Would have been a bit more fun if the short people had been tolerating each other, but they're cute, so we'll keep them. We had a canoe and a rubber dinghy, tied together - loads of fun. And there are approximately 8 million baby ducks being raised on the river ...and man can they speed up if you get too close!

3) You know how when you're looking for someone to babysit your kids on a regular basis, what you really want is someone who appreciates them as much as you do? And maybe sometimes you think "Wait, I'm trying to hire ...myself."

It's a much more difficult realization when you have that realization about your mother, who is in a nursing home 1000 miles away, requiring care that you are not physically capable of giving. She's been so miraculously content where she is that this recent turn of events is both surprising and disheartening. Pray for her, please, those of you that pray, and pray for wisdom for the rest of us. She's personally asking God if she could please just come home now.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The getting the strap in Grade One thing, at least partly

I don't think I was stubborn. I remember that I was scared of pretty much everything. My report cards paint me as intractable, and the consistent comments are that I need to learn to take instruction, and I need to STOP TALKING.

HOWEVER, our teacher in Grade One was in WAY over her head, 4 grades in one room, and I remember pretty much constant chaos. Everybody got the strap, all the time. I remember a trio of us stopping to cool our burning palms with handfulls of snow on the walk home.

And I don't think I was stubborn (look, look how stubbornly she's insisting she's not stubborn) I think my fear of failure was stronger than my ability to try *anything* I might fail at.

Righty-ho then. Now you all understand the six year old I was. Actually for a lot of grade one I was five, and that was a different teacher, so probably I've been lying all these years, and I got the strap three times in Grade TWO. I only went to Grade One for six months, from January - June, and come September, although I was only 2 mos past my 6th birthday, I was put in Grade 2. (they tried to put me in Grade Three in January but my father put his foot down) (welcome to my stream of consciousness realization - having fun here?)

Okay what I really logged on to say was that Brynn and I are rather similar because we don't mind changing the world, we'd just like to do it over here, in this quiet corner with no-one looking at us, and if Brynn has to take the Master Carver's place and be the catalyst for a religious renewal, people will be looking at him. He's off in the forest not making eye contact with me at this very moment, as I try to figure out what happens next in the book I don't even want to write, lest, you know, someone actually wants to publish it.

Brynn's unborn daughter Rowan is standing in the same place in my head she's been in for several years now, only her arms are no longer crossed. She's stamping her foot. She's all about the attention, that one. She has a Destiny! and Brynn and I are standing in her way.

Oooh from stream of consciousness childhood revisited to stream of consciousness cryptic nonsense - I'll bet you're glad you gave up ten minutes of your life for this.

Go fold some laundry. Preferably mine.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I done got tagged by Kay at www.loopdeloops.blogspot.com and I am too lazy to link that

I don't tag people though, so post seven random things about yourself or don't, it don't make no nevermind to me.

1. I am spectacularly non-photogenic.

2. I have an almost continuous cravings for smoked oysters.

3. I have a remarkably bumpy head.

4. I have an appalling sense of smell. Based on the things other people complain about, it's a wonder I smell anything at all. On the plus side, my world is free from stench.

5. I am trying not to eat sugar but it doesn't bother me because perspective is all and I just tell myself "sugar makes your body lie to you" (because I'm insulin resistant, which is a leading cause of being fat, as is eating, and breathing) instead of "you poor thing you must never eat sugar again".

6. I swam with dolphins once, but I didn't really swim, I was wearing a life jacket and I just went wherever I was told to go and I shrieked and laughed and screamed and oozed delight with them instead of actually swimming.

7. I got the strap three times in Grade One.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Every once in a while I read something that sticks with me forever, and forever changes the way I understand the world.

Nancy Rue's book Tristan's Gap was one such read. It wasn't so much the story line (although that was strong, compelling and believable) or the memorable characters or the lovely writing, although all those things were present. It was the concept the title was based on, which, roughly worded comes to this:

We do the best we can for our children, and keep our consciences clear before God, and try to provide as much of what they need as we can. And God, in His infinite measureless mercy, fills in the gap between what we can provide and what our children need.

What I love is how every now and then He lets me, the praying parent, see where He's doing that. Once it was a chance meeting that, unknown to me, one of my children had been praying fervently for. If we hadn't been held up that day, it never would have happened, but God orchestrated the answer to my child's prayer.

Yesterday our guinea pig died. Now I've thought for months that this pig has been largely ignored, but one of my children, especially, is taking the loss very hard. (I'd tell you more but then it would be clear which child it is, and then when they read this blog fifteen years from now, I'll be in trouble.) It's been a difficult day - lots of temper flare ups and not wanting to eat and wanting to be where I am every waking moment. We did get a chance to talk about some of the fears the spectre of death has aroused, and we spent lots of time hanging out in the same room together. Breathing. Not dead, together. And after we'd talked as much as we were going to tonight, the phone rang. Friends we haven't seen in over a year, friends we've missed but weren't able to see for reasons beyond anyone's control - inviting my children to spend the afternoon with them tomorrow.

And there's a child upstairs falling asleep to visions of friends and swimming pools instead of lying awake in the dark missing the friendly squeak of a carrot-obsessed guinea pig.

I'm so glad we don't have to make this journey down here alone.

'Is metabolic processes are 'istory

(ie the forcefeeding of the guinea pig is no longer an issue)

Edited to add:

Sorry to be so cryptic. The guinea pig has gone the way of Monty Python's parrot, he's shuffled off his mortal coil, he's gone to meet his maker, he's joined the choir invisible, he's ...dead. At least he's not nailed to his perch.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Dear People Who Hand Out Mother of the Year Awards:

I gave my family Dairy Queen Blizzards for supper last night and got away with it. Just leave a comment here about where to pick up my prize.


Dear Vet,

Oh very funny. "Just wrap him up like this" you said, neatly turning my guinea pig into a burrito in 12.6 seconds. "Make sure his front paws are constricted - and then - just like this, squirt the medicine in. And you'll feed him like this 4 times a day until he starts eating again, and oh yes, the vitamin C goes in that way too."

Six different force feedings a day, you said, and you were smiling. I think you slipped into the back room and doubled over with laughter when I left with my little sack of syringes and goop.

I would also like to know: If you'd already fed him one serving of Critical Care Force Fed Junk, why is there none on his front paws or up his nose or all over his ears? Because there are copious quantities of it there now. I'm thinking of just bathing him in it, and letting him lick it off. Although, as you've pointed out, all he seems interested in doing at the moment is lying around shrinking.

Also Covered in Force Feeding Goop

Friday, July 06, 2007

On the way to the Stampede breakfast at work

A asks, "Mom, are you stopping to buy a coffee on the way to work tomorrow?" (the kids and I were going together because there's a family Stampede breakfast at work)

"I don't think I will - there will be plenty of food and drink there."

A, obviously disappointed, "Oh." Pause. "It's just I wanted to be the one to give it away this time."

We stopped and bought coffee on the way to work :)