Saturday, August 30, 2008


Today we had a picnic at the beach and then got a bunch of things done around the house so I think we've managed to exorcise our demons.

Scott assembled wood for some raised planting bed we're putting in the garden. He's graciously humoring my fantasies about growing vegetables despite the fact that I've never quite managed to keep a house plant alive. But I'm going to grow huge piles of butternut squash (even though I bought the wrong seeds) and great mountains of lettuce and that'll show them. I mean, seeds want to grow, right? That's the whole point of seeds, clearly? The other day I asked a really intelligent question along the lines of "how will I know what is a weed and what is something I'm supposed to eat" and I could see Scott adding up all the money we're totally not going to save by having a garden. Patient man.

And there are our helpers. Seriously, when you take out the camera they both light up. I think they practice with one another when we aren't looking. See the stones lined up at the base of the fence? They're to slow Indiana down because he wriggled under the fence within eight hours of its installation (we found him trotting happily around the cul-de-sac, like "look at all this stuff to pee on, whee!")

Indiana helped me finally baste this quilt top that I've had sitting around for a while. He believes that fabric on the floor means that he has to burrow underneath it so this was very restrained of him just to sit on top, so it does in fact count as helping.

Throughout all of this Freckles is behaving like a lady. She does not interfere with anything that isn't her business and she doesn't jump in front of cameras. Somebody raised her right.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

good small things

Two minor improvements to daily life here that are making me happy:

This is a baking soda shaker made from an empty salsa jar whose lid I very satisfyingly punctured a few times with a hammer and nail. This is a real improvement because I sprinkle baking soda on everything to clean it and and instead of always reaching for a soggy, torn generic baking soda box I have a much less offensive glass jar. Also, the easily accessible baking soda has liberated us from ugly germ-ridden dish scrubbers and sponges. Cost: free.

And here are a bunch of new kitchen rags. We've stopped using paper towels (except for throw up and squashed bugs, there I draw the line) and the old rags we had were really ugly and too frayed and holey to be useful. So I took an old Ikea towel that was starting to fray at the edges and cut it up and bound it with bias tape. Now I have lots of practice putting on bias tape and eight reasonably pretty rags that will add all sorts of charm to the seventeen times a day I have to clean up mashed bananas, muddy paws, fingerprint-encrusted windows, etc. Hooray. Cost: $1.99 for the towel (four years ago) and the bias was made from fabric I got from a friend's stash.

So that's what I'm focusing on instead of the daily parade of annoyances and disappointments. Here's a sampling from the last 48 hours: a cd exploded in the computer, I dropped a bottle in the tub causing the enamel to shatter, our computer was held for ransom by the people who were supposed to be curing it of a virus. Not to mention the fact that every freaking time I reach for something I realize it was in one of our lost boxes (I miss my rotary cutter). We're considering getting somebody in to bless the house, but I want somebody to burn some sage and invoke the goddess while Scott would prefer an exorcist (preferably The Exorcist).

Monday, August 18, 2008

the beach

Last week we took Joseph to the beach. While he has no use for the actual ocean (too loud, too cold) he loved playing in the tidal pool. He enjoyed puzzling over the sand and chasing after the birds. In fact he stared at a bird, and then said as clear as day "puppy" (actually, "bahpi"). I guess anything small and alive is a bahpi. Meanwhile, our very own bahpis are trying their best not to eat him, which we appreciate.

In other news, sometimes I love the library so much I feel like I'm having some kind of illicit affair with it. I sneak off to check my email to see whether my hold requests have come in. I take the baby to storytime at the library as a thinly veiled excuse to browse the stacks. I get all tingly about the fact that the Jacksonville library lets you have twenty holds and zillions of materials checked out at once.

Monday, August 11, 2008

my glamorous life

Freckles hiding under the bed:

Freckles has been very sorry to discover that Jacksonville has weather, which is something you don't have for most of the year in Phoenix. Storms make her want to hide wherever she can, like under the bed, behind the dryer, in the bathtub, behind the toilet, in the closet. Storms also make her pee all over the place, notably in the bathtub and on my foot.

Meanwhile, Indiana soldiers on regardless of the weather. He has decided that it's too disgusting to go to the bathroom outside, rain or shine, so he just uses our bedroom, which he finds very convenient. Last week I decided that it was too mean to kennel the dogs at night so we let them sleep on the bed, but then we realized that Indiana was getting up in the middle of the night to poop behind Scott's weight equipment. We had wondered what the smell was. Now everybody is sleeping in their kennels again.

Yes, I spend a lot of time cleaning up dog messes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

our stuff

We're all in Jacksonville, and after a week and a half of sleeping on the floor and living like a couple of hobos, our furniture has finally arrived (nine days late). We were very relieved when it arrived, only to discover that some of it had been damaged, which I'm not even going to write about because it makes me too mad, and some of it has been lost. Some highlights of what was lost:
  • all the baby's clothes that he would have worn this fall and beyond--i.e., his 24 month size clothing, including some things I made him
  • my sewing things (scissors, rotary cutter, etc.), including all the patterns I drafted, not to mention the patterns I bought
I realize that in the greater scope of human misery, this doesn't really amount to much, but it still rankles, especially since the moving company was so crooked and went so very out of their way to deceive us.

But anyway, focusing on the positive, I now get to buy new sewing things and sew a new wardrobe for the baby. I've ordered some patterns and I'll take a trip to a fabric store later this week, so that should at least be some consolation.