Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Happy" Halloween?

Halloween is nigh approaching. How can I tell? The signs are all there.

The pumpkins are getting all gussied up.

We grew these pumpkins ourselves. They were ours to do as we saw fit with. And we saw fit to do this with them:

I'm particularly proud of this one:

And on the other side:

Yeah, that's right. I did that one.

This pumpkin is proud. And Loud.

Those pumpkins got off easy. Just a little makeover. Some pumpkins weren't so lucky.

The horror. Oh, the horror.

You'll note that I'm not removing any pumpkin parts. I was emotionally scarred by being forced to carve my own pumpkin in Girl Scouts in second grade. I nearly threw up in my pumpkin. Ever since, I've kept a safe distance.

That face--that face will haunt me for at least four more days.


Other signs of the approaching Halloween? My son's teeth have been possessed by wiggly, giggly spirits. These relentless spirits are going to wiggle and giggle those two teeth right out of his head, just as soon as he lets me near his mouth.

He's four and a half years old. This seems early for multiple teeth to be on their way out--and multiple teeth to already be coming in--but he did get those teeth at--you guessed it--four and a half months. So it's all good.

Things got really, really scary this morning. At almost the same moment, evil spirits possessed both my head and my computer.

Not really. But perhaps the spirits did, in fact, possess my son, who launched a dog toy at the computer. So you'll have to forgive me it there's anything a little wonky about today's posting, because, trust me, there's a lot wonky going on at my house.

I blame Halloween.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Thing of Beauty . . .

Is . . .

Is . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Um, okay. That's cute. We'll allow it.

Is . . .

Um, well, that's a dog sniffing for ground squirrels. Still cute, though. We'll allow it.

Is . . .


Okay, that's a zombie on a spit. That is not a thing of beauty at all. Unless you're my neighbor, in which case zombies on a spit are, in fact, joys forever.

Is . . .


That answers that question. A thing of beauty is a joy for about four days.

And then it's a solid weekend of yard work.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Rorschach Test

When you look at this, what do you see?

Don't feel bad if you answered 'mud pit.' You're what we call a literalist, because literally, that's all it really is. A mud pit. Oh, sure, it's a mud pit with some hostas, ferns, a rather large magnolia tree, and something called Japanese spurge in it, but there's no getting around the fact that it's a mud pit.

Tangent alert (Tangent tangent alert: bad sign if we're tangenting this early in the blog, don't you think?): I was in an English grad school class once about ten years ago, listening to other scholars debate the existential ramifications of the fact that this character had no tongue, and I said, but it doesn't say he doesn't have a tongue anywhere in the book. Maybe he just doesn't talk. The class discussion came to a screeching halt as all eyes zeroed in on me, and the professor said, "You are such a literalist." It was not a compliment.

Anyway, back on topic: What is this?

A mud pit, yes. But what else?

This, my friends, is hope. Hope in dirt form.

In a mere six and a half months, this will be a rebirth in action.

Kind of like this:

I live for this renaissance in floral form. I have no problem spending multiple weekends grubbing around in the cold, wet dirt every fall. I have no problem working peat moss into said cold, wet dirt to insure the best blooms possible.

(Although I do have a problem trying not to berate certain 'Home' improvement warehouse 'garden centers' for not carrying said peat moss. I might forgive them for not carrying peat moss--a gardener's best friend--but when these supposed garden center experts instead suggest that I buy mulch because it will do the same thing? That's when I get a little irate. Mulch does not nourish plants. Mulch covers ground. Like the aforementioned mud pit.)

(Ooh, bad sign, another tangent!)

My husband finds this ironic, because when it comes to home improvement, I'm an instant-gratification kind of gal. I love to paint a wall, because voila! The moment you're done, the wall is beautiful! I don't have the patience to do wiring or other unsexy things. Or the skill set, but that's another tangent. (How many will we get to today?)

But I'll plan my plants a whole two seasons ahead of schedule. There is no instant gratification in this:

(area most recently covered by insane tomatoes and pumpkin vines)(but daffodils and tulips do not come up at the same time tomatoes go out, so we're all good)

But there will be. The bloom of bulbs in the fading gray of early spring does such good things for my soul that I suck it up and break out the bulb digger. I have help. The kid is Chief Dirt Stomper, and this year graduated to Head of Shoveling Dirt Onto The Ones Mommy Put In The Ground (But Not The Ones Still In The Bucket, For The One Hundredth Time!). Teach them early, that's what I say. As in, teach them to do your work for you. He thinks he's playing in the dirt; I'm crossing the days off the calendar until I can sit on the patio, drinking a hot toddy and just pointing to where I want the next batch, thank you very much.

Can I tell you something that I'm somewhat ashamed of, yet will make you want to smack me upside the head? I totally slacked off this fall. I did maybe half my normal amount of bulbs. Really. I only put 300 in the ground. Total loser.

(Did that count as another tangent? I lost count.)

Mud pits in October. Hope for a brighter tomorrow.

The Rorschach Test.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Mom Part

So, frankly, this has not been an award-winning Authorial week. I do not handle rejection well to begin with, and when it's something as personal as the world and people I have created . . . ouch. And no, actually, I don't take a whole lot of comfort from people 'reassuring' me that it took X Author Y years/decades to get published. Kind of like saying, Hey! You've only got 7 1/2 years to go! Keep at it! Toss in some really unethical FTC regulations of bloggers (please, please see Courtney Milan's summary of this for how it impacts authors) and I feel like I'm an Author under fire.

But that's not why we're here. We're here for sheer, unadulterated Mom humor.

Hey, I had a long week. Work with me here.

So last Saturday, I went to Jen-up-the-street's yard sale. I like Jen, but we're both the introvert kind of mom, so we don't get together too much. Anyway, she had a yard sale. It started Friday, and Saturday was well into the nippy category.

In other words, Jen was looking to move some merchandise fast.

Oh, did I mention that the Kid went with? And both dogs? I honestly don't know how happy Jen was to see our sorry little party walk up her drive. But I came to buy and we didn't break anything, so all was well.

Side note: I love seeing other people's garages during garage sales. I love the ones where there's so much crap that they hang up a sheet rather than try to organize. I love the ones when there is NOTHING in that darn garage but neatly organized piles of merchandise. I understand the sheet people, but the nothing people? How do people live like that?

Anyway, back to the yard sale. (Jen's garage was neat, but there was stuff there. A good blend.) Jen was cold. She did not want to move this stuff back into her house. My kid will grow into her kid's stuff.

Deal time.

Like when my kid picked up this:

Yes, you are, in fact, looking at a pink Fisher Price digital camera. Jen's daughter's old camera. She didn't have the cords or the software for it, so she gave it to my kid.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! (Name that obscure Victorian poem!)

Seriously. This kid is over-the-freaking-moon-in-love with his camera. I'm a little miffed--there went a great Christmas idea--but on the other had, did I mention the free part? And I had a compatible cable at home. All good.

I love my kid, but I'm not sure I ever really thought about how the world looks from his perspecitve since that one time I got down on all fours and looked around the kitchen to see if there was anything a new crawler could get into. In other words, it had been a while.

So what does the world look like to a kid?

Mom (me), drinking tea and driving.

Illinois farm land, as seen through the back window.

The back of Dad's seat in the car.

Jake, mostly.

He took this picture of the toy helicopter his PawPaw made him and promptly pronounced, "Ooh, good one!"

I see great still life pictures in his future. Just not with my shoes in them.

His cubby at daycare.

Can I tell you about daycare and the camera? I won't post the pictures--as you may have gathered, I don't post pictures of kids, mine or anyone else's, but my kid took pictures of all his friends at daycare. And one young lady, "B," was giving my kid The Look.

Ladies, you know The Look. You tilt your head to the side, bat your eyes, and ever-so-slightly part the lips. The Look that says "kiss me."

And "B," the little four-year-old vixen, was giving The Look to my kid. I have proof.

And then my little snot-nosed kid--my baby!--took a close-up of her lips.

No, I'm not kidding. Yes, I am thinking of locking him in his room for another fifteen years.

Moving on:

I like this shot. I don't know what it is supposed to be, but I like it anyway. Very modern.

So, as you can see by award-winning* shots such as this one of the daycare hallway:

I've got a future Pulitzer Prize winner on my hands here. It was a good reminder of why I love being a Mom so much.

Built-in comic relief.

(*not really)