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April 29th, 2010

say what?

April 26th, 2010

“When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with.” — Anais Nin, writer (1903-1977)

frogs.

April 25th, 2010

I finally took a break from unpacking boxes (of books, clothes, candles, candleholders, files for the office, files for work, art supplies, more books…) and took a peek out in the yard. Even though it’s been raining (some) it was parched out there. That’s the way it goes in Oregon, in the spring. You think everything’s getting a good drink, then you realize that some of the plants are below the eves, under the trees, or just need more of a drink than they were getting.

I found the shovel, some gardening gloves and…….. planted. We divided plants at the old place before we moved (half of the stuff was so overcrowded it wasn’t blooming anymore). My mom gave me some plants, and I had a bunch of stuff potted already that i just brought with me. My girlfriend J gave me a strawberry planter box, as a housewarming gift, so nice! So we ended up with quite a few plants that need to go… somewhere. I already planted columbine, peonies and Hockey God bought me a hanging basket. The yard is (tentatively, creeping along) starting to feel like mine. We have several blueberry bushes, and two Granny Smith apple trees (yay!) and… bees! My mom bought my son a Mason bee house for his birthday.

He and his dad hung it up on the shed, and within 24 hours the bees had found it. We noticed today that they started making their little dirt mounds in there, for extra protection? It’s cool. We need to help save the bees, y’all, they’re having a rough go of it. That is no good.

Mason bees, by the by, do not sting, says Wacky Boy and his grandma.

Today I planted…

1) a snowball bush
2) Japanese iris
3) more iris
4) my daughter’s birthday asters (they are fantastic — purple and glorious and quadruple their territory every year)
5) and…. what else? black fancy grass
6) a small rosebush
7) some sedum (the former owners left us those) and………

wow. a little tiny tree frog went flying out of the grass and down by the shed, in between my planting the asters and the black fancy grass.

i don’t know what to do with frogs, being a City Girl. so i yelled for Wacky Boy and Hockey God, and they played with him (let him crawl all over my son’s hand and arm — sticky little feet, really adorable), took some pictures and waited for Wacky Girl to get home from walking her friend home, so she could see him. “Ahhhhhh!”

Last week my son spotted two garter snakes. Today it was:

“Snakes eat frogs!”

“Yeah, that’s the way the world goes ’round, son.”

We didn’t have ribbity frogs, tree frogs, deer, snakes, any kinds of critters like that at our old place, although i once saw 2 raccoons and once i saw a rat.

okay, and a little mouse one time, running under the fence. I have those frogs that one lone frog in the tank, but that’s different.

i like it out here.

what kinds of critters do you have in your part of the world?

– wm

have i ever been grouchier than this in my whole life? no, never

April 21st, 2010

Seriously frickin’ grouchy. I lost my uterus, I sold my house, i moved into a new house, I got unassigned at my job, which means I might (or might not!) lose my job, I lost my beloved, crazy granny, all in the last 12 months. That is too much for a 12-month span of time. Stupid grief, menopause, inflexibility, old habits, and my need to have total control over everything, argh.

I forgot it was late opening and we woke up an hour and a half earlier than we needed to. No, that doesn’t mean that I managed to work out. I did do laundry, though. (thanks Ms. Honeybutt for getting my kid to school, since I had to start work before his school day started.)

Also, I lost the DVDs that were due back at the library. (I know, I know, the irony of a librarian misplacing her library materials is not lost on me. It can happen to the best and the worst of us, folks.) (They’re renewed. For now.)

I’ve lost all kinds of little, medium and big things in the move. We have different voicemail now and I can’t figure out how to work it. (I figured it out! “Press 3, message deleted!” OK, one small triumph.)

Jesus.

It’s five o’clock somewhere, right? In Idaho? It’s 5 o’clock in Idaho. I’m pouring a glass of wine, see you in the moonlight.

– wm

Edited at 9:04 p.m. to say, Thanks, y’all. Thanks, cuz those comments cheered me up and made me laugh so hard that now…

…this is me!

the funniest blog that i’ve seen ever in my whole life, really, it’s the best, i mean that alot

April 17th, 2010

Hyperbole and a Half, do you know this blog? You should walk over right now and introduce yourself.

happy weekend.

xo

me

Saturday Book Review: “Out of the Dust,” “Letters From Rifka” and “The Candy Shop War”

April 17th, 2010

Reading this week:

Man, oh, man, I guess I felt like a couple of good cries this week. I’ve been reading nothing but young adult fiction, and found three great books. I picked up a copy of “Letters From Rifka,” by Karen Hesse, that I had on hold at the library. The library is great this way. I wasn’t planning on reading anything too heavy this week, but the book showed up, and I was ready for it. I read “Letters From Rivka” straight through and bawled my eyes out. It’s the story of a young Jewish girl in 1919, who is fleeing Russia for America. It’s good historical fiction, but is based on the story of the author’s auntie, Lucy Avrutin, and “this story is, above all else, Aunt Lucy’s story,” says the author.

After that, of course I had to read another Hesse book — this time, her best-known work (and Newbery award winner) “Out of the Dust.” Billie Jo’s story is written in stanza — the poetry is beautiful. She lives in Depression-era Oklahoma, loses her mother and baby brother in a horrible accident, and her father, in his grief, disappears into himself.

Both of the Hesse books are horrifying, and she doesn’t pull any punches, but life is like that sometimes, isn’t it? And she does do a little bit of deus ex machina at the end, but life is like that sometimes, too, eh? Hesse has written a number of books, and I’ve heard that all of her stuff is good. I get worried, sometimes — I get protective of kids and don’t want to expose them to anything too harsh. But sometimes we can better prepare ourselves for “real” life, reading about harsh realities in a book.

Besides — like my own kids always tell me, “It’s only a book.”

Ha.

“The Candy Shop War,” by Brandon Mull (who wrote the “Fablehaven” series) is a twisted little novel for kids and my daughter and I both enjoyed the heck out of it. I don’t want to give anything away, but kids + magic candy + evil witchy candy shop owner + nice ice cream man (or is he?) = excellent read. They’re making a movie out of this one — we’re eager to see how they film it. Lots of great, candy-colored images, coming to life.

Happy Saturday!

– wm

hello, my lovelies

April 15th, 2010

did you think i fell off the face of the Earth? i did! it was great.

naw, Hockey God (who really needs to put up a new post, no?) was getting us all set up with better, bigger, faster Internet, something about co-axial and CAT and hours on hold w/ the cable company. This also involved him climbing into the fiberglass insulation-filled crawl space and, it appears, re-wiring a whole lot of wires. He is The Man, you already knew that. Now we’re live! And better, bigger and faster than ever!

i love the new house. i love the new neighbors, the new neighborhood, the kids’ new school. i love walking up the street to get my mail, or go for a hike in the woods. I like biking down the street and going on the trails. i like knowing that the farmers markets will open next month. i like that Hockey God surprised me with a huge basket of fuchsias and trailing things, even though it’s not Mother’s Day yet. (I get baskets and baskets of fuchsias for Mother’s Day, i am always so thrilled by that.)

i am happy that Ally-girl and her sweet husband had their baby and he is just fat and gorgeous, and that Vixen and her hubs are new grandparents again.

i’m happy that it’s spring, everything’s pink and green and blooming and lovely and… happiness.

love and happiness.

xo

wm

Sunday Book Review: “Best Friends Forever,” Jennifer Weiner; “Bump It Up: Transform Your Pregnancy Into the Ultimate Style Statement,” by Amy Tara Koch; “My Baby Book,” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

April 11th, 2010

Reading this week:

Jennifer Weiner is an old, old friend of mine. I’ve never met her in person, but I just feel like we’re buds cuz I’ve read all of her books since she first started out. Yes, I do have a girl crush on her! If she asked me out on a date, for example, I would say yes right away. I like her style, her novels, her characters, the plotting, the way she puts a good wrap on all of it and doesn’t overlook any details.

I bristle at the whole “chick lit” label because it’s rude to relegate women into a nice little box and not let us out. We are complex individuals, we women are, and even more so, those of us who feel compelled to write. So there.

On the acknowledgments page for her latest book, “Best Friends Forever,” she ends by dedicating it, “…and to all of my readers, who’ve come with me this far.” I’m all, You’re welcome. (Atria Books, 2009, $27, 362 pages.)

OK, on to the book. Two friends, the volatile Valerie Adler and the sweet Addie Downs. They had a huge blow-up, about a trauma that may or may not have happened, and suddenly… it’s 15 years later. Time for the high school reunion, and Valerie may (or may not) have killed one of their former schoolmates. Who may (or may not) have deserved it. I read this book in two days at the beach, it was just a good romp, right down to the frustrated police detective and a cast of minor characters who keep you turning the pages. Weiner has a little bit of a Joyce Carol Oates kinda thing going on with this one, and I liked it.

“Bump It Up,” by Amy Tara Koch (Random House/Ballantine Books, 2010, $18, 187 pages) showed up in the mail a few weeks back. Immediately all of my girlfriends assumed I was pregnant. Which, you know. They should flippin’ know is physically impossible for me at this point. (And all I can say to thank is, Thank you Jesus and modern science.) All of my girlfriends are a little distractible, I guess. Maybe that’s why they all forgot to send flowers after. Except for Zip, Zip always, always, always comes through. And MamaToo. OK, I did get cards, and food, what am I doing, four months later, bitchin’ like this? But I digress.

You know the type of pregnancy/motherhood (not parenthood, motherhood) book where you’re supposed to look around at all the other chicks in the room and say, I am just so much hotter than her! Etc.? This is that type of book. The end.

“My Baby Book,” the latest by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Random House/Crown Publishing, 2010, $16.99) is a sweet journal for baby’s first year. I especially liked the intro note where the author says, “this book uses the ‘mom and dad’ paradigm, but we hope the many single families, two-mom families and two-dad families will enjoy this book just the same (and make the text adjustments accordingly).” Nice touch, that.

I like baby books, scrap books, journals, etc. that are pretty, handsome, whatever, but not too precious, y’know? A lot of us (not your girl Wacky Mommy, obviously, but many people) sit in front of a journal, computer screen, scrap of paper and freeze up. This is why, for example, I don’t know how my paternal grandparents met — no one wrote it down. (I do know how my ma’s parents met — she stole him from another girl. “Another gal,” as she would have put it. “My friend said, ‘Oh, he doesn’t like her, anyway, you should go out with him!’” Classic.)

This book begs to be scribbled in, taped up, written on. Sections include “my folks (pre-me),” “precious mementos (emphasis on me!),” and “my gallery of firsts.” Excellent book.

Happy reading!

– wm

that’s the way it goes, folks

April 8th, 2010

My problem with jobs is as follows: You look for one, you find one, then you gotta go there everyday. Until you work for a school district. Then you get unassigned in April, possibly get a new assignment by September, possibly don’t. Or you find a new job in your new county of residence, instead of commuting twenty miles a day (one way).

Either way, it kinda sucks when you buy a new house one week, then lose your job the next.

We’ll be fine. Don’t be crying for me out there — my job buys the groceries and that’s about it.

Oh, wait…

Ha, just kidding. We’ll be fine. Steve is The Man and you know how that one goes — if you’re just a girl you make half the money, work twice as hard, and people demand blow jobs of various sorts.

(Is it OK to say that here? “Various sorts”???)

Then eventually you get kicked out on your ass. The End. That’s the life of a girl. Man, do I want better for my daughter.

xo

wm

pasta al vino

April 8th, 2010

There’s a new podcast up on Under the Tuscan Gun — Pasta al Vino (with Sausage and Saffron). ohhhhhhhhhhh, yum.

– wm

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