Thursday, September 30, 2010

all in my head

I dreamed of lice last night.  Nice, I know.  In the dream someone was about to sit on my (non-existent) white ottoman but I cautioned them that it had lice on it.  I'd been told they looked like sesame seeds but in my dream they were little black pepper spots that moved.  Maybe I was thinking of fleas.  I was using something like a magnet to remove them.  The woman chose to sit there anyway.  I think I knew her in real life but now all I can remember are the bugs.

Every time I turn around the kids' school is sending me another notice that 'lice have been found in your child's classroom'.  I recognize the note so I can now throw it away quickly and try to avoid thinking about it.  Seems to not be working.  I ran my hand through Pook's thick, soft, wavy red hair last night. "I should probably check your hair for lice."  "They did that already, at school."  They checked everyone.  Every last head.  Which is good, right?  Because now I don't need to check them and my house is, for now, safe.  Unless I have them.  I itch every time I think about the school- and that is often since I'm there or working on projects for it so often.

Then the news has to slam me with articles about bed bugs.  I may never travel again.  The pest control guy was here yesterday and said they might have to bring back DDT since nothing else killed bed bugs.  (You can see a map of where they're being found (everywhere) here.  I have no intention of doing so, but you might want to see it.)  The pest control guy (from an environmentally safe pest control company) was here to deal with some cockroaches. We'd seen a couple, but not enough to make me call for a spraying update.  Then one night CD and I were brushing our teeth, side by side, and I glanced into the mirror to see a gigantic cockroach above me.  I considered hiding in the bathtub, but decided to brave it and dash under it and out the doorway, toothbrush in hand.  There was no way it was going to get near my toothbrush.  Glagck!  (I just made up that lovely sound.)  The next morning I got to clean up the walls where CD had smashed it- in multiple locations.  There were three smears, two on the walls and one on the ceiling.  I think he used one of my shoes. 

Dang, now I've started itching.  I heard that heat could kill lice.  I started letting my hair dryer come close to burning my head, just in case.  I started scrubbing extra hard in the shower. It could be that the extra scrubbing and the heat are what are causing the itching. Or it could all be in my head.  But please, not on it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

a tidy desk reflects a tidy mind and I have neither

I really should know better than to accept a task without checking my calendar first.  At dinner last Wednesday, at church, it was announced that no one had volunteered to provide dinner for this Wednesday and very few dates beyond, so the whole dinner concept was in jeopardy.  I turned to the two families sitting with mine and suggested we do one together.  The better suggestion of trying to involve lots of "playground families" was adopted.    I signed us up, myself in charge.  We decided on chili, cornbread, salad and brownies.  Certainly as easy as it could come. But when it came for the date to be considered,  "Just do next week- it's always easier to be spontaneous," I shouldn't have listened.

I came home and realized what a week I've given myself.  Thursday and Friday are school picture days, with me in charge.  I am organizing a team of twelve moms to be there to line up kids, clean up lunch from their faces and keep order, two or three volunteers at a time each day.  Of course some people volunteered for one hour, but only if it was between 12-1 so they could come at their lunch hour, others wanted to be there while their own child was being photographed, another was willing to stay for three or more hours, but only on Thursday.

My desk is covered with scribbles right now.  Deanne is able to make three pans of cornbread and Jane can be there to cover photo day from 8-10.  I am, at this moment, making a huge pot of invent-a-recipe-vegetarian-chili and am thinking that if we fill a jar with rubbing alcohol we can sterilize combs and not need to treat them as disposables.  I am still hoping I don't have to buy a ton of salad myself.  I am working photo day for the first two hours of the first day and the last two hours of the second day.  I am doing the set up for dinner and helping to serve.  Lydia is either working through lunch or maybe making brownies.  I've never met many of these volunteers so their names are all mixed up in my brain.  If a photo of the chili gets in the school yearbook, I'll know better next time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

some things even bloom

I finally planted the ajuga I'd bought a week ago.  It wasn't easy.  I put my spade into the "soil" in the driveway garden area.  It went nowhere.  I stood on said spade.  It went into the soil an inch, maybe two.  I jumped.  I spiked.  I attacked the ground and it gave not another inch.  So, I pulled out the watering can and filled my hole (such that it was) with water and left it for half an hour.  When I returned there was still water in my little hole.  I got another two inches of mud out, then soaked it again.  As I set in the new ajuga plant I realized I had high hopes for the roots of that plant.  If I couldn't get into the soil with a spade and a lot of elbow grease, how was it going to get in?  I left the sprinkler on low in that area for two full hours.  I need to do it again ever day or two if I want to give those plants a chance.  Really, what I need is rain.

Not all is dried and dead in my yard.  I spent some of the 75° morning outdoors, getting a few long delayed projects taken care of.  Did you know a climbing (Lady Banks) rose can send out twenty foot canes?  It really, really wanted to climb onto our roof. I'm awfully glad it has no thorns.  I found a few friends who were happy that there are still blooms to be found in my yard.  The lantana is a late summer favorite of mine, and of butterflies.  The bees seem to enjoy the garlic chives.   I've tried to capture some of the visitors with my point-and-shoot camera.  (Not easy! Those dang creatures move!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

from another point of view they're clueless

Do you remember this?
"I think he likes me!"  He bumped me when he was going to the pencil sharpener and he didn't even have to go that direction!" <beams for days>
*next week*
"I'm so depressed.  Did you see him talk to her in the hallway?  I think we're over." <cries for days>

Men may have no clue that this conversation takes place dozens of times for most girls.  I'm currently trying to figure out if my nine year old Pook has any clue at all about the minds of girls.  It appears that he does not. 

He and I have been reading aloud book 5 of the Harry Potter series.  This is the first book which has included any romance.  I first realized his cluelessness when Hermione explained to Harry that the reason Ginny never talked to him last year was because she'd liked him.  The other night Harry was given his first kiss, by the long admired Cho.  Again, Hermione came to the translating rescue.  Harry was clueless.  Both times Pook was clueless.

I mentioned to him that it was a good idea for a boy to have some girls as buddies, like Harry has in Hermione, so that they can explain other girls to him.  I pushed the matter a bit and asked him what girls he's friends with at school.  He was speechless, not just avoiding the question.  I tried to make it easier.  "If your birthday party was tomorrow and you could invite five boys and five girls, who would you invite?"  He stalled on narrowing the boys to five. All he could come up with was, "Would I have to invite girls?"

I'm going to assume that the girls at his school are already ogling over boys.  It starts young.  I'm also assuming that he isn't entirely ignored in this.  I'm further assuming that he has no idea.  Which means he will break hearts he never noticed.  And as his mom, it is my responsibility to help him become the type of man that will make someone a good partner someday.  Learning to talk to girls is an important skill.  (I think this skill is important whether my child is gay or straight, by the way.)  Some men understand us, but all boys should be taught to try. 

Obviously, I have the perspective of his mom, but I'd say he's exactly the kind of guy that women will love.  In thirty years.  He's a cute, tall, brainy bookworm.  I love these traits (I married one just like him!) but I didn't value them as a teen.  Meanwhile, having girls as friends will get a guy far.  I told him that his new homework was to look at a girl at school and say 'hi' to her.  That was all.  We'll see if he's even able to find girls among the crowd.  It isn't that he dislikes girls right now, he just isn't really aware that they exist.  They do, and they'll appreciate the gesture.  And, they'll giggle.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


We're taking the boys to their first ever football game... at Georgia Tech. CD was there for a full decade and keeps in touch with lots of friends who seem to all be huge football fans. He isn't. Before the kids were born we'd go to tailgates but never once went to an actual game.

So, here we were this morning. The kids were searching for gold shirts to wear, CD put on a Tech t-shirt and I dawdled. I just couldn't bring myself to wearing Tech colors. I can go there, park my car with the UGA window sticker and eat hot wings, but to wear Tech colors while I do it? For some reason I can't. I was trying to figure out why I care. I am less of a football fan than anyone I know. I wasn't at the University of Georgia for very long, it took only seven quarters to get my Masters degree. But I decided it was old friends who attended for much longer, and who cared about football, who made the difference. I'd feel shameful if I was a traitor!

I emailed some buddies I hadn't spoken to in ages to tell them of the lasting legacy they've had on my psyche! Then I put on white.

Whether I can cheer for them against S Carolina State is yet to be determined.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

got my hands in the dirt again

It is not fall here.  Daytimes have still been ninety degrees.  But, the humidity has dropped and acorns are beginning to drop along with evening temperatures.  And, I went to a garden center today.

I looked for items on sale that I could add to my sorry looking driveway garden.  All that lives there are three or four chrysanthemums and several feverfew plants.  Two wood asters that I was given in March are blooming delicate white fluff.  The rest of the space, from the daylilies at the street to the monkey grass near the magnolia is just mulch.  I found three heuchera "coral bells" plants on sale and then picked up some ajuga to replace those that didn't make it in the heat.  I had tried in the spring to get ajuga in my new terraced garden in the back yard, but I wouldn't mind having it in more than one location if I can get it going.  I really want to cover the ground with plants and "ground covers" seem perfect for that task!  Some creeping jenny would be good there too.  Every year I add a few more chrysanthemums and sprinkle feverfew seeds in the hopes that the space will fill up.

There is a house I drive past regularly which has lots of landscaping.  I stopped one day last November to take a photo of a purple bloom they had covering a large patch near the street.  It has taken me almost a year to identify it, but the fall blooming "obedient plant" is the name.  I am trying to find out who lives there so I can invite myself over to dig some up!

The boys have piano lessons on different days. The teacher lives nearby but I find it annoying to drive one of them over for a 45 minute lesson and come home in the middle.  I try to get started on something and then have to turn around to go pick them up.  So, running an errand seems easier.  Taking a quick peek in the garden center once a week would work well, maybe alternating which kid joins me.

Two friends have offered to let me dig up native plants from their yards this fall.  I think in another month it will be much better.  The plants I got today will take coddling to make it through the rest of Atlanta's heat.

But I'm back outdoors, at least a bit.  July and August are not good for my yard.  I'm ready to give it some love and bring it back to life!