Wednesday, March 30, 2011

not home

I have closed my email browser window.  I am not home. 

I am not going to help you figure out why the photographer at school has your child's class picture filed under the wrong teacher name.  I am not going to answer your email because if you could be patient it will all be worked out

I mumbled something non-committal to the school gym teacher when she stopped me, midway through getting 700 children's school photos taken, if I would help out again at Field Day this spring.  You would do better at getting help if you had better timing.

I am not organizing the meal sharing plan for our upcoming church retreat.  If you're one of the people who agreed to help out when I was asked to organize it (again), then organize.  I am not standing in your way.  I will wait until the day before we leave and if no one has organized group meals, I will shop for my family (and we will eat cold cereal at every meal).

I made it in to help with the Science Olympiad.  Only ten of the 18 eggs dropped in the egg drop broke.  Some of them hit the target.  I tried not to hear when you said something about "the next time...."

I made it into the school this morning to clean the big fish tank.  I was reminded that this is one task I sort of like.  So many kids are fascinated and appreciative of that tank.  And the fish never ask me to do more.

I have filled out the so-incredibly-early school registration form for years 2011-2012 just as requested. I wrote our phone number down 34 times and our address down 28 times I think.  I signed my name three times on every side of every page and reminded you of the amoxicillin allergy four times.  I almost threw out the "How Can I Help?" paper sent by the PTA.  Because I wanted to tell the PTA something I would regret later.

Meanwhile, leave me alone because I am not home.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

leaves of three... dig it up to save

Just before opening up the spray on the giant bottle of Round Up, I discovered that there was trillium everywhere I looked.  The leaves blended so well into the ivy that the more I found... the more I found.  Often right at my toes.

We filled every pot and clementine crate we could locate with trillium transplants.  They were rhizomes, so even though the tender stem snapped on some, I'm optimistic that they'll be back next year in their new home under the front oak tree.  A few are in bloom, so they don't seem too upset about the change in scenery. Before we spray again I'll do anther search in the remaining area.  They aren't around for long, so they may be safely back underground before we buy more evil poison and give the G.I.R.P. Attempt Two.

The "Leaves of Three" afflicted boys are still itching. We just discovered that Bug has two small areas of poison ivy too.  I continue to knock on wood as I have never had it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

system breakdown

I have a System.  I have boxes labeled "Pook - Winter,"  "Pook - Summer," "Bug - Winter," and "Bug - Summer."  Clothes that are too big for the kids, hand-me-downs from their cousin, are tossed in the box.  For Pook, there are sizes up to 16 in there.  Sometimes for Bug I take clothes directly from his brother's closet and put them in his, no intermediate box needed.  When we need the new season's clothes, we start at the box.  The System works.

Except that I seem to have lost every last dang pair of size 8 shorts that Pook ever wore.  Because he would have worn them, right?  Could his belly have stayed small enough to keep wearing his older 6-7 sizes until suddenly we needed tens?  The tens from last summer seem to fit this year too, fortunately.  But Bug has not a stitch of  his own to wear.

And I feel a bit guilty for having this problem.  Many of you are still looking at snow, and I'm whining that we can't find shorts.  But a System that works is a precious thing, and finding that it has failed is quite disturbing to people who value organization, as I do- a bit obsessively at times.

Perhaps I need to post a reward. 

Lost!  Size 8 shorts!  Reward offered!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The Great Ivy Removal Project has begun.  (I prefer the word "eradication" but the acronym wasn't as good.  Still, it implies something more permanent to me.)  But, regardless, we are starting to remove ivy from the top of our great hill.  I'm unable to estimate the amount of English Ivy growing out there; our yard is large.  I cleared about a sixth of the slope last year when I built the retaining wall.  There was terrible erosion before the wall got finished and I could put down mulch.  This time I'm leaving the hill and just aiming for the top.  The yard feels small outside our kitchen and dining rooms, but there is so much space up high that we've been wasting.  I'd like to move the playset up there and encourage ball play etc. to move up there too.

One of our neighbors worked one summer to rid his backyard of ivy, and his property is the largest one bordering our own.  He used a combination of mowing and drought.  And, according to his wife, frustration and grief over the death of his father and free time from recent retirement.

I suspect he had more free time than we do and we can't count on another drought. (I don't even want to hope for one.)  But, I got two estimates to have the work done for us and CD decided we could do this ourselves and save $700-$1000.

Sunday was a beautiful, warm and sunny day to begin.  We carried/hauled/pushed the mower up the hill. Steps are needed but not in existence yet.  And since they take either time and skill or money, they haven't been planned yet.  I'm not sure whether we can do this project without them or if we're going to need to stop and deal with them first.  Time will tell.

Meanwhile, we've gotten started.  It wasn't as hard as I expected to mow the area.  There were lots of sticks (and six ancient remains of Christmas trees prior to our own four) and undergrowth that has sprouted since we last cleared it two years ago.  We kept the boys busy hauling branches out of our way.  In just a few hours we mowed about a third of the usable space.  The far edge has never been cleared of underbrush since it gives us maximum privacy from the McMansion back there, uphill and three stories tall, towering over us.  We may leave that area with ivy for now.

Two areas show promise as play spaces.  The plan is to spray nasty poison on the ivy several times and then pile it deep with mulch.  We haven't figured out how to get the mulch up there yet.  Again, a problem for another time.  I'm happy that we've begun.  CD has less time than I do, but I can spray nasty poisons as well as anyone else, so I'll start on that.

*G.I.R.P. Now with Itching! 
CD's arm are covered with what looks like poison ivy and apparently itches like it too.  Pook's face started to develop an itchy rash which then spread down his neck.  Took him to the doctor ($40 copay) to have it too diagnosed as contact dermatitis (could be poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac....) and got him some prescriptions ($10) to deal with it.  Then I stopped at the big box garden center to buy evil poison brush spray ($25).

 I might keep track of expenses as we go to see how this works out.

Friday, March 11, 2011

calendar rainbows

Google calendar must have known me well when they invented their product.  I can't live without it anymore.

But our family calendar looks like a rainbow this month.

dark blue=baseball
blue=school stuff
orange=U.S. holidays
green=garden reminders
plus the phases of the moon!

Yes, I could turn off the phases of the moon, but really sometimes I think I need to know that in addition to all the craziness we're experiencing, there's a full moon too.  No such excuse right now.

Here is our week of March 13-19:

spread lime on lawn
10:30 yoga
2p Science Olympiad
send school
photo info
Paige's birthday
water plants 
baseball Picture Day
otate tires on Accord at 120k mi 
5:30p Hot Rods Game - Away vs
Sea Dogs
3:15p Bug piano lesson
St. Patrick's Day
10:30 yoga 
3:30p Mets Game -

Away vs. Red Sox.
Daylight Saving Time Begins
5:30p Mets Game - Home vs. Orioles.
5:30p Hot Rods Practice
10:30 cleaning
3:15p Pook piano
5:30p Hot Rods Game - 
Home vs. Thunder.

And on top of it all, it appears that we'll be adjusting to Daylight Savings Time.  Or is it in the fall that it feels hard?  I grew up in Indy without ever changing clocks; this time changing stuff has never felt familiar to me.  What I think we can use is an extra hour for this week.  Or five.  But I think we lose one instead.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

under construction

I'm messing around with Blogger to try to find a template that allows me more photo space.  If you have any problems loading or seeing my photos (or have any comments about the looks of this place in general) please let me know.

Of course this means I need to take more photos.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

sacred fingos

I was just asked by Bug "What is a sacred fingo?"  

 Uh.  A what?  I have no idea.  

 "Can you Google it for me?"   

 And, because I am That Kind of a Mom, I did.  

"Oooh, that's the one!" 

I clicked on it.  And I read aloud:


How do you find the sacred fingo from the Kaya Forests in Nabooti island?

You will need to dig up the rare artifact, an Ebony Elephant.
In order to dig it up, you will need to get the Egyptian Lily flower from Blue Nile Falls, and trade it for a turban. At Giza, use the turban to get a shovel. You will also need the opuntia fruit -- cactus pear -- from the Mountains of the Moon. Once you have these, go to the Kaya Forests.
At the Kaya Forests, use the Opuntia Fruit to lure the tortoise, and dig where he was sleeping. You will find the Ebony Elephant. Talk to the Kaya spirits, and take the Elephant to Nabooti to swap for their missing talisman, the fingo. Take the fingo to Kaya Forest and get the Green Jewel.

Pook had come running in to see why Bug was so excited, and he was immediately caught up in it too.  They ran back to their computer and started doing whatever it was that they were doing.

I was left feeling like I had just read something in a foreign language.