Thursday, March 30, 2017

Feeling Poetic, Part 4


Here are Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. And now, Part 4 . . .

Still with that girl named K.,
Still married to that boy named A.
They thought, "Our three little boys
Don't make enough noise."
So now there's another baby on the way.

Hi. I'm pregnant. Again again again.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's Yay Time


Sometime in the past few months, dessert after dinner started being referred to as "yay time" in our house. This is because Jack learned that when everyone finished eating dinner, he could get dessert*. So as soon as he saw me getting up from the table, he would shout, "Yay!"

Of course, if I have to get up for some other reason, or I get up before someone else is done, we have to tell him it's not yay time yet.

Hence the designation.

I suppose there are people who would tell me children shouldn't get dessert every day because of nutrition (I dare you to challenge my children's nutritional intake) and childhood obesity (I also dare you to find a roll anywhere on any of those children to pinch). I see the validity of these points in some cases. But you know what? I think we can all use a little more yay time in our lives. And so I will keep doling out the marshmallows or applesauce with cream or yogurt with maple syrup. Even the occassional M&Ms.

Unless they get three strikes during the day because of inappropriate behavior or language, and then no yay time for them. Dessert is also a powerful incentive for good behavior, you know.

Yay for Mommy.

* Not that he always eats his dessert. I have never seen a child less interested in cake or pudding than he is. I guess it's just the idea that's exciting. Whatever. I get to finish whatever he doesn't eat. Yay indeed.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Raddest Snow Fort


When heavy machinery does the plowing after a monster snowstorm, the result is some monster piles of snow. Mountains, really.


A. helped Cubby dig out a snow cave at the base of this mountain.


And then Cubby added a drop-down hole from the top.


Their continuous climbing on it has resulted in paths along the sides and a flattened place on the top from which to survey their domain. And blow bubbles.

Every child's dream, right there next to the house.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Oh, It's Spring?


Great. That means I can banish the dog to the barn at night. Alleluia.

Lemme 'splain.

See, there are many coyotes here. Many, many coyotes, who run the woods freely at night, yipping and howling and generally making their presence known. Now Mia, who is normally the most mild-mannered of dogs, absolutely loathes coyotes. In her younger days, when she was part of a pack, she would actually hunt them. Now that she's old and crippled, and also has no pack except us useless humans, all she can do is bark.

So she does. Any time she hears the coyotes. Which is all. night. long.

I can't really blame her. I mean, there are howling wild beasts out there. She's a dog. She alerts us to their presence. Not that we need alerting. The damned things are often so close they wake us up.

Unfortunately, Mia's barking wakes us up more.

If she's in A.'s garage office at night, which is her customary bedroom, it keeps us awake because the garage shares a wall with our room. It's also right over Jack's room. No good.

If she's outside, she stands on the front porch to bark, which is about twenty feet from our bedroom, and so, of course, it keeps us awake.

If she's in the house, she barks anyway, which of course wakes everyone up. And then we have to let her out to run around and bark until she's cold and tired or the coyotes move along.

This has been making for some bad nights for me and A. Really bad nights.

So last night, after a remarkably warm day, and when I realized it was going to be above freezing all night long, I hauled her bed and water bowl out to the barn and shut her in there for the night. The barn is far enough away that if she did bark, we wouldn't hear her. It's entirely insulated and enclosed, though not warm enough if the weather stays below freezing for awhile.

But last night? To the barn you go, Mia. I hope you enjoy your night. We certainly will.

Of course, "spring" doesn't mean the same thing here that it does in many places, so it's going to be three degrees tomorrow night. Which means Mia will be in the house again. I can only hope the coyotes play elsewhere.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Well-Used Kitchen



Four loaves of bread, twenty-four cupcakes, a Spanish tortilla in the oven, some clean dishes, and some dirty.

I'm out.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Miracle of Machinery


This morning after traversing the snow tunnel along the length of the driveway to get Cubby and Charlie out to the road for the school bus (HOORAY FOR SCHOOL!), I took a good look at the buried Subaru near the house. And the vast field of snow in front of it that A. would have to dig out if he wanted to use his car anytime in the next month or so.

When I got back in the house, I suggested to A. that perhaps we should call the plow guy our landlady used.

Now, you should know that it has been something of a point of pride for A. to never in his life call a plow guy. Even at Blackrock, which had a very long, steep driveway that got snowed in somewhat regularly, he always shoveled it by hand.

But this amount of snow? This is a bit much. Even for Supershoveler. A. agreed this would be the time to call in the heavy machinery.

So I called the plow guy and left a message asking if he could plow our driveway sometime in the next couple of days. I figured he would be really busy, and maybe he'd get back to me sometime today to set up a time to come tomorrow.

A. and I took Jack for a walk right after that (HOORAY FOR SUNSHINE AND NO WIND!), and as we were coming back, we saw a John Deere tractor drive by that we didn't recognize. We thought maybe the farmer on the corner had finally gotten rid of his 1960s-era tractor and upgraded. But when we got home, we saw that a small part of the driveway in front of where the van was parked, as well as a space next to the mailbox, had been plowed.

Still, we thought maybe it was the town road crew, which had been busy with heavy machinery this morning widening roads and pushing around snow ridges.

But about fifteen minutes later A. came running into the house for the van keys, because the John Deere tractor was in our driveway, plowing.

I have to assume it was the guy I called, although he never called back to say he was coming and never got out of his tractor to talk to us or even to get paid. All he did was plow.

And did he ever plow. His tractor had huge back tires fitted with snow chains and a front loader that shoved all that snow around like it was nothing. This dude's not messing around with any rusted pick-up truck fitted with a puny plow on front.





Twenty minutes later, he had cleared the entire driveway and an area in front of the house big enough to turn a Mack truck.


I'm assuming, since he drove off immediately after finishing, that he's going to send us a bill. I don't actually know what he's going to charge us, but whatever it is, it's totally worth it.

A. and his back agree.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Breakfast Gamble


If all three boys disappear downstairs with cardboard swords for a great battle while I'm making my breakfast, the question is: Will I have time to finish cooking it and actually eat it in peace before someone comes screaming upstairs because he got poked in the eye?

This morning I got lucky. There were no casualties before I finished my eggs, which meant I got to eat sitting down at the table with no one hanging on my chair whining for my food, demanding arbitration for an acrimonious dispute involving the mini-Transformer, or requesting food for himself.

On this, the third straight snow day off from school, I'll take all the unexpected moments of peace I can get.