Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hello, Monkey?

We spent some time last night with some friends and their two-and-a-half year old son. During the course of the evening, I discovered that A. has a spectacular ability to conduct imaginary telephone conversations on demand. The small child was going around the room with his toy phone, handing it off to all the adults so we could talk to the mysterious Monkey. The one-sided conversations were predictably short and not particularly inspired, until A. got on the phone with Monkey. He started right in about how Monkey was supposed to deliver an order of bananas but the truck hadn't arrived yet. You would seriously have thought he was actually talking to a guy named Monkey with a truck full of bananas. It was oddly impressive, as well as being, of course, absolutely hilarious.

I shouldn't be surprised, though. This is a man who can give the most convincing off-the-cuff televangelist impersonation you've ever seen. I have never met anyone as verbally glib on the spur of the moment. If he had the right temperament, he would have made a very skillful politician. But personally, I think his skills are best used by talking to Monkey on a child's phone and making people laugh. That's more than most politicians can claim.

Friday, January 8, 2010

You're Welcome

So I was kind of writing a post in my head as I carried my coffee upstairs this morning, all about what a pain in the ass it is to scoop all the hot ash out of a top loading woodstove and how the ash always gets all over the place no matter how careful I am and how I JUST cleaned the entire downstairs and now it's all filthy again.

But then I decided that would be boring to read.

I was also kind of writing a post in my head last night while I was sitting in the first childbirth class we attended at the hospital, all about how Pampers is worryingly aggressive in their marketing to future parents and how there weren't enough comfortable chairs in the room so I got stuck in one of those chairs with a little desk attached for two hours and how I can't ever do those narrated breathing exercises because whenever I try to breathe on someone else's command I feel like I'm hyperventilating and I think that probably says something about how poorly I take direction.

But then I decided that that would be boring, too.

So instead, perhaps I will just tell you that I managed to leave the rest of the rice pudding for A. to eat yesterday.

It might be boring, but at least it was virtuous.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mmm, Pudding . . .

I'm kind of fixated on pudding at the moment. In particular, I'm fixated on the rice pudding that is sitting in our refrigerator right now. Well, what's left of it, anyway.

See, the MiL decided to make rice pudding on Tuesday night. Rice pudding is something I had never in my life eaten until I moved here. Which is probably a good thing, considering my total lack of control when it's around. I did manage to wait until about 11 a.m. yesterday before I ate any of the pudding the MiL had prepared the night before. But then I just kind of . . . kept eating it. I ate over half of the casserole of pudding by myself. It took all the restraint I could muster to leave some for A. and the MiL.

The MiL didn't eat all of the rest of it when she got home last night, however, which I discovered when I got up this morning. I don't know how she could resist. But that means that there's just a little bit, maybe a cup, left. And I really, really want to eat it for breakfast. But I know I should let A. have it, because he had so much less of it yesterday due to my gluttony.

And so the battle between my stomach and my conscience rages on.


I would be reluctant to state that rice pudding is my favorite kind of pudding, since of course good old chocolate pudding is also a contender. But then, the two don't really compare. I consider rice pudding to be more of a meal, while chocolate pudding is definitely a dessert.

Which gives me an idea . . . possibly the perfect meal would be rice pudding followed by chocolate pudding. Now there's a thought.

But enough of my random pudding fantasies. Tell me, poppets: What kind of pudding causes you to lose control? Chocolate? Vanilla? Tapioca? Or does the very thought of pudding make you ill? And if so, what is wrong with you?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just a Thought

I took down all the Christmas decorations yesterday. It took about an hour to get them all packed away, and almost half that time was spent in unwinding all the lights from the tree. The prickly, stabby, needle-y tree that deposited little needles all in my sweater that continued to prick me for some time after the job was done.


The only reason I would ever consider a fake tree? To avoid the miserable task of stringing lights and then taking them all down again.

That's all. Carry on.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Coop Fever

Remember last week when I mentioned that the chickens have suddenly decided to eat apples, after many failed attempts to get them to eat their fruit and vegetables? And I said I didn't know why they had changed their tiny little minds? Well, I think I know why.

They were bored out of their tiny little minds.

Yes. You see, it occurred to me that all the other times I had tried to give them old produce, their little chicken door was open and they could roam free outside. But the past several days have featured some distinctly chicken-unfriendly weather, so I haven't been letting them out. Therefore, when that apple appeared, it was as if I had thrown a television with 800 cable channels into a snowbound Alaskan cabin. It gave them something to do. Namely, peck. And that's all a chicken ever wants to do anyway, so they jumped right on that apple. They have also since eaten some frozen stalks of collards, too.

It took me longer than it should have to figure this out. Apparently, my mind is a bit on the tiny side sometimes, too.

I think I'll let them out today, so there shouldn't be any need for rotting apple diversions. Wouldn't it be nice if we were all so easy to entertain?

P.S. I've started finding brown eggs in the nesting box, along with the green, which means Penny has joined Poppy in her off-season laying. This is exactly what they did last year, at exactly this time. Apparently, my hens like to make a New Year's resolution every year to start laying again. Works for me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Just Have To Share This With You

I somehow got on a list to receive e-mails from a local realtor who is always sending out announcements about various community events. I never go to the events, because I am essentially anti-social, but I always read the e-mails.

The one I got most recently was for a New Year's party, except it was on January 2nd. I don't know what the reasoning behind that was, but whatever. That's not the point. The point was this line in the announcement (copied and pasted in the original color and font, because isn't it festive?):

We have heat, cards, ping pong, foosball, a piano, music, coffee, cake, tables, and a festive tree.

In case you skipped right over it, the very first enticement listed there is what? That's right. HEAT. Around here, that's all you really need to make a party happen. Isn't it nice we all have such low standards?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome to Our Gracious Abode

Yesterday A. decided it was time to do something about the joists holding up the floor in the dining room. "Do something" as in entirely replace them because they had rotted away to nothing more than powder and there was essentially nothing keeping us from falling through the corner of the dining room and into the old cistern below.

Yes, it is of such exciting events that our lives are made.

So he started by crawling into the cistern in the Pit of Despair, a feat that takes no small amount of athleticism and strength, with a tape measure to see what kind of boards he needed. Except he didn't get any farther than sticking his head into the hole in the wall he was preparing to crawl through. He stopped short right there and announced ominously," Uh oh. There is a very bad smell."

I, being quick on the uptake, knew that meant something had died in the cistern. A long time ago. In fact, my brilliantly quick brain immediately deduced that it was probably the very same something I had been smelling a few weeks ago when I casually commented to A. that something in the dining room smelled.

It should be an indication of how common this is that I made no great effort to find the source of the smell. I figured it was one of the dogs or something. The smell went away after a couple of days and I didn't think about it again. Until yesterday, when A. discovered the decomposing rat in the cistern directly below the dining room. Then it all made sense.

So, step one in fixing the floor joists actually involved disposing of the rotting rat. GROSS.

And then A. climbed into the cistern, where he essentially stayed for about five hours, setting up all his tools in there and sawing, hammering, and nailing together a whole new framework. My job was to act as flunky, fetching all the tools and things he needed and handing them to him through the hole. I also brought his lunch to him down there, as he actually elected to eat his lunch in the cistern rather than try to crawl back out. That should tell you something about the difficulty of accessing the cistern.

Anyway, we can now rest easy knowing we will not plunge into the cistern and land on a dead rat if we step too firmly in the dining room. And really, that's all I need from life.