Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hello, Old Friend

You know how sometimes you'll eat something for a really long time and then just kind of . . . get out of the habit somehow? Not because you don't like it anymore, but because you move on and sort of forget about it? No? Just me? Whatever, roll with me here.

Last night I wandered downstairs in search of yogurt . . .

Break for confession: I actually really wanted ice cream, but since that would have required getting dressed, getting in the car, and driving 20 miles roundtrip to buy some, I decided yogurt was the next-best alternative. I have my limits.

. . . which we buy plain and flavor mostly with frozen fruit or preserves. But the last of the apricot jam in the refrigerator had been finished and I was feeling much too lazy to go ALL THE WAY into the Pit of Despair for a new jar. Which is why I dumped maple syrup in there instead.

I used to eat yogurt and maple syrup (REAL ONLY--please don't try this with Mrs. Butterworth or something) all the time. Then I didn't. And I really don't know why I stopped, because damn, is it good. Not as good as the ice cream I really wanted, but extraordinarily yummy nonetheless.

That's all. You may carry on now.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Education Continues

Childbirth class number three last night. Also explicit birth video number three that I did not watch, because I am Uncooperative.

However, despite my lack of attention to Andrea and Jorge's experience with their second child and a VBAC (you can just look that one up for yourselves--no need to go into it here), I did learn some things. Such as:

1) Remember when I said last week's birth video, in a spectacular example of understatement, had said "many women experience a stretching or burning sensation" at the moment of crowning? Well, apparently, this moment and that sensation are actually referred to as "the ring of fire." The nurse kept using this phrase with absolutely no hint of humor. She also didn't break into song. I suspect that by this phase of labor I will not have sufficient presence of mind to sing the song as a kind of musical accompaniment to the proceedings, so I'll just have to get what amusement I can out of it now. That amusement was pretty substantial.

2) We were permitted to view and handle a pair of forceps last night. All I could think is that they look like the sort of instrument James Herriot used on birthing sheep in the Yorkshire Dales. Also, they were much larger than I would have expected. They're nothing that I would care to experience internally, and I'm glad that very few doctors use them anymore.

3) I once again failed at the narrated breathing exercise. In my defense, I have a cold and I can't really breathe in through my nose at the moment. Not in my defense, I never do those exercises right even when I can breathe normally. But it was particularly difficult last night, as man-cub chose that exact time to practice high-kicking. At the very moment the nurse was murmuring about how relaxed we should be and how the baby would be quiet and relaxed as well, man-cub was bucking like a saddle bronc.

That's my boy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Now That's What I Call Return On Investment

I'll tell you one thing, all you gardeners and would-be gardeners out there: Year-long eating from your garden is an admirable goal if you feel like gardening is just too much work.

I'll be the first to admit that growing food is not for the lazy. Even though I like to call myself lazy in jest (and even not in jest in certain respects), the truth is that the "hobby" of vegetable gardening is a lot of hard damn work. Of course, it's worth it when you're chowing down on an all-you-can-eat heirloom tomato buffet in August. But then, in August, you're still working your ass off in that garden. So that kind of dims the enjoyment a little bit.

No, the real reward comes when you're not doing a damn thing to tend your garden, and yet are still eating food from it. Last night, we had potatoes, collard greens, and shallots in our dinner. All still fresh, all from the garden. And I haven't set foot in that patch of soil, except to harvest, in months.

And that's the best kind of reward.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Woodchuckery--This Time with Hay

Remember a long, long time ago when I said we had won a ton of grass hay at a silent auction? Well, that ton of grass hay did not come with delivery. Which meant that A. had to haul it in Big Red, his pick-up truck. Despite the name, Big Red is not particularly big or heavy duty. In fact, Big Red is a half-ton Ford. The hay came in three square bales, which means each bale was a third of a ton. Which is, of course, less than half a ton. So it's all good and safe as long as only one bale at a time is transported in Big Red.


A. picked up the first bale awhile ago. It ran out early this week, and so he arranged to go pick up the remaining hay yesterday morning. The remaining hay being two bales weighing in at a total of two-thirds of a ton. Now, A. informs me that the "half-ton" designation on his truck was based on the original model capacity, and that the hauling ability of more modern trucks (yes, in our house, 1994 is modern) is actually slightly more than that. But is it two-thirds of a ton? Let's find out!

A. set off in his truck at about 8:30 a.m. yesterday. The farm is about 15 minutes away. He didn't return for an hour. I was a little worried. When he did return, he actually had me go outside to view the truck, and then he took a picture for his records.

Not good

It turns out that Big Red will indeed haul two-thirds of a ton of hay, but Big Red does NOT appreciate it when that load is unbalanced. And the roads are hilly. And there's snow on them. A. put his blinkers on, stayed on back roads, and drove home at 15 miles an hour*. I must also assume he appealed to a higher power so that his truck wouldn't tilt over into a drainage ditch.

Whatever he did, it worked. And the sheep have their hay and all is well with the ovine world. The end.

* Legal disclaimer: This is a skilled woodchuck maneuver. Do not attempt at home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cute or Creepy? You Decide

I figured I could throw you a baby shower bone today by taking a picture of the bear suit the MiL got from L.L. Bean, which elicited ecstatic cooing from all who saw it. Even A. But then when I took the picture, it ended up looking . . . strange.

Strange as in, "Is that a dead bear facedown on our dining room table?"

I promise that it is painfully cute in real life, and I'm sure will also be painfully cute when there's a baby in there to fill it out and make it look less like a police homicide. So give me another couple of months and I'll try to get another photo of it with a baby stuffed into it. And then let the chorus of "awwwwww!"s begin.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rain Check, Okay?

This is supposed to be the post where I tell you all about the baby shower and the good food and the gifts we got and then show you photos of me holding up things like this little fleece bear suit that the MiL got from L.L. Bean that has actual little ears on it and may in fact be the most adorable item of clothing on the planet.

But I'm not going to do that today.

I have to leave for the Small City to have breakfast with my mom and sister soon, as they're going home today. And then I have to wait for my sister to send me the photos she took at the shower, since she was the only one with a camera. And then I have to get rid of this miserable, bastard of a cold that started making me feel like shit yesterday and may continue to do so for a few days to come.

But I promise, photos and stories are forthcoming. You must be patient, Grasshopper. And I must go get dressed and get in the car, so until later, poppets . . .

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mystery Post

There's a lot going on right now. My mom and sister are here; today is my baby shower; we're in the middle of a freakish January thaw and A. needs to try to pump water into the cistern while the warmth lasts so we might possibly have enough water to wash diapers and soiled crib bedding in about a month.

Wow. That sounds like I'm going to have a BABY soon or something.


As you can see, there are a wealth of topics to choose from here, which is, of course, why I am freezing up entirely and not coming up with anything. And THAT is why I decided to play a little game with my very poorly organized (in that they're not) photos. I don't label my photos or anything, so I can't tell what they are just by looking at the files. Except for the dates, those strings of numbers could be anything. So I decided to post a random photo by choosing a random folder from May, and picking out a picture in the middle of the pack somewhere. This is what I got:

Ahhh. Lilacs. And Leda. Don't we all feel better now?

Peace out.