Saturday, September 25, 2010


We took a family vacation yesterday afternoon. It wasn't MUCH of a vacation, but I figure a vacation is just a break from routine and a chance to escape the daily chores, right? Right. So going to the next village over on a Friday afternoon to the ice cream stand and eating hot dogs and milk shakes totally counts as a vacation. For me, anyway.

It's pretty easy to get excited when your expectations are low.

A. was taking it somewhat easy on the work front yesterday after a horribly stressful and long Thursday, so he was just doing office work at home. It was really hot and I really didn't want to make dinner or deal with dishes. So after Cubby woke up from his last nap of the day, I suggested that maybe we could play hooky during what was technically still business hours (NAUGHTY) and go get some ice cream. And then, since we were there and it was four o'clock already, maybe we should just get some food and call it dinner.

I know--I'm a sneaky one.

So we loaded Cubby into the car and drove to the seasonal ice cream stand that thankfully has not yet closed for the season. A. got a foot-long hot dog covered in chili (it's just as alarming as it sounds, yes), I got a regular hot dog and a chocolate milk shake. We both got french fries. Cubby got to sit and watch all the people and cars for awhile. And when we got home, it was five o'clock, there was no dinner to cook or dishes to be done, and we just sat out on the lawn for some nekkid baby time until Cubby went to bed.

It ain't exactly a tour of Italy, but I will take it.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Today I drew blood with the Snappi, a rubber device with plastic teeth that secures Cubby's diapers. This may be a new low in my long history of ridiculous self-injuries.

Today I found that my old, broken sandals, that have been sitting unworn in the dining room for a long time, have mold growing on them. That's disgusting.

Today it is supposed to get to 86 degrees with--you guessed it!--high humidity. And yet, today it is SEPTEMBER 24. What gives, Mama N.?

Today I had to delve deep into the drawer of not-quite-fitting and out-of-season Cubby clothes to find something that did not involve fleece or long pants.

Today Cubby is wearing a 12-month onesie that is almost too small and a pair of 18-month shorts that are a little too long.

Today Cubby is seven and a half months old, NOT 12 months and NOT 18 months. What gives, Cubby?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Living High on the Plumbing

Back when Henry the Plumber was engaged in the epic battle to re-plumb our entire house, he took a break part of the way through to take a vacation. A month-long vacation to New Zealand.

I called him a couple of days ago in hopes of getting him and his industrial pipe snake here to clear out the kitchen sink drain, which is operating at about 10% capacity and is OH MY GOD SO ANNOYING. He said he's about to leave for vacation, but he'd be happy to put us on his list for when he returns. From Japan. At the end of October.

I'm thinking the travel benefits alone make it worthwhile for Cubby to become a plumber when he grows up. Forget college--trade schools are where it's at.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Of Rabies and Bagels

"What?" I can hear you saying. "There cannot possibly be a connection between rabies and bagels." Oh, but there is! Allow me to elucidate.

I got a notice from our vet last week that Mia was due for her rabies vaccination. It's important for all dogs to be up to date on rabies vaccinations, but even more important for our dogs, given their lifestyle. Who knows where those woodchucks and raccoons have been?

So I immediately called and scheduled a time to bring her in. I was careful to choose a day and time when A. wouldn't be in court and Cubby would likely be napping. It was all part of my selfish plan to leave Cubby at home, you see. I mean, I could strap Cubby into his carseat, wedge Mia in the front seat, and juggle both stroller and leashed dog into the vet clinic, but why should I? What, I ask you, is the point of having a spouse who works from home if not to exploit his at-home-ness occasionally to save myself some stress? No point. Exactly.

So out came the carseat this morning, in went Mia, and away we went, leaving a sleeping Cubby and working A.

I just love it when it all works out like that.

Mia was a very good dog and didn't squirm on the examination table at all, even when she was getting a needle jammed into her leg or a thermometer jammed into her, um, backside. She looked a little skeptical of the events taking place (as would we all in her situation), but she just bore it patiently until her ordeal was over and the receptionist gave her her doggy treat.

Then it was time for MY treat. See, the village the vet's office is in also has a coffee shop. So after I was done at the vet, I stopped by the coffee shop to get a bagel and a mocha latte. Because if I can't have my cafe au lait in the morning (which I can't, because I'm temporarily out of my chicory coffee until the next shipment arrives next week), then I will make do with the equivalent of coffee-flavored hot chocolate. And I never pass up the opportunity to eat something that I don't have to prepare or clean up after. I gave Mia the last bite of my bagel for being such a good girl and everyone was happy.

See? Rabies and bagels. It all makes sense now, doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Think I'm in for It

I have come to the conclusion that the only pet I ever really want is a dog. I don't really care for cats; birds kind of freak me out; fish are pretty useless; gerbils, rabbits, and various other rodents are boring to me; and let us not even speak of the horror of owning a snake VOLUNTARILY.

And this is where Cubby comes in to torture his mother.

I mean, you KNOW he's going to want to have one or all of those things at some point. A. and his brother had, at various times in their childhood, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, parakeets, pigeons, turkeys, lots of fish, and a snake that they took in temporarily because A.'s friend's mother was terrified of it and banished it from the house.

I sympathize.

And then, of course, Cubby will probably also want to have pigs or goats or pigeons or something similarly farm-y, and how can we say no when his father has sheep and I have chickens? Not that A. WOULD say no, especially to the pigeons or the pigs. He's been trying to convince me for years now that we should have pigs. The sheep are more than enough for me, thanks.

I think I would really have to draw the line at snakes and lizards, though. Anything else I could deal with, if not lovingly. But reptiles? No. Just . . . no.

Which means that Cubby is going to develop an affinity for reptiles and end up with some kind of snake collection in his bedroom when he's 15. That's just the way these things work.

Monday, September 20, 2010

House Blackrock

About a month ago, Saint Tigerlily mentioned a book she was reading. Well, actually several books; it's a series of books with the general name of A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. They're in the fantasy genre, although they seem more like just vaguely historical fiction books with fantasy elements that draw heavily on the medieval lifestyle and warfare. So, you know, castles and lords and ladies and knights . . . that sort of thing.


Always on the lookout for good books, I started reading them, as did A., and we've both been enjoying them (thanks, STL!). It's actually very rare for us to read the same books. I must admit to being disturbed by some of the books, since they are about war, and we all know that war ain't pretty. But the POINT I'm getting to here (yes! I have a point!) is that one of the features of the book involves the banner image and motto of each noble house. The image for each house used on the banners and shields of the lords is referred to as a sigil. I don't know if that's a real word or made up, but whatever. So, for example, the sigil could be a lion, or a snake, or a heart of fire. Or whatever. And the motto might be something like, "Honor above all."

One of the houses in the book--a very northerly, somewhat grim house--has for their motto, "Winter is coming." It occurred to me that if Blackrock were to have a motto, that would be it. We spend all summer in preparation for winter: growing our food in the garden and pasture, cutting and stacking wood, and soaking up the sun in preparation for the gloom ahead. The specter of winter is ever-present at a place like Blackrock, so "Winter is coming" seems only too apt for our house motto. Also, I have given some thought to a good sigil for House Blackrock, and I think a slavering, bloody collie would be appropriate.

I can just see the banner now.

I know you're now contemplating what your own motto and sigil might be. So what have you come up with? And why?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Behind Before I Began

After a busy day yesterday that didn't end until 10 p.m. (that's late for me, okay?), I was very, very tired when Cubby announced his desire to leave his crib-cage at six this morning. Nonetheless, I dutifully got him up, got him changed, and hung out with him for an hour or so while he jumped around in his station. When he went back to sleep around 7:45 a.m., I climbed back into bed as well.

Next thing I knew, it was 10 a.m. And I had eight people to feed at 1 p.m. And I was planning on making the Cook's Illustrated recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese, which takes four hours. Not so good with the timing.

Also, the pan I needed was dirty, the beef was still half frozen, and I'm out of coffee.

You can perhaps see why there was no post this morning. And I'm afraid this is the most you're going to get now, as I still have those people coming (now at 1:30) and I have to get my ass in gear and off the computer.

So here I go. Bye!