Saturday, February 4, 2012

So Much for Resting Pose

A word of advice:  Never attempt to do yoga with a toddler in attendance.

Or perhaps I should amend that thusly:  Never attempt to do yoga with MY toddler in attendance.

As background, allow me to briefly mention with minimal whining that this baby-carrying is not so much kicking my ass as my back.  I started having back pain--both the muscle variety and the sciatic nerve variety--about a month ago, and it damn near crippled me some days.  So after doing some (MINIMAL, I SWEAR) whining about it after all, I decided I'd better shut up and find something proactive to do about it.

Enter the yoga.

Now, the idea of attending an actual class that involves me leaving the house regularly in one of my precious three hours of Cubby-free time a day was not viable.  But DVDs I can do.  So I got a couple from the library.

I should say that I took one yoga class in college--a class of approximately 200 people with one instructor--hated it, and never did yoga in any form after that.  But desperate times, you know, so I got the DVDs.

A. wanted to watch them with me and try some of the stretching, as he is the least-flexible man in the universe (confirmation pending) and happened to be really sore after some extreme wight lifting.  So the whole happy family gathered in the library to watch my prenatal yoga DVDs.

The first instruction was to sit on the floor or on a chair in the resting pose.  So I sat down.  And immediately had a lapful of Cubby, pointing at the television and yelling,"Sleep? Sleep?" at the women demonstrating stretching with their eyes closed.

After that, he found a ribbon which he proceeded to wind himself up in. He also found my slippers, which he put on and wore while he climbed aboard his digger and pressed all the buttons, activating all the machine noises.  In addition, he ran at full speed back and forth across the room, leaped on his father's back in anticipation of "trot trot" when father was on his hands and knees stretching, and stood in front of the television blocking the view of it and talking at the women looking all calm and restful because they were in a child-free room.

I decided it might be wise to wait until after Cubby was in bed to actually try this myself.

I didn't notice any immediate and spectacular relief, but I did notice that DAMN do I have some tight muscles, so obviously the stretching is going to do me some good in some way.  So I'll keep doing it.

But only after that insane kid of mine is in bed.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Spring? Is That You?

Well, no.  But end of winter?  Definitely.

I know this because we put in the first maple spiles of the season on Wednesday.  And by "we," I mean A., with the negligible assistance of Cubby and me.

First A. used the hand drill to drill some holes in the trees.

While Cubby inspected the ground closely for beavee (beaver) tracks.  Kid's obsessed with beavers.  Don't ask me.

Next A. drove in the spiles (the taps).

While Cubby picked up the drill and ran off with it.

And then A. hung the buckets with the lids.

While Cubby disappeared to head purposefully for the creek, with every intention of soaking himself, I have no doubt.  Too bad his mom's such a killjoy and wouldn't let him go swimming.

Some of the trees were actually running the day we put in the spiles, though it was too cold for the sap to run yesterday.  The coming days, however, are perfect sap running weather: freezing at night, above freezing during the day, with sun.

Bring on the syrup.  I only have about half a cup left from last year.

Oh!  And also!  Cubby and I spotted the first snowdrops of the year in the bed by the dining room door.  On the first day of February.

I don't know what the hell Mama N. is playing at here, but I'll accept this unexpected sign of spring to come.  As long as there are no horrific snowstorms waiting to blast us in March.  I put nothing past that Mama N.  She's a crafty one.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Didn't Knock on Wood and Now I'm Paying for It

Just a few days ago I was remarking to A. how thankful I was that this winter has so far been remarkably free of illness.  After last winter's bonanza of digestive upsets and other things, I was so very, very happy that as a family we have only had one quite mild cold.

So of course, I came down with a cold the day after making that rash statement.

No one else has caught it yet, so now I'm knocking on LOTS OF WOOD.  And never opening my mouth to jinx us again.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What Not To Wear

I think it's a pretty safe generalization to say that anything I wear in my house, I should not wear outside of my house.  This is because all the clothing I wear at Blackrock is either stained or ugly.  Or both, actually.

This is brought home to me every time I have to leave the house and interact with people other than my son, my husband, or my mother-in-law, none of whom rate the courtesy of me caring what I look like around them, apparently.

Actually, my attire on a daily basis has less to do with me not making an effort and more to do with the fact that I live a particularly dirty and cold life, so I must be in clothing that is both warm and disposable enough that another rust stain from that one spot by the sink won't matter.

This is why I spend my days in long johns, jeans, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a flannel shirt, AND a wool sweater.  Basically, I look (and feel) like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from November to May.

I have three wool sweaters.  One is a hideous, bulky brown cardigan on which the buttons will not stay closed. The other is a not as hideous, but definitely more bulky cream-colored cardigan on which the buttons stay closed but which is perpetually dingy-looking thanks to its light color and the fact that it must be hand washed.  It weighs approximately twenty pounds when wet and takes three days to dry.  So.  Not so frequent with the washing.  And then I have a too-big-for-me alpaca sweater from Peru that my sister gave me.  It's the least bulky, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it attractive or anything.

These three sweaters are my mainstays day in and day out in the winter.  I will on occasion wear the alpaca sweater somewhere like the village library, but the other two?  Forget it.  I have my vanity, and I will not appear in public in these sweaters.

This is why when I leave the house for exciting events like story hour with Cubby on Tuesdays, I have to literally change my clothes for the hour I'm out of the house and then change back again when I get home.  I also have to do this because the layers of clothing necessary for even minimal comfort at Blackrock would probably cause me to suffer heatstroke in a normal, centrally heated environment.

You see the problems I have to deal with on a daily basis.  Such a trial, this life of mine.

So, duckies, what item (or items, plural) of clothing do you slump around the house in but would never, ever be caught in outside the house?  I know you all have at least one.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pardon Me

Whatever topic of great import I was going to discuss with you today has been driven right out of my head by the sunshine and fifty-two degree temperature.


I believe I shall take my sandwich outside and bask in the false spring.  Happy sunny Tuesday, poppets.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Watchers in the Window

A few months ago, the MiL had the brilliant idea of putting a bird feeder in the lilac bush right outside the bay window so Cubby could watch birds this winter.

That plan was finally implemented a couple of months ago, with immediate success.  Not only does Cubby love to sit on the table in the bay window (from which we have had to remove the extremely old and probably quite valuable lamp for the duration of the bird watching season), he often has company.

Devil Cat and (occasional) Devil Child, sharing a rare moment of peace.

This is the only place Belle will sit still and allow Cubby to get within grabbing distance of her tail.  Considering his past track record, I can't blame her.  It's been an excellent opportunity to teach him to be more gentle with her though, a lesson I think he would do well to learn with the feline and canine members of the household before we introduce a completely helpless human baby into the mix.

The bird feeder, incidentally, has also forced me* to learn to identify at least the most common birds that come to the feeder.  It has also forced me to repress my (immature) laughter every time I announce, "Look, Cubby!  There's a tufted titmouse."

Bet you would laugh, too.

* Me and Cubby, actually.  He's pretty good at identifying the birds.  It's quite amusing to watch him sitting--or, as in the case of this photo, lying--on the table narrating the action: "Chickadee!  Blue! (bluejay)  Carda! (cardinal)  Mouse! (tufted titmouse)(HAHA).