February 2007

Monthly Archive

Tuesday after Vacation

Posted by on 27 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Okay, I slept in. A lot. Got up just before ten. It felt GOOD!

Moving at a slow pace today. The burn on my face is starting to peel and it hurts. I have some ointment on it to keep the air from drying it out, but this is not fun. Kids, listen to your mothers! Don’t get burned!

I have vacuumed the sofa, swept the living room and the top of the area rug in there, turned it over and vacuumed the back… will wait until the kids get home and I have help to turn it over and sweep up the dirt that fell out!

A load of laundry or two… caught the fellow who was picking up the donation before he disappeared down the driveway — it’s raining, so naturally the boxes were under a tarp! So those are gone.

I looked at the officea jumbled office
       — and promptly retreated, post-haste!

It’s a bit of a jumble at the moment and I wasn’t up to trying to sort it out before lunch.

There are a couple of magazines I am going to read today… Blogs and a story to update. A bit of letter-writing to do. And if the office still has all the same items in the same places tomorrow, I can deal with it then.

Today is my day off!

Spring! Spring! SPRING!

Posted by on 26 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

It’s here — almost. It’s coming!

The bulbs are past pushing up — the buds are beginning to burst open! Pink tulips by the front steps are soon to be joined by dozens of gorgeous narcissus… daffodils for us U.S. types.

And the branches of the plum that I pruned a couple days ago and put into vases burst into flower this morning! I love the pretty little white blooms, but it is the subtle, intoxicating scent that draws me in. Tomorrow, I will add some pictures to this blog so you can see them. For now, just imagine…

Delicate, five-petaled, crepe-paper blooms about a half-inch across, dancing along the reddish-brown, smooth branches. the bright yellow stamens punctuate their statements with notes of joy. The branches bend and twist, catching the light from the windows in the morning, from the lamps at night. Soon, the tree outside will be a cloud of white… perched momentarily in the orchard, then off to join the clouds in the sky again, leaving future plums clinging to the limbs of the trees.

Heaven!

And for a quick update on the comings and goings of the family, remember to check out my other blog stidmama.blogspot.com

Monday after Vacation

Posted by on 26 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: children, plans, Uncategorized

Blessedly uneventful. Was able to spend some time reading and catching up on email and news.

Well, pretty much. Was able to speak with school principal about something I was worried about. Was able to speak with specific teacher about the same something. We are all on the same page and matter should be resolved with luck before the end of the school year.

Tutoring own kid has its advantages… like using school time for the tutoring! Kid is almost caught up to the rest of the class. Another week may be enough.

Same kid forgot this was a Knowledge Bowl day, so I made an extra trip to the school to take a snack and some cash for the customary stop at Dairy Queen (the only time this kid ever goes places like that!). Decided to run some errands while I was halfway to town anyway, and won’t have to leave home tomorrow except for the tutoring.

Did I mention that he is almost caught up? This might be the last week I need to be at school on a regular basis.

Lovely dinner tonight, soup (chicken, hominy and chorizo sausage) and souffle (two layers, carrot and broccoli). Kid’s knowledge bowl team won the day’s event.

Tomorrow? hopefully I’ll have the energy to clean the house a bit. It got somewhat disheveled over the kids’ vacation!

True to Form… (the saga continues)

Posted by on 24 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: allergy, broken bones, children, friends, illness, plans, Uncategorized, weather

Nothing ever goes according to plan.

I did spend a brief spell in town the day of my previous post… had a coupon for a free coffee and another for a discount on a book I wanted to get for one of the children’s birthdays. Just enough time to find the book, get the coffee and pick up the kids at school. So I thought.

Got to school just as the bell was ringing to let the kids out. Walked in and the secretaries practically jumped over the counter at me. “We’ve been trying to contact you!” “He hurt his arm on the playground…” “Might be nothing but you probably want a doctor to look at it.” The kid had actually left a message for me on the house answering machine just as I was heading out the driveway. And I wasn’t yet in cell-phone range.

Well none of those things are what a mother wants to hear. Guilt was the emotion of the day…

I took a look at the kid, bravely holding his arm close to his body, an icepack over the wrist, a friend carrying his fiddle case. I inspected the arm — no bruising, no real swelling, but he was pretty tender. So of course we canceled our other plans. I took time to go home and call the nurse to be sure it was okay to give the kid ibuprofen for the pain before I drove him in for x-ray. The other kid stayed home and took care of dogs.

Sure enough, it was a broken wrist.

Best kind, though, a torus fracture of the distal radius. That’s a sort of “splinter” break that doesn’t detach or get displaced much, on the thicker arm bone that attaches to the wrist near the thumb. He came home with a splint and instructions to take it easy. On adults a splint is usually enough to keep it immobilized. But a week later it was still tender to the touch, so the active, rambunctious child now sports a lovely blue cast. We go back next week for another follow-up.

That same night, the other child was playing in the pep band for the high school basketball team. Long-suffering spouse came home to get dinner and do taxi duty for that one while I was at the doctor’s. They had sandwiches at a restaurant on the way to the game, and had a great time. Though my beloved didn’t play high school sports, several of his siblings did, and he enjoyed going to games in high school.

When we were done with the medicos I took my brave child to one of his favorite restaurants. We really enjoyed our meal. Right up until I bit into the eggroll and realized they had changed their recipe to use beef… though I don’t think I actually swallowed any, within twenty minutes my tongue was swollen. By the time we got home the rest of me was pretty swollen too. Thank goodness for fast-acting antihistamines… Kid and I spent the evening sitting watching a good movie Zathura, being quiet, which is what we needed.

So after all our careful plans, putting off skiing until this last week (which was mid-winter break) he is not going to be able to ski this year at all. We had a quiet week at home instead. Seems like "quiet" is getting to be our middle name! But there will be other activities, other occasions.

And in the middle of the last two weeks we have had minor illnesses and slightly more than minor, a visit from a dear friend, a re-thinking of school schedules and classes, rain-hail-snow-lightning-sun showers (yes, all in the same day, several days!), and a trip to the Seattle Flower and Garden show… all of which will be blogged in increments!

Life in (my) Pacific Northwest

Posted by on 09 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: art, musings, Uncategorized

Well, it’s another Frantic Friday. Not so frantic yet, but this afternoon I need to pick up one kid so he has time at home after school before a concert this evening. The other kid gets picked up an hour later because he has a club meeting after school. I think dinner will be catch-as-catch-can because only two of us will be home at a time until pretty late. And I need to go out soon to do some shopping…

I spent the morning working on another silk scarf — my third in two days. It’s going to look good, I think. This one is for a microbiologist friend. The other two were one for my mother (a heart scarf for Valentine’s) and one for me (clovers for St. Patrick’s day next month). I am building up to making some for sale again. These practice scarves have let me remember and experiment a bit before I try to do something predictable.

Here’s a quick pic of the two I made last week for a charity auction:

two scarves

Next week, Mother and I are expecting our babble-friend Jillibus for a visit, so this weekend is going to be our spring-cleaning so we can enjoy next weekend.

Of course, it’s raining off and on, so any cleaning we do will only “stick” on surfaces above the floors. The dogs will track in mud and such no matter how hard we try to wipe them down. And I can’t do much in the yard until things get dryer — but I may be able to get the containers and tools put away until it’s time to use them again.

Still, as I look around, the only “problem spots” at the moment are the folding table in the office, still waiting to be cleared and the dining room which is our defacto storage space for boxes and items waiting for another home. The boys’ rooms are… appropriate to their ages and interests.

Green City, Blue Lake

Posted by on 08 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: environment, Peace Making, Uncategorized

Along the lines of doing what one can…

www.gcbl.org

I think this website offers some good suggestions. I haven’t explored it fully, but it seems these folks are actively engaged in making the world a better place, starting at home.

It would be nice to see something like this for my area…  what about yours?

Another personality trait quiz

Posted by on 05 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

This is the card chosen based on my answers…  somehow it feels right to be associated with this particular word/emotion/idea.

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that’s actually more apt than “Lovers.” Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can’t understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Semantics

Posted by on 03 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: climate, politics, Uncategorized, weather

Here is an article I think everyone should read:

The Semantics of Climate Change.

Posted today, 3 February 2007, this reporter has picked up on my concern over the last several months since the elections in the United States: that while the words used by the governments affected by recent elections have changed, their intent has not.

I worked briefly for a politician who was quite high up in my state government. He did not mince words, and though he was always tactful, I don’t recall him ever twisting meanings. He was reliable and honest, even compared to most non-politicians. However, many of the politicians who came through the office, and their lackeys, did twist the meanings of words, or said one thing and did another. Over and over.

Don’t trust them until their actions start to line up with their words.

If you live in a nation that allows it, contact your government representatives, and ask them where they really stand on this, or any other issue. And then hold them accountable.

It is not just about the money… it’s about the world we leave for the generations to come.

Feast of Candlemas/Imbolg/Groundhog Day

Posted by on 02 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: garden, holidays, Uncategorized

There are lots of resources about Groundhog Day (as it is known in the United States) on the internet. An excellent overview and comparison of historical practices and their relation to what’s really happening in the natural world at this time is at Origin of Groundhog Day over at about.com. Go ahead and follow the links to the other pages from this one… this series of articles is well-written and entertaining.

Curious about marmota monax? Here’s a page chock-full of woodchuck info! Gopher page. This image, by the way, is # 200352550-001, a Photodisc Royalty Free Photograph from photosearch.

For our family, we celebrate the cross quarter days as they are known in many earth-based religions as well as the solstices and equinoxes, incorporating some of the imagery from Christian and Jewish (and occasionally other traditions’) overlays when appropriate. As gardeners, the ebb and flow of the seasons is important to us — we are tied to the land and the cycles large and small that give life. These “mini holy days” offer a chance for us to slow down and observe the changes, to mark the passage of time in a predictable way.

Today is a looking forward day in our family. We know some stormy weather lies ahead, but already the willows are beginning to send out fuzzy cats’ paws, the fruit trees’ buds are swelling with the promise of flowers to come, the birds are beginning to establish breeding territories. This month, it is time to finalize plans for this year’s gardens, ready the soils, order the seeds and seedlings — and tubers — we will plant in March, make sure the tools are ready to go.

We will look at the weather reports, and check our own weather, and whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, we will know that Spring will eventually appear, and the life in the garden will re-emerge!

Happy Groundhog Day to you and yours!