Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Wrap-Up

I had the urge to write something this morning. I feel a little guilty because I made some hoopla about being back on here regularly and promptly disappeared.

It's been pretty busy around here, in a very frustrating way. It's summer vacation and the kids are around in full force. It's hard because I have found that in order to fill my "bucket" so to speak, I need unreasonable amounts of alone time on a day to day basis. Unreasonable when you have 3 children and a husband..and a father, all packed into a small house and it is summer vacation. Not so unreasonable during the school year.

I am just putting my head down and getting through the next 29 days until the first day of school.

But really, it hasn't been all THAT bad. I'm just whiney.

Here are some things that I have been up to:

G has been doing a bit of beekeeping with me. She loves it.

Here's a few of the bees:

Uncapped honey!

They are doing pretty well. I had to treat them for varroa mites this past week. I'm going into the hive at the end of this week so I can see how everything went. Then I have to consider my honey harvesting options. It's looking like I may actually get a little this year. It's about time those bitches started earning their keep.

Kidding..I actually like my bees better than my dog.

Dumbass dog..

I also have been doing battle with a family of groundhogs at my community garden. Here is what my greens bed usually looks like in July:

Kale in the middle looks nice, huh?

Here's what it looked like this July:

The Devil's Marmot and it's son the Antichrist, is what I dubbed them.

I put out at least 2 pounds of Cayenne pepper to repel them, which works until it rains. Then it all depends on who gets to the garden first. The Hogs live on the property so I usually lost that relay.

The Devil's Marmot would crap in one of the beds:

I told the kids, when we found this, that it looks like Mr Hanky, The Christmas Poo. I offered to bring it home in a box, where we could put googly eyes and a hat on it. The kids were disgusted at me for the suggestion, but still went home to watch that episode of South Park, just because. (DO NOT, I say, DO NOT mention to my husband that I let my kids watch that 1, and only 1, episode of South Park. I will get in trouble. And then I will find you, you big tattle-tale. Then I will open that can of whoop-ass)

I told my husband about the Mr Hanky poo. He also got disgusted and said in his snotty "Cindy is acting infantile" voice, "I don't know what that means." and walked away with me yelling, "Fine! Next time I'll just go and get myself a husband who appreciates my poop humor!"

B hates my poop humor. I have this wonderful magnet, given to me by a dear, (and appreciative) friend that says "Ask me about my explosive diarrhea" I put it in my car window, but B keeps taking it down. The kids warned me that he threatened to throw it out, so I have to be very careful and remember to take it down before he uses the car.

So moving on..The Groundhogs.

I bought a Havahart trap. It was time. Especially after the little fuckers started to pull out the fencing to break into the gardens. It had just gone too far. I got the trap. Then I picked up G from Vacation Bible School (don't get me started on that..)and told her that it was a birthday present. I was hoping to capture a look of disappointment on her face:

The evident delight on her face just proves that she is indeed, my daughter. She got mad at me when I told her that it actually wasn't for her. She punched me and I had to placate her with an early birthday present.

So within 2 days we caught 2 young Hogs. Here is one of them:

Little scourge has no business looking so damn cute. I released him somewhere perfectly..legal.

The next day we caught the other one. We released that one too. I didn't get pictures, nor any of the mother possum and babies that we caught the next night. Did I mention the baby raccoon a friend and I had to haul out of the dumpster the week before? It's in the middle of the city, but it's like friggin Wild Kingdom over there.

So we had a quiet week and a half. Then the mother of them all, the Devil's Marmot herself, made an appearance yesterday. So I am hog hunting yet again.

My garden is bouncing back nicely though. I am happy and grateful for that.

This is getting very long winded. I'm going to leave with just one last little snippet and then try really hard to come back on later this week. No promises. I'm starting Camp NanoWriMo for the August session tomorrow and will really try to put down 50,000 words. It's more practical in August as happily, the kids will be in camp a lot more this month. Thank God..

So Horst went on holiday. All by himself. He took a plane to Chicago to visit my brother and his family. We considered hiring an escort to help him, but then decided to go with the sink, swim or -get strip searched by Homeland Security because you did something or said something silly to make people think you are a terrorist- approach.

Happily, he made it there and back. My brother, M didn't kill him. Usually, B or I are there as buffers for my brother. We try to lead the conversation so that Horst doesn't say or do anything to embarrass everyone. M, living in Chicago, doesn't get as much practice as we do. Here are the texts that my brother sent to me during my Dad's visit.

##Awkward conversation 1-Dad's battle with Columbia DVD Club

## At K's parent's house for dinner-God help me.

## I'm hoping that H (M's 2 year old son)will dominate the conversation

## I'm already sweating and nothing has happened yet

## Discussion about Munich-painful (Both Horst and K's Dad, my brother's wife, are from Germany)

## Discussion about Geese at Raytheon-god help me

## Work story about a bad breakfast-help

## Dad talking about food shows

## He is killing me

## Nana ordering everything on a pizza?! What the f is he talking about?

## I feel like I am in a time warp-every minute feels like and hour

## Talking about the job-more pain

I texted to ask if they left dinner a little later on he replied

## Yes-amen

The next day he texted to tell me

## Dad-is now caught up in H's favorite show-Mickey Mouse clubhouse

I texted to ask if Dad was talking to the TV, to which he responded:

## Yup

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Frozen Peas and Funny Books

I worked 16 hours yesterday. Two things happened frequently during those 16 hours. First, I got a lot of work calls. Second, I ran from heat to air conditioning over and over while running errands for work. The results of my running about with a cell phone tucked between my shoulder and cheek, in the heat and cold, was pain and nausea.

The last several hours of my shift I was pretty useless, which is semi-Ok because everyone at the house I was working at was sleeping, so I could sit there, with a bag of frozen vegetables draped over me to ease my neck pain and cool me down. I was reminded that men stick bags of frozen peas on their crotch after having a vasectomy, but that's irrelevant, except for the fact that I probably looked and felt as hang dog as a guy who just had a vasectomy. I should also add, that I didn't have peas, but a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and that worked just as well.

I am reading this excellent, funny book called, "Lets Pretend This Never Happens" by Jenny Lawton. I read about 200 pages in a very short time and laughed so hard at points that I began to sob uncontrollably. It didn't help my neck or my nausea.

I knew it was going to be good as soon I read the part about the argument between Jenny and her husband on vomiting in a bowl vs.a trash can. I plan on adding it to my small arsenal of really funny books that I use in place of anti-depressants.

You should pick it up if you need a laugh. It's totally worth the 20 bucks. You should also consider using frozen peas instead of an ice pack. Works SO much better.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

She's Growing Up

Here is a photo of G from this past spring. That's my friend Kevin's cat. We were at his house taking care of Jinx while he was away. G also dropped off some Girl Scout cookies with a friendly note reminding him to make sure he gets his payment in:

G is a funny kid and has the best sense of humor. I also will add that she has excellent, distinctive taste and can accessorize like....someone who can accessorize really well. I'm not quite comfortable saying my daughter can do anything like a motherfucker.

I was looking at some really cool Barbie dolls that my friend made into Tegan and Sarah dolls for her daughter's birthday and thought of the last time that G had asked me for a doll. She was never into Barbies she is more of a stuffed animal type of gal, but she threw me off completely.

This is because my daughter's childhood experiences and my own are very opposite. Not completely polar opposite. She is not the millionaire child of the king of the world and I didn't grow up the child of a homeless crack whore, but there are some things about me that were very, very different from her at the age of 9.

About 6 months ago, G came to me and asked me for some money from her First Communion that I had put in the bank for her several months before. She said that she wanted an "American Girl" doll. I was shocked. I thumbed through the file in my brain that consisted of my childhood experiences and said, "Aren't you a little old for dolls?" in a puzzled manner. I thought to myself that seeing that she was 8, she would want to be smoking cigarettes soon and would be asking for a lighter or a cheap cigarette trip to New Hampshire. I was 9 when I started.

Needless to say she got the doll. I'm happy that she is growing up much MUCH slower than I am, as are her siblings. It is crazy though, when I look at my children and think of who I was and what I was doing at their age. It makes me happy that they don't have to deal with a lot of the shit, and it makes me a little sad too, because looking back, my childhood wasn't too bad, but there were still things in it that I would never wish to be in my children's lives (or any other kid's for that matter) and that makes me a bit sad.

Sorry for that last downer. It is a very cloudy morning. Off to a 16 hour shift. I hope it's not a shift from Hell.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Mess, Dogs and Deliverance

I'm a bit of a mess today. I woke up this way(I could totally make up a poem starting with these lines). I think that it's because I got 8 hours of sleep last night. It's way too much and I always seem to function best with around 6 1/2.

I am up to my ears in summer vacation madness. A nasty groundhog is leveling parts of my garden. I have to get into my hive early next week to check on my supers and a myriad of other bee things. I may have some honey to extract. This may necessitate my having to speak to people I do not know. This is probably 99% of the reason why I am a mess today. I either have selective social anxiety or a fear or speaking to other beekeepers I guess.

Brian and I were talking about dogs the other evening. I've already written about my feelings for my dog, Gus(asshole). We were talking about people who take their dogs everywhere with them. I used to do that before I had children, with my wonderful legendary dog Shaz. She died about 5 years ago. Shaz was a once in a lifetime sort of dog. A framed photo of Shaz is in my living room and her collar hangs from the rearview mirror of my car. I jingle the tags from time to time. I took Shaz everywhere because she was well behaved. She would stay out from underfoot and didn't bite or shit everywhere. I also was very mindful of others when I took her places.

The other day I went to the Farmer's Market with one of my clients and managed to trip over 3 dogs, who were sitting right in the middle of where me and probably 10 others at the time needed to be. I had an immediate urge to kick the dogs, but the urge quickly shifted to wanting to kick their owners for putting the silly dog in the way. After all, it's just a dog, who has no concept of the flow of pedestrian traffic. I have a hard time at crowded Farmer's Markets and the dogs (and people) who linger and loiter stress me out. (I realize that that is probably the point, slow food and all, but it still makes me nuts)

Back to that conversation.
Brian told me his boss was taking her dog camping in Maine. He stated that he would never want to take a dog camping. Then he stopped and said that yes, he would want to take a dog, even Gus camping, to protect him from Deliverance-like hillbillies who would like his pretty mouth. (note-Brian NEVER goes camping-he leaves me to do that with the kids-I don't bring the dog, but a basket full of weapons) I reminded Brian that although Gus would protect him from the guys, he would be as helpless as a newborn kitten if the assailants were hillbilly women coming to rape him with dildos or sticks or something. Gus would let the ladies have their way as long as he could stick his nose in their cleavage.
Brian nodded sadly, looking over at Gus who cocked his head stupidly, "I'm afraid you're probably right."

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Big Bird

I woke up this morning with a stabbing pain in my side.

I've been up for a little while and it's not as bad. So it's not appendicitis, nor a loop of intestine spontaneously falling into my pelvis. Nor a sideways prolapsed uterus. Just a little gas, perhaps a muscle strain? It's fine now-I can run up and down the stairs standing up straight now, not hunched over like Igor.

My mind is reeling with the amount of things that need to get done today. Most of it involves driving all over the place and picking shit up (and my oldest daughter,from her Dad's house, not wanting to stick her in the same category as shit) But I won't bore you any more.

We went to the Bronx Zoo, on our way to the Jersey Shore on Friday. Brian in a not unkind manner pointed out to me that somehow, I plan all of our family zoo trips on the hottest day of the year. It was 94 degrees. It was probably 100 degrees the time I dragged him to the Memphis Zoo. Actually, now that I think of it, it was probably close to 90 the last time that I was at the Bronx Zoo. A unanimous vote was passed to restrict all zoo trips to Autumn. It was really fucking hot. Happily, we did not collapse nor lose our tempers. The zoo was Ok as far as it is a zoo, and it involves animals in cages, which is pretty sad. Here is a picture of a lovely vulture:

September 2nd is International Vulture Awareness Day, in case you didn't know.

Right next to this very lovely vulture was an Andean Condor. I wish I got a picture. I passed by it, then did a double take. The bird was a really big fucking bird. It's the only way to describe it. Brian and I rechristened it the Holy Shit Bird after watching another group of people walk by, do a double take and I wouldn't be surprised if they too said, "Holy shit! Look at that big fucking bird!" The poor condor, facing away from us, in the coolest shade of his cage, probably rolled his eyes and shook his head. He probably gets that all the time.

Like I said, it's a REALLY big bird. It could probably carry off a grown man.
If you go to the Bronx Zoo, check it out in the Birds of Prey section. Then we can talk about how we both saw the really big fucking bird. Yeah.. Ok.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Back for 2 Seconds Because I'm Being Watched

Shout Hooray! It's July and I came back!

I'm only doing the tiniest of blurbs here today. Just as I decided to start writing, V decided to wake up and watch me. To prevent any blow-ups on my part, I'm going to hand over the computer to this little imp from Hell. I can't do many things while being watched. Of course that threw any hopes of an acting career out the window...I'll be back here tomorrow. Much earlier in the morning and BY MYSELF. (pointed look at V here) So stop by. I'll tell you all about the beginning of my summer vacation, my battle with the blank page, sacrilegious thoughts in church, my newly discovered hatred for dog owners and a really big ass bird.
Until then.