Monday, August 31, 2009

Village Fête entries

We begin with my entry in the Office Supplies category.

This is my "office supplies laptop" made entirely with office supplies and a real live professional blogger's business card, courtesy of Aunt Becky, who blogs every day at Mommy Wants Vodka.

My next three entries are part of my salami series. As an artist, I was especially excited to work in this new medium. I found it both challenging and rewarding, since I could eat the scraps, not something I generally get to do when working with more traditional media. Many who view these pieces will wonder at the artist's inspiration. Like Michelangelo, I feel the finished sculpture is just waiting to be released, I just help the form break free, and lick my fingers now and then. Enjoy!

First, the "Sopressata Madonna and Child"

"The World and His Wife"

"Cotto Salami Capybaras I Have Known"

Jaywalker at Belgian Waffle has extended the deadline for entries by an additional week. You still have to time to carve a giant zucchini!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Haiku Friday - the not sick on Saturday edition

Children will fall ill
foggy sleeplessness settles
a pox on my house

She doesn't sleep well
I must give extra cuddles
rocking her to sleep

Size G nursing breasts
serving more than one purpose
she rests, my neck hurts

Then the illness wanes
sun shines in all its brilliance
reflected in smiles

Dancing, smiling child
laughingly meeting the world
as if no rain fell

and no cloud cast gloom
through our almost clean windows.
The baby is pleased!

Please join Haiku Friday bloggers on any day of the week, at at Jan's little corner of the internet, here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I've been working on this entry for wikipedia and I could use your help in the editing phase.

Mansand - noun.

Loose particles of hard icky stuff that come off a seemingly clean man's body in the night, deposited each morning in his bed. Mansand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of general dirt, skin particulates, food crumbs, broken down body hair, stuff you can't talk about in front of your mom, and some really teeny tiny stuff not yet named by scientists. Inexplicably found in greater concentration in the marital bed and at lesser concentrations in the bed of a man in a new and exciting relationship.

As the term is used by geologists and microbiologists, mansand particles range in diameter from wee (or 1⁄16 mm, or 62.5 micrometers) to not so wee (1 millimeter) to fucking huge (2 millimeters). An individual particle in the smallest size is termed a mansand grain or tidbit. The next smaller size class in geology is silt: particles smaller than 0.0625 mm down to 0.004 mm in diameter, or fluff. The next larger size class above mansand is body gravel, with particles ranging from 2 mm up to 64 mm (rocks you could pick up and toss). Sand feels gritty when rubbed between the fingers (silt, by comparison, feels like flour or old fashioned cocaine).

At any size, mansand affects a woman much the same as a pea under the mattress of a princess, basically, you can't fucking stand it for a minute and are totally baffled by how it got there.

Additional data is needed for:
1 Constituents
2 Environments
3 Study
4 Uses
5 Hazards

Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Like grit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Belgian Waffle Village Fête

I've been holding this draft entry to try to get a project done so I could add a picture but since I haven't completed my super secret entry, I'll just post this now, so you can be inspired to enter your artful creations in the Belgian Waffle Village Fête.

Get over to Belgian Waffle to see the announcement of the rules and categories. To see current entries, read up in the archives or go to the Flickr link and the very, very bottom of the blog main page for 2009, or click on the sidebar Marrowdile for 2008.

Entries are due by August 31. I will be entering in the Office Supplies and Miscellaneous categories. I'd like to make a cake of note but it seems unlikely. I keep thinking of the butter cow at the State Fair and hoping to surprise myself. Watch for my salami sculptures. Sure to amaze.

Join me?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I do know Mandinka

OK, for years I have loved laughing at misunderstood song lyrics. You know, "there's a bathroom on the right" and so on. My friends and I have spent hours pouring over the book 'Scuse me While I Kiss this Guy and its sequel and howling with laughter.

From a reference on Aunt Becky's blog and my recent efforts to digitize my music and join the modern world, I just realized the following:

Safe to Love - does not exist. It is Slave to Love (Brian Ferry)
Lunar Love - does not exist. It is instead With Our Love (Talking Heads)
Nowhere Man - that's right - the lyric and song title are really Love Went Mad (Elvis Costello)

Um, I have been singing along in error to these songs for twenty odd years.

When we read the book mentioned above we came across songs that each of us swore we heard wrongly, or swore we heard correctly and we could only laugh at the poor schmucks who thought Led Zeppelin really would have a lyric like
and there's a wino down the road
I should have stolen Oreos

while acknowledging I never did hear the correct version:
and as we wind on down the road
our shadows taller than our souls

And when Sinead O'Connor sings I do know Mike Ditka, I am convinced.

Is this why I can't understand my husband when he talks to me?

What do you guys hear?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Haiku - a girl's pace

Days and nights go by
Pitter patter little feet
God I am tired.

Work is very dull
compared to time with my girls
but evenings are short

Luminous baby
brilliant three year old girl
sleepy old doggy

We pick up the pace
we are all yawning tonight
each at our own speed

Join me here for more haiku at Jan's.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

the sun, the moon, and my little girls

Boy howdy, is that girl clever! You could say this about either of my girls, since while Claire has learned how to impress me verbally, Hannah has learned to scream with a zeal I didn't know she had. The bladder infection came after the screaming so I don't think that had much to do with it. I think Hannah screams because she knows it is a powerful act.

As we spent a few minutes on the porch at sunset, Hannah squealed with apparent pleasure and stuck her hand out toward the sky. Claire said "Mama, Hannah wants the sun." I said "she might want the moon." A moment of silence. "Hannah doesn't like the moon, but I do." A moment later, "where did the sun go?" I tell her it is busy lighting up another part of the earth. "Does the sun fly?" Almost, I tell her. She tells me the sun is the earth's baby. I don't know where to go with this one. She changes gears, and says "Mama, the moon looks like a boat, like this" and she shapes her tiny wee finger like a crescent moon, and adds, "it looks like a baby's cradle."

My first baby, three years and three months old and counting. And using similes.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Who I used to be

Last night I had a whopping three drinks and I can barely keep it together today. Three! Working in criminal court will quell any appreciation for "tolerance" as a truly positive personal attribute when it comes to alcohol use, but I am not the woman I used to be when it comes to drinking and dancing. Truthfully it is likely not the alcohol that dragged me down as much as the sleepless night with a feverish baby who wakes and sleeps in fits and starts, but with vodka tonics before the sleepless night, well, let's just say I am not the brightest star in the heavens.

I struggled also today with returning a defective "smart" phone and selecting a different model thinking our smarts might match better. Technology just isn't my thing. Even though I love this blog I still haven't made it pretty and sleek and I still have no blogroll and I lack many other things I can't yet even name, because the tech part will never be the part for me. It is wonderful that my laptop can let me leap from place to place but the how, why, whistle and bell just don't don't hold my interest.

Some of my friends have teased me for having a cell phone and not giving out the number, even to people I liked (true). Others joked about how I actually used a pay as you go phone for years because I didn't really need more than that. When I got a RAZR three years ago I thought I was movin' on up, but was informed two and a half years ago that my phone was obsolete (also apparently true). I accept that I will never be on the cutting edge. I submit.

Weirder still, I have realized that I am not the shopper I was. I used to love to plunk down my card with a host of rationalizations about why I could spend money I didn't have. I liked to get new stuff and then take it someplace to show it off. Clothing sprees became distasteful as my weight increased from young adulthood. Bra shopping was the highest level of torture but some relief came in the Cinnabon stores at every mall. Now I find the getting of regular household stuff incredibly tedious. I get sweaty and annoyed just deciding on a product and the number of choices I have directly increases my tension. I'm sort of overwhelmed by the stuff I have and feeling a bit guilty for having it (except baby gear, which defies all reason, everywhere, I am certain). I generally combine all my errands not just to save time but to get the shopping over and done with so I can get back to my life. People, tell me, should I be worried? Am I leaving my old self too far behind? Shouldn't I like shopping more? Have I totally lost touch with myself and my inner spendthrift? Does this mean I am becoming a man?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Haiku Friday - give me fever

Eternal questions
is this fever porcine 'flu?
or just the teething?

Hello big new tooth!
Are you an evil demon?
Bringing your wrath here?

Must I keep her home?
or can she go to day care?
what does it all mean?

Will I ever get
a crystal ball to tell me
what I need to know?

Haiku Friday is at its new home. Enjoy the 'ku!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Oh, friends and relations, I am lucky. I am so damn lucky. See this baby? She is mine. I have had her for one entire year. At age one, besides being beautiful and sweet, she waves in greeting or farewell, sometimes says Mama, shakes her head to say no, and plays keep away with you with her favorite toy. She may have been knocked about some by the vicissitudes of life but she is here and she is lovely. My friend just lost her baby - her twenty year old red headed baby crashed his car and died. On my baby's birthday. Her boy was driving his beloved car and may have swerved when rolling up the passenger window based on the evidence at the scene. My friend is bravely going on but knows she has joined a club for which she never wanted to pay the dues. She is a wonderful mother but she isn't very lucky.

If you were here with us I'd let you squeeze my wee darling and inhale her sweet baby scent.

I am so lucky.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Haiku Friday - the camping shuffle

Our big sleeping bag
could not be found anywhere
gone on hiatus.

Our best winter clothes
buried beneath the summer's
and quite hard to find.

We finally packed
ev'rything we could think of
and were fairly pooped.

The coldest weekend
since the summer first began
Hannah goes camping!

The minivan packed
marshmallows and graham crackers
we will have our fun.

Go visit here for more haiku links, and join us.

Looking up today

Just to let you know it looks less bleak today, because, we are going on the day care summer camp out, where we will celebrate Hannah's first birthday! This will be one day I will be glad she isn't walking, so she can't fall on the uneven surface repeatedly.

While we were racing around trying to pack half the house, here is some of the discussion I had with Claire, and Claire's little Ugg boots had with each other, while I was pumping.

Claire: Mommy, can we go camping?
Mommy: Yes.
C: Now.
M: No.
C: Mommy, I want to go now (whining).
M: Whiners don't get to go to camp.
C: (silence)

One boot to another:
1: What's your name?
1: Are you fuzzy?
2: That's good.
1: Somebody's going in your tummy.
2: What is in your tummy?
1: A foot.
2: Nomanmona nome y ah.

M: You know what's fun about camping Claire? You can wear all your favorite clothes at the same time.
C: Oooh-!

Hannah clasped her hands together and squealed.

I'll toast marshmellows for all of you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

She's not disabled, we're just visiting

As we are on our way in, a mother carries her baby out on her hip. Baby has a cast on her leg. Baby is nonplussed, mom is on a cell phone. I am not nonplussed, I am shattered. On the way out, a salesman is on his way in with an adult sized prosthetic leg. I check my legs just to make sure I've got two to go.

Today my baby had her evaluation for services at a Shriners Hospital. Hemiplegia as a form of cerebral palsy is considered pre-orthopedic because if left untreated, spasticity in muscles will create an orthopedic condition that requires surgery, so my daughter can get services there even though she doesn't actually need their higher end stuff. We get to skip things like the conversation I overheard at the nurses desk "we'll do the muscle biopsy before the skin." Our physical therapist had warned me the visit would last about four hours, so at least I was prepared for that, but I cried six times today before I even arrived, then lost count of how many times I came to tears with the nurse, the care coordinator, the orthopedic surgeon and the neurologist. I start each new interview with "I am a cryer. You can write that down if you like." It will be true the next visit also, and maybe the one after that. The staff were delightful and remarkably calm. Something about being funded privately really changes how they handle patient time and interaction. The facility is new and clean and quieter by far than the other children's hospital. I did enjoy the way the young patients interact. Hannah got a wave from a young man flying by in an assisting device I don't know the name of yet, I can see how the wide open atrium room for PT will be great for us when we teach her to run or to ride on a toy, teach her things the rest of our kids can learn in the living room or backyard.

I realize these nearly four months we've been working on this have been an easing into the world of getting ability out of disability. Hannah has not stood out in her nursery as anything but super cute and smart, because only now at almost twelve months are her peer groups jumping up to creeping and walking really making her look different and stationary. I ponder how it will feel when she sits in the middle of a room of walking babies. Its a damn good thing she has those advanced verbal skills. Maybe I should get that informercial product "Teach Your Baby to Read" so the toddlers will rely on her for advocacy for snacktime rights and notepassing during naptime. I know she'll use her powers for good.

If you are lucky enough to have a free pediatric orthopedic hospital in your city when you need one, well, fantastic! It's that whole "if you need one" part you have to watch out for. I knew I needed to be there, and I am glad I went, but let's just own up here - I was not prepared for the vision of the wheelchair chop shop, where devices are modified to meet the needs of each patient. This adds up to a lot of spare parts. I wasn't prepared to see the kids in the beautiful, clean and well lit therapy room and see my future. Furious is not too strong a word for how I feel. Terrified that I will fail to to get the job done in every way that matters for my daughter. Horrified that all the "special" time I spend with her will be the drives to Shriners, the Early Intervention meetings, the therapy sessions, the coaxing her to wear a brace or do the next move or try the next step. Sorrow, for the good health she doesn't have. Grateful to have all this help and furious we need it.

Our prognosis is still good, in fact great, but it was again emphasized to me that not all kids like this crawl, and not all kids like this get out of the brace she will certainly benefit from when learning to walk. Um, this part was new. Every time folks tell me how great she is, I think that she'll be one of those people you hear about who have CP but you almost can't tell. I didn't think the brace would stay. And it might not. And they'll custom make it after casting her leg and we won't be using the equivalent of a 6-12 month old baby shoe. Hooray! And oh fuck I need air. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.