Friday, November 21, 2008

Snuggled up here at home with Maggie and the cats, while Marty is out serving the decorating whims of the local priest (dubbed "The Pope" by his parishioners). Marty has been painting, wallpapering, buffing, etc. at the rectory for months on end now. The man cannot make up his mind about anything and keeps adding on to the job. I learned last night that last week Marty actually painted his claw foot tub gold. Who needs a golden tub, I ask...unless you are the pope...or a whore...or the pope's whore...?(I'm referring to the Popes of old now.) The man is so lazy he actually asked Marty to send him up a fork on his chair lift. And I heard that he heats up spaghetti on his George Foreman grill. Poor Marty.
Maggie's birthday was great. But she's been kind of a bee-yotch ever since... She was pitching a fit about some dumb thing the other day and I said "You poor little girl---it must be hard being eight." And she shrieked out "It was hard being seven too!!!!!!!!" LOL. I'm so looking forward to the PMS years---not.
The weather can't make up it's mind today---sunny, then overcast with snow showers. But damn cold and going down into the teens tonight and tomorrow night. I try to get out and feed the birds first thing every morning---I figure they need all of the resources they can get to withstand the cold. One of our favorite things to do is to look out the bedroom window and see 5 or 6 bright red cardinals sitting all plumped up in the quince bush. It's hard to stay glum with that view.
Nothing else comes to mind, so I'll sign off now. Stay warm!
Almost know when you start getting old and weird things just start happening like strange hairs popping up and your body falling apart?...Well, we're playing Uno last night and I'm trying to shuffle the whole deck at once when suddenly I sustain a shuffle-ending middle finger knuckle sprain. I literally could not shuffle and had to pass the deck over to Marty. How pathetic is that?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Taking a break from cleaning. I'm trying to get everything scrubbed up good before Pie's big birthday bash in ten days. A thankless task given the amount of sawdust and drywall dust constantly accumulating everywhere. I've lived in a reno so long now I don't think I remember what it's like to live in a normal house. Whatever normal is.
Right now the focus is on Pie's giant room. Marty finished a set of built-in bookshelves in one of her little alcoves, so we had the pleasure of actually moving some of her belongings upstairs the other day. We did a rough count and found we moved just over 200 books. We figure that's about half of her collection, so my baby is a bookworm for sure :) She's been enjoying herself climbing up the stairs to her very own space and playing library with her dolls. She's got eclectic taste in literary fare---everything from A Series of Unfortunate Events to Dora lift-the-flap books....
I listen to a lot of music during my chores-ing...found a station that plays music from the 80's, 90's and now. You all know I'm an 80's girl at heart, so I'm in my glory on Saturday nights when they play all 80's :) Over the summer, I got an unexpected call from my friend Sandy's (she died in September 2006) husband. He has a new girlfriend and was cleaning out the rest of Sandy's stuff and wanted to know if I wanted her tapes. I've known about the girlfriend for quite some time---they hooked up within a few months after Sandy died. More on that later. But of course I gratefully said yes. They brought them a few weeks later, and I listened to them non-stop for many memories of sleepovers and playing music into the wee hours of the morning...Duran Duran, Nik Kershaw, Big Country... I felt sad that no one else was interested in this part of her life---music was a HUGE part of Sandy---but selfishly glad at the same time that I had the opportunity to inherit all of these things. He gave me several Big Country DVDs as well. I figure no one else ever watched them, so I handle them carefully, because if you look at them in the light you can still see her fingerprints. I know that probably sounds really weird, but I miss her so much that I cling on to every little thing.
Meeting the girlfriend was hard. Especially since she looks very much like Sandy. It's just hard for me because to me, Sandy is irreplaceable and I take the fact that she is being replaced personally. I know that is probably wrong, but so be it. I know he went through a lot during her illness and deserves to be happy. It's just hard.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Historical times in America. The last two presidential elections were hard on me, so I was afraid to let hope burn too brightly in this one. Politics and wily Republican ways aside, I quite honestly wasn't sure if America was ready to elect an African-American president. If you think about it in the historical sense, the sixties were not that long ago. When we moved down here (originally) in the mid-70's, there was still a "colored" church and one street was remembered as "colored row". I've found out recently that a sparsely populated section of the cemetery across the road was the "colored section". There was a "colored" school as well, though that was gone by then. We have generations of people voting for whom that was the norm. That worried me. I guess we'll never know to what extent race played a part here in WV or in the other Southern states, but I'm cynical enough to have strong suspicions. I'm just glad it didn't matter in the long run and I'm proud to be living in these times and sharing them with my little girl.
I thought Obama's acceptance speech was one of the most moving and inspirational I have seen. And we determined that Democrats are better huggers---LOL.
P.S. McCain won WV, but Obama won my county so I am consoled by that:)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To quote "The Golden Girls" (which I hope to never do again), I'm as nervous as a virgin at a prison rodeo today. Haven't been to vote yet---will go as soon as Marty gets home from work---but I'm chomping at the bit. It's going to be a looooong day.
The Steelers won last night, which means the Redskins lost, which supposedly means that Obama is going to win today. Who knew?
But on to more important topics...We were watching Nickelodeon last night and heard Dora the Explorer referred to as "The Greatest Explorer the World Has Ever Known!" Huh? Dora can't even find her way from her house to the library without a magical map and the assistance of a monkey and a legion of preschoolers...
Which makes me think of Dubya again...saw some of the scariest political commercials yet during the football game. One depicted a person driving a car when whose mug should mystically appear in the mirrors---Dubya. I would just pull over and seek a priest to exorcise the car at that point. It was like a bad Sci-Fi channel movie (and they have some really bad movies, don't they?) I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares. Seriously, you all know I haven't been a big fan of the Bush presidency, but I kind of feel sorry for the guy at this point. Even his own party doesn't want him around anymore.I'm sure it's not the legacy he intended for himself.
Oh well, enough babble. Happy Voting!

Monday, November 3, 2008

So Halloween has come and gone... The trick-or-treating was a huge success, and Maggie's cauldrons, pumpkins and tote bags overfloweth with candy. She was a sugar freak all weekend and only got crabby a few times when she started to come down from her sugar high. Her candies of preference are Reese's Cups, Hershey Bars and Kit Kits. She scorns anything with caramel or nuts, so that's where Mommy comes into the picture, getting all of those pesky Snickers and peanut M & M's out of her way.
We trick-or-treated here on Friday evening. They only give you an hour to get to every one's door, which might seem like a lot in a town this size---but not if you're related to half the inhabitants and have to take time to shoot the breeze. I can see why my dad said he had to leave the state to put branches on the family tree---LOL. On Saturday the businesses in the nearest big little town gave out treats, so we trucked her out for that as well. Not as fun---the candy-dolers were rather stingy and seemed as if they'd rather be anywhere else but where they were, and the grown-ups were more frightening than the kids, even sans costumes. They must have drifted in from all the surrounding hollows much like they do at fair time. I swear I heard banjo music faintly on the breeze...
Our biggest laugh came from the fact that the local smoke store was passing out, what else, candy cigarettes! I'm not proud to say that I'm a smoker, but even I have to wonder how these things have made it under the radar of political correctness all of these years. Then I started to think about the bubblegum cigars and the bubble gum tobacco of my youth and wondering if they still make those as well? Marty and I had a good time reminiscing about our favorite childhood candies after Maggie went to bed (or passed out, I should say). I was a big fan of those little wax bottles with the juice inside. Bottle Caps and wax lips were also among my favorites. Neccos were good value for the money because if you rationed them out you could satisfy your sugar jones for a long stretch. I also remember eating a lot of Charleston Chew candy bars which were about a foot long at the time. Marty spoke highly of something called a Flying Saucer which he described as having the consistency of the Host on the outside and tasty candy beads on the inside. What was your candy of choice as a rug rat? I loved to trick-or-treat because that was the only time of the year you ever got that volume of candy. I can remember eating mine almost immediately, after which my more prudent little sister would sell me some of hers at highly inflated prices. LOL.
Steeler football tonight, election day tomorrow... I'm nervous about both. The Steelers are 5-2; how's your favorite team faring? I'm cautiously hopeful about the election, but whatever the results, at least we can finally send Dubya off to Texas to draw his memoirs...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! Maggie is totally psyched, of course. These last eight hours of waiting are going to be torture for her... We went for the "store-boughten" costume this year (been watching too much Beverly Hillbillies)---a "Midnight Witch", deep blue crushed velvet with a sheer black overlay. Without the hat and with her long blond hair she looks more like Stevie Nicks than anything frightening---all she needs are the platform boots:)
Cold, but sunny today. I woke up to find one of my geraniums has bloomed. I took the time to re-pot them and bring them in this year because I love red geraniums and thought they would be cheery during the dull days of fall and winter. It did give me quite a boost when I saw the bright red bloom first thing this morning. It's the little things...
Does anyone else get the ladybug invasion in the fall? My house right now is overrun with spiders and ladybugs(or Asian imitations of ladybugs). I don't have the heart to kill unless the bug happens to be of the bloodsucking variety, so I tend to just relocate the little buggers to out of the way corners of the house (like behind the washing machine). Not very Good Housekeeping of me, I'm sure. Speaking of good housekeeping, I saw a commercial the other day for a sponge that has grooves in the side to protect your manicure while you are scrubbing. Is this really necessary? And what is a sports pedicure? So many questions, so little time...
Reading a highly entertaining book right now--- The Year of Living Biblically:One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, by A.J. Jacobs. If you've ever read the Bible, you can probably imagine some of the predicaments involved. One of my favorite parts so far was when his menstruating wife deliberately sat on all the seats in the house, so that they would be "unclean" and he would be unable to sit down:)
Should go and get on with the day. Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Catching Up

I rarely have a moment to write, and when I do, I seem to be afflicted with writer's block, or, even worse, thinkers block. I think it's a lack of "alone time". I never have time to ponder much more than what to make for dinner, what chores need to be done, and all the endless details of home and family... Hell, I can't even go to the bathroom by myself, let alone have a philosophical moment.
It's snowing today, the first snow of the season. I awaited it yesterday with all the eagerness of a child, peering out the door glass, waiting for the first flake. The leaves are falling at a rapid pace, revealing the bare bones of trees, the nests of the summer past. The summer birds have long gone, and the winter birds have moved in. Juncos flit about making their funny little sounds. Goldfinches and chipping sparrows glean the Joe Pye and goldenrod seeds. We let part of the yard go as a meadow of sorts and it's very popular with the little birds. The dogwood berries went quickly---for a few days it was a Who's Who Among Birds---waxwings, robins, bluebirds, red-bellied woodpeckers, flickers, starlings, etc. Now I'm waiting for the first time I step out and hear the clear, sweet, wavering song of the white-throated sparrow... Had the rare pleasure the other day of watching a young great blue heron in the creek below the house, walking slowly through the low leaf-covered water as if he hadn't a care in the world. The list of birds I've seen here has grown to 54 different species. My most recent additions were the yellow-rumped warbler and a young yellow-bellied sapsucker. I'm always on the look-out for something new, but continue to enjoy my old friends as well. You never know what they might do next. Late one afternoon I looked out and saw a cardinal "anting" on the big rock in the side yard, grasping ants in his beak and rapidly dabbing them under his wings... There's always entertainment about if you take the time to look for it.
My days are a whirl of looking at the world around me, home caring, homeschooling, listening to music, constantly adjusting to the changes in the house and trying to make a haven for us all in the chaos of reconstruction. Lately it's been furnace installation and insulation. Next, I guess, will be drywalling Maggie's room. I can't wait to move her little self and all her little toys up into one space, instead of in every room in the house.
Maggie is homeschooling at the second grade level now, having gotten rave reviews for her 1st grade portfolio. She's still interested in everything, reads a great deal on her own, and constantly surprises me with her grasp of math. Definitely didn't inherit that from me. She still loves HGTV and I predict a great future as an interior designer, real estate agent or home stager.Every time I watch House Hunters I think I should be more like their real estate agents---no matter what godawful feature of the house they are looking at, the agent always has something positive to say, or just moves on to the next great feature. I think if I could acquire that skill to redirect, it would serve me well, in life, in marriage, everywhere:)
What else? I lost weight and found it again. I chopped my hair off to give the gray a chance to catch up with the not gray. I'm crinkling (that's a nice way to say I'm getting old---LOL). I finally got to grow an herb garden---basil, dill, parsley, oregano, sage, lavender and lemon balm. I'm thinking of expanding it next year, and nixing the parsley---not big parsley eaters here. In fact I thought the damn stuff would be dead by now, but it's still kicking around. The house shows slow but steady progress. I hoard design ideas in a notebook---some day the building will be done and I can begin the "purtification" process. Marty and I haven't killed each other yet. The cats are alive and annoying as ever.
Life is good.