Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Love it or Hate it?

Tootsie Pops
Bear Grylls
Mt. Everest/Arctic books
Flannel Sheets
Flip Flops that flip flop quietly
Blueberries by the handful
Almost burnt marshmallows

The term 'barista'. Try coffee pourer.
Comcast - why so many fewer channels than FiOS? Why?
Thinking I'm going to trip over the dog & find it's just my son's black shirt thrown onto the floor

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So the printer works as a card reader...who knew?

This was our vacation destination last week, my parent's cabin in the middle of our little slice of the Maine woods. Our 31 acres is surrounded by thousands of uninhabited acres of more, um, woods. Uninhabited by people, I should say, there's plenty of wildlife. There is a neighbor, about a mile before you get to our land and after us? No one. And no, that's not plywood in that upper window, it's a giant shade because the sun shines in there and it's so bright at five a.m. that you will want to poke your eyes out. And you'll want to cover your ears because the kids think it's high noon.

The kids are actually panning for gold, which...good luck. What they did find is feldspar, tourmaline, rose quartz and some other ?-ite of which I cannot remember the name, except that it's purple. And purty.

The lean-to. Totally constructed by the kids. Well, mostly the boy - the girl was mainly the stick carrier. They built the frame and then the boy lashed it with strips of bark he had whittled himself. Then they found the Y branches for supports...and covered the whole thing with leafy branches. It held up all week, even through the downpours...he is insanely proud of this.

On the third day we ended up driving the thirty five minutes to the localest mall and movie theater. My girl convinced the boy that he needed a boat ride. They both convinced me that they needed new books (the girl) and new sneakers (the boy). I convinced both of them that the rain pouring down on the roof of the mall meant we should see a movie and it should NOT be Kung Fu Panda but instead, Prince Caspian.

When we left the movie theater he said "The sun! The sun's finally out! Now if it could just STAY sunny for a few more hours." Which it did. He forgot to wish for the rain to stop.
One of the highlights of a trip to Maine? Weaponry. Slingshots, BB Guns, Soft Air Rifles and Cap Guns. Also, my stepfather made roll-cap firecrackers with a needle and thread, some caps and some electrical tape which was lesson enough until my mom reminded him of the flaming match shooter you can make with a jimmied clothes pin. Worthwhile skills for any eleven year old boy to know.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Monday Morning

We've returned to the land of cell phones, internet, cable and running water.

And with the exception of that last one, I could honestly say that I could easily spend the summer up there. Actually, even without the running water I could spend the summer there.

I'd show you pictures but the USB cable has disappeared in my absence. What I wish had disappeared in my absence? The three baskets of folded laundry I left for my husband to put away. Maybe I can work some magic with the memory card and the reader on the printer, of course that still won't get my husband on the laundry bandwagon...

Basically, we spent a LOT of time this past week dodging thunderstorms and rain. We rockhounded, we started a puzzle and upon seeing that it was impossible to finish (f'ing roof) - we left it for my mom, we read and read and read. We saw some wild turkeys, saved a stranded turtle and swatted many a mosquito. I learned how to start the generator so that the marine batteries would charge and I would be able to watch the big Celtics/Lakers game - the biggest of games on the littlest of televisions - it's a camper tv, nine inches at best. Still though, what a drubbing of the Lakers - shooting threes and fouling with two minutes left of the game - LOVE it!

We also, usually, have cell phone coverage. Unless, say, a huge thunderstorm moves through and lightening strikes the tower that sits at the top of a local mountain. Then you're totally out of luck. And then, when you drive twenty five minutes to get a signal? Fifteen missed calls from a worried husband. He should've been putting laundry away instead of spending so much time on the telephone, at least that's what I told him...

Monday, June 16, 2008

A quick post, as I'm seeing flashes of lightening from my window...

The childrens are out of school and we're heading to Maine for a few days. Like four daysish. The weather is supposed to be thoroughly mediocre but I've packed some games, books and puzzles to keep us busy. And if we get a little stir crazy the movie theater is a short forty minute drive away. Well, maybe thirty five.

The boy has some grand plans to start a lean-to, the girl has three cap guns and 750 caps packed and I am thinking it will be nice to just 'be' for a few days.

Either that or I'll be tearing my hair out while I listen to the two of them bicker non-stop for four days.

Wish me luck...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Totally on the Bandwagon.

First off, thank you guys for all of your comments. It's a tough adjustment to make. We got Baxter two days after we moved into our house and I found out I was pregnant with my son the same week. There's a lot of memories tied in with him. A lot of old habits to slowly forget. I appreciate the thoughts, thank you.

I took down his picture, replacing it with something that won't make me sigh and walk away from the computer...I needed to post too, move that last one down the page a bit so it's not staring me in the face...

I'll admit it. Between the late 1980's and about eight weeks ago...I wasn't much for watching the Celtics. I'd catch their highlights on the news (if you can call them "high"lights) but I hadn't seen a full game in years.

My mom was a big basketball fan, loving the Celtics from way back. I used to watch alot in the days of Bird and Parrish, Johnson and Ainge. Y'know back when they were world champions and the rivalry between the Celts and the Lakers was red hot.

Well, it's a slippery slope my friends.

It all began with Atlanta. Sure the Celtics could beat them. And they did, stringing my nerves out to the very last game.

And Cleveland? King James? Who? Actually, I sort of like LeBron but another seven games and down to the wire again.

Detroit? Not so much with the liking. The guy with the face mask and whoever else? Peh.

And now we're in Los Angeles and we're up three games to one. I've got no love for Kobe, none. Obviously, though if you believe what the national media have to say - I'm the only person alive who feels this way. Damn, they fawn all over this guy. All that malarkey about him "trusting his teammates" and "he won't let the Lakers lose"? Puh-leeze. He may be everyone's Prince Charming but the Celtics are the Cinderella Story this year.

Last night's come back? Phenomenal. A lesson in perserverance. Paul Pierce hugging Ray Allen - And anyone else who got within reach of those gigantically long arms of his? And Ray Allen? Puts on some magic sleeve and ends that damned shooting slump of his. PJ Brown - one of the oldest players in the NBA and he's out there and he's rebounding like a crazy fella. Eddie House - the short guy with the great 3 point shot. Rondo, Perkins & Powe - what a success story this kid is - his mom would have been proud. Posey and oh yeah, Garnett. Like I could forget Kevin - his mug is all over the place these days.

They've got a few days off before they go after the last win of the series. And it's about killing me to have to wait. All I have to say's good to be loving the sports here in Boston right about now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

He was a good ole dog.

I've been away for a few days....well, not away from home or work or the computer even. But posting wise? I've got excuses-a-plenty. Too hot (pre A/C), too cold (post A/C installation), working (when has that stopped me?), too lazy, too busy. And excuses they may be but honestly, they've all been true at one time or another this past week.

Yesterday's reason? Emotionally exhausted.

The dog. My dog. Baxter.

Back in March he was given one to four months to live, the tumor inoperable. A sad day, to be sure but after the first week or so, I just kept steadfastly giving him his medication and quietly monitoring him - not totally pretending nothing was wrong but seeing as how the dog was just REALLY hungry and REALLY thirsty - not too worried either.

But Monday, he was panting and didn't really drink his usual five bowls of water that night. And Tuesday? He didn't get up when I came home from work. He could and did get up a few minutes later but I noticed his absence at the door. And Tuesday night? The benadryl apparently stopped working and his mast cell tumor, which releases histamines and itches like crazy? Well it itched like crazy and he just about licked it open.

Wednesday morning, his back leg was giving out on him as soon as he stepped on the kitchen floor. He could walk but if he tried to turn or adjust his position? It would give way. And he couldn't sit (the tumor was on his rear).

The call to the vet was the single hardest thing I've had to do in a long while.

We made an appointment for later in the day, before the kids came home from school. I went to work and spent three hours distractedly flitting from task to task. My husband was supposed to meet me at one thirty. I came home at noon, to spend some time.

I cooked his favorite meal...four hardboiled eggs. As a bonus I covered the eggs with a ton of cheese, another favorite. I took him down to the lake for a swim. Of course on the walk down the hill? He's fine and I'm all thinking I could maybe postpone the whole thing, second guessing myself to the end. He slipped on the stairs into the lake though and I started to cry. Started to cry? Not really, more like I cried again.

We took him to the vet and he died quietly, with his head in my lap, he was still wet from the swim.

Remember when he ate the whole bag of Tastefully Simple stuff?

Or got hit by a car at the veterinarian's?

It will be a long time until I'm done missing him.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Ah, Monday. Two weeks of school remain and then we’re in for a whopping eleven week summer vacation.

Hold me.

Okay, well don’t because I’d be all stiff and awkward. But come on over, have a drink with me and we’ll watch the kids swim and laugh while we commiserate a bit, would you?

Yesterday I found out that my boy? My super-cute little hockey playing straight A student. Apparently, he’s found himself to be the target of a schoolyard bully.

Of course, naturally he’s not the type of bully that all of the other kids rally against, making him powerless. This one is the head of the popular, football playing clique. (Already with this football/jock shit, it’s fifth grade for crying out loud.) The one that no one dares to speak against, lest they be blacklisted too.

He’s from one of those families. Well known in town because the mom is involved in everything, the family owns a local business, and they’re super into the sports, the whole family. Mostly no one ever says a word against them and maybe they’re not even a bad sort, I don’t run in those circles so I only know what I hear from others.

I do know, however, that he’s making my boy pretty damn miserable. There’s a big group of boys in their class. They all hung out together for most of this year, my boy and a few others being a bit on the outside of it all - which I felt was fine, these aren’t the type of kids that I really want my son hanging with anyway…in class, forced comradeship? Okay. Sleeping over and hanging out on a rainy Saturday? Nah.

Well, this kid has decided to ostracize my boy from the group. Now, I’m sure all the other ‘on the fringe’ kids are thanking god that he didn’t choose them to pick on but that’s not making things too much easier for us.

And today, all of my son’s friend’s classes are fieldtripping – leaving my boy on his own at recess and lunch. He was kind of freaked out about what he was supposed to do all by himself and worried about not being able to fall under this kid’s radar the entire time. So I told him I’d pick him up early.

Mistake? I don’t freaking know. I’d like to think it’s not, there’s ten days of school left, a long summer break, where hopefully this kid will outgrow his meatheaded behavior. (“Only a 66.6 % chance we’ll be in the same group next year” is what my son said to me last night at bedtime).

We talked about confronting him, different things he could say – he wasn’t really having any of it. He was worried that if he says something and tries to walk away that this kid will follow him. My husband told him to stand his ground, then. Which made me cringe a little bit, even though I tend to agree. Lord knows my son can hold his own, just ask my nephew.

If it were September, the beginning of the school year, I wouldn’t have even entertained this half day thing. The whole bully thing would have to be dealt with. But now, with summer so close…I feel like, maybe it would be best just to let it all play out quietly until the end of the year. I know that’s what my son wants, he told me that he doesn’t want me talking to his teacher and that he can handle it, which of course, remains to be seen.

What do you think?