Friday, September 29, 2006

A Face Like A Cat's Ass

That's a line from a movie ("Victor Victoria" I think) and I only thought of it because this is the second time in two days that I have been forced to actually wipe the cat's ass after he's used the litterbox. WHY?!

Other than that, and the several jillion tiny cat-scratch scars I'm currently sporting, he's a fabulous kitten. But, again: one step closer to a moonlit trip to the pond in a burlap sack. This can't keep happening! I have a college education!

Speaking of which, bow down to me, O fearful reader(s). I have gotten perfect scores on all three tests so far in my self-paced tutor-assisted Psych 211 course. I rock!

So, while trying to obtain a photo of an actual cat's ass to link to for your amusement, I came across this and enjoyed it muchly. Hoping you do the same. :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Why is it that if I try to go to bed at a halfway decent hour, instead of staying up way too late doing nothing important and puttering, the kitten decides that this is the morning to post himself outside the baby's bedroom door and mew piteously at 5:30 a.m. until she wakes up?

Little bastard. You'd make a nice pair of mittens, you know. I'm just giving you time to grow large enough to make a useful pelt.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A car! In the GARAGE!!!

Tonight I (through the kindness of dear friend John) parked the car inside the garage. Inside. The garage. Inside! The GARAGE!

In the six years (and two houses with garages) that we have been together we have never managed to park a car inside of a garage because of all the crap stuffed in there. The garage is just an extra room on the front of your house where you put all the junk that won't fit inside the house, or is too dirty, i.e. lawn mower, wheelbarrow, etc.

I needed a sitter this evening for a couple of hours and despite his bleary-eyed new parent sheen, John volunteered to come over and hang. He kindly asked if there was something he could do rather than sit for two hours, and figuring it would only take a few minutes, I pointed him at the garage. Honestly, there was just a bunch of recycling and stuff in the way and the other stuff could just be shoved off to one side. But it's just something I couldn't get myself out to the garage to do, for whatever reason. For whatever reason named Delia, I suspect.

Bless you, John. Sainthood awaits you after a lengthy and prosperous life. You Da Man.

And now I'm sure the neighborhood watchdogs will think I'm gone because the car is not in its customary place in the driveway -- but they will be wrong! Muwahahaha!!!

I'm going to go out there one more time and look at it before I go to bed. It is glorious to behold. But it feels a little wrong: Why is there a car in the garage? Where's all our junk?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Textbook buying sucks

I had to drive all the way to the college bookstore today because it was unclear which textbook I needed from the website. When I got there I was relieved to find that my instructor has the decency not to upgrade to the newest edition of the book, for which of course no new copies would be available. I'm taking a self-paced tutor-assisted version of this class which means I study at home and can go get help anytime I like and if I pass the tests with an 80 percent or better I will get an A.

At any rate even for the "outdated" form of the text, new copies are about a hundred bucks and used are $75.00. Naturally I ran back to my computer and purchased a used copy off the internet for 40 dollars, shipping included.

College bookstores are the biggest racket. I remember when I was going to Big Box University, way back in the day when the internet was just a gleam in some malnourished nerd's squinty, nearsighted eye. So the bookstore was pretty much your only option. Then when the term ended and it was time to get rid of your textbooks, you'd be paid about one-fourth of what you paid, and a few weeks later some other dork would pay three-fourths of the new price for your used texts. Plus most of the employees were work-study and therefore cost the school pennies on the dollar. And the bookstore made money hand over fist, from what I can tell.

It's still the same racket nowadays, we just have more options. I do have to buy my text sight unseen and hope it's not highlighted too much (I am assured by the buyer that it is in "good" condition, which I'm sure could turn out to be a matter of interpretation), but I will save 35-60 dollars over what I would have had to shell out from the bookstore. And if I'd taken care of this sooner I'd have it in my grubby little mitts already.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


It's finally raining. Here in the Pacific Northwest we take pride in our rain and have 126 distinct terms for it, like the Native Alaskans (the People Formerly Known as Eskimos) are said to have about snow. There's that kind of rain that just makes your filthy windshield all sludgy, and the kind of rain that makes the gutters overflow, and the kind of rain that drives away evil spirits, and the rain that makes the babies cry, etc. I for one am delighted to see some rain after a record three thousand days (more or less) of constant, unrelenting sunshine. Our lawn is all dried up and I'm so accustomed to being able to walk around in capri pants and gauzy little t-shirts from Target that I feel I'm close to losing my edge. The moss behind my knees is all crunchy and uncomfortable. It's unnatural, in short.

So this morning it was gloriously cool and gray outside, a bit breezy like it gets when a storm is a-brewing, and it was such sweet relief to say out loud, You know, it looks like it's going to rain.
And later that morning it did, hard rain that falls sideways and makes you run for cover in the parking lot.

In the late afternoon another front blew in and we were treated to not just torrential rain but thunder and lightning, loud boomy rumbly lightning that went on forever and made the house shake. Delia had never experienced thunder before. The first crack was not too severe but made her come running from the front room to find us lolling around on the bed, where we were shamelessly playing with the kitten in broad daylight. "Mama? Mama! Mama!" She was not panicking but close to it. So we all sat on the bed (well, Delia bounced around and hooted more than sat, really) and when another peal of thunder came along it must have been right over the house because it really vibrated the walls. Delia just froze and her eyes got big and her face got a little distressed looking, and she threw herself at me. This happened a few times and although she seemed reassured when we told her that it was just loud noise and it couldn't hurt her, she still hastened to me each time.

Once the storm's leading edge had passed over the rain really came down in sheets and when the worst of it was over we got Delia all gussied up in her yellow rain slicker, her pink kittycat rain boots and her matching pink kittycat umbrella with ears (a gift from her indulgent GrampetuaMa) and I accompanied her outside to splash in the gutters until the rainwater drained away. It was idyllic and I only wish we'd gotten a photo or two. As compensation for this terrible oversight I offer the following photo of Her Majesty engaged in real, actual conversation with our dear friend Graham up in Juneau. She really pulled out all the stops and gabbled to him incomprehensibly for what must have seemed like hours to him. In reality perhaps two minutes or less. I spent the time usefully by bolting up the hall for the camera. Note the fading but still visible Sharpie pen marks on her arms. Did I mention she can push a chair up to the kitchen counter now?

I also include one from a few weeks ago when we headed south for a birthday party for one of J's neices, Shelby, who turned three. Early in the day the kids had played in the water at the park, and now it was time for some serious dirt. Delia and her cousin Josie were like baby birds taking a dust bath... Josie got the worst of it but I don't want to post her photo without getting permission so here's one of Delia.

Good news

Our wonderful friends Karen and John (honorees of the Baby Shower) have welcomed young Kathryn into their home. All are well and home from the hospital. We could not be more delighted for all three of them and wish them good health and fun times. :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Had to run to the grocery store tonight for some late-night commerce. I usually go to a discount chain (LoseCo) rather than a standard type store (Dangerway). I began doing so after moving here to Bedroom Community; there is a Dangerway nearby but the LoseCo isn't much farther, whereas the closest one to my old house in The City was a bit of a hike. One day out of sheer ennui I decided to check it out...

It definitely does lack for certain amenities, but all the basics are in place, and good golly, the prices are so much cheaper, generally speaking. There are still certain items I buy on sale at the other stores, for instance soda pop, which is rarely priced all that well at LoseCo. Unless you like the cheap brands, which I do not. But here's one example: Ovaltine, a staple in our house. I used small amounts of it in the baby's warm milk as a weaning aid: "Sorry, kid, no more nursing, but look! Ovaltine!" At the Dangerway it's around 5 bucks a canister. The same canister at LoseCo is less than three dollars. Substantially so, like $2.64.

Anyway, having crossed over to the dark side of shopping, I am becoming yet more crafty in my penny pinching. Yes, friends, I have reached the final frontier of frugality: the bulk foods aisle.

It all started innocently enough. Some cinnamon. Last summer I needed some cinnamon. I don't use a lot of it most of the year, until the holidays when I am mandated to bake a jillion apple and pumpkin pies, and as such I'm not that willing to sink a lot of money into it if it can be helped. Plus I'm just cheap. So, I visited the always-interesting bins of bulk foods and filled an eensy-weensy bag -- so cute! so cunning! -- with ground cinnamon. I was astounded at the price, something like 28 cents. A container of the cheapest brands would run me four times that much. I dig this!

Today I needed Italian seasoning. I am no gourmet cook, though perfectly competent in the kitchen, and I fail to appreciate the Finer Things in this respect. I don't need my Italian seasoning to come directly from Italy, for instance. And since frugal mode has kicked in once again, I wandered back to the bulk foods this evening for another tiny plastic bag. This time, it was seventeen cents. Lordy. I will never go back.

I am always amazed at the people in that store shopping with the entire family at 9:30, 10:00 pm, even the toddlers. Our daughter (age 2) is in bed by 7pm most nights. She has stayed up til 8 a handful of times, and the latest was 9:30, once. And we suffered for it the next day. I can't tell you how many people I've seen at the LoseCo pushing a bleary-eyed baby around late at night. It's insane. Then, their kids may sleep past 7am, which Delia has done about five times in her whole life. I don't know. But I saw a kid tonight being wheeled around the store whose eyes were so red and weary-looking I wanted to just snatch her away and lay her down in the nearest crib. Perhaps these folk work non-traditional hours or something, but considering how many of them there are roving the store in chaotic throngs, clogging up the aisles to my great annoyance, you'd think they could spare one of the older teens to stay home text-messaging all their friends while the baby got some sleep.

Today we heard the baby sing a short ode to a favorite toy: Nah nah nah, la la, Hot Wheels cars, la la, la la... Last week on my birthday we went to a restaurant right on the river and she saw various types of boats plying their way up and down, and turned to me and said, "I want to ride on a boat." I told her we didn't have one, and her reply was, "We need a boat. We need a big boat."

The crowning glory of parenthood thus far, however, was yesterday morning when she climbed into my lap, threw her little arms around my neck and told me, "I wuvs you, Mama."

I didn't know it until that moment, but I had been waiting 39 years to hear her say that.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oh and another thing

Here in the last waning moments of my First Annual 39th Birthday, I would like to make the following announcements:

I got A's in both my classes.

Kittens are adorable so that people will put up with the constant annoyance and not just take them out to the pond in a sack which at times still seems reasonable.

We got a floor-model couch for two hundred bucks that kicks the cat-pee-smelling asses of both of our other couches, which by the way we Craigslisted for free, with full Total Honesty Disclaimers about the fact that they had been whizzed on, and even so got six or seven responses in a half hour. And which cost a thousand dollars combined.

That thing I said, about kittens? He's just lucky there isn't a pond nearby. If he wakes the baby I'll go out in the yard and dig one myself.

The company of good friends makes any birthday bearable, even the one where you can't believe how much gray hair you have and how many extra chins you are sporting, and even when you come home from the restaurant with your whole left side covered in greasy marinara handprints from your inexplicably uber-cuddly two-year-old child who, normally a bit standoffish, could suddenly not stand to be anywhere but wrapping her tiny arms around your neck all night.

That being said, goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Our Pride(s) and Joy(s)

Ringo, our new kitten, is 100% All White Meat Kitten right now, full of beans and super scratchy-bitey-chasey-climby. He is also quite handsome, as these photos will attest:

I also caught Delia in a private moment recently. Enjoy!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Why Things Could Be Worse

Found the baby today with an empty pill bottle. Felt every bit of blood drain from my extremities.

Turns out she'd used her new chair-scooting talent to gain access to the countertop, where she found the bottles of dog thyroid medicine. News Flash: child-proof caps only work if you are sure to screw them back on all the way. I asked her where the pills went, and she led me to the dogs' bed on the floor in our room, and then I actually saw a two-year-old do a double take: "They're gone!" Then she told me, "The doggie eat them. Ollie eat them all up." I asked her if she had eaten any and she said, "No. No, I feed them to the doggie." I looked in her mouth and couldn't see any evidence of green pill in there. So far the only pills she's had have been chewable vitamins so I was pretty sure she would have chewed on any pills she'd put into her mouth. Whew... I know she's seen me give the pills to the dogs in the morning so she must have known they were dog pills. And lucky us, Ollie will eat virtually anything you hand to her or that falls to the floor. Last fall we had to get her to throw up after she ate a cold pill that a friend dropped on the kitchen floor. So I knew the doggie in question had to be Ollie. Hope won't eat anything not on her pre-approved list, and even then only if it's offered by someone she knows.

So the baby's okay, but what about the dog? The first vet I called, a well-known emergency vet across the river, told me to bring her in so they could induce vomiting, but when I told them I had given her some hydrogen peroxide already to try to get her to hurl (based on past experience) the snotty girl on the phone told me that that was the absolute worst thing I could do. Way to handle the distressed pet owner, lady! Then I decided to try someplace closer, so I called a closer vet clinic and they asked me, "Do you have any hydrogen peroxide in the house?" So I guess it's only okay to induce vomiting if you're trained professionals with a fancy emergency clinic. The second clinic told me to bring her in right away if she didn't start vomiting, and of course she didn't.

I had to race around like a squirrel on amphetamines, since the baby was (of course) poopy as well as sopping wet from playing at the water activity table while I syringed hydrogen peroxide down the dog out in the back yard, plus the baby seat was sitting in the car not strapped down. So I violated all the laws of space and time getting that all squared away before throwing everybody in the car and driving like a bat out of hell to the vet clinic -- during rush hour and with expired tags, by the way, and through a notorious speed trap. Oddly enough, I did not burst directly into flame.

The vet gave her something that got her to hurl (and how!), and then gave her charcoal. He told me she threw up a very large amount of green pills, in fact he seemed more than a little impressed with the sheer volume of pill-spew they recovered. I was just relieved that he didn't bring it out to show me. Some things I just don't need to see for myself.

She should be just fine. The vet told me it was good that I'd discovered this so quickly and brought her in right away, since if we'd waited a while they wouldn't have been able to detoxify her with the vomiting and the charcoal. He didn't say she would have died, but I suspect she might have. She ate about seventy 0.3mg thyroxine pills. At least, she would have had a rough night.

A hundred and fifty dollar vet bill is a very cheap price to pay for an incident like this, my friends... I have gone and checked on the baby twice already and we are busily stowing anything resembling medicine up yet higher. And checking the child-resistant caps!

This reminds me of visiting my Dad and him showing me the guns he kept. In a dresser. And under the bed in the guest room. Unsecured. And his stepson regularly brought his young daughters over. I mentioned it to him how this might be sorta dangerous and he told me in all seriousness that "those girls know not to come up here unless someone brings them upstairs for some reason. They know they'll get their little behinds tanned if they come up here." ....Yeah, Dad, and children always do exactly what they are told and certainly never disobey for any reason! Although this was long before we really thought about having a baby of our own, I made a mental note not to bring children to Dad's house. I wouldn't be too tempted to let Delia out of my sight at their house anyway, since I'd be worried his evil wife would organize some kind of intervention and kidnap her with a pack of her church cronies, to get her out of our Godless, immoral house of sin and depravity where we worship the Devil etc etc. She sure as hell isn't going to be staying there without one of us for any length of time; who knows what kind of things they might expose her to, like one of their church services or something.

Anyway, all's well that ends well. Give your kids (and dogs) hugs and check your medicine cabinets.