Friday, June 26, 2009
I have since re-thought that.
Now I believe that in your twenties, you're a Baby. Your thirties, forties, and fifties are the Prime of Life. Sixty and above is Mature. Elderly is a state of mind.I just turned 38. I do NOT consider myself middle-aged. I just consider myself very, very grateful for hair-dye and unlikely to wear a bikini. And we're not going to discuss that gray eyebrow hair I found the other day. That was obviously an anomaly.
When Tom asked what I'd like to do on my birthday, I told him that I wanted to bike the carriage roads at Acadia National Park. Only two hours drive from us, it's something I've always wanted to do.
The carriage roads wind through the heart of Acadia National Park and are open only to hikers, bikers, and horses. No motor vehicles allowed. It's one of the most lovely and serene places I've been.
Twice Bear and I rounded a corner and suprised a white-tailed deer on the road, then braked to watch them delicately pick their way through the ferns and disappear back into the forest. We also passed a turkey strolling unhurriedly along the side of the road. "Delicate" is not a word I'd use to describe him. Maybe "ungainly." Or "butt ugly." And BIG. Wow. We cycled through woods and past gorgeous, unspoiled lakes. And past a cute young couple hiking with their even cuter, fat little dachsund. When I complimented them on the dog, the woman said dourly, "Yeah, he's mean as hell, though." Oh. Well. OK, then. Bug and Bear are becoming pros at this whole cycling thing. Although Bug does reserve the right to heave a few pointed sighs when she feels that the uphill parts are becoming tiresome. She has also mastered a certain technique of drinking from her water bottle that suggests to passers-by that she has, perhaps, just been allowed a beverage after three days of dehydration.
Poor Buggy later fell head-over-teakettle right off her bike as we were finishing our ride that day (no injuries). Oddly, when confronted with an actual excuse to be dramatic, she only cried briefly, dusted herself off, and climbed right back on the bike.
We made frequent stops. You can't just pedal by a scene like this. And the granite rocks set strategically along the roadside just beg for you to sit down and enjoy the lake for awhile. So we did.
Tom and Bug discussing important topics...like what kind of snacks might be in my bike bag, probably.
The carriage roads have several of these great stone bridges, each one completely unique. I made them ride under this one twice, so I could get a picture.
Taken by Bug. I apologize for the sweaty helmet hair, but even with that, it's one the better recent pictures of me. Probably because it doesn't feature my butt.
For my thirty-eighth birthday, I am grateful that I am exactly where I want to be in my life: in Maine, with a great husband, and two wonderful, occasionally cantankerous, kids. And the damn cats.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Bug (emphatically): That commercial drives me nuts!
Bug: Well, Scrat the squirrel abandons his acorn to chase the Happy Meal. He's obsessed with that acorn. He would never break character like that.
Me: You know, you're right.
Bug: You'd think they'd consider these things before making the commercial.
Now I ask you, is that the child of a former theater teacher, or what?
Monday, June 22, 2009
-It has been raining nonstop for two weeks. TWO. WEEKS.
-We've been passing around a chest cold like it's February, not June.
-No sun. Two weeks. I'm being considered for the Seasonal Affective Disorder poster child, but they want me to tone down the crazy in my eyes before the photo shoot. Not sure if that's possible.
-We've been crazy-busy with end-of-school obligations for the past week. Concerts! BBQs! Field Trips! Ice-Cream Socials! All very lovely, but holy crap! Bug, a child who flourishes on routine, has not had a regular bedtime for quite some time. She has been (oh, how to put it delicately?) cranky as a warthog with appendicitis.
-Did I mention the rain? I feel like the dude in "The Tell-Tale Heart", except instead of being driven mad by the sound of a beating heart, it's the patter of the rain. (Normally a pleasant sound, I agree. NOT FOR TWO NONSTOP WEEKS). Go ahead, argue with me. I will fight you.
Today, I told the kids, is Do Whatever You Want Day. Want to play Wii? Watch a movie? Run around in the rain?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Also it makes us sound like that creepy couple that calls each other "Mother" and "Daddy." We are so not that couple.
I'd like to introduce my husband Tom.He's not just your average husband and father. I stood perusing the Father's Day cards last week, completely perplexed by the assortment of cards aimed at Sports Lover Dad, Fisherman Dad, Incompetent Repairman Dad, Macho Dad, and Beer-Drinking Couch Potato Dad.He is none of these things. (Thank God).
We scrapped our grander Father's Day plans due to weather, (hi, June? March called, and it wants its weather back.) but left it to Tom to pick our replacement activity. He decided we would hike down to a nearby dam. The woods are lush and damp after the constant soaking rains we've had this June, and the stream was bound to be roaring.
We were not disappointed. The stream was a torrent.
Tom is endlessly fascinated by water. He will happily deviate from any route for the chance to see a lake, river, or ocean. Even when there's no guarantee about the "seeing" part. Like the time we rambled aimlessly for a REALLY long time around a random penninsula because damn it, there has to be a road that goes down to the ocean. (There was not. Of this I can guarantee you).
He is passionate about our adopted home-state of Maine. He loves learning the long, rich history of the countryside around us. His penchant for exploring has taken us to sites that many locals have never ever seen.
He has the ability to see great beauty in nature.
He loves his daughters fiercely. He encourages their interests, and gives unselfishly of his time. He's way better than I am at playing certain mindless boardgames (*cough* Candlyland *cough*). He once went back to work with a little butterfly clip in his hair because he let his four-year-old play beauty shop on him while he ate his lunch. And he was amused, not embarrassed, when a co-worker pointed it out. That's a great daddy. Tom: lover of music, history, art, nature, literature, and the stock market; persecutor of red squirrels; Daddy to Bear and Bug; husband of mine.
I love you exactly as you are.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This little red squirrel was determined to scoop up every last seed that the birds had dropped from the feeder.
And he wasn't going to let the fact that we were already using the porch stand in his way. He wasn't the least bit bashful. The girls and I were enchanted by his cute little furry self. Bear decided that his name is "Churro."
Now he just needs to win over Daddy Shortbread or risk being deported via the Hav-a-Hart trap. Daddy Shortbread is notsomuch a fan of red squirrels, who in the past, have been cheeky enough to do things like move into the garage or chew the kids' vinyl pool into tiny, tiny bits.
Monday, June 15, 2009
DS (smiling and shaking his head): You know, it's funny...as we were coming up the rise, I could see you up ahead...
Me (waiting for a compliment): ...
DS: And at first I could only see the top half of you...
Me (still waiting for the compliment): ...
DS (grinning): ...and I thought you were taking a squat right by the path.
Me (disgusted): Are you KIDDING me? Have we MET? Like I would do that! I thought you were going to tell me how pretty I looked...don't you men know the mileage you could get out of telling us things like that? Jesus...
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Because now that we've entered the stage of Constantly Self-Aware Preteen, she has hit upon the carefully-cultivated blank face for photos. And when you try to snap a quick candid shot of her eating a granola bar during a rest stop on our bike ride? You get THIS:
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Here's Bug at the tippy-top of the trail, looking excessively proud, and rightly so. We knew she could do it. It took us an hour and forty minutes to pedal up the trail, and only thirty minutes to coast back down. Riding down was a giddy experience, tempered only by the number of bugs that committed suicide on my forehead as I zipped along. After awhile, I gave up being grossed out and began to take a perverse pride in it.
Friday, June 5, 2009
1. While mowing the lawn a few days ago, I spontaneously stop the tractor to yank the weeds from around a sand cherry shrub.
Yes, I hear urgent peeping while doing this.
No, it does not occur to me that the peeping is coming from the the weeds I'm pulling. Until I glance down and notice the teeny baby bird hopping frantically around in an equally teeny nest. Still downy and fluffy, he obviously is not old enough to fly. Crap.
I carefully arrange the weeds back over the nest and pray that I haven't just doomed the nestling to discovery by predators.
2. Last night we finally caught the groundhog that moved in under the woodshed in a Hav-a-Hart trap. She unleashed a stream of profanity-laced chitters and squeals at me when I went back to check the trap. I seriously had no idea that groundhogs could be that loud.
Girlfriend was NOT PLEASED, and managed to convey her displeasure by peeing inside Daddy Shortbread's trunk when he loaded her in for deportation. (Luckily, he had anticipated this and placed a plastic tray under the cage. Even so, the stank was such that he had to leave the trunk open the rest of the evening).
She was humanely released across the river in an open field. She is now free to go dig under someone else's woodshed and pee in their car.
3. Today I was zipping around on my tractor mowing the lawn, when I vaguely noticed movement in the grass ahead of me.
(Side note: the backyard grass was abnormally high this week since I ran out of gas in the tractor before I got to mow the backyard. Rather than drive to the gas station and fill up the gas can, I decided the backyard could wait until the next mowing. Mostly because I'm afraid of filling up the gas can at the gas station.
Like, abnormally afraid. It's not like I had a bad experience filling a gas can, but I have a strong gut feeling that Something Bad could happen while I'm filling a gas can. So I make Daddy Shortbread do it, and he didn't feel like doing it right then.
Possibly because I forgot to mention it until 9:00 that night.
Is it still a side-note if it's longer than the narrative? I must remember to check).
Anyhoo. Mowing. Movement in tall grass. SNAKE. Little black stripey snake right in front of me!
I guess I could have swerved to avoid him, and I didn't. But I did squinch my eyes shut at the last second, though, and I think that would convince a jury that I was remorseful and they'd probably just give me manslaughter. (Snakeslaughter?)
The way I rationalized it while I finished mowing is that since the snake was on the same side of the house as the bird's nest I disturbed, and since the snake might have killed the baby bird, and it was my fault if it had found the baby bird, then it was total karma for me to kill the snake.
I'm hopeful that my Unintentional Reign of Terror is at an end.