Monday, August 31, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Bear, Outfit D:
Bear, Outfit E:
Bug gravitated, as always, to the comfy. Super-sensitive to anything remotely scratchy, squeezy, tickly, itchy, or tight, she rapidly discarded anything that offended her delicate sensibilities. Mostly because I was very clear that If I Buy It, You Wear It. No buying something cute, then refusing to wear it because it's itchy. Period.
Bug, Outfit C:
Bug, Outfit D:
Bug, Outfit E:
Both girls are anxiously awaiting your votes. Like, they're already asking if anyone has voted, and I haven't even put the damn post up yet. So for the sake of my mental health, and to make my kiddos really, really happy...
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Jenn's Expert Advice for Growing a Hillside of Wildflowers:
1. Spend 8 backbreaking hours on your knees grubbing absolutely everything out by the roots. Look around and notice that you're only 18% of the way done and that your fingernails appear to be gone.
2. Spend another 12 hours doing a slightly more half-hearted and cranky level of root-grubbing with a shovel and hoe. Remind yourself that at least no one is going to expect you to cook dinner again tonight.
3. Beg your husband sweetly (lose the profanity) to spread compost for you while you nurse a Diet Coke with Vanilla. Or seven.
4. Wake up refreshed the next morning. Just not quite refreshed enough to get on board with your original plan of carefully digging up and dividing all perennials to plant some on the Hillside of Hard Labor.
5. Stoically hack away portions of existing perennials (without digging them up) out of the gardens and stick them in random holes on the hillside.
6. "Allow" your nine-year-old and her friend to scatter the packs of wildflower seed over the hillside. Pretend like this is a major honor and you're really not sure you should trust them to do this. When they beg, acquiesce reluctantly. Try not to snicker as you walk away from them.
7. Arrange for Nature to deluge your hillside with rain for six weeks while you ignore it.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I stood on the far side of my driveway to shoot this. I took it for reasons of comparison. I want you to fix this image in your mind. Got it?
Now this shot was taken from the exact same spot, after I made a ninety-degree turn to my left. And ... huh, weird. There appear to be giant tire tracks in the grass. And they're disturbingly close to the hosta bed that runs alongside the garage. Let's walk a little farther and see where they lead.
As I round the corner of the garage, I see ... HOLY SHIT. (Which were, coincidentally, the exact words out of my mouth when I got home from an all-day shopping trip with the girls, and the workmen led me around the house to show me their progress). I mean, there was a yard back there just eight hours before.
Let me explain. One of the reasons blogging has been light around here lately (aside from the fact that my kids are home for the summer and seem to be under the delusion that my express purpose is to provide them with The Super Funtime Entertainment Rodeo), is that we've been in the process (the long, looooong, loooooooooooong process) of having an addition built onto our house.
And by process, I don't even mean the actual building part. No, I mean picking a contractor, drawing up plans, drawing up more plans, applying for a loan, waiting for the appraiser to come, waiting, waiting, still more waiting, waiting for the bank to validate (or something?) the appraisal, waiting for the code enforcement officer to get back from vacation (and how dare he take a vacation when we NEED him to issue our building permit?), waiting for the bank for close the loan, waaaaaaaiting, and then finally closing the loan three months after we started the process. I had a three month long stomachache. (Which you would think would be an effective weight loss incentive, but you would be wrong).
And then the loan closed, and Mr. Awesome Contractor was all, let's build this thing. And Tom and I were all, sure, but kind of privately laughing because we figured it would be months before any actual construction started. Damned if the excavators didn't show up two days later and now we have a crater in our backyard.
But it's the prettiest crater I've ever seen because it means that someday in the not-too-far future, I'm going to have a bathroom of my own. And hardwood floors.
In the meantime, I have a teeny-tiny concern. Did you spot it in the photo above? Here, let me point it out:
Yeah, that's our septic pipe. Septic as in sewage. And it appears to be casually balanced on Tinker-Toys. Tom informs me that they're actually two-by-sixes, which doesn't console me at all because they still appear to be stuck in the mud like chopsticks holding up the septic pipe. The potential for several very specific disaster scenarios (all of them involving sewage spewing across my yard) plays an active role in my anxieties (previously occupied by Swine Flu) right now.
Here's a different view. I find it equally alarming.
I'll be spending a lot of time in my happy place until the full foundation is poured, and that pipe has a permanent home.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
As I snapped a picture of the kids with their friends, I remembered taking a similar shot with the same friends several summers ago. Pulling it up on my hard drive showed me just how quickly the years are going.
...and then (2006):
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
As Bear zipped through the kitchen to feed the cats, Bug said, "Hey, Bear! I want to tell you about my dream."
"Not right NOW, Bug. Can't you see I'm FEEDING the CATS." (Emphasis courtesy of snotty preteen tone).
Bug ate her cereal for awhile, and when Bear sat down at the kitchen table, she tried again, "Bear, I had a cool dream last night."
Bear, reading the cereal box, said noncommittally, "Uh." (Have I mentioned that Bear is not a morning person? And that she gets that from Tom?)
Bug glanced at me, then soldiered on, "So, anyway, in my dream-"
Bear jumped up, "Bug! I have to go to the bathroom. I don't want to listen to your stupid dream."
"Beeeeear," I said, in that quiet warning tone that really means Knock It Off or Else. "Else" being whatever I can think up on the spur of the moment for a consequence.
"Sorry," she tossed over her shoulder, as she huffed off to the bathroom.
Bug ate quietly for awhile, then said, "Mom? Did I mention that in my dream Bear was dead?"
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Yesterday, we finally got perfect summer weather. As soon as we verified that the forecast sunny 85 degrees was becoming reality (you understand if we tend to be suspicious of forecasts for anything other than 65 degrees and rain), Tom and I tossed kids, boogie boards, and a picnic into the van and headed for Popham Beach.
And it was PERFECT:
The girls boogie-boarded all afternoon, paused only to eat dinner with us on the picnic blanket, and then went right back into the ocean until we left at 7:30. Once we got home and showered, they were so exhausted that they actually asked to go to bed.
Bear subscribes to the Fling Yourself Wildly Into the Waves Like a Lemming theory. Although yesterday, she learned that this is also sometimes called the How to Lose Your Bathing Suit Bottoms method. After that, her flinging was slightly less wild.
She likes getting creamed by big waves as much as she does riding the smaller ones.
And while her approach is not always successful (see below):
She usually emerges like this, and heads straight for the next wave:
Bug, as always, prefers the dramatic approach.