Monday, August 31, 2009

Things I Can’t Forget to Remember

You know what happens when you don’t post for a few days?  Your head gets backlogged with info.  Then there’s a bunch of stuff to say and you have to blog going backwards.  Hey, I think I just made up a new word, backblogged.  Remember, you heard it here first.

Going back a few days…

For the eldest chillies birthday we went to the McCartney concert.  It was pretty much awesome.  I’ll share a few things with you that I can’t forget to remember:

Sir Paul and I use the same hair dye color.  No joke.  Really.

Paul is an equal opportunity employer.  He had male blonde and brunette guitar players.  All the women loved this and maybe even me.  It gets better.  The blonde one looked like Steve Tyler wearing Bon Jovi’s hair.  Another “Really!”.

The video during “Band on the Run” was so nice.  Like one of those old family movies you pull out on Thanksgiving.  They were so young.  True love is putting your wife in the band.  (I’ve offered to be in my youngest male chillies band but he says “no” even though I think I could probably be very good at the tambourine.)

Being inside the new Cowboy stadium was interesting and satisfies all my curiosity as to what is inside the huge UFO parked in the middle of the city of Arlington.  It was air conditioned and you can shoot off fireworks inside.  Corndog cool.

Purchased a concert shirt for the eldest chillie and I can’t forget to remember this so I can borrow it sometime.  For the price you would have thought that Sir Paul could have worn it and sweated on it.

I’m assuming some of the video during the concert was graphics for the new Beatles Rock Band.  I am loving “I am the Walrus”.  Me thinks it’s rather psychedelic."  Goo goo  g’joob.

And I guess I should mention the music.  Lovey is going to birth a cow when he sees I mentioned hair (twice) before the music.  

I like that song. 

This video gives you the full concert experience.  People, loudness and things blowing up.  But the best part, and I really can’t forget to remember this, is when Mr. Brunette guitar player keeled over!  That was so good.  Watch the video and you’ll see it.  Live and let die.

Below are some happy snippets from some great songs that stayed with me from this night.  I won’t list the titles because if your a fan you know where they’re from.  If not, then just enjoy them.  Maybe they string together into a trippy, Beatles-esque kind of poem.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arrive

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I've seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to your door

We're so sorry, Uncle Albert,
But we haven't done a bloody thing all day 

Live a little, be a gypsy, get around,
Get your feet up off the ground,
Live a little, get around

And when the night is cloudy
there is still a light that shines on me
shine until tomorrow, let it be

Well the rain exploded with a mighty crash
As we fell into the Sun
And the first one said to the second one there
I hope you’re having fun

When you were young and your heart was an open book,
You used to say live and let live.
(You know you did, you know you did, you know you did.)
But if this ever changing world in which we live in
makes you give it a cry, say Live and Let Die!

Na na na, na-na na na
Na-na na na, hey Jude
Na na na, na-na na na
Na-na na na, hey Jude

And lastly, I can’t forget to remember that  “Mr. When I’m (past) 64” did two encores.  Two!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A busy Wednesday

It’s been a busy day.  Football practice for the youngest son has started and I’ve been up since 5:30 AM.  Hopefully I’ll survive this.  Can’t forget the football meeting at 6:30 tonight either. 

I started on the mushroom project.  It’s coming right along.  Here’s a sneak peek:

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Here are the pots and bowls with the basecoat on.  Hopefully I can finish them up tonight.  It is hot today! Yowza hot.

At D.R.’s pickup we rescued a baby cottontail bunny.  It was hoppin’ round the smokin’ hot parking lot a little disoriented and injured.  I found this rescue website if you ever come across a baby cottontail bunny and need some info.   I’m going to take her/him to a rescue volunteer tonight.  Turns out wild bunnies aren’t so easy to take care of and release.

summer 2009 087

It’s 11 PM and I just arrived home from delivering the bunny to a rescue volunteer.   I’m sooooo tired.  Yawn.  It was a long drive to deliver one small bunny.  I called my friend Sheree’ and she was game to accompany me on this mercy mission.  “Thanks Sheree’, you are “good people”.”

I didn’t finish the mushrooms…

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Rose and Rhinestone Whim

Remember the mushroom project I talked about and called “quick” or maybe even “Quick”.  Well, there was a lull in production…  but I just wanted to bring to your and my attention that I have not forgotten about it.  I aim to finish it.  Good grief.

Here is a little something I put together on a whim.  Just started pilfering through bins and jars and drawers in the art room.

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It’s fun to put together a little vignette like this.  The artful arranging of a varied group of articles into an appealing group has become an art in itself. 

This vignette came together quickly.  I started with a color scheme, white, cream and red and moved the pieces around till I liked the arrangement.  Here is a little about each piece:  The rose is real.  The rhinestone bows are vintage clip-ons from a pair of satin shoes.  At the top of the picture is a vintage, brass (I think) embossed, bow pin with a pink stone and the butterfly in the lower right is a vintage velvet one.  There’s another pearl butterfly on the bottom left.   A broken “ruby” and pearl bracelet and a piece of red, lace, seam binding winds it way through.  There are also some old white buttons and tarnished jingle bells. All this is sitting on some of my vintage lace stash.  I hope it brings you a snippet of happiness!

Why don’t you try putting together a pretty vignette of your favorite items.  I would love to see it!

Scatter Seeds of kindness

Let us gather up the sunbeams,

Lying all around our path;

Let us keep the wheat and roses,

Casting out the thorns and chaff;

Let us find our sweetest comfort

In the blessings of today,

With a patient hand removing

All the briers from the way.

- Mrs. Albert Smith

Monday, August 24, 2009

Precariously high “Back to school” giddies

There are only a few things more exciting than “Back to School” day and right now I can’t think of one of them.  I woke up early with a smile and an agenda.  Get these kids out of here pronto!  Don’t you judge me.  What I saw in the school hallways today tells me I am not alone.

Now, I love my chillies more than peach pie but some days they make me a bit wonky.  And I’ve had a loooong summer of wonky. 

And so, off they all went to their appointed destinations and I said to myself:  “This girl deserves a party!”  A few of the girlz came over for coffee (a great reward for a morning well done) and a little conversating about summer vacations, cancer, exercising plans, nothing much, and of course, concerns about being concerned about our concerned children.  You just can’t escape being a mother no matter how much coffee you drink.  There were literally bus loads of concerned children congregating today.  On any other day this amount of anxious, tense youth would be considered gang activity.  

My Z-Man, a High school Freshman, was anxious this morning.  Imagine.  This was in spite of Fish Camp rah-rah’s, scores of friends, his older sisters’ assurances and my usually great manipulative, I mean persuasionary skills.  On the drive to school he was being especially quiet.  For most, “normal quiet” is enough to give people a clue that there has been a “disturbance in the force”.  I guess my Back to School giddies overrode my motherly super powers of perception.

In my defense I want to explain a thing or three.  For Z-Man, quiet is a way of life.  An unwritten code.  A super power.  In our family, everyone has a super power.  Super powers, ya know, like Superman’s ability to conceal his over developed muscles and dashing good looks with bad eyewear.  Z-Man has the power of being able to carry on lengthy conversations with a two word or even (when the electrodes and geodes are all aligned) a one word answer.  If he is feeling especially powerful, he can conversate with a just a shrug of a shoulder.  It’s mighty powerful magic he possesses. 

So, in my normally acceptable, abrupt manner, I said, blurted, (whatever):  “What’s your problem this morning?”  Today my super power was “clueless”. 

Z-Man:  “I’m nervous.” 

See? Only two words. 

I proceeded to make what I’m sure he deemed many worthless assurances about everyone and everything of very little importance, mixed with lots of blah-blahing followed by more whateverness.  I had to work quickly.  We were halfway through the trip and it’s only a 12 minute ride.

I want you to know that it all ended well.  He made it through the day, me, schedule changes and unknown hallways. 

Here’s the small print:  This event transpired with me having an  empty stomach, a lack of a doctored up cup of joe and precariously high levels of parental Back to School giddies.

P. S.  This tidbit of information will probably be rewarded with a wet noodle thrashing from the Z-Man.


Here is one of my favorite Back to School pictures.  It goes back a few years.  Big brother chillie is giving little sister chillie some kindergarten survival tips.  This is baby puppy sweetness.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

She made me a mother

The eldest chillie, the one that made me a mother, turned 18 this past week.  

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Eighteen.  Hmmm.  She’ll start her college adventure on Monday.  I’ve been asked how I feel about that.  Old?  Probably.  Verklempt?  Only 3%.  I mostly feel “here”.  Definitely present. 

So, we had cake.  The fire warmed the gummie life savers that supported those 18 years of earned candles. The skittles dancing round the cake added some punch.  Punch and cake are good!

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Written, produced and acted out by DR.  It was about the history of cats.  Mostly Siamese cats.  ?????? 

And we had 

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A.k.a. Margarita Pizza.  I guess I should explain.

I’ve told you before that I have basil growing in the backyard.  Everyone should.  We actually do eat the stuff we grow out there.  I’ve found though, that if one is not thorough in the washing of the basil, critters might be left on it.  Then those critters get added to the food, which results in your chillies telling you that there is a spider on the dinner you’re preparing.  Kids are such picky eaters.

My mind thinks in pictures.  And that is a funny picture: spider pizza!  I’m much more careful in my washing now. 

And all of this got me to thinking of  spiders.  Because right now, we have a spider growing by the basil. 

spider wm.jpeg Luckily, I saw her before I ran into her and she was quiescent (Pee Wee Herman’s secret word of the day) enough to let me pick some basil.  At this point, some of you are thinking I’m crazy for letting a spider like this grow by my basil.  I might be, but I’m more curious than crazy and so she stays. 

I had an interesting story (really!) I was going to share with you about these spiders (I think, it’s an Orb spider) but while I was looking for the name of this spider I came across way more interesting info that needs to be addressed.  More stuff that you can’t make up. 

Grab a Little Debbie’s snack and buckle in.  This is going to get sticky.  Here’s the spidey scoop…

Someone, somewhere, not only developed a technique for the forcible silking of spiders but also an apparatus.  Now, can you imagine what my mind is picturing?  Little, teeny, mechanical, sucker thingy’s all hooked up to the “udders” of some miserable spider while she’s being “milked” of her web.  There’s an arachnid rights group screaming somewhere. 

It’s not known who first discovered that “such silk could be forcibly drawn from immobilized spiders”, but a man named Wilder described a method in 1868.   I read that it became “imperative” that there be discovered a way to do this “under controlled conditions with sureness and ease.”  Yeah, that sounds like typical spider behavior to me.

I’m going to relay a few directives, for  you, from this “investigation”, as Wilder likes to call it and my thoughts on them.

“Although one investigator can manage the forcible silking operation, a second observer should be available if this is possible .”  (That second observer can also be referred to as your 9-1-1 dialer.)

“Certain auxiliary equipment is needed, much of which is commonly
available in laboratories…”
  (Sure, if your Uncle’s name is Fester and you have a fire breather living under the stairs.)

“While it is not imperative that carbon dioxide be available for anesthetization, its use reduces the hazard of injury to spiders .”  (And here I was thinking the “loopy gas” was for the investigator.)

“When the spider becomes quiescent… it is transferred, ventral side up, to the porous plate of the operating table.”  (Quiescent, quiescent… gonna have to get the dictionary…  Just as I thought, old word meaning quiet, still or at rest.  Typical, assaulted, spider behavior.)

“Whether the spider is placed posterior toward or away from the observer will depend on experience with species” (Like anyone could possibly experience this more than once.) “this investigator prefers the latter position. The same applies to the conditions for and the order of pinioning the legs with short lengths of self-adhesive tape. But, it is essential that this be done quickly, as the effect of the carbon dioxide is rapidly lost.  It is here that four hands are better than two.” (Important safety tip.)   “Each leg can then be fully extended with tweezers while the cephalothorax is gently held in place, and a first strip of tape placed across the leg. Sometimes two legs can be trapped with one length of tape.  (Thus saving money in these harsh, economic times.)  But if the spider becomes suddenly and violently active during this pinioning, (Possibility noted, thank you.)  “and appears to be in danger of damaging itself by loss of legs, (Enter the arachnid rights group.) it is advisable to envelop it with a loose wad of facial tissue.”  (Antibacterial or with added lotion?)  “It can then be freed from the tape already in place, reanesthetized , and the pinioning repeated.  With the spider now prevented from struggling free, it may be expedient” (Do you think?)to reposition or add additional lengths of tape to any leg that may appear to be insecure.”  (Tape down everything, friend.  The slightest tickle on your neck and…)

“Whatever the situation,” (The mere fact that you would find yourself in this situation, is a clear indicator that you’re in a real situation.)when in doubt it is best to make use of the flexibility of the silking equipment to isolate the fibers being secured . But before this step is described it is necessary to return to the problems posed by the spiders which react negatively to pinioning and forcible silking.” (We definitely should return to the loose, gassed, negative spider problem.)

“No facile descriptions can be given as to what an investigator should best do to secure the desired sample in such a situation . Sometimes the difficulties can be solved by sheer persistence.”  (Experience has shown me that sheer persistence is useful in potty training, not spider wrangling.)  “If not, the spider may require complete anesthetization . But this is not an easy way out.”  (I’ll take, “Stupid Experiment Outcomes” for $400, Alex.)

“Furthermore, as has been already reported, the physical properties of fibers taken from a fully anesthetized spider may differ from those otherwise secured.” (Then why are we here?  Because I can’t think of any other way a being is going to extract spidey silk from any kind of spider than from one that is fully jacked up on the loopy gas.)

“It has been found that with those spiders which do not resist forcible silking, winding can be done at about 3 m/min. for periods of ten to twenty minutes.”  (These would be the spiders in remedial “How to be Hairy,Scary and otherwise Difficult” school.)

I’m going to stop there and not even address the “apparatus” shopping list.  Let’s just say it involved a variable speed drive, a run-stop switch and a 115 volt DC motor. 

If you do ever stumble across the unusually “quiescent” spider that uncharacteristically submits to pinioning, taping and being gassed, and you happen to need 30 – 60 meters of spidey silk, perhaps you should just say “please” to your little eight legged friend (7 legged if she’s been unfortunate enough to run across Mr. Wilder and his observer).  Because in the real world we all know that the spider that acquiesces to forcible silking is probably dead.  And playing with dead spiders is kind of strange and weird.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!  Your curious mother really loves You!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

DIY Project Hint

Here’s the hint (for the August 5th post):

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The background paper is by PaPaYa!.  The tape roll has little mushrooms on it.  On the inside of the roll it reads:  “For many use!  It’s up to your idea!”.  So funny!  The red mushroom is a pencil sharpener and eraser that I purchased at the Scholastic book fair at DR’s elementary school.  One for me and one for her.  I’m so glad I did.

…and one more hint just because they seem to be popping up everywhere…

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After the rain last week, we’ve had a lot of mushrooms in the yard.  The eldest son was so sweet about this one.  Before he mowed the lawn he asked if I wanted to get a picture.  How did he know?

Did you figure it out?   Mushrooms have been following me home lately.  I’m not going to use all these “ingredients” in the project, they were just my inspiration.

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See? I’m sure it all makes perfect sense now. 


If You See A Faery Ring
- William Shakespeare

If you see a faery ring
In a field of grass,
Very lightly step around,
Tip-toe as you pass,
Last night faeries frolicked there
And they're sleeping somewhere near.
If you see a tiny faery,
Lying fast asleep
Shut your eyes
And run away,
Do not stay to peek!
Do not tell
Or you'll break a faery spell.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quick DIY Backyard Project

  I’m feeling the need to make something.  Digging in the shed I came across these bowls that I set aside when I replaced  them with new ones in the kitchen.  I was hoping I hadn’t thrown them out.   Found these tall terra cotta pots at the nursery and, “Bingo!”, I’m in business.  Just for fun, can you imagine what I can repurpose these into?  Tomorrow I will post a hint. 

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Here’s a little distraction till then:

The backyard is a wonderful place to be in the morning.  The sun doesn’t have it's full shine on yet, the flowers live to be colorful and its quiet.  In the quietness, there is a lot of busy-ness going on. Here is a lovely thought and some pictures of the quiet busy-ness in my backyard for you.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

-Jelaluddin Rumi 

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This is a Swallowtail caterpillar.  We planted the dill and parsley just for him this year.  The Swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs on the plants and we get to watch them grow and fatten up.  See those two little antennae?  When you gently touch the back of the caterpillar, the antennae pop out and give off a strong odor of the plant they’ve been eating.  Strangely, it’s fun to do!  If you’re not quick enough, the antennae will touch your finger and then you’ve got caterpillar stink on you!

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This little guy climbed all the way up a 6’ sunflower.  He’s about 2’ long.  Hanging out till breakfast shows up, I guess.

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Lots of snails this year.  Probably not a good thing.  If you look close you can see his tiny black pupils staring back.  I wonder what he’s thinking?

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And then there are the cicadas.  This one is almost shown life size!  They’re loud, bulgy eyed bugs with some kamikaze thrown in.  So fun to have them nearly collide with my head while enjoying my morning cup of coffee.

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