Sunday, August 28, 2005

Super Speedy

She's super. She's speedy.
Where's she going?

Only she knows.

I Crashed Myself...Again

My blooper reel from just this past week is pretty lengthy. I've no time to write a witty little ramble, so here's a summary of all the ways I've managed to maim or embarrass myself in a mere seven days:

*As already reported, I fell off the couch for no apparent reason and messed up my back on busy beads toy. Still have lingering sore shoulder and neck pain.

*Cut open the ball of my foot on rusty barbed wire remnants from up on milkweed hill. I've no idea how I managed this, as I was wearing shoes. Bled a lot and had nothing but tiny, "Dora The Explorer" bandages to cover it up. Still can't walk correctly, but then it's only been a few days.

*Slipped in bathtub on the non-slip bath mat!!! Just stepped in and the !&$$@?# thing went flying from out beneath my foot. Crashed my shin on the side of the tub. Not the worst incident this week, by far, but still made me really mad.

*Cracked the top of my head on one of the kitchen cabinets after bending down to put some of the kids' toys away in a lower cabinet. Forgot the stupid thing was there (it's only been mounted to the wall for forever) and caught the very corner of it on my skull. Good times.

*Went to Hannaford's by myself (the highlight of my week!) and went to put a bottle of spray disinfectant onto the belt and somehow the top came off and spilled all over my hands, arms, the belt and the floor. Luckily the cashier and bagger were in good spirits and didn't give me too hard a time. I helped them clean up and said, "Well, now your station is disinfected and smells citrusy-fresh. My work here is done." And with that I limped on out the automatic doors. The ones that almost shut on me while walking through them.

Now who says being a SAHP isn't full of suspense, danger and intrigue?

Okay, just danger. Lots of danger.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Very Strange Day

Here are a few weird things that happened to me today. Nothing too incredibly bizarre, but enough to make me wonder if I dreamt some of it:

When the kids went down for a nap I tried to sit out on the deck to relax and warm up in the sun after a long string of cool days. Every time I went to sit down the sun would shine for 15 seconds and then go behind a big white/grey cloud that was shaped like a walrus. This happened three times within a half hour period. I gave up and went inside.

Our neighbor's dog won't keep away from our house. He's here all the time now, watching us through the slider or the kitchen window. He followed these two women walking up the street today while I was out gardening with the kids and they were like, "Oh, is this your dog?" and I say "No, it's the neighbor's. He's very friendly. His name is Curtis." He cavorts with them up the street for a bit and then comes back down to our yard. The women look back down toward us as though they're wondering, "why would that woman lie about owning that dog??" As far as I know they walk the hill most every day and see him in front of our house all the time. I'm wondering if we are officially his new owners? We didn't pick him to be our dog, but he seems to have picked us to hang out with...

A while later I was in the living room and caught sight of some crows on the lawn. I hear them up in the trees on occasion, but rarely do they come down onto the yard. Suddenly swarms of them descend on the grass. Dozens of murders, making all kind of noise and I'm thinking, what is out there that they're after?? I slowly step out the slider, looking all around and they are everywhere. In the trees, flying over head, on the ground under one of the feeders. I am so close to freaking out. I've never seen anything like this. Ever. I'm about to run back inside and go upstairs and check on the kids and then all of a sudden they all fly away, into the trees around the furthest reaches of our property. But I can see they're just sitting there, watching me. I check to see what they were gathering around, and there's nothing at all there.

Yes, I know. These sound like the rantings of a woman who's spent too much time watching old Hitchcock flicks, but it's just been one of those days. And just in case these are signs of the end of days, I'm going to have me another piece of chocolate silk pie.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"A Barre Home Companion"

I took the kids out for cremees (Vermont for soft serve) last Friday over at Bragg Farm, which is about 12 minutes from our house. It takes 12 minutes to get anywhere around here it seems.

This particular place is great because they have the cutest country store with loads of Vermonty goodness. You can buy anything from a pint of fresh-picked blueberries to a gorgeous Amish rocking chair. They also have rabbits, baby goats, lambs and llamas that the kids can feed and pet. Needless to say they are some chubby little farm animals. And yes, folks, goats will eat anything, so beware.

We poked around the store for a bit and then got our cremees. We all got chocolate because the only other option was maple and we haven't decided if we like that or not yet. Before too long the kids looked like they'd been caught in an ice cream rainshower and we skipped off to feed the animals and play on the little swingset they have out front. Quite the bucolic scene, all in all, and there were some older folks I got talking with on our way back to the car. They were charmed by Sofia's red curls and David's jumping around like Sportacus and one of the gentlemen was teasing David about having ice cream all down his shirt. "That goes in your stomach, not down your front!" David just grinned, not saying anything. In fact he was unusually quiet. Everyone was kind of looking at him smiling, waiting for him to say something.

"Ummmmmm..." David began. The couples smiled at him, nodding their heads encouragingly.
"The other day..." Their eyes widen. I'm thinking this is quite a build up. I'm hoping he's about to say something very clever, proving me to be the best stay at home mom ever.
"...the other day..." Yes???? Everyone leans in.
" mommy fell off the couch." David smiles broadly.

Slowly, all heads turn toward me, expressions quizzical. This feels like the longest 5 seconds of my life. More like 12 minutes, to be precise. I feel the Irish flooding over my cheeks and try to think of something to say.

The first gentlemen smiles, then laughs out loud and says to David, "You should tell your mother to stop drinking the spoiled milk. HAH!!" Everyone has a good chuckle at my expense, including David, who thinks that's about the funniest thing anyone has ever said.

I began muttering about what had really happened, that I wasn't hitting the sauce and I lost my balance and all, but no one was listening. They all wandered off, giggling like a group of school kids.

And so ends another day in Barre, Vermont: Where the soft serve is called a cremee, the baby goats are fat and the mommies are all a bit tipsy.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

How Busy Beads Broke My Back

Okay, my back is not really broken. But last night I was sitting on the arm of the couch holding Sofia and somehow I slipped off and could not right myself in time (or without dropping Sofia to the floor) so I crash landed on top of the Busy Beads toy that was sitting on the floor next to the sofa. I have never done something so graceless and so stupid that caused me such incredible pain in a long time. It all happened so quickly. E thought I had landed on Sofia (because she was crying too) and rushed to our aid and when he saw me sobbing on the floor with Busy Beads shrapnel in my back and went with David to get some ice. I could hear them in the kitchen together, just like you'd imagine a couple of men looking for something in the kitchen would sound:

"Okay, David. We need some ice. Where would that be?"

"Ummm..." says David.

"Okay, David. We need a plastic bag for the ice. But I can't find any. So let's use this towel..."

(In my head: No! I just got that out of the dryer! The Ziplocs are in the cabinet under the sink! Arrghh! Ouch!!!)

"Umm...Let's mash up the ice with this frying pan..." So on and so forth. Twenty minutes later David is holding an ice pack on my back for me.

"All better, Mommy?" David smiles at me from over my shoulder. I'm thinking, no, not really.

"Yes, David. It is a little better..." I don't quite finish the sentence before David drops the ice pack, spilling a few chips down the back of my pants. He has done his job and is going to rescue some other clumsy mother.

E inspects the damage on my back. I complain I'll have a bruise on my arm, as well. Just in time for our friends' wedding this weekend.

"It will be nothing compared to the bruise on your back." Guess I'm not going with a backless number...

All kidding aside, I was grateful to have the two men in my life handy during my latest freak accident. This one still wasn't as bad as the time I slipped on the icy steps outside our Nashua apartment. I was feeling that for well over a week. At least only my family saw me fall this time...

I'm having a yard sale soon and these blasted beads are the first thing to go...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Got Mud???

Here's the muddy ol' mud room, in the midst of its big transformation. We are still all sneezing and coughing as the dust continues to settle...

From "Awful" To "Hey, That's Not So Awful"

Here it is. A new home for mud and a place for our stuff. It looked even worse before Ernie mudded it. Nothing like big gaps between boards of drywall to send a warm welcome to visitors!
It's so close to being done. Ernie still has to create a frame around the outer door but there's going to be a lot of cutting, so it will be tricky. He may need some advice from our woodworking neighbor. I wanted to stain and polyurethane the floors, but E thinks that's going a bit overboard, since that floor is going to get severely beaten each winter. Maybe it's better to leave it as is. Then I won't feel compelled to clean it as much...

The kids are tickled with the new entry. It has been dubbed "the elevator" by David. He invites his invisible friends over and we all hang out there together. Good times. Good times.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"My What A Stunning Mud Room You have!"

Yes, sadly these are the words I long to hear. With all the millions of households projects we could be working on, which did we bust our butts on this past week? Yes, the eyesore of an entryway aptly named the mud room.

I had never heard of a "mud room" until I was a teenager. We had never had one in our house growing up, but looking back I guess my bedroom served as one. But what a great concept: A depository for all your junk, conveniently located right inside your doorway. Where everyone can see it. Where guests can put all their stuff as they enter your home. Where the kids can hide grapes in the toes of your boots. Hmm.

It's a great idea, in theory. Functional, yes. Attractive? Not so much. But HGTV would like to change all that. You know, I love Divine Design as much as the next gal, but man, home-improvement television keeps raising the bar on what the modern home should aspire to. I love it and hate it all at the same time. Now it's not enough to have a mud room that functions as a catch-all for your stuff, it must be neatly organized, colorful, slightly formal with a touch of whimsy. Oh good grief. I will never get to redecorating my bedroom at this pace.

So E and I have been working on the previously unfinished mud room. And I do mean unfinished. Drywalled, but no tape and mud. No trim. Screws in the walls to serve as coat hooks. But hey, who cares, it's the mud room, right? God knows we have more pressing projects in the house. But everyone who comes to our house gets their first impressions from this little nook. As much as I would love people to use our front door, they don't. Except the piano tuner, God bless him. And before he left he looked around and said, "What a great place you have here!" See? First impressions do count.

So we're almost done with our makeover. The walls are mudded and painted. E got the wood to make all the trim pieces. We have some pictures to go up on the walls (who needs art work in the living room, right?) and a little key holder/organizer to go by the door and cubbies for the kids shoes. We'll work on setting up the feng shui water feature next weekend.

So if you come to visit, please fuss over our mud room just a little bit. Even if you're thinking, "Dear lord, what have they done?" I promise to have a special little cubbie set aside, just for you.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I Played Volleyball With Sportacus

Yes, I meant Sportacus, not Spartacus. David has a new super hero friend and his name is Sportacus 10. Just Sportacus to his friends. He's the spandex-wearing, water-guzzling, super fit, acrobatic protector of "Lazy Town". I'm not really sure yet what the relationship to Spartacus is, but I guess he's a gladiator of sorts and he's Icelandic. I originally thought he might be from Madrid. I guess I'm not good with accents...

I get to be Stephanie, who's like a young, innocent Sporty Spice, I guess. She likes to dance, sing and hang out with her friends. Her hair is pink, "kind of like yours, Mommy," David pointed out. Well, not anymore David. I only botched the dye job that one time.

We played indoor volleyball this morning. David jumps around doing twirls and kicks and all that stuff that only a young, limber child of 3 could manage. David was shouting for me to be more like Stephanie so I did some old aerobic moves from my mom's Jane Fonda tape days. David thought that was pretty cool. I hit a shot way over his head and it hit the wall behind him. He jumped up to block it and came smack down on the palms of his hands and his belly and was about to cry. You could see the look on his face as though he were thinking, "No, man! You're Sportacus! You do not cry when you take a fall during a match! You get up, shake it off and do your sporty moves!" His eyes get all big and he jumps up, strikes a pose and game on!!

Thank you, Sportacus, not only for your dazzling good looks, but for having inspired my son to keep moving, no matter what.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Catholic School Kids Say The Darndest Things

Just wanted to link to this email that Ernesto received recently. If they're made up, which they more than likely are, they're still really funny. If they are indeed from the mouths of babes, then I think it's proof that God has a great sense of humor...

Monday, August 01, 2005

This Old, Weird House

When you live in a house that someone resided in before you, it has a history. Even if it's only a few years old. If your home is 100+ years old, well then, the walls would have some stories to tell if only they could talk. Ours haven't started yet, thank goodness, but I recently got the chance to speak with a woman who once lived here with her family, many, many years ago. Here are a few interesting tidbits I picked up during that talk:

* The wide, stone pillar in the backyard was once the footing to the old barn you see in this picture of our house taken in 1958. That footing formed part of a little niche that served as a holding spot for cow manure. They would fill it until they couldn't fill it anymore and then finally remove it. What's brown and sounds like a bell? Dung!

*The hilly area you see here at the right of the picture was the "night pasture" for the cows. During the day they roamed a larger section of farmland and then at night they were brought here so they could be milked first thing in the morning. To this day we are still are tripping over remnants of barbed wire fencing out in the field.

*Our front, metal storm door is very old! It has been here for as long as any one knows.

*There used to be a long window on the front porch side of the kitchen. It's now a little one that doesn't get much of a breeze. There also used to be a door from the kitchen that went right out to the front porch. We already knew that. What gave it away was the boarded-up door frame the previous owner didn't bother to drywall over. Makes a lovely frame for the fridge, anyway!

*Mary, the daughter of the second to last owner of the home was born in our office! It had once been her mother's bedroom. Hmmm.I'm glad we refinished those floors...

*Mary's father also planted the big maple near our mailbox and constructed the lovely built-in armoire in our guest bedroom. Good job! Sorry I switched out the hardware. Please don't be mad!

There are many more strange stories about the place, some of which I'll give Ernie the chance to tell on his blog. I wished I had asked Mary about the many pieces of polished granite that we keep finding in the ground and broken along the old stone wall down near the lower yard. I'm wondering if a previous owner worked in one of the Barre quarries and had access to this stuff?? I wish we could find a solid slab of it to make a new countertop for the kitchen. Perhaps if we keep digging...

If anyone has strange stories about their homes' previous lives, please share! And if you know any practical uses for 3 inch pieces of polished granite, do tell!