Sunday, November 30, 2008


I think she gets cuter every day. She's been smiling for some time, but now she smiles at faces she recognizes--like mine : ) And she talks and coos and gurgles. It's enough to make my heart burst with joy.

If you don't have one of these yet--run out and get one right now!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bulls*it e-mail . . .

After months of nothing but problems, I've opted to jump ship rather than try to solve : ) So I've just changed the e-mail account associated with this blog. I'm reluctant to just print it right here in the body of a post though . . .

If you've e-mailed me at the hotmail address any time over the last 6 or 8 months and I haven't replied, I swear it isn't because I'm inconsiderate : ) Try me at my new address if you'd like to reach me.

*smooches* kittens! (Okay, I totally stole that from vuboq . . . and I can't pull it off like he can : )

Monday, November 24, 2008


This morning before the pharmacy opened we were talking about Christmas shopping.

"I'm just about done," reported Pharmacist Greg, "but I'm not sure what to get for the woman I'm seeing. She's not really a girlfriend yet. What do you women think?"

Robin answered sagely, "Whatever you give her, be careful about what meaning you want her to take from it."

"And whatever you give her," I added helpfully, "she will take some sort of meaning. Women take meaning from everything."

"So you're saying I shouldn't give her a can opener?" Greg quipped.

What do you think ladies? Any ideas? My advice to Greg was that you really can't go wrong with chocolate.

And what about you guys? Any thoughts?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to annihilate a child's dreams in one easy step

In the car a couple nights ago Youngest was making me crazy. It had been a long day with him. We were coming back from Aikido, he was chatty, I was tired and couldn't listen any longer to the constant prattling of a 13 year old who is half little boy and half teenager.

He flipped through radio stations as he droned on and on about one thing and another. One local station is already playing continuous Christmas songs and as Youngest accidentally stumbled over it I recognized the beginning of Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne."

"Oooh, I used to love this song," I mentioned, "I'd like to listen to it, please." Translation: Please, please, please shut it so I can enjoy this song.

He was quiet for at least 10 seconds and then started in again. He talked about small things at first--things I could easily dispatch with an intuitively placed "uh huh." But then he got more detailed. Something to do with a boat he wants to build for fishing at church camp next summer when his grandparents take him.

I completely lost my patience. As well as all sense of consideration. "Look, Youngest, first of all, you manage to catch plenty of fish at camp without a boat. Secondly, you know for a fact that Grandpa isn't going to let you drag along anything heavy that will cut down on his fuel efficiency. Third--didn't I tell you I wanted to listen to this song? Why have you talked all the way through it????"

Youngest didn't answer. Youngest was crushed. And he did something that I remember doing probably a thousand times when I was an emotional young teenager in the car with my mother: he turned his whole body toward his window and ignored me for the rest of the drive home.

I felt guilty. And I felt relief at the quiet.

I tried to remember what it was I wanted my mom to know, and what action I wanted her to take, from my body language when I was Youngest's age. But part of me just didn't effing care--as I'm sure my mom didn't--because in truth there is no rational thought--no perspective--in the case of an injured 13 year old.

And then it occurred to me that the bittersweet song on the radio--an accurate depiction of the pensive reality that is meeting someone who you loved in the distant past--would never hold the same meaning for my son as it holds for me. For him it would be a bad memory of a car ride with his killjoy mother.

And one more family experiences the generation gap . . .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

gratuitous . . .

In which Countrymouse ventures into a political subject

At the gym this morning (and thanks for the inspiration, Captain : ) I was halfheartedly reading the script at the bottom of the muted TV screen tuned in to one of the news networks. The talk was about the hotly debated Big 3 bailout request.

On the subject of whether the executives would sell their company jets and fly home coach, one of the anchors mentioned that the news network was getting unusually high input through facebook, myspace and twitter.


Is it me or does twittering one's political ideas trivialize the whole process? It doesn't leave time for reflection. For research. For weighing and examining. For serious thought.

Of course popular feedback to media sources doesn't have a direct correlation to public policy. Yet. But one wonders, how close are we to no longer having a government based on the will of the people? Rather seeing it reduced to the whim of the people.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Someone unloaded the dishwasher today and did a really bad job putting corning ware casserole dishes in the cupboard. In fact, Someone knew as she stacked them rather haphazardly and closed the door with hope that all would be well that in fact, all wasn't going to be well. Someone pretty much crossed her fingers that the teetering, irresponsible pile of cook ware wouldn't go all downhill slidy and fall out of the cupboard and break.

Before Someone was even finished unloading the dishwasher, there was a sound. A downhill slidy sound. Followed by a bump into the cupboard door. Followed by a rather loud crash as the dishes hit the floor. And one shattered.

Someone was standing in the kitchen with bare feet thinking she should probably clean that up. Trying to fend off the urge to say "meh" and let someone else do it. Someone's kinda lazy. And sloppy. And lackadaisical.

Which is weird, because at work, that same Someone is known as not only industrious--always busy--but also as anal. Completely, totally, inexcusably, bugs-the-everloving-stuffing-out-of-everybody-else anal.

A week ago, Pharmacist Greg noticed me loading the printer near him--a task which I do every day, multiple times a day. Because I'm efficient. Or obsessive. Whatever. Greg asked, "So . . . do you do that on a time schedule? Do you say to yourself, 'It's 10:45 a.m., time to fill the printer.'?" [ummm, yeah--I'm not sure how to punctuate that . . . ]

The next day when I filled it, I looked at him and asked his permission. "It's not quite 10:45--is it okay if I fill it now?" We both laughed. At me.

Friday afternoon during the slow time I was doing what I normally do. I was tabulating all the items I needed to stock for the pharmacy. Garbage bags, pens, distilled water. As I was writing them down on a scrap of paper, Katrina asked me, "Making one of your little lists?"

Evidently, I'm well known for my "little lists."

When I make copies of refill slips there is an unused 1.5" margin of the paper that I slice off so the refill slips fit more neatly into their assigned baskets. If I've made 100 copies, that's 100 1.5 x 11.5" strips of paper. Seems wasteful to throw them away, so I slice them in thirds and put them in a bin near the cash register. They come in handy all the time! Handy for customers, handy for us. We all use them. Everybody appreciates them but nobody has ever thanked me for making them available. But when I use them to make my daily "little lists" it seems to be noticed. And chuckled over.

That's the work me. Always on time. Always busy. Always finding more efficient, tidy ways to organize and keep track of things. Always cleaning things up and dusting and arranging. Always.

But at home I stand in the kitchen and try to talk myself into cleaning up the glass shards on the floor and not walking away from them for someone else to worry about.

There are two of me. And we don't get along well with each other : )

Oh--and off the subject, but what do you call the surgery a man gets so he can't have any more children? A misterectomy. heh heh

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feet Friday

I don't know from where Feet Friday originated. All I know is she does it. So does she. And her too.

I don't usually do what everybody else does. I won't Nablopomo. I don't Blogher. It's just not in my nature. But the feet thing? I can't help it. Everything about this baby--everything--is cute to me. Especially her tiny pink feet : )

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the apple really *doesn't* fall far from the tree . . .

A phone call from an hour ago:

Beautiful: "I'm the worst mother in the world!"

Me: "Worse than me?"

Beautiful: "Yes. Even worse than you."

Me: "Why? What could you have done that's so bad?"

Beautiful: "You know how when Lily's tummy is upset or she's super tired I rock her and sing and it calms her down?"

Me: "Yes . . . "

Beautiful: "Well, today I sank to a new low. I was out of lullabies and couldn't remember all your funky old 60's hippie songs, so I turned on the radio and danced with her in my arms to soothe her."

Me: "Yeah . . . so? Sounds fine to me."

Beautiful: "Mom, you don't understand. A Pink song was playing."

Me: "Pink? That's not so horrible."

Beautiful: "It was Pink's latest song."

Me: "Oh. Yeah, that's pretty awful. What have you done to my lovely granddaughter????"

Beautiful: "It gets worse . . . "

Me: "How is that possible?"

Beautiful: "After the Pink song, a Britney Spears song came on and I kept dancing with the baby in my arms. She heard a Britney song! I think that makes me a worse mother than Britney herself."

Me: "Yeah. Pretty much does. I'm sorry, sweetie, I thought you'd be a better mother than I am."

Beautiful: "I know, right? And you didn't even set the bar all that high!"

Me: "Well, you might as well get Lily a tattoo and Disney contract now."

Beautiful: "And a pair of those shoes . . . " *

*Isn't our ability to speak in embedded links and photographs astounding?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's okay--go ahead and let the bastards get you down

When I arrived at work on Friday morning at 11:00, Alicia looked up with a relieved expression and said, "Oh good! You're here!"

"Uh oh," I answered, "it's been that bad already?"

"I don't know if it's just me," she explained, "but it seems that customers are really grumpy today."

Two hours later she asked me, "So, is it just me or are people out of sorts?"

I confirmed her theory. "Yeah--just 5 minutes ago one of the customers was so appalled when I explained there were no refills left on his prescription that he threw a pen at me. THREW A PEN AT ME!"

And that's when Alicia and I mixed up a pitcher of Margaritas and told all the rude people to elf off.

Okay. We didn't actually do that. But we sure did want to : )

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Autumn Corners

My friend Angie reminded me that I haven't done "corners" in quite some time. And she's right. And I have writer's block, so "corners" seemed like the way to go : )

Once again, we visit my living room. This photo makes it look kinda cozy. And as I took this picture there was a toasty fire in the hearth and that candle you see burning gave off a warm, inviting vanilla ambiance.

That's where the coziness ends. Because if you look closely, or not even all that closely, you'll see evidence that a real family lives here. House Beautiful we are not . . .

Speaking of that homey vanilla candle?

It, and its accompaniments, are only placed there to hide this:

. . . the telltale blue stain of the Windex bottle . . . placed there all leaky when somebody was helping me out by cleaning the windows. I love that the somebody cleaned the windows for me! And hey, a few carefully placed apples and a candle is a small price to pay!

I didn't even bother to get the piano in the picture. Because the top of the piano looks like this:

Yes, that's an antique mirror with clean, nice lines . . . and die cast model cars. Notice how the hoods are up so everyone visiting my house can admire the plastic engines? That was Youngest's idea. An idea encouraged by his father.

This used to be a nice leather chair. And then we bought it. And lived with it. And stained it a few thousand times with food and wet hair from the shower and salt-water-logged swim trunks . . . It's impossible to keep anything nice in my house.

Next to the chair is a cute little end table on which I keep my latest sewing projects. The one currently sitting there is a quilt . . . for a baby . . . who was born nearly 6 weeks ago . . . Shhh--don't tell!

Next to the unfinished quilt is yet more evidence that I live with boys:

Electrical tape and candy wrappers.
Don't ask . . .

This is my couch. What's left of it, anyway. It was a hand-me-down. And it used to be a nice shade of off white. Now its color is sort of brownish grayish indescribable boyish.
I keep the lap blanket and throw pillows on the couch not for the punch of seasonal color, but for the camouflage effect:

Beneath that cuddly blanky is this--black dye from Arnold Schwarzenegger Halloween hair. Hair about which I recall expressly telling a certain Youngster, "DO NOT sit on the couch until you've shampooed that stuff out!"
What do the throw pillows hide, you ask?

Just more stains. Stains from people eating in this room. Stains from house guests and grown children who sleep on this couch. Stains from just about anything you can think of.

And why don't I just flip the cushions over, you ask?

Maybe it's because the backside of the cushion looks like this:

Families. Who needs 'em?
And look what special treat I found when I lifted the cushion to take a picture:

Halloween candy.
Very nice.
Get the vacuum, Youngest. You've got work to do.
Most of the time, though, my couch issues aren't noticeable because these days it's usually covered with this:

Which is usually covered with this:

Wasn't that a clever way for me to post yet another grandbaby picture while making you think it was a real post?
heh heh

beyond my powers

Hey, y'all, just a quick post to tell you that my e-mail is hit and miss and has been for months and it's way beyond my powers to do anything about it. So if you've tried to e-mail me privately and I haven't responded? It's not because I'm such a snob that it's beneath me to acknowledge the little people, it's because I'm technically challenged . . .

Also, I have the flu. And evidently I need your sympathy to recover, otherwise why would I have told you about it?

: )

And I do plan on blogging again . . . sometime . . . in the future . . . but right now when I'm not at work my arms are generally full of sweet baby and with helping to plan a wedding--things I'm happy to be doing. In the meantime, how 'bout if I just throw in a cute Lily photo or two to distract you from the fact that this isn't really a post so much as a bucket full o' excuses : )

almost smile . . .