Thursday, April 24, 2008

what a picture is worth

I'm packing it up and heading north for the weekend. I know, heading north! Whoever heard of such insanity? Scarlet Lily's last night of debauchery (aka her bachelorette party) is Saturday night in New York, so Feather Nester and I are flying out in the morning for a weekend of babylessness that I can barely even wrap my brain around. So, I'm out for a few days.

I thought I'd leave you some pictures of S to enjoy. Pictures are really all you need to get a pretty accurate idea of what life is like around here these days.

Happy weekending, peeps. Keep your eyes on the gossip columns this weekend. You never know, I might run into Clooney...

Picking flowers or pulling weeds? You decide.
Guess who really likes chocolate chip cookies?
The stew clearly needed carrots.
S would totally fail her health inspection. Totally.

Monday, April 21, 2008

no fly zone

It was 5:45 this morning when M came into the bedroom with the news.

"I'm pretty sure there's a bird in the backyard. I could barely get Otis to come in. I think it's still alive, but it's dark, and I can't find it."

Awesome. Really, really awesome. Happy Monday. What is the deal? Is all of our green-ness luring birds to us to die? I mean, are they all flying around in the sky, thinking, "the P family doesn't use chemicals on their lawn, I want to go on to seriously greener pastures??" Why are none of you reassuring me that there are dead birds in your yards half a dozen times a year? I very sincerely doubt that Otis is such a stealth hunter that he's actually snagging all these poor things.

Just the same, at 6:30, I was outside, traipsing around in the cold, wet grass looking for a possibly still-alive bird. And I found it. Of course I found it. It wouldn't be my life if I hadn't found it. So, it was still breathing, though it was no longer flailing about, so Ouiser the farm girl had to make a reappearance. Luckily, I had a shovel handy this time to smack it with. (Gross, I know.) Then I bagged the sucker up and threw it in the garbage. All in all, it was about a four minute gig. I'm getting a smidge too efficient at this. It's alarming.

Beyond the apparent avian flu that hovers over our family, things are going well here. We're still working on getting settled in, but it's getting better. S is loving the warm weather. Loving it. She wants to be outside every second that she's awake. We bought her a sand table, which we finally filled yesterday, and she loved it...though she did eat a lot of sand. She thinks that shovels are spoons, and I think she was really, really confused. It was fun, though. And much to M's chagrin, she has decided that it's super fun to blow dandelions.

Okay, she's waking up. I'm out, peeps.

Friday, April 11, 2008

riders on the storm

Remember that one time when Val Kilmer was hot? You know the time. The time he starred in The Doors. Anyway...

The storm.

We had some lovely thunderstorms tear through last night. I slept like a baby. My baby slept like a baby. M got up at one point to watch the Weather Channel. As Feathernester and I had planned a trip to the Nashville Farmer's Market for this morning, I was not happy when I awoke to steadily falling rain. Alas, the skies had cleared by the time I got out of the shower, and I checked the radar...all looked good. Clearly, the radar map was zoomed in too close to Dickson. We'd been at the farmer's market about 15 minutes, drooling over plants for our gardens, when I got a text message. I don't get a lot of those, so I was curious. It was from M.

"R U 2 safe," was the message. Okay, we are not 15. We rarely use abbreviations in our few and far between text messages. We're old school. Or at least we're old. In normal situations, the message would've read, "are you two safe? i love you."

"What's going on?" I thought to myself as I dialed M. Apparently, tornadoes were touching down in Dickson County and he was afraid we were sitting under piles of rubble. Luckily, we weren't even around for it. At that point, I did notice some pretty ominous clouds looming nearby, so we were forced to cut our little field trip short. Oh, well. All the Ouisers and Feathernesters are safe and sound...and we are now enjoying some really gorgeous weather. 65 degrees and sunny. Really, really lovely. It would be better without the mud, but I'll take what I can get.

Alright, I've got to go dig my plants out of my car. Have a great weekend, peeps.

Sight: S asleep in the backseat
Sound: "please" from S as she begged for orange juice
Smell: dirt
Touch: S tickling my belly
Taste: breakfast cookies and the fries that Feathernester had at lunch

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a hot shower

Is a hot shower too much to ask? Is moving into a house you love, near people you love, in a state that you love too much "good?" Does having all that move you into the "you've got too much good going on to deserve anything else" category? It must. We've lived in shower-hell for three and a half weeks now. I think I mentioned when we first moved in we couldn't use the master shower because the faucet wouldn't work. Then the water heater didn't work properly. And the upstairs shower was apparently made for people without elbows as people with elbows can't possibly bend them to wash their hair without hitting the walls (seriously, showers in RVs are bigger than our upstairs shower). Then we realized that the downstairs shower didn't drain properly so that using it meant that you were constantly standing in an inch of water that you had to attempt to squeegee out when you were done lest you breed mosquitoes in the bathroom. That was weeks ago. Last week, we finally got the tile people to come out to fix the shower know, eliminate that pesky standing water-malaria spreading issue. They found that the original tile moron (because he doesn't deserve the title tile "guy") put a screw through one of our pipes, which clearly had to be fixed. Oh, and the water heater crapped out again. Turns out the water heater was hooked up incorrectly. So, the pipe had to be fixed anyway. Upon fixing it, they realized that one of the fittings under the house was wrong. We had no water for six hours last Tuesday. At least I think it was Tuesday. Soooo- the tile situation sat on the backburner that day, and the retiling of the shower lasted through the weekend meaning we were relegated to taking showers in the little people shower. Then the water heater crapped out again. When they came to fix it yesterday, they found another leak under the house, which meant no water for eight hours while they waited on a plumber. While waiting on the plumber, however, they did reattach the shower door, which I did appreciate...even though they lost some of the screws and they have to come fix it because it won't seal properly as it is.

Okay, are you lost yet? Are you running to your bathrooms to thank your shower for always working? Are you thanking your water heater, too? You should.

I was so happy to be back in a warm, draining, full-sized-human shower last night, even though I continually had to turn around and re-shut the door, that I stayed in there for 20 minutes. Environment, be damned. As the shower I had yesterday morning at the gym had been my best shower to date in Tennessee, last night's shower was almost like having died and gone to heaven. Or like having died and come back as George Clooney's pillow. It was great.

Of course, M had a cold-ish shower this morning, so I'm not sure our water heater woes are entirely behind us. It's completely insane...that's not even the end of the list of the plumbing issues. The tiny shower has a leak. The bathtub blew out it's washer and has to have the water cut off unless we're filling the tub. The dishwasher doesn't get anything clean. We're getting there, though. And I still love this house. I love it. I keep having these visions of how great everything will be when everything is done. Oh, I just can't wait.

I hope you're all having a fantastic Thursday. I'm off to put some geraniums into pots before they blow off the front porch in their little plastic tubs. I had planned to re-pot them yesterday, but I didn't have water, remember? It's amazing how many things you can't do without water. Amazing. I don't recommend trying it.

I'm out, peeps.

Monday, April 07, 2008

go. tigers. go.

I fully intend to blog "for real" at some point today. However, life seems to get in the way a lot lately, and I just have to say this one thing before that happens...


My Memphis Tigers are playing for all the marbles. And they aren't playing North Carolina. I am so excited that it's silly. As we watched them play UCLA Saturday night, we sang the fight song so many times that I think S would be more likely to bust out singing, "Go Tigers Go. Go on to victory..." than she would be to sing, "A B C D E F G." While I realize that's not really something to be proud of, it is funny.

Anyway, we'll be pulling for the Tigers with all our might, and as I don't think I know anyone who is a Kansas fan, I'm counting on all of you to pull for them, too...and send them all of your positive energy. (Scarlet Lily, I know that I showed you how to do that!)

Go Tigers. I have to go get the girl.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

we'll just see where it goes

I've had lots of posts running through my head the past few days. I just haven't had an opportunity to get to the computer, so who knows what will come out in this post. I'll just start and see where we end up, which is not my style at all for those of you who know me well enough to realize that I always need a plan. Anyway, here we go.

M is out of town for the second week in a row. I finally took advantage of that and made a recipe that I've been clinging to for over a year now. Broccoli with Black Beans and Garlic. Holy easy, and holy yum all at the same time. I served it over brown rice, and I'll gladly email the recipe to anyone who is interested. You can also add red peppers to the mix, but they aren't in season, and all the ones at the store demonstrated that fact quite forcefully.

Speaking of things being in season...I've been reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It's really, really good so far. My friend P (you know, the Mosaic guy) gave it to me as a going away gift when we left Kentucky. It isn't really helping my crazy urge to start digging up my yard and filling it with vegetable plants, but that's okay with me. Anyway, it's about a family that moved to a farm in an effort to eat locally. I know you've all read of other people doing the same. It's amazing to me that they are just able to say, "sorry, no fruit until June" (or whenever) to their kids because they can't find it in their county. They are forced to eat only items that are in season because, let's face it, red peppers don't grow in Appalachia in March. It's a really good book, and it makes me think a little harder about the giant container of baby spinach in my fridge. The one that had to be trucked in from California. The upside to the baby spinach problem is that I should be able to get it fairly soon at the farmer's market here, and I'm already wondering if it's too late for me to get some into the ground on my own. I guess we'll see. Gardening is the one activity in my life (besides motherhood) that I go into knowing that I'll have to learn as I go. Plans be damned.

I know that I already make conscious decisions about trying to eat in season. I refused to let S try peaches last summer until the good ones came in. Why get her started on less than the best, right? I also refuse to let her try strawberries until good ones arrive. (Scarlet Lily, the ones I eagerly scooped up at the farmer's market the other day did not fit that bill. Most were ruined by the time I got home!) I understand seasonality with most produce. It explains why I start dreaming of cherries in late April and early May. I am one seriously happy girl when they finally start showing up in June. Seriously. Happy. It explains why my family eats apples in everything in the fall. Somehow, though, seasonality seems to only apply to fruits with us. I mean, am I only supposed to eat salads in the transitional months when I could grow it myself? I guess so. It's a hard pill to swallow, and I somehow doubt that the P family will be going totally local ever. Besides, I dare you to try to deny my daughter her morning banana. I dare you. Stick your tongue to a flagpole dare you.

Enough about that. The stream of thoughts is woefully incomplete.

Besides, it's more important to let you all know that S is getting her one-year molars, and it is not a fun experience. For any of you out there with the this lovely milestone ahead, keep the Tylenol handy. It's just pitiful. Send my girl lots of happy, popsicle-filled thoughts. She needs them right now. One came through yesterday, and as she was actually able to sleep most of the night last night, and I am thinking that maybe, mercifully, the second popped through as well. Fingers crossed.

Alright, I am off. This post is as ridiculously random as I feared it would be. That's all I've got for now, though.

Happy Hump Day, peeps.