Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So Far Away

Anyone been playing the license plate game this summer? I'd have to say that out-of-state plates are down this season, probably due to the high price of gas. Or to the fact that I never leave my house and not a lot of out-of-state plates drive down my dead end, dirt road. Last week, though, I had a license plate first; a white van with a Saskatchewan license plate was parked in Town Hall Square. Saskatchewan Jerry! Saskatchewan!
I tried to point it out to Ken by gesticulating wildly from the front seat of the truck. He was driving behind me in the mini van but was oblivious to me as usual. Too bad. A Saskatchewan license plate, like a rare bird sighting, is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. After all - how many cars can there be in Saskatchewan anyway?
There's a debate that seems to always rage about which group of drivers is the worst: teenagers or the elderly. Just today I read a statistic that said an 18 year old who is talking on a cell phone while driving has the reaction time of a 70 year old who is not talking on a cell phone. Who does these studies anyway? All the studies are wrong though. I'll tell you who the most distracted drivers on the road are: parents in mini vans. When you see a mini van on the road you should steer clear if you value your life. You have no idea what's going on in there. Crying babies, arguing preschoolers, yogurts being spilled, CDs being fought over, library books being pitched into the "way back," and multiple requests to play "I spy," are all being juggled by some sleep-deprived parent who most likely can't remember where they are going.
One who's at the same time checking out the license plate of the car in front of her.
Damn. Florida again.

song: So Far Away • artist: Carol King

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hey, Hey, What Can I Do?

Things I can and can't do while nursing:
can: prepare bowls of cereal
can't: cut up a banana
can: pour water into the cat's bowl
can't: pry the lid off the tupperware container her dry cat food is in
can: put shoes on H
can't: tie shoe laces
can: work in InDesign
can't: work in Photoshop
can: talk on the telephone
can't: write down a message
can: pitch the wiffleball to H
can't: run the bases
can: take laundry out of the washing machine
can't: hang it on the clothes line

song: Hey, Hey, What Can I Do? • artist: Led Zepplin

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Love Everybody

Cranky mommy rips off Lyle Lovett:

I love everybody,
who wears underwear.
I love everybody,
who wears underwear.
So if you wear pull ups
or diapers it's true,
I love everybody,
everybody but you.

song: I Love Everybody • artist: Lyle Lovett

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stealing Kisses

Let's get this straight, if you eat blueberries, or raspberries, or over-ripe zucchinis for that matter, while you are out picking them at Coonamessett Farm (or any farm), you are stealing. If you allow your children to do it, and you don't fess up at the check out and throw in a little extra money, which I had to do last summer when I couldn't seem to get H to stop helping himself a la Blueberries for Sal, your child is stealing.
I know I'm hot and cranky, and possibly hopelessly square, but seriously, I think Farmer Ron would be appalled if he were to walk through his blueberry bushes. Today it seemed like all anyone was talking about was how many berries they had "tested." Except for the two teenage girls at the end of one of the rows, they were throwing berries at each other. Their mom asked them to "cut it out" but it didn't look as if they heard. I would have hauled them out by their hair and taken them home.
Forget people all over the world who are rioting for food, how can you blatantly rip off someone whose face you are familiar with? Someone who's letting you come onto his property, his beautiful property, and pick gorgeous, healthy, produce. I realize that eating a handful of blueberries probably won't cause the farm to go belly up - but - like I say to C, as one of my generic responses to a lot of different requests, what if everyone did it? Then where would the farm be? I can't imagine those same people graze the produce department at Shaws and encourage their children to do the same.
In the past I've been asked if I let my kids eat while they pick and I used to give the polite answer which is no because the berries hadn't been washed off yet. That's a good reason, but it's not the real reason. The real reason is that it's wrong to eat something before you pay for it. Kids don't understand shades of gray, if they think it's okay to eat one or two, why not a dozen, why not as many as they want?
And as for the people who've been caught walking off the farm, vegetables in hand, who claimed that they thought the vegetables were free with their farm membership - spare me. Does your BJs membership entitle you to take things from the store for free? Does your membership to Heritage Museums and Gardens mean you can walk off with merchandise from their gift shop? You're better off claiming you forgot to pay, at least that's slightly more believable.
Today we picked berries, H and I. Then we paid for them, washed them, sat on the deck overlooking the farm, and ate them, which, frankly, has to be more pleasant than eating them in the field, though I wouldn't know for sure.

song: Stealing Kisses • artist: Lori McKenna

The Impossible Dream

It was a triple whammy day. A small boy's dream. Lawrence and Lynch was doing road work on our street, our next door neighbor's septic system was undergoing an upgrade and there was a bulldozer parked in his front yard, and, the oil man came to clean our furnace. The morning was a cornucopia of interesting things for C and H to see and ask questions about. They didn't know what to do first.
Later in the day I had one twin asleep in the living room and the other sleeping in the kitchen. This made both those rooms off limits to me for fear of waking either of them. Yep, I live in fear of my babies. I couldn't even clean up in the office because the cat was asleep in the newspaper recycling basket. I was off the hook and left with nothing to do but watch YouTube all afternoon. It was a mommy's dream.

song: The Impossible Dream • musical: Man of LaMancha

Monday, July 21, 2008


Text messaging shorthard circa 1935.

song: Autograph • artist: John Denver

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Can't Fight This Feeling

More proof that my kids will fight over anything.
H likes to call the twins "nice bo bo babies," which makes C mad because he wants to call them "cutie petuties." This usually results in a screaming match between the two of them which ultimately makes the twins - regardless of what they're called - cry.

song: Can't Fight This Feeling • artist: REO Speedwagon

Saturday, July 19, 2008

left behind (a haiku)

one blue garden glove,
on the bench near the frog pond,
awaits your return

The Entertainer

This week, over the course of 72 hours, I had lunch with my cousin, dinner with a friend from high school, lunch and dinner with a friend from college, and an hour-long phone conversation with another friend which even surprised my husband (I hate to talk on the phone). It's all been wonderful and stimulating but at the same time exhausting. Therefore I feel its time for me to go back to being my normal antisocial self again.

song: The Entertainer • artist: Scott Joplin

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Space Age Love Song

You know how a group of crows is called a murder, a group of frogs is a knot, and a group of rabbits a warren?
I like to call this a "vibration" of baby chairs.

song: Space Age Love Song • artist: A Flock of Seagulls

Monday, July 14, 2008

Never Forget This Song

WMVY has been broadcasting this week from the Ottawa Blues Festival. It drew my attention because, although I haven't been anywhere lately, I've been to Ottawa several times. Despite being Canada's capital, Ottawa never gets the publicity that Toronto, Quebec City, and Montreal get. I kept waiting for Barbara Dacy to mention the cats of Parliament Hill but she never did. The cats of Parliament Hill are something like the pigeons of Trafalgar Square, or the denizens of the duck pond in Boston's Public Gardens. Animals that weren't meant to become tourist attractions but somehow ended up that way.
But I digress. When WMVY was airing music from the festival I noticed that a lot of if didn't sound particularly bluesy. I'm no expert on the blues, alas, I'm no expert on anything, but I've become blues educated since inertia usually prevents my changing the radio station weeknights between 8 and 9 when WMVY broadcasts The Blues at 8. Therefore I think I know the blues when I hear it. Donna Summer? Snoop Dogg? The Black Crows? Okay, they didn't actually play Snoop Dogg on WMVY, but he was in the festival line up. I thought that maybe the definition of blues music is different in Canada so I logged on to their website. There I found out that one of the objects of the festival is not to promote the blues but instead: "to support and sustain the growth of emerging and diverse musical genres, including the Blues, World Music, Alternative, Rock, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Rap, Folk, Urban, and other forms of music that develop from time to time."
Phew. That's pretty inclusive. The Ottawa Blues Festival very well may harbor a sincere desire to expand our collective musical horizons but if that's the case, shouldn't they drop the misleading name? To me the objective says, "we'll take any performer we can get."
That objective seems to be gaining popularity among the "festival" circuit. Here are some of the performers at next month's Newport Folk Festival: Brian Wilson, Jimmy Buffett, The Black Crows (again!), Cowboy Junkies. All good performers to be sure, but they're not folk. I know because I looked them all up on iTunes and not one was listed in the folk category. I know there is a folk category on iTunes because when I typed in Pete Seeger - voila - he's categorized as folk. The Newport Folk Festival doesn't seem to list any objectives so there's no way to find out what their justifications are for headlining acts that aren't considered folk music. Again, I am left to assume, "we'll take any performer we can get."
Interestingly, jazz festivals haven't yet fallen victim to this homogenization. I base this fact on having looked at the line up of the Miami Beach Jazz Festival and not recognizing a single artist.
The Black Crows must have been busy that weekend.

song: Never Forget This Song • artist: The Black Crows

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ball of Confusion

It's not nice to mess with mommy's head.
C has started referring to himself in the third person. He'll say things like, "C want some more watermelon."
In addition to sounding sort of cavemanish - this is confusing for me. I'll look around to see where C is before realizing that he's talking about himself. It's hard enough to keep everyone straight (I often confuse H with the cat) without somebody talking about themselves as if they were another entity all together.
As if that wasn't bad enough, on Friday night I had a husband-induced twilight zone moment. I was driving the truck and I'd parked it at T.J.Maxx and gone inside to load up on size 3T undies for H. Ken came to the parking lot, found the truck, and unlocked it to get out his wallet. Then he turned the truck around to face hood-out in the parking lot, and left. This made it easier for me to pull out when I was leaving but it caused me to do several double takes in the parking lot because I knew I hadn't backed in when I parked. I confirmed that it was Ken's truck because the key fit into the lock and I recognized the boat shoes, tennis rackets, water bottles and other assorted items in the truck bed.

song: Ball of Confusion • artist: The Temptations

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Things You Left Behind

It's a theory of mine that our own personal universes expand in proportion to our surroundings. For example if we get a raise and start making a few more dollars we increase our standard of living to match out new found wealth. Likewise, the size of one's house dictates how much stuff he or she will hoard away. Similarly, now that at I'm driving a mini-van I have to fight the urge to carry around entire wardrobes with changes of clothing for each one of us, plus swim wear and towels for the occasional, impromptu, beach stop. I desire not to do this because the diaper bag, the double stroller, and the economy-size bag of wipes, all of which I regard as necessities, effectively fill up the rear of the van.
This means I am constantly packing and unpacking the car, and trying to remember to bring specific items every time we leave the house.
This means I forget something just about every day.
On Monday it was sweatshirts for H and C to bring to the Commodores game. Who knew it was going to cool off?
On Tuesday it was hats for N and S to wear while we were in the ice arena.
On Wednesday it was shoes for H, which wasn't a problem until we had to stop at Amber Waves and I had to carry him in and make him sit on the check out counter while we shopped.
On Thursday we didn't go anywhere.
On Friday we went to Goodwill Park. I remembered the sunscreen, the snacks, the bottled water, the ball, the bat, the clippers, and even all of C's dress up clothes to wear to the theater that night. In fact I was feeling pretty good about things as I was driving home from dropping off H and C with my parents.
Then I remembered that I hadn't brushed my teeth that morning.

song: Things You Left Behind • artist: The Nails

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Shine On

Since January we've been going to bed with the hall light on so that when one of the twins wakes up in the night I can see to nurse him. This was working well until recently when it starting getting hot at night and we set up the air conditioner that goes in the bedroom window. Now, if I open the door to let light from the hall into the bedroom, there goes all our cool air. On the other hand, if I close the door, I can't see the twins, nor can I hear H or C, should one of them wake up during the night.
It's as if I can't have my cake and keep it cool too.

song: Shine On • artist: Entrain

Sunshine Superman

See? Garbage collectors really are superheros.

song: Sunshine Superman • artist: Donovan

Sixteen Candles

Poor Ken. Poor old Ken. Poor old candle-deprived Ken. Sunday was his birthday and we didn't have 48 candles to put on his cake. We didn't even have the numbers 4 and 8 in our collection of "big number" candles. Instead we had to use last year's 4 and 7 candles and stick a single (pink) candle next to them.
Ken's parent's sent him a e-card for his birthday.
An e-card. I've never sent an e-card in my life.
Every now and then you'll hear about some 80-year-old woman who gets a new computer in order to IM her grandchildren, or geriatric1927, the 79-year old Englishman who's achieved YouTube fame. While on the surface we say things like, "that's great, good for him," I propose that secretly we don't want our parents to catch up with the latest technology. We don't want them to master TiVo, to walk around attached to earbuds, or to talk about how many friends they have on Facebook. When we were teenagers we didn't want them doing this because we perceived it as embarrassing. Now we see it as a threat. We don't want them doing this when we're 40 because it just might mean they are more technologically hip than we are. It is conceivable that they are - or could be if they put their minds to it. After all, they have more time to learn this stuff while we are busy trying to figure out what's for dinner and what happened to all the missing socks. They are retired. They eat pizza every night and don't notice if their socks don't match. They have all the time they need to take photos with their cell phones and upload them to their blog.
Though on the surface we may complain about how our parents live in the past and are always talking about "the good old days," there's comfort in knowing that at your parent's house the carpets are still shag, the footstool is still naugahyde, and Neil Diamond is still crooning on the stereo. We prefer our parents remain in the decade in which we graduated high school. It makes us feel young.
What would we do without the generation gap? Sit around with our parents and talk about sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll? Certainly not! We need the generation gap as a cushion between us and them because if our parents are on the same wave length as us, then it surely means we are old.
We also need our parents, or at least their houses, to be firmly rooted in the past in order to enlighten our children about our own personal past as well as about some of the iconic relics of previous generations. There should be plenty of old photographs at our parents house, a few embarassing ones of us, but more importantly ones of relatives who have long since died. This way kids can point to them and ask who they were and the grandparents can tell the story of Grandma Studley who grew African violets and of Auntie Edna who liked to sleep under the Christmas tree. A grandparent's house should be a portal to another time. Just last week my son came home from my parent's house talking about "those disc things." He meant records. Maybe this week he'll notice that they have a bread box.

song: Sixteen Candles • artist: The Platters

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Wouldn't It Be Nice?

I think I had a city mouse/country mouse conversation with a woman from Toronto the other night. I said something to the effect of, "I've been to Toronto. It seems like a great place to live." She said that it was nice but that Falmouth was "beautiful" and that I must love living here. I didn't disagree but I was reminded of the old, "isn't Falmouth Nice" slogan.
It's nice unless.
Unless you're fishing off the dock in Megansett with your grandson.
Unless you're sitting in traffic after the fireworks in a car with New York license plates.
Unless you're trying to find a bathroom for your potty-training three year old to use and the public restrooms behind Main Street are closed at 3:30PM on a holiday weekend, even though it's clearly posted that they are open until 5PM.

song: Wouldn't It Be Nice? • artist: Beach Boys

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Outdoor Type

Hey Priscilla,
Here's how it went down today.
He pooped in the back yard!
Maybe it was because I told him not to go to the bathroom in his bathing suit.
After the pooping incident, I brought the potty out on the deck and he peed in it twice. Ironically, I was prepared to just empty it in the woods but he insisted on walking it inside, pouring it into the toilet, and flushing.
He said that tomorrow he would wear his "big boy undies," but I think he's just messin' with me.

song: The Outdoor Type • artist: The Lemonheads

Stop Making Sense

As a mostly-stay-at-home mom I often lack for adult conversation, but if I manage to get my tribe out of the house I can often overhear some good stuff. Through the din of my crying child at toddler aerobics we overheard this from a woman in the back of the room on a cellphone, "you mean I don't have Lyme disease?" She sounded almost disappointed.
At the Mostly All Male whatever they call themselves, I couldn't help overhearing a conversation between the two women sitting in front of C and I. One of the women was telling the other that she was going to be spending the month of July living in her RV - in the WalMart parking lot.
Unlike Lyme disease lady, she did not sound disappointed at all, in fact she sounded as if she was looking forward to it. As if there's no better place to be during the month of July than in the mall parking lot.
At least in her parking lot oasis she'll be able to avoid ticks and insects and other denizens of the great outdoors. Other folks aren't so lucky. Last Monday at Coonamessett Farm I overhead a 12-year-old girl complain that there was a spider on the outdoor play equipment she was using. I know she was 12 because her grandmother chided her for being 12 and climbing on outdoor play equipment meant for toddlers. Her mother was on her way over to intervene (and not on behalf of the spider) when her father, perhaps seeing the dirty look I was throwing their way, pointed out, "well, we are outside."
Outside the realm of reason I'd say.

album: Stop Making Sense • artist: Talking Heads

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

july 2 (a quatrain)

sweaty baby
seeking shady
place to lay
while brothers play

I Can Dream About You

What's more adorable than one sleeping baby?

Two sleeping babies of course!

song: I Can Dream About You • artist: Dan Hartman