Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shark Attack

How do you like this grill?

Yorkshire Terriers often don't lose all their baby teeth. (Quick, someone tell Madonna!) This 8 month old won the lottery. Often I'm pulling 2 to 6 from Yorkie mouths. Today I pulled 22 from hers.

Unfortunately, the owner didn't spay her at the same time. Someone said I should give all my business cards to the owner, to be passed out with the puppies! Ha ha!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

For no mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller...

Shocking news tonight that Michael Jackson died. My kids didn't know who he was until today. It's hard to explain the MJ phenomenon -- we don't own any of his music, but he was so HUGE during our early adolescence that Anthony and I know all his hits.

I remember waiting around the TV for the premier of the "Thriller" video, and being breathless and blown away by seeing it. We watched it every time it was announced it would be on. So did all my friends. And all our parents. Everyone in the world knew who Michael Jackson was, that he did the Moonwalk and had that distinctive dancing style. He was our Elvis. King of Rock-n-Roll, meet the King of Pop.

Will there be anyone like that in my kids' lives, someone so huge they reach across generations and genres, and everyone has seen their video? It seems like that time is gone. With digital media, there are so many specialized genres there are no superstars. Its great that smaller artists can reach their niche audience. But I don't know any songs by current pop stars (even if I know their names, I don't know their music). Is there even a Top 40 anymore? And American Idol doesn't count -- I don't even watch that.

We showed Anna and Colin a video of Michael dancing to "Billie Jean," when he unveiled his moonwalk. They were bopping their heads to the music. "Why is he wearing the one glove?" Colin asked. "He looks so different than his other pictures," Anna said.

Maybe tomorrow I'll show them "Thriller."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


"Where did I get this jacket?" Colin asks me in amazement. He found it deep in his drawer. My sweet sister, Stephanie, sent us a ton of Oilily couture last month that she snapped up for pennies on the dollar when they declared bankruptcy. Colin adores his trendy long shorts from them. Steph sent matching knit jackets, too. But, you know, its been 102 here - not exactly jacket weather, so I stowed it.

"Oh, its so nice and soft!" he says. Colin puts it on his nudie body and models. It is so fine. He brushes his teeth and decides to wear it to bed.

That's about the only way to wear it with the forecast calling for 102 now through Sunday...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hot, so Hot

We're suffering through a heat wave here. After a nice, mild May the weather we've been dreading for months set up camp. Our highs are in the 100s every day. Usually that's a more July-August phenomenon. At 10pm its still in the 90s. By 9 am, its back up the 90s again.

The garden suffers. No tomatoes will set unless temps cool off under 75 at night. Everything is droopy with wilt, even if I water in the morning. Better enjoy these 'maters while we can! I picked some of the arugula we grew in the shade today, dripping sweat on the leaves. Its so peppery from the heat it's almost bitter.

The children and the dog suffer. Well, at least Anna and Colin can go swimming. Its too hot for me to jog with Francesca, so she has cabin fever too.

I bought an English chocolate bar (Cadbury Fruit and Nut) and was careful not to leave it in the car. However, just entering the hot car with it, AC immediately blasting, on the drive home was enough to destroy its integrity.

National Weather Service says we might get rain over July 4th. I'll take it, even if it rains out the fireworks, as long as it cools things off...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Victoria's Secret, again

Today I got to spend my lunch doing a great exploratory on a cat with a penchant for chewing up stringy things. In fact, this is her second surgery -- her owner wisely bought health insurance for her cat after the first operation.

She had chewed up a small purse strap, which went out the stomach into the first part of the small intestine, and it got all wadded up and angry on this strap. Fortunately it was easy to gently milk the strap back into the stomach and remove it there. Stomach surgery is much easier on the patient AND the surgeon! However, Ms. Eatsalot had quite a collection of objects in her stomach:

Don't you love this museum quality diorama of gastric objects my friend Susan made? That's 8 ponytail holders, a braided cord bracelet, at least 4 chewed off bra straps (from VS!), and tons of various ribbon pieces.

I reiterated to the owner how important it is to keep all stringy things under wraps - "Buy a lidded hamper for your lingerie!" She didn't seem too hopeful, since is living with a roommate. Some cats (and their owners) just don't learn! Better hang on to that insurance...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ah, that's better!

That was just the breather I needed. Amazing how much easier life is without those two beautiful demanding kids around.

My parents took Anna and Colin for Wednesday-Saturday last week. And although I worked, we were on easy street here, and managed to go out EVERY NIGHT while they were gone. Hey, why not, we had child care covered, and it was exhilarating rather than exhausting. The first night we went to a MOVIE - this is a big deal around these parts, as Anthony's tendency towards vertigo means we usually only see one movie per year, and lately its been Cars, or Ratatouille, or some such Pixar picture with the kids at the Tinseltown. I suggested we see TERMINATOR SALVATION, a kind of throw back since Anthony eagerly anticipated T2 while we were dating, and indoctrinated me to the franchise. Anthony also hates the theatre because he'd rather be in the comfort of his own home... so of course I made sure we went to the Alamo Drafthouse. If you are not fortunate enough to be near one of these theaters, I am sorry, because they serve good local draft beer and wines even a snob could love (during the show!), as well as tasty gourmet foods, all for about the same price as a coke and popcorn at the mega-plex. "That seat was very comfortable," Anth said as we left. "We'll have to do that again." Yippee!

We also went to a wine tasting and a fancy dinner for an early birthday celebration for Anthony, which would have been quite impossible with children. Also! the house stayed miraculously clean and uncluttered. So refreshing, just like when my mom did all the kids' laundry while we were in Chicago. Life is so much easier when you only have to take care of yourself!

It also was way too quiet. Francesca didn't like it because we left her home alone all the time. And we did miss and think about the kids all the time. The tight enthusiastic hugs we got on Saturday when we picked them up in Brenham were priceless. Thanks again, Nana and Grandad!

Summer is in full tilt here - over 100 degrees every day now, and the birds are still singing when the kids go to bed. Removing school from the equation is making life easier - now its just swim team, piano, and ballet. Swim team will be over in 3 weeks.

Unfortunately now it is so hot every time I go outside it gives me a head ache. My book tells me that we people with migraines have sensitive brains, and so many triggers will give me a headache - lack of sleep, lots of screaming children, drinking super cold liquids, exertion in the heat, lack of caffeine, dehydration, super-sugary foods (don't even let me look at a doughnut) -- enough triggers in one day will give me a migraine. Some days, its like walking a tightrope. At least now I feel like I've caught my breath, and I'm ready for T2....

Monday, June 08, 2009

Fa Meno, Rapa!

My friend Lisa has this great story, the moral of which is "Do Less, Turnip." Something I needed to be reminded of recently.

If the lack of decent posting wasn't indicative enough, life has been overly full since mid-May, starting with the birthday week, then there was Ballet Recital, then Piano Recital. Also, we started swim team - daily 45 minute practices during the week, and early Saturday morning meets. Swim team has been great for the kids - they have become stong swimmers, lean and tan - and I like the coaches. It hasn't been so great for us adults running them there and back. In both the meets we have attended, I have had "issues" with the volunteer requirements (this is worth an entire post by itself). Its definitely up in the air whether we'll do it again next year.

Work is great, and even if I run errands on my lunch hour at least I am doing it without the kids. The only problem with work is that I am gone from the house 12 hours those days. Then I spend one of my days off doing laundry, and the other cleaning the house. The weekends don't let up either.

Last weekend I was up at 5 am on Saturday to go to a swim meet, up again at 5 am Sunday to do the Danskin Triathlon. The tri went great - with my fancy new bike, I had a personal best with an overall time of 1hr 49 minutes. Emily improved her time by 20 minutes! However, the cumulative effects of a week with not enough sleep, the heat, a little dehydration, my period, then intense exercise gave me a whopper of a migraine. I took a nap, woke up and took an Imitrex, then took another nap.

So despite the dirty messy house, I did nothing Sunday afternoon. It was as if my body was making me stop, even if it took a horrible painful headache to do it. Life has got to ease up, and it will - there is less on the schedule in the next few weeks, we probably won't make any more swim meets, and the kids are going to their grandparents' house tomorrow for 4 days. Yippee! Hopefully all this will lead to more quality posting in the future.

Monday, June 01, 2009