Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I just have to tell a little tale of something that happened with Philip that made my day! I was driving him to an appointment and mentioned that I had forgotten my sunglasses and I was annoyed at myself. ( What good are a bazillion sunglasses floating around your house if you forget to bring a pair with you?!) A moment later, Philip used his Dynavox to say, "Glasses" twice. I was so surprised and said something silly like, "Yes! My sunglasses!" Then he went to a phrase based part of the device and said the phrases, "Do you have..." and "We have..." and I said, " Are you saying that you have sunglasses at your house that I could borrow?" I looked in the rearview mirror and saw him indicate "Yes." I was SO excited that I jumped up and down ( as safely as one can do while driving a mini-van) and screamed and almost cried! He thought that was hilarious. It meant a lot to me, not because he was offering to loan me sunglasses - although that was nice, but because he doesn't often make comments voluntarily. I'm so proud of him!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Where are the police when you want them?

Coming home today, I went the route where I took the illegal left-hand turn a couple weeks ago and got pulled over by a sharp-eyed cop. Except today I knew I was going to turn right and be law-abiding. Lo and behold, I found myself behind someone who... you guessed it...was taking a left hand turn at that very infamous intersection. But of COURSE, there were were no cops in sight! Maybe I should have made a citizens' arrest. But that would have been a little bit like that parable of the forgiven slave...and I'd rather not be cast into prison until I pay my whole debt to society, because I have no idea what that debt may cost. And Brad is working in his own li'l prison tonight so I'd have to wait awhile to be bailed out and that would be inconvenient. Bleh.

Current Cellar Cinema Cacophony

Today's lunchtime auditory offering from the basement? The dulcet tones of men's voices singing the Russian ( or Soviet?) national anthem courtesy of that classic film: The Hunt For Red October.

Further movie updates as events warrant.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Doom N' Gloom from the Basement

As I sat in the kitchen eating my lunch today, minding my own business, I was suddenly startled by a loud proclamation issuing forth from the basement: "Death comes unexpectedly!" I knew instantly what was happening - Grandpa was watching "Pollyanna" and it was at the scene of the Sunday sermon by the fire n' brimstone Reverend. But it was so out of the blue, it made me crack up and I almost choked on my comestibles.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The hot place

We drove by a church today whose little announcement board/sign thing out front said, "You think it's hot here..."


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Musings During my Post-Dinner Siesta

I sit here in my living room, procrastinating doing the dishes because it's just TOO HOT in that kitchen. For some strange reason, I decided to do a crockpotty dinner ( ew- that sounds bad. But it also sounds funny so I'll leave it) tonight, thinking that I was a clever woman, doing dinner early in the day to cut down on the whole rush-around-and- get- dinner -on -when -I- get - home -from -work thing. WELL. I forgot how freakishly hot the kitchen gets when you use the crockpot. I walked in to the kitchen this evening and it was like there had NEVER been air conditioning in this house. And then I realized that a fuse must have blown and sure enough, the A/C was indeed off. Crockpot + no A/C = Sauna/Rainforest type climate in my kitchen. Fortunately, Brad had told me what to do in this event, and I rebooted the appropriate switch in the li'l fusebox to fire up the A/C - to coin an oxymoron- and got on with the business of making "The Rest of the Dinner." Unfortunately, the kitchen did not turn into Cool City upon the flip of the switch. By the time I sat down to dinner, I could deeply sympathize with the Wicked Witch of the West - I was melting! I felt like an old-timey southerner, mopping my brow, face, neck etc. with my napkin. Ga-ROSS. It was like the shroud of Turin- except it was the Napkin Of Claire. EW. I am SO thankful for A/C. I think I must have lost a couple pounds with all this sweating.

Which brings me to this question: HOW DID THEY LIVE SEVENTY FIVE YEARS AGO WITHOUT A/C??!! My guess is, everyone was a lot thinner and stinkier.

And it brings me to this question: When I'm feeling like I'm melting, does the baby feel hot? Or is the bubble he's living in climate controlled? It must be. I'm horribly ignorant when it comes to these things. Sometimes when I read up on fetal development, I find stuff that REALLY weirds me out and/or scares me - so I tend to shun reading those kinds of things altogether and thus I'm not as educated as I probably should be. I heartily agree with the scripture that mentions us being "fearfully and wonderfully made." Yes- I know- fearfully isn't meant that way, but it means that to me! Either way, it's time to go quaff some cool water.

And ALSO- speaking of the person living in my womb - how much can he hear? I know that he CAN hear me at this point but what else can he hear? Is he also developing a recognition of Rush Limbaugh's voice? And how well can he hear whatever he hears? Is it like listening to someone talk to you while you're underwater? Or on the other side of a door? I have become much more self-conscious recently, thinking about how he is listening - it's almost eerie! Not quite a "Big Brother" type of thing - but just a sense of what a tremendous impact everything I do is having on another life. Loud noises make me cringe more than ever. I have cut down considerably on cussing and swearing - ha! - and sharply rebuking the cat.

Okay- time to go see if human life can tolerate the temperature in the kitchen.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Out with the with the new.

Last night, Grandpa and I were talking about something and he inadvertently coined a new word. He gave voice to the brand new word "uninhimbered." I'll break it down for you: Un- In- Himbered. And he used it several times, so it wasn't just something I THOUGHT I heard him say once. I think from the context, it is meant to be a combination of the words unencumbered and unhindered. Huh. Novel. I like it.

I was considering three words recently that I think are WAY overused these days. I think most of the offenders are of my generation. The words are: basically, amazing, and seriously. As in, "How was your trip?" " Basically, it was seriously amazing." Okay- most of the time they aren't all used in such close proximity. But, just think about it. Take "amazing." "Amazing" is a much more popular word these days, right? Such and such was an AMAZING experience. So and so is an AMAZING person. I think it's tiring to be so amazed all the time. If you're constantly being amazed, it's not really true amazement anymore. You're just naive. ( How do you put those little dots over the a in naive?) I seriously think that we should put a ban on the word "amazing" for about a year and try and come up with some other adjectives instead. Basically it's just a sign of being lazy and unimaginative. Let's try to be uninhimbered by the verbal ruts of the past.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Too many ways to communicate!

Do you ever feel like you have too many choices? Like when you go to the grocery store, for example. Do you ever stop to consider how many options you have just for cereal? There's a whole aisle for cereal! It's an indecisive person's nightmare. But with today's technology, the whole "too many options" dilemma extends to many more issues than just food.

This morning, I wanted to tell Penny something. But the list of ways of how to contact her is almost overwhelming. I could - A. email her ( which is what I ended up doing), B. text her on my cell phone, C. call her on my cell phone, ( C. Sub-Section 1: Call her on my landline), D. leave a message on her Facebook wall, or E. talk to her in person. TOO MANY CHOICES! I guess I also could have included THIS ( blog about the thing and then wait til she sees it and comments on it) on my list of options. That would be Option F. So, just for giggles, let's double-dip and go with two options...Ahem- Pen, there's a yardsale for tomorrow listed in the paper in our favorite subdivision in the world. ( Not OUR subdivision - but rather, our dream subdivision, the one whose initials are B.A.) Are you working tomorrow morning? If not, we could go and drool over the houses as we bargain hunt...

As I was reading this to Brad, he said, " Or you could write her a letter! Or you could harness the carrier pigeons! Or send it by smoke signal!" Ah yes. How could I have forgotten our little fleet of pigeons? So handy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's a....

....BOY! Rough-housing here we come! ( Very much later - not now, of course.)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pink or Blue? The Suspense is killing me!

Tomorrow morning I go in for an ultrasound and, if the baby allows, we will find out whether we are having a boy or a girl! I can NOT TELL YOU how excited I am. I feel almost sort of nervous!

We both started out hoping that it would be a boy...My reason was that I suspect in the long run, there is less over-all drama with a boy. I'm just thinking about those awkward, uncomfortable years between the ages of 10 and 20 when life is a huge, confusing, heartbreaking mess...and I know what that is like as a girl...and I cringe to think of watching my own flesh and blood go through that. I know from my own experience, that it had its wonderful moments and it also had its deep valleys. It seems like boys don't have such drastic, crushing emotional valleys. However, the idea of a girl has been growing on me. After reading Brandon's post about how boys just want to rough-house and girls are more sedate and contemplative, I think maybe I'd like to start out with a girl. Ease myself into the whole thing. And the other day I said to Brad that I wanted to have a girl so that I could watch Anne of Green Gables with her...I suppose I could watch it with a boy too...but I don't think it would quite be the same.

I was thinking last night how I am the third girl in a row in my family and I'm SURE my parents were hoping I was going to be a boy. But I'm glad I wasn't a boy. I like my life and I am happy to be who I am, in spite of all those gawky, ugly, insecure, drama years. So who am I to be prejudiced towards boys?

So I guess what I'm saying is - I've been thinking about how this baby is not just a boy or a girl - this is a person. A person we love already - sight unseen. ( Well- okay, I've had one ultrasound already so technically I've "seen" him/her...but you know what I mean. And Brad wasn't with me last time...and I can't wait to watch him as he sees our baby on the screen tomorrow.) At this point, Brad and I are both at the stage where we will be happy either way - we just want to know SOMETHING about this person. ANYthing! And finding out the gender is where we get to start.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Arthur and Lexie

My sister Karena, niece Lexie and nephew Arthur have been here this last week! Unfortunately, the kids came down with multiple illnesses, much to everyone's disappointment, and so I have not had as much time visiting with them as I planned. ( Call me paranoid, but being pregnant for the first time, I get a little nervous around fevers and such.) Plus, it's been so oppressively hot here this last week that even when they have felt okay, it's been too hot to play outside. The perfect storm, you might say - sickness and a heat wave. Poor things. But we have had SOME time together and one evening we had them over for dinner and Brad took a bunch of pictures. Here are a few of the best...( You can also see them on our Flickr account AND Brad and I are now both on Facebook so you can see them there too...)

Friday, August 10, 2007

I have escaped the Wrath of the Law!

No, this is not a post about spiritual things or the book of Romans or the Law of the Old Testament. But I'm almost as happy that I escaped the puny wrath of this law as I am about escaping eternal damnation. ( Okay- a BIT of an exaggeration there, and hopefully not sacrilegious. ) Because any wrath- puny or not- tends to shrivel me and make me have a bad day. Unless it's deserved - and then I'm all fine with it. ( Yeah.)

It's been an interesting week with lots of extra things happening. Philip went back to school, Karena and her kids arrived, and Grandpa returned from his sojourn in the lands of the West. It's been a good week -just a bit unusual and hectic. And this evening was no exception. I had to do a couple errands after work and so I drove a direction that I don't usually drive in. I took a left turn onto a busy road, mentally congratulating myself that I had succeeded in getting across the road b/c it's not always easy to do at that intersection. That's when I saw the police car pull up behind me and turn on his lights. Ah. The crowning touch to my busy day. My mind sprang into action: It must have been because I didn't come to a full stop at that stop sign! I was in such a hurry to get across the road while it was still clear that I must have rolled through the sign...I kicked myself ( again- mentally) because I had SEEN that cop sitting there, even before I pulled out onto the street. I told myself it couldn't be that big a deal but thoughts of the New Boston police and how much they charged a certain family member of mine for the same offense quickly flooded my mind.

It turns out that it is illegal to make a left turn at that intersection between certain high-traffic hours... but I was ignorant of this since I don't usually go that way at that time of day and I explained this to the officer. FORTUNATELY, he had pity on me and let me go with a warning. PHEW. Then I started feeling guilty about it. I think at one point I DID know about this rule b/c it started sounding familiar ( I think perhaps at one time it was posted) but since I rarely go home that way, I wasn't really thinking about it...AURGH! My soul-scraping honesty is going to get me in real trouble one of these days. CONFESSION! CONFESSION! Maybe I should just go to the local police station and leave a big pot of money for them and have done with it. Oh well. I suppose I should just be grateful I received mercy. No doubt they'll get me again sometime for something else. And I'm grateful that he didn't ask me why I thought he had pulled me over. Because I think I really did roll through that stop sign and that would have been what I said if he asked me...and I SHOULD have gotten a fine for that.

I think this is a good case - among many others- to show why it's a good thing I'm not a Supreme Court Justice - or any kind of judge for that matter.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Happy Birthday... Wendell Berry, one of my favorite authors, introduced to me by my good friend Sarah (Used-To-Be-)Lower but she got married and now has a different last name...but she will always be Sarah Lower to me.

ANYWAY- back to W.B. I didn't know it was his birthday today until I heard "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor on NPR this evening. There is something about Garrison Keillor's voice that is so comforting and calming; I thought to myself that if the broadcasters of America had to choose someone to announce that a cataclysmic ending of the world was imminent, they should choose Garrison to make that proclamation. It would sound so much better coming from him than from Katie Couric or Brian Williams or Tom Brokaw... or heaven forbid, Daniel Shore. But from Garrison's mouth, this news would seem almost ordinary. Perhaps a little intriguing, in fact. Certainly no mass hysteria. But Garrison has a face made for radio, so perhaps he wouldn't be able to pull it off with the same success for television.

Okay-I THOUGHT I was going back to talk about Wendell Berry, but I find myself easily sidetracked today. So...yes, Wendell. He was born in 1934 and I assume is still living, because the little page on the internet didn't give a death date. Long live Wendell Berry! I can't say I wholeheartedly love everything about the man - I think he is perhaps somewhat of a liberal - I'm not sure- I haven't read everything he wrote. But he's not all bad. He's written some beautiful stuff.

Here is a quote:

"I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief...For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."

I like this quote. It makes me think of a time when I sat by the stream which runs through the golf course next to Fairwood on a gorgeous late summer afternoon. I sat and watched the stream and the little ecosystem surrounding it and thought how perfect and peaceful everything seemed and how refreshing it was to get away from the noise of humans. And I envied the happy, oblivious bugs who got to live in this beauty. Bugs don't care who is running for president; they don't even know that Washington, D.C. or New York City exist. They live and die in rural corner of New Hampshire. They remain aloof from all the human scandals and squabbles. They don't worry about dirty bombs, or the rise of Islamo-fascists, or the state of education in this country. Sigh. Oh to be a bug.

I like finding quotes that I can relate to an experience or idea that I've had already.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hurray for freebies!

I hit a few yardsales this morning and came away with some nice some freeeebies! I picked up a bouncy seat ( for the baby - for those of you in Rio Linda) in practically mint condition and when I was talking to the lady about why I was buying it ( I was wearing a larger than usual shirt so she probably didn't notice my big ol' belly), she threw in a "What to Expect in the First Year" book for free. Practically blessed my socks off. She tried to give me this ancient highchair too, but I politely declined. It was ancient in a tacky/seventies kind of way, not in a antique/classy way. ( And lo, my mother called soon after - she was at another yardsale - to tell me she had found a good highchair... It pays to hold out for something normal.)

Then I strode on to the yardsale next door, at which I also got into a baby conversation with the proprietoress...and out of the blue, she whipped out a brand new turkey baster ( still in the packaging) and said she wanted to give it to me..."Do you know what you use this for?" she asked. I knew it was a trick question...DUH. She explained that she gave one of these to all her friends who had babies because she thought it was a great way to wash the baby's hair. Well, I'll be hornswaggled( Actually- I don't know because I just looked up the word hornswaggled - also spelled with an 'o' sometimes instead of an 'a' - and its definition is bamboozled, or deceived. And how can you be bamboozled - another great word- with a freebie?). Anyway, I immediately thought of how Alton Brown ( of the cooking show "Good Eats") would approve - he is a big one for multitasking utensils. I thought it was quite neat. I like creative thinking like that. Hurray for free stuff!