Friday, August 29, 2008

Adoption notice

In response to...
Those poor animals, sounds as though you can't handle them. Why not put them up for adoption?They shouldn't be left outside while you take a nice vacation.
Two geriatric flea-infested black cats:

Nearly 14 year old male cat who will urinate and defecate on everything except the litter box. Particularly likes to poo on the seat of the dining room chairs. Lately, he makes a hornking noise when you look at him, as though he might cough up a hairball at any moment.

Twelve year old female cat has an anxiety disorder, or maybe an esophageal defect, or a combination of these two that results in random vomiting around the house. This usually occurs about 3 times per day, but up to 8. She prefers to vomit behind radiators and under furniture so that you find it months later, hardened like cement.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I wanted to share with you the very relaxing and wonderful vacation we had last week, but the past 40 hours or so since my return have been tremendously stressful. Despite the money we've spent having the house fumigated and bombed, the flea infestation was at a fever pitch when we returned on Saturday. Although we'd left Seamus outside, he snuck back in to soil several pieces of furniture. Alec had tried to shut Shannon out of our bedroom to keep her off of our mattresses, but it resulted in her getting locked in Lindsay's room. I can't blame her for using Lindsay's changing pad as her litter box. If you've watched nature shows featuring piranha, the fleas were similar when we returned. I immediately took the girls outside and sprayed them head-to-toe in bug spray.

We had had the foresight to schedule another bug treatment on Saturday afternoon, so Alec waited with Lindsay for the Orkin man, while Lauren and I went out to take care of some critical errands - buying presents for her friends' birthday party, replacing the pair of glasses Lin broke while we were on vacation. We finished in time to pick up Lindsay and Alec as the Orkin man told us that if we were to let the cats back in the house, Frontline or not, we'd be doing this until December or January.

We'd made the decision given Seamus' new no-litter policy, that he would be living in the yard from now on. We debated what to do with Shannon while we were out. I can give you a hundred rationalizations about why it's best for us to do that, but ultimately, Shannon herself made the decision. While we were out, she somehow escaped her pet carrier.

We spent yesterday throwing stuff away and vacuuming. I had saved quite a lot of Lindsay's smaller clothes in the drawers under her bed, where Shannon slept while trapped in her room. We bought a new vacuum, an upright canister vac with a HEPA filter and Alec vacuumed nearly every surface of the house. I've done approximately 8 loads of laundry, despite having returned from vacation with 3 suitcases of clean clothes. Today, there are still 3 loads in progress, and despite seemingly constant cleaning, our kitchen is too filthy to cook in, but the laundry and kitchen have to wait for other commitments today.

I'll tell you about vacation when I'm feeling a little less overwhelmed. Given school starts in 10 days and Lauren's birthday party is Saturday, that might not be soon...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My mind is still at the beach

Karen captured this moment. Bethi and I are walking out to look at the rocks. The storms from the night before hung over the eastern sky, strong enough to upset the canoe and lodge it underneath the neighbor's stairs to the beach.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I want to write about the weekend, leaving it in the warm, diffuse light of the Canadian sun shining through the windows of a cabin on the shore of Lake Erie. The warmth of wood walls painted in cheerful apples with Christian names of family who sleep in these bunks and tent in the yard. Who comb the beach looking for smooth stones with a hole that goes the way through.

I came without expectations...without anticipations.

The Steven King novella titled with a Ben E. King song came out the summer I turned 13. There's a line at the end about how you never have friends like you do when you're 12, and I remember the group I was in with and how we laughed easily and often. Your words spilled freely, some nice and some not, but they were accepted as they were and not subject to the later angsty teenage paranoia and interpretation.

To be in a group of women, a group of friends some of whom friends longer than half their lives, longer than they can remember a time before they were friends is like being able to step back into that moment of time when you were too self-conscious to let a friend see you exactly as you are and not as you'd like to be or as you like for people to see you.

And maybe it is this group of friends that the love is just so big and so deep that you're instantly enveloped in it.

And maybe it is being in a cottage so full of five generations of family.

Maybe it is the easy laughter, the in-jokes, the release of being undefined by husbands and children. Maybe it was the August snow and full arched rainbow in the middle of the drive home and yesterdays storms.

I feel renewed. And yet, already counting down the days until WTHS 2009...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Calling it like it is

Lauren: "You can't ride two riding toys at once, Lindsay. You only have one butt."


Lindsay: "No pizza bagel. No wan that! Ew. Bagel has cream cheese. No pizza."


Epiphany: "How about I put on your new sneakers?"
Lindsay: "How about not?"


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Swear word goes here

My cats have fleas.

My toddler has borderline iron.

Today wasn't fun.

I just spent a small fortune in flea repellent, shampoo, spray, combs, and extermination.

Dr Google says iron deficiency is bad.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Among life's great mysteries

Lindsay had a doctor's appointment about a week and a half ago. I don't know if it's a Jersey thing or a living in a very old house thing, but we were given a script to go to the lab and repeat her blood work from last year - CBC and lead.

When we sat down to do paperwork, the technician looked in horror at Lindsay's skinny arms. "It's for the baby? Oh no."

"She'll be fine." I replied brightly. "She didn't even notice last year."

She looked doubtful, but didn't reply.

As we sat in the scary looking blood drawing chair, Lindsay held her arm out and let the tech tie on the tourniquet. The tech's hands were shaking.

"They are just going to take a little blood out of your arm, Linds." I said calmly, as I held across her chest, pinning her right arm beside her. "And Mommy's giving you a special hug to help you keep still."

A second tech was there with the butterfly, sliding around the first who held Lin's arm taut. Lindsay watched, completely fascinated, as the needle pierced her skin. The second tech spoke quietly about the three tubes to the first, dropping each in her pocket as they filled. The first tech's hand was still now, looking at Lindsay's interested expression.

"I've never seen anything like that," she exclaimed.

"She doesn't mind needles." I replied.

The second tech stuck a purple sticker on Lindsay's shirt that read "I did very whale" with a cartoon whale on it.

"Tanks." Lindsay said.