Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Bees have gone to the mountains

Reason #425 you probably don't want to come to my house--I found this under my stove. A potato? An onion? You be the judge.

Here, a nice summer photo (they lasted about 90 seconds after we took this)--

We're off here again this summer to relax--

Wonder how he'll like it this year now that he can walk and run and has no fear of water and such.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who knew? Eyelid cleanser

I went to the eye doctor, and finally (FINALLY!) someone takes me seriously about how much I hate the blazing sunlight here in the Arctic Circle where the sun never climbs high into the sky so always shines directly into your eyes and there is less pollution haze and humidity to dilute it. It was a paid interaction, after all (as the door hits my health insurance's #ss on it's way out)--he does have an interest in nodding sympathetically and scribbling notes ("what a pansy, can't stand the two darn months of sunlight we have here blah blah blah here let's draw a big smiley face, no a flower, no a big bloodshot eyeball crying tears of sadness for Nora").

But I digress. Completely apart from my sunlight allergy, I also happen, apparently, to have some CLOUDY OIL coming from my eyes. Cloudy! Not clear! Causing dry, irritated eyes. One of his recommendations?

Seriously! Did you know there was such a thing?

Dry, irritated eyes? The problem might not be your eyes but your eyelids!

They are individually wrapped cloths, and you are to cleanse your eyelids (close your eye first! It says it in the directions!) using lateral, side-to-side strokes. Not to be confused with the lateral, up-and-down strokes.

Note my compliance with my eye doctor's recommendations, and note also my freakishly large mannish thumbs. If you ever need to identify my remains, start there.

Funny thing, it feels great and I think it might actually be doing something.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The high-minded intellectual Sunday of a new PhD

  1. Had friend with Costco membership buy me baby wipes.
  2. Felt guilty for consuming Costco products without a membership.
  3. Remembered how I once returned a backpack I knew was full of cat pee for a full refund.
  4. Became convinced will go to hell.
  5. Had identity crisis that I am now a person who has strong opinions about baby wipes.
  6. Had identity crisis that I'm not using "green" baby wipes.
  7. Told myself, HA! There is no such thing as a green baby wipe.
  8. Had identity crisis that my plan to use warm washcloths instead of baby wipes lasted as long as my maternity leave, not a day longer.
  9. Took nap.
  10. Gazed rapturously at baby.
  11. Took baby swimming in Lake Washington.
  12. Wondered why he didn't love it.
  13. Realized maybe the three foot swells from passing speedboats and glacial water temperature may be influencing his enjoyment.
  14. Pretty sure lifeguard megaphoned something in my direction about being a bad mother for taking my baby too far into the water.
  15. Switched to warm, toddler-friendly wading pool.
  16. Coveted some other kid's plastic firetruck water toy.
  17. Had identity crisis that I am now a person who covets plastic firetrucks.
  18. Figured it was better than coveting a plastic GUN.
  19. Figured I could easily overpower the four year old playing with it and then it would be MINE .
  20. Looked at potential new house (PNH) for the third time.
  21. Walk from PNH to nearby "park."
  22. Realized "park" near PNH is nothing more than a footbridge over a perilous ravine that is probably full of rodents.
  23. Watched childless unmarried couple traversing perilous ravine.
  24. Remembered that's often how I spent Sunday afternoons in ANOTHER LIFE.
  25. Gazed rapturously at husband and baby.
  26. Glanced a little longingly at childless unmarried couple.
  27. Realized playground is way the hell over on the other side of the "park" and would have to drive to it if we lived in PNH.
  28. Realized husband doesn't care in the least that would have to drive to playground.
  29. Realized husband would enjoy traversing perilous ravine with me.
  30. Assumed husband doesn't remember that WE HAVE A BABY.
  31. Cooked dinner I knew husband would hate.
  32. Figured then he might agree that it is really important to walk to a playground.
  33. Feigned innocence of passive-aggression in meal planning strategy.
  34. Thought "why do we all assume I'm cooking dinner all the time anyway? I have a PhD!"
  35. Remembered I don't actually make very much money.
  36. Felt guilty about #31.
  37. Wondered when diploma will arrive.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Live blogging PBS Nature, sort of, when I can handle the suspense

Despite having sworn off wildlife documentaries--thanks to Mozu the Snow Monkey and her disability and her living in the snow and her depression sitting listlessly by the freezing river after her baby died and I just can't possibly handle another one ever I KNOW Mozu's peeps took good care of her and accepted her disability and I don't care how good March of the Penguins is I DON'T want to see it or I may die--I watched PBS Nature tonight anyway.

Tonight's episode was called Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies. I watched it while Bubba was falling asleep in my arms (I know! Bad mother! Gosh, he's cute.)

The filmmaker, Ginger Kathrens, happens to be filming the wild stallions when she sees the birth of a rare all-white colt. Well, not really--it's all very respectful as she watches the mare leave the herd for the night, fade to sunset, and then the mare trots back the next day with her trotting little white foal next to her. (Dude--mare? Nice work. I wasn't trotting anywhere the day after I had a baby, and he only weighed eight pounds.)

Ginger names the colt Cloud, because he is lovely and white. She fears for his safety because of his lack of camouflage but is also drawn to him. (Jeff, who was brought up in the mountains, knows something of the harsh realities of nature, UNLIKE ME, and lost many childhood cats to coyotes. So now he calls white cats "coyote marshmallows.") When she returns to the mountain, her worries of Cloud turning into a mountain lion marshmallow have not been realized, yippee! But per wild horse herd society, he has been kicked out of his band by the lead stallion who only keeps mares around. So Cloud has joined a herd of roving bachelors, and they frolic in the woods and do man-things, as near as I can tell. The blush of innocence and youth, I tell you. But don't think I don't see that hawk circling, Ginger, and hear that ominous music! I do!

So much for your adolescent games of kick each other in the head, young Cloud and friends, because then--THEN--the Government sends helicopters to round up the herds, something about keeping the population of wild horses in control. Helicopters scare the horses into running into a trap, and then they I CAN'T WATCH THIS! TURN IT OFF!

When I tune back in, the filmmaker has her own pet wild horse, and Cloud has somehow survived the weeding out and is roaming free once again. He is looking to score himself some mares. He is persistent. He trails one herd for months, hoping to oust the band stallion. They fight. Cloud limps into the sunset. Will he live? Will he ever be able to have his own band of mares? I CAN'T WATCH THIS! TURN IT OFF!


Another spring has come to Arrowhead Mountain. The filmmaker returns, searches for Cloud. He has many battle scars on his now yellowish white coat, but he is bold and majestic as ever. He fights with another stallion. Still in search of his own herd.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the mountain, "another drama is unfolding." A new foal has been born, and it can't get up. Its mother, and even its father the head stallion (!) try gently to get it to trot along up the mountain with them in search of water, but its legs won't work. So another herd comes along and they leave it there. OKAY, I REALLY CAN'T WATCH THIS.

A mare from another herd comes upon the defenseless, disabled foal.


Now I'm so totally tortured and sick about this poor foal left to die on the side of the mountain that I think I may throw up. And here I was thinking that finally someone has made a nature show where NOBODY DIES. Ha! Is that too much to ask? (I know, it is.) Cloud makes it through all this adversity and then a little foal has to be born that can't walk? (Note: A glance through the interview with the filmmaker reveals that Looking Glass the stallion kills the foal. Oh my heavens, I'm glad I turned it off.) It's not fair. But wait. I still have to see if Cloud lives. Sigh. Tune back in.

So it ends with Cloud and the mare who stayed back to see the dying foal are together and have started a herd. They bonded and have been together ever since.

High drama, murder, polygamy, violence, adversity, pansy women swooning and crying in their homes that don't have much nature in them except the rat that is making off with all our compost--it's all here on Nature. Apparently there is an episode two: Cloud's Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns. And a third in the works! That's all fine and good except I am never, EVER, watching another wildlife documentary again as long as I live. Ginger, you are a fine filmmaker. You have scored an amazing career. But JEEPERS, Ginger! The foal?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


So we have this "tree" in our front yard, a weeping birch. We inherited it from the previous owners, just one of their weird legacies. I'm no gardener but I'm told that some people graft them to standard birches to get a nice tall tree with weeping branches. Our tree is not one of those. Google also tells me that some people prune them to look like an umbrella. Us, not so much of that either. It sure wouldn't be our first choice of tree, but who wants to kill a perfectly healthy tree just because it doesn't know that the sun is UP THERE (yes, yes, who would know where the sun is in Seattle, blah blah)? Every year we talk about killing it and replacing it with a normal cherry tree, maybe a nice Japanese maple, and every year we don't because then it gets these nice little leaves and looks perky, kind of, in its backwards way. The little tree that could.

Now you know how, like, you can make fun of your own partner (when he sets the table he just puts plates down! No forks! I want to scream!) but no one else better? (That's my man you're talking about? I've so never said that out loud.)

That's kind of how I feel about this tree now, after our recent vandalism.

She's kind of charming, no? I think the anonymous chalk peanut gallery just makes her look more dignified.