Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I like plants. I have an office pretty full of them. I used to have an office with a window but I was moved from that office into a windowless hole (I'm not bitter) and my plants suffered through the move almost as much as I did. So I went out and bought special lights for my office that are plant lights. well the plant lights emit a pinkish glow and it took a while to get used to. We make jokes in the office about my pink lights. I think pretty much everyone is used to them now, but when some new walks into the office they inevitably comment about my plants.
I don't name all my plants but I do name some of them.

I have two "areas" of responsibility and in one of the areas I have taken some plants from my office (when I downsized I lost space also and some plants needed to be relocated). George was one who went to the other location. Well George was growing nicely, doing well in his new home, and one day when I went over, he was broken off right at the base of his stem and laying on the ground. It took some effort to break him because #1 he is not a small plant, and #2 he was not in the way of anything. Of course no-one had any idea what had happened, no-one saw anything and certainly no-one admitted to doing it. Well I nourished George back to life, helped him to grown some new roots and replanted him. So far he is doing well.

George is office mates with Lazarus. I don't know where Lazarus came from, but he has been close to death a number of times and brought back from the brink each time. recently he has been doing VERY well and I have been pleased with his progress. So the other day I go over to this area - where George and Lazarus dwell and Lazarus has been banished by some unknown person (AGAIN with the anonymous plant hater) and has been unwatered and in the dark. AGAIN Lazarus is on the brink of death. So I bring him into the light and water him, but admittedly he looks worse for the wear and it will take some tlc to bring him back to his glory.

Of course, no-one has any idea what could possibly have happened. I stood and talked about this AT the desk. Now this area I am speaking of is the reception area for two different organizations who share the same administrative staff. I am in charge of the staff of the administration area, but not in charge of the staff who work at the other facility. When I was talking about the plight of Lazarus there were staff present from both facilities. One of the people present commented that he didn't like plants but said not a word about moving or having moved, or wanting to move Lazarus.

SOOOOO..... ( I know you see where this is going) TODAY Lazarus is found AGAIN relegated to dark windowless room and AGAIN no-one will admit to knowing anything. But because I am hooked into the underground, I found out that it was this plant hating staff who moved it because he hates how it looks.

Grow some roots asshole. I was standing right there and you didn't say a word about hating my plant. Don't just move it so it will die.

Lazarus is moving today - to the pink room.

Harriet Burns Dies

Harriet. Sweet Harriet. Hard-hearted harbinger of haggus. Beautiful, bemused, belicose butcher. So knowing, so trusting, so lov-ed. He wants you back he screams into the night air, like a fireman going to a window that has no fire, ‘cept the passion of his heart. I am lonely, It’s really hard. This poem sucks. ( From So I Married an Axe Murderer) I dedicate this poem to Harriet Burns. From me - that is the highest form of flattery I can come up with (as my spouse will attest to)

I always wanted to be a Disney Imagineer. In the very first conversation I ever had with my now spouse, I spoke to her about the dream I had to be an imagineer. Sadly, the world has lost one. I know her contributions to Disney certainly inspired me.

Link to the full article here.

(07-29) 16:45 PDT Los Angeles, CA (AP) --
Harriet Burns, the first female artist at Walt Disney Imagineering and a designer of several famous Disneyland rides, has died. She was 79.
Burns worked for Disney from 1955 to 1986, beginning as a prop and set designer for TV's "The Mickey Mouse Club." She designed and built the famous Mousketeer clubhouse, according to a Disney biography.
She later worked on attractions for Disneyland, helping create the models for Sleeping Beauty's Castle and the Matterhorn. She painted underwater figures for the Submarine Voyage attraction, put feathers on birds for Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, and helped with the design and construction of Pirates of the Caribbean.
She also occasionally filled in for Walt Disney on "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color."
In 2000, the Walt Disney Co. named Burns as a Disney Legend, an honor that acknowledges people "whose imagination, talents and dreams have created the Disney magic."
Walt Disney Imagineering issued a statement this week, calling her "the best-dressed employee in the department."
It also released a quote from Burns in which she described her work for Disney in the 1950s: "I wore color-coordinated dresses, high heels and gloves to work. Girls didn't wear slacks back then, although I carried a pair in a little sack, just in case I had to climb into high places."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Max update

We have now had a new baby in the house for three weeks - wow, it doesn't seem like that long already - and big brother Max is adapting. I am certain it is quite an adjustment since he has had the undivided attention of two adults since he was brought home from the hospital at one month old.
My spousal unit purchased for him a doll, like a cabbage patch baby, so that he would have his own baby to feed and change. So far he has only been interested in dragging it around by the head which is a good thing since it means he isn't dragging the LIVE baby by the head.
He does like to hold the baby on his lap and other than that seems to ignore it unless he is trying to hit it. I am trying to convince myself this is not specifically directed at our new addition because he likes to hit everything - he pretends he is swatting flies.
Yesterday he went to playgroup. He plays so hard when he is there that he fell asleep on the way home which is a large miracle because he NEVER falls asleep while we drive, we know this because we have driven thousand of miles during the night when he should be asleep and he screams instead. When i got home with him I took him out of his carseat and carried him into the house, he slept the whole time. It was so darn cute we had to take pictures of it which I will post as soon as I can get onto the internet from home (which is a post for another time).
Bedtime these last few weeks has been quite the challenge for us. I don't know if it is related to the new baby in the house or to the heat or a combination of both, but we have been struggling a bit with bedtime. Mister Max seems to think that if he throws everything out of his crib (sheet included) then he "CAN'T" go to bed and we HAVE to come up and put everything together again. It is a bit of a struggle for us because
#1 I have watched the nanny and seen parents who struggle with bedtimes and how they let the kids just dictate what they will do and completely control bedtime. In spite of my television obsession I don't want to be ON the nanny.
#2 I don't want to spend all night trying to put him to bed because let's face it, I have tv to watch.
#3 My Spousal Unit and I have differences on opinion on how many times it is OK to go and respond to him when he KNOWS he should be in bed. I say he is being manipulative, my spouse says not.
#4 He is not an easy character to settle down once he gets too upset, so if we leave him too long calling for us he can get worked up and then forget missing one tv show, I miss at LEAST two.
#5 It is hot in his room
#6 Having the window open is a bit defeatist because he can hear everything and it is daylight until after midnight and then again by 5am
#7 He thinks it is funny to throw his stuff out of his crib. I am seriously going to invent a crib sheet that is like a pillow case so he can't get it off. He knows exactly what he is doing and when we go into his bedroom to "remake" the bed he sits down and hangs his head - as if looking cute will exempt him from being bratty.

On a similar note, but different... my brother has a son one month younger than Max and is talking about putting him in a bed. I say, why? I am going to keep my boy in a crib as LONG as possible. It is already hard enough to keep him in bed, I can just imagine if he were not in a crib, he would be throwing his sheets over the staircase!

Ten on Tuesday: Ten things to do when it is too hot to go outside

1. take a nap with the fan blowing on you
2. read a book with the fan blowing on you
3. take a cold shower with the fan blowing on you
4. eat popsicles with the fan blowing on you
5. take off all your clothes with the fan blowing on you
6. mist yourself with a spray bottle while you are naked with the fan blowing on you
7. sit in the dark in the cool basement with the fan blowing on you
8. sit in front of an air conditioner with the fan blowing on you
9. Put a cold cloth on your head with the fan blowing on you
10. Drink iced tea with the fan blowing on you

unconscious mutterings

Memory :: game
Original :: recipe Coke
Exclusively :: monogamy
Listings :: MLS house listings
Bucket :: There's a hole in my bucket dear Liza
Knight :: Knights of the round table
Dusty :: Road I drive on every day
Choice :: Woman's right to choose
Sunlight :: Long days of sunlight in the summer
Change of plans :: normal

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Fill In

1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you can still make you very, very sick.
2. If you're good at something, try to keep it a secret so no-one asks you to do it for them.
3. Why so grumpy?
4. Something is out there, it's in the wind.
5. If my life were a sitcom, it would be titled "You think you're so funny."
6. Sitting on my back porch [if you don't have one, use your imagination] I see flocks of birds, my dogs and my son playing and trees I can prune.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to picking up library books on the way home from work, tomorrow my plans include taking a nap when the kids do and Sunday, I want to start a cross stitch!

A Cause: Molly Bam

Well Folks. I have decided that I am adopting a cause.
I know that there are all kinds of people "in need" in this world, locally and overseas. My spousal unit and I are foster parents which is a small way we feel we can make a difference.
My mom lives in South Africa and she has come across an orphanage close to where she lives. I have a special place in my heart for Africa and the plight of the people living there. That is why I have decided to try to make a difference in this small way.
As I find ways to raise money and send things to them I will update you on this blog.

Here is the letter my mom wrote after visiting Molly Bam for the first time:

I have now met Molly Bam!! I am amazed and almost speechless at what this wonderful woman is doing! I am not sure what religion she is but it is one of the Born Again Christian groups. She is an absolute testament to the fact that God blesses whoever is willing to help Him take care of His children here on the earth! I asked her loads of questions and I took a lot of pictures. I also told her I would be telling my friends about her work. She says this is not just a part of her life – it is her life. By the way she is 53 years old.
She is not registered and cannot register as an orphanage because her home is too old. She also does not have any built in cupboards in her home – so there is a LOT of stuff piled up on top of cupboards etc –at first it seems to be utter chaos, but it all appears to have some kind of order - yes, I would definitely say it is "organized chaos!". For instance in the “baby room” there were about four or five of those nappy bags on a hanger (that I remember making and seeing when I was young) hanging up on the walls with all the nappies in them. I saw school uniforms hanging on hangers on the end of bunk beds in the “little girls room.”
The walls were also COVERED in photo’s of and “works of art” done by the children that have passed through and those that are there.
Molly has a younger sister who she raised from 4 years old when her mom died – who lives close by, and she has a son and daughter of her own – and five “blood” grandchildren.
She decided 15 years ago that this is what God wanted her to do. She had married a street child and so her husband – Neels - is fully supportive and even passionate about these orphans.
They have 50 right now. It has gone down – they had 70 at Christmastime.
The name of their home – which is painted on the outside wall is Jehovah Jirah – which means “God Provides our every need according to His riches in Heaven.” There is a scripture painted on the wall (I believe it is from Isaiah – she quotes one in there quite a bit but I have forgotten which one.) and a picture of Jesus with some children also painted on the outside wall.
It is just an ordinary looking house – it has a very big yard which is divided into sections with fences (the different age groups have different area's to play in ) and an old swimming pool. But wow!
Molly gives the children all Hebrew names because the Hebrew language is one that praises God – so when they say any of their names they think about God and are praising God and speak as God did and it gives Satan less power over the children when there is so much of “God” going on.
She had them all outside (except the really big ones who were still at school sports) and they were singing some songs for us (all Christian songs which they do SO well) – she has 11 children at the moment under the age of 3 and I was going to say they were all over the place – but it was fun to watch them. Some were dancing and swaying to the songs and some of them were singing! There was a little 3 year old girl who was born deformed – her legs just curl under her and she “walks” on her hands – she was sitting in a plastic milk carton – but she was singing along with them, bless her little heart! Molly’s husband came home (he has a small panel beating shop in the village) and she pulled out the guitar and asked him to sing a few songs with the kids before he left again – which he did. Oh course as they sang “alleluia” and lines like “ God bless the c hild who suffers, bless our mothers, bless our brothers” they did the actions with them – very, very sweet. They apparently sing in churches round about quite a bit.
Molly and Neels goal is to bring the children in off the streets and to put them into school, get them an education, and to feed them and love them. We were there on a swimming day so they were mostly in their under clothes in and out of the pool. I asked her how they managed to feed them all and she said “God provides”. When she told me some of the stories I had no question in my mind that God does provide for them!
These orphans have fetal alcohol syndrome, they are abused, street kids, and some are HIV positive. She said all they want is “a mom and dad”. When they come to her they are sometimes unrecognizable and they have coughed and spit out worms, they have lice, festering sores – just about anything.
They have very strict rules. The big boys are not allowed to pick up the children AT ALL and they are not allowed near the girls. They lock the security doors on their rooms at night. The girls rooms and boys rooms are all separate. They have separate play area’s for them all. There is no sitting under blankets, no sitting on laps etc. She said “we do everything we can, we pray harder than we can and we leave the rest to God. We cannot put anyone out. In fact we promised the Lord that if He provides we will never shut our door.” In the “baby room” there were 12 little cots lined up on the walls! (The room was approximately 9 feet by about 14 or 15feet.)
She said they talk to them very openly and strongly. They explain that they are either going to stand still, go forward or backward. I asked if any had gone backward and she said yes, quite a few. When it becomes too hard they run away and then when the street life becomes too hard they run back. She will give them three chances in her home she said (although she said the door will actually never close in the end. They will find a way to help anyone who really wants to be helped.)
The bigger kids help the little ones with homework. She has 6 African women helping her. They are all alcoholics and all trying to straighten out their lives too. They also sometimes slip up. One had come back that thursday and asked if she could come back again. Molly said she would have to think about it, come and see her on Monday. The nanny said "no please, mama, I have to come back TODAY" - The weekend is the drinking time and she knew she would slip again if she was out on the weekend. Shame. Your heart just goes out to them. They are REALLY trying to break old, bad traditions.
They do not have Valentine day (she doesn't agree with "days made up to make someone money") –but it is a love day so they call it “Jesus day” and it is to be as much like Jesus as they can be in serving and loving and helping others. Molly and her husband agreed 15 years ago that they would not ever buy anything for each other again – they try to save all they possibly can through the year and in December they get sweets and a hat and whistle for each of the kids. Over the years people have been good to them and they now have loads of toys and loads of clothes she said. In fact a huge big old 20 foot freezer on the front porch is her “toddler cupboard” and it was full of folded toddler clothes.
The things they need all the time and that cost them a lot are things like toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, nappies (diapers) and so on. The bakery in town gives them all the two day old bread and various people make donations of various items. I asked her how she fed all the children and she said that God provides. If a day comes when there is no food she reminds God in her prayers that she would be faithful, she would keep her doors open as long as He would provide. She says “I tell Him I am doing my part and I ask Him to do His. Someone always comes with a donation.” I asked where they eat – and she said they love to eat outside. If it is raining they have a huge shed at the back – they have braai’s in there – it has no sides – just a roof – but they can all fit under it and they love going there.
I think it was last January that they received a summons for 13000 Rand for school fees from the high school. She went to the school and tried to explain what she was doing and how many children she had and that they had NO money. The principal would have none of it. She tried several times. They went to a lawyer and told him they couldn’t pay him either, but didn’t know what to do. The lawyer apparently also talked to the principle but to no avail, this was going to go to court. So she said she just asked God to remove that principle and get a better one – and He did! She went to the school for something a month later or so and was introduced to the new principle! He was a jolly, large, happy, man and when she explained everything to him he said “Leave this with me and God bless you Mrs Bam.” And she has heard nothing more abou t the unpaid school fees!
In between all the talk, Molly is picking up, kissing better, putting down, moving here, answering questions there, there are babies crying, nappies to be changed. She uses 1700 nappies a month. The social services gives her 700 and they have to buy the others. They buy cheap not so good ones – but better than nothing. She cheerfully takes a baby from me (who just wet all over me) and says with a smile “here, give her to me. I always smell like sewage and I get so used to it I don’t even notice! I have become immune!” Only the two Aids babies have proper, good quality nappies because they chaff badly and get sores.
The reason the social services will not provide money or anything for these children is because she cannot produce any birth certificates. They do not have any. If she could produce a birth certificate they would give her 200 Rand per child per month. Actually peanuts!
Several of the children have died. One 8 month old baby – Ezekiel - that was a very cheerful happy boy – Molly goes around at night with a torch to check on them or see who is crying etc – and he would wait until he saw the torch light and then start to laugh. She said he was a joy - he drew people to him with his sweet and cheerful nature- and he was starting to sit up and was eating – so they had no reason to suspect that he had Aids. He just suddenly died – which was a nightmare for her and she blew and blew into his mouth and called on God with all her heart – but he was dead. She found the 100 Rand to have a post mortem because she was worried he had been dropped, or suffocated or something that she could have prevented. But he had full blown aids and it had burst in his brain. It has broken her heart that he never had a birth certificate – only a death certificate - because she demanded one.
Molly says “Don’t ever say to the Lord I do not want – because He will give you!” She did NOT want children who were HIV – but she has them. She has adopted 8 children so far and 2 more are in the pipeline – because that way they can apply for social help. But she says she loves every single one of them – totally unconditionally – and it breaks her heart, obviously, if they die.
The little house has two bathrooms. Her bedroom has several beds in it – the smaller ones and the sick ones come in with them. The babies – except for the smallest two – know their special colour. They have a special colour bottle and when the bottles are all ready they bring them out and each one will go and take their own. She gives them the same colour face cloth and tries hard to give them the same colour blanket so there is no confusion. (There is a picture of all the face cloths hanging up in the bathroom)
She has a lot of wet beds to deal with – so uses a lot of bedding, towels etc.
Molly talks to the children in a certain way – for instance she said to the little one next to her “ag naa – if you want to be big in Gods Kingdom then you need to be a servant. Please do not give those cups to me, please take them to the kitchen” And he picked them up and took them! I saw her hugging and kissing and rubbing and helping as she talked - she said to me “I love them all. If I ever have a problem with a certain child I always hear a voice in my mind saying “Molly, look through my eyes” and when I do I don’t have a problem any more.”
Her motto is “Let Go and Let God” and she says she is not fantastic or amazing. The calling – which she is positive the Lord gave her – is awesome. “You never know what is going to happen next!”
I was amazed! What a wonderful woman – and her husband too!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Three beautiful things

1. We have a new baby in our home right now. He is not even five pounds and his little fingers and toes are beautiful. Last night while I was feeding him I was playing with his feet. (I undress him in the night to feed him because if I didn't he would just fall back to sleep with the bottle in his mouth and feeding time would last longer than I can stay awake for). He was not impressed with me tickling his feet and he grunted the cutest little baby grunt to let me know of his displeasure - even his grunt was beautiful!

2. We have been dog sitting some dogs for a friend while she was on vacation. Her two dogs are very sweet. Our dogs love having the extra playmates and they appear to love the visit to the country as they play and run and swim in the dugout all the live long day. They have been with us for almost 2 weeks and last night I took them home to their mommy. Although we love having them, being back in our home with just our brood was beautifully silent and CALM. All the cats came out (the young puppy visitor has no kitty manners and chases our feline family members).

3. Sleep. Sleep is a beautiful thing which I love at the best of times, but having a new baby in the house and a two year old who for some reason the last week has decided he would rather scream and throw everything out of his crib than go to bed.... after the 5am feed this morning I fell DEEPLY asleep and was late for work. The late for work part wasn't the beautiful part, the sleep from 5:30 am to 7:30 am was beautiful.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh MAN I want one of these!

We have a pretty big yard - a few acres. There is LOTs and LOTs of work to do to make it into the paradise we envision. My spousal Unit and I are somewhat nerdy about gardening equipment and when we get the gardening catalogues (which my geekier spouse subscribes to) we oogle over the cool gardening implements that we can't afford.
Today on boingboing I saw this and I fell in love.
I am SURE there is a place for this in our yard.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


1. What do you add to your coffee? too much sugar and cream because although I love the smell of coffee it doesn't taste like it smells and so I have to doctor it up in order to drink it.
2. What are you reading now? What is the What
3. Do you own a gun? Nope
4. Are you registered to vote? Yes, and I vote now that I can - when I was in the USA I couldn't.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? sometimes, but more for dentist appointments
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Well I tend not to think of what they are made of because I LOVE to cook them especially over the fire.
7. Favorite Christmas Song? I LOVE Christmas music. I particularly like Little Drummer boy with Bing and David Bowie, but I like lots.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? OJ
9. Can you do push ups? Push up bras
10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend? Simon
11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelery? My wedding ring which I lost on a work trip
12. Favorite hobby? Cross stitching
13. Do you work with people who idolize you? That's hilarious. I work with myself and I do idolize myself. (J/K)
14. Do you have ADD? yuppers
15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? Nothing I am willing to share
16. What’s your Middle name? my mom's first name
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. I need to finish my homework, The price of gas should be going down more, that was a wacky phone message.
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Nothing, I stayed at home yesterday.
19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink. water, lemonade, coke.
20. Current worry right now? UMMMMMMMMMM having enough time to play with Maxie so he doesn't feel left out with a new baby in the house.
21. What side do you dress to? I don't know what this means exactly.
22. Favorite place to be? In bed
23. How did you bring in the New Year? In bed
24. Where would you like to go? On vacation
25. What color shirt are you wearing? Blue
26. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?. I like sleeping period
27. Can you whistle? not good enough
28. Favorite color? Either green or purple.
29. Could you be a pirate? Fo sho
30. What songs do you sing in the shower? Whichever one I am thinking of at the time.
31. Favorite girls name? Soraya
32. Favorite boy’s name? Simon
33. What’s in your pocket right now? change
34. Last thing that made you laugh? a phone message that my office administrator had me call just to listen to.
35. Best bed sheets as a child? brown ones which I still have and one day will make into a quilt.
36. Worst injury you’ve ever had? broken leg playing soccer
37. Do you love where you live? I love that we own a house, but it needs some pretty major repairs, so I will love it more later.
38. How many TVs do you have in your house? We have a few, but we use two.
39. Who is your loudest friend? I think maybe my sister Jill, but we are all pretty loud in my family.
40. How many dogs do you have? 2
41. What are the most fun things you ever did? Water fights with my family. Family time.
42. What are your favorite books? I like a LOT of books. I may have to come back to this one. 42. What is your favorite candy? Chewy Spree - not available in Canada
43. Favorite Team? Liverpool FC
44. What songs do you want played at your funeral? I keep changing my mind about this one. Probably something by the Indigo Girls.
45. What were you doing at 12 AM? Feeding the baby and watching celebrity poker on mute
46. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? The next time my dog licks my leg she is going to lose her tongue.

ten on tuesday: ten least favorite celebrities

1. Olsen twins

2. Andy Dick

3. Amy Winehouse

4. Ronaldo

5. Dr. Phil

6. Baba Wawa

7. Mel Gibson

8. GW

9. Dr. Laura

10. Tom Selleck

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Month 22: Letter to Max

Dear Max,

As I am typing this tonight you are in your bed calling to me. I have been up to see you three times already and I am trying to convince myself that I am not going up again but you sound absolutely heartbroken.

I am supposed to be doing homework and you should be asleep. We have been alone all weekend together and I think you are ready for your other mommy to come home. While I am your favorite playmate (and you are mine), it is your other mommy who seems to be able to comfort you and set your mind at ease so you can sleep through the night.

Well, you have had a tough month. Earlier this month we had two other foster kids for a week with us. You LOVED playing with the older girl, but found that the baby took away precious attention from your parental units. I don't know where you learned to hit, but you are a hitter! Thankfully you are still pretty transparent and it takes you about a minute to wind up so for the most part we were able to intervene. You did sneak a couple of good shots in though and stressed your mom and I out.
Right after they left and before you could get into any kind of a routine again, we went to the hospital and picked up a newborn baby. For some reason you get along better with him than you got along with the other baby, but perhaps it is because he still lays and does nothing and so far he is not interested in any of your toys. I hope that day never comes. You are very cute with him and you love to hold him.
It turns out he was too small to have been released from the hospital - so your mom is with him in the hospital and you and I are hanging out alone. Yesterday was a trying day for both of us, but we got into the swing of things today when I hid the fan and you temporarily forgot about it, and I cleaned up the baby soap from the new couches. (Your obsession with the fan is driving me a little insane, epsecailly since I am the one that has to cart it around and fix it all the time).
Fozzie and Odie are here with us for a week or so and you are LOVING the dog crate. I probably should not have posted a picture of you in the crate because I know there are people out there who believe foster parents keep kids in dog crates. They don't know you very well. You couldn't be kept anywhere you didn't want to be. I am surprised your crib is still in one piece the way you shake it. I can't imagine the day you transfer from crib to bed - I am not looking forward to that experience. You will NEVER go to bed! Perhaps I should more accurately say - you'll go to bed 35 times a night!
Some of the things you have learned since I last posted are opening the fridge door and taking the tray off your highchair. when you hurt yourself you come to us for kisses. Today I was laughing because you did something to your foot but by the time you got to me you forgot which foot it was. It didn't matter as long as I kissed you. You still love being tickled and when you lay on the grass it is a signal that you want my attention. I was apparently not following your cues well enough this afternoon because you kept getting up and moving closer to me to lay down again until I realized what you wanted and played the game.
You are loving apple sauce and I am very grateful for that because I needed to tell your mom you ate SOMETHING healthy while we were together. When I ask you if you want apple sauce you clap! You are very cute. I still wish you were talking. It makes me nervous that you aren't, even though the speech therapist says not really to worry until you are 3. You understand things completely, so that is a good thing.
Tonight we came into the house and I was getting you a bowl of stew (which I made this morning in a fit of domestication). While I was getting your bowl I heard you open the fridge door, but since you weren't turning on the microwave I was happy to let you have your way for a minute if it kept you quiet. When I turned around you had taken the juice from the top shelf of the fridge and you were drinking right out of the container. It was so funny I didn't even think to tell you to stop. Then you put the empty container right back into the fridge. Just like your other mommy showed you. I thought that only happened when you were a teenager. Lucky us.
Well bud, I really need to go and get some homework done. I can't wait to see what you learn tomorrow. I hope it is something helpful like changing the kitty litter. I love you.

Unconscious mutterings

Flicker :: candlelight
Styling :: hair - but not mine
Episode :: Star wars (I blame my spousal unit that I think of star wars)
Sexier :: than what?
Studious :: not me, because I am doing this instead of homework right now
Mushroom :: Poisonous
8 minutes :: we've only got four minutes to change the world, so 8 minutes is four minutes after the world has changed?!
Bald :: eagle
Immunity :: George Bush
Sectioned :: orange

You can Link to unconscious mutterings here and check out more people who are playing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Three Beautiful Things

Our newborn foster baby. My Spousal Unit picked him up from the hospital just over a week ago when they called to say he was ready to be discharged. As with every foster child we have ever had, the information known about the situation is scant. The babe was 2 days old when we picked him up and weighed just over 4 pounds. We were shocked to know he was able to be released at that weight - it seemed very small to us, but we took him home. He has been a GREAT baby, I love the smell of his little (and I mean TEENY) head. Of course when we went for his one week checkup our family doctor said no WAY should he have been released and immediately put him in an ambulance to be transported to another area hospital. I met him there and spent the night with him. I am amazed after having him in our home for just one week, how he responds to the sound of my voice and my touch. Though I HATE to see him in pain as they draw blood repeatedly from his teeny body, the fact that he calms down when I touch and speak to him is a beautiful thing.

Hearing my friends voice after too many months with no contact.

Four tired out and sleeping dogs (two of ours and two of my friends who we are babysitting)

Friday Fill in

1. If I could be a fly on the wall I would Poop on Kerry's sandwich because thats what flys do and it's funny how she reacts now that she knows it.
2. Jealousy is powerful.
3. When I see a shooting star my wish would be that I could live closer to my parents and family.
4. I'd rather be at home with my babies than in a hospital with my babies any day!
5. Certain songs when I hear them make me wanna sing at the top of my lings, so I do.
6. If time were in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do, is to save every day till eternity passes away, just to spend them with you.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to spending time with my Maxie, tomorrow my plans include cleaning the house - as much as I can - before Shel comes home, and so i don't feel guilty watching UFC tomorrow night and Sunday, I want to finish all my homework assignments so I can get a grade - and so I have the rest of the summer off.

Janet is our lovely host for Friday Fill-Ins. Please stop by and view her incredible photography and then go visit other FFI participants.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

888 update

1. What Now? Anne Patchett (completed June 11 2008)
2. The Lost Children of Wilder. Nina Bernstein (completed June 30 2008)
3.Glass Castle. Jeannette Walls (Completed August 2 2008)
4. The Places in Between. Rory Stewart (completed January 19th 2008)
5. Infidel. Ayaan hirsi Ali (completed July 2 2008)
6. Hopes Boy: A memoir. Andrew Bridge (completed July 19 2008)

Young Adult Fiction
1. The Canning Season. Polly Horvath (completed May 19th 2008)
2. Godless. Pete Hautman (completed May 26 2008)
3. Autobiography of my Dead Brother. Walter Dean Myers (completed May 27 2008)
4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Brian Selznick (completed May 27 2008)
5. The Burn Journals. Brent Runyon (completed April 26 2008)
6. Sold. Patricia McCormick (completed June 23 2008)

Pulitzer Prize Winners
1. Middlesex. Jeffrey Eugenides (Completed January 21st 2008)
2. Gilead. Marilynne Robinson (Completed January 13th 2008)

From the NYT Bestseller list. (I don't want to limit myself to books that have already been written. There might be some good ones published this year)
1.The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. John Boyne (Completed June 28 2008)
2.Bleeding Kansas. Sarah Paretsky. #15 January 13 2008
3. Playing for Pizza. John Grisham. #1 October 28 2007, (completed July 15 2008)

Banned or "challenged" books
1. Go Ask Alice
2. The Lorax. Dr. Seuss (Completed April 24 2008)
3. The Well of Lonliness
4. Steal This Book. Abbie Hofmann

Books already on my Bookshelf completed this section June 2008
1. Gordon Korman. Island: Book one "Shipwreck" (completed February 1 2008)
2. Gordon Korman. Island: Book two "Survival" (completed February 1 2008)
3. Gordon Korman. Island: Book Three "Escape" (completed February 1 2008)
4. Christine Falls. Benjamin Black (Completed May 25 2008)
5. The Target. Gerri Hill (completed May 31 2008)
6. One Child. Torey Hayden (completed June 1 2008)
7. How to be a Canadian. Will Ferguson (completed June 4 2008)
8. Coyote Sky. Gerri Hill (completed June 5 2008)

Books based on or in Africa
1.Miracle at Speedy Motors. Alexander McCall Smith (completed May 15 2008)

Books I will check out from the library completed this section May 2008
1. Saturday. Ian McEwan (completed January 27 2007)
2. Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth Gilbert (completed February 16 2008)
3. The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur. Daoud Hari (completed February 18 2008)4. Biting the Moon. Martha Grimes (completed March 25 2008)
5. The Calling. Inger Ash Wolfe (completed March 29 2008)
6. Written in Bone. Simon Beckett (completed March 31 2008)
7. 19 Minutes. Jodi Picoult (Completed April 21 2008)
8. The Darkest night of the Year. Dean Koontz (completed May 7 2008)

spiral earring

Last year I got a new tattoo. At the place I went to get it they also do piercings. I was looking through a book of pictures and decided that I really liked how the spiral earring looked in the top of the ear. I wanted to get it.

It took a while for me to actually follow through and get my ear pierced, but I did it a few months ago. The process for getting a spiral put in requires getting the ear pierced three times through the cartilage in the top of the ear with a hollow core needle. Then you have to wear earrings in the holes until the holes heal. Once the holes heal you have to go back and get the temporary earrings taken out and the spiral put in.

The actual piercing was one of the single most painful experiences that I have endured voluntarily. The healing process was a complete pain - literally and figuratively. It took a LONG time because for some reason I went back and forth getting infections in one or more of the earring holes for reasons I could not figure out. I tried to clean it consistently, but honestly I am a bit obsessive and could not stop touching it which probably made it worse. Another reason it took me a long time to go and get the spiral put in is because I have to go to another town to get it done and the hours of operation really conflict with my schedule.

I finally decided that I just needed to go and get the spiral put in because I think the infection issue is something I will have to deal with for the entire time I keep this earring in. (I HAVE considered just taking it out completely but I am too stubborn). I just went and got it down.

It was ALMOST as painful as getting the original piercing. I think that part of the issue is the person who did the piercing. I am not suggesting that she is unclean, in fact I made sure to check out that the needles came right out of the packet and that the earring was disinfected before going into my ear. She wore gloves and she disinfected my ear before piercing. BUT, I just don't think she has had a lot of experience in what she is doing. The holes are not an equal distance apart, The"angle" of one hole is not at the same angle of the other two. When she took the earrings out and tried to put the spiral in, the one hole was smaller than the other, which she discovered after trying to force something too large into the small hole in my ear cartilage.

So she made the hole larger, and managed to get the spiral in. The loops in the spiral are unequal and the top loop is pushing on my ear. I just think the whole process was unprofessional. I am not having a lot of luck here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ten on tuesday: ten memorable vacation moments

Ten Memorable Vacation Moments
1. Photos at Lake Louise - so far we have done it three times, the last time with our baby M.
2. On the beach in Southern California with Mukiwa and my spouse.
3. My spouse and I went to Colorado to go camping. When we got there my spouse got incredibly sick and we had to return asap.
4. When we moved to Canada we drove a U-haul and my spouse, me, and our two dogs rode in the cab of the truck. We had to sedate one of our dogs who suffers from anxiety, and it wasn't really a "vacation" but it was a fun trip and we played "eye spy" for many hours. There are lots of brown things in Montana.
5. Driving with my family to a family reunion in Colorado, we were driving through the night and all singing at the top of our lungs to "Lion Sleeps Tonight". My younger brother Justin has a wicked falsetto.
6. I think it was the same vacation, but in Yellowstone, my other brother got violently motion sick. (It runs in the family.) We stopped at all all night store and my dad went into look for "gravol". Gravol is a Canadian product which one takes for motion sickness. They don't have it in the USA. The man in the store was very confused my my dad's accent and his request. He thought my dad was looking for "gravel" and told him that they didn't carry gravel, but that they did have kitty litter. My poor dad was equally confused. He thought the guy was offering him something to sop up the puke.
7. Upstate New York, getting inseminated at a hotel. Our first attempt at insemination. Quite humorous.
8. Road tripping to Reno, Nevada. We went on a lot of trips with our puppy Muki. She was a great traveller. We visited a wedding chapel in Reno.
9. Driving to Banff to see friends visiting from the USA. They brought us Chorizo, we drove with a baby who HATES to travel, and we drove in peak hotel season without booking rooms in advance.
10.We went to Maine to visit my spouses extended family. We were looking for a road and driving in circles so we stopped and asked a man in his front yard how to get where we were going. He looked at us and said in a THICK accent " You cant get they-ah from he- ah" . Then he busted out laughing, we were 400 yards from the place.

Monday, July 14, 2008

remote area medical

Last night on 60 minutes there was a segment on remote area medical (link here to their website)

This is an organization that was originally set up to provide free medical services to third world countries and is now providing these services in the USA.

It absolutely BLOWS my mind, that the country which touts itself as the "richest" country in the world has SOOOO many people, and I'm not talking here about drug addicts or criminals, I'm talking about WORKING people, people contributing to the tax base in the USA, who are without adequate health insurance. I think it is criminal.

Now I don't live in the USA, so it may appear that it is "easy" for me to criticise a system that I do not live under. However, I DID live there, and my spouse lived all of her life there until recently coming to Canada to be with me, so I know something of what I say. We experienced what it was like to be both working full time and still fall short of being adequately covered by medical insurance when we needed medical services.

Now I do think that there are many opportunities afforded people in the USA which are not afforded to people who live elsewhere in the world. However, medical services are not one of them. I don't believe that just by "working your butt off" you can provide for your family in the USA. My cousin (whom I love, but whose opinion differs greatly from mine) recently posted on his blog (you can check out his blog here), the following comment:

"humanitarian organizations are beginning to understand that by giving away free handouts to people who need help you create dependency; and by doing what you think is helping them, in actuality you are only crippling them more. By creating dependency you only stifle a person’s creativity, drive and development; and like a child that is carried around by his mother his entire life, these people will never learn to fend and provide for themselves. These people will never reach their full potential and become responsible citizens that contribute to society. Instead, these free handouts dig these people into an even deeper holes from which they will likely never climb out of. The real key to the solution that public health professionals are finding, is to empower the individual to help themselves bring about the change needed in their lives."

I don't believe that the people who lined up for medical services provided by remote area medical are irresponsible people unable to fend and provide for themselves. They are hard working people, trapped by a system that has that created a "deep hole" which their hard work cannot get them out of. They are contributing to a society that does not recognize them or their needs.

Unconscious mutterings

Intimidated :: not very
Brush :: with death
Masquerade :: Party
Procedure :: Medical procedure - gone wrong
Tattoos :: I want more
Square :: Sponge Bob Square pants
Tuck :: and Roll
Boyfriend :: Girlfriend
Badass:: Hellboy
Thousand :: Wish I had a few more in the bank right now

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Friday Fill in - two days late

1. Oh, I can't wait until I have a motorcycle.

2. Shel's milk is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator.

3. I never leave home without my keys.

4. If I were a condiment, I would be grey puopon because they have great commercials.

5. Stupidity is really high up on my list of pet peeves.

6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was I hope this baby sleeps more than 30 minutes.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to holding a newborn baby, tomorrow my plans include taking a nap while little ones nap and Sunday, I want to watch the premier of Big Brother 10!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

family update

We just picked up a foster baby right from the hospital and so we will be pretty busy and pretty tired over the next little while. So in case you don't see me here for a while - that's where I'll be.

Thursday Thirteen; Thing to juggle with new baby in the house

You can click on the link above and check out more thursday thirteen links.

Yesterday my spouse picked up a foster baby right from the hospital. We also picked up Maxie right out of the hospital but he was already a month old. This little baby is a few days old and only weighed 4 pounds 6 ounces. He has absolutely NOTHING and literally was taken home in a hospital baby gown. All of the stuff we have from Max is too big.

Here are 13 things that we will need to juggle over the next little while, now that we have a baby in the house.

1. Juggling the time with baby and toddler, getting a new baby was a complete shock and we were not prepared, nor did we have time to prepare our little man.
2. Getting all the things we need to get through the next few days with baby ... diapers, face cloths, diaper cream, formula etc.
3. Arranging a schedule to look after a baby who can only eat an ounce at a time and is awake a LOT. MY Spousal unit and I BOTH need to sleep or we cease to function, so we have to work out sleeping time vs caring for baby time.
4. I am in my last week of one of my grad classes. I have an IMMENSE amount of homework to be completed in one week and ready to hand in.
5. Home visits with baby and mom.
6. Chores at home. My spouse really keeps the house running. Having a baby means she will have less time to work around the house while I am gone and we will have to revist the balance of what needs to be done and how I can be supportive.
7. Time for the pets. We are babysitting two dogs for one of our friends while she is on vacation. We will have four doggies in the house for a week that will need some attention.
8. Bathtime.
9. I think I just gave up on any of my summertime television viewing, so I don't know that it will really be "juggled" as much as "abandoned".
10. I HOPE we can juggle sleeping in and afternoon naps, because I would hate to have to give them up!
11. Blogging will have to be juggled. We have such a lousy time trying to connect to the internet from home and so with this new addition I think getting to the computer will be more difficult.
12. Sleeping.
13. Sleeping.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuckered Out

This photo was taken by my Spouse. You can check out more of her photos on her blog : here

ten on tuesday: ten favorite movie characters

You can Link to "ten on tuesday" here

1. Sabrina 'Bree' Osbourne - Transamerica

2. Ouiser - Steel Magnolias

3. Spike - Notting Hill

4. Samantha Caine - The Long Kiss Goodnight

5. Kip Raines - Gone in Sixty Seconds

6. Eric Brooks - Blade

7. Roz -Monster's Inc.

8. Clarice Starling - Silence of the Lambs

9. Mitch Bradley - An Unfinished Life

10. Sean McGuire - Good Will Hunting

bonus selection: Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

Monday, July 7, 2008

How nerdy am I?

This is what a nerd I am. My spouse started to blog and she gets a TON of hits to her blog every day. I never knew how many I got, but I don't really go out and comment on other blogs and I am completely surprised that anyone visits this site at all. I get about 8 hits a day and seven of them are me - checking to see if anyone has come since the last time I checked. It doesn't show me who comes, just how many people come.
So I went and added a cluster map to this site so I could see the countries that people checking out the blog were from.
I am completely captivated by it and I check it out all the time.
Today someone from INDIA looked at it!
I am now on a quest to find ways to get people from foreign countries to come to this site so that I can get dots from all different countries. I haven't completely figured out how I am going to get them to come here, but I am working on a plan.

unconscious mutterings

Notification :: Taxes
Cheat :: Clue
Top Ten:: Casey Casem
Draft :: Paper
Unbelievable :: EMF
Cheap :: Trick. I want you to want me
Spontaneous :: combustion
Harass :: Dale
Lipstick :: Lesbian
Transpire :: Sweat

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hungry foster kids

This week we had two little girls come to us for a respite.

I know that foster care can be a hot topic.

I know that people get very angry with the treatment some children receive in foster homes, and yet I am still so angry at the treatment some children have to endure with their "natural" families before someone will step in and say "enough is enough".

Drug abuse, physical abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, the list is endless.

These little girls came into our home with some issues around food - which is pretty normal for the kids we see. They are so accustomed to the idea of "feast or famine" that when they see food they have no idea when they are going to see any again and so they eat until they make themselves sick, they hoard food etc.

We have some strategies to help them know that while they are with us they will have all the food they need on a regular basis, but when a one year old doesn't want to stop eating it just infuriates me at the treatment that child must have received.

Friday, July 4, 2008

friday fill in

1. Holidays in the summer are restricted by the price of gas.
2. Steaks are my favorite things to grill.
3. My thoughts are never ending.
4. Time off is what I'm most looking forward to this weekend!
5. My favorite book so far this summer is Infidel.
6. Sitting outside in the quiet is the best way to begin a day.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting out of class, tomorrow my plans include planting flowers and watching the Williams sisters and Sunday, I want to maybe take my boy to the pool!

Thursday Thirteen: eating

I know I am a day late, for some reason last night I could not get internet connection, so here is my thursday thirteen intallation for this week, combined with the topic of food for nablopomo.

13 Places I love to eat - and why.

1. Ogden Pizzeria, Ogden Utah - the best pizza ever
2. Burrito Grande, Ogden Utah - I think I have said a lot about mexican food already...
3. Mongolian Grill, Ogden Utah - they made awesome food, it wasn't a chain, and they let us bring our own Oyster sauce from home to put on our food.
4. Natalies, Salt Lake City Utah - they had very good looking wait staff.
5. Olive Garden, anywhere - all you can eat soup and breadsticks. pasta fagioli. You are what you eat and I'm a big ol fagioli.
6. Orange Julius. Pina Colada Julius.
7. Chick Fil A. Now I haven't eaten at chick fil a for over 5 years, but they used to make GOOOD lemonade.
8. El Pollo Loco. The original pollo bowl , with tortillas.
9. In n Out burger.
10 . A Thai restaurant in Singapore whose name I need to ask my mother. Mango Sticky Rice. YUM
11.Disneyland, California. Churros. There may be better Churros somewhere, but the only place I have had them was at Disneyland and they ROCK.
12. Home. There is nothing better than the tacos my spouse makes. delicioso. She's also a pretty good cook, with the exception of garlic bread.
13. Fire Pit. An extension of "home" but hot dogs on a stick are a staple. I think Fire adds an element of fun to any experience, cooking not excluded.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

nablopomo: food

Really, I don't know why I am trying this again.

At the beginning of every month I think THIS will be the month that I participate in the Nablopomo challenge and blog every single day on the topic given. Every month I manage one blog and then the whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket. Down, down, down, in a burning ring of fire.

Already I missed day one which should be an indicator of a lost cause, but here I am, trying to relive the pain of failed new years resolutions on a monthly basis.

The topic this month is food.

I love garlic bread. I suppose we could make our own, but I like to buy it in the grocery store in the foil wrapper and take it home to make it. For some reason, and this has not always been the case, but for some reason we burn garlic bread EVERY time we try to make it at my house. My spousal unit was burning it, but she is a super woman and is constantly multi tasking - she has about ten projects on the go at any one moment in time. I thought maybe the whole burning of garlic bread was because she was trying to do too many things and lacking the "finesse" it takes to watch a foil container in the over for 5 minutes. When she asked me if I would like to take over the responsibility of making garlic toast, I jumped at the chance to change our luck.

Well, we are truly cursed. I have burned it EVERY time I have tried to make it. This is bread that's ALREADY made people. ALREADY made. All I have to do is watch it for 3-5 minutes while the butter melts. Yeah, I am admitting that I can't even make toast.

Last night we were making supper, feeding kids in a rotation and I was put in charge of one thing - the garlic toast. I checked on it and it wasn't ready, so I stepped away for ONE second to refill a drink, give the baby some more chicken and put M into the highchair. I turned around to BILLOWING black smoke coming from the oven. now, I know I abandoned my post, but in less than a minute it went from "almost done" to "charred"? That's just not right.

Don't worry. It hasn't beaten me yet. We'll be eating toast with scraped off burnt stuff until I beat this thing. I think I have bad garlic karma. I wonder what I did in a past life to earn me that distinction?

Raised by animals

In our home there are 2 adult humans.
2 dogs. 5 cats. 1 frog. 1 almost 2 year old boy.
(the "boy" part is relevant)

Yesterday my spousal unit was watering the plants in the yard and she had the hose just running water into the flower bed. I notice the dogs going over and drinking out of the puddle that was forming from the hose. Now, these dogs have NUMEROUS places to drink from, not excluding their WATER BOWLS, but apparently water in a flower bed is much more thirst quenching and I am not going to try and stop them as long as they don't trample the flowers. (which they have done in one flower bed already)
A moment later I notice our son, laying on his belly, with his head in the flower bed. What is he doing I wonder? Why. DRINKING of course?!

It's not like he doesn't have cups, and bottled water and all kinds of access to liquid - let alone drinking right out of the hose as he has taught himself to do recently. Our son has been raised by animals.

ten on tuesday: ten favorite sports

This week at ten on tuesday the topic is ten favorite sports to play/watch.
To watch:
1. Soccer. Particularly EPL Liverpool games and World Cup games.
2. Ultimate fighting.
3. NBA, WNBA and college basketball.
4. Tennis - preferably women's tennis.
5. Rugby.
6. Boxing. Boxing is best to watch with Dave, Angelo, and Justin while smoking cigars.
7. Iron Man, Strong man and lumberjack games.
8. Summer Olympics
To play:
9. Soccer
10. Karate