Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Starting in December I have had acne on the left side of my nose. It seems to be rosacea but in a totally new spot on my face! I used to have it below the corners of my mouth. My policy of moisturizing and ignoring hasn't resulted in any improvement. I noticed a little bit of swelling under my left eye yesterday. This morning it was more pronounced. I have knuckled and made a doctor's appointment for tomorrow. Using my new Health Savings Account which means that I'll have no copay but a whopping big office visit fee. Argh.

Making good use of the mild weather, Kat taught Bun to ride a bike on Sunday. Laughing to myself that my policy of parental neglect in this area has borne fruit once again. If you wait until you're almost nine (or actually nine in Kat's case) it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. Bun is very excited about riding even though she's fallen over a couple of times and got a raw spot by her thumb where the grip rubbed. It's all quite brave for her. Kat apparently made some sort of bargain with her to try learning again. Catalyst Kat strikes again. These girls are so charming I can hardly stand it sometimes.

Random word association: ripple. In my childhood there used to be lots of ice cream flavors called something ripple: butterscotch ripple, strawberry ripple, etc. I think Redd Foxx on Sanford and Son called booze ripple. I didn't realize before searching that it was a brand name for a carbonated sweet wine drink (shudder). My husband loooves the Greatful Dead song Ripple. I like the tune but the lyric about 'if you fall, you fall alone' bugs me. Noun and verb. One letter away from the always amusing 'nipple'.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Bun was home sick yesterday. A barking cough had her up the night before. I feel more proud than is warranted that she successfully napped for an hour and a half in the afternoon. Bought some cough suppressant for her to take and she slept through the night too. She was extra perky this morning and went to school happily. I was carded by the grocery store checkout machine because of the dextromethorphan purchase. Yes, thanks, I am over 18. During the amazingly healing nap I went and got my passport renewal processed at the post office. My competitive form completion personality was chagrined to learn that I had made a mistake and listed my mother's married last name instead of her maiden name. The official post office official let me draw a line through and add the correct name on the form. In four to six weeks I should be the proud owner of a current traveling identity document. Just printed the application doc so Nod can fill his out. Progress is intoxicating.

I've been to both my Zumba classes this week. Our permanent teacher turns out to be the sub I didn't like much. I have decided to be positive about this and she doesn't bug me much. Her choreography is pretty boring. But on the other hand we get to dance to a Carribbean number that may or may not be titled Titty Titty Bang Bang. Which for me balances out. Her stretching at the end of class does not meet my needs so I just do my own thing. This is the right thing to do but I feel rebellious every time. My brain is primed and ready to follow your lead, I am a pretty good femme dance partner.

Rain is forecast for Sunday and I want to light a candle for that. This winter has brought home climate change to me. Not in twenty years or fifty. Now and ongoing. I  am telling my kids that this is what is happening and will continue happening as they get older. Greenland is melting dramatically, link via Metafilter. Reminds me of the setup for Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. Anyone up for terraforming Mars? We're not actually anywhere near ready to make Mars habitable but I do like the asteroid mining project talk. Keep working on the elevator from orbit to Earth's surface, oh you engineers, that's the tricky bit.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


It appears that we're going to Crete. Not until September but I plan to do plenty of daydreaming until then. Time to switch gears from snow to sun. I have been having a sad time with rosacea acne on one side of my nose. I think it's just the dry air and lack of sunlight. We had a spring-y day on Saturday and I got some sun on my face then. The temps swung down again for the rest of the long weekend. Drinking tequila Saturday night didn't do much for me. I didn't feel buzzed then but I did feel dysphoric the next day. Just kept doing the things that needed doing and it wore off eventually. Makes me wish I'd drunk either more or less.

So Crete. My mother in law has had a grand plan to take each of her grandchildren on a major trip when they graduate high school. The first one is graduating this spring, my nephew Joey. Elaine is 73 and has decided that she'd better go big while she can travel. She's getting both her son's families to all go on the trip. After some waffling between Italy and the Grand Canyon (I'll let you guess which we were hoping for) she's come up with Crete. A villa* has been reserved and it would appear that this is really going to happen. I got my passport renewal paperwork completed and had my photo taken over the weekend. I'll try to get to the post office this week to get my package sent off. Then I get to ride herd on Nod to get his and lastly we'll apply for the kids' brand new ones.

*Villa sounds vintage and elegant to me although I think it just means vacation rental house in euro-speak.

Barking dog woke me at 3:15 this morning. I heard it off and on for twenty minutes before I realized that besides being annoying the dog was outside in 15 degrees. Then I was sad for myself and the dog. Finally at about 4 I called the non-emergency police line to ask them to check it out. I heard a car door so I think they came by but I don't know whether they found the dog. I couldn't tell exactly where the sound was coming from and I was unwilling to put all my outerlayers on to investigate. I'm a little proud of myself for calling instead of merely feeling miserable and guilty. Less than vibrant this morning however.

Watched Mamma Mia with the neighbors on Saturday night. (Thus the inept tequila drinking.) I was delighted with it. The Greek chorus and the Old Goat House may be my favorite touches. Nod was affected by it very strangely. He thought it was sexy and corny and sad and had to leave the room. He sure is a big ball of feels sometimes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Crying with laughter and trying not to snort at my desk after reading Erin's post about saving a rogue melon she found hanging from a thin vine. Scroll down past the pickles and peppers part. Whew. She also linked to Helen Jane's recipe for green posole that will have my husband jumping up and down. Although after reading through I may cook the onion/tomatillo mixture a little bit because I am not a fan of the raw.

Kat's spelling bee was tough. She went out on the fourth round: patient. Those vowels are the killers. A fellow 5th grader survived and will go on to the county bee. I was glad to go cheer. I got to hug both my girls and chat with some parents and teachers so it was a good day for me. Kat was disappointed, she has a keen competitive spirit. I want so much for her.

Got my behind to Zumba last night even though I begged Nod to feed the children because I was so worn out. I knew I would have to miss on Thurs when we go to see the girls sing. So this was my only chance to boogie this week. It was good to work up a sweat. But this was our second substitute teacher, we haven't met the real one yet. Flu strikes again. An adult dance class with a substitute teacher is a little like a skittish herd of cows. We're not too sure if we want to go that way, thank you. I was happy to hear at the end that this person was not our permanent teacher. Wonder when we'll get to meet her.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Catch the wave

It's January and as a good lemming I've been exercising this week. I have no resolutions. Resolve, yes, but a list of Goals, no. Danced my first Zumba class last night. It was a hoot and had me grinning and only slightly achey afterward. We white ladies like to dance to that cumbia music! I get to do it again tomorrow. The  class I signed up for last May didn't have enough enrollment and was canceled. This time of year is the time when everyone is raring to go. I am content to go with the flow and get my bootie shaking in.

Besides the virtue points I was racking up by exercising yesterday evening, I felt buoyed up by another change. Nod had his herb class overlapping my Zumba class. We left the girls at home for a little over an hour so we could go do our stuff. The house didn't burn down and all was well. It's a new era of possible adult pursuits. Wow, man. On Sunday we had the football playoffs on and both girls were watching with us. They were taking an interest and cheering and asking questions. I realized that I can officially watch football now without ignoring little children or putting them to bed first. More wow, that feels different.

Kat's sledding injury has healed up, the last of her scabs went away overnight. On new year's eve she went sledding just in the courtyard down a little track the kids had made in the fresh snow. She was on a coaster on her belly and when the coaster stopped suddenly she hit some ice with her face. The impact was just below her nose, she couldn't have picked a more sensitive spot to hit. Lots of blood when she staggered home. We cleaned her up and she had all her teeth and the bleeding stopped so we didn't do an ER run. Her lip was quite swollen and she was shaken up. Much better by morning although the scrapes looked pretty exciting. Facial injuries bleed like hell but they heal fast too.

Knitting like the wind. I'm not even reading right now, just pulling loops when I get a chance. I got some nice comments on the blanket on Saturday at our stitch and bitch. I have been working on it almost every day. It's a bit over ten inches now. I'll see if I can keep up the pace and slam out the shit as the line cooks would say. The neighbor who is planning the shower has her sights set on pink and girly and grown up, sigh. I will bake some cupcakes and just be happy that she is doing the work. Oh and that she is auditioning eclairs for us. Mmm, eclairs.

The Danish tells me that our high school friend Zorro will be visiting her in San Fran at the end of March. I am plotting how to join them. But first I had to shirk my old lady responsibilities. Long ago I had suggested a trip out to Austin for my mom to see the Ladybird Johnson wildflower center and visit with Elaine. This morphed in the fall to a sort of plan to make this happen in early April 2013. After talking with Mom she has given me the green light to scotch this and do my own trip. Rationalizations ahoy: it's another drought year in Texas so wildflowers?; mom is not happy about changing planes to have to get there; we can do it another time if we want to. I have to explain to E and then I am free to gallivant to the city by the bay. It'll be over Easter which seems strange enough.

I bought a New York Times crossword collection at Half Price Books over the weekend and it makes me so happy to do one of those puzzles before going to sleep or while waking up. Mr. Shortz has good taste bien sur. The LA Times puzzles I have are okay. But their clues tend toward the obvious and don't dance.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Extra Curricular

Knitting the baby blanket is going well. I like the pattern I bought and I'm most of the way through the bottom edge. I am taking a deep breath before changing to the main pattern. The first part has gone so well it is encouraging. The yarn I found was off-white and I am a little sorry they didn't have enough bright white for this blanket. Drop kicking that pointless regret I am happy to have something I can knit and I am happy to be getting a good start before the baby shower at the end of January.

Both girls have been making good use of the futon in the living room. It folds in thirds and they like to jump from the step stool onto it. The variations are endless. Kat has perfected her no-hands flying forward roll. Tumbling class for Kat is a washout so far. The one that matches her age and level starts at 4:30. Grr. Bun said she wanted to do a ceramics class so now I'm on the hunt for that. (Which resulted in me signing up for Zumba again. Curious to see if they get a quorum for this class. The last one I enrolled in didn't fill and was cancelled.) Scumblebucket! The ceramics class for Bun's age group at the arts center is only offered at 4pm during the week. However, I am now considering a cunning plan. The class is for 3rd through 5th graders. If both girls were interested they could walk to the arts center together and I could pick them up after class. Many forks in this road but it could work.

Rosy sunset last night and possibly the first glimmer of a longer evening. A constant push/pull at work is whether to have the blinds open. I work in a three sided cube with shoulder-high walls. I face north and there is a bank of windows all along that wall, above head height. They have venetian blinds and when I think of it I hustle over and open them. The students who work at the desks right around there profess no opinion about the blinds. But there is a contingent whose screens face that direction and who demand that they be closed in the afternoon. I think they could tilt the screen slightly for the twenty minutes that their view is affected and leave the rest of us with that precious little glimpse of the sky. They've been closed all day and I never bothered to open 'em. Back at it tomorrow. We bunker workers need our little slice of sky.