Thursday, June 27, 2013


Hoping I don't have pink eye. I have been assuming that my slightly goopy and itchy right eye was due to allergies. I'm going to keep operating with that assumption unless it gets a lot worse.

Spoke with my MIL last night. We'd swapped a couple of voicemail messages but I hadn't actually spoken with her since the surgery. She sounds tightly wound. Which is her right because she is unable to live in her house right now. This is the house where she was going to gently convalesce with the help of a network of friends who were going to visit and bring food and do chores for her. But it is uninhabitable because there was a sewage backup only a few hours after Nod and the girls left Elaine to come back to Kansas. E's house is 50 years old. It has enormous live oak trees in the front yard and a long slope from the street to the house. Of course it is tree roots that are blocking the sewage line. Austin has a heritage tree law that complicates the plumbing estimates which are both over $10K.

E has been at a friend's house for almost a week. It sounds like an assisted living facility has been identified for her to move to for a while, to wait out the plumbing repairs. E's also having some trouble working with her appliance, ostomy bag, which makes nursing assistance more urgent. I am shying away from all this. Nod and his brother have been working the phones and coordinating estimates and insurance claim info and I'm quite proud of them both. I just want to curl up in a ball and fast forward a few months to when everything is more stable and less sewage-y. I'm bothered by the tardy pathetic fallacy of E's house having a sewage line emergency right after she had her colon removed. It would have to be edited out of fiction as obvious and heavy handed.

My mother flies in this afternoon and we will have a long weekend with her. My big houseclean while the kids and husband were out of town has not carried all before it in an irresistible wave of tidiness. But it's a whole lot better than before. We'll crank the A/C to the low 70s and hope that she'll be able to sleep upstairs.

Which reminds me that I may have agreed to a 5 girl sleepover for Kat's 12th bday party in November. If we do that they'll be in the living room and we parents will have to hole up in the master bedroom. Maybe we can farm Bun out to another friend's house that night to reduce the younger sibling exclusion. Or I can think of any alternative to a sleepover.

Nod and I both fell asleep to major league baseball last night. It was nice until the phone woke us up. The night before I went to a last minute women's night gathering. I was the only one for an hour so I'm glad I made the effort. A little red wine taught me that I like Argentinian Malbec. Thumbs up on the socializing. Orchid was telling me that she had read that if your blood sugar dips your body draws extra calcium from your teeth. I will have to find some other sources for that. She's a hoot and a holler combining science-based info with lots of more new agey opinions.

Which reminds me that I watched a weird movie so you don't have to. Paul Giamatti playing a version of himself in Cold Souls. He's good and I liked the ending of the movie but I never could really go for the fantasy premise: you can have your soul removed and stored so you feel lighter and more positive about life. Even if I don't quite believe in a soul I would never want to have it removed. That's bad magic right there. My favorite part was the physical appearance of PG's soul when he has it removed. "You're telling me that my soul is a chickpea?!"

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book swerves

Word of the day: bumptious. Obnoxiously assertive and proud. I almost wish there was dumptious to bounce along with it.

MIL is recovering at the hospital and is expected to be released Wednesdayish. The surgery went well we are told. Though at the same time it took two and a half hours longer than the estimate. Nod was able to speak with his mom last night. He said she sounded lucid if a little frail. I am glad they made contact. Her cousin and friends have made their presence felt at the hospital and the nursing staff have banned them except for visits lasting 30 minutes or less in the mornings. I expect good nurses to be pushy, that's part of the toolbox. Update: She's going home tomorrow! good news.

Nod will be tackling many responsibilities. I hope the girls are good distraction and comfort. I hope they will be able to find things to do with themselves besides kindle games.

Finished Blue Lightning and I am astounded by the author's plot resolutions. It almost makes me wonder if she's got some sort of meta-genre commentary going on. Or maybe she got sick of her own character development arcs? It seems like the end of the series. Even if she writes more, I'm done. My Goodreads review is flagged because of spoilers. It should also be flagged for outrage! I would recommend any of the other three books in the series, not this one.

Am trying City of Bohane. So far so at sea.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Found Pebbles

Important news, movie lovers, about a site that will tell you definitively whether a dog dies in the movie you are considering watching. Does the Dog Die? is an important resource brought to me by the ever-relevant Nag on the Lake.

Still reading this New Yorker article about a start up company with a new design for a nuclear reactor that can shut down safely all by itself and will consume nuclear waste. I haven't yet gotten to an explanation of what kind of waste *it* produces. That seems like an important aspect. But yay new engineers with new designs in this area. I feel like we've been stuck at WIPP for 30 years as far as nuclear waste disposal goes.

Hot this week, Kat's softball game on Wednesday evening had multiple girls getting crumpled by heat exhaustion. Kat was redfaced and a little loopy herself by the end. Hoping for different conditions next game. I was thinking about how Bun has really good concentration on the field. She is dreamy enough and tends to have her nose in a book and not hear us the first time we talk to her at home. But on the softball field she is tuned in and knows where the ball is. She made a couple of good fielding plays at her game. She's loving the morning creativity camp. I will get to see her castle model tonight as well as the invention.

I will miss them all as they head out next Tuesday. But I plan to enjoy the quietude for a while too. I look forward to getting some major housecleaning done. Need to plan for some fun stuff as well as my puritan chore list. A former preschool parent acquaintance just let me know that her African drumming group is playing on Thursday night at the outdoor pool of all places. We happened upon them playing at South Park one night, it was a beautiful twilight and Nod and I grooved on the drumming while the kids climbed trees and hit the playground. Serendipity, man.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stone Fruit Scorecard

I'm going to be making slow cooker potatoes soon. I love the idea of not turning on the oven and even skipping the 5+ minutes waiting for the microwave to steam my spud.

Then I'm going to be making some sangria. I looked up a juice-not-wine recipe to include the kids. It's so pretty and everyone should have the fun of fishing fruit bits out of their glass. Deb at Smitten has two wineful variations. Her post about hosting dinner tugs at my heartstrings too. I think I might have a sangria party and ask guests to bring appetizers. Maybe have a crock of soup for those who want plain food.

Am eating an insufficiently ripe plum. Last week's peaches and nectarines were the first I've bought this year and so good. My stone fruit score card is still winning. Waiting impatiently for the new batch of peaches in the fruit bowl on the table to ripen.

I tried staying up to watch the rest of Pitch Perfect last night. I started watching it with the girls but it is all college student hijinks and we all agreed not really a good match for 9 and 11 y.o.s. We switched to Men In Black II and were very happy. I thought I'd finish PP off before returning it but of course left it until the last night and couldn't stay up for it. Bun called me at one point and wanted comforting, she couldn't get to sleep. It hardly ever happens with her. Got her settled and got myself to bed by 10:45 but I am dragging at the end of this week and having a hard time getting my extra half hour in the morning at work. I have a request in at the library. I'll probably get to see the end of the movie by the end of the summer.

Sounds like Nod will drive down with the girls some time the week of June 17 and stay a week with his mom. I hope everything goes as well as possible. I need to do some research on this surgery and am dreading it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

State of the state

Things are happening, just not much writing. Kat is at church camp this week. Nod will pick her up on Saturday. I am missing her but not as tightly wound about it as last year. Got cookies baked and mailed to her at camp by noon on Tuesday. Should be in plenty of time for her and her cabinmates to receive and devour them. They were snickerdoodles made with very soft butter and they ended up looking like very tasty little cowpats. I wonder if she'll send her postcards this year. Which reminds me that I need to check our mailbox.

Bun is at morning arts center classes this week. She wanted a ceramics class and what they had was half ceramics/half theater. She says it's fun. Next week she'll do another morning session at another day camp. The chauffeuring is wearing; I'm coming to work half an hour early so I can leave to deliver her. But I can do this for two weeks.

My MIL had an active stage two colon cancer found and is going to have surgery June 14. The surgeon will remove the entire colon so this is a major life changing event. Nod is figuring out when he'll drive down. Looks like he will take the girls and go down for a week. The possibility that we'll have to cancel our international travel is the lowest priority consideration at this point. I am a little disappointed in myself that I don't want to go help. I will plan to see her later this summer esp. if the Greek plans get scotched.

My mother has tickets and will fly out to see us at the end of June. She will be staying with us too. I started scrubbing the shower stall after I heard this. I suppose I'll have extra time for housework chores while my three co conspirators are in Texas.

I've jogged twice this week and start a Saturday am Zumba class in three days. Feeling ready to go in general. Here's hoping I can summon the discipline for a good push this summer.