Monthly Archives: August 2010


I have an idea:

Call your child care provider at 10pm and wake her up to let her know you'll be at her house shortly after five a.m. the next morning. Because otherwise, she'll probably be out on a walk or in the shower or something important like that when you come. 

And then don't show up at all. And don't call. Just waste her priceless time and sap her energy by preventing that walk and that shower with your self-centered behavior.
And be sure you're on State pay, too, because then she can't even charge you for not showing up. 
I didn't say it was a good idea… 

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When the Kids Get Their Hands on the Camera:

So I've been meaning to post some of our vacation pictures in my spare time >insert hysterical laughter< and since I'm apparently allergic to the entire month of August in this town and so find myself awake when I should be asleep even with the assistance of my inhaler–which cost more than 200% more than the last one I purchased, thank you very much corporate America–here I type. 

I'd put them in a better order, but then I'd have to sort them, which would probably involve putting in my contacts, or finding my specs, and I'd rather not. The ghoulish light from this screen only illuminates so far…
So. What have we here? Ah, yes. After 36 hours of scenes such as this, I began to seriously question theories of overpopulation:
The kids spent a lot of time using my camera, which netted me a lot of pictures like this one:
Note the boredom of the kid in the background. Those are his knees he's banging his forehead on, yes. That's my seven year old, and he took this next picture. I totally missed these granaries, or water towers, whatever they are:
Oh, and of course they spent a lot of time documenting different uses for leftover explosives:

 My twelve-year-old did a lot of experiments with prolonged exposure, and fire shots:
The Columbia River, close to home (and really, really cold, even in July):
And the Pack River above Sandpoint Idaho, where I wrote my essays:

There's more to the river than this–it just moves to a new channel, every year–the white roof is our little cabin. Some years, you come down the steps into the river. Some years you have to hike.The mountains are mostly sand, and not very stable. The swimming hole is behind the camera, this year. Last year it was directly in front, where the big rock is in the center.

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From One Eared Coaches to Limping Canines

Several firsts this week:
  1. Soccer Practice. I signed up three boys this fall. One coach set up practices already, one hasn't picked up his list from parks and rec yet, so I don't know who he is, and my other son's coach quit, so they are asking around for another. Asked us. Hahahhahahaha. Yeah right. I respect the people who volunteer to coach soccer, but I am not one of them. First of all, I wouldn't know the difference between a volley ball and a soccer ball. Second, if I'm going to pay to put my kid on a soccer team, I'd better not also have to coach–I've got enough boys to set up my own, free soccer team. (Free, assuming you don't count the exorbitant cost of equipment). So I took my 9 year old to practice this week. He came home sweaty; that's all I need to know. I'd actually really prefer not to know what it was his one-eared coach was shouting at the boys in Spanish because I suspect it wasn't exactly polite. I say one-eared, but I suppose it was more like 1/4 of an ear. Would it be totally racist of me to suspect he lost it in a knife fight? Enough of the snide suspicions; the man is coaching for free, he knows the rules, and he is actually holding practice. What more could I ask?
  2. First honest to goodness, in the classroom Grad class. Yawn. I'm learning much more from my online classes. So far, I've learned a lot about Dr. B's favorite hobbies and his military service. Rah, rah, rah. Glad I paid upwards of $1300 for that privilege. Maybe he's breaking us in gradually–I've got 8 more hours of him today, so lets hope the pace picks up a little or I'm going to have to start studying my other, more legitimate classes on the sly, in Dr. B's classroom.
  3. Oooh, wait. I did learn something new from Dr. B: This August is the first time in something like 873 years that August has had five Sundays, five Mondays, and five Tuesdays. Weird, eh? I'm not even sure that's possible, mathematically speaking…
  4. I also learned, this week, how to type with phonetic symbols. It makes typing this way a little confusing; it always takes me a while to make the shift from this to that, and that to this.
  5. Paid $16/box for peaches. That's still cheaper than the grocery store, but come on! The last time I bottled peaches, they were eight dollars a box. I can buy them already canned for less than that and my floor doesn't need to be triple mopped afterwards. But my kids hate store canned–tough luck, I've told them for five years–and my almost 16 year old wanted to learn how to bottle them. Can't argue with that–even after a long day at work. 
  6. I finally threw the rock. Two of them, actually, because my aim is really, really bad. I missed Tri-pod, but I hit his obnoxious friend. A person can only take so much abuse, and my other option (carrying a can of red spray paint, with which I imagined painting a large target on the dogs' heads) promised to be a bit cumbersome and unlikely. At any rate, the canine hasn't returned since he went limping home. Should I be ashamed of myself? Cause I'm really not feeling it…
I'm certain there were more fascinating firsts I was going to share, but Dr. B's classroom beckons, and it's pretty hard to "sneak in" late when there are only nine people in the class, now isn't it?

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Keep Your Hands In the Vehicle at All Times

So, the stalking worked. Just call and make yourself a pain in somebody's neck, and voila–daughter has no more evening classes. Hooray! Sitting in that registration session, looking around at all the heavily pierced and tattooed slouchers in the room–I think there were three other young people out of one hundred there who might look a person in the eye–I was a little concerned about my fifteen year old walking across that campus every night at 9:30. 

I attended the first bout of my own classes last weekend–more of an opening ceremony than class, I think. There are ten of us in the graduate cohort; I'll be with these nine people for the next five semesters, assuming nobody else drops out. One lady didn't make it through our second day before she dropped, and there are a couple others who won't surprise me if they do, but the rest seem pretty solid. It feels so good to sit in a room with adults and carry on an intelligent, focused discussion!  I'm loving it. 
I'm also possibly in over my head. A full-time load is considered 6 credits and I am registered for 13. Why? Because that's how the credits fall unless I want to wait until after graduation to take the classes I need for the endorsements  I want my license to carry. And I don't. So I won't. I register for the classes and I read every waking moment and I hang on for dear life. Don't knock it. You ride your roller coasters, I'll take my classes.
Actually, I have two weeks before classes really start to study during, and I've cut back again on my childcare load, so we should be good. Busy, but feasible. (We'll insert that disclaimer, just in case the dean who gave me permission to take the overload has somehow come across this blog…)

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Stalking the Registrar

Took my daughter to New Student Registration yesterday at the college. Two hours of talk, and here's your pin so you can register. The pin was her birthday!!!! We could have registered online months ago, had we known that–you know, back when there were actually classes open? 

She ended up with a one-hour class in the middle of the day, and an evening class–seven to nine-thirty at night, and an online English class.
Bizarre. Everything else was full. And they have eight more registration sessions scheduled! What? There aren't any more classes! I'm assuming they will have to add sections. We will be stalking them for the next few weeks…

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On the Fate of Brooms

  • Broom #1: Discovered on the fourth side of the fence–the porch wraps around here, and I didn't think of looking in this nook initially. I was very excited to locate this broom, until I realized it had been watered thoroughly with the hose…while it was sitting in the dirt…
  • Broom #2: After enough of my children drug their behinds out of bed yesterday, I started interrogations, and my thirteen year old explained that he was trying to enter the under-construction garage the night before without letting the cat in; he needed the broom in order to poke said cat out long enough to pull the door shut. The cat really is a psycho; he will not be deterred from his intended course. I spent two hours the other morning just trying to keep the thing off my lap/shoulders/out of my hair. When I refused to stare into his eyes, nose to nose, which is what he demanded and never tired of, and it really freaked me out (have you ever breathed recycled cat air for an extended period of time?), the thing began stalking my hands. I tried to hide them under my book, but he'd head butt his way under there and bat at them; I tried hiding them under my armpits–he squeezed between me and the chair and bit my fingertips. I'd just gotten out of the shower, too. (Maybe cats like soap?) I finally broke a vine off the fence and swung it around randomly while I studied. He never got tired of attacking it. This broom was returned temporarily to me,  and has since disappeared again. I'm thinking maybe we just need a cat stick.
  • Broom#3: Still missing. I'm inclined to buy into P.S.'s theory, that it's buried under the bark somewhere–we've permanently lost several shoes and possibly a telephone to that pit. No children, yet. Although, I did catch a child using it as a litter box, if you will. After several episodes of this, I began to duct tape the child's diaper on. This only works if you wrap the tape all the way around the child's body at least twice, by the way. I know, I know, the fact that she could accomplish this feat screams "potty train me!!!" but she isn't here regularly enough for me to really jump on that wagon. We tried, we failed, we taped.

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An Open (well, mostly open) Invitation

At the beginning of the summer, P.S. was traveling through Moses Lake, and joined me on my morning walk a few days in a row. Last night, Mandy came flying through and spent the night with her munchkins. 
My vox neighbors, in real life! How blessed is that?
Who's next? We're right on the freeway between hither and yon…if you're ever headed through, drop me a line!

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Tuesday Morning Snarl

Less than a month ago, I bought two brooms. 
Because I was sick of looking for the one my kids hadn't broken. Oh wait. They had broken it–but I'd taken the head and attached it to a painter's extension rod. This thing was thick. Go ahead, ride that baby like a pony, it ain't snapping in two, no matter how big you are. Go ahead, try it–but bring it BACK!

Oh no. That couldn't be. 
And I was SICK of looking for it. So bought two more. 


A stick, preferably longer than my forearm, with some fringe attached to one end. That's all I'm asking!

You should see my floor this morning; I'd take a picture and show you, BUT THEY HAVE MY CAMERA, TOO.

Five boys+three brooms+$900 SLR camera (plus possibly some explosives left over from July 4th–everything seems to involve explosives at this point)=what?

Tell me, please, because I guarantee it doesn't have anything to do with cleaning. 
I have looked in every room of my house, behind every door, in every closet. And yes I've even looked over the fence, on all three sides. 
Do you really want to know what happens when you take the witch's broom?

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