Thawing out

Questions on my mind today:
1) Will the kids ever have school again?
2) Will Duncan ever stop being perplexed by snow and ice?
3) At what point do I have to stop eating potato chips and resume regular living?
4) How is it possible that we’ve been holed up for days and I’ve still accomplished absolutely nothing productive?

Truly, my mind is a deep philosophical well.

While we continue with storm clean-up, I have a great vegetarian stuffed pepper recipe over at Alpha Mom that even the resident carnivores love. I made it last weekend, before the storm hit, because once you’re iced in, you can’t be expected to cook anything more complicated than hot dogs. That’s the rule.

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While we prepare for the Icepocalypse…

… I’m over at Alpha Mom, realizing that Duncan is teaching me a lot about what Chickadee needs.

[In case you don't live in the south or haven't seen the news, we are about to be slammed with an ice storm "of historical proportions." This is alarming, of course, but also comes with a side helping of my-parents-were-supposed-to-visit-but-ICE-STORM and a dessert of our local production of The Vagina Monologues was supposed to open tomorrow night and now we are delayed at the very least, if not canceled. In other words, I'm cranky, and after a morning of storm prep (firewood! batteries! charge all the devices! move the trampoline! bring the grill in to the screen porch!) I'm kind of freaked out, too. If you don't hear from me for a few days, please send gluten-free cookies and trashy novels.]

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A different kind of tough love

After the first time Licorice destroyed one of Duncan’s toys, I put away all of the stuffies for a while. We have some (relatively) indestructible dog toys, and things like tennis balls (motto: a super fun toy if you enjoy pooping out bits of felt), and that seems to keep the dogs happy.

Today, though, everyone needed a little cheering up. I found a battered old teddy bear in the bag of “Duncan’s stuff from before,” and his joy at rediscovering his old pal was… enthusiastic.

Duncan and The Bear from woulda on Vimeo.

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Road noise

There’s an intersection kinda-sorta-nearish to our house that was the topic of Much Earnest Discussion pretty much from the time we moved here, six and a half years ago. It was dangerous, people said. On the main road, people would peel off to another road on the left at kind of a Y and the angle of the road meant that they didn’t properly account for oncoming traffic, they said. People entering the main road from the side road couldn’t see the traffic well enough for a safe merge, either, they said. There were a lot of accidents there.

It was dangerous, they said, and so there was voting and planning and whatever else it is that needs to happen when you want to change the roads. For the better part of a year, I think, finally, that area was under construction.

They changed the way the side road curved; now, instead of a sloping Y, the other road loops around like it means to be a right angle (it doesn’t quite achieve that, but it’s close). And they installed a traffic light, too, because that makes it safer. It was unclear why the construction took so long, and it was a tremendous pain in the ass to get where you wanted to go, especially for someone like me, who isn’t very good with directions and had FINALLY figured out when and how to go that route. (more…)

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One month in

Monkey’s been back at public school for a month, and Otto and I still whisper and knock on wood when we dare to speak aloud about how great everything is going. Rational or not, we are still afraid to jinx it.

Of course, today I decided that that was just plain silly, and I went over to Alpha Mom and wrote all about how my baby is finding his awesomeness, which OF COURSE meant that I then got a phone call from school that MAH BAYBEE had become collateral damage in a hallway brawl. (Yep, I jinxed it.)

But he’s okay. Better than okay, really. I hope you’ll come read about why, because I think my kid is teaching me way more than I’ve ever taught him.

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It has come to this

We are stuck at home, but are warm and fed and unscathed. This doesn’t make for scintillating blogging material, I’m afraid. (Dear World, Today I made banana bread while it snowed. Then the kids ate it. TRULY I AM A PIONEER. Love, Mir.)

Remember when I told you that Duncan plays for the Bats? He generally prefers to chew on Licorice, but when she tires of that, he does work on his football moves. Behold:

Snow Day: Dogs Gone Wild! from woulda on Vimeo.

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Hunkered down and craving french toast

The ZOMGSNOWPOCALYPSE is hitting Georgia right about… now. The kids only had half a day of school, there are actual snowflakes in the air, and rehearsal for The Vagina Monologues this evening has been canceled. (Did I mention that I was doing that again? I am. Also, I’m not quiiiite off-book yet, as I was supposed to be for tonight, so yay for canceled rehearsal!) (Did I spend an hour this morning doing chores around the house, belting out dialog about my vagina, much to the dogs’ consternation? Indeed I did. Duncan seemed particularly uncomfortable, which is saying something, because he regularly flops down in the middle of the floor to lick his phantom balls for an hour.)

Now that I’ve successfully rendered this post porn according to most search engines (HAAAAA), I thought it would be a good time to direct any whippersnappers to my post today at Alpha Mom about how these southern snow days do NOT remind me of my youth. And if that’s not enough—or if you’re in a cooking mood—last week I shared some suggestions for Super Bowl snacking, though here at Casa Mir we will, of course, be dining on Extreme Bitterness That The Patriots Aren’t Playing.

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We’re gonna need a bigger vacuum

Today ended up completely sideways and I don’t really know how or why. This is me cheering myself up with the conversation that STARTED the day, before everything went to crap.

Her: So explain to me, again, why you want to be cremated when you die?
Me: Well, for one thing, I’m cheap, and I think the cost associated with buying a hole in the ground and a fancy box to bury in it seems dumb to me. For another, I don’t believe that the body means anything after the soul leaves it. Why fancy it up? Get rid of it, I won’t be using it. And I don’t want a place that you feel compelled to maintain, or that you have to sit and feel sad.
Her: But… so… then what do you do with the ashes?
Me: Sometimes people keep them around, like in a pretty container, but lots of people rather they be scattered somewhere that made them happy. Don’t save my ashes, that’s creepy.
Her: Oooooooohhhh. Okay, so after Licorice dies, we should have her cremated and then spread her ashes under the couch in your office. And after YOU die, I should just dump the ashes in your bed.
Me: That seems kind of gross for Otto, if he’s still around.
Her: Nah, he’ll love it. He can still sleep with you every night!
Me: You’ve got it all figured out, I guess.
Her: Don’t worry, I’ll sprinkle Monkey on the keyboard when it’s his turn.
Me:
Her: What? It’s where he’s happy!

Debate continues as to where Duncan should go (maybe the landing on the stairs, though I feel he’s mostly just confused there, not really happy), but thankfully Otto has already picked his finally resting/sprinkling spot. [Note to self: Revise will to specify that Chickadee never gets to decide where anyone's ashes go.]

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Just a friendly reminder

While I’m not fond of the old trope about moms always putting themselves last, a large part of the reason I dislike it is because—for me, anyway—it tends to be true. Thank goodness I have friends who sometimes drag me out of the house. I hear it’s even good for a person to do that! So I’m over at Alpha Mom today with a few words about my Village and how much I appreciate it.

And as long as you’re over there, last week I rounded up some of our favorite soup recipes, which you may find useful as this second round of Arctic weather hits us.

Friendship or soup; take your pick.

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tl;dr: Money makes me paranoid

I have not been sleeping particularly well these last few days. Otto was doing a work thing all weekend, which meant he was coming and going at weird hours, and we have a friend of his staying here (for said work thing), as well, and I love our dogs, you know, I love them SO MUCH, they bring such joy to my life, but they are not all that bright about guests in the house. After however many years it’s been (4? 5?), we’ve grown used to Licorice feeling the need to bark anew EVERY SINGLE MORNING no matter how many times she’s already encountered the same stranger in our house. (“You’re still here this morning? BARK! BARK! BARKBARKBARKBARK!”) But now she barks, and then Duncan barks and HOWLS, and no matter how we try to separate them or whatever—say, tucking Duncan in for the night in his customary spot in Monkey’s room, faaaaar from where the men are returning to the house late at night—the moment our guest steps in the house or appears on the stairs in the morning or DARES to visit the bathroom in the night, it’s the Barkpocalypse.

So: I’m sleepy. Sleepier than normal, anyway. I got up this morning and sat down to go through my email and had one of those CUSTOMER FRAUD ALERT DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON emails from Discover Card, which was awesome, because you KNOW how I love it when people screw around with my beloved credit card. (more…)

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