Saturday, May 31, 2008
E. E. Cummings
We've been camping (here) and I'm knackered. Come round tomorrow after I've had a good kip and I'll take you along.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
And today, for some of the longest, heart-stopping moments of my life, We lost her.We did the car boot today (big yard sale in a HUGE field with whatever you can fit in the boot--trunk-- of your car) so that I could part with the some of the things I collect.
and came up one short.
My husband canvassed the huge field swarming with strangers, while I stood at our stall willing her to come back to us. It took every bit of will power I had to stand there and not run screaming through the crowds like a psychopath.
Everyone headed that way. Except me.
My decision NOT to leave the stall was based on two things: The first being that maybe this wasn't such a big deal and she would somehow be in the car that I had checked 15 times already--if I left, then she might wander off.
The second made me finally understand something my mother did years ago.
I was 18 years old and dying in a hospital in Little Rock Arkansas. When my mother was told her "baby" wouldn't make it through the night, she refused to catch the first plane out of Arizona. She told me later that she felt like that would be giving me permission to die and she wasn't going to do that. Instead, she spread the word and in my little town of people where everyone knew everyone, a prayer vigil began. She arrived a day later and after a week more, I was released-- to the amazement of the entire Intensive Care floor.
So, the second thing influencing my choice to wait by the car:
then there really wasn't any danger
and this wasn't really happening.
J2 turned his face our direction and waved. I thought, "Oh thank you, Lord!" and kept watching for my husband to appear. I finally spotted his head coming through the hedges by the entrance... he wasn't carrying her, so I waited until a break in the crowd would show me he had her by the hand.But he was walking too fast to be holding a toddler's hand.
My heart stopped. It had gone from trying to beat itself right out of my chest to complete silence. "This isn't happening. This isn't happening. Oh... my... my child is really gone!"
The stall, the car with the keys in it, my handbag with my military ID and cash, our car boot things and the British pounds we'd made meant absolutely nothing. The lady (who had become my left arm) and I began walking quickly. Just walking-- anywhere-- because standing still had killed my hopes.
We'd made it about 20 yards when a chorus rang out, "We have her!"
Tears sprang to my eyes. I ran for my baby -- held in a man's arms. His grandpa-like face shined love, hers... Inquisitive and oblivious to this dangerous world.Apparently she had crawled into his car, sat in his front seat and took apart two packs of cigarette papers while he loaded his unsold plants into the back of his car.
Thank you Lord that he was a kind man.
Thank you that it was HIS car she decided to visit and not someone else's.
Thank you Lord that we did NOT become (but easily could have been) that family on the news desperate for our child saying, "We only took our eyes off of her for a moment!".
Sunday, May 25, 2008
So, she's shoveling as hard as she can go-- that's how a princess eats you know, and she chokes a little. And coughs.
Mom alarm immediately goes off, "Hubby, something's stuck in her throat, you can hear it in her cough!"
Calm Hubby, "Yeah, she probably tried to swallow too much"
Me, impatient that he does NOT have Mom radar, "Look at her! She looks terrible!"
She's breathing, her airway is not blocked, but her eyes look odd (you know that look kids get before they get the flu that keeps you home from your first hair appointment in 6 months) and she's rubbing her face like chiggers are burrowing under her skin. Thick, red sauce is spreading from ear to ear from off of the back of her hands.
Irritatingly calm Hubby, "She's ok, there's just something stuck between her mouth and nose"
(that's OK in your book?)
He prompts her to cough.
All of the boys are demonstrating how to cough.
She's looking at us like we've all gone mad.
And then she sneezes... and a little piece of noodle comes out her nose.
I lift my Baby Bolognese up from her chair and take her to the tub.
When she was all fresh and clean and
giving her daddy some cuddles, she sneezed.....
Being a parent is disgusting.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
"I really tried this week. I went on a Pub crawl, my first time ever and I was so brave, I left my camera at home!"
"I couldn't stand it, my hands began shaking and my eyes were darting around and my mind was desperately trying to record every moment so that I could tell it on the blog and then the view outside the window was just so... so.. English and I couldn't take it and I whipped out my mobile!"
"So I slipped, and for what?! Terrible. poor. quality, pictures. But, blurry pictures are better than none, right?"
"Please sit down Miss Grockle".
The view from the first Pub. I was picked up by Ang's hubby, a brave soul willing to drive 6 socially starved women into town. Everyone was ordering lagers. I could see there were J2Os (a fruity non-alcohol drink), sodas and something made by Schwepps. I decided to try that-- it was a blueberry and some other berry combination and I thought maybe I could actually do something nice for my body for once...
We picked a table in the noisy area, only because there were guys nearby. Who knows why, we were all married and we didn't pay them any attention except to notice we managed to drive them away with our hysterical cackling.
My drink didn't taste so good. It tasted more like the blueberries had been allowed to rot before it became my drink.
I had one girl smell it, "Is this how this is supposed to smell?"
She wrinkled her nose, "Ewww".
I took more sips. Yep, still pretty disgusting.
I had another smell it, "Oh, that smells like it's off"
I took another taste. Yeah. I'm done. So now I try to figure how I am going to get out of my cramped little area at the table without making everyone stand up.
Finally, when everyone else was going for a second, my drink finally made Front Page news with Chelle who declared,"That's definitely off, I'm taking it back" and I moved onto soda.
I will probably not die since no symptoms have appeared at the time of this writing.Everyone else went to the loo, so I started snapping pictures with the mobile phone. This is half of our group thinking it's funny to scare unsuspecting people taking pictures. We're walking.
Note to self: mobile phone must be held still when capturing a moment.
Next was the CockInn... only we didn't go inside because Ang said there was a great band playing at the...mumblegrff (I understood less than half of what was said all night).Following Ang, our fearless leader, we barged right past the crowds at the door, past the throngs of people waiting at some table (paying to get in maybe?) and into the crowd. Well some bouncer-type caught up with us and said we'd have to get our glasses first, "it's a £2 deposit, you get it back when you turn the glasses back in." (?!)
So, I generously picked up the tab for the glasses (ha!), and the guy gave us 6 for the price of five since I wasn't going to put anything in mine and he also waived our entrance fee.This place was sparse in decor. Just one wall of kegs with every kind of beer you've never imagined (one was called "Farmer's Pucks Folly" and for some reason, I was the only one that found it amusing) with a very sticky open floor space where everyone frenetically danced to this great band (with two saxophone players). They played a lot of Madness so me and my empty glass danced among the slam dancers. I figure I got an extra work-out because pulling my feet up out of the stick took some effort.
The next pub scared me.
No really, my AirForce anti-terrorism training really kicked in.
I was in a VERY crowded space, upstairs with a Dj's smoke machine, flashing lights. The only exit was blocked by loads of people and that was a VERY narrow stair case that took us a while to go up-- going down in an emergency would be futile. Luckily the music wasn't to anyone's taste, so we headed back downstairs so that the beer drinkers could take another loo break.
While My friend Debbie and I sat waiting, I told her how I had spent the whole time calculating my exit.
How funny is it then that some older guy (yes, older than me) came up and set his balled-up jacket on the table next to me and asked if I would watch it?!
He was drunk, so he didn't understand when we said we'd be leaving soon, and he left it there anyway. As he walked up to the bar, I turned to Debbie and said, "Yep. He just put a bomb next to me"
The next pub was dark, with low, beamed ceilings-- just how a pub should look. I liked this one, but it's waaay past my bedtime. There are people out of my phone's view that are dancing on the bar, and the barkeep doesn't seem to notice.... I wanna dance on a bar, I've never done that before....As we make our way past the vomit on the pavements outside, and the police who are chatting with a crowd,
we decide to head off the the Kebab place.
Pronounced Keh Baaa(like a sheep does)b.
Not kah BAHB like we say it.
Kebabs are meat and salad in a pita and could be the demise of British culture. Bad for Men's health and not so great for a woman's love life if you add coleslaw and onions to that. Yum. I compromised by having chicken. My hips are thanking me this morning. Well they would be if it weren't for the sticky dance floor workout. Happy bday Ang!
Last night, Pub Hopping. Tomorrow Blog Hopping. See you tomorrow at your place!
Friday, May 23, 2008
I've been tagged (by Flea) to share my Prom Night (photos and all) with you, but the fire that ate all of Son #1's baby videos also ate my yearbooks and high school memories....
So, suffice it to say, I'm sure I wore a Gunne Sax, and my hair was feathered, in a very unbecoming way and oh, I'm pretty sure I was sunburned because that's the way I did things. The day before any important date (ie: High School graduation), my girlfriends and I would dump Hawaiian Tropic baking oil all over our bodies and then bask in the sun for hours.
I went with a friend, after breaking some kids' heart (he was the new cute guy and asked me-- when there were all of these girls drooling over him-- but a few nights on the phone I discovered, sadly, he was dumber than a box of rocks). I tried to explain to him that there were lots of girls that wanted to go with him, and that I just really didn't want to go.
To my Senior Prom.
Truth was, I liked Jim. I always liked Jim. I thought I would marry Jim one day when he finally realized I liked him. (He never did figure it out...)
So, I went with Dave. Who liked Lori. Always liked Lori. Everyone thought he'd marry Lori, but apparently after his mission, HE didn't think he'd marry Lori.
Lori and Jim were on an ill-planned baseball trip that caused many of the High School Seniors (baseball players and cheerleaders) to miss their Senior Prom.
So Dave and I danced and watched the clock for when the buses would return. The rest of the evening was spent in a home with too many teenagers watching movies.
That was me.
And since there's no proof disputing it, I was gorgeous.
I'd like to see Kellan's Prom.... Love to see Holly's too, but I am NOT tagging her. She HATES memes.
Happy Memorial Weekend everyone! I'm wishing you tons of joy and time with families, all privileges brought to you (and me) by our Veterans. Do me a favor and thank the next military person you see.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I thought I would help my husband out by completing his feedback for him on eBay. I mean, after all, he's gone 12 hours a day and he needs my help.
He ordered a mains adapter for the kids' N64 (there's a long story... about how the oldest son took the console with his belongings but left all the games here-- did he want the games? No, he was thinking of leaving all behind for his brothers, but somehow the console made it to Nevada-- so he shipped it back... why? Because the Hubby thought this old gaming system would be fun to have. To play in all of our spare time.). The last couple of days the boys have been playing every kind of Mario game--giggling, arguing, you know, generally enjoying themselves. Since the adaptor obviously worked, I left feedback for the nice chap who apparently worked hard to get it to us so quickly.
Only, he hasn't even shipped it yet.
The Hubby informs me that the N64 has been hooked up to a transformer while waiting for the mains.
Now the way the Universe generally works when ever I am involved, I am fully expecting this transaction to be the 2nd disaster in a 12-year run with Ebay. The first involved a set of retired Stampin' Up stamps, but you don't want to know about that...
You know this guy will be dancing somewhere on some tropical beach, umbrella'd drink in hand with my £5 laughing at what shmucks we are....
And my gratitudes for the day:
- At least it was only £5.
- The wonderful little chocolate cakes that our Post office quit carrying? They're back! (Post Offices here are like a little general store-- it's wonderful!)
- Dog Formerly and currently known as Jake only destroyed a few of the plants in our garden so far.
- Miss Ky helped me part with the VHS tapes my husband wanted to toss. She broke three just today. Thanks Miss Kidzilla.
- I finally get to see American Idol tonight!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
In case the day was a blur (I know you have so many things going on right now), I'm posting the pictures to jog your memory of our afternoon.
Remember how you asked me not to get out of the car for this shot? How you were afraid I would be sneezing yellow Grapeseed Oil pollen for the rest of the day?
There's the sheep... waaay down there...
When you think of the U.K., what comes to mind? Red phone boxes, black cabs, Big Ben?
What do tourists from all parts of the world want their picture taken in front of? (No, not Tony Blair)
Why on earth would BT think it was ok to put a stupid sign in the window?!
I mean really, it couldn't be placed inside?
I don't want a picture of "Coins not Accepted".
And it's not just this phone box my friend,
it's all of them out here. Wrong. Just wrong.
Why didn't they just paint a big happy face on the clock tower while they were at it?!
"So, you happy here?"
"Actually, I'm leaning towards blowing this joint"
Um, yeah, you didn't laugh at it yesterday either...
Well, I'm sure you remember I pulled over several other times too, but I figure how many Hairy Coo pictures could one blog take?
Come round again , but hurry, our summer's nearly over!
Monday, May 19, 2008
One measly laundry load at a time.
My sentiments exactly (and for those of you panicking and scrolling to the header, you did not accidently click on the Bonbons blog).
We all use our towels for a few days, and then they go into the wash and are replaced by new towels.
My towel is a dark rich purple. Always has been. Well, for the last three years, anyway.
However, since we moved into this house, my towel has been wet.
I get up in the morning, and my towel is wet.
I go to bed at night, my towel is still wet.
What the heck? Is it more humid here, 6 miles from our old home?
So yesterday, I pull out all of the towels from our en suite. I put a new purple towel in there and begin washing the others.
I told the Hubby that he'd need to grab a towel before he showered because I had removed the ones in the bathroom for washing. When I went in a little later, after his shower, there were no new towels and the purple one was... WET.
Well, that's almost comparable to using my toothbrush as far as I'm concerned.
The war was on.
"My towel is the purple one. Why are you using my towel?! Your towel is tan. Your towel is sometimes green, but MY towel is and has always been the purple one!"
"But it was on my towel rack".
He has a towel rack? Who assigned towel racks? In a bathroom with two racks, each holding a tan/purple combination, he assumed one rack was his and one was mine?
Men. He's got some serious issues to work through...
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Manners & Moxie andsuchsimplepleasures
Post originally published on March 2nd, 2008
Happy Mum's Day to you celebrating it. Mothering Sunday is held in March, usually preceded by a Saturday where Tesco's are bursting at the seams with frazzled men and their children. I was foolish enough to go in for scones yesterday and dang near didn't live to see my breakfast in bed this morning.
The first March we were here to experience the bombardment of adverts for the upcoming day, we were the very tired parents of a non-sleeping five-month old. I dashed about madly to get cards for our three mothers and spent hours contemplating the best British-type gift for the cherished women in our lives. Reflecting back, I remember thinking, "Has this holiday always been in March? I could've sworn it was in May." The Hubby never corrected me, but looked as bewildered as I was.
Imagine our surprise when we finally figured it all out-- and I was two months early for "our" holiday (I think I still mailed them late though).
This year, I'm better rested. I know now that I should buy my Mums cards on Monday (they'll disappear quick, these people don't mess around in changing holidays) to mail to the U.S in May.
This year I received breakfast in bed (oops, it was Fast Sunday),
and some of the most beautiful cards ever made (in my opinion). Mother's Day is getting better.
I used to dread Mother's Day like the plague and I'll tell you why (gee, must you?).
Every Mother's Day falls on Sunday-- strange coincidence, I know.
As a family, we strive to keep the Sabbath day holy-- pretty much like Biblical times, meaning: we don't work and don't want to be the cause of somebody else working.
All Mother's Day Brunches are on Sunday.
While happy Mother's all over the United States are washing crab legs down with champagne, I am bathing four very different kinds of stinky little critters that want to give me grief on everything from the clothes I've laid out to who each critter has to bathe with.
I've showered (before the dawn of time), fixed my hair hastily and dressed in the clothes I should've thrown out on my 5th wedding anniversary, but by the time the little beasts are fed, bathed and dressed, I look like I've been in a fight with a wet dog.
I do all of this while my husband attends church meetings. He then arrives (looking pretty scrumptious in his pressed, puke-free suit), five minutes before the meeting is to begin so that we can jointly tie--I mean safely hook--each wriggly, angry mini-monster into their car seat...while the teenager exudes attitude. ('nuff said)
We then begin the 2 1/2 hour drive to church.
Alright, I might be exaggerating on the time taken to commute to a building a few blocks away, but when children are screaming in your ear, time seems to go more slowly-- like "I think I remember that last ice age" slowly.
Next, I sit in a church meeting listening to MAN after MAN speak about how wonderful his mother was.
You know her.
She was the lady that NEVER raised her voice at the children, always had a clean, warm home and delicious meals on the table that said MAN would never have dreamt of saying, "I don't like that! Can't we just have chicken nuggets like billy's family?".
I am shrinking further and further into my wrinkled, Mork & Mindy-style cowl-necked sweater (or did I buy it during the Three's Company run?) wishing for the roof to collapse.
Can it get worse? Of course it can!
The children are dragged up front to sing about their Moms, "Mother, I love you, Mother, I dooo--hoooo", all smiling lovingly at their perfectly pressed mothers. But mine....
My children have memories like elephants. They remember that I made them eat their greens the night before. They remember that I shouted at them before breakfast when they dropped a baseball on the baby's head...and when they dumped the bath water all over the floor while playing "sinking ship", and when we were getting in the car and again when they darted out of the car into a busy parking lot.
Yep, there is love just oozing from their smiles..NOT.
They look like someone pinched them. They're NOT singing, they are just looking terribly uncomfortable.
My scowling kids are given flowers to hand out to the mothers in the congregation. Luckily they don't try to pretend I'm not there-- in fact, now that they're waltzing through the aisles with flowers, they are each quite happy. One gives me some. Now I get to take home a beautiful reminder of Spring, WHO's LIFE WAS CRUELLY CUT SHORT TO COMMEMORATE THIS BLOODY, HAPPY HOLIDAY.
sorry about that.
That was past Mother's Day. Present Mothers Day is Mothering Sunday in the U.K.
For some reason, it just works better here.
The Hubby, who was scheduled to work, got a call before we left for church saying his shift was cancelled. He looked scrumptious in his pressed, puke-free suit-- but even better, he had bathed the kids while I dressed in something purchased in this decade.
My kids honored me. They sang. J2 even participated in a duet.. with a smile... directed at me! I came home with a potted flower, picked out of the box by the child that knew I liked purple.
I am feeling so fuzzy that I want to share this day with you, regardless of what month you observe it. Since I can't mail you a Mum's Day card, I am sending you flowers. Daffodils from my front garden. I even knocked the bugs off...
you're welcome, and have a great Sunday!!
Tara tagged me (she wants to see what lies outside the chaos).Dyln started this fun Photography Meme. Here are the rules:
1. Step out your front door and take a picture.
2. Step out your back door and take a picture.
3. Put them on your blog, along with the rules.
4. If there are things in the photos that you particularly like or dislike, you can point them out, or just explain what we are seeing. Maybe changes over the seasons or some junk in your neighbour's yard that drives you nuts.
5. Tag as many or few people as you like - preferably at least one though.
6. Do it again next month if you like.
So this is my view at 8 am today: I am standing in my doorway. See the big hedge that gives us some privacy from the road?
See the Ford? Future post. I hate that Ford. Hi Dog Formerly known as!
Ok, now I've taken a few steps out to show you the front garden... it's not the old one, is it? But it's charming and I like it. And the Wisteria-- has always been on my Dream House list.
This is out my back door. I love our back garden. The table doesn't usually sit there, but I'm treating my plant for scale once again, so it's closer to the house to give it a little protection. And if we turn a little to the left, the other half of the garden. Miss Ky helped Dad put up the trampoline, therefore losing two of the bolts to the net. So the net is not up and the Hubby, who has a really hard time with follow-through, left the net down for Dog Formerly known as to eat all of the foam padding off the net poles.... I'm immensely happy about that.
Now, lift your arm out in front of you. Point your index finger straight towards you. That's who I tag next. Let me know if you play, ok?
Please check out my new find: A Mask to Hide Behind, who I found through David McMahon's Post of the Day gems. British humour at it's best.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I was awfully wordy for Weds., so to make it up to you, I'm shutting up now.
My village (don't knock the photo, I was driving...)
Home Sweet Home
Not my home...Also not my home...
Ok, for real, I'm zippin' it. Done. That's all I'm saying for today. For now.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Yeah, me neither.
Actually, you remember that big, beautiful house with the miles of beautiful countryside we traded in for half the size in a near-by village?
Well I hate that house. I never want to see it or it's miles and miles of newly dusted base boards or it's SEVEN clean toilets and four shower stalls and two over-sized tubs ever again, but you know what? I will. I will see it again when I go back tonight to mop the 3000 sq feet of sausilito-style tile.
And then I'm done.
Holy hairy coos, I'm tired.
And do you know what happened to The Sexy Guy's schedule for this past week? They up'd him to 10-hour days (with one hour drive each way makes him practically deployed again), so I have been finishing that house with kids in tow.
Have you ever cleaned a house while kids are running through it?
Me neither. Who would be so stupid?
Dog formerly known as Jake and then Fenni and then Sir Pup is now answering to.... yeah, Jake.
It's alright really, we had our Sparky who sometimes got called Farmer John, Mildred, Oaf and others. It's really the sentiment in which you say whatever it is you're gonna say, isn't it?
Which brings me to a post I read earlier.
Kathryn is celebrating 7 blissful years of marriage and wrote the loveliest tribute to her Hunny. Now Kathryn strikes me as the type who sees the positive in everything. She adores her husband (and her profile describes him as the "always scrumptious...Todd"), and her children are obviously her world.
I've been thinking about her attitude all day now. And how her family must feel seeing themselves through her eyes. How it all comes full circle and she must feel adored in return.
(I hope this is one of those days she's skipping my blog so I don't embarrass her).
Once in my past,
my bonbon eating, tv watching, because-I-only-had-one-toddler-at-home-that-napped past, Oprah was doing a series about rediscovering what dreams you gave up, and how important it is to pursue them as a mother. Who wants to be the poster child for "This is how you give up on all you dreamt as a child" for their children?
I had one of those "lightbulb" moments when I realized that along with the dreams of being on stage, I wanted to be a mom-- of six children.
I was living one of my dreams and whinging all the way through it. I decided then, that I would live my dreams. I would be happy with my role as a SAHM, and pursue other dreams as well.
I bought a violin because I've always loved violins. Itzhak Perlman? My hero. (You're listening to him as you read this).
I danced with J2 and spent hours just watching him breathe. I began taking photos of every precious moment. I was J1's Den Leader. You know, the overly excited, extremely annoying one.
I've had that same light bulb moment several times since then.
And here I am today. Tired, disgruntled, sarcastic (sometime caustic) with too many photos on my computer and in my Power Sort boxes and my violin is now propped up against a new wall where it will stay until the next move (which will be NEVER or over my dead body, if you recall).
How do we lose track of things so easily? Why do I need to be reminded that I have so much, so many times?
The news coming out of China is killing me. Seriously, the thought of what those people are going through is so overwhelming for me to think about, the minute I try to concentrate on what they could possibly be experiencing, my mind flips to something else. Like there's a kid in charge of the remote control to my brain looking for a better channel.
So, I am picking up my "Thankful" journal again. The one I put down almost two years ago because my list of things I was thankful for became a list of things to take with me when I would leave my ungrateful family.
New house, new neighborhood, new beginnings. Great time for a new attitude as well, right?
Monday, May 12, 2008
When eating brownies/fudge/chocolate bars, do you:
A.) hide B.) share C.) Just wait until 11pm when you won't be interrupted D.) All of the Above
When blogging, do you find yourself saying:
A.) "In a minute sweetie, just let me finish..." B.) "Of course I'll shut down this post at this very moment and give you my undivided attention." C.) "Don't make me come in there and throttle you!" D.) "Ask Daddy"
You have a night out with the girls for the first time in 6 years, you:
A.) make dinner, lay out pajamas and leave a written schedule for the hubby to follow. B.) Change your mind at the last minute and stay home to hold your kids a little longer. C.) Run from the house screaming "Let's get this party started" D.) A & C
When moving house:
A.) You purge all of the kids excess toys, but keep every pair of shoes you've had since you got married B.) Compartmentalize each and every small plastic bit and label them for the kids to find easily in the new house C.) Leave as much as you can until the last minute and then throw it away without looking... "Remote for your Robot toy? Gee sweetie, I haven't seen it" D.) You don't move house. The house is growing around you actually.
When making dinner, you:
A.) stick to your motto "I made it, you eat it. period" B.) Make the kids something fun while you and the Hubby have that asparagus with cream sauce C.) Make corn dogs for everybody-- why cause tension in the house? D.) Make wha? I DON'T cook.
If you picked "B" for any reason what so ever, you may win Mommy of the Year, but you and I are going to have a hard time keeping a friendship going. And honestly...
You SHARE your chocolate????
This post style has been brought to you by Painted Maypole, the creative blogger of the year. "This weeks mission was to write a post in the form a personality test (idea thanks to Emily, inspired by Alpha Dogma)"
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I seem to be attached to stuff. Rooms and rooms of stuff. Carrying my cedar chest without properly and lovingly wrapping it first is just cause for a spitting tirade. Moving my china cabinet with things still in it could land you a permanent position in the family dog's house.
I like my things.
It's not really that I have a hoarding problem (it's the purging I have problems with), I just have so many interests.
- I scrapbook. Do you know how much space every color of paper and shape makers take up?
- I don't sew, but I'd like to, so there's the sewing machine and two rubbermaid containers of fabrics I will someday make into Barbie clothes for my daughter like my Mom did for me.
- I haven't painted in 7 years, but you never know when all that spare time might sneak up on me, so I have my brushes and other art supplies at the ready.
But the most interesting thing was just brought to my attention last night.
I lovingly held a German Lindt chocolate bar up to show my Hubby. "Yummy" I said. "I have looked and looked for these every time I go to the shop, but this was the only one they had."
Him: "And let me guess, since it was the only one and you're so excited to have it, you won't ever break it open".
I would've shot back an interesting and humorous quip, but the truthfulness of that statement seemed to slowly pour over me-- like the buttery flow of a hot fudge topping over a sundae.
I laughed and admitted he was right.
So tonight, guess what J the Grockle's having for supper!
If I can find my table under the boxes and boxes of things I love.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
- When you wash your face, you probably use warm water. You adjust it to the temperature you prefer. Over here, we wash our face in either cold or hot. We could put our faces close to the sink and splash the two separate faucets towards us in hopes that the hot and cold water will blend before hitting, but it doesn't work. "Mixer taps" aren't common here.
- Refrigerators the size you're used to would be referred to as "busses" here.
- The dorm fridge you bought your kid last semester? That's the family fridge here.
- When's the last time you paid a Road tax? A TV tax? A Council tax?
- USDA ground beef has more meat than fat.
- Closets. A home in the UK with built-in wardrobes pays additional taxes.
- Sonic Drive-Ins. #2 with tots please.....and could I have a cherry limeade with that?
- Salad dressing in a restaurant. You have some.
- Real potato salad.
- Stores that are open past 6pm-- especially on Saturday when you're craving potato salad.
- Do you own a gun? Even if you don't want one, it would be your choice whether or not you owned it. It comes in handy when you're jones-ing for some potato salad and all the shops are refusing to let you in.
- Most people probably understand you when you speak (unless of course you live in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California and don't speak fluent Spanish). You probably don't get a lot of raised eyebrows and "pardon?"s.
they're "pavements" here.
Here, buns are sweet bread rolls and what you would call a hamburger bun in the States is a Bap. So asking for a bun with your burger will get a raised eyebrow, "With raisins?"
This lack of understanding goes both ways though...
One night a friend suggested I get this over-the-counter medicine for the sick kid of the week. I asked, "Cowpie?" (what kind of name is that for a medicine to help relieve cold symptoms?!)
"No, Cow Pole"
"Can you write it for me please?"
The stuff's brilliant, by the way.....
The adverts on the telly give the number to ring so quickly!
As do the people leaving messages:
"Mrs. D, please ring me at O eight hundred, Four double two, treble five". When the pen is on the pad and I'm writing like crazy, my mind is saying, "What symbol goes with double?" Not to mention how many digits there are. My current phone looks similar to this: 09513933655. I couldn't tell you my husband's mobile or my own if my life depended on it.
When they tell me to go through the "fly over", they mean "Underpass".
Which brings us to the way you get directions here.
"Excuse me, I'm trying to find the Golden Fry".
"Do you know where the King's Arms Pub is?"
"No, I don't."
"Well, take the road that runs right by the King's Arms and when you get to the third bend in the road ...."
You would take the Tube.
The Tube is an experience of it's own.
Want some great French Fries? They're chips and chips are crisps. Don't ask for ketchup, there's vinegar on the counter for your chips-- or you can pay extra to get a curry sauce to dip them in. They won't wrap your order in newspaper anymore... somebody saving the planet decided that the ink was probably not good to ingest, so now it'll come wrapped in the packing paper movers use (when you're smart enough to hire movers which apparently we are not). Oh, and pleeease don't order your child a milk shake. It is just that-- frothy milk. Shaken milk with some flavour in it. You'll end up drinking it as the 9 year-old pouts.
Lights are usually on the outside of a room which can be great fun for a prankster.
Dogs are welcome just about anywhere, and will be just about everywhere. Did you know dogs enjoy car boots (flea markets but better)? They love finding a good bargain as much as we do. They also really love schools, beaches, and chip shops. Dogs are a Brit's best friend.
You Americans think you have it so good... oh wait, I'm an American.
Here's my thought for today... it falls on the heels of a heated discussion presently underway regarding Scotland wanting to become a separate country. Forget that. You're too little. Iran would eat you for breakfast. I'm thinking the UK (including a grumpy little Scotland) and the US should combine their best qualities (sorry US, that means Hershey's has to give way to the Galaxy bar), and toss out the silliness-- TV tax is at the top of the rubbish pile-- can you imagine the country we could have? Let's present this suggestion to the Presidential candidates and see where they go with this, shall we?
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Hot Dang! I'm here today for some therapy, folks...
Maybe someone out there has moved with a husband like mine before and we can swap notes. Some of my notes (for the Sexy man who sucks at moving):
- Never ever EVER move a china cabinet with some of the china pieces in it to save time...
- If the wife says, "I only want the big furniture items moved today by this group of burly men", this does not translate into: "Please pack my kitchen into plastic bags for transport and then allow men and their wives to drink and spill tea in the new kitchen that took me TWELVE hours to get to my standard of clean".
- If you have ten days to do said move, and have no wardrobes or closets in the house you are moving to, the clothes hanging in the former closets can probably stay there a little longer than the rest of your items. Watching people trample nice clothes tends to make the wife grumpier than usual.
- Hear me. Hear me. Hear me. Chances are, the question you are debating (like, "Hmmm, I wonder if she wants me to leave her Cherrywood chest that holds all of the quilts behind and instead take all of the camping gear to the house?") was already answered in a previous discussion that you mentally checked out of....
If you're short on time, here's the cliff notes for the following: Blah, blah blah, whinge and whine.
The next move was into a cave-like apartment, which I did newly pregnant. We moved around his work shifts. I began having complications shortly thereafter.... hmmm, a link?
We then were given a house on base. 8 months pregnant and I was packing and hauling boxes.
Pregnant again (I know, birth control), we moved overseas. He was busy doing out-processing, so I was left to deal with the movers. Do you know how movers treat "the little woman"? They patronize her. They ignore everything she says and tell her that they know best-- like putting The Hubby's bowling ball on top of a lamp shade in the same box is best!
I watched in horror what was happening to my things and hated my husband for leaving it to me, the pregnant one with two kids and a dog in the way.
In the Azores, once again there's nothing on base for us and we find a place 30 minutes from his work. In the middle of no where. I supervise the move in. There's things broken, but I speak no Portuguese and the movers speak little English.
Moving onto the base, I am -- you guessed it, supervising a move and even more pregnant.
When we left the Azores, I supervised the movers... while the husband out-processed.
Seeing a pattern? (Or did you fall asleep?) Well I did-- FINALLY (see a pattern I mean-- I'm too stupid to fall asleep because I am getting therapy right now). And I begin to get a little bitter.
Oh, and for THAT move-- the one where I have 6 packers in all different rooms (huge no-no, they're supposed to stay in the room you are in for supervision, but the hubby is not there, I have three kids and a dog and speak only broken Portuguese) and he calls to say "Don't let them pack my work backpack, it has my headset in it (for controlling traffic)". I walk to the closet and guess what? It's packed. I had to convince the guys to open boxes and look for it. When it was found and they had cussed me in a foreign language, I sat outside (supervising no one now) with the kids and dog and cried. I didn't feel that much better after they left and discovered they had packed my butter dish with a full stick of butter... somewhere in the crates going to New Mexico....
So, if you're really counting, there's the move onto the NM base, and then from the base into the house we bought. I was...yes, pregnant. I packed the boxes, I carried the boxes, I sanded paneling and primed it for paint. I painted it. All while he worked. Could he get days off?
No, according to him.
You can't just ask for leave or anything...
THIS move. I wanted to do it on the 9th, but his job said, "No way, how about the 3rd?" which was the exact day J2 would be hosting a French student we had signed up for months prior.
That is why I was hauling kids around and my husband and three guys (and two of the wives who came to 'visit' them) moved even my trash over to the house that is HALF the size of
what we were leaving--
I am now swimming in boxes-- and bags, thank you very much-- of too much crap. Crap I wanted to sort and purge before it came. Crap I was going to move over here methodically and put away in the furniture pieces that usually house all of the crap. Pardon my crappy language.
All of a sudden, I don't feel as good as I was when I began this tirade...
The article did say that reading other people's blogs were beneficial as well, so tell me.... What have you got for me today? I'll swing around in the morning (your middle of the night).
The French kids walking through Thetford forest. I DID NOT sepia tone this photo-- it really looked like this!
Sunday, May 4, 2008
A dog....A production.... The child hiding behind his hands is mine. A proud moment for me! And sorry to the teacher I got in the shot...
And an enchanted land...
Once upon a time, there was a princess. Not just any princess, but a princess that could get sick like NO BOdy. She could get a cold that could turn into croup (that didn't go away in the day time), go immediately into the Flu-- ever try to keep a toddler in one place when they're hurling? From the Flu, into an ear ache and high fevers.
When a princess is ill, the kingdom all stands around in despair and waits to hear word of her recovery-- NOT. Here, the kingdom must go on. There are plays to attend and award ceremonies, so the sick one is hauled there and the Queen mother holds her breath that she won't have to run from the room with an erupting child while the Prince is saying his lines...
During this sickness, the newest addition to the kingdom arrived.
The three princes all saw their new furry friend when they stepped off of their school coach.
It was Bike to School day, so they all had their bikes and the King and Queen mother met them with Princess Pukesalot and Fenni....
They all discovered Fenni is part fish...And that there's nothing like a good roll in the sand after a quick dip in the river...
This land they all lived in was gorgeous. Brand-new baby sheep bleating in the not-so-distance, horses frolicking in their paddocks, and a beautiful little creek flowing through the budding trees... Oooooh, Ahhhhhh.
So, what does a royal family do when they've been blessed with such a place?
And while they pack, the Fenni dog who still loves water--even murky courtyard ponds that need cleaning, will spend a lot of time watching through the door the Queen Mother pack since he's too wet to come inside.
"A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!"No? How about, A Nap, a nap, my kingdom for a nap!?
Hear me now... I will never move again in my entire life!
Or until our orders expire....