February 27, 2009

The Slushies

The lake is a stew-- maybe a vichyssoise. It's 50 degrees today, the water is pouring off of the roof, puddles are gathering and waiting to become icy slides for bootless ramblers.

I am restless. As a recovering drama-addict I need a little bit of excitement to keep me afloat. My brain needs a bone to chew-- which is maybe why I've become a bit obsessed with adopting a dog. I search petfinder.com daily. I read doggie owner tips. I've requested Cesar Millan's books from the library. I've got a quote for fixing our tree-crunched dog kennel. I spend a lot of time considering invisible fences. Are they cruel? Obo says yes.

But this doggie business is too far away and nebulous. I don't really know if I'm ready for another toddler in my life, and I don't want to break a canine heart.

So I left R a voicemail yesterday saying, "I'm tearing down walls now," and I got as far as pulling down the doors before R put a halt on my destruction. In my defense, I thought we had agreed upon and settled all of our renovation desires, but I forgot how much R likes to ponder things before he acts upon them. I'm a jump-in-and-see-what-happens kind of a gal. R, however, is not that kind of guy, and it's probably a good thing. Mostly I think we balance each other out fairly well, but right now I'm feeling like the scale is all weighted on his side: no vacation and no renovation-- at least not yet.

He says, "You just went to California!" Yes, I know. But what's next, Baby? I've got ants in my pants.

I realized last night, as we were going around in circles about the wall tear-down (or lack of), that the excitement I am seeking is not in arguing with my husband. So today I rearranged the kitchen sitting area. It's not quite the destruction and resulting glorious view of the lake I was anxious to have yesterday, but it'll get me through today. I'm not sure about tomorrow.

February 24, 2009

Another Thing or Two about Snow

When it snows, parking rules no longer apply. If one cannot see the white lines in the parking lot, one is not required to park between them, apparently. This works well for me as I've always had difficulty squeezing my rear-end into anything.

Also, every third truck out here has a snow plow attached to its grill. It seems a very convenient thing: any sticky situation, and one just pushes her way through. Come to think of it, I could use a verbal snow plow or an emotional snow plow. Maybe I could attach it to my forehead.

In other news: Sweet P has misplaced her iPod perhaps on one of the many airplanes that dashed us across the country. I've contacted Continental, and they say they'll get right back to us after a full search. They must have a full-time employee whose job it is to search for missing items? I'm dubious. Anyway, send your finding-lost-items energy our way.

February 23, 2009

My Funny Valentine

California: good times. That's all I have to say about that-- except that as I was driving up and down highway 80 between Auburn and Alameda, I realized that road is in my bones. It's a part of who I am as much as the curse of the Caspers' fingers or my mom's girlish voice.

I was very nervous, as I may have mentioned, about the return to the freezing temperatures. R knew this though, and, I think, prepared for it. While I was away, he built these book cases as a belated Valentine gift. He knows how to woo a woman. He's going to put some green molding around the edges that I don't quite understand, but if he says it will be lovely, I believe him.

I spent yesterday evening unboxing my old friends and reminiscing about our adventures together-- that is until Buckaroo awoke from his bedtime slumber and decided to throw a party. He's still on California time. We're working on it.

I'm not feeling the post-California melancholy that I thought I would. Maybe because it snowed afresh, and everything is sprinkled white again. Maybe it's because of our new Putumayo Sesame Street Around the World CD. Also, R says that even if he loses his job we won't be homeless or carless, and that's a good thing. So I said, "Does this mean we can take a vacation?" He harumphed at me. I guess I did just return from The Land of Sunshine.

Today, though, he said he'd like to take a ride out to Portsmouth NH this weekend and see what's what. I'm cracking through his armadillo hide.

February 7, 2009

Happiness at 40 Degrees

It's warm today-- still cold by my old California standards, but my standards have changed considerably since the first New England chill took hold.

Sweet P is having a good day, too. Turns out part of the reason for her breakdown was that one of her classmates told her she was ugly. Rude-O! Sweet P thought contact lenses might help the situation, but the eye docs have a minimum age requirement of 14 around these parts. To say SP was disappointed by that setback would be-- well, you know.

When SP told me about her classmate's inappropriate remark, I said,
"She probably just thought you knew you were so beautiful that you would just laugh in her face." SP was still not laughing.

I had already booked an appointment for SP to have a hair layering, so we headed down to the salon, and I think it was just what she needed. I have to admit she was a bit wary upon our arrival (as was I the first time I had my hair done there).

"It's in a barn?" she asked.

The salon is not in a barn, but it is in the back of a house, next to a barn.

Once inside, like me, she noticed that the clientele was mostly of the octogenarian variety-- with the exception of one toothless dog.

Fortunately, the hair stylist quickly made it clear that she is SP's personal fairy godmother (FG). First, she oohed and aahed over the very pair of glasses that SP has been cursing for the last week. Next, FG went all wild over SP's natural highlights: "Are you sure these are real?" she kept asking. "They're gorgeous!" Finally, she went on about how SP is such a beauty that no one would ever guess she was only eleven-- which, for once, SP didn't seem to mind at all. And to top it all off, FG gave her one hip hair cut.

We haven't been able to keep her nose out of the mirror since.

Well, that's not exactly true. She did take a break from the looking glass long enough to create a birthday wish list, give away her American Girl dolls (they're not going far; I'm no fool), and ask me to tuck her into bed.

February 3, 2009

Sweet Potato Blues

I should begin by saying that Sweet Potato no longer enjoys her nickname. It makes her sound bulky, she says. Why couldn't I have called her Sweet Pea instead? Peas are little.

Sweet Potato is unique, I said, and it's the first real food she consumed-- although she didn't like the orange stuff much either. I said we'd compromise, and I'd call her Sweet P.

Sweet P is not a happy girl these days, and this is the face she wears most of the time. She's been (off and on) sassy, stompy, and door-slammy for a few years now, but we haven't even been getting that lately. All of a sudden she's just not interested in conversation or even in arguing. She does her homework, stays in her room, keeps quiet.

For example, she's got a big birthday coming up: Twelve. What does she want? Nothing. What does she want to do? Nothing, but if she must choose: cake at home with just the four of us. What kind of cake? "Chocolate, I guess."

This is the girl who would normally begin planning her birthday party March 1 every year, the same girl who once wanted to turn the house into a Parisian hotel for her birthday complete with an intercom for room service. And could she have a cake of every flavor?

For years Sweet P has said that she doesn't want to grow up. She wants to be short and petite and young for the rest of her life. She doesn't want the responsibility of driving or having a career. She gets upset when people tell her how tall she's grown (unfortunately, folks always think she's in high school). I understand that a lot of people hit an age where they just don't enjoy birthdays the way they once did, but twelve seems a bit young to be singing the over-the-hill blues.
I don't know if it's the move that's got her down; maybe she'll perk up when we get to California. She's not talking. Maybe it's a phase, a stage, the age, but tonight for the first time in the history of her childhood she didn't want me to tuck her into bed. She didn't even want the traditional pattern of kissy faces we always make: chin, lips, right eye, left, center forehead, three quick kisses on left temple and then each ear). I thought she'd change her mind once she crawled under the covers, but I've been writing this for an hour now, and the house is quiet.

Sweet P, turning five.