We have a puppy. A six month old Great Dane puppy named Georgia. It's been so long since I've blogged that you haven't met her yet. I'll blog about her another day. For now let's just say that she is on her way to being one fantastic dog.
But until then, she's a puppy with quite a few of those annoying puppy behaviors. Like digging. And sniffing people's butts like she was inhaling cocaine after a week of tweaking. I won't blog about that, though. It's gross.
We have a pretty large backyard for Air Force base housing. We used to have weeds that were green enough to pass for grass, but after the introduction of our newest four-legged monster, most of the green has been ripped up by giant puppy paws. Our backyard is now a dust bowl waiting to happen.
Because of this lack of yard awesomeness, I would not care one tiny bit if Georgia dug holes in the yard. But being a member of this family, she does things out of the ordinary, not expected, and just plain wrong.
Her favorite digging spot? Let me paint you a mental picture:
Start in the dining room. Go out the back sliding glass door. Close the door behind
you or we will all die of fly infestation. Do not proceed. Look down, immediately to
your right. There you will see a patch of earth once covered with a thin layer of
mulch that Georgia has since eaten and pooped all over the yard. This patch is
surrounded by the house on one side, small patios on either end, and a sidewalk
on the other side. The corner closest to the door, oh, maybe five inches away,
Georgia has decided is bad, BAD!, and needs to be punished with her huge paws.
So what? Who cares? Me. She digs with her monstrous backhoes of doom and covers the patio and sidewalk with mounds of pre-dust dirt.
I tried to cover it with the bin we use to store bike helmets and black widows. She dug directly next to it. I covered that spot with a huge rock. She dug next to that. Why? What's in there? What is she hoping to gain from such a deep earth attack?
Let's look at this in a purely scientific way. The nerd-girl way.
How many times have we used the phrase "dig a hole to China"? I use it almost daily since Georgia started this digging quest.
Let's suspend logic and reason and pretend she COULD dig a hole through the Earth. We begin our dig here in Del Rio, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border. Now, if she were to dig in a straight line, not down to center of the Earth, but straight through it to the other side, where would she end up?
Right! China! Funny how that saying is so true. To be precise, somewhere in the Qaidam Basin of China.
I'm not sure about you, but I'm not too keen to go to the Qaidam Basin. Maybe later.
Now, let's assume Georgia is influenced by gravity and digs straight down to the center of the Earth. And assuming she is already on a straight course, she continues digging past the core and keeps on going to the other side of the world. Where would she end up then?
If she dug straight through the core and kept on going, she would dig her way to a small island chain in the Indian Ocean called the Chagos Archepelago. There is an island there called Diego Garcia that, coincidentally, Jerry has been deployed to three time since 9/11. From what I hear it's a pretty nice place. Much better than the Qaidam Basin.
You know what, Georgia? Keep on digging, girl. You're going in the right direction!
My art show had an extended run but now it is over and I have a few paintings that still need a home. If you are interested in any of these pieces, please let me know. I would love for these paintings to find a good home.
All are original, signed by moi, and ready to hang. (Edges are painted black.)
Boy. That was a long absence from the Blogosphere. We went on a Griswald-worthy car trip this past month and only recently returned home. The kids and I racked up about 5000 miles in our trusty Suburban, crossing 13 states, over 37 days. We visited family in North Carolina and then we drove up to Connecticut to visit my paternal family.
I'll tell ya, New England is a nice place to be during the heat of the summer.
During our trip, I had plenty of down time to examine our routines concerning both homeschooling and our daily lives. Upon reflection, I realized that our arrangement of school room/office was not working for our family. A major change was needed.
As soon as we got home, we hit The Home Depot for new cubicle shelving to convert our dining room into our school slash dining room. Jerry, ever so handy, built a work surface into the pre-existing bookshelves in our living area to make a living room slash office.
What happened to the empty room? Phoebe got her own bedroom.
Paige and Phoebe have been sharing a room for the past two years and with five years age difference, the fussing was getting past the breaking point. Paige wants to play Jungle Kids or Underwater Secret Agent with her friends in her room and Phoebe, naturally, wants to play, too. However, Phoebe does not play well with a large group and ends up causing all kinds of chaos to the Underwater Squad's play.
It's been a week with the new arrangement and so far so AWESOME!!
In the process of moving Phoebe out of Paige's room, we ended up rearranging 50% of the furniture in the house. In the process of moving 50% of the furniture, I successfully got rid of 35% of the junk that had accumulated in the past few years. In the process of weeding out the junk, I spent 87% of my time pre-organizing, in my mind at least, our remaining junk into three categories: Take to the Bahamas, put in long term storage in the States when we move to the Bahamas, or get rid of.
Start saving now because, honey, we will be having one ginormous estate sale before we move in 1 year 8 months 22 days and 13 hours.
Not that I'm counting.
So what does the above photo have to do with anything? Well, nothing, really.
I just thought we've all had enough of Jerry and his (coco)nuts.
Recently, Jerry underwent a certain manly procedure that men with complete families undergo. The Air Force is big proponent for this procedure, I guess because it's easier to take him off flying status for two weeks than giving him four weeks of paternity leave.
Men and women have a much different outlook when it comes to this sensitive procedure. If you mention it to a man, they ALL say something like this: "Oh, man!! That sucks!! Dude, make sure you buy lots of frozen peas. I had it done a few years ago. Ugh! I'm glad I don't have to go through that again!"
If you ask a woman, a woman who has had children, they ALL say something like this: "Oh, that's AWESOME!! Congratulations! What a relief you must feel!"
The disparity must lay in the relationship each gender has with his or her gonads. Men hold (excuse the pun) their man jewels with a reverence we women usually reserve for our first born children, or an awesome pair of shoes.
Women, on the other hand, usually don't give much thought to their gonads, unless there is a medical problem with them. Maybe because men's are all out there in the wide open spaces whereas women's are nicely contained within.
Maybe it's because we can't get kicked in ours.
I've been having a geeky good time comparing the types of reactions I get from each side of the gender card. Men all get squeamish and apologetic, while women all get congratulatory and victorious.
Victorious? Why are we HAPPY about our men folk getting their private man junk cut on? Do we secretly want to inflict pain on our men? Derive macabre satisfaction from their suffering?
No. I don't think it's any of that. I think it's a little matter of comeuppance. A tiny, teeny feeling of IT'S YOUR TURN, BUDDY!!
The burden of reproduction falls very heavily on the shoulders of women. Duh, right? But think about it, we spend years on hormones trying to avoid getting pregnant, including all of the nausea, weird body changes, and symptoms those synthetic hormones can cause in our bodies. (Not to mention the myriad of crappy symptoms I had with the Mirena IUD whose removal prompted the necessity of Jerry's procedure.)
Then, during pregnancy, our bodies turn from smoking hot to morphed blogs of unrecognizable mush. For example, before pregnancy, who out there had a gorgeous chest and then after pregnancy and nursing, you look down and scream, "WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE THOSE THINGS?" wondering when you started looking so much like the tribal women seen on PBS?
Of course, let's not forget about labor and delivery. Labor, at least natural non-drugged labor, is an experience not easily forgotten. When I labored with Josh, I went for almost 8 hours stuck in transition, with almost constant contractions. By the end, right before the doctor told me my cervix was swelling closed from the pain, I was literally begging for death. Pain like that should not be possible.
Only because of the numbing goodness of oxytocin would a woman ever choose to purposefully go through that AGAIN.
Can you see? Can you see why I, and ALL the women I've talked to, get kind of IN YOUR FACE, SUCKER!! when discussing the big "V"? It truly is the man's turn. His turn to share in the burden of reproduction. His turn to suffer for our family.
I'm tired of it being ALL ON ME.
So thanks, Honey. Thanks for going through this procedure for me, for us, so I can get off the hormones and get my body back fully under my own control. Thanks for stepping up and laying it all out there for our family. (So to speak.)
And by the way, it's not like I got away completely off of the hook. I did have to buy five bags of frozen peas at the grocery store.
This is a website where you can list thing you want to give away, or ask for something you need. It's like a virtual swap meet.
In my spare time, of which I just had five minutes, the first time in 6 months, I like to check out freecycle.org for my old, affluent neighborhood near Houston. (In Del Rio, there is no freecycle.org. Everything here is a want.)
I would just like to share with you a few interesting items I came across.
1. Wanted: baby swing. (OK. That's reasonable.)
2. Free: Underwear (Oh, jeez. Thank you!)
3. Wanted: washer and dryer, but FRONT-loading only! (Must have!!!) (Me, too, buddy!)
4. Free: 3 cups of pebbles and stones. (Why?)
5. Wanted: New carpeting including padding. (Should be easy enough to find.....)
6. Free: Pant lining. (What? I can't think of anything that wouldn't be disgusting.)
7. Wanted: New home and new kids but no furniture!! (We all have those days, don't we?)
8. Free: Orange kitten (I will give you $10 to keep it away.)
9. Wanted: Infant and Toddler (Why? I can rent you mine!)
10. Free: Box of kids books K-2. (Wait, what? This is a good one!! Hold on, I've got to call these people!)
So if you're like me and have five minutes every six months to spare, check out the freecycle.org for your area! It's a hoot!
If you've never checked out Pinterest, leave this blog immediately, go to pinterest.com, and request an invitation to join the site. Within 2 days you'll be able to join and then let the fun begin!
Pinterest is a virtual pin board where you and other people you "follow" can keep a record of all of the cool things found on the internet. You can scroll through categories such as cooking, crafts, photography, education, etc.
I've been trying to actually DO some of the awesome projects I've found on Pinterest. Here is one that we did a few weeks ago.
This is a giant water-filled bladder, like a giant water bed. It was made using plastic painters drop cloth with the edges duct-taped all around. You put in 923856932874629387 gallons of water, plug 0972935872398523985719837519 holes along the tape, and you're ready for some fun!
The plastic was wet and slippery, soft and squishy, and the kids had tons of fun running around on top of the backyard water bed, until...
...their heels started going through the plastic making giant, leaking holes. I quickly duct-taped up the worst of the holes and told the kids to just roll around on it with standing up.
This project was a LOT of work and quite a bit of money, especially taking into account the amount of water needed to fill this thing up. The kids played on it many times over the course of the day, and believe it or not, they had more fun because of the holes than without them. A wet backyard waterbed is fun!
Overall, I give this project a Pinterest rating of 3 out of 5 on a random scale of 0-5, one being didn't work/awful, to five being the best thing ever!! It's a highly technical scale I just made up this exact second.
I will be rating other Pinterest projects I've tackled so you can know the real deal.
If you get onto Pinterest, do a search for me and we can follow each other!
These photos mark an important milestone that all children reach: When they can pump themselves on a swing.
No more standing at the playground pushing a child back and forth and back and forth and higher, Mommy!! for an eternity.
Nope. That's all over. Now I can go sit down on the bench and watch the ants go marching by.
I'm excited about this. Anything that allows me to be momentarily lazy is OK with me. I'm know that in a few years I will be sad, thinking and longing for those days of playing with my little kids and pushing them on a swing.
But until then, I'm tired and really want to sit down.