Friday, May 22, 2009

Don't Tell Geoff

I am silly. Geoff knows that. I am silly to confess my weaknesses and big secrets here on Chickenblog. I don't know why I do it. Is it good for the soul? Do I need to open up and spill my deepest thoughts? I guess so, 'cause here I go again.

See my apron? See the big pockets and the wrap around the back fit? This apron is amazing. It has powers. Powers I cannot explain. I know it's the apron, because clean-up skills have never been mine to boast of. So the power is this: When I put this apron on, I get things done.

If Geoff catches wind of this he'll fly to Michigan and beg Missy-Spring Bean Thing to sew six more. A fresh and cleaning potent one to wear every day of the week.

So, shhh.

When I put this apron on, I get things done. I collect odds and ends in the ample pockets. I worry less about staining, tearing, soiling, mussing or messing my outfit of the day. I am reminded that someone was generous and friendly and really sweet to send me such a nice gift, and it makes me smile, even if I am scraping cheese from dinner plates or collecting stiff socks from the four corners of the living room. Superman has his cape and Wonder Woman has her lasso. I have my roomy, comfy, cheery, big pocket apron, and it is super.

Chango says, "Lady. Open the door already. Then change the litter, fill my food bowl, get the bed made, file those papers you left on the floor, and lose that goofy grin."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sometimes It Takes A Long Time To Get Smart

I am not saying I have become smart. But just now I figured out one little thing that makes me feel real smart. Or a bit smarter. Never mind. Every time I post I have to write all the HTML for the title and to post pictures. Either it's because I am lame or blogger is lame or Macs are lame, either way there is a lot of repetitive code writing and it tends to slow the whole process down. Suddenly it occurs to me... why not create a template that I can pull out, copy, cut and paste and use for each post? This is one of those things that is simultaneously simple-duh and brilliant-wow. Right now I am exhilarated by the brilliant-wow aspect. It only took me seven years to think of this, but just imagine how streamlined and smart the blog will be from now on!


I was hoping I had more to say. You know something insightful or fascinating. Something that clearly justifies avoiding house work.

Dang it.

I got nuthin'.

Can I answer any questions?

Hold on.

Let me see...


Here we go.

Em asked, "And.... did the camel spit at you?"

Answer: No. She did not spit at me, but I am savvy about these things. Sometimes it takes a longtime to get smart, and I learned about animals that spit when a camera shy llama gave me a face full of wet DNA in 1988. It's a "funnier" story when Geoff tells it.

Katie, you heard right, "crazy sharp claws," but what about the other bit? Did you all read what Laura Jane added? "...they are also notorious for peeing on unsuspecting folk who hold them, including politicians - they're not proud!" Hilarious. This is just the kind of factoid that makes koalas even cuter in my mind.

Jess, a talented food seamstress, asked whether I have other fabric foods besides strawberries and corn?

Answer: I do! I do! Just scroll down my "Where Was I?" post and you'll find all kinds of veggies and good eats. Recently I made a mushroom and a few corn tortillas. Everyone should see your milk carton!

That's about it for questions and answers. Looking through the comments I was most happily reminded that I get some really wonderful feedback, remarks, encouragement and helpful insights. Thank You. Very much.

It took Max 4 weeks to decide he could let me see him in the class play about geology. He was embarrassed... and he explained it wasn't about stage fright, but more an issue of feeling that the presentation was immature and childish. It must be hard having the sensibilities of a 52 year old man with the experience of a 10 year old boy... just another aspect of Asperger's Syndrome we have learned to recognize and love. I am not allowed to share too much, hence the pictures of Princess Twirls A Lot doing her thing, but I can say that he sings well, speaks clearly, knew all his lines and that Maria and I very much enjoyed the class production of "Geology Rocks." And Max was a good Mountain.

That is all.
Now I am going to clean.
Unless you have a question.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 19, 2002.... May 19, 2009 And More Where That Came From

In honor of the official blogiversary day I am opening with a particularly ordinary picture of our cat, Benjamin Franklin Thunder-Cat. Between making PB & J sandwiches and putting on a bra before taking kids to school, I grabbed my camera and captured morning time at Garage Mahal. I can think of a number of captions for Benjamin's look. I think it is obvious that his breakfast did not impress him. Maybe flash photography in the wee AM is unwelcome.

Gilbert, on the dining table. I see Alex has been adding more paint to his frog in progress. He is using acrylic paint. I think he's smart to take his time about laying down his colors. I tend to want to see things all done, so I rush or worse... I give up. He has a lot going on as the school year winds down, and when he's in the right state of mind he takes another pass at finishing Gilbert. It's looking good.

And what have we here? I see my baby, my Netbook, and Geoff adding some features for Chickens Abroad. Weeks ago he decided we cannot traipse around Europe without GPS. His order for satellite maps of Europe finally came in and he's just beginning to fine tune the whole operation. Is it just me, or do you find that software and new gadgets rarely, if ever, work like they are supposed to? The first time? Straightforward? Without upgrades and calls to Bangalore? In this picture we see Geoff looking for driving directions from Apeldoorn, Netherlands to Köln, Germany. It sorta worked, if you want to include instructions from Garage Mahal! Glitch. Geoff is a relentless, never give-up, never surrender problem solving Geek. It will work.

Let's take the camera outside.

Oh Fantam. Poor girl's gone broody. She won't leave the next box. Not much any way. Most days I find her all ruffled and nesty and patient. She will have to be very patient. It took Betty a long time to realize nothing was coming of her weeks on the nest, and I guess Fantam will figure it out too. I apologize to them, to my family and to our neighbors: I really did think we would be in a real house, with a real yard before the chicks became louder, messier, needier big, fat hens. As much as I wish we could put a couple of fertilized eggs in there, I finally do know better. BTW it is not always fun to "know better."

When was Mother's Day? I hesitate to open the calendar and confirm that these plants should be planted by now. The children chose these lovely specimens to revive the fairy garden. Plants and backyards are not the only thing neglected around here. Sigh.

I started this little post this morning and now it's a quarter after 7... nighttime! I have not accomplished 10% of what I set out to do. Max was in a school play and thankfully I did get to see that. The school lady (she could become a feature character in Chickenblog, like the landlord amalgamation we call "GaryBob.")... so the School Lady takes a long look at Maria and says, "Well, Mom have you registered this one for kindergarten?"

$#!* I'm sorry. But seriously. Where does the time go, and why do these things catch me off-guard? Kindergarten? The baby? And it doesn't help that the School Lady just gets under my skin with her nosy-know it all-bossy front desk throne attitude, so you know she gets my rebel up. Just saying.

The day flew by. Four and half years with Maria has flown by. Seven years blogging has gone Mach 9, and here I am caught off guard.

The best thing to be said for any anniversary is that if I am noticing an anniversary, if I am remembering or celebrating or looking back, or just breathing a sigh of relief, then I can be thankful, because I am here, alive. There's a chance something good is about to happen. At the very least I can look around and appreciate flowers and paintings and love and opportunities and kind words and big plans.

Thank you for reading Chickenblog. Have a nice night. Talk to you tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Like How Zoo Sounds With Kazoo

Maria is fascinated with rhymes, and sometimes she can make a rhyme, like mouse and house and sometimes not... tree and chicken. We're working on it. No, we are playing with it. She loves to recognize a rhyme, and I love that she enjoys the word play.

Another thing we are playing with is naming animals at the zoo. We were there last week. What fun. A cool morning, a blue sky and a world famous zoo just waiting to be rediscovered.

This is our blogiversary week. That is the anniversary of Chickenblog! Seven years. Seven years of rambling and reflecting. Seven years of me putting stuff out there and then getting really giddy when You write back. I still don't know what it's all about. I still feel like I am just figuring this Blog stuff out. I still have only eight cents in ad revenue and no idea how to make changes to my new and improved banner. That's okay. Chickenblog is comfortable and familiar, like a pair of sneakers you don't want to toss. Is that a good analogy? Sometimes Chickenblog feels like an outdated pair of sneakers, the kind most people wouldn't take a second look at or that I should be embarrassed wearing in public. Chickenblog is not the latest in fashion footwear, wildly popular and highly in demand. What's up with all this shoe talk? Yeesh.

Where was I?

The neighbor is using a jackhammer?

The neighbor is using a jackhammer. It's so close, I can almost imagine I hear my dentist telling me to open wider. It's so close it drowns out the cackling hens... now that's close!

A lot of blogiversaries are celebrated with contests, prizes, giveaways. I've had some good ones. Good prizes. Good winners. Good times. I was thinking of having a name these animals contest, but eh. I guess I am just in that kind of mood... eh... sorta take it or leave it... whatever.

Do let me know if you recognize this guy though. I was totally taken with him. I want a home edition. I think he would be a great ottoman. I had no idea they are so big. Speaking of rhymes... I had a nickname that rhymed with his name... ______-Nat. That's your only clue.

Actually I can still hear the hens. The jackhammer and the hens are going at it, and even with the windows closed the noise is decibels beyond comfortable.

I love this animal... he's an otto-something, but he would not make a good ottoman. I remember in school seeing nature films and the very best ones showed these playful guys sliding in and out of rivers. Movies at school... those were the best, and even film strips were better than paperwork and coloring in the lines. I also remember there was always one kid who knew all about the projector or the film strip player. The teacher always seemed relieved to have this geek helper around. I worked as an audio-visual technician in a middle school for a while. Yes, basically I lied and cheated for that job, and yet I managed to hold my own.

Did you sigh just now? Did you? Seriously, is it possible to look at one of these without cooing or wishing you could hold one, ignoring of course the fact that they have crazy sharp claws?

How 'bout now? They are so cute. It's ridiculous how cute they are. What if I had a blogiversary contest that went like this... the 100th commenter gets to hold this incredibly cute marsupial?! Eh. Not gonna happen. Sorry.

Here we go. This one suits me. Right here. Right now. I think about my troubles and I just start foaming at the mouth. Who cares? Whatever. I love this lady. Go ahead, ask her why she's foaming at the mouth. Ask her about her messy do, the wide hips, the extra stores of body fat. She totally does not care. Do you know what a Bactrian can do? And with good aim I might add

William forgot his notebook, so I gotta get that to him. And I think Max was supposed to take flowers from his garden to his teacher for teacher appreciation week. Teacher Appreciation Week. Never mind. Our Belgium hotel choice is not available, and the Swiss place is charging more than their website offer, no word from the London hotel, no idea where to stay in Germany... gotta remedy those.

Anyone that wants to talk about the housing market or why I hate all most realtors, email me or call. Other than elaborating on the rampant corruption and ethical vacuum that is the Realtor World, I have no updates on our house search.