Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How The Mind Works

(More about my Blue Figgy later. *grin*)

When I fill the car, with gas, I love to watch the little red stick float to "full" and if it goes a bit passed "full" I immediately calculate how soon I could be in Oregon, with my mom. Twenty hours. This morning my cash did not go as far and the indicator read just below "full." I did not get that excited road trip! compulsion, which is just as well, because today my mom is on her way here.

When I drive north on the I15 I have to resist the urge to keep driving.
Turn east on the I70, continuing through Colorado.
Catch I80.
Aim for Dubuque, Iowa.
Continue into Wisconsin.
40 hours.
If the children are with me it's even more tempting.
If the children and Geoff are with me the temptation is magnified and I say aloud, "We could drive to Wisconsin," as though it were a natural option. Then I mentally assess our preparedness. Will there be snow? Can someone feed the cats and Betty, Joe? Won't Grandma be surprised?

(Soquel has an "Ugly Mug." I made my ugly mug in school. I was twelve.)

Yesterday I was three places at once. Just about. Normally I would take great pleasure in recording every stop and errand and detour, so I could feel satisfied that I accomplished a lot, but somehow I am not in the mood.

Warren says funny things in the comments and I always mean to reply, but then I don't. A lot of comments do not have a reply email, which is just one of the obstacles I face. The other obstacles include being easily distracted, having four children, and solar flares.

To all the funny, supportive, interesting, kind, friendly readers of Chickenblog: I am sorry if I have not replied to Your comments. I love Your comments.

This is the way I type "chciken" "chicken" every single time. Seriously. I have to retype cheiken every time. Oh, that's a new one!

(Remind me that my Western Sunset book is in the box marked "books-garden 2003, 2006, 2009." I am going to want to read it again.)

Maria has been working on a surprise for me.
She has kept this secret for a week.
It is exhausting to keep a secret that long, not for her, for me.
I cannot go into the garage and I cannot peek in her journal, which she keeps in the refrigerator.
When she has her journal out she brings it to me and asks me to not look in it.
She needs me to prepare the last part of this surprise by "quilting fabric for the surprise."
Then she panics and asks me, "Do you know what the surprise is?"
I know to answer, "No, I do not know what the surprise is."
Even though she has blurted twice today about the boat, I know to say, "I do not know what the surprise is."
"But didn't you hear me say it was a "boat?"" And then she panics again, having let the boat slip.
So, I look confused and excuse myself and say, "I'm sorry, I cannot hear you, because I had fluff in my ear."
She sighs with relief.
Later she asks me for a glass of lemonade. And when I don't respond in two seconds, I hear her go to her daddy.
"Daddy, can I please have some lemonade? I asked mommy, but she can't hear me, because she has fluff in her ears."

(Well. Look who's decided to join us. She mocks my security attempts.

I often think of all I could do with lottery winnings. I assume I will win some day and that my calculations and budgets are just sound planning. I never buy lottery tickets and sometimes I think this could be a problem, but I try not let it distract me from my plans.

I was about to share that when I laugh really hard, I snort, but then I thought that would be too embarrassing to admit and I realized that if I am actually considering writing about things like that, then possibly I am just procrastinating. I tend to procrastinate or stall when I am extremely overwhelmed. There are so many things I am supposed to be doing right now. Important things. This is not a laughing matter.

Did you know about this? Whoa. Cool. Make me stop.

The Neighbor's Dirt Is Better

The neighbors know who Betty is. We've been here almost three years and I still have had not met most of the people living in vicinity of Garage Mahal, but Betty has. She's social that way. She calls on her neighbors. She's not shy. And the neighbors are apologetic when they knock on my door, "Uh, excuse me. Sorry to bother you. Do you have a chicken?" I didn't think we live that far from the country, but they really do seem stunned at the sight of an actual chicken! I introduce her formally. I bring eggs to them. I assure them she does not bite. I do all I can to smooth any ruffled feathers, but I cannot seem to stop Betty from crossing the road.

And where was she the other day?

Oh, the panic. The heartache. Where is my Betty?
And I call her name and peek under all the subtropical plantings.
I shake her oatmeal tub.
I anticipate that sweet moment when I will see her eager paddling, her feathered sprint as she runs to greet me.

I scan the street for feathers. A dreadful, anxious task, but people drive fast and loose here and she never looks both ways.

And then, by sheer luck, I see her. She did not run to me. She did not peep. She dug in deeper, determined to make the most of this luxurious dirt bath. She knew... I know she knew... she had no business digging in the neighbor's newly planted yard, kicking up the fluffy, fresh soil.

Betty. Oh, Betty. This is not neighborly.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Making Lemonade

Some of you thoughtfully inquired about the Blue House. Here is a new sneak peek.
1. I think we may need a real name for this Blue House... we seem to be making progress!
2. We have seen great highs and great lows, and you should thank me for sparing the blog all of the drama and anxious episodes.
3. Lemons, figs, roses and Torrey Pines.
4. We know what to do when life gives us lemons!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's A Brand New Day...

The entire soundtrack is buzzing through my head...

"Even in the darkness

Every color can be found

And every day of rain

Brings water flowing

To things growing in the ground"

Sweet Penny...

"I cannot believe my eyes

Is the world finally growing wise

‘Cause it seems to me

Some kind of harmony

Is on the rise"

From Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, of course. And of course if you know the whole story, you recognize I pulled out the happy lyrics.

Janece, when did you post about the initial release of this hilarious, yet heart wrenching, tale of good vs. evil? That was a good day.

Well, this brand new day comes after a fun filled night. Visitors from Chicago and Wisconsin have been filling our last days of summer with laughter and a whirl of activities, and really good Spam Musubi! Paul came out on business and to his surprise his aunt Margie was in town too. Fortunately there has been time for Paul to mix business with pleasure.

No flash... which really captures the whirl of activity. Paul, who Maria calls "Paulm," has elevated his status to favored uncle. He demonstrated enthusiasm and boundless energy when playing with Maria and Izzy. I think they all got quite a workout. On the way home, still giddy from all the excitement, Maria explained in elaborate detail all the great "... imagination Paulm did when we played." She thought it was great that he ordered food from their restaurant and gave piggy-back rides. When she realizes he's going back to Wisconsin today, I know we are going to hear an Autumn in Wisconsin Campaign from her... I would take her side.

The party was spread all over Holly and Rich's place... courtyard and backyard, watching local Little Leaguers win their first game of the Series in Pennsylvania. I even got to have a new crochet lesson from Margie... there was something for everyone. And even though we were all over the place, something did finally bring everyone together! Deanne and James brought dessert which, no surprise, was a big hit.

Brownies and ice cream... grandchild magnets!