My Worst Nightmare...

Monday, October 27, 2008

I got this from a girlfriend least I THINK she's still my friend :-)

Luckily, both James and I have already voted absentee, in MO. Next week, we can stoke up the fireplace, get out the popcorn, and watch CNN for the results.

Vulture Fest

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We attended Makanda's premier (meaning only) fall event, Vulture Fest, last weekend.

Today, I had my own vulture fest. I was driving along our road when I came across more than a dozen vutures (I"m not exaggerating), feasting on a deer by the side of the road. My first thought was of the Brown family's roadkill game, The second was that I needed my camera.

I drove back, but when I got out, those wily vultures flew into the trees. I hid about twenty yards away behind a neighbor's trees, but they knew I was nearby. (How could they smell me over the rank deer?) Most of them glared at me from the trees and wouldn't come back down, while a few circled angrily overhead. After about 5 minutes (poor Louie was waiting inside the van and even the Backyardigans CD can only entertain her for a so long), I got impatient and snapped what I could. The photos aren't gory because 1-- I wasn't interested in getting closer for a photo of a nasty, partially consumed carcass, and 2-- I couldn't get the vultures to flock over it again. It looked like something out of Animal Planet, but it was just down the street. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the black vultures and turkey vultures here have a wingspan of about 5-6 feet; they're very big birds.


Monday, October 20, 2008

I believe in "hands off" parenting, but wonder if I use it to excuse neglecting my children sometimes.

Today, I arrived to pick up Louie from pre-k just as the kindergarten classes marched outside for recess. I lurked in the van and spied on my twins. CeCee skipped and happily bumped into her girlfriends, but Doodle was the last one, walking with her head downturned. I decided to surprise her with a hug and went out to "bump into" her on my way to the building. As I approached, I heard sobs and saw the playground monitor send her back inside.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"My tooth is bleeding," Doodle sobbed.

Unprepared me had left my purse in the van. Doodle didn't want to wait for a tissue and went back to her teacher for comfort. The monitor told me she had been bothered by the tooth all day. I vaguely remembered that she had been complaining that a tooth hurt last night and this morning when she brushed her teeth. I'd told her I couldn't do anything for hurt teeth (I didn't even pause to look at her mouth--I was more concerned about catching the bus). As loose as the tooth was, I probably could've extracted it last night and saved her from a miserable day, and she wanted her teacher to help her instead of me :-(

I have memories of the techniques my own dad used to remove our teeth. He was proud of his extraction skills. One time he pinned me down and used pliers on me, despite my worries of germs. Another time, he tied a string around the tooth and slammed a door to pull it out. He even reached in with his own fingers and yanked out a tooth before I could protest (and despite all this, I was never wise enough to keep my loose teeth a secret from him). I worried whether I would be able to even get my hands into her sore mouth, or if it was overkill to make a dentist appointment.

While waiting for the bus to bring Doodle and CeCee home, I Googled the best way to extract loose tooth, and found a handy home dentist kit. Unfortunately, I didn't find any method to easily remove the tooth myself--the best advice I found was the neglectful approach I'd already taken.

The bus brought home a very happy Doodle, minus one tooth. Her teacher (no doubt very experienced with loose teeth), looked in Doodle's mouth and asked her to wiggle it. Then, the teacher gave it a quick tug with a tissue and out it came.

As Doodle proudly showed me her mouth, the new tooth was already well on its way into the space--it's a wonder it hadn't pushed out the baby tooth sooner.

Guess the tooth fairy will be making her debut to our house tonight.

School Carnival

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our next-door neighbors from St Louis came to visit for the weekend, and we had a great time. It was also the night of the school carnival, their first chance to wear their Halloween costumes.

At the Pumpkin Patch

Saturday, October 11, 2008

James' parents are visiting, and we have a four-day weekend from school (woohoo!). We visited the local pumpkin patch today, and here are some pics for you to enjoy!

Having fun sitting on pumpkins.

They had these giant tubs of corn, similar to sand boxes, perfect for playing in.

And we even wandered through the corn maze.

Having a D'Oh Day.

Friday, October 3, 2008

In preparing for our first house guests (James' parents), one of the most important and necessary repairs involved installing a hand rail on our open stairs. I read up about how to install, and went to the home improvement store to buy the parts. Unfortunately, I didn't think about how I would haul two 12 foot hand rails home. When I got to the van, I put them in at an angle, and they fit "perfectly", with no room to spare. Smugly I shut the back hatch and went to drive home. That was my first d'oh moment.

I drove home and made an appointment with the Glass Doctor (their real name) for a new windshield (sigh).

The second very needed item was a bed for them to sleep in. Because I waited until the last moment, that meant a trip to Sam's so I could haul the bed home myself rather than wait for a store to take their sweet time to deliver. I maneuvered through the store with my full mattress, box spring and other necessities and paid, then went out to the car and had my second d'oh moment. It didn't fit!

Mind you, I'm the sort of person who MAKES things fit. I fit a family of 5 in a 1080 square foot house for way too many years. I even carry a tape measure in my purse--fat lot of good it did me today since I didn't use it!

Luckily, the mattress bent into the bed of the van, but I had to tie the box spring on top using rope I keep in my emergency kit, and luckily I paid attention to the knot certificiation courses I took at girls' camp years ago, since the stock guys who "helped" me load this didn't know the first thing about how to tie it on.

The 20-mile drive home from Sam's took me nearly an hour. I had this horrible mental image of the box spring flying off the top of the van and striking the car behind me, so I didn't dare drive faster than 40 the whole way. I was probably a traffic menace--on the back roads here, even tractors would have passed me (luckily, I didn't encounter any).

Fortunately, the day ended well. My in-laws will have a place to sleep and won't fall down the stairs. I have to post a picture of my (not quite finished) stair well, as I'm so pleased with the way it turned out. It previously had the typical ugly fake wood paneling on the wall. I primed and applied knock-down texture to it, then painted it a dark orange. In this picture, you can see the primed, but not yet textured and painted wall below the stairs, where the kids have their "cave".