Friday, December 28, 2012

Photo Op

The madness has stopped.  In fact, it has pulled the emergency brake and we are now stranded with four flat tires on a cold, icy, deserted, gravel road.  Figuratively speaking that is... please don't send help.  But then again, our house is sick, so maybe a little help won't go unused.

Oh, disregard the previous post about the gingerbread house preventing illness.  They are like cesspools of grime and viruses that you should not swim in.  Or eat.  I blame the gingerbread house for our misery.

My girl fell asleep with her head in a trashcan.  I felt so terrible for her that I didn't even think about taking a picture.  Now, after examining my action/reaction to this gem of a missed photo op, I am hovering with my camera in hand.  If I thought she could consume anything, like, oh, some benadryl, I'd slip some to her just for the photo.  But I don't want a puke action shot.  And I also don't want the dreaded and feared adverse reaction to the sleepy medicine, the hyperactive sick child.

Remember the flight attendant who tried to slip some to the toddler in the apple juice, but forgot to let the tablet dissolve before handing the mom the chunky, drug laced juice?  Well that wasn't me.  First off, I'd be smart enough, if I were to ever drug someone, to let the tablet mix with the drink before handing it over.  Second, and maybe more importantly, I wouldn't drug a child.  Even my own.  Third, I wouldn't even drug an adult, unless it was agreed upon by both parties.  And then there would be a party.  

So I'm waiting for her to fall asleep hugging the can.  Unfortunately, she is now curled up downstairs watching tv.  This isn't bad at all, except if a certain person was trying to get a photo.  And it wouldn't be so terrible of a photo if the couch she was curled up on wasn't right next to the clothes washer/dryer.  I'm not sure about a normal persons house, but if there is a relatively flat surface next to the laundry area, it is typically covered with hopefully freshly laundered laundry.

Laundry.  Say it 10 times and it becomes a sound instead of a word.  A weird sound, and my favorite.
Not the noun.  The noun stinks, sometimes literally, and I hate it.

Because she is next to a mountain of clothes, even if I get the picture, I wouldn't post it for shame of a messy room that will follow me forever.  Descriptions are one thing, but the imagination can't hold a candle to the actual pile of laundry that is my couch.

So if you do send help, make sure they can fold and put away.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gingerbread Houses are Cold Remedies (at least in my house)

How long are gingerbread houses supposed to last?  Ours is made with graham crackers instead of the gingerbread, which I think tastes like feet.

I go back and forth about  letting my kids actually eat the candy house.

The kids shot down my bug argument.  I said that bugs come out and get their poofeet all over the candy.  They countered by saying that the bugs are gone for the winter.

What about the dust?  My dusting skills are a bit lacking, so  I try not to dust very often, because when I do dust, the chunks of dust just move from one place to another.  Usually into my coffee cup.  So I just allow the dust to pile up.  One day it will become hard, and all I'll have to do is pick up a brick of layered dust.  Easy peasy.

They must get dirty, the house that is, I'm totally fine with my kids being dirty.  Although you couldn't pay me enough to lick my kids.  But is that so bad?  ...eating the dirt, not licking my kids

Some scientist said that the more dirt a person eats, the less they get sick, right?  Well, we eat a LOT of dirt around here (inadvertently most of the time), and we have not been sick this entire season. This brilliant  scientist was probably a busy mom, and I salute her!   She validates me, and I love her.  ...But that means I should let them eat the dusty gingerbread house.  For their health.

So dig in kids!  But wait until we are about to go on a long car trip because I want to be shut in an enclosed prison cell with you while you hit you sugar high. ahem.

Actually, I'm kidding.  Let's pack the remains of the house into your overnight bag and have a visit with grandma and grandpa!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The War of Northern Aggression

Yesterday I experienced my first Civil War reenactment.  Round these parts, it's called The War Of Northern Aggression. ...and I didn't make that up.

We went there because they have a holiday 'Christmas in the Carolinas', weekend.  They do traditional Civil Warish things like make candles and roast a hog's head.  And Santa was there, so bonus, no picture fee.

You know that weird family church that protests at soldiers funerals?  And how everyone feels a bit sorry for the kids that are holding those horrible signs?

I felt the same stab of pity for the kids in this reenactment.  ...maybe not quite the same amount of pity, but it was close.  Some of the adults were a little 'off.'

Most of the actors were dressed in Confederate grey, but I think they had to throw a bone to the Union, so there were one or two blue coats.  I kept hoping that they would start fighting, but all they did was smoke pipes and sleep in little tents.  Being in The South, I wondered if they would change history in their little reenactment.  I would.  In fact, I would rewrite the entire war.  But I'd make it more fun.  I'd make the soldiers spin around with their foreheads on the end of a musket before they start fighting.  Maybe make them cross a pit filled with hungry alligators.  Survival of the fittest, right?  Or take away their bayonets  and give them marshmallow shooters.  Hmm, no, that would not be accurate for the time.  But potato guns, I bet they were invented by one of those crazy oldster farmers.

I thanked my history loving husband for not being a reenactor.  He is probably one cow horn black powder container away from asking for a scratchy grey wool coat for Christmas.  I'd buy him a blue one though.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lessons From the Santa Train

I love it when someone's intense love for something leads to blindness of common sense.  Like the naming of children.  When you and your partner are making this decision, there is a tremendous amount of stress.  ...Do we give the baby a family name? Unique but not too weird... Do the initials spell ASS?  There are incredible implications associated with the success of a name choice.   Unfortunately, the love you have for this unborn baby leads to some dramatic mistakes.  I happen to know that there are real people with some of the following names...

Mike Hunt.       John Arhea.       Lotta Cox.

Fortunately, there is a website that can make your choices easier.  I suggest that as you pre-parents are mulling over the names of your future sweet bundle, mosey on over to that site before you make the final decision.  Or don't, and make my world a little funnier.

There are other cases of love that cause common sense blindness.  The best is when the love is for a hobby or inanimate objects.  Like trains.  You probably know a grown man that has an affinity for trains. I've not been able to find a psychological term for the obsession with trains, so I'm going to call this disorder 'agmenmania.' (Agmen is Latin for train, at least that's what the interweb told me.) This past weekend I took my kids to ride a Santa Train, and we were surrounded by agmenmaniacs.   One of these beautifully flawed people left us with this gem...

On the back of a train car.

It must mean something in trainspeak, because I got yelled at for laughing at this perfectly normal train sign.

If there are more signs like this, I just might develop into a budding agmenmaniac.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The CDC Says You Shouldn't Drink After Chickens

I think one of my chickens may have had a sip of my wine.  I was out back, doing gross chores, and had put my wine glass down while I did the dirtiest.

-I feel that if a person must clean the waste from other beings, they should have the privilege of drinking while doing the deed.-

Well, I went to get my glass when I was through, and one of the girls was pecking at the wine.  I didn't see the beak actually dip into my vacation in a glass, but I had the sneaking suspicion that she had a taste.  The fact that she later fell off the deck reinforced that thought.

This is not my chicken.  I wouldn't waste XX on a hen.

I should have tossed that glass away, maybe in the test plant I have inside, but it was a pretty full glass and the bottle was almost empty.  Anyway, my kids have been a litmus test for getting a weird chicken disease because they play in the creek that runs through the yard.  If anyone would have come down with Chicken-coli, it would have been them, but they have yet to grow third eyes.  So I drank it.

Even though I consumed the wine, I felt pretty safe.  I diluted that glass of wine with another glass.  The CDC says we are allowed to have certain amounts of lead and cyanide in our drinking water, along with many other very scary things that will kill you if you have too much.  I figured that inadvertently tonguing a chicken by drinking out of the same glass was not exactly good for my health, but it wasn't going to give me scabies either.  I'll find out soon enough.

I have become a human experiment.  I drank the wine for science.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Yes, I was Invited

Tis the season of holiday parties.  I love a good holiday party.  Actually, I really don't mind who's party, or what holiday we are celebrating.  I'll be there with bells on...or whatever accoutrements the season calls for.   If it gets me into the party, I'll hang it on me.

Last night, my husband and I attended the UNC Hospital Volunteer Association holiday party.  The most asked question before the night was, 'what do I have to adorn myself with to get in there?'.  Turns out the answer is a sticker with your name on it.  It's also a good idea if you have volunteered at the hospital, but if you can believe it, that was not a mandatory stipulation.

They had the party in the lobby of the cancer center.  Don't groan yet, this is one disco ball worthy cancer lobby.  If I ever get 'the cancer' (read that in old black lady's southern accent), this is the place I'd go.  Mostly in order to crash the Volunteer Association's holiday party.  Really, who is going to tell a cancer patient that they can't have any of the egg rolls?  Yeah, no one.

I wonder when Duke is having their party?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Decapitation by Mattress

We are one of the few remaining newspaper subscribers.  Ours isn't a daily paper, just the Sunday monster. It takes me approximately 1.5 weeks to read through it, so getting a daily would be overwhelming and I fear the papers would stack up so much that the Hoarders program would come calling.  So I'm always behind, usually by only a week, but sometimes I learn of late breaking news about a month after the event.  That only becomes a problem when I see there is a free give away happening, yesterday.

There are always interesting articles in the paper, more so that what you get from the local tv news.  Where else will you find out that the local hog farms could create power using the methane from the pig waste?  Too bad it costs so much that it will never happen.  That might be a good thing though, who wants to grow veggies in a methane powered green house?  Fart flavored zucchini anyone?

Even when I do read the paper from cover to cover, there are bits I skip over.  The editorials for instance.   If someone is mad enough to actually write into a paper that no one reads anyway, then you know they are going to pour their angry soul into the piece.  I'd rather glue my toes together.  The other bit I skip is the obituaries.  I know there are people that read them obsessively, but they frustrate me.  Obits are little stories about someone's life, so why in the world would you leave out the ending?  I want the gory details.

When I go, you are going to know how, when, and if there is an interesting reason, why.  Like the time I was almost killed by a truck, carrying mattresses.  Have you ever seen one of those farm trucks that are stacked so high with hay that they wouldn't be able to get under the highway overpass?  Well this truck was stacked just as high, but with mattresses.  I was wondering where this bed puzzle was heading, when a gust of wind caught the top mattress and it tried to take flight. My mind did a frenzied inventory...  How many seconds should there be between vehicles?  How far can a mattress fly? Has anyone ever tested that?  Kids test how far paper airplanes fly off of school roofs, the natural progression should be testing the flight characteristics of things that could be deadly projectiles.   Like mattresses.

I wonder how my homicidal mattress truck got all the way to Uganda?

Thankfully, the mattress was tied down just enough so that only the front end flapped up.  But should it have killed me, the sordid fans of the obituaries would know exactly how it happened.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lines Anyone?

We put some sparse Christmas decorations up today.  I always build up a little mix of jealousy and stubbornness when it comes to holiday decorations.  Some of my friends put up Martha Stewart style decorations, with nutcrackers and fake snow to boot.  I always want to cut lines in the snow and pretend that Santa's elves needed to do a few lines of candycaine to get through the night.  I mean, really, don't we all?

The stubbornness comes from not being especially religious or materialistic.   My kids attended a religious preschool simply so that I had one less religion to explain to them.  I told my daughter that picking a religion is like picking your favorite color.  Everyone is right, because it is their personal favorite.  Unless your favorite color is olive drab, then you are wrong.

I'm jealous for the typical reasons, there's not a Martha Stewart bone in my body.  My idea of decorations is the enormous advent calendar house my mom gave me that shoves aside all the books and clutter on my mantel.  This year I actually cleared off the books and crap, threw them on the couch, and put some battery powered lights around the advent house.  I think it looks eerily like ET's spaceship.

My mantel
ET's spaceship

Soon I'll add some garland to the lights, then, when the tree is up too, we can have an ET revival.   Maybe that will be a theme for this year.  Smashed pizza for dinner and Reese's Pieces for dessert. Too bad I won't be able to revive any plants.

Monday, December 3, 2012

'We All Float Down Here!'

This post is brought to you by my loving husband.

He brought me a bottle of wine after being away for what seemed like two years.  It was really only a week, but withdrawal is a dangerous thing.

No, the wine has not been consumed yet, that benefit is brought to you by me.

This wine is named after a character in one of the most memorable novels from my childhood.  Any guesses?  When I saw the bottle, I got a shiver.  It made me a bit nostalgic to tell you.  Seems like they don't write children's lit like they used to.

The books my daughter reads are very nice though.  She reads quite a lot for a 7 year old, at least compared to the 7 year old me.  Think about the choices we had in the early eighties.  Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys.  I never got into them, mostly because I judged a book by its cover.  And those covers were the worn out, cloth, hard bound novels that could disappear, camouflaged next to the set of equally ugly, cloth covered encyclopedias.  How could a kid pull something from the shelf that could either be a fun mystery, or in a horrible twist of fate, describe the life cycle of algae?  Not me.

So I entered my late childhood as a non reader.  That is, until a historic trip to my Aunt and Uncle's house in NY.  It was there that I first looked at a book shelf and saw something that intrigued me.  It was this...

Recognize the cover art?  It's from the post modern, transcendent novel, Misery.  Just picture a little 11 year old girl, innocently curled up with a novel, reading about a psycho chopping off the leg of her prisoner. That summer I married Stephen King.  Kind of explains a lot so far, eh?

So that brings us back to the wine.  I know it's hard sometimes, but if you hang on tightly, I'll get to the point.

When I was in 7th grade I read 'It'.

This is the wine...

'Want a balloon?'

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Don't Sit There!

I've decided to do this exercise routine throughout the month of December.  It's something a friend posted on Facebook, and it is basically doing squats.  Every day you up the number and by December 30th, you have to do 100 ...I mean, you are able to do 100 squats.  I did the required 20 yesterday, and haven't given up yet.  I still have quite a few hours left in this day to do the 25, or however many it calls for.  The problem I'm having is not exercise related however.  I'm having a problem with the word 'squat'.  It's an ugly word and I don't like using it, so I'm going to come up with a different word to describe the straight back bend down with your hands outstretched and your head up exercise, just so I don't have to use that ugly little 5 letter word.

Not all bad words are 4 letters.

As all exercise terms are words that describe the action being taken by the exercisee, the word has to be rather illustrative.  Honestly, the only time in the real world when I perform this pose is when I am using a public toilet.  Who, in their right minds, actually sits on a public toilet?  I worry about the future when I learn of a child that just plops their tush onto the Sears toilet seat.  Really, just wait until you get home, unless it is an emergency, at which the happening is a very rude and expressive one.  Do YOU want to sit on the seat after this expressive happening?  Me neither.

This is not me.

So this exercise will henceforth be christened 'the Hover'.  You're welcome.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Eve, the Transsexual Key Lime Tree

Can you water plants with beer?  I wonder that every time I have that last few sips from a warm and slightly backwashed can of crappy American beer.  I usually don't drink it fast enough to prevent the leftovers that get tossed, and I'm often sitting in my uber comfy rocking chair next to the winter rescued plants.  One of the plants is a bougainvillea that is going on about 4 years old, and the other is a key lime tree that we brought up from Florida, and he is 12yo.

The key lime tree is actually the offspring of the original, but it sprang from her roots, so really it is part of the same, just a touch smaller.  Kind of like the way Christians say that Eve was extracted from Adam's chest, but in root extraction form.  And I was god.  Hmm, now I will name my key lime tree Eve.  But I think Eve is a boy, the tree that is, so maybe he is a transsexual key lime tree.

 The original took a good 7 years before giving us any fruit, which was always just one or two limes after teasing us with about 8 million flowers.  Eve has yet to produce for us, which is pretty understandable seeing that he is a he.  Maybe I'm wrong though, maybe Eve really is a girl.  I think it takes a fruiting tree (is fruiting a word? well it is now... and spell check didn't correct it, so there.) about 9 or 10 years to bear fruit, so I'm not giving up on Eve.  Eve is pretty, whether we get a lime from him or not, and I love him for who he is.  See, proof that god loves transsexuals too.

So you can imagine my dilemma. Do I water these plants with backwash laced, beer leftovers?  If these were just normal throw away plants, I'd give it a swirl, but I don't want to damage them.  I should note here that I am far from a half way decent gardener.  I buy plants for my garden from the half priced rack, plant them in my sort of shady sort of not shady garden, and institute a survival of the fittest rule.  Every once in a while I water them, but really, if they can't hack it, then it's their problem.  It's a war of the roses.

Maybe I'll go out to the half priced, sad plant bin, buy one that looks a bit healthy, and feed it beer backwash.  OOhhh, that could be a school science project!  We'd have to call the beer 'liquid refuse' but  it could win!  At least I'd give it 1st place.  I can't wait until my kid gets to third grade...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Shanking Santa

Christmas is coming.  Like a big freight train barreling down the tracks and I'm in that stalled Hyundai at the crossing.  It's coming whether I like it or not.  Now, the smart person would jump out of the car and hop off the tracks, it's not like a Hyundai can be worth that much, you think?  But the car in question is a 1989 hatchback, and it's priceless to me, so stop judging!  The newest thing on this little car that we lovingly call 'Gremlin' is a gas cap.  And that is an entirely different story, but a short one, so I'll tell it... I took my 7yo on her first overnight hike recently.  On the way home I stopped to get gas.  As I drove off after the fill-up, I heard a clattering on the roof of the car. Immediately thinking it was Santa and he was defiling the top of the Gremlin with his overgrown deer which my husband would happily hunt, I yelled (here we go with the yelling again) "Oh No you Don't! It's too early to start this you fat elf!" Then I looked in the rear view and saw the gas cap skittering off into the woods.  I looked for it for a while, couldn't find it, then drove home.

I actually knew it was the gas cap from the start, I just had to add something to the story.  Told you it was short.

So back to the tracks.  Like You said, 'just get out of the car...'  Well, that's tricky in a 1989 Hyundai.  Sometimes the door doesn't open.  You have to crank down the window to unlatch it from the outside, which is usually fine unless you are in the passenger seat.  The window on that side doesn't stay up on it's own, you have to keep pressure on the window crank for it to stay up, so we have a mini bungee cord wrapped around the handle and attached to part of the door panel.  Good luck getting out if Jason is running at the car, or a Christmas train.

Holy crap, I'm going to be squashed by the Polar Express! (I figure that is recent enough that I don't need to link a picture) Tom Hanks better watch out, I carry a big knife.  Well, not that big, but I do have a knife.  The most important part of the said knife is the bottle opener, but still, I have a knife ,Tom Hanks, so take your lady squashing train and magic it away to whence you came!

There, that should at least keep Christmas at bay until I'm ready.  I'm sharpening my spears as we speak.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crazy Train to Bora Bora, ALL ABOARD!

Memories aren't always wonderful.  Sometimes I'm jealous of those people that bonk their head and then can only remember the last 5 minutes.  I mean if I had to meet the friends and family I have, over and over and over.... it wouldn't be so terrible.  I know some pretty awesome people.  It would suck for them though.  I'm pretty decent too, but there are only so many times a person can ask the same question before they are murdered.  Even by their biggest fan.  I think a dog might be the only being that can handle that without loosing their own mind.  I have a Lab, so I have proof that doing the same thing a trazillion times in a row does NOT bother them in the least.  So if I ever bonk my head in just the way as to loose all of my long term memory, just put me in a small room with a few loaves of bread and a Lab.  Make it good bread though.  A girl has to have standards.

The reason I sometimes lament for the mind of a vegetable is because I only seem to have long term memory storage space for my worst moments.  The kind that, hopefully, I am the only one who remembers.  Really, the actual events were not that bad.  Like apologizing for something that you said a year before, only to find out that the person that you thought overheard you had no idea what you were talking about, and you made them cry during your apology because you brought up their dead brother.  Yup, that is like a loop in my head sometimes.  Hmm, after actually writing that down, it appears as though I might already have gotten my wish.  That seems like something only a vegetable would think about.

The trick to getting myself to stop thinking about whatever it is that I don't like thinking about is to yell.  I don't yell out loud, only in my head.  I yell until I stop thinking about the offending thought.  Every time it tries to creep back in, I yell it away.  I think it's kind of like those basketball players that wear the rubber bands on their wrists and snap them every time they miss a shot or do something stupid on the court.  It's rather ingenious actually, because I don't think about whatever it is that I don't want to think about for quite a while.

But the technique brings a new fear to bear.  Am I going crazy.  Not really a question, kind of a statement of maybe fact.  Like an agnostic saying 'there is no god', when really they aren't sure.  I wonder if this is how Sybil started, if you take away all the abuse.  I also fear getting old.  Not because people get gross when they get old, but because oldsters have no filters.  And when they go crazy, they seem to get stuck in either a good or bad crazy land.  I wonder if I am going to be one of those gross old women that just yells out loud for no apparent reason.  The kind that scare the crap out of kids that are forced to walk the halls of a nursing home looking for their grandma.  Now that I think about it, I am going to put in my will that my kids will only get the old insoles of my hiking shoes if they put me in a nursing home.  Then again, I think they have nursing homes in Bora Bora.  OK, you kids can have all my possessions if you put me in a nursing home in Bora Bora.  So I'll be a crazy old lady that yells at odd times, probably pretty often, because by then I'll have three times as many crap memories that I do now.  Maybe I can just get diagnosed with Turrets Syndrome.  There will probably be good drugs for that.  But still send me away to rot in Bora Bora.  If I end up in some old mining town in West Virginia, be sure that I will never forget, and I will not yell away that memory.  Instead, I'll feed it and let it fester, like a wart on my hand that I refuse to smother with duct tape.  And I'll spend all of my money on bird feeders that spin squirrels, because there are a lot of squirrels in West Virginia.

Jockey Factory

I'm happy my kids are still young enough that I am confident I can win arguments.  The argument of the morning was whether a zero '0' is ever called an 'oh', or if 'ohs' are only letters and if you call a zero an 'oh' then you are really not talking about a number, you are talking about a letter.  I think I confused my 7yo enough that she just rolled her eyes and said the same thing to her brother.  Like it was her knowledge she was imparting.  Which it wasn't.  Yet.  Because I have a dreadful feeling that she is smart.  Soon I won't win the arguments.

Now I know that every parent thinks their kids are smart and cute, which decidedly is not true in many cases.  There are a lot of ugly babies out there.  Mine are not one of them, the ugly dumb ones, that is.

But I'm not under the illusion that their intelligence and looks will follow the same growth curve.  In fact, if they do follow my kids' growth charts, I'm looking at a future of short buses.  My husband and I are starting a jockey factory.  Not the clothes, the smallish people.  And not the smallish people that probably make the clothes, the short people that ride race horses, like I really had to explain that... I actually showed my kids the Kentucky Derby in the hopes that they will both want to move to the country and start racing horses.  It's in their blood.  The size that it, not the anorexia.  I wonder if the real jockeys grow into that.  No pun intended.  The anorexia is what I'm talking about now.  ...I know, try and keep up.  My husband is 5'3" on a particularly tall day.  He is about 130 lbs, all lean sexy muscle too.  He is short enough to be one of the tall jockeys (I wonder if they get made fun of because they are so monstrous) but about 30lbs over weight.  For my husband to loose 30 lbs would be like a frog reverting back into a tadpole form.  I bet he could loose 30 lbs if he chopped off his arms and legs.  But then he couldn't ride a horse, so that's a moot point.

Did you ever see the movie Boxing Helena?  It's about a bad guy that kidnaps a girl and keeps her in a box.  After he cuts off her arms and legs.  She couldn't ride a horse either.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hobo Life

I think I might head out to New Mexico for a 'working vacation'.  There is a bit of research I need to do before this 'big idea' becomes a reality.

A side note for my 'big ideas'.  I have a lot of them, and they are all fabulous and will make anyone that tackles them extremely rich, or wonderfully happy.  If they live through it.

Today, it's wild cattle wrangling.  I guess all the thousands of cattle that meander aimlessly through our plain lands sometimes get lost.  Now this seems to be obvious, seeing that cows are beautiful, empty headed, over sized  furry worms.  Of course worms with four legs, ears eyes, a tail... ok, so maybe they are more like potatoes.  At least potatoes have eyes.

So these wild cows are roaming around our wilderness, happy and free.  Time to trap em and bring them back to civilization.  At least that's what ranchers think we should do with them, or the government, or hobos looking for their next meal.  I'm not sure who pays you for the cow when you walk him into town on a leash, but someone will.  I think I'll just walk them to the nearest feed store and wait.  Someone will notice me with my wild cow and know what to do.

Apparently, the going rate for wrangling a wild cow is two to three hundred dollars per cow.  That's like a car payment a day.  A week of cow catching is a house payment.  In fact, the more cows I can leash, the bigger the house I could buy.  Not like I would, I like living in a tree house.

I don't really live in a tree house, but it's close enough because the houses in this neighborhood are getting old.  They were built using twigs and spit by drunk workers that mixed up which house should be built on which lots.  Seriously.  My neighbor's house should have been built on my lot and vice versa.  Both of our driveways lead to the back side of our house.  Brilliant.  The twigs and spit are slowly disintegrating into the leaf litter.  Soon this area will be natural space again with a few hobos living among the ruins.  That'd be me.

Maybe I should bring home one of the wild cows, or two.  I'd let them mate then eat their young.  You know, because the old ones meat would be too tough.  Don't judge, hobo life is hard.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Self Titled

A few weeks ago, I was minding my own business, just trying to nap in a homemade hammock.

Said hammock did not rip down the middle and dump me out onto the ground like a newly birthed rhinoceros,  as stories like these usually go, instead, I got nice and comfy and started to enjoy the slight sway in the breeze.  I had wrapped myself in a cheapo JCPenny quilt that I have had for at least 10 years.  It's a nice quilt, and many people think it is one of those grandmotherly quilts like the one I have on my wall, which was made eons ago by a great great grandmother.  My JCPenny quilt has bits trying to wiggle themselves loose and disappear in the drier every time something vomits on it, but it is still holding strong.  You're probably wondering how often things vomit in my house... happily, not enough, if there ever is an enough to things vomiting in any house.  The great great grandmother quilt would never go in the washing machine, let alone get vomited on.  I know where to draw the line.  ...and jeez, I make a better hammock than that.

So I was enjoying a sway, gazing up into the crisp autumn sky trying to think up award winning poetry, when I caught a glimpse of movement.  I turned my head to get a better look at the enormous, seventeen inch caterpillar was slowly making its way to a perfect burrow spot in my ear.

Being the outdoorsy survivalist that I am, I squealed like a tiny girl and almost peed my pants.
Then I found a stick, smashed it, and went to sleep.

 No, I didn't smash it, what kind of a person do you think I am?  I let it crawl onto the stick and took it across the street to show my kids, who at the time were 'helping' my husband build the neighbor a shed.
We have since adopted the caterpillar.  I tried mightily to identify the little ear burrower, and the best I could do was figure it was either a tent caterpillar or a tent worm.  But Ear Burrower is much prettier than the pictures I found on google, so I think I have found a new species of burrowing caterpillars.

We pulled out the death trap that has been the 'fish tank'.  I don't think anything is ever meant to survive in a little gallon tomb, and anyone who claims they have had a fish live longer than a month in one of these things is either lying or severely depressed.  Seriously.  And thanks to Grey's Anatomy that has made saying 'seriously' normal and bothersome at the same time. Seriously.

Two days into being entombed in the death tank, and Ear Burrower had yet to munch on any of the plethora of greens I stuffed into his nice new home.  He was probably going through separation anxiety, which is kind of a depressing way to loose weight.  I thought we were loosing him, yet I never once thought it might be a good idea to release him back to nature.  It was getting cold, and I know I would be pretty pissed if I were brought into a nice warm house, gussied up in the very best of death tank greenery, then banished, in all of my nakedness, into the frozen tundra.  Even if it wasn't below freezing, it will be soon, so I really had only Ear Burrower's best interest in mind.

I did further research, which mainly involves looking at the first three links that google had.  So I grabbed some sand from our very own fossil pit out front, gave him some new twigs and leaves, and waited.  Apparently some caterpillars actually do burrow, whether that be in ears or sand.  Now I'm even more convinced that he was going for my ear.  I feel vindicated.  Thank you google.

Well, the same day I gave him the sand, he snuggled up to a twig and made the ugliest cocoon I have ever witnessed.  It looks a bit like a piece of moldy bread that has been rolled in sand.  It's not even at the top of the death tank.  It's tucked about a half inch into the sand.  I think I have a special caterpillar, not only does he think it's totally fine to burrow into ears, he doesn't even know that he should wrap himself in a pretty, sleeping bag looking cocoon and hang from the lid.  Dumb caterpillar.  Actually, I am getting pretty skeptical about the chances of Ear Borrower still being alive.  Since he molded himself, I took out all the leaves and stuck his death tank near some plants that I brought in for the winter.  And since we heat with wood, the air is very dry in the house.  I think I may have dehydrated my caterpillar.