Friday, June 29, 2007

A Separate Peace

Yesterday was one of those elusive and rare perfect days with Flipper. Left work and went home. Flipper sad and irritable. Cancelled lake plans. Justified lying on my bed and reading due to heavy thunder. Read trashy novel while Flipper looked at her own books. Dozed. Flipper, undoubtedly similarly inspired, snoozed as well. Then (and this is a real miracle) she awoke without crying, whining, screaming, refreshed and happy. Then I managed a real coup: I pulled off, simultaneously, a recreation of a slice of my own childhood, AND captured a brief chunk of a Little House on the Prairie. The book, not the TV show, that is. Even though it was still thundering, I forced Sophie outside, encouraging her to "face her fears" at the end of a choke chain, and with Flipper in the stroller clutching a colandar and Seamus yoked to the terrified Sophie, we went in search of blackberries, currently Flipper's favorite food right now. Two hours later, we returned home with enough to bake a large pie this afternoon. Crust already in fridge, ready to be rolled out and filled with berries. Heaven, really. When I was young, our little ranch house backed up to a huge cow pasture, and along the edge were towering blackberry bushes. We picked tons and tons, until our dad the chemist began to worry about the possible effects of the berries absorbing some sort of carbon monoxide from the not-that-close traffic and shut down our little berry-picking fun. My mother made blackberry pies, cobblers, and maybe even some jelly. We loved it. It was a scene straight out of LHOTP, except we managed to avoid contracting malaria from the mosquitoes, unlike poor Laura and her family. Flipper loves anything very basic like that: working in the garden, eating vegetables and fruit directly from the source etc etc. Our yard, aka The Jungle, has a few bushes down past the swings. This week-end I hope to chop down extra stuff around them and encourage them to flourish. Will post pictures of pie if I remember to take one. Here is my personal theory: she will not like the pie, and will prefer to eat the berries in their natural state. After our berry-picking adventure we went home, took a shower together, whereupon she managed to get Paul Mitchell's coconut shampoo not only in her eyes but down her throat as well ("it hurted me!"), we ate, and then I lounged in my new chair and read, while she strung little wooden beads on thick thread, while seated at my feet on her green pillow. For an hour. It was so so peaceful; the dogs were(blessedly) asleep, she was content and happy, the phone didn't ring...I hope I can remember it forever. We were so content with our own little projects and each other, all in silence. Then we went to bed. A near-perfect day.

Wild Kingdom

It was a sight to make Merlin Perkins proud: from my upstairs window I glanced outside yesterday afternoon just in time to see a sizable hawk swoop down, catch, and devour a baby snake. Fantastic. I did feel a bit sorry for the snake, and incredibly impressed by the eyesight of the hawk that could spot something about 7 inches long in thick pine needles and leaves. Very very impressive. Few things compare (for me, at least) to the sight of some sort of animal in it's natural milieu, and as exciting as it was to see the young lion cubs leap playfully upon their mother this spring at the zoo, it just isn't the same. Here, in no particular order, is a list (undoubtedly partial) of animals I have seen in the wild. Make no mistake about it: the bear remains one of the scariest things I have ever encountered. Often an animal will (wisely) flee humans, but this massive massive thing was completely unafraid of me. Thank god Martha didn't bark. There was about 100 yards of open field between me and the safety of the house, and all I could think was, she is going to outrun me and I will die a terrible death. So, here it goes:

Dolphins, in the ocean off St Simons Island. Baby in pod, came quite close to Kimmie and myself. (We were engaging in an experiment to see if we could telepathically cause them to appear by visualizing dolphins and "asking" them to show themselves. It worked. We think.)
Bear. Big. Twice. Once near Ames (Telluride) the other in Aspen, post-Panic show.
Humpback whales, breaching. Maui. Baby humpback with mother.
Copperhead in woods about 4 feet from me. This was scary too.
HUGE alligator while camping on Cumberland Island. Blocked path through swamp. Refused to move. Threw sticks at it in the arrogant safety of youth. Would flee now. Scary.
Mountain Lion, just a fleeting glimpse from car on way home.
Marmots. Tons. Cutest animals ever.
Armadillos, quite possibly the densest animals on the planet. Partially deaf, and can be carriers of leprosy. Enough said.
Sea turtles, in water very close. Maui.
Spinner dolphins, Maui.
Tiger sharks, lazily swimming around in a small bay. Very very big. Also scary to watch.
A fox, twice. Very very beautiful. Very very shy and afraid of humans.
Bald Eagles.
Elk, a thundering group that charged Martha and me in the field ouside the condo. Also, very very big animals. Mating call incredibly loud and wonderful to hear.
White minky-weasely creature underneath ski lift.
Bunnies. Little brown cottontails. Flipper loves them. Actually, Flipper loves to race towards them screaming bunny!!!! bunn-eeee!!!!! at the top of her lungs. Very fun to witness, through perhaps not so fun for the hapless hare.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Summertime, and the living ISN'T easy (just hot)

Quite frankly, I hate many things. Bush, Satan's Right-Hand Man (aka Cheney), having to go to work every day instead if being a well-off stay-at-home mom with tons of time to volunteer at Flipper's school, thereby positioning myself to be on the P.O. Board in a few years, go to the gym daily. Oh, and I would like a very wealthy husband that travels almost constantly, thereby guaranteeing me sex twice a month and demanding that I only be nice and accomodating for a few days, before disappearing again. Our kids would also be untraumatized by his absence as well. Sounds like HEAVEN!!
But, back to reality. One of the things I hate is heat. As in the entire summer, from mid-June until the end of September. It is shocking to me that kids don't seem to feel it at all. They don't care how hot it is, don't mind sweating, in fact, Flipper doesn't even mind being eaten alive by mosquitos, as long as she is outside on the trampoline or the swing. I, however, hate all of the above. I walk the damn dogs every day in all types of weather; last November we were circling the field in sleet and high winds, when a huge dead pine tree limb came sailing toward us, crashing to the ground about 6 feet from the jogging stroller that held Flipper. It gave me pause, then I kept walking. There is no sleet now, but I wish there was. It is brutally hot, the dogs get quite frisky in the comfort of the air-conditioned house, and they pester me until we walk. Then they act as though they are going to die.
Two days ago we were, once again, circling the field when we approached a downed tree and piles of brush. Two fawns sprang forth, and in a move that may remove them from my personal list of dumb animals (hint to deer: headlights equal death) they bolted in opposite directions!! SMART MOVE, BAMBIES!!! Sophie took off after one, Seamus after the other. I feared that Flipper may have received her own grisly episode of Wild Kingdom right before her innocent little eyes, but my god those baby deer were fast. Sophie will not go into underbrish at all, and so stopped at the edge of the woods. Seamus was also outmatched and returned in minutes. The dogs were so winded from their mad dash across teh open prarie that they dragged themselves home, trying to stay in any patch of shade on the sides of the road that they could, whereupon I hosed them off with cold water. Then they slept for about 6 hours. I must find a way to repeat this without terrifying the Bambies. Sophie, in particular, looks incredibly scary charging across the field. Very police-dog/Doberman-y. Blessedly, she is good with kids, although she hates school buses, my neighbor, UPS trucks, and any hapless human that walks down our cul-de-sac. But did I mention that she is good with kids? It goes far when the dog in your house outweighs the child in your house by 45 pounds.
Flipper was thrilled beyond words to see the baby deer. Then, last night while eating dinner on my parents' deck, we saw a mother with twin fawns in the yard, and then three young bucks with huge racks poking around. And then, farther back in teh woods and almost fully hidden, we saw the White Deer. Ghostly, really, and now almost fully grown. It has been sighted with regularity for about 2 years now, it has made it through deer-teenagerhood, and is approaching grown-up status. When I was young, we never saw deer. Their constant presense everywhere, every yard, every roadside is more than almost anything else, the mark of this area's rampant development. Add that to the list of hated things. See pics of Sophie the killer Doberman and Seamus the killer Everydog, below.

Monday, June 25, 2007

We're BAACKKKK!!!! And, no one killed anyone else

Much to say about our family jouney in white rented mini-van, driven by my poor father (see below), often, in fact, driven in circles as we couldn't seem to follow the simplest of directions before getting hopelessly lost, time and time again.

The mini-van was perfect for our trip, with just one tiny glitch: it was impossible to regulate the air temperature inside. It was either freezing cold, or hot and stuffy. There was a constant stream of requests coming from the rear, "More air!" quickly followed by, "We're freezing!" It drove Smokey insane. Kathryn covered herself in her shroud most of the time.

Flipper was, of course, the best traveler ever. So easy, so flexible. It was like traveling with some sort of dignitary, she received gifts from all our relatives every time they met her. It was incredible. We went to Charleston, WVa the first day, and had dinner out at what might quite possibly be the worst Italian place in the country. Joe Fazio's, still in business since it's inception in 1934. Shcoking, really. My grandfather always always took us there when we visited, it was intensely nostalgic and tons of fun with my dad's three cousins, an 11 year-old, and a cousin-in-law. Really really, fun. And, the food was really, really awful. Suzanne and Jetty (short for Jeanette Lynn) gave us each a Blenko water bottle, which I have been coveting for a few years now, ever since it became my favorite gift to give, a real crowd-pleaser in general. They are unique and beautiful and handmade. Here is one of the Blenko guys making some sort of shockingly beautiful vase. We went to the Blenko factory on our way to Ohio. I could watch them for hours. I let Flipper choose a small thick glass animal for our yard and she chose a dark purple snail.

Then, it was on to Ohio, which meant incredibly empty highways, outstandingly friendly drivers, and more more more Italian restaurants. Tons. No sushi, no Thai, no short, none of what is so popular here. And there are no real Italian places here, and no, for any Chapel Hill-Durham readers, Il Palio does not count. Also, there was quite a dearth of foreign cars. A dearth as in...almost none. Nothing but American cars. Warren and Canfield were very New England-y in feel, green town squares, pretty wooden house, all flying some sort of patriotic flag or bunting, it was so very different from where I live. This is what I love about traveling around America, which I have done quite often: it can be very homogenous, yet every downtown looks different, and every town has something that makes it unique. We went to the second largest municipal park in the country (second to Central Park) and visited an old and restored mill. Patriotic banners and all. The weather was incredibly cooperative, cool at night and low-humidity days. Just perfect. Two big family dinners, held, each night Italian restaurant!!! Reminded me again that our last name is very very Italian.

More later. Off now to my second cranio-sacral massage therapy appt.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Country roads, take me....

To Hell, perhaps? hahaha. No, really, tomorrow morning my parents will arrive at my house, my mother will be her usual excessively cheerful self, and my father will be trying to act relaxed but it will sit on him like a poorly-fitting suit, in a rented mini-van. Kathryn, Flipper, and I will get in, and out childhood will be magically (terrifyingly) recreated, but with CD's of Jesus Christ, Superstar instead of cassettes. We are driving to Charleston, West Virginia to visit my father's cousins, and then on to Warren, Ohio, to visit his uncles and their wives. Then we will come home next Sunday. I love West Virginia. It is so beautiful, and so old. It remains somewhat unchanged, at least more than Chapel Hill and Durham. Yes, yes, I know it's poor and has the reputation for violent, inbred, feuding families that shoot each other while drunk on some sort of rotgut moonshine, but it is more than that. Much more. My grandparents' house is gone, something that makes me quite sad. It was razed to the ground, along with all the other houses in the block, and flooded. Now the yard where we played growing up is under the muddy waters of the Kanawa River. It is sad sad sad to me. I can't imagine how my dad will feel when we drive by tomorrow, and his whole 1950's childhood erased forever; all for the sake of making a big river even wider to accomodate barges piled with coal, taken from some raped and pillaged mountaintop, or by poor miners far underground. Blessedly due to Kathryn's Best Job Ever, we will be staying in Marriott's the whole way, with pools.

A pool or lake or ocean is really all that is required to make Flipper happy. She is an amazing swimmer; something that she may very well have actually inherited from me. Keith likes the water, but isn't a particularly great swimmer.

This post will be extra-long since I will be away from my computer for awhile. Last night Robin and I went to the mall and I behaved as a patriotic American, bolstering our economy by spending money. She is very very good to shop with, just as I suspected! I did quite well, if I do say so myself, spending 224 dollars and getting 3 skirts, 3 shirts, and a pair of pants in the process. All from Talbot's and JJill. You know you're getting old when you love Talbot's clothes. Tonight Rose, Jessica, Kathryn and I are eating at Bin 54, my favorite restaurant. Ironic that I love a "steakhouse" but it is really exceptional. I will have lobster. I think. Then home to frantically pack and "clean" (hahahaha) before bed and the advent of our trip. It will be fun and the thought of Flipper seeing it all-whether she remembers it or not-makes all of it worthwhile. She is at the Children's Museum this morning with Smokey and Aunt Kaffrin. She is spoiled in the very best possible way: surrounded by people that adore her and exposed to incredible experiences.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A midget no more...

We took Flipper to the dr for her yearly check-up Friday afternoon. Keith met us there. Interestingly, he didn't correct Dr Sartor when he listed Flipper as living "with both parents." To our surprise, Flipper has actually grown significantly in the past 12 months. 4 inches (!!) She is no longer lurking in the 20th percentile, she has moved up to the 50th for height and 60th for weight. A year ago it was 20th and 15th. She is very very healthy, which we knew, and, interestingly, her tonsils are apprently quite massive, just about touching each other. Yuck. Blessedly, he says this is nothing to worry about since she never gets strep or has any trouble snoring or any sleep apnea. We are so very very fortunate and blessed with a healthy little girl. She was shy and reserved, as I expected her to be. Keith has been quite enjoyable recently, how unfortunate that it never seems to last. He will soon become ciold and remote for a spell, then nice and involved again. It has only taken me 7 years to figure out and accept this part of him. On Saturday night we watched parts of Riverdance with Flipper and then endured her tap "dancing" with her real tap shoes (LOUD) together, like a million families across the country. Then he went back to his house. It is easier for both of us this way, and definitely easier for me as I have only one person's needs to think of, hers. And the damn dogs. Not his and hers. Father's Day was great, breakfast out, then my house to walk the damn dogs, then cooking, then Hollow Rock, then parent's house, then feast, then home. A full day of family and Flipper. Very very satisfying. I think the transition from aimless party girl to parent has been somewhat easy in my case becasue I can take a lot of pleasure from the little things.

Here is Flipper with Edward, Jessica's second child. They visited on Saturday. I wish I had felt better, had more energy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Nature or Nurture...

Today we go to the doctor for Flipper's four-year "WCC" which is code for "well child check." We've actually never gone to the dr for any illness or injury beyond her yearly check-up, something that earns us a 50% discount on the bill. I know how lucky we are; I feel for my friends who's kids seem to catch everything, endless illness after illness. Flipper has never had an ear infection!! Or strep or anything beyond a cold and random fevers. While my desire is to attribute this to my spectacular, exceptional parenting skills, the truth is that I think she simply inherited really really good genes; after all she has two parents (as well as two uncles and one aunt) that made it all the way into adulthood without contracting chicken pox, and maybe the freakish, super-extended breastfeeding had something to do with it. I never intended to become a total freak, but then I looked up 33 months after she was born, and there she was, still attached to my udders. Then I cut her off. She took it quite well, apparently not as addicted as I thought. While I must confess to not missing it at all, (Christ, how COULD I after almost 3 years?!??) she still refers to it every now and then, and was fascinated with Katie's nursing over the week-end. Actually, she was more fascinated with the breastpump than the actual nursing. Adorably (so far) she loves to nurse her own doll, the blobby one with no legs that I made for her to hold during story-time at school. All parents made one for their kids on a Saturday afternoon back in the fall. The thing with breasfeeding is that you never really KNOW if it helps your child, becasue you have no way of knowing what the alternate world of not doing it would be like for them. I have a friend that did it for 6 months, her kid has allergies. If she did it longer, would he not have them? There's no way to tell. Keith is freakishly healthy, and not breastfed. I was but had childhood allergies. I think we are reluctant to look at the role genes paly in everything; we prefer to see our kids as cute lumps of Play-Doh, just ready to be molded as we like. But the longer Flipper is here, the more I see her as pre-wired to a certain extent. And that belief extends to her immune system as well. While my house is pretty clean, and she takes a bath almost every night, I often forget to have her wash her hands before eating (lame for someone who washes her own hands so much it is boderline OCD) and she still doesn't get sick. Let's hope it continues forever. I leave you now with a sweet picture of Flipper and her Baby. That is it's name, just like that chick in Dirty Dancing that was a star and then got a nose job and then we never heard from her again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Gateway Drug; I Mean Toy

While at the lake house Flipper also had the opportunity to play with someone else's toys, which means, 9 times out of 10, toys that will never darken our doorstep. She immediately glommed onto a Barbie doll, dressed, of course, like a tramp, as well as a bright lavendar plastic pony with bright turquoise hair and a large glittery heart-shaped ruby attached to it's neck, for no discernable reason. I thought she was going to wet herself with joy, like an over-excited puppy. She knows that there isno way I will ever buy her cheap plastic Tawainese crap, and blessedly she never asks. Also, we don't go to stores that have these toys prominenetly displayed. I watched her play with these two monstrosities for hours... and realized what she is so attracted to is the hair. Never mind that it is the most synthetic material available, she just loves the hair. Why is this? Apparently most kids love the hair. I cannot figure this out...but I also know that there are no, and I mean no, short-haired dolls on the market. I made her a Waldorf doll from cotton and wool for Christmas, painstakingly sewing brown eyes with a long 5-inch needle and attaching an all-natural (of course) cap of short brown mohair to it's head, so it will look something like Flipper, and did this knowing all the while that the hair is just too short to engage her. The hippie Waldorf doll's name is Luna. Flipper loves to dress it, but it doesn't get a lot of playtime, not like that Barbie and her psychedelic horse did! The other mystery is that whenever I see a toy such as the horse, I think the same thought: Somewhere, an adult, a grown up invented this. By choice. Then I think, they should be beaten for creating something so fucking ugly. Below, the two dichotomies: Luna and Barbie and the pony.

Poor Flipper, having such a rigid, uptight Mommy that thinks typical toys are soulless!! Will she survive? Let's hope so. And until then, there's always someone else's house.

Monday, June 11, 2007

All Summer...

Ray Bradbury wrote an excellent short story (one of many) called All Summer in a Day that was required reading in some junior high language arts class, as popular as The Lottery. Anyway, it is (briefly) about our future earth where the sun comes out once every 7 years for an hour. All because we wrecked the planet, of course. Mean kids lock outcast girl in closet for that one hour. This is actually my idea of hell; I cannot imagine how anyone can possibly live in Seattle or the like. Flipper and I spent all week-end at one of my very favorite places in the entire world, Katie's Lake House, as we call it. Her family calls it the Mountain House. It is 400 acres of heaven, near Pilot Mountain, north of Winston Salem. All the land is theirs, the lake is spring-fed and so crystal clear, clean, heavenly. Flipper continued to live up to her name; she is such a water-girl!! I managed to capture, in a photograph, the essence of summer, hence the lead off above to All Summer in a Day as well as just childhood. Lucky, privileged, healthy childhood, that is. See below. This is one I will have printed.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Warm, warmer..

It is going to be 95 today. Actually, since it is noon, it probably already is, or very close to it. Flipper is here with me at the office, and has been since 8:30. She has been great, watching her DVD's, Fantasia and BBC dino documentaries, and molding tiny things out of the sheets of colored beeswax I bought from the Woodland Shop in anticipation if this day. We are leaving to go to Winston Salem and then KT's mountain/lake house this afternoon. I cannot wait. It will be heaven. I will post pics on Monday.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

It's over...for 3 months

Flipper's last day at the Cult was Tuesday, and the end-of-the-year picnic was yesterday. Organized by yours truly, who has become some sort of strange, bossy-yet-cheerleader-friendly class parent. And, it was great. Held at Ayr Mount in Hillsborough (if you haven't been YOU MUST GO), the weather was perfect, food was fantastic, etc etc. One thing people at the Cult do well is food. Almost no one brings crap, usually everything is homemade and boderline healthy. No junk food. Great coffee. Flipper reinforced my personal belief that she is completely undone by parties by behaving in a quite whiny and annoying manner until I forced Keith to peel her off me and bear her away to explore the pond. And, of course, at the very end when I had been there almost 4 hours and was dying to leave becasue I was hot and tired, then, and only then does she decide she is having a good time and want to stay. Very hot today and this week-end. I was suppsoed to go to the lake house with Katie and family, and meet her new baby boy, but I have no one towatch the dogs, so I have to cancel. Siultaneously relieved at not having to pack and travel, and disappointed that I won't see her and enjoy one of my very favorite places in the whole world. Flipper loves it too. We are going to Meadowmont today with Rose and Baby Seamus.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Nature red...

It was quite the Life Lessons From Mother Nature around these parts. Dawn gave Flipper a fish tank for her birthday, a really really nice one with a bubbler, a light on top, etc. Here she is gazing at it.

Smokey bought the gravel because I knew Flipper would immediately hone in on the brightest, gaudiest color gravel she could find. The little plant is real, too. Flipper did select the treasure chest, of course. And she also selected two guppies, a yellow one and a blue one. She promptly named them Pink and Purple. Alas, Purple went belly-up while we were out for a walk on Saturday. Now, as a kid this would have devastated me, as the little thing would have been VERY VERY real to me, totally anthropomorphised into a real person, a friend. She has not inherited this trait from me (thank god). Wasn't sad, just said, "He was happy and then he died." I immediately knew that she had been prepped for the inevitable by Smokey, as that sentence could never have come out of her little brain in a million years. So, down to one fish, Pink. Must get Pink a new Purple very soon. No fish at all WOULD be sad.

Our next encounter with Wild Kingdom came on Sunday, as we went for a walk around theForbidden Field in the rain with Rose and Baby Seamus and the damn dogs. As we entered the field, a deer boundeed into the woods on the far side. We all watched it vanish, the dogs perked up, and then we kept walking when Rose said, "LOOK!!" Stepping tentatively out of the woods on our side came a tiny, tiny fawn. It could not have been more than a day or two old. The damn dog that is also a killer bounded towards it and I yelled at him, which he, of course, completely ignored. It is one of th efew times I have ever been glad that Jr was dead, as he adn Shambles together would have made short work of that fawn. The baby deer crumpled to the ground and froze. Because it didn't move, the Shambles was confused and sniffed at it. It was so tiny, so delicate. It was also completely still, a survival instinct. We got out of the field as fast as we could, knowing that the mother would come back for it and lead it to safety once we were gone. Flipper and Baby Seamus were completely enthralled. He, in fact, repeated "Baby deah, baby deah" about ten million times. I was so so proud of Flipper; as badly as she wanted to see it, (and now I wish I had let her come and look at it), she obeyed me and stayed with Rose and the strollers. She had a million questions. I wish I had taken the time to let her see the tiny fawn, but I wanted his mother to come back soon, the poor little thing was in the rain. I even resisted the urge to go back in an hour or two and make sure it was gone, but I didn't. I did go back yesterday. No sign of it, thank god.

The whole "nature red in tooth and claw" was, in fact, written by Tennyson, in a long poem about his sister's fiancee's death in battle. Nothing to do with wilderness at all. But still appropriate. And still a hard lesson to learn.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Cute beyond cute

The recital was Saturday morning. Despite my best intentions to remail cynical and detached, I was swept up in the sheer preciousness of it all; the innocent excitement of the girls without really having any clue what to be excited about and just the whole thing. Flipper's class was the first on; the whole auditorium was dark, and then the stage lights and music come on and from the right side comes her teacher on her tippy toes, followed, like a line of baby ducks, by 9 little tiny girls in their yellow glittery tutus. The whole audience had a brief, collective, "awwwwww." It made me almost teary-eyed because Flipper's innocence will disappear one day, hopefully not too brutally, but it will be gone. But for that time of Saturday, she and the other little girls were just so innocent still of any sense that one day they will be made to feel fat and ugly, made to feel as though they aren't good enough, or don't fit in. I don't think any child is immune to this, growing up. They were awkward, but not self-concious, and visibly trying so hard to concentrate on their steps in their simple was cute in the very best sense of the word. Justine brought Elijah to watch. This thrilled Flipper to no end. The little tap dancers were perhaps my favorite, a long line of 5 year olds, earnestly tapping away to that ubiquitous "Lion Sleeps Tonight" song that is impossible to dislike. (The theme of the recital was a circus). The sick, parent-of-cute-kid part of me wishes she would do it again next year, just for the 90 seconds she is onstage for the recital. Yes, I am quite aware of just how crazy that sounds. It was that great. But she dosen't want to, she wants to learn gymnastics instead. So that's what we'll do. I will miss all the other moms so much, we had such a good time every week hanging out and talking. We gave Flipper flowers after the recital, and that night at dinner, when we play our little game of "What was the best part of today" she said, "the flowers." And, despite all attempts not to spend another penny....I bought the DVD of the whole show.

Friday, June 1, 2007

New love.

Decided not to write about the big party. Fun was had by all, except Flipper, of course. She was too busy freaking out and crying. I have a motto: it isn't a party until Flipper cries. But everyone else had a great time, consumed ALL the food, and stayed for hours!! Will leave you all with picture of cake that elicited excited exclamations from the small fry, and congrats from the mothers. The men just ate it.

The party brought something else to the forefront of my mind. I have long been convinced that modern appliances and conveniences create pure laziness. Not that it doesn't make me use them, understand. But for the first time in my whole life, I now have a dishwasher, one that isn't ME. My parents never had one while I was growing up; Kathryn and I split the dinner dish duties our entire lives, from the age of about 7 onward. Our parents gave us Sunday off. We hated it. When others would express surprise that we didn't own a dishwasher, my mother would respond, "Why should we? I have 2!!" She wasn't kidding. In my adulthood, and I use that term loosely, I lived in rental after rental, a total of 20 or so addresses since graduating from college. None had a dishwasher, or at least none had one that worked. I think there was one in the Searcy Mtn house that was broken. When Keith gutted and completely remodeled the kitchen, he salvaged a dishwasher from another remodel, in great shape, a GE, white, which matches the other appliances, etc. It came to live in my kitchen in late January. I used it for the first time 3 weeks ago. Now I want to have sex with it, I love it that much. My delay was mostly practical: most of the time it is just Flipper and myself, we don't generate tons of dishes, etc. I hate the thought of dirty dishes sitting in a rack. Brings roaches. So I resisted, held out. (Probably for the first time in my life). Then I broke down, and have been putting out ever since. I love it so much. Flipper puts her little plates in there, I run it every two or three whooshes agreeable for an hour or two, and the dishes, they are so CLEAN. I break the rules every now and then and put silverware in there, even though I shouldn't (I have sterling flatware). Martha says no to putting silver in the dishwasher. It is a mark of how lazy this thing has made me that I don't want to hand wash, in just three short weeks, a few forks. So insidious. So convenient. So American. And now, so ME.