Sunday, July 26, 2009

Le Binge

Today was a three-pastry day, not that anyone's counting. I should have seen the storm clouds looming, the forecasted wind and golf-ball-sized hail threatening the microclimate of my head-but I was too busy being sunny and 75. Yesterday. I'd scheduled a few salon services for the afternoon, namely to fix the feet I could no longer stand being attached to my body, but also to repair the sudden damage caused when I cut off my ponytail last weekend in a fit of cosmetological desperation. It's hard to get a good line when you're using kitchen scissors, friends. You get a nice diagonal, and that's about it. It was a Ramona-Quimby-on-crack situation, but Friday I got fixed up in all the right ways; practically an Extreme Makeover, except no porcelain veneers. I was feeling good-the kind of little high that salon fumes and vanity inspire, so decided to take my cute self to Target for a peppermint patty and quick whirl around the clothes department. I'm not a frequent shopper at the Tarjay, but yesterday's stars apparently aligned in favor of the economy and I now understand, fully, how an average American woman can Target herself into financial oblivion. I found really cute jeans two sizes smaller than I thought I wore (think Joe's Jeans Gatsby cut), a couple essential tank tops, and the aforementioned candy treat. Also a magazine, some body scrub, (honey stop reading here) alpha-hydroxy facial buffers, and a cardigan. And bobby pins. A box of Luna Bars. See what I mean? I was lucky to get out alive. It was fun, though...a wonderful diversion. Afterward, I went to see a play with a friend-it was the perfect day, really. Friday.

This morning I woke up early and tried hard to sink back into productive sleep-Saturdays are difficult with the Mr. in another state and the children wandering around like keening orphans, putting in requests for juice or candy-I need to be wide-eyed and alert for them and sleep is part of this, as is caffeine-but I couldn't get there. There was, for some reason, an abundance of stuff in my bed- a plastic slide whistle, leaves...it was gritty. SO later today, when the kids started their Miss Hannigan routine, searching for the benevolent Grace Ferrell-character to teach them tennis or manners, or play with them for Pete's sake, I couldn't come through. What they want is me, engaged in their lives. It's really that simple. They don't understand the psychosis that is this entire crazy thing we've done: uprooted, left every routine and success and relationship of the last eight years in the dust, greenhoused ourselves into financial oblivion... they're kids. They see me and they want me-no matter that I'm trying to get something, anything done to move the plot forward-pick out paint colors, pay taxes, go to the bathroom. There's no sense in trying to cut them off at the pass with "later"-later really gets them going, initiates the primal scream sequence. So, we left.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Conversation with my six-year-old

Him: Um, Mommy...do you think you should do something about your feet?
Me: What do you mean?
Him: Well, they look all dirty and stuff. You should go to that place and have the people fix them.
Me: How will they do that?
Him: They probably won't have to cut them off, but maybe. Or else just put them in a big bowl of water that smells good.
Me: Like in the Bible?
Him: Pretty much. Except don't forget the fingernail polish.

Monday, July 20, 2009

No, it's Iowa.

And now we enter the portion of summer I like to call: Corn Fest 2000. And, yes, dear readers, I know we're midway through two-thousand and nine-but in Corn Fest-ese, "2000" signifies not the year of Fest, but of the said fest's awesomeness and power, as in, this Fest and the corn we're feting is two thousand times better than anyone else's corn on the block, county, perhaps the entire tristate area. And, in case you wondered, no I don't know which states comprise the "tri", but it's something I've longed to say for a while now, in a weather-girl sort of way, shivering in my Burberry trench and Wellies as gale-force winds highlight the depths of my journalistic excellence. And to think-Corn Fest 2000 allowed me to reach that goal, from my parents' basement, wearing pajama pants and a Chinese New Year tee shirt.

As I was saying, we got about 17 ears this morning, after tentatively creeping into the stalks to check the progress of our crop, which as of late had developed a bit of a reputation in the raccoon community for being, well, some kick-ass corn. In effort to keep the critters at bay, we rigged a radio from one of the greenhouses on a really long extension cord, then set the thing on a piece of plywood smack in the middle of Cornville and put a bucket over top. For a few nights we'd trek the few miles out there to turn it on just as the sun went down, and let me tell you the first time I did that I about had a heart attack. The sky was absolutely on fire red-a triple threat of orange and pink, with purple gray clouds low enough, almost, to touch. I was alone, a speck in all that beauty, which in country music and greeting cards is supposed to make you feel really spiritually elevated, but in my mind's eye, all I could see was dead baseball players. A few nights prior, we'd all sat around watching Field of Dreams on TV and I felt 97% certain that night I'd catch Shoeless Joe Jackson peering at me through the tassles and be rendered petrified right there in the corn. The way I handled this, of course, was to scamper lightly in and out of the rows, adhering to the "if your feet barely touch the ground you aren't really there" school of thought, flipping the switch then lickety-splitting it back to the car before Moonlight Graham could beckon me with a bony ghost finger. Since then, we've simplified our technique, which is to say we've stopped turning it off in the morning, mostly out of laziness-however, it seems to be working. I turned the dial to all-conservative-all-the-time talk radio because I thought this would cause the most emotional distress for the raccoons; they are absolutely renowned in the animal kingdom for their radical views on health care and nasty MSNBC habit. I'm sure there were a number of hearts in raccoon's throats when, instead of all-you-can-eat Ambrosia BiColor, Ranger Rick and the gang discovered Rush Limbaugh screeching from underneath a bucket.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm ALIVE!

In the event I haven't lost my entire readership, I suppose I'll resume posting, for now, unless I get another bee in my bonnet and decide to purchase a business about which I know alarmingly little, move my family across (kind of) the country and in with my parents, and adopt a lifestyle similar to that of the Amish, but with more jewelry. Nutshell: VERY spotty internet, minimal options in the caffeine department, but lots of baked goods, gardening, and fresh air. Despite the apple fritters and healthy glow, however, the past month has been a doozy of epic proportions. To label it drama seems cliche in the worst possible way, the gum-cracking, tight-tee-shirt-and-gym shorts with-juicy-across-the-butt-wearing way, with an eye-roll as the cherry on top. But drama it was, complete with teeth-gnashing, injustices, and the writing of large checks, sometimes bitterly. And, in case you wondered, bitterly is the worst spirit in which to part with money. Ruefully is a close second. Better to pay your debts (even the illegitimate ones) with something akin to reckless abandon, preferably while riding shotgun in a convertible up coastal Highway One toward your friend Oprah Winfrey's house where she has undoubtedly assembled a think tank who are, at that very moment, charting the course which will guarantee certain fame and fortune for not just you, but your ENTIRE FAMILY. Fine, take it all, you'd say, whilst your Hermes scarf dances in the salty air and you laugh gaily.
Transition. My mother, when given the opportunity, will spin her labor and delivery tales so that everything rises and falls around the word. And then I was in transition, she'll say with a mix of awe, horror, and knowing. As a child, "transition" was so mysterious and strange that it could have been the part where the mommy grows a third eye and gives birth to a litter of unicorns while Strawberry Fields plays in the background for all I knew. Of course now I understand it's just a REALLY difficult, albeit short, phase of labor in which women curse their husbands, Eve, the baby, and ask for a leather strap to bite down on, or as we say in America, drugs. Not that I've done any of these things, at least not in that order and certainly not as part of childbirth, as both my children arrived via c-section-HOWEVER, the transition we went through as the business changed hands and we closed out the season really had me yearning for an epidural of the emotional variety. Ice chips would have been lovely, perhaps a casserole. Sigh. We made it, though. We're afloat. Despite the...okay, I'll say it: DRAMA, we came out the transitional woods on the other side and we're gathering ourselves; taking stock. We're remembering all the small moments of victory and seeming coincidences and every single kindness shown, which is more than I can count and you can bet I'm forgetting at least half. Thank you for being patient, if you're reading this, all 12 of you. I AM alive; there is news to report. Think of it this way: I made it through the rough part. I had the baby, and it wasn't a unicorn THANK GOD. Life goes on, slowly. It's still me-I'm just not up to putting on my skinny jeans yet.