Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

Nolite te bastardes carburundorum!

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hope Greening

There's a lot going on outside Casa de Crazy - gardens being tended, new beds being tilled and cultivated. We've slowly begun to supplement our store-bought food with fresh things; spinach in our scrambled eggs, a handful of strawberries in the morning, a few green onions.

Last Sunday, while the Evil Genius was being loaded down with sugary-food-coloring treats at his father's, Someone, Sprout and I went over to a friend's house. Someone was going to do some yard work and I was there to give a Reiki treatment. Sprout was along for the ride, but once we got there she provided some amusement for the resident kitties (who, to my knowledge, have never met an infant before). We scored a bit of chicken wire while we were there (it was languishing under the porch) and Someone knew just what to do with it.

Pea fence!

So now the peas have something to climb and spread out along, and they're quite happy about it. Someone put up a bit right away, and on Wednesday evening we had house guests, one of whom helped Someone put up a bit more fencing. I'm looking forward to fresh peas, and will (if there are enough of 'em)(are there ever really enough fresh peas??) make some into baby food for Sprout - in a few months, she'll be able to start eating "solids" (because calling it "mush" isn't very appetizing, is it??), and as with the Evil Genius, I want to make as much of her baby food as I can.

We've had rough luck with the peppers this year, but I finally got one of the Thai Insanity Pepper seeds (aka Prik-e-gnu) that I won from Phelan to sprout. I am hoping it will flourish and provide us with eye-watering, tongue scorching, ear burning, peppery goodness.

Okra, beans, squash, cucumbers, potatoes and sunflowers are all showing promise. We'll get pumpkins in soon, with hopes to have some ripe by October. If we can get them to grow, what isn't carved (pumpkin seeds, woo-hoo!!!) will hopefully become puree for future cakes, bread, and muffins.

I am also hoping that anything we don't eat or sell (we're attempting a small CSA) I can either freeze, dry, or pickle. Last year, a lot was wasted. I wanted to learn to pickle, but did not. Hopefully I'll do better this year.

We may have a few blueberries from the bushes we planted last year...but I think I'll be raiding (with permission, of course) Mum's kind-hearted neighbor's lovely run again this year. We still have a wealth of berries in the freezer from last-year's forays!

Mum has a fig forest (it's one tree, but it looks like a forest). I do not care for figs...but I hate to let 'em go to waste...so whatever she and her friends do not eat, I will experiment with. If nothing else, I can always dry 'em...but I may get ambitious and try Cinner's recipe for fig newtons - which, despite my disdain for figs, I adore.

An upside to all this greening? Saving some green at the grocer's - good grief, have you seen how much fresh tomatoes cost? With fuel prices climbing, everything costs more...so anything we don't have to buy is a bonus.

There's another benefit to all this agriculture - we're outside more, which helps clear the cobwebs and get the blood circulatin', no bad thing in my book. Someone's working his butt off (not that he has a lot to work off, mind...)!

If you garden (even if it's just in your mind), what do you plant?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Analgesic

Tuesday, I dropped a can of evaporated milk on the second toe of my right foot.

It hurt.

It's turning interesting colors. I'd show you, but I can't get my camera to talk to my computer right now.

I'm walking funny because of it.

Walking funny while carrying a hold-me baby has made my foot hurt, and my ankle, and my knee, and even my hip and back.

So tonight, I took a pain pill. I don't often take them - even after the c-section, I kept the pills to a minimum. They make me feel dopey. Don't worry, it wasn't a heavy-weight one, just an Advil. I wouldn't have taken it, but I am tired in more than body and could use some sleep...not that I'm getting any, up all hours blogging...

Two hours later, my foot hurts a bit less.

Where's the pain pill for my heart, though? It's been rather hammered, lately, poor blighted thing, and could use a little relief itself...but I can't seem to find anything in the medicine chest to help with that ache.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bothering





My camera is crapping out on me.

That's ok, though, because my computer's crapping out on me, too, so even if the camera was working properly, I couldn't off-load the photographs any way.

I can't crop or do anything else to my photos, and I can't afford to print them anyway, so I can't make cards for the co-op. I'm not sure that matters.

I used to write music, but lately? I can't seem to find it in me. I don't even want to sing. I have a huge case of "Who the hell cares?".

I don't even want to write. It's all unhappiness, isn't it? And can you honestly say you aren't tired of it?

I find myself wishing I could be in a terrible accident so I could abdicate responsibility for my life for a little while. Don't worry, it's just wishful thinking. I'm tired, and it all seems rather futile...like I needn't bother.

I'm bothering, anyway.

Peace

There is no peace here at Casa de Crazy.

Things beep and boop, creak and groan, buzz and hum, whoosh and whir.

The phone rings, rings again.

Cats meow.

The Evil Genius is never still and does not value or even understand silence - he seems to need to fill it with his motion and noise. If I don't pay attention, stop what I'm doing and focus on him, he escalates, often until I snap at him, send him outside, feelings hurt.

The baby cries.

The neighbor's dog barks.

Some of the noise is alright-wind in the trees, frogs peeping, the coyote pack yipping and laughing on the next ridge over (we are not out in the wilds, here - the coyote have adapted to farms and cluster housing), the baby cooing, giggling, making her happy noises - but too often the good stuff is interrupted by distant highway noises, loud voices at the neighbors', aircraft overhead, cars cruising through, civilization refusing to give us even a moment without a reminder of its existence.

I have occasionally wished I could scream "Shut up!!!" at all of it. I have even wondered if I wouldn't be happier deaf. Selectively deaf, deaf on demand, able to push some magical mute button that would allow me to savor some silence.

Without silence, without calm, without peace, I find it very difficult to do anything more than simply make it from one day to the next. I would like to do, to be, more...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weather

We've had some storms here at Casa de Crazy, inside and out.

It may be that one reflects the other, but riddle me this: which is cause and which is effect?

Trying times.

Things tend to go wrong in clusters, around the Casa. It's never just one bad day, one bad mood, one angry moment. It's days and days of out-gassing, of blowing up and falling apart, of walking on eggshells and inevitably crushing them beneath our feet, dusting the grit from our toes as we plod on waiting for the next bright spot.

Bright spots, by the way, do not come in clusters. Elusive, they are so easily lost in mediocrity. We must actively seek them out, and once found, we must try to catch the ephemeral things, grasp them in less than perfect hands, hands rough from every-day use, calloused with frustration and toil, unsuited to holding gossamer mists, fairy wings, and joy.

Joy.

It flutters in on moth's wings and crumbles to dust in the corners, something else to sweep up and bin.

The children and I went for a walk one day last week. Someone was initially going to come as well, but something set off his anger - the Universe, playing its favorite sport, toying with him once again, knocking him around, bruising his dreams, his hands, his heart - and so we left him home to find his calm.

It was a windy day. Sprout, like her Papa, doesn't like wind in her face. I like to turn my face into the wind, breathe deep, taste and scent the story of its journey. It was a short walk, to the end of our street and back, perhaps a quarter mile all told. The Evil Genius was on his scooter (the old-fashioned, foot propelled, balance on one foot sort, not the motorized kind so prevalent today in grocery stores and among the elderly population) rolling ahead and then waiting for me to catch up.

We came home, walked and rolled around the cul-de-sac, content to circle and soak in the thin sunshine, unwilling to return just yet to the troubled light of home.

The wind stopped me, drew my eye to the crowns of some trees behind a neighbor's house. Towering above his two-storey home, they swayed, bowed, and twisted with the blustery gusts. My mind's eye saw fairies in their tree-top kingdoms, clinging to leaf and twig as they were tossed this way and that.

Sometimes it feels that way down here, as if life's winds have us in their grasp and are tossing us about, human hackey-sacs.

The trees, they bend and creak, give way a little while their roots go deeper, seeking better purchase.

Sometimes we bend, sometimes we cling, and sometimes we lose our grips and are blown to the corners of our world. Lately I feel like a piece of litter thrown to the ground, taken up by the storm, torn and tumbled about. I cannot seem to catch my breath, catch myself, before the thunder rolls once more.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

So Tell Me...

I'm falling behind with blogging. I'm all tangled up with life, sticky, thorny vines wrapped around me so tight it sometimes feels like even breathing is a struggle.

Yesterday, I read this post over at BHJ's blog, and it led me down a line of thought that terminated with these questions: Are you seen? Are you heard? Is there anyone who cares enough to listen to and support your dreams? Tell me...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rats.

Or should I say, "Mice."? Well...mouse, anyway. There's a mouse at Casa de Crazy. It's not a pet. It's not in the Casa, but rather has opted for mobile home living in Rosy the (Astro Van) Mule. It has chewed papers, and crumbs, and the snacks that used to live in there because I have blood sugar issues and an Evil Genius who doubles as a bottomless pit (the way he eats now, I look toward his teen years with dread for my wallet, comforted in the knowledge that at least we'll get the economy back on track)(you're welcome), and it gnawed the scarf Mum knit for the boy. It pooped on the floor mats, it pooped on the back seat, it pooped in the console, and it pooped on the blankets that live in the back. It has made itself quite comfortable in there, and while I've been hoping one of the (not at all) wild cats would deal with it, I wasn't pressed about getting rid of it with any kind of violence. I was honestly hoping that once I cleaned the van out, the furry feller would find new digs. Instead, he found crumbs in the seat, crumbs under the seat, and a bag of sunflower seeds I didn't even know was there. I decided I had to get a trap. Today, when I went to the store to resupply the cupboards, I decided to get one. A trap, that is. I reached into the console for my cash - the last of my cash, in fact. Guess what else the furry little fucker chewed while he was at it? My forty bucks. Nothing left of it but a pile of greenish fluff. That's irony. I swear I can hear him laughing...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wait, What Day Is It?

I keep losing track of days.

Whole days are disappearing.

Somebody call Mulder and Scully...somethin' fishy's goin' on around here. No it's not sleep deprivation. Who needs a full night's rest, anyway? Sprout doesn't. Neither does Rook. Why, just this morning they took turns helping me wake up.

Four-O'clock, and still a-bed? Sluggard!

Go back to sleep? Lazy bones...here, we'll help.

Rook alternated meyowling and licking my nose (talk about weird sensations) and Sprout joined in with a rousing chorus of "I May Sound Happy But If You Don't Feed Me Soon I'm Going To Make Tornado Sirens Sound Like A Muted Mime*."

Deceptive, these two girls - one's asleep on my arm, the other's curled up on the couch beside me. Ever diligent, though, they'll make sure I don't succumb to any nasty old naps. Meanwhile, there's work to do...somebody's got to locate those missing days...

"What're you lookin' at...?"

*The hit single by Captain Pooper and the Waaah-Waaahs, soon available for digital download.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hard Lessons

When I was a kid, I left my favorite book outside our apartment, on a picnic table in the yard. Horton Hatches the Egg. I loved that book. It was my best friend. I took it everywhere with me. That night, it rained. Mum wouldn't let me go outside to get it, because it was quite a storm...so I knelt on the back of the couch and watched my beloved book get rained on, and I cried and cried. It was ruined, and I was devastated...but I learned a lesson. Bird's father let him have his old iPhone. Bird loved it, and played with the apps constantly. He'd fall asleep with it. Little Dude still wets the bed. The iPhone got wet and died, and T bought the boy an iTouch. Bird has played with it non-stop since he got it, downloading apps and watching videos. It has seen him through long waits in doctors' offices, long car trips, and is part of his bedtime ritual - play in his room until lights out, then play with the iThing (as I call it) until it's time to wrap it up and go to sleep. Then the iThing gets plugged in to charge and Little Dude goes to sleep. Can you see where this is going? Thursday evening, Bird told me his iThing wouldn't work. I told him to bring it to me - sometimes the battery is really, really dead and it just needs charging...but this time I could see something wrong. There was moisture inside the screen. I asked him if it had gotten wet...and he had to admit that he'd fallen asleep with it and wet the bed. I put the iThing in a bag of rice - sometimes it helps. Tonight, I tried to plug it in, but it wouldn't take a charge, wouldn't turn on. I'm going to try again tomorrow night, but don't hold out much hope. The iThing is dead...and Little Dude?? He's devastated. He's been crying in his room all evening. He was warned - if anything happened to the iThing, he would not get another. It is an expensive toy for a child to have. He was warned that he must look after it, was responsible for keeping track of it, and that he could not sleep with it, because if it got wet, it could be ruined. I hurt for him. We all have to learn this lesson...and it's not easy to watch him suffer his loss. In a perfect world, I could let him be sad for a while, let him learn his lesson, and then replace it eventually...but I can't. I don't have the money to buy such an extravagant thing, and T made it clear when he bought it that he would not replace it...so Bird's most cherished possession, his prize, the best thing his Daddy gave him (and part of his attachment to it is that it came from his father, so it's precious) is lost to him. It's a hard lesson, and it sucks.