Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eurovision Song Contest

I hope you're all watching the Eurovision Song Contest tonight...

Friday, May 28, 2010

LEGO Kits We'd Like To See

Metal-Detecting Tractor
Item #: 3110
Ages: 5-12
Pieces: 61

For the farmer who needs a slick set of wheels. You won't have any trouble picking up spare coins in this rig, because it has metal detectors on either side! Includes driver minifigure.

Golf Cart
Item #: 3190
Ages: 5-12
Pieces: 78

When you're done blasting the universe, chill on the links with this handy cart. Comes in green, blue, or yellow. Includes golfer minifigure and golf club.

All Items Designed by Max, LEGO Builder Wanna-be

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alternate Endings For Lost

Have you seen this? It's very funny; I think the first "alternate ending" is the most plausible. Click here. Brought to you by Jimmy Kimmel. I've watched it at least 4 times and laughed each time Sayid says "by Jeff f-ing Probst." Not to mention when he asks Michael "Where did you come from?" I was wondering that myself.

But Mr Eko - where did he go?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garden Thursday

Just lived through a couple of episodes of Manor House with the kids, as a sort of antidote to Survivor, which is now over. I think Manor House will suffice. Like Survivor, it's filled with drama, naughtiness, complacence, strenuous activity, and outright idiocy. I recognize myself here - I like knowing protocol, habit, place. Richard thinks I only see myself in the Upstairs part of this lifestyle. Doesn't everyone? Who wants to be a scullery maid? Lower Butler?



Good one, Richard.

I don't have any garden pictures today - we've been out all day and now it's dark and I'm out of milk and worrying about my morning latté and can't be bothered traipsing around the garden snapping dark shots while there's a Potential Latté Shortage to stress about. I do have a lot of garden thoughts, though. We had quite the garden adventure today: we went on a Garden Tour with our Garden Group.

But first, I've been transplanting the fennel. Not that ornamental-mostly-for-the-fronds-and-seeds fennel - the real bulbing fennel. Looks the same at a young age, but needs far more room later on. I transplanted about 50 little plantlings all around the garden, unearthing and doing away with a brick path I know I'll regret, giving some to FDPG who will be surprised but thrilled, and leaving the rest at the top of the garden with the rogue potato plants. I have also decided to brick up the potato plants with the stray bricks I have as a result of the No Longer A Brick Path area, just to see if the bricks work well as a cage to enable the plant to create more potatoes. I will post photographs so you can see what I'm talking about.

Second, I don't know about you but I am all about the subterfuge when it comes to bugs and gardens. My father might be seeding his own but I had to buy them: stealth marigolds. I buy at least 3 six-packs each summer, to place strategically around the vegetable garden so that certain bugs won't smell certain vegetables. And if you make salves you can later use all the marigold flowers for your salves. Or be like my dad and save the seed heads to seed later. I do. I think I have enough seed heads for about 4 billion marigolds. Just wish I could remember to plant them...

I am finally figuring this green worm thing out, after - sob - losing all my blueberry blossoms to them. There might be a few blueberries this year but not many. Turns out that the BTK needs to be applied weekly during Worm Season. Sigh. Who knew that there was a Worm Season? Or that I'd be conversant with the term Worm Season? Pas moi.

Finally, at this Garden Tour I learned how to prune a fig tree. Did you know that there was a proper way to prune a fig? I didn't. Now I know. And as soon as I came home I hauled my poor maligned fig tree out of the soilless pot where it had languished all winter at the bottom of the Heap of Crap (Sheila cringes at her cruelty). Yes, I AM a torturer of fig trees. Hopefully this fig is like a labrador: friendly and tolerant of human stupidity. It had better not be like a cat or I am done for.

Another thing I discovered on our Garden Tour was that I want to grow oranges and lemons. We had them in California but I've never really thought to grow them here. After seeing one of the gardens on our tour I know it's possible because I saw them with my own opposable thumbs, err, eyes. It's possible for me, anyhow (read: Creepily Obsessed Gardener Level). We saw orange and lemon trees all over the place. Heck, we even saw paw-paws, guavas, olives, limes, and avocado trees.

This is my Next Step.

Okay, now that I've droned on about my garden, does anyone have any questions? Thoughts? No criticisms, please, because I am incredibly thin-skinned. I might cry if you tell me I should be a scullery maid. I don't like check aprons, you see. It really would kill me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How My Week Went 2 (guest post)

Unlike Sheila, I am extremely meticulous about the titles of the posts I write, which is why you will notice that this post is titled quite differently from the post I wrote two years ago. That one was called How My Week Went; this one is called How My Week Went 2. I am nothing if not thorough.

I am a cat. I live a fairly conventional cat life here at Greenridge Chronicles.
I lounge.
I lounge in different places.

Sometimes I try different lounging positions.

When I'm not lounging I can usually be found outside. What with all this fine weather I spent a lot of time outside this week, inspecting the grass, smelling the smells. This is a very exciting time for me: new baby birds to menace, old birds to menace, bees to chase, dragonflies to chase, Clones to watch out for (they have sharp points and are rude and ill mannered).

A couple of times I hid in the bookcase and hunted stray silverfish. Silverfish are an exceedingly amusing item to have around the house: they have a lovely soft crunch and they move quickly, which makes them fun to play with. I like them very much. I especially like leave their smooshed carcasses on the bathroom floor for the humans to step on in the morning, when they are too dull witted to notice them. I consider this a great joke.

After all that exertion, I hogged borrowed the Build-A-Bear basket. I have convinced FDPG that I am the cutest thing ever when I heave my massive bulk squeeze into this thing. I also try to yawn obligingly for the camera because the Teenager thinks I am hysterically funny when I yawn. He calls me the cat of very little brain but I tell him that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

FDPG is rather more respectful towards me. She realizes the awesome potential of my claws, and has nicknamed me the Catmera, in memory of the mythical Chimera. She thinks this is wildly funny but I think it suits me rather well. I like to attack unsuspecting humans; I have sharp fangs; and I have a very fertile imagination when it comes to this Playmobil Colosseum. Ha! Take that, gladiator! Come and get me, I dare you, Roman senator! I can take you! Slash! Smack! Whack! Bash! Who says the Vandals were the worst thing to happen to Rome?
The next day, however, I was ambushed by a peeved Caesar, who was still smarting from our fun in the arena and thought I was romancing Cleopatra. I wasn't really. I was just smelling her perfume. It's way beneath my dignity but I had to pretend to capitulate. When he wasn't looking I swatted him off the table. Silly Caesar. Who does he think he's messing with?

One day this week I wasn't feeling well, so wrapped myself up in this blanket. I have an affinity for this woolly green blanket, but the humans here don't like me using it. They think I get too much cat hair on it. This is mildly annoying to me but I have discovered that if I wait until they leave the house I can do what I want with this blanket, and when they return the children exclaim over how cute I look, so that no one has the heart to move me. Well, almost no one: Sheila is not particularly sentimental about how cute I am. I must hone my Catmera skills more cleverly.
But perhaps that can wait until another day. After all that strenuous activity, I have some napping to catch up on.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Surviving Survivor

Who watched this? To the bitter end? This is, dare I admit it, our Family Show. We race home from track & field, settle on the chesterfield, and eat nachos while staring at the fascinating spectacle that is Survivor. Because it really is, despite its preponderance for picking horribly conventional stereotypes as cast members (40-something grouchy men, 20-something babes, 20-something nutjobs of either sex, and 20-something athletes with chips on their not inconsiderable shoulders).

We've even got memorable episodes for our Greenridge Family History: the night Ozzy (in his second appearance on the show) was voted out, sending a then FDPG (who was in love with all his amazingness) to bed in tears. She cried herself to sleep she was so distressed at seeing her hero leave with his torch extinguished (does Jeff ever feel self-conscious doing that, I wonder). Richard said "This is not good - she shouldn't be crying about something on TV," whereupon I reminded him of his reaction whenever the Canucks lose in the playoffs.

Cough cough - abject sorrow - cough cough.

Then there was Yaoman. An older Asian guy. He was an anomaly on the show: old, small, and not excessively athletic. But he was extremely clever, nimble, and quick. It was like watching Yoda: a swimming Yoda; a puzzle-solving Yoda; a logical Yoda. The older people don't last long, sad to say. They struggle with the sheer difficulty of lasting through nights on hard bamboo floors, with lots of bugs, next to no food, and ageist athletes as bunk mates.

The women are often the least exciting aspect of Survivor, but only because they are such stereotypes. They appear in our memories as a long line of pretty blondes and brunettes with big boobs and next to no clothing, with equally vapid conversation. There are exceptions, of course. Not many, but they're there.

But what the kids really want to see are the Challenges. This is what sends the twins into a tizzy of excitement. They leap up and down on the chesterfield, shrieking and yelling all the way through. When it's over they collapse in a heap on the cushions, and FDPG usually says something along the lines of:

"I love the challenges."

"The challenges are the best part."

"When I grow up I am going to be on Survivor. Do you think they'll take Canadians by then?"

"The challenges are so exciting."

This past season was no exception. Mostly since they had a Heroes vs. Villains theme, with such polarizing characters as Russell, Rupert, Parvati, Coach, and Boston Rob around to liven things up. Then, at the very end, after they'd decided the winner (Sandra), Russell pulled out his best Totally Delusional Act and tried to tell everyone that he should have won because he was the BEST PLAYER EVER, prompting Jeff the Host to remark "That's not Survivor, Russell; that's Russell gets to choose who wins" to much laughter. FDPG almost fell off the chesterfield she was so hysterical.

I just wish I'd bet someone somewhere, because I called the Final 3 and the final winner. Fortunately I am not quite as delusional as poor old Russell; I know when I haven't won.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Garden Thursday

Well, here it is Garden Thursday again and I haven't been listening to my podcasts, so I don't know what the other gardeners are discussing this week. (sheila gnashes her teeth a bit)

I know what I can talk about.

Fruit trees.

I had some sobering experiences with my fruit trees this week. Sobering, I tell you. I actually had a moment when I felt crushed with the weight of having another episode of Fruit Trees In Serious Distress happening right in my garden. And yes, just in case you're on the side of Richard the Cheaply Amused, it WAS just like a soap opera. A big fat green worm soap opera. I might even have shed a tear or two this week, I was so traumatized by all that green worm distress.


My yard is surrounded by other people's buggy Garry oaks, other people's buggy hawthorne trees, and other people's buggy buggy shrubs, and no one other than me cares about all these bugs. No one on my side of the street even gardens, that's how traumatic my problem is. I know, there are Options for these little green worms, that include pesticides and poisons and things along those lines. I'm not a really obsessed organic gardener but when it comes to buying things for the garden I prefer to spend my money on plants and natural fertilizers, not chemicals and pesticides. I'm too cheap to buy a bunch of expensive chemicals, not to mention that white suit, gloves, and mask I'd also need.

But these little green worms are foxing me.

Here I am, a struggling heroic Jane Austen heroine, in deep travail with bugs that are chewing life and limb from all my fruit trees. They're also chewing other things, like roses and stuff, but it's the fruit trees that really get to me. I can take the concept of losing a bloom here and there but I really hate the idea of losing fruit. Especially when it happened last year as well. I am gnashing my teeth so much these last few days that I might sound like a pirate.

Argh. Argh. Argh.

I had a really decent bloom this spring. I had lots of bee action. I surrounded the bases of each tree with compost. I fertilized with fish fertilizer. I even sprayed with dormant oil in the winter and wrapped the base of each tree with Tanglefoot, a rather Vaseline-like substance that sticks to anything and everything that happens to waft by (including FDPG's hair, Dominic's shorts, my sweatshirt, and the cat's tail).

And, when I saw the first signs of Little Green Caterpillar Action, I sprayed with BT, an organic bacteria that causes the caterpillars to get gastro-intestinal distress and eventually die horribly. But I'm okay with that. I don't mind doing in legions of little green caterpillars if it means that my fruit trees will fruit for me. I like fruit. I don't like little green caterpillars. The choice, as they say, is obvious.

But I was a Little Green Caterpillar Virgin, Gentle Reader. I did not realize that I might have to do it again, when the Next Wave of little green caterpillars hit the trees after a sudden heat wave. Because, Gentle Reader (sheila gnashes again, dislodging a tooth), that is what happens with little green caterpillars. They return to the scene of the crime. Again and again and again.

I did not know this.


Then, when I was out in the garden early this week, I noticed more Little Green Caterpillar Action in the trees. One tree had had all its blossoms chewed right off. Another had a lot of leaves missing. And another had them dangling in threads all round. It might have been amusing had I been in the right frame of mind, but at the time all I could think was...well, seeing as how this is sort of a family blog I won't be too graphic, but let's say that my thoughts were dark and deep and truly venomous. Murderous. I was a walking Agatha Christie episode all on my lonesome. P. D. James, even.

Off I went to one of my local garden places for help. They again gave me BT. It's the organic catch-all, I thought, for those of us who don't like to use pesticides. I felt rather fatalistic buying it. And foolish. I'd already bought it once. And used it, once. And here I was buying it again. With the intent to use it, again. Gosh, the circularity of it all. (I liked the Lion King but I hate circularity)

But that was when the garden fellow told me about the heat wave and the new batches of little green worms, and how I needed to spray a couple of times. But, but, would work, he said. He seemed fairly confident, too.

So I used it. Again. And now I'm watching those irritatingly green plump bodies squirm around on the leaves of my poor poor fruit trees, hopefully about to go into deeply painful gastro-intestinal spasms any second now. Whereupon I might laugh, like Bluebeard. Wave my cutlass a bit. Tug on my moustaches. I won't say argh anymore though because Richard is always pained by pirates, especially when we see them in the May Day parade. "What are a bunch of grown men doing in this parade dressed as pirates?" he asks me. "They look silly."

Argh. Ack. Who knew having an orchard could be so complicated?

Garden Colour

Okay, who can identify anything from these photos? Let's be having you! Most are pretty straightforward if you have a flower garden, although as you might have noticed there IS one fruit there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Tale of Two Chimes

Narrated by Someone Who Likes Pretending That They Are David Attenborough

"Here we have two wind chimes: one made of wood and one made of steel. One crafted from the wild strands of bamboo growing in a muddy pool; the other made in a hellish furnace, from the sweat of Man's Noble Brow.

They hang, on these hooks, awaiting a gust of wind to animate them. The sun is high in the sky. We sit. And watch."

"Some of us get a little bored, so we do silly things with the camera, like taking pictures upside down. It passes the time.

The noble time."

"And then, the moment we have been waiting for (all 400 crew members, camera people, set designers, caterers, etc etc etc).

The bee arrives.

She chooses the wild crafted pipes of bamboo, echoing softly in the gentle afternoon breezes. Is it purely random, or is she hoping for music to lull her babes to sleep? Will we ever know?"
(at this point David turns to the camera and looks ever so earnestly into its lens)

"And there you have it, Nature's Worker, going about her way in life, quietly, softly, without fuss or fanfare. Quite amazing, really, when you think of how our own species brings it own offspring into existence."

Monday, May 10, 2010

How I Spent My Mother's Day

Most of it was spent looking at a lot of these. Numbers on jerseys, or, in my highly exciting and newly learned athletic vocabulary: pinnies (not sure if it's pinnies or pinnys). Yes, Gentle Reader, I spent my Mother's Day at a track meet. Watching my offspring leap, run, and jump. With a lot of other leapers, jumpers, and runners. And they all had to wear a pinny and a number.

This was the number from FDPG's pinny. When she wasn't leaping, running, and jumping she was grilling people about what her number was. I played the game twice then told her it was no longer amusing. I know, I know, call me a Shatterer of Dreams, but some games just aren't compelling enough to warrant my continued diplomacy.

I was going to use Dominic's number for this photo, but as he'd gone and lost his pinny before the track meet had even BEGUN - on the stupid field somewhere - that I decided I was so irritated with him and his brand-new-never-been-worn-and-the-stupid-thing-cost-me-thirty-dollars-now-we-have-to-buy-another-#@&*%$-one pinny that I decided to use the next number handy.

Fortunately I don't have a lot of expectations about Mother's Day, other than that it should involve a large bowl of latté in the morning, perhaps something chocolatey later, and perhaps some time in the garden if the weather is nice. It must involve champagne though. Always champagne (by which I refer not to the genuine article but the cheaper garden variety, originating outside the region of Champagne and thus one quarter of the price up here in the Land of the Heavily Taxed Bottle). I try to avoid Extended Family Occasions, because they are often fraught with tensions I prefer to avoid. I encourage Richard the Nervous Around Holidays Man (because they are fraught with Present Buying Tension) to avoid spending cash we don't have and stick to simple things like tomato plants and the odd package of seeds.

But I always forget to factor in FDPG. Who thrives on such occasions. Especially when they involve me, because she still loves me with the fervent devotion that is the hallmark of the little kid. Not that I'm complaining, mind you; it's just that I have a Teenager who has gone and lost that fervent devotion. He still loves me, at least, he still likes me to hug his sagging frame in the early morning when his defenses are down, but for the most part he is mildly embarrassed at the idea of Worship Mummy Day (which is how FDPG interprets Mother's Day).

FDPG's initial idea, stolen from a brochure she got at a Garden Centre, was to have Richard give her money to buy me a ticket for a Garden Tour here in town. Richard showed me the brochure a couple of days before Mother's Day, straight after FDPG had approached him. We both snickered a little at what a Sharp & Secretive Plotter she is. Then we examined the brochure, me with interest and him with skepticism. "You don't really want to do that, do you?" he whispered. "Wouldn't you rather have some plants or something?"

I looked at Richard. I looked at the brochure. It looked fun. I said so. Richard looked incredulous and nervous at the same time. "Really?" he said. I could tell he thought I was being diplomatic. But I could also tell that the price tag attached to this idea was giving him pause, so I told him to give her $10 to take me to Ye Olde Charbuckie's for a coffee and a kids hot chocolate instead. He was relieved, both at the idea that I didn't really want to go on a Garden Tour, and at the fact that I had given him a more welcome idea.

Oh, Charming But Inept Husband
, I thought. After all these years together, haven't you realized what a voyeur I am? I love the idea of snooping around beautiful expensive gardens. I could pinch other people's ideas. Study their plant combinations. Sneak a few cuttings here and there if they don't mind. I could snap surreptitious photos, then plot to recreate them in my own garden.

Even FDPG knows that.

The rest of my Mother's Day was spent doing this. For the Teenager. Since we moved here, I have been promising to find somewhere for him to set up his HO train track. We had it outside briefly last summer, on some bricks, but it didn't work very well. The trains went back in the box. And then, one day last week, I made a rash promise to clear out the Oil Tank Room for the table. This is the same room where the oil tank was when we bought the house. The previous owners had built a bunk on top of it for one of their children, too, a fact which mildly horrified us at the time, until we found a bottle of Captain Morgan rum in the rafters and some lighter burns on the ceiling, whereupon Richard and I both silently thought "Amazing the house never blew up." And as the insurance people wouldn't let us keep the oil tank (it being 60 years old and all) we had it removed. And this room has sort of sat, still named the Oil Tank Room, but in reality an Odds & Ends Room. As you can see. Lots of odds and ends in there.

But yesterday we cleared it out and now the train table has a place. I do keep my promises. They might take a while, mind you.

Happy Mother's day, all you mothers.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Garden Thursday?

I hope you can see this picture. Click on it if you can't. From this angle the print looks very very small, but that might just be because I have terrible eyesight when things are very very small. And no, I don't need glasses. Why do you ask?

I planted my Crown Princess Margareta Rose the other day. Under an arbour. In the sun. She looks very happy. Then I sat down and contemplated the photo that accompanied the rose for a while, and wondered what led me to get a rose named Crown Princess Margareta. Then, the clouds parted, a ray of sun hit me, and with a bang, I knew it was a Sign. A Sign of the direction my life should be moving.

So, with that in mind, I created this new Life Map for myself. All the essentials are there: champagne, tiara, arbour, heavily blooming rose, butler. I even gave the butler David Tennant hair. If I have to be looking at him all day he might as well be nice to look at, right?

I've even got FDPG calling me Crown Princess, but the boys are being a bit resistant. They say they need bribing. "How about a ride in my moat on one of my pet crocodiles," I asked them, giving them my best gimlet eye, but they weren't very intimidated. Never mind, I can set David Tennant on them (and yes, I plan on calling the butler David Tennant no matter what his name is).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why I Really Do Love My Children

Part 1:

This morning I spent well over an hour fussing over my printer, which was not doing what it was supposed to be doing: grabbing the paper. It was still printing, though, so I knew something was either not connected, jammed, or misguided (sort of like me some days). I fiddled, I used those cans of Spray Air, I blew hard, and I even unplugged, turned off, and replugged, in case I was just being too hasty. In desperation I even got out the manual and leafed through it, just like Richard the Sensible does, but the ideas it gave me did nothing to alleviate my printer's malaise.

The really odd thing was that this printer had worked perfectly well the night before. No hiccups. No tears, rips, or bent edges. The other really odd thing was that the night before I had observed the Teenager huck a teeny tiny little ball of paper at the wall above the printer. "What ARE you doing?" I said, rather loudly and indignantly. "That went in the printer! In MY printer!"

"No, it didn't," he said uneasily. "It went over it. I saw it. It really did." Then he went and fussed around the back, pretending to see the ball of paper on the ground.

I should have known. Really. I should have. It was one of those 'realized it later' moments, of course. At the time, I merely rolled my eyes inwardly, winced slightly at the seeming lack of brain cells he seemed to be experiencing, thought "it had better NOT have fallen into that printer but I know it did and if I stick my head deep enough into the sand maybe everything will be fine in the morning" and went back to Daleks In Manhattan, which we were watching on the computer with the twins.

So the next morning I fussed with the printer until we had to leave for another event. I fussed through all the time I had set aside for language studies, for the end of the Celts, even for baking some muffins to take to our friends house. By the time we left I was in a thoroughly foul humour. Stupid printer. Stupid bank account that wouldn't buy me a new one. Stupid moving company who parked in front of my driveway and tried to make ME out to be the baddie because I was home during the day and thus messing with their parking plans. Stupid cold weather. Stupid bird poo on my windscreen.

Yes, Gentle Reader, I was so not a Jane Austen heroine today. I wasn't quite Beowulf's mother, (because I was doing a rather heroic job of submerging my irritations) but I was close.

Luckily our afternoon appointment did much to alleviate my festering grouch and it wasn't until we got home that I remembered my non-printing printer. Fortunately Richard the Man With A Plan came home right afterwards. During a rather intimate clinch with the printer he spied a teeny tiny ball of paper. Stuck. "There seems to be a teeny ball of paper stuck in it," he said out loud, to no one in particular. "Way down low. A small rolled up ball of paper."

Silence fell upon the house. The sort of silence that is composed of equal parts Dawning Teenage Horror, Grim Motherly Realization, and Giddy Twin Glee. A heady mixture if there ever was one.

Sudden intake of breath as Max dashes out the front door. He may or may not have been pursued by me, clutching a teeny tiny ball of wadded up paper, threatening to stuff it up his nose. He may or may not have been laughing (or hyperventilating a bit). I may or may not have been breathing heavily. In a maddened, motherly sort of way.

Luckily, I got mine back. Max was on Dish Duty at dinner.

Part 2:

A day or two ago Dominic had a bit of a snit about something that had happened to him. Something he didn't think was fair at all. Something that involved bedtime and Doctor Who. Dominic and I had Words. Serious Words. He went to bed in a huff. I saw him off to bed in a bit of a huff myself. Then, the next morning he came into the kitchen with a little card. He handed it to me, then leaned against me as I read it. It read:

To Mummy, I am really sorry about the Event that happened last night. Sorry. Please forgive me. I was Really Grouchy.

I read it, then glanced down at him. What touched me more than anything, more than the fact that my hasty hasty child had actually sat up and written me a Sorry Note, in mid huff, more than the fact that he was being so deeply solicitous, more than the fact that he was being so mature and reflective and responsible for his behaviour, was this: he had CAPITALIZED his emphatic words! He's a chip off my old block, I thought. I even told him so. I might have wiped a little tear away at the same time, too.

Part 3:

In the midst of giving me a foot massage and telling me how wonderful my Mother's Day is going to be (because Parties, Special Days, and Holidays really are her forte), FDPG dashed out of the room. She raced back in seconds later, tossed this piece of paper at my hand, and dashed out again, blowing me a kiss on the way.
Here is the piece of paper.
"I didn't have time to draw your hair," she explained later. "Just in case you think I think of you as bald. Because I don't."

Phew. I am not bald in my child's eyes.

The spelling of "pooh" is inside joke: What was Tigger doing in the toilet?

Looking for Pooh.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Monday

What we're doing today:

Learning masculine and feminine nouns in French. Had a rather hilarious experience when asking the kids to pronounce "qu'est-ce que c'est" for me.

Reading Alain de Bottom's The Consolations of Philosophy, Anthony Lane's Nobody's Perfect (but AL is), and Martha Stewart Magazine (May issue) in the bath. End of the day pleasures.

Made three horse blankets for Webkinz horses. Much nice sewing for small things - it's satisfyingly quick and more fun embellishing. One blanket is a rather fancy brown upholstery with glittery red trim.

Listening to Melvin Bragg's In Our Time podcast about Boudicca. Some historians are not sure she even existed. Strangely gripping.

Had a very long and deeply serious discussion about the new Companion. None of us are happy. She lacks something - charisma? character? depth? Something, anyways. We miss Donna. And we all want to be Weeping Angels for Halloween. And I can't seem to stop thinking about Waters of Mars.

Listened to a weirdly well thought-out comparison of Rage Against The Machine albums. Never thought I'd be in this sort of position. Mind you, I'm still getting used to the terms "vids" and "mini-figs" (videos & mini-figures, respectively). I'm heading towards Kidsthesedays Territory, methinks.

Made some really amazing peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies and added something new: espresso powder. Then, right before I was going to put them in blobs on the cookie tray, realized that I'd been so busy giving the butter and peanut butter a damn good whip I'd forgotten the sugar. Tasted them. Not anywhere near as bad as I'd expected, so kept it on the bittersweet side of things with less sugar and let the espresso powder and the chocolate chips do the talking.

Finished The Merlin Conspiracy and started Peter and the Starcatchers. Listened to Dominic say "I didn't really understand what was going on half the time. And when I thought he was a girl it turned out he was a boy." (talking about Merlin) Didn't go there. I didn't really understand what was going on half the time either, but it was evidently more fun for me than it was for Dominic. He likes his fun rather more obvious.

Tried to find a Christmas carol with the word "trim" in it to illustrate something in an Explode the Code book. Thought Deck The Halls might have had something but no.

Admired my new rose - an early Mother's Day present from my mother (I gave her a variegated blood-twig dogwood, some skimmia japonicas, and a viburnum in an oak barrel). It's a David Austen rose. I think I might be a little too obsessed with his roses; every time I see a selection in a garden centre I feel compelled to buy one. The worst thing is I very idiotically tend to go for names to which I attribute Meaningful Things in my life, like The Constant Gardener ("Oh look! that could be me," I think) or Gentle Hermione ("Aw, a rose to remind FDPG of Hermione Granger," I think). This one's called Crown Princess Margareta. I don't know why I went for a Crown Princess, unless it's some secret submerged desire to have a cushy life with servants, tiaras, and state dinners. It's going to go up and over the arbour I made with my opposable thumbs a couple of weeks ago. Assuming I don't give it a castle somewhere first. And maybe a long gown or two. Some lobsters on a silver salver? A butler? A pedicure?