Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dingy grey, dingy faded

 One dingy jacket, through the years, December 16, 2012
 
 March 23, 2014

 March 5, 2015
 
 February 19, 2010

Just packed away the booty acquired on my trip to ShopRite. On my way out of the kitchen I deflected a punch from an imaginary attacker, sealed his arm down, and countered by sweeping his right leg out. I stepped over the attacker so I could put my fraying shoulder bag away.

I continued down the hall and hung up the clothespin bag and miscellaneous canvas shopping bags. At the store, I noted how grungy the reusable shopping bags looked as a young woman helped me pack up my groceries. Similarly, I note how frayed and dingy my shoulder bag is every time I toss it down on the table at my Kung fu class. I usually try to hide it under my coat which is also getting pretty dingy, except it's black so it's getting dingy-faded.

My shoulder bag is getting both dingy-grey and dingy-faded because it has a pastel paisley pattern on a black background. I think about that dingy bag often. Every week, at least once at Kung fu class. Sometimes more, especially if my shoulder is bothering me, because then I think, "I really have to replace this thing." Not only is it dingy, but it adds to my bad habit of bunching my shoulders up like I'm flinching. Is someone going to come along and hit me? Maybe stress will. Relax, man.

It's time for deeper pockets. Screw replacing the dingy bag. It's about to fall off my coat hook anyway. Too many bulky jackets. Well, maybe I shouldn't toss it. Then I'd have to shop for better pants with deep pockets. Besides the dingy bag is covering up my two dingy winter jackets.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Alas, bedtime

Beren was giving Jared lip about bedtime a couple minutes ago. I was feeling irritated  by their exchange, but pleased that it was not my turn to "do bedtime". I scooped myself out a bowl of ice cream (no Bon Bons) on the eve of are first big snow storm, and laughed about the irony of it all until I heard Beren stomp and say, "I want Momma!" 

Jared returned the serve like a Wimbledon champion and distracted his formidable young opponent until he peaceably ascended the ladder to his bunk bed. I now have about 15 minutes until I get called to duty. Somehow the ice cream is all gone.

...

Eve of a storm along a country road - heavy duty truck traffic picks up tenfold.

Friday, January 15, 2016

January 2016 - winter is finally here

  
January 2016 - winter is finally here.

Emerged from the "kisses are yucky" phase.
More word play - Pencilavania, for example.
More letters - "Let's call it Hoophouse 'C' for carrot."
"I don't like lower case letters and numbers. They're too hard to write."

 The collector finds finds a pumpkin tossed in a field.

 Making a number 4 with cardboard.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Bedtime Forever

 New moccasins from Uncle Mike...all the way from Oregon.

Tonight, Beren murmured, "Long book, long book, long book," while he selected his bedtime story. He chose Mother Goose rhymes by Richard Scarry, king of long, oversized books. Perhaps his publisher or estate is to blame. Regardless, the Richard Scarry section of our library needs its own very tall shelf.

We settled into reading, commenting on Georgy Porgy...if the girls didn't want kisses, why would he kiss them? That didn't make much sense to us. No kisses means no kisses. Grind his bones to make bread?! Bones don't make very good flour, we also agreed. 

Hush! Hush! Hush! I smell a rat! No fool anymore, Beren told me I made a mistake when editing down a dozen verses across two pages to just two verses. Busted, I went back to the start of the rhyme and read it all. Our mittens mother dear...

Lights out. Beren and I wove together the nightly improvisational Cheetah Story that Jared start years ago. The characters include Cheetah, Beren, and the Wild Cat Contractors, all of whom are people Beren tells me. Cheetah wears cheetah outfits he adds.

Cheetah, Beren and the gang build with snow until each animal, I mean, person, gets tired. Misi and Kitty go inside first where Cheetah Momma warms them. Then, Checkers and Spots head in. Mr Raccon and Harry Possum head home, big enough to care for themselves. Cheetah and Beren remain outside, snuggled under warm blankets inside their igloo. Jared and I arrive to check out the igloo.

Next, is Favorite Cuddle time. Favorite Cuddle lasts forever, Beren tells me. I agree. Why didn't nummies last forever? he asks. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Every so often something comes up, and I'm reminded at how I need a community. Those things seem to be coming up more frequently now. Maybe it's me...needy? Extraordinary occurrences? Dramatic?

I'll take all those labels, no problem.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Passing through a door I hadn't considered I'd encounter, I come out the other side transformed. Few may notice the transformation. I wear clothes. I wear a face, at least one. I have no way to mark myself, no way to indicate my tribe.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Whenever I leave my compound, I feel dismal about climate change. Absolutely dismal.

Being that meal time is every 2 hours, it's impossible to go anywhere without bringing provisions or stopping for food. This stop at Phi Vietnamese restaurant was planned. The pho was as delicious as our last visit. We opted for the pricier entree rather than the cheaper lunch special pho to get more of the unusual cuts of meat we like.

Next stop was the crowded Mercer Museum to see the Lego exhibit. We had to get out of the house. Had to. This is where we ended up. Most trips to museums are just ok. I'm optimistic at the start of each foray, but a couple hours in I'm doing CPR on my positive mental outlook.

Parents coaching kids on how to properly use the jousting area - chill out, who the h*ll cares? Parents nagging kids to hold still for barrages of iPhone photos. Good grief.

A bold kid dressed in knight's costume met us at the entrance to a small slide and presents a riddle: "What's round and orange?" he asks in a knoghtly tone. Does he work here? I wondered. Beren and I stare. Beren begins to shrink. "And, is a fruit?" "Can you think of anything Beren?" I ask. Pause. I answer, "An orange?" "YES!". It's amusing, but Beren is still getting used to the crowd. We move on.

We find the Lego building stations for bigger kids. Beren and Jared dig in. I go off to check out the bookstore and exhibits, but I leave the camera with Jared. "Offer to take a photo of the building. It might make parting ways easier." (see above)

Jared and Beren met me in the another exhibit hall. As we passed by a vending machine, I asked, "Anyone hungry." Yup. We spent $1 for a small bag containing three or four medium sized pretzels.

Moving on we explored the museum's collection of old implements and, ah, stuff - candle holders, tortoise shell combs, wagons, barrels, shovels, etc. We went up several flights of stairs so that most objects were a blur until height-related dizziness set in. Down the steps we went.

We check back in on Beren's building. Completely gone. Beren begins to protest briefly but then says, "Well, we have a picture of it."

Outside, the retaining wall proved to be worth the 45 one-way minute trip and price of two adult tickets.

The above image is blurry to due my startle reflex as I watched Beren roll off the wall and onto the grass through my camera lens. The dismount was purposeful and graceful.


"Take a picture of the moss," Beren said. The little shred of nature, also worth the trip.

After the museum experience, we decided to stay out and attempt to find chair cushions at a nearby box store. Before going inside, we ate our day's snack as a dinner placebo until we got home for actual dinner. Grapes, chips, and two pears.

We hustled into the store. The demo automated chair massager made us all giggle and gave Jared and I a moment to consider a display of humidifiers ranging from $29.95 to $329.95.

"This is junk," I said. "Could we use the diffuser instead?" Jared mused. I could have said, "Dehumidifying all summer, humidifying all winter. It's crazy." But, that would have been the 568th time I would have uttered that sentiment.

As usual, we walked away from the display, empty-carted. We'll be back in the summer, looking for window fans. Just as we note the dry air from the woodstove all winter, we'll note the stillness of summer nights, until one season passes to the next with us willing to complain but unwilling to remedy the issue with plastic goods (bads).

We found cushions and meandered pausing to look at cheap pillows (looking to get rid of that uncomfortable couch and replace it with stumps and rugs - gypsy meets eastern woodland) and forks with blah modern styling (where do our forks go?). 

Near the exit was a wall of plastic winter-related items. Shovels, sleds, de-icers, and a curious red plastic case. Ah ha, a mold in which "you" can produce 6 football-shaped snowballs. It's called Touchdown Snowball Mak'R, just in case you want one for yourself.

Whenever I leave my compound, I feel dismal about climate change. Absolutely dismal.