Our first big project on the new place has been to put up a privacy fence. Mr. MG spent a week, plus two weekends, killing himself getting the holes dug and the posts and railings up. Now I get to do the easy part – the pickets! Swinging a hammer in the fresh air is not a bad way to spend the afternoon. But I have learned a few things along the way:
- After years of working with and raising children, my vocabulary has become completely Flanders-ized. When I smack my thumb instead of the nail, I wince and mutter “Dang!” under my breath.
- If I concentrate hard enough, even the gnarliest nail will go in. Drift off in thought, and the straight one will bend and snap in half. There’s probably a wise adage in there somewhere, but I can’t find it.
- When I hang pickets close to the street, I am fair game for Mormon proselytizers. And I will have no door to close on them.
- Yellow jackets love love love fresh cedar. When I work on hot days, it feels like a B-grade horror movie out there. But artist’s spray fixative works like an Impedimenta spell on the little demons, causing them to drop out of the air. I can then stomp without fear.
- Walking around with nails in my mouth is not only a bad idea, but is also a very unsanitary way to get a tongue piercing.
All these revelations, and I’m not half done.
Here’s a timely lecture from the Teaching Company: “A Philosophy of Learning—The Right Attitude.” Just the thing to get the year going right, I hope. And it’s free! Enjoy.
She’s sick again.
UPDATE: Took the Princess in to the doc again. More blood draws. (This time, by a phlebotomist who couldn’t find a vein if you stuffed it up her nose. Grr!) And now she’s going to be sent to the pediatric infectious disease specialist. I’m worried because that title sounds like the Princess has ebola, and a little proud because she has the medical community stumped.
I’ve been spotty about posting lately. What’s up with that?
Since October or so, the Princess has been getting sick more and more often. Chills, 101.5 fever, swollen lymph nodes, and of course no energy or appetite. (Who would want to do cartwheels or eat spaghetti under those conditions?) But in three days it would go away. This happened every 3-4 weeks. I chalked it up to a bad winter. And then a bad spring. And then it got to be July. By now she was getting sick every 2-3 weeks. I hadn’t brought her in to the doctor, because what kind of neurotic mom brings a kid in for a piddly temperature? But when I called during the last bout, they had her come in for an exam, throat culture, and blood draw.
(And can I just hand out some free advice? When you’re worried about your kiddo, do not Google their symptoms. It will not bring you peace of mind.)
The result: She must be having a really bad year. Her white cell count is normal, there’s no strep or mono or plague. Thank God. So I told her she’d better knock it off with the getting sick all the time, or I’m going to sell her to the Gypsies to pay off our Advil/Tylenol debt.
Not to be out done, the Bear is playing psyche out with the potty training thing. One day he loves the potty and the opportunity to make bodily noises – Hey! They echo in the bathroom! The next, he happily goes through 10 pairs of training pants in a morning (no joke) and is disdainful of so much as lifting the lid. This is not going to be the hill I die on. So how long can he hold out for diapers? Depends.
And lastly, I am preparing for the onslaught of the coming school year, which means starting back up with the extracurricular activities. Can you say “Deer in the headlights?” AWANA! Soccer! Co-op! Piano! Dance! (Don’t say it.) It’s the beginning of August and I am already tired, because I can see February coming.
It was probably not a good idea to put my new bumper sticker – “COME CLOSER so I can slap you” – approximately two feet above my ichthus.
Drugs really are bad for you. From the Darwin Awards honorable mentions:
2004 Honorable Mention
Confirmed True by Darwin
(30 July 2004, Georgia) A Walker County man’s pants exploded in Lafayette while he was filling out forms for social services workers in front of his home.
Daniel Gabriel Doyle was hard at work in his laboratory when uninvited guests knocked on the front door. Because his work was rather secret, he poured two of the chemicals, red phosphorus and iodine, into an empty film cannister and stuffed it in his pocket before going out to greet his visitors. Two social workers wanted him to fill out some forms, so Daniel, 39, walked with them out to their car, where he sat down in the back seat and began writing.
“He kept fiddling with his front right pants pocket,” said Patrick Stanfield, commander of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, according to the Walker County Messenger. The film cannister was probably feeling a little warm by this point as the red phosphorus and iodine mixed together in a chemical stew, but Daniel was happy to know that he outfoxed the social workers and avoided discovery of his secret project. The two chemicals are key ingredients in the making of methamphetamine. What he apparently did not know was that the now-boiling mixture of red phosphorus and iodine would soon reach 278 degrees Fahrenheit.
“All of a sudden, a loud bang happened, and fire shot from his pocket. It damaged the inside of the state vehicle and burned clothing on the case workers.” Daniel suffered second- and third-degree burns to his testicles and leg. He was rushed to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being hauled off to jail. Sheriff’s deputies raided the house and discovered his meth lab. He and a female friend were charged with manufacture and possession of illegal drugs.
“That was one for the books,” Walker County sheriff’s Maj. Hill Morrison told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’ve been in this business for more than 35 years, and that’s a first.”