Saturday, September 25, 2010

wood delivery

4 cords to stack in the garage.
It smells strongly of sap.
Chipmunks moved in almost immediately, chirping whenever we come or go.
There is some stacking in our future.
Want to help?

I know it's early!

But I took out the box of Halloween costumes and decorations.

Last year I waited too long and the halloween season had gone by in a flash.

The girls love to dress up and put plastic spiders all over the place.


busting open on our walk.
Georgia said they were faires as the seeds blew away in the wind.

Took off work

and snuck to see Eat, Pray, Love before it leaves the theaters tomorrow.

I showed up a few minutes late and the ticket seller said to the teenager. "Start up number one."

I was the only one there! I had the theater to myself.

It was a great time.

It reminded me how much I enjoyed the book.

I was a tiny bit late to work when it ran over (They thought I was at some school function.) It was very decadent to take four hours off work and see a movie, but I am trying to take better care of myself and indulge myself more.
So I did.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mum season complete

The field is getting empty.
The hoses are wrapped up.
There are just a few rows of stray mums, blooming yellow and maroon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

mini golf, go carts and fast food

Rob promised Lily mini golf and go carts if she was cooperative about practicing violin, so when she was, we all drove to New Salem for a go-cart/mini golf extravaganza. It was evident pretty early that we're not quite ready for mini golf. Lily picked up everyone's ball and moved them around freely while Georgia kept wanting to touch the water features which were creepily dyed blue, looking stagnant and fetid.

The go-carts were fun. We had the track to ourselves so no crazy teens were trying to run me off the road. I drove slow and Rob went faster but he didn't smash into me repeatedly like someone did to me when I was a kid (or maybe it was me banging myself into the barriers as a kid?)

We were all a little queasy from the strong exhaust smell.

And then we were all starving so we succumbed to the girls' plea for Mcdonalds so we were even more queasy by the time we were done.


Lily said she wanted a Mcdouble and a Mcnuggets and Rob mumbled to me, "So she can get Mcnauseous"

Which made me laugh.

Susan's Party

A wonderful retirement party for Sue Liddell!
We did a crazy skit and had a really great time celebrating a very special lady.
Susan is really important to me.
She's the one who suggested I get a job at the hospital where we work now and she was there for the births of both my girls, neither of which was easy :)
I'll miss her at the birthplace.
It was nice to give her a celebration.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Making flower essences

Boneset for energizing the immune system.

Not only did I miss St. Johnswort this dry year, but I missed Self Heal and Borage which I was going to use for my tinctures. I was so startled and then annoyed at the need for such vigilance that I didn't do anything for a while. But then the Goldenrod kept waving at me from sunny fields so I looked it up and learned it makes a marvelous massage oil, so I harvested that, shaking out the bees, and put the bright yellow flowers to steep in olive oil.
I also looked up some late summer plants and found some perfect flowers to use in essence form for my herbal tinctures. My Rose and Lemon Balm glycerites are done steeping. Now I just have to order pleasing bottles and make some gem essences in the next full moon. Fun.

Zinnia for happiness and playful humor.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Half Day

Horses at the farm nearby

Lily is so brave about petting them, Georgia is not so sure.
The fall gardens are lovely. The Cosmos so pink.

Some Lavender still blooming with a few small bees lingering. I picked some blossoms for a flower essence.

We picked 2 quarts of fall raspberries.

Lily ate all of hers as she picked, but Georgia and I filled our containers.

All were eaten by morning.

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion.

You must set yourself on fire."

Reggie Leach

(NHL player quoted on the biology professor's door in Randolph VT where I went for a conference on Tues (the same day as our Mortgage refinance closing in Northampton so I was in the car for 6 dang hours))

But I was really struck by the quote.
I think, in some ways, I have been waiting for the spontaneous combustion!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Georgia the explorer

Lily's back at school.

I let Georgia decide what to do today and she wanted to go exploring for animals.

She found her binoculars and off we went.

She picked a quince off a neighbor's tree. SO SOUR!

We walked a long way and it was getting hot. We had to abandon her trike when we got to the woods. She was getting frustrated we hadn't seen any animals, when I spotted this hornet's nest dangling in the wind. She was curious about it, but it certainly didn't satisfy the "animal" part of our adventure.

We found some grapes that made the air smell purple and sweet.

Then, at the golf course pond, on the way home, we spotted a great blue heron, but Georgia would not believe that it was real. She said it had no head because it was partly under a branch. We went closer and closer until we got to the end of the pond. Then I saw an enormous snapping turtle laying in the shallow water of the edge of the pond!

"Georgia look Georgia look Georgia look!" I said as I squatted and got a photo. While I was fumbling, the turtle picked its head up out of the water, turned, looked at us, then swam away into the murky middle of the pond. It was big! The shell was bigger than a dinner plate. I totally missed the heron flying away, but Georgia saw it, so she finally believed it was real.

Pretty good animal adventure.

Then she spotted this beautiful Oblong Winged Katydid on the windshield.
Is a link to a photo and its song, which is much quieter than I thought it would be. I guess the really loud song I hear is a True Katydid which looks much more like a round leaf.

pretty cool.

Georgia plays music to the rats

who seem to like it.

We had to take Cakey to the vet.
When we first brought them home as babies, Rob tried to convince me that rats didn't go to the vet.

But Cakie has been having some trouble breathing.
She is so sweet, with such intelligent bright eyes. We are all really fond of them.

It's heartwrenching when she is really panting and she won't take food. When we open the door to offer treats, she turns her head away from the food, but climbs out to be held in our arms. She doesn't want to go back in her cage. She seems to really like to be held and having her fur gently pet.

When the vet met her (I looked up rat-friendly vets on-line and found one in Northampton) she held her sweetly against chest and said, "I love rats. They're the smartest pocket-pet; really great pets. They don't live very long, though. So, they're really heart-breakers."

Cakie had two weeks of beef-flavored antibiotics, hoping they would kill an infection and she could breathe better.

I really bonded with her, taking her out twice a day and feeding her minute amounts from the syringe. She didn't really seem to like it, but she tried to be cooperative.

We went back for a follow up after the antibiotics and there was really no improvement.

The vet sadly told us it must be fibrosis of the lungs. Domesticated rats are really prone to lung conditions and also tumors that kill them off at around 2-3 years old. Our rats are 1.5 years old now. The vet said the home oxygen and nebulizer treatments don't really work but we could take her to a exotic vet to get ultrasounds if we wanted. She didn't think it would change the outcome. I didn't even know they did rat ultrasounds! I was relieved I didn't have to deny Cakie life-extending treatment because of cash flow.

The vet said Cakie will probably last a few more months and then when she gets too exhausted to eat or move we'll have to bring her in to be put down.

I felt so sad.
I asked what Jewel would do without Cakie, the vet said she would grieve, but we could socialize with her.
I asked if I should get her a friend.
She replied cautiously, "You could..or you could just wait and then get 2 more."

Oh, you mean wait until her impending death....

Yikes, they are heartbreakers.

Virginia Ctenucha Moth – Ctenucha virginica

Georgia found this catepiller on a hops leaf.
I googled "fuzzy yellow caterpiller" and found a photo of the incredible butterfly it will become at this link:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Grandparents brought my childhood legos

I remember all the tiny accessories, windows and wheels from the hours I must have spent with them as a kid.
They all had fun.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Camping over Labor Day Weekend

We went camping at Barton Cove this past weekend. I had been promising the girls a campground experience all summer and we had a couple successful backyard nights out.

Rob had no desire to camp and he had to work this weekend so I went with a friend and her two kids. It was wonderful! The kids got along really well and we felt adventurous and safe at the same time.

Rob came and did some fishing and s;more the first night and then went home to bed with his c-pap machine. The girls passed out and I thought, "Oh hooray I can read my book and listen to the sounds of the river and maybe hear an owl or somethi..........snore"

We all woke up at 7:30 (much later than the mothers predicted!)

With 43 daddy long legs lying above us on the outside of the test. I thought Georgia would be appalled, but she wasn't. We tried to imagine how they all knew to meet up there; very mysterious.

then breakfast at the Wagon Wheel and a canoe rental with all six of us paddling around in one canoe for 2 hours!

We saw 3 immature bald eagles, (sort of ruffled, big and goofy)

and one regal looking parent bald eagle

Lily pads, fish, swans and wavering underwater cities of tall green plants.

Georgia didn't like it, the tipping and the sitting still combined to make it unpleasant for her, but the rest of us had a wonderful time.

Then we ran home and spent the rest of the day with my parents, saw Rob for a quick moment and went back to the beckoning camp site. We had initially only planned on one night, but because it was a holiday weekend, their policy was that we had to book at least 2 nights.

We did some more (unsuccessful) fishing with wriggling worms as bait.

The sun set glamorously while we fished off an empty tour boat and then we went back for more campfire and dinner.

My friend had brought tons of food and supplies I hadn't thought of - including the making of s'mores with peanut butter cups and the traditional chocolate bars.

Nice time.

Slept through the night again.

Fewer Daddy long legs the second morning , only about 10. Why?

Went home to a visit with my sister and her husband and the official closing party of the creamie.

SO tired that night, passed out in nice firm bed with roof above.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Here's my horoscope from last week by Free Will Astrology
What struck me really hard was the question:

Are you skilled at taking care of yourself?

I don't think I am, actually. How funny you would ask. I forget to exercise and work out, I certainly don't sleep enough and I rarely sit down in quiet and rest as I know I should and, really, I yearn to sit down and be quiet.

Why don't I take the time?
WHat would it look like to be skilled in taking care of myself?
Instead of weighing and evaluating my value or caretaking ability on how I take care of others?

The wording of the question makes me want to try to care tenderly, for me.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Gwyneth Paltrow is the most perfect person alive, said From a certain perspective, I suppose it's possible to award her that title. She's beautiful, rich, famous, and in good shape. She's a talented actress and published author. Without denying that Gwyneth is a gem, however, I must say that my standards of perfection are different. Are you doing the work you love? Are you engaged in ongoing efforts to transform your darkness? Do you practice compassion with wit and style? Are you saving the world in some way? Are you skilled at taking care of yourself? Those are my primary measures. What are yours, Sagittarius? It's an excellent time to define your ideal human.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I guess the camera's broken

I kept trying to get the camera to focus and it wouldn't.
Then I remembered dropping it on the floor when I had my arms full of too much stuff coming in from the car. I've dropped it about 20 times time in its almost 5 year life.
I guess this time its innards couldn't take it.
That sucks!

Lily put out a glow stick to attract fairies to the fairy amusement park that the girls and the babysitter had set up under the peach tree.