Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Influenza! Unclean! Unclean!

Consider yourselves warned. I have never been so sick in my life. And that includes the time I threw up on someone's lawn and passed out. I was in grad school at the time and realizing I was sick I tried to get myself to the Health Center. I didn't make it. Well, eventually I did. But it took the help of a passing stranger.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Last Boil

Now that's sounds oh so delicious, in an interesting almost oozing kind of way.

The end of the sugaring season is fast approaching (And not too soon since this week I gathered a wopping 66 gallons of sap; 30 in one day.) Last night when I went to check the buckets there was a yellow tinge to the sap. So unless someone has taken great pleasure in relieving themselves, marking these buckets as their own, like a dog, this yellow tinge indicates that sap is now not prime for sugaring. I breathed a sigh of relief, as a sadness cupped my heart.

It's been a wonderful season full of quiet early morning boils, and heavenly rewards. We've produced 3 gallons of syrup. We've boiled about 160 gallons of sap. So far we have innoculated 4 classrooms, 88 students, with the love of maple sugaring. These wonderful souls have helped me answer the question, or at least ponder it, "Which is better light or dark syrup?" For them it's the dark, but some lovelies just couldn't make up their mind and had to vote both.

Personally I love darker syrup. It has a richer maple flavor. But the Grade B or C for that matter are often shunned in the maple syruping world. Where people are looking for the lighter liquid gold. They can have it. Give me that rich thick dark maple syrup on a 6 inch stack of pancakes, outside for the early morning boil anytime. It's heaven. I thank God and Mr. C., who innoculated me with the maple sugaring bug. My life is so much better, sweeter, for it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Want to be A Stay at Home Mom

Please, give me comfortable rocker, a foot stool and a book. Nevermind the book, I'm still trying to find the time to travel with Mr. Bryson.

This whole week, I have been spending so much time in my car that on more than one occassion I thought my ass had fused to the seat. Scratch that; My ass was the seat. Driving endless miles, running endless errands. The Post Office, hardware store, high priced curtain store which lead to the fabric store, food shopping, get the l.p. tanks filled, pet store, Starbucks <-- my errand, jewelry store, the bank, craft store, taxi service for the girls to three different schools, music lessons, dance, soccer, religion class, and choir.

Give me strength. Revoke my license.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bill Bryson

This is just an FYI: I won't be writing much this week. I am currently on tour with Mr. Bill Bryson in search for the perfect small town. BigMamaIP said, as she thrust the book into my unsuspecting hands, "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!"

Truer words have never been spoken. I hang on every word, love every road. I'm Hooked.

Also, BMIP: As I'm reading this lovely and most wonderful text (I take this book everywhere with me...) I was reminded of your own ability to take me away. Thank you for enlightening me with this wonderful painter of the written word. As you can tell I could use a few lessons.

Tea For Three and Three For Tea

This morning I really didn't want it to be Monday. The weekend went by so quickly I barely had enough time to squeeze the girls. I hate that. Anyway, I dragged myself out of bed and proceeded with the day.

At the usual early time of 6:30 the girls started to stir. First the little one and then her sister. Both wanting the cozy. Obviously, they hadn't had enough weekend squeeze time either. Then they had a briliant idea, "Can we have a tea party at breakfast? Can we use Great Nana's tea cups and my tea pot?"

I smiled, and said, "Sure, why not?"

In a flash they were dressed. In two flashes I had the kettle on. Breakfast was mint tea, with milk or sugar, mini bagels with butter, and honey. Mind you, I've given up breads and the such for Lent, being good with the girls outweighs the sacrafice of pushing aside my most favorite food group.

Tea was lovely. The girls practiced their best British accents and daintily ate their bagels. I saw that all our hounding about table manners had actually sunk in. And to top everything off, there was enough time for a few games of mancala.

So, see Monday's can have a bit of the weekend left in them. Thankfully.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Biggie has hind legs

Tiny tiny legs,but they're there just the same. Pretty soon the boys will be all grown and ready to leave their winter haven.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Here's Biggie!

That red thing is a brick. And I know it's hard to tell but he is about half as long as the brick. We view him as the ugly duckling, but not really. He is probably a bull frog, where as the others are some other smaller species. When he is a frog, he'll probably try to eat his brothers. Interesting solution to sibling rivalry.

See the round circle on his side? That is actually and opening. And he has developed beautiful white spots along his sides. Also he is probably getting hind legs. At least that is what we are supposing the budding area is towards the underside base of his tail is developing into. (Remember this is a family blog site... no eyebrow rasing comments, please.)

One of the twins!

Cute, huh! Notice the smile. I think he was mugging for the camera.


Tiny has hind legs! Actually Tiny isn't so tiny anymore. He has gone through a growth spurt and is pushing three inches. He might be the same species as the twins, just a slow grower.

And Biggie, by god -- he's huge. I've never seen a bigger tadpole in my life. But then again this is the first time I've never given them an over wintering sanctuary in my whole long life.

BigMama says I need to put pictures up so all three of you that read this blog can truly appreciate the miracle of metamorphosis that has taken place. Maybe later today, after the kid-induced hoopla wanes.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Writing or Not Writing? That is the Question.

Yes, I have been writing. In between fighting the good fight to administer eye saving medication, I have been putting finger tips to keyboard and finishing up the second draft of my book. It took some effort to fill in those gaping holes but it's done. Or at least I think it's done. Now I need to review everyone's wonderful comments and suggestions. I think in a month I'll be ready to start the agent hunt. We will see... one way or another this puppy is getting published.

I love to read, "Written by ptcakes," on more than blog forums. It was such a rush to see my Maple Sugaring essay in the newspaper . Since then I have sent essays to The Pilot (the local Catholic rag), Brain, Child, Discover the Outdoors, and The Globe. I think that is all...

I'm working on an essay entitled Tadpole Development 101. It's kind of humorous, but I wonder who my intended audience is. Sometimes I think I just write for me, no real audience in mind. Other times, like for the essay I sent to The Pilot, I know exactly who my audience is. Of course the editors at The Pilot may have other ideas.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Strep, Acute Stomach Virus, and Pink Eye

What do these illnesses have in common? One child. AND yes, wiping snot into ones eyes can result in pink eye... Wash those hands -- constantly.

She-Who-Will-Rule-The-World woke up this morning with goopy eyes. Will we ever be healthy? I am sick and tired of reaching for medication three or four times a day. And the arguing that goes along with administering the meds is enough for me to wish I had meds of my own that I could double up on.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Writing I Will Go

Call me stubborn. Call me pigheaded. But I'm not going to let those editors and judges ignore my work. So, what did I do? I wrote and sent off another essay for editoral review and hopeful publication. (I also tracked down the snafu in getting paid. Thanks for all your advice regarding the paper trail.)

I must be a writer. I know I'm hooked on getting published.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Unpublished and Unsung

I'm so depressed. We've pretty much all been sick, and to top off these very horrible times, I've submitted three essays and seven photographs for either publication or contests and they have all been turned down. And I haven't been paid for the one essay that got published. I'm hip deep in PMS-induced self pity.

I need to make something positive happen. I need to accomplish something and not feel that I can't get out of my own way.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The End and Then Some and Then Some More

Well I finally read to the end of my book, and I hate it. You might think this upset me, but it didn't. It was liberating to be so separated from my work that I could actually really hate something I've worked on for over seven years. In some odd way it's like not loving one of your children. Thank God words are not so binding or we'd all be stuck reading first drafts.

The current ending reminds me of ending of The Terminator. You know, when Arnold gets burned up in the gasoline truck fire, only to rise up from the ashes. Then we have to go through the whole ordeal in the factory before he is finally terminated. Well in my novel the little girl Sarah goes thrrough one ordeal only to have to go through two more similair scenes. After each section I said, oh that's a good ending -- to realize there was more.

I....t.... d...r...a...g...s... o...n... a...n...d... o...n....

So a rewriting I will go. I think all three situations have to happen but there has to be a way to combine their endings so that the mood of the book doesn't take you on a crazy roller coaster ride.

What's good for clearing a schedule?

I find a sick child is best. You can think of nothing else. Every other task that was deemed even remotely important is pushed to the bowels of the stack and all hope of it seeing the light of day is so miniscule that it's not worth a nanosecond of mental recall.

Yesterday's sick child list includes:

projectial vomiting from 11 p.m. til 3 p.m.
two separate hospital ERs separated by an ambulance ride
CAT scans
IV fluids and meds
high fevers
grandparents coming to the rescue and driving us home

I can't wait to put to pen this year's Christmas letter. Now we have something to write about.