Hopefully, it won't last much more than the next 6 weeks or so, but Tina Fey is making Saturday Night Live funny again. Sarah Palin may be the best thing that ever happened to Ms. Fey's comedy, and she was already hilarious. Observe.
I have electricity again! Yay! Thank you, Mr. Edison. Thank you, eon. Thank you, lineman guy who got up there and fixed our downed line and then waved to my 4 year old.
Having electricity again means I can finally blog about the whole thing! We had a massive wind storm here in Louisville on Sunday, the effects of Hurricane Ike. The winds were actually hurricane force, and, oddly enough, the structure here just isn't set up to handle that kind of wind power. Go figure. All our little trees in the front survived, but one is missing half its limbs because a huge branch from the neighbor's tree blew into it.
Across the street, my favorite weeping willow was sheared off at ground level.
Down the street the damage was incredible.
And there are even more stupendous examples across the city.
Our power, and that of over 200,000 households/businesses in the city, went out on Sunday around noon. Ours was restored around 12:35 this (Wednesday) afternoon. Many, many people are still in the dark, and could be that way for 10 to 14 days. Jefferson County Public Schools closed for the whole week, and Caleb's preschool was closed.
It wasn't too bad, though. Everyone with power was asking us how we were making it, but it truly wasn't that big of a deal. I joked that it almost felt like a vacation, since I didn't have any self induced pressure to do laundry or vacuum, and Andrew was doing all of the cooking on the grill. I spent a lot of time working on my current crochet project, which continues to be awesome, and Caleb did some crafts (when he wasn't spiking a random 102.5 degree temp!). Andrew, technorati genius that he is, rigged up a way for us to charge our cell phones and laptops through the car, and even powered the tv with it for a few minutes until it blew the fuse in the car. We used the dial up connections so we had web access, and an old Walkman hooked to speakers and a battery operated amplifier gave us NPR. We grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, corn and baked potatoes one night, then grilled the four packages of sausages from the deep freeze the next, along with boiling water on the grill for ravioli and a rice dish. Don't worry, we shared all those sausages with our neighbors and with my dad, who had come to get the rest of the stuff from the deep freeze. Andrew took the bulk of it to his mom's on Tuesday morning.
Candles on the stove
Grocery shopping was interesting. I bought a ton of packaged food because they said to prepare for a long outage. I also got a cooler and some ice so we could keep some things from the fridge cold, along with beer, which (along with cupcakes) was absolutely essential in getting us through the crisis! I almost cried when we had to clear out the fridge and upstairs freezer. We lost so much! Including SEVENTEEN OUNCES of pumped milk. Which means I have to start drinking a ton of fenugreek tea and pumping constantly if I hope to go to Ben Folds with Andrew next month. This is what the fridge lookedlike after I cleared it out. It had been totally full.
I think Andrew had the hardest time with the outage. Caleb was sick for a day and a half and slept a lot, and I am almost always perfectly content to sit and read or crochet. But poor Andrew was a little lost without constant wifi, his stereo, tv, or even the ability to work in the garage (no lights). Wednesday probably didn't notice much difference, as her "napping" swing is battery operated.
Caleb enjoying a candlelit dinner, complete with shelf stable organic milk. Who knew they made THAT?
Now the lights are back on and things are mostly back to normal at our house. The laundry is getting caught up, and we never even ran out of diapers (Andrew was vowing to go wash them at his mom's before he got disposables. hippie.). I am pleased to be able to blog, run the dishwasher, and close the windows on the neighbors yapping little beast. Andrew has ensconced himself on the sofa to watch UofL football, and Wednesday still doesn't notice much difference. Caleb's biggest thrill was getting a celebratory "The Power's Back On!" cupcake.
I am kind of freaked out by how much louder the house is with electricity, and how much more disconnected I feel from my neighborhood now that we all have our windows closed and aren't looking out for each other. I met a couple of my neighbors in the storm, and mostly they are very nice. Except for the people at the end of the block. You know, where the big tree fell on the car? I went down to offer our help, including the use of Andrew and his dad's chainsaw, and they ignored me. To the four guys who were standing around, getting their 2 chainsaws stuck in that tree as they tried to clear it: screw you. I know you didn't think you needed to listen to or acknowledge me because I am a woman and obviously, I'm of no use in this whole manly lumberjack (off) fantasy scenario you had going on, but I was offering help and you were assholes. So, neighbor, next time I see trouble at your house, like say, a burglar breaking in while you are at work during the day, I might forget what it is to be neighborly and call the police. Oh, and dude? Take some advice from this "girl" and don't grab hold of your chainsaw with your bare hand to try and pull it free. Especially when your other hand rests on the "on" button.
Usually, I like to waste a few minutes each week giggling at the hilarity of I Can Has Cheezburger, but lately, some people have been taking the whole LOLspeak thing waaaayyyy too far. (u noz hoo u izs) Today, I stumbled upon Cake Wrecks. Oh, God. I love you. This is the funniest blog I have seen in a long time. The blogger is simply awesome. The subject matter is good enough in and of itself, but the commentary Jen provides just makes it that much better.
To pique your interest, Andrew and I both laughed until we literally had tears coming down our faces at this cake and the associated story.
I'm very excited that Andrew has a celebratory cake coming up for his stellar work review. I am going to hunt down the worst bakery in town ...
Today is International Crochet Day, a day to celebrate those of us who like to play with dull hooks and yarn balls. I really want to post a picture of the crochet project I am working on right now, but it will spoil the surprise for the child of one of my very few readers. But let's just say that it's awesome and I'm in love with it and won't be able to wait until a gift occasion to post about it.
If you've never tried crochet before, you should. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Myself, I stick with very, very simple. I don't like to have to count much or pay too much attention, so I do really easy things and my favorite thing to make is blankets. I find it incredibly soothing most of the time. And I'll make you a blanket if you ask!
Since I can't show my current project, here is a pic of the last two blankets I made. A white one with variegated border for Wednesday (I chose neutrals since I made these while pregnant), and a blue/purple/pink variegated one with a blue border for Caleb (he chose the colors, and they look great!).
Dictionary.com has this to say about grieving: —Synonyms 1. lament, weep, bewail, bemoan; suffer. Grieve,mourn imply showing suffering caused by sorrow. Grieve is the stronger word, implying deep mental suffering often endured alone and in silence but revealed by one's aspect: to
grieve over the loss (or death) of a friend.
Seems fairly accurate. I would say that right now, I am indeed experiencing deep mental suffering, and I feel very much alone. I am grieving because my mother has incurable cancer, and the cold hard reality of it is that she likely won't live much longer. Already, I miss her. I miss her mobility and her energy and her laugh and even her anger. I grieve that she wasn't able to be here when Wednesday was born. I grieve that she wasn't able to care for me after the birth. And yes, I am angry at myself for how selfish that sounds, but it's true. I want my mommy. I want my mommy back and I want her whole and I want to be her little girl forever and ever.
But I don't know if I am grieving properly. And I know that if someone said that to me, I would immediately say "There's no wrong way to grieve!", and I would truly believe that. For them. But I feel like I am doing a poor job of it. I'm weepy a lot. Tonight at Gilda's Club I was a sobbing mess. People close to me have been implying that I am taking this too hard, that I'm not dealing well, that I need to suck it up. I'm starting to wonder if they are right. I want desperately to focus on the positive and live in the here and now and make each day that my mom has into a celebration. But I don't know that she wants that, and I don't know if I know how to do it. I was thinking earlier that it has been almost 5 months since her diagnosis, and there was a point when we couldn't even imagine that she would be here by now. So I know that every day really is a gift. But I just keep thinking about how there are only a certain number of those gifts left, and one of these days, she just won't be here anymore. Of course, as another group member reminds me, she could also get hit by a bus tomorrow and cancer might not have anything to do with it. Or I could get struck by lightening. It's just that cancer makes it seem more definite. Because it is.
How do I make this time that we have left into something to hold on to? How do I do that without annoying the crap out of her with being Suzie Cheerleader? How do I learn to grieve properly, so that I can accept the sadness? How do I focus on the positive when I don't feel like there IS a positive? My mom is dying, how the fuck can there be a positive in that?
I miss the way things were. I just want another week of the way things were, even if the only difference then was that I didn't know my mom would be dead soon. Maybe that's it. Maybe I am grieving the loss of ignorance. I want to go back to a time when I didn't have to wake up every day and stare down the fact that I will be a motherless daughter sooner rather than later.
I want to go back to when my mom looked liked this, and was happy and smiling and helped me get my pregnant self ready to marry the love of my life, and then took care of my son while I honeymooned.
While I was in Murray Tricia and I went to Peddler's Mall, this flea market/craft type store. In one of the booths, I found a great double panel of Muppet Babies fabric with Dr. Bunsen and Beaker pillow patterns. They also had Animal and Rolf, and Scooter and Skeeter (interestingly, Skeeter was only a Muppet Babies character, and never a real Muppet). I had to have it for my kiddos, and at $3, it felt like stealing! After only a few minutes of work, voila!
I love that the copyright date at the bottom is 1985, a full 19 years before Caleb was born!
I may have to send Tricia back to get the others, so these guys won't be lonely!
It's official. I'm a soccer mom. Caleb had his first soccer game yesterday. It was so cute, all those little people running around after the ball, having no real idea what they are doing. Though they are for the most part, very enthusiastic. Caleb does a weird thing where when we praise him, he slumps his shoulders and drags around like we've scolded him. We don't quite know what to do about that, since we have always used positive reinforcement. Hopefully, it will get better. He does seem to enjoy playing and being on the team with the other kids. And I'm hoping to find some friends among the parents.
Don't worry, even though I am now a soccer mom, I'm still holding out and refusing to get a mini van. Even if we eventually have a third kid, we're going to get a wagon. I do have a soccer mom secret ... I'm sleeping with my kid's coach! Shhhh!
I went back "home" to Murray this past weekend. And I still love it. Don't get me wrong, I'm a city girl in my own way. I like having great libraries and parks and cultural events and fellow liberals to walk amongst. But I do miss some things about small town living. The baby cones at Dairy Queen, the way (mostly) everyone is nice in traffic, how clean the Wal Mart is. And of course, more than anything, I miss Tricia. Our oldest babies are about 6 weeks apart, and we have been friends since they were teeny zucchinis. The baby I lost in 2005 would be just a week or so younger than her son. She is one of my two close friends, the one who knows my heart, my first and best true mama friend.
And I miss living close enough to her that we can see each other all the time. Our friendship is the type that flows smoothly. I'm fairly confident that we could be next door neighbors and that would work out great. I have a little fantasy about it in my head, even: we have coffee together in the mornings, work out together, see the kids off to school. Once a week or so we have dinner and force our equally non participatory husbands to play board games with us. We take turns watching each others kiddos with no one taking advantage or keeping score. The kids would just go in and out of both houses, like they have a "bonus mom" next door. The days where I never speak to another adult would be gone, and so (hopefully) would be the times when I feel like I am just so alone that I can't cope. Everyone needs a friend like that. And no matter how far apart we live, I am grateful to have one in her. She is probably my favorite thing out of Canada since The Red Green Show and Mounties.
Here are some pics from our trip. It makes me feel so grateful and gushy to see all four of our kids together.