Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Germ Party

The boy scout went to a special dinner last night with his dad.
Big awards ceremony, and a fine menu consisting of
Chinese Food.

When I asked him this morning what he ate, he said,

"Well a hotdog for lunch yesterday at school, and then two hotdogs at the dinner, and then I had some of that chicken with the sweet red sauce, and then I tried one of these rolls but it had vegetables inside of it and I didn't like it very much, and then I had some chips and pop. Oh and a cupcake."

So I can't imagine why he threw up at midnight last night,
bringing the total of gastro-intestinal illnesses for us this winter
up to a whopping five.

I'm tired of nocturnal visits to the toilet to hold back somebody's hair,
or commiserate when it just won't come up.
Making beds on the hard bathroom tile.
Wiping down doorknobs and bathroom fixtures to kill the elusive germs
before somebody else gets it.

And the middle child is on a field trip to the symphony today,
followed by a trip to Caesarland.
The husband calls that place a veritable Petri dish of infectious material.
I begged her to wash her hands, but it seems almost futile at this point.
We will have another slight thaw, and germs everywhere will start addressing their invitations.

Apparently, we are accepting without discretion this year.

I will stock up on saltines, Vernors and chicken broth.

Friday, February 15, 2008

All In One Day

Things That Happened Yesterday, A List:
The big sister painted a red heart on the little sister's cheek in the morning.
I bounced a superball so high that it hit the ceiling twice in one throw.
The dog bit off the Barbie's leg, and I found her with gauze wrapped around the stub.
The boy twin made his Valentine Box by himself in 5 minutes before school because I forgot.
I used hot-curls to fix the girls' hair for the Daddy-Daughter Dance.
I got five valentines.
I threw my coat over my face in the high school hallway to avoid embarassing my son by my presence, naturally attracting a bit more attention by trying to avoid it.
I startled a choir director by not knocking before I walked into the choir room.
I shook hands with somebody who made me cry last Saturday and let bygones be-gones.
I took the boys to Angel's Cafe for supper.
The boy twin poured sugar all over his french fries by mistake and just shrugged when his food was wrecked.
The oldest boy shared his supper with the boy twin and wasn't stingy.
I played BlackJack and Crazy Eights.
The boy twin and I played a duet on a marimba.
One of the children signed their valentine to me, "Sincerely," and it made me laugh.
I got gas for under 3 bucks a gallon.

I just wanted to make a list so I'd remember.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Don't you think "forcing" a bloom sounds harsh? Gardening is full of this kind of thing: Dividing, Dead-heading, Grafting, Cutting, Hardening Off, Staking, Pruning... So violent! I don't normally get involved in this pastime but...

There was one spring when someone offered me some free plant-life if I would come over to her house and dig it up. I did, and I placed it all in the little flower beds that the husband had created for me (in a spirit of naive hope that I might have a flash of organic energy and plant something), and the stuff began to grow.

The plants, though, didn't look like they did in my neighbor's yard.
They were much larger.
Much, much larger.
Over-my-head taller.
I-love-you-this-much wider.

I thought I might have gaps between the flowers that I'd need to fill in. There were no gaps. I had tossed a tomato plant in there on impulse (everything was growing so well), and it became alarmingly full and green almost instantly, with huge red softball-sized tomatoes popping out everywhere.

Once I got over the shock of it, I was thrilled! People came by and commented, "How in the world do you get your irises so tall??" They'd lament about their own scraggly gardens and I'd nod sympathetically. Apparently they just didn't have the touch. I'd never kept a houseplant alive for more than three weeks in my life and here I was the Green Giant of Webberville practically overnight.

Then my mom came by and made a casual observation about the placement of this garden. See nothing much was growing anywhere else on our property. Our lawn, one of those hydro-seeding deals from a year past, had only sprouted a few strands of grass here and there...it looked sort of like a bad hair plug job.... The soil in between the little three-blade sprouts of grass was cobbly and dry...

All except for this perfectly shaped rectangle of lush green grass growing on the southwest side of the house. And at the end of the rectangle, my bountiful flower garden.

Ah, the septic field.

"Are you EATING those tomatoes?" she asked doubtfully.

My garden suddenly looked sort of steamy. The over-sized black-eyed Susans nodded threateningly...The dense hydrangea rustled ominously...I had my own Little Shop of Horrors and the tomato plant was leering at me...

I backed into the house slowly then and now only emerge in the spring once to ceremoniously place a hanging basket of flowers on the porch. It is my gesture, my humble nod to all things green and living. That is, unfortunately, the last time the poor plant will be alive to see me.

To gardeners everywhere, I bow in deference.