Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Little Blurb About A Snake

I was going to write about how our family went to a Christmas tree lot and cut down our own tree on Sunday, only to have the wonderful event over-shadowed by my daughter getting stung by a bee (on the leg, through her pants) who was promptly out-done by her sister who got stung by a bee under her hair on her neck. These were crazy bees, too. I think they were yellow jackets. Ironically, these bees are also called "meat bees" and my kids are vegetarians. Go figure.

My oldest daughter, with the the sting on her leg, was so affected by the sting that she could talk of nothing else for the next 24-hours. I think she may be gearing up for the school play coming up. (High drama!) My youngest, who is usually the one who makes mountains out of mo-hills, took it well in stride.

After deciding not to write about that, I was going to write about how my dog has licked a hole in his tale. Not literally, but he does have a bald spot. I've gone to my Dr. Google, who told me what to expect, among other things. The first order of business was to give him a long, long walk. The second, a bath. Believe it or not, my water-loving Lab refused to get in the tub today. I was shocked.

I dragged him in there finally and got a look at his tail. Above the bald spot, there was a patch that looked crunchy. It looked like it was scabbed or had dried blood on it. It  didn't look nearly as bad as I was expecting and I'm going to give him lots of attention and keep him away from his "spot." I started this bit of extra attention by vigorously drying him off and then blow-drying him. My arms were spaghetti when I was done, but I managed to accomplish something I have never done before: I got him to leave me alone! I was free from his incessant barking and pestering for more play. I don't even know what to do with myself now!

No, I'm not going to write about that, either. I'm going to write about how I saw an itty bitty snake today while walking my dog. It was so small that if it was a ribbon, you would be hard pressed to tie a bow. It was already dead, which I discovered when I got a closer look and picked it up. That's it. Nothing exciting in today's post. Just a little blurb about a snake.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Climbing the Family Tree

I love puzzles. Most puzzles, that is. I am not especially fond of a 10,000 piece puzzle where most everything is blue: blue water and blue sky without much of anything else. I don't really even mind the complicated ones that have a bunch of detail because there is a place that they obviously have to go.

I'm climbing my family tree these days. I started looking because of my daughter and it became a near-obsession for me. (I only say near out of vanity. It really is an obsession!) I've found that certain parts of my family tree are like the blue water/blue sky puzzles. I can't find diddly squat. Other branches, however are like getting a nice picture and the voila! These two parts fit together. They just had to, after all!

Some of the clues come from things that I'm learned throughout my life - like the oddness that some members of my family ended up with the same last name as relatives a few generations back. That helped find some folks. And it's alway really lucky to find likeminded family members who have compiled the tree, too. I had a breakthrough from this luck today.

My daughter has long since lost interest in my quest. She was excited to find that Harry Houdini* was Hungarian like we are (as I am one-quarter.) But mostly, the search is interesting to me and she may find that it interests her too when she gets to be my age. We'll see.

*I am not related to Harry Houdini. Nor am I related to Sandy Koufax, as I told people for years after mistakenly remembering a conversation where I learned instead we may be related to Ernie Kovacs.

Monday, November 21, 2011

One Fish, None Fish

And so it had to happen... Fish number two, or rather what became fish number only, leapt to his death last night. I'm sad and glad at the same time. I felt less badly about the chicken in my chicken noodle soup at lunch, but I'm ready to move on from this so called pet.

Isn't the very nature of the pet to "pet" it? I'm not a fan of the fish, we can just leave it at that.

We still have a dwarf hamster and a dog and a cat to make our lives merry, but we still need to have a burial today for the dead fish. He is floating in his bowl right now because my daughter was too upset with me after I gave the other dead on a burial at sea (aka flushed him) and we didn't have time this morning before school started. Needing a place to put the guy, he ended up back in his bowl.

On a lighter note, I went on my other daughter's field trip today to the Guide Dogs for the Blind. We didn't get to pet any puppies, but they're darn cute! The trip made me appreciate my dog so much more. At least until he started to bug me when I got home.

Friday, November 04, 2011

One Fish Two Fish

The number of our household inhabitants has expanded. And contracted.

It all started with our annual October fundraiser for the school. We have a carnival, at which one of my girls won a free gold fish. I shake my head because nothing is free, is it? No.

I had to take her to the local store to pick it up and then spend a bunch of money to buy the bowl, water conditioner, food, gravel and duplicate all of it for her sister, who suddenly wanted one too. For the first day, these fish were all the rage. They wrote list upon list of name possibilities, arguing - of course - about who had rights on a name or not. They never did settle on a name for either of them.

After a couple of days, the fish were forgotten, the water murky and the transition into my domain complete. One of the fish was much spunkier than the other and I started to like it more than I would normally expect to like stupid little 25-cent feeder fish.

Then, as a reward for taking piano lessons and practicing the piano, my youngest daughter wanted a pet mouse. I know what you're thinking. Why would I voluntarily bring more mice into my house when I've spent so much of my time getting them OUT? The little white mice in the store are pretty cute and active and watching them run on their little wheel makes them look like circus performers. And besides, don't we do crazy stuff to please our children?

When we actually went to make the purchase, I got a bit freaked out by the clerk who made it sound like it was certainly going to escape the cage and go multiply in my house with some other mouse it would certainly find. Despite knowing that my cat, Killer, who just left a dead songbird on my porch yesterday would keep the mouse population in check, I decided to convince my daughter to go with a Dwarf Hamster instead. It worked.

This little guy is quite precious. My daughter has not lost interest and my other daughter is motivated to take piano lessons now too. Still no name though...

In the meantime, I cleaned out the two fish bowls and combined them into one. My daughter finally named them, Coke and Pepsi. The two fish together seemed so much happier and I felt better, too.

Until this morning.

One of the fish was dead and the other looked traumatized. I have no idea what killed the first one (the spunkier one that I had grown fond of) but through our morning routine, my kids didn't even notice. I removed it with a bit of sadness and have resolved that I will not buy a replacement. After all, I hate fish. Right?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

That Time Again...

Ah...November 1st.

I am always inspired to write on November 1st. I haven't written a thing in nearly two-months, but suddenly, the inspiration has arrived and I am ready to go. It's National Novel Writing Month, of course. (aka NaNoWriMo) I've attempted several times, but it was my very first attempt at which I succeeded in writing a novel. My first novel. My - so far - only novel.

My head is bursting with ideas and the gears are turning. And for some odd reason, I'm inclined to blog when I know it is a distraction. It's kind of like the sniffles with the cold. They go together.

Do you have a novel in you? Write one.