Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lavender Roses

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As usual I have too much in my head, and too little time. But I wanted to share a couple pictures of my very favourite rose I’m growing. It looks blah when still a bud:

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But it’s pretty wow when open:

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I just love this colour! And it smells lovely and sweet, like rose candy. Damn, now I want some Persian sweets…

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Both blooms, with my paw in for size comparison. They are pretty big, considering the entire rose bush doesn’t even come to my knee! I really thought I’d lost this one over the last winter, so I’m glad she’s back.

Button has arrived!!!

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Button is here! I don’t know if I’m to share her name or photo – actually I think that when I can, I’ll draw her and that can be the ‘photo.’ She is 7lbs, 12oz, and 20 and 1/4 inches long. I’m sorry I’m too emotional right now to translate into metric :)

Everyone is fine! Socks was starving afterward and is just getting to spread the good news after her long-delayed breakfast.

So happy! Ok I’m getting my iPad wet…

Socks is in labor… Sort of!

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I can not believe that I got TWO more phone calls with Socks while she was still pregnant! They will be the last ones, though, because she is in the maternity ward right now…

She told me during our chat last night that the consensus of the medicos was that she, at a week overdue, would need some pharmaceutical assistance. They offered her a chance to come in on Thursday, but the ‘phonecall caught her off-guard and she said no. They had been saying Friday since Monday, after all. She had originally thought Thurs might be okay because it was the solstice, but getting a call first thing in the morning and being asked, ‘Hi! Want to do this early and with medical assistance?’ made her freak a little bit and refuse. I totally get that; 9 entire months (and then some) of expecting labor to start when it was naturally time is fine. An expected surprise. But having it scheduled and then offered an earlier date? An unexpected surprise. Just not ready yet!

So last night, she told me that she was to ring them at 6 am and see if there was a bed available. Maybe there wouldn’t be, if other babies decided they did want to make their big debut today. Apparently the space was indeed to-let, because she’s been at the hospital for over five hours now.

And could be, for daaaays. Things just aren’t moving very fast! She’s not getting ‘ripe.’ A bit of an odd term to use for the mother, isn’t it? I didn’t think she was growing, too. But, her innards still have some work to do in order to let Button out.

So, no real news at the moment. She’s waiting, having contractions sparked by the Pitocin, but they aren’t painful at all. She’s on clear liquids only; ice chips, lollipops, jello, etc. That’s going to get dammed old dammed quick, I fear. Oh! She told me that when they arrived, a single scream echoed through the ward from another woman in full labor. She said the look on Bear’s face was priceless. He told her that he was thinking, “Holy SHIT, am I going to have to listen to that for hours?”

Also, last night I asked how her mom was doing. Socks told me that Button is going to find it really weird, after she’s born, when Gramma talks to her face. Because all this time, Gramma has been talking to her butt. A lot.

Now, if Bear will come back from eating homemade Thai soup letting the dogs out, maybe he can figure out for us why her texts from her phone aren’t getting through to me. Right now we’re limited to iMessage, iPad to iPad. Which is fine for me, really, I’d be replying via free Internet text anyway. And let’s face it, this thing never leaves my side, er, my thigh…

Cheering you on from a distance, my dear one!

Who wants to bet I’ve killed this poor ‘mater?

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Last year I tried my hand at growing tomatoes from seed. They grew, much to my surprise, but they were only just getting ready to fruit when our season ended, hard, in one day. I scrambled around trying to save what I could of my potted plants by bringing them indoors. It was a fatal move for the oregano (which overwintered just fine outside but died fast indoors). The tomatoes, however, grew and grew and grew… up the window, over the blinds, and down again until some of the weak, lanky stems were over eight feet long.

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Wait, how did that get there? Am I having a tasty beverage in the sun again? Mmmmm, could be! It’s not Paulaner though, it’s Franziskaner. We only have one Franziskaner glass and I kindly let iDJ use it as he’s sorta picky that way.

Anyhow, since June is over half over, I figured it is time to take the damn tomatoes out of our spare room. I’ve been putting it off as they are so intertwined and it is a two-person job and we rarely seem to both be available when I have the time to mess with them. But today when I walked in the room for something else entirely, I saw that since the last time I watered them, a few stems had fallen down below the windowsill and had grown another foot or so back upward. Ok, too crazy. And hubby was right there, so I untangled one and brought it downstairs and outside for some surgery and assistance.

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The victim, I mean patient, before trimming and repotting. Sad, sad, sad. That pot is way too small, how did I let this happen? Out with the scissors and bamboo canes and wire, a bigger pot at the ready, and this is what’s left:

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It is already drooping over pathetically since I took this shot. I have no idea what I’m doing, you see. I don’t even like tomatoes. Well, I do – but only in one dish that I made up. Basmati rice, butter and salt, and sliced homegrown tomatoes and homegrown snow peas put in raw and let to warm with the heat of the rice. That’s it, and it’s gorgeous. See, I don’t always have to have meat! Some fresh dill would probably be good in it too, but I don’t have any and I like it just the way it is.

In any case, I’m holding off on giving this plant a feed as I think I’ve shocked it enough for one day. Fingers crossed we don’t have any violent wind in the next few days, because after all the gardening I did today, my back isn’t going to allow me to bring this back inside in a hurry. Especially up the stairs again… which is 100% necessary or it will turn into cat-snacks and that’s a bad idea all around.

Socks has The Bigger Watermelon…

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Well! We are all still waiting. Still! Button didn’t come on the date I wanted, and didn’t come on the date Socks wanted, and didn’t come on the date the doctors guessed, either. Waiting… I feel as though I’m on hold with the cable company and listening to terrible music. Tom Petty, maybe…

Socks and I (and occasionally MommaSocks and iDJ as they wafted past our respective camera lenses) had a FaceTime session last night! I laughed unmercifully every time Socks stood up and showed me her bellah. It’s HUGE. She’s sticking straight out underneath like a shelf. She’s scaring people when she goes out in public. I really, really, want her to call a cab, just for the fun of it and pretend to go into labor – as long as someone video records the driver. I’m cruel, I know.

She was officially due yesterday – and I predicted she would be early. Pfft, shows what I know. I’d love to be doing a hidden-camera recording over her shoulder right now whenever any one asks, as they all are doing right now, because she is HUGE, ‘Soooo, when are you duuuuue?’

‘Yeeesterdaaay.’

O_o just looks so much better on a human face than in text. She’d have the top rank on YouTube in no time. Can you imagine the looks of terror, especially in the hardware store? ‘Look, lady, I can fix a leaky toilet, but no way I can fix that kinda leak! Let me show you where our garden furniture is, please? Just sit down for a bit and don’t give birth, I mean, strain yourself…’

I won’t go into effacing and dilation here. If you know what I’m on about then it’s kinda seriously intimate; and if you don’t then you really don’t want to know and the numbers won’t mean a thing! Suffice to say things are progressing normally even if it feels a bit slow. OH! I nearly forgot, this is something that sort of annoyed me and Socks both: last checkup, the doctor intentionally did something and then said something along the lines of, ‘That should move things along!’ As Socks related to me later; Um, excuse me? Did I ask you to ‘move things along’? No, no, I did not. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve stated several times I would like nature to take its course and the less interference the better. What the hell?

So despite her enjoying being pregnant for the most part, and having a pretty easy time of it, and now being quite damn ready to no longer be pregnant, thankyouverymuch, she still would rather not have outside encouragement unless medically necessary. A great example of what kind of parent she will be! Even if the idea of using the snot-sucking bulb grosses her the fuck out. It’s clear on the end that goes in baby’s nose, so you can see how much oook comes out. *gag*

Waiting… At this point, at my house, no phones or iPads or anything resembling a communication device is turned off, or put in ‘airplane mode,’ or uncharged, or out of hearing range. I can’t do anything else, really – the waiting, currently, really is the hardest part!

Damn you, Tom Petty.

Brain-dump – Warning, rambling ahead…

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Argh. I have nothing going on, yet a ton of things going on, and I don’t even know where to begin. So I haven’t begun, until now… this is feeling like one of those times I need to ramble and write, just because I need to write.

That said, I caught myself cleaning the fridge this evening in what I knew damn well was an avoidance ploy. What’s up with that? Who the hell would rather wash the beer vegetable drawers instead of write? Especially when the call is so clearly upon oneself? Like that third person stuff? Yeah, me neither.

Maybe it really is that I have too much in my head and couldn’t figure out where to start. I’m just free-writing here, a big ol’ brain-dump. I guess I’ll see how big it really is. Good thing I don’t actually use paper, I’d be clogging the jacks…

I still need to post about my garden, and about a dozen kinds of beer I’ve tried recently, and an ‘invasion of the flour-mites’ update (I’ve gotten so many Google hits about it I feel I should do a proper post with advice on getting rid of them – they are gone). I have a ton of photos I’d like to share… I’m worried about my job security, and about Socks (who still is waiting, and since she has her mum with her we aren’t having our weekly phone call tonight). I owe an old friend a serious response to a difficult email, I’m worried about an ex who I’ve only just realised might be having a hard time and I don’t know why, and I just realised that it’s friggin’ Thursday and I have no hope of even getting a card to my dad in time for Father’s Day. Sorry dad, I really have been meaning to send something. I’m a terrible kid. Love me anyway? (that’s an old family joke)

We are also meant to have 36 – yes, thirty-bleedin-six, hours of rain, which started today at about 11 am. Yay. 36 hours of wet dog and no garden and no sitting outside all weekend. And I just know it will clear and be beautiful just in time for me to be stuck behind a desk on Monday. I can’t even get close to explaining how very much a sunny day that I cannot enjoy distracts me. My brain just does not appreciate being confined indoors, and my body is screaming for sunshine and fresh air.

I’m worried about my sister being lonely and having a tough time while her husband is away.

I started having graphic nightmares again, which try but fail to get my heart rate up, but still wake me and set my mind going. I can’t read myself to sleep on the iPad at those times: it will fall over and hit either me or iDJ in the face. I did, in one of those middle-of-the-night sessions, have an idea for a new blog; something I’d like to do that actually has a ‘theme’ but I can’t make the time for it unless I can think of a way it will make me some money. Which annoys me, because I’d much rather do it for the love of it, but ohmydog we are broke. Another worry…

And, suddenly, it’s 10pm and I have only an hour of me-time left before I have to sleep or be useless tomorrow. Hard as hell this time of year – even with the rain it is bright enough outside to read. It feels like 8, or even 7, but I have to finish making dinner, eat it, and go to sleep soon. Yes yes I know, we eat at crazy hours. iDJ has been on the air the last two hours and he has to wrap up some things still, and there’s no way we’d be able to make and eat a big meal in the hour of ‘free time’ we have between coming home from work and his show starting. Maybe if we didn’t cook from scratch and had something out of a bag or box it would be possible… Blecch.

I guess the last thing on my mind is my spine – I have to wait until July 4 for a consult to go over the results of my MRI. I have no idea what they are going to say. My physiotherapist says that pretty much only shots or surgery are going to be offered to me as options. I’m not keen on either, but will take the shots just to feel like a normal person again. Heh. Like that is possible…

Right, let me find a picture to cheer myself up… Oh yes, here we go.

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Okay maybe it’s too big. But I didn’t want you to miss the flailing kitty-arm! Neko and Spotty were having a big game that day, and I took a ton of photos I wanted to upload, and hubby took a video. I’ve just not gotten a round tuit yet for a real post, so I might put this shot up again later.

Right, need to go make a salad – one of these days I’ll share my dad’s dressing with you, it’s amazingly good and so easy!

SOCKS HAS A WATERMELON!!!

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IT’S WATERMELON TIME! Finally, the last fruit. And the biggest one! And the one I giggle at the most! I asked if there was one more fruit in the list, just in case she went overdue – and Socks said, ‘What are they going to say at this point? A bigger watermelon?’

Well, folks, this is quite likely to be the last ‘Socks Has…’ post. She’s coming to her due date very soon, and as of yesterday her daughter was making moves toward the exit. My prediction on the baby poll is Tuesday the 12th at 8 am. Any betting people in the house? Fancy a flutter?

I like that date because in Europe, her birthday will be 12/6/12. How cool is that? I picked 8 am because, while Socks is a morning person and gets up at the ass-crack of dawn, she’ll be tired, so a little lie-in while lying-in seems like a good bet. Of course her cousin had to go and ‘The Price is Right’ me and went for the same day at 8:01. Humph. I guess he thinks she’s lazy.

In any case, I’ll be damned surprised if next Thursday rolls around and there are still only two people in their house. We will see, we will see…in the meantime, my phone is fully charged and near to hand at all times (currently, keeping out of this crazy hot sun by lying in the cool grass under my shorts, which I am not wearing, obviously. Be glad this isn’t a video-blog). Just in case. Oh man, I’m gonna scare the shorts off my co-workers if ‘the call’ comes when I’m in the office! I know I’ll scream like that fella on the roller coaster. You know, like this guy. Maybe with less use of the F word, because I’ll be happy, after all.

Momma Socks is coming tomorrow, and I think she might be a bit early but welcome nonetheless. There’s still a few bits and bobs to be done, because at this point poor Socks has given up on doing much more than a couple of things in one day. Getting into a comfortable position is hard enough work right about now.

Oh! Last belly pictures, too: stolen from her blog with weeks of cooking helpfully labelled. Aw.

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And a reminder of those ‘Socks Has A Lime’ days, now long gone by:

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SAME SHIRT. A little harder to get in and out of recently. Like, needing assistance and probably having to sit on the floor with her arms over her head screaming ‘Get it off me! Get it offffff!’

I have to share the pic of her diaper bag, which she only got yesterday – because it looks nothing like a diaper bag:

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It’s actually really pretty, and very classy. Of course it is; it has to match Socks! It will be a shame to put poopy diapers and sticky bottles into this bag. I’ll just start picturing it now as being full of damp Cheerios.

The last bits I want to share are some examples of Socks’ and Bear’s fabulous communication skills. Firstly, they have agreed that while Bear will be in the delivery room, he stays on the ‘waist-up’ side of her body. Some things cannot be unseen. I agree totally – he doesn’t need, or want to, see everything. She’ll be happier, he’ll be happier. The other one… might seem a bit odd. But not to me, or either of them. Socks asked her hubby about breast feeding etiquette, at home. She expects to do a lot of the nursing in private, but of course that won’t always be practical. So, she asked if it would bother him if she breastfed on the couch, next to him – would it bother him? Now, before you get righteous about this I have to explain: they do not ‘share’ bodily functions. At all. No farting into the couch. No peeing with the door open. Nothing. (Soooo not like my family!!!) They’ve been married 12 years and they have kept this one thing private between them. It makes perfect sense, then, to ask if a new thing which is also a natural bodily function is okay for family viewing. Because they are such good communicators the question had to be asked!

He looked at her like she was wearing a green party hat with sparkly blue smoke coming out of the top and said, ‘Of course! Why wouldn’t you?!?’

And that’s my storytelling done…

Love you to bits, Socks, and I’m so happy you took me along with you on this very personal journey. I never thought I would enjoy the process so much. I’ve never felt so close to a child I’ve never met, and I feel closer to you than ever. Thank you for letting me talk about your experience here, and have a laugh at your (and Bear’s) expense. I’ve learned so much – about you, about him, about children, and about myself.

The next stage starts soon, and I know you’re going to be some of the best parents ever. I hope the birth doesn’t hurt too much for too long – I know, that you know, that it will all be worth it.

And we all get to meet Button any day now! Roll on the 12th :)

Must be smarter than the cup.

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This is my coffee cup.

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I fill it at home and take it to work every day, where it gets cold but sipped on nonetheless. I never finish what’s in my ‘go-cup’. But I drink over half of it when I’m driving to work and it’s still warm.

The thing is… my cup is smarter than I am. See that little round hole? That’s there to let air in so the liquid inside can flow out of the big hole. Such a simple thing. Which defeats me several times a day.

Because the tip of my nose exactly touches right where that little hole is, and seals it up.

I can’t seem to remember to turn the cup a little, oh no. I’d rather think ‘what the..?’ several times in the space of a 15 minute drive.

Clearly the cup is the cleverest one around here.

Garden update

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We have yet another bank holiday Monday tomorrow, so yet another 3-day weekend for me, yay! This one hasn’t been warm, or sunny, or dry. I have laundry on the line to dry, but I’m in sweatpants and a tshirt with my fuzzy warm ‘smoking jacket’ on over it. It feels and smells like a cool October day, not early June.

But I’m still outside! Unlike the hubby who seems to be trying for the record of ‘most crappy TV watched in one day.’ On my trips inside for this and that I’ve heard: an Aussie Baptist preacher spouting whatever nonsense he was spouting, BBC Jubilee coverage, bad Irish commercials for upcoming family events around the country, The Big Bang Theory (twice), The Simpsons Movie, and most recently both Big Daddy and one of those Honey I Shrunk the Kids films.

This after we watched Battleship, with his finger on the fast-forward button. I napped, then when I woke up and it was still on, I left to go do more gardening in the cold. Terrible, truly terrible, movie. We also watched Iron Sky – which is one of those I’ll have to watch again to see if it was bad or funny. I did laugh a lot, but it felt a bit forced even to me. Very much a political movie as well, which went oddly with the humour.

Anyhoo, I took a few photos of my plants on Friday evening. They aren’t great pics, except for one. Should I start with that one? Ok. it wasn’t dark out – its just a quirk that the background is nearly black.

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This is one of two massive blooms on my white climbing rosebush. I bought four rose plants a few years ago for €1.99 each from Aldi, and this one alone has proven to be worth the price of all four and then some. It was supposed to be planted out front, but I messed up and didn’t identify them properly. This is after I left them in a bucket of water for about a month (they were bare-root roses). In other words I did my best to kill them! But I’ve never had roses and they were so cheap, I really didn’t expect them to live. My intention was to put the two climbers out front, the white and a pinky-red. Then out back here, a lavender and a true red. Well, oops. The non-climber red one is a let down, its too pink and is a bit, well, boring. The lavender one has absoloutely gorgeous, if small, blooms but it nearly died two years ago and is only about 1.5 feet tall. It does have two buds on it now though – yay! They all got a feed today, too.

But, two days later, the white roses are really enormous. Hold on, let me take a current pic but not with the iPad, it just is a terrible camera…

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My very dry-looking hand in there for size comparison – and remember I wear a size large glove :)

Here’s the climbing rose out front – it was drooping way over so I wired it up to the wild ivy I let grow on the wall. Probably much to my neighbour’s chagrin – it’s technically his wall.

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And in the front corner of the same wall, my wild sweet pea. I had NO idea what this was when I grew it. I’d gathered the seed so long ago that I couldn’t recall what the plant it came from looked like. I had written, ‘pretty flowers, climber, likes sun’ on the zip-lock baggie, however – and I knew I got it somewhere in Akron, Ohio. In approximately 1999. But hey, why not give it a try in 2005 and see what happens? This is what happens:

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Now, these sweet peas are just only getting started. See that patch of bare dirt at the bottom of the frame? It’s bare because these friggin’ things go mental every year. They come a good 8 feet out into the grass and then go across the driveway! Again, I planted let wild ivy grow in the corner so the sweet pea had something to hold on to, and I put bamboo canes in a teepee formation in the hopes that they would go up and over the front wall instead. I’ve been working on that for a few years, but this year my plan seems to be working – the pea is mostly vertical and holding on to that ivy. Man, my neighbour must hate me. Also in shot – the pathetic remains of my tulips. They were expensive, and hard work to plant: lovely dark purple and white/purple variegated, but they just don’t like it there. This year after the foliage finishes dying I’ll dig em all up and find a better home for them. Somewhere. Maybe in pots?

I have most things in pots, due to lack of good soil, the massive slug problem (hate them! killed a dozen today at least), lack of room and the lack of any real plan for my garden. My blueberry bushes are in pots, and the warm weather made the one I bought last year double it’s fruit size in just a week.

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Yum, yum yum. Can’t wait to be going out every day and picking the ripe ones. So far we have no problem with anything eating them – the birds don’t seem to know what they are.

The strawberries are in the ground, not pots (despite birds and slugs knowing just what they are) and are the very first thing we planted when we bought the house seven years ago. This pic is of slightly more than a third if my strawberry patch. Unfortunately it seems they have a limited life span, despite all the new plants created every year. I don’t even have a single bloom, much less a berry. I hate killing plants, but I think I’ll have to dig them all up and buy new ones next year. Sigh.

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I think I’ll stop here – I could keep going but this post is already a bit long. By the way, even iDJ finally realised he was wasting his Sunday with that ‘Honey, I…’ film.