Tuesday, June 28, 2011

O Dark Thirty

I woke up sometime in the middle of the night, stumbled into the bathroom to get a drink, noticed my hair in the mirror:

It was so good that I lay back down very carefully, so that it would continue to be huge and insane in the morning.   I was giggling evilly as I fell back asleep.  The larger hooligan came downstairs as I was getting my first cup of coffee:

"Whoa, mom, have you seen your hair?  Maybe you should brush it."

This from a child who must be bribed to bathe.   There is hope for the future.  Plus I will threaten to leave it like this and walk him into the tennis center if he does not clean up his room before camp.  Ha.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Interpret this

I had a dream:  I was climbing into a red convertible with Alisa:
My sweet friend, shown here 10 years ago with a much smaller larger hooligan.  Weren't they so cute?  She looks exactly the same today.  (So does he, because he just buzzed off all his hair--Lice outbreak in his class.  He decided better safe than sorry, much to my relief.  So far no vermin on our persons. )

She was wearing a mustard colored hat with flowers--the kind that looks like a vintage bathing cap.  We were going to Hawaii--perhaps it was a flying car?  Anyway, The Man Who Lives In My House had packed my bag.  It was strangely heavy.  When I looked inside, I realized this was because it contained a bikini and a pair of red ski boots.  This struck us as hilarious--we laughed and laughed as we tossed the boots out the car window.

You let me know what that was all about.  I woke up very amused.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Compounding Doom

The smaller hooligan dislikes elevators.  He takes the stairs whenever possible.  There was no stair option last Thursday on the second grade class field trip to the sea lion caves.

Ugh.  The caves are a roadside attraction on the 101.  You go into a gift hut at the top of a cliff, pay way too much for a ticket, and ride a crowded elevator down down down to a dark sea cavern.  You can look over the railing and see the enormous California Sea Lions quite close up, lounging on the rocks with the waves crashing through the sea entrance.  Very dramatic.  It's hard to appreciate, though, because before you see them, you smell them.  The damp cave air is redolent of fishy sea lion poo.

I don't like elevators much, myself, or caves, or bad smells.  But when the smaller hooligan decided to bite the bullet and go down, I went with him.  Otherwise I would have convinced myself that there would be an earthquake and or a tsunami while he was down there and I could not live wit the guilt if I survived and he didn't.  So we did it.  We have made a pact never to do it again.

Aside from the caves, the beach trip was glorious.  Breezy and sunny.  We went to a lighthouse to watch shore birds, and to the Newport Aquarium, and played on the beach.

Friday, though, both boys had to get vaccine boosters.  The smaller hooligan hates shots almost as much as elevators.  He was very vocal about this.  "A shot is worse than an elevator,"  he said. "Because it actually hurts.  And an elevator does not hurt, I just think that they will break and I will be stuck.  But you know what the worst thing would be?  Getting a shot ON an elevator."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Food Chain

The upsides of backyard chickens are multiple:  really fresh eggs, cute clucking and squawking background noises, vast quantities of free and effective fertilizer. Which, with lots of ventilation and fairly regular rake-outs, do not smell in any major way....

However they do attract, how shall I say this?  vermin.  Mice and rats, to be specific.  If it were limited to mice I could handle it.  Mice have a certain charm.  I don't want them in my cupboards, but a few mices scampering around in the shrubbery brings Beatrix Potter books to mind.

Rats on the other hand, are just nasty.  We had enormous rats in our alley in Baltimore.  When it snowed their tracks crossed out back yard--we were the rat superhighway, which was preferable to being a rat rest stop.  One time I was weeding in our tiny postage stamp garden, and a rat scuttled (rats do not scamper) across my bare foot.  My scream was such that The Man Who Lives In My House thought I was being assaulted.  I maintain that I was.

So, we have rats...who cannot get into the chicken run, as it is encased in rat-proof metal mesh.  They have to settle for the compost bin.  I guess I could stop composting, but the dirt is so good for the garden.  Plus it's handy--it saves me trips to the True Value at least once a week.  Of course I end up going there for lightbulbs or something anyway.  Come to think of it, I went yesterday and bought four rat traps.

It is possible that I won't need the traps, though.  Here is why:

You are looking at an Owl Pellet.  All the undigestible bits (fur, bones, nasty yellow teeth) that the Owl upchucks after devouring a rat. The Z-shaped thing is a femur/shin/foot segment.  They are all over the walkway beneath the big Douglas Fir.

Having a resident Owl is so cool, it is almost worth having resident vermin.

My new band:  Resident Vermin.