Important Things

“Mama, I have a list. A to-do list. For you,” my son tells me. He’s holding a scrap of Christmas wrapping paper and pretending to refer to notes.

“Number One. Kiss me. Number Two, Play with me. Number Three, buy me a banana split tomorrow. Number Four, buy me a hamburger tomorrow.”

Check, and check. And check and check.

Nels is indefatigable. Currently, he wants more carnivorous plants (the Dionaea Muscipula I procured for him for Christmas, is dormant). What I don’t know about growing carnivorous plants is a lot, so that’s a learning curve there. He wants us to take a vacation. You and me both, Little Guy! He wants to change his name to D.J. He insists on having a sleepover but then calls right before our cut-off transport time of 11 PM – he’s not comfortable sleeping at this particular house afterall. In the morning when I wake he’s cuddled up against me, pushing his long bony feet under my legs and sighing happily, laughing, in his dreams.

It has been lovely having Phoenix home for winter break. She is catching up on the sleep she misses due to school attendance. She’s been drawing and gifting these drawings to friends; she’s helped out a great deal with housework. She’s house- and cat-sitting for my mom, next door. She takes the time to teach her brother the somewhat complex board game friends bought the kids. She helps bake scones for her dad, when he gets home from work. She writes RP scripts to the applause of many online fans. She puts her arms around me while I do dishes.

I vacillate between volunteer work, household work and errands, and greedy time snatched in my sewing room creating new things. Today: a two-tone bowling shirt embroidered with my son’s name. Tomorrow – who knows?

In the car; talking about a recently-viewed B-movie, imagining doing battle with the featured large anthropomorphic plant monster. We’re delivering kill-quips just before we spray the monstrosity in the face with our Weed-B-Gone. Nels is surprisingly adroit at the verbal game. “I can’t stamen-d you,” he deadpans, then lifts his hand with a crooked index finger and sprays the imagined creature in the eye. “Your bark is worse than your bite!” [spray] “See you later, pollinator!” [spray] The entire car dissolves in giggles. After a few of these we fall silent and our errand-guest, a young boy of eight, tries his hand. “Keep your timber to yourself!” The car is silent, chewing that one over, and the boy gives a little sigh of defeat then urges Nels: “- Do another one!”

It still gets dark so early.

Cold and threadbare but a little food in the fridge, a little gas in the tank, and a great deal of good cheer.

just a sample ten seconds of my day

In the car Phee and I are talking about adulthood and periods and my son listens for a bit, then says,

“I’m glad I’m a boy.”

Then he corrects himself, “Actually I’m not. Men and boys face all kinds of dangers -”

(I’m nodding, thinking suicide, homicide…)

“- like MAN-eating sharks! Why don’t they eat women?”

Phoenix immediately catches the spirit and chimes in: “The race of MANkind is doomed!”, she bleats in a sonorous, scary voice. Then, acting as a “woman”, performs a little victory fist punch, smirks.

Nels, now outraged: ” – and we have USELESS NIPPLES!”

Phoenix: “Mom. Did you know that 50% of the word ‘Canada’ is the letter ‘A’?”

Nels, without missing a beat: “Along with ‘banana’.” [ takes a satisfied slurp of his milkshake ]

There’s not enough rest, food, and coffee for me to keep up with their brains.

nels, today

1. After leaving him at home for one half hour: “Mom. Can we get a bunny? A man offered me a bunny. Can we get a bunny?” (repeat, repeat, all day long)

2. Abruptly, with urgency, from the passenger seat: “I need a Steampunk.” Then, calmer: “I need to be a Steampunk.”

3. “I’ll knock on the door and Trick or Treat, and they’ll ask what I am. And I’ll say, ‘I’m a nude man wearing a wet bag. Wet from my tears because my mom didn’t make me a costume.'”

4. “We’re gonna stay up all night Friday playing VIDEO GAMES

Oh and as of this evening we have a new rabbit-pet. A rescue rabbit. It’s name is Bun Bun.


well just a JOLLY EASTER TO YOU, from Hopalong Junkpouch!

Nels Coloring Eggs

(photo courtesy of Britta)

For tomorrow’s early dinner we are having our traditional fare: a big-ass Paula Deen ham, hot cross buns, scalloped potatoes, cold pea salad, and roasted lemon asparagus (for breakfast we’re having the Cypress Greek Bread the kids adore). I swear the family isn’t even all into that (except the fresh buns) but I make it anyway because Tradition is all about “longing, deprivation, and resentment”.

Also. I want you to know I laughed so hard at these that hot tears streamed down my cheeks. HOT TEARS.

“40 Easter Bunnies more terrifying than a crucified man coming back from the dead.”

Easter Bunny From Hell

Thank you for that experience.

At the bus stop:

then, clearly added later,

It’s cold as hell and the bus “shelter” provides no respite. I tap on my phone and look online expecting to see the bus here any second; instead I find we will have to wait fifty more minutes and I’m like, stunned with despair.

I want to cry. My serenity vanishes and I am completely pissed. I will spare you the details; it’s ugly and trifling, but yeah I’m angry and I’ve already figured out how everyone is to blame. And with every ounce of self-restraint I do not say or do anything shitty out of this mental place and instead I zip my coat and I walk alongside my husband and I tell him, “I’m very cold.” He’s a cheerful bastard and has his metabolism so in a single-layer cotton hoodie he’s fine. He and my kids, I’m telling you. Their bodies ramp up and they are like hot little bread loaves in the bed at night, ask me how I know this. But I’m cold, cold, always cold.

A man gets on the bus and then another, and I recognize them from Treatment. They perhaps don’t know me or are too busy. One looks good though like he might not be drinking. Last time I saw him he was all yellowed up even in his eyes.

One thing about being wet and cold and out in the elements, we’re finally home over an hour later, and I am so pleased to be back inside. My daughter brings me a blanket and a pillow and asks if she can remove my shoes, and I’m so grateful and she blushes, pleased with herself she could make me so happy.

My daughter. This morning, first thing she said to me, she pulled me in close while she was still in bed and whispered her good dream she had. It was the most stunningly beautiful handful of words I’ve heard in a while. And I knew it was a secret only for me the moment she told me. It brought tears to my eyes; the dream and its sweetness, and amazing thing that she shared with me because she trusts me.

Things were different for me when I was her age. It’s hard to believe in something better, even when it’s right before my eyes.

I wrap up in blankets and I rest. A friend picks me up and takes me home, later. Simple things, those little things that help me. I am very grateful for these.


I haven’t been posting too many links lately, but I wandered across this today and I got some good laughs, mostly from the rebuttals. Like “Dave”, and SOYFUCKER omgggggg lolz


Ralph’s project this evening:

a child’s purpose is to be a child

First. Hard at work with my first ten list. I hope anyone who reads finds it helpful.


The first rain in a long while helped me feel better. We leave the front door open and our pooch Hutch sits on the porch. He travels over to my mom’s next door now and then as she has this kind of expensive dog-treat/jerky business over there. He has probably lost about twenty pounds at this point. He’s feeling more spry every day. Saturday on our walk he chased a deer (not coming close, of course) BEST DAY OF HIS LIFE

The children’s summer activities are mostly getting into business outside, bookeneded by long periods playing video games – Terraria, Minecraft, and MapleStory. They’ve caught several frogs and delivered them to my mother’s pond. Friends come in and out of the house and eat any food that’s not nailed down. The kids are all getting ready for school. We’re getting ready to keep catching frogs and such, plus celebrate eleven years of marriage September 8th and then, get our Halloween festivities together.

Some older photos from my phone, just uploaded.

Archive Photos: Nels, Post-Bath

Nels out of the bath, ready to watch a movie.

Archive Photos: My Daughter Sleeps

Phee sleeps. True picture of sleeping. Not fake-sleeping. Yes I smooched her.


Ralph receives a huge-ass calzone. Everyone reacts.

Archive Photos: N1SF

Phoenix drew this a while back. I liked it so much I kept it around. Recently she re-discovered it and gave it to our friend Emily; I’m told there it adorns her refrigerator and meets much approval from houseguests.

friday links: the garden of your imagination

Today: Hutch was invited to be the official newshound of Grays Harbor Down. Pretty cool stuff!

Someone’s cutting onions up in here.

“Letter to a Teacher from an Aboriginal Parent (1977)” – if you’re a human being, you should read this.

The trouble with kids today. OK, there’s so much to love about this post. I cringe-laugh at the Connery interview. I know I shouldn’t feel bad for him, publicly airing his ignorance and fear, but I kind of do. And it’s ironic our macho, best Bond (well, I like all the Bonds, but got a soft spot for Mr. Connery) is in reality a frightened person, who hits and then justifies hitting as making sense. But I really liked all the quotes at the bottom. “Get off my lawn”, the world is going to the dogs, “kids today”, et cetera. Good stuff.

Some comments on the MSM’s depiction of Mr. Holmes, who last week murdered people in a theater in Colorado.

A piece on Spiritual Bypass; a concept I’ve been thinking about a lot, lately. Good stuff.

Who Gets To Be A Geek? Anyone Who Wants To Be by John Scalzi – a great piece (except for the obligatory hipster-diss – what is UP with that?). ANYhoo, a wonderful takedown of Peacock’s crap.

& finally: NEVER FORGET

roostercore & other friday fun

“Sometimes I’m Still That Little Girl” – a great Flickr collection.

A bit about Imposter Syndrome, something most people can at least relate to.

Cora’s Story – a mother shares about her experience with the most common birth defect, congenital heart defects (between 1 in 70 to 1 in 100 babies). A very intense story, but well worth the read.

25 YouTube Comments That Are Actually Funny at buzzfeed. These are giggle-inducing in an aggregate way. Favorites: the two after the dolphin video, then later the one with the musician and his beard.

Reshared by the late Erica Kennedy, shortly before her untimely death – one of her favorite pictures.

Another hero MamaKitty – but no one compares to Scarlett, who holds a special place in my heart, and in literature.

Nature teams up to bring us something very special, and incidentally this is the kind of thing that makes my brother and I talk about constructing a stainless-steel bunker home with hydroponic foods and a germ-laser-toilet.

Thinking Kink: Debunking BDSM Myths at bitch magazine.

& the newest music scene I’m into. Oh, internet. I love you so much: