Monday, February 28, 2011

superwoman has left the building

See  that caption under my blog title?  I'm not feeling very superwoman of late.

I overbooked the weekend and I am an awards show junkie, so as much as I should have gone to bed by like 9:30 last night, there I was couch surfing to dresses and accomplishments until very late.  It was a low key affair this time, but for Melissa Leo's emotional speech and fbomb. I loved screenwriter David Seidler's mention that his father always told him he'd be a late bloomer.  So did mine, and at the rate I've been working on this manuscript, I may be as old as Mr. Seidler before I finish.

That's not really fair to myself and I know it, but this past week was spent well away from the manuscript. It's time to get back to it.  I have had a low level stomach bug for about three days, it has hit others around me significantly worse. I'm worn out, but everything I committed to this weekend were really great experiences. Just the rest of last weekend didn't work toward writing the way I had hoped. Alas, something's always got to give with all these kids and laundry and a computer that gets a worm and, and, and.

I have two weeks. My goal was to complete the manuscript by mid-March, Maybe I should make my personal deadline the Ides of March for certain, although with Julius Caesar's history, I'd like something a bit less forboding.

So for now, while the mess of my file cabinet and the mess of my room, and the mess of the boys' rooms and Toots's crib in my room still wait, I need to focus on the manuscript.  Then I will take care of the rest.

But I'll still take care of the laundry. It needs it bad.

Friday, February 25, 2011

windy & warm

I blithely ignored the weather advisory and took a walk by the lake with Toots and Lucy because it was incredibly warm and sunny. I did not do any photo manipulation of these shots, they're straight out of the camera, just to show the wind...

I have a thing about ripples in water, or even still water, or, frankly, water in all its permutations.
Those grasses usually stand straight up.

Toots: Take da camwa out, mommy!
Mom: What do you want me to take a picture of?
Toots: Me!

And then the wind really picked up.


Thursday, February 24, 2011


This morning as we were all readying for the day, Toots walked up to me to request specific snacks to take with her to preschool.

I have a bunch of food allergies, etc, that her pediatrician advised we keep her away from until she's three, then we can introduce them incrementally. First she walked up holding one of Grandma's granola bars, I read the ingredients and had to tell her no. Then she went back to the pantry, where she can now reach to open the door, and returned with a pack of microwave popcorn.

Toots (with big inquiring grin): cannI haf pahtorn?
Mom (unwraps plastic but doesn't move to make it just yet because I was in the middle of something else): Sure.

Next thing I heard from the kitchen is the sound of the stool scooting across the floor, then the door of the microwave opening, then closing, then beeping on and starting.

I darted into the the kitchen with a big pat on Grandma's arm on the way, as both of us grinned at each other. There she was sitting in front of the microwave, proudly demonstrating her patiently waiting dance on the stool while watching the bag puff up and rotate. When it started popping, she patted out a little beat on the countertop along with the popcorn.

Toots (turns at the sound of my footsteps entering the room) Yook Mommy, I makin pahtorn!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

well hello gorgeous

The camellias are in bloom!

Where did she learn to vamp like this?
Toots models her new haircut after getting the full salon treatment.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This weekend, we spent a good deal of it at one get together and another. 

The daughter in one family we saw at two events, enthusiastically asked me if Captain Comic was at the second event. When she looked disappointed, her mother relayed to me how much she enjoyed spending time with him on Friday night.

She told her mother, ""Mom, I like him, he's funny, and he tells me stuff [mr. facts and ms. loves facts, too] and he draws, just like I like to draw and I think I have a crush on him."

When her mom told me that, I started to cry, in the middle of a four year old's birthday party. I blamed a lack of sleep, and there was a lack of sleep involved, but mostly, I cried because for the first time since we moved down here, another kid likes and appreciates Captain Comic just the way he is.

Five years is a long time to go without real friends in a childhood. So the fact that this girl likes him, and I didn't run interpretation or interference in their conversation is something for which I am incredibly grateful.

Life is good. Anything is possible.

Monday, February 21, 2011

the teen

I don't mention as much about my oldest as I do the other two. So I will share a tale of him now.

Saturday, I took Mr. Cynic out for a driving lesson, not in the high school parking lot, but on actual roads.

I nearly died. The boy panicked as we approached a main road and started veering off to 'pull over' to avoid it by having me drive us back into a subdivision from the main road.

Because we live in a coastal plain, the roadsides here have culverts for flood control. He nearly drove us into one, a near barrel-roll, passenger side - me - first.

I can hit some pretty high notes as a soprano. Never this high, except maybe while I was giving birth to him.

My driving lessons with him do not generally involve screaming, but I had said "Don't!" about seventeen times in quick succession before screaming "Stop!" in an operatic fashion.

Think the Queen of the Night Aria from Mozart's The Magic Flute - without the surrounding tune. Just that flute-like high note near the end.

I suggest when you get to this stage of parenting to take a few more trips around the big parking lot in your area.

Eventually, I got a pretty good laugh from it. After I stopped shaking violently. He's generally a cautious kid, hard to get him to drive over 20mph. I taught his father to drive with him and his brother strapped in toddler and infant seats in the backseat, way back when. So I know I can do this, and survive to tell more tales.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

hello there

Well hello, little friend! 

Punxatawny Phil seems to be onto something.  Spring is coming.

Friday, February 18, 2011

cheese cereal and knock-knocks gone awry

Capt. Comic: Cheese cereal is good for you, right?
Mom: Cheese cereal?! Is there even such a thing?
Capt. Comic: Well, if there was. If we invented cheese cereal, it would be good for you, right?
Mom: I guess it would be, kiddo. (chuckle)

Apparently, if two things are great on their own, they'd be even better together?

Capt. Comic: Knock-knock
Mom: Troubador.
Capt. Comic: WHAT?!

He begins to laugh.  It becomes contagious.

Capt: Comic: Knock-knock.
Mom: Who's there? (we're still laughing from above, btw)
Capt. Comic: Excuse me?
Mom: Did you fart?
Capt. Comic: NO!

He can no longer control his laughter.  There is flopping and falling, and more laughing. On both our parts.

We never did get to the end of that joke.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Yesterday turned out to be crap day for writing. But a good one for walking the dog and hanging with Toots.


What, no snack?  We're outa here.

The two in front are the ones on the approach in the other pic.  As soon as they realized we weren't holding, they high-tailed it, and spread the word.

Weather was sunny, a tad cool, and a lot windy. We didn't stay by the lake for very long, but we had a decent walk.

Today, the plan is to drop Toots at preschool then hit the library again with my manuscript. Wish me better luck with it than yesterday, please.  Thanks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

love & writing

I really do often feel stuck between what I 'should' be doing instead of writing and my writing.  If I don't put it first right now, I will only be a resentful pig of a mother and wife. And that's the truth. Plain and simple.

So yesterday, when I needed a moment in the midst of writing, I doodled this instead.

It's really almost done. This is the final push. So if my family sees less of me, if you see less of me around the blogosphere, etc, this is why. I am hard at work.  I will be back in my family's life more when I can focus on them better because I will not be dissecting and rearranging a manuscript in my head during our interactions.

And that's it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

on *#@&^^% editing

Editing is my Achilles's heel as a writer.

Usually, in the basic writing process, I do really enjoy it. But at this stage with my manuscript, I would rather shoot myself in the head (hyperbole, people, no need to call the authorities).

But I took everything to the library today and sat there for hours and did it. And I got through one chapter. One excrutiatingly tedious chapter of edits. And it didn't really need a whole lot done, but I am retyping and rewording absolutely the whole book. 

That's what I hate.

It's the typing.

I'm no good at it.

My hands do not point to keys I tell them to.

The laptop has this new little glitchy thing it does where when I get on a good roll of typing, it decides all on its own to just jump it up into prior text, by a couple of lines.

What is that about? 

And then there's the whole stare out the window part of the process that no one else can seem to recognize is actually the sight of me being productive. It's called creativity.  That's what writing is.  Brain stuff.  Yes, it looks dull as all get out from the outside, but there is big business going on on the inside.  It's called writing.

Please let Pooh sit in his Pooh spot.  I need to "think, think think." And then do it some more.

So right now, I am exhausted. I hate editing.


Yes, I am mixing my childhood references, so what?

Monday, February 14, 2011

valentine aspie style

On a mom and son date to DQ:

Mom: Happy Valentine's Day, [Captain Comic].
Capt. Comic: Thanks.(slurps on vanilla malt)
 (pregnant pause)
Mom: You know, you could say it back.
Capt. Comic (glances up, down, slurps): HVD, Mom.
Mom: Thanks, buddy.
Capt. Comic: Oh wait, HVDTY.  There, I said it. Can I have a piece of your chocolate coating?
Mom: Sure.

Now that's love.


Toots walked up to me a few moments ago and clung to my arm, cuddling and being all sweet. She is still on my lap cuddling and making lovey noises, and smelling like strawberries.  But she greeted me with

I yuv you strawberries and I yuv you blueberries and peaches, and I yuv you, too, Mommy!

And that right there is why I love being a mom on Valentine's Day.

Mr. Cynic went to a Sadie Hawkins dance on Saturday night and there he 'asked out' the girl who 'asked' him to the dance. So now, this afternoon, after school, I need to drive him to her house to 'hang out' for Valentine's Day.

Toots is all lovey, still. Captain Comic had a rough go with homework and getting ready for school. Maybe he'll feel a little more like a Valentine later.

I can't find my wedding photos to post one. If I find them later, I will, because I love that guy I call Honey, too.

Ah, found one.

after the kiss, photo by Joe Gallo

Happy Valentine's Day. Spend it with your loved ones. Or if you're single, alone, etc., Do something nice for yourself.  We should love ourselves, too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

homework whoas

So, I go to check Captain Comic's agenda and homework and find this:

Oh the woes of the sixth grader.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

of cookies, valentines and a dingbat

First, we made cookies for Toots's preschool Valentine Party. She helped.

Before oven


So, now I will conceed to being a dingbat. Funny, I have spent much of my adult life teaching organizational skills to students, yet, apparently they don't apply to me.

All the way back in September, I signed something saying I would do something for the preschool class for Valentine's Day. I thought I would bake cookies.

Many months passed, and when I dropped Toots off for preschool on Tuesday morning, I had a passing thought, "Hm, I haven't seen a sign up sheet for the Valentine's Day Party. I thought I was baking cookies."

Tuesday afternoon, Grandma picked up Toots and her teacher mentioned, "Does Cathy know she's throwing the Valentine Party on Thursday?"

And then I came home from writing group, got the message, sent a vaguely panicked email to the school's 'principal' because I apparently don't have the teacher's email saved, and caused a last minute ruckus among parents and school saying something like no wonder I didn't see a sign up sheet, I was supposed to be the one to put it out? While I didn't hear back from anyone on Tuesday, I decided, after a few things I had going on Wednesday morning out of the house, to go ahead and pick everything up for the party and it was doable because the class is small. 

Then I got home to see a flurry of email requests, etc. to parents to please bring something for the party....

Oy. Anyway, here's what I brought and set up.  Then batches of store bought and homemade cupcakes and cookies arrived, and one mom came in the door saying, "who wants chicken?!" So it turned into a veritable feast.

Not such a bad thing after all, except for the embarrassment and parental flurries.  There was also a predicted case of snow that was likely to cancel school.  We got some flurries and a light dusting overnight, but in the end, there was school, and therefore party.

They're a very good class and waited patiently for other parents to arrive after we were all set up with their Valentine art cards and hugs. And there was more than enough food to go around for the adults, too.

Maybe I  can chalk this up to an awkwardly unintentional Stone Soup moment. Yea, that's the ticket!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

toots has a great idea

Toots started riding her bike.  I will post evidence below.  In the meantime, this evening, she rode her little bike around the house and:

Toots: See ya later!  Bye!
Grandma: Where you going?
Toots: I'm going for a ride!
Mom: Where to?
Toots: I'm going to ride to summer!  Okay, Byyyye!

I wish I thought of that.

Last night she peddled herself for the first time. Witness:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Terri Fischer had a great idea (really, go check it out) which spawned an idea that was of course slightly left of center to her idea. But I went with it. Because that's who I am.

Anyway, Love is a wonderful thing. Magical things can happen because of it. Witness:

Captain Comic was wrenched from a homework tirade into writing love on a Post-it and to sit ever so close to Toots who wanted in on the fun. Mr. Cynic changed his a few times because he kept getting a better idea.

Well, Valentine's Day is fast approaching.  Enjoy the ones you love. Everyday.

Dang, I've got goodlooking kids!

Monday, February 7, 2011

just stuff

I'm looking out my window and longing to do yard work and garden.

I should revist yoga first for slipped disc prevention.

Toots is on a steady diet of PBS this morning as I

peck my way through a mountain pass of laundry through the garage to the washer and back,

sit here trying to think of something useful to do or say,

slowly finish my breakfast and tea.

Periodically, she stops by my desk, dropping a blue bowl by my elbow.

Mom: Is this a hint?
Toots (sucking fingers and walking away): Mm-hm.
Mom: Would you like more blueberries?
Toots: M-hm.

I feel taken for granted.  She just plunked the bowl by my elbow again.  I'm not refilling for a third time.  That is not an accident I want to discover.

I'm still thinking of ways to redesign the boys' room, etc.  DIY is on my mind. But not as much as a couple of weeks ago.  I found the same shelves at IKEA.

Adventure time!  Nearest IKEA is 3 hours away and the shelves are not available online.  That website is a big tease.

I'm still thinking of ways to redo Captain Comic's room into Toots's, but feel very dejected after viewing the shoulder high contents of his closet over the weekend. I walked out of the room and closed the door behind me. For the time being, that is an excellent policy to uphold. I'm sticking to it.  I don't want to do this, which is the other option, skip ahead to the he-ha-ho part at 8:17:

or you could just watch the whole thing.  - one of the greatest Bugs ever.

Come to think of it, Mr. Cynic hasn't made much headway in his room, though I've been on both of them for ages about the hurricane disaster looking zones.

What's a mom to do?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

captain comic

It's a rainy Saturday, and my horoscopes and a tarot card all conferred and said I should use it to write.  So I am settling in at the local library with my manuscript. At home is cleaning. I called for Captain Comic from the bottom of the stairs, before I ventured out the front.

Captain Comic (darts from his room to the top of the stairs): What?
Mom: I'm going to the library to write. Please pick up your floor-
Capt. Comic: But Moooom, I tried!  It was too heavy! (chuckles)
Mom (chuckles, too): Okay, Okay...but seriously, pick up your room-
Capt. Comic: I just told you - I tried, it's too heavy!
Mom: Okay. Pick up your books and put them on your bookshelf, papers go-
Capt. Comic: AAAAUGH! okay, okay!

That's all.  Now I write.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Later, Captain Comic and I walked down the major route a piece to get a look at the aftermath.
His first comment was "Wow, it looks like something twice the size of a rhinoceros and flaming crashed right into the house."

His second was, "I feel deeply sorry for that family. Deeply Sorry."

Who says people with Autism/Asperger's don't have empathy? 

I told him I knew he has a big heart.  And then I hugged him, and we walked back through the sleet and rain to the warmth and safety of our home.

without warning

Grandma and I were minding our own business when it started to get quite dark in the office. Then we heard the sirens, and looked out the window to see big black billowing smoke across the major route that runs behind the house. Grandma grabbed Toots and coats, and ran out to the back fences.

I grabbed camera and coat and ran to the corner.

Still running, I tried to get shots from a distance, across the street.

Blur due to running, but I wanted to show the Deputy for a sense of proportion.

By then we knew it wasn't just the spit of woods, but a house behind them.

Thankfully, the fire department assured us no one was home.

Still.  The house is a total loss.  I don't know who lives there, but I sure feel for them.  Can you imagine?  You drop your kids off at daycare, you go to the office, just like any other day. And then this happens.

I took this from the opposite corner from our house, but still on the same side of the highway. I talked with a woman who said they were driving by and her husband jumped out of the truck at the sight of the flames, to go help. She hadn't heard from him yet. This is about ten minutes after it all started.

And then my next door neighbor came running, yelling about the truck on fire.

While we ran back to check on the truck and get the baby out of it (I didn't know he was in there), she conferred with the Deputies who ran with us and found that her husband was accounted for at the house fire site.

I invited her to bring the baby inside to keep him warm. Told the officers our address to let her husband know, and wow, what an exciting piece of the morning.

Have I mentioned I live in Mayhem?

Toots fell in love with Baby Gunnar. He was not quite two years old - May - and she will be three on April first. He towered over her.

She still wants to show him all of her toys and Playdoh.

Oh boy, do I appreciate our little home right now.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

future photographer

Sorry, I don't mean to rub it in for you storm weary folks, but yesterday, it was 70F here.

(Duck)  Please don't shoot.

Don't worry, it was a one day only tease thanks to Punxutawny Phil. We're back in the 30s now. 

Toots and I took a walk with Lucy around the neighborhood and lake. I took pictures, she took pictures.

Here's one of her pictures. They were all a variation on theme. lots of chopped faces and up our noses shots.

Then I took this one of Lucy.

Love that dog.  But I think Captain Comic will be walking her today. Burr.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

punxutawney phil

Thank you, you lovely groundhog.  Of course you didn't see your shadow, the sky is filled with clouds.

I like you, you are a fun barometer.

I'm sorry all those people flashed cameras at you.  You can go back to sleep now.

I wasn't so far off when I posted about Rebirth the other day.

Hang in there, all of you stuck in the ice storms and snowville.

It'll all be over soon.  P. Phil says so.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

utter writer's block and love

I have the house to myself for a few hours this morning and Grandma agreed to pick up Toots from preschool today, which means, likely she'll take her to Wendy's for fries and chocolate Frosty after.

It's the Grandma is picking me up from preschool thing to do.

I am staring at my manuscript. It is staring back. I feel like it's High Noon in an old western and one of us is the sheriff. I just don't know who.

Grandma just walked in, said, "I'm on my way to get her, we're going out for lunch."

So now I hear the long lonely whistle from the theme to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

And I feel like The Ugly.

So I will shift focus.

There are two routes to preschool, the longer windier one goes by both of the boys' schools and a couple of small fields of horses. It's the one I usually take because Toots and I like to discuss each school and the horses. Excerpt from this morning's transcript:

Mom: The horses on the left are coming right up!
Toots: Wiw day be weawing deir jackets?
Mom: Most likely, if they are awake and out, because it is pretty cold this morning.
Toots: OOO, dere day ahre! Day ahre weawing deir jackets!
Mom (giggles): Yes they are!  Aren't they pretty?
Toots: Oh yes, I yuv da horsies! And I yuv deir jackets! And I yuv dose gween twees over dere! Oooo, and I yuv dat yewwow twuck!
Mom (still giggling): I love those evergreens and that yellow truck, too!  Oh, look at the geese over there! (taps driver side window)
Toots (squealing now): Ooooo, I yuv dose geese! Heyyo geese!  I yuv you! I yuv you, too, Mommy.
Mom (still giggling) I love you, too!

This continues for the last mile, and then she loved her preschool.....

Life is good. Go at it with your heart wide.