musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the category “home”

a few highlights, low key

Pretty low key weekend, but we found a watermelon growing in the cukes.

 Toots had a haircut on Friday, but with the humidity, you would never know. Many women in the salon pleaded for a head of hair with her natural caramel highlights and those curls. Of course, they don’t have to comb them out three times a day. I do, or dreadlocks.

 It was too hot to even blow bubbles, but we did.

 “”But I done wanna yook at you, Mommy. I’m busy here.”

I walked Lucy, also known as The Goo, Goose, Goosie, Lucy Goose. We sat by the lake for a bit. It was cooler than it has been, a few clouds rolled in and spit on us today. I wouldn’t exactly call it rain, but it made things about fifteen degrees cooler. Again, poor cellphone camera capture, but that lump on that branch on the tree across the inlet? That’s a great blue heron. He was magnificent in person. I know, bad tease. I’ll try to remember a better camera next time.

Mostly, this weekend was spent wandering in a big box store, watching a three year old who has been full of beans lately, and reading Sookie
I have come to the conclusion, that I like the books better than the show. The show mucks with perfectly good material way too much. They need to leave a good thing well enough alone. Although, I do love the show, too, but now that I’m well-ensconced in the books, I love it just a little less.
I’m really ready for the boys to come home.

dog day

Does it get any better than this?

Lucy has just dug up another mole. She is excited at a job well done in her mind, while the yard has yet another hole in it. But the sun is shining and something good has been scented. She has taken over my chaisse once again.
I took this the other day. Today, I have been all over the yard, digging up dead boxwood root balls, transplanting peonies to where they will bloom, reorganizing the shed, weeding, watering and trimming dead branches. Guess what I meant to do?  That’s right, none of the above. I went out to weed whack the driveway edges and hedge trim the boxwoods in front of the big window. I still intend to make the driveway job happen today, because the whacker and extension cord are waiting for me there, but I’m hoping the forecast rain holds off tomorrow, so that I may trim to where the window is visible again then. I don’t think I can do all of it today. This is me trying to listen to my back. I’m still a little late, but I may actually not put the darn thing completely out.

all nine kinds of pies

 “But there were all nine kinds of pie that Harold liked best.” 
                                                      ~Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon

Easter with my in-laws is full of pie. On Friday, Grandma stood at the stove and stirred Italian cream in the double boiler by the batch. She got a workout and a half stirring homemade sweet Italian cream, at least three batches of vanilla and one chocolate. She also made two ricotta pies. Her sister from the DC area brought pies galore, and her sister who lives down the street made quite a few, too.

Let me see if I can catalog them all:

Grandma made:
1 Vanilla cream pie
1 Pineapple cream pie
1 Chocolate cream pie
2 Ricotta pies
4 Easter Breads

Auntie L made:
1 Vanilla cream pie
2 Barley pies

Auntie B made: 
6 Ham pies
Easter Breads (haven’t seen hers yet, can’t count them)
1 Veggie lasagna with homemade pasta (Thank you!)
1 vat of “Manest” (here’s Rachael Rae’s recipe for reference)
and a heck of a lot of other food.
I think her plan is for 2 more sweet pies, too.

I made the Good Friday vat of Pasta e Fagiola. The one day of the weekend that the rest of the family will join me in the vegetarian realm.

There is a ton of more food to be had over the course of Easter and time with all of my in-laws. All of it is made from scratch, and there are only twelve people to feed, one weighing in at a whopping 26 pounds.

Gotta love a family where food equals love – especially in pie form.

dog in crab grass

Watch the nose and ears:

I don’t know how this one went so blurry, still needed it for the full effect, apologies.

Good Lucy on a sunny day. 
PS: We mowed shortly after I took these shots.

as promised


Cherry blossoms along Canon Ave, Newport News, VA

Honey grabbed the camera one day and took these in a bit of a rush or he would have done more with them.  But just look how they wrap all the way around the bend! Happy Spring everyone!

Toots is very proud to show off her new room. you can see where the ginormous bed of Captain Comic embedded itself into the carpet. One day the carpet will be torn up and the walls will be painted. That piece of furniture to the right is an armoire that Grandma and I foolishly with our respective joint and back issues moved up from the garage in two pieces. That rocker was given to Mr. Cynic by Gaga and Papa (my parents) when he was a baby. It has been loved by three kids, and three, no wait, four cats.  Very loved by the cats. One day, I fully intend to restore the straw or at least make a cover for it. Please don’t mention a certain road built of good intentions.  I know it well, thank you.

Toots is showing you Big Puppy. She loves Big Puppy vewy much. Another intention: this toddler bed converted from her crib will one day be replaced by two milk painted and restored antique acorn head and foot board twin beds that are currently in the garage. 

Now she is showing you her Marble Game. We have to play this a lot. It’s an old game of the boys, but a new and wondrous discovery for her. 

Boys’ room. It’s packed. Jam packed. But they’ll live, they have shared a room before.  I curse these giant IKEA beds.  Curse them down that road of good intentions. Warning: giant beds with tons of shelving under them may seem like a good idea before you actually buy them, but you will rue the day of the purchase.  Just walk by them through the IKEA habitrail and focus on something simpler, and less apt to collect a hoard of clutter the likes of which you have never seen. I found lost library books from three years ago, for one. Don’t. ask. me. about. the. rest. Or the suicide turtles. Please don’t ask about the suicide turtles hanging from the fan chain. Suffice it to say that I have raised a morbid teen. Intention: remove carpet, paint walls a lighter robin’s eggish blue.

Captain Comic’s ‘light table’ Honey built it for him for drawing from and old photography light and a piece of an old computer desk.

Mr. Cynic’s side: bass and guitars galore and clutter starting on the bookcase and dresser.

Captain Comic’s side: I swear, there is only so much a mother of an aspie can do. 
Why didn’t I get an OCD type? 
See that empty corner?  Ahhhh…..just ignore the Easter stickers on Honey’s armoire. I try to.

This is what used to be crammed in that empty corner – My meditation center. I have a thing about nature. It calms me, even bits and pieces of it collected in my house. Now it is not covered in two inches of dust bunnies that could get up and walk away. and it’s where I can access it and see it when I wake up in the morning. This is the wall where Toots’s crib was.

This is under my antique shaker dresser. Look, there’s space! It’s the little things in life.

But the thing that makes me happiest, I think, is that I can open the doors we installed on the balcony and roll out my yoga mat under the sunlight coming from the living room sky lights! This is where her wide dresser/changing table/armoire thing was that is now in the garage. Not sure yet if I can fit there to do yoga, but it’s a start. Again, this rug will go bye-bye eventually. And those tapes will go out to my van which is old enough to still have a tape deck, yes.

Yes that is an alligator on my bed, what of it?


Did everyone on the eastern half of the country survive the storms alright?  We had some pretty astounding rain, but overall are fine and not flooded.

Before it got really going, I managed to take this of my first bulby blooms:

They are mini jonquils, about the diameter of a quarter, perhaps a bit less.
Then Captain Comic and I began the excavation of his London after the bombing bedroom.  Four plus hours, and there is still more to go. I did not take Before pictures, but here are some durings:
I curse the day I purchased this IKEA bed with deep shelves for scads of detritus to collect in, and behind, along the wall. I found the floor on easily five separate occasions. My back and shoulder will ne’er be the same after my squeezing in there to retrieve stuff from the deep recesses. Look at my poor Captain Comic.  We were both exhausted after the first hour.  But we kept at it.
I sincerely apologize to thousands of trees who met their demise for my son’s art, only to be recycled. So far: two buckets this weekend, one last weekend, and one the weekend before.

Closet vomit, Phase 2. I was too overwhelmed and embarassed to capture Phase One.
Um, don’t ask.  I have learned not to often. Most likely a distracted reprieve from his slavery.
Closet, After. That’s a lego exclusive bucket (well, a few other things like playmobil may be in there, too) and a vehicle/creature bucket.  Two large vehicles and a nerf gun are in the corner. That’s it. Phew!

This morning, the creep is beginning to show already: an eraser, a shirt, an encyclopedia. I can not tell you how often I went over use one thing, put it back before you take another out. His desk surface still needs a thorough going through. That file cabinet is empty, has been since I slid it into his room for saving his artwork. Sigh.  Below are three examples of heartbreak I tried to rescue:

Just look at that detail, that crumple.  He has no recollection of drawing it. sigh.
This is a storyboard page for the ‘sitcom’ he and Mr. Cynic are making. So much effort, into the trash. sigh.
Ninja Boy.  sigh. This was an entire bound drawing book at one point. It was filled with full color, plot filled, great storyline, beautiful comic book artistry, funny, funny, funny. Gone but this sliver of pages I managed to find. sigh.
Some things, I will never understand about Asperger’s Syndrome and how it presents in my son.  So much gorgeous work, just trashed and all over his room.  Intensely involved in it while working on it, out of mind once it’s finished. Sigh.
*All art concepts belong to Captain Comic.

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.

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?


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.

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