Monday, September 29, 2008

Charlie And I Are Starting School!

Number two son starts preschool tomorrow. I don't know why, but it seems to be much too early for him to be going, I mean, he is still so young. Bah! I hear you say, two-and- a- half is not too young.

Okay, Okay 2 -1/2 is not too young, especially not for Chas. He is ready and will probably excel at whatever preschool throws at him; even it is just food. He will be provided things that I don't provide like ...structure, for example.

Beyond nap time and lunch, I don't have activities planned for him like: play dough (too messy to clean up) Art play...(usually the crayons all get trashed after he does free form art (scribble) all over the windows and walls. Oh yes and potty training. This is something that I utterly fail at. Our toilet training program consists of him removing his diaper and going to the bathroom when he remembers to or if I catch him in the act. Without going into more detail toilet training is a primary motivation for me to send him to preschool.

The other major motivation is my entering the University of Oregon. The fact that I am starting school the same year that my daughter started Kindergarten has hit her funny bone. She thinks it is the silliest thing ever!

Maybe she has the image of me going to some big, adult version of kindergarten? who knows? She has no idea that I am not starting school but continuing where I left off a couple of years ago.

Even I think it is kind of silly that I am going to school; here I am basically going into more debt in the hopes that when I get out I can get a job that will pay off the debt. All the while, I know that I could get a job without going into debt and spending years studying a bunch of abstract stuff.

Sigh, ah but the problem is if I did get a job I would have to put the kids into daycare, either at six in the morning (because of bakers hours) or if I were lucky enough to work a 9-5 job for the entire day. Then I would be paying someone to raise my kids.

Going to school at least gives me the flexibility to keep doing the sahp gig for a couple of years, and I don't have to hand them over to someone else for long periods of time. Who knows, my writing might get better.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Rain falls from the clouds
brown grass turns green

Apples fall from the tree
apple sauce tastes sweet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Charlie scares me!

About a year ago Charlie got hold of a very large knife with frosting on it. (which was more than adequate to cut cake with) He was in the middle of the room with several people standing to far away from him to just stop him. It was as if he was about to attempt to hold everyone hostage with this knife.

When I saw him with the knife, I had one of those "noooo" slow motion moments. Before I could get the knife away from him he stuck the tip of the knife in his mouth and licked the frosting off. ugh.

It was a scary two seconds.... Charlie has absolutely no qualms about using knives: to cut up cheese, put peanut butter on bread, cut the bread up.
He is a very resourceful little man; I have no doubt that he gets it from his sister.

I could be busily, working in the yard, cleaning the house or wasting time on the computer (not paying attention to the kids) and find them having a four course lunch: grapes, apples, cheese, bread, carrots. It used to be that they would tell me when they are hungry but now they don't even bother.

It is kind of nice; the only draw back, really, is that they don't clean up and there is sure to more of a mess than there would be if I had provided lunch for them.

On the plus side if I pass out, impale myself with gardening tools, drown in the sink or become otherwise incapacitated I know that the kids won't starve.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Presidential Politics

I really have to get this off my chest. I don't write about my opinions of national politics much because well, the enormity of it all makes me feel that there is no point to having an opinion. Presidential campaigns bother me. every campaign I can remember (that would be all the way back to Reagan.....I am only 37 after all)

They talk about changing things, changing the tone in Washington, changing tax laws, changing welfare, yada yada, change blah blah d blah blah. So, far from my perspective things have gotten better for those who were already well off and those of us on the bottom still have to walk a tight rope over poverty. (Wealth seems to me to be more of a birth right than a good work ethic) (who am I to complain, I mean I swore that I would always be poor and now I eat every day and I don't have a paying job) It is a difficult balance regardless.

I like to consider my self Independent, In reality the Dems have always had my vote, except for that year that Nader ran......sigh...... Socially I am not conservative I am all for abortion, drugs, wild sex, and atheists. ( I am much more consverative than that) What turned me off of Republican candidates is their distance from reality, they speak in platitudes that don't stand up to scrutiny. I mean Reagan, known as the great communicate was just a pitchman and was totally void of substance.

They talk about "family values" but then get caught in airport bathrooms trying to get lucky, and who can forget Bob Packwood.

I am more irked with the Republicans now than I ever thought was possible; I mean we have McCain who I viewed as being somewhat honest, shooting for the platitudes that will get the yokel vote. Not so long ago McCain was pro-choice now he is talking about banning abortion out right.

One would hope that if he gets into office he will stick to those wacky right wingers.

I am voting for Obama, but honestly I have only heard one of his inspiring speeches; that was all for me. why? Well it is that platitude thing again; he is a much better speaker than Gore or Kerry were. Gore and Kerry appealed to me because they did not use flowery speech, I just don't trust any one who seems to be trying to sell me something.

If Obama were not so slick I might feel really good about voting for him.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Gratuitous Poop Story

When I first moved to California, I lived in the Napa valley (actually a little town called Angwin in the hills east of the valley). What I liked most about living there was not the availability a lot of really good inexpensive wine, but the food. All the food was good. Grocery store deli food was superb, the scones at my favorite coffee shop melted in my mouth. The burgers at the local drive up place were incredible and all the food was fresh. Not only are there chefs and cooks with a lot of vision, the Napa valley is smack dab in the middle of family farm country there is a plethora of fresh produce. Even the local taqueria, which was inexpensive, had the best burritos and tacos around; I and my fellow bakers would get dinner there before they closed.

Not to forget the grapes. In St. Helena, where the bakery I worked at is, there are vineyards all over town; my son and I would often walk through the rows of grape vines to get to the library, his day care or the store. Sometimes, when the grapes were just getting ripe we would take a couple.....maybe more...and pop them into our mouths to test their readiness for the crush.

The Crush came toward the end of August and went well into September. Just when the grape leaves start to change color, the grapes come off the vine and are loaded into huge gondolas that are towed to the various wineries, Which, as you may imagine are also as ubiquitous as the grape vines . I did not take much interest in the goings on of the wine industry, I did not go to tasting rooms or drive around the valley and the surrounding hills looking for the best wine, I did have some wines that I thought were good. What I do know is that you don't generally drink wine when it is just grape juice. It puzzles me why it seemed that during the crush there were suddenly more people in wine country? These BMW driving fashionistas were not there to work, I am positive, since most of them seemed to be a drunk at the end of the day. They were definitely tourists. The other puzzling aspect was the smell, the smell of, well, fermenting grapes was everywhere and it was not totally pleasant, You would think the tourists would all wait until after the smell went away to come. I did get used to it eventually so much so that I don't find it all the offensive.

Right now I have loads of grapes, like a bunch of purple chandeliers hanging from my arbor, and ripe grapes are being crushed under foot on our porch. Charlie and Ruthie have been eating grapes by the handful for almost a month. (most of them not ripe)

A couple of days ago, Charlie walked past me and suddenly a whiff of something reached my nose that brought back a flood of memories. I was transported, I remembered eating tacos and drinking Corona at work, walking the vineyards with Kyle, buying grapes at the St. Helena farmers market. A couple of minutes later as I changed Charlies diaper I realised where the smell was coming from.