Saturday, December 30, 2006

Banana the Destroyer

Don't be misled by the lack of carnage reportage. Banana Dog has not let up on her campaign of terror in the back yard.

We have the world's strangest back yard. Pictures will have to do...

And what, pray tell, is around the corner of that fence?

We live at the end of a cul de sac, and our house was added as an afterthought, from bits and pieces of property that were left over when all the other houses were already in place. Laugh if you like, but it's why we were able to afford to buy anywhere around here at all.

Those pictures were back right before we moved in, so I've done a bit around the porch since then, all of it in pots.

Most recently, Banana has put herself in charge of landscaping around our bizarre L-shaped "yard".

(And for those of you who think she looks contrite, that's a no. She just doesn't like the flash.) We now have one potentially working sprinkler, and four that look something like this...

Meteors leave smaller craters.

She's also dragged a large cinderblock out of the way on the other side of the house, and ripped out all the sprinkler wires running under the concrete porch. You'd think she hated the sprinklers, but she loves running through them more than snacks. And if you want to know how much she loves snacks, just look at this picture.

"give me the snack. give me the snack. give. give me the snack. the snack. the snack. give. me. the. snack. give it to meeeee."

I think, with the sprinklers, she realizes she has finally found herself a worthy opponent. The game is afoot.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Moving and Shaping the World

I know the time for this post is more around Mothers' Day, but it seems that all around me, my friends and loved ones are taking on the next generation.

My own Mom had not an easy time of it with us. She was in bed for months with at least two of us. The story is they had to button my sister back in when my mom tried to go into labor early. I was born more than a couple of months early, and that was back in the early days of locally-available incubators, although the nearest hospital for all such at the time, here in L.A., was 40 minutes from their house. I weighed three pounds and change, but have put on quite a bit more since then.

My sister wanted kids, but it didn't happen through "regular channels". So she became a foster mom, to kids that other foster homes had turned away. 19 children, all arriving pre-potty training stage. Children with fetal alcohol syndrome. Children with developmental issues, with emotional problems. She let the powers that be know she was willing to adopt, but she lives in another state and they consider foster parents paid caregivers. Seventeen of those children went back to birth parents, back into the system, off into the world.

After years and years, she was able to adopt two of her kids, a boy and a girl. They're great kids, and we adore them although I haven't had the money to travel that far in forever, and the little kids I remember are now high school students!

Other friends have just this fall gone the adoption route, and have hacked and kicked their way through the bureaucrat morass that is the U.S. adoption process. Finally, after much slogging and hoop jumping and playing well with others, they have the most adorable two month old I've ever seen. (If you think I'm slighting your two month old, rest assured it's only because I haven't seen him/her at exactly 8 weeks of age. If I had, it would surely be a tie).

LB's step sisters and cousins have been having babies right and left, it seems.

Last but not least, some of my favorite bloggers near and far, including many out here on the West Coast, are experiencing their own hard won baby booms.

To all of them I'd like to say, "Happy Belated Mothers' Day! You ROCK!" Now have an egg nog and let him get the diaper for a change!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Meant To Call You....

Don't hate me, don't hate me! It wasn't like that, honest. I meant to call. I lost your number. I've been sick. Yeah, that's it. Sick. But I'm better now, promise!

No, not really.

I actually went out a bought a new bookcase, so my new office daybed wouldn't be lonely. And then a new desk, to go with the new bookcase. Which I have justified by noticing suddenly that my home office is trapezoidal. I've got one crooked wall that, for no apparent reason, follows the property line rather than common sense or the laws of physics, hence my old 90 degree L-shaped desk never fit my 120 degree office corner. I've lived with it for 5+ years, but I really want to reclaim that wasted space. So in my search for more space, I got and assembled my new desk before getting rid of my old desk. Which means I can't really get into my office right now.

Yeah. I know. You don't need to tell me.

If that wasn't Panda-brained enough for me, the new bookcase thing has devolved rapidly into a new obsess... I mean hobby. Now that at least half my books are consolidated into in one bookshelf, I have started "organizing" them. And for those of you who are huge fans of the Dewey decimal system, I'm not quite that organized.

I've got the "foreigner in another country with a big honkin' house who can afford to have charming adventures in remodeling while wandering the countryside eating exotic meals and I have to sit here drooling because I can't afford new vacuum bags for my L.A. rat trap much less to travel outside of this country since 1991" books at the end of one shelf. Those are snuggling up to the "non-fiction with a disclaimer added post-publication so legal can stop their brains melting out their ears" memoirs... and you know who you are! Next come all the anthologies of women who travel/women's spiritual journeys/women and men who travel and get paid to write about it books. And just before I ran out of room, I squeezed in my favorites of the Literature/Memoirs (to be continued on the next shelf), those whose prose has been widely praised and is deemed deserving of the Bestowing of the Capital Letters.

I'm not going to bore you by walking you through the rest of my shelves, but Isabel Allende's memoir-ish book really should be next to the rest of her books. That's not going to work, however, because fiction is the next shelf down. So do I split up Isabel's works into solitary orphans scattered here and there, or do I keep them huddled together and leave a lonely fiction stranded in the non-fiction?

What? No, this couldn't possibly be more procrastination. Don't be silly!