Thursday, June 28, 2007

Property Tax Woman/Disappearance of Middle Class Housing

Property tax appraisals have been going up like crazy in Corpus this summer. I expected ours to go up, but was truly astounded when I saw it. Our house has three bedrooms, one bathroom, 1250 square feet and was built in 1949. We bought it in August of 1999 for 65K, its exact appraised value. At that time, it was still possible to find a small house in the older neighborhoods in that range, though newly built houses in town were much more costly. I love our old house and I adore our neighborhood. It is the sort of neighborhood where a very diverse mix of socioeconomic classes lives all close together and is friendly and that's the sort of place where I wanted to raise my kids. A few years ago, our appraisal went up to a bit over 72K and, even though we have not had the means or talent to take care of our house the way it deserves and its upkeep has declined in our possession, I thought that was appropriate, as our neighborhood is super-cool and old hardwood floors like ours are very popular and all.

Around that time, some people in the neighborhood started listing their houses very high for sale - in the 90s and low 100s. It was a cute idea, but they had to lower the prices way back down to the 70s and 80s (our house is one of the smaller ones) before they could sell, even with all-new renovations and added bathrooms. This past year, though, I have noticed lots of neighbors completely remodeling their houses and managing to sell them high like that. Made me feel trashy since our house will soon be the least well-kept in the area and it will likely be many years before we can spruce it up. Then we got our appraisal - for over 97K!!!!!!! Well. We certainly could not sell our house high like that. The ones that are selling are completely remodeled, bigger and have more than one bathroom. Ours is a little tiny fixer-upper type.

Lone Star Pa took pictures of all the cracked and rotten things in our house and I took them to the County Appraisal office yesterday. The appraiser was reasonable and understood the neighborhood dichotomy between remodeled and not-remodeled houses pretty fast. I felt bad dissing my house and bad about how badly we are at caring for it. He re-appraised it at just under 79K, though, so I think I did a good job explaining!

The fact remains that houses in pleasant neighborhoods that are affordable to your basic middle class - teachers, nurses, social workers, etc. - are becoming a thing of the past. Corpus has held out longer than most communities, but it is now becoming a community where there are affordable houses in gang-infested neighborhoods and all the other houses you have to be rich in order to buy. I really think that's wrong. A thriving middle class is a necessity for a healthy democracy. It does not bode well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Site back up! is back up and running at last, as is my e-mail at that domain. I am so sorry for the inconvenience of the last couple of weeks!

Denton Meanderings

Before leaving town on Sunday, Lone Star Pa wanted to poke around Denton a bit, so we did, getting back to Corpus very late indeed that night. Lone Star Pa was born in Denton and we both attended the University of North Texas there, where we met. Fry Street was, at that time, the main place where we college kids went to hang out and carouse around. It was walking distance from the university and had on it a place called the Flying Tomato where you could get individual slices of pizza with just about anything you wanted on them (zuchini! spinach!)...and beer. I used to belong to lots of organizations at school and we spent lots of time at the Flying Tomato planning the revolution and all. We found out over breakfast that the Fry Street businesses are being demolished for some sort of development, so we went to take one last look. The Flying Tomato, name long-changed to just The Tomato, was already gutted and people hung around taking pictures. It was pretty sad. Several other spots we tried to look for were also all re-developed - ick.

Not everything was gone, though. A comic book store run by Lone Star Pa's childhood friend was still there, but closed on Sunday. The Cupboard natural foods store was still there, if much fancier, and Recycled Books and Records was still there, if somewhat renovated (and lavendar - I don't remember it being lavendar). Recycled Books and Records is sort of like a Half-Price Books store, but bigger and independently owned and groovier by far. I attended my first Quaker Meetings in the basement of that store and one of the little boys we used to take turns minding during Meeting when he was a toddler is now working there - wow. It was good to see the place. Good to look around Denton some - college was a pretty special time.

More Travelling for the Road Family

On Thursday, we headed back up to Dallas to drop the Lone Star Niece back with her parents who had been missing her greatly. We are going to miss her a bunch, too, but have plans for more Cousin Camp next summer. We left the Lone Star Girl in Denton with her paternal grandmother and uncle for a few days when we came back on Sunday, so we will be going back to get her later this week. I am missing her now, too!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I got a sunburn at the beach and have been eschewing bras because they hurt. Lone Star Pa does not think women my size should do that, though he would not say so. I can tell, though.

We have laundry issues at my house and I frequently have a tough time finding clean underwear. I hate wearing the emergency panties. Today, I went to the mall and bought a pair of underwear for every day of the week! I am so incredibly rich.

Beach Day...

We went to the beach on Monday and the kids had a blast. It was wonderful.

We do not go nearly as often as we should because Lone Star Pa hates it. I try to think of that as a sort of mild misogyny, but it is really more about me personally, I think. I doubt he understands or cares enough to be afraid of what the Sea means to me, but he knows enough to hate water in his male way. I could forget him, forget the kids, float away in the billowy place between the breakers out to the life-teeming All-Mother and never, ever return. The Girl could, too, almost. Gulf-green, salt-carried.

I can think of every reason not to go to the shore when I am not there, succomb to the tiniest pressure to avoid it. When I am there, I care about no one else, though. I do not really believe they exist. Or have...significance.


Last Wednesday, we trekked on up to Dallas and hung with the fam the next day. Then, on Friday, we brought the four-year-old Lone Star Niece back here with us to give my sister a pre-schooler-free period with the new baby and, more importantly, to begin the all-important tradition of (drumroll, please, Blackhearts) COUSIN CAMP!!!!!!

Since then, the Lone Star Girl, the Lone Star Niece and the Lone Star Baby have been busy here in Corpus Christi with making Father's Day presents, having daily craft time, playing outside and in the indoor tent, reading stories, going to the beach, going to storytime and craft time at the library, playing in the splash pool and walking to the ice cream shop. We had fun. (Also, the Lone Star Girl got valuable helping-out-cheerfully experience!) We plan to do it every single year forever. It was great!!!

Tomorrow, we trek back up to Dallas to return the brave and adventurous and truly angelic Lone Star Niece to her parents who have missed her very, very much and to hang for a bit more. The girls are going to wear their Cousin Camp 2007 t-shirts. Cousin Camp is the best. You may want to instruct your siblings to pro-create and stuff so you can try it. Really.

Very Bad Timing

My site,, and my e-mail address at the domain have been down for a good week now due to a bit of ridiculous irresponsibility on the part of my hosting company. I am trying to remedy the situation, but it may be next week or so before I am successful. So...if you have tried to reach me at that time, I really apologize. The comments section here may be your best bet for awhile, I am afraid. Grrrr...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lone Star Ma #9 in Austin

On Wednesday, we drove to Dallas to pick up my niece for Cousin Camp; we drove back here with her yesterday. On the way to Dallas, we stopped in Austin for a couple of hours to distribute some copies of Lone Star Ma #9. You should be able to find it at Kerbey Lane, outside Wheatsville, at Bookpeople, Monkeywrench Books and Book-Woman. We are still looking for part-time contractors to sell ads on commission! We need someone in Dallas, someone in Austin, someone in Corpus, someone in San Antonio, someone in the Valley...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Happy Third Birthday to the Lone Star Baby!!!

The Lone Star Baby is three years old today! I can hardly believe it. She still seems two to me. Three always seems like a very important milestone to me...the end of so much and the beginning of so much. To the Lone Star Baby, the day means new toys and Dora decorations and cake and ice cream and fun. To me, it means what it is, a celebration of this tiny, amazing person's life, this person who means so much to me, and a celebration of the anniversary of her birth, too, which was easily the most exquisite experience in my life as well as the beginning of her own independent self. Below, I have pasted her birth story for you to peruse, names and all, though it is probably only Mama who feels so nostalgic about it still. Happy Birthday, my darling daughter! Happy Three Years Old!

The Birth of Marigold Carol

It was Friday, June 11th, 2004. I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock, realizing that I could not nudge my husband to push the snooze button because I had started sleeping on the alarm clock side of the bed since we’d put up the co-sleeper on the other side of the bed a few days earlier. Of course, I would sleep on the co-sleeper side of the bed, my side of the bed, once the baby came, but at present she was pushing so painfully on part of my spine that crawling around the co-sleeper did not seem like an option.

I turned off the alarm and got dressed for work, musing over the dreams I had had the night before…all about waves, every one of them. Waves in the ocean. I hoped that meant labor was coming.

I was two days overdue, officially. I knew however, from when I had ovulated, that this was my real due date, although I had never expected to make it so far. I had tried hard to forget that I had really ovulated on a Friday, not a Wednesday, when I found out that my nurse-midwife had a rehearsal dinner for her nephew’s June 12th wedding on June 11th… out of town. As Wednesday came and went, though, I had been trying to face the probability of giving birth without her and now had the phone numbers of the doula that she had arranged to cover labor support for her along with the doctor covering her deliveries posted alongside her own in my study. She wasn’t planning to leave until noon, though.

I peeked in on my daughter, Mimosa, and my teen-aged sister, Jasmine, before I left. They were sleeping soundly so I let them keep sleeping. My sister had been in town for two weeks to help me with my daughter and with the baby whose arrival we had expected much sooner. She had to go back to Dallas in one week so the baby needed to hurry up. My husband left for work and I left shortly after him.

I got to work and checked my e-mails and did some paperwork, then chatted with some co-workers. It was about 9:30am by that time and the contractions I was feeling felt different from the rather painful Braxton-Hicks I had been feeling for a few months. For one thing, I had them sitting down as well as standing and the others had been mainly while standing and walking. Also, they started from my back and moved around to the front. This was promising but they were still pretty scattered…five minutes apart, four minutes apart, ten minutes apart…no real regularity. I left for a meeting at City Hall and by the time I got there they were around 12 to 13 minutes apart with consistency.

By 11am, I was really too uncomfortable to pay much attention to the meeting so I whispered to my colleague that I was getting increasingly uncomfortable and was going to leave. I found my boss and told her that I thought this was it and would let her know if I was wrong. She hugged and congratulated me and I headed home.

At home, it being still before noon, I called Patricia’s office (Patricia is the nurse-midwife) and left a message for her to call me back. Then I e-mailed my colleagues who needed to be informed about the beginning of my Family Leave and got my automated e-mail reply about my maternity leave set up, checking with my administrative assistant to be sure that it worked. By this time, it was after noon and I called Patricia’s office back to see if she had already left town. The office staff said she had not, that she was still seeing patients and would call me when she was finished with them. Shortly after this, she called me. I told her about my contractions, which were now ten to twelve minutes apart and she said to come on over to the office so she could check me. I collected my eight-year-old and my sister and headed over.

At the office, I left my daughter in my sister’s care in the waiting room and followed a medical assistant into one of the exam rooms. She hooked me up to an external fetal monitor or some such contraption to monitor my contractions and the baby’s reaction to them for a spell. Patricia soon came in and waited with me. She said the monitor wasn’t all that useful and it was better if she could feel the contractions herself so to tell her when I had them. For a good while, she worked on her charts and I babbled about all kinds of things while she felt my bulging uterus during the contractions. After awhile, she unhooked me and did a vaginal exam, pronouncing me to be around 3 centimeters dilated and agreeing that the baby would probably be born that night. She asked me if I would be comfortable delivering with someone else and I said I’d live with it. She asked me if I wanted her to stay and I said I really didn’t think I should make that decision. I wanted her to stay very badly, of course, but I did not think it was fair for her to miss family time for me. She said she was going to go home and talk to her husband and would call me back when they had made up their minds. I gave her my pager number because I had a real craving for eggs and planned to take the girls out for some food. Before leaving, I called my husband at work and left a message on his machine, catching him up on the day’s events and telling him he really didn’t need to leave work yet; I just hadn’t wanted him to call me at work and be told that I had left in labor.

The girls and I went to Town & Country Restaurant for lunch (yum - eggs) and Patricia paged me while we were there. I called her and she said that they had decided to stay in town that night and skip the rehearsal dinner, driving out for the wedding the next day. I thanked the saintly woman and agreed to stay in touch by phone, having her home phone and pager number handy. After lunch, I took the girls to the library and we looked around there for a while. My contractions were worse than bad menstrual cramps but it was not time to pay too much attention to them.

After the library, we headed home, getting there at about 3:30pm, just as my husband, Tom, was also getting home. By this time, I was about ready to get in the tub. I set the girls up with some activities, provided by smart and generous friends, that Jazz could supervise and some movies, provided by my other helpful and generous sister, Sarah, and settled into a warm bath with a tumbler of iced lemonade and a copy of Robert A. Heinlein’s The Star Beast. I called Patricia to let her know that I was fine and home and that the contractions were around four minutes apart but very manageable. She reminded me that she lives in Rockport and would need a good half hour to get to the hospital. We joked about what a mess the car would be if I had the baby there. I went back to my reading and lemonade and my sister called the Dallas family to let them know I was in labor. My mom grilled me on the phone, nervous about how long I planned to stay at home. I did not want to get to the hospital until transition and Patricia had been comfortable with that plan, but my mom not so much.

I could tell that my contractions were strong but the water made them quite bearable. I read my book and very frequently called Tom to replenish my lemonade. It had been to a warm bath with a book and some lemonade that I had mostly turned for relaxation during pregnancy and it made sense that it would be the same in labor. Mostly, I was enjoying myself.

After awhile, Patricia called to check on me and tell me that she was heading over to the hospital. I told her that I didn’t think I was all that close to going and didn’t want her to be stuck there waiting for a long time. She said it was okay, that she would take a nap there, something that she loved doing…something about blankets warm from the blowers or something. I was not in the mood to find out what she meant.

My contractions got steadily stronger and closer together. The water was such a blessing. I got to where I couldn’t really read through the contractions, but was still comfortable reading between them. I could tell that I was not being able to achieve a deep relaxation during the contractions. I tried to use the Bradley techniques I had studied, but found that I mostly struggled against the contractions. I guess the water offered enough relaxation, though, because it was still quite bearable.

By around 8pm, labor got to be less bearable, even with the water. I started feeling irritable and finally snapped at Tom for leaving me and told him to stay. He settled in and I tried to get him to read to me because I couldn’t really manage reading for myself anymore. He started to but the contractions, which were a little more than two minutes apart, did not really allow me to listen so I finally told him to forget it. By 8:30pm, I realized I was reaching that “emotional signpost” that heralded the onset of transition…I didn’t feel like I could do it anymore, at least not the way I was doing it. I paged Patricia. She called me back promptly and I told her how I felt. She said to come on over. Getting out of the tub felt like a big mistake. The contractions felt about a million gazillion times worse out of water and it was all back labor. We told the girls to get their stuff and get ready. I tried to put on a tank top I had set aside for this purpose but could not, in my tortured state, really figure out how to do that so I finally just tore it off and threw on a loose dress. We all piled into the car and Tom drove us to the hospital as I explained to the girls that I needed them to be silent. They were.

Tom wanted to drop us off by the hospital entrance and go park the car so I wouldn’t have to walk but I was less comfortable with the idea of being left alone with the girls than with the idea of walking, so he parked the car and we all walked to the entrance. Walking wasn’t nearly as bad as sitting in the car had been, although pretty much everything was bad at that time. When we got to the entrance, though, it was locked. Someone inside, an employee, told us we’d have to go around to the back of the building and come through the emergency entrance. Tom said I couldn’t and started harassing the woman to let us in. It was obvious to me that she was not going to and I managed to convince Tom of this and get him to take us back to the car. We drove around to the emergency entrance and damned if someone didn’t come out and insist that I get in a wheelchair. I told him I was really better walking but he quite insisted. Sitting in the wheelchair during contractions was fairly unbearable. I told him I needed to go to the third floor, labor and delivery, that I was pre-registered and that they were waiting for me. Damned if he didn’t take me to triage instead. The triage nurse started asking a lot of questions which I tried to answer between the whole squealing and almost falling out of the chair thing. I kept pointing out that they already had all of that information in their computer because I was pre-registered and that I really needed to get to labor and delivery and that they were waiting for me there. I heard her on the phone telling the people who took vital signs that I was about to deliver and she was not sending me over to them unless they wanted to deliver a baby. Finally, she called labor and delivery, where they were waiting for me and told her to send me up. Meanwhile, my husband was telling the finance people that we were pre-registered and would deal with them later. We finally got up to labor and delivery and to a birthing room where Patricia and a nice nurse named Mary were waiting. We had an inflatable tub in the trunk of our car but there was no time to even think of setting it up, as hard and fast as the contractions were coming.

I told Patricia that I was doing it all wrong, that I couldn’t relax at all. She said that was just fine, not to worry, that I didn’t need to relax, which is rather what I needed to hear. They had paperwork they needed me to fill out but soon realized that would just have to be done later. Patricia needed to check me and one of those vital signs people needed to take my blood. Lying on the bed so this could happen was nearly impossible but it was finally accomplished and Patricia said I was at seven centimeters. People who labor while lying down on their backs are getting a very raw deal…that seems to be the most painful position there is. I got up as soon as I could.

At some point, I took my dress off and was naked for the rest of the time. The pressure on my back was horribly bad and with every contraction I needed Tom to push on the small of my back with his entire body weight behind his hands just to make it bearable. He did so faithfully, although I expect it did a number on his arms. They offered me a birthing ball, but it was on a wheeled contraption and I needed so much counter pressure that I knew I would just be pushed off of it and into the walls of the room so I didn’t bother.

I labored mostly while sort of sitting on the edge of the bed, with Tom leaning in from the other side of the bed behind me, pushing on my back. I had thought I would hold on to the bed rail to keep from being pushed off, but with the first contractions there, Patricia stood in front of me and put her arms around me, letting me lean heavily on her while she murmured that I was doing fine and everything was alright. Between contractions, she got out this huge folding fan that she had brought and fanned me. She even fed me ice chips with a spoon. I had really never expected such an amazing degree of labor support or realized what a difference it could make. I quickly understood even better how lucky I was that she had stayed in town. I did not feel like I could do it without her. Midwife means “with woman” and the beauty of that system became very clear to me.

During all of this, my sister was occupying my eight-year-old with a variety of art supplies in a corner of the room. My daughter is very active and usually a real motor mouth but she kept very quiet so I could concentrate and my little sister, only fifteen herself, was a real trooper.

I felt like pushing almost as soon as I got to the hospital but was aware that pushing is not generally done at seven centimeters. I finally told Patricia that I really wanted to, though. She said not to wear myself out, because the baby wasn’t coming quite yet, but that I could push a little if it made me feel better. I did and it really helped. Patricia said making some pushing noises helped sometimes and I made some. That helped, too. Even though this really felt better, me grunting was not my daughter’s favorite part. Working noises and noises of agony are hard to distinguish. She and Jasmine went on a couple of walks around the hospital and made the rounds of the vending machines when they needed a break. At one point, Patricia had to leave the room for a minute (she was literally there the entire rest of the time; try getting that from a doc!) and a contraction came. Jasmine jumped up and put her arms around me the way Patricia had been doing. I was worried about scaring her so I asked if it was okay to lean on her and she said yes and got me through that contraction herself…what a sister!

During one contraction when I was lying on the bed because they had just checked me, my water broke with a gush. The kids thought that was pretty exciting. All of this seemed like it was taking a long time while it was happening, but I was really only in the hospital a total of two hours between when I arrived and when the baby was born. I finally decided to try pushing on the toilet a little with all the mess that that invites. While getting cleaned up, I felt the baby move all the way down and gasped.

“Patricia, she’s right there!” I said. Patricia believed me and started herding me back towards the bed, saying that we were going to have a baby. Since I had been numb from an epidural during Mimosa’s crowning, I got worried about the “ring of fire” sensation some women describe. I told Patricia rather desperately that I needed hot compresses so I wouldn’t tear. She applied some but I found them so uncomfortable that I just kept telling her to move them. She thought I meant the stretching was uncomfortable, I think, saying “Yes, the baby’ going to come out, “ but I just wanted her to move the compresses. I leaned on the bed, standing, during the next push and felt like the baby was about to come right out. I heard Patricia urging me to please get on the bed because she didn’t like to do standing deliveries. I whined that I was trying. It was very hard to move with the baby’s head that low, but I finally managed to crawl up onto the bed and, on all fours, point my butt towards the foot of the bed. I had intended to push the baby out in a supported squat on the bed but at that point, I do not know if I could have gotten up under any circumstances. I stayed on all fours. Since I could no longer see what was going on, everything seems to have happened all at once in my memory. The pushing felt wonderful. I remember a sound of great hurrying in the room behind me and Mary ‘s voice gently saying “take it nice and easy” to me. I figured that meant things were happening a little fast for them so I tried to stop and let my uterus do the pushing without my help for a minute but that did not work at all. I heard Patricia say, “Just give me some gloves!” – it turned out she had knocked her gown onto the floor. Then I was pushing that wet, fat baby out…which didn’t burn at all, it was literally the best sensation of my entire life! I felt so powerful; it was fabulous! Everything happened so fast that it doesn’t seem like there was time for all that did happen but the girls squealed with excitement and Tom gave a play by play of what was out: the hair, the eyes, the nose…Patricia had at some point said that I would want to flip over when the baby came out but when I felt her flop out, things got really exciting behind me, so I stayed still to stay out of the way. The cord had broke and was spraying blood everywhere like a hose so Patricia had to get it clamped quickly.

“Is she alright?” I asked a little urgently as I heard Patricia start wiping blood off of the baby and she said she was just fine. I was the only one who hadn’t seen the baby yet and I finally got to turn over and see her…my beautiful, wet, round, little baby…Marigold Carol Boone, born at 11pm on the dot. She weighed eight pounds, five ounces and was nineteen and three-fourths inches long. She was mad, howling and howling for the longest time. The vernix kind of made her pink skin look blue-ish so I kept rubbing her with the towel for a minute along with Patricia but soon realized that she was just fine and picked her up and put her to the breast. It took some time for her to stop howling long enough to nurse. Marigold had an amazing amount of beautiful, curly brown hair and her big sister’s face. She was perfect.

After I nursed her a tiny bit, Daddy and Sister and Auntie all had to hold her. Auntie soon left the room to call all the relatives and Patricia and Mary left us alone for a good, long time to get acquainted. I was thrilled with my baby and thrilled with my natural, un-medicated birth experience. It was really the most empowering event of my life and I finally understood why proponents of natural childbirth are so adamant about it, something I had not fully understood before, birth being only a day or so, I thought, in your life with your child. I now saw how much more it was and how a natural birth is an experience that a woman is owed…something so wonderful that no one should be allowed to take it away from her. I had not been able, for good reasons probably, to have such an experience with my first birth but I am so glad now that my life was able to include this birth experience as well.

Our little family snuggled and I nursed Marigold and all was right with the world. Mimosa said it best somewhat later when she said “This was the best day in my whole life!”

Mine, too.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lone Star Ma #9

Issue 9 of Lone Star Ma is back from the printer's at last! I spent the week after school was out working feverishly at it (though, of course, now I can only see what I missed!) and looking for a new printer, which was not easy. Then, last week was spent waiting for it to be ready...and Friday, it was! The new printer made a couple of big mistakes, but they did what they could to correct them and I think I will be able to work with them in the future...I make mistakes, too. I have mailed out issues to subscribers, contributers and swappers and I expect you should get them by Thursday at the latest, if you are one of those. If you are and do not, please let me know! I hope you like it! Remember how much we adore fan mail, please! I need letters for Issue 10! You could also leave legions of wonderful comments here, you know...I'm just saying...(:

Other Developments

Just this week, I have noticed that men (strangers in public) are starting to look at the Lone Star Girl. I suppose that the flickering over her of their eyes is mainly instinctive, so I have not killed any of them. It is just something that recently started occurring.

Comic Book Geek Spawn

Lone Star Pa is, shall we say, a Marvel Comics enthusiast (and a big-time Star Trek fan, etc.). In the years since we took up housekeeping together, I have learned a good bit more about the Marvel Universe(s) than I would have ever considered picking up on my own...some of it is even interesting. The Lone Star Girl is definitely her father's daughter. She likes to have long conversations (can you call it a conversation when only she is talking and I am having a hard time even listening?) about Star Trek plots and multiple comic book storylines and characters. Long, long ones. The other day, she and I were on the side of town where the comic book store that her dad frequents is located and so we went inside to pick up his weekly ration. The young woman who works there saw my daughter and immediately took out the comics from my husband's pull box for us without our even asking. Seeing my daughter is part of her weekly routine. It was sort of a wow moment for kid will be meeting guys at Star Trek conventions in a few years, I suppose.

Happy Birthday, Lone Star Pa!

Today is Lone Star Pa's birthday! Since the Lone Star Baby's official due date was June 9th in 2004, we thought - when she didn't come sooner - that she might be holding out for his birthday, but no; she held out another day for her own. Lone Star Pa is a good guy who loves his daughters a ton and who is still just as hot as he was in college. Pins, LSP.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Quiet Days

The Lone Star Baby has had a high-fever bug since Friday night, so we have been staying close to home the past few days and doing that nerve-wracking acetaminophen-ibuprofen overlapping thing, which I hate, but not as much as I hate temperature readings of 104 degrees. We will be back to the doc this afternoon.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Corn Husking Helper

Last night, I decided to make a good, summer dinner for the family. I made veggie pigs in a blanket, corn on the cob, lemonade and peach shortcake. The Lone Star Baby helped me. She "peeled" the husks off the corn. She had to work so hard getting all those leaves and all that silk off. She took the job very seriously and stuck to it until she was finished. Then she set the table. She is such a big helper.

8 Facts Meme

The rules of this meme, which Alkelda the Gleeful of Saints and Spinners tagged me for, are supposed to be that you list the rules, then eight facts/habits about yourself. Then, at the end, you tag eight people to do it, then go to their comments section and tell them they are tagged. I am nothing if not subversive, though. I don't honestly know 8 bloggers who would like to be tagged, so I am tagging two, who I think will like it. If they want to tag others, great. If not, I'm cool with that, too(:

8 Facts About Me:

1.) I have five siblings by blood, the children of my mother and stepfather. I also have had hundreds of foster siblings over the years, both official ones that the state placed with our family for a time and unofficial ones, that my parents just sort of randomly took in, because they are like that. I had a very fun and interesting childhood in many ways. I'm a little crushed by my financial inability to have a large brood myself. Maybe a lot crushed.

2.) I nursed my older daughter until she was four and a half years old and am still nursing my almost-three-year-old.

3.) I was raised Roman Catholic - even went to Catholic schools from Kindergarten through the eighth grade. I left the Church in high school and began seeking about for something that was a better fit for me. I have always held the Church in great affection and respect and familial feeling, even when we disagree, but I found myself incapable of the typical American Cafeteria Catholic mindset - I could not take what I wanted from the Church and ignore the rules I didn't like - it just seemed dishonest to me. I understand trying to follow rules and falling short because we are all imperfect, but the Catholic Church has lots of rules and beliefs I will never even attempt to follow/embrace - such as the contraception one, for an example. I do love contraception. I felt it would be betraying the Church to be that sort of Catholic (although all of my family is that sort of Catholic and they are fine with it - different strokes) so I left. I attended a Unitarian Universalist Church for awhile in college and liked it very much but felt that a certain mysticism I needed was missing. Then I found a Quaker Meeting for Worship in my college town and that was it for me, so now I am a Quaker and am raising my kids Quaker. We are very much on the universalist end of the spectrum and I am pretty equally comfortable with Christian and Pagan modes of discourse for the just doesn't make that much difference to me.

4.) I have been a vegetarian since I was 16, mostly for reasons of sustainable living - I don't want other people to go hungry because I eat too high on the food chain. We eat eggs and dairy, but we try to be responsible about them. My husband still eats meat.

5.) I would say that taking care of my children while having to work has been the central crisis of my adulthood, which takes varying forms, but haunts me consistently.

6.) I get nasty eczema on my hands that makes them crack and bleed.

7.) I am wildly jealous (in a nice way) of bloggers with lots of comments.

8.) To say that I am a voracious reader would be a rather extreme understatement. I read like crack addicts smoke crack. It seems a fairly harmless vice as they go but it is not entirely harmless...just harmless compared to vices of equal extremity.

Okay, I tag:


Friday, June 01, 2007

First Haircut!

On Wednesday, I took the Lone Star Baby to get her first haircut! I had a gift certificate from my stepmother for a haircut for myself at the fancy place she goes to and "something extra". The gift certificate was from my birthday in September, when I needed a haircut, but I hadn't had time to get to it until now.

I was plain scared to get the Lone Star Baby's hair cut. Her hair has a very loose curl, not as tight as mine and definitely not as tight as her sister's, and lots of times hair like that loses its curl after it's cut, so, in a way, I really didn't want to get her hair cut. The Lone Star Girl was six before I took scissors to it myself one spring and gave her the little bob she wanted, but her hair grew really slowly and curled really tightly and was not as long then as the Lone Star Baby's hair was at not quite three, more than half-way down her back. It really got in her way. Since there could never be any real symmetry in hair as curly as the LSG's, I was brave enough to do a makeshift job myself, but I would never do that with the Lone Star Baby's, as unevenness would show on her. I asked the salon if a child's haircut could be the something extra and they said yes, so in we went.

The Lone Star Baby sat in my lap and amused people while I got my hair cut a bit shorter than I like it, which is for the best, considering how seldom I make it to the salon. Then it was my baby's turn! She behaved really well and came away with cute, shoulder-length hair that can be kept out of her face with just a little clip on either side. I think it is keeping its curl. She looks like a little Nancy Drew to me, now. I always wondered what to call her hair color, once her dark baby hair changed. It has a lot of brown, a lot of blonde (most people say it's blonde) and a lot of red in it. Maybe I'll go with "titian" like Nancy Drew!

I saved the shorn curls in a little box.

Summer Reading Club & Swim Team

Well, summer's on! On Tuesday, I took the Lone Star Baby to the library for the big kick-off of the Summer Reading Club! She's ready to be a Little Listener, so we got her a reading log to record the books we read to her. When she gets ten books, she gets her name on the wall - we're doing that today - then she gets a shiny star (I know! Wow!) next to her name for every ten books after that. Also, there will be weekly storytimes and crafts and special events - a reader-mom's mawkish heaven, frankly. Don't make fun of me... we all have our eccentricities, you know.

The Lone Star Girl's summer swim team, the Collier Piranhas, also got started on Tuesday. She goes to swim practice for an hour a day, sometimes two if she wants to go to morning and evening - she'll be getting in great shape. She's doing super for someone who barely swam all school year and is already at the head of her age level for breast stroke, which surprised me, because she hasn't been much of a fast swimmer before, she always just liked it.