Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Today is my birthday, which isn't something I'm really very thrilled about. I had a nice day at Camp Greenhill with our Girl Scouts, working on their American Patriotism patch, which was a lot more interesting and cool than it may sound. I started out a little bummed that I would get no real rest this weekend when I am super-tired, but I ended up very glad to be back at the camp, where I haven't really spent any time since the Lone Star Baby came along. All the millions of unremembered ants near my now ant bite-allergic child gave me a pretty major internal freak-out, but all went well and the day was very nice. I love Girl Scout camp.

I am so bleh, though, about my waning childbearing years and the fact that the third little daughter who I have seen so clearly for years - Juniper Elizabeth - and her twin who I see less clearly, through a haze but definitely there (maybe a Briar Ruby) - will probably just have to remain unrealized. It is hard for me to think of no more pregnancies, no more births, no more babies...I don't like it. I'm not ready. I never got the chance to savor it. I will probably never get that chance.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Soccer Girl!

The Yellow Jackets had their first game today and our little soccer girl had a blast!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Paint Problems

Last weekend was home improvement nightmare time. We recently got a letter from Texas Windstorm saying that they had come to inspect our roof, which was fine, but that we needed to fix the paint on our fascia boards by a certain date if we wanted to keep our policy. Um...the paint? I called and checked and they weren't kidding. The paint on our fascia boards has been peeling in an ugly the way the entire nine-plus years we have lived here. We have not wanted to mess with it because our house was built in 1949 and the exterior paint is lead paint and - not having bazillions of dollars for proper abatement - we didn't want to badly contaminate the yard messing with it.

Oh, well.

Lone Star Pa tried to be really careful and wet scrape, leaving as much intact as possible, but it just didn't work. It got all over the place. Very scary.

So, to wit: before, we had ugly paint but most of the yard was fine. Now, the paint looks okay, but the yard is contaminated with lead. Lovely. Thank you, Texas Windstorm. So sensible.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Feeding Folks

Our Girl Scout troop is organizing a canned food drive to donate to the people in need in Galveston after Hurricane Ike, through our local Food Bank. This evening, while I was out at dance class and story time with the Lone Star Baby, the Lone Star Girl went around to the neighbors by herself and collected a bunch of cans. I'm so proud of that girl.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

International Day of Peace

I pray today and every day for peace.

September YA Pick: Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I'm a fan of Rachel Cohn. I think Gingerbread is one of the top ten YA books around, for certain - I love it, love it, love it. I have enjoyed the other works of hers that I have read, but none of them really measure up to Gingerbread - such is the way of things with masterpieces, I fear. Nonetheless, Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist, a book in which she writes the chapters from Norah's point of view and the other author writes the chapters from Nick's point of view, is a most excellent story. It is not for everyone, as it includes a smattering of drugs and plenty of sex and rock 'n' roll, but I'm okay with sex and rock 'n' roll in this context and I really enjoyed the book, which is about two teens who get thrown together for a night of adventure and self-discovery and who, predictably, find each other as well. The Lone Star Girl really liked this book, as well. And I got to introduce her to the idea of Straight Edge punks - what more can one ask for from a novel? A movie of it is coming out soon, but the previews I have seen look like they bear little relationship to the story of the book.

September Pre-school Pick: The Apple Pip Princess by Jane Ray

Sometime between last Christmas and the onset of spring, my sweet girl who used to want to be a firefighter when she grew up became enamored of the Disney princesses. While I gave in pretty fast when I saw how futile my efforts to avoid this were, I feel I should point out that certain other relatives deserve the primary blame for this descent into pink froth.

Anyway, I hardly think it is the end of the world, no matter how much it creeps me out sometimes, but I do feel it is important to provide some much more progressive takes on her little passion to balance out that stupid mermaid and company. In pursuit of that end, I have tried to find strong princess stories like Tatterhood to expose my little princess to and that seems to work better than directly attacking the values of her pink posse. I recently found a nice library book that suited my purposes in this endeavor - The Apple Pip Princess by Jane Ray. In this story, there are three princess sisters living in a kingdom that has been barren since the death of their mother (interesting twist on the king and the land stories). Dad decides that one of them needs to succeed him and gives them a few days to impress him and prove who should get the job. The two older sisters are very self-involved and embark upon self-involved projects but Serenity brings life and fertility back to the land, using her mother's magic. It is a beautifully told story with gorgeous illustrations and nary a Prince Charming in sight.

Spooky Encounter

I took the Lone Star Baby for a short walk around the block this afternoon, as she's been pretty cooped up, and we had an interesting experience. We were passing under a tree and seemed to disturb a bird which flew up out of it...but it sounded really huge. It perched on the house we were walking past and at first I thought it was an eagle as it was bigger than my four-year-old. I realized pretty quickly that it was a vulture, though, and that it was mad at us for crossing between it and the dead little possum it had been about to pounce upon. It kept glaring at us and raising and lowering its wings in this posturing sort of way. I was afraid it was eying the Lone Star Baby with a little too much interest so I scooped her up and carried her most of the way home. I have never seen such a thing in the middle of the city before!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Know Things Are Getting Crazy When...

We keep the girls to a moderate amount of "activities" by the standards of most middle class parents these days, but it still seems like their stuff (dance, soccer, Girl Scouts, school play) is really keeping us hopping this school year...already. And, of course, the things they are doing have barely gotten started...

I am having unpleasant dreams about trying to leave work on time to get to Marigold's soccer practice and to leave soccer on time to get to Girl Scouts...my subconscious is having anxiety attacks. Plus I know that now that we are getting to the point where we will have to divide and conquer to be sure they each have at least one parent at most things, they are going to start forming life-long resentments about the parent who missed their thing to go to their sister's thing...I just know it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Lone Star Girl On Research

When I challenged her knowledge of something yesterday, she told me she had done lots of online searches about it and: "only reliable sites. No dot-coms, just dot-orgs and dot-govs. And dot-edus - dot-edus are good, too."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Adventures-In-Democracy of Obama Mama And Her Almost-Teen-Aged Sidekick, Liberty Girl - Part One

Today, the Lone Star Girl and I spent a couple of hours phone-banking for the Obama campaign - recruiting volunteers to do more phone banking, basically. The Lone Star Girl loved it and was ever so industrious. The lady who got so mad at me during the caucus showed up, and still seems to have primary-tension issues, but it was all good. I am above such things. We are all on the same side, no matter what she thinks.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prayers For Galveston

We are holding the people of Galveston and the surrounding area in the Light as they recover from this massive disaster.

Card Shark

The Lone Star Baby to Lone Star Pa in a game of Go Fish today:
Hasten to your doom.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Stay Off The Beach!

How hard can it really be to understand this? Some guy just got knocked off a pier and battered pretty badly and they can't find his friends. And people are still milling around on the beach according to the newscast footage. There is a hurricane in the gulf, people!

Little Democrat

The Lone Star Baby today: "I don't believe John McCain."


I know that gas prices will legitimately rise after this storm, because of all the damage to offshore wells and Texas refineries, but there isn't any reason for them to be rising already except evil, evil greed - business owners trying to take advantage of folks who have to evacuate. Lone Star Pa and I were mad when we saw news reports that some gas stations had raised prices to well over $4 already - we were very happy when we saw them getting busted by law enforcement on the news today. Serves them right.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Sister's out of town and we're ready to go west if we need to go. Watching carefully now.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Family Game Girls, Genius Dad

When the Lone Star Girl was little, we were a family into our board games and card games. It started with the Goodnight Moon Game and moved on to Memory, Candy Land, Hi-Ho Cherry-O!, Uno, Go Fish, Scrabble Jr., Sorry, Inner Circle and more. We had lots of fun, even with Candy Land - it's a gateway drug, you know. This era of our family life spanned from about the Lone Star Girl's age of three until the infant Lone Star Baby ceased to be content to nurse to sleep in a sling. Then it kind of fizzled because the baby was really too into everything for us to sit down to a game when she was awake. Lone Star Pa and I continued playing real Scrabble, a game that never appealed to the Lone Star Girl since she can't spell, on occasional late nights when the kids were asleep, but Family Game Night was a thing of the past. I looked forward to its someday return.

The Lone Star Baby got lots of games around about the age of three, but she caught on to them more slowly than had her sister. Now, at four, she is just entering her phase of loving lots of kinds of games. I am excited, her love for Pretty, Pretty Princess notwithstanding. She has a really hard time holding a hand of cards in her tiny hands, though, so Lone Star Pa came up with a wonderful invention - he cut a notch half-way down into a board to serve as a card holder for her.

I think he's just the best daddy in the whole world. Is she cute or what?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Inhibiting Her Mutant Abilities

We got the Lone Star Girl a med-alert bracelet for her allergies. It came in the mail the night before last and she, none too pleased, started wearing it. She calls it her mutant inhibitor bracelet because she says that, in comic books, parents always tell kids they have to wear med-alert bracelets when really the bracelets are devices to hide and inhibit their mutant powers. She knows!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Media Monopoly in Corpus Christi

One of our three local news stations is essentially being acquired by one of the other two, courtesy of some crazy FCC loophole. Rumor has it that the feisty, low-budget station that is being bought will soon stop having its own newscasts and start airing the polished, fluffy newscasts of the one that is buying it. I don't know if that rumor is true, but, if it is, I guess we will soon have more opportunities to watch canned stories about, oh, exploding condos in North Dakota rather than actual local news coverage. Sigh....

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Misogyny Of It All

Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton and I don't want a creationism-in-schools, drilling-in-the-Artic- Wildlife-Refuge, gun-loving type person like herself in office by any means, but people need to lay off bashing her parenting. Would a man get any of this, I ask you? Society's misogyny is sick, sick, sick.

The Junior-Woman

The Lone Star Girl came in the kitchen today and asked me if the dress she was wearing - that could only be described as a version of the classic little black dress - made her hips look big. I told her no, that she looked nice, and she meandered off. Lone Star Pa gave me a shocked and somewhat panicky look. Yep, Daddy, that was our little girl.