I've had to stop using this mug that was originally given as a gift to Josephine, but that she no longer uses because she likes to drink things in small quantities repeatedly, rather than in one large glass. Like, she'll down ten shots of water but not drink from one large glass containing the same amount. My reasons for not using it have more to do with this creepy image and my foot phobia resulting from a lifetime of being aware of my father's foot fungus issues:
A conversation from this morning, regarding the leaking pipe under the sink that caused a flood in the cedar closet, created for all of Steve's good clothing in the newly-renovated basement (paraphrased and only slightly exaggerated):
Steve: "I think you have to not fill up the sink with water and leave it that way like you do."
Marla: "I think you have to fix the sink so that it can be used as a sink is intended to be used. For holding and using water."
Steve: "blah blah blah I've been punished because you did what you wanted and blah blah blah"
Marla: "Normal people have kitchen sinks that can hold water for lengthy periods of time. Why can't we have a normal sink, Steve? Why?"
Steve: "Since when have we ever been normal?"
I am still getting desserts with a hidden message.
I promised to show you the teak chairs I found at a garage sale a few weeks ago. Making little promises and then trying to keeping up with them is one of the banes of my existence. Here, to fulfill at least half the promise by showing just one:
Might I just remind you of the price? Six dollars. For the pair, meaning they are nearly identical. Identically stunning, mid-century, well-designed, sturdy and well-proportioned chairs that would be $95 each or more in the shops along Queen Street near where I work. So, this must suffice as promise-fulfillment, and a reminder of why thrift-shopping is my drug of choice.
Other banes of my existence are the problems we're having around here with the arbitrary decisions to perform or not perform basic actions that Josephine is known to be capable of, and the hystrionic behaviours that accompany these whims.
I give you, as one example, the reaction to "Josephine, please put your boots on."
(Noting that she has been able to do so not only for these boots which she's owned for half a year or more; but the previous pair of the same make - as well as every other pair of shoes she owns of any make and model.) Soundtrack: "I CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In things that are performing well, and doing as they should, the Porcelain Berry vine I bought last year is growing beautifully - its pink tendrils are reaching out to grab something to support itself like a certain little kid used to stick out her little hands for me.
On growing, and shrinking a vocabulary...
In the pile of magnets stored near Josephine's chalkboard are some from one of those "fridge poetry" sets...one of the naughtier ones. Now that she's exploring words, and creating these "poems", I'm finding that it's perhaps time to cull some of the material. She's been asking us to help her read what she's put up on the board based on letters she recognizes, and pleasing colour patterns and a slight understanding of sentence length (well, not going by my average...). Interesting, and surreal, these almost Dadaist expressions are leading to some awkward explanations and her using words properly and in context, though sometimes mispronounced, on the playground such as "C, I think it's bathemic that you like to squash beetles."
Nadine asked me recently why I don't write about Machiavelli, our Creamsicle corn snake much. I had to explain that because he's the good pet, he gets no play in the blog. He's quiet, and well, oftentimes, nearly non-existent. Every seven to ten days, he gets a fuzzy. Then he goes under a pile of his bedding, and for three or four days he digests. After a while, he'll come out, and curl up in various places. Some evenings he'll slither around on his branches when he's feeling warm and active. We'll hold him a bit, but well, he doesn't do much. His bodily functions aren't disgusting. He causes us no grief. Every so often, for kicks, he'll shed. It's not that he has no personality, it's that his interactions are simple, and well, behaved.
Unlike, say, for example, Molly. And say, Josephine.
Say I wanted to post about Molly's goopy eye, which has plagued her and us over the year that we've had her. About how, after an $800 surgery, and many tubes of creams and ointments and more vet visits, we figure she's worth a little more than $27 per pound at this point, and it's finally been diagnosed that she has no tear production in that eye. So, the options are putting the contents of a $13 tube of moisturizing gel in her eye every time we look at her - or having a gruesomely expensive operation where one of her salivary glands is transplanted above her eyeball, and her own drool moisturizes it. One of the worst side-effecs of that surgery would be that every time she salivates over, say, our dinners or a treat or raccoons or squirrels or Boo Boo's food, the gland will projectile-spit out her eyeball, causing more mess for me to clean up. In fact, the phrase "facial wetting may be objectionable" put it mildly, but nicely compared to other descriptions I've found. We are talking about a Basset Hound, remember.
So, say I wanted to take a picture to accompany that. I'd try to catch her in one of her quieter moments, looking Bassety and mournful - provoking sympathy, you know?
Josephine notices, and says "Hey! I want to be in the picture! And Bambi! Bambi wants to be in the picture too!"
Josephine: "Up here! I want to go up here for my picture! And Bambi! Bambi too! Did you know that cewtain deers could CLIMB things?! For pictures?!"
Marla: "Josephine, this is supposed to be a picture of Molly, remember? Please get down."
(insert gratuitous, disgusting crotch-sniff)
Marla (thinking): "This is not quite the picture I wanted to take."
Josephine: "And these guys. Take another picture with the unicorns and pegasusses! Okay! Now wait! Wait for me to get in the picture!"
Josephine: "Okay! Take the picture of me kissing Molly!"
Writing a post is much like trying to take a simple picture of Molly. In the course of composing this one, conceived surely as a simple endeavor, starting before the family woke up, I punctuated each line with an activity. Which interrupted which? I did loads of laundry, in stages from putting in to taking out and putting away. I tied two sneakers a cumulative total of seven times. I admired shelves that were put up. I empathized with the damage from the leaky sink. I made a cheese sandwich for Josie, and one for me. I drank two half-pots of coffee. I um...removed the by-product of two half-pots of coffee from my system. I advised how to rescue two stuffed animals who fell behind a bench. I yelled that I knew where the ladder was. I endured disappointment that our home-made fresh frozen berry Popsicles weren't as delicious as regular store bought ones. I supervised the making of a Play-doh pot resembling a clay pot I'd made myself when I was in first grade. I downloaded more pictures for another post, and took three for yet another. I sliced a mango (which have gone from being "too fruity" to "the best fruit ever" over the course of a day and a half. I listened to "Stroke it Noel" about seven times in a row, and the shuffle has shown me that the perfect compliment to it is "The Needle Has Landed", so that needed three or four listens. And then I needed to hear "Waiting for Somebody" a few times to shake me out of the languor those two songs left me in. And so this catch-up, tiding over until another catch-up, ends.
Imagine the rfft rffft whhpp whhpp sound of the needle hitting the label before the arm returns it, as the record spins while I take off to go and plant some herbs in the drawers I saved from the vintage fridges we used to own. By the time you read this, I'll be wrist deep in soil and occasionally pausing to huff some basil.