Tuesday, September 9, 2008

He said "I Love You"!!!

Yes, I am a big dork, but today my son said "I love you" for the first time. (Well, to me. T. says he's said it already, and I'm like, "Not to meeee!" wah, because I don't think I could have missed that even if I do have terrible hearing.) I'm not really sure if he knows what I love you means, but he said it and that's good enough for me. I managed to coax him to say it a few more times today. Yes, I am shameless.

He had his two-year checkup the other day. Flying colors, happily, as usual. Except he still can't make it out of the 5th-10th percentile in weight. Oh well. He pretty much never stops moving, and T is a slim guy, so I don't think he has any real hope of bulking up. We've also started a gym class for him, which is fun although I didn't like the first class as much as the free trial class I took (big surprise). Oh well, I think he'll still have a good time, and I can use the running around time as well. So far he loves to hang on the uneven parallel bars. My little Olympian! (The gymnastics apparati are really for older kids, but the little ones can play around and get familiar with them.) The only problem is he has applied this newfound skill to hanging off inappropriate things around the house: the pedestal sink, an open kitchen drawer....

Here in the 'burbs it is pouring rain and thundering. Not a great situation for getting your kid to nap, but I think he's down now. My poor garden is limping along. I think we might get one more zucchini this year, for a total of, like, 8. Damned cane borers and cucumber beetles. My plan for next year is to spray the hell out of the garden with organic pesticides and/or soap, vs. this year's regime of spraying halfheartedly with pesticide that the guy at the garden store told me was organic but I have my doubts because it smelled like turpentine. It stank, and was a hassle to apply, and T. complained every time and said, Are you sure this is organic? and I defended it but the truth is I was unsure. So let's hope things turn out better next year. Maybe I should also look into whether there are such people as garden-sitters, in case I go on vacation.

Off to go read some more of my latest book and eat a little chocolate. Yay for naptime.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tag! I'm it!

The fabulous Eurydice over at Geeks in Rome tagged me, and I gotta say that I don't know if I have the energy to recount 6 random things about myself, but we shall see.

Here are the tagging rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you

2. Post the rules to your blog

3. Write 6 random things about yourself

4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them

5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

I am not actually going to tag anyone (which probably defeats the purpose of all this, but oh well) because the few bloggers I know have either already done this meme or would never do it so there's no point tagging them. Nevertheless.

Here are my 6 random things:

1. I can drive a stick shift. It rocks. If you don't know, you should learn, just as everyone should know how to swim no matter how far they live from water. (A side note--have you ever watched The Amazing Race, a show whose very nature involves driving in countries around the world, and noticed how many people can't drive a stick??? WTF??? Have they never seen the show before? OK, I can see how they might not know, but LEARN BEFORE YOU GO ON THE SHOW! And how to read a map. Jesus. Such a no-brainer, you would think, but apparently not to a lot of these contestants. If you can't tell, T and I have a secret desire to go on this show. But I'm sorry to say that traveling does not bring out my better nature, and I'm terrified I would be edited to be the Crazed, Bitchy Wife--Why Does This Nice Guy Put Up with Her? contestant. Also, if I get hungry I get even more bitchy, and it doesn't look like a show where you get to stop for lunch much.)

2. You already know this, but I speak Italian. It's always a pleasure to see one of those lists of things people want to do before they die, on which "learn Italian" often appears. Ha! Did it!

3. I deeply appreciate my sense of smell. I just read an article that said a lot of people rate this sense as least important, but I think I'd put it at number 2, after sight of course. I have terrible hearing so I don't care so much about my ears, but I think I'd be totally heartbroken if I couldn't smell my son's head ever again, or T's face. I'm sure this sounds weird, but these are two of my favorite smells in the whole world. In more practical terms, I love to cook and eat, so a loss of smell (and consequently most of my sense of taste) would be a death knell there too. The article was by a woman who had lost hers, and she said it was much worse than you would think. It pretty much sucked the joy out of her life. Did you know Michael Hutchence had lost his sense of smell, which is believed to have contributed to his suicidal depression? I didn't, but I believe it.

4. OMG, I really shouldn't be writing so much for each item in this list, or I will be here all day. Anyway. I was on Jeopardy. This is pretty much my claim to fame for the rest of my life. It was a total blast, and would have been even if I hadn't won thousands of dollars. Hah. Came in handy paying for my wedding and house renovations. If I lived near LA I would seriously consider trying out for trivia game shows for a living. To be honest, I think I would clean up. Sorry to brag.

5. OK, only 2 more to go. I can do it. Ummm...when I was about 8 I was the little kid at Sea World who gets to feed Shamu. Let me tell you, no matter how much you wash your hands, you cannot get the smell of fish off for at least a day. I hate fish. (Eating them, that is. Looking at them is lovely.) Although I imagine even people who like eating fish wouldn't care to have the smell of dead ones on their hands.

6. I tried on some Christian Louboutin shoes yesterday. I covet Louboutins so damn bad. The ones I tried were just classic black pumps, but I figure if I am going to spend that much money on shoes they had better last me the rest of my heels-wearing life. Of course, I am not in a financial position to buy 500-dollar shoes. But I looked at myself in the mirror and, Scarlett-like, I swore, "As God is my witness! Someday!!!"

And that's it for that, as ASH is now awake from his nap. Early. Isn't it always the way?


Been a while, no? Lots has happened, some good, some bad. The bad news, an important relative of my husband's died, so we've been away for a week visiting his family. The good news, we had a nice time hanging out with them, and ASH spent all day every day running around, playing in dirt, visiting his uncle's horses and chickens, riding a tractor (not alone), etc. Rural good times. He slept like a champ all week, not surprisingly.

Good news--well, ASH is just trucking along growing up, and it's fun to see. He seems to have made a language jump--perhaps this developmental leap is to what we can attribute the bad temper and poor sleeping of a couple weeks ago. Now he's through and is being extra cute lately. New words: happy (how gratifying!), fun, run, bike, kite, and the names of his uncle and aunt. Conveniently, T's brother and my brother have the same name, so if we can get him to learn my bro's wife's name we'll be all set. Bro and SIL arrive tomorrow to rest up before they move into an apt a few miles away, so ASH's timing of his new knowledge is perfect. We are psyched to have bro and SIL living nearby! Yeah! Although we will miss visiting them in NYC, it'll be great to have them around. They are major food-lovers, so I hope to glom onto them as they explore local restaurants.

The garden...mpmh. The cherry tomatoes, both colors, are doing great. By failing to adequately stake one of my large tomatoes, I have allowed the main stem to break and I think it may be a goner. I'm peeved because I planned to taste-test it and compare to the other large tomato to see which I might want to plant next year, and I haven't done it yet. Maybe I already know that I won't plant another Brandywine. It is an heirloom variety, but I learned online that a lot of tomatoes go by that name, and you can't really be sure which you are getting. This one looks beautiful when cut and doesn't have big seed pockets, which is nice, but the flavor and color--eh. Not that really WOW red or acidic flavor. Might just be a little too mild for me. Better luck next year.

The zucchini...so sad. After the trauma of cane borers, arrived the heartbreak of powdery mildew. F, man, I am so sick of this. The one year I get to take summer vacation (we tend to be spring/fall vacationers, for some reason, which means never getting to lie on a beach in the hot sun), and it happens to be the year I decide to start a garden, and, boy, if you have a garden I do not think you are allowed to take a weeklong vacation because misery is unleashed while you are gone. Sigh. Well, I am learning. I am half-tempted to abandon gardening altogether but then I will feel too guilty about the hundreds of dollars we spent on wood for the container boxes, etc., which we justified with the knowledge that it was just the startup costs and we would reap the benefits in saving equivalently hundreds of dollars at the farmer's market. Mpmh. Not so much. So far, though.

The broccoli seems to be growing like crazy, but just the leaves. Where are the actual broccoli heads? My SIL in the mid-Atlantic, where we were this past week, has already seen hers come and go. I am hopeful that means mine are only a couple weeks away, but I dunno. Maybe I got a late-harvesting variety.

Happily, the eggplant is growing beautifully [my ordinarily wonderful and supportive husband refers to this as the "one success story" of the garden. Thanks a lot! There are plenty of other sucess stories, mister. Just look at the cherry tomatoes.], although I haven't a clue how to tell when it's ready to pick. It's so much firmer than a supermarket eggplant that I don't know if it's still underripe or if this is what they're like when they're super-fresh. How much knowledge of our agrarian heritage we have lost!

And the hyssop I had sort of given up on since it wasn't flowering or doing anything interesting, has decided to flower. Reprive! It is mixed in with lavender, and and I was thinking of ripping it out and replacing with more lavender so I can have a mini version of a luxuriant Provence-like border. But now I guess I won't. A nice thing is that the lavender flowers in the spring, but the hyssop flowers now, so there's something happening in two different seasons. This is the sort of event I aim for in the garden but rarely achieve.

OK, that's enough for one post, isn't it? I have been tagged! but I will put that in another post.