Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My sunny girl rocks!

OK, so I tried my very hardest to upload a video of the sunny girl singing at her spring chorus concert, but I experienced what the urchins refer to as "an epic fail." So instead, try this link to a Facebook version of the video. I really do hope you will be able to check out the fabulous sunny girl, who sang a solo -- and she rocked it, people!

The thing that makes this video so sweet for me (and allows me to overlook my crappy videography) is watching how nervous she is before she starts singing. She wraps one arm around her back, and flashes infinitely brief grins at various parents in the audience as she recognizes them. I know she is thinking, "Oh no! Someone else who will know it's me if I screw this up!"

The last dad whose eyes met hers was the Bar Mitzvah girl's father -- and something about the way he smiled at her calmed her right down. You can see her take a big breath -- and then when she starts to sing she's as cool as a cucumber -- although she squinches up her toes over and over again while she's singing -- hilarious!

And you have no idea how many times she practiced putting the microphone away -- she says that was the most nerve-wracking part of the whole adventure.

For the sunny girl -- for whom singing is like breathing, but whose companions have only heard her sing informally -- it was gratifying to hear a new note of respect in the voices of her friends. She overheard one pal say to another, "Did you know she could do that?!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's a start

So I cleaned out my little linen closet, and people, it wore me out.

You're seeing the "after" picture; I didn't take a picture of the "before" closet because it would be too embarrassing and because my camera had apparently been eaten by the closet.

But when I did find the camera I recorded just how many bags of crap gently used linens I hauled to the Salvation Army. All of this was in the closet -- plus the stuff I put back in, which completely filled that same closet.

It's some sort of miracle of physics.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Meet the hellhounds!

So two new dogs came into our family about a month ago -- Jesse and Watson. And they are just terrific, and so cute, and they add a warmth to our home that we've been missing since our round mound of hound Toby died, blah, blah, blah.

But I show a photo of Jesse licking his butt to accompany the fabulous news that they came to us with love to spare, and they also came to us with multiple intestinal parasites. Yes, they did. (I can't say "no shit," because it would be a lie. Heh.)

Let's all take a moment to meditate on all the meanings of this information. Among other things it means that these dogs have no "regular" intestinal function, and thus there is no way of predicting a "good" time of day to, let's say, "meet their needs" with a nice walk. Am I being too discreet? They shit everywhere, people.

This also means that they must eat a specialized diet, take specialized drugs, and receive a specialized supplement "to enhance digestive health." And by specialized I think we all know that I mean, "oh my God, it costs what?"

It also involves the most dreaded two words ever uttered by a veterinarian: stool samples. Lots and lots of stool samples.

OK, so here's what I know about these dogs:

They are rescues -- picked up in North Carolina while they were in the middle of a crime spree; no one knows how long they had been on the lam.

They are mixed breed mutts -- but both clearly have more than a little hound in 'em -- because they lead with their noses, and will eat anything.

What do I mean by anything? Oh, let's see: Pencils. Dish towels. Cough drops and the accompanying wrappers. Paper towels. Cat food, obviously. Mulch. The shit of other dogs. Tampons. Shall I continue?

They are heartbreakingly eager to please -- and starved for affection.

And they would love to be best, best friends with our two cats -- who hate them. Here Jake has found a perch as close to the ceiling as he can possibly get; from here he plans to use a sniper rifle to take out the dogs. Please note my fabulous Jane Austen action figure, because I am who I am.

Phantom is too much of a lady to participate in the killing spree, but I think she paid for the gun.

I have to admit they're pretty awesome, for hounds from hell. I just hope we all survive!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Snapshot: Fabulous news!

One of the tall boy's best friends gave him this cute replica of his lungs (with anatomically correct surgery performed -- see the section of lung she removed?) as he recuperated from his pulmonary drama last year. We love her -- such a great pal!

She took a gap year before starting college at the University of Chicago this fall, and is living with her family in Japan right now -- so you can imagine how glad we were to hear from her yesterday, and to know that she and her people are safe!

Monday, March 7, 2011

What part of Texas is that in?

So I have clearly been talking too much about my Oklahoma kinfolk, and have not been reminding you all that at least one half of my soul yearns for the Lone Star State. My Uncle James reminded me of my Texas roots by sending a lovely gift for each of the urchins and pointing out to me that my job is to record the glamour for the genealogy documents.

See, here's the thing about my Uncle James. He's a genius, and he has single-handedly recorded the complete genealogical history of our family. I'm not even kidding -- he has traced our family roots back to England before the Jamestown settlers even considered heading west. According to my Uncle James, Pocahontas is a Johnny-come-lately. Some of us call her Rebecca Rolfe, but my Uncle James doesn't care -- he can produce Townsends as far back as 1564.

For an example of my uncle's skills, check out what he has told us about this gentleman: John P. Offield was born in 1841 in the Republic of Texas, served in the Army of the Confederate States of America, and died in 1910 in the great state of Texas, United States of America. And if you don't understand how much of our country's great and tragic history is summed up in this photograph, let me put you in touch with my Uncle James so he can set you straight.

Well, Uncle James (who reads this blog -- hi, Uncle James! Love you, Aunt Betty!) recently sent a bolo tie for the tall boy, and necklaces and earrings for the two girl urchins; all of them are festooned with the Lone Star of Texas -- and I have been given the commandment: "thou shalt take a family portrait that will document the loveliness of that part of Texas which calls itself Virginia."

You know that joke beloved by all Texans, right? You tell a Texan, "I'm from Boston -- the home of John Adams and the Boston Tea Party!" And a Texan will ask very cheerfully, "Boston, you say? What part of Texas is that in?"