Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014: When the Food is Too Scary

I've finally learned my lesson, if the food is too scary, no one eats it.  This is true of punch with eyeballs floating in it, too.

A few years back I found that when I covered the labels of $35 bottles of wine with spooky pretend labels, no one drinks them.  This is especially a bummer if you go ahead and uncork 3 or 4 bottles for the party ahead of time.  There is only so much spaghetti sauce you can make.

The margarita punch with the fresh raspberry brain? Left untouched.  Pouring that down the drain was a bummer, too.  I saved the eyeball ice cubes for next year, but I don't know how to use them for good instead of evil.

One of my favorite moments of Halloween prep? I told my daughter to put the eyeballs next to the brain in the freezer.  Sounded so nefarious! 

Another Halloween come and gone.  I hope yours was spooky, but not too scary. I also hope it was full of treats instead of tricks and that the goblins didn't get you!  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mother-Son Reunions

Two moms met on a Monday, we both recently sent out sons off to college.  Sitting at the local coffee shop, conversation fueled by caffeine, we were both in a quandary about our reunion with our first born baby boys.  Both boys keep reminding us that they are 18.  Both boys are independent, capable and mature young men.  Both moms miss their boys like crazy, yet we both feel we need to play it cool.

We can't race across campus, wrap them in our arms and melt into an emotional pool of joyful tears on the ground.

But what if we don't?  Will our boys be disgusted, disappointed, delighted?  What oh strange breed are we?  Moms of these new adults that still carry our Visa cards and use our iTunes password?  We insure them, bankroll them, and would donate a kidney, too, if needed.  

Every stage as a parent, and as a person, we enter unchartered territory like we are reinventing the wheel, the steering column and the whole highway system.  I think of telling Doc, you will never be my age.  Times change so quickly and so much that I can say for certain my mom did not need to contemplate face time, cell phone or land line call.  ATMs, iphone stalker aps, online banking

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Canadian Chronicles 2014: I've Got the Power

Take this into consideration:  the last two weeks the hydro men have been replacing power poles around the south west part of the lake.  Only part of our lake has power and land line phone lines. The rest of the lake has literally been without phone access until this year when our brand spanking new cell tower with evil glowing red lights was erected.  Some think of it as a thing of beauty, like the Eiffel Tower.  It brings them 911 emergency contact at their fingertips and communique with the wired world.

I'm all for 911, but to be honest, this cell phone tower has been a curse, a $1300.00 curse to be exact. AT&T, for all of its fleecing, has been very nice to me.  My main problem is having 4 iphones and an iPad mini in international roaming territory.  Every time I call them, they are happy to talk to me, personable and chatty.  I think my gargantuan phone bill has afforded them comfortable chairs and a good working environment. Although the last woman customer service representative let me know that her nephew went into engineering and now was making 6 figures and it was good that my son was going into engineering, too.  After our 46 minutes chat, I thought maybe we should have coffee?  I mean, we are friends now, right?

It's also been a curse to have too much contact with the real world.  When you have to live in the middle of nowhere, you can't run out and pick up some celery seeds for your recipe.  You also can't avoid the bills and the school emails and the spam that is floating around in the ether.

Night skies will never be the same around here.  You can avoid the glowing red lights of the tower and the lightning mimicking flash of the landing strip strobe if you look only directly up the lake. This is the most light pollution has ever effected or annoyed me.

Back to our hydro men, yes, not being sexist.  I don't seem to find any hydro woman milling about out there.  Each day, for two weeks, our power is out 9-12 noon.  Then it is on from 12:00-12:30 (maybe the guys are out to lunch during that time?) and then it is turned back on at 2:00 for the rest of the day.

This calls for some pre planning if you want to do laundry or any other sort of electrical housework. It makes you charge every battery operated device to its fullest before the power magically disappears.  Also, you tend to get down to the coffee maker and make sure that you are caffeinated before you lose the window.

Clever List: The 5 Deadly Terms Used by a Woman

1.  Fine
This is the word women use to end an argument when she knows she is right and you need to shut up.

2.  Nothing
Means something and you need to be worried.

3.  Go Ahead
This is a dare.  Do not do it.

4.  Whatever
A woman's way of saying "screw you."

5.  That's OK
She is thinking long and hard on how and when you will pay for your mistake.

Bonus Word
This is not a compliment.  She's amazed that one person could be so stupid.*

*This is available on a plaque I saw in Femail Creations.  Just had to share it!  Not sure who this is a good gift for, we don't want to give away all of our secrets.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Canadian Chronicles 2014: The Princess Tent

After my near rabies experience with the bat colony (well, truth be told it looks like I have about 19 years to develop signs of rabies), we put up a mosquito net.  At least if those pesky critters were going to fly over my bed I was going to know about it!  If they bite me through the netting, I should be able to wrap them in it and take them to the local animal control department like I should have done in the first place. Too bad I was screeming in the bathroom instead of learning my ABC's of bat invasion.

My friend went to the local wilderness store and  brought me the net.  My scoffing husband has been very good about not making too much of a fuss about sleeping in our bed with the netting surrounding us. 

Truth be told, as I type and gaze up at the netting, I feel like I am in one of those princess tents that you buy little girls to hang over their beds.  It's kind of like an adventure, if I didn't already have the nightmare part and vivid memories in my ears and eyes of swooshing shadowy bats.

Calling it a princess tent is actually making it a better situation for me. I feel a little bit like a princess and I'm actually having full night's sleep.  Much better than my eyes and ears peeled in paranoid restlessness.

The other funny thing, is that when I first emerge from the princess tent in the morning, it actually keeps the morning chill out.  Our little tent is balmy.  We can also pretend like we are in the fantasy suite at a Vegas hotel.  I only wish this little beauty was around the first half of the summer when we were losing sleep due to the buzzing of mosquitos in our ears and the sneak attack bites they were laying on us nocturnally.

As I'm typing, I'm also thinking it is a good thing that my husband and I spent the first part of our summer watching seasons one, two and three of Game of Thrones.  A princess tent almost feels like the right prop in a summer filled with all kinds of pestulant drama.

Of course if I ever tire of being a princess, I could start to go with the "On Safari" theme-Out of Africa-alternative-reality.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Canadian Chronicles 2014: Bat Woman?

My husband was going into town for the night, so it made total sense to have a girl's night at the cottage.  My friend, another Deb, and her two girls joined us for a cottage sleepover.  We were just turning in for the night when I looked out the front window.  What time was it?  It was as light as midday outside.  I checked the time, midnight.  I called Deborah to the back door.

We both made our way out to the lake and we indeed had moon shadows that cast themselves across the white dock.  We could see the lake and the neighboring cottages almost clear as day.  The red kayak was red.  The yellow kayak was yellow, and of course, the blue kayak was blue.  It was amazing and we had both never seen anything like it.  It's always a nice surprise when you get to experience something that really reminds you about how beautiful and unusual and even magical nights at the lake can be.

The moon shimmered a glittery gold in the sky.  It was really remarkable.  We didn't know it just then, but we were witnessing the "Super Moon" a whole evening early.  We took beautiful pictures and then proceeded to hit the hay.

I awoke several hours later to the sounds of bats swooshing outside the open window.  I sleepily thought that it was good as I watched them dart back and forth.  They were back lit by the brilliant light night sky.  My husband was lamenting the lack of bats and the bounty of mosquitos this summer.  I knew he would be happy to know our pest control patrol was back.  Maybe the Super Moon had them extra active that night?

We've also been battling the mice population this summer.  They would reallly like to live with us, but we'd really rather they did not.  As I was contemplating whether to get out of bed to pee, I heard a rustling sound.  I turned on my very dim table night light and searched for my glasses.  My heart was pounding just a little bit.

As I've mentioned before, I like mice just fine outside. They are cute and tiny when they are romping in the grass.  Inside, near my  bed is another story.  As I scanned the room in the dim light something swooshed across the top of my field of vision.  No, it was not on the floor as I had tried to focus, but out of the corner of my eye it was as if something streaked across the top third of the room.

Holy Moly!  I grabbed my phone for added light, hightailed it the two and a half feet to the bathroom and slammed the door.

Now, I was in a heightened state of alarm.  I didn't clearly see something, or did I?  I was using my iphone as a flash light, and at the best of times my night vision is sketchy.  I opened the door a crack. I didn't see anything.  I reached one arm out and grabbed a pillow.  Then, I slammed the door back shut.

I peeked out again.  Holy Moly, I saw a streak again, but, I know I was more than a little panicked.  I quckly grabbed another pillow and slammed the door.

Self-contained in the bathroom, I quickly thought about my options beyond sleeping on the cold, hard slate tile floor.  My husband, two hours away,  Me with twelve feel between myself and the light swtich to the room.  Worse yet, because there were at least three empty beds in the cottage, I was twenty feet to the firmly shut doors in the darkened room...and clear lit, safe escape.

What does a woman in 2014 do?  She texts her husband..."I think there is a bat in the room. Eeek!"

Of course no response at 3 AM.  

I put all of the towels that were damp from showers, a total of two, on the granite floor, and shoved books and boxes and extra toilet paper rolls at the crack under the door (hey, my mouse friends could be working with the bats?).  Then ears peeled, I tried to get a few hours of sleep.

In the morning light, at 6 AM, after a restless, uncomfortable, and interrupted by terror sleep, there was alas no sign of any bat.  We had a good laugh at breakfast, and when my husband returned he gave me the rolling eyes that let the world know he thought his wife was batty.  Clearly the super moon had made me a super lunatic.

I was never so happy to be wrong.  Yet, I made up a spare bed for me to sleep in just in case. Ridiculed by my husband, he convinced me that he would protect me from any winged or four legged friends.  I was skeptical. It had to be something, right?

We cooked dinner. We made bat woman and vampire jokes.  The second glass of wine had me laughing at my own squeemishness and scaredy-cattiness, er battiness.  I began to relax about the whole sleeping on the cold, hard floor incident, when...

"Mom, there's a bat in the TV room!"  It was a yell, but there was no panic.  Birk and her friend, Izzy, were both very calm.  Me? I screamed, ran into the laundry room and slammed the door. I peeked out just in time to catch a bat the size of a well fed sea gull flying toward me.  Slam again!  There was no way after my sleepless night I could handle the visual. The rest of the friends and family battled the bat.  There were finally successful in shooing it out the door.

We all sat down for dinner. The converstion centered around how what kind of mother would make her children battle the bat while she hid screaming in another room.  The group marveled at the bat being in the wrong place at the wrong time and how happy he was to glide out the door.  Now that he was gone, time to get back to normal.  That is, everyone but me was thinking we were back to normal.  I grew up in the country.  There is never the rule of "ONE"  there is always the rule of "If there's ONE there is MORE."

As we settled in for the night, me on high alert, my husband snoring, I finally nodded off and neglected my vigilant watch.  We both awoke to a chattering sound.  Bat?  Mouse?  Chipmunk for goodness sake?  I grabbed my pillow and was in the bathroom with the door shut in record and practiced time.  Yes, this left my husband in the room with whatever terriffying woodland creature was out there, but hey, it was my idea to sleep in the spare bedroom, not return to the bat cave.

My husband, again, shooed the bat out and called me back to bed.  Exhausted, and not lilking the idea of another night on the floor, I grudgingly pulled the sheets up over my head and tried to sleep.  I learned in passing the next day that it was actually two bats.  We had a colony!  How nice.

Meanwhile, I started doing some bat research.  I googled how do you get a bat out of the house?  How do bats get in house?  I stopped my research, as the pictures of the bats started to feak me out even more than I already was freaked out.  I mean, I saw the bat flying from the TV room down the low ceiliinged hall way to the kitchen and that thing looked like a giant with it's wings flapping away.  Putting a face on the giant-winged Transylvanian creature with giant-sized fangs from google images was putting me over the giant-sized edge.

The next evening, we were making dinner again, and the familiar call came from the TV room...."Bat!"  By this point we all had our stations.  The rest of the family did whatever they did while I screamed in the laundry room.  My husband finally agreed to sleep in the spare room with me.  Feeling braver, I started my google quest again and researched local bat specialists--which turned out to be a thing.

What also turned out to be a thing, was that if you are sleeping and awake to find a bat in the room you need to be treated for rabies.  I was reading this out loud to my husband, who was really convinced at this point that I was crazy, and he told me to turn off the World Wide Web and get some sleep.  The number and duration of the rabies shot process was enough to fuel my nightmares.  

Apparently my 1 percent chance of certain death with no cure was not enough to get my husband concerned.  My fear of shots was 99 percent of my reason for not reading any further on the Center for 
Disease Control website.

After all, wasn't I awake and watching the bats fly outside the window?  How diseased could these country bats be?  Wasn't Old Yeller a victim of rabies?  How did he catch it?  

My girls are big fans of the Vampire Diaries.  Seems to me I am either going to be boring me, dead or undead.  

Monday, April 21, 2014