And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Sunday, August 21, 2005

It's a Blurry Line

Just now, the doorbell rang. I knew Dave was outside with Katie and Ian, so I figured it was Ian, who's enchanted with the doorbell. Sure enough, it was. He stood on the porch, his hair curling damply, and said, "Oh. I just wanted to see who was in here. Are you Per-fesser Gongle [Professor McGonagall]?"

"Yes, I am," I answered, playing along. Then, noting that he was all alone, "Where's Daddy?"

He hopped down the steps, then turned and looked up at me quizzically. "You mean Hag-id? Hm. I don't know."

"Yes, I mean Hagrid. Where is he?" I asked, a little concerned that Ian was on his own, though I figured Dave had gone around back briefly.

"I don't know. Pwob-wee he's in da Chamber of Secrets, I fink."

Thanks, kid. This immersion in imagination is great and all, but it doesn't help when I actually want to know where your father is.

I can see this is the beginning of a long, long road where fantasy and reality have only the most indistinct of borders. I know. We've been through it with Katie. At one time, when she was just about 4 years old, I'd say she was actually someone else about 75 percent of the time. She's grown out of that now, and it's a relief to know that when you talk to her, you can be pretty sure that she'll answer as Katie, rather than as Spirit, Harry Potter, Hermione, or Notta the Dog (her own creation). But she's still quite impressive at role playing when she wants to be. You should see her horse mannerisms -- you'd never know that she's only been within touching distance of an actual horse a handful of times in her life.

And her brother's following right along. Neigh.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Mishmash of Stuff

There's not too much interesting stuff going on today, but I've been promising myself that I'll post more often, so here I go.

Yesterday was spent redesigning the website for my freelance editorial business, JM Editorial. It's amazing how three little pages can suck your whole day away -- and that's with most of the graphics done already. And I really have to concentrate, which is hard to do when the kids are a bit squirrelly. Still, I'm pleased with it. I'd still like to tweak it a bit more, but I don't know that I have too much time to devote to it. Comments on the site's design, content, etc. are welcome.

Today we're planning to go to a community picnic here in Walden. Free food, free games, free soda -- in honor of the village's sesquicentennial (that's 150 years) celebration. Of course, it's going to be the hottest day we've seen here -- 95 degrees and 40% chance of severe thunderstorms this afternoon. It may be a short visit to the park. Still, I think it's going to be neat. So far, the romance of small-town living has not worn off.

As far as unpacking goes, the boxes for my office are all unpacked. Of course, their contents are strewn and piled around the room, so it actually looks worse than when I started. But today seems to be a high-energy day for me -- by 10 a.m. I had done laundry, folded it and PUT IT AWAY (including last week's laundry), and run a load of dishes. That's pretty amazing for me. Oh, and I even cooked dinner for all of us last night -- and everyone (kids and Dave included) ate it. I am on a domestic roll.

Dave has been clearing out our foyer this morning, which holds the majority of our clutter at the moment, so he must be feeling the energy too. Let's hope this continues -- we have the incentive of company coming on Friday, followed by my mom arriving on Wednesday. So I'd better get going on the office. If only I knew where to put everything!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hey, Kettle, This Is Pot. You Know You're Sort of Ebonyish?

(Yes, it's been far too long since I've updated. To avoid getting stuck in the same old problems I had when I wrote journals as a kid, I'm just going to start from now rather than trying to catch everything up. I'm sure bits and pieces of the horrific summer we've had will come out eventually. On the bright side, things are getting marginally better.)

We went shopping at Kohl's the other day. (I heart Kohl's so much. I bought hardly any clothes all last year because there was no Kohl's in Mobile. I walked into the store up here and felt like I'd come to my fashion home.) Katie had fallen in love with a certain outfit a few days prior, and had thrown a fit when I refused to buy it until it went on sale,* declaring that she'd never get it, and then was beside herself when it went on sale for 40% off two days later until we went the store and got it.

* Never, ever buy anything at Kohl's unless it's on sale. And even if it's on sale, keep checking the ads to see if it goes on bigger sale. Trust me on this.

The outfit is really cute (I'd link to it, but its not online), although even on sale it cost more than $30 for the skirt and crocheted, lacy top. Because we haven't quite reached the fitting room stage for Katie yet, I had her pull on the top over her clothes in the middle of the store to get the right size. Success was achieved, and we headed for other sections.

Fifteen minutes later, disaster struck! Katie realized that her horse charm, from her beloved American Girl bracelet, was missing! Great sobs ensued -- she captured just the right blend of panic and tragedy. Katie can be quite the drama queen when the situation calls for it. As a matter of fact, this was almost a point-by-point repeat of the Tragedy of the Dime Store Ring, which we had witnessed at Ikea a couple of weeks before. In that case, she lost a 35-cent ring -- apparently, her most prized possession -- somewhere in Ikea. Do you people know how big Ikea is? And do you know how much despair a 6-year-old girl can conjure up? Believe it or not, she and Dave went and retraced our steps, and they found the ring in the ballpit she had played in 20 minutes before. Unbelievable luck!

So, back to the horse charm -- the 3/4-inch long horse charm, lost in a large department store. Aha! The crocheted top! With lots of holes to snag things! We headed back to the rack, and sure enough, we found it. All was right with Katie's world once more.

I couldn't resist giving her a little lecture though. "You know, you're really lucky that we found this," I admonished. "In my family, they always joke that I have the best luck for losing things and finding them again [Don't ask how many times I've lost my wallet in my lifetime.]. You have to be more careful with your things, especially things like nice jewelry. If you're not old enough to keep track of it, you're not old enough to wear it out of the house." Properly chagrined, but joyful over reclaiming the charm, Katie nodded.

So we continue to shop. I try on a few more things; Dave browses the dress shirts and tries to figure out what he wants to wear to my best friend's upcoming commitment ceremony on the beach. Ian and Katie run around like nuts because it's getting late and they're getting loopy. I try to herd everyone toward the checkout counter. I assign Dave to checkout, and I head out the door with the kids. Suddenly, I realize that I feel like I'm missing something. My purse! I don't have my purse! And I don't know where I put it down!

I experience a brief moment of panic, then realize that I left it in the dressing room, which is fortunately just a few short steps away. I go get it, and thank the mildly freaking out woman who found it, who was worried about what to do with it.

And then it was my turn to be chagrined. Don't you love it when you find out how not far the apples fall from the tree?