Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another Maine Storm's Coming

If you're from around here (read: around heah), you know this line. The line from the CMP commercial that they play before the StormCenter music comes on indicating that CMP is ready for the storm, and they want us to be ready too. And no line is safe to touch. Evah.

I wonder if Stormcenter has even lined up its commercial sponsors for tomorrow's storm center.

Seriously. We haven't even carved our Halloween pumpkin yet. Normally we would to a couple of pumpkins, but I never got to buy another one. I was busy today. Getting ready for the storm coming.

Put up the screens and put down the storm windows in the house.

Take out the dead tomato vines and pull the stakes from the garden.

Bring a couple of empty plant containers into the house so I can figure out how to put a kind of cold frame around them on the unheated sunporch to see if I can grow some lettuce or scallions during the winter.

Take out the screen from the storm door and put in the storm window.

Pull the clematis vine down from the trellis and put the green plastic thing over the trellis.


Haul leaves out to big pile at edge of woods.

Listen to hunters on the public access land behind my house.

Rake some more.

Haul some more leaves.

Make Jupiter get dressed and brush her hair specifically so she can come out and I can take a leaf picture.

Unhook the hose from the house and bring it in. The garage...not the house.

Turn over the gardens so the snow can get in them. Free fertilizer.

Plant my garlic.

Rake some more.

Haul some more leaves.

I'm not all done raking yet. But I can live with it.

The snow has started. I'm as ready as I'm going to be.

Jupiter looked out the window just before bed and said "I didn't know it was REALLY going to snow."

I'll have to take her picture in the morning. She's a happy snow girl with all that Siberian blood. It is fun to watch her like the snow. Much more fun than shoveling or roof raking the snow.

With any luck, it's our big snowstorm for the year. And weekend snow is better than weekday snow.

Now I think I'm going to go read The Long Winter and the very appropriate chapter about the October blizzard.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stuff and Thankfulness

I have a new plan for our household after Halloween. It's called "No more new stuff."

Seriously. If I had a webcam, you could see that the desk is covered in piles of stuff with barely enough room for the keyboard. On the left side of the keyboard is a foot high stack of bills, papers, contact lens and glass prescriptions, a desk of cards, a picture frame for Jupiter's birthday friends to sign at her party, a computer mouse that goes with Jupiter's computer game thing, a toy guitar, drawings, a die that I think goes in the Yahtzee game, a pink marker, a blue colored pencil, a five of clubs that doesn't belong in the aforementioned deck of cards, a hello Kitty notebook, and a purple straw.

And that's just in the one spot.

I'm tired of stuff. Jupiter, however, is not tired of stuff. Jupiter is one day going to star in the tv show about hoarding. She wants to keep EVERYTHING. Which is bad enough. But she also fixates on one or two things at a time, carries them around everywhere, then puts on down to do something else, and then when she wants it again can't find the current object of her fixation because it is buried under everything else.

But she still wants more stuff. The only thing she doesn't want is something she already has. If she doesn't already have it, she wants it. If she does have it, it's important and must be kept forvever.

So I've decided that in November, we are going to practice being thankful for What We Already Have. In other words: Not Being Thankful Because We Get More Stuff.

I think the hardest part for me will be practicing Not Picking Up Any More Cheap or Free Books Becuase I Don't Have That Book Yet and There's a Whole Shelf of Free Books At the Y. (And no, I certainly did not grab two books off that shelf tonight).

In December, I am going to practice Sneaky Ways To Get Rid of Stuff We Already Have Before We Get More New Stuff.

This plan, of course, does not extend to groceries. We are allowed to buy food. I expect, however, that I should be able to plan for cat litter, cat food and health and beauty aids and we shouldn't need any new items from those catagories.

I have to go Pick Up More Stuff now because people are actually going to come into my house on Sunday. Maybe I can let just the kids in and make the adults wait outside. Maybe I can make the kids all take home an article of random stuff with them when they go.

Except the books.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Jupiter and I were home early this afternoon. Which worked out well since she had about three days worth of homework to catch up on.

We came home and had a snack. Well, she had a snack. I had lunch.

I got out the first worksheet. The one she started yesterday but then decided she didn't know what a paragraph was anymore and didn't like where I wrote the numbers to show her paragraph one two three and four. Homework time tanked and ended. So today she had to answer one multiple choice question and write a sentence.

20 minutes later she'd answered one multiple choice question and written a sentence.

On to a math worksheet. She'd started about two math facts. There were about 44 of them left on the page. I tried to remove myself from the homework area in the hopes she would stop arguing about every.single.thing.

20 minutes later she'd done six math facts, snapped the lead on all her pencils, broken one pencil in half, and dropped her pencil boxes on the floor. I sent her to her room for five minutes while I threw away the broken pencil and sharpened all the other ones. She threw all the blankets off her bed and jumped on the bed.

We switched to a reading worksheet. She took her pencil and filled in all the letter "b"'s in the passage she was supposed to be reading. She informed me that she didn't WANT to do homework. She WANTed to play. She went in the other room. I brought her the worksheet with the reading passage.

She ripped up the paper with the reading passage. I sent her to find the tape. She said she didn't know how to tape it back together. (seriously; this is the kid who wants scotch tape for Christmas). She got mad at the tape because the long straight piece of tape wouldn't cover the diagonally jagged hole she'd made in the paper. I suggested she use a smaller piece of tape.

She ripped a two foot piece of tape off the roll and wrapped it around my body twice. Then she ripped off 8 inch pieces of tape and used the counter to divide them into four smaller pieces. Whatever. She stuck pieces of tape on where I told her.

She was supposed to read the story three times. The second time throw she yawned through every other sentence.

We had a conversation about how she hates homework and school.

She said she was hungry.

While she read the story a third time, I fixed her two tablespoons of straight peanut butter and dish of peaches.

When I blinked, she inhaled all the peanut butter. She asked for more.

She ate the peaches and a third tablespoon of peanut butter.

She answered the questions on her reading paper. We were on a roll.

I started switching up the three math papers. We had to find a sales flyer from last week in the recycle bin in order to find things in a magazine or newspaper that cost less than $2. (note to school staff: could you please send home worksheets that require looking at sales ads on Monday when there's a chance the sales ads are still piled on my living room floor somewhere?). She chose candy corn and wrote out two different ways to make a dollar.

I switched her to a place value worksheet. She whipped through the first two problems.

I switched her back to the math facts worksheet. She balked a little bit but completed two rows.

She blasted through the rest of place value worksheet. She was ready (willing) to work on her own. She finished the counting money worksheet and went back to the math facts worksheet. I started painting the walls in the living room.

She doesn't like subtraction. I told her to hop from the smaller number to the bigger number on her imaginary number line and that it would be the answer. She tried it and figured out it worked. I didn't mention that I still have to do subtraction that way. She colored the little path of all the facts that had ten for an answer.

Obviously she needs a hit of protein before she has to attempt homework. I know that she needs protein...I just fight to get it into her. Not a big meat eater (except pepperoni, which isn't really healthy enough to be an everyday food. Or if you have an idea for healthy every day pepperoni, I'm open to suggestions). I've tried protein shakes and bars, but she's not a fan. Although she has willingly eaten a couple of Genis*y mint chocolate crisp bars, which is better than no protein at all. But if I give her too many, she will get bored with them and stop eating them. And she doesn't like beans or hummus.

Four more days until the end of official birthday anxiety. I hope. Wait. She has a sub on Monday. I forgot. Well, there's always Tuesday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Apology Notes

Jupiter had to write apology notes tonight.

To Keegan:

I'm sorry I pushed you. I hope you learn some manners.

To Mimi:

I'm sorry I broke your dish. You should get plastic dishes.

To Mimi: (part two)

I'm sorry I yeld at you. You should get walky talkys.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.