Monday, May 24, 2010

Could Schrodinger's Cat Die of Toxic Mold?

Along the lines of "what you don't know won't hurt you," we have so far failed to get a mold evaluation in the toddler's room, despite knowing that the studs are rotted and not attached to the foundation, the roof and rafters are rotted, and the whole room held together pretty much by the drywall and paint.


Because it wasn't our house, it was my father-in-law's, and we were just squatting there til Bad Cohen finished grad school. Which is taking a lot longer than planned, since he became seriously affected by fibromyalgia and various other nasty chronic stuff in the last 3 years.

But now the toddler's showing signs of being overtired, having environmental allergies, and possibly developmental/sensory integration issues that are affecting his ability to deal with preschool.


Unfortunately, we can't fix anything with his room without dealing with the falling-down ridiculousness that is the house (of which BC now owns 1/3, with his siblings owning the other 2/3).

With all the other traumas and chaos going on in our lives, not to mention being broke, I just can't deal with moving this summer, especially if we're moving to another city/state next year so BC can pursue a PhD.

Am I a bad mother if I just resolve to go in and clean his room more often, and hope that summer's dry spell clears things up?

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Still digging

The problem with planning a vast new garden is that somebody has to dig up the sod.

And then build the beds.

And clear the sod.

And order the new dirt.

And shovel it into the beds.

And apparently do all this while also parenting, working full time, dealing with a chronically ill spouse and 2 cats, and coping with a death in the family.

Something about grief makes me very tired.

At first, the garden was good therapy: get out there and just dig dig dig! Attack that dirt and embrace change! See, my yard was still under control (the councilman's objections notwithstanding).

But now that the memorial is over, and people have stopped bringing over dinner, and the toddler's bedtime talks aren't all about missing Opa, it's sunk in.

And I'm just tired.

So I'll have to forgive myself for not having the second bed dug yet, and having devoted myself instead to a weekend of enjoying my family. I water the little tomato and cucumber starts, and promise them they won't have to wait too much longer, but for now, what I really need in the evening is to sit on the deck and watch my son playing. Maybe pet the cats. And remember someone we loved.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thankful for food

Today, I am thankful for having enough good, nutritious food to eat, and to feed my family. For clean water to drink, and to use to clean my pots and pans and dishes.

I am grateful I don't have to tell a hungry child that I have nothing to give him.

Monday, May 03, 2010

But it's MY Dirt!

Gardening with a toddler is, shall we say, interesting.

Forget the constant truck traffic through the strawberry beds. And the use of chive flowers as golf balls, perfectly set up on stems as tees.
Any redesigns of the garden structure must pass through an approval process more tortuous than trying to paint your Nantucket cottage orange. Here's the overview:

  1. Create a new design in your head.

  2. Draw it on paper

  3. Mark out the design on the ground

  4. Stick shovel in dirt

  5. "NO!! Mama what are you doing? Mama you can't dig that close to my garden! Mama that's my dirt!"

  6. Patiently soothe the child. Discuss the redesign. Bring up all the extra, delicious fruits the councilman will soon be able to pick in the new garden area, the extra seating for stories, the new roadways for driving on.

  7. Renewed screaming.

  8. Sigh, put away shovel for the day.

  9. After the councilman is in bed, surreptitiously continue the digging, being careful to hide removed divots of dirt and sawmp grass by putting them in the deep trenches in the alley from the asshole neighbor who thinks it's ok to drive his pickup through the mud in February and ruin the alley for everyone.

  10. The next time the little councilman is outside, be sure to divert his attention with a new "feature" in his sandbox. This can range from a new truck or dinosaur to filling it up with water. Or, like, just leaving the lid off so the rain fills it. Whatever.

  11. "Mama, why are you ruining my hill? That's MY dirt, I drive there! Mama, you're too close to my garden again! Mama, stop!"

  12. Strategic retreat for dinner.

  13. Plan a day off later in the week so you can get the basics done without interference.

  14. Dig, install hardscape, add dirt. Invite other small children over to "help" plant things in the new beds, bringing peer pressure on the councilman to accept the new facts on the ground.

  15. Spend too much money on more mature fruit vines/bushes so that you will, in fact, be able to bribe the councilman with fruit THIS summer, instead of next.

  16. Start planning the front yard redesign.