Monday, February 28, 2005

Ladybug ladybug, fly away home

Even though it will not officially be Spring for what, another 20 days or so, the daffodils have begun to bloom and the birds have started to sing, as have peepers who have come out of the mud out at the pond in the lower field (I guess frogs don't really sing, but it's a sweet sound). And hundreds and hundreds of ladybugs that congregated on the warm south-facing walls of our house on bright fall days getting ready to hibernate for the winter in the cracks and crevices of our house have emerged inside the house and are everywhere. Falling in our food, crawling in our clothes. I’ve given up trying to get rid of them. It’s the same at everybody’s house. Oh yeah, the ants are back as well.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Someone’s ringin’ the bell.

Well, not actually. When it became obvious that we could no longer hear delivery people when they drove up the driveway (dog went deaf, the new construction blocked the sound) we installed a wireless, battery-operated doorbell. And it worked fine. Delivery people pressed the button and the bell went “ding dong” and we were happy. But then we noticed that the bell would ring when nobody was there. Ghosts? Nope. The CB radios from truckers on the highway are activating the doorbell says someone who knows these things. You can open it up and reset the frequency, says he. Well, R never got around to doing that and eventually the battery wore out on the bell so it no longer rings if the delivery person presses the button. But it still rings when the truckers go by – sometimes at 3 in the morning.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Normal? What is normal?

He has now worked for a week at the sawmill. He didn’t get fired. He didn’t quit. Having him gone between 6 a.m. and 4:45 has helped a great deal to restore a sense of normalcy. And it has given us a break from the unrelenting oddness of his behavior. I think -- as long as he continues to work -- I think I can manage fairly well having him living here. But, on the other hand, today I found an empty bottle of 400-U Vitamin E gelcaps. There had been 120 in the bottle and he'd taken them all in less than 2 weeks, popping them like candy. You do the math. I don't have time to look on the Internet for the symptoms of Vitamin E overdose. I just hope it didn't do any damage. Oh Lord, have mercy. Every day that he keeps the job is $50 more that can be used to begin to reduce his debt. We have suggested he see a credit counselor. No. He wants to solve this mess himself. And maybe he can. And maybe he can move out in 6 months. Can we last 6 months without going nuts ourselves? Here comes that hope again….

And in response to a promotion for wrestling I saw the other day, that for some reason infuriated me:

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not be televised....

The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner,
because the revolution will not be televised…

The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

That's just part of a much longer song. I heard it a lot "back then" on the FM dial in Los Angeles, when many black's were full of rage and doing things about it. I had to laugh when I saw a picture of Angela Davis at a party with "important people" in a People magazine a few years ago with a caption identifying her as a "social activitst." Now I'm wondering if there's going to be a revolution in this country in another 4 years when the full impact of the Bush Administration's campaign to bankrupt the country by running up a crushing debt (and let's hope and pray the US doesn't need to bring freedom to any more countries!) begins to have its effect on the middle class and the poor.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A hard day…

Can I just bypass February 12? We acknowledged our son’s 28 birthday yesterday. As an interesting (to me) aside, at his first birthday, I was 28 times older. Last year I was exactly twice as old and this year, a little less than twice his age. Sort of an interesting mathematical conundrum, I think. He has been living with us now for a week and is miserable and unhappy – there literally is nothing to do here in this small town compared with St. Louis, plus he gave up his apartment, his furniture, his fish, his “life”. But, it was either come back home or go to a homeless shelter. Tomorrow he starts work at a sawmill, so perhaps that will help. He’ll have something to do and will start earning some money, but even with the job and living at home, he may have to declare bankruptcy. There is a grief associated with being the parent of child who isn’t quite “normal.” I have no way of knowing how it compares to the grief of having a child die. I had a dear friend who was 88 years old and had buried three children. She still remembered the day her 3-year-old died some 65 years earlier. But I do know that this other kind grief is also intense and long-term. Hope always tries to spring eternal, but in our case it just keeps getting slapped down. And now that the Republicans are in power in this state, their first order of business (according to the State of the State speech) will be to dismantle the social services programs for poor people (Medicaid, in particular). So I don’t know what kind of mental health help we can get for him. And just what no one needs is yet another sappy, tear-jerker “best dead dog in the world” story, but here it is: Two years ago on Feb 12 we had to put Little Dog to sleep and it was all our fault that this happened because we neglected to have his teeth cleaned. He was a wonderful companion for 14 years, and I miss him terribly. And then there’s the guilt on top of that. It was easy to forget when Big Kitty died – I have no clue at all except that it was probably in the Spring. The unfortunate coincidence of Little Dog needing to be put down on the same day that our son was born means I will always be able to remember. RIP Little Dog.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Let’s go this way…no, that way…no, the other way

Yesterday as I was driving down the frontage road to the state highway to go to town, I noticed a large skein of geese in a semi-V formation, flying sort of parallel to the direction I was headed. They slightly veered more in my direction so that by the time I reached the highway, they were overhead. Then they suddenly seemed to forgot where they were going and how to get there, and they began to rapidly shift directions, veering left, veering right, then finally just milling around in a semi-circular formation, all the time honking at each other. I sat there at the stop sign watching them for a while until they finally got it together and headed off again. Why do I feel like I could be one of those geese right at the moment? Hint: he will be 28-years-old on Saturday.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A Series of Unfortunate Events

My sister, who is an elementary school librarian, told me about the Lemony Snickett books and how interesting and clever they were. So I started reading them, and yes, they were indeed very clever and amusing—at first. But by the time I had finished book 4, the cleverness had worn off, and they were mostly just depressing. Our son, who will be 28 years old next week, is now reaping the consequences of a many bad decisions (especially the one that got him fired) and he has now become a victim of a series of unfortunate events. Tomorrow R will go to pick up as much of his stuff as can be crammed into the back of our small pickup (N’s ailing car may or may not make the 180 mile trip) and he will be moving back home with us. We would really prefer that he remain independent, but we can’t afford the $2,500 to fix his car plus the $1,000 a month to keep him in St Louis until he can find another job, plus pay off his bills. So, he has lost “everything”, will likely have to file for bankruptcy (except he has no money to file for bankruptcy!), and is understandably very depressed. We are also depressed because the “empty-nest life” which we have come to enjoy quite a bit in the 7 years he has been gone will be turned upside down as well. However, the alternative for him would be homeless on the street and we won’t let that happen. We love him, but he is a very difficult person. We’ll just have to muddle through this as best we can and trust God will see us through. And that he is able to find a job and move out ASAP!!!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Squirrels, squirrels, and more squirrels

I have just returned from taking squirrel #15 to its new home at the abandoned KOA kampground – in fact the live trap is still in the back seat of the car – and here comes yet another squirrel to the bird feeder to consume every last sunflower seed it can find. Is there no end to the squirrels? I guess whatever predator it is that is supposed to be keeping the squirrel population in check is either (1) gone South for the winter, (2) not doing its job, (3) or has been wiped out. This is depressing. When one who enjoys feeding the birds has been invaded by squirrels, there are several options. Put up more feeding stations than there are squirrels so while the seeds are being cleaned out in one location, the birds can get seeds at another. Invest in some squirrel-proof bird feeders -- and there are some that do work. Remove the squirrels (either alive, which we have done) or dead (not practical here because he’d be shooting toward the highway). Oh yeah, quit feeding the birds, which might ultimately be the most economical solution but not acceptable because I get so much pleasure watching them. Oh hum. Excuse me while I go get the trap…