Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kindred Spirit, Part 2

I did, I did, I DID make a friend!

So my new friend and I met up today at the park and travelled to her house to see her meat chickens. I have chicken envy. A serious case of it. I want meat chickens. But Hubby said "no". He tried to tell me the landlord wouldn't let us. The landlord said she didn't care. (Yes, I asked. She just happened to call me today about some repairs on the house and it casually came up in conversation.)
On hearing this, I am sure my husband cursed our landlord for feeding my hippy notions and said it has to wait until we have land of our own. I was like a 5 year old begging for a dog. "Please? I'll take care of them myself. They are so cute and so easy! You'll love them. You won't even know they are there! You won't have to do a thing!" Um, except butcher them, because that part is kind of gross and hard to do when your 8 month old will not stop clinging to you and your breasts. Then, Hubby told me that if I can't kill them, I can't have them until we move to a place of our own.
Phooey. Maybe I'll see how much guts it takes to gut a chicken.

Anyway, I digress... my new friend and I had a blast, and I have to say that I am so glad I went to her house instead of going downtown (by myself) to the Midnight Sun stuff (by myself) to wrestle with Maddie in the stroller (by myself)... well, you get the point. And the summer solstice will happen again next year.

So, in our chattering away today, we touched on the topic of making friends as grown-ups. And I'm posing the question to all my readers:

Why IS it so hard to make friends as grown-ups?

No, don't give me the "we are all busy with our own lives" speech. Don't you other grown-ups out there get lonely? I mean, I'm pretty independent. I'm also a bit of a homebody, and a little bit of a hermit. I am content in my own company most of the time. But dang it, even I want friends! And I'm an incredibly busy woman, but I'm NOT that busy with my own life that I can't look out every once in a while.

Why is it that after a certain age or life stage, we seem to lose our ability to meet people, or we suddenly become socially akward. Ok, in all fairness, I was always socially akward and a bit of a geek, but I hear former cheerleaders complain about being socially akward too. It's not just me!
When I was young, my parents used to get my bike or rollerskates unpacked at whatever base we landed on and send me out into the neighborhood with admonitions like, "I think the house at the end of the block might have kids, they have bikes and a trampoline in the yard." I never had a problem going up to strangers and asking where the neighborhood kids were at. So why is it that going up to another mom is so intimidating?
Or when you meet someone, think they are pretty neat, exchange numbers, but never call eachother. Or worse, you call the person who gave you thier number, but they don't answer or return your calls, making you feel like a creepy stalker or something.
WHY does that happen?

Seriously... what's the deal? I open my blog comments to solving world issues... like making friends after you are too old to knock on your neighbor's door and asking if they have any kids you can play with.

Ending on a better note, "M" if you are reading, I am so glad we actually got past the social wierdness and called today, and really glad we hung out. I had a great time and can't wait until next time, when it's your turn to bring the coffees!

Happy Moose Trails!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Kindred Spirits

So, I met a friend today... at least I HOPE I did. I met a really cool mom at the playground today. We have a lot in common, right down to our hippy roots. Her son introduced us, funny enough. A talkative little guy who basically followed me and Beans around the park insisting that I come meet his mom and sister. And I'm glad I did. Anyone ever read the Anne of Green Gables series? Anne speaks of Diane as her "kindred spirit", someone who knows and understands her thought processes, her mind and heart, someone that she doesn't have to explain herself to, someone that just "gets" her.
That's how I felt today... I didn't have to explain my crazy notions of pioneer living or the lifestyle we've chosen, because they do it too. (I heard all about it from her son first, then asked mom a bunch of curious questions!) And I also felt like someone else was relieved to have made a friend, as we both found someone who didn't think we were "nuts" for just living and loving our lives.
Who knows? Maybe I have found a good friend. I'd like to think so. She's definitely on the "call" list!

Beans and I returned from the playground exhausted, a little sun-kissed, and hungry, but both of us in good spirits. And the advantage of getting Beans around other kids is that she was completely worn out and graced me with an almost 2 hour nap, where I took advantage of the time to surf the web, catch up on email, and even work on one of my sewing projects.

So today's news probably sounds a little "dull", for those of you expecting excitement and drama, but to me, it feels like a comfortable settling-in feeling. We are picking up a new routine, meeting people, and having fun.

Today is the beginning of the summer solstice, so Happy Summer to everyone!
And Patti- if you are reading, happy anniversary (tomarrow)!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Things are Growing

Well, now that the majority of stuff is unpacked (only a few boxes remain, and they can wait), it was a day for some much needed rest. Basically, I turned into "slacker-mom" today, turning on AK Public TV for Beans and lounged around for most of the day, even fitting in a nap when Beans was kind enough to take one of her own.

Things are growing around here. I noticed the raspberry bushes beginning to bloom, and bees busily polinating today. Looks like we should have a pretty decent crop, which means I can do lots of homemade jams for gifts this year. Um, providing I don't screw up the canning, or lose half the crop to moose or bears. There is also an abundance of wild roses blooming all over the property, and that makes me happy. Not that I consider Alabama home (because I don't!), but it does remind me of my old rose garden back in the south, and I DO miss my old garden. It also looks like the wild irises I found a while ago are going to finally put out some blooms. Our neighbors' yards are splotched with beautiful white and yellow daisies. And our own yard is full of dandelions. I also have my "salad bar" (container gardening salad greens, mostly), which is beginning to sprout up and fill the pots.

It is amazing to watch things grow here! With the full sun, things grow big, and they do it quickly. You really CAN watch grass grow here! Ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but you CAN look at the garden in the evening, not see anything at all, and the next morning, find a pot full of sprouts, or bushes that were just leaves seem to have sprouted buds AND flowers overnight. It amazes me how the scenery changes so rapidly.

Speaking of scenery changes, my roundtrip to Delta Junction was indeed completely different than the last time. Jarvis Creek and the Tanana River are no longer little trickles of water. Gone is the ice that we passed every week, and swift running water now fills the banks. The trees are in full bloom, and in lots of areas blocks the view of the river now. Little clumps of wildflowers are scattered everywhere. I don't know what they are called, but the "big purple clumps" are my favorite, and I want desperately to stop and collect some to dry.

Other things growing.... Beans, herself! I was thrilled and relieved to find her stash of cloth diapers and was anxious to get her back in them. Little did I know that over the last 6 weeks that we have been without her stuff, Little Beans got fat (yay for breastmilk!). Poor little Beans' fat little legs looked like sausages in thier casings. Good thing I had already ordered the next size up. Almost has me looking forward to her next doctor appointment, when I can see how much my little chunker has grown. And speaking of growing, she is also growing up... she's eating a good three solid food meals a day now, and so close to walking that she can't hardly stand it. She's cruised 'round and 'round the living room, daring to let go (then of course, needing hugs and kisses when she falls down). And... Daddy moved her to her crib in her own room this week. Ok. I miss her terribly (she's been in our room since she was born). But to Daddy's credit, she IS sleeping a little better in there.
They grow SO fast...

So, the summer solstice officially begins tomarrow (according to the guy on the news). I was surprised to hear that there still is an official "sunset" time, but the sun just goes below the horizon for a brief period of time. I think we are at just 2 hours of "sunset" now. I am jealous of the entrants of the Midnight Sun Run, but since it starts at 10 pm, well after Beans' (and my own!) bedtime, we'll have to miss that one.

Heading outside for one last glimpse at the sun and the garden, then off to bed.

P.S.- "Bushy" -the squirrel that lives in our roof, is beginning to get a little too big for her britches. She has started chattering at me when I try to use the front door, and even sounding off warning signals when I am in the yard. I wish I had never promised our landlord that we would continue feeding her. (She promised her kids we would keep Bushy around.) The stupid squirrel lives IN our roof. IN OUR ROOF. I hear the dang thing running around all night and all day, and now she is trying to threaten me for living in my own house. The only benefit I see to keeping her well-fed is Roasted Squirrel with Butternut Squash when she's good and fat.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No Moose?

Well, that was a first. Not a single moose on my drive to Ft Greely today. I even brought the camera, and was double bummed when there was too much cloud cover to get a good shot of the mountains today.
Ah, well... not like I don't have plenty of time to take some good pics, eh?

So, the previous weekend was full of discovering how, um... NOT careful the movers were with our worldly possessions. A lot of broken stuff. The good news: only a handful of "priceless" items were damaged, and while it's sad, we'll live, and find new priceless possessions, I'm sure.

Hubby has been doing lots of mandatory overtime this week. After a one day, two night stint at home, he was back to work, leaving Beans and I to our own devices.

I have to say, this is kind of a blessing in disguise. Don't get me wrong, I miss his company, but I am also discovering how tough I can be. I have singlehandedly (seriously, since my other arm was holding Beans, who refuses to be set down this week), moved furniture that no woman of my small frame should be able to move. Kind of reminded me of my old paramedic days, when the strong, buff firefighters would come rushing to my aide to life a 300 lb patient on the stretcher and I'd blow them off, proving my "worth" as a Woman in the Field. (Of course, I probably secretly gave myself a half dozen hernias trying to prove my, ahem, "manhood" out there, but I earned my place out there, too!)

Ah, I digress...

In the desperate need to restore some order to my home, I moved furniture and boxes, made several trips to the dump, and "got 'er dun", as us south'ners would say. We finally have some semblance of "HOME" in our house, and that feels good.

In other news:
-Hubby's car was fixed, now it's broken again. Back to the subaru guy to fix it. At least this time, we found out in town, so he didn't have to hitch-hike his way down Richardson Hwy to get to work.
-Madderbeans is maybe going to drive me crazy this week. Poor girl is miserable. Between teeth coming in and being severely attacked by mosquitos (looks like she has chicken pox, only it's mosquito bites, all over her face, hands, arms, and feet... anything that was exposed). Yup, between all that and just plain ol' being onery (she gets that from her daddy, though he'll deny it), I am beginning to doubt my sanity AND my parenting skills. Anyone who knows how to make an 8 month old baby cooperate, sleep, and allow you two minutes to yourself to pee without screaming loud enough to alarm the neighbors, I am officially soliciting advice.

Oh, and I feel like a shmuck for not calling a very nice mommy from the playground who invited me to go to the Midnight Sun Festival with her. It's officially on my list of things to do and people to call tomarrow. Hopefully she hasn't written me off as that "jerk mom" from the playground yet!

What a busy week!

On the agenda after the weekend: trying to pass the Alaska Driver's License test!

Hope everyone is doing well! More next week, when I'm doing more than just trying to keep my head above water!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hooray for the North Pole Fire Dept

Phew. Well, along with our belongings came loads of packaging material. I caught 7 month old Madderbeans choking this morning and discovered that she was pulling bits of plastic wrap from some of our furniture and trying to eat it. I THOUGHT I had gotten all the pieces out of her mouth at 9 am when she did this. All day loong, she kept behaving like she was chewing on something and I did my finger sweeps like a good mommy and paramedic, but found nothing. Through two naps, several nursings, and a couple meals, this chewing behavior continued, along with a little hacking cough. This evening around 5pm, bothered by this behavior, I checked her mouth again and discovered that she STILL had little bits of saran wraptype plastic in her mouth.

Being a paramedic, I did my best to remain calm and remove the pieces. But being a MOM, I freaked out. We rushed over to the fire station and let another paramedic take a look, and finally managed to clear her mouth of all the plastic she tried to eat today.

Hooray for the fellas down there at the fire station! They didn't treat me like the horribly negligent mommy I felt like, or like the idiot paramedic I felt like, for that matter. And hooray for Beans surviving her first run-in with the rescue squad (and not choking to death on plastic that she managed to keep in her mouth for a full 8 hours).

This seems to be a family milestone of sorts. As of today, all three of my children have officially needed EMS services in one way, shape, or form. Do-Bug needed them when I locked him in the car on a hot summer day, B needed then when he crashed his bike into a tree (being the most serious of all injuries, with a head injury and a trip to Children's hospital in a helicopter), and now little Beans has joined the ranks with her brothers. Sheesh.

What a day.

On the upside, I highly recommend the North Pole Fire Dept. A great group of fellas. I just hope we don't need them again any time soon.