Thursday, February 23, 2006

Two Wheel Revolution

I love, love, love researching things. I also love writing. (Note the imbalance of the verb repetition.) Some days it's not at all clear whether I write to justify my research or the other way round. On my quest for factual details, I find countless rabbit holes down which I could disappear for hours. Fortunately (I suppose), my time to write is limited, so I must cut short the information chase before it's hardly begun. Then it's back to the novel manuscript.

Some resources are just too exciting to keep to myself, though. Scootergirl extraordinaire Crystal Waters rides a Vespa that will knock your socks off. Look at "Ilene" here! When I checked out her blog, I found an entry reproducing an ad in the February 21 NYT. Seems Paolo Timoni, the President and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas (Piaggio manufactures Vespas) has written an open letter to US Mayors recommending scootering to alleviate our reliance on oil. Bravo, Mr. Timoni.

One of my lead characters rides a Vespa, probably because I've had a secret hankering for one myself since I first visited Italy ten years ago. My main protagonist drives an old Honda Civic. Mr. Timoni doesn't have to tell my characters that conservation is cool.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Martial Plan

This started a few days ago: "Momma, you do NOT talk to your boy that way."

You might call that sassing. And believe me, I don't enjoy hearing that from my 2.5yo. But when your son is "the quiet one" at daycare--never the instigator and never standing up to the bully--it can be a relief to hear him finally assert himself.

I checked with his lead teacher today, who told me N is just now starting to speak up when someone hits him. I'll help him practice those verbal responses in make-believe situations here at home.

Here's the thing, though. With his sister, the boy can dish it out in spades. Pushing AC around is the highlight of his day. But since she's still basically a sitting duck--or at least a slow-moving one--and won't be defending herself any time soon, a part of me wants to show N how to push back. And it is not the Buddhist part.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Good Health Is Overrated

Or so I'm trying to convince myself as my left eye weeps from behind my spectacles. Yes, I have pinkeye for the forty-leventh time since my older kid first brought it home from his daycare two years ago. I guess it's the viral world's revenge for my almost four decades of eyeballs so clean you could eat off them. Now every time I blink I pick up another goddam parasite. (I've even gotten two new pairs of contacts since the first visitation. And I don't wear the cheap kind, either.)

So the eye pain and redness just popped up about three hours ago. If I'd had an inkling this morning when I was having my hip and knee examined at the doctor's, I could've gotten her opinion on the infection too. So, yeah, on that note, I'm going in for an MRI on Wednesday to find out why a) when I go down the stairs or kneel, some invisible lunatic stabs my right knee with his or her invisible icepick, and b) when I stand up from a sitting position, whatever attaches my right thigh to my right hip decides not to support me without a massive fight lasting about one minute.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Return to the Land of the Living

The stomach virus got me. Or was it food poisoning? Does anyone know how to tell the difference (without going into TOO much detail)? At this point I'm living mostly on grits, oatmeal, cheese toast, and decaf. A little apple juice.

Happily, I'm lucid enough to get back to revising the novel draft. I've gotten some wonderful feedback on chapter one already (thanks Christa and Annette), and will try to incorporate some of that soon. However, I'm thick into chapter two revisions at the moment, and my mind is on my older secondary character rather than my sleuth. It's hard to flip back and forth, I find.

I will try to get back to some internet reading soon. I miss my bulletin board buddies and my blog friends!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

And a Fun Time Was Had by All

The foot of snow we got really bummed the dogs out (the taller is 17" at the shoulder), but the rest of the family enjoyed the heck out of it today.

Even though AC started walking last month, there was no way she could even take a step in this stuff. So we pulled her around in her little purple sled. D pulled N around in the bigger red one. N fell out on several occasions. He told me tonight, "I had trouble three times."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Quite Contrary...

...has been my computer. But now it seems to be functioning at its old capacity. It looked to be a hardware issue. Happily, D accidentally fixed it when he took my RAM out to install a replacement. When he found that he had brought the wrong size RAM, he put mine back in the other slot. Well, problem solved. WTFBBQ! There are some lingering [strange] issues of hibernation/power saver settings, but these have caused no problems with my work. Back in the saddle am I.

And how does my garden grow? Well, I gave the raised beds a rest last year, so now I'm ready to get back to my vegetable gardening. Here's the menu:
Little Caesar romaine; Sungold cherry tomatoes (SOOOOO sweet); Mixed lettuces, arugula, spinach; Royal Chantenay and Sweet Sunshine carrots; Tenderpick green snap beans; Fukagawa bunching onions; Bonanza Hybrid broccoli; First White cauliflower; Joy Choi Hybrid mini-pak choi; Carola potatoes (golden flesh); Hot Lemon peppers; Blushing Beauty bell peppers; Sugar Crunch Hybrid cucumbers; Saffron squash; and Purple Rain Hybrid eggplant. I'll try to keep my current herbs alive (rosemary, thyme, oregano), and add some Italian parsley and basil to the patch.

Everything except the spinach seeds and the organic seed potatoes (from Wood Prairie Farms in Maine) will be grown from seeds I've had for three years. That's right folks. My seeds live in their folded up seed packets, within zipper bags, inside a plastic grocery sack, in their own refrigerator vegetable drawer. I've done it this way for many years, and I always have great sprouting percentage. Saves lots of $$$, too.

I plan to start the greens, the onions, and the cole crops inside in another week, or whenever I can clean off the table and set up my grow light--whichever comes first. The seed potatoes will go into their bed in mid-March. (They will be shipped on March 7.) I will not grow peas or sugar snap peas this year, as the limited space of my raised beds and the time spent preparing them made the payoff poor the last few times I tried them.

I will NOT be doing a CSA subscription this year, but we do have a local pesticide-free farm/orchard I will buy from as needed. I HIGHLY recommend to those of you who can, to get a CSA subscription to a local organic farm. Eat in season, support your local growers!

So, just as the weather has become downright wintry again, let's dream of spring! What are you all going to grow?