Friday, March 31, 2006

RevGal Friday Five, Southern Edition

The Friday Five is about classic family phrases; in my case most of these are part of the great body of Southern colloquialisms. I came up with way more than 5.

  1. Crazier than a blind dog in a meat house.

  2. You can’t get blood from a turnip.

  3. You have the [family name] temper.

  4. He doesn’t know his a** from a hole in the ground.

  5. You can’t make a silk purse out of sow’s ear.

  6. He’s got no more sense than a jackrabbit.

  7. Runnin’ round like a chicken with its head cut off.

  8. Give your momma (or daddy) some sugar.

  9. I’m plumb tuckered out.

  10. She was having a hissie fit.

  11. I think you’re gettin’ too big for your britches.

  12. Don’t you get sassy with me, missy.

  13. I haven’t seen him in a coon’s age.

  14. Crazier than a bessy bug.

  15. Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.

  16. I don’t know him from Adam.

  17. Stop all that caterwaulin’.

  18. Lordy mercy (an all purpose phrase to express fatigue, surprise, dismay, and so on)

And the one that made me hoppin’ mad:

Intelligent people are never bored.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

In Hiding

I have not had much time to post, nor much inclination. I’m not sure where I am, but it isn’t particularly good. I’ve been in hiding.

I think I spend lots of my time in hiding and pretense. I’ve spent a good deal of my life pretending one thing or another.  Childhood I spent hiding from myself that my mother was mentally unstable and both my parents hated each other. Consequently I had to hide them from my friends and pretend that I had a normal home life, one that wasn’t full of screaming, paranoiac rants and emotional violence. In college I hid behind a carefully constructed counter-culture image. It’s rather nice to instantly repel the people you would least like to talk to, simply by wearing certain clothes and dyeing your hair. I could hide my amazingly shy and self-conscious self behind a grand display of plumage. I started work I had to pretend that I was competent, or assertive, or downright aggressive, as the job demanded. Then I had to pretend that I knew how to be a mom.  I’m still pretending that.

Now, at work I pretend that I’m a conservative, orthodox Christian.  I bite my tongue and find myself fighting my own cynicism and negativity.  When they start bashing Democrats and liberals, I sometimes feel like screaming, “You’re talking about someone like me!” The people I work with are wonderful, caring people. They love God passionately. I doubt I would find another job where my employers are so understanding about the need for moms to take off for sick children and school events. But there is no way on earth I could ever be real with any of them.  I don’t express my true views about anything: parenting, women clergy, homosexuality, the war in Iraq, President Bush, immigration, biblical inerrancy, evolution, predestination, sovereignty.  The list goes on.  My beliefs about any of these would find me on the wrong side of the fence.  I spoke with someone who mentioned that a vote would be taken by Denomination X on ordaining homosexual clergy, and that he knew for a fact that a lot of people in Denomination X weren’t even Christian.  There is a lot of talk about “true Christians.” Who is and isn’t in the camp. Do you go to church every week? The right church—an orthodox reformed church with no taint of liberal theology? Read the Bible every day? Vote Republican? Believe that creationism should be taught in school and that the United States should make Christianity the state religion? Think that homosexuals should be barred from certain jobs and denied partnership rights (but loved, oh yes, they should be lovingly taught their essential wrongness)? You might pass.

I don’t pass, not nohow, not noway.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What's Going On in My World

1. DramaQueen lost another tooth and says several more are loose.
2. New neighbors moved into the apartment next to us. They have a daughter DramaQueen's age and a son Firecracker's age. What's really nice is that the mom seems really happy that there are kids next door to play with. You'd think that would go without saying, but it doesn't.
3. I have more work than I can do. The powers that be have begun the process to find someone to help. I won't hold my breath.
4. Dear Husband is taking math classes. He has lived in dread of this for a while, but he's actually doing well.
5. I bought hair color on sale.
6. I found knitting classes at a craft store, but I'm not sure we're going to be able to fit this in at the moment. Meanwhile, the other night I had a vision of doing the knit stitch. It was very clear.
7. I want to see V is for Vendetta. Stephen Fry is in it somewhere, and I always like to see Stephen Fry (If you haven't read his book The Liar, I recommend you go out and find it now, just so you can read the part about the discovery and critical reception of a long-lost Dickens manuscript about Victorian rent boys).

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair / Flow it, show it / Long as God can grow it

1) Do you like your hair?  I am fine with my hair. I wish it had less gray at the moment. Less gray without me having to dye it.

2) Have you ever colored your hair? Oh, Iused to dye my hair all the time. Back in the 80s I had one of those asymetrical cuts and a tail (remember tails?). I sometimes bleached a section of my hair in the front and the tail, and sometimes I dyed them pink or blue. I tried bleaching my hair once—it came out the color of butterscotch pudding. I was okay with that. I dyed my hair blue-black quite a few times—really got into the goth look. And then there’s red, which until I started getting quite a bit of gray, was my dye color of choice.

3) What's the longest you've ever worn your hair? The shortest? The longest would have been mid-back, way back in my childhood days. I frequently wore it in braids then. Sometime in my mid twenties I started getting it cut about as short as a guy’s. Those were the flannel shirt years.

4) When and what was your worst. haircut. ever? In sixth grade I got a Toni Tenille haircut.  Say no more. Then in my teens I got my hair cut short and permed. I think I looked a bit like a mad poodle.

5) Tell us a favorite song or scene from a book or movie dealing with hair. How dull I am. I really like the movie of the musical Hair, and I like that song about, well, hair: “My hair like Jesus wore it / Hallelujah I adore it”.  Also at the top of my list is the part in Little Women where Jo gets all her hair cut off and sells it. I thought she was so noble. I suppose I could be spiritual and pick the scene of the woman drying Jesus’ feet with her hair, but I just have to face the fact that the Bible is not the first thing that comes to mind.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Gorey Death

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will swallow some tacks. You are a little weird, maybe not so much in a good way. Buy a yellow tie and wear it on your head.
Take this quiz!

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Monday, March 06, 2006

The Tooth Fairy Paid a Visit

Yesterday DramaQueen lost her first tooth! She was so excited. I convinced her to put the tooth in a box for the tooth fairy—the tooth is so very tiny, I was afraid I would never find it under a pillow.

Friday, March 03, 2006

RevGal Meme: Practices Past, Present, and Future

The RevGal Friday Meme is about what we practice, now and in the past. None of these have anything to do with Lent, which I don't observe. So, here are four things I have practiced:

1) Yoga. Unfortunately this is a past practice. I have scoliosis. Most of my youth it didn’t bother me, but in my late twenties I started noticing some stiffness, and once I pulled my back severely. After that I started doing yoga regularly, and my back felt great. I kept this up for several years, but then I became interested in improving my cardiovascular health, and I couldn’t manage to do both yoga and aerobics, so the yoga went.

2) Curves. I’ve been going to Curves regularly for about two years. I’m probably the only person who has managed to gain weight while going to a gym, but I feel like at least my muscles are strong. I like Curves because I don’t have to think about what machine to use or exercise to do: there’s one sequence and that’s all ya got. When I have too many options I tend to dither.

3) Breastfeeding. This taught me what “natural” really means. Oh yeah, that was a bigger commitment than I realized at the time. I pumped milk at work, and I decided that I wouldn’t worry if DramaQueen wasn’t weaned until three or four. Well, ah, teething turned out to be a real challenge, and then when I was pregnant with Firecracker I began to feel a teensy bit resentful of the whole business. And then when Firecracker was born so early, I was determined to give her breast milk because it’s ideal for premature babies. She was fed through a tube at first, because she was too small for either breast or bottle. I encouraged DramaQueen to keep nursing to keep the milk up. And then little Firecracker adamantly refused to nurse, despite lactation consultants and devices and sheer will on my part. The hospital was very supportive but it was an hour away and I couldn’t be there at every feeding, so she had bottles of my milk. When she came home I pumped and gave the milk to her in bottles and endured multiple bouts of mastitis, and began to have to mix milk with formula. DramaQueen then weaned herself and that was the end of my milk supply. I am not sure that I have ever been so determined about anything, even if it meant putting my health on the line (and I did end up in the hospital for three days with a raging infection). When a La Leche League leader tells you you might want to let it go, you know you’ve perhaps gone too far.

4) Reading to my children. Now, I have to admit that I don’t always get to the recommended book a day with DramaQueen, but she’s at an age where she’s trying to read by herself, so I count the “Mom, what does __________spell?” that I hear every 2 minutes. We go to the library every weekend and get way more books than we can ever read. I love books and am so happy that the girls love them, too.

Now, as to something I might like to make a practice, maybe.

The other day when I picked up DramaQueen from after-school care, the first thing out of her mouth was, “Mom, I learned how to finger knit and we have to get some yarn now.”

I had heard about finger knitting because it’s big in Waldorf and Montessori schools (the schools I dream about but can’t afford), but I know pretty much zilch about these sorts of crafts. My mom was an excellent seamstress and loved sewing and embroidery, so I was taught a certain amount about that, but I wasn’t very interested. Knitting was not among her interests, perhaps because it’s bloody hot in South Georgia and the need for knitted items is minimal. But I looked up finger knitting so I could help out DramaQueen, and she knit a little scarf. It’s full of errors that of course I didn’t mention, because she is enormously proud of it and wants to make one for Firecracker, and make a lot for people in hospitals and shelters. I tried it myself and found it oddly satisfying. Now I’m wondering if I might like to learn to knit with actual needles.

I did teach myself to knit once before when I was in high school. I don’t know what inspired me, but I bought some needles and a skein of yarn and pored over the instructions in my mom’s Reader’s Digest craft book. I taught myself to cast on and the knit and purl stitches. How I did this I don’t know, because when I read instructions for this now I’m utterly baffled. Anyway, I knit a swatch and then, because my mom wasn’t interested and I didn’t know how to move from swatch to anything else, I abandoned it. I was a teenager and knitting was not a common pastime among teenagers in the 80s. Hmm, this reminds me of the macramé craze that swept the 6th grade in 1978/79. I think, as in most things, we were well behind the national interest. All the girls made macramé handbags. Mine had bamboo handles. But I digress.

So, if anyone has any advice on how to start knitting without taking a class (which would be my preference if I could actually schedule this into my life, but it just isn’t humanly possible), let me know.