altarflame: (deluge)
I don't even know where to begin.

I spent the school day continuing to work on our library (literal thousands of books on the floor, as we make donation boxes, dust long neglected shelving units, tape up kids' books that needed repair, and revamp our organizational system so we can actually find things again), washing dishes, and doing schoolwork with Jake and Elise. I really feel like I worked on the library for less than an hour (we started on it over the weekend), washed dishes for maybe 15 minutes, and did schoolwork with them for maybe 30 minutes. But the entire school day was somehow gone at the end of those three things.

Once I got Ananda and Aaron, everything promptly went fucking crazy. On our way home, I finally got through to our pediatrician and made Isaac an appt for tomorrow morning - I started leaving messages last week but he's been out of the office (anxiety, probably meds, Isaac's really been having a hard time). My sister called, saying some cryptic crap about me NOT LEAVING MY HOUSE and then hanging up, almost immediately after which my brother randomly showed up from out of town, with his girlfriend and a giant python, like "Surprise!" I barely got to say hi to them, because when Ananda changed out of her school uniform she was freezing up and panicking that she thinks a derby wound from her last practice is infected, and Aaron was shaking and almost in tears because while he was at school, a little hurt spot we'd seen on (his cat) Peter's forehead had turned into a giant swollen freaky spot emerging up out of his fur. Nancy started texting me loooooong messages continuously, about when we can get together during her visit down.

I started calling emergency vets, ignoring the texts coming in all the while, and had Annie heat water to stir up a salt water solution for me to irrigate her knee with. The first vet was too backed up. Laura arrived, with her kids. She took a picture of the knee wound, and texted it to her (paramedic) husband, who said he was working on an emergency. Bob tried to explain all about the snake, and agreed to pick Isaac up from STEM club, as I found a walk-in clinic to take Peter to. Grant agreed to take Isaac to his first counseling session with a new counselor, after STEM, since I would probably still not be back - even though Grant's supposed to be working from home. Annie cried about the saline on her leg, and fought with me about it, and finally agreed to at least sit with a rag soaked in it on the spot, even if I couldn't actually do any irrigation (which is basically just squirting over and over). Wincing, freaking out, etc. Brother in law texted Laura back to say they'd lost the patient.

The ride to the vet with Aaron and Peter was insane. It's barely over a mile from our house, but Peter somehow managed to get the door OFF the cat carrier we'd put him in, in the back seat. Not open, but off. So then he's running and yowling all over the damn car as I drive - he managed to step on the button to roll the back window down, Aaron was flipping out and yelling, Peter's abscess burst at some point and there was yellow puss dripping everywhere, I mean - this is all almost funny in retrospect, in a "laugh or cry" sort of way. Aaron managed to pin him in his lap and I got the window up and the window lock on.

The vet visit was great. They saw us right away, and since Peter's abscess had already mostly drained they just gave him an antibiotic shot, and us a bottle of antibiotics to keep giving him at home. The guy was nice. We were in and out in under 30 minutes. Aaron felt way better.

Back at the ranch, Bob had just gotten back with Isaac, and Ananda's leg looked a little better (and it looked better today than it did yesterday, when I DID do salt water irrigation that took it from dark pink and a little swollen, to light pink and just sore, around the broken skin - but after the vet it looked better than before the vet, with almost all of the pink gone...she just freaks about injury). While applying Neosporin and some gauze, I apologized to my unexpected guests that I basically had to turn around and walk right back out the door with Isaac, to go to counseling. Younger cousins continued to all play together with frisbies and ponies like they don't care what adults come and go, anyway.

Forms, insurance, and then an hour of "intake," as the counselor took a detailed history. She seems ok, and just needs to fully understand how smart Isaac is. He's very capable of real talk therapy and learning some new coping skills, but it seems like he's going to have to prove that to her before she moves past a "play and art therapy for kids who aren't ready for CBT" model... I hope it works out. It's another place within walking distance of our house, if it does. And he needs it. Play and art are both great and Isaac will like them, I'd just like to have some evidence based best practices going down, too. She kept stopping him to ask if he knew what words that she was using meant, like "stress" and "cognitive." He definitely does.

When we got home, Laura and Bob were gone, to their house and their city, respectively. My phone was still blowing up. Grant and I worked together to get more dishes washed, dinner cooked, figure out what Isaac needs for the rest of his science project, write down when his "family science night" at school is, swing by the store for a can of tuna to hide prescription cat antibiotics in, and make sense of Nancy's texts with our calendar. Planned a visit with her. The kids are very excited to see her - everyone wanted her down for this last Thanksgiving, since she'd been with us for the one before.

We finally sat down with Annie - she's been waiting 2 days since she brought it home, to show us all the art in her school portfolio. It has to go back, tomorrow. That was like half an hour, mostly comprised of her leading up to each piece with lots of disclaimers and then fretting over whether or not to show us the next one. Jake sat nearby with HP#5 in his lap the whole time, waiting pseudo-patiently for me to read to him.

When I was reading to Isaac, in his bed, Grant came in to tell me his mother's coming down in 3 days, with her husband and the twins, to stay here for 5 days. This IS good news... and she's coming to the derby bout Saturday (that Annie is hoping she can actually skate in...) which is great, just, uh - GAH. *sigh* My library is still half shambles, my kitchen is still not really clean, I'm overbooked morning, noon and night til they arrive - AND I HAVE A LOT OF SCHOOLWORK OF MY OWN DUE BY AND THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND, MAN.

Right now I'm trying to think of how I can even begin to lie down in my bed and just sleep... I have to put away leftovers and then dig through the safe, for Isaac's post-assessment Generalized Anxiety Disorder diagnosis, from a couple of years ago, to take to the doctor tomorrow morning. It's very 50/50 that it will be there, and if it's not I move on to my desk via flashlight, since Grant's asleep in there. I'm supposed to get my shot in the morning - if I can squeeze that in, between the cat antibiotics/taking A&A to school, and getting Isaac up to his appt, with Jake and Elise. The office where I go says I can only show up for shots between 8:30 and 9 now, for some new reason I didn't question. After that appt, I have to get things printed at Office Max because we're out of stupid toner. There are things written on just about every day of our calendar for the next month - aside from things I've mentioned here, and our "regular" stuff, there's a filling, an oral surgeon consult, an out of town fieldtrip, a family roadtrip, a birthday...

I feel like a big scribble on a page. I've got gregorian chants on as I type, and am thinking of doing a stretching and deep breathing session somewhere nearby, before I brush my teeth.
altarflame: (deluge)

- wrote 5 page paper about the "Burqa Bill" France passed in 2011, and how it's impacting people/communities.
-wrote 10 page paper comparing and contrasting the Schoenstatt (Catholic, vigil to Mary) shrine and the Wat Buddharangsi (Theravada Buddhist) shrine, both out in the Redlands. Their live-in fulltime religious folks, their rituals and community events, their aesthetics and how they fit into larger movements. Accompanying 10 slide power point presentation.
-Psychology of Aging final exam, online
-12 slide power point presentation on medical aid to Haiti, and how and when racism and exploitation play into it, along with how that can be avoided, and the very good work many people are doing
-made up my theater midterm, in person
-tomorrow I take the theater final
-and present that second power point
-and watch Bucket List and start writing a MASSIVE paper due this weekend, about it and some other articles
-and, this weekend, write a 5 page paper on how race has impacted nation building throughout the Caribbean
-and get the rest of my documentation from my doctor and meet with the disability services people again


-we cut out, decorated, and baked a million gingerbread cookies
-there has been some great dinner on the deck time
-lots of my-bed morning cuddles
-much driving to their 7 million activities
-tomorrow afternoon Isaac, Jake and Elise will be performing in their little holiday recital with GMYS :) Isaac's school holiday performance, Aaron's dance solo in the Holiday solo show, and another GMYS concert with Annie are all coming up too. And another derby bout. And and and.
-Ananda and Aaron stayed up late with me tonight watching all the cleanest standup comedy I know and love with me, and laughing a lot.
-I got a couple more Christmas presents - we now have everyone's Christmas Eve pajamas and all the stocking stuffers except pomegranates done, along with about a third of the actual presents. I've never been this "behind" on this stuff, but my house feels quiet and glowy from Christmas trees when we're inside, and they've loved decorating and whatever, basically :p
-lots of conversations with an angsty Aaron who is feeling he wants to quit dancing forever
-lots of tiptoeing and reassurance with Isaac, who is having mega-anxiety
-a great hour out looking at the sky and taking pictures of it and each other, with Jake. Also an interesting hair styling time with him, this afternoon.
-two batches of failed royal icing with Annie, after her failed cookies :p she's sticking with it, though. Her iced tea and cheese sauce (for Mac n cheese) were great on thanksgiving, too. We had a 90s music video marathon on the way to derby.


-I got the first 6 of my 15 freaking fillings done, Monday. The next few will be at the end of the month. Dentist really had to do a lot of drilling, since he tackled the worst ones first, some below the gum line :/ He said, "borderline root canals." They look great now, but chewing has basically sucked for a couple of days.
-Second weekly B-12 shot happened. I don't even feel them, which is nice. They are also having no measurable effect on my (non-existent) energy levels, which is meh.
-counseling is really, really helping me - I'm truly excited about the PTSD strides I'm making. EMDR is very challenging sometimes, but worth it.
-gastro was interesting, I have more bloodwork pending and have to absolutely die of trauma because they want a STOOL SAMPLE *sounds of me flailing in panic like a baby*


-emailing with Nancy DAILY to make sure we can hammer out a date/times that actually works for both of us, before she leaves the state for another year
-Grant's Christmas party is this weekend, and it's at a Greek place with belly dancers, this year. Looking forward to that :)
-I saw on facebook that one of my best friends is engaged, heard through the grape vine that another might be pregnant again, am psyched to see Kristin renew her online presence, returned a message to somebody I like talking to, am editing someone's AA story for them to share on a subreddit... and am generally like WTF about how I don't have the time or resources for more real life interactions :/ It really bums me out, sometimes, and is definitely something I hope might improve if we're in Maryland (because I won't be spending some 15-20 hours per week driving, there will be more like-minded people about, and also Kristin will once again be at close range).
-I'm reading American Gods (Neil Gaiman), since, hey, I have a signed copy and Grant's almost done with the audiobook so we can talk about it. Mostly just in waiting rooms and bathrooms, not that those don't add up.
-I've gotten kind of stupid depressed about a couple of pictures of me taken recently, I feel like I am just looking...old. In the face. And I don't like that. It surprises me when I see it, like - wha? That's not how I feel, OR how I look :p I honestly have a really hard time conceptualizing how I look in general, I really love some aspects and am really not into others. I'm usually very happy with mirrors but completely horrified with pictures, and am used to getting both degrading comments and unsolicited flattery - regularly. My standard reaction to it all is to shrug and go back to just, you know, living in here and looking out through my eyeballs. I'm extremely pleased with how my hair feels on my back and shoulders and how great stretching is, tonight, for instance, so I just roll with that.

Catching Up

Dec. 2nd, 2013 03:30 am
altarflame: (deluge)
I'm up late, lingering over the very last of the lovely the beginning it was honestly sort of hell. I was just totally overwhelmed with trying to get the entire house clean and cooking so much, with company coming and time limits. I was doing school presentations and things the day before my Dad arrived, and I'm so freaking exhausted. I was taking 20 minutes once an hour to lie down, for an entire evening. Once things were underway, though, and it was too late to do any more than was done, I started coasting, and that has been wonderful most of the time since...

And Grant has had 9 days off in a row, Isaac 4, we've had so much cool intermittent company, put up Christmas trees, and blargh. This week is gonna be wall to wall, as all weeks tend to be lately. It's the end of the semester, and today I did two quizzes, some discussion board stuff and submitted a 5 page paper, online. The beginning of the end of the all too brief peace and lazing about. After we grocery/Christmas shopped, this afternoon, Grant took Ananda and Aaron to see Gravity, and I put a movie on for the littles and took the quiet hours for schoolwork...

Tomorrow I have to get Isaac to school; go by my doctor's office; go spend two hours getting fillings; then go to the school to make-up a theater exam, give the disability services people more documentation, and sell my textbooks back; make a power point presentation; write another paper; drive Aaron to dance; make dinner; read to everyone before bed... Tuesday I have classes, then a B-12 injection, driving people, feeding them, readings. Wednesday is counseling, gastroenterologist, blah blah blah. The three littles have a holiday concert instead of their normal music classes, after my classes, on Thursday. I'm trying to figure out with Nancy when we can see each other again before she leaves town in a couple of weeks, and with my sister when I can babysit so SHE can go to the doctor. Both of which are important to me, and more "good" than "work".

I make a point of scheduling leisure and downtime, lately. Tuesday evening, Grant will be here since he works from home Tues/Thurs, and we're going to watch a movie. Wednesday there are a lot of activities, but they're spaced out and local to where I can get a lot of quiet time at home with just Isaac and Jake, which is an unusual combination of kids to have home alone. Friday-day we will do nothing but guided schoolwork that they can't auto-pilot or do on the computer or whatever, since the rest of this week is low on that.

I'm just SO. fucking. TIRED. All the time. Friday, Saturday and today/Sunday, I've been going to bed around 1-2am, and sleeping until 1-3pm. Then I drink a lot of caffeine, and...take a nap. Still, I end up dozing off around 10 or 11. Second wind til bedtime.

I spent awhile up troubleshooting Ananda's chocolate chip cookies, with her, tonight, while everyone else was in bed. They came out hard as rocks and completely stuck on the pan, and she's very spoiled on early successes since she's made some challenging stuff like cheesecake and had it come out perfect. We talked a lot about the French law against face coverings for Muslim women, too, since I had to write about that earlier for school and she was interested - so many layers of racism and freedom and religious expression, etc...

I wrote another poem the other day. I've written a lot of poetry these past few months, for the first time in awhile. It's under here. )

Continuing with getting all of my November pictures posted!

Ananda's derby team had their first home bout this month, which was the first time I got to see her actually playing (not just practicing) in person - Grant and Gloria had previously taken her to away bouts. We got a lot of people to come out, including old high school friends of mine who are not pictured, and some of Annie's friends. Pre-bout tailgating included a big taco spread we brought along. Derby makeup, and nerves:

Gloria and LJ, excited:

Shaun and Cristy:


Possibly tipsy Grant, and Elise in mini-derby makeup Annie put on her:

I dressed up.


With Miguel and Izzy, all trying to look tough and then bursting out laughing as soon as the picture had clicked.

#1 fan.

It was fun. One of her coaches, who is on the adult team that had a bout after theirs, told her how well she'd done. She TOTALLY hero-worships this woman, and it made her flip. She was silly-stupid-happy for two days after :)

Back at the ranch - the chickens have finally started laying, as Jake and Elise wasted no time in RUSHING in SCREAMING to tell me ;)

Yes, it is a blue egg. And they roam free a lot, so it's like an Easter hunt every day :p

I randomly went outside for something else and found them wearing cut up cups as crowns.

Elise watching TV with Tom:

Isaac, sleeping with a special shell his penpal sent him :D

The cats use his bed, when he's at school.

One night, we had Miguel and Izzy and Izzy's brother Francois over, for dinner and a projector movie/sleepover. After the movie, Grant sat at the laptop projecting things on to peoples' faces. Like sunglasses, and clown noses, and celebrities.

Much laughter all around.

Next day:

New closed coils post-extractions, and new colors:

Our little Beasty's Girl Scout troop was in a parade up at the Falls - her shirt says "Keep Calm and Camp On," from this summer at GS camp.

Her brother's saved her a bubble necklace they'd gotten while watching the parade. You can see highlights from the rest of the parade (I didn't get any good shots of her group, unfortunately, and it seemed more important to scream and wave anyway) are here. <--They all get bigger. It's wild how the quality and variety of what is in a parade goes up, driving 30 minutes north :p


Some Thanksgiving seems somehow ironic that these cuddly chickens were safely hanging out in the kitchen for part of the afternoon. They all just walk up to people and fall asleep in your arms, making little happy noises. It's ridiculous.

We were all SO. STUFFED. Nancy and Steve and their little dog Sundae, and my father, and Laura and Frank and their kids, and Gloria, and Shaun, and Grant and I and our kids. Delicious. And stuffed. And haha, you can see the picking my kids had done off of the edge of my clementine cakes.

Hours later:

That's Elise, (niece) Elizabeth, me, and Isaac.

You can see Gloria, Ananda, and Frank...we were still outside at 1am.

The only black Friday shopping we did was at Guitar Center...

Aaron, in Grant's hoodie and his new hip hop sneakers, drooling over expensive headphones.

Saturday was the Greater Miami Youth Symphony's 55th Anniversary Concert. Grant took Annie, and sent me these, while Aaron hung out with his friend Adrian and I took the littles to my sister's, since our mother was in town. I pretty much spent the whole visit catching my mother up on my latest lab results and apologizing to everyone for my brain fog and sleepiness. Sometimes, right in the middle of visits like that, I do stupid shit like tell everyone I'll run to Publix for a few things and then burst into tears and rant to my husband on my cell phone in the parking lot for 15 minutes until I feel like I can stay awake long enough to continue, uh, living.

Well hello, 3:30 O_o
altarflame: (MeandJakesleeping)
Today is Jake's birthday - my fourth child, my afro boy, my Jakey Bakey Pudding and Pie, is EIGHT years old. Eight!

We took him out shopping for his party (tomorrow), and I took him out for a treat, just the two of us. We gave him his small presents (a new sketchpad, and an over-the-bedroom-door basketball hoop with small ball). We cleaned and did yard work. Grant took him, Isaac, and Elise to go see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, this evening. I stuffed goody bags, while they were gone.

I'm having some pretty major pain issues. And what seems from googling to be a baker's cyst, on the back of my right knee. You know, to go with the ganglioic cyst on my left wrist. It's weird to be so physically out of it and so happy, at the same time. Also weird to feel it's obvious I need to go to the doctor, and also obvious that the doctor can't really do anything. I'm going anyway, but...bleh.

The friend time, in Boston, was fucking amazing. I loved it so much.

Nancy picked us up at the airport, she took us out to dinner, she loaned us her boyfriend's car (we did make sure he was ok with it, but it totally went down just like that) and subway pass (he had nowhere to go that weekend, and she has a vehicle he can drive). She made us breakfast, gave us a bedroom and bathroom for the time we were there.

More than any of that, though - a lot more - she is just so easy to be with, listens so well, says things I truly care about, i.e., anything she does...she also showed me emails from people she's given my book to, discussing the book. Because she has a stack of them in her house, on top of a shelf of books just like how they are at my house, and she gives them out constantly.

She showed me an email from an 80 year old friend of her mother's who was horrified, said I must be "sick...sick...SICK" and that she couldn't even get through it - and then the follow-up, apologizing, saying she read it and was so glad she did, and that I was saying things all women think and feel and are afraid to share, and all kinds of really dumbfounding things I didn't even know how to reply to.

Another person had just finished the first 3 stories, and said they were "completely bizarre, but in a very good way" which is, I hope, the truth. It's so insanely emotional to me, to hear peoples' opinions. I brought my own stack with me and gave out 7 while I was in town, and it's this urgent combination of excitement and anxiety as I imagine them being read (or forgotten all about) and loved, hated, cast off as boring...whatever.

Nancy and I talk about everything. Sex, sickness, therapy, exercise, recipes. She's 65 and she is not very internet savvy, but she wants to know who the Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer are, when she knows I'm interested, and she loves the videos I show her. She wants to know where to get the glitter cream eye shadow I'm wearing. She walks so fast I can't keep up. She's doing important work every day, in both the lives of individuals and for people in general. She is such an inspiration overall, still learning and researching and GOING and DOING, every day, much more than most people half her age. She has amazing stuff all over her house that is from Etsy or friends of hers, and there were house guests leaving the day before us, and other guests coming in the day after we left. She sent me home with bags of jewelry she doesn't want anymore, for Ananda and Elise, that both of them were SO EXCITED to get, because they're FROM NANCY :D

Perhaps best of all, she's coming to our house for Thanksgiving ♥ I am SO EXCITED, too, about that :D So is Gloria, since Gloria's here with us for Thanksgiving every year and is a total fangirl for Nancy, as a doula and aspiring midwife. It's funny; I tend to leave the room when Nancy gets a birth call because I don't want to end up triggered all to hell and back. We don't talk about that very much, aside from indirect things like birth laws and interesting clients - we tend to fixate more on her relationship ups and downs, though, and her kids and granddaughter, and paint choices for her new walls, and how she's training her little dog.

Grant and I agree she is an uncanny combination of me, and his mother (who I adore).

This is beautiful, though:

Another book Nancy has in her house:

I did a double take, because Kristin - who is a bona fide chicken nerd - also has it, and has made me read and look at most of it several times over. IS THIS THE SORT OF COMMON DENOMINATOR THAT WILL DEFINE MANY OF MY BEST FRIENDS?! :p

I texted Kristin that pic and she was like, "No, I have a different edition." O_o Like that negates the silliness.

Nancy's deaf cat, who I kept psst-pssting before checking myself. And her dog, who Grant played with almost nonstop the entire visit. His name is Sir Chocolate Sundae With Sprinkles, though the sprinkles were cut off by a groomer soon before this was taken.

Grant made her one of the little pumpkins he does with the kids every year.

And she left these Happy Birthday notes for him, and scattered kisses, in "our" bathroom, for us to come back and find very late, after our concert was over (the 7th was his birthday, and this was a joint birthday trip for the two of us).

There was also our Sunday afternoon visit with Julie/[ profile] emeraldrabbit. I've "known" Julie online for a lot of years, and met up with her briefly in Boston before Elise was born, but this was so much better. We traipsed there via train, bus and short walk, on a cool and rainy afternoon. It was slightly awkward for about as long as it took to climb their stairs and say hi. After that, I basically felt like I could talk and stuff my face with them forever :) It's awfully easy to imagine living closer and seeing her and Mark all the time, and how Elise would drag their twins around in ways they would hate, and how Annie would join in the adult conversations and Isaac would make Julie laugh. Grant and Mark could become real friends really quick. It almost happened in the time it took them to go get some donuts for all of us. I felt sad that I hadn't started visiting sooner, so that I could have done it twice. *distancesigh*

Monday afternoon I had a shorter visit at a bookstore with [ profile] idiolecto. We've read each other for lots of years, too, though I'd never met her before. She is ravishingly beautiful and super easy to talk to - if we hadn't been on our way to something else I could have easily kept that conversation going for several more hours. She had an Iowa friend with her and had given her some kind of altarflame debriefing similar to the idiolecto synopsis I lectured Grant with, as we all headed in the direction of our meet up spot. It's so funny, talking livejournal nonsense with other LJ'ers IRL.

She also brought Grant a delicious looking pastry as a birthday gift, which you can see him enjoying here:

There are a lot of reasons for me to go back to Boston again!

We spent the middle night of our 3 nights in a hotel, to try to have some "Grant and I" time. With the last of his work travel points, we were able to spend only $50 to stay in the W, where this is the lobby:

That pink is illuminating moving water, and the curtains are chain mail. It's just ridiculous, I mean -

This is part of the room service menu.

And this is the floor to ceiling, repeating wallpaper in the halls? I just do not even know.

So anyway, because he does travel so much, Grant is considered a "Gold Member," one perk of which is that he gets any available room upgrades they can give him. Which, this particular night, was a freakin' "WOW Suite" that normally rents for over $1,000 per night. It was insane, and we had to sign a liability waiver before we were allowed into it. This is the living room, curtains closed:

And open:

Before we even had time to look at everything properly, someone was knocking on the door to deliver these :) Sometimes really good things come from talking to strangers!

That is a stainless steel kaleidescope, next to a glass prism puzzle O_o The room was filled with little things like that, such as a (not pictured) wooden block puzzle, and a stack of art magazines...

We went out for thai food, and he had to sleep off a persistent headache for a bit. A lot of my accumulated tensions from the frenetic week before caught up with me, along with some (non kid related) drama I'd had with Gloria (who was with our kids - and we worked it out)... and I had to cry my eyes out to let it all go, which thankfully he totally understands and can even guide me to before I get it.

This tumblr post from a pretty cool guy I like a lot was very timely - the quote is, "Most people think happiness is about gaining something, but it’s not. It’s all about getting rid of the darkness you accumulate." Basically, this amazing hotel suite was real neat but I still felt awful in it until I cried, and he still felt awful in it until he napped - then we were both happy, and then we would have been happy no matter where we were.

Not that it wasn't still badass. That bed was really something.

So we watched more episodes of Louie (the show we're currently working our way through), and got it on, and generally didn't sleep much but were better off for it.

It was kinda showing the next morning over breakfast.

Good stuff all around. Like this, that we got via facebook :D

I was so happy that his birthday was acknowledged over and over in so many cool ways. Otherwise I don't think I could have dealt with not being in a position to bake him a cake :)
altarflame: (boomdeyada)
One of my New Years resolutions was to drink (a lot) more water. I'm doing it, but the thing is I wonder every day whether or not the health benefits are worth it when compared to the loss in quality of life because of how much I fucking loathe having to go pee all the time. I realize this is ridiculous but, like, seriously, it is extremely annoying to me to have to stop what I'm doing and go to the bathroom. Ever, not just when it's frequent. I just don't understand why my body is so inefficient and irritating. It seems like a total waste of time and effort to me, to a degree I understand is both unusual and irrational.

For what it's worth, I have the same reaction to needing to stop and get gas. I frequently get to the bathroom feeling ready to burst, and frequently pull into the gas station when my little indicator countdown warning says I only have *** miles left til we break down on the side of the road.

I wonder if this is because some subconscious part of my brain feels like my bladder and my van should be advancing the same way other technology is. I think my iPhone has totally died once since I got it 6 months ago, and I can plug it in while using it anywhere I am :p Sort of similar to how I got an IUD 6 months ago and haven't thought about birth control since.

Urination is archaic bullshit, this is 2012 and I won't stand for it!

So, this classy establishment is where I purchase my car insurance:

As you can see, they spare no expense where decorating is concerned:

Priorities = straight:

And this is Miami for "shirt".

I do love where I live.

Do they have coffee so strong it's served in thimbles other places?

This is not vegan, but as cheating goes I felt ok about it ;)

Also not vegan. Who the hell finds a picture like this appetizing?!

Jakey at TLC.

A Jake story copied and pasted from facebook:
My Jakey is so sweet ♥ He just brought me his beloved teddy bear, Beary, in panic, because he had a hole. I told him to bring me the sewing kit and he was all worried it was going to hurt Beary. So we put him to sleep first, and then Jake ran to make him a pretend cake while I did the surgery so he could have a treat when he woke up. When I called him to tell him Beary was all done and good as new he threw his arms around my neck with all this emotion, telling me "THANK YOU MAMA!" *sigh* This kid is awesome.

Immediately upon recovery, Beary had a birthday party that I was invited to.

He is about 115 in Favorite Stuffed Animal years (they have a birthday approximately once a week).

Here he is dressed, in some of Jake's old clothes :)

View through my bedroom doors one day:

One night, we were at Kristin's, and she had Hennessy and Hennessy Hammocks:

The next morning, I took a shower:

Packed up my vegan food for a long day out:

And talked to Kristin on the highway as we serendipitously rolled along side by side:

Aaron and Isaac at Dr Geraldi's last week...they could not be more different.

My oil and water children.

My surprise when I came out from the bedroom on Valentine's Day morning:

Das right, baby <3

I'm not really a Starbucks person anymore, I guess, since 1. I can't afford that! and 2. I can't get non-dairy stuff from them that isn't soy.

I am eating seafood. Pesce-vegan?

P.F. Chang's Asian Pear Mojito trumps all other Mojitos.

Ananda has improvisational style for days. Here she is in a brother's shirt, my tank top, shorts she just cut...

Here she is taller than Nancy. It's clear who's happier about this development.

That park was great.

Isaac turned 8! Here he is with his card from Nana and Pa.

He's really getting something of a birthday week...he's gotten cards in the mail a couple of days, and got a new bike and to choose the whole day's menu on the day. This weekend just him and Dad are going camping and we're doing cake and pinata with some people (which will be extra special since Oma is coming down from Lake City).

A random shot of a Magic game. They play a lot lately.

Gratuitous Elise pictures:

altarflame: (Default)
Because it's on the way back from visiting Nancy, and he wanted to get something done. It's a deserted (for the weekend) section of the second floor of an office building. All the doors are ceiling height, there's a lot of glass and plush carpet everywhere and the children are currently sitting around a giant meeting table in cushy leather chairs watching hulu cartoons on a projector screen that comes down from the ceiling. We haven't really been in this particular workplace of his before (he's been here 6 months; it's 2 hours from our freakin' house).

Aaron, sitting at the head of the large meeting table: I am the CEO.
Me: You have something to tell us?
Aaron: I'm even wearing cologne. (takes off his watch) Today's topic is "Gshocks". Worth the money, or are you just paying for the brand name?
Me: Isaac, don't erase things from the (very complex and completely covered in writing) board!
Aaron: I think these chairs are probably, like, at least two dead cows each.
Annie: They're obviously fake.
Me: Based on what?
Annie: *glares at me*
Elise, sitting at the foot of the table: Now everyone has to pay attention to me *giggles*.
Jake, muffled from under the table: HEY GUYS THE MEETING IS DOWN HERE!
Isaac: Whoa, a golden doorknob! Did you know the doorknobs are golden here, Dad?
Me: You know what I think we should do? You and me, while they watch this movie?
Grant: I'm sure I do.
Me: There aren't cameras, right?
Grant: Not that I know of.
Me: Well.
Grant: I have stuff to do.
Me: I'm taking some pens and you can't stop me.

The meeting with Nancy was great. Ananda is taller than her, Aaron is almost as tall as her. We walked all around a park in Boca Raton with her pushing her dog in a dog stroller and updated each other on the last year of our lives, with Elise and Grant trailing after us when the conversation was too sensitive for small ears and walking alongside when not. Ananda rode a skateboard around, Aaron his unicycle, and Jake and Isaac mostly played at the playground. We sat on a bench and showed each other pictures off of our phones for twenty minutes. Eventually we caravan'd over to Whole Foods to eat. I'm meeting her alone in Davey next Sunday evening. It's a lot easier to say goodbye "til next Sunday" as opposed to "til next February".
altarflame: (Staring)
Comment on a random YouTube video:
I should have known better than to read the comments for anything on YouTube, you inbred imbeciles. Stop pissing in the wind for a minute and you might not smell like asparagus all the time.

20 Pictures )

Today is Robby's 15th birthday. When I saw him last night he was really, really happy, like happier than I've seen him in a long time. It was kind of hilarious actually. I am baking him muffins and making him cds. Robby, if you're reading this, forget that last part - you know nothing!

My brother managed somehow to cut his finger badly enough that he had to involve Frank, my paramedic brother in law. He is conveniently unable to wash the dishes while he keeps the area dry, now, and I am highly suspicious :p I also strongly suspect the whole injury had something to do with my poor battered palm tree in the front yard. *shaking head*

I had someone else who I really respect read my WRITING writing and be all, raving and gushing about how great it is, and I'm still sort of riding that wave. The other day, digging in my laptop case, which I only use when I go out to write, I found all this crap I'd been looking for...lip balm, necklace, money. I concluded that the answer to every problem in my life is to write more.

Aaaaaaaaaaand...that's a wrap.
altarflame: (Bloody Hell)
So far today I've eaten:

-a tiny bit of canteloupe
-a few sugar snap peas
-a bunch of leftover roasted cauliflower from last night
-a donut
-some apple slices with cheddar cheese

It's kind of like that Sesame Street song, One of these things is not like the others...

I am extremely tired. There is not really a way to express this tiredness. I woke up almost panicking about how hard it seemed to get out of bed; "Am I pregnant?! Am I diseased?! Internal bleeding?!" (my guess is no, no and no,btw)

I just...I dunno. Monday was a whirl of blitzcleaning and dropping off our van to be serviced (tires and oil) and getting dropped off back over there to pick it up only to find it needed more work and I was stranded, and more blitzcleaning, and email and phone planning, as I anxiously awaited what Nancy would say about the portion of one of my books that I'd mailed her. Late that night I got replies, she said she was breathless, she'd cried, I gave her goosebumps, it was crazy! Crazily awesome.

Tuesday I got up on almost no sleep and ran out to the store in the prius, and Starbucks for caffeine, and did more last minute cleaning, and got all the kids up and dressed, and Nancy came. And it was a GREAT visit - we went through my partial manuscript and she gave me names and numbers for doctors and nurses she thinks I should quote and even sort of hinted around about writing a foreword for me, it was really exciting, but more than that she is just so WONDERFUL to have around in her own right. We ate and talked and laughed and I got pictures of her reading to all the kids. Grant and I managed to co-cook while she was here and she drove me to get my van out of the shop...where it turns out I had to pay $743. When I had just payed $512 the day before when it hadn't been done. New shocks, new brakes, they fixed the interior lights and on and on. ARGH we were not prepared for almost $1300 in sudden vehicle expenses. And then it was sad to have Nancy leave, but I was still happy. My mother in law called to say that Robby would be getting out of the hospital the next day (Wed) which is WONDERFUL and...I am so proud of him. When I visited him over the weekend we talked so much about how I can't help him if he's in residential treatment,a nd if he keeps taking so many unneeded meds he really will go crazy, and he actually took my advice and broke down and told the people in there that he was exaggerating and trying to get attention and quit acting. I am sure that was extremely difficult to do.

Wednesday is always madness, I have to get A and A to their 3 in a row dance classes up in Tamiami and get Isaac and Jake to AWANA down here in Homestead during the time the classes are going on. Everyone was on time, Ananda with her hair bunned and Aaron with his shoes found...Jake and Isaac with their vests on and books and dues in hand and verses memorized. Elise doesn't want to sit in the van that long - she stayed at my mil's this time, which they all loved. Including Robby, who was home. We worked out that he would come here for the next two days and then spend the weekend with her, when she's off work. So I had to go home and clean clean clean again because Robby's therapist was coming here to meet him, and read to everyone and blah blah blah. And go out and do late night shopping because I was going to have two teenaged boys here for Thursday and Friday, eating. The good news was that my brother's stupid transcripts FINALLY CAME IN THE MAIL FOR JOBCORPS. So he and I made a whole plan for the next day and I tried to get him to go to sleep earlier. He took it upon himself to shave with Grant's trimmers, wonders will never cease. Aaron was finishing all of his schoolwork for several days running, too.

Thursday was like:
-wake up at 7:45 (did I mention I got to sleep around 5 am?), nurse Elise back down to sleep
-take Bob out to JobCorps with bus fare for the return trip and a lot of instructions
-get home in time to meet Robby at the door arriving
-talk with him for half an hour while I made a heaping massive pile of french toast, turkey bacon and sliced oranges - he is very easy to talk with, I really enjoy his company
-get Ananda and Aaron up, the 4 of us had breakfast
-get Jake and Elise up and dressed, and then Isaac up and dressed, and serve the three of them breakfast
-enforce Ananda and Aaron's morning chores
-wake Grant up and get him breakfast and tell him there are frozen pizzas for lunch as I collapse for a nap
-up at 2, take a shower with G, check in with Bob about how it went at JobCorps, then rush everyone out the door along with a bag of packed snacks and some other accessories, to PATH
-Where everyone plays with friends, my kids did more physical fitness testing, I told my friends about Nancy's reaction to my book
-drive to Ron Ehman park, near the location of Aaron's special rehearsal - great driving talk and music with Robby. Tetherball, swinging, it was good, until Elise face planted in the sand off a swing badly - mouth, eyes and nose FULL of sand, one hand swollen and I thought it might be broken until she was nursing and calming down...her and Annie and I walked around the path alone, talking, and then Aaron sat on a bench with Elise and I for awhile talking, and then I snuggled with Jake until it was time to go
-we go drop Aaron off at his special rehearsal (for the dance competition at the end of the month, in Orlando. That his dance teacher is paying for, she wants him competing with her so badly. She begged me with tears in her eyes to let him do it O_O )While he did that, the rest of us made the trek to my mil's and back to get Robby's meds for the night and morning so he could just spend the night instead of coming back all early again. By this point I had a movie on in the van to placate the little ones and Robby was buying their compliance with mini-marshmallows. We talked about the autism spectrum, dairy, Lily Allen lyrics and our mutual... admiration for Taylor Lautner. With him and Taylor it's apparently sort of destiny, since Robby once stumbled upon him signing autographs at a Hot Topic AND he used to watch Sharkboy and Lava Girl when he was a kid. They're basically engaged.
-HOME. Everyone is starving and in and out of the kitchen while I make creamy mushroom chicken, roasted broccoli and some whole grain rice a roni.
-we eat. I give Isaac a bath with the special dyes-the-water-pink things he got for his birthday, and then Jake and Elise a bubble bath, and get them all in footed pajamas. Force Annie to brush her hair. Read to people and they go to sleep. Realize Robby is already out and cover him with a blanket. Argue with my brother about washing dishes.
-read a bunch of fan fiction til Grant gets home from work and we have some unusually strained conversation about his tendency to take after his dad and have expectations of me that lead to scolding when I don't meet standards
-come to some kind of resolution and black out in his arms - this was like, I don't know, 4 am.

Friday, I got woke up by people telling me Darrien and Naja had just arrived at 11:15. They were supposed to arrive at 1 so everyone was asleep and Robby let them in since he was on a couch near the door. They're my friend Kristin's kids and she's going through a divorce and doing CNA school on Fridays - so whenever her mom has something that interferes with her watching them on a Friday, they come here. They are great and no trouble, I just wasn't expecting them yet. Apparently the grandma was confused about a lot of details. This day turned out good though - partially because I went on my second Starbucks run of the week and refueled before I did anything else. We had nowhere to go but a potluck dinner at Kristin's later in the night and it was fun. I had Naja and Elise up on a step stool helping me make scones, Isaac had people to play cards with, Bob even went out and played with Darrien in the yard (Darrien idolizes Bob). I did catch Aaron and Darrien trying to light the grass on fire o_O Mostly it's surprisingly relaxed and not as loud as you would expect - we watched The Office by ourselves before G had to go to work.

When Kristin arrived from school my sister was in normal postpartum sahm crisis on the phone, stranded with no vehicle, and so we rearranged some carseats and rescued her. The potluck ended up awesome...I brought roasted cauliflower, sliced tomatoes and REALLY good lemon butter scallops. Kristin had HOMEMADE BUTTERNUT SQUASH RAVIOLI with a sage butter full of mushrooms on top, and homemade fettucinni with homemade pesto and OM NOM NOM. My sister brought her donut pans and made donuts while we passed Elizabeth around. Jake ate like...15 garlic rolls for dinner, and was in heaven. Brian, my sister's son, even did really well. I felt very useful corralling him off to be alone when he got overstimulated and taking him to the bathroom to "try" every so often.

It was REALLY BIZARRE when we all arrived in the driveway. Kristin's sister was there and they are the same height, same thin build, each wearing tight jeans and a clingy, long sleeved dark green top, with the same assymetrical, shorter in the back haircut. Keegan's is purple, but whatever. Different colored Converse. Laura and I both had on the same jeans, a black shirt, same proportions, basically same height and skin tone, different colored Kinos (flip flops). We're standing across the driveway in pairs aghast before everyone starts laughing. Carina, who's house Kristin is sharing, thought it was kind of hilarious and said if her sister was there it would have been even worse.

By the time the talking, the cooking, the eating, the dessert, and more talking were done, and we had gotten toys squared away and dishes and sweeping done and all of it, my kids and I got home at like 12:30. Snuggling, teeth, books, bed.

I woke up today and Robby had been picked up, people had eaten breakfast. Grant is off. The two of us walked over to a lot a block down and shot arrows. Now he's listening to some educational podcast with the 3 biggest ones.

THIS IS WHY I HAVE NOT BEEN UPDATING. How am I supposed to update?!

I have pictures I want to post and will try to.

IF YOU HOMESCHOOL: I have been meaning to tell everyone that Kumon workbooks, which are AWESOME, are currently 4 for 3 on Amazon, with free shipping. I ordered 14 of them for the older 4 of my kids, mid-week, and it was only $76 total. Which is a really good deal.

Also, if you go to and use the code N401, you can get year subscriptions to really high quality, no-ad kids' magazines for only $24.95. Usually they are $33 each. I've been wanting a couple for a year now and finally went ahead and got Muse for A and A and Ask for Isaac.
altarflame: (GaGa)

Shaun shaved, and now I think he really screams "filmmaker"

This is Grant, intensifying his hatred for and resentment of our cats (it's his mom's new puppy).

And this is us, pretty frequently.

Isaac turned 6, as previously documented only through text.

Brian, Darrien, Jake and Naja wanted to help.

And that is my feet by the faucet.

Oh yes. I think I need at least three hours watching the steam rise off the water every week lately.

Aaron being Aaron.

Also Aaron (hip hop class):

My video editing program is crashing, so the first minute and 20 seconds of this video is just them standing there. Sorry about that. Feel free to skip ahead to the good part :) I actually think the previous run through was superior, because he didn't know he had a camera trained on him.

Elise watching him.

And Ananda doing schoolwork during her free hour at Dance Empire.

Goofing around in the van.

Jake is wearing his little Cubbies vest back there. He LOVES AWANA so much.

Flash does funny things to Elise and I both.

All five of my kids at the zoo.

There are a lot of parts of my life right now. I'm stretched thinly over a lot of area, mostly in a good way. Obviously not always. Some of it:

I'm getting really close to Kristin, and love it, like we're real friends - the kind you can ask for favors or call up at 10 pm just to talk.

Nancy and I talk and email everyday. She'll be here to spend the day with us on Tuesday. This is wonderful in and of itself and then, also, I emailed her the first 10,000 words of this book I'm writing (!). So I'm waiting to hear back on tenderhooks ( to speak? wth? tenderhooks, really?) and hoping she will be brutally honest but also REALLY LOVE IT :p

Robby spent the night again last weekend, and was here two days ago. He hugged me and helped with the dishes. Then yesterday he took like 20 Zolofts and now he's back at Miami Children's. My mother in law called me crying her eyes out tonight because none of us feel capable of helping him...they're talking about residential treatment and it kind of breaks my heart. His sister Nadia (11, bipolar, schizophrenic) has been in and out of residential for years; her twin Patrice has never had any mental health issues. Robby is so smart, and he's so...dangling on some really gets me.

And I feel like somebody needs to do something for Patrice because holy shit this is too much for her. She spent the night with Robby last weekend. We were all eating dinner and going around asking "What was the best part of the day for you?" and when we got to her, she said "I don't know how to choose! It's all so wonderful!!" with this giddy excuberance like my messy house is some sort of wonderland, and it breaks me heart man! I do not know what to do. Robby specifically requested I be put on his list and given his password so I imagine I will be at Miami Children's this weekend at least once.

I've been listening to a lot of music, downloading a lot of music. I got a beautiful special edition red iPod nano in the mail and I'm kind of in love with it, and then again sort of considering sending it back because, well, that would be a lot of Lush products I could get and I can always burn cds for the van and plug earbuds into my laptop. Lily Allen, Kate Nash, Frou Frou, Cat Power, Regina Spektor (Consequence of Sounds and That Time, this week), Emiliana Torrini, The Blow's "True Affection", Hurts to Purr, A Particularly Vicious Rumor.

I'm having a very hard time with Aaron - as far as getting him to do schoolwork or chores or act "normal" around people. He is incredible at communicating with me one on one and at participating in group activities and at anything musical or physical, but sometimes lately he really seems like a true autistic savant...I haven't felt so stumped and frustrated by his obvious sensory issues since he was 3.

We had tea today, outside, for the first time in what felt like forever. We went around and the questions were, first, what are you looking forward to, and second, what are you dreading.

Ananda is looking forward to Nancy's visit and dreading her period.
Aaron is looking forward to his dance competition next month and dreading his chores tomorrow.
Isaac is looking forward to Easter (because it's a "finding constest" and he's so exceptional at finding things) and dreading his next belly ache (he gets them a lot...he has a really sensitive gut).
Jake and Elise didn't really understand the questions well enough to say things that made sense.

My kids and I joke around almost constantly. They always try to get me to say "What?" when we pull up at the house, so they can answer, "We're home". I refuse if I'm on to them. But they get me kind of a lot, often in hilarious ways. Once in a blue moon I get one of them, but mostly they ban together and warn each other.

Aaron has gotten so good at making me laugh uncontrollably that I have to threaten him through it, when I can breathe, that I can stand him in the corner while I'm laughing, and just because he's funny doesn't mean he's not in trouble.

I frequently call them horrible names like putzes and oozing warts and threaten them with consequences like ripping their arms off and beating them with it. "If you don't get out of that bath, I will go outside, dig a hole under this house, light a fire in it, and make soup out of you".

Me: Don't make me eat you.
Ananda: *rolling her eyes* You can't eat me.
Me: Watch me.
A: It would be gross, and I'm way too big.
Me: Why do you think we have a blender?
A: I know you hate purees.
Aaron: She does have a point about that.
Me: Well, I could use it to thicken soup.
Aaron: she does do that with bean puree.
Ananda: If you eat me, you're gonna have to explain it to Dad.
Aaron: And the police.
Isaac: I would help her keep it a secret.

I've been in insane hypersexual mode. Not eating especially well and not especially caring. And never ready to get out of bed when it's time. Always grabbing more music off the computer and a bag of snacks as we head out the door, always reading and reading and reading out loud in the dark to someone(s).

I feel very alive and like I can dig this life.

My brother is pushing it, though.
altarflame: (babylegsIsaac)
Monday - Don't remember.

Tuesday - got up early-early, drove to Delray Beach, hung out with Nancy. We walked on boardwalks in wetland preserves, had lunch at a little natural market, and visited this new women's center called The Red Tent (!) that was awesome. It was a really great time, we caught up on everything in each others' lives and cried almost anytime we weren't laughing. She has such an uplifting spirit, and loves in this way you can just feel rolling off of her <3 On the way home it was me, a grande caramel macchiato, some really good music and then...I was almost out of gas. And stopped for gas. And my card wouldn't work. I'd checked the bank that morning - what I think must have happened is a security check since I was out of town and had already used it a couple of times? Anyway the (very cool) cashier chick had somehow let me pump the gas without paying yet and so I was standing there, like, uh....I can't pay you? She ended up paying for it herself and I wrote her a check. This is many in a long recent line of incidents that add up to what I believe to be lesbians hitting on me increasingly often. Trust me, you had to be there. Back at the ranch, I was so happy to take Elise and then Jake on bike rides, read to kids, generally get back into them and find them so happy to see me.

Wednesday - Normal Wed. chaotic lot of schoolwork and activities EXCEPT that Aaron told me his dance teacher wanted to talk to me, after I picked them up. So I went in by myself and we sat on the floor, and geeeeeeez people...she was tearing up twice talking about my son. Tawanna has choreographed awards shows, she's been on Arsenio Hall and danced with P. Diddy at the VMAs; she taught Usher how to dance. And she really, REALLY believes in my son, to the tune of "we'll pay for this convention it's a part of for him, but he has to compete with us in Orlando next month". O_O

Thursday - PATH was really great. Kristin and my sister were both there. PATH involves a 10 minute each way walk to and from my friend Michelle's car, these days, as she leans on me with her messed up knee. We laugh the whole way about the curbs being mountains and how I need to quit trying to make her sprint (like when I take a normal sized step). I did about 5 solid hours of house cleaning that night, with all the troops mobilized and helping.

Friday - Kristin's kids, Darrien and Naja, were dropped off at 9 am (second night this week that I was in bed for 4 hours). Elise idolizes Naja and A and A have a lot of fun with D, who also adores Grant and Bob. It was easy and I did A LOT of cooking in the AM - a VAT of strawberry oatmeal for everyone, big pots each of white bean chicken chili and kale and bean soup, a huge spinach and chicken salad for Grant and I. Kristin ended up staying after she came to get them - after a massive round of crude jokes and uproarous gossip (her own) - partially because they did not want to leave and partially because we had a date with "The Big Lebowski". Shaun came over to, we all had cheesecake, and then halfway through the movie people were falling asleep and it broke up.

Saturday - ISAAC'S BIRTHDAY! I have some pics and video I will post when I can. It was really good. I cannot believe one of my LITTLE kids is SIX! Aaron had a rehearsal for the competition and I drove him to that. While he rehearsed, I went to Lush again with money my Mama sent in my Valentine's Day card and got more awesome goodies, including Curly Wurly shampoo. We stopped to pick up party supplies on the way home. Isaac really wanted a store cake he had spotted, this year. Grant cleaned a ton while Aaron and I were gone, it looked great when we got back. And Isaac looooooved his party. Opa came with Patrice with presents, Oma came with Chuck and Robby and presents, my sister brought her kids, Kristin came back with Darrien and Naja, Shaun was over again, and he was basically in sugar and gift heaven all day long. We made his requested birthday dinner of shrimp, macaraoni and cheese and sparkling grape juice for a table of 11, as Patrice and Robby ended up spending the night. It is so fun to watch him receive things, he is so genuinely thrilled with each thing. For those who know what it means, his love language is TOTALLY gifts, and it really shows.

They are all out there now, it sounds like they've transitioned from making birthday cakes and cookies out of playdoh on the deck to indoor hide and seek. Robby is playing computer RPGs with my brother. He's wearing gray SPANDEX JEANS, with a black tshirt with neon pink and green designs on it, and a black suit jacket. And Ugg-ish black boots. All his hair is chemically straightened but thick and shaggy. And he's like 9 feet tall. Really though, he's towering over Grant and Bob at this (very narrow) point. It's crazy. He really dug looking through all my Lush goodies with me, as I suspected he would.

Grant is currently retrieving my sister's car key from her house so he can go to the fire station where Frank has parked their vehicle, with all the slings and the Kozy carrier in it, leaving my sister stranded.

I am hoping this day includes a long bike ride, and a good bath. Our tax return is in so we have some budgeting to do. And, it's Sunday, so I can eat chocolate, which I gave up for Lent. So far I had a breakfast of a soft cheese, pesto and prosciutto sandwich, leftover roasted broccoli and two cadburry cream eggs. Yeah, definitely a long bike ride ;)

I am going to leave you with this crazy video that Shaun showed me last night. Having watched it all the way through, I thought it was worth it.
altarflame: (this is serious)
OH MAN Grant and I splurged and went out to Stir Moon tonight, with Shaun. Panang Curry, I COULD DIE. I really love that stuff. It's a coconut milk curry with lime leaves throughout, served over brown rice with lamb. Om. It's been several months since we went out to eat together.

Speaking of indulgence, I'm also getting increasingly interested in frequent baths in my awesome giant tub, and am becoming immersed in The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, often while laying on an electric blanket and listening to Pandora once my kids are in bed.

*sigh of contentment*

Aaaanyway. I had a great night with the kids out at my friend Kristin's two nights ago. She just took her two kids and moved out of her shared marital home a week ago, so this new place is a Big Deal for them, and pretty cool. They have the sloped-ceiling, balcony'd upstairs of another single mom's large house. There is even a big enough property that she was able to bring their playsets and chickens for outside, and this other mom's lone child (a 4 year old boy) is thrilled with the company (Kristin's kids are a 7 year old boy and a 4 year old girl). While we were there, he eagerly asked if we were also moving in. I think he was about to explode with joy from having SEVEN other kids in his normally-quiet house to play with :)

I like having friends where a night in means calling owls down from the trees, browsing books full of beetles with the kids and telling increasingly wild stories to much laughter. Also they had tons of food made from organic co-op shares, like cheese stuffed peppers, freshly fried plantains and apple crisp. We got home at about 1:30 am, Isaac, Jake and Elise covered in makeup.

AND THEN HEARD WHAT SOUNDED LIKE A HIT AND RUN FROM OUR FRONT YARD. Like, squeeeeeeealing tires, CRASH, someone screaming and screaming as the squealing tires start going again. Then a silver camaro passed by us at top speeds without even pausing at our stop sign. Grant went out in the Prius to try and find out if anyone needed help and possibly call the cops, but the only thing he found was a big party going on with a lot of people outdoors two blocks down? I have no idea.


-I am depressed that our local family-owned bookstore was forced to move because the building changed hands, and the new location is TINY with no meeting space in the back, with no parking, in a shadier area. I just feel like I'm not going to want to go there much, even though I really want to support them and my kids love their kids :/ It felt cramped and frustrating just to WALK IN, with no customers present, the other night, and Aaron ranted the whole way home about how he didn't like it there and doesn't want to go back :/

-NANCY will be here SO SOON!! I'm super excited that February is upon us

-which also means the PATH campout (3 days 2 nights) is next weekend :D It's about an hour and a half north.

-And then Valentine's Day weekend, maybe we'll really get out of here

-And, Isaac's birthday is the 20th. He is psyched. Ananda found this book holder...thing...I don't know how to describe it, she won it somewhere...basically it's like a fabric book cover with handles for carrying? Anyway it's lime green and she was thinking how Isaac has to take his bible to AWANA every Wednesday and drops it a lot and he could use that, so we took her to Michael's and she used her money for fabric paints and used orange and purple (this is so Isaac) to write his name and draw a bunch of stuff on it, like flowers, and a cross, and a peace sign, and hearts. That will be her present to him, and I think it's really thoughtful and perfect. I can't believe ISAAC will be SIX!

-Also, if Chrysanthemum is in the family way we will have kittens in February. I haven't noticed any weight changes or significant teets or anything, but she has not gone back into heat and is being more affectionate and sleeping more often? We'll see. Every day I ask her, "Do you have more cats inside of you?", and she looks at me like I am a complete idiot, so that is fairly noncommital :p She's being...MUM...on the subject. Ok I'll stop this.

-That's all.
altarflame: (MollyWeasley)
Lately, it has been in the high 90s around here from around 11-3. With a "feels like" in the low hundreds. It does this every summer, though, and you can't just not leave the air conditioned house for months at a time. If you wait until later in the day when it's slightly cooler, the bugs are out in full force, which gets prohibitive.

So today while Ananda, Aaron and Isaac were at VBS, I took Jake and Elise on a walk. We saw butterflies, splashed in a puddle, picked a couple of flowers, pointed out some types of trees, as well as how people put their boats on trailer hitches so they can pull them behind their cars to the water, noted various sorts of customized mailboxes, turned bright red, sweated, panted, and came home. All in under 15 minutes. I really, really need excercise, and I really, really hate repetetive indoor excercising...I can't stand gym-type crap you sit and do over and over in one spot, it realy makes me nuts. So, I gave Elise a snack and made her drink a lot of water, pulled her hair back from her face and stuck her in her seat on the back of my bike. The bike at least lets you have some breeze of your own making. Grant took Jake to go pick up the other kids and Elise and I did our thing.

I went pretty far. I'm sure it was more than a couple of miles, and I kept getting to that point where it hurts a lot, and then past it to where it feels good again, which I love. I've taken plenty of 30-40 minute bike rides with Aaron riding alongside. In the later part of the day. With Elise on the back (which makes it considerably harder) I usually just ride around for 15 minutes or so. In the later part of the day.

So...yeah. I was really feeling good about pushing myself and straining through it the last 10 or so minutes, today. It was over half an hour, I don't know exactly how long. She fell asleep. I rode into our yard, where Grant had gotten back with the kids awhile before, and stopped and found that it was damn near impossible to get my leg up over the bar from the far pedal so that I could get off the bike. I was like, huh. Right. Interesting. Then I was standing on two feet, and suddenly very, very nearly vomiting. The nausea just hit me all at once like a wave. Grant came out and as he got Elise off the bike I stumbled in and collapsed into a red, sweaty heap and waited to feel even moderately normal again. After he went and put my bike away, since I am a ninny, and a couple more minutes passed, he looked at me and got alarmed, saying my face "shouldn't be that color" and I got into the shower. Where it occured to me that Elise could have fallen asleep, or could have passed out from heat stroke. *headdesk* On the one hand, she wasn't pedaling, had just drank a lot of water, and like I said, there is that minor biking breeze. On the other hand, she was wearing a damn helmet (I, bad person that I am, do not wear a helmet). A vented helmet with her hair pulled back from her face. But. I don't know. *sigh*

I can't decide if,
A. I need to be like my friends Alice and Kristin and just not use air conditioning anymore, so our bodies acclimatize to the actual environment we live in (THE HORROR!) - as it is my entire life has been mostly lived in ac'd houses and cars and buildings with the heat something you just run through on the way to and from the ac
B. It is obviously stupid to do anything strenuous outside in that kind of heat, wtf was I thinking (we had sunscreen on?)
C. I am just really out of shape (which is true regardless)

I feel really productive this week. I've...

-cleaned three long out-of-control rooms of our house into spotlessness, and maintained them
-talked with Nancy and gotten her to agree to speak at a birthgirlz event, which is a huge boon for birthgirlz that caused much excitement
-studied the technique of rippling, in crochet, until it clicked in my head and I could do it without following patterns, and started a ripple blanket for Isaac (which he's been asking for, for months...)
-mailed things I needed to
-emailed long overdue things that took a load off my conscience
-had multiple opportunities to be generous and help someone that made me feel good
-made it to church as a family for the first time in way too long
-written a new short story

And we're all on a totally re-vamped early schedule because of preparing for and then going to VBS, for the first time in forever. And I'm the go-between setting up (HOPEFUL! potential...) sponsorship of the Great Green Family Festival by the winery. And we went back to the zoo and did new things we'd never done before in their Amazon exhibit, which seriously took my breath away with giant sea turtles swimming in a massive floor to ceiling aquarium and sting rays that swim up in a smaller pool so that you can touch them, and a jaguar THREE FEET AWAY FROM ME, at my same ground level, through nothing but a couple of rows of metal poles...and more. It was cool.

HUGE BOON: Grant managed to find a tutorial online and fix the dishwasher today! This is huge, I do a ton of cooking and we have a big family here...and, well, I HATE DISHES. I did enough dishes as a kid to last me a lifetime. And we have this high capacity awesome KitchenAid dishwasher we bought new when we moved in here, so wtf? They were piling up terribly over the past week. I am really thankful for WikiBooks, and my husband.

Little things...
*we found an area that has dozens of wild rabbits and field mice running around at dusk, and the kids think it's awesome. We can't get out of the van or they scatter, but we can pull up and open the side door and they just go about their business close by.
*Ananda keeps going to her dance classes in, like, shorts and tshirts, and I don't say anything because they aren't saying anything and there are a lot of other girls coming in and out of DE with similarly casual clothes on. She mostly wore shorts and tanks to class all last year, and only dressed up for the recital. Yesterday when it was time to go she came out in knee length JEAN shorts, though, hair down, and I was like, "Really? You're going to wear that to ballet and jazz?" and she was like, "Look at this" and lifted her leg up parallel with her torso so that her foot was over her head, and I was like, alright. Whatever. Talk about it with your teachers. So I went and wrote while she was in class and when I came back to get her, her hair was in a bun and she said, in a deadpan voice, "I have to get another leotard." I laughed and laughed. Apparently all three girls in this intermediate ballet showed up in street clothes with hair down today and Candace (her teacher) brought down the gauntlet. And also did Annie and another girl's hair when they each tried to say theirs wasn't long enough for a bun.
*between church, VBS (which they're all three LOVING), dance classes, Grant taking Aaron and Isaac out to the movies and a 5 hour long playdate at Michelle's that A and A had on Sunday, I am starting to feel as though I don't see my oldest kids anymore

Cut for logistical ponderings on possible travel - very boring )


We ended up going with strapless bras for Annie from Macy's online. They were $11 each, came today, and not only do they fit like a dream but still with lots of room to grow, but they are insanely comfortable for her and look like they'll last a long time. And they're totally not slipping or shifting. Also, the camisoles they sell for girls that I thought were $6.95 each? It's actually $6.95 per two pack, which is great because Annie really likes them, too.
altarflame: (Default)
I've been having a lot of fun this week.

You see that suspicious kitten? She's saying, "Look lady, I know you want more babies and you're out of luck - don't even TRY slipping me that titty."

I've had great phone conversations with Laura,

We talked again. We're not "not talking" but we're also not talking very much, if that makes any sense... She told me I should look up Kelly Clarkson's video "Because of You" on YouTube because it makes her think of me singing to her. I was like...I don't know. Sort of rolling my eyes? My mom has horrible suspect taste in music, for the past couple of years. She cried, though, telling me.

And then I cried a lot watching it.

Mom, when did you get all intuitive and full of hindsight?

I've also had great emails from Nancy, who's coming down, and met with a plastic surgeon, which was nerve wracking and shaky legged but reassuring in the end...

I found a new livejournaler I'm obsessed with and I'm reading her lj backwards as though it were a novel. I'm 500 entries in. Grant has to hear about her all day and into the night.

I have a lot of new music, through either rediscovering things in our old files from former computers, downloads off iTunes of stuff I forgot about, and reccomendations from that aforementioned ljer.

February is a cram-packed month for us this year. Ultra condensed short month.

You see that calendar above their heads?
There is...
-Hoppy (the other bunny) having her turn at spaying, tomorrow. The other bunny was also spayed, btw. Because it was a girl after all. So there will be no baby bunnies, and I have to say I am relieved. Apparently female bunnies have visible, external vulvas, and I mistook them for something more after watching them acting...suspiciously.
-Grant is out back digging a fire pit right now...we need a fire pit. Edit: It's mostly done. The grass inside the safety ring is all wet now.

-Ananda and Aaron going together to their first sleepover, at my friend Michelle's house, with their friends (2 of her 6 kids) Grace and Kai - this is Saturday night
-them going to a free ballet with Laura next Saturday day
-the 7 of us camping at Peace River, up in Arcadia, Sunday-Tuesday. Three days two nights. We're getting a small propane tent heater because it's supposed to be in the 50s at night. It's exciting, though, the river is really low this time of year and you can find all kind of ox fossils and shark teeth and things on the canoe rides, if you get out where it's very shallow
-Grant and I are going away together overnight for the first time ever, for Valentine's Day. Laura will be here with the kids. We're going to Dry Tortugas National Park. I've been really fascinated with the Dry Tortugas for months now, I got a book about the's been a prison, and a pirate stop. There are shipwrecks and coral reefs to see with snorkels, and baby turtles hatching, and a big old fort to climb up in.
-I'm (presumably, with everything fine at my exam for the go-ahead) getting an IUD
-ISAAC IS TURNING FIVE. Isaac - 5. O_O He says "Hi!"

Jake wanted to say hi too..

-between the 22nd-24th our chickens will be arriving! Well, chicks. One day old female chicks :)

Grant's shed:

The weird seasonal thing our mango tree is doing (along with all the other ones in the neighborhood):

I've been drawing sometimes. I'm not an artist, it's childish colored pencil stuff, but it's therapeutic. And a little nuts.
Don't say I didn't warn you )

I've been thinking a lot about all the different versions of my self that are out there. Because on Facebook, I have high school friends, PATH moms, (rl) naturalfamily group people, x-boyfriend, church camp peeps,'s weird sometimes to see what I say to one and then imagine them all seeing it. Something really good for me has been the church we're going to. They tell it like it is, with lots of scriptural reference and theologically helpful points...and lots of Tolkien and C.S Lewis references...and lots of science and philosophy...and lots of not normally Christian music...all reinforcing the truth of God, the presence of the Spirit, the life of Christ. I can't really get into it here and now, at the end of an already-gargantuan entry, but there doesn't seem to be anyone there who has a "church self" and a "the rest of the time self". It's very raw. They're really trying to go back to the beginning and do it the way it was done in the Gospels, with our particular community in mind.
altarflame: (Default)
Man I should be sleeping right now. But I actually have things I feel like writing about!

Our babysitting ship has come in, and I shall call her G. I put an ad up on this site called awhile back and I've gotten a lot of very mainstream applicants, people who aren't bad but also just aren't what I'm looking for. People who seem surprised and confused that I want to meet with them prior to them doing any babysitting, which kind of blows my mind.

So G. G!! Wait, this will get confusing, because I sometimes call Grant G. Alright, for this entry G is the babysitter.

She's a DOULA, and a lactation consultant, with years of experience as a camp counselor with older kids. This all in and of itself is kind of amazing. Unlike most other applicants she also understands basic laws of punctuation and capitalization, and speaks fluent english. I know, I know, I sound horrible, but in practice those things are important to me - I want someone who can really communicate well with my kids.

So. I talked to her. AND - get ready for this, my gosh - SHE IS FRIENDS WITH NANCY! She lived in Boston for 2 years and worked with her!!!!!!!!!!!! What the heck is this, I get a therapist that read her book and fought for a vbac and then I find this babysitter, I am telling you God put that woman in my life. Nancy I mean, not G, although I'm starting to consider that too.

We spent 45 minutes on the phone on Friday. She and I both love the Ya-Ya books and have solidarity with our siblings after strange childhoods. She is my craft inverse, being better at sewing and just starting out with knit and crochet. She CRIED on the PHONE about my BIRTH STORIES. She's looking to forge a long term relationship with a family, she's read all the detailed info about each of my kids on my profile and...well...

Let's just say I'm excited.

My poor sister has to get her baby root canals at a hospital under general anesthesia, to the tune of $5,000 (with insurance!). It's horrible. But she's really figuring him out, with sensory issues, and all his crazy hoohaw is falling into place nicely. Our ped is impressed with her prowess, I think.

I am kind of freaked out about how much our lives are changing right now...we have some neighbors coming over on Sunday - tomorrow - to help G figure out putting in the wood floors. Really nice guy who is a plumber that's been doing work for us...they have a five year old daughter that's apparently dying to meet our kids. And our other neighbors, their kids went to the same VBS mine did and Aaron's been playing basketball with him outside a lot. So we've got new neighbors in place of the old, we have this babysitter coming for a first face to face on Monday, we're in this house. And -

We bought rabbits today! Two female dwarfs that we're keeping in an outdoor pen on the grass during the day and in a cage on the deck at night. A and A had saved up over $150 combined in Christmas, birthday, tooth and other misc money over the past 8+ months, for this, and so they are "their" rabbits, though of course I have to oversee a lot of care...and will probably be footing the bill for some bug netting and spaying in the next few months, as well. We got them from a local bunny farm, they are only 45 days old and from the same litter. I anticipate them being spoiled rotten on organic spinach and apple slices and too much cuddling.

I have a ton more to say but Elise came and sleep walked onto my lap, and now I'm trying to type one handed on an unfamiliar laptop with a warm baby limp on me and making me sleepy with voodoo...So.
altarflame: (Time is coming for me.)
The Good:

-I found the most beautiful roses at Wild Oats yesterday. I looked at them and they were just awesome. They made me want to clean my whole house around them just to showcase them on the dining table. So I thought, well hell, $12 is way cheaper than a housekeeper. Worked nicely.

-THEY STARTED WORK ON THE ROOF. FINALLY!!! I haven't really written about it, in detail, but because our warranty deed hasn't been recorded with the county yet, our house is still technically listed in official records as belonging to the bank that sold it to us. This has held up our permitting process in a variety of irritating ways, as we brought document after document to try and prove ownership. The roof was holding everything else up - you can't fix a ceiling with water damage or put down new wood floors or do termite tenting or all manner of things, until the roof is done! This company claims it only takes 3-5 business days so, WOO!

-Two nights in a row, Jake and Elise have went to sleep at a decent hour and left me to have some time to myself that I need quite a lot right now.

-My sister came over today and hung out with the kids so that I was able to go to the bank solo for all kinds of things - it took about an hour, I had to deposit some checks, get a cashier's check for the roofers, talk about the disputed charges from the identity theft thing a while back, and get more details about what a HELOC would really mean for us.

-Elise is so sweet, so independant, so loaded with personality, so SMART, so beautiful, so close to Jake, who is so sweet to me and mischevious and wild, and the two of them kill me with love and nursing and wrestling tickle matches.

-Isaac was so cute tonight, in this long sleeved, orange pinstriped collared shirt, with his freckles and his smiles and his affection. I am ready to explain to him how he could rule not just our family but the entire world, if he would just harness his cuteness for good and try to catch flies with honey.

-A sign I ordered came in the mail. It says, "This is a classy joint. Act respectable." Every time I see it, I chuckle again.

-I cannot emphasize enough how much I love Grant and how grateful I am for him right now.

-Talked to Nancy on the phone last night, and it's INCREDIBLE how validating and safe that is...if anyone can really understand and appreciate what I'm dealing with lately, it's her. I wish I was in Boston just to have her more accessible.

The Bad:

-I'm fairly certain this is PTSD I'm dealing with, and it is present at all times on some level. During the good times I'm just a little more sensitive than usual and deal with knowing it will kick up again sooner or later. The bad times involve me feeling overwhelmingly angry for no rational reason or intensely frightened in a creepy, horror movie way with no rational reason. Ironically enough, it's reminiscent of labor how I can feel it coming on and then relax as it dissipates. Very spaced out labor, with a couple of long contractions per day. I get really deeply ambivalent about most everything.

-Unexpected expenses continue to pile up around our home renovating. For instance today we found out that the roofers need us to get a plumber up there to inspect and possibly repair the gas vent, which will be anywhere from $250-500. How in the world do people without hundreds of thousands of dollars to burn own homes?!

The Thought Provoking:

-I think Ananda needs counseling, too. I've been gradually working up to the idea with her. It would be nice if she could see the same person I start seeing, assuming she is a good one.

-I'm trying to replace some of the eating in my life with yarn, again, and trying to replace some of the computer time with excercise. Creating and activity both have to be good for me, right?

-I was thinking of soliciting a part time nanny to come in for a few hours 2-4 times per week, to do things like: help with cleaning; sit with everyone for an hour so I can run to the chiropractor, swim at the Y or write in another room, or a little longer so I can see the counselor more often; take the little ones outside while I do school with the big kids and make dinner, or take the big ones out to their activities while I get the little ones down for naps, and make phone calls, and so on...the problem with this, aside from the obvious ones of expense and the struggle to find the right person, is that our schedule is going to be so fragmented and will be very hard to fit it in just so, for us and probably thusly also for her. I mean, as it is right now I know A and A will be in VBS for one week and music camp for one week, this summer, and our proposed fall schedule is INSANE with PATH, AWANA, half day preschool, evening sports practices, drama club, church, ballet....I feel like I need to sit down with a protractor, a calculator and a sundial just to figure out when the optimal times for "help" would be. If you know of a better place that PATH and Craigslist to search for this sort of person, let me in on it, please.

-I am sad to say that I'm starting to think I need to dispense with watching Lost. It is really intensely terribly not good for my state of mind :/ They just wrap new babies, pregnancy, and birth up with horror, mystery and conspiracy waaaaaaaaaay too often, especially for night time viewing (spoilers ahead in this section only). I really thought it would get better once Claire had Aaron and that was all wrapped up, but it just keeps coming in different ways - flashbacks to John's preemie days in the NICU and his horrified mom staring through the isolette after screaming through car accident-induced labor, Sun being pregnant and in mortal peril, all that sort of bunk. That freighter? It is KILLING ME. It's worse than anything else on the show. That's how my nightmares feel, like being stuck on that boat with those people in the middle of the ocean. That blood spattered room Desmond and Sayid are in? My skin crawls. It's worse than any other part of the whole series, although the underground, hidden nursery was not too hot either. Jack watching his own apendectomy can bite my ass, too. I was actually considering that I might not have PTSD at all, I might just be watching a really fucked up show. But then, many many people seem to be addicted to Lost WITHOUT it triggering a whole-life upheaval, so...It's getting to where I actually have a horrible, SKULL SPLITTING headache while it's on, so I guess my body is trying to tell me something.

-I pray a lot lately. A lot a lot. I'm back to checking my devotional. I've went to church for the first time in forever and planning on making that a habit...and church was very, very good for me...and praying helps some, sometimes...but I have a very strangely disconnected feeling, with God, that I don't really understand. My sadness, and anger, and fear - my transient lack of motivation - all of it seems so separate from my faith, and I try to connect it, I try to have enough faith to get through it or use my faith to help ease the journey...sometimes I think God doesn't want to give me any crazy ideas that I don't need help, so He isn't helping.
altarflame: (wild things)
Cut for pictures from going to a play, going to the beach, and hanging out with Naaaaaaaaaaaaancy )

Grant got the job I talked about a few days ago, except the day shift, which is an added bonus. It's every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and every other Wednesday, 12 hour shifts (7:30am-7:30pm). $38k a year plus benefits after some period or other passes, with hours that will allow him to keep VeriFone, and the bank, and have whole uninterrupted days with us.

I don't know much of anything about Mike Huckabee except that he was on the Colbert show tonight, and cracking up with some double entendres as he played air hockey to try to "win Texas". That might be enough for me O_o I suppose I have to look up some more stuff. I've avoided bringing it up here thus far, but I am really anti-socialist policies. I want to keep my homeschooling freedoms, and I want women to have more birth freedoms, and I even prefer my own personal healthcare situation (choosing to pay out of pocket for our ped of choice who rocks, fighting for Medicaid but getting it in the end for Elise, her and I both getting all the emergent care we needed with bills coming later, all of it) than what I've heard of government health care. I really really REALLY like SMALL government more and more, the more I learn, even when it means that things I'm "Against" get to be done/legal/whatever (like abortion or guns). I don't want a draft, I don't want insane property taxes and death taxes on estates you leave to your kids and on and on, I don't want anyone up in my business. I'm a freewheeling libertarian Ron Paul supporter. I think :p Whenever I hear Obama or Hillary talking, they sound so freaking socialist and the end result is inevitably peoples' freedoms being taken away, in ways that scare me. It's like everyone's forgotten what we all learned in high school history - communism only works in theory. Capitalism DOES take care of (almost) everyone in the end because of the trickle-down effect wealth in a nation like ours has, and it gives everyone the opportunity to strive and reach further and achieve that American Dream if that's what they're after...

I think of really liberal, progressive areas of our country where people like Hillary are popular, like New York City, and it's like...people in New York have no birth freedom at all. They imprison midwives, Nancy told me when I was in Massachusetts that if I were to go into labor while she was in Syracuse for the ICAN conference, she'd have to cross back over to do my birth. They have all these seemingly great initiatives in place for new low income mothers, too...where they strongly discourage co-sleeping and widely teach that you must vaccinate and all this. Moms who do things in "unusual" ways that are ignorantly thought to be unsafe are reported to CPS. Homeschooling is extremely rare, it's just...crap, as far as I'm concerned. That's not what I want.

But of course you can't find a likely candidate who is small government AND cares about the environment (which I do). Enter Ron Paul. Who is not likely :/

I have to wash ye olde dishes.

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