Monday, June 30, 2008


Signs that we may be decidedly un-American:

- I don't think $4/gallon is too much to pay for gas. In fact, we'd welcome higher taxes on gas if they went straight to improving this country's infrastructure.

- The only sporting event we watched as a family so far this year was the Euro 2008, yesterday. Son D even wore his Ballack jersey for part of the game.

- Son D doesn't own a single Green Bay Packer Jersey, and has never, to my knowledge, seen a full football game.

- Husband D works for a European company and spends huge amounts of time in Asia.

- I think Obama's treatment of Muslims this week has been obscene. Since when is simply being a Muslim a smear? To me, he is playing right into the hands of those ignorant crazies who equate Muslim with Terrorist. Obama - you don't have to do this. The American people are smarter than you think they are.

- I refuse to wear any type of flag clothing. When I see a woman with a US Flag plastered across her ass, I cringe. I don't want a flag pinned to me; I don't want it on my hat; I won't put it on a cheap T-shirt. To me, it's disrespectful of the flag. Really, the only time a flag should be worn is when, say, a team has just won the Euro2008. (Go Spain!)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

2008 shall henceforth be declared "the year of the barf"

We've had more stomach bugs this year than the past 8 combined. Or so it seems.

Last night, it was daughter D. She's better today, but there wasn't a lot of sleeping going on for anyone last night.

Luckily, we both have really flexible work schedules and can adjust pretty easily around a sick child. Every time this happens, I feel for those who don't.

And at least she didn't get it last week when the husband was in China. The last two bouts occurred when he was out of town.

Let the mad hand-washing and sanitizing ensue.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sunny Days

Basement is dry
Yard has no more puddles
And best of all: you can see grass at the park:

As for me, I am investing heavily in any company that makes or distributes mosquito repellent. Eau d'Deet? I'm all over it. I suspect it will be my signature scent for the month of August.

Monday, June 16, 2008

summer vacation

It's the first day of summer vacation for the kids. And I'm already sick of playing baseball in the yard...How can one boy play so much baseball?

But, on the bright side, I am developing quite a curve ball.

The neighborhood does a summer camp in the afternoon for the kids. They hire tons and tons of active teenagers and they take over the biggest neighborhood park and *they* play baseball and soccer and tag and water games with the kids. over and over and over again. It's quite possibly the best thing ever.

The problem? This park - well, it's still underwater.

Please, please, please let the water magically evaporate before this afternoon. Please. Send the locusts, if you must. But we're done with the flooding.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

tornadoes, flooding and hail, oh my

I have come to realize that my blog post title vocabulary would be very limited without that scene from the Wizard of Oz: "Lions, and tigers and bears, oh my." I seem to be able to turn that into anything.

We are still dealing with very minuscule amounts of water in our own basement. But the flooding nearby is horrendous. Roads are closed because they are covered with water. Parks are under water. Neighbors have sewage coming into their basements. Entire houses are floating down the Wisconsin River!

In my entire 39 1/2 years of life, I've never seen a week of weather like this. Tornado warnings have become routine. I blatantly ignored one tonight. I just stopped at the grocery store on the way home. Normally, I *never* ignore a tornado warning. Ordinarily, I'm down in the basement with the weather report on, at the first sign of any tornadoes. But tonight - I realized that the chances of a night this week *without* a tornado in the area were very slim. And we still had to eat....

It's just so ironic. We had the most severe winter on record. 100+ inches of snow - months of below zero temps. We've been looking forward to spring/summer for longer than you can imagine. Dreaming of rain instead of snow.

And here it is. Be careful what you wish for.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


If you think about it, water is pretty amazing.

We were very lucky - our basement only got a TINY amount of water. If the basement had been unfinished, we'd not have even noticed it. But the previous owners installed wall-to-wall Berber carpet with a thick, absorbent carpet pad.

Pampers should really look into the mechanics of a carpet pad. Our tiny little amount of water was instantly disbursed through the entire pad. We had to tear up the entire carpet to remove it.

A tiny amount of water - and our entire day was devoted to removing it. But we got it, and we are now dry.

Other neighbors weren't as lucky. Sewage backed up. Basements flooded with a few feet of water. Yards that look more like ponds. About an hour north of here, entire houses were swept away in the mudslides due to the unintended draining of a lake. Schools are still closed up there.

Water. When we looked for houses, my #1 requirement was water. I didn't want to be more than a block off one of the many lakes we have here in Madison. (Yes, this severely restricted our home search. Affordable homes a block off the lake are not easy to find. But we finally found one.)

I'm still glad to be near the water. But maybe next time, we don't have to invite it over for a basement party.

Monday, June 9, 2008

We're organizing the animals two by two

Our lovely Midwest city broke a 134 year record for rainfall yesterday. I think we got 6 inches in 24 hours or something like that. Enough so that our front yard looked like a pond and our basement got water in it for the first time ever. Tornadoes passed just north and south of us.

Schools were closed in all the surrounding counties, but ours seemed to escape the worst of it.

The good news is that I see a potential solution to these high gas prices. With all of this rain, the mosquitoes will soon be big enough to ride. Either that or we'll all just canoe down the streets. Yesterday, we could have.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fears at Five

Last summer, our daycare provider's house burned down. No one was hurt, but she lost everything. She is like family to us, so we spent a good bit of time at the site of the fire in the immediate aftermath. I brought the kids, because they needed to be with her. But it was scary. It looked scary. It smelled scary. It felt scary. They were scared. Hell, I was scared.

Other parents kept their kids away. At the time, I thought being with her was the most important thing. Looking back, maybe they were too young to handle all of that. But, at the time, it felt very important to be there.

Almost a year later, the house is rebuilt. But the fears remain. We've been having lots of storms in the last week. Storms with lightening.

The other day, the child who is home with me during the day wouldn't leave the house. He was paralyzed with fear of lightening starting a fire. He worried that our house would burn down.

I had a lot to do. I needed to leave the house. (Groceries, for example.) So I started my usual parental mantra of "Oh, sweetie, that can't happen. I wouldn't let that happen" and then he looked at me with the full knowledge that not only can that happen, but it *did* happen and no matter what our intentions, bad things still occur in this world.

So, we curled up on the couch and postponed the groceries for a sunny day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Oh Hillary.

Maureen Dowd says it best:

"Whoever said that after denial comes acceptance hadn’t met the Clintons."

It's time to concede.

And please, Obama, don't pick her for VP. Put her in the cabinet, sure. But get someone you can trust in the #2 spot.