Friday, March 31, 2006

Things to Think About

There's always something to think about.

The other night, Sprout and I decided to party by going to Burger King for supper - and we ended up in line behind the family who took our kitties! It was a great chance to check on how everyone was doing over there, and the kitties are coming along famously. That put my heart at rest, because I was worrying a lot about poor Joe hiding in the basement for the rest of his little furry life.

So, the minute that was off my mind (although I still miss the furballs), Jim gives me the latest news. The rich people who have kids at our daycare want to pay our daycare lady, Suz, more money to get her to come out to their mansion daily and be their private nanny. I don't think she's going to go for it, because it would mean leaving the house at 7:30 a.m. every day, and either making her own kids change schools again to travel with her or leaving them to fend for themselves before and after school at home. But, as she said, "If they offer me $75,000 a year, I'd have to think about it." The rest of us middle-class parents are waiting with bated breath to see what happens. Do we all have to find new places for our sprouts to adjust to? I'm hoping not. We live a block from Suz's house - I'd miss the easy walk and the neighbourly feel of the whole thing. Not to mention the good care that Sprout gets there.

There's always something.

The Legacy of Puke Boy

I, myself, am just back now from two days of puking. It was fun.

I'm on the mend, and can sit upright now (my puke muscles were rather sore yesterday). Don't you just love getting all the bugs that your children get.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Puke Boy

Sprout has been recreationally puking since 9:00 p.m. last night, although he's now on the mend.

What do I mean by 'recreationally puking'? He's got no fever, he doesn't seem to feel miserable, he has no other problems. He just wakes up or sits up occasionally and vomits. When I say, "You poor thing, you're sick," he'll respond perkily, "I'm feeling better now, Mommy!"

Three times he chucked from straight out of a deep sleep. Lucky for me I bought six bedsheets for his bed when I was trying to night-potty-train him. This morning, I put a blanket down on the couch and then sat him in the middle of it. I was half-way through my instructions - "Here is your bucket. If you have to puke, puke in the bucket, okay?" - and he was staring, so I THOUGHT he was listening to me - ha ha - when he leaned AROUND the bucket and yakked right on the blanket. Thanks Sprout. Thanks lots.

He stayed home with Jim all day today while I work, and things have been improving. Or improving for Sprout anyway.

(I think Sprout's on the mend and Jim's getting the flu next.)

(And I have a date with a gaggle of librarians at the pub, so I can't go home and take care of them.)

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Thousand Stories

Today, I was driving the long drive to my chiropractor's office, and I started wondering if the 'raw bacon bookmark' really happened or not.

Three times in the ten years that I've worked at the Library, I've heard the story about the library book that was returned with raw bacon in it used as a bookmark.

I have personally removed hundreds of ersatz bookmarks from library books. Most are torn scraps of paper. Some are school photos of children, or pamphlets, or ribbons, or twist ties. When I worked at the library at a small Catholic college, a significant proportion of the bookmarks there were prayer cards or pope/bishop collector cards. This isn't a bookmark story - to digress for a moment - but one book came back at that same library once with bullet holes right through it (a book on capital punishment, no less).

So paper, twist ties, post-its, strings - but raw bacon? What do you think, is it true? What is the best thing you have ever found in a book?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Hair Suit

I have always loved that the word 'hirsute' sounds kinda like 'hair suit'.

I am not a very hairy person, but I sure do hate shaving. In a seeming departure from my status as a sensible, make-up free, crunch granola individual, I have just embarked on a foray into the world of permanent laser hair removal.

And it's fascinating.

My friend got her moustache zapped, her bikini area done, and permanently divided her eyebrow(s) into two units, recently. When she told me about it, I was intrigued. I'm not the sort of person that goes in for cosmetic adjustments, usually, but if I never had to shave parts of my body ever again?? "Tell me more!"

I stopped at the clinic the other day and got the verbal spiel and the price list. Yesterday, I went for my first treatment.

Before your first treatment, you sit in a room with other new clients and the 'doctor' (a real doctor?). The doctor was a very nice woman who told us about the realities of what we can expect from the treatment ("If you need a number to cling to," she said, "six treatments will get rid of 90% of the hair in an area."), government regulations on the process and on the laser equipment, and information about the success rate for different skin types. While I listened - and without seeming to stare - I spent my time trying to figure out if she had done hair removal on her arms or not; they looked unusually smooth to me.

Then I spent 1.5 hours lying on a table, while someone burned off all the hairs on my legs from the knee down. Yee-ouch! If I ever do that again, I may opt for the topical anesthesia, although it was interesting to see if I could do it without or not.

And yes, it did in fact smell a bit like a singed chicken in that room.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sprout Update

Sprout's hair is growing back again, and the lice scare is over for the time being at daycare. I'm used to him being bald these days, so when I look at old photographs he looks so fluffy or something.

Sprout loves to paint, and gets right into it - both literally and figuratively.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Stretching My Abilities

I love my job because it pushes me in directions that I might not go on my own.

Tonight I am leading a workshop for Saskatoon community associations on how to get their own website. Association volunteers have been wanting this workshop for a few years, and the City came to us to see if we could do it.

Now, I have never myself built a website from scratch, so we dithered a little at first. But then we decided that we probably have the expertise to talk all around the issue - so that if they don't have a website at the end of the workshop, they will at least know what their options are (build it yourself, pay someone else to build it, do it as a blog). I'm going to talk about the pros and cons of each option, the approximate costs, the factors to consider before starting, features of good websites (librarians definitely have opinions on this), what you might include on your comm. assn. site, how to get a domain name and how to choose good wording for one, accessibility issues for people with disabilities, time involved in web building, where to get web space and/or designers, etc. My hope at the end is that they will have the tools they need to make preliminary decisions and plans.

I'm excited about the workshop, but nervous at the same time. It could go great and it could flop. We shall see. If it works, it is a generic enough course outline that we could offer it at the Library for the general public - 'website design' is one of the computer class topics that people ask for regularly.

Yet whodathunk I'd be speaking on a topic like this. Huh.

Bye Bye, Kitties

We have given away our two cats.

My sister is very allergic to cats, and it hasn't been a huge issue for a number of years because she lived elsewhere. The occasional visit was annoying for her, but we all made the best of it. Last summer, her marriage ended and she suddenly started spending a lot more time with us. Which is as it should be. She is our closest extended family.

She spent about seven weeks with us last summer, but was so allergic to Joe and Jack that she had to sleep in the garage. She can be in a house with cats for about 15 minutes, but then it's very problematic. I hated having her in the garage, because it seems so darned unsafe. And then it got worse - a week before she went back to school in Ontario, a crystal-meth addict who was squatting half a block down burned down his garage (not that drug-addicted squatters are a regular thing in our neighbourhood, but it did happen last summer). And then I spent the last week rushing out every morning to see if my garage and my sister still existed. If one garage can burn down, another one can burn too, easily enough.

So we made the hard decision to find new homes for our kitties.

My sister is coming back for the summer - our carpenter friend was so impressed with the quality of her work that he is giving her a job building cabinets with him all summer - and she is going to live with us. Having her here is great - every supper is like a party, Sprout gets to spend time with his Auntie, we can all do projects together, and last but not least, Jim has someone to argue over the crossword with. But I can't bear the idea of her in the garage for another minute.

We tried all the cat-lovers we could think of, to see if someone would take the boys. We considered sending them to a farm. We tried all sorts of things. A few weeks ago, we finally got to the point of trying complete strangers: I put up posters in the local grocery and the local drug store. And last week a lady called.

Joe and Jack have both gone to the same family, with two kids who can each have a cat of their own. They seem so nice, and the lady has had cats before so she knows what they're like. We called to check on them a few days ago, and Jack is settling in wonderfully. Joe is hiding in the cupboard in the basement, and they barely see him. It's upsetting. We've had Joe since kittenhood, and I can't bear to think of him scared and unhappy.

Sprout and I are going over on Saturday, to see if we can get Joe to come out and meet the people better. I hope we can get it to work out for everyone. I'm happy about the idea of my sister living in the house where it's safe, but I need this cat thing to settle out happily.

Bye bye, kitties.