Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing—Benjamin Franklin


RETREAT!!!

I quoted before that “War does not determine who is right - only who is left. - Bertrand Russell in reference to our squirrel quandary.
The outcome: We lose. In a matter of days, we will leave Boris and Natasha to work out their marital problems alone. Sadly this means that we will also be leaving Poe and the ward (not to mention the first calling I was legitimately excited about), but the plot thickened when Little’s room started smelling like squirrel droppings and the roof started falling in. The complex released us from our contract and we were able to find new housing fairly quickly, so all’s well that ends well and in a week we are leaving the squirrels to tear apart our apartment in peace. And you know, as much as I would’ve loved to write “Victory is ours!” I am more than happy to clear out and let them have the place. We will be graceful in defeat.
Packing the house up in a week is a semi-terrifying experience even without Bryce unavailable to help and Little having recently learned to crawl with an uncanny ability to find the exact thing he shouldn’t. In short: I’m panicking.
The upside is that we are living in one big miracle. One thing after another has fallen into place; from being released from our contract and having something open up in student housing almost simultaneously, to someone listing on Craigslist.org about a hundred moving boxes that they are giving away for free, to Little miraculously taking regular naps, and even things as small as packing tape being on sale at the grocery store… Heavenly Father is definitely looking out for us.
We have also found something that Little loves and will be incredibly helpful in doing house work later on. We made him a little playpen of boxes and put toys inside so that he can happily play all day long. Lovely.
video
My goal is to see how many times in two years I can manage to pack my house up. So far we are at four with another one potentially coming in April. Ah, the joys of a temporary existence. 

The "Supposed to be Dead"

As a side note to the previous post—not that it technically has anything to do with it, but I was reminded of it and feel that it deserves mention—once while my sister and I were talking she brought up her confusion at the title “Undead” for vampires and the like. Begging the question: “Shouldn’t they be the ‘Supposed to be dead’?” as we are all technically “undead.” I think about that every time someone mentions anything having to do with the undead—which unfortunately is way too often lately. Thank you Stephanie Meyer.

Life as We Know It

Unbeing dead isn't being alive.—E.E. Cummings

I promise I'm not attempting the whole I-have-a-hipster-deep-blog-where-I-can-write-thought-provoking-hipsty-things,* but I stumbled across this quote and thought it was worth sharing. I think there are a lot of things I could be doing to live better and often times I get caught up in the routine of life and forget to really appreciate and live it. 

*Not that there is anything wrong with those, but I am definitely not the one to be whipping out insights into humanity when it takes all my brain power just to put together an intelligent sentence these days

In Which Things Get a Bit More Mobile (Read: Exhausting)

We are officially crawling. He started “crawling” a little bit ago and by that I really mean and sort of army/zombie crawl where he employed one arm and one leg, did a scoot, and then repeated the process with the other arm and leg until he got where he wanted to go. We are now legitimate though. He is a crawler, using his knees and all. The days of leaving him to play peacefully on the floor are over. Part of me is so happy to see him discovering things and growing up, but I’m also dreading this stage. Child proofing… here we come.
(I’ll put a video up as soon as I get a good one)
This also begs the question: Why do we bother to buy him toys? Since he has learned that he can relocate to find a better plaything, he has targeted every plug, shoe, and forbidden object that he possibly can. His favorite thing at the moment is a shoe box. He pulls it over his head and proceeds to flail every possible limb frantically while squealing as if there could be nothing better in the world. 

Advice on Advice

I am attempting to do a little research for one of my works in progress and I need a little help. I’m wondering two things:
   1. What is the best relationship advice book you have ever read?
   2. What is the best relationship advice you have ever been given/have to give?
Feel free to answer either/both/none of the questions, but any comments would be much much much appreciated. 

Punkins

One of my goals since we’ve been here has been to excel at something. Several things if I can swing it. I realized that there are too many things that I am marginal at best with, things that I have picked up here or there and dabbled in, but never taken the time to be legitimately good at. So, I decided that I am going to take up a few hobbies and make them talents. This is proving to be a slightly problematic process as I tend to tackle significantly more than I should at one time (when you have 45 things to start excelling at it is a bit chaotic and overloaded), but for the time being I am an aspiring cake decorator. And by aspiring I really mean that I aspire to make a cake look like it might be edible.

Pumpkins are the latest attempt. It’s amazing how proud you can be of something so silly looking.


One problem with cake decorating as a hobby is that someone has to then consume the cake you decorated. Alas. 

My goal is to be good enough by March 6th, 2011 that I can make Little an amazing treasure map cake with additional mini treasure chest cake for him to consume all on his own on his first birthday. (And yes, I am already planning a pirate birthday party for him 5 months in advance.)

War does not determine who is right - only who is left. - Bertrand Russell


Apparently every animal that has taken to dwelling at our house feels as though they need to get a girlfriend. Not only does Poe officially have a girlfriend (we’ve named her Elmira in honor of Edgar Allan Poe’s actual fiancĂ© while he was at the University of Virginia), but now Boris—our resident terrorist squirrel—has a girlfriend as well. She will hence forth be name Natasha. Natasha and Boris are apparently building their own rodent condo in our walls because quite frankly, the racket they make is astonishing. Things dropping down the vents and into the closet, jumping and scampering all day long, banging on the walls… once Boris even stuck his tail down the vent as if taunting me.

This is officially war. Don't get me wrong, I love squirrels. I do. Really. But I want them outside, not living in the walls/vents/closets of my house. There are some very beautiful and wonderfully vacant trees directly outside of our house. Therefore, I repeat: This is war. Silly little squirrel... I'm bigger, and smarter, and have opposable thumbs. Victory will be mine! And by “victory will be mine” I really mean that the exterminator is supposed to make an appearance again today, so hopefully we’ll be rid of our little house guests soon. 

This Bites

My stories run up and bite me on the leg—I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off—Ray Bradbury

I respectfully request that these ideas leave off for a bit so that I can be productive and focus on the one that I needs me. I am trying to finish a book in my spare time which is little enough time as it is without adding the fact that I keep getting distracted by the other maybe-someday-will-be-books. I need to just buckle down and finish the darn thing already.

After Apple Picking

By Robert Frost The Lowders

...There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall...

At a local orchard around here, once a year they have an Apple Harvest Festival where essentially they have all sorts of fun little things for the kids to do (and the adults too, lets not lie). They have hay rides, a pumpkin patch, craft/food stands, and the highlight of all: you pick your own apples!

To get us started on the right foot on the way up we read Robert Frost's "After Apple Picking." I guess technically we should have read it after apple picking, but all the same...We had a blast and it is definitely going to be a tradition while we are here. 

 Little loved the pumpkins. He was unimpressed by a lot of things during the day, but the pumpkins were definitely a hit
 Bryce being awesome with the nifty apple picking contraption they provided us with. And Little enjoying the ride.
 It was a gorgeous area and it would've been worth visiting just to see the beautiful views that surround the orchard.
 Me and my mad apple picking skills. It helped that I didn't have a baby strapped to my belly, but I still maintain that I got better apples than Bryce.
 Little did his part to help pick the apples. If we're being strictly accurate, I think his favorite part was not the apples themselves, but the leaves. Every time Bryce would go for an apple, Little would add a few leaves to his handful.
...For I have had too much 
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired...

King of the Not So Wild Frontier

Note to self: Aspiring to be Davie Crockett can be a dangerous thing these days

Coming Out of the Closet

Also… not only do we have Poe our cursed raven, we have now been joined by Boris, a squirrel living in our heater closet. I wish I were lying about that. I’m not. There is literally a squirrel preparing to hibernate for the winter in our heater closet.
We hear him running back and forth on the ceiling (I say ceiling because he goes in between the floors of our house) all day dropping what I assume are nuts and then scampering into the heating closet until we jiggle the doors or something and he runs away. We have had a few sightings thus far, but I think he must know that if I see him I am liable to strangle him because he hasn't been seen for more than a second. Don’t get me wrong… I’m all for sharing the wealth when it is appropriate. Birds nesting on the porch, mice underneath the front steps, woodland creatures playing in the yard and all that, but I draw the line at the heater closet.
And lest you think, “Ah! Poor innocent squirrel!” let me add that he is a repeat offender. The exterminators tried to get rid of him already—granted their version of “getting rid of him” was to put out traps with salted peanuts in them. I ask you: what squirrel in their right mind is going to go for a bunch of salted peanuts when there is a giant oak tree right outside? Anyway, the point is that he is back and this time apparently with a vengeance as he is at least twice as active.
After I balked at his decision that it must be killed, Angus McDaddyen (Bryce’s nickname when he is doing the manly things like killing spiders and chasing squirrels and what not) came up with a grandiose plan to—as he calls it—“form an alliance with the enemy” by feeding it and “taming” it in an effort to lull it into a false sense of security. This plan has been irrevocably vetoed. 

Getting Ready for School

I turned around this morning to find Bryce doing this: 

(Please note the mischievous smile on Bryce's face)
Lest you be doubting your eyes, that is indeed Bryce stuffing Little into a backpack. Why was he doing this? you ask. Heaven only knows. 
Either way, Little didn't seem to mind. As long as he could keep chewing the strap he was perfectly content. 


Until he was ready to get out and couldn't quite crawl away. Even then, he doesn't seem terribly perturbed does he?

Courts the Raven

Poe (the name we've chosen for our resident cursed raven) may or may not have a girlfriend. So now we have two ravens that frequent our apartment. Ah! Budding love. Who knows? Maybe someday soon we'll have our very own brood of cursed raven babies. It isn't my first choice as far as birds I could have nesting outside of my apartment, but it'll do.
(Hopefully I'll be able to capture a picture of the happy couple soon)

YA Fiction

I love this post and I completely agree so I thought I would share:
Some YA romances are not ok. My sister and I were just barely talking about this problem the other day agreeing that the abusive or ridiculous relationships in most teen fiction these days is one of the reasons we want to get our books out there--in the hopes that someday soon the trend will change and someone will see that you don’t need to have an abusive/lusty/completely surface relationship to make a YA book sell. We’re female. We love a little romance. And romance in teen books can be great, but since when did I-fell-in-deep-and-abiding-love-at-the-age-of-15 or you-are-essentially-an-evil-stalker-so-you-are-my-soulmate become the norm? Not ok.

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