Saturday, June 24, 2006

Vet care, STAT!

The children and I are playing veterinary clinic, pretending their stuffed animals are ill. I'm the frantic pet owner. They, of course, are the doctors. We have a toy medical kit, a brush (for tangle emergencies), and a notebook in which the oldest is dutifully recording details of maladies and treatments.

I pick up the stuffed toy chicken for Dr. Oldest Son to examine. He jumps right in, but quickly stops; he has a few questions. First, he wants to know where the chicken's ears are so he can look inside. I haven't the foggiest. Next, he wants to know if chickens have knees so he can beat on them with the little mallet to test the chicken's reflexes. I'm at a loss again, and it occurs to me that my knowledge of actual chicken anatomy is

1. Resembling a sketch; giving only major points or parts.
2. Lacking in substance or completeness; incomplete.
3. Slight; superficial.
"sketchy." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 24 Jun. 2006.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Summer Storm

As soon as the lightning calms down a bit, the boys and I go onto the back porch to watch the remainder of the storm. The raindrops are fat and coming down steadily. Every now and then, we are rewarded with a flash of lightning; we count one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi to calculate how far away it is.The hail is teeny-tiny; it looks like the rock salt used in large cities to melt ice. The sky is that odd shade of yellow-grey that summer storms in Carolina produce. The air smells clean and crisp, and I am struck by the sudden overwhelming urge to be hiking on Pilot Mountain.

The children and I will all sleep deeply tonight. The sound of the rain hitting the roof is our favorite

1. A lullaby.
2. A soothing musical composition, usually in 6/8 time.
[French, feminine of berceur, cradle rocker, from bercer, to rock, from Vulgar Latin *bertiāre.]
"berceuse." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 24 Jun. 2006.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Please be there

It's taking too long, the youngest's appointment with the dietician. He's bored, and he's beginning to fret, so close to the lab. He wants to put some distance between himself and the needles.

When it's all over, I hold his hand as he runs back to the elevator. He runs when he comes off the elevator, too. I hold his hand as we get in another elevator, one that takes us up, up, up. When we get out, we go up an open-air flight of stairs to yet an even higher level.

I'm holding my breath as we come up the last few steps, hopeful, expectant. I am not disappointed.

His face breaks into a wide smile, the first since we arrived. And then he reaches out, even though he knows it's across another rooftop, and tries to touch the medevac helicopter.

1. Air transport of persons to a place where they can receive medical or surgical care; medical evacuation.
2. A helicopter or other aircraft used for such transport.
"medevac." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 23 Jun. 2006.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oh My Goat

My three dogs, all Germalian Shepherds*, went to be groomed. The lady kept talking about using a number 7 this or a number 5 that. I had no idea what she meant and finally left, saying, "Just make them look pretty." At least, I'm fairly certain that's what I said. What she heard, however, was "Make them into goats." Each of the dogs was very nearly shaved, with all fringe around the faces and legs removed, but the tails were shaved for an inch then left intact, looking much like large feather dusters. If only the dogs had shorter legs, they would be dead ringers for gigantic squirrels, but as it is, they resemble goats. Barking goats.

My husband took one look at the poor things and said, "They look like they're sporting the doggie equivalent of the

A haircut that is short in the front, on the top, and on the sides, but long in the back. Mullets have been worn by males and females of all ages, but they have traditionally been most popular with younger men. A slogan or motto often associated with people who wear mullets is: "all business up front, all party at the back."
"mullet." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2005. 22 Jun. 2006.

*Germalian = German and Australian Shepherd mixes.

Monday, June 19, 2006


I opened my mail today to find a handwritten, incredibly sad, and absolutely unexpected letter, one that the writer felt was long overdue.

I'm simultaneously filled with joy, sorrow, and excitement. I'm also

adjective, slang
Flabbergasted, astounded; speechless or incoherent with amazement.
(prob. from Irish/Gaelic gob, mouth + smack; literally, smacked in the mouth)
"gobsmacked." Worthless Words for the Day. Michael F. Fischer, 2005. 19 Jun. 2006.