Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The plunge less taken

Bloomin' miracle. 
The girls successfully completed their first joint flower girl gig over the weekend.

I don't mean 'successful' in a stage mom way, but rather that no lasting injuries were sustained and nothing was accidentally ignited. Petals were scattered in roughly the correct direction rather than being scoffed like potato chips.

Pre-ceremony, there were objections to footwear and walking. Both baskets were misplaced. But when the big moment came, they knew exactly what to do and they did it beautifully, making my kid-herding role entirely obsolete.* 

The carb tipping point.
Weddings conjure up talk of miracles: the faith to walk on water for another, man living on cake alone, water becoming wine (or in this case tequila), etc.

It was a grand weekend bordering on miraculous, and as such there were some awesome leftovers. I was sent home with a bathtub of flowers, and a literal bucket of pasta salad. Such a quantity of pasta salad in fact, that a warning label on the side proclaims it to be a toddler drowning hazard.

Pasta salad asphyxiation is surely a fate that only a miracle can save you from. As if - with childhood's many other potential sources of lasting injury and accidental ignition - I need another thing to worry about.

*There is an important parenting lesson to be learned in this, and I will ponder it further when I finish my pasta salad. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Having kittens

Faced with impending kittens, the girls and I built Catwings a birthing house (straw-filled box).

The girls painted it with ornate murals of cats playing with mice, cats playing with dogs, cats playing with hedgehogs, etc. All depictions of play wound up being very peaceful and collaborative, which probably means that any brood raised in there will be vegetarian (an unusual condition for a cat).

Apparently Catwings had reservations about the utopian vibe. Two days after birthing house completion, she promptly started having kittens next to a dog, in the middle of the lawn, under a werewolf moon, with a blinking neon sign around her neck saying: "Hey there owls!"

Catwings clearly hadn't done this before and found it all a bit surprising. But let those amongst us who are super-awesome at first attempts cast the first stone.
Your adorable new pet, yes?

Luckily, it wasn't just the owls and the dog and werewolves who noticed, but also my obstetrician sister-in-law. She scooped the situation up into the birthing box, and sent the rest of us running for towels, hot water, and Nitronox. Catwings and the brood have been happily napping in the box ever since.

There are two stripey ones and two white ones. They are impeccably tiny and ever so cute.

Catwings takes her name from an Ursula Leguin story, in which a mama cat's brood is born with wings and flaps away into the great yonder. They alarm some finches, truly piss off an owl, and ultimately find a new home with kind hands and plates of food.

In spite of the lofty namesake and my girls' high hopes, these kittens show no sings of hatching wings yet, and appear to be completely inept at flight (not that we've pushed them from the nest or anything).

So, wouldn't you like one?

Because you see, I may otherwise become a cat lady. Last week I had three cats in the yard, and this week I have seven. By next week, it might be seven thousand unless we get some volunteers soon...

Friday, 3 May 2013

An allotment of futility

There was once a woman in rural New Mexico called - rather strangely - Sisyphus.

One day Sisyphus did a trivial that really ticked off the Gods. No one remembers exactly what it was. It may have been a dumb joke about sandals.

Mighty Zeus, having no day job, took it upon himself to invent the harshest punishment imaginable. After much cogitation, the most horrendous thing the king of lightening bolts could imagine was...gardening.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. 
Zeus gave his hellish curse to Sisyphus in the form of a wheel barrow, a mountain of manure, and a patch of desert.

From sunrise to sunset, Sisyphus pushed the manure-laden wheelbarrow towards her patch of desert like some kind of crazed idiot.

In spite of her efforts, each night found the manure pile and the patch of desert magically unchanged. This left poor Sisyphus to start from scratch again the next morning.

Some evenings, due to clinical optimism and dehydration, Sisyphus claimed she was progressing. She threatened to grow Eden on her desert patch. Or at least tomatoes.

The moral of the story is this: NEVER insult the gods. They may get super-peeved and turn you into a gardener. And there is no escape from a patch of desert and a wheel barrow.