My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Oh! Iron Man!


It snowed! Yes, Virginia gets at least one decent snowfall a year but rarely this early. The last time I remember a good, thick snow this early was about 15 years ago when I walked out of my last final exam on December 9th to find 3 inches of snow on the ground. Talk about reward for hard work that was the ultimate reward. Nothing gets you excited about the holidays like a good fluffy snowfall. That being said, I can also remember a number of Christmas Days when it was warm enough to sit outside. Without shoes. Seriously.

It started falling on Monday and when we awoke yesterday, there were four inches of snow everywhere. Under a thin layer of ice which kind of takes the fun out of it. Especially when your employer refuses to close and you have to go out and dig your car out with only a broom and dustpan. I swear we own a scraper but I don't know where it is. I'm just lucky to have found a pair of matching gloves in the house before the snow fell.

Red had no opinion of the snow but Dusty was ecstatic and made all kinds of plans for snowmen but sadly, Monday night the snow was almost too wet and the leaves we'd never raked up stuck to the balls as we rolled them. Last night, what with the icy layer, it was too hard, not to mention too dark (it gets fucking DARK at night in the country) and too cold by the time we got home. Sigh. A snow day is sorely needed. We might get another chance on Friday, if we're lucky.

And speaking of the country, nothing is more beautiful than forests and pastures covered in snow. There was a mist that rose over the pastures that was spooky and awesome and the Christmas lights on the houses we passed reminded me of what I like about this time of year (which is, otherwise, my least favorite season). Out in the country, where there are no street lights, the decorations stand out against the dark more powerfully and seem to mean more than those in your standard subdivision. And, the sunsets are more beautiful. Last evening's sky was a light mauvey pink behind lavender-ish purple clouds. Then it was darkish orangey pink, then that plumy purple that's so close to black you have to view it out of the corner of your eye to detect the difference. Truly lovely. Makes the commute worth it. Especially with a five-year-old in the back in rapt appreciation.


Dusty's birthday party was held last Saturday and was a rollicking success. I think we had about nine children and twice as many adults in our house. There was food, cupcakes, ice cream sandwiches and beer. Dusty added to her Barbie and Pony collections and got an amazing stuffed leopard from her old teacher (from the Gone But Not Forgotten #1 Preschool of All Time). It was so excellent that Red wanted it and there was a scuffle. Red still goes into Dusty's room to steal the leopard. Red's into hugging soft fuzzy things these days. And, nothing will stop her in her dogged pursuit of stealing stuff.

Dusty's grandparents (my in-laws) were unable to come up for the party because my father-in-law is having some health issues he refuses to see a doctor about. Because he's a pig-headed, stubborn old country man. Anyway, they mailed their gifts which arrived on Monday. Included in the box was a little turkey for Red which, when you press its stomach, makes a horrible, computer-chip-ized "gobblegobblegobble" noise. Gobblegobblegobble. Gobblegobblegooble. You know how these things sound after a year or so and the chip starts to get a little wonky, like it's been dipped in boiling water and left outside so that the sound takes on a sickeningly warbly tone? No? Well, hope that you never do. This turkey's noise was ALREADY making that last-gasp sound.

Last night, my husband had had enough and so I performed emergency surgery on the turkey, cutting open its back and removing the offending noise box. He was quickly sewed back up and was ready for play within minutes. No anesthesia needed. Came though like a trooper.

This morning Dusty was sad to have lost the gobble sound.

"Why did you take his sound out?"

"Because it was driving your dad and me nuts."

"But I liked it!"

"Well, if we had had to listen to it one more time, we would have gone insane and would have to be locked away somewhere."

"Then the baby and I could live in the house alone like Pippi! With swords!"


Red's music education continues apace. Her current danceable favorites include The Cardigans (esp their version of Iron Man), Peter Holsapple/Chris Stamey (Mavericks), the Dukes of Stratosphear's "Bike Ride to the Moon," Sun Ra, The Kinks and Donovan.


9:55 a.m. ::
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