Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oy Vey!


Blame the people at cable one who have been dealing with a "server mishap" for the loss of my internet....and phone!

You might as well have cut off my arms.  TV I am prepared to deal with the loss of, but internet, OHHELLNO.

On the upside, I have developed one fine tan because Elsbeth and I have spent the last few days at the pool.  

I promise, promise to post an update on Monday.  It will feature a prehistoric bug that flew into me while riding my bicycle.  Cue the theme from Jurassic park.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Katrina Cough

This just makes me sick.  This article covers what we who live here know all too well.  The cough that won't go away.  Poor, precious children may now suffer for the rest of their lives because of the oversight or under sight or just all around dumb-assedness of the people who made the FEMA trailers and the people who failed to listen to those of us who KNEW something was wrong.

I have about had it with the medical community telling us there is no "conclusive evidence" that proves that what we're telling them is true.  Whether it is this god forsaken sickness that people are unable to rid themselves of, or the allergy that my daughter has that no doctor would recognize after I insisted it was more than just a cold that she was dealing with.

I have learned the hard way that you must be your own doctor.  Do the research into your symptoms and above all, LISTEN to your instincts.  When a doctor tells you you're wrong and you know it isn't true, ask for a second opinion, or a third, until someone takes you seriously.

My heart goes out to those children that are sick and those who are still living in temporary shelters almost three years after the storm.  

Below is a photo of a tragedy. People living out of tents under I-10 in New Orleans. Three years later.

Goodbye Rabbit

In my home full of animals, there lives a rabbit.  We call him bunny.  Sadly, bunny can not make the trip to DC with us and I must find a new home for him.

In my segment on saying goodbye to people and places of Mississippi, I would like to use today to say goodbye to bunny.  

Dear Bunny,
I knew when I first laid eyes on you, that you were too small to be away from your mother, and so, in a moment of impulse, I promptly rescued you from some unforeseen terrible fate at the hands of those teenage boys eyeing you at the pet shop.

You were so small that the little boys I nannied kept calling you a hamster, yes you were that small.  We didn't think you were going to make it for a while, but with lots of TLC and good food, you were good as new in no time.

There are truly no words to describe your cuteness, just squeals and gritted teeth.  I'm sorry that Hitler never met you, because I'm sure if he had, he would have been struck dead immediately by the rays of cute that emanate from your floppy little ears.

We were all a little worried at first that you would be squished by a foot or a paw while running around the house, but you were a quick learner and it wasn't long before you were laying on the living room floor right beside Jack and watching TV.

The first time you jumped up on the couch beside me, I wondered what you were up to, and then you hopped onto my lap and settled in for an ear scratching.  As if that wasn't cute enough, I remember when we learned that you love popcorn.  You came hopping around the corner of the couch and stuck your nose right into the bowl; you swiped a piece and ran behind the couch to eat it only to come right back for more when you were finished.

You provided this family with side-splitting laughs when you would fly down the hallway at breakneck speeds and then jump straight up in the air about two feet, click your lucky feet together and then take off again.  

Thank you for allowing Elsbeth to pull your hair as she learned to pet you gently, and thank you for never biting her even when her pats were a little too enthusiastic.  You have taught me patience and gentleness, and most importantly you made me smile, and I thank you for that.  

I am going to terribly miss your furry body following me everywhere around this house with your ears dragging the ground.  I promise to make sure you go to a home that will love you as much as we do.  I hope that you live a long and happy life; I will think of you often and smile.
PS. I forgive you for pooping ALL OVER my shoes.

The Kindness of Strangers

In a land far, far away there lives someone who was nice enough to post some words and photos of encouragement for my slightly disheartened spirit.

I cannot say it often enough. Practice random acts of kindness. We are all affected by the actions of the people of this world. Call it karma, or fate, whatever you want, but I know that an act of kindness is never forgotten. You can make this world a better place by not only your smile, but by taking a few moments to think of the people around you. If you can help them, do it. The world starts at your doorstep, so begin there.

Thank you for this; it brightened and blessed my day.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bicycling in New Orleans

Yesterday was so eventful that when I finally came home with intentions of posting; I instead fell instantly into a deep coma (complete with pillow drool and smeared mascara) that lasted until 8 this morning.

Here's the scoop. We decided that since we are leaving soon we should take advantage of the beautiful and strange city that is so close to us. So we loaded up the bicycles, the dog and the kid and headed over to New Orleans for what would probably be our last visit before we leave.

I know I have mentioned before how hot it gets here, but something about New Orleans makes it feel even hotter. Jeremy says it has to do with all the asphalt and concrete; I think it's because the city is so far below sea level and the humidity just sinks into it. Let me attempt to describe for you how hot it was. It's as if the sun reached down with it's fiery sun arms, pimp-slapped you and then made you it's bitch. Still not gettin the picture? It was so hot that even the locals looked at us like we were insane when we told them what we were doing. Were we deterred in any way? Shoot no! Because we're just crazy like that. And I was all: well what the heck did people one hundred years ago do? They didn't even have air conditioning? Suck it up!

Thus the adventure began. I had always imagined New Orleans to be a pretty bike friendly city. And I suppose it is in a way. We were able to get around the French Quarter fairly easily, my bell came in pretty handy when the crowds of pedestrians wouldn't scoot over. And many people took pictures of our bikes and especially the basket with Fairway in it. He was a big hit.

The difficulty began when we headed up St Charles towards the Audubon Zoo. We were staying on the right of the road, but people were driving pretty fast and coming really close to my bike. I don't think many of them even saw me. I asked Jeremy to lead so that if anyone got crashed into, it would be me. Yeah, you do stuff like that when you have kids...sheesh. There is a median On St Charles that is wide enough for two trolley cars to pass at once so we decided to ride in between the tracks.

This at first was not difficult because there was a pretty well worn path made by bikes in between the rails of each track and we just followed those. The problem came when we had to cross over onto the other track for a trolley that was heading our way. Jeremy is a mountanbiker and his bike has some pretty chunky tires.   He could probably climb over a mountain of squirming puppies with that bike, but my bike is not made the same way and I think both of us failed to realize that. When I tried to transverse the tracks it would wobble and I almost lost control. Jeremy was all: you have to take it at a 90 degree angle!  And I was all: I am, now shut up!

So, maybe I took it at more of an 88 degree angle. The fact remains, I wiped out... in slow motion.  As I was falling, two thoughts popped into my head,  A) thank God I didn't wear a dress and B) thank God Ellie wasn't on the back of my bike. The people in the passing trolley were all laughing at me and taking pictures of me and the bike sprawled on the ground and I sat there and waved at them. Partly because if anyone understands the humor in people falling down (unhurt of course) it's me, and also because I had such an adrenaline rush that my whole body was shaking. Ellie was very frightened and seeing her Mother fly off her bike and land on the ground, so as I was sitting there I tried to make her smile by making silly faces. The rest of the day she recounted for us and the Grandparents how "Mommy CRASH".

What truly amazes me is how Fairway managed to fly out of the basket as it was flying off of the bike and still come over to me to make sure I was all right, and all with the use of only one eye. He is my little pirate/doggie knight.

After that fun tumble my bike made a lovely grinding sound and Jeremy (Macgyver) checked it out but was unable to get it fixed without being at home with his booty of tools. We stopped and drank an elephant bladders worth of water and headed back for our car. Ellie fell asleep on the way back to the car and I made up songs to go with the grinding tune from my bike.

I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to find any chic cyclists out and about. they were probably smart enough to try and avoid heat stroke. I did find this bike though which I thought was pretty cool.

All in all we biked about 10 miles in 90+ degree heat.  It was a good day.

He had a good time, and a good laugh at my expense.

She had a wonderful time and even added a new word to her vernacular.....aww yeah.

He....well, you can see he had a good time.

And me, well, I learned allot about myself and my bike which I will tell you about tomorrow. But for now, I have a BBQ calling my name.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Someone Please End This Misery.

Three years ago after we lost everything in that mean 'ol hurricane, I got a new ipod for Christmas.  It was a white mini, and oh how I loved it.  At the time we were also without a computer; so my ever so kind husband told me he was going to buy me a new one.  I only had one condition, that it be white and shiny, to match my ipod.  And that, dear readers, is how Jillian ended up with a Mac.  Which she would grab first in a fire, probably over her dog, or rabbit.

You see, I am not "function conscious", I'm all about form, or looks.  I'm SORRY already!  I can't help it.  It is a detrimental flaw that plagues me every day and prevents me from leaving the house without trying on at least half of my clothes.  I like to blame my father.  Not only because blaming everything on your parents is incredibly liberating, but also because he is intrinsically the same way.  He's an artist, and you might mistake him for gay if he weren't so married to my mother.  He is often referred to as the gayest straight man anyone knows, because he has an impeccable eye for design and style and to a lesser extent because he likes to reminisce about the "days of disco".  And I am the one he asks when he wants to know if this shirt goes with these pants.  We are two peas in a pod.  

Am I patting myself on the back?  No, it is a curse I tell you!  If it weren't for this blasted affliction of style matching, I would have a child seat for my bike by now and I would be quite happy with it too I'm sure.  But no, my neuroses prevents me from settling on anything that is readily available to me in the states.  

I have  found a seat that largely matches my basket liner and is printed in feminine colors, but finding one that I can buy without selling a kidney is proving to be a hard thing to do.  Why America must you make it so difficult to be safe and fashionable?  Why, oh Netherlands, must you refuse to sell your lovely child seats to anyone in America.  Why oh Internet, if  you hold in your bowels a place where I can find a bobike seat, are you hiding it from me?  Is it because of that lie I told about Lenny Kravitz that one time in New Orleans?  If so, I'm sorry.  

I will not stop this search until I have found what I am searching for, and that is a Bobike Maxi + seat in Fiori Blue.  Because not only do I possess an annoying urge to style coordinate everything, but my determination matches that of a pitt bull in a tug of war contest. But, for the love of all that is sweet and covered in sugar,  If you know where I can find this seat, tell me.  I will bear a child for you and pay for it's college education.

On a side note:  We are going to New Orleans tomorrow to ride bikes and take photos, so please stay tuned for some shots of the funky and stylish cyclists of the big easy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Green Experiment

I know many of you are interested in this zany adventure on which I am about to embark.  There are some things I'd like to tell you about this "project".  

The word "dilettante" more or less means dabbler.  I chose that because for most of my life I have had a sort of ADD when it comes to things that interest me.  Because, honestly, just about everything that is artful or "of the moment" catches my interest.  I'm "kind of" good at many things, but I really don't excel at all of them.  I do fancy myself a fine cook and avid reader though.

But this green experiment I am committed to.  It is going to be hard and I will admit that right now.  Not having my TV is probably going to be the hardest part, while I believe riding my bike will be one of the easier things about the whole experiment...until winter that is.

In case you were wondering,  the experiment does not officially begin until we have moved to D.C.  Which should be sometime in mid June.  The experiment will begin as soon as we get there, just to make my life that much more hectic.  Every day I will update you on the ease/difficulty with which I was able to live my life under the rules of this experiment.  And I'll post plenty of pictures of course.  

The reasons I am waiting until we move to begin this project are simple.  I live in Mississippi where big wheel trucks (I prefer to call them "compensators") are commonplace, as are drunk drivers.  Since Katrina, the drivers have actually gotten worse.  And since I would like to live at least until the next election, I have decided to wait.  I am a danger enough to myself and I don't need to add the wayward driving of  hundreds of people with Post-traumatic stress disorder into my scenario.

I encourage anyone who can to undertake some or all of these life changes with me.  In such a big world, it's often hard to feel as if you can make a difference, but you can.   So join me, and let's change the world together, and remember, don't forget to smile.  
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~Mother Teresa

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sweet Caroline

I have some friends whose name are also the titles of songs, and for the life of me I can't help but start singing those songs every time I think of them.  So, today I want to tell you about Caroline.

I met Caroline in 9th grade.  She didn't like me very much at first and was even kind of mean to me.  And then, I killed her.  With kindness....yep, thas right.  We bonded over  the fact that both of our parents were neurotic artists and furniture designers, and our mutual love of animals.

Caroline used to think she was Puerto Rican, when in fact she is French and Italian, which is much cooler, in my most humble opinion. In the spirit of her 'rican-ness she taught me to make mean faces and "stop smiling" when she took pictures of me.  I envied her ability to scowl at the camera and still look like a porcelain doll.  

I was always a little bit afraid of Caroline.   She had the biggest boobs that anyone our age had ever seen and when she threatened to beat me up, I was sure they would be her weapon of choice.  She never did beat me up.  I think it was due to the fact that I became a pretty good scowler and I started wearing a lot of black (at her suggestion), and in me, she had created a white Ruerto Rican wanna be monster.

We both moved after 10th grade and I lost touch with her. The years flew by, as years tend to do, and I often wondered about Caroline.  I tried to find her a few times with no success.  I imagined that she was still wearing those giant hoop earrings with her hair pulled back in a painfully tight pony tail and wagging her finger in someones face, saying "oh no you di 'int".

I decided to try to find her once again last summer, and finally, I did.  She gave me her number in an email  and asked me to call her.  I waited for awhile, because, honestly, I was afraid.  It had been a long time.  What if we didn't have anything in common any more?  I slapped myself, partly for being afraid, but mostly just for fun.  And I called Caroline.

The musical voice on the other end of the phone sounded nothing like the girl who I could still hear saying "look more mean, Jill".  This voice was the voice of a very happy woman and it had absolutely no accent, which is something I can relate to after moving so many times.

We spent some time catching up, and as always happens when someone is a truly good friend that I haven't spoken to in a long time, we just picked right up where we had left off.  Except this time, without all that awkwardness of puberty and all the confidence of the women we had grown into.

I was thrilled to find out that Caroline was(is) happily married with two kids and three dogs.  HA,  we still had the animal thing in common.  And...she lived just a few hours from me.  Jeremy and I went to visit Caroline and her family early last fall and I just wish she lived closer.

If it is possible for someone to continually grow more beautiful, Caroline has accomplished that feat.  She is not only one of the most physically beautiful women I know, but she has become the kind of warm person who NEVER stops smiling and makes you feel as if you hung the moon when you are in her presence.  She's probably just trying to make up for all those years she was a bad ass, but somehow it feels very genuine.  

As if being beautiful weren't enough, Caroline has also inherited her Mother's artistic eye and her house could be featured in Domino.  When I visited her, she floated effortlessly around her house in her floor grazing black dress and served us crepes for breakfast.  CREPES, for the love of the blessed sacrament!  

If I could be anyone other than myself (although I do very much enjoy being me) I would be Caroline.  I at least like to live vicariously through her photos.

I wanted to tell you about Caroline today because in a couple of weeks she is going to have her third child.  This time it's going to be a girl.  I remember how those last few weeks of pregnancy are and if she feels anything like I did, she needs a big hug right now.  And since I can't hug her in person, I'll let my words do it for me.  

Hang in there, soon it will all be over...and then the hard part begins!

Jet Powered Bicycle

Logging in to yahoo this article caught my eye about a man that attaches jet powered engines to bicycles and sells them.  My first thought was, "If I tried that, my coffin would have to be shaped like a pancake because I would surely run smack into a tree, or worse some other living thing."  I have an uncanny knack for hurting myself, especially walking into things, crashing into things (like the backs of other people's cars).

No thank you, I'll just take my simple human-powered bike any day.  But I bet there are a lot of people who would like to try it just for kicks.

What say you, internet?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I am a Stalker

So, I was reading this blog one day and it mentioned something about the author meeting her stalker.  Well, I had to find out who this stalker was, so I clicked on over to her blog.   To my complete joy and utter disbelief, I discovered my mind twin, right here in my wee little neighborhood.    We had so much in common, especially our adeptness at internet stalking.    I read her posts and felt like she had performed the elusive Peruvian mind swaggle on me and stolen my thoughts directly from my head.  And in case you didn't get the other part, she was right in my neighborhood.

So, my stalking of Megan began.   She would be my friend, oh yes, she would.   I emailed her to tell her all of these scary thoughts of mine and gave her a link to my myspace page (because that's all I had at the time) so she could see that I was not, in fact, a big, hairy man trying to seduce her under suspicious circumstances.  When I read her reply email, I instantly died, entered a weird fourth dimension where these kind of things happen all the time and then came back to life.  She told me that when she looked at my myspace pictures, she recognized the picture of my cat.    I mean who could forget a cat with a name like Richard Parker anyway?  SHE WAS MY DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR AT ARBOR STATION!

For those of you who don't know, Arbor Station was the apartment complex Jeremy and I had lived in during hurricane Katrina.  They were COMPLETELY destroyed.  See picture for proof of this.  I instantly remembered the couple that had lived under us.  The young lawyer and his wife and new baby.  I even remembered their cat, Edie.    They were about the same age as us, and we had always meant to invite them up for dinner or drinks...and then...

And then everything changed in a day for all of us.  We all lost our homes and were scattered like the wind that had compelled the ocean to rise and claim all of our possessions and some of our lives.

I had often wondered about that couple and then three years later, I found her through a blog, a blog of a person who lives nowhere near me, and knows nothing about our story of the storm.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.

Megan is a very busy girl with two small boys to tend to, but to top it all off, she is also a super blogger and I'm going to pick her brain at the park in two days.   If we can manage to have a real conversation with the chi'ren running around.

Lesson:  Stalking isn't always so bad, as long as you're nice and don't possess a criminal record or a hairy back.  Mmmkay? 

Home Grown Herbs, Not for Smokin!

My neighbor came over for coffee this morning like she does most Wednesdays.  I asked her if she wanted some fresh basil.   She said, "sure, so what do I do, just hang it up and dry it"?  Other people have made similar comments to me when I offer them some of my abundance of garden herbs, and I'm surprised.  Perhaps it's my culinary background that has taught me the many uses for these fresh delights, but then again, I remember growing a galvanized tub of herbs every summer at my parents house.  

In keeping with the "Green Experiment", I would like to tell you about growing fresh, organic herbs and just some of the many uses for them.  Unlike a full blown garden, many herbs can be easily grown in small pots in an apartment.  Although basil, my personal favorite, seems to do best straight in the ground.

If you have never done this, I would start with just a few, easy to care for, simple herbs, like mint, thyme, rosemary, or oregano, basil you can try, but I have not had much luck with my attempts at growing it potted.  You can grow them from seed packs or for just a few dollars you can find many of them at your local grocery, or garden supply store.

If you already have a yard or a garden area, you can just plant them directly into the ground among your plants and flowers.  I like this structured, chaotic look.  The form and function together.  If you do this, just make sure all danger of frost is past.   Just be aware that some herbs, such as mint, can be invasive.

If you choose to plant them in posts inside, just make sure the post is at least 2x bigger than the herbs' current container.  Not providing them adequate growing room is one of the reasons some people's attempts fail to grow.  Also make sure that your pots either have drainage holes at the base or a layer of rocks at the bottom to provide drainage.  

Now, here's the best part.  All you have to do is pretty much ignore them and let them just do their thing.  Overwatering is a big killer of the indoor herbs, and if yours are planted out doors, unless you're in a drought, they should pretty much get all the water they need naturally.  If they start to look wilted, give them some water, otherwise, just let them be.

Now, here's when you do want to manage them.  When any of them start to flower, pinch them down at least a couple leaf segments back.  Pinch the stem off right above a new leaf segment.  The blossoms absorb the flavorful oils from the plant; rendering the herbs less tasty.

When you're ready to use them, just snip off the desired amount above a new leaf section and there you have it.  You should have fresh, tasty additions to your meals for a long time.  
Now, here is my husband's favorite recipe of mine that is made from my beautiful, fresh basil that you see pictured above.

Jillian's Bruschetta

1/4 Cup of fresh basil, chopped
2 cups of grape tomatoes quartered or chopped
handful of chopped red onion
fresh buffalo mozzarella to taste (if you can find the tiny balls, just toss them in)
Coarse sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
A couple dashes of good aged sweet balsamic vinegar
A dash or two of extra virgin olive oil
A fresh , crusty baguette cut into 1/2 to 1" slices

Mix all the ingredients to taste (except the bread of course)
Brush olive oil on the bread and either grill it or broil it until it is slightly golden and crunchy.

I do not use exact measurements in my cooking and have just tweaked the ingredients over time to suit my family's tastes.  I recommend you do the same.  In the words of Cole Porter: Experiment.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Goodbye Fire Ants

We are all sick with colds we caught on the way home from DC last week.  But despite that, we went for our usual evening ride.  Ummmmm, yeah, I know I said I was going to ride my bike whenever possible when we move as part of the "green experiment", but being sick sucks bad enough without having to pedal yourself into pneumonia.  I have this theory though (perhaps one of you avid cyclists can help me on this one) that when you're sick with a cold physical exertion sometimes seems to force it out of your system.  Let's hope so.  Because I am truly dedicated to this crazy venture on which we are about to embark.

We rode over to the twin lakes by our house to enjoy some of the remainder of what was a beautiful day.  I decided to rest by some of the live oak trees there in the shade.  Because even at 6pm in Mississippi, it is still really hot.  It was only after I had been sitting there for a minute that I remembered to look around me.  I felt like Helen Keller in the middle of a mine field;  ALL around me were fire ant beds.  I think I may have resembled a grasshopper when I jumped up from that place.

I can't wait for the day when Ellie can play in the grass and I don't have to inspect every inch of it for those demon bugs.  So here is good bye to you, fire ants.  I will not miss you, and I'm sure you won't miss me spreading deadly chemicals all over your mounds.  Here is cheers to a land without you.  I'll sacrifice my endless Mississippi summers for the soft, ant -free grass between my toes.

On another tangent, notice the child seat on the back of Jeremy's bike.  I know it will be hard to stop looking at Jeremy, but please, try.  That seat is just your run of the mill Target seat and it will not fit my bike.  I have searched high and low for a Bobike dealer in the US that carries the color and style I want.  I think it may be easier to find a cure for cancer.  The search continues.  Dun dun dun!

Why I Choose to be a SAHM

I used to feel a little ashamed when filling out forms that asked my occupation, and I would enter Home maker.  As a young idiot, I had always imagined replying to inquiries of my occupation with a coy smile and a shrug, and "oh, I'm a well-endowed philanthropist. Or perhaps a friend would introduce me as "an excruciatingly poetic novelist", but that's not the way things turned out.  And I used to feel a bad about that.  But not anymore.

What's wrong with being June Cleaver, or Donna Reed, or even Martha Stewart for that matter?  Why does this country make me feel like less than my potential for choosing to commit myself fully to the care of my family and home?  I read a quote in a book that said, If feminism has it's way, women will have no choice but to work.  It has almost become true.

Not too far in the past, I would wake up dreading all the endless chores I had to do around this house.  But something has changed.  When I stopped looking at these duties as chores and began to look at this work as my job, I began to take pride in it.  Not that I didn't care before, but the seemingly endless list of things to tend to can become burdensone.  I believe most wives and mother's can attest to that.  

Think about this word.  Homemaker.  It is actually two words, home maker.  Many silly women can go around denying the natural roles of the sexes, but I say, give me lipstick, and a broom, I like being at home!  As women, I think if we are honest with ourselves, it is ingrained in us to feather our nests.  Animals do it (except those silly sea horses), and we follow the patterns of nature.   

My job is to care for those whom I love, and to commit myself to it full time.  What is love if not the giving up of ones self to care for the needs of others first.  At least that's what it was intended to be.  It's no wonder half the Mom's I know are on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication, this job is HARD!  But it would be even harder than I can imagine if I were to work full time and try to care for my family.  

Flame me for saying I belong here, in my little kitchen bathed in sunlight, and admiring the flowers that I have so tenderly cared for.  

This is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Because it is a 7 day a week, 365 day a year job.  But it is also the most rewarding thing I have ever done.  Some days I want to jump off the fridge onto something really sharp before 9 am, but I simply remind myself who I am doing this for and the perspective returns.

Because one day, when my grown children are well educated and respectable citizens of the future society, they will remember their mother with tenderness and thank God that she took the extra five minutes to soak the grass stained knees of their pants in oxy-clean. 

And hopefully my husband will not have traded me in for a newer model, and will say,  "Honey, as the years have passed, your butt has sure gotten bigger, but then again, so has your heart."

I will chuckle, rub his bald head, and get back to the kitchen, because there are  pies to be made.

Thank you Copenhagen Girls on Bikes!

What more can I say, other than, I am madly in love with you and want to bear all your children.  If it is possible to be in love with a blog, that is.  

A great big thank you to the lovely and uber-stylish people at copenhagen girls on bikes for posting my submission.  If I can't make it there in person, a photo will surely do!  Hello to all the new visitors that have found my humble little blog because of them.  I hope that you continue to visit here to follow up on my "green experiment", and in the meantime and in between time I am sure to do some very embarrassing things which I will meticulously document for your pleasure and my pain.  

Thank you all for the kind and helpful comments and emails, I know your faces not, but I like you already!

Later posts today will include a vignette on Mississippi.......mmmmmmissippi, or Sippi as I like to call it.  Because, I'm ALL about brevity.

And, because I can't include songs here, but wish I could, if you click HERE you can hear a song that I wish to be the constant soundtrack to my life...or at least until I can't bear to hear it one more time.  How was that for one really long, grammatically incorrect sentence.  Oh, Faulkner would be proud!

The Electra Amstedam Classic in White ...Aww sookie sookie

Just in case you haven't got enough of my bike, I will present it once again.  Feast your eyes on this.  For lack of a horse, this will be my new vehicle.  This is all a part of "The Green experiment".  

Here is a rundown of what I plan to do.  

* Sell my car and ride my bicycle whenever and wherever possible.
* Transport Elsbeth in a seat on the back of my bike, much to the satisfying alarm of overcautious American fuss buckets.
* Buy local groceries whenever possible (this is to include, meats, dairy products, produce, anything that I can find that was harvested locally)
* Air dry most of my laundry.  This will not only save on energy, but will hopefully prevent poor Jeremy from having to wear "flood pants" any more.
* Recycle everything possible.  This does not just mean, sending paper, plastic, cans, and glass away, but actually finding useful ways to reuse some of these items.
*GET RID OF CABLE TV.  This is more for the mental health of my family than for the environment.  TV is bad.  Reading is good.  MMMkay?  

This manifesto may be updated as I come up with more ways to torture myself and those I love.   
The reasoning behind this experiment is not just for the popular reasons.  We (the Mr. and I) feel that as a society we have become lazy and spoon fed and just generally unhealthy.  We aren't challenged to think or live active life styles, as a life style.  This experiment is projected to last for a year, but we are hoping that it will simply become a part of the way we live.  This is not an attempt to turn back the clock on progress; it is simply  the documentation of one family's struggle to adapt to a changing world while maintaining a healthy whole life.  

DIY Bicycle Basket Liner for Your Dog

Ok, so I know I said that Fairway was being shipped a special made basket liner from the UK. But I got to thinking....and that often times leads to very dangerous ventures. I thought about how much better I appreciate gifts from people when they have spent some time thinking about them or making them.  Yeah, I'm sappy like that. And there sat little Fairway, all squinty eyed like a furry pirate. And because I like to forsake all of my responsibilities for a tedious diversion, I went to Hancock fabrics. For a mere 20 bucks I had everything I needed to make a basket liner all by my wee self.

My sewing machine was lost in the hurricane and I have yet to purchase another one, so I came up with an ingenious plan...actually my Mom came up with it, but for the sake of sheer smugness, let's pretend it was me. I bought a roll of that sticky glue tape that you just lay on the fabric and iron to seal it down. That's what I would use instead of needle and thread (for the most part any hoo). Here is what I purchased and what you might need if you dare try really was easy.

1 Yard of Fabric for the outside of the liner (I chose a bright, colorful floral pattern)

1 Yard of Fabric for the lining of the liner (I chose a solid material to compliment the outside pattern)

1/2 yard or less of a thick padding material for the bottom of the liner (this is for your doggie's bum, so he stays nice and comfy)

1 roll of double sided iron on tape

1 roll of decorative embellishment border material (I chose a hot pink ribbon with the little fuzzy balls on it)

1 roll of ribbon (I chose a bright blue grosgrain to match the pattern of the outer material)

8 small buttons

1 sewing needle and roll of thread (I chose hot pink thread to match my fuzzy balls ;)

Hot glue gun and glue

Bicycle basket, or any basket for that matter.

 Once I had all my stuff together, I just googled basket liner patterns and got this.  I didn't have any paper bags, so I had to measure my basket and tape copier paper together as best as I could.  I followed the directions for the most part, adding a thick layer of the padding to the base when I turned it right side out.   When I was finished I used the hot glue gun to add my embellishments.  I turned out beautifully and it only took me about two hours!  The only problem I had was underestimating the width of the basket base when measuring, which didn't allow me to close the sides in completely.  I do think this worked out favorably in the end because it allowed a breeze in to cool Fairway off while we were riding.  Because, in case you forgot, I live in Africa.

I had to test it out, so we went for a ride.  It wasn't long before someone actually pulled their car over and asked me where I got my basket liner.  I explained what I had done, and right then and there decided to buy a sewing machine and start sewing again. My inner voice burst into a spontaneous rendition of:  Oh yeah, I still got my mojo, my mojo, my crafty moji-mojo.  And then I almost ran off the road and finished what Jack previously  started on Fairway.   Last word, I'm taking orders and making stuff...anyone...anyone?

PS.  You know you love my bike, come on, admit it.  You want to whisper sweet nothing's to it too don't ya?  

Monday, May 19, 2008

House Hunting in Washington D.C.

Well, the past week was nothing if not eventful.  We looked at places to live until my head was spinning around and I felt like hurling crucifixes.  Who knew that the cost of living nearly doubles from 'lil 'ol Mississippi to big scary nation's capitol?   Awwwww yeah though, just another reason for this chubby booty to huff it, pedal it, WHATEVER, rather than drive a car.

My Dad said something the other day about gas prices being somewhere near 10 dollars a gallon before summers over.  I find that hard to believe, but not unbelievable.  So, it's a darn good thing I like my bike.  Like is not a fitting description.  I want to make love to it. Why right this very minute I am fighting the urge to run out to the garage and rub my body against it's smooth frame while whispering sweet nothings into the buttery leather of the handle bars.  I will NEVER again make fun of Jeremy for making Barry White eyes at his bike.

But about the house hunting...I know I promised to write essays canonizing the magnolia state's finer points and people, but after this trip, it is going to be hard.  As we drove further and further north, the land became more lush and lovely, and there were REAL trees for the love 'O humanity!  God Bless the Live Oaks, but if I NEVER have to see another skinny pine tree for the rest of my days, I shall die perfectly happy.  

I began to feel like a giddy school girl as we headed into the mountains.  Jeremy and I both felt the same way...although I'm pretty sure he was felling like a school boy.  I screamed, "FORGET WYOMING, THIS is God's country!"  And then everyone at the gas station looked to Jeremy as if he should return me to the straight jacket from whence I came.

So, the houses, the houses.  We still have not found one that I feel grrrreat about.  Each place had it's appeal, but none of the appeal added up to the perfect place.  I am still searching craigslist every day, and perhaps I will come across something that tickles my fancy before it's time to go.  There was this one though...  It was the most amazing house on the inside, granite, hardwood, yada, yada, yada, but...  It was on the corner of a very busy street with a lot of foot traffic.  I can just imagine myself making that naked mad dash from the shower to the linen closet, because I have ONCE AGAIN forgot to set a towel out for myself.  Yes, perhaps the mail man in Greenfield did recover from that sight, but who knows if these scary urbanites might not be nauseated.  I can't think about it, so that one's out.  I need a place with either, A) Calm neighbors that won't be offended by my occasional impromptu nudie dash, or B) A house that comes with a full set of window treatments.

You may be wondering why I keep mentioning HOUSE versus the whole condo high rise thing I was debating before.  Well, once we got there we realized it was very possible to live in the city in a neighborhood of lovely homes and rent for the same amount that a condo would have cost.  We did look at a few, but after we saw one house with a yard and I watched Ellie go bananas (thanks Gwen Stefani for teaching me how to spell that) over a Caterpillar, I was over the whole condo.  That kid needs a yard , DAMN it and I will not be the person to deprive her of worms and dirt and broken robin's eggs!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mrs. Hayes Goes to Washington D.C.

Until you have done it, I can't begin to sufficiently explain what driving in a car with a toddler for 6 days straight is like.  But God bless little Elsbeth, because in the end, she is a trooper.  She never threw a fit about it, but....on the very last day.....

We were heading to the car for what felt like the billionth time for all of us.  Jeremy was holding Ellie's hand as they walked together, and under each of her arms was a pink dog or a pink blanket.  As they got closer, Ellie stopped in her tracks and a glazed look came over her face.  The dog and blanket slowly slipped out from under her arms and she began to shake her head.  Then in a desperate little voice she cried, NO, NO!  And turned and bolted for freedom faster than her little legs could take her.  If it wasn't so funny it would have been pathetic.  But, we made it.  Home at last.

In the next few days I'll update you on all the tomfoolery  that took place in our nation's capitol over this past week.  All I can say about it right now is this:  I have never been so happy to see a Qudoba in my life.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fairway Update

When Jeremy came home last night Fairway was with him.  He really couldn't tell me much and even if he could have, I don't think I would have heard him.  My head was in a fog and all I could think about was how I could barely even recognize Fairway.  I made him a bed on the floor next to my bed.  I was going to let him sleep with me, but I thought that us moving around in the night might cause him pain.  He just lay there, in a coma like state.  Jeremy said that the vet had given him morphine for his pain.

Basically, this is what he told me.  He has a detached retina from what they could tell, and it could be worse.  They were very concerned because of the bleeding inside his eye.  They are afraid he will lose his eye and if that happens, he will have to have surgery to remove it.  They also don't know whether or not any bones are broken in his head.  They told Jeremy that even if they were, there's really not a lot they could do about that.  We have to take him to our vet this afternoon to have him looked at because they thought that maybe the swelling would be down some.

He looks bad.  It looks like his eye is popping out of his head, and the whole left side of his face is huge and misshapen.  I don't think he can see out of that eye.  He really hasn't moved much since he came home.  I don't know what else to say.  I wish I could make him feel better, but all I can do is sit beside him and pet him.

When we went to bed last night, Jeremy tried to reassure me by telling me that of course he would get better, he is part of Chuck Norris isn't he?  And then, there in the darkness of our room at night, my Husband reminded me once again of just one of the reasons why I love him.
He said: Jesus may be the son of God, but Chuck Norris is his round house kick.

I think that I may have simultaneously choked and shot snot from my nose when he said that.  As soon as I stopped laughing and it was quiet again he said:

Armageddon is just another word for Chuck Norris.

We were laughing so hard that we  were silent.  All I could feel was the bed shaking from our laughter.

That was followed up with: Chuck Norris can get a mule pregnant.

And then just because he is so smart, he went into some kind of explanation of quantum physics that ended with: and that's why if Chuck Norris fell into a black hole, it would reflect Chuck Norris.  And then in a robot voice he said: HA HA HA, THAT WAS VERY FUNNY. I AM STEPHEN HAWKING.

This went on for several more minutes and I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

This is for fairway

Today I had planned to tell you about gardening and organic herbs, and how Ellie finds the word poo-poo to be the absolute funniest thing she's ever heard, but I just can not.

After we got home from picking up my bicycle, I let the dogs out like I normally do.  I noticed that the kitchen gate that keeps both of them separated was open and I swear I remember closing it before we left.  Jack was in the back yard and Fairway had run through the garage door so I thought he was going to go out front.  I was busy putting groceries away, so I didn't really look for him.  When I went out front to call Ellie and Jeremy for dinner I noticed that Fairway was laying in his kennel with his back to me.  I called him and he turned around but wouldn't come out.  He was squinting badly on his left eye and tilting head his down and left and then I noticed that he was shaking.

I called Jeremy over to look at him and when he picked him up he realized that his left eye was filled with blood.  But not like bleeding out of the eye; it was filled with blood on the inside of the eye and he was trembling terribly.  He was in such pain.  

Oh how the memories of Jack came flooding back.  All the money that we spent and all the surgeries that he had to have and treatment that seemed never ending and he is still in pain.  I didn't know what to do because although I joke about how I ignore Fairway since Ellie was born; he has been my constant companion for over 5 years.  He would die for me and of all the neurotic, little dogs I know, Fairway has the true heart of a lion.  He is the best dog I have ever owned.  Even though his breath smells like rotting corpses and he constantly drags his but across the carpet, I love him.  

Jeremy could see I was about to crumble so he carried Fairway to the car in his little bed and prepared to head for the emergency vets.  I went to pet fairway and say goodbye and when I reached for him he cringed like even the thought of my touching him was causing him pain.  In that moment my heart shattered into more pieces than a pyrex measuring cup.  This is our conversation over the phone while he was driving to the vets:
Jeremy: So the fee to be seen is 85 and then whatever else they need to do after that will be additional.
Me: I know.  You know we can't get emotional over this like we did with Jack. Remember we made that promise to each other.
Jeremy: I know.  I'm hoping it's just something that can be fixed with pain meds and time, but if they have to do anything else.......
Me: I know.  You have to tell them to put him to sleep.
And then we prayed together on the phone.  And I felt comforted.

The details will always remain a mystery, but we know that for some reason Jack attacked him.  I don't hold it against him; and if anyone is to blame it's me.  I know to keep them separated when we leave, and I just didn't do a good job of it.

When I went to put Ellie to bed, she waved as we passed the couch with his little blanket in the window and said "Nite-nite Mimi".  It took every ounce of my composure not to start crying.

Jeremy is still at the vet's office and I'm waiting to hear back from him.  My eternal optimism is having a hard time feeling optimistic.  Maybe he will be ok though; If men can get in awful fights and live then perhaps there's hope for Fairway.  If all it requires is the will to fight, I know he can do it.

Because even though he is "just a dog", I love him.  

Dear Fairway,
I remember the first time I ever saw you.  You were in your master's kitchen behind a baby gate.  You got so excited when I walked over to say hello to you that you climbed all the way up that gate, and then you peed on yourself.  You were so small I could hold you in one hand you looked just like a puff ball with beady eyes and four tiny legs sticking out.  All I remember of those first few moments was a blur of motion as you wiggled about trying to lick me and constantly wagged your tail.  I immedately fell madly in love with you and even though it meant I was going to be in trouble; I bought you and took you home.  

They gave me a box to keep you in for the ride, but we both preferred to be with each other.  You curled up in between my legs as I drove and fell asleep.  And then you peed.  On both of us.  
My father wasn't very happy when I showed up with a dog, but he caved in when I showed him how you fit in the palm of my hand and would lay on your back just like that.  I started scratching your belly, and then you did it for the first time.  You smiled.  "Ha!  Look at that, he's happy."  My Dad said.  And you were.  

We went everywhere together, you and me.  And every night you would curl up in a little ball in the bed beside me.  You did then and you still do look like a fox when you do that.

And then I got married.  And we moved to Mississippi.  I remember how we would take walks with you on the beach and you would furiously dig holes in the sand until all that was visible of you were two tiny legs and a steady stream of sand shooting out from between them.  You would run and run with your face full of sand until you decided that was enough.  You would stop right there and just fall over like you were dead.  And then the hurricane came and you went with me when I left.  Back to my parents house again.  

We came back but without a home this time.  When we finally did find a home, the baby came.  And I forgot about you.

I'm so sorry.  I'm sorry that I shooed you away all those times you nudged my hand with your wet nose.  I'm sorry I said no every time you tried to run out the door to jump in the car for a ride.  But I am most sorry that I didn't close the gate.  I'm sorry I couldn't protect you, and because of that you're hurting.

Please live.  Take every ounce of fight that I know is in that lion heart of yours and just get better.  Come back to me please.  I'll tell you something, but only if you promise to get better.  The basket that is coming for my bike is just for you.  I even ordered a special made doggy pillow all the way from England for you for when you ride in the basket.    Just. pull. through.

I love you from my shirt to my socks and even my dirty bath towel (because I know that's your favorite),

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Goodbye Mississippi

In case you didn't already know, we're moving soon.  I stated where we were moving and was later reprimanded by Jeremy.  Apparently, the military discourages disclosing that type of information.  I've come to the conclusion that it's probably because I am Al qaeda's number one target.  I mean, I just REEK of infidel.  

I apologize to you for the tenor of today's posts, but I cannot be held responsible.  The lump is sending messages to my brain and they tell me to drink coffee.  LOTS and LOTS of coffee.

My point is this:  we are leaving this place.  And over the course of the next several weeks, in addition to my regular posts, I plan on highlighting some of my favorite people and places from Mississippi.  Say what you will about the south, but it has been good to me and I will miss many things about it.  Those posts will start with "Good-bye..." and will be filed under "Mississippi".

Now shoo.

The Birds and the Bees...and the Lizards

Normalcy isn't a word that can be used around my house.  With all the animals that I have it's just part of the bargain.  But I have to admit, I like it that way.  

I was standing in the kitchen doing dishes and listening to The Splendid Table on NPR when Jeremy burst through the back door and assaulted me with this question, "Hey do you wanna come outside and see two lizards doin it on our fence?"  Well, Splendid Table is one of my very favorite NPR shows and I hardly ever miss it, but who could resist that offer?

We ran outside with Ellie and the camera because a) it's never too early to teach you kids how animals like to "wrestle" sometimes, just like Mommy and Daddy and b) taking pictures of things when they're vulnerable is a really fun thing to do.  I thought for sure they would have parted ways and be long gone by the time we got outside, but no, there they were.  Locked in a post-coital embrace and wishing they had two tiny cigarettes.  They must have been really spent because they didn't even try to move when we got close to them.  

After catching both of them we let Ellie hold  them.  Had we not, I'm afraid she would have taken flight from the exertion of flapping her arms in excitement.*  Holding them came about in stages.  First we had to put them on her shirt and she wore them like a medal of honor with her chest puffed out and a crafty smile on her face.  But, unfortunately that dirty, dirty man lizard kept trying to jump off and run away.  I heard the female call after him with : But I thought you said you loved me!  Well, I wasn't about to have any of that nonsense.  So I caught his lying ass and made the two of them have a face to face.  Because it's also never too early to teach you daughter about accountability.

I forced him to look at her and that's when it hit the fan.  Apparently during the height of their passion, Elmyra (that's what the female's name was) had called out the name of that gecko from the Geico commercials.  I must admit that although that gecko drives a fancy little sports car AND probably saves alot of money on his car insurance, that is NEVER an appropriate thing to do.  Elmyra apologized with such sincerity that I felt myself tearing up with her as she wrung her tiny hands in grief.  I dried her little eyes with the hem of my dress as she explained that it was just a huge misunderstanding.  You see, Filmer (the boy lizard) looked to her so much like that gecko that she had just made an honest, but tragic mistake.  This new information seemed to appeal to Filmer's vanity and before we could catch either one of them they had leapt off of Ellie and ran away to elope.  

We were able to get one last glimpse of them before they vanished over the fence to catch a dragonfly headed for Vegas.  Filmer was still drunk off of his own vanity and as he arrogantly  extended his neck he shouted to Elmyra:  I bet that gecko doesn't have one of these!  And then he puffed out his neck sack, (which is probably a better description for it than the scientific term) and bobbed his head up and down with a very cocky swagger.  Elmyra, seeing that bulging, red thing for the first time nearly fell off the fence.  "No, I don't think he does, " She swooned, and then they were off. 

It was about this time that I pulled my head out of my ass and returned to the kitchen because that whole time, I had left a pan of ground beef cooking on the stove.  I'd say all in all, it was a pretty good Sunday.

*I am aware that the  flapping of arms is a sign of Autism, but I don't think we have reason for concern.  When I expressed my concern about the growing number of Autistic children in America to my friend Amanda, she assured me that we didn't have anything to worry about.  In her words she said, "Oh don't worry, it usually only happens when two really really smart people have babies."  Ummmmmm, thanks, I guess.

Hello Internet

Dear Anyone who reads this,
I think the lump in the back of my head is sucking the life force out of me.  As it's power grows I can almost feel it's desire for world domination and it makes me tired.  Because seriously, world domination is hard.  Especially for a little lump, even if it is  pure eeeeeeevil.

I digress, but what's new?  I'm writing to tell you that if I live until this evening, that is to say if the lump hasn't killed me by then; I will post then.  And I will continue to add my new posts daily every evening.    Because, although I live to serve you a tasty morsel of literary diarrhea every day; doing it in the mornings is really putting a cramp in my parenting duties.  Because when my kid gets mad, it's like living with a 2 foot maniacal dictator that likes to bite.  And that just ain't kosher.

So please, stay tuned.  

It's not a TOO-MAH!

Oh, the ridiculous things I do for vanity!  Why must looking good (or trying to for that matter) be so painful?  I mean seriously, when I put some effort into trying to look good, it is a long and painful process and even then I'm usually just 'eh with the results.

Before I explain the retardedness of this last little venture of mine, I'm just going to list a few of the stupid things I do for vanity.

Waxing, oh yeah I'm a masochist.  No, really, it's  a darn good wednesday when you get your hairs ripped out by the root by some asian chick with a bowl of molten lava and a popsicle stick.  It's even better when she asks you if you normally bleed this much.  You just nod and say that the tears are tears of joy from admiring her exquisite  and artful work.

Then there's the shoes.  Oh mama the shoes.  Before I got pregnant I had almost developed TWO full corns on my early twenty something feet.  That's right, I said CORNS!  I didn't care.  I bore that cross with love, and a somewhat grimacing expression.  Because the prettier the shoes and higher the heel, the more painful they were.  I would've sprouted 10 tiny mullets on my feet and named each one of them after cities in Texas if it kept me wearing those shoes.  But, I gave most of them up when the bean came along.  I'm clumsy enough when I'm not carrying a baby; no need to add any more brain damage to this family by dropping her on her head.

I am also a fan of micro-dermabrasion.  Yes, I like to have someone take tiny rock particles and sand blast them all over my face while they play Enya and pretend that it makes a difference.  
Why?  Because it makes you feel smooooth, and shiny, and red.  Something like a tomato.

The cake topper though came last Friday.  I went in for my usual root jobby at the hair stylist and asked my colorist if he could add some darker color underneath to give it some more depth.    He obliged my whim like a good boy and proceeded to paint the bottom half of my hair brown.  He highlighted the rest of my roots blonde and washed me up and sent me home.  I was thrilled and felt like skipping to my car with glee when I started to feel a little itchy.  Almost within the hour I had what felt like scabs developing all over the back of my head.  Oh, how I needed a cone collar because it itched so bad.  The better part of my friday night was spent sidled right up next to my dogs in a frantic scratching circle.  We bonded over that.  We're like, tight now.

By Saturday morning, one of the lymph nodes on the back of my neck had swollen to about the size of a large grape and IT HURT.  The whole area back there was tender, so I tried to refrain from scratching.  On Sunday the pain was worse and my neck was tight.  But being the awesome person that I am; I didn't let it stop me.  I managed to complete all my domestic duties without the ability to look up.  

Monday morning comes and I now can't turn my head all the way left or right and the pain is now radiating heat.  This starts to worry me, so I do a google search and this is apparently what I have to look forward to.  Sheesh!  

Inspired by all the political poling on, I decided to conduct a survey of my own to find out wether or not I should seek treatment for this affliction.  4 out of 5 homeless guys said:  "You think that's itchy?  Take a look at this!"  And 100% of mom's at the playground just gritted their teeth and grinned while slowly backing away.  I think I heard one of them say to her son, "Just don't look it in the eyes, it'll think you're challenging it."  Based on those findings and the intolerable level of pain I'm in; I have decided to go to the doctor tomorrow. 


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Because Nobody Ever Believes Me

I present you with this short post simply because it proves that I live in a parallel universe. After this morning's excitement we went inside and did all kinds of fun stuff.  Periodically, I would look outside to make sure Jack wasn't digging any more holes or making confetti out of Ellie's play pool.  Our "talk" this morning must have done some good because I always found him passed out under the patio table.  Until....

The last time I looked outside, he was spooning the rabbit IN the rabbit's pen and they were whispering sweet nothings to each other.  I guess he figured if he couldn't free her, he would just become a prisoner himself.  OF LOVE.  Baw chicka  bow bow.

My dog is on PETA's payroll

The weather this morning was perfect so Ellie and I decided to go outside and visit the rabbit (who has officially been dubbed "Earmuffs").  It is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen and every time I see it I am forced to grit my teeth and try and refrain from squeezing it until it's eyes pop out.  Love causes me to have very violent urges.  Those whom I love have the bruises to prove it.  

Earmuffs has been busy working on some sort of burrow, though she lacks the tenacity to follow through and has settled on a scooped out hole which she lays in with her little paws in front like the proper lady bunny that she is.

When earmuffs was digging, Bionic would become very excited that someone else shared his passion for destruction.  I spent some time this morning trying to repair some of the damage he did a few days ago.  He dug himself into a frenzy right next to the rabbit's pen and actually made a hole that Earmuffs could escape from...which she did.  The grass is always tastier on the other side right?

The only thing I could find to fill in the hold were some rocks I had in the garage.  This was just super for Ellie and she could be found sorting them into different containers for the better part of an hour.  Because for some reason to Elsbeth, rocks trump EVERYTHING (except flies) in the way of  being super cool.

After I had done this, Ellie and I set about to watering the flowers on the patio and front porch.  When we were finished we went back out to play with the rabbit some more, because it's cuteness beckons you like a siren song.  That is when I realized that Bionic wasn't just digging for enjoyment; he was trying to set the rabbit free.  In the time it took me to water 6 plants he had dug another hole under the rabbit's fence.   I think he imagines that if she were only free to roam about the yard  they might go on splendid digging excavations together.  He fancies himself something of an archaeologist.

When I called him, he came slinking over with a very apologetic look on his face.  I tried to explain to him that although he is friends with the rabbit, the neighbor's dogs are not.  And because he has dug holes under the fence the rabbit could just hop her way right into being someones dinner.  The look of shock on his face was priceless.  He is SO naive.

He promised not to dig around the rabbit's pen anymore and we gave each other doggie hugs, which is more or less the ramming of our heads together.  I felt confident that I had gotten through that thick skull of his and hope it won't happen again.

At this point a bell went off in my head that said, "Ellie hasn't made a peep in a looong time, that can't be good."  I turned around to see where she was and found that she had been very busy indeed.  Somehow she managed to climb over the rabbit's fence and had been tossing handfuls of it's food into it's water bowl.  She seemed to know that this was not something I would have approved of because when I asked her what she was doing she gave me an evil grin and proceeded to work at her task as fast as those tiny hands could possibly go.

What can I say?  If it isn't one thing, it's another.  I picked her up and hoped that the rabbit enjoyed it's pellet smoothie.