Poo To Do

I really don’t see how this would be of interest to anyone except myself, but my to-do list (all forms of it updated, categorized, fretted over, and so on, since high school) is on my mind right now, so I think I’ll work with it.

Also, I’m sorry yesterday’s entry didn’t show up until late; I hit the “Save Draft” button instead of the “Schedule [to publish]” button. It’s better than today’s entry, so you could just read that instead. Really.

Poo To Do:

1) read and comment on Ana’s manuscript

2) read and comment on writing for the Sacramento Writers Group (it isn’t posted yet, but since I’m the person who posts them, I can get the head start I desperately need in order to procrastinate until the last minute)

3) rough character sketches for The Black City. Can I please, tonight, NOT get bogged down browsing through 100,001 Baby Names while selecting monikers for my invented people?

4) pick up library books on hold. They haven’t arrived yet, but they should soon. One book I’m especially excited about it Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games. No, I’m not obsessively checking and re-checking my library account. Nope, I haven’t memorized my 14-digit library account number because I’ve been typing it in so often. No, I didn’t actually pack Z up and take her to the library to investigate my holds status in person.

5) stop lying

6) turn Z’s car seat around so she isn’t scrunched up like a jack-in-the-box during our many trips to the library

7) pick some lettuce to make a salad for dinner tonight. LOVING my mini-garden. I’ll post a picture on Friday.

8 ) replace batteries in sound monitor for Z’s room

9) figure out what to write for blog post tomorrow–I need to compose these in my mind early (you think all this witticism shows up on the fly? Oh, no: “…and though I sometimes amuse myself with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments…I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible.” -Mr. Collins, Pride and Prejudice)

10) talk to Husband about painting bedroom walls

11) clip back the blackened, frost-killed bush in front of the bathroom window–there’s green in there somewhere–it’ll make it!

12) check, re-check, and check again the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards site to see if my novel made the first cut. For the first cut they just read the pitches. You can click here to read mine.

There’s more, of course. But I’ve gotta go, need to check that ABNA site again.

Slug Love

On Wednesday night I enjoyed my very first salad made with lettuce from my own garden. I felt so in touch with the earth, with nature, that I enjoyed it while watching an episode of “Bones” on hulu. In all seriousness, though, I enjoyed that salad. My hands (and my mother’s) put the seeds into tiny trays and delicately covered them with soil, then I watered them and obsessed over them like my daughter’s first breaths, counting each little seedling as it sprouted. I gloried in the leaves growing bright bright green, reaching for the sun.

I did not glory in the slugs.

Okay, so I’m the girl who cried when my brother salted snails or held a magnifying glass over ants. It just seemed cruel. I didn’t even want to hear him talking about such things. Now I find myself wondering how to take care of these garden pests. Geoff Hamilton, the author of Organic Gardening, recommends dropping these little guys into a bucket of kerosene. While probably an instant death, it also sounds A) cruel, and B) dangerous with a toddler wandering around the backyard, managing to get into everything. For awhile my compromise was to launch them over the back fence and into the yard of the empty, bank-owned house next door. Now that people actually live there, it seems wrong. Especially because those people are nice. If they were mean, I’d probably do it anyway. Okay, okay, I threw a couple of slugs over there yesterday, and I feel really bad about it, okay? I’m not going to do it anymore.

My new compromise is probably worse than the instant kerosene death or the slow torture of the salt, but I bet it makes the little suckers happy in the short run. I stick ’em in the yard waste bin. It’s full of damp, decaying vegetation. Slug’s paradise, right? Yeah, until summer when that thing heats up like a slow-cooker.

If my slug-compassion gets too intense, I can always just plant arugula next winter. Bleh. That stuff is so bitter, even the slugs don’t want to eat it.

Mood Enhancers that Do Not Come in Capsule Form

1. ice cream–the ultimate comfort food

2. learning that my mother is bffs with an editor at a big-time publishing company (I can’t speak from experience here, but I know this would cheer me up)

3. Clarkie, my cat

4. Sarah Dessen’s novels This Lullaby and The Truth About Forever

5. Pride and Prejudice on film (the BBC version…but when do I have 5 spare hours?) OR, you know, the book is okay, too

6. movie Blue Crush (I love sporty girl movies–the inspiration comes in handy for after I indulge in #1 above)

7. Louise Rennison’s book Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging

8.  movie Bend It Like Beckham (see #6 above)

9. a walk (again necessary to counteract negative effects of #1)

10. watching Z dance

11. an empty kitchen sink–no dirty dishes!

12. reading Abridged Scripts from The Editing Room

13. perusing paint swatches (see post Baby, Let’s Paint the Town Coral Expression)

14. gardening (unless there are slugs)

15. circling everything I want in the IKEA catalog

16. NAPS–mine and Z’s

17. chocolate never hurts

18. new pens and/or new diary books

19. emails from the library telling me a book I’ve been waiting for has arrived

20. having prettily-painted toenails

There are so, so many more, but rather than list them all, I think I’ll head out and enjoy some of them.

Five o’Clock Disco Breakdown

When five o’clock rolls around, it’s time to dance. “It’s five o’clock!” I shout, and you immediately start your funny shuffle, some cross between the Running Man and the Moon Walk. “Clear the dance floor!” I say, kicking books, stuffed animals, and assorted wooden puzzle pieces. I give a particularly rough kick to any toy that uses batteries and makes noise, hoping it will “accidentally” break. Then, with a good beat blasting, we dance.

You prefer to dance in my arms, face to face, bouncing your own exaggerated bounces until I give in and jump up and down. You squeal, smiling wide, letting go for a second to clap your hands. Once my back is about to give out, I finally put you down and hold your hands, or one of your hands and one of Mr. Penguin’s hands–er, wings. We dance in a circle, and I sing “Ring Around the Rosie” to a disco beat. Or we dance facing each other. I do the can-can, you kick your legs out in an approximation of the can-can that looks more like a goose-step.

It’s fun when Daddy joins us. We all spin, shake our groove thangs, and laugh a lot. The perfect end to a long day.

Baby, Let’s Paint the Town Coral Expression

One afternoon a long time ago, Z could not go down for her nap and I could not be around her for one extra second. Luckily for us both, my in-laws were visiting and they happily played with her (dark circles under her eyes and all) so I could get in the car and drive away.

But I had nowhere to go. Mexico, while extremely tempting, was a bit far. As I drove down Main Street I toyed with the idea of treating myself to an ice cream cone. After all, if anyone deserved ice cream to soothe fraught nerves that day, I certainly did. Then I remembered how it was almost as hard to button my jeans as it was to get Z down for a nap. I closed my eyes (while stopped at a stop light, don’t worry) and tried to calm myself with a vision of a great, empty room. (Yes, I’m getting to the “list” part of this entry in a second. Hang on, you impatient minxes.) The room was painted a soothing color…ahh…Rhythmic Blue.

Home Depot beckoned from the horizon (much closer than Mexico), so I went in and browsed the paint swatches. The paint department is a calming place, full of dreams, possibilities, and stir sticks. I took home about fifty colorful pieces of card stock that day. Since then, I’ve returned a few times. I usually stick to the Behr brand, but not for any particular reason. I always exit the store with at least twenty cards clutched in my hand, and I usually come home to find I have duplicates.

Paint Colors I Would Use In My Home (If I Had My Way)

  • Daredevil
  • Bon Voyage
  • Liberty
  • Romantic Isle
  • Rain Drop
  • Purple Essence (or Foxgloves) (or Twilight Pearl)
  • Ballerina Gown
  • Neptune Blue
  • Beach Towel
  • Magic Spell
  • Crowning
  • Lemon Pound Cake
  • Wild Mushroom
  • Pumpkin Toast
  • Aztec Brick
  • Anemone
  • Surfer

My house, with the exception of Z’s room (Celery Sprig), still sports white walls. I’ll get to them someday. Soon. Also, my house doesn’t have this many rooms. Either I’ll have to paint the floors, trim, and kitchen and bathroom fixtures as well, or the colors will have to take turns.