Thursday, April 28, 2005

Name Game Thursday Three

Terry over at ye olde Possumblog entertains us with the following missive:

Thursday, Thursday, Bo-Bursday

Banana-fana Fo-Fursday

Three three Bo-Bee--Oh, forget it.

Inspired by my razor-like insight the other day about the occasional folly of researching the meaning of one’s surname, frequent inquisitor Jim Smith wants to use the following for The Axis of Weevil Thursday Three “Name Game” Edition. Anyone who has a name may play along, and no, this has nothing to do with naming baby animals like the question from last week.

1. What does your name mean—any connection to what you do or who you are?
2. Any problems with your name? Do you wish it (either your surname or given name) was changed ?
3. Were you named for someone? If so, whom?
AND, in order to satisfy Jim’s insatiable need to supply MORE than three questions--
4. Do you go by your first name, middle name, shortened form--(ex. Jim for James)--or by some made-up nickname?

All of you think hard and leave your answers in the comments below, or leave a link to your blog. And if your name is Chuck or Mitch, please don’t do the Name Game song.

1) My name, Sarah, is an old name. It is found in the Torah and comes from the word sar meaning noble and ruler. The most common meaning associated with it is princess. I, as oppposed to my daughter, don’t view myself as being a princess. I am, however, very independent and stubborn.

It is ironic that my given name is Hebrew. I was not born Jewish, but I later converted before marrying my husband. He did not ask me to convert; it was just a natural evolution in my beliefs. My family is loosely Unitarian. A rather funky religion that was important to the forefathers of the United States.

I guess I could be viewed as a co-ruler with my husband of our rather boisterous household. Oh and long ago in my professional life I referred to myself as “The Queen of Tissue Culture.”

My currant last name is my husbands and a former co-worker of mine from Germany claimed it was an archaic term from Germany for the person who would manage the distant lands of the feudal Lord. This could be a bunch of crock for all we know.

My original surname was Straight. It’s English and that’s about it. It is an obscure name that is slowly dying out. Odds are if I meet someone named Straight, I’m related to them.

2) I get irritated when my name is misspelled. It is the traditional spelling of Sarah i.e. with the h. It still gets mangled in the most imaginative ways. I remember telling someone my name was Sarah with an h. They gave me a confused look and wrote Shara. Jeepers!

Straight would get mangled as well. People would want to spell it Strait and occasionally Street. Even if I said “It’s straight, as in a straight line” they would still get it wrong. Occasionally someone would deny that it was my real name. I did like the fact that straight is the longest monosyllabic word in the English language.

My current last name is somewhat easier for other people to deal with. It is spelt relatively phonetically and is not too long.

3) I was named for several long deceased relatives. For a brief moment my parents toyed with the name Pearl. My birthday is Pearl Harbor Day and the idea amused them. If it wasn’t for WWII and the GI bill my parents would have never met. Instead they saddled me with the middle initial B. Think about it.

4) I just go by Sarah. The closest I ever got to a nickname was in college. I was Sarah B. to distinguish me from all the other Sarahs. My husband has various endearments for me one of them is Duck. I am also known as the dachshund lady, and Jake/Nate/Rebecca/Max’s mom.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Weekend Getaway Part II

I forgot to mention what was happening at home.

Larry called me at the dog show on Friday. He got me just after I was finished with sweepstakes. I told him how John looked very nice, but only got second place. I then asked him what was going on. Larry informed me that Nate had decided to give himself a haircut that morning. He thought his bangs were much too long.

He cut off about 3 inches of hair.

Happy Nate
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Doesn’t he look happy?
Larry said he came downstairs looking very happy and pleased with himself.

I guess this is what happens when mom goes away.

It was probably going to happen even if I was home.

Otherwise all was going well.
Oh and here is a picture of John and his two ribbons.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Weekend Getaway Part I

This weekend I went to Maryland with John the puppy. I had entered John in a dachshund specialty show for Friday and I would be going to a field trial on Saturday and Sunday. The field trial was just another 25 minutes north of the show site.

A specialty show is a dog show that only features one breed. This one was combined with several other breeds’ specialty shows. The different breeds would not be competing against each other; instead the breed clubs would be sharing the cost of renting the space. On Saturday and Sunday an all breed show would be held in the same building.
At a dachshund field trial the dogs are being judged on how well they can track rabbits. They are held in remote areas on fenced in grounds. The dogs have a blast and the owners get a good workout.

Larry would be on his own with the rest on the crew. Nate was very concerned that I would miss Crunch and Rally. He gave me two stuffed animals. The first one he presented to me was a black and tan dachshund.

“This will remind you of Rally.” He earnestly told me.

Then he brought out a red dachshund. “And this one will remind you of Crunch. I won’t give you one like John, because he will be with you.”

Herer is a photo of crunch and Rally with their doubles:

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

I tucked both toys into my luggage. Nate was very pleased.

It was past 9:30 when I got on the road. I still had to swing by a friend’s house to pick up her dog, Sydney. K wasn’t able to go, but she wanted Sydney to go to the field trial. Sydney is smaller than Rally, but they are both smooth black and tan dachshunds. The main thing is that she gets along well with my dogs.

K (as well as Larry) was concerned about my driving at such a late hour. I pointed out that if I left in the morning it would be far worse. I had to be at the show grounds in Timonium, MD by 8:30 am. To get there in time I would have to leave home by 4:30 am. I would arrive frazzled and worn after dealing with DC’s morning rush hour. No thank you. A short night’s sleep is far more appealing than dealing with DC in the morning.

Once her dog was loaded in the car K warned me that Sydney was thunder phobic. I should not try to run her at the field trial if the weather was stormy. She just might not come back. With this in mind I drove off. The forecast was for stormy weather all weekend. This could be very interesting.

I arrived at the hotel in good order at about 1 am. After I checked in I called home to let Larry know all was well. He thanked me for calling and then said he was going back to sleep. Meanwhile I still had two dogs, two crates and assorted bags to get up to my room. I was on the third floor, but there was an elevator. Eventually we were all squared away and I went to bed.

I awoke later that morning to a leaden sky and fitful rain. John was ready to roll, but Sydney was subdued and tentative. Not at all the bright pistol of a dog that I know, she hid beneath the bed while I bathed John. I was finally able to entice her out and secure her in her crate. After a quick shower I hauled the dogs and crates down to the car. On show days I generally do not eat breakfast. I am just too excited and nervous to eat.

John showed well, but he only got second place the two times I brought him into the ring. The first time was a sweepstakes class which is really just for fun and practice. The second time was in regular classes where the dogs are competing for points. At eleven months he is still very much a puppy. I was happy that he had beat out one other dog for his second place ribbon. We both had a good time, we got to see friends and make new ones. At about 3:00 pm we were finished for the day. I headed back to the hotel with dogs in tow. Later I would meet friends for dinner.

At the hotel I sprawled out on the bed with two dogs. John is deeply in love with Sydney and wanted her to have his puppies. She was not interested and told him so in no uncertain terms. It was amusing seeing John’s confused expression when she would snarl at him. She tried hiding in a pillow case with the pillow still in it. She almost fit, only her bottom was exposed. The funny part was when John would bother her. Suddenly the pillow would growl, rise up and bop him. John, puzzled, would back off and the pillow would settle down. This happened several times and each time I would laugh. Dinner time finally arrived and I went off to The Charred Rib. Boy was it good. The ribs were amazing. I have to go back there. After a pleasant dinner with good company I staggered back to the hotel. I had to be up early for Saturday.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Thursday Three Books!

A very wise man once said--
“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.”
You know, that is just so true.
In any event, speaking of books (as we just
were), and being that it’s Thursday, and being that something needs to be done to break us out of our respective springtime reveries, one
Jim Smith (not an alias, by the way) sends in a suggestion for the our weekly bit of snoopiness, which he dubs: The Spring Reading Edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

1. Do you like to read one book at a time until you’re finished, or multiple things at once?

2. Do you do your browsing at the library, or do you prefer going to retailers such as Barnes and Noble and glomming up free samples of the publishing arts, pretending you’re actually going to buy something?

3. Which do you prefer--hard cover, paperback, or online?

And a special bonus question (or else Jim has lost the ability to count):
4. What do you read most often?

1) I like to read one book at a time. However,
I will also be reading some magazines at the same time. In grade school and college I was a voracious reader. I remember methodically chewing my way through my middle school and high school libraries. My high school’s library was particularly nice. There was a small room off of the main library called the reading lab. There were floor pillows, quiet games and all of the paperbacks. You could even eat in there! Our high school did not have set lunch periods and a teeny tiny cafeteria. Basically we were expected to get our lunch when ever we had a free period and find a place to eat. I mostly lunched in the reading lab and occasionally in the art room. At one point in high school I decided I was going to read a book a day. I lasted for about two months. Then I went back to one or two books a week.

2) I do very quick library runs (as I just wrote yesterday) and when I go to a bookstore I’m on a mission. My entourage is not conducive to leisurely browsing. For general browsing I poke around on the web. I like Amazon, Abebooks, Powell’s and ebay.

3) I prefer hardcover, but paperbacks are more portable. It is easier to just bring a paperback along when you think you might be able to steal a few minutes reading.

Bonus question! I tend to read science fiction (Asimov and all the other classic writers), fantasy (Ursula Le Guinn, Ann McCaffrey and so on), and mysteries (Dean Koontz, Dick Francis and Robin Cook). Occasionally I read nonfiction when the subject intrigues me (Salt and The Cruelest Miles). I never got into Stephen King. Basically I’ll read almost anything except maybe poetry.

I have my father to thank for my love of science fiction. He was an avid fan. I remember going to see 2001 in the movie theater with him. I was very young and I was hooked. My collection of books from childhood is downright schizophrenic. I have classic science fiction, most of the Back Stallion books, Little Women, A Secret Garden, some of Jack London’s stuff, a few Nancy Drews, TinTin and some Calvin and Hobbes. And now they are being passed down to my kids.

My magazines now are Newsweek, AKC Gazette and The Dachshund Club of America’s Newsletter (a gorgeous quarterly publication).

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Spam of the Day

This is my favorite spam subject line of the day:

articulatory nacrotics tend to increase the pressure of your big finger

So which is it, a narcotic or a necrotic? It is a big difference. Are we taking about a drug that removes pain from your joints that also increases the pressure in your big finger? Or is it a drug that kills off the articulation in your joints which results in the pressure increase. And why is it just the big finger? This could be very odd, people walking around with swollen big fingers. Maybe the finger is big from the increased pressure. I guess I’ll never know as I refuse to open such junk. But I do love to ridicule the flotsam that washes up in my spam folder.

Lil Darling

Today Max, Rebecca and I went to story time and the bike store.

Wednesday is their regular story time at the library. They old enough for the 3 to 5 year old group, but we still go to the story time for two year olds. In the older group they would be expected to sit still and pay attention. Also parents are requested to not be in the room. They are not quite ready, but by fall I’ll move them up. Then I’ll get to pick out books with out my entourage. Right now I just quickly pick something out of the new arrival section. It’s on the way to the checkout desk from the children’s section. Half the time the book is something Max and Rebecca have picked out. So far we have gotten some pretty good books for me to read.

The theme today was hats. At the end the librarian pulled out a huge box of hats for the kids to try on. She even had a mirror for them to see how they look with the hats on. There was the usual assortment of fireman, policemen and construction hats. Max found a race car drivers helmet. Rebecca, of course, found the one crown in the box. Next week it will be bedtime stories. The librarian wants us to wear our pajamas. She even said that the kids could bring their blankies. Rebecca perked up at that idea. After story time we picked out a bunch of books to bring home. Max got three books about knights and Rebecca got books with horses or bunnies. I even picked out a couple of joke books for Jake and Nate. Then we went on to the bike store.

A new bike shop just opened up last year not far from our house. Before it was a half hour trek to the nearest bike shop, now it is a ten minute drive. Jake’s and Nate’s bikes are in need of a tune up. Brakes need adjusting, chains need tightening and Nate’s bike needs new hand grips. I know how to do all of this, but I don’t have the time, the tools or the desire. I used to bike a fair amount and I even subscribed to a bicycle magazine. With the advent of children that has all changed.

As we were going into the store Rebecca stated she wanted a “pretty one.” I reminded her that we were just there to drop off her brothers’ bikes. As I talked to the staff Max and Rebecca wandered among the bikes. Then she saw it. At 3 ½ Rebecca has already found the bike of her dreams. It’s purple with flowers on the frame and the seat. The bike comes with streamers on the handle bars, training wheels and a pretty white basket. It is the right size and a Fuji. A nice solid bike that can handle pretty much anything a kid can dish out. I know this because my brother had a Fuji and it survived him (a guy who has broken numerous high end bike forks). The price was even reasonable. Rebecca was all over it like a cat on tuna fish. She even climbed up and started to pedal. I had to peel her off the bike. She wanted that bike.

Hmmm, maybe this is the inspiration she needs for potty training. It could even be combined with her birthday. I dread potty training her. She does not care. She is perfectly happy waddling about in a full diaper. Just recently we have gotten her to start pooping regularly. Max is a much easier child to deal with.

Well, we will see. At some point we will be getting them bikes. I need to discuss this with my husband.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

This and That

Today I just want to share a few things with y’all.

First off is our crab apple tree.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Isn’t it pretty? It is at about peak blossom right now. It smells heavenly and the bees are all over it. When you sit beneath it you can hear the buzzing. This is one of my favorite spots to sit in during the summer. It is always cool and lovely when you are on the bench underneath the tree. Here is another view of the tree.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

This is from inside the house looking out the window by the kitchen table. I love that we can see the tree while we eat.

My neighbor last year commented on the tree’s extravagant blooms. She wanted to know what we were doing to encourage the tree. I confessed that we did nothing except trim back the root suckers. Oh, and that the dogs like to pee around the tree and gnaw on any exposed roots. I have a Darwinian approach to gardening. After I plant something it is pretty much on its own. I’ll trim away dead stuff and sporadically water it, but that is it. With all the deer around us it is just a matter of time before it gets chomped.

Another thing I wanted to share is a little item from the bi-monthly newspaper that is sent to our home. I like to read the Crime Watch section. It is just a collection of blurbs from the police blotter. Every now and then a real oddball shows up.
Burnt Oak Drive. The victim returned to her apartment after being
away for a week to find the sliding glass door, previously open, now closed
and locked. Tissue paper was placed in the front door peep hole, and
clothes and dishes had been washed and dried. Food and liquor had been
consumed, and her computer, TV, radio and camera were missing.

Except for the missing items, I think it wasn’t so bad. It looks like someone lived there for a few days, felt a bit guilty and cleaned up the place before cleaning out her electronics.

My all time favorite was when the victim returned home and found someone else’s furniture in the apartment.

Finally, here is the (hopefully) last flaming soccer occurrence. The last practice was uneventful, but after Saturday’s game was another story. While driving home I noticed a line of smoke on the field between the park and the highway. It turns out there had been a small brush fire. Ironically our soccer club used to be the Chesterfield Flames. It merged with another club and the new name is Chesterfield United. Maybe all this fire stuff will end soon.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mother’s birthday. She is 76 years old today, but she does not act that old. She is a fun and interesting person to be around.

Jane in NYC Posted by Hello
This is a picture of her when she was living in NYC. She is originally from around Boston. She was the youngest of seven children and the first girl from her family to go to college. She moved to New York after college and worked for the Ladies Home Journal. This was during the late 1950’s and the early 1960’s. Some of her stories from college and afterwards make mine pale by comparison. It was a safer era and she was a bit more adventurous than me. She is a very independent woman. I guess Rebecca and I come by our independent/stubborn streaks naturally.

My mom now lives by herself with her dog in VT. Right now she is in the midst of moving from her old house on a dirt road to a new one that is a bit more accessible in town. Not a fun way to spend your birthday. Mom, I hope your friends take you out for a nice lunch and/or dinner.

Today also marks the 230th anniversary of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. I remember my mom reciting this poem to me and my brother.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Saturday was a very good day right from the start. We did not have to be anywhere before 11:30. Jake’s soccer game was at noon and Nate’s T-ball game was at 6:00 pm. No conflicts and a nice leisurely morning. I got to sleep in until 7:30. All four children were entertaining themselves. It was lovely. Guilt over the dogs finally got me out of bed. Being Saturday we had pancakes for breakfast. Afterwards Larry took off with Jake in tow to do errands. We would meet them at the soccer fields.

The one bumpy bit in the day was Nate. He was bound and determined to wear his T-ball uniform all day long. I told him he could suit up, but he could not play outside. He agreed and I went up to get dressed. When I came down I found him outside, the knees of his uniform already soiled. Argh! I called him in and verbally dressed him down. Then I sent him upstairs to change out of his uniform. I don’t mind my children getting grubby, it is their job. I just want to be able to show up to the game with a clean child, not a ball of dirt. Once Nate was dressed it was off to the soccer field.

We arrived at the field just as Jake’s team was finishing their warm up. Larry had saved us a spot by the field. We made camp and I gave Max and Rebecca their lunch. They were very excited to be picnicking at the soccer game. Nate disappeared with a soccer ball to play a pick-up game with the other players’ siblings. Jake’s team looked great and played well. The game was close even with the bizarre refereeing. The other team was clearly being favored. At one point a call was made and none of the parents could figure out what it was for. In the end Jake’s team lost by one point. We broke camp and schlepped home.

On the way home Max and Rebecca fell asleep in the car. When we got there I brought them inside one at a time. I placed them on separate sofas in the same room. An hour later we found them like this.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Max apparently roused himself enough to go over to his sister and lay down with her. As you can see he fell back asleep with one foot on the floor. There really is a special connection between twins.

Not long after naptime it was time to eat. Larry wanted to get out of the house by 5:15 for Nate’s 6:00 game. Nate needed to warm up and Larry had to be there early as he is one of the assistant coaches. The kids got a quick hot dog dinner, along with John the dog courtesy of Miss Rebecca. Nate and his father then went ahead and again I would bring up the rear with the rest when it was closer to game time. After a short playtime and a frantic hunting down of shoes and socks we were off.

At the baseball fields Jake met up with one of his classmates, M. She is the daughter of on one of team’s Moms. Max tagged along with them. With a smile I turned to M’s mom and pointed out that her daughter and Jake were wandering about together, but not to worry Max was their chaperone. I then settled in to watch the game. It was fun watching the game; the parents are encouraging and the kids, 6 and under, are all very cute. Periodically Jake would come over to complain about Max. He was chasing them about and pushing Jake. After about the fifth complaint I settled Max down in my lap and read a book to him. Twenty minutes later Jake was back and he wanted Max to chase them about again. Now it was fun to be chased by a three year old. We finished the book and Max tore off after his brother. I’m glad my kids all get along and can play together without too much drama. The T-ball game came to an end and we all headed home

Friday, April 15, 2005

They’re Back!

A few months ago I noticed my local Costco was no longer stocking Hebrew National hot dogs. They are our tube streak of choice. We don’t eat them all the time, but with four kids, two of which are active in sports, hot dogs make for a convenient and fast dinner. Jake is very picky about food in general and will only eat certain varieties of frankfurters, Hebrew National being one of them. God forbid should he get a Nathan’s hot dog. I was sad that I could no longer get the bulk package at an absurdly low price. I could still find them in several local supermarkets.

Then on February 19th Meryl wrote a quick bit about the Hebrew National shortage. This gave me and my food budget hope for the return of our favorite frank to Costco.

Yesterday I made my weekly milk run to Costco to stock up. At $2.89 a gallon it is worth the hassle for me to get our milk at Costco. We, on average, go through five gallons of milk a week. Another bonus with shopping there is I don’t get the oddball looks when I fill my cart with milk. Several times at the supermarket I have had people eyeball my cart and announce that I should get a cow. Yeah right! Four kids, three dogs, two goldfish and a snail; a cow is just what I need.

While in Costco yesterday I picked up a few other items like soup, pasta, dino-nuggets and tax software. (Yes, I know it’s a bit last minute for tax stuff, but it was for calculating the value of donated items. Plus it was FREE after the rebate. We had donated a boatload of clothing last year after a major closet purge.) As I wound my way through the refrigerator/ freezer section I saw them.

Hebrew National was back at Costco!

Woohoo! More yummy cow!

I tossed a package into my cart and headed on to checkout.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Thursday Three: Baby Names

It’s that time of the week again and Papa Possum writes:

A rose by any other name…
What ho! A poetry reference on Possumblog!? Fear not, because it is only a way to introduce the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, BABY NAME EDITION!
What with it being Spring and all, and all sorts of babies being a’borned, we have a round of questions here destined to make you all put in some serious thought on a very serious subject! The suggestion for the topic comes to us this week from
Marc Velazquez, who starts us off with some news-grabbing celebrity-ness:
1. What names would you suggest for the offspring of --Denise Richards and Chuckie (the Wildman) Sheen; Britney Spears and that guy; and Prince Charles and Camilla, Dutchess of Cornwall, formerly styled Mrs. Andrew Parker-Bowles, née Camilla Shand?
2. The inspiration for the next set of names comes to us by way of resident peregrine-watcher
Janis Gore from deep in the wilds of the Sportsman’s Paradise--to whit: what should be the names of the 3 (or 4) baby falcons born to San Francisco’s own George and Gracie? (You can click on the main website at UCSC and read all about them, or click here and see the most recent live image.)
3. Now, for the last one, I realize some of you have already made suggestions, but you’re just going to have to do it again. What is your suggestion for
Dave Helton’s new baby horsey?
As we always state, anyone who wishes may play along, even if you’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name. Leave a link in the comments below (click the permalink if you want the comments to remember your name and e-mail so you won’t have to put it in a bunch) or just leave your suggestions in the comments if you want. Go forth and be nameful now!

So here goes nothing!
1) For the first two couples I haven’t the foggiest idea. Whatever they name their children I’m sure it will be awful and in Britney’s case tacky. In the highly improbable (and horrifying) event that Chuck and Camilla reproduce I propose the following: ART if it is a boy and IVy or GIFT if it is a girl.

2) According to Terry if the chicks are all boys they should be Groucho, Chico, Harpo and if needed Zeppo. On a more serious note the names could reflect what Peregrine means, traveler or foreigner. Here are a few examples: Traveler, Pilgrim, Wayfarer and Journeyman.

3) She is one pretty little filly. I was just watching Black Beauty with Max and Rebecca so I am feeling all horsey and maudlin. I checked out the National Park Service’s Great Smoky Mountains web site. I like Cades for Cades Cove and Sugarland which could be shorten to Sugar. She does look like a sweetie. I also like Pidgeon for Pigeon Forge as suggested by the Grouchy Old Yorkie Lady.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Nap Time

It is disturbing to have the doorbell ring when you are stretched out on the sofa while resting your eyes. I get the added bonus of two overexcited three year olds bouncing about chanting “Doorbell, doorbell, go answer the doorbell!”

After rousing myself up and wadding through swirling children, I open the door to find a package by the door and a Fedex truck pulling away. Poo, it’s not even for me. I then went back to the kitchen and stared at the clock. It looked like I had 45 minutes before I had to go collect Jake and Nate from school for their dental appointment. Meanwhile Max and Rebecca were dancing about saying it was naptime. I went over to the foot of the stairs where they proudly showed me their little beds. They had been very industrious and had converted two little play tables into little beds. They even decorated them with stuffed animals for pillows. I grabbed this photo after they wrapped them selves with their blankies and lay down.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Too cute for words.

So I stretched out again on the sofa to rest a bit more.

Twenty minutes later the phone rings again.

Oh, oh it’s the school. Nate is very concerned and a little upset about how he is going to go home. He couldn’t remember if he was doing parent pick-up or not. His teacher sent him to the office to straighten things out. I told the office that I was going to be picking him up and that I sent a note to the teacher with him this morning. I could overhear the office staff asking Nate where the note was. He replied that he did not know. I helpfully added that it was in the front pocket of his backpack. When told this, he said he took out the note this morning and gave it to his teacher.

6 year olds are very literal. He didn’t know where the note is right now.

So the office staff sent him back to class. I then overheard her mutter about if there was a note why was he sent to the office. They were sorry to have bothered me.

Now I was wide awake and had to get the younger set ready to go pick up the boys.

Pick up went without a hitch. I chatted with the Nate’s team mom for t-ball and collected the boys. Nate beamed when he saw me and Jake gave a little wave. Nate gave me a note from his teacher, she apologized for the call. It seems she forgot to check her parent pick-up clipboard before sending Nate to the office. I didn’t mind if he was upset I’m glad he got to have a chance to have it all confirmed by phone in his presence. Kindergarten can be a bit overwhelming. Everything is new and this was the first time I was going to be picking him up from school.

The dentist was a mixed bag. Nate got a clean bill of dental health, but Jake has a cavity. It was not his fault. They could tell he was brushing his teeth; it’s just that his tooth formed with an oddball pocket. He was going to get a cavity no matter what. We get to go back in a few weeks and they’ll try to fill it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tubular Tuesday

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

We survived just fine. As per the surgical nurse's suggestion Max got ice cream and cake before a delayed bedtime. Of course this meant everybody had to have some too. Fortunately we still had half of the cake left from Saturday's celebration. Only the canine family members got to enjoy Rally's bacon cheeseburger cake on Saturday. The human members of the family had to make do with a homemade orange cake with orange icing. It was excellent and I liked it even more with vanilla ice cream.

Max and Rebecca got a leisurely bath (gotta be clean for the Dr!) and were allowed to play much longer than usual. It was about an hour and a half passed their bedtime when they finally settled down. Max was having lots of fun opening the door and shouting out words like orange juice, waffle and so on. Each time he did this his older brothers would erupt with laughter.

As a result of those late night shenanigans Max and Rebecca slept in until 8:00. This was great for me and the boys. I was able to feed Jake and Nate breakfast without a hungry little brother mooning about. Once Max and Rebecca got downstairs I parked Max in front of the TV to watch a little Sesame Street while I discretely served Rebecca her breakfast. At 8:20 I dropped Nate off at the neighbor's house so he could ride the bus to school. Jake had already been taken in by Larry for "Science in the Morning". Then it was off to the Dr.'s. Max was very upset with the news and at first refused to leave the car. I convinced him in the end with a promise to go shopping for a toy afterwards.

I hauled in two bags of books and toys into the surgery center. They were all unnecessary. There was a fantastic pediatric waiting room filled with toys. The toys looked fairly clean and in working order, not the usual grubby broken down stuff in most medical offices. After a short wait we were escorted to another area. Max did not want to leave all the toys. I had to promise him that we would return to the playroom. In the new area we found even more toys. This place was beyond kid friendly. All of the staff and physicians we met were very kind and understanding of children. The worst part was when I walked him to the OR doors, I couldn't go in and he was taken away howling. Rebecca was concerned at first, but then she realized she had all the toys and her mother to herself. After about fifteen minutes they were done and Max was wheeled out.

When Nate had tubes put in his ears it was awful when he awoke from the anesthesia. He howled and cried and it took the longest time for him to register that his parents where with him. Max just quietly opened his eyes and looked around. The nurse scooped up his little body and placed him in my arms. He snuggled in and asked for his squeaky hedgehog. That was it. The nurses all said he was one of the quietest patients in waking up. What a little trooper. The only rough spot was when we left the building; he really wanted to go back to the playroom. So we did. He only lasted about ten minutes and then he wanted to go shopping for a toy.

So it was off to Target. There he got a little green stuffed snake and a hot wheel car. Rebecca, not to be left out, got a plush butterfly and a car. All four toys were purchased for the vast sum of $4.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Nap Time

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Here is a picture of Max and Rebecca after they have been loaded into the wagon. About halfway to the field they woke up. I thought y'all would enjoy this.

Max is going to not enjoy tomorrow. He is having tubes put in his ears. This is the double horror of NO BREAKFAST and someone MESSING WITH HIS EARS. But, this will also result in a much happier Max in the long run. I'll probably check in late tomorrow afternoon.

Elemental Soccer Practice

On Thursday Jake had soccer practice, during which we got to experience all of the four elements.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

He is the one in the middle with a white shirt.

With all the wet weather we have been having, a lot of his practices have been canceled. He was very happy that the rain had held off long enough for his team to finally have one. Practice starts at 5:30 pm and runs until at least 6:30 pm. Unfortunately this interferes with dinner preparations. As I have written before I try to start a casserole, but there are always a few last minute things that need to be done before dinner is served. Larry is a real trooper and he is able to meet me at the soccer field. He can’t come to the house, because he would have to leave work ridiculously early. It is a sort of tag team kind of deal. I bring the whole crew down to the field, he meets there at about 6:00, then I depart with all or most of the nonparticipating children (sometimes Nate stays behind) and finish up dinner prep.

Lately Max and/or Rebecca have been falling asleep while en route to practice. Anticipating this I have started bringing our wagon in the back of the van. I can use it to haul chairs, soccer gear and or children. This time both were fast asleep by the time I was parking the van. I wrestled the wagon out of the van and placed the raincoats on the bottom. The sky was threatening to rain and we would need them. I then carefully loaded the still sleeping toddlers on top. It was a tight fit. Good thing they like each other.

Slinging the gear bag over my shoulder we trekked out to the practice field. Along the way we experienced two of the four elements. The field was slightly mucky, giving us EARTH in the form of mud. Yet again a soccer ball ended up in a muddy ditch. This time it was a genuine accident so the boy in question would get to keep his ball, he just couldn’t carry it anymore. There was a damp wind blowing, heralding the impending rainstorm, hence AIR.
When we arrived at our part of the field I could see our friend the bucket loader had been joined by a bulldozer and there were two burning brush piles. This time I had brought my camera.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

You can barely see the flame in the pile. It isn’t nearly as exciting as last time. The other brush pile was smoking, but was too far away to see actual flames. So now we have FIRE.

After about 20 minutes it started to rain. It was a gentle shower that went in fits and starts. Just after Larry showed up to relieve me of soccer duty the heavens opened up, giving us WATER.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Birthday Girl

Rally sleeping
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Thirteen years ago today Miss Rally was born. We got her from her breeder the first weekend after we closed on our first house.

Larry and I were living in Madsion, WI. We were married on May 30, 1992 in NH, not far from my mother's home. At the end of June we bought our first house. I remember it being the Fourth of July weekend when we drove down to Illinois to pick out our dog. We stayed overnight with a friend and went to a baseball game that night.

The previous spring I had gone to dog shows and talked to a far number of dachshund breeders. It was hard work tracking down standard smooth dachshund breeders, much less those with puppies. My perseverance paid off when I finally found a litter of pups that were available. There were two female puppies left in the litter. We had a hard two choosing between the two. Both were black and tans, one was a little bit smaller with a kinked tail. It was Saturday when we saw the puppies. That night at the ballgame we talked about the two girls. We finally settled on which one we wanted, the smaller of the two pups and picked her up on Sunday.

We named her Rally, which is short for Floralia, the spring fair at our college. It was at Floralia where Larry first asked me out on a date. We thought it would be fun to commemorate our first date by naming our first dog after it.

She is a typical smooth dachshund, a bit reserved around strangers and very smart, with some atypical characteristics. She loves the snow, unlike most smooth dachshunds. She really comes alive when the temperature is around freezing. In the summer she likes to go swimming, a trait more often found in longhair dachshunds. Her tail has a very distinctive kink in it. At first glance it looks as though her tail is only ¾'s of a normal tail in length with a little bump at the very end. But if you look closely through the thick, lush fur you will see that her tail forms a compact little corkscrew at the very end. It almost looks like a little knot.

She has shown her intelligence in many ways over the years, this particular one is one of my favorites. In our first house there was a heat vent on the floor in a corner of the kitchen. We placed the dog bed nearby. It was the best seat in the house during the winter months and we called it the comfy spot. We got a second dog, Crunch, in January 1993. He is bigger than Rally and hogged the comfy spot. Rally discovered that if she barked wildly at the back door Crunch would get up to see what the fuss was about. We would open the door to let the dogs outside and Crunch would barrel on out. He was convinced that something big was happing outside. Rally, meanwhile, would calmly saunter over to the comfy spot and settle down. Larry and I were puzzled at first. Why would she make all that noise and not go outside? Finally we clued in to her little game. Crunch, however, never did.

Her tan points have mostly faded to grey and she is a bit faded and worn, but she is still chugging along. Today she had a very special day. She got to have her own bowl of ice cream with the kids during snack time. After dinner all the dogs got to have a piece of a bacon cheeseburger "cake" with french fries for candles.

Happy birthday old girl!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Thursday Three Anniversary Edition

Terry over at Possumblog posted the following :
I'll TELL you what it means!!
It means that today marks the FIRST ANNIVERSARY of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three! In spite of all odds, in spite of an overwhelming lack of interest, this feature has survived the vicissitudes and vagaries of an ENTIRE 365 days, which is, like, a billion years in blog time, and it means that it’s time for something SPECIAL!
IN HONOR OF THE DAY, for today only, the Thursday 3 will be the THURSDAY 31,536,000! That’s right--a question for every second in every minute in every hour in every day of an entire year!

1) If there was one thing you could change about the way you look, what would it be? This one is easy, my stomach region. Pregnancy has not been kind to my middle region, giving me stretch marks and saggy skin. The twins were the finial straw. I have a photo somewhere that shows me sitting down with my belly exposed. It looks large a large white watermelon has been placed on my lap. The skin became horribly stretched and three years later it really hasn’t gone all the way back. The only reason I have a bellybutton is because last year I had an umbilical hernia repair. The surgeon was kind enough to reconstruct it. This of course is way too much information.

2) In your house, right now, what is your favorite piece of artwork that you have displayed? Hmm, this one is harder. Last night I was admiring a painting we had inherited from my husband’s Great Aunt Ann. It is of a scene in a park (NYC?) from 1930 by Bumpei Usui. In the foreground it has a lady walking a long haired dachshund. There are a few prints and photographs we have about the house and the requisite refrigerator museum of art, but my favorite I guess would be a painting by my father.
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He was on a picnic with my mother and they decided to do some painting. My parents met at the Rhode Island School of Design. The only reason my parents ever met was because of the GI bill. He fought in WWII and was 11 years older than my mother.

3) What person living now would you most like to meet? Oh heck, I don’t know, The axis of weevil? I think I would like to meet Mookie Wilson. He was my favorite ball player. Not the flashiest guy, but a good solid player who seems to be a decent human being. I think he got the nickname from his grandmother. As a young boy he would got so excited over milk and cookies he would say “mookie.” A guy after my own heart.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Ice Cream

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Yesterday was gorgeous and today will be even nicer. I finally remembered to pick up some more ice cream cones to the delight of my children.

We all love ice cream. I usually keep us stocked with chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Oddly enough it is viewed as a good food for Max. He needs to squeeze in as many calories as possible. I still can’t get over the fact that I had a nutritionist tell me that Max needs more fat and salt in his diet. I guess this makes french fries health food.

But enough of that, I am very fond of Turkey Hill’s offerings. It has that wonderful combination of great taste and low price. I have recently discovered Ben and Jerry’s line of Dave Mathews Band flavors. The two I’ve tried are awesome, One Sweet Whirled (apparently discontinued) and Magic Brownies. I couldn’t give a hoot about the politics around them, they are just plain tasty. I only get the fancy ice cream for me and my hubby. The kids do not appreciate the finer flavors.

Maybe this summer when we visit my Mom up in VT we will go tour Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory. It is great fun and you get samples at the end.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Blazing Fun Soccer Practice

Jake’s soccer practice was very exciting last night. It was beautiful outside, high wispy clouds, bright sunshine and the lightest of breezes. As I was pulling the wagon to our team’s section of the field I noticed that work was being done on the clearing next to the field. Either new houses are being built or a new soccer field. Since the area doesn’t have a direct link to the surrounding roads, my money is on a new soccer field. The clearing used to be a stand of pine trees. Now it is a lumpy bumpy clearing with mounds of earth, trees and stumps.

There was a bucket loader that made me think of this. Not the same, but fun none the less. It was moving around the stumps and trees and creating a large cloud. Then I saw a 30 ft flame erupt from the brush pile.

Whoa! This is one serious fire.

I stopped, looked around and nobody seemed concerned. The wind was blowing from the fields towards the bonfire. The fire was located as close as possible to the portion of the field that Jake was on. Only a narrow strip of woods separated our field from the clearing.

I sent Jake to his coach and made camp on the sidelines. Max, who had been asleep on top of all the junk in the wagon, woke up and climbed off. At first Nate, Max and Rebecca stayed nearby. They were happy with their chairs and soccer balls. But the allure of the fire and construction equipment proved to be too strong. We ended up moving to the bleachers located near the bonfire. We were about 40 ft away from the pile. I strongly admonished the children to stay out of the woods separating our field from the clearing. On the whole they were very good. I stayed nearby and they were happy to watch the fire with me.

I was surprised that there was no barrier or any officials nearby. There should have been at least on other person around, like a fire marshal, to supervise and help control the burn. There was just the one guy manipulating the bucket loader. It was very exciting to watch, but not very safe. The fields were teeming with players and their siblings, some with more supervision than others. It all worked out in the end, it was just a bit odd.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Friday I got Max and Rebecca new rain boots. As we went into Target Rebecca softly said to me that she wanted “pretty ones.” We found a pair of pink boots with bees and a daisy that fit the bill. Max’s boots are supposed to be alligators, but they look more like dragons to me. Jake and Nate couldn’t find any to their liking. So we will look again at another store. They will just have to make do with their old boots. They don’t leak (yet) and they still kinda fit.

Saturday it rained hard in the morning. The boots got a bit of a workout in the afternoon. Rebecca would get very upset when her new boots got mucky on the outside. She would come inside the house and plead with me to clean them off. I’d rise off the boots and all would be right again.
Sunday I picked up some more sand for the sandbox. Funny thing about sand, it tends to disappear over the course of the summer. At this point it was a thin layer covered with leaves and dirt. I also put some sand in our castle.
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We can now build sandcastles in the castle! Now we will have two areas to build in and the floor of the castle won’t get so muddy. I ended up getting fifteen 50lbs bags of play sand, ten bags for the sandbox and five for the castle. This should last us until next year. I hope. 750 lbs of sand was definitely pushing the limits of the van.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Spring Break Wrap-up

This past week has been the school's spring break. As a result I have had all four children home with me. These are some of the things I have learned or relearned this week.

When your across town friend calls you up and tells you that it is hailing at her house, don’t say that she is special, even if it is not hailing at your house. Why? Because odds are that two hours later it will be hailing at your own house.

Hail is very entertaining to watch, especially for children ages eight and younger.

Dachshund puppies like to dig holes, very big holes. Oh and lots and lots of them.
(I actually knew this, I just forgot since my last puppy was over 10 years ago.)

When you get a great deal of rain the ground gets saturated. The puppy pits then fill up with water. This water can then be scooped out by enterprising children and moved to the sandbox.

Sandboxes when filled with water are even more fun. A new sport was developed, submarine car racing. I don’t know how it goes, but it involves very muddy water being flung about.

You can get mud out of tutus.

Nate was so impressed by our dump run that he announced that “you can do almost anything with this car.”

Jake pointed out that our car can’t fly.

Nate replied that he said “almost anything.”

Unofficial animals at the zoo are just as exciting as the official ones.

Boys like to pull wagons at garden centers. Rebecca likes to ride wagons at garden centers (no surprise here, this fits in with her view of being a princess.)

Four children can play together if they are left alone.

Sometimes it is best not to plan anything at all.