Sunday, January 16, 2011

thoughts and thinkings (and not about you know who, either - Zoralee! She's so cute.)

So, hey! First, a few words this evening about my love. Jason, that is, not Z. Most importantly, this week Jason was awarded his Science bachelor's degree! Yayyyyyy for Jason!!! He had actually completed his classes long ago, but, through a combination of falling through the Biology department's cracks and his own dilly-dallying / finding work to support our family, the degree was just now awarded. Some day he may even use that degree; you never know.

Other odds and ends... Jason is now finished with a month of working nights. Hot dog. There were a couple random days thrown in too for various trainings, just to keep his circadian rhythm at its most distressed. I am so glad we'll get to see him anymore at normal hours and in good spirits. He has been working on a new skill: tossing little limes into the air and whacking at them with a knife, hoping to perfectly slice them. Then he squeezes them onto key lime pie. Tonight I received in the mail from my mom a book I have been wanting to own: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Jason said, "Does it have lots of good pictures?"

We had birthdays this week. I'm a year older than he, but for three days each year we're the same age. I am so happy to be spending my life with him. So, so, so happy! Oh sure - it's work, it's effort, it's putting up and shutting up and standing up and trying to resolve things and letting some things stay unresolved. It's ridiculous conversations in which he swears I have been singing one of my favorite childhood songs with a syncopated rhythm since he met me, but now that he hears it on the CD I bought Zoralee, the rhythm isn't actually syncopated. Truth is, I haven't been singing it syncopated; he heard what he wanted to, and his brain filled in the gaps incorrectly. It happens. Anyway, forget about that. Jason is an amazing human being. I am truly honored to be figuring it all out with him.
This year we all spent two Same Age Days in San Antonio with Barb, Jason's mom. She had come to visit for nine days, and those were her last two here. We had a heck of a lot of fun, despite the weather being unexpectedly near freezing. We went to the zoo, but learned that the animals were inactive, all cozied up in their houses, so we didn't go in. Zoralee was sleeping when we arrived, so I stayed in the car with her while Jason and Barb got a head start on the Japanese Gardens next door. When Z awoke and looked out the window, she said, "Oh, shoot! I see the zoo!" How sad it was to tell her we weren't going inside! But at the Japanese Gardens there were fish, ducks, and beautiful plants and walkways. And a waterfall. We also ditched our plan to walk on the San Antonio River Walk, which was probably fine since the annual draining of it ended the day before. Lovely timing all around, eh? But we made do. We visited the Alamo. We ate at a great Thai restaurant. We found ourselves sitting in a hotel lobby with 50 strangers, all of us sloppy-haired and in our pajamas, due to a middle of the night fire alarm. And we hit a jackpot shopping center: The Quarry Market. It was a taste of the northwest, and I was brought nearly to tears by the experience. It deserves its own blog post. We made some hearty memories with Barb, or Nana.

Zoralee still refers to her bed as Nana's bed, since that's where Barb stayed. Turns out that Barb is Z's best fast dance partner; they really get down together, wild head shakes and everything. Jason is Zoralee's best slow dance partner. Oh how this child loves to dance. Okay, I broke the ice and may as well say a few words about Z. I am trying with renewed effort to get rid of her cradle cap (dry scalp) from babyhood, so this week we've had a series of oil-and-brush-the-head sessions. She likes to follow up with getting out my supposed cradle cap. Today she brushed my hair for 10 minutes. It was dreamy. It's impossible to get all the oil out of her hair with one shampooing, and senseless to try too hard since I am re-oiling it the next bath, but boy does Z look like a grease-ball in the meantime. Welp, here's one more Z quote from out of the blue a few days ago, and then I'm on to something else. We don't know where she got this, but she stated it clearly several times, so we weren't mishearing her.
            Z: Papa, Mama has a condition.

*   *   *   *   *

Switch of gears!

We've been dreaming again about our own little homestead. This time, though, it may be a necessity as much as anything. There is limited housing available - practically nothing to rent - in the North Dakota town we're heading to, so it's either purchase something we really don't care for, or make our own place. Problem: Jason has a full time job, and we want to have a livable place within a few months. On the other hand, Z and I will probably be in Montana for the spring, birthing a new family member and whatnot, so Jason'll have some evening and weekend time to kill anyway. Why not set up a homestead, I say! Sure beats playing X-Box.

Dream mode is so danged fun, right? There have been a few projects / trips in our married life that have consumed us for weeks or years, and this is one of them: our own  place - functional, intentional, as off the grid as possible, a whole wall of the living room actually a rock-climbing wall, living in tune with our surroundings. So the dilemma is, how much effort do we put into a place in North Dakota, where we'll likely only live for a few years? We're thinking of this particular place as a prototype. Iron out all the kinks, learn from our mistakes. Jason has specifically gotten really interested in permaculture, which, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, is "an agricultural system or method that seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings so as to create highly efficient self-sustaining ecosystems." Sounds pretty brainy, if you ask me. So I let Jason worry about the whys and hows, and I jump in when there's a clear cut chore to do, or if something needs poked fun at. But check out this website:

When we dive into the back-to-the-land subculture that seems to be primarily populated by hippie types, we find ourselves a little annoyed. Well, Jason more than me, but I can understand it. I think it's because he and I seem to have been placed in that category ourselves by some who know us. I am laughing now, because if I were to list off some of the reasons for that stereotype, it would appear obvious that we ARE hippies after all. But we differ from them, as a whole, on lots of issues and in lots of ways. We flip between NPR and Fox News, to get an earful from both sides. We have good hippie friends whom we love and good Walmart-shopping friends whom we love. That's just the way of it. My point is, any group who is apparently counter-culture just for the sake of being counter-culture starts to look foolish when they all own the same clothing and use the same jargon and believe the same things. It can be said of any group, of course. It just doesn't feel right to be stuck in one category - almost any category! However, it's a fact of life that unless you invent a totally new clothing style or way of speaking, you're going to look like some group of people. Anyway, we've been thinking and dreaming and reading about self-sufficiency (and small community-sufficiency, making your own stuff, home-schooling, quality of life over quantity of possessions, etc.) for 7 or 8 years now, and I have found it interesting the wide range of people with whom we have these commonalities - from those on the far political left to those on the far political right, and lots of ages.

I am not necessarily going to develop these ideas further on this post, or go back and organize them. I choose tonight instead to continue with stream-of-consciousness blogging.

Speaking of dreams, isn't the word "daymare" ingenious? It really captures the mental life of an imaginative worry-wart. A daymare is like a nightmare, but you're awake. So tonight when I was putting Zoralee to sleep, I had a ridiculous daymare that I would be tucking in our new baby and somehow a string from my shirt would get wrapped around one of its toes. When I stood up from the bed, I would turn very quickly to leave the room, not realizing the baby was still attached to me. The string would break, naturally, as soon as the baby's full weight was on it, sending him to the floor. I was able to dismiss that daymare, reasoning there's no way a string could wrap around the toe enough times. UNLESS! Unless I do that circle snake-dancer thing that I like to do in front of babies to get them to sleep! Oh no.  

Anyway, if you read this far, why not answer this question in the comment area? Let's see...the question is: would you rather pee every time you sneeze or poop every time someone says your name (from one of the Would You Rather websites)? Shoot. This isn't even a quandry, right? Who would pick pooping? I know from personal, current experience that peeing when you sneeze is nothing. But pooping when someone says your name? That's ridiculous. Okay, don't let my thoughts color your answer.


Rena said...

I loved ALL of your random blog, and catching up a little more on your everyday lives. I check the computer every morning to see if you or Rachel posted new things, and finally I was rewarded!! ☺

Can't wait to hear more about the Quarry Market.

And, since you asked, I would just choose not to pee little bits in my underpants when I sneeze. One of the remaining side-effects of several long-ago pregnancies.

Rachel Clear said...

I pee every time I sneeze, so yeah, I'll just stick with that.

I loved this post. Your thoughts on the hippie culture are EXACTLY like some thoughts I have on the birth culture. I was actually taking a break from writing that post to read this one. Weird!

Great post. Great thoughts, sis.

Shana said...

First off, I LOVE the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and sorry, Jason...not any exciting pics!!! ha ha. And, Lori~did you all figure out your condition??? Have you guys tried plain ol' dish soap on her cradle cap? That is what I have patient's use (you'll need Jason to help so you can hold her upside down a wee bit so it doesn't get into her eyes) but think soap breaks up grease and that is what cradle cap is...

Never mind about what your condition is....I think that is summed up pretty well in your very last paragraph!!! Love you, girl!

By the way, are you serious about a rock climbing wall in your living room? Can we come visit?!

melissa said...

okay, obviously I choose peeing. I have a 'thing' about poop, and there ain't NO HOW i'm volunteering to poop every time someone calls me up to the front of the church/classroom/la leche league meeting!!!

You have a thing about baby toes and fingers, don't you? Didn't you have daymares about people's babies getting their fingers caught in sweaters around the world? Or hair wrapped around them or something? I mean, it's no frog phobia, but it's weird. Just sayin.
(I'm joking)

melissa said...

pps, for Riley's psoriasis on his head I was recommended to use Neem/Emu soap (bar, not liquid), and to rinse it once a week in organic apple cider vinegar that has particulate in it (like cloudy, not clear--it has to do with processing but I can't remember the details). It works like a charm.

2 Moms of a Feather...Stick Together said...

Hey I would not want to do either.;-)
But, I do have a comment about housing...
I think those little small houses are pretty neat...they are wooden & can be on wheels...not a mobile home or modular home or even a camping trailer...but the other...
Anyway, my family could never fit in one...maybe I need one for my self when all the kids are gone.
Thanks for all the thoughts!
Love ya,

tamie said...

Dude, it's totally the pee answer. Obviously! Who picks pooping? Geez.

I'm at the end of my residency, and it's been a HELL of a residency, but I've learned a lot, so in the spirit I would like to say that what I love about your writing is your *voice*. You have a particular voice. It rocks. I could read your writing on absolutely any subject. And actually, I feel that I *have* read your writing on any/every subject. Good, good stuff.

lori said...

Thanks for reading, everybody, and commenting! Right - I think we're all in agreement about peeing.

Shana and Melissa - thanks for the soap suggestions. I hadn't encountered that advice before, but you can bet your bippies I'll try it now. And Melissa, yes, it is something about fingers and toes, because I also really fear kids getting their fingers slammed in doors. I have in mind a way I'm going to train my children to shut house and car doors, whereby they look around the ENTIRE door first, watching for fingers. I will even have them practice with fake fingers, and see if they can find them before shutting. So, huh. Yep!

Nancy - those little houses are awesome. I read one article some years ago about a lady who kept exactly 200 possessions in her tiny house. I'm assuming that didn't count paperclips and such. But if she ever wanted to bring something new home, she had to get rid of another thing. We won't be trying for a tiny house, but hopefully for a smart one.

Tamie - it means a lot for you to say things about my writing, since I adore yours. I'm up for critique too, you know!

amy frances said...

Pee. Who comes up with this stuff??