Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Child Lit Review

I'm a mom that reads to her kids.  A lot.  And yeah- I brag about it.  We are readers over here on Fieldstream Lane.  Now, being the avid readers we are, I've become a little picky about what I'll read to the boys.  Because, face the facts.  Some kids books are just dumb.  (The Christmas Helpers, Scamp Saves the House, the entire Biscuit Goes Somewhere and Does Something Pointless series.)  I never tell the boys I won't read a book they choose- but- gosh- sometimes I'm really struggling.  They are just futile.  I especially hate when I have to make animal sounds that are printed instead of left to the imagination.
Example:  While reading a book about farm animals I feel free to make the noises of baby lambs and waddling ducks.  It adds color and a personality profile to the book.  But while reading let's say a Biscuit book the noises the puppies make are printed.  As in:  Woof!  Woof!  and Arf!  *cringe*  It's so dumbed down.  Blech.

But!  Worse than any.  Other.  Kids.  Book.  Are The Curious George books.  My boys love Curious George.   I can't stand that little rascal.  First- the man in the yellow hat (probably gay (certainly not the reason I hate the books.)).  When is he going to figure out not to leave a terribly misbehaved monkey alone. I mean, EV-ER-EE-WHERE they GO!  He's all, "Chill here, George. I'm gonna go get hot chocolate!"  or "Don't get into trouble.  I'm gonna check on our order."  or "Wait here for me.  I'm gonna make an unimportant phone call."  As a parent, he should know, or at least catch on (!) that you just can't leave tots alone!  Especially when their name is Curious George.  I mean if the monkey's name was Well Behaved George or Never Causes Trouble George then I could see his reasoning.  Or.  OR!  If the man in the yellow hat had a more pressing (or believable) engaging and he was leaving George for a few seconds.  I could handle the books if it was "Wait in the car, George.  I'm going to pump the gas. I'll be able to see you through the windows."  But... no.  Every time the man leaves and every time George makes terrible terrible decisions.

Which brings me to my second point.

Curious George is beyond curious.  Curious would be little George wondering if he could pour the milk into his cereal himself.  He tries and Whoops!  spills a little.  Good try, George.  Or.. Curious could be little George wondering what happens when he brushes the dog's hair in the wrong direction. To me, being curious is tender and loving and basically harmless.  But ol' Curious George... He's far from harmless.  He's a real rabble-rouser.  He's a loose cannon.  Curious George becomes "curious" and climbs into a running dump truck and pulls all the levers.  Releasing literal tons of dirt into the middle of a pond.  Would you call that curious behavior?  Eh.... no.  In another book, Curious George becomes curious and steals a hot air balloon.  In another he lets all the animals out of the animal shelter.  He tangles all the balloons in the Macy's Day Parade.  And in each story someone is incredibly (and justifiably) furious with him.  Curious George runs away until someone else fixes the problem and then he re-appears and somehow becomes the hero and no one is ever mad. Ever!  Well, no one except me.

What enrages me is... What's the lesson being taught?  It appears to be, "Go ahead, kids.  Ruin everyone's hard work.  Do whatever the heck you want.  You can always run away, not apologize, and never get in trouble."

On the up side I'm launching my own children book series.  It's called Curious Patty.  It's about a sweet little monkey who is always curious.  Curious Patty often gets into trouble.  One day she doesn't listen to her friend, The Lady in the Purple Boots and Curious Patty gets put into time out for 4 minutes because she is 4 years old.  Curious Patty throws a fit.  She kicks and screams and tries running away.  But The Lady in the Purple Boots holds Patty in her timeout chair until she has calmed down.  Then sets the timer.  Curious Patty doesn't like her punishment but learns her lesson!

In another story, Curious Patty wonders about scissors.  She gets so curious and full of wonderment that she cuts up her friend's favorite scarf.  Curious Patty gets grounded!  And she's not allowed to play with scissors anymore!

In another one, Curious Patty won't eat her dinner.  She just wants dessert.  Curious Patty goes to bed hungry.
More titles that have come to me:
Curious Patty Hits Her Friend.  And has to apologize and make amends.
Curious Patty Uses Crayons Inappropriately.  She has to scrub the walls clean and can't use crayons for the rest of the day... heck... rest of the week!

I intend to write children's literature that means something.  That drives a point home.  And the point is CONSEQUENCES! 
So-long Curious George.  Have fun in Juvey!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sickness Begets Sickness

Remember in August when I was freshly 30?  I felt magical and confident.  I was queen of the hill.  And the little town below the hill.  And the whole world obeyed my commands.  I was the most beautiful girl in the land.  I was.... so... young and healthy.

That was a dream.

A few days before my birthday, and throughout the month of August I got laryngitis.  Which at first I thought was super sexy.  I just love me a woman with a low raspy voice.  It was super hot.  Until all my friends had heard it.  And I couldn't talk at all.  And it lasted for 4 weeks.
When my voice came back I started getting sick about once a week with the old pukies.  Just randomly I'd be sick.  And since I'm not on the super health-nut side of the scale.... I figured my body just didn't agree with a Big Mac AAAAAAnnnnd the 20 piece nugget.  and a large Cokey.  Or the next time it happened I figured the habeneros were a step too far and maybe I shouldn't have added them to my wing sauce.  I mean, come on.  Bear with me.  We all make dietary mistakes.  Coke and Froot Loops for breakfast constantly sounded good to me!
I am who I am.
All this vomiting climaxed a fateful day in October and I ended up in the emergency room.  They did emergency surgery to take my gull bladder out.  Which was full of gull stones and had collapsed upon itself.  Now, note.... I love saying "emergency surgery" because it makes me feel prominent and important... and, yeah, a little rich.  But I'm not foolin' anyone.  They treated me just like the next person with a bum gull bladder.
When the thing came out I felt a lot better.  I swore of Coke.  Still haven't had any.  I've been clean for 27 days.  Miss it like hell.
My high-rise to health... which was more of a hunched over, timid scuffle... you know... the incisions and what not.  It was short lived.
On Halloween I went trick or treating with my kids and had dinner with my sister.
Saturday morning I was back in the emergency room.
I thought I was having a heart attack.
They ruled that out.  And took like 15 more test before givin' me any meds.
I was sent home around noon being told I had Pleurisy.
Pleurisy is when the pleura around your lungs becomes inflamed and makes it extremely difficult to breathe.
They said after one painful week I'd be back to normal.
I would have given a sigh of relief but I couldn't muster up enough air.
Sunday I went back to the ER.  (Filling up my punch card.  I hear after 10 visits in a month you get a 5% discount.)  I had been throwing up about every 15 minutes for like.... 9 friggin hours.
After hours and hours of tests the good doctors told me I didn't have pleurisy.
I had a gull stone still floating around from my surgery and it had blocked my liver.  And all the bile was building up in my blood.
I was so relieved they knew what was wrong.  FINALLY!
I just started begging, "Put me under.  Put me under.  Put me under."
They refused.  Arrogant medical community.
I ended up getting jaundiced and none of those good good hospital drugs would help with the pain or the vomiting.
It was a rough day and a half.
In the morning they went through my mouth to remove the blockage.
When I woke up I felt like a new person.  Not pukey.  Not yellow anymore.  Just normal Patty.
Well... normal for what I gander an 80 year old would feel like.
I'm up to taking about 50 paces before I'm winded.
And sadly all those wonderful hospital drugs have worn off.

And I have a stinking zit on the inside of my ear.
But I'm hell bent on surviving clear to my thirty-FIRST birthday!
So don't you worry about me!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Garden Goodness

Kids and gardens and me just all go together. 
I love my kids.  I love my garden.  It's our favorite place to be.
I think Kole and Joey love it because they are free to eat whatever they want.
Their fingers, mouths, and spots they've touched on their bellies are constantly stained from fresh strawberry juice.  They also pick carrots out of the ground and eat those. 
Which is slightly less cool because it's basically eating a mud stick.  They don't even brush them off.  Yee-uck.
But picking beans off the vines and munching fresh raspberries and snap peas with my two little cubs- makes my life unbeatable. 
The boys light up when I say, "Let's go work in the garden!"  Of course, their idea of working in the garden is inspecting each plant, digging in the dirt for bugs, and eating what they consider to be ripe.  Poor Joey has eaten a lot of white strawberries this year.  But, he does so with a smile, and always says, "MMmm!  Love it!"

When the plants were just perking up. Circa mid to end of July.
When the boys checked on the potato plants they stuck their heads clear inside.  Very very thorough.

These gals are still cluckin' around.  And I've eaten a lifetime's share of omelets, egg salad sandwiches, and quiche.
After a hard days work- you gotta cool off in the kiddie pool and then get right back to tractorin'.  According to Joey.

It's a happy wonderful life at Crooked Row Farm.