ArchivesOctober, 2012

25Oct

Lately I seem to have morning disease, so if you’re not bored with more tales of me in my pajamas read on. Otherwise go back to doing something more important, like playing words with friends, mixing up the low sodium/sodium soy sauce, or denying doing both of those things to your boss. The one with high blood pressure.

A pajama backstory:

I wake. I focus my eyes. There is a large smudge upon my white comforter. Okay, that’s either chocolate or poop. Cat poop. Not people poop. I don’t know why that makes a difference, but cat poop- despite being really gross doesn’t carry the stigma of why it would be there. It’s cat poop. Cat. Need I say more?

Anyway, the smudge in question is brown. It could be chocolate. It’s likely chocolate. After all what woman worth her estrogen doesn’t eat chocolate in bed on a daily basis? But I suspect it’s probably cat poop. Wisely I refrain from tasting it to find out. My suspicions are confirmed when the cat leaps up by my face and the smell overtakes me.

I grab him and subject us both to the wet paper towel treatment. This involves a series of run and hide moments, half roll of Bounty, and a lot of cursing.

Now I know you’re wondering why I don’t channel my inner Cruella DeVille, but we adopted him for better or worse.

This cat, one of two in our house, is a rescue- and probably a breeder dump. When I first laid eyes on him he was the most adorable kitten I’d ever seen. It was clear he was a Bengal cat, and that alone should have aroused my suspicions. No one dumps a pretty little purebred unless you’re Brad Pitt with Angelina on the line or an unscrupulous breeder.

My daughter was in love and I too fell for his spectacular markings and jacked up hindquarters. We filled out the papers and claimed him after we were vetted. Pun intended because we immediately began our close relationship with the vet to cure his laundry list of maladies. All these issues were treatable with the exception of what has come to be known as “poopy butt.” Cats do not use toilet paper, so this is a problem.

Now if you are not cat owners (and if you are not, you never will be after this post) you probably don’t know that cats chose a pack leader. This is the dominant cat (or person) in the house, the one they generally curry favor with or come to with problems. I am this Cat Godfather. “Fredo, you must share your catnip with your bother.” They leave me little surprises in the form of dead wildlife trophies. This is the currying part. The problems are even more disgusting. I’m the one they cough up hairballs in front of, or the one whose bed they vomit upon. They’re smart, they want to make sure I- dominant cat- see it and cure whatever ails them.

Today’s pajama report:

I feel something cold sliding up my arm. It rallies my consciousness. Eyes still squeezed shut, I pray that it would not, could not, be what I suspect. I crack open my eyes, hoping against hope… horrors. My worst fears are realized. Cat!

Running to the bathroom now to scrub what’s left of my skin off…again.

18Oct

The kids are old enough that they no longer require the hot breakfast that I once force-fed them. They were the fois gras of children. Unlike the unfortunate geese however, the kids grew up and are now large beings able to grab a bagel and hit the ground running.

So I slept in today. Until 8:00. I haven’t done that in years. However, sleeping in didn’t make me feel more rested, it merely left me feeling guilty. I thought about heading to a 9:00 yoga class, but one more Namaste from a woman who cuts me dead ten minutes later in the changing room just won’t make my day. Unless of course, it’s Clint Eastwood style. Is it wrong to contemplate homicide during a downward dog?

I go brush my teeth and while I am there, I accidentally mist my pet orchid with hairspray. This is why I don’t have a dog.

I discover we are out of coffee. I pull on a pair of jeans with my pajama top and head to Starbucks. This is not good. It occurs to me if you’re 28 and still are wearing your pajamas and have sleepy bed eyes, it’s sexy. If you’re over forty it’s merely pathetic and the first step on the slippery slope to underwear from the old lady shop.

Horrified at the thought, I go home to inspect my lingerie, comforting myself with the large assortment of come hither thongs. The fact that most of them still bear their price tags shatters my illusions.

As I stand fondling my own unworn scanties, I find myself wishing I had spent my 20’s being a slut. As an adult I now admire that kind of fearlessness. Well…  fearlessness or a complete lack of self-esteem. And now that ship has sailed. Far far away.

I muse upon what I would have wanted chiseled on my fearless Facebook page:

Kate is a slut! She grew up in Chastity Ville and moved to Decadentity after getting her degree at the University Of Flaunt It If You’ve Got It, majoring in: teeny tiny outwear with a minor in thong crocheting. Her interests include corsets and not much else.

Large sigh for my responsible and unwasted youth.

Then I go to work. After all I’ve got a giant painting to make and later that pot roast won’t cook itself….

 

 

11Oct

This past weekend I added to my flock. No, I am not a preacher, heaven forbid. In every way. The flock to which I refer is an avian one. Poultry to be exact. And no- we do not eat them. My chickens are for egg production and Zen instruction only. I spend hours sitting and watching them go about the business of life, trying to learn the secret of their equanimity while eating hard boiled eggs.

There is no rooster. What? No rooster, you cry? Then how do you get eggs? Ha, silly people. One does not need a rooster for eggs, merely for baby chicks. Now, being prescient, and knowing how your perverted little minds work, I predict your next question is about how chickens have sex. My answer to you is: I have no fucking idea. Literally. No rooster. No chicken porn. Google it.

What I do have is a decent sized henhouse, a predator proof chicken run (wire fencing above and below), and a yard in which the girls are allowed free reign during daylight hours.  At night they dutifully put themselves to bed and huddle close upon their roost dreaming of a world filled with tasty bugs. I close the predator gate, as during medieval times- up the drawbridge at night to repeal the invading hoards, which in this case are raccoons, possums, and fox. Sleep tight ladies. In the morning those magical eggs appear and life is good.

Archimedes

The girls have names, absurd ones, but they own them. The big white one? That’s Archimedes.

Thing Two

I don’t know many chickens could make a name like Archimedes work, but she does it.  She is truly the ruler of the roost. It must be her ability to turn ordinary metals into gold. And Gigi? She’s the one with the feathery Manolo Blahnik feet.  Things One and Two are exact replicas of the Seuss characters unloosed by the Cat In The Hat. Our flock is completed by Einstein, our resident dumb blonde, and Helen. Her name may be ordinary, but she is nothing of the kind, sporting a multi-hued headdress and the loudest squawk in the coop. Life was good in the Ritz Carleton of Coops…

Stop! Hold the cyber presses! I must digress right now! A mere two minutes ago my personal newsgirl/best friend Jane Hanson brought to my attention that Neiman Marcus has just listed a henhouse for $100,000.00 in their Christmas catalog! This is news indeed, first because it’s stupid, but even more distressingly, it reduces my henhouse to the mere Motel 6 of coops.  My girls will be hopping with indignation. Or perhaps not. A safe environment complete with worms, corn cobs and a life span of more than six months- they are already living the high life. I should also bear in mind that they are my Zen masters. They live completely in the moment and want for nothing more than an overly ripe banana from the compost heap and a disoriented June bug for dessert.  My girls spit upon the preening pretensions of Neiman Marcus and thumb their beaks at chandelier lit brooding boxes.

Back to our story. Life was good. But then…

Disaster struck in the form of a hawk attack.  Two of my girls were killed and my flock reduced to four. It happened in daylight and in the blink of an eye. We now remove our hats for a moment of silence for poor Einstein. She never saw it coming. Her gorgeous hairdo obscured her eyes and perhaps led to her undoing. We lost our whimsical Thing One. And what’s Thing Two without Thing One? We do not like it Sam I Am.

We soldiered on, the four survivors and I. Sad but not inconsolable, until summer when the lack of eggs started affecting my social life. I had been a sought after guest amongst our crowd. Little did I know it was my hostess gift of a dozen eggs fresh from the chicken’s butt and not me that was so desired at dinner parties. I found myself wrestling my football playing son for the last egg in the box each morning when egg production dropped to three a day.

I looked into obtaining more hens but laying hens are not easy to come by. For those of you who have never channeled your inner Old MacDonald, the process of the chicken and the egg goes something like this: You order newly hatched chicks from a hatchery and they arrive via post office. Yes Virginia, babies come from the post office. Not all of them survive being shipped, but chicks are cheap and that’s how it’s done. I went online and chose a variety of “heirloom” chickens. I am an artist and if I was going to raise chickens, regular old chickens were not going to cut it. I was interested in diversity. I chose a variety of exotic birds and pressed “purchase”. I was duly informed that I must chose another 18 chicks if I wanted my order to be processed. Two dozen was the minimum order. The other difficulty lay in the fact that new chicks require months in an incubator. This was not going to happen. I am part time farmer, part time city dweller, and the idea of bringing them to an apartment during the week and having 24 cheeping hopping chicks in my apartment- just wasn’t going happen. Long story short, I had a chicken surrogate, someone who raised them until they were out of the incubation stage.

Increasing my flock was not going to be easy. Then last weekend at the local farmers market I happened upon a guy who wanted to reduce his flock. He had ordered a couple of dozen Araucana chicks- desiring those blue green eggs made famous by Martha Stewart pre-ankle bracelet. He was willing to sell me a couple.

So now, I am the proud chicken mama of three more ladies by the names of: Jane, Sacagawea, (don’t ask) and Lola. Right now, my original chickarinas are busy hazing them. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve raised a flock of mean girls. But pecking order with be re-established and the cliques will break apart and hopefully the sky won’t fall.

In memoriam.

Einstein

Thing One

 

 

 

04Oct

She’s not red but she’s mine.

The Little Red Hen. Is she the one who plants the wheat, tills the wheat, and harvests the wheat, all by her lonesome? Or is she the one who runs around shrieking, “The sky is falling?” Either way, I have an affinity for her. I always think the sky is falling. And I’m the one who plants the wheat, constantly asking the lazy duck, pig, mule, for help- only to receive disdainful looks and derisive snorts. In this case, the farm animals being a metaphor for my teenagers.  I am convinced that if they do not clean up after themselves the sky will fall. I admit it. I am Kate and I am a control freak.

I beg borrow and plead with my kids to make their beds, reduce the garbage in their rooms to a single layer- or even just get the wet towels into the hamper before they sprout mushrooms. Perhaps they like mushrooms. They never ever pull up the shades; cave being their preferred environment.  And said cave- should not grow stalactites.

My daughter’s room is awash with bra-revealing shirts (insert a chorus of “Put On A Sweater” key of C) and a running river of moisturizers that smell of a perfumery controlled by Keebler elves. My son’s room is a repository for every known piece of sports equipment, one of which requires tongs to be handled. You know which one I’m talking about.

I could do what every sane parent does and post a hazardous waste sign on their doors and pretend that behind it lies the three-headed dog from Harry Potter, but I don’t. My OCD insists I try to instill some sort of order- or at least curtail the smell.

This morning I made their beds “In case there is a fire and the firemen might see that a sloth lives there.” Then the dawning realization- this was my version of my own mother’s wearing clean underwear “In case you get hit by a car…” Oh, the horror of ambulance attendants seeing your shameful dirty panties held together with safety pins. Alarm bells! I will become my mother if I don’t put the skids on this right now. OCD be damned, let it go. Let it all go.

The sky will not fall, and there will be wheat. I’m going to take my hands off the wheel and hope the world doesn’t crash.  Somehow I think it won’t.