thothmes: (AsgardPuppyEyes)
The Whirlwind was (finally) abed. Peace and contentment abounded. Beloved Husband has Tuesdays off, so we were enjoying a few moments of grown-up conversation, with me telling him the most interesting bits of new science/medical/archaeology abstracts that I was finding on-line, him playing a fairly old-style computer game [Empire] while the two of us were keeping half an eye on the NHL playoffs. The Siamese cat came strolling up to get some love and attention.

Something was wrong. Seal Point Siamese come in dark brown and cream, one shading into the other, with white on the tummy. They do not usually have goopy dark pink splotches. Something was wrong.

I gave the cat to Beloved Husband to wipe down with paper towel, and see what could be removed. I went upstairs to The Whirlwind's room, where the light was on.

"I told you if I found your light on after hours, the bulb would be confiscated, so that's gone," I said, "And where is the lipstick you stole from your sister and used on the cat?"

I saw the thing and picked it up, and waited for her answer. Ever seen Jack O'Neill caught red handed deny it absolutely?

"What lipstick?" said The Whirlwind. "Didn't do anything with lipstick!"

This was especially unconvincing since she had pink all over what she was wearing, her stomach, her neck, and in the general time zone of her lips. And I was holding the container that used to hold the lipstick, and its lid, and the pink-smeared tissues she'd tried to clean up a bit with. She's ten. The only way this could be less convincing was if she was a 6'2" fifty-ish male.

My expression registered Highly Dubious on the upper end of the scale.

"Well, maybe a little," she said.

"Go down and report to Daddy," I said, and took the lipstick to Middle Daughter.

"Is this the only one missing?" I said.

She checked.

"Whirlwind!" I called down "Where is the other one you took?"

"In the bottom drawer!" She answered.

At least there was some left of that one.

She and Beloved Husband spent half an hour sliming her with canola oil and wiping lipstick diluted with canola oil off her body. Eventually, she was deemed sufficiently unlikely to ruin clothing enough to don a different outfit and head off to bed, still rather pink, but no longer contagiously so.

The poor patient 16 year old cat has finally, finally grown her whiskers back from the trim The Whirlwind gave her some 6 months ago. The fur under her neck has finally almost grown back from the shave the vet gave her to be able to draw blood for testing back in December, when she went down to less than 4 lbs. and almost died. Now she's going to be splotches of pink for a while. The vet's gonna love that one when we see her at the end of the month.

Have I mentioned that we have forbidden The Whirlwind any makeup, no matter how innocuous and easy to remove, and told Middle Daughter that she needs to keep hers locked up, so that this sort of incident can't happen? That we have provided Middle Daughter with a lock box, which she occasionally uses?

Space aliens. I tell ya', I live with space aliens.
thothmes: Carter smiling by bookcases.  Mmmm!  Books. (Mmmm!  Books.)
First of all (and most closely related to the icon above) there's this:

The Whirlwind does not like to read or be read to, AT ALL. It is just hard for her to sit still that long, and she has resisted any book longer than a picture book like most kids resist a healthy serving of Spinach Liver Mushroom Surprise. That includes when we read them to her, and keep in mind that Beloved Husband and I are not the type to read haltingly in a monotone. We try to make it exciting, a dramatic production. We read with expression, and if it's me, I do the voices and accents. Beloved Husband, who knows what his strengths are and are not doesn't do accents, but does do voices. Neither of us are expecting an Academy Award or anything, but we do try to provide interest, and each one of my kids have been notable standouts among their classmates for reading with expression, because it never occurs to them that it would be otherwise. Be that as it may, I've carefully chosen chapter books that will speak to The Whirlwind's interests, and she has HATED having them read to her, even when she has loved the books when we get to the end of them. Reading, she hates it, she hates it, she does!

Well recently Beloved Husband went to a conference about treating a wide spectrum of childhood problems and disorders with in the context of the whole family. The man who was speaking was basically trying to transmit the message that what ever a kid's problem, whether it is ADHD, depression, teen drug use, etc., etc., etc., it cannot be divorced from genetics and the family setting. Okay. Well, duh! Little apples don't fall far from trees, but in our case, The Whirlwind is a graft, and although she is very much part of the whole, we can only take responsibility for the nurture part of the nature/nurture environment.

There was an interesting series of studies the man quoted, though, which showed some improvement in executive functioning following a program of daily reading to Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier. We suspect that any reasonable baroque keyboard works would do, although The Well-Tempered Clavier is notably spare, with a great deal of structure and counterpoint. We had already decided that The Whirlwind would have to earn TV by reading, because we knew what the more time she put in, the more fluent she became (she already reads well above grace level, in spite of putting little time in, but every bit helps) the more she could get sucked in to what she read. Based on the study (which we view with healthy skepticism, remembering well all the Mozart Effect hysteria of a few years back, which has not resulted in a spate of super-intelligent babies) we decided that it wouldn't hurt her, and who knows, it might help, so we told her that she would need to sit and read for half an hour each day, no excuses, while listening to music of our choosing. Turns out she really likes the Well Tempered Clavier.

So there she was, doing her daily reading, with a book I'd picked out for her as being right up her alley, a novel-length retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and when she was done, she said "You know Mom, I never knew before that reading could be so much fun!"

YAAAAAAAY!!!!!

I have no illusions that this will mean that she will suddenly morph into a bookworm. She is who she is, and she will always be a moving target. She will always prefer to do and actively experience, rather than read about it. But at least she now sees what all the fuss is about, and there is nothing more wonderful than transmitting a great joy and delight to a one's offspring.

And in other news, Only Son, who has been looking for a regular paid, salaried job in his field since he prepared to graduate in May of 2011 with a degree in computer science and a minor in philosophy, has finally landed one. As of tomorrow he will be a salaried employee. Mind you the salary is peanuts, but it comes with bennies and paid vacation and EVERYTHING. A real job.

Woot!
thothmes: Sam holds out a holographic heart to SG-1, Happy Valentines Day! (Valentine's Day)
Well, now that it's over (I love you all in a platonic sort of way, but I really put the emphasis on spending as much of this day as possible with Beloved Husband), I wish a Happy Valentine's Day! to you all. I understand that this is a very polarizing holiday, with True Believers, and Avoiders, and the Valentine's agnostics, who comment on the commerciality of the day and move on, but I'm kind of a fan, provided that the emphasis is on the silly (for the majority of the people in one's life), the [non-material] exchange of the expression of sentiment (for that one special person, when and if there is one), a gentle and subtle soft-peddling for the recently bereaved, also provided that there is a TOTAL AVOIDANCE of occasions where people [Elementary schools, I'm looking at you!] are put into the position of seeing others have their mailboxes run over while they themselves receive a pittance. Charlie Brown needs to have as nice a time at the party as the Little Red Haired Girl.

And how, you may ask, did The Whirlwind's Valentine's Day go?

Well, since you've asked... )
thothmes: Sam Carter head down and smiling in reaction to Jack O'Neill.  Legend: Snort! (Snort - Proving Ground)
So recently [livejournal.com profile] a_loquita posted a lovely little (sam/jack) fiction involving ridiculous instructions, The World's Dumbest Instructions, to which I replied with a snippet of comment fic. In the replies to that the subject of warning labels came up, and that inspired this:

Title: Caution. Coffee Is Hot.
Season: While Jacob and Selmac are blended, Daniel is alive, and Jack's a Colonel
Spoilers: Uh...No!
Warnings: Nope. And Fig? It's Certified Shipfree. Maybe even FairTrade.
Synopsis: It's a universal constant, along with death and taxes.

Caution. Coffee Is Hot. )

***************

I also have a humorous little vignette from my life to share with you all. It's a look into what makes parenting so rich, varied, and unpredictable.

In Which The Whirlwind Gets A Record )


***************


Sorry if I may have ruined anyone's illusion that life in the country is placid and slow-paced, but come on up to Vermont and spend your tourist dollars anyway. After all, there are some 255 towns in Vermont, and only one of them contains the Whirlwind!
thothmes: Jack in Ba'al's holding cell is yelling at Ascended Daniel.  Legend: Aaaaaaarrrrrgh! (Aaaarrrrgh!)
I just wanted to post to let folks know why I have been rudely ignoring them.

I haven't really.

On June 8th we had a couple of sizeable thunderstorms come through here, and this caused us to lose both power and phone. When the phone came back on a few hours later, it was at best unreliable. On our end, sound kept dropping out. The folks we were talking to heard plenty of crackling and static.

This made connecting to our dial-up internet an impossibility. I got about an hour in while sitting with our laptop at one of my kids' weekly appointments, because the building has free wi-fi, and I mostly used that to answer my personal e-mails. We finally got connectivity back here a few hours ago, and then I had some business transactions I needed to take care of before I could get down to socializing.

So if you asked me a question or sent me a response, and you got no reply [*How rude!*] it wasn't because I was lazy or ignoring you. I just was "away".

Back now. Hopelessly behind. I'll be working hard to catch up about in time to go out of town for a week for the last week of June. At least then I'll be able to take the laptop with me, and I'll be heading into the land of wi-fi and fast internet!

So anyway, I'll be getting back to you all as soon as I can, provided I don't have to take too much time out building an empty padded room for the Whirlwind of Destruction to bounce from wall to wall in without wrecking anything. School ended today, and she's been in rare form lately.

Exciting Adventures of the Whirlwind, and Floral Enthusiasm behind the cut )

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thothmes: Gleeful Baby on Bouncy Horse Riding Toy (Default)
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A Few Words From The Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.
-The Maxims of Ptahotep

In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.
- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.
-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.
-Wendell Berry

Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
-Robert Burns

Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui

Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.
-Ch'ien Ch'i

Mistress of high achievement, O lady Truth,
do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.
-Pindar

Every Gaudy colour
Is a bit of truth.
-Nathalia Crane

I counted two-and-twenty stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks.
-Samuel Coleridge