Sunday, December 28, 2008


My mom passed away two days ago. It has been a horrible time and I'm not really sure why I'm putting it in a blog. I haven't called any of the people, except Bob, who are close to me because I just can't face it. I keep feeling like I am walking at the bottom of the ocean and that this can't be real. But it is. Thanks to everyone who has read my blog and left comments. This has been my touch stone to sanity and the real world. Things will return to normal in a few weeks and I know it won't always be this bad. People up here have been very very kind. On christmas day we had to rush to the hospital because mom wasn't doing well and the staff had gathe4redd about 100 gifts for Sophie and wrapped them so that she could have something to unwrap. A complete stranger held my hand and prayed for me. That really helped. I don't even know who she is to thank her. My mom's father in law always called her Glorious, instead of Gloria and she really was. I am glad I was able to be here this year to be with her and to let Sophie know her grandmother. We are taking her body to Utah next week to bury her by her mother. I hope she is with her mother now. My wonderful hsuband gave me the freedom and his blessings to stay here and care for her and I will always be so thankful to have him. Anyway more later as life returns to normal. I never know what to write in these situations when they happen to someone else. I just usually try ot move to another country to try to escape the pain. So for all the people I didn't help, I'm really sorry, I didn't understand. Love to all my friends. Valerie

Friday, December 26, 2008

poor little nadia

Not a creature was stirring, except stewart little, maisy and Nadia Commenichi. We have captured 3 mice, just 475 more to go. We catch them by leaping and screaming and pushing them into a brita water filter pitcher. When it is warm enough we will release them into the wild. Or the neighbor's back yard. Poor little Nadia got her name because she usually is hanging from the mesh ceiling, little tears running down her mouse cheeks and splashing onto her tiny little medal.

Friday, December 19, 2008

baby Jesus barbecue

Merry Christmas to all, this is Sophie's baby Jesus barbecue scene. She puts the mangers together and has the Jesus Families drive in a mini van to each other's homes. The wise men and the sheep look as if they were in a bad mini van accident on I-95, it was really Sophie and a red sharpie. That also explains the blood of the lambs on some of the lambs. Sophie added the lounge chairs and the giraffe. I think the Jesus's would be pleased. She has shunned the oversized wiseman who she thinks is carrying a hat full of barbaque chicken, and she thinks the angel is the blue fairy. It may be time for a crash course in Religion. I am asking anyone who reads this to list their favorite Christmas tradition. My favorite of course is the soon to be annual Christmas barbecue. Our only tradition other than that is the annual fight over the christmas tree. when to get it when to decorate it, do we really need all this crappy Christmas music, that's Ebeneezer Bob's addition. A few years ago when he wouldn't go to get a tree the night i wanted I went by myself. The tree fell of the top of my V.w. bug and was run over by a truck and two cars. I took it home anyway and cut off and enormous amount of thumb meat while trying to make it fit in the tree holder. The tree had huge empty chunks that the tires took out and my own blood. Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight. Valerie

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ho ho ho

These are pictures of Christmas spirit in my neighborhood. It's not my yard, mind you, my yard still has a fine sheen of Halloween cob webbing, but belongs to my quirky interesting neighbors. Happy Christmas. Valerie

Monday, December 1, 2008

Help, Help

I am sending out a desperate plea for help. Anyone having a broken breadmaker that they would like to get rid of, I would love to have it. I will gladly pay shipping. I need this because I threw away my mother's broken breadmaker. If you have been following this blog you know I am staying at her house looking after her as she has cancer. I spent the first few months at her house (it's been a year now) playing clean house and throwing out things like her broken breadmaker and her vast collection of M.C.Hammer pants (no lie, she was saving them because she was convinced they would come back in style) Why you ask would anyone throw away their mother, who has cancer's beloved broken breadmaker well the answer is I am a horrible person and in fairness she has every cooking item even invented and can't cook a thing. Now she is feeling better she is playing pioneer. we (I mean me) chop wood, hang our clothes on the line and grow our own vegtables. If there was a stream near by i would be required to beat the clothes on a rock. Anyay I told her the bread maker was in the basement with the other broken useless items we save forever in case someone in our family opens a broken humidifier store. Any way I have had to develop a whole story around the breadmaker but she is threatening to go in there and search. The humidifier avalanche would probabally maim if not kill her outright. She handled the news of terminal cancer well but hearing of the breadmaker's demise would prove too much for her. She would begin her own private jihad. I can't afford any more jihads. It was the breadmaker that looks like r2 d2 from starwars. I would really appreciate it. Thanks and Happy Holidays. Valerie

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Angelina Hallowina

Halloween has come and gone. It was a great time this year. I love Halloween and the tiny terrorist is following in my footsteps. Candy and Spooky stuff. Hoo Boy! The evening was marred slightly by an industrial accident. Just before time to go to the fabulous neighbors, they really are fabulous, both lawyers, both cute as buttons and both appear to be about 17,with two cute well behaved tow headed children. anyway they were having a little get together so while rushing to get Sophie ready, decorating the yard with a full size coffin and screaming at Sophie that "Aquarium water is not for drinking by humans" she said mommy "why is there hair stuck on your lip. Snotty kid. So I chose this moment to wax my lip. Not really wax so much as pulling all the skin off one side of my upper lip. The left side of my lip curled up like a slug when you put salt on it. It actually blocked my breathing for a while. It's alright though I got plenty of air rolling around the bathroom floor screaming and flopping about like a hooked trout. Later in the evening I had a bite of hot pizza they tell me I flat lined for 3 minutes. I think I played it off alright. Most people just assumed i was dressed as a sneering Elvis or an over the hill angelina/cathy bates look alike. Anyway the glamour keeps on coming. Happy Halloween. Valerie

Friday, November 7, 2008

Amityville Mouse house

Since I have been staying up at mom's, Bob has been allowing a few guests to stay in our house, as he works two jobs and rarely uses it. I know when I write that, Bob will worry that we will now be robbed. I am skeptical that any self respecting burglar will travel cross country to steal either our t.v. with the rabbit ears or our casio stereo. At one time we had a real stereo until the tiny terrorist used the c.d. slots for bric a brac holders.
Maybe they would like some of our cat clawed furniture?
I think we are safe since robbers rarely read mommy blogs.

Anyway, there are hobo's in the living room, freshly mauled possums in the yard, a chupacabra in our bedroom, when not busy mauling possums, and now mice under the sink.
I suspect they don't always stay under the sink.

I discovered the mice when one ran across my bare foot upstairs. I responded the same way I would of to meeting Freddy Kruger in the shower, and I am not even afraid of mice.
I see evidence of mice under the kitchen sink it looks like a mouse gas station bathroom. We put down humane traps which we hear them laughing at in the night. In the morning we find tiny little party hats and beer bottles.

Last week i found one floating in the dog's water bowl. I suspect irresponsible binge drinking.
So if anyone has a little mouse guillotine or electric chair that we could use we would be grateful. I will have to do it. Bob has never recovered from the scene in the ten commandments where the horses drowned.

Valerie, the future mouse slayer.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I left something out of my favorite things, possibly because Sophie and I are playing Hostage-tea-party while I am trying to write. This is a game she made up. Picture you are taken hostage in Iran and are forced for hours to drink tiny, tepid cups of tap water against your will while you make small talk about your doll children and Curious George.
If you will scroll backwards to the "Hippest Mom" post, you will see a comment, or shall I say, rant by my friend, we will call her Bad, Bad Victoria Brown for the sake of anonymity. Anyway I have been trying to get her to write a blog for ever because she is so funny. She chooses not to because she is also selfish and bad.
Victoria is one of those annomoolies, a woman who is beautiful and funny. The funniness makes the beauty bearable and the fact that she doesn't appreciate that about herself. She looks and she hates this very much like Karen Walker on WIll and Grace, and even sounds like her. Look for her upcoming book, "English Beauty Queens I Have Known", and the sequel "Help, My Phone Is Bleeding". She lives in Virginia Beach and is currently raising a tiny Diva and a circus boy.
Picture actually has nothing to do with Bad, Bad Victoria, it's just one I like.

favorite things

My friend Kat recently listed some of her favorite things so of course I had to copy her. I started thinking about what my favorite things are. So here they are.

Of course family and friends, that goes without saying but for just things.

This room, our living room, makes me very happy especially when we have a fire and really good coffee.

The smell that touching tomato plants leaves on your hands. Gardening, The tomato plant is a picture of my garden at my mom's house this summer.

Sophie having friends in our neighborhood.

The beginning of a book by a favorite author.

Finding an episode of Law & Order with Lenny Briscow that I haven't seen.

Anything spooky or unexplained.

The fact that someone from Estonia looked at my blog.


Blog comments.

smothers brothers

People who are passionate about something.

Listening to David Sedaris on a book on C.D. on the long drive to and from my Mom's.

The beach in the fall

An interaction with a stranger that feels life changing, No smut please, I mean those moments you share with a stranger that feels very important. After my mother was diagnosed with cancer I was falling apart in the elevator at Walter Ried and a complete stranger wrapped her arms around me and told me it would be Ok. That seemed very brave and very kind to me.

The fact that chemotherapy exists.

Our old dog Lucy and our Chupacabra and possum mauler Lola.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

hippest mom ever

I took Sophie to the playground the other day. It was apparently cool young hip moms who know each other day. No one told me. To ease the agony of standing around making small talk with the jog bra set i ran around with Sophie, (see still young at heart) While trying to take a short cut i slammed my forehead smack into the blue rail booby trap used to hold up the giant slide. I hit it so hard it knocked me off my feet and flat on my back. I couldn't even move i was just lying there seeing stars. I could hear the other mothers forming a committee to pick me up and take me to the E.r I could hear Sophie yelling Mommy what are you doing. I tried to say just taking a little break. I had to limp out of the Park while the twenty somethings supported the elderly. I still have a big red stripe on my forehead. Not so hip. Valerie

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

a small good thing

It's very lucky for moments like these, they balance the rest. Today she painted her eyebrows with Orange sparkle nail polish. Put her hands on her tiny little snake hips and announced. "That's it no more water for you." She will not be my caretaker when I'm old, or older, that's for sure. Valerie

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

spooky tart

I am writing this quietly, huddled in a back bedroom, listening for the tiny patter of plastic feet tiptoing up the stairs. Today I found spooky tart in the basement, She is a doll that a neighbor giave us. I love the neighbor, but am less enamored with spooky tart. She is I guess a lolita doll. She looks like a five year old with perky breasts and makeup and little plastic feet made for high heels. Anyway when I went downstairs to the spooky basement I found her laying on a mattress with a pillow under her head. Earlier in the day she was leaning in her usual sad neglected slutty way against an old couch. I know i saw her because when I did I remember thinking I could use her to get on the carpool lane. I guess we will just brick up the basement and wash our clothes down in the creek cause I am never going down there again. I wanted to get rid of spooky tart last year but couldn't think how. She was a gift so I couldn't give her to one of the neighbors. I couldn't bring myself to put her in a plastic bag and put her in the trash and I couldnt bring her the the local thrift stores, my neighbors go there. I had visions of throwing her in a dumpster, someone seeing her and thinking it was a child (a slutty one, calling the police and it making the news. The neighbors would recognize their doll and hate me. A lot of thought goes into this. I can't bear to see toys thrown away, I mean dolls and stuffed animals, not puzzles or anything. I rescued a stuffed animal that someone threw away and I couldn't bear to see it lying on the road I had to pass it everyday on my way to work. It was a white bear with a red bow lying right next to the hampton roads bridge tunnel enterance. 8 months pregnant and drunk with hormones I got out of my car to run rescue the bedraggled bear. I know that all the people in traffic were saying "OH Fred, give that rally poor crazy old pregnant woman a dollar. Sophie has 11 million toys so she doesn't need any more but I always imagine they are laying there wondering what happned. Anyway I digress, if something happens to me tell the world that it was Spooky Tramp. Pictures of her to follow when it is light outside. Valerie P.s. Sophie seems to be flashing a gang symbol in the second picture so not only is our basement haunted but sophie is a Crip, those are her gang colors.

Monday, October 13, 2008

greyhound rescue

You know how it always seems like everybody elses family gets to go on vacation and have what looks like a pepsi commercial going on. This rarely happens for us but it did this weekend. My brother took us (Mom, Sophie and me) to a greyhound rescue reunion in Dewey Beach Delaware. (mom had a rescue greyhound for 10 years, she loved that dog) Everything went right, the weather was great, we laughed a lot. there were one million nice people with their rescued greyhounds and there was pizza. Thanks Scott, this will be a day we always remember. The tiny pumpkin queen was angry because she wanted to go play with new friend Zuess, actual name Jesus, but she can't pronounce that. Valerie

Friday, October 10, 2008


We are all up at Walter Ried again, for Mom's chemo. Things have been going really well, She seems to be doing well, Sophie is being good and at the moment there have been no major fights. Funny thing is now I feel like sobbing. I am scaring my three year old to death. she keeps saying "Mommy, what's wrong" Don't know whats wrong. Either I feel comfortable enough now to have a good cry and picked a very public time or this just seems like a good time for a complete breakdown since I am already at the hospital. Someone was nice enough to ask about adding me to their circle or friends or something like that. I tried to answer yes but ended up frying the whole computer. So if someone from homeland security shows up at your house I apologize. valerie

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cemetery Candy

Happy Halloween!!! This is my really great picture of Sophie lou Who, age 3. It looks like my gifted daughter was able to look pensive and waiflike on cue. The truth is she found an opened cough drop in the cemetary dirt and promptly popped it in her mouth. I may not get mother of the year again this year but I do draw the line at eating candy out of the dirt of the dead. I should get some credit for taking her out of the cemetary when a very scary looking homeless man wandered out, mumbeling to himself. This was just as the light was getting atmospheric. If you compare this to my friend Kat's blog, she is making applesauce with other perfect oregon mothers while I am teaching sophie how to dodge dangerous homeless persons.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Professional Friend

This is Sophie and her Dad. He is a therapist which I think is fortunate. If you ask him what he does for a living he will tell you he is your friend for money. Funny Man. 10 things about him. ( I stole this from the next blog over) 1. He loves archeology. 2. and me and Sophie. 3. He is very very patient unless you throw away something of his. then you have to hide out in another country. 4. He loves power tools and guards them jealously. 5. He makes great chicken Fajitas. 6. He is a good son, evidenced by the fact that he is not in jail or on the lam. And I love him, I must evidenced by the fact that I am not in jail on the lam or rehersing the 911 call from his mothers house. 7. he had the enormous good sense to marry me. 8. He likes everything by the Cohen Brothers and Quinten Terrentino. 9. He hates to crush ants or anything for that matter he still feels bad about the horses that drowned in the 10 commandments. 10. He keeps me laughing. "cats on fire"

Monday, September 22, 2008


I have followers, this is very exciting to me. I look every day to see how many people read this. This blog site tells you 200 some now. I don't even care that most of them stumbled here accidentally because i have the word chupacabra in one of my stories. Two is not exactly Jim Jones and the KooL aid status but hey. It is worrisome that both of my followers pictures look like they are in the witness protection program. This means one of two things A) both of my followers are uni bombers or B) They are so embarrassed that they prefer to remain anonymous. You go followers. Valerie Em

Thursday, September 18, 2008

go to the basement and bring me a bottle of green hair

Since I have been staying with my mother we have been writing a book of her memories, she wants me to pass this on to Sophie one day so she will know her history. She is afraid that I will lie to Sophie and make up a more interesting history. She may be right. Her memories usually could be ripped straight from a walt disney movie with singing mice and little birds holding up her poplin dress. The only interesting stories begin "well we don't need to tell everyone that one". Like the time my uncle ran over someone, he didn't actually run over him he was guiding a truck backwards and had the guy back right over someone. He didn't get fired either. very different world. I was tasking myself on the long drive b ack to Norfolk to think of my own childhood memories and the one that comes back the most strongly is the bottle of green hair. We are Mormon's I didn't mention that did I. Mormon's believe that you should keep 2 years of food on hand and usually can their own food. My Grandma did. My grandparent's owned an orchard so my Grandma did a lot of canning. Every meal she would send me or my sister down to the basement, or dungeon if you are English, The basement was a concrete Bunker about 50 miles long. The only lights were in the middle of the bunker and you had to find a little bitty string the size of a cobweb in the middle of the dark room meanwhile the diabolical water heater would come on with a loud thud making all the blood in your body race to your armpits. After you got the peaches you were required to turn off the light and transverse the 50 miles of darkened bunker to make it to the stairs. My grandfather built the house and he put a dark hole at the bottom of the stairs to keep monsters and spiders I think. The only way to make it up the stairs alive was to run and leap up the first three stairs and keep going. If you fell on the concrete stairs and they became slick with your blood it didn't matter the important thing was to just keep going. At the top of the stairs my Grandparent's kept coats , million year old robes and hats making the top of the stairs look like it was populated with corpses dressed for inclement weather. After this ordeal at the top of the stairs if your sister hadn't locked the door you would proudly give the peaches to your grandma who would promptly send you back downstairs to get the old peaches from the back. Despite the fact that we lived in an orchard in the winter we never had a luscious pink and yellow peach instead we got the peaches from 10 years ago. For those of you who have never had a 10 year old peach you don't know but they look like a giant hairball kept in a glass jar by Hannibal lectern. My grandmother dyed them different colors so they looked like festive goiters.She served them on a bed of creamy cottage cheese.


This is a mermaid I painted for Sophie's room. The pencil work around it is Sophie's rendition of water. Valerie t

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I am writing tonight with my jaw clenched so tightly that several of my molars have snapped off. My mom, the cancer patient, thats right. Has been teaching the three year old Sophie to add Y to the end of everything. Babytalk Yuck!! so it's not a blanket but a blankey and a veggie and a doggie and worst of all a meaty. It shouldn't be so irritating but it's been a really long day. My mom insists on cabbage and ham for dinner, this is voluntary, we are not prisoners of war or anything. She doesn't want to be a bother so she will make it rather than eat leftover but good enchiladas. This sounds nobel unless you understant that her right hand doesn't work all that well so it would be cabbage ham and little bits of her thumb. The cabbage is so predictably bad that the thumb could only have improved it. Now mom wants Icecream, easy enough unless you are my mom, she wants strawberries blended with them, the strawberries that are frozen to the consistancy of river pebbles, so after I attempt to blend them in the blender I then have to strain the milkshake for big shards of the plastic spoon that shattered in the blender. I am doing all this blinded by the milkshake and frozen strawberries that are dripping off my eyebrows into the strawberry slop. The entire time mom is advising me on every step including my breathing and anger management techniques. But now the day is over and life at the moment seeems pretty good. Mom's chemo is working really well, she has never been sick one time. She and Sopnie love each other and sophie is sleeping soundley in her little Dora underpants. I have been teaching her to say please and it is working. the last thing she said to me before falling asleep was Please don't be really horrible. Mom's really old blender is smoking softly on the back porch so it won't ignite and burn down the house and I have the new Elizabeth George book on tape to listen to (careless in Red) really good. So while I complain I have a lot to be greatful for.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Today we are up at Walter Ried Hospital, while my mom gets chemo. She was diagnosed with inflamatory breast cancer in November and given 2 months to live. They said there was no hope at all. Cancel all magazine subscriptions and go home and wait. Very horrible. It is September and she is doing very well.
I wish I could say our story was the kind you see on lifetime but the reality was very different; my sister and I promptly turned into something you might see on Jerry Springer, all we needed was a naked dwarf to fight over, and my Mom promptly turned in Zha Zha Gabor. We have had 3 rounds of chemo and one million shots and pills. They sent me home to take care of her with this advice: give her the big shot at a 45 degree angle. It was terrifying. Every time she said she was cold I thought it was the end. There were no soft focus moments where we shared secrets and lifes meaning but rather moments where she thought I might be the dumbest human alive because I used a steak knife to butter bread. She is using our time together to turn me into Marie Osmond.
In the beginning I spent a lot of time changing sheets and trying to be the perfect nursemaid. I cried all the time and completely fell apart. After on grueling day of changing all the bedding and scrubbing rugs, these are the things they don't show on lifetime, Sophie brought me a little gift, her sippie cup "whats this sophie" she had thoughtfully pooped in the cup and put the lid back on. This was the first time I laughed in months. Anyway things are a little better now. Her chemo is working, she will not go into remission but will get more time. To complete my transformation probabally, look for me with big hair and suntan hose, maybe competing on dancing with the stars.

Monday, September 1, 2008

She talks to dead animals

We recently lost our beloved cat eddie, not lost him really, we know where he is, buried in the yard. He died. It was unexpected and we had a mad dash to the vet where he was put to sleep, another lie, he is not sleeping, anyway I couldn't bring myself to tell sophie so i just said he was at the dr.'s He stayed at the dr'.s for several weeks untill i worked up the nerve to tell her he had died. That was tough. Lots of questions about jesus keeping our cat, which doesn't seem fair. This is the second cat death, the first was Norman Bates who was about 25 when he died. Sophie used to say he was her favorite cat, then she liked Eddie best and he died, then she liked Phoebe, age 22 at the time of her unfortunate death. Now we forbid her to have favorites, we only have Lola, Lucy and Roxanne, (princess bitch kitten) left.
Anyway Sophie has taken to calling the dead pets on an antique telephone. She sounds really convincing. She pauses and laughs and says "really". It's really chilling. My mom explained to me once that pets are put on this earth to get us used to death. Her most bizarre pronouncement to date. If that's the case I will just get really old pets from the pound. Extra practice that way. Anyway we miss Eddie, he was a great old cat.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I just finished some murals at a hospital and wanted to show them off. I have been doing murals for a few years and really enjoy them. The tiny tyrant stayed home with dad, when I got home they both looked exhausted.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


We are the only family in the neighborhood who own a chupacabra, we do not feel fortunate. The chupacabra came to us by way of the Richmond SPCA. The picture showed this leggy, sweet little puppy who had been locked alone in an abandoned apartment building. We have come to believe that she lived there with a family of five, and then there was one. I am sure they left out the fact that when they found her she was surrounded by the carcasses of Mexican goats, most suspicious. Chupacabras, for those of you too young to remember the x files, is a Mexican vampire dog, or something like that. Anyway they feast on goats, and couches and shirts and chairs and tin cans.

Lola, from the moment we got her, has been working to ruin our lives. We put her in the yard and she eats all the shirts off the line. jumping about 5 feet in the air to get them. We put her in the house and she stomps on our feet and ate our couch but not before eating or just opening 6 types of oil paint and walking around the house leaving 5 million permanent footprints. (She really did eat the Couch, at least she opened all the pillows and ran around in the down that fell like snow).
In our yard with the 6 foot fence we have found several murdered pigeons and a possum, the other suspect is a modest sweet retriever named Lucy. I think that there is a plot because my friend Kat also has a chupacabra, they don't call it that, they call it Rocket, but I know the truth. because the truth is out there.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I am starting a blog at the insistence of my insane, persistent, Italian friend. Writing about my experiences as the second oldest living human to give birth. The first being that 68 year old Romanian woman. She and I will probabally do daycare for each other. I am 47 with a three year old who is the other baby from the title.

Since I rarely re-read or even think as I write, there will be spelling, grammatical and syntax errors. Which my Italian friend will change when she sees them.
I once mispelled public on a big sign that sat infront of Web center, I forgot the L. It read pubic welcome, and they were. True story.

Anyway I digress, there may be others close in age who had similar experiences, experiences like sitting in a waiting room full of dewey skinned 20 somethings who rode their mountain bikes to the obgyns, while I sat there dewey as the crypt keeper quietly sobbing so sure that I had miscarried. I was the most nuerotic pregnant woman ever. Ever!!! My obgyn used to let me come back and have a sonogram to stop my crying so I wouldn't scare the babies in the waiting room waiting to experience natural childbirth.

Sophie, or Rosemary's other baby, was a C section, absolutely greatest easiest thing ever. I know a lot of you are saying "Oh but what about the Joy of natural childbirth?" WHAT!!! Okay anyway I got through the pregnancy and have beautiful little Sophie. Due to only ingesting coffee and coffee icecream throughout the pregnancy she is a little hyper. Strangers, in an attempt to be kind, say "determined" but the truth is she is channeling Osama Bin Laden. She has completely knocked all the arrogance out of me. I have spent 20 years working with children with emotional problems, problems like stabbing people when they didn't get what they wanted and stealing school busses, but my tiny darling seems more challenging then all of them put together. I knew absolutely how to do this and how all of my friends needed my advice. They all got the last laugh this time.

This picture, "sunblock" was taken yesterday. The tiny terrorist was sitting quietly while I stacked little cans of paint for a mural. She was apparently juggling them while I went for more paint. I heard her say "I'm sorry mama" (always a bad sign) and saw the puddle of white paint. I stripped her naked in the front yard, it's ok: naked is her favorite, and ran for the hose; meanwhile she darted out and put her hands and feet in the paint and rubbed it over her body and said "look, sunblock", this was happening simultaneously with my perfect neighbors Lenny,& Sand Adam & Maggie, walking up the sidewalk , on their way to a block party. These are the kind of neighbors who are always flying off to Paris or Guam and going to heavy metal concerts when not involved in spontaneous games of touch football and seem really put together. There I am ready to spray down my freshly painted infant with the hose while she prances around the yard in her dora underpants. The picture was taken by said neighbor Maggie the pregnant jetsetter while I tried to act casual about my parenting skills. These are the kind of events that those how-to baby books don't touch on. So if I did have the attention span to read them it wouldn't do any good anyway.

I had one of those episodes not covered in the baby books the other day. Little angelface was eating popcorn in the living room, naked, really good marshmallow flavored popcorn. When I went in, she said "look mama", very pleased with herself for having arranged the popcorn artistically in her little vagina, that should get a chapter all its own. I just stared at her dumbstruck, my friend Kat would have celebrated this with song and verse and congatulated her artistic sensabilities, I could just envision the horror of the CPS investigation. where I was forced to repeat the word vagina 100 times while telling my sordid tale, anyway I dont' know what to do in situations like this. I had her stand up and shake out the popcorn told her popcorn wasn't good when inserted in the wrong end of the food chain, and then we vacuumed up the vagina flavored popcorn. End of life lesson. When she asks me why we have to do things my way I tell her "it's because I'm bigger and stronger", but since I am old and she is very tall this logic may not get us through the third grade. The letters at the end of my run on sentences are not a secret language or a term of endearment, like my friend Victoria thinks, but merely all the mistake letters that I shovel to the end and leave. more later Valerie rinly a. found pv e agpioroahd ma