The sheep are all in the winter pasture up by the house here still and I can't wait to get them out of there. I know I've mentioned mud a few times already, but, IT IS FUCKING MUDDY.
Monday, March 31, 2008
The sheep are all in the winter pasture up by the house here still and I can't wait to get them out of there. I know I've mentioned mud a few times already, but, IT IS FUCKING MUDDY.
How can you tell if an egg is fresh?
Place the egg in the water.
If the egg lies on its side on the bottom, the air cell is small and it's very fresh.
If the egg stands up and bobs on the bottom, the air cell is larger and it isn't quite as fresh.
If the egg floats on the surface, toss it.
We actually arrived in time for the warm-up, unbelievably. ( I love being there early, but rarely ever make it.)
My excuses are:
1) I was in the big city late last night and was too tired to write when I got home.
2) B.Rube is away for a few days at work, so I had to use my only available time this morning doing farm chores.
3) I was out all late morning and early afternoon at Captain Kid's and speech therapy.
4) I was overtaken by an insane and seldomly felt impulse to scrub my kitchen floor while little T.Rube was sleeping just now.
5) I am madly trying to finish up some edits on a brochure job to get back to the printer's tonight.
So, here it is. 5 pm my time. Dinner is started, T.Rube is likely to wake up any time (yep - there she is now.) and I still haven't told you about last night.
I will. I promise. Before I shut my eyes tonight. I'll be back.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
(remember how the race official had to ask you to tuck your scrotum back into your suit because you were scaring small children and adults alike?)
Friday, March 28, 2008
My options for his home visit were a) one hour from now or b) Monday morning.
And, for some crazy fucking reason, I chose a) one hour from now.
My thinking at the time, I think, was simple - if I did it now and got it over with, I wouldn't have to worry about madly cleaning up on Sunday. Which I would do. All day.
About 8 short minutes later, I was kicking myself. I wanted SOOOOOO badly to just stop doing what I was doing (which was running madly from room to room, dropping stuff off and picking more stuff up, making the bed, clearing the laundry into baskets, collecting the bath toys in the steam room into their bath bag, blowing the pubic hair off that awkward-to-reach back of the toilet seat sort of place, rubbing out the dried up toothpaste in the sink with my thumb, and cleaning the dog prints off the parquet flooring with my sock, racing wildly about, vacuuming the entire house and mopping the main floor, cleaning toys from the living room, sunroom, basement and bedrooms, erasing the mascara from under my eyes with a Q-tip doused in soap and throwing on my Canucks baseball hat, even though they've just dropped out of a playoff spot with 4 games remaining, and just barely managing to get a happily naked S.Rube into some clothes as I saw John Paul's car turn into our driveway).
I was cleaning the house in the hopes that the cleaning would make it worth more.
I was sure, at the same time, though, that John Paul could see right through that facade. Right through to the wood finish EVERYWHERE, the pieces of parquet missing from parts of the floor, the original cabinetry and counter tops in the kitchen, the holes in the wall next to the bathtub that those Dora suction cup toys created, the missing ceiling in the basement where the toilet pipes from upstairs are in plain view, with the spider webs at every corner.
But, I still cleaned.
And, it looked pretty damn good.
John Paul's cute little Smart car drove bumpily up our long gravel driveway, coming close to tipping over. He had no problem on the bridge - a car that small passes over it with ease. He got out of the car, stumbled a bit trying to find the gate. His fashionable suede shoes traipsed through the gravel, wet and snow onto the lawn and then into the MUD to get to the house.
Welcome, John Paul. Welcome to the farm.
He looked a little stunned as I invited him in. He was probably upset about his shoes.
(I offered him B.Rube's boots for his outside tour and photo shoot - (you can see them in that mink post below; the one with his blue jumpsuit. John Paul refused my offer.))
He handed me a business card. Ooops, please excuse me!! It's Jon Paul, not John Paul. I've been referring to you as John Paul this whole time. I'll get it right now. I won't make that mistake again.
Jon Paul ( see! I've already smoothly made the transition) stood in the main room and looked up, after I asked him how he liked the snowy weather today.
"Wow! That's a lot of exposed wood! " he exclaimed.
(Of course, he could see through all that cleaning.)
( I hope your shoes never recover, JP)
(EDITED TO ADD: I just want to say that I wasn't alone in developing the points you are about to read. They were developed for the book that I put together with my two colleagues and sit in the very beginning of the book as an introduction. They are what inspire me at home here with my girls every single day and I find meaning in them more as each hour passes. )
· All behaviour has meaning - Separate who the kid is from the behaviours they’re demonstrating. Problem behaviours are the child’s attempt to find solution.
· Kids all have their personal stories and are experts in their own lives. Just ask.
· People learn more from making "mistakes" than from their successes. Behind every crisis is an opportunity for learning.
· Just because kids may step off the path does not mean they’re changing direction.
· We all know our weaknesses. We need input from others to learn our strengths. Help your kids to re-author their personal stories from victim to hero.
· You can take your time. Issues and behaviours WILL come around again.
· Be curious!!!! Ask lots of open-ended questions, and leave your own ego at the door.
· It is helpful if we gain understanding of our kids. It is more helpful if we assist them to understand themselves.
· Curiosity invites communication. Punishment invites anger. Fair consequence invites learning.
· Change your dance! If what you’re doing is not working then try another approach. Do it differently, rather than louder.
· Respect must be modeled to be learned.
· Develop strong communication skills of timing, tone and manner, & recognize the influence of language in your approach. Make an effort to leave every verbal exchange with the other person feeling better about themselves.
· Think & speak POSITIVE thoughts and messages toward your kids - or take a break. Healthy attachment can only occur when people feel acceptance.
· Demonstrate hope & belief in your child’s ability to change. People are not resistant to change - they are resistant to BEING changed.
· Find the strengths in ALL child behaviour. Respect their current choices and they will begin to make choices worthy of your respect.
· Humour can be one of your most effective strategies. It keeps you sane, while allowing the child to learn how to laugh at their own behaviours.
Strangely enough, S.Rube had been saying that she didn't want to go right from first mention of it about 3 weeks ago. She couldn't ever really give me a reason as to why.
She maintained this stubborn position throughout the morning, going to music class, and during our early lunch, when we dropped T.Rube off at Gramps' place and as we headed to the firehall. I maintained my position that she had failed to give me a good reason why she didn't want to go and that we all have to do things we don't want to do.
We arrived and I had to threaten the loss of the birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese that evening just to get her out of the truck. We got inside the fire station. Her classmates were there. Her teachers were there.
And she totally turtled - popped her head inside, turned inward forming a lovely hard shell and lost her voice completely. She all but turned green.
No amount of coaxing from me, her teachers or the funny British fireman would get that little turtle out. She remained curled up on my lap for the first hour, peeking out at times through her shell, responding to nobody.
She slowly unfolded over the second hour, piece by piece. Desperately shy.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I seriously was not that grossed out looking closely at the mink. What struck me was his smell. I could smell him from about 4 or 5 feet away. A strong strong musky smell. Similar to a skunk, but not as prevalent or recognizable.
I wasn't part of the mink hunt, because, quite frankly, I am unable to smash a shovel down with all my might onto the head of a mink. I would definitely be even more unable to stab it with a rusted pitchfork. I might be more able to be the one with the pellet gun and actually get a shot or two in the right direction. But, I was just better off inside with the kids. B.Rube and his dad went on the hunt.
Now, we don't have a gun. That would have made this mink hunt easier. I actually went into a hunting store when I was in town today and had I been able to just buy a rifle off their wall, I would have. Doesn't this strike you as fucking WEIRD??? Cuz it strikes me as weird. I never thought I'd want a gun. I never thought I'd buy a gun. I seriously was going to buy one for B.Rube for his birthday this weekend. But, apparently, the government has all sorts of controls on that. controlling busybodies.
(and, apparently, B.Rube tells me now that he doesn't want a gun. Which makes this whole little scene even weirder.... that I want a gun and he doesn't? Bizarre. In fact, I bet he's only saying he doesn't want a gun because I want a gun. And maybe I don't really want a gun, except that I know that by wanting a gun, B.Rube wouldn't want one. So, subconsciously, I have created the outcome that I desire, which is that I won't live in a house with kids and a gun. whew. I'm glad I settled that.)
We could use a gun, though. For mink. For coyotes. There's a family of coyotes that lives in the field and trees behind us. I see them regularly. Just this morning, a big healthy coyote stood in our neighbour's field, not 30 feet from where I was standing, just staring at me in the kitchen window, as my dogs were going mental around me. That same coyote, I believe, killed a big ram at the little farm across the street yesterday. I believe that he was heading back there, when my dogs stopped him today. I fear for my sheep.
It's a dog-eat-dog world out here, isn't it? I do get a bit hardened to it. I admit that I prepare myself for something everytime I go out to do the chores or see the animals. (Kinda like how I prepare myself everytime I walk into T.Rube's room when she's in her crib, even though she'll be two in a few months! You don't ever get over that fear of SIDS, do you???!)
I don't flinch half as bad when I see a dead chicken pulled halfway under the henhouse, decapitated. In fact, today I took a couple of pictures of it with my new camera, just to try out a new setting. (I deleted them tonight, finding myself a bit too morose for my own liking.)
(I did take a good picture of Sid's balls for you though, although B.Rube claims that I have to get a shot where his back legs are spread a bit further apart in order to understand the gravity of this stud's problem! (and I DO mean.. 'gravity!").)
It makes me look at and appreciate nature, though. It really is just the natural order of things. Preys and predators. Thank God we're bigger than them.
(and remember: those fucking minks should never have been out here to begin with!!)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
If you're a chick who is prone to those nasty UTIs or other bacterial infections, I know how incredibly sensitive the topic of sex is for you, in general. And how super important it is for you to be viligantly careful about what you put inside you. I get asked all the time to recommend a safe lube for this very situation. I definitely suggest that you avoid sugars and other heavily flavoured lubes. You want to stick with a water-based lube and probably one that is not flavoured at all. (If you want to try a flavour, try the O!My one because it is all natural and might be okay for you). Otherwise, I'd suggest ID Glide, which is a hospital-grade lube, and has no extra additives.
I've had lots of girls who have been successful with this one. But, keep in mind, there's always a number of other factors to consider, including the soap that your guy is using on his penis.
Have a juicy day!! (literally)
But, fear not! Using a bit of lube is easy, safe, inexpensive and worth it!
Our position for the week is:
The Crazy Criss Cross!
Pretty unconventional, eh? I'm taking you guys a little out of your element this week. It's not one of those natural positions that you're going to just flow into - that's for sure. You'll have to stop what you're doing and actually plan to get into place. I suggest that the girl lay down on your back or side and spread those legs! And then let your guy slide into place, accommodating himself as he needs to, in order to keep you both comfortable. (If you're trying to figure out who the guy is and which one is the girl in the picture here, don't waste your time. You could be in the fucking position already! It doesn't matter!)
And you're definitely going to want to wash your feet because they could easily end up closer to your nose than you normally prefer.
You'll note, in this position, that your guy's rod (teeheeeheee) has to be pulled down farther than he (or it) is accustomed to. Many of our most common and popular (and regularly overused!!) positions involve that the penis be directed at a 90 degree right angle, or less. (think standard missionary; think doggie...) Now, imagine pulling the penis downward, so that a man standing up would have his penis attempting to point at the floor. Some of the positions that I will offer you over upcoming weeks may require the penis to attempt angles that appear to be unlikely, painful, even impossible. But, they're not. ..unlikely, painful or impossible. It does appear that the penis could easily snap off, but apparently it doesn't. ( I am sure there are times where we have all wished to try.) I have had some people tell me that their guy's penis doesn't bend down enough to find a position like this comfortable. But, the penis is a muscle and is made up of muscles that can be worked, and stretched and developed. It's worth exploring, in my opinion.
The good thing about this position is that you can alter it enough to make it comfortable, though, even if it doesn't end up looking exactly like this. (God help you if you DO look like this actually. Blockhead. Pinebrain. Woody.)
After reading the reviews below, you might be less likely to give this one a shot. But, I recommend that you give it a try anyway. For a couple of reasons.
1) It really will make your relationship better. Even if the position itself fails you, you'll have talked about it and laughed about it and tried something a bit different for a change.
2) Just by committing to this weekly process with the rest of us, you'll be better for it. And committing means trying it out. Like diet, like exercise, like housecleaning..sometimes we all need a little organization and structure and suggestion and motivation in order to kickstart it again. Let this weekly position do that for you. Let your guy in on the game, too.
Here's what some of the Chaws are saying about it:
Mama Bear says: This position can be tricky to get into. It can be physically straining (by that I mean on your legs, hips, back, etc) if you don't do it just right. Once you do get yourself situated, it leaves lots of opportunity for self play, which is a plus. It doesn't give very deep penetration though. It is a good "once in awhile" position if you want to mix things up and take it slower, but as for a day to day thing, it's not a "favorite" of ours.
Squeaky VanDusit: We didn't think too much of this one. My guy, who has incredible penis flexibility couldn't really get comfortable because he was being yanked down. We kind of readjusted things a bit and then he just stayed still, while I was able to diddle myself and kind of ride him. I liked the feeling of being in between his legs. It was definitely a decent position for me to be in and I had a wicked orgasm.
Then, we had to switch positions for him to finish.
So, some benefits (for me!!) and some downfalls (for him!!).
Lady and the Tramp Stamp says: We tried this last night, but had a hard time getting it to work so we just ended up going at it like we normally do. Honestly, we didnt give it much of a chance. We were kind of, um, in the moment so to speak and just gave up so we could get on with the fun part. I have tried this position before, though and it is great, especially when pregnant.
KittyKat says: It was awkward. We spent a lot of time trying to get into position, which killed the mood. I found that it was better for him to lay flat on his back and I was tilted sideways riding him. It was better when I was in control. We also switched to a different position after a few minutes.
I'm not crossing this position off the list - it may get better after some practice. But I'm not putting it into my favorites.
TomKat wants to know what is next.
Well, you just tell TomKat that he'll have to wait for a few days for that one.
Okay, so not a big hit. I agree with MamaBear - this is not a position of depth. Unlike last week's doggie. It could be a very nice way to start out though, as it seemed to please the girls a bit now, didn't it?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Our friends and family aren't sure what to do about it sometimes. I see this. It is an awkward moment for everyone when she is stuck on a word. And, persistent as she is, she doesn't give up the fight easily. She throws her whole body and soul into getting that sound out. If only she could get past that first syllable, you know the rest of the sentence is just sitting there waiting to stumble out overtop of everything else. I just wait, patiently, while maintaining eye contact. Sometimes I tell her that I'm listening and okay with waiting. Sometimes I comment on how "difficult", "bumpy", "rough" or "stuck" something was. But, mostly, we are working on positive reinforcement and commenting on how "smooth" or"easy" that sentence came out.
We have to model slow talking to her, and even add in the occasional "bump" of our own, so she doesn't feel too alienated by her issue. We have to lower our fluency expectation, so hopefully she'll lower the expectations she has for herself.
"They" don't know a lot about stuttering really. It's still a bit of a mystery. Some people believe that kids/people who stutter utilize a different part or process in the brain to form language than others. There is a fairly high percentage of stutterers who had parents or other family members with the same problem - so there is a genetic link for some. Stuttering also occurs alongside other developmental issues (none of which we see in S.Rube).
I remember stuttering, but my parents insist I didn't. I remember not being able to say my "w"'s if it was at a start of a sentence - like What, Who, Where, Why, When...... I remember being in class and having to come up with a different way to ask a question because I knew I wouldn't be able to get the "w" word out. I guess I passed it on to S.Rube.
There are some positive signs for me, though, that I see. One is that if you ask her a question, she will NOT stutter when she answers you 100% of the time. Another is that when she is playing on her own and pretending/role playing, she does NOT stutter at all. She rarely ever stutters when talking to T.Rube. It is when she is preparing something, more complex, to say to B.Rube or I. It is in her planning and thinking about it that the stutter happens. In spontaneous speech that doesn't require much/any thought, she is able to just let it out. This is a hopeful sign for me, because it fits into the theory that kids of this age just can't process their thoughts quick enough to get them out; that her mind and her words are ahead of her mouth's ability to speak them.
Something she'll outgrow then. The prognosis for stuttering is quite good. There aren't a lot of adult stutterers out there. 1% of the population stutters within the adult world. 5% of children stutter - 4% of them outgrow it.
If you want more information on stuttering, check this parent's manual out. Or you can contact me directly to ask more about the treatment that we're doing for it.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Which leads me nicely into an interesting egg debate:
Do you need to refrigerate eggs?
The answer isn't as easy as most North Americans think. We are super hypervigilant about putting eggs in the fridge. At the stores, they are sold from a fridge section. All of our official government health or drug/food agencies will tell you that eggs must be refrigerated, in order to prevent bacteria (salmonella). Ask any North American and they will tell you enthusiastically "YES!!".
Ask any farmer, European or Asian, and they'll tell you that's hogwash.
Europeans leave their fresh eggs in a bowl on the counter . Eggs sold in stores in Asia and Europe are sold off the shelves, not from the fridge.
I often leave eggs out after collection, or before and after washing them. Eventually they'll end up in the fridge, but only because they stay fresher longer.
Eggs last a long time! Like months. Even long after most expiration dates on a carton have past, the eggs will be fine. You'll smell a rotten egg. You'll know if it's bad. (think Hallowe'en night or Frosh week.....). An egg sitting out on the counter just won't last as long as one in the fridge.
Unless you're living in a super hot climate (in which case, I now might just officially hate you), your eggs are fine on the counter or out of the fridge for a while.
It isn't that easy for an egg to get a bacteria. The shell and membrane of an egg are built to protect that little chick from just about everything, so although the shell is porous, it is protective. and the egg naturally has an invisible coating that protects it even further from bacterias. In North America, egg producers are made to clean the eggs before they go to market for the general public. This cleaning process strips the eggs of this protective membrane. So, the egg's longevity and ability to protect itself is slightly compromised. In other countries around the world, eggs are not cleaned prior to selling. Perhaps this is why they are okay with keeping them at room temperature. Also, tiny little ice coolers or bar-sized fridges are the norm in many parts of England and Europe, so finding room for eggs just isn't a priority.
So, because we have room in our oversized fridges, we might as well refrigerate them.
But, don't panic if they're out of the fridge for a while. Everyone'll be fine. They really don't need to be kept cold - and are fluffier and nicer to cook with when they're at room temperature, too.
Okay, so Sid knocks 'em up. (and, let me tell you, the process isn't a pretty one. There is not one part of the lewd act that could be considered even mildly enjoyable for the poor girl. All animal sex is like this, you know. It's interesting that we female humans have accepted the challenge of making sex a good and desireable experience for us, when clearly nature intended otherwise.)
Sunday, March 23, 2008
In order to relieve some of the weight that you carry on your heavy shoulders, please feel free to add your own little secret to my comments section here.
( seriously. Please add a comment here SOMEWHERE! I need to know that someone is reading this and it's not all in vain!!! Thank you, Peg, for being my biggest fan.)
Here's my secret: (shhhhhh)
Saturday, March 22, 2008
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