This evening I realized how long it’s been since I’ve looked at the sky, just looked and watched. I have had something closer to the ground to keep my eyes on for the past few years so I’ve missed seeing

the autumn clouds, grey and heavy, scudding over

the denuded trees

the seed fronds of autumnal grass

the TV aerial on the neighbor’s rooftop

the papery, rattling stalks of sunflower seedheads

scudding above

the birds, tiny and black, winging their way across the sky

fighting the winds that send the clouds



I KNEW I was missing something

…my own personal beauty team!

And? Photoshop. Gotta get me some Photoshop.

Poetry in Motion

Paper-thin, tripartite, the small blossoms of the dried hydrangea bloom


Jade green, translucent, like a whisper of summer


under the trees, in the shade, out behind your grandmother’s kitchen door


with smells of earth and loam and fresh-made bread wafting on the breeze



becomes a mere mulchy mess


under the chubby hands of a very inquisitive two-year old.


I’m feeling melancholy this evening because


it was a beautiful fall day with a blue autumnal sky and myriad trees that have been painted in artist oil to a perfect blend of warm tones


i spent the morning with friends whom i really don’t want to leave behind me


we were at a local farm with our kiddies, enjoying the strange bucolic goodness of a working farm surrounded by a major metropolitan area


i only discovered this farm through one of the above-mentioned friends about a month ago and am sad that i will have to leave it when my discovery of it is still nascent


my poor little son had another rough day, one of many, of every day this past month; he cried when his stick fell in the chicken yard, he (almost) cried when the older boys were playing rough, he cried when the older boys disappeared on him and he didn’t know where they had gone and he couldn’t keep up but wanted to, he cried when he had to walk from the car to the house, he cried when his diaper had to be changed, he cried when…well, you get the picture


and while we may have found a potentially good place to live Up North, it will still be a change, with new and unfamiliar shadows and smells and vibes and ways of doing things and i will still need to make a niche for myself and carve out a spot in people’s lives, people who already have friends and who are very busy, despite all their willingness to BE my friend it will still require a period of courtship and emotional jostling before things settle.


but it’s ok. it’s not really that bad. i’ll cope and there will be other beautiful fall days, the kind that let you know that as beautiful as it is, it won’t last, it’s ephemeral; though jewel-toned, warm, with honeyed light and clarity, someday it will come to a close


and that it’s best to treasure what we do have here and now.

Mrs Fussy Crankypants Tests the Old Adage “You Can Win More Flies with Honey than with Vinegar” even though she is not sure why exactly you would want MORE flies

This weekend The Fussy Crankypants went looking for a new place to live. Keeping in mind the fact that while formerly they have lived in some very small apartments and studio apartments on several continents in the past, they now must consider the needs of 3 cats, one Tiny Tyrant and a hypothetical-sometime-in-the-unforeseen-but-probably-not-too-distant-future Tiny Tyrant II, they have decided to try instead to rent a house instead of an apartment, something hopefully that has at least a little plot of grass, a tree and perhaps not on a main road.

This weekend, with the help of a Very Nice Friend, The Fussys traveled around to various locations in their soon-to-be-new-city looking at potentially soon-to-be-new places to live.

Mrs Fussy Crankypants fell in particular love with one that wasn’t on her list but which she happened to drive by with her Nice Friend.

It is a 30s-style duplex…you know, the kind with the swoop in the arch over the porch?…and has a stone facade on the front, a brown stone facade with a brown window awning and lovely trees dripping fall colors in front and behind.

In short, charming.

And also located just steps away from one of the local parks and the river.


And also, when her Very Nice Friend called to find out, far too much money for The Fussy budget.

And also no pets.




Mrs Fussy Crankypants is nothing if not retiring. She won’t say boo to a ghost if it might require her to put herself forward and if the said boo needed saying over the phone, Mrs FC’s phone-a-phobia will prohibit it outright.

So great, however, is Mrs FC’s ardor for this charming little abode that she not only called the landlord again herself to talk it over, she MANAGED TO CONVINCE (somewhat) HIM that he might be able to trust her cats and that he should think about negotiating on the price.

Mrs Fussy Crankypants is very proud of herself for calling to follow up on the Cute Stone-Facade Cottage. She was very proud when the landlord said he could drop the rent by $40 or so (until she went online and looked up the property at found it listed at the reduced rent price. Then she just said “?”).  Mrs Fussy Crankypants is particularly proud that he could tell Mrs Fussy Crankypants meant it when she said she adored his house and that she was sincere that she would take care of it AS HER VERY OWN.

As things stand, the rent is still too high. Mrs FC actually questions if he will be able to rent it at the fee he is asking since there are many other rentals for less that offer far more space.

But. The Stone Facade!

The Fussys will at least meet with his property manager and view the property and try to knock a few more dollars off the rent. 

Mrs FC has another house in mind that she will also view, one that actually has quite a bit more yard (but no stone facade and no park…BUT, a Korean market within relative walking distance. Sort of. If the Tyrant is willing to sit in the stroller that long) so it may turn out that The Stone Facade is Not Meant to Be.

But Mrs FC will still carry the proud memory of being able to sweet-talk a total stranger into negotiation.

She should be a diplomat.

Grease and other natural calamities

Here it is, the complete list of all this natural I am doing right now. Ok, not complete. Just kind of the things that are coming to mind as I have about 3 minutes before I go up to put the TT to bed.

Lesson 1) Homemade deodorant really DOES work.

Yes, I, too, was sceptically but when some friends of mine told me that it worked for them and then actually GAVE me some to try so I didn’t even have to take the 3 seconds it takes to make it myself, I tried it.


And I tend to be a very aromatic individual so I would not lead you up the garden path on this.

Here you go. You can thank me later:

1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. baking soda (aluminum free or you are defeating the purpose of avoiding chemicals)
3 tbsp coconut oil
and your favorite essential oil mixed in to your taste.  The one I have uses lavender and I like it a lot.

Lesson 2)  The furniture polish mix actually works better with more oil and less lemon juice. 

I have finished up the furniture polish (don’t worry, it was non-toxic) and was ready to try the homemade stuff. Some sites I read suggested that there should be more lemon juice than olive oil but that didn’t really work for me.

1/2 c. cheapest olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice

mix and apply with cloth or squirt bottle. I decanted mine into a squirt bottle and keep it in the fridge so it won’t go rancid between the times I clean, you know, which is every 8 months or so.

Lesson 3)  Learning to embrace the hair grease can be a challenge.

I finally ran out of my shampoo and conditioner and was ready to go the no poo route for my most recent hair washing.

Since I only wash my hair once a week (Thursdays, if you must know, which is why if you see me on Thursdays you will notice I always wear a handerchief covering my hair. I haven’t joined a religious group, I just want to spare you the hair oil), I am figuring it will be easier for me to get through the difficult time when your head has to adjust to not needing to produce so much oil.

2-3 Tbs baking soda
1-2 Tbsp water or enough to make a paste

massage into scalp only and let rest for a minute or two then


1 part white vinegar to 3-4 parts water plus 1/2 tsp vanilla to cover the vinegar scent and make you smell like a cookie(optional)

So I tried this on Thursday and I’m not sure I did it right.  The baking soda just didn’t rinse out of my hair very well after the vinegar rinse and was pretty dense yesterday altho today it is feeling better. I think I will need to rinse with water after the vinegar rinse and see what happens.

My hair doesn’t feel necessarily clean but it’s not too bad, kind of like it feels toward the end of the week say on Wednesday.

One tip to doing this is to brush your hair well using a soft-bristled brush to pull your natural hair oil into all parts of  your hair and away from your scalp.

(I can hear Amber groaning already.  I wonder if I am getting too crunchy to even live in Oregon again.)

(Ha! Nah….)

Sleep and what it means

So for the past two years and a little more I have, with very few exceptions, been getting an average of 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.  Sometimes we go through spells where I get 4 and on some nights I get 5 (there have been an occasional, unheard of 6 hr stretches but those are few and far between).

At some levels I have adjusted to this type of sleep, in which the only thing you are sure of is that you will be awakened out of sound sleep to tend to the needs of another. I can function now much better (but perhaps not with more patience) than the first 6 months or year of this.  There are times when we get into a sleeping pattern with T covering the nighttime soothing until 2:30 or so and me taking over from there and I even feel well rested.  There are times when even though I wake to nurse Miles even every hour, I can fell decently-rested because he has settled right back down again.

But the majority of times I do not feel well-rested, I merely feel functional.

(I would just like to take this opportunity to point out that being awakened at odd, random times during your sleep cycle is really not the same as waking fully up during the regular cycling pattern of your own sleep cycle, no matter how many times you may wake up with that.  That at least is cyclical; your body has processed through a cycle; the other is what they do to prisoners.)

As I was saying.

So here we are. tonight is one of those up-for-2-or-3-hours nights but instead of spending it stumbling around in the dark walking in the TT’s room or lying on the bed getting more and more frustrated, tonight is one of those nights where we just get up and do something. In my case, computer time while the TT is choosing to color, with a little prompting on my part.

The point of all of this is to say this: I am actually worried about my blood pressure.  Often as I go to sleep it is to the feel of a high pulse and when I wake up during the night to tend to Miles, my pulse just races and races like I’ve been running full-on.  It worries me.  I also worry about the ramifications of this on having another child.  I do not want to put myself at risk merely for the sake of creating another child, no matter how beautiful and wonderful that ;might be. There are other ways to increase family.

So I just googled the effects of sleep on blood pressure and wouldn’t you know it I found that:

Epidemiologic studies have shown an association between self-reported short sleep duration and higher blood pressure. Other studies have shown increased blood pressure after partial or total sleep deprivation, suggesting that sleep loss might lead to increased sympathetic nervous activity and higher blood pressure

according to this site.

But now that I know that my son’s inability to sleep is causing me physical problems beyond lack of patience and a craving for chocolate, I am faced with knowledge I can’t do anything with.  At this point, night weaning is unreasonable given our present situation and I want to make sure the TT is fully adjusted to a new place before starting anything as stressful as that.  The other issue is that I have no idea if night weaning will do anything to make him sleep better since there doesn’t seem to be much correlation between him waking up and needing to feed.

and now we are having a toddler melt-down because yes, he actually IS tired even tho he doesn’t want to sleep so we will go try again to get settled for another few hours.

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