Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Smell of Disinfectant in the Morning...

Gotta love it.  The smell inside the elevator as the doors closed was overwhelming.  Who does something in elevators that requires the entire thing to be sprayed down?  Ick!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Habit, Creature of

This describes The Bearded One.  His daily routines are the same - whether he begins them on time or 10 minutes late.  Yesterday morning began with, "Wake up - it is 4:20!"  The Bearded One is one of those people who, in general, wakes at the same time each morning without the aid of an alarm clock...
In spite of being 20 minutes late in beginning his day, the routine did not alter:
brush teeth (10 times on each tooth surface)
trim beard
give all 3 cats a "good morning hug"
collect clothes (steam if necessary)
litter box
breakfast (while reading)
collect lunch box and backpack
leave for work at 5 AM

Morning habits?  Me?  Not so much.
I will admit to ALWAYS beginning with a cup of coffee (generally left over from the day before and microwaved).
I make a new pot of coffee, get the newspaper and make The Bearded One's lunch (ALWAYS a tub of fruit, a cup of cottage cheese, two cartons of yogurt (one mango and one strawberry mango), and an apple).  After that, there really is no set routine.  I generally read the paper, exercise, shower and brush, make my own lunch, and make the bed (unless there is a cat sleeping on it).  But the routine varies.  I might intersperse the "usual" with: check email, start a load of wash, fold and put away dry clothes, check and adjust the swimming pool chemistry, or just read a book - whatever.  I leave between 6 AM and 6:15 -ish.

Stubble is just like his Dad.  After rolling out of bed his first stop is the shower.  ALWAYS!  Ms. Flippers is more like me - whatever.  whenever.

I like to think that we balance the yin and the yang in our household.  Our door hinges will never squeak because there is a set time and place for them to be attended to, but things that need doing that are not in the queue will still happen.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


One of our family members has developed intractible headaches that arise at the most inopportune times.  The headaches last for hours and recurr again and again over days.

A primary care physician suspected migraine and every available "normal" treatment for migraine was tried with no good result.  A referral to a neurologist was made.

Following tests that showed an electrical abnormality in response to bright light (there goes the career involving microscopy) there were still headaches unaccounted for.

Enter The Headache Diet.  For the next three months the entire family will be joining the sufferer in a diet free of sugar, caffeine, chocolate, processed foods, preserved foods,  and anything and everything in the diet that is wonderful and indulgent.  No Chinese food - NO HOT DOGS!

We will survive this and will count ourselves lucky if the headaches are gone and no longer interfere with sailing or hiking or life in general.

Wish us luck.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Missing in Action (not a military reference)

I collect stuffed animals.  Always have.  Mostly they are just for display (I rotate them so that they do not overwhelm our surroundings).  They tend to be "unique" - who else has a stuffed meerkat on their night stand and a stuffed hedgehog on their book case?

As I have aged and hot flashes and insomnia have become a way of life, snuggling all night with The Bearded One has become a thing of the past and sleeping with "stuffeds" has been revisited - they are comforting and produce no body heat.

Last night one of my "specials" was missing.  Snuffles was not on the bed.  A hunt ensued.  One that was joined by The Bearded One who seemed just as concerned as I was that the precious Snuffles was missing.

Snuffles was the one stuffed animal that Stubble was never going to get his hands on.  He was the "forbidden" stuffed in a sea of, "Mommy can I sleep with X tonight?"  Then came the chicken pox and at age 3 Stubble said, "Mommy, I think I could remember not to scratch if I could just hold Snuffles."  I was a goner.  And so was Snuffles.

Many years later, Snuffles came back to me with matted fur that was permanently discolored and a nose rubbed clean of velvet.  Snuffles now lives in a place of honor on MY bed.

The missing member of the family was finally found wrapped in the changed out sheets on top of the dryer.

Ahhhhhhhhh!  All is well!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Picky McPickerson

The Fall school term begins in one week and my minions are back.  Once again I am asking them to go above and beyond - to actually work.

They are really good workers - they get to do things like clean aquariums and wash glassware and top off stain bottles.  They sort slides and clean the oil off of them. They clean microscopes and flush eyewashes.  They cart heavy bags of sand and soil to the second floor greenhouse when the elevators are being worked on.  They restock supply drawers, make media for the Micro labs and then get to wash more glassware.  They organize the (hot and muggy) greenhouse and work on its (recalcitrant) irrigation system...

Without them I would be dead in the water.

All I ask is that they get ALL of the algae out of the aquariums - that they autoclave the aquarium gravel before reassembling said aquariums - and that they do the jobs completely and SAFELY.

If they want to be Whiny McWhinersons while doing so - OK by me.