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4 kittens

Cut on a lathe

Posted on 2016.10.16 at 22:08
Hawaii and Pokey

The elementary school was closed on Monday for Columbus Day. They've never taken Columbus Day off before. It seems like the wrong direction for a school to move. C'mon, admin, here we are trying to delegitimize Columbus's accomplishments. Throw us a bone.

The big kids decorated tiny wooden peg dolls with E. Messily on their day off. I think Pokey colored those two?

This one seems more like it would have been by E. Messily, what with the tiny velvet vest. I don't actually know, though.

Lovely Ladies cut from a Lathe.


I was scrolling through Facebook and a (liberal) friend* shared a Trump meme, of the sort "this is circulating in alt-right Trump circles, be horrified."  It was a picture of a little blond girl, with a conical pile of ashes in her hand, and she was blowing the pile into the wind.  It read "Goodbye, Jews".

Hawaii and Pokey popped up on the couch next to me. "What's that?" they asked, "Goodbye, Jews? Why does it say that? What's that mean?" I was caught off guard, and it took some stammering before I committed to giving them the real answer.

The stammering and hemming and hawing was uncharacteristic enough for me that their eyes got wide and they took me very seriously.  That was nice - it meant that I could get across the gravity without scaring the pants off them with the details.

So now they know about genocide. Good times.

*now that I think about it, maybe it was Delagar! No harm, no foul, D. Just some conversations.


Jammies found Hawaii in the hallway, trembling. She said, "I read the whole thing. I know clowns are real," and showed him this:

which she'd torn out of my magazine. So Jammies had a conversation about clowns and mass hysteria and historical context.

So now they know about clowns, too. Good times.

The whole town gathered around a quarter, for scale:


has elaborate games of school:

"Mom, can I pull the trash can over here? This label maker makes so much trash, and I have a lot to get done here."

Sure sweetie, whatcha making?

"Oh, I've got about twenty of these report cards to get through."

That's student name/teacher name on the first row, and then places to record their behavior grade, academic grade, and any additional comments Ms. Hawaii needs to record.

In addition, Hawaii

makes quilts with E. Messily:

"Mom, it's not a QUILT. I know what a quilt is. This is a BLANKET."

That cellophane, from the depths of E. Messily's bag of crafts, is some fancy sewing stuff to allow you to hold layers together while you sew it in place. You just sew right through the cellophane. Then you soak it:

and the cellophane dissolves, voila.

The final not-quilt-gawd-mom:

I would love to frame this and hang it on the wall, but I probably have to wait a few years while it gets played with and loved.

Pokey and Rascal

Pokey and Hawaii's piano books have occasional duet lines for the instructor. Pokey currently loves playing duets with me. I started to fantasize about acquiring a book of duets and learning them together with Pokey.  That would be so much fun.

I have to play this very carefully to stoke his enthusiasm for playing duets with me. Careful, Heebie. Young pianists are skittish and cranky. Don't scare him off.

I had Fall Break this past Thursday and Friday. It was lovely. On Friday, I went to the elementary school and had lunch with Pokey, in the cafeteria, with about two hundred kindergartners and third graders:

Of course the trays are styrofoam and disposable. Why? Is that something that other parts of the country do differently? This isn't something people have an opinion on, is it?

The pizza was weirdly yeasty, but fine. There were lots of fruit and vegetable options. Pokey's choices:

Pokey is totally wild for that perennial institutional jello with peeled fruit innards glop.

Hawaii wants me to wait to join her for lunch until I can attend on a cheese sticks day.


Ace and I made up a good song about Ace's tongue, and how it keeps trying to escape her mouth to have adventures. She has to close her teeth to trap it, because there are streets.

Streets are not safe for tongues.

Ace, love your cape. How can we get it to fly behind you if there's no wind?

"MOM! Did you get the photo? Lemme see."

E. Messily, not Ace, is the one who made this dress, but Ace is the one who loves it most:


Rascal loves trains maybe more than any other of our kids. He hears them in the background and says, "cookie! cookie!" which is somehow how he remembers "choo choo!" It's pretty cute.

I hope the neighbor doesn't hypothetically mind me secretly posting a picture of her kid, because I love this photo and think he's very sweet with Rascal.

I wonder if Rascal loves trains more than the rest because the trains don't blow their horns anymore. The horn blast sort of terrorized each kid as a baby. Years ago our neighborhood was designated a quiet zone, but it took a long time for them to update the safety features at every train crossing.

Finally last year, at some point, the trains stopped blowing their horns. I didn't notice, I haven't heard the train horn for years and years.

Rascal loves this terrible book. I am just observing here that some of the animals are animals, and some of the animals are proto-humans.  That's not unusual for a kid's book.

I just think it's funny that the animal-mouse is in such close proximity to the human-mouse:

 Is the animal-mouse embarrassed of his nakedness? Is the person-mouse prone to anthropomorphizing the animal-mouse?


Our neighbors, with the 8 kids, have significantly changed the dynamic of our household. Sometimes there is just a continous stream of kids in and out of the houses. Sometimes our kids disappear for hours. It's so wholesome. (Other times, they're gone for the weekend. It's on and off.)

When I poke my head in their house to retrieve the kids, the house is super dark. The kids are all lounging on blankets on the floor, and blankets are hanging up over the window, and the dad is stretched out on the couch, with more blankets and a kid or two. Usually they're watching a movie. (One time Hawaii watched part of The Walking Dead with them and it scared her silly. But seriously, who watches Walking Dead with little kids?!) All the floors are white tile, and the decorating scheme is tile and dark blankets. (It's sort of depressing. I feel bad saying that, though.)

One time I went to fetch them, and Pokey and Hawaii were each clutching a few dollars, which they'd allegedly won playing Mexican Bingo. I tried to give the money back, and the mom intervened that Pokey and Hawaii had won fair and square, and I didn't really know how to handle the situation. (We have however hypothesized that they are not quite a poor as you'd infer from having eight kids in a tiny house with no visible income. They seem to have a support structure and connections, and regularly return to Houston.)

The mother is usually puttering around in the background, although she's more likely to come outside and play with them, and chat with us.

Here's how the neighbors have changed me: I needed a demonstration of what a household might be like with eight kids to understand how it works. I still sort of don't get it, but at least I've seen it now. It recalibrates my opinion of our family - we're now the calm, empty household with excess space and resources.

Here's what the cats made:

From their love of running vertically up walls, door frames, and poles, they've done a real number on this support beam.

Here's what Texas made:

I don't know, that's just so Texas.

I'm fasting for three days, in advance of my surgery on Wednesday. It's an actual thing with legitimate science backing it up, but it just sounds so damn hocus-pocus that I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm doing it. Supposedly it improves your response to surgery and shortens your healing time. I swear, real scientists are studying this stuff. They have a lot of problems with compliance, which makes it hard to study.

I got the idea from my uncle, who fasted for much of his chemo rounds, and encouraged me to fast before my surgeries last year, but I didn't bother to do so for the hysterectomy, and then I  was too stressed out by the mastectomy itself to undertake anything additional. But this time I thought I'd give it a go.

These two posts showed up consecutively in my Facebook feed, and I laughed for a while about the similarity of the diagrams.

The uncle said that he doesn't get exactly hungry, but he kind of gets bored and misses eating.   That is how I've felt today. I had about 80 calories of Lipton soup for dinner, and that was it for the day. I'm not exactly hungry, but I miss how eating structures your day and tastes good.


e_messily at 2016-10-17 14:30 (UTC) (Link)

what with the tiny velvet vest.

Nope. All Hawaii, that one.
heebie_geebie at 2016-10-24 02:39 (UTC) (Link)

Re: what with the tiny velvet vest.

Oh, huh. Well, it's very nice.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2016-10-17 15:01 (UTC) (Link)

Not My Meme

That wasn't my meme, though holy hell, I'm appalled. I thought I'd seen some awful memes outta the Trumpsters, but that's worse than any of mine.

Cats: I've got a doorway that looks just like that!
heebie_geebie at 2016-10-24 02:39 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Not My Meme

How was your surgery? How are you feeling?
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2016-10-24 13:37 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Not My Meme

I've only had the pre-op testing so far. Going under the knife on Nov. 1, probably. (Depends on what the tests show!)
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2016-10-17 15:02 (UTC) (Link)

Oh, also

...I feel guilty about how badly I want some of those Oreo Churros.
(Anonymous) at 2016-10-18 22:47 (UTC) (Link)
Good luck tomorrow!

- J, Robot
heebie_geebie at 2016-10-24 02:40 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!! I think I can say I'm done with surgeries for awhile...at least until something goes wrong?
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