Sunday, March 16, 2008

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dyyye-NAH.

We went for a drive today. We went here and here and stopped to walk around here for a bit. On the way there I did one of these, and on the way back I did the other one.

Above was the post I originally wrote. I think I was going for succinct (though links would have been provided) but ended up just sounding tired and thought I should rework it.

I've been working in the garden, meditating on the teachings of St Alsatius, watching Buffy by night, and planning my spring knitting. Things calmed down a bit in the last few days but right now my oldest daughter has an attitude that would curl your liver. I thought we're about 9 years early for this kind of crap, but apparently 6 year olds are known for it. So I will trudge on, hoping desperately that it's a phase that will pass, and in the meantime flexing my disciplinarian muscles. I have developed several strategies for causing her various degrees of pain and anguish depending on the severity of the offense, so as to avoid having to come up with something on the spur of the moment and, as likely as not, ending up either yelling at her until we both burst into tears (been there, done that, resolved never to go back, but went back so many times I ended up with a frequent customer punch card) or taking away all her toys FOREVER.

By the way, GREAT sentence structure there.

So we are dealing with the six year old. Then there's the saintly almost-4 year old, who has cultivated this lovely nice-as-pie expression which she uses as she's cooing to me "Whatever you say Mummy". She might as well just say "I'm the good daughter" because that's exactly what she means. She puts on this toddlerised smile and cavorts around, pretending to be all innocent and daisy-chain-making, and though she's not fooling me, her poor sister grinds her teeth into a fine grit watching this display of disingenuousness.

Anyway, between the two of them I feel like my mental faculties are always on the brink of mutiny. One of these days I will answer the door wearing a tinfoil hat, playing a paper banjo and chewing on my own hair.

So, this drive. We went to look at the teensy doggies!! And may I say, they have NO RIGHT to be that cute. They wooed me. They chewed on my fingers and lost their footing on my lap and fell asleep with their noses in the crook of my elbow. They did not wee on my jeans (no doubt they've planned that for later).

We left my daughter's cotton rag quilt with the breeder. She will put it into the puppies' kennel for the next month and on April 20, we can go pick up puppy and blankie and bring them both home. It was tricky talking to her and bringing the blanket in and whatnot without alerting my children to our plans (as far as they knew, this was just a friend of ours that offered to let us look at her puppies), but they were luckily absorbed enough in the dogs that they weren't listening too closely to the adults. I didn't manage to get any pictures for you, but there will be plenty after April 20.

On the way to and from, I did this:

This picture makes it look like the baby is half Lilliputian and half Brobdingnagian. I assure you the booties are not so disparate in size as they appear.

Isn't this yarn scrumptious? It's the beautiful Icelandic "Tinkerbell's Wings" colourway that darling Lizbon sent me from Rhinebeck.

We stopped at a place called "Coombs Country Candy and Creamery". I saw the billboard announcing it, then there was one of those highway signs, or whatever, saying "Artisan – Candy". Sounds promising, doesn't it? Well, it was okay, but not fantastic. They were playing this really loud music so you had to almost shout to make yourself heard by the (vacant, barely-civil) girl behind the counter.* But they had a sale where you could get three slabs of fudge for $11. So we got chocolate peanut butter, vanilla, and maple walnut.

The kids wanted an all-day sucker but I'm not such a chump.

We also stopped here. Enjoy the photos (click to embiggen), as well as your first ever (sideways, blurry, distant) glimpse of Mr HSBoots' handsome visage. I have used him as scale for the root system of one of the "Fallen Forest Giants" we passed. (So dubbed by the Forest Service, or maybe Environment, Lands and Parks, or maybe just the dude who writes the text for the nifty signs.)

Boy it's dark in there under the canopy.

This tree is practically roaring "Clumsy Ox come home!"

Where's Waldo?

Too bad I can't provide scale for this fallen tree. I can only tell you it is HUGE. Like, I don't know, maybe a hundred or so meters long? Dunno. HUGE.


"...opened the forest". I like that.

I'll be back soonish. I just realized tomorrow is Monday, and if I can dredge up a book review I'll post it. I'm sure you'll understand if I don't get around to it though….I might be busy cutting out my banjo.

*Note: I have bad luck with these candy-counter girls, don't I?


Tabatha said...

My six year old is being a pain in the ass too. I just had a horrible evening with the three of them. Horrible and embarrassing.
I love those little booties. Adorable.
Whenever I see pictures of Cathedral Grove I think of Return of the Jedi.

Shan said...

Oh Em Gee, Tabatha, me too! I was thinking to myself "This is just like the Moon of Endor" the whole time.

Gwen said...

Didn't they film it on the Island? Or was it in Oregon?

Shan said...

California redwood forests, I do believe.

lizbon said...

Woohoo! I thought I recognized that yarn. Golly, it knitted up pretty. Yes, I use words like golly. I figure that's more appropriate for describing baby booties than some of my other words.

Speechless about the trees. I mean, just wow.

kate said...

I love big trees. And fudge. And cute little booties. And puppies. And I really loved this post.

I do not love the attitude of 6 year olds. Ugh. But hey, I survived, so I know you can, you clydesdale you.

And I was totally thinking about your candy girl before I saw your note at the bottom!

dropstitchknitter said...

My boys are a little further apart - 3 yrs, 9 months - but I remember those days well. It does get better. I'm not going to tell you how long it takes for it TO get better - but it does. Gorgeous photo's - sounds like a nice day!

clumsy ox said...

Odd... I almost feel like I'm being called home

Annalea said...

I laughed so hard when I was reading the bits about the girls. That's some of the best writing I've come across in a while . . . it's so vivid, and so terribly, terribly true.

Lucky for me I have four munchkins, (ahem??? lol), so the good child/bad child game isn't really played around here . . . nobody can make up their minds which one they want to be. ;o)

I want to live in trees like that someday. Maybe that's why we're trying to get out to the Puget Sound.

Oh, and how I miss confections sometimes . . . so, so terribly. But the snobby counter girls, not so much. Usually for me, it's older women, trim and well-dressed, who disdain my children and myself. Oh well . . . if you ever see a green Honda Odyssey driving through Victoria some day, the sides vibrating with bass like they belong to a little souped-up coupe, it's probably me on vacation up there . . . a harassed mom with short, flippy brown hair and little glasses. ;o)

Stace' said...

Looks like a great excursion.

Jack those kids up, and have fun doing it.

Shan said...

Ox, do not deny the call of the forest giants. Because you know that Fangorn will hunt you down and stomp you if you don't come back soon.

Annalea, I LOVE YOU. Your boom-car Mom-machine image was hilarious. And thank you - that paragraph was hard to get right. The visual is so clear as I see it playing out in front of me...I could only hope someone would understand what I was getting at.

Stace, BOO-YEAH.

Gena said...

Woah. That forest looks so beautiful! Maybe one day I'll manage to make it that far north to see it.

Joyful Fox said...

Hi Shan,

Thought I'd drop you a word and say I'v been visiting Half Soled Boots.

I have a just-turned-seven year old who is finding herself too. There's a book with the title, "How to Make You Children Mind, Without Losing Yours." I've never read it but have thought the title catchy. Your blog made me think of it.

As well, I'm trying not to be jealous of your weather. Trees...greenery, moss - Was Mr. Half Soled Boots not wearing a coat?

We have several feet of snow left here. It was
-5 Degrees here today. We went to a Horse farm to ride in an arena and still wore mits, snowsuits, Sorels and warm hats. I must mention we were all pretty cold, even adequately dressed.

Enjoyed those pictures a lot. Where were they taken?

Shan said...

Hi, Joyful Fox!

The photos were taken at Cathedral Grove, which is an old-growth Douglas Fir forest near Port Alberni, BC. It is near (well, more or less near) Clayoquot Sound. It's a hundred or so kilometers from Bamfield, which is the northern end of the West Coast Trail.

On the day we were there, it was in fact fairly cold. The Grove is near the top of a low mountain highway, so there were some wet flakes falling and it was hovering around -1 or so. (When I say COLD, keep in mind my west coast perspective.) Mr HSB was wearing a light jacket and sneakers. My daughters were dressed a little warmer but they were chilly too. I think it's the damp...

Thanks for the book title. I have heard of that, although I don't know anyone who has read it.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Ah, looking at the pictures of the trees makes me a tad homesick, Joe and I actually talked about moving out west for our dotage ... but we aren't quite at dot yet. I love hearing the stories of parenting and children ... and laughing and luaghing and laughing ... we always get to be the 'uncles' who feed kids chocolate, give them noisy toys and send them home.

mel said...

I've been meaning to come back and comment on this one (because I keep coming back to look at those beautiful trees!) So soothing.

swoon said...

Dear 1/2soled,

Knitter and writer,

you given me a fond memory of Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott I found you when I googled mens sweaters Irish Aran /image search,

I learned to read patterns and to ssk on the Print O Wave Stole

I love your blanket with the girls and your photo skills!!

I love your work and your blog-and-and all!!