Home: A wretched rambing post from a woman’s confinement

Well, I guess I know why they used to call it ‘confinement.’

I worked all the way through my  pregnancy–up until last week. Now I am at home waiting for the impending birth to strike me like a thief in the night. I was very uncomfortable at work, which I didn’t anticipate. I can see why I really do need to stay home.

But I don’t like being at home much either. The main advantage is that I get to lay down a lot.

There is a kind of list of all the things that hurt. Currently, I have a raging case of carpal tunnet. how ironic! Carpal tunnet sets in with a vengeance once I give up the desk job for laying around at home.  Turns out that some women get swollen ankles when they are pregnant, and some get swollen carpal tunnels that squeeze all feeling out of my right obscene finger particularly. And  which send big achey ouches up my forearms. While I’m sleeping. Which wakes me up. Practice for the sleep deprivation to come, everyone tells me.

I got some wrist braces, which stop the numbness and pain in my arms. That’s good. But it creates a still significant but slightly lesser pain at the base of my thumb. Well, it’s better than nothing.

I went to the library to get more books. Books are good to have at a time like this.  I thought i would take my own advice froma previous blogpost and get some more pulitzer prize winning books.

My town library SUCKS. I printed out the list of pulitzer winning books, and hobbled through the library looking for them. I swear, I only found about 3 of the dozen I looked for. If a library can’t even stock big prize-winning books..what are those librarians in charge of purchasing doing?

Books I have read recently:

  • Martian Chronicles by Bradbury
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • A House Made of Dawn by Momaday

That last one was a pulitzer winner, and it annoyed me a little. It was very ‘different.’ I guess that it wanted to tell the story with as little dialogue or  revealing teh motivation of the characters as possible. The very last section finally made it worthwhile, and i guess I’m glad I read it. But you know…’experimental’ was not what I wanted.

I want a book I can dive into and swim around in. a nice long page turner.

Stupid library has devoted the entire perimeter of fiction section to mystery, western, sci fi, and probably romance. Let me just say, that I can enjoy such things, but not the kind that would get placed in the section devoted to them.Gah! Libraries!! lowest common denominator is all fine unless you are a prime number.

I need some prime books to read. They are getting harder to come by, AND they are often depressing.  Eh.

So, I still have A Death in the Family by Agee and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union to get through. Oh, wait. I picked up one by Silko..I read some of his short stories, and they were pretty good. I’ll start on that one first.

But today, I am recovering from a cold. So, I have to adjust my plans down even further. In addition to all the usual pregnancy woes, I have weakness and a little bit of a runny nose.

We plan on going to the hospital and ‘pre-admitting’. The hospital admits taht they have a huge amount of paperwork that must be filled out before admitting a woman in labor. So, they thoughtfully allow pre-registering in advance of the actual onset of labor. I don’t know how long we’ll be there, but it will be good to have that done.

That might be all I can manage to accomplish today. I’l like to do some laundry and cleaning.  But..i am not who I usually am.

Perhaps I can preaddress the envelopes that we will use to send the birth announcements. It depends.

New media enhancements

Okay, so Christmas is over and it’s kinda sad. It was the biggest thing on the horizon, you know, and now it’s done.

Just like that.

I got the present I really wanted: a flip mino

This means I have a whole new kind of media I can add to this blog. It also means I’m going to be embarrassingly amateurish for a good while. And you may have to opportunity to see a lot of my current video models: dog and cat.

Chris made sure the little recorder had some charge, so my first video was of other people unwrapping presents. -My- voice is distressingly loud, but I was still learning:


this will take a while to figure out…Merry Christmas to me!

Desert Rain

Yesterday it rained. It started around midnight and kept going.

Chris loves weather, so he actually woke me up at 12:15 AM to tell me it was raining. It kept raining until I drove to work. And then it rained all day.

When I can home again, the rain had slacked a little. Chris came out and joined the dogjoy at my arrival.

Chris is more subtle about welcoming me home. Usually it’s “I’m busy, I can’t talk.”

“But I just got home, can’t you give me a kiss?”

“I’m in the middle of placing orders, and if I stop I’ll lose my place. I”m trying to get work done!”

okay fine. He does work hard. So I leave him alone and go back to watch something on Tivo. Just exactly the time I get involved in a show, he comes and joins me. Not to kiss me, he sits across from me and tells me all his troubles. Hugh Laurie on House is paused in a strange face and my husband is telling me about the contentious alliances between the ship manufacturers. It’s a very reliable occurance.

But not yesterday. He came to see, because he was concerned about the dog.

“It looks like the rain has let up. I should take the dog for a walk now.”

“That’s a good idea…”

“Then when we come back, we should give her a bath. She’ll be a little wet anyway.”

So he went to walk the dog, and I had to prepare for the bath. Not much to prepare, really. Just get towels out. I got the towels and then had a snack. By the time I was done with my snack, the rain was pouring.

I thought maybe I should get the car and go find them to get them out of the rain at that point. But I didn’t know where they’d gone. So I waited.

Chris came in with the dog and handed me the leash. “Take her into the bathroom right now, I don’t want her dripping everywhere.”

Now, we have a system for bathing the dog. Fill the tub with warm, but not too warm, water; have towels handy for drying her off; then strip down to our underwear so that we can get halfway in the tub to wash her. Chris does her body, and I do her head and am responsible for keeping the water fresh and the rinse cups for both of us filled.

Lucy Dog is no dummy. When she sees both of us in the middle of the day in our underwear, she knows something is up and it’s time to run.

But we didn’t have time to get stripped to our underwear, and she was already in the bathroom, wet from the rain and wearing her leash. Not something that had every happened before; she wasn’t sure of the protocol. I quickly started running some bathwater and took my clothes off. Chris was putting his wet things out to dry somewhere in the house and he got down to his underwear and joined us.

Lucy saw both of us in our underwear and got the idea. She jumped in the tub.

It was easier to wash her in her pre-moistened state. Good thing, because we’d gone too long without washing her and she was very dirty. She’d been in a state I call “Filthmuzzle” for at least a week.

Afterwards, she jumped out, shook herself mightily and ran around the whole house to dry herself. We’ve learned to lay a towel down on the rug, and she will rub herself across it to dry off.

Now she looks very pretty and curly. No more filthmuzzle.

Presidential Shoes

This is on the news, and probably most people have seen it.

Here’s what I want to point out. Doesn’t it seem like whatever security/bodygaurds that the President has are pretty slow to react? The guy lobbed two shoes before anymore jumped up.

Even the perpetrator seems like he’s just waiting at the end, for someone to show up and grab him.

I’m glad no one was hurt, but if dude had lobbed a grenade at the Pres, he’d have gotten TWO off before anyone even made a move.


UPDATER: The Huffington Post agrees with my concern (although the writer says that if it were BARACK he’s do a Matrix move and Neo his way out of the shoe path–Obama is THE ONE)

Baby update–still a girl

So yesterday the doctor peeked in on my child and it appears that she has flipped over. Glad to hear that she is not waiting untilthe last minute to get ready to find the exit.

He commented that her legs are long, and her tummy is a little large. “But it’s in the normal range.”

He pointed out her spleen and liver but the picture on the screen just looked like a round sponge and her guts looked like the holes. But Dr. seemed pleased with the state of her organs.

No looking at the heart this time, though. I guess since she is such a wiggler, we’re not worried about her heart anymore.

Then we looked at her face and her head WHICH IS ENORMOUS NOW. Doc said “Look, she’s frowning.” That I could sort of see. He went on “She doesn’t like us looking at her.”

“No, she’s thinking,” I said. Her frown had nothing to do with us! She didn’t know anything about us!

“You’re right! Look, her fist is up by her forehead.”

Yeah, no kidding. I know my kid already.

He moved the wand around, and said “Let’s make sure nothing started growing.” He looked between her legs, “Yup, she’s still a girl.”


Limitations – Will, Time, Strength, Skill

My condition has me bumping up against limitations a lot. No, I cannot walk the dog today. I will not be walking the dog for the rest of the year, even though I really want to. I really want to, but I haven’t got the strength.

I am going to be staying home from work after the 19th of the month, on disability leave. I don’t like to think of myself as disabled, but the fact is that I am not as able as I usually am.

At first, during this pregnancy, I was taking it easy on myself because I should take it easy. Yes, I was tired and I couldn’t go as fast. But I had some strength and some stamina and I felt like I could get done what needed doing, it would just take more time.

Now, my body is bent around my middle and there is a lot of pain. I’ve learned to mentally factor in pain as part of strength. I am not often in a lot of pain, but when it happens, strength is not something you can count on. To say a person is in pain is the same as saying they are not strong. And that’s a more pleasing equivocation. If people ask me how I’m doing, i don’t want to say, “I hurt!” because they will feel bad for me and not be able to do anything to help. That’s not a nice position to put well-meaning people into.  It’s better to say “I’m weak” or “Going slow.” Then they will smile sympathetically and say “Soon!”

So, no strength means I have to rely on other people. And that smacks me up against other people’s limitations.

I hate needing help. I hate asking for help. I hate it. A combination of impatience and prefectionism is part of the problem. I want to thing done right. I also want it done. I can ask for help and then I have to wait for it.

And wait.

And wait.

How indeed did women manage to get through life by waiting for men to open doors for them? I cannot believe that all men were there to leap up and open a door right when Lady wished to walk through it. How did they get anywhere? I don’t see how this system worked at all.

If I want to go through a door, I walk through it. I don’t object to having a door opened for me, but gentleman better be quick about it or I gotta get going.

And that is true of any task that I need to do. I would like to have help, but the time it takes to get the help is torture. I have asked, I have waited. I have asked again, I have waited again.

I cherish the people who will get things done with one asking a majority of the time. They are SO rare.

Why are they so rare?

If I have limitations–and I am forced to reluctantly admit right now that I DO–then perhaps other people have limitations too. I can less reluctantly admit other’s limitations. But what allowances can I make for these?

The fact is, almost anything we want to do is possible. All you need is the will to do it, the time to get it done, the strength, and the ability or skill.

With the possible exception of Time, all these things are elastic commodities. We can increase our strength and hone a skill. Mostly, we can find extra time and firm our resolve or desire to accomplish the thing.

At least, for the most thing, I believe I can do that. But others maybe…well…what’s the difference between can’t and won’t?

It’s not fair to ask someone to do something they can’t. It’s not fair to ask me to move a 200lb television (a task that needed doing at work last week). I can’t. Not at this time anyway.

The limitations of the quadrad- Will, Time, Strength and Skill–are something I need to ponder.  There is more there to learn.

AWARD winning

As anyone who reads this blog knows, reading is a vital part of my life. Therefore, so is the library.

I love the town I live in, but it has a woeful library. It’s very small. I suppose the real readers in the town have their needs met by the libraries at the colleges. I’ve been in the town for three years now, used the inter-library loan system a number of times and haven’t quite exhausted all the books yet. But I was getting frustrated and feeling confined when certain books I had in mind were not at hand.

It was a relief to find out there was a reason. The library arranges its books into categories, and some of these were unexpected. Fiction here and non-fiction on the other side, okay. I expect that–Dewey system of decimation and all.

I had sort of figured out that there was a special section for mysteries, and for science fiction. Don’t read much of either, I just realized that there were several rows of shelves that came after the ‘z’s in the fiction section.

What I didn’t realize until about a month ago, is that they have a special section for “Classics.” A ton of books I had previously been unable to locate are in that section. Unfortunately, it’s really small. Plus, I have a problem with this arbitrary dividing line. What criteria puts these titles here and those over there? Books want to commingle, and it’s a wonderful surprise to happen upon a great book while simply browsing the shelves. I think putting a special section in for “Classics” places unecessary barriers and/or pretensions on the books and the readers.

My literature professors would refer to these as the canon, which was a derisive word for the most part. I would like to be derisive too, and I guess I am being derisive. But I’m also being a hypocrite at the same time, because 95% of the time, I really really like the books that are considered “Classics” or part of “the canon”.

I recently finished reading Dr. Zhivago, a tough and rewarding book. It’s a book I should have purchased, because it is very hard to read in the time alloted by the library lending rules. I had to check it out twice, and even so I owe some money to the library. I had to fall back on skill I learned in college, to plow through a book to get to the end by a deadline.

So naturally, I was ready for a little mind candy after I finished. Something pleasing and moderately mind-expanding, not mind-blowing. No 500+ page tomes this time around. After remembering that this can be harder to achieve than it looks, I found a few.

I remembered I’d been wanting to read some Jhumpa Lahiri, who has won some prize or other.  Oh, the cover tells me: Interpreter of Maladies- Winner of the PULITZER PRIZE.

I’d been running into some pulitzer winners recently. I read Gone with the Wind earlier this year, and The Known World a couple years ago. Now, I’m almost done with Interpreter of Maladies.

The Pulizter for novels (now called Fiction), has been around since 1917 and it’s strictly American. Including the ones above, I have read these Pulitzer winning books:

  • The Magnificent Ambersons
  • Age of Innocence
  • The Good Earth
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • All the King’s Men
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Beloved
  • The Stone Diaries
  • The Hours
  • Middlesex

Looking at this list…I didn’t know they were pulitzer winners when I read them.

The first book I read was The Good Earth, which was recommended to me by my mother when I was about 14 because Pearl S. Buck was the child of a missionary and therefore the book was probably full of good Christian thought. Don’t think mom ever read it, since prostitutes and concubinage featured large in the story. But it was a vivid book and I remember it still.

I guess the books were all good enough that I remember them now, and for the most part I remember what I was doing when I chose and read them.

But…There are many books I’ve read that I feel are better than those particular books. That’s the thing about awards, I guess. They are just one set of opinions.

Maybe I’ll go through and read the rest of the Pulizter books. Just to cross them off the list.

Black Friday harvest

For mysterious reasons, yesterday was my highest traffic day on this new platform. I didn’t even post anything yesterday.

But I will post today.

Chris was inspired by the art of the deal. He was lured and wooed by the black friday offerings–LESS THAN COST!!–and as a result, we now have a new TV. It’s flat, it’s huge and I barely know what to think of it.

We both put a lot of thought into the purchase, and in the end may not have purchased it, but that at the last minute Sears told us we didn’t have to go stand in line to get into their store for the doorbuster deal at 5 am. We could buy it online and then pick it up.

So. We did just that.

Naturally, the fabulous deal of a steal of a plasma TV was not available the day we bought it. It became available a week later. Which was yesterday. So we went and got it and installed it. And now we are going to have to watch all the DVDs we own all over again, becuase it’s all so new and exciting when the TV is almost as big as my piano.

We did put in Laurence of Arabia, to see how different it looked. Wow, it looked good.

The othet cool thing is, we can hook up my laptop to the screen and do a much better photo album showing. Chris enjoys showing his beautiful photographs to family and freinds, and now they will not have to crowd around the laptop.

Chris keeps checking for a better price, just to make sure that he did indeed find the bestest possible deal. So far, the closest prices have come is a hundred dollars more than he spent. So he is still king of shoppers.