Monday, August 25, 2008

Little Dipper

On Saturday morning I pulled out the paint leftover from the previous owners so we coulf put a fresh coat on the walls of the baby's room. After prying off the rusted top of the can, we found that the paint inside was a solid mass--the nursery must have been the first room painted by the previous owners and the paint was OLD. So, off we went to Benjamin Moore with a piece of the label from the old can that had some of the paint on it.

I wanted to paint the room a very similar color, but a little less bright (it's a light yellow). There were 2 colors that met that criteria--Banana Appeal and Little Dipper. Basically I made the choice based on the name of the color and preferred Little Dipper.

D and I taped the trim and then he got to painting. We used the Aura paint again since the fumes aren't as bad as other paints. D did a really good job on the painting, especially considering it was his first time ever painting walls (I had painted my bedroom with my dad's help when I was in highschool--coincidentally it was also light yellow). On Sunday he did a second coat and the inside of the door. Tonight we can move stuff back into the room and we'll be ready for when the crib is delivered on September 6th. We still need to buy a dresser to use as a changing table, but in the meantime we'll just use and old one that I had (which may drive me crazy because the drawers stick).

Saturday night, after the painting, lawn mowing, and grocery shopping (it took me as long to grocery shop as it did for D to mow the lawn which is just a sad realization of how slowly I move these days), D suggested we go out for a date. We headed to Helmand, an Afghan restaurant in Cambridge which is one of our favorites. Unfortunately the car ride there and home were very uncomfortable for me (baby is pressing on my bladder), but the meal was delicious as usual. Our favorite thing on their menu is called Kaddo, "Pan-fried then baked baby pumpkin seasoned with sugar and served on yogurt garlic sauce." It is so good. And, the flatbread at Helmand is to die for--we sat right beside the clay oven and got to watch the baker make it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Garden Flowers and Bugs

Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) and Bumble Bee

Dragonfly on Hydrangea Leaf

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris Thysbe) on Bee Balm (Monarda)

Cherry Cheeks Daylily

Grasshopper on Daylily Twice As Nice "Orange Velvet"

Frog Behind Daylily Stella D'Oro
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Friday, August 8, 2008

Itchy and Scratchy

Somehow I've managed to get poison ivy even though I spend almost no time outdoors these days (and certainly don't stray from the yard). Last summer I had a really bad case, but I can understand that because I did go into the woods around the house once or twice, but this year not at all. Perhaps I got it from D's clothing after he went trekking in the woods to find Mercury (who is still missing), but D was really good about washing his clothes and taking a shower as soon as he came inside.

I guess it doesn't really matter where I got it at this point, I just wish it would go away. It started as a little patch on my neck, but now I have it on both legs, my back, my hip, and a new patch sprung up on my arm this morning. I've been using the usual over the counter suspects to treat it, but to no avail. I've used domboro solution, caladryl lotion, benedryl cream, benedryl tablets, techu ivy wash, and most recently a new product called Zanfel. I was really hoping the Zanfel would work because I read great things about it online, and my doctor recommended it. Supposedly it washes away the ivy oils and calms the itching. Supposedly. Oh, and it costs $39.99 for a tiny tube.

I used the Zanfel on my neck yesterday afternoon, and then on all of the other spots last night. The itching didn't stop. I used it again this morning on all of the ivy spots and I still itch. I was really hoping I'd be blogging today with a glowing endorsement of this product, but alas, no.

Last night, I also started using a 2.5% hydrocortisone cream my doctor prescribed. That hasn't helped all that much either. Just hoping it goes away on it's own still using just these topical remedies (and the benedryl tablets at night so I can stop scratching long enough to fall asleep). Last year I had to go on oral steroids, but my doctor wants to try to avoid that due to pregnancy.

Oh, and I'm going to look so nice at my baby shower on Sunday with my red and bumpy chin, neck, arms, and legs!

Monday, August 4, 2008


The past week has been a major roller coaster of emotions for both me and D. Last Sunday afternoon, Mercury, our kitty, didn't come in after a rainstorm. Then she didn't come in for the night, and on Monday morning she still hadn't appeared at the back door crying to come in and eat. I tried not to panic and D searched the woods calling her name. I tried to be calm figuring she had just wandered into someone's open garage or shed to escape the rain and had gotten trapped. By Tuesday there was still no sign of her and D and I canvassed the neighborhood putting signs on all of the communal mailboxes.

By Wednesday there was still no sign of her. D rang doorbells on the street and handed out flyers. I had called animal control and the local shelters, plus a few of the local vets to alert them that she was missing. My hope really began to fade. On Thursday or Friday D was visited by a neighborhood boy who has made it his persponal mission to find Mercury. He's canvassing the neighborhood on his bike looking for the cat. He rang the bell on Sunday letting us know that he hadn't found her yet but was not going to give up. "I will not fail. I will find her and bring her back to you and you will live happily ever after" is what he said. If only everyone had such a dedicated cat hunter in their neighborhood. I should mention that the boy, I'll call him William, is probably about 13 and has an intellectual disability. He has such a drive to find our cat that we don't want him to feel like a failure if he can't find her...we want to make sure he knows it's not his fault and that we are so grateful for his help and drive to find her.

I try to remain positive and hope that the cat has wandered off and is enjoying the food at someone else's house for a little while, but the reality is that she has probably fallen prey to one of the bigger and more wild animals that live in the woods and wetlands around our house. We had been warned by the neighbors when we moved in that many cats had gone missing from our neighborhood, but Mercury's joy at being outside overruled the warnings. As a former city cat, it was like she had died and gone to heaven having mice to chase, bugs to eat, tall grass to play in, and a warm stoop to lie on. I couldn't deny her that pleasure.

I keep thinking I hear her cry, but it's always my imagination. I leave the basement door open for her just like I always have, and D leaves fresh food on the deck for her every morning. I pray that miraculously she will just show up on the back deck someday and it will be as if she never left. She's been my constant companion for 5 1/2 years and even though D says he didn't want a cat, she has come to be his co-worker in the past 8 months that he's been working from home. She loves our family snuggle time, and is my nightly reading buddy. I can't even express how much I miss her and worry that she is or was out there in the wild suffering.