Saturday, December 17, 2011

so this is Christmas...

I always get inspired during the darkest month of the year to feats of light and colour.  It might be the darkness and the romance of tiny twinkling lights that set rooms aglow.  Candles burning with their warm flicking radiance, and the dancing of cast shadows that entices the imagination.  But it might also just be the pleasant warmth of the mid-winter holidays.  The smells of mulled wine simmering somewhere below a boil on the stovetop,  the scent of the needle shedding tannenbaum, spending its last days bedecked in lights with a shimmering plastic angel jammed rather scandalously on its peak, the taste of butter, sugar, vanilla and flour moulded into a paste and fresh from the oven (a.k.a. shortbread).  The spirit of giving and the simple pleasure of bringing a smile to another’s face. 

This past week, found me visiting my folks, and taking Chicken Little on a number of first time adventures -  Such as marathon a Christmas Shopping trip (from a commercial point of view, if Christmas did not exist it would be necessary to invent it), a visit with Santa (the legendary jolly fat man made famous by a Coca-Cola advertising campaign in the 1920’s and capable of riding around in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer when not otherwise stuck moonlighting in shopping malls) decorating a batch of gingerbread men so enormous the recipe calls for nine cups of flour, painting winter scenes on the windows, and my personal favourite, the annual Christmas tree hunt and subsequent adventure of dragging it in the house and decorating it!  (this year’s tree topped 12 feet with a stump a good six inches in diameter – yes we had to open both front doors wide to get it in the house!)  But somehow amid the craziness that I love so much I managed to pull the following off the easel.  Behold: “Poinsettias”.


© RiverWalker Arts
Also known as the Christmas Star and Christmas Flower. While considered by the ancient Aztecs to be symbols of purity, in today's language of flowers, red, white or pink poinsettias, symbolize good cheer and success and are said to bring wishes of mirth and celebration

A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away.
~Eva Logue

Friday, December 16, 2011

diapering disasters....and the common cold.

It all started with a snuffling snort from Chicken Little.  This woke me from my blissful sleep.  My poor child has a plugged nose and subsequent difficulty feeding - pulling and grunting and snorting trying to get both food and oxygen. I’m in no fit condition to be looking after this child.  I have a sprained thumb which makes it hazardous to pick him up, I have a bad cold, sore throat, blocked ears, hacking cough...  you get the picture.. and the absolute last thing I felt like doing at 2:30am was rousing to change a diaper.  But I’m also not going to let my little one suffer in a wet and stinking mess.  So up in search of a clean bum.  I wiped and cleaned up the mess, stuffed the next diaper under the bottom only to have him soil not only the diaper, but the counter, the cupboards, the wall and myself before I managed to get the thing done up.  So off to get another diaper... leaving baby on floor as he has proved himself capable of rolling over.

 With new clean diaper on, and the nastiest parts of the mess wiped up I carried the stinker back to bed, and was laying him down when I heard another wet blast from the poor blighter’s behind.

Cloth Diapers on the line? rain forecast...
By the time we were on the fourth clean diaper and all trace of the nasty diaper filling substances had been safely removed from all surfaces and placed in appropriate disposal and laundry systems Chicken Little was not only fully awake but highly talkative, leaving me to lay in bed listening to the squealing chatter of an infant finding his voice, while I desperately sought oblivion from the wood file sawing away at the dusty remains of my ashen throat, as I attempted valiantly  not to cough.

It was a great night. 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Laundry is getting done, but please don't feed the dust bunnies.

With a growing baby in the house I’ve become especially sensitive to the smell of soured milk and so the number of loads of laundry has significantly increased.  Between the clothes changes because of slimy sour smelling baby barf (both mine and Chicken Little’s)  and cloth diapers (which I LOVE and could quite easily expound on my love affair with cloth and share in the process an unsolicited advertisement for the Fuzzi Bunz brand– but I that is not the point of this blog entry... )

It is about Laundry... and the Mystery of the Disappearance of Socks! Especially small infant sized ones – but applies to all socks.   In the early days, the disappearance of articles of clothing could simply be accounted for by saying that the sock was lost in the river.  Unfortunately, such excuses can no longer be used today. 

It's a well known fact that socks disappear in dryers.  Until now there has been no suitable theory to explain the mechanism by which they disappear. Since the mass of the stuff left on the lint screen is not enough to account for the missing sock, one can only conclude that this disappearance is not a simple physical phenomenon.  It was once  proposed that a sock would be completely annihilated on collision with an antisock, i.e. a corresponding sock composed of antimatter. However, how the antisock actually got there could not be explained, and furthermore the energy released, according to Einstein's mass-energy equivalence relation, would destroy not only the dryer, but also everything else within a 10 Km radius.

So I have now concluded that  it has something to do with the speed at which the socks move and centripetal motion created within the washing process wherein the socks are directed orthogonal to the velocity of the spin cycle, toward the instantaneous center of curvature of the dryer drum... resulting in the abrupt disappearance of socks into another dimension.

There remains one last question of why other things such as pants and shirts don't also disappear. In fact, they do, but less often because their greater size and mass make them less likely to do so.  Also, it is much easier to notice that a sock has disappeared, since socks come in pairs.

And that my friends is my latest theorem on the disappearance of socks.  As well as representing the types of things I think about at four in the morning while changing diapers. 

You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping.  ~Rudyard Kipling