January 2008


I’ve been abandoned. Really, I have. Yesterday morning, at about 04:30 EST, Mr Izz packed up his way cool rental car and drove off into the…umm…almost sunrise, headed for a distant and exotic Eastern land………ok, fine, he went to New Hampshire on business, but it sounded a whole lot better the other way. But no matter where he went or why, I have still been abandoned. Honestly, this isn’t a really big deal in general. As I’ve said in previous posts, things tend to be more laid back when he is gone. We have things like pancakes for dinner. It’s cool. But the other side of this isn’t really very cool. Almost every time he leaves on business, something happens. Not always something big, but something nonetheless. One time, Victoria tipped over in the chair she was standing on (yes, I know….bad mommy moment), and conveniently broke her fall with her head as it smacked into the cast iron radiator. The lump that very quickly emerged was a sight to behold. Another time, we had a chimney fire….it was small, but still very annoying. Then, of course, the children misbehave more than usual and my stress levels steadily climb until he comes back. The only consolation is that I know he knows he owes me big. Huge. But this time, what Mr Izz owes is bigger than big. It’s bordering on gargantuan. I’m thinking that deserted tropical island may suffice. But I’ll think more about that one. I may be able to come up with something better. Believe me, I’m going to deserve it.  

As I watched Mr Izz leave yesterday morning, I was well aware that a storm was brewing…literally. We were supposed to have lots of wind and some snow. The gusts were supposed to be close to 50mph, which meant the hatches had to be battened down yet again (the wind storms we’ve had this year have been amazingly frequent. I’m not amused). Apparently more than I had anticipated for when I turned on the water this morning to make coffee (ahhhhh….coffee…..), not even air came out of the faucet. Great, I thought; the pipes are frozen. Heaving a very large sigh, I went into the big boys’ room to get Christopher, who was still a-snooze in his bed.  Since his help was needed to remedy the situation at hand, I woke him up and told him the joyous news. He took it about as well as I did, and grumbled his way out of bed to see what could be done. I could torture you with the gory details of what we did, and how it didn’t work, but I think saying the normal avenues were uneventful will more than suffice. Still not a drop from any faucet in the house. Plenty more agitation and stress on my part, but still no water. More grumbling, from both mother and son, ending with another phone call to Mr Izz (he had been called earlier, but no help had been gotten from him…he just said to call him when the water was back on…….maybe my island can be near Tahiti……). I calmly tell him that the heater under the house didn’t work this time (oh yes…this is a regular occurrence), so he then says that perhaps we should put the heater into the well house, near the pump. Now, mind, I had said I thought it was frozen at the pump earlier that morning (by this time, we’re almost at 3pm), but I was told that it wasn’t. As it turned out, that is exactly where it was frozen (a bit of hopping up and down in irritation). Within an hour the water was again up and running.  Now, I could go off onto an “I told you so!!” type tangent, but since Mr Izz isn’t one of my regular readers, I’ll keep my speech for when he gets back. This is advantageous for those of you who do read my blog on a regular basis, for you won’t be bored to tears by my tantrum. But it will also be advantageous  for me, for by the time he arrives on my doorstep, I will have the whole thing perfected…each word stressed for effect; each gesticulation timed perfectly. My diatribe will be a work of art! I’m sure he’ll appreciate it as such.  

I’m just happy the water is back on. but I am not looking forward to round 2 (or maybe 22 at this point…it’s been a long winter) tomorrow. The forecast is calling for more wind and about 10-12 inches of snow and ice. While I really do hate snow, I will say it is a good insulator. That’s helpful in terms of keeping pipes from freezing up…or pumps as was the case today. But I am sure I am not alone when I say I am more than ready for winter to be over. I could use a dose of Spring right about now, but since that seems to be anything but a priority right now, I’ll just go for a glass or two of wine….maybe even three. If I have enough, I can pretend it’s Spring. Cheers!  

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Fa la la la laaaa…la la la laaaaaaaa!

Yes, my dear readers, it is Birthday Season! You may be familiar with the Christmas season, or the ski season, or maybe even maple sugaring season. Here at Casa Izz, we have what is fondly known as Birthday Season. What exactly does that mean, you might ask. Well, let me tell you all about it…before I have to bake another cake.

As you may have guessed (if you’ve read the “About Me” portion of my blog, and know how many children reside at Casa Izz), we celebrate quite a few birthdays here. You know, because, like, I’m a nice mom and each child has their own special day on their birthday, which means they don’t have to do their daily chores and they get to pick out their dinner and dessert for that evening. The kids tend to think this is pretty cool, and I really don’t mind doing it…most of the time. Please recall the title of this post. Here at Casa Izz, for reasons unbeknownst to anyone but God Himself, more than half of the Izzlets were born in the months of Januray (4 Izzlets) and February (2 Izzlets), which is how the term Birthday Season came into existence. Every time you turn around, there is yet another birthday to celebrate. As I sit down each week to make out the weekly menu, these birthdays must be taken into consideration; the children whose birthdays are coming up within the next week must be quizzed on what they would like for dinner and for their special dessert…one year almost every child decided to have tacos for their birthday dinner, so that year Birthday Season was aptly renamed Taco Season. I still am unable to look at a taco without feeling a little queasy…but back to what I was saying. Everything must be done…presents must be purchased, desserts must be made, birthday child must be given the day off…you see how stressful this can be for someone as disorganised as I am! Especially when you realise that each child likes to be different from the last. No one really wants just cake. Our birthday desserts range from cake to brownie sundaes to cherry pie, etc. Have you ever tried to put 12 candles into milk shakes? It’s not an easy task, let me tell you. But what can I say…I have creative children (they must take after ME! 😉 ).

This is why I have been somewhat missing in action as of late. I have no time to write…whenever I try, I have to wrap a present or bake a dessert or bread chicken filets. There is always something. Hmm…isn’t that always my excuse?

An older priest once said that birthdays should not be celebrated. Now, before you get all bent out of shape over that, listen to his reasoning. It was his contention that children had no right to their birthday for it was their mother that did all the work to bring them into the world to begin with. Therefore, it should be the mother’s celebration rather than the child’s. That seems perfectly logical to me. I’d be up for 11 birthday celebrations; 11 days off (which is 11 more than I get now), 11 days of catering to ME (again, which is 11 more than I usually get). Sounds utterly perfect, don’t you think? But, of course, there is no way the Izzlets would allow such a thing. They love to celebrate the day they were born, and really, so do I. It’s not that hectic. Besides, my birthday is in March. I’ll get them all back then (insert evil, maniacal laughter…..). 

‘Tis the season…to make resolutions. After a wild month or so of partying and living it up, most people are feeling guilty and use the New Year as the means to fix all of those things they did during the end of the last year. It’s a New Year, and therefore a new slate. Yeah, ok. Whatever. I once read some statistic somewhere that only like 5% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep those resolutions. In fact, by the end of January, they’ve already slipped down that slippery slope right back into the bad habits they had so carefully forged the 360 or so days before…depending on how long they actually lasted. Sound familiar? I know it does to me…all too. I’m tired of the feelings of failure and incompetence when I give up after day…ahem…5 or 6. So this year, my resolution is not to make any resolutions. Now, don’t pull those semantics on me, saying that my resolution to not make resolutions is, in essence, a resolution. I couldn’t care less. I’m still doing it, unless I can come up with a better idea. Why set myself up for another failure? It’s not worth the time and effort. I never do what I’ve set out to do to begin with, so what Is the point? Oh wait…I feel a mega-super idea coming on…

Alright, now, bear with me here…what if I resolve to do all of those things that I really don’t want to do? I mean, if I’m not going to do what I resolve to do anyway, maybe this will work kind of like reverse psychology…I resolve to do something horrible and bad, and since it’s a New Year’s resolution, I’m not going to end up fulfilling that resolution anyway, that only means that I’ll end up doing the right thing by default. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this before! It’s pure genius!! The logic is flawless…there is no way it won’t work because it has always worked in the opposite way for everyone, everywhere. If it does work, I can write a book about it…”Making New Year’s Resolutions. Using Reverse Psychology”!! The possibilities are endless…this is so exciting! Oh…anyway…right, I’m still writing a blog post here, aren’t I? Ok, so without further ado, here are Izzy’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2008: The Reverse Psychological Edition.

1) I resolve to be horribly impatient. Patience may be virtuous, but I personally find it’s virtuosity to be totally overrated. Besides, I’ve been impatient for so long, I’ve gotten it down to a science. You might say I’ve perfected the art. That, in of itself, would render me JUST in the eyes of men, so sayeth Plato.

2) I resolve to sit on the couch and watch things like Jerry Springer all day long. Exercise, schmexercise…who needs it when there are such cool things on the telly? Plus, if exercise is something I need to think more about, I can just tune in to Fitness TV. Thinking about all the exercise they’re doing should burn at least a few calories,. Brilliant idea, no?

3) I resolve to spend absolutely no time, whatsoever, with my children. I have 11 chldren…surely with that large of a number, they can entertain each other without me having to participate. Éamon wants a story read to him? He can learn to read it for himself, for heaven’s sake! He’s a smart kid…and two really isn’t all that young to learn how to read. Séamus and Finbar need a bath?, Well, good grief! Why on earth can’t they do it themselves? Yeah, they very well could make it too hot, and very possibly get a wee bit scalded, but how does one learn without trial and error? I have better things to do (like watch Jerry Springer…I do have to make sure I fulfill Resolution #2) then to do these things with my children. They can either do it themselves, or do without. I really don’t see why that would be a problem.

4) I resolve to not read a decent book all year. Books are useless. It takes too much time to read them, and I’d have to have the patience of a saint to do it. That would interfere with Resolution #1, which of course is problematic. Books such as Harlequin Romances are fine…or maybe a Kitty Kelley unauthorized biography…but nothing substantial. Who needs Hamlet when one can have Sven and his abnormally large pectoral muscles?

5) Lastly, I resolve to continue on my downward spiral into disorganizational oblivion. Being disorganized has definite advantages. No one asks you to borrow anything because you won’t be able to find what they need anyway, for it will have been sucked into the Abyss of the Unknown, from which nothing ever leaves. Nor are you ever asked to do anything because everyone knows you won’t remember the time and place to help (you would have written down the information, but of course you didn’t know where your date book was, and although you told yourself you would find it so you could write down the pertinent information about where and when, you forgot to look for it because you became too caught up in that rather large basket of stuff that needed to be put away…it had been sitting there for about 2 months and you were sure that the spatula (that you needed to make grilled cheese with) that had been lost one evening after trying to use it to pry off some gum from the wall, was indeed in there, but as you went through the basket, you found a pair of socks that needed to be washed, which meant you first had to find the laundry detergent…you get the idea). All of those piled up papers and books made rather nice walls (so long as they don’t’ topple over…). I won’t have to homeschool (and therefore spend time with the kids, violating Resolution #3), because I won’t remember where I put the books. And we can have chocolate pudding for dinner because I’ll have forgotten to write out my list before going to the grocery store. If anything, that last bit will make me very popular amongst the younger crowd here at Casa Izz! Life will be good…in an exceptionally cluttered and disorganized sort of way.

I think 5 resolutions should be sufficient. I don’t want to make it too easy to fulfill (because remember, I really don’t want to do these things), nor do I want to make it too difficult…after all, I have to make it look like I’m actually trying, right?

Now to get this typed up and posted (I always write my posts out in a notebook first). Although, typing would interfere with Resolution #1 (typing takes loads of patience…especially when you have to do it on the laptop rather than the regular computer), as well as Resolution #2 (typing will take up valuable telly time). Oooooo!!! I’ve got it! I’ll make one of the kids type it out. That way I’ll still be keeping Resolution #’s 1 and 2, as well as keep Resolution #3. Brilliant! This may end up being too easy…that really could be a problem…

Happy New Year, everyone!