Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Can snails reproduce in the vacuum cleaner?

I've heard people discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of vacuuming up spiders. Does it get rid of them or rather allow them to reproduce in your vacuum bag only to further colonize your house? I have heard arguments from both sides and still remain undecided on the true answer. I, for one, do hoover them up (animal rights activists my apologies). And then I try to run my vacuum long enough after the deed. My theory is that by running the vacuum for a certain amount of time once the spiders are in the bag, I can suffocate them with the dust. Sounds dastardly and somehow I'm sure I shouldn't even be admitting this. But there it is. I hoover spiders.

But what about snails? If you hoover up a snail, can it go on living in the dust bag and escape during the night or does it die?

I ask only because I did recently hoover up a snail. I honestly didn't mean to do it. Given my above admission regarding spiders, I'm sure there are a few of you with your doubts. But I assure you, it was an accident. I was trying to avoid it while cleaning a very tricky area in the conservatory, but one fateful flick of the wrist and it was gone. I felt a shiver up my spine at the thought of it living in my dust bag. But what I found even more disturbing was the thought that perhaps it wasn't in the dust bag. Perhaps it was stuck somewhere between it's out-of-vacuum hiding place and the dust bag, a sort of snail purgatory if you will. What if it were stuck somewhere in the hose, desperately clinging on with the hope of future escape? During the night. When we're all asleep.

I did finally manage to put the snail incident out of my head. Until today. Today I hoovered up a piece of beading around the floorboards that we haven't nailed in yet. I knew right away that I was going to have to go after it. I couldn't let that carefully cut out tiny piece of molding be whisked away by the vacuum. It had to be saved. And then the second thought flashed in my head. The snail. What if the snail were still alive. Still slimy and wet and waiting for my hand in the dust bag. What if I reached in and...gasp...touched the snail. Shivers.

I finally decided the only way to solve my problem was to carefully dissect the dust bag over the bin bag, picking through the dust ever so carefully so as not to miss the piece of molding but still avoid the potential snail. I did eventually find the molding.

I never did see the snail...

Are all French people lefties?

I love having a 5 year old around. I loved having a 4 year old as well and was very sad to see 4 go. But 5 is good too. 5 year olds can do things like put their blankie on the floor, lay their heads on top of it and turn around in circles. Then they can let out big sighs of satisfaction. 5 year olds can have a blankie. And they can take long, satisfying sniffs of it when they want to without having to explain themselves to anyone. Although sometimes they do anyway. I like it when they do.

5 year olds are very proud of their accomplishments and they aren't shy about telling you so. My 5 year old has had a particularly achievement-ridden summer and is feeling very satisfied with herself. She is proud that she has learned to swim by herself. She is overjoyed by the fact that she can now ride her bike without stabilizers - and now wouldn't dream of being seen at the park with them (gasp!). She is quite impressed with herself since she learned how to play Dominoes. Dominoes are important to 5 year olds.

But most of all, 5 year olds say really, really great things. Point in case, when my father asked my 5 year old what hand she writes with she correctly answered "my right hand", but when it was pointed out that her father writes with his left hand, she quickly responded with "he's French you know." This is a perfectly respectable and logical answer in a 5 year old world where apparently all French people are left-handed. She also lightly giggles when she tells her teacher that her daddy "doesn't speak very good English", but gets away with telling people to do things "in a jippy" and is allowed to comment on her sister's "junkbeds" without anyone taking offense.

I love having a 5 year old around. It puts life into perspective and makes me smile. I hope 6 will be just as good.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Getting ready for the holidays....Swedish style

In view of the upcoming holidays, I have finally decided to do something somewhat festive. Whenever the holiday season rolls around I revert into Swedish mode. I'm not sure if it's a genetic trait that all Swedes share regardless of their degree of Swedish-ness (in my case, my grandfather was Swedish), but I want to have everything red and white and woody at that time of year.

In celebration of that, I have created 3 adorable little paintings of Swedish inspiration. Santa Lucia is my favourite as I've always found images of her so sweet and peaceful. I love to picture my girls dressed up as Santa Lucia and tiptoe-ing around in their nightgowns.

Of course, with my daughters, giving them lit candles to wear on their heads isn't the best idea and tiptoe isn't actually in their vocabulary. I'll stick to watercolours instead.

Help! Everyone else seems to be able to Blog but me....

This is my first attempt at a blog. It seems like it should be so simple. So many other people have them. 5 year old children have them. And yet I'm lost. I'm a bit ashamed to admit, but I've been working on this masterpiece before you for 3 days. 3 whole days have been spent trying to figure out how to put photos on my blog without having them be distorted (as you can see, I haven't yet succeeded in that journey). 3 days hoping to be able to layout this blog just as I want it. 3 days for the realization to dawn on me that it just wasn't going to happen.

Finally, I've decided to give up and just go with it. Test the waters and see what happens.

Here goes. I'm going to press publish.....