The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Archive for July, 2010

Annual Short Haircut Day

Yesterday was my annual “Cut it all off” day.  This happens when the weather rises above “freeze your ass off” and stays that way at least two weeks. According to my friend Lisa, this means summer has arrived. The fact that August also arrives next week is not lost on those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest. Next comes a week of “hotter than hell,” followed by two or three days of Indian Summer, then it will start to rain again. (Psst. Don’t tell. Oregonians are required to denounce our weather like that ever since Governor Tom McCall was in Oregon and encouraged people to visit but not stay.) We actually have some pretty nice weather part of the time.

Anyway, my hair is now incredibly short. I look like a fat boy with humongous man-boobs.  I do this to avoid helmet hair. Not the man-boobs part, the short hair part. I have a scooter, and once it’s warm enough to ride, I have to avoid helmet hair at all costs. (Those who know me well, ie. those who sleep with me and can speak English….cats and dogs don’t count) know that my one vanity is my hair. I’d rather have none, which  I pretty much do right now, than have helmet hair.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my helmet. My brain is already damaged. We’re not going there twice. I wear helmets, seat belts, and any required safety devices for any activity I’m stupid enough to engage in.  I draw the line, though, at life jackets unless mandated by law. I was the first woman to win a four year letter in my high school and that giant L was for swimming. I am an excellent swimmer. And, being a fat boy with man-boobs, I float pretty well even if I don’t move any body parts at all. I have been known to run the mast of a sailboat tilted to a  30 degree angle while coming about and jump off the end into an ice cold major navigable river. I was, of course, young then.  If I tried to run the mast now, the boat would tip over and sink. I’d still be able to swim though.

I’d take a picture, of the hair, not the man-boobs, if I could just find the camera. But we are in chaos again from smashing the car. Here’s what the car looks like now:

After encountering a giant pole sideways

This is the front driver's door. The bump in the center of the gash is the interior door handle, probably what broke Jenny's ribs.

Okay, no idea where I’m going with this now. But that’s the old Prius. This is the new one:

Yes, we got another Prius. Despite it’s small size, the old one did all the right things in the wreck. It fell apart around us, sacrificing itself to protect us. The new one (a 2005) is a bit bigger but still just as well made. (Old Prii were built on a Corolla chassis, making them Corolla size. New ones have their own chassis and are bigger.)

So, if you see a fat boy with man-boobs driving a 2005 Prius which is some sort of green color, it’s probably me.

Look at these….

Are these gorgeous or what?

Caitlin, Felipe, Emma-Sofia


Reasons You Have (or don't have) Kids # 502

The Contortionist is 20. She is the youngest, she is in the circus, she is spoiled. I admit it.  She admits. Her sisters agree. But she also has the same reading tastes I do and frequently just scoops up a new book and I never see it again. I bought the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Doug Adams, got just past the destruction of the earth (I’ve read it before, back when I was probably 20) and she walked off with it. Granted, she did ask. But that was in March. She’s still reading it.

Why? Because it’s over 800 pages. Because she’s got college, circus, rehearsals, a job at Peets, a job at Blockbuster, and a life. She is one busy girl. No wonder she spends her time all tied up in knots. (I have pictures to prove it:

So I treated myself to another copy because a) given the summer I’ve had, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, while excellent, just wasn’t doing the job.  It’s smart, it’s entertaining in a quirky way, but it’s not funny. Right now, I need funny. Enter Ford Prefect and his entourage. I have no idea what reason b is. That focus thing again.

What are you reading? And if it’s funny, send it my way. I need funny right now.

And another six months pass….

Okay, it’s time to start blogging again. I know that. I’m lazy. Well, I’m not lazy, I’ve just been busy. But enough is enough.

So here’s the news:

  • We are expecting. Yes, you read that right. We are going to have a granddaughter (another one) in August. Her name is Emma-Sofia Pilar  and we already adore her AND her name.
  • We went to Texas in the spring to see the old grandchildren. Too much fun, even if the weather was crap. We took the Contortionist with us and we all had a great time. The Army Guy got to take the week off and our oldest daughter had the week off as well. Since the kids had spring break that week, we all sat around a played WII games. It may sound boring. I thought it was wonderful. The Grandboy beat the crap out of us at all games. The Grandgirl celebrated her 12th birthday by taking us all out for lunch and a manicure. My first manicure. (And, actually, I paid….but it was her plan. A girl’s day out. That kid is being raised right from the start.)
  • A dear friend, The Priest,  got lung cancer even though she never smoked and ten weeks after diagnosis she died. It was sudden and awful and I’ll probably have more to say but not right now. The funeral was Sunday. It’s still too soon.
  • Two days after The Priest died, Jenny lost control of my 2002 Prius leaving the freeway at the Gee Creek rest stop just north of Vancouver. The antilock brakes locked, we spun, and we hit an aluminum pole. Thank God those things are engineered to fall apart. But seeing a huge pole coming down on top of you is something I never want to see again. The car did what it was designed to do. Namely, die. The crush zones, or whatever they call them, all crushed.  The pole intruded 12 inches into the car, right through the door handle, and smashed Jenny’s elbow and broke her ribs. They had to cut her out of the car. No fun. Fortunately, other than a hateful attitude toward her pain meds, she’s doing okay. I was bumped, bruised, battered, and baffled. I’m still not focusing well, but so it goes.
  • Sophie the cat died. We had given her to our house sitter because the cat, who never accepted the fact that we had kids, had a really hard time after we got a dog and three more cats. The house sitter had her for a couple of months and then she died. She was old, so it wasn’t that odd. But the house sitter wanted her to be buried out here so the Contortionist and Jenny gave her a proper burial while I was out at a church meeting.
  • I have a new car. The car is a 2005 Prius. I tried really hard to buy a Honda, but Toyota’s are in my blood. It is loaded with everything but I’m going to have to get a new cell phone now because the stupid G1 won’t sync phone books with the car.
  • I actually have some things I want to write about, but not right now. I’m sort of tired and that focus thing is still sort of a problem.

More soon.

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