Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Read To Your Bunny

There is a book called "Read To Your Bunny," about how you are supposed to read to your bunny - I mean kid - I mean CHILD - twenty minutes a day.

It is written by Rosemary Wells. She has written many many children's books, including the Max and Ruby books, the Yoko books, and the McDuff books.

And speaking of McDuff, today's Holiday Cheer is a McDuff book! It's McDuff's New Friend, and it's a Christmas book. I find it very sweet. If you see it, pick it up and give it a read! It will not take you twenty minutes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving - Recap

Before going off on the approach of Christmas and all that, I first should talk about Thanksgiving.

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. It was busy and crazy, full of family. We had too much wine, too much pie, too many leftovers. We did the circus, the museum, and the Muppets.

I sometimes make a big deal about bring grateful, weeks before it's actually Thanksgiving day. I think the reason we do Thanksgiving is because we sometimes need a reminder of just how much we have to be thankful FOR, crazy families and extra pies included.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Holiday Season!

I honestly didn't mean to leave our Christmas list up all weekend. I had some crazy idea I was going to be able to post from New York, that I would share photographs of our Thanksgiving while it was still happening.

Of course this didn't happen.

Now we are home, and I spent this afternoon fussing and putting things in order, getting the boys to practice piano and finish homework, getting us back to normal.

Except it isn't normal.

Because it's THE HOLIDAYS!!!! YES! They are HERE!

And I am really really hoping I can get it together and share some of my favorite holiday things with you this year. Books, Music, Movies, Traditions, Baking Tips, Dogs Barking Jingle Bells, Everything! It'll be GRAND!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Letter To Santa

Dear Santa

Here we are, the day after Thanksgiving already! I have to admit, this year the Turkey Holiday took me a little by surprise. It seems like only a couple of weeks ago we were trick-or-treating... That's what happens when they bump Halloween back to early November.

In any case, you are probably further along in your holiday shopping than I am in mine. (Everyone on my list is getting a peppermint pig and a small box of chocolates.) But in the event that you are still looking for ideas for any of us, I am sending you our christmas lists.

The Boys:

(If you will let me know what you are giving the boys and/or Steve, I will try and update this list, crossing out or noting when a specific item is purchased by any one of Santa's Elves.)

Santa, the boys have enough toys. They really and truly do. In fact, they have so many toys that I confiscated half of them in late summer, hid them in the closet, and no one ever noticed. I do plan to comb through what they have and thin it out a little, but please keep this in mind as you plan for them.

Please, for the love of all that is holy, no stuffed animals. Also, please nothing too large.

I have been dropping your elves targeted hints which still apply, but I won't mention them here. They love posters and T-shirts. They love books, always. They love PJ's and slippers. The two older boys need pants all of the time. They love trips to the zoo, to the movies, to museums, to amusement parks, etc.

The following are, as usual, only suggestions. They are not requirements. Please do not buy everything on the list. These are the things they have asked for, or might like. They can live without any of it.

Nicholas - age 7
Pants - size 6 (or 6 slim)
Shirt - size 7 or boys small
shoes - size 13.5
Likes or Might Like: Pokemon and Pokemon Cards,

Nathan - age 6 (on Jan. 16)
Pants - size 5 (soon to be size 6.)
Shirt -size 6 or 7 or boys small
shoes - size 12.5
Likes: Pokemon, Dinosaurs, Pirates,

Andrew - Age 4 (on Dec. 17)
Pants - size 4
Shirt - size 4
shoes - size 11
Likes: Space, Submarines

Would do for all three (these are bigger gifts they have requested or would absolutely use and enjoy): This Pirate Ship,


I don't know! Santa, Men are a total mystery to me. I simply have no idea what they want or need. Every year I start brainstorming early, but Steve, my brother, and my father are always the last to be checked off my list, because I know I can't buy them what they want and dont' have, which is a ginormous yacht docked in St. Tropez, or for a certain baseball or football team to win a billion straight games. Same goes for Steve. I am married to this man, but when it comes to giving him a gift, I'm at a loss. Here's what I've got: He Needs Good Sturdy Luggage for both short term and long term trips. He likes Steak, Beef Jerky, and designer beers. If you have any ideas, please share them with me! (And maybe I'll share my ideas with you!)


I am the opposite of Steve. I am really easy to buy gifts for. If you reach into your kitchen cupboard and pull out a canned good, you could wrap it up for me and I would probably be thrilled. Especially if it's a dessert topping.
Seriously, there are a few general no-fail options I have. Chocolates are a big one. I would particularly enjoy some of these. I also really enjoy and constantly drink this line of red teas. I enjoy all kinds of make-up and beauty products, especially shampoos and conditioners. I like Burt's Bees and anything Earth friendly and/or organic. I have always wanted those re-usable drink containers that look like fancier versions of the disposable ones, hot or cold. I likeclothes, dressy clothes, casual clothes, I wear things into the ground. I like the jewelry you have picked out for me in the past. I need a new upright vacuum cleaner - I'd like a dyson, but they are expensive... but I can fix them, so if anyone if getting rid of one... hint hint... And more seriously, I appreciate items people make, poems, mix CDs, drawings, etc. Because I love you, and I appreciate you... uh... Santa!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This is the day of Thanks.

This is the day we should express our gratitude for all of the things we have, no matter how small and insignificant it may sound.

This is the day we should keep in our minds and hearts those who have not, who go without.

We shall, of course, take a break for turkey, wine, and pie. Not necessarily in that order.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Scream-Free Parenting

At the Library, I picked up an audiobook called "Scream-Free Parenting."

I haven't had time to listen to it yet, so I can't give my opinion.

All I know is that I almost didn't pick it up. I took a look, stifled a snort, and thought "How the heck would I get the kids to DO ANYTHING?"

Which is, after all, the real reason I ended up picking it up and taking it home. Since I've started listening, I've pinpointed four or five episodes where I was screaming my head off. I know, on an intellectual level, that screaming doesn't really DO anything. But sometimes, like when the bus is coming and your five-year-old is somehow still shoeless and coatless, it just happens. It seems like the only logical response. How else can you light a fire under the kid so that he actually moves his body to get those shoes on?

I'm hoping that I actually learn something from this book, because I think a lot of my feeling bad about myself has to do with feeling grumpy and regretful about parenting mistakes. And by that I mean yelling at my kids. I don't want to be the yelling kind of parent. I want to be the nice, calm parent.

If only it were actually in my nature.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beet It

This post is going to contain some information that may be too intimate for some people. Sorry about that. I almost didn't write about this for that very reason. But I changed my mind.

A number of weeks ago, I called my OB/GYN's office. "I think I need an appointment." I said. "What seems to be the problem?" the nice lady on the line asked. "I think I have an UTI," I said. "What are your symptoms?" the lady persisted. "Um..." I wasn't sure how to reply. "I'm peeing red"

Yes. Red pee. Pee the color of Kool Aid. Dark red Kool Aid. So shockingly not the right color, that I was immediately sure I was dying, with bloody urine being the main symptom.

But you see, I had no pain. No pain at all, anywhere. Well, a little light cramping, but I feel I can almost always muster up a little light cramping. But maybe it wasn't nothing? Maybe it was something. Maybe it was something serious. Maybe it was serious and had been going along and I just hadn't been feeling it or giving it attention and now I was going to die!

I mentioned my little issue to Steve, who was concerned for me, and who agreed to watch the boys for whenever I could get an appointment. Because peeing red is, or should be, a big red flag on everyone's GO TO THE DOCTOR list.

Am I right so far?

Well, I went to the doctor, and had a frustrating appointment where my urine was checked. It was, by then, ordinary. They did find traces of blood, but nothing unusual. After some quick checking, my trusted doctor told me it was probably a little blood from my cervix that just washed out with the urine flow.

Now, I have been getting my period for over 25 years, give or take a few months for pregnancy / birth control reasons. I know what blood from my cervix is like... I mean, you know. It's not the same as peeing bright red. But the more I tried explaining this to my doctor, the more amused she became.

There was nothing left for me to do but go home and see if anything else happened. And I was worried, and confused, and started to wonder if we really knew anything at all about medicine, or our bodies, or if spontaneous temporary bleeding of internal organs was simply more common than I thought.

Fast forward to a few weeks later.

I'm in bed, reading, and Steve comes out of the bathroom. "I just peed bright red." He said.

And this is when the wheels start turning. Because when one person gets sick after dinner, it's a bug, but when everyone gets sick, it's the food they ate, right?

The food we ate.

You know how, when you eat asparagus, your pee smells funny? Well, this CSA we are members of right now has been giving us shares of beets. Not the canned beets we usually get, but real, organic, beets. At first we got small bunches, but they have been getting increasingly larger. I peel them and chop them up, then roast them with oil and garlic. They are good.

And apparently, they turn your pee bright red. Who knew? If I ate a sugary cereal and this happened I would immediately blame food dyes and chemicals, and then never eat the cereal again. But we are talking about local organic produce, here. I simply never thought this would happen. It seems so odd. Steve thinks it's because I don't peel them enough. I think it's because the canned ones have been sitting in water and vinegar for so long. Whatever the reason, I no longer think it's anything to worry about.

But the next morning, Nick ran into the bathroom as I took a shower, alarmed because his pee was red. I have to say, I'm very glad it happened to me first, because if Nick had been the first one to pee red I really would have FREAKED OUT!

If this is an indicator of anything, it's that, until recently, I was the only one eating the beets.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pet Problem

Mom, can we get a pet?

I never understood why people thought getting a pet was such a big deal.

Sure, there was walking the dog, or cleaning the litter box. But aside from those things and from feeding the pet, what more was there? Aside from a few minor details.

I've been to the vet three times in the past couple of weeks, and each trip has cost me hundreds of dollars. The next time a child or an insane adult proposes getting a cat, you can show them these numbers:

Vet consult: $40
Blood test: $12 (every two weeks until we figure out the right insulin level)
Insulin: $88 for a small bottle
Special Diabetic Cat Food: $32 for 24 cans (1 can a day)
Thyroid meds: $47 (100 pills - 2 pills a day)
Frontline: $95 for 6 months ($190 with two cats.)
Dog Frontline: $99 for 6 months
Heartworm meds: $47 for 6 months.

Individually, it doesn't look to bad, but when you're about to leave with your kitty and you look at the $500 bill... it can hurt your brain.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hot Chocolate

Nick and Nate both take karate classes now.

However, because the universe is cruel, or perhaps because it's more fair for little boys, they are not in the same class. Nathan is one of the larger boys in a very small class of five and six year-olds. Nick is easily the smallest boy in a much larger class of rambunctious seven to twelve year-olds.

Both boys have class three times a week. But not at the same time. The one saving grace is that twice a week these classes occur back-to-back.

This means that I must wait during both classes with one or two boys. The Dojo is small, and there is no place I can sit with other children, so I usually take this time to run a few short errands. But as the town is spread out, there are really only a few places, and a limited number of errands I can do. I can run to the very expensive grocery store I hate and pick up a few items. I can mail a package. I can go to the organic food store and pick up my CSA stuff. I can go to the dry cleaners. I can buy a pie.

Usually I sit at the coffee shop and have a cup of coffee.

This has become an expensive habit. I never used to buy coffee - I can make it at home. But I feel odd sitting in a store and not purchasing anything, so I buy a decaf. Then I leave to pick up Nate and drop Nick off, and then we sit down again, and I have another decaf.

I have set up a pre-paid account so that I don't even have any idea how much I'm spending.

When I'm there, I sometimes feel bad when the boys are with me. Other kids order drinks, and my kids started requesting drinks also.

And so I gave in and started ordering them Hot Chocolates.

This was a bad idea.

Do you know what kids wear to karate? Gis. A Gi is, well, a karate outfit. There are tons of them out there, but most of them are WHITE.

You know what can really mess up a white outfit? That's right. Hot Chocolate.

One Saturday, the coffee shop was having a particular problem with it's drink lids. They kept falling off. And both Nick and Nate managed to spill hot chocolate on the front of their gi's.

It took me a few weeks to get around to washing them. I mean, I don't usually wash them, because they are white, and I don't want to accidentally turn them pink. And I don't often do whites. And when I do I often forget about looking in the karate bags. But eventually I did, and although you can still find the spot they spilled if you look, you have to really look.

Four days later we were at the coffee shop. I was chatting with other parents and Nick and Andy were sitting in a gaggle of boys, heads bent over DS machines in some male-bonding activity. I gave the two-minute warning - we're leaving in two minutes. Nick them remembered that he had hot chocolate, which he had hardly touched. And, rushing, he managed to pour in all over the front of his gi. All. Over. The front of his gi. It was a mess.

It was such a mess, that the other boys just stood and looked at him with shock.

One of the parents fetched me napkins, and I blotted as well as I could. I told Nick he could swap go tops with Nate once we were back in the dojo, and we all started packing up.

Except Nick, who then said "but I want to have a few more sips of my hot chocolate."

He took a few very tentative sips while I stood very still and chose not to yell. Then I said, "OK, we're leaving now," and I turned to the door and started walking out.

Nick then remembered that he had to pack up his DS and all his games, which took him another couple of minutes. Then, just as I stepped out the door, he took him almost-full hot chocolate and placed it in the trash.

Because I like spending too much money on hot chocolates simply to increase my laundry load.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

True Story

I was giving the boys a bath, and Andy was sitting on the bath mat with me, waiting his turn.

"Mom, what if you had another baby?" he says, patting the dangly part of my stomach.

I can't lie. I experienced a "twinge" closely related to "want." But without hesitation I replied "Well, Andy, I think we're done. I think we have enough kids. What do you think? Would you want another baby around?"

Andy just looked at me.

"Babies are a lot of work," I said. "They cry all the time, and they need their diapers changed all the time, and they are always eating. I couldn't be with you guys as much as I am now. And they sleep all the time, so we'd have to be quiet, and I'd always be yelling 'Quiet! The baby is sleeping!' And we couldn't go to as many fun places, like the museums or the playgrounds, or things like that..."

Andy leaned forward and kissed me on the lips. "Wasn't that nice?" he asked

I nodded. "Yes, it was nice."

Then he made a funny fish face, and leaned forward for another kiss. Amused, I made the fish face back, and we kind of fish-face-kissed.

I giggled. "What was that?"

Without hesitation he replied, "Love."

And then he kissed me again.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Food Fights

"What's for dinner?"

It seems like such a harmless and non-confrontational question.

But I get very defensive when I hear it.

There's always something wrong with what's for dinner. You can't please everyone, and long ago I stopped trying. But in this house, those un-pleased feel that they need to express themselves with loud and angry screaming, crying, whining, and overall general complaining.

I have never prepared a second meal for any of my children, barring actual illness. You get what you get.

And yet, most nights, the complaining begins before they actually sit down. "I'm not eating THAT!" Nick hates raviolis, or anything with parmesan cheese. Nathan doesn't like tacos or potatos. Nothing can look gross, or be too spicy, or be too bland. It can't be the wrong color - no white pasta sauce. It can't be the wrong shape of pasta - only spaghetti noodles, no rotini or ziti. No soup, ever, unless it's alphabet soup. Nick will eat the beef out of beef stew, but nothing else, and no one else will touch it. Nathan refuses anything green, or potatoes that are not white, peeled, and mashed.

Andrew doesn't complain a lot, but he also doesn't eat very much. I think this is fine. I understand not liking something. We all have things we don't like. But this doesn't need to be shared over and over again during the meal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Camera Shy

Nathan isn't.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Four Eyes

The glasses look so natural on him. One would hardly guess they were actually mine.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Little Things

I was in a rotten mood when I wrote my last post. I admit, I am still in a place where I am prone to tears and have to fight crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head. Or eating all of the leftover halloween candy. Or both.

But! There is a big BUT! I'm fine. I really really am. Even though I might cry when I watch "The Sound Of Music: or when I read "In Flanders Field," I usually recover pretty quickly. Most importantly, I can find little moments in between the chaos and frustration to appreciate life.

For example, right now I am in the living room. Light is coming in from the new half-wall we had put in. There are zero toys on the floor. It is peaceful. I have a cup of tea, and a little time to write a few blog posts. This is enough to be happy about right now. This is enough to swing my mood back up to where it belongs.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Guess That's Why They Call It...

Having a hard time. No particular reason. I've just been down a bit lately. I'm sure the last few days being cloudy has nothing to do with it. I'm sure the drop in the temperature is coincidence. It probably has nothing to do with my cat, or with my over-indulging on pie and halloween candy, or having stopped running for a whole week.

It's just that it's all of those things put together.

Along with not measuring up to my own expectations of what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I can't write. I can't sing. I can't finish any project I start. My house is a mess. I cant catch up on laundry. My kids are wild and crazy, and it is probably my fault because I spoil them and I'm also cold and unattentive. I give them too many sweets and make them meals that are so healthy no one wants to eat them. I let them watch too much TV. I don't read to them enough.

I spend all of my time complaining! Which is why I need to go back to bed. Right now. I'm going to stay there until I'm in a better mood. Even if it means pulling the covers over my head for a week!

Someone better tell the kids.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I just wrote a post to go along with a video of the boys I took playing "The 99" where Nick was a waiter at the 99, and he was taking orders from a kid's menu we had cluttering up the kitchen.

Only the video turned out to be more than 3 times too large to be uploaded.

It's too bad, really. I had another video of Puck trying to open a cabinet door - the cabinet I now keep the cat food in.

It's frustrating. It means I have to take very quick videos. And I'm not so good at them, anyway.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Make a wish! It's November 11, 2011.
Or 11-11-11.

At 11-11 we all should pause and think happy thoughts.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Never Say Never

My friend Miranda recently had to put her cat down.

It was a very difficult decision for her, I know, and an emotional one for me also. Miranda got her kitty the same day I got Puck, from the same pet store, and for the first year we raised them together, in the same third floor apartment.

But her kitty had many many health issues. I'm not sure what they all were, but there was always something. The cat had problems with his kidney disease and his thyroid. I remembered thinking about how much Miranda was doing for her cat, the time and the expense, and I told myself I would never be able to do anything like that. I mean, who gives their cats injections? You'd have to be a little crazy. It's a cat.


So, recently Puck has started acting like a lunatic. I'm not sure when it started, exactly, but one day Steve commented on how Puck was always on the counter, always knocking things to the floor, always underfoot or sticking his head into used dishes. Puck has never been a very agressive cat, and even though he would do all of these things on occasion, he was now doing them ALL THE TIME, and not even trying to be sneaky about it anymore. When I was cooking I couldn't measure yogurt or milk out ahead of time. I couldn't place butter on the counter. I couldn't put the meat out and then rush to the bathroom while the pan heated. Puck would be there when I turned around, nibbling or licking or sniffing as if he was just about to. When I shooed him away, he didn't run out of the room, he'd scamper around under my feet, trying to kill me.

Death by cat.

He was also looking funny. He wasn't the fat puffy thing he used to be. His coat was scraggly. It was uneven because in August I cut clumps of matted fur off and it just never grew back. He started collecting ticks, despite the frontline I administered each month, and the sores he got from scratching around his neck never healed. He had sores on his tail covered by matted fur. His bones were sticking through his skin - something you had to pet him to feel, due to his long fur. He also had permanent pink around his ears from repeatedly sticking his head into empty jars of pasta sauce.

So I took him to the vet.

They ran tests.

I took him back to the vet.

They did some more tests.

And then the vet confirmed it.

Puck is diabetic.

Diabetes in cats is treated with insulin injections twice a day. Very very tiny amounts on insulin. Administered with a very very shard needle. By me. And you have to be careful, because if you don't give enough, then the job isn't getting done and the cat will keep getting sick and eventually die. But if you give too much the cat will go into insulin shock, he'll DIE. The vet actually told me what to do if the cat seems drunk - Karo syrup. If he's unconscious, I get to rub it on his gums.

Aside from the injections, Puck is still on thyroid meds. He also gets a new diet of perscription (expensive) cat food. The vet recommends wet food. Which smells. Frank loves the wet food. Unfortunately, the food isn't for him. I'm probably going to have to start him on wet food, too, just to even things out.

All in all, this is presently causing a lot of upheaval. I'm putting a lot of energy into caring for my pets right now. More than I want to. And I know things will get easier, and this may even become second nature, but still. Ugh.

I know I rolled my eyes when people would talk about doing these things for their pets. I still do, even though I'm one of them (the people, not the pets). It's just crazy to do these things, to take these measures, to spend this much time and effort and money and stress on a pet! It's just... better than the alternative. Right? My Lord, we must all be insane.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

One Step Forward...

We've needed a new deck for so long.

But it really was just one item on a very long To Do list. Still on that list is: fix that hole in the wall in the front hall, attach doorstop so the door knob will not re-create the hole. Fix the random hole in the drywall in the pantry. Scrape off peeling wall paper in master bathroom. Paint master bathroom.

Some things you learn to live with, like small holes in the drywall behind doors or peeling walpaper in rooms no one ever sees but you. Some things you find you can not live with, like holes in the steps to your deck.

When you finally get around to doing something about it, it's SO GOOD! WHY did we WAIT SO LONG? You ask yourselves. For a moment, just a tiny moment, you let yourself enjoy the new, fixed-up project, without noticing the little things you need to do to really make the new project finished, like fixing the wood floor where the wall used to be, or painting the living room, and the hall, and the kitchen.

It's a good thing you enjoyed that little moment, too. Because in the next 48 hours your garage door will stop working. Both the cabinet door and the vanity drawer in the kids' bathroom will break. The mailman will stop by to remind you about the mailbox and to notify you that mail delivery will be suspended until it's fixed. He had to knock because your doorbell is broken. You can't deal with any of it because you are arranging to take you cat to the vet for the third time so they can confirm that he has diabetes and will need insulin shots twice a day. Also, you forgot to wash the kids karate uniforms, again, and they still have the chocolate milk stains from three weeks ago.

Now you can't even remember what the work you had done WAS, and there's still plaster dust under the wall heater.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Mourning 36

Go Vote, then you can come back and read this. GO! Even YOU, MOM!

This is the first year that I honestly lost track of how old I was. Was I 37 already? About to turn 38? No way! Was I? Or maybe... I couldn't still be 35, could I? Wait...

I'd have to do Actual Math and count the years from 1974 to figure out the actual number. And once I figured it out, I might forget it the next day.

My birthday is really just the near-end of the group of celebrations that begin the larger group of celebrations spanning the end-of-the-year (Columbus day, Halloween, Election Day, Nov. 6th Birthdays, My Birthday, and Veteran's Day is the small group. Then Thanksgiving, Andy's Birthday, Christmas, and New Year's and the middle, and they count more because there are many time more celebrations for these things. Then the first Birthdays - Dad's, Nate's, and Anne-E's, which are ironically the last of the group.)

I was going to get all sentimental and talk about doing things, marking time, and maybe vow to start working at the soup kitchen (why haven't I started working there, already?) but honestly, I have a lot of things to do before Kindergarten is over for the morning.

Please enjoy the candles below. They aren't birthday candles, but were used during our power outage, and I loved the way they melted. (So did the boys - they played with them during the day, and globs of brittle candle wax is now sprinkled all over the house. ) It's funny - the power outages are so frustrating and stress-inducing, and yet if you can pause and realize some of the beauty in it, you've actually gained something.

Stop rolling your eyes! It's my birthday!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Make Up!

I drew a moustache on Nathan for Trick-or-Treating.

Well, actually, I drew the moustache on him for the Karate Halloween event. On Halloween, Nathan was in a hurry and drew the moustache on himself. It looked kind of cool - not as round and twirly, but like Wario or Waluigi. Bad-guy-ish.

Trick or Treating in our town was last night, and despite the fact that we had already gone at Lillian's, we had used the second go at candy accumulation to help keep the boys from self-destruction during the power outage. Once the day came, we didn't see any other way out except to take them, even though I was so tired of Halloween and dressing up I could have screamed.

But what I want to talk about came before then. See, having used my one eyeliner to create a number of moustaches, I decided I deserved a new eyeliner. Actually, I deserved two, one in my traditional grey color, and another one that was purple - I know, I know, who do I think I am, some 23-year-old-clubber? But it made me happy.

Unfortunately, I left these eyeliners in plain sight next to the sink in my bathroom. We were going to a party at a friend's house that afternoon, and the boys were excited, running around like little lunatics, so I shooed them upstairs so that I could actually fold some laundry, load the dishwasher, sort through the clutter on the kitchen counter - what IS this stuff and how does it get here?

Twenty minutes before we are about to leave, Nathan bursts into the kitchen looking like this:

We had to have a conversation about make-up, Mommy's make-up, how it's ridiculously expensive, how we don't meddle, and how we don't write all over our faces before going to a party. Unless it's that kind of party.

This party was a 40th birthday party with some friends I have known since college. Someone happened to bring some photos of us dressed up for shows, dancing around our first new apartment, and dressing up for parties disguised as doormice. Including one famous picture of three of us sitting in large sinks with odd white clown-ish make-up on our faces.

Of course I let Nathan wear the make-up to the party.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Promises, Promises

I keep getting marvelous ides for posts, but then when I finally have the chance to sit down and write them, my mind is a blank.

And I have a lot to do this morning. I have to fold the laundry sitting on my dining room table. Then I have to put it away. I have to make the kids waffles and get them dressed for church. I have to wrap a couple of gifts. I have to get together the stuff for the homeless shelter (diapers and peanut butter and mac n' cheese) I have to shower and find something to wear that is clean, not torn, and not completely ridiculous looking.

What I WANT to do is sit here and write a little bit - I signed up for this thing where you're supposed to write 175 pages before the end of November. Which, when I think about it, is more like a huge joke because that is a LOT of pages, and I just don't know if I have that much to say, so even if I really really tried it won't happen (right now I'm at 2.5).

So... I'm promising a better post tomorrow. One with pictures and substance.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Catching Up

The Lights Are On!

I still haven't caught up completely. I still need to sor through the pile of papers that is half bills I haven't paid and half papers I need to file and bills I HAVE paid but couldn't reach the file cabinet because the file cabinet was blocked off during the work being done...

I still have to fold laundry and put it away, but that's kind of normal. There is always laundry hanging around in various stages because it's impossible for me to finish it every day.

And I still need a new mailbox.

But yesterday I washed a bunch of clothes, made zucchini bread and squash soup, and put all of our kitchen appliances back in their correct places.

The weekend is, as usual, crammed with things to do. I like it that way.

Friday, November 04, 2011

It's Electric!

Our power came back at 3:30 this morning. Suddenly every single light in our home was ON, so we had to get up and shut everything off so we could get back to sleep.

I am happy to have power. I am already washing my second load of laundry, and have begun stacking things in the dishwasher. I'm going to be very busy today catching up on all of the things I have been putting off - calling the vet, cooking bread and soup before these veggies rot, grocery shopping to refill the fridge, paying the bills -

- AGH! I forgot to pay the bills! I'm not sure why I didn't feel I was able to do this. We had an internet connection. I think I was just feeling discouraged and resentful. And what were they going to do, turn off our power?

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Day 6 of power outage: AGHHHHHHHH!

This is starting to get a little bit ridiculous.

I hate this.

I'm angry about why this is happening. In my brain I just had a little conversation with myself about why the colonists would choose to move to a place where storms were constantly interrupting their way of life. And then I realized that their way of life would only have been interrupted for the duration of the storm, because they didn't have Facebook, Xfinity, or Grey's Anatomy. They also didn't have lit homes, whole house heating, water pumps, or child care.

But I still hold the power companies a little to blame. Not for the snow. Not even for the outages, really. But for the length of time it takes to recover. Why can't there be a solution other than waiting it out for a week? And people, if you're going to get all city snooty on me and say that's what happens when you live in the boonies, remember that I had to unplug my coffee maker to plug in the toaster had make my breakfast, and that I am just a little irritable right now.

Besides, there are about 4000 (families) of us living here in my town alone still without power. 4000 is too much for "the boonies." In fact, it's a large and angry mob.

I'm sorry, I'm in a really bad mood today. Please send warm thoughts and exotic caramels. (shoot, I just remembered the snow plow took out our mailbox. AGH!)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Story

Well, it snowed. We lost power. That was... Saturday, and into Sunday.

It's Tuesday evening as I write this.

There was no school Monday, which was officially Halloween. Our town cancelled school that day, and then postponed trick-or-treating until November 6th. We drove down to Lillian's where they DID have trick-or-treating.

School was cancelled today. I took the kids to the Museum of Science. They did have Karate and Piano lessons.

But they have already sent an email out letting us know there is no school tomorrow.

It's just November, people. Three snow days, and not even Thanksgiving.

And we still have no power. Yes, we have the generator, so we have heat and running water. Hot water, at that. But it would be nice to have lights in the bathroom. It would be nice to cook a meal on the stove or in the oven. The laundry is piling up, even with that load I did at Lillian's.

I should be used to this by now, I think. But I'm not. I'm just resigned to it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


The good thing about the weather getting colder is that I'm forced to finish swapping out the summer clothes to winter.

And you know what that means, right? Red Feetie Pajamas!