Saturday, June 30, 2012

Two Headed Monster

At least that's what the right head told me.

Friday, June 29, 2012


An old polaroid. I think it was in Jamaica, but it's just a guess.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sick Day

I am sick with a summer cold. The posts I wrote out in advance stopped today, meaning I have nothing witty or cute or of any note whatsoever to say. My head is three times it's normal weight, I can't hear out of my left ear, and I sound like I've eaten nothing but sandpaper for three days. Also, I keep sneezing and my nose is running.

This would happen during the busy week of music camp, tennis lessons, and Steve's trip to Houston.

All I wanted to do was go see Brave in the movie theatre with the boys. Only they don't want to because "It's a girl movie." And I don't have the energy to force them. All I can do is deprive them of snacks and then bribe them with popcorn and goobers.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Anxiety Dream?

We're going to Disney World.

Not now. Not anytime soon. In 105 days.

See, I can view my reservations through the website, and every time I go look at them, just to see if anything has changed, there's a big number in the right corner of the screen. 105 Days To Your Vacation!

I'm a little excited. When it comes to Disney World.

And I've already started having dreams about the vacation. The dreams always have a similar theme. The last one involved me being in a hotel and trying to order a pizza, only I had to mee the delivery guy outside, and then I needed a map to find my way back to the room, which was on some floor of this huge hotel shaped and planned out like a gigantic submarine.

And after all of that I got back to the room and realized we were at Disney World and we hadn't yet made it to the Magic Kingdom!

I had another dream where I spent three days in the hotel room trying to find the best time to work out, completely forgetting we were at Disney World and I should be in a line at some amusement park.

It's not exactly an anxiety dream, but it's not exactly.... NOT one, either.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's This?

When I was a teenager someone gave me and my sister identical denim duffle bags. I somehow ended up with both of them, as years passed, and kept them. Recently Nate was looking for something to hold his karate sparring gear and I re-discovered them. I can tell this one was mine.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Last Trophy

When Andy was born, in the middle of a snowstorm in 2007, I decided I needed to do something to get the boys some exercise. After overhearing some parents talking at Nick's school, I signed them up for gymnastics classes.

I showed up with Andy as an infant, in a carrier. That was 4 and a half years ago. We patiently sat through 18 months of gym classes until he was old enough for the baby class himself.

I have given Andy a choice. He could keep doing gymnastics, or he could do karate. The two activities are not balanced in terms of either cost or time, but somehow I feel that doing both would be too much.

He chose karate, not surprisingly.

And so, a couple of weeks ago, Andy had what will be our final gymnastics recital, and received the family's last gymnastic trophy. We only have nine of them now, scattered around various bookshelves, and they themselves are joined by T-ball trophies and (surprise) "music" trophies (small ceramic busts of Beethoven from the piano recital.)

Still, it's the end of an era and all that. The boys will be going back to the gym for Day Camp as early as this summer, but still.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


We went fishing last weekend. Andy got the first catch, but each of the boys caught at least one fish.

And by "fish" I actually mean "skate." I guess it is a fish, but it doesn't really look like one.

We must have caught six or seven of these suckers... or two or three over and over again.

 Good Fun.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Learned Mistakes

There seem to be many more children's books these days than when I was a child. But many of these news books are not so good.

For example, these days there are many books based on popular films. Most of these books are horrific and dull - yes, a book can be both. And yet the boys love them because, hey, Batman! And also Bakugan! And I let it happen because, hey, reading!

Which is how we happened to be reading Iron Man the other night.

This particular Iron Man book is a little older, possibly a couple of years old. Nick used to read it to me at bedtime, and he used to make a mistake over and over again. I thought the mistake was actually kind of cute, so I let it go most of the time.

But tonight Nick kept interrupting me and correcting my vocabulary. "Mom! He's the Crimson DyMANo!"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


We had all the Parties and Graduations and Concerts. That's it, school is over. Summer vacation has begun.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Graduation Day

Oh, and they were so cute when they were all singing "Lean On Me' and "Walkin' on Sunshine!"

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

Yesterday was Father's Day, and I managed to get through the whole day without calling my father.

Oh, I have a whole host of excuses, ranging from time differences to distracting nautical jaunts. I am not about to list them all for you. The main point I'm trying to make is that I didn't mention Father's Day on THIS BLOG.


So I would like to take this opportunity to wish a Happy Father's Day not only to Steve, who is a wonderful Father, but to my Very Own Dad. Daddy, without you, I wouldn't be me. I love you so much! (And I'll try to call you today, I promise!)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Head

Last Saturday, Steve went on the first sail of the season, and then stayed at the boat overnight with some friends of his. I stayed at home with the boys. I was, truth be told, a little giddy at the thought of having the evening to myself, not to mention the Whole Entire Bed to stretch out in.

Only instead of quilting, or writing, or even watching girly movies or artsy films, I decided to clean the basement. It was long overdue. Even though Steve had tidied up a bit, it hadn’t been vacuumed for months, and the dog hair, the dust, and the spider webs in the corners were out of control.

So I cleaned. And I cleaned. I was doing a good job, I thought. But then I realized my head was hurting.

And not just a little bit, but a whole lot. Very much, in fact. So much, that I was eventually forced to quit. I couldn’t even finish what I was doing. I had to go upstairs and leave the mop bucket and a trash bag down there.

I went upstairs and climbed into bed, only by then it was too late. I was sick to my stomach on top of everything else, so I couldn’t take anything for it. I couldn’t sleep. I kept going over what I had eaten, hoping it was food poisoning and not a dreaded stomach flu that would make it’s way through the whole family, one by one.

The next morning my stomach was better, but my head still hurt. Not when I was reclined with my eyes closed, but any time I tried to so anything. Such as move.

It gradually improved, until Monday afternoon, when it seemed to just get better. No one else got really sick. I can’t figure out what this was – seasonal allergies? Migraines? Stress related to birthday parties?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ancient History After All

Yes, I've changed my mind again. I hope I don't end up offending anyone. To make sure this first post doesn't do that, the first old photo is of me, some time in the late 80's. Possibly early 90's. It was a polaroid.

Subject: Me
Place: Kitchen
First thought: What happened to that sweatshirt?
Second thought: Is that a microwave?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Hunger Games

For his birthday, Nicholas got a bow and arrow.

I know, I know. Steve wasn't too happy this happened, either, and I have to admit, it was all me. Because Nick has been talking about a bow and arrow for a year, and he finally found one in the Target circular that had soft tips.

So I got it for him. He has 3 arrows, two with soft tips, and one with a suction cup tip. He is only allowed to keep these outside, and can only use them pointing away from the house, cars, his brothers, anything else alive.

Also, his brothers are not allowed to use it.

Nathan came to terms with this very quickly. He dealt with it by making his own bow and arrow. He found a large stick, an elastic from an old tether ball game, and a few smaller sticks, and he keeps them together, outside, and follows all of Nick's rules.

Andrew, however, doesn't quite get it. I caught him outside one morning, when his brothers were both at school. He was trying to shoot the arrows in the correct direction. I took a few pictures, and then reminded him it wasn't his toy. He then took the bow and arrow to the front of the house, where he practiced shooting straight into the air. One of the arrows landed on top of the car, and if I hadn't noticed the bow on the front walk, he wouldn't have mentioned it at all, and we would have driven off to school and let it fly off onto the road somewhere.

But it all worked out, so all is well.
Little Robin Hoods.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy Birthday To Steve!

I only have goofy photos of Steve. He looks normal in this one, and I look like a goose. Seriously, we're only drinking coffee. But it's his birthday, so I don't care.

Happy Birthday to Steve!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oh, Garfield!

The boys discovered a couple of old Garfield comic books we had around the house, and Nathan has become so taken with them that he took one out of the library.

Nathan is a very bright boy, and he's reading at a pretty advanced level, when compared to his classmates, but you know what they say. Reading is one thing. Comprehension is another.

The other morning I overheard him talking to his brothers at breakfast.

Nate - You know, Garfield has a teddy bear. His bear's name is Monday.

Me - Really? I don't remember that. I knew he had a bear...

Nate - Yes, he named his bear Monday. He puts him in a box and puts a helmet on his head, and all this spiky stuff around him and says "Monday, do your worst!"


Me - Nate, I think you're confused. The bear isn't Monday. He's preparing his bear for Monday. Because Mondays are tough and not so nice, and lots of people don't like them. So he's putting his bear behind barbed wire and giving him a helmet and talking to the day of the week, Monday, because now his bear is safe... see?

Nate - no, no, Mom. YOU'RE not getting it. Garfield named his bear Monday, and he puts a helmet on him, and says "Do Your Worst!"

Reading is one thing. Comprehension is another. And confidence in one's own interpretation of a written document yet another.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Get Organized

There is this movie called Grand Canyon. You might call it an old movie, but I don’t really think of it as an old movie. I think of it as a regular movie. But at this point it’s over 20 years old.

There’s a scene in this movie that popped into my mind the other day. This happens to me a lot. I’ll be out, living my life, and every other event reminds me of a scene, or a dialogue, or a quote, from some book or movie or TV episode.

Mary McDonnell is sitting on her bed, her legs crossed. In front of her is her daily planner, one of those spiral bound htings, scribbled with pen marks. Also in front of her is one of those huge wall calanders with post-it notes all over it. She has a pen in her hand and is moving things around, reconciling all of these events. And her son, a teenaged Jeremy Sisto (I told you this was old) looks at her and says “Mom, you’ve really got to get organized.”

I am trying to get organized. I give myself all kinds of props for moving away from my paper planner and for using my computer calendar. Yes, I know it’s not perfect, but I finally got everything to synch right, and now I have my phone and my ipad and my computer telling me the same things all the time, so I am confident.

But the other day I asked Steve if he wanted me to come back home and pick him up before going to Nick’s End-Of-Year classroom celebration, and Steve looked at me like “What are you talking about?” 

Apparently, even though I filled out the form, volunteered to bring apple juice, and made a poster of all the different things we love about Nick, I neglected to mention the even to the child’s father.

That same morning I ran to the Town Hall to register Steve’s car, which was  a little late, and to register the dog, which I thought I had done in March, but apparently hadn't. It was so late we had to pay a $21 fine and they told us the next step would involve law enforcement. Only the dog’s rabies shot was overdue - as of May, and I had somehow overlooked that. It might have something to do with the fact that I am there every three weeks for special diabetic cat food, or maybe because they are always sending me cards telling me the pets need a check-up when I know for a fact they had a check up two weeks ago. And also at this point I’m paying more in pet fees than we are for Childcare.

Regardless, I messed it up.

I spend half my life plugging things into my calendar, and the other half doing things my calendar tells me to do.  And yet I’m still all over the place.

After some thought, perhaps I'm less like the lady with her many planners and more like Jonathan Winters in The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming.

"We've just got to get organized!"

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Found A Food Blog

I just discovered Greens and Chocolate.

I haven't made anything from here yet. I'm not sure why I love this blog so much. I think it's the blog backgound pattern.

But, oh, the possibilities! I'm making veggie pasta and sausage for dinner tonight!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Birthday Boy

We had Nick's Birthday Party last night.

I know, I know, his birthday was over a week ago, but with the long weekend, and then all the doings with 10th anniversary stuff and church stuff, we lost the opportunity to have his party before or right after the date.

S o we had it last night. It's closer to Steve's Birthday than to Nick's but whatever. It doesn't look like Nick minds. I think he was happy.

There is a down side. After each of the kids' parties, I experience post-party anxiety. Did the kids have a good time? Were the other parents horrified because of the movie we let them watch? The candy in the goody-bags, the  late ending-tie for the party? I should have chosen a different time so the boys could do karate and the karate friends wouldn't have had to be late. I should have found a cake the kids with peanut allergies could eat.

I know that this is woulda coulda stuff, and I can always change going forward if it means so much. I know the parents are not giving this party a second thought - this was the first party all of the parents dropped off. (And it went past 8pm. Like a big kid party, you know?)

Still, I woke at 1am and couldn't get back to sleep. I felt like I did when I drink too much wine, which doesn't happen that often - not since I realized it caused insomnia. And also, last night I didn't have any wine at all. I think I just freak out in social situations. And if I can't get it together to freak out beforehand, I'll do it afterwards.

As long as Nick had a great time, it doesn't really matter.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Another Old Photo

This post started out differently. See, it started out with this old photograph I found in our computer archives of me and my sisters. I wanted to post it, so I threw together what I like to think of an one of my more thoughtful posts, about how old pictures are interesting, and how it's a great idea to put up an old photograph once a week, now that I'm hurting for subject matter. But this great idea, meant to be helpful, would actually turn into a really tough job, because most of my older photographs are on paper, and I would have to sort through them, and scan them, and ha ha ha! so much for making life easier!

But then I went a step further and posted the few photos I found on Facebook. I named the album "Ancient History" and tagged the people in the photos, and then went on with my day, mostly forgetting about it.

And then on Saturday night I checked my Facebook account and apparently the gates of all Heck had broken loose. Apparently someone got very upset about being tagged, and a rather accusatory message was sent out to all us kids about tagging. There were ALL CAPS used and the old "I've told you before" line. There were lengthly responses and explanations and a lot of words and paragraphs.

(Just so you know, the people in all photos looked fine. Yes, there was one when we were at a bar, but I remember that time. It was over ten years ago, so yes, we had funny hair, but other than that, nothing gross or inappropriate or offensive. Only mildly embarrassing in the way that old hairstyles can be.)

This is where I have to edit myself because a lot of things were said in the email exchanges that followed, and it's still not sitting quite right with me. Also, even though this is set to publish on Friday, In real-life time it's still Sunday so it happened last night, and I'm still rather emotional about it.

So I'm not going to go into it much more. If I do, I'll say too much. I'll either hurt someone's feelings more than I already have, or expose myself too much than is necessary or advisable for a blog. Something beyond "I was thinking about how cool it was we were all together, and missing them, and all she saw was her stupid hairstyle. Also, I carried a watermelon, and she gave me a pen."

Just know that I was going to do this thing posting a weekly "Old Photograph" and now I'm not. So I'm up for subject matter suggestions.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

First Line Of Defense

 This looks like a photograph of a nice, normal breakfast, doesn't it? But there is more than meets the eye.  If we zoom in a bit, you can see the carefully constructed "Cereal Box Wall" that Andrew has put in place so that his brothers will cease the offensive and irritating act of "Looking At Him."

That's right. It's Andy's idea of a hideout.


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Monday, June 04, 2012

Dirt Patch

I finally planted the few seedlings and the remaining seeds. Once again, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a dirt patch in my back yard.

Every year I do this. I plant things back there and then struggle to get them to grow. Some years the plants do well, and others... not so much. It depends on rain and sun, and also on our summer vacation schedule.

Every year I also tell myself that this is the last year for this particular dirt patch. Next year I will clean out an area of our back yard. I can pick an area that is flat, so I won't have to worry so much about the run-off washing away planted seeds.  I can plant twice as much. But I'll have to clear the area of grass and grass roots, and I'll also have to weed it all constantly, and besides that I'll have to somehow keep the animals away. The deer have come as close as the swingset, see. There are also rabbits and mice. 

But this time I mean it. Next year. Next year! I found a cute picket fence in the woods - something the previous owners left there, no doubt. I can paint that and it'll look really cute. 

Of course, since I planted the seeds a week ago and nothing has happened, I'm wondering if I should even bother...

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Faith Musings

Today is Sunday. This is the day of our minister's last sermon before he leaves our church and moves on to other things.

I grew up an atheist. There were times, in my life, when I believed in God, when I thought my family was going to hell, and even when I thought I might be resurrected at some point and live forever. But my parents gave me the freedom to think for myself and decide these things for myself, and because of this, I landed in adulthood firmly convinced that there was no real "God" the way various religions described "him."

And then I found this church.

I feel I must explain myself, because this church community has become such a huge part of my life in such a short period of time. I talk about my church a lot because I think about my church a lot. I feel people bristle when I speak about my church, as though I am a crazy person who is going to start raving about Jesus and demanding they give up their Sunday morning sleep-ins  even though I was simply talking about music, or going to a meeting.

I still haven't really changed my mind. I am still an atheist. I have simply fallen in love with this church, that does not demand that I change my mind or believe anything I find to be unbelievable. It doesn't ask that of anyone, and I don't ask that of anyone. I think people are allowed to believe what they believe, and that none of these beliefs are necessarily wrong. We can find more in common with each other than we can find things to divide us.

I have never been a member of another church. I have never had a minister other than this minister. I am nervous about this transition - what if this new minister prays too much? What if she isn't as intellectually stimulating and I get bored? What will happen to this huge part of my life?

This is when Faith comes into play. I didn't exactly choose this church because of the minister. It was the package. I have faith in the principles of my religion. And without further ado, here they are, as posted on the UUA website:

 - the inherent worth and dignity of every person
 - justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
 - acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
 - a free and responsible search for truth and meaning
 - the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and society at large.
 - the goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
 - respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are all a part

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Unmade Quilts

Recently my mother sent me a few large boxes from Tennessee.

I had some idea of what was in the boxes. Mom and I had spoken on the phone, and I knew there would be quilts and them some quilting things that Betty, and even Frances, had used.

I didn't expect my reaction to be so emotional.

I cried.

This morning I finally started going through the boxes and sorting through the materials in there. There were so many projects that were never finished, hundreds of little round fabric circles for something or other, squares that had been quilted but not backed... yards of what looks like polyester pant material.

I started laying things out on the bed, trying to decide what I should do with it all. And in the process I realized that, even if I did decide what I was doing, I would have no room to store it. Every single drawer in the guest room is stuffed with my own projects - boxes of pockets,  squares of denim, old stained shirts and used curtains...

I really do mean to get around to these projects someday, but the time is never really right. There always seems to be something else to do.

I think that, this morning anyway, I was saddest because I wasn't sure I was ever going to get around to finishing anything, either. And then, when I die, someone will pack up all of the boxes of off fabrics, and the odds and ends of ribbons and such, and ship them off to someone else.

Friday, June 01, 2012