Sunday, November 02, 2003

I'm Moving

From Blogspot. I wanted a few more bells and whistles, a few more toys to play I've made the jump. Bear with me while I tinker around with the look of the new place.

Anyway, this will be the last post on this site, so please update your links - I can now be found here.

See you later!

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Sour Skittles

We had a decent number of trick-or-treaters last night. And the nice thing is that they were all decent, polite kids. In costume. In other words, they earned their candy.

I don't think teenage kids who just shuffle through the neighborhood in little gangs, holding out their king-sized pillowcases and barely making eye contact deserve any candy, personally. And they don't even say "trick or treat" half the time. Just hold out the bags.

But we didn't have any of them this year. Or last year. I think it's the neighborhood. The majority of the kids around here have manners.

Two boys, probably around 11 or 12, came to the door at one point last night...I don't even remember their costumes, I think one was dressed up in a suit and wearing a hat, and maybe the other one was something scary-ish. Anyway, I handed out the candy to them and they were just about overjoyed at what they got - sour skittles.

The top hat kid looked up, like it was Christmas, looked me in the eye and thanked me several times. It was nice. I should have given him extra, now that I think about it.

And speaking of "thank you" - before Alex went to bed, any time he heard kids at the door say thank you, he called out his own thank you from the living room.

Alex was a bat this year, by the way. Very cute. Bill took him out to a few houses near us, and Alex held his little basket and said "thank you" and "bye bye" to everyone. We didn't think to try to teach him "trick or treat" this year.

When they got home Bill gave Alex some bits of a candy bar...he's trying to get him addicted to sugar, I believe. And Alex enjoyed it. But he preferred the mashed potatoes I had reheated. So much so that he refused any more candy in favor of more mashed potatoes. This morning he preferred part of a bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese over a pumpkin muffin and a chocolate croissant.

Of course, that could change at any point.

Gotta go - we are trying to get our basement cleaned out in preparation for the ceiling repair, the new paint on the walls, and the new carpet. I cannot wait until our basement doesn't look ugly any more.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Happy Birthday, Meredith!

Today is my sister's birthday. Last night we had dinner for her at my parents' house - Mom & Dad, Meredith & Jacques, Calvin and Natalie, Steve & Colleen & Amelia, and Alex and me. (Bill had a rehearsal.) The usual meal - Chicken Paprika, noodles, squash, broccoli, peas, rolls, and something chocolate for dessert. This year it was chocolate fondue with bananas, strawberries, pears, apples, pound cake, macaroons, and marshmallows.

Some things about my sister and me....

* My memories begin with her birth. I am with my Dad's father (Grandpa) in a parking lot outside of the hospital. (Kids weren't allowed in then to see their new siblings.) I am standing on the hood of his old, faded yellow car, blowing a police whistle and waving a small American flag. Inside the brick hospital, in one of the rooms, are my mother and my new baby sister.

* Family lore has it that when my parents brought Meredith home from the hospital, I was in the kitchen with both sets of grandparents, waiting, and when they walked in the door I cried out (with joy) "My baby sister!" I don't remember it, but they say it's true.

* I have a memory of standing near her changing table, looking up at her little bare stomach and seeing the stump of her umbilical cord there, black and strange.

* My sister and her husband, Jacques, have been married nearly 14 years.

* She and I are a daunting team against anyone at Pictionary. Ask my parents. Ask Jacques and our cousin Steve. They have lost to our near psychic abilities.

* She and I share the same sense of humor. It is not always kind. We share a love of "falling stories" - episodes in our lives when we or our friends have fallen - down stairs, mostly, or tripped - just a word or two to conjure up one of these episodes will send us both into helpless hysteria.

* She is my reality check.

* I was sometimes a mean older sister. She'd want to play and I'd tell her "one more chapter" of the book I was reading...and then go on to the next chapter and tell her "I'm almost done..."

* The enemy of my enemy is my friend: when we were in the midst of little squabbles as kids, one or the other parent would come up to our room and ask what was going on. We would clam up and answer "nothing!"

* We are friends.

* She is currently an orange belt in Karate. Don't mess with her.

* She follows her own path and always has.

* When we were little sometimes we were dressed in either identical or matching outfits.

* When we were little, our father told us that the breaker switch up in our bedroom closet would blow up the house if we touched it. We still believe that and won't go near it.

* Because of my sister, we had a succession of cats as pets. The first was Pumpkin. When we found her downstairs (where my parents had left her for the night), I told Meredith (it was her birthday) to "go upstairs and see if it's yours!" I was bossy. The cat was hers.

* Today there are, in addition to 4 people living in her house, one cat and 5 birds.

* She is a terrific gardener.

* She took piano lessons for 7 years and could play along with the piano solo in Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" when she really psyched herself up for it.

* She is a great Mom and a great Auntie. And a great sister.

* And she makes the best cinnamon toast of anyone I know.

Happy Birthday, Mere!

Thursday, October 30, 2003


I think I'm passing my queasy phase...the smell of coffee this morning is now a good thing once again....

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

12 Weeks

I am 12 weeks today, based on a due date of May 12th. If I remember right, 13 weeks is the end of the first trimester, but regardless - it's hard to believe one third of this pregnancy has already just about zipped by.

Alex stayed home today. He woke up around 3 this morning and felt very hot. Had a temp of 102.5 so I gave him some Tylenol and juice and brought him in bed w/me. He just kind of whimpered for a while and then fell asleep. Poor little guy.

Bill stayed home with him for the first part of the day and brought him to the doctor as well. Probably a virus. He had the same thing happen over the weekend, then two good days, and then apparently a new virus jumped in and took over. I came home from work early so Bill could go teach his college students tonight, and Alex seemed a lot happier. He's taking a nap right now, which is why I get to type a bit.

He is going through a hitting phase. I don't think it's a malicious thing, I think it's just a testing-the-boundaries thing. Most of the time. And he'll say "uh oh" immediately after, which is what some of the people at daycare say to mean "no" or "don't do that." So he kind of knows he's not supposed to do it...but I think he's still testing. He also tends to do it when he's heading toward being tired.

His other new thing is this - he'll stand in front of me (I'm sitting on the floor) and his expression will suddenly go very serious - and he'll fall forward at me. Arms at his sides, body straight. And of course I catch him, which is tons of fun, in his little "nothing can harm me" opinion.

He is very very ticklish at the back of the neck. Screams with laughter and wriggles half in delight and half in a weak attempt to get away. Then he'll move his head back within tickling range, a little anticipatory grin on his face....

I also think he said "I'm sorry" to me earlier. He was on the chair in the living room, standing up (which he's not supposed to do). I told him to sit down, and after a bit of grinning at me and saying "Hi" in his charming way, he gave up and sat down. And then said what sounded like "I sowwy." Which startled me - his first sentence! And I blurted out "You're sorry?" And he thought that was incredibly funny and just laughed at me.

So I don't know. I don't know.

He is full of surprises.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Random Facts

I thought this was an interesting exercise (thank you, Sheila), so here are as many random facts about me - unrehearsed (well, except one that I was thinking about on the drive home from work) as I can think of before the timer goes off and I have to make the gravy for the chicken I'm roasting. Here goes...

* When I was 10 I grabbed a 9 year old boy by the throat with one hand and squeezed very hard and told him to stop picking on this 8 year old boy he'd been about to beat up. (the 8 year old lived kind of near us, and my sister and I had been trying desperately to teach him self defense. he was an easy target for bullies. we failed.) The 9 year old nodded his head, his eyes and tongue kind of popping out, and I let him go.

* I used to want to be a boy. (this is probably when I was 10). Some girl I knew told me if I repeated my wish (didn't tell her what it was) over and over 10 times and then yelled it loudly the last time, it would come true in a month. It didn't.

* I don't like little yappy dogs.

* I am more comfortable in my mind than in my body.

* I have plenty of talent in various creative areas...but unfortunately I lack drive, and that's really the deciding factor, isn't it?

* I have a handful of very, very good friends. The rest come and go.

* I argue best on behalf of anyone but myself.

* When I was very young (6, maybe) I lip-synched (sp?) to the sound track of My Fair Lady (the Broadway version) in my grandparents' living room in NJ and my grandfather told me to sing out...but I refused, because I knew I didn't sound like Julie Andrews and so why even bother?

* My sister and I and my best friend Dolores and her brother "put on" a haunted house two years running when we were in ( I think) junior high, or younger. We actually caused some little children to cry.

* I once freed a starling that had its legs stuck in my parents' stockade fence. After it flew out of my hands, I started shaking uncontrollably.

* I have one sister, Meredith. She is two years younger than I am.

* I had a red plaid metal lunchbox in elementary school.

* Two of the attendants on "my side" of the wedding party were men.

* I had a perm once. Once was enough. I'm supposed to have straight hair.

* I once ate so many "thin mint" girl scout cookies that I had a sugar hangover the next morning.

* I once had two (or three) of the margaritas that my husband makes and ended up singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" on the couch in my apartment. My dear friend Ralph called right around then to tell me he was going to a dermatologist because he had a spot on his nose that wasn't going away, and he thought it might be cancerous. All I could say, in a desperate, hazy attempt at sympathy was "You have nose cancer?" He laughed hysterically.
(And he's fine, by the way.)

* Sometimes I am absolutely terrified of losing my parents. It freezes me and I well up with tears. The rest of the time I keep it at bay.

* I know with complete certainty that I could kill or die for my son.

And that's all I have time for. The timer's going off and I have gravy to make.


I'm sorry, what?

Alex went to bed husband isn't due home for another 40 minutes or so...dinner is cooking and smells wonderful...and here I am with FREE TIME on my I came in here and sat down to type...and then sat here staring vaguely off into some other, slower, dimension...totally zoning out. I'm tired. I would like to go "ni-night" too, to be honest.

But dinner would burn, the alarms would go off, and I'd have really nasty pans to clean, so never mind that option.

So here I go...trying to gather the thoughts I had earlier and shape them into something coherent....

Well, I met with the contractor this afternoon to discuss what needs to be done to get our basement back in shape after the flood we had in August. While he was here I felt my brain dissoving back into the quicksand it often becomes these days, so I felt myself nodding stupidly as he went over all this stuff - particularly the part about the money, which, of course, is most important to him. I wanted to say, at one point, "don't worry - we have plenty of money" - which we don't, not plenty like it's dripping off our clothes...but I just wanted him to stop speaking in tongues, basically.

He asked how soon we could have the basement cleaned out...and...I said by Monday. Don't ask me how that's going to happen, either. I haven't figured it out. Bill teaches late tomorrow night. He's got a rehearsal the next night, plus we're celebrating my sister's birthday that night at my Mom's house, so I'll be there, not here. Friday night is Halloween, plus Bill has a concert. That leaves the weekend. Oh, and he's got a gig of some kind on Sunday in the middle of the day.

Which would be fine except for the big heavy furniture that needs to come up from the basement and go either out by the curb (we're going to replace the sofa and recliner that got wet and are now mildly stinky. they were second-hand anyway.) or into the garage (the entertainment center and corner cabinet his father made years and years ago..and the little table and chairs. Well, okay the table and chairs aren't heavy.)

And this is a problem because I can't help him lift these big heavy things. I could, for in addition to being a great cook I am also more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings and all that...(no, wait, that's Superman...I meant Wonder Woman...but if I spin around like that I'll get dizzy and throw up...and at the moment I'd look really scary in that costume.) But of course, heaven help anyone reading this, I digress...

The thing is - while I'm pregnant, I don't want to risk anything. Yes, when I was pregnant with Alex I was also helping move all our furniture from our little rented cottage to the house we live in now...but I have grown more cautious two years later, and besides, I didn't know I was pregnant til after we moved. Now I know. And if for some reason - any reaon - anything happened with this pregnancy after I helped move some furniture up some stairs, well, I'd be blaming myself forever, and I carry around enough random stupid guilt about stuff as it is.


I emailed our friend John to see if he's got ANY free time between now and Monday. Problem is, he works weekends, so that leaves very little free time that will overlap with Bill's free time. Same with my brother-in-law. But we'll figure something out.

Actually I should probably be downstairs now gathering up the smaller things that we can move up and stow elsewhere in the house.

But as I mentioned earlier - I'm tired. So I'll chill for now. I'll plan my attack, and I'll start the small phase of the "move" tomorrow night.

Yes, that sounds good.
Retraction of my Retraction

After some strong and much-needed verbal shaking, (thank you Beth, Sheila), I realize that there is no need for me to apologize or explain the "Fertility Goddess" title of my other blog.

They're right - I am a fertility the very least, I'm starting to look like one of those ancient stone carvings...the round, voluptuous, not-in-the-least-like-a-supermodel ones...

Friday, October 24, 2003


It has occurred to me a couple of times that the name or title of the blog that I linked to in the post below and the little subtitle under it may come across as cocky and obnoxious. Something which I know I am on occasion, but which I don't mean to be about the pregnancy.

But when I decided to create that little blog, I was, well, pretty damn happy to be pregnant again. And my husband jokes that he only has to look at me and I get pregnant...which strikes me funny, in light of the fact that I'm on the higher side of 35 and was afraid it would take me forever to become pregnant when we first started trying. Granted, I've (so far) had one successful pregnancy out of 3, and this one (#4) is sure, I can get "with child" - the question I worry more about is whether I can carry said child to term.

And, with that in mind, I suddenly thought how obnoxious my "Fertility Goddess...So Worship Me Already" thing might come across. Trust me - I am supremely grateful for my son, and I am supremely grateful for the little one I'm carrying now. I don't take them for granted at all.

And so now I think I'm sounding like a wimp, retracting my Fertility Goddess I think I'll just get off the subject before I lose all self respect.

A Little Bit of News

I've been working on a little project recently...well, actually it began as more of a collaborative effort.

But anyway...

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Swiss Steak

No, I'm not posting a recipe. Sorry - this is really quick...

Got an email from my Mom this morning and in it she mentioned that the Salmon they had for dinner last night was good, and that they were having Swiss steak for dinner tonight - which she had cooked all day yesterday in the crock pot. (We always talk food.)

I zipped off a quick email back (Alex was demanding that I play ball with him) and in it I indicated that I hoped they enjoyed their dinner tonight.

And I just got an email back, in which she asked "Enjoy the Swill steak???? Could you define it sometime?"

I looked down at my attached email - yep, I typed "Swill steak."

I just sat here and laughed and laughed.

That's all. Just wanted to share.

Friday, October 17, 2003


And this sums it all up for me.

Grady Little lost that game. Even I knew that Pedro should have been taken out before Matsui came up to hit. And it's Grady Little's job to decide that in the best interest of the TEAM, and the GAME, and them GETTING INTO THE WORLD SERIES, Pedro had had enough. But no. He let Pedro decide. That's not what a manager is supposed to do. Especially not RIGHT THEN IN THE EIGHTH INNING WHEN THE RED SOX WERE STILL AHEAD!!!!!!!!

Bill went to bed as soon as NY tied it up. I stayed through the first half of the ninth, but I was tired, having had very little uninterrupted sleep this week, and I just knew. I just knew.


Thursday, October 16, 2003

Still at home...

And feeling better in some ways but this throat is still horrible. I went back for another strep test this morning. I kept thinking the nurse who did it Tuesday didn't get enough gunk from my throat on that giant q-tip, but apparently she did, because it was negative again.

Then the doctor thought it would be a good idea to test me for mono (even though I don't feel like I have it, and I should know, as I had it about 5 years ago and the only time I've ever felt like that since was this past summer when I had a small bout with Lyme disease.) But anyway, the doctor's reason for wanting to test me was because I have pus pockets on my throat. Pus pockets! I told my sister later - it sounds like something Colonel Potter from M*A*S*H would say, you know, like "horse hockey." "Pus Pockets!"

Of course, the test was negative, I don't have mono, and now I can look forward to the fun of ripping this band aid off my arm later. More pain. Sigh.

One good thing to come of this current horrible sore throat has been the entertainment factor for Alex. (And if he's amused, I'm happy.) The other night I was standing at the sink gargling warm salt water and spitting it out. As I do so frequently now. And I noticed, with my mommy powers of peripheral observation, that I couldn't hear Alex doing anything anywhere. Which usually means he's doing something that he shouldn't be doing, like climbing up the stairs without a safety net, or getting into a cupboard that I didn't lock, and so on.

So I looked around to begin my search for silent boy - and there he was. Just standing there, a bit to my right, a bit behind me. Standing there, little blond-haired, blue-eyed guy in navy blue feetie-pajamas, looking up at me with a mixture of surprise and delight and awe on his little face...his mouth was partly opened, and there was part of a cookie in there that he wasn't even bothering to chew - he was so fascinated by this strange new thing that mommy was doing.

Mommy took a sip of something, tilted her head back, and made funny noises while the water or whatever it was splashed around a bit, and then she spit it into the sink. And then she did it again! And again!

I turned to look at him again after the next spit, and he laughed. Didn't budge from that spot; just laughed. For the whole rest of my gargle session.

I got the feeling that so far, in his eyes, that's the coolest thing I've ever done.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I didn't realize it had been a month

...since my last post. I knew it had been a while. And I think the biggest reason I'm writing today is because I'm home, sick, with what feels like strep, but the test came back negative, so it's "just" a horrible sore throat, swollen glands, some achiness, slight temperature, and that sort of fun stuff. Since my job requires a lot of talking - I'm not there.

Before I proceed any further, just want to mention that a portion of my last post was actually excerpted here shortly after I wrote it. Thank you, Jeri, for the request and for excerpting me, and also for your recent email. And thanks to Sheila and to my Aunt Joan (who asked my Mom about me) for also asking if things were okay, and what was going on... I haven't stopped blogging. I just ran out of spare time for a while.

And that's been it, really. I got overwhelmed by everything and something had to give, and this was it.

Everything: work, taking care of my husband and my more-and-more-active-every-day son, taking care of the doesn't sound like much listed like that, but there are a hell of a lot of sub-categories.

Plus there have been Red Sox games to watch, and the TV is downstairs and the computer is know. I had to watch. (Little note to Trot Nixon - no, sorry, Jesus couldn't be with you at bat last night, he was busy. It was really me, in my fevered, delerious state I actually left my body, floated north to Fenway, and helped you out with that hit. But you don't have to thank me. No one's heard of me, so they just wouldn't understand.) Ha ha. Well that was pretty goofy, wasn't it. I think it's the fever coming back...

You know, gargling with salt water is pretty unpleasant. But I have to say it helps for a while.

What else...well, Alex is a wild little man. His vocabulary is expanding, which is thrilling and entertaining. He says "Hi" and "Bye bye" (Hi sounds like Hi-ee), he's working on "shoe" and "sock" and he knows what a nose is (it's that thing on Mommy's face that he likes to try to explore with his quick little fingers. Really. Bill asked Alex "Alex, where's your nose?" and Alex turned to me and grabbed my nose. His property, I guess.)

And he says "Get down!" with appropriate accompanying hand/arm gesture. He was trying to climb over the couch so he could fling himself headfirst onto the fireplace hearth (don't worry, Alex, I'm sure you'll succeed someday), and I said, in my "don't mess with Mommy" voice "Alex, no!" and he turned around with a serious expression on his little face that matched mine, and waved forcefully at me and said "Di Dow!"

It is SO HARD not to laugh hysterically at these things. It was so cute. And he said it a few more times, to show me he knew what I was trying to tell him. And I said "That's right, Alex, get down" and he said "di dow!" again, then turned and hiked one knee back up onto the couch and started climbing again. So I think he knows the phrase (I'm assuming daycare, since I don't wave my arm at him like that.) but he either doesn't completely understand it or doesn't care. I think, judging by the "I'm damn cute, aren't I" little grin he wears at moments like that, that he doesn't care.

Oh - another one - "round and round" - which is "wow a wow." I'm sure he learned that from "The Wheels on the Bus", but he also applies it, correctly, to the lid of a trash can that I use as a hamper in the kitchen (for his bibs, dish towels, and so on). The lid spins "wow a wow" and he likes to play with it.

And he's getting tall!! He discovered that he can finally reach the ice and water dispensers on our fridge. (Bill was the witness to this one. "Oh honey...guess what your son can do...") Thank you to Kenmore for that lock option, otherwise we'd have a huge flood in the kitchen and a very soggy little boy.

(little side note - applesauce feels really good on a sore throat)

Oh - more Alex things, why not. Speaking of his new words, (not sure if I wrote about this already or not, but if I did, then this would just be an update) for a while he had us stumped. He would shout "DIE!" "DIE!" "DIE!" And, as that is not something Bill and I shout at each other on any regular basis (or irregular, for that matter), we were a little curious about that one. I really didn't think daycare was really a training camp for tiny thugs, but you never know... Anyway, one day I figured it out. He was shouting "Die! Die!" and pushing against the back door. Aha - "outside." That was better. But now he doesn't say that (and I kind of miss it). Now he says "daDEE" for "outside." I haven't figured out that one other than now he's got the two syllables in there.

What else does he say..."more" "juice" and "ba." "Ba" means a couple of things, depending on how he says it. The casual "ba" usually refers to milk or a sippy cup. But said happily and joyfully, it means "ball." Currently, all his toys could completely disappear but as long as the balls remained, he would be happy. He has at least seven. There are two whiffle balls, a little squishy soccer ball, a slightly larger yellow and red soccer ball, a blue rubber ball (think kickball in elementary school - that's kind of the texture), and a big red bouncy ball, and a couple of squishy sponge-like balls that our friend John gave him for his birthday because they are tub or pool toys that soak up water and can be thrown at other people and I know John was hoping Bill would be on the receiving end of those throws. Because that's the kind of friendship they have.

Okay, I counted, and that's eight. And there are more little plastic balls the size of golf balls, but they are currently hiding (in fear) under the furniture.

Yes - in fear, I say. Alex throws hard. I'm thinking 90mph at times. Trust me - I've been hit in the head with a whiffle ball, so I know what I'm talking about. He either likes to throw them down the stairs (and then go to whichever parent is closest and indicate that he is quite beside himself because all the balls have escaped and he needs someone to go and get them since he hasn't figured out how to open the gate that blocks that stairway yet...and he's still too short to climb over.) OR he likes to thrown them to/at Mommy or Daddy. Sometimes two at a time. Strong overhand throws that are, frankly, intimidating. Especially when you look at his face. You know that totally focused look you see on close-up shots of the pitcher at just about any ball game? Well, they ain't got nothing on Alex. You really want to scare the batter? Smile! That's right. A big, drooly excited grin is way more scary. Especially when he throws two balls at you. And then he laughs.

Speaking of which, I have to go now. Today's game is starting in a moment, and I will also have to go get Alex in a little while.

Anyway, so here I am, back again. Not sure how frequently I'll be writing, but I'll try to get back in here more often.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Head 'em Up, Move 'em Out

I don't know if I've got the lyrics right, but that's how I felt a bit earlier. Not like one of the cowboys, but like a fat little dogie.

Bill, his brother, Bob, Alex and I went to the Nordic Lodge for an early dinner today. Bob has been in the past; Bill and I have never been. And neither has Alex, that I'm aware of.

Anyway, the Nordic Lodge is famous in these parts for their all-you-can-eat Viking Buffet!! Apparently the Vikings, when they weren't singing long, dismal, militant, operatic tunes, and killing people, loved to dine on lobster, peel-and-eat shrimp, steamed clams, raw oysters, filet mignon, fried seafood of every kind, seafood salads (mussel, calamari, shrimp, etc), pasta salads, smoked mackerel (too salty), shrimp and scallop scampi, baked stuffed shrimp, a few pasta dishes, a variety of fresh fruits, about a dozen or more different kinds of pies and cakes, mini pastries, tapioca, chocolate pudding, chocolate covered strawberries and cherries, and make-your-own sundaes featuring every flavor Haagen Dazs makes.

I don't think I'd make it as a Viking.

The Sunday winter hours are from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. We arrived late - around 3:00. We should have come at 1:00 - the wait would have been the same. But it was nice outside and the grounds are well cared for, so Alex got to work off some energy and impatience thusly:

Alex strides purposefully toward the little pond behind the Lodge.
Alex is picked up by whichever adult is closest.
Alex struggles mightily and cries angrily at being thwarted from his attempt to actually stride purposefully right into the water.
Alex is carried far, far away from the water.
Alex strides purposefully toward the little pond behind the Lodge...

Each time, his expression grew just a little more determined - which is very amusing in a 15-month-old.

Later, after he finally gave up on the water, he found solace in a layer of small rocks - part of the landscaping, actually. He plunked himself right down and grabbed a few at a time, threw them into the rest of the rocks, shoved some aside to get at the dirt below...he had a lovely time. Wasn't too happy when it was time to go inside but he got over that.

Our table was pretty close to the food, which was good because we could kind of scope out the layout and plan our routes...but not good because the long line for the lobsters went right past our table. We were treated to a neverending look at people who have turned the all-you-can-eat buffet into a way of life.

It was sad, actually, to see so many very overweight people - entire families of enormous adults and their rapidly expanding children. There is no appreciation for subtlety of flavor, for artistry, for the simple pleasure of a steamed lobster, fresh from the sea. They aren't eating because food is a pleasure, they are eating because there is food there. And when there is food out there, cooked and ready to go, it is one's moral responsibility to eat it. All of it. Quickly. If you eat slowly, you get full, and then you can't eat. So you eat quickly so you can eat the most you can possibly cram into yourself.

I felt (and Bill did too, he told me later) tense the whole time. I felt I was expected to eat about twenty lobsters to make it worth the price of admission. And the object of the game is not to enjoy your lobster. Oh no. Enjoying the taste of something takes way too long. "Savor" is a forbidden term in the land of engorgement.

You must rip off the claws, tear them apart with your bare hands, suck out the meat, twist the tail off the body, crack the tail open, tear out the meat, eat that (dunked in a barrel of melted butter first) in one gulp (like a trained seal catching a herring) and toss the body into the shell bowl.

To me, that is a mortal sin. I felt like I was going to hell for it. When I eat a lobster, I eat all of the lobster. I have friends who "can't be bothered" with picking through all the little legs and the chambers of the body...I also like the coral (the eggs), and the tamale (the exploded liver). In fact, the tamale is my favorite part. So - to not eat all of the meat in the bodies was agonizing.

But I did it. But never again.

I only ate 2 lobsters. (Bill at 3, Bob ate 4, which is a huge change from his younger days when he could eat 6-7 or more at a sitting.) Ate a few other things, and some dessert, but I couldn't gorge myself.

Bill and I decided that one lobster, shared between the two of us, and picked clean, tastes far better and is a far more pleasurable dining experience than gulping down the lobsters we had today.

Alex had a ball. He is an incredibly friendly little boy. He smiles at people and says "thank you!" to waiters and waitresses, he loves just about every kind of food you put in front of him and is willing to try new things. He had lobster, crab, mussels, watermelon, bread dunked in the garlic-butter broth from the scampi, more watermelon, chocolate pudding, and apple juice.

The waiter was so delighted with Alex that he brought him a little lobster stuffed animal at the end of the meal - a gift. Made my night - it's nice to have a polite and happy child. (I realize things could change at any moment, so I'm savoring it right now.)

Alex finally grew tired of sitting in his high chair. I don't think he was tired of being there - he had an endless parade of people going past his table, and he could wave and smile and say "heh!" (his current pickup line) at the girls and women. I think he wanted to get out and mingle with his public. Instead, I took him outside and let him run around on the lawn again, then Bill and Bob emerged from the vomitorium - I mean Lodge - and we headed back to our vehicles (they were parked far away, which was good, as we needed to walk off some of our thousands of fresh calories).

Alex fell asleep, no great surprise, and went right to bed when we got home.

Bill and I cleaned up the kitchen and prepped dinner for tomorrow.

Time to go - Bob's here and he flies back to Florida tomorrow...

Thursday, September 11, 2003

I'm Home Now...

And Alex is in bed. A little early, but he tends to crash earlier toward the end of the week. He's a busy guy in the Early Toddler room...

And to be honest, I'm glad he's gone to bed.

Does that sound horrible? It does to me. On a day when we hug our loved ones and hold them close for a little longer than usual, when we give thanks that we are all together at this moment in time and are not still mourning an empty place at the dinner table...I should be upstairs holding him and singing him endless repetitions of "Sweet Baby James" which has become his lullaby.

But I don't want to be around anyone right now. My husband is outside watering the gardens. A happier place to be, I'm sure, than around me at the moment.

In addition to all the bits and pieces of news articles I read at work, and the bits and pieces of different blogs, and the coverage of 9/11 remembrance ceremonies and so forth that I listened to on my short lunch break, there still hangs the dark cloud of impending layoffs at work, and that has contributed to my current go-away-leave-me-alone mood.

Layoffs are supposed to be done all in one day (instead of dragged out over a good week or two as has happened in the past), and it looks like tomorrow's the day, because it really started at the end of the day today.

Everyone is nervous, tense, expecting to be called into HR and given the unsurprising news. We are all curled in on ourselves, yet trying to behave like everything's fine, or like we don't care.

But we do.

I do. I don't want to lose my job. No, it's not my ideal place to be, but it could be worse. We have a mortgage to pay, and other normal bills...and my income isn't great but it isn't bad and it's certainly welcome. So.

I also don't want to see other people I work with get laid off. I don't want to see their faces as they gather their framed family photos and coffee mugs and try not to show that their hands are shaking from the reality. Not the shock - on some level everyone expects it. No one really and truly feels safe. But still, we may believe it will happen to us, but then when it does, we find we really weren't prepared with how those words would affect us.

So that's what I'm dreading tomorrow. I can't wait for it, whatever it is, to be over.

And back to today - on a larger scale...

I am disappointed that there was no minute of silence at work. I am disappointed that at the middle school where my husband teaches, there was no minute of silence, or anything else to commemorate this day.

I fear that for those who were not directly affected by it, the horror of September 11th, 2001 will fade and become nothing more than a scene from a movie.

Yes, I know, there were ceremonies everywhere across the country. But not everywhere. Not in the little places. Sure, the media was full of it - thank goodness, so I could have my things to read at work - but I think it should have been in the little places. Places of work. Grocery stores. Retail stores. Schools. Offices. Constructions sites. Everywhere.

Now, I don't know that there weren't smaller places that maybe paused in the day for a moment of remembrance. Maybe there were. I hope so. And I mean places outside of New York, DC, Pennsylvania. I mean the places that didn't know anyone who died that day, the places that watched it on the news and were affected by it when it happened, and watched the ceremony at Ground Zero last year...but who maybe went on with their lives this year and only paused to nod in memory or shake their heads at the tragedy as they glanced at the paper over coffee.

Yes, we all have to go on with our lives. But I think it is unquestionably necessary to stop our lives - which we, thank God, did NOT lose that day - and remember those who did. And not just that "people died." No. We were attacked, and people died. Innocent people died.

I am aware that innocent people die for other reasons and it is tragic. Hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, floods, car accidents, etc. Innocent people die.

But these innocent people of two years ago were attacked, were brought to death, by heartless, fanatical, evil people. And then some more innocent people died trying to save the other innocent people. Who were brought to death, in some fashion or another, by - everyone, with me - heartless, fanatical, evil people.

And that is what the difference is. And that is why we should remember. In the little places.

And speaking of little places - this brought tears to my eyes today, and a lump to my throat, but it also made me happy -

There are chain link fences around the two playground areas where Alex goes to daycare. One playground is for the toddlers, the other is for the older kids.

They have really cool wooden toys - the toddlers have a train (engine and two cars) made of wood - not painted, very simple, but they are in perfect proportion to the small people who climb in and out of them.

The older kids have a huge fort and (my favorite) something like an ark or a whaling ship. I wish I could play on them, to be honest.

Anyway, I was driving past daycare on my lunchbreak to grab a quick sandwich and listen to the radio, and as I passed the building, I looked over to the toddler playground to see if Alex and his little friends were outside. They weren't.

But what I saw was this: an American Flag. It hadn't been there when I dropped Alex off this morning. I would have noticed. It was right there on a section of the fence and as I said before, it made me weepy and happy at the same time.

Later, when I went to pick Alex up after work (the bright spot in my too-emotional day) I parked near the flag and walked over to see what it was made of.

Plastic cups. 12 ounce plastic cups that had been pushed through the spaces in the fence from the other side until they were too wide to go any farther. Brilliant.

A rectangle of blue cups. And stripes of red cups and white cups. No, not the exact number of stripes. And no stars. But they were shiny, and the sun glinted off of them, so there were stars, really. It just took some imagination.

A symbol of remembrance. Sweet, simple, beautiful. In a little place.

I am done writing for today. (Okay, no I'm not.) I'm going to go hug my husband a little tighter and a little longer than he'll be expecting. And later on he and I will creep into Alex's room and gaze for a few moments at our little boy as he sleeps. We will watch his chest rise and fall and we will reach down and touch him - barely, so as not to wake him - his chubby little calf...the blond curls at the nape of his neck...his lips barely parted, deep in sleep. So peaceful. So innocent....

I read this article at work today and I had to stop when I got to this part:

"Readings between the silences and names included a poem written by the mother of a firefighter who was killed. Joan Molinaro began her poem to her son, Carl Molinaro, with these words:

“In the quiet of my heart
“I hold your hand,
“Little boy of mine.”

Little boy of mine.

First Things First

Thank you, Sheila for the link on Tuesday. And thank you to the people who wrote to me about that little post, and welcome, to anyone who has just begun to visit me.

I haven't written in here, obviously, since that post, and I haven't read much of the other blogs I usually read - and I should. So many people who have so much to say about September 11th, and say it so much better than I do.

I've only been sneaking quick reads while I'm at work. And mainly I go to Sheila's blog because it's the only one I've got bookmarked - at work - and I have (as I think I've said before) the internet page shrunk to half the size of my screen, so I can block what I'm reading (and the fact that no, this isn't work) from passersby who will make mental notes of what I'm doing.

And a part of me wants to be defiant about the whole thing...but I can't. I'm not supposed to be reading blogs at work. I'm on company time. I'm supposed to be working.

So I have to just suggest that you read Sheila and the others I have linked to over there on the right...and then go and read the people that they recommend you read.

Yes, it's a lame post today.

I wanted to write something great. But I don't know what to say.

It's September 11th today. Obviously.

All day yesterday, when I filed things away to work on "tomorrow" the numbers popped up at me again and again as I wrote notes for the files on little pink post-it notes. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11.

In some ways, Tuesday was my day of remembering September 11th - because it was a Tuesday. I remember things in terms of days of the week sometimes, rather than the actual date (though I remember that too.) My son was born on a Monday. My first date with my future husband was on a Wednesday. I don't know why it matters, and I guess it really doesn't, but that's just how my mind places things.

So today is a Thursday, and here I am, rambling on and on in my empty way this morning. Wanting desperately to say something worth reading.

But that shouldn't be my aim. I shouldn't be trying just to write something to grab your attention. I should be writing what I want to say.

What do I want to say, in the few minutes that remain before I have to wake my husband and son and get us all on our way out the door and to our separate weekday destinationg...

I remember.

That is what I will say.

I remember.

I can not forget, and will not ever forget, that day. Those images. The emotional overload that day and in the days that follow.

I remember. I remember after feeling overwhelmed with grief and disbelief, and after that, as time went on, I remember feeling fearful and selfish. Yes, selfish. What kind of world am I bringing my child into? (I learned I was pregnant with Alex a month after 9/11.)

I remember not wanting to look into the sky, for fear something or someone would fall from it.

I remember not wanting to see an airplane fly overhead, once they started flying again, because I was afraid it would burst into flame or crash into something.

I remember fear.

And I remember feeling, eventually, angry.

How dare they?

At first in small letters...

how dare they?
How Dare They?

And finally - we cannot allow them to do this again.

I remember that.

And today, I go spinning back to the original feelings of incredible sadness, of not comprehending how, why...of sorrow for all the families with great gaping holes torn in them.

They will not forget.

We must remember.

And that is what I will say this morning.

Monday, September 08, 2003


The stench of layoffs is in the air where I work....

It hasn't permeated everyone yet the way it did two years ago, the last time we had a lot of cutting...but it will...

Two years ago, on a Tuesday, our office was in the middle of what seemed like daily layoffs, one department at a time. Like pulling a band-aid off, one hair follicle at a time, except, of course, worse. And I knew there would be people let go in our department. I didn't know when, though.

And then, oh, around 8:30 that morning, I was working at my computer and all of a sudden the girl who sat in the cubicle next to me was taking personal items from her desk drawers and putting them in a box, and saying she was fine. Our department was under seige...

And a little bit later I found out that a good friend of mine was gone. I never even saw her go back to her desk, grab her belongings and hurry out the door - cheeks probably dark pink and jaw set. I looked around over the tops of the half-walls of our cubicles, a puzzled prairie dog, just staring around, wondering what was coming next.

And I sat down (because I was kind of conspicuous just standing there looking around, staring) and an email came in just about then, from my sister.

It said something like "An airplane just flew into one of the twin towers."

My first thought, not knowing the size of the plane or anything other than that one line, was that the pilot of some small, private plane had lost control or something and accidently crashed into the building.

And, wrapped up as I was in the layoffs that had just happened in my vicinity, I shot back a (rather snotty, in hindsight) email that read "Oh, I didn't know that - they're laying people off here and one of my close friends was just let go" - actually I don't think it was that mild - it was more of an "I'm way too busy and enmeshed in my microcosm to be bothered with anything going on anywhere outside this office."

Much to my utter embarrassment and shame.

And she emailed me more details, bit by bit (she was listening to a radio at her desk at work), and another coworker/friend, Kerrie, was on the phone with her husband, who had the TV on at their house and was telling her the same thing about the plane, and then my mother called, or I called her, and I was listening to the TV in my parents' living room and listening to Kerrie's play by play of what her husband was seeing on their TV and my sister was listening to her radio and emailing me what she was hearing, and everyone in the building was soon glued to phones and radios and each other's eyes as the second plane flew into the second tower, and one by one the towers - this can't be real - came down.

And work fell to the floor and phones grew quiet, except for friends and family members calling in with updates.

And we worried about friends, relatives who either worked or lived anywhere in Manhattan...we sent pointless emails, tried to make phone calls...every means of communication in this technologically advanced era was down. We would have to wait, as, bit by bit, we received good news or bad news or both.

And we worried about people in those buildings and nearby buildings - we deal with corporate accounts, some of which are - were - housed right there, people we speak with daily on the phone, people we have met - oh, so that's what she looks like, I thought she was blond - and become friends with...

And I found out later that one of our salesman lost a brother-in-law on one of those planes...and another salesman lost a couple of old friends from his hockey-playing days...and so on - we weren't there, but we weren't here either. We were just frozen, mouths open, eyes wide, everyone crying at some point.

And then Washington D.C. was hit - and then, amazingly, bizarrely, a fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

It was too much to comprehend. And it just got worse and worse...more details, more awful, awful, unforgettable nightmarish details...

I cannot imagine having the choice to either die in a burning, wounded building or jump out and plummet from the sky and die on the street below. I have seen the pictures. They haunt me most of all, more than the fire, more than the planes crashing, more than the buildings collapsing - though they are all horrible.

Maybe it's that my brain struggles with the choice they were forced to make. Maybe it's that my brain just doesn't want to wrap around the thought that - at that point - the outcome will be the same...maybe it's that my brain doesn't want to conjure up feelings of what that knowledge must feel like. I could never really understand that feeling unless I was right there. But I have an unfortunately vivid imagination...and I sometimes wish I didn't.

But anyway, those pictures in my mind of people falling....they will never go away.

Nor should they.

And back at work...a strange, twilight zone kind of moment, when another woman who works there was escorted, wailing, from the building, and we got the news that her teenage son had been in a car accident.

Everything was word will do it justice, but everything was just wrong.

Henry Blake's helicopter was not supposed to crash into the ocean on that famous M*A*S*H episode...thousands of people wrote in to complain about the episode, they wanted the writers to bring Henry back...write a different ending...the helicopter didn't really go down, Henry didn't die...and the writers, producers, etc. refused. Because people go to war and don't always come back, no matter how funny they are, no matter how lovable, no matter what.

And on a much, much grander scale, that is how September 11th felt, or, rather, that is how I felt, in a way. No, no - make this not be real. Make this not have happened, so things can just go along the same way, and so that the people who lost their jobs that day are the biggest tragedy we have to deal with.

We later found out that that woman's son, the one in the car accident, was okay. And we were insanely relieved. Someone was okay.

I got home from work that afternoon, walked into the tiny house Bill and I were living in at the time, and burst into sobs. My whole body cried and cried and cried. And he held me and I think he cried too, but I don't remember. I couldn't see.

We watched some of the news for a little while, just was still just too much to take in.

We went out to eat. More just to get out of the house and be around other people than because we were actually hungry. A TV was on, of course, in the bar of the restaurant we went to, and the news, of course, was on. What else was there to watch? Nothing else mattered any more.

My friend, who had been laid off, was bitter about it. And I just couldn't listen to it after a while. It just seemed so trivial. Now, granted, I have never been the victim of a I don't know how I'd feel.

But I think I would rather pack my personal items in a box and walk out the door than have no choice but to jump out a window into the bright September sky.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

I'm an Idiot

Our printer needed a new black ink cartridge. We have a Hewlett Packard printer. I went to Staples and was told that they made a cartridge that was HP compatable and had twice as much ink. So I bought it.

I'm an idiot.

I brought it home, installed it, and kept getting error messages about the cartridge - that it wasn't there, that there was a problem with it, that I'm an idiot. I took the cartridge in and peeled off the little label that said it was made by Staples, thinking maybe that wasn't supposed to be there.

Still got error messages.

So then (here comes the idiot part) I peeled off what I thought (until it was too late) was a protective covering for where the ink comes out (please email me if I'm getting too technical)...and realized - after I re-installed it, closed the top, and the printer went completely dead - that I'd peeled off the little copper thing that somehow communicates with the printer itself.

So, in one fell swoop, I had rendered the cartridge useless and unreturnable, lost the chance to either return the cartridge or at least blame Staples for the printer not working, and ruined the printer.

And I also couldn't get the bad cartridge back out - it had all locked in place off to the side. I tried tugging gently on it, but it wouldn't budge, and I thought I'd done enough damage.

My husband made the mistake of asking me how it was going.

Yes, he's still alive. Wisely, he went downstairs and turned on the Yankees-Red Sox game (yahoo! - Red Sox won, 9-3).

I decided after a bit to just let it go for the evening. I would probably end up throwing it out the window if I continued.

This morning I tried again. Alex was taking a nap, Bill was at the barber getting a haircut and planning part of dinner tonight (I've already planned the other part), so all was quiet.

I was almost, almost, almost going to just bite the bullet and call Hewlett Packard, confess my utter idiocy, and beg for help, when a tiny little voice whispered in my ear: "Unplug the printer and plug it back in, just for kicks, before you call."

And it worked. The little display (with the error message) came back on, and as soon as the cartridge slid where I could reach it, out came the evil cartridge along with a loud sigh of relief from me.

I was elated. Really. Which is pathetic, I know. But I had been so set on using that printer this weekend (which I will do, after this post), and then I screwed it all up (idiot idiot idiot) and couldn't even blame a defective product because I went and peeled off something IMPORTANT...and then - miracle of miracles - it was all okay.

I was not only elated, I was euphoric. (Today's letter, boys and girls, is the letter "E!")

And that's my story of the printer.

Which now, by the way, has the correct ink cartridge in it.

P.S. I just told Bill the title of this post and the subject matter, and he said "Yeah, you were pretty dumb. I didn't tell you because you seemed pretty upset last night."

Thank you, dear.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Good Morning,

I'm home, with Alex, waiting for the "floor guy" to come and measure the floor in the basement and provide me with an estimate to have the ugly area padded and carpeted again. He's due at 8:00, and it should only take about 10 minutes.

The "ceiling guy" came yesterday. Actually, he's more the "everything guy" - his company will do the ceiling, walls, and the carpeting. But it was too late to cancel the appointment this morning when I learned that. Oh well - nice to have a more leisurely morning for a change.

Alex is encouraging me to dance along with him. He pushes buttons on various toys to trigger the music or songs they produce, and then he hurries over to the doorway to look at me, with a huge open-mouthed smile, while he bounces up and down, sometimes stomping one foot in time to his own secret rhythm...and I smile and bounce up and down in my chair right along with him, until the music ends and he has to go back to the living room to hit another button.

He can almost say "ball." He says "dall," which is close. And he's consistent with it.

He's also consistent with "da-da." He consistently uses it for "Daddy," "kitty cat," "flower," and just about anything else he doesn't yet have in his vocabulary.

He loves the flowers. We pull into the driveway after work and daycare, and before I can get out of the car he is saying "Da da! Da da!" in a frantic kind of way. No, Daddy's not home yet - he's looking at the flowers in our window boxes. So I take him out of his car seat and he reaches for them - not to grab, but to touch, with uncharacteristic gentleness and with reverence and wonder in his repeated "Da da...da da...da da!"

Right now, though, he is examining the gate that keeps him out of the computer room and trying to find a flaw in its construction that would, in time, enable him to knock it down and explore all the forbidden things - computer- and music-related - that we keep in this room.

What else can I go on about...

Well, unpleasantness at work...September is here and there is a stench of impending layoffs in the air. I even dreamed about it. Not me losing my job, but, worse, other people in my department. And as part of middle management, I'm one of the forces of evil who will be (probably) used to march some poor person to the HR department and sit there while they get the bad news. That's what I was dreaming about. Fun, huh?

And now Alex is trying to find a way to climb over the gate, so I really should go and find something less adventurous for him to do right now.

Oh, and it's POURING rain right now - has been since some time in the night...I love this weather, this time of year. I am energized by it. Wish I could stay home today - I'd get so much accomplished!

Have a good day, whatever your weather!

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Okay, I'm back again...

Yes, I'm making a beef stock. From scratch. Well, really from cheap cuts of meat and beef bones browned in a pan, then onions, carrots and celery, browned in the same pan, all of the meat and vegetables dumped into a big sauce pot...then a slug of red wine tossed into the pan, heat on, stirring and scraping to deglaze the pan...then I poured that mixture in with the other stuff, added water up to about 2 inches from the top of the pot, and that's on the stove now, eventually to come to a boil, then I'll turn it down and simmer, simmer, simmer, reduce, reduce, reduce, until I have a nice stock.

I also made a tomato sauce that is incredibly yummy with tomatoes fresh from our garden. You can find the recipe here. I didn't measure anything, really, but I used the ingredients and the principle - it's great. As we get more tomatoes, I'll make a few more batches and freeze them.

Um...oh, and Bill made a green curry paste with hot little chili peppers from the garden. We've got that frozen in an ice cube tray to add to future recipes.

I've also got shrimp shells and fish trimmings and bones frozen, so I'll make a bunch of stock with that soon, and a chicken stock too. First, though, I need to clean out the freezer.

Speaking of freezers, another temporary casualty of the flood was the fridge we have in the bar downstairs. The flood killed the motor and one afternoon Bill discovered that everything in the freezer had thawed. I made linguine with white clam sauce with the two packages of quahogs we'd had in there. (They were still very cold - just not frozen solid any more, so we figured they were safe to eat. And here we are - alive and relatively healthy, several days later.) Fortunately the problem was easily fixed, and it took the appliance guy only about 20 minutes on Thursday.

That's is for the moment. I've got a few recipes to post, but Alex has put up with my neglect long enough, and if I don't stop typing now, he'll go back to tossing cookbooks down the basement stairs...

You're Right, Beth, It's Been Over a Week...

And I haven't written any updates on the state of our basement since I wrote about the flood. So, especially for Beth, who was asking, here goes...

We finally are rid of the industrial fans and dehumidifiers, which means that we can run the microwave for longer than a minute without blowing a fuse. It also means that the basement is a whole lot cooler, which makes the ugliness a bit easier to take.

The carpet is gone, and left behind, except in the kitchen/bar area, where the textured salmon-hued tiles seem to have survived, are squares of a hideous green and black cheap-o tile, some of them missing corners, most of them textured with some of the padding that had been under the carpet. Walking on this barefoot - as I tend to do - is a disgusting experience, with a residual sticky/powdery residue from the anti-bacterial stuff the clean-up crew sprayed on it, and the little fuzzy blobs of padding which for some reason stick better to my feet than to the floor now. The lower stairs have globs of this padding, which, velcro-like, sticks to the carpeting on the stairs and leaves my feet within a few steps.

Everything is either crammed over into the kitchen/bar area - all my husband's beer-brewing and fishing supplies - which had been stacked neatly in a close - or piled on top of the couch and the recliner. We ate downstairs (so I could watch Food TV - I'd been having withdrawal symptoms) a few nights ago for the first time...sitting in two straight-backed chairs from the basement kitchen table...with our dinner plates and glasses and whatever else we had crammed onto a little coffee table, and an overturned 5 gallon bucket for the shells (that's right, we had steamers). It was an uncomfortable experience which was tolerable only because the steamers were freshly dug and plentiful and the beer was cold.

We have a "ceiling guy" coming on Tuesday...we'll have to have the ceiling fixed first, then the paneling replaced or at least painted over...and then finally the floor. The flood itself was taken care of in a day - the "rebuilding" will drag on. And I'm not looking forward to it. But - oh well. It's only the basement. Could have been a hell of a lot worse by far.

Today has been a lovely day so far - and I'm not even finished with it yet! We went grocery shopping early - which is one of my favorite things to do. I have a friend, Pete, who is just as bad, if not worse. We've discussed what happens, and it's like we go into some kind of shopping trance and emerge from the store, into the fresh air and out of the artificial light, only to wake up with tons of stuff (food, mostly) that we don't remember buying and a 3 foot long receipt stuffed into one of the bags, its tail blowing in the wind behind us....His wife believes he has some sort of mental illness. Fortunately for me, Bill has the same mental illness. We figure if he, Pete, and I go shopping, Maura, Pete's wife, will have to come along to make sure that we don't have to take out second mortgages on our respective homes.

Anyway - excuse me for a minute - I have a vat of beef stock on the stove and I have to check on it. I'll be back in a bit...

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Water, water everywhere...

Last Tuesday I came home at lunchtime - unplanned - and heard what sounded like a waterfall inside my house as I came up the back steps and into the kitchen.

To make a long, potentially dramatic story short (I have to get ready for work soon), little rubber gaskets on the pipes in our main floor bathroom, under the sink, blew out, and water was spraying and pouring from them all over the bathroom floor and, worse, through the floorboards under the sink and into the space between the main floor and the (once) finished ceiling of our (formerly) finished basement.

There were 4-5 inches of water down there...the carpeting was rising up in spots, the padding beneath it completely soaked.

I - very stupidly - walked around down there to investigate. Water poured through light fixtures and through the unfinished area right above the washer and dryer.

I got a plumber out to fix the leak (they were the ones who figured out what had happened - I just shut the water off in the bathroom so it wouldn't spray out any more), and we got a company out to pump the water out of the basement. Four men, three trucks, and about 4 hours of sucking up the water.

These guys were great - they put all our furniture up on little styrofoam blocks when they were done...they pulled up the carpet and removed all the soaked padding underneath...they had to poke a bunch of holes in the swirl-textured finished ceiling so that the water could finish pouring out...

So last week was kind of busy.

It was also pretty hot and humid, and I just didn't feel like typing.

But while I had a few minutes this morning, I figured I'd at least post an update.

We have industrial fans and dehumidifiers going in the basement now - they create heat, which is unpleasant, but necessary.

Gotta go now...I'll try to get back in the swing of writing soon.

Sunday, August 17, 2003


On Friday we refinanced our mortgage and that night, to celebrate that and our 3rd anniversary the month before, Bill and I went OUT TO EAT. Without Alex. He stayed home with Emily, who is Bill's nephew Joe's girlfriend. She's great with Alex, and I feel completely comfortable when he's with her. Joe came over too at some point, and assembled the big red wagon they had given Alex for his birthday, which was in June. We had left the whole thing in the box and were using the box to block Alex from the stairs leading up to the second floor. Now we just have the box there, which is easily moved, but most of the time Alex doesn't seem inclined to move it out of the way, though he knows the possibility exists. He's biding his time, I just know it.

Anyway, it's been quite some time since Bill and I went on a "date" like that. I was ridiculously excited all day. Okay, maybe "ridiculously" isn't the right word. Maybe "desperately" is better.

So I got home from work, handed Alex off to Bill so I could change into something more appropriate for a date, and while I was upstairs Emily arrived and hung out with Alex and Bill in the back yard, examining the enormous beans growing there.

I was ready pretty quickly - I don't have the patience to do much primping, plus the temperature was in the 90's and I'd already started to work up a sweat just applying eyeliner - and off we went.

Paragon is a relatively new restaurant that opened up on the Warwick/East Greenwich line. I've been there once, for lunch, but it seems more like a dinner place to me. We parked the truck about 8 miles from the restaurant (they have a big lot in the back) and race-walked back to the front door. We were both hungry. Especially me.

We were a bit early - ahead of the dinner rush - so we were seated right away. Linen tablecloths and napkins...flatware with some weight to it...brick and dark wood...warm, golden-glow lighting...cozy....

Our table was right near a little wood and glass wine cellar. Not close enough for me to read any labels, but it was nice to look at - this little closety kind of room just right there in the dining room.

Our waitor was intelligent, friendly but not overly so, efficient, and only there when we needed him.

I can't stand overly friendly waiters and waitresses. I don't mean that I want them to be cold and snotty - I just don't want them practically pulling up a chair and joining us for the meal. We had one waiter once (at another restaurant) who came over to the table after we'd been seated, crouched down so his head was level with the dinner plates, and addressed us as "Friends" throughout the entire meal. I wanted to crack him over the head with his pepper mill. He smiled too familiarly, he was ingratiating, he applauded our meal selections way too enthusiastically, and he also said "we" all the time, which really brings out the sarcasm in me. ("You're a pain in the ass, but we're managing to keep our food down anyway. Thanks for asking.")

The menu (at Paragon - we're going back to the happy place now) was not large. There were about 3-4 cold appetizers listed, 10-12 hot appetizers, 5 salads, half a dozen raw bar offerings, 4-5 kinds of pizza, about a half dozen pasta dishes, a dozen or more entrees, and 5 desserts. Bill was pleased with the selections of beer on tap, too.

And here's what we had:

First, a dozen oysters (we split them, though we could each have consumed the whole order alone easily), and one of their hot appetizers, which they called "Shrimp Athens 2004" - of course in reference to the upcoming Olympics. The dish consisted of some fresh shrimp, a fresh tomato sauce, capers, and feta cheese baked in a clay pot and finished off with some triangles of foccaccia on top. It was fabulous - the shrimp had the "pop" when we bit into it that only comes if the shrimp is either incredibly fresh or has been flash frozen either on or right off the boat. Lately we've only been buying the flash frozen shrimp because the stuff we get at the fish stores hasn't had that pop. Plus it's nice to have a whole bag of shrimp in the freezer - they thaw quickly and they cook quickly. And - as I said - they pop.

Oysters were nice, too, though the person who shucked them didn't slice through the muscle on the bottom shell, so we had to do that ourselves. Not a huge deal, but still, it's nice to be able to just slurp them right down....

Bill had a pint of Sierra Nevada and I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc that had a lot of grapefruit to it, but not objectionably so.

We had a nice break in between appetizers and entrees - no rush - we just sat there sipping our drinks and looking around and relaxing.

Bill had rack of lamb (medium rare) with a baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli. I had a taste (of course) - the lamb was cooked perfectly, and the rich, earthy flavors of roasted lamb and garlic mingling together almost made me cry. Lamb is a special occasion food in my family - roast leg of lamb with plenty of mom's birthday dinner sometimes...and Easter. That's about it. I can just about smell it in my mind, and there are few things as intoxicating and comforting and regal - all at the same time - to me.

And I had breast of duck with a port wine reduction with cranberries and a mound of watercress, and rice pilaf. YUM. What a truly delicious meal that was. I love to be amazed by what people do with food, and the syrupy sweetness of the port reduction combined with the tangy tart cranberries perfectly balanced the richness of the duck. If I were the melodramatic sort, that meal would have been a fine occasion for a good heartfelt swoon.

And I had a glass of Zinfandel, red and bold and able to hold its own with the duck, and Bill had Stella Artois - a just about perfect lager that goes skunky quickly, but this was freshly tapped and delicious.

For dessert Bill (who rarely orders dessert) had cheesecake (NY style) with a sauce of strawberries and blackberries flambeed with Grand Marnier. I had Tiramisu - I had seen another waiter carrying it past us earlier and it looked very nicely done - which was served on a plate drizzled with chocolate sauce and a banana sauce - interesting flavor addition, but it worked - and garnished with some fresh raspberries and a bit of whipped cream. I couldn't finish it. And I wanted to - it was one of the best I've ever had. But I was stuffed. Finally.

We didn't want to leave. Both of us wanted to just stay there and keep eating - the flavors were so good. The service was great - the waiter introduced himself at the end of the meal, and so did we.

I just can't explain how delightful the evening was - or, rather, I can't do it justice. Maybe it was because we haven't been out like that in a long time...maybe it was because the meal was perfect...the excellent service...the ambience - no, of course it was all of that. And the company.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Clam Worms and a Little Hammer

This evening, exactly 6 years ago, was the occasion of my first official date with Bill.

My brother-in-law, Jacques, had successfully played Cupid over the several months preceding this date, which is a story (a long one) for another day, but I will try to remember to write about it because it's pretty funny. At least to me.

Anyway, we decided to go out for sushi, which we both love. In fact, Jacques was probably the reason for the sushi date, too. A couple of weeks before this date, several of us were out at a local bar - me, my cousin Steve, my cousin Phil, his girlfriend Roseleen, Jacques, and Bill. Bill and I were having a lovely time discussing various raw seafoods we'd dined on, and grossing Jacques out at the same time. (Bill had me beat - baby octopus!)

Anyway, the date was planned.

And I was such a giddy school-girl about it all.... What to wear? What to wear???

Wednesday night arrived...and I was all ready to go...I was wearing a black short-sleeved top, some funky necklace and earrings that matched or at least went well with it...and a maroon crepe skirt that was comfortable and looked good. (Oh, yeah, does this make me look fat???)

Anyway, I'm all ready to go...waiting...peeking out the bedroom window of my third floor apartment. Then I saw his car pull in...I tiptoed (really - but why?? Not like he could have heard me...) over to the window and peeked out quickly.

He was wearing jeans! (And a grey plaid shirt, and boat shoes.) Jeans!

So I ripped the skirt off and flung it into the bottom of my closet and dragged on a pair of jeans, buzzed him in, and was buckling the belt when he knocked on the door. Phew!

(And now, as I write about this, I'm thinking - why did I care if I had on a skirt instead of jeans? Somehow one of my many insecurities had something to do with it...don't want to be overdressed...but I'm the girl - that's my privilege! Oh well...)

In the car, he asked if I was sure that I wanted to have sushi. No coward, I! Of course, I said. So that's what we did.

We ordered the sushi and sashimi combination plate for two. And water. Bill told me that he liked to drink water with sushi.

What I didn't know was that Bill had been feeling horribly ill for days. He was in no mood for sushi that night and when he asked if I was sure that's what I wanted, he was hoping I'd pick something else. No dice.

He had water because he couldn't stomach anything else.

We had our miso soup. Our little seaweed salads with sesame seed and rice vinegar dressing.

And then the waitress brought our giant platter of sushi and sashimi. It was beautiful. I was tense, he was sick, we only ate half of the platter. (And in subsequent dates, when we were relaxed and healthy, we have certainly been able to polish off an entire combination platter, so it's not like we have tiny appetites...)

We split the leftovers between us, and while we were waiting for the bill, we decided to make up a story to tell Jacques. A gross-out story. Because we knew we'd be quizzed individually.

So we told Jacques that the restaurant was having a local special - live clam worms on a platter, served with little hammers so you could whack the things on the head and at least stun them before eating them.

Hee hee hee. If I remember right, he believed it for a little while.

Clam worms, by the way, if you've never encountered them, are ugly, creepy long worms that you find in beach sand when you're digging clams. They have little mouths and they bite. They're also used for bait, and it helps to cut the heads off before you try to put them on the hook, otherwise you run the risk of being bitten by the wriggling worm or stabbed by the hook as you try to rush the job.

Anyway, that was 6 years ago tonight.

I have, of course, omitted a lot of the rest of the story. That part's mine. ;)

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Random Notes

Alex could run for mayor. And win, if he spoke a bit more clearly. We went shopping today, twice, to several different stores each time, and everywhere we went he was friendly and smiling and babbled interestedly at the cashiers and the people behind us in line. He did everything but shake hands. Well, he didn't kiss any babies, either, but he was pretty much the youngest person we encountered today anyway.

Alex says "thank you." It sounds like "da-doo," emphasis on the "doo" part. He hands me a frying pan, I say "thank you." He extends his hand so I'll give it back, and he says "da-doo" with sincerity. I say "you're welcome." I think he's been attempting that occasionally, but he still hasn't sorted it all out yet.

At daycare the other day, when I was picking him up, the woman in charge of his room told me how expressive he is. (yes, that's MY son.) She went on to mimic several of the things Alex says, and included his "MMMmmm" at the end.

Then she said she was trying to teach him to rub his tummy when he says that.

Grrr. I hope he refuses.

It's not that tummy-rubbing isn't cute. HOWEVER, he has been saying "MMMmmm" successfully for quite some time now, and he doesn't need to rub his tummy. Everyone understands what he's talking about. It's cute all by itself. No tummy-rubbing needed.

She told me she's taught a bunch of the other children who have been in her class to say "mmmmm" and rub their tummies at the same time.

She also said she tries to teach them to do "nice eyes" or "pretty eyes"...I can't remember the exact thing she calls it. Selective amnesia, I think. And when she told me this, she cocked her head at a 45 degree angle to her left, sort of rolled her eyes back in her head, and fluttered her eyelids. Apparently that's nice, or pretty, in her world.

If she teaches that to Alex I will have to remove him from that daycare facility.

It's not something I want my son to do. In fact, it's not something I'd want my daughter to do, either, if I had one. It looks stupid, actually. And if my children ever look stupid, at least let it be original. Not the same stupid fluttery eyes the other children are doing.

So now I am trying to figure out what Alex needs to learn so he can get OUT of that room and move up to "middle toddlers" as soon as possible. She is a scary woman. And loud. All the fun artwork they do, and water play days, and singing songs, and playing on the slides and the wooden train outside - all of these things are fine. Just don't teach my kid to be a carbon copy of your other kids. Especially if they're doing stupid fluttery eyes.

What else...

Well, it's still muggy and hot and sticky here, in case anyone was wondering. We have not had a break. Thank goodness it's rained just about every night this week - at least the gardens are happy and thriving. I pulled 3 full-sized cucumbers off the vines this evening - hadn't even realized they were growing back there...pretty cool.

And the soybeans look almost ready to pick...I'll wait til Monday so Bill can have the thrill of it too...and our little hot peppers are looking good...and the japanese eggplant...and there are TONS of tomatoes out there...nothing ready to pick yet, but when they are ready we'll be inundated.

Made a quick pesto for lunch today, on pasta wheels. Alex liked it. "MMMmmm!"

Had fish for dinner, and spinach. He liked that too. Gave him a peach for dessert. He's asleep now. I've got the dishwasher running...have to empty the dehumidifier tonight...was going to do laundry but I think I'll leave that for tomorrow.

Gee, this is a thrill and a half, isn't it?

Bill flies home tomorrow. He'll arrive some time tomorrow evening. Which reminds me, I need to dig out the copy I made of his return ticket, so I know which flights he's on. He's had fun out there. But he says he's looking forward to coming home, so that's nice. I'm looking forward to him coming home too.

I had all these plans to accomplish all sorts of little projects while he was away. Haven't really done anything other than the necessary daily and weekly stuff that always needs doing.

And I'm hungry, and I have a fridge full of food...and I don't feel like eating any of it. I feel kind of adrift. I have books to read...things I could do...but the mugginess is dragging me into sluggishness...and I think I just want my husband back home.

That's all it is. Silly. I lived for years by myself, and was fine. And this week, while I'm not really by myself, since there's Alex, I'm still the only adult here. And I'm out of practice with that. Yes, it's been kind of fun and self-indulgent to dive into a couple of good books and read as late as I want to...but. Something's definitely missing.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for single parents...and spouses of the military...I've only been on my own with Alex for a week, and it's been a huge adjustment. I managed to get into a workable routine by Wednesday...but it's a lot of work when it's just you and the baby.

And that's it for the moment. There is not even a hint of a breeze coming into this room, I'm hot, sticky, drippy, and probably smelly. And still hungry. So I think I'll go and do something about at least one of those discomforts.

Talk to you later.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003


It's only Tuesday. It feels like it should be further along in the week than that.

In addition to it being horribly muggy here, and Bill being in Seattle, Alex is getting some more teeth in...and as a result, he has not been his happiest, nor has he slept straight through any of the past several nights.

Bill went salmon fishing Sunday morning and I received an emailed picture of him grinning delightedly and holding the 10-lb salmon he reeled in.

I don't know which was more blinding - the silvery fish or Bill's teeth.

I had the picture set as wallpaper on my computer at work...for about half of Monday...and then I had to switch back to the picture of Alex that preceded it. I just couldn't take the big happy grin any longer.

Fine. I'm small and petty and shallow. But that doesn't negate the fact that he is out there in Seattle, for over a week, playing. He is having endless fun, eating Thai one day, fresh salmon the next, and all-you-can-eat sushi tonight. And I'm not.

And it's in the low to mid 70s in Seattle...and no humidity...and no mosquitos...and he's probably sleeping straight through the night...and I'm not....

But now the guilt is nudging, yes, of course, I love my child and I am not UNhappy that I'm with him or that he's with me. Of course not. I just would like to sleep for several hours in a row at some point this week. That's all I'm asking.


There have been bright spots.

Alex and I were outside after dinner last night...touring the grounds...checking out the vegetable garden...and he gave a long, serious lecture about a tomato leaf. I have no idea what he was telling me, but it was lengthy and important to him. Something about that leaf...he touched it lightly a couple of times with one small finger...and spoke softly but urgently...and he made it very, very clear that I must listen.

I was going to write his little lecture phonetically, but it just looked like babbling when I typed it, and of course it was way more intelligent-sounding the way he said it. You'll just have to trust me.

He is very generous. He hands me things now. All the time. Pots and pans...his sippy cup...a cheerio from his mouth...dirt...a bottle of baby lotion...(clean) underwear from a laundry basket....and when I say "thank you!" and then hand something to him, he takes it and says "da-doo!" right back. (Hee hee hee!!)

On the flip side of that - he is learning "no" in a big way. In a couple of big ways....

He shakes his little blond head vehemently from side to side if he doesn't want something.

"No, do not want that bottle."

"No, do not want that piece of potato. (I know I liked potatoes yesterday, but I'm starting my terrible twos early, and so today, at just under 14 months, I don't want that piece of potato. But give it to me for lunch tomorrow - I'll probably eat it at daycare.)"

"No, do not want a piece of banana. In fact, I SO do not want any banana, even though other times I LOVE bananas, that I will CRY LOUDLY to reiterate the fact that right now, I DO NOT WANT a piece of banana."

And the other learning-of-NO that is happening is not so much "learning" as it is "thumbing one's cute little button nose at" what the word "NO" means (when Mommy says it).

And Mommy really doesn't overuse the word, either. Just for the serious stuff. NO means don't yank on the oven door. NO means don't stand on the chair (oh, yeah, he can climb up onto chairs and couches now, have I mentioned that yet?) and grin like that and fling yourself backwards because SOME DAY you're going to be facing the wrong way when you fling.

And then if I take him off the chair to emphasize that all fun will cease if he ignores "NO" - he wails. (Naturally. All fun has just ceased.) Passersby stare in horror at my house as the cries of anguish pour from every door and window. This is a house oftorture! I'm Big Mean Mommy and I don't let my kid have ANY fun! EVER!

And then a minutes later he climbs back onto the chair (triumphantly, I swear) all smiles and joy again. After all, it's quite an achievement to scale Everest...even if your mommy won't let you stand at the summit. Yet.

Okay. I'm done venting. And it's not even venting, really. Because with the exception of the waking-up-a-lot-in-the-middle-of-the-night part, it's not a terrible thing to be hanging out with Alex like this. He is truly fascinating. And beautiful. And he's learning to kiss me on the cheek without biting, which is a refreshing change. I'm savoring this time of his little life when he will willingly kiss me. I know it won't last, though it will return again, eventually. And there is nothing that lifts me up more after a day at a job that I don't love than going into the Early Toddler room and seeing Alex see me and smile and run across the room laughing. To me.

I do miss Bill.

But he missed the tomato leaf lecture.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

If You Can't Stand the Heat...

...turn the oven on and bake things.

It's muggy and hot and not at all encouraging of movement today. The best thing would be to lie still somewhere, with a fan moving the molecules of hot water and air back and forth above me, while I read the paper and drink something with a lot of ice in it.

Instead, I'm going to turn the oven on and, yes, bake things. Why not? It needs to be done - I want to prep things so I have food already made this week...I've already been to the grocery store with Alex, and so if anything's going to get done, I have to do it today.

So. I will just pretend, as I sweat gallons onto the kitchen floor, that today is one long workout (which I could use) and feel good about how hot and smelly I become....

And by the end of the day, I will have a fridge full of meals for Alex and myself, and everything will be done - dishes, kitchen floor, ironing for the week (I am ambitious today) - and I can relax, after Alex is in bed, and FINALLY read the paper.

If I read it while he's taking a nap, there is a definite danger that I won't get up and get moving again, so the goal today is not to sit (except as I type this) until everything that needs to get done IS done.

So - that's it for now. Must go and start cooking now. I need iced coffee, too. LOTS of it.

Oh - and Bill called me last night - he and his brother brewed up a batch of beer yesterday, and he's going salmon fishing today.

And - one more little thing and then I'm back on my feet and in motion - while I was at the grocery store, waiting for a pound of sea scallops, a tall gentleman in his 70's (I'm guessing) tapped me on the arm and told me that if I ever decided to sell Alex, I should call him. He smiled at Alex and patted him on the head, and Alex smiled back. I saw this same gentleman later in another aisle, with his wife. He pointed out Alex, and she laughed and said they'd had two just like him - 55 years ago. It was sweet. They looked happy. Like my parents, they are a peek at where I hope to be years from shopping with Bill, smiling at little babies, remembering how it was only yesterday that Alex was that small.

Gotta go - this house just isn't hot and sticky ENOUGH!!!

Saturday, August 02, 2003

"So Kiss Me and Smile For Me...

...tell me that you'll wait for me, hold me like you'll never let me go..."

Bill flew to Seattle yesterday to visit his brother, Ray, for about a week. I dropped him off at the airport yesterday on my way to bring Alex to daycare and myself to work. It felt almost like an adult paper route - slow down, toss a bit of cargo out the window, and move on.

Only sad.

I am fine - I lived alone for a number of years before Bill was brought into my life, so it's not that. And I'm not alone anyway - I have Alex here, and the cat, and all the fish....(yes, I promise I will feed them daily!)

He arrived safely. His flight into Chicago was delayed, but he caught the connection and arrived in Seattle only about 30 minutes later than scheduled. And he called me as he was boarding that flight, just to say hi, I'm here, I'm on my way.

I spent a good part of my time at work tracking his flights.

I am not an enthusiastic flier. I have flown a number of times. First time was alone, too.

But after September 11th, I have not come remotely close to wanting to get on a plane going anywhere. And, by extension, I haven't been nuts about anyone I care about getting on a plane either.

But he needed to go.

He needed to go see that part of his family. He needed to visit Seattle again. He needed to get out of here for a bit.

He needed all of this about a month and a half ago, when the flight was booked.

He doesn't need it as much now, but he will still have a great time, and it will be good for him.

Last night, for instance, he and his brother were headed out to dinner at a Thai restaurant and then to a Mariners game.

I don't know what else is planned, other than a salmon fishing trip that Ray has arranged.

I've been salmon fishing out there. Once. About 5 1/2 years ago or so. My first year with Bill - and I went with him to Seattle for Christmas. I must have liked him an AWFUL lot, even that early on, to give up my traditional Christmas with my own family. I'm a homebody, I'm immersed in tradition and family - and so this was a huge thing for me.

Anyway, while we were out there, we went salmon fishing. A little charter trip. The captain, first mate, about 4 other men, Bill, and me. The girl.

It was a drizzley, damp, gray trip, and we caught very little. I caught a small flounder. Someone else caught something. That was it. About 8 hours out on this boat, damp, swaying, rocking, uneventful, and cold.

I made it a point not to put a hat on until one of the men did.

I made it a point not to eat my peanutbutter sandwich until one of the men ate lunch.

I made it a point not to go into the cabin and get out of the drizzle and wind and sit down until one of the one of the men did.

I was hard core.

I am woman. ROAR!

And I was also happy to get back to the dock and eventually get into warm, dry clothes and have something hot to eat and drink.

It would have been nice, though, if someone had caught something worth catching.

Oh well.

Anyway, so Bill is out there on the west coast, and here I am. And it's hot and muggy, and despite my great determination (yesterday) to get a lot DONE while Bill is away, I spent this morning reading and playing with Alex (he's taking a nap now), and haven't done a whole heck of a lot else.

After Alex wakes up we're going down to my parents' house for an early dinner of hamburgers and hotdogs with them and my sister and her kids. My brother-in-law works on the weekends, so it's just mom, dad, the girls, and their kids.

Tonight...I don't know. Should do laundry. Should wash the floors. Should vacuum. Should clear off the pile of bills and junk mail on the diningroom table. should should should.

But I'll see. Might also just lie in bed and read again. I haven't done that in ages....Just disappear into a novel....then that kind of groggy, coming up for air feeling after I close the book. Where am I? Oh. Yeah. Okay.

Anyway, that's where I am at the moment. I expect I'll write more than usual this week. Unless I get really motivated and overhaul the house....

We'll see.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

The Sound of Silence

Bill just took Alex down the street to Gorton's Pond. Alex has never been in the water there before. Before they left, Bill had changed Alex into his little swimming pants, which are supposed to be a leak-proof, waterproof substitute for diapers.... Anyway, Bill asked me to hold Alex so he could bring the stroller outside. I picked up Alex - "Why is he wet?" So they're not exactly leakproof....

Anyway, they just left a couple of minutes ago.

I have been trying to write, uninterrupted, this afternoon, but while I have successfully typed in some recipes from the clambake, I have also been successfully interrupted. Oh well.

It is hard to carve out time for me. And rather than blame anyone else for that, I admit (reluctantly, and after a lot of thought) that this is my own fault.

This post by Aimless and this post, which Aimless links to, by Venomous Kate are both great pieces in the vein of trying to carve out time while juggling "it all." Without feeling like I have to justify it. And without feeling guilty for it.

But anyway...

In my backwards way, I found Venomous Kate's through Aimless, and I read Kate's first. I read that one last night and it stayed with me. Exactly!!! I thought. I chewed on it for quite a while last night. I was going to excerpt sections of it, but I changed my mind - it's best read straight through. I want to say that she sounds a lot more tired, a lot more angry, a lot more pissed off than I feel at any given moment. I want to. But. There are times....

A few minutes ago I finally read Aimless's piece in response to it, and she's also given me a lot to think about. Go read that one too.

I know - this is terribly unenlightening on my part. You'll just have to link to them. Go.