Monday, June 30, 2003

I'm thinking of changing my template. It's starting to feel too dark and murky to me.

Or maybe I'm not feeling as dark and murky as I used to...

Running, Haircuts and Strawberries

Alex and I went to hang out at my parents' house yesterday morning while Bill went off to MA to fish in a tournament. (I won't use his exact phrase, but suffice to say, he didn't do well. Not at all.)

Alex had his breakfast there, at Mom and Dad's house. - a fruit-and-cereal bar, and some toast, and some strawberries that Mom had left over from strawberry shortcake the night before.

Alex is trying to master the art of using a spoon. It's not as easy as it looks, you know. He has a pretty good idea, but he's still working on it.

For a while he was eating with his hands, and I was spooning strawberry slices onto his tray for him to pick up. Then he decided it was time for spoon practice, so he took the teaspoon in his left hand, and started whacking the lone strawberry on his tray with the back of the spoon. Whack! Whack! Whack! The strawberry skidded across the tray in fear. After a few more whacks, he reached for it with his right hand, and as he did this, my mother said "There, it's dead. Now I can eat it."

We laughed hysterically. That's exactly what seemed to be happening.

After that we walked down to the end of the street to watch my nephew, Calvin, who is 10, run in a 4 mile race through town. Actually we just watched him run past us. He did the rest of it unattended by family. I'm so proud of him. Little athelete. He finished in thirty-something minutes and thirty-something seconds (35 and 36, or vice versa...I'm a terrible aunt - I didn't memorize his time.).

I snapped one picture of him as he went by - I hope it comes out somewhat clearly.

Impressive to see all the runners...the very obviously fit people zooming by first, (women with bare midriffs who made me very conscious of the fact that I haven't done a sit up or a crunch in a long, long time), one father pushing a jogging stroller with his little kid inside...and other people, not as fit, but still running, mixed in with the adults...Calvin running side by side with his friend, Billy...and one much older gentleman mixed in among them all. My sister told me later that he finished first in his age group - which was the over-80 group. Good for him! And toward the end, the people who were walking the 4 miles. Good for all of them - they were participating in whatever way they could.

After all the people had gone by, my parents and I (and Alex in his new stroller), went back to the house and hung out on the back porch, doing not much of anything. Maybe having coffee...talking, not much else. It was nice.

Later, after the race, my sister and her kids stopped by. We congratulated Calvin on his run, and saw the tee shirt and other free stuff he got for participating.

A bit later, I went over to my sister's house - actually no, that's not completely right - I gave Mere and the kids a ride to their house in the new truck. As Calvin used to say, when he was about 3..."Biiiiiig TWUCK!"

And at Mere's house, Alex had his first haircut.

My little baby boy. Mere trimmed his bangs and the hair at the back of his neck and a little above the ears. Not a lot of cutting. But still. He definitely looks more like a little boy and less like a baby.

I saved the hair in a little plastic bag for his baby book.

Of course.

That night after dinner Bill picked strawberries from our strawberry patch. These are little intense berries that put the "store-boughten" ones to shame. Most of them are about the size of a grape, or smaller...but the flavor is the size of a grapefruit. They're wonderful.

And Alex loves them. LOVES them. "MMmmMM!"

And they're also very juicy. So each one Alex held in his little hand dripped red juice onto his tray and down his arms, all over his face, down his bib, his bare little one point he had part of a berry mushed into the hair on his forehead.

He looked like an extra in a horror movie.

I took a picture of him like that. He looked very pleased with himself.

Sunday, June 29, 2003


I was awake several times during the night because Alex was...and while I tried to get back to sleep various unhappy thoughts fought for attention in my mind.

One thought - is Alex eating enough of a variety of vegetables??? (The "I Must Be A Bad Mother" theme has a lot of different verses...I'm new at this, so I don't know all the words yet, but I've got some of the first part memorized...I'm sure I'll learn the rest as I go...)

And the other thought - or gang of thoughts circling me - was kicked off by this by Sheila and her link to this by Dean Esmay.

I read both of those and felt (wrongly, I know...I just take everything VERY personally...) that they were talking directly to me.

I haven't listed many other blogs over there on the left. I updated Sheila's when she got her own domain recently, but that's been all the activity there for a couple of months.

I'm sorry.

You know what, I don't read a lot of other blogs with any regularity. I'm writing now because I got up early with Bill - he went fishing - and Alex is still sleeping, and I have some time.

I know that's a poor excuse, too.

But back to the blogging I have added a couple of blogs to the left. Rue, of Abraca Pocus, sent me a lovely note when I had the miscarriage back in April, and I should have added her in at that point but I didn't. And I apologize for that, too.

So that's it for now. I will try to add others - there's one I forgot but Alex is crying now - I think he sensed that I was typing...

I'm going now, and if Alex falls back to sleep, I'll be back again soon. Otherwise...I'm going to Wakefield this morning. My nephew, Calvin, is in a 4-mile race through town...and so I'm going to try to see him run, and also visit my parents and my sister and Calvin and my niece, Natalie.

I apologize again for being a slacker...

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Green Spaghetti

When I was a kid my mother would make spaghetti with just butter and chopped parsley sometimes. She (and we) called it "green spaghetti."

I'm not a huge fan of parsley, but we are growing it anyway. (Just like I'm not a huge fan of broccoli, but we grew some of that too this year...thank you, John.)

Anyway, the parsley is doing very well, so I suggested making green spaghetti tonight. We have left over whole wheat spaghetti in the fridge, so it would take very little time to prepare. Bill went out and harvested parsley...and some basil...some chives...and the last little florets of broccoli. He roughly chopped all the green stuff, and threw in some chopped olives and some capers....(hmmm...this is no longer the original green spaghetti...and I had very little to do with the creation of this dish as well...oh well...I was giving Alex a bath.)

I heated some olive oil in a pan, tossed in all the chopped ingredients, and just basically warmed them slowly in the oil. Sprinkled that with some salt and pepper, and warmed up the spaghetti in a ziploc bag in the microwave. There was a little bit of spaghetti sauce on the spaghetti, too, so there was that little tomato element thrown into the final dish. When the spaghetti was warmed up I put that in the pot with the greens and oil, tossed them all together, and we served it with some grated parmigan. Alex shoved handfuls of it into his mouth. He likes everything. He eats his veggies without a complaint. (He likes sauteed chicken livers too, with a little onion, served over some couscous mixed with diced tomato, basil and olive oil...honest!)

Anyway, dinner was very nice, very quick, very simple. I love having the garden. Bill is the gardener, as he has more time in the summer than I do...and he likes to do it. He is, in this respect, his mother's son. Which works for me. I'm looking forward to later this summer, when the "bigger" things start coming in...eggplant, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers...different kinds of salad greens...herbs...the peas are just about finished, now that the hot weather has arrived...oh, and we have asparagus...horseradish...raspberry plants that were Bill's mom's...not a bad little farm this year.

I look forward to fresh tomatoes, sliced, with slices of fresh mozzarella, mixed with fresh basil and olive oil and a little salt....or fresh eggplant and zucchini on the grill...a thick sliced tomato sandwich with mayo and a pinch of salt. That is the flavor of summer to me.

Lazy Morning...

This morning we slept late. Even Alex. Maybe it's the weather - it's been horribly humid these last several days...I've felt like a wilted petunia.

Anyway, got up, showered, and gave Alex some breakfast - cut up peaches and a fruit-and-cereal bar. He loves to shove as much food into his mouth as he can, mush it all up, and then make growly noises, mouth opened, nose wrinkled, and eyes scrunched nearly shut. He really enjoys his meals.

We cleaned Alex off, wiped most of the peach juice out of his hair, and set off on our planned journey.

We went Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

A Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop opened up in Cranston not too long ago and everyone I've spoken to who has had a Krispy Kreme Doughnut has raved about the experience. My sister told me they melt in your mouth. Other people have said similar things. One of Bill's students had brought several dozen in to school and so Bill got to try them too. I have been waiting.

And so this morning, the journey to doughnut mecca...

The drive-thru line wrapped around the building. The parking lot was full. Parking a big truck is an interesting experience when you've only ever driven relatively small cars before. But Bill did well and no other cars suffered in the process.

We went into the building and found ourselves at the end of a long but quickly moving line snaking past a big window through which we could view the entire doughnut-making process. Kind of cool. Little rings of dough ride on a conveyor apparatus that's kind of like a ferris wheel, but instead of riding around in a circle, the little doughnut rings ride up and down, up and down, through a proof box. By the time they reach the end of that ride, they are puffy and light. Next they ride a different conveyor over the surface of hot oil, they are flipped over and cook on the other side, then they ride out of the oil, over a little hill that doesn't seem to serve a purpose other than to give them time to dry a bit. Next the warm, happy little doughnuts ride under a waterfall of honey glaze, and after that, they are ready for eating.

And the lovely thing at Krispy Kreme is that they hand out fresh, warm, sticky, melt-in-your-mouth "original glazed" doughnuts to the people who are standing in line, trying not to drool.

And yes, they were very yummy. Melt-in-your-mouth yummy. Alex enjoyed them too. "MMmm!" We fed him little bits of ours, much to his delight. Except for on his birthday, he has never had so much sugar at a time....

We bought a box of a dozen assorted doughnuts, and then went to our next stop: The Badass Coffee Company. Badass Coffee originates in the town of Kona, on the Big Island in Hawaii. We stayed in Kona on our honeymoon, so it's kind of nice and brings back happy memories of that 10 day period a few years ago. Bill got hot coffee, I got iced, and home we went.

We sat out on the deck, under the umbrella, and ate doughnuts and drank coffee.
And it kind of felt like Hawaii, or at least our memory of how we felt while we were in Hawaii. Which feeling of having to be somewhere soon so we'd better eat fast and suck down the coffee and get need to do anything or be anywhere at all...other than right there, outside, in the warm morning slightly overcast...not as humid as the last few days have been...bits of blue sky peeking through...birds visiting the feeder...squirrels on the ground shoving fallen seed into their cheeks...Alex happily smearing red doughnut jelly all over himself...Bill and I talking...and not talking...just sitting...eating (too many) doughnuts...drinking our coffee...and that's it....

It felt like Hawaii. A nice, lazy morning.


Thursday, June 26, 2003

Alex, the Early Toddler

Alex has moved up to the "Early Toddler" room at daycare. Wednesday was his first day. I think it was more upsetting to me - a whole new routine to get used to, different things I need to make sure he has each day...and the woman who seems to be in charge of that shall I say this kindly.........I don't like her. She's bossy and kind of condescending of the parents new to her room...I just wasn't happy to have to ask her questions...

...but anyway, at the end of the day, I picked Alex up and a different woman was there - a nice one - and as Alex came toddling over to me, his hair damp and curling, a big drooly smile on his face...she told he he'd eaten chalk. Yellow chalk, apparently, judging by the bits clinging to his face and hair, and the chalky swipe marks on his shorts and his chubby little legs. Yep, my boy ate his first non-toxic art supply.

I couldn't be more proud.

Lyme update

I had a follow up appointment this morning - apparently I was in the early stage of lyme disease, but it was caught before it had a chance to really get into my system too severely. I'll finish up the antibiotic I've been put on, and go back in a month for follow up bloodwork to make sure everything's back to normal.

It's amazing how much better I feel now, compared to less than a week ago...

And that's it for the moment. It's sweltering here - in the 90's today, not my favorite temperature, and it's humid...especially since the AC in my car needs to be fixed. Anyway, I must go to a different room - it's way too hot in here to type. My fingers are sliding off the keys....

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Other things

It's been such a busy few weeks, too...didn't have time to write, and then last week didn't have the energy to. So now I'm thinking I need to go back and recap everything that had been going on.

And now, as I'm sitting here typing...I don't even feel like it.


Nope, really, I don't.

Okay, made that decision. I think I touched on some of it a week or two ago anyway - my cousin's wedding, our niece staying with us...Alex's first is busy...on and on and on.

But you know what? The immediacy is gone. (I just typed "goine", by the way)

So...sorry...never mind. I'm just going to stick with the present, instead.

So. We have a new truck. Bill's car finally said "No, I don't think I can" and so we now are the proud owners of a burly Ford F150 with a V8 engine, quadcab, and an extender for the bed. Did that sound burly? The truck is black too. Nice, burly, manly color. The quadcab ( I think that's the correct term...I might be spelling it wrong, though...) is nice - we can put the car seat in there no problem...the whole thing seats 6 if necessary, but 5 is more comfortable. Air conditioning, CD player...apparently the gas and brake pedals move to accommodate the driver's height (or, in my case, lack thereof), which is nice. I haven't driven it yet. We just got it Saturday, and I held up just long enough to sign paperwork and drive home. Then I took a nap.

Bill, on the other hand, just swells with manly pride when ever he gazes upon it...and then spoils the effect by practically giggling when he has a reason - or non-reason - to drive it.

It will tow the boat, which is one of the reasons we got a truck instead of a car. And truck instead of an SUV, so we can throw smelly lobster pots or mulch or whatever in the back and not worry about the interior getting dirty and stinky too. So it's functional. And it's pretty and shiny right now, but it will be smelly and ugly by the end of the summer, if my husband has his way.

It's nice to have goals.

Here are the goals for tomorrow.... Bring large things from his mom's house to our house. Large things and things from the shed (i.e. things that might have dirt on them and should definitely go in a truck.) His friend John is coming over to help. The other goal is, of course, to make John drool with manly envy and cry and curse his genital inferiority at the sight of Bill's big, burly, badass truck. This is a guy thing.... I'm glad I will be at work, and not have to witness all the gnashing of the teeth and beating of the chest and swinging from tree limbs that will have to accompany the above ritual. Afterward, of course, they will climb into the truck, friends no matter what, and Bill will magnanimously invite John to drive it. Later, they'll have lunch and a couple of beers together...peace and harmony restored.

But there will still remain that little tiny grin tugging at the corner of Bill's mouth...and there will still be that little look in John's eye....and the little grin will say "who's the man?"....and the little look will say "you bastard."

And then they'll play a few games of darts and I'll get home from work with Alex, and they'll show me what they've done and tell me who's won the most dart games, and then we'll have dinner, and all in all, it will be a nice day for everyone, I think.

That's if for now.

It feels good to type in here again.

Hi again...

I'm planning to go back to work tomorrow, so I am trying not to take any naps today, in preparation for having to remain upright at my desk tomorrow...though, of course, I can probably look like I'm working and nap upright, phone to my ear, facing my would probably be a while before anyone noticed. Unless, as I mentioned the other day to my sister, I started to drool...

This has been a weird week. The aches, the chills, the not sleeping well, then the constant sleeping from Friday throughout most of the weekend...I don't know when I've slept that much. And it wasn't something I could argue myself out of. It was really strange. I'd just suddenly say to Bill - I have to go lie down - and march upstairs and flop on the bed and thrash around a bit trying to get comfortable (which is nearly impossible anyway - we need a new set of mattresses)...and then zonk out completely for a few hours. I never do that.

Yesterday I had to go have an ultrasound on my right leg, to rule out a blood clot. I did not think I had a blood clot, and I don't think anyone else really thought I did, but they have to rule it out. So I went over to the radiologist's yesterday afternoon and had my ultrasound.

The only other ultrasounds I've ever had have been abdominal...pregnancy-related. So I was kind of curious about this one. It was pretty similar - the radiologist, a woman, drizzled warm goop down my leg for the ultrasound thing (let me know if I'm getting too technical here) to slide around on, and then she started up at the top of my leg. She found the main vein that runs the length of my leg, and showed me that on the screen. Both the vein and the artery that hangs out with it. Then she'd press on my leg to compress the vein. If it winked, on the screen, that was good - no clot. So she went down my leg, stopping at various points, checking the wink. She also switched to a different screen, with sound this time, and pressed and had me flex my foot and then let go. This was apparently to make sure the blood was flowing properly. I watched the indicator on the screen track the flow on a graph - and listenened to the accompanying "swoosh" sound as I flexed and un-flexed. This went on all the way down to my ankle. It hurt when she went over the red area on the back of my knee, a sharp little pain, like I've got glass jammed in there. But I didn't kick her or anything, so we got along just fine.

No blood clot. I showed her the red area on my leg again, and we discussed how it may have happened - if, indeed, a tick got in there and poisoned me. And that was it. I limped out of the building and went home. Fun fun fun.

The doctor also has switched me to one of the antibiotics usually prescribed for lyme disease, just in case. I have to take this twice a day for 28 days!!! Ugh. And one of the little warnings on the label says to avoid prolonged exposure to natural or artificial sunlight. Which is okay - the sun makes me squint and gives me a headache anyway, but still...being told not to go out and soak up the rare bit of sun we've been given so far this year just makes me want to. Like I'd had big plans to work on my tan this year. hahaha.

So that's the update with whatever's going on with me, physically.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

I'm still here...

Haven't really written in quite a while, and this isn't going to be much more than a quick hello...I am wiped out. Since Tuesday I've been achy, had chills, fever, little appetite, incredible fatigue...and so I went to the doctor on Friday and they siphoned off a few gallons of blood to test...I also noticed a weird looking pinkish red thing on the back part of my right knee...and more red/pink around it. And the calf on that leg feels sore this morning - like I've recently had a charley horse in that muscle...anyway, I was talking to my sister on the phone this morning, and she was on her computer, so she looked up lyme disease...and damned if I don't have pretty much all the early symptoms. The dr has already put me on antibiotics while they run all their blood tests...but I think Dr. Meredith has pretty much diagnosed me. I'll call the other dr monday to see if they've got any results back.

And I'm thinking why would I have lyme disease? We don't have a whole lot of deer (and their little tick friends) in my how??? And wise-woman Mere reminded me - we were at our cousin Steve's wedding a couple of weeks ago. At Colt State Park. Which is a woodsy place, most likely crawling with ticks, hungry for human flesh.....anyway, she's probably right. That's the only place I can imagine encountering a tick. I was wearing a long dress...wouldn't have noticed it crawling up my leg.....yick.

And this is about all that I have the energy to type today. I want to go lie down again.

I'll write more eventually.

Saturday, June 14, 2003


A rare moment: I am completely alone. (Except for the cat, who is snoozing, and the fish in the tank downstairs.)

I am completely alone.

It's been a full couple off weeks since I last is very busy, our niece, Lisa, who is almost 17, is up from Florida and has been staying with cousin, Steve, got married last Sunday and my mother and I did some baking for the reception...Alex just turned one, and we had a party for him last night and so I've been baking (his cake) and cooking for that this week.

Today, Lisa is visiting other aunts and cousins...and Bill just left, with Alex in tow, to go to a couple of Gaspee Day cookouts. I was invited, and ordinarily I would have gone...but it's so rare that I have time all to myself, and Bill offered to take Alex with here I am.

And I don't know what to do with myself.

No - that's not quite it.

I have too many options. I'm writing, which was one of the things I wanted to do. But I'm not going to write the whole time. Because I also want to just...relax. I want to do absolutely nothing. I picked up a couple of magazines at CVS when I went to pick up the pictures from last night's party...and I could sit out on our deck, under the umbrella, with something cold to drink, and read forgettable articles in "People" and "Cosmopolitan"...or I could take a nap, which actually is tempting.


Just sitting here, listening to the faint hum of the computer modem and the trickley water sound coming up from the fishtank in the basement. Those are the only sounds I hear, except for when I'm typing...or, distantly, a neighborhood kid yelling up the street...or a car driving down Post Road...there's a dog barking now.............but is quiet.

I think I will stop typing for now. The keys are too noisy. I want to soak up the silence for a while....