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Showing posts from 2014

New Year's Eve

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We're having a wild and crazy night here: Larry and Susie have fallen asleep on the couch, David is doing college applications, and Brian (with 2 of his friends) is having a Dr. Who marathon in the basement.  Rachel is waiting for me to play cards with her (I know! The excitement!), so - for the final night of 2014 - I will leave you with some of my favorite tweets of the year. A Happy New Year to all of you! 


@ericaj1721
My superpower is the ability to be the only one in this house who can see the trash overflowing.
@jp_unfiltered
If Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel today, instead of saying "what manner of salutation is this? " she'd just say, "OMG, WTF?"@steveolivas
The last machine I raged against had my bag of Funyons stuck on the spindle thingy. @ashleycrem
If I were holding my baby, and I saw a spider on my arm, I'm not confident of what my instinct would be.@simoncholland
A tornado siren but for when my daughter rolls her eyes at my wife.@yobully
You…

Water, Water Everywhere

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You know what's fun? When one of your kids walks up to you at 10 PM and says, "There's water dripping from the fan in the bathroom ceiling."

That would be the ceiling directly under the attic, folks.  I could actually feel Larry's blood pressure shoot up when he heard this.  Especially when I said, "Oh, yes - I kept meaning to ask you about that weird spot near the fan where it looks as though the ceiling is bulging."  He loved that.

We decided to wait until morning to investigate, as we'd need daylight shining through to show us where the roof leak was.  I couldn't sleep, thinking about how much a new roof might cost, so I finished Bel Canto.  I'm very proud of myself for reading a work of fiction, finally.   I might even try another one.  Or maybe not.  We don't want to get too carried away around here.

Remember my week without an IPad? Once I got it back, I (somewhat grudgingly) adopted Christine's suggestion - I now charge up thi…

True Colors

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14-year-old Brian woke us up at 7:10 this morning, which made me so cranky I snarled at everyone for an hour.  I guess we Jews aren't so good at that Merry Christmas thing.
All 6 of my kids were here for Christmas dinner, which made me very happy. We essentially cooked Thanksgiving dinner all over again, as Theo wasn't home for that holiday.  As a side note, I am sick of cooking and have no desire to ever cook anything ever again.  This is it - 24 Christmases and I am done.  DONE.
2 people (including a spouse who shall not be named) gave me scarves that were predominantly black or grey.  Has no one else seen the episode of All in the Family where Edith is going through menopause and flips out over the black suitcases?  I AM THAT WOMAN NOW.  

All the Christmas knitting got done, except the thumbs on Anna's fingerless mitts.  That's pretty good, right?  I managed fingerless mitts for the 2 Girl Scout leaders and my yoga teacher (along with the above-mentioned thumbless o…

Marriage. For Reals.

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So, Larry and I had a cocktail party to go to on Saturday night.  It's an annual thing at a friend's house - someone we don't get to see very often during the year, now that all our kids are older and we spend all our time driving them around.  Other people show up whom we also rarely get to see, so it is a pleasant yearly reunion of sorts.

At 6:45, Larry headed upstairs.  "Oh, yeah," I thought. "I should start getting ready, too."  When I reached the bedroom, however, I discovered that the floor in front of the master bathroom and the master closet was covered by things that Larry had apparently just pulled out from under the sink.  ALL THE THINGS.  A veritable cornucopia of Q-Tips, deodorants, razors, panty liners, and hair appliances effectively blocked my access to my dress-up clothes, my make-up, and my hair goo.  The bathroom door was closed, and I could hear banging going on.  "What happened?" I called to Larry. "Was something lea…

Flavored Lip Gloss Doesn't Cut It Anymore, I Guess

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"Mommy, Alison got an IPhone for her birthday!" Susie informed me while we were out shopping.

"Alison?  As in 12-year-old Alison with the really sensible parents?" I asked, my heart dropping at the thought of yet one more of my girls' tween friends walking around with the Internet in her pocket.

"Yup! Isn't that neat?"

"No. No, it isn't. Not at all."

I know these people well.  They're wonderful parents - loving, strict - and their kids are great.  And now even they are handing out smartphones.  Which says to me that this - IPhones for teens and tweens, that is - has simply become the new norm.

Look, I'm not a Luddite, and - 23 years into this parenting gig - I am certainly not at all idealistic about raising children; I am all too aware that, no matter how you raise them and what rules you may enforce, those kids are going to do what they like the minute they leave your house (and sometimes before that).  Hey, my only prayer …

Impersonating A Gentile

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So what does a Jew in an interfaith householddo on the first night of Chanukah?  She puts up Christmas lights, of course.  It's taken years for me to get the hang of this, but I can now manage to make it look as though I know what I am doing with a long string of icicle lights.  Don't I make a good goy?

In other news, tonight I managed to find the dreidels AND the menorah, all in one fell swoop.  I would like to thank the super-organized me of January 2014, who packed all the holiday things together properly before sending them up to the attic.  I used to be one amazing woman, I tell you.

My only concern is that I cannot find my Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers Christmas CD.  I suspect foul play, as Larry has never evinced much fondness for listening to lyrics such as "Pass the porter, pass the beer, Christmas comes but once a year."  Coal in his stocking, for sure...


Yarn, Paper, Wood

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I am knitting thumbs tonight.  I will be very glad when all this is behind me.

I just finished ANOTHER book - The World's Strongest Librarian. Quirky but a good read, and I learned a lot about Tourette's Syndrome.  You'll notice that my memoir habit still exists.  The 2 other books I've just read are Ann Patchett's compilation of non-fiction memoir-type essays This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage (excellent) and David Harris-Gershon's What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife? (which wins the prize for longest title ever).  This last was pretty good, if only for its excellent description of the history behind the state of constant crisis in the Middle East.

Oh, AND The Late Starters Orchestra, by Ari L. Goldman. That one was okay, although the author went on too long about his son's cello lessons.  Also, it could have been titled "If You Have Lots of Money, You Can Do Many Neat Things as You Get Older" or (even be…

Anyone Have A Spare Quill Pen?

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Remember this post here?  You know, the one I wrote last Monday, telling you all about my having left my IPad at the art teacher's house and I didn't know how I would even manage until I could retrieve it on Wednesday?

I never picked it up.

That's right, folks - it's been 6 DAYS without it. I've read 2 books, 1/2 a New Yorker, and done a lot of knitting.  There was even some jigsaw puzzling going on. And, I will have you know, I am not the only one surprised by my resilience in the face of hardship. In fact, after dinner tonight, Larry (clutching his trusty IPod Touch) looked at me on the couch, where I was reading Ann Patchett's latest compendium of non-fiction essays (excellent - I highly recommend it) and said, "I didn't think you could do it."

"Yes," I said.  "I did.  It's one week tomorrow."

"I really didn't think you could do it," he repeated, staring at me as if I were wearing a prairie dress and bonnet …

Jews Have More Pun

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Did you wake up this morning thinking, "Gee, today seems nice, but a slew of Yiddishe puns would make it a whole lot better"? Well, look no further, folks - Simcha Fisher has you covered.  Just put down the cookie dough and the shopping list and take a look, will you?  I'd copy and paste the whole thing here, but that wouldn't be right.

And yes, all 3 of those hyperlinks go to the same page.  I really want you to see it, all right?

Distraction

Fun! Educational! Sort of...anyway, this is what I managed to waste time on today (seeing as how I don't have my IPad to keep me company):




Forced Deprivation

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Have I told you about my IPad? I've had it for a little over a year (it was my dad's, actually, and I inherited it when he died). Today I left my IPad at the art teacher's house and didn't realize it until I was all the way home. Now here's what bothers me: 14 months ago I didn't even need an IPad. But today, when I realized I had left it 15 minutes from my house? Well, I don't think "panicked" is too strong a word to describe how I felt, if panicked means that feeling where you can't breathe right and one of your limbs seems to be missing.

So! I have challenged myself to wait until Wednesday to retrieve my lovely little electronic friend. A little over 48 hours to wait, people, and I do not know if I will be able to do it. I will have to use our balky desktop computer if I need ANYTHING Internet-related. Weather reports, Amazon, Paperback Swap, Ravelry, EMAIL...and believe me, there is nothing efficient or pleasurable about sitting at…

Recapturing My Youth

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I believe I am beginning to make a fine art out of wasting time.  Darn you, Internet, with your viral videos and you, too, Twitter, with your hashtags and 140-character quips.  I wonder, do you hear of anyone on their deathbeds saying they wished they had spent more time on Facebook?  I'm thinking I will have to pull the plug on all things Internet, just to get a handle on this problem.

Or, maybe no.  Let's not be rash.  After all, what would I do without you lovely readers?

Anywhoo, my fingerless-mitt knitting extravaganza is proceeding apace.  At this rate, I will have to knit, oh, 6 pairs of thumbs some evening next week, all the while bemoaning the fact that I saved them to do all at once.  I don't seem to learn from my mistakes, now do I?

I'm not even shopping for kids' presents until the 21st - I mean, aside from ordering some books from Paperback Swap for Rachel.  That's right, folks - for the SIXTH YEAR RUNNING, I am holding fast to my resolution not to…

In Over My Head

What's up for today? Oh, not much - just ice skating, and the dentist for 4 kids, and, oh yes, a Girl Scout field trip into the city. I don't know about you, but I tend to get stressed out when there is more than one major thing scheduled per day. Today, therefore, officially ranks as a humdinger.

So, naturally, to make things easier on myself, I stayed up past midnight, playing Words With Friends and hanging out on Twitter. I never claimed to be rational, you know. Wish me luck - I am going to need it.

Show Me The Money

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Apparently, my cleaning skills at half-past midnight are not top-notch.  The day after Thanksgiving, the entire bathroom smelled unmistakably like puke, thanks to Susie's overindulgence the day before. It reminded me of my freshman year dorm on Sunday mornings, when the odor of regurgitated beer and pizza filled the air.  In desperation, on Saturday I went to PetCo and picked up this remarkable product:



Yes, this is my new friend.  I SOAKED the affected areas (sink counter, wooden vanity, wall, heating duct, and Little Tykes step stool) with this stuff before I went to bed.  The next morning, miracle of miracles, only a faint smell of pumpkin pie barf still lingered.

Pumpkin Pie Barf - new flavor coming soon to a Starbucks near you...you're welcome.

The cashier at Petco said it worked really well for her also, on the unfortunate occasion when her son spilled milk under the couch and left it. And no, it hasn't escaped me that we both shopped at a pet supply store for cleanin…

Jean-ius Idea

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I woke up this morning and realized that I had no clean jeans to wear, so I was forced to stay in my pajama pants all day and lie around reading a book (Leaving Church) while playing Words With Friends. Really, I couldn't have planned things better if I tried.

And don't begrudge me my laziness, people - I mean, not unless you too were woken up around midnight by a child informing you she had just thrown up. I don't know why we can't have a holiday without someone regurgitating all the holiday goodies, but there you are. Every family has its traditions, I guess.

It was Susie this time - she claims she WOKE UP to find herself standing in the bathroom, at which point she barfed into the sink. So, 3 cheers for sleepwalking, eh?


Unfortunately, she didn't have great aim, which explains why I was on my hands and knees in the bathroom in the middle of the night, wiping vomit off the freshly painted walls and trying to floss the slats of the heating vent clean of any puke p…

I Will Survive

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It's just not Thanksgiving without this singing turkey, folks.  Enjoy!  I'm off to figure out how to roast brussels sprouts and carrots while the turkey is in the oven.  I guess this is one of those things I forgot to do yesterday while I was busy patting myself on the back for making the stuffing ahead of time.  Pride goeth before a fall, and all that...


Encroaching Darkness

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I spent 3 hours in IKEA today and - quite remarkably - spent less than 50 dollars.  Most of that money went for a curtain and a curtain rod to conceal the upstairs linen closet, which has become Job One in our ongoing campaign to eradicate bi-fold closet doors. Soon, I will be able to retrieve a new roll of toilet paper without the closet door, which is propped up against one side of the frame for all the world like a drunk who can't hold his liquor, falling on my head.

It's the little things, folks.

The rest of the money I spent on a throw pillow (removable cover!) to cushion the spot on our new-to-us leather recliner couch where a metal bar pokes into one's butt.  This problem makes it rather painful to be the one stuck in the middle seat, so I am counting on this pillow to not only redeem our impulsive used furniture purchase but also render my Benedict Cumberbatch ogling sessions more comfortable.

In the meantime, Larry has gone off to Home Depot in an effort to relie…

Fan Girl

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Well, I've learned what it takes to keep my house presentable. All I have to do is have people over twice a week. Let's see, park day last Friday, Bunko on Monday, park day today...voila! Clean house!

I guess I had better invite someone over for Thanksgiving before this place turns into a junkyard again.

In other news, having run through all the Dr. Who episodes available on Netflix, we decided to try Sherlock (mostly because everyone I know has said, "Oh, you HAVE to see Sherlock!" Talk about peer pressure, huh?). I'm not really into detective/crime stuff, so I didn't have high hopes for this show. But I convinced Larry and the boys to try it with me, and we all snuggled down last week on our (new-to-us) awesome couch to see what all the fuss was about.

Apparently, THIS is what all the fuss was about:



Good Lord, people, I had never seen this man act before. How does he do that...that thing with his eyes that lets you know he's thinking? And that little j…

Cold, No Snow

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So I would be lying if I didn't admit that we've wasted a lot of time the past few days Googling pictures of the snow in the Buffalo, NY, area.  A LOT.  But it is irresistible to us deprived Southerners, I guess.

I've raised 6 Southerners.  This still bothers the Jersey girl in me, you know.



Anywhoo, our favorite Buffalo-area photo is the one where the snow smashed the family room door in.  What do you do when snow invades your home?  Apparently, you call 911 and a bunch of hunk-y firemen come help you dig out.  Now that's my kind of snowstorm.  I'll make hot cocoa for shovel-wielding firefighters any day.

Where was I?  I don't know.  So, anyway, it finally got COLD here, but of course there is none of the white stuff to enjoy. I find myself having to re-educate the teens on how to dress to avoid frostbite, but certain children of mine (BRIAN) seem to find it easier to complain about the cold than to put on a coat when taking out the garbage.

Speaking of compl…

Crisis Clean

Last month, when the weather was still warm and winter was oh so far away, I somewhat rashly volunteered to hold cold weather homeschool park days at my house, not realizing that my regrettable impulse toward hospitality meant that I would have to excavate our basement playroom.  You see, normally, we manage to use that room as is - the neighborhood kids are used to the flotsam and jetsam that ends up down there, and they are all old enough not to get hurt by the shop vac, say, that somehow ended up next to the exercise bike or by the piles of construction materials that Larry pulled out of the basement (guest room) shower because his sister was coming to visit.

Look, I never said I liked living this way, okay?

But park day - that meant numerous kids, ages 3 and up, visiting our far-from-childproofed basement playroom.  Aside from the public humiliation I'd experience should I leave everything where it was, there was also the possibility of liability lawsuits to consider.  So Frid…

Budgetary and Dromedary Almost Rhyme, Right?

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I ended up buying some more yarn, because that stupid Michael's coupon went on for FOUR WHOLE DAYS, and have I mentioned that I can walk to that store from my house?  So, yeah, it's getting a little ridiculous here.  And then, because I am suffering from an extreme case of start-itis, I cast on for a hat for Susie.  Because I didn't have enough to knit already, with 5 other projects on the needles.


So now I have to explain to Larry that, what with the yarn and the winter clothes and my weekly trip to Costco, I seem to have gone way over budget and could we just pretend I didn't do that and start fresh this payday?  I mean, just get my regular amount of money and not subtract for the things that ended up on the credit card the past 2 weeks or so? You know, a sort of amnesty? Larry? Larry?

Incidentally, this seems to happen somewhere towards the end of every year, where I end up one whole payday behind.  In a perfect world, we would have one extra payday per year, conven…

Did Someone Say Yarn?

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Well, Auntie Kate has had enough of us and has departed for her peaceful home, where no one forces her into decorating projects for children's rooms.  But before she left, she accomplished this:



The girls are thrilled, I'm thrilled, and Larry is also happy, but that is because he hasn't seen the VISA bill from the fabric store yet.  Ignorance is bliss.

In the meantime, there's been this:



Which, combined with a yarn sale, turned into this:


Apparently, restraint is not my strong suit.  See that Charisma yarn?  $1.50 a skein, after the coupon. It's a bulky yarn that knits up quickly into great hats, cowls, scarves, you name it. And it comes in a dozen awesome colorways.  Have I mentioned it was only $1.50?  How could I not fill my basket with it?

There are a couple of Sugar 'n Cream cottons thrown in there, because I keep getting this itch to knit a few dishcloths.  And then the baby yarn is needed for a top-down baby sweater I plan to knit for a neighbor. These p…

Curtains

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Auntie Kate, my personal home decorator, is slaving away over my sewing machine, while I sit here and blog. I'll be lucky if she ever visits us again. The project this year involves curtains to cover the closets in the girls' room, plus coordinating window treatments, which is not something I ever could have accomplished on my own. But Auntie Kate not only helped me pick out the curtain rods (believe me, this was way harder than it sounds), she also managed to find fabric for the curtains that both girls - BOTH - gave a thumbs up to.

The Miracle of the Fabric Store, we call it....


The reason we have to make curtains for the closets is because Larry has developed, over the years, a deep and abiding hatred for bi-fold closet doors. So much so that he trashed both sets when he tore apart the girls' room in September to insulate it. He gets a little crazy sometimes.

I don't know if Larry thought we could save money by making curtains rather than buying new closet doors; bu…

Twizzlers And Snickers And Rolos, Oh My!

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Time sure does fly when you're busy eating all your kids' candy...

Our Halloween went well, although it was almost derailed at the outset by the discovery that our camera's battery need charging and neither Larry nor I could manage to find the proper charging cord for it. We found a lot of other charging cords, though, and had a jolly old time discovering that none of them would do the trick.  Words would have been exchanged, but luckily my mouth was too full of candy for that to happen.  As it turns out, my IPad took a decent picture of the carved pumpkins, so the festivities were able to proceed as planned.




Costume-wise, this year we had a red Lego piece (Susie) and a Christmas present (Rachel), plus a hastily thrown together pirate (Brian decided at the last minute that he wasn't too old to go trick-or-treating, after all). I'd like to point out here that this was Larry's 19th year in a row of taking the kids trick-or-treating, and I really don't know ho…

I Have Triumphed

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Yes, that's right - after a ridiculous number of hours last night and today spent untangling the painted purple skein of sock yarn that I USED TO love, I have finally managed to conquer its knottiness.  There are 2 balls there because the yarn was split in one place, which probably contributed to my winding problems in the first place.

No, this isn't turning into a knitting blog.  I just needed to vent.  Also, this is what passes for excitement around here.

In fact, it's been so exciting, I forgot to mention that I finally met Juggling Jenn in person a couple of weeks ago.  She was in DC to advocate for better treatment for eating disorders, yet she made time in her busy schedule to get together with me for dinner.  I met her at her hotel and we walked a few blocks to see the White House, something I hadn't done in, oh, about 2 decades.  That's the problem with living near our nation's capital - you take it for granted, and a visiting tourist ends up having to…

Restraint

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I have spent my entire evening trying to untangle the above skein and roll it into a ball. Hours that I could have spent knitting if this skein had only behaved as it was supposed to, but no! I still have a ways to go, and no finished (or even started) fingerless mitts in sight.

I know...I suffer.  But isn't that yarn gorgeous?  And wouldn't it be nice if I could remember the name? Handpainted something or other, 75% superwash wool...I bought it from one of the yarn shops my sister-in-law and I managed to visit in Acadia last summer.  I've got a skein (cooperatively NOT tangled) in shades of blue, also.  4 pairs of mitts, if I can just get started...



Meanwhile, there are SO MANY BAGS of Halloween candy in this house, and every one of them is calling my name. Particularly the one that has those short, fat, chewy Twizzlers in it - you know, the kind you can only get around Halloween? I love those so much.

I probably should check to make sure it's the right kind, no? I&…

In Which I Survive Introducing Myself To A Stranger

You know what?  I went to the library all by myself today.  I haven't done that in years, it seems.  I had forgotten that a trip to the library can be relaxing and fun.  Especially when I owe only $5 in overdue fines...

Then this evening I went out to hear Anna speak (I know, again - I am becoming a stalker).  I actually worked up the nerve to introduce myself this time.  It was a small group and a great discussion.  My only disappointment was that my copy of Rare Bird didn't arrive in time (Yoo-hoo, Amazon - what's up with the (not) 2-day delivery?), so Anna couldn't autograph it.  Looks like I will have to keep stalking her, I guess.

Okay, usually I sit down and start typing and a topic sort of emerges, but tonight my Muse stays stubbornly silent.  So I leave you with this informative video on the perils of second puberty (aka middle age).  Enjoy!




Doggy Danger

It's late, The menopause fairy won't let me sleep.  I hate her. The only time I ever want/need to sleep is at 4:30 in the afternoon.

I'm on a dishcloth binge, knitting-wise.  I just can't stop - they're like the potato chips of the craft world.  Can't knit just one...

I tried taking pictures of my creations, but they don't look right.  I swear, I am the only person on earth at this point who lacks photography skills.  Everyone else is using filters and doing whatever else it is that you do to make your photos look amazing, while I am still just trying to make sure to get whatever it is I am photographing into the frame.

In other news, my fit friend adopted an older puppy.  She brought the dog along on our walk today, which would have been FINE, except a neighbor of mine tripped over another neighbor's dog leash on Saturday and managed to bash her face in and break both her forearms.  I know, awful.  So I spent the entire walk convinced that the dog, whi…

Wherein I Don't Even Mention Ebola

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Friday? Already? Look, people, what the heck is going on here?  One second it is Tuesday, and I am boasting about canning some applesauce; and next thing I know, it is 3 DAYS LATER.  Has the space-time continuum been collapsing inward, or what?

At this rate, I'll be 80 years old by Wednesday, I swear.

You know what a good friend is?  A good friend is someone who volunteers to take your 2 girls to the local fall farm festival for 4 hours when she notices that you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown because you need to accomplish 3 billion small and discrete tasks before heading off on a trip the next day.  I'm thinking I sounded a little frightening on the phone, babbling about snowplow contracts and hair appointments and Party City, all in one breath.

But I feel better now.  New haircut, snowplow contract signed and mailed, and heck, our hotel in NJ is right next to a Target - I can find party tablecloths and plates there.  Breathe.  Just breathe.

Of course, I am looking a…

Apples To Apples

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Victory is mine.  For the first time in maybe a decade, I have managed to get some of my homemade applesauce jarred and into a canner before my family can eat it all up.


I peeled apples all day for those 7 little jars of sauce, you know.  I read online that 21 pounds of apples should result in 7 QUARTS of applesauce - I used at least that amount and ended up with only those 7 pint jars plus another 3/4 of a quart that my family got their hands on.  Meaning, my yield is only a little more than half of what it should be.  I don't know what I am doing wrong here.

I am currently reading a memoir called A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story.  It's written by someone who grew up in Afghanistan during the late 1980's and 90's.  Let me tell you, it has made me even less sympathetic toward any complaints emanating from my offspring.  Brian had the temerity to make a face when I told him to take out the garbage tonight.  "Listen," I said, "it's not as …

Spin Me 'Round Like A Record, Baby

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Happy Columbus Day! Susie threw up last night, maybe to express her gut revulsion toward our honoring a conquistador with a federal holiday.  Pretty politically savvy for a nine-year-old, but kids these days...

So today has been all soda and pretzels (no beer) and hunkering down with school work and making yet ANOTHER crockpot full of applesauce, which batch might just make it into the canner before we eat it all.  Or not.  I haven't been able to get around to canning applesauce the past 10 years; I don't see why this fall should be any different.

Larry declared today FIX ALL THE CARS Day and has been shuttling our fleet of minivans over to the nearby garage to have oil changed and whatever the heck else they do that ends up costing us close to a thousand bucks a year.

We like to support the local economy, so it all works out.



Oh, and here's a picture of my latest Amazon purchase:


No, I am not talking about the warehouse-size bottle of tabasco sauce; look at the lazy susan…

Whack, Whack, Whack, MISS

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Yesterday?  I drove.  I drove David to community college, and then I drove to a friend's house to pick up Brian and a friend from their study group.  Then I drove that friend home.  Then I drove to another friend's house to pick up my girls (I had driven them there earlier for a mosaics class), and THEN - instead of heading home - we drove to the shoe store to find dress shoes for the girls, because Brian's Confirmation is tonight.

I spent, in all, probably 2 hours just driving yesterday, because later I had to pick up David from school and take HIM for dress shoes (I don't know about you people, but it is a tradition here that any fancy occasion triggers the we-don't-have-dress-shoes-that-fit syndrome).  Luckily, we experienced the Miracle of Kohls and found him shoes that both fit and were appropriate for the occasion. Plus, the cashier gave me 20% off.

So! Despite all the driving, I felt proud of myself.  I GOT IT DONE.  I whacked those moles, as it were, and c…

Whack-A-Mole

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Just popping in to let people know I am still alive, just life is kicking my a**.  It's a non-stop game of Whack-a-Mole, and I don't foresee its stopping any time in the near future.  Maybe when Brian goes away to college in 3 years or so?  One can hope.


We're in the middle of David's college and National Merit Finalist applications, with all the concomitant requirements and deadlines.  This is stressful, very stressful.  Brian is quickly turning into a disenchanted teen, and the loss of his cheerful countenance pains me so.  Rachel is engaging and cooperative and cheerful, but all I can think is "I've got one more year, max, before this changes."  And Susie, praise be to God, has truly caught on to reading and has been holed up for the past 2 weeks or so in her freshly painted room with the Harry Potter series.

A side note here: scientists did a study where they took identical twin babies and let one (the control, as it were) figure out how to crawl up a…