Showing posts from December, 2014

New Year's Eve

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! 

My superpower is the ability to be the only one in this house who can see the trash overflowing.
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

Water, Water Everywhere

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

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.

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

"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

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

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?

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

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?


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

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

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

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'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…