Showing posts from July, 2017

Paint My Wagon

While Susie and I were staying at our friend's beach house, we watched her daughter transform - in a matter of hours - an older coffee table and side table into things of beauty - all through the miracle of chalk paint. Inspired, I decided that I, too, would turn a worn-out piece of furniture (and believe me, I have A LOT to choose from around here) into an attractively painted piece that anyone (and not just dumpster-divers like us) would want to have in their home.

So, in an unwonted fit of organized creativity, I not only managed to procure the proper paints and brushes since our return a mere week ago, I also actually painted a piece of furniture.

Susie is completely enamored of the color. "We should paint EVERYTHING purple," she said, as I brushed on the paint like the pro I am. I was similarly enthusiastic - that is, until the sun moved to the front of the house and I was stuck painting on the wax finish in approximately 90-degree heat. But, hey, I managed to get t…

Beaten At My Own Game

So, yeah, here's a picture that inadvertently sums up my incredibly pedestrian day Friday:

There you have it - I rolled up 50-gram balls of yarn, knitted a gauge swatch, and battled an ant invasion with that can of spray and the vacuum cleaner hiding in the back corner of the photo. And, no, I don't know what all those corks are doing there. Let's pretend they're decorative, shall we?

The ants must have been trying to escape the rain. Because rain it did. It rained, and it rained, and it rained. It was the sort of rain where you stop what you are doing from time to time and wonder whether the house can withstand that much water falling out of the sky at once. Well, maybe that's just me.

Susie and I took advantage of the stay-indoors weather by playing Dutch Blitz. So, uh, what exactly do you call that phase where your kid starts beating you (repeatedly) at games you taught her oh so many years ago?

Oh, oh yeah. Growing up, that's what you call it. And, whaddaya…

The Birds

As reported in not-so-riveting detail last week, Susie and I were invited by a friend of ours to visit her at her in-laws' beach house for a couple of days. So Sunday we set off for the Jersey shore with a car packed full with boogie boards and knitting and audio books and our Sportbrella, and really, is there any better way to spend one's time in the summer?

Of course not. That was a rhetorical question.

We spent 2 lovely days in Beach Haven, an eminently walkable beach town with decent bagels and a plethora of places to buy ice cream, and one of those days was excellent beach weather, which we took full advantage of. We spent 6 hours on Monday in the sun (well, under the Sportbrella) and sand and water and even convinced my friend to grab a boogie board and join the fun. And at not one point during that day were we attacked by seagulls.

Tuesday, we attempted the beach again, because the sun came out briefly. (It was too windy to put up our Sportbrella, though, and how many t…

Gratitude Is Exhausting

I have no idea what I've been doing all week, aside from complaining about the heat. You should be grateful I spared you all that, actually. Or maybe not - this heat wave ain't over.

So I've spent the week being thankful for whoever invented air conditioning. You know, I've been hearing people say how they are starting gratitude journals - they write down one thing each day that they are grateful for. If I had done that this week, the journal would have read: Monday - AC; Tuesday - AC; Wednesday - AC; Thursday - OMG, AC; Friday - GOD BLESS THE AC.

You get the idea.

But I don't get how come people are saying this gratitude practice changes their lives. For some reason, I do this nonstop in my head anyway, ALL THE TIME, and it's not like I'm Mother Teresa or anything. I mean, I glance at a newspaper headline about Syria, and I'm all, "Thank goodness we don't live in a war-torn country." Or I take my daughter to the orthodontist and I think,…

Come On Everybody, Do Your Exercise!

Isn't that post title nauseating? I hate it so much, I have to keep it. And now I have a Wonderama earworm.

Wonderama was the only thing for kids to watch on TV on Sundays when I was growing up. Until nighttime, anyway, when you got The Wonderful World of Disney. I tell my kids that, and they don't believe me, having grown up suckling on the teats of Netflix, as it were.

I'm not bitter, I just sound that way.

I've been trying to exercise, in spite of its being July, with it's sauna-like air quality and temps in the 90s. The humidity has been utterly ghastly (although, I guess I'm supposed to be saying the dew point has been too high, but WTH science - why do you have to make everything so HARD?), to the point where even my early morning walk with my neighbor has turned into the Bataan Death March - the slow version. But, despite all these obstacles, I'm still chugging along with my brief morning jog/walk, which hasn't been progressing as swimmingly as I…


There's been a long battle fought here, folks, the battle to bring Larry into the 21st century -- the struggle, as tech-savvy Brian puts it, to get him to trust the machine. We've made a bit of progress - he does have a smartphone, after all; but there are still some modern-day staples Larry simply refuses to get on board with.

For instance, on Father's Day, we bought a GoogleHome for him (oh, okay, it was for us), and he made us bring it back. "Why would you want a microphone in our home, listening to everything we say?" he demanded, exasperated at our naivete.

"But it's fun!" I said. "Look! You can talk to it!"

He shook his head in disgust. Obviously I was willing to sell my soul for a mere mess of pottage, or - in this case - the ability to say, "Hey, Google, play some Billy Joel" and have "Piano Man" come blasting out the living room speakers.

Similarly, Larry fought the good fight against that newfangled thing call…

It All Adds Up

I was just (belatedly) updating Susie's age in my profile over there in the sidebar, and I thought, "Hmmm, 12 - when I set up this blog, she was only 2." Employing my prodigious math skills, I realized that, hey, that means I've been jotting things down here for 10 solid years.

An entire decade.

It was 10 years ago that I was sitting in our basement (because at that point we still kept the computer down there so that it wouldn't take over our family life, and OMG isn't that quaint) and thought up the title of this blog. I was very proud of myself. Not being very familiar with blogs OR the Internet, I thought I was probably the ONLY ONE with such a clever blog name.

I still really like the name, actually. But I know there are better ones out there. And better writers. And people with way more interesting lives. But, hey, this is mine. Without really planning to, I've inadvertently catalogued our lives for the past 10 years, and maybe, at some point, my kids…

Fiber-Rich, Calorie-Poor

Today, I felt fine, just fine, unless I ate something. So I didn't eat. Instead, I went to Aldi's, my new love, because it sells perfectly decent mayonnaise for less than $2 a jar. Also? Watermelons for $3.50 each, and good Kaiser rolls for hamburgers at $1.50 for 8.

Yeah, I had a stomach virus but I went food shopping. They don't call me "Mom" for nothing, you know.

And then I headed to the yarn store, because there was a 25% off sale there. I managed to snatch up the last couple of skeins of Crazy yarn, which is my current fiber crush. Every skein is different! Trade 'em with your friends! After that, I went home and tried again to eat, but that still didn't work, so I just knit instead.

With blatant disregard for my inability to eat, Anna chose today to make key lime bars to die for.  I'm saving mine in the fridge, for if I ever feel better again. Lord help the kid that eats it by mistake, I'll say that right now.

Larry is planning to kayak tom…

Food Would Be Nice

Larry and Rachel helped park cars at a July 4th Festival all day yesterday, so I used the quiet time around here to do some food shopping, clean out the fridge, cut up a watermelon. "I'll make more potato salad tomorrow," I told Brian. "Maybe some tuna, also. And we'll do a barbeque on Tuesday!" Oh, I was full of gustatory plans.

It all seems like a dream now, 24 hours later, all that food and talk of food. Because the fast-moving stomach bug that has been laying waste to families all over my state arrived here last night: first poor Rachel, who came home from 8 hours in 90-degree weather with a stomachache, one we attributed to dehydration, even though she kept insisting, "I drank! I drank the whole time!" She fell asleep curled up on a living room chair, after vomiting (and why do my kids all insist on a witness to their distress? Why did she have to yell "Mommy!" as she ran to the bathroom? Couldn't she have yelled "Daddy?&qu…