Showing posts from February, 2009

A Visitor

When I was a little girl, there was a man who lived in the hills above our town, in a small shack he built himself, with no running water, no electricity, no heating but a wood stove. He was a Benedictine monk and he lived a contemplative life, on land a generous soul gave him. He did not have an income; he lived off the generosity of people in the town, friends who looked out for him, delivered food and supplies, invited him to dinner. He was a hermit, in the true sense of that word, a man who gave his life to God and to the practice of prayer for the world. My family knew him a little bit; he came to our house a few times, and I always loved seeing him. He had a lovely smile. Even as a child, I could tell he was filled with peace and love. He was special to me, even though I didn’t know him well. He knew I played the piano, and always asked about it. He was something of a mysterious figure – what hermit wouldn’t be to a kid? – and I would think about him periodically, up the

Dirty Little Secrets?

Do you have any? Would you like to read about other people's? My favorite food photographer (and fellow mom and dear friend) Nicole is having a giveaway on her blog. Leave a comment and she will randomly pick a winner to receive this book: The book is " Dirty Little Secrets from Otherwise Perfect Moms " by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile, the same great team that brought us " I was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids ." I almost didn't post this, because I want to win the book, and if I tell too many people, my chances will go down. But then again, it's Lent and I should brush up on my selfless acts. Plus, Nicole requires that the recipient re-give the book after reading it, which is a lovely act of sharing and goodwill. Another good reason to visit Nicole's blog is that she is an amazing photographer (among other crafty skills) and I think more people should see her pictures. Visit, comment, win! And then share. Because we all have dirty

A Musical Interlude

Try explaining the following classics to your 10-year old: Lookin' Better Every Beer , by the Stray Cats Hurt So Good , by John Mellencamp Everybody Must Get Stoned , by Bob Dylan My 10-year old is a huge Bob Dylan fan, and I discovered today that he knows every single word to Everybody Must Get Stoned , right down to the well placed "oh yeahs" and "all-rights." On the way home from practice today, he belted out the entire thing from the back seat when it came on the radio. It was hilarious. Who knew the radio could be minefield? Me, I love those songs too much to change the station, so I get LOTS of questions. What does "hurt so good" mean, mom? Oh my. * * * When my now 8-year old was around 2 or 3, he used to take monster naps, like 3-4 hours long. Actually, he would go into his room for a nap, play for an hour, and then fall asleep for 2-3 hours. It was a thing of beauty, a long break for a tired mommy. He also really liked to list

What is Wrong With Her?

She is impossible to get up in the morning. No matter what we say to her, she stubbornly insists that she can't get out of her warm bed and start her day. She makes us late almost daily, and nothing I threaten her with convinces her that getting up early will make her day go better. She won't eat her vegetables. It's very difficult to make sure she eats a balanced diet: she would carbo-load till the cows come home if she could. She knows -- or says she knows -- that vegetables are good for her. She even claims to like them. But not when they have been prepared for a meal; just in the abstract, I guess. She procrastinates like mad. When she's got something to do, like an assignment or a chore, she waits until the very last minute, and then gets all stressed out and whiney about having to do it. Why can't she figure out that doing a little bit each day is far preferable to cramming everything into one evening and making the entire family miserable -- especia

Twenty-Five Minus Twenty

I have been tagged by a few of my friends, three to be exact ( Gabriele, Laura, and Carolyn ) on Facebook to do the 25 Random Things About Me dealie-bop. I can only think of one. So here it is: When I was a child, instead of a toy box, I had an elephant's foot. A real, African elephant's foot, hollowed and dried, and about 3 feet high. Or so. My sister and I kept our toys in it. My dad spent some time in Africa, and came home with this thing, and we kept our toys in it. Now, when my kids say " Mom, have you seen my [fill in the blank] toy ?" I usually respond with " Have you looked in the elephant's foot ?" When I was a child, I was not aware that keeping one's toys in an elephant's foot was not commonplace. OK, so that was one thing. For the purposes of this post, I will come up with four more, and call it Five Random Things About Me. 2. I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue. 3. I don't care that Michael Phelps wa

I Speak Facebook

" Monica is listening to music and preparing cinnamon french toast and turkey bacon, while soft rain falls outside and the children dance adorably through the house." That's Facebook-eze for I haven't showered yet and the whiney children keep telling me they're hungry and I have to use this french bread or it will be hard enough to use as a blunt force object. The kitchen is an abysmal mess and I don't have anywhere to set down this freaking spatula I'm holding. I'm facing a day with all of them indoors because the weather sucks, and I wish it were 5 o'clock because I just got up but could really use a drink. Can someone make these wild banshees shut up? And if I have to listen to this infernal kiddie-music for five more minutes I think my ears are going to pop off the sides of my head. I am swirling amidst utter chaos. Facebook makes my life sound so much nicer . Virtual Life, 1; The Real Thing, 0. ***


There is a road near my house that takes our van up and down a nice long hill. In my informal poll of local moms, I have learned that more than a few of us " do the roller coaster " on this hill. Just as the car crests the hill, the kids put both hands up in the air and the passengers go "WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" all the way down to the bottom. In my car, apparently there is an age limit to enjoying this little ritual. Once you are a school kid, you are entirely too cool to take part. So I've got two roller-coaster riders left, and when it's just the three of us driving around, I can safely take this road. Or so I thought. Yesterday, I experienced yet another example of how ridiculous motherhood actually is. Ellie has decided she hates "WHEEEEEEEEEE." Maybe since she just interviewed for Kindergarten, she is preparing for that life-changing event by shedding her little-girl ways. Lulu still loves "WHEEEEEEEEEEE," as any self-respec

He Has A Dream

For MLK, Jr. day, the 3rd graders created little cloud art pieces that started with the prompt: "I have a dream..." Their job was to fill in the blank, and color in the cloud. My 3rd grader's dream is to one day be the world's best artist. He is well on his way:

I Get It!

OK, so I finally joined facebook. And I figured it out. Facebook is how adults can recapture the joy and the rush of passing notes in class. Facebook. It's better than botox for makin' a girl feel young. * * *

I Like People, It's Humanity I Can't Stand

My son asked me today why hip hop artists and rap singers wear big fat crosses if they sing about bad stuff like drugs and killing and other bad things. An excellent question, offspring. So I turned it back on him. I pay attention to parenting "experts." " Why do you think they do that ?" He thought it was because they just want to look good. A good answer, and probably fairly accurate. I gave him two more. First, because every single person on earth has both good impulses and bad ones, and a person can have both good and bad qualities, ideas, actions, etc. And second, because they're idiots . He nodded knowingly, with a slight smile, at that answer. He's heard it before, I think. Nuff said. I was quite proud of the question itself, though. Thoughtful boy, that one.

Could Anyone Be Happier?

I can only hope that someday, somehow, somewhere, I will, for 1 minute, be this happy: * * *