Showing posts from June, 2014


It's 83 degrees in my house, but the humidity is not too bad (I mean, for these parts - my friend from Utah would pass out if she walked in here) and damned if I am going to turn on the AC when it is already almost 5:30.  You see, Larry comes home by 6:30 and the first thing he will do is walk over to the thermostat and sort of shake his head in that cute way he has and put on his frowny eyebrows and finally, when no one says anything, he'll ask, "Isn't it hot in here?"

Which of course it is - it's AFRICA hot.  But it's fun to mess with his head, so I am bribing the kids to say, "Oh, it feels okay," just to see what he does.  Or maybe I will tell him, "We're practicing camping, because it's SO MUCH FUN."

Hey, I've got to amuse myself somehow, don't I?

Yesterday our town movie theater showed Sound of Music on the big screen for only 5 bucks a ticket.  I took the girls and spent a blissful 3 hours allowing myself to belie…

Blueberry Buckle, With A Side Of Nostalgia

David managed to transform some of those blueberries from yesterday into this:

Actually, that's only what's left - there was way more before we got our hands on it.  I rescued the remnants for the photo shoot.  And, gosh, that photograph almost looks Pinterest-worthy, doesn't it?  Who knew a $2 plate from Target and some rudimentary baking and photography skills could accomplish that?

All I can say is, I've come a long way from the days when I didn't know how to hyperlink and was asking other bloggers what a meme was.  I've been doing this blogging thing for just about 7 years now, and I still remember how excited I was to receive my first comment.  Oh, those were the days, people - I would write about my bra and receive 73 comments.  73!  I would post about the mess in my fridge and have German au pairs swarming my site.  A pox on you, Facebook and Pinterest, with your easy liking and sharing!  This blog feels like the Internet equivalent of a Flintstones car …

Blueberry Season

I took the girls and a friend blueberry picking today.  No one cried, no one fussed, no one pooped in their pants.  It was almost boring.  But we've got lots of these:

And my resident chef (David, of course) is in the kitchen right now, whipping up a blueberry buckle. Sure, he's probably doing that to avoid schoolwork, but I don't care.  Summer is here in all its humid glory, and we must make the best of it.

Brian has been away all week at a Boy Scout camp, learning to sail a 30-foot boat. The boys sleep on the boat, also, so I've spent the week worrying that Brian's once-in-a-while sleepwalking habit will rear its ugly head and he'll sleepwalk into the bay.  Larry says I'm being ridiculous and vetoed my suggestion that we tell the sailing instructor to make Brian sleep with a life vest on.

No one listens to me around here.

It is still my birthday week, however; so last night - after yoga - I treated myself to a salad and some birthday chocolate for dinner…

Summer Livin'

Whew! I spent a long time today searching for a beach we would like in Maine.  I finally landed on Scarborough Beach State Park/Pine Point Beach,but it took a while.  If anyone has a better suggestion, let me know.

Then I had to inform Larry that he would not be allowed to put his diabolical plan - you know, the one where he drags all of us through the mountains of New York/Vermont/New Hampshire for 6 days before going to the mountains of Acadia for a week - into effect.  I mean, hello? Rachel and Susie are the only kids who even get enthused about a family vacation anymore; and they have waxed rhapsodic about the 2 days we managed to get to a beach last year while at Cape Cod.  I did promise Larry that, when he retires and it is just the two of us, he can take me to all the mountains he wants.  But this year, we are GOING TO THE BEACH.  And then to Acadia.  Hey, the kids do have to have something to complain about later.

Gosh, I hope it doesn't rain.  Is there anything worse than…

51 Isn't So Bad, So Long As There's Cake

First, a little update: those flowers?  STILL THERE. You can tell that it isn't just the same picture as last week, because there are all those little dead flower petals I didn't bother to clean up. Also, the water is starting to look a tad icky.

Look, I never claimed to be a great housekeeper.

AND I did it all without resorting to hidden putty or duct tape.  I'm telling you, you commenters are a devious lot, every single one of you.  It actually made me sort of tear up a little, all those helpful suggestions on how to cheat on this bet. Your dedication to my winning this marital dispute knew no legal or ethical bounds.  Such loyalty!  I knew there was a reason I love the blogosphere so much.

Anywhoo, I've been missing because it was a very busy birthday weekend.  Yoga class, a movie with Larry, a trip to the local yarn store with a dedicated friend who dropped everything at the last minute to join me (it didn't hurt that she knew I'd be using my birthday disc…


A neighbor moved away today; and she offered me this cute little table that just fits against the wall next to our front door. So I took it and placed a vase of flowers on it and felt quite pleased with myself and my homemaking capabilities for a good 2 hours; that is, for the 2 hours that elapsed before Larry came home and suggested that the shaky table plus the glass vase right next to the front door might not enjoy a very long lifespan in a house with 4 kids who are constantly coming and going.

Did I say "suggested"? Actually, he LAUGHED.  He laughed at me and my quixotic attempt at pretending that we are normal people who can have nice things.

So now it is ON. Even though I know Larry is right - that I am merely tilting at windmills by attempting to decorate my house in this manner - we now have a bet going as to how long until the vase gets knocked over and broken.  He gives it 48 hours.  I am being bold and going for 7 days.  Any other guesses?


Back when I turned 40 - way back, before Larry and I were even done having kids, back when I thought 40 was the end of life as we know it - I cheered myself up with the thought that, hey, I had 10 years to save up money and plan for a really neat bicycle trip with my friends the year we would all turn 50.  A woman's bicycle trip, that is, complete with nice hotels at night, chocolates on the pillow, etc.  None of that camping in tents and showering in cold water nonsense that the menfolk think is fun - oh no, I was going to turn 50 in style.

Well, the next 10 years went by in a blur - another baby (at age 42), adorable children turning into grumpy teens, a delightful (not!) journey through the ups and downs of menopause - until I was washed up, as it were, panting and exhausted on the beach of 50 wondering how the heck I got there, and relieved that I would never have to relive my 40's.  Because, even as discombobulated as I was at that point, I knew that 50 meant freedom - t…

Chips Off The Old Block

After church, Larry took Susie and Rachel to a local festival (because why miss an opportunity to risk one's life on some rickety-looking carnival rides?), and I was using my me-time to weed our overgrown front yard before someone calls the HOA on us.  But then? I had an epiphany: Larry wouldn't be a FATHER without MY help.  This holiday wouldn't have happened without ME. So now I am inside with a cool drink, enjoying Father's Day the way that God intended.

Yes, we DID give Larry presents.  See? Over there to the left? The Altoids, the Rudy's Rub, and the Samuel Adams, that is - ignore the pasta sauce and applesauce in the background.  I had to special order that Rudy's Rub stuff.  Larry brought it home once from a business trip in Texas, and he loves it beyond all reason.  In fact, he loves it enough to not even blink at the exorbitant shipping price I had to pay when I bought it.  "I'll use it on the chicken you're grilling later," I told hi…

Fridge Follies

Okay, so I went a bit crazy on Tuesday. It all started with my trip to Costco, where I spotted this: 

Readers, I bought it. My years-long struggle with lots of tiny little jars in my refrigerator continues unabated (I blame my condiment-loving family), and I felt that maybe - just maybe - these storage bins might provide a less expensive solution than, say, buying a custom-designed fridge with specific places for 4 jars of salsa, umpteen jars of various types of jam, and 3 opened cream cheese containers. Seriously, it had gotten to the point where I no longer bothered to clean out my fridge - I just waited until stuff fell out and broke.

 You'd think I would have learned from that unfortunate vinaigrette incident of years past, but no...

 So! Armed with the renewed hope engendered by these 4 plastic refrigerator bins, I dove into my fridge and discovered that I had a Noah's Ark thing going on in there:

After I took that picture, I discovered even more pairs of condiments:…


David is turning 17 on Wednesday, and I have NO IDEA what to do for his birthday.  NONE.  He says he doesn't want anything.  I know - annoying.  I already gave him movie tickets for Christmas.  Should I do that again?  It's the only thing I can think of.

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  GREATLY.


Larry brought home that free stove last night, meaning that - after a long day at work - he had to drive an extra 20 minutes for the privilege of hauling a heavy appliance into his van in the pouring rain.  And then another 20 minutes home.  I didn't see/talk with him until I sashayed in from my yoga class around 9:30 to find him standing in our living room with TWO stoves - our old, half-working one and the "new" one he had brought home.

Our living room...both stoves...

He just stood there, looking at me.  And right there I knew, I KNEW, that he had just earned an untold number of marriage points.

"So, it's...uh...not okay?" I asked, knowing darn well that if it were okay, that new-to-us stove would already be installed in its proper place in our kitchen.

The poor man couldn't even answer right away.  He just shook his head for a minute, and I watched as water dripped off his still-wet hair.  A LOT of marriage points, I thought.  Then he said, "T…

Logical Consequences

So, last night a post appeared on one of my homeschooling email lists: FREE STOVE, glass cooktop, works great.  When Larry came home, I told him, "You need to pick up a free stove tomorrow evening."

"What's wrong with it?" asked my ever-optimistic spouse.

"Nothing! They're selling the townhouse and they are upgrading the stove so it matches the refrigerator."

"She SAYS nothing is wrong with it. I'm going to drag that thing all the way home and we'll be stuck with TWO broken stoves, instead of one," Larry insisted.

"Look," I said, "if this stove works, it will save us about $30,000."


"If I have to go out and buy a new stove instead, I'm going to end up deciding to get a gas one.  Which means that we'll need to pay for extending the gas line from the furnace room to the kitchen."

"Okay," said Larry, "that gets us to about $1200 total, what with the cost of the s…

Near Death Experience

People, I bicycled 56 miles yesterday in the Tour de Cure.  But only after I lay awake for 4 hours Saturday night fretting over having signed up for that distance and worrying about being able to do it.  4 HOURS.  I finally had to take myself firmly in hand and say, "How about reframing this inner monologue a bit?  How about thinking, Gee, tomorrow I get to go on a bike ride!  instead of OMG, I AM GOING TO DIE!?"

So that helped a little.  During the ordeal I kept saying to myself, "Wow, what a nice bicycle ride!  Just a pleasant day for a little ride!"  Well, until the last 3 miles when I was convinced I was breathing my last.  And then, right before the last 100 yards or so, my totally fit friend said, "Okay, I don't care how you are feeling, you are going to sit up tall and SMILE when we cross that finish line.  SMILE! Or you may end up in a really horrible-looking picture on their website."

Say what you like, she has her priorities straight.

So, as…