Monday, November 28, 2011

We Have a Winner

Thank you all so much for your kind and enthusiastic response to my Lyme disease/thumb injury/blogiversary (re)giveaway post. M's finger is totally fine, but Saturday night I noticed E had a rash and remembered the doctor saying something about rashes, so I checked the amoxicillin prescription insert, which said something like, "If a rash forms while taking this medicine, it could be absolutely nothing, or it could be a deadly allergic reaction, so seek medical attention immediately." Right. At eight o'clock on a Saturday night. Thanksgiving weekend. So I called the on-call physician who was much more blase than the prescription insert, and said stop the medicine, and he would prescribe something else, which I could give E after the rash goes away. And then C said he'd noticed a rash a few days earlier. And then I forgot to pick up the new prescription on the way home today. So now I officially qualify for Worst. Mother. Ever.

Anyhoo, on to your comments. You are all so sweet and smart (and, yes, I agree--no messing around with Lyme! And I can't believe how many of you have had up-close-and-personal experience with this lovely pathogen).

I wanted to share a bit of everyone's good book recommendations, so we can all be on the lookout for a good read:

Miri wrote, "a really good book is 'diary' by chuck palahiniuk."

Emily HK wrote, "My favorite novel of all is "Possession" by A.S. Byatt, in large part because of the wonderful variety of forms of writing contained within the cover -- prose, epistolary, poetry, all in one amazing story"

Lone Star Ma wrote "I just finished reading my favorite sci-fi author (Joan Slonczewski)'s new book The Highest Frontier and I loved it. Future-political scion goes to college in spacehab and has adventures with corrupt politicians and aliens - very satisfying."

Aunt Kirstie said, "I recently read Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil. It is a light and fun read, not great literature, but was just what I needed."

Domestic Diva wrote, "I have so many favorite books, one of them is Love in the Time of Cholera by Marquez."

Mary Beth wrote, "As far as my recommendation goes, all I can say is that I am currently _obsessed_with the Little House books. Highly recommended if you haven't read them as an adult."

6512 and growing wrote, "i just finished State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and LOVED it. Now I'm reading Cutting for Stone, not quite as thrilling as Patchett's novel, but lovely writing."

Jaimie wrote, "A book--well, I've had magical realism on the brain lately, so this is neither current nor particularly relevant to anything, but have you read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's _100 Years of Solitude_? It's in my top five."

And Raina wrote, "As far as books, I'm just in shock that there are moms who have time to read. I read magazines and blogs, but I can't think of the last time I snuggled down with a book. It's almost like seeing a unicorn isn't it? I did go to my cousins wedding a while ago (sans kids) and read a book on the plane and at my hotel room. I loved the book, but it might have just been because I actually got to read it :). It was The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent."

Yes, I have to say I miss the days when I had a baby (one baby) attached to my breast all day long and nothing to do but read (this did not work so well with two babies attached to my breasts all day long). But once I read an essay by a mom writer (and very prolific reader) that said something like, "never do anything you can do while your kids are awake while they are asleep." In other words, save the housework for when the little vandals can lend a hand, and use that precious nap- (or bed- or school-) time to read or write or knit or sew or do whatever fills your soul. I try to take these words to heart.

That being said, I haven't read any of these books you lovely ladies recommend, except for the Little House books, which I too became obsessed with last winter while reading them to E and Z, and when the boys lost interest in the middle of By the Shores of Silver Lake (much less bullet-making, and fewer near-death accidents), I kept reading through the series and into Laura's newspaper writings collected in Little House in the Ozarks (which I confess I did not finish).

I will keep this list handy for next time I get to read a book of my choosing (with two votes for Marquez, that might be the direction to go, no?). And I had so much fun with this, I think I'll have another giveaway next week. Stay tuned.

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot, the winner of Suzanne Kamata's short story collection, The Beautiful One Has Come, is: Life As I Know It. Congratulations! Email me your address at andreaelani at yahoo dot com, and I'll send your package out within the week.

(sorry about the weird type size issues...but it was either giant or tiny at the end...grr...blogger...)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Picking Winterberry

This has been a bumper year for these festive berries that line the roadsides, especially in wet areas. I was able to find some on our property without having to venture too deeply into the bog.

Finger Knitting

E rediscovered finger knitting and had knitted up about three miles of "garling" for the Christmas tree by the end of the weekend.

Being Thankful

We all took a turn writing (and drawing) what we're thankful for in our Gratitude Journal.


OK, I only included this picture to show off my Thanksgiving table runner one more time, but I do love it so!

Tracking Turkeys

This was the one that got away, apparently. He and his mates were so happy to have made it past Thanksgiving, they danced all over our yard.

Muddy Biking

And Rolling Giant Snowballs

Because the seasons flow seamlessly into one another.


A few projects.


Getting a jump on next month's Total Overhaul room, and finally putting that third coat of paint on the north wall.

Tree Hunting

Thanksgiving weekend is insanely early (for me) to get a tree, but the boys wanted it early since we're going away for the holidays (last week E was crying because he didn't want to go to Colorado for Christmas because if we do, he "won't have enough time to look at the tree." I melted.) and next weekend is chock-a-block full of to-dos.

It's funny to read last year's tree-getting post about how anxious it made me to get the tree early (the first weekend of December) and how this year I didn't mind at all a whole week earlier. Maybe it was the snow. Or maybe I'm lightening up. I mostly thought about how we've made this same trip into the woods for a tree with a baby in a sling, and a toddler in a sled, and two babies in back packs and to toddlers in two sleds, and now they can put on their own snow pants and have snow ball fights the whole way and express their opinions about trees and saw through the trunk themselves.

We won't decorate it till next weekend (really, November is far too early). But we did clean and rearrange the living room, so that, in between the scheduled activities, all we'll have to do is cut off the bottom four feet or so of stem (C gets closer and closer every year to his dream of taking the top six feet of a giant balsam fir) and stick it in its stand.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I believe... the forest and in the meadow, and the night in which the corn grows.
                                                         --Henry David Thoreau

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Don't forget to enter my blogiversary giveaway!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Weekend Craftiness

Over the weekend, we got a jump on holiday crafting (yes, I do consider the third week of November a "jump") with silk

and wool.

And I made that autumn birdie to guard the front door for the next week or so (until he's replaced by his more red-and-greeny cousin).

Don't forget to enter my blogiversary giveaway!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Morning Drama AND Blogiversary (Re)Giveaway

So this morning, right after I got to work, I returned from the restroom to see the school had called, and I figured it was about E, who had an engorged tick on his head last weekend while I was off whooping it up in Connecticut, and we were practicing "watchful waiting" (as advised by one of my co-whoopers who happens to be a nurse practitioner) until this weekend, when the bite spot started swelling up and looking red and hurting, and E developed that droopy-eyed low-energy appearance of a kid who just feels off, and we figured this was what we were watching and waiting for, so I called the doctor and made an appointment for 1:00. Only after I hung up did I listen to the voicemail and learn that M had jabbed a lead from his new mechanical pencil under his right thumb nail and that it hurt so he threw up. We waited for the school nurse to come in from one of the other two (or is it four?) schools she covers and when she wasn't able to get it out, I called the doctor back, only this time it took an hour to get through to anyone and they had no appointments and suggested I go to the ER.

So I left work and picked up both boys. By now it was 11:30 and it seemed unlikely that we would be able to get through the urgent care center fast enough to get to E's appointment in time, and M looked perfectly fine and healthy, except for a thin gray line under his fingernail, and as I was raised in the "Let's wait and see how you feel Thursday," school of healthcare, as well as in the belief that warm salt water is the cure for all flesh wounds, I handed M a tupperware of just that elixir, headed into town to feed both boys and run a few errands before E's appointment, where of course the doctor waffled a bit, because no one knows about Lime disease, really, but it was the right incubation period, and he does have a bit of a fever, but then again it's hard to tell if it's a bullseye or just red, what with all the hair in the way, and do you want to take chances with a disease of not entirely clear consequences and possibly lifelong effects or take chances with an antibiotic? Three weeks of three times-a-day antibiotic?

I had just recently read this post, and it did make me pause. While I'm not terrified of medicine, or even red dye number whatever, I do try to minimize my children's exposure to both--I always buy dye-free ibuprofen and give them honey (or ginger syrup) rather than cherry-red cough syrup. On the other hand, lifelong debilitating disease...yikes. The doctor and I agreed we should treat him. He was very thorough in looking up the recommendations and dosage on the computer (he recently practiced in the city and had little experience w/ tickborne illness; but he was also concurrently going through something very similar regarding his own young son) I appreciated his honesty (a doctor who can say "I don't know" is somehow much more reassuring than one who has all the answers) and his willingness to broach all sides of the issue. E has never had to take antibiotics before (Z did once for pneumonia and M for an ear infection; otherwise we've been very lucky), and I figure of all the times to rely on Western medicine, this is one.

By the time we were done, M did not want to go to urgent care, and I found the prospect increasingly ridiculous, so we picked Z up from daycare, headed home, M returned to the salt water soak and all three boys zoned out in front of the TV in a rare breaking of the "no screen on school nights" rule. Later, after C came home, he extracted the lead (which was a good 5/8 inch long) using--wait for it--a razor blade. It was stomach-turning, but it worked and M immediately headed off to practice guitar.

Here's the most terrible thing about this whole story: for the last week or so I had been thinking, nay, hoping, that if one of the kids got sick, I could take a day off and get some of the millions of things done that are pressing down on me like an ice sheet grinding away at a mountain. And now I have one kid with (possibly) Lime disease and another with a self-inflicted stab wound. And I had to take most of a sick day. And I didn't get one blasted thing done. I hate the phrase "careful what you wish for" because I detest cliches in all forms, but really that one couldn't be more true, could it?

ANYWAY, today is my four-year blog anniversary, if you can believe that (what I can't believe is whatever possessed me to think Thanksgiving week would be a good time to start a blog??). I just went back and saw that first post just to check the date, and it brought back that great big sense of inadequacy that dogged me then (and now), especially when I viewed my own life in comparison others' lives in blogtopia. I wanted this to be a little space where I kept it real--talked about the very unperfect side of motherhood. I hope I've accomplished this in some small way. I do know that I've learned to slow down and appreciate the little things, to pay attention and take pleasure in moments that, while far from perfect (or blogtopian) and wonderful in their own way. I have, on occasion, been accused of making my life look perfect, which it is not, and that is not my intention (so please come back and read this post if that thought ever strikes you!). Thanks for sharing this journey with me, whether you've been here since the beginning, or have just popped in for a visit.

As a small token of thanks, I have to give away to one reader a signed copy of The Beautiful One Has Come, a collection of short stories by Suzanne Kamata, who was one of my very first writing teachers several years ago. I won the book on a giveaway on Suzanne's blog Gaijin Mama a few months ago, and now I want to pass it on to another reader who might enjoy it as much as I did. Suzanne is an ex-pat living in Japan with her Japanese husband and bicultural twin children, one of whom is deaf and in a wheel chair. Many of Suzanne's stories explore the nuances of life as an American in Japan, as a mother of bicultural children, and as a mother of a disabled child. Once you've read The Beautiful One, I hope you check out Suzanne's novel Losing Kei and the anthology of essays about mothering across cultures, Call Me Okaasan.

With the book, I'll throw in some chocolate and something small and handmade. So please leave a comment here between now and next Monday (November 28) telling me about a good book or a bad Monday (and your email address so I can contact you if you win). Thanks and good luck!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Quickie

I made this little banner/flags/bunting/garland (seriously, why is it so hard to decide what to call these things?) a few weeks ago...OK, way back in September, but I'm just now getting around to posting it.

I had been thinking of making a fall wreath, but knew I had no time/energy for that kind of project, so I whipped this out in literally five minutes, while the kids were putting on their pajamas one night. Using a business card as a template, I laid it with a short side on the fold and cut rectangles of fall-ish fabrics with pinking shears* then stitched them to a length of turquoise rick-rack I had lying around. Super fast and easy and yet satisfying. I want to make a little fall birdie to replace that silly vampire if/when I get around to taking down the Halloween decorations (the kids made the window clings at daycare, using fabric paint on cling wrap).

*I must tell you about my pinking shears (again)--I inherited mine from my grandmother, and they were the dullest, most useless things, until I sliced through a piece of tinfoil with them a few times and now they are beautifully sharp. I don't remember where I first read the tinfoil tip, but I suspect Martha Stewart had  something to do with it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Notes

November is starting to grow on me. It's been so incredibly warm (and even sunny for the first whole week and more), and I spent another weekend away...this time with no kids visiting three of the most amazing, beautiful women in the world and one sweet boyfriend (no, not mine, my friend's...who cooked us some awesome meals) in lovely Waterbury, Connecticut.

Thanks for all the thoughtful and smart comments on last week's post about homework and kids progressing at different rates. I'm really not at all worried about E and Z's's just that Self-Doubt is the uninvited guest who shows up to every party. And homework...grr. I do wish we had a no-homework policy before grade three (as does Sara's school system). I really don't think teachers get the reality that most families either have two working parents or are headed by a single parent who works. There are not hours of idle time that need to be filled up with inane worksheets. In our house, we get home anywhere between 4:30 and 6:00 (depending on whether I get to work at 7:00 or a lot later and how many errands I have to run afterward). That leaves just enough time to cook dinner, eat dinner, get ready for bed and read one chapter or one story before 8:00. And that's on nights with no soccer practice, baseball game, guitar lesson or swimming lesson. The ten-year-old can do most of his homework independently while I cook (sometimes he asks me a question about math which I usually cannot answer), but the six-year-olds can't.

Anyhoo...enough about homework. Let's talk about November and all that means. Once, many years ago, I got it into my head to ride a nearly-feral horse bareback. I placed a five-gallon bucket upside down next to her and hoisted myself onto her back. She stood quite placidly, until I kicked her, at which she shot across the field like she had sprouted wings. I didn't even have time to clutch her mane, but went cartwheeling through the air, landing finally on my chin. I managed to sprain my ankle, bruise my thigh and hip and wrench my shoulder. I had to crawl a long way back to the house in this condition, and later told everyone I had twisted my ankle in a hole in the ground because I was so embarrassed.

That's how I feel right now, looking into the next few weeks and months, like I'm perched on the back of a horse in that split second before it tears off, leaving me crumpled in the dust.

We're traveling for Christmas, which we haven't done since before we had kids, and I've figured it out: we have five weekends before we leave. My first grad school residency starts January 5, leaving me one weekend to recover from and unpack from our trip (and no doubt celebrate Christmas with eighteen different factions of C's family) and ten days away from home. And then...who knows what. No time at all.

I'm trying to figure out a balance between doing the things I need to do and the things I would like to do and the things I just need to let go of over those five weekends. I just received the workshop packet for school--everyone else's stories which I need to read and comment on--and it's not as thick as I feared it would be, but I also got the list of required reading for the presentations during the residency and holy crap, I have no idea when I'll get to it all (so of course I'm here blogging instead of reading, oy!). I figured out I'll need to read a book about every five days for the next 10 weeks. In the meantime, I would like to do some Christmas making, but perhaps a bit toned down from years past. There will likely be no six-hour cookie baking sessions this year, but one or two batches of roll-out cookies would not be out of order. I really wanted to finish M's quilt for Christmas (that I started in earnest back in January!), but I don't see that happening. And if it doesn't happen now, it probably will never happen. Maybe I could assemble one quilt block and read one chapter/story every night?  Plus there are lots of little things I want to do--ornaments and kid projects and such. And there are two rooms left in my total house reorganization. Plus I would like to bring order to the basement.

I've lately read some posts on other moms' blogs about how they're stepping back from blogging and creating and making and doing to spend more time with their kids, just being. These are full-time at-home moms who are guaranteed to spend more time with their kids than I do by default. It makes me pause to wonder if perhaps I'm making a mistake adding one more (huge) thing to my life right now. Already our time together generally consists of me coaxing them to get ready, hurry up, come on, not now, maybe later, let's go, we're late...two years from now am I going to have an MFA in one hand and a great big bag of regret in the other? Hello, again, Self-Doubt, who let you in the door?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homework, Reading and Comparing Kids

I was hoping to get home early enough last night to take a picture of something Novembrish, but the stars were already out when we pulled in the drive. It was a bit later than usual what with voting and all, but I'd been feeling so pleased that the stars are no longer out when I leave in the morning, that I was a bit disappointed to see them in the evening.

So instead I took a picture of E and Z writing their spelling words out. How cute is that? Homework continues to be a bit of an up-and-down struggle. Some nights it's fine, some we're doing it at 8:00, some we don't even bother. I saw E and Z's last year teacher at a soccer game this fall and I lamented about the homework situation, and she said that she gave her first-graders homework every night last year too (it's a K-1 classroom) and I responded, "Homework is not developmentally appropriate for mothers of first-graders." 

We had parent-teacher conferences last week, at which we found out that M needs to be more organized (major surprise there--the kid is going to grow up to be one of those people with soup cans and piles of newspapers lining the walls of his house), that Z is sometimes mean to the other kids (including his brother, grr) and that E needs to speak up because the teacher cannot hear him.

When she told us what their reading scores are, I glanced at the list in front of her and saw that they were pretty much at the bottom of the class--there were a few lower scores, but they all appeared to be kindergarteners. Then I had this very awkward feeling that I wasn't sure what to do with--M has always been way ahead of grade in every subject, and I'm afraid to say that certain feelings of smugness creeps over me whenever I've had a parent-teacher conference for him--"I must be doing something right," I think. 

But now, are E and Z's low reading scores a sign that I've done something wrong? It is true that they've had much less one-on-one interaction than M, they didn't start Montessori preschool as young as he did (though they went more times a week), and, frankly, I just haven't taken the time to sit down with them to read. For one thing, we have very little time at home, and I'd rather they spent it playing outside, doing something creative or listening to C or me read to them. And really, I don't think coming to reading slowly is a big deal. I didn't learn to read until first grade and it hasn't seemed to have affected me. Some teaching methods don't even introduce reading until age six or seven. It's fine. It's more that their mother has an issue adjusting to normal kids after having parented a superstar. I'm sure she'll get over it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekend Away

We spent the weekend in Rangeley with friends who have a time-share cabin/condo there.

We spent a lot of time doing a lot of nothing while we were there--

Swimming in the pool,

Eating (and eating and eating), reading, playing games and lounging.

The dads got up very early Saturday morning to go duck hunting (I'm still not exactly sure what's fun about that) and the moms went out to dinner (only to come home to discover that the dads had the bright idea of starting a movie for the kids at 8:40 p.m.)

Saturday we went for a hike along a beautiful stream that cascaded down through gorges and over falls, with enchanted mossy woods all around. It was nice to be far away from everything that needs to be done. We did rush home Sunday afternoon to run loads of laundry and clean the house, but a break from all that was well-deserved.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sunroom Overhaul Complete

On deck for October's addition for the Complete Whole House Declutter and Reorganize project was the sunroom. This is one of the most underutilized rooms in our house. Long and narrow, cold in winter, it mainly becomes a place for piling clean laundry that comes in from the line, which is off the deck right outside the sunroom door. 

When I was thinking about what needed to be done back in September, the room was pretty much empty (other than piles of laundry), so I figured it would be a snap. Then frost threatened and I brought in all the house plants, and E and Z made a "set-up" with all of their little chairs and tables and a bunch of blankets and toys and things and no one bothered to clean it all up for weeks.

So this is the room I faced when my project began two weeks ago:

I managed to squeeze cleaning it up, dusting, evicting spiders, washing windows (Z helped--once C's mother swindled him out of $100 dollars for washing the windows in this one room; it's much cheaper to let a six-year-old do it for the thrill of playing with a squirt bottle) and even washing the floor (which still hasn't happened in the kitchen--I know: gross) in the few hours before and after our hike one Sunday.

The futon, which is generally covered in clothes waiting to be folded, was looking kind of dull and tired in this old cover a friend gave me a couple of years ago (when she noted that the even older white one was looking dingy):

So I made a new one using big squares of decorator-weight fabric, which I sewed together and stitched to the old white futon cover (this was a lot more complicated than it sounds--between my woeful math skills, the logistical problems of maneuvering such large masses of fabric and the time I ended up sewing it on inside out). 

I've always wanted this room to have a bit of the feel of a Victorian conservatory. Part of that look, I think, involves really big floral prints. Of course wicker would be a bit more authentic than futon, but this room also doubles as our guest room, so one must be practical.

About two hours after I took these photos, all the laundry you see on the right edge of the photo below came in, along with the drying rack full of clothes (snow was on its way), so the room only had this open spacious feel for a brief spell. But I did refrain from putting the laundry on my pretty new futon, which is now my go-to place for lying about reading. Such a cozy room it is.

The old bird cage is part of the Victorian conservatory look, but Z and E have been begging for a bird to inhabit it. So I finally made one, with floral plumage and a red breast. It's a bit lumpy due to having been stuffed with fabric scraps rather than wool. And I have to tell you, when I first hung it up, I swear it turned to look out the window longingly. Even though the cage has no bottom so it could escape quite easily, it stays imprisoned in its cage (maybe because it has no eyes to see the bottomless cage--and no wings with which to fly).

There's still the problem of the coldness in winter, thanks to all those lovely windows. C and I can't agree on how to treat them (he favors window quilts, which I think are hideous, and I would like cellular shades, which can easily open up and out of the way). We visited a friend this weekend who has heavy velvet drapes on her big windows, hanging by spring-loaded rods. This might be our solution (purple, perhaps? or light orange?): during the day we could heap neatly fold them into a laundry basket and at night they would keep it cozy and warm.

I'm quite pleased with the ease with which this room came together (very little clutter to begin with made for an easy decluttering). This month, the mudroom gets it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In Gratitude

A couple of weeks ago, I walked out of the YMCA just as the sun was cresting the horizon across the river. The misty morning was awash in golden light and I felt flooded with gratitude--for the YMCA, for my morning swim. At first I felt silly to feel so grateful for...well a pool full of chlorinated water and other people's bodily fluids, but then I understood. Last January when I began to make swimming a part of my (almost-) daily routine, I think I had vague ideas about improving my stroke and fitness and weight loss and finally erasing the signs that this body carried twins to full term. It didn't quite work out that way (I gained four pounds that first week because swimming makes me so darn hungry). But I gained so much more. I had no idea last January that 2011 would shape up to be the very worst year of my life (so far) in so many ways. I did not know that swimming laps at 6:30 a.m. would be the high point of many of my days (and some days would be the only good thing...the only thing worth getting out of bed for). That for one half hour I would be mindful of only the motion of my body. That for that half hour I would feel good in body and mind. And for that I am eternally grateful--for the water, the chemicals, the lifeguards, the lady at the front desk, for my husband who gets the kids out of bed and on the bus.

I've been hearing from every direction today, "Can you believe it's already November?" And no, I can't. October flew by, and it was a strange month, going from 83 degrees over Columbus Day weekend to 26 degrees Halloween morning. The leaves seemed to slip from the trees without donning their autumn colors, yet some are still eerily green. And my own life took some strange turns as well. But now it is November. Not my favorite month, I will admit, but hardly avoidable. And it is undeniably the month when we are most likely to slow down and give at least a bit of lip service to thankfulness. Gratitude is not my strong point (I have mentioned this here before, and as proof, I did a search and came up with only four posts that use the word it in the last four years), but today, in honor of the first day of November, I'd like to make a little gratitude tally.

  • I feel immensely grateful for the people who in the last couple of weeks have given me words of encouragement, thumbs-ups, nods, handshakes, high-fives, emails, cards, lunches, even prostrations, applause and chocolate. My faith in the human race has been renewed. I could go into the ring and face any dragon with such a supportive army behind me.
  • I am grateful for volunteer readers. I sent my two workshop pieces off last Thursday after they had been read by a handful of friends who were kind enough to tell me I use adverbs excessively and that normal people do not say "neurotoxin" in everyday conversation (who knew?).
  • Speaking of writing, I am grateful that my family and my knitting buddies gave me my Thursday nights free to get those two workshop pieces done (and I am amazed, looking back, how impossible-seeming was the prospect of writing two 10-18 page short stories in just over a month, and how possible it ended up being). And I'm grateful for the complete silence of the UMA library (though I do wish it stayed open later than 8:00).
  • I am grateful to clear-thinking friends who welcome me into their home at 8:00 at night and talk me down from near-hysterics over a wee bit of stress. And for friends who offer acupuncture, energy therapy, weekends away and wine. Stress? What stress?
  • I am grateful for professionals who are really good at what they do (the best, so I hear) and are clearheaded, smart and generous with their services.
  • I am grateful for my funny kids. Yes they do drive me crazy, and no my patience level has not been at its peak lately, but I do appreciate little moments (for example, the other day Z was trying to set E up to be his straight man in a joke. E was supposed to say, "Doctor, there's a crack in my butt!" and Z would reply, "All ordinary butts have cracks." But E kept getting it wrong and Z had to repeat the lines over and over. C, M and I were rolling with laughter).
  • And I am grateful to you, dear reader, for coming here daily (or whenever you get the chance) to listen to my ponderings and, occasionally, share your insights. Thank you!
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