Sunday, October 30, 2005

Busy Weekend

It's been a busy weekend - Fran had a soccer game bright -n- early yesterday morning, and Will and Merideth and their kids came over in the afternoon. and we made pizza and caramel apples. Today my mom took me and the big kids to see Wallace and Grommit and the Curse of the Wererabbit (which was hysterical) and we carved our jack o'lantern and roasted pumpkin seeds (mmmmm) and now I'm getting ready to go to a wedding.

I think it says something about my social life that I had two sartorial choices for this affair, and they were both dresses that I'd originally purchased to wear to funerals. . .I remember my mom having all these glamorous (or so they seemed to me at the time) clothes and my parents going out almost every weekend. Partially that was because most of their friends hadn't had kids yet, and partially it was because my dad was career military and felt compelled to make an appearance at all the official functions. And possibly the cheap drop-in base childcare had something to do with it as well, although I remember falling asleep on piles of coats in back badrooms at many unofficial parties. . .

Friday, October 21, 2005

Appliance Suicide and Other Oddities

I think my microwave (a late 70's built in model) is dead - I just tried to heat up a leftover quesadilla and, while it came on as normal, the usual whrrrr sound it makes was much louder, and almost immediately I started smelling an ozone-y burning smell. So I turned it off, and sure enough the quesadilla was still stone cold. I guess it's a good thing I only ever use it for heating up leftovers and melting chocolate, huh?

Thank god Alec is down for his nap, because he's been a holy terror all morning. There are no words for how tired I am of his new trick of taking his diaper off. . .Also, I could have done without the roaring in the grocery store (which could only be quieted by me singing Mary Had a Little Lamb over and over again - I'm not sure whether the roaring or the singing was more annoying to our fellow shoppers - at least I tried to keep it down.


Kids Say the Silliest Things

1. Drew on the way home from school recently: "Mom could you talk to dad about you being the substitute dungeon master for our D&D game? Then Franny and I could play D&D even when he's at work. (Yes, Adam has the older kids doing RPGs now. Drew's character is a dwarf called Drew the Destroyer and Fran's character is a wizard just out of wizarding school called Gandalf - she's really into LotR right now.)

2. Franny before the bed a few nights ago: "Mom, I want to read to Alec before bed. You get him jammified and I'll pick out a story." (Yes, my children think that "to jammify" [meaning, of course, to put pajamas on someone] is a legitimate verb. Someday someone is going to mock them soundly for it, I'm afraid.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

October Column and "Otherwise"

My October column is up at

I just took two loaves of bread out of the oven, and there's applesauce cooking in the crockpot. In a bit, I'm going to start the turkey broth for the turkey and rice soup we're having for dinner. . .(But before that, there willl be a big pot of Earl Grey tea and bread and butter and honey.)

Outside my window, there's an enormous gossamer spider's web billowing in the breeze, with a fat spider right in the middle of it. The day is bright and sunny with that autumnal clarity. Alec and I had a lovely walk this morning, when it was still foggy and damp - he wore his Spiderman raincoat and his bug rain boots and the fog condensed in his hair and sparkled when the sun came out. When we got home, he played quietly with his blocks and I was able to get a lot of writing done.

I'm put in mind of this poem, by Jane Kenyon. . .


I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Falling leaves. . .

Yeah, there are finally a few leaves falling, although what passes for "fall color" in Austin leaves a lot to be desired. But the sidewalks are strewn with acorns and pecans, and today the high is 76, so it must be fall! (After several late September days well over 100, I'll take whatever I can get.)

I've been engaging in a frenzy of fall cleaning, converting the back half of our living room, which we've always used as a playroom, into a dining room. We've already moved the table in there, and for the past few days I've been sorting and organizing toys (and culling the outgrown/worn out ones) and putting most of them in the kids' rooms (barring a few baby toys, puzzles and games that are mostly used downstairs). It almost looks like an adult space now!

For the weekend: start organizing the bookshelves in the dining/living room, and dig a bed in the front yard by the mailbox (I've given up trying to grow herbs in our shady backyard - the strip between the street and the sidewalk is the sunniest place on our lot).

In other news, yesterday I got a frantic phone call from my brother (in New York) - "Quick, who was one of the sisters on Little House on the Prairie?" I named them all, and corrected him when he said "Laura Ingall." Then he wanted to know what some of the shows on TV Land are - thank God for the internet. . .

Turns out, he was about to go on some kind of game show that plays on TV Land - something about classic tv trivia? I haven't heard how he did, but given his inability to remember the names of any of the Ingalls sisters (despite the fact that we watched it every week all through the 70's) I'm not banking on him doing well. On the other hand, if they asked lots of questions about The Dukes of Hazzard and CHIPS, he's probably rolling in the dough. . .