Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
*I saw Annie in the $5 DVD endcap at Target and mentioned I thought the girls would love it. Sonya picked it up and gave it to them this afternoon. Kate did seem enthralled but at one point after Hard Knock Life and before Annie wins the heart of Daddy Warbucks Kate came and found me, insisted on being picked up, buried her head in my neck and murmured "I don't ever want to be like Annie." I filed the moment away for the next time she announces she doesn't want to be in this family anymore.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Now we are all lying around in the mostly dark living room groaning and mumbling, 3 dogs included. I have pictures for this post but I am unwilling to trek up the stairs carrying the extra dining room chair we use as our desk chair to upload them, so you'll just have to wait until I've lost about 5 pounds.
Mom will be pleased to hear that although we haven't quite gotten to dessert yet, the girls were sure to save room and they love the butterhorns. They helped make them (they have their own silicone rolling pin now) and we topped them off with sprinkles. Everything is better with sprinkles, it turns out. Those wee tykes are nestled snug in their beds with visions of butterhorns dancing in their heads while we loll about feeling sleepy. And so, on this delightful evening while we unbutton our pants at the top, it is the wish of all of us stuffed in Atlanta that all the world's people might one day feel so sated, cozy, safe and loved. Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Kate: I want to roll my window down.
Me: No way, it's cold out there!
Kate: But I want to!
Sarah: It's cold out.
Kate: You don't tell me what to do!
Me: Are you talking to me?
Kate: No, I'm talking to Sarah. Sarah, you're not the mommy. Lisa's the mommy. You can't tell me it's cold out.
Me: For a minute there I thought you were talking to me.
Sarah: It's cold out, Kate.
After the screaming argument in the back seat died down:
Sarah: My Jo Jo isn't coming over for dinner tonight.
Me: No, Aunt Jo Jo and Uncle Steve went to Virginia to see GramaGramps Provost.
Kate: Oh, like when we went up there to see Farley? Farley met us at the door and wanted to see our beautiful outfits [unintelligible chatter] and then [unintelligible].
(Farley's the dog.)
Me: Er...yeah. GramaGramps Provost are my mommy and daddy and Grammy Margie, who's coming tomorrow, is Daddy's mommy.
Kate: Whaaaa...? I never heard of a grown-up having a mom!
Me: Of course grown-ups have moms! Some day you'll be grown up and I'll still be your mom.
Kate: When I'm grown up I want to have kids. I want to have kids and I want to teach them. I want to be a teacher.
Me: That's a noble profession, Kate. I bet you'll be a great teacher.
Kate: Yeah, and when I have kids I'll be all grown up. I'll be 45 like you.
Me: I AM NOT 45.
Here's what I get when I grab the camera and say "pose together like you love each other" 87 times in a row:
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Creating my Thanksgiving week menu along with the plan for the week regarding how the holiday's festive eats would be prepped and cooked took me until 1:30PM. So, today's menu-making experience also included a break to make lunch and tuck Sarah in for her nap.
So anyway I completed it - shopping list written and then re-written in the order we come to all the stuff in the Farmer's Market. Daily and then hourly schedule of when to prep what. All done. The Virginia Druekes will be getting a late start on Wednesday and in an effort to attempt to convince them to drive straight through and collapse at our house late Wednesday, rather than make us wait until Thursday to see them, I shall list here what we'll be having, emphasis on all the goodies we're planning before the actual feast.
FIRST, I will stagger out to the kitchen after Kate awakes us earlier than we'd hoped and I will drop bagels into boiling, sugared water and then bake them. Once only slightly cooled, we'll enjoy them with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced red onion and, of course, coffee.
We're planning dinner a little later than usual, 5PM, so of course, we'll need to be sure there's a non-stop parade of snacks to get us through the day. To fill that void we'll have smoked rosemary walnuts and smoked curry pecans as well as artichoke crab dip on toasts of homemade baguette. The strike of noon heralds the socially acceptable hour to begin drinking.
Jeremiah will be grilling the turkey as usual. Before we serve up the bird I thought I'd do a soup course (roasted butternut squash and roasted parsnip soups together side by side with a drizzle of tarragon oil on top) followed by a nice arugula salad whose real name is much too long for me to remember as it seems to encompass every ingredient in the salad.
Along with the turkey, Jeremiah is in charge of grilling the Southwest Potato Cake Grande. I've found a sweet potato casserole recipe that is probably similar to the one Aunt So-So recalls, a classic cranberry sauce recipe, that yummy cheese & beer bread, sourdough bread stuffing (Jeremiah insists I throw some sausage in there) and we'll make up the gravy depending on what drippings we get when the bird comes off the grill. For dessert (perhaps will take a short jogging break before this course) there will be pumpkin cheesecake and my mom's butterhorns. What? The salad is green!
If the VA Druekes decide they're going to tough it out and they let me know ahead of time, I can also have some sort of warm, spiked cider or other hot toddy before bedtime beverage awaiting their arrival. Just putting that out there.
Friday, November 21, 2008
1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing? No, but I do like blue cheese.
2. Favorite late night snack? I don't know, I don't really snack late at night. I would probably go for a bowl of cereal, if pressed.
3. Do you own a gun? I own 2 huge guns attached to my shoulders, baby. Don't make me take you to the Gun Show!
4. What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks or other specialty coffee shop? The one in my hand.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Only if I haven't memorized my lines.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Cute but I hear they can sometimes be mean.
7. Favorite Christmas song? The Ukrainian Bell Carol.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee. No water. No...coffee. Oh, I don't know. The one in my hand.
9. Can you do push-ups? Of course.
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? I don't know...I hear the Hope diamond is really nice.
11. Favorite hobby? Noodling.
12. Do you have A.D.D.? ddddddddddddddddddd
13. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? Inability to take memes seriously.
14. The last disease you contracted? Who told you about that?
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
- So. Tired.
- I need a nap.
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water. Coffee. Wine.
17. Current worry right now? Will I finish this before falling asleep?
18. Current hate right now? The haters.
19. Favorite place to be? In a world of my imagination.
20. How did you ring in the New Year? Is it already the new year? Have I been sitting here that long?
21. Like to travel? Do fish know how to swim? yes and yes.
22. Name three people who will complete Sunday Stealing this week:
24. What color shirt are you wearing? Clear.
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I have never slept on satin sheets
26. Can you whistle? Yeth.
27. Favorite singer/band? Hmm. Los Lobos? I reach for them from the CD shelves an awful lot.
28. Could you ever make it 39 days on the show Survivor? I can't even make it 30 minutes WATCHING the show Survivor.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Standing in the Shower Thinking
30. Favorite girl’s names? My favorite girls are named Katherine and Sarah
31. Favorite boy’s name? His name is Jeremiah.
32. What’s in your pocket right now? My precious's ring.
33. Last thing that made you laugh? Jeremiah.
34. Like your job? Ask me in a few months.
36. Do you love where you live? I love wherever I am. I'm a lover.
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? One.
38. Who is your loudest friend? Lola.
39. Do you drive the speed limit or speed? I try to drive the speed limit, don't want to consume too much fuel, you know.
40. Does someone have a crush on you? Jon Stewart totally wants me.
41. What is your favorite book? To Kill a Mockingbird.
42. What is your favorite candy? Are chocolate covered pretzels candy? Those.
43. Favorite Sports Team? Atlanta Braves (but only when they're winning, because that's how we roll in the ATL).
44. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Trick question! Twelve AM only happens in the morning.
45. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up today? I feel a meme coming on.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
When my cousin Lauren got married the DJ at her reception liked to play OLDIES. He would pull something out that was 20 years old and preface it, in the voice of the guy who reads the copy for local, used car lot television ads, with "It's an ooooldie!" The best was when he asked "Who likes Canadian rock?!?" and we were all like "oh sweet, he's going to play Tom Sawyer" but no. He played some Ann Murray. I'm not making this up. It would be a lot funnier if that guy wasn't actually my brain. That's the just the sort of thing my head does to me. I can't figure out how I know I don't really like that music if that's what my brain is selecting for me. The other day I was forced to listen to Howard Jones' Life in One Day all day. I really like the Howard Jones song from Better Off Dead but my mind doesn't care about that, it wants to play the crap! I'm ashamed to admit that I kind of enjoyed the afternoon it set some Roxette on repeat, but given its usual playlist that was pretty rockin'.
I assume this is some sort of karmic punishment. This, and the fact that no matter how it seems like it's going the line I get in at the grocery store is always the slowest, (Express lane with a guy handing over exact change for a single pack of gum? Seems like the perfect choice, but it's time to change shifts!) are what make me think I was probably a real ladder-climber at the IRS in my previous life. The real insult to injury bit of this is that usually when I'm at the grocery store my brain DJ gets to take a break because they're playing the muzak version of something from Dennis Deyoung's solo catalogue. If I could just go back to my IRS life and do something, anything to prevent this torture...I can't of course and you can bet if I forget to grab some music on my way out the door tomorrow my head is going to spin some classic Debbie Gibson. I hate you brain DJ!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
When Jeremiah told me I thought of my post from last night, and of the conversation we had Saturday night, after I'd spent the entire day cleaning, only to have the kids trash the place before they went to bed so it seemed as though I'd done nothing, causing me to become somewhat unpleasant, about how great our lives would be if we'd never had children. I then felt like a total asshole. This, I suppose, is the how it goes.
I went out with my girlfriends this evening for drinks and a mani/pedi. Yes you heard me right. A mani/pedi. I haven't had a pedicure since before the 3-Day last year so don't look at me like that. We drank a few beers before and a bottle of wine during the pampering and reflected on how this is what we'd do every week if we'd married rich husbands. We didn't, though, so instead we ended up talking about work a lot and no one was quite willing to put her Blackberry out of sight. Never-the-less we had a delightful time and I am still feeling relaxed and lucky. This afternoon made possible by an awesome husband who picked the girls up from daycare, fed them and got them changed and ready for bed.
When I got home Kate & Sarah were just about to get into bed. Kate ran to me and gave me a big hug. Sarah was next. "Were you girls good for Daddy tonight?" I asked, smooching each of them. "Yes!" Kate said, "I didn't throw nothing in the toilet!" Sarah nodded in agreement. "Anything." I said, "you didn't throw anything in the toilet".
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Tonight while getting ready for bed Sarah discovered some hair clip that, for whatever reason, made her excited and happy. She picked it up, exclaiming over it and Kate snatched it from her and threw it into the toilet as the toilet was flushing. Sarah was, of course, reduced to a torrent of tears. "NO STORY" was Jeremiah's apoplectic response to the event. I missed it. I was sauteing some kale. Steve and Joy were here and we all heard the screaming but it's pretty par for the course at bedtime so we thought nothing of it.
So Kate did not get the bedtime story and she was furious with her Dad about that. By the time I went up to kiss them goodnight she seemed to be over it. Sarah was not. She told me all about how Kate had something something down the toilet something something that's BAD. Kate appeared not the least bit contrite. At 4, she is a million times worse than she ever was at 2 or 3. Everyone talks about the Terrible Twos and warns that at 3 they're even worse, but neither was all that true of Kate. No, she's really hit her stride at 4. Petulant, I'd say. What was Dad's secret? I knew better than to even strike "a tone" with my mom, too. I need to know how to get my kids to that point because right now I'm reasonably certain they are killing me.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The moment caused me to reflect because we've been watching the first season of Mad Men. We're not quite through it yet, 3 or 4 more episodes to go, I think. We started it after entire series of The Wire. I loved The Wire, even though we sometimes had to watch a cartoon before bed after viewing an episode of it. You know a show is good when you're fooled into thinking you're actually reading a book. I loved those characters and when it ended I was sad; I miss them.
We took a short 30 Rock, season 2 break and began Mad Men. I'm enjoying it but I find it roundly more depressing than The Wire. The characters in The Wire caused you to feel righteously ambivalent because, which ever side they were on, they had a code. Sorry, a Code. And they lived by it. Omar Little, for example, robbed drugged dealers and killed will impunity. But he never killed a citizen and he never worked on Sunday. Also, he didn't cuss and as best I can remember, he didn't lie. In Mad Men, the characters seem to be lacking any sort of code. They all seem miserable, forced to live under the auspices of some fake code no one can really get behind. What's really so amazing to watch is how very different the mores were regarding relationships, child-rearing and health. Pregnant women smoking and drinking. Drunk driving as a normal daily routine. And of course the rampant sexism. The show begins in 1960 and it's pretty clear 1968 is eagerly gestating.
When Sarah handed me her pacifier and repeated the very words we'd been saying over and over to her I wondered if the scene would be something horrific 50 years from now. Some young mother might have watched it thinking "why on EARTH would they make that poor kid think she was being somehow bad by sucking on a pacifier at age 2?!?" What things seem so normal right now that will be completely nuts when I'm a grandmother? I think of all the people one or two generations ahead of us who just couldn't believe we weren't feeding Kate solid food by the time she was one month old...and for some reason, seeing Sarah hand over her security bobble made me feel potentially mistaken.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
(As I write this, Sarah, who is supposed to be napping but is most definitely not, is putting an overnight diaper on her gigantic stuffed bear. No, wait, it's mid-day, she's returned the overnight diaper to the drawer and replaced it with a pull-up.)
So anyway, dirty dishes are piling to the ceiling in my kitchen right now because I'm sampling every recipe I can think of that might be good for Thanksgiving. Today we'll be smoking some pecans and walnuts. I'm making cheese & beer bread at this very moment and considering a go at the pumpkin bread recipe I just found. Lentil soup (I added bacon) is simmering on the stovetop, even though I'm not considering it for Thanksgiving. It just sounded good on this cold day. So - Virginia Druekes, if there is something you're craving or even something you hate, now's the time to speak up. This week has been dedicated to sampling recipes and once it's over the menu will be set in stone!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
1. Whiskers on kittens. Ha! Just kidding. Jokes on me, though, now I have that song stuck in my head (note to self: add Julie Andrews to earlier list).
2. Vanquishing my enemies. There's nothing quite like bringing down a foe, severing his head and placing it atop one of the spikes on the 8' tall concrete wall that surrounds your house, as a warning to others. If you're feeling really Old School, you can also cook up your enemy's brains and eat them for dinner (or just a snack, depending on who your enemies are. Mine are often errant Palmetto bugs) thus gaining all his knowledge for your own. As an added bonus here, I just really like the word "vanquish".
3. Chickens. Chickens are inherently funny and if you want to argue that point with me I refer you to number 2 on this list. Just sayin'.
4. The smell of Scotch tape. How very bourgeois of me that this is a scent that makes me think of Christmas. Still, it does and every year when I go through mounds and mounds of it... and then take it off my face and start wrapping gifts, I am magically transported back to a more innocent time, when I didn't have to do all the @#$% gift wrapping and believed that a big fat guy could actually fit down our chimney.
5. Warm sheets straight from the dryer. What? Am I not human? If you cut me do I not bleed?
6. Maintaining a list of famous women for whom I would go gay if I were going to gay which I am not but dang it all those chicks are smokin' hot. This list changes from time to time but Ashley Judd has topped for as long as I can remember. A few others on there are Elizabeth Shue, Catherine Keener, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Charlize Theron. I feel like I should add someone like, I don't know, Bell Hooks, to the list to seem like I have substance. But I don't.
7. Sunday. A lot of my friends think I don't go to church because I take issue with organized religion and all its ridiculous rules and wars fought in the name of God but really it's because I just hate having to go somewhere on Sunday morning. Getting up, getting everyone dressed nicely and out the door by 10 or whatever is work in my book. I thought you weren't supposed to work on the Sabbath. Instead, I used that day to hang out with my family, take long walks, cook up a mess o' food for the coming week and feel like life is good.
8. My bicycle, BICYCLE!
9. When the best response leaps to mind at exactly the right time. Oh that is rich. Too often I am in my car on the way home or even lying in bed long after nightfall when what I should have said finally makes it to the front of my mind and the moment will never return. Tragic loss, really.
10. Cars with lots and lots of bumper stickers. Bless those people! I like to use my idle time to read and when I have plenty to read while stuck in traffic I'm thankful. Plus, it's nice not to have to get to know the person in the car. They have thoughtfully placed all the important information about themselves right there on their car, begging you to judge them. I get extra excited if the bumper stickers are at odds with each other, but that seldom happens.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
And now for some Cute from this morning.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
1. France. (oh, settle down Frog friends, I'm just joshin' ya. Where's all that jzwah da veev I hear so much about?)
2. Superfluous quotations marks. The sign at the bus terminal in NYC said to KEEP BACK "13" FEET. What does that mean? The only place I ever really appreciated this horrifying grammatical slight is when I was reviewing resumes for potential new hires. The company made people fill out a little form to turn in along with their resume, but the thing asked for resume info, which is kind of dumb and maybe deserves a spot on this list, but the applicant wrote, I love this, SEE "RESUME". Come to think of it, unless that 23-year-old bartender really did speak 18 languages including Esperanto and know how to drive a forklift, those quotation marks might not have been superfluous.
3. Being handed my cash first and coinage on top of the cash. Why don't you just throw it in my face?!? ARGH that galls me. How many times a day do people who give out change, give out change? Surely they notice that this arrangement nearly always causes the coins to go rolling off the large, flat cash surface and require time-consuming retrieval. Jerks.
4. Styrofoam. More specifically, the sound of styrofoam against styrofoam. Note this, my enemies, if you need to defeat me in battle, this is surely my Kryptonite.
5. Lying Playboy Centerfolds. Oh, McKinzie who was born in the late 80s, there is no freakin' way you are 5'8" with 36DD boobs but weigh 112 lbs (except maybe on the moon). You're doing a disservice to all women when you put that crap in writing. Aside from the fact that you are causing people to think it is possible to be those dimensions without having to being hospitalized, you're a Playboy centerfold. Why not round way up? What do you care? Say you weigh 180. Will it make you less hot on the glossy, Photoshopped page? I think not. If you weigh less than 140 I'll send you a home cooked meal. But you don't, you big liar.
6. The Fraternal Order of Police. Stop calling me!!!
7. All television news. Even public broadcasting. I don't need to know what those people look like.
8. Whatever-Me Elmo. I hate all iterations of this doll. Sometimes when I feel a little bit down and the imagery of chickens doing common household tasks doesn't make me smile I think about a giant bonfire of Elmo dolls and it works right away. Why won't the batteries just DIE already?!? OH THE HUMANITY.
9. The word moist. I'm not sure why, that one just always kind of bugs me.
10. Laser Tag.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
I'm tired of lugging the camera with me everywhere. Why does it always have to be about potential blog fodder, I asked myself and left without the camera. That left my hands free to pick up a latte en route. When I arrived all the kids were in full-on cute mode and I instantly regretted my decision. Let's face it, sometimes they're not that cute. There are 4,000,000 small children now residing on and immediately around Third Avenue. They're all cute. I have no idea how that happened. Something in the water, I assume.
What I wish I had on camera, well, on video really, was all of them playing with the rat. (A rat?!? Adorable!) No, it's not real. It's furry and has glowing red eyes and is remote control. Joy picked it up at Target in the Halloween goodies and I've just spent a solid 15 minutes scouring the web in search of a photo of the thing and can't find it. There are other remote controlled rats out there (obviously) but not as good as this one. The other ones aren't covered in varying shades of wiry, gray hair. The rubbery black tail is the antenna. They were sweetly taking turns controlling the thing while the rest of the kids would scream and scream and run from it. All of them liked to run the rat directly under the cast iron fireplace, which was filled with bright orange flame.
At first all the adults would lunge toward the fire as the rat approached it and try to explain the inherent danger in sending the rat under there. But then it became clear we were all sort of looking forward to seeing the thing emerge on the other side, red eyes still glowing, fully engulfed in flame. If only for a moment. Once it became clear the rat wasn't going to ignite, we left that scene. Fun party, though. Sorry we don't have any pictures. That's on me.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Then I get homesick for the valley (breathtaking views right out my bedroom window of the mountains aflame in reds and oranges and yellows. Hikes to Big Schloss. Fire in the fireplace.)
But then I come around and recognize that it's nice here, too. While Jeremiah and Kate were at the Y, Sarah and I took a long walk around town to admire the crisp, cloudless sky and the colorful leaves swirling over our heads in the perfect breeze.
We visited the gazebo on the Square where Sarah took her very first steps. Park-schmark. Kids love running in circles around that thing and into the plaza next to it. Over and over again they'll just run like puppies. Arriving to find the gazebo free of frolicking children is rare. Today there were 4 or 5 involved in a difficult game of hide and seek (there are a few bushes, but that's really about it...)
Friday, November 07, 2008
There's a problem, though. Sarah keeps climbing up on the small kitchen stools, and she does it so well she can even sort of dance around on them and perform other feats of strength while up there. Because of her stool-standing acumen, we keep forgetting she's a tiny thing atop what is for her a great height. And she keeps falling off them. I think this morning was her 4th tumble, but it might have been her 5th (I should probably still be posting at WME...) I don't know, the new cork floors were installed in part for this purpose, but I worry she's knocking loose future potential.
She cries and cries but then gets right back up there so you can see why I think she might already be making herself a little on the dull side. So far she's never landed on anything scary like a table corner or the dog, but it's somewhat worrisome. And it's not as though we're not in there with her (usually). I keep thinking all the falling will teach how to, you know, not fall. But she seems to just be getting better at falling. I hate to ban her from her monkey antics but I can't afford to be caring for her beyond age 18 so she's going to need every ounce of IQ God gave her. Maybe we'll just get her a helmet.
Here's some photos of us making election night chocolate chip cookies. Why chocolate chip, you ask? Well, they're mostly sort of beige in color, and the beige parts are great, but they're so much better with plenty of brown mixed in. Sorry about the really offensive t-shirt. My big brother made me wear it.