Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I have been waiting for the winter blahs/numbness/whatevers to dissipate. Every winter I say I am going to take up some outdoor activity to lessen the impact of the "Winter of My Discontent" effect, and every year I do not. Let's face it; I do not like to be cold. I like to be cold and wet even less. There it is. Next year, skating? The Lou might be ready. She displays a bit more coordination than Pete and me, but that does not really say much.

So. Pete gave me a book for Christmas that I've been browsing through again:
It's a translation of a Japanese book from a few years ago...all of the stuffed critters inside are actually made from cotton socks and "work gloves". Hmm. It helps that the animals are in amusing poses. I really like the shot of the monkey wearing a striped turtleneck. "He looks like he was just released from prison," said one of my friends at work. "Now all he needs is a cigarette hanging out of his mouth." Not so appropriate for Lou, maybe.....

So I am thinking about stuffed critters. I am thinking about the ball of Reynolds Cashsoft DK (cashmere/microfiber/alpaca) that is supposed to be a pair of fingerless cabled mitts for a friend:
Well, she might get them by her birthday (which is in a month), anyway.

I am also thinking about bread. About oatmeal bread, about no-knead bread, about cinnamon-raisin bread. I am thinking about open windows and maybe even washing them. I am thinking about 50 degree days, a whole string of them. I can see some of the earth in my yard now.

Come ON spring....I need to get out of my jammies and off my rear end!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Lou and Uncle Steve


Yesterday we went down to MA to spend Easter with the Aldens. You know it's an Alden holiday when there are multiple dinner tables. There was ham and lamb (go Bonnie and Pete!) and a chocolate bunny lollipop at each place (of course). There was lots of talking and laughing and wine.

At one point, with the pre-dinner chatter at a fever pitch, I sort of stood back and listened. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but this is my family and I found a sort of peace in just soaking it all in: the uncles on the deck, the cousins having a drink and catching up, Aunt Bonnie in her apron making everything happen, 25 or 30 people all talking at once, my youngest cousin and my Lou chasing each other round and round the house, my grandma and Aunt Bonnie's mom talking and surveying it all.

There was also an egg hunt this year. Dave pointed out that he feels the hunting of small, foil-wrapped eggs indoors to be more satsifying.

Hmm. I think the kids would have been happy either way. And this way we were forced to get some fresh air.

Who knew my brother was the king of egg-hiding? I nominate him to coordinate the egg hunt every year from now on.
Look! two Steves. And one is taking a picture of me. Or something in my general direction.
Here is one of our favorite people, Scott. He is one of the few that Lou will willingly share chocolate with.
Carly and Lou hunt for eggs. Or, Carly helps Lou hunt for eggs. She's a sweetie.

Everyone loves an egg hunt.

Then back inside, to take pictures of sleeping family members. One made me promise not to post her picture.

But another of my favorite people!
And now for dessert. Because we should all eat more, of course.

Lou and her Memere

We headed home as it was getting dark. Lou fell asleep in the car and with a bit of tired whimpering made it right to bed when we got home. Whew!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Darn you, Uncle Todd

This guy....
...taught the Lou a song a while back. I think he learned it from the Three Stooges. She sings it all on her own, but sometimes, like tonight, I have to sing it for her.

B-I-Bicky Bi
Bicky Bi Bo
Bicky Bi Bo Bu

And so on, all the way through the alphabet.

And that's what will be in my head all day tomorrow. Thanks, Todd. You're lucky I love you.

Sunday morning

Thursday, March 06, 2008


The number of books I have read since March 2007. In case you are wondering what they are:

Tales of a Female Nomad - Rita Golden Gelman
You Can Get Arrested for That - Richard Smith
Wickett's Remedy - Myla Goldberg
The Girlfriend's Guide to Getting Your Groove Back - Vicki Iovine
In My Skin: A Memoir - Kate Holden
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife - Mary Roach
Walking After Midnight: One Woman's Journey through Murder, Justice and Forgiveness - Katy Hutchinson
Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith - Anne Lamott
Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl, I Learned from Judy Blume - ed. Jennifer O'Connell
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps and Bones - Anthony Bourdain
Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult
(Not The You Asked) Rants, Exploits and Obsessions - Steve Almond
Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter - Phoebe Damrosch
A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth's Castle - Liza Campbell
Welfare Brat: A Memoir - Mary Childers
The Bone Garden - Tess Gerritsen

There are plenty of others that I started but did not finish, or am still working on, but I did not include them. There are others that I re-read in the last year, but I didn't include them either. Somehow I thought my list would be longer, but honestly? it's longer than any list I might have made from March 2006-07. I love to read....almost as much as knitting, and probably more than sleep.

Interesting that I seem to gravitate toward memoirs and nonfiction....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I just shake my head

Very frustrated today at work. Sometimes the rubbish involved in being the manager gets to me; sometimes it's just basic customer service annoyances. Today it was corporate BS.

All I can say is that it all gets reduced to numbers. Which is fine, since that is part of business, and I deal with money, blah blah blah. But the numbers should at least be accurate. I don't find it in the least amusing when people thousands of miles away presume to know what my department is and is not doing based on some report that does not even fairly represent that nuances of creating and maintaining budgets for students.

Here is how I felt most of the day:

Or maybe, more accurately, this:

When I get home, I am so eating ice cream.

Monday, March 03, 2008

It's Monday all over again

So I stood up my frenemy (the treadmill) in favor of sleep this morning. I blame this guy:

I have managed to get sucked in, which I suspect is exactly what Showtime wants. Sorry cable company, you are not going to get me. I can wait....I will not be adding services in order to keep up with Dexter. Although he did keep me up too late last night.

Some happy things for a Monday morning:

  • The sun is shining! And no snow or rain on the forecast for today.
  • The Lou was happy at drop-off today. Her friend Ella was at the computer playing a Clifford the Big Red Dog game, and she rushed over and joined in.
  • My cold appears to almost be gone. I cleaned my desk, phone etc and made a cup of tea with honey and lemon, and I almost even feel chipper.
  • And these little guys:

John Thomas and Maxwell William, my cousins' twins. Born February 14th. Their mom carried them about to term (their due date was the 27th)- what a warrior!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday, Sunday

So here's the snow that kept us out of CT this weekend (post-snowblowing):

Dreary, gray. Blah. Definitely not a foot of new snow.

We did very little yesterday: some laundry, some Guitar Hero (Pete has moved on from Easy to Medium, I am stuck at Easy. There's a joke there, I know). Grocery shopping. We did some reorganizing in Lou's room; we still need to move the trestle/changing table out, but we're almost there:

It's fun to see her reaction at fully converting this room from a baby's room into a little kid's room...she loves to play in there, which is great. Now if only she would love to play in there at 6:30 on Saturday morning. Oh well.

Although I am still not feeling 100% better, today we made cookies, because I promised we could this weekend. We used Nigella's basic Cut-Out Cookie recipe from Feast and it was fantastic. We even frosted them using spring colors.....come on spring!

Note the stylish matching aprons, and the fact that I only bothered to clear off half my kitchen table for this project. Mother of the Year! When you are overcome by your messy house, the only solution is to make a new and bigger, better mess that you will not be able to avoid cleaning up. Go ahead and use that one in your real life. You can thank me later.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

But wait! There's more!

We had snow Tuesday night. Here it is- this is the view out my back door while I was supposed to be doing dishes.


Looking up at the maple trees
Such big snowflakes....
...but just not enough for a snow day. Sigh.

Random Update-y Sort of Post

Pink heart-shaped strawberry Valentine pancakes:
My Valentines
Lou in her jammies
Visiting with Aunt Sri and Uncle Phil (who knew Lou could play Carrom?)

Lou and Pete building their rail empire:

More baby sweaters
Banana-hazelnut-chocolate chip muffins