[Short Post]Can’t Feel Accomplished for More than a Minute

Photo: Richard! You fool! Get down from there! (Seriously, I forgot to move the damn doll already! Had to throw him up there while the boys were still doing their get-up routine. Thank goodness I remembered!

 

The Christmas letter is written. The Christmas cards arrived yesterday afternoon (special shout out to the postal worker who left the Snapfish box out in the soaking rain!). You’d think that would signify a doneness… but you’d be wrong, Dear Reader! This is only the beginning. Now is the time for hunting down the addresses of people who have moved, creating the mail merge, getting the stamps, writing the little notes at the end of all the letters, and getting everything all stuffed and ready to go.

None of that is gonna happen tonight. I’m spent. I’ve climbed my mountain . It’s been a long day. One last thing to do today: this blog post.

Just as I was setting up to get down to business on today’s post, my husband came downstairs to remind me that Major’s birthday is in January.

So desu ne,” I replied with a sigh.

The Husband has made it fairly clear that I will not be getting away with the anti-birthday-bash coup that I pulled last year. Kids get parties. Even kids born in January. So I’ve been told. I’ve gotta look into booking a place. Just another task to add to the growing list. I’m thinkin’ bowling. That’s a good kindergarten birthday party, right? I mean, he’s never been, so… that might be awkward… or maybe awesome?

Maybe we could just take a beach vacation? Wouldn’t it be better to spend our money on that? He sorta likes the sand!

I’m going to bed.

See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts

 

 

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[Fail Post] Just a Little Too Much

Photo: My chicken was too big for my pot. Or maybe my pot was too small for my chicken? Whatever. It was a no-go… so I butterflied the girl and threw her in my cast-iron with all the ingredients I was gonna put on her anyway. The result was still delicious and the gravy that I made was just heaven.

 

I haven’t done it in a while and I loathe to do it now, but I’ve gotta make this an official fail post. My day was full to the gills with Mama tasks, Wife tasks, Freelancer tasks, even Writer tasks and now I’m sitting here sore and tired, wanting a hot shower and a little time for stillness and quiet. How long was my streak? I even blogged last week! So frustrating! But honestly, my brain is so foggy and my day was such a marathon…

and my husband managed to slice his thumb open while I was typing all this so now I’ve gotta go play nurse and hope I don’t gotta chauffer him to the hospital (as the boys just went to bed!).

So, here is a picture of the beef burgundy I managed to make tonight for dinner:

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French cuisine is delicious, but a time suck. Seriously. But so worth it. Oh my God, so worth it.

So… off to be a nurse. Then, hopefully, a long shower and a much-needed rest. Forgive me, Dear Reader.

will see you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.

[Blog Fail] Pretty Monstrous Week

 

Well hello there, Dear Reader…

I was gonna write about Mister Major’s Day Off because, you see, he woke up with pink eye this morning, so no school for him. Yep, so it was him and me on all the Friday errands, plus a little extra so as to make it fun for him.

I was gonna post fun pictures and share some things he said…

and write about how I’m just about over what I’m pretty sure was food poisoning… an entire week lost… thank God my husband took the day off yesterday to take care of me…

but you see, Dear Reader, I’m typing with one less finger

because I slammed my right pointer finger with my car door after picking up Minor from school. So close to being free… so close to being normal…

typing is painful. Of course, I need this finger to blog, write, knit a gift for my sister that I’m a week behind on, give myself a retwist because my hair is a damn mess, and knead Parker House rolls for Christmas dinner, let alone roll tortillas for tonight’s taco dinner…

so, I’m either on my way to urgent care or the hospital, depending on what my nurse-on-call tells me to do.

yeah… no Quiet Thoughts today…Update after I see the doc…

(Is 2015 over yet?)

Update: not broken! Yay! They used a nifty tool to alleviate the pressure caused by the internal bleeding that was happening under my finger nail. I’ll spare the details so that the squimish will still like me. 🙂 It still hurts like hell and will for a couple of days, but it will get better and I can stil knit! Hopefully I will be able to type to full capacity on Monday, else I will type with one hand (super special skill for the win!).

With storms come rainbows. Some more brilliant than others. I’ll gladly take this one. See you Monday, Dear Reader.

 

Things Fall Apart

So, picture this:

You’ve been feeling gross for about 18 hours thanks to a stomach thing that no one in the house seems to have but you.  You’ve slept, but not well. You’re still so queasy that you gingerly eat Ritz crackers and sip on Canada Dry for breakfast instead of enjoying your usual coffee. Little boys are up and you’ve got them settled into breakfast because it’s a damn school morning and that means time is not on your side. You’ve carved out 10 minutes for a shower. A necessary shower, not a good shower. This is a utilitarian shower. You look yourself in the mirror and give yourself a little pep talk: you’ve had your time to be sick. It’s a new day and you’ve got shit to do. So get clean, get your babies dressed, get out of this house and get shit done.

Ready? Go.

You step into your shower, feel a few droplets on your face, put your hands up to the shower head to adjust it to the setting you like

and it falls down from its fixture, hitting you in the middle of the forehead, separating itself from its hose, which proceeds to spray a deluge of water in every direction. Every direction! This includes the ceiling, the floor, and even the walls. It takes maybe 5 seconds to turn the water off and make the onslaught stop, but there is still plenty to clean up

and you’re still dirty.

Awesome.

So, instead of the morning I needed to have, I had the morning I was desperately trying to avoid: 4 stores, lots of time in the car, no time for the me stuff, NPR fundraising drive so there wasn’t even good radio (haha, feel bad for me yet? waaa waaa waaa)…

and yeah, I’m sitting at my desk right now still putting down ginger ale and crackers because my stomach is in full rebellion. I have purchased the items necessary to make some chicken and rice soup which I pray I’ll be able to eat. But who knows? Clearly this day is a wash!

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So yeah… this is my day in a nutshell, and it’s only 11am.

Hope you are doing better than I am, Dear Reader.

See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.

My Thoughts Are Still Loud

 

I thought that I was going to find my normal space of reflection today. It is Friday afternoon, I’ve seen the announcement re: the charges for all six officers, and I feel so relieved. I feel pride for the young men and women who demanded something and got it this week. I feel pride for the older folk who stood up for them. I feel pride for a government team that couldn’t make any right decisions until they made the right decisions. I feel anxious because I know that there are too many more steps between now and a trial, let alone a verdict. I feel fear because I know that there will be more people of color subjected to police brutality in the coming weeks and months.

I am incredibly proud of the young men who I have seen on all of the major networks all week choosing to air their grievances and push-back against the negative narrative in the most magnificent fashion. As I now hear some media personalities (and leaders) pivot toward calls for “due process” which is “vital” and that these 6 officers who “absolutely deserve it,” I am grateful that the natural counter to this is, “did Freddie Gray not deserve due process? What about Michael Brown? Eric Garner? Tamir Rice? Trayvon Martin?”

One young man, Jay Morrison, was on CNN sometime mid-day today, and he said, “what about the young people who were in the streets on Monday? Did they not deserve due process before ya’ll started getting on TV and calling them thugs and other names? Yet nobody has gotten on tv to say a critical word about the cops.” The reporter was like, “due process is how the system works, is it not?” And what Jay SHOULD have said was, “the system works for some. The system works for you, the system is working for these 6 police officers, but the system did not work for the Freddie or any of the other litany of Black men you’ve seen dead on the news lately. The fact that the system works for some and not all is the reason why the young people of Baltimore are on the street right now.”

But Jay was on national television and, I suspect, wasn’t trying to get all ’bout it with this annoying little pissant reporter on CNN. Note to pissant CNN reporter: was this debate team or an interview with a youth on television? Do you feel better about yourself now? This is why Jon Stewart skewers you fools every night.

Anyway… Jay was on point. There are a lot of young leaders on the streets of Baltimore like Jay right now who are on point. May they continue to do good, strong things for their streets, their neighborhoods, their city and, ultimately, the great state of Maryland.

It is frustrating to have life so disrupted seemingly once a week over the last 36 months to mourn a life, to fear for the lives of others, to feel anger at a system that was built against us, and to shield one’s self from the barrage of ignorance that comes in from the other side. We say, “stop killing us,” they say, “stop complaining” or “pull yourselves up. We did!” or “you deserve it.” I look at my sons and I say, “you can do anything in this world,” and but in my heart I pray, “please Lord, let me keep them out of the system. Let me get past 18. Let me keep them out of the places where they will be hunted for sport.”

It is difficult to feel like you are accomplishing anything when life is disrupted with such frequency and in such an intense way. I lost a week of my life: watching the news, debating with people, worrying and waiting, wondering what happens next. I did things, yes, and I functioned, yes, but there is nothing about this week that progressed my life anywhere. How many others feel that way this week, I wonder? The sun rose and fell, but Lord, how much forward did we move?

My in-laws will be here for 24 hours starting first thing in the morning (I will be counting down the minutes until noon when I can start drinking). Enough time for them to make asses of themselves and for me to get a Monday post out of it? Probably. We’ll see. Real Quiet Thoughts next Friday, for sure. In the meantime, find a sunny spot, a good book, and a favorite brew and allow some time to pass. Give a smile to a person as you walk by and even a “hello” if you can muster. Make a person lunch this weekend, delivered with flair for an extra bonus. Purchase a small something and leave it, anonymously, for someone in your life to put a smile on their face. If you’re wrong, say you’re sorry. If you’re in love, tell a person so. Hug and be hugged. Maybe give a kiss on the cheek, too.

Until Monday, take care.

O Christmas Tree….

 

My mind was on thumb gussets and filling my printer with more paper so that I can print my second pattern for a gift I’m giving a friend. I sat here and stared at email first because I’m a Millennial and it’s been a long day already.

Then came the sound akin to a great rumbling/tumbling and glass shattering. Think of something you’ve heard in any good slap-stick comedy where a fat man falls out of a chair and knocks over everything on the finely set dinner table. I thought that one of the boys had fallen out of their chair and knocked over their apple-juice cup  and peanut butter and jelly all over the place. I threw the keyboard out of my hands, I was at the stairs within a heartbeat and I flew down them while listening for what I thought would be the pained cry of a toddler. Instead, I found this:

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Tree down! Tree down!

Where are the babies?

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Staring at the television. Odd Squad is on.

“Um, Mommy, I think that the tree fell,” Ursa Major said.

Thank you, Jesus, for babies not being under the tree.

“What were you doing before the tree fell?”

Major shrugs. “Nothing.”

“Ok, where were you when the tree fell?”

He points to the television stand. “Over here, watching Odd Squad.”

I believe him. If he’d been messing with it, he’d either a) be under the tree or b) acting scared shitless and hiding. He’s usually good at telegraphing when he’s dong something really bad.

Babies not under the tree, next assessment: broken glass?

Nope, just broken ceramic clay.

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Ursa Minor’s handprint from when he was six months old. 😦 One of my more precious ones. I’m very sad, but I have more that aren’t as good of a print… at least there is something, though.

We have a small collection of White House ornaments that are fragile and precious. They, thankfully, are not broken. None of the other ornaments are broken. Just that one. 😦

Now what? Now, I gotta pick up this tree.

And it’s surprisingly heavy. Not too heavy, but heavy enough.

I get it back up, it tips and wobbles. I lean it against the window between the living room and the playroom while I try to look under at the stand. Getting down, I realize that a gallon of water has spilled onto my 100 year-old hardwood ( that hasn’t been treated in forever) floor. Nice. Some has soaked into the rug, but not all (that is actually not a good thing at all…)

It tips and falls again.

No babies under it, again. Thank you, Jesus and all the angels!

I lift it again. It’s stable against the wall. I get down on my hands and knees to look at the stand. The stand is intact. The tree trunk in it is askew. The only person who put that thing in the stand and tightened all the screws is The Husband. Of course, this is the second stand that we’ve purchased and it was super cheep and I told that man to get to LL Bean and–

Look, the golden car isn’t on the tree!” 

I did just thank you, didn’t I, Jesus?

“Time for up, up, up! We need to go to bed!”

Screams and wails.

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So yeah, this is my living room…

I have to clean it before babies wake up from the nap they aren’t having.

And then get back to thumb gussets.

And that other pattern that I need to start today.

Did I mention that I was parent helper at school today? I’ve written not a single word of fiction… and the Christmas cards are only barely started…

Lord, give me the strength.

[Bloggy Fail] Huh? What?

Photo: My Little Sous Chef at school today, doin’ it up big with some playdough.  The preschool classes with the “big kids” is quite involved indeed! But Ursa Major is fitting right in, making new friends, and falling in love with his teachers. I wish, though, that I had more time to spend with him while I am parent-helping. Instead, I’m on major cleanup duties! My back hurts. For seriously.

 

I’ve been up since 5:20 this morning… because obviously I had to bake two loaves of brioche. And 12 pumpkin muffins.

I took a total of four loaves of bread to school this morning (3 pumpkin loaves and 1 brioche for a teacher). You see, I was parent helper for Ursa Major’s class. What I learned today is that parent helping with the big kids means more like a straight-up teacher’s aid: I cleaned the kitchen and eating areas, prepped snack and put it in prepared bowls, scrubbed the bathroom, watched the kids, served snack to 20 children over an hour’s time, cleaned up after snack, took out the trash, and then got to play with my son for a total of about 15 minutes before it was time to go home! Phew!! What an education!

And then I spent another 2 hours on the playground for a spontaneous playdate with a mom and schoolmate who we all like. Much climbing and screaming, much talking and carrying on…

But Lord if I haven’t learned why all of these suburban moms are so skinny! I have been hustling all week on this new preschool schedule! My brain is, at this point, mush. I have Quiet Thoughts, and I tried three times to write them… but they came out as inarticulate garble. Garble, I tells yah!

So I’m throwing in the towel. I have to cook dinner with what little energy I have left. It’s going to be amazing, though–Spanish Rice with ground beef and eggs–I found it in this month’s Martha Stewart Living. (yeah, I subscribe, what of it? Are you really surprised?)  I’m tellin’ you right now that I’m going to dabble with it. This is screaming for chorizo! And Turmeric. And cumin. And oregano. And a touch of chili powder… And I am out of Worcestershire sauce and I’m no so sure that that is the best for this dish anyway… Basically, I’m inspired by the dish, but not how Martha wants me to make it. Soooo I’ll be rebelling a little bit.

Even though my thoughts aren’t quiet and quite abbreviated, I still have wishes. Especially because it’s an extra chilly day in Massachusetts today. At least the sun is shining. 🙂

I wish you sleep this weekend, dear reader. Seriously good sleep. The kind where you sleep, wake up, roll over, and then get a good sleep going again. I wish you the time and space to do that without remorse! When you get up, I wish you good breakfast. Whatever your favorite it: pancakes, french toast, waffles, eggs benedict… whatever your heart desires. I hope it is made for you by loving and skilled hands (or by your own if you are a great cook) and that you savor it as you did as a child, with a little bit of reverence and not a single ounce of guilt. I wish you a stroll on a sunny day, outside among the emerging colors and early falling leaves. I wish you some apple cider, preferably from a local vendor, fresh and full of that good Fall flavor. Bonus points if it’s warm. Extra bonus points if you put a cinnamon stick in it! I wish you the smell of burning wood (safely burned!) in the crisp evening air. I wish you a smile from a stranger. Maybe a hello, too. And I wish you some sort of inspiration, bonus points if it’s from a totally unexpected place. Extra bonus points if it is given to you by a person, and just the pick-me-up you’ve been looking for.

And lend some to me, because I need some. I’m never going to get this novel written! Never!

And some coffee, for goodness sake! I hope I don’t fall asleep at the cutting board!

Tomorrow marks 7 days ’til I’m 30! What?? Gotta put in a full week of good posts before I’m over the hill and my mind really starts slipping!

Until Monday, take care!