Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Day of '06

Admittedly, New Year's Eve is not one of my favorite days of the year. But I am trying to get into into the holiday spirit with my sparkling cider while making my beef tenderloin Crostini for tonight's soiree which I hope finds me still awake at the appointed time. I fell asleep early after another nice party last night, only to combat insomnia from 3-5 by watching infomercials.

I also don't usually do the resolution thing, but this year finds me setting out some goals out of necessity rather than by the turn of the calendar page. I was also rather fond of 2006, so to bid it farewell by cleaning something or giving up a food pleasure is really not apropos. So, I will spare you my entire list of pointless epiphanies, but only record 3 in the blogosphere which should do wonders to bore you all senseless. In no particular order, I have given up my daily allowance of Coca-Cola, decided to reorganize the entire house and to take more pictures. And I also just placed a huge Amazon.com order lining up my reading selections for the next couple of months. Seemingly meaningless, these things will improve my spiritual being tremendously I believe.

Tomorrow, the boys are off to some snack food-inspired Bowl game that lasts most of New Year's Day, so Amy and I are going to begin the de-decorating process and make fondue for dinner.

Wishing you a very wonderful 2007.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

6 Months and 6 pounds

I just returned from the six month check-up. Everything is fine...except I gained a tad more this month than my previous boasts.

In my defense--which I didn't voice to the scale Nazi--my activity/exercise level has been considerably diminished due to the tsunami size contractions that occur whenever I walk more than 5 paces.

I also failed to calculate that last glass of eggnog and plate of German Twists would go on this month's total and not January's thighs.

Damned new math.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Recap

Digging...my...way...to...the...computer...

I'm dragging this fine Day After. Full Day After fun, family and food. We feasted on all things to excess, and today we make paths through the chaos. Highlights from the day included the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that was my Tickle Me Elmo for 2006, the video iPod for Stevie, and Matty's wrestling game. I received many a pineapple-wrapped package from Williams Sonoma including an entire new set of cookware that cost more than our first house. One 8" saute pan weighs more than our first born. They are so beautiful...

Grandpa and the Aunt and Uncle took in the scene bravely. I was proud that they didn't turn around and leave when they saw our living room after Christmas morning and a new puppy. I fed them prime rib, Yorkshire pudding and German Twists, so that persuaded them to stay much longer than I thought. It was nice. We finished the day like all Christmases should end; full and exhausted in the hot tub under the December stars.

Merry Christmas, all.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Xmas Eve Eve Eve

Yesterday was one of the nicest days I can remember in a long time...

It was the boys' first day off of school, and I had visions of everyone sleeping in late. Unfortunately, we were all up earlier than usual, but the morning was fairly busy so I guess it was ok. Because by the time the afternoon rolled in, I was done with all of my errands and shopping for Christmas. *do victory dance*.

I had a carpet cleaning scheduled (thanks, Jingle) so when the guys showed up, we were knee deep into the gingerbread house made from Graham cracker Witch Project, which is particularly messy. The kiids were all assembled around the table in the midst of gumdrops and sprinkles--even Amy--and Jingle was catching half of the scraps beneath while my pregnant belly was catching the rest. The phone was ringing with good news that my great neice had been born, and the TV was blaring the princesses Christmas on a continuous loop since last Tuesday. Cricket slept through the whole thing.

Oh Observant Stanley Steemer man said, "Boy, you sure have a lot going on here, don't you?"

Ya think?

But after they and their penchant for the obvious left, we curled up on the couch and watched movies, spoke to old friends on the phone, made a big pasta dinner, and I slept more soundly than I had in weeks.

Christmas Eve Eve Eve was pretty great.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Just to prove I am true to my blog word...

Twisting the day away

Well, the first step in the German Twist marathon cookie project is underway. But Trace, what about the baking embargo you promised us? We were happy to hear that you wouldn't be bitching about cookie sheets for at least 2 weeks?! And now we hear that not only are you hovering around the stand mixer, but you are choosing the most challenging and time-consuming culinary wonder as the German Twist? Why, Trace? Why???

I guess you didn't read the escape clause of the embargo which states that if 90 year old grandfather is going to be spending Christmas Day with you for the first time in 15 years like every Christmas Day of your youth, then you may approach the oven again with the oldest family recipe you have that will warm his belly and his heart.

I'll let you know how they come out when they are done on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mail call

Regular readers of this blog of idiocy will instantly know everytime they check the mailbox and see the stack of Christmas cards in their mailboxes and the one from our family conspiculously not among them that the reason for this seeming slight is not because I have forgotten you, but because the freaking photo of my children that did not materialize like the ghost of Ansel Adams on the card until, oh, I don't know...say the 15th or so? That means Shutterfly.com--the official sponsor of the Divacard--is in a rush mode (I hope) to get it out to me post-haste so I can afix the pre-purchased stamps and enclose the first annual Christmas letter on annoyingly blinding red paper because when you wait until the 19th to buy Christmas stationary, your choices are limited to leftover pumpkins and easter eggs.

That was a long-winded way of saying the card is coming, if you want holiday snail mail from moi (again, regular readers will know my French reference is more than a cute colloquialism) then email me your address and you too will receive pictures of my kids Photo-shopped around a yule log.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Nomenclature Alert and Purposely Vague Update

OK, "Vanilla" just had one too many syllables for a puppy's name...it's too linguistically complicated to shout, "Goddammit Vanilla!" every time she squats in a corner. So we changed it to, "Jingle."

*****

It's an exciting day here in Divaland. "But Trace, we know you. It's rarely exciting there and especially on Mondays because we know it's laundry day, and you spend 8 am until midnight washing, drying, folding and putting away so you don't have to do it again for the week." Ordinarily, you'd be right, but today in between loads, I have a conference call. It's not too often I get to use those two words in a sentence next to eachother like that anyway, but it just so happens that this call is with a certain network that is affiliated with a huge media mogul that can catapult literary careers into the stratosphere...

I'm just sayin'.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Vanilla

Well, the puppy finally has a name. It is "Vanilla," which is Latin for "shitbox."

I have never seen a creature defecate so much and often. I just walk behind her with a roll of paper towel and bleach. Cricket, the 14 year old black lab, is laughing at me. She's giggling dog giggles and shaking her head in reproach. "See? No good can come of this. I told you, you stupid, stupid human."

I agree.

This morning was a little prayer service at school. Matty played Jesus, and I was not the only one who wondered at the logic behind choosing the first grade class clown as the Messiah. Tonight is the big Christmas pageant, followed by a dumping of the yuletide scrubbed kids with the babysitter, and the rest of the evening spent at the company Christmas party at the beach. In the next couple of hours, I am going to attempt to paint my toenails red for the occasion.

It's going to take me that long to reach them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Something I've always wanted to say, but never believed I'd actually have the opportunity:

...Suburban Diva is very popular in Europe right now.

(Don't ask me to explain how or why the above statement is true, because honestly, it baffles me into a speechless stupor, and please don't ask me to quantify 'very' either, because it is probably just one French guy in his Mom's basement that has an American housewife fetish, but I just like to imagine repeating that sentence over a steaming cup of black coffee that has just been poured from a samovar at a bistro table on a sidewalk with a poodle at my high-heeled feet.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Because we are insane...

...we added this little furry branch to the family tree...




We "saved" her from some unspeakable other loving family torture, I'm sure. It was getting too quiet around here...

Thank you all for coming yesterday and supporting the boy's home once again this year. It was a great party for a great cause, and we really appreciate everything you do for these special boys.

I have to go collapse now.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cookie Embargo

You all know me cyberly-well enough by now to know that I really do love Christmas. The whole crazy, sparkling, nostalgic, frantic package tied up with tinsel. But if I had to choose--say an anti-Santa was holding a --2 elements of the season that can send me over the edge of sanity, I would choose the Christmas picture and baking cookies as my least favorite yuletide tasks.

I don't know why Amy hates to be photographed, but she does. SHe can be a Lladro statue of beauty one minute, and the minute she hears the chime of the digital camera turn on, she's suing the tabloid papparazzi and pulling a pair of Jackie O. sunglasses from her diaper. Her ten word vocabulary includes, "no comment." But every night I subject us all to getting a photo for the Christmas card. And every night I get 10 blurred curl shots or pictures of the boys being perfect and Amy's leg as she runs out of the frame. I don't know why, but this is something stuck in my maternal craw as the definition of a good or horrendous mother, of which I need no more evidence of the latter.

So I'm giving up baking. Oh, I'll cook. I'll roast. I'll flambe and I'll broil. I'll saute, pan-sear, grill and braise. But if it involves the oven and a can of Crisco, I'm not doing it.

Happy weekend everyone, it's going to be a busy one around here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Doling out gifts

You know how I usually relish my Tuesday Night Out, but lately since I have the stamina of Bob Dole in the 80's, it's not as satisfying as it once was. But Lord help me, I needed last night so badly--sort of like Elizabeth Dole needed prescription insurance in the 90's.

I shopped, (really, I am almost done) and even managed to pick up a little something for myself. A beautiful Christmas CD from Sarah McLachlan, Wintersong. Might I suggest, "Song for a Winter's Night," if you feel like weeping copiously in the Publix parking lot?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

And the list goes on

Well, it's a few days of solo Christmas cheer as Sean is away for baseball meetings or some such thing. So we made him pick out the tree at 9:00 last night and set it up by midnight so as not to fall behind on yuletide preparations. Amy is helping by adding new words like "Rudolph," and "Mickey," the toddler ambassadors of Jesus' birth. Matty is on that Advent calendar like Father Time, while Stevie is adding entry after entry to the social calendar quite generously. If I could get one blessed photo of all 3 of them doing any of these activities, I would be on track.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

In the name of the Father,

It's not always easy being a Catholic school Mom during Advent...

Like many of you reading this, I sent my son off today in his makeshift saint costume that we waited until the last minute to complete. Stevie did his report on Pope John Paul II.

Since he was considered the "people's pope," (as well as an 8 language linguist and stellar soccer player, things I learned "helping") I am hoping that His Holiness will forgive his likeness as a table cloth, an old bridesmaid's wrap and Amy's beanie fleece cap serving as his vestments.

My apologies to the Holy Father.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

You're a Seasick Crocodile

I am currently lunching on some amazing Lebanese food that my friend's mother in-law deliciously donated to the Oscar Fetal Weight fund. However, I can't deny that I have a craving for the last can of Who-hash and a slice of roast beast after listening to How the Grinch Stole Christmas 177 times in the car DVD player since Wednesday.

Let this craving not be confused with a 3 decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce that is also mentioned in the film.

(I am 75% done with the shopping, my friends...)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pot roast and ultrasounds

Sorry to worry everyone--Oscar and I are fine. A little visit to Atlanta's finest women's hospital confirmed 3 very important things: 1) Oscar is healthy. 2) The contractions didn't do anything this time to progress labor. (Which, as an aside, I paid extra not to go through, remember?) 3) I will eat anything, including hospital pot roast and warm fruit cocktail. Oh yeah, and 4) No more long car trips until the summer of 2007.

So let's throw out some other little tidbits just to lighten the mood, shall we? We could all use a good laugh I'm sure.

*Sean is getting a bucket truck this weekend to put up our Christmas lights. I'm going to be standing (nay, sitting or lying down per doctor's orders) with a camera and a pen writing my next column.

*My doctor just told me to "Listen to my cervix." Hmmmm...Shhhh..let's try to make out what she's saying...I hate you, you fertile bitch. Yep, that's the exact translation.

*Another piece of medical wisdom I got today was that I was doing really well on the weight gain. Only 1/2 of an ounce since last time. I'm on track to fall in the 15-25 pounds total goal. Now the funny part--it's not even December 1 which means Christmas cookies have not been baked and I'm only in month 5. OK, stop laughing now. That egg nog is going to come out of your nose.

*And the biggest joke of all? Bed rest. At Christmas. With 3 kids.

I slay me.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bed rest

Well, this isn't the Thanksgiving weekend I had in mind.

I'm lying prone in an atlanta hotel waiting for the contractions to stop. I've pretty much destroyed the entire nuclear and extended family's big plans, and now I just wait and watch the clock timing them. This sucks so much, but I guess giving birth at the Hawks game would have sucked more.

I'm going to read my book now--I hope everyone else is enjoying the holiday weekend.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving

Well, my pretties, we're loading up and heading out early in the morning for a Thanksgiving north. Stevie and Amy both have colds, Matty is getting over his impetigo and I'm having some pre-contractions so the ride should be perfect :). Maybe Sean could have an allergic reaction just to make it a complete family holiday.

Naw, kidding. I am looking forward to this holiday. I hope you all have a very wonderful one as well.

Poll question: Favorite Thanksgiving Food? Mine is pumpkin pie.

Quick Post

Hey--if you are around the tv today, check out the Montel Williams Show. We think NewBaby.com is going to get a national mention.

How cool!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Come Monday

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. What could be better than a day dedicated to giving thanks over food and football? Not much in my book.

Since we will be traveling for the holiday, we had a pre-Thanksgiving dinner yesterday with some friends. Very nice day. I am on the third load of dishes with the fourth in the sink waiting since I must use every dish in the house when I make a big meal. The kids are off and it is a freezing cold day so we're huddled around the dishwasher and washing machine in our sweatshirts with hot tea and leftovers.

A perfect Monday if you ask me.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Here I go again

I know I bitch a lot about maternity clothes--and I'm about to do it yet again--but I really do try to help myself every once in a while.

After a recent tragic purchase of a black maternity velour jogging suit which rendered me akin to a beached seal (please someone club me), I decided that there had to be something cooler out there in cyber space. So I went online shopping today and found this cute little maternity boutique that I thought looked promising.

I wasn't put off, er...much, by the pregnancy belly rings; I took out out mine when I was with Amy, but perhaps some women would only want to go through that initial piercing once and therefore keep theirs in all nine months, so who am I to judge? I guess. Anyway, there were a few hip items--relatively speaking--and I even ordered a pair of jeans and a top. However, amongst my rock star wardrobe choices were some rather tastless T-shirts that I wondered who in the hell would order? Bold illustrations of a fetus attached to an umbilical cord. The "Got Milk?" visual. And then, my particular favorite, "Laid down, knocked up." I pictured myself wearing that at the next Catholic school elementary meeting with the kids asking,
"what does that mean, Mommy?" Nice.

Is there a happy medium in between Amish school marm and pole-dancing whore?

Oy.


*************

Today was the last day of school. Oh happy day. A whole week off from packing lunches and waking up early. I am going to sleep like the dead, my friends. I hope you do, too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Deadlines, schmedlines

You know, not reading anything but recipes for the last couple of months has made my job as a book reviewer needlessly impossible. This month's column (that's already a day late) is being created from suggestions from friends, really old reads, and thin air.

Maybe I'll get a good book or 2 for Christmas.

Hint.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I second that

I wonder if it's too soon to begin maternity leave for these HOA meetings that can try the patience of Job.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz

I bought a new Mercedes Friday night. I had that new Mercedes stolen less than two hours later.

It was a silver convertible—a two-seater. It would have gotten really great gas mileage, and I only paid $425 for it.

Maybe I should back up. The car in question was a “Baby Benz”—a toy car that I pictured Amy’s curly head sticking out of the top of. I thought would make a great Christmas present when I made my first bid for it at a silent auction charity event we attended on Friday.

I normally don’t spend that much money on auction items, nor do I usually have in interest in anything offered. I find myself making a choice between paying over $100 for a fifty dollar gift certificate to a restaurant I’ve never heard of, or tickets to the Monday matinee of “Oklahoma” at the condemned community theater. “But it’s for a good cause,” I say to appease myself.

The Mercedes was a popular item. More than a few put their name down throughout the evening, and I had to stand sentry several times in increments of $25.

After a few passes of the mini beef Wellingtons trays, my friend put down my name one last time before the bidding was closed, and the Mercedes was mine! Or Amy’s, actually. But it was for a good cause.

I happily plopped my credit card down to purchase the item I had won. Sean helpfully reminded me that the very act of swiping the Amex meant I didn’t “win,” I “bought.”

But it’s for a good cause.

During dinner, we watched a heart-wrenching video about pediatric cancer patients—the cause we were there to support. It really does make you thankful for the blessing of good health when you think about how many who aren’t as lucky. The live auction commenced over Key Lime pie, and Sean held my hand under the table—not out of affection, but to hold my paddle down. We escaped a bidding war for an abstract of John Lennon that went for 20K. My $425 Mercedes was beginning to look like the bargain of the century.

Unfortunately for me, the options on the Baby Benz included a sippy cup holder in place of a Lojack. Because when I went to retrieve the paid car with a receipt, panic overtook the auction staff. It could not be found.

After a brief investigation, it turns out some bitch unabashedly carjacked my Benz. Walked out with assistance, had valet load it into her Benz; knowing full well the entire time that not only did she not pay for it, but she was stealing from kids with cancer.

There is a special place in hell for people like that.

And I don't even feel bad about damning someone there because it's for a good cause.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Do I ever shut up? Ever?

As if I don't have enough blogging going on...I added another one.

This one is different though, I swear. First off, it's more pregnancy related--as if you really want to hear my daily thoughts on that subject--but they are banking on the fact that you (or someone else) will.

So if you really are bored; have already read everything on your nightstand including the bottled water label, then you can read more here. And if you find yourself in the family way (or still have a young one or two) sign up on the site and we can blog together....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just say no

My 5th grader had his D.A.R.E. graduation this morning.

Now I am all for drug prevention and awareness and the like--fond of this program I will add--but I couldn't help but wonder how an 11 year old "graduates" from such a thing. Were they going to dip their urine? Blood draws? Field sobriety tests? Perhaps they were going to import gang members from the city and tempt them with an 8 ball of crack? I truly was perplexed over the matter.

Turns out it was just an excuse to read essays and eat donuts.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hey, remember me?

OK, I admit it--a weakness, a flaw, an Achilles hormone. I've been so blue for the last week, that I've been miserable company. Just down, which I know can be easily attributed to hormones and the like, but that explanation made me even more depressed because it was either such a cliche, or such a helpless admission.

Anyway, there have been a few bright spots over the week that has saved me from total meltdown into the ice cream carton.

1) Amy passed her hearing screening with flying colors. The first time. She's also been mimicking words--something she's never done before--and she's actually trying to sing. This may not seem like a big deal, but she's never done that because she's never heard music properly. Or at least she's never enjoyed it. So that's pretty big.

2)Stevie's party was a big success on Saturday. Everyone had a great time, and there were no claims on the homeowner's insurance, so I claim victory.

3) Through my reluctant sobriety, I have become much more in tune with my inner gambler. I am one of the last contenders in the football pool.

4) My new job starts soon, and in addition to a nice contribution to the family RV fund, they think I'm a big Internet star and are sort of courting me as such.

5) I heard the baby's heartbeat today for the first time, and that is another sweet sound. (I also have only gained 2 pounds, and that makes me irrationally proud. And before you say a word--I am as healthy as a horse, I just won't weigh as much as one.)

6) I never thought midterm elections would please me as much as they have. I am brimming today with patriotism as I await the word from Montana and Virginia, but the ousting of Rumsfeld a few short moments ago might suffice to bring me to total nirvana.

I'm coming back; slowly and with a new waddle to my step, but back nonetheless.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Birthday Stevie!

It is difficult to believe that 11 years ago today would be the last day that I slept the entire night through.

Even more unbelievable is that I will have an 11 1/2 year old and a newborn at the same time...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

I love this day.

The chili just started on the stove--our traditional Halloween feast despite being a balmy 87 degrees--and the candy bowl has been restocked and we're just waiting on the boys to come home from school.

Speaking of the boys, I realized this morning that I don't do that often enough, and they are pretty great. Amy has taken up a lot of the attention around here, but they are so great with her that I am continually amazed by their genuine kindness. The delight in every new word, provide endless encouragement and have never uttered a complaint or a frustration when having to figure out what she wants which isn't always easy. They are true blessings.

So, after that mush-fest, Happy Halloween, all.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Miscellany in pictures

1.) I don't know if our "Halloween in Florida" theme complete with "Bone de Soleil" suntan lotion was enough to sway the judges when parked two Hummers down was our favorite ex-rocker in full pirate regalia.




2.) The boys had a good time, though.



3.) Even Amy found a costume since she wouldn't wear the one I brought.


4.) Congratulations to all of you bums who are Cardinal fans. I hate you.

5.) Um, there were several of you that I dined with last night who let me leave the restaurant looking like this:



I realize that after 4 hours of Trick or Treating in a sandy parking lot, 37 pounds of melting candy, veal picatta and a one-handed attempt at lip gloss with a 3 year old in your lap does not lead to my best appearance...But hells bells ladies! I looked like a dirty table cloth. You might have at least thrown a napkin over me or sprayed a little Shout on my neck. Jeesh.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Today

Well, despite the hay and raffia embargo in the greater Tampa area, I have managed to concoct some sort of scarecrow from a lot of yarn and duct tape. It ain't pretty, folks, but it'll have to do. I also pulled an Indian buckskin vest from my ass, so at least they will be dressed for a picture or two before they strip down because it will be 850 degrees in the parking lot this afternoon.

But if I really pull it together in the next 6 hours, the crowning Halloween achievement will be a championship trunk decoration and some killer appetizers in which I sculpt a skull from cream cheese.

It's not much of a life, but at least it's mine.


Thinking of you today through pumpkins and Snickers bars, Mom.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's me who is scary

If Halloween actually fell on Halloween this year, I'd be ready. But instead, it falls tomorrow when we have our annual Trunk or Treat event at the school. You decorate your trunk, and the kids go treating through the parking lot. I really enjoy it, but I've expended most of my creative energies on the trunk theme so I can win whatever prize I'll never use, so the boys' costumes are only half done. Which means Matty's Indian costume will have to be a loin cloth and Stevie the Scarecrow will end up being a crow. Or just a scare, since his mother has lost her brain.

(I'll post pictures.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Big Day

The only benefit to Amy not speaking yet, is when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner I heard her distinctly say, "Pork medallions encrusted with mustard seeds with a red wine sauce." So that's what we had.

The cake was not homemade.


I bet she wished she didn't have pork medallions encrusted with mustard seeds with red wine sauce for her 3 year old birthday dinner.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kung Fu Fighting

I will sum up the weekend by confessing that Sean and I almost were arrested for felonious assaults. He almost killed a man who gave us the wrong directions to the hotel on Friday night contributing to the normal 90 minute drive to be an 8 hour excursion into the mean streets of Orlando and I almost went to blows over a pint of milk at Mickey's Toon Town.

But instead we used the bail money to buy swords from Pirates of the Caribbean and the Little Mermaid DVD.

Happy Birthday Amy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

TGIF,S and S

To celebrate Amy's 3rd birthday and to assuage my maternal guilt over her next few weeks of doctors, tests, evaluations and other invasive humiliations, we're off to Disney World this weekend. It's the last 2 day in stretch before Martin Luther King Day that we don't have plans. Next week's Halloween festivities--it has now become a week long festival rather than just one evening of Trick or Treating--will be busy, but there still is a slight chance in the cosmos that we will be dumping those responsibilities on our good friends and running off to St. Louis for a wedding/World Series junket....

I guess that will be determined if we have any money left after dinner at the Polynesian resort.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stupid is what stupid cooks

After noticing the two side effects of my condition--one being I am losing brain cells at a rapid pace now and can't remember my own name most of the time--and second, my new habit, nay obsession with cooking, Sean asked if I was nesting.

"Only in the kitchen so don't expect any miracles in the rest of the house," I answered over a saucepan of Bernaise sauce.

"Don't get me wrong, I am certainly not complaining," he said, shoveling a forkful of rosemary (yes, but I planted a ton of other herbs a couple of weeks ago in the courtyard) and garlic roasted potatoes in his mouth.

"So you won't care if I am stupid as long as I am stupid over a pan of asparagus tips?"

His non-answer was my answer.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Weekend Report (Because I know how much you care about these mundane details)

Some weekends earn their reputation for fun.

The boys all traveled to Miami for the Lightning game on Friday, so I went to Bunko, which is always a good time. Even sober. Even when I lose. Which I usually do.

We all took in the hockey game on Saturday, and they won, which makes the evening even better. Amy even enjoyed it. The air horns were louder for her than last year, but she didn't cry and stayed content with the bucket of popcorn in our laps.

Yesterday, we took in the Buc's game, which I hardly care about, but the weather was so perfect, it was nice to be outside, if you count the open windows of the suite to be outside. When we got home, we took the kids down to Main Street--what a cute little hamlet Safety Harbor is becoming--to eat at the new restaurant and ice cream parlor and take a walk on the pier. It was just nice.

This is a big week for birthdays and the preparation for even more in the coming weeks. I have to figure out how to sew WWE costumes for the boys and bake a Spongebob cake for Amy. Woot.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Do you want fries with that?

I worked lunch room duty today, and not one kid asked me for my autograph.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dread

Not that I have any concrete proof, or, for that matter, any reason whatsoever to believe anything other than the normal boring evening is in store for me, but...

I feel like the swim and tennis center that normally houses the HOA meeting I am hired to cover may be my slaughterhouse tonight.

In fact, I am so neurotic that I already have an entire scenario played out in my warped mind where the normal glares they cast at me are followed by accusations and an ugly confrontation. One demands that I answer impossible allegations. Another demands a retraction and my resignation. Yet another throws me out and calls for a tar and feathering. One makes a motion for a restraining order against me keeping me from a 10 mile radius of the community limits. They put my caricature up on the telephone poles and alert the authorities of my license plate number. (Someone even throws a mythical bottle of water that is only half-filled with the label peeled off, and shouts, I knew Bob Woodward! Bob Woodward was a good friend of mine! And you, sir, are no Bob Woodward! )

Paranoid hormones, perhaps. Or maybe I am just taking this way too seriously.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Jambalaya Cocktail, Jamabalaya Scampi

The best part of cooking like a crazy person all week long, is the crazy amount of leftovers there are tonight while we sit back and watch the Lightning on our new billboard size High Def TV.

After jambalaya omelets for breakfast, jambalaya wraps for lunch, and now jambalaya once again for dinner...leftover night officially ends soon.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Brush with fame

Stevie: Mom, do you know who the band, "Cheap Trick" is?

Me:Mind immediately propelled backward to the summer of '93 when they toured with AC/DC and I was selling their trademark black bandanas from a stand next to the stage to the melody of I want you to want me...

Yeah, I've heard of them.

Stevie: Well, I got the lead singer's autograph at lunch today.

Me:Wondering if he performed an impromptu concert over sloppy joes How did you know it was him?

Stevie: He had a sticker name tag on and long hair. He had lunch duty today.

Me:Every teenaged fantasy of black leather pants and whiskey replaced by image of aging rock star in a hair net and Salisbury steak.

I am so freaking old.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mile High Club

Well, not really, but I am pretty aroused over my latest stroke of luck...9 airports have just agreed to carry my book baby! Wooohoooo! I could be in carry-ons across the country shortly.

I suddenly love to fly.

Good appointment

We went to the follow-up appointment this morning for Amy's surgery--she now has lots of air traveling over those eardrums. They said the normal space for that cavity that the adenoids are located measures about 1 cm. Her adenoids measured almost 3...she is breathing and hearing a lot more comfortably without them.

We will follow up with a more extensive hearing test in the next few weeks, and her throat is taking a bit longer to heal, but things are looking very good and healthy at this point. While she has yet to start speaking in long missives, she has started caling me "Daddeee," which is light years ahead of the sign language of a week ago.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Rosemary

I'm staring at about 400 bushels of fresh rosemary in the laundry room.

The original purpose of so much of this herb was that they were in the shape of little Christmas trees last December when we replanted the front landscaping. Over the course of the summer, they have grown from cute topiaries, to a massive flowing forty acre field. And while I love a rosemary-crusted rack of lamb as much as the next gal, I would have to slaughter Old McDonald's farm to use up a fraction of what I have just harvested.

So unless you have an ingenious use that I haven't thought of, here is the plan:

1) Rosemary-infused olive oil and vinegar.

2) Rosemary soap (although I have no idea how to make such a thing.)

3) Wreaths.

4) I've got nothing after that.

Maybe I'll just have to roll them and settle for rosemary cigarettes rather than cloves.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I must be feeling better

I spent about 3 hours yesterday making chicken empenadas, knowing full well that I was the only one who would appreciate the laborous process these take. Then I spent the next 3 hours reading--something I have not been able to enjoy for two long, quiet months.

At midnight, I put down my book and ate another cold empanada straight from the fridge and it was the single most delcious thing I have ever tasted.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hit me



Despite not drinking a drop, I still had to drag myself through the rest of the weekend feeling as though I frequented that open bar on Friday. But we all had a great time. (I had battery issues with my camera, so this is the best I could do for a photo, courtesy of Sue.)


We ended up spending most of our gambling time at #17's table. I managed to keep my fan adoration in check, not bringing it to the attention of my table mates that we were in the presence of Stanley Cup greatness--this being the player that scored the winning (and only) two goals in game 7 against Calgary on June 7, 2004....He was as charming and gracious at the tables as on the ice.

Today we're getting a late start, Amy was up all night again. I have to get to the grocery store despite going at least 3 times that I can recall this week, we are out of absolutely everything. This will give me a chance to shop for dinner items for tonight as Sean returns and I think I'm going to treat him to a feast courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa that I've watched all week for some odd reason.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's the little things that keep me going

I don't smoke. I never have, and I've never been tempted.

And yet...

After a day such as this, I wish I could adjust the outdoor temperature to about 65 degrees, pull on an old pair of faded jeans before I walked barefoot into a field of soft Vermont grass and take a long drag on a clove cigarette while I macrame-ed a belt.

RSVP

I had a millisecond of warm fuzzies after all of the generous invitations to spend tomorrow night's extravagant party with so many friends since Sean will be out of town.

Then I realized that they just wanted a designated driver.

Bitches.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Long days

For a child that doesn't speak, Amy sure can tell me to piss off quite clearly.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I said an inch

Imagine my dismay when I tried to make a haircut appointment and was told that Erica no longer was working here. WTF? Nooooooooo!!! I thought what we had was special?!

So after 4 years of Erica's handiwork, I was forced to see another.

And while I reserve final judgment until I see if I can actually replicate this look myself tomorrow, I must say I am not disappointed. Debbie took way more than the inch I requested, but it kind of looks good. All angle-ly and stuff.

You might be surprised that I actually left the house for a couple of hours today, but I did. Amy and I needed a moment or 2 apart to regroup. She's still miserable, but I figure she was going to be miserable with or without me. She slept the entire time.

But I did find a great dress for Friday night's extravaganza before ending my Tuesday with the obligatory trip to Target. I didn't buy the dress at Target mind you, just some M&M's and eye makeup remover.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Read this

I know it's not The New Yorker, but I got published (and released!) today.

A Cup of Comfort.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Amy

Baby Diva is resting mostly uncomfortably.

It is too soon to tell what effects this surgery has had on her, but from all accounts it was a success.

I do not have the energy nor inclination to relive Wednesday through blogging, I am just completely relieved it is finally over and we are in the slow healing process. I am very grateful for the prayers and support of all who gave them so generously.

It'll be a quiet weekend around here with Jello and codeine. I'll post something more exciting soon.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

That's Mrs. Corleone to you

There are many times when we get seated at restaurants long before others in line. Every time I visit a certain concert venue, I get personally escorted from my car to my seat with some poor guy forced to talk about Elmo to my children. People show up to the house to fix the A/C or paint or fix something, and they are not accompanied by an invoice.

But personal attention (or graft) at a hospital?

As I am waiting for Amy's blood draw today at her pre-op appointment, a very nice young man approached, "Mrs. Henry?" (Which always throws me for a loop and I quickly look around the room to see if my mother-in-law has entered.)

"Yes?"

"Hi. I'm Bob from the Foundation. Is there anything I can do to make your experience more comfortable?"

And I am wondering what exactly could I request? Donate some plasma? Play wheelchair tag down the hall? Let me blow balloon animals with the latex gloves? I am not sure what he had in mind but I appreciated the effort. Just as he appreciated everything Mr. Henry does for the hospital.

Unbelieveable.

Bob is meeting me at the car door in the morning with Amy's favorite wine and to make sure there are no horse heads in the pediatric ward.

Monday, September 18, 2006

You decide

I managed to remain vertical for much of the day yesterday to enjoy a little football with friends.

So today I'm trying to prepare for this most difficult week. Organizing, laundry, shopping for tonsil-less food stuff--Jello, pudding, popcicles, soup...(sounds like good pregnancy food, too.) As much as I know this is the right thing to do, I am still scared as hell to put her through this. She was snoring like a buzz saw last night, and I thought that soon she won't do that anymore.

So, here's the etiquette question of the day, and I would appreciate thoughts if you have them...The boys were invited to a birthday party by a neighbor, I think the kid is turning 8 or 9 and the invitation read, "Abner Jr. is registered at Toys R Us."

Is this convenient, or the most unmitigated gall you've ever heard of? Because I know my personal feelings on the family are clouding my judgment here.

And in case you are all wondering, I am registered at Walgreen's for Dramamine and bicarbonate of soda.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Day Off

Since I have yet to receive a phone call or email this morning from any of my drunken friends/teachers/blog readers...I trust that you all were wasted last night at the big party and have nasty hangovers on this day off of school. I hope you drank my share, and I apologize for missing it, but I started my hangover early, and spent most of the evening vomitting.

But today has been quiet--the boys are playing nicely, and I think Amy is enjoying people with a little more life than her green mother for a change. They allege they are going to a sleepover tonight so as not to be subjected to Sesame Street Live, which is what I plan on for Amy if I can stay prone that long. We got her furniture yesterday so she finally has her big girl room that she still won't use, but she likes to look at it. Amy needs a little TLC this weekend before her hell week of next.

I have a deadline in a couple of hours that I should concentrate on, but I'm having a tough morning, folks. Hope you all have a better weekend.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Drum roll, please

I guess I have a blognouncement.

Since most of you who read this already know--I've either thrown up in your presence or your kid came home from school and said that Stevie mentioned his mother in Special Intentions at Mass to the entire school--I am indeed expecting.

April is the due month, and yes, I am feeling pretty lousy, thanks for asking. We are very excited for the new baby, but this whole pregnancy thing is not my idea of fun. I am not one of those women who claim to love being pregnant (I think these are the same ones who don't believe in drugs during labor or dyeing their hair. Both of which I will do.) In fact, pregnancy to me is like growing out a bad haircut--sure, it's worth it in the end, but there are a lot of days you still have to leave the house wearing a hat. (I know that doesn't make sense, but I'm losing brain cells by the minute, remember?)

But anyway, I'll probably be posting a column about it today or tomorrow, so I wanted to tell you first. And now you know these stupid Sea-Band bracelets I'm wearing are not for an upcoming Disney cruise or warped fashion statement, but to ward off some of the nausea that I feel every minute of every day.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Remember me?

Today marks my return to the social landscape. For the last few weeks, the only human contact I've had has been with doctor's receptionists, that lady in car line, and the drive thru window guy at McDonald's. But tonight, barring any rogue bout of vertigo, I am actually going to attend our monthly Bunko game.

Please hold your applause until the end.

The real impressive feat will be Dinner Club tomorrow. It has been on a year-long hiatus, and tomorrow night marks its return. Here. With me cooking.

Since I am going to be unwittingly and tragically sober for the event, I have the time and brain cells to dedicate to the actual meal. If things go according to plan--which will also be an impressive feat since the boys are at WWE tonight (the bane of my existence these days) and Sean has a celebrity fishing tournament tomorrow so he can't peel the potatoes--then I will be serving up a most delicious feast. Just to send your tongue a-wagging this early morn, here is the menu:

Appetizers:

~Bleu cheese dip
~Red caviar dip served with crudite
~Mojitos

Salad:

~Red romaine with spiced nuts and a raspberry vinaigrette
~Beer

Entree:

~Green beans with roasted shallots
~Whipped sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans
~Homemade applesauce
~Stuffed pork loin with tarragon dressing
~Wine

Dessert:

~Authentic Flan (I've been craving this like crazy)
~Cappucino Chocolate Cake
~Bailey's


Maybe the guests will be so drunk they won't notice if it sucks.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fixing Amy

It's nothing personal, my dear blog. I neglect you only when words escape me, either because I'm mentally stuck or because I'm just too damned busy to render my pointless thoughts into cyberspace.

This past week has been a combination of both.

This week is filled with doctor's visits for just about everyone in the family, and today is our last one when Stevie finally gets his cast off. Yesterday, we fixed Amy though.

OK, maybe we didn't exactly fix her yet, but we got miles closer. In two weeks she'll have surgery (I call it removing her face, but I'm dramatic that way) on her ears, throat, and nose to correct the simple fact that no air travels across her eardrum causing real sounds like they do for you and me. She hears everything muffled; something I've been saying for months to doctors who look at me like I'm the Manchaussens Mom. Well, yesterday we finally met with the most reasonable doctor to date, who actually said, "It's just common sense." Common sense in the medical profession? I was beginning to have my doubts.

But yesterday was the first time in I can't remember how long that I finally had the sense that real help was on it's way, and that a whole new world is about to open up to Amy.

So, thanks for waiting, blog. I hope to give you more attention in the coming days.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crazy

Sean just told me that our kitchen cabinets "Look like they were organized by a crazy person."

After I wash my hands for the 38th time today, I might just take offense.

(I don't think it helped my case when he asked where the popcorn was and I told him the master bathroom floor. He just shook his head and said, "The sad part is I know you're not kidding." )

I took the wekend off of everything including housekeeping. I hope you did too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Some people call me Maurice

OK, few of you probably are aware of my ex-rock slut tendencies. You probably think you can guess my musical tastes from the wussy, obscure titles I list every week to your right. "She's an indie rock girl or perhaps a folky-alternative-female-hippie-soloist fan."

Au contraire.

At the few times I get my choice on the car stereo, it's usually some crazy rock and roll with a little bit of hip hop thrown in just to keep my fingers on the pulse of scene.

What scene, I don't exactly know.

Because here I am, singing (badly) to Fergie's London Bridge, the nastiest most inane song ever written, and I actually think I'm hip for a split second. Until I realize that whilst singing (badly), I am driving not to some club to get my freak on, but to the country club to walk on the treadmill while I read one of those obscure titles to your right while Fox News plays on one of the ten television screens above my head.

So I am lucky to even have a pulse, and hereby denounce my knowledge of any other pulse that may or may not exist.

Fin.

Hi Honey, I'm home

Returning from bad weather and coney dogs to bad weather and an old dog.

We had a great trip--it's nice to reconnect with family even if it is a tiny one. I think my Gramp was most overwhelmed, so it made airport security (with baby bottles and a freaking cast!) all worth it.

But I'm not moving again until Thanksgiving.

Unless I have to evacuate, of course. Ernesto is supposed to hit well southeast of here at this point, but I've heard that before. When I go to the grocery store today for my normal staples, it will look like a war zone with every shelf cleared of water, bread and bananas.

I can hope for a hurricane day off school at least.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm away from my blog right now...

Hi, you've reached Tracey's blog. I'm not here right now, I am currently waiting in line at airport security with three kids and too much luggage. If you need to get a hold of me, well...too bad, because I couldn't find my cell phone even if I could hear it ring. Besides, some TSA security woman is frisking me because I took a rogue tube of lip gloss in my purse. Please leave me a message, and I'll return your comment just as soon as we return from the lovely Motor City unless that hurricane churning in the Caribbean makes it to the Gulf by Tuesday. Have a great weekend.

I'm looking forward to seeing some old friends and family--some of who I haven't seen since my Mom's funeral. I was pregnant with Matty at the time, and then we moved to Florida the next month, so most of my family haven't even met my two youngest yet. So, big doings in Detroit.

Now I must go and pack my earmuffs.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

9...er, 8 planets in the solar system

If any planet deserves a demotion--it certainly isn't the one with the same name as a loveable cartoon dog.

It's the one that's such an asshole.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Weekend Report

Friday:

Did our cute little photo from the Threshers game make it into the paper, ladies? I didn't catch which "media" that photographer was from. Knowing us, it will probably be photoshopped on MySpace...But at least we got a free loaf of bread on the way out.

Saturday:

Painted and moved the boys rooms around. The entire house is in complete chaos--different from the usual chaos--as a result. But they are happy. Matty came home to see his new Phillies (I have no idea) and said, "I love you so much Mom." It was worth my aching shoulders rolling on layers of "Pawprint Blue" and $1800 for that.

Sunday:

Birthday party. Nuff said.

And then we ended the work-filled weekend with a $40 purchase of the WWE's SummerSlam 2006. There was one particularly graphic match complete with a barbed-wire bat used the Nature Boy Ric Flair. After which, Matty said, "I totally agree with you, Mom. That was too violent. I will never get that image out of my head."

Neither will I.

Then he dropped-kicked Stevie in his new signature move.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Give Generously to the Pine Nut Fund

Little Stevie Henry lives in debilitating affluence. He wears the same private school uniform every day. He eats the finest organic produce and most expensive cuts of meat. He is surrounded by hundreds of toys and all of the latest technology.

I think we can do better for little Stevie Henry. I think he and his classmates deserve air conditioning on their school bus when they go on elaborate field trips. I think they need mulch under their designer shoes on the playground. I think they have gone far too long without pine nuts on their salad bar!!

Stop these atrocities now, my friends. Please take a moment to give a humble donation to the pine nut fund by buying some measly wrapping paper so Stevie Henry can finally get iPods in the technology lab and win a "smencil" and a dress down day.

I think it is the least you can do for little Stevie Henry.


(And his brother Matty and their school code is 119147.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Work out

Guess who is going to have rock-hard thighs in a matter of mere days?

That's right, ME!

What's this amazing new workout routine you ask?

It's the "Throw The A-Dog in the Gym Kennel" workout. It's revolutionary.

I've been avoiding the playroom for Amy care for a while because she didn't take too kindly to it the last time I tried. So gym time has been limited to when I have a babysitter or when Sean and I can child-swap at night and weekends.

But no more.

Amy loved it today. Which is amazing in itself, and I might even just sit in the car for an hour reading every day just for the sheer Because-I-Can factor.

I reserved our spot for tomorrow, my thighs are burning in anticipation of it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sign by the X, please

I know it's early, but that's life here now...

So, we are at the bank this morning for one of those pesky little financial housekeeping events in which you are required to sign your life away--not once--not twice--but 45 times in triplicate without any understanding of a single word. So after document #45 which was the "Disclosure that We just Screwed You Anally," she whips out one more item for signature: My book.

Ha! Smart woman bought it at the local B&N as a little title insurance I think.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The First Day

Because I voted for it, and because I'm sure it was first day bugs, I will NOT say that the the car line was quite a usterfuckclay.

However, that was the only glitch in an otherwise great first day. Here's a picture taken at the ass crack of dawn which is what time I've set my weekday alarm for now.



And here is a picture from our Disney weekend. Amy is sleeping through her $600 lunch.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

School Eve

On this First Day of School Eve--I am chock full of all of my maternal resolutions for the upcoming year. For example, the kids will arise every morning to freshly squeezed orange juice that I picked from the tree out back when I was gathering up eggs from the stand before dawn for their breakfast. I will pack them edamame and green tea juice boxes as their snack, and something organic on whole wheat for lunch. They will come home and we will do their homework together with nary an argument nor complaint as we enrich our minds together in the midst of a sparkling clean house while something bakes lovingly in the oven. We will only watch PBS. We will go to bed at 8:30 after we've had a family liturgy.

I know, I'm high.

We'll be eating frozen dinners and sucking on pure sugar cane at midnight before Wednesday.

But a mother can dream, can't she?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mental Note

Note to Self:

When Amy falls asleep at 7 pm, it is NOT for the night, merely a short nap so we can watch infomercials at 3 a.m.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Smackdown

I don't know how the WWF (or the 2006 equivalent) got resurrected in my living room, but apparently it has.

A stronghold of interest has gripped Stevie like Hulk Hogan on George the Animal Steel, and for the last few weeks he has relayed grudge matches to me in nauseating detail at every possible second.

I can feign interest in a lot of things, my friends, but professional wrestling ain't one of them.

But I've done my best. I even offered up the rather cool past life fact that I used to hawk cotton (that's trade for "vending souvenirs") at every Smackdown that rolled through Motown back in the day.

And through all of his Vince McMahon narratives, I haven't the heart to tell him it's fake. God, I feel like he just caught me slipping money under his pillow.

But perhaps I should have.

Because we were at the emergency room today with a sprained wrist resulting from "The Wrist Breaker," a little move he and his friend came up with.

A highly-effective and aptly-named move I might add.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Unofficial Minutes

You may or may not know that part of my glamourous writing gig of life is covering certain monthly public meetings.

Often times, they are exciting, only in their ability to exite controversy and general assinine-ness. Some nights they are just plain boring.

Tonight was such a night.

It's not something I mind, mind you. I appreciate the work. That's my disclaimer.

Sometimes I pretend like I'm a real reporter and I am there solely to report the items that happen, and I don't have opinion one way or the other. Well, of course I have an opinion, I just don't get to voice it. I give them this blank face that refuses to register any emotion--I feel it's like my duty or something. I never say a single word, and do my job as the paid hack that I am. I write really boring things that doesn't make sense even to the two people that read it every month.

But if I could, I would love to report what actually occurs inside my head. And yes, I know I have the maturity level of a 6 year old.


I wonder how many sequins are on my sandals...

I'm pretending I'm writing something really important, but really it's my grocery list.

48. On each shoe.

Did I leave the curling iron on?

Oh if there is a God, He will strike lightning on the next person that makes a motion about a fucking flag pole.

37 minutes discussing a flag pole. I am going to gouge out my eyes with one.

If I slit my wrists, will my blood stain this Pergo floor?

I wonder if they would need a motion and a second to call 911. I hope my suicide would be added to the agenda and not just tabled for next month. Maybe they would have to take a vote first to see if help is warranted. That woman hates me, I bet it would fail to pass by even a small majority.

Maybe they think I work for the newspaper, and they think my name is Lois and they'll ask me out for coffee later and give me a "big scoop." Maybe they think I just have no life and am a local government committee groupie. Maybe they think I'm just a big loser.

Bingo.

It's a good thing they keep this room temperature at a pleasant 48 degrees. My corpse won't rot as quickly.

At what point did she think that blouse was a good idea?

Holy God, we are only on Old business...

And so it goes.

But the best part of the whole night occurred as the last gavel bang fell and the meeting was adjourned, I was out of there like Tori Spelling on a Lifetime movie audition, and the guy who held the door for me said, "If it weren't for those shoes, I'd have fallen asleep hours ago."

I love a man who appreciates footwear. I guess someone else was counting those sequins.

I think I'll wear those sandals with the sundress and conquer the world....

Monday, August 07, 2006

We all can't be good at everything

You guys are funny. You and your "beer punch." Such a sweet little moniker for beer, vodka and limeade together in the same glass. A nice accompaniment to the ribs and "corn slaw," even if we forgot the beans. We had a nice evening mourning the end of our summer together, and conversing about topics typical to beer punch drinking: Underdog and porn...

In parenting news, I know you are supposed to always bolster your child's self-esteem by defeating the self-defeating talk, but tonight when Matty declared, "I stink at sleeping," I couldn't disagree.

He really does stink at sleeping.

(And now, so do I.)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Le Weekend

99% of my blog audience will be here tomorrow, feasting on my soon-to-be-famous ribs that take me 4 days to make. No, I'm serious, it will be a most impressive banquet, I assure you--everything is being made by scratch and with love. I may even shove a garlic press into Matty's hand today so it is a complete family affair.

The remaining 1% will have to be satisfied with a Monday morning soliloquy on the joys of leftover cornbread for breakfast and perhaps a few photos if those in attendance will sign a release.

Happy Saturday, we're going to get cooking and take in a movie.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

They like me...

I got an amazingly good review today on the book. Fabulous as a matter of fact.

It inspired me to write another page and half tonight.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

All by my lonesome

Sean's away this week, and so I'm thinking of all the exciting things we'll do while he's gone. You know, take advantage of the free tv remote to watch sappy movies while I eat shrimp cocktail and talk on the phone.

So far, I've bought a new coffee maker and tomorrow I'm getting my haircut and going to the gym. If I get really crazy I might take a hot bath tonight and have a mud mask or something while wishing I could write something truly inspiring. Or even just legible.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'll either fall alseep in my glasses reading with the lights on, or I'll have one of my insomniac episodes and be a complete bitch in the morning.

I'm so freaking boring.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Stuck

Ok, so I haven't kept up on my novel schedule these last few days because I'm having one of those What-the-hell-was-I-thinking-I'm-not-good-enough-to-write-a-fucking-grocery-list-let-alone-a-book moments that has lasted 36 years.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's only money, right?

We bought a car! And a new A/C unit! And new patio furniture! And glamorous vacations all over the country! And a new custom cabinet for the brand new kitchen! And school supplies and uniforms!

And now I'm going to eat air sandwiches with tap water for the next 20 years to pay for it all.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

It's all Stevie's Fault!

In yet another facet of sibling bickering, Matty has taken to blaming Stevie for every tragedy that can befall a 6 year old this summer, warranted or not.

Stevie has been a pretty good sport about it, recognizing the fact that no matter how much Matty yells, sometimes his brother's tears really aren't his fault.

So yesterday, Amy spilled something on the tile floor, and Stevie was cleaning it up half-assededly. (I know that's not really a word.) Matty walks in, slips and falls on his half-ass, and immediately screams, "Stevie! You should have put a wet floor sign there!"

School starts in 2 weeks, and I'm not sure if Stevie will get subpoenaed by Matty's lawyers before then or not.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Heart Attacks

OK, so I just returned from the cardiologist, and I am faced with a moral/health dilemma.

And now I realize that I've never written about my weird heart condition and rarely do I speak of it, (I didn't even blog about the hospital!) so it will make no sense to anyone, so I suppose it will be a dilemma for a while longer.

Must think now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Email-less

And in an effort to streamline my completely streamless online life, I closed one of my multiple email accounts today.

The only thing it was doing was collecting email from one neglected online writer's group and some pretty distasteful porn spam, so I bid it a good riddance today.

For those of my friends not wishing to sell me mispelled online drugs, you know where to find me.

Early Retirement

May this serve as official notice of retirement for the summer season, and yes, I know it is still July.

I must put away my continually wet bathing suit and useless hair rubberband, page-crinkled novel that is stuck on page 33 because I don't have time to get past it, and over-stressed American Express card; and place them all in a sensory deprivation tank with me watching my tan lines fade. We just cannot take any more vacation.

But this was a nice one to end the summer with. Seeing everyone together--mostly passing them along the lazy river with a strawberry daquiri in hand--and spending entire days basking in the sun, water, and family was satisfying to say the least. All of the many events both planned and unplanned went off without a hitch.

Now it is time to get back into the swing of things--whatever that is--starting with a whole lot of laundry and a trip to the grocery store which must include fixings for Eggs Benedict because I am spoiled in yet one more facet of life.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Catching Up

In a rogue change of schedule, the boys are off with their Aunt, Uncle and cousins for a few days in Orlando until we all meet up together this weekend for the family reunion.

It's not like a school day being here with just Amy, because that has a finite end of silence at 3:00 every day. This is the first time that they've been away overnight for more than 2 days without one of us.

So what have I been doing during the time, you ask? (Or don't, but have a few minutes of surfing time to kill.)

~Spending Money. Something I hate to do unless it is something that can be delivered by room service. After nursing the under-sized A/C unit for 6 years, it and we, finally broke down and installed this monster that freezes juice boxes left out on the table overnight.

But when it gets too cold in the house in July, at least I can retire to the lanaii on my new seagrass patio furniture from Pottery Barn...(you are soooo jealous.)

~Going Bulemic on the Kids' Rooms. After their toy binging, I am purging with garbage bags full of broken toys, Happy Meal treasures, broken pieces and a whole lot of mystery plastic.

~Working Out. I think the personal trainer fairy put a gold nameplate on a locker at the gym, so I figure I should try to visit it as often I can. I also have figured out that I can read books on the treadmill, so it makes my time on it a little more palatable.

~Misc. Crafting. You know I have a severe craft handicap, but the things I have made for this reunion will astound you. I bet HGTV has sent out a film crew to document my gift bags for history.

~Writing. Yep, I am still plugging away.

~Bona Fide Employment. I got a job. A real, paying job. A contract no less. Details to follow.

See? So I deserve poolside Mojitos at my all-time favorite hotel tomorrow.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Star Gazing

Upon Ver's suggestion--one whom I trust because we seem to frequent the same pages often--I picked up Maps for Lost Lovers, by Nadeem Aslam, because she said it was "rich like heavy cream," and I have a well-documented penchant for the rich and creamy.

Anyway, I am reading, or rather lapping my bowl full of beauty, and this one leaps out at me as something of note:

He watches as a shooting star traverses the night sky...According to Islam, when something important--favorable or disastrous--is about to happen in the world, and Allah is arranging the final important details with the angels, Satan moves closer to the sky to eavesdrop: shooting stars are flaming rocks that are thrown at him to drive him away; and they therefore should be read as the imminence of a momentous occasion.


I think I'm going stargazing tonight.

(I wonder if it works on a smaller scale?)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Delicious

It's been a while since I cooked.

I mean really cooked. Oh sure, I've thrown together a few meals over the last month that resemble food--but with all of our traveling lately, we've eaten out a lot or taken in.

But last night I had the opportunity to spend almost the entire day creating. For the very lucky assembled guests, we dined on individual Beef Wellington au Duxelles, garlic mashed potatoes, fresh green beans in a balsamic vinegarette, a lovely salad, and a homemade mixed berry pie. Everything from scratch and it was divine.

Even as I was working on the bordelaise sauce, the pressure-washer came in and said, "Wow, what are you making? It smells great!"

There is nothing like a red-wine reduction to make you feel alive....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Writing till my fingers bleed or die of boredom

My diversity would surprise you.

Not really, it would probably just bore you, but I'll tell you anyway.

Most of my scribblings get into the glamorous publications: the Inspirational Chicken Soup of Chocolate Cups with a Dollop of Sentiment Series, (I'm sure you've heard of them--Another release in October!) the discriminant Internet, this blog, and even a coffee can in Seattle.

But the rather unglamourous portion of the program, the infomercial to my life's work, is in a local print magazine which pays me to write about crosswalks and power outages.

Every month I write my book review and interview, and any other slush that hasn't been picked up by someone else. And every month I write volumes of words on mundane subjects that I know no one reads--not even me. It is within these humble pages that I justify my life as a writer--at least in the eyes of the IRS--because it is my bread and butter, even if it is just the heel of the loaf.

Well, tonight, I covered a meeting in which again, I believe no one pays a lick of attention, and sometimes I'm tempted to write, All good men must come to the aid of the party over and over again just to see if anyone notices.

Well, apparently someone does notice, because after the meeting a very nice gentlemen sought me out before I bolted as quickly as possible to shake my hand and tell me, "Thank you for all you do for us. You do a great job." Please note: as in ongoing.

No, sir, thank you.

And in other news, even with this meeting, a book review, a trip to the grocery store, a workout and an afternoon at a friend's pool, I still managed to pen a page to le Novel.

Go me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Chapter 1

Just as the American Lung Association reminds us never to quit quitting, I think it is equally important never to quit starting. Writing The Novel, that is.

And so a very rough, yet beautiful in its doneness, first chapter has been penned, and a firm, yet realistic schedule to complete the next twenty also set.

And might I add that it felt more than a little cathartic and strangely soothing once I got started, too. It's as if I found a safe and appreciative place to dump all of the weird thoughts I have everyday and pretend it's fiction.

Sshhh...don't tell anyone.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Some photos and a serious question



Stevie and Danny: The two most handsome ushers.




The world's most adorable flower girl.





And Matty racing the mascot at the tourists game.


Bonus question: Considering that SubDiva is not really me, but a character I created on a flimsy, yet hilarious reality...if you had to give her a first name, what would it be?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

River Reading

OK, so I only read one book while on vacation these past 2 weeks. I actually started another, but realized wisely that if I read another delicious novel about lifelong unrequited love, I might have to hurl myself in the Tennessee River that flowed past our hotel room like some of my recent tragic heroines.

So I chose a different route. Craving the lighter, I read Melissa Bank's new release, The Wonder Spot. (Bibliophiles: she was the one who wrote The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing ) This one was about a girl, and then young woman, and then older-ish woman, who seemed to be stuck in mediocrity--never excelling at anything, barely keeping a job, always losing a boyfriend--every relationship she had seemed to be superficial--like her life. Reading it, you still had sympathy for her, though, and wanted to shake some sense into her at times, but feeling like reading her story was almost encouragement in the literary sense. It wasn't that she was lazy or apathetic necessarily. I think it was more of she was just perpetually waiting for something to happen to change her life.

Anyway, you'll have to read it to find out what happens, but not for the first time in my life I wondered if that waiting for something to happen theory isn't always the best course of non-action.

With so much sky and so much river, you couldn't help seeing the big picture. It was what you already knew, but crowding into the subway or rushing to a movie, you only saw it for a second, and close up. Now I take a good long look. I'd always heard you couldn't see stars in Manhattan because of all the lights. But here they all were. Here was my night in shining armor.

We're Home!

I am exhausted, but pleasantly so. 9 different states, 2 sacraments, countless miles and memories. A wonderful hodge-podge of fun.

Catching up--will post some pretty awesome pictures later.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lessons When You Least Expect Them

Today is the last full day of our "killing time as tourists" part of the trip. The little ones are sleeping in (thank goodness for blaackout curtains) and Stevie is exploring the hotel by going on errands for me that I make up. We need a lot of ice...So, I think we'll head on over to Gaitlinburg and then do the Riverwalk tonight.

But I think we're all having a great time just doing nothing and anything that's unplanned. Stevie asked that when I get directions to Gaitlinburg this morning if I could not take the Interstate and find the Scenic Route instead.

Exactly.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dollywood

Um, why didn't anyone stop me from doing that? I thought you were my friends?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Where in the World Is Tracey?

Blogging from beautiful Knoxville, Tennessee..

Knoxville? You say. How did you end up in Knoxville, Trace?

Well, it's a funny story, really. In between sacraments (youngest nephew's Baptism) in akron, Ohio and Greenville, South Carolina, (Oldest niece's wedding) I found myself with a couple of days to kill with the kids, the car, and about 750 miles, so I closed my eyes and played Russian Roulette with Rand McNally and found myself in spitting distnce of Dollywood.

So that's where we'll be tomorrow.

(and since I already have my ticket to heaven, this will ensure the concierge floor when I get there.)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Unescorted on the Highway

BTW, as an unescorted female on the road, I have unwittingly become the Christie Brinkley to every Clark Griswold on the Interstate system.

Nice.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Day 2

I have earned my direct ticket to heaven.

Or, rather, I purchased it at the Wal-Mart of the Interstate: Cracker Barrel.

In perhaps the worst meal I have ever almost eaten, I, and three kids in tow ate at a West Virginia Cracker Barrel on a Friday night. Big mistake.

However, it was worth the 14-hour drive day for the one moment when Matty was sitting in the front seat and we clasped hands in a Thelma and Louise move, and then sang our guts out to our theme song of the trip, Life is a Highway, by Rascal Flatts speeding down I-77.

We arrived in Ohio late last night and had a wonderful day today. Pleasantly exhausted, and looking forward to the festivities tomorrow.

G'night.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

She's all loaded, and the more time I spend at home waiting on the furniture delivery before hitting the road, the more I pack. I think I'm going to call in surrogate signatory for the new kitchen table so I can make it to at least Orlando today...

So we're about to embark on a 2 week road trip north, but will be in touch along the way because I am sick, just plain sick I tell ya.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Packing up

The last homecooked meal for a long while is cooking in the oven. That's the one bad thing about a road trip--the horrific dining choices on the way.

And as the oven roasts the stuffed flank steak with spinach and prosciutto, baby red-skinned potatoes and asparagus, the washing machine churns the last load of laundry, and the suitcases fill rapidly, I'm starting to get a furrow in my brow.

I can't wait to see everyone and be in the thick of fun for these next two weeks, of course, but I can't help but worry about A-Dog, of course.

While Amy and I were shopping today for the last incidental car surprises to whip out at the perfect moment to thwart squabbles, time and boredom, I realized I was being watched.

Because we spend so much time at home alone together, the subtleties and complexities of our communication occur naturally now, and I don't think of how it must look to other people. (This happened over the weekend, too.) In some strange combination of homemade sign language, facial expression, precise finger movement and a healthy dose of ESP, I usually know exactly what she wants or needs at any given moment. There is an ad-hoc science to it, I assure you, and rarely do I have to guess. It's how we survive.

So, this woman is watching us, and I can tell she is wondering the source of the lack of speech; and I swear I almost answered her unspoken question because that's what we do all day--answer the unspoken.

But I didn't.

I didn't launch into my litany of doctors and hearing tests and speech therapists and diagnoses. I didn't give the game plan and I didn't make excuses and I didn't say what was next.

And it felt good.

And so I hope that next week with all of the well-intentioned advice, counsel, stories about friends of friends that had similar problems and did this or that...I hope all of that goes unspoken, too.

Because she is really amazing even when she doesn't say a word.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What Crawled Back Out of the Gulf

I have returned, albeit reluctantly.

The weekend was perfect—the Gulf seems to echo a siren’s call to me that is irresistible.

And in between Olympic Beach Combing Events, the kids enjoyed their breaks of independence, while Amy remained a barnacle, but a pliable one, enjoying sand, surf or pool.

Other events that will be added to the Palm Island Summer Olympics will be Golf Cart Derby, Sustained Drinking Relays, Underwater Grilling, Shades of Sunburning, Snake Wrestling, Diaper Sand Capacity and, of course, Beer Rationing and How Many People Can We Feed and Jam into One Condo Watching Other Sporting Events.

I think Sean medaled in all of these events with the exception of Kathy who can boast the highest SPF Suntan lotion of 70.

70.

That’s called, “Staying inside a cave.”

OK, now leave me alone. I have to go pack for the 1000 mile drive to Ohio on Thursday.

And for some unknown nostalgic reason, I have just read through many months of my archives on this silly blog, and it struck me that I somewhere along the line stopped posting an idiotic Quote of the Day. I know you all must have missed this daily wisdom, so I am reinstituting this sage practice.

Unfortunately, Love in the Time of Cholera seems to have ruined me for all other books, so you're getting another one from there.

He did not dare to console her, knowing that it would have been like consoling a tiger run through by a spear...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Gone Drinkin'

Checking out of the Blogosphere for a while; most of the readers of this will be on the beach with me, so we'll blog together over cocktails in person.

I'll be bookless, by the way. Unless I can make an unscheduled side trip to B&N on the highway...thanks for the suggestions.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Call Out

Okay, in a rare wrinkle in the space-time continuum; I have nothing to read.

I believe this absence is affecting much more than just my writer's block, but I cannot face 5 days on a beach with no thick tome in one hand, a cold cocktail in the other.

So dear readers, you have 24 hours in which to post your best suggestions. Make it racy, intriguing, and engaging--but make it fast.

Please?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What the hell?

The first named storm of the season, Alberto, (again with the hurricanes named after Flamenco dancers) is heading toward Tampa just to mess with my vacation plans.

We've got a beach vacation planned starting Thursday, and I really would appreciate the beach still being there upon our arrival.

Oh well, I suppose my disaster plan can include the relocation of my drinking if need be.

*****

The only other news in Divaland is that of no news. I mean I just can't write of any lately. I've got nothing. Nada. Zip. It's like a vacuum down here.

Maybe Alberto will blow in some much needed verbage.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Tee Hee

Barnes and Noble has officially decided to stock my book in some of their stores.

Actual stores with actual shelves.

Wow.

Friday, June 09, 2006

My first royalty check came today

It may not be for a big amount, but to me, it is priceless.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Our Shopping List for Palm Island Next Week

1. Beer
2. Wine
3. Margaritas
4. Beer
5. More Beer

Then we realized that we should probably pack something to soak up some of the alcohol.

6. Chips and salsa
7. Vodka punch

Then we thought we may pass out on the beach for hours on end...

8. Suntan lotion SPF 2
9. Skimpy suits (because we won't care what we look like in them)
10. Mimosas

Then we remembered our kids...

11. Juice boxes
12. Pop-tarts
13. Mojitos

Then realized that the sun would go down eventually and we would have to go in at night...

14. Poker chips
15. ice cream
16. Bailey's

And then we remembered we would have to return home on Monday...

17. Advil
18. First-Aid Kit
19. Beer again.

At least the planning dinner was fun.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Not only am I a poet, but a frugal environmentalist

Because the air conditioner has been dying a slow, painful, oozing death for months now, when it freezes up and leaks water from the return in the garage, I fill buckets from the freon-laced a/c bleed, and water the grass, the plants, the neighbor's lawn and re-fill the community retention ponds.

I figure it costs about $720 a bucket in wasted electricity to save the 22 cents a gallon in water.

Wax poetic

Yesterday, I was freaking Pablo Neruda with my "Ode to the Florida Rain" post--today I am regretting my romantic visions of the storm because every one of God's slimiest and most reptilian creatures must be poets too as they all came out in an amphibian symphony last night to enjoy the wet reprieve. Today, I am stepping over lizards, toads and frogs (my worst fear on Earth) and even a snake. I wouldn't be surprised to see an alligator sunning on the pool float with a margarita he stole from my fridge.

Freaking Florida.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rainy Days and Thursdays

I am watching the rain fall on the street as steam rises and that metallic scent of summer wafts up into the heavy air.

We have not had a drop of rain since February 3, when 10 inches fell in a single day. It has not rained since.

The grass is brown, the flowers are wilted, there are watering restrictions imposed because water is so scarce. Even the glossy leaves of the tropical plants have lost their luster. A film of dust months old now, coats everything.

And so when the afternoon threatened with a few gathering clouds on the horizon, I was not impressed. I was not convinced when a rogue breeze lifted my hair when Matty was in the pool. Even when I had to switch on a light in the middle of the afternoon, I thought for certain it would blow over. But now it comes down in earnest and it is one of the most welcome thunderstorms I have ever seen.

Exhaling

We have just logged in our last early morning (in principle anyway) of the school year. What a blessed relief. I have been looking forward to summer vacation with my boys for weeks.

I started my vacation a little earlier this week though, when I begged out of a basket party (Sorry!) and went to the movies instead. It was a Tuesday--the greatest day of the week--and we all know I haven't seen a movie over a G-rating in a theater since 1988. So we saw "The DaVinci Code" along with the rest of America. It wasn't bad--if your benchmark is how closely it followed the book, it was almost sentence by sentence, which as a reader I appreciate. It was also a good movie, I thought too, but then again my critical cinematic eye is something to be desired since I laughed out loud in "Over the Hedge," and can't wait to take Amy and the boys to "Cars," tomorrow.

And now I can because it's summer and we can go in the middle of the day if we want!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Wooohoooo!

Only 2 more days until school is out!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Long Weekend...Not

On our way to the first of 5 parties this weekend, and I even turned down 2. We were going to be enterprising and paint the kitchen in the 45 minutes we expected to be home, too. This was keeping with my decree to finally finish the kitchen renovation after starting the day after Christmas on this God-forsaken project. So, I even bought a kitchen table this week and a new ceiling fan. We have one more tradesman to finish the gaping hole which is the pantry, and some new lighting to install. After the paint, dare I say we might actually be done? Wow. Had I known it was going to become my life's work, I might have stuck with the pink laminate countertops.

Happy Weekend, all.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dream blog

Yet another hidden blog reader bears her identity to me...I apologize now for my stupidity.

You may find it odd, but I really did resist blogging for a long time. Really, I did. I thought, "What a narcissistic pursuit to expect people to care what you had for breakfast or that you are allergic to Swiss cheese." But then I figured that I don't force anyone to read this crap, and maybe, in my daily idiocies, someone might catch a glimpse of me and like it. They might catch news of what's going on, and better yet, why it is going on. And I am pretty big into the whys of the world.

So there you have it.

Besides, a little side benefit to this computerized diary, is that I get to write in the margins of all of things that strike me as momentous when I'm reading. And at the moment, that happens to be another try at my friend, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and his classic, Love in the Time of Cholera. It is my 6 month classic selection. But I read this once in college in Spanish--I believe I translated excerpts? but I can't remember exactly. It was a time when I was particularly fluent, and I was reading literature effortlessly, and found myself at many times actually dreaming in Spanish.

So here from the first chapter: "He smiled at her from the far shore of ecstasy," and this which seems particularly apropos considering my insomnia affliction: "Thinking as she slept, she thought that she would never again be able to sleep this way, and she began to sob in her sleep, and she slept, sobbing, without changing position on her side of the bed, until long after the roosters crowed and she was awakened by the despised sun of the morning without him."

I wish I still dreamt in Spanish. Or at least in the margins.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Side Effects

At least I'm getting things done...

I just washed the vacuum cleaner.

How do you know when bleu cheese has gone bad?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Insomnia-Day ? (They are all running together now)

On Sunday, I was tired.

On Monday, I was exhausted.

Today, I don't even have the energy to summon a word that can adequately describe the fatigue that has settled into my bones. Another night of sleeplessness.

Yesterday, when Amy went down, and between loads of laundry, I laid down myself and fell asleep instantly. I probably slept for a solid hour--even dreaming. Even dreaming of my Mom. (A sure signal of true slumber for me.)

I don't know if that stolen hour caused me to stare at the clock until 4 a.m. or not, because it really doesn't matter at this point.

I am just bone-ass spent.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Zzzzz...Grrrr...

Two straight nights of solo parenting and no sleep. I am beyond cranky.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Amy

We haven't talked about A-Dog in a while, have we?

So what is the distinction between seeking a second opinion and diagnosis shopping? Because I have so many differing opinions on this child's ears from so many different professionals, I hear ringing in mine.

I'm on hold right now with a specialist whom we really need to see, but they are giving me an insurance hassle instead of helping my daughter. I have said that I will self-pay and worry about (or not) insurance later. What do they care as long as they get paid? Grrrr....

Do you think if I start weeping--because in addition to my frustration this elevator music is tragic--it'll help my cause?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sick Day

We're now onto day 5 of Fifth's Disease here.

In case you were wondering--which I know you are--Fifth's Disease is this crazy-ass childhood viral infection thing that distinguishes itself because kids that get it get a rash that looks like they have "slapped cheeks."

Last Friday at baseball, Matty looked flushed, and it took me 2 innings to realize that he never gets flushed, and it was indeed a case of Fifth's. The fever came over the weekend for he and Amy, and he got to miss Monday from school.

By Tuesday, if Matty's cheeks looked slapped, Stevie's entire body looks as though it was trampled. The poor kid's rash goes from one set of cheeks to the other, and his itches to add to the misery. And mine.

He is so bored today but doesn't dare admit it lest I make him clean his room.

Or work on his Canada report.

And as an annoying Canadian aside, part of the never-ending project is to bring in a national food from the country to share with the class.

What the hell is Canadian cuisine?

If he goes to school tomorrow, he'll be bringing donuts and Labatt's.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

O Canada

Canada is the second-largest country in the world. It is also the world's largest producer of low-bush blueberries. The fireweed is the official flower of the Yukon.

I know these fascinating facts as well as a million more (in the metric system equivalent, of course) because I just became one of those parents I swore I never would, and basically just completed Stevie's project on Canada...

I hope we get an A, eh?

(Or the Canadian alphabet equivalent, of course.)

Monday, May 15, 2006

My Mother's Day

I missed my flight home.

Can you believe? I am sure it had nothing to do with the 17 Mother's Day margaritas I shared with my two old pals. I am sure it had nothing to do with laughing so hard for hours about stupid old stories and people from 100 years ago that tears rolled from our eyes as we slapped the table. I am sure it had nothing to do with the fact that between the 3 of us, we have 8 children between us, and we each have lost our own mothers in the last 6 years and it felt so good to be together in that tragic kinship for a few (drunken) hours.





And so when I missed the stupid flight, my friend came back to airport, watched me pay $288 for a one-way flight middle seat back on a different airline and then we dropped another $75 on a bar tab in Detroit Metro Airport, and we laughed some more before the night ended with a long, upright nap back to Tampa.

And speaking of 100 years ago and my beautiful Mom, here are some pictures of us from 101 years ago....

Friday, May 12, 2006

Weekend fun

Well, I'm packing up for my Michigan Mother's Day Extravaganza. Well, not really, but it will be nice to visit with some sorely-missed friends and family for the 36 hours in which I will be there.

I will miss the little ones I'm leaving behind, though. Especially the one that reported to the Kindergarten class at the Mother's Day tea this morning that his Mom was 36, (which he even drew on my shirt in his artist's rendering) and that I "had brown eyes and brownish-yellowish hair, and I like to race her."

Not one word about my idiot savant knowledge of hockey or that I put smiley faces on his snack everyday.

Oh well. Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

OMG

You can find me amongst the shampoo and dog food at Wal-Mart.

Oh.

My.

God.

The Signing

I survived.

As a friend and dedicated reader of the idiocy that is this blog said quite eloquently afterward, "It's hard to put yourself out there like that. Sitting in the front of the store--you're not like that."

'Zactly.

That is why these events--although I am forever grateful for them--are so difficult. You're displayed at the door, practically daring people to buy your book. I feel like I have a giant tattoo on my forehead that reads, "Hey! Look at me! Feed the animals! Feed my ego!"

Ugh.

Luckily I have amazing friends and family who did not allow me to have those awkward moments of sitting there without anything to do except dab my increasingly shiny brow from humiliation. Not only did we sell out of B&N stock, but my diva entourage showed up in full force, even displaying signs.

And while we were in the front of the store, the little ones were in the back...



It was a good day, and I think Baby Diva has seen so many covers of that book now, that she's aiming for a children's version...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Seis de Mayo

I consumed my obligatory Corona yesterday (ok, 2 or 3) but it is such a shit beer. Any beer that requires a piece of fruit to make it palatable should not be consumed. The only garnish I need with my Miller Lite is a bottle, and that's pretty ok with me.

Muchas gracias that it is only once a year.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco de Mayo

With the week I've had, it's been easy to forget about the nerve-racking event on Sunday--my book signing.

I don't know, the Keys were different--it was laid back, a small independent book store...I didn't know anyone. Here in the big, bad Barnes and Noble that I've fought so hard to get in--there's a different sort of pressure.

I just better drink a lot starting tonight (Margaritas seem apropos for Cinco de Mayo, don't you think?)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Peeking back in

I'm starting to emerge from my cloud of grief.

My Gram died this week, and while she had been ill for quite some time, I still will miss her terribly.

My progression of sadness is predictable and unchanging, in this order:

1)Cry. A lot. With abandon, often, and unapologetically.

2) Read. A lot. With abandon, often and unapologetically. (In this case I devoured a couple of novels--one of note, The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss, who gave me these beautiful memories: "Her kiss was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering." Or, "so many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days you can hear their chorus rushing past:IwasabeautifulgirlPleasedon'tgoItoobelievemybodyismadeofglass-I'veneverlovedanyoneIthinkofmyselfasfunnyForgiveme...")

3) Write. A lot. With abandon, often and unapologetically.

Get some perspective and start living again.

Happy Birthday for real this time.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Can you see this?

Is the layout messed up for anyone else or just me? I can't seem to get anything right these last couple of days...

Monday, May 01, 2006

I wish it was April again

Ok, when I said "significant" I didn't mean so fucking sad.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Happy Birthday to me

I've been waiting to turn 36 my whole life.

I know that's a strange thing to say, but it is true. For some strange reason buried deep within a childhood impression from some unknown yet powerful source; I've had this premonition that 36 was going to be significant.

Perhaps my mother did something particularly wonderful that impressed me at that age (I would have been 12 when things are pretty impressionable). Perhaps I dreamt something. Perhaps it is a genetic imprint from a past life.

I have no idea what it means or what it refers to--hell, 35 was a pretty eventful year in the life of me--but somehow something all comes together at 36, and I feel it down to my hopeful toes.

Not a bad way to start a new year.