Showing posts from October, 2009

Saving Isabella: A wooly bear for the winter

We own a fun nature book for children (which I would credit but I loaned it to a friend and don't have the name on hand), and there's a page that gives directions for keeping a wooly bear catapillar over the winter. What fun!So we're giving it a try. The wooly bear is the fun fall version of the Isabella Tiger Moth which emerges in the spring. For years I've never taken the time to know this. For me, the wooly bear meant one thing: how hard of a winter we were going to have. I remember as a kid seeng how many I could collect and making my own predictions about the winter-- long before we had the power of the internet and computer forecasters to tell us all in detail and in every form of media. But now, they are just catapillars that we can hold. Fuzzy and non-poisonous, after reading the how-to in our book, we kept one this year. Here's the basic how-to... 1. Find a wooly bear in the fall. That's RIGHT NOW!! 2. Store it in a plastic jar with a top that you'

What's for dinner? A giant pot of what's for lunch tomorrow (drum roll for beef barley...)

I spent last night in a doctor's office, holding a sick 22-month old. Out in the waiting room we were banished to the "sick" section where people sat with masks and coughs. "But I'm not sick," I said, so instead of sitting I stood in the middle of the room, pointing my head towards the well side and my ailing daughter's toward the sick side and rocking my poor child like she was once again a fussy infant. (Yes, this is the same kid who is dressed as a pig in the previous post, thank you karma, which I wrote about in the post before that...) Eventually we were shuttled into the exam room where my kid turned into a the limpest rag doll I have ever seen. A quick forehead temperature reading of 104.5 and the nurse swiftly took her other vitals and scribbled them down. She left, only to emerge a minute later and tell me that the doctor wanted to do a flu test on her because she was so lethargic and her fever so high. The test took 10 minutes to run, so durin

Thanks for the [Halloween/Pandemic] memories

Here we are, in the midst of the swine flu pandemic, and I dress her as a pig for Halloween. Niiiiice.

Giving karma the upper hand

There’s nothing like karma to make you run out and buy lotion and a nail file. I recently had the distinct pleasure of chatting with three family friends late into the evening. All much younger men, they hold a special place in my heart, perhaps filling the void of the little brother that I have always wanted. And because I care about these guys as if we’ve shared family meals and taken turns taking out the trash, I somehow feel that I need to share my elderly wisdom with them when I get a chance. In the past I have given them countless tips on finding a good girlfriend and provided them with my short list of criteria that their girlfriends have to meet in order to pass my elite standards. These criteria are very simple, and include such things as, a. she needs to be able to cook a decent breakfast and b. when wearing long pants, she can’t get worried about whether or not her socks match. Little things, all because these are really great guys who deserve really great girls. Honestly

My quest for October and pumpkin muffns

October is, hands down without a doubt in the great green world, my favorite month of the year. There are colors in every direction, even though some of them are gray sky gray and mud brown. The weather is outstanding and it seems that in a one month span you can taste all four seasons-- the first crispness of fall, the wetness of spring, a hard frost or a snowflake or two, and of course Indian Summer. It is splendid and a gift worth being thankful for. But instead, my stupid self booked the month of October so full that I've barely gotten a chance to capture one day of it all. I should have been taking walks outside and collecting colorful leaves, but instead I was stuck inside doing something I didn't want to do and looking longingly outside and wishing I was wearing a turtleneck sweater and a vest because those are, for me, the essence of October wear. So next year you can count me out and write me off for my favorite month, unless what you're asking for has to do with

Blowing the day to take a walk in the sun

Thank you, Indian Summer, for this afternoon.

Yes, mam, you are a bit like a zoo exhibit

There’s something to be said for the coati. It’s not every day that we can learn so very much about ourselves when we go to the zoo and stare into an exhibit of obscure animals. My first introduction to this magnificent mammal happened a few years ago while visiting our favorite little zoo. An enclosure full of these critters that look like a raccoon that stuck its nose into a vacuum hose completely fascinated me. The first thing I learned that day was that “coati” is not pronounced “coat-ee” but instead “co-AH-tee,” not because the sign clarified that, but because my daughter, then age 5, corrected me and told me I should watch more animal TV shows so I can learn as much as she does. Beyond that embarrassment, I discovered that coatis are pretty smart animals. They have, I’m assuming, over many generations, learned how to get things done and thrive as a species. They have figured out how to best increase their populations and grow in strength and numbers. They have determined how to f

Of love and lard

Normally, our anniversary celebrations range from slim to none. Our fifth year we spent apart-- he at a wedding and I at home with a baby that was not invited to attend. Others have been spent wishing we had the money to do something more extravagant than grilling out a nice steak and baking up some potatoes. And others have been spent like this year's-- tending to the needs of others; mainly the three little people that mess up our house and eat all of our food. And today is no different. He will go to work, I will drive the kids around and try to squeeze in a few minutes of work at home in between restarting Yo Gabba Gabba and stuffing the baby with graham crackers so she'll hopefully take a nap. In the evening we'll all drive to a local nursing home where my kids will partake in a piano recital for the residents, as planned by their piano teacher. But this is my 10th anniversary. Tenth! And it should be special, right? Last night, after struggling to get those messy, hun

One-liner for the season

Dropping temperatures and leaves aside, Fall is pretty darn fun.

Computer literate babes to start Jr. networking sites?

I have one of those computer mice that doesn’t actually move. It’s just a base with a little red ball that sits on top that I roll around with my right hand while my left hand does coffee curls or is forever holding one of those super hard sourdough pretzels that leaves little crumbs all over the place. In any case, that little red ball must have some sort of attraction that I’m unaware of, because at every turn my toddler sneaks into my office and climbs up on my chair, pounds away at the keyboard (as evidenced by the occasional skejdjfdsrlkj that shows up on the screen), pulls that red mouse ball out and runs away laughing hysterically. As if she holds the key to my happiness or something, which she sort of does, but not really. Her fascination with these electronic things, and the fact that she has somehow managed to reprogram our TV recorder by randomly pushing buttons makes me wonder that she’s a few spelling lessons away from actually doing real things on the computer. At only 2

Kielbasa-garlic-bean-potato-spinach soup, I tell you!

This morning I reached out to grab the latest bottle of shampoo to grace its way to my shower. A new product for me, I admit I was drawn to it in the store by the hip color and style of bottle. I should also mention that I gave it a the whiff test-- you know, where you open the bottle and blow a puff of air towards your nose to smell it and hopefully not a plug of shampoo comes out and lands on your upper lip-- and liked what I smelled. Fruity, yet it didn't make me hungry. I was sold. I really don't like beauty products that make me hungry, and just thinking about that takes me back to the vanilla sugar cookie phase a few years back where every woman I knew was walking around smelling like a giant delicious dessert. Even myself. And at times I had to stop myself from sniffing my arm just so I wouldn't have the urge to grab a Lorna Doone or whip up a batch of shortbread. But I digress... My new shampoo, along with its flashy color and what not, advertises that it has nectar


You too can become an [Ohio] Outdoorswoman, and find yourself swinging and screaming and loving every second of it, even though your arms are sore from shooting for 3 hours.

Should he stay or should he go?

Here we are, just a few weeks into his entire educational career, and I’ve already blown his chance at a wooden plaque at senior assembly. This is because I, in all of my great wisdom and thoughtfulness, kept my kindergartner home from school one day this week. He spent the weekend on the couch, feeling the wrath of some stomach bug that not only made his tummy hurt, but his forehead a little warm for my lips’ taste. And yet, bright and early on that Monday morning, he seemed well enough to complain about the clothes we had laid out for him. He ate his breakfast and peeked in his lunchbox. But a last minute check of the thermometer gave me the news I didn’t want to see. 100.4. At this point I had two choices. I could a) give him some fever-reducing medicine and send him off to school where he’d be falsely healthy and have a fairly normal day, or b) keep him home because I knew it was the right thing to do although I knew quite well that he’d refuse to lay on the couch and beg and plead

34 on 10/1

Nothing says Happy October like a frosty mum.