We're all on the couch

Our family visit last week (the H's step-aunt, uncle and their son, Dido's age) went swimmingly, even though we failed on our mission to deliver swimming as an activity. (Are we weird that we didn't swim much at all last summer, save some welcome invitations to friends' pools? It seems that we need to embrace the lake culture. We're going to work on it.) It took a while for all of us (save the two boys, who call each other "Cuz" and leapt into an easy groove instantly) to find our rhythm, but once we did, we had a great time hanging out and exploring.

However...vacations are exhausting, and this was no exception. Saturday morning, their last day here, I ended up spending at the pediatrician, and then the hospital, where Dido received his first x rays in the quest to determine the source of a lingering pain in his left hip. The x rays revealed...precisely nothing at all. The H and I suspect that he pulled a muscle in his groin, but we're still not sure and if the pain doesn't get a lot better soon, we may be in for more tests. Think good thoughts for the little man, who has essentially been on bedrest since Saturday morning. As a result, he's had lots of TV time (joy, rapture) and we've been somewhat grateful for the excuse to lie low at home and skip out on some of the summer socializing. (Though I was really sorry to miss this. That's my cool friend Linda with the awesome short hair and groovy glasses.)

Meanwhile, I'm thinking a lot about some various things I've been reading and learning. Everywhere I turn, it seems, I am confronted with different expressions of the idea of universality. Whoof. As I read that, I think--too big and too pretentious a thought for so early in the morning. Or, maybe, any time. But here's the thing: I've been reading a bunch of stuff--novels, books on the creative process, the Mahabharata, for heaven's sake. And what they all have in common is this idea that is kind of metaphysical and kind of mythical, that there are spheres within spheres of energy, and that creativity and bliss arise when a window, or a door, opens in this most prosaic world to let all that beyond-our-perceptions energy in. Ok, I'm going off the woo woo deep end. Maybe. But the key to tapping into all that wonder is the most prosaic thing of all--call it focus, perseverance or discipline, the answer all comes down to putting your ass in the proper chair.

I realized last night that I am so tired of being disappointed by my answer to the "what are you working on?" question, and that my problem (duh, the H is thinking right about now, if he's reading) is about sitting down to work. The ideas, they come. I can see all the tantalizing beauty outside, but nothing will come through that window without my heaving up the sash.


Holy s*&%

How in the world did I not know that beloved cook Lora Zarubin blogs? How? She's here. Dive in.


Back again, briefly

We've had a lovely visit with family all week, which has been fun and exhausting both and kept me offline for longer than I had intended. I'll be back,soon, I promise.


My friend Margaret

Love that internet. Love my creative friends. Read all about the former and one of the latter right here.


My vow of abstinence

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a vow: to never go online after I put the kids to bed. I have found that too many nights are spent randomly blogreading, occasionally blogwriting, hyper-traveling through netspace when, in fact, I should be asleep. Since discovering the (very real, at least for me) lack-of-sleep/depression link, I have been trying to do better at getting 7-8 hours a night--and since we're up with the kids every morning at 6:30, latest, that means shutting my eyes by 10:30. Not easy to do, when they are often not really asleep until after 9.

This has been, overall, great. More reading time, more sleeping time, better mood. But...I've been a pretty irregular blogger during this time, too. And I am, in general, struggling with organizing my time now that the Babe has a regular school schedule, the Au Pair has a regular school schedule, and I...I still have five million things I'd like to do, a few that I must, and blocks of time that feel long on paper but somehow evaporate before me.

The H and I had a bit of a set-t0 this week: he was in a funk, and I finally sat him down and said some version of: "I can tell you're trying really hard not to lose your temper with me, but it's clear that you're angry and irritated with me, so--what's up?" (I thought this was a very mature and diplomatic way to confront my growing irritation with his irritation.) His response was that I was taking on too much--the chickens! the (sorry attempt at a) vegetable garden!--and other things (the decluttering of our home) were falling by the wayside. Now, whether or not or home is in fact messy is a matter of debate and opinion. Some say no, others would agree with him. My first reaction was an angry one--"you don't want me to have anything that's just for me--you want me taking care of you all the time"-- and there's probably some truth to the latter part of that statement, though not the former. But then it made me think about what I am taking on, and what my time goes towards. I don't think I have too much on my plate, but rather that I let the wrong things absorb too much of my time because I don't have a structure for getting them done. Freedom Filer and Nozbe, as wonderful as they are, can't plant my ass in my desk chair and write the checks for me when it's time to pay the bills. I have to impose structure upon my own cobwebby brain, and this is a challenge. Hence, the no 'net night rule, which I am hoping will keep me from spinning off into endless (and endlessly fascinating) hyperlink journeys which, though fun, are somewhat fruitless...stay tuned.


We find ourselves

I find my self here north of Beantown, visiting with oe of my oldest dearest friends, ensconced in her home, a place of consuming, cossetting beauty and great warmth.  Tomorrow, we will head into hte city to explore wiht the short people, plans to include the MFA, the Museum of Science, the Boston Children's Museum, and the US Constitution.  Do you think we can pack it all in?  If not, we will still be mad with joy to be here, and to be with our dear ones.


Of old friends, and new birds

My mother may be the only person in the world who wants me to blog about my college reunion, and since I already talked to her about it, I don't really feel like I have to honor her request! But the first pictures are of one of the highlights of the weekend, a meal worth risking digestive drama for (happily, I had none. Apparently months of gluten free allow me a few indiscretions, which means that a) I don't have celiac disease and b) it's all worth it.) Those are from Pepe's, which makes the best pizza in the land. If you have the chance, go. The paler one in the second photograph is white clam pizza, second only to ambrosia as food of the gods.

And then, also for my mom, some new pics of the chicks, happily ensconced in a new, bigger enclosure in the coop they will call home. They're still not big enough to meet the other girls or go outside, but they seem very happy in their new digs. Today I added some perches and a nice screen cover, so they should be safe, and amused. The girl in the last pic is a mystery chick--note her feathered legs. Can't wait to see what she turns into, but if her plumage is as dramatic as I think it's going to be, I might have to name her Cher. Or Bob Mackie.


We interrupt the regularly scheduled bucolic musings...

For some befuddled political....outrage isn't really the right word. Utter disbelief? Concern that perhaps certain candidates and their entourages ought to take a time out?

Make sure to watch the whole thing, to get the full benefit of Terry McAuliffe's delusional, party-destroying, solipsistic perspective. It's nice to know that gracious behavior and a firm grasp on reality flows all the way through the Clinton organization.


Flotsam and Jetsam

  • It's a whole lot easier to blog than to talk these days. The cold I caught before leaving for the weekend (which I swore to myself Friday morning was just allergies) has wiped out my vocal chords.
  • My summer CSA share started today, which means there's stuff happening over on the other blog.
  • Does Hillary think she's the Decider? It would appear so from tonight's less-than-gracious speech.
  • The weeds are back in my garden. On the bright side, the grass down by the barn is now cut so I can (finally, really late) put in my raised beds.
  • I referred to my peers as being in the middle of their lives. The people I said this to, a good forty years older than me, took some exception. Good for them.
  • And goodnight.


Base Ten

Scarily a propos given how I spent my weekend, here's a meme from Gina. Do you blog, too? Then guess what? You are tagged!

Ten Years Ago
I was in the home stretch of planning my wedding to the H. My favorite parts of my wedding were the cake (made for us by dear dear friends as their wedding gift,) arranging the flowers with my mother, my mother-in-law and her sisters the day before, the band, and the toasts from our best people, which were staggering in their breadth, humor and vocabulary. My only regret about not videotaping the wedding is that we don't have a record of those speeches.

Ten Months Ago
Last August I was stressed about the looming writers' strike, and depressed in general, as well as dealing with familial strife that still feels unresolved. Not a good time.

Ten Days Ago
I was trying to get kids to go to sleep--same as now.

Ten Hours Ago
I was working on a pitch for a small magazine piece. Nothing like an unanswered email query to set me obsessively checking my inbox.

Ten Minutes Ago
I was explaining--at length and occasionally at higher than preferable volume--to both children why insisting that they cannot fall asleep is counterproductive to all of our happiness. They were not persuaded. The H is now with the Babe, and Dido is lying in bed in silent protest (God bless him for this manner of self-expression.)

Ten Minutes from Now
I will read some more Laurie Colwin.

Ten Hours from Now
I'll be getting the kids out the door.

Ten Days from Now
I will be out on a date with the H.

Ten Months from Now
I hope I'll be reading a great script for my movie project, and be well into my own writing project. I feel like I'm jeopardizing both by even admitting that I want them.

Ten Years from Now
What does it mean that I cannot project that far ahead? I hope I'm really working, and that my kids like me better than they do at this moment.