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Showing posts from September, 2015

Hot Cross Buuuuuuns!

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My daughter had her first clarinet lesson on Friday. On Friday evening, as she and I watched the latest episode of "Project Runway," she showed me how to put the clarinet together. I must say she assembled it very deftly. I was glad to see that she must have paid attention during the lesson she'd received at school. Then she proceeded to play "Hot Cross Buns" for me. Oh my.

After a few attempts, the dogs started to pace and act anxious. "Why don't we call it a day?" I suggested. "You have all weekend to practice."

She practiced on Saturday and again on Sunday. On Sunday evening, the dogs came to me and asked me if I could drop them off at the nearest kill shelter. "We'll take our chances," they said.

I'm glad the kid showed so much enthusiasm for practicing the clarinet over the weekend. She did it voluntarily, and she is not a child who does anything voluntarily. Plus, I could hear that she was making progress with eac…

Oh, the things you can lose!

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I honestly don't know how big families do it. And by "it," I mean . . . everything. When I come home from work each day, I have to check the kid's backpack to see a) what she smuggled to school that day b) if she has any homework. Then, assuming she remembered to bring her insulated lunch bag home, I have to make her lunch for the next day. I tried letting her pack her own lunch the other day but when I looked in the bag, all she had packed were some Cheezits, chocolate almond milk, and a cookie. Nice try, kid.

On a typical evening, we have to stay on top of her to do her math, do 20 minutes of reading, take a shower, and eat her dinner. Add in a couple of "pick your shoes up" and "leave the dogs alone - they're busy," too, and you've got a typical evening at our house.  I tell her that the dogs are too busy to play with her in attempt to get her to focus on her homework and whatnot.  On Tuesdays, she also has choir rehearsal.  Starting ne…

I can do this (I think)

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My wee baby sister made me aware of an upcoming event: Word Day for Farmed Animals (#fastagainstslaughter). It's an awareness event sponsored by Farm Animal Rights Movement. The challenge is to fast for a full day on October 2nd. My sister did it last year. This year, I will join her. I have taken the pledge and if you know me . . . once I say I'm going to do something, odds are pretty good that I'll do it.  If I were you, I wouldn't call me that day because I might be a little crabby after a few hours. It'll be a challenge, for sure. The last thing I think about when I go to bed at night? What I'm going to have for breakfast the next morning. What I think about after breakfast? How soon I can have a snack. Seriously, I'm shameless. It's no wonder I have to maintain a Weight Watchers membership.

I've noticed that people seldom want to chat with me about my choice to go vegan last year (or even my adherence to a vegetarian diet for the 25 years befo…

Making (no) sense of things

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Celebrate we will
Because life is short but
sweet for certain
(Dave Matthews)

Sometimes I look at my daughter and, for just half a second, I think, "What if she . . . wasn't?" What if she simply wasn't here? My brain can't fully form the thought. I've tried, but her presence - her spirit -  is simply too big to picture a life without her. She makes me laugh so hard that my eyes water. She makes me so angry that I have to count to 10 so that I don't throw her iPad in the driveway and run over it with my car. She makes me so proud that when she's in swim class or choir rehearsal or even just playing video games at Chuck E Cheese, I secretly hope that someone will ask me "Which one is yours?" so that I can give them an incredulous look and respond, "Why, the best one. Of course." I mean, duh. Sometimes, my daughter slips and calls me, "Mama" (I'm usually just "Mom" these days) and I think my heart might explo…

5th grade

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Last week, I asked my daughter how it feels to be a fifth grader. This is her final year of elementary school, so there are six grades below her (4K through fourth) and none above. Big fish in a little pond and all that.

"It feels weird," she said. "The other day I told some Kindergartners to stop throwing stuff because they were going to hurt someone. And they actually did it! They stopped throwing stuff."

She was drunk with power, I tell you.

In additional to being at the top of the social order, fifth grade in our school district also means the introduction of band.  Kids interested in being in the school's band are invited to pick an instrument and start learning. "Mom, I want to be in band but it's really expensive. It's $54.00 for the year."  It's cute that she thinks $54 is the most she's ever cost me. She takes me for at least twice that much on an average trip to the mall.

"Give me the papers and I'll take a look,&q…

"Good times, bad times, you know I've had my share"

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Everyone loves a good narrative, a tale of humanity gone right. The best stories, it seems, are the ones where the protagonist overcomes some sort of adversity. Think of surfer Bethany Hamilton, who went on to do great things even after a shark gnawed her arm off.  Think of Stephen Hawking, whose brain does great things even though his body cannot. (By the way, I just watched "The Theory of Everything" and it was very good.) The world is full of triumphant tales of amazing people, those who attended the "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" school of thought.

Sometimes I look back on my childhood and ponder my own lack of resilience. Although I do have many happy memories from my childhood, I also have a lot of residual sadness. There was a divorce, there were financial issues, and I had (and still have) medical problems.

My youngest sister has been scanning (and attempting to preserve) some old family photos. She's planning to work her way through so…

I could've done without a few things . . .

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For someone who can't really go out in the sun and who isn't very outdoorsy . . . I sure love summer. I'm sorry to see it go.  I love our end-of-summer hurrah at the cabin every year. I call my cabin-owning friend every spring and ask if we can use it. I'm always afraid he'll say, "Nope, sold it." But he always says, "Sure!" I think he just likes for people to get use out of it. We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity. I sometimes fantasize about me and Mr. M owning a cabin like it someday, but then I remember that we don't know how to fix anything and are doing a pretty shitty job with the home we already own.

We left for our vacation on Friday the 21st. I don't have my van anymore, so we had to take two cars. The only way we could have fit everything in one car was if we had strapped both dogs on the roof, and I really think the ASPCA tends to frown on that. Anyway, I left first and had the dogs with me. P had to pick up the kid…

Delaying the Sunset

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I'll bet he was the cutest puppy ever. I squint at him sometimes, trying to imagine a smaller version of my Gideon. Before his smooshy mug turned totally grey, he had these really distinctive eyebrows. I think it was those eyebrows that first made me fall in love with him. They gave him character. I'll bet he was naughty when he was a pup, too. Even now, if I fail to latch his crate door properly, he breaks out while no one's home and gets into trouble. As far as I can tell, his first act of mischief after he escapes is to jump up on the kitchen counter and overturn my fruit basket. I always imagine that after he flips it over and sees apples rolling across the kitchen tile, he must think, "Oh, shit. I forgot. It's just fruit."

Before he came into rescue (back in 2006), Gideon was apparently hit by a car. His left foreleg was shattered but never repaired. He compensates by walking on tiptoe on that side (since the left leg is shorter as a result of the fract…