Showing posts from January, 2011


I grow old . . .I grow old . . . I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. -T.S. Eliot My "old lady" eyes As much as it pains me to admit this, I need bi-focals.  I don't want them. I refuse to get them quite yet, even though I mostly certainly need them six months ago now. I am not going down without a fight, my friends. This visual degeneration starts subtly enough.  Threading a needle becomes more challenging. Fine print seems even . . . finer. At restaurants, you start holding the menu just a tiny bit farther away. And then farther still, until you've nearly set it ablaze against the candle on your table. Yesterday I was shopping with my friend Becky and spotted some cute plates for kids.  I peered at the microscopic words on the back of the plate.  I held it closer to my face and then farther away.  I tilted it towards the light.  Finally, dejected, I handed it to Becky. "Can I put this thing in the microwave or not?"  She glanced at th

"My Strange Addiction"

Have you seen this show ? It's like a train wreck - you can't look away. The program depicts everyday people who engage in offbeat behaviors like . . . eating foam couch cushions bit by bit or ingesting powdered laundry detergent (toilet paper, chalk, etc.). Some of the compulsions shown are truly horrifying (and many present some pretty serious health risks, too). The foam eater has consumed several COUCHES in her lifetime. I realize the show is meant to appeal to the sideshow watcher in all of us. Obviously it wouldn't bring in many viewers if it were called "My Mild Case of Generalized Anxiety." Watching the show made me think about whether or not I have any addictions or compulsions. I do like Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi an awful lot. I have a pretty serious issue with Keebler Fudge Sticks. I cannot be trusted around them and therefore have not purchased a box in years (and even if I did, you wouldn't find them in my pantry because I would have eaten the


I've been feeling a little . . . unappreciated lately.  It's a common refrain heard from moms and wives since Biblical times, I'm sure. Normally I just suck it up and go on with life, but every so often I feel the need to hit the brakes and pout about it a bit.  I've been threatening to "go out for cigarettes and never come back," but this threat has been rendered largely ineffective, mostly by the fact that I do not smoke.   No one seems to notice that clean underwear automatically appears in their dresser drawer.  Or that clean sheets magically land on their beds twice a month. Or that nutritious meals appear on the table regularly. Apparently, I am the only member of our household capable of: Emptying a backpack (and dealing with the contents thereof, such as school papers, wet snow gear, and stowaway Zhu Zhu Pets). Cleaning the litterbox.  Cleaning anything, for that matter. Buying groceries. Letting the dogs out. Letting the dogs in. Feeding sai

Slither Hither

My daughter's sixth birthday is on May 3rd. As you may recall, she has been talking about this birthday since . . . well, May 4th. She gets a party every other year, so she knows she is due for a festive bash this year. While she would be delighted to go to Chuck E Cheese or that sort of kid-magnet joint, I'd really rather not. I can't help but want her birthday to be something special - not just a party in a sea of other parties. A is going to her second bowling party in a row this weekend.  Those are totally fine, but I want to try something different. I think I may have a plan.  I have a friend who does reptile rescue.  I have a daughter who loves reptiles. Twice this year, she has brought home this book on library day at school (and lingers over the image of a snake with a live frog dangling from its mouth): My friend also does kid-related gatherings. She brings a few animals, does a craft with the kids, brings coloring books with information about reptiles, takes

Rants and Raves

Have you ever visited the "Rants and Raves" section of your local Craigslist site?  If not, it's probably for the best.  If you want to know where every racist, homophobe, and misogynist from your town congregates, you'll find them right there, spewing their misspelled venom. Anyway, I titled this blog entry thusly because I am anticipating some randomness here. First, an update on my girth. I have completed two full weeks on the new program at Weight Watchers.  I weighed in on Saturday.  I lost 1.5 pounds in the second week. I know this is considered good progress, but I'd hoped for a little more.  I mean, I was focused (like a laser , people!) the whole week and did not stray from the program. Such is the way with weight loss, I guess. I witnessed a near-brawl at Subway on Friday.  I popped in over my lunch hour.  I was sitting at a booth, eating my veggie patty on wheat and thumbing through a magazine, when I noticed a woman berating the Subway staff.  She sa


"Mama, I want my hair short. Like Lilly's." My daughter was sitting in the back of my coolmobile, chatting with me as I drove. I've seen her classmate Lilly - she's a cute girl with a chin-length bob. "Are you sure?" I responded, glancing over my right shoulder to see her expression and gauge her level of commitment to this idea. A has curly hair and I was concerned about whether or not she understood that her hair will never look exactly like her friend's hair. She nodded. "I want it short." I let the idea percolate for a week or so and then made an appointment to take her to a kids' salon. Typically, I only have her hair cut twice a year or so. She doesn't have bangs or some particular hairstyle that has to be kept up regularly, so bi-annual trims seems to work fine. I did have some of the length cut off in the spring. This took two visits, because I think the first stylist was too afraid to cut the curls off. I'm assumi

Hear, hear with your defective ear

Translation: "I have to wake up early" The note above is mostly unrelated to this post, but it's been on our refrigerator for the past week or so and it makes me smile every time I pass it. We are constantly telling the kid, "It's time for bed - you have to get up early."  Apparently she is under the impression that "wake up" is one word.  Santa brought her an alarm clock for Christmas. Waking our daughter up is such a chore that P and I have been known to play rock-paper-scissors to decide which parent is stuck with it.  Our little buttercup is not a morning person.  Anyway, we thought it was high time she learned to get herself up; hence, the clock. The first day back at school was January 3rd.  We stood outside her door at 6:15 a.m. and listened.  The clock started beep-beep-beeping at the appointed time. We listened for movement.  Nothing.  Beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep.   Finally, we gave up and roused her from her slumber. The next four

A weight lifted

A happy occurrence this week: I heard from A's birthmom. After Short Stuff was born, we had fairly regular contact with her birthmom, J. We spoke on the phone and had visits every month or so. Our last visit occurred when A was fifteen months old.  Toward the end of 2006, the contact stopped.  I called a couple of times and left messages, but after a while I came to realize that I was probably making a nuisance of myself.  A few years ago, I sent her a letter telling her that I understood that she no longer wanted contact, but if she decided to resume contact in the future, we would certainly be open to that.  For the past few years, I've mostly just wondered.  Wondered how she was doing.  Wondered if she was happy (I knew that she'd married a nice guy and had a son - she now has two sons).  And, perhaps more selfishly . . . wondered if I'd done something wrong.  You see, there is no handbook for navigating the relationship between an adoptive parent and a birthpare

Me and my calculator

So, you might be thinking to yourself, "Self, did Claudia follow through with her promise to get back to Weight Watchers or was she just talking out of her ass like she sometimes does?"  (Because I'm sure you have nothing better to do than to worry about what I put in my mouth.)  I am happy to report that I did indeed get my act together.  My fabulous WW leader, Holly, posted on Facebook that there was an open house on Sunday from 12-3.  I wasn't sure if I could work it in, because I had to take the kid to a birthday party and I also had to take my foster pup to his new home.  I definitely didn't want to reschedule the adoption, because I had seriously reached Maximum Puppy.  What people see in puppies, I have no idea. He's lucky I came to a complete stop when I dropped him off at his new home.  A friend of mine asked me if I'd told the new owners how naughty Dean is.  I replied, "Not in so many words. I think I just told them that he makes really bad