Showing posts from June, 2012

May I have the manual now, please?

As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, my daughter recently wrote a letter to her birthmom and was awaiting a response. I had exchanged a few emails with her birthmom and I knew that she was planning to respond. She has a new baby and I'm sure life has been a little crazy for her. She also struggles with depression and I know that's a challenge for her, too. The letter arrived yesterday. I knew that J had planned to send a couple of photos and I could tell that they were in the envelope along with the letter. I took my daughter down the hall and into her bedroom and told her I wanted to show her something. "You got a letter from your birthmom!" I said.  I handed her the letter.  She read it to herself. J answered the questions from the letter she had received (for the record, she has two dogs, six chickens, and used to play two instruments). Oh, and she confirmed that it is definitely hot in Texas. Next I handed my daughter the two photos. In one photo, J is s

The very bad thing I've done

Ella Fitzkitty, my strange but sweet little cat, seems to be dying. I took her to the veterinarian, who ran lots of blood work. Other than a slight case of anemia, her blood work was unremarkable. Ella is 13 (she will be in the 8th grade in the fall), so I suppose she is "getting up there" for a cat. I am hoping she will rebound from her current crisis, though. Ella came to me when she was just a few weeks old. My middle sister found her and a littermate on a golf course, as I recall. She called a local shelter about bringing in the kittens. They were overly full. Since the kittens were too young to be vaccinated, they faced almost immediate euthanasia. The sad fact is that cats and kittens are almost literally a dime a dozen. They are efficient reproducers and shelters can seldom keep up with the flow. I had two cats and two dogs at that point (this was June of 1999) and didn't really need another, but agreed to take in this kitten. My sister found a home for the o


I completed 108 sun salutations this morning.  Well, if you want to be all technical about it, I missed half of one salutation because I had to blow my nose. When you are inverted over and over like that . . . well, let's just say that I think I cleared out mucous for colds I haven't even caught yet. I rocked the other 107 1/2, though! This was a special "summer solstice yoga" hosted by the studio where I take classes. It started at 5:30 a.m. I attended solstice yoga last year and really enjoyed it. This year, they changed it up a little with the repetition of the sun salutations. There were also some drummers and other musicians in attendance, which was very cool. It's nice to hear the steady drum beat and to pair it with your breath.  In case you are wondering what a salutation is, basically we repeated this (below) series of steps 108 times.  There are different series of sun salutations (A, B, and C . . . I'm still pretty new to yoga so there may be ot

A daddy's girl indeed

They read comics and play video games together. They wrestle and rough-house (well, until she starts to cry because he forgets that he's four times her size). They talk about super heroes. They both think bodily functions are funny. Now if they'd just team up and do their own laundry, life would be grand! 

Shock value?

"Kids . . . they'll put all of your business on the street." - quote from my mom My daughter has a new hobby - telling random strangers that she was adopted. I'm not sure if it's just a phase or if she's planning to stick with it for the long haul. Now, I should state for the record that we have never hidden the fact that our daughter was adopted. I try to remember to say "was" adopted because, in my mind, it was a one-time legal proceeding and not a perpetual state of being. She is my child and it just so happens that she came to me through adoption (my child, not my adopted child). I try to emphasize with her that she's a kid who was adopted but that isn't the most important detail about her. I'm not sure if that's the right approach or not. I'm honestly not sure how to handle it. It's really up to her, as she grows older, to decide what she wants to share with others so perhaps I should just let her say whatever she wan

My kid is sick and I keep losing things

I got the "your kid is sick" call on Tuesday, about 45 minutes before I was scheduled to leave the office. I dropped everything and headed over to the daycare. I have to say that I do prefer the "your kid is sick" call to the "your kid has head lice" call I got a few weeks ago (it's been three weeks since the last nit sighting, I'm happy to report). When I got there, my daughter was in the administrator's office, sweaty but shivering. One benefit to her petite stature is that I was able to scoop her up and carry her to the car, a feat not easily done with all second graders. She was out of it all the way home and had me really worried. Her temperature was 104. I gave her some acetaminophen and put her to bed. And then wondered what to do with myself. P and I scratched our heads over the sudden onset of this illness. Our daughter had attended a field trip that day and had been super excited about it. She fell ill on the way home - I mean, this

The Best Salesperson Ever

Last weekend my daughter and I volunteered at a pet expo. As we do every year, we made a weekend of it and stayed overnight in a hotel. She was just five weeks old the first time I took her. She slept through the pet expo that year, as I recall. Now she is seven years plus five weeks. We usually put her to work handing out flyers (about our September fundraiser) to passersby. This year, she took on an additional responsibility: running a kids' game. The expo was held outdoors, and it was unbelievably HOT this year.  I was sitting behind the merchandise table, being my usual socially awkward self. Honestly, I am much too prissy to be outside in that kind of heat. I fanned myself and watched in awe as my daughter worked the crowd. She looked so cute in her yellow tee shirt with the word VOLUNTEER on the back (and the rescue's logo on the front). I was wearing one, too, but let me just say that yellow is not my color. I don't know what my color is, but I have confirmed that

Dear Greeting Card Writers,

When it comes to Father's Day cards, when do you write the verses found inside these cards? At 4:55 on Friday night, just before you head out for Happy Hour? Year after year I find myself standing in the Father's Day section at Target/Hallmark/Wherever in early June, optimistically looking at the greeting card selection for this particular occasion. And then I remember: "Oh yeah, they all suck. And always have." Every year, I select the "least bad" card and glumly head to the check-out. I have two dads. This one (biological dad): And this one (my stad - pictured here with my beautiful niece): The Father's Day cards seem to make a lot of assumptions about fatherhood, none of which seem to apply in my case.  Please allow me to advise you of the following: Neither one likes golf. Neither one owns golf clubs or has even thought about golfing. Barbecues are not as meaningful to them as the card selection would seem to reflect.  One of them d

Your Parents' Record Collection

NPR launched an interesting project recently. They've asked people to contact them and share stories about what their listeners found in their parents' record collection. The music we hear in those formative years shapes us in so many ways. Even if we grow to hate some of the music we heard, our memories are still tied to those songs. So, I started thinking about my parents and what they listened to, and how their musical tastes have affected my own. I should start by saying that I come from a family of music lovers. I should also state that none of us can sing. Well, maybe I shouldn't paint the fam with such a broad stroke. My daughter seems to have a pretty decent singing voice. She's lucky she wasn't subjected to our DNA. I think my eldest niece is the only one who can read music - she plays the cello. In any case, we are not a musical people but we do love music, if that makes any sense. My parents split up when I was around 8. I don't think of my father

A Noteworthy Sort of Day

20 years ago today, I was stood up for a date (the nerve, right?) and went out with a friend of mine instead. We went to a club in Washington DC called The Dome. And there I met a cute Marine who was stationed at Quantico. I asked him to dance, thereby boosting his ego and giving him the opportunity to tell all of his jarhead buddies: "Yeah, she wanted me pretty bad." 20 years is a really long time to hang out with the same person voluntarily, so props to us, eh? Also, my first grader is now a second grader. Today is the last day of school. There was an awards ceremony on Monday and my daughter received a certificate of recognition for having "the best sense of humor and being a great reader."  I am not sure if this is akin to a "participation ribbon" in sports, but I'm oddly proud of the sense of humor part. She gets it from me, you know. So, here she is on her last day as a first grader. As usual, she is just a big bowl of sunshine and rainbow


All winter long, I listened to the song "June Hymn" by The Decemberists and daydreamed about summertime. I couldn't wait for all of the festivals, weekends out of town, long walks with my dogs, and gardening with a spade in one hand and a Mike's Hard Cranberry in the other. And now, 'tis here! We spent another eventful weekend doing fun stuff - from a garden fair to a teddy bear hunt to a trip to a farm. One bad thing happened to me this weekend, though. I bought a package of cookies from a bake sale (yes, I am on Weight Watchers, but I had to go to the bake sale because it was a benefit for a German Shepherd rescue, which is run by a friend of mine. You understand). Anyway, I got the cookies home and ate part of one, only to find out that it had coconut in it. SON OF A BISCUIT! Honest to God, there ought to be a law. Anyway, here is the song I've been humming. There is a line that says, "Once upon it, the yellow bonnets, garland all the lawn."  On