Sunday, November 30, 2008

Philly to Indy

Jeez, is that a long drive.  
I never thought I'd say it, but thank God for Dora.

It's good to be home.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A lot to be thankful for

I am very, very good at finding problems.  While this serves me well at work (because at least there I am also pretty good at finding solutions) it is more often than not a hindrance in real life.

But today is Thanksgiving day, and so in the spirit of the day here is a list, by no means exhaustive, of the things I am so very thankful for:
  • Rob and Sara
  • Nanci and CJ, Sharon, Tony, Kelli and Dani
  • Mom and Dad, and everything (tangible and not) they left behind for us
  • Grammy and her safe recovery
  • Kathy, Skip, Trish, Ray, and Grampa Bill
  • My family - all of them
  • My community
  • The generosity of friends
  • My brother-in-law, alive and well in Iraq
  • Watching Sara grow up and into herself
  • The anticipation of Christmas
  • Friends who never stray
  • A stable job with a steady paycheck
  • A safe place to live with a warm bed for sleeping
  • Gardens, and all that they provide
  • The promise of a finished home (some day at least!)
  • Fond memories (like this, this, this, and this and this)
  • Safe travels
  • Second chances
  • Third chances
  • Good books
  • The Good Book
  • Grace enough
  • Stories of survival (like this one)
  • The blue and white plates hanging in my grandmother's dining room
  • The first sip of coffee in the morning
  • My cat Pete (the best cat ever)
  • Our new fluffy warm blanket
  • Pretty autumn days
  • Catching the perfect picture of Sara
  • Our new little tree
  • Good health
  • Love, love love
How about you?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Have I mentioned this site?

This one right here.
I have?
I see.  Well, obviously I still like it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's a small world after all (with apologies to my Disnophile friends)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had the pleasure of spending a couple of unexpected hours with my aunt last Saturday. She has a lot to say.

During the course of her conversation she mentioned a trip she had taken to Scotland a few years ago, and while she was there she saw my cousin -- ironically named "Scott."

I haven't seen Scott, or either of his brothers, for years. Probably decades. They moved away from Indiana when we were young kids, then all scattered -- one to San Francisco, one to New York, and one to Scotland. Their parents divorced, their dad died, and given their very common last name I figured I'd never find them again.

But leave it to my old friend Google, and my new friend LinkedIn, to prove me wrong.

I sent him an inquiry last night through LinkedIn, just trying to determine if this was the same Scott ________ I was looking for. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't spend a lot of time on my LinkedIn account (probably because I'm not all that interested in being linked in) so I didn't figure I'd hear anything very soon, if at all.

Lo and behold, this morning there was a message in my inbox: "Hi, Cousin."

And I don't know why, but that makes me so happy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday morning post

Wait - what's that I hear?  

What?  Nothing?  I hear nothing?

Oh sweet heaven it's true.  I hear absolutely NOTHING!

Rob, Skip & Sara have taken a day trip to Chicago to see Skip's mom/Rob's grandmother/Sara's great-grandmother and I have the whoooole house to myself.  Well, me & the cats.

It's 9:00am and I have the whole day to look forward to.  Already I've slept in a bit (but just a bit, as I didn't want to waste my alone time), taken a shower, gotten dressed, and enjoyed my first cup of coffee in uninterrupted bliss.


Right now I'm doing some investigating on Cabela's and - lo & behold! - have found a $30 off promotion through my recent new fave, UPromise.  Christmas is coming and, well -- I have a Rob to shop for.  

I'm also enjoying a big bowl of oatmeal.  It is so tasty I'm going to tell you all about it:

Really tasty, rainy-fall-morning, seven-layer* oatmeal
*that's right, seven layers!

1.  Start some oatmeal.  I prefer steel-cut, which takes about 30 min, but right now all I have is plain-old rolled oats.  (Stay away from the instant stuff...  blech.)
2.  Get out a nice big bowl.  I have prepared the "heart healthy" serving size, which is, um -- sizeable.
3.  Add the following, not necessarily in this order, to your bowl:
Brown sugar (to taste - not too much!)
Cinnamon, a couple shakes
Coconut (yes, yes, a little tasty surprise in your bowl), about a tablespoon
Nuts -- I like pecans and walnuts, your choice; a little handful, crunched
Flax seed, about a tablespoon
Dried fruit -- right now I've got Sunsweet "antioxidant blend;" a little handful
The oats
4.  Add a little milk if you like and stir.  Delicious!


Later, I plan on planting a terrarium.  Or, as it's known around our house, a "fairy garden."  We're all about the fairies these days.


I got a haircut Thursday night and oh, oh, oh.  Do I feel better. 


I thought I had something else to say but I guess I don't.  Enjoy your Saturday!


Addendum:  So.  About thirty minutes after I signed off, my aunt arrived.  I had completely forgotten that she was going to be in town (she lives outside St. Louis) and wanted to see me and Sara.  I did indeed feel like a heel.  Also?  She's a talker.  Really.  I love her though.  But I'm glad I've been able to bookend that 2 hours with quiet.  Now, on to the terrarium...


OK, so after lunch I totally fell asleep.  Then had unpleasant dreams about, well -- never mind.  They were unpleasant.  I guess I should go plant that terrarium.  This is not turning out to be the day I expected at all!  Maybe I can get them to go back to Chicago again TOMORROW...

Friday, November 14, 2008


So I'm wondering:

When will I be able to arrive at work without a newly-acquired stain on my shirt? You know -- one that's strategically located?

When will I be able to travel from point A to point B without looking like a pack mule?

When will I stop finding rocks, barrettes, and stickers in my pockets, on my pants, or in my shoes?

When will the 7:00am time outs be a thing of the past?

When will I no longer be excited about a new episode of Dora?

When will I be able to use the loo without an audience?

The answer:

All too soon. And I'll miss it when it's gone.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

36 inches of peace

Mayhem and chaos.  These words are not too far off the mark when thinking about a typical day with Sara.  She brings both to the table.

I'm not saying this is all bad, mind you.  She is smart and funny, and every day she adds some new trick to the mix: suddenly unable to bear loud noises, like the toilet flushing or the mixer in the kitchen; answering questions with a very serious "yeth;" insisting on wearing oversized Tinkerbell jams to bed (every night); telling a joke; eating and eating and eating, til I am quite sure she will bust.  Or, eating nothing at all.

This is also quite exhausting on all fronts.  She is a whirlwind that requires constant chasing and a sensitive little soul whose heart requires constant tending.  She never - ever - stops talking, and requires constant conversation.  Sara's mind is always thinking, figuring, planning, analyzing.  Her world gets bigger by the minute -- and it's not ready for her, let me tell you.

So at the end of the day, when she grudgingly gives in to her little body's demands for rest, I'm always surprised to find the most wonderful thing:  36 inches of peace.  36 inches of warm, steady breaths on my cheek and soft small hands smoothing my hair.  36 inches of arms and legs kept warm in her favorite footie jams,  finally still.  36 inches of cozy, her body not too hot (like her father) or too foreign (like everyone else), but just right.  36 inches of innocence and promise and faith and hope and unconditional love.

36 inches that breaks my heart and makes my life, every single day.  

Sweet, silent, peace.

Monday, November 10, 2008

OK, but it's only 5 or so in dog years

A conversation with my nearly-three-year-old at lunch today:

"Mama, are you two?"


"Are you five?"


"What are you?"


"Oh, right."




Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Waiting Game, or Happy Birthday, CJ!

The following post was shamelessly copied & pasted from my other blog, which is supposed to chronicle the mad-cap events surrounding our much anticipated home renovation project.  SUPPOSED TO, I say.  Instead it has become a safe place for me to use all of the choice language that my mother never let me get away with.  Enjoy.

So, my brother asked me today why I haven't posted anything.

OK -- first?  My brother?  Reads this blog?  Who knew?  (Clearly not me.)

And to answer his question for the record:  Because there's just not a whole lot going on right now.

My father-in-law would certainly disagree and I mean him no disrespect.  He has been working on putting in the last of our replacement windows and putting up trim where he is able.  So yes, something has been going on.

But none of the BIG stuff is going on.  It seems that the city of Indianapolis, or the state of Indiana, or both, like to screw with their taxpayers by making them wait for weeks on end (weeks!  that's right, I said WEEKS!) to issue final permits.  I am so beyond over it that I don't know what to do, but there's not a hell of a lot I can do except curse about it.  And so I will.

Those #&^-d@#^ m(#*%^-f&#?^*$ really need to get off of their m(#*%^-f&#?ing a$$e$ so we can f&#?ing get on with this already, because this $%!t is really starting to p!$$ me the h@)) off.

Ah, I feel much better now.

No, no I don't.  Not really at all.

But there it is.  We wait while the chump from the IDEM decides to grace us with his* presence so we can actually start building what we've been dreaming about for over a year.  Perhaps if he realized we are sharing a room with a two-year-old, he might take mercy on us and put a move on it?

Nah, I don't think so either.

*And in the event that this chump is a woman, all of the above still stands -- because I am nothing if not an equal-opportunity p!$$ed off taxpayer.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Feeling blue

Indiana, for the first time in 44 years, has gone blue. And I’m not really all that surprised.

I’m glad this election is over. Like most people I’m tired of the campaign ads, tired of the talking heads, tired of the glad-handing and pandering and what-have-you. I was not an Obama supporter (though I did flirt with it for a time), but fully expected him to win so the outcome of yesterday’s election was more or less a formality for me.

Let’s just say I went to bed early.

More than anything, the campaign for this election left me disappointed. I am happy for -- and if I’m to be completely honest also a little jealous of -- Obama’s supporters. They were (are) real believers, and had a candidate who could (can) inspire. Obama is certainly charismatic, charming, engaging, even a little seductive. I wanted to believe, to get on the bandwagon because this is a guy who pulls you in and, somehow, gives you faith that he, unlike all the others before him, will deliver.

McCain? Not so much.

My friend Richard has said more than once that Obama is our generation’s Kennedy, and I suppose he’s right about that. It would have been nice to be a part of that kind of movement. (Then again I’m not a Kennedy fan either, so there you go.)

But in the end I just didn’t (don’t) buy what he was selling. I’m concerned about his agenda and where it will take us, even more concerned now that he appears to have the Congress firmly on his side – a Congress which proves, time & again, that they can’t always be trusted (no matter their political persuasion). He’s got his work cut out for him, to be sure, but right now the deck seems to be stacked in his favor.

Here’s hoping he’s the best thing to happen to this country.

And here’s hoping that four years from now I’ll have someone that I can believe in, too.