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Showing posts from March, 2009

The last three stanzas of one of my favorites

I said, 'It's certain there is no fine thing
Since Adam's fall but needs much labouring.
There have been lovers who thought love should be
So much compounded of high courtesy
That they would sigh and quote with learned looks
Precedents out of beautiful old books;
Yet now it seems an idle trade enough.'

We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time's waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.

I had a thought for no one's but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we'd grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.



One of my goals for this year was to reduce my debt and reform my spending habits. I am pleased to announce that, three months into the year, I've actually done quite well in this regard. (Let's not discuss the progress of my other goals just yet.)

I have not used a credit card all year. Not once! The only "extra" purchases I've made since January, by which I mean things other than food, gas, and bills, have been: Two $5 skirts for Phoebe (I am sunk the day my kids decide that clothes from Target are uncool, or when Phoebe ceases to be excited by the "new to her" clothes from the hand-me-down bins in the attic); Scholastic book club orders (because who can resist those); some small things for the kids' Easter baskets; anti-virus software for my laptop (ugh); a new car battery (double ugh); and some birthday presents. Oh, and Kindle books, although I also cashed in some "reward" points on my credit card, which I hadn't even known I was …


I have been meaning to do a big update on this sadly-neglected blog of mine, but I am suffering from hayfever, or the plague, or something, and slept almost not at all last night, and hence cannot think. Which makes me wonder -- how did I function, in years not too far gone, when I had a newborn in the house and got this little sleep all the time? What a bad plan, cosmically speaking, to combine infant care with sleep deprivation. Anyway. I'm tempted to go out to my car and take a nap in the backseat.

I'll leave you with this, to at least make your visit worthwhile:

In case you, too, were wondering

I've watched The Sound of Music many times in my life, and I've watched the puppet show scene, in which the children yodel with marionettes, many more times than that, because it's a scene that my children and several children that I used to babysit for absolutely love. Needless to say, I can sing "The Lonely Goatherd" along with the best of them, although my yodeling isn't all it could be. I was always baffled, though, by one of the lines of the second verse:

A prince on the bridge of a castle moat heard

Men in the midst of a ... tobbled hoat? heard

What were the men in the midst of, again? I never knew, until it occurred to me to check google today. And the answer is: the men were in the midst of a table d'hote. Which just means they were eating at a restaurant, essentially.

I'm glad I know, now, what the men were doing. Although in a way, the wondering was a bit more interesting than the answer turned out to be.

1st grade theology

"I know why we can't eat meat on Fridays during Lent," Mallory said.

"Oh? Why is that?" I asked.

"Because Jesus wants us to suffer as much as he did," she said.

It occurred to me later, after laughing quite a bit, that I should have supplied the correct word: sacrifice. But I'm the one who, after helping to serve at her school's PTO (Vegetarian) Soup Supper tonight, will probably go get a cheeseburger. So what do I know of either?

Digital Child

A note from Mallory:

I want to go to the parck today. It is the walking trale parck I want to go to with the swings.

Go to!

Love, Mallory

Sour Grapes

Many years ago, I applied for a job at a certain magazine published out of Chapel Hill. It's a literary magazine -- fiction, poetry and whatnot -- and the job was for Managing Editor. I WANTED THAT JOB SO BADLY, and when I found out that I didn't get it, I cried.

A few months ago, I saw an online ad for this magazine -- Click here for a free issue! So I clicked, and the magazine arrived in my mailbox a few weeks later. I flipped through it; it fell open to the page that lists the editorial staff. My jaw dropped, because listed as Managing Editor was someone named...Krista Brenner. Which is, you know, my very own first name and a surname only one letter off from my maiden name.

I threw the magazine in the recycling bin without reading it. Apparently, I'm still not over that particular rejection.

Money Money Money

I read last week that, best case scenario, the current economic crisis will start to get better in three years.

I don’t know if I can stand three years of feeling this anxious.

Nothing has changed, for my little family. On paper, we are no better or worse off than we were last July. We have a fixed-rate mortgage with a payment well within our means. We have our jobs and both are relatively secure (although one never knows). Nothing has changed, really, except that, like everyone else in America, we’re afraid that suddenly everything will change, and we’ll be screwed.

We get by. We have enough for bills and groceries and a meal out now and then. But if one of our cars breaks down – we’re screwed. If the heat pump goes kerflooey – we’re screwed. If gas goes back up to $4 a gallon – we’re a little screwed there, too. If, heaven forbid, one of us loses our jobs, we’re really, really screwed.

And I get so, so angry with myself now, every month when I send off my minimum monthly payment for my…