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Showing posts from August, 2009

A wrinkle in title...oh, whatever

For her first second grade project, Mallory had to go through a magazine or newspaper and cut out words that describe her likes, interests, and personality, and then glue those words to a paper apple. We don't get the newspaper, and the only magazines we subscribe to are Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker. I figured that the former would be more fruitful in this instance than the latter; so the words that Mallory ended up finding and cutting out were "Movies" and "Music" and "Games" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and "Future Star!" We finally got to the end of the magazine, to its one lone page of book reviews. "Books!" I said, pointing to the headline. "You like books, cut that word out."

Mallory sighed. "Mommy, actually, I don't really like books at all," she said, and I keeled over dead.

No, I didn't. But I sighed heavily, on the inside. I don't know if she means it, really, although i…

Spin Cycle

My college had co-ed dorms, in the sense that boys and girls (men and women?) lived on alternating floors and could come and go as they pleased. I snicker at myself, now, for finding that a bit outrĂ©, then. (And I am amazed again at the memory that even twenty years ago, the dorms at my former boyfriend’s college were so anti-coed that it was a punishable offense to enter the women’s dormitory if you were a man, and vice versa. It’s one of the reasons I chose not to go to his college, although we were still dating at the time – we’d never have gotten to see one another anyway.)

My sophomore year, to drone on to the point of this story, I lived in North Hall, which had men on the third floor and women on the first and second. There was exactly one washer/dryer set in the whole dorm, on the third floor. It was a nightmare, trying to catch the washer empty. One time, early in the semester, when I actually managed to put a load in, I came back thirty minutes later to find my wet clothes st…

The truth hurts

As a child, if I happened to notice my mother taking a Tylenol, I would immediately feel a twinge of guilt, thinking that she must have a headache because of my siblings and me.

Now that I'm a mother, I know...that I was probably right to think so.

Back to School

Mallory is in second grade:

...and is happy enough about it, I suppose:

Phoebe was excited to start preschool today:

...but not excited about taking a picture with her sister (a familiar theme, for long-time readers):

Mallory's big news on the first day of school was that a girl in her class broke her foot and had to use "crunches."

Phoebe walked right up to the new girls in her class and asked if they wanted to have a tea party with her. Last year, she didn't speak to anyone til about mid-December, so she's obviously made some progress.

Chris started school too! No pictures of him.

My life has not changed, except that now I have to make sure the backpacks and lunch boxes are ready in the morning.

And so it goes.

Practical Child

Mallory's friend: Hey Mallory, if your house was on fire, and you had to run out really really fast, and you could only take two things with you, what would they be?

Mallory: Um...a hot dog and a bag of marshmallows.


Phoebe would like you to know that our garden also produced one giant cucumber:

From 2009-08-18

Just the one, alas. It was a really good cucumber, too.

Mallory's first day of school was yesterday. I took pictures, but I can't bring myself to post them yet. The first day of school used to look like this:

What happened? And how did it happen so fast?

I say too many

My father-in-law planted a garden in my backyard, and it produced tomatoes:

Lots of tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes:

Now, some people claim that there is nothing more delicious than a fresh tomato, but unfortunately, none of those people live in my house. But as much as I didn’t really want to eat all these tomatoes, I also didn’t want to waste them, so I decided to preserve them. My family does love pasta, after all, and pizza and lasagna too (well, except for Phoebe, but she doesn’t like anything that is not a grain of some kind), and I thought it would be great to have a bunch of fresh-made tomato sauce on hand for the long winter months ahead.

So I found a recipe for making fresh tomato sauce (and freezing it – I wasn’t keen on canning, I’m not that domestic) and set aside Saturday for the project. And – well, here’s the thing. When you blog, sometimes there are certain experience that you look at from a blogger’s point of view, right? So I not only documented the process with ph…

Chocolate Chip Missile Crisis

When I was in fifth grade, I was consumed with fear that the Soviets were on the verge of destroying us in a nuclear attack. I’m sure I’m not the only almost-forty-something who remembers being afraid like that. It was the early eighties, the final tense years of the Cold War. I remember hearing about the death of Yuri Andropov, the Soviet premiere, and wondering – Does this make war less likely, or more? (Remember the joke about Yuri? What did Reagan say to him before he died? “Go to a cliff, Yuri, and drop off!” Ha. Well, not really.) I prayed every night that nuclear war might somehow be averted.

At some point during that school year, I attended, with a group of other students, a series of weekend enrichment workshops at a nearby college. We were taught rudimentary pottery skills by a middle-aged man with a ponytail, who may very well have been the first man with a ponytail I’d ever met. One Saturday he mentioned that the next night’s episode of 60 Minutes was going to feature Pante…

My First Wizard

For an ye heard a music, like enow
They are building still, seeing the city is built
To music, therefore never built at all,
And therefore built for ever.

I was in junior high when I first read Mary Stewart’s version of the Arthurian story – The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, the Last Enchantment, and The Wicked Day. I devoured the books, one right after the other, and declared myself to be a devotee of all things Arthurian. I did school research projects on Arthur, I wrote (embarrassingly bad) Arthur stories of my own. I tracked down other books about Arthur, the best of those being The Once and Future King by T.H. White and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. In college, I took a seminar on Arthurian literature, and read Geoffrey of Monmouth and parts of the Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur; I wrote a paper on how Arthur, in an epic poem (or opera?) by Dryden, symbolized both King David and Jesus and King Charles I. In a class on Victorian literature, I read The Idylls of the King …

Something was missing

...with apologies to the author. My addition is in italics:

Along the aisle between the tables he walked, and he spotted the three Ma.lfoys, huddled together as though unsure whether or not they were supposed to be there, but nobody was paying them any attention. Harry hesitated, then walked straight over to Mal.foy and held out the hawthorn wand. "Thanks, mate," he said.

Malf.oy's father drew in his breath, perhaps to protest, but Narc.issa put her hand on his arm and shook her head. stepped forward, looked Harry in the eye, nodded, and reclaimed his wand.

I know, if you haven't read the books you don't know what I'm going on about, but if you have read them -- wouldn't you agree? Shouldn't this be there? I've always thought so.

I saw HP6 last night. (Was okay. Probably the best one yet in terms of making the story make sense in spite of everything that had to be left out. But none of the kids seemed to do any magic at all. And not a m…

Just Beachy

So, we spent all last week at the beach. And it was fun. And there's not much more to be said, really, because really, when you're at the beach, pretty much all that happens is that you get wet. And then you dry off, and put on dry clothes, and then five minutes later your kids want to go back to the beach, or the pool, so you change into your suits again, and put on more sunscreen, and go get wet again, and if you repeat that cycle about forty times, well, that was our week. It was fun, and wet, and I didn't take many pictures, because, well, we were always wet.

Like this:

Here Phoebe is saying, Mommy, why are you taking our picture now, when we could be getting wet again?

Here is Mallory thinking that she might sleep in the big bathtub for the night:

It didn't take her too long to change her mind.

I should mention that last summer, Mallory refused to go underwater under any circumstances; she's gotten over that, thankfully, and this summer has actually swum. (She has …