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Showing posts from April, 2010

The Plan

I’m going to lose 15 pounds by the last week of June, just in time for our trip to Disney World.

I think that walking for miles, though the crowds, in the oppressive Florida heat will be a bit less unpleasant if I am a bit less…well, less.

Plus, if I lose weight I’ll be able to fit into the shorts I bought a few summers ago.

Plus, having a small goal with a definite endpoint seems much more manageable than having a huge goal with no endpoint (e.g., I’m going to diet my way down to a size 6!).

I won’t bore you with my tactics (other than to say: many salads in my future), but I will say that the toughest part is figuring out how to feed both myself and my family at dinnertime. It’s hard feeding us all even when one of us is not trying to lose weight. Sigh.

Anyway. Wish me luck, I’ll keep you posted.


This is a paragraph from a section of a novel called Anthill, by entomology professor/naturalist Edward O. Wilson. This excerpt from the novel was published in The New Yorker, to which I subscribe, and when I flipped to it my first thought was to just keep flipping, because who wants to read a story about ants? But then I read the first paragraph, and then the second, and by then I was so engrossed that I couldn't put it down, and I read the whole story and wished for more. Anyway, this paragraph is about an ant traveling to a rival antbed to gauge their strength:

As the elite scout left on her journey, she remembered the route more or less precisely. She had been to the Trailhead territory before, and she carried a compass in her head, using the sun as a lodestar. This reliance on the sun could have been the source of a huge error for an ant, because the sun travels across the sky, its angle constantly changing. However, each ant also has a biological clock, set to the twenty-four…


Last summer, on our trip to Washington DC, Phoebe was playing in the swimming pool with her cousin Rhett. Rhett started to chase her, saying: “I’m going to catch you and lock you in my pirate cave!”

“No you’re not, because I can open the cave with my magic wand!” Phoebe said.

“Then I’m going to paralyze you with my jellyfish potion!” Rhett said.

“No you’re not, because that won’t work on my magical mermaid fin!” Phoebe said.

“Then I’m going to tie you up with my lasso!” Rhett said.

“No you’re not, because I can cut the rope with my sword!” Phoebe said.

Rhett finally turned to me, laughing, and said, “I don’t think I’m going to win this!”

This is the same little girl who was so shy, she wouldn’t even speak to my family when we visited two years ago.

I said to a friend the other day: “Phoebe is in this phase where she won’t let me out of her sight.” Then I thought a minute and added: “Wait, does it count as a phase if she’s been this way since birth?”

“No, I think then it’s a character …


It's National Poetry Month, I heard today, so tonight I pulled out my favorite book of poetry -- Poems on the Underground. It's a collection of poems that were posted on trains in the London subway system the year I studied in England. Here's one:

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.
--Sheenagh Pugh


Spring and Fall
to a young child
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as t…

Sweet Nothings

Chris and I share a fondness for irreverent humor and a dislike of sentimentality. (We more or less realized we were soulmates while swapping quotes from The Simpsons.) I couldn’t meet his eyes during our wedding vows because of the way our preacher led us to say to one another, “I will lodge where you lodge” – something about that line struck us both as really funny. (We were already on the edge of the giggles after hearing my ex-brother-in-law read, with great feeling, the line from 1 Corinthians 13, “I am a noisy gong!” which was an apt description of his personality.)

So it should come as no surprise that we took our Lamaze class, which we took before Mallory was born, a bit less than seriously. I had already committed to an epidural, so all this talk of cleansing breaths and guided meditations and so forth struck us both as unnecessary. During one practice session, while all of us pregnant ladies were sprawled on the floor, with our husbands kneeling beside us, our instructor urg…

True Love

How much does Phoebe love this dog?

A whole, whole, whole lot.

(I have other, and better, pictures from this weekend, but I'm having data transfer problems. Check back later for more!)


We probably won’t go to church this Easter. We don’t, actually, go to church all that often, but Easter is particularly problematic because it’s almost impossible to get a parking space or a seat, unless you arrive way ahead of time.

We will be going to church in about a month for Mallory’s first Communion. And we went last month for her first Confession. This is all a bit strange to me, because I’m not Catholic. For many years, in fact, I was somewhat anti-Catholic. I was raised in a church whose doctrine was “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, freedom,” so I suppose it’s not that surprising that I wouldn’t take to a denomination where everything is spelled out and there are highly codified rules and beliefs. My biggest beef, for a while, was that I – a baptized Christian – was not allowed to take Communion in the Catholic church. “It’s not right to exclude people like that!” I protested.

I enrolled in an RCIA class – for adults interested in converting to Catholicism – when…