Thursday, April 18, 2013


It is cold, gusty, dark, wet and unpleasant, and I have been breaking with my green smoothie lifestyle to eat a lot of waffles.  And variations on porridge.

(Semi-gratuitous shot of oatmeal with chia seed and goji berries because Coffee Lady commented at the other blog that I seem to be getting even weirder.  Yep!)

Not that there haven't been pretty moments.  See what it looked like last Saturday?

When I talked Little Lad into taking a walk with me?

And we passed a sidewalk sale at the thrift shop?

And once home, he made us a flower tree?

Also, there was one hour yesterday when the sun came out (and it got HOT), and I frolicked in the woods and saw things like this...

...and then we had a couple of wonderful proper thunderstorms.

 And now it's winter again.

Ah, well.  Perhaps I will take my peevish little self and fire up the waffle iron, beg my neighbor for coffee, and settle in with something nice to read.


P.S.  Personal to Coffee Lady:  Salad with hempseed and chickweed flowers.  Nacho "cheese" made from cashews.  Pinto bean/flax tortilla chips.  Buon appetito!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Birthday and a Petting Zoo

I have failed as a mother.  On Big Lad's fifteenth birthday I took not one photo.  Zero, zilch, zippo!

In my defense, it wasn't an especially photographable birthday.  But it was a fantastic one, according to the lad himself.  A sleepover with his good friend C., a lavish breakfast produced by Papa Speechless, gifts of money and vouchers from his favorite shops (including a certain fast-food taco joint), an all-day eating/shopping/eating spree with said friend and me, a quick bite of pizza at the annual church Easter egg-dyeing fest (yep, more eating), and another gift fest at Grandma's.

And then Easter happened, and a little brother with a cold, and the excitement of helping Grandma find a fab new house to live in...and, truth be told, a little bit of frolicking in the woods...and here it is, more than two weeks later, and I'm just now talking about it.

Ah, well.  It was good, he had a fine time, and he doesn't seem too traumatized by the fact that his parents are in no hurry to sign him up for driving lessons (even though fifteen-year-olds in Missouri are indeed eligible for a learner's permit).  Phew!

But in case you need reassuring evidence that my Tall Teen still exists, here he is bonding with a yak.

And a camel.

All for now.  Except for this photo for Barb, who is under the weather.

Also, my sister and brother-in-law are flying to Norway day after tomorrow.  Feel free to wave at the sky if you see them!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Equinox Eve

Please enjoy this snowflake while I continue to recover from the flu that felled me a week ago.

Back soon...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day Whatever: Whatever

Clearly I am a Quitter.  Or at least perpetually bad at following other people's rules.

I did give quite a bit of thought to yesterday's topic ("Fear"), but ended up just feeling discouraged at the realization that motherhood and too many emergency room visits (for my dad, not my children...knock wood) have made me an anxious little person.  Must work on that.  And trust me, you don't want to see a photo of me being fearful.

Today's prompt is "Favourite," but that just makes me cranky because I like/love a zillion things and nothing is my favorite.  Well, roses, maybe.  Which look like this at the moment:

So adieu, Photo Challenge, and thank you for kicking my backside into blogging again.

Now, to turn to pertinent current events.  It is Green Eggs and Ham Day at school, and here are the ingredients for Papa Speechless's vegetarian offering (Beet-Dyed Pink Eggs and Fakin' Bacon Polka Dots), pictured alongside fortifying travel mug of tea.

And here is a person observing both Hat Day (yet another facet of Dr. Seuss Week) and Maybe Finally Warm Enough To Wear My Jaunty New Spring Jacket? Day.  Mighty stylish, don't you think?


(The other kid left before I woke up this morning.  Early drum ensemble practice.  Followed by school.  Followed by tennis.  Yes, we're revving up toward spring all over the place...)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day Six: Chair

Before too long, all of our dining room chairs will look like this.  I wonder, if my grandpa had lived beyond my teens, would I eventually have asked him to show me how to cane a chair?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 5: Under

The Mystery Inc. gang went undercover as a band called Missing Link, to solve the mystery of the theater ghost.

And the two of us had a blast, both at the production (a Christmas/birthday present for Little Lad), and at dinner beforehand.  LL enjoyed quesadillas, a cherry almond cookie...

...and a Strawberry Manilow.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Days 3 and 4: Key and Lucky

The key to a successful birthday celebration for an eight-year-old is to let him choose the menu.

But some of us were lucky enough to get a whole separate feast of our own.


I think I might be bombing at this Photo-a-Day thing -- no photos of car keys (or keyboards or pianos) or four-leaf clovers.  But then you've all come to expect quirky from me, right?

Saturday, March 2, 2013


 As I mentioned over here, I am easing back into blogging by doing a photo-a-day challenge.

Today's prompt:  I made this!  Well, here's one of the best things I ever made, on his birthday today (the hearts were his idea).

It was such a happy day.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

All Souls' Day

On Friday, the Dia de los Muertos, my dad ate a good breakfast and sat down to watch some TV.  Shortly thereafter, without fuss or fanfare, his heart just stopped beating.

We are surprised that the end came so soon; relieved that it came so gently; joyful that his spirit is no longer shackled to that malfunctioning depleted 120-pound body; and of course sad that he really and truly is gone.

And if I am honest, I'm a little nervous, too, because I know that now he probably can see every little grammatical error I make here.  My spelling seems to be going to pot, too (sorry about that misspelled place name I failed to catch in the obituary).

Be kind with thine angelic red pen, Dad, enjoy the pictures, and (fingers crossed) I'll see you in my dreams.

Love always,

I took the first four photos in this post while gathering cypress cones at the cemetery, moments before Dad unexpectedly passed away.  The last photo is of Dad and Big Lad, from New Year's 1999.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week Two: York, Norfolk and a Jubilee

I apologize for the fits-and-starts nature of this series.  The problem, as I see it, is that (a) I have no self-discipline; (b) my photos are disappointing (not the ones of gorgeous beaming blog friends, but the ones of glorious monuments and sweeping landscapes); and (c) I am better at describing Moments than Large-Scale Epic Adventures.  Speaking of the gorgeous blog friends, I will state here for the record that every person you see here gave me (non-coerced) permission to splash her face (or backside, as the case may be) across these pages.

...And so with fear and trembling, I pointed the jaunty black Vauxhall southward (fear and trembling because at this stage I was still a Nervous Driver).  We stopped for lunch in Durham, where cathedral access was limited because somebody was filming a TV program within...

...but at least we made it unimpeded to the eatery in the undercroft.

Eventually we arrived in York (aka One of My Favorite Cities EVER), where we dropped off the car unscathed (it and us), got comfy in our attic B&B room, walked the walls, visited the York Minster...

...ate yummy food (including the boys' first sticky toffee pudding) while listening to Minster bell-ringing practice...

...and continued our Great Toilets in History tour (courtesy of the Castle Museum).  Oh, and Little Lad discovered (and rode) the York Wheel, to his great delight.

After a few days, we reluctantly said goodbye to York and caught a train to Norwich, where we took forever to find the cathedral (Papa S.: "Look! The cathedral!"  Me: "Uh no, random old church."  Repeat...) and ate yet another spectacular veg-restaurant meal.

On our first full day there, Papa and LL caught a bus to BeWILDerwood (Best Time Ever!  Sorry, no photos) and Big Lad and I set about doing laundry.  LOTS of laundry, after which we rewarded ourselves by revisiting the aforementioned veg restaurant.  And window-shopping.

And on the next day (insert tootling of trumpets here), I Met Mrs. Emma S. Pebble.  Yes, the international jewelry-making media superstar!  We piled ourselves, her gorgeous offspring, my little queasy-pants and our luggage into her car and zipped through the Norfolk countryside to the Fairyland Trust's annual Fairy Fair, where we braved the rain and mud and cold (first significant precip of our trip -- not complaining!), ate a picnic, bought wings (and elf ears, for some), attended fairy-ish workshops and gazed upon lovely wares for sale.  Also there was a terrifying Barbie-pink fairy on stilts, but it seems better not to dwell on such things.

After the fair, we motored to Emma's magical (not Barbie-) pink cottage in Cambridgeshire.  Papa and Big Lad were there, having been collected at the Ely train station by Emma's dear husband (yes! Another example of why bloggy husbands rule the world!).  We ate a fine feast (capped off by the best shortbread ever, thank you, Mother-in-Law Pebble) and raced through the house hollering and making animal noises into walkie-talkies (okay, half of us anyway).

Following a good night's sleep at our lovely cottage down (up?) the road, we reconvened at the pink house for a fab potluck with the ever so lovely Val and family (note: my only photo of Val is fabulous beyond comprehension but includes the faces of her children; I haven't ruled out extreme cropping or ingenious mask placement, but we'll see).

And then -- the Jubilee fest!

There were games...there was food/drink...there was a brilliant face painter who did mostly flowers and Union Jacks, except when strange little American tourists had other ideas.

Next day (our last together - sob!), while the menfolk and children frolicked at Anglesey Abbey, Emma and I gorged on goodies at Peacocks Tearoom in Ely, then searched for (and found) treasure at nearby Waterside Antiques.  After reuniting with our families and taking the obligatory family portraits, we headed heavy-heartedly (say that three times fast) to the Cambridge rail station en route to London.

But wait!  We ought not end this post on a sad note.  I have an idea.  Here -- I give you...










Val and her little flowers!

(Confidential to Mrs. V:  Next time, a proper long sit-down over tea and cake.  Many pangs of regret here for not making that happen.  Oh, and let me know if this photo is just way too weird.  xo)


Back shortly with a secondary post of favorite photos from Week Two...