Sunday, November 15, 2009
Six hours later, there's another sweet warm body next to mine, this one stockier, plumper, and almost comically earthy. Our relationship is often all about this little body: the Foods He Likes (cheddar bunnies, cheerios, bananas), the diapers he fills, the sleep he needs. But tonight, for a few moments, he leaves his body behind, flops backward onto the bed with a grin as we bring out the board books: Feel the Baby Animals, Hand Hand Fingers Thumb, and the ultimate: One Duck Stuck.
We read, point, flip pages. He grins with delight most at the pages that are most familiar, the comments he expects me to make each time we reach them. But when I ask him if he's ready for "RockaRocka", he grins bigger. "KKKK," he says firmly (meaning "OK"), reaching for my arms before I'm quite ready to pick him up.
We settle down into the glider, and his heavy little head nestles into my shoulder. He's big now; his legs are almost comically folded up underneath him so that his trunk can be as close to me as possible. I wrap my arms around this strong little fella, his broad chest and chunky legs, and again, I stop and steep in the moment.
They are so very mine right now: mine to feed, diaper, nap, clothe, reclothe, tote around town. Mine to read to, sing to, walk with, eat with, train, teach, cajole, force, bandage, mourn with. I'm an introvert, and there are moments, even as I exult in their love, their innocence and sweetness and joy as they pile on me like puppies, I sometimes at the same moment feel a bit smothered, a bit Never Alone. Oh my word, what I would give at times for a day or three to myself, with books and yarn and a fountain pen and camera and all those things I used to have time to enjoy.
But then I think about those tiny veins in her eyelids, and the way her long eyelashes wave up and down like little surrender flags as she gives in to sleep.
And I think about his grin as he gleefully sticks his tiny finger into my ear canal for the thousandth time, delighting in watching me cringe and squeal and pull it away.
And I think about how proud I am that he's finally decided he wants to walk, and that she's almost sure to be reading before she even starts kindergarten, and how excited I am to be there for the next steps on their journeys.
And really, this is exactly where I want to be.
(As long as there's hot tea and an hour or two of peace and quiet available each night.)
Posted in parenthood memory |
Monday, September 14, 2009
It's fantastic. It has an icemaker and a water dispenser, which we were lacking; it works better spacewise for our small kitchen; and it puts fruits and vegetables at my daughter's eye level, which has already been much better for her food requests. I love it. (Okay, I would love it a little bit more if it were a black Big Chill. But you can't have everything you want in life.)
Despite the windfall of a nearly-new fancypants fridge, though, I feel even happier about how we came to rid ourselves of the old fridge. After a week on Craigslist and several days on a local "bargain hour" on an AM radio station, I hadn't had a single bite. Odd, when I was asking less than $150 for the fridge, I thought. I found a local thrift shop that would take it, then posted a rather desperate request on the local Freecycle group for someone with a truck to come and help me move it there.
I heard back from several people who wanted to take it for free, and I resisted, until a shy woman called and told me reluctantly that their fridge had just gone out, ruining all their food. She has three kids, and can't afford the prices at rent-a-center. Could she possibly pay me $25 for mine instead-- on Friday?
I love the thrill that comes with a God Moment. They're not that common, hard to describe, hard to relate without sounding a little kooky. But I didn't even hesitate when this woman made her shy request. Something that I believe is the Spirit within me lept up and all but shouted in my head: YES. GIVE IT TO HER. It was out of my mouth before I even thought about it.
She was at our house within thirty minutes, beaming, a friend helping her load it onto the truck. Will she come back Friday with the promised $25? It doesn't even matter.
I had a fridge clogging up my life, looking trashy on my front porch. She had hungry kids with no place to store food for them.
Done deal. So satisfying, to be used to meet an unknown need like that. I just love it.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
This morning, as Q's eating breakfast in the kitchen and I'm putzing about with yarn swaps in the dining room:
Gracie appears with her prized pink heart helium baloon tied to her foot. "Okay, Mom, I'm ready for God."
I have her repeat herself a couple of times to make sure I'm hearing her right. Then I ask why she has her balloon tied to her foot.
"Well, I just want to make sure I can give it to him for a present. I want to give Him a nice present."
I'm now being instructed to pray/write messages to God and Jesus all over the balloon.
I'll take pictures and post them once we get finished.
(She was very persistent about this project, and a few days after we wrote on it, we released it in the front yard so that it could go "up to God". It's probably a momma thing, but I'm fascinated with her heart and her thinking about this. I did not prompt any of the messages on the balloon-- she dictated every one.
I want to give you a present, Jesus and God.
Also these are great:
I love you, God and I love you, Jesus. And thank you for our food and macaroni and cheese.
I'm going to bring it (my money) to church for you and put it in the box.
I love the Fairies: Iridessa, Silvermist, Fawn, and Tinkerbell.
I want to give this balloon to God because I love Him. Now!
Sunday, April 05, 2009
In absolutely no particular order.
1. I love the aesthetics of older rooms. Wood floors, big mullioned windows, higher ceilings. There's something peaceful about their spaces.
2. I love living WITHOUT homeowners' associations, because I'm an untidy yard person. Nobody's going to sniff at me if I leave my hose lying out in the side yard. If there's a bag of egg cartons on the front porch swing waiting to go to church (for a member's neighbor who sells eggs), nobody will be horrified. I do not have to water or weed my "lawn" or spray it with chemicals to keep the neighbors from being terrified of its dandelions. There is freedom in that for me.
3. We live on a steep hillside, but my backyard has a perfect garden-sized terrace built into it, because everyone used to grow their own vegetables. All I had to do was kill a little "grass" (see #2) and plant.
4. Our view. This was one of the first houses in the area, and we gaze over valleys in three directions. It's not a grand vista, but it's charming to have a little elbow room around us.
5. Our walls. Solid wood, 1" thick, where drywall would be in a modern house. Beat that for sound and weather insulation.
6. Our hooks and nails. Wherever I find a need to hang a robe, a cleaning brush, a picture, a plant... there's almost always a nail or hook already there to fill the need. And not just a boring modern robe hook, but a lovely patina'd wire one, full of character, or a chrome Art Deco model, sleek and striking. Makes me grin.
7. The flowers. The original owner was a hardware store owner, his wife a dedicated gardener. Come spring, our yard erupts with hundreds of pink hyacinths, daffodils, and some truly giant ancient shrubbery-- lilacs, a pink dogwood, and a giant fuschia azalea. It's gorgeous and fragrant, fodder for some truly amazing bouquets.
8. Mr. Perme's modifications. The second owner of the house was a WWII carpenter, and when something was in his way, he cheerfully altered it. The bottom stair to the basement, positioned to bang your shin terribly, has been rounded and sanded to avoid just that. A low ceiling beam in the porch's crawlspace has a notch cut out of it-- just tall enough, I imagine, for Mr. Perme to move through the space without cracking his head. Two closets were added upstairs (absolutely vital for modern life). A giant bookshelf was built in the dining room. The basement is full of wooden shelving, benches, worktables. I think Mr. Perme regularly as I move through the house-- we would never have time or attention to add all this ourselves.
9. The backyard's circular flower bed, ringed with a low wall of stones and cement, that I plan to someday make very useful (strawberries) or very beautiful (flowers).
10. Over an acre and a half.
11. The wild purple flowers that bloom in the thicket's shrubs on the side lot in the spring. I don't know what they are, but they're beautiful.
12. A neighbor who gardens and hangs out clothes on a clothesline and loves their old house like we love ours.
13. An enclosed back porch that makes a perfect playroom; the kids can play there, or bring their toys into the living areas, just a few feet from where I am in the living room or kitchen.
14. Old windows with wavy glass that we can easily repair ourselves. We've already repaired (okay, my husband has skillfully repaired) at least half a dozen of the old sashes, and the windows go from being impossibly heavy to lift to being able to raise and lower them with just a few fingers. We can replace broken glass, even repair rotten wood in the frames, easily, without having to replace entire windows. Incredibly sustainable. (Yes, they leak some heat and cold. It's worth it.)
15. The "E.P." childishly painted in a pseudo-stained glass "work of art" in the upper panes of Evelyn Perme's old bedroom. It's hidden by a valance, and I'm not sure I'll ever want it removed. It tells a story.
16. The smallest windows in the house are on the west and east sides, to shield the house from the freezing old and blazing sun. The largest windows are on the south side, to bring in light and heat in the winter, and light without heat in the summer. Every bedroom but one has windows on two walls, which makes arranging furniture a challenge but lets in wonderful breezes and air when the windows are opened. Double-hung windows will let cool air in the lower openings while letting hot air flow out the upper openings. Wonderful "green" design from 90 years ago.
17. Because of all this thoughtful design, and the fact that our living space is all downstairs and our bedrooms all upstairs, we've learned that the house is entirely livable 95% of the time without any heat or a/c on the upper floor. Enough heat rises in the winter to keep us cool, but not cold (as is good for health and good sleep); enough night air can be drawn in through the upstairs windows with fans in the summer to keep us cool enough to sleep. It's amazing, but I see no need to invest big bucks to install ductwork and a climate control system. 5% of the year, we're uncomfortable. That's a tiny amount.
18. The "J.O. Wilson, March 7, 1920" written in the concrete of the garden retaining wall. The original owner, leaving his mark. (The house was four years old by then; I think the date represents the day the concrete was poured...?)
19. The low stone wall on the south side of the house, lined with hundreds of iris plants that erupt in bloom twice a year.
20. The double-drainboard cast iron sink on its metal cabinet in the kitchen.
21. A cool basement for keeping potatoes and onions and such. (We're trying to grow our own this year and will need a place to store them.)
22. Wiring and plumbing that's simple and straightforward, and made of higher-quality materials than can now be bought at any normal price.
23. Insulation board that Mr. Perme has crammed into every imaginable crack and orifice of the basement and back porch. I'm sure it's part of why our utility bills are so reasonable-- but he was obviously obsessed.
24. The pull chains on the bare-bulb fixtures in the original closets upstairs, which turn on and off with such a smooth, flawless motion after 90 years. (I compare these to one modern one we have-- it's cheap, flimsy plastic and has to be pulled so hard that I'm afraid I'm going to break it each time I need to use it.)
25. The medicine cabinet oddly installed on the back porch, which has never been a bathroom. What on earth did they need to store there?
26. Woodwork that's heavy, thick, and elegant, on every window and baseboard and doorframe of the house.
27. The "pass-through" hole in the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, created by Mr. Perme when he got sick of bringing the telephone from one room to another via the doorway. (According to their daughter Evelyn, Mrs. Perme was NOT home when he knocked a hole in her kitchen wall, and she was NOT pleased when she returned.)
28. Mail delivered to the mailbox on our porch railing, rather than in a box out on the street.
29. A big front porch swing.
30. Big, big, big oak trees surrounding the house-- but not overhanging it. I especially appreciate the shade and privacy they provide in the summer.
31. A hook by the front door that's just right for a holiday wreath, and little cup hooks installed all along the front porch that hold a string of Christmas lights perfectly.
32. Our little one-car garage, made of local stone with the original tin tile roof still intact. (Now, I do wish we still had a door on that garage, but I guess one can't have everything...)
33. Gutters that feed directly into underground drains that dump rainwater far away from the house.
34. Concrete borders built on either side of narrow beds flanking the sidewalk leading to our front door: a perfect planting bed for hostas.
35. Old windows, hinges, window locks, panes of wavy glass, light fixtures, etc, all carefully preserved in the basement and shed.
36. A heavy old metal window fan, a gift from the Permes when we bought the house, that is strong enough to pull cool air in from every window upstairs on summer nights.
37. An old wood-handled flathead screwdriver, fished out of a window, that somehow works better for the old screws in our hardware and doorknobs.
38. Layers of linoleum and contact paper in the kitchen cabinet that tells the story of decades of decor changes. I'd never remove those.
39. Sweet pea vines that spring up, wild and crazy, and cover areas of the yard with blooms and fragrance in the summer. They're messy, but I can't bring myself to remove them yet.
40. Old glass storm windows on the playroom windows, that multiply the wavy-paned effect and make the room swim with light.
41. Rabbits that live in the thicket on the side lot and occasionally appear in our yard, nibbling clover. (I may change my mind about those rabbits now that we're trying to grow vegetables...)
42. Marbles dug up when we planted the hostas in the front yard: evidence of children playing on the sidewalk, long ago.
43. Oak floors downstairs, which refinished beautifully.
44. Original pine floors upstairs with lovely gaps between the boards because of their age. (Most of those floors are carpeted now for the childraising years, but someday, we'll refinish the rest of them too.)
45. A beautiful staircase with original dark wood on the railing and newel posts. I love how the finish on the posts is worn by the hundreds of hands that have rubbed against them as their owners traveled up and down the stairs.
46. Stairs that are markedly shallower than standard stair sizes today-- making them easier for little feet (and someday, old joints) to maneuver.
47. Funky old chrome handles on the kitchen cabinets.
48. Pocket doors on the living room and pantry doorways that still slide perfectly after all this time.
49. Old clown wallpaper on the back porch playroom's walls. I'll have to replace this soon, as it's getting fragile and discolored, but I love that it was obviously a child's place long ago, just as it is now.
50. A big, deep old cast iron tub in the bathroom, perfect for soaking.
51. A chimney that runs up the center of the house, with the perfect vent spot for a woodstove in the dining room already there. (Should we ever decide to invest in that.)
52. Flocks of bird visitors to our little feeders.
53. A front porch that's broad and deep enough for chairs and even a dining table, with broad concrete railings perfect for sitting on as well.
54. The beautiful original wallpaper still showing in my closet, and the unpainted original dark wood still visible on the trim inside the closets upstairs. Someday we WILL refinish the doors at least, to show off a bit of that beautiful wood that's underneath the paint.
55. Sturdy wooden ceilings that allowed my husband to hang my HEAVY choice of a dining room light fixture without ripping out ceilings to install additional bracing in the proper spot.
56. Soundproofing by the solid wooden doors and walls. So total, it's hard to hear my children crying from another room if their doors are closed. (Bad thing now, good thing in a few years!)
57. Windows that let in sunlight all day long, creating pools of warmth for my little old dog who loves to sleep in them. You can always find her on the east side of the house in the morning, the south in the afternoon...
58. The heavy cotton curtains decorated with Egyptians that are hanging over the utility shelving on the back porch. I wonder if they've been there since the US's Egyptian fad in the 1920s.
59. The little bars of soap I keep finding stashed in odd corners, even years after we moved in. Mrs. Perme's idea of air fresheners, I imagine... we find another one occasionally, like magic, even though we've certainly been over every inch of every closet already.
60. The giant glass bottle with pump sprayer that we found in the garage. It's perfect for spraying liquid fertilizer, and I love how it looks sitting on the old shelf in there.
61. The hilarious-but-very-useful utility shutoff valves that have been installed into the beautiful (but leaky) original exposed plumbing in our shower. It's very handy to be able to shut off the shower flow without adjusting the temperature knobs, but more than that, I love the sheer fuction-over-form ugliness of it: practical Mr. Perme strikes again, I'm sure.
62. The currently unused water cistern below the kitchen windows. It's dry and covered with concrete pavers and a birdbath right now, but should I ever get brave enough to fashion myself a rainwater catchment system, I have the perfect vessel right there to hold it.
63. A pole I just discovered this month near the garden. It probably used to support a clothesline, but will be perfect for me to mount a tall pole with my future bat house on it. (Bats eat thousands of mosquitoes every night, and that is probably my least favorite thing about this house... we are hounded by mosquitoes every evening here.
Whew, what a list. I'm sure no one is still reading at this point, and that's okay. It was lovely for my state of mind to write all this out. I'm feeling very blessed.
...those are also #27-90 of my gratitude items, because I've been grateful for each and every one of these old-house quirks as we've lived our lives in this home for the past two-plus years.
Thanks, J.O. and Mrs Wilson. Thanks, Perme family. You've prepared a lovely home for my family.
We are happy here.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The paper clutter's off the dining room table.
I MOPPED the downstairs today with a spare 20 minutes I had.
The bottom of the kitchen sink is even visible.
Is it possible for both of us, at once, to have had a little bit of the winter housebound blues this past month or so?
Things are different now, though. The daffodils are blooming, the garden's in the front of my mind (where it does not belong until taxes are filed), we've been swinging on the front porch and playing with the kids after dinner, and the whole world seems filled with promise.
My little boy's saying "I touch it!" and "Adda" (daddy?) and "bye-bye-bye" and getting closer to walking every day. He takes my breath away with the cuteness. My girl is becoming more and more a companion, and a fascinating and fun one at that.
It's a good evening to be in my own skin, is what I'm sayin'.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I logged in, opened this page, hoping to write, and realized:
There are too many things to record, moments to share, discontents, hopes, fears, joys, worries. I sit in front of the keyboard and am helpless amongst the swirl. How do I pick which one to focus on? (When I try to write about a little of everything, it turns into a list, not a piece of writing, and then nobody's satisfied, most of all me.)
Oh, forget it. I'm going to go knit on that sweater.
27) Knitting, which is mindless yet productive, giving both time to reflect and new challenges to overcome, and which provides me hours of entertainment and a sense of community at ravelry.com.
Speaking of community... (Look! The swirling cloud has parted! Something's emerging!) Here's a little topic that's on my mind:
How do you, as a parent, navigate the confusing waters of forging friendships with other moms? I want my daughter to have regular playmates, but darn it, I also want to feel secure that I am genuinely liked by their parents. My previous incarnation as Working Ministry Wife meant that I pretty much haven't needed to MAKE new friends for myself in years (as the church and my job always brought people into my life fairly naturally).
However, there seems to be no natural way to meet other toddlers and their moms when I'm raising two at home, putting them down for naps every afternoon, and then doing the dinner/bedtime boogie once they wake up at 4pm. Our church has exactly one other toddler in it, but for some reason, that mom does not seem to interested in anything deeper than a Sunday relationship. (I play the Insecure Mom Mantra in my head when I start trying to figure that out: Is My Kid Ugly to Her Kid? Is My House Too Dirty? Am I Too Dull or Ugly or Unwashed or Old or Sinful or Condescending? Did I insult her without knowing it? Am I somehow UnFriendWorthy? I know of no way to get an honest answer to that question, or even of how to ask it without sounding like the pitiful nerdy kid in youth group who everyone had to be friends with because it was the Christian thing to do even though he was about as interesting as a used toothbrush.)
I want good friends to share coffee with while our toddlers run amuck in our houses. I had that once, back before I had a toddler; she'd come over, I'd brew the coffee and stick in the Superman videos, and we'd laugh and ponder and pray and chat all morning. She let me convert her to Lasagna Gardening and the lust of Other People's Organic Material, and we spent hours lugging home bags of leaves and grass clippings for our gardens. I went to the hospital with her during the late-night scares of her second pregnancy, and took off work for days to help when she came home with him (and a giant spinal headache from the epidural). I'm realizing now that it was, perhaps, the best friendship I've ever had, and possibly the best I'll ever know in this life.
Given that I still have fifty years or so left on the earth, that's rather disheartening.
There is no ToddlerMama Support Group type meeting in this town, as far as I can find. I have no time to join organizations based on my interests (knitting, historic preservation, the arts, etc) to meet women I'd mesh with. Leaving our beloved little church to attend big churches with lots of toddler families doesn't seem right either. I mean, I love our little church. I generally hate the big ones, and the ones who have delusions of bigness. I'm afraid that, to have a big enough pool to find the kind of friends I'd like to have, I would have to belong to a church that would make my stomach churn on Sunday morning. (Surely that's not God's idea of a healthy spiritual situation.)
All I really know to do is to pray my pitiful little used-toothbrush prayer to One who knows how insecure and isolated I'm feeling about this. Here is my heart's great need. I lay it down there, and just keep going through our days, hoping that less lonely ones lie ahead.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The forecast is grim:
Tonight...Sleet in the evening. Light freezing rain. No snow accumulations. Ice accumulations around one half of an inch. Lows in the mid 20s. Temperatures nearly steady after midnight. East winds 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation 90 percent.
Tuesday...Light freezing rain. Ice accumulations of one half to three quarters of an inch. Highs in the upper 20s. Temperatures steady or slowly falling. North winds 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation 90 percent.
Tuesday Night...Sleet...light freezing rain likely and a chance of snow in the evening...then a slight chance of snow and sleet after midnight. Snow accumulations up to 2 inches. Ice accumulations of up to one quarter of an inch. Lows around 17. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation 70 percent in the evening...decreasing to 20 percent after midnight.
So... if my math is accurate... we can expect to have up to four inches of frozen mess on our hands, only two of that snow. May God freeze most of it on the way down, before it hits our trees and power lines. Right now, the metallic sound of heavy sleet is positively welcome.
If I were not so shivery, I would love to write more. But I must go brew more tea.
22) Sleet hitting my window instead of freezing rain tonight.
23) A dry, warm (okay, warm-away-from-the-windows) home to shield my family from that sleet.
24) A husband who'll be home from work for the next couple of days to help with the kids, which will keep me from losing my mind as we're holed up in here all together.
25) For Grammy, who turns 63 today. Her birthday dinner here was postponed, but we are still celebrating her. A tremendous gift, to enjoy my mother-- merry, helpful, loving, and hospitable to extremes-- on a daily basis, just a phone call or a short drive away. I am hugely thankful that my kids will grow up knowing her well and loving her so deeply.
26) Hot tea on cold nights and sore throats.
Monday, January 05, 2009
My middle name, Virginia, is the middle name of both my grandmothers.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
This is embarassing... about an hour ago. I listen to a country music station when frozen stuff or tornadoes are about, because it's the best local weather source we have. Today there was a song on it about a little girl growing up, and her Daddy weathering the difficult times... sleepless newborn nights, leaving her at preschool despite her tears, teenager era, etc... I'm helpless against this sappy kind of stuff now that I have babies of my own.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
It used to be fine, but now that I hardly write anymore, it's getting pretty sloppy. I wonder if it'll be antiquated and quaint to handwrite things someday, like calligraphy is now.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I actually do like Petit Jean bologna more than just about anything. I hate turkey or ham if its slimy, but like it if it's dryish and smoked and sliced thin.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Two. One of each, three and one year old.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I hope so. I can be hard to get to know, though, and I worry that I'm thoughtless or neglectful of my friendships. So maybe I wouldn't?
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
I hope not.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Not now that I have kids. Roller coasters are about as death-defying as I'm willing to get now that I have two little dependants.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Homemade granola, or Cracklin' Oat Bran. I rarely have either because I cannot stop eating them if they're around.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Not if I can avoid it.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Emotionally/spiritually, yes. Physically, ha.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Mint chocolate chip, or homemade vanilla w/ fresh peaches. I'm not a huge ice cream person.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Where their eyes go.
15. RED OR PINK?
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My ability to distract myself from things I truly need to accomplish. (this is a fine example of that ability; I have QuickBooks waiting for me right now.)
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
Jen Dove. And my sister's true self.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO DO THIS?
I don't really care. But it would be interesting to read.
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Black mary jane Dr. Martens.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
french-pressed coffee made from husband-roasted beans. Superb.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
The sweet sound of silence. My kids are at Grammy's.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
eggplant. (Is that a crayon color? Dark dark purple, I mean.)
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Coffee. baking bread. clean baby. clean sheets. my grandmother's house. rain. the Buffalo River.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My haircutter. My hair, it is suddenly in sad, grown-out, lifeless shape. She is going to rescue me.
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
I got this from Kim, who I like very much, although I've never met her.
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
I will watch the Arkansas Razorbacks if I am with someone who is a fan. I can become a fan by osmosis (and alumni status) for short periods. Other than that, I'm entirely indifferent.
27. HAIR COLOR?
Dark brown, shot through with more and more silver these days.
28. EYE COLOR?
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Not usually. I have contacts, but I mostly just wear them for dress-up. My glasses are my everyday wear.
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
GOOD pad thai. Indian curries. Recipes from Crescent Dragonwagon and America's Test Kitchen.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Documentaries, actually, which usually are neither of those.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
"The Queen." interesting but also slowmoving.
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Depends on who from.
36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Tiramisu from the long-defunct Pianalto's. (sigh.)
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
"The Red Tent" by Diamant.
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Don't have a mouse pad.
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?
"The Queen." (We don't have cable and our antenna picks up three spectacularly cruddy stations-- so we don't watch a lot of tv on the tv. We do download a few things on the computers.)
42. FAVORITE SOUND?
My little boy's happy babbling.
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Geographically, central Europe.
Culturally, a shantytown in a dry riverbed/junkyard in Mexico.
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I used to bake and write and decorate pretty well, when I have the time. Time is rare these days, so those abilities are fading. I can, however, drop off to sleep at a moment's notice, in almost any location or position. Oh, and I love to customize databases. LOVE IT.
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
47. WHAT ARE YOU BAKING NEXT?
Nothing anytime soon... we're trying to drop some pounds.
48. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR FIRST LOVER IS?
49. WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING RIGHT NOW?
Cooling coffee. Need a warmup.
50. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Wow. 2009 already. I remember imagining myself at 26, when 2000 would arrive, and thinking that was so far away. What happened?
Our gal has a new dollhouse, a new playhouse/supermarket thing ($15 on Amazon! SCORE), and a new tiny little Ariel doll which is apparently superior to them both (sigh. I can prohibit the movie, but I can't keep Santa from bringing an Ariel doll when it's the ONLY thing she wants in all the world).
(like all these parentheses? It's called LAZY WRITING. If I had time, I'd go through this, editing carefully so I could include all the info while removing 90% of the parentheticals. I won't. Suck it up and stumble through figuring out what I'm saying, please. Time alone in a quiet house is rare, and I won't spend it editing tonight.)
Our fella has... well, a huge multicolored dragon that has yet to leave the living room. A set of MegaBlocks, which he does seem to like in a chewy sort of fashion. An Oball. Not much else. This is the Christmas year of I Love Wrapping Paper for him, after all, and most all of his one-year-old toy needs are met by his big sister's stash.
Me? The best dining room chandelier in all the world, ALREADY INSTALLED. (cue hosts of angels triumphant here) A restored vintage stove, which we continue to believe (what amazing faith we have!) will be delivered in the near future. A WoodWick candle (candleish joy for those with no fireplace of their own), a scholarly book on the Ozarks which has turned out to be rather outdated and dull, and a gift card for Barnes and Noble, already spent in the clearance bins for next year's niece and nephew birthdays.
Last year we took time to think through the Advent season with friends and Andrew Peterson's Christmas album, and it was fabulous. Husband performed some of that music at church, which further connected us to the deeper side of the holiday. I bowed out of giftgiving and cardsending, having a new baby to tend to night and day. It was refreshing.
This year was a bit too much about Santa and a bit too little about Christ, in my opinion. I'd like next year to be a little more thoughtful, a little less frantic. But that's okay. One good thing about the years flying by is that I know that we'll be upon the next holiday season before too long, and I'll have another shot and doing it more meaningfully.
We're resisiting the urge to resist the cliche, and bowing to our shared desire to eat well and exercise beginning this week. There's a reason this happens for so many people in January... brimfull of baked goods and chocolate, sated with sauces and stuffings and Santa-shaped chocolate-dipped marshmallows and such, we're ready to strip the intake down to the bare minimums, enjoy some cleansing.
I must learn QuickBooks. Like, now. Our taxes depend on it, and I'm 12 months behind logging our expenses in this new business venture already. Eek.