bumpy start

We had a bumpy start to the New Year. I mean that figuratively and literally. I blame the fact that I am still on vacation, and my brain is not functioning properly.

On Monday, I tried to drop Annie off at preschool, only to find that it was closed. For a “planning day.” I was THE ONLY parent who did not know this. While I felt bad for dragging her out of the house for no reason, my biggest concern was that I wouldn’t get to read The Book Thief, uninterrupted, for two hours on the couch like I had planned.

On Thursday, I went out to lunch with my cousin, out of town, because Nuala had Spanish after school, which gave me an extra hour before I had to pick her up. Or so I thought. Her teacher was very nice about it when he left a message saying that Spanish class didn’t start until the following week, she was fine, hanging out with him and his kids in the classroom, just come get her when I could, but that he would “not be teaching her any Spanish.”

Then on Saturday, I hauled a bunch of stuff out of the apartment, which I sold or traded to various second-hand shops or dropped off at the Salvation Army, bought an adorable set of vintage teacups and saucers (blue!), and was feeling really good about getting that done until I inadvertently backed into a street lamp. To be fair, who puts a slim black street lamp three feet from a giant telephone pole, even in the name of cutesy historic preservation? There is a really good chance a perfectly capable, efficient, busy mom-on-the-go will look several times each way to avoid the telephone pole and any innocent pedestrians, but not notice said street lamp and back into it, thereby breaking the driver-side mirror off her already shabby-looking Volvo. I am proof of that.

At any rate, week two holds promise. Classes start soon, so I have Focus. There is picturesque snow. I’m halfway through my second novel in two weeks (Imperfect Birds, by Anne Lamott). The mirror will be fixed today. And I plan on baking this banana bread, which, in my mind, has the power to improve most anything.

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i’m not dead yet.


Annie with some of her favorite things: cowgirl boots, old telephone, cash register.

I almost quit. It’s embarrassing to admit that I was thisclose to becoming one of the gazillions of dead blogs out there, but true. But then WordPress sent me an end-of-the-year breakdown, all engineered to pump me up. And it worked. Thirty-six posts in 2010!! Over a thousand visits!!! And now they have this Post A Week campaign, which I am totally joining. Blogging can be fun, but it can also be a royal pain, as well as a daily reminder that you may not be as interesting as you think you are. But here goes. I’m doing it for me.

And also my mom, because she loves my blog.

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nuala’s dogs

A few weeks ago, we went to a dog show nearby. Now, Nuala is obsessed with the idea of getting a pet. For a while, we had Sneaky. I’m frequently asked, “Mama, when do you think we’ll be able to get a horse?” It’s understood than in a few years, we’ll begin the search for our perfect family dog. For now, Nuala is counting on Santa to bring her a lizard (“Bearded dragons make the perfect pet!”).

When we went to the dog show, Annie and Nuala oohed and ahhhed over all of the dogs, and Nuala borrowed Todd’s camera to take pictures. These are her photos! A kid’s view of a dog’s world. I think she did a good job capturing these characters.

So stately.

Nuala thinks she may want to be a dog photographer when she grows up.

The ears! I love them.

Yes, this photo's a little blurry, but if anyone's a little blurry, it's this guy.

This is Zeus. He was there as a supporter.

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accordion for the soul

Heard this lovely song this morning. Accordion music is good for the soul. Truth.

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box in box

Saw this adorable/neat/clever contraption on My Rocking Wardrobe this morning, a super fun site I found by way of Cup of Jo. I would love a “box in box” to organize the gazillion do-dads my kids collect.

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here’s what you do

Here’s what you do, when you’re feeling a little run down and life doesn’t seem to want to let you take a breather. Doing all of the following at once is best, but any of them alone work well, too:

Put on your husband’s shirt. It’s soft, and smells like him.

Pour some hot coffee.

Put on your current favorite song, as loud as your neighbors will allow.

If you can avoid burning yourself (maybe put the coffee down), dance.

You’ll feel better instantly, I promise.

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scotch & soda

It’s a sad fact of life that time flies when you are trying to cram too much stuff into a short span. Take my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, for example. I drop Annie off at 8:50ish and get home around 9:05ish and need to exercise, shower, sometimes eat breakfast (if I haven’t already), do breakfast dishes, pick up legos, do laundry, wipe up toast crumbs, drink coffee, email, sometimes spend agonizing minutes on hold with Verizon, and surf the web while being on hold, all in about two and a half hours before leaving to pick up my little whippersnapper. That leaves little time for schoolwork. But I did find this pretty Scotch & Soda dress, via Unruly Things, purveyor of many pretty dresses and other items. So that’s something.

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