Friday, November 27, 2009


In this time of warm fuzzy thankfulness, I feel like I am coming up short.

Last night an older friend said

"I am thankful to be here"

and I knew that she didn't mean to be sitting at my table, she meant to still be sucking in oxygen everyday, after 70 years.

I knew exactly what she meant.

It sounds so tacky and ungrateful to say it, but it is a great deal of work not to simply stick your head in the oven and be done with it all.

So in the most basic and essential way, I am thankful to be here too, I suppose, but I do wonder why it has to be so difficult for some people, and so seemingly easy for others?

If that sounds like sour grapes, too damn bad, it is true for me and I am sticking with it.

Another friend said

"you are an amazing mother"

and I will take that compliment and bask in it and hope that it was sincere.

I am a good mother

I am a good wife,

sadly those things are not valuable to anyone outside of this house and you can't eat them, or trade them for electricity, so I frequently forget to assign them value.


As usual I have not mastered getting the photos to appear in order, but here is what Thanksgiving looked like at our place.

Way more food than any 12 people could eat...

Animated conversations
Parental food cutting duty
Little girls only wanting to eat ice cream all night.
The table before the action started!
Sitting around after the dinner was over.
Aunt Karen playing with Moonshadow
Heidi and Mark cooking, and cooking and cooking and cooking
Rolf and Karen preparing beverage service
Rolf and the dog doing math games and being anti-social
Heidi, Maxwell and grandpa before the guests arrive.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Apparently it is really BORING around here, or so I am told, by the ones I bore so frequently.
We are waiting around for the overnight guests to arrive and keeping boredom at bay by baking a gingerbread cake.
That really is boring, isn't it?

Monday, November 23, 2009

at least I haven't been literally run over lately...

Thursday night, on the way to swimming lessons, Maxwell and I witnessed a guy get hit by a car at the intersection of 52nd and Lincoln.

It was as creepy as it sounds.

The car that hit him was moving pretty slowly, so he didn't fly up into the air, or hit the windshield, the way it happens in the movies. He just sort of rolled, like a somersault, across the crosswalk to the curb, where he came to a stop, and then crawled onto the sidewalk.

The car that hit him was a big cream colored Cadillac, driven by a very well dressed elderly man.

The elderly man pulled his big cream car over, but didn't get out and check on the fellow he had hit, for a long time, like maybe five minutes.

I pulled over, found a place to park, waited for the light, and crossed the street and was there talking to the victim, for a long time before the guy got out of the car.

The man that was hit, was wearing all black, including a hood. He was extremely unpleasant, which I think was his personality, not just a result of having just been rolled across the cross walk, by a Cadillac.

He was snarling at me, to give him the address, so he could tell the 911 operator where to send and ambulance.

He had a cell phone, and didn't need to use mine.

When the elderly gentleman did get out, all he said over and over was

"I just didn't see you" to the hit guy.

"I just didn't see him" , to me.

I felt really sorry for the old guy, since I also didn't see the man in black, and easily could have run him over, had I been one car ahead in the line.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ready, steady, GO!

We did the shopping for Thanksgiving today!

HOLY COW, what a lot of produce!
I will confess to purchasing canned pumpkin this year, I just don't feel like fighting my crappy old oven, to bake a pumpkin, and frankly the prospect of having to scrap the guts out doesn't excite me either! So there.

Friday, November 20, 2009

place cards, fairies and a little rosemary tree

These little fairies will be my place card holders this year for Thanksgiving.

I like to have place cards. In the past it was important to keep the boring people from sitting together, or the ones that were feuding,
now I just like having an excuse to craft,
since the gatherings have gotten quite small and most of us are boring.

See my fabulous new tablecloth? Goodwill- $4.99.
So seasonal AND it has a fringe.
I love fringe.

I made them with wooden clothespins from dollar tree, and some acorn caps and leaves.

I didn't have proper glue, so I used superglue, which worked, but was a bit messy.

I think Tacky Glue would be the very best option.

Initially I put a little felt skirt on them, but I think the really plain ones look almost better.

I love anything made with wooden clothespins.

I am a clothespin sucker.

I love this rosemary topiary.

I am hoping to work it into the table centerpiece, but I haven't nailed it all down yet.

Those little birds are always about in my house,

I love all little birdies, all the time, so what if they look too spring?

Here is the fairy, holding the place card.
Cute, huh?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

but what about Thanksgiving?

Amid all the sorrow, depression, sickness and upset around here, I have not done my usual planning and preparing for my favorite holiday.

I started doing Thanksgiving years ago, for people that hated their family, or didn't have family, or lived too far away from family.

My friend Kathy always brings the creamed onions and the pie. Kathy we will miss you and your onions this year.


This will be the 20th "orphan" Thanksgiving and for a few days I thought about calling the whole thing off, and going out for dinner.

When you are a parent, you really can't just call things off, so there you are.

Thanksgiving will go on.

More details to come later. Now for a bit of nostalgia, my favorite color.

I think the best Thanksgiving ever was about 15 years ago, when we were still living in my beloved neighborhood, Northwest, in my beloved building, the Wickersham (this link shows all the apartments looking all gussied up, when we lived there it was much more rustic.)

Our apartment was the 3 bedroom version, and it was on the second floor- you can see the apartment on the building photo, almost smack dab where the power lines cross.

When we lived there, that ugly parking lot, was our beautiful garden, which included a quince tree Rolf planted.

We were cruelly driven out by gentrification- I feel that I must mention this fact, every time I can!

At the time I was smack in the middle of a seven year relationship with the badman (not really such a bad man, but the name was given by one of my friends, and it stuck) and the badman's mother was visiting from Florida.

There were seventeen of us in total at the table, including many jazz musicians and the very conservative tv sports announcer, brother of one of our friends (who had the bad taste to bring green bean casserole to my dinner!) he fit in nicely with badman's mother.

I was very nervous and jittery, scared that one of the musicians would say something to scandalize the mom or the sports caster.

To add to my nervousness, Rolf took a bath (not a quick shower, but a full, long drawn out bath. Complete with steam, opera music and splashing about.) about 25 minutes before we were to eat.

I don't like any unpredictable thing going on when I am planning a dinner party and bathing at the last minute, felt very unpredictable to me!

I was really riled up that evening.

Between the mother vibing me, and demanding a TURKEY (we were pretty rabidly vegetarian) the musicians smoking out on the fire escape, and Rolf bathing, there was practically steam coming out of my ears.

My friend Karen was running around trying to smooth things out and help.

She walked into the kitchen, holding soggy bath towels that she had picked up from Rolf's bath, just as I flung open the oven door to pull the giant turkey out.

I had foolishly baked it in one of those flimsy foil pans, and the minute I touched the pan, it folded in half, projecting the slick, basted turkey up, into the air.

As the turkey took flight, the pan juices poured all over the floor in front of me.

I was paralyzed, but as I turned my head, I saw Karen put her towel covered hands out and catch the turkey, before it hit the ground!

She stood there, with a hot turkey in her hands and said


Rolf walked in at that moment and the two of them plated the turkey and carried it out, while I grabbed more bath towels and sopped up the juice.

We had a gay old time, that lasted well into the wee hours of the morning, and I think Karen left with the saxophone player.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I feel so naked without my camera

Blogging on a regular basis is so much more difficult without photos.

I actually have to fill the page with words, and that is challenging, particularly when the only words you feel like typing are negative and not suitable for mixed company.

I am reading a decent novel for the first time in weeks.

Something random I picked based on the cover art.

That is about as sophisticated as I get these days.

Cover art.

Book selection is a bit tricky with Freyja along in the library.

I also just finished season three of Madmen, thanks to my step-father taping it for me each Sunday.

What can I say?

The hype is true.

Madmen rocks, and if you haven't seen it, then you should go out and rent it ASAP.

How will I make it until season four comes out?



I have also been watching Showtime's Brotherhood, which I like a lot, but you know how I am about gangsters.

I would go as far as to say that it is as good as The Wire.


The Wire was such a media darling, but I think it had a lot of pretty pedestrian episodes.
I loved it, but not every episode was stellar.

We also checked out Denis Leary's The Job, the cob dramedy that he did, for TV, before Rescue Me. A lot of the same actors are in both shows, and they are good.
This show is not nearly as gritty or well made as Rescue me, but it is entertaining, if you like Denis, and I do, so there you go. He seems to only really play one role, but I like that guy, so I will continue to watch.

I will do my best to get the camera working again before Thanksgiving, so I feel a bit more chatty.

Friday, November 13, 2009

don't make me get medieval on you

Maxwell started the second half of the "seal" class, at Buckman pool this week, and it was a big let down, from the awesome class he had enjoyed so much at Mt. Scott.

Mt. Scott was over booked so we had no choice, but to go to another pool.

Buckman is super small, and not enough children signed up, so they just lumped them all together into one class.

That is not really an appropriate solution for people in various stages of learning to swim.
We went Tuesday and felt bummed out by how lame the class was-
a. conducted in the shallow end!
b. many of the children couldn't SWIM!

I hear the line from "Raging bull"

it defeats it's own purpose!

run through my head, at times like this. Doesn't everyone have Robert Deniero in their head?

At the end of the class I talked to the teacher, and asked for a solution for the next class.

Thursday rolled around and the same thing happened, except for a five minute foray for Maxwell into the deeper (chest deep) water.

So I called the program manager and asked for this issue to be fixed.

It took three calls, but he will be in the deep water diving class next week.

I hate it when I have to fight for things that should be simple, straight forward and normal.


Rambling, I guess I don't like, I don't like Mondays, anymore

On my way home from Dollar Tree (ok PC people, let me have it!) tonight, I heard Bob Geldof's
I don't like Mondays on the radio on the way home tonight, and it totally creeped me out.

I own the Boomtown Rats album that features the song, but listening to it today as a mother, living in this fragile world filled with gun violence, I found myself thinking that the radio station is crass or clueless or something, that I just couldn't put my finger on.

Rolf was delayed from returning for Germany, due to the unexpected death of his beloved sister in law.

I always feel so helpless in situations like this.
What on earth could anyone do to make someone feel better that has lost a life partner, or a mother?


Last week my step-father's mother died, at 97.

She was a sweet and lovely person.

I really valued how kind she was to my mother and to Maxwell.
That is how life should end, peacefully, and long lived.

Monday, November 2, 2009

the case of the missing slacks, and my kingdom for a camera

Our house is all a twitter.

Abuzz with energy!

A veritable hotbed of activity, as Mark struggles to find a pair of black dress pants.

The pants in question have not been spotted in the finc house, since July 2008, when they were yarded out for an evening; worn to Mark's sister's wedding.

God only knows where they are now, and he isn't telling.

It it that time of year, the time of year that we pull out the black suit, the suitcase, and the dress shoes, for work in New York.

Some how we managed to dodge the travel bullet last year.

There was only the teeniest amount of civilized west coast travel.

This year?

Not so much.

No, this year,
not only does Mark have to travel, his travel is overlapping with Rolf's travel, so that I am in a deep quandary over how I will get Maxwell to school at 8:45am, when I have to be at work at 7:00am.

At this moment, my life is feeling very much like a story problem.
a woman traveling west in a station wagon with a four year old must arrive at 7:00am, while a boy traveling north on foot with a giant backpack, must arrive at 8:45am

Lots of people struggle through with one measly additional adult, or none, in their house, and here I am, a glutton, up to my jowls, with help- with my usual two extra adults. I am sure I will come up with something. Co-housing really does have it's perks, though.

In the mean time, my attempt to be all healthful and outdoorsy really blew up in my face this evening.
After dinner I took the children out for a stroll, in the pitch blackness that is 6:00pm Portland November.

On we trotted, through the streets of "south Tabor", Freya singing in her loudest, most cheer filled voice, all devil-may-care, UNTIL, I was impaled by the sharpest rosebush in the history of the world.
My leg looks like something out of a horror film right now.
and me without a camera, dang.