Monday, April 20, 2015

Marathon Monday | 04.20.15

I was watching Verity scaling the big kids section of the playground and stepped away for a minute to wipe off two swings for Naomi and her cousin, Fiona.  I slowly walked back to where Verity was, not really watching anything and heard deep groanings of someone little -and there she was, Verity, lying on the ground wailing.  Of course it was my someone.  I ran over to find her in agony but seeing that she hadn't fallen from somewhere very high.  It sounded like the wind was knocked out of her.  So I picked her up and she bounced back slowly, but easily enough.  She regained her breath and began to run around again, going right back to the spot where she had fallen. 

I monitored her the rest of the morning, wondering how we were going to get to the Emergency Room with all the street closures, but thankfully it didn't come to that.  Verity began to tell us that our cheering was too loud and that we need to "be kind," so I began to relax.

We go to this park, this wonderful park in Brookline on Marathon Mondays.  Afterward we walk down to Beacon Street and watch the runners go by.  For us it's the perfect place to watch.  We cheer on those sailing by in wheelchairs.  Then we wait for the elite woman to pass and marvel.  This year we didn't wait to see the men run by because it was cold and starting to rain.  So we walked to Bocca Grande for tamales and burritos.  And then we went to The Brookline Booksmith and picked out a few treats for vacation week.  Verity spied a Charlie and Lola paperback and Naomi settled on a sticker book.  I got the family a new map and a book on sale for Eric.  It's such a wonderful series of events -I really don't need anything else out of my week.  I say that now.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Bliss of a Brother and Three Flower Girls

We had a wonderful time in Washington, DC last week celebrating the marriage of my brother, Nathan to his beautiful bride, Courtney.  She looked stunning and I couldn't believe how grown-up my little brother looked as he stood at the end of the aisle.

These flower girls stole the show, holding hands down the isle, except for Verity who staged a dynamic protest at the back of the church before walking down with the maid of honor, ahead of her counterparts.  At the cocktail hour they continued hand-in-hand, running around happy as clams with their ginger ales and string of pearls.   

Myles, my darling nephew had a coming out party, if you will.  He got to stay up late with the grown-ups and celebrate the night away.  He looked so big and handsome and my sister and I realized that our mom was right -every stage, every age is special.  It's going to be a great privilege, and a lot more fun than sad, to watch our children grow.  

There's more to say, but I'm really very, very happy that my little brother has crossed over to the other side.  So much of it is not what you bargained for, but so much of it is good.  And now we get to do it together.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Feasting Habits

During this Lenten season, Sunday is saved for feasting.  Saturday mornings have been transformed albeit slightly with Eric and me working side by side -he's on pancakes and I'm baking the cake for the following day.  It seems that on these mornings there is nothing else I need.  I have coffee, and help and the anticipation of a meal to come.  When pancakes have been consumed and the girls fly off, I find myself alone in the kitchen with a moment's contemplation.

Tomorrow we feast on beef barbecue sandwiches, pickles, chips, cabbage slaw and German chocolate cake.  Pale ale for the adults and cream soda for the children.  For the other days of the week, I've given up sweets, mostly.  No maple syrup on the oatmeal kinda thing.  And no mid-week mini-egg binging.  It's for the best.

We still have mountains of snow that need to melt - a very penitent road to Easter for us.  But this morning the sun shines and it's one of those days when you want to drive to Vermont.    There are buds on the tree outside our kitchen window.  And we are almost to March.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Journal

Today we stayed quiet.  The words "wind chill advisory" carry great weight for me.  And with no big plan and sunshine pouring in our window the morning passed.  As it does.  We did not even think of advancing toward the door.  Naomi brought her CD player into the living room and pressed play.  Verity and I roamed around the house doing some chores and some puzzles.  I made my first loaf of bread of the winter.  A recipe I got out of Cooks Illustrated for Easy Sandwich Bread.  We smothered the warm bread with peanut butter and jelly for lunch.  No accompaniments.  Verity poured out her drinking water on the table once finished with her sandwich -a sure sign that I had missed the ideal nap time.  And here we are.

Hopefully it's a few degrees warmer now.  This afternoon we are going to the library though we will not head straight for the children's room.  We will pause at the recently returned movie shelves for something for the adults of the house -hopefully an Oscar-nominee.  If I could I would binge watch Girls all weekend.  But I'm currently up-to-date waiting for Monday night's day after viewing.  HBO Go.  Hannah is so good for me right now.  So honest and over the top and completely fictional, yes I know.  But, she is a truth spewer.  And so so funny.  

Any plans this weekend?  We're almost there.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Day In Day Out

What a difference at day makes.  Yesterday I had lost all hope of surviving winter.  It was snowing enough to keep us inside all morning, but not snowing enough to keep Eric hope from work.  Off he went and in we stayed.  Unfortunately the trash and recycling that needed to go out the door with him got left behind.  That always gets me to grumbling -being snowed in with trash.  And our trash can is very large.  It still fits underneath our sink, but barely.  It's too big.  It's on my list to get a smaller one, but who wants to buy a plastic trash can when you already have one.  

Anyway, there we were inside with no inspiring snow-day supplies.  Our groceries were waning, our library books scattered.  I still don't own a crafting book and when you are in the thick of your morning a google search for the perfect craft is so discouraging.  It's way too late for that.  Well actually I did learn that if you announce in a loud voice to a 4 year old that it's Project Time, they really get behind you.  So we flipped over a cardboard box and went to town with our markers.  But back to the litany -lunch was ramshackle and dinner I won't tell you about.  And it was a Monday.  Just the worst.  All that and I must say that the girls had a really good day.  It was me. All me.  Unfortunately, when you are the parent in charge that counts for a whole lot.  

Today is so much brighter -literally.  The sun is shining.  I found Verity's waterproof mittens.  She successfully put her thumb in the thumb-hole which is close to a miracle.  Naomi didn't fight her snow-pants.  Another miracle.  Geared up and out we went.  I forget how much that helps.  Stepping out of the house.  We trudged to the grocery store where we got ingredients for dinner and some celebratory potato chips, tuna fish and fig newtons for lunch!  Delicious to us. 

Things continued to look up on our way home with finding a few gems and a few friends at the library.  All is not lost it seems.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Keeping of Christmas

We've fallen into a great habit of wrapping presents and watching movies at night, no matter what day of the week it is.  Every Advent I open my suitcase filled with movies to grab, Little Women, which I consider a Christmas feature film, only to realize I still don't own it, the memory of owning the VHS years ago continues to haunt me.  So instead we watched, The Sound of Music, and I didn't even fast forward through the nun parts.  Then came Goodbye Lenin, having not much to do with Christmas but excellent.  Then came Broadchurch, a British miniseries with likeable detectives and one with a dreamy Scottish drawl.

This holiday season Verity is a bit more stealthy in her approach to completely dismantle our Christmas tree.  Last year we only decorated the top half because she would take all the low-hanging ones off straight away.  Of course.  This year, she waited until our guard was down, showing delight in it as a whole and not an invested interest in pulling the ornaments off.  So we decorated the tree from top to bottom.  Now when we are in the other room she quietly continues her annual tradition.  So far we've lost one christmas keepsake to her, but I'm proud to say that my mom's snow globe of New York City is still unbroken, much like her spirit.  But, unlike our copy of a Charlie Brown Christmas which she broke in two while we popped some popcorn prior to viewing.


I do feel like this is a special year.  Naomi is almost four, dripping with enthusiasm and Verity is our comedic two year old.  Naomi took so much joy in decorating the house this year, offering feedback and advice.  Standing back with me to see how it looks and then adjusting.  She remembers what was in her stocking last year and has decided what she wants to give and receive.  A unicorn for herself and a lion for Verity (because she likes mine so much).  It's all very heart-warming.

In the pageant this year Naomi is going to be a "flying angel!".  I can't wait to see that.  Verity's top choice was an owl.  Then comes a shepherd.  Then a sheep.  The last one I think we will accommodate.


This marks one more Christmas without my mom, who kept Christmas so well.  There is such heartache with that understatement.  We pray for joy that eludes us, make up for it by giving extra hugs and baking sugar cookies, and buying the most beautiful wrapping paper we can get our hands on.  Sparing no expense.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Meal Plan | 12.03.14 | The Culmination of a Day

A day's worth of work.  Yesterday it was Chicken Stew.  Flat-roasting a chicken.  Blanching carrots.  Sauteeing onions.  Making Biscuits.  It was my version of Babette's Feast.  It felt like it took all day.  In actuality it took most of the day when you include the washing up.  I think this effort could be both criticized and praised.  Was it a poor use of time or was it a good use of time?  Please don't answer.  I remain disillusioned either way.  Today's goal will be to avoid the kitchen entirely.  Babette is fasting.

Monday:  The Weekly Lentil.  These with dijon mustard and red wine vinegar.
Tuesday:  Chicken Stew with Biscuits.  Cursedly comforting.
Wednesday:  Split Peas over Rice.  Not sure who's going to make that.  
Thursday:  Pumpkin Pasta from Simply in Season.  I still haven't shared that recipe, have I?
Friday:  Cauliflower Risotto.  Homemade Winter