Saturday, April 17, 2010

All rightie, then.

I installed a chunk of the redwood border with the help of my husband, and I cooked that beef and served it Monday night with polenta, veggies, and a tossed green salad. (What veggies? Hm. Wait a minute, let me think. I believe I steamed a mix of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and corn.) As for the high shelves - the cleaning ladies fear them for a reason. Let's not go there.

I was looking at the picture I posted of Youngest Daughter and me at the Poppy Preserve, noticing that seven years ago she was still shorter than I am, and I got to thinking. The very next year, in the pictures we took in Italy, we were the same height:

Now, of course, the situation has become simply ridiculous:

(Yes, she's the tall one in back on the right, and she's hunched down a bit so she can put her chin on her brother's shoulder. Don't ask about the funny hat. It's there for a reason...)

But way back at the beginning she was little. When we'd go to the grocery store, she would always step on the rung at the back of the cart, hold onto the handle, and lean against me. I'd push with my arms around her. This went on from the time she got too big for the seat in the cart (maybe when she was three?) until she was so tall I had to hitch my head over to the side to see around her. She must have been seven or eight. At last I told her that she was too big, and she couldn't ride there anymore. She said, "You mean never again?"

It still makes me laugh to think of that. I said, "Yeah, that's about it, honey. You aren't going to get any shorter. People grow in just the one direction: up."

Friday, April 9, 2010

On abandoning a blog

Yeah, that's what I did and not once, but twice, having also abandoned my highly grumpy and often inappropriate political blog. I didn't abandon my pair of blog-babies for the same set of reasons. Oh, sure, in both cases time got short and I got overwhelmed; but there's more to it than that.

I'll blog about the politics over there, but my reasons for not posting here are complicated and have to do with a recurrent suspicion that I really don't know a damn thing about raising kids and that there are better things for me to do than inflict my meanderings on the Internets. I could, for example, work on one of my books. I could dust the high shelves where the cleaning ladies fear to go. I could do some yoga, or even better, some tai chi. I could thaw that good slab of beef, cut it in chunks, and cook it Tuscan-style with red wine, peppercorns, and garlic. I could dig a little trench in front of the roses for the nine-inch-high redwood border I bought last spring.

My youngest daughter - the recalcitrant teen - is barreling headlong into adulthood. My eldest daughter is being dragged inexorably towards middle age. My middle kid will soon be Doctor Dave. And although all of these brilliant people spend a large amount of their time here, I'm feeling very empty-nesty, which, coming on the heels of forty years of parenthood, is a bit of an adjustment. In that light, I have found it easier to ignore this blog.

Yeah. Easier, and less threatening. Nobody's perfect. Every parent makes mistakes and it's painful to look back and admit them. You find yourself caught between kicking yourself and grieving for what might have been if only you'd been wiser, more experienced, more patient, more generous. Ack, you think. Let's just move on.

On the other hand, chronicling the lessons-learned might make a difference, if not for other parents going forward, then at least for my kids looking back. And there are the laugh-out-loud-funny moments we all shared.

So maybe I will still post here. Maybe. First, though, I really need to get that redwood border installed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday dog-blog

Here's Roxy, sleeping with her toy on her nose.

I'd blog the cat, but she went outside and refuses to come back in. She's mad because Roxy waltzed into the bedroom where she was sleeping. Worse, poor kitty was subjected to a giant brown Roxy-nose sniffing her tummy. Bad scene all around.

What Roxy's really doing in this picture is waiting for someone to try to steal the toy away so that somebody will have to chase somebody else. Her preference, of course, is that when it all settles out, she'll be the one being chased. I'll be the one running after her.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The kitchen is a wrap

Here's what we started with:

And this, along with an empty savings account and a few more gray hairs, is what we have now:

Yeah. It was worth it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's a new year

and let's hope it's a better one than the last. Here are ten of my fondest wishes:

1. Newspapers recover. Twenty-four-hour news outlets fail.

2. It rains in California. It stops raining in Iowa.

3. California calls for a constitutional convention and produces a new constitution which requires a two-thirds majority to amend the constitution and a 50%+1 majority to pass a budget and to raise taxes. Lowering taxes requires a 60% majority. Heh.

4. The Supreme Court decides that money does not, in fact, constitute political speech and caps corporate political spending.

5. The FCC decides that nudity is not scary, that the word 'fuck' will not harm future generations, and that freedom of speech is not threatened by banning ads which contain demonstrable falsehoods.

6. The FDA bans commercials touting prescription drugs.

7. Genetically modified foods are found to taste awful. Monsanto gives up its GMA programs and devotes itself to promoting organic gardening.

8. No Child Left Behind is amended to require a.) national testing standards and b.) an increase in funding for all schools which fail to meet yearly progress goals.

9. Roman Polanski goes to prison.

10. Health care reform becomes law, and includes caps on profits by insurance companies and for-profit health-care providers.