Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

happy April, happy spring, happy, happy (almost) everything

April 4th, 2015

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Doesn’t Steve take pretty pictures?

My baby is a teenager now. My other teenager came to school with me and volunteered, ohmyGod the babies love her. Love. One of the kinders flung herself, as kinders are wont to do, into Wacky Girl’s arms.

I love you! (hugs one of the other aides, then me, then the other aide again.) I love you! And I love you! I love everyone!

Runs down the hall. Runs into us later, loves on Wacky Girl some more.

She is my friend, she tells two of the other littles. Runs down the hall, yells, Bye, friend!

#bestthingsinlife #free

ps #missingmydadbutsmilinganyway

Sunday book review, movie round-up & anything else i can throw in here. Happy 2015!

January 11th, 2015

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“We are the night ocean filled
with glints of light. We are the space
between the fish and the moon,
while we sit here together.”

– Rumi

“Bottom line is we’re all flawed in this world. No one’s perfect,” film director Richard Linklater, accepting his Golden Globe award for directing, “I want to dedicate this to parents that are evolving everywhere and families that are just passing through this world and doing their best.”

I’ll see how many categories I can hit here… Ready? Ready-steady-go!

* Pacific Ocean: It’s beautiful. It makes me happy, i love my negative ions i get from the ocean, and the wildlife is so fun to watch. The sea lions in that picture are making what’s called a “raft.” They all hold onto each other and float around. Hippies :)

* Book review? Here’s what on my nightstand (and on the Kindle): Re-read “Wild,” re-reading “Torch,” re-reading Carol Shields magnum opus, “Unless,” reading “Quiet” and learning all kinds of stuff about introverts, extroverts, high reactives and the modern age, just finishing Dreiser’s “An American Tragedy,” genius, and… that’s all I can think of.

* Recipes:

Oven-Fried Spuds (excellent, best potato recipe ever)
Soup! (Steve’s recipe. This one clears up your head, fast)

1 onion, sliced thin
1 bulb garlic
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
6 cups water

Saute onion and garlic (I like whole cloves, but you can chop or press) on low until soft. Add bouillon cubes and squish. Add water and bring to boil. Can be garnished with fresh slices of jalapeno for an extra sinus kick. Wasabi would be good, too.

Reduce water and bouillon by half to thicken.

* Work… is going well. Super well. I love working at a school (computer lab again this year), I’m with the best staff and boss in the universe (no I’m not saying that because they might read this — they really are gifted, funny, smart, wonderful with the students and everything else I was hoping for) and I love that my students are willing to work on my Spanish with me. #yohabloespanolmasomenos

* My own kids… are great. Whoever said, “Eh, you think that when they’re little they really need you, but when they’re teenagers? That’s when they really need you,” that person was so smart. (Seriously, probably 20 people said that to me when the kids were toddlers, and I thought they were joking.)

* Nekkid Neighborsremember them?

* Sex? Not at work, people, keep that in mind, always. Or with the Nekkid Neighbors. Just a bad idea, aight? Lol. We’ve been watching Californication on Netflix, and swear to God, every time I watch it, I feel like I’ve been in an orgy, and it was kind of great, but equally horrible. Yeah.

* Speaking of pop culturemovies. We saw “Wild,” loved it, “Nebraska,” also great, “Boyhood,” one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in my life. Seriously.

* Holidays: How can 2015 be a real year? It’s so space-age sounding.

* And in the category of Pets, Stupid… Our sweet, loving, funny Wacky Cat 2 passed away last month. I keep looking for him, thinking I see him, missing him. It just sucks.

* Houses & Homes: We’re cleaning & rearranging & opposite-of-hoarding like mad right now because we’re moving again.

In five years.

But, as one of my 80-something-year-old neighbors told me after New Year’s, “Every year, I don’t know what it is. The days go slower and the years go faster.” Then he gave me a big smile, I smiled back, and he pedaled off on his bike. I know just what he means.

All for now, xo,

wm

Tuesday Book Review: “Now Open the Box” “Jenny and the Cat Club” and “Junket is Nice”

August 13th, 2013

I only knew Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt (American author, 19011979) from “Pat the Bunny” (first published in 1940) and y’know, I didn’t even know that title from when I was a kid. I discovered it later, once my friends (and then later Steve and I) started having kids. “Junket Is Nice” was her first book (it came out in 1932). She also wrote “Now Open the Box,” “Lucky Mrs. Ticklefeather,” “Brave Mr. Buckingham” and “Tiny Animal Stories.” Altogether she wrote close to 50 books, including some titles for adults.

But “Pat the Bunny” is her best known work, and that is just fine by me.

I received a copy of “Now Open the Box” for review, but I picked it up from my P.O. box, and you know… there just happened to be the cutest little girl there, waiting for her mama. So next thing you know, I’m out a book, and she’s happy. So there’s your review.

“Junket is Nice” was recently re-released as part of The New York Review Children’s Collection (“Now Open the Box” is also part of the collection), and I’ve managed to hang on to my review copy, so far. I’ve reviewed some of the Review’s titles here before, and I just cannot say enough about them. The books look good, are well-bound, and are great individually or as a set. What I really appreciate is that they’re not precious. Don’t get me wrong — they are adorable and precious in the best sense of the words, but they are meant to be teethed on by those babies. That, at the end of the day, is what it’s all about. And these books are chewable.

“Junket is Nice” is a goofy-fun book that reminds me somewhat of Wanda Gag’s classic, “Millions of Cats.” The kids will like the rhythm of the book, and the funny images (a walrus with an apple on his back, a one-year-old lion blowing out the candle on his birthday cake, etc.).

I’m hoping to add a copy of “Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories About Jenny Linsky” to my collection. (This is not Jennie from Paul Gallico’s “The Abandoned,” by the by; this one is by Esther Averill.) It looks good, too.

Pasta a la LaLa, also known as Monday Recipe Club

July 1st, 2013

Room with a view

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

My kids are learning to cook. This leaves me more time for reading. Yes, yes and yes. I am not always the most patient person, who it comes to teaching others to cook. Steve is a bit more patient than I am, but also more likely to say, Sit down and I’ll just do it for you. Our kids are patient with us, thank God. The goal is that they know how to cook by the time they move out, and honestly? They kinda already do, so go us.

Tonight my daughter came up with a good pasta recipe, with a tiny bit of help from me and our friend Giada. OK, yeah, we love pasta. Is that wrong??? Here is…

PASTA A LA LALA

* Cook half a pound of conchiglie pasta until tender

* Add some sliced carrots to the pasta water during the last five minutes of cooking time

* When pasta and carrots are done cooking, rinse with cold water and put in bowl

* In same pot that you cooked pasta in, saute some onions and pea pods in olive oil

* When done, add to pasta and carrots

* Make a vinaigrette from 1 part balsamic vinegar, 3 parts olive oil, salt, pepper and a teaspoon or so of paprika

* Pour over pasta and stir in

* Chop some sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives; stir those into pasta, too! Add some feta cheese if you would like!

Now, make some garlic bread out of hoagie rolls, butter and garlic salt. Toast under broiler.

Done! Bon appetit, babies…

Tomorrow night, peanut butter and blackberry jam sandwiches on hoagie rolls… mmmmmm… peanut butter and jam… mmmmmmm… As usual, I remain happy with a sandwich or a bowl of cereal. Or pasta is always good, too.

xo

wm

best parenting quote ever

May 20th, 2013

“Life gets a little trickier as you get older; it just does…. When my first child was born, [director] Costa-Gavras said to me, ‘They break your heart every day,’ and I thought, ‘Oh,that’s just so perfectly European and negative and I love having this baby. He fills my heart every day.’ Cut to now — I’ve got three boys, from 4 to 14 — and they break your heart every f — -ing day. They break it because they fill it.” — Big Bad Love’s Debra Winger, on the pains and joys of parenthood, on Reel.com

donuts in heaven

April 14th, 2013

My son, talking about his late, great-granny’s funeral: “It was the best ever.”

Why’s that?

“We had donuts!”

Steve: “And up in heaven, Margie is smiling.”

We like sweets.

Easterish b-day

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

love you, bub

March 18th, 2013

Coffee for my love

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

I got this note from my husband last week, as the kids and I were heading out to dinner and the movies:

love you back, see you later, enjoy the show and please keep hands and arms inside until the ride comes to a complete stop.

And that kind of sums up our whole marriage. (big smile.)

May 9th will be the 16th anniversary of our first date; one of our kids turns 11 (elevenyearsold!!!!) next month; the other one turns 14 (fourteen!!!) in September; 15 years of marriage for us right after her birthday; “the sun is up/the sun is shining/the yellow sun/is over the house” — Dr. Seuss; baby, it’s spring again; and love… love was long overdue, and I’m glad it showed up when it did.

xoxoxoxo

wm

ps that was a song my friend wrote, a long time ago: “Love is Long… Overdue.”

he snuck up on him

March 11th, 2013

Fisher

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

* busy taking care of kids

* house

* yard

* spring is almost here!!!!! hello, narcissus, i love you.

* cooking

* paying bills

* going for walks

* watching movies

* working

* but not blogging much.

What’s up with you?

me

Open letter to Seth MacFarlane and the Onion

February 25th, 2013

Hey smarmy Seth MacFarlane and idiots from the Onion,

You want to fight? Sure. How about you go out in the street and practice falling down for awhile, first.

Like we used to say in my old neighborhood: Two hits. Me hitting you and you hitting the floor. It wouldn’t even take a hit. I could tap you with my finger and you’d fall down go boom. Or you’d call me a name, let’s say, the “c” word.

Abby: Did you call me?
Roy: What?
Abby: I heard dumb bitch. I assumed you were talking to me.
Roy: I was talking to her.
Abby: Your name is dumb bitch TOO? No wonder I keep getting all of your mail! You know, we could be related. There are a lot of us dumb bitches here in LA.

– “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”

You’d be all, “C word!” and I’d turn around and say, Perdon? and you would… dissipate. Spontaneously combust, or maybe just implode. There would be a little pile of lint, that’s all that would be left of you.

You’re wussies, that’s why. Not just those garden-variety wussies, either. You’re the next level of wuss, my friends. Remember that trucker from “Thelma and Louise”? Now, he was your garden-variety wussie boy.

Thelma: I mean really! That business with your tongue. What is that? That’s disgusting!

Louise: And, oh my God, that other thing, that pointing to your lap? What’s that supposed to mean exactly? Does that mean pull over, I want to show you what a big fat slob I am or…

Thelma: Does that mean suck my dick?

Trucker: You women are crazy!

Louise: You got that right.

You’re the kind of wussies who make certain people (moms, women, little girls, men who aren’t wussies) totally lose their shit. “Oh, what, you don’t have a sense of humor?”

Yeah, I like jokes.

When they’re funny.

1) You guys aren’t funny. You’re assholes and…

2) You can run, son, but you can’t hide.

Here’s a New Yorker article, because it’s all on the damn record now, isn’t it?

And then the Culture Vulture weighs in.

Also, a thoughtful post from Happy (or whatever).

On the one hand, I would like to pretend, like I have so very many times before, that this was just another bad date. You called me a slut, I went on my way, but you know what? We need to have this conversation, right here, right now. On the record. Because I’m not going anywhere.

But you are.

You guys said what you said, and acted like you acted, and it was bullshit. Old boys’ network and bwah-ha-ha and jokes about Jack Nicholson’s house and women’s “boobs” and calling a sweet little girl a horrible name… And really? Fucking really? More of this shit?

The difference this time is…

Everyone knows. And your way (the old way) is on the way out.

And that gives me, and my sisters, and our daughters, and all of those guys who aren’t wussies like you, a really good gift…

Hope.

And a big smile.

So head on out to the street now, would you?

love,

nancy

“Look! It’s a Hat!”

August 27th, 2012

You know how when you hear someone is expecting a baby, you feel compelled to share all your wisdom with them? Even if you haven’t actually had any babies? Uh, yeah. Most of us do it. Except the dog and cat people out there, who skip the advice and just chime in, I love my cats/dogs, they’re so much easier than babies.

No, they’re not.

For instance, our creaky, kind of kooky 15-year-old boy cat, Wacky Cat 2, (you may remember him from such blog posts as this one, or or this) decided to stay out all night last night and stressed Steve and me the hell out. “Stressed me the hell out” is a phrase I use way more often when talking about the cats than when I am discussing the kids, fyi. I went out on the back porch and called for him, and miaoooow!! There he was. Steve: “He never comes when I call him. I can’t believe all you have to do is call, Here, kitty, kitty, and he trots right up.” Me: “Yeah, after 2 1/2 hours!” Seriously. I was all, Woog! Woogie! Boogie! Here, kitty, kitty! starting at 6 a.m. Our poor neighbors. Miaooooow!! And he won’t tell us where he was. It’s maddening, really.

Next: Kids generally tell you before they throw up. Once they’re verbal, that is. Before that, all bets are off. You will not get that kind of notification from a pet.

My friends, a couple I’ve known since college, who are just adorable and yummy and live in the Bay area with their exciting life, have surprised us all by announcing they’re having a baby girl in a few weeks. I should have known, because they bought a house, and then they got a dog. Breeders. (Kidding. Congrats to the three of you, and blessings. You will both be great parents.)

They even posted pix of preggo mama on Facebook to prove it to us. Wow! Pretty woman. Love her. I promptly sent them a list of the top 5 items they shouldn’t forget to pack in the bag for the hospital (nail clippers for the baby, because the hospitals tell you because of “health codes” or something they won’t/can’t do it; sleeping/nursing bra, without underwire; the baby book, so they can put the footprints in that when they do the state birth certificate; a couple of sizes of clothes for baby; a couple of sizes of clothes for mom) (oh, and I told the dadd-o, for god’s sake don’t eat pizza or a peanut butter sandwich when she’s in labor. Just sayin’…), They promptly sent me back a note that said what they really need is 4 or 5 binders to gather up all the “helpful advice” they’re getting from everyone. My response to that was, Yeah, we’re all obnoxious, sorry. PS it usually takes about 3 weeks to get the hang of breastfeeding; it’s not exactly the most natural thing in the world.

Next time I hear a close friend is having a wee bebe, I’m going to keep my mouth shut. Because why shouldn’t they re-invent the wheel? We all want to. (Except me. I figure, that wheel looks good enough, I’ll use it.) Seriously, I like checking in with other parents, grandparents, nannies, bartenders… whoever… about child-rearing. I didn’t realize my first baby was teething until a mother of triplets pointed it out to me. (See: drool. See: cranky face. See: gnawing on hand.) I didn’t think babies started teething until… later. What the hell did I know? I was also surprised that she started scooting at 4 months and crawling at 6. Both of mine walked on their first birthdays, which was kind of hilarious. “Developmentally, you’re right on track!” were the first words out of my mouth. Kidding.

A friend’s husband also told me, worried, Well, be sure you don’t leave her on the table. (Cuz he did, and his girl went boom on her head.) Just… damn. Don’t leave them on the bed/couch/table/changing table/anywhere high up, unattended.

Some of them start rolling and flipping over from birth, it seems like. (It was three months and younger for our 2.)

“It’s just a matter of time before they’re locking you out of the house.” — my great-uncle to my great-aunt, when her kids were toddlers.

Truer words were never spoken. To wit: The time my kids locked me out. And the other time. And that one time when… Then there was the incident wherein my son smashed his Thomas the Tank Engine bang into my nose, stating calmly, after the fact: “Train coming.”

“It’s like those books, ‘You Never Know What to Expect…’” — my girlfriend Zip, when I was asking her for more advice. “That’s not even what they’re called! They’re called, ‘What to Expect…’” Her response: “Well, they should call it what I said, instead, it’s better.”

What is it, this desire to “share”? I think we all struggle with parenthood, especially that first year. Especially those first few months. Especially those first few weeks/days/hours/minutes. We want to make it easier for others than it was for us, maybe. Some people (Steve) take to it like a duck to water. Others (me) have to have the obvious pointed out to us. Some advice, however, is messed up.

* My granny, calling every few days while I was pregnant with Wacky Girl. She’d yell, Spina bifida, spina bifida! at me, then hang up. She was making me cry. So I finally said, Granny, I took my folic acid… I’m still taking it… My baby is not going to have spina bifida! “Oh, OK.” (click.) That was my granny, God rest her soul.

* The cow I worked with at Fred Meyer, who told me I really should have another baby right away (our daughter was 1 at the time) because what if something happened… And then she went off on it. Made me cry, just like my granny. I was hormonal at the time, due to the fact that I was already knocked up again and didn’t realize. Sheesh. One child can never replace another child, just fyi, cow-lady.

* You know what I told my friends who are soon-to-be parents? That I used to know so much about parenting. But what I know now, you could stick on the head of a pin and still have room left over for the Pledge of Allegiance.

* The only real advice you’ll need is what our ultrasound tech told us, excited, at the same time she was flipping out about my advanced maternal age 1) “Oh! My kid is 3. I’ll tell you everything I know about parenthood. It’s not the terrible 2′s, it’s the terrible 3′s. 2) Do you want to wear the green shirt? Or the blue one? 3) Do you want the yellow sippy cup? Or the red one? 4) After the baby comes, your dog… is just a dog.”

OK, I’ll add one more, cuz I can’t resist. If you want to make a baby or a little kid laugh, put something… anything… on your head and say, “Look! It’s a hat!”

The end.

“Don’t be yourself. Be someone a little nicer.” — Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)

« Previous PageNext Page »