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Poem of the Day: “I’m Glad the Sky Is Painted Blue”

June 30th, 2007

I’m glad the sky is painted blue,
and the earth is painted green,
with such a lot of nice fresh air
all sandwiched in between.


Well, well, well. When there are no kids at my house, it is extremely quiet. Also I got a little lonely. But not too lonely! Hockey God took me to Sal’s for dinner (salmon for me, veggie lasagna for him). We’ve been going to Pause non-stop, and why? Because Pause kicks ass. We love Pause. But Sal’s is alright, too. Then we drove over to Vancouver, Wash., to see “Knocked Up,” the new film by the “Forty Year Old Virgin” Guy.

(That’s how I refer to him, cuz I can never remember his name. FYOVG.)

(His real name is Judd Apatow.)

Hockey God thought it needed a major re-write. I thought it was funny as hell. We were both right.

WE SLEPT IN. We had tamales, potatoes and fresh fruit salad for breakfast, and a pot of coffee. We got the kids from mom’s (they had a great time, of course), stopped by the library, went out for lunch, now Hockey God’s off to his game. They may win, they may lose, they may push the other players down. It’s hockey, it’s hard to say.

Perfect day today. Perfect weekend.

guess who has a date?

June 29th, 2007

That’s right. The kids are staying at Grandma’s house tonight. Little does she know about their latest habit — staying up until midnight, freaking each other out and screaming about monsters. “They’re in the bathroom! Behind the door.” “No, they’re not! Yes, they are!!!”

I think we’ll stay home, just for the sheer joy of not having anyone walk in on us.

While we’re watching Jeopardy!

Dang, what were you thinking?

What’s your top fave dream date? The sky’s the limit. Just tell me.

Vicki Phillips, madder than a wet hen

June 28th, 2007

Hockey God, my husband, just posted about Vicki Phillips leaving town.

As always, insightful.

And I’m not just saying that cuz I sleep with him.

Thursday Thirteen Ed. #99: 13 Ways I’m Helping my Grandma Write Her Memoirs

June 28th, 2007

My Grandma is an interesting chick. She’s funny and loud, a great cook, a good friend and listener. I’ve been meaning for years now (since I was in college) to help her jot down some memories. She doesn’t type, use a computer or take shorthand. I do occasionally write, so there you have it.

She turns 87 next Tuesday (it’s my mom’s birthday, too! Happy birthday, Mom!) so Internet, tell my Grandma and Mom happy birthday, would you? And now, for a 13:

13. Grandparents, parents (and uh, me) tend to sometimes tell you the same story over and over and over. Have you noticed this? Not if you’re really listening they don’t. I started asking questions and off we went…

12. I started out by asking her if it was okay if I wrote some things down for my kids, so they can remember her. Maybe a few anecdotes, a little bit of a family tree. Then we added recipes. My grandma and I love recipes. (See here, here and here for a few favorites.)

11. Next thing I know, she’s telling me about the time she and my grandfather ran off to the Memphis Zoo in the middle of the night.

10. Then she’s pouring her heart out, talking about my grandpa, and my dad (my Grandma loved my dad and stood by him when he was so sick), and we’re talking about all this, and about all the places she loved to go camping when her kids were little kids. To her, it seems like that was yesterday. My kids are little kids right now and some days? It feels like it will last forever. But I know it won’t. (I am looking forward to them growing up and dreading it, too.) Time goes so fast. You know that, but you don’t really know it until you’re almost 90, I guess. I made a list of all of her favorite getaways and am including that in the book.

9. The book? Yes. We’re turning it into a book. We can print it through Cafe Press. (PS — Shameless Commerce Plug — You know I sell Wacky Mommy gear at Cafe Press, yes? Go buy some!!!) I am so psyched about this book. She can sell it to her buddies at church, to her family back home, to the neighbors, to her own kids (ha, ha). Funny, eh? She wants to donate the proceeds to Meals on Wheels. (Thank you, Meals on Wheels, for visiting my Grandma five days a week.) I already have I don’t even know how many pages typed up. Twenty or so? I’m shooting for something around one hundred pages. Mebbe one twenty five. And I’ve typed up a bunch of recipes.

8. Including this one. It’s perfect for Fourth of July:

2 lbs. chicken
cup oil
cup soy sauce
cup brown sugar
Garlic (1 clove)
tsp. grated ginger

Mix. Marinate. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour or barbeque, turning twice. Sauce can be thickened with cornstarch.

7. Which reminds me. I need to get her potato salad recipe. And the recipe for the salad she makes with butter lettuce and milk dressing.

6. I’ve found out all kinds of stuff about our family, the Depression, World War II, her life. For instance, her brother was a bootlegger. And she and my Grandpa used to own a store, back home in Arkansas.

5. My mom is psyched, too — she has a family tree she’s going to send me, so we can include that in the front. It goes back to 1730!! Geez, who knew? That’s on my Grandpa’s side. And my Grandma’s side goes back to her grandparents, around the 1860s? My mom is going to keep researching.

4. It has made us closer, talking. I’ve been trying to call her at least every other day, and interviewing her for an hour or so at a time. Sometimes it’s a little much for her, tripping down memory lane. It can be a little intense.

3. But her mind is so clear and her memories are so strong. I’m grateful for this.

2. It means a lot to my mom.

1. My cousin and I are planning to add a memories section to the back, with our favorite stories about her. And we’re going to put a section of “Grandma-isms” in there, too. Fun!! Happy Thursday, everyone!

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”
— Madeleine L’Engle, writer (1918- )

A Wedding. And None of You Were Invited.

June 27th, 2007

The Wacky Nekkid Mini-Neighbor was over this afternoon. The treats (chocolate rice krispy bars, Annie’s cheddar crackers, Annie’s graham bunnies, raspberry juice) were good, so she stayed.

Then she and Wacky Boy got married.

The bride was splendiferous in an Iowa City City High High School red, black and white cheerleader’s dress. The groom was quite dashing in a pair of froggy swim trunks. He wore flip-flops; the bride was barefoot. The ceremony was held in the backyard of the bridegroom’s parents. No ice sculpture, but there was a water feature (the wading pool).

Wacky Boy’s sister officiated. She wore an orange cotton summer dress with a certain flair.

“OK, here are your rings.” She handed them both a mood ring.

“Now, you walk down here,” she directed. “Now you stand here. Now you are pronounced husband and wife.”

The newlyweds began to giggle.

“Now… hold hands!” They held hands. They smiled for the non-existent cameras. I clapped.

Then, this being 2007, and being a practical girl, the Mini-Neighbor made a request.

“I want to be married to someone else.”

“OK,” Wacky Girl says. “You have to not like each other first, then you get divorced.”

Tuesday Advice Column: When You’re Expecting Houseguests

June 26th, 2007

Oh, Friday Advice Column, how I miss you! But I have been busy. And Swiffering.

How about a Tuesday Advice Column instead?



Dear Wacky Mommy:

Do your children pick up after themselves? Do they put their own clothes away? If so, how do you get them to do this?


A Little Messed-Up

Dear Messed-Up: (more…)

Tuesday Recipe Club: Birthday Sundaes

June 26th, 2007

If you want a delicious Chocolate Sundae for your birthday (or for any other reason), here’s what you need (recipe by Wacky Girl):

wip cream
cookie dough ice cream
vanilla ice cream
chocolate syrup
chocolate chip cookies
gummie worms

We just got back from the ocean — Seaside! It is touristy and loud in Seaside, which is why we always go to Neskowin. But it’s fun for the kids. But not for the poor octopus at the Seaside Aquarium! Nowhere to hide. Aquarium people, you are sadists.

We skipped Pig ‘n’ Pancake and went to Pudgy’s instead. Wacky Girl would not recommend you go to Pudgy’s (although my crab ‘n’ cheddar omelette — something about the coast makes me want to ‘n’ everything — was delicious and so were the chocolate chip pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse). (Wacky Boy: “Is that real dead crab?” Then later, at the aquarium, “Like those ones?” Who’s the sadist, eh?)

One of the waitresses at Pudgy’s had a little downtime and decided to clean all the windows, inside and out. This made Wacky Girl want to hurl. (A rhyme.)

Don’t trust a breakfast place where the waitress has downtime during mealtime. It has a lounge-y nightclubby feel, Pudgy’s. Then when we were leaving, I spotted the lounge through a separate entrance. Gamblers anon. needed.

We also had double-decker cones at this cool little place where an older man made the waffle cones hot ‘n’ fresh. (See? It’s ‘n’ again.) I can’t remember the name of the place, but it was right across from the other ice cream place, where they also sell espresso, and right down the street from that one gift shop.

With all the sand toys.

Off to water the parched flowers. More later…



from Jen

June 22nd, 2007

This is so simple, it’s perfect.

From Jen:

this is who we are

we create. we struggle. we falter. we pick ourselves back up. we are outrageously witty. we are strong. we are soft. we juggle. we drive too fast. we bend. we stand up straight. we know what we want. we compromise. we explore. we laugh. we are hard on ourselves. we ache. We swing on the monkey bars. we are forgetful. we are merciless. we are merciful. we rush around. we remember. we learn. we eat bad food. we forge ahead. we scale back. we are sensual. we travel. we are colorful. we share. we are earthy. we swim in the ocean. we are nurturers. we are rockstars. we commune. we feel alone. we jump in puddles. we fail. we try again. we try our best. we show up. we protect our children. we are afraid. we are fearless. we create life. we watch life end. we get sick. we commiserate. we envy. we ruminate. we heal. we are curious. we are stubborn. we change our minds. we reason. we weep. we commit. we over commit. we fight. we make up. we do laundry. we challenge. we allow ourselves to be challenged. we love our planet. we never forget. we ask for help. we lust. we wake up early. we oversleep. we compare. we hold our babies. we discover unbearable joy. we need more rest. we swear. we know undeniable sorrow. we shout yes to the moon. we wait. we choose. we teach. we retreat. we come back. we groove. we hope. we hold on. we tilt our faces to the sun.

we write.

this is who we are.

On Writing

June 21st, 2007

“Words are things; and a small drop of ink / Falling like dew upon a thought, produces / That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”
— Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

me, this afternoon: “I’m going to write for a while.”

Wacky Girl: “You always write! That’s all you do!”

me: “You should be glad you have a mother who’s an artist. You could have some boring old mother.”

Wacky Girl, leaving the room and calling out over her shoulder: “Writing. Is. Not. ART!”

I’ve started writing up my Grandma’s life story. She’s 87 next month. She’s a pistol. That’s what everyone says when they meet her: “Your Grandma is a pistol!” I’m like, damn straight.

You know her a little from what I’ve written here, here and here. She of the Coconut Cooky fame. She can tell a damn story. I wish I could share it with you, but I can’t. But once we get it published on Cafe Press you can order a copy. Pictures, recipes and all.

So, Internet, is writing art? Or not?


Thursday Thirteen #98: Next to My Skin

June 20th, 2007

It’s time for the Thursday Thirteen again, and IT’S TIME FOR MY BIRTHDAY this weekend. 43??? Yes, forty-three. I love you 43, cuz you’re not 23 or 53. (But 33 would be alright again. I liked being 33 1/3 — a long-playing record!) You know what I want for my birthday? Clothes. New clothes. Skirts, tights, dresses, lingerie, maybe a few new blouses and some shoes. And a personal shopper, because I hate trying on clothes — the lights, the dressing rooms, the back and forth, this is too small, this is too big…

Would that be the best birthday, or what? Just me, some silk, cotton and linen, and someone to say “Fabulous, darling”…

(Edited to say: My husband swiped my idea! And my pajamas!)

13 Favorite Clothing Items of Mine, Past and Present:

13. A leopard-print flannel shirt that had “Wildcat” embroidered on the pocket.

12. A mustard-yellow bowling jacket that was embroidered “Rita” on the pocket.

11. A vintage rayon dress I bought for five bucks in the East Village in New York, at a big clothing warehouse. Black, with a pattern of white swirls. Long, simple, slinky, with buttons up the front, short sleeves, a v-neck. I wore it ’til it was in tatters.

10. A short blue and white flowered cotton dress I bought at the same place, same day, same price. It kinda looked like a flapper dress. It was the perfect summer dress.

9. The sexy, perfect, tight little black dress I wore all through college. Sigh.

8. The turquoise tank top I wear all the time now.

7. My wedding dress.

6. The red maternity dress my husband bought me when I was hugely pregnant with our first baby and too fat for all the other maternity clothes (the “Pregnancy Kit” with shirt, skirt, leggings; the khakis; the shorts) he’d already bought me. Ditto the blue denim maternity dress with Winnie the Pooh on the front that I wouldn’t have been caught dead in any other time. It was so roomy, and had pockets. It was summertime. The weather was too damn hot. I wore it for a month straight.

5. My Ann Taylor jeans.

4. My Old Navy white dress shirt. Plain, one pocket. Goes with everything. I’m wearing it right now!

3. The sundress and matching scarf my mom made for me when I was six — it was a long granny dress, white fabric with a pattern of tiny blue and yellow flowers. She added turquoise piping and a matching scarf. It was my favorite outfit ever, to this day.

2. My Levi jean jacket. That I lost. And the Iowa Hawkeyes jean jacket. That I lost. And my new Levi jean jacket, that I hope to never misplace. (I have a history of misplacing jackets. I’m on my seventh fleece jacket as of this writing.)

1. My blue string bikini underpants that my ex stole when he moved out. Freak!

Happy Thursday!!!

Edited to say: Thanks, Tink, who reminds us: June 21 “we celebrate Litha, also known as Midsummer, Summer Solstice, Alban Heruin, Sun Blessing, Feill-Sheathain, Vestalia, Thing-tide, All Couples Day, Feast of Epona, Saint John’s Day, Ivan Kupala Day or Gathering Day.” Happy Solstice, all!

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