Monday, May 28, 2012

Cutting Back

We arrived at our place in Maine last Thursday night, only to discover on Friday morning that weeds and tall grass had swallowed up the yard.  That's what happens when you're away for a month when the weather warms up and it finally rains.

It rained off and on Friday, and Saturday was too warm for extended time in the sun for this vampiric gal.  So, Sunday morning we--all four of us--set to work to tame the least, as much as our meager talents would allow.  The results:

Admittedly, the yard reminds me of someone with overgrown hair who does his/her own hack job in shortening it: uneven, sticking out in some places, etc.  But, at least it's starting to look like a yard.

I also have a new chair on which I can sit by the front door of the house and view the wreckage--I mean, lovely yard.  And try to clean my still-dirty fingernails. 

The garden has to wait until next year for me to take a stab at it with my black-tinged thumb.  This year I have a book to write, so I won't get around to more than a few pots of herbs on the deck. (Should the deck ever get re-built.  The contractor says he'll come back...)

What challenges are you taking on these days?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Afternoon Ritual

...or should I say addiction?  It started when we bought one for the house in Maine.  Then I whined until we got one for Quincy. 

Stove top espresso pots!

Who could resist?  It only cost about $50 for both of them.

This has led me down the road to drinking espresso with heated milk (and just a little sugar) any afternoon that I can find the time to do so.  And, now that summer is here, that means pretty much every afternoon.  This could either develop into a lovely ritual or a terrible problem!

...but doesn't it look just perfect in on of the little mugs that I got years and years ago in Cuenca? 

What's your favorite afternoon ritual these days?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

More Tales from the Grocery List

How on earth am I going to find this on the weekly shopping trip...????

Hmmmm...maybe in aisle 666?

Happy end of the semester!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

For the love of books

I must be doing something right as a parent, because yesterday my kids were thrilled when I gave them (a) the just-released book in Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm series (the series closer), and (b) bubble wrap.  Okay, this post isn't really about bubble wrap, but I had to mention it.

I also heard that Maurice Sendak died yesterday, in his early 80s.  His were some of my favorite books to read to the kids when they were young, and Samuel had them memorized from a very early age.

Here he is, at about age 2, "roaring his terrible roar" while "reading" Where the Wild Things Are (followed, of course, by rolling terrible eyes and gnashing his terrible teeth and showing his terrible claws).

And, here he is a few years later reading (or "reading"?) In the Night Kitchen to wee little Anya.  She always did love having him read to her. For a long time, whenever I baked with Sam, we had to chant "Milk in the batter, milk in the batter.  Stir it, scrape it, make it, bake it!" 

Books have shaped my life from an early age.  As a lonely eight-year-old, I would immerse myself in books from the local library.  Now, almost forty years later, books are shaping my own kids--and my parenting.  Thank you, Maurice Sendak, Michael Buckley, and many, many other writers who have led children down the path to life-long reading.

What are/were your favorite children's books?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

Here are pictures that the kids have drawn recently.

From Samuel:

From Anya:

Here's my challenge to you:
Send me a story about one or both of these pictures.

It could be a few lines, a few paragraphs, a few pages.  Your call. I'm also happy to take stories via email instead of via a comment on the blog.

Hoping to hear from you!