Monthly Archives: November 2013

Quick Hit: Manners; You’re Doin’ it Wrong

You’re 79.  Your husband is 3 months shy of 92 and in rapidly failing health.  Your son and daughter-in-law went out of their way to get you a Christmas tree this morning so that you don’t have to trek out into the cold or worry about transporting a tree home yourself (as your husband is no longer capable of that kind of adventure and you’re certainly incapable of managing it on your own).

The correct response to this gesture would have been, “Thank you.  That was very thoughtful,” not, “Where did you get it?  You didn’t cut it down yourself?  Well, what if *I* wanted to pick one out?”

My sister-in-law from overseas is here for the Thanksgiving holiday, and there have been several times during her visit that she’s said, flat out, that her mother is selfish.  She’s not wrong.

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Quick Hit: Puppy!

There is nothing about this that doesn’t make me ridiculously happy.


(Sorry; you have to go to the link.  I couldn’t find the video in a format that WordPress would translate to play here).

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Quick Hit: Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for my health, for my family (and for my friends who are family), and for the love that surrounds me from near and far every damned day.


(I am also thankful that I have such ease in the kitchen that I can put together dinner for a crowd without breaking a sweat.  Oh, and I’m also thankful for rum and eggnog.  Yum).

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Yeah, it’s an ad for a department store.  Shut up; it’s sweet:

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Ten Things Tuesday

Ten things, in no particular order:

1.  Father Chili decided to stop treatment yesterday and get connected with hospice.  I don’t have any other details than that at the moment; hopefully, I’ll learn more after Mr. Chili goes to see them on his way home from work this afternoon.

2.  The English sister-in-law and her husband arrived today.  I’m excited to spend time with them.

3.  Bean got her hair cut this afternoon.  It’s wicked short, and she hates it.  Thankfully, her hair grows out really quickly, and she’s got a bunch of cute hats and headbands to manage in the interim.

4.  We’re gearing up for a WICKED bout of rain tomorrow (thank the gods that it’s not snow!).  I have to drive to Not-So-Local college in the morning to collect final drafts of opinion papers.  I’m not looking forward to that ride.

5.  I’m probably going to do my thanksgiving grocery shopping tonight.  I need to go early enough that I can thaw a frozen turkey if that’s all that’s available.

6.  I’m going to make a cranberry upside-down cake for dessert for Thursday.  I don’t like “spice” desserts, and that pretty much describes all of traditional Thanksgiving treats (pecan, pumpkin, mincemeat, and apple pies; my in-laws’ (dreaded) plum pudding).  Since chocolate seems more fitting for Christmas than Thanksgiving, I decided to make the upside-down cake so that I’d have something to enjoy after dinner.

7.  I discovered Malibu coconut rum the other day.  I’ve been on a big vanilla rum kick for a while now, but this Malibu stuff is SMOOTH.  I went and bought a bottle on my way home this afternoon (which reminds me; I need to add Diet Coke to my grocery list).

8.  I stopped at a gymnastics school this afternoon to ask about what I need to do to be able to push myself a little further into my yoga practice; there are a couple of moves that I want to be able to execute that I’m not quite able to get close enough to for my liking.  I got some pointers, AND discovered that the school is thinking of running an adult class sometime at the end of the year.  I left my email address and phone number.

9.  I’m thinking of taking another Local U. class in January to get me one class closer to finishing my CAGS in adolescent development.  I’m going to look into the feasibility of that next week.

10.  I was thinking the other day that there are some people in my life whom I don’t see anymore whom I don’t miss at all; in fact, I’m glad that I don’t have to interact with them.  Then  there are others who are absent from me whom I miss all the damned time (and, sadly, there’s precious little I can do about it).  I kind of hate that.


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Monday Meme

Boosted (and slightly altered) from Bean’s Tumblr page:

If I handed you a concert ticket right now, who would you want to be the performer?  There are a BUNCH of bands I’d still like to see.  I’ve never seen Dave Matthews or Train, and I’d always go back to see Billy Joel, Sting (with or without The Police), and Maroon 5

What color looks best on you?
I’m a fair-skinned redhead; I look best in autumnal colors like sage-y green, browns, darker blues, and purples. I avoid yellow and red hues like the plague.

Name three facts about your family We are VERY open about sexuality and our bodies (we still share the same bathroom and have no compunction about nudity), we travel EXTREMELY well together (in fact, car trips are our favorite vacation transportation) and, given the abysmal example I had of how families behaved growing up, we’re far happier than I ever imagined a family could be.

What’s the best thing you can cook? I am a goddess in the kitchen; everything I make is fantastic.

Favorite holiday dish? That’s a hard one. I’m fond of my mother’s creamed onions (I know, I know; it SOUNDS gross, but trust me…).

Would you ever get into a long distance relationship? I had a long-distance relationship by default; just before Mr. Chili and I were married, he worked for about a year in Michigan. We survived that, building a house (which happened before Michigan) and then remodeling that house, AND two children; we’re going to be married forever.

Favorite kind of soup? I love (but rarely ever find) good cream of mushroom soup. I’m also fond of Progresso Hearty Tomato with garlic-bread grilled mozzarella cheese sandwiches.

What’s the most thoughtful present you’ve ever received? I consider my engagement ring the best and most thoughtful present I’ve ever received.

Would you ever become a vegan? Not a chance. Even though I KNOW that there’s a lot of horrific abuses in the meat industry, I do still eat meat (though far less than I used to). I also love butter and ice cream (and chocolate) too much to become vegan.

What’s your favorite hot beverage? Good, rich, creamy hot chocolate.

For your birthday, what kind of cake do you ask for?
I often make my own cake; yellow cake with a chocolate frosting.

Do you like going on airplanes? I don’t, really. I’m not an anxious flier, but I do get nervous. I have to take a decongestant before I fly or my head explodes on landing, and they chill me out just enough that I am okay for the trip (unless it gets REALLY bumpy, in which case I need to plug into my iTunes, listen to the Tallis Scholars, and practice yoga breathing).

What color was your childhood home? When I was really little, it was a sort of sage green. My father painted it white at some point; I remember the kids at school teasing me that I wouldn’t be able to find my way home in the winter.

Starbucks order? I don’t drink coffee, so I’m rarely in Starbucks. I don’t know if their cocoa is any good.

Do you like where you’re from? I grew up in Peabody, Mass, and I have no feelings about the place one way or the other; I have no ties there, my childhood home burned to the ground three months after we moved out, and since I don’t have any particularly good memories of my childhood, I feel no particular affinity for the town. I DO consider myself “from” Boston, though, and I have a great deal of affection for that city; the landscape, the people, the accent, and the history.

What was your favorite book as a child? It was a book called Sugar Bee by Rita McLish, and it’s been out of print for YEARS now. I found a copy at a rare books site and had it shipped to me a few years ago; that’s the book I’d probably rescue in the “if you had to save one book from a fire” scenario.  It’s about a little black girl from the inner city who spends a summer in the ‘country’ at a white family’s house.  The girl in that family is blind, and over the course of the summer, Sugar Bee has her perceptions adjusted as a result of “seeing” for this girl.

What’s the scariest dream you’ve ever had? I don’t often recall the plots of dreams much past a few minutes of waking, but I HAVE had dreams which, even though I can’t remember them, still leave me with a palpable feeling of dread.

Would you rather carve pumpkins or wrap presents? Wrap presents.

Favorite kind of candy?  Chocolate. Duh.

Would you rather be cold or hot?  Hot. Duh. In fact, I was just telling my “if I could hibernate from New Year’s to Easter” story this afternoon…

Do you listen to what’s on the radio? 
I do. I have every NPR station in three states programed into my presets, and I will occasionally hook into Pandora from my phone (since my husband gave me a spiffy bluetooth radio, I can do that now!).

Do you like when it rains?  Only if I don’t have to go out in it.  That goes triple for snow.

What’s a movie you cried while watching?  You want a LIST?! Okay: The last Lord of the Rings movie (the coronation scene gets me every time). A Time to Kill (Jake’s closing argument). Apollo 13 (the “If they could get a washing machine to fly” scene, and their safe landing). The Secret Life of Bees (the crucial conversation between August and Lily). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the scene where the boys are in the dungeon and Hermione is being tortured upstairs; her screaming makes me weep EVERY DAMNED TIME. I have NO idea what it’s triggering in me, but it’s something primal). The Blind Side (“Those are my KIDS!”). What Dreams May Come (the scene where Chris realizes who the lovely flight attendant really is). Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find a tissue…


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I’m Clearly Not “Over It”…

…and I fear I may never be.

I found this on HONY this afternoon, and it made me literally burst into tears:

“I used to be a preschool teacher, but I got fired.”
“What happened?”
“Well, I decided that I wanted to have a socially conscious class. So we learned about Apartheid in South Africa. Then we learned about homelessness. Then we made mother’s day cards for Trayvon Martin’s mom. And I think the principal decided that it was too much for three and four year olds, because she told me I wasn’t a ‘good fit.’ But honestly, I was just shining too bright for them. And now she’s going to see me on Humans of New York, and she’ll be sorry!”


My light shines too bight, and I have NO idea what to do about that.

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