Sunday, October 30, 2011

How to Kick off a Vacation with a Bang

Today's word of the day...
anoesis /an-oh-NEE-sus/, noun:
a state of mind consisting of pure sensation or emotion without cognitive content.


Used in a sentence:
In a frenzied rush to unbuckle my seatbelt and cup my hand under the chin of my barfing child, I was filled with complete and utter anoesis.  Only later, did I my brain register with reason, "Did I really think my hand could catch all that vomit?"

"Umm... Boy? Do you think you could pull over sometime soon?"

What a perfect way to begin a family vacation.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Delicious Autumn

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. 
—George Eliot

Friday, October 21, 2011

October Has Come and Almost Gone

I admit it.

I tend to let certain things slide. Watering house plants and worthwhile blogging aren't among my strengths. Sometimes when I am driving in the car, radio off, I compose blog entries inside my head. There's an awful lot of pondering going on about organizing my sentence structure and whittling down the sarcastic tone of my voice. I wish I could classify this neurotic activity as brainy recreation, but it's clearly not. But hey, these daily writing exercises may be helping to keep my mind sharp.

Better to do this than bury my face into a three-inch book of Sudoku puzzles?

Only, there's a small problem here: my fingers never make it to the keyboard. I have the best intentions to craft stories worth sharing, but the ubiquitous Mom Brain intervenes and takes the form of Writer's Block. Is it coincidence that as soon as I click 'New Post' that all those stories kept within my brain's filing cabinet flutter out of my head? Blast that Mom Brain.

To represent these past couple weeks of blogging drought, I've condensed some small achievements we've made recently. Life normally comprises of such small achievements, so why not celebrate them? Do a little fist pump in the air for us.

The Boy:
No matter how far behind he is with his lawn mowing duties, Boy fares much better than our next-door neighbor. And to top it off, he has taught me how to use a lawn mower. Bonus!

He is one of very few people I know who enjoys going to the hospital. To guide my understanding of his preventative line of work, he explains that preparing his operation room is very similar to how I cover our son's bed with Brolly Sheets. Bottom line: the catastrophe that is waiting to happen ends up never happening at all. Don't ask how we do our jobs so well; call us skilled. (I'm still waiting to see how well these sheets absorb. "Big Solutions for Wee Problems," it says. They were shipped to me from New Zealand, so they better work, dangit.)

Still, Boy is one of the most patient people I know. An associate of his was bragging about a two-year-old grandchild knowing her ABCs and remarked how advanced she was compared against most two-year-olds. Andrew commented how impressive that was and held his tongue with quiet satisfaction.  

Huckleberry Finn:
HBF has made the achievement of being more independent. He prefers doing things on his own and on his own terms. He wants toast with jam on it...not cereal, or waffles, or even cookies (as you lie persuasively through your teeth). If you close the door, he goes ballistic because he wants to shut it. If the option is available, he vehemently prefers his dad over his mom (and will loudly call out for his dad if Mom tries to intervene). And forget about the bed--even if you leave him tucked in for his afternoon nap, you can bet on later finding him snoozing inside his plastic toy bin sauna.

September2011 430

He is working on sounding out small words. I'm not joking on this one. At 2 1/2, I may have an early reader on my hands.

Small achievement: he has the intuition of an animal. "Mom! Mom! What's that sound?" (he scrunches up his nose and makes squeaking sounds with his lips) "Hear that? Hear the mouse?" It used to be adorable, but since he took mouse behavior to the next level, I am really bugged.

Indy recently became interested in taking her first steps. I was beginning to wonder if my blue-eyed 19-pounder had any leg muscles in her.

She refuses to communicate through sign language. As long as she can produce short and long bursts of high-pitched banshee screams to get someone's attention, why would she need to use signing anyway? It's like her own version of Morse Code. She's wise beyond her years.

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Ate my first potato that wasn't grown in Idaho. Surprisingly, potatoes from Maine are just as tasty.

In 24 hours, I made a Halloween wreath for my front door, four pair of infant leg warmers, a half-done map project to hang on our wall, and a rose-colored tulle tutu for Indy. Having a table downstairs for all of my projects helps me stay productive.

I am forcing myself to become un-jaded (not a word, but it is now) from politics. It's a bitter pill to swallow but the bickering among candidates is starting to get juicy. I was not a lucky recipient of tickets for the GOP economic debate at Dartmouth, so on my way home from a friend's home, I drove around the Green to observe the pre-debate excitement. I was looking for a glimpse of Mitt Romney's hair, but it was nowhere in sight.

With Halloween and November coming around the corner, I'm beginning to realize--with sorrow--that Fall is quickly turning to winter. I was advised last month that it's worth the money to invest in a good winter coat and boots. I'm a little worried. Have the ice storms of the midwest prepared me at all?

We shall see. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I did a really scary thing today. I entered a photography contest. Holy Shnikeys.

The incentive? To win a free copy of a book that teaches how to take better pictures. For someone like me who is still doing my best to learn how to use last year's Christmas present, I find it hard to pass it up. I want that book.

During the month of October, Katie Evans Photography is hosting the contest Photoberfest on Pinterest:

  • Week 1 was food. Fortunately, this week has passed. Me no can do food.
  • Week 2 (this week) is kids. I practice every day with kids, so this may be the best chance I've got.
  • Week 3 will be action. No can do either. This is my struggle no matter how much I try to read up on shutter speed. For that reason, I want a copy of Katie's photography book. It wouldn't hurt to have a nicer lens to work with either.
  • Week 4 is Halloween. We shall see if there will be any photos worth submitting by then.

Would you like to vote for me? Pretty please.
First, you need to have a Pinterest account. If you don't have one, I can e-mail you an invitation.
Second, click HERE to the link to vote. While on Pinterest, you select the photos you like and click "like" to vote. The photo with the most "likes" wins the prize.

It's a long shot, but worth a try.

The photos shown below have been entered into the contest. Contest for each week ends at midnight Friday.

Would you like to participate too? Follow the link HERE and let me know so I can vote for your entries.

Good luck!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Driving Along the Connecticut

And it's the Boy's day off.

October 1st--a drizzly first day of the month.
The four of us are buckled inside our puddle-jumping Xterra.
Raindrops lightly tap dance across the windshield.
Tip, tap.
Tip, tap, tip, tap. 
With windows down, we feel the brisk air blushing our cheeks.
And inhale the smell of Fall.
But, a little voice from behind begs for the windows to 'go up'.
'Please,' he adds.
I love it when he remembers his manners.

As we hum along the Connecticut, listening to the syncopating rhythm of rain, the river looks precariously high with brown swift-moving water.
We cross a covered bridge.
Cornish, NH to Windsor, VT.
It's massive; I think this is now my favorite one.
Clickety clack we go as we hear its echos from beneath.

We admire the countryside's rolling green hills with hints of lovely colors on the horizon.
And lots
and lots
and lots
of cows.
Vermont cheese-making cows, that is.
And a whole lot of mooing.
One kid was in awe.
The other just sucked her thumb, scowling at the cows.

Week after week, drive after drive, I think this place really feels like home.
Although my mind may change once January comes...