Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween list

  • Crazy costumes at a work party (if I were less scrupulous I would post pictures of the boss in his hilarious, goofy wig. We have a good boss)
  • Frenzied preparations at home, including finding the Captain Jack shirt in the dryer at the last possible minute
  • Leaving a pan of canneloni uneaten on the counter -- darn lucky I remembered to take it out of the oven
  • Forgetting the plastic pumpkins and sending the boys around to do Trunk or Treat with my purse and camera case (the purse actually looked remarkably piratey, and the camera case was black enough to look okay for Zorro)
  • Handing out $25 worth of candy in 15 minutes at Trunk or Treat -- whew!
  • Boogieing boys in the costume parade (pictured, right)
  • Doing the twist with two enthusiastic boys who are miraculously not embarrassed to dance with Mama
  • S knocking A's Zorro hat off EVERY TIME he did the hokey pokey and turned himself about and A being a great sport
  • Two brothers running down our street, hats in hand, gleefully trick or treating

Halloween is over for another year. I worked my attitude and didn't get frustrated. It was fun. I'm glad the next one is a year away.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Word girl

I think of myself as a word girl. I consume them like crazy, as I've confessed before. I've somehow managed to read a lot in the last month. I don't know how.

Well, I sort of do. Mostly by neglecting things I should have been doing instead, like doing my church calling and getting the oil changed in the car and de-spider-webbing the corners of the dining room.

(There's a story in my family history about a man who owned a sheep ranch. He mainly went out with the sheep and read all day. The ranch was most successful when he was out on a mission and his very efficient and businesslike wife took over. Some days I just shrug and tell myself I can't escape my genes.)

My little sister M (smart and beautiful girl) provided A Northern Light for me to read when I was in Utah a month ago. I was in the middle of The Shipping News at the time, but I took a break and read it.

It was a great read. Young adult fiction is really refreshing sometimes, and I've been trying to figure out why. I think it's because it's less likely to get caught up in the craft of writing and instead just tells the story. And story is what I really, really love. I love writing and words, yes. But story is the satisfaction, the payoff. (That was validated at the conference I went to in San Antonio, by the way. It made me want to write to tell stories, and it was absolutely invigorating!)

A Northern Light tackles words and story, talent and passion, love and family. How they all fit and don't fit in the life of a girl, a woman. For me, that's the daily problem of balancing my life. And the choices I made when I was seventeen and eighteen and nineteen do affect that.

I'm very lucky that I can do what I do -- balance, I mean. And also unlucky that I can't do things differently. If a few cells worked differently for me and G, I know my life would be very different. I would have had a baby in 1995, and kept going from there -- instead of adopting my first in 1999 and proceeding in fits and starts to build this family, sometimes successful, sometimes not.

It was thought-provoking for me, reading this novel, to revisit the different possibilities that existed for me when I was so young: Getting married, going to college, a career in music, a career in words. The risks I took, the risks I was too afraid to take.

I'm really glad I knew how to make those choices in the way I did -- seeking guidance from above. Because although I may look back and wonder, I only rarely look back and regret. And most often I look back with a lot of gratitude. Although I thought at different times that I had the perfect plan, life unfolded in a different way. And it has turned out pretty well, so far.

Next up: The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdrich. I mostly read it at the gym, and then while I was sick. I swear.

What I'd really like to know

Is whether this research could lead to effective treatments for male infertility. Contraception, we really don't need in our family.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"That kicked the butt of any other curry you've ever made"

That was G's reaction to tonight's dinner, which was Thai red curry. Made with purchased curry paste.

Make sure you cut all the veggies before you start cooking. Failing to do that is my usual mistake with stir-fries. I didn't make it today. Maybe that is why G loved it so much. Ha.

Well, it was good.

Thai Red Curry

1 chicken breast, sliced
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp corn starch

1 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 yellow onion, cut in 1" dice
1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut in 1" dice
1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets

2 tbsp purchased Thai red curry paste (mae ploy) (more if you like it spicy)
1 can coconut milk
About 1 tsp Thai fish sauce
About 2 tbsp basil chiffonade

Sprinkle vinegar over chicken, then corn starch. Stir to coat.

Stir fry chicken in oil over high heat until no longer pink. Remove from pan.

Add curry paste to pan. Stir until fragrant. Add half the coconut milk and stir until smooth. Add all vegetables and chicken. Stir until cooked tender-crisp.

Add remaining coconut milk and fish sauce. Heat through. Add basil and stir.

Serve over jasmine rice with regular Thai condiments - lime, peanuts, Sriracha.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Activism for the day: Oxfam/Starbucks

I love me some Starbucks. Mormonish Starbucks, like shaken iced tea lemonade made with herbal tea, or those yummy yummy chocolate chip blended cremes.

Oxfam and I have something to say to Starbucks, though. In the interest of getting to my meeting on time, I'll just paste Oxfam's text.

Each year, coffee companies make billions of dollars. Starbucks alone earned almost $5.8 billion in net revenues during the first three quarters of 2006.

Yet, for every cup of coffee Starbucks sells, poor farmers in coffee-growing countries like Ethiopia earn only about $.03. Even worse, while Ethiopian farmers grow some of the finest name-brand coffees in the world - think Harar, Yirgacheffe, and Sidamo - they don't see the premium profits those names command among consumers.

Tell Starbucks to give Ethiopia control over its coffee names.

With as many as 15 million Ethiopians dependent on coffee, Ethiopia has decided to get its farmers more of what they deserve. The country's government has asked Starbucks to sign a licensing agreement that will allow Ethiopia to control the names of its coffees. That way, Ethiopia can help determine an export price that makes sure farmers see a larger share of the profits enabling them to feed their children, send them to school and get them better healthcare.

Oxfam and a coalition of allies are asking Starbucks to sign this agreement. According to one coalition member, control of the name brands could increase Ethiopia's coffee export income by more than 25 percent - or $88 million annually. This money could go a lot way to help lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty.

So please, help us convince Starbucks to sign this agreement with Ethiopia. Poor farmers deserve a fair share of the profits.

Also coming up: Oxfam's skip-a-meal day on Nov. 16. It's like Fast Sunday for the whole world. I'm gonna do it, how about you?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Before I got sick, there was pad thai

Okay folks, I took the picture with my phone, so have mercy. It looked a lot better than this in real life and tasted a lot better than it looked. Honest!

By the way, this was another case of me getting mad when G took the leftovers to work. (It's been a while since I felt that way but you notice it was another recipe involving sweet and spicy and lime. What does that tell you?)

I really wanted this food today with lots of hot sauce to clear out my poor, stuffy head. Guess I'll have to make more, sometime.

Here's how I did it, Saturday night before the ickies hit me.

Pad Thai (Vegetarian)

1 package rice noodles

About 1/4 c peanuts, raw
2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced
Aboug 2 tbsp onion, finely minced (I had no shallots, but that would be more authentic)

1 lb extra firm tofu, pressed, drained and julienned
1 egg, lightly beaten

about 1/3 c purchased pad thai sauce (and yes, this is a big cheat, but it is a lot easier to find the bottled sauce than it is to find tamarind around here, and you kind of need that to make the sauce from scratch)

about 1 1/2 c fresh mung bean sprouts

Place noodles to soak in lukewarm water. They should soak about 40 - 60 minutes until they are firm but flexible. They will cook further when you add them to the rest of your stuff. If you like them softer, boil them. But I think firmer is better.

Heat oil in wok or large pan over high heat. Add peanuts and stir until browned. Remove with metal strainer or slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Salt lightly.

Cook garlic and onion in oil until beginning to brown lightly. Add tofu and noodles and stir.

Push the mixture to one side, making a small space. Pour the egg there and stir until almost cooked. Then stir it into the noodle mixture. Add the bean sprouts and pad thai sauce and stir thoroughly. It will all be very tangly. Persevere until you get the sauce distributed through everything.

By now the noodles should be soft enough to enjoy. Serve the whole messy mass on a platter garnished with peanuts, lime, cilantro and jalapenos. Pass the Sriracha hot sauce and maybe a little sugar if you like. I put the garnishes on the side so everyone can choose what they like best, which is how you mostly find it in Thai restaurants, at least around here.

I never really ate Thai before I came to California, if you can believe that. What was I thinking? I also bought some red curry paste which I am excited to try. Coming soon!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Math problem

Trouble sleeping, even in the wonderful Westin Heavenly Bed
+Airplane travel
+3 days of ibuprofen for cramps
+Friday night sugar binge
+Getting dehydrated at the pumpkin patch
+Back in the Valley suffering with allergies

This sucks!

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm bound for the promised food

Day: Sunday, Oct. 15
Meal: Brunch
Place: Imperial Garden, Fresno
Ate: Multitudinous and varied dim sum
Best part: Shrimp pancakes with cilantro
Worst part: Unable to stop myself

Seriously, WHY have I never had dim sum before? This was almost worth the sabbath-breaking aspect of it. So great. I also hear Imperial Garden is open on Saturdays. So I am thinking I would like to combine my next visit with a temple trip to atone for my sabbath breaking. Are you listening, up there?

Day: Sunday. Oct. 15
Meal: Snack
Place: The Grove, DFW Airport
Ate: Mixed bag of fruit, nuts and candy
Best part: Chocolate covered almonds and dried apricots
Worst part: I should have gotten dinner instead

Day: Sunday, Oct. 15
Meal: Dinner, sort of
Place: The Westin Riverwalk, Room 1018, minibar
Ate: Trail mix, York Peppermint Patties
Best part: Didn't have to go out after flying all day
Worst part: I should have gotten dinner instead

Day: Monday, Oct. 16
Meal: Breakfast
Place: The Westin Riverwalk, Room 1018, room service
Ate: Omelet with ham, tomatoes and monterey jack cheese; hash browns; ketchup; orange juice
Best part: Room service rocks; I felt like a princess
Worst part: Room service costs ... but at least I was on the company dime

Day: Monday, Oct. 16
Meal: Lunch
Place: The Westin Riverwalk basement bakery/cafe (sorry, I forgot the name of it)
Ate: Turkey club wrap, jicama slaw, Diet Pepsi
Best part: That slaw! The cilantro! The lime! Baby!
Worst part: Rushing through lunch to be on time for the conference

Day: Monday, Oct. 16
Meal: Dinner
Place: Mi Tierra, Market Square, San Antonio
Ate: Orange-marinated carnitas, homemade tortillas, guacamole, beans and rice, lots and lots of chips and salsa; virgin strawberry daiquiri (yes that is a Shirley Temple. Envision me in curls.)
Best part: It's a tie between the strolling mariachi singing us "San Antonio Rose" (the song I was trying so hard to remember the words to) and the amazing ceiling which had reflective foil decorations interspersed with icicle lights to create the sparkliest darn expanse of ceiling I have ever seen. I want to do it for Christmas. It was gloriously Mexican. Also the carnitas were outstanding.
Worst part: Eating too much of the chips and (very spicy and yummy) salsa before dinner arrived

On our way to Mi Tierra, we ran into a group looking for the bar Coyote Ugly. We think they were really lost. One of the guys was American Indian. The other guy was teasing him about his lack of a sense of direction.

Day: Tuesday, Oct. 17
Meal: Breakfast
Place: Westin Riverwalk (included in the conference)
Ate: Nothing special, just muffins and grapefruit juice. This is not really worth writing about.

The conference got good this day, by the way. Excellent presentations and we ended up really enjoying the group we hung out with. We did stuff together the whole rest of the time.

Day: Tuesday, Oct. 17
Meal: Lunch
Place: Paesano's on the Riverwalkk
Ate: Fried Calimari, Special Salad, ice water
Best part: All the food. Was outstanding. I loved the artichoke hearts in the salad.
Worst part: The waitress was slow and clueless and we were late getting back to the conference.

Day: Tuesday, Oct, 17
Meal: Dinner
Place: Boudro's on the Riverwalk
Ate: Chili-seared prawns, apple slaw, yucca griddle cakes, another Shirley Temple
Best part: Everything. The service, the food, all absolutely impeccable. It was a little crowded but honestly, no biggie. A place like that is gonna be crowded. We were lucky to get a reservation!
Worst part: They can't make the prickly pear margarita virgin. But it was about the prettiest drink I have ever seen.

After dinner and before dessert we took the boat ride on the river which was only $6.50 and very peaceful and fun. I recommend it.

Day: Tuesday, Oct. 17
Meal: Dessert
Place: Mr. Ice Cream on the Riverwalk above Boudro's
Ate: Blue Bunny ice cream in a cup, Black Walnut and Chocolate.
Best part: Come on, it's ice cream. And we ate it overlooking the riverwalk. What could be bad? Oh wait ...
Worst part: Scary monkey machine that talked to me when I walked by it.

Day: Wednesday, Oct. 18
Meal: Breakfast
Place: Westin Riverwalk (included in the conference)
Ate: Bagel with strawberry cream cheese, teeny tiny egg burrito
Best part: Uh - ?
Worst part: Skipping the salsa and eating the egg burrito plain. Icky. Also, they did not have any water or juice out for us. Just soda. Whatevah.

At this meal I discovered I was sitting between two fellow Indigo Girls fans. I professed my fanhood. Other Fan asked me if I had their new CD that came out in September. Duh, I guess I am not as big a fan as I thought. Anyway I have listened to it now and it is pretty good. But there sure are a lot of F words. Why? Why?

Day: Wednesday, Oct. 18
Meal: Lunch
Place: Boone's in Market Square
Ate: Alamo City Sandwich, consisting of chicken, ham, cheese, black beans, tomato and avocado on a big, eggy bun. Grilled. Also a Diet Dr. Pepper and some corn chips, which I did not eat.
Best part: Eating some very homey, non-foofy food for the first time in days. Remembering how my mom used to make grilled cheese sandwiches with refried beans in them. Yummy.
Worst part: Choosing a caffeinated beverage and a salty sandwich when I was just about to get knocked over with really vengeful, evil menstrual cramps. Whine!

Market Square is way fun if you like Mexican stuff. Everything is Mexican, and I mean everything. How many shops full of pottery and silver jewelry and ponchos and embroidered blouses can one girl look at in an afternoon? If she has really wicked cramps, not near enough. I love that stuff. The Mexican stuff ... not the cramps.

Day: Wednesday, Oct. 18
Meal: Dinner
Place: Au Bon Pain, DFW Airport
Ate: Mediterranean Chicken Salad, Dasani bottled water
Best part: Kalamata olives and feta cheese
Worst part: Rushing again

Day: Wednesday, Oct. 19
Meal: Bedtime snack
Place: Home, sweet home
Ate: Two fresh chocolate chip cookies made by G, who is a way better mom than me
Best part: Goes without saying.

Are you married to a grad student? I am

And I just learned that he should probably be thanking me just for being his wife. Apparently just by existing in a married state I am advancing his career. According to this article.

That was my ego boost for the day. Also a ray of hope that he might actually finish someday.

San Antonio restaurant food blog still coming. I SWEAR.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Try this

This is to keep you all busy and humble you a little bit while I catch up on my work. Later on I promise I will do a food blog about the restaurants in San Antonio (awesome!!) and review the book I finished and the new one I am reading.

In the meantime: try this!

I sucked at it! Big time!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Old San Anton'

No time to get Patsy Cline singing on the blog for you tonight. You'll just have to imagine it. It has been running through my head all day long. Too bad I don't know the lyrics to that one. It is annoying to have a wordless earworm. Something, SOMEthing something to the AL-amo ... some-SOME thing something San Anton'!

My word, it is taking a long time to get my photos on Photobucket right now. What in the heck is the matter with the so-called high-speed internet, Westin? Anybody?

Okay, here they are.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The courthouse

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The San Fernando Cathedral

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The Alamo, of course

It was so humid here this morning I thought I was about to die. However I was successful on my SalGal-assigned shopping mission. Woot!

Ate lunch on the run in the hotel restaurant. The club burrito with ancho mayo was not fireworks-inducing, but tasty. The jicama slaw with cilantro-lime dressing, considerably more memorable. Just what I needed after a very sweaty sightseeing morning.

The conference ... I am reserving judgment for now.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

(Heart)breaking the news

Before I put the kids to bed tonight I told them that I am leaving tomorrow for a few days for a publications conference in San Antonio. I planned this carefully. I didn't want them to have to stew about it for a long time, but I didn't want them to be surprised when I head for the airport instead of sacrament meeting tomorrow morning.

A - emotional, loving, flexible child - cried and cried, made me promise to leave him a red lipstick kiss on a piece of paper and make Daddy roughhouse with him. (Yes, I am normally the one who does that. If you have been reading this blog for very long you already know that we have our gender roles a little funny in our family.) Then he prayed that I would "have safe travels" and not get hurt.

S - mischievous, creative, stubborn child - first confided his plan to stow away in my suitcase and play Pirates of the Caribbean on his Gameboy all day while I attended my meetings, thereby missing school and escaping three days' worth of homework. Then he prayed that God would "bind me to the ground" so I couldn't leave. You can imagine him saying this, if you know S.

My kids are used to G being gone, but not me. It does feel different. Is it because of our habits, or because there really is something different? I can't answer that; all I know is that it's hard. I am really excited for this conference because we are getting ready to start up a magazine. But I am awfully glad I don't have to travel for work very often. I don't know how other mamas do it.

Adios! I'm off to the Riverwalk, leaving my sad little kids behind.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Here is my new workbaby. Launched it yesterday and spent the day today working out the inevitable round of first generation bugs.

I wonder if it will be the last one before I get a new realbaby?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

New world explorer

We're not celebrating Columbus Day today. Oh no, we have another eager explorer who arrived in a new world on October 12, promptly initiating the utter destruction of its previous order. Much to the general good luck and betterment of all involved, in this case.

Seven years ago, after quite a rollercoaster ride, we went to court in Milwaukee, met a courageous woman in a tough situation, and then brought home our eight-week-old firstborn son. Happy Gotcha Day, S!

(This photo was actually taken when he was 4 days old, the first time I met him, but it is the closest thing I have to a Gotcha Day photo on my computer here at work. Sorry!)

Our original adoption tradition is lighting a specific candle on this and other special days as we remember our kids' birthmoms. I sent each birthmom an identical candle. In theory at least, we are burning these lights at the same moments in our different places across the country as we think about each other.

The boys are old enough now that they really like this tradition. Sometimes we light the candle just when they are missing their birthmoms and want to think about them. It's nice to have a simple, thoughtful action to take to help them process those feelings.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Was this stupid? I'm thinking no

Remember the bad day when I found out the other party in my May car accident was seeking more money from me? Like, almost $4k over my damage limit which was $5k? I sent the letter from his collections person to my insurance person and thought she was going to contact him to dispute it. She never did. So I started hearing from them again. So today I called her and long story short, talked to the scary collections man. He offered me a settlement of "only" $2400. I told him I could not pay that amount without knowing exactly what I am paying for. Because honestly, that man's car was worth maybe $5-6k. Not $9-10k. It was a 1999 Jetta, folks.

The collections man told me the insurance company had placed a hold on the file and was considering seeking even more money. And he had offered me a settlement to avoid "rattling cages" with the insurance company.

What the freaking heck? (Notice me curbing the swears!)

I think he is trying, in his very charming Southern-accented way, to intimidate me. What do you think?

As much as I would love to get this settled and taken care of, I am getting ticked enough to want them to actually take me to court and see how in the heck they plan to make it look like a 1999 Jetta is worth more than $6k. Ever.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Baby E update: good, but more prayers are needed

Baby E (who had e. coli) is better, home and doing well. Grateful prayers! But ...

Her big brother T, who is 6, now has the bug. It is especially dangerous for him -- he has only one kidney because of an infection he suffered as a baby. He is hurting a lot!

You know how there are some kids you just love? Kids you just want to pick up and hug any time you see them? Kids who talk to adults with total confidence and cuteness? Kids who are great friends to other kids? T is one of those kids. I love him. I am worried. And can you imagine how his poor parents feel?

So this family still needs your prayers. Just a little one in your heart would be great.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Late to another party

This was a fun one, though. And I can't say I wasn't invited before. It was just not a good time for reading, for me, when this book came out in 2002. I had two little zippers of my own at that point whose incredibly precious baby pictures may someday grace the covers of sweet and ironic and telling memoirs. God forbid.

Best thing about this book: Voice. Grownup Zippy, has an exquisite storytelling voice that links her with her childhood self. It has the same experimental self-assuredness that S demonstrated tonight on our walk, when he read a sign about a lost watch on the creekside trail and told me "Someone probably picked it up and hid it somewhere so she can't find it."

In A Girl Named Zippy, we see things that the childlike voice of Haven Kimmel never says -- and those are the things that are funny and sad and sweet. It's an irony like a green apple; it bites in a very lovely way.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tea, stew, books ... must be fall

I am enjoying a nice cuppa on a cool morning -- Celestial Seasonings Peach Apricot Honeybush tea. Just sweet enough to satisfy without any sugar added, and the warmth is so soothing to my very tired bones. I have that tired thing where my ribcage seems to hurt a little when I inhale. I really need to get more sleep.

It would help a lot if no one would come in at 5 AM to tell me they lost their "grandma blanket." Both my kids have gorgeous quilts made by my mom -- they are really special. But not special enough to warrant a visit to mommy in the deep middle of the night. Don't tell me 5 AM is morning; I don't believe it.

It would also help a lot if I did not stay up until midnight, but you know.

So I have been cooking this week from Everyday Food. I made the hunter-style chicken which was okay but I did not see the point of cooking it in the microwave. It did not cook the chicken in the specified time period, so I basically could have done it just as fast or faster on the stove. Anyway we ate it with kamut rotelle and parmesan, and it was tasty.

The really good recipe was this beef stew in the crockpot. Super easy and flavorful with the garlic and onion and bay leaves. Perfect for Wednesday when G was basically persona non grata because he was preparing a talk for the Yosemite Hydroclimate meeting yesterday, and I had to take S to a neurofeedback appointment at 5:15 so we didn't get home at all until 6:30. Translation: no time to cook. Crockpot ideal. My only modification was that I did not cut up the beef. I just plopped it in there and broke it up with a wooden spoon when it was all cooked. I love it when meat does that.

I'm reading The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. It's the kind of book that makes me want to write a novel. It's just beautiful writing, so evocative of place and person. The funny thing is, as I was reading in the car last weekend, I said to G, "This book could never be a Hollywood movie. Everything is just too complex and there is no movie star who would look right for Quoyle." And then I found out there is a movie after all. But I don't think I will see it. Without the prose, what would be the point? And there's also that old thing about me being mentally able to handle R rated books but not R rated movies. Mysterious.

I also got a couple of new paperbacks to read from my mom and sister. Woo! More book posts to come. Maybe I will have to get my butt back to the gym and start reading on the elliptical trainer again. That would probably be a good idea. If I could get to bed on time, I could get up in the morning and do it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Curses on having a life

When what I would really like to do this afternoon is watch old Sesame Street clips on YouTube.

Enjoy it for me!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Scary sick

My dear friend, visiting teacher and YW president was in the hospital 2 weeks ago with what I thought was a really really bad flu. Well tonight at Mutual I found out it was actually ... ta-dah, E. COLI! From the spinach! Holy crap!

But this is the really bad, scary part: Now her baby girl has caught it. E is only 14 months old and about the cutest thing in the world. She is in the hospital. They have been able to keep her hydrated but not treat her with antibiotics becase it will somehow attack her organs. I don't really understand it but it is very, very scary!

Anyway if you have a moment in your prayers please add baby E in California. I just love this wonderful baby and her mommy and want them to be all better and past this nightmare!

In the meantime I am scheming to stop at their house on the way home from work tomorrow and take away all their dirty laundry and bring it back clean and folded in the morning. Knowing my friend there will probably not be very much. But I really want to do something ...

The change of wardrobe

Autumn has arrived in California. It's cool and overcast. I'm wearing sandals for maybe the last time. I need to get out the winter clothes and find some winter shoes that will make me as happy as three pair of Born sandals made me this past summer. Any ideas? And I need new pants (still size 14, dang it). I want black and charcoal, I want wool or wool blend, I want boot cut, I want long enough to wear with heels, I want quality, and I want a bargain. It's hard to find bargains when you know exactly what you want. I may (gulp!) end up paying full price. Unless someone out there wants to volunteer to be my personal shopper.

I also need to sort out the kids clothes and put away all the shorts and tank tops. Because you know they will keep wearing them as long as they are in the drawer. They're both in shorts today. I made them step outside to make sure they would be comfortable and of course they both swore they were fine. It can't have been more than 55 degrees out there. It will probably be the weekend before I have a chance to haul the Rubbermaid totes out of the garage and go through everything and get things out and put things away. Here's to a week of chilly legs. Their friends will all be jealous and their teachers will think their mother is a loser.

This is S's third year in a size 8. He is growing upward but not outward right now. Which means I probably need to get him some new pants. When he was a size 8 in the waist but not in the legs, he frayed the cuffs of a couple of otherwise very good pair of jeans. Because his mother did not have time to hem. Thankfully I bought A some size 6 winter clothes last February on clearance. I used to do that for both kids but I have been befuddled by S's recent growth/non-growth patterns. It's hard to predict anymore what he's going to be looking like in future seasons.

So -- shoes, pants for mama, pants for second grader. It adds up. We're waiting on a refund check from the university, which jerked us around a little bit last month over grad student fees. We were so compliant and good and paid our $255 right as soon as they asked. Then the other grad students protested and got the fee requirement suspended. And now of course it takes a month or more for those of us who paid to get our money back. That's the reward for doing as you're told. Lesson learned.

Here's to the change of seasons and one more big chore to add to my list.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Home again, safe at last

(Ten points if you can name the delightful vintage children's book to which that line is the very satisfying ending ...)

We had a wonderful trip, the kids were quite good except for a few times. The wedding was gorgeous and it was great to see lots of cousins and old friends. (Sally, I saw Rachel's parents.) However I must confess it was a tiny bit alarming to hear so many people say they've been reading Watch Out for Mama. Maybe not alarming, just surprising. Leave a comment, you slackers!

I really need to get me some Google stats. And probably stop posting about my husband's career. I have officially been accused of having a big mouth. Which is totally untrue. I do not have a big mouth, just fast fingers.

Working on setting up the Clearwire phone tonight. If you have my old phone number, don't use it. E-mail me for the new one.