Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hooray for Food Coloring!

The kiddo and I are making technicolor cupcakes for his class birthday celebration on Friday. No boring old chocolate or yellow cake for MY kid, heck no. Instead, let's spend 2 + hours stirring and mixing and portioning.

We turned this...

...into this...

...and then that into these...

And when they cool, they will be topped with this:

It was a great tie-in to the color-themed unit he's being doing at school recently. They even did a performance of Roy G. Biv at an assembly last week! Kid at school + They Might Be Giants = Happy Mommy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Counting Down to Six

On September 29th, we made a paper chain to count down the days until Samson's 6th birthday. There were 34 links on that chain. Now there are 3.

To the boy, each link brings him closer to gift boxes filled with Nerf guns and Lego sets, cupcakes and strangers at a restaurant singing Happy Birthday to him at the table as he gulps down a milkshake. To me, each link brings him closer to growing hair in his armpits, learning to drive, his first kiss and college applications. 

I am so glad that while he is still 5, we had the foresight to establish an understanding that when he gets married, his wife will live in a tree house in the backyard.

His idea.

That's my boy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hello, I Must Be Going

Clearly, somebody either spiked my drink I've been asleep for a very long time, or there's some sort of time-space-mess going on. All I know is that I have FIVE DAYS before the kiddo's birthday party, and I am...well, here's a brief list of how I am:

1. underprepared.

2. overwhelmed.

3. too tired for this crap.

4. wasting my time blogging when I should be filling rocket ship-themed goodie bags.

5. astonished that this tiny little 6 pound, 14 ounce, Halloween-candy-induced explosion is about to turn 6 years old.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Shame

Holy crap, did I ever jump the gun in that last post! My 999 posts included 9 drafts, so I really only have (including this post) 991 posts. Not that anyone is counting. EXCEPT FOR ME. I AM COUNTING. So please forgive that totally characteristic move and save your excitement and cheers for the REAL 1,000th post which I estimate will be sometime in the next couple of weeks. Not blogging on Fridays and Saturdays works well for me--I really need at least two nights a week where I can fall asleep in a drunken stupor--and having a regular brain-type-task that I can complete each night before a work day really helps me fool my coworkers into thinking I've actually got my shit together. And all of that is just a long-winded way of saying that the 1,000th post is just around the corner. Be patient.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My elementary school teachers are collectively turning in their graves! And retirement communities!

So I'm composing a post for tomorrow's big fancy ONE THOUSANDTH BLOG POST and looking through the past 9 years of entries and HOLY SHIT do I need an editor! Typos. Typos everywhere you look. Misspellings, words missing, it's a total disaster. I think it's gotten better recently, ever since a certain someone (MAX) pointed out how much I need to re-read my posts before I hurriedly hit the Publish button. So thanks, I guess, to Max for being an insensitive (but absolutely right) pain in the ass, and maybe he'll volunteer to go back through the last 998 posts with me to correct this horribleness.

And I had totally forgotten about the Great Server Crash of 2006 when I lost a great many of my pictures and such. Not to mention 9 + years of out-of-date links. It's hard to celebrate the longevity and meaningfulness of the blog when things are in such a state of disarray.

Don't worry--I'll be in a much better mood tomorrow night. 1,000 posts! Hooray!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Buttered popcorn and baby chicks are going straight to hell

Huh. I knew there had to be a reason I've never liked bananas, construction vehicles, daffodils, or yield signs.

Great job on your homework, kiddo! To save us both the headache, I'm not going to bring up submarines. Or this awesome cover of the Coldplay original.

Monday, October 21, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Goofy Faces

When I was looking for the picture of Ozzy and me swimming that I posted yesterday, I found a number of pictures of me with super goofball expressions on my face. Initially, I thought it was just due to how I react to posing for a snap shot--I've never been good at holding still to smile. Which way am I supposed to turn? How much am I supposed to suck in my gut? Do I look constipated when I suck my gut in this much? Then I realized that most of the dingus-face pictures during the time period I was looking at were selfies. I was actually documenting my own ridiculous facial expressions, and it's obvious to me now that I was officially trying to hide my own sadness and anger FROM MYSELF.

The time period in question--as if it's not fucking obvious--are those three years or so between late 2009 when I was I diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and late 2012 when I finally realized that, huh, I was still alive. These photos would make it seem that the only face I could really show myself was one that was above the fear, immune from the anger, not drown by sadness. No deer in the headlights here, only a survivor that laughs in the face of danger, ha! I know me, and perhaps I do laugh in the face of danger, but not until I've cried, yelled, panicked, and cried some more in, at and around the face of danger.

No tumor can penetrate my snark.

Or maybe I was just mad about this stupid haircut?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Waterless Dog Lake

I have all that I ever wanted right here at my feet, mere minutes from my doorstep. A lovely and manageable dog-friendly hike, complete with a lake (not really a lake, a big, water-filled reservoir of sorts with a dog-launching dock and lots of room to throw sticks and balls) safely situated away from the path and the road. Now, the only thing I'm missing: dogs that will go into the water.

When we lived in Oregon, it was nothing but rivers and lakes and any number of swim days for Ozzy and Nanna. Moving back here after college changed our water dog ways for good. For years, I had to either drive miles and miles away to find fresh water to swim in--which was painful, considering we lived right next to the San Francisco Bay, but the bay water is just too yucky to deal with--or we could hit the coast and dip in the Pacific. The ocean is fine and good, but also really heavy on the off-leash tickets.

When I first found Waterdog Lake, it served as an awesome place to hike, even with Samson's stroller. But the lake part was super gross and unkempt, very smelly and swampy. Now, years later, it's re-done by local volunteers, and chock full of happy, wet, tired dogs: labs, retrievers, and mutts galore, the way nature intended.

And then there are Turkey Sandwich and Little Fizz, running up and down along the shore, barking and whining and refusing the great gift of aquatic freedom. Stupid dogs.

Swimming with Ozzy at Lake Shasta in 2011. Even at the ripe old age of 13 (that's 72 in dog years) he loved jumping from the houseboat into the lake with me. GOOD DOG.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Drunken Blog Haiku

Dear Blog. I want to.
But there were too many drinks!
Alas, I cannot.

Some Bulleit rye, then some wine.
No, tonight is only sleep.
Barely 8 pm.

Lesson learned tonight?
Blog first, then time to imbibe.
Five more syllables.

More important though:
Such good times with my neighbor.
She's also my friend!

One more thought tonight:
I am happy for it all.
Every part of it.

Another thing though:
Did I mention yay?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


She's gone missing again. SOMEBODY (Max) let SOMEBODY ELSE (Samson) take her to school AGAIN on Monday. The kiddo claims to have searched high and low, but can't find her. Three nights back and she's already lost. NOT COOL.

Funny thing is that nobody but me seems to care. I know she's not Original Nanna, but she's the longest running Nanna we've had so far. She's been the most permanent fixture in my life as a parent (other than the child, ahem). It's hard to experience the emotional highs and lows associated with losing, then finding, then losing a treasured object that represents a bushel of treasured memories. The tactile characteristics of Old Nanna are so different from that of New Nanna, it's hard for me to think of them as the "same."


Milford, NY August 2010

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Self Portrait

This guy has mad talent. I know that if got all of my favorite Samson artwork tattooed on my body I would look ridiculous, but sometimes it's awfully hard to hold back.

I also know that every mom thinks her kid's drawings are exceptional, and we're all right. When the squishy little flesh pod that lived in your belly for 9 months can create a something like this, it's more than an affirmation that you're doing your job right. I can't even find the words to describe the kind of pride I feel. I'm proud of my own ability to make a person, to teach him how to smile, and to foster that smile no matter what life throws at us. And man, life sure has a mean breaking ball.

Monday, October 14, 2013


My new office has many fine and useful things, Such as:

>A Chickadee, which is great for cutting many layers of ticking.

>A powerful and aptly named iron:

>A random toaster, with...look closely...A POP-TART SETTING.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wine or Whine?

After carpentry class, our neighbors/classmates came over for dinner--second week in a row, and hopefully a long lasting dinner date. The boys play (our neighbors are twins the same age as the kiddo, two wonderful boys we've known for more than four years now), and neighbor mom and I cook and drink wine. Lots 'o wine. Enough wine that I don't think I'll be writing all that much of a blog tonight. Instead, I'm just going to lay here and listen to the Sharks do some damage in Vancouver.

Also, check out this awesome link that my mom--YES MY MOM--shared on Facebook earlier this week. Can't choose a favorite, but it's probably the lighters. They're saying "Yay! Wheeee!"

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Another Cool Thing About My New Job

We listen to a lot of Folk Alley. There's nothing like blugrass, ukeles, and hymms to get a body moving. Stories of love lost, the goverment trying to take away our farms, and all the ways in which she makes him happy--these songs are good for my soul. There's usually lots of mentions of trees, dewdrops, trains, whiskey, things that make me happy in general. And good songs of how he done her wrong and how lonely his life is without her there to make him smile.

And when I need a dose of reality I can go to the front of the shop and usually NPR is on the radio there.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Nanna Update

Breaking news: old Nanna has been located. OK, not so terribly breaking, as I learned this last night. But I am currently working on a black ops scenario to swap out New Nanna for Old Nanna, and relocating the clone factory to another, taller region, one where the prying eyes of 46 inch tall kids will never discover the truth.

Great times in history with Old Nanna: Israel, June 2010

Monday, October 07, 2013

New Nanna

It would appear that Nanna is gone. She wasn't at school where Samson left her on Friday--not in the classroom, not in the lost and found bin, not in the office, and not in the far field where he last remembers seeing her. She wasn't at the preschool, nor was she at the teen and community centers, all adjacent to the school. After 6 years, we all had to say goodbye to Nanna.

OK, it's not the first time we've lost her. If I'm going to be completely honest, she's not even the original Nanna. She was actually Nanna 2, or maybe even Nanna 3...I've lost count. The important thing is that she is a giraffe lovey, and the kiddo is fast asleep with her current incarnation--and fully aware of the reality of the situation. He happened upon my hidden stash of Nannas a few months ago, and has had no problem moving right along to the replacement lovely. Can't say I blame him, she is MUCH cleaner and MUCH less full of crud and holes than her predecessor. In fact, she's the spitting image of her great, great (great?) grandmother, Original Nanna:

A gift from one of my New York cousins, she was one of many baby lovies/stuffies/blankets we received when we had the boy, and she was the one that became THE ONE. Fascinating tidbit: her first name was Didee (can't remember why), and her name was changed to Nanna after my precious Nannabelle dog passed away in 2009. The kiddo changed her name all on his own--even at the tender age of 18 months he was a sweet and caring soul, and knew that we were loosing a very special dog

But I digress. New Nanna is warm and comfy in boy-o's arms, and hopefully, she is totally unaware that she is not the first of her kind to do so. It's not as bad as the Hank & Dean Venture situation, but it would probably mess with her stuffed little mind if she had any comprehension of what was happening...

Sunday, October 06, 2013

It Begins

Because my child's activity schedule isn't fully enough--soccer, carpentry, art-math, after school sports-in-general...that's all?!--he has now begun martial arts. Yes, uniforms (aka more laundry) and organized hitting (hrmmm) are now a regular weekend activity for my little thug in training. I strategically chose a dojo that's next door yo a fro yo place--the best way to tame the physical beast I'm creating is with sugary snacks, obviously. 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Minus One Tooth

Seriously, my kid sounds like Cindy Brady.

I guess the tooth fairy better go hit up the ATM. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


I am far too pooped to blog anything tonight. I will say, however, that I cut a ton of lovely fabric today and expanded my growing knowledge of flanges and welts. Awesome!

I leave you with a tiny song and a tiny dog.

Decision Makers from josh cagan on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Lion

This was hanging outside of the kiddo's classroom yesterday, along with a dozen other drawings of lions, drawn by the other kids in his 1st grade class. Please note that in my boy's drawing, the lion has a cape. And some sort of crown. WHICH IS AWESOME. Obviously.