Friday, July 31, 2009

Kid 2 is Awesome

I just kicked Kid 2 and her violin out of here so I could write about her. Do you think that could cause anxiety?*

What I want to say is that this is a great kid. She got her 11-year-old (for 3 more weeks) self out of bed and on her bike to work before either of her sleep-in-till-6:30 parents were even awake. **

Then she grabbed her violin and practiced her songs (she's learning Vibrato, and it's not killing anyone). If you are a mother of a violinist, here's a hug for you: OOO. It gets better. Or they take up archery or something.

She borders on idolizing her older sister. She takes good care of her younger sibs. She rarely talks back. She gets good grades. She loves shoes. (Who doesn't?) She likes to cook - alone or with me. She reads the books I love, and the books I write.

This is a great kid. Who is turning into a great young lady.***

*Answer: In this kid, who has her father's and her Grandmothers' Ulcer genes, anything could cause anxiety.
**She cleans at a restaurant, and I recently discovered that they feed her and the other employees pancakes (white!) with butter (!!) if she's there at a certain hour.
***Maybe someday I'll tell you about her first 18 months. Let us just say that if I could have read this post ten years ago, agony may have been spared. A little.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spilled Milk

Once, before I had any children, I heard this great story. I'm way too lazy to look it up, so you're getting the 15+ years later version out of my memory.

It seems that once upon a time, long ago, but not too long, there was a little boy who wanted a drink of milk. He was old enough to want to help himself. So he reaches in to the Icebox (see? I'm making it all old-fashioned-y) and pulls out a bottle of milk, which promptly slips out of his chubby little fingers and crashes to the floor in an explosion of glass and butterfat. The mother, upon hearing this Most Favorite Sound, rushes to the kitchen to find her little guy, an island in a sea of milk.

What would you do?

She says to her little guy, We should probably clean this up, right? And he says, *sniffle* yes, Mother. And then she says, But don't you think we should play in it first? ** And she gets down on the floor with her boy and they experience the wonders of milk puddles.***

Moral? The kid grew up to be some Important Science Guy, because he had a mother who helped him 1. look at things in a playful way, 2. explore and delve, and 3. clean up his messes.

Before I had kids this was a terrifically inspiring story.

Maybe even for a little while in the life of Kid 1 I had moments like this - motherhood at its finest. But it didn't take long to recognize that spilled milk smells bad. That cleaning it up myself is not only faster and easier, but much more effective. That some games sound like a good idea until you try them.****

Even though I know that they need that kind of nurturing, teaching, gentle parenting, I'm okay with the fact that they're much more likely to get it when they're visiting Grandma.

**Please ignore the fears of glass shards that are running through your head. For all I know these were fictional glass shards to begin with.
***Maybe this story explains why I don't drink milk.
****Let us never again speak of Tattoo Parlor or the Home Surgery Kit.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Mmmm. I'm eating breakfast. Yes, right now. Yes, in front of the computer. * Here's what I'm having:

Delicious, crunchy homemade granola layered parfait-style with Amaretto Cheesecake yogurt** and fat, sweet blueberries.


*Don't tell Husband. He'd freak. And don't tell Kids, either, because they'd tell Husband.
**It's a Weight Watchers thing. I'm not on a diet, but I'm sort of off sugar for another month or so, and this has "Crystalized Fructose" instead of your garden variety refined white sugar. It's my first yogurt in several weeks (and I really like Good Yogurt - normally defined by high fat content, see LaCreme) and I'm rather enjoying it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Serious Silliness

Netflix delivery came - and it brought a barrage of ridiculous 80s comedy.

Spies Like Us, anyone? "I have no feeling whatsoever in my left hand." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." "Doctor." Am I the only one who loves, loves Chevy Chase still? He can make me laugh delivering the stupidest lines ("we're just a couple of wild and crazy guys!"). And I love the scene in Three Amigos where he sings Ned to sleep. And Dan Ackroyd is just funny. Crazy. Weird. Ghostbusters is a longstanding favorite, and I can usually win that game where you give a line from the movie, and I tell you the next line. Because I've seen it that many times.

Netflix also delivered Scrooged. I saw this once (Bill Murray - okay, I love him, too), but all I can remember is the fabulous Carol Kane and the ghost of Christmas something-or-other saying, "Frank, we're fighting. Let's not fight anymore!" and then cold-clocks him with a toaster.

So just in case life gets too tame and boring around here, nights will light right up with all the finest 80s comedy. And I will feel old, because I'll flinch at every curse (and in 80s movies there is SO MUCH CURSING) and cringe at all the innuendo.

But I'll still laugh. Because that's the kind of girl I am.

The kind who will still laugh.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Musing

Thanks for great comments about the "whitewashing" covers problem. It's a start, talking about it. And opening eyes in general. I find my eyes only half open sometimes, and I appreciate people pointing out to me so many Important things I may miss.

I went for a little jog this morning sans-iPod. Just letting thoughts run around in there, unblocked by Husband's eclectic music tastes. (The jogging iPod is his Shuffle, with seriously strange combinations thereon. Such as Johnny Cash singing "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy" and a 10-minute extendo-techno-dance-version of The Thompson Twins "Hold Me Now" - which I love in its normal, four-minute originality.)

And what was I thinking, in all these three miles of music-free-ness?

Not much. I thought about the people who live in our neighborhood, and the pleasure it is to be able to count on so many of them for whatever. I thought about having lived here for almost 8 years. That's Eight Years, people. When I was a wee Army Brat, we moved many, many times. When I was slightly less wee, we lived in one place (Batesville, Indiana - no, you probably haven't) for eight and a half years. I think still that that is a very long time. Husband and I moved here to this house when we'd been married seven years. In those seven years, we unpacked our kitchen into eleven different houses/apartments. Yep. Eleven. So it really feels like we've been here a long, long time.

Sometimes I think we need to get out of here. Mostly not, though. For its faults (like a mediocre school district and a 6-month winter) this is a nice place to live. We have mountains outside every window. Birds live here. People are friendly, and understand about things like having kids and staying home with them. There is family close by (but not close enough to expect anything weird like babysitting favors). There's a little diversity here. Some ethnic, some religious.

So we'll stay. Because Kid 1 starts High School in 5 weeks. And Husband's job is one canyon-drive away*. And all the kids have nice friends. And Kid 2 has a job (at age 11) that she can ride her bike to a couple days a week. And Kids 3 and 4 were born here, and they know it's home.

And over all, it's good to be home.

*See how I didn't mention that he got a speeding ticket in that canyon this month? Because that might seem like nagging, not to mention ironic?

Friday, July 24, 2009


So there's a big, roaring talk-thing happening right now across the inter-ma-net about book covers. I don't know when it began, but I fell into it yesterday morning when reading Justine Larbalestier's blog post about her latest book, LIAR.

I just borrowed this image from her website. The cover in front, which I think is gorgeous, is her US cover (done by Bloomsbury). The one behind is her Aussie cover (by Allen and Unwin), which has a cool, arsty, graphic rendering of the word LIAR all warpy and moved around. Very cool. She has said several times how much she loves her Aussie cover (I don't actually speak with her - I just lurk daily on her blog) and I was a little surprised that she didn't go gaga over the photo one, because I think it's brilliant.

Then I found out that her protagonist is black. Yep, her main character is a black girl with short, nappy hair, and apparently black doesn't sell books.

I am appalled, in my quiet way. I am ashamed, too, even though I'm not quite sure why. I haven't read LIAR yet, so I couldn't really know Micah was black. Seeing the photo on the cover, I assumed that the girl in the story was the girl on the cover.

And according to much discussion going on in the world of Kid Book Bloggery (see Sara Zarr, E. Lockhart, and Ally Carter for jumping off points) the practice of "whitewashing" covers (and picture books, and film renditions) is common. And, apparently, a self-fulfilling prophecy in publishing: black covers don't sell books, so we don't do black covers.

Clearly there are some exceptions. Christopher Paul Curtis's books are gorgeous and sell very well, even in very white communities (and yes, maybe most strongly during February - Black History Month, but that's someone else's rant). And ask anyone in their middle thirties to tell you their ten favorite children's books from their own kidhood, and I guarantee most of them will name "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats.

But the issue is out there. And it's not a mistake, and it's not an accident. It's a choice, being made by publishers. So what do we do? How do we react? Is it proper to get angry? (Is it proper for me, a privileged white lady, to get angry?) Do we stop buying? Do we write letters? Do we (gulp) just continue to write our white characters and mind our own business?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I know it's nothing earth-shattering. And it's better than it used to be. Being in the thirties has some powerful compensations. But still...

I wish I could just feel confident. I wish that I didn't fret. But I do, like an old woman, flitting from one unfinished project to the next, worrying.

About what someone thinks.

Or many someones.

Recently I've been assigned a new church job. We get these changes every couple years, and everybody gets an opportunity to help out. The job becomes official Sunday, and I haven't yet heard if the ladies I've asked to serve with me are willing. That was a very ugly sentence, but the gist is, I haven't heard anyone say, Yay! Thanks for asking for me!

So, naturally, I assume that when they met with the Bishop (pastor, minister, whatever you want to call him) they said, Well, we're always happy to serve, but does it have to be with Becca?

Most of me knows that is ridiculous.

But there is that other, non-most part. That part that says I'm more pleasant from a distance. That part that reminds me how infrequently the phone rings. That part that reminds me that when anything important happens, I'm among the last to know.

And I can go a long time not caring about that other part. I can be fine about it, mostly. Until I really need something. And now I really need something. I need those women to want to do what they're being asked to do. I need them to love the idea, or at least see the possibility of loving the idea (which, honestly, is where I am). I need them to say (or think) this thing is hard, but together we can handle it, because we are a group of capable, good women.

Hopefully soon, either I hear it, or I realize I don't really need it. But I hope I hear it, because right now I"m pretty sure that's what I need.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Isn't She Lovely?

I have that Stevie Wonder song in my head as I stare in awe at my very own Kid 1. Husband is a good photographer, sure, but when you have material like this, how could you go too far wrong?

Things to Do Today

1. Take a long walk (because revisions are well underway, and I need some pondering time).

2. Sit in on 2 piano lessons (and cringe, because I didn't make anyone practice particularly well since the last lesson).

3. Mow the lawn (because although it looks good now, it will look great after that).

4. Sit in the Sun (with the absolutely precious Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society).

5. Play a little tennis (overstatement: really just work on some basic skills so Kid 1 can feel confident to try out for the Freshman team in September).

6. Vacuum many carpets (because Kid 4 was on Vacuum after dinner last night. He's really cute, but the handle is over his head).

7. Visit the library.

8. Deposit a check (small, but nonetheless useful).

9. Take a nap (if I feel like it - and why wouldn't I?).

10. Revise a little more (with a smile, because it's pretty fun).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And Here We Are...

Just a few of your friendly neighborhood Shadow Mountain authors. You may be able to tell that we had entirely too much fun at the Jordan Landing event last week. At least I did. That's me, in between Lisa Mangum (left) and Ally Condie (right). I know. You're jealous. But don't be, because, well, um, because it gives you ulcers. And wrinkles.

But, really? It was a blast. These are two of the loveliest and most delightful women I know. They are each, in different ways, full of grace and talent and humor and generosity.

And they let me play with them.



I know.

It's amazing, and I should simply shut up and enjoy it. There are many things to love about a book signing (like the very gracious bookstore people giving away books and handing out water bottles and checking if we were shaded, and the adorable readers who asked great questions, and the idea of being a Real Author) but not much compares to being at a book signing with two hilarious friends who make every minute enjoyable.

Monday, July 20, 2009


It's Revision time. I know some writers hate revisions, but I love them. In theory, it's like doing a critique on a book you already love. I'm hoping reality will be as good!

Husband told me I've neglected to say much about The New One being published by Shadow Mountain. Here's what I know.

It's a light-hearted romantic comedy, written for YA or anyone who reads YA. The title is* "Splashing through Puddles of Happy" and here are some ingredients: crazy curly hair, boy who calls, different boy who looks like a middle-eastern god, perfect best friend, a classic Gibson guitar, smoothie and muffin, a school-smart girl who can be pretty dumb in the world of love, anti-histamine hangover**, yoga sweats, and logical vs. psychotic brain-arguments.


Me, too. I'm off to read it again.

*as far as I know - committee has to approve that still.
** don't try this at home.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Vacation Event

This is a little thing I just wrote, about my take on an unscheduled event during our vacation. This all (sort of- with my artistic license) happened to Kid 1, in a life-changing way. I was there, but only sort of. By the time anything became remotely dangerous, I was jogging up the beach with my niece. Maybe I'll try telling it from my sister's perspective another day. I have to say, it never felt more real, or more frightening, to me than it does now, after living it through her head.

This is a beach? It’s not even sunny. People in chairs are wearing sweatshirts and jackets. And it’s July. She lets the tiniest edge of a wave lick her toes, and then backs away. Her cousin laughs, used to this Oregon coast. Grabbing hands, the cousins leap forward into a calf-high wave. Goosebumps jump out on her legs and arms. The sand sucks around her foot as the little wave runs back out.

“Come on,” her cousin says, and the girls plow into the water, shrieking as waves splash hips, stomachs, chests. Looking back, they see moms in chairs, waving casually, but really watching the younger kids. Mother hens, keeping the smallest chicks close, within arms’ reach.

It’s strange how quickly she warms to the water. Her legs no longer feel cold, and she keeps her arms above her head. The girls splash and laugh, occasionally glancing back to stay connected in that stretched, tenuous teenage way. Not too close to Mom, but not too far away, either.

Did the moms move their chairs? The girls are looking sideways now to see them, not straight behind. Oh, well, the ocean’s funny that way.

More giggles and cousin talk, and then she jumps to dodge a wave and her feet are swept out from under her. Waves roar in her ears as she struggles to find footing. Her hair, covering her face, blinds her. She can’t find shore. She can’t touch bottom. Another wave smashes her face. Choking, gasping for air, she searches for anything familiar. No shore. No bottom. No cousin.

“Help! Help me!” she screams, coughing scorching salt water from her throat as her legs dangle above the ocean floor.

At the crest of a wave, she’s spun around, facing shore. The chairs are far, far to the side, and that looks like Dad, running along the beach. She tries to wave to him, but as soon as she raises her arm, the sea sucks her down again.

“Daddy! Daddy!” She can barely hear her own voice over the slamming of the waves and her pounding heart. She looks for him again, and he is gone. But there’s her aunt, running toward her, waving arms, mouth open in a scream she can’t hear. Tiny-skinny-sweet-petite aunt, running into the water, but far away. Too far to reach. Too far to help.

She wants to think, but the ocean, bellowing and pushing, hurls rational thoughts from her mind. She hears only the crash and pull of the waves, sees the gray foam rushing to her face again and again.

She is so tired. She wants to rest, to sleep.

She pulls her knees up to her chest, and the ocean knocks her onto her back. With her ears in the water and her face to the sky, she hears only gentle water sounds, womb sounds. I will die now, she thinks. This is the end. She pictures her friends. Will they miss me? Will he miss me? Will he even notice I’m gone? Oh, my family. I’m glad they know I love them. Nothing to regret. But they will be so sad, so sad.

Her thoughts fade and she hears nothing, but seems to feel strong hands, tender hands lifting, guiding, holding her. She raises her head and looks around. She is alone. Another wave slaps against her head as she feels for the bottom that remains far below her feet. Resigned, she slides again to her back to rest. To sleep.

The hands, the gentle hands, rock her body. She breathes slow, deep, final breaths.

Try again. The words enter her mind through a cloud of calm. She declines. Rest is better. Sleep is better. Try again. Once.

Once, maybe. She pulls her feet beneath her, pushes them through the water. Sand. She feels sand beneath her feet. She stands as a ray of light breaks through the clouds, and finds herself only knee-deep in the water. She looks down at her legs, her strong, functional legs, working with the forces of ocean and gravity to hold her here, mostly out of the water.

Turning, she sees her cousin, standing almost near enough to touch, petrified, waist deep. “Swim to me,” she tells her.

Her cousin shakes her head, eyes streaming ocean water and tears. “I can’t.”

“You can. We can.” She takes a step on shaking legs, holding out her hand. “You can. Try again.”

Her cousin stretches, lunges, clasps her fingers, and they lurch from the water.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who, Me? I'm Flattered, Honestly.

My bloggy-friend L.T. Elliot over at Dreams of Quill and Ink sent me my very first blog award. Would you like to know that I didn't know blog awards existed until a month ago? Wasn't that an honest statement?

This award has 4 requirements:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award, list her blog (or his) and link.
2. List 10 honest things about yourself and post a copy of the Honest Scrap Logo on your blog.
3. Pass the award on to seven (7) other people whose blogs you find brilliant in content or design.
4. Notify the bloggers you choose for the award and hopefully they will join in.

Okay, first for the Seven. I have another Very Honest thing to say here: I don't really know seven bloggers. (By "know" I mean "comment occasionally on blogs" - I don't actually know-know more than two. I'm not friendless, people, I'm just saying, I don't know a lot of people who blog.)


Melanie J of Write Stuff
Annie Valentine of Regarding Annie
Lisa Mangum of Leo's Dungeon
Amber Lynae of Seriously Amber Lynae

These are women of charm and grace and wit and writerliness. My computer doesn't think that's a word. I disagree. I do "know" a few other charming bloggers, but what with their tendencies to post photos of their gorgeous children, I feel good about keeping them under wraps, know what I mean?

Okay. On to honesty (as if I've been lying to you all day so far):

1. I need outside validation on almost everything. From several sources, in case someone I love might be lying to me in order to pet my ego. For instance, I am never totally sure (but I'm sometimes pretty sure) something I write is good until at least one publishing professional tells me so. See Lisa, above.
2. Even considering my startling tendency toward list-making, I still like to consider myself a "type B" personality - you know, laid back and going with the flow.
3. I hate to dust.
4. I cried when Dobby died. Actually, I still cry every time I read that scene (at least 4).
5. I would like to lose 14 pounds. This will not qualify me as skinny, just more healthy.
6. In order to do that, I am working a sugar-intake prohibition. This is not a diet. Just a change for a while (seven weeks) to get me where I need to be - you know, in order to be more healthy. Because healthy is good.
7. I do not love sunblock. I think brown fat is prettier than white fat. And deep down, under all that American Cancer Society propaganda, I bet you agree with me.
8. I am not only lazy, but clever enough to hide that fact from many, many people.
9. I am often guilty of making my children perform for strangers (like my pre-Kindergarten Kid 4 regularly has to read in public).
10. I'm not fond of being in charge (outside this house). I'm a much more proficient vice-president than president, and I don't delegate well.

So now you know altogether too many true things about me. Not to mention what you may have gleaned in the past. Maybe you can love me anyway, right? And now you can run right over to visit all your new bloggy friends, linked above, and love them too. XO

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Good News! I Saw a Dog Today!

Okay, not really, I just love that line from "ELF" - don't you?

But, I do, in fact, have good news.

I've sold another book to Shadow Mountain! Yeah, huh? I'll just wait over here while you cheer for a while.

Ok, that was nice of you. Thank you very much.

As far as details go, your guess is as good as mine (unless you're guessing that it will be in stores near you next month, in which case you would be painfully misinformed) but it looks like next summer some time. It's another YA - this time romantic comedy (clean, funny, silly... like that) and I haven't read through the whole thing (even though I said I would) for several months. Now I probably should.

I'm excited and relieved and grateful and pleased and a little proud of me. This is a big deal for me, I think you know.

So although I haven't seen many dogs (except for the one in the back of the truck coming through the canyon - he had a beard, and it was weird, and that sounds like a Veggie Tales lyric) I wanted to share my good news with my bloggy friends!


Funny Words

I love words. Not in a grammar-snob sense (although I do cringe when phrases like "we seen" and "we gone" come out of mouths employed by my children's school district...). Just good words make me happy. Words like ill-gotten. Unfettered. Nether regions.

Persnickety. Crapulent. Vague. Apothecary.

Food words make me happy too: Garnish. Capers. Saute. Gruyere.*

And lately, the word chunder. Because a vomit story is funny, but even the most humiliating vomit story is better when someone's chundering. Preferably chundering over the side of a boat or out a window of a moving vehicle. Don't just take my word for it. Try it.

*Mmmm. Gruyere.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

If You're in the Area...

I have a fun, fabulous Book Event! Tomorrow (July 15th) around noon at Jordan Landing, I will be book talking with the lovely and talented Ally Condie and Lisa Mangum.* We're having treats** and talking about books and possibly writing a novel on the fly with many hilarious inputs from our audience. Come and Play! Fun for All Ages! Signings afterward at the Deseret Book in Jordan Landing***. And there are prizes. Book-style prizes. Woot!

* This is not to imply that Ally is the lovely one and Lisa is the talented one, because they both are both, if you know what I mean. They are.

** I'm making. You'll want one.

*** 3751 W Center Park Drive in West Jordan

Things I May Not Have Known Before

Even after Best Vacations Ever, it feels good to be home.

A totally loaded-up 1998 Chrysler minivan holding many dirty kids and much luggage can still go 91 miles per hour in the Columbia Gorge.

A ticket in Oregon for 91 in a 65 zone is $465.

There are nice, generous, polite , soft-spoken sheriffs' deputies who will take a few points off a ticket to make it a little easier to take* (like only $265 for 85 in a 65).

Kids in cars smell funny.

Vacations are a good idea. I recommend them to anyone who has the means. But, yeah - it's good to be home.

*This may have something to do with never having been pulled over since 1990 - I'm just saying.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Strange Thing

I love in a little neighborhood, in a cul-de-sac*. There are nice neighbors here. It's quiet, usually. But sometimes people do strange things. For instance? Once I saw my neighbor, let's call her Natalie** standing next to her car - on her lawn. I was, naturally, worried - what had happened? Oh, nothing. As it turns out, Natalie washes her car when it's parked on the lawn. That's her way of saving water, or something. Still, it surprises me to come around the corner and see a car in her front yard.

And then.

I looked out the window, and my next-door neighbor girl is washing a horse in her front yard.

Did you just wonder if you read that right? Well, you may not have, so I'll tell you again. She is washing a horse in her front yard.

A real horse, of a chestnutty reddish-brown color, all currently covered in suds. In her front yard.

Where am I?

*which I entirely recommend. It's good.
**cause that's her name

(This all really happened on Tuesday. Just, you know, in the interest of honesty and all that.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Washington. Is. Fabulous.

I would live here. Caveat: It hasn't actually rained in the 5.5 days we've been here - just been gorgeously cloudy-slash-sunny. We have rocked the 4th of July with many righteous fireworks we'd never see at home, slept in long past decency, raided the OMSI - which you must do if you're within a couple hours of Portland (ever - kids optional), hiked to a gorgeous waterfall, eaten many lovely meals, given multiple doses of Motrin to small fevered boys, eaten several ice creams each, and generally adored the cousins and their world.

If vacation lasted forever, would it still be vacation?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I love this country. Don't you? Actually, I hope you do, but even if you don't, I'm still standing by my statement. Cause I'm just that kind of girl - the one who can say what she means even if she's the only one saying it.

I love the way that, as consumers, we demand everything NOWnowNowNOW, but the diet always starts tomorrow.

I love the way we wear our opinions on our t-shirts and bumper stickers.

I love the way we trot out our rants on blogs as though anyone cares to hear about it. That is a favorite of mine, but not in any way limited to the USA. But here's where I am reading it and writing it, so there you have it.

I love the way we can walk into grocery stores fully expecting to find whatever will fill our tummies and hearts with joy at this very moment, from Blue Bunny Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate ice cream to ranch flavored corn nuts to cinnamon bears by the pound.

I love the landscapes here. The beaches and mountains and cities and waterfalls and forests and cacutses* and plains and that one beautiful tree in Nebraska. You know the one? By that white farm house on I-80?

I love our freedoms and our families and our educational opportunities and our jobs and our postal system** and our libraries and our capitol. I love our sports obsessions and our sense of entitlement, even if it makes me cringe sometimes***. Now I feel like I need to explain that - I love the things that an "I deserve this" attitude can make possible, because it's like a jump-start for making it happen, and getting it done.

I'm glad I live here. I recognize that I automatically, even on my worst days, have it better than 90% of the people in the world. I am blessed. I am grateful. I am an American girl.

*yes. I know. But I like it better than Cacti. <-- that is a dumb-looking word, is all I'm saying.
**But I miss mail, the kind that comes with stamps in that metal box that holds my bills.
***much like several of the things I love about my kids.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hi, Future Me!

I'm on Vacation* and so I've been posting in the future - I mean, into the future, you know. So I'm giving a little shout-out to Future Me, from Present Me, who is by now Past Me. It's all beyond me, if you want to know the truth.

So many fun things happen when we go on vacation, but since Present/Past me doesn't know what they are yet, I can only guess. Here are a few guesses.

We made the 12-hour drive in 10.5 (because I was driving through all of 75MPH Idaho). Leadfoot, much?

All the kids found joy in their containment in the FRM** and loved watching movies featuring Mr. Dick VanDyke, who loved to make movies that lasted many, many hours.

The Car Snacks were precisely to everyone's taste, and nobody spilled/complained/vomited out a small window.

Relaxing, real relaxing started the second we pulled out of the driveway.***

Bubbles. Dancing girls. Butterflies and rainbows. Peace signs.

All is happiness, when I look at it in the future.

*Really, really big deal.
**Fabulous Red Minivan
***Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Okay - here's the thing. There are women who are universally acknowledged* as gorgeous, but I don't see it. In fact, there are several supermodel types who have bizarre features, not to even start on the ugly-skinny business. I'd name names, but I have a kindness policy around here. So just take my word for it. And then there are men. Have you ever found yourself considering the handsome-factor of a man you actually know is ugly?

For instance?

Well, sure. Jeff Goldblum.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Is it July? Really? I'm not quite sure I'm ready for this. That means Vacation- I'm so ready for that, but it also means 12 hours to get there (and I'm trying, trying to be ready for that, short of addictive stimulants or depressants).

It means heat. And early sun, and late sun. Mmm. I love sun at 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. - but I also like my kiddos to go to bed once in a while. Dilemma.

July means little people in slippery plastic pools.

It means popsicles melted on every piece of clothing.

It means really great arrangements of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" that make me cry (but mostly on the inside).

It means parades, which I love despite the throwing of cheap candy.

It means waterguns - big, bad ones.


It means reading in the sun til I get too hot, and then moving under a tree.

July means that yummy smell of fireworks - that smoke and sulfur combo that makes my skin tingle.

Barbecues. Watermelons. Homemade ice cream. More watermelons. And more ice cream.

Maybe I'm ready after all.