25 July 2014


The little girl is off at sleepaway camp for ten days. It's the first time she's been away from us like this, for this long. Ten days of no "get out of bed", "eat your dinner", "brush your teeth", "read a book". Ten days of no snuggles and no Doctor Who marathons, no broad conversations at the breakfast table about religion and the cosmos, no cardboard boxes being cut up in the living room and reassembled into doll school classrooms and dormitories and furniture.

Instead, there's a trickle of random photos sent out by the camp, mostly out of focus.

Why is the horse wearing a doily‽‽‽

I, dutiful mother, have been sending mail, old-style mail with stamps. A postcard of NYC: "Wish you were here"! A photo of the cat sandwiched between the hamster cages. A quote from Maya Angelou: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

She, my small person, she calls me Mommy or Mama or Mom. And yet, every single time I sign one of those little notes to her, I wonder what to write. Am I Mom? Should I sign it with "Mom"? Ten and a half years into being her mother, signing a postcard with "Mom" feels otherworldly, not right, not me.

I fudge. The "M" is legible, the rest could be anything. She can call me anything, but my name is still my name.

13 July 2014

Trip Planning

We are working on plans for our summer adventure, making lists and buying new hiking boots.

I, however, have my priorities.

One needs coffee for breakfast, so I am eyeing this cunning thermal stainless-steel French press:

And one needs wine with dinner, so I impulse bought one of these plastic wine glasses with an unscrewable stem:

Of course, we're going to Utah, where caffeine and alcohol are verboten, so I'm not sure how practical either of these will turn out to be.

06 July 2014

Perfect, in a fruits and vegetables kind of way

I think it was the perfect weekend.

The weather was glorious.

There were strawberries and raspberries to be picked.

And some of them got sidetracked into a jar of brandy, for brandied fruits for Christmas, because one likes to think ahead.

The girl splashed around in the stream, horsing around on a Sno-Tube because we don't have any water floaties. She enlisted me: I tied a length of rope on with a bowline because I still know some knots and then she'd float through the rapids so I could haul her back upstream.

On the way home, we detoured past a farm stand that was rumored to have corn, first of the season corn. And they did, and it was good.

And there were fresh shell peas, and local bing cherries.

And because we were so out of the way, we detoured further, past some wonderful ice-cream in Hudson. I had fig. I would have fig every day if I could.

And when we got home, I added fresh bing cherries to the strawberry/raspberry/brandy concoction.

And we ate dinner on the back deck - corn, and peas with a little chiffonade of mint (they sang, really they just sang, those minted peas), and weisswurst procured at the Veteran Pork Store, in yet another detour. And while we were eating, the girl noticed that the patio tomato in the big pot on the deck had produced fruit. The first tomatoes of the season.

Corn, tomatoes, strawberries. Raspberries, cherries, peas. It's a good time of year for eating. And swimming. And basking in the sunlight. And walking barefoot on the grass.

Perfect, even.

02 July 2014

Our Under Lobby

I have been walking by this sign for a week or so, and I find it oddly and head-scratchingly charming.

Pardon our
Appearance the lobby
In under renovation.

It's like some disjointed found poetry, or an ID test where you have to rearrange the words to make a coherent sentence.

Pardon our appearance in the lobby under renovation?  No.

Pardon our appearance under renovation in the lobby? No.


Pardon the appearance in our under renovation lobby.

29 June 2014

"Eggs are very beautiful cells"

My father-in-law enjoys "collecting" names, wherein the name of the person is somehow indicative of their profession.

I found a doozy today, one Dieter Egli. Dr. Egli is a research scientist, at the New York Stem Cell Foundation, and he appeared in today's New York Times article on "three parent IVF", wherein bits are taken out of one egg and transferred to another.

Egli - doing research on eggs. Perfect, no?

And, in a fabulous coincidence, a colleague of Dr. Egli's at the New York Stem Cell Foundation is one Kevin Eggan, PhD.

Egli and Eggan, doing research on eggs. Could it get better? I don't think so.

24 June 2014


Because we are complicated, our wedding invitation was idiosyncratic. Letterpress, with hand applied watercolor to pick out the green in the intertwined letters. And a dictionary definition of marriage: "the combination of the king and queen of the same suit, as in pinochle".

Needless to say, we did not include a preprinted RSVP card, because I believe that everyone ought to know how to respond, properly, to an invitation (and, furthermore, that thank you notes are to be hand-written and put in the mail).

My absolute favorite response was from a dear, crusty, across-the-street neighbor. If memory serves, it was the first response we got, and it was perfect.

Happy nineteenth anniversary, dear.

30 May 2014

Not. One. More.

After the horror of last week's shooting in Santa Barbara, and the wrenching statement by Richard Martinez, the father of one of the victims, I used the online tool provided by Every Town For Gun Safety and sent postcards to my elected officials. It was oddly unsatisfying though; both of my senators, and my representative, are supporters of gun control. What I really wanted to do was send a postcard to the ones that need swaying. I looked for a template for a printable postcard, and when I couldn't find one, I made one. (Actually, I whined and got my husband to do the heavy lifting; I'm not so good in inDesign.)

And then I spent part of my sick day today in bed, addressing postcards to the likes of Senator Jeff Flake and Senator Kelly Ayotte and Senator Marco Rubio. (Action, even non-physical activity from the confines of your bed nest, is good for the sick person's soul.)

Just in case you too are spurred to action, here's my template. It'll print 4 up on Avery postcards (I used #8387), but you could also do it on card stock and cut the sheets into four postcards after printing. It's a two page pdf - to print front and back. Fill in your name/address on the left (or use one of the return address stickers you get when the March of Dimes asks you for a donation). (If I'd been really clever, I'd have made it a fill-in-able pdf. But I didn't.) Find a list of all of the senators. Fill in the senator's name on the top line on the right, with the office number and building on the second line. Add a 34 cent stamp.

Be active. Say to yourself "not one more". Make the world a better place.

To recap:
Postcard template

Senators of the 113th Congress

On-line Tool to Send Postcards to YOUR 2 senators and 1 representative