Friday, June 22, 2012


I keep hearing all this fuss about the heat...I LOVE it. The heat I mean, not the fuss. And thankfully, after a few rotten days (see last post...or don't, it wasn't worth reading!) things turned around and we just had a perfect couple of days. Swings, boats, swimming, lemonade, tree forts, hikes...THIS is the life.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


(DISCLAIMER: tired, frustrated blog post of complaint to follow. Sorry! Skip if you are from The Pollyanna School Of Thinking.) I KNEW the weekend was too good to be true! We had a wonderful time at the Vermont History Expo, my kids were angels and the weather was perfect. Shockingly ideal weekend, every minute of it. (Except, of course, for the tick sucking blood out my knee, and the one in Eli's elbow.) I was super proud of my boys, they were amazingly well-behaved, patient, uncomplaining and polite to people. We enjoyed it very much. They loved working in the school this year, and informing folks of historical details about one-room schoolhouses. Eli was really into it, he kept hissing at me to hide my camera because it wasn't old fashioned. Funny and cute. Monday, however, was a different story. Summer Solstice...brings with it some crap luck this year. I was set up to think everything would be peachy, after the delightful weekend. Every so often we have a couple days where I just want to curl up and cry, or quit, or SOMETHING. But I can't. I can't even stop to think about it. And everywhere I turn, there's somebody saying "Well, if only you'd do things MY way, you'd be all set!" I can't make everyone happy, I can't even make any ONE person happy, least of all myself, which has ceased to matter anyhow. (Oh God, listen to me, I'm a study in self-pity. I know it's obnoxious, just indulge me for a moment because I NEED to write it out.) Monday, we spent six hours filming with Myra and Jim for their upcoming movie, which went mostly great, (despite there being nearly twenty children on the set, all of which were crying at some point) but that morning, I dropped a full roll of toilet paper in the toilet which, I have come to understand, is a bad omen. It's only happened a small handful of times over the course of my life, but believe me, it's baaaaaaaad...way worse than breaking a mirror or a black cat crossing the road. I swear, it throws your luck off for DAYS! After that, I spilled everything I touched in the kitchen and made almost NO money at Zumba that night, not to mention Mom had to emergency-retrieve the kids from Jen's house while I was working, because they were so naughty Jen simply couldn't take it anymore. Yesterday, when I arrived at the School District's office to teach a dance class, I realized I'd forgotten my computer and had to go all the way back home for it. (And I DON'T forget things, nor am I ever late. Lateness and forgetfulness are pet peeves of mine. I could just KICK myself doing for both!) Returning, I taught the class in full noonday sun on the uneven back lawn of the office building. After the first number in blistering heat, I went to take a swig from my water bottle and saw there was some sort of mildew or mold growing on the inside of the glass, so I ignored my dry throat and powered through the hour without fluid. And speaking of fluid: on my way home I noticed that the gas gauge, which had just registered full, was empty again and the suspicious smell of gas accompanied me. (Luckily, since my electric window motor broke a year ago, I couldn't quite get a strong scent of anything too terrible and ignored my gut feeling and pretended there was nothing wrong except perhaps a faulty gauge.) Finally, upon returning home and exiting, I look under my (very obviously reeking of fuel by now) vehicle and I see that there is a growing puddle of gas on the ground which makes me panic as I've just socked hundreds of dollars into this car, and trying to regain my calm (what calm? what regain?) I find that the boys and Avry have been fighting non-stop while being watched by poor Mom, who is SUPPOSED to be on vacation and relaxing. The dog has rolled in poop, which I discover when I go to pat him and have it all over my hands. Eli is going ballistic because all he wants in the whole wide world today is tracing paper so he can copy Beetle Bailey comics out of the newspaper and is furious with me when I say we have none. I'm feeling insane because through all of this, the thing that's weighing heaviest on my mind is the fact that I've just been told that my old house is being rented out immediately and I have until July 1st to move all my belongings to....where? I have no place to put anything, this apartment holds next to nothing and it's already beyond overfilled. A week and a half to move 14 years worth of my life, and no place to put any of it. Do I yard sale off my great grandmother's antiques? No, I don't think so! I push that worry aside and continue with the pressing issues of the day, borrowing my mother's car to go to the bone marrow match drive for my friend Amelia who is fighting leukemia for the second time around, and while there, getting my cheek swabbed, I manage to lose my purse, (which I have NEVER done before) but thankfully have it returned to me by a friend who recognized it under a table somewhere beneath three hundred pairs of sweaty legs. Rushing back to work, I am overcome with how good I actually have it and how in awe of Amelia's strength and spirit I am. I feel guilty for being so down when I'm not even battling for my life, yet I STILL feel exhausted and depressed. (I fantasize momentarily of Prince Charming whispering sweet nothings in my ear, while serving me cheesecake [and chocolate covered strawberries and lemonade, and little sandwiches cut to look like hearts, and possibly some bologna if I'm feeling wretched enough] while my kids dance a jig over my latest Pulitzer Prize and Amelia calls, in full health, to see if we all want to go swimming with her.) When I arrive at the school, I find the gym has been double booked, yet again, so we are forced by the summer basketball league (of 9) to hold my evening Zumba class (of 40) in the small cafeteria which literally feels like a microwave oven. I pick up the boys from their dad's and turn my ankle on the shoulder of the road while buckling them in Mom's car. Returning home, we let the dog out and I limp about, emptying Mom's car of my gear while the kids run around outside for a few minutes before I call them in for bed. The dog is suddenly missing and I spend the next two hours hunting for him, driving up and down the road calling, going back to Justin's, asking the neighbors. Bedtime is indefinitely postponed while the kids weep horrifically for their pup. After basically giving up, and eventually thinking to grill the kids on where, EXACTLY, they last saw him, Eli "remembers" that they went in the basement to get bike helmets, and sure enough, I find the whimpering, (still poopy) dog locked in the cellar. I drag him into the shower with me for a bath and his claws rip my feet apart in his attempts to escape the tiny, stall shower which is barely large enough to house me alone, to say nothing about a slippery, struggling, wet dog. He breaks free at one point, and runs frantically in circles around the bathroom, rubbing and rolling his half-poopy, half-soap self on everything while I wrestle him, naked, back into the shower and the kids cheer. Much later, he is toweled off and in bed with the boys who pinch and hit each other until I come in and remove Eli from bed and make him get into a sleeping bag on the floor. I can't sleep myself because my ankle is throbbing and I have no idea what to do with my life. I spend some time making pointless to-do lists in my head and avoiding the temptation to pass time surfing the internet where unfortunately every facebook post is a shot of so-in-so's new engagement ring, an album of a beautiful house renovation with, you know: two parents, two kids and a (non-poopy) black lab, looking perfect and smug, or somebody's sweet anniversary picture from their wedding thirty years ago today, with sappy captions like "She's still as beautiful as the day I married her, I'm a lucky man." Yay. I feel unwanted, and a miserable failure. Hello World, it's 3AM and no, nothing is threatening my life at the moment, or my kid's lives, thank God, but I dropped the toilet paper in the toilet and paid dearly for it. Tomorrow MUST be better. Knock on wood.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Children's Movie Review!

A quiet, rainy morning. Ira and I are just hanging out, I'm doing dishes while Ira watches Gustafer Yellowgold's Wide Wild World...anyone seen this? I have no idea how to describe this a trippy, sing along about this little drop of sun who is friends with a pterodactyl in a tuxedo and a mint green bee. The whole thing is set to music with songs like: "I Jump On Cake", "Rocket Shoes" and "Tiny Purple Moon". I asked Ira what his favorite movies are and he listed Gustafer, Farm Country (One of Rusty's, in which Ira likes the manure pit scene and he also like to watch for Rusty's bald spot to show when he leans over.) Eli's favorite is called "The Cave Of The Yellow Dog" which is an amazingly beautiful children's film, set in Mongolia. I loved it too. The scenery is so rich and colorful, and reading sub-titles really helped Eli's reading skills this year, not that there is a ton of dialog. And he also mentioned liking The Gnome Mobile a lot. It's an old Disney movie with the same kids from Mary Poppins playing the leading roles. This flick has some catchy songs that get stuck in parent's heads for DAYS. But then he retracted his choices and said his absolute favorite all-time movie was Swallows and Amazons. I would have to agree, it's one of the most wonderful kids movies my kids own. It's about a group of English children vacationing, lakeside, in the late 1920's. They discover a little island, set up camp and spend the summer waging (friendly) war with neighboring children over possession of this island. They also solve a mystery and befriend a "pirate" who is really just a reclusive writer living on a houseboat. If I had to choose one of these movies to watch, it would be that one, it reminds me of the games we played as kids (Not the I was alive in 1929, but it just feels so familiar somehow.) Well, there you have it, the top five movies at our house, if you're under eight...anyone out there with kids will want to check these out for sure. Enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Whiff of Summer

My boys were at their Dad's this weekend, and that always leaves me at loose ends a bit. But I ended up having a nice couple of days anyway, full of family and friends. Summer has finally arrived, and with it comes a tiny bit less rush and anxiety. More time to savor the little things. I spent almost the entire weekend outdoors, sitting in the sun by the pond with Jana and Jen while the little girls caught frogs, walking, visiting, running errands with all the car windows down, eating ice cream, hiking near Moss Glen Falls, a delightful mountain top graduation party... Everywhere was the scent of newly mown hay, or the damp, rich smell of moist earth, pine needles pungent and spongy underfoot, or the smoky, mouthwatering odor of a BBQ wafting past your nose. Summer melts the tension right out of my bones and I relax, and trust, and breathe easier somehow. I try and take it all in, as much as I can hold, enough happiness to get me through.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Decided to head to MA this last weekend with the boys, see something new. Occasionally, as much as I love Vermont, everything is hard to take. Memories are everywhere. It's nice to make new ones on occasion. We went to this amazing butterfly place called Magic Wings, which sounded pretty darn cheesy ahead of time, but surprise, surprise, it was WONDERFUL! Eli threw a small fit at one point because he was bummed out that the butterflies kept landing on Ira and not him...I mean he was REALLY taking it personally and he sulked until one finally landed on his head. (We know to wear bright colors next time, and possibly coat ourselves with sticky, sweet food, as Ira cleverly did.) We also went up Sugarloaf and admired the views, as well as visiting my Auntie and some good friends I haven't seen in WAY too long. Had lunch in Northampton, and popped in to a fun art gallery. A little break away from T'bridge. Felt good. Now we are in the home stretch of school, two of my jobs have ended until Fall, so I'm hunting for more work I can do from home with the three little ones. Hopefully another writing gig if I can land one because my body can't do much more Zumba than it already does without protest! And that's all that's new at the moment. Can't believe it's JUNE! Catch you all later!