Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

reading for the season

In On My Mind on December 19, 2010 at 9:02 pm

We took out the Christmas decorations last weekend, bought the tree from our local fire house, trimmed it, and sorted through too many stockings and non-functioning strings of lights. Underneath the red and green tea towels was a stack of storybooks.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions as a child was reading Christmas stories with my mom, and it’s been nice to steal some quiet moments with Madeleine and Dax. We’ve read It’s Christmas, David, Moostletoe, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cajun Night Before Christmas, and my favorite, Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree.

I like to pick up new books every year. Any one have suggestions for the collection?


time for adventure

In In My Kitchen, In Other Words, On My Mind on December 8, 2010 at 9:32 am

I am so over New Year’s resolutions. They are so 20th century. But I have been compiling a list of adventures to have in 2011, or whenever. Here’s the first batch, along with some background.

ski down a mountain

attend a film screening

It’s been about fourteen years since I’ve been skiing. And in a few weeks, my little family will head out to Park City to visit the fabulous Heather and Chris. Serious skiing there, people. Like, my heart is skipping a beat just looking at pics Heather is sending us from the trails. AND. We’ll be there during the Sundance Film Festival. How cool is that? I’m such a voyeur, I can’t wait to walk down the snowy street with the Hollywood types, and take in a flick or two while I’m at it.

visit a dairy farm

build something

go to a Tractor Supply Store

shoot a shotgun

I admit to falling under the influence of good friends. And two of my bestest buds, Jen and Christian, have got me loving their new home in Pennsyltuckey — er — York County, PA. I could easily do all of the above in a weekend trip to visit these doers on their 11 acres. The building I’ll probably do at home. Maybe a bat box. Maybe a desk. We’ll see. Either way I’ll probably bug Christian for advice.

ride my bike

And speaking of influential friends, Christy was crazy enough to say “yes” when I asked her in 2008 if she wanted to train for a triathlon with me. I borrowed a road bike at the time, and my own hybrid has sat neglected for I don’t even know how long. It’s high time I tune it up and roam the hood with the kids, or chase after Christy on her road bike.

visit the Smithsonian

It’s right there!

shop at a tienda

I want to improve my game in the Mexican cuisine category. And sometimes it’s fun to just explore a store I don’t usually visit, pick up some mystery vegetable, bring it home and try to turn it into something worth eating.

write a friend a letter

I write a mean letter. Well, nice letters, really. And who doesn’t like to receive a real, honest-to-goodness handwritten letter?

make beignets

make king cake

Because they are yummy. Because I know what it means to miss New Orleans. Because I can.

read poetry

write poetry

Where oh where has my literary mojo gone?

practice yoga on the beach

I don’t know about all you other baby mamas out there, but I have a hard time with self-care when I’m tending a new baby. But he’s not so new anymore, and I could use a little more downward dog in my life. Pair it with staring out at the water, and that spells serenity for me.

spend the day doing nothing

Too many days of my life are overscheduled. A whole lot of nothing will have to fill my calendar sometimes.


In On My Mind on December 6, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I am really not looking forward to tomorrow. Scratch that. I am, officially, dreading tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will attend a memorial service for a 20-year-old — Alyssa Salazar. She and her boyfriend, Evan Kullberg, were killed on December 3, trapped in a fire. So so sad. So horrific.

When I moved past disbelief that the vivacious girl who babysat my children and couldn’t wait to become a school teacher was gone, I was mostly sick. As in, I really just wanted to throw up.

I cannot imagine the pain and despair her parents are going through. I’ve been thinking how angry they must be. Then it occurred to me today that while her family may indeed be angry, I am angry.

I want to blame someone for a woodstove flue pipe overheating. I want to blame someone for constructing an apartment building without a window for her to jump from. I want to blame someone for the lack of functioning smoke alarms. I want to blame someone for emergency responders not getting her out of the building in time. I want to blame someone for a 20-year-old young woman and a 23-year-old young man being snuffed out. I want to blame someone for Alyssa dying on her birthday.

All that potential gone. All that hope and excitement about the future left in the ashes.

There was a vigil at Frostburg State University yesterday. The headline of a story covering the service said the university community was focusing on the future after the tragedy. I suppose that’s nice for them.

I’m sure I’ll do plenty of crying tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll think of my dad’s funeral.

But my husband and I get to go home and hug all of our children. And that’s not going to happen for the Salazars and the Kullbergs. And for that, I am still angry.