Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I have to do my taxes. My mother is coming this weekend which means I need to scrub the entire house. My laundry is in competition with my dirty dishes to see who can accumulate faster. But after reading a friends blog and realizing that I couldn't even remember my password for this one I decided to shelf it all and write a post.

It will be a short one. Baby steps.

I have been helping Steven set up a blog with his artwork. Since moving to Brattleboro four years ago he has sporadically painted. This is frustrating to me because he used to paint all the time. I have many photos of Lydia wearing a paint covered garbage bag in her dad's studio. Steven was always the person who actually produced art, while I have been the super procrastinator of our duo. My taxes?

I like being around people that create. I like to say it inspires me. But it inspires me no more than reading Martha Stewart Living. "Oh.... your tinting your walls with homemade paint made with milk, tell me more" is interchangeable with "wow look at these Victorian sculptures made from real human hair that Martha collects". I genuinely love to see what others create, but with me it's all about the ideas.


1. block printing or silk screening on textiles then making curtains (I've thought about this a lot lately mostly because it involves a book I want that costs $50)

2. making some spring clothes for Lydia, I swear I've been designing clothes in my mind for her for 10 years (yes I know she is 7)

3. write a book about finding my dad, also not a new idea, yet seems to reemerge with change of seasons

4.make a quilt about the Owl and the Pussycat

I could go on and on.

Luckily I have friends who do amazing things. They do all sorts of great things. I have a friend that writes screenplays (even one titled after me). I have a dear friend that knits beautiful clothing and clever animals. Another good friend is rehabbing a Gothic style home. At Lydia's birthday party she got a homemade hula-hoop for the love of god.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How did I get here...

"you may ask yourself- well how did I get here?" Talking Heads

I refer to this song, pretty much daily. It's not because I love David Byrne (I do), but it seems like I can never truly believe that this is my life. This introspection is not of the existential variety, it is more concrete.

How did I end up in small town Vermont?
At which crossroads did I do an about face and fall in love with a man 14 years my senior who has very little in common with me outside of our admiration for Davis Byrne?
When did it become reality that I would work for and very closely with an obsessive compulsive son with a serious Oedipus complex?

These questions may never be answered, but my longing for some understanding may not elude me for long.
I have joined ancestry.com.

A lot of people are interested in genealogy. It's fun to dive into the past, the same way it's fun to rifle through boxes in your grandparents basement. I wonder if my curiousity of the unknown isn't sparked by the fact that I know little to nothing about my fathers side of my family. There is a ton of information about my mothers side of the family, which is made easier by the fact that I know the names of most relatives going back four generations. Italians pass down family history the way they pass down recipes. While I like learning more about them it's the unknown characters of my paternal side that turned me into a fixated, family tree detective.

These are the things I do know about my paternal side : the names of my father and his parents, my grandparents divorced after having only one child together (spoiler alert), and that my father grew up southern RI.

After many an hour on my new favorite time wasting website of choice I have come up with some pretty intersting information:
My paternal grandmother's parents immigrated form Poland to the US.
They were most likely Jewish.
My child is the only child of a mother who was an only child of her father who was the only child of his mother who was the only child of her parents. Confused yet? Needless to say, not a lot of extended family on that end.
My father's father moved to the south, remarried and had three more children. In his obituary there was no mention of my father. This makes me a little sad and also more understanding of the fact that he is a total flake of a parent.
I know the names of my grandfather's other children (an aunt and two uncles) and have seen one of them on facebook.

Now what to do with this information?
Is this my way of knowing my father without having to know him?
Has the internet opened an unnatural portal that should be less easily navigated for a reason?

I'll let you know once Steven's family tree starts to grow. I've started one for him too, mainly because like me he knows very little about his father and his fathers family. I started this "work" under the guise that Lydia should know this information. But really it's because my family tree's trail is getting cold and I can't stop.

Monday, March 9, 2009

and to think I was optimistic

The last few days have been a roller coaster ride the way only New England weather and being a parent of a six year old can be. One day you've got every window in the house open, clothes blowing dry on the line. The next morning you are bobsledding down a icy snow covered mountain and are sad to realize that your forgotten laundry is still on the line now frozen solid.

The daffodils in this picture were bought out of early spring fever. Little did I know there would be an actual full blown winter fever in our house.
Lydia whose temperature rarely rises above 101 degrees woke up Saturday morning in a complete fog with a temp of 104.6. This freaked me out enough but then she started saying things like "I think our living room has turned into a boat" and "my feet don't feel like they are touching the floor " while walking down the stairs. She could barely open her eyes, like a little mole in the sun, because they hurt so much. Cheeks as red as a July sunburn.
After vomiting in the doctors office and sleeping for most of the day cuddled in bed with me to stop the shivering she seemed to be on the mend. Sunday morning she was jumping around and had a small appetite. She was back, or so it seemed. We decided to go on a little walk. It was such a gorgeous day it was too hard to resist. Fresh air will do her good, right?
I knew I was in trouble when we got to Amy's bakery and she said she didn't want anything except water. She was a trooper and we finally made it back home, even though she needed to keep her eyes shut for most of the walk. When we got home her temp was up to 105.2. She fell asleep for another three hours only to be woken up by the cold compresses needed to get her fever down.
Now it's Monday and it is snowy and slushy and Lydia's temperature is down to 99.6. I'm relieved she's OK (note to self: never google - 104 fever, vomit and hallucinations together). But now I'm stuck in the house with a bored child who only has an appetite for Popsicles and apple juice (aka crazy juice). But my daffodils are open and I know it's spring somewhere.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Where's my riot grrrl?

I'm a body hater. I don't hate anyone else's body.
I'm not very angry at mine at the moment either, but I have been a serious body hater in the past. I believe this form of self destructive behavior should be treated like any other debilitating behavior. You might be in remission, but if you were a body hater there is always a body hater in you. .

Of course I still have self doubt. But I like myself now and unless I'm trying on bathing suits I'm fine with me. I've already wasted enough time and energy, no more.

When I was pregnant with Lydia I was terrified to have either a boy or girl. A boy baby because of the unknown territory . A girl baby because of the danger of the known terrain. I knew one thing for sure, I was going to do anything possible to prevent my child from being body obsessed. I would raise a strong, healthy, happy person.

The words fat and diet were stripped from our vocabulary. I never put myself down in front of Lydia and I try not to let anyone else do either. I talk about exercise as a thing that helps you to fell good inside and out.

So when my 5 year old daughter walked into the kitchen and said, "I'm exercising in the living room", I replied "that's great sweetie, I bet it feels good to dance around." Then a steam engine appeared from nowhere and plowed me over, "I'm exercising to get skinny, I don't want to be fat."

After about five minutes of a very poor, unscripted, mishmash of a lecture Lydia says, "your just trying to make me feel good."

So... I checked out four books today from the library 101 Ways To Help Your Daughter Love Here Body, The Confident Child, Reviving Ophelia and How To Mother A Successful Daughter.

I'll let you in on my plan of action once I've gotten through these books. If anything it may improve my lecture.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Crazy Cat (lil') Lady

When I hear a story about a woman with 10+ cat's in her home I always wonder: when did this begin? Most of these stories center around a woman who lives alone. You never hear positive stories about these overly enthusiastic animal lovers. More likely the stories villanize the woman with headlines such as "Crazy Cat Lady's Home Condemned 37 Cats Placed in Shelter". Or "Cat Corpse Found in Old Ladies Freezer". Well what is an elderly woman supposed to do with a cat corpse in the dead of winter? No pun intended.

Whether the feline loving "perpetrator" is just lonely and needy. Or desperately feels the obligation to care for homeless, hungry animals. It's hard for me to believe that the person is acquiring mass amounts of pets out of malice. I'm sure it just got out of control, like a collection of angel figurines. Knowing you like angels everyone starts to give you new angels, before you know it you've got a home full of the things. These people probably were eccentrics their entire lives. I doubt their family members and friends were surprised to find that the person had a few too many cats. There must have been warning signs.

Was there a photo taken like the one below of them when they were five? Or maybe Lydia is just a visionary and she will cultivate the "Shabby Kitty Lover Chic" look. Only time will tell.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bored? yes, This Lonely? No

Lately I've been a little bored. Well a lot bored. On more than one occasion I have referred to my brain as oatmeal.
Steven has worked extra hours over the past few weeks. He hasn't had a day off in a long time. When he gets home he's tired and I have nothing to talk about . I totally miss him. But, I don't miss him this much. The customer reviews of this thing are unbearably funny. (For some reason I can't get it to link. Go to Overstocks.com and then type in "hug me pillow") One hopes that some are fake, but either way they are amazing. There's a person who sleeps with 5 of them, so that it feels like there is a family in bed with her.
But you know there are people out there that are comforted by this half torso. And for that I applaud this product. Sometimes in all the gloom and doom it's nice to have a strong arm to rest your head on.
I'm not sure I could ever get passed the fact that it seems like a dismembered body part. It doesn't help that the hand appears to be backwards. I also have never been partial to men that wear oxford shirts. An old, stinky rock tee from a band that hasn't played since 1993 and then we'll talk.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Shopping Lists

I feel like you can tell a lot about a person or their momentary situation when you look at what they buy at the grocery store. I think you can tell the most in the 10 or less lines. The fewer the items the better for a simple case study.

What do you think of the guy in front of you that buys a box of diapers, bacon, toothpaste, a can of tuna and a thirty pack of Bud. Or the woman who buys organic milk, tofu, prune juice, Mike and Ikes and a family size bag of Doritos. You can draw your own conclusions about their current situation. When running in to get a few things, what is that extra impulse buy? I imagine what the cashier might think of my purchases. I think about this whenever I buy tampons for some reason. I never just buy tampons. I'm usually in the supermarket and pick up a few other things. Is it normal to feel self conscious when I also get a bag of chocolate chips and a bottle of red wine with the tampons at nine in the morning?

On the nights that I work I can expect to get a phone call from the son of the woman that I take care of. He always seems desperate for something. I will preface this with he has a huge supply of everything they need. I have never had to pick something up that they don't already have at the house. Most night it's just a few things : ice, large Ziploc bags and smoked salmon one night. Sometimes he wants more things I emphasis want not need. "I was wondering if you wouldn't mind picking a few things up for us (us?) at the co-op. I already called over there and asked them what sort of soup they have and if there is anything wonderful like moussaka. I'm not interested in what they have so could you just get me a few things. It would be really great and it would really help me and mom out."
After twenty minutes on the phone while he rummages through his kitchen here is the list:
2 glass bottles half gallon whole milk McNamara farm
2 organic veggie juice
2 blood orange Knutzen sparkling juice
2 organic Apple and Eve cranberry juice.
as many bottles as possible Nantucket Nectar's lemonade
5 bottles tonic water
4 four-packs sugar cane cola
4 four-packs root beer
8 gallons distilled water
2 six-packs Heineken
6 bottles sparkling water
1 and a half pounds ham sliced 1/16 of an inch
six navel oranges
mild salsa
a bag of ice
and mixed nuts
I'll tell you who was the mixed nut.
That would be me, as I braved sub zero weather to get all these beverages and random items in an empty store at 9:00 pm (in our town that's like 11:30 anywhere else).
And when I got to the cashier I couldn't help but wonder, "where does she think I am headed?"