Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lupine Love


These flowers make my heart sing.

The Man's sister gave us the first lupine we ever had. We were visiting her in Pennsylvania and had stopped in a garden shop. She bought one for herself and one for me. The blooms were a deep shade of purple and they were prolific. It bloomed the very next year after we planted it.

It blooms in May so it was blooming when I brought J. home from the hospital as a newborn. I remember going out in the yard to look at it, a lot, because I couldn't drive for a while.

C-section, need I say more?

I found a book about lupines, Miss Rumphius, and bought it to read to J.

After he got a bit older. Seven day old babies don't have a long attention span.
Year after year, every spring, this plant bloomed abundantly.

I would look at it and remember our visit to Pennsylvania, and my lovely sister-in-law and the garden shop and getting lupines together.

I would look at it and remember the day I brought my firstborn home from the hospital.

And I would look at it and remember sitting on my grass, playing with J., while the plant bloomed behind him.

I loved this plant.

And then one day, I looked out and it was gone.
I asked the Man, what happened to my lupine?

It was in the way, he said, so I mowed over it.


I couldn't believe he mowed over the lupine. I was in shock, I think. And then a bit angry.

There was some yelling involved.

But we never got another lupine.

Then we moved. And I felt like having lupines again. So last Mother's Day, the kids bought me two lupines.

I'm in love again.

And I'm thinking about hiding the keys to the mower.

Memorial Day Weekend, part one

We celebrated J. and P.'s birthdays tonight - they're only 6 days apart.

It was a beautiful night to eat out on the porch and use my new Anthropologie tablecloth. I heart this tablecloth.

The colors make me smile.
I wandered around the yard, cutting flowers for my green vase, trying to find enough for a wildflower bouquet.

I think it looks simple.

I like it.
We had an ice cream cake with chocolate crunchy things in the middle. Everyone likes the chocolate crunchy things.

I wonder what they are?
My lovely MIL joined us for a piece of cake. She has dinner on Saturday nights with her group of friends.

They are a pretty fabulous group of women who have been doing this for years.

I love this picture of her. She's beautiful.
P.'s favorite author, Harlan Coben, signed his new book for her. I got a chance to see him back in April and he graciously wrote her a birthday message and even drew a birthday cake for her!

What a nice guy and he tells a fantastic story.

Buy his books.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Expo America in NYC

Book Expo America in NYC today.

It took us four hours to get to the Javits Center. It should have taken us about three hours, at the most.

There was awful traffic, for no good reason, on the road we traveled.

But, oh boy, was it worth the drive.
First author signing of the day was this gentleman. He wrote a book about his grandfather, a WWII parachute jumper.

J. loved this book. He scoffed it right up.
We got to meet some very. famous. people. like Debbie Macomber, Joe Scarborough, and Peter and Paul of Peter, Paul, and Mary.

I got pictures of Laurie Halse Anderson and Rick Riordan. The lines to get a signed book from them were too long and there was so much else to see. I snapped a few pics and walked away.

I'd already met Rick Riordan a few years ago, anyway. I don't want him to think I'm a stalker or anything.
We turned a corner and found this exhibit. All girly and pink looking. Very eye catching and I had to snap a pic.

The poor woman who had stopped to rest was waving me off, trying to tell me she was in my picture. I told her not to worry about it, I'd blur her face out so no one would recognize her.It was the author of the book.

Oy vey. I can't believe I said that to her.

She was very gracious when we went over to talk to her and she gave us each a copy of her cookbook Bite Me: a Stomach-Satisfying, Visually Gratifying, Fresh-Mouthed Cookbook.

And she let me take her picture.
A young adult author who's just starting to get name recognition - James Dashner. He was nice and chatty and very pleasant to talk to.

Total book count for the day: 28 free books.

Free books!

Did you get that? Free books!
People bring suitcases to this event to pack up all the free books they get.

This is Candyland for librarians and bibliophiles.

And the book publishers and book gadget peddlers give away tote bags! I love tote bags!

We headed for the bus stop about 4:00 pm. But our bus was late and he didn't pick us up until about 4:30 pm.
It took forever to get out of the city.

Okay, that's a bit dramatic.

Actually, it took three hours to get out of the city. That's crazy. We kept running into traffic jams, accidents, fires, detours, you name it and we found it.

It took us 5.5 hours to get home.

We spent more time on the bus than we did in the exhibit hall.
But there's always something to see in New York. That's why I love visiting the city. Look at this gorgeous stained glass window. Pretty, huh?
I love this graffiti, No Human Being is Illegal.

What a great day.

Free books and free tote bags.

Candyland, I tell you, Candyland.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Absolute Ridiculousness

Life is full of ridiculousness. Especially if you're a parent.

Case in point:

J. is out with friends a few nights ago. It's late and I'm hot and cranky. I want to go to bed since I have to work in the morning. I decide to put on my cotton nightgown. That way I can go right to bed when J. gets home.

Because even though he tells me to go to bed and he'll let me know when he gets home, I can't do it. Are all mothers like this? How do you go to sleep unless all your chicks are in the house for the night?

I finally see lights pull in the driveway and hear a car door slam shut.


Slam, again.

Uh-oh. Two people are out of the car. Does that mean J. is bringing his friend in the house?

Ack. I'm in my pajamas!

Because of the way our living room is situated, I simply cannot stand up and walk out of the room. Whoever is out there is going to see me in my cotton nightgown.

What's a girl to do?

Stop, drop, and roll, er, crawl out of the room. I need to stay below the windows.

So I'm on my knees, crawling across the living room floor towards the bedroom. Only my gown is so long, I keep kneeling on it as I crawl. So I get stuck and can't move. I free myself, crawl forward two steps, and get stuck again.

I feel like a beetle stuck on its back.

I can hear footsteps on the porch and then the door opening. Hurry, crawl faster!

Aaaargh, get off of my nightgown, knee! Let me go! Crawl faster, faster, they're coming!

I'm just about out of the room and I hear J. come in and say, "Mom, what are you doing?" as I crawl out of sight. I stand up in the dark foyer and stay out of sight.

After a minute or so, I peek out and no one except J. and K. are in the kitchen. No friends, they all had to go home.

Whew. No one outside my own family saw me crawling around the floor in my nightgown.

I don't think anything can prepare you for parenthood. Babies are so sweet and soft, cuddly and cute. They stay where you put them, they don't talk back, and they love seeing you. It seems so easy when I look back on it. I can't believe I used to dread having to wake up for a midnight feeding.

Now, I'm crawling around my house at midnight, hiding from my teenager's friends.

So will you. Trust me.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hot Day? Let's Run!

P. had a track meet today.

The Man and I wanted to go and cheer her on. She's a warrior.
It was hot. And sunny.

We had to stand in the shade.

These girls and guys were in the sun most of the time. Running.
It was so much fun to watch them race. Very exciting.

Especially at the finish line.

My throat hurts from yelling.The best part of the whole day?
Good sportsmanship.

That wins every time in my book.

Summer Weekend

Summer. Porch. Entertaining.

My three favorite words right now.

I love eating out on our back porch. It's a cosy nook, tucked behind the house, away from all the busy-ness of the street. Not that we live in the city or anything. But our street has its fair share of traffic. Especially in the summer when the motorbikes come out.
We entertained both nights this weekend. Good friends on Friday night and family on Saturday night.

Friday night was easy. Pizza and wine. Salads. Dessert. Lots of laughter.

Saturday night was sinful. Juicy hamburgs, coleslaw and baked beans. Seven layer bars. S'mores.
Beer. More beer.
I am loving my $0.50 vases. You saw the green one a couple weeks ago.

On Saturday, I added the blue teapot. I had breakfast with a friend and we decided to go tagsale-ing after.

Tagsale-ing. Is that even a word? My spell check is not very happy with it. But I know you know what I mean.

I spotted the blue teapot underneath a table as I was walking away from the yard. It was dented, had some minor rust spots and a few holes in the bottom. It didn't look like much.

"How much for the teapot?" I asked.

"You know it has holes in the bottom?" the seller asked.


"How about $0.50?"

When I picked up the blue teapot, guess what was underneath it? A scale.

Not a stand-on-this-for-your-day-of-reckoning scale but a scale that has a "bed" and curved sides. Looks similar to the one above. But mine needs some cleaning and a new coat of paint.

I saw a photographer use a scale just like this for portraits of newborns. Absolutely the cutest newborn pictures I've seen: their legs were tucked underneath them, their diaper tushies were up in the air and the babies were sound asleep on the scale.

So. Cute.

If I ever start a photography business, I am so using this scale.
My dad came home from his winter in sunny Florida. That's why we were all gathered together.

We had to celebrate his homecoming. We did it with lots of kisses.
One of the best ways I get my kids and nieces to laugh for the camera is to tell them NOT to smile.

No smiles.


That is guaranteed to bring about giggles and laughter.

I love shots like this. They're real.

I feel like I got to freeze a moment of time.

Jeesh, I can't stop getting sentimental over these pics. But I'm telling you. These guys were babies just a few days ago.

I must have slept a dozen or so years, just like Rip Van Winkle.
We ended the night with a bonfire and s'mores. Using burnt marshmallows. Because we don't know how to keep them out of the fire. And then they light on fire and we panic.

They still taste good. They taste like summer.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Independence Day, my foot

Independence (age 45): steady employment, earning a living wage; own a home; own vehicles; saving for retirement; putting kids through college; responsible for paying one's bills. Main concern: raising your children to be responsible adults, ready to leave home once they finish schooling.

Independence (age 19): part time employment; unable to support a cat, never mind oneself; mom and dad pay cell phone bill, car bills, food, shelter; and oh yeah, everything except fast food stops. Main concern: getting mom and dad to understand that you're independent now and don't have to let anyone know where you're going or how long you'll be there.

See why our household is a wee bit challenged right now? It seems that there are two dictionaries in existence. One for i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t children and one for the rest of us.

I think the words "You want to be independent? Fine. Give me your cell phone and your car keys. I pay for them. They're mine. Go get your own. Now you're independent," came out of my mouth. It's kind of hard to remember because I was a tad bit upset when I spoke them.


My MIL says, "This, too, shall pass." I hope it's not as painful as a kidney stone.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fun Stuff

Fun sites to check out:

Overheard in New York - Things people have overheard while walking the streets of NYC.

The Picture Pose - I brought this to knitting last week and almost caused a riot. They're practicing their poses. This is now the official stance when I have my camera out at knitting.

No Appropriate Behavior - This blogger makes me laugh out loud sometimes.

Poladroid - Downloadable software that turns digital photos into Polaroid-like pictures.

Shape Collage - Downloadable software that makes collage shapes out of your photos.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kids Today

Kids today. What's the matter with kids today?

Sound familiar?

I tell you, being parents of teens is NOT easy. It's downright hard.

I feel like we're trapped in a sinkhole and we'll never find our way out.
Most days it's finding the balance between too protective and letting go.

The Man's much better at letting go. I stink at it.

I'm always going to be protective. That's the mama bear in me.

But I'm trying.

Hang in there, J. I'm trying hard.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Boring post

Sea, salt, surf, sand.

I'm too tired to post anything tonight.

I'll be back tomorrow.


Good night, friends.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Let Summer Begin

Can you guess where we're headed for the weekend?

We're supposed to have sunny skies, cool temps, and light breezes. Perfect walking weather.

And taffy eating weather.
I'm not bringing my shorts or bathing suit, mind you. I'm not crazy.

But I declare that summer is here.
Time for clam pie, ice cream nights, flea markets, and ticky-tacky souvenir shops.

Not for us. For the tourists.

We're not tourists. We're honorary residents.
Ahhhh. I can feel the sand on my toes now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nifty Thrifty Wednesday #3

Oh me, oh my, what a wonderful day of thrifting today. I came home with LOTS of good stuff. Look at the loot I found.

A bunch of green glass vases.

A Swiss chalet music box - made in Switzerland - with a Swiss movement in it. That set me back $5.00. My aunt had one of these when I was a little girl and she only let me play with it once or twice. I loved that music box. I am so excited to have one of my very own.

I feel five years old.

I think we need to institute show and tell at work. I have stuff to show.

Back to my loot, I found another pair of wooden shoes. Sissy is getting a little grumpy about all the wooden shoes I own now. It's not my fault I'm a faster picker upper than she is. Wooden shoes draw me like magnets. I see 'em, I grab 'em.

I'll probably have to share one with her.

See that Rachel Ray cookbook? Mine for $2.99. That was one of the pricier things I bought.
I heart any books from the fifties and sixties. The illustrations are way cool.
This house reminds me of the Brady Bunch house. I wanted to live in that house. They had the best staircase and fireplace.
I really love the way the people are all dressed up to go out to a dinner party. When's the last time a man wore a white jacket to go out to a dinner party?

I think I'll have a dinner party this summer and make white coats mandatory. And the women will have to wear pillbox hats with their summer suits.
Inside the Toll House cookbook? I think it's the original recipe for Toll House Chocolate Chip
cookies, only they called them Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies.

Gotta try those soon.
But the best thing today? The French print, "Les Quais".

I really love the colors in this print. It's a happy picture. And the lady is looking at books! This had to come home with me.
As soon as I got home, I found some pretty purple johnny jump-ups to put in one of my glass vases.

Love. It.