Posts

Alone on Thanksgiving

Alone on Thanksgiving

I am divorced. Sort of. I am in divorce limbo. Part of my new divorce limbo life is being alone on days of the year when it used to be guaranteed I would be with my spouse as well as my kids. My birthday. Easter. Thanksgiving. This year, I will be alone on Thanksgiving. Read more

Family Portraits

Family Portraits

You know how people have framed, posed family portraits on their living room walls? I have never had one of those, not with my family of origin or with my married family or with me and Six and Older Son. 

These portraits fascinate me. I try not to stare rudely at them when I see them. There is a difference between making a polite comment regarding the image of another person’s gene pool and staring at the image like an investigator studying some wing-nut’s murder board. 

How do people manage this herculean task? 

Please know that I am not criticizing this activity. Much like cooking regularly and vacuuming more than once every two weeks (in my defense, we do not have any pets), this gathering up of the family, shoehorning them into matching outfits, combing all their hair and getting them to the same location at the same time so someone with a camera can get them to huddle together artfully…I envy the people (mostly women) who make this particular brand of magic happen.

I know why my family never did this. We were a family of loners which is very weird to people who grow up in families full of people who have an ordinary ability to be in the company of other humans. Going through the rigamarole of getting all of us together at Sears just to get an image of us all awkwardly staring in different directions would have been an exercise in futility because no one would have taken the time to get a frame for the thing, let alone hang it up on the living room wall. 

It wasn’t until later in life that my mom made me schlepp Older Son down to the Sears Portrait Studio on a semi-annual basis, complete with cutesy little kid outfits, to sit for portraits. And then she bought frames and hung the damn things up! It wasn’t until I was taking her house apart after she died that it occurred to me that Older Son was always alone in these portraits. It was never even suggested that I sit in there with him. I don’t mind that I was never in these solo portraits and side-note: Older Son looked adorable in his choo-choo overalls.  

I’m deeply interested in the stories casual family snapshots tell. I loved looking at my mom’s photo albums when I was a kid. I found them fascinating and spent hours going over them, often pestering her with questions about the hazy cast of characters I had never met and only heard about when my aunt came to stay for the weekend. Backyard birthday parties, children swimming in a sea of torn up wrapping paper, grandma holding an impossibly tiny baby while sitting in the world’s ugliest Barcalounger…these were the images that spoke a thousand words. 

But there is something lovely about a purposeful family portrait. Maybe one day I will drive the boys down to a portrait studio or out to the beach and pay a remarkably patient photographer to try and get us all to unbend enough to appear as if we all belong in the same gene pool. I take that back. Now that we have Six, he will visually tie me and Older Son together, standing between us and beaming out at the photographer, a born extrovert stuck in a family of loners. 

 

 

Facetime

Facetime

My god I hate facetime.

That is all.

Frozen Food From Trader Joe's

Frozen Food From Trader Joe’s

Ever peer into the frozen food case at all those boxes of food and think, “I wonder if that is any good?” And then you keep going because it’s expensive or you feel guilty? I do it all the time at Trader Joe’s but no more! To go along with making a bunch of box mix bakery goods, I am going to pick up, heat up and consume all the frozen foods I have been eyeing from the frozen food section at Trader Joe’s. Read more

YouTube

YouTube

According to Mandy of MediaMandy, YouTube is the 3rd largest search engine on the interweb. That’s amazing to me. I normally use YouTube to watch SNL skits. Or, when I am too sick to do much else, I fall down YouTube rabbit holes. It begins innocently enough, searching for uplifting TED talks and then three hours later I am watching some guy in Nova Scotia blowing up random shit in his driveway.   Read more

Blondies Box Mix

Blondies Box Mix

I’ve had a BRILLIANT idea. I was at Trader Joe’s buying ingredients to make a cake from scratch for the recipe challenge and I saw, below where I was trying to figure out if I could use agave syrup instead of corn syrup, three shelves of box mixes. There were scones and cakes and quick breads. I shoved the ingredients for the cake back onto the shelf and picked out 7 box mixes I thought I would enjoy making and then eating. When I am done making all the box mixes I will decide which ones were good and which ones were meh and then I will pick a winner! Let’s begin with blondies box mix. Read more

Summer's Here Time To Lower Your Expectations

Summer’s Here Time To Lower Your Expectations

I haven’t really liked summer since I was 15. When I turned 16 I got a job and never lounged through another summer ever again. So unless you have a beach house that you don’t have to continuously sweep the sand out of, summer’s here time to lower your expectations. Read more

Not this week part 2

Not This Week Part 2

It’s highly unlikely I’m going to get anything made this week. We went to a conference last week and yesterday I realized I failed to register Six for his next jujitsu class and so I feel tired and upset with myself. Some people go into the kitchen and cook to feel better. I go into the kitchen to get chips and then I watch TV or read to feel better. Which brings us to Not This Week, part 2. Read more

Tina Fey

Older son once wrote on his Instagram profile, “I’m not real sure what goes here but Tina Fey, if you are reading this, I love you.” And I couldn’t have agreed with him more. Read more

Camping Isn't For Everyone

Camping Isn’t For Everyone

I have what I hope is a cordial relationship with nature. It seems intent on killing me, therefore I stay indoors. I like being indoors. Sarah Vowell described herself as indoorsy and I think that is the best description of a personality trait ever. Read more