Too much fun at our house

Dinner tonight was a celebration of something like the return of spring, and the finale of our girls birthday partying.

After a weekend of gymnastics, ice-skating every day, a bit much icecream cake, friends visiting, and rising temperatures, we grilled steaks in the garage and had a lovely bottle of Chalone Pinot Noir from 2004. It was delicious. Go out and get some.


Another Book Club Title

[Gathering_071026024950433_wideweb__300x484.jpg]Add another book to the list…….. The next book to be read under the heading of “Bookclub Requirements” will be Anne Enright’s The Gathering.
Anybody outside the Whitevale bookclub interested? It’s to be read by March 21, plenty of time.

It’s a Man Booker award winner. About an Irish family, sounds like a child is lost in the story.

I am now finishing Howard’s End, which is such a delightful book. Of the eleven or so I have finished on my list, it is the one I have enjoyed the very most. Not a grind to get through at any point, just pleasant reading. I have loose ends to tie up with Ulysses and The Iliad, I will read the Odyssey with the kids over the next few weeks, and I am giving up on A House for Mr. Biswas for now, and saving him for some relaxing summer afternoon.
I should mention that Ulysses is being read for a crazy splinter group of our bookclub, and we are taking it so slowly that we don’t expect to finish until June. We want to make T-shirts, and we’re not a very organized splinter group, so we need plenty of lead time to get sizes from everybody, agree on a color, and worst of all….design the logo.

One Third the way through Howard’s End

This is the perfect book to follow House of Mirth.
Howard’s End is has many similar themes to H of M: an inside view of the lives of the wealthy and prestigious, and just how neccessary money can be in this world, what becomes of the ladies who fail to marry, hypocrisy and genuinness…..
But Forster is much more optimistic about the possibilities for his characters. And his characters are much more fun and spontaneous and delightfully human.

Margaret is especially endearing, and maybe I would like to be like her when I grow up.

There are some funny recurring oddments in this book, like whenever Italy is mentioned, someone breaks a framed photograph and ends up with bloody fingers on the same page. What’s that about? And I begin to think that Helen is great fun, but that her observations of other people’s lives seem to be nearly 100% incorrect.

My weekend is packed to the top, pressed down and overflowing. I will try to read in the various waiting rooms and parking lots in which I am sure to find myself.

Going Gray…….

I have just checked out the Amazing Mandi’s new website for the first time.
(I am wondering if she hates me calling her that…..)
Anyway, it’s a very cool and interesting website, and here it is. Actually, that link will take you to her little page about gray hair.
She deals with many subjects dear to my heart like women shooting guns, camping with friends and she has a great list of 100 books we’d do well to read.

But back to the gray hair…..
Some of you who know me will recall that last year my goal was to let my hair go naturally gray… stop coloring it.
And then my husband looked at the floor and shuffled his feet and said maybe I could wait a few more years, and then five or six hairdressers told me they would not help me go gray gracefully because I’m “too young” , and then everyone else in my life reminded me that people would start asking me if I am the grandmother of my youngest children…..
So I just cut my hair short, and it’s still brown.

I think our entire culture is warped in regards to old age…..and I am too wimpy to just go gray despite them all. For pete’s sake, I will be 47 this year!

Happy Birthday to a Couple of Cool Chicks

This is an historically significant date at our house.

Thirteen years ago tonight, until about 10PM, I played cards with my mother and Jon.
We finished off the Halloween candy, and I was in a notably foul mood.

I think they got tired of me, and we all went to bed, only to be jolted awake at midnight when I demanded to be driven to the hospital. We took the red ’66 Mustang through blowing snow to Wellesley, Mass, where Audrey was born a little after 2am.

I was the first person ever to touch her, and it was all so wonderful to me. And I was forgiven for my crabbiness over the card game.

Jon and I sneaked out of the hospital with her at 6am. In the elevator on the way down, a lady asked me how old she was and I announced “3 and a half hours!” and everyone sort of jumped back in surprise. We stopped at Starbucks for a couple of lattes, and made it home in time for Mom’s pancake breakfast where Audrey (in her carseat) was the centerpiece. 18 month old David was completely dazzled by her.

And then, two years ago tonight, I got up from a late dinner with the family at 8:15, feeling a bit “off”.
I asked to be excused from kitchen cleanup, and trundled myself off for a warm tub. 45 minutes later, Maggie was born.
Again, I got to touch her first.
Jon was the attending medical expert that night, the midwife being busy pushing her car out of a snowbank in the Duffus’s yard across the street.

Jon was my favorite delivery assistant ever, as he mostly just left me alone. As soon as he noticed she was born, he said “well, lets flip her over and see if we got that girl you were hoping for…”

Again, we thought it was pretty wonderful and another perfect day! Another perfect girl.
So this is our double anniversary of tiny but awesome gifts.

They continue to be blessings to us, and I’m so thankful for the lovely ladies they are becoming.

Happy Birthday Girls!!!


Audrey, when she was six and enroute to a ballet class, stopped to ham around with a dead rattlesnake. This is one of my favorite pictures of her, but it’s not exactly HER favorite.
This is the infamous snake that Michael stepped over in the backyard in Cherry Valley…..a day to remember