November 30, 2007

Playing Along

One of my favorite denizens of the blogosphere is the fabulous Patti Digh, whose work is a continual inspiration to me and loads of other people.

Her latest project, in conjuction with her upcoming book, included putting out a call to any artists interested in creating illustrations to go on a deck of cards that she hopes will accompany the book.

I raised my hand. Not because I think of myself as a visual artist – I mostly don't – but because my friends encouraged me, and because I loved the idea of playing along with Patti Digh. So did a lot of other people. We all signed up and were assigned essays, and the one that was selected for me was Signal your turns. You should go read it.

I think the odds of my interpretation being the interpretation are pretty slim. And I really don't care. Because I learned all kinds of new tricks trying to figure out how to make that card up there (thanks for the support, L & C!), and because I was playing along with Patti Digh all week.

(Here endeth NaBloPoMo.
Hope I win a prize!
And you can check out
some other 37days cards here,
if you like.)

November 29, 2007

Student Essay #473

Here I am at the end of a long day. Reviewing student essays at our kitchen table, trying to "zero out." Tomorrow will bring dozens more. My students are all working hard to make sure that the colleges to which they're applying understand who they are and what makes them tick. And some of them have learned a bit about themselves in the process.

I think I do this part of my job well, and have always found competence appealing. So I like this picture of me deep in the thick of the work.

(Day #29 of NaBloPoMo.)

November 28, 2007


The after school boys
see red and black chips at night
when they close their eyes.

(Day #28 of NaBloPoMo.)

November 27, 2007

Stone Haiku

Each stone on the beach
awaits the moment
when it, too, will soar.

(Day #27 of NaBloPoMo.
Thanks to the women of One Deep Breath
for their continuing inspiration.)

November 26, 2007

Rain Haiku

Starting and stopping,
wanting both to be noticed
and to disappear...

It rained off and on for most of the day today. I left both my cellphone and my camera at home, and felt out of touch.

(Day #26 of NaBloPoMo.)

(PS: The new
Mac ads are up!
These are so good we watch a few before settling in to watch a DVD.)

November 25, 2007

Care and Feeding

We read a study once that looked at division of labor issues within lesbian and gay households. (I'd cite the specifics if I could remember them, sigh.)

One of the things that the study's authors noticed while compiling their results was that the person in each household who did the food shopping often also ended up being the person who was the familial keeper of likes and dislikes.

I do most of our food shopping (and yes, a Peapod tell-all post is coming soon), but I really think we share our knowledge of each other's food likes and dislikes. Even Mr. D is getting in on the act. ("Tama, you shouldn't be eating that because you know it has chocolate in it. Do you want some of my white chocolate from Hallowe'en?")

There's something so basic and elemental about providing someone not only with sustenance, but with something that will get them "mmmmm"ing with delight.

Here's hoping someone does that for you now and again.

(NaBloPoMo day #25. Warming up for ReadWritePoem's prompt #2.)

November 24, 2007

Head Towards Challenge

Easy to avoid,
but much more satisfying
to miss by a hair.

His whole life has seen Mr. D abjuring the easy routes for the ones fraught with bumps and possible peril. As a toddler, he liked nothing better than to walk around and around the trees with the very knobbiest roots. As a kindergartner, he seems happiest when headed straight for an imposing trunk, which he then swerves to miss at the last possible second.

Have I mentioned my grey hair? It's quite lovely, actually.

(Day 24 of NaBloPoMo.)

November 23, 2007

How to Rock Thanksgiving

Stay home. Seriously. Or bad things may happen.

Make sure to wear 3-D glasses and dress in black
when hauling your turkey.

Share the feast prep work.

Keep some butter in your freezer. Because you never know.

Then kick back and listen to Alice's Restaurant.
("Kid, have you ever been arrested?")

Here endeth the lesson.

(NaBloPoMo day #23.)

November 22, 2007

Thankful, Thankful, Thankful

"Can I eat yet?"

"I think this one is the most beautiful."

"Want to see me jump?"

We had a lovely day today. Hope you did, too.

(NaBloPoMo Day 22.)

November 21, 2007

I Kid You Not

I've taken to carrying my camera pretty much everywhere, in part because of my work here in the blogosphere (and I use the term work oh-so-lightly), and because of my experiences of capturing shots I'm grateful for where I would never have predicted there would be any worth taking.

I did leave my camera at home this morning, though, because I was just going to the local Wegman's (in my family everyone says "Weggies") for a few yams, a jar of mincemeat, an onion, and some milk.

I really wish I'd had my camera.

Instead, I'll have to try to describe the scene at the back of the store in words... the refrigerator case between the section marked "Eggs" and the section marked "Yogurt," clearly marked "Butter," but mostly sporting a gaping whole surrounded by ragged clumps of margarine wanna bes. Shoppers hovered in disbelief, sounding Clintonesque (he, not she) in their willingness to stretch the meaning of the word, "out."

"When you say you're 'out' of butter, do you mean that you just haven't put it all out yet, or do you actually mean that you're 'out out," asked one woman. Her voice may have quavered.

A hapless errand-runner frantically reached for his cell phone, "Sweetie," he jammed his finger in his other ear the better to hear, "Yes, I'm here, but there's no butter. Yes, I know you have to bake. Well, there is some Parkay. Should I get that? Sweetie?"

There was no butter to be had. Even the people whose lists didn't include butter slowed down to gawk... it's the first time I've ever seen rubbernecking in a supermarket. Luckily I always stock some in my freezer. Guess I could take a picture of that, but it wouldn't be the same.

Have a happy!

(Day 21 of NaBloPoMo.)

November 20, 2007


Our friend Carmen's rowhouse was one of those burned down in a multihome fire a few weeks ago. Someone in their neighborhood had come up against the hard realities of paying for food and heat and medicine, and tried to tap into the electrical line coming into the houses illegally. They all lost everything.

My friend Karen lost her husband to cancer a few months back, just weeks after losing her father.

My own gratitude is tinged with the sorrow of these heart-rending tragedies.

I'm trying to make sure that the gratitude flows freely.

(Day 20 of NaBloPoMo.)

November 19, 2007

Things That Made Me Smile Today

For most of the day today, our internet access here at home was knocked out. Now it's back. :-)

This morning's rain wanted very badly to be snow. It came down in wet, slurpy, kiss-like splats. As I drove north, it achieved its desire and magically became snow. :-)

A certain someone has finally learned her lesson and bought FOUR quarts of Soy Silk Nog when she had the chance the other day. :-)

The young gentleman and I went shopping at Dick's for new wrestling shoes and he confidently sounded out the name of the store. :-)

Someone I like called me out of the blue. At work, even! :-)

My folks seem to like the idea of an all-family outing to the Philly Holiday Pops. :-)

I got a chance to talk to my dear old friend Claire. :-)

A bunch of cool folks have read and commented on my "I Carry" post. :-)

And on the day I realized I'd been tagged with a book-related meme, I heard a little piece on NPR about the correlation between reading and success in life. :-)

My pillow will be nice and cool when I rest my head on it in a few minutes. :-)

(NaBloPoMo day #19. For real this time.
Yesterday was the 18th. I get ahead of myself.)

November 18, 2007


Here's Mr. D playing Othello vs. the famous Mr. G, one of his good friends and most frequent opponents in the after-school games. I try whenever possible not to rush D out, but to let him stay and finish his game if that's what he'd rather do. So I get to lurk and listen. Games often end with a handshake and the pronouncment, "Good game." I don't think I'll ever get tired of witnessing spontaneous good manners on our son's part.

In addition to wondering idly about the location of my colored ink pads (I had to make a birthday card today with homemade stencils, yikes!) I'm still watching yesterday's music video of our guy's evolution as a bike rider once every couple of hours. And just after I've been grooving on Larry Lessig's TED talk about the necessity of openness and creativity! Gotta love those geniuses at ANIMOTO.

And hey Wendy, I got myself a space in a little "how to" letterboxing session later this year, so yay, I might actually get that particular creative act in gear. And we completely love What Kind of Cat Are You? too!

We're contemplating taking in the Philly Holiday Pops around Christmas this year... anyone have any informal reviews to share? Time to fold the laundry...

(Day 19 of NaBloPoMo.)
(Also, many happy returns to my BFF Claire Dana.)

November 17, 2007

Biking, Not Blogging

Unsure of how many
more days like this we'll have,
we hopped on our bikes.

(Which is more dangerous, Mr. D cutting a smile my way,
or me riding alongside, expensive camera in hand?
Click here to record your vote! Guaranteed chad-free.
And check out the music video!)

November 16, 2007

The Sun and Blossoming

Today began with brilliant sun, so different from the rain and fog of the immediately preceding days. My daily drive to work takes me past a small lake, and I was very tempted to swerve off into the public parking area just to soak up some sun and maybe hear some geese and wind. But I was already running late because a certain small someone was having a chatty morning and does like to share his breakfast time with me. So I imagined the time by the lake shore, and I think that was almost as nice.

~ ~ ~

In between rounds of wrestling tonight (the season starts tomorrow and he can hardly wait!), Mr. D asked me if I thought he would be more like me or more like Tama when he grew up. I wish I could get into the habit of saying, "What an interesting question. Why do you ask?" but so far I can't, so instead I said, "I think it's likely that in some ways you'll do things that remind people of me, and that you'll do other things that remind people of Tama, and that probably, you'll do some things that make people wonder, 'Now where did he get that from?'" I think he smiled a little. In several months, when I've forgotten the conversation entirely, he'll pick up the thread as if he's been mulling it over all that time.

I want so much to be present to his blossoming, both because it's thrilling and because I feel like I'll have some great chances to toss in a little Miracle-Gro here and there. Not that he seems to need much.

(Still posting every day this month. Yawn.)

November 15, 2007

I Carry

There is a phrase in Quakerism that I have found helpful in my life (lots of phrases, actually, but that's maybe another post for another time). The one I'm thinking about today is, "Under the weight of a concern."

There was a time when the daily speech of Friends (Quakers) was markedly different from that of their peers. But although most Friends now speak in a way that is virtually indistinguishable from that of their peers, there are still some telltale phrases, and "under the weight of a concern" is one of them. When a Friend speaks of being "under the weight of a concern," it is in a spirit of empathy as an inducement to action. So while you might be concerned about a loved one's health and leave it at that, if you spoke about being under the weight of such a concern, it could imply a broader degree of feeling, and might lead a listening Quaker to ask you how you were led to proceed, given the weight of your concern.

The concerns I carry, those which I am under the weight of, are in some ways the ones I have chosen, or at least the ones I have chosen to acknowledge. I am under the weight of a concern about the lack of universal health care coverage in my country. I am under the weight of a concern about the stigma still often associated with mental illness. I am under the weight of a concern about the health of our democracy if we come to think of ourselves only as investors and consumers. And what it means, to me, to be under the weight of these things, is that I am willing to move beyond worry. That I will move through the world with the knowledge that I am carrying them.

I will talk, and argue, and listen, and puzzle over these inequities. I will seek greater understanding, I will try to create spaces for collaboration, I will ally myself with others who seem to me to be under the weight of a similar concern. And in carrying these concerns in this way, I will make the only difference I can. Or maybe I should say, the difference only I can.

(Thanks to the good women of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.)

November 14, 2007

American Sentences

Pumpkins held the line
as a stubborn fog vowed
to stay and fight.

The traffic was slow this morning: mostly the
idea of fog.

I swallow my pill, solving one problem, causing another.

We sit in our bedroom, each at our own screen – togetherness?

(American Sentences. Sentences of seventeen syllables,
informed by direct observation,
prompted by the good women
at ReadWritePoem.
Somewhat harder than it looks.
But not as hard as posting every day for a month.)

November 13, 2007

Lost Day

I spent most of the day today in bed with a vicious migraine. Like many migraine-sufferers, I have gradually become my own best advocate when it comes to dealing with these crippling headaches. Slowly but surely, I have figured out my main migraine triggers (intense stress, lack of sleep, too much sun, and too much time between meals), and through keeping an eye on those have been able to feel somewhat more in control of my life. And as these things go, I've been relatively lucky; I rarely suffer from more than one migraine a month, and have never had one that lasted more than 24 hours, unlike some of the folks who piped up in the comments on Judith Warner's recent NYT piece on her migraine struggles.

But today's migraine was the result (I think) of two factors I have less control over: barometric pressure, and a "rebound" effect that sometimes comes from taking the medicine that usually banishes a migraine for good. So when I woke up at 4:49am with a blazing headache and the weird combination of hunger and nausea that goes with my migraines, I pretty much knew I was down for the count.

I curled up in bed, slept when I could, ate when I could stand it, and took a bath when standing up didn't make me dizzy anymore. By 4pm I was feeling almost human again.

And this evening, I wrote up another one of my stories for my Life in Stories Project.

So not an entirely lost day after all!

November 12, 2007

Belonging Haiga

autumn slides in,
defiantly belonging –
brown wedge in the green

(Thanks to the women of One Deep Breath
for their continuing inspiration.
And here I am, blogging about autumn
on the eve of the Winter Haiku 2007 blog's inagural posts!)

November 11, 2007

Woolly Bear

This woolly bear caterpillar was inching her way up the Meetinghouse wall this morning when she lost her purchase and tumbled into the grass. I gently scooped her up and explained to Mr. D that some folks believe that the width of the brown band on a woolly bear is inversely predictive of the length of the coming winter. But then, since this was the first woolly bear I'd seen all year (and maybe his first ever), we didn't have much in the way of comparative data.

"When they're scared, they curl up in a little ball," I continued. "But I'm trying not to scare her."

We were waiting for D's other mom to come and scoop him up. Focusing on the caterpillar helped me not get too stressed out about the time. We also played a round of head stomp shadow tag, in which you try to step on the shadow of your partner's head. This is a game in which it pays to be the shorter player. I lost and lost and lost.

(Posting every day? No problem.
Figuring out what to wear on Monday morning? Sigh.
Cool stuff on Woolly Bears over here and here, if you're curious.)

November 10, 2007

Safe As Houses

A cold and wet November day calls for the building of forts. JT was here all morning and the boys built a doozy. No blanket was spared, no pillow left unsmushed. And look at how cozy it is!

Did you build forts when you were a kid? Most of my strongest fort memories are of the elaborate ones I built in the woods in the foothills at the end of our development. There was something so thrilling about being able to create a habitat that was entirely of my own making. Of his fort today, D said, "It has food, and a place to sleep, and a bathroom... a person could really live here!" (The food and the bathroom were imaginary, but that's obviously beside the point.) Seeing the pride shining in his eyes, I remembered being particularly thrilled when I figured out how to weave some branches together into a semblance of a shelf... even as a child, I included books in my list of the bare necessities.

Marie Howe has a great poem called "The Fort"... if you don't know her work, go snag a copy of What the Living Do. If you're a friend of mine and you don't like it, I'll personally refund your money.

(Blogging every day this month,
and tentatively thinking my toe is on the mend,
thanks for asking.)

November 09, 2007

Left and Right

When my Oma first emigrated to this country from Germany after World War II, she had a lot to learn and a lot to adjust to.

At one point, when she had mastered enough English that she was comfortable going out shopping, she noticed that the young woman ahead of her in line was signing a check with her left hand. My grandmother watched with growing compassion, thinking, "I wonder what happened to that girl?" Then, as she watch the young woman pack her groceries into bags, it slowly dawned on my Oma: there was nothing wrong with the young woman's right hand or arm. She was simply naturally left-handed. In Germany at that time, there was no such thing as a naturally left-handed person.

My Oma told me this story years later, as she watched me, her little left-handed granddaughter, sitting at her dining room table and writing a postcard to my parents. She was thinking that the world had really changed. And she was right.

(Thanks to the women of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.
And thanks to all the people who helped
make naturally occurring left-handedness possible.
As someone commented below,
the non-existence of left-handed people
was the result of active suppression.)

November 08, 2007

My kitchen echoes. I turn my knife over
and scrape the onions into the pot
with the back of my knife, hearing
the friend who taught me to protect my edges.
As I slip the soup into bowls I make out
the faint roar of a distant jet engine –
my lover imported the ladle from Germany,
slipping its stainless steel curves into her suitcase.
I cook with my mother’s dish towel over my shoulder,
listening for my grandmothers’ voices whispering up
from the recipes they wrote on blue-lined index cards.

(Thanks to Jillypoet for the 11-line challenge
and Read.Write.Poem for the spark ("ladle").
Tune in tomorrow for more piping hot content.)

November 06, 2007

Why Vote? Why Blog?

I'm a Democratic committee person in my town, which means that I'm pretty busy on Election Day. My responsibilities include helping to coordinate "get out the vote" efforts, which has gotten a lot easier since the advent of cell phones. I think I spooked a few of my neighbors by calling them about a half hour before the polls closed and reminding them to vote. "How do you know I didn't already vote?" one of them asked. Well, because we have folks who sit and watch the polls all day to make sure that everything's going okay, and one of the things we do as we sit there is keep track of who has voted. Not HOW they've voted, but whether they've voted. Because every vote does still count, at least if we do it right.

The results of any election matter, at the very least to the people who are running for office. But even if you're not "up" on the issues and don't see any significant differences amongst the candidates, voting still matters. Because it's your chance to participate in a conversation. If you feel that the conversation doesn't pertain to you, or doesn't make a difference, you can decide not to vote. But if you hung out long enough with the people who DO think the conversation pertains to them, you might get sucked in.

Blogging is a little bit like that. The internet is FULL of conversation, about pretty much anything under the sun, and you could decide that most of it doesn't pertain to you. But if there's a little corner of your life which is lit by passion, and your life out in the real world doesn't reflect that in quite the way you would like it to, you might be moved to put up a little sign on a lawn somewhere in cyberspace that says, "I'm over here grooving on this." And if you're feeling really brave (or foolish, or attention-seeking, or lonely, or curious), you might tie a Sharpie® marker to a string and hang it from the corner of your sign. Just to see if anyone has any comments.

Since becoming a blogger, I have read books that fellow bloggers have recommended, worn jewelry that bloggers have designed, and gone to art openings in the real world of artists whose work I first discovered through their blogs. I have recorded stories of my daily life as a parent that I am happy to be able to reread several years later. I have gotten good advice. I have been complimented and thanked by people I've never met. I have thought about things in new ways. I have started carrying my camera everywhere. I have deepened my understanding of activism, mindfulness, haiku, and mortality. I have become a little bit more like myself.

(Thanks to Jaxter for her inadvertent inspiration,
and this is my 501st post, how 'bout that?
C'mon back tomorrow for a shorter post.)

November 05, 2007

Autumn Haiku

trees leave
their colors
lying around
for me to pick up

(Bought these pants in April after my luggage
never came home from a trip to Florida, thinking,
"These would be fun in November."
I was right.
And hey, I'm posting every day this month;
can you even stand it?)

November 04, 2007

Loneliness Haiku

everywhere I turn,
a blur of birds
flying away

old friend's phone machine
with the voice of her husband,
now gone

(Thanks to the women of One Deep Breath
for their continuing inspiration.)

Meeting for Living

I spend most Sunday mornings at Quaker Meeting. Today, because of the time change (don't forget the time change!), there will be a few people who show up at Meeting just a few minutes before we are all ready to rise. These folks will arrive and wonder at the deeply "settled" feel of the room... usually at the beginning of Meeting there are just a handful of people, and there may be some rustling and stirring as folks settle into silence. But today, the members of the Church of the Unchanged Clock will sit down, and then in a few minutes will be very confused as the rest of us wind up our time together with a good morning handshake. There's one friend in particular I have in mind to call, because he's been one of those bewildered late-arrivals several times.

I don't always get to Meeting itself. These days I am just as likely to be hanging out with the little people of the nursery. Someone will want me to tell a story, someone else will want to color, and a third small someone will be thinking about snacktime as soon as he toddles through the door. The adults of the Meeting feel a little bad for me if I don't get to go to Meeting for Worship for multiple weeks in a row, and we do rotate through a number of caregivers so that everyone gets some of both.

But a wise Friend once said to me that the older she gets, the more she thinks that the which and how of your spiritual practice matters much less than the why of it. That almost any act, done consciously and with spirit-led intent, can become a spiritual practice. Another Friend half-jokingly said to me once, when I remarked on her absence from Meeting for Worship that day, that she'd been attending Meeting for Gardening.

So sometimes I attend Meeting for Worship, and sometimes I attend Meeting for Storytelling. If I keep working at it (a longterm prospect, to be sure... see also my blogfriend Patti Digh's work at not complaining), maybe someday I'll approach the feeling that I am living in the spirit of Meeting. Meeting for Living.

November 03, 2007


I've been limping for about a week now. Long enough that folks are asking me if I've seen a doctor about it. (No, but I have an appointment for Tuesday.) My left pinkie toe is infected (ewwwww!) and seems to be having trouble healing of its own accord.

Whenever I experience a temporary disability like this, it makes me think and wonder about all the folks whose disabilities are a daily constant. And I also remember the times when I was disabled in a less visible way – my broken jaw, which only showed once someone engaged me in conversation; my broken heart, which showed when I sat down in Meeting for Worship and felt the tears start up again, unbidden.

We all have hidden abilities and disabilities, and it's not a bad thing to be reminded of that. But I would like to be able to walk again without limping.

November 02, 2007

Half undone
oak trees bequeath
their lessons

(Inspired in large measure by my friend Sassafras Mama.
I'm posting every day this month;
how about you?)

November 01, 2007

Filthy Lucre

When I took three years off from waged work in order to stay home with our little man, I was surprised to discover that one of the hardest parts was, well, the lack of wages.

It wasn't that we were desperate for money. (I'm a confirmed miser, so we had some savings, and planned to run through them. One of my friends (bless her heart) said, "Well, if you wouldn't spend savings on that, what would you spend savings on?")

But depending entirely on those savings and the earnings of my partner was really hard on me. I felt like I couldn't buy anything without justifying it to myself six ways from Sunday. And now that I'm back in the work force, paydays are some of my very favorites.

I'm not sure what all this means, but I do think it bears reflecting on. Especially as we think about our son's relationship to money.

When I was growing up, discussing some of the money-related details of life just wasn't done (at least in my WASPish family). If someone asks me what our mortgage payment is, I'm likely to bristle. But surely keeping kids completely in the dark about the financial realities that underpin our lives isn't the way to go, either. I recently had cause to ask my home town credit union how long I've been a member there; my parents opened an account for me when I was six! (I had a bank account once, but have since gone back to credit unions, which I consider to be vastly superior; don't even get me started.)

How do you think about money and parenting? I'd love to hear.

Tag, I'm It

Something possessed me to sign up for another year of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, or some such), so I now join the ranks of sleepy bloggers who begin and end each day desperately seeking to eke out some content from their meagre lives. (Hey, let me know if you think of anything you'd like to see here at But Wait in the next 30 days or so.) Thank goodness for my dear friend Sassafras Mama, who tagged me with this meme a while back:

1) What I was doing ten years ago:
Ten years ago was 1997. I had just left my job of many years, and had started working in my new home state of New Jersey. My partner and I were living together for the first time (in a little 862 square foot faculty apartment), and saving up for a house.

2.) Five years ago:
That would have been 2002, my first full year of being a parent. I had quit working for wages and was staying at home with a certain someone. My best and most challenging job to date.

3) One year ago:
Recovering from Hallowe'en and writing recommendation letters. Kind of like now, actually.

4.) Yesterday:
Hallowe'en! Haunted the halls of my school during the day, reminding kids who need reminding that they have to start essays, finish essays, visit schools, etc. etc. Stopped by the CVS on the way home to snag some Epsom salts so I can continue to nurse my infected toe (ewwww!) back to health. Also snagged some Hallowe'en-themed pencils to use as "bonus prizes" for the really good costumes. Held down the fort here at home while Mr. D and his good friend cased the surrounding streets for prospects of candy and "unicycle money." (Um, that's UNICEF, son.)

5.) 5 snacks I enjoy:
MacIntosh apple slices; homemade air-popped popcorn (like Stacy, no microwave nonsense); chocolate (dark, non-American); Polish-style dill pickle; fresh raisin challah

6.) 5 things I would do if I suddenly had $100 million:
go crazy on Kiva, endow a travel fund for my friends and family, endow the Chinese language program and the Guatemalan service project at Princeton Friends School, work part-time, buy a little retirement house near the water and some great golf courses

7.) 5 locations I would like to run away to:
Provincetown, MA; Vancouver, BC; Prince Edward Island; Asheville, NC; Silver City, NM

8.) 5 bad habits I have:
underestimating people; interrupting folks; leaving lunch-making until the last minute; swearing when I really shouldn't; surfing when I really shouldn't

9.) 5 things I like doing:
brightening the day of friends, getting total strangers to smile, talking to a captive audience (the bigger, the better), traveling on someone else's nickel, reading

10.) 5 TV shows I like:
Ugly Betty; Actor's Studio, West Wing; STTNG; M*A*S*H

11.) 5 things I hate doing:
Hmmm, hate is an awfully strong word. Cleaning out disgusting moldy food stuff that I knew I should have cleaned out last week; losing my things; losing my temper with my son; losing a night to insomnia; losing a day to a migraine

12.) 5 Biggest joys of the moment:
a well-written recommendation letter; spontaneous "thank you's"; hanging out with Mr. D; cooler weather and the resulting snuggle opportunities; good snailmail