December 31, 2008

Deer Haiku

Image: Cindy47452 via Flickr

four more wait, watching,
while this one tests our brakes –
an unhurried deer

December 28, 2008


Since the beginning of the school year, Mr. D has been proclaiming, "T is the nicest boy in our class." For the longest time we've been wanting to invite him over and see for ourselves.

Finally, the winter break nudged the stars into alignment and we were able to get these two young men together for an extended playdate. First, a little outdoor action:

Then, a trip to Ice-Land! Young master T had never been skating before, and was initially skeptical about our offer. Mr. D worked his persuasive charms: "There's a railing you can hold onto. Wear double pants and that way if you fall down it doesn't matter so much. If you don't like it, we can just stop and get cocoa." Finally T gave in. And then, once he got out on the ice, he loved it! He fell over and over again, but was absolutely unbowed, and got better and better, little by little.

Here's T yelling, "I feel like I'm gonna fall!"

And here he is an hour later.
("I want to do this every day," was his parting quote.)
A good time was had by all.

(And we continue to think that Mr. D
has great taste in friends.)

Boxing Day

Boxing Day pretty much equals Lego day at our house.

My help is rarely required, these days.

Sometimes, I help anyway.

(Thanks to the Sassafras Santas
for this particular edition of Boxing Day delight.)


There's nothing quite so sweetly satisfying
as Christmas in your jammies.

Here's T holding up a postcard I made for her
of her "home course" at Anstruther.

Clearly she didn't need anything else. (Good thing, too.)

Mr. D was thrilled with his "big presents" (here he's showing off his much-longed-for Eli Manning jersey; yay, Grammy & Grampy!)

And also quite taken with "found" presents
such as this empty wrapping paper tube.

The surprise smash hit of the morning was
a bag from Santa full of all sorts of disguises.
(Disguise pictures have been removed
at the request of
He Who Prefers His Cover Not Be Blown;
leave a comment if you MUST receive
a disguise picture via email.)

(PS: The new camera seems to be
working out well so far.)

December 26, 2008


I believe in haiku.

I believe in moseying.

I believe in celebration.

I believe that images have power.

I believe in singing. Out loud. Preferably with a friend.

I believe that we should all be permitted to wear what we please.

This last from a gal who has spent the entirety of Boxing Day in her jammies. (When Mr. D and my partner came back from a bike ride into town and back today, he greeted me with a jaunty: "Hello, Pajama Mama!")

I am an opinionated person, with passionate and deeply held beliefs.

I would do well to remember more often that others feel the same way about theirs.

I believe in compassionate listening and reflexive kindness.

And I believe that we are all of us works in progress.

(Thanks to the women of
Sunday Scribblings, who this week
unwittingly gave me an excuse
to go poking about in old posts.
New pics tomorrow, maybe?)

December 25, 2008

Snow, then rain –

the geese arguing loudly


Image: Jacqueline-W via Flickr

(A few Christmas pics
will go up soon, I promise!)

December 20, 2008

Ongoing Traditions

Saturday morning wrestling: year three
(Here, Mr. D is trying to "post up" out of the down starting position.)

Neighborhood caroling: year two

Former neighbors returning for the caroling party: year one

Mr. D waits until hot chocolate cools down
without being prompted to do so:
possibly the first time ever!

(All photos taken w/ my brand new Fuji Finepix F60.
Indoor shots are a little grainy: I haven't used any flash modes yet.
I also haven't read the manual,
which is provided
as a .pdf document on CD.
Will consider the next week or so
this camera's "try out" period.
Stay tuned...)

December 19, 2008


We were going to be late.

And it had already been a long day.

I was pretty sure, having already been introduced to the features of multiple forts in detail, that I could live without a personalized tour of this one.

But as soon as I saw the tears well up in his eyes, I knew I'd need to reconsider.

I turned out that he'd saved the best for last.

This was his treasure shelf, full of things that he had found (or bartered for) over the course of the whole week.

It was difficult to overstate the specialness of each treasure. Each one had a story.

I stood listening, awash in memories of what it felt like to treasure the found.

And I let go of "late."

(Thank you to the women
of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.)

December 18, 2008

Real Life Conversations

Mr. D: Let Tama pitch. She's a great pitcher. She can throw it to heaven.

Then, a little later: Here, Mama, you can have this last bite. I know you like crusts.

Me: Thank you, sweetie, that's very kind of you.

A few minutes later:

Mr. D: You know, it's a little bit harder to be kind to the people in your family.

Me: Really? How so?

Mr. D: Well, you can't say things like, "So how was your day?" because you were with them, so it doesn't make sense to ask.

Me: So you mean that some of the ways of kindly showing interest aren't really available to you if you're talking about family members?

Mr. D: Right. (pause) But kisses and hugs do the trick.

Update: Yes, he actually said "do the trick." And yes, we are the luckiest moms ever.

December 16, 2008

Jay Smooth's take

(about 3 minutes)

It's not that I don't have thoughts of my own today.

It's just that I am grateful for his.

Interesting stuff.

December 10, 2008


A few years ago, I put myself on a lifetime t-shirt restriction. Simply put, I do not allow myself to purchase t-shirts. I have enough t-shirts that I could probably wear a different one every day all summer without repeating.

I do graciously accept gifts of t-shirts. And thus my problem continues to grow.

Just now, as I was wading through my RSS feeds, I came across this idea via the Alternative Consumer site... up-cycling! (Taking a used item and re-purposing it to make it even more useful than it was before.)

The picture above is from an Etsy shop that specializes in giving your old treasured t-shirts new life as a blanket.

So. Cool.

That's all I wanted to say, really. A girl's gotta get dressed for work, and all.

December 08, 2008

Funky Pretty Sale!

Every year, while packing for our two weeks of tent camping on Cape Cod, I "forget" my earrings. This creates a situation in which I need to buy new earrings, thus enabling me to bypass my naturally self-sacrificing ways.

Designer Deb Panish's work is one of the treats of my vacation. The buyer at the little shop on Wellfleet who stocks her jewelry clearly shares my aesthetics. And I've just received an email from Deb herself, telling me that she's giving wholesale prices to anyone who places an order of $50 or more.

So. Check out Deb's work via the teaser page here. And let me know -- via comment or email -- if you need the wholesale login info. Support an independent artist, make some folks you love happy, AND get a great deal! Woo hoo!

The Point vs. The Field

(It's an old picture;
I wasn't out in shorts today, I assure you!)

The pavement on our street is in terrible shape. And apparently the Township engineers have reason to believe that the pipes underneath it aren't much better. So tonight a bunch of us trooped down to the Twp. Municipal building to hear what's in store for us. I wasn't there. But T's notes look pretty comprehensive, so here's what I know:

The proposed project includes both reshaping, repairing, and resurfacing roadways as well as renovating our sewer lines.

A township sewer main runs down the center of our street. There is a 4'-6' copper pipe that runs from each house that they're not worried about. The longer pipes, or laterals, which run the rest of the way from the houses to the main are clay, with a life expectancy of about 25-40 years. They were installed between 1941 and 1943. Thus our little sewer project:

1) Install "cleanouts" on our lines to enable them to access it from outside the houses

2) Inspect laterals w/ a TV camera to assess for damage/degredation. (We'll be billed for about $150 / house for this.)

3) Most laterals are expected to be in need of replacing; concern is actually more about groundwater getting INTO the pipes than about anything leaking out. We are trying to reduce our inflow to the Stony Brook regional sewer system. Clay laterals will be replaced with thick plastic pipe, which is expected to last 100 years. (Of course, that's what they said about clay and galvanized steel at the time, too, but never mind...) Existing pipes will be removed via a trenchless, pipe "burst" method.

4) The Township guarantees the installation for 10 years.

5) In January we'll get an assessment (NOT a bill). This is just a statement to help the Township set aside the appropriate funding. When the fees are assessed, they'll be payable over 10 years. Estimated at about $110/foot.

Other notes:
  • The timing of this is probably in our favor; not many jobs going out for bid in this economy means that we'll get lots of competitive bids.
  • Sump pumps must not be tied into the sewer system.
  • We should start trying to teach our kids NOW to resist the urge to yank out the little flags the Township engineers leave poking out of the ground.
  • Work slated to start around April, should take 75-90 days to complete.
  • There will be a follow-up meeting with the selected contractor to address issues of access to our homes during the roadwork
  • Lateral sewer pipe replacement should take about 1-2 days/house
  • The sewer improvement should not have an impact on our taxes, although the associated road improvements might.
  • Curbing is an "all or nothing" proposition. If everyone on the street wants it, it runs about $26/linear foot, again assessed over a ten year period. But it's up to us to decide (as a street) whether we want curbing.
The most interesting part of the meeting? (For me, who wasn't even there.)

Our street joins another street in a kind of hairpin turn, and there's a section of public land where the two streets come together. Over here on our street, that land is universally known as "the point." But if you grew up on the next street over, you call it "the field." How's THAT for some extremely localized linguistic ethnography?!

December 07, 2008

Slice of Life

It's been a lovely weekend.

I've been baking biscotti and calling old friends. (If you're feeling starved for visuals, you can check out last year's post.)

My lovely partner and I took in a fabulous jazz concert last night and then walked home in the season's first snow.

Our son is downstairs hard at work at a mysterious elf project with his beloved Aunt Chelle.

And even though I wasn't able to attend writer Zadie Smith's talk at the NYC public library last night, I can listen to the whole thing from the comfort of my laptop.

You could, too, if you liked (click on her name below):

Zadie Smith (53 minutes; make a cup of tea)

(Hat tip to Heidi Durrow!)