Moving in slow motion, or not at all

Sparrow keeping a hand on Douglas last week, when he was feeling cruddy one night and ended up in our bed too. I’m lying in bed sick, recovering from some kind of bug yesterday that involved fever and puking, thankfully mostly during the night though.  My boys brought me a snack in bed this morning, which stayed down, and my husband got home in time to take over for the rest of the day, so glad for that!  I’m starting to feel human, and the house is quiet as they just left for the library. 
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Things Seen, Heard, and Mused Upon ...

If you’ve wandered the web today, you likely came across some black-out sites.  Self-censored in protest of the SOPA and PIPA legislation currently before the US congress, which will end up allowing censorship of the web (among other things) if it goes through.  Please check it out, and do something if you can. 


I saw Pina last night, a 3D movie about the choreographer Pina Bausch.  I knew nothing about her prior to going, other than seeing the trailer several times.  It was beautiful, full of raw emotional dance that was almost painful to watch.  I loved it, but was a bit unsettled by it. 

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“As If” – The Limitlessness of Play (by Jocelyn)

I was fortunate enough to attend NYU for my MFA in Acting under the legendary theater director, Zelda Fichandler.  Zelda taught a class for the first years called, The Actor’s Space, which I later came to realize was an in-depth exploration into our Imagination. We created one-person shows which she called Universe Projects and performed them just for the other 17 members of our class and, of course, Zelda.  We learned intimacies about each other, in an instant of mime, mask or music that would have taken years to reveal, and which would make our work as an ensemble incredibly strong.  Every day there would be another brave sharing of personhood.  And ironically, the more specific the work, the more universally we all felt it.

And then the games began.  Zelda led us in the kind of theater games that rely on the trust an actor has in her ability to play. It was like a wonderful regression to kindergarten, where what you make-believe teaches you about the world and yourself, and you don’t even know it. 

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Deciding what, and when, to eat ...

Some of my cookbooks … most often used are the binders at the left, full of internet-based recipes, followed closely by Nourishing Traditions and the New Basics Cookbook. I’m finally facing up to something that I’ve been avoiding for a very long time.  Many of the issues/confrontations/frustrations in this house are related to food.  Not specifically the kind of food (other than frequent begging for dessert which I don’t offer every day) but What to make for any given meal, and getting it made before everyone is too hungry to think or even get along at all.  I don’t plan ahead, or buy prepped food either, and it sucks for all of us.
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Laying Down My Wand Day ... is today!

Bridget has declared it so, and I like it. 

A day when we all kick back and appreciate that we are doing our best and that more often than not, our best is good enough. A day when we acknowledge all of those around us who are doing the same. One day a year where we proudly wear the crown of best wife, mother, daughter and friend. One when guys can be the best husband, father, son and friend. A day when we all make a secret pact to be happy with who we are. (And if we aren’t, we’ll promise to do better.)

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The Dishrack Wars

Yes, they’re clean in my book, despite the need for some steel wool …

Dish washing is a chore in our house which technically falls to whoever didn’t make dinner, but in reality it’s usually whoever doesn’t put the kids to bed.  I make dinner, he puts the kids to bed, and at least half the time I wash the pile while he tackles the kids and wrestles them into bed.  Somehow over the years though it’s evolved into a wee competition.  Not the washing part (he does it more thoroughly, no question, but I get it done faster) but the stacking part. 

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Lay Down Your Wand Day ... (guest post by Bridget)

I think people in general, but particularly women, are always trying to improve themselves. As the author of “Searching for My Wand”, a novel based on a woman named (incorrectly)  after Glinda the Good Witch, I have given this a great deal of thought. We want to be the best wife, the best mom, the best friend, etc. If we could just find a magic wand, all of our problems would be solved, right? Kids misbehaving? Poof! A tap of your wand and they are instantly smiling and going off to entertain themselves for a while. Husband complaining because he asked you to do something and you got busy and forgot? Poof! A tap of your wand and he’s all hugs and apologies for not having taken into account all that you do. Buried deep in an underground lab somewhere, there has to be a group of scientists working on this, don’t you think? It would solve everything.
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A quick look back, and a happy New Year!

The boys got a huge kick out of sounding the steam whistles themselves … nothing like boys getting to make super-loud noises in the middle of the night!

Happy 2012 to you all!  We rang in the new year last night with our annual tradition of going to the steam whistle extravaganza down the street at the Pratt Institute (deets and video in the link).  It’s great fun for all, and participation is encouraged so the boys had a ball pulling the cords to blast the things off, listening to the calliope, and running around like maniacs playing with balloons. 

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I hope my thoughts can become this clear ...

I love the starkness of bare branches …

How’s your year finishing up?  Mine is ending with a bit of a slump, but we’re moving along and I have to go feed 4 crazy hungry boys so any further thoughts will have to wait.  I hope for clarity, and perhaps some reflection on the past 12 months will help.  Cheers.

For the love of visitors ...

We’ve had family here for most of the last week, and it’s been delightful.  Cousins the same age to play together, and my sis all to myself!  Best kind of holiday/birthday present in my book.  I let my birthday slip by on Sunday with GF cayenne-chocolate cupcakes at the end of our holiday open-house, and that was all the recognition I wanted.  Breakfast in bed thanks to Douglas was a huge treat the next morning too!

The two yahoos in the pic above managed to compete each other into a frenzy of yes-no-yes-no-yes-no more times that I can count, but they do come by it honestly :).  Aside from party planning and cleaning and such, we did manage to make some forays out in the city to take a break from the massive Risk games and fort-building going on a home.

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The polarization of the holidays


I’ve started to see a trend in the holiday season, and this year is proving no exception.  You know the whole “holiday spirit” thing, and how people are supposedly friendlier and cheerier in general during the month of December? In the last few weeks I’ve had experiences on the bus, the subway, and in the post office, that make me doubt the overall pervasiveness of this fairy dusting of cheer. Sure it’s there for many, and real, but I’m seeing the other side of things too.

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of boys and trees and friday night fun

no, they weren’t at all excited …We managed to get the tree bought, up, and trimmed in one night, a miracle for us!  Our only holiday tradition seems to be that we don’t ever do it the same way twice, and sometimes don’t do (the tree bit) at all.  This is a tree year however, and we did make ornaments so Friday night was the designated purchase/haul home evening. 
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Orn(ery)ament tutorial, as promised.

70’s photos? nope, just my inkjet running low again. I swear I get 15 pages before it craps out …

I made noises last week about an ornament tutorial, but of course it turned into a long-standing project that got shoved aside, and I only took a few pics.  How many of you have any intentions (still) of being crafty and making some personalized ornaments while sipping hot chocolate, listening to soothing holiday music, and everyone laughing and talking happily?  I thought not.  Not to be grinchy, but finishing up the ornaments last night turned into me making most of them, the boys drawing a few cats and a turtle for me, and then spending the rest of the time making popcorn and stringing it with Dad.  More fun than fiddly ornaments for sure! 

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Is your holiday calendar empty enough?

Today’s crafty moment : Glass “bracelets” so we can tell whose is whose. This time of year can be utterly chaotic, with the invitations and obligations tripping over each other to make a tangled web of shoulds and coulds.  It can cause tension and drama, but I hope that’s not happening to you?  My life has changed enough in the last couple of years that it’s now easier to follow the KISS principle, mostly thanks to homeschooling.  We have a cello party this week, and our own holiday party next week, but other than that the calendar is pretty clear of obligations on our part, and has left room for family and friends to come visit which I’m really looking forward to :).
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I hate the mirror ...

Douglas with his first design… and I’m not talking about the one hanging over my bathroom sink, though I don’t often love what I see there either.  I’m referring to that thing that happens when your mood, no matter what it is, is reflected by your kids.  It’s like taking a bad mood and amping it up x10, because that’s what seems to happen.  It’s not just a reflection, it’s an explosion! I get frustrated and speak sharply, or yell, and they start fighting with each other, whining, and talking back.  And then there’s the real wince when I hear my own tone, that harsh and nasty tone, coming right out of my son’s mouth.  I hate it when that happens!
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Would you like some ... super easy and scrumptious biscuits?

I think I’ve made these beauties three times in the last week, and they get better every time.  They’re Almond Flour Drop Biscuits, courtesy of a beautiful and new-to-me blog called Roost.  Before I send you over to her for the complete recipe though, as I didn’t ask permission first, just let me say they’re utterly and moistly delicious (almost cake-like in texture), take 5 minutes to make and 15 to bake, and have all of 6 ingredients.  I don’t doubt you have 5 of them already in your kitchen, and the less-common almond flour is getting easier to find by the day, and is (believe me!) worth every stinkin penny that you pay for it.  I used to begrudge that entire stick of butter that went into my wheat-flour biscuits anyway, as we could easily use another whole stick of liquid gold when the batch was consumed, along with those requisite drips of honey.  These beauties have the sweetener hidden inside, and just need a dab of butter once they’re out of the oven.  They’re also healthy, and GF and dairy-free if it matters to you.  Last thought before I send you over … I’ve made them with both olive oil and coconut oil, and the coconut oil ones taste an awful lot like coconut macaroons, should you find that appealing.  So head on over to the recipe here at Roost, and scroll past her drool-worthy photos to get to the recipe at the bottom.  Trust me, it’s worth it!

On holidays and allergies and food ...

Holidays seem inextricably linked with food, which makes it joyous for some, torturous for others, and probably a mix of both feelings for most of us.  Spending more time in the kitchen, cooking things that you don’t make any other time of year, and eating more often and more heavily than usual.  It’s tough to keep it simple, and for many it becomes a depressing struggle with weight.  How is it going for you so far this season?

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