Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Plan

"Mom, wouldn't it be cool if Teddy lived long enough to meet my kids?"

"It would. Are you planning on having kids soon?"

"No. After college I'm going to live with the guys in a guys' apartment for awhile and then I'm not sure. I do know that part though. I mean, I'm only six and three-quarters."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

May I?

"Bob, may I please have some of your ice cream?'

"No... I mean yes... I mean okay... I mean sort of... Like... Maybe some but not a lot?"

"Sure about that?"

"No... I mean yes... I mean come on, Mom."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Making the Most of It

"Bob, it's getting late. We need to leave the park in five minutes."

"Okay! Only five minutes left for destruction, you guys!"

Monday, February 25, 2013

Scene From Aisle Five

"Mom? Can I get this chocolate?"

"No, not today."

"How about this one?"

"No, Bob. Come back."

"But, Mom!"

"Bob, now please."


"Robert, I will dance in this aisle. I mean it. All around you."

"Stop! No! Okay! I'm coming!"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Train of Thought

"Mom? Can you buy books at the library?"

"Our library actually does have a used book store upstairs, but usually you just borrow books from a library."

"Well I think we're going to have to figure out a way to buy The Hobbit. It's long and we're not done yet."

"That's okay. We can re-new it."

"Oh, that's a good idea... also when you cut my fingernails at nighttime I think we should call it finger-night."

Thursday, February 21, 2013


"Mom, can I open the organic box?"


"Is this kale?"


"What's this thing?"

"That's fennel. Dad puts it in that really good potato leek soup he makes."

"These are just oranges."

"Actually those are called blood oranges. The inside of them is red."

"Mom? This is almost like learning."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


"Mom, what's your favorite thing?"


"Besides me and Dad and people and animals, I mean things."

"I like books..."



"You like books but I don't think they're your very favorite."

"What's my favorite?"

"Coffee and naps."

"I think you're right."

"I think I am too."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brokedown Palace

It started with the DVD player. It only worked sporadically and after awhile, we had to pick it up and shake it to make it play. Then it stopped working at all. It was a VCR/DVD combo which should tell you something about its age.

Soon after, my laptop stopped holding a charge and now will only work if it's plugged in.

Last weekend, Jeff went running and took a spill. He scraped up his left leg and his right hand landed  on his iPhone, his iPhone landed on the sidewalk. His hand and the phone both still work but the phone screen is cracked.

We bought our vintage chesterfield sofa from a couple in Silverlake last year. The couch itself is sturdy but the cushions had a lot of mileage on them. I finally brought them to Salvador the upholsterer in Highland Park. He promised they'd be done in a week. That was six weeks ago. Meanwhile, we're sitting on an old blanket on the couch frame.

The Check Engine light is on in Jeff's Honda and one of the headlights is burned out. The heater smells like wet dog.

On Thursday, the microwave shorted out, taking the electricity on the north side of the kitchen with it. I re-set the breaker so the electricity is back but the microwave is done microwaving.

Four out of five bulbs in the light fixture over the dining table burned out in one day.

My friend Karen accused us of "going Amish."

Friday morning, we woke up covered in feathers. The dogs had chewed into the down comforter and its cover during the night and we were feathered in the process. We looked at each other, covered in down and knew, we'd had enough.

A trip to Target took care of quite a few things. A new couch was ordered online and our beloved chesterfield is taking residence in the rehearsal space in our garage. We dropped Jeff's car off at the mechanic today. One trip to the Apple store ought to take care of the rest. (And now you know everything we're doing with our tax refund.)

We're set until that one week, a few years from now, when this all goes down again.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Whole Story

"Mom, earlier I got stuck in the closet because I went in there to see if my vampire teeth would glow in the dark and they sort of do but then the door shut all the way and me and Daisy were stuck in there because the knob wouldn't turn and I was yelling for you but you couldn't hear me because you were in the garage and then all of a sudden the vampire teeth got sort of scary but I got the door open and we got out and now I'm scarier than the teeth even though I don't glow in the dark because I'm bigger and they're just plastic teeth from Chuck E. Cheese, not from a real vampire."

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Overheard On the Playground

"Bob and Felix, I have a game for us to play."

"What is it Desmond?"

"It's a really good game, but first we're going to need glasses that can see into the future."

"That sounds like an awesome game, you guys."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Hearts

"Mom, did you know Adam K. is giving me a special Valentine today? He told me he was."

"What kind of special?"

"It's a BFF Valentine."

"Do you know what BFF stands for, Bob?'

"Best Friends Forever - or maybe at least until next Valentine's Day."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


"Come one, Bob! Let's play Galactic Lawyers!"

"Okay, you play the robber, GeonHee."

"But wait there's no good guy..."

"Bob? Come here a minute?"

"Yeah, Mom?"

"Are you playing Galactic Lawyers?"

"No, Mom. Galactic Warriors."

"Oh. I thought GeongHee said Lawyers and that would be outstanding."

"He kind of has an accent, Mom."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yesterday Morning

"Quick into the car. We don't want to be late for school."

"Okay, Mom. Let me just move my backpack over the seat," Bob said as we pulled out of the driveway. Then we hit a bump.

"What was that, Mom?"

"I don't know."

And then I saw her: a big gray cat. She ran up the driveway and settled under the yellow rose bush. I stopped the car and ran to her. She was laying down, breathing hard. I pet her head.

"Little gray kitty, are you okay, Baby?"

She look at me. Her breathing eased and then it seemed to stop.

"Oh no, Kitty. Oh, no. Oh, no. Kitty!"

"Mom, what's going on?"

"Just stay in the car, Bob." I picked up the cat and brought her to the car, resting her in the passenger seat. I dropped Bob at school on the way to the animal hospital.

The tech ushered me into a small room. She checked the cat for a heartbeat. The tech looked up and shook her head.

"She must have been sleeping under our car. I didn't see her."

"I'm so sorry. That's horrible. How would you like us to take care of it?"

"Can we have her cremated? At least we can bury her in the yard next to some other nice animals."

"Sure. I have the form here. She doesn't have a collar or a micro-chip. Do you want to name her, or leave that part blank?"

"Well... she did run to the rose bush, so I guess, Rose?"

"Rose. That's a sweet name. Sign right here."

I pet Rose on the back.

"I'm sorry, Rose. I'm really sorry."

I cried the whole way home. I cried for Rose.

Monday, February 11, 2013


"Dad where are we? There's no traffic or buildings."

"We're just getting off the freeway here and making a right."

"Now we're in a neighborhood."


"Okay, now there's stores and everything, I guess."

"I told you."

"Hey, Mom? Is Dad going the right way?"

"I heard that."

"Sorry, Dad... But, Mom is he?"

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Smacksy Sunday Links

You should be reading my friend Dera's blog Casablanca because it is wonderful.

This tumblr has pretty pictures of nice things. I'm a fan.

And a beautiful "bird ballet" by starlings.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hiding Places

"Bob! What is all this behind the couch?"

"Oh... that's just where I... um... put my broccoli and stuff."

"How long have you been hiding food back here?"

"It's not all the food, Mom. Just the stuff I don't want."

"Yeah, I get it. I've got to tell your dad about this."

"Don't tell Dad. That's tattling."

"It's not tattling, it's parenting."

"Don't do parenting."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Field Tripper

"Bob, I found out I'm going to be a chaperone on your field trip tomorrow."

"What's a chaperone?"

"A chaperone is someone who comes along to help and make sure everything's okay."

"So like if someone barfs?"

"I guess so."

"Or poos themselves?"

"I think we're going to have fun."

"Sounds like it."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sweet Dreams

He's finally sleeping alone in his own bed. (Alone with Teddy.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Zombie Guy

"Zombie! I'm a zombie you guys!"

"Ahhhhhh! Zombie! Run everyone! Bob's a zombie!"

"I'm a zombie! I eat brains! Brains! Brains... you guys? Where'd you go? Desmond? Felix? You guys? Guys! I'm not really a zombie! Seriously! I'm super not a zombie!"

Monday, February 4, 2013

This Old House

The house we live in was built 101 years ago. The wood floors talk when we walk them and are especially noisy near the big brown chair. Surrounded by trees, this place has temperamental plumbing and the garage holds secrets of the people who have lived here before us.

The front porch smells of the sweet olive hedge and the redwood on the other side of the fence.
The dirt under Bob's window holds the buried ashes of pets we have loved, marked with seashells and orange roses. Sunshine warms the lemon trees and hydrangea bushes and burns through the west facing windows at sunset.

The fireplace, long blocked, is filled with books. Each morning we find a family of crickets in our bathtub. We carry them outside to the safety of the backyard, and yet they return again each day.

We are living our days inside these walls and I am so grateful.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Smacksy Sunday Links

Mimi Thorisson is living my other life in the French countryside. Gorgeous.

Beautiful thoughts on 8 Happy Ways to Spend 80 Years.

It's menswear. It's a dog. It's Menswear Dog and it's brilliant.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Ground Hog Day

I don't remember if we're supposed to want to see his shadow or not but I hope your Saturday is terrific either way.

Friday, February 1, 2013


"Before we go to the park we need to swing by the store. We're out of coffee."

"You don't need coffee to live, Mom."

"No, I don't but I prefer to live with it."

"I know. I feel that way about Lego Lord of the Rings."