Monday, December 11, 2017

Bound


At the end of every year since she started her blog, my terrific friend Nancy Davis Kho has her posts from the previous year bound into a keepsake book by the company Blog2Print. (This is not a paid post.) I've often thought about following her lead, but never got around to it. Finally, I started the process.

My first book showed up today. It is from 2009, my first year of writing Smacksy. It is hardbound and glossy and beautiful and it is 341 pages long. It is the first in the volume of the story of Bob's childhood and our family and when I first opened the pages, I cried.


I can hold all of this time in my hands.




Sunday, December 10, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: 79 Cents Worth of Happiness


I didn't need this happy little package of birthday candles from the Thai market, but I kind of did. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Leaning


I haven't quite captured it in this photo, but the tree is, as Mr. Rosenberg calls it, "copping a lean." It's currently hovering around a 60° angle and headed towards 30°. These two are responsible, of course. I'm not exactly sure what happens when we're out of the house, but that's probably best.






Thursday, December 7, 2017

Rocks


Today I volunteered at the Holiday Craft Workshop for the last time in my Elementary School Volunteer Mom career. My assigned table was dedicated to the creation of pet rocks. I did my time with felt squares, pompoms, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes of assorted sizes. And it was grand.


(I've been getting some questions about the fires. The wildfires here in southern California rage on, but save for a little smoke, we have been fortunate to not be affected so far. XoXo)






Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How Lovely Are Thy Branches


I usually end up decorating the tree by myself. Mr. Rosenberg will hang the lights and Bob will put up an ornament or two and then move on. This year was a new deal. Since ye olde shoulder is not great, this guy took it upon himself to decorate the whole tree. There was hot chocolate and Christmas music and a little story about each ornament. Assuming my shoulder is 100% next season, I still might fake it anyway.



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pals


The smoke detector went off tonight due to another battery situation. Teddy hates the sound of the smoke detector. (Who can blame him?) He ran out to the back porch as soon as the door opened and wouldn't come back in. He wouldn't even come in for a dog snack I waved wildly in the air while I encouraged him to come in an annoying sing-songy voice. (Who can blame him?)

Levi went out to get him and ran in and out four times to show him it was ok. Teddy wouldn't budge so Levi gave up and just stayed out there to keep him company. Now neither of them will come in.

Have a good evening.



Monday, December 4, 2017

The Tinsel Tree


For quite some time, I've been looking for a little tree to house the glass bird Christmas ornaments I've been collecting for the past thirty years. Last summer I found this little tinsel number. I set it up this evening on the piano and it's making me very happy.





Saturday, December 2, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Super


I am always astonished that wherever, whenever we are, we look up and all see the same moon.


Friday, December 1, 2017

I Still Dream I Live in the Villa Carlotta


In 1992, I was looking for a new apartment. I was specifically looking in Hollywood near my job on Ivar Ave just south of Hollywood Boulevard. I found myself looking at an apartment in a building called the Villa Carlotta on Franklin. It was beautifully shabby in an artsy old Hollywood way. The apartment that was available had a murphy bed and a Juliette balcony overlooking the garden patio in the center of the building. Pets were allowed. I wanted it.

I was offered the place. Then I told the manager I had a labrador. They only allowed small pets. Stella was too big for the Villa Carlotta. I soon found a place in another old building that would accept me and Stella, six blocks away on Argyle Ave. It was fine, but it wasn't the Villa Carlotta.

Since then, a handful of times a year, I have dreams that take place in that apartment I never lived in. I had another of those dreams just recently. I searched for more information about the building. This article describes it well. This one is fascinating.  This has some great photos. This article gives an update.

Oh, Villa Carlotta. I wonder if she dreams of me too.




Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bob Doesn't Have a Phone


Bob doesn't have a phone but sometimes I let him use mine to text his friends. When he does, it looks like this.



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Paths


This grassy path was more beautiful that the linoleum path from the waiting room to the MRI room at the radiology place. I've been on each in the past two days and so grateful for both.






Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Me and Dr. H: Today's Appointment


"So, how'd you hurt your shoulder?"

"Lifting my carry-on into the overhead compartment."

"They have a thing now called checking your baggage."

"I don't know. Sounds fancy."

"It's very fancy. And you have a torn rotator cuff. I'm writing a prescription for an MRI."

"The last time I had one of those I sort of freaked out. I swore if I ever had to get another MRI, I was going to need you to prescribe some heroin."

"I'll do what I can."

"I don't understand how this happened. I'm still in my 20s."









Monday, November 27, 2017

The Silver Smile


"Your mouth might be pretty sore again after the orthodontist, babe. Maybe we should pick up some soft food for your dinner."

"Yeah, we definitely should."

"What do you have in mind?"

"How about macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and ice cream? Maybe some strawberry yogurt. Oh, and that banana smoothie juice drink."

"Isn't that just a list of all your favorite foods?"

"No. I didn't say tacos. Oh! And soft tacos. Let's get those."











Saturday, November 25, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

These Two


When these guys aren't busy eating upholstered items, they're really quite delightful.



Thursday, November 23, 2017

This Year


"Bob, when you're older and you look back on this Thanksgiving, and you might, I hope you'll say, 'When I was eleven years-old, my mom decided for the first time ever, she couldn't cook Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday and she loved cooking. We had gone shopping during the week to a bunch of different stores to get all the right ingredients. She had made Thanksgiving dinner so many times before, she didn't even need a list. That year, on the Wednesday when she would always make the pies, she just couldn't. She said there was no real reason, she was just tired and didn't have it in her. 

"So that night, we went to the store as it was closing and picked out little plastic cartons of pre-made Thanksgiving food - enough for ten people. We filled up a whole shopping cart. My mom wanted her friends and family over and she wanted the celebration even though she needed to change her part of it. I was disappointed because I thought I would get to help out in the kitchen. I was sad and afraid it would all be different. The one thing she didn't buy pre-made was the whipped cream. She let me pour the carton of cream into the big blue bowl and use the hand mixer to whip it up. I got to lick the beaters.

"On Thanksgiving day, everyone came over and we sat around the big table on the back porch and Pops said grace and we talked and ate and laughed and it was just like normal. It tasted a little different but we were grateful and people we love were there. It was still Thanksgiving and it was still good.'"

"Yeah, mom. I will totally say that."












Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's Mademoiselle Magic Stuffing Time


In 2009, I first posted the recipe for my beloved Mademoiselle Magic Stuffing. It has become an annual tradition. Enjoy the original post here. I'm off to try to figure out where Von's is hiding the dried currants this year.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday


"Hello?"

"Good morning, Mrs. Rosenberg. Robert was scheduled for an appointment with us at 9:00am."

"Oh. What time is it now?'

"9:20am."

"I'm so sorry. It's the first day of Thanksgiving break and I... uh..."

"Are you available this afternoon?"

"I think we...?"

"We'll see you at 4:00pm."

"Bob!"

"I'm making you another coffee, Mom."


















Friday, November 17, 2017

The Tri-Fold


Thursday 11:11pm

"Bob just found out about this when?"

"He came home from school today and told me the project needed to be on a tri-fold. It was in the instructions we read a few weeks ago but we both forgot."

"Wait a minute - I thought we were going newer photos to older photos."

"I did. That's me at the top of my side. I'm just older so everything's in black and white."

"I need to re-do my side."

"I think we should have used construction paper under the photos for more color. Old color."

"Was 'midnight tri-fold' in our vows?"

"I did the Island of the Blue Dolphins diorama last year when you were out of town so technically the tri-fold should be all you."

"I love you forever for not enforcing that."









Thursday, November 16, 2017

7 Minutes


Dear Lady,
So, we just want to say thanks for getting us these glorious couch blankets to eat. The seven minutes you were gone dropping Bob off at school just now were long. Like, really long. We were super bored without any delicious throw pillows or dog beds to jam into our canine mouth-holes. The blankets aren't as bouncy and rippable as the pillows/beds were, but we made do. The fun tassels on the corners were especially chewy and delightful. In a show of our appreciation we've redecorated a bit and we hope you'll enjoy what we've done with the place.
Forever your servants,
Levi and Teddy



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Practice


There was a time I used to think baseball was boring. That was before I understood all of the slow moving parts are just a build up for when The Most Unbelievable Play of All Time Happens. And sometimes it just keeps happening. You just have to wait for it. This makes baseball the opposite of boring.

Now I know.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday Night


"Mom, why can't I stay home alone tonight? That thing's not for kids. I don't get why I have to go to a school board meeting."

"You don't have to go, you get to go."

"Really, Mom? That's how you're selling it?"






Monday, November 13, 2017

Back in the Bleachers


I took two excellent trips in the last two weeks. "Excellent" in this case is the strongest word I can think of without sounding hyperbolic, even though saying things like "life changing" would be true. I am also happy to be home.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Unblinking


Sometimes you get a magnificent ten hours of sleep while a giant horse head stares at you. It's not the same kind of sleep you get when there is a very tall man and two enthusiastic, snoring dogs in your bed. (And sometimes a very tall eleven year-old boy-child.) The horse bed is supremely comfortable but you are always aware that the crowded bed is better.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Buttermilk Sky


Mr. Rosenberg took this photo a few days ago. I think this is what is called a buttermilk sky. I am making an appointment with myself to grab a blanket and lay down in the backyard and watch the next time I see one of these overhead. I think I need to make sky-watching a thing. My new thing. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Le Chien


While I was out of town last week, my sweet Levi experienced a smidge of ennui. He moped around. He slept on my side of the bed, on my pillow even. He smoked a pack of Gitanes. He drank café Americanos he made himself in the one cup, stovetop espresso maker. He wrote cryptic haiku on rumpled cocktail napkins and listened to hours of Edith Piaf (on vinyl). He was too shrouded in a certain malaise to even bark at the mailman.

Please don't tell him I'm leaving again in the morning. Let us have this night.








Tuesday, November 7, 2017

He Has a Point


"Mom? I really, really don't want to go to school today."

"Because?"

"Because sometimes it's boring and some things are hard."

"You have just described life. But sometimes it's fun and sort of great too, right?"

"I guess."

"Without the boring and hard parts the fun and great parts wouldn't be special anymore, they'd just be regular."

"That sounds like a pretty good regular."

"Yeah, I guess it does."

"You can try again on that one, Mom."




Monday, November 6, 2017

This One


I was out of town the last five days. I missed all of my guys. All of my guys missed me too, but only this one couldn't be persuaded to go on his evening walk with Mr. Rosenberg. Levi wouldn't leave my side.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Friday, November 3, 2017

Provenance


I'm on board with the one in, one out approach to keeping down clutter. Replacing instead of adding belongings is especially important because all two not small adults, one giant eleven-year-old, and two medium-ish dogs of us are sharing one 864 square foot house.

And yet... and yet. How do I account for the overflowing travel mug/water bottle cabinet? These two beat-to-hell water bottles do not "spark joy." They have ceased to be useful or beautiful and they are still here.

A much younger Bob created the Harry Potter and goldfish/baseball/scratch-that-out-and-start-that-triangle-over-right-here artwork on the bottles, but we have a lot of Bob's artwork. The bottles are leaky and smell like the indoor pool at the Y.

These bottles have been carried around in a Star Wars lunch box. They have been battered inside a Little League baseball bag. They have been used to dig sand and hold weeds that are pretending to be flowers. They are not history themselves but are witnesses.

I remind myself that I am a witness too as I carefully place the bottles in the trash.




Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dog Parking


Ted and Levi appear to enjoy their No Concept of Personal Space policy even at the big, wide, dog park.



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Bull/China Shop


Levi was jumping up at the window to say an extremely enthusiastic hello to the UPS guy. I leaned over to close the window just in case Levi got any ideas about plowing through the screen to join him. My heavy dog pal came down hard on my bare foot then pushed off again, leaving this paw shaped bruise on my right foot. 

It makes me laugh every time I look down. And limp a little. But mostly laugh. 





Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween/Taco Tuesday


This morning was the Halloween parade at elementary school. On the way in this morning, Bob and I talked about how we're both a little sad that this will be the last one for him/us.

I sat on a bench on the empty playground before the parade started while all of the kids went to their classrooms for attendance. A Rubik's Cube squeezed out of the office door clutching a late slip, and hobbled to his classroom.



It was drizzling, and the loud speaker played Thriller, the Harry Potter Theme, and the worst October earworm ever - Witches Brew. There was a parental paparazzi situation as we jostled each other, "On the other side of the cones please, parents!"



A squid, a unicorn, and a tree walk into a bar...

Yes. I will miss it.












Monday, October 30, 2017