Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday

I've found an excellent use for all of this bread I'm baking. Because the truth is, even with all the mouths we have to feed around here, there's only so much toast you can force upon them eat. I took a wayward loaf and made croutons last night.

Should I tell you how to make croutons, or is that something everyone knows? I'm not sure.

Cut the bread up, whatever size looks edible to you. Spread it on a baking sheet. Drizzle lots of good olive oil on top. Be generous with kosher salt and ground pepper. If you've got your hands messy already, mince some garlic and sprinkle that around. Otherwise, go with garlic powder (but not garlic salt.) Toss it all around, and bake at 375 or so until you've got nicely browned, cracklin' good croutons.

Just try to wait for a salad to come along. Or carve up a roasted chicken and serve it over these, with the juices poured on top, a la Ina. Crazy good. They can be sealed up in a ziploc and saved for a while. (Good luck with that.)

The girls actually asked if they could have a bowl of croutons for dessert. I'm guessing that level of intensity won't hold for long, but it did make me feel justified for being so obsessed with the No-Knead Bread.

I know I'm due for a dinner post, but frankly, the subject overwhelms me. So I'm thinking I'm going to approach it using the platitude from Anne Lamott. I'm going to take it bird by bird.

My older brother was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird."
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Soon.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt
ps::I always loved a line from Operating Instructions, something about how after she had her baby, Sam, she would lie down on the bed next to him, and her tummy would lie next to her, like an obedient puppy. Tell me about it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

M.A.S.


D'you call life a bad job? Never! We've had our ups and downs, we've had our struggles, we've always been poor, but it's been worth it, ay, worth it a hundred times I say, when I look round at my children.
W. Somerset Maugham, 'Of Human Bondage', 1915

It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. W. Somerset Maugham

Happy Birthday, dad. I love you. And all these girls love you, too.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Arriving back home, early evening

We went out this afternoon, alone. Tim and I.

Some things you just can't do easily with a three-year-old in tow, and standing around at an art opening and talking to people is one of them.

I'd been encouraged by a friend to put a picture in a group photography exhibit, and last Sunday, at the last possible minute, I got myself together and submitted one.

It was a weird experience to be a part of this thing. I have never considered myself an artist, of any sort. Still don't.

When I dropped the piece off last week, I felt like someone else was moving around the world using my body. It felt like I didn't know myself, and even the words that came out of my mouth surprised me, as if I wasn't sure what was going to be said until I heard it along with everyone else. You may think I'm exaggerating, or being overly dramatic, but you have to remember, I don't get out much.

It was really, for lack of a better word, cool.

So, that's where we were this afternoon; at the opening reception for this show that I have a piece in.

We were coming home later than expected, as dusk was settling on top of everything, and I got a little panicky. I'm not so often out Sunday evening, not without the kids, not quite so far a drive away.

Driving down alongside the Hudson, I could see the sharp edges coming off everything by the minute, and I felt like a huge magnet was drawing me toward home. We talked briefly about one of us running out to the store after we got to the house, but I knew that we would never leave again, tonight.

When we pulled in the driveway, there was a mist in the air, and the light was incredible.
Soft, still, and oddly bright.

And guess what? The kids were fine. They said hi looking over their shoulders on their way over to the neighbors, and I had to call them back, settle them into the idea of Sunday night.

Once they were all cozied away in their rooms, we heard some terrific noise outside. Startled at the lightning. And. Hail.

Be careful what you wish for.

My picture, by the way, sold. The first one of the show. I don't know to whom, and it's a strange feeling to know that something so personal to me, a piece of my time and my thoughts and my life, is going to be taking up residence with someone completely unknown to me.

I know, blahblahblah...but remember: I don't get out much.

Mostly, I just like being home.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Happiness

So. Friday. So happy.

Things are looking up, weather-wise. Yesterday, it was grey (which way do you spell gray? grey, gray...I love it both ways.)

Yesterday it was grey, and I noticed in that cloudy-bright greyness, colors really popped. Women's faces, and school buses lined up outside the Music Hall. Backpacks bumping off the hips of kids flowing down from the high school. Awnings and street signs. Colors popped.

I noticed that it was beautiful.

I am so ready for a good, old-fashioned rain, and last night we got a little taste of one. But I want thunder and lightning. I want soaking sheets falling, and wind gusting.

And then, afterward, I want the sun to come out, sheepishly at first. Then, full force. Then all those little sprouts and shoots will know it's safe for them to show themselves.

The lilac tree in our driveway has started to bud.

Friday, and I am also ready to cut the rest of my hair off. I'm over it. I'm going greyer by the minute. Or grayer. Take your pick.

Funny, it just now occurs to me, that my most favorite tea is, naturally, Earl Grey. Fits nicely.

::

We have an interview with Elizabeth Solomon, up at eyebuzz now. Tim conducted the interview with her, and when I read it, I was so impressed with both his questions, and her thoughtful, interesting, and honest answers.

I am much looking forward to our upcoming show with Jennifer Judd-McGee, and I have taken the interview reins from Tim, in what is a both a selfish and unprecedented move. It will be my first interview, and I look forward to posting it here, soon.

We have gotten so many amazing submissions for Public Bookstore. Thank you to everyone. This is a project we are excited about, and we are so encouraged by the response and the quality of the work. We'll keep you posted on the publication date, the opening reception, and the summer group show, which will exhibit some of the original work that is included in what, we hope, is the first in a series of collaborative art books.

::

Friday. And I hope to notice a few more things that are beautiful, throughout the weekend.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to buy time from a three-year-old:


$1.99 + an egg carton = good, clean fun. And a bit of a break.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Snacks and Snacking

I can hear them coming up the street.

When their sisters were in fourth and fifth grade, we picked them up so religiously, two blocks away, as if the three of them were in danger of coming under sniper fire on their way home.

Now, the two next in line, ten and eleven, walk themselves home. Wave thank you (hopefully) to Georgia, the volleyball-player-turned-crossing-guard. Pet the black Lab at the house on the corner. Run through the hundred-yard wood that connects the block from school, to the block from home.

There is a cheeriness, a determination, about their responses when I ask "do you want me to pick you up?", that speaks volumes about the resiliency of second and third and sixth children.

They're o.k.

So, at least this year, these two are the first in line for afterschool snack.

::

I've already mentioned Emily's admirable desire for peanut butter on whole wheat English muffins. I could just stop there, now. Can you imagine a better snack?

But, she's pretty much the only one, for that.

I always have snack out and ready. (Well, truth be told, maybe not always, but usually.) Of course, fruit. I've been over that, before.

And then usually some sort of pretzels. I'm a huge pretzel fan. Tortilla chips and salsa. Dried cranberries, and maybe some walnuts, almonds, etc...

More often than not, something sweet, too. Cookies: either I've made some, or some FigNewmans, Newman's O's. Banana bread: because what is wrong with my kids that they have slowed down on the bananas? I mostly don't buy them anymore, because they usually go uneaten until they finally are not fit for anything but banana bread.

Popcorn. Lots of popcorn, because it's cheap, easy and popcorn.

We eat a lot of toast for snack, since I'm a crazy person with the No-Knead Bread. But you may have already surmised that.

But then, snack is also something different. It's 4:45 and we're waiting for Tim to come home and grill, or make pizza.

So, snack, then, is a bowl of cut up veggies, maybe even just a bag of baby-carrots poured out into a bowl, with a cup of ranch, a cup of vinaigrette (there are two distinct camps in the house, dressing wise.)

When I have fresh carrots with the tops on, and I scrub them and call out "who wants a big carrot?" you would be surprised at the enthusiasm. You'd have thunk I just offered Twizzlers. (Hi, Jo!)

In the winter, when it's dark at 4:30, and some girls are on their way out the door to gymnastics, or band practice...there is usually something warm;a little soup, some edamame, an omelet. Snack here can be supper. And supper is warm.

On summer days...well. Snack is all of the above, but also: ice pops. Now, you and I know exactly how easy it is to make an ice pop. And a good one, at that, with organic juice, or lemonade, or whatever. But thankfully, so far, the kids seem to think I've done something fabulous.

By the end of last summer I was making twenty ice pops at a time, to fill the demand. When you are handing out pink lemonade pops, you really don't want to be the one to say that you don't have enough for one more kid.

Snacks wear me out. It is the unexpected meal. The thing that rears it's head almost as soon as you have cleaned up from the last thing.

But, I find snack to be an easy way to give them something that they want, and still give them something that you want them to have.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Morning Randomness

Hi. Welcome back. Nice to see you.

Did you know that I...

::know virtually every line of Stripes, but can not quote a single line of Ralph Waldo Emerson? I'm not boasting.

::was an English major in college. And an Art History minor. And an Asian Studies minor. And a Religion minor. I might even be forgetting one.

::have not been on a plane in seven years, but dream several times a week of being on a plane, and crashing.

::practically grew up in Kennedy Airport. Either on my way to various European cities with my parents, or waiting in the Pan Am Clipper Club for my dad to return from a business trip.

::have had two dogs, both named Sam, both black Labradors, and both, for a too-brief period, at the same time. At one point, the easiest way to tell them apart at a distance was that Sam-the-First had only three legs.

::am a perfectly capable and careful driver, but Tim always drives when we're together. This is a good thing, since I usually fall asleep when I'm in a car for any length of time.

::lived in Indianapolis, Indiana for about eighteen months, when I was young, with my family. I don't remember a lot about it, but have seen so many pictures and Super-8 movies, of the house, and the donkey, Wishbone, in the back yard, that I feel like they are my memories. I do remember looking out of the picture window in the front of the house, at a tornado coming across the sky.

::am a really good skier, and skater, and pretty good at baseball and basketball, but I loathe competitive sports. I could not, however, run a mile if I was being chased. This is not hyperbole.

::could not possibly go to bed with out all of the dishes being done, and everything being tidied up, and locked up, and ready for the morning. Except for that one night last summer, when I let it go.

::was a complete slob in my own room as a kid, except every once in a while I would clean it up and stage it like someone was going to come in and take pictures. Hmmm.

::worked for eleven years as an accountant, and was awful at it, despite a freaky proficiency for numbers. I have an untold depth of affection for the people I worked with for all of those years, and except for my best friend, whom I met at that job, I will most likely never speak to any of them again.

::sometimes go into my girls' room in the middle of the night, and lay down with them for a while, when I can't sleep.

::love Woody Allen movies, but not all of them. I could watch Annie Hall and Manhattan over and over again (and do). If Hannah and Her Sisters were cast with anyone other than Michael Caine, I would think it was the perfect movie. Sometimes I get despondent just thinking about how things could have been if only Alan Alda, for instance, played the Michael Caine role. Alan Alda? Come on. But Caine is that bad.

::am my own worst enemy.

::cry at the least of kindnesses from strangers. For instance, if you wave me on when I'm trying to make a left hand turn off of Broadway, I will most likely tear up for a second as I'm driving away.

::look forward to the day that my kids come back home from college to visit, and bring roommates and boyfriends and girlfriends.

::don't mind getting older, at all. But, I don't ever want to die. There's the rub.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Friday, March 20, 2009

The View

from eyebuzz. Seventh in a series.






Third Friday. Cooler than expected, and we had expected that this would be a night when people, fed up with being penned in, would come out.

Cool out, tonight, but people.came.out.

Thank you, to all of you who did. When the last of you had left, Tim said: "We had a party at eyebuzz tonight."

And we had. Met new people, and rediscovered people we've known forever.

This is what we had in mind, years ago, when we first dreamt of a place of our own, in a community we are a part of.

Tonight made us fall in love with Tarrytown, all over again.

Our view, tonight.

Thanks for reading.
tt (+TT)

Friday Happiness::Spring; snow, then sun

This morning, I swear I heard a touch of weariness, exasperation, in the girls' chorus of "Look! It's snowing!"

But now I see them outside my window, on bikes, racing around in the cool sun. And little missy is tugging on my sleeve to get out there, too.

Spring, we're ready and waiting.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's all good.

I love having tea with a three-year-old, read to her while I sip, to keep her sitting. Proud to see the eleven-year-old in her play this morning. Happy to spring the ten-year-old from school for a half-hour lunch date.

But I'm thinking, that what I really, really need, one of these days, is to go off on my own, if only for a few hours.

A girl can dream, can't she?

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Here we go

An almost perfect day, yesterday; library in the morning, a walk through town, sun shining, and lots of time outdoors. Taking time to sit and read. Have a cup of tea out back. Later, a glass of wine, together.

But briefly, adolescence clouded over sunny childhood. Nothing tragic. But painful, for one. And my throat dried out, my heart went out to her, and I thought: here we go.

This is new territory. I'm ready with band-aids, and stories, blankets and tea. Ready with hugs. But will I have what they need, when they need me most?

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lunch(es)

Lunch is lovely.

Lunch is your good friend you don't see so much anymore, but still treat each other on your birthdays. Lunch is the quick bite to eat with your co-worker that runs into a second (ahem...) glass of wine. Lunch is three women who are having a "meeting" about the school fundraiser, but talk about everything but. Lunch is you and your mom, with the happiest three-year-old sitting between her two favorite women. Lunch is your husband stealing home with chocolate in a pink bag.

Lunches, are a whole other ball of wax.

Lunches are what need to be taken care of on top of everything else. Lunches are what you spend time thinking about, shopping for and preparing, with no guarantee or confidence that they are getting actually, you know, eaten. Lunches are what you buy all sorts of cute, eco-friendly paraphernalia for, only to have them left in a locker for weeks.on.end. Yuck.

Lunches are also the gesture that you make so that they feel loved. That someone at home thought about them and sent an extra sweet. Bought that special sort of roll that they like. Remembered that they like sprouts, but not lettuce. Took the time to write a little note, or draw a little picture. It's the only way we can send a bit of our t.l.c. with them for their six or so hours away from the nest. Send them off feeling like you've done all you can; now they're somebody else's problem charge.

So, I make lunches.

I always make them the evening before. I have to. I can not imagine the extra task of putting together a lunchbox on a school morning. This way, I can take a little time to think it through, balance it out, get creative.

Because I have this theory about lunches; that while they won't eat anything weird, they are more likely going to eat something that's a little different. Novelty sells.

:: always at least one fruit; whole apples work, whole pears, not as well. Cut up kiwi, apple, cantaloupe. Or berries, whole. Strawberries get slimy if you cut them, but travel nicely, just stemmed. Apple sauce cups: awesome as a standby.

:: always some pretzels, with peanut butter, even. That, in and of itself, is practically lunch. Or tortilla chips and salsa. Rice crackers.

::Dry cereal or granola. Just plain. I bothered with a little box of milk for a while, until I learned it was routinely being given away.

:: always something else fresh: either carrots, celery, peppers...with dressing for some, hummus for some, tzatziki for others...plain vinegar for one, who shall remain nameless.

:: I've tried valiantly to send soup in a thermos, but it invariably either a) leaks out all over everything before or after lunch, or b) gets eaten successfully, but left to fester into a new kind of scary in the locker for a while before being returned.

I've decided they get enough soup at home.

:: Three of them love turkey with sprouts. Actually, it's sort of become turkeywithsprouts. Its own thing. Of course, then, there are still two of them who don't, so they get just turkey, no sandwich, and a pickle, please?

:: While we eat a lot of yogurt and cheese(except for one, who "doesn't like cheese," although she will eat pizza, lasagna, grilled cheese, and mac and cheese. Hi, Jo. I know you're reading this during Research Skills right now. Get back to work!) these items do not sell in a school lunch, for whatever mysterious reason.

:: And always a sweet. I may be a food tyrant. But I'm a generous tyrant. I'm not above a cookie. Or three. Or last night's brownies, wrapped in wax paper. I am completely not above bribing the kids in my life with food.

Here's the thing: I know that my kids may be the kids who are trading the organic fruit for Doritos. I suspect that some of them pull crumpled up dollar bills from their skinny jeans and buy a soft pretzel every day. I've already heard "Mom, everyone knows what I have for my lunch," and I hear the sound of crinkly wrappers in the back seat on the way home from downtown.

But this is what I can do. I can send them out the door with a healthy, thoughtful, organic, well-balanced lunch, with a silly little note and a recycled napkin. And hope for the best.

The best is that as they grow into their older selves, they will value good, fresh, food over nasty, processed, fast food. But mostly, they will recognize that healthy food is a choice they can make for themselves, and that my tyranny stemmed from love.

I've heard the groans. But the other night at dinner, I heard this:

In a discussion of the fabulousness of the brand new middle school cafeteria offerings, someone mentioned that there is a "top your own yogurt" station. And Callie said: "I would never eat cafeteria yogurt. I don't know where the cow's been."

Call her a budding food snob if you'd like, but she's really a nice girl. She's just a nice girl who wants to know where her food comes from.

For now, it comes from her Mom. That won't always be the case.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Morning


Good Morning. Things are blooming and growing all over the place. There's hope for us, yet.

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Abraham Lincoln

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Have you ever been really scared?


We went for an aimless drive. We wandered and got lost, and ended up at a place we've been before. So far from home. What are the odds?

We walked to the lake, we walked over the falls, we stood on a dock which juts out over water.

I was really scared. I don't do well with heights. Nor water. Height over water equals scared.

I held her hand like crazy. I think she was picking up my scared. That's bad.

There was still ice on this lake. That's how far we had driven.

We got back safely, though. Of course. We are all extremely safe in our lives.

Tonight we watched a film made by a man who barely knew his famous father. He was on a journey to find out the truth. To try to get to know his father, his past, his self, through stories people might tell about this man.

It was wrenching for me, for I have a touch of this in my own life. I haven't talked about it here, but I did talk about it, here.

In the middle of this film was an aerial shot of Manhattan in the seventies, the Twin Towers fearlessly pointing the way towards the sky.

I found myself in quick, stinging tears.

There was a day that I was really scared. And, frankly, not a day has passed that I've truly felt the same.

Like height over water.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

tt

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Happiness :: Thirteen things

I'm loving today:

:: matzoh with a smear of dark chocolate. Some look at such a concoction and ask "why"? I say, try it and you'll know.

::the enthusiasm our girls can muster for Pi Day.

::Bonnard at the Met. If I don't get to see this exhibit in the next five weeks, I would really like someone to just put me out of my misery.

::Green outside my window, under my feet, sprouting from branches above me. Green, and not a speck of dirty white stuff.

::Tonight, finally giving the ten-year-old the sleepover she's been waiting for. Wish me luck.

::Molly Wizenberg's book, which is warm, and quirky, and beautiful. And should explain the impulse behind my long-winded breakfast post. Lunch, Dinner, and Snacking to come soon.

::Tomorrow night, the opening reception for Elizabeth Solomon's show. It's a pleasure to have her work up on the walls, and I'm looking forward to seeing her again, and enjoying another fun night at the gallery.

::my husband, who in addition to being eminently lovable, remains ever supportive, ridiculously cute, and remembers to take out the garbage.

::design*sponge. I could just leave it there. And I know I've already confessed here to an addiction. But now I'm branching out from sneak peeks ,to city guides. What can be said about people who make me as impatient to revisit Providence, Rhode Island, as I am Paris?

::Jen 11. A collaborative, multi-venued exhibit featuring my most-favorite, Jennifer Judd-McGee (and ten other very talented Jennifers).

::John Legend. Isn't it wonderful when you find a random song you love, and then find out that everything else that artist does is just as good?

::Julie's kitchen. Which is featured at Apartment Therapy SF today. How cool is that? Incredibly appealing kitchen aside (and you should see the "writing house", or whatever she'll end up calling it, that her husband built for her), Julie is incredibly talented, funny and smart, and her writing always leaves me with something to think about.

::my parents. I say this with trepidation, as they will predictably respond with a chorus of "get on a plane to Florida," but...I really, really miss them.

Enjoy your Friday the Thirteenth. Happy weekending.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Black shoes

In our town(as in yours, I imagine), there are always one or two people whom you see everywhere, but don't know. You see them in line at the drug store, in the market, at school for pick-up and orchestra concerts. In the coffee house. Maybe you nod to each other. Then, after some time passes and you're still running into one another, you may wave, or say "hi," even. But your paths never cross directly, or for long enough, to get to know each other.

Well, in my town there was always one woman in particular whom I saw everywhere. Mostly in our cars, picking up kids, or driving past one another through town.

One day this fall, in a pulmonologist's office on the other side of the county, this woman and I ended up sitting in the waiting room together! We waved, and nodded. Said "hi." Then I introduced myself. She got up and came and sat next to me. We talked about what she was knitting, where we got our hair cut (she had really cute, short hair), which schools our kids are in.

Then Lindsey's name was called, we said goodbye, and went in to the examining room.

I still see her every day in the car pick-up line at the middle school. For the first week or so, I would wave, try to catch her eye. She looked up once and nodded. But that was it. She never waved back, then or now.

I don't wave anymore, but I do occasionally look over as I drive up, to see if we make eye contact. Maybe she's just knitting.

There's another woman I met once, eight years ago, in a friend's kitchen. I see her occasionally, and I always wave and call her by name. At this point, I seem to take her by surprise. Often, I see her on her way out of Coffee Labs, trying to juggle her coffee and her keys, getting into her car as I drive by. She can't really wave back, but she always smiles and lifts her chin, as if to say "Oh, hi there!"

I wonder? Which is the norm?

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Breakfast

I remember so well several specifics about breakfast in my parents' house:

1) on weekends, my father would stand at the peninsula in the middle of the huge kitchen and fry bacon on an avocado green electric griddle.

2) he was also an expert omelet-maker, flips and all. But...

3) he would use solidified bacon fat he stored in an old can in the fridge to make the omelets, which grossed me out immeasurably. And...

4) I ate copious amounts of Lender's Bagels.

I have such a clear picture of myself at the round oak table in that kitchen, wrapped up in a robe, eating distractedly and reading the paper. It's like I spent my whole life, right there.

Oh. Right.
I did.

I lived in that house, off and on, with my parents, and later, with out, for thirty five years.

Sometimes, when I wake up here, in this house, there is a split second before my eyes adjust that I think I am still there. I can still hear the sound the kitchen drawers made, the screech and slam of the basement door, and count the eleven stairs up to the second floor.

Now I live here, in this house, with many, many girls. You may imagine breakfast to be chaos and frenzy, but actually, I find everyone a bit subdued, mostly. And like everything else in our blended-family household, breakfast happens in shifts.

Some days, there are just five of us. Some days just three of us. Some days, eight. Those days, I try to stay in bed for as long as possible.

On school days when we have eight, there is usually a good deal of bagel toasting, toast eating, cinnamon toast making. And Emily, girl after my own heart, will have at anytime of day what I consider the perfect concoction: a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter. Bless her.
Fruit is major in our house, morning, noon and night. So even on days when I need to skulk back to bed and let the storm blow over, I sneak downstairs and put out a bowl of cut up oranges, or cantaloupe and blueberries (amazing colors, together), or sliced grapefruit, or that mythical treat my girls always beg for: fruit salad. What, you may ask, is the difference between a bowl full of fruit and fruit salad? Well, I've asked this also, and it seems that if I spend an extra six minutes cutting things up small and mixing an extra one or two fruits in, it is transformed into fruit salad, which holds much glorious wonder for them. Go figure.

On weekends, Tim's thing is always french toast or pancakes. And he's great at it. At the gallery on Third Fridays or openings, we often have a big wooden bowl filled with sliced up french bread. We rarely go through it all, so we end up having these incredible mini-french toasts for the next couple of days.

I made the mistake, in the last three weeks, of learning to make pancakes, myself. Seriously, I had never done it before. It was always the other guy's job.

So, of course, it's not that tough, after all. And I now find myself making pancakes for weekday breakfasts more often than not. I failed miserably at one of the basic rules of domestic delegation. What the heck am I going to do next, go out and cut the grass?

Then, the storm blows over. Or, at least, blows over to another part of town, where the schools are located, and I am left with a three-year-old, a kitchen to clean, and the realization that I haven't eaten breakfast, yet.

I clean up. I set her up with something to do. And I cook for myself:

Goat cheese and arugula omelet

whisk together,
Two eggs
salt and pepper

melt,
T butter in a small pan, swirling to coat

Pour in eggs, pulling back edges to let the eggs spread thinly in the pan, 'til set.

Distribute on half,
1 oz. goat cheese
1/2 c arugula, spinach, even baby salad greens

Fold over on itself, and, if feeling courageous, flip and cook for a minute or two.
Otherwise, slide off the pan, and eat, sitting right there in the kitchen, reading a cookbook, or staring off into space. Tell three-year-old you'll be there in a minute, to add a room onto the block house for the cows.

No bacon fat required.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Run ahead, lag behind, carry me.



A walk is never a linear progression with a three-year-old in tow. But I doubt we would stop and examine everything, even the mud, quite as much without her.

::

One thing I don't talk about here nearly as much as I think about: food. You may or may not have picked up on it, but I'm fairly obsessed. All across the spectrum: food sources, food shopping, cooking food, reading about food, the politics of food, looking at food and pictures of food. Eating food. And most of all, feeding the ones I care about.

{I'm going to interject here, that what I am not interested in, at all, is food science. By that I mean, someone telling me about how marination breaks down the whatsit in the meat, or the gluten content of such and such contradicts the starch in so in so. Bored by it. Don't care, I'll see it with my own eyes & taste it and figure it out. Leave me alone. Just saying.}

Some might say that my...ahem...fixation...on food is not healthy, as intense focus on one thing often is not. Of course, that's nonsense. It is, exactly, healthy. Everything else can wane: Social life? Pretty limited. Ability to travel widely and freely? Ditto. Energy and time to develop new hobbies? Working on it. But no. Disposable income? Fresh out.

But, around here? We eat. And well, if I may say so.

I thought I might tell you about it, a little. So tomorrow, I'm going to start in on breakfast tales, and then lunch, and then...well...you get the picture.

For now, I'm going to leave you with this:

At the end of the day, if I've fed them all well, if I've enjoyed a few moments myself where I've sat still, and savored a good something or other to eat, if they've said please and thank you, kissed me before running off, or, in the case of the man of the house, held my hand in between bites, and mmmm-ed and ahhh-ed; I'm pretty much pleased as punch.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

tt

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Morning :: How did that happen?

Good Monday. I really don't know how this came up so fast. Well, we did lose that hour, and we're paying for it, now.

Pitch black. Ten-year-old sent back to the drawing board, getting-up-for-school-wise. I need to go wake her, I just wanted to say good morning.

I didn't evaporate over the weekend, just took a computer break. Had lots to say about Saturday's farmer's market, Saturday's dinner, Sunday's walk. Didn't we have a snow day a week ago? Nice pictures for The View, which never got posted. Incredible work coming in for Public Bookstore. Really beautiful mini-landscapes in the gallery, from Elizabeth Solomon. But never got around to posting.

I see this as a wee bit of progress. A crash blog-diet.

I'll be back, but have to go now. I don't hear a sound from upstairs.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Happiness + a gratutious self-portrait

I can not get enough of::

Anna's learning the alphabet: I've seen this all before, and yet am always in awe of a human learning something so big, so naturally. I've been trying to learn French and am an idiot. I'm sure Anna could speak several languages by now, if she just had parents who were capable.

Wraps: I am so trying not to gorge myself on bagels and brioche and homemade bread. My most dear friend brought me lunch last weekend at the gallery, and a lightbulb popped on: yes! flatbread, protein, greens! Right on.

The Library: when I'm done checking out movies and novels and cookbooks and kids books, and they hand me the "receipt", I get so embarrassed because with.out.fail. I reach for a pen to sign. Oh, right. Free. Honor system. Got it.

Online photo inspiration: I'm a novice who can not get enough of Flikr, This Joy+Ride, and a million other daily shots of visual adrenaline. I know I am not there, but they show me where I want to go.

Writing real letters: My girls spend hours a week writing to my parents, sequestered for the winter in Florida. Typed letters, hand written letters, pictures drawn, love notes scratched on bits and pieces of paper. For kids raised with computers, they have not lost the art of correspondence. Now, if their mother could just get to the post office...
This weekend: not much planned. Exactly the sort of weekend I like best.

Enjoy your weekend, too. Thanks for reading.
tt
ps: that's me with my new haircut. Hence the self-exposure. Bonjour.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday, quietly.

I've been feeling very quiet here for a couple of days. Been looking all around blogland, though, and am really awed by the creativeness, talent, and - this is a strange troika, perhaps - honesty, that I find there.

I really do want to be honest, and those who know me well are probably tired of me spewing my honesty out onto the carpet of our conversations, like a baby after too much breast milk. But the truth of it is, the blogworld allows us to only present a snapshot of our lives, and chosen ones, at that.

It is all the truth, but it is perhaps not the whole picture. I've shown you the flowers and the stove and the smiling children. The cat, but not the litterbox. (Actually, our cat goes outside, twelve months of the year, but you get my point.)

I've a really good picture of our laundry, but I've held back.

Anyway, I think what this here has given me, is a way to isolate the things in my world that make me pause and wonder, think about, and most of all, appreciate.

When I was little, I remember telling my dad about some obscure useless thing which escapes me now, but which elicited the most glowing compliment I have ever had in my life. He said: "You are just like me: you notice everything."

To this day I think that is all I yearn to do: notice everything.

I'll be back, and most likely not so quietly.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

ps: that there in the picture is Callie running home, as quickly as she ran out. Pure bliss.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Maybe the last of winter.


Maybe. And maybe I needed to be reminded how beautiful it is, even still.

Maybe, I needed to be driving home from errands with Anna, and look over at the fields of the Preserve. Notice the way the largest of bare-limbed trees made the most perfect shadow on the expanse of white.

Maybe, I needed to pull the car over and park awkwardly, pull Anna (unready, but willing) out of her car seat, and hike over the embankment to take a picture or two. Feel the crunch underfoot of what I'd been hoping to have seen the last of.

Maybe, I needed to lose my fingers to cold, one more time. Watch Anna throw herself upon the snow and wriggle around wildly, one more time. Notice the creek frozen, but moving underneath. Look up at the sky, marvel that it can be beach-day blue above all that winter.

Maybe, I just needed to get out there and "exchange some oxygen", as Tim might say.

It sure beat the heck out of the errands.

Maybe spring will come soon. Thanks for reading.
tt