Sunday, October 31, 2010

i do not like halloween because of the candy,
or the costumes,
although i was game this year.
game enough.

it's not yet eight and i've shut the front light,
saving the last fifteen lollipops for bribery amongst my own tribe.
so i don't love the ringing and the trick or treating.

i do not love halloween for the parade around the park,
although i do like that.
it's a nice tradition,
and the kids do like it quite a bit.

i do not love halloween for the toilet paper, eggs, and shaving cream of my own youth.
(and now the occasional current day troublemaker.)
(i keep the cats in early on halloween.)

i love it for the dark.
for the start of the rest of our days,
the rest of the days of the year.
for the heralding of the sweetest days,
where it becomes conventional wisdom
that these are the days to be kind,
to be grateful,
to give and to receive.
to hang sparkly things
and wrap up little treasures.
to have treats on hand at all times
so that the most regular stop-in
becomes something better than regular.

days where we believe that
from here on in,
each day
is special.

i love halloween because it is over,
and now we can begin
to celebrate.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

look around you and think about the last kind thing someone did for you.
then think about how good you feel when you do something kind for someone.
it is truly all so easy and the very thing that makes it all good.
i'm sorry if i'm becoming intolerable.
but i am very grateful and pleased to have my people around me.

you too, i bet.


Friday, October 29, 2010

under the wire, end of my rope, last minute, but not too late friday happiness::

all sorts of things.
cool today. could stop right there. feel like i can handle most things as long as it's not humid out.
easy morning,
trip to the city, trip to brooklyn.
mother-in-law i love; vintage fabric and a happy five-year-old with free gummy bears.
lunch with my girl...and so happy that it's just us. just us two, not me trying to keep her quiet while i aspire to grown-up talk. this, a revelation.
taking pictures, taking notice.
and then,
taking leave.
leave of the city.
a drive home as the leaves become thicker, become more golden already, just ten, twenty miles north.
arriving home to kids roaming about in costume,
my own kids all arrived home safely without me.
a good dinner thrown together
and a good friend on our couch.

it's all more than,
and just as
i would hope for.

my cup is filled up,
my eyes filled to the brim.

spilling over,
tired, happy, worried, and grateful.

and tomorrow is only saturday.

thanks for that.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

on sunday i brought my friend dorothy's camera to stone barns (along with my niece, kimberly.)

i am always completely at ease, calmed, and inspired there.
to see it through the viewfinder of a hasselblad was even more of a revelation than usual.

more tomorrow. friday again.
comes around so fast,
but always welcome.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

this is the fabric of our days now::
morning's dark like a curtain hanging over our windows, over our beds;
waking brutally hard on all of us.
breakfasts: oatmeal with too much brown sugar if you ask me, and apple muffins that can be whipped up and served up before the girls come downstairs. fuji apple juice from the market and cartoon drawing at the kitchen table.
the walk to school like a ride through a theme park; this tree changed since yesterday, that one on fire today and dropping red-orange embers to the ground.
collecting bits and pieces all along the way, all throughout the day:
seed pods full or cracked open and empty, two acorns grown together, leaves that look to have other leaves fossilized right on them. branches with a few still attached.
these things now live on the table in our hall. shine with flickering sunlight, with flickering candlelight at night.
night bringing closed doors and a pot of soup. bread with salted butter, a begged-for splurge. pasta again. too easy. too comforting.
jam sessions in the basement. messy messy rooms. library books overdue and piled here and there. chunky knitting. cereal before bedtime.
cats on the quilts stacked on the back of the couches and chairs. cats asleep on our feet all night long.
until that curtain lifts again slowly, and the next morning's begun.


Monday, October 25, 2010

some mornings i really can not believe it when all of the girls are finally off to school.
it feels like a triumph, to have gotten through that first intense hour of the day.

and here i am alone in the house,
tim off at a meeting.

it's become a strange thing again, for me to be alone here.
i truly do love that tim is working from home,
but it is also a nice thing to have a little space now and then.

this morning i've lingered over toast.
tried without much success to fall in love with the digital camera again.
shuffled through some photos and piled some stacks into a wooden crate.
looked at scarves online.
ordered some more film for the spectra.
listened to the radio-fuv, not npr.
cleaned out a basket of stuff underneath my desk.
made some more tea.
thought about taking a shower and getting dressed.
sat back down here.

totally a waste of time, really. all of it.
i'm liking that it's my time to waste.

if only for this morning.

better get to work.
happy monday, all.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

hi from sunday night.

i just heard tim walk upstairs to tell the girls lights out,
and he referred to me as "the boss."
as in,
"the boss says lights out."



the boss is down here stealing a few fifteen minutes to herself,
thinking she is pretty damn lucky.

and feeling grateful to have kissed her parents goodnight tonight,
and feeling hopeful that her twenty-four-year old niece will come back and visit,
again and again.
feeling that she misses the days when there were more of her family right nearby.

wishing she could wave a magic wand and make the kids never fight with each other,
so that she could be a much more relaxed version of the boss,
who spent more time talking on the couch with them
than telling them to go do their homework.

and even so,
and can i please stop talking about myself in the third person,
and may i please never again refer to myself as the boss?

i love to be at home.
i love these girls.
i'm lucky to have my parents close enough to come for sunday supper,
and a niece who is now just a train ride away.

i'm trying my best.

hi from sunday night.

best wishes for a good week, for all of us.


Friday, October 22, 2010

friday happiness::

what makes you happy?
it's not the big stuff, right?

it's somebody leaning in to hug you when you think they're reaching for the juice.
or finding a laugh in the middle of a serious conversation.
pulling on just the right weight sweater for your walk.
thinking about somebody you haven't seen for a while, and then there they are!
cleaning up a little corner of your world and then feeling calm whenever you look at it.
being able to say yes to someone when they didn't expect a yes.
eating something that tastes good from the first bite to the last.
listening to a song that takes your head away from the now,
and then playing it over again.
having just what someone else needs, just when they need it.
having a few minutes to yourself.
feeling that for the meantime, everything is going pretty well;
that you can relax a bit,
and enjoy the little stuff.

and fridays.

enjoy the weekend, everyone.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

gratuitous leaf photos, attempted haiku, and callie's voice. among other things.

i took two girls out today, as a special treat. but also, i really wanted to drive by this tree again.
it's right at the entrance to the rockefeller estate, and it's spectacular. one detail about kykuit that i think about again and again, is that john d. rockefeller, upon building his family home, had the foresight, the money and the cojones to look out his window at the stretch of the palisade mountains on the other side of the hudson river, and buy that too. to protect the view.

anyway, i drive by it just about every day, but i haven't stopped yet this fall. until today.

a wind came up while we were standing there under that tree, and blew some leaves down and up around our ankles and we watched the few lone leaves hang on for dear life. and they did.

i thought about writing a poem for those leaves. lindsey and i tossed around ideas. chose words, counted syllables. we couldn't remember if a haiku is seven five seven, or five seven five. and then i remembered that tim has a client who is an internationally awarded haiku writer, and he told us that in actuality the definition of haiku is "a thought that can be expressed in one breath."

i love that.

isn't that beautiful?


our phone hasn't been working, so it was time for a new one. but, our answering machine message is one that callie recorded when she was eight. she's fourteen now. it's really long-she mentions everyone but the cat(s)-and i can still remember her recording it. trying and laughing and missing someone and then finally getting it right. it's really so long that most cold-callers hang up before they get to, say, emily's name...we like that about it. our friend craig almost always comments on how long it is. it is pretty annoying, but it makes me smile that craig always comments on it. we like that about it.

so i hooked up the new phone, and plugged the old phone in with an extension cord, and held it up to the new phone and pressed play and record.

and now, for at least just a little while longer, when you call our house, you will hear the voice of eight-year-old callie, out of the past, like some firm spectral reminder of when these big girls were really just little girls.


i don't very much even like these leaf photos. they're so stark and bright and saturated. i feel fall-in fact, all of nature, all moments captured and remembered- is much filmier, foggier, softer.

but this is how it looked today.

best wishes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


i pretty much think that the polaroid spectra, or at least this image film, was made for fall.
i met a flickr friend for tea today, and as usual in these cases, we had too much to talk about to even get to talking about flickr. and that's the way it should be.
we have book club tonight, and i haven't read the book-tim has-but that doesn't deter me a bit from going and most likely engaging in the discussion. i'm probably pretty annoying that way.
but the food is so good...
i got some film back today, and i'm feeling like a giddy school girl. i'm in love with film.
i'm also in love with girls. they give me so much trouble, but they make up for it in spades,
just with one hug,
one funny line,
one crying bout after falling down the stairs.

i'll get out of here and across the street before i get all mushy,


Monday, October 18, 2010

saturday's walk on film.


around here these days,

we're eating a lot of soup. last night, chicken with wild rice and kale.
we're loving our newly swapped rooms. the livingroom has become a coveted sleeping spot.
we're celebrating a friend's seventh birthday.
some of us are dying our hair with red streaks. i'd like to say for halloween, but it's really just 'cause.
it gets dark before it's time to come in.
we're thinking about and planning the holidays already.
two of us are finding our groove working on a project together, for the first time.
one of us is learning sign language in kindergarten, and "teaching" the rest of us.
the cats are looking to sleep on our beds.
our beds are being weighted down with quilts.
we've finally mastered whole wheat sourdough.
we're looking forward to road trips up the hudson.
we're singing paper moon at bedtime,
turning in early,
struggling to wake up in the morning dark,
and loving
every minute
of fall.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

hi from sunday night.

i'm always wary of what's around the next corner.
that sounds so portentous.
let's just say i'm always aware that there is something around the next corner.

this weekend
things were so good.
so beautiful and calm, so easy and lovely and full of life and love.

and i thought
more than once,
that even though i'm aware that there will be something-
good or bad or just different-
around the next corner,
that right now
is just about as good as i could possibly hope for.

and no matter what,
we've had this.

i'm going to try to remember it
when that next thing
comes along.

here's hoping for a good week for all of us.

best wishes and love all around,

Friday, October 15, 2010

late night friday happiness::

out tonight,
tim and i.
art and wine and friends.

coming home
to a house full of girls,
drinking tea they made for themselves
and watching a show about bullying.
(hi girls! everybody ok?
shhhh, mom! we're trying to listen!)

two in bed, "hiding."
one of them far down the path to sleep.

the biggest ruffle was that they forgot,
to turn out the light downstairs
before making their way
to their rooms.

seems as if the teenage apocalypse we had predicted
for tonight,
has been postponed.

don't think for a minute
i don't count myself



ps: totally irrelevant photos from apple picking on monday.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

i completely feel that things are altogether too serious around here.

i'm beginning to bore myself.

if anyone would like to make fun of me, please go right ahead. i think i could use the perspective.

enjoy thursday already.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

there are days when i prefer to not leave our house at all.
i can busy myself here
with the business of making a home
for hours on end,
for days at a time.

if not for needing to shuttle the girls around,
i'm afraid time would pass quickly by
without my ever venturing much past our mailbox.

it's when i'm out in the woods
that i can hear my voice clearest,
that i feel the most
like me.

thank you, tim,
for getting me out there.

love you,