Friday, December 31, 2010


couldn't have said it better myself.

best wishes to you all.
and thank you, so very much, for your support, kindness, encouragement. thanks for listening.
it means more to me than i'm able to say.

see you next year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

i guess i'm going a bit off the rails, huh?

not really. it's pretty mild. and the girls are ok. better than ok. they're pretty awesome, actually.

but some days, it's a little overwhelming to shepherd all of these people through things. or maybe, it's overwhelming that they don't (think they) need me to.

or maybe i'm just going through some post holiday letdown thing.

or maybe everything is just fine, and we're really lucky to have all that we have, to have each other, to be living this life full of love and comfort.

yeah. that last one.
that's it.

more tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


right now::

i'm wearing knee socks with a skirt. not a good look, trust me.
finished up the appetizer course (red wine and sugar cookie dough) and am waiting for tim to make red onion and kale burritos.
unfortunately, he just sat down to watch "school of rock" on an eight inch screen with the girls.
i am so bored, and restless. which for some reason does not equal motivated to tackle something worthwhile. hence this post.
our kitchen floor is so in need of a good mopping that the girls are wearing their shoes so they don't get their socks dirty. and i don't blame them.
i'm thinking tonight is the night i'm going to introduce the girls to annie hall.
i'm missing my friends across the street something awful.
there are at least seven things i should be doing besides this.
it's sixty one degrees in the house.
we've two feet of snow on the ground. and i love that.
i'm looking at a photo of tim when he was about six, and i can both see him in it, and not at all.
we've got a short list of houses in maine for the summer, and i'm strangely ambivalent about it. have to go back into therapy after all, it seems.
i'm pretty much in love with the voices and laughter from the other room, but am in no hurry to go join them.
i wouldn't disturb the cat on my lap for anything.
i remember the feeling in the early morning of being relieved that the new day was close to starting. i think that's pretty awesome.
i wish someone would ring our doorbell.
i'm glad we have the night ahead of us.
i can't believe it's almost the last day of the year.

what's your right now like?


Monday, December 27, 2010




i often forget that those of you who check in with me here aren't familiar with flickr,
and that my flickr friends often don't read my blog.

so i wanted to mention to you (almost twelve months too late) that i've been doing a "365-picture a day" project over at flickr, and that i'm almost done! they are not by any stretch my best pictures, or even good pictures. they are just the best (or in some rare cases, the only) ones i took each day. some days were better than others. ain't that just the way.

if you've run in to me locally and i've casually greeted you by saying "hey! how's the onehundredthirteenth day of the year treating you?" this should clear things up.

otherwise, you can (if you're at all interested) see the first three hundred and sixty one photos of the project here.

there will be four more.

and then i'm done.

at least with the 365 thing.

for now.

hi from monday night.

best wishes.


ps::if you can't see some of the photos because you aren't "on" flickr, and you would like to, just send me an e-mail. i can fix that really easily. it doesn't cost you anything, and i'd love to have you join me over there, if you'd like. just saying.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


sunday night.

we waited a few hours this morning
for the snow to start.
and it did,
and it is
snowing still.

we have not left the house today.
we have cooked and cleaned and baked.
napped and eaten and watched movies in bed.
tim has hooked up speakers he found while cleaning out the basement
to the computer,
and now i can listen to jose gonzalez radio on pandora in stereo.
and so leaving the house seems so completely unappealing,
snow or no snow,
especially when coupled with long-cooked chili, and chocolate with salt,
and a little red wine, too.

anna resisted, circling like something to be reckoned with,
my fisher-price toys resurrected from the basement
along with the speakers,
for about half an hour,
and then flew about the house
with the same plane
i flew about my parents house when i was her age
and older.

and still it's snowing,
and still we're inside
still waiting,
but now for it to stop.

but we're in no hurry for that.

best wishes on this sunday night.


Friday, December 24, 2010


hi from christmas eve.

my favorite night of the year.

and just like last year
here i sit,
waiting for the last child's breath to grow steady, and heavy and even.
and then the presents will appear, the stockings become weighted down,
and i can go to bed
feeling for the first time in weeks
that i have done everything i need to.
that everything is in its place,
that i can finally breathe out
and let myself ease into
a long, needed sleep.

and then they will wake up (not long after...)
and we will have christmas morning.

best wishes, everyone.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


so, tonight.

tonight is the last night before things get going.
the girls have their doors closed. there is wrapping and laughing and a little bit of fighting going on.
one girl is reading (being read to) charlie and the chocolate factory, and is going to sleep with ease, glad to not have a party tonight. it was a hard weekend for that little one.
this girl (oh! i am so no longer a girl, but don't we always sort of think of ourselves that way?) is considering staying up way late to get just everything done. i don't want anything hanging over my head while the rest of the family is ready to celebrate and be together.

we have much family and many friends who will be around us this next week. and i'm sure i will stop in here and post some pictures, wish everyone well.

but right now i want to say this:

you are all so wonderful. the comments i get, the support, the encouragement i garner from you taking the time to let me know you're listening, means so much to me.

i'm awful about replying. and i'm sorry. as i've said, if i don't have your e-mail right there to reply to, it's hard to go find it. and frankly, the time is more than i can handle. i read every.single.comment and it often makes my day a better one.
i'd love to know more of you...hear who is listening and what you like listening to. and maybe if i can do one thing better in the new year it will be to respond more to comments.

but for now, i just wanted to say thank you, and sorry, and please, please know that i am sitting here at my desk, with a cup of tea, a glass of wine, a girl on my lap or a girl waiting upstairs for me, and when i get kind words from any one of you, i feel so good about what i'm doing, who i am, and who i want to be.

best of all wishes.

Monday, December 20, 2010


so i sort of disappeared for a few days.
and it's been nice.

this weekend was full. in the best of ways.
but full in and of itself is sometimes too much.
for me, anyway.

we had so much fun. so much laughing.
so much eating. too much.
ditto on the drinking.

and way too little sleeping.
too little cleaning,
hardly any present shopping or wrapping.
absolutely no progress made on any projects.

but we saw many friends, some we hadn't seen in too long.
we met people new to us that we hope to see again.
we didn't worry much about all the things that...
sure enough were still waiting for us on monday morning.

we went ice skating.

in our family,
that tops just about anything.

more soon, once i've caught up a bit around here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


so, we're all fine, after all.
and the week is almost over.

we are getting out and walking at night.
my cheeks are cold as i type,
but in the best way.

i hesitate to unplug the tree at night.
the room feels dead now when the little sparkly lights are out.

and then, when the tree is gone
the room will feel fresh
and new and complete again
without it.


there won't be many presents this year.
and although i drove around today
passing by every store, every sign reminding me
that this is the time to buy,
and i felt just a little awful about it,
i also feel that since it can't be helped,
then it must also be ok.

and i know in my heart that maybe what i dread the most
is that it's harder
to give less presents and have the whole joy in this time of year
rest upon my own ability to be kind
and generous
with the things that are not always so easy to give.

do you know what i'm talking about?
maybe you are all so much better than me at this.
but it is easy for me to hide behind giving something to be unwrapped,
and keeping myself all wrapped up.

this year,
i'm going to have to be better.

wish me luck.
wish me courage.

best wishes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


more from that last roll of film.
and i think these all sort of fit together, too.

home, at night.

more soon.

oh! and so far so good. in as much as no one else has gotten sick.
but my poor girl is still not well,
and i'm worried.

pps:: callie's really sick again tonight. just now. checking out of here for a while, i bet.

Monday, December 13, 2010


these photos were all from a roll of film i got back last week, and they seem to fit together well.
and they're all so spare, still, quiet. a nice pause in the middle of all the color and sparkle that is around us now.

the last line of my last post was either unintentionally ironic, or me unwittingly tempting fate: the stomach bug has hit our house. one (girl) down. seven more of us to go.

cross your fingers for us, would you?


Sunday, December 12, 2010


hi from sunday night.

there are more and more little lights around our house.
and candles,
and a new wreath on the door from a friend.

ornaments on the tree but not too much else all around.
some red + white napkins i'd squirreled away have replaced the blue linen ones.

and we're feeling good.
hope you are too.

more soon.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


saturday morning is looking like this:

a little bleary, to start.
but the girls and i just shared the third pot of tea, and things are looking brighter.
cookies brought home from last night's party.
and omelets. that will cure what ails me.

a tree still bare but standing now
in the corner of the room,

little one outside despite the cold
and a generous-hearted sister out there with her.

pears all gone, grapefruits long gone, one apple left.

i've decided:lasagna for dinner.
i'm picturing making the sauce,
putting it all together.
how the house will smell
and sound when it's later
and we are all here
dressing the tree up,
its lights bouncing off dark windows.
music going
piles of shoes crowding the front door,
maybe a friend or two stepping over them
to make their way in.

but for now,
i'm thinking about
back to bed.

enjoy saturday.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


so here are a few things you can do for free when you need to get your mood up:

drive. drive out at night and look at the sky. notice the moon.
look at the houses. notice the lights. ooh and ahh and maybe even laugh,
'cause some of them are CRAZY!

make stick stars. get your kids and yourself out there and get some sticks. and then make some stars. and hang them up.
make some hot cider while you're doing it and you've got yourself a party.

hang little white lights where you least expect them. where you need them most.
your kitchen. over your headboard. the bathroom. the kids' room.
maybe everywhere.
don't plan on taking them down too soon, either.

put on some music, dammit.

sit on the couch with your husband and tuck your feet under him and ask him what he remembers about the holidays, growing up.

sit on the couch with your kids and tell them what you remember about the holidays, growing up. don't edit yourself too much.

embrace a little bit of the mess that these days bring, and then i bet next year, the mess will make you feel all nostalgic.

make time to tidy up the mess, so you have a little bit of peace, and quiet, and stillness, so these days don't all feel like a big jumble of stuff and noise.
it's all a balance, just like the rest of the year.

go through your clothes and put together outfits out of what you have. i'm pretty sure i've forgotten more of my wardrobe than i remember, than i use daily. go shopping in your closet.
this is especially fun if you let someone help you. i have two eager daughters. but a friend would be super fun, too. (plus you could probably add some wine to the occasion that way.)

be selective about what you use. this year i plan on buying virtually nothing new for the holidays, but i also don't want to use everything i've ever acquired.
i'm thinking i'll have each of us pick a number of things (ten ornaments? two decorations?) and that's all we'll put out. this way we all have a say, but we don't overdo it.

mostly, i think that if i spend a little extra time talking, a few extra minutes before i shoo them all to bed, a little effort for us to do a game or two, read a book or two, come up with a project...
no one will notice, or at least mind, that this is the year we can't afford christmas.

what do you think?


Monday, December 6, 2010


this morning, i came down and sat here while waiting for the kettle to work up to a boil.
that little orange cat was sitting in the window, assessing the situation outside,
when all of a sudden
flakes began to fall.
the first.

i don't care if it sounds cliched, or ridiculous:
but it was pretty magical.
noticing the moment that flakes began to fall.
the first.

so i thought i should bring about some closure:
i've not really gotten into the swing of things yet, holiday wise.
i've told myself that it's just that there is no rush. we've still got weeks.
that i don't yet want the clutter and the color (and the dusting) that the decorations bring.

but i think it was just my way of denying that this fall-this most incredible of falls, i think-is truly over.

but those flakes convinced me.
softly, gently, briefly.
but certainly.

welcome, winter.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

hi from sunday night.

have put off getting the boxes down, getting the tree, for one more week.

it's not that i'm grumpy.
i'm just not ready.

the house gets very crowded once it's all up and about.

i'd be happy with just the white lights. a few extra candles. some greenery. a wreath.

anna decorated the lime tree in the livingroom with paper ornaments today. looks good to me.

but i know.

i know that these girls are not yet ready to let go of the wonder, the ritual, the tradition.

the pretending.

even though that is what they are doing. well, what five of them are doing, to varying degrees.

i love the pretending.

some other words for it are hope, promise, faith, and imagination.

all good things.

more soon.


Friday, December 3, 2010


friday happiness::
just said goodbye to a new friend (and her most adorable boy + fella.)
had another night where i thought things were going to change for the worse with these teens of ours.but they didn't. all is well.
had another night where tim fed us all the best pizza ever.
another night where anna goes to sleep sweetly.

and here's the thing: another night where i don't take a single one of these things for granted.

best wishes for you, for me, for a comforting weekend.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

and now there are four.

four teenaged girls in our house.

and two more; one not far behind.

it's not at all what people had warned us it would be.
it's not better,
it's not worse.

it's just our own.

happy birthday, sweet emily.

me (and dad)