omly: peacock tail feather (naiad)
Autumn is just about to begin, and I find I have been quiet for the summer. Mostly there was a lot of psyche recovery. It had been a hard year in many ways, and I am nervous about my last semester that I have just entered. So there was a lot of recharging and storing up spoons for the months to come. I wanted to share a few highlights though:

May
* slept a lot and recovered
* Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with my mom and Chiquita
* visited NB and the Bay of Fundy with [livejournal.com profile] majes
* hiked Welsh Dickey with [livejournal.com profile] curly_chick and company

June
* mural painting
* my birthday!
* mini vacation with [livejournal.com profile] salvbard

July
* camping with [livejournal.com profile] majes
* helped organize lovely birthday things for [livejournal.com profile] curly_chick
* went to London and visited [livejournal.com profile] jasra
* went to Virginia and visited [livejournal.com profile] quietdeath
* refinanced the house

August
* helped host the Malden party
* professional conference
* started moving forward with a few personal opportunities
* informational interview in the manufacturing sector

September
* 25th anniversary IgNoble ceremony with Chiquita
* Mt Auburn cemetery with my mom
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
So I hadn't written a whole lot about it, because I was going through a lot of stuff with my grandmother's decline and subsequent death at the time, but there was lots of awesome and thoughtful stuff surrounding my birthday.

The Friday before my birthday, I took the day off and wandered the city on my own. I spent a lot of time downtown, in particular in the Boston Commons. I did some drawing of the large fountain near Park Street Station and listened to young musicians. I lay on a blanket on the grass, enjoying the weather and the movement of people. I did some knitting and wandered down Newbury Street to get some birthday yarn. (Windsor Button I miss you!) In general it was a day devoted to whimsy and art, which a thing that needs to be indulged in periodically.

Then that evening [personal profile] majes as always is a fantastic companion for that sort of culinary adventure. Our waiter was adorable and easy to communicate what we were thinking of to get suggestions. Other highlights included a particularly well balanced beet salad with goat cheese (a favorite in general but this was particularly well done) and lemon poppy seed bread with lemon sorbet, basil meringue, and sour cherries. ([personal profile] regyt , the sour cherries made me think of you!) I don't even care for meringues in general, so I was surprised that they were really good. Lemony things are a favorite anyways, but still the whole thing was outstanding. Oh and apple-pie-in-a-glass! I have no idea anymore what I ended up getting as a desert wine, but it was phenomenal. That description makes it sound cloyingly sweet, which it was not at all. There were definite qualities of apple and spices that made it reminiscent of apple pie, with just enough sweetness to smooth things out and not be considered a dry wine. 

The day of my birthday was also a planned beach outing for R's birthday. When [personal profile] majes and I arrived early to the beach it was empty, and it is my favorite part of the day on the beach anyways. The quiet with mostly just the sounds of the water was restful, and I delighted in the reflections on the water. It was good that we had arrived early though, as the beach began to fill up long before the rest of the crew showed up. [livejournal.com profile] ifuonlyknew arrived with R & T. T & J brought their kids. And G & A were there with the girls. There was a very good turn out, and I got to meet and talk at some length to several new people. (And hey if you know the username of anyone I saw that day, let me know!)

Also on my birthday proper the whole family (with the delightful Popple) went out for Thai at Sweet Ginger, which I wasn't familiar with in Somerville. Popple got the spiciest thing ever and tried to smoke out the entire restaurant. We were not to be deterred though, and opening the door helped the stressed HVAC system cope with the problem. (Love you Popple!) Not only was I appreciative of tasty Thai food, but also I appreciated everyone's consideration of the fact that I really like to financially support places in my home city. Then afterwards we headed to the movies, where we saw Monsters University with G with her girls as well. Fun!

I received thoughtful cards from [livejournal.com profile] jasra and [livejournal.com profile] ifuonlyknew.

And of course I got to go on a waterfall rappelling adventure with [livejournal.com profile] salvbard.

There was lots of amazing experiences with people I care about, AND I got to turn a prime number.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Generally I do not care for cut flowers. They make me sort of sad, but I appreciate the idea. Today I found a daisy blossom with a short stem lying in the middle of the sidewalk, and I did not want to leave it to wilt unappreciated and trampled. So I tucked it behind my ear and brought it to work with me.

Live flowers are like reminders of hope and promise of fruition to come. Cut flowers seem more like appreciating the good and beautiful things before they are gone. Both are important messages, but apparently we are going with the latter today.

Nutcracker

Dec. 11th, 2011 08:59 pm
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Yesterday [livejournal.com profile] jasra, [livejournal.com profile] ifuonlyknew, Chiquita, my sister, my neice/god-daughter (age 4) and I saw the Nutcracker with many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cintyber for getting us the amazing tickets and apologies to [livejournal.com profile] dancer for missing her baby shower.

I had not been since I took Chiquita in the first grade. Six years later it was an on-going drama of whether or not she was going for months, as she kept flip-flopping on the issue. Ah, there is nothing quite like the fickle mind of a 12 year old. In the end she seemed fairly glad to go though, even if it seemed to mostly get to see her cousin there.

This was Miss L's first trip to see the Nutcracker, although she knows a former Boston Ballet Sugar Plum Fairy from her dance classes. Her excitement was so completely infectious. She was so caught up in it that she kept asking if it was night time outside. (The show was at 1pm, but much of the show takes place at night while Clara is dreaming after the Christmas party.) She was also literally bouncing in her seat as intermission came to a close and the curtain began to rise again.

Small wonder then that she passed out about 3/4 the way through during the Sugar Plum Fairy's solo. The theater was incredibly warm at that point, and my sister noted that that piece of music is on the cd of music she always plays the girls for nap-time. She was very sleepy as we got her limp noodle arms into her coat to leave the theater, but she still gave me a giant hug before we left the theater and thanked me for taking them to the show.

My sister wrote afterwords: "Watching the nutcracker through the expressions on the face of a child experiencing it for the first time... Priceless!! [Ms. L] hugged me on the way home and told me 'thanks mommy today was the best day of my entire life!!' ".

I am so grateful to have chances like this to get to see the world through her eyes. It makes something already magical, so much more so.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Early this week my sister brought home the baby, who could not come home right away as she had been having apnea problems. After 5 days being episode free though, they cleared her to leave. Nervous making! At least my sister is more qualified than most to not freak out if something were to happen though.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Saturday night my sister had another spell. She has had them a couple times before, but they have been unable to determine if they were cardiac in nature (she has a heart problem) or brain related. Her husband took her into the hospital that night around 10 pm. She finally got admitted about Sunday at noon.

They were going to do another ct scan, and then the plan was that she would come home this morning. Well the latter didn't happen, and she has to stay another day at least. I hear that she tomorrow she's getting brain stuff done: MRI ,MRA, some kind of brain-seizure test, and a meeting with a neurologist.

My mom contacted me this afternoon to tell me that she had another minor episode in which she was brushing her teeth and she got lightheaded and her feet went numb. Apparently at that time her BP showed 96 over sixtysomething (not sure on the exacts here).They did a ct scan of her brain and did more blood work. We haven't got results yet.

If you can, please take a little time to think some happy thoughts for her. My mom is taking off a few days to take care of my sister's 6 month old baby since this seems like it might not be resolved quickly. I hope to get down there later this week too.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Ok, so we are at the hotel. Heather and I stayed last night. I am taking a brief break from preparations. This morning I was forced to break down and eat the emergency saltines in my purse. (Do other parents pack those too?) So hungry. People are beginning to show up, but so far there has been no food. Hopefully it will come before they start hair and makeup.
omly: peacock tail feather (magical trevor)
As a few of you already know, I am expecting a new neice or nephew. I already have a nephew by my youngest step-brother, but this will be my sister's first child. So very excited! She is past the 3rd month now, and they did the first ultrasound this week. The baby looks healthy, and is expected in early August.

We probably will not find out the gender, as they are leaning towards not finding out until the birth, but I confess to hoping for a girl. There are so many cuter things to knit and crochet for little girls! No matter what though this baby is being born into a lot of love.
omly: peacock tail feather (And then a miracle occurs...)
I know these are really late at this point, but below the cut are my journal entries I wrote on the road.in reverse chronological order 8/5-8/9 )

Random VI Thoughts
* NPR should not use the phrase "the money shot"
* I am not amused by the size of the bugs, though the larger number of frogs and toads is neat. Wouldn't it be funny if the size of the reptiles was proportional to that of the bugs?
* Neither Roger nor I should travel south in the summer due to the heat; we both wilt.
* The word "indian" drives me crazy especially when used by educational facilities. These people are native americans; they are not native to India.
* My step-mother likes the apartment really cold. No really. Neither Tab nor I are feeling fantastic. I suspect that it is from going back and forth from 100*F to 62*F.
* Unsupervised children in hot tubs should be held ransom.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Although we had discussed going kayaking/canoeing this past sunday, dad ultimately opted to go to The Southwick's Zoo. It was hot and sunny. We went through several bottles worth of water. Tab and I wore much sunscreen and hats. I am happy to say that neither of us seems to have suffered from the long sun exposure during the middle of the day.

Surprisingly my little sister M (age 6) and Tab didn't even fight that much other that the ride home after the zoo and picnic. Tab's highlight of the afternoon was probably the deer forest, where you can walk among the deer as long as you aren't really loud. I was somewhat distressed at how overfed the deer were by the zoo-goers though. Corn is not really that nutritionally rich so feeding them that much must really mess up their nutrition and ultimately their health.

My highlight on the otherhand was the millions of chipmunks who stuffed their cheeks full of dropped and overlooked corn kernels. They were surprisingly fearless and there were a number of both children and adults in the petting zoo section that just thought they were part of the exhibit.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
My holiday shopping has been pretty much done for a while. (We still need to do Roger's parents, though I have started his mother's gift.) There are a a bunch of December birthdays in my family though, and every year at least one of them sneaks under the radar and I end up in a mall during December anyways.

So in this spirit, Tab and I ended up at Cambridgeside yesterday. It actually was not that bad. We headed that way after church, and it wasn't as crowded as I had feared. We had a really nice lunch together at CPK, and finished almost everyone. I still need to find a gift for my dad, but I think it will just end up being a non-mall thing.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
So dinner is digested. I saw lots of family, ate, laughed a lot and came home. Mom made the turkey. My aunt made the salad. I made the rest with the help of Tab. She may not be the most efficient helper, but it was a really nice sort of glowy feeling working with her this morning while it was still quiet. I hope that someday she remembers these sort of moments fondly.

I stripped the turkey carcass of meat, and it is now boiling in my sister's giant soup pot (I am very jealous of it) to become turkey soup tomorrow afternoon. There is a serious lack of bay leaves in the house, but we will remedy that in the morning when we drop of Tab to visit her father. This soup has become tradition, and I love the smell of it even more than the original thanksgiving dinner cooking. My mom says it reminds her of latvian grandmother's house.

This last thing reminds me that I wanted to start recording my mother's and grandmother's memories of growing up...

Squee!

Oct. 19th, 2005 09:00 pm
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
My mommy loves me. Roger was just going in the mail, when he pulled a magazine out. Usually when we get magazines it is because they are giving us our neighbors mail again. But not today! It was a copy of Cook's Illustrated; my mom bought me a subscription as a 'just because' gift. My mom rocks.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
This weekend we had a dinner at my dad's house. Now I love my father dearly, but if anyone thinks that I am indecisive/a poor planner they need only meet my father to find out why. The previous weekend he requested we come this past sunday. All week my sister and I chased after him with phone calls with more information of when we should be there etc. He said that it was really his wife (my step-mother)'s idea and that he would have to ask her. Only he never finalized with her that we were coming. So when my sister called on sunday around noon to find out when dinner was and my step-mother answered, they were both really confused for a bit. Considering how far we have to go to visit and the cost of gas, this was mildly annoying. In the end it all worked out though.

I actually had a really good time. I like spending time with my dad, though planning events with him drives me a little crazy. I got updated on a bunch of stuff (my brother C caught a 52 lb sea bass!). I got to see my baby sister M, and spend some great conversation with my little sister H. I haven't just sat down with H in too long. After dinner we headed back to mom's house so that I could do some troubleshooting with H's first sweater.

"I gave money to your boyfriend."
"Really? Why?"
"For catnip"

This also meant that I could get up the catnip from [livejournal.com profile] moztoo's store Incantations that H had picked up for me the other day. (Ha I feel clever. I even thought to check online to make sure he carried it before asking her to pick some up for me.) I hear that I wiped him out.

Now I am remarkably relaxed for me. I am glad we made time to go down. I kind of wish the boys had been home though. I haven't seen them since... well since the third/fourth of July festivities.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
So we did not manage to actually get out and do anything friday night. (Sorry [livejournal.com profile] nabisprinkles by the time I left the computer lab you had left for the evening, and I realized I didn't have any way of contacting you. Roger didn't feel up to the public transportation anyways though.) So no Willa Wonker at the Hatchshell or Manray for us. Instead we stayed home and cuddled up with Gilgamesh while it rained and thundered. We may not have gone anywhere but in the end I can't say that I was terribly disappointed.

Saturday was our first weekend day just spent at the new apartment ever! That struck me as slightly sad, but I know after the summer season our weekends get significantly less hectic. Still it was good to get things more in order. I feel much better when my living area is clean. I also went to haymarket to pick up some groceries. There were the usual dirty old men, but also one old man who seemed almost awkwardly shy and who said hi. I said hi back but felt decidedly odd... Also the african man who me some couscous, was convinced I wasn't from the area. I am not entirely sure why. He kept asking where I was from though. Yup a trip to haymarket is never uneventful.

Sunday we had a christening party to go to. We didn't actually make it to the christening itself, but we did got to the family party after. The baby christened was my step-mother's sister's son. So basically my cousin. We simplify in my family. There are too many remarriages not to. He is absolutely adorable. His big brother got far too much sun though (I can't believe they didn't put ANY sunblock on him!). I don't envy his parents today. Sunburned babies are not happy beings.
omly: peacock tail feather (deer)
I wrote a letter to my cousin who is stationed in Afghanistan. I am not entirely sure if I need postage or not. I know that family can send mail for free, but I am not immediate family and have a different last name. Writing this letter has made me think about all the talk that has been done about supporting the troops but not the war. It is a difficult issue, but I don't think that it brings out the extremes of opinion most of all. I definately hope the best for him, that he is safe and returns soon. He is scheduled to come home in the spring, unless that has been changed. I can't say that I think that he should be there in the sense that this should not have been started the way that it was. On the otherhand I think better of troops being stationed in Afghanistan than Iraq, although the numbers are definately extremely skewed in the opposite direction. Now that we are there, though, it seems there is little choice about our presence. This whole issue mildly depresses me.

On a lighter note, this story that has been passed from my aunt the last time she got to talk to him. I guess they were on the road and this goat farmer came along with his herd. Now all they are given are ready to eat meals. To suppliment their diet they are encouraged to have stuff sent by family (feel free to imagine all the ramen and canned ravioli he has requested) or to encourage the local economy by buying locally. So they asked the farmer how much he would want for one of his goats. He in return listed some amount that seemed ludicrous to him (the equivalent of saying a million dollars). All the soldiers there scrounged in there pockets and managed to come up with enough in crumpled US dollars. This goat was the highlight of the week. Come to think of it this story is actually fairly sad on a number of levels...

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