Thursday, May 31, 2007

And the evening after the morning after the morning after

Or, if I were sane, Thursday evening.

I had a terrible, retching, wished I were dead migraine today. It occurred to me, while I was lying there not sleeping and trying not to cry, that I hadn't had one in about ten weeks or so, which is an amazing feat for me, especially considering that I quit my job, made it through two production weeks and the entire end-of-school debacle, did six weeks of crutches and had absolutely NO exercise. I think the difference is that I was taking this kind of gross but awesomely effective nutritional supplement in order to speed my healing along. I quit taking it a week or so ago and BOOM, lost yet another day to the Great Curse. I will be taking the nutritional supplement again now, you betcha, and I'll let you know if it's the great migraine cure. (Plus, you should see my fingernails --they are so strong, I can barely clip them short. I bet I also have a nice glossy coat.)

Honestly, getting migraines is the single biggest price I have paid for having children. They defy description --unless you suffer from migraines yourself, there is just no way I can make you understand what they are like, even with my own rather large talent for gross exaggeration.

One of the worst parts is that while you are sitting there with a socket wrench shoved through your sinus cavity so that the slightest movement threatens to make your brain leak out of your ears, you cannot sleep. Isn't that awful? I often think, "If I could just fall asleep, I could shake this thing." But there is no sleep to be had so I lie there, trying not to move until my hands fall asleep and my calf muscles cramp and I HAVE to move, which makes me have to dash to the bathroom, throw up and start the whole lying still cycle over again.

It's not pleasant.

And yes, I have the Big Drugs. But they don't always work. Like today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The morning after...

Tuesday is Trash Day.

We missed the recycling pick-up.

That's not a personal best for the Cooper household, I don't think, but the trash might have been. Had we missed the trash pick-up, I might have had a breakdown but since it was just the recycling, I had a chance to take pictures. Which I didn't do during the party because I was so busy. I took two pictures the whole day. I hope someone else took some better ones.

I think it was one of our best parties. Naturally, this was due to the fact that I had adopted this "I don't care if it's not perfect, people will understand, I'm in a cast for goodness' sake" attitude. (As an aside, according to the new AP style, that should be goodness's sake. I just can't do it.) At any rate, my attitude contributed to a general feeling of relaxation on the part of all party guests. It's hard to relax when the hostess is wound so tight you could bounce her like a rubber ball and hit the second floor ceiling.

This also means that everyone gets so relaxed that they let their kids do things they wouldn't think of letting them do if they weren't in the home of all these people acting like Children of the Sixties. Like, say, wiping large amount of icing onto the rug in the den. But I'm okay with that, honestly. I'll probably get it cleaned up by our Kid Friendly New Year's Eve Party. Or not. (That rug is toast anyway. I'm less Stoner-Calm about the smooshed-in cookie on the couch.)

My poor husband didn't get to run his race, after all that training. Months and months of training. You wouldn't believe the rain we had. I feel really sorry for the race organizers --because you know they wanted a huge race. They're GUYS, after all. But in some ways, I think this might have contributed to the success of our party because A) the would-be racers didn't spend the whole time rehashing the race while the rest of us fought not to fall on the floor and strike ourselves, and B) they weren't running to the computer to check and see if the results were in and C) they weren't dead asleep by 2:00.

My mother-in-law and Coop's Aunt Diane did almost all of the kitchen clean-up--which is just amazing because there was a fair amount. (It's also amazing that she was here because she and my father-in-law haven't been married to each other in 20-something years. But they get along okay, so it was all okay.) I was on Towel Washing Patrol and acquitted myself fairly well.

And get how cool my father-in-law is: he actually saw me knitting and ASKED me about the whole process. I ended up showing him how knitters are the most generous people on the web--all the free videos you find on Amy's site. And the free tutorials out there, like the one that made me a sock knitter, Silver's site. He said, in his classic way of getting right to the essence of things, "You know, that's very kind." And it really is.

The food was amazing and Coop's Uncle Paul even held back a rack of ribs for me (I can't ever eat during a party, can you?) so when the party was over and the dishwasher and washing machine were purring in the background, I had a snack and a glass of wine and we all watched some Jonny Quest and then, after the kids had gone to bed, some Criss Angel Mindfreak (everyone in my husband's extended family is really into magic and magicians.)

A good day, in memory of my dad.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Geeks, Socks and Stash

Okay, this is hilarious: http://www.threadbanger.com/post/433/the-top-10-geekiest-yarn-creations-on-the-web

Um, I had a bit of an accident with my debit card and an on-line yarn store. It wasn't my fault-- the place was having a really BIG sale. All knitters know that a yarn sale has magical powers to make even the most committed small-stasher lose all reason. It wasn't my fault. Seriously.

I've been a bit quiet about knitting lately because of the Whole "end of school, production week, fighting with my spouse (we're over it and back to being all mushy, by the way. Of course he hasn't seen my new yarn explosion, either, so stay tuned.) and quitting my job" Thing but I'm still working on a sock (shown below along with my walking cast and several of the right shoes that I have lying about in my living room.)


I'm plotting my next project because I'd like to knit a sweater. I'm afraid, though, it just seems like such a big commitment. Also, I just LOVE to knit socks. I love them. Just my kind of project. But I'm slow at it. I wish I were a faster knitter. It seems like every day I visit the Yarn Harlot's blog and she has almost finished a new sweater and six pairs of socks. It's a bit daunting.

Speaking of my husband, (and we were, weren't we?) his big race of the year is tomorrow. He's out on a training ride--just to loosen up so his legs don't go into shock tomorrow, as he says. Here's how he looked just before he left:

Is it just me, or is he totally hot?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dog Stories

I posted a little bit about Scout on a new blog, started by my friend Tiffany, called Dog Stories. If you want to read more than you've ever wanted to know about submissive urination in dogs, go here: Dog Stories

It's a really good blog and I feel honored to be a contributor. I'll try to think of some better stories than that one...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I am CRABBY

May 25, 2007

I know it says an earlier date up at the top. Because one of the charming things about this Blogger deal is that it publishes the date you STARTED the post and not the date that you actually, um, posted it. [*Editor's Note: Thanks to Becky for telling me how to change the date on my posts!] Clearly, the folks at Blogger do not understand Production Week.

For it was indeed Production Week on the magazine and it went so smoothly that I am completely sure I'd missed something really big. Like, I've gotten the month or the year wrong or misspelled magazine or something. Since this is my last issue as Editor, I want it to be perfect, naturally.

They never are perfect, though. They are all Navajo quilts.

But anyway, work went very smoothly and my children stayed healthy for the last week of school. When I stepped on the scale this morning, I'd unexpectedly lost two pounds. I put together a scrapbook for my favorite third grade teacher ever and all but two of the students got their pages back to me. I also collected enough money to send this wonderful woman to a half day at the spa.

So, I have no idea why I'm so crabby. I guess it's just a lot of change all at once and maybe there's something about being an ex-army brat. Each change is a good-bye, of sorts. And it's hard to say goodbye to the people at Austin Family, especially to Kaye, my boss and the Publisher. She's what we in the South call, "Good People."

Naturally, too, I am beset by second thoughts over quitting because I am scared to death that I won't ever get another job where someone will actually PAY me to write and that no one will ever read my work again except in this blog and therefore, I will never realize my dream of finding my books in Half-Price Books. (I look every single time I'm there, although I am somewhat hampered by the fact that I have no idea what they'd categorize my lone book as...) I want to find three or four of my (as yet unwritten and therefore, unpublished) books in there and to know that someone read my stuff and then took them to Half Price Books where they made at least fifty cents per book so they could by something else.

I'm sure this bad mood has nothing to do with the fact that my husband and I are having a big honkin' argument slight disagreement over our Memorial Day Party. We always have a big fight some slight tension at this time of year because, as we all know, May is the new December in terms of stressful months that involve our children and our schedules and the entire world expecting more of us than we can possibly deliver. Add into that my immobility due to my foot surgery and the fact that my husband is trying to train for the triathlon he will run on Memorial Day and we react like all people under seige: we totally take our stress out on each other. After all, we've got to have SOMETHING to talk to our therapist about.

I'm also sure that my bad mood has nothing to do with the fact that my kids got out of school for the summer today, and the weather forecast calls for rain and more rain through Tuesday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I Admit

Okay, so I admit that there were so many funny things to say about that last post that I couldn't say anything. But I did check, and although Barbies really have changed in the last 35 years since *I* played with them, they still do not have penises.

Not even Ken.

(Jane says she doesn't undress the Twelve Dancing Princesses because they are too special.)

Overheard

Mom: Jane, why are all of your Barbies naked?

Jane: Because I like to see their penises.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Times They Are A'Changin'

So, today, the new Editor at Austin Family Magazine came to my house so that I could give her an overview of the job and all the files and magazines I had, etc.

I was predisposed to hate her.

I know it's not mature but it's kind of like breaking up with someone. You didn't want him but you don't really want anyone else having him either. No, no, I actually have no first hand knowledge of this dynamic. I usually dated such mean guys that nobody else wanted them either!

Maybe it's more like having some boy come to date your daughter. You're looking him over very carefully, wondering if he is good enough for YOUR BABY.

I was looking this woman over very carefully.

So, of course, she's just like me, only probably better.

Obama sticker on the van. No make-up, just like me. She's running the Danskin this year, which you KNOW I've always wanted to do (at least up until the doctor told me that I wouldn't be running again.) She worked for ten years as a reporter for the paper (in Austin, there is only one big paper) and she's a mom with three kids. One in fourth grade (I have one in third) and one in first grade (I have one in Kindergarten) and a three year old. (I have Scout, also almost three.) I liked her.

I really liked her.

So I didn't get all choked up until the end when I told her that this is hard for me. I think it's the right decision, but it's still hard to leave. I did really good work for Austin Family and I enjoyed it. I loved feeling competent and I loved the title of Editor (even though if most people knew what all that entailed, they might not be so impressed.)

But I'm doing the right thing. Not just for my family, although that has been made crystal clear to me. But also for me. As long as I am working for someone else, I can't promote my own work, right? I mean, I never did anyway but now I want to.

So, she and the Publisher of the magazine were here for more than two hours and I tried to do the best job I could at telling the new Editor everything I know about the job.

And then I went out and did this --in what is a totally typical reaction to sadness for me.

See this?

Last night, it was THIS.


Next week is production week. By the end of it, I will probably have installed new siding.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Number Four

Usually, I really like the number four. There are four of us (humans) in Cooperville and there are four pets. There's a certain symmetry there, you know? (Because symmetrical insanity IS the goal.)

Anyway, today I was not so fond of the number four because my doctor told me that was the number of weeks I would still be in this...[ ]... boot. (I'm sorry. I am trying not to curse.) I don't know. I was hoping for better. For shorter. For something that smelled a bit less like the back end of a camel.

How do I know how the back end of a camel smells, you ask? Well, I've smelled the FRONT end and this is worse.

I'm not complaining. No, well, okay I AM but I don't want you to THINK I'm complaining.

Because I met this woman at Jane's gymnastics recital. (Did you know about these? Truly, they make all the parents come into the gym and then we all follow our girls around the gym as they do absolutely death-defying things on these horrifying apparatuses and we try not to scream while videoing the whole thing.) Anyway, this woman was in her twelfth week of being on crutches and I wouldn't want to trade places with her for all the book deals in China. Let me state for the record that crutches are worse than the boot, although they don't smell quite as bad.

Four is also the number of days my husband has been gone. And I miss him. Not just because HE would have been able to catch the enormous moth in Ana's room tonight --boy, that boot really slows down my Spider Moves! But just because... well, I miss him. There are funny things that happen and I don't really have anyone to share them with because really EDWARD can NOT be bothered. (He's kind of like the Fonz of our cats. And very concerned with grooming at the moment, not to mention that he can do the splits better than *I* can.)

I went shopping for an entertainment center today and think I found one I like at Crate and Barrel. The REAL one I like is this Avion one that costs $1500 dollars, which is more than the television that we want to stand on it. Anyway, I wandered around Crate and Barrel and couldn't get anyone to even talk to me so I went to World Market and looked at chairs. Why the sudden need to get my house in order, you ask?

Well, because tomorrow morning, the new Editor of the Magazine is coming over for my files and all. I figured I could either prepare for that meeting or I could tile my new bar area. I think I'll have time to grout before she gets here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dogs and Balls

So, the thing is we have two dogs. One of them is our old dog Sydney, who is 13, and a truly wonderful example of all things canine. The other is Scout, who is... well, terminally stupid. Scout is sort of a Border Collie, Australian Shepherd mix but apparently we got the worst half of both because he is just... well, see this column for more. Note that I couldn't tell EVERYTHING about how my husband picked Scout, not without resorting to falling on the floor and striking myself. Like I didn't even touch on the fact that he chose Scout because he was so animated and BARKED SO MUCH. Clearly the man is running some kind of experiment to see how long I can go without the thin cord that connects me to sanity snapping like a cheap pony-o.

Because Scout is mostly Border Collie, he needs a significant amount of exercise every day or he gets neurotic and chews up every freaking flip-flop in the house. So, with my spouse having skipped town on some so-called "business trip," (he packed his cycling gear) it was up to me to take the dogs out back and throw the ball.

Did I mention that Scout LIVES to play fetch? He may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier but that dog can FETCH. He's the best dog I've ever seen at dropping the ball right at your feet, too. And his focus is pretty impressive, well, until you remember what dog you're dealing with and how he forgets who you are in the time it takes you to walk to the mailbox and get the mail. (Sometimes, in the middle of the night right when I've finally entered REM sleep, he'll bark at one of the cats. Just forgot that kitty lives here, too.)

Anyway, our house backs up to a green belt and we have a good track out there for the dogs to run. This was the first time I've been out on the greenbelt since my foot surgery (seven weeks and two days ago) but now that I'm in this nifty walking boot and actually able to touch it to the floor without crying soundlessly, I thought I could do it. Since my spouse is out of town "working" (just kidding, hon!)and it's flip-flop weather here in Central Texas and the kids already don't like Scout, so I thought I ought to get him some exercise.

We use this contraption that enables me to throw the tennis ball a long way, although I'm a little out of practice. Look, here's Scout trying to find the ball in the woods where I accidentally threw it.Here's Sydney trying to get out of the way before Scout mows her over.


And look, here's Scout hoping I don't hit him in the back of the head with the ball again.

(I hadn't counted on the mosquitoes the size of Buicks out there, though. After I got bitten about 30 times and could hear the little suckers massing for a last attack, screaming, "WEST NILE!" I headed back to the house.)

I don't why I think this is Blog Worthy except it seems indicative of one of those small things that have come together to create this thing I call my life. I mean, OF COURSE, we have the world's dumbest and most enthusiastic dog! Of COURSE we do. And OF COURSE he has affinity for the one form of footwear that causes constant friction between my husband and our daughters. And of course, we weren't going to adopt some pedigreed, trained, snooty, continent dog --what's fun about that?

Small things, my friends. Small hilarious things. That's what makes a life

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Seven things--Tag! You're It!

My friend Kathy challenged me or whatever it's called when you dare someone to follow a meme or... wait, let me check with her --TAGGED. That's it: tagged. Kathy tagged me.

She wanted me to post seven things about myself that she didn't know.

Well, given that I pretty much live my life as a gaping wound an open book, it's taken me forever to think what I could say that she didn't know because I've made a career of exposing my most spastic moments owning my mistakes so that my readers can feel relatively superior like we are all much more alike than different.

But anyway, here goes:
1. I can't knit under the influence. Seriously, I ended up ripping it all back out the next day when I realize I've made an error. I think this may be the first thing I've discovered that I can't do BETTER after a glass of wine.

2. I love to paint my house but hate oil-based paint. All of the wood trim in my house, including the doors, is painted in oil-based paint and every single bit of it needs to be repainted. Like, needs it in an embarrassingly obvious way.

3. My children are behind in their well-child check-ups, and also in their trips to the dentist.

4. I have an almost pathological fear of disappointing people and because of it, I disappoint people way more than I should. I promise more than I can deliver. I say yes way more than I should. I have OCD about so many things that finishing YOUR project just might not really happen.

I really, really, really HATE this about myself.

5. There is not a day that goes by that I don't wish I had a different body. And I don't just mean thinner. I really, really want to be tall and gawky instead of short and merry. I want to have long bones and to be flat chested and athletic. I hate round. I'd like to be a taller version of Jane --one big, coordinated muscle with not an ounce of extra flesh--not one. I'd like to stand, poised for flight, and have you never even once doubt that I couldn't kick your ass at a foot race or arm wrestle. I'd like to inspire a tiny bit of fear.

It's not in the cards for me THIS lifetime.

6. It took me until I was almost 40 to discover that I am Smart. I think I knew it once, back when the other kids made fun of me for using such big words or when my teacher berated me for finishing an assignment so fast or whatever. But I guess I forgot. Meanwhile, most of the people around me have forgotten it, too. Ditto for how long it took me to realize that I'm a good writer. (Not great, yet, but pretty good. Maybe better than average, although the more I read of other people's blogs, the more I worry.)

7. If I didn't have such ties here, I don't think I would live in the United States. Don't get me wrong, I would die for the principles on which this country was founded. I believe with my whole heart and soul in the opportunity here and the largeness of spirit found in most Americans. Having said that, I hate that we have become the playground bullies of the world. I hate the disdain for the old and the sick and the poor in this country --it's like we think everyone should just... you know, be Young and Healthy and Affluent. If you're not, maybe you're not trying hard enough. I hate being on the side of the bully --I keep wanting to say, "we're not all like this here! No, really, most of us just want to live in some kind of peace with other cultures and go on about our business so we can save for our children's therapy."

The current American administration does not speak for me. The constant indictments and the ethics (or lack thereof) of those in power with regard to women's rights, the environment, the war on Iraq, the judicial system, treatment of the poor, and a thousand other things make me feel like a hypocrite --like I am reaping the benefits of living in this country under false pretenses. I mean, I get to live this great life and go to Half Price Books and all and yet I can't shake the idea that maybe I shouldn't be such a part of the system that keeps those less fortunate down. Oh. My. Gosh. I'm the Man, always trying to keep them down!

Seriously, though, I think I would move to New Zealand or Canada if I could, and gratefully pay half of my salary (well, um, if I MADE a real salary) so that there could be healthcare for everyone. Plus, I just really want to live somewhere where it's more peaceful and both of those places seem to have a better pace...

So, wow, I guess I sort of spilled all my deepest secrets there. You're IT!

Mother's Day Morning 2007 --a pictorial

I'm a big sucker for Mother's Day. At least Mother's Day morning. It's the greatest example of those small things that make motherhood so funny and kids so endearing.

First, the girls TRY to let us sleep in. (This morning, we made it to 7:48 --an all-time-record, I think.) Then everyone but me went downstairs to conspire on breakfast. Jane took my "order."
I love to hear my kids working with their dad to make my breakfast in bed. They get so genuinely excited about it. And THIS morning, breakfast was truly exceptional.



It was made even more exceptional by the fact that Jane felt that the day was special enough that I could have the company of Super Polly. (Dude. This is a big honor. I'm not worthy.)



Then I opened presents and reveled in the homemade wrapping paper and the beautiful necklaces the girls had made for me. Jane also included a small tin of beads and told me to "please choose a bead." That's what this says.




Coop managed to surprise me with another present, even though he'd already given me a new bike, for goodness sake. (See, he does stuff like that and then when it comes time for Father's Day, I give him a big round metal circle that neither one of us can remember ever wanting. Or knowing what it is.) (It was a thing you put under the smoker to keep from setting the deck on fire. This was sorely needed and I had carefully written down the model number and ordered it far in advance. So far in advance that I forgot what it was. Is that a problem?) He framed the two covers of Austin Family on which the girls appeared, as a nice memento of my job.

He also does this thing where he gives me a Starbucks gift card from the pets. (I love me some Starbucks.) He always attaches a card signed by the pets, which cracks me up. (Of course, this year, Ana said, "I thought Sydney usually signs in cursive." Dad: "Sometimes it changes from one year to another.")



So then we had a few early morning power struggles and tears and now the girls are happily playing outside (well, kind of happily --in between the screaming and all) and I am sitting inside with my foot up, knitting on my newest pair of socks and occasionally refereeing and threatening time outs:



A great day so far. It's pretty good, this mom thing.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Overheard

Overheard in the Cooper household:

Jane: Dad, give me a story about Elmo.

Dad: Once upon a time, Elmo was indicted on Federal racketeering charges...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Small Socks

So, I finished them. The socks for Ana (newly nine-years-old), I mean. The ones she really wanted me to make for her. They are beautiful and they took an enormous amount of time on itty-bitty knitting needles. Here they are drying after their inaugural hand (!) washing.



I already know that she's not going to wear them. She put them on once during the process and immediately proclaimed them "itchy" and took them back off.

I knitted them anyway. I knitted them knowing this even before I started them.

This morning, I took the girls to school (this boot was made for hobbling) and when I went to kiss her goodbye, she ducked her head and butted up against me like calves do their mothers. I whispered, "I'm sorry. No more kissing in public?" She nodded, embarrassed, and then leaned all her weight against me in apology.

Here, my love. I knitted you some socks. And I knitted every bit of my love for you, and my mixed feelings about you growing up, into each of the 34,000 stitches.

I don't even care if you wear them or not.

Small things.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Big and Meaningful Post

My friend and cousin-by-marriage Leslie sent me an e-mail after she read the post about my mom's comments about blogging. (Actually, I got a lot of e-mail about that post. Maybe we all have the same mother.) Anyway, my mom had been sort of vaguely insulting about the mundane content of my blog and Leslie asked, "Does your mom fill you with the need to make sure everything you do is BIG and MEANINGFUL?"

Now that I think about it, that's exactly how I feel. Although my mom has been very supportive of my decision to quit my job. She sees the mothering of my children as a Big and Meaningful thing to do and anything that takes away from that is bad, so my paying job as the Big and Meaningful Editor of a Magazine had to go. She was proud of me for having that job, though, and she sent copies of the magazine to friends and relatives. She likes that I have published a book (although I don't think she's read it, since she's be a subscriber to the column since its inception.) So, basically, I think she thinks I should be doing Big and Meaningful things that produce something.

You know what? I fully subscribe to that view. I mean, BOTH views: that my job as a mother should be the Biggest and most Meaningful thing in my life right now (given that it's a pretty finite period of time and it's flying by) and also, that I should only be doing Big and Meaningful Things.

"So, what's the problem?" you're thinking. "You are doing a Big and Meaningful thing by mothering your children and you think you should only be doing Big and Meaningful things. Sounds like a win-win."

Well, but the thing is that my brain appears to be giving me schizophrenic messages about what's Big and Meaningful. In the back of my brain is this little voice that tells me all the ways in which my life is small and insignificant, because making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and using a flower-shaped cookie cutter on it is apparently not the stuff of Big and Meaningful. Sitting outside and watching the roly-polies (roly polies are so cool) is not the stuff of Big and Meaningful. Laundry? Nope. Grocery shopping? Nope. Blogging? Um, hellooo. Like, NOT.

It seems to me that our whole country is engaged in this schizophrenic madness. It's not enough anymore to just have a hobby --now we have to do EXTREME hobbies. It's not enough to have a small house on a small piece of land --now we all want McMansions with waterfall pools and electric bills equal to the yearly budgets of small countries. We can't just watch the evening news --now it's 24 hours a day, all news, all the time. It's not enough to work a normal work week and then go home --we're all working more and more hours every week. It's gotten to where that's EXPECTED of us! And if that's the new "normal," what's NEXT?

Even my husband, who is really incredibly supportive, doesn't really think that sitting here healing from my reconstructive foot surgery is really, well, enough. He's asked me several times, "So, when do you start your comeback?" But then again, he's the first person to tell me to get off of my foot. It's a strange expectation that, although he's not sure exactly what I should be doing, he's pretty sure I should be doing more. Schizophrenic, I tell you.

I think I subscribe to this feeling that I'm not doing enough things that are Big and Meaningful, and I'm pretty sure I always have. So, I started a parenting COLUMN some six and a half years ago, not a BLOG. (Doesn't "Column" sound so much more B and M than "Blog?") And when I decided to start knitting, I didn't just quietly knit a pair of socks --oh no, I bought books and created a stash and now insist on showing everyone that I am PRODUCING something. Because I wouldn't want anyone to think that I was just sitting here being still and enjoying it.

I believe that the joy of ours lives happens when we weave together all of these small moments—the flower-shaped PB and J and the roly-polies and the fleeting sticky kisses of toddlers. The worst thing about this belief that everything should be Big and Meaningful is that it robs us of the pure enjoyment of small things—of small moments-- that define the joy of our lives.

At least, it robs ME. Leslie seems to have figured it out. "I live to be small. I find it to be very empowering. Like a stitch in a sock. Big is overrated."

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Happy Faux Birthday, Brother

My oldest brother had a Faux Fiftieth Birthday Party today. It's why we're in Dallas instead of licking our wounds in Austin. Because we are SO wounded.

I think my foot hurts worse than after the surgery when vicodin was an option. I'm in this new walking boot but the thing is... walking in a walking boot isn't exactly like it sounds. It isn't really WALKING. And it really hurts.

Other than that, life is rosy. My husband had gum surgery on Wednesday and this is how he looks:

It's been four days and so far, every day he's looked worse. Between the two of us, I know people are thinking that either we had one hell of a fight or we were in some kind of massive car accident.

This, too, shall pass, right? RIGHT?

I'm knitting the second sock to Ana's pair. And today, I went to the Woolie Ewe in Plano. It defies description. I bought so much yarn that the owner gave me a free Woolie Ewe Mug. I gave it to my mom. I'm not worthy.

But I'll be back.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Ah, Friday

Today is a better day. For one thing, it's near lunch time and I'm not drinking wine. Yesterday, I met my boss, the Publisher of Austin Family Magazine, for lunch and I told her that I was giving notice. We drank a bunch of wine and we both cried. Part of the beauty of my job was how closely we worked together and how well we got along. I just love her.

I know you're thinking that I quit my job to have more time to knit. This is not true. Really. No, REALLY.

I quit because I figure I have one shot at raising these kids and the last year has shown me that while I can multitask on the mindless stuff pretty easily, I have a very hard time shifting my focus from one big thing to another. So, it was really hard for me to stop working and concentrate on my kids when they got home from school. (I'm still working on the part where I stop concentrating on the kids and start concentrating on my husband after they go to bed.) And often, my husband would take them to go do fun stuff and I'd stay home to work. This is NOT quality family time. Plus my spouse is traveling more and while he's been unbelievably supportive about taking over when I needed to work longer hours during production week, etc., it adds a lot of stress to ask him to do that on the days when he's NOT traveling.

And then there's the whole thing where I discovered that I simply don't know how to work part time. I'm just missing that gene.

The kicker came when I realized that I hadn't filled out some paperwork that Jane needed that would have made a big impact on the start of the next school year. I am still so mad at myself--failure to execute makes me CRAZY.

Anyway, I'm hoping to do a bit more marketing of my own work--since I've done absolutely NOTHING in that regard, this should be an easy goal to achieve --and I'm hoping to get back to writing humor columns like mad.

(Um. And knitting. Shhhh!)


Here's Ana wearing her new sock.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Um

I quit my job today.


I'll write more about it tomorrow but I have a really big headache --stress, I'm sure -- and I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Oh, gosh, I'm sorry!

Well, if you made it here from my regular humor column, I congratulate you since I forgot the .com on the end of the address to get you here. I'm really sorry. The problem with living in my head is that it makes it a little hard to live in the real world where details like this matter. Sigh.

Maybe I could knit you some socks to make up for it.

Barb