Seventy-five percent of my children have a cold.  The only one who does not has a broken collarbone.

So it was inevitable that I caught it, too, very much against my will.  For one thing, today is (was?) my birthday.  I am too old to catch the common cold.  (Ha.  Don’t you wish?)

While walking the dog this morning and discussing my age, my 1o-year old daughter pointed out, “Both of my parents are elderly.”  I laughed out loud.  Then, encouraged by my reaction, she intoned, “My parents will be pushing each other around in wheelchairs at my wedding.”

Oh!  That child makes me laugh.

I had a quiet birthday.  My husband and I went to lunch where we used up a $25 birthday credit.  I love a bargain, so that felt quite satisfying.  Then after lunch we came home via the route along the coast.  The sun was bright today, so the water was such a beautiful deep blue color.

And now I’m taking my sore throat to bed where I hope to ignore it and sleep.

Also?  I don’t really mind my age, but I’m kind of mad at the whole idea of getting old and dying.


I have a story to tell, a silly one, but it’s really late already, so that story will have to percolate until tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s an unrelated, random photo from a few weeks ago.  (My daughter is on the left and my son’s girlfriend is on the right.)







Snap, crackle, pop

Even though today was a holiday (Martin Luther King Day), I had to work because I was covering a shift for another employee who is on vacation.  So, that was a bummer.

After work, I folded some laundry and made my bed and frittered away a small block of time.  Then, at 4:15 PM, my daughter and I headed to soccer practice.  I brought along the 1,200 page novel I’m reading.

Halfway to the park, my cell phone rang.  Unfamiliar phone number.  Strange.

“Mom, I just broke my collarbone again.”

I said, “What?”

And he said, “I just broke my collarbone again.”

I said, “REALLY?”

And he said, “Yes.”

My husband had just dropped him off at the field to practice lacrosse, so I called him and told him he’d need to go back and take our boy to Urgent Care.  Only he didn’t know where that was and before I knew it, I’d turned my van around and returned home to transfer my daughter to my husband’s car so I could drive twenty minutes the other direction to pick up our son.

And so  my son and I spent the next three and a half hours at the Urgent Care.  He was quite cheerful and resigned and funny.  I was just trying to avoid catching the flu while waiting impatiently, wishing for a footstool and reading my novel.

In the x-ray image, I saw the same collarbone that I’d seen last September, with a break in the exact same area.

So, no more lacrosse for him this year.

Instead of getting a sports physical on Wednesday, he’ll be seeing an orthopedic doctor sometime this week.

He’s pretty disappointed and I would be insensitive to admit how relieved I am that we won’t have to manage five-days a week practices and weekend traveling once the season begins, so I won’t mention that.  He doesn’t seem to be in much pain.

I wish I could think of a clever way to end this post but I am much too tired.

The end.

And today I mailed out Christmas letters

Yesterday, I wrestled my three-part fake pre-lit Christmas tree into its box and taped it closed before it could spring back out.  I felt a great sense of accomplishment. I hope it still lights up next Christmas.

Then today, I sent out sixty-five Christmas letters.  Because I am prompt like that.

It’s been cold here, dipping into the thirties and even twenties at night–which is very cold, indeed, for San Diego.  I actually slipped on ice the other morning while walking the dog.  But today it was glorious and warm, a little warmer than seventy degrees.  I would have liked to recline on a chaise lounge in the sunshine except for two problems:

1)  I don’t own a chaise lounge.
2)  I didn’t have time to recline.  I was too busy stuffing Christmas letters into envelopes, thinking how silly it was to even send anything this late.

After the letters were ready to send, I drove Grace and Lola the Dog and the envelopes to a mailbox which is weirdly situated on the side of a road near the dog park.  Then we went to the dog park where Lola the Dog pranced and raced and greeted more people than dogs. My daughter greeted every dog she could, especially the Corgi which is her current favorite breed.

After the sun had set, we returned home and I cooked a quick dinner.

At any rate, it’s no longer Christmas around here, just in case you were wondering, and in fact, this week it looks almost like summer, especially by Seattle standards.


Furtive admission

You know what’s worse than trying to figure out what you’re going to be when you grow up?

Helping someone else try to figure out what they’re going to be when they grow up.

Perhaps other mothers of growing up children will understand this terror.  Or perhaps I am the only mother who knows what I mean.  So many mothers I know have growing up kids who are on the traditional path to adulthood.  Mine are not, so far.

Moms of new babies compare notes, mostly as a way to brag, I think.  Is your baby sleeping through the night?  Did your baby roll over yet?  How many words does your baby say?  Have you figured out how to wean your baby?

And other mothers chime in because babies can’t read what their mothers say on the Internet.

Those were the days.  So much simpler and so much easier when the future was beyond the horizon.  Now the future is about to barge through the front door without so much as a polite knock.  So rude.

Shoo, fly, don’t bother me

What is up with super high heels?

Does anybody you know in real life actually wear them?

I see them on television all the time (perhaps I watch too many Real Housewives).  The women are hobbling down the sidewalk and I just don’t get it.

I do remember when I was a young teenager–maybe even a pre-teen–and I owned a pair of ridiculously high platform sandals which I wore with–as memory serves–“suntan” pantyhose and a polyester skirt.

But when I was young, I thought fashion mattered and I didn’t care about being unable to walk.

Now, I just want my feet not to hurt.  I want to be able to walk without tottering.  Won’t there be plenty of time to totter when I’m an old woman?

Can you imagine a man enduring the stupidity of these impossible shoes just so his calves would look more shapely or so he’d look taller and, therefore, slimmer?

Listen.  I’m already 5’7″.  I don’t need to be six feet tall but I do need to be able to balance while I walk.


The Frumpiest Woman in Southern California . . . but my feet feel fine, thanks for asking


I intend to send out Christmas letters soon.  Maybe tomorrow.

Here’s the problem, though.

First of all, the two weeks prior to Christmas were so busy.   Three different employees took time off for the holidays which meant I had to cover their shifts personally.  Because of that, I worked 104 hours the two weeks prior to Christmas.  Plus, I had a house-guest.  Plus, there was the whole thing about Christmas coming, which meant decorating and buying gifts and making the magic happen.

So, I didn’t write the letter early.  Or even on time.  But I wrote it.

Then, I had to collect updated addresses from a few of my nomadic friends.

After that, I decided to create a new address data base on my computer.  I used to have one but that was an old computer and I lost all that information in a computer crash a few years back.

So, I typed in all the addresses, adding in the updated ones I’d acquired.

Now, I want to use the power of the computer to simply print out mailing labels, but first I will have to figure out how to do that exactly.  I have the labels.  I have the computer.  I have the addresses all typed in.  It’s just a matter of time.

Time keeps on ticking and my “New Year’s Letter” will be a “Valentine’s Day Letter” if I don’t get it together and quick.

Doesn’t it seem like Christmas was a million years ago?  My denuded Christmas tree is still in the living room, waiting to be wrestled into its box.

But let’s contemplate sand castles built for the holidays at The Hotel del Coronado, shall we?

(I don’t know those people in the background but they wouldn’t move along.  Rude.)

The beach at Carlsbad

I took some of the kids to watch the sun set tonight.  The pelicans were swooping over the waves, following the leader.  I love pelicans, don’t you?

My daughter’s molar is sitting on my desk, right next to the envelopes I meant to mail, my iPhone, a brand new book of Post-it notes and a notepad scrawled with notes that don’t matter anymore.

I should be asleep but I got distracted.   And then I thought I should write something in this neglected blog but there is so much I could say and so little I can say.  No man is an island and all that.

I took my daughter and my son’s girlfriend to the beach tonight to watch the sunset.  It was beautiful and only a little chilly.

We saw a pelican snap at an unsuspecting man’s elbow when the man invaded the pelican’s space.  A sign near the pelican said something like, “I am a wild animal.  I bite stupid people.”  That may have been the best moment of my day.


Short version

I have a long version of this story, but I am exhausted after working 104 hours in the past 2 weeks.  I wish I were exaggerating.  And by “work”, I only mean salaried work for my job.  That excludes all the general stuff I do to keep the household running, including cooking a homemade dinner a possible record-breaking five nights in a row and making sure everyone has clean underpants every day.  And clean bath towels.

And, by the way, did you know Christmas is coming?

The short version of the story is this:

Tonight I was cooking dinner.  Chocolate gravy and homemade biscuits and bacon.  (It’s a Texas thing.  Don’t be alarmed.  I know it’s weird.)  I’d finished the chocolate gravy and bacon and was about to dump the mixed-together biscuit dough onto the counter so I could knead it and cut out the biscuits.

And then I saw a . . . bug?  A tiny black bug on my biscuit dough.  What?  How?  Huh?

I removed the bug and peered closely at the dough–oh, look, this story is going from short to long–and there was another bug.

Then I decided my flour was contaminated with bugs, so I began to paw through the gigantic Costco-sized bag of flour I have (had!) and didn’t find any bugs, yet I knew there were bugs and my husband, who happened to stop by the kitchen, said, “Oh, I see one right there,” and then I dumped the dough into the gigantic bag of flour and took it to the trash can and threw it out.

My husband went to the grocery store and bought three cans of biscuits.  Thanks, Pillsbury.

And that is the not-short version of bugs in the biscuits.

You’re welcome.

At least I noticed the bugs today before I did any Christmas baking tomorrow.  Because–I’m not sure if you are aware of this–but Christmas is coming.  Soon, I hear.

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