Dearly Beloveds.  It’s been a while.  Are you there?  I am here (what is Here, anyway?  It’s just There without a “T”).

It's Just There Without a T

This post marks the end of the longest lapse

this blog has suffered since I renamed it a year and a half ago.  Actually,  I don’t know that the blog literally suffered; it is, after all, only as sentient as a trifling aggregation of ones and ciphers  can be, strung invisibly together in the netherland betwixt Time and Space. And if you managed to make  sense of that last sentence…no, wait, if you even bothered to read all the way through that last sentence,  you must have really, really missed me.  I’ve missed you too.   But.  While I’ve missed you, dearly beloveds, I am still ok, it turns out.  Ok and present.   Call out the roll and I’ll pipe up:  “Here!”

You might ask where I’ve been?  And what  I’ve been up to?  If you were actually Here, in person (rather than There, anonymously online),  I would grab your hands and waltz you into my miniscule living room, plunk you down on my rapidly-becoming-shabby couch, grab us a couple of banana muffins, and tell you.  You would not be able to shut me up.    But (sadly) we aren’t  Here together; you’re reading this from a safe and austere distance.  I sit on my declining couch alone with my laptop.  At least fundamentally educated  about blog decorum  and prudence, I will edit. [click to continue…]


Realty’s Alternate Reality: Sanity Checklist

It’s Tomorrow.  I haven’t forgotten my promise to enthrall us all with sage strategies for staying sane in Realty’s Alternate Reality.

Wait—I don’t remember actually promising anything besides breath-takingness.   I’m thinking, at this late hour, that it would be easier to just post a really pretty picture of a mountain, and call it good.

But I won’t.  I actually have a list for prospective home sellers.  It is a Brace Yourself list…. “What to Expect When You’re Selling.”  Full of realism and pith, it could still take your breath away, especially if you hold it.  Which I do sometimes…breathlessness has its advantages, as Marilyn Monroe so fetchingly illustrates.

breathless monroe

Here’s my bracing list.  It isn’t comprehensive, by the way.  It just includes the elements that have been the most traumatic and scarring for me personally. [click to continue…]


Playing the Realty Game

realty reality

So if you’ve read along for just a little while here, or better yet,  if you’re a neighbor or local realtor, you’re probably at least liminally aware  that we’ve got a For Sale sign in our parking strip (turns out, that’s what it’s called, that odd little bit of land between the sidewalk and the street that confuses everyone from landscapers to skateboarders.  Lauren Springer Ogden aptly calls it a hell strip.  But I digress).  With simple Sherlockian deductions, you might easily conclude that we (the family that lives in the house whose yard bears the for sale sign) are selling our home.

Well, yeah! We’re trying, anyway. [click to continue…]


Regarding My Man

Another Tribute To My Man, In The Cold Dark Month of February…


Yesterday was my husband’s birthday.

He rolled out of bed while it was still dark, showered, put on a flannel shirt I’d ironed for him (a rare occasion, me ironing), ran kids to the bus, fried himself a quick couple of eggs, and drove to the train. Which he has learned to regard with strict respect; last month another commuter at Frank’s stop (deafened by earbuds and unfamiliar with the train’s routine) crossed the tracks a little late and was hit…or rather, battered and thrown by the train. But that’s another story, a sad one. Still it seems relevant. It nuances the fact that my man leaves for work in the dark. That he returns home in the dark after a day’s work. And that between the leaving and the returning, there’s the train…implacable and occasionally deadly. Endless tons of hurtling iron.

We choked on celebrating his birthday. It was the middle of the week; the kids had piano lessons and homework and church activities, and I was gripped by a gasping, wracking cough and a disgusting runny nose. I spent the day in my pj’s clutching Kleenexes (when I drove the kids places, I pretended no one could see me). No hot mama for my man to come home to on his natal day. And since Frank is eyeing carbs with antagonism lately, it would have been unkind to bake a cake for him even if I could manage it. We’re saving the cake experience for the weekend. Which I’ve moved up to tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll dress up, the kids and I will sing, and we’ll go out. Tomorrow we’ll grill the lean-fatted calf and throw confetti.
[click to continue…]


Hello?  Hello?  Anyone Home?

hello there

My daughter (Maurya)  told me today that in the very near future, the inconstancy of bloggers will seem so constant as to become a cliche.  She is hoping to post on her own blog about it.  Sometime.  She’s not sure when.  But she’s not announcing this  publicly; she’s wise enough to  avoid the potentially ironic position of breaking a blogging promise herself.

I laughed, wryly.  Since I chronically lack the foresight and restraint that my daughter (less than half my age) so wisely practices.  With just  a little more than three hours left of this week, it looks like posting my promised house tour before week’s end is on the nether side of impossible.   What was I thinking?  I don’t even have time to ruminate before my deadline.  Or write my excuses (which is tempting, because  honestly, I documented them particularly well today,…from a perilously teetering cake  to a bow tie crisis, and beyond). [click to continue…]


Winter Painting: Have You Ever?

"Have You Ever" art


Painting Winter: “Have You Ever?”

I casually  (vaguely?)  mentioned this painting a couple-three months ago.   And let it drop.    The subject slumbered silently (probably forgotten (by everyone but me).  I wasn’t feigning indifference.  I wasn’t hoping my mysterious nonchalance might pique interest (truly; I’m always at a loss as to what to do when piqued interest actually materializes…). No, no.  No, my enigmatic tone was a cover for sheer frustration; I’d neglected to take a good picture of the painting before I sent it off to my friend Elaine’s boutique. I had no actual proof of the painting to post on my blog.

I have decent pictures now, having remembered to take a good camera with me on my most recent visit to the boutique (I also took my dear friend Stephanie with me, but that story will have to wait for another post, and so will a better picture of Elaine, who eludes a good shot like a phantom myth…let’s just call her “Nessie”). [click to continue…]


Breaking the Bench

Raising the Bar, Breaking the Bench


considered on a bench in winter

Breaking the Bench?  What?

I’ve been thinking about blogging lately. Thinking, but not doing.

Aside:  Blogging is a very modern word….and honestly, it sounds weird.  Nonsensical, Dr. Seuss-ish (or Dr. Who-ish) .  I wonder about its longevity, wonder if it might be even more transient  than “caboose”.  My children didn’t know “caboose” til we explained it to them, and as we did, I watched their eyes become distant and uncomprehending, and I felt myself once again regarded as a relic for knowing the word.  These same children, a few years younger, were actually surprised that peanut butter existed before I did, and once, one of my very young ones innocently asked me that great childhood cliche’:  Were dinosaurs alive when I was little?  Well of course, I told her. They still are, even now.  Behold the Rooster, aka Tyrannosaurus UnRex.  And  he likes peanut butter too.

Anyway, thinking about blogging, and how recently I haven’t, and feeling sort of distressed by that, but coming up totally blank when I considered actually writing something,  I reviewed my reasons for blogging (how New Yearly of me).  My ambitions and fantasies, and how they were still just that…ambitions and fantasies.  The realities of blogging have surprised me, often in pleasant ways…but in the end, as I reflected, I realized that I was no closer…not at all…to obtaining my more glamorous blogging dreams this year than I was last year.  Perhaps I’d even lost ground.  And thinking of anything to write seemed impossible, though I had promised to share much in the recent past. [click to continue…]


Home For Christmas

Home For Christmas, Dearly Beloveds, and A Nearly Dead Tangent at Year’s End (Ring Out, Wild Bells)

Christmas handstand

Well, Merry Christmas!  I know it’s late.  Actually, I know it’s pretty much over….But that’s ok.  Really.  In an obscure way, my belated holiday wishes sung in a deserted room might be stylishly edgy, like a minimalist independent movie  shot in a coat factory’s janitorial closet.  There might be meaning here, in my solitary, almost irrelevant words.  Truth.  Hope.  A narrow beacon of light. Possibly.  Probably not though.

And yet, I insist…Merry Christmas!  And I hope you (God Bless You, Every One) were all home for Christmas, in the best, warmest, happiest sense of the phrase. [click to continue…]