Shaking off the cobwebs

I don’t count the amount of times I swipe a rag across our kitchen’s island, but I do it often enough that I finally felt guilted into using reusable rags instead of paper towels. We eat meals and snacks there, drink glasses of ice water that drip condensation in forgotten rings, color and glue and gather our thoughts after playing outside. Last weekend I brushed leaves out of hair next to the island, specks of brown leaves falling like snow around their heads ....more

Happy Halloween – and a little LTYM redux

Happy Halloween from chilly, rainy Michigan! Abbey and Dylan are fervently wishing for snow, and they may get their wish by the time night falls. Elsa’s long, long dress will remain hanging in the closet — already worn countless times, including the Fall Festival last weekend — and we’ll make due with a rain boot-friendly costume ....more

Under the weather

He pushes his toys closer and closer to where I sit, nestling into my side. Both of us are sniffly and coughing, fallout from the leaves littering the ground. He’s not interested in the emails I have to answer, and he is fine playing with his toys next to me until he remembers the LEGO demonstration videos he loves to watch ....more

Precipice is coming

I was inspired by my sweet, soft, gray Pound Puppy and my mother’s absolute insistence that we were not a dog family. Back then, I thought every family should be a dog family, though I’ve firmly placed myself on her side of the fence as an adult. I voiced my protest through the written word, bringing my stuffed dog to life with a bit of childhood magic ....more

The 24th Letter – A review

Though he prefers his hot dogs without the trappings of a Coney, Dylan would happily eat at Coney Island restaurants at least once a week. Growing up in Michigan, he will learn that there’s some version of a Coney Island every couple of miles, and when he’s old enough to drink it, he will likely order a pop with his meal. There’s something that makes a local book a little more fun, the landmarks and local language peppering the pages ....more

Bits and pieces

I coax them out of bed now, but only on school days. They mind autumn’s darkness those mornings, as sleepy voices come to life and make choices about breakfasts and snacks for school. Some evenings I pull things together before I tumble into bed, but most nights I run out of time before “make lunches for tomorrow” gets crossed off my list ....more

Painting between the slats

during another painting project Ryan has never liked them. Several of the closets in our house are festooned with slatted closet doors. They reek of the 1970s, slick almond paint and ornate handles that hoard their dust and the memories of the lives lived here before ours ....more

Juliet’s Nurse – A Review

We giggled a little when our teacher explained the bawdier lines in Romeo and Juliet, our junior high selves shocked that someone as hallowed as Shakespeare used dirtier jokes than we did. Those lines come to life when read by people other than ninth graders stumbling over iambic pentameter for the first time, and I finally understood how funny Romeo and Juliet could be when I saw the Baz Luhrmann version. Mercutio has always been my favorite character, but Juliet’s nurse matches his quick tongue barb for barb ....more

Sisterland – A Review

“Mommy?” she asked, exasperated, “Why didn’t you just have two girls?” I teased her a bit that a little sister might not be nearly as accommodating as her brother. I don’t doubt how much she adores him, but there is a part of me that understands that desire to experience sisterhood. But as Pinkalicious reminds us, “You get what you get, and you don’t get upset.” (quote by Victoria Kann in one of the several Pinkalicious books we read again and again ....more

Martinis and Interviews

Word association questions always make me feel like I’m in the scene at the beginning of Ghostbusters, where Dr. Peter Venkman is testing people for their paranormal aptitude. Obviously, I love such questions, because who doesn’t want to be in an imaginary movie scene with Bill Murray? ...more