Archive for the ‘My Favorite Things’ Category

pajamas and wine

there is nothing like a rainy night and clean sheets to say “let’s open a bottle of wine”.

there is nothing like my man having not shaved his face in three days.

i love the scruff, even if he’s gone gray. I think it is sexy, rugged mountain man-type, or in our case, the sleepy frazzled musician type.

So, that scruffy man, I am dreaming about because he’s playing piano up north again and will be home tomorrow. So it is me, alone, with the kids.

After school we went to a bookstore and I let them pick out a few new books. Roald Dahl’s books. Paddington Bear chapter books. And “Where the Red Fern Grows.”

Then we went to dinner.

And then, gasp…the school play.

I admit, when my kids are in fifth grade and doing the school play, I will be excited and awake and might even change my clothes for it, but honestly, going to a school play where my kids are NOT in it, it pretty much pure torture.

The happiness of my own children beside me, enjoying seeing the older kids on stage, and looking around and seeing their friends, at night, in school, in the audience, is priceless.

My rule of not drinking alone has been broken. Just one glass, it’s the bottom of the bottle J and I drank from the other night.

Holymotherofgawd, I can hardly move. And my list of to do items is still sitting here. I have sooooo much to do. SO MUCH TO DO. (hear me?)

I’m in my new pajamas bottoms from Target.

I love them.


(no, that’s not me, my stomach is not that flat)


On the Bedside Table

I grew up reading avidly.

We weren’t allowed to watch tv except Little House on the Prairie, so I think I felt a bit deprived at the time, especially while all my other friends spent their Saturday mornings watching cartoons.

The tradeoff though, was an appreciation and excitement for books, for reading. On Fridays, we’d stop at the library and I’d check out the maximum limit of ten books, go home, get in the bathtub, and read a novel front to back, pausing only to add hot water. We’d get in bed at night at 7 and read until Mom yelled at us to turn out the light, hours later. And I recall waking up before sunrise often enough to keep reading before having to get up for school. Saturdays were a dream, where I could sit on the beach and read in between volleyball games, or in the cooler months, stay inside and read by the fire.

Now, in our house, we’ve promoted this sort of habit with the girls. Both J and I read, currently, it is more marketing and restaurant books. Sometimes inspirational or self help books. But the other day I was at the book store with the kids and bought myself “The School of Essential Ingredients.” I even started it last night and I can’t remember the last time I actually read a book that wasn’t teaching me more than what the story was telling me.

The girls have a reward system chart on the fridge. Their goals for each day are to a) keep their room clean b) respect each other (which is a nice way to say “don’t fight, hit, scream at your sister”) and c) listen to Mommy and J. At the end of each day, they get a sticker for each accomplishment and when they reach 25 stickers, they get a reward.

Last time it was a trip to Chuck-e Cheese.

This time, it was a choice to take a trip to the bookstore.

Oh and what a treat that was. To have kids who beg to read, who beg for new books, who beg for the library, who beg to trade books with each other, how did I get so lucky?

They each picked a book. Blue got this gorgeous Pippi Longstocking book.

Red chose a Roald Dahl book, which I found amazing, considering she seems to have already read about ten of them, it is hard to believe there are more out there!

The girls both have reading homework every night, and I found myself, in the beginning, begging them to read after school, but they weren’t interested since they were busy doing other homework, resting, playing, studying, doing flashcards. I thought back to my own childhood and the new plan was easy. For the last few years, the girls have been getting in bed at night and reading for 45 minutes, sometimes longer, in their beds. In the mornings, they no longer come traipsing in to wake us up, but I go pull them from their beds and their books to get them ready for school on time.

We got a good thing going and I have even had to make the “no reading at the dinner table” rule. (along with the “no Nintendo DS at the dinner table rule.”

Lastly, on J’s bedside table is a book I ordered for him a while ago. He has read most of it but I find he has been holding onto it and picking it up and re-reading pieces of it. He alternates this with Macworld magazine and restaurant books on cutting costs, employee satisfaction, and advertising. The book is “Soul Proprietorship”. And oh man, is it good. (I know this only because I read over his shoulder sometimes when he isn’t looking. I’m still waiting for my turn with it and considering my own copy.

My Favorite Thing Today

My new car.

It’s still at the dealership, getting it’s blue tooth, remote starter (a must in the north east) and leather seats.

Yes, I went coooshy because I got a deal.

J, my mom and I spent most of Monday at a dealership, testdriving, schmoozing, negotiating. Thank goodness for J, he got them down more in price because my mom was in the market for a new car and she bought a new Forester.  I mean, these guys were stoked, they sold two cars in one day.

After breaking down twice in a year, and spending a bit too much in repairs in the last two, it was time to bite it.

Friday I go complete my paperwork and register new plates and then next week, they will deliver it to me, and take the old car away.

It’s amazing how far cars have come in ten years.

And how less lesbian Subaru’s are looking. (a post I wrote a while ago on my previous blog)

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Creatures of Habit


J and I have been eating out alot lately. It makes me slightly mad though, since I am a menu planner, I can cook with my eyes closed, better than some restaurants at times, I shop for fresh ingredients.

So when we are tired or short on time, we stop off somewhere and get a bite to eat and in the end, I throw away food that has gone bad. (like the asparagus that is fermenting in my produce drawer at the moment)

I also gain a few extra pounds.

Especially with the extra donut here and there.

At any rate, when we eat out, we have our favorite spots and our favorite dishes and I realize that some places we’ve eaten at for the last year and a half together, I have only had one or two things on the menu because I go there “just for that”.

The chili lime wings and avacado mango salad at one place, the fish chowder at another, the reuben sandwich at another.

We ate at Denny’s this morning and I had my usual Denny’s breakfast, where I can pick four things from a list of ten. I usually stock up on the meats, bacon and sausage, have a few eggs over hard and two pancakes with that horribly yummy soft whipped butter and cheapo tasting syrup. Of course, the bad coffee tops it off.

We go there when we’re driving by on the highway usually, the kids like it and we’ve tended to go with a chessboard and made it a Denny’s event.

My first time in a Denny’s was last February when J and I ate at one a few mornings when I visited him in Curacao, where he was playing piano.

I thought it was funny that Denny’s was in such a tropical foreign place with other languages being spoken, but still, the food is the same here as it was there.

And I am still ordering the same damn thing.

The girls are in 1st and 3rd grade and this is the first year they have been interested in school lunches. It’s been nice to give them two bucks and a bottle of water and know they are getting fed at school and I didn’t have to think up something new for their lunchbox. (I’ve added pickles and cereal sometimes to spice things up).

Every week, the circle the same thing on the lunch menu, since I let them choose two days a week. Friday Pizza and Wednesday french toast.

Creatures of habit?

I think yes.

Tonight, J is gone for his Monday gig up north and will be back tomorrow morning. He called while I was taking a power walk this afternoon and I told him that I hate how my clothes are fitting me (or not fitting me)….way too tight in the jeans…and he goes, “well, we’d better have MORE sex then!”

Tomorrow, he said he’ll be home before the girls get out of school. I told him I needed at least an hour workout.

But still, with him gone tonight, I got myself a teeny itsy bitsy California Pizza Kitchen pizza to have while watching chick shows on the DVR (ones he refuses to watch) and get to some more painting for the swelling of holiday business I seem to have, starting around Halloween…but worse than that tiny pizza, and I will admit it and not be glad that I did it….I was very happy to see Mallomars back on the shelf at the market today….so I bought a box. I have eaten two and seriously considering dumping them down the garbage disposal…because they are so good, yet sooooo bad.

Name Calling

J is refinancing his house in Texas and the last thing to do was to file his taxes, since he filed an extension due to being out of the country in April.

We were just told by our mortgage guy that he had to either mail it in and wait a few weeks for confirmation before they could let the refinance go through, or we could just go to a local irs office, give them the goods and the check and have them stamp a copy for us for the underwriter.

So today, we drove 40 minutes to the closest IRS office.

They close from 1-2 for lunch and we got there at 12:30.

We had to take a number and waited until 12:50 for our number to come up.

When it did, the snarky IRS guy behind the desk told J, “we are closing for lunch.”

And J said, “the internet as well as the sign on the front door says you are closed from one to two for lunch, it’s ten til right now and we’ve been waiting since 12:30.”

Snarky IRS man told him he was working on something at his desk and wouldn’t be able to help him until after lunch, at 2:00.

J explained that we drove from far away and had to go before two so we could pick up children from school.

Snarky IRS man didn’t seem to care and told J to come back another time.

Now, I am not an advocate of name calling or confrontation, but by the time we walked out of there, J had called the guy an asshole, oh, about a half dozen times.

I think the guy totally deserved it.

I listened to the whole thing and totally agree. I was appalled that the guy was so unhelpful and wouldn’t just take care of a customer. I was also slightly appalled (but proud) that J spoke that way to the guys’ face.

But then, it was the IRS, right? They don’t make things easy.

Unfortunately, J still needs to file his taxes and it means he drives alot further to get them filed at a different IRS office, he has to file online and wait a few weeks, or he has to go back to asshole snarky man and hope he gets waited on.

Right now, he is off on his bike, cooling down from a very stressful day. His car broke down for the final time two weeks ago and because I had jury duty on Monday and needed my car, couldn’t get up north for his Monday night gig. We spent most of the morning chasing down a few cars we found listed online that he was interested in, and after a wild goose chase between uncommunicative dealers, found neither of them.

We accomplished very little today other than putting miles on my car, eating a really good steak and cheese sub, test driving a couple really crappy cars that were NOT what we thought they were, and J called the IRS man an asshole, many times.

I’ll be picking the girls up soon from school and considering pancakes and bacon for their dinner since I didn’t make it to the market and the fridge is fairly empty.

After they go to bed, we’ll be cracking the bottle of wine.



I love that my kids take pictures of me stuffing my face and talking on the phone, all at the same time.


…and they take pictures of my behind. (not something I love, I did some cropping)



I love J for driving two hours to his Monday night gig and then turning around to come home late at night so he’s here in the morning for the girls’ first day back at school. (as opposed to sleeping at his mom’s)


I killed the new orchid that my friend gave me as a thank you present, and my man didn’t make fun of me (even though “we” know I kill plants).  He just tried to fix it, seeing that he has some natural credentials for plant and flower care (who knew?). (we’re still waiting to see if it’s fixed)


J and I have been getting alot of things done around the house lately, one being a small project that required a drill.

When I went to make sandwiches for lunch on my super duper nice and expensive favorite wooden bread board, I noticed a hole in it. A small one, but hell, it was a damn hole.  I pointed at it and looked at J and said, “WHAT’S THAT!?”

He went nearly white and goes, “the drill slipped!  My gawd, I can’t believe you actually noticed it!!!!”

For some reason, it didn’t make me mad, I couldn’t help but laugh at the horror on his face, and for the last few days, I laugh ever time I see it.



After some sleepy sex, you know, the kind where you are aware of what’s going on but you’re both kind of sleepy and afterwards, trying to talk and make sense, is not possible, I hear J say something way in the background of my fuzzy semi-sleep-mode:

Me, sitting up suddenly:  YOU SAID YOU DIDN”T COME?

J: Nooooo, I said that after that salsa tonight, I need a Tums!!!!!!!!

Greasy Hair December 19, 2005

With this damn boil water order still in effect, I am wondering what’s going on with my hair, the deposits from the shower, whatever CRAP may be lingering on my body.

Last night, we were brushing our teeth at 1am after getting home from J’s work at the piano bar. He suddenly shrieked and goes, “I just used TAP water to brush my teeth!” despite that we have a jug of bottled water there to use for safety sake and per order of the DEP of Massachusetts.

So far, he’s still alive.

There is no ecoli in the water, thank goodness, but an electrician working on fixing the problem at the plant says it could be a few more weeks.


At any rate, wondering what is gonna happen to my hair if this continues and I keep showering in our lovely tainted city water, I am reminded of a post I wrote in 1995 for my first ever blog “Painter Beach Girl”. I wrote the blog when I was going through my divorce, dating a chef, and living with my mother with a two and four year old in her 800 square foot condo.

What a long way we have come.

So here is a hair story.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Greasy Hair

My mom gave me some baby oil to put in the girls’ bath water, in hopes of smoothing out their skin in this dry winter weather, brought on my cold temps and wind outside and the heat in the house, drying out their baby skin. My 3 year old is constantly on her back on the seisel rug, her shirt hiked up around her neck, wiggling around, scratching her back. It was my solution to her constant whining “scratch my back, Mommy! HIGHER! MORE!” while the grilled cheese sandwiches were burning on the stove. I’ve considered making her a scratching post in the doorway.

So, I added it to their tub that night and got them bathed, nearly lost grip on them as they got out of the bath, but my, they were soft as newborn babies. I thought I might have scored on the skin conditioning thing. The lotion I had been using didnt work well and they didnt like it because it was cold when I put it on them.

As their hair dried, I couldnt figure out why it seemed to dry in wet looking clumps and touched it and realized their hair was incredibly greasy, from the baby oil bath water! Whoops!

It brought back something that happened a few years ago when I started highlighting my hair at a hair salon. The salon lady suggested I use shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair to protect my new “do”. So, the next day, with two children in tow, as they pulled bottles and potions off the shelves, wanting to smell the contents and blow “bubbles”, I pretty much grabbed what I needed and threw it into my cart.

For a few weeks, I couldnt figure out why my hair was so limp and heavy and flat and it almost felt greasy. I’d been washing my hair with my new shampoo and conditioner and one night in the shower, I decided to actually look at the bottle. Maybe I was using too much, or it’s one of those “condition once a week only” things. Maybe the lady who colored my hair, screwed something up. On the verge of blaming salon lady, I carefully read the bottle for the first time, which clearly said “Shampoo for women of color” not “Shampoo for color treated hair”.