Monday, July 28, 2014

On My Mind Monday

Empathy means realizing no trauma has discrete edges.  Trauma bleeds.  Out of wounds and across boundaries. 
Leslie Jamison
The Empathy Exams

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2 day pass

this weekend was...
1 quiet night in.
2 nights out.
1 family swimming/birthday party.
5 of 6 cousins together.
1 pineapple upside down cake for the grandpa and a mint chip ice cream concoction for our almost 10 year old.
1 sleepover.
3 baseball games.
1 exciting win.
2 lackluster losses.
1 end of season baseball party at the highland house.
1 order of my favorite fish tacos.
1 more sleepover.
2 tough workouts.
2 new books.
1 thankful family.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

The idea that real love means double joy and halved pain.  I read something to that effect earlier in the week and it has stayed with me.

Listening to the Poisonwood Bible.  I've read it twice and loved it, but I am loving the audio version even more.  Third times a charm with this Kingsolver masterpiece.

Lunch and shopping with Miss Bit while T. Bone played golf the other day.  The best part was the conversation.  She asked me what I would wish for if I had 3 wishes and then she interrupted me enthusiastically to answer her own query.  Her first wish was for more wishes so she prattled on, but top on her list were peace on earth, and a clean planet followed by a swimming pool and a horse.

We also enjoyed an afternoon movie date.  We watched Heaven is For Real.  It made quite an impact on her as I knew it would.

Getting steaks Wednesday night just because.  Just because we ate fish all week and we were craving it.

This tuna sandwich.

The boys are riding roller coasters today with friends.  I'm grateful I'm not there.  I once was a coaster daredevil, but now I am a scaredy cat.  I still like to go fast and lose my stomach a little, but I don't like being upside down at all ever.  I also don't like my children riding them.

Miss Bit wanted to go (be still my beating heart) until I proposed that she and Sam have a date at the zoo, and did she know we have a new baby orangutan and the sting rays are visiting?  She took the bait.

It is T. Bone's last baseball tournament of the season this weekend.  Football practice starts very soon.

Miss Bit is getting an extended softball season thanks to the volunteer efforts of several coaches who are committing to field games for the rest of the summer.

Finding the Phantom CD.  My family will see it for the first time in a couple weeks.  It'll be my third time.  I love the music.

Finding her selfies on my phone.

T. Bone occasionally agrees to let me take a picture or two of him, but his expression in the first photo explains how he really feels about it.


She still likes stuffed animals.

A close encounter with a deer this week.  They stood watching each other for minutes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Orphan Train

I believe in ghosts.  They're the ones who haunt us, the ones who have left us behind.  Many times in my life I have felt them around me, observing, witnessing, when no one in the living world knew or cared what happened.

Orphan Train
Christina Baker Kline
I stayed up last night to finish this novel because I simply had to know how it was all going to come together. The themes of unexpected friendship, second chances, truth and resilience resonated with me even as I took some issue with the stereotypical characters and simple prose.  I think it read like YA historical fiction.  I know in a few years Lily will love it, or perhaps I'll read it to her aloud now and edit the few dicey parts along the way.  You should read it too.

Monday, July 21, 2014

two day pass

it was a baseball free weekend.
we almost didn't know what to do with so much unaccounted for time.
not to didn't take us long to figure it out.
we spent many hours outside enjoying two perfect summer days.
some of us swam while others fished, walked or golfed.
we ate out with friends one night, cooked in with friends the next and had family dinner the last.
all screens were turned off for the most part.
instead we played music or games and read.
it was a quintessential summer weekend that I am only sad to say ended all too soon.
1. Denis Sullivan ashore.
2. Heirlooms.
3. Denis Sullivan asea (alake).
4. Bird and boat in break water.
5. Best pizza eva...Casa Wags Caprese!
6. A great place by a great lake.  It is.
7. Dessert for breakfast... brown butter toffee chip cookies.
8. Dinner: Ahi tuna steaks with salsa fresca, grilled baguette with spicy aioli, mixed greens Mediterranean salad with roasted chick peas and red wine vinaigrette, pappardelle with trio of mushrooms in shallot cream sauce.  (Describing the meal was almost as much fun as cooking and eating it!)
9. Happy Birthday Uncle Chris!  Lily takes card creating seriously.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I slept in today unintentionally and yet not because I didn't set an alarm.  It was the kind of entry into the day that is jarring.  I stared at my clock in disbelief.  I put on my glasses and looked again to see that I wasn't seeing things.  The house was so quiet and the neighborhood so peaceful despite the fact that it was closer to lunch time than breakfast.  I wasn't happy that I slept away most of the morning.  I questioned why Lily let me sleep so long to which she replied, Well, obviously you needed it Mom!  In my head, I rallied against the idea that I should be so indulgent as I tallied up all the things I could have accomplished in the hours that I stayed prone.  I felt heavy and grouchy instead of light and refreshed.  Motivated by guilt instead of enthusiasm for the rest of the day, I got to work on that perpetual list that lives forever in my head.  As I unloaded the dishwasher, I remembered the leisurely and delicious dinner we enjoyed last night.  Jess joined us for a new menu tasting and just like old times we talked around the table until our glasses were empty and the candles expired.  I softened just a bit.  Pretending to be European and eating dinner at 10 o'clock is good reason to be a little tired early the next day.  I sorted laundry and came across the slightly sour t shirt I wore for our walk yesterday.  Jess and I met at the lakefront for a loop and we just kept going because it was a perfect day and where else did we have to be.  I softened more remembering how worth it that was.  Sunshine, fresh air, woolly clouds, waves, sweat and a walking partner...that's pretty much like winning the lottery.  I watered the plants as the cats wandered around the patio stalking chippies.  A hummingbird whirred in toward my steptocarpella.  Peanut heard it before he saw it, and just like yesterday he was intrigued.  He wasn't the only one.  That little insect-sized bird hovered over him equally curious.  My Mom sends me the hummingbirds.  It's our thing.  I'm a marshmallow: soft and gooey.  I don't know who sends me the songs that seem to speak to just the way I feel in the precise moment.  Music as a missive...a gentle reminder from someplace else, but where?  The Zombies are on now singing It's the time of the season for loving. I'm hearing It's the time of the season for living.  Be. Here. Now. I am remembering because everything else can and will wait.  What's left of today is going to be beautiful because I feel present and grateful and ready to receive.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

The mid summer state of mind has set in.  It's a place of cans instead of shoulds, why nots and if you wants. No two days are the same, but every day is good and full in it's own way.

So full that I still haven't found that sweet slice of time I crave to come here and write actual paragraphs instead of lists and pictures.  That's OK too for the time being I tell myself.  I'm grateful that I feel the words slowly taking shape for a piece dear to my own heart that I have been neglecting.

Miss Bit played us proud at first base during her all star game Sunday night.  After their victory, she was scouted by a coach from another team for next year.  He is putting together a select team and he wants her to be on it.  She was beaming just a little.  His confidence boosted her confidence.

She's enjoying Survivor Camp this week at her favorite nature preserve.  She is excited every morning for another adventure.

He's going to Camp Grandpa again this weekend for another round of golf, more chicken wings and another 24 marathon.  They've been buddies since T. Bone was just a tike, and I know my Dad wonders how long these weekend retreats will continue now that he is a teenager.  I think he's worrying about nothing.

Summer fruit galette, and the most flavorful nectarines to take the simple, rustic dessert to the next level.

Pedicures with my girl this week.  Now that she's a tom boy she doesn't do fancy foot treatments, but her toes needed some attention and so she agreed.  I know I should be grateful that she doesn't expect such spoiling because so many young ladies do.  I didn't have a pedicure until I was in my 20s.  For the both of us, it is still a once in awhile treat.

Gelato and Dilly bars before dinner. Hey!  It's summer.

I finished We Are Water this week.  I really like the way Wally Lamb develops characters.  I cared about them, especially Orion Oh... maybe because Lamb read his part.  But beware...Lamb's subject matter is never light and sometimes it is a bit cliche. I don't think I would have liked this book as much if I had read it rather than listened to it.  Entertainment value matters most when I am pounding the pavement with a novel so I am more likely to overlook platitudes and over simplification.

This quote from the book: We are like water, aren't we?  We can be fluid, flexible when we have to be.  But strong and destructive too.

Evasive moons, supermoons, clouds and showy skies.  It's better than fireworks.

A game of Boggle with the kids before dinner.  They don't even see it as vocabulary practice.

Friends...old and new.  Sometimes people leave our lives, but then they come back like the friend T. Bone spent the day with yesterday.  Other times we may not reconnect and then we make peace with that, or we try to.  Miss Bit ran into a new friend at the pool this week and that turned into an all afternoon and evening play date.  We had dinner last weekend with a group of friends old and new.  It was easy the way the best friendships tend to be.

Miss Bit will turn 10! in a couple weeks.  I kept suggesting we throw a party to celebrate because double digits is a big deal, and she kept telling me she'd think about it.  Not surprising since she is not one to need to be the center of attention, but I talked her into a quaint affair with 5 or 6 good friends.  Now I'm in beach party mode and swimming in ideas.

Dinner out tonight at our favorite eastside wing and sandwich place.  It was a beautiful night and the food was delicious.