Friday, December 30, 2011

First sentences

Most years, I do a post of the first sentence of the first post for every month throughout the past year. Here they are for 2011.
  • January:
    This year, my resolutions are to send my son to school with a packed lunch at least 3 times a week, and to be a better house-keeper.
    I wasn't perfect on this front, but I did pretty well. Keeping these as my resolutions for 2012.

  • February:
    Here's the birthday boy, playing Epic Mickey (one of his birthday presents)
    Muffin Man's birthday is on the first of February, so the first post tends to be about that.

  • March:
    Over ten inches off!
    Mystery Mommy gets a haircut, a story in pictures.

  • April:
    I'm wearing this in aubergine.
    Still one of my favorite things to wear.

  • May:
    Muffin Man's science class is talking about habitats, the environment, the food chain, and all that kind of stuff.
    I should have posted the picture myself. Mr. Spock's blog is gone.

  • June:
    This jacket from Nordstrom, it's by Halogen and it breaks my rule about pockets near the rack of doom.
    Outfit blogging, with pictures.

  • July:
    Please keep my Grandma in your thoughts.
    She's recovered well and is back home. Celebrated her 93rd birthday the other day!

  • August:
    We've switched things around at Chez Mystere.
    A picture and description of my bedroom.

  • September:
    So, 11 days ago, I got a Droid X2 to replace my Droid Eris, which died an ignoble death (dropped from a height onto uneven pavement. Smash).
    I still don't know how to plug ICE phone numbers into an iPhone. Do you?

  • October:
    Yesterday morning, after breakfast, I hauled out of the fridge several pounds of beef cubes, a sheaf of golden beets, a bunch of young carrots, a bag of red potatoes, a package of chopped crimini mushrooms, a leek, a large onion, and a quarter of a stick of butter.
    And now I'm hungry.

  • November:
    We didn't know when Muffin Man asked to be the Cone Head Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies this year that it would be so topical!
    I'm pretty proud of that costume.

  • December: There are no words on that first post. It's just a video of The Roches singing "Star of Wonder" as the first song of 25 for the December Holidays. Here they are again.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas memory

The first Christmas after my parents separated, my sister and I spent Christmas Eve at my Dad's place, a rail-road apartment on 11th? 12th? Street in Park Slope.

We shared a bedroom there, and my dad had painted a bright and cheerful rainbow on the wall above my bed. My sister's side of the room had this magical built-in cupboard, with drawers underneath.

So, it's the night before Christmas. The first Christmas we weren't a whole family. I couldn't sleep. BigSister couldn't sleep. We were whispering and speculating and wondering if Santa knew where we would be. Did we remember to give him this address? Would it confuse him that we were going to be switching houses? We just. couldn't. sleep.

So BigSister said, "you know, when EldestCousin babysat for me a while ago, I asked him to tuck me in and he didn't know how. Here! Let me show you what he did!"

And she bounced up out of bed, and came over to my side of the room and pulled the covers up to my chin and then went "TUCK!TUCK!TUCK!" and tucked the blankets in around my body like you would tuck a flat sheet under a mattress.

And then she went back to her bed. And I bounced up (after detangling myself) and I went over to HER side of the room and I pulled the covers up to her chin and went "TUCK!TUCK!TUCK!" and tucked the blankets in around her body like you would tuck a flat sheet under a mattress.

And then I went back to my bed and she bounced up (after detangling herself) and....well, lather, rinse, repeat about seven times. We were HOWLING with laughter. And it became a Christmas tradition that we continued for years.

The moral of the story is that even the most difficult holidays can bring fun memories, and build new traditions. I don't remember what I got for Christmas that year, but I remember that night with my sister.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - part 25: Finale

'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime, when all the birds had fled...

Yes, that's Muffin Man singing the first verse. I couldn't be more proud.

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - a brief detour

My intended twenty-fifth song is still on the camera, so here is a bonus song: Julia Murney singing about what happens to the gifts AFTER Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Muffin Man did the lion's share of trimming the trees this year.

I participated by stringing the lights and topping the taller of the two trees with the star with his hand print angel from '03. His hands were so tiny!

Also in this picture, but hard to see, are Spottie and Runner.

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - part 20

You knew I had to, right?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - parts 18 and 19

Because I missed yesterday, here are two! First, Tom Lehrer makes his second appearance on my list with "A Christmas Carol" (lipsynched by Benjamin M. W. in a red & black Santa hat)

Next, we have Brenda Lee singing "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". Static picture, alas.

Tune in tomorrow for another Hanukkah entry!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chocolate Dropkins

Chocolate Dropkins are a tradition in my family. My earliest Christmas memories include making bread dough figures for the tree, and these chocolates for treats.

The chocolates are dead simple to make, you take one box of unsweetened chocolate and melt it in a double-boiler. When it's all melted, you cool it slightly and mix in one can of sweetened condensed milk. Let it cool to rolling temperature (should not be liquidy, should feel like play doh.)

This is almost to the right temperature, but was still a little goopy.

Once the consistency is right, you roll the chocolate into small balls, and coat in colored sugar, nuts, powdered cocoa, or coconut. This year I used white and gold sugar. The gold looked better than the white.
Ooh! Pretty!
What looked best, though, was a mixture of gold and white, which really made the chocolates look Christmas-y. The hardest part of making these chocolates is waiting for the mixture to reach the right temperature.

Twenty-five songs for the December Holidays - part 14

Here's a great gift idea!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I just looked down at my keyboard and then up at the screen and had the sense that I was looking down the wrong end of a telescope. Now I'm feeling dizzy, and seeing little spots, and it's just the weirdest phenomenon.

There have been times when I've felt like this but they've all been when I was standing up, or getting up to a standing position too quickly.

I hope that it passes.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When Brussels Sprouts Attack

The Brussels sprouts didn't appreciate getting little x's cut in their bottoms, and conspired with the knife to stab me in my thumb.


Fortunately, it's not deep.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Talking about chores

Muffin Man is nine, and he has the following chores:
  • Feed and otherwise take care of the gerbils (I help with their monthly re-bedding).
  • Set and clear the table, including pouring drinks for the family
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Put away his clothes (I admit to being pretty lax about this).
  • Keep the play room tidy
  • Empty the waste baskets
  • Make his own week-day breakfast (cold cereal and milk).
What chores do you have your kid doing? Is MM getting off easy, or are we too hard on him?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Turns out...

That it's really easy to cook duck. Seared ducks breast with garlic & rosemary roasted potatoes. Yum. And we even have leftovers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The inspiration for my New Year's Resolution

I haven't done much in terms of sending MM with a packed lunch this school year, but last year I sent him with lunch at least three times a week between January and then end of the school year.

Here's a video by Mrs. Q, from Fed Up With Lunch, who ate the school lunch every day for a calendar year, and took pictures.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Random bullets of a busy day

  • talked to SingsLullabyes on the phone. She's in the hospital with pneumonia, nut may be released tomorrow.
  • made a gallon and a quarter of spaghetti sauce.
  • got Muffin Man's hair cut. Picture tomorrow.
  • auction at church. Big turnout.
Makes for a tired Mystery Mommy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Dunkin Donuts Warm Cinnamon Swirl Muffin

If you go to Dunkin Donuts, you can skip the warm cinnamon swirl muffin. It's crumbly, sticky, and squishy, and the flavor is very fake (leaving a chemical aftertaste).


Monday, November 07, 2011

The worst day of the year.

Tomorrow is election day and so, of course, Muffin Man will be staying overnight tonight with a babysitter so that Mr. Spock and I can be at our volunteer posts at 0530 in the cold, dark morning.

We'll be at our posts all day (with a short break to go to our own polling place to vote), and then we'll go to a watch party and, depending on how long it takes, we'll probably be home after MM's bedtime (his sitter will bring him to our house after his holiday camp's field trip tomorrow, and stay there with him until we get home).

This is the part of being involved in elections I hate. Not seeing my son for two whole days (though I'm volunteering at the sitter's polling place, so I'll actually see him when she comes to vote).

There's no doubt in my mind that what I'm doing is worth it, that this is how a democracy continues, that I'm teaching my son how much I value our system. But I'm not going to lie to you, Monday before an election when there's a chance I may not see that sweet boy until Wednesday morning? It's the worst day of the year.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Anyone have a reliable pedometer for the iPhone?

I can't get the Nike one to calibrate, and Footsteps paused after 2 miles.

In related news, I need better non-sandal walking shoes. 

Friday, November 04, 2011

More cheap, non-crafty costumes: Some purchase required edition

Muffin Man as Captain Feather Sword.
Character copyright Disney

Muffin Man is wearing an official Captain Feather Sword hat, purchased at a Wiggles Concert that I won tickets to (thank you MIX 107.3!!)

He is also wearing a red quilted vest we already had, black pants and white dress shirt we already had, and a Wiggles logo we printed off their website.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

More cheap, non-crafty costumes: grown-up edition

Three years ago, Muffin Man was Anakin Skywalker for Halloween (alas, a purchased costume).

And me, being me? I was a Princess.

Mystery Mommy as Princess Leia Morgana.
Character copyright George Lucas

Ingredients: White poet shirt (bought in, I am not joking, 1989. From Victoria's Secret. I know.) over a white turtleneck and cinched with a black belt. Beige pants, white sneakers. Iconic hairstyle.

I look bulkier than usual because there is a sweatshirt underneath the turtleneck.

Not a perfect match, by any means, but I got the flavor right. Everyone knew immediately who I was supposed to be, and MM loved that I was playing his character's daughter.

The only item purchased new for this costume were the hairpins.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The cheap, non-crafty parent's guide to making costumes.

Muffin Man is nothing if not a stickler for verisimilitude. The boy shaved his head for last year's costume.

I am cheap and, beyond knitting, am not at all crafty.

I do not like buying costumes that will be used once. I especially do not like paying more for a costume than I would pay for real clothes. Particularly since those costumes are severely lacking in verisimilitude.

That being the case, the Miller Household puts our heads together to come up with costumes that incorporate items we already have, or that can be reused in everyday life and that also capture the spirit of the character. I think we're pretty successful! What do you think?

Side-by-side pictures of MM's last two Halloween costumes and their inspirations.

Cone Head Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies. Character copyright PopCap Games.

Aang, the Avatar from the cartoon, The Avatar
(not to be confused with the movie Avatar,
or the character from the movie version, called The Last Airbender).

Both costumes are home-made, (ingredients here and here) and involved no sewing or other crafty skill whatsoever (although MS made a terrific traffic cone, which ended up not getting used in favor of the real much heavier one from Home Depot).

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

There's a zombie on my lawn

Muffin Man as a Cone Head Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies

We didn't know when Muffin Man asked to be the Cone Head Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies this year that it would be so topical!

Road Cone ($8.00) from Home Depot. Ripped jeans (skull on back pocket), bought last year at Target, and worn to shreds. Shirt from Target via my closet. Brown blazer from Target via my closet. Tie from J.C. Penney, came free with a suit two years ago.

Make-up from Ulta. I did a base coat of beige foundation cream. Then I applied a thick top-coat of a matte-green eye-shadow all over his face. Then I accented his eyes with a thick coat of black eye-shadow, and brushed a bit more black and grey eye-shadow here and there for effect.

The inspiration. I think we captured the spirit quite well.

I am sporting a GMU sweatshirt turned inside-out, with pictures of the sunflower and pea-shooter taped onto it. Pictures from

(This post inspired by real-life friends of my youth, Eclectic Mom and The Unfocused Life)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where have I been?

I've been posting at Doorbell Queen, I've been working, and I've been on hold with several folks.

A couple weeks ago, I got a mammogram here at work. CONVENIENT! But, because they did your basic mammogram (2 pictures per breast), I got the call I always get when I get a basic mammogram...which is that they saw something weird and would I go get more thoroughly checked?

And here's where it's less convenient, because normally, I'd just go back to where I went to get the basic, but they're a traveling group, so I can't.

So I've been on the phone with my doctor, and a specialist, and the traveling folks in NJ. And the upshot is that they're going to FedEx the films to the specialist and I'll have an appointment a week from tomorrow (and I'll bring the films from 2 years ago), and lesson learned. From now on, I get all my mammograms from the local radiologists.

As always, this shit makes me a little anxious, but since every. single. time. I get a mammogram, I have to go for follow-up and they haven't found anything yet - I'm just large and fibrous - I'm not as anxious as you'd expect.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Perfect Day for Banana Cake

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, all from scratch.

Mr. Spock turned 53 last week, so this past weekend I made (at his request) a Banana Cake with Cream Cheese frosting. Recipe from the Fanny Farmer Baking Book.

Banana cake, sliced

I had some for breakfast this morning. What? It's fruit!

(Extra credit for the first person to say where the title comes from. Mr. Spock is not eligible for this credit).

Monday, October 03, 2011

Yes, we have no banana bread. But we do have beef stew.

Yesterday morning, after breakfast, I hauled out of the fridge several pounds of beef cubes, a sheaf of golden beets, a bunch of young carrots, a bag of red potatoes, a package of chopped crimini mushrooms, a leek, a large onion, and a quarter of a stick of butter.

Mr. Spock and I chopped up the beets and the carrots and put them and the beef and potatoes into our large slow cooker.

We chopped the leek and onion, peeled and squished a large clove of garlic, and added them and the butter to a large pan with some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and sauteed them until they were soft. Then we scraped the whole mess into the slow cooker.

By that time, MS had poured a half a cup of wine and a half a cup of water and added them to the mix. I popped a bay leaf into the pot and then I went walking for Cliff Keirce (and Jennifer Wexton, and Mike Kondratick).

I was able to get one development done before it started raining in earnest, so I went back home, had a cup of tea to take the chill off, and tasted the stew broth. I added rosemary, thyme, sage, more salt, more pepper, and three more cloves of garlic.

And then I looked at the five really ripe bananas that were in the fridge. I got out the Fanny Farmer Baking Book and realized that we're all out of walnuts. So I put the bananas in the freezer for next week.

Then we all played an escape game together, while the aroma of stew wafted through the house.

Dinner was pronounced a success, though we all agreed that the potatoes should have been cut up, the beets could have been left out, and more garlic was needed.

What did you do this weekend?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Random bullets of a busy weekend

  • QuiltsALot and TellsDonaldDuckStories were in for the weekend, much eating and talking was done
  • And sorting through boxes of photos and organizing them, and throwing away the blurriest of them. And the one of an ex-boyfriend's dog.
  • Yeah, I don't get why I had that one either.
  • Muffin Man introduced TellsDonaldDuckStories to the crack that is Plants vs. Zombies.
  • Muffin Man stayed with them at their hotel, and went swimming. 
  • Did I mention the eating?
  • And the talking?
  • And then we ate more.
  • The End.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Are you an organ donor?

I am registered to be an organ donor. I was even before I saw this video on Nick News (link courtesy of Moreena).

[Video is 22 minutes long, and requires that you have a box of tissues nearby.]

Make sure everyone in your family knows you want to donate your organs and ask them how they feel about donating theirs. Each organ donor can save 7 lives.

And don't forget that living donations are possible with kidneys, liver, and bone marrow.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Yesterday I was full of thoughts of 10 years ago, as I guess we all were. I've posted about that beautiful blue day many times. Today, I'm just going to post links to those past ones, to a few from the past few days by blogging friends of mine, and to the sermon from the services I went to yesterday.

What I wrote:
What others wrote:
What others said:

May peace be with you.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Oh my god, this video is's Perfect

via Swistle

It's Steve, from Blues Clues, talking about being Steve, from Blues Clues, and a...big fan. And it's wonderful. It's also 17 minutes long, just so you know.

Friday, September 02, 2011

iPhone vs. Droid: The Views of a Reluctant Adopter, one day later.

So, 11 days ago, I got a Droid X2 to replace my Droid Eris, which died an ignoble death (dropped from a height onto uneven pavement. Smash).

So I went and got the Droid X2, and a serious protector for it.

The Droid X2 has a lot to recommend it. Large screen. Fast everything. On the down-side, it's big and heavy and doesn't easily fit into any pockets I own. But, since I generally carry around a purse anyway, that wasn't a deal breaker. I was really very happy with the Droid X2 - when it was working.

And therein was the rub. Five times in the ten days I owned that phone, it crashed. Needed a hard-reset type of crashed. To perform a hard reset on the Droid X2, you need to remove and replace the battery. Which was covered by the serious protector, that was so serious it was nigh unto impossible to remove. Now maybe you don't think five major crashes in ten days is a lot, but I do. So back to the store I went. And this time I got an iPhone 4. (I had considered getting a different Droid, but I'm starting to have doubts about their quality control).

So let's talk about the iPhone 4. There is a lot I like about it, but I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to other parts of it. How do you download music from Amazon's cloud onto to it? How do you set your In Case of Emergency numbers? How do you import contacts from, say, Facebook, without sending contacts TO Facebook? Can you set the current weather to be visible at all times on your main screen? How do you teach it to be quicker to suggest words (like your email address) when you're typing?

These things were easy in the Droid.

Things I like better in the iPhone: speed, screen sensitivity, camera, the phone itself. I'm sure that as I learn to do the other things I want to do, I'll stop wishing it would do things like the Droid did, but I hate the learning curve.

First world problems, much? What's new in your life?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Muffin Man Goes to Fourth Grade

It seems like just yesterday he was going to Kindergarten, and First, and Second, and Third Grade...

Muffin Man waiting for the school bus.

His hair hasn't seen a scissors since last Halloween. Excuse me, I think I have some dust in my eye.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I was outside my son's school, looking at his class list when the ground started undulating. We all looked around for the delivery truck and it slowly dawned on us that it had been a seismic event.

Wow. Earthquakes in Virginia.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

NPR Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

Voted on by reader/listener participation.

The book I wish had been included:
Cover art for Snow Queen by Joan Vinge

The Snow Queen, by Joan Vinge, which won a Hugo. Alternatively, The Summer Queen, also by Joan Vinge.

The book I feel should have been left out to make room for either of these:

A Spell for Chameleon, by Piers Anthony, which is a book I loved when I was in high school, but think is a pile of sexist garbage now. Ugh.

Other than that, I'm pretty happy with the choices!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mushrooms chopped fine redux

Sauteed onions (not chopped as fine as last time), mushrooms, and Mr. Spock's home-made breakfast sausage. Added 5 beaten eggs, and stirred vigorously.

Muffin Man pronounced it delicious, was unaware mushrooms were even in it. Picked out the onions. Need to chop them finer next time. It's a texture thing.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Mushrooms chopped fine

Onions chopped finer. So fine that you can not see them among the tomatoes, sweet Italian sausage, basil, and oregano in the spaghetti sauce. I challenge you to find them and pick them out.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Such a cozy room

We've switched things around at Chez Mystere. Last time we were in this house, Mr. Spock had the front room under the eaves for his office. When we were planning our move back, I suggested he use the MUCH LARGER master bedroom for his office instead, so that he could get work done in a large, bright, sunny environment.

The switch has been made and now I sleep in the front room under the eaves, with the bookshelves Mr. Spock built for me (custom-made to fit the sunny alcove in the master bedroom, but they're mine and I'm keeping 'em). I like how when they're stacked like they are, they mimic the shape of the room.

My bedroom over the garage. Bed, bookshelves, slanted ceiling

On the shelves are my books (natch); some pictures of me and the family; lotion my mom gave me that I use frequently; a notice about my promotion from a job I no longer have; typewriter bookends my SIL gave us for Christmas a couple of years ago; a Christmas ornament; a set of salt-and-pepper shakers; and a glass owl I inherited from my grandfather. Can you spot the owl?

On the bed are my two quilts (one made by my mom); a picture of Muffin Man; and at least 40 more books. What, you say you can't see the books? Look closely. Still no? They're in the Kindle on the right-most headboard shelf.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Packing, Packing, Packing

I think we may have a little too much stuff

Living Room, three layers deep

My bedroom, as you come in

My bedroom, as you go out

Muffin Man's room

Living Room, different view

And there are more boxes, in the hall, and in MM's play room, and in the kitchen. And we're not done packing (though it's really only the bathroom cabinets that are left. And my desk. And a few things in a closet. And the stuff we're wearing and eating. And three place-settings, two pots, and a pan. And the coffee machine. And this lap-top I'm typing on. Dear God, just how did we accumulate so much stuff?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Moving, moving, moving

We're moving back to our old house, the one we own. Our tenants moved out and we're moving back.

Which means I'm typing right now on a box, marked "bills/filing".

I forgot how much I hate moving. Remind me next time, won't you?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

The ugly flowered curtains

Looking at the picture, I realize I was remembering the COUCH, not the curtains.

[Me, age 7 or 8, reading on the ugly flowered couch. The book is More-All-Of-A-Kind-Family. The skirt is denim with tiny embroidered flowers. The window is looking out onto Fischer Bay in Truro, Massachusetts.]

Friday, July 08, 2011

Where I'm From

I am from ugly flowered curtains, from Goldfish Crackers and tuna sandwiches and lemonade for lunch on the beach .

I am from the house across the street from the school I never went to, with the mulberry tree, and the ivy, and the stepping stones around the gas-lamp that still shines in my memory.

I am from the phlox, and the apple tree, and the roly-poly bugs under the bricks

I am from all the children playing Elijah, and from flat feet, from Jenny, and Mom, and Dad, and David, and Roz.

I am from the people who talk openly about illness and loudly about politics.

From Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

I am from Jewish Atheists who celebrate Passover and Hanukah and Christmas and who were fine sending me to a Quaker camp

I'm from Brooklyn and all over Eastern Europe, from chopped liver and potato latkes and steamed lobster in the Summer.

From the friendship of Bubbe Hoffy and Bubbe Yetta, and how Bubbe Yetta never knew Bubbe Hoffe wasn't Jewish. From my father's lifelong friends from Camp Kinderland. From blended families, and thirty cousins.

I am from rolodexes of photos on my mother's coffee table that my son and I look through everytime we visit.

for Magpie, who started it this time. Can also be seen at Crunchy Granola, among other places

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Writing about other people

Please keep my Grandma in your thoughts. She broke her hip on Friday, and while she is recovering well and is in good spirits, she's 92 and has a long stretch of rehabilitation to go through.

Meanwhile, one of the people I write about here has asked me not to post stories involving this person without prior permission.

This is making it difficult for me to post.

It is summer, blog fodder is occurring daily if not hourly, and I...can't post any of it.

Book reviews and outfit blogging will be increasing. Now is a good time for suggestions for things to blog about!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Conversation held after a visit with the Pediatrician

Me: MM? That vaccine I said we were going to wait a few years to get? The one you can get anytime between the ages of 9 and 26?
MM: Yeah?
Me: That vaccine is to prevent a disease that causes cancer. In girls.
MM: So why do I need the vaccine?
Me: Because boys can carry the disease and give it to girls.
MM: How?
Me: By having sex with them. You'll get the vaccine in a few years, but there's no need for you to get it today, because you're not near the time when you'll be having sex with anyone.
MM: That's for sure!
Me: Now, you know that I think you won't be old enough to have sex until you're out of college, but just in case, we're going to get you vaccinated when you're 11 or 12.
MM: High Schoolers are old enough to have sex.
Me: Well...I disagree [thinking, please don't ask me when I started having sex]. Do you think high schoolers are old enough to be parents?
MM: No!
Me: 'Cause you know that a boy and a girl having sex with each other is how babies are made. We've talked about that. And every time a boy and a girl has sex with each other, there's a chance that they could be making a baby. So, if you're not ready to be a daddy, you shouldn't be having sex with a girl.
MM: Can boys make babies together or girls make babies together?
Me: No. They can't. But whether or not you have sex with a girl or a boy, it's best to wait until you are really grown-up and ready for all the grown-up stuff that happens when you have sex no matter who you are having sex with. And I don't mean like, you have a driver's license. I mean that you're ready to be making important decisions and taking care of other people and the stuff really responsible adults do, okay?
MM: Okay.
Me: And what do I always say after conversations about sex?
MM: Don't talk about sex with my friends.
Me: Right. Because their parents will want to talk to them about sex in their own time and in their own way. Okay?
MM: Okay!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

What I'm Wearing (different outfit)

A beige tank top under a peach-y v-neck three-quarter-sleeve light-weight cardigan (can't find a good picture) over this Merona skirt (no belt, bought on sale at Target for $14.00):

With these shoes (B.P. sandals, bought for my SIL's wedding 6 years ago for $15.00):

And topped off with this hat (Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Facesaver Sun Hat (Natural - One Size), bought from Amazon for $38.00):

Compare that hat with this one for $175 from Nordstrom's:

Without the hat, I'm dressed for a day at the office. With the hat, I'm dressed for a garden party.

Friday, June 03, 2011

What I'm Wearing

This jacket from Nordstrom, it's by Halogen and it breaks my rule about pockets near the rack of doom. However, they're not really pockets, they're just pocket flaps. Buttoned, it looks very tailored and minimizes the assets.

A dress much like this one, without the belt. I bought the dress at Macy's in Tyson's Corner at least 12 years ago.

And these shoes. Bought from either Piperlime or DSW two years ago. This picture is from eBay.

I got a lot of compliments on today's outfit. I felt very put-together.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fifteen Years (now with pictures)

15 years ago today: We looked like this

10 years ago today: I looked like this
(in a bathing suit in Kauai). And conceived this

6 years ago today: I wrote this.

2 years ago today: we were supposed to go out for dinner, but I went to the hospital instead. Good times.

This year, we ate beef tenderloin cooked to perfection.

Happy Anniversary, Mr. Spock.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When gerbils run wild redux

When the gerbils ran wild, it turns out that they REALLY ran wild. We found out tonight that they had a little party among the Wii wires. The wire for the Wii remote sensor was chewed through in several places. And when I say "chewed through", I mean there were several disconnected pieces.

For your future reference, the Wii remotes don't work if the sensor's not connected to the Wii with a continuous wire. Who knew?

The gerbils seemed to find that wire particularly tasty. Other wires were nibbled on, taste tests as it were, but only the Wii remote sensor wire was thoroughly destroyed.

Or it would have been, if Mr. Spock hadn't had the tools and the know-how to patch it back together. It worked for this evening, but we're going to buy a new sensor tomorrow.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Where gerbils run wild

Muffin Man's science class is talking about habitats, the environment, the food chain, and all that kind of stuff. This weekend, for homework, he built a diorama of how gerbils live in the wild.

Mr. Spock put up a beautiful picture of it on his blog. It looks better in the picture than it does in real-life!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When Gerbils Run Wild

Last night the gerbils escaped. One or another of us neglected to put the top back on their tank and they took total advantage.

Fortunately? One of them got all the way into Mr. Spock's office where he was still working on stuff, and scampered over his foot. Muffin Man and I had already gone to bed, but Mr. Spock sounded the alarm, and downstairs we ran to go gerbil hunting.

Spottie, being less adventuresome, was still in the playroom where their tank is. MM coaxed him out of hiding with some sunflower seeds and was able to catch him in the ceramic thing we use for the gerbil's dust bath.

Runner, however, was having none of it. He hid out under the storage shelves in Mr. Spock's office and we had to nudge him out with a yard stick. He put up a fight, though, trying to eat the heavy wood of the stick. Finally we cornered him behind a computer and left him with only one route out...which was blocked with the ceramic dust bath. He sat for quite a while making the decision to give up his really quite frightening freedom for safety and security in the tank. It was clear to all of us that he knew what the dust bath meant and that he went in deliberately.

After they were both back in their tank, they ran around sniffing everything and, especially, sniffing each other. The level in their water bottle this evening was lower than it has ever been before and they had eaten more of their food.

I'm grateful neither of them found a way out of the house. I would be sad to lose those little funny creatures.

Friday, April 08, 2011

6 Years And Two Days

April 6, 2005 was my first blog post here. I blogged on the anniversary, about my fun sweater, but I forgot it was a special blogging day.

Thank you all for reading, commenting, and being a huge part of my life.

Today is most certainly NOT ninety degrees and sunny, but you make it so for me.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thinking of Jimmy Dugan

A high school friend of mine went missing last week, when a dock he was on collapsed, and now they think they've found his body.

He was a person who was full of life, made friends easily, and will be sorely missed.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I went to bed last night totally thinking it was Tuesday

Which meant that at 6:00 AM, when my alarm went off, I totally thought it was Wednesday, and so I snoozed until 6:30...when my phone reported that I was going to be late for dropping MM off at ThursdayEarlyMorningExerciseThing at his school. Which we have only missed twice before.

But today still feels like a Wednesday to me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Today, one of my bras broke.

The under wire showed itself to the world. It didn't have the decency to poke out under my arm, as broken bras normally do. No, this one came out in the center, right by the pretty little bow.

This is not a minor thing. My bras are, by necessity, feats of modern engineering and thus, they are expensive.

Fortunately, my mother gave me a gift certificate to Nordstrom's for my birthday. I know now what I will spend it all on. Unless they no longer carry my size. In which case, hello,!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

It's getting easier to be green

Up until last November, neither of our cars were terribly efficient. I had a 2002 Kia Sedona, he had a 1997 Jeep Wrangler. Both were bought used. The Kia was bought when our son still had a lot of equipment to haul around.

We were thinking about getting more efficient vehicles, but you know what the greenest car is? One that you already have that's in working condition. So we waited...and we dreamed of better than 20 miles to the gallon.

Then I was in a collision, and the Kia was replaced with a 1998 Toyota Camry. People, I regularly get over 30 miles to the gallon in that puppy, just tootling back and forth from work!

And then we had to replace the Jeep. This past weekend, we got a 2002 Honda Civic. It's even more efficient than the Toyota! Plus I work just a few miles from home! This is so exciting!!! Just as Big Oil is taking advantage of unrest in the Middle East to gouge consumers, we're thumbing our noses at them and benefiting local businesses at the same time!!

The Toyota was purchased at Lindsay Volkswagen. We went back to them last week, but they didn't have anything in our price range this time (though they had a sweet red Mini Cooper), so we got the Honda from Honda of Dulles. We had a great experience at each of their stores, and I've recommended them to friends. If you're in the market for a car, you really could not do better than to shop at either of their stores --- and they're even in our district!

(crossposted at Doorbell Queen.)

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Decision Made

Over ten inches off! Sent to Locks of Love.

Here's the after picture! I feel so free and light.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reader poll: To cut or not to cut?

The hair, it is long. I am sort of getting kind of tired of it, but not in a "I've got to take a scissors to it right now!" kind of way.

So do I bob it, or keep growing?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Relay for Life 2011

See that button there? ----->

Please click on it and donate to the American Cancer Society!! Last year I did 20 miles, I'd like to do 26.1 this year!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Bullets of a busy fun silly random wonderful weekend

  • MakesBooksForGrandkids and SingsLullabyes were here for the weekend. 
  • I left MM with them for most of Saturday while I
  • Had lunch with Jo(e). And you didn't
  • None of the vegan restaurants near the National Zoo are open at 10:30 on a Saturday, did you know that?
  • I made sesame noodles for my parents. They were very happy. I forgot to put out the pepper sauce, tho.
  • MM and they played Art of Balance, and we showed off our Mad Lego Rock Band Skillz.
  • MM spent over an hour in their hotel pool, and exhausted himself and his generally very energetic grandpa. 
  • The three of them played Life, and millions were made.
  •  At Wegman's, I bought two wines from local vineyards (a white from Breaux and a red from Hillsborough, both in Purcellville)
  • After my parents left, we watched an episode of Chef! MM is LOVING this show. Some of it is way over his head, but he gets more of it than you'd think.
  • Then we played Angry Birds and more Lego Rock Band.
  • And MS made pot roast risotto.
  • Finally, we watched Blackadder's Christmas Carol, which MM was still quoting from this morning.
So, a lovely weekend. How about yours?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Here's the birthday boy, playing Epic Mickey (one of his birthday presents):

I can't believe it takes just 9 years to get a boy to here from here:

Monday, January 31, 2011

5 days ago

3 of my friends whose blogs had been silent for months all blogged again on the same day about totally different things. I don't know what happened on January 26 to cause this, but I am grateful.

Friday, January 28, 2011

So I watched an episode of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes

The Absent-Minded Coterie.

And I utterly failed to realize that the actor playing Eugene Valmont (the main character of that story - top left in this picture), was someone I have seen before. Seen, in fact, many times.

Mr. Spock will never let me live it down.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What to do with less-than-perfect-looking cornbread.

Put it in the cuisinart and use the crumbs for coating chicken thighs for oven-fried chicken.


MM was not a fan, but that's okay, I ate his share.

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's national delurking day!

Comments! Put yer comments here!! Comments! Put yer comments here!

Ask me a question, and I'll answer it in the next couple of posts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm on a roll!

Sent lunch every day, and brought my own today too!

MM seems to be enjoying it, possibly because I'm using impossibly small containers in bright colors. Also, perhaps because I send fun desserts.

We now have two wide-mouth Thermos-type containers and some wee bitty Rubbermaid containers. As well as the containers from my own Laptop Lunchbox.

I switch up which lunch box I send (which means sometimes he gets mine).

Disclaimer: I am receiving no compensation for posting links to the products I've mentioned. I'm just a satisfied customer.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Resolution report

I sent him with lunch every day this week. Feeling very proud of myself. Now, if only I can keep it up!

My resolution was for at least 3x a week, but he asked me to pack his lunch for yesterday and today. I'm feeling like that's a big win.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Sending lunch

Everyday, I've sent a snack with MM to school since his class eats lunch late, but he was buying the cafeteria lunch most days.

After following Mrs. Q's blog, I decided that I really didn't want him eating the school lunch anymore. After all, we're trying to eat healthier at home, taking small steps like cutting out HFCS where possible.

So we sent him a satisfying lunch in reusable containers, and it was a good feeling.