Friday, August 29, 2008

A good man...

Is it just me, or does the Governor of Alaska look like Elaine on Seinfeld? I had to wait in line at the Post Office and everyone was buzzing about McCain's choice. I think the funniest comment was "I bet Hillary is steaming right now!"

I'm so thankful to have Todd for my husband. His mother starts chemo today, and as we were discussing things, I told him that I was concerned that perhaps he didn't grasp the seriousness of the situation. This morning, he bought tickets to go see her soon. The man listens. This isn't the first instance of his listening, either. He also takes out the trash without being asked, fills the water purifier, walks Kuyper, puts away the dishes, and on and on... I don't get everything done that I would like to, but we certainly get more done than I would by myself. This morning he was working from home and I was putting away laundry and he took a break to hang things up. Just to be sweet. I feel so loved by him. And blessed. You can work really hard to find the "right" person, but you never really know who you are marrying until you are married.

Curbshopping has been particularly fruitful lately. This habit of mine has been a big adjustment for Todd.

Last weekend we made a list of things that we needed to do or get to "finish the house," [not that any house I have ever lived in has been finished. There is always more to do. ]We sat at the dogpark and made the list. One of the items on it was "replace [the plastic drawer set that I don't love that is currently in our living room] with item of like functionality, subject to time/money constraints."

There is a little history to this-- I had hidden the plastic drawers in the front closet when Juli and Jessica came-- I find them awfully unattractive. As soon as the girls left, the drawers came back out by the piano. There was some discussion, and we arrived at the above resolution. Last night, we came home to find this on the sidewalk:

It appears to be oak. It isn't in prime condition, but we both agree it is better than the plastic drawers. It works well enough for opening and closing a few times each week, and the price was certainly right!

I really feel that God honored our communication and problem solving--after I got out of my huff about the drawers being back in the living room.

I told Todd I wouldn't drag anything else home ....this weekend.

I know what Juli is doing for Labor Day-- what is everyone else doing?

Kuyper is sad about juli's plans to leave the northeast.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Last night I dreamed I was in college again, at Converse, and I couldn't find the class schedule to know whether or not there were a test that day. I remember being there; I felt both liberated at leaving behind the constant pain of family dysfunction, and horrifically homesick for my family. Funny how you can leave a situation, and yet it never truly leaves you.

I read a blog recently in which people commented on their least favorite household chores. Most people that said they hated cleaning the toilet said it was because their sons had poor aim. So, two questions: would it be wrong to say that your boys were not allowed to use one of the bathrooms in the house (assuming you had more than one)? and Second-- somebody needs to invent some gadget that puts an end to the aim problem without making a separate mess to clean up.

I'm off to make apricot lentil soup. I'll let you know how it turns out. It's from

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blogging from Work

I am a new woman.

The subway has been, since I began riding it daily, a jarring of rides, miserable at worst, uncomfortable at best. But after this shot, it is just a ride.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Three things

1. I got an epidural injection yesterday. The shot is supposed to help my pain. So far, I feel pretty good. The local anasthesia is wearing off, so I don't feel as great as I did yesterday, but substantially better than Monday-- which was a terrible day.

I had to leave physical therapy because I almost threw up from the pain. I told God that I needed him to send me a cab, because I couldn't face walking the seven minutes home. He did, praise him. The cab driver seemed to think I didn't know my way home until after I called Todd and asked him to meet me outside our building and pay for the cab and help me get out of the car. Then the cab driver was helpful.

I thought I had two choices-- the ER for pain meds, or the Pain Doctor. I'd been referred to the Pain Doctor through my PMR (physical medicine and rehabilitation) doc, and the Pain Doc's office and I had been playing phone tag since Monday of last week. I called Monday, at 11:47 and they said that if I were there by one p.m. he could see me. The office was in New Jersey, 41 minutes away with no traffic, or an hour and twenty minutes if there were traffic according to Google Maps.

The car was multiple blocks away; I had parallel parked it in a space with three inches in front and three inches behind. I'm learning patience parking this way, I tell myself, and it certainly increases the number of spaces available. But Todd, my rockstar husband, had to finagle the car out of the space, maneuver all the one-way streets back to our house to come get me, and we were on our way. He was a rockstar driver! We made it to New Jersey in perhaps less than the 41 minutes alloted-- two bridges, two construction zones-- and I was so thankful.

The doctor told me to come back Tuesday, yesterday, for the shot. This time we allotted 90 minutes for the trip, missed an exit, travelled with increasing frustration through NJ sprawl, found a map in the glove compartment left in the car by the previous owner, and thanks to a helpful policeman and the map, made it to the office exactly on time.

I see why my doctor referred us to this office. I was impressed with the facilities, the cleanliness, the professionalism... There was at least one nurse per patient. And they told me their names! I didn't love the anasthesiologist, who insisted on starting my IV in my hand... I have great veins, let's use them for something, OK? My appointment was at noon, and we were headed home by two.

2. I'm still working on fitting us into the apartment. Todd has sorted his bag collection (that is another post) and last night, I reclaimed at least five cubic feet. Hence:

The closeup:

In an hour, it was gone. I hope it went to a better home, with more light and more space. Now to make decisions about the bag collection.

3. Todd's work keeps sending peaches home from the CSA. Last night I realized that I had ten peaches to eat in twenty-four hours. My solution? Peach and Cherry Pie.

Yes, I had a piece for breakfast. I haven't gained a pound since the accident and I'll be able to exercise again soon. I can't wait to get my muscles back. And meanwhile, I'll eat peach pie.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Organic Yogurt and Himalayan Rice

Kuyper woke me last night with throaty soft yelps. At first, I thought he was dreaming of his time being boarded and spoke to him firmly, almost strictly, to settle down and realize he was at home. It happened again, some time later. The yelps were more urgent, this time. I roused and asked him if he needed to go outside. "Woof!" Affirmative.

We went-- I woke up this morning fully clothed, so apparently I was decent. The poor guy had diarrhea from being boarded. With any luck, he just ate someone else's food and it isn't a stomach bug.

I learned from my vet in Jackson that the way to treat diarrhea is with white rice and yogurt. But neither sweet Todd nor I wanted to grocery early this morning-- and I eat yogurt every day for breakfast. I acquired a bag of Basmati rice from Gourmet Garage in the West Village upon marriage. I don't eat white rice, generally, so it has been in the freezer, waiting for its moment to shine.

Which is now! Kuyper appears subdued but seems to be feeling somewhat better. We can blow the candles out now.

Have a good day, ya'll!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

If you want to know what happened...

Juli posted great photos on her blog:

Todd and I had a fantastic weekend in West Cornwall, CT on a church retreat for people who have not been married very long-- it was refreshing, wonderful to make new friends in the same life stage as we are.

I have a lot to do this week, so I'd better get to bed so I can get going in the morning!

Please pray for Todd's mother. She's hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

Love you all!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I don't wanna

I don't wanna write-up eight history and physical exams.

Juli is coming tonight. I'm excited. I want to have time to play with her, which means I need to get started.

Why do I not want to do these? The workload feels excessive and needless. But it is a national requirement of all PA schools, so there must be some point to it! I turned the air down to 68 (it never gets that cool in here, but maybe it will get down to 76 or something) and fixed myself a glass of cold water and I'm going to get started.

I'll write (it's hand written, not typed, which just bites and makes my hands cramp) and then put in little bursts of cleaning or laundry or dog washing. How's that?

I considered making cinnamon rolls for the weekend, but I'm afraid that only Todd would eat them....

Talk to ya'll later!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Photo of the Day

The News is not Good

Nancy's cancer marker is elevated. In three weeks they are going to do a CT scan to see if they can find where the cancer is growing. She is going to start chemo all over again.

My prayer is for her healing and peace. Please join me?

Monday, August 4, 2008

A sign?

We are waiting for the results of a second cancer marker test for Todd's mother. The first was slightly elevated a month ago. Please pray that it was a transient anomaly, that she continues victorious in the fight against ovarian cancer.
On the way home last night:


"You know what I need? I need another honeymoon." That was Todd, a month ago, in dawn truthfulness as we struggled to get to the business of the day. The days are busy here, with rotations, moving in, being responsible for a dog of no small stature, Todd's launch, etc. And we hadn't stopped until that moment to consider the toll the intensity of the labor was taking on us.

We got ourselves out of bed, walked the dog, and hustled into the city to our respective jobs. It must have been a Thursday, because I was home earlier than usual. I could see Todd's growing exhaustion, and felt a similar burden on my part. Then epiphany: the work never ended! No wonder we were tired! It was a soul tired, not simply body tired, because we were constantly at work, either at our jobs, or here at home, putting together the bookshelves, unpacking boxes, trying to configure the boxes under the bed so we could squeeze in just one more thing. We both know that God provides and wants us to spend a day we week resting in His provision, but there was stuff everywhere! We had to consolidate households, make the space livable, and the only time to do it was after work and on the weekends.

Family meeting: we needed rest for our souls. And it couldn't be at home, not yet, before everything was finished-- we needed to take some time to clear our minds, nourish our spirits, have some intellectual and social renewal before we burned out completely on all our activities.

The first Sabbath was a trip to the Met, to see the paintings of JMW Turner, the stone mosaics of ancient nobles, and photos from the last century. Art was followed by worship, then Virgin records for some birthday CD purchases.

The second Sabbath was a wild raspberry picking trip to Westchester, followed by a barbecue (that is what they call a cookout up here). Fellowship and food. Deer, a notable sunset over the Hudson.

The third Sabbath was the Pepsico sculpture garden. I'd been there before, but I was still unprepared for how moved I would be by the sculpture in the beauty of nature. We walked along gravel paths (note: don't wear Birkenstocks on gravel paths) and inhaled, photographing most of it for you. I'll see how many photos I can load for you...

Something similar to infinity-- it looks as though it sits on the surface of the water. See the heron in the background?
"Welcoming Birds"
Todd and me in fifty years!

"Hats Off" by Alexander Calder. It really is as big as it looks; it is not a funky angle on the part of the photographer!

"Eve" by Auguste Rodin. Can you believe that we are not left in this condition? What love God has for us!

"Three People on Four Benches" by George Segal.

Here's hoping you have experienced a little Sabbath rest yourselves.

Happy Monday, all!

Two Questions

1. Do anyone else's Google applications load in Japanese?

2. Why was there a Hasidic Jew walking down the street holding a lavender air freshener this morning?

Frustrated (#1) and Curious (#2)

Friday, August 1, 2008

I couldn't waste time

better if you paid me to do it! If looking around on the internet at sofas is wasting time, I have a Master's in it. I'm pretty sure I know what I like, though.

I have accomplished very little today. I'm changing that, starting NOW! POW! POOF! BAM!

I'm going to get dressed and prime two doors.

See ya!

Two more and then I'll stop

No idea what these cost, I just like the design.


I LOVE the lines of this, but not the fabrics....

again, way too fusty on the fabrics, but in a nice cool linen?

BUGGING OUT, DUDE!!! This is it! In linen! Does anybody have a pottery barn discount card?
Because I could get a slipcover for it... and use it as a pattern. Or are there pottery barn outlets near hear? I don't get the catalog-- sometimes they have get 20% off stuff things that fall out of the catalogs.... Wonder what Todd thinks of this? We'll have to sit on it and test it-- I know him that well.... he does not like ordering things sight unseen off the internet. I'm going to do a little more research... Is it too fusty? I've never really been a pb fan-- too middle america, or something. but this I like. You have to see it in the oatmeal color-- don't judge it by the red.

Sofa, Couch, Divan

Things I want in a sofa:
Down wrapped cushions
8-way hand-tied seats
scrubbable or washable upholstery
hardwood frame
reasonable cost I can get the sofa (only) on clearance, because it has been discontinued. It fits all the categories except down-wrapped cushions, but when the polyester does give out, I can replace the cushions with down. It is dark. I'm not sure about something that dark-- I had imagined a couch, if it were leather, just middle brown, a few shades darker than the dog. It will be going over the red rug. I'm picturing pillows on it that are light neutrals and/or bright, so that it isn't just a dark hole.

Next option:
Well constructed, similar to the one in the cabin where we honeymooned. Has the down cushions, which make it cushy. How scrubbable is it? The seat springs on this are the same as the seats on a BMW, guaranteed no squeaking, ever (cracking myself up). $79 shipping. It is sorta meh, alone, but I think when it gets in a room, it will be solid and set off the other things in the room.

I'm looking for another that I found earlier. I'd seen a fourth on Macy's, new, with no reviews, and really liked it but now people are saying that the seat sags and that the upholstery snags so no deal on that one!

The Bookshelves

Dog included for scale. They have to be organized, books set straight, those piles and piles of magazines need to go somewhere and the binders have to disappear up to Todd's office, but whee!!! the stacks and stacks of book boxes are no longer hogging floor space.
Todd will do much of the purging-- notice how the top shelves are empty? and there is stuff (magazines) piled on the floor? That is all his to remedy... I do have a sweet husband!
In case you haven't been following the saga-- Todd designed and built the bookshelves himself. The horizontal pieces are fully adjustable. And this is one wall of our living room.