www.flickr.com

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

so it turns out that I like small dogs

When the Milton Dog Summit began a couple months back, I made some firm requirements: good with children, calm, small-ish. Not a puppy. I wanted to give an adult dog a new home.

As the stay home parent, and the chief walker of said beloved pet, I needed to know that any dog we brought home would be in capable, if feeble, hands. The neuropathy in my ring and pinky fingers is always with me and I just don't have the hand strength necessary to train with an unruly, large dog, no matter how darling.

So, we have been researching and talking to breeders while all the while I pitched stories about my favorite childhood dog, Skippy, the sweetest little Boston terrier, as my husband scrunched his face up until I said: 'Yes, exactly. That's exactly how they look.'

I guess you had to be there. He wasn't amused either.

Then we read about Courtney, a sweet French Bulldog/Boston Terrier, looking for a family.



Courtney's first day with us

We made a trip out to meet her the following day and we knew immediately she was the girl for us.

Last Saturday night, we brought our little honey home with us.

She is still shy and somewhat nervous, uprooted and unsure. Yet, each day she grows more confident. She is tucked away, near my feet right now, sprawled out and lightly snoring.

We are all smitten.

I am smitten. I am baby talk and warm chicken broth and checking on her at night.

And I'm amused that I am swept in the canine craze, something I've just never understood before this bitty dog came to call us home.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

eleven

My dear daughter is now eleven.

gigglebox
Whimsical, and often thoughtful beyond her years.
birthday girl and cupcakes
I am lucky you are mine.
Zack and Lexi, birthday wishes
I always count my blessings this time of year, and though your ol' mama is tired and has a cold (and fell asleep at the movies with you today), please know that today and every day, you make my world so much sweeter.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

new girl on the block

I'm in no position to play pusher - my reader is teeming - but I wanted to announce my daughter's new blog.

Yes, she's been begging for months, and once Holly caved, I knew it was time to set her up.

(I mean, she wants to write. For fun. I'm delighted.)

So, if you get a chance sometime, please stop by.

She says she can't wait until she is famous like me, {snort} proving once again why she's my favorite daughter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

birthday post FAIL (well, nearly)

So my sweet boy turned eight today at precisely 10:06 am, according to hospital records, although my Mom would argue it was really 10:05, which puts Mr. Numbers in a spin, just talking about this discrepancy.

(I was unavailable for comment at the time, having just given birth and all and was preoccupied by his incredible shrinking umbilical cord that had the doctor spinning, come to think of it.)

But I don't care when he arrived; he came and our world is fuller for it.

zack in penguin jammies
last Christmas
secondgradeboys2
Zack and two of his best friends
indy spray
summer at the park

Happiest birthday, my sweet boy. May many joys be in store for you this year.

Love you, Mama

Monday, March 23, 2009

goody, goody gumdrops

He was still sick, but no longer down for the count. And bored. So I introduced some gumdrops, marshmallows and toothpicks, and voila! Instant entertainment.
I printed up some scientific stuff to go with it, because if I learned one thing on my kajillion field trips this year, it is to take advantage of teachable moments. Lexi couldn't resist eating joining the fun and they made lots of structures.

LOTS of structures.

We could house a village, a city of Weebles, although it might be drafty.

But it kept their hands busy while I drew up plans for a Mighty Busy, March Madness, Birthday Goodness Week.

(Typing all those capitals just wiped me out. I'm off to the races and running. If you don't hear from me soon, please send in re-enforcements and perhaps, chocolate.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

my life as a lego

I don't know how he puts up with me, what with my bright ideas - let's postpone your super duper fun Kung Fu Panda party until after you bid the black lung virus adieu -and my disappointing X-box skills.

I think he believes I have potential.

Zack was less comatose today and desperate for company so I put my gaming aversion aside, pushed start and took up fighting alongside Indiana Jones, donning the evening gown my son had picked for my character, Willie.

Of course, I can barely manage a joystick- no that's not right - controller. My strategy: Push buttons madly while my son gives me directions through gritted teeth in the same tone I use when I rhetorically ask at dinner: Does anyone here know how change the toilet paper roll? Because I am available for lessons...

Soon he is speaking louder, straining his sore throat, maybe because he doesn't think I heard him the first time. He doesn't understand; I don't speak X-Box 360.

I soon discover that my little character is unequipped for said Indiana Jones adventures. She doesn't carry a gun in a gunfight and lets out a prissy scream when I hit 'B', which you'd have to agree is a mighty pathetic weapon.

I stumble along, apologizing when I bust up Zack's character - like I meant to - and start to catch on. I race around and collect coins and baubles and add to our treasure while Zack does whatever we are supposed to be doing on each level.

(Look at me! Bringing home the bacon!)

I ride Lego horses and motorcycles and try to do my part when the rainbow-y glowy thing means a female character must complete the mission because apparently they jump better - trampoline better - but Zack has to muster up the last of his strength to go through a sex change to get the job done.

I'm so ashamed.

Towards the end, I finally figured out how to pick up a banana, but before I can fling it to a monkey, Zack's dude pulls me to another level.

My boy gives way to sleep, leaving me to bludgeon treasure chests and barrels with my trusty yellow plantain, wondering who comes up with this stuff.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the lucky four

The leprechauns have spoken: Christi, Kristen, The Girl Next Door (I can't find your first name in my email box, *sorry*), and Wendy are the lucky recipients of Susan Isaacs' new book, Angry Conversations with God.

Congratulations! Please shoot me your mailing address { glaz_1994 AT msn.com } and I will pass it on to the publishing company and they will send you your copy directly.

(If you live in the Portland, Oregon metro area, I wanted to let you know that Susan will be holding a Q & A on April 3rd. You can find the details on Imago Dei's website.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

play

We are grateful we are still standing, but the ground around us has been shaky. We've hunkered down, not getting out much as a family on the weekends.

earthquake
Earthquake exhibit. I think Zack's strategy is to drag his sister down.

But we took advantage of the rain and hail, and headed to OMSI for the day.

gray hair
Obama's not the only one going gray during the recession.

I have a soft spot for OMSI, having spent many days there when the kids were little. Gloomy cities need soft sand to play in, rooms full of balls and bugs and buttons, out of the rain.

glee, omsi
Greg & Zack
It was a fine day.

*****
Don't forget to enter my book giveaway. My assistants are drawing names in the morning.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Angry Conversations with God, A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir

I'm sketchy when it comes to writing about matters of faith. I hold the credentials: I go to church, studied the ministry long ago and love Jesus, but I don't kid myself.

My faith is complicated and unconventional and citing Lamb as a turning point in my return to church doesn't exactly endear me to the brethren.

So you can imagine my delight when Susan Isaacs - writer, actor, Lutheran - announced her blog tour for her new, snarky spiritual memoir. I couldn't wait to get my advanced reading copy in the mail.*



Here, take a look:

Disillusioned, disenfranchised, and disinterested in anything churchy, Susan Isaacs knew of only one thing to do when she hit spiritual rock bottom at age 40. . . . She took God to couples counseling.

In this cuttingly poignant memoir, Susan Isaacs chronicles her rocky relationship with the Almighty--from early childhood to midlife crisis--and all the churches where she and God tried to make a home: Pentecostals, Slackers for Jesus, and the ├╝ber-intellectuals who turned everything, including the weekly church announcements, into a three-point sermon. Casting herself as the neglected spouse, Susan faces her inner nag and the ridiculous expectations she put on God--some her own, and some from her "crazy in-laws" at church. Originally staged as a solo show in New York and Los Angeles, ANGRY CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD is a cheeky, heartfelt memoir that, even at its most scandalous, is still an affirmation of faith.
From the Hachette Book Group

I loved the way Susan examines "churchianity" in the United States; she is honest and forthright, yet gingerly discusses her "crazy in-laws", being kind even as she tells the truth about some of her bad church experiences.

(I think this is extremely difficult to pull off.)

Angry Conversations with God
is available now at your favorite bookstores, AND I will be giving away hardback copies to four lucky readers next Tuesday. Just leave me a comment and one of my lucky leprechauns with draw names on March 17th.

Congratulations, Susan!

*Did I mention Susan sent me Kombucha scoby a couple of years ago, when she heard about my autoimmune disease? She may be snarky, but she's awful sweet too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

when I grow up

Morning comes and Kurt is saying something about Pennyroyal tea. I would hit the snooze button again, but I've used those minutes up, still struggling with the time change.

I supervised a retail 'store' yesterday at Junior Achievement BizTown. I was amazed by the two 5th grade girls I spent the day with, watching them multi-task and run their store with a smile, applying for loans and paying invoices and never once asking for a bail out.

Occasionally, I caught a peek at my girl, across the room.

ja BizTown

Lexi was the acting CFO for BizTown's bank. She raced by later in the day, khakis swooshing by as she ate lunch and ran errands on her break.

Another child cried when he felt overwhelmed.

I watched a group of construction workers build a bench for the school; others ran city hall, still more worked in an animal shelter.

At closing, the JA manager knelt low to the ground, and spoke words to these bright young citizens that made me teary and made me wonder: You can be anything you want to be.

You can be anything you want to be.

I came home, tired and revived, racing through my own to-do list and letting those words sink in.

You can be anything you want to be.

Maybe it's time I took those words to heart again.

Monday, March 09, 2009

arrival

We met someone new yesterday, brand spanking new.

He waved his arms, and cried that delicious cry, unique to those first few weeks, before nursing and falling asleep again. His agenda, simple: eat, sleep, poop, and try on some potential names.

Cheer my weary soul.
Greg snapped some pictures for me. Because I would not put him down.

Can you blame me?

Welcome sweet baby Nicholson. We are so glad you are here.
*****

Coming up this week: I'm reviewing Susan Isaacs' new memoir, 'Angry Conversations with God', AND I will be hosting my first giveaway. See you then.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Office Depot giveaway

See this family? These are the Coxes, and let me tell you: They are fabulous.

The first time I met Erika, after emailing and reading each other's blogs for months, we were standing in line to register for swimming lessons. It was nearly 100 degrees outside and there she was, decked out in a long-sleeved, skin-saving white jacket while I was nearly melting into a puddle, dirty from doing some yardwork. I was Glam-ur-us!

But no bother. Erika is a great friend and whenever I hear someone pooh-pooh blogging I remember how many friends- virtual or otherwise - I have met, sitting in this chair, laptop humming.

Speaking of laptops - swerve, crash, boom: no easy segues today - Erika posted a contest on her blog this week with an opportunity to win a small business start up system from Office Depot. We're talking laptop/printer+fax/shredder. I know. You want a chance to win too, so head on over there. Git!

(And if you have a spare moment, maybe you can lend some encouragement to my sweet friend. Her daughter, Charlotte, had a rough time with her Remicade treatment this month, and though Erika is one tough mama, and one of the most optimistic women I know, I think she is feeling a bit weary.)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

taking cover

I schlepped around town today, shopping - and lo, I hate shopping - for a spring jacket, one with a hood but the buyers that be and I were not on the same page. They missed the 'spring showers = spring flowers' memo and I had to look and scrounge and even stop by the store of ill repute.

(And then Stephanie passed out. The End.)

I was circling a rounder at Kohl's when a mindless shopper pulled a tad too hard on a hanger, and plunked me upside the head. Of course, I know she wasn't aiming for my noggin, but she didn't acknowledge the blunder either and well. I was rather irritated.

First the shopping for the Elusive Coat.
Then, I am assaulted by a rude woman.
And if my eyes weren't bone dry from Sjogren's right now, I might have cried real girl tears, right there and then.

It wasn't the shopping or my eyes. I've just been feeling a bit...

Sad because a dear friend heard alarming medical news, for herself and her pregnancy.

Sad because the economy is hitting home and hitting hard as both of my best friends' husbands are looking for jobs.

Sad because this family has suffered a terrible blow; I've admired this local writer and counselor since I was a teenager, when I sought much needed advice during a rough time in my life.

I guess I am just acting out, being crabby.

I know my friends are capable and I believe that these hard times won't last forever. I'm an optimist, deep down and true.

But for now, I am brewing a strong cup of tea and waiting for this grief to pass.

Monday, March 02, 2009

give a little bit

givewhatyougrow

I'm yearning for a garden this summer, small but robust. I'm thinking garden boxes because I live in a neighborhood after all.

I grew up pulling weeds in my Mom's garden, and then my Grandma's massive garden, taking direction, bristling under her gruffness.

She canned more than she ate, lining shelves and shelves for a day that never came.

We stood shoulder to shoulder last summer, dumping hundreds of jars of tomatoes. Such a waste: Time, land, and food.

I don't understand why she did what she did: hoarding food we had to pry from her, selling the mason jars at her estate sale.

It turned my stomach; I swore off gardening, this joyless compulsion.

Until now.

I plan on giving what I grow. I plan on involving my kids, working together, our hands in the dirt.

That is, once I figure out what on earth I am doing.

Have a green thumb? (I'm so jealous.) SusieJ is giving away seeds over at her site, a great start to a season of bounty and sharing.