Monthly Archives: October 2008

Just in time for Christmas shopping

My college friend Kim (the friend who hosted the girls’ reunion weekend), has a daughter, Megan, who makes beautiful jewelry. She’s just launched her site on, and I want everyone to know about it.  I’ll put a permanent link up, but also wanted to do a blog post.  Here’s the direct link to her site:


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Filed under Things I Recommend (for what it's worth)

Pennsylvania is a wacky state

And I say that with the utmost affection.  James Carville once said that Pennsylvania is “Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.”  The author of this article on suggests that it’s way more complicated than that, at least as it relates to the current presidential election.  The article explains why Obama is not counting Pennsylvania in the winner’s column yet, and continues to keep the pressure on.

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Filed under Current Events

The Christopher Hitchens fan club president

I’m a big fan of Christopher Hitchens.  I disagree with him on many issues – like whether or not God exists (I think hHe does, in case you were wondering.)  I also think he can be a real crank, and probably wouldn’t be very fun to live with.  But I love to read what he writes, and I think he’s right on the money with these two columns he wrote for about Sarah Palin:

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Things I’m grateful for today

1. Margaret is a risk-taker who gives me heart failure every day – they are the ones who can change the world.

2. Emma is laid-back and dispassionate – she won’t make people crazy trying to control them.

3. David is the most literal person I know – the world needs brilliant scientists who can follow directions to the letter.

4. It’s cold outside – makes me appreciate our warm, comfy bed.

5. David and Margaret’s room is still not finished (one week over the original estimated time and counting) – I’m never lonely.

6. David hid Emma’s iPod from her and we still can’t find it – I now know all the places he’s likely to hide things in the future (well, except the place where he actually hid the iPod, that is.)

7. I’m really stiff and sore from the 10k – I got to snuggle with the kiddos in bed this morning instead of going running.

8. The World Series game was suspended in the 6th inning because of rain – my extended family gets to be excited about the Phillies being in the World Series for at least one more day.

9. I can’t figure out how to get my links to show up correctly in by Blogroll – I’ll have such a feeling of accomplishment when I finally break the code.

10. The last roofer did a horrible job and it’s going to cost $2000 to fix it properly so the roof stops leaking – heven’t figured out why I’m grateful for this one yet, but I’m sure it will become clear eventually.

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A crock of *******

I’ll be honest.  I have a love/hate relationship with my crock pot.  I love knowing that dinner will be ready when I get home, and I don’t have to do anything.  But I struggle to find recipes that my family likes.  They don’t like roasts (Tim calls them “big hunks of meat”), and so many things I’ve tried come out mushy.  So here are some roast/big hunk of meat recipes that I love, and for which I’ve gotten compliments from other people, even though Tim and Emma don’t love them…and some recipes for things that are meant to be mushy, so they’re fine in the crock pot. 

1. chicken-chili

2. taco-soup

3. slow-cooker-barbecued-ribs

4. Turkey Chili

5. Pot roast pot-roast

6. Jambalaya jambalaya

7. Beef stew beef-stew

8. Chicken and dumplings

9. Ham, beans and potatoes. This one’s easy (and really tasty. My mom always used to make it.) Put a big hunk of ham in the crock pot.  Cut 2 potatoes into quarters and add to the crock pot. Drain a can of green beans and add the beans to the cooker.  Add some wedges of green cabbage. Add some water.  Cook on low for 8 hours. Yum…just like Mom used to make.

10. And for something completely different, my friend and colleague, Liz, told me about crock pot cake. Haven’t tried it yet, but Liz recommends it,21770,1087160,00.html

Please feel free to add other recipes you like in the comments section.

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Filed under Cooking

Eat my dust, Mom

Emma and I ran the Frank Lloyd Wright 10k race this morning.  I thought the point was that we were running it together, but apparently I was mistaken, as I discovered immediately after the starting horn, when I found myself inhaling Emma’s dust.  Running the race by myself wasn’t bad – I got into the solitude of it after about the first mile.  Emma and I had different race strategies. She ran a really fast first mile and then slowed down; my first mile was my slowest at 8:42.  I ran each mile a bit faster than the last, and finished in 52:13 (it might have been a bit before that – I forgot to look at the clock as I crossed the finish line – I know, how could I run the whole race and forget to look at the clock? I was busy looking for Emma.) The thing I’m most proud of is that I beat my last year’s time by 3 minutes.  The thing I’m second-most-proud of is that, after running the whole race separately, Emma crossed the finish line only about 10 seconds ahead of me.

It was a beautiful Fall day in Oak Park – cool and windy.  A perfect day for a 6.2 mile run (of such a day exists.)  I felt good throughout the race, although Mile 6 was a killer.  I’m glad I did it, I’m glad Emma and I did it “together”, and I’m glad it’s over.

No rest for the weary – now I have to go clean the garage.


Filed under Running

And then God laughed at me

My first- and second-born children (Emma and David) both demonstrate traits characteristic of first-borns.  With 10 years between them, it’s not surprising that David is more like a first-born than a middle child.  They are both rule-followers, want desperately to please (well, Emma wanted desperately to please until she became an adolescent), are polite, well-mannered, pleasant to be around, and easy to discipline.  I, of course, chalked this up to superior parenting on my part.  I tsk-tsked at the parents of children who didn’t listen, who laughed when their parents tried to discipline them.  Probably not consistent with the discipline, I thought.  Too lenient. Said no, but then gave in.  Yeah, I had it under control.

And then God sent me Margaret. 

This is a typical picture of her.

Won’t stand still long enough to get her picture taken.

This is a typical video:

 Margaret lives large.  She talked in complete sentences before she was 2 (and I mean, like 11-word sentences.)  She has no physical fear. She makes hilarious faces. She sings at the top of her lungs.  She thinks she’s five.  She has amazing control over her body . She never walked, she just ran.  She’s very affectionate – constantly giving kisses and hugs. She’s absolutely delightful, and she makes me laugh all the time.

And she doesn’t listen. She laughs at me when I discipline her. She won’t stay on the naughty step, no matter how many times I put her back there. She gives me heart failure at the park, because she’s such a dare-devil.  Last week, she flooded the bathroom and smeared my make-up all over everything while she was supposed to be taking a nap (I was blissfully unaware of this, as I was in Pennsylvania.) 

So much for superior parenting.

I wouldn’t change anything about her.  But man, am I tired.

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Filed under Parenting