Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Right Now

This picture has nothing and everything to do with this post

Hold on, I am about to wax philosophical...

How many times do you have to remind yourself to live in the now. That your life is right now. It is not this coming Friday when that presentation you have been sweating over is done. It is not in a month or so when your zinnias are 2 ft. tall, it is not when you are done with graduate school and can finally recycle your Food stamp card, it is not when your kids put themselves to bed.

It is now.

But sometimes NOW hurts a little bit. School. Tantrums. Deep of Winter. School.

Yet, I feel pretty good about this living in the now bit, for the most part. I think it has to do with enjoying just being outside doing almost nothing (which means trying to read a book/garden) while my kids run around and play, I have never been someone who needs to be busy all the time. But, I think it mostly has to do with having babies and hearing over and over again how FAST they grow by EVERYBODY. Seriously, it helped. If you told me that, I thank you. It is true.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

soccer redux

It feels sooo wonderful to know that this sweet boy, who two years ago was absolutely traumatized by going out on a soccer field without me, is so confident and comfortable doing so today. And my feelings are validated. I was so ambivalent about soccer that last time. I almost felt like I should maybe have pushed him more. But he wasn't ready. Why push? It seems so silly now. It should be FUN right? And now it is, it really is.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

pineapple upside down cake

naughty is a latte and cake in the middle of the day

There is little in life more comforting to me than baking and/or eating baked goods. Which is sad and unfortunate, I know. Gardening comes to mind as does painting and reading, snuggling with my kids, campfires, being with friends. But back to baking...There are some obvious reasons to love baking and eating baked goods. On top of the fat, sugar and other sensory factors is the Nana Kitty factor. My mom did not bake constantly. She was busy raising 4 kids of her own and a bunch of other peoples' kids too. She also managed to sing in a group, sew, and make our homes comfortable and lovely. But when Nana Kitty visited, there were baked goods. Yummy ones. I don't think I can think of her without visualizing flour on the counter and butter in a bowl. So, when I am licking sticky fingers and feeling the warmth from my oven it is almost like my nana is near...

In the last few days I have made Challah bread (which I love to make but this was a flop and I am too embarrassed to discuss it now), the aforementioned cake and today, brownies. Why all of this baking?
It has something to do with stress. Papers. and the fact that I have no more gardening to do, unless I re-landscape the miniscule plot I am blessed with. And I cannot continue to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest until school is done. That leaves baking.

Betty Crocker's Pineapple Upside Down cake- a classic, my nana Kitty would likely agree..

1/4 cup butter
2/3cup packed brown sugar
9slices pineapple in juice (from 14-oz can), drained
1 1/3cups all-purpose flour
1cup granulated sugar
1/3cup shortening
1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/2teaspoon salt
3/4cup milk
Print these coupons...
About Concordance™
1.Heat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch square pan, melt butter
in oven.
Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter.
Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar.
2.In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients
with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds,
scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed
3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour
batter over pineapple and cherries.
3.Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean.
Immediately place heatproof serving
plate upside down over pan; turn plate
and pan over. Leave pan over cake a
few minutes so brown sugar mixture
can drizzle over cake; remove pan.
Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered.

Monday, April 19, 2010

recent viewings

My Nasturtiums are popping up

3 Good Things-

first few episodes of season 3 of Mad Men

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo- Dark, thrilling, gory, I thought this film was one of the better adaptations of a beloved novel that I have seen. I must say, there is nothing so refreshing as a good foreign film. I love the subtle differences in aesthetics represented. And this bears repeating, I love Swedish style. There is some especially exquisite wallpaper in the movie.


A Mother's Courage- Talking Back to Autism, a wonderful documentary about a family's search for answers for their son's Autism. A key element for me, was the introduction of the Rapid Prompts Method (RPM), devised (I believe) by Soma M., mother of an Autistic son and Educational director of HALO . I was so excited to see this after talking about all of these things in class and reading research by so many of the specialists highlighted in this film.

A bit of trivia- Today is Patriots Day. And it has nothing to do with the New England football team, well almost nothing. It's a civic holiday in Massachusetts and Maine commemorating the turning point in the struggle for independence for the colonists from England.

Mostly, it means a three day weekend.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Kim Nestor- Carlino

A view from a recent installation, Kim Nestor -Carlino

Watercolor by Kim Nestor-Carlino

My friend Kim just got some of her work into a gallery in Chelsea! May 4th-15th at 508 W. 26 St., Suite 315. The reception is May 7th , 6-7.
I am so excited for her! Plus I get to go to the opening because I will be in NYC visiting Amy and Laura that same weekend! Check out Kim's blog.

Kim hosts the craft nights that Helen and I go to once a month. They are really special affairs where we often get little crafting done but lots of snacking and gabbing. Best of all, we all live in N.V literally seconds walking distance from each other. So if I feel like having some beer, the worst thing that can happen is a bit of a stumble trip on the way home. Not that I have EVER done that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

books and chocolate

The above book by Steig Larsson, unreleased in the U.S, just came to me from Amy!!!!! Woohoo. God love Amazon U.K. I was waxing on about this series over the holidays, remember?

This book will be a birthday present for me, I am sure of it.
This chocolate, espresso and green tea will help me get through the next two weeks. In which I have to write/design a case study Power Point Presentation, a program for transitioning youth with L.D into Middle school an accompanying presentation, and a math curriculum unit.
I am doing okay though! Look ma, no hives!

Monday, April 12, 2010

youth soccer, round two

Oh the joys of having a sensitive/anxious boy.

Henry has been expressing some anxiety and eagerness about playing soccer. ALL of his guy friends play soccer on a team. Our neighbor plays year round. It's what boys around here do. And it's great. Henry seems to want to play and at the same time he is scared. Worried that he won't be good enough? Not feeling very competitive?

So of course, I am nervous for him but totally pretending I am not.

Deep inside I am thinking about whether there will be any of those lunatic parents around. Ya know the ones who yell at the coaches for playing the lanky/ slightly awkward boy with the vision impairment. Because, we all know that a soccer game played by 8 yr. olds is the most important thing and we should all be getting in fist fights over it. And I am also worried about other snickering children. A few weeks ago I witnessed some of Henry's friends chuckling because he kept missing the ball when they were playing "tennis" in the front yard. He did not notice they were laughing so I did not say a word. Should I have? I have intervened in the past but I feel pretty strongly about not doing it in front of him. I want to empower him and not take care of every little thing. And yet. My heart breaks.

The silver lining is that Matt has volunteered to be the assistant coach. And soon he and Henry will bond over buying cleats, shin guards, a sweat band for his unruly curls and they will top it off with meatball subs as they are want to do.

One of the hardest things about parenting is letting go, and letting them get hurt. Knee scrapes and splinters are nothing compared to the anguish you want to prevent from an unkind word.
I am so glad he still lets me hug him to pieces. It is my one solace. That and chocolate.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

quick catch up

This reads more like a journal entry, sorry. I have been busy. Something's gotta give. I have big plans for the summer though.

I have 4 weeks left of my first year of grad school. And I have been very busy reading articles, writing papers and working on presentations. To unwind I have been reading this series

Last night I finished this one.
One of the things that upset me about going to grad. school was that I might have to give up my fiction addiction. Here's the thing, I have found that I won't be reading dense classic literature in between reading meta-analysis or research on teenage boy's transition plans in juvenile detention centers, that's too much for my brain to deal with and absolutely not relaxing. But a sassy, indulgent, vampire detective series (that gave birth to one of my favorite television shows), that's do-able.

Since I went to Boston two weeks ago I have read book 3- book 8. And now I have to wait until May for the 9th book to come out. tears. But this is a good thing because I have some serious work to do.

In between reading and studying I have planted: nasturtiums, california poppies, parsley, cilantro and dill.

Today I went to the last pancake breakfast at Henry's school. The kids sang a song they have been practicing all year about their last year of Mark's Meadow and how they will miss it but that community is about people not walls. They held up signs telling us where they are all going: i.e Wildwood ( where my boys will be going), various private schools, Korea, Philadelphia, etc. I cried. It was beautiful. The principal and some teachers put on a play- "Oh, the places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss. What a special school, what a great principal.

Friday, April 2, 2010


That last post was not about me, just so you know. Although one should never assume such things. I posted it because I have had at least 5 good friends in my lifetime who were abused by their partners. And unless I was told explicitly by 3 of them I would never have guessed. The first time I encountered this was in Georgia. Matt and I had two good friends who lived a few blocks away from our Trustee's Garden Village apt. in downtown Savannah. My friend was a beautiful smart women who for the most part seemed pretty happy. Her boyfriend was an ex-boxer who helped me plan my workouts (this was around the time I met Keanu Reeves at the gym, another story). After Matt and I moved back to NY, about a year later, I got an email from my friend with all new contact info. Apparently her ex-boxer boyfriend had been practicing on her for years, but only hitting her in the back of her head and other places where the bruises wouldn't be seen. This last time she was terrified and she ran from the apt. hopped in her car and drove off with nothing but her purse, She returned to get her things weeks later with her mother and a lawyer. Why did she stay so long? That is the crazy thing about abuse, I guess. It can be so hard to get out of. It messes with your head. I am having a very hard time watching people I love stuck in this scary place. But there is nothing I can do, except be there for them and blog about it I suppose.


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