This is a Blog Post

It’s hard to blog when you have nothing to blog about but your readers are outside, aggressively demanding posts. I love you guys, but seriously, stop showing up on my front lawn!

I did have a gloomy post drafted about how depressed I was, but I was too depressed to publish it. It’s the novel. I’ve come so far. So far. Like 85 to 90% far. I’m so close to finishing…and yet I’ve never felt farther from the finish. I don’t have anything huge at the end; the novel just kind of fizzles out. I keep throwing things at it—unicycles, meerkats, rabid donkeys, rabid grandmothers…but nothing sticks. (Maybe I should throw a bucket of glue at it!) I dread opening up my computer every day, but I remind myself that it’s nothing compared to the dread of the past two years where I felt physically ill when I woke up in the mornings, thinking of writing. I know I can’t quit the novel now. I just have to accept the fact that ten years from now when you ask how I’m doing, I’ll answer, “Good. Still working on the novel.”

Some days are hard.

The boys? They’re good. Vincenzo is acting in a play this weekend that the director wrote. It’s set in the 70s and is about a boy at the beginning stages of schitzophrenia. It’s also a musical and a comedy. I have no idea what to expect., except that Vincenzo will be rocking a fabulous pair of bell bottoms.

Rocco is still a nonstop river of words and ideas. I’m typing this at the dentist now and he’s getting his teeth worked on and hasn’t stopped talking to the hygenist. His projects this week include: learning to braid, learning to sew, designing and printing 3-D Jell-mold place card holders, teaching himself Spanish, and trying to build a working fan out of Legos. The only one not exhausted by all this is Rocco.

Leo is still all fight and snuggle. He’ll wrestle Kevin to the ground and dance on top of his dad’s defeated body, then hop onto the couch to snuggle with me–though admittedly the snuggling is tapering off the bigger the books he is reading. He keeps making up games involving balloons and balls that have more rules than a game of cricket. If you look through our basement windows at any given moment you’ll see us kicking balloons around with our arms pinned behind our backs or crouched down, loping around like gorillas, hitting the balloons with only our arms.

Kevin is still Googling away. I don’t understand a word he says when he tells me about his day, except when I ask him what he ate for lunch (and even then I sometimes don’t understand all the words). He’s also PTSA president this year and when he’s not working or PTSAing or getting danced upon or playing chess with Rocco or practicing lines with Vincenzo, he sits down and helps me figure out what I’m going to write tomorrow. I don’t know how he does it all!

In house news, we got some electrical work done!


Now we’re going to have some drywall work done. (Fortunately the guy didn’t fall all the way through the ceiling.)

(And yes, I have tried having someone fall through the ceiling for a novel ending, and honestly it’s my best bet right now.)

As for me, I’m still writing, obviously, and working out a lot and subbing a little. I’m getting better at subbing. This week no one pulled their pants down or threw chairs or cried under their desks or started a book-throwing war. I’m not exaggerating. All those things have happened. This week the worst thing that happened was one kid making periodic farting noises and another kid standing in front of the “erfly” part of the word “butterfly” to the hilarious amusement of his classmates. A couple times I’ve landed the dream job of subbing in the library for Friday afternoon and last time, the fifth graders applauded me. Twice!

So as you can see, some days are awesome.


Roasted asparagus
Magic 7-layer bars

Halloween 2019

And finally, the thing you have all been obsessively refreshing my site for: the Halloween post!!! 

I am a huge fan of Halloween. All you have to do is read the past 12 years’ worth of Halloween posts to know how much I love it. It’s a serendipitous holiday. There is no planning of menus, no stressful gift buying, no company parties squeezed in between neighborhood and friend and family parties. Halloween just shows up on your door like a trick-or-treater and is happy with whatever you stick in its bucket–as long as it doesn’t have razor blades in it.

I wish I could post the video I took of the 2nd graders lining up to go in from recess. They started chanting, “PAR-TY, PAR-TY, PAR-TY” and jumping up and down and you would have thought the Jonas Brothers were on the other side of the door (NKOTB for the older crowd). It had a bit of a “blood will be shed” feeling which made me a little uneasy standing in the middle of it, but not as uneasy I as felt for the teachers when they opened the doors. My Uneasy Meter went straight to max. But fortunately no one got hurt and the only blood that got shed was of the fake, costume store variety.

The only thing maybe louder than those 2nd graders was our basement a couple hours later.

We had I-don’t-know-how-many people over for pizza and trick-or-treating. Seriously. One f the kids in this picture didn’t even belong to any of us.


Princess Jasmine’s parents were outside, frantically looking for her before someone realized she was inside a stranger’s house, trading candy with a dozen kids she didn’t know.

My favorite childhood Halloweens were spent in the similar candy-induced, piano-banging, chair-spinning chaos, set among the backdrop of steaming apple cider and gooey popcorn balls. Seeing my kids in such a blissful state and knowing exactly what that feels like?


Chicken sausage stew in pumpkin bowls
Fresh vegetables
Candy shop pizza

You’ve Got Mail!

Ah! Sorry for the delay between posts! I have a Halloween one but can’t figure out how to insert a very loud video in it, so keep checking your mailboxes!

BTW, remember when “You’ve got mail” brought a little skip of joy to our hearts? Maybe it was a letter from a friend or a hello from your mom or love note from your crush. I know this really happened because there was a movie about it starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. Now anytime I get an e-mail notification I still get that little, “Oo! I’ve got mail!” feeling. I open it only to find out I can view this month’s bank statement or I forgot to publish an article in the newsletter or there are 22 more things to add to my calendar. Opening an e-mail message invariably leaves me feeling disappointed. If only I could let go of the expectation it’s going to be something special but—oo! Just a minute! I’ve got mail!

Oh. It’s time to schedule my fall roof and gutter cleaning. Sad smile

Could you imagine a movie made these days about opening e-mails?

Also: I accidentally typed newsletter with an “m” when I first wrote that paragraph, and I regret fixing it. I think from now on I’m going to call it the mewsletter.

Also also, one of my favorite text typos last week was, “I’ll get back to you after I get home to wipe.” I can’t remember what I was really trying to type, but it couldn’t have been as good as that.

And since we’re being random here, my sister got me a lime tree this summer. The tree became so heavily laden with fruit last week that they literally started dropping off it. So many limes!


(Vincenzo has grown so much this fall that his giant hand makes the limes and my feet look miniature.)

Butternut squash with sausage
Salad with pomegranate, pepitas, and gorgonzola cheese
Candy shop pizza