Pinch Me

I have only had a handful of good dreams in my entire life. Most nights I’m tormented by bad dreams and nightmares, and they’re not even good ones. The major themes of my dreams are being lost, being late, being confused, not getting to play in a basketball game, and drowning. I have drowned so many, many times in my dreams, and usually it’s in stupid circumstances, like I’m in the baby pool.

A typical night of dreams might have me sending out an e-mail with the wrong sign-up dates for a school play, resulting in a line of angry parents wanting to talk to me. Then I might go into school for a sub job only to have another sub show up because it’s actually her sub job. As the night progresses, I might send out an e-mail to myself test my ownership of a new domain, and the e-mail might say, “Hey you sexy thang!” And then I might find out I sent it to the whole group. I might try to remedy this by sending out an apology letter to the whole group, only to find out hours later that I sent it to just one person. Then my son might call me from school to say I was supposed to be at a meeting 10 minutes ago. You get the idea. The only good thing is that within minutes of waking up, I forget all of it and go about with my day where I don’t drown even once.

Except that all that stuff I just wrote there, about the messed up dates and the wrong sub job and the test e-mail? That was today. Actual today. Fully awake today. Only, by the grace of God, I did not write “Hey you sexy thang” in the test e-mail, as I often do when I need to e-mail myself something.

It’s 6PM now and while I could use a relaxing soak in the tub to wash off the day, I think it’s best I don’t go anywhere near water.

Roasted broccoli
Pan-fried potatoes

College of One

Ah! Time has flown, as it is wont to do, and it’s now the third week of school! I felt blue the first week, angsty the second week, and calm this third week. I’m living a life of leisure but still feeling worn out at the end of each day. I vacillate between worrying that I’ve become lazy and feeling like I’m doing too much.

I spend a couple hours each day working on my stories now, and while it feels like I’m not getting anywhere, this week I’m able to look at the writing objectively instead of through a lens of self-flagellation. That’s something brand new for me! In fact, there are a lot of new things I’m doing lately.

  • I’m teaching myself Italian.
  • I booked a vacation to Arches, Zion, and Bryce Canyon (usually I just come up with the big idea and let Kevin do all the booking).
  • I got suckered into being the producer on Rocco’s plays after 7 years of hiding whenever the outgoing producer looked my way.
  • I’m volunteering at Hopelink with my neighbor—usually stocking the food market, but sometimes going out to farms to do gleaning and pretending that it’s my farm and my barn and my one-lane road lined with giant poplars.
  • I’m making artistic arrangements with the sarcastic amount of cucumbers our two vines put out.
  • I made the switch to digital scrapbooking.
  • I’m scouting out kittens at our local cat shelter!!

And of course there are all the old things, like reading, gardening, subbing, cooking, baking, carpooling, and all the other activities that get lumped into the term “homemaking” and given a bad rap even though they are the very best things in life.

It feels like I’m in a class with a really vague description at a liberal arts colleges that “goes beyond majors and minors,” where all the cafes are vegan and you make up your own grades. That’s fine with me—I’ve always loved being a student. This quarter, I’m going to grade myself in kittens because grading myself by cucumbers would be too easy.

(These are all from different harvests.)


I’ll let you know when the final grades come in.

Hashbrowns, sausages, & eggs

First Day Pix

I’m doing better today. Cried off and on yesterday morning, then I sat down to  write for the first time in a month and realized how much I had missed it. It’s not all bad having the kids back in school! Instantly after having that thought, I began to feel anxious about writing tomorrow, which is now today. I sat down to write today and loved it. (!!) Currently, I am feeling anxious about writing tomorrow.

I’m beginning to think it’s not writing that’s the problem. You know what they say: No matter where you go, there you are.

But now, in a segment that causes me no anxiety at all, I present to you the Back to School Pix! The first three in the series are called: Leo has a Cracker in his Mouth




This next one is called Leo Ate the Cracker but You Really Can’t Tell


Here’s one called We Don’t Know if Leo has a Cracker in his Mouth


This one is called Now There’s a Bug on Leo’s Hand


And finally, a picture that has nothing to do with crackers or bugs or snide comments. I call it Untitled.


Also, when did Rocco start looking like a Nickelodeon boy?

Chicken yakisoba
Fruit salad
Chocolate cupcakes

This Morning

Skinny-legged Leo, on his first day of fifth grade, cheerfully taking his goodbye kiss then running off, arms akimbo, backpack bouncing, bounding toward his year.


Me standing there, turning away as the tears came.

This is the first day of his last year of elementary school. It’s the beginning of his year, but it is the end of something precious for me.


Twice baked potatoes
Roasted broccoli
Peanut butter cookies