Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Welcome to Middle Earth

Well, it has been an eventful and peaceful All Hallow's Eve.
From the moment Baby Girl walked into the house this afternoon and I was unexpectedly in the kitchen, she knew something was afoot. She bedded down for an afternoon nap while I carved the last pumpkin and made Shepherd's Pie for dinner and slept for almost two hours.
When she got up, she was chipper as could be and, without much further ado, may I present Roswyn Brandywine, Frodo's cousin:
There are more pictures on Flickr, and there are way too many of them (especially if you have contact clearance) because I am exceedingly proud of this little foray into a skill I don't actually have.
As for skills I do actually have (me and Napoleon, baby), I was giving out Chocolate Graham treats to the parents of trick-or-treaters and, they were so well received, I had one person (who I didn't know) come back to the house later in the evening to ask for the recipe.

I know whose house is going to be on the candy circuit next year.

I watched Young Frankenstein while cooking the pie for dinner (it was tasty), saw part of Charlie Brown with Baby Girl after we'd gone to the bonfire, and after she'd bedded down, we watched The Village.

All in all, a good Halloween. I'm looking forward to the weekend as it is our annual Open House. I go shopping tomorrow for ingredients for pie and cakes. It'll be on Saturday from 1-4, if you're interested (and you know how to get a hold of me to ask me where we live ;)!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


This past weekend we had our very first airplane excursion. We went to go and visit Grandmas and Grandpas.

Breakfast aeroplano al fresco
She was a remarkably good flyer (especially as, on the way out, she slept until within 10 minutes of Kansas City) and even though I had chosen the busiest business flights of the day (I think my decision-making skills may need a little bit of work), she appeared to charm those around her by force of her sheer good will.
I really got to experience her separation anxiety full force this weekend, however. With no Dad bounding after us, I became the only connection to home. In fact, while we were at my parents, a picture of Jason and me near the fireplace would illicit long conversations, either with or about, the man in the photo. I think she wanted to make sure that we knew he was missing.
Well, I certainly felt that. She was highly opposed to letting me too far out of her sight, and I have to say, God bless the Maya Sling people. Without them, my sanity would not still be with us. I would just kit her up, and off we would go.
She saw and charmed lots of people, tried to move her way more definitively toward that illusory one nap a day, and generally had a good time being the center of attention. Grandma Porter took us to her work and we had a great time going to the park. She had never been on a merry-go-round before. It was always one of my favorites as a child. When I went on it this time, it made me nauseous. *sigh*, I guess it may be time to put away childish things.

I know I'll get there soon, if I just keep following this path
When I brought back pictures from the mall where Granny Carle had put her on the mechanized toy carousel and told about how we went on the big carousel twice, well, Jason wondered who I had gone to visit, because surely these weren't his parents. Since his siblings read this blog, too, I'll just consider that my work here is well done . . .

Stimulated beyond all belief, and loving every minute
I imagine we'll be going back and forth a couple of times over the next year. One of the pregnancies that I mentioned in this previous post, well, Sister Sarah has her very own bump, so Roslyn's going to have to put in some hard work being a big cousin.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Robert Jordan, 1948-2007

I found out this weekend that Robert Jordan died last month.
For those of you who don't know, Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr., and was the genius responsible for The Wheel of Time saga.
Jordan was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis about a year and a half ago. On his blog, he and his family described the struggle that they spent over those 18 months fighting against the insidious disease.
Working in a library, I don't know how this didn't manage to make it onto any of the lists or blogs that I frequent. The Wheel of Time books are some of the most magnificent epic tales created in the 20th century (I say this taking in Tolkien's vision, August Wilson, Anton Chekov, and William Faulkner) and stands a great chance to be the most magnificent epic tale written in the 21st. It is for this reason that I am aghast that not more note was taken at his passing. Robert Jordan embodied the art, the skill, and the charisma of the Bard; Virgil would have listened.
But The Wheel of Time is unfinished. Book 12, tentatively titled The Memory of Light, is yet to be published and, it is widely thought, is not even remotely finished. Twelve was intended to be the finale that would pull the world of the Dragon together.
While I do lament that the book is not finished, and may not be finished to Jordan's standards, I lament that such a giant is gone from us and I lament that the world, seemingly, did not give proper notice to his passing.
As humans, we need our storytellers. They do more than just entertain us: they remind us of who we want to be and give us caution as to who we might be becoming. I am saddened that I live in a world--in a culture--that the storytellers are not on the front page of the paper and are only heard in the back channels, relegated to the fringe.
Tom Doherty, the president of Tor Books, eulogized Jordan, saying: "Jim (Jordan) was a man of courage and heart and vision. He was my friend of 30 years. He’s gone ahead of us now. Beyond that last horizon to a place we cannot yet see. But I think he can see us and he’s glad we’re together and he’s already thinking of stories he’s going to tell Harriet and then the rest of us when we get there."

I fervently hope so.

May you shelter in the palm of the Creator's hand, and may the last embrace of the mother welcome you home.

For more information:

Friday, October 05, 2007

My Two Front Teeth, A Pony, and To Be A Rock Star

So today is my birthday, and I am married to the best man in the world.
Tonight, we go off to have our first "real" dinner without Baby Girl. I mean we've had a quick bite to eat before a movie, but we haven't really gone out to have a sit-down dinner without her since she was born. We're going to a place in Joliet that we discovered when someone Jason married had their rehearsal dinner catered there.
Last night he made me pancakes, as I had asked him to do. But he didn't just make me any pancakes, he made me these with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
He also gave me my birthday present last night so that I could have a cup of coffee with my dinner.
I have been salivating over a Keurig coffee machine for some time. Well, that is, ever since we got one at work and the fact that it takes 20 minutes for our long-loved thermal coffee pot to make four cups of coffee also was pushing me a little bit in that direction. So last night, Jason and Baby Girl gave me what is the equivalent of a bag of smack for the caffeine junky, a Keurig B60.

You put in the K-cup, push the button, and 15 seconds later you have a perfectly brewed cup of coffee every single time. This may be the year of the appliances for me.
I hadn't had these particular pancakes for two years, when the last time was when we had gone to the Lake for my birthday that year at my Uncle's and Aunt's cabin. That year all I had wanted to do was cook (I find it incredibly relaxing; good food, with enough care, is something that is infinitely controllable and reaps benefits which can far outweigh the effort) and have other people clean up after me. So, I had knocked these pancakes together for desert one evening. I had forgotten how incredibly delicious, satisfying, and comforting they are.
This year, I was perfectly content to have Jason make them for me, and watch him while I flipped through the selection of coffees for the K-cups. It is odd because two years ago was such a different birthday as we hadn't quite started this adventure known as parenthood, even though we knew we intended to start it, soon.
I sit here at this birthday, contemplating my place in the world, and I find that I like it more and more. Life is settling into a pattern that I am starting to recognize again as my own. I am 32 (I will never be one of those people who turns 29 for the fifteenth time; I'm quite proud of the fact that I am still on the Earth) and I have a good job with people I like and respect (and I don't feel like I'm taking Satan's money when I get my paycheck, either), I get to do theatre every once in a while, I love my child enough to actually contemplate having more, and I love my partner. I am becoming more and more enamored with the idea that the things that are happening while I'm trying to get my life in order, well, those actually are my life, and they are good.
So, Happy Birthday, to me. Oh, and, I realize there aren't any shopping days left until my birthday . . . but, no worries; I'm sure Keurig offers Gift Certificate options on their website.