Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Comedy Central

Alison and Jenna had a sleepover this weekend. Excerpts:

Amy takes them to Skyzone and on the way learns more about One Direction than anyone will ever need to know.

A: "Did you know that Harry has four nipples?"
J: "Ewwwwwwww!!!! Really?"
A: "No, not really, but he has two birthmarks underneath his nipples that LOOK like two MORE
J: "Man, he better keep his shirt on."
A: "I know, right?"

Random conversations reported by special guest PhotoShooter, Amy Reed Tokash. (Yes, her maiden name is Reed. Is it any wonder why we're so close? )

Amer: "So, Ali, where does your Dad go to play poker tonight?"
A: Apparently blessed with her father's hearing, says: "I know!! I had his bottle of whiskey and scotch!"

(I have no idea what that could possibly mean.)

Amer tries again: "No, I said where does your Dad go to play poker?"
A: "Oh, I have no clue."

Romance, on short notice, is often Alison's specialty and Amer's pants are afire so often I'm not sure how she keeps supplied in Levi's. I, for one, don't believe this conversation occurred. Had my friend Alex Ogden been present, he would have put a stop to it, I'll tell you that. Jenna, the traitorious rat, is no longer my favoriter person under 5 feet.

A: "My Mom almost drove us right into a PARKED CAR on the way to your house!"
J: "Yeah, that would be your mom......"
A: "I told her, 'Mom, why don't you take your hand OFF the phone and put it ON
the steering wheel!?!"
A: "And once, my mom got so mad that someone cut her off at Taco Bell, she let the
'F' bomb fly."
J: "Wow! What did you do?"
A: "I said 'Awwwww, Mom!! You said the -- and my Mom cut me off and said don't tell your father. I'll give you an extra taco if you don't say anything."
J: "So did you tell your Dad?"
A: "NO! I'd do anything for an extra taco!"

On the way home, they stopped at Huddles and somehow got on the subject of compost. Alison wasn't sure what compost was but I do appreciate her love of simplicity.

J: "You know, it's like manure."
A: "Why don't you just call it cow crap?"

I got Alison back on Sunday. They weren't really ready to part ways but Jenna had homework and I had an Oscar party to get ready for. As usual, we left a few things behind, one of which was a volleyball kneepad -- one of the ones Alison had gotten on special request, for Christmas.

I've had a crazy busy week so far, and Jeff has had to do extra duty on both ends of the school day. When he picked her up from volleyball practice on Monday night, she was wearing one bright and shiny new black and one well-used, almost white kneepad. The white one was gifted from Annie Strahla, athlete extraordinaire. We were hoping some of her skill would seep thru the kneepad, and it just might have. The Tigers have had a pretty good season.

"What's up with the kneepads?" he asked.

"Oh, I just thought it would look cool," says Alison, no dummy. She's still smarting from her experience of losing her cell phone for a few weeks, only to find it in her winter coat pocket.

Amy later that night narced on Alison and told Jeff that she was in possession of the other black kneepad but sneaky as always, he held this tidbit close a a tick on a coonhound after an all-night hunt.

He also picked her up from school Tuesday, and during her report of the day, she made the mistake of telling him she had had the opportunity to go to confession. Like a cornered rattler, he struck: "Did you confess that you lied to your father yesterday?" he asked.

Trapped by the devastating cross examination, she hung her head and confessed again. "I just didn't want to tell you after I'd lost my phone," she said.

The day was not stellar. It had started with a 715 a.m. ortho visit where her lip was clipped while she had some wires worked on, and then pinched in the same spot during another proceedure. Jeff had reported that news to Amy, and Jenna tried to call Ali that night to check on her. Alison and I had been snuggling downstairs and I'd missed the call.

When I discovered it, I suggested she could give Jenna a return call in the morning.

"Uh. Mom," she said.

"You didn't," I said.

Yes. She'd lost her dang phone again.

She used my phone last night to call Jenna back. Amy answered, of course, and Ali asked her if she'd happened to see her phone anywhere around the house. God bless her, Amy did a search and found it in her car.

But before she found it, Amy asked Jenna if she'd seen it.

Said Jenna: "Tell her to look in her coat pocket."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oscar night and I have nothing to wear...

So yeah, I sqeezed in a little shopping after I remembered a skirt my friend Lisa left in my closet.

It's Oscar night and while we have skipped the best Oscar party in town in the past, we are back at it this year. Thank you Clay Miller for not dropping us as we may have deserved...

Please say a prayer or send good karma to my friend Brooke so little Christian gets better and stays better. Also for my friends Angie and Julie who are among the strongest, most beautiful people I know.

And I know some stunners.

For example, I was subbing at euchre the other night when I mentioned that Ali had insisted on adding some of her Ali-made cupcakes to a meal I was making for Angie and her family. A couple of the women had once sat with Angie at a Gathering of the Goddesses Planned Parenthood event. The others don't know her at all.

But they've asked if they can get in on the meals plan.

"Oh, I remember her. She's lovely," said Monica Brase.

As are you, ladies... Love my friends...

And I love my Ali, too. We made a meal for Brooke, and it will include some Ali dessert.

She'll be finishing up the cupcakes while we drop in on the Oscar party for a little bit. Because, you know, it might make Brooke a little happy while she waits for Cristian to get better.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Scratch that

One of the nicer habits Jeff has graced our daughter with is his penchant to stop what he's doing and appreciate the beauty of a sunset, the smell of a bouquet that's just opening up or the sound of a woodpecker blasting through an otherwise silent Sunday morning.

I didn't give her that.

I tend to get all caught up in whatever I'm doing and can't be bothered until I'm done. It's good if I'm on deadline and you benefit from me getting my work done. It's not so good for anyone else.

I'm trying to slow down and be more appreciative, but it's a long held habit and one that's resisting change. I recognize the need, though. So that's step one, right? And I even made some progress this week.

We had a whirlwind kind of anniversary/Valentine's Day. Holidays that fall on weekdays always stress me out because I hate being late for work. HATE it.

So we had a quick early morning flower and gift exchange, then scrammed to work and then back home to get Ali fed and ready for her game where we were scheduled to man the concession stand.

Jeff had sent me fun texts during the day. I saw them, liked them, but only responded once in kind.

When he came in the door, Jeff asked if I'd have dinner with him after her game. "Sure," I said, thinking about what we had on hand.

He suggested the Scratch truck and its infamous "best grilled cheese sandwich in town."

Immeditely, I said, "I can't eat that."

His face fell. "But you and Ali can," I said.

He sighed. All the glee gone from his face. "Crap," I said to myself.

While we were working the concession stand, a man we didn't know came in to check on us. Turns out he was in charge of the gym. Jeff and I had gone to the game straight from work, so he was still in his suit, which may have prompted the gym guy's basketball season memory.

"Hey," he said, catching Jeff's attention,"I sure loved to watch you coach."

They had a little chat as I eavesdropped. He really is a great guy. Good father. Good coach. Gifted at many things I won't tell you about. (You're welcome.)

So I suggested on the way home that he go get us dinner at the

He had Dom Perignon chilling and came back with not just the best grilled cheese in town, but a damn fine burger, some chips and two servings of some high-end chocolate rice pudding garnished with coconut -- a gift from the guy at the truck to whom Jeff chortled that he was picking up his 15th wedding anniversary dinner, which would be paired with fine bubbly.

Did it blow my Weight Watcher's points for the week? Sure. But was it worth it?

Oh yeah.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


There I was in the kitchen, minding my own business, having my coffee and just digging in to the NY Times. Jeff had left for basketball.

A sleepy red-head comes shuffling into the room. "Hey mom," she said.

It was nearly 9 a.m. -- late for her on a weekend but she's got a cough again and I was hoping she'd snuggle in there longer.

She comes close to me. Puts her little head on my thigh and hugs me.

"Hey mom," she says. "When I make my cupcakes this morning, would it be ok if you were, uh well, not in the room?"

I looked down, aghast. Baking and decorating has always been our thing. Sure, we let Auntie Jen in on the fun at Christmastime, but day in, day out, we're a baking-decorating team. It is not a solitary sport. Even when she's the primary and feeling her way with new things, I'm in the room as the advisor.

So here I am in the bedroom. Stupid adolescence.

My friend Lisa did brighten my morning with this gem:

That was a fun day. Long before I'd an ungrateful child who wants to be in charge of her own destiny..... :)

Send your warmest thoughts, if you would, to my family in Maine and anyone else in New England today. Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.

If you were with Jeff and me about a week ago in February (and I wish all my great friends who I met afterward had been there too) the photos are a happy retrospective for me and I think for most of you. David Cowan gets credit for most of them.

I did have a great time that day, and just about every day after.....