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Showing posts with label Boston. Show all postsShowing posts with label Boston. Show all posts

Friday, February 06, 2015


home movies

I am not sure what my long-term solution for video storage and play will be, but for now I’ve noted I come here to show videos to the kids, so I’m adding a new one. Hope you enjoy!


at8:57 PM115 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Snow,Video,Winter

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


an olive branch: {brown bread with sorghum butter}

This winter weather and all its polar vortexes (vorti?) have been the great equalizer among inhabitants of New England. I’ll explain how and share a recipe for brown bread with you, but first I need to tell you about a recent eureka moment.

In discovering more about the writing craft, I’ve been learning types of stock characters. One day recently, I had an epiphany about why I didn’t fit with Bostonians. I let myself become a stock character…

A variation on the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” trope, I’m the manic dixie dream girl {pun gloriously intended}. I’m the southern girl whose only role in the narrative is to cheer up Bostonians. The bubbly, available pal who says cute things like “Y’all” and “Bless her heart.” But most importantly, I have no complex issues of my own, and I never ever complain.

This personality description is of course oversimplified; that’s the point of a stock character, right? But it does at least partly fit me and my southern roots. Where I come from, the first rule of depression club is we don’t talk about depression club. Complaining about the weather, reporting the symptoms of your cold, or whining about your stress level represent a type of self-indulgence that is strictly forbidden in polite southern conversation.

I kept my mouth shut about the weather both due to my upbringing and out of fear that locals would laugh off any dissatisfaction as typical of a wimpy southerner. Oh, how adorable. You just can’t hack the New England winter! By attempting to prevent them from labeling me, I ended up pigeonholing myself into one (boring) interminably cheerful side.

But I lucked out this time. This winter has been different. Cold, different. It’s one of the coldest seasons we’ve had in something like fifty years. Like I said beforeeveryone is complaining. It’s great! I’m finally able to come out of my shell, to feel like one of the gang. Because, you know what? Sometimes that damn bear eats you, and pretending otherwise doesn’t stop it from being so.

Read more »at2:51 PM6 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Bread,Breakfast,Dixie,Family,Heirloom,Just Write

Thursday, March 06, 2014


for the birds

A startling thing happened earlier this week when the girls and I were exiting the mudroom.

I must pause already to tell you I love the word “mudroom.” There has never been a room more aptly titled. A mudroom, in case you ain’t from ’round here, is a room to catch all of the snow, ice, and mud that happens from winter to spring. Mudrooms come in all manner of shapes and sizes and can be as simple as an enclosed front porch or as formal as an entire dry-walled room. Coming from the front porch rockers of the south, I was a bit put off at first by all of these glass huts in the front of people’s houses up here–they do obstruct the view of the front door, after all.

But by the time we were buying a home almost two years later, a mudroom became an obsessively important item on my homeowner’s checklist. Luckily, we ended up with a pretty good one. It’s not perfect, but it modulates the cold enough to keep shoes out there (and a mattress, as we currently do. Sigh. It’s a long story). Our mudroom not only prevents wind, sleet, snow, etc. from hitting our front door, but it also provides a sound barrier. And it is via this topic that I return to my original story.

So the girls and I exit the mudroom, bracing ourselves for the cold, which does come as usual. But what causes us to pause in our snowy tracks is not the biting wind on this occasion but the sound coming from the trees.

Are those…birds? Vivi asks.

You know, I think you’re right, I hear birds too! I reply.

What are they doing here? Charlie wants to know, puzzled.

We go so long throughout the winter without hearing a peep from the cardinals and robins. When they finally return, their miraculous lovely tones are striking enough to cause a three-year-old–who barely remembers their existence–to scratch her head and smile at the strange beauty of life.

For the birds, today I am grateful.

p.s. Remember the old Pixar short film, For the Birds? I’m going to play it for the girls when they get home from school. It’s a great one!

at11:40 AM7 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Beauty,Boston,Weather

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


{8/52 & 9/52}: screw gentility

There are two main reasons I try not to complain about the weather, and they both have to do with my southern heritage. First and foremost is that as a southern girl, and I am born and bred to please. Genteel manners are in my blood, and a lady never lets on that she is not in a state of supreme comfort. Secondly, I still really have no concept of what is normal for the weather up here, and I refuse to be that cliche, just another Dixie redneck who can’t hack the cold.

Luckily, y’all, those reasons have gone out the frosty window now that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is complaining to me about the weather. And thus, I say to Boston, on this bitterly cold Wednesday in a sea of bitterly cold days, DUBYA TEE EFF.

I am done. Done with my drippy nose, my numb fingers, my arse that tenses when I walk outside my front door. I am DONE. But unlike other activities I decide I’m finished with, being done does not mean I will be any less forced to deal with this weather. But I don’t have to like it any more. You hear that, Boston? I DON’T LIKE YOU MUCH RIGHT NOW.

{That’s about as harsh as my criticisms get, but I mean it with all my heart.}

And yes, I’m sorry I’m using the blog again as my personal punching bag, but what good is it if not a repository for my bitching, moaning, and aimless ranting? Sigh. Okay, I suppose I should end with cute pictures of my kids, which I can only hope make up for all manner of blogging sins. Please say yes?

{8/52}: Vivi has two less teeth than when I took this pic.


{9/52}: Writing her name! My big girl.

I am, XOXO, etc., your cranky pal,

at12:50 PM4 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:52 Project,Aimless Digression,Boston,Weather

Thursday, February 20, 2014


as usual, I refrained

Chucks for Chuck.

I was typing my grocery list into a note in my phone the other day. My old way of grocery listing was the ubiquitous pad and ballpoint pen my dad taught me to carry always; those trusty partners have served me and my lack of short-term memory well over the years. But lately I’m getting into this smart phone thing, and my new method of listing is to scribble needed items on the white board then transfer them into my phone. I have no idea if this process saves or costs me time, but it does keep me from ever losing my list.

So anyway, I’m typing the list, and I get to refried beans, which my phone autocorrects to refrained beans. This accidental correction cracks me up for way longer than it should, perhaps because of the irony of the autocorrect in telling me what I already know. Yes, thank you phone, maybe refried beans aren’t such a good idea after all.

Somehow this typo got me thinking about restraint. Another contributor was Becky’s tweet wondering when we’re all going to be rewarded for our ladylike behavior. Yes! I wonder this all the time, and the only answer I can ever come up with is that at least we get to laugh later?

Take, for instance, a family I encountered yesterday while the kids and I were sledding (please!). We’re at that giant hill in our neighborhood with the view of Boston, the same one from last weekend. As you can see in that video, there are lots of families all sledding at the same time. We, each of the families, follow some kind of unspoken Yankee sledding protocol.

Boot-height snow. It’s a doozy.

I am a quick-study on the social order of things, so I’m pretty good at the rules already: stay to the right if you’re faster, yell “look out!” if anyone’s about to bite it, make sure your kids aren’t getting in everyone’s way, keep to yourselves and talk amongst your own–unless of course one of my kids wipes out, then I flash a grin at the family next to me because all grown-ups appreciate a good kid wipe-out. The best yesterday was when I sent the girls down on separate sleds at the same time; at the exact moment Vivi wiped out, Charlie veered off in Vivi’s direction and sledded OVER Vivi. It was fantastic.

I’m getting to the refraining part, I swear. As I was saying, we encountered the most bizarre family yesterday. The family is made up of a few kids, a few adults, and a grandma figure, and they relentlessly, comically get in everyone’s way. The kids will stop midway down the hill and just seem to lay there forever; no one in the family offers assistance. The adults mill about in the walking path, talking amongst themselves and generally ignoring all of us. But they seem to be sledding for the first time, so I let it go. Plus, if you know me, you know I will let a situation get incredibly ridiculous before I say anything. Even then, I might not say anything.

I should mention a contributing factor in yesterday’s comedy of errors was that surprisingly few locals were present. I know this because I was giving a dad sledding tips, and I am NOT the sled guru by any means. Because it’s February vacation week up here (a kind of mid-winter spring break, only with more snow), I figure most of the locals are up north skiing somewhere. The absence of locals is notable because, as I’ve often said in the past, Bostonians don’t let anyone get away with anything. If you make any errors, you’re going to hear about it posthaste.

In this case, the lack of locals means that just as it seems like this family couldn’t be more annoying, the grandma pulls out a bag of disgusting-smelling snacks (dried fish, maybe?), and the ENTIRE FAMILY sits down right in the middle of the big hill to eat them. If that weren’t enough (and it is), the sleds of the two young boys periodically roll downhill by themselves. Following sledding etiquette, the other children present offer assistance by lugging the sleds back up to them, which is no easy feat, only to have it happen again moments later.

Finally, a type-A New Englander walks up, grabs the sleds, and hurls them uphill. They do not seem to notice even this act of silent aggression. As I told Nate the story later, I realized it was like watching a silent Charlie Chaplin movie. Fortunately it was the kind of bad that is funny, which allowed me to share plenty of empathetic glances with other families. This feels like a big win for me, as these Yankees are a tough nut to crack, y’all.

Have you encountered anyone lately who refuses to follow social rules? What do you do when this happens?

Stay warm! xoxo ~Jat3:11 PM4 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Whackadoo,Winter

Monday, January 13, 2014


Dublin coddle: a St. Paddy’s Day classic

Author’s Note: I updated this recipe, originally posted on March 16th, 2012, with some improvements to make it easier and more delicious. I hope you’ll try it this St. Paddy’s Day!
Mmmmm, Dublin Coddle

Remember when I said I was looking for more Irish recipes? Well, I found a great one! This recipe for Dublin coddle landed in my lap at just the right time, via my monthly email from our CSA farmers. Sweet potatoes are Charlotte’s absolute favorite food, and I’ve been looking for ways to jazz them up apart from the usual routine, which includes variations on butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and white pepper (my mom puts soy sauce on her sweet potatoes…oh, and Italian dressing on her baked potatoes). Plus, it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and you simply cannot live in Boston without getting into the holiday spirit. [I must stop here to tell my friends and family from the south that they SELL clover here, like, in grocery stores. I know!].

Read more »at6:00 PM42 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Heirloom,Holidays,Recipe

Tuesday, January 07, 2014


counting our blessings {the frozen pipe story}

Over the weekend, one of our toilet pipes froze and burst after the temperature got down to -12degF overnight. When it had frozen but not yet started leaking, we frantically tried to warm it up with a hair dryer and space heater, but all we really did was prompt the water to melt faster and eventually spray out of the already-damaged piece of pipe. Luckily we were in the basement having a look at the crawl space under the bathroom when it happened, so we were able to shut off the water right away and clean up the stray water with towels. It was a low moment for morale in the Ranger house and yet another example of Boston loudly telling us we don’t quite fit in up here

Nate set to work finding a plumber who could make an emergency weekend house call even in the midst of many such calls from Massachusetts residents who were without heat and/or also experiencing burst pipes. It was a tough challenge, but he managed to find a competent-sounding dude who could come on Sunday.

We ended up having to shut off the main water line because the shut-off valve going to the bathroom wasn’t working, so that meant we had no water for cleaning and flushing the toilet. Luckily we had plenty of snow in the backyard. After gathering a bucket of it, I went on Instagram proclaiming my new status as Ma Ingalls. As I was heating up water to do dishes, it occurred to me how blessed we are in our daily lives to have all the cheap, clean, convenient, hot water we could want, not to mention a dishwasher and washing machine to do the heavy cleaning.

When the kids began to notice the changes around the house that day, I tried to make it sound like an adventure. That part came easily to me since I was able to draw from a wealth of memories from my own childhood. I thought of all the strong women in my life–my mom, aunts, and grandmas–who did an excellent job imbuing me with the sense that I could overcome any obstacle, that nothing could hurt me because I was loved, and that life was beautiful. I hope I pass on that courage to my daughters.

My favorite moment when we turned the water on was Charlie excitedly exclaiming, “Now we can wipe and flush again!” It’s the little things.

Looking back, I see that what we had was the best case scenario of where and when a pipe could have frozen in our house to cause the least amount of damage. It happened in the downstairs bathroom, located at a corner of the house over the basement. It also served as a great learning experience for us southerners. But you wouldn’t have known that positive spin at the time to hear all of our moaning and griping to our parents about how “maybe we’re not cut out to be homeowners after all.” Fortunately our parents are all good, patient listeners who take hyperbole like that with a grain of salt.

Read more »at8:23 AM8 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,House,Sharing is Caring,Where I Live,Winter

Friday, November 01, 2013


on costumes {including Sox} & NaBloPoMo

So okay, I’m going to do that NaBloPoMo thing again! I will probably regret my decision tomorrow when my ideas scatter and hide, but I’m trying to take Anne Lamott’s advice to write every day for a while and see how that goes (Lamott fans: I even got myself a 1-inch blank picture frame for inspiration.) Hold on to your butts!…

Last night was so fun! The weather was wonderful. My mom summed it up perfectly by noting how great it is not to have everyone asking “So what are you dressed up as under that big puffy coat?” Indeed! Vivi went as her favorite story character, Lady Bug Girl, and Charlie went as a cowgirl (Vivi’s costume from our 1st year in Boston).

This was the best one I got! Missed out on the hobby horse.

I didn’t expect Charlie to get into the event as much as she did, but she periodically and indiscriminately shouted “YEEHAW!” throughout the evening, much to everyone’s surprise and delight. Forgetting that she would have zero recollection as to how the whole trick-or-treat business works, I gave the kids a quick reminder tutorial about saying “Happy Halloween!” and “Thank you!” to every candy distributor, not going off with strangers, and watching their step on slippery stairs (earlier drizzle + fallen leaves = a big wet mess) but otherwise gave no instruction. After happening upon their first house on the block, Charlie ran back to me screaming “THEY GAVE ME CANDY!!!” and asked if she could eat it. She then proceeded to scream and eat for the next four houses until I told her that maybe it’d be a good idea if some of the candy made it into her bag.

Meanwhile, Vivi was off and running in a nearly completely unbridled manner. Sometimes I didn’t even have a good handle on where she was for a brief moment, but fortunately we were among a bunch of friends at the ends of the group to help corral the stragglers and eager overachievers. You can also take my word for it that our neighborhood is beyond safe on Halloween. There are adults milling about and chatting out in the middle of our quiet street, and nearly every house is exceptionally well lit with porch lights, street lights, Halloween-themed lights (a new sight to me upon moving to Boston), and plenty of jack-o-lanterns. Last year the local school’s marching band even made an appearance! It is almost apologetically adorable.

…If I haven’t convinced you yet, allow me to report that we are that neighborhood people come from other towns to trick-or-treat in. Not that I am gloating. Or maybe yes…

We hit every house on the block and were rounding the corner when both kids asked me to hold their loot, which was my cue to rally the troops for the march back up the hill home. I heard lots of happy sighs and bold statements of “BEST DAY EVER!,” so I know Halloween is a holiday that’s here to stay. I’m glad about that, but I’m also happy to ease into a quiet, food-and-milestone-themed November. Sorry for not taking more pictures, but Charlie disrobed a part of her costume at nearly every house, so I was busy balancing a hobby horse, plastic belt, and a cowgirl hat that didn’t fit my head, plus my own umbrella and camera that went unused.

In other life news, this has been a tough week for me–despite the fun last night and the big Red Sox win that so many people anxiously awaited and then confusingly didn’t seem to celebrate. Although I normally don’t participate in cliche monikers for the days of the week, today I am shouting from a rooftop “TGGGGGGGGIFFFFFFF!!” All that’s on the docket for the weekend is skating on Saturday and church/choir practice on Sunday. I can’t wait to settle into my jammies and unwind.at9:53 PM6 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Halloween,Holidays,NaBloPoMo

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


{43}: beans in Beantown



Read more »at11:47 AM4 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:52 Project,Boston,Dixie,What’s for Dinner?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


the hunt for red October

Around this time, it seems everyone in the Boston area is headed out of town to peep at leaves in other places…New Hampshire, the Berkshires, Vermont. But this year the leaves in our own backyard are spectacular (note: leaves below are not quite in our backyard but are on conservation land near us). I’m not sure what’s different about the weather this year to make the leaves so beautiful, but I can now say I truly understand what all those people meant when they waxed on about fall in New England. When it’s good, it’s GOOD.

Read more »at1:59 PM4 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Fall,New England,Photos

Thursday, May 23, 2013


on not {quite} fitting in

Me on Halloween (age 11). Yes that’s a wig. And yes I am awkward.

We’ve been living in Massachusetts for nearly two and a half years, which is a long time for us to stay in one place. In fact, it’s about as long as we’ve ever stayed in one city before moving. It’s hard for me envision what it would be like to move right now because I still feel like I am learning how to be a proper Bostonian.

I wonder if it’s a part of Boston culture that it takes longer than two years to feel like I fit in. The same couldn’t be said for Wisconsin, which fit us like a glove. Ultimate frisbee, bike paths everywhere, and constant beer, fried fish, and cheese. Amen to that! If it weren’t for the lack of family there and the brutal winter–worse that New England, if you can imagine that!–we would move back in a heartbeat. People seem genuinely happier there, despite the weather.

In contrast, New Englanders are not the happiest bunch I’ve ever come across. I realize I am stereotyping here, in the same way that you might discuss slavery apologizers in the south. I recognize not everyone behaves the same. But I’ve noticed more than once that people are pugnacious in an almost laughable way–picture Mark Wahlberg talking to animals, and you get it. Sometimes I LOL at how it seems like they are all looking to have their next fight.

From the way you take a number to stand in line and buy a sandwich, to even what you call the bread (don’t say “white” when you mean “sub”) and the stuff you put on it, EVERYTHING feels different. Nate has a funny story about ordering a sub when we first got here, and they asked him if he wanted “hots,” which is a pickled pepper relish. But the way they say it, it sounds exactly the same as “hearts.” It makes me giggle to imagine the curious position he was in for a few moments.

Much like when we lived in England, we spend some part of every day trying to figure out what the heck people are saying, even with small words like “jimmies” instead of sprinkles. On the surface, it might seem like an easy enough thing to learn, but what you don’t see initially is that you aren’t just learning the word but the history and connotation of its usage. In the case of “jimmies,” it apparently has some sort of racial significance…and yet, they still say it? The intricacies of semiotics, y’all!

They way they chat with each other, their sociability, everything is slightly altered. I often feel as though I’m missing some kind of non-verbal cue during conversations with strangers.  Interesting but exhausting too. Last week I was chatting with another mom who has a six-year-old in Vivi’s pre-k class. I was really intrigued because I’ve considered whether Charlie will be ready for kindergarten, having been born on the cut-off date. And Reader, she answered that they are keeping kids out of school an extra year, “you know, because of sports.” As in, so her kids are bigger than the other kids. Say what now?

Whether I am making myself an outsider by pointing out these differences or am being made to feel like an outsider is a chicken and egg scenario. I love living here and observing people with my cultural anthropologist cap on, but at some point I’d like to be able to turn to a friend and say “I could really use a banana pudding milkshake” and have her understand what I mean. You know?

at9:36 PM11 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Halloween,New England,Whackadoo,Where I Live

Friday, April 19, 2013


waiting game

All four of us were stuck inside the house today while the manhunt for one of the Boston Marathon bombers went on around us. It’s funny what goes through your mind when you realize there is danger present. One of my first thoughts was “Oh man, I wanted to go running today!” (because it’s all about me, right?), and then a later thought was “Well, we’re probably safe because we live up this dang hill.” This is actually a good insight–I mean, even if you got up the hill, then you’d have to run up all our steps, so I figure it’s about the most difficult place he could choose to go.

Anywho, at the prospect of having to stay inside my house all day, I did what any woman would. I binge ate a buttload of chips and salsa, then swept and mopped all the floors in my house. We occasionally listened to NPR and caught a few minutes of news, but we tried not to watch obsessively, figuring it could go on a while. It seemed to me like an unprecedented amount of manpower devoted to the capture of one man, and I laughed heartily at this tweet that aptly described the situation.

One consolation in this situation has been the fact that life goes on for my kids. Neither of them is of an age where we can explain what’s happening to them, which is mostly good but a little bad. It was bad in that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to explain why we can’t let them go outside on what is truly the best weather we’ve had all year. But as I said, it was mostly good because who wants to have to tell their kids about real-life bad guys? I prefer for them to go on believing in the good in people. And really, that’s what we’re all trying to do, you know?

The best we could do is let them in the (locked) mud room. They played “rainy day.”

at8:11 PM5 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


from Boston, with love

Monday morning was filled with jubilation, awe, and patriotism. Upon waking, I sipped my tea and imagined how terrifying–and yet also satisfying–it must have been for the minutemen to fight off the British at the start of the Revolutionary War. I pondered the symbolism of hosting a marathon on the holiday meant to commemorate the event, and how the emotions at the start of the race are not unlike those of the militia. The thrill of crossing that finish line and the excitement of watching 25,000 people accomplish such a great feat on a crisp April morning represent two glorious freedoms that bring me swelling pride of country.

On Monday, those freedoms were briefly interrupted with horrific blasts. Maimed and lost lives. Pandemonium. But if you watch footage of the explosions and the immediate aftermath, you also see the inalienable truth of American, of Bostonian, people. We will survive, we will get back up, we will bond together to recover.

Monday’s tragic event at the Boston Marathon is lingering in the air here, but not in the way you might think. Boston is a city full of tenacity, resilience, and hope–unlike any place I’ve ever lived. We are all running our own race, and we will keep going, always encouraging each other to the end, come what may. It takes more than a small person’s feeble attempts to rattle our pride, our faith, our patriotism. Our leaders have promised to find the person(s) who carried out the attack, and I have no doubt they will do that.

To the cowards that attempted to destroy our love of life and each other: You picked the wrong fucking city. As Mayor Tom Menino said, “We are one Boston. We are one community. As always, we will come together to help those most in need. And in the end, we will all be better for it.” To donate to the people who most need it now, visit The One Boston Fund. #OneBoston

at7:58 AM3 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Charity,Where I Live

Thursday, March 21, 2013


if you can’t say anything nice…move to Boston

[An aside about my post title: I mean it in the most cordial of tones. I own that it did take a while before I embraced the common use of the eff-bomb in ordinary, everyday Massachusetts vernacular. Whereas I once thought Yankees had all the charm of a snake, after two years in residence up yonder, I see their affably blunt manner in a new light. Bostonians say fuck with aplomb, demonstrating at once both their status as a person of the world–a reckon-able force, I daresay–and their passionate candor. The Irish blood shows itself in their heightened color, irresistible sarcasm, and a retributive justice that lends a simple ardor to their storytelling (see also: Bill Burr). When I ponder migrating southbound again, it’s surprisingly this aspect of New England life that gives me pause more than any other. I’ve grown fond of telling it like it is, y’all. And so I wonder, would I be able to speak as bluntly in the honey-dripping, bless-your-heart Deep South? I fear not.]

I feel I owe you some deets after missing another blogging day yesterday. It is complicated, this 31-days-of-posts business. Let’s get on with it, shall we? I’ll begin by telling you that when I brought the kids home from school today, I stood in the kitchen for five minutes, “making out furiously with a jar of Nutella.” I blame Nate, who suggested I might eat more calories now that I am pseudo-training for a triathlon. Thanks, dear.

In my defense of the Nutella binge, allow me mention that winter has finally beaten me into a dazed submission. It started snowing while I was milling about the preschool hallway, and I cried actual tears on my friend’s shoulder while she patted my back. Me!, grown woman who does not cry (that would be my Native American name, I think). We are simpatico, these girls and me, and I feel lucky to have some best-good friends who understand the meltdowns of a transplanted southerner WHO JUST WANTS TO FEEL FUCKING WARMTH ON HER SKIN IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK.

This morning (I realize I’m going backward, but that’s how stream of consciousness works sometimes) an older lady in my neighborhood was wearing a plastic grocery bag on her hair while walking to her car. So this is still A Thing, this bag-over-the-hairdo thing?!  I’d like to have a serious discussion with you about this sighting. I remember ladies doing this practice when I was a child, but somehow I thought the passage of a few decades would mean the extinction of such a behavior. The fact that it is alive and well means the following scary truth: Daughters of those ladies witnessed their mothers’ placement of the bag, laughed at them, and yet. Yet! Somewhere along the line these same women thought “This seems like a good idea” and started doing it too. I would like to go on record now to my future grown children that if I ever start wearing a plastic bag on my head, you have my permission to pull it the rest of the way down. Because, no.

In closing, I present to you a sweet picture of my kids huddling close to each other during the scary part of a movie (Cars, I think? I can’t imagine what scared them, haven’t sat down to watch it yet). Pay no mind to the clean but unfolded sheets under them on the chair.

at3:12 PM3 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Aimless Digression,Blogging,Boston,Winter

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


dirt cups and spring adventures! {rhythm of the home}

The spring edition of Rhythm of the Home is out today! I have two articles to share with you.

dirt cups: a recipe
The first is a recipe for dirt cups, a snack tradition (like with haystacks) I’ve been keeping up since my summer camp days.
spring adventures

The second is a list of spring adventures we love to experience again and again. I hope they inspire you to get outside and enjoy the thaw!at8:28 AM2 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Parenting,Recipe,ROTH,Weather

Monday, February 11, 2013


how big is your snow plow?

I could probably fill in material just from the snow days for the next week, but I’ll try to be editorial in determining what makes the cut. Just in time for the storm, Netflix dumped a slew of episodes of their new show, House of Cards, in our lap. Throw in some chocolate chip cookies, knitting, and a fire, and you’ve got the picture of how we’ve been spending our evenings. Whoever said Boston in February stinks is nuts. Boston in February is wonderful. It’s April and May that are the pits.

Can you believe that it’s business as usual again already around here? These people know how to recover from a storm. Quite an accomplishment, I must say.

World’s largest snow plow (see video below)


“Mah cheeksh are shtuck.”


She’s not standing at the bottom. That’s about half-way down. If I’d kept digging, she wouldn’t be able to get out!

at2:57 PM1 comment: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Photos,Snow

Sunday, February 10, 2013


lingua vernacula

An interesting change in rhythm happens when it snows. Yes, we eat all the carbohydrates in sight and snuggle in to watch the fire, but that’s not all. Whether we are shoveling a path with neighbors or postulating on the odds of outdoor play, our native dialect becomes one of winter weather. We talk of snowman snow and snow angel snow and igloo snow, and suddenly I understand why the Samis have 180 words to describe the substance.

For Vivi, I imagine the highlight of watching the snow come down was that she spotted a solitary puffed-up robin tucked in some branches outside our window. As she is out there now trudging around building castles and digging trenches, I hope she is tucking away little memories of our days together.

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Saturday, February 09, 2013


we found Nemo

Nemo the blizzard showed up yesterday and is still coming as of 7:30 this morning! Apparently we’re going to keep getting snow through about 10am. I haven’t gotten up the nerve to bundle up yet, but when it stops I will so you can see better perspectives of how much snow we have.

Most of our windows look something like this…

But the ones you can see out of have a view like no other…

This is the backyard as of this morning. That black thing to the right is my 4 ft. compost bin.
For comparison, here’s our backyard the last time we got “lots” of snow. Pshah. (Look at the fence line)
Somewhere out there is the street. AND our car.

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Friday, February 08, 2013


{this moment}: snowpocalypse

I’m sure we’ll have our own pictures of the snow soon enough, but for now, here’s a painting from the Museum of Fine Arts showing Boston, circa 1908. Bring on the blizzard!
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Monday, December 31, 2012


Happy New Year!

We rang in the new year Boston-style with some fantastic sledding. Hope you’re having a good time wherever you are! Be safe, and I’ll see you again in 2013.

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