Tuesday, November 20, 2012



resting up after Roo's big birthday party weekend. She got her rest beginning at about 7:00 AM, post sleepover (above), but mine didn't come until after party #2 when my body almost shut down yesterday. We're talking full-body aches, fever, sore throat, sore ear shenanigans. There's nothing like your body mandating two days of sleep to wreck all plans you had for your vacation.


thankful for my birthday girl. One of the awesome things about celebrating the kiddos birthdays is that it reminds me not just of how much they've grown, but also how much family surrounds us. We had a busy weekend celebrating our Roo, but it all went relatively well and it was comfortable-easy. Just perfect for her, too.

letting go of my plan for this week. Being sick didn't help me stick to my schedule. If you know me at all, you know my days are broken down into color-coded Google Calendar blocks of time that include things like "read 50 pages" or "make sure you've written up to 15 pages of fiction" or "take chicken out of freezer." I have to do that or I get so overwhelmed by my me/ E/ kids/ school/ UCR/ family/ cooking/ house to-do list that I want to get under my covers and hide. If I write everything down, I only have to look 5 minutes into the future at any given moment. And I can do one thing at a time.

So, I did an amazing job the last two weeks at school making sure I graded essays and projects and notebooks like a mad beast. I made this (also color-coded--duh--Carrie Mathison-esque) bulletin board of grading tasks broken down by hour. I didn't have any take home grading this week because it's crunch time for UCR and I didn't want to have two conflicting responsibilities this week. I have to have my last packets of the quarter in before residency. That's a 10 page critical paper for my fiction class, 10 pages of creative nonfiction, and 25 pages of fiction. The critical paper is done, but I had hoped to have the fiction creative work (a new short story) at least down on paper today. Not so. I've only got about 8 pages and an outline. The good news is that I know exactly where I want this story to go, but the bad news is that I was feeling so awful yesterday that I spent all day in front of my computer and was barely able to type anything.

Today I just decided to let go. To rest. To hydrate. To read. To start over tomorrow.

enjoying the healing powers of chicken and dumplings. I'm old school when it comes to home remedies. Last night it was a hot toddy (which I 100% believe in, too). Today the combined motivation of a package of chicken thighs in the fridge and a still-lingering mystery illness meant I spent some time with my favorite cookbook and one of my favorite recipes. Tastes like healing.

reading Barbara Kingsolver's new book, Flight Behavior. Still retaining my BK Fan Club card. Is it cool to love her work? Don't know. Don't care. Am a fan.


searching for something to make for dessert tonight with Addie. I was lobbying hard for blondies, but she didn't find anything that inspired her yet. My energy is waning, so this might not happen until tomorrow.

happy that my Thanksgiving shopping is already done. (I'm making my new buddy Ina's brussels sprouts this year.) I was in and out of the store today in ten minutes to get my three pounds of brussels sprouts and pancetta (or as Addie calls it, "circle bacon"). You couldn't pay me to go near a grocery store or retail establishment between now and next week.

still thinking about Lincoln. Man, was that an amazing movie. My dad and I went to see it last weekend and it was equal parts government class instruction (The West Wing meets the Civil War) about how an amendment passes, and crazy-good acting and directing. I couldn't believe the suspense it maintained, even when everyone knows exactly how the story ends. I really enjoyed it from the first minute to the last. I left feeling like Mr. Spielberg did a good thing again for history. (And I'm excited about the book movies to come. Life of Pi? Anna Karenina? I need to see those, stat. Even if it's just to go "oh, the book was so much better.") Go see Lincoln, please.

feeling accomplished because I took a shower today. Tomorrow I'll aim higher.


  1. How did the brussels sprouts turn out? Any tips? I'm thinking of making them for Christmas dinner...I need something green on the plate and they are on sale but I keep thinking--really? brussels sprouts on Christmas? Also, I feel your pain on Sandy Hook, I've been wandering around this week in a daze feeling like I want to throw up.
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas.

    1. They turned out GREAT. Everything I've made out of that cookbook has been good so far. Very simple recipe and delicious! Good to hear from you. Merry Christmas to you guys, too!