gratitude-a-thon day 837: the vendor show


So, The Flower Show. One would think there would be wall-to-wall blooms, trees, petals from one end to the other end of the World Trade Center. One would presume it would be a floral explosion, an orgy of color. BUT NO. It’s a carnival sideshow of vendors, with a few landscape set-ups thrown in. VERY DISAPPOINTING.

However, I did have fun with my friend, and we did  go to Flour afterward for an eggseptional egg sandwich, have you had their egg sandwiches? If not, please go directly to your nearest Flour and have one immediately, if not sooner. Eggitude.

gratitude-a-thon day 836: out of africa



The Tip O’ Neil Federal building is nothing special in terms of looks, in fact, it’s pretty drab, but this cool mobile, and this bit of roof were very cool.


Ally and I took a trip to the Tip O’Neil Federal building yesterday to renew our passports because drum roll, we’re going to Africa! We are way excited, and if I can make it on the 20 hour flight with my back, we’ll be golden (more about trip later).

But can I just tell you how confusing it was to wade through the passport shit online. I am a fairly intelligent person. Do not use my potty mouth as a way to tell if I am smart. I know plenty of other vocabulary words other than “fuck,” but that word just happens to suit all of my needs. Anyway, back to the Tip O’Neil Federal building. I had a 3:00 conference call, which I thought would be no problem, since we had a 1:30 appointment, and we are just 20 minutes away. But apparently, out of the mouth of the very nice and official policeman/security guard/special forces passport dude — not really sure what he was–they were very busy and behind schedule, which was not usual, and he made some joke about it snowing Sunday and everybody wanting to escape to the Caribbean. Lines, and more lines, and then a forgotten confirmation number, which THANK YOU PASSPORT GOD, they let me waive by using my social security number. Then a fuck-up in my paperwork, which I got lucky wth, because I brought 10,000 papers I’d printed prior, and by accident had the right thing with me in that fat pile.

The passports are in process! That means, Stage One: African adventure is happening! Stage Two: visas, and Stage Three: shots are a few weeks away, just ahead of stage Four: packing. Gratitude for the anticipation of an amazing trip. Man, I love the anticipation phase!


gratitude-a-thon day 835: a note to spring



Dear Spring.

Welcome, you have been missed. But wait, what is it in the forecast? SNOW on Sunday to usher you in? What, have you had one too many Mint Juleps in the green room, waiting to make your debut, and you got a little lost on what you’re supposed to do? Turn on the sun, Spring, not the snow. Have you not been doing this since, like, the beginning of time?

Listen, we had a lovely and mild winter. If you were in those meetings, I thank you for that break, and for answering Boston’s prayers for some make-up sex because of last winter’s bad behavior. Nice job. It was appreciated by all, I can tell you.

But snow on the very weekend of your arrival, c’mon, you’re confused. I think you should reconsider. Do some thinking, I implore you. I already put away the sleeping bag coat and the furry boots. And that is probably why this is happening to start with? Ok, Spring, just try and pull yourself together. It is an “S” word we’re looking for, but it’s sun, not snow. I’m pulling for you. I know you can right your course.

gratitude-a-thon day 834: they REALLY weren’t easy


Even though I have an 18 and 21 year old, I read this article on some babies being easier than others, because, well, because I know it to be true. I lived it. And I didn’t have the easy ones.

My gratitude here, in case you were wondering, is that I no longer have those babies (of course, I’d give anything to have them again, diffiuclt as they were).

Neither of my little bundles of absolute adorable slept through the night until they were two. I have never recovered from that lost sleep, and if you see me today, and think I look tired, this is why. Unlike my husband, who could get up, feed them, and drop off into slumberland within seconds of returning to bed, I would be up for hours on end after a crying episode.

Jake was the kind of baby that was into everything, all the time. He was a demolition derby of one, a roller coaster of movement, a baby tsunami. And active? He was active in mind and body from the get go. “Go” being the imperative word.

Ally cried for the first six months of her life. THE. FIRST. SIX. MONTHS. OF. HER. LIFE. Yes, that happened. Consequently, I too cried for much of the first six months of her life. Once she stopped, she was delightful, but she too was not a docile reader, no she also had an active little mind and body, and she liked to talk (wherever did she get that from, I wonder).

It was hard to see other kids actually sit down at the beach, a concept I would never know when I had babies. The beach is my favorite place in the world, a relaxing mix of sun, sea and sand makes me smile like an idiot, but when my kids were little, it was a place that meant just trying to keep them alive. It was us against ocean. When we were at the beach, I lived with a perpetual loop of a chain of people wading through the water looking for my drowned child. I don’t even know why we used to go back then. It was like doing an Iron Man to entertain your baby, and prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

I envied the parents who had children who behaved, were still in a restuarant, could walk quietly through a store, without turning it into an Olympic running event. I longed to sit with my kids and do art projects, and we did, for like four seconds, before they were gooooooonnnnnnnnnne.

I loved them then. Every drop of them. But they were not easy babies. Not easy toddlers. That’s just how it was, and that’s just how it is. Some babies are easy and some are not. You’re lucky if you get an easy one, but if you don’t, you will live. And they will live and flourish, too. You can’t imagine it at the time. But I’m here to tell the story. You may have bags under your eyes for the rest of your life, but it will be worth the ride.




gratitude-a-thon day 833: yum



This funny little guy was overseeing our dinner.


Good morning, Brookline Village! New restaurant alert: Wow Barbecue, And it is. It is pretty wow!

It was a soft opening, so there were kinks to clear up, but the food was great. It’s chinese barbecue, which is not something I’ve ever had before. Fab arugula salad with jicama and carrots and a terrif dressing. And small skewers of meats and vegetables that were perfectly spiced. And lots of other good stuff. It’s across from Town Hall, where that creepy sushi place used to be near the ambulance garage. Funky interior, made to look like a Korean courtyard. Super nice people, too. They were out of tonic for my vodka and tonic, and went and bought some for me! That’s service. And they’re up for takeout, too. It’s going to be a busy spring, I’m putting this place on speed dial.

gratitude-a-thon day 832: neighborhood


It’s nice to live in a neighborhood. I just walked my dog and ran into two people and had two really nice conversations. That’s typical. But it is not wasted on me how really nice it is to feel a little bit Mr. Rogers about where you live.

I grew up in a small town where everybody knew each other, and although Brookline is a very different place, there is a small town feel to the part of it that I live in. While I am always droning on about the weather, and how we think about moving somewhere warmer, the connections I’ve made in this place would be impossible to ever replace.

See it’s filled with people my kids have grown up with, parents I’ve volunteered in school with, friends I’ve met who have become family, and a whole community with whom I’ve watched our children go from climbing the pirate ship at Emerson Park, to applying to college.  This is something special. Sharing the history of your life.

gratitude-a-thon day 830: moisturize!


I have the driest skin. “How dry is it?” If I woke up as a pile of ash in the center of my bed, it wouldn’t surprise me (it would probably shock the hell out of my husband, however).

Anyway, you’d think someone with such dry skin would try and drown herself in moisturizer, right? Nope. Not me. I have them, all of them, lined up pretty, but I rarely use them. Why? Becasue for some reason, it feels like it takes too much time (what a lame excuse, and yet, true), and leaves me greasy before I put on clothes. Yes, I tried the one with that you spray on and which is made for people like me, with that same grease-averse complaint (support group, guys?), but I didn’t like the smell.


Anway, just thought I would pass along, my latest find, in an effort to remain a stable body, and not the story of Hansel & Gretel, leaving a trail of dry skin in my wake. Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion is kind of great. You put it on in the shower, and then wash it off. And guess what? It seems to work. And there’s no gross greasy after-effects. And it’s not a big ticket item, you can find it in CVS. So, like, don’t be looking for parts of me on the sidewalk, I’m keeping my skin to myself.

gratitude-a-thon day 829: phoning it in


In the department of shallow and useless. Showing that gratitude lives wherever you find it on any given day, damn I am happy about my new phone.

About six months ago, my iphone dove out of the back pocket of my jeans, escaping into the toilet for a swim, right before Peter and I were going to the movies. I attempted to bring it back to life by plunging it into a bag of rice, which I hoped would act ike an on-scene paramedic team, while I was watching the movie. When the film was done and I checked for a pulse, it was a goner. I did what any red-blooded American woman or man who has become totally dependent on technology would do, and went directly to the AT&T store for a new phone. I wasn’t excited about having a 6 in the least. I loved my little phone, and I especially loved the case, which I couldn’t duplicate in the larger size (why don’t they make cute plus size clothes, anyway?) In the morning, my 5 was working just like new. Ally, however was squawking about her cracked screen, and so we went back to the AT&T store, and switched identities, and that was that.

But recently, the phone has been acting wonky, running out of battery well before it should be, flickering on and off. I decided to make a pre-emptive strike and retire it. I stole my son’s upgrade (although the whole upgrade thing hardly matters anymore), and got myself a 6, and a bigger memory, too (which I could also use, but they do not do brain surgery at the AT&T store, but don’t think I didn’t ask).

Anyway, wow. I didn’t realize how really nice this phone is. Funny, how just six months ago I had no interest in it, but now, I’m all over having this new bit of computer wizardry. I  am trying to take good care of this one, and have put signs up in all the bathrooms, “No Swimming.” 1-800-gratitude.