Friday, January 30, 2009

I Got My Journal... FINALLY

As I may have mentioned before, I really wanted this quotable journal that I had seen at Everything Elmwood, but when I went after Christmas they were sold out. So I waited patiently. And I waited. Patiently. Waited. Patiently. While I must say that EE was very nice to me and they took my name and gave me a call on Tuesday saying that it would be in on Wednesday. And then it snowed. A lot. And then our street never got plowed. And then it snowed again. So after 1 month of waiting and 1 month of snow, I finally got my beautiful journal. Here's what it looks like, and it is a monster of a journal. Huge in size and quantity of pages. Plain old inspiration as far as I am concerned.

Plus it was so nice to get out of the house. Despite having to stand in a 4 foot drift of snow to shovel (and I mean this literally) off the passenger side of my car. I got out of my parking space without too much difficulty thanks to the foresight of my wonderful husband who shoveled it on Wednesday and parked next to a driveway. I got to go to the beautiful Everything Elmwood. Then I went over to my Mom's house to "shop" for books in my old room, went out to lunch and then did a quick grocery run for all my Anti-Super-Bowl night food. As a special treat we bumped into my cousin Kate at the grocery. So nice to be back home.

Then by the time I was ready to come home it had started snowing. I almost had two accidents (neither my fault), skidded twice and could barely keep the snow off my car. I got back to a street with no parking spots and Rob in the street pushing our neighbors car out of her spot. I put the car in park, got out in the middle of the street and told Rob to just deal with it. And now I'm not going anywhere for a while. I'm just done.

Next week there are supposed to be two days of semi-warmth, which will at least melt all the white shit away. Do you think any one would find it odd to see a pregnant woman sunbathing on the side of the street on a 38 degree day? I'm in desperate need of some sunshine and cheer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Riddle Me This...

Why is it that every year around Super Bowl time, I get all excited and I start planning a special dinner or party -- when I don't like football and don't actually watch the Super Bowl? I think this year Rob and I are going to kick off a tradition called the Anti-Super Bowl night. I'm going to cook a special dinner and then we'll watch a movie. Ooohh, if we watch a football movie it would be even more tragic, right? Here's the menu that I currently have planned:

Appetizer: Baked Artichoke Dip with Crudites
Main Course: Real Deal Chili (from Martha Stewart of course) with Cornbread and Chunky Guacamole
Dessert: Brownies

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow, Snow Go Away...

It's snowing out again! Actually it's not too bad right now just steady small flakes, but when all is said and done we're supposed to get 7-8 inches by noon. Blah. I'm pretty done with winter this year. We've had so much snow and such steady white covering since November that we've pretty much hit our winter quota by the end of January.

To me the worst is that I feel completely trapped in my apartment. We've had enough storms that make driving difficult or getting stuck a likelihood. And I am really disliking Allentown's attitude. There is a city law that you have to have your sidewalks shoveled or you get a ticket (technically, they have to be shoveled by 9 am, but I would be satisfied with anytime of day). These people do NOT shovel their sidewalks. You can tell that maybe people have shoveled once or twice per snowstorm week (note: not per snow....) As a result the snow is caked to about 5-6 inches think, that has somewhat thawed and refrozen, i.e. there are mountains of ice. There's no salt on the sidewalks no nothing. In short, it is very, very dangerous for a pregnant woman in this neighborhood! I swear I will sue you if I fall on your walkway, jackasses of Allentown.

Clearly the neighbors have taken their cues from the street plowers. We have a mini plow that goes down our street occasionally. The plow is approximately half the width of a normal car, and apparently is not strong enough to pick up more than an inch of snow (at least when plowing at 40 MPH). As the city of Buffalo likes to say, our street has been "touched" and that qualifies as being done. So when we park, we scrap bottom going over ridges and mountains of muck that has frozen and solidified to rock. It's pretty much like driving off-road. And while I can't complain because people are not required to do this, I can't believe homeowners don't shovel the crap in front of their driveways too. I would, it would make backing out soooo much easier!

Stupid snow. At any rate, January has sped by, surprisingly. And January is always one of the longest winter months. February is always guaranteed to speed by, being as how it is so short. Could it be that spring is within sight (if you had really good eyesight??)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shout out to Gram!

Today is my Grandma's 94th birthday! We're heading down to Barker, New York shortly for a traditional birthday dinner. By traditional, I mean traditional to my Grandma who has people over every Saturday after church for drinks. Since her church is being consolidated with another area church the Saturday mass schedule has been pushed back and mass now is at 5:30 pm. Meaning that Grandma and her friends now have dinner with their drinks. So we're today in honor of Grandma's day we're providing the dinner. Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Books for Parenting Young Democrats

You can tell I'm pregnant because I now spend my time looking at children's toys and books online. I've found a few that I am really digging and thought that perhaps you might enjoy too:

1) Why Daddy is a Democrat, by Jeremy Zilber
This book would of course come in handy for Daddy to read, seeing as how Daddy doesn't always know why he votes the way Mommy tells him to.

2) Mama Voted for Obama, by Jeremy Zilber which I have previously mentioned in my last blog but really deserves a sneak peak at this excerpt:

3) The Peace Book, by Todd Parr

4) Grace for President, by Kelly DiPuccio

5) The Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle of course must be included for its political past.

6) It's Just a Plant, A Children's Story of Marijuana by Ricardo Cortes

And my personal favorite -- Enjoy!!!

What a Day!

I'm sure that there will be 10 million blogs today on what people think and where they were during the inauguration, and truthfully I am not a fan of such emotional outpourings. Yet, I'll submit my own voice to the murmur or roar because on this day I still don't have a journal to write in (thanks, Everything Elmwood for getting right on that reordering process!)

I feel so relieved today! I remember as clear as day reading a list of the 2000 Republican candidates for president and quickly scoffing at George W. Bush the former drunkard and druggie with no political qualifications but a history of bankrupting businesses. I was so certain that there was no way that any American could ever support him for president. And indeed when he was elected it clearly illustrated to me that anyone could be president -- perhaps the most negative reading of that statement. When he was reelected in 2004 I thought for certain a move to Canada or France was required as my stomach turned. I truly lost hope, not in government but in the American people's intelligence. My deepest shame as an American is that we have still not called that man to task for his atrocious and unethical behavior.

But, I am so very proud today and I have hope again. I have every intention of buying this book for my baby so that she knows with complete certainty how happy we were to be involved in this election. The media coverage of the transition has been somewhat disappointing to me. I never felt like Barack Obama was "the black candidate" until after he was elected. It seems impossible for the press to integrate who he is -- they seem capable of discussing his race and his actions or beliefs as two non-touching topics. This is such a momentous occassion and I think it is so much more important to honor this time by being clear that we as a people, voted for Barack Obama not for the color of his skin but for the "content of his character," to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr. This man has more potential than any man I've ever seen and I am hopeful for the Spring.

Monday, January 19, 2009

So much for fancy family dinners...

About a million years ago when I worked at Pier One, I fell in love with a set of dishes called McKenna. The plates were off-white stoneware with a cut out edge that sort of resembles a prize ribbon shape. I loved them because we had a table merchandised for thanksgiving with those beautiful plates and yellow Toscana chargers. Ironically I most loved the soup bowls which sold out so quickly that I could never get my hands on any -- so I bought the rest of the set instead.

But I never do anything half way. Oh no, I pictured me hosting a family dinner someday and our family was already heading towards 12 so I bought 14 (i.e. FOUR F*&%ing TEEN) dinner plates and salad plates. I remember the day so well, as I debated if I should really spend all my Pier One bucks on an immense dinnerware collection that in mind would take the place of family china. I debated if 14 would be enough, how I would store it and move it from place to place until I bought a house. And then I lugged it home (did I mention it was STONEware?) in my other purchase of the day -- something that I later discovered was the world's heaviest damn wicker laundry basket ever made. In short, I killed myself for those suckers.

And then I used them on a daily basis for the past five or six years. And today I broke a plate. That makes the current set complete at 7 dinner plates and 5 salad plates. And did I mention that the set was discontinued and therefore nearly impossible to find? Oh yeah and heavy. So as we prepare to move yet again, I find myself thinking -- ok I think I'm ready to let go of the McKenna and move on. Maybe some nice Corelle-ware like the set that my mother used every day for 20 years and never broke a single plate.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Strange Things about being Pregnant

Id like to take a moment or two to just reflect on some weird things that I have noticed myself doing as if they were completely normal every day occurrences. Truthfully, I don't know for sure that it's because I'm pregnant -- it could be because I'm kind of settling into this apartment or it could be because I'm home all day and therefore slightly liberated. But I'm going to blame them on the baby.

  • After years of minimal milk drinking, I've started craving milk again (good thing!) However, in the past month of milk cravings I have yet to drink milk from a glass and can ONLY drink milk directly from the gallon container. High class, I know.

  • I hate HGTV and yet, I have started watching it constantly, and actually tivoing episodes for the few hours that I am out of the house. Which brings me to another thing, I made dinner last night and actually cleaned the kitchen afterwards, including sweeping the floor. Unheard of.

  • But here's the kicker... Last night Rob was scooping ice cream for us both. I was pretty sensitive about this because he doesn't like Peanut Butter Cup ice cream or anything with chocolate and peanut butter mixed together (because he's weird) but was eating my ice cream because it was all we had. So he scooped out one bowl that was mostly chocolate -- and I calmly tried to explain to him that he should take ice cream from the sides for him and for the center for me (everyone knows all the peanut butter is in the center) and that the first bowl would be his. When he proceeded to scoop "side - chocolate-only-ice cream" for my bowl I just broke down in mid sentence. I flapped my arms like a penguin, stamped my foot and let out a high pitch two-year-old-tantrum wail of "Nooooooooooooo, from the center, from the center!!!" About twenty minutes later when Rob had stopped fearing that he might pee himself from laughing so hard, he reached the conclusion that he had just met his daughter. We are seriously in for it.
  • Monday, January 12, 2009


    At least once a year, almost always in January or February I go a little spend crazy. I don't actually spend money mind you, but I want to spend. I can feel this itch that builds under the skin of my wallet-reaching hand that seems completely irresistible. My mind starts compiling lists of things that I want, all items that seem utterly essential but of course are truthfully utterly frivolous. I can almost convince myself that purchasing things would solve all of my problems. All of them.

    This year in an interesting twist, my spending urges have managed to solve a nearly 7 or 8 year dilemma -- my wardrobe. For years, I have not had the clothes that I want. I have every day looked at my wardrobe and thought -- ugh -- before donning a pair of jeans and uniform solid colored long sleeve T or tank depending on season. I have not put together an outfit in at least 6 years, and I have not bought clothes for myself for 2-3 year stretches at a time. Because I have been completely dissolutioned with clothes.

    That was before the JCrew catalog arrived yesterday. How did they find me?? I haven't ordered from them for years! I haven't provided them with my new address. How do they know it's my spendaholic phase? And for the first time in at least 2 years, I like what I see and I literally want at least one item on every page. Miraculously, I have looked at those pictures and compiled the perfect wardrobe in my mind of essential items and fun items, not all J Crew but rather I have suddenly just envisioned the perfect items.

    Alas -- (1) I won't be buying any clothes on the dole and (2) I'm rather in an expansionary phase, so I will not be investing in any wardrobe staples. I believe my only course of action is to compile a list and begin to save for that post-baby wardrobe.... In which of course I will be miraculously thinner than pre-baby days (a girl can dream, can't she?)

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    New Orleans

    Last night we went to see the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was a really beautiful movie with some fantastic glimpses at New Orleans, including some shots of the houses on Saint Charles and nighttime in the quarter. And the Rue de la Course on Oak Street! Where Rob used to manage and I used to sit for hours while visiting.

    It made me powerfully homesick for that city, and I found myself thinking this morning of Tulane campus and how much it surely must have changed. For some reason I found myself missing the PJs in pocket park which I never really frequented but is no longer there. We've sadly not been to New Orleans in at least 2 years (Could it even be more?!?) I find myself in need of at least a two week stay to luxuriate in that lovely city. Alas, it will be quite a while before we are able to return. I don't think we'll be able to go there until well after the baby is born and able to travel that long trip.

    Anyway, after the movie, we came out to see that it had steadily snowed throughout the three hour long movie making the outside world as far from New Orleans as possible and a soupy mess. And then when I got home I ended up getting sucked into watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith on TV. I have such dislike for Brangelina and yet at the same time and so easily obsessed with their lives. How is that possible? They are my celebrity frenemies, clearly that is it.

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    When, when, oh when will we get what we really want???

    You know, Sarah's comment to my last blog got me thinking.... When will I actually get to see Cadbury mini-eggs in the stores? So I did some searching. Do you know that this year Easter isn't until April 12 (or April 13 if you are Canadian -- interesting)? What has God done to us all?? Maybe retailers will attempt to stimulate the economy by stocking Cadbury mini-eggs earlier than normal. I do not think that January is too early for Easter candy. Also, perhaps like my Comcast incident of 2008, Cadbury will search the blogosphere, see my comments and meet my demands. Cadbury mini-eggs year round!!!

    [Also, I submit for your amusement: Cadbury Mini-Eggs.

    I'd also like to add that the lateness of the season delays two other pleasures that I am looking forward to: Easter Ham (vegetarians look away) and Faschnachts. We had a lovely Christmas dinner this year, but alas no ham. And ditto for New Year's day. No spiral-cut, mustard-glazed goodness. I have begged my mother and she has conceded to making Easter dinner with ham, but April is a long, LONG time to wait. I used to solve this problem by cooking my own New Year's dinner in Chicago, but this year we were invited elsewhere and well, the ham had to wait. My mouth is watering.

    And then of course, Mardi Gras does not come around February 25. That is hella far away. I never remember it being so late in the year. We won't be headed to NOLA this year, but we are certain to avoid last year's debacle of poor frying by going to my mother's house where she will make her world famous faschnachts. I haven't told her this yet, but I'm certain she won't be at all surprised when we turn up on her doorstep on February 25. In fact I fully expect she will already have started the baking.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009

    Sigh, I guess I have to blog now.

    I started this blog because I really liked blogging, but lately I've either been keeping secrets (surprise, I'm pregnant! Read facebook for more updates as they become available -- can I say read facebook? As if it were a book??) or well, not doing anything. At all. And what fun is it to blog about not doing anything at all?

    Truthfully, I have been a bit depressed by the whole unemployment thing. Though being pregnant is a world of excited (excepting the morning sickness), my joy has been somewhat backburnered by (1) concerns for our stability and security now that I am a non-paycheck earning individual, (2) hatred of my apartment in which I feel rather trapped due to its small size and numerous problems (please feel free to ask me for more info, I love to rant about this one!) and (3) lackluster spirit brought on by decreased energy -- possibly seasonal, possibly pregnancy related.

    I feel like 2009 may be a fresh start for me. Perhaps there might be some wondrous things in the works (besides obviously, Baby F.) And that starts with me actually doing something. Or going out of the house. So that's what I'm going to start doing. I took a first step today by having lunch with Sarah - thanks Sarah! And then I rearranged my living room, i.e. ordered Rob around.

    So yes, you all commented on my cats, and now, I will fulfill my oath and I will begin to blog more often. Hooray for you, readers, your 2009 shall bring wacky punctuation and sentence fragments. Enjoy.