Friday, December 22, 2006

Don't open that cage!

Owen is in love with Zoe's hamster. He thinks that the hamster is a mouse.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


At this time of the year I do get a little homesick. I miss the traditions that I grew up with. They're simple things like the hustle-bustle of going shopping in "downtown" Boston, visiting Faneuil Hall, seeing the lights on the Boston Common, eating Chinese take-out with my family on Christmas, and just doing the same things you've done for years and years and years.

Project 351 gives me a chance to see some of the familiar sights. There are a lot of references to Boston on the internet to give me a taste of home.

And, luckily, next week I'm going to stop in Boston on my way to Canada for a business trip. I'll get to spend some time with friends and family. Even though it's only a couple days, it's nice to go home.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Go west!

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

It looks like I've neglected most of western USA. Next month, I'm visiting Canada to print a book. I guess it will be a while before the whole country is filled in red. Oh, if only I could print in Hawaii.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Marianne

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. It's been a while since she has been with us on her birthday. She is here visiting us from NH. We had to work, but we are celebrating it over the weekend. We took her out to dinner at a good Mexican place. We had a cake today with the kids.

In the afternoon, she took Zoe shopping and bought her a toy. This is not how birthdays should go. She should be getting gifts, not giving them.

Today we walked around Hillsborough. We went to see Happy Feet
Bob and Marianne went to Trader Joe's which is now open in Cary. We are happy to once again have our favorite treats from Trader Joe's. They mentioned that they are looking for a location for a store in Chapel Hill!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"the mouse"

Owen loves Zoe's hamster. He calls him the mouse.

He drags his step stool from the bathroom up to Zoe's bureau to see the hamster. He tries to open the cage and pokes his fingers in.

Don't open that cage, Owen!

Here's some footage on YouTube:

Sunday, December 03, 2006


While I'm not the most technologically minded person, I'm still trying. I just finished an InDesign class, now taking a Photoshop class, trying to learn html, and improve my blogging.

I'm now working on understanding Technorati. It's a blog about blogs? Or a site about blogs? It lets you organize all the blogs you read.

Can anyone explain why it's so important?

Dot Com Mom

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My Thanksgiving

I also didn't get a chance to express my gratitude, so here's my thanks:

First, my husband-- a man I am blessed to have in my life. My children-- I am so lucky to have both of them. As the circle widens: I am thankful for my parents and siblings. I miss them all the time. And, I'm grateful for our old and new friends, and our growing community.

On a global level, I thank the courageous people who work for peace and social justice, those who work to protect our civil rights and liberties, and those who help the powerless.

I'm thanful for the simple pleasures of life. I stop and smell the roses now.

I am thankful for those of you who read Dot Com Family and provide comments and encouragement. So, thank you. Thank you very much.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Keeping up three blogs

This blog is becoming too much of a chore. I'm not posting enough. I'm no longer finding it a priority. I'm thinking of dropping it. I keep a knitting blog, and help my daughter with her blog. I'm getting a bit fed up with all of the blogs. Maybe I need to take a break.

I originally started it to keep our out-of-town family updated on us and our kids. That doesn't seem to truly serve the purpose. I don't's sort of like writing on bathroom walls.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Kalil's 8th birthday party

Yesterday was Kalil's birthday party. We had a wonderful time. The weather was amazing, and the party was perfect.

There was a Pokemon theme to the party. The kids all had a great time. I brought Owen who played beautifully with Kalil's baby sister.

After the party, we took Kalil home for a playdate. That gave his family some time to tidy up and hopefully kick back for a few minutes.

painting the kitchen

Our friend Dave came to visit for a week. He and Bob go back over 30 years. He was a great house guest. He helped with the kids, and even painted the kitchen.

The kids spent some time today painting in the kitchen. Owen is a very interested in drawing and painting. He loves to color and paint. Zoe is picking up the vocabulary of an artist at the ArtsCenter afterschool program.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween fun

Happy Halloween -- Boston Latin Academy

Masquerading as priests and superheroes, Boston Latin Academy seniors sent home

I'm sad to see my high school in the news for a stupid reason. Boston Latin Academy has enough problems without this stupid story.

What on earth is wrong with America. Today, my daughter's class held a "fall festival" because Halloween is considered a religious holiday in North Carolina. Apparently, the religious fanatics think it is actual devil worshiping. I thought it was bad last year when we had a "celebration of black and orange". The previous year, it was called a "nocturnal animal party". What a load of crap. Why can't we just call it Halloween?

Well, we pagans are going trick-o-treating and devil worshiping. Chapel Hill is famous for over 100,000 people in costume milling around town.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mocute's Birthday

October 26 was my grandmother's birthday. It will always be a very special day to me. I miss her.

Nearly two years ago when she died, I gave a short eulogy for her. I'll dig around for the file and post some of it.

My grandmother was born on a farm in Lithuania in 1911. She had few opportunities. She only went to school for two years. She worked hard on the farm and learned a trade as a barber. She eventually owned a small barber shop.

She was a modern woman who married late in life. She married my grandfather in March 1940 at the age of 29. My mother was born nine months after she married. She had another child, my aunt, in 1942. This was during the WWII in Europe. Her family was torn apart, and she fled the Russians by going to nearby Germany. There she lived above in a barn above a pig pen. She and her husband were separated for a long period of time. She had her two small children to care for and feed in very difficult times.

The family lived in refugee camps for a long time. They were among the millions of displace people after WWII as Europe was torn apart.

She came to America as a war refuge. She worked in a factory for decades making sneakers at B. F. Goodrich. (remember P. F. Flyers?) In America, she learned English, raised her family and built a life--the American Dream

She was a remarkable and strong woman.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Zoe at the Fair


Heather and I took Zoe to the Fair. Heather was a good sport given that it was a day of all Zoe, all the time.

The weather was terrific, just a bit too sunny. We ate a mess of fried food. We wanted to try the Fried Coke, but we didn't dare. We saw the crafts, visited the gardens, tried some of the games, and rode the ferris wheel. We had fun, but Zoe had even more fun.

We had to walk so much. When we had had enough we were on the far side of the fairgrounds. It was about as far away from the car as we could get without leaving the fair. To steal a good line from Lenoard Cohen, today I "ache in the places that I used to play." Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Bob, Zoe and Owen went shopping for pumpkins today. I sent them to Whole Foods where they are 3 for $12. They kids were excited and the pumkins were good.

Of course, Zoe wanted one on the bottom of the pile. Owen kept saying, "punkin OH-ringe, not lellow." (Translation: Pumkins are orange, not yellow.)

At work today, we had pumpkin butter on crackers. It was really good. Then, tonight on the way home from my ArtsCenter class, I stopped at Weaver Street Market and bought two pieces of pumpkin cheesecake.

We're planning to go to the State Fair on Saturday. I hope it's not too crowded. Last year it was an exhausting and fun day. I hope to see the biggest pumpkin grown in North Carolina.

I think that's enough pumpkin for one post.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What's your name and how old are you?
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

You Are 28 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Thanks Andrea!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Owen on the computer -- YouTube #5

Owen on the computer -- YouTube #4

Owen on the computer -- YouTube #3

Let's see if this looks any better. I think that I'm going to have to learn more html to get this to work.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Trader Joe's is coming to Cary, NC!

We're very excited to learn that Trader Joe's is opening a store in a nearby town. We've been suffering (not in silence!) ever since we moved here.

I am going to be one of their first customers when they open their doors. I'll see you there!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Owen on his hot wheel -- YouTUBE

I'm a little late to this party, but happy to join in. My new digital camera has rough video capabilities. This is my first shot.
What do you think?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Halloween is in the air


We hung up our Halloween decorations today. It's a bit early, but not too bad. Of course, I saw Xmas trees for sale at Lowes, so I don't feel too early.

It's been cool and rainy so it feels like fall. We are seeing the leaves change colors and start to fall.

I love the cool crisp days. You can enjoy the outdoors without dying from the heat. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Thomas the Train


Owen is addicted to Thomas the Train. It's baby crack. It's nearly time for an intervention.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Julie and Julia

Last night I went to see Julie Powell, the author of Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of French Cooking. The book is now out in paperback and she's out touring to sell it.

Of course, being from Boston, I love Julia Child. I can see how some people feel she exploited Julia's fame. She addressed some of that in her talk. It's clear she developed a connection to Julia and she expressed her homage to her.

I enjoyed Julie's book and recommended it to friends. In fact, I sent my copy of the book to a foodie friend. Scroll down to January 22. She has over 100 cookbooks!

Julie Powell is much younger than I am, and I was surprised at her disclosure. For example, I would never write about selling my eggs if I had the ovaries or cojones to do it.

I went to the talk with a knitting buddy. I was late due to kids, getting a bit lost, and no parking. So, I missed some of the reading. The Q&A was good. Of course, I would have wanted to ask more questions.

Julie Powell is clearly smart and good with an audience. She's a clever writer, and sure had a lot of time on her hands to cook and blog. Given her intellect and her under-employment, she was bound to be an author at some point. She was very lucky in that her blog was picked up by the media and she got an audience and a book deal. I'm not clear how she got her audience.

Overall, I wonder how you get traffic to your blog. I guess you have to have a unique project or a special hook. Of course, it helps if you are a good writer.

Afterwards, we went out to a Mexican joint full of college kids. It was good to be out but it's a young crowd in this college town. I drank a Negra Modelo and had a steak burrito. Negra Modelo is my favorite Mexican beer. Just tasting one brings back memories of a Mexican vacation with my sisters long ago, but that's something I'd never blog about....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Toy Heaven

Above my front door, there is a pretty palladian window and above it there is a large shelf. For the longest time, I didn't know what on earth to put up there. Now, I use it for toy heaven.

Toy heaven is the time-out place for toys. If my kids don't listen or don't put away a toy, I put it up there. When they squabble over toys, I take them away and toss them up there. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Saturday, September 23, 2006

  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I lost 4 points someplace in Chapel Hill.

Dude! You're 96% from Massachusetts!

Dude! Me and Sully and Fitzie and Sean are gonna hit Landsdowne tonight after the game, hang out at the Beerworks. I'll pick you up at the Coop at 6.

How Massachusetts are you?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Start 'em early

Here's Owen playing a computer game for toddlers. He has picked up the mouse action and clicking pretty quickly. This is not bad for 2 1/2 year old. He's starting to say his numbers and letters. When we count things he says numbers out of order, but it's pretty remarkable since he only started talking three to four months ago. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 and the World Trade Center

The memories I have of 9/11 are still fresh. I took the train to work because it was a beautiful day. I was scheduled to hold a weekly staff meeting at 10:00. I was preparing for the meeting in my office, when we heard the news of the plane hitting the World Trade Center building.

It still affects me emotionally, deeply, no viscerally.

Ten years before this, I actually worked on the 43rd floor of the World Trade Center. I only worked there a few months doing a freelance job. I thought it was so cool being on the 43rd floor, but remembered there were over 60 floors above me. The views were amazing.

It was a heady time for me living in New York, being happy about our upcoming wedding plans. We were young and struggling. Bob was in law school; I was trying to find good work.

I think about the people I worked with and wonder if they are all alive. I can't imagine what I would have done if I were in their shoes.

It's just a tiny snippit of my life.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Improving health and school starting

I was surprised this morning when my wedding band just fell off my hand. It's gotten looser. I guess I've lost a few pounds. That's a good thing.

My skin problems are almost cleared up. I'm still on some drugs and a bit itchy and spotted. My dermatologist doesn't want to see me for two weeks. I am very sick of going to the doctor. My primary care doctor was sorry for all I'd been through. She should be since she didn't manage my case very well.

Today I'm appreciating all the free time I have. I was spending at least an hour a day putting on ointments and creams, taking pills, bandaging, cleaning and soaking. I have a bit more time to blog.

Other important events: Miss Z. is back at school. She's excited and already loves her teacher. There are only 18 kids in her class. We went to meet her teacher and feel good about everything.

We had a busy Labor Day weekend. We had a rain storm and power failure on Thursday. Owen was very freaked out about the lights going on and off for a couple minutes. He kept asking, "What happened?" We had a meeting with Zoe's teacher Friday afternoon, a visitor from Boston came over for dinner on Friday night. We did a bunch of errands and house clean up on Saturday. I made three batches of brownies, and 36 deviled eggs for two parties on Sunday. We had our annual block party in the afternoon and a knitting group get together on Sunday night at my house. My knitting buddies came over to watch the Spike Lee HBO movie, When the Levees Broke. Then on Monday, we had a day-long play date with two kids and their mom stayed for dinner. Whew! I'm a bit tired.

On Labor Day, Zoe woke up early and came into our room. She wanted to know what Labor Day was. After my coffee, I explained to her the significance of the day with a bit of pinko, commie, lefty, May-Day spin on it all. I guess my Marxist Economics class was useful for something.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fourteen years ago

August 29, 1992 was our wedding day.

It was a beautiful, warm day on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was sunny and breezy. We had a lovely place and a nice simple wedding.

There was so much to prepare and arrange. It was truly a team effort.

I remember all the hard work that cousin Nancy did on the beautiful flowers and decorations. The hundred pink and white ballons that Alan strung up to decorate the place. We engaged a harpist for music--it was beautiful. My friend Michael, a trained actor, read us a special poem. David overdid himself in making our cake. Our volunteer videographer, who didn't show up, disapointed us all. Bob and Jeff took the pictures. Jeremy was the ring bearer who wouldn't smile.

We had champagne and hor'dourves served on the lawn. The hot, long receiving line in the sun. Fish and chicken buffet was served for luncheon. I remember catching up with cousins and family from far away, and meeting members of our new blended family.

I remember dancing first with my husband, then with my father, and lastly Jody, my father-in-law. Jody was an award-winning ballroom dancer. I was nervous but it all went very well. Lastly, Loraine and Jody hit the floor and showed off their stuff. It put the rest of us to shame.

It was all over so quickly. We have zipped through the past 14 years with equal speed.
 Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 25, 2006

Health and wellbeing

I'm on the long road to recovery. I am nearly ready to join a 12-step group on my issues with the medical establishment.

I'm still fighting the infection and the newly-discovered, compounding problem of poison ivy exposure. This was the confusing thing about the diagnosis. I had a skin virus, then a bad allergic reaction and finally a staph infection on top. A triple whammy. I had to get I.V. antibiotics at the E.R. and now I'm on three ointments and four prescription drugs. Not bad for a simple day in the garden.

My dermatologist told me that my rash was about as bad as she had ever seen. The only worse case involved a state trouper who wrestled with a felon in a bed of poison ivy. She said in a quaint southern way, "You are best done with gardening." And, "You have no business gardening ever again." When I protested, she responded, "OK, you may try again in full body armor."

I love to garden nearly as much as I like to knit and read. I have struggled with gardening down south learning new skills and discovering new techniques. I'm going to have to knit a lot more. This is going to take some time to sink in.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ongoing saga -- health care venting

I couldn't cope with the misery of my skin "infection" last night. I got out of bed at 5:00 a.m. and crept downstairs and just groaned and wept. A real pathetic sight.

At 6:00 a.m., I took a long hot shower, which helped. I got my wits about myself. I decided to either go to the emergency room or back to my doctor. I woke up my husband and asked him to get up. He was dazed and confused...not too surprising.

He called my primary care doctor's office. We couldn't get through to my doctor's office. It's a part of UNC medical center. It's big and bureaucratic. The system is terrible during off hours. A answering service takes your message, then gives it to a nurse. Thirty minutes later, you convey the same information to a nurse. She then calls the resident on call. Over an hour later, while I'm actually in the examining room of the primary care office, (I got sick of waiting and decided to just storm in. I went in before 8:00 a.m. as they opened and begged to be seen right away.) a resident finally calls and asks me all the same questions. She says, "Oh, don't come to the ER, go to your primary care doctor."

So I see a nurse practitioner, who tells me she thinks I don't have Impetigo, but Shingles! They draw blood just in case. She sends me to a dermatologist across town. She says it looks like Shingles. She takes a culture just to be sure. She gives me two new prescriptions (finally, some pain meds!).

So, at 11:00 a.m., I'm finally getting medicine for a condition that I have seen three doctors, a nurse practitioner, and four appointments, not to mention treating it for a week with the wrong medicines. My face feels like someone took a blow torch to it. And, I've spent $160 on co-pays, $50 on medicines, and missed two days of work. Did I mention that I don't get sick pay?

Shingles is painful and miserable. We know way too much about it. In fact, my husband had a case of it a couple days after our son was born. I think his case was brought on by the trauma of our son's birth that included horrific anesthesia with eight attempts to get the spinal/epidural in, followed by very difficult C-Section with added bonus of bowel surgery, and ending with our son in distress and needing a week in the NICU. That's another long story for another day.

Obviously, the poor man was freaked out and was then terrified that he would spread the virus to our newborn. In his case, the winner, on-call doctor's advice was to check into a hotel until he was symptom-free. Another great piece of advice?!?!

I think my case was brought on by the hell of going on vacation with my family to see the rest of my family. A prescription for disaster: Sleepless nights in one bad bed with two kids, the stress of driving with those same kids, the ususal family Sturm and Drang, the state of my father's health, the ongoing issues with siblings, and more.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Our son Benjamin died eight years ago. We still feel the loss.

Grief is a constant. It was a sharp pain, but over time it has changed. Now it's a deep sorrow.

Although he was only an infant, he embodied our hopes and dreams. I tell Zoe, his twin sister, that he lives in her heart.

I have trouble with religion in general, and loosing him didn't help matters. It's just not possible to understand why such terrible things have to happen.

At sundown yesterday, Zoe lit a Yahrzeit candle. Jews commemorate the anniversary of the death of a loved one by lighting a slow-burning candle, called a yahrzeit candle, which burns throughout the 24-hour day of the anniversary of death. The flame of the candle is a symbol of the flame of life that once burned brightly and illumined the lives of loved ones who mourn the loss.

I'm so glad that Zoe survived. She made it possible for us to go on.

Health updates

My father is doing better. He's out of the ICU and in a regular room. He's going to be in for a few more days. He may need to go to a rehab facility for stroke recovery. We hope to learn more after some tests.

My brother D. had to have his gall bladder removed. It was done last Friday and he's doing well. He is getting released from the hospital today. I called him today and he seems in good shape.

My skin infection is so minor in comparison. It's still spreading and itching. I'm not sure how long I should wait before going back to the doctor.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

a stroke

My father suffered a stroke today. This is not his first one. Luckily he was found quickly and rushed to the hospital in time to get the drugs that help if you get them soon enough. I'm glad he wasn't home alone. I'm very glad that he lives in Boston where there are good hospitals.

The primary cause of his bad health is cigarette smoking, bad diets, lack of excercise, and maybe bad genetics. At least my father has had better medicine to keep him alive longer.

When I saw him last week, he reminded me of his father. He'd lost weight and looked grey. It struck me that he looked very much like him. Of course, my memories of my grandfather are faint. He died when I was 8.

Alas, I don't have a single photo of my grandfather. He died young of a heart attack. I fear my father will too.

Friday, August 11, 2006


My spider bite has a progressed into a diagnosis: Impetigo! I remember kids getting this in school. I pronounce it incorrectly as impateego, not impatIgo. That's what I've heard it called before.

I went back to the doctor today and she put me on antibiotics 4x a day and anti-bacterial cream 5x a day.

It's highly contagious--so no kissing for a while--just cyber hugs and kisses.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Spider bite

I was bitten by a spider on my face near my eye. The welt has inflamed and spread to most of my face. Weird and painful--I hope it's not turning into a bacterial infection. My doctor said it was pretty nasty. I have to go back tomorrow to have them check it again.

I'd post a picture, but vanity prevents me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006



Our front yard is a bloom with sunflowers. Zoe and I planted them together in June.

They are very easy to grow, fun and cheerful. We were pleased to find many of them in bloom after we returned from Boston.

The deer have decapitated many of them, the bees and butterflies are visiting them, and now the birds are pecking out the seeds as they dry. They must be tasty! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Old Silver Beach on Cape Cod


We had a perfect trip to Cape Cod. One of my favorite beaches in the world is Old Silver Beach in Falmouth.

 Posted by Picasa

This old house


The yellow house in the middle is my old house is Boston. The two new houses, that are under construction, are what happened when we sold our house to a developer. They are building one on each side of the house.

My beautiful organic garden and lovely trees are gone. Replaced with brand new houses. I'm speechless. Posted by Picasa

OnCall Networks or

Bob has set up his business website.

OnCall Networks

The design was done by Kathy Gagne. It's a fresh, clean design.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Vacation plans

The Dot Com Family is planning a summer vacation. We're hitting the road to visit our friends and family in Boston.

Yes, we're planning to DRIVE. Yes, it's a little nuts, but we need to make some stops along the way. And, we figured we could save some money on the airline tickets and the rental car.

So far, we plan to go to the Cape for a couple days, see our friends in CT who own a comic book store. If you like comics or other cool stuff, you should visit Sarge's Comics. or

I'll try to post along the way. The adventure begins on Friday.

Friday, July 21, 2006

just a couple silly ones

You fit in with:

Your ideals mostly resemble those of an Atheist. You have very little faith and you are very focused on intellectual endeavors. You value objective proof over intuition or subjective thoughts. You enjoy talking about ideas and tend to have a lot of in depth conversations with people.

100% scientific.
60% reason-oriented.

Take this quiz at

'What will your obituary say?' at

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I'm moving my knitting blog content to a new blog:

The Dot Com Family blog will focus on our family with a focus on our kids. Feel free to read both blogs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

decorating and blogging

We hung up our decorative quilt. What do you think?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My brilliant daughter

This week Zoe performed at The ArtsCenter. She's been going there for summer camp.

Hubby went and video tapped it. I was in the clouds of happiness seeing her on stage!! I am so grateful everyday for her being a great kid and that we live in such a nice community where the arts are encouraged.

Go to Zoe Marta's blog. Enjoy!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Horseplay at work


Bob and Owen came by my work. Owen got into lots of mischief. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Summer heat

It's steamy hot in NC. It's going to be a long hot summer.



After a lot of rain, these popped up in our grass. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

My son looks so much like me. Here's a picture of me at about 3 or 4 years old. If you scroll down, you will see Owen.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I got to sleep in a bit while Bob made breakfast. Zoe and Owen were not helpful, but were allowed to watch TV. It all came to an abrupt end when the smoke detector went off five or six times. He was burning bacon and filling the house up with smoke.

Bob is very well meaning. Alas, he can't cook very well. He had two hungry kids to deal with. So, I came slumbering down at 7:30. We had waffles and coffee. The bacon was not bad despite the drama.

We had basically the same menu last year. This year of mothering has been a great one.

Zoe is maturing bit by bit. She has learned a so much this year and works hard at school. We still struggle with her attention and focus. She is getting stronger with gymnastics and now horseback riding classes. These are great for her confidence and stamina.

Owen is a force to contain and direct. He is trying so hard to talk. He studies what we say and copies Zoe the most. When she jumped into the van tonight and shouted. "you're the best!" Owen parrotted her with "the best!"

Monday, May 08, 2006

family portrait

Thanks to Bob Miller for this photo. It's rare to get us all in one picture. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

Gardening down south

I'm an avid organic gardener. But, my gardening history has been limited to the Boston area. I've been trying to learn how to garden down south. The soil is so different. The climate is so much warmer. The bugs are very different. And the critters are just too much.

In my urban garden in Boston, I didn't have a lot of sun. Six hours a day was typical. We had a lot of shady spots since I had 100+ year old trees on my property. We couldn't plant tomatoes until Memorial Day. Here it's blazing hot and sunny with small, newly-planted trees. We do have a lovely grove of trees behind the house that may have been there for a while, but they are really a buffer between me and the power lines.

The soil in Boston was acidic, but friable. Over the years, with my organic gardening methods, I made the soil in my beds beautiful. Here is hard red clay. It's impossible to dig this soil without breaking your tools or you back.

We lived in the city. Now we live in the country. There were critters--racoons, skunks, and squirrels. Here we have rabbits and deer. I haven't seen any racoons or smelled any skunks. The rabbits and deer are more adorable. They will eat anything pretty or delicious.

The best part is discovering that there is so much to learn in gardening. Move a couple hundred miles, and you are in a whole new world. I remember a quote from Thomas Jefferson who said "Though an old man I am but a young gardener." Thanks, Tom, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Today is Passover. We are not having a seder because it's complex and a lot of work. We're not religious, but we want to teach our kids some traditions.

My beliefs are slim at best. I worry that my kids will not feel grounded. I fear that they will become Hare Krishnas.

My sister and mother sent the kids a big box of Easter loot. Zoe wants the Easter bunny to visit her house. It's tough on a lot of levels. I don't want my kids to be Christians, but I have a lot of weird attatchments to rituals and making family traditions.

I argue with Bob, my husband, about this around the big holidays. He doesn't do much to make the kids understand and celebrate Jewish holidays. He doesn't go to temple, he doesn't have any Jewish friends, and he doesn't spend time with his Jewish relatives. Yet he wants to raise the kids Jewish.

Of course, the mom is usually the one who does this sort of thing. Even for secular holidays, I'm the one making the Halloween costumes or making Valentines cookies. Bob teaches Zoe how to install more memory into her computer.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Swinging on the hammock

Despite the HEAVY pollen, we've enjoyed the spring. The rope hammock in the back yard is a big hit. The kids love to hang out on it. And, even I use it once in a while.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Owen in his cool Italian leather jacket

My sister sent Owen two beautiful leather coats. Since we received them on Saturday morning, he hasn't wanted to take the cool red, white and black one off.

He wanted to sleep with it on.

Way to go auntie!

Thanks a lot!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

3 frozen embryos

We had a call this week from a nurse at the Brigham & Women's Hospital. She wanted to know what we wanted to do with our three remaining frozen embryos. I'm not sure.

I think I'm too old to have another pregnancy and new baby. Definitely too old to have triplets!!!!! Still, they were so hard to make and I feel they should have a chance.

I need to think more about this. My head says no, my heart says yes. Of course, I've been thinking about them for seven years since we made them. It would be very hard to destroy them. Leave them in the freezer? For how long? Why?

I wish I could donate them to a couple who needs embryos. How different is that from donating a baby?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Owen is two!

Today is Owen's birthday.

He is growing into a beautiful big boy.

It's hard to believe.

We had cake at home. It was messy, silly, and nice.