Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What We've Been Doing Since The Leaves Fell Off The Trees

Why, yes, it is unusual for me to go two weeks without blogging. Thank you for noticing. You may blame it all on Richard Ford. Well, start there, anyway.

Perhaps you've heard of Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novelist Richard Ford? I hadn't until he came to speak in Boise. Nor had I read any of his books, which include his big winner Independence Day. But I read an interview with him in our local paper, and he beguiled me with his attitude toward writing. His closing comments in the interview guaranteed that I would be purchasing a ticket to hear him say more things that I desperately wanted to be true:

"Read. Be a reader, and if reading moves you, then there's no reason for you to think that you shouldn't try to write something that could move someone."

The man in person did not disappoint. Instead, he was so witty and sincere and fascinating, that it became paralyzing to even attempt to write about his talk. Most striking was his emphasis on redemption, and his feeling that one should have sympathy for one's characters; that writing itself is a sympathetic act. It is brave to write in this unfashionably affirming way.

So, overwhelmed by Richard Ford, I did not blog.

The next day we found out that Shaun's job will be outsourced (probably to Bangalore) in the spring or summer. That was big news. I went into "let me hunker down and absorb this" mode. Suddenly the future is wide open, but it's too early to for me to do much, if anything, about it.

Next we decided that it would be wise to put our house on the market. The house I love. The house we've lived in for less than a year. This was a prudent thing to do. Didn't keep me from shedding a few tears over it.

Somehow it slipped my mind that putting our house on the market meant we needed to show it to people. And have photos taken of it. We hadn't even moved in all the way yet. The timing was not good. Shaun's folks were coming. It was Willem's birthday. Willem was having hernia repair surgery. I became stressed and crabby. Un-fun times around here for me and my longsuffering loved ones.

But good did come. Willem turned two! He has a surfeit of charm. And questions. My ears, they are tired.

Better yet, his hernia repair surgery went well today, and he is on the mend. The hospital is only about five minutes away, and very nice. They have a really amazing area for the kids to play in before they go in for surgery. Good thing, because things were running late and we waited there for two hours. Before they take one's child away to put him under, they give him a little something to take away all of life's cares. It's a bit unsettling to watch the "silly sauce" kick in, but it's extremely entertaining.

Willem was a champ, the staff were all great, and we are thankful for all the prayers and concern of our friends and family.

The rest of the week holds house cleaning, house cleaning, and more house cleaning. We will have an open house this coming Saturday. After that things should be as in shape as they ever will be, and perHAPS I will be able to get back to keeping this blog up to date. On the bright side, at least you'll be able to check out our listing and finally see pictures of what our house looks like.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fun/Less Fun

Last Monday, I picked up Nels from school and found his hair twice as curly as it had been when I dropped him off. This indicated to me that his hair had gotten wet. Could it be? Yes! Nels had deigned to get in the "big pool" for swim lessons, which he had been afraid to do the previous week. He was so proud. Fun!

On Tuesday we went to Music and Movement at the library. Finally both boys are old enough to love it. Fun!

Afterward we walked up the street and ate lunch at Chef Lou's, where I had what was one of my top five favorite dishes since I moved to Boise. It was the special of the day; a fried green tomato sandwich with bacon, served open-faced on French bread with chili mayo. Fun!

As we ate, a woman sitting near us got up to leave and spoke to me on her way out. "I just had to say that it's so nice that your boys are so well-behaved. It's such a pleasure to see you enjoying a meal together." Fun!

She then reached into her pocket and handed me her business card, averting her eyes from the mountain of french fries on our table. A brief glance at the card revealed a photograph of brightly colored fruits and vegetables and the words NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS. "We're having a free seminar on nutrition this week, " she continued. "Maybe you'd like to come." "Well, thank you," I said. "We do know what we SHOULD eat, we just don't always do it." Hmm...less fun.

On Wednesday, I temporarily took leave of my senses and took both the boys grocery shopping. In the evening. As we walked down the rice and bean aisle, Willem suddenly shouted "High five!" and lunged for a box of Hamburger Helper with his palm raised. Fun!

On Thursday we watched The Office and enjoyed a shepherd's pie featuring Kobe beef and decadent rosemary mashed potatoes prepared in our very own home by our oh so epicurean Hamilton friends. Fun!

On Friday I took the boys to the Boise Art Museum. They were completely enthralled. Willem kept yelling, "Look, Mommy! Look! Look! Look!" Nels kept asking, "What is that, Mommy? What is it? What is it?" We ventured into a photography exhibit of HUGE, beautiful, detailed prints, and what should we see but a nearly life-size photo of a quartered elk. "What's THAT, Mommy? Read me what it says next to it!" demanded Nels. "Uh oh, " said Willem. After about an hour of being pushed around in the stroller, the boys were let out in the children's room to draw on the chalkboard and build with the blocks. I was really proud of how nicely they comported themselves and how interested they were in the art. And not just the elk guts. Fun!

At some point during all of this, both of the boys got colds. And the night wakings began. Which was less fun. Far less fun. On Sunday, Shaun had to take Nels to a walk-in clinic to be treated for an ear infection that had rendered Nels a quivering, feverish mess. Even less fun.

Once again the Hamiltons came to the rescue, this time making pizzas with home-grown Japanese eggplant and home-made pesto from home-grown basil. Fun!

The wee hours of last night were as unpleasant as any I've had in a long time. Between the two boys, we were up six times in the night. It was like taking a time-machine back to when we had a new baby. By today, after three nights of interrupted sleep, I was crabby, weepy, and in a mental fog. Ah, the good old days. Don't hold your breath for a new sibling, boys.

High five!