Browsing Archives for June 2008

My eldest son had a basketball game tonight.  Evidently, four boys playing baseball is not enough so we had to throw in one more sport.  I had to take him to his basketball game, which was very hard on me as I am still weak and shaky from his birth thirteen years ago, but somehow… someway… I gathered all my inner strength and hobbled off to his game.

I struggle mightily with how large of a place sports seem to occupy in my family’s life.  I really, really, really wish my boys could content themselves with pogo sticks, and tricycles and little bits of sidewalk chalk out on the driveway, but those days seem to be over. 
I’m sorry to tell you this, but even in my most heroic moments of motherhood I find it difficult to muster more than a dry raspy hoorah when my kids win an athletic event.
hoorah – I whisper weakly two minutes after one of my kids scores a basket…
woohoo I say thirty seconds after one of my boys cracks a line drive…
I find that I often clap for the wrong team, because I am clapping when others clap and not when my son’s team actually does something good.
I think the other team parents think I have a learning disability. 
There goes Calder’s mom clapping for the other team again!  Do you think she even knows which team her kid is on???  Do you think she even knows which kid out there is hers?  
I do have a hard time following the games. Mostly because I am too busy watching the unicorns play in the shadows, but also because the sparkly elfin nymph druids have just asked me to dance in the magic circle of pines.
Over the years, as sports have progressed like an aggressive scabby disease all over the face of my family, I have perfected a few ways to GET OUT OF GOING to all these games. With four sons playing ball and one son playing even more ball this has become increasingly difficult to do.  Still, I manage it occasionally and will now share with you a few of my well worn tactics.  
The optimal word for you to remember is wedge.
CD – Rechelle, can you take Ethan to his game tonight?  I have to coach Drew’s team up north in Onaga.
Me – Gosh honey – gee..  that is too bad… unfortunately I seemed to have wedged myself underneath the sofa and I can’t get out, so you will just have to take care of it…
CD – Um Rechelle – There is no way I am going to be able to get all four boys to all their games tonight as they all start at 7 PM and they are all in different towns.
Me – Oh wow that is really awful – but gosh – I don’t know how it happened but I seem to have wedged myself in between the window screen and the glass and I can’t get out…
CD – Dear!  Really!  I’m not kidding!   Tonight there is no way you are going to be able to sit at home wedged inside of anything because we have nineteen games in a row starting at 6:30 and ending when Hell freezes over.  You are going to have to show up.
Me – What… huh… I can’t seem to hear you as I am wedged inside of the microwave and also the dishwasher  and my legs are stuck inside the bathtub drain and my fingers are wedged up in the ceiling fan…and I…. I…. I am really stuck good this time.  You might have to call the fire department.  
But tonight - it didn’t work.  I couldn’t seem to wedge myself in or behind or underneath anything and was thus forced to attend a basketball game.
Which brings me to a super fun survey!
Tell me gentle readers… where does you and yourn fall along the spectrum of youth sports obsession???

This is it folks.

The last of the country life book giveaways for my fabulous summer reading program.

Was that a huge sigh of relief I just heard?

Was it?

WAS IT???!!!?!?! 

Now listen here people, I happen to have a big place in my heart for books about wackos who go off and live somewhere hard and learn to survive off the land and build their own houses out of the twigs and mud and berries and make their own clothing from raw wool right off the back of a baby sheep. But I like to think there is more to me than just crazy fantasies of life in a cabin on a farm on a precarious cliff overlooking the ocean with no one to help but a three legged goat and a husband who prefers to work in the nude.

I like to think there is more to me than just that!

I also like mysteries…

and also…

um also…

I occasionally read books about… 

um…

uh…

Sometimes I glance through…

cookbooks!

Yes!

And sometimes I read…

magazines.

But other than that, I admit to being a little bit stuck in the genre of country life/ gardening/ people who build their own houses/ type literature.

So for the last go round of this genre I am offering three books on the above mentioned subjects that I absolutely adore.

And then we will move on.

I promise..

For a little while at least…

All the books are again from Alibris so don’t go thinking that I am stealing books from public libraries! 


Here are the selections.


Back to the Damn Soil by Tulsa, Oklahoma writer, Mary Gubser.

This book tells the story of a young couple who move out to the country and guess what?

Go on guess!

Can you guess?!?!

They start up a little farm and build a little farm house and the resulting tales are full of humor and inner strength and character and wit… etcetera, etcetera, blah, blah, blah…

But seriously, Mary Gubser lived her farm life adventure during WWII. Her husband, a young lawyer was recruited to run one of the airline factories during the war and he virtually disappeared, working very hard to keep American pumping out bombers. Mary was forced to run a farm and raise three small boys alone. She tells of breeding cows and horses and her crazy neighbors who ran an illegal bar and kept their illegal hooch buried in their illegal garden.

It is a great story both because it captures a snippet of extremely interesting American history, and it also is a funny country story which I yes, um, yes, happen to love.

Did you know I called Mary once?

Yes I did.

I fell so madly in love with this book, that once while staying with a friend on Grand Lake of the Cherokees outside of Tulsa, I called Mary Gubser to ask her for directions to the old farmhouse! I knew we were very close to it and I had to try and find it or I would die.

She was very nice and happy that people were still reading and falling in love with her book. She gave me directions and my friend and I set out to find it.

We eventually did find a house that looked like it may have been the right one, but it was no longer a solitary farmhouse miles from Tulsa. Instead, it was very much a part of Tulsa in a neighborhood that had probably sprung up in the 50′s or 60′s. So I did not exactly get to see the farmhouse the way I had always pictured it.

But I did get to talk to Mary.

And that was pretty cool.

The second book in this giveaway is Acres and Pains by S.J. Perelman.


Here is my copy of the same book.

I think that cover pretty much says it all.

I wish the copy I was giving away had the same cover but alas, I ain’t giving up my copy.

If you are unaware of the sterling contributions to American literature and theater made by S.J. Perelman you can get a small sampling here.

His writing was the humorous backbone of the New Yorker for years. He is simply one of the great American humorists and more people should read his books now. Right now! Right this very minute!


Finally – Ken Kraft and his book The Land of Milk and Omelets.

This is a book my sister and I both love dearly. So if you don’t trust my literary tastes, perhaps you will trust April’s. After all, she does homeschool her kids, so her moral superiority is clearly self evident. She also has pigs and chickens and a real live garden and I think this is all because I once let her borrow The Land of Milk and Omelets and the next thing I knew she was buying a flock of chickens.

And yes, it is just another book about people homesteading in the post WWII era. But it is written with so much spirit and enthusiasm and yes humor, that you can’t help but be entertained and even have crazy thoughts about going out and buying your own flock of chickens.

This book giveaway has come to an end

Grey Gardens Fashion Show

June 22nd, 2008

When last we spoke, I was sitting in my parent’s home trying to make myself disappear so I wouldn’t have to help my sister re-decorate every single room in the house in which we grew up.  Unfortunately, April would not leave me alone until I got up and helped her move furniture and rearrange photos and hang pictures and dust shelves and move around knick knacks.  
April wanted to start in the foyer… which is directly adjacent to the coat closet… which is full of my mother’s old coats… and a few other things…  
And well… 
Um… 
Once we saw the old coats….  
Um well we just sort of got them out…  
And well… 
Then this happened…

This is me modeling my mother’s old fake fur coat.  


This is April modeling my mom’s old rabbit coat from the 1980′s when my mom was deeply into her J-Lo fashion phase.


We don’t know much about this coat, except that it is very orange.


And it makes you totally rock out.


Totally!


We decided that the chocolate brown coat looked a little too “now”.  


So I found one of my mom’s old evening gowns.


Which is clearly not now.  


And we moved outside…
For better lighting.


April, the fashion editor on the set that day, suggested we try for a Grey Garden’s look. 

And since I do everything April tells me to do, even though I am the older sister…


I went all Grey Gardens…


Then April had to go all Grey Gardens.
The Country Doctor wondered if April was undergoing chemotherapy.  
He does not know about Grey Gardens Chic.
We moved to the grass, as it was more Grey Gardeny.
We kept our head scarves firmly in place.


This is April working it.  


This is April maybe working it a little too hard…


My turn!  My turn!


Oh please no.



No!


I think this is the worst, most awful, most awkward photo I have ever seen of myself!  I look like a gypsy cadaver creeping up to get a pail of murky, bitter water out of that there well and use it to kill off someone’s chickens.  

Then we put our Grey Garden Garb away and finished the foyer. 
 
I brought that orange dress home with me.
I just couldn’t leave it behind.
I can’t wait to find another excuse to put it on.  
Like maybe next time I walk out to the mail box… or need to go get a gallon of milk…. or maybe parent/teacher conferences…