Category Archives: randomness


My great-grandmother’s name was Grace.  She passed away when I was little — I think I was eight years old.  Thus I don’t remember too much about her, and what I do was a little kid’s perspective on who was then a pretty old  lady.  She was quiet, and kind, and had a canary.   She didn’t really go out much, as far as I knew.  Her house was always dark, but not in an unhappy way… more in the way that people might keep their curtains drawn so the furniture doesn’t fade.  She gave me candy, so overall she was OK in my book.

What I also knew was that her husband then, who passed away when I was five, was not the father of my grandmother.  Sometime after she was born, my great-grandparents, in a time when it was pretty nuts to do so, got divorced and both remarried other people.  My great-grandmother had two more sons (my half-great-uncles) with her new husband, who we called Papa H.

Nana Grace was, all tales told, not very forthcoming with the details of how this all panned out.  We knew my great-grandfather, Papa Bill, had been away for awhile, in Canada, finding whatever work he could, as he grew up in Canada and one would assume he knew people who were hooking him up with opportunities to earn a wage.  (It was the Great Depression after all, and he was by trade a construction worker, though he would also work for a long time caring for and tending horses once he returned.)  Nana Grace’s parents, also needing income, rented out rooms to boarders.  One of those boarders became my Papa H.

And beyond that… the story was fuzzy.  Especially in relation to dates.  When asked on their anniversary how many years she and Papa had been married, the answer was always something vague… “Oh it’s been so long, I can’t really remember.”

After she passed away, one of my half-great-uncles came across their marriage license.  It turns out he was born only a couple months after they got married.  So the story the family sort of pieced together is while her first husband was off in Canada, she was living with her parents, and when Papa H came along as a boarder, something “clicked” with them… and clicked enough that she ended up pregnant.  Oops.

Nana Grace seemed much cooler after I found that out.


This post is a part of Kate‘s “madhouse”, of whom all these other fine people try to participate when they can:

Allison – Allimonster Speaks
Barb – Spencer Hill Spinning & Dyeing
Batty – Batty’s Adventures in Spooky Knitting
Dave – Notes from the Field
Evil Twin’s Wife – The Glamorous Life of a Hausfrau
G – Not-A-Box
Heather – She Flies With Her Own Wings
Jennifer – Ask Poops, Please
JMLC – Daydreams and Ruminations
Kate – yoyu mama
LC – LC in Sunny So Cal
Louise – Child of Grace
Marcy – Mittentime
Melanie – usually, things happen
Nikki – Land of the Free, Home of the Depressed
Sara – yoyu mama


I’m getting really bad at this, aren’t I?

Anyway, here are my general goings-on:

My photography business is going well.  My last two jobs – a sweet sixteen party and a portrait session with five kids under five – both mentioned wanting me to work for them again in the future.  That makes me so happy, that these people are happy enough with my work (and with me) that they want to give me more of their money to have fun taking pictures.  I can dig it!  I have a wedding to photograph tomorrow, which should be fun and is in a lovely location.  It’s just a touch less pressure because the couple actually is already married – they tied the knot about a month ago for technical reasons.  So tomorrow’s just for fun and show for their friends and family.  The bride and groom are both older, and most of his family won’t be there (he’s from very very far away) so the posed formals of the whole thing (by far my least favorite part of weddings) will be very low-key and relaxed and focused mostly on the bride and groom.  The only thing I’m really not looking forward to is that I’m sick right now.  Not crazy feverish or anything, but feeling kinda stuffy and with a tickly throat and feeling very, very run down.  I foresee fueling myself with cold medicine and coffee tomorrow.

Lane’s doing really well in kindergarten.  We had our first parent-teacher conference and we heard how her skills are all really far along, and (more importantly to me) that she is a real pleasure to have in class.  I can officially say she’s reading.  We laid all the building blocks for her, and something about school just helped her put it all together and she can read straight through some of the simpler Dr. Seuss books now.  She’s started taking *very* informal piano lessons and likes them. 

Jake is just such a boy now.  He was watching Little Bear on Noggin today and just laughing in a very amused way at very appropriate parts and it just struck me that he’s a kid now.  Not my baby anymore!  Though I wish someone would tell that to him when he insists on nursing.  I still mostly don’t mind but where Lane was more laid-back about scaling back or shortening sessions, Jake will have none of it.  Oh well, he’s only little like this once.

Frank and I are talking about another baby.  Gluttons for punishment, no?  😀  It’s funny though… for a long time I’d bring up the subject and he was very noncommittal about talking about a baby.  Very recently though, something’s changed.  He’s more into it now.  I wish he’d be more forthcoming with his affirmation, rather than me having to infer it from his intense concern that I get the H1N1 vaccine in case I get pregnant.  Though it may be a while in coming, as I and my (new, feels like a great fit!) midwife are both pretty sure I’m not ovulating, and we’re trying to figure out why through myriad tests, including an ultrasound of my lady parts that I have to schedule.

Frank, in actuarial matters, took one of the FSA exams a couple weeks ago, and he’ll find out if he passed in January.  In the meantime, he got ahold of the syllabus for the other FSA exam and he’s started studying for that one.  Each of the FSA exams is only offered once a year, but not at the same time.  So the first one was offered in October, and the other one will be offered end of April.  So… you either focus on one and only take an exam once a year (and have to wait a whole year if you don’t pass the first time) or you split your focus on both of them so you’re always working toward an exam that isn’t more than a few months away.  Not to say Frank’s definitely chosen one approach over the other, he’s just in limbo right now, not knowing if he passed, with an exam coming up in April.  So I think he’s optimistically going to start studying for that one, hoping he passed the exam he just took.  If he finds out he failed the exam, I imagine he’ll switch back to studying for that one.  I know this seems a sort of weird subject to dedicate a big ol’ blog paragraph towards, but our lives sort of revolve around exams and the time Frank needs to study for them.  Plans are put on hold in favor of studying.  Our friends have largely forgotten what we look like.  However, we ARE taking two vactions in the next few months!  In addition to the week we’ll spend in Buffalo for the holidays, we are going to Disney world in mid-February, and Aruba in April.   I kind of hope I can make those trips pregnant.  🙂

LOL @ Donny Osmond

Watched Dancing With The Stars tonight.  Discovered my husband doesn’t know who Adam Ant is.  Googled it.  Subsequently discovered we helped place Adam Ant in the top 40 search terms on Google.

That wind machine part was frigging hilarious.

I’m glad my girl Mya pulled off the first perfect score.  She’s so freakin’ awesome.  I’ve liked her ever since she did a Dancey Dance on Yo Gabba Gabba.  (For my fellow Office fans, Angela will be doing a Dancey Dance on the new season of Yo Gabba Gabba.  I have no idea why I know that.)

Randomness over.  Good night!


Dear Stan Fischler

You seem like a nice guy, and you certainly know an awful lot about the New York Rangers and hockey in general. All in all it’s a pleasant experience to watch you on TV giving your point of view on all things New York hockey.

Except today. I’m not quite sure if this is a temporary oversight, or an ongoing denial of the grievous state of affairs, but right now on MSG you are seated at such an angle to give us viewers a perfect view into your ears, and the gnarly forest of ear hair therein. Oh. My. Goodness. It’s like most of your entire lower ears are covered in wiry brown hair. You look like a troll. My husband and I are alternating between staring in awe and looking away in disgust. A person can only take so much. And you’re on our 47″ LCD TV in HD right now. I don’t need to see ear hair in high definition, larger than life.

Oh my gosh, now the co-host on this show just started asking you about your hair in the 70s. Oh, the humanity!

Please, Stan. Please. Trim up the ear hair.

Why I love our library

I live in an area where the property taxes are just crazy high.  However, there are perks.  One, our school district is awesome.  Two, our library is amazing.

The children’s section is just really cool.  There are about, as far as I can count, like six or seven children’s librarians, and they are all both wicked cool and enthusiastic about being librarians, and they really know their stuff.  I can ask them about some random book from a piece of the plot I remembered from my childhood and they can tell me the book off the top of their head, the author, and where to find it.  In the half-dozen similar questions I’ve asked, I’ve not once had them reference a computer to tell me the answer.

The place in general is pretty big for being one of two libraries in a town of about 50,000 people.  In gearing up for planning, digging, and planting my veggie garden, combined with a bit of winter blahs, I read about eight different veggie gardening books and barely put a dent into the section.  I wish their photography section had a bit more of a selection, especially in the how-to area, and especially given the radical transformation from film to digital that has happened fairly recently.  I think I’ll mention that to someone.

They have a completely kick-ass online presence.  Not only can you search and reserve books and A/V stuff through their website, you can also download PDF versions of a ton of books (I’m currently reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter – upon which the series “Dexter” is based – this way) — basically turning my laptop into a slightly less portable Kindle, and for a lot less coin, given when I’m done reading my laptop is still a laptop and a Kindle is a useless piece of electronics.   They even audiobooks to load to your iPod (or other mp3 player).  Of course, the PDF books and audiobooks are no extra charge, all part of the services you get when you sign up for a library card.  On the website, you can see what you have checked out online, and renew it if the need arises (like it’s 10 minutes before closing time on the day your stuff was due back).  They even send out email reminders a couple days before something’s due to give you a heads-up, which has saved my butt a number of times.

The totally neatest part about the library, though, is the A/V department.  Not only do they have a great selection of movies you can borrow on DVD, but they’ve already amassed a decent Blu-ray selection (and being the recent recipients of a Blu-ray player for Christmas, we are all a-tizzy about borrowing Blu-rays).  They have a huge selection of kids’ DVDs, so the kids get new movies (one apiece) every week.  They even have a pretty good variety of video games, so I’ve sampled a few different Wii games that way.  I really don’t understand how Blockbuster stays in business with this library around.  The library’s even open until 9:00 most days of the week, and they actually have Sunday hours, too, when it’s not summertime.

The library still doesn’t totally assuage the pain of a $1,200 a month tax bill, but it is a spoonful of sugar.

And it definitely brings up a question — is my library that far ahead of the game?  I want to think so — the library in our own town in New Jersey didn’t have nearly the same level of resources.  How does your library compare?  And if you don’t know…. you should find out.  😉

I’m glad I’m not a goldfish

My daughter has a goldfish.  He’s probably about the fourth or fifth in a line of goldfish that have graced our home, as it goes with goldfish.  This guy’s been alive for awhile, I think he’s going on about five months now, but it might be longer.  He has a tendency toward having his float bladder (or whatever it’s called — it’s an organ fish have to keep them properly buoyant, so they don’t float to the top or sink to the bottom) go off-kilter.  Occasionally he’s just too float-y and he struggles to keep himself from constantly floating to the top of the little tank he lives in.  I’ve recently learned that a snack of peas can nip this in the bud and get the fish back to normal, and it really works quite well.  (Of course I say “a snack of peas” but really, it’s a “snack of pea” because he only gets one that I crush between two fingers and remove the outer skin.)

I noticed last night when I went in to make sure Lane was snugly under her blankets that he was a bit too buoyant, so I gave him a pea and spent a little time watching him.  I was compelled to watch him for a few reasons — first, well, it’s just sort of soothing to watch a fish swim around for a few minutes.  Second, because he seems to really, really enjoy the pea snacks he gets.  He attacks the pea like a little golden piranha.  If he had the capacity to growl, I imagine he would.  Thirdly he was in the middle of taking the biggest poop I’ve ever seen come out of a goldfish, and I was sort of compelled to watch to see how big this sucker got before it fell off.  Weird, I know, but it was late and I was not at all sleepy.

It definitely made me realize I don’t want to ever be a goldfish, or probably any fish for that matter.  When the urge hits to drop the kids off at the pool, I want nothing more to sit on a toilet, by myself… and thanks to being home with the kids, I don’t even always get the ‘by myself’ part.  I certainly would not, ever ever, wish to go about my business with a giant turd hanging out my butt.


So, today’s my birthday. Whoo freakin’ hoo.

But I have a birthday request: go vote for my entry at

I can win some bitchin’ swag. Thanks! 🙂