Friday, December 29, 2023

Just Checking In

Little cousin love. 
Swimming in December. 

We've hiked and gone to the trampoline park and had Boba Tea.  The girls got pedicures while the boys watched football.  We've gone out for breakfast and eaten Big Cuter prepared dinners. 

Life is good.
I hope it is where you are, too. 

Monday, December 25, 2023

Thursday, December 21, 2023

I Seem to Be On Vacation

I didn't plan it that way.
I had high hopes of posting every day. The visitors in my house were not going to deter me from my responsibility to you,  my readers. 

Unfortunately, Honey Bunny is much more engaging and time consuming than I anticipated.  She's awake in the late afternoon.  That's when I usually type to you.  At night,  there are stimulating conversations with her parents,  sitting outside under the stars.  

My heart is full.  I can't kvetch about the Lying Liar or the United States' Supreme Court. I can't put together a coherent set of paragraphs about the Colorado Supreme Court.  I can't even formulate silly sentences about Supreme and what it means. 

Those thoughts are in my head.  They are banished as soon as I see this face. 

So,  I will apologize once again,  but this time without a promise to be as diligent as I have been since The Burrow began in 2009.

That's a long time without a vacation. Blame Honey Bunny, an attractive nuisance I wouldn't trade for anything.... even you. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

And Now, I'm Not In The Mood

I spent the day holding the most delightful bundle of energy.  Watching her wrestle with an empty 16.9 ounce plastic water bottle had both of us laughing.  She's no longer flinging it.  She's grasping it firmly around the middle and bashing it onto the bedspread.  Over and over and over again, switching hands and grips, sometimes using her newly acquired pincer motion to hold onto the (tightly secured) cap, she fascinated herself and her audience until she needed to stand up and use her legs.  

My son made a delicious dinner with minimal mess, and there's still some of Amster's rum cake on the counter for a lovely dessert.  I'm not thinking about loading up on sugar and alcohol the day before I have fasting labs because really, who schedules such a thing at this time of year?  

I'm not thinking about why the doctor wanted to redo the labs in three months.  I'm just not in the mood.

I'm having an exhaustingly wonderful time.  My family worries that I've taken on too much, but every moment with Honey Bunny feels like a gift from her parents.  Watching her change, day by day and week by week, while tiring and taking a toll on my body, reminds me to view the world with joy.  

She's thrilled with everything. I turn my head and then turn back - she giggles.  TBG's hair is a source of endless delight; she's gone from grabbing and pulling (Go ahead, baby, make me balder than I am) to gently placing her pointer finger underneath his soft locks. She laughs when he sits up and laughs when he brings his head down to her fingers again.

I'm finding it hard to muster much anger or angst about anything.  There is so much to worry and fret over.  Human rights are under attack here and abroad.  There's nothing I can do today or next week to fix any of it.  The fact that so many people seem to love a lying, indicted adulterer could send me into a tailspin, but two people in the last two days have complimented me on my Mark Kelly for Senate and I Will Vote 11/5/24 stickers on The UV's bumper and that's a new and exhilarating experience for me.  

With all this wonderfulness, I am just not in the mood to rant about the NYTimes' expose of the Supreme Court's process in the Dobbs decision.  I can't muster the snark to share my latest upset with the Lying Liar.  And the Gaza/Israel situation is beyond words for me.

So, you will have to excuse me for denying you the full effects of my rant.  I just don't have it in me right now.

Monday, December 18, 2023

And The Saga Continues

I had the rant all planned out.  It was pithy and thoughtful, if I do say so myself.  Unfortunately, technology brought the whole process to a screaming halt.

Big Cuter found a machine for $199.  Apparently, without needing super powerful graphics (my Solitaire and Wordle games are fine with a plain processing chip.... or something like that) computers are stupid cheap.  I was surprised and delighted, gave him my credit card, and his magic fingers secured the device.  

After a lovely evening on the couch watching The Awful Truth,  he and Queen T made a shopping run to Wally World to pick it up.  They came back with baby bibs, an ugly Christmas sweater, a doll that crawls and spouts gibberish in a baby's voice (more on this in another post), and my beautiful, new computer.

I plugged it in the next morning, certain that I could set it up myself.  After the first deep inhale and the moan that followed the exhale, my son was at my shoulder.  I've got this, Mom - some of the nicest words to hear when machinery goes awry.

Spot Quiz - do you ever interact with a machine without groaning?

He set the settings to my preferences.  We registered the device with ASUS and Microsoft.  We moaned that Lenore the Lenovo died before I could back up all my data to the cloud (another saga soon to unfold).  I was all set to go.  

I spent the next day with Honey Bunny, coming to the computer when she napped.  I turned it on.... or, more precisely, I pushed the power button on the keyboard.  

I pushed it again, with more force.  I pushed it again, leaning my pointer finger a bit to one edge and then the other.  I called for help, which arrived once I brought the machine to my son's comfy spot in the comfy chair.  He probed and turned and pushed and got the same result as I did - nothing.

I've never seen a computer just die like this, Mom.  Did you do anything......

A brief moment passed as I remembered that he was helping and not deserving of a snarky response.  The truth was that, plugged in or not, the damn thing would not start.  

Sunday morning found me at the Customer Center in the Wally World around the corner from our house.  The young woman behind the counter had a hard time understanding the following:

  • the machine was dead, would not turn on, got no power when plugged in or on battery
  • I had no receipt because none was offered when it was picked up 
  • the email announcing that the purchase was ready for pick up did not have the bar code she was desperately seeking and I had no idea where that bar code might be.
  • I was certain that the box had been picked up at their store because my son's name was on the sticker affixed to the box, along with the address of the store.
  •  I didn't want a credit, I wanted a new machine at the same price.

Her supervisor and co-worker banded together across the counter, glaring at my inability to provide the damn bar code.  Discouraged but undeterred, I persisted until they found the item in their system.  This was not due to any malfeasance on my part, although you would not have reached that same conclusion by looking at their faces.  There was nary a smile among them.

Next thing I knew I was handed a receipt for the credit to my card.  They sent me back to Electronics to buy a new one.

I strolled and resisted all the cute baby things, arrived at the computer aisles, and found nothing resembling my inexpensive desire.  The sales clerk, her supervisor, and an interested Wally World worker were flummoxed, but I had a picture of exactly what I wanted.


After unlocking the shelves behind the register, after pulling boxes and looking at numbers, they found the machine I wanted.... although they weren't sure until I showed them the picture once again.  They ran my credit card, gave me a receipt, and wished me a Happy Day.

Big Cuter and I reprised our earlier scenario.  I took a long walk with Queen T and Honey Bunny.  The baby napped and I continued to set up the new computer, connecting and then disconnecting it from my phone, searching for a way to get Google instead of Microsoft Edge as my default browser (Settings are not easily available on this machine thanks to the Microsoft behemoth's presence).  

The girls and I hung giant ball ornaments from our spiky trees (Queen T took the baby out of the front carrier and put her into the stroller once she got an up close and personal look at the thorns) I made dinner and sat outside to calm my soul, went inside and fell asleep in the other comfy chair at 8:45.  By 9 I was under the covers and fast asleep.

Which brings me to this morning, at 6:34am, when I began typing this to you.  

My rant is still simmering.  

Thursday, December 14, 2023

The Best Laid Plans

I did get to go to the last session of my Dr. Zhivago class.  All five of us did go out for dinner al fresco.  Big Cuter did some research and discovered an appropriate replacement for the dear,  departed Lenore.

What didn't happen was going to Walmart to buy the be computer.  What didn't happen was setting it up. 
And what obviously didn't happen was writing the blog I've been stewing over for the last two days. 

Rather than try to rant on my phone's little keyboard,  I'm going to bask in the glow of the Hanukkah lights and lean back on the Christmas pillows covering the couch while I do today's Wordle and Spelling Bee and digest my dinner. 

I'll try again tomorrow. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

RIP Lenore the Lenovo

Because there is nothing else going on in a house with two working parents,  two grandparents, a baby, and a pig, my computer decided to die. 

I didn't drop her.  No on be else remembers her falling.  Yet she's separated from her base and cannot be charged. 
Big Cuter, my resident Guru for all things electronic, says replacing her will be less expensive than repairing her.  He will go with me later this afternoon to shop. 

So,  for now,  my thoughts about everything will have to wait until I can use a real keyboard and not my phone. 

Have a wonderful day,  full of joy and laughter.  Avoid kerfuffles if you can. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023


There was a walk to Barnes and Noble on our schedule today.  Grandma had Pilates and an oil change for The UV and a quick stop for a dozen donuts
on the way home.

Grandma fell asleep instead of writing a blog post. 

Child care is exhausting.  Posting requires more brain power than I have right now.  Tomorrow there will be many pithy thoughts for you.  Right now,  though,  I'm going to finish my nap.

Monday, December 11, 2023

(Not) Watching Football

Ever since Scarlett died and I no longer spent Sunday afternoons playing mah jong at her house, football has been the backdrop to the day.  I pay attention to the Jets (homage to Daddooooo, who loved them, hapless though they were) and to the 49ers because Big Cuter is obsessed, but I find the whole thing quite easy to ignore.

Now that Queen T and Honey Bunny are here, my weekends are singing another tune.

There are long walks and gardening (the baby is a great companion, if not much actual help). There is brownie making with my assistant resting comfortably on a super soft blanket, mouthing measuring spoons and making noise with the baking trays.  There are lazy hours watching the wind play with the leaves on the trees, listening to the pool filter, watching the chlorine dispenser make its rounds.  It's quite exciting when it comes our way.

And today, we took a road trip.  

I forgot how much you need to pack when you travel with someone whose bodily functions are unregulated by convention or circumstance.  Bottles and wipes (of all kinds for every situation known to baby) and blankets and sweaters and hats (because the weather might change and we don't want her to be too hot or too cold) fit comfortably in the 3 part stroller (frame/car seat/stroller seat)'s hanging basket beneath the child who is strapped in six ways from Sunday, with cushioning around her chin and her skull.  There were diapers and bibs and white muslin cloths to wipe slobber from her chin.  There were teething toys (tethered to the stroller and secured in the diaper bag).  

It took a long time to gather it all together and stow it and the baby and Grandma in the car.  Queen T drove.  Our destination was 18 minutes away.

After a minor kerfuffle in our quest to secure a parking spot, we unloaded our precious cargo and her accoutrements before we wandered through the artisans hawking their wares, looking for my friend, Dee.  She's been bringing me the best tuna salad sandwich in Tucson for 15 years.  We've watched our families grow, sharing pictures and stories, making donations to Band Camp and GRIN.  It's my version of Cheers, and she's my Sam.  

Her mom brings crafts from Guatemala which Dee sells at the outdoor market in the upscale dining and shopping plaza.  FlapJilly will be the recipient of many small wonders this holiday season.  

Among the many dining options available around the plaza, Queen T chose an outdoor table at Reforma.  After gorging ourselves on guacamole and quesadillas and salmon on salad we drove home and napped.

I'm really enjoying having these girls around.  My Sundays have definitely taken a turn for the better.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

A Day That Will Live in Infamy

Grandma was on the phone, the new fangled phone that no one else on the neighborhood owned.  She was adjusting her hat, getting ready to go out somewhere with someone, when she heard the news.

Her President declared WAR.  She wanted to serve but her parents begged her not to go; her brother had been conscripted and they were terrified of losing both their kids.  She caved, didn't become a WAC, and regretted it for the rest of her life.

I was walking across the hall between classes when the rumor mill reached me.  By the time I got to Mr. Quinlan's math class, the Principal was on the loudspeaker, announcing that our President had been shot and killed.   

School let out early.  Grandma was crying as she drove us home.  She told us that we would remember where we were when we heard the news.  She was right.

I was watching tv with TBG on October 7th, the day Hamas began to exterminate the Jews.  That's the organzation's stated purpose.  They paraglided and drove tanks and raped and murdered and beheaded and captured.  

I know where I was then, and I know where I am, now.

It's happening far away, yet it feels very close to hand.  As my neighbors decorate with a lighted creche and inflatable Santas and snowmen, I'm debating putting my electric menorah in the window.  It's something I do every year.  This time, though, I'm more than a little nervous about advertising that we're celebrating the holiday.

Days that will live in infamy.  We've had many too many of them.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Ladies Lunching

Honey Bunny's presence in my house is prompting many changes in our lifestyle. She's neither an early riser nor a cranky sleeper.  Her father was both.  She takes scheduled naps (whatever happened to never wake a sleeping baby?) and wakes up smiling and happy to see whoever bends over the Pack 'N Play to extricate her.  

She's supposed to get a certain amount of calories from a certain amount of breast milk each and every day.  There is a vast supply - newly pumped and frozen.  The frozen is taking over our freezers.

Her father and their Audi transported a cooler full of already frozen milk; the colorful bags fill the garage fridge's freezer. The oldest bags are defrosted and used as new bags are pumped and added.  It's a system which includes a never ending cycle of reorganizing and redistributing the food which formerly lived in the cccccold.  

I don't have much to do with the process.  I watch in awe.  

My only resonsibility is to get the milk into her mouth. I feed her a bottle with powdered allergens after her first nap.  I always have a defrosted bottle close at hand once she's up and out and about.  She's very clear about wanting and not wanting the bottle; her snarfle face and the juicy raspberry which follows lets us know in no uncertain terms that, as her Daddy says, I have an itch on my foot and you are giving me a bottle?????

There are no jars of baby food.  There's a steamer to soften green beans, but no pureeing of anything.  Instead, she sits in her high chair at the table, gnawing on what the app (of course there's an app for that) judges to be appropriate for her age and toothlessness.  

What's approved?  The ribs not the leaves of lettuce, cut in long strips so she can hold and gum the piece without losing control. Last night, the red marks around her pretty mouth were not signs of allergy.  She bruised her tender skin with a chicken drumstick, beating herself in the face while trying to insert the thick end into her maw.  

It's fun to watch.  It also makes going out for a ladies' lunch very easy.
We took a nice long walk to Pappoule's, navigating the user-unfriendly lack of walking paths down from the street to the mall with aplomb if not dignity.  We spent a few minutes being admired by the owner, a woman we've known since we moved to town.  We spent a lot more time being admired by the other patrons, all but one table of whom were grandparent-eligible nd eager to know her details.

Taking an outdoor table so Honey Bunny could enjoy the trees, we continued to be a source of amusement to passersby.... one of whom, an old friend of Grandma's, took that picture (if I ever take a great picture I'll be sure to include my face).  The ladies at the next table engaged us in a spirited conversation about our daughters-in-law and their new fangled ideas - all of which were fine and wonderful if totally different from how we raised and fed our own kids.  

We couldn't just walk out when we finished our meal (I had salad, she had lettuce ribs and a hunk of chicken to suck on).  All the patrons on the patio requested a drive by.  We were happy to oblige.

It was such a success that we're going out to breakfast this morning, leaving as soon as Queen T creates strips of egg to bring along.  Apparently, scrambled eggs are a disastrophe in the making when you're nearly eight months old.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Eating - A Snippet

Toward the end of her life, G'ma's appetite waned.  One small chicken cutlet was enough for both lunch and dinner.  How can four bites be enough for you? became a commonplace comment.  Her response never varied; Where will I put the rest of it?

Now, as TBG and I explore the changes our eighth decade of life is bringing, we're finding ourselves following the same path.  A mini sandwich from Jersey Mikes is more than enough for lunch.  We share one steak for dinner, accompanied by eight green beans each. 

What has my life become when I'm counting the beans in the grocery store so we don't waste them at home?

Monday, December 4, 2023

Random Thoughts

The 49'ers defeated the Eagles this afternoon.  For most humans, this is of passing interest, if any at all.  In my house, though, it's a different story.  The television and the living room have been reserved for the game and nothing else.  As the 9'ers scored and scored and scored, the noise level rose and rose and rose.  

Honey Bunny and I spent the afternoon outside and on the floor in the kitchen, considering the possibilities inherent in measuring cups and spoons.

Everyone was happy.


Queen T spent the day dealing with a Verizon-Store-From-Hell and its equally inhospitable sales people. 

After 4 hours over 2 sessions she still doesn't have her new phone.  She's uncertain if her order has actually been cancelled or if her upgrade is still valid.  She's been home for 90 minutes; she's still vibrating.


We tried to order dinner, once the baby's sleep schedule precluded going out.  Our first choice is closed on Sundays, which we remembered only afer organizing our order.  Our second choice was unaceptable to one of us, our third choice was unacceptable to another.  

No one wanted me to make grilled cheese or omelets.  We balked at paying an exorbitant price for delivery.  We settled on Italian that we'll pick up in half an hour.  

It only took us 45 minutes from What should we have to dinner to placing the order.  I'm very hungry right now.


The Cornell Club held our annual holiday luncheon today.  The Arizona Women's Chorus entertained us.  We've never had a performance before.  

It was the same people in the same setting, all of us dressed to the nines.  It's always a lovely event.  This year, listening to beautiful music and participating in an Arizona themed sing along of The 12 Days of Christmas before singing the Alma Mater with professionals joining in - this year was very special.


Friends have been checking in as the brownies are received.  My favorite story so far :

A group of men have been having lunch together for many years.  The conversation over those years has concentrated on politics, travel, family, books, and sports.  As they've aged, they've instituted a new rule - the first 10 minutes are devoted to body parts.  Once those minutes have passed, there's no complaining about doctors or aches or pains.

I can think of a number of spaces in my life where that rule might also make sense. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Admirable Women

 Linda's comment on yesterday's post got me thinking.  As I replied to her, I often think about the grown ups I admired as a kid.

Mrs. Kleiner, my 4th grade teacher, who was on her fourth career when we met.  She was a scientist.  She was engaging and funny and thoughtful and kind.  Mostly, I remember that I wanted to be her when I grew up.  

I wanted to be a person who did many things and who loved them all.  I wanted to learn something new every day.  I wanted to be happy in my work.  She was all of those things.  They felt right to me then and still do, today.  

There was Patty's mom, the Playground Lady.  That was her title.  For me, she was a sanctuary.  Kids were not nice to me sometimes.  There was no place to hide.  I'd have been happy in a corner with a book, but that wasn't an option.  A big piece of Grandma's Garden springs from that feeling.  No one will bother you if you want to sit and think, or draw, or read.  

And, like the Playground Lady, I'm always glad to see you, and I'm happy to have you talk to me as she made sure the girls stayed on the girls' side and the boys stayed on the boys' side (it was the 1950's) or now, as I keep the gardening tools from causing havoc.  

I wish I had told them all of that.  Linda's lucky that her Campfire Girl did.