Archive for July, 2007

A lovely weekend… for most of us.

Sunday, July 29th, 2007


It’s been a lovely weekend here in Our Fair City. Saturday morning, Tilt and Zag and Prize and I headed out to the Thomas W. Danehy Park, a recent discovery. It’s a really nice park, big and well-maintained, with lots of different kinds of sports fields, several playgrounds, and tons of picnic tables. We discovered that the corner of the park closest to us has a really terrific, big playground for young kids, just right for Zag. After a happy (though somewhat hot!) hour playing there, we bundled everyone off to our next adventure: washing Prize at the Laundromutt. (more…)

Necessity is the parent of invention.

Thursday, July 26th, 2007


Being a parent makes you get resourceful. I’ve really been noticing this lately, in interactions with our two-year-old, Zagazoo, whose increasingly strong opinions and growing vocabulary make him a more and more formidable opponent. This morning we drove up to Lynn to visit friends, and went to the beach near their house. A couple of minor incidents really exercised my parent-brain. (more…)

Hiking the Ike

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007


That’s not some common catchphrase, I just made it up. Soundtrack for this post: Jonathan Coulton’s Ikea song.

Zag and I and our friend M went to Ikea today. We felt we had the requisite courage, fortitude, determination, and dough, so we girded our loins and set out. It was a great day to go – it was very quiet there, which made the shopping much easier and calmer.

Easier and calmer, mind you, not easy and calm. (more…)

Beverly, Beverly, Beverly.

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

When I was two or three, my mother had a dream about our budgerigar of the time, whose name was Bob. In the dream, Bob had suddenly acquired the gift of speech, and was cheefully telling her, “Hi, my name is Beverly! You thought my name was Bob, but it’s actually Beverly. Beverly, Beverly, Beverly. Beverly, Beverly, Beverly, Beverly.” Etc. Upon waking, she readily identified this as a dream about having a young child that starts to TALK, and then won’t shut up… (more…)

Why exactly do we pray to You, again?

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Zag has this Sesame Street electronic baby toy, with Elmo and Cookie Monster on it, and about twenty different buttons and knobs that all make different sounds. We keep it in the car for car play, so it retains some novelty, and so we don’t have to listen to it in the house all the time.

On Wednesday of this past week, I had an important meeting with someone to talk over a somewhat awkward situation that had arisen between us. The conversation went very well and all is now resolved. But I was very nervous, driving over to the meeting. I practiced talking through what I had to say, then I offered up a heartfelt little prayer to God to help me speak clearly, and help us understand one another, and bring us to reconciliation.

Just as I said my quiet “Amen,” the car went over a bump or something and joggled the Sesame Street toy, which quacked twice, then gave a Cookie Monster chuckle. “Quack, quack! Heh, heh, heh.”

Do you ever get the feeling that God doesn’t take your problems very seriously?

For those whose work is invisible

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

There’s a prayer by Mary Gordon in a book of spiritual writing I have, with the same title as this post. It reads, in part:

For those who paint the undersides of boats, makers of ornamental drains on roofs too high to be seen; for cobblers who labor over inner soles; for seamstresses who stitch the wrong sides of linings; for scholars whose research leads to no obvious discovery…. For all those whose work is for Your eye only, who labor for Your entertainment or their own, who sleep in peace or do not sleep in peace, knowing that their effects are unknown. Protect them from downheartedness and from diseases of the eye. Grant them perseverance, for the sake of Your love which is humble, invisible and heedless of reward.

I’ve loved this prayer for a long time, and I thought of it when I decided I wanted to write a post in praise of Anthea Bell.


How to overthrow the government

Monday, July 16th, 2007

The trip was wonderful. We drove up Saturday afternoon, after my first volunteer shift at the Local Underwhelming Thrift Shop – I’ll have to post about that, maybe after my next shift this coming Saturday. It’s about a four-hour drive up to northern Vermont, but a beautiful drive – trees and mountains and a beautiful sky. Zag slept for about half the drive, and was a very good sport for the rest of it – he spent a lot of time doodling on his Magnadoodle – that thing is worth its weight in gold. We reached our campground, at Maidstone State Park, around 6pm. We’d scored a lakeside campground, with a little path going 15 feet down to our own tiny, tiny private beach, with big rocks and crystal-clear lake water.




Friday, July 13th, 2007

We’re trying to act like it’s summer, here in Our Fair City. Wednesday morning I discovered I wanted to get out of the house, and in fact, I was seized with a desire to see the ocean. We live on the coast here – Cambridge is only a few miles from open ocean – but it’s hard to keep in mind, because there’s so much city between here and there. I pulled out our copy of Car-Free in Boston and looked up Beaches, and discovered that there’s a beach, Carson Beach, just a short walk away from the JFK/UMass stop on our own Red Line. (more…)

This is how over knitting I am.

Monday, July 9th, 2007


I was kinda into knitting for a while. I was even learning to do socks, and occasionally contemplating trying a sweater. Then, the winter Zag was zero, about a year and a half ago, it dawned on me that I could spend three or four hours knitting and make a really cute little baby winter hat, or I could spend fifteen or twenty minutes sewing on my very nice sewing machine and make a really cute little baby hat. I’ve sewn a lot since then, and knit very little.

I’m still keeping some particularly useful/precious/interesting yarns, in case the knitting bug comes around again (possibly after I’m finished having small children in the house?), and I still go peer at Knitty every now and then because it’s fun. But apparently I’m not sufficiently invested in the well-being of my yarn stash to prevent my two-year-old from having a really good time with it.

I did, however, eventually make him put on a diaper… no more bare-bottomed dubiously-potty-trained yarn fun…

Quick thrift blogging

Sunday, July 8th, 2007


Sorry about the Friday night whining. The rest of the weekend was pleasant, apart from some wrangling over sleep with Zag. This afternoon I snuck off while Tilt was putting him down for his nap (… Tilt knew I was going; I wasn’t that sneaky) and drove up to the Davis Square Goodwill. (more…)