Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Scout was born in 1995 in the closet of my home on Grim Street in North Park. He was the most outgoing of the litter and so therefore an obvious "keeper". Like his mother, Sunflower, and siblings, he loved people and never passed up an opportunity to get some love from someone. Before he was even full-grown, he had my neighbors convinced he was a stray and worthy of their morning cereal milk. What a stinker!

For some crazy reason, he used to jump up onto the sink when I was in the shower and paw at the shower curtain. More than once, he decided to jump up to the shower curtain rod and teeter around for a few moments. I easily imagined the chaos that would erupt if he fell into the shower on me. Yikes!

He was an avid hunter and I enjoyed watching him sit very still under the bird bush for hours, ignoring even the shaking of the treat can, until it filled up with unsuspecting chirping morsels. In fact, he loved being outdoors so much he chipped his front two canine teeth jumping out my second story window onto the driveway below (on two separate occasions!). After our move to our Alabama Street home, he still managed to bag a bird from the safety of his screened patio every now and then.

In our new house, Scout took immense pleasure in tormenting his new roommate Beck, got stuck in the walls and crawlspace during our varied construction projects, and took every opportunity to make a run for it when a door was left open a crack.

I'll never forget the look on his face when we brought Jacob home from the hospital. He ran over to sniff that strange creature in the baby carrier and then gave me a look that said "just try to replace me." In the end, he was surprisingly tolerant of the arrival of the babies, enjoying their warm cribs every chance he got. As toddlers, they each got their fair share of swats and bites but they learned how to treat animals with respect and love. I think they thought of him a just another brother.

Our beloved cat Scout died January 20, 2008 after a mercifully short battle with cancer of the liver. Although 12.5 years seems so short now, and I really expected him to live forever, he had a very good life and was a truly remarkable cat.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My (Other) Important Child

The important thing about our child is that he loves his family.
It is true that he is energetic and independent.
He can kick a soccer ball in the sun or play chess for fun.
He pets the cats - imagine that!
He skis in the snow and surfs with his bro.
He likes to make sweets and good things to eat.
An he is quick like a bug to enjoy a group hug.
But the important thing about our child is that he loves his family.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Break: Then and Now

Since I always like to hear about what my friends are doing to make their lives more interesting, then I guess it is only fair I write about what I am doing to my my own life more interesting.

Well, ...

Man, this is just so sad.

Remember when you were a kid and summer vacation held all the promise in the world? It was like warmth and freedom and bare feet and chlorine all wrapped into one glorious event that took
f  o   r   e   v   e   r   to happen. And then when it did it was actually more like a whole lot of Price Is Right and "read a book for god's sakes and get out of this house before I..." Slam goes the back door and boy, its really hot out here - where are my shoes? and when the heck is Julie coming home from her road trip to Tennessee?...

Sorry, I digress. So this summer I am actually going to do interesting things (while still working just enough to retain my awesome job) like: take a backpacking trip with the gals and go on a road trip with the kids. We are going to spend whole chuncks of time totally barefoot! And when the house is too hot, we will be sitting in the shade at the park or camping near a high-elevation lake, sipping lemonade, eating deli sandwiches, and roasting s'mores.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Grand Plié

When I first sat down to write this post, I had just come home from my first ballet class in over thirty years. It was going to be a funny piece about how I had dressed like Punky Brewster in a class among black-leotarded women. How they wore their hair in neat little buns: I had mine in pigtails. They are cutely athletic: Let’s just say I am not and leave it at that. Once we actually started dancing it didn’t get any better. After losing my balance spinning across the room I remembered why I’d quit ballet as a child. Imagine Hagrid in a tutu in a china shop. In draft format this post was funny.

Now here I am, four weeks into the class. I’ve been working hard, lots of sweating. The teacher is the company principal - Russian accent and all. I was starting to think this wasn’t as funny as it is really really good for me.

And then I went to class tonight. Tonight a huge group of new students joined the class. Most of them are clearly not beginner dancers. All of them are pretty and delicate. They smiled and had fun, even with legs up on the barre. They were wearing makeup. I totally fell apart. I couldn’t remember the combinations. I mixed up my pliés and relevés. I’ll spare all the gory details but the story ends with me quitting the class in tears and a silent vow not to return.

A pint of Ben & Jerry’s later and I’m ready to dig into the meat of what the heck happened tonight. Why did I let myself be shaken so badly? This is not the first time I’ve stood out for being the big klutzy girl. I’m fairly sure I wasn’t upset by the realization that I make for a shitty ballerina. I was only hoping to get stronger toes out of the class, after all. Tonight I found myself sitting in my car bawling my eyes out and wishing I were a better artist, photographer, soccer player, runner, pianist, student, mother, and even dancer. And really, is it so bad to want to be good at something? I don’t think so.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


The perfect way to go shopping without spending a cent.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

If A Woodchuck Could Chuck

Sadly, last month our passes to the science museum expired. Ever since I was a kid, I've loved that place. Around every corner lies the possibility of new discovery. Even familiar objects take on a mysterious quality amongst the scientific gadgetry.

My kids tend to gravitate towards button-pushing exhibits and things that need to be built. It's who they are.

This is my awesome builder son the eldest frantically warning me not to take his picture. "It's not ready yet!!!" He's a perfectionist like his dad. One thing about me - 85% is plenty good enough.

Here's the other one, proudly displaying his work.

Sneak peak!

"Now it's okay, mom."

The woodchucks might be envious.

Friday, July 2, 2010

No Vacancy

For some reason, I only pictured the day some creature moved into the owl box as a joyfully happy one. I kinda thought we might have a party, maybe even invite some rats for dinner. I clearly did not fully imagine all the tenant possibilities.

Yep, those are what they look like. Now we have an apiary and, considering that I just recently wrote to Ben & Jerry's suggesting a honey-flavored ice cream called Save the Bees (with proceeds going to bee disease research), I don't see how I can have them exterminated. Rats!!

Anyone want any bees?