Old Friends, Sad Occasion

Today I went up to the Appleton area (again) for a funeral (again).   This one was for my friend, Amy, who lost her twin babies, Samuel Adrian and Sophia Maria.  They were born too soon.  It was a clear and sunny day, if cold.  There was a short service inside and then a procession to the gravesite.  A small pickup truck stood parked by the grave.  It was such a small perfect rectangular hole.  I did not realize at first that the truck contained earth and shovels to cover the grave with.   There is something so primeval about throwing dirt down a hole, so very final.  What undid me was Maddie, Amy’s seven-year-old niece, taking a shovel and throwing the dirt down too.  So, needless to say, it was very sad.

We went out to lunch afterwards and had a really good lunch.  Even though I had been so sad for Amy, it was so very good to see her again.  I miss her, now that she lives so far away.  I found my mind wandering to how complex life and love was.  I watched Leon playing with Maddie, picking her up, like any normal uncle.  It made me happy to see Maddie still be a girl too, I could almost imagine what Rowan will be like at 7.  I could see the common genes in Amy’s family, several of them looked alike.  All brought together by this common sadness, other complexities forgotten to be a family as one.

It made me think of all the unsurfaced stories that lie beneath people, and of how we can be sad to say goodbye, yet fall into living again despite our best intentions.


Today went much better than yesterday, thank god.  I made turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and a broccoli-cheese side dish.  Oh yes, and slightly burnt cranberry sauce, oh I mean “carmelized cranberry sauce”.  I added a bit of sherry, some orange juice, and a little more sugar and Iain said he couldn’t tell the difference.

We had 8 total, which is a pretty workable number.   Leif was a great help in cleaning up this morning, especially as I was tied up making the food.

I have a lot to be thankful for, but I need some change in my life too.   I have some stuff in my life to work through.


You know how I said Monday Rowan had a breakdown?  Well, tonight was my turn.  I just haven’t been myself lately.  It’s not like I’m miserable–just kind of down.  I try to remain optimistic, but sometimes it’s just hard to always be optimistic.

It’s hard to put it all into words.  I know part of it the dark.  Yes, despite my goth leanings I don’t like not seeing the sun–ever.  I feel lonely and disconnected.  I hate that there are some constant things about myself that I don’t like and I find it really hard to change those things.  I hate feeling poor. I hate that there are choices I don’t get to make.  This whole thing with the roof sort of shook me, the amount of debt I’m in.  I feel like I tried to do the good thing–I went to college, I got a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, and it’s still not enough.  When will it be enough?

Last night, I dreamed I was in Hell.  Like supposedly the real thing, except it was a school.  (Well, I guess high school was as close to Hell as I have ever been.)  There were two other girls with me, also being judged.  And when I got the verdict that I was going to eternal damnation, I picked up a box of doughnuts and threw it at God.  It was one of those clear plastic boxes, and the doughnuts went everywhere (Am I subconsciously equating God with a cop?)  My mom would be so happy that I had a dream like that, probably take it as a sign from the real God that that’s where I’m going.


So last night was apparently meltdown night.  Rowan had been tired (we all have been) but usually she has swimming lessons on Monday.  I decided not to take her as a) she didn’t want to go and b) I figured she could use extra sleep.  Of course, instead she had a big tantrum and got no extra sleep.   If fact, she was misbehaving so bad we did not read any stories, not pretty.

However, even though she was mad, I try to remain calm so she knows that I still love her, even if she won’t get what she wants.  Long story short, when she finally realized the night was over and there would be no story or snuggling in the living room, she wanted me to sing to her, which was fine.  However, my repetoire is fairly limited, but having taken 5 years of french I know “Alouette.”  In case you’re unfamiliar, here are the words:

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai la tête
Je te plumerai la tête
Et la tête, et la tête
Alouette, Alouette
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

The english translation is “Lark, gentle lark, lark, I will pluck you.  I will pluck your head (la tête)” and then you add in all sorts of different body parts for variety.  Yes, it’s another classic children’s song in the vein of death and dismemberment, like “Ashes, Ashes”.

Anyway, Rowan was getting a kick out of the French words for head, nose (le nez) and mouth (la bouche).  I couldn’t remember any more, but I found these great suggestions:
La tête – the head
Le nez – the nose
Les yeux – the eyes
Le cou – the neck
Les ailes – the wings
Le dos – the back
Les pattes – the legs
Le queue – the tail

Filipino Limes

Joel brought me another bag of filipino limes! I’m so excited, they are so cute and smell heavenly. Here is the list of things I could make with the limes:

  • Key lime pie, except it would be Filipino lime pie
  • Lime liqueur
  • Candied lime
  • Fabulous mojitos (except it would make a lot)

I need to go out and buy some more mason jars. . .

Cooking Sunday

Tomorrow there’s a Thanksgiving Lunch at Rowan’s daycare and I signed up to make cranberry sauce.  Cranberry sauce is so easy though, so I decided to make cranberry liqueur and soft pretzels too.  Cooking Light had a cranberry liqueur in their magazine ages ago, and I’ve always wanted to try, but it takes a month to brew.  This time, as it’s Thanksgiving and the fresh cranberries are out I decided to get cracking so that it will be ready for Christmas.  I’m excited!

And the soft pretzels were just because I missed girl night where Alex had made some before leaving.  I guess I felt deprived.  😉

2 Chairs done!

Well, I finally got the kitchen chairs done!  I had to dismember the original seat cushion b/c I put it on wrong, but it’s fixed now.  I have to ScotchGuard them and then maybe make seat covers.  They have already been cat-approved, and apparently are also good for singing.  When I brought them home, Rowan stood on the stacked pile of them and sang straight for at least a half-hour.  She does love to sing.  Anyway, I will have to post pics soon.

Next project:  dining room chairs and the friendship pillow (sounds sappy, but I don’t have a better name for it.)