Sunday, July 24, 2011


Couldn't this be Hank?
My brother David and his wife Katie are having their baby today. Like, she's working on it right now, while I get to sit here drinking coffee and wearing pants. As we say in the South, let's love on her. Go Kate go!

I took a picture of this picture of my brother when I was at my parents' house in Florida this past week. I can't believe how much the little David looks like Hank. I also can't believe that little boy is having his own little boy. It's babies having babies!

The due date was almost two weeks ago, so this wait has given everyone in the family time to get into an utter tizzy. It has invaded our collective dream life. The other day I posted on Katie's facebook wall:
I had a dream in which I was driving you around to yard sales in an attempt to get your labor started. I don't know if that would work, really.
Then Dave texted me:
Had a dream that you were excited about the baby and sorta roughed me up. 
Okay, that was weird. So this baby needs to get here quick, and/or we need a psychoanalyst who can help us sort through our issues.

And then Amy told me, "We're getting a nephew and we never got a nephew at the same time before!" Which I had not thought of. She and I each have a nephew, but it is not the same nephew. This baby boy will be both our nephew and will be auntie double-teamed by us.

The other day on the phone, Katie said she was waiting and trying not to get discouraged, and I thought, "Why would she be discouraged?" Then I remembered, in a flash, how it felt when I was waiting for Hank, who was induced ten days post-date. Have you experienced this? I got to this weird point where it's like I thought the baby would never be born. It was disheartening. It's just a hard time, those last weeks and days. And it turned out he was just lying up in there getting huge. Hank weighed 9.5 pounds. (My midwife was some kind of wizard and we'll leave it at that.)

So I just got back from Florida with the kids late last night, and I'll have more reportage soon, and right now my parents are heading north somewhere on I-95 to go see the baby, and we four are all trying to get out the door to go to the mountains for one last bit of vacation, but I am totally distracted and useless thinking about this baby. Get here, baby!

Will keep you posted. I hope y'all are having a good weekend.

The World's Worst Blogger

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Over a Barrel

Geez. A friend asked "How is your car?" today and I realized I forgot to tell you. When last we spoke, our Jetta wagon was in the shop up in North Carolina and I was stranded up there (the horror) waiting for it. They had quoted a price of $914 to fix it. Then Matt called them and did his thing, a thing he describes as "mumblebuzzing around," and they took off a couple hundred bucks. He told them to go ahead and fix it; it was to be ready last Friday.

Friday came and Jenni and her family arrived. Yay! Matt was coming back up that night to commence another weekend of fun. I had managed to forget all about the Jetta. Then Matt called and said, "You won't believe this."

When somebody says "You won't believe this," it is almost never something unbelievably good. He told me that the car people called him and said that after fixing the other thing they discovered that the water pump was also bad and it would be another $600-something to fix.  He sputtered. They amended that to $500 and said the car wouldn't be ready until the next Tuesday.


Anyway, Tuesday turned into today, and they've called to tell us the car is ready. We're not in NC, but we will be heading up tomorrow with yet more friends, so we'll redeem it then. We are spending an assload of money on that car and it was not money I'd planned to spend.  Hate that but oh well, fine, GAH!

This falls into the category of Problems That Money Can Fix. It's the other category that really gets you.

We had a super time with our company, though, even though the view was disgracefully hazy and the dog might have licked some of the graham crackers we were making s'mores with. We went tubing and read magazines, and we watched True Grit, which was great if a little mannered in that Coen Brothers way. The kids got along beautifully, and I saw a Scarlet Tanager. Which is a bird.

Hope you're staying cool. Smacks!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Waiting for the fireworks to start.
 It had been several weeks since we'd had some mountain time, so we came up to North Carolina for the weekend. There were no big plans. We picked some blackberries and made a cobbler. We got some chigger bites. I started reading that book The Passage. We waited for rabbits to come out. At night we chatted, played games, or I watched "The Wire." You know I brought those DVD's with me. I also brought my workout DVD with me but I'd rather you didn't mention it.

For one outing we went up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to this place called Graveyard Fields--way less grim than it sounds--and played in the river. Those swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls are some of my favorite places to observe humanity in all its variety. And I must say, Graveyard Fields attracts a better class of waterfall enthusiast, because I saw not a single disposable diaper or beer can floating in the water. It was a beautiful day. 

Then we piled in the jeep and staked out a spot in Dillsboro for the town's fireworks display. They were being shot off from the quarry on the side of a mountain. We spread out a blanket and waited expectantly with our beer and lemonade. And waited. It grew dark, then darker. In true mountain fashion, the show did not begin until ten o'clock. I mean, what's your dang hurry? They were very respectable fireworks for a little town too.

Then, right after the show, Matt set off for Atlanta. We had brought both our cars up here, and he needed to work on Tuesday morning. But he wasn't far down the road, and we weren't back to the house yet, when he called us to say the car was overheating, despite the fluids being fine, and he was parked at a motel on the side of the highway. We took the kids home, then Dad and I went out find Matt. I gave him our van to drive home, and Dad carefully drove our wagon to a repair place in town. By then it was about midnight, so we parked it there and headed home. Anyway, logistics, blah blah, car trouble.

All of that is say that, the next day, the repair shop called and said that it would cost $914 to fix what is wrong with the car, which may be the radiator fan and/or its control module. When I heard that number, it caused two chocolate-covered graham crackers to fly into my mouth. Just fly straight in there.

Today Matt is in negotiations with the car people. He texted me and said, "They are calling me back, they might be 'getting me a discount.'" And I said, "Good, because I am 'running out of graham crackers.'"

Anymahoodle, the kids and I are installed at the mountain house, waiting for the car to be fixed, but now I think we'll just stay here until Jenni and her crew arrive on Friday. I was coming back up this coming weekend anyway, and luckily this was a week with no appointments and no plans. Oh well. I could be in the steaming Atlanta suburbs, driving Laura to daily swim practice, but instead I'm here at Mom and Dad's, where the scenery is beautiful and they get up with the kids every day. There are worse places to be stranded. Way worse. The only problem is that I have to come to the public library to blog, which is where I'm a' bloggin' from right now.

I'm a' wishin' you a calm week with a pleasant post-holiday glow and no chiggers.