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Bananas and Schadenfreude

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At the Bike Races

My house is cleaned, when it is cleaned, by three fabulous women. I believe this is for the best, because it’s not really a job for a single individual, particularly not one who is easily daunted. It is certainly not a job for me. Last week, these women went on vacation. All together, along with the other four women that make up this cleaning company. Packed their bags and headed to Disney. Before they left, Lori (who’s in charge, at […]

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On Gratitude, the Media, and Michael Jackson

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The Draft Card

I just heard one Elaine Donnelly from the Center for Military Readiness describe, for NPR listeners, exactly why it’s important that Congress pass a bill codifying Defense Department policy which excludes women from units which participate in direct armed conflicts. Before we get to Ms. Donnelly, why is this happening now? Pentagon policy also excludes women from units which “collocate routinely” (that is to say, move) with combat units, and apparently there’s a sense that in Iraq, units including women […]

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Mice Are SO Not My Department

Sam and I were cleaning out the car today, while Lily climbed around among all the debris we’d removed from our own little Tobacco Road. I was clearing receipts, wrappers and toy bits from the front console and Sam was vacuuming Lily’s car seat when, over the roar of the wet/dry vac, I hear “Something’s really scaring me, Mommy!” There’s an undertone of panic, and I move fast. On the ground, in front of the vacuum I see a small, […]

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I Do Not Want to Talk on the Phone

I am a bad person with a massive guilt complex, but I rarely return phone calls. I do not like them. They require too much real-time presence, and the only time I have any real-time presence to give is, generally, at night after bed time, a time I devote to a) recovering and b) novel writing. I am so protective of my time. I feel like it’s a slippery eel, always swimming away from me as I grab after it […]

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Uh-Oh, the End Approaches

The end of the year, and I am not finished with my draft. The holidays gained momentum and then overtook. But I still maintain hope. 5 days remain. 5 days in which to draft…well, to be honest, I haven’t counted, and I don’t think I will. But I’m off, now, to see if I can’t manage maybe just one scene before bed. Just one, just one, just one small scene. Even half a scene is far better than none.

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Again! again!

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Hoo, Boy (although Hoo, Girl is Probably More Apt

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Protected: How Not to Be a Novelist

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Happy hAlloween!

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I think the fish (and I) have turned a corner.

Well, we lost three more of the total 7 fish that were living in our tank–all three “zippys”. We’ve lost 6 fish so far. There will be no more new fish in this aquarium until all spots are gone and the remaining fish have managed not to die for at least two weeks. BUT…it’s a little too soon to say, but Goldie and Stripey (the original fish) are looking better, and LIghtening, whom I’d long since given up as a […]

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Lily and emily on the “caramel”

Lily and emily on the "caramel" Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ

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As American as Apple Pie, Bloody Skeletons and Machine Guns

I let Sam watch the first half of the first inning of the World Series tonight. A lot of the kids in his class are talking about it (we’re close to Boston and this is definitely Red Sox nation). It took 45 minutes of pregame to get to the batters. There were 8 or 10 rounds of commercials. The first one was funny and we both loved it so much we went back to see it again–a guy and some […]

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Lily eats ice cream

Lily eats ice cream Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

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In Praise of Wyatt (Why not?)

OK, Wyatt is exceptional. And in the interest of bringing everyone around to my way of thinking, let me just share some of the cute and brilliant things he’s said in the past couple of days–two weeks shy of his second birthday (because there’s nothing more fascinating than stories about the cute things my kid said, is there?) He and Lily were playing Hide and Seek. He found her, and there was much giggling, and he said “I thought you […]

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Happy Spring! (That’s Sarcasm)

Can I just say that I hope this is our annual spring snowstorm…although I’m a little concerned, because in other years that’s been in April. I am so not used to being a New Englander. I think April, I think grass and crocuses. Oh well. Blew it on the thirty minutes today. Had it all blocked out in the calendar–it was supposed to happen at the library while we waited for Lily at a birthday party in town (Holly was […]

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Before

Before Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

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At EAA

At EAA Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia (Please attribute any drastic spelling and punctuation errors to my poor thumb-typing and creative autocorrect.)

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Pure blog

Hi– I’m feeling frustrated tonight–turned a piece in to a new editor and definitely did not hit the ball out of the park. It’s not that it needs revising–of course it needs revising, we’ve never worked together before–it’s that when I reread it, even I can see that it needs revising. I got so caught up in the word count that I seem to have taken out all of the content. Ugh. But I am a professional, and I will […]

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Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing Originally uploaded by kjda. KJ Dell’Antonia

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Impossible! Improbable! Ridiculous! (but true?)

You Wan lives in a foster home in China–and I found her. As in, I found the foster home, online. I found pictures of her. I found out more about her than I ever thought I’d know at all, let alone before we went to China to get her. Chalk it up to the magic of Google. Wan’s file has been in China since 2007, when someone, somewhere, declared her ready for adoption. The latest information we had dated back […]

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Goin’ Local

I’ve got about 1/2 an hour this morning before I go relieve Rob at TMO (Wyatt’s pre-preschool, where somebody has to be the parent volunteer). He’s #3 to go through it, and we–along with the five other families in the class with #3–finally figured out (or maybe that should be I finally figured out) that if you split the morning it’s actually kind of fun. Anyway, I popped in for my treat of the week: one Lou’s chocolate cruller. It […]

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The Double Trailer Bike

Today we acquired a–doubly used–double trailer bike. Also known as a double tag-a-long bike. In essence, it’s a tandem tag-a-long, because the riders must pedal in unison (although not with the adult doing the pulling). We are, collectively, very, very thrilled. We–in the form of me, Lily and Sam–tried it out, for all of a block. A great deal of core strength is required to keep us upright, so I feel this will be very good for me, although I […]

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Travel Approval, New Job, Great Day

We just got our travel approval from China–and I just became the kids’ media reviewer for Double X (part of Slate). A double good news whammy. FAQS: When do you travel? We won’t know until Monday, because of the Dragon Boat festival. I would be more resentful, but I happen to love dragon boats! I’d guess we’ll be gone the second half of June. What’s this job thing? I’ll be doing all the kids’ media reviews for doubleX. It’s a […]

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Update

It’s 6:00 on what’s the Chinese friday–they don’t take Saturday off. They do have Sunday off. There’s been no word on our swabs. We hope they’ve decided not to tell us they were negative, because they think we’re going to start fussing about leaving, and we were very difficult about the hotel thing. They don’t, we suspect, want to come to back to us–although I’ve no doubt that if one of us is positive, we’re going down. But I think […]

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In Which Rob Tests Negative

Finally, way later than we expected this afternoon, Rob got his results back from yesterday. H1n1 no longer courses weakly through his veins. One more negative–as in, the results from today’s test–and he can, as he so elegantly put it (with all due respect, I’m sure) “blow this kung pao stand.”

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500 Buddhas

I overheard our guide explaining that each of the 500 Buddhas represented a different emotion, and that if there was a particular state of mind you were struggling with, you were supposed to do–something or another–with that Buddha. I didn’t catch what, nor am I sure what the significance of some of the more mustachio’d Buddhas would have been, emotion-wise. But whatever it was, I should have done it with the impatient looking Buddha, and the Buddha who couldn’t enjoy […]

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A dilemma

So. It’s 9:15. I’m bitterly exhausted. Tomorrow is…another day, another day, another day. Another day feeding them, talking to them, tending them, wiping them. Another day. If I go to bed now I’m likely to get some sleep. I will be more rested for them. But the day will come…sooner. And there I will be.

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Alone with the Needy

All night I’ve been thinking–who can I get to hang out with us tomorrow morning? No babysitting Thursday mornings, see, and I’m faced with three hours alone with the dynamic duo, waiting to pick up Lily. Alone, in the house, with Mr. Mario Cart and Miss I Want Scissors I Want Painting I Want Coloring. Actually, both of those activities are fine, as they are individual and require nothing from me except, you know, something about every ten minutes, or […]

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Lily Swam Across the Pool!

Lily Swam Across the Pool! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Double X on the Double Standard

Today’s Double X post actually has to do with parenting and kids–something I usually don’t talk about there. Anyone else notice that people responded to the suggestion that the CDC might recommend circumcision for boys in a VERY different way than they responded to the recommendation of the HPV vaccine for girls? To vent about the double standard, head over to Double X.

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Take One of Me Too!

Take One of Me Too! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Best View in Town

Best View in Town Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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An Afternoon of Indulgence

An Afternoon of Indulgence Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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The Garden Produce Project

Our garden is done for the year, except for a few pumpkins that refused to turn orange (our plan is to spray paint them in glitter and go all Martha Stewart on their asses). The productive harvest is in the house. Tonight we ate soup made with the beans we grew (the shelling kind, not green beans) which was unfortunately not very good, though the beans themselves were delicious. Two ham hocks=too salty for one soup. (Good biscuits tho!) And […]

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And they’re off…

And they’re off… Originally uploaded by kjda Trick or Treating: Not My Department KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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The Big Green Womens Hockey Team

The Big Green Womens Hockey Team Originally uploaded by kjda And their many many fans. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Originally uploaded by kjda Well, ok, that’s a Christmas tree. Which we put up, because yesterday we actually had time to do it, and not in between rushing to one thing and racing off to another. Of course, one reason that we can do that is that what you see there is a big ole FAKE tree. Yep, right here in New England. I grew up in the south, with a very practical mother and an allergy to […]

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New Years Resolution 1

New Years Resolution 1 Originally uploaded by kjda The kids get more chores. Christmas is a good time to be reminded of the abundance that we share…and also of the work that goes into it. It’s time, I think, to get more help (and accept some imperfections…). I know, the most common kid-related resolutions must be stuff like “spend more time with them” or “yell less” (made that one, anyway) and “have more patience” (ditto). But we have had such […]

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Oh, I Wish I Were an Anonymous Blogger….

There have been many, many times here when I’ve wished for anonymity. Such rich veins of commentary as would open up to me! Such rants I could post about various and sundry things that I CANNOT EVEN MENTION HERE EVEN A LITTLE BIT! Ok, so MPHOLLYPMHRPYLL MURPH MURPH Tempest, teapot MUMBLE MUTTER GRUPM GRIPE darn it I really can’t even get any more specific MRPHO MRPH just wrong. Also, helicopters.

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They Take Mardi Gras Seriously Here

They Take Mardi Gras Seriously Here Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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About to race!

About to race! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Housekeeping

It’s getting pretty deep around here–meaning that our many belongings are gathering forces in various piles and preparing to take over the house, or at least the space we would prefer to use to walk it. I meant to deal with it this afternoon, but my lovely friend Mimi invited me over to drink Sangria and watch the kids play in the sprinkler instead, and–well, at least when we’re not some, what already IS clean stays clean! But this weekend […]

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A Gnome!

A Gnome! Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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How You Want Your Kids to Behave in Publiv

How You Want Your Kids to Behave in Publiv Originally uploaded by kjda I have concluded that, if you just keep taking them and taking them and taking them, eventually–maybe one in four times–you get a decent result. I guess the hope is that eventually the ratio improves. Of course, this is the third lacrosse game in three days, and I am sitting here typing, so I am probably not behaving that well myself. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Fall Guy

Fall Guy Originally uploaded by kjda This is a little suction cup guy we have had for at least eight years. Isn’t it funny how some things just stick around? I am a big purger of things, but somehow, some stuff sticks. (I am thinking, for example, of the ancestral family beach towels. I have beach towels that I’ve had since I was five.) Bear with me, I do have a point. At mile 28 or so today, Sam’s wheel […]

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9 year olds still love playgrounds

9 year olds still love playgrounds Originally uploaded by kjda Sam is always the one on the sports field and never has time for the playground. We were going to the pool, but it’s 70 and mildly drizzly…perfect playground weather, really. And without Lily, our threesome tension is loosened…I am sure Wy and Rory will find something to argue about soon, but they haven’t yet. Sam just finished his last of three straight weeks of camp. Too much, in a […]

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Could Schools Alone Protect Afghanistan’s Women?

Time magazine’s cover for the week of Aug. 9 shows a young woman, Aisha, who had her ears and nose cut off by the Taliban for fleeing an abusive husband. Time managing editor Richard Stengal says Aisha “wants the world to see the effect a Taliban resurgence would have on the women of Afghanistan, many of whom have flourished in the past few years.” No Westerner, seeing this picture, could want anything but to promote an Afghanistan in which this […]

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Life Lessons: When a Mistake Costs the Game

If you’re a golf fan (and even if you’re not) Dustin Johnson inadvertently provided you with a great “teachable moment”during Sunday’s PGA championship. If you missed it (or just don’t do golf), Johnson was leading the field on the 18th hole when his tee shot fell slightly to the right of the fairway, into a “bunker” (that’s a sand trap) that had been “walked on, kicked and trampled by thousands of fans over the last week,” as HuffPo’s Nancy Armour […]

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