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Raising Devils

Illustrating Motherlode

By KJ / Monday, July 7, 2014

An 8-year-old on an aimless Monday morning of summer break is a funny thing. Deprived of his easy weekend go-tos (wii, minecraft, TV) and not yet quite able to come up with alternatives (by weds we will be good, next Monday he’ll have forgotten again). We went for illustrating the day’s Motherlode post, with the result that you get not one, but two today. I told him the player was faking the foul. “No!” He said. “He’s really hurt.” There’s […]

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8 Things We Have Learned about Having a Pool

By KJ / Sunday, July 6, 2014

1. It’s an excellent way to acquire beach towels. 2. Ditto assorted children’s clothing and swimwear. 3. Bleach and Borax are cheaper than pool chemicals. 4. Apply before pool party, not after. 5. I don’t know where your goggles are. I don’t know where anyone’s goggles are. 6. Mmmm, pool water beats toilet water any day (that’s from our dogs). 7. Bacardi piña coladas are the way to go. 8. Am never leaving my house again. At least not this […]

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New office!

By KJ / Sunday, July 6, 2014

This is my new office. This is the view from my new office. Do note the boxes in the foreground, and the complete absence of a desktop computer, and the boxes in the background. Deal is, new desktop–when there is a top of the desk to be seen. Meanwhile, it’s a fresh office start for me! I’m unpacking.

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Favor Effectiveness over Efficiency

By KJ / Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Laura Vanderkam pointed me towards an article today that came at exactly the right time: Chasing Efficiency? You’re Wasting Your Time A few choice quotes: Nobody other than perhaps you really cares how efficient you are, but everyone cares how effective you are. Sometimes the least efficient thing can lead to the most productive outcome. A great example of this would be carving out time in your already too busy schedule to mentor someone in your organization. Clearly this endeavor […]

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Behind the Scenes at Motherlode: Sam’s Sugared Cranberries

By KJ / Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I refer to this recipe in a post on Wednesday, November 21, 2012–and I’m packing them up for the trip to Fairfax County/DC right now. Sam’s Sugared Cranberries 1 lb fresh cranberries, picked over 2 cups sugar 2 cups superfine sugar, for rolling Make simple syrup: combine 2 cups sugar with 2 cups boiling water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. (Let COOL. LET COOL. If you pour it over the cranberries now, they will burst.) Divide cranberries […]

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Clutter-free (almost) and Happier: Check

By KJ / Sunday, September 30, 2012

I didn’t want to have the toothpaste- crusted, sloppy house that i remembered visiting with dismay growing up. I wanted my mother’s pleasant, clutter- and toothpaste-stain free sanctuary.

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Full Cappelletti (or Ravioli) Recipe from Motherlode

By KJ / Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Full video and recipe for making my family’s not-so-secret cappelletti and ravioli.

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Go Shelf By Shelf and Snack By Snack: “Happier at Home” Week 2, in the Pantry

By KJ / Sunday, September 16, 2012

I cleaned my pantry. Less is more, and should the zombie apocalypse arrive, all that spaghettini will surely not save us. Bourbon, maybe, but that’s another cabinet.

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“Happier at Home:” Gretchen’s Project, KJ’s Clutter

By KJ / Sunday, September 9, 2012

Getting “happier” about my possessions means more than just clearing clutter—but I’m going to have to clear the clutter first.

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Behind the Scenes: Operation Vacation Recovery Begins

By KJ / Saturday, July 28, 2012

Where in the world is KJ? Cape Cod. Watchin’ whales, kickin’ back. Swimming pools, sand castles, the “Chatham Freeze.” It’s been a nearly completely “off” week: comments were kindly taken over by the NYT team, posts were nearly all from guests, no “quandary” last week, and thus no response. Oh, I did a few things. Someone pointed me towards a fantastic blog about twins, and I immediately snagged the writer for a contribution–I can’t wait. She and I will be […]

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Actual Mail

By KJ / Sunday, June 24, 2012

Actual Mail Originally uploaded by kjda I am so happy, and feeling yanked back to childhood, because someone-as in Ayun Halliday– sent me a big fat fabulous envelope in the mail!!!

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Farewell, Mystery Twitter Dude (Plus, How to Have a Good Birthday Party)

By KJ / Sunday, June 10, 2012

My dad just alerted me to the fact that my Twitter widget was broadcasting someone else–I changed my handle, but not the widget code, a few weeks ago and apparently this is the inevitable result: whoops! He looked like he had a very interesting life and an entirely different twitter audience than me… Today was Lily’s actual birthday, and I’m proud to say that after last year’s, which could have been used as the MTV video for “It’s My Birthday […]

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Rory apparently got someone else’s fortune

By KJ / Friday, June 1, 2012

Rory apparently got someone else’s fortune Originally uploaded by kjda

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The Perils of Hangman With 7-Year-Olds

By KJ / Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Perils of Hangman With 7-Year-Olds Originally uploaded by kjda

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Boxes

By KJ / Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Boxes Originally uploaded by kjda The worrisome thing is that all I REMEMBER ordering from the Container Store are hangers.

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10 Things Guaranteed to Send You Into a Whirling Death Spiral of Depression

By KJ / Thursday, April 5, 2012

The old guys who sit in the bookstore once a week in the morning are much older than when I used to sit here and work. And some of them are gone. Filling Easter baskets for four children. Buying three small, cheap Easter toys is fun and cute. Buying 12 is a depressing commentary on our disposable society. Any report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. They do God’s work. Never been sure why God’s work is invariably such a […]

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All the Words Rory Can Spell

By KJ / Saturday, March 31, 2012

All the Words Rory Can Spell Originally uploaded by kjda

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Today, Three Years Ago, We Told the Other Kids About Rory.

By KJ / Sunday, March 25, 2012

How do I know? Because three years ago, to the week, if not the day, it was Sam’s “Wild Mites Jamboree” which is a hockey thing, and right before we went to the rink, we lined them up on our bed and produced pictures. They were beyond thrilled. We were happy. Our biggest problem was that we hadn’t printed enough pictures, because all three of them wanted to carry all the pictures around (and they did, too, until the day […]

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Of COURSE I Can Interview Anne Lamott i/f/o the Whole Times Newsroom

By KJ / Sunday, March 18, 2012

I’m beyond thrilled about the Motherlode Book Club reading Anne and Sam Lamott’s Some Assembly Required, and ditto for the opportunity to interview them both, for a short video to be posted on the Motherlode blog. I’ve always loved Anne Lamott’s work. This follow-up to Operating Instructions is fascinating: her son had a son. At nineteen. There are so many questions to ask them both about that that the mind boggles. (The mind also notes repeated use of that in […]

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Me and Malibu Pilates. And of Course, This Week at Motherlode

By KJ / Sunday, March 11, 2012

I got sucked in by an infomercial. I haven’t exercised in months. I had pneumonia last, um, August. And although that excuse obviously eventually became somewhat less than valid (I think even the most sympathetic of us would have to agree that I am probably all rested up now). you know, one thing led to another, I finished a draft of my book, auditioned for Motherlode, took the job…I was busy, ‘kay? But inspired by a variety of things: this […]

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Behind the Scenes at Motherlode, 3/4

By KJ / Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ah, Sunday. The week always looks so CLEAN on Sunday! SO much time! So much glorious room to fill in the blog, so many great guest posts that I will so easily get to… I probably shouldn’t hold my breath, time being the slippery beast it is… Tomorrow I’ll be posting about a really interesting survey about exactly that. I interviewed Kristin van Ogtrop (whose book I love) about an upcoming story of their about women and time, and it […]

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Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 1 of 4

By KJ / Monday, February 6, 2012

Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 1 Originally uploaded by kjda You know you want some. I just made TONS. My special gift to me. Recipe below. KJ

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Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 2 of 4

By KJ / Monday, February 6, 2012

Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 2 Originally uploaded by kjda The ingredients and the caloric markup: 1 box Crispix: 1330 calories 2/3 box Wheat Chex 1100 36 g fiber 2/3 box Multi-grain Chex ditto 1 bag Spelt Pretzels 840 calories 38 g fiber 2 bags scharfenberger bittersweet choco baking chunks 680 calories 11g fiber (1360 22) 1 bag scharfenberger semisweet baking chunks 770 calories 11 g fiber 2 squares 280 calories 8 g fiber Sea salt: caloric contribution […]

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Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 3 of 4

By KJ / Monday, February 6, 2012

Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 3 Originally uploaded by kjda One large bowl: filled twice to allow room to stir, with half of all the ingredients. Don’t stress over equal chocolate distribution, it all works out in the end. I spread parchment on the counter to spread the mix out on to cool and harden. Overnight is best, but that really depends on where your cat sleeps. So, why is this so good for me? Keep reading. KJ […]

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Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 4

By KJ / Monday, February 6, 2012

Delicious Nutritious Chocolate Cereal Pretzel Mix Part 4 Originally uploaded by kjda And, finally, the nutritious part. You must understand that one reason this is nutritious, and healthful, and a serious gift to myself, is simply that every night, right around this time, my stress wires fully fired, kids plowed into bed, evening of email ahead, determined to get a little down time, I sit down on the couch and plow whatever salty thing I can find it the cabinet […]

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Party Clothes New Hampshire Style

By KJ / Saturday, February 4, 2012

Party Clothes New Hampshire Style Originally uploaded by kjda We are invited to a fantastic progressive party tonight. A full meal cooked by some of the best cooks in town. They call it "Howl at the Moon."

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Old Enough to Do What I Want

By KJ / Sunday, January 29, 2012

And what I want to do, on this beautiful, sunny, glorious, relatively warm winter afternoon is… Not ski Not take-a-walk Not sled Not cross-country ski Not hike No, I want to stay inside, bake some cookies, and lounge around with a big pile of magazines and the Sunday Times, and I am DOING IT. I do feel a little guilty. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But I feel like I should “get out there.” “Just do it.” “Get outside!” “Take advantage.” I […]

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Cause That’s Just How We Roll

By KJ / Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cause That’s Just How We Roll Originally uploaded by kjda Yeah yeah yeah, they’re late.

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I Finally Feel Like a Real Writer

By KJ / Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Finally Feel Like a Real Writer Originally uploaded by kjda Although it’s a little hard to write. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Helping the Dentist Out

By KJ / Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Helping the Dentist Out Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Fwd: Darn it

By KJ / Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fwd: Darn it Originally uploaded by kjda > > > > I forgot my skates…I will just have to sit in here and watch…with my iPad…weep for me. > > > > >

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Four Kids, No Tea

By KJ / Saturday, January 7, 2012

This afternoon Lily wanted tea. I didn’t really object to Lily having tea. I mean, it’s tea. What’s not to like? I’d even boiled the water. (For other purposes.) But if Lily has tea, Wyatt and Rory have to have tea too. And while Lily is kinda sorta capable of cleaning up the sugar she will spill, and putting the mug and spoon in the dishwwaher, Rory and Wyatt are less so. (Actually Rory is really good at the dishwasher. […]

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New Desk Ornament

By KJ / Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Desk Ornament Originally uploaded by kjda

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Happy New Year!

By KJ / Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! Originally uploaded by kjda Peace and tranquility. Temporary, but mighty precious. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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New Family Members

By KJ / Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Family Members Originally uploaded by kjda The lady I got our kitten from assured me, a novice cat owner, that all kittens come with a free companion poodle. In retrospect I can see that this must not be true, but here we are. So far, it’s the calmest transition our house has ever seen… but then, we’ve been through some doozies.

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Vertibird!

By KJ / Sunday, December 25, 2011

Vertibird! Originally uploaded by kjda Thanks to the wonders of eBay, I was able to get my Dad the same Christmas present he got me 35 years ago.. Now if only his grandson will let him play with it.

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Three Unrelated Thoughts. And a Bonus Fourth.

By KJ / Sunday, December 11, 2011

1. I am now the proud possessor of about 1/2 lb of chestnuts, officially roasted over an open fire, by me and various kids. We ate some. Thoughts? If we reheat them in an oven, do we have to change the song? 2. I can now, finally, begin opening holiday cards–because I finally ordered ours. Yesterday. I find that the guilt about not mailing them comes later. 3. I bought Lily (7) the BEST PRESENT EVER. I love it when […]

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Who Needs a Nutcracker

By KJ / Saturday, December 10, 2011

Who Needs a Nutcracker Originally uploaded by kjda Apparently not us. The blurs are rocks. My kids have gone prehistoric on me.

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It Looks Like Such a LEETLE Rock.

By KJ / Friday, December 2, 2011

It Looks Like Such a LEETLE Rock. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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It Looks Like Such a LEETLE Rock.

By KJ / Friday, December 2, 2011

It Looks Like Such a LEETLE Rock. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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GoodReads Best Books of the Year Awards

By KJ / Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Vote now for your favorite books! Let’s see, I voted for Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Sideways on a Scooter, and The Wilder Life. I was sadly unable to vote in the fiction category, because, well, it’s been a low fiction reading year (although I’m loving the short stories in If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This, and have Stephen King’s new book on my bed table in all of its rather large and daunting […]

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Dentist! No Dentist! Dentist!

By KJ / Monday, November 28, 2011

On friday I looked at my iCal and realized–dang, someone has a dentist appointment on Monday! Because I brilliantly failed to categorize it, though, I couldn’t tell who. “It’s all of them,” my husband said. “We got cards in the mail last week.” I thought that seemed funny. I thought it was a little soon, but I didn’t think about it very hard. And then last night, I looked again, and the dentist appointment was at nine. Which couldn’t be […]

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Results Achieved

By KJ / Friday, November 25, 2011

Results Achieved Originally uploaded by kjda Through a judicious application of bribes and threats. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Cool Pout.

By KJ / Friday, November 25, 2011

Cool Pout. Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia

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Wyatt in a tree

By KJ / Friday, November 25, 2011

Wyatt in a tree Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Surprise! The Kitten Would be a SURPRISE!

By KJ / Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I always forget I know some of you IRL. So–it’s a Christmas surprise. More anon.

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Should We Get a Kitten

By KJ / Sunday, November 20, 2011

I’ve lost my mind, I know I have. I am thinking of getting a kitten. I nice Siberian, because I was very allergic as a kid, although I seem ok now, and they are supposed to not produce the protein that causes allergies. (Dr. Oz says so, so it must be true!) Who thinks our dog, who is largely interested in other animals but not aggressive, would enjoy the companionship of a cat? Will I? Or is this just another […]

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Behaving Badly

By KJ / Saturday, November 19, 2011

I didn’t sleep well last night. In fact I’m a few nights down, enough for me to be thinking I jinxed myself by saying on Motherlode last week that for the moment I’l sleeping well without “mother’s little helpers.” In part it’s our dog, who feel he needs to alert us every time something stirs upstairs or outside. Since the porcupine incident, he’s been extra wired. And in part it’s my brain, which feels it needs to alert me every […]

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Can Virtual Schools Really Replace Classrooms? (Hint: Not for Most Kids.)

By KJ / Monday, November 14, 2011

On Motherlode today, one I’m really proud of–virtual schools are earning praise in the home schooler’s blogosphere, and I think for those kids, they deserve it. But what if cash-strapped administrators try pushing this cheaper alternative on kids who won’t really “school” at home? Read and comment, please! Also: Holiday book shopping! The Children’s Book Review! I love seeing this every year. Come tell me and everyone else what you’re buying for the kids on your list.

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Secret Agent Josephine’s Books Are Here!

By KJ / Monday, November 14, 2011

My longtime internet buddy Secret Agent Josephine has three new books available on Amazon for your Kindle (or better, Kindle app, because you’re gonna want color and graphics for these): Secret Agent Josephine’s ABC’s Secret Agent Josephine’s Colors Secret Agent Josephine’s Numbers She’s a fantastic artist (people used to compete to have her create an avatar for them), a fun writer and deserving of much success. Back in the day, it was kind of all about whether you blogged undercover, […]

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