Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Romance, Writing, Baking, Skin Care & Christmas Cards & A Brief Comment on Mean People...

First, Romance. I love this little series of pictures taken (using the Mac Photobooth application) last Saturday night after the Bloomington Hospital Gala. It was a fun night and I am happy to report that I purchased not one new item of apparel for the event. I have a closet full of party clothes from the old days and I am determined to start wearing them all again. If you see a woman in the grocery store or pumping gas in a vintage cocktail dress or a full length ball gown, it's probably your BloomingtonGirl. The world needs dressing up, don't you agree?

Next, writing. I am having serious problems in that area, Loyal Readers. I thought by posting a little something this morning, it would warm me up for my planned writing session this AM. I am working on a new play that started out quite promising and has stalled rather - dare I say - dramatically. I just don't know what the play is about, though I swear that I did when I started out. After this post, however, I am determined to slog on for a good deal of the remaining morning, writing whatever leaden crap I can write. If it is really dreadful, I will bake something just to remind myself that I do indeed have at least a modicum of creative talent. My baking has been - all (false) modesty aside - rather stellar lately. I've been working my way through three baking cook books one recipe at a time. Maybe I should start a blog about that and then get a movie deal? Does anyone know if that has been done before?

Now, on to skin care. I treated myself to a Sonicare Skin Care machine. I am in the process of charging it for 24 hours as instructed (I actually read the instructions) and will begin using it this evening. Prepare yourselves, Loyal Ones. I might look years younger instantly. I know some people who use the thing and they swear by it, so I thought I would give it a try. I ordered the one that came with four complimentary but normally uber expensive skin care products. The testimonials on these cleansers/serums/moisturizers would have you believe that after one use you can no longer see your pores or wrinkles. I think that the writers of such nonsense just forgot to put their reading glasses on after they dried their face. But, still, there is a part of me that hopes for these little miracles, although the comic fact is that nobody will notice but me. If I were wise, I'd throw these products away and stick with my drug store cleansers and health store moisturizers, less I too forget to put on my reading glasses after I use them and become addicted. Stay tuned for more exciting news about my pores and wrinkles. Such excitement, I know.

One last thing. Someone was recently mean to me. Well, actually, two people were mean. One was an absolute stranger who gave me the finger, vigorously I might add, as she sped by me. I was pulled to the side of a road on my bike, not in her way or anyone's way for that matter. It was so hostile and random and it felt like a tiny little assault on my otherwise pleasant day. The other was someone I knew, which made it much worse. While it stung to be the object of real meanness, it made me realize - quite gratefully and happily -how very very very few mean people I know. Yes, someone might be nasty or grouchy or say something in anger, but being mean is a horse of a different color and one to be avoided if possible. I take for granted sometimes the number of exceptionally fine people I have in my circle. It's good to be reminded - albeit in a backwards and unpleasant way - how fortunate I am.

In other news, I have no ideas for the McGary Christmas Card as of this writing. Perhaps I should simply send out cookies instead? Any comments on that idea?

Happy day to you, Loyal Readers.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Silver and Tomatoes

Good Evening, Loyal Readers! It is a Sunday night and I am cozy - but chic! - in casual clothing and one show stopping piece of jewelry. The jewelry to which I refer is shown at left, The Elsa Peretti Tiffany Silver Cuff. I did not purchase this fine piece of sculpted silver. No, it was given to me by someone who had tired of it, had worn it little and was glad to pass it along. I can see why she wore it little - it isn't exactly the most comfortable bracelet on the planet. It does make my arm look sort of elegant, though...

Well, yesterday, Jack and Chris were talking about silver coins and the price of silver (Jack is a budding little coin collector) and I was prompted to weigh the cuff just to calculate what the basic market melt-down value of it was. It weighed about 3.5 oz. The price of silver is about $23 an oz, give or take, making the bracelet worth a paltry $80.50 if I were to sell it for metal. (I wouldn't, but that's not the point.)

But, the retail price of the piece on the Tiffany website is $800.

I just find that absolutely incredible. I can see some kind of mark-up for craft and design - especially if the piece were hand crafted by an artist, which, I suspect this is not. $300 for something of this kind (at the 4th Street Fair, for instance) wouldn't be too too outrageous: $400 if it had more interesting work on it. But, $800?? Crazy. And, Tiffany isn't quite that special anymore, now that it has "chainified", so they have no business asking such a ransom.

Don't get me wrong, Loyal Readers. I am not so outraged that I would toss this lovely bracelet from my collection. That would be just plain silly and counter to your BloomingtonGirl's fashion lust.

In other news, I have been up to my eyeballs (again) in tomatoes this week. We have many pounds of green tomotoes and many many pounds of red. It is a strange thing to be having garden fresh tomatoes in late October, but I really can't complain. They are very delicious.

Over the past few days, I made about a gallon of oven roasted tomato sauce to freeze, green tomato preserves - more like a spiced chutney (yummy) and Sriracha, a (Thai?) chile hot sauce. I canned nine little jars of the Sriracha and it is gooooooood. It has the right balance of heat and pepper flavor. I used a bunch of pretty tired red jalapenos Chris picked a few weeks ago and it was still delicious. I just LOVE when things come out that well.

In other news, I continue to be an absolute biking addict. I didn't even feel well today but got on my bike and had a surprisingly mighty ride. The weather has been so unseasonably warm and dry, so every day is an invitation to ride. It's like flying. Makes me giddy. Absolutely giddy. Did I mention how giddy it makes me?

I mostly ride my road bike but a couple of times a week, I get on my mountain bike and drive myself over to work out at the Y, which is about five miles away. I ride almost all of the way on sidewalks. Why? Because pedaling along on sidewalks never fails to make me feel as if I am nine again, riding over to a friend's house to play. I actually keep the bike in a lower gear than I normally would so I pedal fast, like a little kid. I am not kidding - it makes me feel so joyous. It's the fountain of youth, Loyal Readers. Get on your bike this week and ride on some sidewalks and you will see exactly what I mean. Just thinking about it makes me giggle.

Off to bed. What a great week it has been. Worked on a new play that might actually have some legs and had several good hair days in a row, no small thing for a woman growing her hair out from a pixie cut.

I have such a sweet life. So lucky.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night at Home

It is a Friday night and I am writing to you after mopping my kitchen floor. Glamourous? No. Satisfying? Mais Oui! Now, I can wake tomorrow to a clean kitchen. I'd say that there is nothing better, but we all know that there are better things, many of them rather unmentionable in polite company.

I spent my day intending to write a Pantoum but ended up writing a grant instead. It's submitted now, so I have no excuse not to write creatively. I don't know why I chose to embark upon a Pantoum. Perhaps it is because I have been reading the wonderful, the inimitable Frank Giampietro's Begin Anywhere, and in it is a poem called "Foreplay Pantoum". Maybe I can start one tomorrow. Or, maybe all I'll do is arrange play dates and make grilled cheese sandwiches for ten year olds. One never knows. Such excitement and suspense in the life of your BloomingtonGirl. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Random Things on a Tuesday Night

Isn't this a cool bike, Loyal Readers? It was made by a company called Independent Fabrication. I don't recall how I stumbled across their site, since I am not in the market for the class of cycles they make and sell. But, the site is full of interesting bikes and the back story of the company and the bios of their people make me want to move to where they are and work for them just to be as cool as they seem to be. Yes, Loyal Readers, Your BloomingtonGirl has not outgrown wanting to be cool. One would think, however, that she would have realized by now that the quest was rather in vain.

I'm off to bed to snug in and read The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. His insight into people and the American family is stunning and rather disturbing. I wish I could write as he does. I'd settle for a quarter as well, actually.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Warming Up

Happy Monday, Loyal Readers! I am enjoying a delicious Oatmeal Jackson and a cup of coffee as I write. It had been many moon since I made these cookies and I'd forgotten how good - nay, DAMNED good- they are. They are better a couple of days after baking, weirdly enough. But that makes them the perfect cookie for shipping to Loyal Readers and friends.

I decided to post today not because I have anything terribly interesting to say, but because I needed a warm up exercise to get my writing muscles going. I have so many plot sketches swirling around in my little bean but nothing is wrapping itself around a play just yet. It could be that I just don't have any more work in me and that I should go back to baking as a creative outlet. But, I'm not ready to give it up just yet. Today, I am free until late afternoon and am going to use at least a good hour of that time to write something. Maybe a ten-minute piece of some kind.

The morning has been nicely productive. I biked to the Y, worked out with my friend Deb, and biked home. I feel so mighty and happy when I ride my bike. My friend Cindy said it right when she said that biking for her was a "kind of freedom she can't find anywhere else". I agree wholeheartedly. I feel free, young and joyous. It's even better - dare I say it - than a great new pair of boots! (I know! Who is this BloomingtonGirl?)

Well, that's enough of this for now. I'm going to get some work done. I wanted to post some pictures of the lovely parties I attended this weekend but those from the first came out badly and I forgot my camera for the second. Next time...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

BloomingtonGirl as Biking Babe and Commentary on Trying to be Beautiful

Loyal Readers, your BloomingtonGirl has turned into a regular Biking Babe, now that she has some bee-you-tee-full new jerseys to wear. I did not buy them, Loyal Readers. No, no. I got them for my recent birthday and I couldn't be happier. Okay, two of them were technically ordered by yours truly, but I used a birthday gift certificate (Yay! - I love gift certificates, except when my husband gives them to me and causes me to have -in Jack's words - a nervous breakdown.)

Here are my lovely new fashion statements for your viewing pleasure:

Aren't they all so purty? I have to say that I have developed a lust for cycling clothing that surprises me. Perhaps it is because I am not buying any regular clothing these days or maybe it is just that I have been fatally bitten by the riding bug and am enjoying cycling in a way that I hadn't before. Who knows? I just feel so mighty in my bike fashion as I zoom down the road. I am truly a legend in my own mind. A fashion legend, that is.

If only I'd had my biking gear on when I got stuck standing in line next to the resident supermodel in town the other day at Target, I might have felt just a teeny bit better for those absolutely dreadful five minutes. But no. I was wearing jeans and a bazillion year old flannel shirt. I wore no makeup and my hair was limp and stupid looking. And there she was, also without make-up, hair piled into a cap, skinny jeans, UGHs, a long sleeve T with no bra (yeah, they're perfect and they don't even look a bit fake)...and yet, she was perfectly beautiful in an American textbook way.

How does someone look that good in real life with no airbrushing? And, she's not a youngster, either, I might add.

I realized then that the very beautiful are a slightly different species altogether. And, it was a weird relief to understand it. To feel pressure to look like a model is silly and futile. It would be like trying to be a pretty bird, or perhaps an exotic fish.

You cannot be something you're not, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much "help" you get...

And, the really wonderful thing about it all is that it just does not matter. I wish I had known this twenty years ago, ten years ago, last week, even.

It just does not matter.

For now, anyway. And, if it starts to matter at some point in the future - and I know that it will - I'll just put on my sassy biking gear and go for a ride.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Loyal Readers, I just had to post this picture of me in my beeeeeyoutifull new bracelet. It is a beaded cuff with black and shiny/silvery beads that makes me so happy.

We are on our way out for a little joint birthday dinner for Jack and Me.

Have a nice evening, Loyal Ones.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


For my birthday, I got a gift certificate for my favorite cycling apparel company - TwinSix. I don't think that it counts if I use it to purchase a jersey. Here is what I am coveting. (In case you are wondering, I might change my name to Trixie, or at least answer to it when riding.)

I have not purchased any clothing for myself since I signed up for the Great American Apparel Diet in July. It hasn't been difficult at all, actually, because I have been losing weight and all sorts of "new clothing" has been coming available in my own closet. (You didn't hear that from me because women who talk about dieting and losing weight are tedious and I am anything but tedious. Right? Right, Loyal Readers?)

Anyway, back to my writing project.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Here is your happy BloomingtonGirl t in her teeniest of all weeniest hotel rooms ever. It was chic, yes, but oh so teeny. I just liked the picture.

I turned 48 yesterday. I am not put off by the number of years that has crept upon me while I wasn't paying so much attention. I have already been through (and am so over) the Botox phase - for a brief period, I resembled Spock in an alarming way whenever I raised my eyebrows - and plastic surgery is not even on my radar anymore. I don't know what happened, but something did, and I no longer stand in front of the mirror pulling up my slackening facial skin, imagining what I might look like were I to surrender to the embrace of the scalpel. It could be that I am not obsessing lately because I am tan from outdoor swimming (I do wear sunscreen and lots of it) and when winter arrives and I am pallid and looking haggard...Oh, who knows. But for now, I'm not really troubled by growing older. It's rather shocking, isn't it?

I spent my birthday celebrating what my body can do - I went on a bike ride and then did a swim in the wonderful IU Outdoor pool. I felt quite mighty for my age. I had lunch with a dear friend who gave me a gorgeous present and then I took (gasp!) a delicious nap. All in all, a good day. My husband brought home some very fancy cupcakes and my boys and I had a nice little birthday party.

More soon, Loyal Readers. I have to go and get my little guy to bed.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

All Sorts of Things

Loyal Readers! It's been ages. I don't even know where to begin, not that there is anything thrilling to disclose. I can begin, I suppose, with the picture at left. The little trio got together to celebrate Lauren's birthday (middle). From left, Susan, Lauren and Your BloomingtonGirl. It was a fun night at Farm - the food was REALLY good. Farm has been hitting constant home runs, in my never humble opinion. Everything I've had there lately is fresh and delicious. Go there right now, Loyal Readers.

Well, go after you finish reading the brilliant words of your BloomingtonGirl, that is.

In other news, I've decided that I need to do a Sprint Triathalon. (Isn't that a great graphic above? It's from Flirtees, a Canadian t-shirt company for women who ride. They have sweet graphics, but their stuff runs small. I know this because I ordered this shirt for my good friend and cyclemaniac Cindy and it arrived too teeny weeny. )

So, back to my Sprint Tri. I'm not planning on doing it anytime soon, but next summer at the latest. I swim and bike well enough to finish those segments of such a trial, but I have long stopped running because it hurts too much and I haven't liked the feeling of fat jiggling when I've done it. I know, I know. It's hard to imagine that Your BloomingtonGirl has jiggly fat, but you'll just have to take that on faith. Unless you are one of the Loyal Readers who has glimpsed it for your self. But, as I used to say in the early days of this Blog, I digress.

Anyway, I decided I would begin to run again a couple of weeks ago. I commenced following a Runner's World eight week program. I made it through week one soundly, with no aches and pains to speak of and a sense of mightiness and hope. The second week, however, found me hobbling after day two with an ouchy muscle in my right calf, another one in my right butt and two slightly pained knees. I was so frustrated because I could easily have kept on track from a cardio standpoint, but my flesh and bones were just not having any of it.

I was about to abandon my hopes and dreams of being a (mini mini) tri-athlete, when my friend Jenny suggested that I try Chi Running. A few years back, my husband received a book on this very subject from his brother, so I went to our library and pulled it off the shelf. What serendipity to find it right here, at the ready!

I read the first several chapters and recognized many Pilates principles and remembered some stuff I learned in a Chi course a million years ago at Zen Mountain Monastery. It all makes perfect sense and has everything to do with relaxing and with form. My form is dreadful and stilted - can I hope to become fluid and pain free? Stay tuned, Loyal Readers. Ohm.

Today, I took my newly fitted road bike out for a 20 mile spin and I was really pleased with the changes that Fred Rose at the Bicycle Garage made. I'm going to make him some HoosierMama Brownies as a thank you. What a LuckyGuy he is! (I might have some extras, so if any of you Loyal Readers are hankering for some, drop me a line.)

My hands did not go numb until the very end of my ride - a miracle - and I retained feeling in my right toes for most of the ride, thanks to Fred moving my cleats back a bit. The adjustments made riding so much easier. I am hoping that changes in my running form will do the same for my nascent running endeavor. I am determined.

In other news, the weather has been splendid, my hair is crazy long (for me), I've been dancing around the kitchen to Lady Gaga a lot and I've started writing a new play. Jack is thriving in his new school. What more can I ask for? With a birthday on the horizon...I'll have to come up with something.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Evening

Loyal Readers, here is a wonderful picture of our daughters getting along splendidly on our recent family vacation in Michigan. If only they could have communed that peacefully growing up...

The other two pictures are of the Crazy Tomato Bounty from my husband's Crazily Bountiful Garden. We were gone for a week and the vines were laden with about 40 pounds of ripe tomatoes. Chris canned 21 pounds today (7 quarts) and I will do the rest tomorrow. There are more coming. He also made 8 batches of pesto for freezing from the piles of basil he picked. We will be up to our eyeballs in pesto this winter. Call me if you want some.

I am writing to you on a Sunday evening, while Chris is sweltering outside, grilling filet mignons that were sent to us by accident. I ordered a dozen steaks for my parents recently and the company mixed it up and sent them to us. I can't say that I mind terribly much.


The steaks were sublime. To accompany them, I made Green Beans Braised in Tomatoes. Chris and I agreed that we'd never had beans that good. The recipe is here. Reminded me of Italy.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Sunday Evening

A Sunday Good Evening to you. Your BloomingtonGirl is snug in her little office, sipping on some strange quasi carbonated white wine from Portugal that her husband bought recently - not sure if I love it yet - and writing to her dear Loyal Ones. Said husband is busy in the kitchen cleaning freshly picked greens and being (as usual) a one man water theme park.

In a few moments, I must take over in the kitchen and make some barely cooked tomato sauce and some caramelized red onions for the greens. But first, I wanted to link you to a post for one of the very nicest blueberry pies in the universe.

Get some blueberries and make this right now, Loyal Readers. You'll thank me.

More later.

Questions about the Apparel Diet

Loyal Readers, your BloomingtonGirl has gotten a few questions about the 'Diet'.

1. Am I allowed to buy for others?
Great question. I would imagine so, but my guess is that one would want to use some restraint in that area in the spirit of the project. That said, I do find myself wanting to buy my friends and family clothing over the last week...

2. Can one buy accessories?
The vague instructions on the website say YES on this one. Shoes are also allowed, but in my case, given that I am a bit of a boot whore, I am going to count boots in the forbidden list. I am going to allow myself athletic gear as needed, including shoes in that area.

3. Can one buy underwear?
Absolutely. In my case, however, I am going to abstain from picking up those way too cute bras/panties at Target because I just don't need them. Besides, maybe the world doesn't need middle aged women letting their fuscia/bright blue/grey/whatever colored straps peek out of their summer apparel...

4. Can I get gifts of clothing?
Yes. But, I can't give money to someone else and ask them to buy something for me. I will be putting only clothing on my birthday and xmas lists this year. Only things I really need, which should be very few.

There. Questions answered.

Off to do a bike ride. This time, I won't make that wrong turn and end up, 40 miles later, finally home. More on that story later.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Your BloomingtonGirl Goes on a Diet

Loyal Readers, it isn't what you think. Your BloomingtonGirl has not gone on a reducing diet, though it might be a good idea if she did right about now given that she is in danger of developing a middle-aged middle if she is not careful. No. She has joined a group of dieters who are abstaining from the purchase of apparel for a year. The project is called The Great American Apparel Diet. I read about it in a recent NYT Article and thought I should give it a try. I'll be blogging about my experience on their website and I'll post links here to my posts there.

I joined the party quite late - there is only about a month to go - so it didn't seem too daunting. But! I just saw that the woman who conceived this project is going to run it for another year. Is your BloomingtonGirl brave enough to take that challenge? Will there be a day off between "sessions" during which I can purchase a new rain jacket or trench coat?

The fact is that I do not need another item of clothing (with the possible exception of road bike gloves - do they count?) so it isn't as if I would go without should I take the pledge for a year. Indeed, I have items in my overcrowded closet that still have the tags on them after months or even a year. I'm going to give some serious thought about extending my participation for the year.

You are probably asking yourself why your sometimes fashionable BloomingtonGirl would do such a thing as deny herself new fashionable items. I asked myself that question as well. And, the not so satisfying answer is that is just feels like the right thing to do. I might even tally up all of the money I would have spent and put it aside and take a trip with the first of my daughters who is lucky enough to read this. My motivation is not entirely financial here, though I do like the idea of smaller monthly bills and less excess in my closet. There is something else that makes this compelling for me. I'm not exactly sure what that is, but I think I'll be able to put my finger on it over time.

I saw a few bike jerseys I might have ordered today were I not on this diet. I'm going to share them with you in the event that you have an extra sized M one in your closet that you aren't using and want to send it to me. Aren't they rather fetching?

Stay tuned for more from your Great American Apparel Dieter.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


This is a guy who is going to be very sad to leave camp.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Jack

Loyal Readers, here is the latest photo of my happy kid at sleep away camp. In the absence of any communication from him, save the three lines he scribbled during his first few days there, the daily photos on the website give me all the information I need. He's happy and having fun.

It was such a leap of faith to send him this year. It could have gone either way. It has been deeply gratifying to see that he has the inner resources to not only be away from home but to thrive in the environment. And this is a kid who is (or perhaps was) very attached to his mommy. I am beyond happy for him. YAY!

I miss him, but not in a way that causes me to suffer. The hard part of it - and it is not very hard, really - is realizing that the time is coming soon when he will grow up for real and I won't have a little guy anymore. My husband kids me every time I say I miss him. "Let's see what you're saying the day after he gets home." Jack and I have one of those intense bicker-y fight-y relationships. Or maybe we used to. Who knows how he has changed? We'll see.

In other news, I am struggling to finish what I am calling the first last draft of Over the Moon. The characters are getting very tired, Loyal Ones, having to say lines and then having to say new ones as I rewrite and rewrite. Poor things.

More not so thrilling posts coming your way soon. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 05, 2010

More From the North Country

Loyal Readers, the photos below make me speechless with Joy.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Sunday Stuff

It's an actual typewriter that actually works, Loyal Ones. My only question is why the man gets to wear regular clothing and the woman has to be all tarted up, showing lots of leg. Oh, right. That's when men ran the world and women ran around looking sexy for them.

We've come a long way baby. Or have we?

Anyway, on to my rather boring reflection on writing....

Loyal Readers, now that your BloomingtonGirl has reasonable evidence that her little guy is having the time of his life at sleep away camp in the scenic Adirondack Mountains (photos of him smiling, one and only one hastily scribbled note of joy), I almost don't know what to do with myself. I see now that the anxious worry about him occupied a great deal of space and time and now that it has subsided, it has left a great deal of space and time to now occupy with something else. But, with what?

The obvious answer is writing, and even as I write those five words, I think, "What's so obvious about that?" After all, such a statement makes it appear as if I take myself seriously as a writer. Do I? I guess it depends on when you ask me. If you ask me lately, I will answer a with definite sort of. Other times, the answer is absolutely. And sometimes, not at all.

Having kept company with many writers, I realize that ups and downs in confidence and feelings of strong purpose, etc., are quite common. In fact, they appear to be universal. But, suppose my dips are based on the bon a fide fact that I have nothing terribly important to say and no talent with which to say it? How will I know?

(I know. I will never know. I just have to keep on with it.)

So, I am keeping on with it today in the form of trying to rewrite Over the Moon for what I hope will be the last time before I put it aside for a new piece. I haven't done any substantial work on it since it was read (by an excellent cast!) in Cincinnati. There were some very solid suggestions at the talkback and I am restructuring the end of Act I based on one of them. This presents a problem for Act II as written and so I must begin it anew. It has been slow going today, but I am making some progress.

I am torn between thinking that this play, while a decent first attempt at a full length play, does not merit additional time and work and thinking that given all the time and work I've put into it, I should at the very least make it the best play I can. Just the act of working more on it is educational and furthers my craft. Or, so I would like to think.

Enough of that prattle. I'm going to get back at it. Wish me luck. Better yet, wish me brilliance and wit.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Camping Genes Must be Dominant

Loyal Readers, here is proof that Camping Genes are indeed dominant. Your BloomingtonGirl has no such genes. This is no surprise to you if you know me. I am not an outdoor girl by any means. (My husband seems never to tire of telling the story about how I mistook a pile of animal poop for a turtle once, but I digress.) My husband has plenty of outdoor loving, outdoor capable genes. Clearly, Jack got some of them. He's a Lucky Guy.

By the way, Jack's campmates really do have faces. Your BloomingtonGirl has blurred them because it wouldn't be right for me to post photos of other people's little guys. (The two big guys are his cabin counsellors.)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Continued Happy News and A Garlic Epipany

Loyal Readers, your BloomingtonGirl is feeling absolute Jubilation at continued news of Her Son's happiness at camp. I heard just today that he is making friends in his cabin and in the cabin of boys a year older and that he is "keeping company with a very active group of boys." (!!!!!) I am so excited for him. I'm actually happy that he can't be bothered to write to his long-suffering-missing-her son-mother because he is busy having too much fun and hilarity. (In actuality, I am not suffering at all. If I know he's fine and happy, I am fine and happy.)

The picture here is of some kind of ceremony in which campers are assigned their color. The boys can be either red or blue and we believe from scanning this picture that Jack has been assigned to the blue team. Don't strain your eyes trying to find him...just take our word for it that he is likely the guy at the upper right corner with the blue bandana completely over his face.

It is strange to have a house with no Jack. Chris is off this week and we are just puttering, having decided to skip our planned Canada vacation. We were simply too road weary after dropping Jack off. It was nice to be able to just cancel the plans and come home to relax.

One last note before I go and indulge my latest addiction (the Scrabble App on my ITouch), I have to rave about the garlic that my husband has grown in the garden. I must confess I never put too much stock in everything said about garlic (don't use cloves that have sprouted...etc...) and I never worried about whether it was fresh or not. I simply used whatever was in the fridge, sprouted or not, dried up or not. Shocking, I know, for such a foodie to admit this. I was an ignorant BloomingtonGirl, indeed. Tonight I put together a simple pasta sauce by warming fresh picked garlic in olive oil, adding some tomatoes and basil and cooking briefly. All I can say is that the garlic flavor was otherworldly. No sharp or hot sensations of over garlicy-ness. Just a mellow gentle but robust garlic flavor. It was amazing.

Never will I use substandard garlic again. Your BloomingtonGirl wanted her Loyal Readers to be the first to know.

Off to find a word that will use my Q and J.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Random Photos of the Drop off Day

Loyal Readers, it was a very long drive to camp. We picked Kate up along the way - she took a bus from NY. Fortunately, my driving sometimes makes my husband nervous, so he tends to like to drive. Here he is, steady behind the wheel in his extra cool sunglasses.

Here's the intrepid Katie, smart in her very cool jacket we picked out together on my last trip to Manhattan. I don't know what we would have done without her on this trip.

And, there's Jack, in his traveling get up, wondering what is in store for him at camp.

Here's Jack again, showing his nervous excitement as we approach the camp road. I was busy mentally stopping my full blown anxiety attack at that time.

This photo is of the area where the boys can congregate during free time. And, last but not least, a photo of Jack (choking back tears of terror) and one of his counsellors, Dustin, and his new friend who couldn't be any funnier and cuter. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed

We dropped Jack off at camp earlier today. He was nervous but brave. I am beyond proud of him.

Photos to follow. I'm heading down to the fancy indoor pool at the fancy resort we're in to do some lap swimming.

Then, I might have a martini or two.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting My Kid Ready for Sleep-Away Camp (Part 4)

Here's a picture of Jack with his house of cards a couple weeks ago.

Tonight is our last night at home before leaving to take Jack to camp, Loyal Readers. (!!!!!)

We depart tomorrow after Chris gets out of work. Jack is ready - as ready as anyone his age could be for this sort of adventure. His sisters keep calling to answer his questions and give him advice. It's very sweet. I can't remember whether I mentioned this before, so bear with me, but both Kate and Meg went to this camp for years and then became counsellors. So did Phil, Kate's husband. It's so cool that Jack can have this experience in common with them.

After we drop Jack, we will go to the Sagamore for a day of pampering and relaxation and then on to Montreal and Ottawa for the first vacation we've had without Jack since we had that lovely week in Cleveland when Chris's heart was opened and repaired. I don't think that counts as a vacation, especially for my husband.

Well, I am off to bed. More updates to come.

A Thought Provoking and Entertaining Video

Thanks to Nancy DeKraker for sharing this with me. It provided a welcome distraction from camp prep and convinced me that sending Jack to a four week electronic moratorium is probably good for his little brain...

Click Here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting My Kid Ready for Sleep-Away Camp (Part 3)

Here is my gorgeous son in his Cardinal Stage Company T shirt. (Don't miss their current show, Loyal Readers. It's nearly a sell out, so get your tickets now!)

This picture was taken earlier this evening. Jack is having (yet another) sleep-over party. I tried very hard not to get talked into this one, but this week he is really milking the "Mommy, I'm going to camp for four weeks....pleeeeeeeaseeee...." and I find myself either too lazy or too weak to put up the good fight. The upstairs AC is on the blink, so the poor dears might roast a bit tonight when they go to bed, but the way I see it, it is just a little taste of their parents' childhoods for them. (I roasted for years in my bedroom in my childhood home only to have my parents buy an air conditioning unit for it when I left for college. What was that about? Oh! Sorry. That's a question for my therapist, not my beloved Loyal Ones.)

I just finished packing up most of Jack's clothing and miscellany into his camp trunk and will finish the job tomorrow. There is only one little crisis and that is the matter of jeans. The camp recommends that I pack 3 pair for Jack but the kid abhors jeans and can't find a pair that feels comfortable even though I've brought home over a dozen styles for him to try. I am the queen of returns, believe me.) I shall pack cargo pants in lieu of jeans and hope that they provide enough of a barrier against the mosquitoes at camp fire. If not, there's always DEET.
Sometimes chemical warfare is what it takes.

I'm off to herd the little guys into bed and get them to settle down. And then, I'm off to bed myself. Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

Getting My Kid Ready for Sleep-Away Camp (Part 2.5)

This is a picture of my new PF Flyers. I love them. No. I LOVE them.

Now, on to our Summer Camp Preparedness Update.

I was just about to begin photographing each item I am packing for Jack for use in a pictorial inventory of his stuff. I intended to tape the inventory to the inside of his camp trunk so that when he packed to come home he could know what he should be packing.

(I am pausing here so you can get over your hysterical laughter at such a ridiculous over the top obsessive notion.)

A special thanks goes out to my friend Jenny for intervening and giving me some tough love. She talked me down from this ledge and now I am happy to report that I shall just throw said items into said trunk with careless abandon and make myself a cocktail.

More later.