December 2009 Archives

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2009, I love you.  A lot.  I don't think I have ever had so many good days in one year.  I'm sillilly happy about 2010 (that's two-thousand-ten) arriving all the same, even though it means I'll be turning forty.

Oh.  I just got a little woozy.

I don't know, there's just something about a whole new year that feels good.  Nothing's really different from yesterday, but everything is shinier to me all the same.  I love new calendars and days that stay light longer than the ones before them.

Happy New Year xo 
Ever since the Sugar Babies at Halloween, I've been really into the holidays this year.  Like, fifteen pounds into it.  Roughly.  You know, give or take.  However much it is, it is 80% in my butt, so I've been calling it (previously ONLY to myself) my Christmas Booty.  As in, Damn, I sat here waiting for those jeans to get out of the dryer so I could get dressed and go to that party, but ACK! Christmas Booty!  They will not button.  Why the hell did I give away all my larger jeans? 

This morning I was in the shower, and I thought that I'd better shave my legs.  I have a shower stall, not a tub, which means that if I want to shave my legs, I have to prop one foot up on the wall and balance on the other.  In order to keep the water from spraying into my face and onto my legs and washing off the soap before I am ready to rinse, I put my backside to the water and face the back of the shower stall.  So this morning, I finish a row or strip or whatever you call it, and I go to rinse the razor in the stream of water behind me.  Only, instead of just rinsing the razor, my arm, which is not yet used to the dimensions of the Christmas Booty, didn't extend out and away from my body enough.  I felt a scratch.  Then a sting.  I stood there, with one foot up on the wall, shaking my head at my own self, thinking, Really, Jen?  Really?  Did you really just CUT the Christmas Booty?  While shaving your LEGS?

I looked down and didn't see anything and thought for a second that I was okay.  But, then little droplets of blood appeared in a two and three-quarter inch (again, roughly) line right across the back of the Christmas Booty.

After my shower, I put on a couple of Hello Kitty bandaids, because I figured the CB would like the cute factor.  Today I will wear a skirt instead of my too-tight pants, and I will eat all the rest of the peanut butter fudge** so that I can stop eating it.  (That is Holiday Logic.  Don't look at me like you don't know what I mean.)  

** Um.  I just googled the peanut butter fudge and turns out it's got like 375 calories PER PIECE.  If I do the math I will faint, so I'm going to just, as Willow says, EX that window.  

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If I had it together enough to send out cards, I think I'd use this photo.  Or maybe this:

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But, you know, I don't even have it together enough to blog.

Happy Holidays! xo

Tuesday night the kids and I were having supper (Tuesday=Tacos, soft shell) and Sophie and Nate were horsing around, and Sophie, even though I've taught her better manners, pretended to be grossed out and pretended to throw up.  Out of the corner of my left eye, I saw Willow go pale and put her hand up to her mouth, her little body stiffen.  STOP SOPHIE! I yelled, and Willow had a kind of hiccupy shoulder heave and looked woosy.  You're making Willow sick, DON'T. DO. THAT.

So, of course, she and Nate both start in, heaving and gagging and giggling, and Willow again nearly throws up and so I stand up and bang on the table with my fist and say, DUDE, if you make her throw up you will clean it ALL up.

The fake retching stops.  Willow shudders, and starts to cry, climbing into my lap,  They almost made me throw up. That was so GROSS.
Read about The Best of 2009 Challenge here.

Mama's Fish House in Paia

SG and I went there to celebrate our one year anniversary and both our birthdays during our week stay in Maui.  We had a table near the edge of the restaurant, where instead of windows with glass, there are open spaces in the walls that make it nearly like sitting outside.  It was after dark, so we couldn't see the ocean, but we could hear it on the wind that barely moved our hair and napkins and the flower petals all over the restaurant.  We had a bottle of champagne, and as we clinked our glasses together in the candlelight he said to me, To our awesome first year together

It's, well . . .  different, I guess, dating when you've been divorced twice and have four children.  Believe me, I figured that I'd be single for at least forever, probably longer, and I think that likely would have been the case if I hadn't run into SG at Trader Joe's that Saturday.  I also think that if we didn't already know each other from a long time ago, he wouldn't have been willing to give this a chance.  Four kids is a lot.  I sure as hell wouldn't date a man with four children.  Are you kidding me?  So, for me, reaching the end of that first year with him and seeing that we have a bunch more of them stacked up, just waiting for us, left me all emotional in the dim light of the restaurant and I saw the illusion of many champagne glasses clinking together through the tears that barely stayed in my eyes.

Soon after that I had the best creme brulee I have ever had in my whole long life, and that is saying something since I worked in a four-star cafe for years and KNOW my creme brulee.  It was the best, because it was all vanilla cream and didn't taste like eggs and I was in love in Hawaii on the most longshot of odds.

After we left the restaurant, we walked over to the beach and stretched out on our backs, looking up at the stars.  It was so dark, we could just barely make out the water.  The sand still felt warm under me, and I held on to SG's hand, happy and lucky and loved.  


This morning on Forum, I heard Michael Krasny say twenty-twelve when referring to the year 2012.  I admit that I'm now rethinking my snobbery about two thousand vs twenty.  But, that does not mean you'll hear me say twenty-anything.  I just will be less judgmental toward people who do. A little.

Today I finished the last step of crossing numero uno off my 40 before forty list: there are now new windshield wipers on my van.  I feel so accomplished!  The one on the driver's side is too little (I totally did not realize that they could have two different ones on the same car, which means that I've not been paying attention), and I had to ask a coworker to help me get the new ones put on, because -- well, because trying to get them off hurt my fingers too much, but it wasn't working the whole driving around with the rubber blade missing on one side, because that meant that I couldn't use them at all, even in the foggy wet northern CA mornings.  So, Thanks, Blake! I owe you coffee.

My son was in the passenger seat of my van at 8 a.m. and turned to me, shocked, saying, Look!  I have goosebumps on my legs!  Why yes, you do, I said.  Because it is forty-six degrees and you are wearing shorts and a tshirt.  Welcome to wintertime?

For a long time I have had these awful water/wave dreams.  I'm always in a house right on the ocean, and a huge wave comes and crashes through the window, flooding the house.  It starts with the waves getting bigger and bigger, until an enormous one comes and I can never escape.  Sometimes I'm in a restaurant, others it's in a house, but always the end is the same, with the water crashing through the glass and filling up the building.  The other night, though, I had one where I ran out the back door of the house and up a hill and I escaped from the water.  Finally. 
NaBloPoMo.  I bailed.  Moving on.

Gwen Bell* launched The Best of 2009 Challenge today. 

I think that in December I'll be writing a lot about SG, which is good.  I did ask him recently if he was, you know, okay with me writing about him.  It's weird, a little, because he's much more private than I am.  Not that he's all secretive, but he also doesn't blog, and doesn't really feel compelled to.  So you know that means if we ever get into a fight, I will totally have the upper hand since he won't be able to blog about how rotten I am.  Heh.

First day of the challenge is tripWhat was your best trip in 2009? 

You'd think, maybe, that this would be easy, considering that SG took me to Hawaii and it was a) my first time there, and b) the first time that we got to spend more than a couple of days together.  And it was the best: I loved every moment of it, from the time we landed at the windy airport and he bought me a lei, until we got back on the plane to come home and I was all happy to get a Maui inspection sticker on my bag.  I even didn't mind the plane rides too much.  Most mornings SG left to go dive while I was still in bed, and I'd get up, put on a bathing suit and flip flops, grab a towel and sunglasses, and walk across the street to go stand in the ocean while the sun came up behind me.  We'd meet back at the house for breakfast, and then go spend the day together.  We were in the water a few times a day, mostly snorkeling with the camera and video camera.  I got to swim with sea turtles, and the first time I saw one in the water I smiled so big I got a mouthful of saltwater from around my snorkel.  One afternoon we saw something like twenty rays over the course of a half hour or so.  Sometimes they'd find a spot against the current and move forward so gently they stayed in place.  Even the little fish were magical under the water, and I love how the ocean fills up my ears and everything under the water is so different than what's on land.  Especially since it's just right there, so close by, but until you swim into it, you'd never guess that there's this whole other world in the world. 

Selfishly, this trip was great because I got to do what I wanted.  It would have been wonderful with the kids, but for the first time in a long time, I got to be totally self-centered and sit in the sun and not worry about anything at all.  This part wasn't bad either:

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Another best trip of this year happened in August, before we went to Hawaii.  I took the kids to Texas for my grandmother's 90th birthday celebration.  It was lovely to see her and all of our family.  I had been needing very badly to give my dad a hug for almost two years, so needless to say I was very happy to get to do that.  The kids got reacquainted with everyone, met some new relatives, went swimming at night and had lots of ice cream.  My brother and his wife and little baby Max were there, too, and lots of other relatives from all over the place.  We landed in Dallas just as a storm was coming in, and now the kids know what I'm talking about when I say thunderstorm.  Northern California lightening is shy and polite.  In Texas it's awe-inspiring and loud and not to be messed with.

I'd have loved it if SG could have come along, but he's in grad school and it's hard for him to get away even to go to a movie with me.  And there was that whole 96 relatives going to be there thing, too.  He will meet them sometime.  Definitely.  And maybe that will be the best trip of two thousand and ten.

I also got to go to Portland this year to meet Baby Max.  That was also the best trip, because Max is the first child of my brother and his wife, and I got to spend a few days with them in May when he was about six weeks old.  The beginning of my stay overlapped with the end of my mom's, and we really had fun walking around Portland and taking Max out to eat.  I'm such a baby freak, and I love my brother and his wife so much that their baby is, of course, extra sweet, and smells extra nice and is extra perfect.  I can't wait to see the three of them later this month.

2009 also gave me: a trip to the BlogHer Conference in Chicago with Jenny (which wins for the most laughing compressed into the fewest days, no contest); my first mother-daughter girl scout camping trip with the girls (next time I will bring warmer clothes and tequila to keep my blood from turning to icy slush at nighttime); a BART trip to San Francisco to meet a long lost second or third or something cousin, twice removed, probably, and visit with other known and much-loved cousins; a few short day trips to Monterey with SG to snorkel, sit in the sun, and go out on his boat where one afternoon we watched an otter protect his crab supper from a bunch of hungry sea gulls; and a memorable trip to the beach with the kids when the shore was covered in dead fish from a sardine (?) run.  Okay.  That last one, definitely not the best, because it was gross, but strangely fun all the same.  There were also motorcycle rides with SG in the hills around here, and even a really great trip to the grocery store, when SG not only took my car to be washed and gassed up and the tired inflated while I shopped, but he came back and picked up the cost of my groceries because he knew I was having a rough month.     

Tomorrow is all about the best restaurant moment of the year.  That's an easy one for me.


*I have a total geeky fangirl crush on Gwen, and was a little starstruck this summer when I got to ride through part of downtown Chicago with her in a horse-drawn carriage under the stars.  Wait, that sounds like a date.  Really we were just going to the same party.  Anyway, I was super happy to get to meet her.     

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