Facet Hound

A kiss on the hand
May be quite continental,

Our latest excursion with our Austrian exchange student was the Natural History Museum. His choice. Once inside, the teenagers split from us old folks and the little one to parts unknown. The youngest child wanted to see the new Written in Bone exhibit. But we had to make a detour for Mama to see her favorite exhibit – the Hope Diamond. It’s more than just the diamonds that thrill me. There are rubies, and emeralds, and sapphires, and garnets, and opals, and, and, and.

Black Starr!
Frost Gorham!
Talk to me Harry Winston.

When I was dating my soon-to-be fiancé, a childhood friend admonished me “No yellow diamonds”. Blue, red, yellow, clear – the color isn’t that important. My one desire during high school wasn’t a backseat boogie with the star football player; it was that delicate necklace on display at the corner jewelry store. Every Friday evening as the high school crowd would gather for Friday-night “cruising”, my first stop was the corner window to covet what I couldn’t afford and, as a teenager, didn’t need.

But stiff back
Or stiff knees,
You stand straight at Tiffany's.

Nowadays, the resources are budgeted towards college tuition for the kids and retirement for my husband and me. Indulgences are limited to four-star restaurants, spa half-days, and Godfather trilogy Blu-Rays – things that don’t have to be financed. But every now and then, standing close and gazing at the sparkling ice is just what the doctor ordered.

But square-cut or pear-shaped,
These rocks don't loose their shape.
Diamonds are a girl's best friend.


The Teutonic Typewillow

As a good friend told me, sometimes you just have to tell people you don't have anything to write. My muse is taking her sabbatical without me. If anyone sees her, let me know. Without her, all I can do is my Lili Von Shtüpp impersonation.

"I'm tired... Zzzzzzzz...."


Going to Radio Silence

As Queen Elizabeth II said several years ago, this has been an annus horribilis. My friend's mother passed away in New York over the weekend. I'm heading up for a few days. My laptop is staying home. No new blogs will be posted for the next week.


Wines and Tigers and Pandas! Oh, my!

Do you come back from vacation needing a vacation to recover from your vacation? How about from the weekend needing another weekend to recover? Whew! What a weekend!

More accurately, whew! What a Sunday!

Our Austrian exchange student wanted to join us for church Sunday morning. He rolled up his sleeves with the EYC (Episcopal Youth in Community) to prepare a meal for the homeless shelter. Then came the service which was more formal and more musical and more populated than his small Lutheran church back home. He even managed to sing a few stanzas in the hymns but took Communion without touching the chalice. Our church is decidedly low-church on some things; we take the chalice from the server to drink.

We made plans with another exchange family in our parish to do a joint outing after lunch, something fun for everyone, kids and adults included. Some things are the same regardless of where you are. Take the zoo for instance. Wonder at the animals is universal. Off we went to the zoo all crammed in our gas-guzzler, one too many for the seatbelts. Thank goodness the father and son from the other family didn’t go with.

On the first really nice day of spring that just so happened to be a Sunday, everybody and their brother decided to go to the zoo. Parking was a bear. The premium of a $20 flat rate to park in the closest-in parking lot didn’t seem like an extravagance. If only they charged admission at the zoo! Maybe the number of bipeds and strollers and toddlers-on-leashes would have been lessened.

As it was, viewing the panda meant standing six deep and waiting for the batteries to run out on the front row’s digital cameras in order to move up to the rail. Oh the joys of living in a tourist mecca! But we made the pilgrimage. Good thing I can prop my feet up while I type this blog.


Chem Fatale

My eldest daughter has been having a difficult time deciding on her senior year classes. To receive an advanced diploma, she must take certain subjects and a certain number of AP classes. To remind those of us who haven't stepped foot in an AP class recently, they're basically college-level classes with the requisite college-level reading and writing. Last summer, for example, she had to read part of her regular textbook as well as part of a college-level book, finish a packet of questions based on the readings, and turn it in on the first day of school or receive an F for the first quarter. Brutal!

Some of her AP classes for next year were already givens. Currently she's taking German IV. German V is an AP class; no way around it. Since she has an A average in her English class as well as a 100 for the year in her creative writing class, she'll take the AP English next year. She also has an A average in her AP United States History class so AP United States Government is the next step. Now try to decide if four AP classes are too much.

She's currently taking chemistry and doing quite well. Her grade has alternated between an A and a B, depending on whether she missed a lot of school during some critical classroom time. She's been debating between AP chemistry and physics. My biggest concern was that four AP classes in one year, her senior year, might be too heavy of a load. Especially since we'll be visiting colleges and she'll be taking the SAT another time. (She took the SAT in October of her junior year and did very well. Taking it again in her senior year might increase her scores significantly.) She, her father and I discussed the pros and cons of AP chemistry versus a regular physics class.

She recently brought home a copy of her registration form. I scanned the form. AP English, AP German V, AP United States Government, Statistics, Trigonometry, Psychology, Art, and Physics. No fourth AP class. No more chemical equations. Now whenever I take the kids to the theme park and tell them about how roller coasters work, she'll be able to understand the decreasing circles in the corkscrew turns all the better.


Life Stinks

Baruch dayan emet (Blessed is the one true Judge). Into your hands, O Lord, we commend our brother (sister). Allaahumma ighfir lihaayina wa mayitina wa shaahidina wa ghaa’ibina wa sagheerina wa kabeerina wa dhakarina wa unthaana (O Allah, forgive our living and our dead, those who are present among us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our males and our females). Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant(s) with thy saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.

Those words, which should give comfort, have been spoken by me and too many of my friends recently. Within the last twelve months, we have lost a wife, a father, a mother, an actress, and are now close to losing another mother. In the last two years, I have sat Shiva with both a young mother of three six-year-old-and-under daughters and an older daughter who had an astonishing tale to tell about her extraordinary mother. I took food to homes and our fellowship hall for parishioners’ families’ meals and receptions.

Just yesterday a neighborhood friend walked up with her dog and my god-dog. I was surprised to see her with my dear friend’s dog. She informed me that the reason was that my friend and her family had gone to New York to see my friend’s mother who might not be with us as I type these words. It’s ironic how two Upper East Side transplants from across the Atlantic were/are both in hospital in New York and one is mourned by the world while the other will be mourned by only those who knew and loved her personally.

I will take food again and sit Shiva again and shed tears not only for my friend and her mother but for my neighbor and her mother and for me and my father. I will help her understand the pain and the labor that grieving requires of us. And I will be thankful that she has a strong synagogue community to support her.

My own thank you notes sit unwritten in a box from the funeral home which the funeral director topped with a picture of my father. Another friend told me that the thank you notes are the finality of death. Writing them is to acknowledge that your loved one is gone. I’m not to that point yet. I’m in limbo – that dreadfully depressing time after the casseroles stop coming, when everyone expects you to be “back to normal”.

There is no more normal for some of us. We are now widows and widowers, motherless daughters and adult orphans. We have been left alone by the world because we aren’t always up and happy. People don’t like to be reminded that there is sadness and grief and anger and any other emotion than happiness. Depending on your religious beliefs, our dearly departed are in a better place, free from pain, rejoicing in the Everlasting Light. But those of us left behind need nurturing and caring and checking in on.

Next time you ask us, “How are you,” look us in the eye and mean it. Ask it with conviction and a real desire to know how we’re doing. And don’t let time and society dictate when we’re supposed to be fine. Sit with us for a week. Pray for us for four months. And check up on us on holidays and birthdays and anniversaries. And slowly, hopefully, we’ll be able to answer you back is an honest “I’m okay.”


Mental Gymnastics

[Editor's note: Be sure to vote in the poll to the right of this blog.]

Facebook Former and I have been IM'ing each other on an almost nightly basis. He's been filling me in on the happenings in the political world of my birth state. For me, being involved in politics was a birthright.

My father was on the county party executive committee from before I was born, and the state party executive committee beginning in my teenage years. My mother was a voting inspector who worked the polls every election. My first memory of politics was when during the 1972 presidential election. She was working the polls as usual and I was with her. She told me to go outside and remove the bumper sticker from the back of our car since it was parked so close to the building and some people might consider that politicking.

Since I graduated from university a year early, my "gap year" was spent volunteering for a United States senatorial candidate. When he was elected, volunteering led to a paid position in his main district office which just so happened to be in the city where the university is located. It was the perfect opportunity because I had been accepted to the law school. My full-time position became part-time as torts and civil procedure and others filled my mornings; my afternoons were spent at the office, evenings studying. The senator wanted me in his Washington office, so off to DC I went.

After leaving the paid workforce to stay home with the kids, my ties to politics were reduced to nuggets gleaned from talks with my father. Without him, news from the state has dried up totally. Until the Facebook Former showed up and started peppering me with more information about the goings-on in state politics than I'd heard for years.

One thing I've noticed about IM'ing him is that he keeps me on my toes. He's very quick-witted and expects me to use parts of my brain that have lain dormant for a long time. Chatting online with him is both exhilarating and exhausting. Chatting with FF, I'm expected to know not only big words but nuances in labels and descriptions. After too many years of Big Bird, Anime, and Miley Cyrus, it's good to knock out the cobwebs and exercise the brain. Just slow down a little. After the other night I think I sprained my cerebellum.


Stolen from a Friend on Facebook

Kid questionnaire.

Ask your child(ren) to answer the questions and type their answers in.Tag other folks with older kids who might have fun with this. :)

( just type what the kids said...)

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
* Clean your room.
2. What makes Mommy happy?
* When we help around the house.
3. What makes Mommy sad?
* When a pet dies.
4. How does your Mommy make you laugh?
* Tickle me.
5. What was your Mommy like as a child?
* How am I supposed to know?
6. How old is your Mommy?
* 43.
7. How tall is your Mommy?
* 6 feet, 3 inches.
8. What is her favorite thing to do?
* Relax.
9. What does your Mommy do when you're not around?
* Run errands and clean the house and cook.
10. If your Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
* Cooking.
11. What is your Mommy really good at?
* Being a mom.
12. What is your Mommy not very good at?
* Juggling.
13. What does your Mommy do for her job?
* Be a mom and sometimes teach ballet.
14. What is your Mommy's favorite food?
* Spaghetti.
15. What makes you proud of your Mommy?
* She keeps the whole entire house in check.
16. If your Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
* Kyo’s mother from Alice 19.
17. What do you and your Mommy do together?
* Watch movies.
18. How are you and your Mommy the same?
* We both love to cook.
19. How are you and your Mommy different?
* Her eyes and partly her hair.
20. How do you know your Mommy loves you?
* She says it.
21. Where is your Mom's favorite place to go?
* The spa.

I asked my youngest. She got a lot of them right and some of them wrong. Hmm, which ones are wrong?

[Editor's note: The poll is still open. One person suggested New York City and even offered the use of her mother's Upper East Side apartment while the mother is out of pocket.]


Frau Robinson

[Editor's note: Don't forget to vote in the poll to the right of this blog.]

When you were in high school, didn't you look at other kids and think, Oh, s/he's cute? Even though you may be married, don't you see a stranger at the mall and think the same thing? As we age, do we stop appreciating good looks? Are we supposed to not acknowledge the fact that we think someone is cute/good looking/hot/beautiful/gorgeous? Perhaps if we're married and the person we think is cute is the same age as our eldest daughter?

She takes German in school and is participating in an exchange program with a group of kids from Austria. Even though the ratio of girls to boys in the German classes at her high school is fairly equal, for some reason there are more American girls than boys participating in the exchange this year. The Austrian class is split closer to 50/50. Which means that some of the girls need to host a boy. Even though we have only daughters, we moved the youngest in with another and offered to host a boy.

The Austrian students arrived yesterday and when we got a look at the young man who'll be staying with us both the teenagers' as well as mom's eyes widened. A quick glance at my two girls and I could see in their face what they were thinking.

When I privately told my husband about their reaction, I also mentioned that I thought he was cute. At which point my husband immediately starts in with "coo-coo-ca-choo".


Where in the World Should The Gaelic Wife Go?

One week. That's all the time you've got to vote in the poll on the top right side of my page. My husband and I decided that I needed some Me Time. Alone. Preferably in a different city. So, here are the pros and cons of each. Don't forget to vote!

London - Cons: It'll still be dark and cold and dreary. The dollar isn't doing too well against the pound. The last time I was in London was with my father who recently passed away. Pros: They speak English. There are great theatres and museums to keep me busy so I don't think too much about my troubles. The last time I was in London was with my father.

Paris - Cons: They speak French. The dollar isn't doing too well against the euro. The first time I was in Paris was with my father. Pros: I speak French. Lots of museums and restaurants. The first time I was in Paris was with my father.

San Juan - Cons: Not much to do except the beach and I'm fair skinned (Gaelic, remember). Getting to the resort you pass such abject poverty that you feel guilty indulging in such luxury. They speak Spanish. Pros: It's still in the US, so no passport or changing money. It'll be warm and sunny. El Yunque.

Remember, vote early, vote often! Polls close on Monday, March 23rd at noon Eastern Time.


Do You Want Cheese With That Whine?

The back pain began with a vengeance two years ago. Was it residual sciatica from my third pregnancy? Was my four-time-a-week running schedule creating a tight piriformis muscle or SI joint? Time to find out.

After numerous MRIs, x-rays, nerve tests, muscle tests, six months of physical therapy, deep-tissue massage, and two rounds of epidural steroids, the pain still radiated down my leg and tingled my toes. If my toes are going to be tingling, I’d prefer a different method. The doctor put me on a nerve medicine and two pain medicines which are enough to stop a horse. No wonder I feel like I’m walking in a fog all day that never lifts.

Today’s office visit was to discuss other options than living on meds the rest of my life. However, five minutes into the conversation and it was becoming clear to me that he wanted to do another round of epidural steroid shots. Thank goodness my husband was with me to drive me home.

So instead of heading off to the gym for some cardio and strength training, I ended up walking gingerly back to the car for a not-too-pleasant ride home. Um, did I say home? I made the unfortunate mistake of checking my email on the way home. My Girl Scout troop’s cookie manager needed me to pick up cookies for today’s cookie booth. (Yesterday was a wild goose chase for cookies in which I ended up driving two hours roundtrip and still didn’t come back with the two biggest selling cookies without which a cookie booth is basically useless – Thin Mints and Samoas (coconut and caramel with chocolate drizzle).)

Today calls for a medicinal latte. If it’s medicinal, then partaking won’t be breaking Lent. Ten o’clock was too early for anything harder. Although it’s four o’clock somewhere. Europe, perhaps? Stilton, anyone?


Previously on The Gaelic Wife

Yesterday’s blog about my Facebook Former led to some questions about my life before becoming The Gaelic Wife. So to get everyone on the same page, let’s begin, shall we?

Chapter One: I was born. No, no. That’s too far back. But it’s a good back story for character development. You see, I haven’t always been The Wife, but I’ve always been Gaelic.

Imagine growing up in the town of Maycomb, Alabama, that Scout (Miss Jean Louise Finch) describes in the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. That was pretty much my childhood, transposed to the 1970s. It was a town bypassed by good intentions. The race track that would have brought in a steady revenue stream was located elsewhere because the thought of having racing nearby bothered the town elders. The four-lane road from the interstate directly connecting through the town toward an outlet mall was nixed because they feared people would speed through the town. Now they speed by it on the interstate never knowing that it lies a mile to the west of the right-of-way.

Factory work kept the next generation close to home, except for a few who were shooed away by well-meaning parents in hopes of a better life for their offspring. In its heyday, there had been a cotton mill, a tire and rubber plant, a steel plant, a pipe shop, and a foundry. As my Baby Bust generation came along, the cotton mill sat empty with broken window panes; the pipe shop was out of business; the foundry was long gone, overtaken by Mother Nature’s weeds and vines. The steel plant was operational as much as it sat idle. The tire and rubber plant seemed the only way to go. It ran shifts round the clock, six days a week.

Blue laws kept the plant shuttered on Sundays, as well as the department and shoe stores, the libraries and the grocery stores. Mine was a dry county which didn’t allow the sale of alcohol. The county line, and the first liquor stand, was a thirty-five minute drive following the serpentine of the river around the bends and fingers of the mountains which dipped toward the water.

My section of the Deep South was at the very end of the Appalachian Mountains. There’s a certain twang in our voices that carries along the crests of the mountains. Nuances are honed in the hollers and ridges down the eastern backbone of the country. My family instilled a pride of our Scots-Irish heritage. Bluegrass and traditional Celtic music carry the same lilt and resonances much as our souls carry the same religions and prejudices and suspicions.

Once upon a time there was a trolley line that ran from my little town to the county seat. The trolley fell out of favor, replaced by busses. With the increasing encroachment of civil rights into small towns, bus lines were shut down rather than having mixing. The last solitary public pool was left to turn putrid green with algae rather than clean it for the black kids since only the Blanche Dubois’s of the world would darken the doorway of the shower house. Some years later it was backfilled to make room for a mobile home retailer.

In winter, my father would throw us in the car and race to the nearest fire in the N-town on one side of the tracks to watch the firemen futilely battle a fire started from a coal fireplace, a gas heater, or just plain old negligence as it raced through timber-frame structures sitting squat to the ground. In summer, he would pile us in the car and meander to the sirens of gospel music wafting from the N-town on the other side of the tracks. Our neighborhood was a thin slice of 1950s prosperity sandwiched between two sets of railroad tracks against which shanty-like houses shouldered sheltering the poorer blacks in town and giving those sections of town their pejorative names of N-town.

Hierarchy was learned at an early age. Families that once had been well-to-do saw their fortunes evaporate during the war as their farmlands were confiscated. Families whose reputations survived were knocked off their pedestals in response to a d-i-v-o-r-c-e. Conditions such as divorce, and cancer, and affairs were only spoken of in whispers. Some things, like mental illness, were never discussed because it just didn’t happen to anyone you knew. Pity and shame kept people quiet about unmentionable subjects and kept them in their places if they dared to even dream of straying from the straight and narrow.

[Editor’s note: The author has been convinced that this should be serialized since it’s already much longer than most of her blogs. More of the “Previously on” blogs will be forthcoming soon.]


Tide Your Love Away

Facebook is still relatively new to me. My account is active. There are friends on my list. People invite me to join their causes. But I find that most of the folks asking me for friend requests are all high school acquaintances. Not even friends. Sure, I was friendly with them in high school, but they didn’t share my favorite things nor my innermost yearnings.

Finally a blast from the past shows up on Facebook who makes me really excited about going online. He’s an old boyfriend. Not just any former boyfriend, but the only other guy I dated than my husband who was of the same political bent as me and, more importantly, my father.

When my now-husband-then-boyfriend asked for my hand in marriage, all he had to tell my father was that he was of the same political party for my father to agree. After that, they stood in the backyard and dissed all my other boyfriends whom my father called Nazis, including one CIA operative, because they were all of the “other side”.

So the “Facebook Former” as we’ll call him friends me out of the blue. His profile pic looks just like he did over 20 years ago. Back then he was a respected lawyer in a small town about 45 miles from my hometown as well as a seminar professor at one of the upper tier law schools in my home state. He wanted me to become a law partner with him and settle down and have his kids. His mistake back then was not formalizing things by actually asking me to marry him; he just assumed.

Guess he found out the hard way that I am just like time and tide; I wait for no man. I wonder if he still assumes too much.


Cure for the Common Scold

[Editor's note: The author cleared this blog with her friend before posting it. Her friend said the woman was a "narrow-minded old bat". The author now proudly claims the pejorative of shikse.]

I could never be Jewish. Or Pentecostal. Or Orthodox anything, for that matter. The second son of a very good friend had his Bar Mitzvah on Saturday. Having run late trying to get out of the house, the note for the gift sat in my purse during the service, unwritten. Following the service, I asked my friend for a quiet place where I could write the note. She said that some people would be offended by writing anything in the chapel and then suggested a small couch in the ladies’ room for nursing mothers.

I retrieved the note and a pen from my purse and had just begun making the D in Dear when an older woman exiting one of the bathroom stalls harrumphed at me.

“I know I’m not supposed to be writ….”

“I hate it when people do that on the Sabbath and here in the synagogue. You should have more respect. You could at least go out to your car and do that.”

I felt like I had committed some unforgivable deadly sin. Embarrassed, I made my excuses to my host, grabbed a cup of coffee and hightailed it out of there. Once in my car, I began to reflect on the differences between my church life and what I had just experienced.

There aren’t many rules in my current parish. Unlike other denominations and other religions, I eat meat on Fridays; play cards; drink alcohol; wear makeup and jewelry; go bare-headed to church; wear shorts and sleeveless tops outside my house; drive on Saturdays; drive period; take Communion from women; eat pork; enter my pew without kneeling; take notes on the sermon; cross the center aisle without bowing; and still believe that all that really matters is my relationship with my Creator.

Of course it doesn’t help matters that, when told about my scolding at schul, my husband remarked that for the boy he is mentoring for Confirmation he might give the boy a copy of Jefferson’s Bible. Because Jefferson exhorted his nephew to “Question with boldness even the existence of God.” A great way to teach kids to question authority. And one that my rebellious, anarchist side thinks the cure for a lot of what ails us is a small serving of that.


Ja Nyet Spioni

Let’s face it. I’m weird. Like we didn’t know that already! Those of you whose first thought that was, I know who you are.

I like Russian literature. Old Russian literature. Like nineteenth-century old. To my delight, I stumbled across a website where I can read full texts online of Russian literati short stories. Oh joy! Oh, man, she IS weird!

If you’re looking for a quick fix for your expansive, angst-ridden, achingly beautiful tragedies, check out


Glut Your Mug

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous.)

So why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?

Because now we are all only five minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!


Talk Shirty to Me

How hard is it to schedule a little nookie? Get out your PDA. Let's compare schedules.

"Thursday night?"

"Nope, got belay training. What about Saturday morning?"

"Isn't that the Bar Mitzvah? What about Sunday?"

"We've got the Girl Scout cookie booth after which I'll just want to sleep. What about Monday or Tuesday morning?"

"I've got meetings those mornings."

"What about phone sex while I'm running errand? I've got to pick up the laundry on Monday after ballet."

"Okay, then, between dancing and dry cleaning you can whisper sweet nothings through the phone line."

"Deal. Now could I go to sleep, please? My meds are making me woozy."


Oh, Belay Can You See

[Editor's note: Today is Day Eight of Lent and Day Eight for the author without her triple decaf grande latté. If you happen to live within a 100-mile radius and want or need anything from her, wear a helmet when asking lest she knock you up side the head.]

My Girl Scout troop and another Girl Scout troop are planning a trip to Savannah in June. Savannah is the Birthplace of Girl Scouts, home to Juliette Gordon Low. To help the girls get to know girls in the other troop, we've been doing several activities together this year such as a camping trip back in September and a pre-New Years slumber party on December 30th. Our next joint event will be rock climbing at a local rock climbing gym.

To keep the cost down, we decided to use our own belayers rather than the gym's. The other troop leader is already belay certified. She suggested having my two teenage daughters trained so they can take the test to be certified. So last night she lugged over several ropes and harnesses and biners to my house to teach them the basic knots.

The elder daughter had no problem with the knots or the harness and picked up everything very quickly. The younger one was not focused at all. She couldn't get the knots down between text messaging her friends. The other troop leader finally took her phone away from her. Good move. All this was going on around me while I sat in my comfy chair with my laptop delicately answering emails from parents in my troop about the troop finances and fundraising for the Savannah trip.

After the other troop leader left, the younger daughter told me she was very cold. Hand to forehead, Oh My God, she was burning up. That explains why her face was flushed. She complained of a headache and sore throat and woke up this morning with a nasty cough. Sounds like the flu. Although strep throat is going around.

Good thing I osmosed all the information about belaying. I'll take the certification test since I doubt my daughter would be able to look up at the climber without keeling over on the mat. Instead of her yelling back "Climb on", someone on the ground would be yelling "Timber!"


Puss and Ludes

There is a small tear in one of the discs in my lower back. The spinal fluid chemically irritates the nerve which causes awful lower back pain that radiates down my leg to my toes, to the point of making my toes feel like there are pins and needles in my shoes, my socks, or even on the bare floor. My doctor finally found a combination of meds that dull the pain enough for me to make it through the day without too much agony. But those same pills are enough to also knock me out if I end up doing something non-active like, say, eating lunch.

To help with the joints, the doctor also recommends taking fish oil every day. After adding in the calcium tablets and the other vitamins, to keep track of all the pills I had to buy a multiple-slot pill caddy. My kids joke that it looks like a senior citizen's pill caddy.

Last night at supper, I discovered that one of the cats had knocked off the pill caddy during the day. After putting everything back in, three pills were missing. Two fish oil capsules and one Schedule C pain pill. The cat was probably going for the fish oil. But that explains why he slept all day yesterday and all night without getting up once.


Keepin' Granny Off the Street

Are you "quirky but stylish, awful but nice, alcoholic, enraged, creative, insecure, skillful, tall, small, perhaps you’re cross-eyed with a huge nose, you’re beautiful but you’ve got hairy feet, you do know bats and maybe you talk to clothes pegs"? Then I have the place for you... to design your own beanie.

First, check out their video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwd-ogAgKm8. After you've got the basic idea for the concept, check out their website at http://goldenhook.fr/en/home. The fun part isn't designing your granny-knitted hat. It's choosing which granny you want to knit it for you. You can even send your granny-of-choice a message.

Of course, the scary part is reading the granny bios and realizing that one of the grannies is just 48 and that another has been married since kindergarten. Ack! Imagine going through puberty with your husband.