Wednesday, August 31, 2011

15 minutes or less..

Someone is crabby here because part of a tire touches their lawn. Crabbiness all around (from passive/
I had my thyroid gland destroyed by radiation 17 years ago because my Graves' Disease could not be controlled. The process was easy. I swallowed less than a teaspoon of salty solution containing 131Iodine which is radioactive emitting beta rays. Fortunately they don't travel far but they destroy everything in their path. I am now dependent on taking Synthroid and ran out yesterday.

All over the pharmacy are signs saying that your script will be filled in 15 minutes or they give you $5. There were no other customers. Presumably my primary had phoned in a script a few months ago but then I never got confirmation. Fortunately they found it in the system and said just wait 15 minutes. I picked a few other items while I waited which they overcharged me for and were mad that I made them start over. Even though I was the only customer, the script took 20 minutes to process. I asked about their promise to fill it in 15 minutes.

Well we didn't write down when we started.
Well I did.
They gave me the $5 but were crabby.

I always wear a running watch. My watch strap broke in the middle of the night so now I am wearing Steve's which is only a bit more ugly.

I've been crabby myself. I have to find myself out of this.

Later that day I misplaced the drug. Did I leave it at Naomi's? Did it fall out of the bag? How will I get new drugs? I hate being dependent on it. I must have put it in my purse for safe keeping but I had not made a mental note.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My grand baby is the size of a small strawberry

A couple of weeks ago, I was discussing the size of my new grand baby with Naomi while standing in line buying yet another load of wedding supplies. I had told her that at that time (I was a week off) that the baby was the size of a kidney bean. A woman behind us overheard and said that her grand baby was the size of a plum but once was only the size of a blueberry. So some sites compare sizes to fruit and some to nuts and beans. Shanna was told 'brazil nut' for comparison.

This week the baby developed distinct fingers and toes as opposed to paddles. He/she is due towards the end of March: a spring baby though Shanna has a tendency to go into labor early. She had the dates confirmed by ultrasound last week when the little one was just 9 weeks along. At this stage, there isn't much variation between babies.  Three babies under 5!!! Another miracle in the making.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good night Irene

Naomi and Don'tae on the Coney Island Boardwalk a couple of weeks before Maya came out.
Above is the first food stand one comes to southwest of the aquarium and about a half mile away from where Steve grew up. This area was evacuated yesterday. The Weather Channel has stationed some of its cameras right where Naomi is standing here. The windows are closed; the clams sign has been put away. However not much hurricane action occurred here. They put the microphones in the air so the viewers could hear the howling but even with a little wind, the air resonating around the nearby tower makes a strange sound though usually it is hard to hear above the cacophony of the trains and amusement rides which are silent today. This place is usually quite noisy. Since there was no air conditioning in the bedrooms of Steve's parents' apartment, the windows needed to be open in the summer. It took a while to be able to sleep through the rumbling of the trains, car sirens and the amusement parks.

 Much ado about nothing.

In Boston, they usually have several Nor-easters a year more impressive than this. The hurricane seems to have lost its eye and has been down graded to a tropical storm.

Here in Michigan it is still, cool and sunny. Leaves are starting to change.

path near Shanna's place. This usually is about 6 feet higher than sea level.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


This from Josh's friend's blog. The salt flats of Bolivia. Miles and miles of salt. I think these are road markers
After a week of fretting (or years of fretting depending on how I am counting), we seem to have a plan in place towards Naomi achieving independence. Still an uphill battle..but we all feel better about things.

I am tired. I was trying to make up for lost time by running extra far for most of the week but by yesterday,  I was beat and decided just to chill all day. I met with a friend for a long lunch out on a patio next to train tracks. When the Amtrak comes through just feet away, we get to experience our own earthquake. I missed the one the other day though others in Ann Arbor felt it. Since our venue was so small and Naomi insisted on inviting certain people who in the end didn't even show, I was unable to invite everyone I wanted to. But it was fun catching up. I reviewed the menu with him. He is African American..Chicken roulades stuffed with sun dried tomatoes? No wonder adults tried to take the kids' macaroni and cheese.

We had custom ordered M and Ms with Naomi and Don'tae's picture on it. Someone asked Naomi how the picture got on..she told them that I hand painted them with a tiny brush....

Bugs have been destroying my summer (and others too). Never have there been so many. Last night wiping myself off with wipes impregnated with Off!, we were finally able to enjoy our patio bite free.

Hurricane Irene slowly goes up the coast. If Steve's mom still lived on the barrier island The Rockaways, she would have been evacuated for sure. Steve's remaining family though is not in the evacuation zone but can expect lots of flooding. It appears that it will go inland by the time it inches up to Boston where Shanna and her family live right on the coast. I don't think she'll need to be evacuated but power outages and flooding...yes.

We had a pleasant lunch with Josh and Julia who are taking much of our leftover liquor for their own party tonight.

Maya sort of said a word today. La-la-la. If you ask her to sing, she goes La-la-la. But she is expanding her hand signals..hands are  in constant motion.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Boy who couldn't Read

There are these quiet, dark whispers incessantly nagging: What is wrong with my child?

He was a stunningly beautiful  boy with large blue eyes fringed with thick black lashes, always smiling. Over ten pounds at birth, he continued to grow faster than his peers. At one, he was the size of a two year old. He hit all those gross motor skills milestones very early but by two, all that came from his mouth was gibberish.

I tried to do all the right things, read to him, sing to him, reward any attempt at speech with applause. Gradually words came; very poorly enunciated, but words nonetheless. At four, he was the size of a six year old but spoke like a three year old. I sent him to speech therapy. Before the insurance would pay for this, he needed to be 'professionally' evaluated. The evaluator's conclusion: not only was he grossly deficient in speech but he seemed to be mentally challenged as well. I had no business sending him off to kindergarten the next year as he so woefully was behind. Well my baby boy could play chess and passed every little logic test that I could think of. I knew he was bright though maybe I was just a blind mama bear thinking the best of her cub. The speech therapist  worked wonders. Although he had vastly superior gross motor control, he had no control of his tongue.

By kindergarten, he no longer spoke 'funny'. He also had  superior social skills and usually found himself to be the most popular boy. He was the first boy to be picked on any team and invited to almost every party.

All was going well except for that he could not read. He disguised it very well and listened carefully to classroom discussions. He took home all his books which I read and told him the highlights. As he became older, more and more books for me to read and quiz him over. If some of you wondered why I couldn't find time to clean my house, well this is a hint. He did fairly well in school. He was able to parrot back what we went over. Spelling however was torture. At one point he was in a third year advanced French class. This turned out to be impossible, learning a foreign language was just too much. He did well in math. What is going to become of a boy who couldn't read? How will he earn a living? He worried about these questions himself. I suggested that he become an engineer as he had the math ability and there was no foreign language requirement. As he was fascinated by cars, I suggested he go to this engineering school affiliated with the auto industry. Sure, sign him up.

During his senior year, we took the family to NYC for X-mas. With us was Julia, his girlfriend of 6 months and Shanna's fiance (not whom she eventually married). He was recovering from mono and still felt quite ill (Julia did not catch it). I had bought books for us all to read for the long ride including a Harry Potter book for Naomi (who turned out to have a more severe reading disorder). At some point, Josh took Naomi's book and didn't put it down. He then started reading everything he could get his hands on. Even today, he reads well into the night. A light suddenly dawned on him. Before it didn't occur to him that he needed to actually pay attention to the words written.

He did well in college though there were a lot more non-engineering classes he had to take thus more books for me to read and discuss than what I had hoped. The guys in the fraternity would study together. He helped them out with CAD classes in which he was a whiz and they helped him with everything else. He went to a co-op college: classes for 3 months then work for 3 months: back and forth for 5 years. His corporate sponsor kept him and gave him credit for his co-op years so he has a fair amount of seniority for one so young. With all the slicing and dicing in the auto industry, he is one of the youngest left. They think quite highly of him. He was the principal inventor on a patent which saved his company millions. Recently they offered him a promotion in charge of eight engineers. He was hesitant to take it as it would take him away from designing but to get ahead, you need to be a supervisor. They told him he could spend time designing also and do special projects involving international travel. When it comes time for someone to present the department's work to those above, Josh is the first that they ask to do this; my little inarticulate bear cub all grown up.
There are a few left overs of his challenges. He can not spell or remember names. He mispronounces simple words. Yesterday he called me to look at a map and try to figure out the name of a street he needed to go to in Plymouth. He had written it down somewhere but lost the strip of paper and didn't want to pester the person again. Sounded like Fairfax or something. I blew up a map and carefully pored over it looking for something that would sound similar to his ears and  guess. As he did not call me back, I must have guessed right. I am trying to get him to learn at least a little Portuguese for his trip in a few weeks but I know he won't. In Germany, he couldn't repeat the name of his workplace as it was a compound word a mile long. He just hoped to find it on his own.

So there are happy endings. Will a miracle occur with my baby who is still finding herself?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where do we go from here?

From Campanastan

This is a work in progress. So many unknowns...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Picking up the pieces

At the rehearsal BBQ

Doing the cha cha slide. Steve's cousin's wife in the gray suit. Josh is right behind the pink lady

Chaos at my house last Friday morning. Maya asleep in corner

Licking wedding cake off Don''tae

Fixing hair at Josh's. She slept with the help of a boppy pillow in curlers

Naomi and Julia. Julia did her hair
We are trying to get back to normal here. Classes begin Friday. Naomi went in Monday to discuss switching programs. She was told no problem but when she tried to register yesterday, all sorts of error codes popped up. After numerous phone calls and e-mails, it looks like she might have to sit this semester out. We are making one last ditch effort...

My poor garden is quite neglected. Being attacked by swarms of mosquitoes has limited my time out there. One bright spot: my bromeliad, an air plant which looks almost dead must not be as it is sending up pink and purple blossoms.

It was in the high 40s yesterday morning, perfect for a long run. I've become so puffy and lethargic  in the last few weeks, I hope this will help. Although it is supposed to be 92 later today, it still felt cool this morning.

I did not feel the earthquake as others did yesterday. Shanna being on the 5th floor in a building in Boston felt the bed she was sitting on shake. Hurricane Irene is coming her way.
Ceiling: I loved the swirling lights. It gave the room a magical aura. Most of the pix I posted for these past 2 days is from one of the Moms. I am grateful for her 170 photos

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

scenes from a wedding

Maya and Great aunt with me in the background

Ceiling: looked better when it got dark

Three cakes: chocolate almond, lemon, strawberry mousseline

Lots of candles

The ceiling

centerpiece: all were different

Head table flowers

Food table

garter retrieval

Head table
Maya and grandpa

Maya fascinated with the lights

Shanna and her aunt

Tables before the caterer came
Steve's family

Naomi drinking a Maya Tai
Steve and his sister
Getting ready early in the morning

Lots of asparagus. I don't care for it and apparently nobody else does either. Have tons left

The couple and the photographer. Can't wait to see his photos. He did such a good job on the engagement ones

Wild and crazy nephews and niece

The Menu
Shrimp Trio Platter
Fresh shrimp, sesame ginger shrimp and lemon
garlic shrimp with cocktail sauce

Grilled Asparagus Platter
With hearts of palm, cherry tomatoes and pine
nuts drizzled with lemon dressing

Poached Norwegian Salmon Platter
Whole salmon fillet served with watercress
cucumber sauce, red onion caper relish,
French baguette slices and crackers

Chicken Roulades
Stuffed with spinach, Parmesan and sun-dried
tomato, served with steamed broccoli, carrots
and aioli sauce

Caprese Salad Platter
Sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and
basil with balsamic vinaigrette

French Potato Salad
with fresh tarragon

Marinated Flank Steak Platter
Served sliced with zucchini,
pepperonata and grilled ciabatta

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wedding Tsouris

Right after she got her make-up done. She looks a tad plastic here. I have been slowly posting pix from friends and family. See previous post
Well it wouldn't be me if I didn't kvetch a little.

Airlines: A curse on you all. This seems to be coming more common. Deregulation perhaps? A friend was travelling to the West Coast recently and was told to deplane about 25% short of her goal. When would she be able to continue? Details were slow to emerge but her son ended up picking her up extremely early in the morning. The weather was good that day at every airport. One of our guests had his flight cancelled minutes before he was to board. His luggage flew ahead of him somehow. He was rerouted through another city whose airport had shut down as he flew towards it and missed the connection. Then the next morning, he was told there was no record of him in their system so, no, he couldn't fly here but he could fly to DC. (?)He called us at 5:30 am to tell us that (and I had finally dozed off..sigh). I got up and rearranged the seating. As soon as I had finished, he called to say that they would let him fly here after all. Just at the time I needed Steve to help move heavy furniture. Redo the chart..again.

Late for the wedding guests: At four o'clock sharp, the wedding was to begin. What was the bride doing at that time? Fielding several phone calls with guests having no idea where the wedding was? And they called the wrong person in so many ways. First, she's the Bride. She needs to be walking down the aisle. Second, Naomi is the world's  giving directions (well you take the road through the trees and you go through 2 maybe 3 lights...) Some of the guests thought the wedding was like a BBQ that you could just amble into fashionably late. Directions were on the website. They should have figured out the plan way before the wedding but...

No shows: Well I guess this always happens but if they really had no intention of coming, I wish they would just say that. It worked out to be a table's worth not to mention the exact expense.

DWB: Late the night before, Don'tae's friends rented a car to take him to a casino in Detroit. They drove through a 'white' suburb and were stopped allegedly for having a suspicious license plate. Even though the rental agreement was in order and the driver's papers too, this racist asshole thought it would be fun to run background checks to see if there weren't some outstanding warrants, etc on all the passengers. He came up empty. The passengers quietly put up with this injustice. If they had said anything, the wedding would have been off. Unfortunately they are used to such BS. Is this what Naomi and Maya now must put up with? The place is Canton. Shanna wanted to move there if she came to Michigan but I would not recommend it.

My dress: Yep it was beautiful but with me in it, not so much.I gave up weighing myself . I did not look anything like what I had hoped. Plus I was really having a bad hair day. I was hoping to have some help with the hair and have a pre-wedding manicure but no time.

Rain: This was not supposed to happen but it started to pour right when the wedding started. So some of the outside shots didn't happen and our receiving line had to be inside. And we had a receiving line crasher. Who knows who she was but she stood beside me receiving guests.

Exercise: I missed several days of this. No time plus I wanted to reserve my energy for the wedding. But it does take away the negative energy that I too quickly accumulate. I finally tried to run between family visits yesterday but the hours of loading and unloading had really worn me out and it was hard. Right now it is very nice out but still I am spent.

The rest is such small stuff though it loomed large at the time: missing linens, miscommunications, chairs that weren't what I thought I ordered, crying babies during the ceremony, a broken refrigerator that we thought was cooling the beverages, money, money, money swiftly disappearing, a feeling of being the auslander at some of our gatherings tolerated only as I am married into this, guests eating the kids' food  with one claiming boorishly to the host (Steve) that they can't eat this shit pointing to our  (delicious, gourmet, expensive) spread, a family member thinking that 'his side' had been ignored and then took a microphone to remind everyone, loudly, about whose blood this is.


About to begin the recessional

Dad and Naomi at reception. She had changed into a dancing gown

First dance
Time swept over W-Day like a tidal wave and now it has passed. What has happened and what is left?

Naches: pronounced Nah-kiss and spelled in other ways too as it is a  transliteration from Yiddish. When I gave birth to Shanna, I received many cards from Steve's family hoping that I will have naches. Nachos? Why do they want me to have nachos? What is this naches? It is the pride and joy of ones children and grandchildren. To see your children have happiness and wonder gives you pleasure. This week was full of moments of naches. I will try to recapture a few of these (there were many more) in no particular order. Some of the moments of wonder I will report aren't technically naches but still filled me with happiness.

The front-end loader: Daniel's birthday was last week. He and his brother share a fascination with construction equipment. We bought him a replica of a Caterpillar front-end loader complete with many noisy buttons to press with the back-up beeps, engine noise, flashing lights, etc. Once he clawed through the packaging, he exclaimed excitedly Front-end Loader!!!!! It sounded so precious coming from a two year old's lips.

Hummingbirds: Although I am sure that there are hummingbirds in Massachusetts, the sea coast where they now live on is not where you would find them. Oliver was eating in our kitchen with a clear view of the feeder and flowers and suddenly announced: Hummingbird! He had not seen one before in the flesh, only from pictures. He watched them with pleasure over his stay.

Crinoline, lights and trees: Ms. Maya was the epitome of preciousness in her flower girl dress. While we were in bride's waiting room at the church preparing, she sat down on the floor legs straight in front with the layers of crinoline billowing up. She toyed with them, patting them down and pulling them up. She looked so cute. Alas I was not able to take a picture in time. She had tired herself out walking back and forth in the church hallways before the ceremony so when it was time for her big moment walking down the aisle, she had fallen asleep and was carried instead. She awoke a few hours later in the reception on the couch pictured in yesterday's blog blinking in astonishment. Where was she? So many people! She did not panic. During the wedding night, there were plenty of people who stepped in to entertain her so that Naomi could have a baby tending free wedding. She is so charming and mellow..Later as it darkened outside, the inside lights were dimmed too so all the swirling multicolored minilights on the ceiling came into view. She reached for them  staring fascinated with their motion. At one point, Steve took her outside as he thought the music was too loud for her. She reached for the trees outlined in the quiet moonlight in wonder.

The Bride; my baby: Naomi was stunningly beautiful. She wore her beautiful red hair down in curls topped with a sparkly tiara. She has a model's body: tall, willowy, perfectly proportioned set off well with a designer dress tight fitting until the dropped waist with layers and layers of fluff. We called it the swan princess dress. She insisted on professionally applied make-up which set off her beautiful face perfectly. She  was graceful and during the week leading up to the wedding, was surprisingly calm. How is this child mine? That was my moment of wonder...

The decorations and flowers: Naomi wanted sparkles, lights, crystals and feathers, all things glimmery and prncessy for the wedding. My good friend, one of the Moms, worked hard and long to effect this. She is remarkably talented and many, including the wedding professionals, commented on the beauty. overall effect, artful design. Another Mom spent lots of hours helping her. I am so grateful to them. Naomi was astonished and excited as she saw the room transformed into her  dreamed for fairyland.

The matron of honor: This phrase cracks me up as someone close to the image I see in the mirror comes to mind, not my beautiful young daughter Shanna. But she is married, with children so she is a Maiden No More. We had a moment of panic as her dress no longer seemed to fit just hours before the ceremony. We  waited for Julia to come to help and  the dress fit fine but then Julia's dress no longer seemed to fit too. Other bridesmaids reported similar problems but eventually all overcame the especially difficult zipper. Shanna and Naomi have not always seen eye to eye on many issues. They are so very different. Shanna is not a fan of speaking in public but she came through with a beautiful toast to her bigger, little sister. Although she had little sleep the night before, she helped clean up late into the night getting up especially early to prepare a room for a guest whose hotel reservations we had cancelled thinking that he would not make it.

The wedding grace:  I had not planned for this. It is not that I am ungrateful for blessings that have been bestowed but who do I thank? So many people plus I guess my lucky stars but Don'tae's mom stepped in and gave a beautiful blessing.

The Mother of the Groom/ son dance: They are both graceful dancers. His mom choked back tears of joy on the dance floor with her first child to marry.

Don'tae's family: They hosted the rehearsal BBQ in their backyard the night before. This was no small expense for them. They were very welcoming and open to us and the  soul food was delicious. I met Don'tae's mom not so long ago. At that time she matter of factedly rated her children as to their trustworthiness with the this is just how it is explanation. They are what they are. I guess I shouldn't publicly reveal the ratings as I was taken back though Don'tae was the high scorer. I hadn't before this weekend met another of the high raters but this young man proved to me to be a gem. And they all showed up in time for the wedding rehearsal. Who was late? The Bride.

The dancing: Can white people dance? Well the ones from Seattle can gyrating to the opening Single ladies: put a ring on it. I have a video of this. And Josh and Julia are very graceful too. But Don'tae  is a very skilled dancer as are many in his family. He was a joy to watch. As for me, as a gift to Naomi, I kept my dancing to a minimum.

Maya Tais: With so many non-drinkers attending, I wanted to have a special drink just for them. I made 4 gallons ahead of time that should make 6 gallons of Maya tais once cut with club soda and rum for those over 21. These were a heady mix of pineapple, orange, coconut and grenadine garnished with cherries, limes and oranges. Very colorful. They quickly ran  out. Still plenty of nae-tae-ni mix left though. Come on by and I will set you up.

My family: Flying in from both coasts with some horror stories due to cancelled flights, cancelled car rentals, reroutes, an unplanned overnight in a city even farther from the target, everyone eventually made it in. I feel bad that I had no time to interact as much as I would have wanted. Sadly I do not exhibit much grace under pressure and turned into mother- of- the- bride-zilla the morning of, faced with many hiccups that eventually didn't matter but seemed to at the time. Many pitched in to set up the place early Saturday morning.  After our rehearsal BBQ when  those mosquitoes were becoming increasingly intolerable, we all met at Josh's house and stayed late into the night telling stories. I  fretted that I should be home devising nae-tae-nis and making even more Maya tais but what is more important? And then there is Steve who quietly put up with my graceless venting making numerous errands to pick up stuff I needed and refrained for the most part of reminding me what I should have done better.

Photos: The official ones will come in three weeks. I saw a few of them through the camera. The couple photographs well plus there are some very good ones of Maya. In the meantime, there were friends and family with cameras. Hopefully I will see these soon and post accordingly.

Ms. Maya and Shanna

The Moms with Naomi in her dancing dress

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wedding aftermath

How we all feel after months of planning and being up all night the night before.
The bride was beautiful (photos later), the ceremony wonderful, spectacular
 decorations and flowers  thanks to my good friend, almost everything went without a hitch. Still in the midst of clean-up so I will post later.

Wedding aftermath

How we all feel after months of planning and being up all night the night before.
The bride was beautiful (photos later), the ceremony wonderful, spectacular
 decorations and flowers no thanks to my good friend, almost everything went without a hitch. Still in the midst of clean-up so I will post later.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What is a reservation?

If the last letter of the name of of your car rental company is zee, don't assume that just because you made a reservation that means you will actually get to rent a car. Argh!

It is hard enough to get 19 people together. We had two flights of relatives coming yesterday that were to come in roughly the same time from opposite coasts. Both used the monoply airline here, not much choice. The longest flight did come in  on time but not the shorter. Their plane had left the gate twice returning to the gate first because some warning light was on and the plane needed to be repaired. The second time while taxi-ing away, it was noticed that the mechanics left some flap open. The third time was the charm but the plane came in over 2 hours late. I watched their flight path on the computer..the path looked more like an EKG than a straight line. I guess they were avoiding storms. We were hoping that the car rented by the Atlantic coast people could carry some of the Pacific coast ones but instead of waiting at the airport, they all crammed on top of each other to come to our house.
We had made reservations at a nice restaurant for 19. We kept changing the times trying to predict when we actually could be together. I guess I should have made dinner for us all but everything is covered in wedding stuff and I am going crazy as it is. No food on the flight and our guests were hungry with all the waiting so we had some appetizers. Some of us went to the restaurant to eat. Fortunately they were understanding about seating our incomplete party. Meanwhile, back at the airport, it took almost an hour to get to the rental car place and when they got car. They were told no problem, a car would be ready in 20 minutes. This came and went. Meanwhile they spoke to some in the crowded waiting room and learned that some people had been waiting for this mythical car for several hours so why did they think they were getting a car anytime soon. Just because they had a reservation? Ha! Again the name ends in Zee.
Steve went back to the airport to rescue them, an hour round trip made even longer by not knowing where they were exactly, misleading signs and a parking lot that threatened to puncture all our tires if he attempted to enter it. By the time he delivered them to the restaurant, some of us had been there 2 hours. Babies were starting to get restless and cranky. But for ten minutes or so, we were all together and it was fun.

So why was finding a car, finding a parking spot, getting  a room, so hard? Pipefitters, what ever they are. Thousands of them are swarming the city this week for a convention. They complicated Josh and Julia's wedding plans 5 years ago today and they are back.

Meanwhile how to get a large group of people from A to B  with limited amount of seats. And the group expands tonight by two. A rental car procurement will be attempted but these pipefitters seem to have them all. But what is a wedding without some complication?

So I didn't do some of the tasks I set out to do last night. Developing a martini that could be mass made in advance, figuring out which wines to get, etc.

Today: pick up linens ahead of time and the rehearsal, and the rehearsal BBQ. At least it isn't raining..

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Member of the Wedding

It happened that green and crazy summer when Frankie was twelve years old. This was the summer when for a long time she had not been a member. She belonged to no club and was a member of nothing in the world.

This story by Carson McCullers struck a chord with teenage Sue. A lonely person trying to connect. Her older brother is getting married and Frankie imagines herself to be part of the couple. She lets herself believe that they will take her her on their honeymoon and she will be forever part of the group. She confides this to the maid who sees Frankie heading towards a big disappointment. In the film version, the maid played by Ethel Waters sings The Eye of the Sparrow. But is His eye on this sparrow?

In the forecast for this week no rain was forecasted but now there is a thunderstorm. Get it out of your system now, weather. We pick up flowers in a few hours. I had gotten flowers for Shanna at the very last minute though I had ordered them well in advance. I didn't know that flowers had to be rehydrated after shipping giving us flaccid callas.

I actually slept through the night except for bad dreams. Shanna and the boys are here. Oliver is already up and about.

Daniel is Two today. The little baby struggling to breathe has morphed into a strong, healthy boy just like that.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wedding blues

I do not do well under stress. I will be happy when this is all over. I remember a friend telling me that the happiest day of her life was watching her daughter go down the aisle but all the preparations for this is driving me crazy.

I need to relax......

This too shall pass.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Maya Tai

For the wedding, we will have 2 signature drinks: one non-alcoholic given that many of Naomi's friends including Naomi herself are too young to drink and one containing alcohol.

For the former, we've come up with the Maya Tai loosely based on Mai Tais containing pineapple juice, coconut milk, OJ and grenadine. Rum could be tossed in for the booze hounds.

For the latter, Nae-Tae-nis. What is in this? Well we don't know at the moment. I was thinking of some sort of chocolate martinis with some vanilla thrown in (black and white..get it?) or maybe a chocolate raspberry concoction . I need to start experimenting fast.

At Josh's wedding, we had this peachy drink which I believe was a renamed Sex on the Beach. It was called, the first syllable of our last name followed by tini. (Hey, that drink looks just like our last name Naomi remarked upon seeing it on the menu).

Shanna, the boys and I spent some time at the park yesterday. Oliver at 3.5 years, is much more verbal now. He does not appreciate my questions and tells me that he will tell me later. He will refer to Maya  as 'he' or 'him'. I thought Maya's sparse hair was confusing him but he uses the wrong pronouns for others too. When learning a new language, one is amazed at how differently words are used. The personal possessive pronoun is determined by the gender of the object in Romance languages, not the gender of the possessor. C'est son clef when it is her key. And the genders of the objects are not consistant between the languages. Key is masculine in French but feminine in Italian. But it is fun seeing how he makes sense of the world. Daniel has grown a lot more hair. He has this beautiful light brown, thick curls. He also is becoming quite verbal but mainly speaks in 2 word phrases.

After Shanna dropped the boys off, she spent the night with us without a baby in her bed for the first time in ages. Daniel likes to sleep with her and was not amused to find her missing last night. Shanna slept for a long time making up maybe for driving all night a few days ago. Just the two of us went out to breakfast at the place I had my breakfast the day I went into labor with her so long ago.

Monday, August 15, 2011

DIY Wedding

It was time to start cracking on some of the remaining wedding work yesterday. No running, no  blogging, no reading of blogs, no newspapers..I allowed myself to do one puzzle but I tried to keep the distractions to a minimum. I didn't even garden which the rain made unnecessary plus the mosquitoes make outside very uninviting.

Most of the effort went towards making wedding programs. Every time we get a new computer, there is a new version of Power Point on it full of new tricks. I was quite adept at using the office version at work as I had to prepare my own presentations and they needed to be done well but too much of yesterday was spent learning how to deal with the version I now have. I made most of the program and then let Naomi play with fonts and add her own touches. This took some time also. We had bought beautiful pearlized card stock to print them on. Unfortunately the paper was much too heavy for our printer to deal with. Plus as it is very shiny, the dot print would smear if we ever got that far. We had printed the invitations and the name cards on vellum which also will smear if we touch the printing. If I ever do this again (never! I am out of children to have married) I will invest in a laser printer. So we were left with either abandoning the programs, finding less pretty but thinner paper to print them on or seeing what Kinko's could do. We chose the latter. Fortunately Kinkos came through big time. The man there went beyond the call of duty helping us. One fly in the ointment was that our version of Power Point was not compatible with theirs. All those fancy fonts Naomi chose were not supported unless I had the knowledge that I was supposed to save the presentation as PDF files. He started to fix the many errors himself but eventually Naomi took over repairing the damage. Somethings were done too hastily so the finished product isn't quite as nice as we had hoped. And our paper jammed their super deluxe industrial grade printer but fortunately only 4 programs were lost but it certainly was much faster on their machine and I  am sure the printing would have exhausted our ink.

As soon as Steve looked at it, his eyes zeroed in on a word deletion. Why can't I edit things more carefully? I was annoyed at him as it is like pulling teeth to have him help out in any aspect. Do we have to do this now? Or here? This was in reference to the kitchen table Friday and Saturday being covered with the assembly line for the place cards and favors. He does watch Maya while we are otherwise engaged. Also the music selections for the DJ were due yesterday and he typed up his selections. I am sure Don'tae's family will appreciate them. (NOT!)

I did clear all the stuff out in time for Naomi's bachelorette party. I still had the crown of penises (penii?)left over from Shanna's but Shanna chose to buy new embarrassing stuff. Their small party met here for appetizers but then went downtown for dinner and parading about. Lots of hoots and hollers for Naomi's outfit. They ended up in a bar where Josh and his buddies were.  Eventually they came back to our living room. In my slumber, I heard giggling until about midnight.

It is finally somewhat cool in the morning, good for running. Josh is training some of the Brazilian engineers now. The temperature dipped into the seventies last week which the Brazilians found intolerably cold. They should come here in the winter. Where they are, the seasons never change. Josh will go down there in a few weeks to complete their training. He is trying to shorten his stay there. Of course if I were him, I would try to stay as long as possible.

Shanna and the boys come this afternoon. Then  in the evening I will have Shanna to myself. I can't wait.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wedding countdown

Pretty glads from the Farmer's market the other day

Finally some pink cleomes have emerged though I must have 20-25 white ones

How we have been spending our time. These look more impressive  in person. The purple card stock background is all sparkly as is the silver ribbon. We put stick on bling to each name card

 A sea of tuile: Favors

Favor close-up
The last two days have been spent getting supplies and putting things together. We must have put 8 hours apiece with the name tags alone. Still left to be done: programs. I think all is set with the caterer with the delivery times but still I worry that something will go wrong.

Shanna's family drove overnight last night from Boston. The boys watch movies to keep them amused. They came over briefly this afternoon while Josh, Julia, Maya and Naomi  were here. Maya kept wanting to grab Oliver. She loves little kids. I love it when everyone is here.

This is the worst year for mosquitoes yet..I can't go outside even in broad daylight without getting bit. At least they leave me alone while I run but it is hard to garden.


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