Monday, December 29, 2008

Dromedary Desperado

You know that camel with all that shit on its back? The great big pile of crap on top and the camel staggers along and some village idiot tosses a straw on the camel's back because entertainment is hard to come by in the desert I suppose, and *SPLAT* the camel just splays out (I imagine this part) on the ground, all brokeny back because of that one last damn straw.
That camel? Has nothing on my freaking camel.

My camel is carrying not only a load of crap on it's back, but also another camel. With crap on it's back. A Big Load of It.

So you would never guess, after surviving a blessed Christmas holiday practically pulled out of your ass, and doling out generosity in the form of near human sacrifice (how much did you spend mailing things this year?) - all amidst a stark grey backdrop called my personal life - that the people trying to toss straws on your camel on your camel, would be your family.

Then again, maybe you would.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

On the third day of bloody headwound.....

OH MY SWEET JESUS hates me give me a break.

Bubbles got this from Santa (maybe Satan Santa hates me).

And that, combined with a really stupid catapult-the-baby-brother-from-the-pillar 'idea' of his sister's, resulted in this:

(What you don't see here is the picture of my absolutely calm grim and blood-covered face)

And one visit to the nearest urgent care facility. Where the doctor took one look at my surly child and suggested that we would have 'better luck' if we cleaned out his wound.

This is not blood. Just the betadine solution.

'Better luck' apparently meant that one parent would hold him down while the other parent inappropriately took pictures tortured him with small gauze squares.

(I should have been a nurse. Except that I almost threw up three times while cleaning it.)

Then the doctor came back in and snipped a few bloody hairs out of his way and glued the wound shut. (Seriously? For $150 I get to clean it out myself and some glue??)

He was pissed.

She is so grounded.

(As in, her favorite gifts have been taken away and she is grounded from everything.)
(Yes, everything, and please pity me, because guess who suffers the whining?)

The end.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Homemade Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

I am a rockstar, because I made marshmallows!

They were so easy, and so successful, that I have decided on my homemade gifts this year:
The ubiquitous jar of homemade cocoa mix, accompanied by homemade vanilla bean marshmallows, and maybe with a side of toffee (stay tuned).

I had heard that marshmallows were not that hard to make, and I have been more interested in candy making this year than the traditional cookie season here at Chateau Gwendo, so looked around for an easy recipe.
I know that gelatin is pretty gross, but I was not up for the failure potential by substituting agar-agar, so: la-la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you-marshmallows-are-yummy-silky-little-pillows-speak-not-of-hooves-and-connective-tissues!!!

I found a recipe which is at least eighty years old (maybe 100!), thanks to Sugarplum and Cindy from Rosehaven Cottage, with the most simple ingredient list - most importantly, no corn syrup, which I was trying to avoid. This recipe doesn't even call for egg whites, so the result really is this magical result of kitchen alchemy.

And thank you, Cindy's Great Great Aunt Esther!


I wouldn't even try this without a stand mixer, as it really does need to whip for 15-2o minutes, and this would burn out many hand mixers! You will also need a candy thermometer, easily purchased in most grocery stores!
Have everything ready before you start making these - you want your pan prepared with the wax paper all ready for you.

Butter, for greasing wax paper, and powdered sugar, for coating
2 envelopes (or Tbsp) gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean (approx a 3-4 inch section) (this was my own addition)

Butter a piece of wax paper that will fit your pan (the recipe called for an 8x8 inch pan, but I used my 7x11 pyrex- you could even use an 11x13, with the result of thinner marshallows). Fit the wax paper as well as you can into the bottom and sides of pan, dust bottom and sides with powdered sugar, and set aside.

In the bowl for the stand mixer, combine 1/2 cup cold water with the gelatin, whisk together and set over a pan of hot water while you boil the sugar.

Combine sugar, boiling water and salt in a heavy medium sized saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk constantly while it is on medium heat, bring to a boil, and then stop whisking. Put the whisk down and do not touch it again.

Let the sugar boil and boil. Watch your candy thermometer rise to 236 degrees - this should take 15-20 minutes - and then remove from heat.

Pour the sugar syrup slowly over the gelatin,

and with the whisk attachment, add the vanilla and vanilla bean seeds, and mix on medium for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy and thick, and the mixing bowl is cool to touch.

Pour Plop the mixture into your prepared pan,

using a well-buttered spatula to scoop it out (hint: butter the stem as well!) and with a buttered metal frosting spatula or butterknife, push it into the corners and smooth the top until it is evenly spread. Really work it in there, or you will have giant air bubbles in the corners.

Dust the top with more powdered sugar and press another piece of wax paper on top.

Place in freezer overnight to set.

With a very lightly buttered, sharp knife, cut into strips and then squares.

Roll in powdered sugar to keep from sticking together, and store in an airtight container.

See? Rockstar marshmallows!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Link Love

Chalk this one up to eye candy....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Discord and Honesty

I was not trying to be an alarmist in my last post. I was feeling very alarmed, so that probably was evident.
And, completely justifiable.

I had just had a near miss head-on collision, lost the driver's side front wheel off my vehicle, and come home to someone who was silent and sullen, as opposed the the guys at the tire station, who were all praising my luck that I survived such a risky situation, and patting me on the shoulder consolingly.

Just a couple of weeks ago, dh changed all the wheels on the car. You see, this was cheaper than buying a new tire for the other set. I do not pretend to know anything about cars or the changing of their wheels, so I rely on him for this sort of thing. Sexist? Not so much. More of an issue of, 'I don't want to keep track of this and it's not my area of expertise, so I would rather pay someone or - oh you can do it? - okay, or trust my partner to do this.
On Saturday, I drove Supergirl to her holiday parade downtown and the car was making this horrible knocking noise. I pulled right into a tire place and asked them to please look at it.
When I came back a few hours later, they asked for $20, told me it was not a safety issue, but I should get it into a transmission place on Monday to be looked at.
I drove home, and when I got home, asked dh if he was sure he had put the new wheels on correctly, and he was insulted that I would ask such a thing - especially after the tire place had already seen it.
I asked him to drive the car and he refused. Probably out of sheer laziness and defiance, but this decision had drastic consequences for him later on.
I drove back to town (25 miles; 10 of them on steep winding mountain roads) on Monday for a meeting. When I got to town, the noise was horrible - it started to jiggle my steering wheel; seeming far less innocuous than before. By the time I found parking, it was creaking and knocking beyond any safe zone. I made it to my meeting, calling dh on the way to beg him to find me a transmission place very nearby to my meeting location.
He called back and told me to take it back to the tire place. I was exasperated and late, told him that the car was not going to make it anywhere at all and to come get me because I would probably call AAA and have it towed somewhere, sighed heavily and went to my meeting.
Two hours later, I emerged, remembered my dilemma, and crossed my fingers as I looked across the street and saw the tire place two blocks away. louder.
I called dh - "Take it to the transmission place! Or wait until Wednesday when our own mechanic can see it!" he chirped back.
OH..........KAAAAAAY!! Clearly the man was not on my planet.

I had to make it one more block, and snap! the steering went and I veered into oncoming traffic. The oncoming car was going about 30 and I was going about 3 mph, so he was able to stop in time, but not without a lot of screeching and cussing and honking and screaming at me to follow. I was trembling, knees shaking, and pulled (knock, knock, knock, knock, KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK) into the tire shop, where they looked at my ashen face and they again told me to take it to a transmission shop - it was only 1/2 block away! I was utterly confused at this point, and so I went back to the car, reversed about 2 feet, and - snap! clunk! - a sickening thud brought me to a halt. As I opened up the door to see what was going on, three guys came running out of the tire shop.
"STOP!" They all shouted at once.
"Don't go anywhere!"

"I'm not!!" I cried back, climbed out of the car, and saw my tire at a 90 degree angle to my car. Three guys ran out of the garage, and one guy reached for the tire and spun it. It came right off.

I thought about the 14% grade I had just driven down to get to town. I thought of the drive on Saturday with both children in the car. I thought of the cliffs oh-so-close to the road on my way to town. I thought of my propensity to speed.
I burst into tears. Heaving, sick to my stomach, sniffling.
"Do you need a few minutes?" one of the guys asked me, patting my shoulder.
I nodded.
A minute later, the guys from the shop came out, one by one, and as they looked at my car and the wheel lying next to it, each one told me I was lucky to be alive. One asked me where I lived, and I said that I had just driven down from my mountain community. He looked at me with an expression that nearly mirrored my own.
The manager of the shop came out and said that whoever it was who changed the tires, was not capable of protecting me and I needed to know how to do it myself. Fair enough.
Still trembling, I left the car there to be fixed and called home, sobbing, ""
The response I got was, "Well Bubbles is sleeping, what do you want me to do?"
Walking downtown towards a place with wi-fi - any place - it was dark and cold already, I was shaking and sniffling. I had called him two hours before to tell him I could not drive home.
I hung up and called a friend, who immediately came down the mountain to drive me back up the mountain.
When she came to pick me up, she hugged me, and said, "I am so glad you are okay! That is so scary! Are you okay? Are you?"
I was wondering at this point why dh wouldn't drive the car when I asked him to. The whole way home, she calmly convinced me that of course this was not sabotage - it was grossly irresponsible, but really, calm down, not sabotage... And by the time we arrived at my house, I believed her. She dropped me off, I walked into the house, and dh ignored me. Not one word. No apology. No concern. No 'oh I am so glad you are okay'.
Nothing. Wouldn't even look at me.
So, then I started thinking....well....I don't really have any reason to believe otherwise, do I?
When I said 'Just wondering...' I was just wondering. There was no hidden meaning in my question. It was just 'what would you think?'.

Between us remained silence and hostility; he was angry with the tire place, and I was angry with him. There was nothing. And frankly, I deserved more in that situation.

On Tuesday, new information came about. When I went to pick up the car (having had to borrow money to pay for it myself), the manager let something slip.
Seems they had not actually checked the tire or wheels on Saturday because they could not get it off - couldn't find the wheel lock! But never told me this. Until I picked up the car the second time. On Tuesday. After they charged me nearly $200.

Can you say gobsmacked?

This information made me feel like I was a teeny tiny baby spinning helplessly in a black hole. But I am not a baby, I am an adult who can only chastise herself for trusting someone who did not have their back. Twice. In one week.

Dh saw this as his vindication, when it really would have taken so little effort on his part to clear this up before it happened. He also saw this as an acceptable excuse from apologizing for being grossly irresponsible.
It would be an understatement to say that this serious situation was handled poorly, and it would be an unreasonable expectation to believe that I would come out of this situation feeling calm and or safe.

It is interesting to me that it would be fine for most people to read about statistics of families who break up after losing a child. That would be an acceptable read, because it is far enough removed from most readers' immediate reality and seems like a story about someone else. And sensational. And supported by statistics and books who warned us this would happen.
Or it would be fine to post about how we beat statistics, leaving out all the pain and anquish and unlikely endings as I stumbled forward to the part where we succeeded! We beat out all the statistics! Behold our awesomeness.

I have always tried to prioritize the protection of family members over my need to share. Sometimes we are faced with decisions that are difficult. Sometimes that line is hard to determine. But when I am knotted up, my stomach a pretzel and my mind terrified for what could have been, and I am alone....I must go somewhere to remind myself that I am here.

Do I want my family to remain intact and unbroken?
That would be my preference.
Will it come at the cost of safety, care, and respect?
No it will not.

Everyone has discord in their relationships; some of it is shared with friends, some of it is shared with those who care to hear about it. Our discord is no different from yours, yet it is worlds apart. Our discord is tinged with anger and regret and resentment and so is yours. Our discord carries with it the experience of parenting a child whose life is now over. Our discord represents a failure to survive that tragedy.
And yours?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Just Wondering........

Let's say that someone changed your tires for you and didn't check them but they told you that they did.
And let's say that you had a near death experience because of this.
Let's say the wheel came off of the car.

Would you think that someone was trying to kill you or just that it was freakishly irresponsible?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Do NOT eat while reading this because you might gag or throw up and choke and then threaten to sue me.

Yesterday was a crappy day. Last week had many crappy days.
Today is status quo. Crappy, but predictable at this point.

All these lovely sunshine filled days keep reminding me of another day almost eight years ago. Since I can't get it out of my mind, I will fill yours with it.
If you don't like vile, then go away now.
You were warned.

I was first trimester pregnant, and had just made myself some soup. I carried it upstairs to watch a movie, sat on the couch and balanced the soup in my lap.
My cat came inside just as I was sipping, and she looked a bit funny, like she had something to tell me, but I don't normally think these things and chalked it up to being pregnant. Then I noticed a scab on her side that I had not seen before (pregnant=distracted), and she sat down on the floor in front of me to scratch it at the moment I noticed.
Suddenly, brownish liquid started spewing out her side, and I do mean spewing. A sickening smell filled the room and without warning, my stomach reacted and I vomited into my soup bowl, spilling hot soup and puke all over my knees and my couch*.
Which made it hard to stand up, because I couldn't figure out what to clean up first (soup, puke, or unexplained cat juice) and I could not really stop gagging until I got out of the room. My cat just had an abscessed abscess and she was totally fine after my vet friends (hallelujah) dealt with her on that Sunday afternoon while they laughed and laughed over the vomit story.
I, on the other hand, was permanently scarred. I can not to this day watch a cat explode without vomiting.

*(Guests of Chateau Gwendo needn't worry. It wasn't that couch - it was another, much older couch which was disposed of at the dump many years ago!)

Friday, December 05, 2008


I have been drained of all resources; I have nothing left.

Lied to, fucked up, dragged down, and made to be the lowest common denominator in the one person's life I am supposed to be the highest.

I've got nothing.

I am broken.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Discovery Kingdom: The Big Fun

After the wedding last month, we took our children to Discovery Kingdom, because I had heard they had a Thomas Town, and it seemed a perfect birthday excursion for our about-to-turn three year old. We convinced Cindy and Sophie Fig to come along with us since we had crashed their pad after the wedding, and they cordially agreed. The off-season admission price of $29.99 (which is now only $24.99 when purchased online) sold us all on the excursion.

I looked at their website and I think I got more excited than the kids, because I am a roller coaster fanatic, and I liked what I saw. My indoctrination to the roller coaster world started young.

My mother is a roller coaster fanatic, and when I was little, my mom was sick of sitting out the roller coasters at our nearby annual summer haunt, while her older children rode them. I was the fourth in a quick succession of siblings, and she had had enough of us cramping her style.
"Stand up straight!" She would nudge me in line, checking to make sure I had worn my clogs, affording me that extra inch of false height.
Once on the ride, I would shudder with the thrill of having made it through the height check, wrapping my mom's arm tightly over my shoulder and locking her hand under my arms, and grab on to the bar with all my strength. We'd barrel through the tunnel, creep up the hill, clickety, clickety, clickety, click...My bottom flew out of my seat over the first three hills, my mother would howl with laughter and push my shoulders back firmly into the seat each time, and then we rounded the sidewinding bend, smacking into each other and screaming in unison, giggling over the next few stomach-lurching bunny hops; flying together on the Blue Streak, and screeching into the platform, still howling with laughter.
And then running to get back in line to do it again.

::blink blink::
::end 35 yr old tape playing in head::

So the idea of riding this:

was very very appealing to me.

And this thing gets me hot (NOT the guy - the ride!):

So, yeah - they had a Thomas Town and that is why we were going. Right.

Actually, to maintain this facade for as long as possible, our first stop was Thomas Town.
Bubbles was happier than a boy with a train when he saw Thomas pull into the station. He was trembling with excitement...

And the train ride itself brought out all of Bubbles' secret words as he shouted them out:
And then there was the rest of Thomas town: Harold the Helicopter, and Bertie the Bus.
And that was just enough until we headed off to the rest of the park.

Which, frankly, after a desperate lunch of fried food, turned out to be a bit disastrous.
There was a parade of people - a huge crowd suddenly appeared - and suddenly:


Zombies with blood, zombies with hatchets in their heads, zombies with chain saws...and if that wasn't enough....zombies dragging a glass stagecoach which carried a captive human, non-zombie woman, beating on the glass in futility. As a former Halloween devotee, it was kind of cool...but, as a mama, it was...a bit much.

It was far too scary for the kiddies for sure.
Apparently, it was the season for the popular 'Fright Fest', the publicity for which had somehow escaped our radar.
After a hasty exit from the park and a short email of complaint a few days later, which suggested that non-publicized bloody zombies and small children in strollers did not mix, I received a phone call from customer service rep Dave (Superman) Miller.
I was shocked to receive a phone call in response to my email, and Dave was definitely the nicest guy to call me that day.
"It's a fine line," he said, "between the fright fest and the family environment."
"Well, zombies are fun if you are fifteen. Or even twelve, I suppose. But not so much with the stroller set. Way too scary."
"I am so very sorry that the zombies scared your children. That is unacceptable."
"Well Dave, I completely understand the need for zombies at the fright fest, but the thing is, the zombies need to be better trained to avoid children. I realize that organizing a zombie training can be difficult, having to schedule it in the middle of the night and all, but it's something you should think about."
Dave started laughing.
"I absolutely hear you, and I will take all that into account. I want to invite you to come back to the park though - on us - and give us another chance."

This was the best customer service I have witnessed in years - and in a recession! - these people actually may survive it. With their level of customer attention, they deserve to survive it. They are very kind.

I thanked Dave and said that we would love to go back, and he gave me a secret code which would allow our family back into the park anytime between then and Christmas. He suggested the Holiday in the Park festival, saying it was very family friendly, and hoped that our experience would be improved.
When I realized that the Figs had also been part of the debacle and, although they were not terrified by the zombies, did have to leave abruptly, I called Dave back and asked if he would add two more tickets to that secret code. He emailed and called me back right away, saying that two more passes had been added to our voucher.
Yes, seriously.
I told you. Nice.

We weren't able to coordinate a Holiday in the Park evening (the park is only open 4-10 pm this month for this event), but did manage to agree on a Sunday to dedicate to 'Do-over Day' at Discovery Kingdom.
Which was last Sunday, when we met the Fig and Figlet at the entrance like clockwork, checked in smooth like butter, and high-fived upon entering. We were ready for the do-over.

When we took the exit off of the freeway and the roller coaster giants were visible from the road, Bubbles screamed out, "I see it! I see The Fun! I see The Big Fun!" and then started on an endless stream of, "I ride Thomas. Go ride Thomas. Go ride Harold. Go ride Thomas now. I go ride Thomas/Harold NOW NOW AGAIN!" (repeat x8)

We picked up the flashpass, based upon the lines from the previous visit, took Bubbles straight back to Thomas Town because he just would not shut up about it until we did because he really was the most desperate one of all of us. and it was no less thrilling than the first time. Dare I say it was even more exciting?

After that, we dropped all pretenses of 'parks are for kiddies!' ran straight for Tony Hawk's Big Spin - the one coaster which Supergirl is tall enough to ride - where we were greeted with NO LINE. Okay, maybe a 5 minute line. We decided to hang on to the flash passes until later in the day if we might need them.
Tony Hawk's does not disappoint. I can ride any roller coaster but not so much on the spinny things. Like those red hooded classic Tilt-a-Whirls? Those things make me sick. Ferris wheels? They make me wicked scared. But certain other spinny things are okay. Watching the spinny roller coaster, I decided it would be okay. It is awesome fun - when the four-person car shoots around those top curves, the car spins and it looks like you are going to fly off the track - like I said, awesome fun.
Spinning while flying wildly on a roller coaster track is something every roller coaster aficionado should try.
We took turns riding Roar, which is a classic wooden roller coaster with a long ride and a lot of clickety-clacketing, which I personally found to be a little to bone-jarring, but dh loved it.

For some reason, I was coerced by Cindy to go on this insane ride, and when we got on, Sophie wanted to ride in the very front seats, and guess who got to ride with her, with Mom screaming from the row behind? I am still not sure how that one happened, miss slick.

We visited the walruses, which we discovered, after commenting on their extreme sociability, included the famous Jocko, a movie star walrus. Jocko is a big show-off, who comes right up to the glass and thrills your children with flips and flipper-clapping - he loves children, and our children found a mutual attraction.

We all love the penguins who are also goofy and think that your hand is a fish:

We had somehow missed the shark tunnel the first time around, but never again:

There is also Stingray Bay; a tank where you can touch the rays (free), and a Dolphin tank where you can watch the dolphins play and be fed, or pay $10 to feed and touch them (we opted out this time, but I think the cost sure beats the $250 Waikoloa dolphin experience -with imported dolphins).

We found ourselves back at Thomas Town and Looney Tunes Seaport, where there are also many rides for children of all sizes - the girls would go ride the slightly more thrilling rides over there like balloons, mini-roller coaster, or swings, while Bubbles rode the more sedate trains, planes, and helicopters. Cindy went to grab a bite, and came back with the most delicious looking crepe I would never expect to see in a large park. It was consumed before it was photographed.
While Cindy worked on an equally delicious looking spinach salad, Supergirl asked for her own spinach salad. I think that Cindy discovered the yummiest secret in all of the park's food offerings (if you are looking for some options beyond fried or chain food), because at the California Crepes booth (next to Ben & Jerry's by the Looney Tunes Seaport), there is a European woman making all this food fresh, including her mini-donuts which I bought on a whim (6 for $2.99) and were instantly devoured. The spinach salad ($5.99) and the crepes (~$8.50) were jewels among concession stands, and we definitely will be visiting that stand next time.

We headed over to the animal side of the park since we had missed that the last time, and I was impressed beyond my expectations.
The kids loved Odin, the non-vicious, bottle-fed white Bengal tiger:

And the super-hammy photogenic baby giraffes:

And then we split up so that dh could take the littles to the killer whale show, and Cindy, Sophie and I could crunch in some eleventh hour serial roller coaster riding.
First, we hit Boomerang, a looping coaster that goes backwards. It was a bit jerky for me, and the backwards part gave both Cindy and me a slight headache.
We were hoping to ride Kong, a suspension coaster we missed the last time, but it was closed for painting, even though I told a nearby attendant that the aesthetic of Kong was not what I was going to be prioritizing. (waaaaaaaaahhhhhhh)
However, we did ride Medusa a few times in a row (a three minute, 15 second ride!) before we lost Cindy to a lovely shade of pale green. I heart Medusa so much; it is a five-across, floorless coaster with no fewer than seven inversions, gliding like silk along its lime and lilac glowing tracks.

When we re-grouped for our final ride spree, Supergirl raved about Shouka, and Bubbles cheered throughout the whole show, duly impressed as he should be, with a four thousand pound mammal jumping thirty feet out of the water.

We wearily ran staggered back to the other end of the horseshoe shaped park to catch a few more rides on Tony Hawk's Big Spin and Roar. Cindy and her stomach had completely had it by this time, so we totally took advantage of her parenting skills and dumped Bubbles off on her while we took Sophie on endless circuits of Tony Hawk. The lines were still minimal (note to self: November is a great time to go here!) but we whipped out the last of our fast passes, and got three rides instead of one in our last fifteen minutes.

I was so enthralled with this place - the cleanliness, the best of marine and wildlife, the best rides, the funny an animated childrens ride attendants, and the attentive customer service, that I was ready to pay up the extra $24.99 (before leaving the park) to buy season passes for the entire family, but (sniff sniff) I had traveled light that day, and brought only my ID and a pocket full of enough cash for the day.

Dh teased me - we live near the Boardwalk, where I have bought passes for Supergirl for the past few years to the tune of $70/year. Never again. She only can ride the kiddie-rides, and they charge as much for a child as for an adult who can ride the thrill rides. Also, it is filthy and they charge even more for parking ($20) than Discovery Kingdom ($15).

Also, comparing the experience we had at Legoland this summer, I don't think I can stress enough the canyon of difference between positive customer service, and useless and potentially dangerous customer upper management (Safety Manager, tm).

I will definitely bring the family and friends again - though I will always regret not bringing the cc with me to upgrade to the season passes that day.

In the meantime, I will dream of this, this, this, and this, and the day my children are tall enough to join me on these rides. While I am waiting, any nanny takers? I will pay for your admission - we will take turns on the big thrills.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I am sorry to say that this month's content has not been - in any way - equal to the emotional (or at times even rational) content in my Nablopomo participation of previous years.

I wish I could say there was some resolution to the haunting by a local tortured soul, alas there is none, and I find myself desperate to seek some rationale, some motive, in the world of her insanity.
There is not: there is only more turbulence.

A few friends ventured to ask me: Why do you do such things? Why do you harken to the flocke and commit thineself?
And I said: Why do you talk such proper nonsensical bullshittinous accuracy back at me, fool?

And therily, Nablopomo was over.
Yet again.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nablopomo: Is it over yet? Pumpkin Cake!!

While I was whipping up my pumpkin chiffon pies (my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner, as I really hate sticking my hand up a turkey's ass, and pretty much refuse to do so), I was left with too many whipped egg whites. Can you imagine? And in the fridge, I had some yolks.
And about 3/4 can of pumpkin left.
So I made up a little layer cake, whipped up some delicious vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, and took it all with me to our friends' three hours north.
The cake was great - moist, firm but light, dense enough to hold up to a perfect petit four, but light enough to taste more cake-y than muffin-y. Since I was working with leftover ingredients, I made two round layers which were a bit thin, but the cake would do well as a single layer cake as well.

Pumpkin Cake
3 eggs, separated (this step is not necessary; I was working with leftover eggwhites)
3/4 can pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup canola oil
1 & 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

  1. Mix egg yolks with pumpkin, sugar, butter and oil
  2. Add combined dry ingredients, mix well
  3. Fold in egg whites
  4. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes for 2 round layers.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Beach Friday - Still Thankful

Find the child:

Dune rompers:

Surf Dance:


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Yes, I have plenty to say about roller coasters.

Yes, I am thankful for some people and stuff.

And yes, I was up all night thinking about that little satanic bottom-feeder, Marla.

She won't shut up.
She continues to spew, even after the phone call from the BOS, and she called Nina back to clarify how right she was.
"You didn't know her then!" she defended her accusations repeatedly.
She now has a friend of hers calling Nina to defend her (copycat).

I have tried to let this go. I know that she is C*R*A*Z*Y and that most people will not believe her. But this is not like someone accusing me of flirting with someone's husband, this is not like accusing me of stealing a car:
That bitch is calling me a baby killer.

I am having a hard time letting that one go.

I have many reactions to this, some of them petty.

Petty reaction#1: I want to call her and point out that if she had bothered to reciprocate one-tenth of the favors I had offered her, if she had just one time helped us out when we took Elijah for testing (at Useless Childrens Hospital) or therapy, she would have had a glimpse into reality and seen what was going on for my child. She never could have fabricated or spread this insanity. For the past five years.

Petty reaction#2: Our friendship was over when I could no longer help her. When I was pregnant with Elijah while mothering a one year old, I was not available to help her. She did not know me then. How dare she claim that she was my friend.

Petty reaction #3: This woman claims to be a Christian, and a virtuous one at that. Hmmm.

Petty reaction #4: I hate her. HATE. HER.

Petty reaction #5: is a novel. I will spare you.

Non-petty reaction:

This needs to stop.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apraxia in Action

One of the interesting things about a child having Apraxia, is that he can repeat things as accurately as he may hear them each time, but rarely do they come out sounding the same way each time.
Also, since it is in reality, a neurological processing disorder, what he wants to say may differ completely from his ability to name an object presented to him for labeling.

To be able to understand a neurological disorder such as Apraxia (not exclusive to Bubbles'), one has to understand how the brain is capable of working independently (and, at times 'against itself') from its own desires.
Because If you want a spoon, you can ask for a spoon. If Bubbles wants a spoon, he can now ask for a spoon.
If you have a neuro-processing disorder (such as Apraxia), someone can hold up a picture of a spoon, or even worse, hold up a real spoon, and you might not be able to say that it was, in fact, a spoon. The part of your brain that can request a spoon and the part of your brain that can label a spoon are two completely different parts of your brain.

So, the other day, Bubbles wanted to go in the car. He yelled, "I go HOUSE! I go HOUSE!"
Until I totally bit the bait, "WHO'S HOUSE??? WHERE do you want to go??"

And he said, "I wan go Nina's house."
And I said, "I think Nina and Joe are coming over here soon. We don't have to go there."
And he seemed satisfied with that.

Of course, when Nina and Joe arrived, there was much a-flurry! Bubbles ran about and hugged his beloved Nina, whose home he had just begged to visit.
I asked him to say her name, "Who is here, Bubbs? Who is this?"
He looked right at her, looked back over at her husband (Joe), grinned his rabbit tooth grin, pointed straight at Nina, and said, "Thas JOE!"

That? That, is Apraxia in action.

Another funny thing about having a child with Apraxia is that you can hear them say something perfectly sometimes. So perfectly that you wonder if your older child is somehow home from school. And that perfect utterance may or may not be repeated.
We are starting to hear more of these 'perfect utterances' in Bubbles' speech, and this has caused a bit of stir.

Yesterday as we were driving home from the guru (his speech therapist), we narrowly missed a metal-bending crash with a car that blindly crossed over three lanes of traffic. It was closer than inches; it was centimeters. My hands were shaking in that 'OMG THAT WAS SO CLOSE' way, and I yelled out something like, "HOLY SHIT!" and Bubbles, from the back seat, piped up,
"What happen?"
Without regaining composure, I muttered, "DUMBASS!" and from the back seat, I heard,
"Dumbass!" echoed with just the right amount of disgust, and spoken with the most perfect articulation you ever did hear.

You would never have guessed it was spoken by a child with severe Apraxia. A child who, just three months ago, could barely say any two syllable words.

Which is why today is the day I stop swearing in front of Bubbles.

(will someone please motherfucking hold me?)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gwendomama Has A Big Mouth

This thing, while keeping your child's carseat from rocking, ROCKS!

New post up at Big Mouth Reviews.

Zen Wedding

Remember the wedding we went to about a month ago?

Soak up some pictures while I busy myself compiling the fabulousness that was our day at The Big Fun. Unsolicited reviews don't write themselves, you know.

The cast of children present with the only requirement that they be silent adorable.

Lex and Supergirl, the ring bearers, and Sophie Fig.

And the stars of the day:

The beautiful brides, and the zen priest who married them.

Yes, Bubbles was there too, and looking quite dapper, but I cannot find a picture of him to prove it. He was a star attendee for a three year old. He wowed his seatmates with the ability to behave and entertain himself quietly with a small offering of new 'guys' for nearly an hour. He was so enthralled with his new 'guys' and their teeny tiny accessories and hats and helmets, that he kept going up to the zen priest after the wedding and asking him what happened to his hat. Didn't he know he was supposed to have some accessories on that bare head?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I got home from a long day spent having The Big Fun here, (as immediately documented by QuicksilverCindy; stay tuned for the complaint and follow-up details!))where we were joined by the female members of the Fig Family, to a message that 'Marla' had been 'dealt with'.

The BOS did her thing and called Marla, on my behalf, telling her to essentially back the fuck off, she wouldn't want her reputation on this small mountain to reflect only the the small-minded and transparent lies she was offering, and she was sure she would not want people to think that she could continue to spread untrue and unkind lies about someone, let alone add to their pain.

Marla replied with a series of 'uh-huh's' and 'okay's', and the BOS reminded her that what she was spreading was indeed 'actionable' and would be addressed as such.

The Bos, against her inherent judgment, believes that 'Marla' will not be mentioning this story.
Ever again.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Me vs. Grief: Version 4.6

In Elijah's lifetime, there were a finite number of pictures taken of him.
There were quite a few pictures, but he lived for thirteen months and eleven days.
So there are thirteen months and eleven days worth of pictures. Considering not many pictures were taken of him at the end, when he was sick. It never occurred to us that it could or would be the end.

There was also video taken of him. This was before we had a digital video camera, so we have some tapes.
I have never, ever watched any of that footage. Not one second.
I have thought about it, I think I will do it, I think I am ready.
Then I conveniently forget.
Until the next time.

Right after Elijah died, I was incapable of even looking at his pictures. The day that he died, I came home to pictures of him all around my house - pictures of him alive. Pictures that taunted and mocked me, reminding me only of the fact that he was - gone.
A photo of his shining blue eyes reminded me that they were closed and unshining. A picture of his chubby smile reminded me of giving him mouth-to-mouth CPR for 45 minutes. A picture of his platinum hair reminded me of cutting a lock to drop into an envelope (which, to this day, remains 'lost') just hours after he took his last breath.
A picture of his life reminded me only of his death; of his expressions in death, of the panic, of the failure to revive him, of the fact that it was all over. Forever.

And then, as I would reach to turn the picture face-down, I would sob with guilt. What kind of mother looks at her child's smile and is reminded only of his death? What kind of mother could cradle him in astonishment as he took his last breath, cradle him just hours later while the shock overcame her that he was just an empty shell, and then, just a few hours later, be unable to look at his face?
Grief of this magnitude is difficult to navigate, it is suffocating - it is breathing in thick mud, it is impossible for the beholder to comprehend, and it is overwhelming (think catatonic) to feel. It is pretty much like a head-on collision with a large truck that doesn't kill you.
Sadness that runs so deep, it carries its own albatross of grief.

It has been four years and six months since Elijah died. That itself, seems unimaginable.
Not once have I been courageous enough to view any of that video. I know it exists.

I imagine what it might be like - to watch him wave his hands around again, to see him reach for his favorite toys, to watch his bright eyes dart between us and the fairies, and oh! to hear him coo and sing...
...but not be able to reach for him, kiss him, hold him...

I don't know. If I cannot write those memories without tearing up, perhaps I am not ready to see him.
I wish I could say I was strong.

But you can see, that really, I am not.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Pleasant Distraction

I am deep in thought about the situation.

Meanwhile, here is my 'TOUCHE!' of the month:

You know about the Mormons Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' practice of baptizing dead souls, thus converting them to their one true religion?

Well, those liars went back on their agreement to stop posthumously baptizing Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

My dear friends over at DailyKos have come up with a great backlash to this offense:

Converting dead Mormons into homosexuals, starting with Joseph Smith.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Because Humor is What Spares Her Right Now

A friend of mine has a serious illness and was talking about the looming possibility of having her colon removed.
I offered to go rip Marla a new one and donate her colon to my friend.

My friend declined.
"Bad juju!" she said.

I had to agree.

Seriously, if she ended up with Marla's colon, she would probably start talking out her asshole.
And that would just be hard to explain.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What Would You Do?

This one has been rolling around in my head - and heart - for a few days. I keep imagining that I have written about it already; then I find nothing on the computer and realize that I had just thought about it. Again. Over and over. And then again some more.

I have picked up the phone and not made the call. I have gathered the words to confront honestly, the other version in which I belittle, and then the one in which I threaten.

There is a person who lives here in my small community with whom I was friends for many years. (I resisted the urge to insert the word 'stupidly' between 'was' and 'friends'.)
Too many years.
Friends with the community Gossip Queen.
Too many years.
Who would never talk about me that way, right?
Too many years.
For years before I had my own children, I would step in to help Marla with almost anything - firewood in a lean winter, wine on a rough day, emergency childcare for her three children, overnight care for her children to assist her 'on-the-rocks' marriage (now, long over), waived preschool tuition bills, offered my shoulder and sleeve for her name a few.
Some of these favors continued after I started my own family; the requests were unfailing, but my availability was more limited.
The addition of Elijah to our family brought along a new direction and uncharted territory, involving hours of OT, PT, and testing. With a two year old in tow. I remember calling Marla a few times to ask her to watch Supergirl while I took Elijah to some appointment. By this time, she was going through a dramatic divorce, and her response was always 'This is my alone time - I don't have the kids then, so I need that time to myself'.
Whatever; I didn't really have the time to feel jilted back then.
Then, just four months after Elijah died, I had a surprise pregnancy and an even more surprising miscarriage. Marla's commentary on this event was the wake-up call I had been ignoring for years to call it quits in this give and take relationship (I gave, she took).

"If you were taking better care of yourself and sleeping better and living a more spiritual life, this wouldn't have happened."

I remember walking her to her car and suggesting she get the hell outta my yard that instant.

At that moment, I was free. I was free to resume and maintain healthy friendships with supportive friends and be left with only the residual sheepishness of having been her friend for so damn long. For ten years I had listened to her gossip about every single person she knew, watched her take what she could from her friends, and flirt with every single friend's husband she could get near. Those memories are my cross to bear.
It was over.

Not too long ago, a good friend of mine who is one of the kindest, most patient and forgiving souls you have ever met, had a momentary lapse of reason invited Marla over for dinner out of pity after an impromptu playdate involving their daughters. During this time, Marla proved that she was still quite the chatterbox. She appalled my friend by insulting her husband, and then clawing her way through a list of common friends and their failings. Nina, who has little tolerance for such things, called her on her gossiping, and Marla admitted she 'had a problem'.
Nina then asked her about a specific situation which Marla herself had incited years ago, creating a deep rift between myself and another local woman.
A situation which, even at the time, I knew had to be somehow exaggerated considering the source, but I was so hurt and angered by it that I never explored the source or extent of the malady.
The situation?

The short version is that this woman was a friend of Marla's and threatened to call CPS on us because we lied about Elijah's age in an elevator in Hawaii.

The longer and more detailed backstory is here, and highly recommended if you wish to follow along.

So, Nina asks Marla about this situation in particular, and Marla agrees, "I probably said too much."
Nina presses on and says, "You think so? I know so."

And then, Marla tells Nina something she is sure she didn't already know.
"I know how Elijah died. I had told her too much."


"You know what?"

"Well, you know that Gwendomama was in the hospital [on too many pre-term labor drugs to count] for six weeks when she was pregnant?"
"Yes, I knew about the pre-term labor."

"Well, the reason she was in the hospital was because she was anorexic and starving herself and then...well...the know...."

It was at this point that my friend Nina ended the conversation, then sat on it for two weeks before she could even tell me. I appreciate that she did.
But I am beyond angry. Beyond hurt.

To take the knowledge of someone's past - a painful past which took years of effort to work beyond - and then use it to form some crackerjackass diagnosis for not only me but for MY CHILD -


Wait. They are coming.

And then? Then to spread that diagnosis around the mountain like poison oak, because that is what Marla does -

I think of the hatred I have carried around for this woman, and now I feel horrible! I can understand why she freaked out if she had believed Marla's backstory.
I don't entirely forgive her for being so fucking superior and ignorant at the same time, but I this whole story is different now.

I think of all the people up here who have looked at me and wondered if her story was true...I want to kill her.


I have not called Marla, I have not shown up at her door (which itself shows incredible restraint since I do know where she lives), I have not exposed her real name, and I have not even sent her a letter insisting that she cease and desist defamation of character.

I don't currently trust myself, so I am giving myself some time to calm down.
Just a little.

So......What would YOU do?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Free Advice

You need to be very very careful when your speech therapist suggests that you need to buy a vibrating oral motor tool for your son.

Very careful.

Look very carefully when you are ordering - even if you googled exactly the words she told you.

Because, how embarrassing would it be if you were trying to order this , but UPS delivered this?


Monday, November 17, 2008

Instead of the Phone Call I Feel Like Making

Dear Parent of twin first graders;

That kid you almost hit this morning in a head-on collision? The little girl on the bike who you ran straight into without swerving even an inch away from our path at the side of the road? The one who ran her own bike down the gulch into the brambles and poison oak so she wouldn't be hit by your car?



Try coffee - it's a wonder drug.

Lucky for you, I am not a violent person, so even when I see your little rugrats dangling dangerously off of the jungle gym, you can rest assured that I will not kick them off so they get a mouthful of sand. I would never do that. I just want you to remember that next time you come right for my daughter with your CAR and I have a ROCK in my hand.

Supergirl's Mother

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Link Love

I am a huge fan of Sara Benincasa - don't miss the final Sarah Palin Vlog - and a huge fan of her Democracy Porn. Cindy and I would like her to convince her that she is on the wrong coast, and she should come on out and Join Us.

If you toss your roasted pumpkin seeds in a little maple syrup and then put them in the oven on 'warm' until they are dry, they are....awesome. (And they will disappear.)

I've been waiting for this woman to call me or come visit for hours. Does anyone know where she is? We may get tired of waiting and head to the beach. Tell her to meet us there.

How many of you have a therapy cupboard? With all of our recent transition travails, I have started one for Bubbles. Which is why Kelley made me cry real earnest-like tears of joy for her when she wrote about her therapy cupboard. (Which, I assume, is now full of shoes and chocolate.)

I just found this craft and can't wait to try it! I am sending my children out this instant to harvest acorns!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Magic of Where We Live

The temperature in our part of California today was in the mid-eighties.
In mid-November.
Even on the coast.

(For those of you who spent a weekend in July freezing your arses off in San Francisco, this should be of notable record.)

We did what everyone else within sixty miles of the beach did today - we (drove the six miles down the hill to the coast and) headed to our favorite beach.

We went to Elijah's beach:

Bubbles enjoyed the tide pools and.......the rays of....... magic.....(?)

There was much rejoicing:

We tumbled, ran, splashed, swooped, stumbled, squawked, scooped, gawked, chased, lounged, basked...until the sun set.

And then we went home.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Update on the Plank

We were offered an extended visit on the ship -the plank was out of order.

Took the Bubbles down to favorable ABA education office to see Amazing Teacher S, and it appeared that the little peer friend who was supposed to be there for his session was home sick. This last session was supposed to be a two hour peer session, in which Bubbles and one other child will be guided by Teacher S in a mock play group or preschool setting; taking turns, joining in songs, playing together. But since the other little guy didn't show up, we were granted a one hour session (GIFT!) and will re-schedule for next week.

Bubbles announced to me when we got there today, "I NO CRY!" and I walked him in to hug Amazing Teacher S.
No cry, indeed.

You are beginning to see just how difficult this is, aren't you?

I feel like I was just given a few deep breaths.


Wish Us The Good Luck, Mateys

Yesterday I took Bubbles to the guru, after keeping him home from preschool so that he would have the energy for his one hour of speech therapy. He had been sick all week, but was well enough on Thursday to get back into action; residual cough like his sister. He had missed his first two appointments of the week, and when we showed up yesterday, he was still pissed off at being woken up from his nap. He cried, "NoNONONONONO!" and I asked him to please quiet down as we entered the office.
We were met on the stairs by the guru. "He's too sick to be here!" she said.
I was embarrassed- did she really think I would bring a sick kid? Apparently, she did.
"He's all flushed from his nap - he's just not himself yet and doesn't want to be here."
"No. He's too sick. You need to take him home."
We had some awkward and quick mumblings about scheduling for next week and off we went. To drive the 45 minutes back home.
When I got back in the car, after Bubbles was buckled in, I felt the heat crawl up my face, the chin start to quiver....and I lost it. The floodgates opened and I just sobbed, saying things to nobody in particular like 'OHMYGAWD he totally SNOWED HER!' and 'WAHHHH WAHHHH - I miss the other therapist - the ones who GOT HIM TO TALK' and a few other choice words that we may hear popping up in someone's increasing vocabulary soon but let's hope not.

After this, I went to Costco, and he ran around like a maniac; totally fine and full of energy, and completely stoked that he got out of working.

Seriously. I am losing my peaceful and trusting nature through this process.


Bubbles was progressing every single week, if not day, for the last few months under the instruction of his ABA speech therapist. He was in a huge developmental leap - one which we were afraid would be affected by a drastic change in therapists and approaches. The school district, convinced that Bubbles would transition just fine (based on nothing), refused to pay for any ABA therapy at all, stating that his issue was solely speech and language based, being apraxia, and they would not pay for a therapist who was not a licensed SLP. So, we paid for two weeks' transition time, and allowed him one session/week during (what was supposed to be) his first two weeks with the new SLP (formerly and possibly still referred to as guru; stay tuned) but then he got sick and missed all of this week. Even yesterday, when he was well.
During this time he has continued to talk and increase his communication skills, but his language has not improved. He has not progressed at the rate we were seeing last month. He has started to tantrum again when asked to do something he resists, hit people, and just yesterday he used his newly discovered vocabulary to yell back at Daddy (who had just asked him to come get his diaper changed), "I GONNA KICK YOU!"
Holyhellsangels people!
Is this what BOYS SAY?
I say hell no you are NOT gonna even say that you are gonna kick me!

So....did I mention that I am a bit afraid right now?
Today is Bubbles' last day with Amazing Teacher S (which can stand for Super), and I am having a very hard time with this.
I knew this would be harder on me than Bubbles, because he does not understand that he won't see her again.

But I thought - I hoped - that, by this point, we would be making progress comfortably with the guru.

I had hoped that taking him to Amazing Teacher S this last time would not feel like making him walk the plank.

I am totally jumping off with him.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Final Word on Prop 8 (Unless I change my mind)

Okay, I lied. Not my word.

But watch it. Watch it all.

Thanks, Tricia.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Live and Let Live

I recently got a comment about my reaction to Prop 8/Hate from someone whose name I actually can remember, but I will save her the embarrassment and refer to her as:
Angry Stupid Shrew With Ignorant Persona Edified.

A.S.S.W.I.P.E.'s was one of the few comments I have ever deleted, but it bordered on defamation and libel and I am seriously doubting she wants the trouble, so it had to be done - out of respect for her future.
A.S.S.W.I.P.E. was very offended by my bird. You remember? The bluebirds for bigots?
If the shoe fits, wear it, right?
If not, walk away. There are plenty of other shoe stores out there.

Apparently, A.S.S.W.I.P.E. was so offended by my bird (even though she did admit that she found me attractive!) that it evoked the following strong words from her:
Live and let live.

At first I was livid! Poke fun at human rights, would she? How could she be so blatantly, so stupidly, hypocritical to condemn me for my reaction to hatred and bigotry and three giant steps back for humankind? Surely she was living in a hole if she thought that the words 'live and let live' did not apply to Prop 8/Hate- or even to her beliefs!

(By the way, dear readers; When you think of word for 'bangs fist against forehead in attempts to come up with a word that means the agony which I feel when I encounter such stupidity!', please let me know. I could use a word like that now.)

Think about it.
Let live.

(I guess if you read between the lines somewhere there may be the message 'go out there and vote to make sure that some certain people are not going to have the same rights as yours just cause they're different from you!' but I had a hard time finding that at first.)

But then, what I finally realized, was that A.S.S.W.I.P.E. was not echoing her own ill-thought credo to me, rather, she was finally coming to accept what was so horrendously ugly about her original decision to vote Hate.

Live and let live.

I am glad that I could help educate her.

It makes me feel all warm - in that 'scotch going down slowly' way.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Special Education (Or, My year as a fourth grade fagtard)

I published my pain for you.

Squid and Jennyalice have collaborated on the Can I Sit With You project and books - and my pain was not exempt from their gain.
All proceeds from this brilliantly clever fundraising and awareness-raising project go to SEPTAR, their local special needs PTA.

Did you know what a french kiss was in fourth grade?

Did you know what a retard was?

Did you know if you were one of the weirdos?

Did you know that your whole peer community - your entire class and your classmates - could turn on you in one second for being kind to the wrong people?

I found out the hard way

A Special Education

Monday, November 10, 2008

Will I Go To THE BAD PLACE For This One?

Supergirl has wanted a puppy/I know it grows into a/dog/ eventually/ since...... forever.
For. Ever.

In our household we have been paying close attention to the election this year, especially focused on...the president and Prop Eight/ 8 Hate.

Supergirl, however, is paying close attention to the Obama girls, Malia and Sasha.

Supergirl, my sweet-faced blonde-haired and blue-eyed daughter, wishes that she 'looked just like Malia, because 'Look Mama! She is so pretty!'.

(Can I have a hi-five here?)

"Mama!" she cried, most envious in her tone, "Malia and Sasha are going to get a puppy!!"

"A puppy?" I replied, incredulously, "They get a puppy??"

"Their daddy is the PREZZIDENT!" she yelled, "So, when can we get a puppy?"

"We can get a puppy," I replied quickly, "When your daddy becomes president and we get to move into The Whitehouse."

"NO WAY! I can't wait!!!!!" she squealed.

I was caught up in the moment.
"If your daddy becomes president and we move into The Whitehouse, I will get you five puppies!!"


I love you too baby, I love you too..................

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Link Love: When Children Die (Dammit!) Everyone Loses

I know that many of you who read this blog have experienced great loss.

I know that some of you have been touched by or appreciative of advice or personal suggestions I have offered in the wake of someone's death.

I know that many of you know more than I do, and can help my friend right now.

Her daughter's friend and schoolmate died yesterday.

Please stop by and offer some words.