Category Archives: random

Ordinary Days

It’s been quiet around here but not because we’ve been hibernating (sadly) (listen to Abel James’s interview on why we should hibernate in the winter, turn off the tv, and read books by candlelight). Here’s life around here this month:

We’re having fun in A&P. This month we dissected a brain, an eye, and for finals next week: a heart! It’s a good ol’ time. And fascinating to always be learning about the human body.unnamed

The Professor can levitate peas. I always knew he was a keeper.unnamed-1

I’m using Google Calendar give myself daily reminders. I highly recommend it. Want a tutorial? unnamed

For Valentine’s, I made these truffles. Oh, my heart.unnamed-7

During a snowstorm, The Professor and I went to a Bernie Sanders debate to hear Matt Nathanson play. We lived. And were impressed with the politically engaged young people!unnamed-8

I want to write like this. I’m going to practice. Not sure when. Thought you should know: unnamed-1

For Valentine’s I gave Nellie meat. He loves me now.unnamed-4

For vacation week we had cousin Ella! Lucky us! She baked and cleaned my windows. Cause I’m a fun Aunt like that. Boy do we love our cousins.unnamed-3

More cousin love. This time on skis!unnamed-9

Sometimes I have a photo taken of myself.unnamed-10

Cope is driving me around. Blasting the musical, Hamilton. GET US TICKETS, PLEASE! Cope looks rather tranquil here but I assure you that’s NOT how we sing Hamilton in the car.unnamed-13

For Spring break, I’m a little too excited. Here’s why:unnamed-15

For my birthday, Brynne made me breakfast in bed. Er…she tried…but I was out running (feeling very out of shape…) We compromised and I got pancakes on the couch afterwards. It was a beautiful thing for a mom to be remembered.unnamed-14Yes, it’s all rather ordinary. The washing machine broke yesterday (happy birthday!), my roots need coloring, and I still bite my nails. I’m another year older but feeling lucky and blessed to have lived another year with good health, great friends (including you, dear readers), and the bestest-ever family. These are ordinary things, I suppose. But I’m feeling like it’s all rather extraordinary.



Tuesday Things

Welcome to the mighty tundra, otherwise known as the North East. Baby it’s cold outside.


1. This mailbox has not yet been hit by a snow plow, but don’t you worry, it’s bound to happen for the seventh year in a row! In the mean time, why don’t you write me a letter?


2. In other world news, my kids have “ski friday” every week with their school. Determined to get on the slopes this year, I made The Professor go on a ski date with me. It’s only been FIFTEEN YEARS since we’ve been, when I was pregnant with eldest child. Skis are shorter now. And everyone wears helmets. I began to have heart palpitations on the ski lift and I may have given a terrifying shriek when it boosted me off.

2a. I didn’t fall down.

IMG_75983. But since we do hard things it turned out to be a blast, especially when we found our sweet Brynnie-the-Pooh who is a pro (start young!). Thankfully we couldn’t find Nelson who was jumping off dangerous jumps on the black diamond course. I was very happy to stay on the barnyard baby bunny course.

3a. Note to self: do not wear knit hat or gloves.

3b. Was I being paranoid or did people keep laughing at me? Gregor said it was my outfit. Like, apparently you don’t tuck your pants into your boots.


3c. Note to self: ski more with the kids.


4. But let them do the shoveling. They like it.

IMG_76255. School was cancelled yesterday and even The Professor had to stay home. We made a million valentines courtesy of Pinterest.

5a. We boogied to T-Swizzles, Meghan Trainor (oh my goodness I love her…Dear Future Husband…), and Matt Nathanson.

5b. It was a good day’s work.

6. In other entertainment news, Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird is releasing her second novel. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and yet…I hope I can love it. Jean Louise all grown up? And Atticus, dear Atticus!

6a. Eldest daughter is playing Scout in her school’s play next weekend. My darling niece is named Scout. We have a slight obsession with the greatest piece of literature ever written.


7. Cold means they hold my hand more.

7a. It also means a million games of Pick Up Sticks. Fortunately I like that game. It might be my talent in life.

7b. Ten feet of snow also means it’s very hard to to run outside. And you know my issue with treadmills. Translation = I’m a wimp. Alas, my running has suffered.

7c. Which is why, I’m convinced, I got sick.

7d. Whenever I get sick I start to think I might die. Husband thinks this is a genetic trait passed on to me from my mother.

7e. To prevent early demise, I’m drinking lots of THIS and THIS and swallowing Oil of Oregano pills because it boosts the immune system and I’ve always wanted to smell like a pizza.

How’s your tuesday going?




What Goes On & Trying to Feel Better

1. I meant to do a “Thursday Things” but now it’s more like “Frazzled Friday” and gee, what kind of headline is that?

“Frazzled Friday” is the state I’m in and I don’t like it. Over Christmas I began taking a powerofmoms e-course Mind Organization for Moms, a program I actually won (Instagram contest!) and it is FANTASTIC. The first step is organizing your email so that every night you have an empty in-box and you can go to be as peaceful as a breeze.

Guess what? PEACE! Really. For days I kept on top of email and the calendar. I was calm, in control of life, and was more patient and happy.

What a great feeling. What an enlightening moment.

And then real life began. School started, schedules barked, kids got sick, and last night I went to bed with 45 emails, too exhausted to “deal.” I realized how I’ve begun to think that “anxious” and “over-scheduled” is normal.

This is not healthy.

I obviously need to “buckle down” and finish the other six organizational lessons. (time! time!) Either I’m doing too much or I’m not organizing life as efficiently as I could, because this anxious state is not good for me. Or the kids.

Poor things. I actually clapped at them like a crazed-sideline coach this morning: “LET’S GOOOOO!”

Anyhoo, (deeeeep breathe…) hope you’re doing well!

Are you healthy? The humans that live in this house are coughing and dropping like flies. I’m drinking green smoothies like nobody’s bizness. May I also suggest this immune-boosting hot drink:


Immune System Super Blast Drink:
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 lemon, squeezed
4 echinacea pills, emptied (or a couple drops liquid echinacea)
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups boiling water
I swear by it.
2. I’ve been wearing the Misfit Shine. The one Paige lost and miraculously found. The sleep info is most interesting to me. Perhaps I’d feel more peaceful if I slept a little more!
Which is why I’m going to take the Napping Challenge:
3. After your nap, this is why you need a running buddy:
Because getting lost in a couple feet of snow is an adventure – if you have a buddy!
4. This is why you need kids: how else will you go sledding?
5. Bringing the daily water to the chickens in the middle of winter isn’t my favorite activity. It’s also potentially life-threatening. Paige’s face proves it:
paigechickensActually, Miss. Hairy Legs had escaped again. Alas, I fear she will only learn her lesson when she’s swallowed by a fox.
6. Do you ever get emails like this from your teenager?
Love the girl.
Okay, that’s all. Gotta go and get organized or something.
Have a good weekend – and stay healthy!

The Month of the Pants and Other Weekend Love


1. So I have these pair of purple pants.

2. I find purple pants rather liberating.

3. Cope’s friends like them, too. One of them asked where I got them. I let her check my label. “That is so weird,” Cope said.


3. This is my green pair of pants. Nelson’s friends like this pair, but I don’t offer any label checking. “Mom, stop. That’s so embarrassing.”

4. Why are parents so embarrassing? I mean, I don’t walk down the street and say, “There’s my kid, don’t look at me don’t talk to me let’s pretend you don’t exist.” This would be a fascinating dissertation.

dance5. I mean, who can pretend these sweet things don’t exist???

IMG_6038 6. We’re exhausted. Today my class took a difficult quiz on all the superficial muscles of the body. They spell words like sternocleidomastoid. It makes me so proud I could cry. Tears would pour out my lacrimal cavities which are surrounded by the ethmoid and nasal bones which are protected by the obicularis oculi muscle.

6b. Next week is finals.

6c. Have I mentioned? We are all exhausted.


7. This leaf fell on my window. I named the picture, “Fall on Me.”


8. Paige fell in the pond. But this catastrophic moment led me to this photo. So it was worth the dunk 🙂

IMG_61339. Snow fell on my kale this morning. How rude. However, can you believe how hearty this leafy green is? Everyday I fetch eggs and pluck leaves for the next day’s smoothie. And it’s November 12! Put KALE on your calendar to plant in March. You’ll never go hungry again.

10. The Halloween candy is killing me. Like, probably literally.

11. Milk Duds and Heath Bars. “Don’t eat them,” my friend said. Too late.

12. Then, listen to THIS! It’s so good. It’s all about BRAIN HEALTH. I love this stuff so much I feel like doing cartwheels. Can you spell G-E-E-K? I can!

13. Sadly, Milk Duds and Heath Bars are definitely not mentioned.

14. Love THIS: Amy Tan giving a TED talk on “Where Does Creativity Hide?” She does not talk about Milk Duds either, though I’m pretty sure they spur on my creativity.

15. Katie talks about HOPE, HERE. She’s waiting for a baby. I hope, hope, hope with her…

16. Giles Duley rocks. Here’s when the reporter becomes the story.

17. My daughter’s chemistry teacher is blogging about How Kids Learn. And she’s SO good!

18. Psst! Missed the podcast on the Nine Most Important Minutes? Listen Here! I still haven’t 🙂

19. I didn’t show you all my pairs of pants. Oh, there’s more.

Happy Weekend!



Ordinary Days and What Goes On



1. First, the weather is MAGNIFICENT. The red maples are popping a bright cherry red. Oh, it makes me so happy.

2. Chickens. For the last week, Ms. Hairylegs has escaped from her nicely fenced yard and house, maintained by yours truly, to wander the great outdoors. Since Brynne has to go to that thing called school, she is not here to chase and capture escaped Ms. Hairylegs. So. Everyday, I have to chase, capture and plop her flapping self over the fence. When I’m not looking she promptly flies back over.

3. I might just teach her a lesson and let her be. Why should I enable her naughtiness? But I fear she will get eaten by a fox. Why can’t she just conform like the other chickens and stay IN?

4. Ten minutes ago, after chasing, corralling, and capturing Ms. Hairylegs, I promptly fell through the chicken coop floor TWICE, leaving a large gaping hole in the middle of the coop.

5. I managed to cover the hole with a large piece of plywood. And nobody saw me accomplish this great feat except Ms. Hairylegs who was not sufficiently impressed.


6. This picture was taken only 4 years ago. We are light years away from the moment and it makes me sad 🙁 Especially since Brynne isn’t here to capture naughty chickens.

7. Husband attended the Clinton Global Initiative last night and took the 2:40 a.m. train out of NYC. Ew. Highlights included Obama making an appearance and a social entrepreneur fainting on stage from all the pressure! With a 1,000,000 prize on the line, I may have fainted to. Husband did not come home with a million dollars. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

8. I want this planner. Bad. Can I really justify the price? But I want it. And I’ll never be unorganized again, right?

9. I’m running in two new pair of shoes. I love ’em and can’t wait to give you some running shoe recommendations.

10. This weekend is the Special Olympics run/ride in our very own hometown. If you’re local, sign up and run with me!

11. Totally random, but have you heard Johnny Cash sing ONE? Combining two of my favorite songwriters/voices of all time. Awesome.

12. In A&P we are studying skin so yesterday I waxed poetic about my sweet baby Cope turning orange from me feeding her too much baby food containing carotene.

Really, there is nothing “ordinary” about these days.


Memorial Days


1. Memorial Day. I love this day.

IMG_3677 memorial dayThis photo always makes me sad. And I every time I drive through the New Hampshire Veteran’s Cemetery, there is a fresh grave.

Over Memorial Day Weekend we ran two 5ks. Because isn’t that what you do for fun?


The kids were great and Nelson once again kicked my booty with a time of 20:36 and 20:46. I shall never catch him again…which actually tickles me pink 🙂


By the second 5k, Paige had had enough and meandered down the course a full hour.

2. Maya Angelou. Love that woman. Sad to say good-bye to a hero and legend. I still remember reading I know why the cage bird sings in middle school and what an impact it had on me. I recently finished her memoir on her mother (her 7th autobiography!) and loved her interview with Time:

“I’ll probably be writing when the Lord says, “Maya, Maya Angelou, it’s time.”

3 . Track and Lacrosse


My boy flew like the wind, prompting tears from his mother on several occasions. “Mom, are you crying?” his sister asked me after his first mile race. I just don’t know what comes over me when it comes to running!

Cope played lacrosse in a cute short skirt for the first time. She also gets to wear a face mask and hit people with stick. What a great sport! Really, it’s pretty fab.DSC_0916

3b. My girl went to her first semi-formal dance. The next we chopped her hair off.


4. Black Flies. Oh sorry, that’s just wishful thinking.

5. Double Digits. My girl turned 10! What’s going on in the world?


6. The Babies Left


That baby in the tutu is Charly Barley and she came to see us this weekend with her sister, Sydnie. Oh yes, they have parents, Allison and Peter…and we miss them, but the children in this house are pining away for the babies. Here Peter is reading the new Honda Odyssey manual to his pregnant wife while she feeds the squirrely baby, scrambled eggs. Family life!

7. Meat. For my Year of Living Without, I’m not eating red meat this month. I hate it. It’s not right. I need my meat, my steak, my cheeseburgers and kabobs. I can’t wait for this trial to be over.

8. School. There are 17 days left. My head is dizzy with all the details left to do.

9. The Dining Hall. I’m weeping. (it’s where we eat dinner…often). Um, how do you normal people do it every night? If you see my children foraging for dandelion stew, remind them that Hogwarts will once again be open in the fall. For reals – what’s on your menu this week?

10. So we’re saying HELLO SUMMER!



my butt hurts, and other weekend updates

1. My butt is really sore. Like, I can hardly move from a sitting to standing position without gasping in pain. Squats with a hand weight will do that to ya! And I thought I was in shape. Hahaha! The other day Gregor talked me into doing a 10-minute torcher, obviously a terrible play on words. Torture, hello? Then, after the first one he said, Let’s do another one. And I couldn’t very well say no, could I? I should have said no. Squats, weights, lunges, push-ups. You should see The Man (husband). He’s simply divine. He won’t stop until he’s got a bikini-ready six-pack! He’s lost over 50lbs in one year. 

He loves when I talk about his weight.

1a. Pain aside, The Torture is way more mother-friendly than P90X which I never got to because it was NINETY minutes and really, I had ten minutes. The trainer is named B.J. and he says things like, “Stop talking!” and “Come on, Son!” which is oddly motivating.

2. It’s soooo cold. Temperatures are dropping into single digits. Hence the need for the weight room. Today however, was running buddy day. I wasn’t going to be the wimp. Instead I wore multiple layers, including long johns under running tights, because I’m the biggest cold-weather wimp you ever met. Mittens are preferable to gloves as fingers can stick together for warmth. Our faces froze through the slits of our burkas. White icicles formed in our hair and eyelashes. My toes felt frost bitten until after mile 1. And then the body began to warm and it was AWESOME. Come on, Son! Do it, girls. Just do it.

2a. Winter makes me want to hibernate and eat fat and sugar. I feel like baking all the time. But I’m increasingly conscious of my sugar intake while eating my four squares of Symphony bar. I keep reading article after article about what a poison sugar is. Like Cocaine on the brain, and just as addictive. I’m feeling greatly conflicted over wanting to bake the great cookie express:

or deliver healthy runner’s granola.

These are the problems which beset me.

2b. Today’s run included the rail trail which was covered with snow. We likened it to running on the beach in thick sand. Except, not. It was however, a mighty good lower body work-out.

1b. Back to my butt. Perhaps the faux “sand” work-out is contributing to my butt pain. 

3. I have tons of yummy and healthy recipes to share. Don’t even think I’m not drinking my morning smoothies! I even used cooked amaranth the other day. However, I’m switching my blog over to WordPress and have a cute little recipe widget I’ll be using there. Are you so excited?

3a.  But just in case you need some healthy, hearty, and tasty food this weekend, here are some ideas:

Spicy-Sausage, Kale, and White Bean Soup
Smoothie Yum-Yum
Pomegranate, Mango, and Mixed Green Salad
Super-Grain Waffles

3b. The new blog look is almost ready thanks to Cassie! I hope you’ll consider subscribing!

4. Patalie (my brother and his wife) had a baby yesterday. His name is Luke. Isn’t that darling?

5. I’m not doing Christmas cards this year. I don’t even feel guilty. I will however, be sending out an e-card with a wonderful Christmas shot of our family. That’s just a tad blurry. Sigh.

6. One last random thought. Yesterday I was almost in a car accident. With two children in the car. It was so scary my heart didn’t stop pounding all night. I was distracted, talking to kids, eyes all over the place. We mamas need to slooooow down. Especially in the winter. Stop reaching back, looking back, reaching down. Stop with the Elasta-girl complex! Keep eyes on the road – every second. No texts, no emails, nothing but focus. Cars at fast speeds are dangerous combinations. I was given a warning. Remember the hare? Slow and steady wins the race.

Thanks for reading on Friday the 13th. I truly love that you do.

1c. Ow! He just slapped my butt!


A Random Ramble, a Book Winner, and Donuts

1.  Congrats, Donna! picks you for the book win.  Please let me know how I can contact you.

2.  This morning’s conversation:
Husband:  Did you see that I plugged your new phone in (defective speaker on other one) and now you just need to set it up?

Me:  Thank you, but I just need you set it up now. 
Him:  It’s really easy and you need to do this stuff so you’ll know you can do it.
Me:  I can’t do it.  I need help. (whine)
Daughter:  Mom, Google it!
Him:  This will be good for you, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.
Me:  (cutting an apple).  I feel good about myself cutting apples for breakfast and feeding my children.
Daughter:  I don’t like apples.

***2 min. later

Me:  I’m not going to be here tomorrow for breakfast so you’re going to have to do this all by yourself, okay?
Him:  Why?
Me:  I have a long run and have to leave really early.  Think you can handle it?
G:  No, he whines.  I can only do iphones, not breakfast…
3.  The other night I had a dream that my husband, who looked like my husband, was really John Travolta.  He wanted me to go to the grocery store.  But I didn’t know how to grocery shop (surely this is not Kelly) so I stood on a table at the grocery store and danced.  Isn’t this rather odd on so many levels?  
4.  The next day I really did go to the grocery store.  I was all by myself and even when I saw a mother with a screaming toddler around her neck – the toddler standing on the cart seat with a death grip and making the mother hunch over and take agonizingly small baby steps – I missed having a little buddy with me at the grocery store.  

5.  When I came home from the grocery store, I pondered these items I had bought. They are items I rarely bought even when we had babies. 
6.  I had also bought a bottle of pre-natal vitamins (good for your hair and nails!) When I line the three up together, I ponder their significance.  Upon verbally pondering, husband interrupts, “Not going to happen.”

7.  My daughter is in the middle of major girl drama.  My experience is that girl drama starts in 3rd grade and runs it’s course by the end of 7th.  8th grade was pretty dreamy.  But what am I talking about?  My other daughter just started high school.  There could potentially be 20 more years of girl drama. 
8.  I loved this article, Are You Living Your Eulogy or Resume?.  Of course, my vanity still wants a new pair of shoes, but I’m trying!
9.  Tomorrow is my last really long run before the marathon taper begins.  The schedule says I have to run 20 miles.  I will have to begin at 4:45 to meet a training buddy at exactly 5:15 at the bridge.  It will be pitch black and I will know my buddy by her flashing headlamp that matches mine.  We will run a 5.5 hill loop together and then I am by myself for the last 12.  But then sun will be coming up and I’m sure to feel enlightened in more ways than one, right?  After that:  Taper.  

10.  I’m eating an apple cider donut right now.  It’s obviously for training purposes. Have I mentioned I love fall?  How can I keep from singing?  


The End of Summer Dance

We dress up and dance around the yard to celebrate summer and the beginning of school and fall…
We smile and clap when we get our very first chicken eggs!  Good girls, er, chickens!

Um.  Well.  I was going to keep this quiet.  In case I died of running too many miles.  This was an 18 mile day.  Really.  I didn’t die.  It was the best of days, it was the worst of days. Dear brother-in-law, inspirational Glenn,  texted me in early August:  “Are you in or are you out?”  I had to say, “IN.”  We are running the Hartford marathon October 12. Tomorrow’s training run: the 20-miler.  If you don’t hear from me again, I’m somewhere out there…and it was so good knowing you.

I hate buying gas.  I don’t know why, but getting out of the car to pump gas seems like such a waste of time.  It occurred to me that I don’t have to pump the gas anymore.  I have children.  Awesome.

You know why our chickens lay eggs?  Because I feed them.  This is a 40-pound bag of chicken feed that brings back the wedding advice I foolishly ignored:  “Never do once what you don’t want to do for the rest of your life.”  The good times just keep getting better!

I should have never started doing laundry either.  You can see I obviously don’t do my hair.

Soccer coaching has begun.  I love my whistle.  Especially since I can’t raise my voice.

Cope is happy she gets to mow the lawn!  
Father and daughter discuss mowing strategy

The weekly letter typed on a typewriter.  Let it be known that we will never have a parrot.

Eldest got a phone.  This is what she does at the beach now.

I look up and want to fly, too

No parrot, just Purr the Cat

My first Red Sox game – it was awesome!  I could get into this.  The crowd was really mean to A-Rod.  And he still hit it out of the park.  How do you have that mental edge?

The Fab Four

While out in Hanover, we went to Dartmouth and Gregor opened the vaults to find his thesis – it was there!  All theses are printed, bound, and kept in circulation. I’m digging the pink shirt.

Garden tomatoes and basil.  Yes to happy.
We even smile when school has to start.  It’s an odd thing, that there are only three of them starting elementary/middle school.  Eldest daughter was sleeping in.

Girls who will still hold their daddy’s hand.

But someone is having a wee bit of a tough time adjusting to a full day.  She’s been to the nurse every day.  They sit and eat saltines together and then she goes back to class.  “It’s too long,” she sobs.  “I miss my Mama!”

The girl left this morning for a four-day wilderness trip in the mountains.  All incoming students at her high school have to go out on orientation.  She was nervous, excited, and then, vanished.  I wonder what she’s doing now?  It’s so dark outside.

It’s just me and the snake.  We keep busy.  He hangs out on the porch and for some reason I miss him when he’s not there.  And I don’t even like snakes.
Good-bye summer, hello Fall. 
It’s a brave new world out there!


What’s Up Wednesday

What I’m Reading
I just finished the last page of And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.  I liked it.  Hosseini is a great storyteller and I tried to pay attention to both the story and the writing technique – it’s quite masterful.  But I do have to say I liked his first two books much more.  This one felt more distant to me; there was less of an emotional connection.    

I’m about to open Mom and Me and Mom by Maya Angelou because Haunani sent it to me after she read it – wasn’t that nice?  And my name is on the library waiting list for Dianne’s The Caged Graves (it’s checked out which is a good sign, right?) and I’m anxiously waiting for Melissa’s Rabbit Island book to hit the hot press.  I love having writing friends!

What I’m Writing
QUERY LETTERS.  Ugh.  I’m on a second round of sending off letters to literary agents.  Some of them have read my manuscript before but ultimately rejected me it (waahhh!).  Either way, I’m done with this particular manuscript.  Done, I say!  I’m also writing an apple article for a New Hampshire magazine (I like apples) and am polishing off a middle grade witch story dreamed up by my mother who used to think she really was a witch and even had a witch club.  The club initiation?  You had to get stung by a bee.  Ah, I love this stuff.  

What Inspires Me Right Now
-You do.  I love you.  Really.
-Writing friends.  To know you’re all writing, struggling, and finding success is inspiring.
-Instagram.  Um. Mommy needs some boundaries.
-Kindness.  My new motto: “Let us be kinder than is necessary” (inspired by the amazing book wonder….)
-God inspires me.
-My alarm.  It kicked my butt at 4:45 this morning.  And while I frown in the beginning, I am jubilant by the end…it was a wet morning run, but the sun came up and I was inspired all over again.

What Else I’ve Been Up To
You can call me Dori…what?where?isthatmybrain?   justkeepswimming,justkeepswimming…

-Field trips (and Mama accompanying) 
-Kindergarten and 8th grade graduations (I’m a little weepy today)
-End of school parties and already planning for summer and fall sports….
-I’m trying to learn Lightroom
-I keep staring at my photography DVDs I promised I would watch if I ordered them
-Dinner planning.  For heavens sake, how do ya’all do it?

p.s.  This inspired me too:

a girl in a too-big medieval gown wanders into a field and finds her favorite flower:  the dandelion

she blows and blows until the seeds scatter into the sky (making her daddy so happy that more dandelion seeds will scatter scatter on his lawn)

but the clouds moved because the sky smiled and the mountains echoed



More What’s Up Wednesday here.