Friday, November 30, 2007

On The Radio

The Martha's Vineyard radio station I frequently listen to is fund-raising this week. At least they had the decency not to hold their beg-a-thon the same week as the local NPR station (that was last week). As if on cue the station is obscured by static on the kitchen radio. Can they control that? Can they actually make their station not come in so as to make me feel guilty, ("they can't even afford enough bandwidth to broadcast in Falmouth.") Should I send them some money?
Wait, no. I can still get them in the living room.

song: On The Radio • artist: Donna Summer

Her First Mistake

I stand corrected. Actually I'm sitting corrected. A friend who is much more fashionable than I told me today that it's a cowl neck, not a cow neck. Who knew? Everyone but me no doubt. They've got turtle necks, why not cow necks? Because it's a stupid name - that's why.
Let's see, is this more or less embarrassing than the time I wrote "mute point" in one of my articles. It's "moot point" but you already knew that. It's definitely not as embarrassing as the time we were in Canada and I tried to order jimmies on my ice cream. The woman behind the counter just kept staring at me while I repeated my request two, three, four times. Finally Connie jumped in and saved me, "they're called sprinkles, Joanne."
But look, I'm not the only idiot out there.

song: Her First Mistake • artist: Lyle Lovett

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hurt So Good

Tonight I noticed that I posted more comments this past week about being pregnant than I did about my cute, already-been-born kids. Originally I thought that being pregnant with twins would provide endless fodder for The Mommy Rant, but as long as things are going along pretty well, there's not much to say. Who wants to hear about my varicose veins or inch-high belly button? Compared to accounts I've read on-line, things could be much worse. At least my pregnancy ailments have occurred in a linear fashion, that is, one after the other and not all together. Thankfully my back wasn't still hurting when it felt like I'd pulled all the muscles in my groin. Good thing my groin wasn't hurting the week I woke up every night with leg cramps. The other night, even without cramped up legs, I hurt myself sitting on the couch. There I was, with my feet up, taking it easy, and when I went to get up I, ouch, pulled something.
So that's it about being pregnant for this week, and now back to our regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.

song: Hurt So Good • artist: John Cougar Mellencamp

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Speaking of maternity clothing, I finally wore, for the first time ever, the sweater that my cousin gave me as a hand-me-down five years ago. I've been meaning to dye it burgundy (it's pink) for forever but now it can't be done because I need a top-loading washing machine which we don't have. I imagine the laundromat frowns on people using their machines to dye sweaters in.
It's also got a cow neck. Remember those? When did they go out of style - 1984? Whoever thought that "cow neck" would make a good name for a design feature in a sweater? Who wants a neck that looks like a cow?
Even though the sweater isn't exactly me, I wore it because it fits which is more than I can say for most of my clothes.
So I'm wearing the sweater and H is sitting with my in the computer room and he leans over too far because he's mad that he can't find a picture of a lighthouse in the book we are looking at, falls off his chair, hits his face on the edge of the desk, gets a bloody nose and proceeds to bleed all over - the pink sweater.

song: Lovefool • artist: The Cardigans

Forever in Blue Jeans

Lately there's been a range of reactions to the size of my stomach, everything from "you look great! Are those even maternity jeans?" to "boy, you're getting big, you must really be tired."
The answer is of course they are maternity jeans, are you high? I have finally been forced to embrace the jeans I bought when I was pregnant with H and never wore. I disliked them because they have a mini-bell bottom-type cut. What's that for, enormous swollen ankles? They are also at least five inches too long despite being a size small. This means only one thing, that tall skinny women are the only people who should be getting pregnant. But, it was either roll up the jeans and wear them or have only one pair of wearable pants, which would mean having to go around naked on wash day.
The best reaction to my "condition" was the complete lack of any reaction by the salesman at the Plymouth Winery. I stopped in for wine to go with Thanksgiving dinner and he asked me not once but twice if I wanted to sample the wines I was purchasing. This means either, a) he wasn't paying attention at all, or b) he's been burned in the past and now refuses to assume a woman is pregnant until she shows up at the shop with an actual baby.

song: Forever in Blue Jeans • artist: Neil Diamond

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


People are so predictable. We are constantly amazed by the same things over and over. The other night's full moon for example. I stepped out the door from work and there it was - amazing. I stood awe struck. My parents took the kids outside later that night for a viewing.
You'd think, by the way people talk about it, that a full was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence instead of something that happens once a month.
"There's a full moon tonight."
"Did you see the full moon?"
"Look how bright it is outside tonight because of the full moon."
How about this phrase which everyone utters in some form or another every December:
"I can't believe how dark it is out, it's only 4:30."
Or how we all marvel at a particularly colorful sunset, or how we can't help but to comment (over and over again,) on how fast time seems to go by once one is over 30.
It's like the human race has collective amnesia.

song: Amnesia • artist: Pousette-Dart Band

Monday, November 26, 2007

Free Falling

I wonder. Have I recently become more of a klutz due to the power of suggestive thinking, as in "don't drop this because it's too much of an ordeal to bend over and pick it up. Opps. Damn."
Or have I always been this way?

song: Free Falling • artist: Tom Petty

Saturday, November 24, 2007


There seems to be some general holiday confusion around my house.
On Wednesday C asked me:
"Is Christmas Jesus's birthday?"
Instead of a short lecture on the winter solstice and how early Christians adapted pre-existing pagan holidays as their own, I simply said:
"When is it God's birthday?," he wondered out loud, "on Thanksgiving? I think we should have a cake."
On Thursday morning, before anyone had come over he was in the living room with his little brother when he announced excitedly:
"H! Today is Thanksgiving!"
H, equally excited, said:
"I be pirate!"
"No!" big brother corrected, "you don't dress up for Thanksgiving."
Well you can dress the turkey - but I thought it best not to bring that up.

song: Holiday • artist: Madonna

Thursday, November 22, 2007


So it's Thanksgiving evening, why aren't they airing "The Sound of Music" on any of my 50 television channels?

song: Do-Re-Mi • Soundtrack: The Sound of Music

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Poetry In Motion

Through the wonder of Sitemeter it's possible for me to see what Google search has led someone to this blog. Usually, because we're such a high-brow bunch, it's people searching for the lyrics to Jeremiah was a Bullfrog. Every now and then something more unusual comes up. Today, for example, I expect that the individual from Kingston NY who was searching for "mommy you sexy" was disappointed with The Mommy Rant. This month I've noticed that the words "Thanksgiving couplet" are turning up frequently. I wonder who these people are who search for Thanksgiving couplets. I can almost understand "mommy you sexy" more. Are they poetry enthusiasts? College students searching out inspiration for a writing assignment? A journalist perhaps, looking for a clever opening to a holiday article? Assuredly they are disappointed as well when they get to my site; but what were they expecting - Robert Frost?
On the other hand I hope my words aren't being pirated by some 18-year old who is too lazy to come up with a couplet of his own. If I can come up with a couplet despite the distrations of my children, anyone can. In fact, I encourage everyone to give it a go. A couplet is two lines that rhyme, nothing more. It's best if the meter of both lines match but it's not imperative. Look here are several I thought up today while hanging out in the front yard with the kids, C was climbing a tree in order to "put on a show," and H was climbing on our upside down dory, his "kayak," and subsequently trying to wrench the pen out of my hand so he could draw with it.

song: Poetry in Motion • artst: Johnny Tillotson

thanksgiving couplet #5

Turkey, stuffing, and mashed potato
Eat till you can't move from the table.

thanksgiving couplet #4

Thanksgiving Day
Well on its way

thanksgiving couplet #3

Yearly Thanksgiving meal
Universal appeal

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I am the Walrus (I am the Eggman)

As if the irony of preschoolers wasn't enough, how about the irony of supermarket eggs?
If I get plain old no frills brown eggs they come in a cardboard carton, which, though it isn't suppose to be put out with my curbside recycling (can someone tell me why?), I can tear up and toss into my compost pile outback or burn in the fireplace along with those pizza boxes I'm also not suppose to recycle. But, if I upgrade and buy the eggs laid by chickens that are fed organic feed, then my eggs come in either a plastic container, which I can't throw out in the backyard, or they come in a Styrofoam container, which I can't recycle at all.
This makes it impossible for me to have my cake and eat it too. Especially if I want to include an egg in that cake mix.

song: I am the Walrus (I am the Eggman) • artist: The Beatles

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mama We're All Crazy Now

The woman who led the talk about birds at the recreation center said it was possible to get a chickadee to eat out of your hand. What was required was to stand outside everyday for ten minutes with a small amount of seed in your hand until the birds grew accustomed to your presence.
Of course C wanted to put this to the test right away. He stood on the deck the first day with his bagel covered in birdseed and the kitchen timer set to 15 minutes. The next day he decided to try again. H took his seed-covered bagel and tried to follow.
"Don't let him come out. He's too loud," C commanded.
I told him he merely need to explain to his younger brother that it was important to be quiet.
This is my new tactic. If I encourage C to rationally explain a situation to his two-and-a-half-year-old brother, surely H will cooperate.
So they both went outside even though the wind was gusting and there wasn't a bird in sight.
In a few minutes all can hear is C yelling at the top of his voice:
"Stop it! Be quiet! You're making too much noise!"

song: Mama We're All Crazy Now • artist: Quiet Riot

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down

Scarecrows, I find, provide a harsh lesson on the deterioration of man at an accelerated rate. When first filled with leaves they prop themselves up sturdily. For a while he sat proud and tall observing the oak leaves falling in the yard. Oak leaves which rarely turn interesting colors, only brown. After a few weeks though, the scarecrow slumped in his chair, inches shorter than when he first came into being. Try as I might it was impossible to rearrange his drooping bodies in such a was as to regain his former presence. No wonder the crows laugh. Little harbingers of the grim reaper that they are, watching us trying in vain to stave off the march of time.
Perhaps next year it would be better to decorate the yard with bales of hay. Scarecrows are too depressing.

song: I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down • artist: Elvis Costello


Another reason to hang clothes outside on the line even in November: ladybugs in your clothes basket.

song: Lady • artist: Styx

Friday, November 16, 2007

fall couplet #3

falling leaves
naked trees

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just One Look

I know it's not the Virgin Mary appearing in my French toast, which is too bad because then I could auction it off for big bucks on Ebay; but doesn't this knot in our piece of plywood look like a spider?

song: Just One Look • artist: Linda Ronstadt

Sample in a Jar

Now that I have started saving jelly jars to use as drinking glasses, it would appear I am skipping right over turning into my mother and moving straight on to becoming my grandmother.

song: Sample in a Jar • artist: Phish

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


We've got some big days coming up this week, starting with Wednesday as Reusable Bag Day in Massachusetts. Forgot your reusable bag at home this morning? Well, just designate Thursday as Reusable Bag Day For Those Who Weren't Aware That Wednesday Was Reusable Bag Day.
But wait, no can do because Thursday is already National Bundt Pan Appreciation Day.
Is there a Bundt pan in your cabinet? My mother made all her cakes in Bundt pans. She used to let me grease and flour the pan when it was cake-baking time. I thought this was pretty special but in retrospect greasing and flouring a Bundt pan is, well, a big pain in the Bundt, which is why, now that I'm a grown up, I don't own a Bundt pan. That's right, I'm on to you now, Ma.
I let my kids grind nuts and break eggs. Now that's fun.

song: Today • artist: John Denver

I Can't Explain

My eldest son used to say that when he grew up he was going to marry me. Last night he and H came downstairs having played together without incident for a record-setting 20 minutes and he announced: "I really love H. When we grow up we can get married."
I suggested that he and his little brother could be best friends when they grew up instead. Why couldn't they get married he wondered out loud. Was it because boys had to marry girls?
No, that wasn't the reason I told him.
Can boys marry boys he asked.
Yes, but it's unusual I said. "Do you know what unusual means?"
"It's not happening all the time."
"That's right."
"But it happens sometimes."
"That's right."
"Do sometimes boys marry boys?"
"Sometimes they do, but you still can't marry your brother."
To make a long story less long, I went on to explain why brothers and sisters and cousins can't get married. That it's a better thing for a baby to have different genes (not the kind you wear) instead of similar genes which is what would happen if you married your relative. I reminded him of the talk we had about why he and his brother both had blue eyes (because mommy and daddy have blue eyes), and that babies might get sick if they have parents who are relatives.
None of this actually had anything to do with why he couldn't marry his brother since he and his brother wouldn't be able to have babies, but, thankfully he was distracted enough not to pick up on that.
Fifteen minutes later he asked me when daddy would be home.
"In a half hour. It's only 5:30."
"But it's so dark. Why is it so dark?"
"Because this time of year it gets dark early."
Gay marriage and hemophilia, those are topics I can tackle, but daylight savings time? How do I explain that?

song: I Can't Explain • artist: The Who

Monday, November 12, 2007

holiday couplet

Thanksgiving approaches,
but Christmas encroaches.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sister Golden Hair

They didn't have my usual tea tree conditioner at Amber Waves. Instead I had to choose between the conditioner for "damaged hair" and the one for "fine, limp hair." They didn't have one specially made for "rapidly graying hair," which would have been the most appropriate, so I went with fine and limp. "Damaged," sounded too much like my hair had suffered some kind of emotional trauma and was in need of therapy. I'm not a big fan of therapy, not even for my hair.

song: Sister Golden Hair • artist: America

Tell 'Em the Truth

Recently I met a very nice mom with three very nice, well-behaved, young sons; and a dog named Whiskey. I thought that Whiskey might be an inappropriate name for a family pet, but then I reconsidered. Perhaps the kids named her that because she has a lot of whiskers. After all, when I was five we had a cat named Reefer. She came off a windjammer my dad captained in the Bahamas. Maybe the crew had to reef the sails a lot; or maybe she was named after the coral reefs. I'm sure it was something perfectly innocent. Really. I'm sure.

song: Tell 'Em the Truth • soundtrack: Reefer Madness

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thing of Beauty

The fern on my desk is dead. That makes two ferns I've brought to work and ultimately killed. Now that I only work part time I find myself too busy with actual work to perform frivolous tasks such as taking deceased plants outside and dumping them alongside the building. In retrospect, I guess I was also too busy to perform the frivolous task of watering. Subsequently, the dead fern has been sitting on my desk for many weeks now. It didn't kneel over or anything, it just dried out. I've always been partial to dried flowers. It doesn't look half bad sitting there, frozen and zen-like, next to the lucky bamboo, I think I'll keep it.
What's lucky about lucky bamboo you ask? Lucky bamboo is lucky it isn't a fern.

song: Thing of Beauty • artist: Hothouse Flowers

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Because I'm sure you all run right out there whenever I mention what's in season at Coonamessett Farm, today we bought a large pumpkin for two dollars. Two dollars! They don't grow pumpkins at the farm so I can't say as they were local pumpkins, and I know that the season to carve them has past but guess what else you can do with pumpkins? Eat them! I won't bore you with my recipe for pumpkin bread which is no more innovate than any you'll find in your own cookbooks, but it sure is better when the pumpkin doesn't come out of a can.
The three of us went to Coonamessett today because C was bent out of shape that H and I went yesterday while he was a preschool. We visited the chickens, the sheep, the goats, and ducks, the alpacas, and the miniature donkeys, but the animal that made the biggest impression on H was the farm cat. It followed us around and H became enamored with it yelling out bossy instructions whenever it started meandering off into the woods. You'd think it was some exotic animal and that we didn't have a cat of our own at home.
When C was small he was afraid of the goats and the sheep because they were loud. That's ironic given how loud he now is himself. But anyway, one afternoon, in an effort to prove that the goats were friendly, I was bending down to pet one when the hem of my dress got into the pen and the goat started chewing on it. There I was trying to yank back my dress and C is screaming and crying because as far as he was concerned not only were goats loud, now they were trying to eat his mommy.

song: 1979 • artist: Smashing Pumpkins

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Sorta Fairytale

The fairies at our house can't seem to win for trying. After cleaning the wrong sink they were invited back to work their magic on the bathroom sink, a fixture that, happily for the fairies, is easier to clean than the kitchen sink.
But the next morning C wasn't a bit interested in the fairies or whether or not they had performed their requested task.
Two nights later he was brushing his teeth and finally he asked:
"Did you clean the sink?"
"Did Daddy?"
"I don't think so."
"Daddy! Did you clean the sink?" he yelled downstairs, because what five year old believes their mom?
"The fairies must have done it!" he exclaimed.
"Look how shiny everything is!" he marveled.
Mommy can't win for trying either. My task was to purchase a gift for a five-year-old classmate of C's who was having a birthday party this past weekend.
"What does Sam like?" I asked C.
"I think he likes super heros."
Great. Not auspicious advice for the mom who likes to eschew everything licensed-character related.
So I went to the toy store, and with all due respect to William Wordsworth, "I wandered aimless as a cloud." I picked up a toy, wondered whether a five-year-old boy I'd never met before would like it, and then put it back. It's likely I'd still be at the store except that it closed at 6PM. As if I were in a game of musical chairs, the shop turned off their music to signal time was up and I dutifully took the last toy I had in my hand and brought it to the register. I ended up with a Zoobdude Rock Climber. The description on the box said he was an "Adventure Hero." I don't think that's the kind of super hero my son had in mind.
Having completed this task, I stopped off at the Windfall Market. Still contemplating my choice and not feeling at all satisfied with it, I roamed the aisles of the supermarket. I got myself some chicken salad for dinner and a can of Ghirardelli double chocolate hot cocoa mix with which to cheer myself up. "I wonder if Sam would like some European dark chocolate," I mused.
The party was cancelled because of Saturday's weather.
I should have bought the chocolate.

song: A Sorta Farytale • artist: Tori Amos

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Blinded by the Light

Here's some helpful advice from the voice of experience.
When there's a nor'easter predicted and you expect that the electricity could go out, it's best not to get your flashlights out and organize them on the countertop in anticipation. This is because your children will inevitably take them down and play with them. When the lights finally do go out you'll be left standing in the pitch black going "where the ?&$&!!*$% are the flashlights!"

song: Blinded by the Light • artist: Bruce Springsteen

Monday, November 05, 2007

post-halloween couplet

Happy jack-o-lantern grins at me
Innocent of what his fate will be.

post-halloween quatrain

Searching out a healthy treat
Something good for mommy to eat
I find halloween candy
Irresistibly handy

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Wind

Poor Colin Murphy. He doesn't want a wind turbine near his house. "I don't want to hear it or see it, and I don't think I should have to be bothered by it," he is quoted as saying in the Enterprise about Webb Research Corporation's plan to erect a wind turbine on their Technology Park property. With the turbine Mr. Webb hopes to provide electricity for his company using a renewable energy source.
That Mr. Murphy objects to possible noise caused by the wind turbine is ironic given his line of work in the tree industry. I can think of nothing more objectionable than having to listen to chain saws, leaf blowers, chippers, and lawn mowers when they are working at houses in my neighborhood.
More ironic however is Mr. Murphy's statement itself. The rising level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere, a phenomena some people refer to as global warming, is a process that can't be seen or heard, but it's for certain that Mr. Murphy, or his children, will someday "be bothered by it."
So what's it going to be Mr. Murphy? Fight the devil that you can see or give some serious consideration to the one you can't.

song: The Wind • artist: Cat Stevens

Friday, November 02, 2007

Two Months Later (a list poem)

Your dog
Your truck
Your books
Your bike
Your rollerblades
Your shark teeth
Your York Barbells
Your hot air corn popper
Your Mack Truck collection

What happens to your things, without you?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Communication Breakdown

It's important to be specific with kids. They are very literal little people. Sunday afternoon C went skating, the first Sunday session we've gone to since the club started. I explained that unlike Tuesday nights, there was no group lesson, he was just to have free time for 45 minutes. He seemed to get it but then he got on the ice and went immediately to the back and glommed onto the basic skills class Katie was teaching. Katie either took it in stride or didn't realize he wasn't signed up to be in the class.
After the session was over he informed me:
"You were wrong, momma, there was a lesson."
Monday night I was trying to get everyone undressed in order to get them into their pajamas and subsequently into bed. I had already asked C numerous times to take off his sweat pants when the kitchen timer went off and I had to go downstairs and take some stuff out of the oven. When I got back upstairs he was stark naked and rearranging the furniture in his brother's room.
When I yelled at him and declared I wasn't going to read him any books because he still wasn't in his pajamas he said:
"But momma, you didn't say to put my pajamas on."
Of course the reverse is also true. It's important to get specifics when they tell you something.
Last night C dictated this letter which I dutifully wrote down:
A note for the fairies
Please make sure at [sic] everything goes back in its place. Make sure you have cleaned the house and please wash our sink. If you would like to, you can do it with your wands.
Thank You,

So, before going to bed I washed down the kitchen sink and cleared everything off the countertop. I don't know where he's getting this notion of fairies, if I wanted him to be well acquainted with fairy lore I'd send him to the Waldorf school.
First thing in the morning he's up.
"I wonder if the fairies came," he mused.
Then he went straight into the bathroom and looked in the sink.
"It's still dirty!"

song: Communication Breakdown • artist: Led Zeppelin