the end, and the beginning

I think, I think Measure H passed — by 105 votes? That’s the last I heard, and we posted it to the Web but our story for tomorrow still says losing by one vote. At least we didn’t say it had totally lost in big letters. That’s a plus-one for us this week. However, there is a distinct disadvantage to a weekly cycle, mainly, that life goes on no matter when your press run is. So there we are.

Tonight our Mia comes in. Friday our Moni graduates. Our Ana got perfect attendance and a prize (tix to see the A’s) and a B average, which means she’s earned a TV in her room all summer. Our other ones are doing well, and so looking forward to summer. We’re down to one occasional sofa surfer, and that’s nice, but it feels quiet around here — if a houseful of 6 or 7 can be quiet, ever. But so it goes.

Just put a bunch of sliced apples on the dehydrator and whipped up a batch of cat food. Whipped up is an exaggeration — it bubbled in a crockpot all day and I just did the blenderizing and put it away. Ask me about this activity if you really want to know. I’m trying to pass the time until 10:30 when I leave for the airport. Not easy when I go to bed at 10 most nights. We’re going to Chico Saturday for my dear friend Catie’s wedding. Road trip! And we’ll do it the eco way, taking our own lunches and snacks and mugs and water.

The veggies are up and taking over. I seem to have more pumpkins than anything else and that is just not OK. I have one zucchini producing already and a crookneck squash right behind it. There are a couple of mystery squashes growing; my luck they will all turn out to be pumpkins. I also have a couple of gourds growing. Cukes, not so many. I think I have two, and they are very small and not blooming yet. I want lots of those but I may have blown that. May be too late. However, corn is a-coming in, 52 stalks so far and it’s about 3-4 inches high. Growing half an inch a day, it looks like. I also have an abondanza of tomatoes. If they all fruit, I have about a dozen bushes and will be swimming in red and yellow.

Grapes are coming along, though someone/something knocked a branch off. That is tres annoying. That’s months of growing, gone. I have some raspberries that will not likely bloom and fruit but I wanted it as much for the leaves for tea. So that’s actually OK. Any fruit is a bonus. Same goes for the strawberry patch — which is doing OK. We’ve lost some with hot spells and then chilly weather, but they are doing all right. I haven’t had much fruit, though. Raccoons? Maybe.

I thought I had finished putting the fourth grade’s poetry book together when I just realized that half the pages printed upside down. Damn! That’s a $50 loss in printing fees and I’ll have to go back and print it again. Before Friday! Such a bummer. Waste of paper, too. That’s all I have to say about that because I am so annoyed that I want to throw something. Grrrr!

And…looks like we’re not moving to the West End just yet. We are back on the market for another office. Other place didn’t work out, which is a serious bummer because I loved the space, the location, the cheerful color scheme, and all the potential. Sigh. We’re working with our good friend Kathy Moehring of WABA (West Alameda Biz Assn) to find us a better space. Watch for the announcement here…

And…had a great visit with my parents and Aunt Barbara over the weekend — truly fun and pleasant and good food and lots of laughing. Her only regret was that she didn’t get to see all the kids.

This begins to sound like a to-do-list in reverse. I-did-em-all, I guess you’d call it. Well, I did. And I’m justifiably tired but proud. What have you done lately? Drop a line and let us know.

Lesson recently learned: Get it in writing.

Another lesson recently learned: I’m happiest when I’m at home. And glad I have one.

Siete de Mayo

~ 7 ~

You heard nothing but silence from me during the Big Weekend, and the aftermath was deadlines, deadlines…so back at the keyboard again.

I was not feeling well (see prev entry) so did not make it to two Saturday events but we still had 10,000 guests coming over, well, maybe just 75 or so of our closest friends, so on with the show. We did indeed have that fiesta and it was FABU! Truly fun, with chips and salsa and guac coming out our ears, not literally — but all of it delicious — and then an astoundingly scrumptious array of potluck Mex fare. So yummy. Lots of new friends got to meet old friends, and we got to meet spouses and kids, and it was generally a ton of fun. The kids played air hockey, whiffle ball, croquet, boccie ball, and shot each other with Nerf darts ad nauseum. They also ran to good neighbor Laurie & Mark Wagner’s casa and played on their fantastical rope swing. It was generally and specifically a lot of pleasure for all. Erin and Jack had promised plate spinning and fire breathing but somehow we didn’t get that far down the list. Maybe at the 4th of July shindig in the works.

Sunday I lay in bed like a fat slug, recovering from hours of running around and pre/post clean-up, and did not do anything useful…I took a nap, then couldn’t sleep all night, instead watching hours of H&G TV…for which I paid dearly Monday when the deadlines hit the fan. Zzzzz…

But we got some good stories this week, with more to come next issue. That’s the fun thing about running a newspaper. You get to do it again the next week.

Also: Last night turned into a bake-a-thon. I made quiche for dinner, because the kids love it, and made the crust. Then, since the flour and measuring cups were already out, I thought I’d try mixing up the Amish Friendship Bread (from starter that I got from a Freecycle friend). But before I could start that, the Boy asked me to make “a giant cookie” for a new girl in his class, so we started mixing the dough. About 10 seconds into it he decided he had other fish to fry, so I ended up making the dough for a giant choco-chip cookie (about 9 inches across, yum) for his new friend, and as many smaller cookies as I could before the teens ate them and the dough from under my spoon. Then I mixed the Friendship Bread batter, popped that in the oven to have something homemade ready for Thursday’s Teacher Appreciation Day. And since it made two loaves of delicious apple-cinnamon bread, we started eating one for breakfast and it is so good. Can’t wait to make it again. The other loaf goes to school tomorrow with the Boy. The cookie went with him today but the new girl didn’t show. Teacher is holding onto the cookie for another day, til she arrives.

We knocked off early at the Sun today, since it was such a rush to press today. Our deadline is an hour earlier because the press is cutting its workforce — hard times everywhere, friends, and how it trickles down is that a shift of workers have lost their jobs and we have to work smarter, if not harder, on Wednesdays, to get the paper to press in time to get it printed before the end of the shift. No late deadlines, like we were able to do a few weeks ago when Gubernator came around. Ah well. Earlier is all right. It works out best to finish and be done with last week so we can go onto next week.

But it was a bit taxing today, and we all took off to enjoy a little sunshine before the cold wind kicked in again. (No real complaints about the weather, though — at least we have our lives and worldly goods, unlike those in the former Burma. At least we don’t have cyclones here, knock on wood.) I spent my afternoon catching up on watering the veggies and potted plants, doing a little collecting and planning for future events, and started considering how to make room for an art studio for the various projects we (I) have going on. I have Mr. Husband to thank for his brilliant consideration of the topic. He said he thought we could rearrange the (usually vacant) dining room and then we could work together in the same room. I think we can make it work. What a sweetheart! [~sending hugs his way~]

Tomorrow is a full day, with lots to do Friday, too, and catch-up on Saturday, big time. Sunday I am to be treated like a queen, and looking forward to it. Peel me a grape…;-)

Happy Wed-nes-day.

coupla pix before bed

I am falling asleep on East Coast time still. But a few quick pix:

(L)Mia before the graduation (waiting at Madison Sq Garden/Penn Station) (notice the bag I made her), then
(R) Mia waving her diploma after leaving the stage, at the 42nd St theatre where Phantom of the Opera plays every day and night.

(L)Mia in front of her fabu school. Do you love her hat or what?

Here is Ma and Pa Tracey in front of the U-No-What…notice and appreciate my $16 dollar-store outfit — which became necessary when my beat-up Uggs and jeans and sweaters were suddenly not appropriate for a graduation in 80-degree heat.

And here is Pa, dearest Mr. Husband, showing off how tall he is, next to the very tall

you-know-what building…sans Kong.

Mia and girlfriends: (L) Erin, who was my intern at Alameda Magazine and then the younger girls’ tutor, is Mia’s pal in NY, and (R) Brooke is Mia’s dear friend from Santa Rosa, and she alsojust graduated from a different acting academy. Cute as all get out and very sweet.

more later, mommy’s tired…

after the ball…

This was a very challenging weekend. Saturday we cleaned and baked cakes, then I went to LunaFest, for which I did set-up and MC’d the first show. Then I dashed home (in 3-inch heels) to hostess the after-party at my house AND prep the prom party for my two girls. Alameda High’s junior prom — very exciting! (and costly…)

We literally had 2 parties going at once — about 12 prom kids and parents having a potluck and taking photos, and a dozen or so Luna ladies drinking wine and ooohing over the prom kids. Then they left, and we waited up for prom kids — who arrived after midnight. They were all sleeping over and they were up until 4 a.m. talking and goofing off. I finally FINALLY went to ask them to go to bed — and because of the clock change, it was “really” 5 a.m.

Plus (there’s more!) we had our sick-almost dying-maybe recovering old cat Elvis wheezing in bed with us all night. Today I am a *zombie* trying to get ready for work and my women’s group branch tomorrow. I’m supposed to give a financial report and ACK. That requires a level of attention which I can’t quite yet give. I will be up early tomorrow to get it done.

If I was supposed to call you or otherwise do anything for you this weekend, pray forgive me, because my brain and body were otherwise engaged.

A day of running around in fabulous pink heels did nothing good for my sciatica (don’t I sound decrepit these days?). I’m going upstairs to fall down in a coma on top of an ice pack.

But the girls sure did look fabulous! Wow, they sure do grow up…(again, sounding decrepit…)

time out, time off, tune in again…

Hi again. Sorry about that. It’s been busy. I know I always say that, but it has.

Why, just this week we’ve had crazybusy antics with the school budget and student protest walkouts (see http://www.alamedasun.com/ for the scoop), and Tuesday’s school board meeting when budget cuts were decided went until about 1:30 a.m. I was there. Ack.

And: this coming weekend is LunaFest, an awesome women’s film festival that is a fundraiser for breast cancer research via Luna Bar (yum), as well as the Family of Women (my women’s group) and it’s also Junior Prom Night for Alameda High, and two of our girls are going (ka-ching! hair, nails, flowers, limo, pre-party at our house, sleep-over afterward…). So it’s been a bit hectic just this week (not even mentioning assorted meetings, appointments, Mr. Husband’s taking the ferry that broke down and the Boy’s case of hives…)

In recent weeks we’ve had rounds of flu and cold, backaches, toothaches, headaches, tummyaches, attitude, deadlines, drama, backtalk, trips to Costco, windstorms, gardening, couch-surfers, birthdays, weekends, sleepovers, rainstorms, spring cleaning…you name it, we’ve had it. And boy, are our arms tired.

So where are we now? In the beginning of spring, in the month of March, 2008, with a bit of sun and a bit of cloud, a blustery breeze and the scent of flowers in the air: it is, I think, actually spring. It’s a Thursday, the day the Sun hits the streets (the newspaper, I mean), and I finally feel caught up on sleep since the two late nights, Monday (women’s program) and Tuesday (late school board).

I paid almost $50 for a tank of gas this morning so I’m feeling even more “green” than usual — time to start riding my bicycle, I guess. That and prom expenses and balancing a budget for our family of seven (college loans! cell phone bills! Costco! co-pays! vet bills! agh…) has kept me working hard and burning the midnight oil. No rest for the weary.

But enough — I can excuse being “busy” only so long. Back on track now and do drop me a line in comments or e-mail to say how-de-do. We’ll be catching up in no time.

Writing update (I haven’t been idle):

  • A Year with the Saints blog = almost daily, deep thoughts about spirituality, and sometimes shallow thoughts on mortality.
  • Backyard Bliss: Catching up there, too — I’ve been spending more time gardening than writing about it!
  • Nano-novel Mary Mary: haven’t touched it since halfway through National Novel Writing Month (November). It’s brilliant, though. (ahem)
  • My memoir Wedlock is in revision and waiting to see the lit agent again in NY; I’m heading that way again this year to see the Bee-yooti-ful Mia as she graduates from AADA in April.

(See Feb 27 entry on A Year with the Saints blog for thoughts on Mia’s recent birthday.)