On Motherhood. (Oh, and Inflation.)

Millie, munching invisible goodies: Here, Mother. You may eat some of these cookies. They were only 21 dollars. Aren't you amazed?

(I certainly was.)

Millie, holding a doll's bottle in one hand: Here, Mama, would you like a drink?

Me: Sure thing. (Sip, slurp, sip)

Millie, dancing and spinning in exultation: Aha! It's poison juice! It's poison juice!

Me, in death throes: Argnndsnoseilsi........Crash.

And then she had the gall to nudge me awake because
Annie wanted a turn at matricide.

Nixie: Dis my beebee. I am mudder to my beebee.

Me: Isn't it fun to be a mother?

Nixie: Uh, yup. (pause) Woohoo!

Here I sit, an electronic echo, with a concurring, "Uh, yup. Woohoo!"

Three Unclothed.

What are paragraphs without pictures?

We drove to Nanticoke on Monday to see my cousin Leah and her family because on Saturday, after a hard and lengthy labor, Isaiah Athanasius had finally arrived. He is a beautiful boy with a head of dark hair, and, rightly so, his brothers and parents are as pleased as punch with him. We were happy to hear of his safe passage into this Great Wide World and happier yet to meet him in person.

On Wednesday, visiting friends arrived for (what else but) visiting, and I didn't take pictures. (I know, it's hard to believe, but rest assured that we enjoyed both the food and the conversation.) It's been some time since I'd seen them-- except for you, Michelle, thanks to late-night, Terry gatherings-- and it was good to catch up a bit. Quick visits are akin to giving someone a sip of water instead of a spring, though, so come again! I'll make two cheesecakes...

Last week, Grandma Owen sent up three (count 'em, three!) boxes filled with wonderful things to enliven the late autumn gloom, many of which will undoubtedly be featured in future snapshots. (Ahem. Sit in the crow's nest and squint away for costumes and new rubber boots, because I have a feeling they're in your electronic future.)


I have been remiss in snapshot-taking, bread-making, leaf-raking, and thirst-slaking, as well as in other, more important arenas, but here, at least, are a few snapshots.

Our camera, though now permanently disabled, nonetheless heroically chronicles the minutiae of our passing days. Granted, it doesn't capture nearly as many minutiae as it did when its on/off switch worked, but, please, salute its valiance with me.

Leah and I went to the Purdy's rollicking house the day before she went into labor. While there, in addition to being served a yummy lunch while enjoying conversation, we helped peel 80 cups of apples to make pie(s). For those who don't know, the Purdys have 12 children, not all of whom presently live at home but all of whom like pie. (I think they all like pie, at least. Who doesn't?)

I can only take credit for a small pile of those apple peelings, but Titi still generously allowed me to take home an entire pie. It was scrumptious, and we thank you!

Melted plastic on toast, take three. Unfortunately, takes four AND five occurred the same day, take four within minutes of take three. I was too disgusted by my own stupidity to take pictures of the others. Do you blame me?

Newly canned Concord grape juice. I was too lazy...I mean, tired... at eleven o'clock at night to peel and seed hundreds of grapes, so I just canned juice instead of making jam or pies. My mother is the crazy woman with nimble fingers. Let her peel and seed.

I hope it tastes as pretty as it appears. (Although I've never tasted something and thought, "Hmm. Pretty.")

Because she's cute, here's the Wren.


Mister Bluebird's on My Shoulder

And everything is satisfactual.
After a week of obstinacy, our computer has spontaneously healed itself. I suppose we all need a rest now and then, and the rest was nice for all of us.

We had a lovely anniversary the Friday before last, we went to the world's largest book sale on Sunday, where I serendipitously found two books from my childhood for which I've been searching for over a decade now (a little-known 1 + a well-known 2 = hurrah!), we spur-of-the-moment drove to Long Island this past weekend to see our much-loved Owen family, and, today, we sit as a chill rain soaks into the grey and gold around us.

I have little to say, but I'll give you some snapshots until such time as I'm bubbling over with the gripping details of my day (i.e. how many dirty dishes wait for me in the kitchen).

Also, belly's up. Here are fresh recipes.

We and the girls celebrated our anniversary by dinner at The Whole in the Wall followed by possibly the best ice cream I've ever had (Berry, berry, berry good. Second row down and second from the left.) I've only been able to wear this dress twice on our anniversary day, all other times having been pregnant or too-newly not so.

. And, to commemorate a moon made from honey, we thrilled the world with a fake kiss before leaving.

John may not be thoughtful enough to avoid the lone, muddy puddle in the parking lot, but, once realized, he did offer to help me and my voluminous dress over it.

Millie instantly, without hesitation, chose the brightest ice cream in the case.

She chose the same medicinal cream. Blecch.

The girls helped me make seasoned spaghetti sauce.

Mostly, though, Annie "helped" by catching the seedy pulp and then placing it gently in the bowl below-- the bowl into which it would naturally have fallen on its own, mind you.

Melted plastic on toast, take two. (What an incompetant cook...)

Mom dropped some wild crabapples and some of her Concords off at our house before we left for Long Island. I should be putting them into jars right now instead of putting snapshots in an electronic belly. Vibrant fall colors are so pretty on my kitchen floor, though.

We went to Nanticoke to drop some things off at my brother's pole barn, and took a several-hour break at my mom's house. She introduced the girls to the sweet tartness of freshly picked Concord grapes.

She was happy to see my mom come outside. I guess I hadn't really been paying much attention to her because...

She kept herself happy for at least an hour doing exactly this.

They played in leaves.




One more reason to love little boys. My mom carefully took this off a tree and brought it home with nary a scratch so that Becky or I could etch something on it. She placed it out of reach (so she thought) on the windowsill. My nephew Ethan, literally within minutes of entering the house, scratched this simple yet eloquent message. What's not to like? I had a good laugh over his swift artistic expression.

Susannah spied Huckleberry and he spied her (no doubt each is thinking, "Mmm, that creature looks tasty).


Millie was frantically calling to me. I thought something might be wrong, so I ran over to find this. She had trapped a cricket and didn't dare move lest he hop away. Some emergency...

Just so you know, the sound effect to this one is Millie shouting, "Mama, I need a jar! Twickly!" while Annika jumps up and down screeching, "Yeah! 'Nother wicket! 'Nother wicket!"

I wasn't twick enough, so she ran in to get one from Grandma Johnson.

She also collected sweet clover for nibbling.

She liked Huckleberry so much that she strained uphill to his spot.

After much toil, she reached him.

And he liked her.

A five-minute walk from our apartment takes us to the local, ghost-town park. It's a jolly, old playground made for daring children that is rarely used, especially when all the other kids are in school.

Debbie sat in the shade.

I stood in the shade.

Candida grew a tree crown.

Little Hannah got lost in the tire swing.

John and Millie perused books at the sale while Susannah and I waited for Annie to awake so we could do the same. Boring (but cute).

I look cheerful here, but it's a fake grin. I'm really thinking, "ARGH! JUST SIT STILL FOR TWO SECONDS, PLEASE, SO THAT BOTH OF OUR HEADS WILL BE IN THE FRAME!!!!"

Yes, she is mine.

The day before we left for Long Island, not yet knowing that we were going to go to Long Island, Millie wanted to make necklaces to mail to Grandma and Grandpa Owen because she's certain they don't have any.

The Nixie looks kosher here, but she kept flailing the necklace about because "dis 'ot air byoon, Mama."

The sad thing is that after they'd painstakingly strung the beads but before I tied the knot, they each dropped their respective necklace on the floor, scattering beads everywhere. Grandma and Grandpa Owen will have to wait on necklaces...

On her perch.

Here's some news. The Wren's got two teeth!

Can you believe it? My (not so) little sister is graduating from high school this year. Sheesh.

Driving through New York on Friday, we hit a bit of a jam. Our camera was wounded soon thereafter, so I don't have many pictures of Family Owen on Long Island. (Don't worry, I've since devised an ingenious way of turning it on and off with a toothpick.)

Grandma Owen loaded the girls down with costumes, and Pocahontas here added some glitzy flair to her native dress.

My brother Joel is going to SUNY at Stonybrook, and we were able to see him on our drive off the Island. He's a cool guy (and we love him) and it was good to talk for a bit. (He's so skinny because he doesn't have enough meal points to buy proper food, so we gave him some candy.)

Elmo devours a Bird.