Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Semester in the Life of a Garbage BagA Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag by Gordon Korman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this multiple times when I was a teenager and every time it made me laugh out loud so hard that my mother got annoyed (some of us have housework to do and can't sit around reading funny books all day!). I have since realized, as a mother and head-kitchen-cleaner type of person myself, that housework is a lot more bearable if you make time to read in between(or occasionally instead of) vacuuming and wiping down the counters.

I only vaguely remember that this book involves some sort of madcap adventure between various high school social outcasts and yet I can still heartily recommend it. The fact that it's out of print is a reflection of everything that's wrong with our society. Go find a library that still stocks it or find a used copy online. You won't be sorry.

If you're able to read this entire book while drinking milk without snorting it out of your nose at least once (the milk, not the book),I will give you a medal.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Hampshire: Part 2

I beautified my sister's house for her, free of charge. AND I let her be graced by Todd n' me's* presence for days! I am nice like that. 

*Proper usage- SMJ (Style Manual of Jess)

I'm skipping ahead though because this part actually happened after we came back from New Hampshire. And then Libby took us to the beach. With our awesome friends Shannon and Anne and their super cute boys. This makes it sound vaguely like Shannon and Anne are a couple, with collective children, which is not the case. Todd found two crabs, which enabled him both to be the envy of every child within a 50 foot radius and say (over and over again) that he, "went to the beach in Rhode Island and caught crabs." It was a win/win for him. It was more of a win/? for the rest of us. 

But I digress! Back to New Hampshire. the awesome old summer housetm had an awesome wrap around porch that was fully furnished with rocking chairs and picnic benches and furnished views of Silver Lake in one direction and Mount Monadnock in another. It were purty. Real purty.

Katie is ever on the lookout for the opportunity to frame herself in flowers and wait for someone to take a picture.

The awesome old housetm had an awesome locked barn that Todd and Katie and I felt the irrepressible urge to explore. Sorry, old house owners, we couldn't help ourselves. The window in the front prove to be open and we snuck in and carefully looked around (without disturbing anything) but were caught by some young malcontents who desperately wanted to be part of the action.

You guys! We wanna go in da barn too!!!
Responsible Growndups: "What, who? Nobody's in the barn! Nobody's here, nooobodyy's heeeere...." Unfortunately the fact that the protests came from inside the barn did not fail to escape our young sleuths. The party line we adopted later that night- that Aunties Katie & Jess and Uncle Todd had been in the house the whole time and the figures the suspicious youths had seen looking out the hayloft window were undoubtably ghosts (who happened to be wearing the same clothing as we were, when we were telling them this story) -was regrettably met with open skepticism and what some might describe even as scorn. Kids these days, so jaded. Where has the innocence gone?

Ah got mah eye on yew, yew old whippersnappers. Ah know you were in that barn, and dadgummit, if I can prove it, I'll see y'all clapped in irons!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don'tchya know the Doschers?

I have a big family. My mom's one of five kids and my dad's one of six. Between their families there are something like 30 grandkids, so although my siblings and I make up a large number of those, there are still quite a few cousins, aunts and uncles to go around.

My dad's family has always lived nearby so we see them pretty regularly. In fact when Todd and I met in Rhode Island last year he was ambushed by not only my immediate family (numerous and overwhelming as they are- rather like a large friendly dog who wants to lick your face when you're more of a cat person) but by my dad's entire side of the family as well. We had all come together that weekend to attend our beloved Mimi's funeral and celebrate the legacy she'd left behind and naturally, I couldn't miss the chance to introduce them all to this man I barely knew was going to marry. Poor, poor Todd. In justification though, I did, upon meeting him, spend several days with his two kids, his brother, and their two cats. Whereupon I spent three weeks in a van with them, minus the brother and the cats. So it all evens out.

My mom's family lives down south, so we don't see them as often. For years we've been talking about having a family reunion up in New Hampshire, where my mom's family lived when she was growing up. This year it finally happened. Todd and I managed to go at the last minute..

We stayed in a huge old rambly summer house on a lake.

Todd and I lucked out and got the porch room off of the biggest bedroom. Well, for the first night anyway. The second day it rained and we hurriedly dragged our makeshift bed back into the main room.

After that we shared the big bedroom with my sister Libby, and assorted small nieces and nephews. Todd thought it was funny to bounce & make the bedsprings creak to gross Libby out after the kids were asleep which resulted in much furtive giggling on Libby's and my part.* Also once Libby stepped on a Transformer (or some kind of electronic toy) and it turned on and all three of us had to bury our faces in pillows to avoid waking the wee ones up. I may have snorted.

*On further reflection and rereading it seems prudent to clarify that Libby was in a separate bed on the other side of the room. We're a close family, but not that close.

The cousins had fun exploring the house. "Little Dan" on the right there had much more fun than he looks like he's having. He's just upset that I interrupted his video game. He looked way happier when he was catching fish with hot dogs but I didn't get a picture of that.

Some manly grilling and beer drinking was done by Dad and the uncles.
My Poppi was the star of the reunion. He's a famous writer, you know. Here's his book. You should read it
My mom's family lived in the house that's the town general store now. This is three generations of women. My mom & her sisters, my sisters and I, and my niece Georgia who is at the age of incredibly cute, remember?

It was all very much lots of fun and I haven't even told you about the amazing fish or the lightning bugs yet. Maybe I will tomorrow. If you're lucky.