Tuesday, September 30, 2008


a few eye-openers from this last week...

1. Airport kiosks for surfing the net! Okay, so I've seen them before, but I've never investigated them. They're not really that expensive, and it's a good way to kill some time during a long layover.

2. Jessie puts her keyboard away. I always thought that keyboards belonged in front of their corresponding monitors, but Jessie feels that that looks too cluttered, so... judge for yourself:

keyboard in working position

keyboard "put away"

For some reason, this just tickled my funny bone to no end. When I saw her keyboard on top of the printer, I assumed she needed to clear a workspace on the desk to pay bills or write a letter or something. But no, she was just tidying up. I could not stop laughing. To her credit, she was a very good sport about it. And for the record, I wish I had more of her compulsion to tidy. (Good thing she has a wireless keyboard, eh? What would she do if she had to contend with the tangle of cords on my desk?)

3. I don't think this requires any explanation.

4. Bella can turn anything -- and I mean anything -- into a toy. She engages in independent play better than any of my kids ever did. I so wish she could teach this skill to Eva.

5. Kudzu. Jessie informed me that it is nicknamed "the vine that ate the South". She had explained it to me, and even showed me pictures from a Google image search, but it was still shocking to see it in person. It just covers everything like a blanket. Wild.

6. Jessie is fortunate enough to have multiple climate zones in her van. I never thought anyone would want the temperature to be lower than me! It was kind of a happy moment to not be the hottest one around, and I savored it, knowing that a miraculous event like that was not likely to happen again.

7. Some seriously cute packaging that stopped me in my tracks at the grocery store.

8. Jessie might possibly be tiring of the hairless cats. (Or it may just be postpartum hormones.) I never thought I'd see the day. (But I would completely empathize.)

9. It's truly amazing to me that, of all the books that have been written, and all the books that I have read, a book can come along that feels this fresh and ground-breaking. So creative that there is honestly nothing else like it. It makes me feel hopeful. As does the character Oskar who says things like "Jose!" (As in, no way.) I loved it so much.

10. On Sunday after church, Eva was sitting on my lap. She turned around and looked at me and this delightful little conversation followed:

E: What's wrong with your hair?

M: Ummm... well, I got a haircut.

E: Well, it looks weird. And what's wrong with your face?

M: I have no idea.

E: It's not cute.

Well, thanks for that. Nothing like a child's disdain to knock the wind out of your sails.

OH, and one more for good measure!
My mom started a blog!! Nothing could have prepared me for this complete and utter turnaround from the mom I used to know, who couldn't work a computer mouse.

Check it out: besusan.blogspot.com


Jill said...

This is a fun kind of post.

1. I have never had cause to check blogs or email in an airport, but I like the idea of it.

2. That would have made me laugh too! It seems like adding another step to the process and doesn't make much of a difference at all.

3. Potty training time again eh?

4. I admire this quality of Bella's and am glad Whitney has it too.

5.Those vines are truly bizarre. Just think of the billions of spiders that must be hiding in them!

6. I would love, love, love to have dual, digital climate controls like that. Then Lori could keep hers at 79 and I could keep mine at 68.

7. That is some seriously pleasing packaging.

8. The shot of the cat with the pumpkin looks like some sort of Halloween horror poster to me.

9. I feel the same way about this book. I was sad when it was over.

10. Oh Eva, not what a mom or your mom's friend wants to hear!

11. I'm loving your mom's blog already. She could post a photo a day of something in her house or store and I'd be happy.

Amy said...

Mmmm. . . .Ciao Bella. Yum. Their packaging is cute!

I just might have to give Jonathan Saffron Foer another chance. I could not get through Everything is Illuminated. It totally bugged me, though I can't seem to recall why at this moment.

Now I'm off to check out your mom's blog!

Amie said...

Another post I love...

I actually thing the space looks more tidy with the the keyboard in place... hmmm. I LOVE the cute packaging... almost too cute to eat. I want to read that book, I have heard several recommendations for it. The Eva conversation gave me an early morning laugh (a good thing for me, sorry it was at your expense)... I have been told a thing or two by my kids as well....

lelly said...

i have to say, i was not prepared for that image of the hairless cat following on the heels of that image of the cute packaging in the grocery store. sort of made me shiver! but it's a great photo, in a kooky way, with the justaposition of the cat and the bright pumpkin. hmmm...

Rin said...

Ok, first off, the keyboard thing is weird...it doesn't even look right. It looks like something is amiss. I'm glad you poked fun of her ;)

Second, WHAT?! she's tiring of the Smeegles? How? Why? I really had hope for those guys in keeping her affections.

Third, I'm so glad you loved that book. It's in my top 3...it was so beautiful! Words can't even express how wonderful that book made me feel.

Natasha said...

I have seen the kudzu when I visit my brother in Georgia. He said alot of it was brought to Atlanta for the Olympics as ground cover and then it got wildly out of control? Amazing.

TX Girl said...

The South is notorious for bringing things in that overtake everything else (ie Nutria and the crazy Japanese plant in NOLA)

1. Adam and I loved the computer kiosks when we used to travel before kiddos. Now we spend far to much time keeping the littles in check.

2. I like the look without the keyboard, but not with it on the printer. If I could I would put it in a drawer.

3. Very lovely packaging, but I especially like the name.

4. We have dual controls and I think it is a gift.

5. I swear kids do it just to drive us crazy. I mean really- do they think telling us these things is nice. I guess they are still learning the "sometimes it is better to say nothing at all."

LOVE the "one for good measure"!

rmt said...

Don't you just love (and not love) the honesty of kids? I remember a little girl I used to babysit when I was a teen telling me that I was a little too fat. Gee, thanks! (And by the way, I for one think your hair is darling.)

I'm laughing about the keyboard being 'put away.' That never would have occured to me! It is totally a Jessie thing to do (and I mean that in a good way--she's so organized!) Too funny.

Denise said...

Eva's comment reminds me of one of Grandma's favorite stories to tell about something Patricia said to her when she was in first grade and in love with her teacher. She told Mom, after going on and on about how pretty her teacher was, "You'd be pretty, too, if you had long hair. And a different face."

I love the photos of the lined-up Dum Dum suckers! Too cute.

I'll have to check out that book. Your recommendation is high, indeed!

Jill's comment about the Halloween horror poster made me laugh. It's true!

I only wish I had climate control of any sort in my car. My choices are HOT and HOT (unless it's winter, and then the choices are COLD and LESS COLD.

April said...

I am wondering if Jessie's fondness for the hairless cat has something to do with the fondness for clutter-free zones. Not a bit of clutter on that cat. Yeow-zer!

So glad you liked Oskar...I agree completely with your thoughts there.

And here's a little wind for your sails...I think your haircut is darling!

Susan said...

I immediately thought of the Patricia quote, as well! But Eva's comments don't surprise me after the Thanksgiving one stated as she looked at my Dad, "He doesn't have any hair.....just a head"! I love the haircut. It reminds me of the one you had the first time you lived in Paris.

As for two zones, I have the same. I have mine set on 78 in the summer.....on cool mornings, I add the heated seat option. In the winter, I like it about 85! Good thing I have duel controls, good thing for the others, that is!

Yes, Jill, that cat creeps me out pretty much too.

Thanks for the example of fine blogging! I'm really enjoying it.

wende said...

i'm sorry about eva's comment, don't listen to her, your hair and face are beautiful. she just doesn't know what a classy lady you are.

i thoroughly enjoyed this random list of a post. i will definitely be adding this book to my "must read" list - and soon!

and putting the keyboard away is just as weird as having that hideous cat! eeek! you could print that photo and make your halloween card for this year!

Diana said...

That conversation with Eva cracked me up I can't get over how honest young children are. I love your new hair cut and have always thought you are very pretty.
I love the pictureof the lollipops so creative of Bella.
I'm excited to check out your mom's blog.

amy m said...

my kids make toys out of anything too. It's crazy.

I just loved extremely loud and incredibly close. It's been a while for me and think I should reread it. I never wanted it to end.

cracks me up that jesse moves her keyboard. I've never really thought of that, but maybe it's because mine is still connected by the wire. I'm old school.

the vine is awesome.

charlotte said...

Wow, Eva can join the ranks of Patricia and Emily. When Emily was little, Mom got a haircut, and when Mom picked us up from school, Emily's response was, "Whoa. You look like Cruella DeVil in the morning." Wow, Em. Thanks for the honesty. It must be some weird genetic trait.

And I think that if my keyboard were wireless, I might "put it away." But I don't know. It is kind of funny!

Amy said...

I love your baby pictures below, Michelle. And I love that you were able to go play with Jessie...I'm sure she was thrilled to have you.

I also enjoyed that book. And I also stand in awe at tidy desks.

marc said...

Now I know the perfect solution for our backyard: Kudzu. Jill's comment about spiders gave me pause, but then I thought "better they have a happy home outside, right?"

Lori said...

Quite an enjoyable post! I don't know what part to comment on...the ciao bella packaging would completely win me over...the lollipops lined up are cute...the keyboard is weird, I wouldn't move it...Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the best book I've read in a decade!

Barb said...

I am truly excited to check out that book! (right after I check out your mom's blog)

Kelly said...

Oh, I loved that book! I didn't finish it too long ago, but as soon as it was done I just wanted to open it back up and read it again.

That kudzu is amazing (and a little creepy!). Maybe Jessie's cat could borrow a bit for a coat.

Eva's comment cracked me up, but I felt for you after my recent haircut fiasco with Emerson. Em keeps saying, "Mom, your hair is growing a little bit!" like she's trying to encourage me. So funny.

Price Cream Parlor said...

I had no idea that you could internet surf in the airport like that! Perhaps I need to travel more! Looks like you had a great time together!
I love BLOOD ORANGE from Ciao Bella. Pricey - but so worth the secret that is stashed in the back of the freezer!
...I love the the keyboard on the printer!

Claudissima said...

oh wow....this is a good post. I can't believe Eva said that! oh my......I can honestly say, i like my key board put away.. I usually (used) to put it on top of the computer....but now, there is no possibility of this!

Anonymous said...

I loved that book, LOVED it!

The convo with Eva just hurts my heart. How do they know where we feel most vulnerable?!?!

I can't believe your mom has a blog- can't wait to check it out!

The keyboard thing is totally a Jessie-ism if you ask me. I can't question it because everything she touches turns into something beautiful!

Robyn said...

I am trying to convince my bookclub to read this book next year. We're voting next month on the following 6 months of books... Do you think it's a general crowd pleaser or will it cause controversy? Everyone I know who has read it loves it, esp Lori.

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