Thursday, January 18, 2007

5 Things I Like

1. Snow!

Today was Emma's first day of school this week. How can you not like two snow days in a row, a snowman in front of nearly every house, and a long walk in soft, white silence?

2. International Publication
Three of my flashes have been translated into Arabic. I love the idea of reaching a completely different world of readers. Many thanks to Saleh Razzouk for making this possible!

3. Groovy Customer Service
Emma and Kate each got a super sized Groovy Girl for Christmas. They adore them. They dress them in their own clothes. They make sure the dolls are tucked in at night right next to themselves.

Sunday night, Emma came to me in tears and showed me that the seam on the back of her doll's neck had split open several inches. I knew I'd never be able to fix it without turning her into some kind of Groovy Frankenstein, and even then the seam would probably never hold. So I sent an email to Manhattan Toy, hoping they might be able to repair the doll. The following morning I received an email saying that a brand-new replacement doll was being shipped out that day!

I can't say enough good things about this company, their toys, and the way they treat their customers. If you haven't already, check out their wonderful dolls, baby toys, and other great items.

4. Free Lit Mags
Zyzzyva is one of my all-time favorite lit mags. Maybe it's the magazine's West Coast sensibility or editor Howard Junker's enthusiasm and sense of humor. Or it might simply be the consistently high quality of writing and artwork. In any case, I was excited to discover recently that Zyzzyva now has a blog. I was even more thrilled to find that Mr. Junker is offering free copies of the Winter Issue for the asking (I let my subscription lapse so I could spread my meager funds around to different magazines this year). If you like a good read, check them both out.

5. Fourth Birthdays
Kate turned four today. Her day was sheer joy, from beginning to end. Cake, toys, and a thousand smiles. What more can anyone want?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I did my first Fair Isle knitting this past week, and I loved it! The girls love the results, too.

I may have to knit a larger one for Kate. I swear her head grew while I was knitting the thing.

Emma has been wearing hers when she goes out to sell Girl Scout cookies. I'm not sure if it's the sweet face or the hat, but she's selling a lot of cookies.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007


My Fortune Cookie told me:
People are beginning to notice you. Try dressing before you leave the house.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Not the Same Old New Year

After Christmas (from "For the Time Being")

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes –
Some have got broken – and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week –
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted – quite unsuccessfully –
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.

– W.H. Auden

Why is it so hard to catch and hold that Vision throughout the year, when it's so strong, so clear, for the few weeks surrounding Christmas? Whatever your personal version is, it likely involves peace, understanding and tolerance, fellowship, love. These are not ephemeral qualities, not if we practice them, use them, put them on like new shoes and wear them until they are comfortable enough to slip into without a thought. I won't spend another year scraping the leftovers of Christmas Spirit slowly from my plate. I won't wait to pull concern, care, and thoughtfulness from their dusty boxes. This year will be different. This year, hope and grace will not be dismantled.