May 2009


As we’ve done for the last several years, we went cabin camping with some old friends over the weekend.  Some of them couldn’t make it due to sick kids, but we still managed to have a good time.  We’re hoping all the kids will recover quickly.  My thanks are for:

1) Good friends who enjoy food – making & eating.  The cabin we stay in is the trail crew’s and has a semi-decent kitchen.  Steak with chimichurri sauce, cookies (batter made ahead of time), waffles, french toast, wine, beer, etc., etc.  Yeah, it’s not really camping, but it’s fun.

2) Our new canoe!  mr. jolt says to me a week ago Sunday, “I think I may buy a canoe tomorrow.”  And he did, with a little money from an annuity we inherited from his mom.  It’s a wide canoe with three seats – padded!  And under the middle seat is a dry box.  It also has cupholders, which I think is absurd for a canoe, but maybe not if you are parked for hours fishing, which mr. jolt could easily do.  mr. jolt actually caught a couple of fish while we were camping and we ate them for dinner: large-mouth bass and pickerel.  Yum!

3) Rain.  A new family (new to me anyway) joined us this year to fill in the gap when some others couldn’t make it.  I was out for a walk with the mom on what we intended to be a short jaunt, but then we decided to follow a trail I’d taken a few times, which I remembered as about 2 miles, but was probably closer to 3.5.  Anyway, we’re about halfway along and have almost finished climbing to the top of a ridge (this part of the trail is actually a section of the Appalachian trail) to see a view of about half dozen counties when I notice the clouds.  I said, “Gee, I hope it doesn’t rain.”  It did.  It thundered loudly (fortunately, we were soon under the canopy and not exposed as we were out on the ridge).  It rained harder and harder.  It got to the point where my shirt was so wet it felt wetter than water.  If I hadn’t had a baseball hat on I would’ve needed windshield wipers for my eyes.  But, it wasn’t annoying.  It was exhilirating.  If it had been a longer walk, perhaps I would have felt differently, but being absolutely drenched, walking down a path that has become a river down a moutainside is a phenomenal experience, particularly when you know that a beer and dry clothes are only a mile away.

I am appalled and still dumbstruck with embarrassment at my own son.

Earlier this evening, we had a very nice person over to meet the boys in anticipation of an occasional summertime babysitting gig.  She seemed very nice and very qualified.  After chatting for a few minutes, I took her downstairs to meet the boys, who were watching a show.  I introduce her and LB turns to look at her and then, to me, made a really really rude comment about her appearance, referring to her in the third person as if she wasn’t even there.   While she is standing, in our home, not two feet from him.

I felt her stiffen to the side of me as I gaped at my own child.  I was completely dumbfounded and did not handle it well, saying something  to the effect of ‘that’s rude and inappropriate and we do not comment on people’s appearances.”  I made some attempt to normalize the situation, but LB went into oppositional mode (he knew I was pissed) and BB, who I think was either horrified or picking up on the tension in the room also became uncommunicative, when he is normally a chatterbox.

Anyway, we went back upstairs and, to give the woman kudos she continued to talk politely with me as we discussed various aspects of the kids’ bedtime routines and possible times she could babysit.  She then left.  Less than a half hour later she sent me a text saying she would not feel comfortable sitting the kids.  I texted her back saying I understood and that I was really, really sorry.

I tried to talk to LB about it again later and he basically became intransigent on the subject.   I am pissed and disappointed and embarrassed.  LB has somehow completely missed the clue train on how other people ought to be respected and treated and that it is kindness that matters, not what someone looks like.  (and, to be frank, I think she looks great).  The fact that we also now have no leads for an occasional babysitter (our regular sitter moved two weeks ago) when we had the opportunity to have someone who seems very nice and very experienced with children is just the shit-cherry on the pile of crap that came out of my son’s mouth tonight.

What’s worse as I don’t even know how to get these horrible ideas out of my kid’s head.  He may be only 5, but that is no excuse for the level of rudeness and insensitivity he displayed this evening.

A delayed one that is.  I abandoned, temporarily, this series in the confusion following my MIL’s passing, but now that I am hoping to blogging more regularly again, I wanted to give a shout out to my local lurker and good friend who did me a fabulous deed a couple of months ago.

At the end of February, I was preparing to go up to Boston to finish cleaning out my MIL’s apartment.  We’d decided that mr. jolt would stay with the boys, who needed the continuity of having one of us around.  Based on what was left, we decided to hire some moving guys to help lift a few heavy items and a bunch of boxes into our minivan, which I would then drive home.  Thus, I would drive seven hours each way, spend a day taking stuff to goodwill, and the rest of my time tidying the tiny apartment.

I bitched about this to my friend at lunch the day before I planned to go up.  That night she called and asked if I wanted some company.  I almost cried on the phone, I was so surprised, happy, and relieved.  So we went, together, and spent hours talking in the car, which was awesome because I tend to get very tired driving and want to go to sleep (bad when driving, no?). We got there late Saturday afternoon and puttered a bit in the apartment, then had a fabulous dinner at Legal Seafood before buying some chocolate and opening a wine bottle I’d brought and having girltalk into the wee hours.  On Sunday, we did two trips to a local shelter to drop off canned foods and various items and a trip to goodwill.  We cleaned the apartment.  It was not yet noon and the moving guys weren’t going to be there until 2 at the earliest, so we went to Newbury street and found this fabulous french-style bistro where we had a decadent lunch involving raclette (melted cheese, mmm) wine, mesclun salad, and french fries. 

The moving guys showed up, loaded up the van (I mean really loaded.  At one point, we thought we would have to strap some furniture to the roof, even though it had started to snow) and drove seven hours home, in the snow, getting back around 1 in the morning.

Thanks to her, what would have been an absolutely horrible weekend turned into a weekend with many happy memories.  Thank you!!!

For those that read my St. Marcellin review from ages ago, and were intrigued, I have further news about this fabulous creamy cheese.  Not only is it almost drippy when perfectly ripe (when buying, remember to tap on the top to make sure it’s gooey inside), if you have access to a Wegmans, you MUST try the St. Marcellin spread on their rosemary sea salt sourdough bread. OMFG.  mr. jolt and I have been known to devour a whole loaf, piece by piece, spread with a whole crock of cheese in one sitting.  More than once.  Usually as our “appetizer” and then realizing we are totally stuffed and have no room for whatever we were planning to have for dinner.

We are talking GOOD.  I mean really good.  If you do not have access to a Wegmans (we only got ours about a year ago) see if your local frou-frou bread place has something similar & give it a shot.  The combination of the crusty outside (salt, mmm), the soft inside, spread with cheese that is literally dripping off the knife as you lift from the crock towards the slice of divinity, is just, just. . .

Ahem.  Anyway, you must, must try it.

I’m realizing my last post was probably way more depressing than I had intended – sorry!  It was just a weird, weird weekend, but with lots o’ irritating things thrown in for desperate giggles.

I tried going online to find some feminist humor to plug in here to lighten things up – you can just imagine how that google search went – bleagh.

Anyhoo, I realized that between mr. jolt’s crazy schedule last fall and everything w/ the illness and death of his mom this spring, that I basically feel like I’ve lost the year (summer was ok, but spring 2008 schedule also sucked).  So I’m giving myself a do-over b/c all my various goals, etc. got put on hold (some will remain on hold thanks to a hiring and wage freeze where I work – Boo! Hiss!).  Looking back it just feels like all sorts of stuff got de-railed or shoved on some siding while all sorts of things flew by.  I’m out of railroad metaphors so I’ll stop there.

And so, I’m looking forward to a new online writing class which starts next week -yippee! And some evenings this summer in which to write.

In other news, yesterday was my birthday – happy bday to me!  Time for a new start and a new direction.   

I realize there was no point to this post, but I had to get the last one off the top of the page. Oy!