Mise en Place

Everything in its place
Lou’s doctor used the word REMISSION today in a sentence!!!

Lou’s doctor used the word REMISSION today in a sentence!!!

Great weekend - the kids (minus Em, who was attending a baby shower) came down on Saturday and helped with the kitchen destruction.  We got some walls down and some cabinets removed.  Whoever last remodeled this kitchen never met a piece of wood they didn’t nail to another piece of wood.  It was sort of like: “I can’t find a 2x4, so I’ll just nail a couple of 1X2s to a couple other 1X2s and then shim it when I don’t nail it correctly.”  It feels a little like archeology.

Sent a note to our contractor with some random thoughts I’ve had.  He is so going to hate me by the time this project is over.

Happy Friday Thoughts

  • I’m on my final conference call of the week.  I love listening to the Finance guys talking theoretical and the Inventory guys talking practical.  It’s like the Greeks talking to the Chinese.
  • Finally peed out the last of the kidney stone!  The doctor gave me a list of foods to avoid so as not to have a reoccurrence.  Probably going to ignore it, and stick to the drinking more water and moderation in all things.
  • Ordered the Baby S jail this week.  Feeling a little less “bad Grandma” now.  
  • After this interminable call ends, I’m going for a haircut.  A little “me time” that does not involve medical personnel.
  • This afternoon, we are going to go order a boatload of very expensive appliances.  We are calling American Express before we go to forewarn them that this is coming to avoid the hassles that come when one puts a large purchase on a credit card.
  • Kitchen destruction is underway, even though we won’t be able to start construction until August.  We need to get some of the walls down so the cabinet guy can come and do some measurements.
  • I need to sort through all the stuff from my kitchen, and decides what stays and what goes.  Some things have some sentimental value, others are just odds and ends collected over time.

Have a great weekend!

There used to be 2 tomato plants here.  Do squirrels eat tomato plants?

There used to be 2 tomato plants here.  Do squirrels eat tomato plants?

I had to go back up to Canada this past week for the project. One of the things I have always loved about business travel is the uninterrupted evenings of reading.  I made the most of my 4 nights in Toronto by reading these books from 2 of my favorite authors.  Not my favorite from either of them, but very solid reads.

I’m looking for something for my upcoming week in Montreal.  Suggestions?


The horizon leans forward,Offering you space to place new steps of change.Here, on the pulse of this fine dayYou may have the courageTo look up and out upon me, theRock, the River, the Tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new dayYou may have the grace to look up and outAnd into your sister’s eyes, intoYour brother’s face, your countryAnd say simplyVery simplyWith hopeGood morning.

An excerpt from “On the Pulse of Morning,” Maya Angelou’s 1993 inaugural poem for Bill Clinton.
Angelou died this morning at age 86.

She made words sing.  RIP


The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

An excerpt from “On the Pulse of Morning,” Maya Angelou’s 1993 inaugural poem for Bill Clinton.

Angelou died this morning at age 86.

She made words sing.  RIP

Becoming Grandma

I  haven’t posted anything to date about how I feel about becoming a grandmother.  Everyone who has grandchildren tells me how wonderful it is, Lou keeps insisting we will shower them with drums and puppies and send them home, and I suddenly feel like I am caught up in the competitive Grandma game.  So here’s how I feel right now:

  • I can’t imagine loving a child more than I have loved mine, from the day they were born to today and forever.  The thought that Em and Mike will experience that fills me with incredible joy.
  • My relationship with Em will become different, not better or worse, but different.  We will talk about different things, priorities will be different, we will have more in common and less in common.
  • I want to be the doing-things Grandma:  baking cookies, walks, trips to the zoo, museums, parks, coloring books and crayons, making things, and talking.  Always talking.


Can this week be over?

  1. Too many people using me as their personal help desk.
  2. Support team in India thinks it is OK to send screen shots of a report rather than the report itself.
  3. Apparently the data freeze doesn’t apply to everyone, making the 511 lines of data conversion turn into 632.
  4. Translator wants 165 screen shots in French for the documentation translation - by the end of the week.
  5. Lithotripsy today has me peeing blood through a strainer.
  6. Out of office message due to #5 has elicited some rather pissy responses from groups #1, #3 and #4.  Pun intended.
  7. It’s supposed to be a 4-day weekend, but I will have to work Friday to catch up on #3 and #4, and I need to fly to Toronto 6 am Monday because it’s not a holiday up there and we go live on Monday, requiring my on-site support. 

So much nothing going on…

Where are the days going?  It seems like yesterday we were bitching about the endless winter, and suddenly, the magnolia has bloomed and dropped its flowers and we are discussing whether to turn on the air-conditioning to deal with the humidity.

Time seems to have stalled, probably because our kitchen has looked like a victim of the Dresden bombings for weeks now.  We keep cutting more holes trying to understand how much real estate we can reclaim from the odd layout.  There are remnants of walls inside walls, so it is taking on the life of an architectural dig.  I am giving up the plan to open up to the dining room, in part because the amount of ductwork and electrical that would have to be moved is daunting, in part because I don’t want to give up another 3 feet of potential cabinet and counter space.

Mother’s Day was a lovely lunch at the S house (venue changed due to the aforementioned disaster),  I brought E a card, M’s Mom brought her a ton of baby things, all adorable.  Ooops, Bad Grandma.  I suppose I will learn.  E invited my Mom, our son’s MIL and sister, so it was all Moms on deck.  Lunch was grilled chicken, grilled salmon, German potato salad, asparagus with Harissa and a lovely salad with beets and candied walnuts.  M baked a golden chocolate cake from my Mom’s recipe in the tube pan Mom used to use.  She was touched that he baked it for her, and impressed that it came out so beautifully.  Lou made ice cream (vanilla with a salted caramel swirl), also delicious.  It was a very relaxing afternoon, then we drove home in a horrendous rainstorm.

I need to touch base with my doctor today - apparently, they did not remove the kidney stone while I was in the hospital, just knocked it back up into my kidney.  You think someone would have mentioned that to me when I was released.  And that I would need another “procedure.”  I thought it was weird that I finally met my urologist 2 weeks after my procedure, although I’m pretty sure if I had met him before, I would not have let him touch me.  I prefer my healthcare professionals to look healthy. 

Busy, just not very productive…

Tuesday Musings

  • I have become a bit of a drama queen.  A couple of weeks ago, I was in the emergency room, writhing in pain, convinced my appendix was on the verge of splattering my innards with its poison.  Nope, kidney stone.  It did require a few days in the hospital and a “procedure” to extract it, so I suppose that validates my discomfort a bit.
  • Definitely some drama this week at the Canadian border.  I needed to go to Hamilton this week for my full-time part-time job.  Being the conscientious consultant, I opted to fly to Buffalo and drive across the border rather than to fly to Toronto, saving $700 in airfare.  It took 2 attempts, 5 hours and a lengthy phone call to my employer to be admitted  to the country.  And I have to be out by May 1.  Not kidding - they stapled this into my passport.
  • I had dinner with an interesting young woman tonight.  I am only a little younger than her Mom; she is only a little older than my daughter.  She’s new to the project, and I invited her to a 1:1 dinner tonight (mostly to get away from the guys on the project who laugh about going out for a booger for dinner).  Hers is not my story to tell, but she is resilient and strong and a good mother to her son.  I wish good things for her.
  • We are meeting with the general contractor about the kitchen on Friday.  We’ve been looking at cabinets and countertops and tile and appliances.  It’s time to start pulling down walls!
  • I have to be back in Canada in a few weeks - I will be flying direct to Toronto, and fully expect to spend more time with the immigration now that they have flagged my passport.  Ugh.