June 5, 2012 @ 6:48 pm | Filed under:

I feel like I deserve a medal today because I took Jane shopping and scored her two pairs of shoes and a summer wardrobe for under a hundred bucks. THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO ME. I am the worst, the very worst, at shopping. It is an activity I loathe so intensely, I’ll fling ill-fitting, excessively wrinkle-prone clothing and random credit cards toward the register to buy myself egress five minutes sooner. It doesn’t help that I have all the fashion sense of a chimpanzee. Actually, any chimp with access to an Old Navy could undoubtedly put together an outfit with more panache than I.

Fortunately, Jane does not seem to have inherited my fashionblind eye.

So that was a big chunk of my day. This is a crossing-things-off-the-list kind of week, busy and clerical, and everywhere I turn, books are beckoning. My garden is withering. Where is that nurturing tender of the earth who inhabited my skin in March? This is why novelists shouldn’t plant vegetable gardens. It doesn’t matter if your flowers go to seed while your mind is elsewhere. But you turn your back for one measly chapter and suddenly your arugula has bolted and the tomatoes are limp.

On the learning notes front, I’m thoroughly enjoying my middle daughters’ immersion in German (a language I kinda sorta speak a little) (a very little) via the Living Language app and some Pimsleur CDs we got from the library. Beautifully illustrating the importance of individualized learning methods, Rose prefers the former (more visual) and Beanie the latter (auditory). Jane is hooked on Pimsleur too, but for her it’s Japanese. (Actually, Beanie seems to be listening to both sets. She’ll either turn out a polyglot or a muddle.)

Rilla and I are still luxuriating in Brambly Hedge, and I’m reading Wheel on the School to Bean and Rilla. Wonderboy (who is a dignified eight now and deserves a more mature blog name, but this is no easy feat) falls asleep with Little Bear or Owl at Home on his face every night, and I melt. Huck is madly in love with the new Amy Krouse Rosenthal/Tom Lichtenheld book (but of course—all his favorites are Lichtenheld books), Wumbers. I narrated a gigantic portion of the Quinn Cummings book to Scott today, in the car on the way to the library to pick up a Veronica Mars DVD since the DVR ate the Season One finale and we MUST finish it before Jane heads off to Texas. And that’s about it for our Tuesday!

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  1. Mary G. says:


    Just take a deep breath … remember you are in CALIFORNIA (for pete’s sake) and revel in the fact that you have all those lovely children and a dear husband and a wonderful writing style and lots of friends (IRL and Online) who love you dearly!

    Mary G.

  2. sarah says:

    Eight??! No way!!

    He’ll always be Wonderboy in my mind. 🙂 I’ve tried to change my own child’s blog name a couple of times, and it never worked. She’ll always be Rose (and infact gets called that a fair bit by accident irl too. I blog too much!)

  3. Jeanne says:

    This little post engaged me in so many ways. First of all, my encounter with your word “tender,” as in “nurturing tender of the earth,” was bumpy-lovely. First I heard it as a noun but the wrong one, as in the kind of tender like “legal tender,” a kind of currency, which did not work but was Good.

    Then my brain quickly/briefly tried “tender” as an adjective, somehow reaching for some “tender(ness) of the earth,” which also did not work but was Good.

    A millisecond later I landed on tend-er – oh! She who tends, the “tender,” the caretaker, – and it worked, and it was Good. Really Good.

    I think what you’ve got there is poem bones. Just sayin’.

    Then I wanted to say we are considering German and wondering if you have any for-learning-German connections in Charlottesville.

    Then I began ruminating on the possibilities and impossibilities of growing up Wonderboy’s blog name, since you got me all wordish with the whole “tender” richness.

    And you had me in the first place with the shopping, which so completely describes my shopping challenge. Sometimes it makes me doubt my gender, place of national origin, and moment in history. Not. A. Shopper. And this does leave us in weird lurches that you would think I would have come to expect over the years, but no, I just lurch along until the next Shopping Emergency, with the occasional insight that some people do NOT experience Shopping Emergencies.

    And don’t get me started on Brambly Hedge.

  4. tanita says:

    I read your shopping woes aloud, I just want you to know, because I have been ACCUSED of doing the selfsame thing – just throwing ANY OLD DARNED THING at the register so I can get OUT OUT OUT OUT!!!!! Oh, how I LOATHE shopping, and thank God for clearance sales at Old Navy online and Land’s End – online – and Coldwater Creek – online …

    (Are we sensing a trend, here?)

    I actually had that same moment with you being a “tender of the earth.” I read it as tenderness, which also worked, and made me smile – you are kind of this fey “I love every flower!” sort. Which I am, too. But, I also know from the “HEY!! What the heck happened to my tomatoes!?” bewilderment several weeks onward.

    Ah, Summer. This is why it keeps coming ’round; there are multiple opportunities for perfecting each little bit and getting it right, whilst we live it in joy, over and over…

  5. mamacrow says:

    how I love Brambly Hedge! the proper ones. not the awful travesties ‘based on Jill Barkham’s work’ ?! WHY?! The characters are in modern dress even!!!!

    P.S. I ADORE clothes shopping with the kids. I should start a service for mums that don’t!