This, that, and the other thing.

Due to circumstances that I won’t get into, my kids have been unable to text their friends for nearly two weeks. As a result, they have been pleasant—much more pleasant than they are when they’re looking at me over the top of an electronic device. Instead of sending thirty tiny cartoon elephant pictures to friends they see every day at school, they’re talking to each other. They’re reading. They’re doing science experiments. They would not agree with me when I say this, but: This has been a very good thing. Until we figure out some parameters, they will continue to be unable to text. I’m in no hurry to figure out parameters.

Eleven days ago, we planted 20 tomato seeds. As of RIGHT NOW, 19 of them have sprouted and have turned toward the sun. It’s time to plan the garden. We will have tomatoes, basil, peppers, radishes, lettuce, and what else? What else should I grow this year? The people who lived in the house before us grew sweet potatoes and grapes. I’m not sure I’m ready for sweet potatoes and grapes. I’m also not ready to remove the cartoon teacup curtains those people hung in our basement. We moved in exactly eleven years ago. Cartoon teacup curtains. Honestly.

Semi-related: Developments are taking place on Project: I Want To Move. Last weekend we were told about a great house. We drove over to it and verified that it was a great house. I CALLED A REALTOR, which is something I’ve never done before. 24 hours later, the realtor called back and told me that the house had been sold. Anyway, because of this, I’ve been bagging up clothes and eating lots of banana chips and thinking that I may invite the realtor into our house sometime in the next month so she can tell us exactly what we need to do to get ready. I’ve been talking about moving forever. Now I’m actually making phone calls. This is a good first step.

Okay. I know that winners never quit and quitters never win, but we’ve decided to let Meredith quit the violin before the end of the violin session. I don’t want to talk about it.

Oh! So, do you remember two paragraphs up how I was going on about how I want to move? As I type this very line, ten kids from the middle and high school track teams are practicing drills on my street and it’s one of the most heartwarming things I’ve seen. If the marching band shows up, all hope is lost.

Once again, I’m reminded that someone once declared blog entries to not be interesting without a photo. (Not that I believe a photo would really help this schlock. Honestly. I either need more time or more adventures or another month of writing every day.)



This morning I found my Superhero necklace. I bought it for myself as a reward for reading a Fluid Pudding entry in front of something like 500 people at BlogHer.

The audience looked like this.

Part of the Keynote Crowd

That was back when I was marking up my face with eyeliner and stuffing marshmallows into my mouth and actually going to conferences and staying out late and talking to people and showing my elbows in public.

Someone's Elbow, Someone's Hair at Blogher'08

Things were much more interesting then. Girl, you know it’s true.

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16 thoughts on “This, that, and the other thing.”

  1. Entries with photos are my favorite. But I will always still read one of yours even if there are no photos. You make me smile! Kudos for the no texting… my kids are 7 and 8 … not quite into texting yet, but have started asking for their own phones and ipods and unless something drastic happens… I just don’t see it happening for a loooooonnnnnggggg time. I want to milk this childhood thing for all it’s worth. It’s already difficult to pry them away from the xbox and the 3ds on the weekends.

    Lastly. I love love LOVE that necklace.

  2. Meredith’s a very smart girl.
    Meredith probably knows her own mind.
    You would not want it any other way.
    Apparently Meredith is not feeling the violin lessons.
    Life’s too short for unwanted violin lessons.
    Good decision, Team Pudding!

    Also, 19 tomato plants? Whooooeeee, yes!

    But don’t overlook the marvel of growing potatoes, sweet ones or otherwise. Reaching down and pulling your very own home-grown potatoes out of the ground? I tell ya, it’s amazing. Oh sure. I know you *think* a potato’s a potato. But seriously, a potato you only moments ago harvested from your very own soil? SO delicious!! Plus, the foliage is so darn pretty and healthy looking. As our 2-y-old grandsweetie is fond of saying these days “Just try it. You might like it!” :-)

  3. I think that “quitters never win,” etc. often keeps people doing things that they should have quit long before to make room to do other better things. My mother insisted we take music lessons. I had 8 painful years of piano, 6 of violin. I’m just not that musical. I’m glad I can read music and I like to sing, but instruments are not for me. She agreed years later that they should have let me have art lessons instead.

  4. I will confirm that a break from social media makes for more pleasant children. They actually seem a little bit relieved to be forced out of the digital arena. Of course, in my experience, the pleasant part comes after a painful withdrawal period of twitchy fingers and stompy feet.
    Good luck on the moving stuff. It can be a tough process for an introvert, so great job taking the initial steps. Dave Ramsey (the radio guy) may have an endorsed local provider real estate agent in your area, and we’ve had success going that route. (Also, I’m a fan of the necklace too! Such a happy look to it.)

  5. Gee Meredith, will like the flute and or piccolo, I want you to know you had Lynn and I in stiches.

  6. That necklace is awseome! :-)

    And giving up texting?! Hm! I might try that too, maybe, but I’ll still text my husband! It’s one way we stay close. I need more…time away from my phone. I’ve been thinking of the blogs I want to pare down to (maybe just five or so, yours being one of those of course duh). And no word games on my phone ohmahgosh! I need to though.

    If it doesn’t fit, you must quit.

    (I thought FOR.EVER. that Johnny Cochran was saying, “If it doesn’t fit, you musta quit,” like, you must quit trying to prosecute him. sigh.)

    Also? Moving?! FUN! I wish I was nearby so I could do all feh house realtor moving stuff for you since I LOVE that kind of stuff! Although, you’d likely tell me GO AWAY CRAZY LADY! I’m really not crazy though. :-) Best of luck with the house stuff; you got this!

  7. My Meredith (same age as yours) gave up her iPad for Lent; I had suggested a 40 day break from Minecraft, and she said, “Well, if I’m going to give up Minecraft, I might as well just give up the whole iPad!” (She was being serious, not sarcastic – I checked. LOL!) So, no iPad for her, and I gave up my morning iced-chai-tea-latte-with-light-ice from Starbucks. We are both missing our sacrificed things, a week and a half or so in, but I suspect we are “healthier” as a result.
    My wallet is definitely healthier. :-P

    Good luck on the moving thing, too. We cleaned and packed and stored and pitched, and actually put our house up for sale last Spring, but decided after a few months that we really didn’t want to move after all … but now I’m wondering whether, if we haven’t missed the stuff that got packed up and stored elsewhere, do I really have to bring it back home?

  8. Arugula. Plant it. I may devote my whole garden to it this year. We made pesto with it last night and it made our breath deliciously stinky. Best pesto ever.

  9. Very pretty! Isn’t color wonderful?

    Pictures are nice, but I really like your line drawings. I’d be honored to drink tea from a FP mug or sport a FP t-shirt or tote.

  10. You have some awesome commenters, Angela! I *love* all of Joan’s comment. :-) I can’t decide which part of it is best; mainly I’m just curious what light-ice is! Is that like low-fat ice?! Or more like “easy on the ice?” I’m thinking the latter, but the former is definitely how I read it. I love Cindy’s comment about arugula as well. :-)

  11. I see Carroll already suggested potatoes, and I urge you to give them a try. Sweet potatoes are a little trickier in the harvest and “curing” but regular old white or red potatoes are so easy and so, so good.

    Winter squash. Like butternut. Super easy, prolific growers with little care, and just a couple of seeds will give you lots and lots of squash that lasts way into the winter. Did you know you can substitute it for pumpkin in most recipes?

    Also, Meredith doesn’t like studying violin. I’m glad The Puddings have decided that recognizing something doesn’t make you happy (and you may not be at all good at) is not quitting, it’s “redirecting” your activities.

    As for texting, my daughter is 42 and I haven’t had a conversation with her that wasn’t carried on without her looking at her phone for the past couple of years. If she was younger, I’d take her phone away or seriously restrict her use of it.

  12. P.S. That is such a lovely necklace. You are fortunate to have such a lovely neck to show it off.

  13. Eggplant, it is a pretty plant as well as yummy. Also, grow Kohlrabi. It’s like a little alien is resting on your soil – it grows above ground.

  14. Am I the only creepy reader who was struck by what a lovely neck you have? Seriously – it’s long and beautiful and free of bumps and wrinkles. No scarves for you!

  15. So… I never comment because I feel kinda weird about jumping on someone’s blog and just throwing my two cents out there. I feel like it is very presumptuous of me to think that even though there is a place for me to add a comment, and most bloggers love to have comments, I don’t know if the bloggers of the world really mean it. Perhaps this comment box is really only for the cool people. And since you have been running this blog for quite sometime maybe I am straying over some line in the sand and will suddenly be called out about it. Not that I get the mean girl vibe from you at all! I think you are quite lovely! So…yeah.

    Ahem. Anyway. I do enjoy a great photo now and again. However, I mostly get annoyed and feel like pictures on every single post are just taking up room where my favorite bloggers could fit a few more paragraphs. It is almost disappointing for me to come upon a favorite blogger who has posted 27 pictures of a bathroom remodel and there are only a few words to describe the process. You know how texting has taken away from our children, and really all of modern humanity, interacting with each other? I feel like there are certain blogs (Not yours! I really have no negative feelings about your blog at all!) who have gone from really great wordsmiths and once they learned how easy it is to post a picture their blog just became one big boring photo album.

    I feel like I have been ripped off of a really great story. I brought this up to my husband and he thinks that there must be very few people in the world that would rather read a description of your awesome necklace (by the by your necklace is totally awesome!) rather than looking at a picture of it. I guess it takes all types of bloggers as well as all types of readers to make the blogging world go round.

    All of that being said, I probably made you feel like maybe your blog is attracting total weirdo’s. For that I apologize! Seriously, I think you are a wonderful writer and I adore your new posts! I always start my blog perusing with Fluidpudding!

    And because I never ever comment I am at a loss on how to end this thing. Since it’s probably only the first or second time I have ever commented on a blog I don’t know if there is a certain etiquette. Do I end the same way as a letter?
    Love Always,
    Katie Jane

    Or perhaps I thank you for your hospitality.
    Thank you so much for having me over and not blocking me from silently stalking you. One day when I become brave enough and have a blog of my own you will be the first one that is invited to my blog warming party!

    Or can it be totally casual?
    See ya tomorrow!

    I guess you can pick whichever one makes you most comfortable. This is almost as awkward as meeting someone and having to hug them. (I am super duper short and even short people tend to be a lot taller than me. I always feel like I am way to close to their private bits. It’s just…ugh!) And maybe this will be the year that I become brave enough to comment more often on your posts. Because, your words, are awesome sauce!

    PS. I really didn’t mean to write what has become an entire blog post within your comments. I guess after reading silently for 7 or 8 years I had a lot to say! I promise I won’t be so wordy next time!

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