Friday, March 13, 2009

A Silver Lining

Dominos now delivers in our area--and they have a spiffy on-line interface that obviates even a phone call!

Missing Dave

It is the middle of the morning and I'm in the studio looking at the mess that is my desk. I should be working. I should be firing, and sorting papers, and, and, and... But I just instant-messaged my spouse to share a funny with him, and it hit home that I won't see him tonight, or tomorrow, or at all for two more weeks. Two weeks isn't so long, I know. But it's already been 100 and a half hours since I saw him. 6,035 minutes since I hugged him. 362,100 seconds since he kissed me goodbye in the hotel parking lot in Dallas and headed off in his Mini Cooper for Austin.

The things that I was so afraid were going to be impossible have been almost trivially easy--thanks in large part to Jessie, my very helpful little angel. I am on top of all the tasks I normally manage--my business, the tax papers, the finances, etc.,--and I have neatly folded in the groceries, the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, and the care and feeding of the J (including nightly reading, baths and transporting to and from school). I even have playdates and sleepovers planned.

But the things I thought I could handle--the temporary separation, the sleeping and waking alone--those have been really tough. The days are not so bad. J and I follow a schedule (how else would we get everything done?), we do our chores, we share life and cuddle. But at night, when I sleep, my non-rational mind takes over. It rears up and cries, "Why can't I have my spouse snuggled next to me?" And I dream dreams of loss. I need to stop listening to my melancholy playlist (these are the songs that were playing as I wrote this post), put on my big girl panties, and just deal with it. But he should know how much I miss him.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Get Yer Samoas! Get Yer Thin Mints! Get Yer Do-Si-Dos!

The first annual Jessie Griffith Girl Scout Cookie sell-a-thon has begun! We have more boxes than she is tall so pull out those wallets. I went the extra mile today for her (okay, so I indulged my obsession with Internet technologies) and I created a Google Docs spreadsheet (a spreadsheet shared between Dave and me that lives in our private space on the web) to track her cookies and sales. Then I put the iPhone application for Google (which includes Google docs) on my iPhone and now I can pull up the spreadsheet wherever I am to see the address and phone number of the person I am delivering too, and I can also see--and update--how many boxes we have left in each kind. It was too much fun (and I am such a geek!).

But enough about technology. This is all about our little Daisy (pre-pre-Girl Scout) and her cookies! Without further ado, I present This Year's Cookies! My personal favorite is the Samoa. You can't go wrong with Samoas, I always say. The Girl Scouts say:

Samoas®: These are round doughnut-shaped cookies about two inches in diameter with a hole in the center, covered in caramel and toasted coconut, and then striped with chocolate. Samoas® are made by Little Brownie Bakers.

Thin Mints: The most enduring and universally familiar Girl Scout cookie. These round, mint-flavored cookies covered with dark chocolate perennially sell the most boxes of any cookie. Thin Mints have never changed their name. Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers both make Thin Mints.

Do-Si-Dos®: A sandwich cookie. The round, bumpy perforated oatmeal cookie top and bottom surrounds a peanut butter-flavored layer inside. Do-Si-Dos® (formerly Gauchos) are baked by Little Brownie Bakers.

Trefoils: These shortbread cookies are shaped like the Girl Scout Trefoil design. Scot Teas were a similar, lighter sugar cookie made by the now defunct Burry. These cookies come in a blue box. Little Brownie Bakers calls them Trefoils.

Tagalongs®: These are round cookies with a layer of peanut butter on top, and covered in chocolate. These cookies come in a red box. Little Brownie Bakers calls them Tagalongs®.

Lemon Chalet Cremes™: Featuring a design of Our Chalet in Switzerland, a beloved Girl Scout World Center, this sandwich cookie has a touch of cinnamon-ginger spice that evokes the warmth of a fireside chat on a snowy evening; they are made by Little Brownie Bakers.

Dulce de Leche: New for 2009, and inspired by the classic confections of Latin America, these sweet, indulgent cookies are rich with milk caramel chips and stripes. They come in a turquoise box, and are made by Little Brownie Bakers.

Get Yer Lemon Chalet Cremes! Get Yer Dulce de Leche! Get Yer Tagalongs! Quick, before we eat them all...

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snow Day in the South

I post here first this morning instead of on Glass Incarnate. I post here first because my spouse informed me that it has been so long since I have posted on this blog that his RSS reader has greyed it out. Whatever. I also post here because we had friends in for the weekend, a southern family, and when we were talking about blogging I said the name of this one and the 14 year-old son asked me in a surprised voice, "You don't like the south?". I feel obliged to answer. After six years of not planning to remain here, I am settled in. With Dave exploring the vast sea of employment opportunities post-CNN, we have the option of living almost anywhere. In fact our options have opened up so much that Dave felt comfortable throwing down the gauntlet and saying if I want to move to Montana, we can do it now...

You see, when we were married--in Montana--he promised me that we would move there within eight years (we lived in Chicago at the time). Well, it's been 13-1/2 years now and I occasionally smugly throw out in the conversation that he still hasn't lived up to that promise. I did so in conversation in front of our friends over the weekend and he replied, "Why not now?"

Why not now indeed. So I search my soul. What would I be giving up if we moved to Montana, or to Austin (where the jobs actually *are*). What would I be gaining (best case)? We never intended this house to be our forever home. Our forever home was the sprawling old mansion built in 1917 where we lived outside of Chicago. Then it was the large, airy Austintacious new house we built in the hill country next to a nature preserve and a green belt in Austin. But this house was the best choice in one day of house hunting after signing a contract at CNN and then finding out that the houses that we had looked at on the Internet from Austin were not at all the same in person and we couldn't afford *anything* like what we had there or imagined having here. But after six years here--considerably longer than we have spent in any one house--we have made this our home. It fits us, it is us, and we have no interest in moving to another house as this one is just right for our lifestyle now and into the future.

Then there's my studio. It's a perfect space for a studio, couldn't be better located, and we were able to afford it. What's the likelihood we would be able to find anything like what we have with the two properties combined in either Austin or Missoula? I have a better chance of being eaten by a shark the next time I go scuba diving.

Beyond property considerations there is all the quality of life I thought I was missing. Turns out, I was mistaken. We not only have friends and a community here, we also have a great school for Jessie. Though we are not geographically centrally located, Atlanta is one of the major airport hubs and we can get anywhere (except Hawaii or Australia--and how likely are we to need those routes now?) quickly and cheaply. And finally, the Indigo Girls had it right and there's no more beautiful place than the southland in the springtime.

So we stay. I'd change the name of the blog to something like "Settled In the South" or "Snoozy In the South" or even "Seraphic In the South", but I like the reminder that life is all about change. That's not to say that I wouldn't like to have a house in Missoula someday, I still would. But I no longer need to, pine to, must.