The kittens have arrived!


The kittens have arrived!

They were discovered on Saturday morning, March 7th, at 7am — 4 of them, three boys and a girl (we think).

Winner of the kitten pool — through my complicated algorithm of factors — is Samantha Shapiro!

Email me your book pic, and if you want a recommendation, you know I have them galore.

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Baby Pool: Kitten edition

Juno2Yesterday I got an email through the Animal Rescue League foster group that a pregnant young cat had come in. She needed a foster home, stat, for the delivery and early weeks. We’ve fostered 3 rounds of kittens, starting at about 5 weeks of age, but never been fortunate enough to get the brass ring: the chance to be present for a birth and the early newborn experience. 

I called Tom. The other end of the line went silent, then a wry laugh. “You’re serious.” To his credit, always to his credit, he shrugs and says yes to bringing on more crazy. He didn’t start off as a cat person, and the past year’s revolving door of kittens is not what he signed on for. But he carried the dog’s crate and a whelping box upstairs while I drove with the little boys to pick her up at the shelter.

She’s a sweet anxious youngster and ready to go any time now. Naturally, we named her Juno.

Here’s the skinny (or not so skinny) for the baby pool: she’s a petite pixie with a rock-solid middle but not overly wide. She’s walking around but doesn’t seem agitated. She’s eating and drinking a little.

Person who most closely guesses the:

a) size of litter
b) date/hour, and
c) ratio of boys/girls

wins the paperback of their choice. I’ll buy it from Wellesley Books (http://www NULL.wellesleybooks and mail it to you (within the US). Game on!

In the meantime, keep this sweet girl in your thoughts. She’s got an adventure ahead of her, and she’s gotta do it by herself.



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Putting yourself on the kids’ flight path

lg-steamwasher-lg-wm2801hwaOne of the good things about having the laundry on the second floor is that it gives a drive-by proximity to the kids’ bedrooms. I can casually check in. Ask questions and just maybe get a real answer. Sing loudly, terribly, to get a rise out of them.

While I rush through t-shirts and ripped jeans, thinking about where I left off writing and hoping I can pick up, random gems come from their rooms. The 5-year-old talking to the fish. The 9-year-old reading his Valentines aloud.  This morning I overheard the 7-year-old singing “We Shall Overcome” in a soft operatic Ethel Merman.

This afternoon I was folding alongside the 14-year-old’s door. He always goes right to homework after school, but had seemed a little more reclusive than usual. “Hey in there. You solve world peace yet? Cure cancer?”

“Almost,” he said. “I’m on it.”

I didn’t go in, as much as I wanted to, and ask what was up, who he was texting, what he was thinking about trying out for spring baseball. We just exchanged one-liners through the dryer wall.

Next house we buy, second floor laundry is my top priority.

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Song of the Dustpan People: Are Grammatically Accurate Writers Less Creative?


dustpan The other day a friend asked me if I’d help line-edit his manuscript. He’s tight on time and I can barely make my own deadlines, but I agreed—mostly because I like him and his book, but also because proofreading comes naturally to me. I see typos and punctuation errors the way Haley Joel Osment sees dead people.

Copy-editing is a very particular skill like, say, nit-picking. When you Continue reading

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Beautiful Little Nonsense #13

frownThe 5yo’s lament upon the changing of the computer password.

“Why can’t things stay the same?!”

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Beautiful Little Nonsense #12

deskThe 7yo is miffed that I have a home office and he doesn’t.


So he commandeers a closet and puts the antique chair-desk in it.

“Mine, mine, mine-mine mine,” he sings happily.

Basically, me in my first rent-controlled apartment.


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Beautiful Little Nonsense #11




The 5yo: “This is the law of my brain. If you don’t be’s nice to me, you can’t be my best friend.”

Not a bad law as brains go.

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Beautiful Little Nonsense #10

peter_pan_halloween_costume_kids_boys_2a6ecae0Halloween Morning

Costumed kids climb the school bus uncertainly,

searching eyes to see if they’re made of as much awesome

as they think they are.

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The Rabbit In The Soccer Net


RabbitThe other day my six-year-old ran in the house screaming: “A RABBIT IS STUCK IN THE SOCCER NET!”

When I went outside the poor thing was writhing frantic, the webbing wrapped double around its neck. The line was so tight it seemed impossible for it to be breathing. By the time I got there it hardly fought in my hands, less than my cats getting their nails clipped.

I sent my 12-year-old daughter inside for scissors and cupped it still, trying to create any possible slack in the netting. I really didn’t think it would live until she made it back.

She did the cutting, brave girl, shears right against its neck. When it was freed it sat in my hands, sides heaving. Or maybe it just didn’t realize it was free.

“Where did you learn to do that?” my eight-year-old asked.

It wasn’t just me, I told him. We all cut it free.

“No,“ he made a cupping gesture with his hand. “To just….hold it.”

Most people comfortable with handling animals probably say it comes down to Continue reading

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Beautiful Little Nonsense #9


Dropping off for the 8-year-old’s soccer practice. The younger two boys need a bathroom; I direct to a porta-potty around the bend.

The 8yo: “Moms always know where the nearest porta-potty is. Even if you’ve never seen it. Because you have it wired in your DNA, like a Mom bathroom GPS.”

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