Mitchell-Lama Mama’s Blog

an ordinary life in an extraordinary city

Finally April 24, 2009

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A beautiful day, and it’s Friday! ¬†ūüôā ¬†The sun is out, and I think it’s in the seventies. ¬†The dog even spent some time on the terrace this morning. ¬†


Friday Night Madness has been downgraded, due to the economy. ūüė¶ ¬†Instead of going to the local diner/coffee shop for dinner, we’re going to the local chain “bakery” for tea. ¬†Aaah, nothing but the finest in half raw coffee cake and rubbery croissants. ¬†We’re sticking to the Lipton, thanks. ¬†If you avoid the pastries and ignore the gluey film on the tables, it is quite entertaining on Friday nights. ¬†By day, it’s filled with nannies and strollers. At night though, a special treat. Young tourists who didn’t realize how quickly their money would run out here in NY, scratching at sores left behind from bugbed filled mattresses at the area “hostels.” ¬† ¬†And let’s not forget the homeless who come to spend the night. ¬†Oooo, yeah, Mama is living large. ¬†ūüėÄ


So, I was sitting on my couch staring into my tank¬†doing some writing, when an unfamiliar movement in the tank caught my attention. ¬†Yikes! ¬†Another hitchhiker. ¬†I only saw part of it come out of a rock, but I’m pretty sure it’s a mantis shrimp. ¬†Tiny right now, but bad. ¬†They’re affectionately called thumb splitters, and some people keep them because they can be beautiful and interesting. ¬†In their own species only tank. ¬†Blech. ¬†I haven’t even gotten rid of the aiptasia yet. ¬†Luckily, I think it will be a while before he’s big enough to do any damage to any of my livestock. ¬†


Happy Friday, everyone!


Day of Rest April 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mitchelllamamama @ 4:53 pm

If, by rest, you mean get up, get the children ready for school, take them to school, walk dog, start to cook gumbo, go to hospital to help mama-in-law get discharged and take her home, get to her home, find papa-in-law unable to walk with a very swollen ankle, figure out makeshift ice packs for him, go get lunch for both of them, then come home, finish cooking gumbo, and feed the tank. ¬†I really don’t understand why I’m always tired, do you? ¬† ūüėõ ¬†


Grumble grumble grumble ROAR. ¬†I hurt my back on Sunday evening, it’s definitely improving, but still. ¬†How did I hurt it, you ask? ¬†Unclogging the toilet, of course. ¬†A regular activity that all of my city friends engage in.¬†I want to know, does everyone in the world have these ridiculous low flush toilets, or is it just in NYC apartments? ¬† Mama is all for saving the earth, conserving energy, conserving water, etc, but shouldn’t the toilets still work? ¬†How much more water is being used by pouring it down toilets to unclog them by shaving a few gallons off of the regular flush? ¬†


Between the weather, the toilets, and a cost of living so high I’ve practically got the kids counting out the Cheerios into the bowl to make the box last longer, Mama is feeling very, very done with this city. ¬†New York state of mind my patootie!


Who Thought it was a Good Idea to Raise April 19, 2009

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independent thinkers? ūüėõ


Oh yeah, that would be me. ¬†What am I doing now? ¬†Teaching the girl to sew, which would be great, if I knew how to sew. ¬†This is the problem with her plan to be a fashion designer. ¬†As far as I can tell, several things are required. Interest/creativity, drawing, and sewing. ¬†I’ve already established that I can’t sew; in fact, Mama can barely draw a stick figure, and I wear clothes until they fall off of me because I hate the shopping/trying on thing, and I’m really just not all that interested.¬†


All I can say is I’m very glad for the basic kid’s learn-to-sew kit, because I can read the directions, even if I can’t manage to make stitches come out the way they do in the instruction manual.¬†


This is the last day of the Spring Break for the younger two. Big guy had his last month. ¬†I don’t wanna get up and take them back to school tomorrow. ¬†It’s going to be cold again, and rainy. ¬†Waaah! ¬†Mama’s been having some issues with insomia, which is making me crabby. ūüė¶ I keep telling myself it isn’t so bad, 4AM is a perfect time to get some quiet, uninterrupted writing time. ¬†Yeah. ¬†If you’re a rooster.¬†


The big guy just emailed me questions for a parent interview he needs to have completed by tomorrow. ¬†He’s been hanging out with me all weekend, and hadn’t mentioned it once. ¬†And they’re all s-e-x related questions for health class. ¬†Oh, yippee. ¬†Cause, yanno, there’s nothing a 16yo boy likes better than having deep, heart-felt discussions with Mama about sex. ¬†


On a positive note, yesterday I was finally able to get that interview done. ¬†Now I’ve got notes for the secondary character I wanted to develop, and can keep going in a forward motion this week. ūüôā ¬†


Tank news: nothing new. ¬†All is growing well, though that unfortunately includes the aiptasia. ¬†Really, he’s kinda cute, in a mud brown sort of way. ¬†If I hadn’t read so many horror stories about them reproducing and taking over entire tanks, I would keep him. ¬†There’s a local frag swap next weekend, but I’m not going to go. ¬†It doesn’t seem like there’s much point if I can’t take advantage and buy new corals. ¬†Or a clam. ¬†Or… But no, my dog walking dollars have to go towards new contacts for me. ¬†Mama’s glasses broke, and they don’t seem to be magically repairing themselves, no matter how much I try to pretend they aren’t broken at all.


Happy BDay Dear Girl April 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mitchelllamamama @ 8:03 pm
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It’s the girl’s bday today. ūüôā ¬†I bought her flowers last night, so she woke to a display of mixed flowers, cards, and a few select gifts. Fun! ¬†I’m going to make brownies for this evening, cake, song and candles will be tomorrow evening. ¬†Papa’s working late tonight. ¬†

We just got back from going out to lunch with middle guy, a rare treat. On the menu? Chocolate chip pancakes and wheat toast, of course. Then we went to the plant store, where my frustrated gardeners chose seeds for planting, and Mama drooled over the lush house plants she can”t afford. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Middle guy chose cantelope seeds, not sure how they’ll work out on our mostly shaded terrace, but we’ll see. ūüėõ


Laundry day yesterday. If you aren’t familiar with doing laundry in a building laundry room, let me assure you it’s a full contact sport. ¬†It’s similar to grocery shopping, the sweet elderly lady from the corner using the shopping/laundry cart as a battering ram. ¬†No matter that there is literally no room for two people to pass at the same time. ¬†And don’t forget to race and beat the clock before that dryer stops. ¬†Sure, there are two other empty, functioning dryers on the other end, but why use those when you can take my clothes out of the dryer and leave them in a heap dangling off of the folding table? ¬†“Oh, yeah, honey. ¬†I took those out for you. ¬†No, no problem at all, I was just finishing my tuna sandwich waiting for it to stop.” ¬† “Ummm, thanks? ¬†No, really, I always rewash my clothes straight from the dryer.” Aargh!¬†


This morning I finally decided it was time to do battle with the brown tentacled hitchhiker in my tank. ¬†It’s gotten large enough for me to make a positive ID. Aiptasia. A pest anemone. ¬†I went to the store and bought lemon juice concentrate, and swiped an insulin needle from Papa’s diabetic supplies. ¬†Filled the syringe, took aim, and shot that ugly sucker right in his mouth. ¬†Immediate retraction, and then all I saw were thin white strings where the tentacles had been waving. ¬†Victory?




He’s now completely recovered, and laughing at me from his foothold in the pipe organ. ¬†


Happy Friday, everyone.


Graphite Smudges on My Hand April 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mitchelllamamama @ 8:59 pm
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I know, I know, MIA again.  


Today I’m wondering what makes the difference. ¬†You know what I mean. ¬†Five woman can go through very similar experiences, and walk away with twenty different lessons. ¬†Or none at all. ¬†What am I learning? ¬†I’m not sure yet.


But seriously, what enables one person to turn the drudgery of laundry into prose that’s fluid, and the next into someone who can’t handle more than a grocery list? ¬†And for the record, I’m not sure where I fall on that spectrum. ¬†


I’m writing again. ¬†You guessed it–longhand. ¬†There’s something about pencil in hand and spiral notebook on lap that lets me reconnect in a way the keyboard doesn’t. ¬†This usually doesn’t last too long; ¬†I’m continually revising and editing as I write, so once I hit a rhythm it becomes easier to think directly onto the laptop. ¬†I suspect it will take me longer than usual to find that rhythm this time. ¬†Usually I “see” my stories and scenes so clearly, but right now I feel the way I do when I’m taking pictures of the tank. ¬†I get the digital zoom to come up and everything looks blurry, I move back and forth until things look a little less blurry, and then keep hitting the shutter until I get a shot that’s clear. ¬†Every so often I find the magical combination of perfect distance and zoom, and can get several sharp photos in a row. ¬†(Though right now, there’s something wrong with the camera and I can’t get it to take any shots at all.)


Obviously, Lent is over, and I blew the 500-in-40. ¬†It’s ok, it got me started, and for now I’m not even giving myself a target for each writing day, as long as I write.


I think the personal interview went well for the middle guy, they’ll send a letter in the beginning of May to let us know if he’s accepted, rejected, or waitlisted. ¬†


I met with the girl’s teacher, and while there were no surprises, it was disheartening. ¬†I was able to get an appt for her outside of the school system for a full evaluation at the end of the month, so maybe some good will come of that. ¬†Neuro crud has been creeping back in, as is the snotty nose. Her birthday is at the end of this week; it feels shocking to me that she’s going to be eight. ¬†Mama went shopping a little while ago, and yes!! I was able to find what I hope will be fun craft kits for her (latest obsession, she wants to be a fashion designer). ¬†


¬†All my fishies and critters are still alive. ūüôā ¬†The tang’s ich seems to be going away (none of the other fish caught it), and the zoas are making a comeback. ¬†Nothing new, I don’t think there will be for a while. ¬†Money is too tight. ¬†


Does anyone want to tell me why it’s mid-April and still cold out?


Thanks for checking out my ramblings,