Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let not the right hand know where the left hand put the wallet

Kind readers, if you're anything like me, you wish you had more money. I am trying to make strides paying on our family's debt--largely student loans--while anticipating replacement of two aged cars in the near future. I keep wishing to win the lottery (I don't buy tickets...), write a bestseller (I have no time to write), or stumble upon some highly valuable thing in my cluttered basement (glassware? books? cookware? uh, I think not.).

Some of you MUST be in the same boat--just too little jingle in the pocket to get it done. My goal, personally, is to pay off our albatross of student loan debt as soon as humanly possible, so we can get on with things.

Here are some resources I've come across that I will highly recommend to you, my friendly pennypinchers:

The Simple Dollar, an exceptional, insightful personal finance blog for those of us with families;

The Simple Living Guide, by Janet Luhrs, which is the most thorough treatment I've found of simplifying it all in the quest for a more meaningful life;

Your Money or Your Life, by Robin, Dominguez, and Tilford, which rethinks the hamster wheel of work-and-spend.

That's enough to get you going, right? Take a look. Check one of these out at your public library, and tell me what you think.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Tinier Tiny E

Long overdue post...
Welcome to the world, Ezra James!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009, 3:12 pm
7 lbs.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rubber sole

A couple of mornings ago while waiting for my steeping tea, J said something like, "You know, you end up learning from the most unlikely experiences." That wasn't exactly what he said, but whatever it was, I was instantly preparing for him to recall some moment that made me/us feel foolish, unwise, or unfit to be a grown-up.

But no--instead it was about one of our recent prenatal visits, and the fascinating visual aids.

Our regular doctor visits (actually, midwife visits) are a group affair--about eight or ten pregnant women and our spouses/partners get together for educational programs and the regular check-up. They take two hours, and they have been "less productive than what we'd like." Most people arrive late. A good bit of time is spent on "classroom management." It's a bit chaotic. And because these appointments fall on Thursdays, one of my two afternoons off work, I'm a little impatient. Last week I brought my knitting, figuring I'd at least get something accomplished.

The session to which J was referring to, however, was the food and diet talk. A dietician had come to explain the importance of a healthy diet, prenatal and otherwise, and she had brought visual aids: rubber food. But this wasn't just your garden-variety fake food (and, as the mom of a toddler, I've recently begun shopping fake food; there's plenty of unrealistic plastic garbage out there.)

This stuff was rubber. Jiggly, tacky-surfaced rubber, the kind of rubber that will pick up all the lint and dirt on the floor if you threw it down.

Our jaws dropped when we saw the stuff, and for the rest of the session we had a hard time paying attention to the dietician. We just wanted to TOUCH THAT FAKE FOOD, which looked tired and pale, the stuff of a school cafeteria's daily display du jour. Slackjawed, we wanted to handle the translucent cubed watermelon, the sickly chicken breast, the cool baked potatoes that would never enjoy melting pats of rich butter. Every time the dietician picked up a piece of food, showing us good, nutritious foods, we had to fight the urge to chuckle as the food wiggled in her hand.

And so our underwhelming prenatal check-ups will be anchored by that Day of the Rubber Food as we still long to touch it, flop it around, throw pieces against a wall or floor. It's childish, I know. But come on, who among you would pass up the opportunity to pretend to eat a rubber sandwich, or provide your family with a fascinating preview of the evening's fare?