Monthly Archives: October 2015

The wisdom of teeth (or how to nurse your mother through your oral surgery)

A Thoreau-ly pleasant afternoon

We went to the woods because I wanted Molly to play the cello deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if we could learn what it had to teach and not, when we came to die, to discover we had not lived.

She played obediently at first, placed her end pin carefully in the soft ground and balanced herself precariously on the folding chair we’d brought along.

Slowly, though, as she pulled her bow across the strings and the melancholy notes of Ashokan Farewell drifted through the trees, she stopped posing for the camera and began to play music.

Leaves rustled and the river gurgled against the rocks. A startled fisherman and his young son waved from a passing boat.

The sun lit a canopy of leaves.

Then, to our utter delight, an outspoken turkey joined in, and they carried on, cellist and bird, in a sweet duet that celebrated both the magic of moments and the achingly beautiful passage of time.

Molly and the canoe

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”

Molly in the woods on the path

“The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”

Molly in the woods

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

Molly and her cello in the woods

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Happy Halloween week, from Molly B and Me

The reincarnation of the Great Packer Pumpkin

Walk a mile in John Henson’s shoes

Based on a True Titty

Waiting for John

Five reasons I’m no Cubs fan

I served (dinner to) Cubs fans. I know Cubs fans. Cubs fans are friends of mine. I’m no Cubs fan.

I realized this a dozen years ago when I attended my first game at Wrigley Field almost exactly, to the day, 12 years ago.

Why so specific with the date you ask?

Because my first and so far last game at Wrigley turned out to be the infamous Steve Bartman game.

I’m no Cubs fan because the shocking collapse of that team disappointed but did not devastate me. As a Packer fan, I walked out of that deathly silent stadium with a deep sense of empathy.  In fact, three months later, I witnessed the famous fourth and 26 collapse of my own beloved team. I knew some of what those Cub fans were feeling.

But, come on! The Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908. They haven’t even played in one since 1945.

Still, Cubs fans remain some of the most loyal sports fans in the world. The Cubs, despite their lack of hardware, are among the top five teams in gross earnings.

Here are five reasons I am no Cubs fan, but I wish I were…

1) Billy Sianis. In 1934 a baby goat fell off a truck in front of Mr. Sianis’ tavern and the rest is cool Cubs history. Billy adopted that baby goat, named his bar after it and took great offense when he was asked to leave a World Series game at Wrigley because his goat’s stench annoyed fans. Reportedly, Mr. Sianis said, “Them Cubs, they aren’t gonna win no more.” And, because they still haven’t, the Curse of the Billy Goat remains. An 81-year old curse based on a smelly kid? That’s impressive.

2) Wrigley Field. Built in 1914 and named after a chewing gum magnate (double your pleasure, double your fun), the stadium is the second oldest active major league park. What fan wouldn’t want a season ticket in a place called the Friendly Confines? I also love the fight for tradition. Wrigley Field held out until 1988 before it allowed lights. Day games feel like vacation (because, mostly, they are.) I love that Cubs management eschewed the monetary lure of lights as long as it did.

3) Eamus Catuli! It’s the closest Latin equivalent of the phrase “Let’s Go Cubs.” The Lakeview Baseball Club came up with the phrase, along with Anno Catuli, which roughly translates to “In the Year of the Cubs”. Along with these two literally lofty phrases, the club keeps a running count of the number of years since the Cubs won a division championship (7), a pennant (70) and a World Series (107).

4) Bleacher seats. There’s something wholesome about a fan base that reveres its planks. Wrigley Field bleacher seats are general admission during the regular season, and range in price from as little as $19.  I also like this warning on the Cubs website: The Bleachers aren’t the best seats to take a family with children, as the language and fan behavior can become obnoxious. If you want a quiet atmosphere, the Bleachers are not for you.

5) Mascot. They don’t have one. Until January 23, they didn’t need one. They had Ernie Banks, Mr. Sunshine, the first player to have his jersey retired by the Cubs. When it came time to select a player to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch of Monday’s pivotal game, the Cubs went with Mr. Cub. They played a video of Ernie Banks who, by the way, had a sweet voice along with a legendary baseball career. Rest in peace, Mr. Banks. I think this may be your Cubbies’ year.

I’m no Cubs fan because I haven’t yet earned the right. But I cheered for them last night and I really hope they win it all. Go Cubs! #FlytheW

We posed at our seats before the infamous Steve Bartman game began. We had know idea we were about to witness Cubs lore.

We posed at our seats before the infamous Steve Bartman game began. We had no idea we were about to witness Cubs lore.

The last Homecoming dance

The last Homecoming dance of my maternal career ended with the happy waft of laughter.

For a moment, I thought about grabbing my camera and heading back downstairs where Molly and her friends had gathered spontaneously to recap the night.

I knew exactly the kind of shots I’d take, the pile of shoes gathered by door, wilted corsages, sweatshirts and suit jackets tossed over gowns, happily bare feet.

I’d tucked myself in bed a good while before, but it wasn’t my bright red flannel PJs and gold Packer robe that kept me from tip toeing down the stairs for a few more photos.

I have no jammie shame.

I stayed put because, for once, my camera and I didn’t want to intrude.

We shot 189 pictures Saturday night and I loved them all, even the blurry ones. I loved the pre-shots that should have smelled of hairspray and nail polish, and sounded like cheerful compliments. “Oh my God, you look amazing!” “I love your dress!” “Where did you get your shoes? I love them!” “Oh my God Emma just left with my dress in her car!” “Do you want to borrow one of mine?” “Yay! Sam’s here!” “I made you all corsages.”

I loved the just-one-more-before-we-go shots on our front porch when everyone stood politely though they were anxious to get on with their evening.

I loved the big group shots, and the groups within the groups shots, and the goofy shots, the sweet shots, the parent shots, the just-one-more shots, the parting shots.

My 14th Homecoming Dance photo shoot went very much like my first.

I’ve shot Homecoming pictures in freezing weather, in backyards, in country clubs, on a river, in the park and, once, on an actual red carpet.

I’ve stood, 14 times, with groups of parents waving goodbye to girls in wobbly heels and boys in stiff shirt collars. I’ve both seen and participated in the quick slip of an extra buck or two, the sly repinning of a sagging boutonniere.

“Have fun!” “Be good.” “Be safe.”

“Be safe.”

“Be safe.”

When I heard our side door open late Saturday night, and loud whispers drifted up the stairs, I stayed put.

Turns out, my work was done.

Hair and makeup

Hair and makeup usually happens at our house, which means crimping, curling, chaos and chatter.

Theatre kids

These theatre kids can rock the make-up. It’s a whirl of kindness and cat-eyes.

Multi Tasking

Impressive multi-tasking.

Vince and Molly

I love this picture of Molly and Vince.

Molly and Colleen

Colleen and Molly have been friends since birth.


I honestly didn’t think she’d do it. Here’s Molly gamely leaping off our front porch on her way to the Homecoming dance.

Jack Molly and Rachel

I think this might be my favorite picture because no one knew I was taking it.

Mary Poppins

A nod to Mary Poppins from Ms. Poppins herself, and Jane Banks.

Molly and Jack

Neighbors, classmates, cast mates and friends. Also, they matched the chapel doors nicely.

Molly and Jaya

A pop of color. Check out their wrist corsages, made by the talented Syd.


This picture makes me laugh. The senior girls are waiting for someone, the junior girls a vogueing and the sophomore girls posing. Parental paparazzi abound.

Molly and Me

Our last Homecoming dance. Spit. spot. My work is done. (Photo credit Jaya Mallela)

Save the Erb Park Pool