Thursday, June 26, 2014

Camp DayCroix Family Night

This post likely needs a little preface. Sometimes, there are things that I want, above all else in the world, to share with my mom. At first, I kept those in a journal, but my life is more and more in this format. This isn't a witty post, or a review of anything, or a soapbox rant. It's simply something that's making me burst at the seams with joy, the kind of thing I would have — should be able to — tell my mom about. So it's here instead.


Beatrix has attended Camp DayCroix for almost 3 weeks now, but tonight was the first Family Night we could attend. She was thrilled when we got there, skipping ahead of us in the field, taking us to the garden to see things, feeding the goats and the bunnies, showing us all around. She was adorable performing "I Caught a Little Baby Bumble Bee" in her group skit. And it was wonderful to see how at home she was in this homey, open space, with gardens and a sand/water place and horses and an art barn and an open pavilion for eating and trees and woods and grass. It's everything camp should be, complete with the counselors with goofy camp names and skits and songs and bug bites.

But the amazing thing was, that as she skipped ahead of us, kids of all ages would say "Hi Beatrix!" As one dad said, "We hear that name a lot in our house right now!"

But even more so, every single counselor stopped us, and pulled us aside, and told us how much they loved Beatrix. One showed us a picture of Beatrix sitting in her backpack (so she could take Beatrix home, she teased). Another marveled at how surprised he was that it was her first year, and how she was "taking the camp by storm." Literally, every single counselor made a special point of telling us how great she was.

I am so very proud of my girl. I love how she goes into new situations and makes friends right away. I love how she interacts with those younger and older than her. I see this, and know it's special, and it's perhaps the thing I am proudest about for her. But to see it so clearly tonight, said by people who have grown to know and love her already too, makes me unbelievably happy and kind of giddy.

Monday, June 23, 2014


(could not resist the title)

If you know me well, you will know how much I miss the dearly-departed Zander restaurant. This walk-to-able, chef-driven restaurant was my can't of wrong happy place of food right until it closed. We even ate there the night we got married.

So you know I mean it when I tell you that I feel that Sanctuary is really that kind of place — where the food is amazing, but not the sort of place you only save for a special occasion. In fact, Mon-Th are the best nights to go, because they have an amazing tasting menu!

We went last week, and it was for a special occasion — our 8th anniversary. And I knew it would be awesome because we were seated next to a show poster from the first professional theatre I worked for — the Cricket!

We each had the tasting menu, starting with…

a lovely salmon with goat cheese and berry (and some champagne, after all, it was our anniversary!) They also provided some spiced nuts and a delicious hummus, I think of sweet peas? You would think I would know, since I literally ate it with a spoon so not to miss any.

Patrick did the wine tasting flight, and I did the cocktail flight (note, win!) The salmon came with a Thai concoction:

Then a salad course, kind of an updated Mad-Men-esque wedge, so delicious! Paired with a rose champagne cocktail.

Main course. Patrick had a sweet-savory ham and waffle kind of thing (made his Louisiana heart dance), while they subbed for non-red-meat-eating me … I kid you not …  a lobster bolognaise. It was mouth-meltingly amazing.

I may have committed the ultimate sin and lost rack of the cocktail by now, maybe a negroni?

A cheese course:

And then the perfect little chocolate dessert, paired with some Alexis Bailly chocolate port for him and coffee for me. I honestly don't eat as many desserts anymore, preferring to focus on savories (and cocktails!), but this was such a great mix of flavors:

Plus the service was incredible, from the owner to the busy bartender to our waitress. Truly top notch.

I hate to even write about this, because I don't want to share my secret. But you deserve to know about it. So GO, as fast as you can! (I'll even meet you there, for a drink on that lovely patio, if I can get a sitter).

(and Happy Anniversary, honey!)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Me Versus the Lice

We got the first lice notice in the fall, an email from one of the moms in Beatrix's Girl Scout troop. "I'm really sorry, but we just discovered ________ has lice, you might want to get checked." They must have discussed it at school, because all of a sudden the kids were putting their coats and backpacks in lice bags in the coatroom, and Beatrix was asking me to periodically check her.

But we skated all the way through the school year with no problems. I've never actually encountered a louse (well, maybe on some dates I've been on), so I was not sure exactly what I was looking for anyway.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, we were taking a Father's Day rode on the Green Line, and I looked over at Beatrix asleep on Patrick's lap. And suddenly, I know exactly what they looked like. Because there were a lot of them in her hair.

We went home, we used lice medication, we combed out her hair again and again, and checked each other. Patrick had nothing. I had a little zoo to rival Beatrix's. (they have flea circuses, why not louse circuses?) We continued treating, washed everything in both houses in super-hot water, froze my hairbrush, and actually melted some of Beatrix's by putting it in the microwave. We combed and combed and combed. My friend Amy came over with her super-comb and went through my hair. We emailed everyone we had been near to tell them to check. But we still could not seem to get everything. I had read online that it can take months to get through an infestation, and it looked like we were heading that way.

So last night, we gave up. I had reached a place called Simply Nitty, which would bring in 2 people in the evening so that Beatrix would not miss camp.They had a fixed price, and while it was not cheap, they managed to get through everything in just over an hour, and they have a 30-day guarantee. I had not realized quite how bad it was until they were all gone.

So yes, it was expensive, and I wish he had not had to spend the money. But I'm not overly confined that this is an issue I could take on by myself. It's amazing how much time and energy this whole thing took up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In Which I Become a Librarian

I have loved the Little Free Libraries since my friend KD became an early adopter of the trend several years ago. Often when Beatrix and I have some free time, we will go on a LFL hunt and refill them, and I was very jealous when my friend Tracy blogged about hers last month. I love the community-building aspect of them (and of course I love free books…)

Last night, we celebrated our 8th anniversary. I went to grab Beatrix at the camp bus stop, and then headed home, to find THIS on my front porch:

I was stunned. Patrick, along with our friend Jason, had spent the last several days building the most incredible LFL ever. See how it matches our house? The cedar shakes? You can't see the sides, but it has siding from our house. This library is built like a tank!

It's all the more amazing because Patrick is not naturally a handyman. He does not normally build or fix things just for fun, and he has taught me the wisdom of hiring things out. But he wanted to do this for me, and enlisted our awesome friend Jason (who has been a touchstone friend for the last 20 years) to coach him through it. I am in awe of the love and consideration that this library means.

We still have to paint and install it (it's heavy). But in the next few weeks, come and get some books!

ETA: Patrick describes the process here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

It Is Not a Year of Februaries

Every year, for the past several decades, this happens, and I always forget.

You see, my birth control pill comes in packs of 28. 21 days on, and 7 sugar pills I usually skip anyway. My doctor's appointments are annually, in August, and sure prescribes a new year at that time.

But every single year, about this time, I run out. Why? Because, if you've been following long with a calendar at home, you realize — it's because a month generally has 30-31 days, not 28 (except, well, of course February).

So every year, for the "month" of the prescription I fall 2-3 days short, which catches up in the summer. Right now, for some unknown reason, I have 21 days remaining in my prescription window actually, but they can't fill that because the pills come in 28 day cycles when you count the sugar pills.

But, according to my insurance (well, almost all insurances, really), I can't see my doctor more frequently than once a year.

The pharmacy will call my doctor, and she will issue a patch month, and it will be ok. But unless I am missing something really obvious (and I don't think I am, my doctor says she has to do this often), it seems like one of the stupidest, most easily remedied problems with the system. Aaaarrraaaagggghhhh!