Monthly Archives: July 2009

Word of the Day: Chill

It’s the 90 degrees out, but my kids are urging me to chill. 

“Chill out,  Mom” my son says when I ask where they are going and what time they’ll be home.  “Chill out, Mom” means:  “I don’t want to tell you where I am going because you might not think that going to “The House of Pain” to watch Eyebrow piercingJake get his eyebrow pierced is a good alternative to reading the books that are on the high school Honors English summer reading list.”

“Chill” can be a adverb or a verb. If Lewis describes an indie (that is kid-speak for “loud”) rock band as “chill,” that is “cool” which is synonomous with “sick.”  “Vampire Weekend is chill.” or “During the summer, I just want to chill and listen to some sick music.”

When kids come home from college for the summer, it’s chill for a few days – maybe even a few weeks. Everyone gets  along. But soon, college students  realize that their parents are not chill at all!  And parents realize that their tuition money is well-spent because now their kids … KNOW EVERYTHING. They know what you should be buying at the supermarket, what you should eat to save the planet and what things you should do, that you are not doing, to end global warming. Here’s a short list amassed from conversations with my own college student. 

I should:

  1. Collect rainwater.
  2. Compost the coffee grounds, eggshells and rotten lettuce in the back of the fridge.
  3. Only buy fair trade, organic coffee.
  4. Stop eating meat.
  5. Eat only locally grown produce.                 compost_cycle
  6. Produce our own produce.
  7. Hang our clothes outside to dry.
  8. Eat a raw food diet.
  9. Stop buying bottled water.
  10. Do yoga.
  11. Drive a hybrid car.
  12. Be more chill.

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Word of the Day: Road Trip

On the back of the Reese’s Puffs (Hershey’s Cocoa and Reese’s Peanut Butter Sweet & Crunchy Corn Puffs) cereal box is a list of 18 things  to do before you are 18. Maybe, because I have already showed a lack of good parental judgment by purchasing Reese’s Puffs for my child’s breakfast,  General Mills assumes that I am a bad parent in other areas as well. But I have a problem with the list.

What about "Make the Honor Roll?" or "Learn to cook?"

What about "Make the Honor Roll?" or "Learn to cook?"

Number 17, (after bungee jumping and passing your driving test) on the list of 18 things to do before you are eighteen years-old is:  “Complete a road trip coast to coast.”

What mother in her right mind (or even a mom with a mind deluded enough to purchase Reese’s Puffs) would let her 17-year old drive from Boston to California?

Not me.

The fuel for a cross country trip?

The fuel for a cross country trip?

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Word of the Day: ‘Hood

I love my neighborhood.  Yesterday, Buddhists from the meditation center at the end of  the street walked by in red robes and blessed my dog with a prayer wheel.

He is blessed

He is blessed

Prayer Wheel

Very similar to the prayer wheel used to bless Chester

But it’s not just the Buddhists who make the street interesting. We’ve also got  a doll maker, a childrens’ entertainer, an inventor and a former prima ballerina. There are teachers  and writers and designers and  architects and some of the best cooks anywhere.

We also have a Harvard MBA who twirls fire.

Here she is performing at a backyard barbecue.

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Word of the Day: Camp

It was the night before Lewis left for two weeks at summer camp. Using the packing list that the camp had provided, he was  checking off items as he stashed them in his big plastic footlocker. He had four bathing suits, twelve pairs of underwear a new package of socks, a rain poncho, a polar fleece and bug spray. Check, check, check. Canoe Camp

“I need a bucket for my cosmetics,” he said.

“What cosmetics?”

“You know, my toothbrush and stuff,” Lewis explained.

“Can’t you just carry your toothbrush to the latrine or whatever it’s called? You have to transport it in a bucket?”

“It’s called The College,” Lew explained.  “And the list says I need a bucket.”

Now, if I had known he needed a bucket, we could have picked one up at Target when we bought the poncho, the bug spray and the new pack of socks.  Instead, I combed through the house looking for something that could hold Lewis’s paltry collection of toiletries.

“How about this?” I held my daughter’s Vera Bradley cosmetic bag.

Lew rolled  his eyes.

I inventoried the Tupperware in the kitchen, scoured the basement, the bedrooms and the bathroom and finally dumped all of my makeup (which includes considerable collection of wrinkle cream)out of the plastic container I use to keep my arsenal from overtaking the bathroom and into a canvas shopping bag.

“Voila! A bucket!” I announced.

“Can you wash it out with really, really  hot water?” Lewis requested.

I ran it through the dishwasher, thus killing  feminine bacteria or girl/mom cooties, and handed the sanitized plastic tub to Lewis.

“Thanks,” he said as he carefully arranged his toothbrush(in a plastic tube), comb, sunscreen, bug spray, travel-size toothpaste and body wash (teenage boys are too macho for soap) in the bucket.

“Can I borrow your digital camera, too?” Lewis asked.

I cringed. I use my camera – not just for this blog, but I have hundreds of images waiting to be downloaded , uploaded and embedded onto my Facebook page, my Twitter account and forwarded to relatives who still haven’t seen my oldest son’s high school graduation pictures from 2004.

“Be careful with it,” I said.  Lewis opened the new package of socks, gently wrapped a pair around the camera and placed it his trunk.

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