In case you were wondering:

Not much happening...
Not much happening...

Update: 5:30am, Saturday, 12.27.08 — heading to the hospital…

Update 2: 10:30am, Saturday, 12.27.08 — home again. Too soon, never mind…

Update 3: 3:30am, Monday, 12.29.08 — back to the hospital, O O O.

Ho Ho Ho!

Still pregnant.

But after 4 days of antibiotics, I feel blissfully better, enough to go to my friend Lea’s house last night for a holiday hoe-down. Great fun!

Jamming in the kitchen.
Jamming in the kitchen.
Lea & I by her Christmas tree.
Lea & I by her Christmas tree.

Lance and Vincent came, too, but left early once Vincent’s fascination with all the lit candles could no longer be distracted by butterfly crackers and cupcakes.

Gratuitous cute Vincent picture in which he dons Lea's rhinestone red reading glasses.  He cried most wretchedly when he had to leave them behind.
Gratuitous cute Vincent picture in which he dons Lea's rhinestone red reading glasses. He cried most wretchedly when he had to leave them behind.

Darn good thing Lea lives just a few blocks away — it’s still snowing! I took advantage of a small break in the storm to walk home from the party last night — there were plenty of rides to be had, but what a lovely night, and I didn’t have far to go, and the crisp winter air was refreshing after all this illness — and let’s not overlook the (remote) possibility that this little exertion could help kickstart labor.

Okay, no luck. But for the first time it truly felt like the holidays yesterday. We actually have our very first Christmas tree this year (previous dwellings were too small to accommodate anything more than a festive plant.) (But it is sparsely decorated with colored lights and a few bamboo ornaments. Perhaps Vincent & I will work on that tomorrow after we go to the prenatal appointment.)

Lance’s older sons, Cassidy & Morgan, both came over in the early afternoon and helped him put up the new baby’s sky basket — a new configuration was called for now that we live in an entirely new place since Vincent’s birth.

I doubted and worried, but Lance had a plan, and it works. (Pictures will be forthcoming once the sky basket’s new resident arrives.)

Oh, and my spoils from the Yankee Swap last night? — a tin of Lindt chocolate truffles! Who would dare take chocolate from the pregnant woman? It’s the little victories, yes?

Lisa Russ Spaar.

Forgive the silence — our household is utterly entrenched in illness, and it appears that it will remain so for the immediate future as a virulent cold virus holds us hostage.

Cover Image
In the meantime, I’ve been reading Lisa Russ Spaar’s Satin Cash, which contains such lush, smart language — I spent Vincent’s too-brief naptime letting these poems wash over me.
One example:

What antecedent
for this intramural void,

my native, deep-seated
well — null, untenanted,

sulking place, finger-
slip of truancy, of minus —

if not this cave above:
bludgeon of boudoir stars,

chivalric piñata,
quixotic hourglass

infinitely contracting:
negative, vernacular, lone?

Musica Domestica.

One missing letter, and suddenly what you’ve typed is “housefly” (musca domestica).  Which is how I’ve been feeling, flitting from room to room, restless, useless.  This is not about “nesting”.  What I’d really like to do is curl up with a great book and read for a few hours.  But “curling up” is simply impossible when a body’s this pregnant, dagnabbit.


So yesterday, which was a miserable rainy/icy stuck-inside sort of day, I exercised my atrophying domestic muscles and baked cookies. That’s right.  And not just any cookies, but what I consider the best cookies in creation, oatmeal chocolate chip. I’ve tried many different recipes for this cookie in the past, and it’s hard to really come up with a bad one, but I love this one — and it was right on the bag!  I don’t remember that being true before.  The only aspect of the recipe I would change is the size of the chips — I prefer using mini-semi-sweet chocolate chips, but my local grocer didn’t have them.

Nonetheless:  O so good, a symphony of taste!


From Pamela Stewart’s The Red Window (Univ. of Georgia Press, 1997):

Blue Winter Light

Last night a mouse was torn from the earth
while three cars crashed on the highway.
Last night I dreamed under my skin
down to where blood sweeps back and forth.
A man I loved still walks there
in disturbing currents. As I watch the forest
fade to darkening cold, an owl prepares.
There is no I for predators to hunt. For me
just the indigo galaxy —
its spirals and exhalations of dust.

Home. Every day. Small nuggets.

Yesterday, Vincent & I went downstairs to check the mail, and he, because he’s fun that way, locked the door behind us.  Hence I discovered how ludicrously easy it is to pick the lock of our apartment.  Good thing we own nothing worth stealing.


Being home so much is very odd, but now we’re both sick I haven’t had much of an opportunity to use this time well.  I’m measuring my days in balled-up tissues and cold cups of tea.


It does, however, give me far too much time to dwell on all my overdue submissions, and where the heck are they, and why won’t anyone respond to my emails.  Not altogether helpful, but I don’t currently have the brain capacity to actually write, as evidenced by this feeble post, so I’m giving myself permission to obsess.


For those of you who care & are keeping track of such things, I’m now 38 weeks, and the baby has dropped.  So there’s progress, at least!

Collected Poets Series, Dec. Edition

Alice B. Fogel

This Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 pm, the December 2008 edition of the Collected Poets Series features 3 poets: Dzvinia Orlowsky, prizewinning poet, translator, and author of four poetry collections including her most recent, Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones; Jeff Friedman, poet, translator and author of four books of poems, most recently, Black Threads; and award winning poet, Alice B. Fogel, whose most recent book of poetry is Be That Empty. For more information about the Collected Poets Series and our featured poets, please visit the website.


This is my first week of unemployment. Yesterday Vincent & I spent 4 hours in the Career Center in Greenfield waiting to file my initial unemployment claim — if I’d called it in I’d have had to wait until Friday, but I needed to do it asap in order to then get to work on our health insurance application.

According to those who are familiar with such things, one usually only need wait about an hour at the walk-in center. But the folks in the office yesterday reported that long waits have become customary in the last several weeks. Yep, the recession news is hardly news to most of us.

Anyway, it was a trial, but Vincent behaved quite well, especially when I factor in his current ill health: he is “berry berry sick” with a cold. He was a big hit with the overworked staff, who commented that most adults aren’t nearly as patient as he was.

The last 15 minutes, though, nearly did me in. If a child sees a hill to the side of a parking lot, and his mother is 37 weeks pregnant, how long will it take for him to decide to make a break for it?