Chris is reading the news. 

“Oh, good. Britain is out.” 

“Of what?” 


“Wait, JUST Britain?” 

“No: The UN isn’t going to do anything because China and Russia hold vetoes on the Security Council.” 

“Right, so that left us with…?” 

“That left us saying, ‘C’mon, France, c’mon, Britain, you’re our friends, lets do this thing!'” 

“And France said…?” 

“France said,”

[Cue OUTRAGEOUS French accent…]

 “Emmm… sorry, but we have some… cheese to… monger.” 


(We are waking up. Well, Chris is waking up, I have been lazing and reading for a while.)

Chris: Deb?
Me: Yes?
Chris: I’m just checking — the Supreme Court doesn’t hold sessions in a swimming pool, right?
Me: Not to my knowledge, no.

(Later: Possum has awoken and joyfully flung herself at us. Willow will awaken approximately twenty minutes after we pry her from her bed with a forklift, so she’s not in this story.)

Possum: Daddy, what was your dream last night?
Chris: Oh… There was a (mumble mumble) uhhhh… (this and that)…

(Possum, by the way, can understand all of this sleepiness, as she’s right next to Daddy, listening intently, because the crazy stuff he dreams about is one of the joys of her life. I, on the other hand, can not understand all of this sleepiness, apparently:)

Chris: (mumble mumble) Supreme Court… swimming pool… Mark Hammill…
Me: Wait, Mark Hammill was on the Supreme Court?
Chris: Not Mark Hammill, MORE CAMELS!

(He and Possum roll their eyes at each other.)

Chris: (derisively) Pff… Mark Hammill.
Possum: Yeah, Mom. Pff!

Watching Dr. Who (10, bien sur) the episode where the interstellar engineering crew has snuggied itself up under a black hole and is then O so surprised! when they start getting pulled into the black hole? And then… 

He: Yooooou… didn’t do it with a sponge… 
(he opens his eyes but does not move. After a second, he slides a look over at me to see if I’ve noticed.) 

Me: ‘Yooooou didn’t do it with a sponge?’

He: Yes. 

Me: What does that mean? 

He: (chuckles, closes his eyes again) You’ll find out when you try to put the thumbtacks in. 


Actually happening at my house: Chris is pointing at Possum: “I’m not touching you!”, then actually touching her, then hotly denying it when she says, “You just did!”
“No I didn’t!”
“Yes you did!”
“I did not!”
“Yes!” (Hysterical giggling)
“No, see, watch. I’m not touching yoooooou…”
“You just did!”

We’re watching a move called — I shit you not — SHARKNADO. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Chris happier. 



I am drinking the best cup of coffee I have ever had. Made by my handsome husband, of course. It was too hot at first so I let it cool and maybe for the first time in my life I didn’t get distracted and leave it too long, so when I picked it up again it was just the perfect temperature, and it was just how I like it, strong with half and half, and I drank it all without any child interrupting me and I was happy.

Just wanted to note this for moments when it seems like nothing ever goes right.

“Don’t shoot the turtle.”
(Pause… looks at me, awake now.)
“Did you just say ‘Don’t shoot the turtle?'”
(Rubbing his eyes) “I think so.”
“Do you remember why you said it?”
“Yeah, because they’re on our side.”

Somewhere in… uh… heaven? Or wherever we go… (unless we don’t go anywhere)… my sister is laughing at me.
I always gave her ample opportunity to laugh at me (although more often than not I just bugged the crap out of her) and here’s today’s mockery opportunity:

I’ve been feeling very low for some time — first there was Mother’s Day, which is also Lilac Sunday at the Arboretum, one of Stacey’s favorite events. Then Stacey’s birthday, and the anniversary of her death last year.

Now, if you know me well, you know that I’m wired a little differently from the average gal. This means, as I tell my children, “I am a woman of many talents!” This is generally followed by, “but that ain’t one of ’em” (usually something galactically pointless like vacuuming or laundry.) One thing that seems to be a default setting for many people is the connection between events and dates, anything from birthdays to a family outing that apparently I should KNOW is tomorrow just because Chris told me about it? Five times? My beloved iPhone has made it easier, but the connection between events and dates is still one I have to build, laboriously, by hand.

Which means that I knew the anniversary was “coming up” but somehow I had it in my head that it was the 10th.

Yeah… no. It was yesterday.

SO whether this was the universe’s way of taking the pressure off a bit, or just “I gotta be me! Apparently!” I’m sure it is very very funny to my sister. Ha. Ha ha ha. 

Would she be offended? I really doubt it. We generally threw a “Oh, yeah, happy birthday” back or forth every six months, then at some point spent an equal amount of money on ourselves at Russell’s.

“Hey, you gave me my birthday present yesterday.” 
“Yeah? What did I get you?” 
“Two new peonies and some manure.” 
“Wow. I’m awesome.” 

And although Stacey was far more sentimental than many people knew, she was all too practical when it came to her illness. When she lost her hair the first time, I asked if it would help in any way if I shaved my head. She gave me her patented “what the hell is wrong with you?” look and said, “God, no! I don’t want to be bald, why should you have to be bald too?!” (I was really glad she said that because I would have done it… but it would have sucked, gotta be honest.) 

When Stacey was in the hospital, at the point when we knew she wouldn’t be going home, I told her I would get a tattoo of a daisy on my toe (we sang that song together when we were kids, “I’ve got a daisy on my toe, it is not real, it does not grow. it’s just a tattoo of a flower; makes me look cute taking a shower…”) 

As sick as she was, she still had the energy to give me The Look: “That’s not gonna help!” 

(I might do it someday anyway, don’t tell!) 

So I really don’t think she’d be crushed that I got the days and events all Bingo-balled in my head. Again.

What would I have done if I’d had the days straight? I have no idea. But I would have re-posted the little eulogy I wrote her last year, just like I re-post Christmas Among the Uptight Yankees every year. So here goes: 

My sister, Stacey Anne Bancroft Neustadt, was murdered by breast cancer at 6:10 pm on June 2, 2012. She fought for six years, not for a cure, but to live long enough that her daughter would remember her. Aside from her treatment time, Stacey gave cancer not one more inch of her life: she worked, took care of her children, grew vegetables, read every female-protagonist mystery novel ever written, and obsessed over the Tour de France. She had zero patience for ignorance or laziness. She loved lilacs and birthday-cake frosting. 

Stacey was like a pinata: she was hard to get open, but there was candy inside.


How do I have 274 followers? That’s just… odd. But I know it’s the Nu Nu post, STILL the most popular post on my blog. Because people are awesome. 

We’re watching The Fugitive. I should say, we have been watching The Fugitive for about 6 1/2 minutes, which is about as long as my husband can stand to watch anything before clickity click clicking and we watch something else for 6 1/2 minutes. I’ve learned some things about this situation: a) he genuinely enjoys the clicking, certainly more than watching 90% of the fine programming on offer, b)  if something is really important to me, I can make him stop, c) very little on television is that important to me.  

So, it’s only important that we’re watching The Fugitive because one of the characters is “Dr. Charles Nichols,” who has just been introduced at the awards banquet in the film. My husband replies (or so I think), “Chicken.” 

My first thought is that my husband knows something about the movie that I do not know, namely, that Dr. Charles Nichols nickname is “Chicken.” They sort of sound a little alike, right? Sort of? But, worth asking: 


He looks over at me. “Chicken?” 

Now, I have known this wonderful man for 33 years, since we were 12. We will have been together for 19 years, married for 16 years come June. We’ve been through more joys and sorrows together than I can even gesture at in a “Crazy Crap” post. And there are some things that even he, talented actor that he is, cannot hide from me. And one of those things is that he has absolutely no idea that he just said “chicken” because, although he was wide awake 6 1/2 minutes ago, he has since fallen dead asleep and dreamed… something. After 33 years, I know him too well to assume that it had anything to do with chickens. 

So I laughed at him. Because. 

“You just said ‘chicken’.” 

(He just rolls his eyes.) 

A bit later, he started laughing and said, “…now I can’t give it back to her!” 

Me: What?

He: GAH! It won’t make any sense! 

Me: And that has dissuaded me when? 

He: OK: A girl and some of her friends were waiting in the lobby of a hotel, and I had a string of loaves of bread that I was trailing in from the car through the automatic sliding glass doors. I knew she was waiting for her alligator, but I had left it in the car. (He clarifies:) It was, like, a big marshmallow alligator, it wasn’t horrifying, it was sort of cuddly. 

Me: Oh good.

He: And I was driving a subway car. 

Me: Of course.

He: So the doors shut on the string of loaves and it was sort of a “laugh or cry ” moment because I knew I couldn’t go back to the car to get her alligator for her. 

Me: Gotcha. And what was the last dream, when you said “chicken”? 


He: I said “chicken”?