Archive for the ‘Quotable Katie’ Category

My best life apparently includes ALL the wildlife.

June 17, 2021

Today was a rough day. Like, almost throw up from the stress of it all kind of rough. Because no one likes surprises. Especially stressy, tough surprises. And not those surprises over and over again.

Honestly, yous guys, I feel like Wile E. Coyote a bit, because just when I feel like I’m getting back on track, rebuilding my best life, feeling great about who I am and where I’m going (except for one or two pins I need to fall into place), and then… KABLOOEY!!!

But! When I woke up this morning, I pulled up my Girl Scout socks and told myself that anyone who can find a bald eagle in the wild – a bald eagle nest, even! – doesn’t have anything to worry about. She’ll manage.

Of all the inspirational things I tried to tell myself, that was the one that actually stuck to the wall.

Because you know what? I DID see a bald eagle – a bald eagle nest, even! – in the wild! I’ve seen a mature bald eagle, majestic, breathtaking, damn near miraculous honestly. And I’ve seen two fledglings still in the nest (…who i maybe thought were part of the tree at first. Shhh! -don’t tell!). The fledglings were ginormous; nearly the size of their mama. They all just sat there, occasionally preening. Not much ado about anything.

How crazy is that? I’m a city girl. I didn’t roam out of the city…well, maybe a little towards the suburbs as we roamed the Langolier pole path, and sat by the sides of swamps. By “we”, I mean one of my uncles took me. He used to be an avid hunter, and for the past 15 years or so, he’s changed fields and now photographs (and sells prints of) New England wildlife. I had gone to his house to vent to him and my aunt about the newest surprise stress, and after I finished unloading, my uncle asked: “Wanna go look for some eagles?”

“Uh – YES!!!!!” was my reply. I think I had my shoes on before he finished turning around.

I’ve been asking him him he finds all of these animals; I know there are tracking methods I could just study, but my uncle’s talents are beyond that. He just happens about all kinds of things, like he’s a woodland magnet, or maybe a Disney animator with a magic wand.

Whatever it was, we saw the mama (or papa) eagle with the two fledglings at the first pond. Then we went to check out the owl tree – sadly, nothing doing there. I’m glad we went though, because he’s been telling me to look in the tree in the town center. I drove there and there are twenty trees in the little triangle of park! The owl tree he meant? Is across the street in front of someone’s lawn. But he made up for it – we went rambling down backroads, seeing the squirrels the size of cats; a deer ran in front of our truck thankfully when we were crawling along; there were red-wing blackbirds; crows the size of eagles; an empty osprey nest; and then my proudest moment: I asked what the bump on top of a telephone pole thingy was, and it was an Osprey sleeping! Mrs. Monopoli would be so proud of me!

At the next place, which was next to an adorable old-timey cemetery a few towns over, one I’ve driven past a hundred times!, we saw osprey in their nest with wee ones; Great Blue Herons stalking fish in the shallows; other Great Blue Herons in nests (like apartments) with fledglings; paired swans; Canadian Geese; duckies; and even muskrats swimming around! And then, as if that wasn’t enough Disney wonderland to lift anyone’s spirits, he pointed out a doe that was walking through the woods on the opposite shore. See what I mean about how he’s a woodland creature magnet?

All of that buoeyed me today. I hope the thought of it helps someone else, too. I’ve given Uncle John a new list that includes pheasants, bobcats, and a black bear that’s a safe distance away. (If football has taught me nothing, it’s: be very, very specific with your requests to the Gods above.) Oooh, and pheasants – I should tell him there’s been an update. I can’t add porcupines or anything else until we check some off. But it’s okay – I’m keeping track.

And then it turned out the stressy thing went my way this morning and I have a month’s reprieve so I can show everyone that I really am trying to be the best Katie I can be. It just turns out that my action figure comes with a field guide and binoculars.

How do you perceive yourself?

February 18, 2019

That was the question my therapist asked me last week. How do I think others perceive me, and how do I perceive myself.

It’s harder to answer than you think.

Then she gave me some homework: Create a collage to illustrate how you perceive yourself.  Me being me, I changed the assignment to include things that I identify with, or make me happy, or just created a strong feeling.

I think it came out okay:


I even included a hidden message that makes me happy! Because of course it does.

So, Faithful Readers, how do you think YOU perceive yourself?

Quote of the day.

January 28, 2019

Ooh, that Bee-girl! She’s at it again, leaving me in stitches!

Setting the scene: We had Christmas late, as I might have mentioned. And during said Christmas, I received this llama mug from the girls…


Isn’t it awesome?! Okay, so there we go. Annnnd scene.

Me: Man, I really don’t want to put away this mug with our Christmas stuff. Girls, what do you think – is this a Christmas mug, or an everyday mug?

Girls: An EVERYDAY mug!!!!

Me: Are you sure? There’s a lot of snow in this picture. That makes it Christmas-y. Especially here. (Sad panda. Er…llama.)

Bee: Well, you could say those snowflakes are just paint splatters! ….Or blood.

While I’m dying of laughter (BWAH HA HA HAHAHA HA!  Blood??!! Seriously, girl?! Too much!!), Gracie finishes perfectly with…

Gracie: Dexter would approve.

She is too much! They both are. And they’re mine, all mine, so just stay away. Good gravy.

Well, me and my, um, MurderLlama are going to enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Have a great Monday, everyone!

Something happened on the way home from the theater.

December 21, 2017

First of all: I wanted to title this post “Quote of the Day”, but this was going to be the longest set up story everrrrr. And it starts like this…

Gracie went to the movies with a few friends. It was a double-feature, and so she was supposed to get home kind of late. Like a good mom, I waited up for her. And like a good daughter, she stayed up for midnight breakfast with me. (Three egg omelette. Egg and cheese. Delicious!) And after all of that, we were both a little punch-drunk. One in the morning and all.

Fast forward a few minutes to me tucking Gracie into bed. She does this thing where she uses me to shut off her overhead light. She has a lamp and everything, and she can even stay in her bed (technically) and still reach her light switch, but does she do this? Of course she doesn’t. She still uses mama to shut off her big light when she’s snug as a bug in a rug. Because I’m a good mama (have I mentioned that?)(I am), I comply.

Tonight though, I was messing with my darling daughter. Tonight she anxiously told me, “No! No! Wait!!” and then “made” me turn her light on. A few minutes later, she did the same “wait, wait” bit and so I turned the light back on. I was, as I said, messing with her. We crack each other up, especially when we’re giddy and exhausted in equal parts.

Now, here’s where I take slight pause to tell you that middle schoolers aren’t required to take a foreign language. It’s absurd! I was made to, and by god if kids these days aren’t made to do exactly what I was, well that’s just sacrilege! I’m always telling Gracie so. Followed, usually, by getting on her case to start studying Spanish. I took it for two years in junior high – and excelled at it, despite the teacher being ridiculously too old to care about making the students behave, never mind learn anything – four years in high school, and another two semesters in college. I didn’t care much for it then (though I was awfully fond of my teacher in high school, and I might have stressed myself into nearly flunking my first semester in college, but I did retain an awful lot of what I learned. If I could do that, then Gracie could get so much from taking it!

Which explains why, to me, it was so flippin’ hilarious when Gracie, who was trying to get me to shut her overhead light off again, started in with espanol. “Te amo, Madre!” She pleaded. “Te amo!” I was laughing back with her, playing my part – or trying to – with a straight face. I failed. I failed so hard I don’t even know why I tried to begin with. She must have sensed the ground was softening, because Gracie dared another step, but even just the second step was one too far: “Por favor,” she started. My face must have lit up, but it quickly crumpled…into laughter. Because she couldn’t figure out what came next. “Por favor… Um… Por favor… Por favor shut off the light!”

I busted up laughing.

Okay, yes, it was definitely a moment you had to be there for an hour ago, but it totally made my day.

Good night, everyone. The last one out apague la luz, por favor.


July 12, 2017

“Why are you smiling?” Gracie asked. Barely asked – it was very early this morning and we were driving from our house to her dad’s, so I could drop them off before I continued on to work. Verrrrry early for smiling.

“Because I was thinking of how my hands just moved on the steering wheel, and how it was like I just handed someone some toll money. And how very soon I will be home and my sisters and I will over such silly things as tolls.” [But not in Mass – they just did away with human toll takers.]

It’s true. We’ll laugh about the silliest things. Me and Kim and Rhi and the girls and Liza and Hillary and everyone else. At godawfulearly in the morning and hilariouslylate at night.

Sixteen more sleeps!

Five for Friday.

March 3, 2017

Of course today would be Friday, the easiest day to blog, when I actually feel like myself and want to blog about something. Okay, let’s go with it and hopefully this Can-Do Katie is still here on Monday. (Or, you know, I write a coupla drafts in a few minutes…)

So what do we have shakin’ today? A few things! (Five, in fact, Sarcastic Katie would like you to know.) Ahem.

1. Poor pitiful penguin (that would be Gracie) is home with the stomach bug. It hit her like a truck last night – fine one minute at choir rehearsal, then halfway home she slumped against the door. I thought maybe she was tired from a long day, long week, but she said she didn’t feel good. She helped me move the trash bins back behind the house and then bolted for the bathroom, and that was pretty much the last time I saw her all night. She was still pukey this morning, and I’ve told her I trust her judgement when it comes to school or no school, so my penguin is home, making out with the toilet from the looks of things. [Side note: bet she doesn’t argue with me about cleaning the bathroom next time. Hmph.]

2. Before Gracie got all pukey, she was quite adorable. Yesterday she had a full-scale choir rehearsal for their competition that’s coming up. It’s like nerd Olympics, but for middle school choirs. They’re judged on a song they’ve rehearsed, a song they’re given, and a short bit of sight reading. And it’s all done full tilt – which is why Gracie needed black flats and why she was so adorable making all the arrangements like a little grown-up. First she arranged it so that she and a few friends were walking the two blocks to the high school (it really isn’t far and is a good [though busy] neighborhood, so as long as there’s a herd of them, I don’t mind a middle-of-the-day romp – they have to grow up some time), and then one of her bestie’s mom was going to drive them all (because she did mind about them walking alone), and so all I had to do was pick Gracie up at 6p because her dad was busy. She did that all on her own, made sure she had the shoes, and made sure she brought the shoes to school early enough so her choir teacher could hem her formal black choir smock dress.

3. The dress! It was the dress that killed me, because Gracie hated it. As all choir members do, I believe. I told her how Kim and her choir friends (the Altos, natch) from college had dubbed the dresses the Black Frocks of Doom. Even Pukey Gracie collapsed in appreciative giggles at that. I offered to help her take off the BFOD because it still had pins in it (I had offered to help hem all the dresses when Gracie told me on Tuesday that her choir teacher was doing them all; because hemming sucks, I have a sewing machine, I know what I’m doing, and did I mention I know how much hemming sucks?), but Gracie said her teacher was tape-hemming. So I was a little surprised to see the dress was still pinned, but meh. Whatever. Gracie didn’t want my help anyway – the BFOD was off before I finished offering even. And when I asked her why she did it so fast and casually when there were pins in it!!!, she looked at me like I was nuts. She looked down at it and so I did too and then I noticed the pins were SAFETY PINS. Safety pins!!! What the man! Mum never used safety pins! We got straight pins and you learned pretty dang fast to stand still when Mum was pulling the dress over your head because pins hurt. Safety pins. Pfft. Those kids don’t even know.

4. So with Gracie running between the bathroom and sleep, glorious sleep!, in her bed, I was experiencing some major role reversal at my house last night. Usually Bee is in bed way early, gripping her emergency bucket (Bee’s migraines make her pukey), and Gracie is in the living room, chatting with me and playing Rummy 5000 (we have a constant tally going) while we watch TV and talk about our day. Last night, Bee was my companion, as she sat on the lounge chair, playing a game on her computer, while I ate a late dinner. We were chatting and watching TV and having a good time while she did whatever she was doing with her game, when suddenly I heard: “Sugarfingers!!” I about died laughing. It’s the cutest like fake bad word and Imma steal it.

5. It’s cold! [Here is where my sisters in Connecticut where it’s negative degrees reach through the screen and murder me.] I mean, not freezing, because 39°, but my point is that it was cold enough for me to wear my scarf! I’ve worn it a time or two, but this has been a pretty mild winter, so even though February is usually when we get our ice storms, I haven’t had a chance. This morning? Totally needed it. I thought about changing my shirt so I would match, but I decided I still wanted my orange stripes because they made me happy. And so matchy-people can bite me – it makes me happy, damnit. And it’s gonna be 70° later, so the scarf is temporary anyway.



I hope you all get to do something today that makes YOU happy!

Quote of the Day.

March 1, 2017

The setting: We’ve entered the land of the Gracie being able to wear some of my shoes and some of my smaller tshirts and cardigans – the kind of clothes you can “cheat” on a little. But mostly shoes. To the point that while the girl has her own everyday shoes, there’s no point in paying for a second set of dressy “church” shoes when I have an entire selection in my closet. And so…

Gracie: Mom, I need a pair of black flats for choir on Thursday night.
Me: Okay, let’s go take a look at what I have.
<We walk into my closet. Gracie starts looking at black shoes.>
Gracie: Hey. Half of these are too big, and half of them are too small, and why do you have so many sizes, and WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!
Me: Welcome to the rest of your life.

Heh. Women’s sizing. It’s a trip, kiddo.

Five for Friday.

January 30, 2015

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep.

1. Why? Because there’s this tiny little insignificant game going on this weekend? Maybe you’ve heard of it? AND MY TEAM IS PLAYING!!! Yes, I woke up at an ungodly hour two days before the game because of nerves and excitement. I know I am ridiculous.

2. I am tippy-toeing my own lines today: I snuck in a Patriots t-shirt into my work outfit. Technically today is casual Friday, but I try to keep it classy casual. Not everyone does, but…whatevs. Today? I bent the rules a little so I could support my team. Loyalty is everything.

Pats13. Even my caffeine is cheering for my team! I have been saving this mug all week so I could use it today. And hopefully you guys will all see it again Monday. With an extra shot or two because I stayed up partying. Yes, indeed.

Pats44. And just in case I wasn’t excited enough – or maybe in case I get a case of panic or two, which, let’s face it, is entirely likely as I read article after article about the Legion of Boom – I brought my secret weapon. One of the Christmas gifts my sister Rhi gave me – my own private Patriots Bat-signal.

Pats2Pats3See, it looks like a pen…okay, maybe technically it is a pen. But pffft. I’m not going to actually use it as a pen. Nope. When I get really nervous, or I need our guys to rally, I press the button and the bat signal appears and then maybe I’m all “Na-na na-na na-na na-na, na-na na-na na-na na-na Patriots!” (Yes, I counted out the na-nas. Told you: 4:30 a.m.)

5. Maybe the best way to highlight for you just how nervous and excited and all-around stoked I am is this: Bee-girl, my football holdout, walked into the kitchen this morning after getting dressed and greeted me with a big smile and teasing lilt to her voice: “Just twooooo more days til the Superbowl, Mom!” If my anti-football girl is excited for me because of how excited I am, you know it’s a big deal. That girl doesn’t give two hoots for anything she doesn’t wanna.

This is big.

It will be epic.

And it’s going to take FOREVER before it’s here!

You guys go enjoy your Fridays. I’ll be over here playing with my Patriots Legos and watching the clock.

Quote of the Day: Superbowl Commercial Edition.

February 3, 2014

There were a few catchy ads last night: Ellen’s dancing, the Volkswagon engineers getting their wings, the dad saving all the kids, the Cheerios family was back (YOU ROCK, CHEERIOS!), and the T-Mobile commercial without Tim Tebow that played the song from Disney’s Robin Hood. You know – because they played the song.

But my favorite was Radio Shack declaring the 80s called and they wanted their store back. Awesomeness ensued. (Go peek at it here if you haven’t seen it.)

And then, of course, this happened:

Bee: I want the 80s to come to our house and do that!
Me: Me, too! Then we can lock the door and kidnap them and make them play!
Bee and Gracie:

Something tells me they just liked the hilarious destruction, not the 80s. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Kids just don’t understand.

Creepy bugs vs. deadly slime.

May 9, 2013

You’re heard about the imminent massive cicada invasion, yes? Every 17 years (or so), a giant swarm of cicadas – creepy giant buggies with massive wings and bulging red buggy eyes – descends upon the East Coast to make everyone scream and lie sleepless at night, wondering if that tickle was a bug or just their imagination. And when I say a giant swarm, I am not even kidding. We’re talking massive, massive numbers – people will be outnumbered 600-to-1. Millions and millions of bugs. Apocolyptic-type numbers. Numbers so big, they’re calling the event Brood II. (If that doesn’t have you picturing Mothra as the Wicked Witch cackling over her crystal ball, I don’t know what will.)

For once, I’m glad I don’t live on the East Coast.

Needless to say, Kim is rather squicked out.

Kim: Ew. There is a GIANT “brood” of cicadas getting ready to invade the east coast and i don’t live in a city!
Me: Dude. That is going to suck. But! Excellent photo ops! They don’t mention, however, whether they’ll be gone by August. [When I visit.]
Kim: They do not. National Geographic is going to help us brush up on some facts about cicadas. Hunh. They said that they taste like asparagus or clam-flavored potato, which begs the question: do clam-flavored potatoes taste like asparagus?
Me: Boil ’em, mash ’em, mix ’em with some clams. (But not bugs.)
Kim: Hahahah, that might be the best rendition of that ditty EVAH! Oh great. There are three species, and they all sing at DIFFERENT TIMES. You know, so there’s constnatly some buzz going on. They’ve been recorded to hit 93 decibels, which is louder than an airplane.
Me: That will help you stay up and read [NOS4A2]!!
Kim: I’m not reading creepy shit while we’re infested with creepy crawlies!
Me: THERE ARE NO BUGS! You will feel safer reading that book than you will watching Men In Black. Fact.
Kim: That’s a true fact. Why don’t i remember this from 17 years ago?
Me: I was thinking the same thing.
Kim: Did we not get invaded because it’s a city?? I was 13.
Me: Either it’s not as bad as the media is making it out to be (which, totally possible)…
Kim: So you were 16.
Me: Or, we’re too far north.
Me: Maybe only 30 million.
Kim: there are enough to line up to the moon and back. THREE. TIMES.
Me: Which one?

[Sidebar: There really are two moons. It’s a favorite in-joke since watching that episode of British comedy/quiz show Q.I., but they are not even lying – two moons. And here’s the clip.]

But! The point is that I was feeling all smug and stuff because my sister was going to have cicadas tangled in her hair and crunching underfoot and I wasn’t! Ha haaa! And then she sent me this…

Kim: DON’T let the girls touch any giant snails you find! [With this clip. Because, you know – I am allll about nature and being a cool mom, and, not knowing, I would not only let them touch the deathly meningitis snails, I would make them leashes to catch them as pets.]
Me: Holy shite! We’re being overrun by creepy crawlies! Creepy bugs or deathly slime? NOT the brackets I want!
Kim: At least mine don’t carry deadly brain diseases. Puts these cicadas into perspective (and an Alice in Wonderland-esque perspective, at that).

So there you have it folks. If the blog goes quiet for an extended period of time, maybe send some dudes in HAZMAT suits. Could be face-sucking, brain-eating slugs. Or maybe King Kong and Godzilla have climbed out of the ooze. Surely they’re next.