Mark gave me a digital SLR for my birthday and I have been having a blast with it. It reminds me a bit of when I was first home with Zoe when she was a baby and all I did was take pictures of her and the dog. At least now I’m not running out to get film developed all the time!

Here are a few favorite photos so far as I get used to my new camera (with the requisite dog photo, of course)…
ramona and josiedad and henrydaisyellie laughingvera lucy and zoemom and dadmom and ikehandsome husbandzoe

pleasant news

Does one really have a “pleasant visit” with one’s oncologist? Well, I think we just did.

Mark and I met Dr. Campbell after 6 p.m. this evening (the man works looong hours). The CAT scan I had last week was reported by the radiologist as “stable.” Dr. Campbell pulled up a few old reports and the nodule that they measure has actually decreased in size over time. So, very pleasant news all around. Stable is good. Slowly getting smaller is even better.

I’m hoping to be able to stay on this chemotherapy for a good long time. And I’m planning to have a pleasant evening to go along with our pleasant doctor visit and our pleasant news.

15 years ago to the day,

I was minding my own business at Jane’s house. We had been celebrating that she passed her nursing exams. I was ready to go home when Paul La Grand caught me on the front walk. Someone was coming over and I, in Paul’s words, needed to be nice to him.

And Paul wasn’t kidding. Right behind him coming up to the house were four guys who had apparently just played a gig. The one I was supposed to be nice to was wearing a chambray shirt and white jeans (please, forgive a hipster, it was 1994!) and a baseball cap. When I pointed him out to my brother that I was supposed to meet him tonight, Chris said, “the one who looks like he’s twelve?” Yep. That was him.

We ended up meeting shortly after Chris’ comment. Parked ourselves on the north-facing front porch, and stayed up talking so long we ended up watching the sunrise. Because, you know, facing north on an urban front porch is perfect for that.

Paul’s brief foray into the match-making business that night was highly successful. Fifteen years later Mark and I have our own north-facing front porch. And I like to think that I’m nice to him. And though he couldn’t pass for twelve anymore, he still looks way young to me.

Happy anniversary, honester, best friend, gentle keeper of my heart.

P.S. Here’s what we looked like three years after that initial meeting (Jamie’s photo from Jane and his rehearsal dinner).us later

keep your friends close…

and your family closer.the Tells

In May, my hilarious cousin Mary and her charming husband Dave set up housekeeping across the street from us. The house was quickly becoming a neighborhood blight. Boarded windows. Yard full of three years’ worth of oak leaves. Mark and I were becoming fretful.

Then in swooped Mary and Dave. They poached our contractor, plying him with their lack of interior plumbing and quarter round jokes, and whipped the house into impeccable shape in less than two months. Mark and I are in awe.

We are seriously considering a contractual agreement with our other neighbors so that they don’t toss us over in favor of the younger, cuter, funnier, hipper neighbors across the street. Too bad Mary’s 2 weeks away from becoming a lawyer, or I’d have drawn up the paperwork already.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Mary and Dave. Oh, and Daisy’s new friend: Pacman!