Countdown to in-law invasion: 18 hours, nine minutes. The house is clean, the baby has been instructed to not answer when asked what a duck says, and the dog has been washed, dried, and fluffed. Food has been purchased, dinner plans have been made, and two pop-out tubes of Grands! (how can you not love food with exclamation points?) are resting comfortably in the meat drawer of our fridge. We are ready.

We're actually fairly excited about the attack of the Philadelphians. It means we get to do touristy things that we really don't do now, since we've lived here for over a year and therefore should have done all of this by now. The planetarium, the Life & Science Museum, the beach (okay, we did the beach, but whatever) - good, clean, southern fun. If we could only justify a grain-filled watermelon* and a pantsless mule ride**, we'd be good.

* In case you didn't know, you can cut a hole in a watermelon and pour a bottle of grain into it, and make a delightful after-dinner aperitif that will burn holes through the side of a battleship. My sister and I MAY have done this once, leaving the remains in the fridge in our bedroom at my parents' house after summer vacation 1998. After completely melting the crisper drawer, it moved on through the floor and into the ground. We think it'll arrive in China any day now.

** Again with my sister - during my senior year of high school, we went on a camp-out with several of our best friends at someone's grandpa's farm. All these friends were male, and here's where my current buddy group starts freaking out: "You went camping with all boys? Were your parents high or what?" The answers to these questions are most likely yes. Anyway, after much beer and swimming (in a swimmin' hole, natch) Kate and I were persuaded to ride draft mules down a country highway, wearing only t-shirts and panties, in the middle of the night. Draft mules are large - like, special-bus large - and somewhat obstreporous, and explaining the situation to the policeman who PULLED OVER MY MULE ranks at least number three in my all-time most ridiculous moments. Someday I'll tell you the long version of this story, but you better go get drunk first.

Ergo, we will probably not be having these kinds of country fun with the in-laws. But oh, if we could.

In other news:

  • My parents sold their house after one year, one month, and three days of having it on the market. They've since stopped speaking actual words, and are now communicating only in "Woo-hoos!" and wild applause.
  • Norah said "Bella" today, in reference to my friend Jasmine's stunning marshmallow-armed baby girl. She also added "gonk," which I think is "junk," in reference to her mother's swearing about ALL THE DAMNED JUNK IN THIS CLOSET, SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS ALL THIS AND WILL THE WORLD END IF I THROW IT AWAY?
  • She also learned to lick her lips before blowing raspberries on my stomach, which improves her cheek-flapping remarkably.
  • My Mr. Stripey tomato plant has now reached the astonishing height of seven feet, three inches - and still has no flowers (anyone with a tip on that one, do let me know).
  • And I have attained the rank of Medium in the Target pants department.
Good vibes, man. Good vibes for a long week.


  1. Good luck with the inlaws and congrats on the size 16. If the pantsless mule episode was #3 on the lsit of most ridiculous situations, I hope I wasn't around for #1 or #2.

  2. Good luck with the inlaws and congrats on the size 16. If the pantsless mule episode was #3 on the lsit of most ridiculous situations, I hope I wasn't around for #1 or #2.

  3. Size 16, NOTHIN', sister - I am a shiny happy TEN-TWELVE. And you know you were. :)

  4. OK, simply the hint of a drunken naked mule story made my day. Details, please! I promise I'll get drunk!

    Also: I still can't believe Norah is talking. And she says such cute things!

  5. Just so the world will know that others are aware of the alcoholic watermelon snack, there was a story of a certain Russian roommate of mine and another crew member having this treat. The end result was sticky watermelon juice all over the floor and a rumored picture of the two of them with the melon rinds on their heads. I would pay a lot to get a copy of that photo!