Friday, December 02, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday

Ah, Friday and 7 Quick Takes. Sometimes it's the only thing that gets me to blog.

1. After years of worrying about it, on Monday we are having the two biggest trees in our yard removed. One is an enormous maple that has been slowly dying since before we moved in. The dead branches now occupy the top fifteen feet of the tree, and when it finally falls, it could easily take out our roof. The other condemned tree is a spruce. It is about 80 years old, and was planted simultaneously with four other spruces on the street. Three of those spruces have fallen in the last two years - one of them on our house. We would prefer not to experience that again.

My six year old is very sad that the trees are coming down. I told her it was okay to be sad, because sometimes, when we have known trees for a long time, they become our friends. She whimpers and sucks her thumb whenever their coming execution is mentioned, but she is trying to be brave.

2. My planned overnight solo road trip is next week. Currently my plan is to visit Shaker Village in Kentucky, but I'm still keeping it impulsive, so that may change. I am excited and anxious. I am trying not to sourly exult that OH YES, HUSBAND, you WILL see what it's like to get the kids to school on your own. I am also trying not to plan What I Will Blog About On My Trip, because it's supposed to be about solitude and rest. When I imagined where I might go, I kept rejecting possible visits to friends by saying to myself, "Oh, they don't want to see me. They want to see the kids."

My reluctance to see myself as a person of intrinsic interest is why the husband thinks I need this trip.

(It may also be why I don't post often on the blog.)

3. I have been mulling over whether or not to blog under my real name. I have been using Veronica Mitchell in one format or another for so long, it feels like a part of me. I would not be willing to blog so honestly about my experience of motherhood without my pseudonym. But currently, facebook and Google have policies against pseudonyms, and those policies may be expanded in the future (If you want to read more about the issues involved, try here or here). I am still writing my novels, and if I want readers of my blog to someday read them, it does not make sense to build a readership for Veronica Mitchell if that identity could be shut down without warning. If Salman Rushdie has trouble calling himself Salman Rushdie, then Veronica Mitchell hasn't a chance.

4. We made s'mores with the kids last night. We do this about twice a year. S'mores are my way of feeling like a good mom. My mother never let us make s'mores at home because they were a bother and a mess. We only got to make them while camping, so they are steeped in romanticism for me. S'mores are the special, the unattainable, the taste of campfires and best friends.

Last night, eating a s'more with my delighted daughters, I realized: I don't actually like the way they taste.


5. " If each of us spent just $64 on American made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new jobs." Hmm. Sounds good to me. Are you in?

6. The Last Detective is now on Netflix streaming video. I spent a month - twice! - waiting for each disc of this series to arrive in the mail so I could see the next episode. I loved it so much. It has my favorite feature of a mystery series: a man who is beaten down by the world but still trying to do the right thing. Watch it. You won't be sorry.

7. Last night I dreamed that I was in a horse-drawn wagon, and the children were squirming around me, trying to find a comfortable spot where they could each sleep on me. Then our alarm clock went off. Two snooze buttons later, my children were in my bed, squirming around me, trying to find a comfortable spot where they could each sleep on me.

The secret to premonitory dreaming may be to have a very repetitive life. Or lots of kids.




  1. Would it give your child comfort if, once the trees come down you say, "LOOK! No more trees! It's like we live in the suburbs!" Or is this a comment that only I find amusing.

    Doing sh*t that bothers Facebook gives me immense happiness. It's why I dump my cookies all the time and never stay logged into their site. I only recently realized that your full name is not Veronica Mitchell. I can't imagine you by any other name.

    Enjoy your solo adventure!

  2. Nan, my sister lives in one of the only suburbs of Dallas that has trees, and she says if she tried to cut one down, neighbors might chain themselves to it. But I live in Cincinnati, and once we cut down these two trees, our "yard" will still have hundred or so left. We basically live on a wooded cliff. Our neighbors will only be relieved. My next-door neighbor fell this week while cleaning his gutters, and he plans to sit on his porch and watch the tree removal. It will be his entertainment while recovering from his fractured skull, shoulder and rib.

  3. Is it a bad idea to publish your book(s) under your pen name? Keep your devoted readership, keep your pseudo-anonymity. I admit that I have no professional or personal experience with this, so take that with a grain of salt.

  4. I wish I had been smarter in picking a pseudonym. I should have gone with a "real" name, as you did, but I didn't know what I didn't know when I wrote my first post.