Concerts from the edge

I didn’t mean to disappear, like that, but I came down with an extreme case of Chickenwithitsheadcutoffitis. It’s not fatal—thankfully—but does cause me to talk to inanimate objects. Example: This morning as I brewed up a nice, big pot of turkey brine (mmmm, briny!) on one side of me while throwing cranberries into my food processor on the other side, I asked the brine how it was doing. To be more precise, I said: “How are you doing, brine?” My father is slightly hard of hearing, but from his vantage point at the kitchen table he wanted to know who Brian was and why I was talking to him.

With anyone else I suppose that would’ve been awkward. But with Dad it was more like, “I’m chatting with the brine. OBVIOUSLY.” And he nodded and went back to what he was doing.

Then again, I’m pretty sure the menfolk have already been sent to the store or on various other errands four or five times in the last day and a half, so he was probably just relieved I wasn’t going, “DAMMIT! I forgot the [fill in the blank with some ingredient here]!” I never realized that men require other men to go to the grocery store, but I guess Publix and husbands turns out to sort of be like women and bar bathrooms.

(Granted, not the most appetizing analogy as I embark on Thanksgiving dinner preparations. Whoops. Sorry about that.) (Also, listen: I have NEVER gone into a bar bathroom with a girlfriend and emerged with a couple of pineapples. So there’s that.)

Anyway, as I was saying (or maybe just thinking, or maybe I discussed it with the turkey brine…?), why spend this week visiting with my folks and cooking a big meal when instead I could spend this week visiting with my folks, cooking a big meal, and baking cookies and going to IEP meetings and taking delivery on that new bed (hey, it showed up early) which turned out to be damaged. FUN!

I’m pleased to report that apparently I make the world’s greatest cookies, because the recent IEP meeting was, to my mind, a success. Now, it’s only the front end of the battle; they could still fail to deliver what they promised, in other words, but what they promised was more than we expected. So that was huge. On the other hand, we still want some things they seem reluctant to provide, but we’ll see.

[About the broken public school system: There’s federal regulations, and then there’s state regulations, and then there’s county regulations. Federal is supposed to trump all, but that’s, unfortunately, not always how it works. So the particular dysfunction we’re wrangling here results in things like being told that probably Monkey won’t qualify for Occupational Therapy according to their guidelines, but on the other hand, they’d be happy to have the school buy him a laptop and typing software and allow him to forgo most handwriting requirements because they’re so problematic for him. So, no, we don’t agree there’s an underlying problem, you see, but we’d be more than happy to give you everything you need to work AROUND that thing we’re not acknowledging is a problem!]

That took up some time and some brain space. Plus there was a thing at school… some sort of parade, I think. I don’t know. I show up and wave at my kid as directed.

Plus Chickadee’s science experiment has somehow emigrated to my bathroom, which is a whole ‘nother story, but she promises me that it’s only temporary, and that it’s only producing a LITTLE bacteria.

Licorice has been wandering through the fray making sad eyes at anyone willing to listen to her sad plight, namely that no one ever feeds her or loves her, and if only you, kind sir, could spare a few bites of chicken and some ear rubbing, or perhaps even offer up a snuggle and a nap, she would be ever so grateful, truly.

Then we found out the bed that was supposed to come next week was coming early, which YAY because it means the bed is here and I no longer have to worry about my guests potentially wrecking their backs on the old bed. On the other hand, the boxspring was all ripped and the delivery guys were all, “Oh. Man. We didn’t know.” And then I had to call the store and tell them that bed surgery was not on my pre-Thanksgiving To Do List, so that was an interesting detour. (End result: $100 credit, and my hero of a husband wielded his staple gun with precision. What a guy.)

While we’ve been trying to deal with all of these things AND get the cooking underway (if I don’t take care of enough of the cooking today, tomorrow I’ll be snappy and unpleasant instead of actually thankful), the children took my stepmom over to their piano lessons and borrowed a bunch of music from the piano teacher so that they could do duets and trios. That’s turned the upstairs into one continuous jam session, if indeed you can call two people on the piano and one of the flute slowly playing Frère Jacques at half-speed “jamming.”

Even if you are inclined NOT to call it that, I feel compelled to point out that we were told a concert is upcoming, and then after some stomping around up there I caught a glimpse of my son in jeans, a giant t-shirt down to his knees, a backwards baseball cap, and some “bling” necklaces. So apparently this concert will be a lot more hip(hop) than I anticipated.

After the concert: Pie-baking. And then (I’m told) perhaps another concert. It’s a pretty full day, is my point.

It is VERY LOUD in my house this week. There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it in. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here’s hoping that you and yours are enjoying each other this week, too.


  1. Em

    May every Thanksgiving of your life be as full (well, ALMOST as full, maybe just a smidge less full but only of the extra nuisance stuff and not of the love and the family and the food and the $100 credits).

    I think I missed my calling as a toastmaster. Oh well. Happy Thanksgiving to my favorite blogger, her family and Brian :-)

  2. Mare

    I’m lazy as a sunny day. I ditto what Em says. I truly enjoy reading about your family’s antics. It makes mine seem normal because we are so much like you.

    May your Thanks be many, your giving be blessed, and your Holiday be filled with the joy that only family can bring along in their suitcases.

  3. Beth R

    I’m glad to hear that the guests and kids took my suggestion and decided to entertain you!

    Enjoy the loving chaos :)

  4. ChristieNY

    “Happy Thanksgiving to my favorite blogger, her family and Brian :-)”

    Em you just made me snort! LOL

    Mir, you’re awesome! Thank you for letting us peek into the inner workings of the MirOtto Residence, helping us all feel a little more “normal” (Hi Brian!) and take a break from our own crazy lives to visit your little piece of wonderful… it’s always a pleasure. Happy Turkey Day!

  5. Laura

    it’s just heartwarming to know the day of thankfulness is preceded by a day of CRAZYness at your house too.

    Love your blog, love your family, love your dog and I even have enough love for Brian too.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. natasha the exile on Mom Street

    I love you. You know I love you.

    But today, I’m particularly loving your other commenters. I needed that chuckle right before I send my husband to Publix. Again. Poor man has no other man to drag with him since my parents have not yet arrived.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and especially to Brian. May he be salty and flavorful for many hours to come.

  7. Anna Marie

    Happy Thanksgiving to Mir, her family and Brian!

  8. Jamie

    You really need to take pictures, or even video, of the concert(s). They sound priceless! Our excitement for the long weekend, at least to the kids, is that we’re bunny sitting. Trying to keep them from chasing her around the house, when they just feel like they’re walking towards her is growing difficult. Happy Thanksgiving Mir and family!

  9. Crista

    Happy Day of Giving Thanks to Mrs. Otto, her family, and of course Brian :D. You know you were setting yourself up for this, right? ;)

  10. Leila

    It’s a gas hear (misspelled purposely).

    Natasha’s hopeful wish for Brian is both touching and brilliant.
    I have often wished for nothing more for myself.

    Happy holiday to Mir’s minions. You have always entertained and made me smile.

  11. Leila

    Oops! Comment 10 is from dad, not Leila.

  12. Helloheather

    Your piano is…upstairs? That’s commitment!

  13. Sharon

    Mir, thanks for sharing your loving chaos. All quiet here as grown children are arriving later tonight and tomorrow. Miss the days of all of us under one roof. Enjoy some fun for me. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  14. annette

    I obviously am in need of sleep. It took me waaaaaay too long to figure out the Brian in the comments section after just reading your post. I think i will go to the public school and get a laptop….

    I’m glad the IEP is progressing!

    Have a very blessed Thanksgiving! I hope Brian tastes as well as he listens:)

  15. mom, again, again

    we did thanksgiving two weeks ago, before Mum-in-law went home to England. Thus freeing my married daughter to go to her in-laws tomorrow. She’s just passed on an invite to share the whole meal, or at least dessert at their house tomorrow.

    Since we moved back from England ourselves about 2 weeks before the wedding, and have only seen them at the rehearsal and the wedding itself. Oh, plus, the female half of the wedding party dressed at their house, so I’ve spent a large amount of time in the privacy of their bedroom. Other than THAT, this will be our first time meeting them.

    (I have no idea where the groom, his dad, and his men dressed since it wasn’t at their house! also, I’d not spared a moment to ponder this until now. Maybe they went to Brian’s.)

  16. Nicki

    Know that your blog is one of the things I’m thankful for. I feel your pain. And I’m so glad my Thanksgiving is over…and I only have to provide back-up to my friend and her family.

    When this is all over, you have earned some quality Licorice and the couch time.

  17. Brigitte

    I’m thankful this year that I’ve delegated everything but turkey, rolls and gravy. I’ll be able to sit back and relax! Well, maybe after a little wine. ;-)

    Happt Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  18. Debra

    Congrats on the IEP meeting. Monkey sounds a lot like my son with the writing issues. The schools would do NOTHING. It was horrendous and he suffered greatly. Thank goodness he’s out of that now and in college. Much easier for him.

  19. Linda

    It sounds like your son is dysgraphic. Dyslexia is trouble with reading, dysgraphia is trouble with writing. My son was dysgraphic pre-laptops. It would have made his life in school so much easier and spell-checking would have helped him even more. English is so hard to spell correctly for a lot of people.

  20. Katie in MA

    That sounds fantastically fun. :) I hope with all that going on that there was plenty of wine for you. (Then again, maybe that’s why you were talking to the brine.)

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