On Christmas morning my family stood looking out onto the deck where my father, in full personal protective regalia, opened a gift for my mother. After shedding the wrapping, he held two beautifully woven wreathes up at arms length and smiled proudly.
These wreaths were handcrafted by Dad D. When out at Cape Cod this fall he picked some vines from the yard and skillfully wove them into two ~14inch (~350mm) diameter wreaths. Shortly thereafter, he learned that there was something special about this present. Those vines were poison ivy vines.
Dad D’s hands and wrists broke into hives shortly after constructing the wreaths. At first, he didn’t suspect anything bad but after his second instance of handling, and the accompanying itchy rashes, he suspected the worst.
And now the wreaths hang, beautifully dangerous, far enough from the path to prevent accidental touching. Twas a Christmas to remember!
For blogging in the year 2012, I award upon myself an insignificant 2 stars.
I shamelessly blame this unfortunate performance on a huge upswing of fun things in my life that have pushed blogging into the deep bowels of my priority list. Still, there are musings that wish to be shared and adventure stories craving public release, so I find myself here again. Hopefully you weathered the drought.
First and foremost, I am proud to announce with great jubilee that my sister Alicia is expecting a child (trumpet flares! fireworks! parades! ewok celebration!). The schedule, which I’m told is fairly refined, suggests the arrival of our new family member in late May or early June.
While the child will likely be named something mostly normal like Amber or William or Stacy or Christopher… my sister and I have been going back and forth with more exciting names just for kicks.
The best two so far have been:
Which do you prefer?
Obviously, if you have recommendations of your own you are welcome to suggest them. I hold hope that if we come up with a name that perfectly blends comedy and sophistication, my sister and her husband will have no choice but to adopt it. And the child will be destined for success from the onset.
Congratulations Alicia and Dwane!
This weekend I went out to breakfast with Jen and my folks at the Todd English restaurant in the Mohegan Sun Casino. After eating, Mom D and I decided to try our luck at gambling.
Mom D left 13 cents richer. I couldn’t figure out how to get my money into the machine, got annoyed and promptly gave up.
Last night I FaceTimed my folks to chat. My Dad was in the middle of making himself a sardine and mustard sandwich. He lamented that his sardine sandwich yesterday just wasn’t as good because he’d made it on wheat bread.
Let me retype that sentence to really drive it home:
“He lamented that his sardine sandwich yesterday just wasn’t as good because he’d made it on wheat bread.”
I submit to you that perhaps it was not the wheat but instead the sardines that caused the sandwich to suffer. Really, this seems like the logical conclusion to me.
All this commotion of sardines brought my mother into the room. She looked at the sandwich and after making the international sign for vomiting (twice) she commented on how it’s better to watch a gross sandwich in the making than to build one herself.
Which brings me to the meat of this post. Especially with Mother’s day fast approaching, it’s worthwhile to pause and appreciate Mom D for the huge amount of lunches she’s made for my sisters, my dad, and me. Everyday of my youth there was a little brown paper bag with a sandwich, juice box, fruit, and dessert waiting for me on the counter (sometimes with extra hand drawn comic strips on post-it notes detailing the adventures of SuperPig). So how many lunches did my mom actually make for us?
In my hometown, there are 180 days in a school year. Assuming that we probably had field trips, special lunches, or school treats for ~10 days per year this equates to 170 lunches/kid/year. For 12 years of school and three kids that’s 6120 lunches. Adding in Dad D, who was also a benefactor for the same period of time, increases the total by 3920. But Dad D also received lunches when us kids were not attending school. If we were to add in another 15 years (assuming 245 work days per year (that’s 49weeks*5days)) we can include an additional 3675 lunches.
Mom D has single-handedly made 13,715 lunches.
Thirteen Thousand Seven Hundred Fifteen Lunches
None for herself
And in all honesty, it’s probably closer to 14 or 15k.
Mom D wins the ultimate dedication award. Thanks Mom D!
We take a break from the regularly scheduled photographs for an extremely hilarious and awesome news announcement.
My dear sister Theresa has been chosen as one of the ten finalists by stoney field yogurt for her extremely cheesy yogurt poem. If she wins, her words will be printed on the yogurt container this December.
Friends. If ever there was something to believe in, it was the words of a DiDonato printed on yogurt containers. Not only that, Theresa wins a year of free yogurt. Comedic gold right there.
But… we need your votes.
HELP THERESA WIN A YEAR OF YOGURT
If that tagline alone isn’t worth a few seconds to place a vote, then I don’t know what is. Seriously. Let’s make this happen.
All the finalists are here
Right now Theresa’s in second place. Team D… Let’s bring her to the top!!!
It’s 9pm on a Sunday. I call Mom D. to catch up.
ring… ring… ring… ring…
Mom D: (distracted) hello?
Mike D: (thinking I may have woken Mom D up.) Hey Mom, it’s Mike!
Mom D: Oh, Hi Mike! I’m on a steamboat.
I’m going to just put it out there: I’m pretty terrible when it comes to timely gifts. Holidays come and go so quickly – and I’ll find I miss someone here, someone else there. I was behind on two presents for my sister Alicia, and the same for my sister Theresa. Both parents were back at least one present, more if you start digging through the historic archives of my youth.
I decided to redeem myself this year with iPad 2s for everybody. After months of planning, this weekend was the great unveiling – conveniently coinciding with Mother’s Day.
In order to maintain the highest level of secrecy I had to enlist the help of my brother in-law Dwane and Theresa’s boyfriend Pat. I mailed the iPads to them, and then asked for their help in setting up the new gadgets – I would personally deliver the final iPad to my parents. Alicia was the first to receive hers (last weekend) – which was very lucky because hers was the most technically challenging. It turns out she runs Mac OS 9 – This Operating System is not compatible with iPads. So sadly, she had to buy a new operating system. Lame. Still, Alicia was super excited and for a full week sent me constant Angry Birds updates.
Theresa received hers next on Saturday morning. Her reaction was a hilarious combination of laughter and confusion. Special thanks to Pat for an epic reveal. “Whose iPad is this?!?” she asked through incessant giggles.
Finally, came the grand moment of letting my folks open their iPad2. I got Alicia and Theresa to connect to my parent’s and my iPad via FaceTime. I then wrapped up the iPads so that upon opening them, my parents would be greeted with the faces of my sisters. Ha ha!
My parents opened the present and laughed, and then suddenly got really confused.
“Wait, is this LIVE?” Mom D exclaimed, “What is this?!?”
My Mom and Dad seemed pretty excited once they learned that these were not some unusual video picture frame device, but instead a super sweet technological wonder.
(fun update: if you look carefully, you can see me in my orange t-shirt taking the picture in the ‘self-view’ window on the iPad my mom is holding – it’s a full family photo! even if Theresa is being blocked by some fingers)
I hope that these will help my family keep in closer contact through FaceTime and help us all be more productive and more knowledgable through great apps. But really, they may just result in a lot more family conversations about the best angle to slingshot furious feathered fowl.
Readers! Join me in celebrating my sister Theresa!
It is her Birthday today. She is an awesome sister.
Happy Birthday Theresa!!!