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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"It Had to Be Said"

This morning I helped out at the elementary school library again. Punchy's class wasn't there--I think they go once a month on average--but a fourth-grade class was, and I loved checking out their picks....the true story of a shipwreck, one of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books and North Carolina, a slim hardback all about that state.

The children line up, waiting for "Mrs. Hurley" to type in the bar code [the electronic scanner is on the blink] and stamp the due date. They wear jeans, speak politely--they have to tell me their first and last names so I can look them up and see if they have outstanding books--and some of the girls have cute hairdos. I looked at some of them, ponytails and hair ties aside, and remembered Moey and me as fourth graders....we loved reading, too. Every library book was, and is, a gift, on loan from the gods. Something that took us to other worlds. We had square, light blue library cards, very official, for the Dixon Homestead Library on Washington Avenue in Dumont.

I can't help talking to the kids about their choices, affirming their taste [Oh, I've listened to Lemony Snicket on tape, have you?] and saying things like Do you like to read? I love to read. I wish I had more time for it. After all, I only have a minute to interact with each one. But I try to connect in a positive way and with a direct glance. I like to see them, to peek into their little selves. Notice them.

I shouldn't divulge personal details but at one point, a little lad was acting up and made a funny comment during a group reading session. The very patient literacy specialist, who is also in charge of the library, asked him to stop interrupting.

It had to be said, he replied.

This has to be said, as I sit in Java Love on Church Street. I realized today that it might tap your patience to be reading my daily $ MONEY OUT OF POCKET lists. I'm not frugal, I know.

I thank you for reading it.

It reminds me of when I went to the pretty brunette nutritionist based in my doctor's office on the Upper East Side. At the first visit, she gave me a food tracking sheet and asked me to write down everything I ate for a week, until we met again. At that point, she would review it and make suggestions, set up an eating plan, with snack suggestions and all. But that first week, that was an account of the pizza, the pasta, the absence of veggies and fruit....

So what you are seeing now is the extended version of my first week record, but with money, not food. And this may take a while.

I do think that by seeing it, I am able to be more aware.

Signing off from inside Java. I feel like I'm sitting in a little snow globe, flakes swirling outside.

  • Blue Mercury beauty store. My friend Rachael has been telling me for a while about Laura Mercier Lip GlacĂ© in "Sparkling." She said it looks great over or without lipstick. We both like fashion, beauty and food. She is a health coach! $27 plus tax. $28.79.
  • Cafe Giotto on Church Street at 1 p.m. after eating a banana for bkfst on drive to school, depositing Punch and helping in library from 9:30 to 12:30. Freshly made, lunch-size gnocchi Bolognese, yum, $15.50, plus jar of La Carmela I Filetti tomatoes imported from Italy, $5.50. I love the little pantry at the cafe. Plan to use tomatoes to make eggplant dinner tonight or tomorrow. $22.39 w tax. $3 tip. Because I knew I would be posting here, I resisted the jar of imported avocado spread, which looked good. My blog readers were looking over my shoulder, crowding into that tiny corner pantry, as I picked the jar up and put it back. $25.39.
  • Across the street to Java Love, where I had earned a free beverage [after purchasing 10]. Got a large decaf coffee and slender, crunchy chocolate espresso biscotti. $2.08 plus 92 cents for tip jar. $3.
  • This was definitely a mistake, throwing money to the wind: When I was walking to parking garage, realized I only had cash, 2 twenties, and did not want to get a ton of those dollar coins back from the payment machine. So I stopped in Chocolate Works, right across the street, to break a twenty. Got some loose candy by the pound, a few Swedish Fish, etc. to share with Punch. True waste of money for meager amount--and worse yet, when I did put a ten into the machine, it spit out paper bills in change. So now I know. $4.41*.
  • Prices increased, not good--municipal parking garage for 3 hours and 15 min., but got charged for 4 hours. I guess they round up. $8.
  • After therapy with Punch, she loves Little Bear Poke, right nearby. It's pricey but as I've said, she often eats nothing all day due to ADHD meds for school. Little Bear is very fresh, good and sustainably sourced. We both ate dinner here, and she even got a second crispy rice bowl with spicy tuna to have for lunch tomorrow. [She's hoping school will be closed due to bitter cold. Stranger things have happened.] I had a salmon/brown rice bowl, delicious. The "we miss you" email with 20 percent coupon code shaved bill down to $26.30 + jar tip, $28. Then Mini Miss asked for green tea Bing Bing cone snacks [made in Korea], 3 for $1.50., to share w a friend. Tax, a dime. So $29.60.
TOTAL: $99.19

*Turns out Punchy doesn't even like giant gummy blue sharks and chocolate-dipped Swedish Fish. It was a lose-lose spend all around.


  1. It’s your blog, your voice about your life, pls don’t change it at all! Also laughing because I have spent huge money this month - refinished floors, recarpeted a room, new blinds, a new area rug, a new light. Crazy busy with month end goals and leaving town today for Will’s grad. I like the snow globe feeling too!

  2. Love your tracking of money. Inspired partly by you, I went over the 35 days of the shutdown, every item I bought, and even though I thought I was trying to keep it down, it's disturbingly high. My weaknesses aren't yours, but I still have weaknesses. I've got to get this back into control before I retire. So we're in this together.


    1. Thanks, Ladies. Mochi still missing and starting with that and ballooning, I'm having a rotten day. Trying to spin it on its end. o

  3. I'll say it again … you're such a good mommy. I love that you volunteer at the library. It was one volunteer gig at my kids' school that I never got around to trying … and then I came back to work and can't do it anymore.

    The librarian when James started school was a gorgeous, warm, friendly blonde. The second she met me, she remarked upon James and how he loved to read. It was true, and she made me feel so special. Of course, she talked like that to all the moms, but I have gotten to know her over the years, and I truly believe that she knew all our kids and all their tastes. Amazing!

    She has since retired, but this year, she came back and made a ton of costumes for the school play, just out of the goodness of her heart.

  4. Hi Eileen.....yes, the library is pretty good....your librarian sounds like a dream....I appreciate your support as I'm feeling very worn down, not sure I have this in me.....rough times. love Alice