Butterfly Notebooks, Pancakes and Wobbly Teeth

Yesterday I was kvetching about going through my old writing– and then I found an old story-start that I’d abandoned. I’m going to lop off the last chapter, like a haircut to get rid of split ends. I am SO glad I did not make a bonfire out of anything.

It is taken from some of the frustrations of my own life, so maybe that’s why it resonates. But because it is borne from real frustration and not imagination, there is an urgency to it that I’ve been lacking in what I’ve been working on. When I reread my current project, it just feels so Made Up. Fabricated. I don’t want that. Now I wonder– do I try to save what I’ve been working on? Abandon it for a little while and reread it later? I’ve got nearly a hundred pages. But if it is dead in the water. . . And here is where I blow a colossal raspberry of frustration! TTTTTTHHHHPT!

I need a writing therapist. Do they make those? I need a therapist to tell me why I jump from notebook to notebook, like a butterfly from flower to flower.

The butterfly version of yours truly.

In other news, Iso has her first wobbly tooth! Yesterday afternoon she was maniacally ecstatic about it. Apparently, there is a great division in her first grade class. The Big Kids have missing teeth, and the Little Kids have all of their baby teeth– so Iso was happy to have finally joined the Big Kids. But at dinnertime, Iso bit into a piece of broccoli and her wobbly tooth hurt, and the romance was over. Stoic Mommy had to shred a tearful Iso’s shrimp into tiny pieces and slice the broccoli into slender treestalks. Oh, she absolutely dissolved. This morning she wanted pudding, but because she is her father’s daughter, she didn’t actually eat it. I don’t know what it is with this family, but I’m the only one who can eat pudding by the bucketful. So it was pancakes again.

Pancakes ala Isobel:

1 egg

1 cup milk

dash nutmeg

capful of vanilla extract

1 T. sugar


1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

dash salt

Mixmixmix– but not too much. You want it to be lumpy.

Add more milk, so that the batter is the consistency of heavy cream.


Drop by a 1/3 or 1/2  measuring cup into a heated, buttered pan. I use a generous amount of butter because I don’t smear butter on the pancakes afterwards– I like the taste of browned, sautéed butter much more!

Drizzle with maple syrup, naturally– although I prefer melted apricot jam. This recipe makes 4 large pancakes if you use the 1/2 cup ladle. You can use all kinds of flour, and can substitute baking soda– but then leave out the dash of salt. When I use all=purpose flour, I add two drops of red food coloring, and sprinkles. Then we have party pancakes. My kid eats a lot of pancakes. A. Lot.

I know I’ve shared this before, but I am listening to the new album and loving it. It is a different sound. And there is one song that reminds me of Agnes Baltsa’s Greek songs (HA! That is so unexpected.) and another song that reminds me of Jon Brion (the soundtracky sound of the music, not Simpson’s voice)– but because I don’t understand Danish very well at all, I don’t know which songs those are yet.

This album is a lot more instrumental, and I have to say I miss, a little bit, the simple intimacy of the previous album. But isn’t that the way with every new album, really, as somebody’s sound progresses? I remember when Elliott Smith’s Figure 8 came out, I liked it but it didn’t hold me the same way his earlier works did. Of course, now I love it all. Oh gosh, I’d better not compare the two too closely. I don’t want to jinx anything! I take it all back!

I wonder why I don’t like female singer songwriters in the same way. Are they too affected? Did I grow up with too many talkative women? I think it’s the latter. The sound of a female voice will always wake me up from a sound sleep. The sound of a male voice is much more calming. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? But there it is.


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