Early last summer, Milo begged and begged us to let him get a pet. While the true wish was for a rabbit, we decided that would be unwise, given the track record of our Jack Russell Terrier (who has murdered countless squirrels, rabbits, birds, moles, mice, etc. in her 14 years. Gruesome, I know). We decided on fire-bellied toads, which are actually frogs that just look like toads because of their bumpy skin.

These three guys have proven very easy to care for, requiring only the daily live cricket or two, or even the occasional house fly, plenty of aquatic greenery to make them happy, and a clean habitat (partially aquatic, partially land). Indeed, they may last us ten more years! Milo and I enjoyed catching live crickets in our back yard last summer, along with small earthworms to feed them. Plus, the males make the prettiest sound when they are content that resembles a little ringing bell!

The bright green guy above is aptly named “Insano” for his erratic behavior, particularly his habit of jumping at your face if you come close to the glass, obviously instigating lots of giggles! They are pretty cool, and add a natural, calming element to the boys’ bedroom with the constant sound of trickling water and toad calls. If you’re in the market for an easy-to-care for pet, fire-bellied toads are a great choice!



The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

I read this in one day. It was so good, so captivating, I could not put it down! The story is dark and bleak, set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with grey, dusty air and a burnt-out landscape (while the catastrophe is unnamed, one gathers that it may be nuclear war that caused such destruction — with no green in sight, dirty toxic air and water, no animals or fresh food to speak of), and at the beginning of the book, I found it difficult to get over the depressing nature of the story. But something happened along the way, as I read about the father and his young son trying desperately to survive the elements and living meal-to-meal while dodging danger everywhere; I began to see the small details with a touched and open heart. The small kindnesses, particularly from the perspective of the young boy, gave beauty and light to the bleak story.

This was an amazing book that has stuck with me and even entered my dreams since I finished it a week ago.

Dress That Mama: Cinnamon



What I wore to the ballet on Saturday: a cinnamon colored dress Andrew surprised me with as an early anniversary present, my trusty clogs, and my vintage Edwardian blouse (it was chilly once the sun went down). It was the perfect dress for the occasion!


And a good timeless color, don’t you think? Thank you, love, for the dress and the night!

Weekend Shenanigans


What a beautiful spring weekend! We spent it amongst friends and flowers, celebrating birthdays aplenty, and loads of outdoor time in the wind and sun. We start our week with full hearts and tired bodies! DSC_0128DSC_0131DSC_0134DSC_0137DSC_0155


Andrew just barely made it home from a trip in time to see the full ballet of Swan Lake with me on Saturday night. We had planned for a big night out on the town with dinner and then the ballet, but his flight was delayed over and over again, until it looked like the whole night was a bust. But then, at seemingly the last minute, he was able to catch a flight home just in time for the ballet! I picked him up from the airport all gussied up and we drove straight to the Touhill for the show. Whew! We made it in time, it was a beautiful performance, and I awoke Sunday morning from dreams of dancing and colors of whites and blues. It was so inspiring to see those artists/athletes and how hard they work to bring beauty to the world.


Happy Monday!