September 30, 2010

My Little Bibliophile Pony

This toy was confiscated two nights ago.
You know why? I'll give you a hint. Someone was staying up late reading and that star underneath her necklace causes little LED lights to flash on her cape and in her horn when you push it.

September 27, 2010

Apple Picking

A family from church invited us to pick apples from a friend of a friend's tree (I love how that works in Indiana). The temperature dropped. It's crispy cool here now. And the apples were, too. J and their boys climbed 20 feet up, to get the juicy, bug free specimens. The girls had so much fun, and ate so many apples. It couldn't be helped.

So now we have two of those blue baskets on our front porch waiting for someone to make apple something out of them. Sauce, butter, jelly, juice? What would you do?

September 25, 2010

Indiana, Au Naturale

Last weekend our friends showed us Natural Indiana. Which is a lot different from what you see traveling to and fro. That would be Farming Indiana (soybeans or corn, take your pick). Nature in Indiana has streams, rocks, neato fossils and crinoids, and pawpaws (just like Baloo. And they are scrumdidliumcious).

I like Nature Indiana. It's beautiful. It's close. It's not incredibly prolific, but it will have to do for now. And if we can find some more of those pawpaws, I shall like it even more.

September 23, 2010


Right this second, Jesse is interviewing (by telephone) with a school in New Zealand. For whatever reason, I think it's hilarious that there is the vague possibility that we might go there. We really need a gypsy wagon.

It was 94 degrees here today. It looks like autumn is coming tomorrow or the next day. Maybe next week? I was so depressed by the heat, I looked at the weather in Maine. Perfect fall temperatures. Highs in the 60's, low 70's. Lows in the 40's. We are trying hard not to miss Maine. It's not working especially well.

We have been working especially hard with Mermaid in math. She has math anxiety. She's actually pretty good at it, just needs to gain confidence. Monkey wants to learn math, too. She's eerily quick. Sometimes, she makes me nervous.

Last week, we went on a bike ride. The bike path follows a narrow wood to the creek. The kids could almost wade across. We hear people kayak and canoe down the creek. I am a little suspicious.

September 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Tutu

Today is my Tutu's 85th birthday. She is one of my favorite people. I got to spend a lot of time with her when I was in college. I would ride the bus to her place where she would feed me (she is an AMAZING cook), give me great advice, and make me feel completely at home. She loves to talk story. And she has a great way of tilting her head and getting conspiratorial when the talk gets juicy. She made an amazing life for her family. Tutu gave me her love of creating, cooking, and her amazing practically wrinkle free skin (bless her for those fabulous genes). I wish I could come celebrate and plant a kiss on her cheek. I love you, Tutu.

And thanks for flying from Hawaii to DC when I was born.

September 17, 2010

Funny Friday

Totally made my day. I was completely busting up. If you're not into bleeped f-bombs, then give it a skip. But if you're an snl fan/Jack Johnson fan, so funny. Made me think "I guess he really did go to Kahuku."

Good for the Soul

Sometimes I think that Indiana might suck my soul out. I feel like my sense of fun and humor is trickling from me like a slow leak. Then something amazing happens. Like...

A man with a sidearm, a fugitive recovery t-shirt, and a wanted poster knocks on my door asking for some guy the previous tenants knew. I wanted to ask "are you a US Marshall, like Mary on In Plain Sight or that super intense scary guy on Justified? Or better yet, a bounty hunter, like Dog? Did the previous tenants hide him from the law? Do you take SAHMs with you sometimes on stakeouts? How exactly do I get myself one of those rocking t-shirts?"

So now I know why the neighbors welcomed us into the neighborhood with such relief. Why our landlord was more than happy to give us a 9 month lease.

Rest assured, our neighborhood is actually pretty good. (Though some neighbors down the street have had the police over a time or two.) A little spicy. But in a good way. A soulful way.

September 15, 2010

Poisson Rouge

I feel like a webhog. I haven't shared this fabulous site with you and we've been enjoying it for over a year. It's an interactive site where kids (and their parents) can try to figure out the secret of each page. Music, languages, letters, math, reading, colors. Both the kids (5 and 8) find activities that fit their level and interests. With all that build up, the site is Poisson Rouge. Did I mention that the site is gorgeous, and also in French? Ooh La La!


I'm not big on buying toys. The kids have plenty (too many). But every time they are at their friends' houses, they're attracted to Legos. But being cheap has its drawbacks. As in, we've never bought Legos. Always putting it off for a birthday or a holiday. So yesterday was the kids lucky day. For absolutely no reason at all, I put the Legos in the cart, cringed only slightly when I checked out, and let the kids at them today. They have been building nonstop all afternoon.

I love the sound of hands stirring the Lego pot, looking for just the right piece. I love how Mermaid is following the directions exactly, to build each structure. I love how Monkey plays with the finished projects. I love how the kids are ready to spend their own money on more. I love a really worthwhile toy. I also love getting special presents now, when there isn't a holiday attached. With Christmas coming up, I tend to give the kids everything that I've wanted to give them for the last year. Now we can spend more time celebrating together, and less thinking about presents.

September 8, 2010

What Do You Do?

I know you've all been dying to know what I do while the kids are at school. It's the first time in a very long time where for hours on end, no one wants anything of me. So here's what I do...

I visit Susie, Rhoda, and friends at the BMV. I've been there three or four times so far and have at least one more visit scheduled. They are so nice, considering they work for the state government. This time, when I bring 2 proofs of address (not just one), and my passport, and my social security card, they're going to give me a shiny new driver's license (ok, so I'll have to pay like $40 bucks for it, but whatever.)

I tidy up my home, removing cigarette butts, smoke stained windows, and still smoky carpet stink. Also, this house does not like organization. I'm not sure why, but we're having issues.

I grocery shop without anyone whining. Except me. Now that I'm by myself, I realize that I can only shop for about 20 minutes longer than when I'm with the kids. I get bored, tired, hungry, and irritated that I can't find what I'm looking for. I do get out of the car faster, but that's about it.

I do laundry. I actually wash, dry, fold, and put away laundry in one sitting. This is different.

I listen to MY music. No kid krap. I pull out the heavy guns. German Lieder, Elly Ameling, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. I also sing a bit. Some day, I'm gonna blow everyone away with my Erlkonig. I should really work on my French. It's pretty bad.

I exercise while listening to the Dianne Ream show. This is probably the most pathetic work out. But so informative. If I don't want to listen, I watch Antiques Roadshow while I work out.

My lunch buddy shows up around 12:30 every day. We talk. Eat left overs. He gets a little sore if I forget to tell him I won't be there. It's pretty cute.

Tomorrow, I'm going to go through pictures and order some for the girls' scrapbooks. Take a first load to Goodwill. Take a trip to Ladoga for some fresh butchered meat. And think some more about organizing the room that resists organization.

I'll make a trip to Indy sometime soon. Wish you could come.

Safety Bekah

As Safety Merv's daughter (he's the one who installed safety belts in our van before they were factory installed), I would just like to mention two things.

1. An article at about booster seats that may not protect your child in a crash.


2. Children under 12 and/or 100 pounds need to be in the back seat. On the way to school we witnessed a car crash. Everyone was ok, but the little girl in the front seat hit the windshield because safety belts in the front are made for adults, not little kids. The child in the back seat was fine.

September 7, 2010

Self Help Reading

I've been doing a bit of reading lately. Visiting and revisiting some classics from the past. It started with a few heated discussions that ended with quite a few humble apologies. (really, it was getting comical how ridiculous I was being and how often I had to call J to apologize for my unreasonable outburst.) So I picked up one of the two marriage books on the shelf. These books often have great information that I try to incorporate in my interactions with Jesse. But mostly I love reading about the dysfunctional couples. The guys make J look so good and our problems so minor.

I've also been reading some YA fiction like Little Women and the prequels to Little House on the Prairie. I didn't realize how long it had been until I realized that I was more sympathetic to Marmee than to Jo. Here's what I learned:
-Marmee advocated for her children at school, taking them out when it was too stressful, or when the teacher used corporal punishment.
-Marmee was super affectionate and her children knew that she loved them dearly.
-She let her children make mistakes and take risks.
-When her daughters had problems, they almost always came to her for help.
After reading Little Women, I must say I was a lot more patient for a day or two, and really appreciated my girls.

The Little House books have gotten me parenting another way. You remember how Ma could always get the kids to do something, just by a look? They would stop fighting or complaining, start minding their manners from just a glance. I want that power! I don't want the kids to be scared of me, but that respect would be AWESOME! I've been putting G in time out left and right because of her sass and disrespect. It had been bugging me for awhile, but now I'm ready to do something about it.

Have you learned any good parenting skills lately? Do tell!

September 5, 2010

Pretty Flowers

Our house is not much to brag about. (Unless you want to talk about the wood paneling in the living room. That is hot.) The backyard has some redeeming plantings. Some oregano, a butterfly bush, chives, and some late blooming flowers.I think the smoke smell is mostly out. I find butts in the oddest places. Kind of gross. I'm looking forward to planting some bulbs for spring. The weather just dipped, so I've got tulips on the brain. This poor house needs someone to love it.

September 1, 2010


My brother called while I was canning tomatoes. He said I was a housewife (his wife is too. And she runs marathons). I prefer hausfrau or shufu. They lend an air of weight and importance. The lady at the antiques store where I bought the canner was astounded that anyone still cans. Maybe she thought I was much too young to preserve food? The irony of purchasing a canner at an antiques store did not pass me by.

My mom once told me while we were canning jam that my grandma Ada loved the sound the lid makes when it seals. A resounding pop that signifies success. One of my jars let out the pop while I was in another room folding clothes. I couldn’t help smiling in self satisfaction. Another jar less willing to seal had to be placed on its head to encourage a seal. Success. (I’m pretty sure this is not a preferable method, but one we use when canning jams and jellies.)

My hard work payed off in 6 quarts of tomatoes. So little for so much effort. But I have great plans for more. Salsa, more tomatoes, peach, blueberry, and plum jam, orange marmalade, apple sauce and apple butter, spaghetti sauce.

Perhaps I will bring a jar of tomatoes by to the lady in the antiques shop. Preserving the plenty is not just a thing of the past.

(A lovely woman in the ward gave me this first batch of tomatoes to can. She grew them all in her garden. At the farmer’s market, they are selling a 25 pound box of tomatoes for 10 dollars.)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...