Friday, March 26, 2010

Not a snow day

Last night Mr. and I heard the sounds of a
wicked rain and wind storm.

I *secretly* hoped for a snow day.
Or at least a 2 hour delay.
After all, we are ENTITLED to one more.


Only enough snow to
bend the cheerful daffodils
brave enough to
welcome spring.

Poor daffodils.
Please come back.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Parental Musings

I read this quote on Bliss today.

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s or even the early 80s, probably shouldn't have survived. Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking).

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors! We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of wood scraps and fruit crates and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

Now one was able to reach us by cell phone. Unthinkable! We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no ninety-nine channels on cable, videotape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms. We had neighborhood friends! We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt. We played other games such as Kick the Can and Capture the Flag. We fell out of trees, got cut, and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us.

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did worms live inside us forever. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Some of us weren't as smart as others, so we failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected, no one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that! This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever.

I agree. Totally. We even live some of this. For example, my daughters (10 and 12 years) do not have Play Stations. Or DSs. Or cell phones. Television and computer is limited to two hours a day. NO TV on a school night. I have been told by my children that I am the "meanest mom...EVER". Family members have told me I am scarring my children and keeping them from having normal, healthy social lives.

I have been asked "What will the children do when we are in the car for our 8 hour road trip?" in a hushed voice that also suggests that I should be careful in case Child Protective Services hears that we have no portable TV or video games for long trips. We play the license plate game (remember that one?), we talk (crazy, I know), and we stop at interesting places (like Lincoln's birthplace, a stop on our way home from Mammoth Caves).

One thing these people forget is that while I am depriving my children of their "necessities", we are also building character and letting them practice entertaining themselves. These people who tell me how nice my children are to their younger peers, or how pleasantly they hold conversation don't seem to realize that the very act of "depriving" them of their childhood technology rights have created these same pleasant young people.

And now, let me descend my soapbox.

I'm just saying...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Have you read THIS book?

You should.
Inside the book jacket it says not to tell people what the book is about.
The MAGIC is how the story unfolds.

It's true.
It's a magical story written in beautiful language.

Chris Cleaves is the author.
He is ABSOLUTELY charming.

Mr. and I went to hear him read.
He is totally engaging.
Even Mr. loved it.
I collected an autograph.
Hurray for me!

And, just for fun, we took a picture.
With Flat Stanley.
For a school project.

I look a little nerdy, right?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

I woke early to make these green muffins for the kids.


For the pot luck luncheon at work, I made
key lime pie
and one for my neighbor
and one for us
after all, one should celebrate the holiday.

A SPECIAL TREAT was waiting for me when I got to work.

Made by my friend
as a holiday surprise
which was so sweet but made me wish I had thought of something special too.

Maybe next year.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Mr. and I recently pruned our pear tree.
It was a comedy of errors.
Mr. held the ladder but sometimes got distracted,
and left me hanging.

Luckily, my rain boots jammed into the branches
and held me in place.

He always says he doesn't believe in divorce...
only accidents.

Do you think I should be worried?

The girls dragged all those big branches from the curb to the back yard.

Cooperation and patience and viola!

A cool, natural fort.

Homemade butter

For farm fresh butter,
whip heavy cream in your blender for a few minutes until it is thick.

Pour it into an old jar.
Then... "Shake it, baby, shake it! Shake it if you can,
and if you cannot shake it, then do the best you can.
Rhumba to the bottom, and rhumba to the top.
Then turn around and turn around until the music stops".

*it is best to share the shaking, one can get tired
Once it gets good and lumpy, strain out the buttermilk.
For the authentic farm experience,
save the buttermilk to make pancakes in the morning
(suffocating in homemade butter, of course).

This butter is so pretty. We washed it first and then
slathered it all over our beer bread.
Homemade butter is fun and delicious.
Totally worth the work

Friday, March 12, 2010

Farm life

Farmer Sue hosted us for some fresh air.

Definition of a true friend:
Inviting 4 more people to track mud through your house
during mud season.
And then inviting them back.

Farmer Sue's the BEST!

This is Annabelle.
She's a Jersey.

Farmer Doug milks Annabelle.
With this machine.

He did let us milk by hand as well.
Turns out, I am a terrible milker.
Annabelle provides 2 gallons of milk each day.

Got milk?

I am a good mother!

We started last spring with two hives.
One survived.
That is a BIG DEAL.
News flash, for those of you who don't know it:
bees are in trouble. Worse, we don't exactly know why.
Our bee club was predicting 60% loss.
So, we count ourselves successful for keeping one alive.

This is a dangerous time for our bees.
Nothing is in bloom yet.
We are feeding them.
Yummy sugar water and...
(because our bees are spoiled pets)
pollen patties with Honey Bee Healthy (bee vitamins).

This is the bag of tools we use at the bee yard.
Mr. is reaching for a bee brush.
It's very soft.
In my limited experience, if you are GENTLE with your bees,
they will be gentle with you.

We name our queens.
They are pets after all!
Last year we started with Queen Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette.
We thought if someone didn't make it, it would be Marie.
We were wrong.
Elizabeth was succeeded by Catherine the Great.
She wasn't so great.
But Marie Antoinette is doing well.
So far.
Maybe this year we'll have honey.