Monday, May 30, 2011

Reading stories and

We generally read about four stories at Liam's bedtime.  Three downstairs while he has a small snack (generally ak-mak cracker, one of the best foods ever, with peanut butter and a glass of milk), and the last story upstairs when he is tucked into bed. 

Liam always chooses the stories.  Last night three of the four were about families with only a Daddy.  Pinocchio (which I hate and was given to Liam and is one more reason that I should be on top of my game on Christmas to get the crap out of here before he notices it), a Disney story about Nemo (how these things get into the house, I'm not sure), and then a story called Interrupting Chicken (about a chicken who puts her Papa to bed with a story).  On the way up the stairs a tired, snuggley Liam said "now I only have a mommy; I only have a mommy because my daddy died."

Today he was up at 5 and refused to go back to sleep.  Big day ahead, play date at a park with a friend from his school/daycare (which may get moved to our house on account of it looks a lot like rain), then family-dinner at my mother's.

Memorial Day -- in my intentions today are all the families, so many more now, whose fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers have been killed in our country's wars and those returned from service, may time bring healing; and for those serving now a prayer for a safe day and soon, soon, soon a time of peace.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Outdoor Play Kitchen

Stay home day today -- so when not trying to shoe-horn in work, Liam and I:
  • Picked up the dog at the kennel, because I got stuck at the office late yesterday and forgot, that's right, forgot to go get her after work.  When driving home Liam was nattering about moving his railroad track to somewhere where Mollie wouldn't knock it over and I said "crap, I forgot to get Mollie" and pulled over and called the kennel.  No harm done.  She loves it there; they take her on trail walks every morning.  I guess we're officially looking for a new home for the dog.  She's just too much for me. And I'm not a dog person.  I'd like her to have a family that is more dog-oriented.  Hear that universe? 
  • Oil-changed the car.  Finally.
  • Grocery shopped, except I have already thought of things I forgot.
  • Went to the old house (now rented) and checked things over since the renters are moving out, and measured two of the windows that had lost their seal and are still under warranty from the great house remodel of 2002.  Sent the measurements away to where they needed to go. 
  • Had the neighbor boy over to play for about an hour -- trains, airplanes, garbage trucks, cranes! 
  • Made this small, mud-pie outside play "kitchen" and broke it in.  No sawing required (or at least none done).
  • Made cinnamon rolls (unrelated to the above and inside, in the real kitchen); still working on perfecting the whole wheat version.
  • Got Liam's hair cut -- at the neighbor's, she cuts his hair (and mine) she's great.  (Photos are from before the haircut.)
All I can say is: Ta-Da!  Day over.  Back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A small weekend away was had

I unexpectedly had a work meeting take me to Friday Harbor in the San Juans last week.  On Friday.  So, Ann and Doug were kind enough to keep Liam an extra few days so I could have a small weekend away.  On the beach. 

My family spent so much time on the beach and in the islands when I was a kid, it's always like going home.  Waking up to the water going crash, crash is the best sound ever.  And the late, low (almost) summer light is magic.

This is approximately half (or maybe a third) of what you end up with when you ask a 6 foot 2 vegan to please be in charge of food.  For pity's sake.  I see, hummus, tofu something, beer, kombucha, chocolate nibs, lentil sprouts, grapefruit, garlic powder (for the popcorn), popcorn popper. . . ..   I guess the actual vegetables were already back in the car with all the other stuff getting ready for the ride home when I took this picture. . ..

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Raspberry patch


In process but making progress.  A few weeks ago Shane (of pizza Fridays) and Liam put in the posts.  Today we went to my old house (now rented) and dug up some raspberries, brought them home, and planted them.  Done and done.  Fingers crossed.  Liam calls it the raspberry trap.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hatching out

Liam thinks all baby animals come from eggs.  I haven't seen my way clear to really get into this with him at this point, but maybe I'm wrong.  I correct (gently and without fanfare) most other fundamental misconceptions.  I guess it just seems like a slippery slope.  Also, the baby animals hatching from eggs thing is sort of priceless-ly sweet and funny.  So genuine.

Tonight on the way upstairs to brush his teeth he was a baby tiger, newly hatched from an egg: "Mommy...Look...A baby Tiger.  It's hatching out!  Watch it.  Tap, tap, tap.  Creeeek.  It's hatched!  Awwwah.  It's so sweet.  Such a sweet baby Tiger."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Apple Trap

 I'm trying to get just a little, tiny bit more serious about the food production here in the yard this year.  This means getting the garden in on time for a change (even though Spring has yet to cooperate in any way) and working on the apple tree.  (Also raspberries have been almost organized, more on that some other time.)

The apple tree.  What to say.  It's lovely.  It's huge (taller than the house).  It's over a 100 years old.  (The house is 110-ish, this year.)  It makes a ton of apples, all of them inedible and infested with various bugs.  So this year, a hard pruning.  (Thanks Ananda!)  And, "apple traps" as Liam likes to call them.  Red plastic "apples" painted with something that seems to be basically Vaseline and hung in the tree as soon as the flowers start to come out.  Check, check, check.  Fingers crossed.

After one apple traps, one swings, of course.


Pizza Friday this week featured the new pizza stone (Thanks Auntie Chris!) rigged up to accept the pizza with a combination of lots of cornmeal and a flexible plastic kids placement.  Pizza peel is in my future, I guess; although this seemed to work pretty good for something MacGyver-ed up.  Also featured vegan melty-cashew-nut-"cheese" (which is so much better than it sounds, you really must try it), made and waiting for me when I got home (Nice!).  Come to think of it, my only role in the pizza production this week was to make the dough (on Thursday night), and show up and drink a beer.  (Perfect after two super long days at work.)  And I toured Dave-the-Old-Window-and-Door-Superhero around the house to look at how to (maybe) fix our old, old windows.  Jeeze I hope we can somehow make that work.

While Dave measured windows and I watched him, Liam helped with pizza production downstairs; it was so funny to listen to.  "Wait, wait, what about over there on that part of the pizza, doesn't it get some garlic?"  "How about the mushrooms now?  What do you mean you don't like mushrooms? Oh, come on, let's eat one, see?  Good." "No, we don't have any fish right now." "Okay, let's wash your hands again."  (And again, and again.)

After pizza we went for a walk.  Down the hill, along the busy road, park on the beach, discuss the big ship (at length), pick lots of small daisies, up the nature trail through the woods, along the back alleys to home.  Chance meeting with old neighbors.  "Hi. . .you two. . .again, so nice to see you.  Yes, he's graduating next week; yes, mechanical. . .No, she's in Philadelphia now. . .Look how big Liam is."


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day.  I hope all visitors to this space have a day filled with love -- given and received.   Know that the women in this world, by their acts of love and endurance, peace and compassion, can and must change the courses of lives, communities, and nations.   Mothers own your power today, and bring it to the world.

From Julia Ward Howe, the Mother's Day Proclamation:

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons
of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a
great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women,
to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of

Julia Ward Howe

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pizza Friday

Pizza Friday has re-established a toe-hold at our house.  We'll see if it continues.  In the meantime, any suggestions for getting good pizza out of a regular 450 degree-ish max kitchen oven are welcome.  In a "wow, universe thanks for paying attention" moment, last night was our first pizza Friday and today in the mail arrives a pizza stone as a mother's day present from Auntie Chris. (Thanks Chris!  I hope to have perfected pizza by the time you get here in June.)

Pizza was Liam's second dinner.  First he ate fish, broccoli and raspberries, proclaiming that he didn't like pizza.  But then (an hour later when the pizza was finally, finally ready) he was prevailed upon to try some and proclaimed it "yummy!" 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mommy? Are I really Liam?

This happens once a week or so, and has for the past few months.

L: Mommy?  Are I really Liam?
M: Yes sweet, you are really, really Liam.
L: Really?
M: Yes, really, I promise.

No idea.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Day

Please excuse the crummy photo, taken with my (also crummy) cell phone. 

Today Liam and I came home (late, I had a work dinner) to May baskets on the front porch.  So. Very.  Sweet.  Did you do that when you were a kid?  Make May baskets?  We did and ran them all around the neighborhood every year.  So, Liam learned the May Basket Song, and I had the following conversation with our across the street neighbor when I went out to get the mail and he was getting in his car to go somewhere.

(Shouted, in a neighborly way.)

Me:  Hey!  Do we have you to thank for our May Baskets?
Him: May Baskets?  Don't look at me.
Me: Really?
Him: Wait? Small baskets of flowers? I might have heard something about that. You ring the doorbell and run?
Me: Exactly, it's good practice for all kinds of things.  Thank you.

I love my neighborhood.  I am so blessed and lucky and thankful to live here, with these good people all around me.