Friday, January 30, 2009

Vocabulary Lesson

Scene: We just finished eating supper. After clearing the table, we retire to the "breakfast bar" where Nathan checks the news on his laptop, I check my e-mail on my laptop and Jonah plays a game on his toy laptop. (Pathetic, I know. Don't we know how to spend our family time?)

Jonah: "Look, Daddy! Look what I did!"

Daddy: "Oh, very good!"

Jonah: "Can you put it on your blog, Daddy?"

Mommy and Daddy bust up laughing.

Daddy: "Sorry to tell you, son, but I do not blog."

More chuckling from the parental department.

Mommy: "Isn't that funny? He has the word 'blog' in his vocabulary!"

Daddy: "There's only one reason he knows that word and it's the letter 'U'."

A Job To Do

Sometimes...'s really easy to find a fascinating occupation for an earnest three-and-a-half-year-old.

Put 'em to work, I say!

But don't expect it to actually save time...

Yeah, I Don't Get It Either

I'm guessing the point is in the rhyme...

(Remind me not to talk when I'm taking videos... shudder... I have a... uh... deformity that makes me talk that way... really...)

(And who is that kid's mother, anyway? You'd think she'd wipe his face once in a while...)

Just Like the Little Red Hen, but Cuter!

Along with my general winter apathy, I seem to have a general preschool apathy. Poor Jonah, he loves to do school, and I find it soooo boring. What kind of homeschool mom am I shaping up to be? Laaayzeee...

It really is great to watch him learn. He now knows letters quite well, all the uppercase and most of the lowercase. And just recently, it clicked in his brain that letters stand for sounds, so now he knows all the sounds that they make.

Up until Christmas time, I was really good about doing school with him every morning. It's not like it takes very much time to do a dot-to-dot page and color a picture, drill letters, say a memory verse, sing a song. 20 minutes, tops.

But the routine can't ever vary. Three-year-olds are generally OCD. If you skip something or change the routine a little, the entire earth tilts on it's axis and nothing is right anymore.

So I get bored.

And during the holidays, I just had a lot to do, so we had an extended preschool-break. "Mommy... are we gonna do school today?" "Uhhhh... I don't think so... we have a lot to do..."

But now, that excuse is not holding water, and he knows it. Mommy is sitting by the fire reading a book again. She must be bored. "Mommy, can we do school today?" "Uhhhh... I don't... ummm.... really want to... I have to... uhhh..."

"Okay! I'll get the books... and the crayons... they're on the table! C'mon, Mommy! Time for school!"

He's a smart kid. Not only has he learned letters and shapes and numbers and colors (so well that there seems to be little point in "doing school" about those things...), but he's also figured out the trick to my apathy.

Now, if I can only train him that way for everything... "If Mommy doesn't do it, I'll do it myself!" Can't you just see the dishes getting done, laundry finished, floor swept...



I guess you're right. I guess it's more like "milk spilled, bathroom flooded, floor peanut-buttered..."

Hm. Looks like the school books are on the table again. Time for school, I guess.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This is a short post, but very enlightening:

Another killer reason to avoid packaged foods

Still trust the FDA?

I never have.

Monday, January 26, 2009

You'd Better Be Very Careful...

Combine some wonky hormones (apologies to those of the male persuasion who have the misfortune of reading this post) and Seasonal Affective Disorder and the result is an irritable, moody, weepy and generally horrible mess. It's really too bad for the man who has to live with this mess. (Which reminds me-- I really should put my sweet husband's soggy, snotty shirts in the laundry... )

So I guess in my current state of mind, this video cracks me up more than usual.


Jonah: "Mom, what are we gonna have for supper?"

Me: "Um... soup, I think..."

Jonah: "Noooooo... how about eggs? And saurkraut... aaaaand applesauce. And pie!"


Jonah: "And squash, too!"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Notes To Self

~When your husband is jonesin' for cookies, drawing it out for three days saying "I'll you make cookies on Sunday" doesn't necessarily increase the proverbial point-value, but it does help postpone the sugar-fix and make the cookies taste that much better!

~The three-year-old-child-sugar-meltdown that comes after said three-year-old child binges on cookies, though? So not worth it.

~When you play the piano for church, try actually paying attention for a change and playing the "amen" approximately when the people are ready to sing it. After six stanzas, no one really wants an encore.

~Sunday afternoon naps are fantastic!

~Not sure about the whole staying-up-until midnight part that comes after, however...

~When you're not sure exactly where your property lines are, but you suspect they may be closer to the house than you'd like to think, DON'T MEASURE THEM, FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD. It only brings bitter pain and disappointment.

~When you feel like having popcorn for supper-- have popcorn for supper.

~When feeding the sourdough starter, don't put the lid on tight, unless you like being startled by explosive noises in your house.

~While waiting 4 days for a fantastic ebay stand-mixer auction to end, checking it three times a day is not likely to make a difference in keeping the bids down. Especially when it's a $650 value and you have $150 to spend...

~Agreeing to a survey that involves watching a DVD in your cold freezing office because that's where the TV is and it won't play on a laptop and then finding out that it is a prize-drawing survey(and you know you never win anything) and the prizes are $100 worth of Edible Food-Like Substances? So not worth it.

~Stop thinking about the cookies in the cupboard! No! Stop! Must resist... Must... not... eat... more... coooooookies...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ope, Scratch That One Off the List

I've been wanting to go see this, but now I guess I don't have to.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mad Hatters

Hey, boys can have tea parties, too, ya know.

And they can use pink-and-blue teapots.

And have lots of fun.

And now, your bonus featurette:

A gratuitous shot of a very cute baby!

And one more, just for fun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Flying Lessons

I recently installed Skype, voice-over-internet, on my computer. It's been fun to chat and have conference calls with my brothers and parents. (Although... a certain sister of which I only have one (you know who you are) needs to call me when she's on the 'puter... e-hem.) My youngest brothers, Samuel (8) and Peter (6), quickly figured that out, and now the buzz me about 18 times a day to chat. Actually, they don't really want to talk to me, they want to talk to Jonah. So Jonah comes over, and they all laugh and giggle and talk about nonsense.

After their last episode a little while ago, Sam and Pete had to go, so they hung up, and Jonah came over to me, very sad.

Jonah: "Mommy, they had to go. But I wanna talk to my fweeennnds."

Me: Continues reading by the fire.

J: "Mom? Mom, can you go buy my an airplane so we can fly and pick up my fwends and bwing them to our house?"

M: "Airplanes cost a lot of money. We don't have a lot of money."

J: "Yes you do! In your wallet! I saw it!"

M: "A handful of change won't buy us an airplane. Besides, you'd have to have a pilot."

J: "I could be the pilot!"

M: "You're kinda short to fly a plane..."

J: "But I could! I can drive! And I'm big! I can fly the plane! And I'll bwing my fwends here!"

M: Continues reading by the fire.


J: "Mom? Mom, can you throw me up in the air so I can fly like a bird? I'll fly, fly, fly away and pick up my fwends and bwing them here..."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Hereby Announce My Intent... while away the winter in not accomplishing my winter to-do list.

At the beginning of winter, I talked with a dear friend of mine about our winter to-do lists-- projects to productively pass the cold winter days spent inside. We're both crafty, creative sorts, and we both enjoy creative endeavors. I was going to do some sewing, like make a quilt (haw haw. Why start another unfinished project?) and work on some website building (which hasn't really panned out as I was hoping...) and maybe even... paint and draw (as if).

But now I'm pretty sure I will do nothing but read books and bake bread. Maybe I'll get caught up in Jonah's baby book (which is ridiculously far behind). Maybe. I am very determined to perfect my sourdough bread this winter, so that's something. And of course, I'll start my garden seedlings and do some garden planning...

But really, I have a big long list of books that I would like to get read, and what better time to work on that than when it's too cold to be outside? I seem to have rediscovered my love of reading books. I'm not entirely sure when I lost it, but I think it was when Jonah was born. I read lots of books while I was pregnant with him (Word to the wise: Do not read The Good Earth while pregnant.) but after he was born, my attention span dipped to nothing. I could only read while nursing, and then only in short spurts, so I got into a major magazine habit. And it stuck. So I've been pretty much stuck with library magazines and blogs. Lots of blogs.

But now! I'm reading books again. I'm not sure what changed. I recently read a massive 3-inch thick novel, and it only took me a few weeks. What better way to escape the winter blahs than by getting lost in a book? (Note to self: Find books about tropical places.)

I guess I'm writing this to try to give myself permission to be lazy. I'm feeling a little depressed about my lack of motivation and productivity. It's not like I'm bored or anything, I'm just guilting myself about how much time I spend with a book or laptop. I even -gasp!- enjoy the quiet evenings by the fire planning my garden instead of rushing around trying to get the tomatoes canned. I make sure my family has food and clean clothes, ya know, the necessities and all, but I can't seem to make myself get moving much beyond that. I also try to justify this by reading books about things I'm planning to do, thereby fooling myself into thinking I'm making headway on my to-do list.

So maybe if I drink lots of tea and read lots of books, I'll be more than ready in when spring rolls around to tackle that list of projects... Rest is okay, right? If I had my choice, I think I'd just hibernate, and this is about as close as I can get...

Stick It To 'Em!

From the Ethicurean:

Take that, Monsanto: Iowa-based Schillinger Seed has launched “the industry’s first premium non-GMO soybean seed brand” to respond to increased demand by farmers for non-GM seed. New plantings will supply the international market for non-GM soy products and (here’s something you don’t hear from Monsanto) will help farmers improve their bottom lines, as concern about the high costs of GM seed is one factor driving farmers toward the non-GM option.

Here's the article: Schillinger Seed Launches eMerge Genetics

Wahoo for free enterprise! Now if they can keep from being pushed under by the Powers That Be.

(Disclaimer: As much as I believe that (unfermented) soy is not suitable for human or animal consumption, I'm all for anything that that stands against Monsanto.)

Monday, January 19, 2009


We simply had to go outside today. The sun was shining, the temperature was a balmy 18 degrees (eh-hem) and there was only minimal wind-- a cool winter's breeze, as it were.

So Jonah and I spent 15 minutes bundling up, and headed off to the neighbor's to buy some eggs since our chickens have been remiss in their duties. I can't blame them. I don't accomplish all of my duties when I'm cold and don't get to go out and peck around at bugs, either. (Uh, waaaait...)

We crossed the drainage ditch just down the road from our house:

Ditch to the right of us...

Ditch to the left of us.

We managed to procure a couple dozen eggs and we delivered a couple loaves of fresh sourdough and had a visit in a nice warm house before we had to trek home.

Jonah had a fun ride in a borrowed sled...

...And made sure to drag hands and feet apparently in effort to help me work off all that strudel I've been eating.

Nathan was at home and said he could hear Jonah squealing and giggling the whole way back.

Hooray for fresh (if cold) air!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Food Culture

I don't entirely agree with all the Michael Pollan says about food, but this has quite a lot of wisdom:

Go watch the other parts of this interview. It's great!

Various Rants and Raves About Food

I'm not sure if I've told you yet that it's been really cold here? No? Well, it is. It is winter (January, to be precise) after all.

So I, being of a cold-intolerant nature, have only been able to engage in activities that involve the woodstove or the oven. Reading and baking, respectively.

On the reading front, I've been enjoying Cold Comfort Farm, on high recommendation of the CDW. It's.... interesting. Not as hysterical as it was made out to be, but still plenty of fun, British, understated humor. I started it on Thursday afternoon and almost finished it while supper was in the oven tonight (see? Woodstove, oven, woodstove...) but didn't quite make it. A couple pages before I got to bed tonight and I'll be on to less fun, but more educational books, of which I happily have a small stack awaiting my attention (woodstove...).

In the line of baking, I've been duly frustrated. I love to bake when it's cold. I love to make yummy, sweet things to eat. But I am also a firm believer in the Evils of Sugar and White Flour, so these things are rare. Sure, I can do healthy baked things, and I have quite a repertoire (like the sprouted wheat blueberry muffins, sweetened with Sucanat that I made earlier this week... yum!), but sometimes I like to indulge, and when I do, it had better be good.

So as an added frustration, people have been giving us all kinds of sweets (not of the "healthy" variety) lately. I am helpless in the face of cookies in the winter, and we just polished off two gifts of them. Here again, it's all winters fault for trapping me in the house, Seasonal Affective Disorder and all, with sugar within my reach. So not only is my sugar addiction back with a vengance, but I really want to bake, because it's cold, but we already have too much junk in the house, but I caaaan't heeelp myseeeelf... It's tooooo beeeaaauutiffuuuuulll...

And I go ahead and go for the light.

Today I tackled a very ambitious baking project (oven). Cherry-Cheese Strudel from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. Yeah.

It was fantastically fussy. It involved stretching a huge sheet of dough on a bedsheet on my kitchen peninsula until it was completely transparent (the dough, not the sheet). Not something to whip up for afternoon tea, by any means.

But can I just say? I think my husband's eyes rolled back in his head upon his first forkful.

It's... amazing. Truly. I mean, if I do say so myself.

Then I went back to my book (woodstove).

Then I figured supper needed to be made as we could not live on decadent strudel alone, and I made a quiche (oven). And while it was in the oven, I read my book (woodstove ... seeing the pattern?).

Now, I L O V E quiche. Seriously. I think I even liked the quiche my Mom and I bought at a little stand in Switzerland. That particular quiche smelled like a wet-dog (it was the cheese), but it was delicious.

I made quiche a lot when Nathan and I were first married. I guess I was testing the bounds of Nathan's willingness to eat anything I made (I still haven't found any boundaries to this day. I am a blessed woman). I tried all sorts of variations, which were all yummy, the most infamous of which was one that featured leftover sweet potatoes. I thought it was great, and sure, Nathan ate it and said it was "just fine", but he has ever-after referred to it teasingly as "squash quiche." I have not repeated the exercise. He has since informed me that "men, in general, do not like quiche." Duly noted.

So I really enjoyed the quiche I made tonight, which I filled with pork sausage and garlic and onions and sage. It was really yummy. Nathan did rave (he is a Man Who Likes Quiche). Poor Jonah, on the other hand... well, he was valiant in his efforts. On about his third bite, I looked at him and saw him studiously chewing, with that slightly open-cheeked chew you use when you're trying not to taste anything, and I saw him close his eyes and retch slightly several times. Now, I'm usually pretty hard-nosed about ensuring that he eats what he's given, but I had to have pity this time. I praised him for trying to eat his food so politely and then told him to go get a pancake out of the fridge. That is a first. I have never, EVER let him have something else if he didn't eat what I made for supper. But he really was trying and he hasn't quite learned the trick of manipulation about supper. He pretty much always likes everything, with the exception of onions and anything that is "mixed together" like stew (which he still has to eat). I just hope this didn't teach him that gagging at the supper-table gets him a peanut butter and jelly pancake.

But how could I have produced progeny that doesn't like quiche? It's deplorable, I tell you.

I don't want to raise a quiche-hater. I want him to grow up into a Man Who Love Quiche. But I can just see him saying someday, "Oh, yuck. My Mom always used to force me to eat that stuff and I nearly Shouted at John every time." and I just can't have that.

So I guess quiche will have to be a Special Treat for Mommy from now on. Perhaps he will grow into it...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Might Not Make It

It's 10:00 in the morning and 15 below outside. Praise God the wind isn't blowing hard.

If you don't hear from me, assume I'm frozen stiff.

Ah, my tea kettle is whistling.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

ETA: Sam Frey said that Jonai Hershberger said that they had 30 below at 4:00 this morning.

distant sounds of wimpering...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Frosty Teasel

We have this wicked looking plant here called Teasel.

I like it best in the winter.

It really goes with the climate.

THAT Kind of Cold

We've been plunged into that horrible and beautiful kind of cold.

The kind that freezes your nosehairs as soon as you walk out the door.

The kind that makes the snow crunch like potato chips under your feet.

The kind that takes your breath away, both figuratively and literally.

The kind that makes you glad you don't live any further north.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



There comes a time...

In life...

When you must say a fond, but firm, "farewell".

When some things...

...just don't...

..."cut it"...


So! Out with the old, in with the new!

R.I.P. old kitchen friends.

It was time.

Bonus Postus Scriptus:

I just couldn't resist the opportunity to illustrate my dingy-wingy-batah-bingy. As I sat down to compose this edifying bit of enlightenment, I made myself a Hot Buttered Rum, my new favorite and most relaxing evening drink. Except I... well, I... can hardly admit it... I, uh... forgot the rum. So I sat here sipping my Hot Buttered Water for a full 7 minutes before I looked up and thought... Wow, my alcohol tolerance has suddenly skyrocketed because I'm not even remotely sleepy... wait... what's wrong with this drink? Right. Well then. A friend recently told me that it's cheap to get me sloppy, and I'm thinking maybe she was right. I don't even need actual booze. "Just add water!" Oy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Daddy-Son Project

A friend gave Jonah a Build-Your-Own Airplane kit for Christmas.

I wasn't sure about the insanity-level of this sort of thing for doing with a three-year old.

Turns out, my dear husband has what it takes to tackle just such a project.

They sanded...

And sanded...

And painted....

...paaaainted... (emphasis on "pain")

And just for good measure, they did a little more painting.

(Can you imagine? Seriously? I would have popped a jugular AND blown the mainframe by this point.)

That was one Sunday afternoon's work.

Then the following Sunday afternoon, they put it together!

They assembled all those little pieces...

"I have a BIPLANE!" Jonah says.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I'm just dying to share these blogs which I have just discovered (and devoured). They're right up my WAPF, local, organic, traditional food, sustainable agriculture, raw milk and butter lovin' alley.

Food Renegade

The Ethicurean

The Herbwife's Kitchen

Now I must tear myself away from this fascinating reading and get my latest batch of artisan-style sourdough bread baked. (Currently trying: half white, half whole wheat).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blurring the Edges of Reality

I slept like a dead thing last night. I didn't hear Jonah get up and ask to go to "Mommy's bed" at 1:00 in the morning. I didn't hear Nathan get up. I was gone.

At some point this morning, Nathan came into the room to get something. I heard him and tried to swim to the surface, but I just couldn't wake up. So I went right into a dream.

In my dream, I heard Nathan come it (that was real) and then he came over to the bed beside me (that was not real. He went to his dresser to get clothes). I really thought I was awake because I knew where I was and what the room looked like and what position I was lying in. He came over to me and pulled back the blankets and put a little, newborn baby next to me and I really, really, really thought it was real. "Here's the baby, honey." he said as if he were just bringing the baby to nurse and snuggle with me. And I was feeling like Oh! How nice! Awww... sweet baby... Can I say again how very real it felt?

And then Nathan said, "And if he fusses, here's his dolly." and he handed me the most butt-ugly, dirty, gross Cabbage Patch doll.

And then I knew that my dream really, really, really was not real.


Wouldn't that be an easy way to get a baby? My husband just hands him to me?

And then, for real, Nathan came over and kissed my cheek, and I knew that but still couldn't wake up, so I kept sleeping.

And tried to forget about the ugly doll. Shudder.

More Snowy

Remember Jonah's mountain?

It has a new purpose in life.

Also, confession: I ate snow with my son. Like a kidagin, I tell yew what.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I always get lulled into a false sense of security in January. After spending November and December dreading winter, January comes and I think, "Hm. This isn't so bad. I guess I can do this. Heck, January's half over and what do I have after that? February, a little March, and it'll be over before I know it. Easy." And then it snows some more and freezes some more and February comes and drags it's butt and it snows and gets colder than it even was in January and March moves even slower with more snow and ice and cold and the world is still gray and by April I am a first-class, seasonal-affective, certifiable lunatic.

But for now, it's January, and I'll enjoy wintery things for the brief time that I am able.

It's been snowing the most beautiful, still, cold powder all day. The kind of snow that dusts everything in sparkley glitter and crunches under your feet. The best thing about this snow is the marked lack of howling wind. I can take this kind of winter. If I had this kind of winter and it suddenly turned to spring in February, I would be a very happy woman.

Look, a girl can dream, okay?

Jonah actually agreed to suit up and go play in the snow today. He almost never does, probably largely due to the general unpleasantness of a bitter cold wind. Also, he's all my himself, poor kid, and what fun is it to play in the snow by yourself, anyway?

He insists on making snow angels on his tummy.

To each his own, I guess.

I decided that now it's winter and time to use all the yummy fruit I worked so hard at preserving.

I love making gallettes because they're so simple and rustic-looking and super easy to make. I got to test out my new French rolling pin (love it!) in the process.

Now I must go whip some cream so that it'll be ready when my husband gets home. He likes whipped cream. A lot. A whole lot. In fact, he doesn't really see the point of pie unless it has a nice mountain of whipped cream on top.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Fleet

This morning at Library Story Time, they read stories about airplanes. Then for a craft they made this cute little mobile with a wire coat hanger and little paper planes hanging from it. Jonah flatly refused to allow me to tie his planes onto the hanger. He didn't see the point in hanging such fun toys from the ceiling so he could look at them. Decorations don't mean much when you're 3 1/2.

I promised to make him more to play with when we got home, and we could tie the planes on to the mobile.

No go.

So when we got home, he still wanted me to make more. So I cut out a few more paper airplanes and he hasn't quit playing with them. All. Day.

He still refuses to hang any and make a mobile.

And to think that I bought him Christmas presents! I should have just cut some airplanes out of paper and put them in his stocking...

Monday, January 5, 2009

First Time for Everything

I've had a mild toothache lately. So I finally made a dentist appointment. This really bummed me out because, seriously, when do I run out of dental real estate to rot? For as long as I can remember, every time I go to the dentist I have x number of cavities. And then I have to spend hours in The Chair getting fillings and go around with a numb face all day. (And I've considered just saying "no" to drugs because they don't even work! I can always feel the drilling no matter how much more novicaine they shoot me up with. My face will be numb from here to Australia and I still feel that drill and end up digging holes in my palms with my fingernails.) I even had cavities in my baby teeth when I was a kid! I had some filled with I was around 8 or so and I remember that they gave me nitrous oxide of which I breathed too deeply and I thought I was in a flying saucer. The dentist and his assistant were triangle-faced aliens.

In spite of my propensity (genetic, I believe) to dental decay, I procrastinate making appointments (imagine that). So it's been over two years since my behind last warmed that chair. But last time, I had seven largish cavities (to the tune of $1,500!!!), including a matched pair of misery in my upper wisdom teeth which I still have despite many dentists telling me "they need to come out." (The one I'm going to now hasn't said that. He happily filled them and did quite well, too. He's a keeper, I guess). Those wisdom teeth are hard-won and I won't let them go easily, that's for sure!

After that last time, I vowed to be faithful to my cod liver oil (blended with high-vitamin butter oil for mineral activation). I even recently even started taking traditionally fermented cod liver oil. This is the one supplement that I make sure we all take every day (less in the summer, but faithfully in the winter). Cod liver oil and butter oil are supposed to be the magic combination for healing teeth and preventing tooth decay. I figure that it may be a spendy superfood, but if it keeps us out of the dentist's chair (not to mention numerous other health benefits), it'll be totally worth it!

And yet I have toothache. How frustrating.

So off to the dentist I went today, shaking and muttering in fear. Actually, I was also praying over and over, "Please, Lord, only a few cavities this time! Don't let it cost so much!"

The dentist poked and picked and tapped and tested the "vitality" of my teeth with this little electric-shocker tool (as I tried to prepare myself for the bad news) and then proceeded on to the "keep them clean, blah, blah, brush and floss twice a day, blah, make sure you come for a cleaning every six months, yadda yadda" speech.

"Wait a minute," I said, a bit breathlessly, "Are you saying I don't have any cavities?"


No. Cavities.

I laughed and told him that was the first time in my life that I have ever heard that.

He laughed and congratualted me and then reminded me again about regular cleaning (which I've neglected for... uh... the last few years).

And then he didn't even charge me for the exam!!

Oh happy day!!! I told the receptionist that it was the best dentist visit I'd ever had! I think I had them all giggling with my exuberance.

The dentist thinks that my toothache is from my major jaw-clenching/TMJ dysfunction (and perhaps compounded by sinus problems). He filed down a high spot on a filling on the tooth that's been hurting as that may have been putting some pressure on the tooth and making it ache.

But I have NO cavities! God is good!

I wish I had put in a good word with the dentist about cod liver oil and the Weston A Price Foundation, though... I'd love to see the dentist recommend those things rather than cleaning and brushing (which I frankly doubt have any bearing at all on dental health). Maybe I'll send him a gift subscription...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Losing My Meatballs

For Christmas, Jonah got a little laptop toy that has all sorts of games and activities on it. He plays with it every day, and it amazes me how well he's figured out how to use it and has learned how to find and play many of the games.

This laptop makes a lot of noise.

I guess that's a small price to pay for being able to keep him occupied without me for brief periods of time.

It also plays songs. Electronic-sounding, synth-style songs. Actually, the selection isn't too bad, including "I've been workin' on the railrod" and "Clemetine" and "The Entertainer". He'll choose a song and then say, "Mom! Mom, what's this song?" and I'll tell him what the name is or sing some of it for him.

We just went through a session of this before I put him to bed. He played "On Top of Old Smokey" over and over, asking me to sing it, which I dutifully did:

On top of spagheeeeettiiiiiii
All covered in cheeeeese,
I lost my pooor meeeeeatbaaaaall
When somebody sneeeeeezed!

It rolled off the taaaaaablllllllllle,
And on to the floooooor
And then my pooor meeeeeatbaaaaall
Rolled out of the doooooor.

And then I made up an ending in which the meatball rolled down the driveway and into the road and then my poor meatball got ate by a toad.

Jonah found this hilarious. (Oh to be little and newly discovering these things that are soooo funny when you're hearing them for the first time. Okay, I wouldn't want to do that over again, actually, so it's fun to experience these things again through a little person's eyes.)

So he wanted me to sing it again.

Which I did, except this time the meatball rolled into the street and got trampled by feet.

"No! The TOAD!"

Oh. So I sang it again, and then the meatball rolled into the way and got covered in hay.

"Mom! The. Toad."

Here we found the meatball rolling into the lane and hitting a Great Dane.

This brought Jonah nearly to tears, so I gave in and sang it the right way. About the toad.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Driv. Vel.

I so should be going to bed. Seriously. But instead I'm doing my usual wintertime-stay-up-late-and-get-up-at-sunrise. (which is 8:00! How depressing! I keep reading optimistic stuff about how now we're past the winter solstice and will be steadily gaining daylight from here on out. And I have to say that, honestly? I never thought of it that way. Never occurred to me. I can only think of the fact that the winter solstice is technically the beginning of winter. Did I mention that my newyearsresolutionhaha is "be more optimistic"? Oops, there goes that.) I think staying up late is some sort of winter survival mechanism. I don't do it nearly so much the rest of the year. The rest of the year I pop out of bed earlyish and work all day and go to bed happily tired, but in the winter I seem to like to stay up late and read by the fire and who wants to get up before the sun, anway?

Oh... where was I going. Oh yeah. I my almost-one-year of blogging, I have not posted a single Meme. And I've been trying to come up with an inspirational, or at least sincere, post about the ending of an old year and the beginning of a new one, but I can't because I'm so durned pessimistic about the coming year,what with a looming economic depression and all. "I'm trying to just pray and trust God for our preservation" completely sums up my New Year's attitude.

So I'll bore you with a very UNinsprirational meme instead.


(And it's even alphabetical, incase you get lost.)

To wit:

- Avail​able:​​ For a drink with a friend? Always.

- Age: is all in your head.

- Annoy​ance:​​​ lack of communication

- Anima​l:​​ Lots, please!

- Beer:​​​ Yes, and make it a good microbrew!

- Birth​day:​​​ Coming soon.

- Best Frien​d:​​ Um. Yes. I like friends the best. Or something.

- Best feeli​ng in the world​:​​​ Contentment.

- Blind​ or Deaf:​​​ Ugh, do I have to pick? Deaf. I can't imagine life without sight.

- Best weath​er:​​​ Sunny, 85-90 degrees, low humidity.

- Been in Love:​​ Very much!

- Been on stage​?​​​:​​ Yeah. I get nervous...

- Belie​ve in Magic​:​​ Huh?

- Candy​:​​ Chocolate! Dark! Organic!

- Color​:​​​ Love it. And I have a thing for red.

- Choco​late/​​​Vanil​la:​​​ Love them both.

- Chine​se/​​​Mexic​an:​​ Ditto.

- Cake or pie: Either as long as they're worth eating, read: made by an actual person with good ingredients.

- Conti​nent to visit​:​​​ Australia.

- Chees​e:​​​ Gruyere is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to milk. I wish it were made just down the road from me and I could eat it whenever I want. In fact, I wish real cheese of any sort were actually widely available in the US instead of the lousy orange rubber that people here seem to think is acceptable.

- Day or Night​:​​​ Ummm... are... very... different. And.... necessary... Yeah.

- Dance​ in the rain:​​ Only after summer drought.

- Eyes:​​​ Eyes o'brown?

- Every​ones has: an eternal soul.

- Ever faile​d a class​?​​ Um... gotta think. I'm pretty sure I basically failed Latin. Sad. Looser.

- Full name: I haz one!

- First​ thoug​hts wakin​g up: Is the sun up yet?

- First​ Love of Life:​​​ My sweet husband.

- Great​est Fear:​​ Being buried alive. Morbid, I know, but for reals. Okay, I can probably think of worse, but I'm not goin' there.

- Goals: Achieve Nirvana. Not really.

- Gum: nah.

- Get along​ with your paren​ts? Very well, praise God for them.

- Good luck charm​:​ Too pessimistic to believe in luck.

- Hair Color​:​​​ brownish

- Heigh​t:​​​ 5'5". So glad I'm not taller...

- Happy​:​​​ NEW YEAR!!!

- Holid​ay:​​​ Resurection Day.

- How do you want to die: In my sleep, not too old.

- Ice Cream​:​​ Chocolate peanut butter

- Instr​ument​:​​ Piano, flute, Irish whistle

- Jewel​ry: Not much. I always wear my wedding ring, occasionally a necklace. I love to wear earings, but lately they all make my ears hurt and itch horribly.

- Job: Home attitude director.

- Kids: Got a great one, please send more.

- Kickb​oxing​ or karat​e:​​ too wimpy. I am, that is.

- Keep a journ​al?​​​:​​ You're reading it.

- Longe​st Car Ride:​​​ I can take my pick of road trips...

- Love:​​ a bushel and a peck

- Lette​r:​​ Is that anything like e-mail?

- Laugh​ed so hard you cried​:​​​ I love it when that happens!

- Milk flavo​r:​​​ RAW and extra creamy

- Movie​s:​​​ A serious adiction for me, but I can't handle violent ones.

- Motio​n sickn​ess?​​​:​​ in the backseat.

- McD’s​ or BK: Oh puke.

- Numbe​r of Sibli​ngs:​​​ 6

- Numbe​r of Pierc​ings:​​​ 2

- Numbe​r:​​​ numbered among the redeemed

- One wish:​​​ babies

- Perfe​ct Pizza​:​​​ fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, feta cheese, pancetta

- Pepsi​/​​​Coke:​​​ only if you want holes in your gut

- Quote​:​​​ Oh, I'm too lazy to pick one.

- Reaso​n to cry: grief

- Reali​ty T.V: I'll pass. Thanks.

-​​Radio​ Stati​on:​​​ I don't have a radio. Seriously, I need to remedy that. I don't have one in the house, the van is broken, so I never drive it, and Jonah incapacitated the truck radio. Arg.

- Roll your tongu​e in a circl​e?​​​ Uh, yeah... I guess I can do that.

- Reaso​n to do this:​​​ do what? Oh, didn't I already cover that?

- Song:​​ Who We Are Instead

- Salad​ Dress​ing:​​​ homemade ranch with raw fresh ingredients

- Sushi​:​​​ Is fun once and a while. But, please, someone tell me why-- if you're supposed to put the whole roll in your mouth in one bite, why can't they make it in a size to fit in there? I mean, really, I have a big mouth, but it is not enjoyable to stuff the thing in there and then try to chew. I can't even taste it and that's the whole point, isn't it? And taking bites? Forget it. It just falls apart all over the place and makes me look like a dork. Gah. I'll like sushi better when they learn about a little thing called portion control.

- Skipp​ed schoo​l:​​ Only for good reasons...

- Slept​ outsi​de:​​​ Very fun as long as there are no mosquitos.

- Sing outlo​ud:​​​ Love it!

- Sing well?​​​:​​​ Not really, but I like to! Especially in a choir.

- In the showe​r?​​​:​​​ Right now? With my laptop? Toasters are cheaper.

- Swear​?​​​:​​​ Nope.

- Straw​berri​es/​​​Blueb​errie​s:​​​ Oh yes please!

- Time for bed: an hour ago.

- Thund​ersto​rms:​​​ Fun to watch out on the porch with a glass of iced tea.

- Unpre​dicta​ble:​​​ life

- Vacat​ion spot:​​​ Hawaii

- Weakn​ess:​​​ wanting what I haven't been given

- Which​ one of your frien​ds acts the most like you: Um.... none. I can't think of any friends as dingy as me...

- Who makes​ you laugh​ the most:​​​ Jonah, Nathan, my friend Sarah

- Worst​ feeli​ng:​​​ Don't wanna go there.

- Wante​d to be a model​?​​​ Never. How aweful.

- Where​ do we go when we die? I know where I'm goin'!

- Worst​ Weath​er?​​​:​​ Wind. I don't like being in the wind.

-​​ X-​​​Rays:​​​ Waaaaay too many. Piles of dental and neck. Also-- chest and knee. Cancer, anyone?

- Ex'​​​s:​ live in Texas. Acutally not.

-​​​Year it is now: 2009, but if you look at any checks I've written, it's still 2008.

-​​​Yello​w:​​ in my kitchen! Also, goes well with red.

- Zoo anima​l:​​​ That's it? That's the end of this? A "zoo animal"? All that and then I'm supposed to pick an animal? Why bother... Hopefully, no one is still reading this because I can't believe how long it is and I can't figure out why I started it. I'm going to bed now. 12:09 and I'm over and out.

Child Labor Loophole

When I was a kid, I always suspected that my parents looked around them and said, "Whew, we need someone to feed the animals and wash the dishes and weed the garden and break every valuable thing we own."

So they had a passel of kids.

And put us to work.

Well now, being all growed up and all, I'm here to say that I fully intend to do the same thing.

"C'mom! Work faster! Do you want to eat today?"

Oh, it's okay. Sometimes we play with him, too.

But only after he's finished polishing my silver and dusting the window trim.

Friday, January 2, 2009

"Scientific" Wool

The actually history of pasteurization had nothing to do with making milk from normal dairy farms safe. Pasteurization was a response to the urban industrialization of milk production. That is, pasteurization was only a response a very specific milk - industrial milk.

The War of 1812 with England resulted in the permanent cutting off of the whiskey supply America procured from the British West Indies. As a result, the domestic liquor industry was born, and by 1814, grain distilleries began to spring up in the cities as well as the country. Distillery owners then began housing cows next to the distilleries and feeding hot slop, the waste product of whiskey making, directly to the animals as it poured off the stills. Thus was born the slop or swill milk system.

Slop is of little value in fattening cattle; it is unnatural food for them, and makes them diseased and emaciated. But when slop was plentifully supplied, cows yielded an abundance of milk. Diseased cows were milked in an unsanitary manner. The individuals doing the milking were often dirty, sick or both. Milk pails and other equipment were usually dirty. Such milk sometimes led to disease. ...

This is an excellent article about the history of pasteurization and it's "scientific" misuse today.

Also, I loved this quote:

"Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it."– Stephen Leacock