Friday, January 30, 2009
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'."
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...)
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
Monday, January 26, 2009
So I guess in my current state of mind, this video cracks me up more than usual.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
~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
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
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
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...
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
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
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
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
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...
When you must say a fond, but firm, "farewell".
When some things...
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
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.
...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
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
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.
Friday, January 9, 2009
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
I promised to make him more to play with when we got home, and we could tie the planes on to the mobile.
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
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?"
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
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
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.)
- Age: is all in your head.
- Best Frien
- Best feeli
- Best weath
- Been in Love:
- Been on stage
- Cake or pie: Either as long as they're worth eating, read: made by an actual person with good ingredients.
- Day or Night
- Ever faile
- Full name:
- Gum: nah.
- Get along
- Good luck charm
- Hair Color
- How do you want to die: In my sleep, not too old.
- Ice Cream
- Job: Home attitude director.
- Kids: Got a great one, please send more.
- Keep a journ
- Milk flavo
- One wish:
- Roll your tongu
- Sing outlo
- Sing well?
- In the showe
- Time for bed: an hour ago.
- Who makes
- 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.
- Zoo anima
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
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