Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm fairly sure that I did not eat store-bought jam until I was in my twenties.  My grandmother and mother made jam as far as I can remember, and then when I moved away I was able to continue to get a supply from them for Christmases or I could snag a couple of jars when I went home to visit. 

But then the Post Office decided that email was cutting into profits and upped their prices and my relatives stopped sending me jam.  

For one who has never had to buy the stuff before, purchasing the appropriate texture and flavor of jam/jelly/preserves/marmalade (do you even know the difference between all of these? I had to educate myself. It was terribly annoying) can be difficult. 

Over the years, I have rec'd a jar of jam here or there from a friend or sister in law or stolen one from my parents' house when they weren't looking (the sour plum tree in our backyard really does make special jam).  But I've still had to buy several jars from the store and about a third of the time whatever I buy ends up getting tossed out because I've not gotten the right flavor/texture of jam/jelly/preserves/marmalade. 

Which brings me to Karen (Mrs. Dr. Goldthorpe there on my side bar - but I'm pretty sure her blog's private. I'm very sorry for your loss, she's a peach). 

Karen is a friend from college. She is tall and slender and athletic and she usually wore her hair in a ponytail and I always saw her in jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers.  Because of Karen I was completely converted to the jeans/t-shirt/sneaker/ponytail look (my does this post have a lot of forward slashes or what?) for some years while I chased small children around my home. It was helpful, but now I'm back to using the curling iron and wearing heels. 

Anyway - Karen had twin girls and painted her toenails for the first time and ventured into crafting.  She's good at what she's done so far, and I can prove it. Last week I got a surprise in the mailbox:

Mrs. Dr. Goldthorpe has recently moved to Montana and decided to see what could be done with the famous huckleberries that populate the state.  Let me tell you; good things could be done.  She sent me 5 jars but by the time I took this photo - 4 or 5 hours after I rec'd the box - one jar "pearberry" (what a scrumptious name!) was already halfway gone. 

But here it is on toast. 

I must say the Pearberry is possibly the prettiest jam I have ever seen. (or jelly. it might be jelly. i didn't actually educate myself. i just pretended to.)

Thanks Karen! Your sugary goodness got us through a seriously bad week of plague and mopeyness!

Friday, September 25, 2009

On the first day of school, my husband said,  "So, I bet he'll be in the principal's office by the end of the week."

But he was wrong.

It took 3. 

"We were playing soccer and then I whapped this kid, and so he stomped on my leg, and then I tripped him, and then he got up and pulled my hair, and then I pulled his hair...."

I'm a terrible mom. I had to leave the room so he didn't see me laughing.  Craig said, "Why did you whap him?"

"well... um. because. because...he was......CHEATING!" (it was obvious he had just come up with that one).

"what did the principal say to you?"

"Um, I don't remember."


Thursday, September 24, 2009


usually when I see photos of someone's kid all covered in food it kinda grosses me out. "poor kid" I think, "just clean 'em up so they can be happy!"

I have learned my lesson.

he's obviously happiest just. like. this. 

and he'll tell it to your face.  you gotta problem with that?
i've been trying to get more regular about posting - I have even done some sewing that I could pop up here for inspirational viewing. 

it's just that a 5 year old in my house has been sick all week, and a 6 month old in my house has been up screaming all night with a fever, and it's all I can do at the moment to not collapse in a heap.  

healthy thoughts in our direction would be appreciated. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

last saturday the largest employer in my little home town went up in smoke.  130 more people in this economic depression are out of work until.... when? 

the mill in another small town in Trinity county closed down in 1996. There is hardly anything left of that town now.  I hope the lumber mill can rebuild. And  quickly. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who are suffering because of this. Thankfully no one was injured.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

this morning my son is hoisting himself up on his knees and elbows. I inform him that a baby his age is not allowed to be doing things that look like crawling.

“stop that.” I say, and gently nudge him over with my foot.

he gives me a screech-laugh and rolls back onto his belly to try again.  he keeps screeching and making happy sounds; like this business is something he’s done before and forgotten how fun it is, and is excited to have that fun again.

I felt that way a couple of times too, watching my older kids when they were toddlers. Playing in the snow and rolling down hills. I remembered how much fun it used to be, and jumped in with them. Didn’t work out so well for me though. The snow just made me cold and wet and rolling pell-mell down a grassy slope just makes me feel sick. 

this kid really is making progress, I think, and wonder if I’m wrong about the whole “you shouldn’t be crawling yet” thing. My oldest didn’t crawl until he was 9 months old but for the life of me I cannot remember when my second was crawling.  

So I google it. Because google has all the answers (well, okay, I just googled “Which church is the true church?” to see and apparently google does NOT have all the answers after all).   The general consensus is 6-10 months. Ambiguous much?

I look down at him. He is two feet further backward than when I started my google search.  

“you won’t be six months old for ten more days, buddy.”  I nudge him onto his back again.

as I walk away, I can hear him laughing.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

There is one person who has not been entirely thrilled with the new school year:

Dear Mom, (he wrote, in his most recent letter of complaint)

What have you done with my 24 hour entertainment? Why are they gone for half of my day? As the Center of the Universe, it is my right to have persons available whose sole purpose in life is to make me laugh.  

You kind of suck at that. I need them back. Instantly. 

Also, you are boring. 
and don't even think for a second, Mom, that this fancy new contraption is going to make up for it.  I can see right through your pathetic attempts at getting hobbies and chores done instead of holding me.  Nice try. 

Lots of drooly kisses,

so you can see that I'm going to have to step up and reevaluate my plans for the school year. I am not going to be the uber-housekeeper and getting-fun-things-done-er. I am going to be the entertainer, the holder, the sleep companion. What was I thinking? 

not that I mind, hear. A life of productivity is ideal, but a life of lazing about and playing with the cutest little cherub ever to squirm over the face of the earth is fine with me, too. 
My middlest child had his first day of Kindergarten on Tuesday.  He liked it. 

and my oldest started 4th grade. sheesh. 

they are at a new charter school; a german immersion program that is on its way to being an International Baccalaureate school. It's very exciting to be a part of pioneering such an amazing program. 
sure, the "office" is about the size of my kitchen (that's "small", folks), and we have no cafeteria or art/music room or blacktop or auditorium and sure we're using fancy porta-potties for the time being. 

but it's still pretty exciting. 

Friday, September 04, 2009

Another day, another article

This one is all about how Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has angered a large number of his regular customers by having an opinion

Well how dare he! And now some 22,000 Facebookers have sworn to boycott the chain because they don't like what the man has to say.  What, are we terrorists now? Are we trying to put a man out of business because he refuses to think the way we want him to? REALLY?!

Happily, the boycott has caused another group of folk to BUYcott the company in St. Louis - Mackey's customers tend to be liberal Democrats rather than conservatives - and try to boost the revenue by shopping in the chain's stores. 

It seems that this outburst is nothing but an excuse for two parties to sit around and call each other names.  How progressive of us all. 

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Caitlin Flanagan's recent article in Time Magazine was, I believe, a well written and necessary story of How Life Really Is vs. What People Think is OK.  Marriage is an important part of our life on Earth and a necessary step in the path to raising a healthy and functioning family. 

Divorce and single-parent families have become the norm rather than the exception. The effect that these trends have, and will have on society are already bad and exponentially worse.  How does one affect change in this society? Is it possible for us as a country to reverse this or will we have to have a catastrophic crash-and-burn before things change? 

I have to admit it's hard to be hopeful after seeing statistics like these!
Many of you know that I'm hard pressed to read/watch anything that does not include a love story.  They are simply my favorites.   

Also many of you know that I was not thrilled with the Harry+Ginny story in the last movie.  It could have been so much better, and sweeter, and actually part of the story. But whatever. 

I saw this image in smallsize on Facebook today and I thought, is that... is that Ron and Hermione?!  and I quickly googled it and Yes! It Is Them!

and now I'm hoping that the 7th movie will do a decent job with the sweet love stories that are in the book.  Because this photo is fantastic!


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I'm a convert!

After years and years of learning about how to be more eco-friendly and reducing my carbon footprint, I've decided to switch to cloth diapering.  It is so easy, and there are so many options now, that I feel there really is no reason not to anymore.   

Besides the environmental factor, the reusable diapers do not have the chemicals that disposable diapers must use in order to have the absorbency they need.  Healthier for baby, healthier for the environment.  Check it out!