Friday, October 02, 2009

This Explains Everything

At 4:30 am, we hear Tiny Viking calling "DAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDYYYYY."

Like any normal, sleep-deprived parents, we try to ignore it (what? it wasn't a panicky cry, I promise).

It continues a couple more times, and we decide we can't ignore it any more. Lawnboy gets up to see what he wants, and he says "I go bed, Mommy."

Lawnboy brings him into our bed where he proceeds to wiggle and squirm like a tiny marmocet who has just taken a hit or two of meth. I can't take it any more, this lack of sleep, and I say to Tiny Viking, "Were you sent here by evil insomniac Gypsies???"

He pauses a beat, and then responds "....uh, YEAH!"

I hope those Gypsies are happy with our actual child. I'm sure they're getting a lot of sleep. I won't pursue it legally, mostly because Tiny Viking is so damn cute.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why We Garden

Growing up, both our families had a backyard garden. My husband's parents' garden was considerably more substantial than my own parents', but nonetheless, by the time we were five, we both knew a carrot was a miracle that happened underground and that those frozen peas in December were a sorry substitute for what happens in June. In fact, gorging on the peas that were always planted by our woodpile is one of my earliest memories.

When we bought our first house, Lawnboy and I were smart enough to close on it in January, which left just (barely) enough time to dig up some of the grass in the lovely southern-exposed back yard, so we could get the babies in the ground by March and April. We learn as we go, and five years later, we can look back on our garden journal and have been able to improve on what we started. We are no longer "on a break" from our friends the Cabbage Family, we have finally figured out the mysteries of those delicate and delicious plants. We know to rotate everything, and we know that if the tomatoes have blossom end rot, they aren't getting enough calcium.

But why do we keep doing it?

Because sustaining our lives with some dirt and tiny seeds are the closest we could ever get to understanding the meaning of our existence. Because our kids deserve to know that potatoes don't come in mesh bags, and that while onions may rot, leeks are with us all year round. Because every time we watch a seed grow we're reminded of how miraculous and sacred life is. Not just the pumpkin, not our darling baby boys, not the soldiers everywhere, but ALL life. Because it is reassuring to know that we don't have to rely solely on the industrial economy to put food in our mouths. Because there will come a time when our children, or our children's children, might not have a choice in the matter. Because life is about the survival of genes. And we want ours to survive.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Golden Hour by the Lake

IMG_0248, originally uploaded by lankathi.

Uncle Thane came to visit us in September, and we had a grand time showing him around Seattle. One of our favorite places for a picnic is a little park on Lake Washington, and we were there at the most beautiful time of the day. Fezzik showed Uncle Thane all around our park, and we ended up on the dock enjoying the sunset.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tiny Viking on Slide

Long delays! We've been *living* y'all!

Here is the small one at our favorite playground, hamming it up on the syide. Which, in twospeak, means "slide."

More to come real soon - I just configured my flickr account to post directly to the blog, so hopefully that will keep me more motivated to share pics with you.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I realized that my summer weekends are now a thing of the past. We have two weddings next weekend, and after that we're headed to Montana for a major road trip vacation.

That said, we had a lot of stuff to put up from the garden. The green beans are overwhelming, the cucumbers keep coming, the zucchini is... not quite overwhelming, but I could survive on zucchini alone. I love the stuff. We never have too much.

A weekend full of canning was in order. Here's what we put by (sorry for the lack of pictures, I'll update later).

  • Seven pounds of scarlet runner beans (canned)
  • Seven half-pints of blueberry jam
  • Five half-pints of raspberry jelly
  • Two quarts of asian-style refrigerator pickles
  • One quart of half-sours, a fermented dill pickle
This quart-at-a-time pickling is quite convenient. I have never tried to do fermented dill pickles before (our sweet pickles are brined/fermented for 14 days before they are canned). I am excited to see the results. The recipe, from The Joy of Pickling, says that half-sours are "cucumbers still, not pickles - little cucumbers who have died and gone to heaven." I'll let you know our assessment in a week or so.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I'm running out of brains. My only excuses for not posting my usual, pithy entries is that it's been a very crappy spring - broken friendships, grandma's death, having to put down our favorite old cat. By put down, I mean murder (even if it was the kindest thing for him, it still felt like murder).

Anyway, these can speak for themselves for now. And if you haven't already heard, please join us for the Swedish SummeRun - it's going to be held on what would have been my mom's 63rd birthday, and it has been 5 years since her death, so we want a HUGE team this year in her honor. Sign up here.

And now, on with the show! We went for a little walk at the Mima Mounds a couple weekends ago, just after we hit a farm auction (which was more fun than it sounds, at least for me). These mounds are mysterious, and people still don't know how they got here. Some folks say they're a result of glacial melts, some say Native Americans made them, others say pocket gophers (really). Our money is on the glaciers, but what do we know?

Then, for your viewing pleasure, is Fezzik's ATTACK FACE. Click on the picture for a close-up, it's totally worth it. Believe me when I tell you he missed this ball, but the next one was a nice hard line drive. His baseball skills really improved this year, and more importantly, he liked playing. He was a great little hitter! He was one of 2 kids who homered this year, and doggone it, even if it was a result of the other team's incompetence, IT COUNTS. That is all; I'll put my rabid Baseball Mom attitude aside until Fall Ball starts. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Ice Age

Woke up this morning, on the hottest day in 9 months, to a wee baby with a 101 degree fever.

It's rough trying to work from home when you have a 2-year-old, hot, sweaty kid wanting to be held all day. I am not one to say no to holding my sick baby, either. The not-wearing-pants part is a great benefit on a day like today, 90 degrees in the shade (83 by my laptop...).

So, instead of 8 contiguous hours, I get to break my workday up into little chunks, and work 12 broken up hours.

To tell you the absolute truth, I would much rather have been in the office today, where there is air conditioning. I am a WIMP! When the mercury climbs above 78 I start melting.

We've worked out a complicated compromised schedule for tomorrow, one where Lawnboy gets up even earlier than normal, and I start the day like normal, but come back after dropping off Fezzik at school, and dropping of Tiny Viking the Contagious with his dad before I head to work. Phew!

But air conditioning? Here I come. And I may not wear pants tomorrow either. I'm just warning you.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy Week Menu

We've got after-school stuff going on this week. Here's the menu.

Monday take-out Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches (DELICIOUS and $3.25 apiece!)
fettucine with peas, shallots and herbs, salad from the garden, wacky cake
Wednesday broccoli and rice casserole, scrambled eggs, spinach salad, strawberry shortcake
Thursday dutch babies, sausages, honeydew melon, raspberries with angel food cake
Friday Empanadas, homemade popsicles (yogurt, blueberries)

Unless our neighbor comes over to barter with halibut for more of our eggs. In that case, all menu bets are off!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Copycat Hike, or How Even Tiny Vikings Idolize Their Big Brothers

Last weekend was a blast. We hit Folklife to see some amazing belly dancing, we gardened, we dug clams, we started construction of a giant cardboard castle, and yesterday, to top it off, we went for a hike.

We hit the Coal Creek Canyon, which isn't far from our house. At first, we were worried that we'd hear freeway noise the whole way, but as soon as we rounded the first bend, we were enveloped by the sounds and the quiet of the forest. I love living in the Pacific Northwest; the forests here are my idea of heaven.

We only went for just under two miles, but we think that's not bad with a two year old in tow. He ran most of the way, although he got tired at the midpoint and I carried him in the backpack for a while. Most of the time was spent chasing his brother up and down the trail. Everything Fezzik did, Tiny Viking had to try too. Throwing rocks into the creek? Of course! And of course he can throw the big rocks just like his brother. So what if he's just a quarter of Fezzik's age?

What got us rolling, though, was the mimicry. Fezzik missed a shot with his rock, and said "DARN it!" Then Tiny Viking threw his rock, and said "DURR IT!" Fezzik spotted a snail on the trail, Tiny Viking had to stop and tell us all about it. Fezzik booked it up the trail, Tiny Viking followed, arms pumping, saying "bruh-urrrrr, ait up!" (Brother, wait up!).

On the way back down, that snail had been crushed by another hiker. How I love Fezzik's respect for life. We paused at the scene of the crime, Fezzik mourned the death, and Tiny Viking reminded us about how much they both had liked that snail.

We had clam linguine last night for dinner, and while we usually make Fezzik try a bite of any seafood we eat (which happens infrequently, but is always consumed by Fezzik under protest), last night he argued "Mom, I just do not want to eat any living thing." Remembering the sad look on his face when he discovered the crushed snail on our hike, I couldn't argue a case for meat last night. I didn't have it in me. The kid's got morals.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Long Time Gone

We got back safely from Chicago, and three weeks later, I'm still digesting. Whoa. And, can I just tell you that We Do Not Drink That Much Out Here On The West Coast? Fun, though, even if the weekend is kind of blurry. I vaguely recall naming the trip "Meat-a-palooza." The meat fest started out at Hot Dougs, where I waited in line for 40 minutes to buy a delicious Chicago-style Polish Sausage, all the while refraining from buying a meat-themed t-shirt for my vegetarian husband. Self control! And it ended at Hamburger Mary's, where I had a (what else?) delicious, delicious cheeseburger. MMMMMMMmmm, meat! And I'd like to publicly thank my very generous sister, who was a great hostess. Thanks for letting us invade your space!

I did try rum again, for the first time since that unfortunate incident on my roof when I was 18. I was assured by my sister that this was no ordinary rum we were drinking, but a special, barf-proof, caramel flavored Belizean rum, which she and her boyfriend discovered on their trip to Belize. And you know what? She was right! Delicious!

And the jury is in: I officially like my sister's boyfriend. He's a genuine nice guy! He's funny! He's smart! What more could I ask for? Not much, in my estimation.

My friend Nicole, who now lives in Madison, WI, ventured down to visit us. What fun! We all crammed into my sister's room for a sleepover, and it kind of felt like old times, minus the uncomfortable hide-a-bed bars in our backs.

Sidenote: Nicole and I went to camp together every summer between the ages of 10 and 17. We had a small group of friends who went with us each year, and while Nicole and I caught up in Chicago, we came to the conclusion that the time was ripe for a Camp Cornet reunion. Las Vegas, here we come, this October!

In other, sadder news, my amazing grandma passed away on May 5. While it wasn't expected the way it was when my mom died, it wasn't a complete shocker either. She was tiny and frail and it's ok. I miss her to bits and pieces, but I'm really glad she's not in pain any more. My dad, his sister, Lawnboy and I were all there with her when she died, and it was pretty peaceful. I'm glad we got to be there with her when it happened.

There are more updates but at the moment, Tiny Viking and Fezzik need to get ready for school and daycare. And I should probably think about getting ready for work.

I'll leave you with a yummy spring recipe. We gobbled this up on Sunday night and it's definitely going into heavy rotation for a while. The herbs came from our garden, but our peas aren't quite ready yet. In about a month or so, all the vegetables will come from our garden, including the shallots!

Spring Fettucine with Peas and Fresh Herbs
adapted from Real Simple magazine
1 lb dry fettucine
2 c. fresh shelled peas
2 T. olive oil
6 shallots, about 1/2 cup
1/2 c. fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 T. fresh chives, finely chopped
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese (or Grana Padano, or pecorino)
salt & pepper

Cook the fettucine in very salty water until almost al dente. Add the peas and cook for 1 -2 minutes more. Reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water, then drain and return the fettucine to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the shallots and salt and pepper, and sautee until soft but not browned.

Add the shallots to the pasta, then add the herbs and cheese and stir gently. Serve it all up and chow down!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We're Off to See the Wizard

Not really. My dad bought me a plane ticket to Chicago for my birthday, and I head to my sister's fair city tomorrow morning!

It seems she's planned a week's worth of eating into 4 days, but who am I to complain about that?

Also, my dearest dear darling friend Nicole is coming down from Madison to visit. Bonus!

Hijinks will ensue, I promise! We've an agenda full of things you can't do with two little vegetarian boys in tow - Whirlyball, a musical, and steakhouses, not to mention uninterrupted sleep. Possibly a walking tour of the city, too, although it's a bit early in the season for that.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Newest Member of the Household

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you CASSIOPEIA, the cutest house rabbit you've ever seen. In your lives. Warning: these pictures may cause you to die of cuteness. She's CUTE, I tell you!


Are you still alive? Really? You didn't die from the cuteness? Huh.

We're going to call her Cassie for short. Why Cassiopeia? 1. Because it's my favorite constellation, 2. Because getting her was my idea, and therefore naming her is my right, and 3. Because all mammal pets in our house must, apparently, have a name that starts with the letter "c."

The intent was to go to the Humane Society with my friends Jessica and Kate and procure a timeshare rabbit, but they chickened out. This little baby is ALL MINE.

She appears to be a rex, with the short, short, velveteen fur that I'm so fond of. If she were longer-furred, I'd consider spinning the fur and making angora socks, but that's a little while down the road for me. She's 6 months old, and has been hand raised, and loves to be held and petted.

Oh my god, y'all, she's so cute. I'm going to go play with her now, and really, how could you blame me???

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Sad Few Weeks

Warning: this one's a downer!

It has been a rough few weeks. The highlights (lowlights?), in no particular order:

My 91-year-old great aunt went into the hospital for a bowel obstruction, but now has pneumonia and doesn't want to be treated for it. We don't think she'll make it, and she keeps talking about how she's so tired of living. Which is totally her right, but just sad because we'll miss her.

I "had words" with a dear friend's wife and now it appears that the friendship is over...? There has been no final word on the matter, which is rough. I don't even know what to say about this, other than I'm absolutely devastated.

Our dear old Charlie cat started acting all weird, lethargic and drooley, and we took him to the vet and found out that he either has an abscessed tooth or a tumor, in addition to a thyroid problem and a heart murmur, and requires (expensive) surgery, and because of his heart murmur he may not recover from the anesthesia.

The silver lining:
My sister came to town to see our great aunt. She was here for a bonus week, and it was really wonderful to see her.

That's it, for now.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fezzik's Spring Adventures, Wherein We Almost Freeze to Death

I ran into Fezzik's last baseball coach at work a few weeks back. He asked me if Fezzik would be playing ball again this year, and I had to tell him I had no idea.

At the end of the season last year, Fezzik was convinced that he would never take another swing at a baseball as long as he lived. It didn't occur to us to ask him during registration this year if he wanted to play again. He was adamant last year. Because he complained and fought with us about going to practice and games last year, we didn't have the heart to argue with him.

After I saw Coach Mike, I asked Fezzik, in passing, if he had changed his mind about baseball. Would you maybe like to play again this year? The answer was an immediate and resounding "YES!" I emailed the league to find a spot for him and he was assigned to the Rockies. I asked him again if he was sure he wanted to play, and he was still enthusiastic about it.

First game was last night, and despite his lineage and the fact that we haven't played catch or had any batting practice since June of last year, the kid is a bit of a jock. The first time up to bat, he hit a foul ball (contact!) on the first swing, and the second ball that came his way was quickly turned into a line drive right down the third base line. Base hit - way to go kiddo!

He was also excited and distracted by his friends from his old school. I haven't put much effort in keeping in contact with his friends from last year - it's time to change that, especially since they all live in our neighborhood.

I'm glad he's excited to play again. It helps his motivation that he remembered how to hit the ball, too. Even though we froze our asses off while he played, it was a very fun night.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On the Cheap and Green

We tend to spend a lot of money on food. One of the ways we've been trying to whittle our budget down is by planning our meals.

Meal planning allows us to have a better grasp of what we will need, it helps us to plan to use up foods more efficiently (e.g. before the sour cream turns on us); it saves time - we don't grocery shop nearly as often as we used to, and we don't get home from work hungry, worrying about what to cook. The best benefit is that we've been able to cut back on the "I'm bored with my choices - let's eat out" nights in a significant way. We eat out at least 50% less than we used to. That adds up.

Each weekend, we take 10 minutes to rummage through the cupboards and freezer, and we sit down and plan out what we'll be eating the following week. We've really cut back on what we waste this way, and we're more conscious about using up what we already have.


This week's menu is fairly typical.

Monday: Scrambled eggs with corn & zucchini, corn tortillas, spanish rice and refried beans
Tuesday: Salmon burgers, sweet potato oven-fries, steamed kohlrabi, salad
Wednesday: Spagetti (homemade sauce), salad, broccoli, bread
Thursday: Halibut (from our neighbors' trip to Alaska!), green beans, rice pilaf
Friday: Homemade pizza

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Custom-made Cookies

We have a cafe at work, which doesn't offer up terribly great food, but we eat there from time to time. One thing they do very well is their cookies.

I had a coconut-chocolate chip-macadamia nut cookie there a few weeks ago, and it was delectable. I thought I'd try to replicate it the next time I made cookies.

Fezzik and I did that today. It's not exact, but it's close enough, and the best part is that I used stuff we had in our pantry instead of making an extra trip for macadamia nuts. Admittedly, I think they'd taste better with the macadamia nuts, but in this case, thrift and laziness won.

Kath's Choco-coconut Cookies
adapted from the Ghiradelli Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe

2 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. butter, room temp
1 c. white sugar (I would use less next time, the standard Tollhouse 3/4 c. would work out just fine)
1 c. brown sugar, packed (again, you could get by with less than this)
2 t. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts
3/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut Bob's Red Mill is my favorite)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, soda and salt together in a small bowl and ignore it until you need it.
Beat the butter with the sugars on medium speed in your Kitchenaid Mixer until light and fluffy. Then keep going a little while longer to be sure. This is the most important step.
Add the vanilla and the eggs (bonus points for using eggs from your backyard flock, like we did!), one at a time, and beat after each just until blended.
Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and stir until everything is evenly mixed, then add the chocolate chips, walnuts (or macadamias) and coconut and mix again just until combined.
Drop by big tablespoons onto your ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes or so, until golden brown. Remove to cool on wire racks, and enjoy a couple while they're still warm!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

This One's For Grandma

Not that she's ever seen this side of the "Internets." Grandma told me a story once, about a Mother's Day when my dad was maybe four years old, when his sister came home from grammar school with a fancy class-made Mother's Day present. Dad apparently felt guilty about not having anything to give his mommy, and promptly went into the back garden and dug up some worms. He took them inside and said, in his sweetest voice, "Here, Mommy, I got you a Mother's Day present too." Now, I need to tell you that my grandma is not a lady you'd consider one with a tough constitution. She's, well, I mean this in the nicest sense, a Priss. Not one to get too dirty, my gram; the best one-word adjective I can use to describe her is "lady." What did she do when presented with a handful of worms? She screwed up her courage, stuck her hand out, and took those worms from her Billy boy, and gushed over them just as she had over Mary Anne's gift.

I doubt anyone has ever called me a Lady, and I don't really mind mucking around and getting dirty, but I have a real fear of worms. I don't know when or how it started, but somewhere way back, I developed not just a revulsion to, but an actual (if undiagnosed) phobia of the bastards. They freak me out. If I could control it, I would, believe me. Don't try to rationalize it - I realize I'm not going to be strangled by a nightcrawler. A phobia is defined by Merriam Webster as "an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation." That's exactly what I have. I appreciate worms, and the work they do to break down my kitchen scraps (and everything else), but I'm not going to rescue them out of mud puddles or pick them up and carry them around in my pockets. Ever.

I've been forced, of late, to start facing my fears head-on, like a real grownup.

Tiny Viking developed a fondness for worms in September, when his own very special grandma was visiting and playing in our garden with him. Now, whenever he sees a worm, he calls out in the cutest little voice, "WORRRRMMMM, wORrrmmm!" And, because I am an exceptional parent (cough, cough), I have done my best to not discourage this little (disgusting) habit of his. I even bend over to examine the little wriggly creatures if he notices them in the driveway. I do not want to instill my irrational fears on my children (see how exceptional I am?!). Still, I get the heebie-jeebies every time it happens, I won't lie to you.

Fezzik, at 8, has not developed an aversion to worms either, unfortunately for me. He went out on Tuesday morning to let our chickens out of their coop, and came back into our kitchen with 2 worms in his hand. I took a deep breath and said in my most nonchalant voice, "hey! what'cha got there?"

"Mom, I think I want to start a worm farm."


"Yes. I want to grow worms and sell them."

"Well. That sounds like a very good plan. I have one rule, though. The worms need to stay outside."


"Starting right now."

Lucky for me, he's a very obedient child. He marched his livestock outside and placed him gently in the dirt. Ugh.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New and Notable

Couple things.

1. I noticed that I have a blog follower that I don't appear to know! Woot! She is apparently a belly dancer too. Hi Crazed Redhead! You can email me! I would love to know more about you! I'm not scary! Although I use too many exclamation points!

2. Speaking of being a Raqstar! I made my first belly dance costume last weekend. It includes but is not limited to gold fringe and amber beads and tiny brass skeleton keys, because they struck my fancy. I wanted to wear it to work on Monday but the 8-year-old talked me out of it.

Is that over-sharing? Most of you who know me should recall that I tend to introduce myself to groups by saying "It's easiest for me to describe myself using this interperetive dance. If you could just clear the way here, I'll get started." And, for those of you who DON'T know me, that was a direct quote from the first staff meeting I attended at the architecture firm where I worked from 1999 - 2001. Yes. Not. Kidding.

Anywhoodle, I think I'm all amped up on the fact that Crazed Redhead likes my blog, and I don't even know her! Hooray for the tiny world, hooray for the interwebs!

Oh! The Amazing Nana Clara!

I can't get enough of these videos!

Things You'd Prefer Not to Hear When You Color Your Hair

"Oh. Um. That's unfortunate."

"But I liked your gray hairs."

"Wow, that's...different."

I guess I won't go with the Rosewood color next time... But for the record, I didn't like my gray hairs. And I like this color! At any rate, it's better than the cherry Kool-Aid I used in 10th grade. Trust me on that one. Also, this will wash out in 6 weeks or less, another advantage over the Kool-Aid.

What can I say? I was bored, and in the haircolor aisle.

Still, it's nice to have friends who aren't afraid to be honest.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Frankie Says Relax

I'm sort of taking the week off this week, and any work I do will be done from home. I had planned to not work at all, but apparently Fezzik's school district doesn't care that their mid-winter break interferes with major deadlines and activities at work.

Things to do this week (not necessarily in this order):
  1. Plant peas and spinach
  2. Re-grout the tile in the kitchen, then seal it
  3. Make a major dump run
  4. Put a bunch of random stuff we don't need on Craigslist and/or Freecycle
  5. Clean the house, spit-spot, in a manner we haven't done in a long time (cobwebs and dust bunnies, consider yourselves warned!)
  6. Put up the trim around the cabinets in the kitchen
  7. Touch up the paint in the kitchen and on the front door
  8. Clean out the chicken coop and replace their straw in the laying boxes
  9. Hit the library, hard
  10. Have my work friends over for a fancy tea (see above, "cleaning")
  11. Knit a freaking pair of socks already!
  12. Go to a really cool whirling dervish/Sufi lecture at Seattle University
  13. Maybe, if we're lucky, go to the Home Show
  14. Take the kids to the park every day
  15. Kick myself, at the end, for not getting everything done
What am I doing wasting time with blogging? I have things to do, people to see, places to go! I'll report back after a successful vacation. Have a good week!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Inside the Crafters Studio

James Lipton/Inside the Actors' Studio cracks me up. I do like the idea of a formatted interview. Bloggy friends, please feel free to post and answer these questions on your own blogs.

And now, a word from your host:

  1. What is your favorite word? Epiphany. I like how it looks, I like how it's spelled, and I love the definition.
  2. What is your least favorite word? Turd. My mom banned this word from our vocabularies when I was a kid, and I've got to say, that had an impact. I despise this word.
  3. What turns you on creatively? Beauty. Simplicity. The thought of making something for someone I know will appreciate my efforts.
  4. What turns you off creatively? Complications that arise in the middle of a project.
  5. What sound or noise do you love? The quiet of the woods on a camping trip, and my kids' belly laughter.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? People speaking unkind words about other people. And repetitive small noises, especially in the car.
  7. Who is your favorite hero or heroine in fiction? Hmmm. Maybe Taylor Greer from The Bean Trees.
  8. What craft other than your own would you like to attempt? Pottery. Hands down.
  9. What craft would you not like to do? I don't like fiddly things like scrapbooking and card-making. They're too precious for me. I appreciate folks who have the patience and desire to do them, they are just not for me.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "You were wrong about the whole God thing, but we'll take you anyway. Your mom is right this way."

Monday, February 09, 2009

We Pillaged the Beaches

The clams weren't showing very well yesterday, but we were able to nab about 6 of them. Lucky for us, we have friends who live near the beach, who love to clam dig, but already have a freezerful. They felt sorry for us and gave us their catch, so we didn't drive 6 hours yesterday for only 6 clams.

We left Ocean Shores at about 5:30, and got home at 8:30. Lawnboy put the boys straight to bed, while my dad and I started cleaning the clams. It only took an hour, and we now have enough clams in our freezer for 6 meals - 30 in total.

I think we'll do it again soon.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

We're off to Forage for Food

Today there's a clam tide, which means we're hitting the road and heading west to the ocean beaches with our (new) rubber boots and our (borrowed) clam guns. Clamming combines my love of road trips, beaches, free stuff, food, and family time. How could we go wrong? I'm trying not to think of the sand worms. Sand worms you say? I don't think sand worms exist.

I was planning to use my old rubber boots, but they appear to have been filled with dirt since the last time I used them. That's what I get for leaving them in the garden/construction/Tonka Truck zone. The dirt has since turned into a concrete-like substance, so I'll have to run to Big 5 this morning to buy some new ones.

Have you ever eaten razor clams? They're delicious.

I've been clamming about a zillion times, but the last time we went, my mom was alive, so it's been at least 5 years. It will be a long day, but there's "free" food at the end, and I'm bringing our pirate ship kite. I'm hoping Fezzik will thoroughly enjoy sticking his hands into a wet, mucky, sandy hole to search blindly for an ugly clam, even though he doesn't enjoy eating them.

When my parents lived in England, we brought Fezzik over to visit in September of 2001, and we brought some frozen clams in a small cooler in our luggage as a hostess gift for my mom. Did you know that a Seattle to Manchester flight is long enough to melt frozen razor clams? Long enough for the razor clam juice to drip over the entire contents of your suitcase? We found that out the hard way. Their whole house stunk like razor clams while we were there, and we never did get the stench out of our suitcase.

Well, I'll report back soon with pictures and recipes!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

My Response to: Is Circumcision Wrong? | Momversation

Steel yourselves, you mothers of men. Then, please watch this video, and then, I'll tell you about it.

Is Circumcision Wrong? | Momversation

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Ok. So. Let me just start by saying BLECH.


Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to over share with you, in my usual manner. Both Fezzik and Tiny Viking are circumcised. We are not (in any way) religious. We chose to circumcise our children at birth. In the doc's office. Without ceremony.


I regret the decision.

If I could do it all again, I'd just, well, not do it that way. I would have said "So what?" to the folks who weighed in on the He Must Look Like His Father side. Do they need to have their dad's nose, his hair color (or lack of hair), his shape, to claim the vast inheritance when we die? No, they, do, not.

I wasn't secure enough in this conviction, with either one, to go with my gut. I even think, knowing what I know now, that given the chance, I'd change it even just for my baby, let him keep his skin, even after we'd screwed up his bro.

But I can't. I can't do any of it again.

Do you want to know the worst part, for me? Come on, I know you do.

The worst part is that this decision, the one I'd change, given a second (or third) chance, is quite likely not the worst regret I'll have, parentally-speaking.

Yep, I said it! I'm going to make bigger mistakes (I probably already have), doing more damage, having more impact, than removing my sons' foreskin.

And you know what? It's ok.

The one thing that makes me angry (not just the mildly annoyed that I am throughout most of it), is that no one mentions the word regret in this video. I think it's disgusting that Daphne hurled the word "mutilation" without thinking that she could hurt some really well-intentioned people. I hate that she tries to make up for it later by saying "Well, yeah, but you *thought about it*." But even more, I am mad that they didn't bother to include anyone who had the (ahem) balls to say "Well, I did this, and it was horrible, and I wish I hadn't done it."

We all have regrets. We're allowed to. That's how we learn.

P.s. Daphne? You're a real piece of work. Best of luck to you, lady.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So, incredibly, boring are we.

This is an attempt to convince you to stick around, as I have grand plans for more postings soon.

I'm sorry, but we've been sick, and, well, boring lately. Not much going on, other than general business. Nothing exciting enough to put up here.

Except the kitchen. The kitchen is ALMOST ready to post the before and after pics, I swear.

And the basketball. Fezzik joined a team and watching 8 year olds run up and down the court for 32 minutes is highly entertaining.

And the transitioning. The Tiny Viking has moved up to the Transition room. He's almost 2! Weep!

Rest assured I have stuff brewing, so if you could just hold please, until I can nail that stuff down, that would be great.

Ooh, and one of the things I'm trying to nail down is muy muy controversial. Dontcha just love a cliff hanger?


Monday, January 12, 2009

Lawnboy, the Interview

I have not waxed poetic about my husband of almost 12 years in a while. Dudes, I'm the luckiest nerd-girl in the world. Evidence:

What's your favorite book? I'm gonna go with Guns, Germs and Steel.
What's your favorite song? 'Fool's Gold,' The Stone Roses
What's your favorite movie? First one that comes to mind?"Delicatessen"
Television Show? Nova (like father, like son!)
Favorite Smell? In terms of the memories it evokes, the dry-cleaning chemical PERC (dear god, his parents ran a dry-cleaner's when he was a child. we're all going to die of cancer.)
Favorite Taste? Garlic Naan
Favorite Sound? Tiny Viking's jabbering
What's your favorite instrument? Probably the guitar
Favorite Food? Rice
Favorite thing to drink? Wine, tokay (specifically, my dad's)
What's your favorite animal? cat
What's your favorite thing to do (G-rated)? Read
What's your favorite planet? Earth. It has got life on it.
Where's your favorite place to go? Tuscany is the first one that comes to mind.
What's your favorite imaginary place? At the moment, Kwutunga
What the hell is that? That's here, but not. A subset of Cascadia, it's the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin/Juan de Fuca Strait Watersheds.
Where could I learn more about Kwutunga? Only by talking to me, right now. Maybe one day it will be a book.
Why is it called "Kwutunga?" It's a bastardation of the Salish words for land and water.
What makes you nervous? Lots of things. I guess probably talking about things I don't know anything about.
Specific example? Like a job interview. I don't know what the questions are going to be, and I don't know how to answer them.
What makes you happy? My family.
Who do you admire? Ummm, your mom.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Me.
Not who, what? Fezzik and Tiny Viking's dad
You already are that. Pick something else. Something that you're not already. An author, a writer.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Fezzik, the Bio

At this moment, Fezzik is on the cusp of turning 8 years old. Thought it was a good idea to capture some snippets of his last few days of being 7.

What's your favorite book? Brisingr
What's your favorite song? The first song in our They Might Be Giants cd that's in my thing that wakes me up in the morning (that would be "Birdhouse in Your Soul" from "Dial a Song" disc 1)
What's your favorite movie? Bionicle 2 (really? not "Star Wars?"..."nope.")
Television Show? Nova
Favorite Smell? They way Rocky and Blankie smell
Favorite Taste? ice cream (vanilla)
Favorite Sound? Mom singing bedtime songs
What's your favorite instrument? violin
Favorite thing to do at school? go to the computer lab and have free choice
What's your favorite game? chess
Favorite Food? pizza
Favorite thing to drink? juice (apple)
What's your favorite animal? king cobra
What's your favorite thing to do? go on Club Penguin
What's your favorite planet? Venus, because of its atmosphere - I like its atmosphere. It crushes everything that comes in, really. Pretty fast.
Where's your favorite place to go? New Mexico, because Grandma Kay and Grandpa Dave live there.
What's your favorite imaginary place? On Bionicle, silly, it is my favorite imaginary place, except someone else made it up: The Great Barrier
What makes you nervous? Well, sometimes, monsters in the dark. Being late is one of the scariest things in the world for me.
What makes you happy? Rocky and Blankie; my Bionicles.
Who do you admire? ...(long pause) the only person I admire is already dead. Leonardo da Vinci.
What do you want to be when you grow up? a paleontologist.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Things I Do


At this one, I'm taking a particular interest in the wooden file cabinets, I think they would replace our old metal "MASH 4077" green ones nicely, given the opportunity.

Also, the small painted chest. There's a neat looking old dresser and nightstand too. We'll see.

Try going to an estate auction in your area. They're completely addictive.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I may have mentioned (a billion times) before, that I've been obsessively knitting. I had intended to make Lawnboy a hat (FAIL!), slippers for my sister (check!), fingerless gloves for Fezzik (FAIL!), mittens for Tiny Viking (FAIL!), a hat for my sister-in-law (check!), and various and sundry other random accessories for my other beloveds.

Two out of 40 ain't bad, eh?

The knitting-for-profit thing has taken off, though. I did a craft fair at work before the holidays, and was able to sell a handful of hats. Then, I went to my friend's annual ornament exchange party, and since we were broke, I decided to knit my ornament. I made the cutest pair of tiny mittens you've ever seen. So cute, in fact, that they were fought over at the party, and 2 (!) people demanded to buy some from me on the spot. I dutifully went home that weekend and knitted both pair.

That makes me a PROFESSIONAL KNITTER. Don't get me wrong; I have no delusions about knitting for a living (sigh), but DUDE. I SELL STUFF I MAKE. TO STRANGERS. AND THEY LOVE IT.

(NOTE TO SELF: I need to get the leftover baby hats up on my Etsy store before the weather takes a turn for the warm. )

Meanwhile, I'm struggling with what to call my stuff, and how to handle my varying array of stuff I plan to sell there.

What do you think? Should I have a separate shop for each type of obsession? A knit shop, a soap shop, and a vintage shop? Or is it not as weird as I think it is, to have them combined?

Friday, January 02, 2009

2009 Goals

Well, hello doves! A friend mildly suggested I get cracking on the ol' blog again. The only inspiration I have is my 2009 goals. They are as follows, for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to benchmark me at the end of the year.

  1. Knit a pair of socks each month, alternating between the boys and myself.
  2. Save enough cash to travel to Chicago and New Mexico to see the families, all of whom I love and miss. This means you, Sis. And you, Dave, Kay, Thane and Aleisha, who remain blogless to date.
  3. Cook every recipe in The Indian Vegetarian, up to and including the eggplant ones. This might be the only cookbook in my vast collection from which I've never even tried a recipe. It haunts me.
  4. Blah, blah, blah, pay off the debts we've re-incurred. This one makes my stomach hurt. But I have a new kitchen to show for it! Stomach pain is wearing off now...
  5. Start funding an Emergency Savings Account. This will come in handy should I (conveniently?) get laid off. Which isn't imminent, but you know, it doesn't hurt to have a plan.
  6. Live well within our means this year. We've laid a good foundation for this, with a grocery budget and everything, and the daycare payment is going down by 56 whole dollars next month! It's hard, yo.
  7. Figure out how to be happy about the tiny, but affordable (and completely adequate!) house we have. I'm getting there. Not there yet, and I'm sure it involves more organizing and cleaning than I've grown accustomed to, but let's see if we can get there this year, shall we? Dude, the neighbors have 8 kids in their little house, and if they can do it, I should be able to fit the 4 of us into these 900 square feet without issue.
  8. Play more with the boys. As in, every single day, play.

These are not too head-in-the-clouds goals, don't you think? And all with nary a weight-loss word mentioned!

Happy New Year, all!