Friday, July 30, 2010

Windmill for Macy

Last Saturday I took George to the local flea market to get some local produce. One Asian vendor has a spot with over 50 boxes of various dollar junk. No tables, just boxes on the ground. George was attracted to the ones with the windmills. Samples were set up and they were spinning in the breeze. The sign read "WINDMELL 3.00 2 for 5.00". I smiled at the misspelling and agreed he could pick one out. It would be nice to put up near Macy's special spot.

Falling asleep on the drive out.

His first attempt at staking it in. He wasn't happy with the result so...

he tried again.

Great job George!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Only in America

Yesterday I ventured into the room of my house I go the least often: The children's bathroom. The room many mothers avoid at all costs. It gets pretty gross. They drip toothpaste on the counter and the sink. The mirror gets very splotchy. Once in a while they "miss". They leave empty bottles of product and wet rags in the bottom of the tub. And despite the fact that there are 6 of them occasionally assigned to clean the tub, it never gets REALLY clean. I should probably spend more time in there but that has not yet become a burden on my heart.

Back to those bottles of product... Six of our children regularly shower in that bathroom. And yesterday there were 22 bottles of DIFFERENT product on the shelves. Shampoos, conditioners, body washes (both the female and male brands), all-in-one washes, shaving cream and bubbles. I have no idea how this has and continues to accumulate because I only buy them a bottle of Head and Shoulders now and then. The gross excess that this signifies leaves me more than a little embarrassed. Especially once I checked my own shower. Do I really need the hair masque AND the conditioner?

When my husband was growing up he had a bar of soap and ONE bottle of Head and Shoulders in the tub. When his younger sister reached her teen years a bottle of conditioner got added. How did we allow the ad men with their mad marketing skills to evolve us so quickly from people who shampooed twice a month into people who need 4-5 separate products to get clean?

Among the books I am currently reading is Amish Peace. There are a lot of tips in there to help simplify your life. Amish people only keep in their homes things they really need. I doubt there is more than a bar of soap and one bottle of 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner in their showers.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

An Optimist is...

“An optimist is a fellow who believes a housefly is looking for a way to get out.” --George Jean Nathan

I can not STAND having a fly in the house. But I hate it when they make me their murderer by refusing to leave on their own. I killed 9 yesterday. Must stop letting the kids leave the door open.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Beets: Country Style

We had another lovely dinner yesterday courtesy of my sister-in-law Barb and her husband Bob. I'm so grateful to them for their compassion, generosity, and thoughtfulness as we are healing. Among the offerings in the kitchen was a side dish made of beets and onions. My entire family opted out but I found it cold, sweet, and delicious. I had 2 large helpings with dinner before leaving to pick wild blackberries at my brother-in-law's.

Kevin soon came by to take me home. He commented that Barb had sent me "some beets" with the other leftovers. Unpacking her food gifts at home I expected to see a neat little container of the beet dish among the leftover hot dogs, chili topping, and macaroni and cheese. Imagine my surprise when I unpacked the bag at home and found instead some large dirty lumps covered with dirt.

Now, I'm not that much of a city girl that I did not realize immediately that these were the beets. "What am I supposed to do with this?" I asked him. They looked like what I imagine excised tumors would. His response was the same as his sister's had been when I asked her if the dish had a lot of added sugar; "2 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of vinegar."

Barb comes from a long line of women with a natural ability to cook. These are the women who give you recipes with ingredients like "some" sugar, "a bit" of oil or a "handful" of flour. They have been following recipes like this for generations and their food always comes out great. I am not one of these women. I need step by step instructions with exact measurements of what to add and when and how to do it.

So I called Barb up for the details. I could only smile and thank her when she said..."Boil the beets a bit, chop them up, put some onion in and add two parts sugar to one part vinegar. That'll do it."