Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hey, look, there's a name for it now

I feel so validated. Apparently, this clean enough thing is a trend.

Hey, look, there's a name for it now

I feel so validated. Apparently, this clean enough thing is a trend.

Hi, Mom!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Too many cucumbers?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by Cucurbitaceae? It's a common affliction this time of year. I’ve got two suggestions, both super easy and tasty.


Peel cuke skin off. Then peel the actual cuke into long strips. Throw out the seeds. Place in a pitcher of water for several hours. Then, drink your fancy spa water! So refreshing.

Fridge Pickles
7 large cukes, sliced
2 cups sugar (I use less)
2 teaspoon salt
1 cup green peppers, chopped (I use a jalapeno, instead)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup white wine vinegar (or use red wine vinegar for pink pickles)
1 tsp celery seed

Combine, leave in fridge 3 weeks, eat.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Update on the missing

Well, Marvin is still missing, but we found Waldo! (original checkout date: May 20th)

Kudos to Boo for her eagle eye.

The story of Blue Bear

Blue Bear with friend

Once upon a time there was a girl and her Blue Bear. They were of great comfort to each other. They cuddled. They had birthday parties for Bear. Weekly.

Bear went to the store and the library and the park. Sometimes they sang. Bear was often dressed in jammies with little red hearts on them, or his pink comfy loungewear. Recently, he even acquired a fancy metal and wooden tricycle.

Boo knew where her Bear was at all times. She wouldn’t sleep without him.

Alas, all things come to an end. One rainy night this week, Blue Bear spent the lonely hours in the playhouse, alone, outside. In the morning, Boo put on her rain boots and rain jacket and rescued him. But what does it mean, when he is so totally forgotten until the next day? Will he forgive this? Can he ever forget?

On the other hand, last night Bear started the night across the room in a little bed of blankets, but when I checked on Boo later, his whole sleeping ensemble had moved into her bed. She was probably worried about him, with his “broken leg” and all. Poor Bear.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

So, the last book club book reminded me of the movie Sliding Doors. Probably my favorite romantic comedy of all time. And rewatching it, it reminded me of John Hannah in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Which reminded me of the (unofficial) Best Use of a Poem in a Feature Length Movie.

What a scene that is. What a delivery. People who dismiss all romantic comedies miss out on some quality stuff.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

by W. H. Auden

Two books about sex

Thanks to Kate for recommending Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach. A hysterical romp through scientific articles on sex, covering the last 150 years. Read the book, then go rent Kinsey, if you haven't seen it yet. That Kinsey, he was kooky!

But for the best book on gender, the front-runner remains
Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier. Fascinating from start to finish. We wimmenfolk, we are COMPLICATED.

Friday, July 18, 2008

We are Ralph groupies now

We saw Ralph’s World at the Morton Arboretum last weekend. As usual, he rocked. Boo and I have been to 5 of his shows now. Nea was anti-loud noises for quite awhile, but she danced and danced at the show. Outdoor venues are the way to go for the little people.

After we’d seen him in December, Boo made this diorama. I especially like the stage diver/techie guy at the top. And the passed out people on the right.

For comparison, here’s the kids at the actual show (photo by Stacia)

I think she pretty much nailed it.

Clarification regarding last post

I have just received a very snippy letter from the Big Tree Society, and I would like to state for the public record that I am also very fond of large trees. The Douglas Fir, for example, is a fine tree.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Photo Quiz Answer

Well, I guess Tacoma, WA needs to work on ye olde tourist trade, as no one recognized my quiz photo from the other day. My other guess was that someone would figure out it was Dale Chihuly and some sort of civic building and google it, but it was a stretch. Anyway, the correct answer was “Union Station, in Tacoma, WA” – a place where N’s love of trains and my love of glass intersect. Actually, it was a train station, and now it’s a federal courthouse. Since 1992, they tell me.

So, yes, the second I heard Tacoma had a Museum of Glass, I was dead set on going. It was lovely. Glaaaasss. Then we walked over the Bridge of Glass to Union Station. The art museum is right there, too, but with the kids in tow, we took a pass. They had been so good – why ruin it?

Long story short: if you are in Seattle or thereabouts, take a day trip to Tacoma! On the way there, stop and see some tiny trees. I love tiny trees.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Eingelegte Bohnen (Pickled Green Beans)

Recipe from my Tante Helga (scroll down for German version)

Fresh green beans (or wax beans), cooked but not too soft.
Spices, according to taste:
Summer savory
Mustard seeds
1 bayleaf
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
4 cups water

Boil the water with the salt, sugar, and vinegar until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the beans.
Let stand a few days. Guten Appetit!

We ate this last summer at my aunt’s house, with just fresh bread and butter. Yum lunch!

Here's the original for you visiting Germans ...

Eingelegte Bohnen (Rezept von Tante Helga)

Bohnen, gruene oder gelbe, nicht zu weich kochen.

Gewuerze, Menge nach Geschmack

1 Lorbeerblatt
1 Tabl. Salz
1 Tabl. Zucker
1/2 Tasse Essig auf 1 Liter Wasser (ca 4 cups)

Wasser mit Salz, Zucker und Essig aufkochen bis sich der Zucker geloesst hat und ueber die geschichteten Bohnen giessen. Ein paar Tage stehen lassen. Guten Appetit.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Book club

Our pick for August is Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neill. A classic, I hear. And only 192 pages! If that's still too long, it's also a movie from 1962 starring Katharine Hepburn. It was remade twice (1973 with Laurence Olivier and 1987 with Jodie Lynne McClintock), but we all know remakes generally suck. You should probably stick with Miss Hepburn.

Monday, July 7, 2008

How I spent my summer vacation

How I have longed for this day. Finally, after nearly 6 years of waiting, I climbed as I was always meant to climb. To the top of a 24 foot tower! Three times! And again the next day!
Love, Boo

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Best cooking tip of all time (possibly)

  1. Take crockpot. Place on counter. Put in half a stick of butter. Let it melt.
  2. Chop up enough onions to completely fill crockpot. Place onions in crockpot.
  3. After 4-6 hours, let onions cool. Place them (including yummy liquid) thinly layered on baking pan. Freeze.
  4. When fully frozen, break onions into chunks and put into ziplock bag. Return to freezer.
  5. Run around and live life. Realize you are hungry. Select recipe that states “chop and sauté onions until golden brown/soft/etc., approximately 15 minutes.”
  6. Snort with derision. Take some of your prepared onions out of freezer and use. Voila! You just saved a bunch of time.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Where in the world?

Some sort of (as yet undetermined) prize to the first person who can tell me where this photo of my family was taken. You will need to be fairly specific.
[Family excluded from this contest.]