Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy organic potatoes

I planted 24 potato plants in the old compost pile last May. Of the Katahdin variety. I've been taking up a plant or two at a time, using them fresh. I made the best oven-baked fries evah! recently. Tonight it'll be meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner. YUM.

Shown in the photo is what I harvested in 5 minutes today, with a background of a pumpkin I didn't plant (It's magic! It just showed up and took over a massive patch of land!) and 2 butternut squashes (that constitute two-fifths of the pathetic butternut harvest this year). See the quarter for size reference. I'm guessing I'll get at least 50 pounds of potatoes this year!

That potato behind the quarter has to be at least a pound. It's huge. I'd love it and hug it and call it Big Momma if it weren't already cut up and boiling on top of the stove right now. Sorry, Big Momma! Better luck next time!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Today this child said to me "Mama! Wake up! It's morning time!" You know, I'm beginning to think she's coming along with this speech thing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oh, how convenient!

So we've had the Vantage Lite for three weeks or so now. We're still getting used to it. Still waiting for training from the school's augmentative communications department. I figured out how to edit it today. I added Nea's favorite button from her last talker (aka the doorstop): My sister's name is (Boo).

Something struck me when we first started looking around the menus and such. Can you find it in the photo below?

(I know it's a bit hard to see. There's a larger photo at the bottom of this post.)

Yeah. Imagine. What a world we live in when the communications device companies whore themselves out to the fast food companies. Unbelievable. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall for that meeting? What do you pay to product placement yourself on a comm device? And the bubbly parents: "She can't say much, but boy, she sure figured out how to ask for shit on a bun quickly, didn't she? Our little angel! Naturally we take her whenever she asks. It's what she wants!"

Can you tell we don't do much fast food around here? Actually, this week was pretty exciting because I decided to make it my goal to have a vegetable garden planted at our grade school next spring. A friend of mine wants to overhaul the school lunch program. Naturally these two goals dovetail nicely. The PTA meeting is tomorrow, so I hope to meet the head of the recently resurrected garden club. And the head of the wellness committee.

It appears from this week's email trail that my goal won't be nearly as difficult as I first thought. Others are also interested in growing food on school property. The kids will learn about nutrition, science, cooking, gardening.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Next choice for book club

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It's a long one! 973 pages! Better get cracking!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Relaxing at home, just me and my PTO

I decided in mid-August to take this week off from work. It's important to schedule vacation time at my company ahead of time, so it's in the work plan and all that. We've been on reduced hours for at least a year now, but we have quite a bit of PTO (Corporate Speak: Planned Time Off*, which includes sick time and vacations. How sick days can be planned has never been made clear. Anyway, it's a great system for healthy people.), so it doesn't affect me much.

So, Monday was Labor Day, and I spent the day sick in bed with a cold. I still feel like crap today, but have been slogging through my To Do list in a Germanic fashion regardless. In my typical ridiculous way, my week off had two objectives:
  • Objective #1: Meet and talk with all our teachers and specialists, now that Nea is at a new school (our home school).
  • Objective #2: Work through and eliminate the piles of papers in our house that never get addressed.
Let's first turn our attention to #1. I have 1.5 days left, so it's still IN PROGRESS, but the schedule is:
  • Meet with speech therapist.
  • Meet with occupational therapist.
  • Meet with Modified Instructional Program (MIP) teacher.
  • Volunteer in Nea's mainstream classroom.
  • Volunteer in Boo's classroom (twice).
  • Added bonus: Attend parent's version of the sexual abuse prevention program, which the first graders will receive next week.
Did I mention I'm sick? Anyway, I think we can all agree I have met objective #1 with an astonishing, resounding, overwhelming PASS.

I'll get back to you on Objective #2 some other time. I have to go rest. I'm sure it'll happen! Maybe tomorrow! I still have time. Right? Am I right?
*ETA: I just realized (an hour later) that it actually stands for Paid Time Off, which makes more sense. I'm too lazy to rewrite the paragraph, so I'll just mention my error here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

August in Minnesota

This happened a little while back, when we were up in the beautiful BWCA, attempting to camp despite the on-again-off-again rain.

Setting: in the cabin my parents had rented.

Nea: Night-night ou-dide? (Sleep outside?)
N: Yeah, in a tent!
Nea: WHY?!
N: Because it's fun. Why, don't you want to?
Nea: Nope!

But we did (Well, for the one night. We had hoped for 2, but the weather was not ideal.), and it was fun yet a little damp. Right before Boo fell asleep she said she wanted to go to a hotel, but that was just a fleeting thought, thankfully. We were not eaten by bears. Nor did we go to the outhouse in the middle of the night and fall off a cliff. We also did not get mushroom poisoning, despite eating one Reizker (German, which is how I've learned the little mushroom lore I know) - Lactarius Deliciosus (Latin) - saffron milk cap or red pine mushroom (English).

We had to split the one specimen seven ways, so the portions were very very modest. I had heard about this particular type of mushroom my whole life, so it was nice to finally get a taste. Very deliciosus, indeed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You know, gardening and apraxia!

I like to say my blog is about gardening and apraxia. A few months ago while searching for more apraxia blogs, I found another blog about gardening and apraxia. Imagine my surprise! I don't know if Shea's mom would call her blog that. But that's the power of Google, isn't it? Someone more or less like you. Out there. Telling stories that are different, yet strangely familiar. Here’s my favorite two posts from recently:

Not very coincidentally, school started the day I last blogged, a week ago. I'm sure to catch up on recording some thoughts soon. Really! Just because I made two batches of applesauce and a batch of yogurt today, and worked, and oh yeah, the crosswalk I've been fighting for for three years went in today (hurrah!) and the corporate fiscal year ended on Monday and people were laid off, and oh dear god I think I should go to bed now.