Monday, January 28, 2013

Preschool avarice

During one of his days at preschool, my son was prompted to make a New Year's resolution.  The teacher wrote up each child's resolution on a special paper, and posted it on the bulliten board.  Curious to know what he had said, I spent some time reading the board.  All of the kids decided they wanted to learn something- perhaps tying their shoes, writing their names without help, helping mom and dad with dishes or laundry- all of them, that is, except my son.  He doesn't want to learn anything.  He wants to "read more train books, and buy more things."


Friday, January 25, 2013

Advice from the other side

I met a dear woman at a pancake feed this past Sunday.  I am grateful to her for sharing with me some of the wisdom she had learned from her days of child-rearing.  I would do well to remember it.

"When your children are doing something that makes you want to die, turn your head; you'll feel better."

Indeed, I will feel better.   We all will feel better.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Merely bragging

As much as I'd like to have another kid running around my house, there are some good things about only having the one- such as having the time to work on something so amazingly awesome I'd play with it myself when he wasn't looking.

And I thought the guitar I made was cool.

All of the buildings were hand appliqued, the rest was done on machine.  I even attatched a pocket so when it's rolled up, the cars have a place to be stored.  Of course, there's a train depot, because in this house, trains rule.

I suppose I ought to point out that the gas pumps and car wash (the red strips in the bottom left are the "brushes." They didn't get smoothed down for the picture.), were not my idea.  I found them somewhere (or everywhere) on the great world-wide-web, but I can't determine where they originated.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

50 Shades of Weird

Well I've gone and done it.  I took time today to write out preschool objectives for math and language arts, and started drafting lesson plans for next week.  Guess this means I've officially joined yet another "weird" circle- "The Homeschoolers."

Feel free to ignore me next time we're at the grocery store together.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

X is for Xantham Gum?

I won my husband through pie. Buttery crust stuffed with thickly sliced apples, cinnamon warmth and a touch of nutmeg.  I suppose the pork roasts, mustard chicken, and meatloaves played some roll in all this, too, but I'm certain it was the pie that finally won him over.  Even now, I can win him over with some culinary delight- handbreaded fried chicken, the perfect taco seasoning, a winning rib rub, a steak sandwich with goat cheese, a pecan pie. 

I'm not about to claim I'm the next Iron Chef, or Pioneer Woman, or Martha Stewart, (though I have been called two of those on several occasions).   I just like to cook.  I know enough about the ingredients that I rarely follow a recipe as it's printed, but subsititute and modify with abandon, even creating new dishes according to my whims.  I've subscribed to a magazine simply for the five or six new recipes I would get each month, and stuffed a binder full of my favorites.

However, I've recently been paralyzed when dinner rolls around.  I find myself longing for a muffin, but too nervous to mix anything up.  Suddenly, everything I knew about baking has become null and void.  Things that would have been simple- casseroles, meatloaf, cookies- are suddenly overwhelming.  I'm scared to make a pie. 

I found out I have a gluten intolerance.  No wheat, no barley, no rye.  No breadcrumbs, no croutons, no pizza crust, no cans of cream soup, no spaghetti, no tortillas, no pie crust.  While I'm usually up for a good challenge, in many ways I feel like someone has handed a cookbook written in ├ćngliscI'm suddenly looking for products whose names I've only seen on the ingredient list of dressings or packages of birdseed, and following directions that feel so backwards and wrong.  So flop after flop (think cranberry-orange muffins with an uncooked garbanzo bean aftertaste, and cookies gritty enough to have come out of the Dust Bowl), I'm slowly figuring it out.  I think.  I'm nowhere ready for pie crust.

Why must you be so disagreeable?