So I wouldn’t have to mow.

There’s an old saw about how European settlers to the American continent had lots of children because there was lots to do. Every child you added to the stable, so to speak, was another laborer to help till the land, carry the firewood, cook the food, to contribute, as it were, to the running of home and farmstead. (I think that we’re forgetting the fact the birth control was pretty much non-existent, but that’s an essay for another time.) We live on a third of an acre, with about a third of that taken up by a house and deck. … Continue reading So I wouldn’t have to mow.

Reclaiming the back yard.

I am fifty-one years old. I have been that old for four days now. Fifty-one. Not twenty-five. Just over twice that. I guess that’s okay, considering thirty years ago I would not have predicted I’d last that long. Physical work that I used to give no thought to at all now happens at a more deliberate pace. I’m not in a hurry like I used to be. My back hurts faster, my dogs start barking sooner, and the sunshine gives me a pounding headache. I have arthritis in my hips, and tendinitis in my right arm. I’m content to muck … Continue reading Reclaiming the back yard.

Packaged Food

We don’t eat a lot of packaged food at our house. Several reasons for this. Cooking fresh food is, on the whole, better for you. It’s usually cheaper. While choosing a menu can get a lot old, I enjoy cooking…and I’m good at it, which helps. You also have more control over how much food you prepare and in what proportions. Case in point: I haven’t yet mastered Indian food (Indian as in dot, not feather). That particular flavor profile continues to elude me. I’m able to satisfy that craving using fresh meat and jars of simmer sauces – our … Continue reading Packaged Food

Katie-isms, December 2016.

I’m reaching back with this story. It’s one I’ve wanted to tell for a long time and keep forgetting. Our beloved girl-child must have been two and a half years old. Old enough to walk and talk and not do either very well. At an age and short enough that if she wanted to drink from a water fountain I had to kneel down and let her stand on my leg. Out to eat, she might come back from some Important Two Year Old Errand and I would get up from the table and kneel in the aisle so she could … Continue reading Katie-isms, December 2016.

Who’s making the tea?

My family drinks iced tea. Lots of it. We don’t “do” soda as a rule. Lemon-lime stuff when we’re sick, the odd root beer from time to time, but that’s about it. Tea is where it’s at, a holdover, I suppose, from when I was a kid. 3 – family size, black tea bags 1 – honeybush tea 1/2C sugar 1 gal water The honeybush gives the tea a very light citrus-y note, mellows out the flavor. Simple, inexpensive, tasty. Win, win, win. For years, I’ve been the tea-maker. As the children have grown older and gotten more familiar with the kitchen … Continue reading Who’s making the tea?

Catnip

Took the last batch of tomato sauce and decided to make a meal of it. Garlic, kosher salt, olive oil, brown sugar, then out to the herb garden for marjoram and basil. To amuse myself (sometimes I do) I brought in a couple of very large catnip leaves. Now, a lot of people, given such a raw material, will smush it up and rub it on the couch, but how pedestrian is that? No no, I also have an eight year old boy at my disposal, so… I smushed up the leaves and rubbed them on his forehead. Last I … Continue reading Catnip

The hard side of parenting

I write a lot about the positives. I love amusing anecdotes. But it’s not always easy. If it was, everybody would do it. It’s harder with special needs and gifted children. Oh, so much harder. We (and by “we” I mean any of us in a parental role to a child) often come into conflict with our children. We have the dicey task of weighing what they want versus what they need or what is safe or what is moral or (just as often) what we can afford, and children don’t often listen to logic when they hear the word … Continue reading The hard side of parenting