Defining the Battle Ground

Katie has begun to chafe some under my delegation. Over the last few years I’ve grown more comfortable with throwing tasks at the kids. Mowing the yard, emptying and filling the dishwasher, and cleaning the kitchen are givens, the terms of their allowance start there with the understand that that they do whatever is needed as asked. The side garden has become greatly overgrown with redbuds and maple trees, so I set Kate loose on it this evening. Like most teenagers she has an attitude about physical labor where she does some of a job – never all – calls … Continue reading Defining the Battle Ground

Books on Tape

Science tells us that the Earth is an irregular sphere approximately 4 billion and change years old. There are people in this world who believe that the Earth is flat, based I presume upon the fact that from an airplane you can’t see the curvature of the horizon. (You can, it just isn’t obvious from your 6″ wide window.) There are people who believe the Earth is young, less than 10,000 years old, a calculation based on assigning an arbitrary value to a “generation” and counting the “begats” in the Bible from back to front – starting with Jesus who serves … Continue reading Books on Tape

Don’t do that.

I tell my children, “A practical joke isn’t funny unless everyone involved has reason to laugh when it’s done.” I think there needs to be a law that no one should be allowed to pretend to pull anything out of the ear of anyone older than the age of eight years old, and nor to demonstrate their proficiency with the “french drop” to anyone old enough to drive. For those who don’t immediately place the reference, the “french drop” is what your uncle or grandfather used to do to you when you were a kid when he’d take a quarter out … Continue reading Don’t do that.

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.

Homemade Teriaki

Tossing this up here so I can throw away the nasty, wrinkly, old piece of paper that’s been floating around my kitchen for a couple years now. 3T soy sauce 2T rice vinegar 3T chicken stock 4T brown sugar 1t sesame oil 2t minced garlic 2t minced or grated ginger 1t cornstarch 1T cold water Combine everything except the cornstarch and water in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Add to the simmering sauce, stir to thicken. Variations For a little heat, add crushed red pepper flakes. For a … Continue reading Homemade Teriaki

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.