Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Potato warning

No one is hungry at dinner. Ever. Everyone is ravenous two minutes after bedtime. I am steadfast and stern. Dire words about " dinner is at dinner time" bring much complaint. Then silence falls in the room. For about three breaths' time. The baby has to go pee. Who can argue with that? So we all migrate out and the boy dashes to the kitchen to nab a VERY large spoon full of mashed potatoes. I do not recall ever buying a spoon the size of an Army surlpus ladle. Perhaps he has borrowed an oar. I shake my head, wipe backsides, and wave girls back to bed. The boy trots behind. A bit to close. Eating potatoes. He is distracted by bacon bits and forgets to brake, thereby slamming into my back. With potatoes.

I recite the rule about not eating in the bedroom. He cunningly counters with the defense that potatoes have no crumbs and thus must not be a danger to eat in bed. This is brilliant. Until he drops a large blob of potatoes on my foot. He ninja vanishes with the offending potatoes, wipe foot and tuck the now whining girls into bed. Boy and silence return in seconds.

One and a half minutes is all it takes for sleep. Mr. Sandman has upgraded to chloroform these days. After thre minutes Baby A sits bolt upright screaming "POTTY" and adrenaline practically spurts from my nose in the race to get her there. And then I step in potatoes. Cream and butter make an excellent lubricant to glide me down the hallway like a sodden Busby Berkeley extra. Careening on walls, bumping into the bathroom door. Screaming girl runs the wrong way to pee in the dining room. I wipe pee with my last good towel then follow the white footed trail back to clean potatoes.

I see it all now, Spouse sadly telling how his wife died in a potato accident. The shame. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Perfumes of the day

 Books will always be superior to Kindle just because of the smell. I am totally trying to make the house smell fresher just by filling it up with books. Normally we smell like the average medieval alchemist's hovel. Our attempts at making gold are about as successful, too.
But there is another, mysterious smell in our neighborhood to be tracked. Maybe butterfly bush or blooming kudzu, its flowery and overwhelming an idiosyncratic to the South. Smells like a lovestruck grandma who has gussied up for a date. I love it! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fungus chasing, because mushrooms run slowly

Sequoyah Hills is a Fungus Fun Land thanks to abundant pine mulch on the running trail. Really, fungi was EVERYWHERE , creeping amongst the poor unwary residents. We cut an unstealthy path, diving like excited seagulls onto interestingly shaped shrooms and squawking at the abundance of low slimey gooze.

We surmised that fungi prefer acid environs. These got plenty of sun so darkness requirements for shrooms is a myth. They have nothing much to root them down so we hypo that they can get nutrients from the whole surface since they seem to thrive even when sideways lying down. Or perhaps they have some kind of super efficient root that works when barely touching dirt.
 Fungus hunting is hot work so we took a break at the Talahi Fountain. Only to find that it had been BUBBLED by vandals! AWK!
 A short dance exhibition.
Then back to the hunt. Pretty sure the neighborhood watch has labelled us as "suspicious activities". 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to school, er...wait, we never left.

The sibs wanted to go to a splash pad for some R&R. This is where we went;
 Multi levels of splashing fun with natural filtration, free parking, and bonus nature walks. On the downside, the poison ivy was abundant. On the up, it was an opportunity for the sibs to learn to identify jewelweed, the kryptonite of urushiol itch.
 Jewel weed conveniently grows near ivy. One might say it grows like a weed. Bwahaha.
We got a demonstration on how fairies wash their hair. Fairy hygiene is a bit lax.  This led to a lesson about water purity and the evidences of clean water. Tiny crayfish are a good sign. See this little guy? Really, there is one there.
 Fresh water mussel shells, half gnawed, indicate both good water and an abundance of raccoons.

 Mermaids love mountain streams.
 A wild honeybee visited, washing her face and legs. Funny about bees, they respond to human conversation as though they understand.  We all had a little chat with her and she turned politely to each speaker. She was a very attentive listener.
 Plenty of wild cherries to lead into winter
 All Heal looks like beehives with corsages. It makes a tea for pleurisy or after-winter tonic but it tastes as horrible as echinacea. Blah.
Then we stopped to check out an empty farmhouse in hopes of realtor signage or some indication that it may be buyable or leasable. Wouldn't this make a great place to have a....something????? The house is victim to bad remuddling but the barn it top notch!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Improving nutrition, again...

Once again we are fine tuning our food choices. I should pay more attention to Nerd Fitness and less to Epicurious. And even less to the plethora of quasi-urban Southern Old/New foodies.
On the good side, the children got to eat as many fresh cherries as they wanted last week. And if portion control is so important then Chicken and Waffles miniaturized into these tiny sandwiches should be safe, right?
Maybe if I eat from Girlie's tiny tea party set my portions would be appropriately sized for my tastes. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Blog gremlins are plaguing me. Can't post images and what fun is a blog without images of something.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

First hornet encounter

It started as one would expect; a screaming child wobbling into the house and clutching a leg. Angry puncture indicating the level of the attack was lower than flower height and lack of stinger adding evidence that this was not a bee. So, ice pack and Benedryl cream to the rescue as I suss out the story from the boy. Girls are hiding under the wagon he assures me, away from the corn snakes that sleep away the day under the salvaged barn like a bunch of  redneck rockstars. Before I can screech out the window for the girls to get know how the urban neighbors must love it when I do that... two little girls crawl from under the wagon dancing a mad Cherokee war dance and then begin the anticipated dash to the backdoor with the sadly anticipated screaming just one key higher than their brother's. Benedryl cream, half an Equate caplet apiece, and a cool cloth applied with a liberal dose of Arthur cartoons didn't bring them around.
Good thing there were pecans in the house. Some sugar, butter, and buttermilk made some praline perfume that had them dancing in no time. Now if I can just get the girls to stop with that danged Lady Gaga stuff.

Mama's Praline Cure
 1.5 c pecans, almonds, or walnuts
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 TBSP butter. Real butter. Full fat, real salt. No messin'
2 TBSP buttermilk. Real cream can substitute but REAL stuff, please
vanilla. Good stuff, and close your eyes when you pour it or you conscience will stop you too soon
pinch of salt.

preface: Arrange little piles of nuts, each about the size of a biscuit,on a greased jelly roll pan.
coating: Use a medium soup pot. You will need more space than you think. Cook sugars and butter on medium hot until they reach 235 on a candy thermometer or if  children have smashed it in the drawer accidentally cook until it all turns the color of a new penny. Take off the heat at once, add vanilla and buttermilk or cream. This is when it will slosh and bubble dangerously. Use a long wooden spoon ( whisks clot with sugar, not like I would have tried that...ahem, well once) to whisk like mad, adding a pinch or two of salt to bring out the sweet flavor. Ladle over piles of nuts quickly, reheating if needed. Cool in freezer for about ten minutes.

Contemplate whether it would be a mortal sin to add bacon to such a beautiful thing as a praline.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Bad day for white Tshirts and whiney mamas

 We went to Books and Blooms at the UT Gardens. I got in trouble but it was REALLY not my fault. A kid commandeered the Krazy Dancin' Flower Soaker and shot my white tank top and I did what any southern woman would do. I flipped the PVC " Swishy Car Wash" and blasted him back till he ran to his mama. "They" just don't do that there and apparently don't like it when someone tells them "well, you should try it".
And then when Eliana ran head on into the same kid while jumping the "Posey Spray Bouquet" and he squalled like a little girl ( he was like 7 or something!!!)) his mama was NOT pacified when I pointed out that he didn't hurt my tiny sweet girl so much since she wasn't being nearly the baby he was. The Faller Boys agreed with me pretty loudly but she wasn 't much into listening to four year olds I guess cause she really pulled up stakes and stomped off.
Stomp is a bad idea in a skirt and that much mud but it seemed rude to stop her. So it was NOT my fault when she flomped down into it. Nuh UH! But now we know where her boy got all that diva crybaby stuff.

Sigh. The world is just too confusing some days.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Inside the Human Body using the Magic School Bus as a guide. That should keep us busy for awhile

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

THREE big, happy achievements, today!  Baby A has learned to read, as evidenced by picking out some sight words from Apple, Banana, Cherry as well as some random ones that I wrote on our whiteboard ( many thanks for that, Amy!)
 Elias ACTUALLY learned to tie his sneakers. Not the nearly-learned-can-tie-with-supervision but the kind where he hid under the dining room table and didn't come out until he had tied perfectly. Then he whooshed out like Mumford theMagnificent performing feats of magic and displayed the lovely bow. He did this many times until the inevitable clonk to the head that comes from hiding under tables. I hope this was not a negative reinforcement to make him hateful of tying shoes.
We had Mama-made ORANGE JULIUS to celebrate. Well, it was sorta close and since none of the sibs had ever had an OJUL they were happy.
Fauxorange Julius
1 large can mandarin oranges
tbsp non dairy creamer
splash of whole milk
6 ice cubes
Whir for about the amount of time it takes to sing first chorus of  " Everybody Wang Chung Tonight". Made three Walmart superhero cups full.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Worksheets in the Coal Mine

What does a desperate home school housewife do when approached by skanky little people? She adds hygiene printables to the curriculum. Much grumbling ensued. Little cleaning ensued. Toothbrushing and face washing problems were minimized by allowing a quarter bounty for making sure siblings were clean. and here is the link to some Mama-cool/ Child-detested worksheets.