Monday, October 26, 2015

Sitting around outside karate...


Sunday, October 25, 2015

A path less traveled

I decided to talk a walk the other day in the woods down the street. There's a marked trail that pretty much covers the perimeter of the 100 acres (ha, Hundred Acre Woods!) that I figured I had time for before I needed wanted to be home for Carrie's bus. So off I marched, sniffing the woods as I went along, noticing that not nearly enough trees are marked for me to remember who's who and that I miss the ferny smell of the woods in Pennsylvania. These woods smelled different. I didn't see a single fern. Sadness.

Anyway, even knowing this particular trail is around two miles long, and I had an hour to do it in, I started to feel a little rushed and decided to shortcut through the meadow that takes up space in the middle of these woods. On the opposite side of the meadow is a little sign with a trail marker for the particular colored path I was on. It pointed away from the meadow into the woods on the opposite side.

Yet I come back out in the meadow when I follow this persnickety little path. Depending on my less-than-stellar but way-better-than-it-used-to-be sense of direction, I ended up back at the trailhead where, amazingly enough, they stock maps. I snatched one of those little suckers and had to laugh at myself. 

Yes, the trail runs the perimeter, but by cutting through the meadow I picked up the trail and took it left when I should have taken it right, thereby doing all of the trail that I'd cut off when I cut through the meadow and then some. 

Oh well. I made it home in plenty of time and now have a map to boot.

It reminded me of "Into the Woods" where they advise, "when going somewhere to hide, know how to get there. And how to get back. And eat first." 

BrrrrrrChillyCold, part 2385233

I was tickling Carrie with my freezing cold hands and she remarks, "you're cold." 

I said, "IIIIIII know. It's less than 70 in the house and it's less than 70 outside. And I'm coldblooded." I flicked my tongue out like a snake and stared at her. 

She says to me, "really?"

I cracked up. Couldn't help it.

She replies, "not cool."

Monday, October 19, 2015

Plutonium jelly, origami fireballs, and broccoli soup

Since it's Autumn, again, and the heat's on and the fireplace is occupied with cheery flames, and the heavier covers are on the beds, the dry-cracking skin game has also begun around here. My fingertips are so snaggy that I hate to touch anything soft lest I velcro myself to it. Liam's poor lips are already chapped and sore. He about had a fit when we suggested he put on some petroleum jelly, even when we assured him it would sting way less than chapstick. 

"I don't WANT to use plutonium jelly!"


Yes. Well. 

After trying it for an overnight or two, his lips are a little better and aren't stinging quite so much. Enough better that he put some on himself yesterday without a knockout-dragout fight. Small victories, people.


So some of you have snow. SNOW. Unreal. You can keep it.


Do you know what this is?

That would be what I confiscated from the Damonater. He's been rolling up toilet paper and calling them Origami Fireballs. 

... again.

I have no idea if it's from a book or a show or a friend or what, but he thinks balled up TP is absolutely hilarious and wants to make them for his siblings. 

Please do not submit to the urge to place an order. I will hunt you down.


I spotted broccoli for 99 cents a head at Aldi a few weeks back. I grabbed three of them, washed them up and froze them once I was back home, and pulled a bag out yesterday to whip up some imitation Panera broccoli cheese soup.

Since Dada is trying to minimize carbs, we substituted almond flour for the regular all-purpose stuff. We also were out of half and half, so the heavy whipping cream went into the pot instead. We figured they'd kind of cancel each other out. 

It didn't quite thicken up as much as I'd hoped for, but the flavor is very good and because we doubled the recipe we even have some for the freezer. It's definitely soup season!


Dada and Liam sold popcorn for the Boy Scouts this weekend at our local Bass Pro Shop. Fortunately, it was sunny and not as windy as it is today. This coming weekend will be Boy Scout camp, which I know someone is looking forward to. I hope they don't turn into Scoutsicles. 


Our sweet Nina turned 10 last week and Liam's birthday is rapidly approaching. We'll be bowling, in costumes, so be sure to check back here for a post about that. My money's on those pictures definitely being worth 1,000 words. 

Until then, we'll keep processing apples, slogging through homework, driving to and from karate, and being up to our usual shenanigans. Have a terrific week! And stay toasty!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

"I'm an old grandpa..."

See? I've got a smoker!" 

Always an adventure with this kid!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Aaaaaand it's a Monday in October. Make it stop!

I can't get over how fast this year is going and yet how it stretches out so long at the same time. Are they all going to be like this from here on out? Eek!

The kids have another full week of school, barring any fog delays, of course. There are also stripe tests this week for karate, which means the instructors check the skills they've taught since the last test and remind the students to turn in their homework if they'd like to graduate with honors. I think all our Thingz have Knowledge homework turned in already because we read so much around here. The Respect, Goal Setting, and Self-Discipline ones take a little longer. 

I have been known to tell the kids that if there were Anti-Self-Discipline homework papers that they would fill up in no time around here, judging by the papers strewn everywhere and laundry that appears to be cultivating right out of the carpet. I shudder to think what it's going to look like once hats, gloves, scarves, boots, and big fluffy coats get added to the mix.

A certain cute Thing left his hoodie at school last week, so he had to wear his beloved puffy vest to school for pajama day. Being that it is, unlike his hoodie, hoodless, he also needed his hat. 

This week the nights are supposed to be in the 50s with highs during the day in the lower 70s. Being an optimist, my sheets are hanging outside along with Carrie's summer curtains. We've had fires in the fireplace the last two or three nights as I refuse to turn on the heat yet. Denial, I guess.

These are mainly for Aunt Chris, but just in case the rest of you are wondering what Lalaith Havens looks like right now:

I love to watch the morning mist across the street in the fields. Liam calls it "bean creep" because, when the beans are still there, it looks so creepy coming out of the plants...

See the itty bitty slice of moon in the picture below?

The squirrels are everywhere and can be heard gnawing away at our walnuts. We have brown squirrels, gray ones, black ones, and some little red ones. Every so often we'll have to chase them away from the sunflower seed feeder out front and the suet one out back. 

One of my very favorite things about Lalaith Havens are the white-breasted nuthatches who visit. They are the cutest little birds who look like tiny puffins but with sharp little beaks. They zip and zoom both out front and out back, and their chirps just make me smile. They actually sneak seeds out of the feeder and hide them in the bark of other trees to save for when food is scarce. They can land upside down underneath a feeder, twist and turn fearlessly along the branches, and will hop headfirst down tree trunks like a squirrel.  

Good ol' Cheeky Beaky, puking into our bushes. I guess he can be forgiven. It is a college town. And that would make for a great children's book... a plastic flamingo that comes alive at night and partakes in college town activities... hmm, I guess it'd make better adult fiction, after all. Poor Cheeky Beaky only has one metal supporting leg, and he's a bit top heavy, so he ends up in compromising positions often. Grandmama especially laughs when she visits, quipping that the first thing she sees when she pulls in the driveway is "Cheeky Beaky bum!"

And we can't forget Carrie's froggies. I checked on them this morning as I added another mosquito larvae killing disc to the water. They looked as fine and dandy as usual...

Dada borrowed an apple cider press from someone at work, so he tested his first batch of pulverized apples last night. Everyone is really pleased so far! It's becoming a matter of "now where do we PUT all this (cider, chips, bars, everything apple- insert here!)?!"

Time to reheat my coffee, again.  Have a good week, everybody!