Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Eight Years

On the phone with Daddy

Happy anniversary to us! We got to say it to each other in person this morning and now Ash is in Denver. My trip went fine. I could add some more laments, but really, things were just normal bad. The unexpected good part was that all four legs of my flights were either exactly on time or 10-15 minutes early (Southwest). Hmm. That kind of drains all the complaints right out of me. When we got to Denver the flight attendant made sure we knew to be thankful - "We're early - remember that next time we're running late". Then the "Bong" went off indicating we were allowed to get up and she growls in her saucy Southern drawl, "Okay, Get Out!"

The conference was unexpectedly good. The talks were nearly all very interesting and useful. My favorite part though was seeing Rachael, Rebecca, Marian, Susan, Molly, Arnaldo, and staying with Ozge and Vanessa. Rebecca gave me one of the gorgeous leather cuffs she's been working on. I got everyone to try on the prototype toolbelts I've been designing, and they've agreed to field test my first completed batch. The last night there we went for Peruvian food and on the way back to the hotel Vanessa exclaimed that a new episode of Lost was on so we hurried back to curl up in our pajamas and watch tv until midnight.

Rebecca's tooled and painted creation

The boys did just fine. Mike picked Theron up from school two days in a row and they had a grand time. They watched Jurassic Park on video, ate Happy Meals, and went to a birthday party. Mike is a lifesaver.

Anyway, at least Ash and I were both here when Theron lost his first top front tooth. Someone elbowed him in the mouth. It's kind of like a tradition.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Jet Setters

Something strange happened and both Ash and I got work funds to go to conferences. I go to Denver Wednesday for a conservation conference and 4 days after I get back, Ashley goes TO DENVER for a museum conference. I guess I should be happy to get to go, and I am, but I want to take a minute to complain. No, not complain, maybe lament is the word. I want to lament the days you could go to the airport and not have to stand in line "in your feet" as Theron would say. I don't like to wear socks and I really hate putting my bare feet on the same floor as all of America, or digging up a matching pair of socks just for the occasion. Also, I want to lament the days one could grab one's purse and a carry-on bag without having to clean out said purse, ridding it of knitting needles or sewing scissors and bagging anything wet or gel-ly. I don't want a clean purse. I don't budget time for cleaning out the purse into my schedule. I like my purse to be a bag of possibilities. I like to believe that when I rummage for something like a tape measure or Halloween candy it might be in there, I just can't see it. Also, I hate that I can't take my whole tube of toothpaste unless I check my bag because I can rarely find the brands I like in travel size and I end up using a Crest sample that came in the Sunday paper.

I'll have more laments on the way back.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Science Fair

Theron was very proud of his science fair contribution. Daddy mixed up the dirt using porcelain clay combined with sand and vermiculite. Theron placed the bones, then Ash put it in the oven since we were short on time. Theron did all the excavating and brushing himself. He used dental probes just like a real paleotologist. We all thought it looked pretty good.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Science Times

Remember when I asked you guys to save me chicken bones? Well now Ashley's asking you to save us road kill. Preferably fresh and ideally a raccoon or possum. But a deer or a squirrel would be good too, thanks. We had this great idea after putting together Theron's science fair contribution where he digs up the chicken bones with dental tools and a brush, just like a real paleontologist. We did promise that we would help the rest of the class have the same experience so we were talking should we have a little box of dirt for each child or have one big dirt box they can all work on at the same time? Ashley votes for the big box. Since none of you came up with chicken bones for me, I'm not optimistic about the road kill. You don't have to touch it, just call. Come on. And then stay away from our backyard for awhile.

On a cleaner front, Theron's doing great with harmonica. Most of the lessons involve reminding him to stop fooling around, but when this happens he actually does pretty well. He told his teacher last week , "I wish I were 20. I want to be a teacher and I want to teach music just like you". The teacher swoons. Then Theron adds, "Only not as bald".

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I always forget how much I love this website: Cute Overload

Spring sheep in Devon - thanks to strategically placed feed and border collies. Here's the article about them in the Telegraph. The dogs have a tv series called Mist: Sheepdog Tales.

And my own cutie, reading a Snapple cap: "'Honey is the only food that never spoils'... That must be a fact". Takes a sip. "Not an opinion".

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The story of my casserole

Tonight I made a yummy chicken/rice/green chili casserole. I really wanted to use brown rice but I couldn't remember if the rest of the casserole was yummy enough to cover it up. We have a lot of chicken around here to use up and by the way, if anyone is making a whole chicken soon and can take pity on us, please save me the bones. I'll come pick them up. Ashley and I had our parent/teacher conference yesterday and we accidentally volunteered to help the teacher do a fake fossil project. I thought we were just volunteering to give him a gift card to Office Mart and next thing I know I'm searching the internet to see if anyone would sell me a bag of chicken bones. And the answer is no. Anyway, everytime I use this casserole recipe I can't help but remember where I got it.

Years ago Ashley and I were house/petsitting and I found this and several other really nice recipes from the woman's stack of healthy cooking magazines. It's handwritten so everytime I read it I have to squint and wonder what is egg sw? Then I remember it was egg "sub" but I never remember how many actual eggs I use. Anyway -

This woman was/is super nice. One of the nicest. She had 2 or 3 cats and a dog. She gave us a bunch of instructions about feeding which we mostly forgot but we did recall that she told us they would all only eat their own food. I know better than this, but she seemed sure. Anyway, it should have been no surprise at all that feeding time was complete and utter chaos. And it was complete and utter chaos twice a day.

I don't think all the animals were really old but there was this one cat that was simply ancient. She looked flat, like road kill. I do remember that all the animals seemed a little crazy and you know things are bad when Ashley's complaining because Ashley LOVES animals. He's the sweetest to them. Things were beginning to feel a little out of control, not just because of the animals (mostly but not only), but we also couldn't remember the feeding instructions, the owner was out of phone contact, and everyone was eating something different - Except they weren't!!! It was beginning to look like maybe we had some extra cans even though we were slinging food everywhere and it seemed impossible but they were eating everything we threw at them. I considered throwing food away to make it look like we knew what we were doing.
I found the whole thing exasperating, but maybe a little funny, until the day we came home and found that the dog had eaten the crotch out of my underwear. That was it for me. I told that dog I'm not talking to you anymore, you can't do something like that and expect to stay friends.

On the last night there Ashley got up in the dark of the morning and was gone awhile. I remembered to ask him what that was about when we got up and he said the old cat sat by his side of the bed and pawed at his arm for about an hour. And I believe him. He felt like he was being tortured so he got up to feed her.

And then I got a delicious recipe from the magazines.

This recipe also reminds me of the time I made it for a potluck at work and there was a HUGE storm in New York. I sat on the freeway not moving for so long I grated cheese in my car. On my way home I drove two people who couldn't take the subway because of closures and Shira ate the cheese off the grater while we waited in more bad traffic because she thought we couldn't see what she was doing back there.

And that is the story of my casserole.

I wonder if we were to be around crazy pets now if we would even notice since having a little kid around has made us much more immune to chaos. This week I went to get ice out of the maker and I got frozen hash browns. I told Ashley and he just said okay. I didn't bother to make another drink because so what, potatoes don't really taste like much. Ashley dumped out the tray and told me one more glass and someone would have had a cup full of ground beef, too. Next time we can just throw in some peas and make it a Shepherd's Pie dispenser.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

How many times until April 15th can I say "I'll do it tomorrow?" I think we're about to find out.

On the way home tonight Theron told me some crazy story about how his teacher told them to get some chicken bones and some clay from the dollar store and make a dinosaur, or something. I said, okay, when? And he didn't know of course, but he tried to talk me into getting a chicken tonight. I said, tell your Daddy, and he said, I did, after school when he picked me up. Anyway, when we walked in the door Ash had a whole chicken cooking on the stove, because he's such a good daddy. But we still don't know anything and this happens all the time. Theron gets some bizarre assignment and we don't ever know the details. When I do ask his teacher, he tells me but then he also says, Just ask Theron, he knows. To which I would say, Have you met my son? He forgot he was wearing pants with no underwear. So anyway, we're eating chicken for dinner.

The other thing about the boy is that he seems to be entering another growth spurt and he's like a little furnance. Lately he's asking for two breakfasts - he wants oatmeal AND an egg and toast. I put healthy snacks in his bag and when I pick him up he's begging for more. That's when I say, Can I interest you in a Dr. Andrew Weil protein bar? I thought so....

I got a new intern today, she'll be coming in one day a week until June. First days are hard, but it'll be fine. She's very nice and she's an extrovert. I showed her around and she was all smiles and acceptance. Then I told her what I tell everyone, I said, Oh, and I'm not fun. I didn't mean that I'm a bitch or anything, just that I'm not cool and I'm not funny and I'm not entertaining, but I am nice and helpful. Anyway, I said I'm not fun and usually I at least get a laugh, maybe my only one ever, but the look on her face - I can't even decipher it. Maybe confused? I don't know. Then I wanted to say to her, See? It's started already. This absence of fun.