Monday, August 31, 2015

I Came, I Sauced, I Conquered

This times five . . .

And this times three . . .

Plus a large bowl of fresh salsa last night for our carnitas, and I'm left with six quarts of Finny's sauce, two quarts of tomato soup, and this . . .

All hail the tomato-conquering hero(ine). 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

I Sauce

There was a new vendor at the tiny farmers market in the tiny village I pass through on my way to the dump. I had stopped by to pick up some tomatoes, with some vague idea of making Finny's tomato sauce if I got enough. The very friendly young woman at the new booth (which, yes, makes me feel about a hundred years old to say, but she was young--like 23 or so) had various quart-size containers of tomatoes and so on for two dollars each.

I asked her for the container of Romas, and she asked, "Do you sauce?" I replied in the affirmative, still looking at cucumbers and green beans and other things. "Do you sauce?" she asked again, a little more forcefully. "Yes," I said, looking directly at her this time and wondering if this was some kind of code and she was going to hand over a bag of weed or something.

Instead she asked me if I wanted a whole box of Romas for twenty dollars. I didn't quite have twenty dollars, though, so I asked her if she would be there next week. And then she lowered her voice a little and said, "You can have the box for fifteen."

Deal. I have a LOT of tomatoes now and a lot of Finny's tomato sauce in my future. Plus, I feel like a member of a secret club.

So tell me, my lovelies: Do you sauce?

Friday, August 28, 2015


Cubby and Charlie are at this very moment hunting in the gully. This is the small gully right outside the garden fence. Cubby spent about an hour sitting in the brush there yesterday, scoping it out. He had great plans today to get a chipmunk, because it was the only animal unwise enough to get close to him. Charlie is also along for the hunt.

I didn't know Charlie was with Cubby, however, so when I yelled for Cubby to ask if Charlie was there, too, the reply was, "MOOOOOM!!! We're hunting! You're making me scare off the animals!"


Two minutes later, Cubby appeared to put Mia inside, because she was also impeding the Great Chipmunk Hunt.

I can even now hear Cubby yelling, "Otty! Come here!" I expect Otty will also be banished to the house in the next minute or two.

Nothing gets in the way of a boy and his chipmunk hunt.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Just Like Brad Pitt

Is Brad Pitt still a thing? Do the paparazzi still stalk him? Or is it now someone like Justin Bieber?

Hell if I know. I have three kids under six. I'm pretty much the definition of unhip.


Charlie is not down with the photos these days. If I sneak up on him, I might get a couple before he realizes I'm there with the dreaded camera, but then . . .

Rowing his ship.

Captain Charlie at the controls.

"NOOOO! No pictures!"

I expect to hear from his lawyer any day now.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Magic of Five Years Old

When a foam build-your-own-superhero-mask from the local library and a floral pillowcase clothespinned to your shirt have transformative powers.

"Mom, wearing this mask and cape really makes me feel like a superhero."

Love it. And him.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Moving Ahead

Jack had his eight-month birthday this past Tuesday. I may have made more than one joke about the giant, non-crawling, toothless infant.

It was funny because he's the size of a toddler--like, literally the size of a year-and-a-half-old walking child we encountered the other day--but distinctly baby in his lack of other development.

He must have taken the jokes to heart, because he decided to do something about it this week. Specifically, the very edge of his first tooth poked through yesterday, the same day he finally got up on his hands and knees and started rocking in that soon-to-be-crawling kind of way.

He is also starting to drink water from a cup and try very hard to pick up small pieces of bread and egg and so on from his tray. Although that last one mostly devolves into examining the small pieces closely before smashing them cruelly in his giant fists, a la Lennie in Of Mice and Men.

He's trying, though. He's growing, and progressing, and getting less baby every day.

I will savor the Beet Face as long as I can, because I will miss it when he's too old to decorate his face with pureed beets that look hilariously like smeared lipstick.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

No-Regrets A/C

Some of you may remember that when Charlie was born three years ago, A. purchased a window-unit air conditioner to put upstairs in our house. It was the first-ever cooling device at Blackrock, and there was no small amount of guilt about putting it in. The indulgence! The energy waste!

The bliss.

We have discovered that this particular energy-smart unit is enough to cool all the bedrooms we sleep in upstairs, as well as the parlor downstairs. Thanks to the many, many doors in our home, we can control where the cool air goes quite easily. This means that not only can we sleep now when the weather is unbearable, but I have a refuge during the day. When it's really hot, I leave the air conditioner on (on a higher temperature setting) so we can go into the parlor to play or read in relative comfort.

Having that one room downstairs to escape to when I've spent the rest of the day cooking and sweating, or doing laundry and sweating, or chasing children and sweating, or just sweating and sweating and sweating some more, is an immeasurable relief. I would even go so far as to say it makes me a better person.

Plus, the air conditioner actually uses about the same amount of electricity as the numerous fans we used to run in every room to make the house bearable.

If I could beatify my air conditioner, I would. Instead, I'll just give it a hearty thank you. And maybe a hug, because I can get more cold air that way.