Thursday, November 13, 2014

Notes from the First Day of Winter

What's that? The calendar says it's still fall? Yeah, well, tell the calendar to take a look out my window and shut up. Snow has been falling since about 9 a.m. It didn't start sticking until about an hour ago, though.

Before it started to stick, I loaded the children up in the van to go out to the local orchard to pick up A.'s buckets of apple cider. In the past, we've pressed our own cider that A. has subsequently turned into many gallons of hard cider. But there were no excess apples this year, so A. decided to just buy the sweet cider. He made me promise that I wouldn't lift the five-gallon buckets into the van myself*, lest I damage myself or the other human currently residing in my body. So I had the lady at the orchard carry the buckets to the van for me.

I also bought two ten-pound bags of apples. Cubby carried one. Charlie carried the other. I carried nothing.

Put 'em to work young, I say.

Tonight is the St. Martin's Day celebration at Cubby's preschool. I once again volunteered to bring meat--we eat a lot of meat, so I figured I might as well supply it--and once again, I happened to choose a roast that was all tied up with string. A beef roast this time, which I browned, stuck in a Dutch oven with onions, and left in the oven all day.

Way easier than baking something or peeling potatoes or whatever.

Around 4 p.m., I pulled the meat apart in lieu of slicing, since it had been in the oven so long it was falling apart anyway, doused it in storebought barbecue sauce and dumped it all back into the Dutch oven.

My name is Kristin, and I am a lazy potluck contributor.

But at least I managed to get the string off this time. I'm sure that will be appreciated.

* I didn't mention the fact that Charlie, who I must still lift and carry regularly, weighs a lot more than five gallons of cider. I'm okay with being weak if I can get away with it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A.P.D.--The Bedtime Edition

Before we begin with today's frivolity, please go here to read the first post I ever did for Veterans Day and take a moment to remember what today is. 

And now, on with the show!

Have you seen this map of average bedtimes by county in the United States? It's fascinating. It is also, I suspect, skewed by the fact that the responses came from people wearing some super-techie activity tracker device that I had never heard of. This is pure conjecture, of course, but I would bet that people who are more into gadgets and technology stay up later.

But let's carry on with this discussion anyway, because I found the results shocking.

In case you don't want to read the whole thing (though you should), the most notable point is that the earliest average bedtime in the United States is 10:31 p.m. That's on Maui. Not that it makes a difference where it is, the point is that this is the earliest average.

Most other places are around 11:30 p.m. or midnight. My own county apparently averages 11:23 p.m.

I know this is not unusual. We don't personally know any adults here--our age or otherwise--who go to bed before 10 p.m. 

Except us.

A. and I are in bed every night by 9 p.m. Okay, maybe sometimes 9:15, but those are our late nights. Many nights, we're in bed before nine. We can't even blame it on the exhausting little humans who suck our energy, either, because we went to bed at nine before we had kids. I usually went to bed around nine when I was in college for God's sake.

According to this map, this makes us very, very weird.

But, as I mentioned, I have my doubts about the true representativeness of these numbers. So let me put it to you, my lovelies, for a totally unscientific but no less interesting survey: What time do you usually go to bed?