31 March 2006

No training wheels!

Look carefully...it's Ross riding his two-wheeler!!

30 March 2006

Scooter bump

If you look closely, you'll see a bump coming up on his forehead, over his right eye...

"What happened to your head?"

"Ryan and I were playing and I fell off his scooter! You should have seen me, Mama - I went flying and it was SO COOL!"

28 March 2006

A disagreement

Chris claims the annoying alarm was saying, "Burglary! Burglary!" not, "Emergency! Emergency!" I'm tempted to tromp over and walk too close to their house so we can find out for sure.

Emergency! Emergency!

"Huny? Come here for a minute." I find Chris in the back hall, half in and half out the door, wearing a bemused expression. Suddenly, I hear a siren twirling in the background.

"Emergency! Emergency! You have violated an area ..... Protected by ..... A security system!" The siren twirls again. "Emergency! Emergency! You have violated an area ..."

We stand in door, listening to the mechanical voice and the siren take turns violating the quiet evening. The unnatural pauses in the mechanical voice are comical. "Deer?" Chris asks, "or should we call someone?"

"Emergency! Emergency! You have violated an area ..... Protected by ..... A security system!"

We wait, but nothing comes bounding through the woods. No deer. No burgler. The alarm sallies forth. "If this were Brooklyn, I'd be tempted to get a sharpie and write a nasty note on that guy's front door," I say. I've been known to pen such missives on the windows of people inconsiderate enough to park their 5-stage alarm cars somewhere well out of their own earshot. Eventually, we decide there's no actual danger and go back inside. Maybe the people in that house are too new to the neighborhood to know that the major threat around here is friendly deer? We're hoping it won't take them too long to figure it out.

27 March 2006

Say cheese!

Q: How hard is it to get four boys, ages 5 - 7, into a nice picture?


26 March 2006

Game faces

Wisdom from Bug: "Mama, it's ok the Sabres lost because they might have won and at least they didn't lose to my Rangers."

Totally ridiculous

...but I really hope I win the Sabrebike:

Best part of Friday night...

"I was on the Jumbotron! I was sucking THIS (held aloft) thumb! On the Jumbotron at my first NHL hockey game! It was A-W-E-SOME!"

18 March 2006

Saturday morning sounds

My head's back! Yaaaay - I love my head!

Storm Trooper, Django. Storm Trooper, Django. Storm Trooper, Djan...

Hey Lars! Let's get out the dance floor!


Ross, you know you look like a lego guy, right? You know that?

17 March 2006

Household help

In addition to bringing me mice, Pixie likes to help with my filing. She likes rubbing her feet on the files so much that most of the name tabs on my folders have had to be reinforced. It's a good thing she hasn't got claws up front or I'd be living a Garfield cartoon...

16 March 2006

Paradise reconsidered

These are pictures of an 1890's earthen dam that broke this week on the North Shore of Kauai. They were taken by Jack Harter. You can see more photos here.

A friend of mine is studying in Kauai this year and she only lives about a mile from this dam. She and her host family are all ok, thankfully! In a brief chat with her this morning, I found myself wondering about the intensity of devastation. Hundreds upon hundreds of people have been killed in recent disasters - natural and un. In contrast to some of the most notable catastrophes, the Kilauea Dam break seems mild enough so as to be insignificant...but is it? Only a few lives were lost, only a few homes destroyed. Yet the damaged community is very small and very close knit; almost everyone left to live in the wake of this dam break has suffered personal loss. How much more traumatic is the healing process when the entire community is grieving? I can't imagine. I've known all along this would be a year my friend will never forget...I just hadn't considered all the possibilities of paradise.

13 March 2006

No fool

My five year old is no fool. Along with the standard stack of magazines and innocuous offers, today's mail brought a 6" x 9" envelope, turquoise & white, with an abstract mouse-head design and a small picture of a Cinderella castle shown in one ear. Lars picked it up and immediately instructed, "Mama. Open this one because it will say we can go to here (points at castle) and it's Disney!" Mind you he has never been to Disney, nor does he have any idea we've plans to go next month (hence the big envelope with mouse ears...), but he is not immune to advertising and, if he is at all religious, his devotion is entirely for matching things and today's envelope certainly did not match any 'junk mail' he has previously classified. I distracted him pretty easily by handing him the inert contents of the latest Disney credit card offer which, handily, also arrived today. Still, I think that when we get to Orlando his standard 'make myself comfortable here' declaration of "Oh, I knew we were going to go here!" will be at least partly true.

06 March 2006

03 March 2006

Exploding Heads

My sister-in-law, Fraukow, has a new job! She's the secretary at her church, a job that fits her time and people skills very well. The problem, at least as far as her brother (my husband) is concerned, is that her head may very well be in imminent danger of exploding, as she's not actually baptized. I think she'll be ok - they've been going to that church for years now and I suspect if there were going to be any exploding heads, they'd have already detonated. Of course, nothing is for sure so, if you're a big fan of gory thrillers, you might want to consider switching to her church...just in case.

Beef...it's what's for dinner.

Chunky Maple Beef Stew

1/4 c flour w/salt & pepper to taste
1 t crushed garlic
1 stalk chopped celery
1-1/2 lbs. beef, cut into 1/2 cubes
1 19 oz. can tomatoes
1/2 c dry red wine
1/2 c pure maple syrup
4 medium potatoes, cubed
2 large carrots, sliced diagonally

Preheat oven to 325°. Shake beef cubes in bag with seasoned flour. Place in casserole dish with remaining ingredients and 1/2 cup water. Cover and bake 3-4 hours until beef is tender. Serve with homemade bread and a green salad. Serves six.

This recipe is from the Official Vermont Maple Cookbook, Second Edition. I used Wegmans Pan Searing flour (pre-seasoned), Wegs stew beef (pre-cubed), new potatoes (small enough not to have to cut), and baby-cut carrots. It takes about five minutes to dump everything into the casserole dish - couldn't be easier! Served with Wegmans bakery bread (about as close to homemade as I'm likely to get anytime soon) and a green salad.


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