Month: January 2013

  • Logic

    “Theo, what’s wrong?  You look a little grumpy.”
    “Nothing.  :sigh:  I just wish nighttime was longer.”
    “Oh.  Are you tired?”
    “Well, you know . . . you don’t have to get up first thing in the morning.  You know how Isaac likes to stay in bed until the last possible second?  And Mommy has to make him get out of bed?”
    “You can do that, too.  You can stay in bed until Mommy tells you to get up.”
    :long pause:
    “That doesn’t make sense at all, Mommy.”

  • Deciduous

    No tears.  Big smile, and a broad hint that Mommy and Daddy better not pull that “We don’t believe in the tooth fairy” nonsense.

    That was yesterday.  Today, he seems to have forgotten all about it himself.

  • Why I Go To Starbucks To Write

    It may seem counter-intuitive that I go to Starbucks to write.  (If you’ve ever heard me complain about noisy, gabby patrons and overloud music, you’ll be particularly puzzled.)

    But if you’ve ever tried to work from home while someone else is parenting or babysitting your children, you’re probably not puzzled at all.

    Today’s delights:

    :rattle, rattle, rattle:
    :baby wailing at high volume:
    :dishes rattling:
    :metal spoon banging against metal pot:
    :baby wailing:
    “Here, Amos!  You can have this one!”
    :wooden spoon banging against metal pot:
    :rapid, lightweight footsteps:
    :rattle, rattle, rattle:
    :rapid, lightweight footsteps:
    :rattle, rattle, rattle:
    :rapid, lightweight footsteps:
    :rattle, rattle, rattle:
    :baby wailing at high volume in a panicky tone:
    :heavy, rapid footsteps:
    “I’m not TOUCHING Amos, I swear!”
    :more footsteps:
    :baby still wailing:
    :pre-schooler crying:
    :thunk on the stairs:
    :brief quiet:
    :tentative rattling of the bannister:
    :brief quiet:
    :tentative rattling of the bannister:
    :longer quiet:
    :forthright rattling of the bannister:
    :more pre-schooler crying:

    With noisy, gabby patrons, if I stare at them long enough, they get offended enough to lower their voices in disgust.

  • Gifted Boys

    All three of our boys are very smart, clever, intelligent, “gifted,” whatever you want to call it.

    We were away for four days this week.  When we got home at midnight last night, Isaac was still up.  (His grandparents are excellent babysitters . . . most of the time.)  He had the brains to pretend that he was waiting up for us and to confess, when pressed, that he was really up messing around with a new playlist.

    Amos woke up this morning, smiled and laughed at me, and refused to let me put him down for an hour.  Happily, that was exactly the length of time I was unwilling to put him down.

    Theo smiled cheerily this morning when he saw me, gave me lots of hugs, and, when asked what the most fun thing he did while we were away, answered, “Talking to you on the phone.”

    I really think Theo’s the front-runner here.  But they’re all pretty clever.

  • When Theologians Practice Medicine . . .

    “Honey, I think you should go to the doctor.”
    “Sweetie, it’s just a cold.”
    “That’s what you keep saying, but you feel miserable. And your mother has pneumonia.”
    “Is that contagious? From 1200 miles away?”

  • Jelly Jelly Bo Belly

    My first attempt at jelly-making has been relatively successful.

    Doesn’t that look pretty?

    It’s Meyer lemon jelly, from a cookbook I got for Christmas–Williams-Sonoma’s The Art of Preserving.

    I love lemon, in virtually all of its applications, so I was intrigued by this recipe.  I’ve discovered that I don’t actually care for Meyer lemons.  They’re a little too sweet, and they don’t have that aggressive sunniness I like about lemons.

    But this jelly is very nice.

    It jelled up perfectly.

    I have not yet tried canning, so it’s all going to go in the freezer.  Canning will have to go on the After The Diss list.

  • Laws

    I’ve been reading up on state laws regarding cell phone usage while driving (my own state recently having passed a ban on texting while driving), and I’m a little annoyed.

    It strikes me that a number of states do not curb genuinely dangerous behavior while prohibiting (at least on the face of things) less dangerous behavior.

    Pennsylvania, for example, prohibits texting (and emailing) while driving, tout court.  It makes no distinction between voice-operated devices and the kind that require the use of your hands and eyes.

    Now, I know that there is some evidence that even hands-and-eyes-free devices are a bad idea while driving, but it strikes me that laws might reasonably distinguish between the kind of texting here and the kind enabled by voice-operated devices.

    On the other hand, the PA law does not prohibit any of the other highly dangerous things one might do with a smart phone, like surfing, playing games, or entering coordinates into a map program.

    This is bad.  And maybe dumb.

    I’m trying to think how one could word such a law to avoid these two pitfalls.  Any suggestions?

  • Eat Your Greens

    Remember my recent post describing one way to get your daily greens in?

    Now I have pictures.

    Any of you make healthy eating New Year’s resolutions?  I hope one of them was to increase your intake of fruits and veggies, especially leafy greens.  Don’t just cut out the bad stuff (whatever the “bad stuff” is for you)–make an effort to include the good stuff, too.  And leafy greens are the best of the good stuff.  Srsly.


    The nicest way to serve this is on a toast/crouton thing.

    Butter one side of your bread, like you’re making grilled cheese.

    And fry it.

    It would be more decadent to fry both sides, but . . . well, I was aiming for restraint.

    One of my grocery stores has started carrying baby kale, which I like very much.  But you could also use spinach (baby or otherwise) in this recipe.  I suppose if you could get baby chard, that would work nicely, too.  The point is to get the quick-cooking greens rather than the more substantial ones.

    Saute the greens in a little butter.

    Until they’re fairly well wilted.

    And remove to the crouton.

    Then top with your favorite egg preparation–poached, omelet, fried, scrambled, whatever.

    I most prefer an over-easy egg, because the gooey yolk makes the greens absolutely decadent.  But I’ve been doing a quick omelet lately, because that’s how Amos likes his eggs, and it’s easier to go ahead and make an omelet for both of us.

    So.  There you go.  Eat your greens.  Every day, if you can.

  • Splitting Hairs/The Difference

    Oh, Playmobil.

    What am I to do with you?

    What is this?  Are you taunting me?

    Did someone write you and ask for more Christian Christmas figures?  And was this your answer?

    “We need an angel for the Nativity set!  That little baby cherubim thing you got in there isn’t terribly impressive.”
    “Oh, we’ve got JUST the thing!”

    But is she an angel or a woodland fairy?  Or a fairy godmother!  (That’s what’s missing from the Jesus story!  A fairy godmother!)

    Joseph and Mary don’t know what to think.  They were expecting a visit from Gabriel.


    Is it the Big Sister Fairy Society?

    They’re especially puzzled because the wings are removable.

    Grab a Wise Man, and you can have a wedding instead of an Incarnation!  (What are the little girls that carry the train called?  Pages? Or still flower girls?)

    I don’t know if the Holy Family wants to accept their wedding invitation.

    And, oh, poor Saint Nicholas.

    Is he the bishop of Myra?  The staunch defender of Nicean Christianity?

    Or the jolly fat guy with a funky belt?

    Put him in a snow bank, . . .

    . . . and you can’t tell!!

    Baby Jesus is confused, too.

    The Wise Men just want the bling.

  • Almost there . . .

    Getting closer . . .

    Happily, this is also a fair representation of my dissertation right now.