Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reasons I love fall

Candy corn.
     Yeah, I know some people do not like candy corn and find it gross, but I love it.  But I also feel like it is a fall food so whether I can get it year round or not, it is a fall food and will be eaten in the fall, not before or after.

      I love jack-o-lanterns and porches dressed up with mums, pumpkins, and hay bails.  I also love foods with pumpkin: Andy's Frozen Custard has a pumpkin custard that I adore and wait for all year.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
     I am a HUGE Peanuts fan.  I own all the holiday specials on dvd, but the great pumpkin is one of my very favorite.  When I was 7 or 8 years old, my parents told me we were going to get to meet the Great Pumpkin on Halloween and I was so excited.  And then the night ended and they gave me some line about how he had already been to town and left.  Whatever.  I watch the special multiple times around Halloween (and have gotten my daughters to like it and expect to get to watch it) and it always kills me a little when Charlie Brown only gets a rock in his treat bag.

Cooler weather.
     It is stupid hot and humid here in Arkansas during the summer so I welcome the cooler temperatures.  I love getting to open the windows and air out the house, waking up to the crispness of the air.  I like bonfires and hayrides and getting to snuggle up in sweaters.

     Costumes, candy, haunted houses, and scary movies.  Awesome!

The colors, the leaves.
     I love the mix of bold reds, golden yellows, greens, oranges, then watching the leaves slowly fall off the trees.  I like the sound as they crunch underfoot and the smell of burning leaves.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh My! What a week!  I knew it was going to be too much, that we had arranged too much for the week, but that is just the way it had all worked out.  And as Keary regularly reminds me "We don't do things the way other people do it. When we so something, we do it all the way."  And he is right (one of the few times you will hear me say that), we are the kind of people who if we were going to do the polar bear plunge, we would strip naked and jump in the deep end. In other words, I think I am saying, we are crazy.  Except we wouldn't do a polar bear plunge at all either because I hate being cold, much less being cold and wet.

But we started last week with Gwendolyn starting school, and much to everyone's surprise, it went well.  Then she was even excited about the next day of school and her only complaint at the end of the day was her tumbling class interfered with her play time and made her feet hurt.  And then to top off her day, she went to the fair and rode rides and ate fair food (and neglected to bring her mother, who labored for 32 hours before delivering her big gourd head, the funnel cake she requested) and ran around with the carnies and her grandparents.  Then Friday night, she got to spend the night with her Aunt L.  Gwendolyn had her first official soccer game Saturday morning.  She was so excited all summer to play soccer, even though we really don't know anything about soccer and sufficed to say, everything we know about soccer we learned from Murray on Sesame Street.  She was excited when we go there, but then clammed up and had trouble understanding the whole running with the ball and the other team's kids aren't going to kick the ball back to you.  At one point during the game, she stopped what she was doing to turn around and yell to us to "stop yelling and saying my name!".  Yeah... I remember when my brother and sister and I played sports wishing someone would put a gag on my mom because she just. wouldn't. stop. yelling.  And her voice kept coming out of my mouth, yelling at Gwendolyn to "Get the ball. Get the ball, Gwendolyn! Kick it!! Get it!! Wahooo!!!!".  Fun times.

Saturday night was my sister's (Aunt L for those of you keeping score at home) surprise (except she requested a surprise party so it totally could not be a surprise party) party.  And it wasn't really a party either so much as it was our family all awkwardly sitting together and sharing a meal at a restaurant.  I guess it was nice enough.  I would like to say it was nice though that her boyfriend put into it to coordinate it, but all he did was get a cake.  And I am the one who told him what the cake should look like (actually I told him what the entire party should look like, but he only wanted to do dinner) and who to call to order the cake and if she was busy, who to call for back-up.  And mom called the family to invite them.  And he neglected to call any of her friends to invite them.  Still he sat there and was so stinking proud of himself.  He looked like a cat that had eaten a bird.  But L was pleased that he had done something for her birthday and that is what matters.  Dinner felt awkward though and Gwendolyn had a melt down before we were able to leave. She was exhausted, I was exhausted, Maggie... well, she was tired of being there.  So we came home and couldn't get to sleep.  I can only guess we were over-stimulated.

Sunday morning we overslept for church and I might as well have pissed in Gwendolyn's cheerios.  It didn't matter that we needed the sleep or that we needed to go get snacks to take to her soccer game that afternoon, all that mattered is that she had missed children's church.  Nevermind she has NEVER gone to children's church.  Then we ran late to the soccer game.  And my goodness, the kids on the other team were so much rougher than ours.  I was afraid someone was going to leave on a stretcher.  Those kids kept dog-piling on the ball and tackling each other.  Gwendolyn was not having any of that and instead twirled and jumped around.

She started complaining that afternoon that she didn't feel particularly well.  I told her if she would eat some supper, I would give her some medicine, and she could go to bed.  She didn't want to eat though and argued and spent two and a half hours playing with her food and not eating.  Then, as I was coming out of the bathroom, she ran in there.  She was sick.  And had gotten sick all down the hall. While I cleaned it up, Maggie went in there and checked on her.  Then she decided what her sister really needed was some background music, so she brought her fisher price piano in there and played for her.  Because of course.

I am just hoping for a less exciting week ahead.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gwendolyn's first day of school went very well.  The teachers have commented multiple times that they can't believe she hasn't been in a school or daycare setting already with the way she has taken to it.  She said that she made lots of friends but couldn't tell me their names, and acted like I as crazy and unreasonable when I asked.  Ahh, I just can't wait for the teenage years.  She was super excited to go back again today too  Keary said she couldn't wait to be dropped off and out of the car so much that he expected her to jump out and tuck and roll.  Here is hoping it stays as fun and exciting for her, yes?

The local county fair is this week.  Gwendolyn has gone with her grandparents and Maggie and I are staying home.  I feel bad not taking Maggie, but she is only 13 months old so I don't think she would be very interested in riding any of the rides.  And it is 93 degrees at 4pm so I am not interested in wrestling and trying to keep her from running off at the fairgrounds.  She is my ornery child: you can see the mischievousness ooze out of her.  She is the one who I would need to worry about crawling into the exotic petting animal cage or running off with a carnie.  Next year I will take her.  Or maybe I will get the grandparents to take her too.  

Fairs give me the heebie-jeebies.  There are too many people and about half the people seem to be inbred or completely unaware of manners and how to behave in public and it is loud and the carnies are barking trying to get you to play their games.  All I want is a funnel cake and maybe to ride the scrambler or tilt-a-whirl (maybe, I also don't trust the way the rides are driven all over the place and thrown up and put together.  Keary has tried to convince me that the rides are probably safe because they are put together and taken apart so often, any problems would be noted ad taken care of earlier.  I doubt this is the way it works.  Feel free to correct me.)  I also want a corndog.  Clearly I am a fan of fair food.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And so it begins...

I dropped my four year old off for her first day of school today.  It is just pre-k and only two days a week, but it still has taken my breath away.  I have never left her with people I do not know, and had no intention of doing so anytime soon- even the idea of kindergarten next was enough to make my heart rate go up and head spin a few weeks ago.  I figured that I worked with her enough at home and judging by the checklist to get out of kindergarten, we were faring pretty well, just lacking some social interaction with children her age, and she was getting more of that at the library's story-time and beginning soccer.  Then she asked when she could start school.  And asked again the next day.  And the next day.  So I told her I would check into seeing if there were any schools that had any openings and waited on her to change her mind and say she didn't really want to go.  And I waited.  And waited.  And she never changed her mind.  I emailed a private preschool, and they had one opening left and asked us to come look around and meet them.  I expected her to maybe change her mind once we visited and she learned she would have to do lessons there too.  At this point, I wasn't sure if she would change her mind, but she had such a bad reaction to dance classes last year when I wasn't dropping her off, just sitting and waiting in a different room for her until she was done, I wouldn't have been surprised if she changed her mind.  She looked at the school and said she wanted to attend.  She remained excited all weekend long while we gathered school supplies and discussed what she would take to school to eat for lunch.  And today I watched her hang up her backpack and walk away to go play.  She is ready and seemingly was ready for it all along.  I, on the other hand, feel a little shell-shocked after seeing my little girl transform before my eyes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

So why fruitcakes?

Why "bit of fruitcake"?  What does it mean?  Well, to give some perspective, I was raised in a family of parrotheads, listening to Jimmy Buffett until multiple cassette tapes were completely worn out.  So when I started  mulling the idea to start writing online and looking for a broad title that I could write about not just cooking or mothering, etc, the lyrics to "Fruitcakes" kept coming to mind.  There wasn't anything specific in the lyrics that related to me, but it was more of a feeling and emotion that came from the song: it is light-hearted, but observant and notes craziness that is happening all the time all around.

By: Jimmy Buffett, Amy Lee
You know I was talking to my friend desdemona the other day she
Runs this space station and bake shop down near boomtown. she told
Me that human beings are flawed individuals. the cosmic bakers
Took us out of the oven a little too early. and that's the
Reason were as crazy as we are and I believe it.

Take for example when you go to the movies these days, you know.
They try to sell you this jumbo drink, 8 extra ounces of watered
Down cherry coke for an extra 25 cents. I don't want it.
I don't want that much organziation in my life.
I don't want other people thinking for me.
I want my junior mints. where did the junior mints go in the
Movies. I don't want a 12 lb. nestles crunch for 25 dollars. i
Want junior mints.

We need more fruitcakes in this world and less bakers!
We need people that care! Im mad as hell! and I don't want to
Take it anymore!

Fruitcakes in the kitchen (fruitcakes in the kitchen)
Fruitcakes on the street (fruitcakes on the street)
Struttin naked through the crosswalk
In the middle of the week
Half-baked cookies in the oven (cookies in the oven)
Half-baked people on the bus (people on the bus)
There's a little bit of fruitcake left in everyone of us

Paradise, lost and found
Paradise, take a look around
I was out in california where I hear they have it all
They got riots, fires, mud slides
They've got sushi in the mall
Water bars, brontasaurs, chinese modern lust
Shake and bake life with the quake
The secrets in the crust

Fruitcakes in the kitchen (fruitcakes in the kitchen)
Fruitcakes on the street (fruitcakes on the street)
Struttin naked through the crosswalk
In the middle of the week
Half-baked cookies in the oven (cookies in the oven)
Half-baked people on the bus (people on the bus)
There's a little bit of fruitcake left in everyone of us

Speakin of fruitcakes, how bout the government? 
Your tax dollars at work.

We lost our martian rocket ship
The high paid spokesman said
Looks like that silly rocket ship
Has lost it's cone shaped head
We spent 90 jillion dollars trying to get a look at mars
I hear universal laughter ringing out among the stars

Fruitcakes in the galaxy (fruitcakes in the galaxy)
Fuitcakes on the earth (fruitcakes on the earth)
Struttin naked towards eternity
Weve been that way since birth
Half-baked cookies in the oven (cookies in the oven)
Half-baked people on the bus (people on the bus)
There's a little bit of fruitcake left in everyone of us

Religion! religion! oh, there's a thin line between saturday
Night and sunday morning. here we go now.
Alright, alter boys.

Mea culpa mea culpa mea maxima culpa
Mea culpa mea culpa mea maxima culpa

Wheres the church, who took the steeple
Religion is in the hands of some crazy-ass people
Television preachers with bad hair and dimples
The gods honest truth is it's not that simple
Its the buddhist in you, it's the pagan in me
Its the muslim in him, she's catholic aint she? 
Its the born again look it's the wasp and the jew
Tell me what's goin on, I aint gotta clue

Now here comes the big ones. relationships! we all got em, we
All want em. what do we do with em? 
Here we go, I'll tell ya.

She said you gotta do your fair share
Now cough up half the rent
I treat my body like a temple
You treat yours like a tent
But the right word at the right time
May get me a little hug
That's the difference between lightning
And a harmless lightnin bug

Fruitcakes in the kitchen (fruitcakes in the kitchen)
Fruitcakes on the street (fruitcakes on the street)
Struttin naked through the crosswalk
In the middle of the week
Half-baked cookies in the oven (cookies in the oven)
Half-baked people on the bus (people on the bus)
There's a little bit of fruitcake left in everyone of us

The future. captains log, stardate two thousand and something.

Were seven years from the millenium
That's a science fiction fact
Stanley kubrick and his buddy hal
Now don't look that abstract
So I'll put on my bob marley tape
And practice what I preach
Get jah lost in the reggae mon
As I walk along the beach
Stay in touch with my insanity really is the only way
Its a jungle out there kiddies
Have a very fruitful day

Fruitcakes in the kitchen (fruitcakes in the kitchen)
Fruitcakes on the street (fruitcakes on the street)
Struttin naked through the crosswalk
In the middle of the week
Half-baked cookies in the oven (cookies in the oven)
Half-baked people on the bus (people on the bus)
There's a little bit of fruitcake left in everyone of us

That's right, you too. yeah those crumbs are spread all around
This universe. Ive seen fruitcakes. I saw this guy in santa
Monica rollerskate naked through the crosswalk. down in new
Orleans in the french market there are fruitcakes like you cannot
Believe. new york, forget it. fruitcake city. down island, weve got
Fruitcakes. spread them crumbs around. that's right, we want
Em around. keep bakin baby. keep bakin.

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/jimmy+buffett/#share