Saturday, November 29, 2008

Take it up with the Etruscans

I was wondering who I could blame for the annual cry-fest of the wishbone breaking contest. We have never had it end well. Did the Pilgrims start this nonsense? After creating a great four day weekend of giving thanks are they to blame for muddying the water with a competition that pits sibling against sibling? A competition where one child gets their wish and one child......well better luck next year?

As it turns out, the Pilgrims were innocent. It was the poultry-worshipping Etruscans about 2500 years ago. They were quite sure that domestic fowl had fortune-telling capabilities and they used chickens as precursors to our modern day Ouija boards. They drew a large circle in the dirt and divided it into twenty parts, each part representing a letter of the Etruscan alphabet. Then they scattered grain and set their feathered fortune teller to work. Soothsayers eagerly copied down the letters chosen by the hungry birds and tried to find deeper meaning in their pecking.

When a sacred chicken was killed, its clavicle was laid in the sun to dry. The Etruscans liked the clavicle because it was shaped, well -- I don't really like to go in this direction on the blog, but here it is -- it was shaped like a human crotch and so it represented the repository of life. Understandably, a dried chicken clavicle was a pretty lucky thing to have. People touched it for good luck and made wishes on its magical powers, dubbing it the wishbone. But not everyone was lucky enough to have a wishbone and scarcity brought out some unfortunate behaviors: fighting, wrestling, hair pulling, toga yanking. In the scuffle, understandably, a wishbone or two was broken. And so the wishbone breaking tradition was born. The Etruscans passed it on to the Romans who passed it on to the British, who brought it over on the Mayflower. Imagine the thrill of the Pilgrims when they found turkeys--fowls with wishbones big enough to turn any Etruscan green with envy.

So, without further ado, the wishbone breaking of 2008. Our kids have a hard time waiting 4-6 days and we've found the microwave can significantly speed up the drying process. Alas, Abby, our child who jumped around all morning wondering if the wishbone was ready because she had some good wishes, did not get a lucky break. And yes, that term comes courtesy of the Etruscans; the Etruscans and their wishbone breaking ways.

Better luck next year Abby.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I wake up in a house with a heater warming the things I want warm and a refrigerator cooling the things I want cool. I have a teenaged son who goes to early-morning seminary to study the Bible and he does this without complaint. I am married to a funny, kind-hearted person who stays up late making pies for his home teaching families and then wakes up and puts on his scrubs to work at a job that we're so thankful he has, in an office that we'll never take for grated, and with a staff that he loves.

I get to live with a curly-haired preteen who stumbles down the stairs each morning groggy but beautiful. She's always pleasant and eager to be of help. I get to be called Mom by a black-haired girl who's currently sporting an unusual haircut and bounds into the kitchen each morning in a carefully chosen outfit and always compliments me on something: I love those pajamas, You look beautiful today, Nice hair. I go upstairs to find the straggler, the snuggly blond-haired girl with twinkling blue eyes who buries herself completely under her covers every night and has to be extracted every morning, always with a yawn and a smile. She has the best laugh and fiercest temper and gives the warmest hugs.

My kids attend schools where teachers care about each one of them personally. I am so thankful for their teachers. My kids play sports, sing, go to scouts, play the piano, and still have enough energy to bicker with each other any hour of the day. They have doctors who keep them healthy and we have insurance so we can pay the doctors who keep them healthy. The kids eat big meals that are always available and sometimes they even take their plates to the counter.

We attend a church that nourishes our spirits and gives us hope for a life together in the eternities. We have a Savior who has felt all of our pains and loves us and set an example for us to follow. We live in a country that allows us to worship as we choose. We have friends and extended family who uplift us and would be at our doorstep in a moment's notice if they were needed.

I'll go to sleep tonight in flannel sheets with plenty of blankets and tomorrow we'll eat turkey and make toast with our glasses of cranberry juice/7-Up mix and we'll thank our Heavenly Father for our abundant blessings.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Maya was a BAD girl last night

No, I shouldn't say that. Maya was a good girl who made a BAD decision. A really horribly bad decision. I saw this on the stairs and started to sweat.

It could be Olaf hair, I thought optimistically, but it didn't look fluffy enough and there were no twigs in the mix, so my heart beat faster. "Maya!" I yelled, "Quickly come see Mom!"

And oh yeah, it wasn't Olaf. A regular little Edward Scissorhands this girl is. Now this wasn't her first foray into self-styling; in the past she's taken a little trim here and there, but this was by far the most drastic. The front was obviously mutilated, but the rest is nearly as bad. One side fared worse than the other, so she's got this asymmetrical punk rock style going on. She's a punk all right.

This was our conversation following the incident:

"Maya, do we cut our own hair?"

"Yes, sometimes."

"O.K., obviously. But should we cut our own hair?"

"You can if you want to."

"No, you cannot. You won't ever cut your own hair again, right?"

"I might."

"Maya, it doesn't look PRETTY" (I know this was probably a bit harsh)

"I think it looks pretty. And Charlie looks pretty too....."

Poor Charlie.

So here's Maya in the style she'll be sporting for YEARS while her hair grows out.... or until she cuts it again....when she wants to.

And here's a picture of a kinder, gentler time, a time when my daughter had hair.

And wasn't quite so sassy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

While Lyle was at basketball this morning and I was sighing deeply at the beauty of Saturday mornings and flannel sheets, Maya shuffled into my room, fully dressed. (She always dresses herself the instant she gets out of bed because she doesn't trust the rest of us with that job.) This morning she was in a backwards red shirt, yellow skirt with a tropical print, white ruffled socks, and the ever-present red shoes (the tap shoes are now second fiddle to the red Mary Janes). She was dragging bease behind her so I hoped that was a sign that maybe she was in a snuggly, sleep-in kind of mood. Mercifully she was and climbed into bed, arranging bease over the both of us, because the girl has a heart of gold.

"Mom," she said, "Abby was in your tummy right?"

Hmmm, we're back to this conversation. This nighttime conversation now popping up in the morning. "Yes, Abby was in my tummy."

"And Adam? Was he in your tummy too?"

"Yes, Adam was in my tummy."


"Yes, Madeline was in my tummy."

"And Daddy was in your tummy?"

I couldn't help but laugh, "No, Daddy was never in my tummy. Daddy was...."

"I know. I know. You met Daddy in China. Just like Maya."

We're close. Soclose. Just not quite there yet.

*And if I had the Photoshop know-how to create a picture of my Gotcha' Day with Lyle, I would do it. Instead you'll just have to imagine....his Gotcha' Day outfit, the hand-off, the crying confused Lyle, the tearfully joyful Eileen....the e-mails home to family, "I've GOT HIM! And wow, the clothes I brought are WAY too small!!! I guess that means more shopping trips! LOL!! For those of you buying clothes (Aunt Cindy, that's you!), I'd say he's more like a 32/32 in trousers and a 16 1/2 neck in dress shirts. But oh, you should have seen him in the split pants!!! He's a keeper, that's for sure!"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Family Photo Shoot: Air Maya




Photos courtesy of the amazingly wonderful Blaine Wilson who I technically haven't paid yet, but I promise I will, so I hope he doesn't mind the posting of the photos, because he does read my blog, so he will see that I posted before payment, but he probably won't mind because he'll be so inundated with phone calls from my vast readership and everyone will simply have to have him take their family Christmas card photos and Middelfart might even fly him out to Denmark and what with the international travel and all he won't have time to worry about Eileen who maybe posted a few photos before the check was written. Whew. Just give him a call.

Soon I'll be updating our family photo--the one that's permanently on the blog--and it's certainly high time, but I will be sad to say goodbye to the old photo from the Shama Bartlett photo shoot. Shama who is also so talented and was able to make our incredibly unphotogenic family look surprisingly good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wicked Subconscious

I get up with Adam every morning at 5:45. I make him breakfast, throw a lunch in a paper sack, and sit at the table commiserating with him that yes, it's WAY too early. And every morning I stay awake after his ride comes to get him at 6:25. I write my blog post, I read, on rare occasions I exercise. But this morning the couch looked inviting. So, so inviting. I snuggled up under a blanket and went to sleep. I don't recall Lyle leaving, but that must have happened.

And then I woke up in a panic. What time is it? I jumped up off the couch and ran to the microwave but it was just flashing zeros. I kept pressing buttons to try and clear the zeros, but they wouldn't go away. So I went to the computer and looked and looked for the time. It's there somewhere, isn't it? Aren't I usually able to read the time on the computer? I'm pretty sure I can. I squinted my sleepy eyes and searched in each of the corners, along the top, along the bottom, no time. Where is that dang clock? Just when I was about to give up, the time flashed across the screen, bold as brass:


And it kept changing colors, and then it got smaller and bounced around the sides of the monitor. That's never happened before and I blinked my eyes to make sure I was seeing it right. And then the numbers got big again and pulsed 6:58, 6:58, 6:58, 6:58. Strange to be sure, but not something I wanted to analyze at...what time was it? Oh yeah, 6:58. So I shuffled back to the living room and went to sleep.

"Mommy, why you sleepin' on the couch? It's morning time." It was Maya fully dressed--purple shirt, purple skirt, hot pink tights, red shoes--breathing her morning breath right in my face. "It's time a eat breakfast."

"Maya, it's still really early. I just checked. You don't need to wake up yet. You want to lay down under the blanket with mom?"

"I really hungry and it's morning time. Wake up."

I laid there on the couch and then suddenly remembered our non-working microwave and psychedelic computer. I jumped up, pushed past the girl in the strange outfit, and looked at the microwave. There it was working perfectly and glowing: 8:25.

I raced upstairs clapping hands and yelling, "WAKE UP! WAKE UP! Abby! Stop stretching! You have no time to stretch!" Up to the third floor, "Madeline, wear this! Catch!" Back downstairs, "Grab a piece of bread! Eat it in the car!" I threw Abby her backpack, Maya her coat, "Out the door, Out the door!"
The scene looked very similar to this:

So shame on you subconscious for telling me that whole 6:58 lie. Shame on you for turning me into the wicked witch and my girls into frazzled winged monkeys. Not nice. I hope you're happy that Abby is at school with bed-head and that Maya's breath is killing her teacher and that Madeline's stomach is growling. No, I'm not the wicked one, it's you-- wicked, wicked subconscious!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A chrysanthemum by any other name....

We have two flower girls in the family. Abby is our Rose and Maya is our Chrysanthemum.

When I was pregnant with Abby, the two big kids were infatuated with the book "Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes. If you have little girls, you've probably read it. It's a very cute children's book about a mouse named Chrysanthemum who loves her name..... until she starts school.

Adam and Madeline wanted to name their soon-to-be-born sister Chrysanthemum. Or Blossom Sprout. Or just Flower. One thing they knew for sure was that their sister needed to have a floral name. So we compromised with Abigail Rose. Five years later we got Qiu Ju's referral and learned that her Chinese name translates to Autumn Chrysanthemum. It was so perfect. Adam and Madeline finally got their sister Chrysanthemum.

I love to tell Chinese people Maya's name because without fail they say that Qiu 秋天 and Ju 菊 are wonderful, auspicious characters and that Maya should feel very proud of her name. The Qiu part of her name, Autumn, is pronounced "Cho", rhymes with go. For purposes of this post, I'll just spell it like that because I know from personal experience the mental strain it requires to look at "Qi" and say "Ch".

Cho Ju was one of many Chos in the orphanage. Each one of the children were named for the season in which they were found, so roughly 25% were Chos. To cut down on the confusion, they mostly just referred to the babies by the second name, in Maya's case, Ju, Chrysanthemum. In China, when speaking to children, it's common to double the name, "Ju Ju" or to add "Ah" before a name. So Maya was typically called Ju Ju or Ah Ju. Those names never really stuck with us because Ju, at least the way we pronounce it, sounds just like the religion, and Ah Ju sounds like the juice you dip your roast beef sandwiches in.

But Cho has stuck. I use her Chinese name frequently and when I do I feel like I'm affirming our love of her birth country and in a very small way keeping the promise I made to the CCAA that I'd help Maya remember China. But if the CCAA heard me say her name, oh they'd cringe. They'd so cringe to hear me call her:

Choey (frequently--almost as much as Maya)



The Choster
....and many other equally horrible variations on the Cho theme.

I butcher that poor girl's wonderful name written with the auspicious character. And while I think I'm doing her a favor by hanging onto that little piece of China, I defile her name with my American-ness and make it so awful that neither country wants to claim it.
America: Nope, the name Choey certainly doesn't come from us. We've got Zoey and Chloe, but no Choey. China, this one's on you.
China: 没有办法我們會使用這樣一個可笑名字!!!!! No Way.

So I'm sorry Choey about the Chinese-American hodgepodge of a name. I can't help it. If Abby went to China, a woman there would be unable to just call her Abby. She'd have to call her "Abby Abby" or "Ah Abby". She'd have no choice. And you are absolutely too cute to just be Cho. I simply must call you Choey. And pinch your sweet cheeks. I have no choice. Too dang Chobalicious.

The rest of you do horrid things to your kids' names, right? Please tell me it's not just me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Double Trouble

Maya: You wanna' know what song's in my head?

Us: Hmmm, this is a shot in the dark (It's ALWAYS the same song!) but could it maybe be Little Mermaid?

Maya: Wow! You're right! (Then she sings the song that invariably ends with her combing her hair with her fork)

Us: Yep, that's a good song. (Bit of eye-rolling from the big kids here)

Maya: (who's noticed the eye-rolling and isn't pleased) O.K. guys, listen. HEY! I said LISTEN! (She leans forward and glances around like she's about to share some state secret. And then she whispers) Now you wanna' know what's in my other head?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Veteran's Day Tribute to the Moms

When I was a little girl in California we lived within driving distance of two great-grandmas. My great-grandma Kelley lived to the age of 103 in her little Craftsman bungalow on 15th street in San Jose, tending her roses and reading her large-print Bible. My great-grandma Couse lived into her 90's, also in a tiny house, hers shaded by a gigantic Monkey Puzzle Tree. Both women had raised children, buried husbands, and lost a son to World War II.

Grant was everywhere you looked in Grandma Kelley's house. His intricate pencil drawings hung on the walls, his sculptures sat on the mantelpiece, and the silent piano seemed to be waiting for the musician to come home. Grant was a fighter pilot, and an amazing one at that, but first he was an artist. When he was 15 years old and in the hospital after the ill-fated "flying car" episode he blamed on his brothers, the newspaper reported, "His good right arm, on which he expects to build a reputation as an artist, was gashed when a spark plug was forced almost through the muscle."

His arm recovered and when he went to war, he shared his talent with the men in his squadron. "Cowboy" Irv Mayer said, "Grant taught me the rudiments of portraiting and I spent so much time copying one picture of my girlfriend that I fell deeply in love with her and proposed the first day I got home." Grant sketched pictures of his fellow pilots like this one of Collin "Sexy" Overland.

He was considered one of the best pilots in his highly decorated squadron. He earned air medals and citations, one presented from Admiral Nimitz himself. Near the end of the war, Grant was returning after a mission and Cowboy was in the ship's ready room. "I was talking to a friend when we heard the heavy thump sound of a plane as it hit the island superstructure. On the phone, Ahoy the bridge--what happened? An F6F just hit the bridge and fell into the water. Know who it was? Yeah. It was Kelley."

Cowboy knew immediately that Grant wouldn't survive. "Why?" he asked, "because I passed his swimming tests for him. This great naval aviator with a hundred carrier missions was afraid of the water."

The chaplain wrote to Grandma Kelley:

When you receive this letter I know that you will also have received the news of your son's death out here in the Pacific. I am writing you this note simply to tell you that every man in the squadron in which he served wishes to express to you his deepest sympathy. I met Grant shortly after he came aboard our ship. I have spoken with him often in our cruise together. He was a thoughtful and cooperative shipmate. His friends considered him the best pilot in the squadron. We want you to know that we share with you your sorrow, for Grant's departure of this life has left a deep feeling of sorrow in the hearts of everyone of us.

Mrs. Kelley, I have often felt that it is more exacting of the wife or mother to offer their share of the supreme sacrifice that men in the service of their country are sometimes called to make than it is for those of us who actually wear the uniform of our country. May God give you the grace and courage that you may need to make your share of this sacrifice in your love and service of Him. May God, whose grace is sufficient for every need, be with you now and ever more.

Grandma Couse's memory was going but she never forgot that one of her children was missing. At one visit, Grandma looked at my dad and asked, "Did Earl come home today?" He said, "No, not today." I saw his pictures on the wall, the handsome young man with dark hair and perfect teeth and turned away so no one could see my eyes filling with tears.

Earl was a storekeeper aboard the U.S.S. Neosho, an oil tanker, when on the morning of May 7, 1942, a bomb exploded in the water just a hundred yards away from their ship. High in the clouds they spotted the single-engine bomber. Earl was at his battle station when an hour later 15 planes flew overhead. The Neosho fired shots that all fell short. The planes disappeared and the crew began to once again breathe when two hours later 24 enemy planes appeared in the sky. They were separating into squadrons of 4. Seventeen minutes later the men of the Neosho were dying and in the water. Earl was unhurt and scrambled into a whaleboat. Injured men were being pulled from the ship and Earl was one of 15 who volunteered to leave the safety of the whaleboat to make room for the wounded. He swam through the chaos to a life raft. The sea was rough and the life rafts drifted away from the whale boats and the heavily listing Neosho. He was never seen again. He signed his last letter home, "Love, goo, and all that stuff, Earl"

Grandma Couse received a telegram: The navy department regrets to inform you that your son Earl Couse, storekeeper third class USN is missing following action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country.

Earl's sister Martha wrote, "The carefree days were gone forever." Grandma Couse never completely lost hope. When she sat on her porch to visit with friends, if she saw a man in a sailor uniform at the end of the road, she stood up and stared until he passed. Each time she was hoping it was her Earl coming home. She wrote in 1942:

I wonder if a letter will come today
From my boy in blue so far away.
Hundreds of mothers will echo my cry
As they sadly watch as the mail goes by.

Some of the mothers have passed the test-
the Navy has written, "Your boy is at rest."
The rest of us wait and silently pray,
"Oh God, may a letter come today."

On this veterans day, I think not only of the service men and women, but of my great-grandmothers and the sacrifice of their precious sons.

Great Grandma Couse, 1973.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Olaf's Carpet Service--Remodeling our home one room at a time

Madeline was the first to skip downstairs this lovely Monday morning, smiling and carefree and then HOLY COW! She nearly vomited and hightailed it back upstairs to give us this newsflash:

"Olaf exploded in the music room last night."

Even from upstairs we could smell it. And there was Olaf crouching in the corner, trying to look small and avoiding all eye contact.

Two years ago on my birthday he exploded in the third floor guest room and we had to remove the carpet. There was no choice. You can read about it on our old website here and here.

So Lyle and I looked at the Olaf mess (with hands over our noses) and agreed that some things are just too disgusting to clean. Lickety-split the piano was in the entryway, the fouled carpet was in the back of the truck, and our music room looked like this:

While Lyle was at the dump, his sweet receptionist called and I told her all about our stinky morning. Her very first question was, "Oh! How's Olaf?" Hmmm, that hadn't even crossed my mind. I would guess that he's feeling much better now, thanks. And with lots of open windows and cross-ventilation I'm feeling a little better too.

AND I'm getting a hardwood floor! Diarrhea in my room next Olaf! Bad dog, Olaf!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Swim Lesson Flunkees

I hate the last day of swim lessons. In my opinion no one should have to stand and be judged while wearing a wet bathing suit. And my kids never pass. Well, they never legitimately pass.

Take our most recent experience. Sweet Abby is shivering in her towel, standing in line with other towel-clad students, and she gives me a hopeful little thumb's up. I feel sad for her, so filled with seven-year-old optimism. Didn't she notice at the last pool party that she was the only child there possessed of permanent teeth and a swim noodle? But still, maybe this time.

Each child in line before her is handed their blue certificate and runs to their Mom. "I'm in level FOUR now!" Abby makes it to the front of the line and her teacher motions for me to come over. Not good. Being stuck in level 3 when everyone else in the class is moving up to level 4 is hard. Being told that level 3 probably wasn't the right place for you to begin with and level 2 might be a better fit makes for a really rotten day.

Luckily for Maya she can't go any lower than preschool 1. And preschool 1 is probably where she'll stay until her mom does what she always does---move her to the next level when it seems too embarrassing to do preschool 1 for the fourth time.

Which may be the root of the problem. But I really don't think it is.
It goes back. WAY BACK.

Idaho Falls, Idaho, circa 1974

Lyle (actually at this time I believe he's still called Vernie) is at the community pool when he realizes the rest of the family is gone. (Lyle has 7 siblings and the fact that this is an isolated incident is impressive). He gets teary-eyed and nervous and hugs his towel a little closer. A woman at the pool takes his hand and brings him to the pool manager who attempts without success to locate his family. The woman leaves her phone number with the manager and says she'll just take young Vernie home with her (take a gander once again at the date and place) and when his parents realize he's missing and call the pool, they can be given her number. Vernie leaves the pool in the stranger's car and remembers eating chocolate chip cookies and playing with toys superior to his own.

Vernie's father walks through the door that afternoon and asks about his oldest son. The family realizes that they haven't seen him for a very long time. "Vernie! Vernie!...... I know he was at the pool....."

Vernie's a little hesitant to leave Mom at his next swim lesson.

San Jose, California, circa 1980

Eileen is at a swim party at Courtney's house. Courtney is a blond-haired, tan-skinned, swimmer who belongs in California. Eileen is a brown-haired, pale-skinned, freckle-faced, swim lesson flunkee who is in California by mistake and belongs in Washington.

Courtney is in Eileen's class at the swank Carden El Encanto Day School. Courtney's family owns a thoroughbred horse named Drop O' Honey. (Courtney whispered to Eileen one day that Drop O' Honey rhymes with Lots O' Money.)

Eileen is swimming in the posh black-bottomed pool, swimming along gracefully as she recalls, when a pot-bellied, fully clothed dad dives into the pool. He's swimming with some impressive speed in Eileen's direction. "Oh please," Eileen prays, "let him be rescuing Courtney."

Eileen is drug from the pool by the dripping father who checks her pupils and mercifully doesn't administer CPR, but does plop her non too gently into a lounge chair while he sloshes off to the pool house in squeaking shoes with boxer shorts showing through his khakis.

Silverdale, Washington, 1997

Adam's first swim lesson. He's been looking forward to this for weeks; asking about it multiple times a day. He hikes up his red swim trunks and with a body rivaling his mothers in paleness, struts out to the teacher. I take my seat in the bleachers and pull out a book. Adam enjoys swim lessons immensely until he gets in the pool. At that point he screams like a wild child, "I'm a NON SWIMMER! A NON SWIMMER!" The teacher seems to agree and a career bubble blower is born.

Silverdale, Washington, 1999

Two years later, Madeline joins her brother in the preschool 1 class. Both kids get into the pool without incident and all is going perfectly. You might even say swimmingly. Near the end of the lesson, the whole class gets out and moves to a deeper area of the pool to jump out to the teacher. The teacher is busy catching a cannonballing toddler, when a fellow student (not her brother thankfully) gives Madeline a little nudge. Into the water she goes amidst much splashing and arm-waving. Another teacher swims to her rescue. She cries and cannot be consoled. She refuses to put her face in the water for the next three years.

Burley, Idaho, 2000

Vernie Lyle is on a health and fitness kick and decides to enter his first triathlon, the SPUDMAN. This involves a 1 mile river swim, 26 mile bike ride and 6 mile run. Lyle takes a few swim lessons to brush up on his skills. His teacher asks him to put his arms out in front of him and kick.

Lyle goes backwards.

The teacher comments that he's read about that type of thing but has never personally seen it. He asks him to do it again. And once again off he goes backwards. It really defies all logic, but seeing is believing. The teacher thanks him for the enlightening lesson and wishes him well in the open water.

On race day over a thousand swim-capped, wet-suited athletes leap into the Snake River for the swim downstream. I hope to see my husband again.

At the finish, swimmers are exiting the water in droves. Men in the hefty "Clydesdale" division are lumbering onto the beach. Old women are tearing off their wetsuits and jumping onto their bikes. Handicapped athletes are being applauded. And still no Lyle. I wonder if the race day excitement has gotten to him and he started kicking. He's probably now back at the starting line.

He does finally emerge and has no trouble at all finding his lonely little bike.

So you can see that this is too much to explain to the girls' swim teachers. I don't have time to give them the whole history, but now you know. You know why Maya's favorite part of swim lessons has nothing to do with the pool but everything to do with the bathroom hand dryer,

and why this is the closest thing to the deep end that these two will be seeing for a very L O N G time.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Kudos to whoever moved the bag of chocolate chips (definitely not a grain or a cereal) and put them next to the bag of walnuts. Pure inspiration. Eating straight chocolate chips has never felt quite right, but with the addition of a walnut (I've found a 4 to 1 ratio to be perfect), it's pretty darn near a chocolate chip cookie.

And to whoever put the Uno cards in the pantry, please move them. Not seeing the inspiration there.

Saturday, November 1, 2008