Quattro De Mayo De Gallo

29 04 2009

The fourth of May is “Respect for Chickens Day”.  I’m not kidding.

I found this out through Sophie who had to research strange holidays for her fourth grade writing class.  She had to pick an obscure holiday and write a persuasive letter to Congress trying to get it recognized as a National Holiday.

I’ll let her take it from here…






















The Wheel In The Sky

22 04 2009

Please click on link below for mood music….

Wheel in the Sky by Journey

On the same weekend as her birthday, poor Sophie lost Nibbles McChewsalot.  She was a wonderful hamster.  Although she was not as fast as Speedy Runarounderson, she was sprightly and jovial and we loved her.

We filled a pretty pink box with hay and invited the neighborhood kids to the memorial service.  Because the neighborhood kids needed closure (and also because all kids are really curious about dead things) we determined that an open casket memorial was appropriate.

Sophie was the first to say her farewell.  This was the first time that the “Wheel in the Sky” theme became apparent – she said, “Nibbles, I hope you have a good time now in your wheel in the sky.”

Not a dry eye in the house.


Maya was next.  She spoke to Nibbles’ ability to stuff many seeds in her cheeks at one time…


And the twins from down the street, Maddie and Jackson spoke at length and made sure to get a really, really good look at the dead hamster at the same time.


My bleeding heart bush was just beginning to bloom and the kids stripped it of its blossoms to be buried alongside and on top of the casket.


The interment proceeded without incident.


The kids canvased the neighborhood for the best of the spring blooms.  We always like to sing a little something before the final bouquet is presented.  This time I was the only one who actually knew some of the lyrics to the Journey song “Wheel in the Sky” so I did the honors.


An honorable and peaceful resting place.


It has now been a few weeks since the tragedy.  Today we found three letters in our mail box – and oddly enough, three neighborhood kids standing around the front step asking me about the mail.  The girls opened letters addressed to them.  The first was from Nibbles!  The “Sunny” and “Frara” that she refers to are the guinea pigs that died a few years ago….



A flat screen?  That’s pretty great!  And at least Sophie knows that she will live for another 82 years.  And if you don’t know what a “Hampster Durbie” is, please click here.

Maya received two letters, one from beyond the grave (the guinea pig Sunny) and one from our resident cat Pepper, who happens to be alive and well. 


Guinea pig heaven looks pretty nice with the pizza next to the treadmill thing they’ve got going on.  And I just can’t believe Frara hates the boom box.  I hope they can work it out.


I’m pretty sure we could not have ended up in a better neighborhood.

Rest in Peace Nibbles.

Just the Necessities

20 04 2009

Remember that time when I had to go through the cute guy’s checkout line at the grocery store and all I needed was tampons?  Well, this time I bought tampons and Oreos.

What was I thinking?

*hangs head in shame*

*eats Oreo*


15 04 2009

Last Saturday night I realized much too late to want to go back to the store that I had no Easter Eggs dye. 

I was cooking artichokes at the time – they are our favorite vegetable.  I have always been amazed by the beautiful water left over after steaming artichokes.  It is an incredible blue-green, and I have often wondered if it could be used to dye things.

So I threw some eggs in there to boil.  They turned a light green, so I poured some of that water into a bowl to cool and left some eggs partially submerged overnight.  They turned out  beautiful. 

While we were doing that I was also cutting yellow onions – the dried onion skins are also a great source of dye.  I have never tried it, so I figured this was the perfect time.  We actually wrapped the eggs in the onion skins, then wrapped them again in a small piece of cotton (and old shirt), and then held everything together with a rubber band.  Then we boiled the heck out of them.  The water turned the most vibrant color of  yellow – I was really hoping that something cool would happen.

I had four eggs left.  We got online and searched for natural egg dyes.  You can use beets, blueberries….just tons of things.  But all I had in the house that was also on the list was Chili Pepper.  It worked, as well!

Below are our beautiful eggs….The darker brown ones are the chili pepper eggs (the middle one just stuck out of the dye more than the others at the top), the mottled orange\yellow\green ones are the onion skin eggs, and the green ones are the artichoke eggs.

I don’t think that we can go back to neon colors next year.



What We Did LAST Weekend – Sophie’s Big 10

12 04 2009

Last Saturday Sophie turned 10.  I don’t mean to whine, but good God.  This means that I am a Mom of two kids that are both in their double digits.  I hated 9 (because 9 is half of 18 and that means that I am halfway through raising them), but I think I might hate 10 more.  She is just getting so….old.

Of course, she also chose to go to Puerta Vallarta and have dinner.  She needed a sombrero to match Maya’s (and although one is not pictured, she did get it).  Jorge, once again, was happy to sit with us  – And what’s more, this time around he bought out dinner as well.  Jorge es muy bueno.


Sophie ordered the Carne Asada.  The plate was bigger than her head.  I was smart and didn’t order anything for me and only requested another plate.  We still couldn’t polish the whole thing off.


The next morning we were up bright and early.  Her Dad came by and Sophie got to open her American Girl accessories.  Her Dad is the sucker that bought the American Girl in the first place.  A $100 doll?  There is no way I’m falling for that.  He was suckered into the “Camping Outfit” and the “American Girl First Aid Kit”.  Cost him a pretty penny, too.


Even though the face may make you feel that she does not like the first aid kit (complete with crutches, finger splint, arm and leg casts and bandaids) I can tell you that she was and continues to be thrilled.  That poor damn doll has some pretty hair-raising things happen to her.


After present opening was teddy bear pancake eating…


And then we were off to the mall with the birthday money/gift cards.  Sophie chose to get her ears pierced (for the second time).  The first ear piercing happened a few years ago and she took her earrings out way too early and let them heal.  This time I told her that the ONLY way she was getting earrings again was to buy them herself.  I thought that this would dissuade her.

Silly me.


This year, our town’s annual “Daffodil Parade” happened to fall on Sophie’s birthday.  This is an town that produces an inordinate amount of daffodils (commercially).  Below you see one of the floats covered in the flowers…Also, you will see the little boy on the very far left (in the swing) completely asleep in the midst of the parade craziness.  Adorable.


More crazy amounts of daffodils…


And like any small town parade, there were old tractors…


and pirates…


And young girls waving awkwardly.


But what most parades don’t have is a high school marching band dressed as loggers.  That’s right.  A high school from a town up the road embraces their logging heritage (their mascot is even a logger) by donning Carhart pants, bright orange suspenders and work shirts instead of the traditional marching band attire.  I don’t think the guy with the blue hair playing the trumpet is an actual logger.  Just a guess.


Happy, happy birthday my sweet girl…..


For oft, when on my couch I lie  
  In vacant or in pensive mood,   20
They flash upon that inward eye  
  Which is the bliss of solitude;  
And then my heart with pleasure fills,  
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth