In CategoryNavel Gazing

Jim had to go out of town last week. This was the third trip in six weeks, and I’m over it. This one was some kind of convention or something in San Francisco. He stayed in a luxury hotel right downtown. We talked about the suitcase to take, the amount of cash he needed, and cabs vs. renting a car. It also occurred to me that 30,000 geeks in one location might look like fish in a barrel to the Working Girl. It seemed prudent to warn him against pretty girls talking to him for no reason.

The morning he left, he kept texting me that his flight was delayed. That always happens because United sucks. But when I flipped on the tv to catch some Judge Judy watch the news like a responsible adult, I saw there had been a huge earthquake in the Bay Area.


He apparently settled in to the $700-a-night-hotel life pretty easily, because the next thing I knew, he was complaining his shuttle was 10 minutes late to take him to the convention center.


Later that night, he called and regaled us with tales of the $55 Kobe Beef Steak Sandwich he had for lunch, and the thickness of the Complimentary Egyptian Cotton Bathrobes.

Suddenly my much-anticipated midnight snack of Honey Smacks seemed inadequate.


We survived, just like we always do. We went berry picking, sewed recycled t-shirt skirts, and I continued the kids’ education in Cleaning Stuff While Mom Hollers Instructions From the Couch.

Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday


• This is interesting – I will not teach my kids about safe sex. Many things to think about there.

• I think I might be borderline Highly Sensitive. Huh.


Giraffe Coffee

• Happy Labor Day, y’all! School starts tomorrow! To that end I just ordered some stuff. Because I am on top of the situation like that.


Peaches Come in a Can

In CategoryCooking, Navel Gazing

they were put there by a man, in a factory dowwwwwwnnntowwwwwwnnnn…

If I had my little way I'd eat peaches every day

What have we learned?

Well, firstly – and I say this with the deep and abiding in your soul kind of knowledge that only experience gives – peeling peaches sucks.

One Sunday, caught up in the frenzy of various the peaches are ripe now! now! NOW! Facebook posts, I went to a local farm and bought forty pounds of peaches.


Let’s back up a bit. I have never canned anything in my life before this summer. Because botulism. My total canning experience prior to this peach buying incident, was Strawberry Jam, affectionately known in my house as Failure Jam.

Six half-pints of Failure Jam and the purchase of 4 books on canning, led me, somehow, to confidently buy 40 pounds of peaches on a whim.

It just occurred to me that this whole story pretty much sums up my entire personality.

In any event, after spreading all the peaches out on the table to ripen, and I went to the store to buy canning jars. While I was at the store, doubt crept in. Jim caught me glumly surveying the table full of peaches.

“what’s the matter?”

“Well, you know I had to go to the grocery store to buy canning jars for the peaches. And you know what ELSE they have at the grocery store? CANNED PEACHES.”

He patted me pityingly and went to work.

Peeling and slicing eight million one hundred and thirteen peaches was a big job. Three-quarters of the way through, I was over trying to beat Dole at their game, and I turned the last batch into Salted Brown Sugar Peach Jam, except not really jam because I am over making jam and prefer making syrupy preserve-y things that we can pour over pancakes or add to yogurt or pour over ice cream. Or pancakes. Or ice cream.

Those little jars made me happier than the sliced peaches for some reason, and I was trying to figure out why. Somehow making food from scratch seems like part of a simple lifestyle, but turning my kitchen into a giant sticky mess is NOT, in fact, simpler than say, BUYING A JAR OF FREAKING PEACHES. But I can’t just go out and buy peaches in brown sugar, or handpicked blackberries in syrup, or even Failure Jam, and seeing those little jeweled jars lined up makes me clap my hands in happiness.

I do a fair amount of rolling my eyes at all these endeavors, too, though, because none of this is simple, and certainly not simpler than nuking a chicken nugget. But a chicken nugget just isn’t as…satisfying, is it?

Perhaps a Simple Year isn’t the only thing I crave.




Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday


• I liked this post by Penelope Trunk. Particularly the first paragraph -

“When I started homeschooling I was inundated with useless advice. Use cupcakes to teach math! Use car trips to teach geography! The ideas are not helpful because parents who are able to conceive of the idea of homeschooling do not need help thinking of fun projects. The problem with fun projects is that most parents don’t think they are fun.”

I find making things fun excruciating mostly, because I rock at homeschooling that way. I’m more of the, “will you just get to it so we can move on with our lives?” sort of mom, which is probably the exact opposite of the kind of encouragement that will get me the next DaVinci. If it’s not already fun to you, then let’s just grit our teeth and get through it so we can do the fun stuff. And in any event, my kids are wise to me, and nothing arouses suspicion like The Chirpy Fun Voice.

• If you have any budding geeky sorts, consider downloading Scratch, a free drag & drop computer programming language published by MIT and designed to introduce kids 8-16 to programming. Tressa told me about it, and the minute the book came in the mail and Jim downloaded it, the kids were riveted for entire HOURS in a row. It’s astonishing.

• Read the story of How Eddie Spent Her Summer Vacation. Make lots of mental notes about the evils of nature.

• Happy Monday, my darlings!