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October 23, 2011

It is early and I am making coffee, putting my own oxygen mask on before I start cooking breakfast for the kids. Col is holding a configuration of Legos in my face, asking, “if you took this wing off and the airplane only had one wing, could it still fly?”

“Umm, think about a bird with just one wing. Could it fly?”

“Well, no, I don’t mean if it only had one wing, but if this wing, see, look Mama, if this wing was like this?”

“I can’t look honey, I’m pouring very hot water right now.”

“Mama?” Rose bounces into the kitchen, “can I have some of that candy from Kaleb’s birthday party for an appetizer?”


“Look, Mama. This wing. See?”

“I still can’t look, sweetie.”

“Can I have just a little bit of candy? Just a little pershon?”

“A pershon?”

“She means a portion.”

“No Coley, you say it pershon.”

“But what about rockets? Can they be launched from boats or airplanes, or just from the ground?”

“I think just from the ground – it takes a lot of force to launch a rocket.”

“Can I have just one of those little shaking out kind of candies?”

Well. What if the ship had a really strong metal deck and what if it was a very small rocket? Like for a mouse?”

“They’re teeny tiny. I only want a couple. How many is a couple? Is that three?”

“What about torpedos? Can you launch those from airplanes or just submarines?”

*** ** *** ** *** ** *** ** ***

We had some friends over this weekend to make sauerkraut. It’s always interesting to try and complete a large project with kids around – it’s a little like having a taxi meter ticking away in your brain, and it hardly seems possible that you could chop all the cabbage before ending up in the outer suburbs, having racked up an exorbitant fee.

*** ** *** ** *** ** ***

It’s the citywide, annual Trash Clean Up, so naturally, we’ve been biking around looking for treasure. Col’s been encouraging me to bring home planting pots, not because I need any more, but because it makes me sad to imagine all the plants that will never grow. And for all her pink-polishedness, Rose’ll hop off her bike, extract 2 plastic necklaces from the depths of a pile, place them around her neck and ride on.

*** ** *** ** *** ** ***

Our new downstairs neighbors are building a cob pizza oven on the side of our house. The entire foundation is made from reclaimed concrete, mortared with a mix of clay, sand and water. It has been extremely hard for Col to resist taking over the piles of materials, and he still manages to sneak out bits of mud. Luckily Rowan and Tucker are exceptionally gracious about letting Col help out. I don’t think they have the taxi thing going on in their heads.

*** ** *** ** *** ** *** ** ***

I made ketchup this weekend, which is pretty much the edible manifestation of having enough tomatoes. Whew. Damn good recipe here.

Dan is gone deer hunting, which means the kids and I are up to our usual tricks: eating chips in bed, kicking it at the pool with friends on a Friday night right through dinner time, letting the chickens roam, scratch and kick precious soil out of our garden beds, and maybe grumbling just a little about having to make my own coffee.

How was your weekend?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2011 10:01 pm

    You had me at “it’s early and I’m making coffee”!!
    and cob pizza oven!!! *sigh*
    sounds like a delightful weekend.

  2. Ellen permalink
    October 23, 2011 10:09 pm

    This post was a large pershon of delight. And you probably wrote it with the kids right next to you, talking away.

  3. October 24, 2011 5:22 am

    Love the oxygen mask image. And the taxi meter image. And I agree with Rose about candy for breakfast, but I’d never tell my kids that. =>

  4. October 24, 2011 7:17 am

    like the reported conversation. sometimes they fry my brain, sometimes they delight me. rarely do i remember to write them down. wish i did.

  5. Christy permalink
    October 24, 2011 10:06 am

    Wow, that’s a lot of physics before coffee! Don’t you wish you could see inside Col’s mind? How exciting it must be to be looking at the world through his eyes. Figuring out the way things work. Also love how he knew what Rose meant and your descriptions as always.
    Sunday night is my Friday, so my weekend is just beginning. Have many ambitious yard and home plans, but will begin with processing the deer meat shared by my dad. I hope you have deer this week as well!

  6. teresa permalink
    October 24, 2011 11:48 am

    this morning conversation sounds oh so familiar. it is always re-assuring to know that i am not the only mama who will not allow candy breakfast appetizers… welll… most days anyway. ha ha. love your posts so very much!

  7. October 24, 2011 12:30 pm

    ooh cob pizza oven. oooh i like the applesauce idea for the ketchup. the ketchup i made for quinn is similar but i used molasses, and fewer spices, he likes it without much bling. but he likes large pershons of it. maybe i will cut it with applesauce after the fact, to stretch out our few precious half pints. i like the blender idea, i made mine with lots of cherry tomatoes, though, and i food milled it to remove seeds.

    quinn always wants me to look at him when i am driving the car. pouring hot water is another time, but the one that happens so often i’ve taken note of it is from the back seat “mama, look at me! look at this!” no matter how many times i explain… xoxo

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 24, 2011 3:13 pm

      I should have said, but I used a little molasses this time around and it was great. Also, you can halve that amount of sugar and it’s still plenty sweet. I haven’t delved into food mills yet, I think I’m worried that I’ll lose half the tomato through it (does it remove the peels too?).

      No deer yet for Dan, but the 2 guys he’s hunting with both got elk and I’m thinking that with all the help Dan’s given them packing out, there may be some share-sies for us!

  8. October 24, 2011 1:24 pm

    love the idea of everyone putting their junk on the curbs for you to ride and peruse…i’ve usually been quite lucky finding things on the curb. and yum, sauerkraut and homemade ketchup. makes me want to live next door to you!

  9. October 24, 2011 2:20 pm

    And here:
    Me: Felix, I will wipe your nose when I am done knitting this row.
    Felix: You not knitting a row, it’s a scarf. (yelling. of course)
    Me: Regardless. Can you go get a cloth and wipe your nose?
    Felix: Can I cuddle your scarf? With my nose?

    I wish we had a clean up weekend like that, except then we would need a bigger shed. I just cleaned out said shed, and have a small orphanage of sad, broken, ugly and not needed pots out the side of it, and I feel tremendous guilt that the approximately 6.2 billion pots inside the shed are more than enough for me. Surely if I were a better gardener/parent/person, I would have space in my heart for a few more forlorn pots.
    The image of the cabbage wasteland after the dialogue is perfect. I laughed out loud (but I did not lol. I would never lol, though I certainly do loll about sometimes).

  10. ike permalink
    October 24, 2011 3:47 pm

    Loved the dialogue-Col so matter of fact and Rose thinking she got it right.

  11. October 24, 2011 11:50 pm

    I loved the Rose post so so much. I left a long comment going into detail about your sweet detail the capturing of her *now* but…I saw something shiny, or more likely, a small child pulled me away and it was lost.

    And then this post! One of my favorites ever! The full complexity of getting shit done and having conversations, many at once, the shift in seasons and rhythms, inquisitive kids growing, time as a single parent. I am amazed with us! How do parents do it? The morning conversation was perfection. And ketchup! And sauerkraut! Why am I so terrified of fermenting?! I have cabbage head rolling all around my fridge just waiting. You will be getting a few texts.


    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 25, 2011 10:02 am

      Fermenting is like parenting (or gardening, or sewing or so many things). It’s all sort of intimidating at first, new and strange and you need to learn the rules first so you can start breaking the rules. I remember being all helicopter-mom over my first batch of kraut. And now, we’ve got a 3-gallon crock of cabbage fermenting on the kitchen table like geological time itself while a billion art projects, messy lunches and scattered newspapers come and go all day long. Wish I could invite you over for some cabbage-chopping.

  12. October 25, 2011 9:13 am

    Oh, my, I have gotten the planting bug but run out of the pots. The very idea of riding around on my bike scoring free ones has me smiling. How lovely that would be! Ditto the image of Rose hopping off her bike to scoop up lonely necklaces.

    My husband is away as well, so our weekend was filled with things like frozen ravioli instead of actual, home-cooked meals. We miss him, but boy have we felt relaxed! :)

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 25, 2011 9:57 am


      That’s great that you’ve felt relaxed this weekend as solo Mama.

      We miss Dan too, but the flip side is it’s so nice to have that space to myself, all 800 sf, after the kids go to sleep. Husbands need care and feeding too! And even though Dan is super low-maintenance, it’s nice to just be surrounded by fermenting cabbage and my own thoughts.

  13. Molly permalink
    October 25, 2011 3:15 pm

    This weekend was San Juan Skyway with an old friend and the little, taking detours for little surprises and secret spots. Eating, soaking, shading our eyes from the glorious sun. Let me know if you want me to talk to your kids from 6 to 9 a.m., and you talk to mine from 5 to 8 p.m. sometime :)

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 25, 2011 8:00 pm

      Molly – I am actually much sharper, albeit focused on coffee, between 6-9 am. Between 5-8 pm I just dole out candy.

  14. October 26, 2011 1:48 pm

    I think of my busy weekend and when I look at yours, I am ashamed. With the way my girl eats ketchup, it’s probably a good idea that I make my own so I can at least vouch for its ingredients.

  15. October 26, 2011 3:37 pm

    Oh Rachael, I loved this. Hilarious morning questions, and the necessary coffee. I bought whole bean today, and I’m hoping it doesn’t whack out my morning stagger toward caffeine too much to have to grind…hmmm. No elk or deer yet in our freezer, but we do have a mountain of peppers, beans, zucchini and other goodness. Enjoy your solo days – Friday night at the pool sounds perfect!

  16. October 27, 2011 2:52 pm

    We went to a few cob oven pizza parties and I think it’s like the modern barn raising — such a great way to get neighbors together.
    The dialogue you began with is so right-on. There’s so much wonder inside our little beings yet somehow I’m always shocked how they wake so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and still don’t know mama needs coffee before seventy-five answers.
    Ha! I love how hunting = chips and babes in bed. Whenever Luke works and outage it means a bed full of snuggles leading to restless night filled with tiny feet in my side and an evening spent rolling over flashlights and stuffed animals and books, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
    And, really? Biking for treasure sounds like a perfect afternoon. My girls would be in heaven.

  17. Jana Sterling permalink
    October 27, 2011 4:13 pm

    I saw this recipe and thought about your homemade sauerkraut. Yum!

  18. November 1, 2011 9:03 pm

    oh, tick tock!

    it’s gotten too loud in here, those numbers have been flashing and distracting me into shards…

    it’s definitely time for me to hop out of that taxi and let my heartbeat guide me.

    thanks for the tip ;) it’s better than a two pershons of pink necklace.


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