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I go with you

November 2, 2012

You guys are the best. Really, the smartest, funniest people I know and your comments light me up.

Let us in.

For 7 years I worked with people with developmental and physical disabilities, helping to match their gifts with needs in the community. One of my dearest was a woman named Connie who had Down’s Syndrome and called me “Rayjoy.” Somehow, she was my friend, therapist and spiritual priestess all in one very small, bejeweled package; when I’d show up at her house to take her somewhere, she’d greet me with a huge hug and say, “Sweetheart! I go with you.” That’s how I feel about you all.

:: Proof that this blog is not safe for your children anymore.

Bondage schmondage, whatevs; you kids owe me a roll of tape and toilet paper.

:: Butchering the deer was quick and businesslike. Somehow, despite our spacious house, the kids were always in my knife-radius; but I liked the gifts they left for me in special places. (Also, apparently this post is brought to you by the semi-colon; such sexy punctuation).

primitive Origami?

:: Col had his first (non-grandparent) sleepover with his dear friend Mathew this week. I had to refrain from calling Mathew’s house every 10 minutes with tremendously helpful information like, so, when Col rubs his eyes, that means he’s tired. Also, Mathew and his brother Alex listen to the same Magic Treehouse story on tape every night to fall asleep by. It’s sort of Pavlovian: the tape unspools and the boys drift off. But Col, who hasn’t heard these stories and is used to falling asleep in silence (and used to falling asleep a full hour earlier than these brothers), kept listening and listening and…He made it through the first story, then the second, long after the brothers fell asleep, until Melanie peeked into the room and asked, “Col, do you want me to turn the story off?” “Yes,” Col answered gratefully and then was asleep 2 minutes later.

:: The tomatoes are officially done.

26 quarts roasted tomato sauce, 18 pints salsa, 4 pints tomato tapenade.

:: Onwards and upwards with apples.

While Col was at his sleepover, Rose cranked her way through an impressive amount of apples. Also, she made up this game: you kiss my nose while I simultaneously kiss your nose. I dare you to try it with your funky monkey without dying laughing.

We freeze these apples raw for smoothies. No peeling, lemon or blanching needed. They defrost with beautiful color and flavor. The kids actually think frozen raw apples are a delicacy just plain.

:: Broccoli leaves!

I know we’ve talked about this before and it’s possible I’m inordinately giddy about eating these homely leaves, but you’re used to strange displays of happiness over odd things, right? Broccoli and kale (and cabbage/cauliflower/brussels sprouts) are actually all the same species (brassica oleracea) and the young leaves taste just like kale. Incidentally, broccoli leaves are a good source of: protein, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, Vit’s A, C, and B6, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Whew, I was feeling a little low on pantothenic acid.

Broccoli leaves sauteed with Stone Free Farm carrots, to be added to venison chili, which I served to 3 families and no one said a peep about strange greens.

:: Kids showing my parents the lego house they built on Skype; this makes me so happy; happy enough for 2 semi-colons!

:: Our homeschool co-op lesson on money has spawned a lot of counterfeiting activity here.

The $123 note will give you away every time.

I can’t look at Rose’s money without wanting to sweep her up in my arms and play the nose-kiss game.

Also, some interesting things we learned about money:

1) Paper money is not actually paper. It is made of a mix of cotton and linen.

2) It currently costs more to manufacture both pennies and nickels than their value.

3) 93% of our nation’s money transactions are electronic.

4) Wells Fargo will not let you see their vault.

:: And finally, we had a fantastic Halloween: venison chili, buddies, Ska Molé Stout, and our dear Tupperware Heights. Also, there’s an interesting experiment taking place. I’ve given the children complete free reign over their candy. Will report back.

Everyone signed the release waiver to be featured on the blog, right? Okay, good.

Have a sweet November (November!) weekend,


ps: We are reading the last Narnia book right now, and it’s like the election season, what with all the “good-guys” and “bad-guys,” but we’re also mixing it up with the original Winnie the Pooh, which is so delightful and comical, the three of us have to pause regularly for belly laughs. What are you reading these days?

36 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2012 7:58 am

    This post just ooooozes with joy. Love!

  2. November 2, 2012 8:00 am

    True story: Canadian high currency bills ($50 and $100, I believe), are no longer being made of linen and paper, but plastic. They have a strange see-through window (because I glimpsed one in passing at the grocery store, not because I have a purse full of them. Partially, but not entirely, because I don’t have a purse). and all kinds of glittery bits. Plus, the Canadian $50 is bright red, but that’s not new.

  3. abozza permalink
    November 2, 2012 8:21 am

    Great post! The last Pooh and the last Narnia? Now THAT is a study in contradiction! Love it! :)

  4. Emmanuelle permalink
    November 2, 2012 8:27 am

    Seeing your four Halloween smiles is enough to make me wish I could hug you all right on the spot. In fact your whole post makes me feel giddy; pictures and semicolons included.

  5. teresa permalink
    November 2, 2012 8:58 am

    i have to ask… free reign on the candy? do tell! i have already grown weary of the argument every. five. minutes. ;)

  6. November 2, 2012 9:17 am

    I love love love your blog- your “voice” and especially your parenting style. Reminds me of me back in the day- my preciouses (is that a word?) are now 19 and 21 and the most funny smart awesome men I know. Keep it up!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      November 7, 2012 3:58 pm

      Preciouses is definitely a word when used about your children, no matter the age. :)

  7. November 2, 2012 9:18 am

    Hiya! Bwaaa to the deer leg on your kitchen counter. I was grossly, magnificently intrigued. ;) Currently reading May B. It’s young adult fiction and I’m quite smitten. Try to find it at your library – I know you’d like it. I borrowed it from the library but will buy a copy for Theo and Sully (and me!) It’s a keeper.

  8. November 2, 2012 9:34 am

    “from the mixed up files of mrs basil e frankweiler” is on my library list because BRILLIANCE, i say. and *look* at alla those happy halloween-ers! (j positively ROCKS that ninja costume, does she not?) i go with *you*, girlfriend, in yer infinite human wisdom, patience and faith in the good stuff. MWAH.

  9. November 2, 2012 9:38 am

    Free reign over the candy totally works. Have faith. Now teens and sadly short on candy (I’m told), in the past my girls approached their candy differently. Each year, the older one usually ate unrestrainedly after school, took a handful in her school lunch and was done in a week. The younger one always hoarded. One selected piece for lunch. Two with homework. It would still be up on top of the fridge at Christmas. She does that with Easter chocolate too. She did not get this chocolate hoarding gene from me. Both girls are still cavity free (14 and 17). It just saves so much family angst and they learn to throw out the stuff they don’t like (or trade it with a gullible sister) because there’s no compelling reason to save or eat it.

    The orginal Winnie the Pooh – yes, the books are funny. Wise. Clever. Like Rabbit. Did you know AA Milne wrote for Punch magazine for years?

  10. Tom permalink
    November 2, 2012 9:50 am

    Love to get your recipes for salsa & tapenade. Had a great tomato year in Oregon this summer and hope for the same next year.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      November 2, 2012 9:59 am

      Hi Tom,

      The salsa recipe is here, I created it after much trial and error (aka watery salsas for years) and it’s really quite spectacular:

      The tapenade recipe I also created this year. I’ll run an exact recipe next year but generally speaking, I roasted tomatoes in coconut oil for 1 hour, drained juices (and saved for venison chili), sauteed a bunch of garlic and onions in oil and a little bit of stout beer, and put the tomatoes, onions and garlic in a food processor. I added a bit of apple cider vinegar to each jar. Dan calls it “ketchup, grown up.” It’s delectable. Not safe for water bath canning due to the oil, but I froze it in jars.

  11. November 2, 2012 1:52 pm

    Oh, gosh! We’re reading the original Pooh too (well, alternating with Farmer Boy). It really is the perfect combination of sweet and absurd, just like my favorite kind of kid. For some reason, I find the fact that Piglet thinks his grandfather’s name is “Trespassers W” hilarious.

    The semicolon is the best punctuation out there; for serious.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      November 4, 2012 10:11 am

      LOVE Trespassers W.

  12. April Young permalink
    November 2, 2012 3:10 pm

    We are reading The Hobbit with our five, seven, and ten-year-old and we are all loving it!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      November 2, 2012 3:33 pm


      I’ve never read The Hobbit; is there much violence?

      (notice the semi colon worked into this comment; uh huh)

  13. November 2, 2012 6:59 pm

    see, i love pooh, and this is one of the many reasons. pooh is so not about good vs bad. so much is gray in the pooh stories. and it’s easy to see why someone could write 2 whole books on the tao of pooh. pooh is not about judging whether a moment is good or bad he just is. he’s busy just being.
    same here on the candy, though quinn didn’t get much. so far so good, he had his orange frosted cookie and a pack of reeses pieces yesterday and none today. (just a slice of mama’s apple pie- and holy moly i shouldn’t even claim it’s mine, he cranked most of the apples, just like rose!)
    i love knowing about your rayjoy nickname. xoxo

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      November 3, 2012 9:49 am

      Yes, Pooh is my hero! Celebrating the pooh-ness in Quinn and all of us.

  14. November 2, 2012 7:18 pm

    Thanks for the magazines, they arrived today and I look forward to checking them out over the weekend. Happy Halloween! -Erin

  15. Dan permalink
    November 2, 2012 8:10 pm

    Super fun writing and livin’ with you, love.
    Thanks for sharing all these blessings and appreciations! xxoo, Dan

  16. November 2, 2012 10:02 pm

    My husband just finished The Last Battle last night. :) The series is done. Not sure what’s next on the reading list yet!
    Was back in Dgo last month. I miss it so much. :(

  17. November 2, 2012 11:17 pm

    I wouldn’t recommend it for the children–let’s keep their innocence–but for you, if you haven’t read it, “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Holy cow. EVERYONE needs to read this book (except the children).

    And thanks for the apple tip. Love to hear when things freeze well without much ado. Speaking of freezing, we celebrated our first family Dia de los Muertos, but before we could get too far into it, we noticed our refrigerator/freezer died. A bit of a slap-in-the-face, like our dead relatives were saying, “ha ha ha that’s LIFE.” Anyway. We drank more beer than originally intended.

  18. Barb permalink
    November 3, 2012 4:36 pm

    so really with the apples you just core and cut and toss in freezer? how come I didn’t know this…?? Laura practically lives on smoothies sometimes.

  19. November 4, 2012 12:36 am

    Sideways Stories from Westside School. (Also, on my own: Kids Are Worth It!)

    • November 6, 2012 4:32 pm

      Oh, geez, I just saw that I posted “Westside.” Of course, that would be “Wayside.” :) (And, now I’m thinking about Westside Story.)

  20. November 4, 2012 10:02 am

    love that ginormous helmet on col’s wee head!

    and yes, let’s see…the 11yo is reading the second installment of wildwood, the 9yo is finishing the last book in the chronicles of narnia series (!), the 8yo is reading Dr. Doolittle, and I’m reading various Thanksgiving books from the library to the 4yo.

  21. mwieser permalink
    November 5, 2012 1:21 pm

    We are reading a book of gypsy folktales, which I’m pretty sure is not the PC name for the cultural group. Also, it may contain some unacceptable stereotypes. But I like the pictures. Lucinda likes the stories, which involve adventures to other worlds and elaborate dresses for weddings. We have a book of Norse mythology waiting in the wings. I am going to get a book of Greek mythology soon, while her brain is still a sponge for everything, and she’ll get something she can use later in life, like in lit crit classes. BTW, Lucinda has been fixated on the idea of a sleepover for about the past year. I wish all parents could declare sleepover amnesty, and they wouldn’t exist anymore, and I would not have to be jealous of a 7 year old, for example, for getting to wake up with my kid.

  22. November 5, 2012 4:17 pm

    What a harvest-full time over there. Good work! We just finished Wildwood – it’s been the best read aloud we’ve done so far. Can’t wait to open book two.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      November 7, 2012 4:02 pm

      Thanks for the Wildwood recommendation, I will look for that at the library. xo

  23. jen permalink
    November 5, 2012 10:56 pm

    Phoenix and the Carpet – E Nesbit, in ancient, crumbly Penguin…. 7 yo loves it, despie odd archaic Englishisms

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      November 6, 2012 1:20 pm

      Ancient crumbly penguin…love that.

  24. Melissa Neta permalink
    November 5, 2012 11:56 pm

    i can’t even leave a complete comment right now but must say: A, love this post! love your family; love the semi-colons; lots of love! B. thank you thank you for the mags!!!! of course looked for your by-line first thing. good stuff! C. don freeman is probably too young for your two but there’s this one about two birds living in SF, I know, it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but i have cried at the end nearly every time we read it! xoxo

  25. November 6, 2012 5:05 am

    Broccoli and kale (and cabbage/cauliflower/brussels sprouts) are actually all the same species (brassica oleracea) and the young leaves taste just like kale.

  26. November 6, 2012 9:02 pm

    Just found you through I’m not even sure where and am so jealous of your healthy gardening, eating and cooking. I’m just starting to get my kids involved in the process and this year we only ended up with tomatoes and cucumbers. I’m also in my first year of homeschooling and loving it.

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