Eat Your Vegetables

I made a main dish for dinner last night that was composed almost entirely of vegetables.  No meat.  No starch.  A little cheese.  Alllllllll veggies.

And C ate it. 

And he liked it.  KAPOW.

When C was a very tiny version of himself, I hear that he could be found lounging alone on the kitchen floor with his chubby little hands crammed into the depths of a clear bag of white sandwich bread.  His affair with carbohydrates is legendary.  When we were in college, C and I would park ourselves in the dining hall to eat a delectable meal of chicken fingers, French fries and cream of tomato soup, then he would stride back into the cave of a buffet area and return with at least one sesame seed bagel that was slathered with like, 3 whole inches of cream cheese. Seriously, this time I’m hardly exaggerating.  I can’t believe these things fit in his mouth.  But fit they did, lunch after lunch after lunch.  He does have a huge mouth.

And the affair persists.  C’s top choice when I’m not home to cook is almost always one of the following:
-Nachos covered in canned chili
-A 12-inch frozen Tombstone pepperoni pizza
-Crispy Hexagons cereal (Crispix if we’re feeling spendy)

Common denominator? Flour.

But not last night.  Last night was grilled vegetable ratatouille.  Ish.  And actually, Saturday night I made these beautiful and incredibly tasty zucchini fritters, so I’d say that we seem to be turning over some kind of new leaf. 

If I wake up at 4am tomorrow morning to C straddled on the kitchen floor eating the rye bread I bought on Saturday, I’ll know that I expected too much.  But for now, I’m kind of proud, as well as a little concerned that in 48 hours we’ve probably quadrupled his normal fiber intake.  Let the games begin.

This whole fiber experiment could turn even more sinister if we test out the two-person sleeping bag we got in the mail on Saturday.  I'll be wearing my whitewater nose-plugs to bed, thank you very much.


Harry, You've Had This Pair Of Extra Gloves This Whole Time?

I've got my eye on you, Littleton, New Hampshire.  

You don't expect us to believe there are actually bacon jugs in that box.  Please.


Paper Or Plastic?

This morning was one of those: I was up early and already running late.  And so I found myself scrambling out the door with the bowl of oatmeal that I failed to make time to eat at home, when I figured (again) that I am totally capable of simultaneously carrying my purse, laptop bag, a pair of shoes, a coffee mug and a bowl of warm sloshing cereal meanwhile using my left butt cheek to push open that evil, tiny screen door handle and snag the front door with my free right hand (can I get an amen?).  I'm sure that this is all goes smooth as butter in my alternate life, where I have 8 arms.

Look how much fun she's having.

Look how much fun I'm having.

C is constantly harping on me for trying to carry too many things at once.  We'll get home from the grocery store, and I'll start loading up bags onto my fingers like a 2nd grade coat rack in January.  I'm still amazed that I haven't permanently lost the feeling in my right index finger, which is my preferred bag sherpa.  During each of our recent moves, it feels like I manage to pile far too high a stack of books and "important papers" (most of these are drawings from our favorite 2-5 year olds and greeting cards I've always meant to, but never actually sent) in the empty box from our blender, or ripped through far too many plastic bags by filling them with silverware and hangars.  There is a science to load bearing I'm sure, and it's high time that I take that class, because I'm fairly positive that as oatmeal/baby vomit was sliding down the sleeve of my fleece this morning, C felt no pity for me.  I suppose it's like watching someone with an addiction relapse into their vice.  You've seen them fall too many times to be disappointed by their latest failure.

And there's a crazier part.  While I'm standing with oatmeal dripping off of my cuff and that stupid screen door caught on my left shoulder, I'm kind of mad.  Well yeah, I'm definitely mad at myself, and the oatmeal, and the tiny door handle, but I'm also a little mad at C.  Part of me wanted him to come sweep along beside me, lift the oatmeal/shoes out of my paws and open that door for me.

But the reality is that if he'd have come to my rescue and eased my burden, I probably would've just remembered the 15 other things that I wanted to bring in to work today, and filled my fingers up again.  And probably I would have re-spilt my oatmeal.  And this time it would have fallen on the crotch of my pants.  It totally would.

Speaking of that - last night I spilled a scalding cup of tea on the crotch of my pants.  Do you know that when you spill boiling water on yourself, you are guaranteed to freak out and flail enough to spill it again?

Yup, yup you are.


River Left Of The Hump Wave

You know you’re dirty when your shins start sprouting zits.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this past week, C and I led a parent-child canoe trip for the camp that we work with here in northwest Bufu.  I knew it was going to be a hoot-and-holler good time when I woke up Monday morning to rain.  This is going to be great, I thought to myself (only out loud, and with a whiny, nasally undertone). 

We were gearing up to take a crew of ten on a canoe paddle – a trip that is truly a regional highlight, and full of opportunities for wildlife sightings and some moderately challenging whitewater.  It is mostly fun and easy, with a river current that moves along at a nice clip and some pretty campsites on which to bask in the sun. 

Except when it’s not.  Easy, that is.  With a low water level, it turns out that the river current closer resembles a mud puddle than a rushing stream, and those rapids that were supposed to be “a good time” have transformed into a shallow, rocky version of the t.v. show Wipeout, a television program that C ironically loves.  

On top of all of this, I'm out trip-leading with a camping saint.  Not only does he totally know how to handle stress in the wilderness, but he manages to be kind while he's doing it.  While I'm mentally spewing things that might make your insides turn sour, he's smiling as he scrambles around on the razor-sharp river shale to manhandle a canoe through an impassable set of rapids.

Just an example: 

C: I'm going to go portage 25 canoes.  M, my love, could you go help them set up the tents?

Me:  The tents?  All of them?  You're kidding.  Way to take the easy job, boss-man.  

C:  I love you, beautiful camp angel.  I know you're capable of more than you think.  Go on - surprise yourself.

Yup, he's a river god.  Go ahead, drool a little on your keyboard.

This is a very broad interpretation of the truth, but in short, C took the wicked hard job and in reality, the job I was tasked with is done by 12-year olds all summer in our camp program.  This is at right about the correct skill level though, because I am a storm of fury and disarray when it comes to erecting tents.  It would be like giving your dog a rubik's cube and expecting him to carve the Ten Commandments with it in 15 minutes or less.  That's how absurd we're talking.  Poor C was living an episode of Man vs. Wild vs. the Higgledy-Piggledy Co-pilot.

Fortunately for all of us, the weather cleared and we managed to make wild blueberry pancakes on the final morning. 

Pancakes can fix anything.  Even this. 


Plug Your Nose And Pull The Lever


(cue The Sandlot echo)

That's how long it's been since we've talked.  What have I been up to, you ask?  Buckle up and strap on your hockey helmet, friends.

I've been...

  • scooping cat litter
  • eating vast quantities of Gifford's ice cream (Strawberry Cheesecake, Rainforest Nut and Vanilla with Grape-Nuts, should you ever be interested in purchasing some before I come visit you, the hubs, and your exotic animal menagerie, dear sister)
  • maneuvering canoe trailers
Let's dwell on the subject of creative trailer parking for a second.  It's like ice-dancing, minus the ice, plus a whole lot of herky-jerky movement and an exhaust system. Like ice-dancing between a big rig and a glass chandelier - birthing a kind of triple salchow that has a mind of it's own.

Or, you could instead imagine having to "drive" a Chinese New Year lion costume.  Then, imagine you're directing it while facing the wrong direction.  And you're going backwards (Which backwards, you ask?  Yours or theirs?  Yeah, now you're getting my point).  Some things in life are just plain harder than they look.

And they look hard.

A two-person lion performing mui fa jong, for example.  

This is no hopscotch exhibition, ladies.  Human acrobatics are not unlike trailer acrobatics, which I could probably write you a book about at this point, titled My Trailer Diaries.  Lesson #1 (and this is a complete tangent, mind you): Never forget to dump the black-water.  If you don't know what black-water is, this is especially true for you, because if you forget to dump it, you are going to find out in some very nasty ways.

But back to the list.  I've been...
  • doing laundry.  Like 25 loads in one day.  In a room that registers 85 degrees on a -25 degree February morning, without the dryers running
  • finding us a place to live 
  • offering dancing lessons at a friend's wedding

I'm the one on the left, showing Abbie my spirit fingers.  Who dances like that?  How embarrassing.
  • dropping metal canoes on my friend Sarah (There she goes!!  Sorry, Sarah.)
  • changing cocktail dresses in the back of a pick-up truck (My license plate doesn't say "BAKWUDS", but then again, it doesn't need to.)
  • scooping cat litter

Yeah, we're living the high life up here, dumping poop into the outhouse toilet behind the camper and parking unwieldy vehicles in tight spaces.  

I bet you're glad I'm back.

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