Friday, March 31, 2006

Gas and Tummy Troubles

As I mentioned earlier Rebecca is under the weather.

Yesterday morning she ate very little of her breakfast. I wasn’t too worried, because kids are sometimes that way. She was eager to see Aunt Meryl for lunch and happily bounced about in anticipation of pancakes and eggs for lunch. I puttered about, composing a post and collecting library books. Normally we go to story time at the library before meeting Meryl for lunch.

When I was ready to round up the kids and go to the library I found Rebecca curled up on the couch, fast asleep.

This was not a good sign.

However, I needed to drop off the books and Max was ready to go. So I scooped up my sleepy little girl and brought her to the car. As I buckled her up I noticed her forehead ws a bit hot. I thought to myself maybe she shouldn’t go story time. I’ll just hold her in my lap and send Max in by himself.

When we got to the library I decided we would not be joining Meryl for lunch. Rebecca was clearly in distress, twisting about in her seat and unable to get comfortable. Max was devastated by the news. He wanted lunch with Aunt Meryl and he did not understand why we were going home instead. I called Meryl to tell her we would not be coming, as I was finishing our call Rebecca cried out and vomited. I quickly hung up and comforted Rebecca. She was in tears. I cleaned her up as best I could with the stash of wipes I keep in the van.

Once she had somewhat settled down, we headed back home. At this point Max had forgotten his disappointment and was very concerned about his sister. He told me he wanted her to feel better.

We almost made it home when she let loose again.

I pulled into the garage and then unbuckled Rebecca and ushered her inside. She wanted and needed a bath and clean clothes. Once she was cleaned up I tucked her into bed. She slept for the next few hours.

I then had a fun job of laundry and cleaning off a car seat. Unfortunately, I am very experienced in removing the washable parts of a car seat and cleaning them in the washer. I got the machine started and then tended Max. The hard plastic shell of the seat would wait until later. I also had a few calls to make. It was my turn to drive the soccer car pool, but there was no way I was going to drive an ill child around. All I need is for her to get sick and possibly trigger another child. And who would want their healthy child to ride around with a sick one.

It all got sorted out in the end. Another mom would cover and she would even pick up Jake.

Once the boys got home from school I sent Jake upstairs to change for soccer and then gave out snacks to the three boys. Rebecca at this point had moved downstairs, but was not hungry.

At dinner time I originally did not set a place for little Miss Rebecca. But she perked up when Larry came home and she wanted to join us. She only drank her milk and I think she ate one green bean. As we ate we did have one moment of excitement.

Nate noticed a man was rooting about beneath the window and excitedly pointed out the “meter reader” to us. I was puzzled over the gentleman’s location. That was not where the electrical meter was, but near the gas meter. As the man straightened up to leave I waved. He waved back and then informed us that we had no gas. Apparently we had no natural gas since 2:00 pm. The gas company was sending people round to turn off all the gas and it would be turned back on later once the problem was resolved.


At first I thought it was not a problem. It was not a laundry night and I had already taken care of the car seat wash. If we were conservative with our hot water Larry and I would be able to take lukewarm showers in the morning. The downstairs furnace runs on gas, but upstairs we have a heat pump with electric backup. It might be a bit cool downstairs in the morning, but not too bad.

An hour later Rebecca got sick again, she was on the couch and I had just picked her up to cuddle her for a bit. She was not too bad, but I got covered.

When she was done I carried her back upstairs. Using a couple of washcloths I cleaned us both up. Another bath for her was out of the question. It would drastically reduce our available supply of hot water. I do not drink coffee in the morning, I take a shower. A lukewarm shower in the morning would be better than no shower at all. Once we were cleaned up I put her in her jammies and myself in sweats. Then I tucked her into bed.

The rest of the evening was uneventful. I called up the gas company and found out that a contractor had broken one of the 6 inch supply pipes and 500 homes were without gas. They would be by in the morning to turn on the gas and relight any pilot lights. I would need to be home to let in the gas man.

So guess what happens in the morning?

The school bus never showed up. I got to drag a sick child to school (while desperately hoping she doesn’t get sick) and drop off the boys, meanwhile praying that the gas man doesn’t come to the house while I’m gone. I called the gas company and told them my sad little story and that the garage would be open (the water heater is in the garage). On my way back from school I saw our bus just heading towards the school. Who knows what happened.

As I pulled into the driveway I saw the gas man at my neighbor’s. I left the car in the driveway and went inside with Max and Rebecca. Just as I was grabbing a few things from the car Meryl called my cell phone. We chatted for a bit and when she realized I was home see called back on our landline (and yes, we do spend a lot of time on the phone together). At one point during her call back I noticed the gas man was gone from my neighbor’s house, but not at mine. This resulted in a cascade of choice words from yours truly. Meryl got off the line so I could call the gas company.

A few hours later the gas man returned and I can now run the washer and the dishwasher.

Rebecca seems to be feeling better. She still wants to curl up on the couch, but the few things I have given her are staying down. Today she will be on the BRAT diet (although my version substitutes toast for tea). So far she has had water, a bit of applesauce, a few bites of dry toast and some rice. Tonight we will have pasta for dinner with challah, a gentle diet for an iffy tummy.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dueling with Lightsabers

Check this short clip out. It is of an amazingly well done lightsaber duel.

It gets a big thumbs up from all three boys and me. Miss Rebecca is still under the weather and did not care for it. It was a bit too loud for her in her fragile state.

Thursday Three: The Chains!

Terry's spring break is over and the Thursday Three has been sobered up and sent out hungry for answers.
THIS WEEK'S thrilling set of questions comes to us via known restaurant-haunter, Dr. Jimbo Smith, who wants all of you to please take a seat and answer the following three questions:
1. What is your favorite chain restaurant?
2. What is your least favorite chain restaurant?
3. What chain do you wish was in your town, or at least a little closer to you?
As always, the questions are open for anyone to answer, even if you hate restaurants with nifty theme bric-a-brac screwed to the walls. Second, I think the definition of a restaurant is pretty broad, so it might be good to narrow it down by saying that it means a place with waiters who come and take your order, rather than a buffet place or a fast-food place. (Here's a list of chains from around the world for your edification and amusement.) Just leave your answers in the comments below, or a link to your blog joint with your response.

Oh boy! Another foodie Thursday Three!

1)My favorite chain restaurant. Hmmm, I guess it would be Ruby Tuesday (with kids) or Outback Steakhouse (without kids). Though, Bob Evans seems to be a good one for us when we are on the road. Oh and I almost forgot the Weathervane. We go there with my Mom when we visit her. It has very good seafood and they are big family friendly (lots of big tables).

2)My least favorite is The Olive Garden. I can’t stand its faux Italian food. But I will give it points for a good salad.

3)I would love to have a Steak n Shake closer to home. They have very good burgers and excellent milk shakes. I first went to one when I was living in the Midwest. I think it was when I was driving back east to visit family or during one of my many dog related road trips. I still have one of their big plastic cups.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Ironically I’m meeting Meryl today at IHOP for lunch. It’s twinsday and we try to get together and have lunch. IHOP was selected today because it has pancakes (which make the kids happy); it does not stink of cigarette smoke and is a reasonable distance for us to drive. We have also been frequenting the Ukrop’s cafe which has the advantage of good food at very low prices and I can pack lunch for the kids. If for some reason they decided to hassle me about their packed lunches I could point out that most of the ingredients were bought at an Ukrop’s.

I also have to promote my two favorite burger joints: Culver’s and Michael’s. You have to walk up and order your food and then they bring it to your table, so they don’t fit Terry’s definition of a restaurant. They are both in the Midwest, with Michael’s being limited to the Madison area. They are a step above the fast food chains and the frozen custard is amazing. I was very happy to see Frozen Custard when we went to the Outer Banks a few years ago. It is much richer than regular ice cream and is best fresh out of the machine.

Scratch IHOP. Little Miss Rebecca is not well and is now tucked in bed.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Artist of The Week: Transformers

This week’s artist is Nate.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

(As a side note, his bangs are growing back after his last self-haircut. I hope he will not repeat that stunt. I might just shave him and be done with it. But it would be a shame; he’s much cuter with hair.)

A few months ago he got bit by the Transformers bug and made these:

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

I love all the colors. With their clunky and mismatched arms and legs they really do look like Transformers.

It was funny, at the time he was very gung ho about making them. He carefully drew the figures, colored them in and then cut them out. He even mentioned that they might be good enough for artist of the week. So we put them safely aside and completely forgot about them. As I was moving papers about yesterday I rediscovered them and decided to share.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Randomness of 4

This morning Max desperately wanted to wear his spider gloves. He was already decked out in his Spiderman shirt and pants, Spiderman underwear, Spiderman sneakers, and Spiderman coat. To say he is a fan of the webcrawler is an understatement. He even has a Spiderman toothbrush.

I refused his demands. I was trying to herd everybody in the car to go to the bus stop. I did not have the time or inclination to dig around for his spider gloves. It was already in the low fifties and he did not need gloves. Max noisily disagreed. He wanted his gloves and if he didn’t get them he was “going to be very angry with me.”

Well at least he used his words.

I told him he was very rude and I was not going to change my mind. Everybody got into the car and we went to the bus stop.

Max crabbed the whole time we waited. After the boys got on the bus he demanded that we return home for his gloves. His hands were going to get very cold and he was still angry with me.

I told him no dice. We were going food shopping and that was that. I was not going to get his gloves. We then pulled away from the bus stop and on to our errands. After a moment Max fell silent. Obviously I was not going to cave into his demands.

A few miles later he wanted to know if we could turn on the sprinklers when we got back home.

I laughed and told him no, it was still to cold for them to play in the sprinklers. I then reminded him that it will be sprinkler time when they can wear shorts and a short sleeved shirt outside without a coat.

I guess he really didn’t need those gloves after all.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Soccer Soccer

This weekend I got to attend two soccer games and avoid a spring carnival.

Saturday was Max and Rebecca’s second soccer game. Max was a bit put out at practice Wednesday because Larry, who is the team’s coach, wasn’t there. After a bit of cajoling and the threat of no game and, horrors, no snack for not playing, he got his act together and practiced. On Saturday I used the twin inducements of Aunt Meryl coming and snack to get Max and Rebecca excited about the game. (At the under-5 level it is all about the post game snack. For a lot of the kids they play/practice for the snacks afterwards. Max really wants to play, but Rebecca is lukewarm at best.)

Luckily Jake’s game wasn’t until Sunday and Nate’s baseball practice was cancelled due to the school’s spring carnival being held at the same time. There were no conflicts and I was able to ferry everyone to their games. As I mentioned, Meryl would be joining us for the wee ones’ game which should prove to be a hoot. Last week (A game I sadly missed) Rebecca provided one of the great comedic moments of the game. She stood firmly in place as the game swirled about her. At one point the ball went straight to her and stopped at her feet. She ignored the ball and another child booted it away. A number of parents laughed at the sight. She would happily do goal kicks and such, but actual game play did not seem to interest her. Max was little more involved, but he refused to take his coat off.

This week Rebecca was far more involved. She actually chased after the ball and tried to kick it. Here she is throwing in the ball.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

However when game play was stopped this is the expression I would get:

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Something along the lines “Are we done yet?”

When we first got to the park Max had a snit about his coat and uniform. Last week they wore white jerseys, this week they were in red. This change was a very bad thing in Max’s opinion. That combined with the fact that I would not let him bring his coat made him very uncooperative (last week he never took his coat off and I wanted to avoid a repeat of that). I sent everyone else ahead and after a few minutes sulk, Max was willing to go. In the end Max had a great time tearing up and down the field

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

and happily mixing it up with the other players.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

He never actually made a goal, but several times he came soooooo close. Note the humongous uniform. We supply the shorts and the cleats and buy the team jerseys (one white and one red) and the socks from the club. The shirts are huge on the younger players, but the jerseys can be used year after year. It is a nice way that the club helps to keep down costs. However the effect is quite comical on the younger players.

After the game we packed up and headed home. Jake and Nate agitated about the carnival, but I was able to put them off for a bit. I told them that I wanted to feed all of them lunch and get Max and Rebecca out of their cleats and uniforms before heading out again.

At home I was able to distract them with The Incredibles while doing Max’s various therapies. It wasn’t until 2:45 that they remembered about the carnival and by then (It ended at 3) it was too late. I have nothing against the carnival per se; I just don’t want to take four children by myself. That way madness lies.

On Sunday we were on the road at 8:30 am and we didn’t get back home until 2:30pm. The boys had Hebrew school and I had to drive them up to Richmond for that. I then hung out in the youth room with Max and Rebecca. We played with cards, they pretended to be various wild animals and we had a picnic lunch. Our only excitement was when somebody came up to investigate the sound of running feet. Then we went down to pull the boys ten minutes early from their classes so that we could meet up with Jake’s team at the appointed hour.

Jake changed into his uniform and got to eat his lunch in transit. Amazingly we got to the fields bang on time. There I camped out on the sidelines while Nate, Max and Rebecca played with all the other siblings that had been dragged along.

Jake did a decent job and for once he was playing on my side of the field. At one point he ran right towards me to get the ball.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Here he is again, this time he is backing up for a throw in.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

And yes, the field is completely brown. This has been the driest March in a long time. The field looked completely dead, which is sad sight to see in spring time.

The other team won, 2-0. Our boys played well, but the other team was just a bit better. That and they were awfully grabby. The referee was a bit lax in calling things, to our detriment.

All in all it was a good weekend, but I’m bushed from doing it all without Larry. He was supposed to get back last night, but was delayed in Denver and got to spend the night in Chicago. We’ll get to see him tonight.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Of Rings and Rules

You Are From Saturn

You're steady, organized, and determined to achieve your dreams.
You tend to play it conservative, going by the rules (at least the practical ones).
You'll likely reach the top. And when you do, you'll be honorable and responsible.
Focus on happiness. Don't let your goals distract you from fun!
Don't be too set in your ways, and you'll be more of a success than you ever dreamed of.

I’m not well organized, but do have a tendency to play by the practical rules. The stupid ones I have issues with and I might just ignore them.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dietary Indiscretions

Larry has been out of town since Wednesday. Dinner, as a result, has been a rather haphazard affair. It is hard for me to cook a nice and proper meal for myself and a pack of heathens. They would be happy with pizza and pasta every night, but that is expensive and I don’t want to. Since I’m the adult I get the final say.

My cooking ennui has also been compounded by the fact that I have been shuttling kids to practice every night this week. Friday is our one night off, unless we decide to go to services. (This is not going to happen tonight since there is no way I’m schlepping four kids to temple by myself.) It is very hard to cook for five when four of the people only want toast. It is even harder when it is nigh on 7:00 pm (7:30 last night) and you haven’t even started. Normally Larry will meet me at the practice field and I’ll duck home early to get dinner started. Ideally we have dinner at about 6:40 pm.

So Wednesday we had an exciting dinner of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli. Hurrah for square pasta! It’s ready in 5 minutes, which includes opening the can and dumping the contents into a microwave safe bowl. Nutritionally it is not the greatest, but I will admit it is one of my comfort foods.

Thursday was bit more of a challenge. Jake’s practice runs from 5:30 to 7:00. Add in loading everybody back into the van and driving, we are not home until 7:30 pm. I decided that instead of trying to deal with starving children we would eat before practice. Normally when the boys get home from school, about 4:00ish, I give all four a snack (usually something from the ice cream food group). Instead we had hot dogs and corn at 4:30 pm. We ere done before 5:00 and were soon headed back out the door.

Tonight I will actually cook dinner. The kids have been hankering for a dish I make with tofu, so that will be what we’ll be eating. It’s a dish loaded with peas and it really isn’t good for Larry’s digestive system. This is a good time to make it since Larry won’t be back until Sunday. It is a decidedly non-Kosher dish, but we love it. It is from The Frugal Gourmet, by Jeff Smith.

Bean Curd in Hot Meat Sauce

1 cake fresh firm or Chinese-style bean curd
1 cup coarse-ground pork (I’ve tried other meats, but pork is best. Lamb was okay.)
2 tablespoons white wine
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon hot bean sauce(or mein see and mixed with red chili and garlic paste)
½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons light or dark soy sauce
1 cup frozen green peas
2 teaspoons hot pepper oil or 1 teaspoon cayenne
¼ chicken broth

Dash of salt to taste (optional)
Black pepper to taste
2 green scallions, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Cut the bean curd into ½ inch cubes, and drain in a colander.
Marinate the pork in a mixture of the white wine and 1 teaspoon cornstarch for a few minutes. Then fry in a hot wok containing the peanut oil. Cook for just a moment, and then add the bean curd cubes. Add the hot bean sauce or mein see mixed with red chili and garlic paste, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, peas, and hot pepper oil or cayenne. Stir-fry for about 1 minute.
Add the chicken broth and optional salt, and stir over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Thicken the sauce with a mixture of 1 tablespoon water mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Garnish with the black pepper, scallions, and sesame oil. Serve hot.

I like to serve it over rice.

The kids love it. They fight over the cubes of tofu. Silly monkeys.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Chicken Little Science

While poking about I bumped into an interesting article concerning the rise in preterm births. Since all of my pregnancies ended on the early side I was intrigued by the story.

First a little background. Jake was born at bang on 38 weeks at 7lbs and 11oz (heh, 7-11 an easy number to remember). Nate hung tough for a little longer and came at 38 ½ weeks weighing 8 lbs 3 oz. Both boys were healthy (except for jaundice on Jake’s part) and robust. If they had gone onto 40 weeks they would have been pushing 9 lbs each. Ouch!

Max and Rebecca are of course special. Term for twins is defined at about 38 weeks. The lungs mature at an earlier gestational age with multiples and a greater burden is placed on the mother’s body to maintain a multiple pregnancy. They were born at 36 weeks. I was induced, but since I was already at 5 cm they were coming that day regardless. I’m very proud to say that they both went to the “big baby” nursery and bypassed the NICU altogether.

All of my babies came home when I did and there were no c-sections. It is quite possible that the calculated due date is not accurate and I may have been shortchanged by a week. The size and health of my children incline me to think that way.

Now back to the article.

My initial reaction upon reading the headline was “What else is new”. The c-section rate in the US runs at about 25% and a number of them are the result of a scheduled delivery. There has also been a rise in maternal age and this too can result in a shorter pregnancy from the increased probability of complications (growing babies is hard work and is very taxing on the mother). There has also been a rise in pregnancies that are the result of reproductive assistance technologies, which often result in multiples and pregnancies in less than ideal conditions. All of which result in a trend towards shorter pregnancies.

The article did touch on the c-section rate, but said some other factor must be at work too and that more research was needed. The study leader never mentioned the possibility of the other factors that I outlined above, which I find to be rather short sighted.

This article is classic chicken little science. There is a great and terrible problem, we don’t know why, give us more money to do more research (even though an examination of existing research could probably answer the question). This kind of science irks me to no end. If the study leader had a made a simple list of what can cause preterm labor and looked at factors such as the rise of planned c-sections, multiples and maternal age the study would have most of the research it needed.

Now I’m not belittling the very real risk of pre-term deliveries. There are some very significant risks associated with pre-term birth and the costs are staggering to the family and infant that are both financial and physical. I would just like to see a rational approach to be taken with such studies. I know what I want is not terribly sexy and does not drum up more funds, but it is a much better approach to get to the truth of the matter.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Artist of The Week: Crown

As I mentioned over a week ago Max decided he wanted a crown. Of course this was after we got to temple and it was too late to do anything about it. However we still had the crown I had cut out and the next day he decorated it.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

And then he wore it.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

He was very intense while he colored his creation. Art is serious business. He carefully drew a pair of green parallel lines around the circumference and then added orange and red. Then each point got a yellow scribble. The front of the crown got an abstract blue scribble and then he was done. The overall affect is quite pleasing to the eye. He is very proud of it and rightly so. Rebecca keeps trying to sneak off with it, but we are on to her. She’ll just have to be satisfied with her two tiaras.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spring Snow

I had to share with you this late night picture from the first full day of spring.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Yes, that is snow.

The past day and half the weather forecasters had been predicting all sorts of doom. Meryl and I took it with a grain of salt.

Today dawned cold wet and gray. It rained on and off all day long. For a brief moment, and I do mean brief (30 seconds tops), I got treated to the sound of sleet pinging against my car’s windshield as I puttered about doing errands. Meryl and I even joked about the horrific driving conditions and deep snow we had to wade through, not.

Then tonight as I sat on the couch watching the evening news they showed a shot of the snow falling outside.


I got up and checked and it is indeed snowing. We have a ¼ inch and we may get more before the storm is over. But it will all be gone by morning.

So enjoy this picture of crabapple flower buds in the snow.

Well I was wrong, the snow is still here this morning. But, it is melting fast.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

The kids were very excited this morning. School, however, is still on.

Happy Birthday!

Today is my not-so-little brother’s birthday.

He is a picture of him when he was almost two.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

He was (and still is!) a real cutie. Jake at 20 months looked a lot like his uncle; the only difference was the coloring.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

They both have the same naughty smile and chubby little cheeks. Max too looks like his uncle, but it is mostly in the coloring and less so in the features.

Now his cheeks aren’t nearly as chubby and his hair is a little thinner, but he will always be that naughty blue eyed blond.

Happy Birthday Jonathan!

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Kindness of Strangers

This weekend I backed into a ditch and got well and truly stuck.

It happened Saturday morning as I was driving Jake to his soccer game. The game was to start at 9:15 am and the coach wanted him on the field 30 minutes before gametime. I was driving Jake and Larry had the rest of our active crew. He is the coach of Max and Rebecca’s soccer team and their game was at 9:45 am. Fortunately Nate’s practice wasn’t until 11:00 am and he could help corral the dynamic duo when they were not on the field.

As I was driving to the field I realized that Larry’s gear bag was in all likelihood in the trunk of the car I was driving. I pulled over to check the trunk and call Larry.

I was right. Nestled in the trunk of the car was the bag with the spare soccer balls, Max and Rebecca’s soccer balls, cones and a pinney. I shut the lid and called Larry. Since I was well over halfway to Jake’s game going back home really wasn’t an option. He decided that he really didn’t need it all and he could do without. As I was finishing up our conversation I started to turn the car around.

This was mistake number one.

Because I was slightly distracted I misjudged the turnaround spot I was backing onto. As I was almost turned around I felt a bit more of a bump than I expected, but I continued to back up.

This was mistake number two.

With a final bump I came to a stop and then tried to pull forward.

The car did not move.

I got out and discovered that the right wheel was in a hole the rest of the car was stuck on the bank.


After a bit of swearing I tried to push the car. Then I tried to scrounge up some wood to put under the wheel. None of my ideas worked. Meanwhile Jake was getting increasingly more agitated in the car. After a few minutes of more pointless activity a very kind woman with a couple of kids in the back stopped to help me out. We tried pushing together, but it was no good. She then offered to get her husband and/or her neighbor to pull out the car. She drove off and promised to be back soon. While she was gone another kind soul offered to help, but I politely declined by telling him help was on its way.

True to her word she returned with two pick-up trucks in her wake. Her neighbor, Mike, was driving a battered old F150 and pulled up behind my car. Then Mike and the husband pulled out their towropes and fastened my car to Mike’s. With a nice slow and steady pull I was up and out of the ditch. Hurrah!

With a big smile the woman told me not to drive into the ditch again and said she was off to baseball. I thanked both of my saviors and very carefully pulled back onto the road.

The amazing thing was that the whole drama took place in just over 15 minutes. Jake was still able to warm up with his team, just in a more abbreviated fashion. And the car was undamaged by my little driving misadventure.

I could have called AAA, but I would have been stuck there for over an hour. Because of the kindness of strangers I was on my way in far less time than that.

New Season header. I hope y’all like my new springtime look. It was time to move on from winter and embrace spring (achoo!).

Friday, March 17, 2006


Last Tuesday I wrote about Purim and mentioned I was making hamantaschen and that I would tell y’all about them today, Friday. Well a promise is a promise and here you go.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

My hamantaschen are a combination of two different recipes from two different books. The cookie dough is from The International Kosher Cookbook, the 92nd Street Y Kosher Cooking School and the filling is from BETH ELegant Cooking, Temple Beth El Sisterhood Madison, Wisconsin.

The 92nd Street Y cookbook opens up with the following description for hamantaschen:
Literally translated, hamantaschen means “Haman’s pockets.” According to one legend, these pastries were baked to remind the Jews that this villain’s pockets were filled with bribe money. Others believe hamantaschen are shaped in a triangle to resemble Haman’s three-cornered hat. Whatever the story, they are traditionally made on Purim and filled with either poppy seed, prune or apricot filling.
Then it follows with the recipe for the cookie dough:
2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened*
½ cup sugar
1 egg
3 tbl milk or water*
½ tsp vanilla or almond extract**
¼ tsp salt
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups Poppy Seed Filling, prune butter, apricot preserves (or in my case chocolate filling)
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter or margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Beat in the egg until well mixed. Add milk or water, vanilla or almond extract and salt, beating to mix well. Stir in flour until a dough forms. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight, until firm. When the dough is ready preheat the oven to 375. Divide the dough into four equal portions. On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out a dough portion (One at a time, it is a good idea to put the other portions back in the fridge.) 1/8 inch thick. With a 2 to 3 inch round cookie cutter or glass, cut the dough into circles. Place 1 tsp of filling in the center of each dough circle. With fingers, pinch the dough circle together at 12, 4 and 8 o’clock to form a triangle. Place the triangles on a cookie sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Cool the cookies on wire racks.

This what the finished cookie looks like to give you an idea of how golden it should be.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

I like just the edges to get nice deep color, any longer and the cookie is overdone.

*I, of course, use butter and milk, but if you want pareve cookies use margerine and water.
** I use almond extract, it marries particularly well with the chocolate filling.

Now for the chocolate filling. This recipe was credited to Sandy Dutch
6 oz chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbl milk
1 tsp butter
1tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
Combine all ingredients except egg in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until melted (I use the microwave). Remove from heat; blend in egg.

Rebecca wanted to help, so I put her in charge of adding the filling.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

She did a very good job and was very proud of her contribution.

These are a bit labor intensive, but are worth the effort.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thursday Three Snack Time

This week’s Thursday Three from Terry is nice little nosh.


{snăk; > ME snak = bite; > snaken = to bite; ? > MDutch snacken = to snap at}

1. A hurried or light meal.
2. Food eaten between meals.
3. The subject of today’s Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

Since we had such an overwhelming response to last week’s sugar-infused T-Three, and since everyone loves a nosh, a nibble, or a bite between meals, the Thursday Three Editorial Board decided to produce yet another post along the same lines as the last one, except different, in order to keep things from being too dull. And repetitive. And redundant.

ANYway, this week’s questions are these here ones:
1) What are your THREE favorite sugary snacks?
2) What are your THREE favorite salty snacks?
3) What snack food do you dislike, even though everyone else raves about it?

There now--that should keep you all busy for about five minutes!

1)My three favorite sugary snacks are:
-Chocolate (what a surprise!) in all forms sans nuts. Carmel is a bonus.
-Jelly beans, I look forward to the day after Easter candy sales.
-Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts, they must be straight from the conveyer belt. Though I have reheated them at home in the microwave.

2)My three favorite salty snacks are:
-Salt and vinegar flavoured potato chips that are ideally from Herr’s, but Lay’s will do in a pinch. Utz’s, are unacceptable, they have a bad after taste
-Peanuts, I like dry roasted or salted Spanish peanuts.
-French fries, they must be salted and fresh out of the cooker.

3)I like most snack foods, unless they contain nuts. Then I just eat my way around the offending nut and go my merry way. But that really doesn’t constitute a true dislike, since I can often salvage some part of the snack. The snack food, or rather foods since it’s a toss-up, I dislike are Circus Peanuts and Mary Janes. I know people who like Circus Peanuts, but I think they are vile as do those fine folks at (I love this site!). Mary Janes are a bit more of an enigma. I don’t know anybody who likes them, yet they appear every year in the bottom of the Halloween candy stash. I remember being able to barter with my brother (before he realized how bad they were) my Mary Janes for a chocolate bar. At first he thought it was a great deal! He would get several candies in exchange for one! Cool! More candy! Then he tried to eat them and discovered that he got the bad end of the trade. It only worked for a few years and then he started to remember how bad they were.

Oh, and as a PSA I’m going to tell you to never eat ox-tail flavored crisps. They are found in England and are sold as bar food. They are small packets of potato chips that are supposedly ox-tailed flavor. No one likes them. They are the last type of chip to be sold and only after every other flavor have been sold out. Even then the bartender will warn you that they are very nasty. I was hungry and after several pints I was adventurous and gave them a go. Blech! They have a horrible gym socky flavour that can not be washed out. Do Not Eat Them.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Today I observed IEATAPETA with gusto. Breakfast included sausages and some nice toast. For lunch I picked up Meryl and we went to Hardees for lunch. There’s nothing like a nice juicy bacon and cheese thick burger to protest peta. Then for dinner we had some nice BBQ at Brock’s. I originally planned to cook steaks, but I was needed at Max and Rebecca’s soccer practice and I couldn’t get home in time to make dinner.

Last year I detailed the reasons why I am against peta. I still find them to be an odious organization. There advertising campaigns often go way over the top and I think their actions are misguided.

You don’t have to eat meat today, a bit of cheese or an egg will do nicely. I just think people need to know about the wolf in sheep’s clothing that is peta.

To see us in all our glory at lunch, mosey over here. We are the second group in the gallery and I must say I do look a bit silly with my burger.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Say No More!

Well those bad boys of ice cream have done it again. As I was perusing the ice cream case I noticed that the store had a buy one get one free promotion on Ben & Jerry’s. I scanned the selections when what did I see, but a new flavor!

The label’s clever use of cows and a holy grail caught my eye. The description, coffee liqueur ice cream with a chocolate cookie crumb swirl & fudge cows,
made me put it in the cart.

It is delicious. This is my new favorite flavor. The labeling is a big hit with the kids and Jake thought it was very good. It is ironic that it came out just as we are experiencing a “Holy Grail” obsession in our household.

It is too expensive to buy on a regular basis, but it will make a nice occasional treat.

Feast of Lots

Last night we celebrated the start of Purim by going to temple for the pizza party and Megillah reading.

When I announced our plans the kids were excited over the prospect of pizza and cookies. Then we started the frantic cobbling together of costumes (it’s a great holiday, you are encouraged to wear costumes and make noise). Rebecca quickly announced that she would be a princess. That would be easy enough to achieve with her tiara, matching scepter and her new party dress. Jake settled on Mordechai and decided he would need a big white beard and glasses. The rest of his outfit would be his nice corduroy pants and a polo shirt. Meanwhile Nate was supposed to be at baseball practice at 5:00, so he put on his baseball togs. Nate and Jake then talked to Max and tried to convince him to be the King. Max went along with the idea until we tried to dress him. He flat out refused to decorate or wear his crown and stated that he “did not want people looking at him or to wear a king dress.” That was fine by me; I had an Ester and a Mordechai that was more than enough. I loaded my crew into the van and drove off to the baseball field to meet Larry.

Larry called me en-route to tell me that nobody else was there. Since I was a few minutes away I drove over and we conferred in the parking lot. At this point it was 5 minutes past the start of practice and it was obvious that it was not going to happen (we weren’t sure if it was to be this Monday or next, I guess it will be next Monday). So we decided to all go to temple together. Of course nothing is easy and I spaced out and got in the wrong lane and I had to turn around. Meanwhile Nate was miserable because a) he did not get practice and b) he was wearing cleats not shoes. Luckily Larry pulled over with me and Nate got transferred to his car. They would go home and Nate would put on shoes and they would meet up with us at the party.

I pulled into the temple’s parking lot at just about 5:30. At that point Max wanted to know where his crown was. He decided on the way down it’s good to be the king and wanted to be the king (this one, not that one) after all. I then told him that the crown was still at home. He calmly accepted the news and we all headed inside.

We had lots of fun as evidenced by this chocolaty smile by our princess

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

And even Mordechai thought it was good.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Today I’ll be making Hamantashen and I’ll share the results with y'all on Friday.

Happy Purim!

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Hunt Continues

As I have written before I’m looking for a dress. As per Janis’s suggestion I checked out Nordstroms online. I found one possibilty that also comes in wine. The price is right and I think it is a nice dress. So today I trekked up to our relatively local Nordstroms to see what they have. Ideally I would like to see the dress in question and try it on, but I’m always up for new ideas.

Sadly they did not have the dress, but they had some other nice options that I got to try on. The good news is that I am what size I thought I am and the sizing seems to be consistent among their dresses. I think however, that I am going to keep looking. I have one other store to check out. It is called Lex’s and I have had very good luck with them before. The main reason that I have not gone there yet is that parking is a bear around the store and I do not relish bringing my entourage along with me.

Oh and here is a selection of not over my dead body dresses. Larry thought the first one looked like lingerie and what is going on with the models hair in dresses number two and three? There are some very interesting fashions available.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mousey Boy

Harry Potter is very popular in this household.

Larry has read all the books to the boys at bedtime, Jake then reread all the books (devoured really), Nate is staring to tackle them (remember he is only 7) and we have the first three pictures on DVD. As I have mentioned before Buckbeak is a particular favorite with the under 5 crowd.

This results in lots of jumping about while waving sticks and shouting “Expecto Patronum!” This is particular amusing when Max and Rebecca do it.

We also have long discussions over who are friends with buckbeak and the shortcomings of a certain Draco Malfoy. Rebecca can’t quite pronounce Malfoy and she ends up calling him Mouse Boy, which I find very amusing and somewhat fitting. I like it when she turns to me with her big brown eyes opened wide and solemnly tells me that “Mouse boy is a death eater. Buckbeak don’t like him.”

So true Rebecca, so true.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Wednesday heralded the start of recreational league soccer in our household. Max and Rebecca had their very first practice.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

I love their wee little shin guards.

Larry is their coach. The club always needs people to volunteer for coaching and we figured we would have better control over what day they would practice on. Nate has piano on Tuesdays and baseball on Saturdays (when the season starts he will have practice during the week, I think Mondays and Wednesdays). Jake has practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays (fortunately we are carpooling with two other families and I’ll be covering alternate Thursdays).

We have a busy household.

Anyway back to Wednesday. I met Larry at the park and dropped off Max, Rebecca and Jake (he wants to be the assistant coach). Nate, while protesting mightily, came back home with me, so as to finish his homework.

The team is comprised of six kids, a five year old boy (who really knows his stuff), a four year old girl, our two, and two three year old boys (one of whom still has that fuzzy toddler air about him).

According to Larry Max was very game and was happy to be there and never missed me. Rebecca, on the other hand, announced she was done after about ten minutes into their hour long practice. This did not surprise me. She is a rather independent sort and I was wondering how she would do in a team sport. Hopefully her attitude will improve as the season goes on. I’m glad there is another girl on the team. Rebecca craves female companionship and this will be good for her. Sometimes I think she can be a little too girly and I think she needs to get out and do some sort of sport.

This weekend will also be Jake’s big soccer tournament. It is a local one, so there will not be too much travel involved. Just lots of early start times. At least Larry and I can tag team him. Neither of us will see all the games, but Jake will always have at least one parent to cheer him on. The weather is supposed to be fantastic this weekend, 70’s to mid 80’s.

Oh and this week’s recipe: a grown-up milkshake.

One big scoop of coffee ice cream
Splash of Kahlua coffee liquor
1-2 teaspoons of chocolate syrup

Blend, then enjoy

Very simple and very refreshing, I think I’ll be making more of these. The odd thing is I dislike coffee, but I love coffee ice cream and liquor. The chocolate was a last second addition and I’m glad I put it in. Of course, all things are improved with a little chocolate.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thursday Three: Sweet Stuff

Terry is getting all sweet on us by posing the following questions proposed by Marc Velazquez.
With the recent announcement by the "fat" police that our children are eating/drinking themselves to death (1/5 of American's calories are liquid, i.e. from sugared soft drinks), it's time to 'fess up on our sugar/drinking habits. This will be a 3X Thursday 3, and to be even more unpredictable, the bonus comes first!

BONUS - Sweet tea: your first choice of beverage, lemon or not, Lipton or Luzianne?

1. What do you drink the most at work, and do you bring your own?
2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)?
3. Do you keep candy at your desk/work area?

1. What do you drink the most at home, and do you change on the weekend?
2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)?
3. Do you keep a candy stash? Change its location periodically?

1. What do you drink when traveling? (Marc had “by plane” for this one, but I’ve changed it to be any sort of travel)
2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)?
3. Do you chew gum to help your ears pop on a flight? (Obviously, this is for airplanes, not cars or buses or trains, unless you happen to be on one that flies.)

SO, there you go, sweetie-pie!
Uh oh, this maybe the Thursday Three that gets my membership in the Axis of Weevil rescinded. The Bonus question will be my downfall.

I have a confession to make, I don’t like sweet tea and I’m not fond of iced tea in general. Part of this is my Yankee heritage, the rest is just my own idiosyncrasies. On those rare occasions I do drink tea it is hot, loose and strong (ooh, that sounds... interesting). The tea I like the most I got in USSR and was Georgian Tea. It is great stuff. I befuddled all the Russians who would push coffee on our little group of Americans; I would politely refuse and request the tea from the samovar instead. So I don’t like sweet tea and my favorite tea was communist. I’m doooooooomed.

Now for the rest of the questions, hopefully I’ll do better on those.

I’m going to do all three batches, because I’m a glutton for punishment.

At Work:
1)In the dim mists of time, before I had children, I used to have a paying job. At work I would drink Coke. The real stuff, none of that diet junk. Just one can a day at lunch. I would buy my soda from the guys in the mail room for 35 cents a can. The rest of the day I drank from the water fountain or had a nice cup of hot chocolate. When I was pregnant I switched to ginger ale.

2)Neither, both Nutrayuck and Splenda-ick are vile products of some evil little troll. It’s real sugar or nothing for me.

3)Snacks are a very important part of a sane diet. Instead of a stash of sweets we would all go out for ice cream.

At Home:
1)For the past nine and half years I have been among the ranks of those who stay at home. Generally I drink milk, tap water and orange juice. We also have some fancy fizzy water that I like to mix with fruit juice. If I go out for a picnic I grab a can of ginger ale. I have lost my taste for caffeine and I drink non-caffeinated drinks with the exception of hot chocolate.

2)See above.

3)We have a candy stash of left over candy from Halloween/Valentine’s and any other time the kids bring home a bunch of candy. My mom, on occasion, also sends me chocolates that I will share with my hubby and Meryl. Then there are all the baked goods I make.

On the Road:
1)Water and caffeine free drinks.

2)See above.

3)When we used to fly (with four kids those days are over) I was a big fan of holding my nose and popping my ears. Water consumption is very important when traveling by plane. I would feel much better if I drank lots of water.

So there you are. I’m a non-caffeinated person that views sugar substitutes as a horrible idea. It is a better to drink a little of the real thing, than gallons of the fake stuff.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Artist of the Week: Sewing

I pulled out my trusty sewing machine the other day to work on my dachshund related project (first mentioned here). I needed to do a few modifications of the stuff I bought on Saturday. The appearance of the machine created a ripple of excitement among my children.

Jake requested that I make a small handkerchief for him from the scraps in my fabric bag and show him how to use the machine. Nate then chimed in that he wanted to learn too and he wanted to make a small pillow. Max and Rebecca buzzed about, fascinated by what I was doing.

When I was done I helped Jake pick out a square and quickly hemmed the edges. Unfortunately the machine was throwing some odd stitches and the kids got treated to a bonus lesson on how to use a seam ripper. While I was ripping out the stitches Jake told me that he was learning how to hand sew in art class. Then I re-hemmed it and Jake was very pleased with the end result.

Next up was Nate. I set up the machine and I let him run the peddle. I would tell him when to stop and when to go while I would position the fabric. He was puzzled at first that we were sewing it inside out, but he quickly understood the reason when told him that this would put the seams inside the pillow. When we were done with our initial sewing I turned the pillow right side out and he stuffed it with some spare batting I had in my scrap bag. Once the pillow was filled we closed up the small gap in the seam to finish the pillow.

Here is the final product:

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Nate is very pleased with his pillow.

Later in the car the two boys discussed that Jake knows how to hand sew (he has learned two stitches: whip stitch and something else) and that Nate knows how to use a sewing machine. They figure that between the two of then they can handle all sorts of sewing jobs.

Of course Max and Rebecca wanted pillows too so we picked up some more fabric and I made up a couple of pillows for each of them.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lunchtime Superheroes

Max, Rebecca and I have gotten into a funny little routine at lunchtime. More often than not they ask for shells for lunch, the shells in question being Annie’s Shell’s & White Cheddar. The stuff is great, it is the tastiest boxed mac &cheese on the market and it is available at Costco by the case for less than a buck a box! Even I like eating it. Not every day, mind you, but once in awhile I’ll join the kids.

The fun part is when we make it. Initially we would have big arguments over who gets to put in the shells in the water and who gets to add the cheese powder once the shells are cooked and drained. Then I hit upon our alternate superhero personas. Rebecca is Cheesy Girl! Max is Butter Boy! And I get to be Milk Mamma!

When it is time to add each ingredient the appropriate superhero gets called forth and loudly proclaims his or her name. There is lots of waving about of spoons and once in a while I cry out “Spoon!” (Which is totally lost on my audience.) As a result lunchtime is great fun.

Here are my little superheroes in their not so secret identities:

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

The daffodils are out and we picked a few to grace our lunch table.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Real Life Simpsons

This is absolutely brillant!

Services, Sports and Shopping

We had a quiet weekend.

It started off nicely with our going to Friday services. The kids were pretty good, Jake took the younger two to the playroom and Nate stayed with us. Nate tried very hard to keep up in the prayer book and got the honor of opening and closing the Ark with the Rabbi. He was so cute standing up there with his tie on, half tucked shirt and kippot at a jaunty angle.

On Saturday Nate had baseball practice and Jake had soccer practice, since they conflicted we split up. Larry went with Nate, since he agreed to be an assistant coach, and I got the rest. Jake’s practice was at noon so I decided to give him an early lunch and pack a lunch for the rest to eat in the car. Nothing says fun like a picnic in the car. It really was a rational decision. 11:00 am is a bit early for lunch for the dynamic duo. They would spend the whole time goofing off and not eating. Then they would cry starvation once we got to the soccer fields.

When we got there I escorted my eldest across the parking lot and then joined the two monkeys in the car for lunch. It went pretty well. It was too cold to eat outside and Max and Rebecca thought it was a hoot to eat in the car.

Once all our sporting obligations were fulfilled I left everyone at home and went shopping. By myself. Without my entourage.


I went to one of the new fancy malls in the area to get materials for a dachshund related project (you’ll read more about it later, once it is finished) and to check out dresses.

I need a new dress for the big dinner at the National. Really I do. The one I wanted to wear no longer fits. Apparently having twins pushed out my ribcage and the bodice of my favorite midnight blue velvet dress no longer fits. Even with all sorts of squirming and sucking in. (Poo!) So I looked at all sorts of formal wear. Dillards had a massive sale on “social dresses,” but they were either ugly, too long, had serious wardrobe failure potential and/or were falling apart. Then I went to here and found this dress which was simply stunning, but I generally avoid strapless, because I hate having to hitch up a dress or obsessing about it during the whole time I wear it. Also, at close to $300, it was way out of my price range. They had another dress, but I deemed it to sexy to wear without my hubby in tow. I just want to look nice.

So the dress shopping was a bust, but I did score some nice new leather boots at 75% off and I got to try on dresses without my entourage, which is a treat in itself.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Yet Another Blogthing

You are a Brainy Girl!

Whether you're an official student or a casual learner, you enjoy hitting the books.
You know a little bit about everything, and you're always dying to know more.
For a guy to win your heart, he's got to share some of your intellectual interests.
A awesome book collection of his own doesn't hurt either!

Whee! I'm a brainy girl. I do love trivia and I know all sorts of little bits and pieces. So I guess this one isn't so far off.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Pasta and Penuche

Tonight for dinner I’ll be making a nice simple pasta sauce on penne, homemade challah and a little penuche for dessert.

The penuche I’ve already written about a few weeks ago. I must say here that making it today was a trip down memory lane. It tasted just as I remembered. Man is it gooooood. My only problem was that I waited a bit too long to pour it out into my pan, so it was solidifying as I tried to spread it out.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Ah well, live and learn.

Instead I’ll tell you about the sauce. My Uncle Hector* developed this and told my mother. It comprises of a 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (ideally San Marzano style-a lovely tomato that has a low acidity and is perfect for sauces), an onion, a stick of butter (I have found half a stick works just as well), a dash of salt and pepper to taste.

Melt the butter. Quarter the onion and add it to the butter with the tomatoes. Simmer for an hour. Mix the sauce with a wooden spoon.

My Uncle likes to remove the onion and passes the sauce through a sieve. He likes a very smooth sauce. My mother and I, on the other hand, like a more rustic sauce and we chop the onion and leave it in. Sometimes I’ll use my immersion blender if I want the sauce to be smoother.

The beauty of this sauce is that you add all sorts of things to it. A dash of white wine will “brighten” it and browned meat (hamburger, buffalo burger, sausage, or what have you) will give you a heartier sauce. I have served this on many occasions and I have always gotten rave reviews.
*He is not really my Uncle, but a close and dear friend of my parents. Hector’s parents came over from Italy when they were very young and settled in CT. I remember our family visiting his parents for holidays. Mamma L. was an amazing cook, possibly the best I’ve ever known. All of her food was from scratch (pasta too!) and was scrumptious. Easter was incredible with the table groaning under the weight of all the treats it held. Papa L. made his own wine and all of the babies for the family would have their feet dunked as a sort of baptism. The funniest part was the photos. My brother and I would be included in the family photos of the grandchildren. I would sort of fit in with my dark hair and eyes, but my fair skin would set me apart. My brother, meanwhile, stuck out like a bright beacon. He is a true blue eyed blond with the pale skin to match and he was always smack dab in the middle. As a result of my quasi-Italian upbringing I have a special fondness for all things Italian.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thursday Three: Whatcha Doing?

This week’s edition of is a just a quick whatcha y’all up to while Terry slaves away in the salt mines. Papa Possum posts the following:
As you all know, lately it has become my custom to rely upon the kindness of strangers to supply questions for the T-3, and this week’s no exception. Thankfully, given that the amount of time I have this week to devote to such diversions is small, the questions are of the short, sweet, and simple variety. (And no, I do not believe this has anything to do with their author.)

SO THEN, let’s get on with the parade! The questions are these:

1. Whatcha reading?
2. …Listening to?
3. …Watching?

AND, in one of the biggest surprises of all, A BONUS QUESTION— Whatcha cooking?

Since our questionist didn’t specify, I figure you can be as literal or figurative as you want to be when it comes to defining things like time and material. Right now you’re reading this, right? Well, if you want to put that down, go ahead. Cooking up a big batch of manatee lasagna in a couple of weeks? Same deal.
Just leave your answers in the comments below or a link to your site and we’ll all come over and see what’s there.

1) I have been reading “Toby the Tram Engine”, “A Dinosaur Named Sue”, the My Little Pony Storybooks Collection and... Ohhhhh maybe you mean books I *want* to read. Well I just finished “Mammoth” by John Varley and “Who’s Sorry Now?” by Jill Churchill. They were both pretty good reads. The Varley book was a bit more interesting for me, because I love science fiction. The funny part is how I got to read these particular two books. Every week (either Wednesday or Thursday) I take Max and Rebecca to the local library for story time. Afterwards we check out a bunch of books for them and their brothers from the children’s section. On the way to the checkout desk we pass by the display of all the new books at the library. From that display we (mostly Max and Rebecca) pick out my two reading selections. I do have an ultimate veto and on occasion I do venture into the stacks, but I kind of enjoy this rather haphazard system. I get exposed to new (to me) authors and the wee ones get to pick out something for mommy. This week’s selections are “Forever Odd” by Dean Koontz (I really wanted this one) and “Whores on the Hill” by Colleen Curran.

2) I don’t listen to much music. Currently I’m enjoying the mix cd my husband made for me for Valentine ’s Day, Klaus Nomi (a very unique man with an amazing voice) and the car radio.

3) CSI: Miami (as I have said before, beautiful dead bodies in bikinis), numb3rs, and anything that catches my fancy as I surf along.

Bonus! I’ll be making some chocolate chip banana muffins this weekend and maybe some penuche for Sabbath. It makes a nice sweet treat for the end of the week.

And that’s it for me. I just had a lovely picnic lunch with Meryl, Max and Rebecca in our 70+ weather. As an added bonus I got to see one of these with... drum roll please... a car seat firmly affixed to the passenger seat (turns out the owner has six kids). Never would have expected to see that.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sorrow with Shock

Today I attended the funeral of a very kind and generous man. The congregation is still in shock from his death. He was only 59 and leaves behind his wife and son.

I met my husband at the service with Max and Rebecca in tow. For the most part they were good, but I was glad it was a full house.

We followed the processional to the internment and afterwards I scooted home with the dynamic duo. They were restless and lunch was long overdue.

Goodbye Alan, we all miss you.