Friday mishmash

The good part about having such a harsh winter is that spring will be all the more wonderful for it. Half-assed winters leave me uncertain as to what exactly it is I’m looking forward to. But when we get string after string of bitter cold days and blustery snows, the craving for sun-warmed garden dirt, flirty breezes, and greengreengreen just intensifies. This year, when spring finally gets around to making her appearance, I’ll be ready. Just thinking about her arrival makes my skin twitch.


Thanks for all your sweet comments about Oreo. After 24 hours of hardcore sadness, things started to get better. My daughter pored over the photos of Oreo, editing and tweaking them to her specifications.

And then we got a call early yesterday morning that our neighbor’s ewe was in labor. When my daughter heard the news, she rocketed out of bed, whirled into her winter clothes, and shot out to the car. I dropped her off at the farm (Drive faster, Mama!), and about two hours later, she called me, bubbling with the good news, “It’s a girl!”

The perfect antidote to Oreo’s death is, I think, witnessing a healthy birth.


Two days in a row now, I’ve treated myself to (what I consider) an ideal afternoon snack:

1. Blondies with chocolate chips and pecans and still warm from the oven (or reheated in the microwave).
2. Coffee ice cream. (We are currently infatuated with Turkey Hill All Natural—only five ingredients: cream, milk, sugar, coffee, and vanilla.)
3. A big cup of coffee with cream.

The blondies take about 4 minutes (give or take 6 seconds) to mix up and then 25 minutes to bake. I make and bake ‘em right after lunch while the kids are doing their Spanish lesson (a half hour of a Harry Potter movie in Spanish, otherwise known as their favorite part of the day), and then I send them to their rooms for rest time and so I can enjoy my snack in peace and quiet.


Last night I sat down with the calendar and mapped out which kid goes to what summer camp. And then in the same breath (er, evening), I submitted our host invitations for two Fresh Air kids from New York City. It felt right to make the plans together. My kids get a special summer experience, and—by simply opening up our banged-up screen doors—so will two other children.

About the two kids bit. In my typical push-things-over-the-edge style, I decided that if we’re going to host one kid, we might as well host two. I chose the shorter of the two trips (I’m not completely crazy), a trip which overlaps with two different camp trips. In other words (because this is too complicated for me to write about coherently), I’ll only have six children for a day or two. Most of the time, one of the older children will be off at camp.

(Perhaps you’d like to offer a summer vacation to a child? If so, just give me a shout out and I’ll set you up. Trip dates are dependent upon where you live, but for our area they are June 30-July 10 and July 29-August 5.)


  • teekaroo

    I haven't checked in for a while. I'm so sorry to hear about your lamb. Every spring it seemed like I had to re-learn the hard truth of bum lambs. Sometimes they die, and when they decide to die, there's nothing you can do to stop it. But there is always another lamb that needs you and life continues. What lessons I learned as a kid.

  • Margo

    I wish we could have a fresh air kid, but alas, I don't think we have enough fresh air since we live in the city.

    About the coffee ice cream: have you looked into Jeni Britton Bauer's ice cream since you got home? You simply must make her black coffee ice cream. it is divine.

    And I must make those blondies. Right after our chocolate chip banana peanut butter bread 🙂 is gone.

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