Tuesday, December 12, 2017

in praise of the local arts

Several of the kids in the neighborhood decided to put on a play, so, off and on, for the last couple weeks, my son has been biking over to his cousins’ house to rehearse. Yesterday was the performance: The Railway Children, in two acts. Parents, grandparents, and siblings gathered in my brother’s house midafternoon. The yard was the stage, and the driveway the auditorium.

The first act lasted about five minutes (though it took a little longer because one actor didn’t perform according to plan which led to another actor’s meltdown and then a hushed, parent-assisted mediation behind the bushy evergreen marking the edge of stage right). There was a train wreck (for the train, my brother roared in on his little yard tractor), an avalanche (cardboard and tree branches tied together and then drug across the stage yard with a rope), and even an injured child. Such excitement!

Intermission was twice as long as the first act. While the children changed costumes and set, the adults shivered, visited, and drank the tea that was set out on a little table at the side of the auditorium, all the while imploring the children to hurry, please.

The second act involved less action and more dialogue (no reading from scripts for this play), as well as honest-to-goodness stage business (sewing while talking!).

The children finished the production with a big bow and a loudly chorused “We wish you a merry Merry Christmas!”

Afterward, there was more tea and iced buns (the ones that the dogs didn’t lick), and my brother took all the kids on tractor-wagon rides. The littlest boy distributed flowers to all the actors...

and there were hugs and high-fives all around.

The end.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (12.12.16), Italian wedding soup, hot chocolate mix, stuffing, light painting, the quotidian (12.12.11), Sunday vignettes: human anatomy, gingerbread men.

Monday, December 11, 2017

the quotidian (12.11.17)

Quotidian: daily, usual or customary; 
everyday; ordinary; commonplace

Almond crescents.

Pounding for chai.

For curry.

Pudding cooling.

My latest breakfast crush: sourdough toast with butter, cream cheese, and bacon.

Thanksgiving remix: this time with turkey gravy, stuffing balls, and over-the-top mashed potatoes.

I bake; he sings.

And...Velvet's down: a severe case of laminitis.

Kitchen apothocary.
"I feel like I have a baby. She gets sick, I call the doctor, I pay for the meds,
and then I have to take care of her."

Attempted selfie.


His final paper of the semester and the edits to go with.

This same time, years previous: yeasted streusel cake with lemon glaze, managing my list habit, okonomiyaki!, in my kitchen (sort of): 4:15 p.m., iced, pimento cheese spread, a family outing, peanut butter cookies, cashew brittle.

Friday, December 8, 2017

when the dress-up ballgown finally fits

A few weeks ago, my daughter asked me to come out to the field with my camera. She wanted to do a photoshoot with one of her old dress-up-gowns-that-now-fits, and her horse.

Out by the shed, with the goats and dogs underfoot, I helped her wriggle into the dress. Zipping it tight was no small feat — Stop breathing, girl! — and then she had to somehow get up on the horse.

The whole thing was hilariously inelegant, and we spent most of the time either yelling at each other — Just get on the dang horse already! — or doubled over laughing.

She trotted Velvet around for a minute and then decided she wanted a different halter, so I had to go into the horse shed — Foresight, child, I grumbled —  and rummage around in the dark.

When I didn’t find it fast enough, she rode the horse straight into the stalI. While she awkwardly lunged over Velvet’s neck, trying to harness (bridle, whatever) her, I tried not to get trampled.

Back out in the field, she made Velvet canter. But she kept hunching. Her posture was terrible.

“Put your shoulders back,” I yelled. “That dress is so tight it’s not going anywhere!”

Even so, she couldn’t stop herself from tugging it up every few seconds. Here, wanna see the photographic evidence?

When I finally called it quits, she vaulted off the horse.......

and then promptly plopped down in the middle of all the chicken poop and goat droppings for yet a few more photos, pretty please?

That girl!

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (12.5.16), welcoming the stranger, the quotidian (12.7.15), in my kitchen: 6:44 p.m., cinnamon raisin bread, 17 needles and 4 children, holding, iced ginger shortbread, zippy me, baked corn, butter cookies.

Monday, December 4, 2017

the quotidian (12.4.17)

Quotidian: daily, usual or customary; 
everyday; ordinary; commonplace

For the love of leftovers. 

The luscious mascarpone before I destroyed it with soggy ladyfingers.

Smooth and cold.

Take it or leave it: how I feel about Bon Appetit's brown sugar-and-salt dry rub.

Scraps o' sprouts.

Splinter search party.

Bringing me to my knees, day after day after day.

The dogs came to blows over this, so he had to put a fence around it.

(photo by my older daughter)

It's up!

The fa-la-la-ers.

(photo by my younger son)
Upside down and in the middle of the day.

My child asks a question, I blankstare in response, and bamI'm snapped.

This same time, years previously: oatmeal sandwich bread (cooling on the counter as I type), nanny-sitting, sushi!!!, baked ziti, red lentil coconut curry, wild, raisin-filled cookies, chocolate truffle cake.