Monday, February 27, 2017

the quotidian (2.27.17)

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

We've eaten nearly an entire pig and I still haven't found a pulled pork recipe I like.

Just the way I like it: swimming in butter and honey.

Birthday breakfast.

With caramel, chocolate, and pecans: it shouldn't have been disappointing, but it was.

An impulse purchase: have you tried it?



Why bother with a sofa if you have a horse?

I always thought she had horns...
(Just kidding!)

He changed the brake pads.

Not working.

Buzz off.

Outdoor bedroom.

Flying his cheesy freak flag.

A third teenager!

This same time, years previous: old-fashioned molasses cream sandwich cookies, roasted cauliflower soup, Oreo, the quotidian (2.25.13), the quotidian (2.27.12), for my daughter, creamy garlic soup, and Grandma Baer's caramel popcorn.

Friday, February 24, 2017

steer sitting

“Guess what!” my older daughter said when I got home from seeing a play last Sunday afternoon. 


“The steer let me sit on him while he was laying down!”

On my camera I found photos of the steers roaming the yard ("They're hungry, Mom"), and there was a large, squishy cow pie next to the front porch (lovely), but no picture of the steer-turned-sofa, so the next day when I looked out the kitchen window and spied my older daughter stretched lengthwise on the back of a steer, sunning herself, I snatched my camera right up.

“Careful, Mom,” she said as I approached the fence. “Don’t startle him.”

The steer, for his part, didn’t seem to care one iota that a human being was draped across his back.

“Make him get up,” I said, bored with the statuesque blob of beef.

Ever obliging, my older daughter began rocking back and forth.


She kicked him in the sides.


She kicked him harder.


She rocked back and forth and jabbed him with her heels and—

Whoosh! The steer stood up so fast that my daughter nearly tumbled over his neck.

For a couple seconds the steer stood still while visions of bucking beasts and emergency rooms flashed before my eyes.

“Get off!” I squealed, but I needn’t have worried.

My daughter had no desire to be catapulted facefirst into a cow pattie and had already vaulted off, landing squarely on her own two feet.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (2.22.16), the quotidian (2.23.15), the quotidian (2.24.14), birds and bugs, bandwagons, cream scones, the morning after, and Molly's marmelade cake.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

jelly toast, a love story

The other afternoon when I picked up my kids from my parents’ place, my mother was just finishing up her bread baking. Four loaves of brown bread were cooling on the table—the fifth one, not quite brown enough, still in the oven—and the entire house was warm with the yeasty-toasty smell.

“Here,” my mother said, handing me a children’s board book. “Look what I gave your dad for Valentine’s.”

Whaddya know, she had altered the book, pasting photo cut-outs of her and Dad over the faces of the bunny rabbits in the story.

“Look at this one,” she said, pointing to the next-to-last page. “I even got the collar just right!”

When I begged the book for a couple days, Dad almost didn’t let me borrow it, but then he did...begrudingly.

The story is pretty much perfect, considering that for years Dad brought Mom coffee in bed every morning, often with jelly toast, toast made from Mom's homemade brown bread.

And now we've come full circle.

The end.

This same time, years previous: lemon cheesecake morning buns, peanut butter and jelly bars, pan-fried tilapia, toasted steel-cut oatmeal, the case of the whomping shovel, blueberry cornmeal muffins, and tortilla pie.

Monday, February 20, 2017

the quotidian (2.20.17)

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

Breakfast for the gods...or me!

I don't even shape the loaf anymore: just pour the dough directly into the hot pot.

Winter salad.

For next Christmas, maybe: a work in progress.

When cooking with fresh Asian noodles, rinsing them, post-cooking, makes all the difference. 

Saturday morning pancakes.

An education in junk food: dumpster-dived loot
(The kids were not impressed.)

Clean sink; steamy-hot dishcloth.

Spilling its guts.

Top knot.

Gee! Haw!

A windy day, a garbage bag, some sticks, and a whole lotta hope.

Solor panel repair and the home-engineered hoist for lifting and lowering.

The hoist operator and her back-up.

Twizzler tease.

This same time, years previous: Jonathan's jerky, doppelganger, in the last ten months, in my kitchen: 11:50 a.m., almond cake, Monday blues, in the eyes of the beholder, chicken pot pie, the quotidian 2.20.12), and homemade Twix bars.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

thursday thoughts

Why does coffee wake me up in the morning and make me sleepy in the afternoon? I just finished drinking a large coffee and can hardly keep my eyes open. What is wrong with me??


Last night I turned on our local NPR station just in time to hear a debate by Intelligence Squared. The topic: Give Trump A Chance. I was immediately mesmerized. This morning I told the two older kids to each pick a side and write about it. They read their opinions out loud to each other, and then I pulled up the debate on the internet so they could watch it.


One of my biggest pet peeves: how in some public restroom stalls, the toilet is off-center and closer to the toilet paper dispenser. Talk about precarious and awkward. I don’t get it.


For the last few days, I’ve felt sluggish. Cold—so cold—and sleepy and unmotivated. I do things, like make bread and explain the difference between multiples and factors and go running, but underneath it all is a heavy downward tug. If I were single and childless, these would be the days I’d curl up in my room and sleep/read/watch Netflix/drink wine (she says, wistfully).


Here’s a riddle that my younger son has been asking everyone: What is tall when it’s young and short when it’s old and glows for its entire life?


I’ve been on a bread kick, more specifically, a baked-in-a-pot artisan bread kick. Every day I mix up another batch, not bothering to wash the bowl even (see above photo). The fresh loaves are positively intoxicating and addicting, and they often vanish in mere minutes. Just think of the bread-making potential I’d have with two Dutch ovens!


Last Sunday, in a lull in conversation during an informal gathering of Sunday school delinquents, one of the women posed a question: What is a question you have that you don’t know the answer to? 

Questions ranged from what is the balance between productivity and non-productivity (mine), to why a particular restaurant location has such a high turnover rate, to why a parent refuses to explain the existence of his ancient and mysterious scar.

Question-asking—thoughtful question-asking—is such an art. And it’s a neat way to view the world, too. Kind of throws everything upside down.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (2.15.16), the quotidian (2.16.15), buses, boats, and trucks, oh my!, sweet, just stuff, food I've never told you about, and making yogurt in the dehydrator.

Monday, February 13, 2017

the quotidian (2.13.17)

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

Jelly drip.

The citrus trinity.

Gradually becoming a kitchen staple.

For after his shift: a late lunch.

Falafel feast.

From scratch: his very own chocolate peanut butter.

Tea (er, coffee) party for one.

Breakfast time, pun intended.

Sometimes I hide their books.

Spring is in the air, whoo-eeee!

Relationships, and the looks that go with them.

There's a horse on my porch. 

This same time, years previous: chocolate pudding, how we do things, the quotidian (2.13.12), the outrageous incident of the Sunday boots, life, interrupted (I wish), potato gnocchi, a meaty lesson, and mocha pudding cake.