Category Archives: home

Language Acquisition

We had a lovely time in Brookings visiting our son and his family. Our grandson is 17 months old. His language development really took off within the last week or so. Our daughter in law said that one day he wasn’t really talking, and the next day he was jabbering away. I notice that sometimes boys’ development is choppy, while girls have a smoother and more gradual developmental trajectory.

Our grandson signs, too, and he signed and made animal noises and tried out many new words as he went through the weekend.   I was tickled  as I wheeled him in a cart through the grocery store and he started making snorting noises as he  pointed toward the ceiling.  He had spied a pig balloon, and he  let me know that was what pigs said.  He also has a fine command of the word “No!”  and told us so quite a bit.

What were you told about your early development? What were your first words? What were your favorite first books?

 

 

Getting the Lard Out

I have become wary of telling Husband what I want, or if I like something, because he takes it on himself to make certain I get  it.  Sometimes  I just make an offhand comment about liking something, with no expectation of getting it, and Husband takes it to heart and feels responsible  for it.   I think it has something to do with his being an older brother of a younger sister and feeling responsible for her happiness. My father was the same way with me.  One can only be considered spoiled under these circumstances if one comes to expect such treatment.  I don’t expect it, so I am not spoiled!

Last week I took the last jar of home-rendered lard out of the freezer as I needed it for pie crusts. I told Husband that we would need to render more lard some time. I didn’t mean that I wanted to do it right away, but that was how Husband interpreted it, and he set to work finding some pork fat for me to render.  I came home for lunch to find a disgruntled man who had been unsuccessful in finding any pork fat from our usual sources. He even phoned butcher shops in Fargo, Brookings, and Canby, MN.   I assured him that it wasn’t a crisis, and that it was fine if we didn’t find any.  There are lots of good pie crust recipes that don’t call for lard. Husband was still  fretful. I just hoped he would forget about it and stop ruminating.

Yesterday while I was in my meetings, Husband chanced on a farmers market on Nicollet Avenue, and found a source for leaf lard and pork fat from a guy who raises hogs in New Richmond, WI.  He and Husband talked lard and, after several phone calls back to the farm to check on supplies, he and Husband arranged for us to pick up 10 pounds of leaf lard and other pork fat from him at the Minneapolis Farmers Market on Saturday morning.   Lard crisis averted.  It remains to be seen what Husband will ruminate about next.

What have you gone to extremes to find or accomplish? What is your favorite pie crust?  What do you ruminate about?

Remembrance of Things Past

Today’s post comes from Ben:

I came home and said hello to the dogs. Went out another door and said “Hi” to the dogs again, and then, as one does with dogs, said “Hi Hi Hi”

And then, from the depths of my mind, out of nowhere, sang  “Ayi Yi Yi Yi, I am the Frito Bandito”.
Wow.
I said to myself “Where did that come from??”
Forgotten anything lately? 
Remembered anything lately? 

Infestation

We had some basement drywall and carpet ruined  from a leak from an egress window when our downspouts were plugged  this  summer. The dry wall guy finished up the repairs last week.

We removed the water damaged carpet in the basement bedroom. As we put the furniture back in the bedroom, I thought that I would put on the bare cement a wool area rug that we had stored in the furnace room. It was a nice thick one we got from Pottery Barn 15 years ago, in pinks and greens, our daughter’s favorite colors at the time. We used it in her bedroom.

The furnace room is warm and dry. We keep the door to it closed. As I reached for the carpet, which was rolled up and standing in a corner,  I noticed something that looked like grains of rice protruding from the back of the carpet. As I lifted the rolled carpet, I saw many hundreds of grains of rice on the floor underneath where the carpet had been, about an inch or so thick, in a pile of pink and green sawdust. I am thankful none of it was moving, as it turned out to be carpet moth larvae and the remnants of the carpets they had eaten. Husband took the rug outside and tossed it in the back of his pick up. I hurriedly vacuumed up all the “rice”  and sawdust, and checked everything in the basement for further evidence of the infestation. I am happy to report I found nothing.  You can see some of the larva and the green part of the rug they chewed.

Further research informed me that wool rugs rolled up and kept in the dark are prime targets for carpet moths.  So are parts of wool rugs that are laid out on the floor but underneath tables and other furniture. The moths themselves are quite small,  with maybe 1/4-1/2 inch wing span.  I am thankful that all my sweaters are upstairs in cedar lined drawers. Ish!!

Ever had insect damage? What do you have in your house that you haven’t checked on for a while? 

The Stuffed Headboard

Whenever I am out and about and see someone with a massively full baby stroller, I wonder why some folks feel the need to bring every single thing they might possibly need along with them every time they leave the house.

Then I get home to my bedroom. When I bought my bedframe many years ago, I got one with bookshelves because… well, you know why.  Books.  As soon as YA and I had it put together I installed a few books and a box of tissues and figured I was all done.  There was plenty of room.

Fast forward to today. Now I have a bucket of pens/pencils, ibuprofen, a hand mirror, my blood pressure monitor, my Walkman, my laptop, my journal and sticker box, my allergy meds, the land line phone, a cell phone holder, lotion, fingernail polish, some photos, a candle, finger nail clippers, two little notepads, a couple of magazine, a pig bank and a bucket w/ various things like chapstick, Neosporin, a few band-aids, aloe vera gel and Benadryl gel.  And, of course, way more books.

Whenever I try to straighten all this up, I end up leaving most of it there so it’s “handy” if I need it. Guess now know exactly what all those strollers are so full!

What’s essential in your trip kit?

Better Living Through Electricity

I notice that today marks the anniversary of the introduction of the electric blanket in 1946. It sold for $39.50.  I suppose that was quite a bit of money for that time. My parents talked about the wonders of rural electrification in the 30’s and 40’s, and how that was such a help for them and their families. I remember that my mother bought an electric blanket in the 1960’s, and what a weird thing it was, with this plastic polyester fabric that had these hard tube-like things inserted in it, and a thermostat that hung out of the edge of it.  I suppose it made sense if the gas you paid to fire your furnace cost more than the electricity that came our of your outlets.

We rely heavily on our weird Swedish mixer for kneading our bread, our Breville food processor for chopping everything imaginable, and our Chinese grinder for coffee and spices.  I suppose that electric blankets were ousted by down comforters for economy and convenience.  We use our down comforter all year.

We are expecting a major winter storm in the next day or two, and I have made sure the remote starter for our gas stove in the basement is operational in case we lose power and I need to heat the house.

What electric appliances do you rely on? How do you keep warm?