Category Archives: Kids

Surprise!

Our daughter phoned yesterday, full of excitement about some wonderful Chevre goat cheese and creamy Brie she had discovered at a farmers market, as well as the thrill of being held up as an exemplar of paperwork perfection at her work during a Medicaid audit.

This surprises me. In elementary, middle school, and high school I could have presented her as an exemplar of the biggest flibberty-gibbet, fly-by-night slacker of my acquaintance.  I guess maturation happens, but I never expected this from her!

Who or what has surprised you, for good or for naught?

That’s What Neighbors Do

Well, the Trump supporting wife beater moved out of the house across the street taking his Trump sign with him.  They are renting the house to his wife’s son and daughter in law,  a young couple with a 2 or 3 year old girl, a cat, and a retriever-type dog.  I had high hopes for them until the young man hung a large Confederate flag from the front of house.

The other day another neighbor and I spotted the girl, the cat, and the dog running around  without any supervision.  The girl was happy as could be running into the other yards, with the dog doing its own exploration and the cat lying down in the middle of the street.  The neighbor grabbed the dog and the girl while I rang the doorbell to inform them that everyone was loose. The cat had already sauntered back to safety.  The mom was mortified and thanked us profusely. The little girl had just learned to open the gate to the back yard, and took advantage of her new skill.

A day or so later, the dad came over while I was in the front yard. He again thanked me and said they were so grateful we had noticed their daughter and animals, and offered to do any heavy yard work I might need done as a thank you. I told him that wasn’t necessary, as what we did was just what neighbors do. He seemed puzzled about that. He didn’t seem to understand that neighbors help without expectation of recompence .He also spoke with a southern twang, so he is evidently not from around here.

I suppose I could have asked him to take down the flag, but if he doesn’t  understand the concept of being neighborly, he might not have understood the request. I will just hope for other opportunities to show kindness.

What sort of flag would be a good response to the flag across the street? Tell about some of your more memorable neighbors. 

Haute Eats

In three weeks we are flying to Tacoma to see our daughter and celebrate the successful completion of her first semester of graduate school. She is aiming for a Master’s Degree in Social Work from USC.  She has done very well thus far. If all goes according to plan, she will be done in May.

Daughter decided that the Washington wine country around Woodinville was the place to spend the bulk of our visit.  She booked a dinner there for us (at our expense, but we don’t mind) at a place called the Herb Farm for a nine course dinner lasting four hours, with foods and local wines sourced within 100 miles of Woodinville. She says we are taking Uber so we don’t need a designated driver. We will dine, in an intimate group,  with other people we have never met. I think it sounds fun, and possibly alarming.

Daughter hates fish, but is willing to try Geoduck with turnip, Dungeness crab with shiso, purslane, and cucumber, along with Fried oyster with spicy egg yolk sauce, not to mention Lummi Island Tribal Reef-netted sockeye salmon in Zucchini blossom and green coriander sauce. She says she can tolerate it because the portions are small, and she will be brave.

We are to dine on 7-year old, pastured Snohomish Valley Black Angus (I think that means tough, chewy cow) with black currants, bone marrow, beets, and bachelor buttons.  Let us not forget the marigold buttermilk sherbet, Skagit Valley purple barley malt Ice cream, Gravenstein apples, cabbage with crispy duck confit, green field-burned rye berries with mushroom sauce,  house-churned Holstein butter,  and sourdough loaf.  I have left out many other things we will be served, but you get the picture.

We never eat  like this, and I don’t expect we will do it again, but what fun!

What is the hautest of cuisines you have eaten? What makes for good food in your book?

 

 

Over the Hill, Not Over the Thrill

I’m all set for my birthday week. As an adult, I don’t expect everybody to get all worked up about my birthday.  In fact, when I came home from China with Baby, my mother said to me “You know, it’s not about you anymore.”

Several years ago I started cultivating companies that will help me celebrate. If you sign up online, they’ll send you a coupon on your birthday.  This year I have coupons from Panera, Jamba Juice, Ben & Jerry’s, Brueggers, Nothing Bundt Cake, Noodles, Caribou and Dairy Queen. Except for Caribou which needs to be used on my actual birthday, I have planned to spread the others out over the upcoming few days.

I don’t give myself a card; it seems a little overkill to make a card and then give it to myself. However some years I do bake myself a birthday cake or a birthday pie; some years I even throw myself a party.  No party this year and the jury is still out about the cake/pie.  I gave my BFF theatre tickets for her birthday and turns out that the date that was good for her was my actual birthday, so I guess technically I gifted myself with theatre tickets this year!

What’s a great gift you’ve received?

 

One Day You’ll Thank Me

YA and I went to Fawn-doe-Rosa on Saturday. Standing in front of us in line was a family of five – two parents and three teenagers.  It was clearly not a happy family outing with a lot of rolled eyes, big sighs and snappish comments.

What made you finally realize your parents were smarter than you thought?

A Rose by Any Other Name

The narrator of one of my current books announces early on that she and her husband have several nicknames for their 5-year old son: Chicken, Peach, Cutlet, Noodle, Sweet Pea. As the book goes along, she uses these nicknames frequently and it made me think about how much I use nicknames.

My daughter has had many nicknames over the years: Pooter, Babycakes, Babylet, Honeybunch, Punkin. My animals have many as well: Rhiannon, Rhianny-boo, Rhi Rhi, Guinevere, Gwen, Gwenny, Gwenner. Nimue, Nimmers, Nimeray, Zorro, Zozzo, Zodder.

I also have nicknames for a lot of my friends – Abster, J-fer, JuJu, Bob-o, Jaw… the list goes on.

I only have two nicknames given to me (that I know of): She and Verily Sherrilee. “She” is from when my baby sister couldn’t say Sherrilee and it kinda stuck.  And, of course, Verily Sherrilee was bestowed on me by my fellow baboons here on the trail.

Are you a nickname giver? Or a nickname receiver?  Let’s hear some of them.

Summer Guests

First week of August, our quiet little lives will be interrupted by five visitors – Husband’s son and his fiancé, and their (combined) three girls, ages 15, 12, and 9. Though I’m pretty relaxed when having just one or two guests, I tend to get somewhat anxious with lots of company, and am trying to think ahead – prepare now so it’s a bit more manageable while they’re here. (You can also read this as: I like to be in control of things.) Since our place is just 900 sq. feet, and we would be practically on top of each other if we all tried to stay here, we’ve arranged with a friend two blocks away to sleep in her guest room – let them have the house – on the nights they are with us. (They will spend some time with other family.)

Average temps for this time of year are around 83˚ F., and we do have A/C if needed. We have enough beds, if we include futon, and bedding. I’ve deep cleaned recently, so can do a surface cleaning before A-day (A = arrival). We can stock the fridge and pantry. We have been exploring places in the area that this family might like to visit.

I’m sure there are things I could prepare ahead of time. Several of you baboons have had grandchildren – or other family members or friends – visit you, and probably have some coping mechanisms for when you have guests for more than an afternoon.

Any ideas that might help things run smoothly?

Got any visitors coming this summer or fall?