Thursday, July 16, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

I always liked the sound of that. Flotsam and Jetsam. And that's pretty much as good a reason as any to use it as a post title, right? That and I thought it kind of went with the theme of the stuff floating on the surface of my brain...

Mark gnawing on the rabbit we cooked for supper the other night. Dusted it in flour and fried it in lard, we did. We haven't raised meat rabbits for a couple of years at least, so it's been that long since Mark's had this favorite treat of his.

But really if you give him any kind of meaty bone to chaw and crunch on, he gets all quiet and content as he works on it.

And his happiness brought to mind the kids' happiness-

Sam hums. Not really a tune. Just a hum, like a softly whirring machine. Nearly subsonic, I'll catch it every once in a while when he's busy with something. He used to do it when he was a wee toddler, humming himself to sleep. So it's a contented noise.
Aggie whistles. Like my Uncle Harry whistles. The first few times I heard it I was taken by surprise because it's so clear. She's so quiet and gentle and feminine usually, so it was weird but neat to hear this typically masculine music coming from her.

Lily. We describe it as a howl. But not a sad or even loud howl. It's kind of a cross between Sam's hum and Aggie's whistle because it's this weird falsetto HumWhistle thing she does with her voice. Something we'd all catch her doing when she was off in her own world playing, and we'd share a look and laugh.

But like Masi and Pops have always said, you can tell how happy our kids are because they're always singing. And that was always reassuring to me.

But then there's always The Dark Side-

Sam goes with my Dad for overnight stays to whatever sporting clay venues are going on. He was overdue for some suitable clothes, so I decided to take all the kids on a shopping trip.

Going back a week or two, the girls had been wanting to go to Build A Bear, but I was all You don't have any money, what happened to your money because they'd lost all their money somewhere in the house, and Mark was all Look at the foul state of your bedroom and that little trip was postponed indefinitely.

More recently they found a stash of their money in their room but they didn't know whose it was. I stepped in as the wise old judge and told them to split the find equally since neither was responsible enough to a. remember whose it was or b. to have kept it safe to begin with. Problem solved, nobody happy. Actually Lily was fine with it because she refuses to develop any kind of concept of money and was even trying to trade Aggie her 4 ones for Lily's 1 ten "so it would look like I have more money."

Which leads us to last night. I was going to take Sam shopping for clothes and a side trip to Build A Bear for the girls. Arrived home from work to find Lily had lost her money the same day we split it down the middle.
So mad. I think mostly because I was thinking You're not really going to make me do this are you? Not going to make me be the bad guy, when I was so close to being the hero for taking you to Build A Bear.
But she did. And I had to go tell Mark the whole story just to get some reassurance from him that I was doing right by not taking either one of them even though it was only Lily's mistake. I thought it was the better alternative to the harsher option of taking them but only letting Aggie shop.
So there we are driving down the road, Aggie silently fuming in the back seat, me meditating on the fact that sometimes parenting requires us to be jerks a little bit. But I was also thinking of how lucky I am that my kids don't require a lot of jerkiness. So far they're really pretty good kids. Hopefully that continues into those teenage years...

I did turn the evening around by letting the girls buy a pair of shoes and a couple pairs of shorts (Target has cute Bermuda shorts for girls btw.) That was a necessity, but I didn't tell them that. You could nearly see the ice melting off of Aggie as I urged her to pick out some clothes. Oddly enough, Lily was never mad. And would you believe I didn't buy myself one single solitary thing? That was weird. Anyway, all was forgiven and life moves on.

Everyone knows what rotten potatoes smell like-

Just by happenstance, I've eaten potatoes as the bulk of my last 3 meals. If you put 2 and 2 together, you may say that's over sharing. I say it's a Note To Self: You shouldn't eat so many potatoes.


Mark and I are of like mind when it comes to stress. It's for wussies. (Tongue in cheek, ya'll.) We go and go until we're having weird physiological and psychological effects like waking dreams and eye twitches, but you will never get us to accept that we're stressed. It's always There are lots of folks dealing with way more than us and We have such a wonderful life and so much to be grateful for, quit being a crybaby. And that's all certainly true. But where do you decide it's OK to take a break? How do you take a break guilt-free? Anybody else have this trouble? I did catch like 4 whole consecutive hours a couple weekends ago where I did nothing but read a book on my porch and it was paradise. I had to force myself to do it, but it was so awesome.

Mark's in the market 7 days a week and our Summer is a whole lot of not fun. I feel guilty for not taking the kids places during their Summer vacation. I feel guilty if I go anywhere without Mark. I feel compelled to constantly work around the house instead of doing anything fun because Mark can't have fun. I feel dogged by invitations to go to parties or picnics during our few free hours (6pm-9pm, basically) but like a party pooper for not being more excited to go. I feel like pouting period. And pouting equals brat. And brat equals Grow Up! I don't know what the final answer is, but I'll let you know if I figure it out.


The rabbit was good. So was our supper of new red potatoes with fresh yellow beans and parsley, swiss chard with mushrooms & onions. Chicken mushrooms. Sam and I went for a short hike/jog through the woods the other day.(Helpful to alleviate a little guilt.) A notable trip because I've been so used to making sure he was keeping up with me. That time I was trying to keep up with Sam and his 50 foot long legs leaping over fallen trees like a deer, and I was all Noooooo, I'm aging, I'm aaaaaagiiiiiing! But it was actually really fun because we run through the trails like wild Indians (no offense meant by that. Great Honor!) up and down steep hills, through creek beds, catching spider webs with our faces, racing the setting sun to get back home. We found the old stone foundation of a house and picked through the rubble of old leather shoes and funky glass bottles. And we also found a chicken mushroom. Packed it up into my knapsack and took it home to bread and fry. It really has the taste and texture of chicken. Very groovy, baby. I know, I know, the oil. It's just a treat, no worries. Dill pickled green beans. There was a jar in the refrigerator untouched. Pops gave it to us but we'll probably never know who made them. I was this close to throwing them away for that reason but we tried them and they're quite good. I may try to make some myself. Great on a peanut butter sandwich.

And I guess that's about all the tide has washed in for now.


honeypiehorse said...

Wow, busy doings. That mushroom looked yummy, although I'm never brave enough to eat what I forage. The sandwich though - you lost me there. My youngest shows her happiness with all these amazing colorful pictures she draws - the joy just bursts off the page.

OsageBluffquilter said...

Pickles on Peanut butter sandwich? What a craving. . .one I can say I've never had.
Would like to try that chicken mushroom, since everything new taste like chicken.

Michelle Johnson said...

Gotta love how kids think about money at this age. We're going to take some of MyKiah's money and buy her some clothes for school soon. Can't wait to go.

That chicken mushroom sounds pretty good. But, the dill pickled green beans on peanut butter... yuk!

Thank you so much for your stop to my blog the other day. Greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I was verklempt to see your pickled-something on PB sandwish (as we say around here.) And made the right way, i.e., folded not cut. I am so feeling the love. Have to find me some a them pickled green beans -- shouldn't be hard; this IS the south after all!

Loved this post. Good luck with the stress. And everyone needs a good pout every once in a while. y'know?

Wendy said...

Okay, I'm totally scared of that mushroom. I admire your ability to forage without killing yourself. If I were ever left in the woods to fend for myself I'd waste away surely.

Becky said...

Girl, how you spoil us. Lots here. But lemme say:

Great honor!

And I think you're a better parent than me, because the Build a Bear thing would have been SO HARD. I would have probably been like, "Okay, we're going anyway!" And then nobody learns anything.

And by all means remember to take some time for yourself.

Jen said...

Peanut butter and pickle sandwiches are delicious! Though I've never tried pickled beans and peanut butter, maybe I should.

The hubz and I are trying to teach our 6 year old about the value of money and how it actually doesn't grow on trees (much to my dismay).

I wonder if those chicken mushrooms grow in Onatrio? I'll have to check it out. Thanks for another great post.

Heidi said...

I LOVE mushrooms!!! but green beans on the sandwich almost killed me right there!! LOL

Sara said...

The good news is chicken mushrooms have no poisonous lookalikes. You only risk eating something past its prime or full of bugs or an unappetizing lookalike.

Now for those of you not on the pickles & peanut butter bandwagon--Don't fear! Peanut butter makes everything delicious! We used to eat it on our hotdogs when we were kids. Try it. You'll like it. Or at least your kids will.

Becky, it was sooooo close. So close.