21 April 2014

a book, candy

Well I've finally done it. I finished another very long, very boring book that I liked quite a lot. And by so doing I've come to really admire yet another Duchess, this one of Devonshire. She's lived so long and is so interesting, yet not nasty or even very controversial, which people often think interesting means. You'll understand if you read this (it's short). Also she is lovely:

from here

Oh, did I mention, the book was a collection of letters between her and her five sisters, apparently infamous in their day. (For good reason, yikes, most of them were nutty.) But anyway, darn it I've added another place I want to visit next trip to the UK (as one naturally has planned): her estate, Chatsworth.

--also the reason for my thoughts on "one" a while back.
--also the reason of some of my letter writing lately
--also full of quotable gems like "Damn everything!" as a closing and "Wondair," "Nevair," and other word-morphings, and just things I like.

Also on my mind is candy. I used to think it was a little dumb for people to give non-candy valentines, Halloween treats, etc., but now I think candy is so completely pointless (and impossible for me to pass up, I hate to say, which is why it's never in my house). I don't mean good candy, like fancy or home made, just regular junky candy. Candy should just stop being the thing we give kids. Who's with me!     (crickets.)    But I have eaten so much candy just because it was available, and I see now that it was all very pointless. (That makes it sound like candy is way back in my past. I guess it kind of is, if my past is yesterday, but obviously it's also in my future.)

18 April 2014

good friday

This is what it looked like one year ago. 
Also this is how it looks right now.

16 April 2014

act your age

Hold them up, and hold them still!
But hold them high so I can see them all!
Sometimes I give him waaaay too many instructions at once,
but that's only because he acts like he knows what I'm talking about most of the time.

Go get dressed, clean up your room, bring me Norah's hat and eat your lunch.
Put your trucks in the truck bin and your trains in the train bin so we can sweep and mop but first I have to put Norah to sleep so start without me.

And then I remember that he's three. 
And this is his view from inside the stroller on a v. v. windy day.

14 April 2014

there are apparently crosswalks in other towns, and cat statues in parks

Just for the afternoon of a perfect-weather day,
we basked in the sun in a neighborhood where friends live
(not to mention gigantic brass felines who are ostensibly commemorative of a dairy).
Of course, we don't have a suitable picture of the friends. When you're with friends you sometimes forget you live in the instagram era and just sit. But then when the friends leave your side for just a minute, you porch sit and you remember to get a photo taken of your boy too big for your lap, crushing a plastic cup.
Squishy sleepy babies love the Cramers' neighborhood.
Dads love their leather swivel recliner chairs. 
(Bitty, tell me where we can buy one.)

11 April 2014

so this is fun

And who ever heard of putting away all the groceries and picnic stuff before snapping a photo to share with the world?

07 April 2014


Last October conference Saturday Nate and I started an awesome tradition of hiking between sessions. During conference last weekend the grandparents took Calvin for a drive so we "hiked" for about an hour in the rain. I made Nate document me pushing the stroller because this is what I do for a living and I have little photographic proof. (Had little proof, past tense, because see:)

Better yet, on Sunday Calvin took us for a HIKE around the creek at the Petersons' house. He showed us where the deer "rest" and where they cross the creek and suggested that they always walk through the brambliest twiggiest areas instead going around them. I'm not convinced on that account, but I did get on my hands and knees to follow him anyway because he is awesome. He also climbed a tree.

03 April 2014

mommy wow

Calvin was afraid to go down hills for about 23 hours after he got his new bike.
I thought it was cute.
It didn't last.

01 April 2014

sing for his supper

Calvin: Mom, I'm hungry. Can I have a sandwich?
Me: No.
Calvin: Mom, I'm hungry. Why can't I?
Me: Because if I put Norah down she'll cry.
Me: (implied) And I'm about a half inch from insane so I really can't have the crying soundtrack on right now.
Calvin: Well, can I hold Norah? We will sit on my bed and you can get me a sandwich.
Me: Really? Ok. Peanut butter and jelly? 
Calvin (yelling, holding the baby): Cut into three pieces!

Because otherwise: 

31 March 2014

it is rude that we must start a week after a night like that

I went to bed early last night, forfeiting my option for a Sunday night viewing of a 20-year-old Murder She Wrote episode, in hopes that the extra hour would make up for the 2 or 3 times Norah would wake me up before morning. Somehow she must have sensed this and thought it was a terrible idea, because it didn't work out that way. Stop meddling in my sleeping plans, pretty baby!

However, as I was drifting off one of the times, I thought of a great blog post that I was excited about.

"Three things I do:

1. Send mail.
2. Use "one" as a pronoun meaning a person generally. Except one can't really put this idea into action without sounding pretentious. However, when one considers it, it is really a fitting usage and actually more logical than the commonly used "you."

And the point of it is even fuzzier. What was I going to write about?

Next up on the agenda:
I hate having a passcode on my phone, but after deleting about 120 photos like these, it's on again.

I've been reading a book of letters between sisters. Most of them are pretty boring or even sometimes a little petty (think of the stuff you tell only your sister or mom or bff) but endlessly captivating. (Except by the stuff YOU tell I don't mean YOU or really even ONE, because the odds that one's family has nazis, commies, duchesses, famous writers and soldiers are pretty slim.), If there were no photos in the book, I wouldn't like it much though. 

I've made this lemon cake twice in the last 20 days. We had it for breakfast today.


25 March 2014

i blogged last week but deleted it, luckily catherine saw it first / nate may wish i deleted this one

This picture makes me laugh, because I was really just trying to document the ancient water heater that finally broke.
My dad doesn't believe that it could be original to the 1941 house, but this ad proves otherwise. The plumber who installed the new one was like, "I sure wish I could tell you the new one is going to last as long as the old one."
I hope they put it in a museum.

We also installed and painted a new kitchen floor this week (which still needs to be sealed) and have air conditioning installation scheduled. Go us. 

18 March 2014

going there and coming home

We went to the North Country
Where the trees grow at an angle in deference to the wailing March wind
And kites take no effort
And sister's headstone is in Dubois
It is graying slightly because of the weather but at least it doesn't bend like the trees
Then back to grandma's house
Then back to our little one where we rip up carpet willy nilly
And there will soon be no turquoise left!
And then it's just a regular Tuesday like nothing even happened.

14 March 2014


Bring in garbage cans
Wash dishes, wipe counters, sweep, mop, vacuum
Fold & put away laundry
Drink apple cider vinegar
Pack for Idaho
Load up car
Finish indexing that one I started on Wednesday
Make trail mix (pour a bag of chocolate chips and some peanuts into a container)
Finish Tommy & Tuppence (Partners in Crime), look up some of their allusions
Get a new book @ library
Buy eggs (or chickens??)
Get Calvin a bike (16 inch with training wheels, red)
Make dinner Get dinner on the way out of town

12 March 2014

i've heard there was a secret chord

Once I became a mother, a previously dormant tear valve in my face was awakened: one with no manual shut off. One of the most common triggers of it is sappy music. We all know there are sappy lyrics, but I've come to believe there are also sappy notes. When they are put together, they cause an automatic salt-watery reaction in those thusly inclined. Something like a minor fall, a major lift or somesuch combination. Ask a musician, they will tell you.

And if you want more bad news (who doesn't?), an anti-inversion campaign has confirmed my suspicions that burning wood is a way bad idea for our valley home. Isn't that a bummer.

11 March 2014

a thing i learned from the internet and verified by calling my dad

I was just checking out my family tree the other day, thinking I knew everything already, and I discovered that my Grandma Stricklan had some half-siblings I didn't know about. Her mom died when she was little, which I knew, and she was mostly raised by her grandmother, but I didn't know her father remarried and had more kids. Well, he did, and they lived in California.

(The picture is Alfred H Hanson, her grandfather, sitting in a fancy elaborate chair by a leaded glass window.)

05 March 2014

two ago

Two months ago:
Two days ago:
1. I obviously let him dress himself
2. He has grown 2 inches since November, when he got those fluffy red pants (thanks grandma) and I won't be sorry at all to retire them (sorry grandma)
3. His hair grows so fast
4. He won't wear his raccoon pjs or his bear/moose pjs because the critters "look angry." Thomas is smiling, so he's ok, and the buffalo is ok because he's a silhouette: no face.