Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spook preview

More to come, but for now, here are a few pics of the little bumblebees yesterday outside Sidamo's school. See that snow? It's all that remained of our foot-and-a-half accumulation 12 hours after the snow stopped. And today? Trick-or-treating with no coats, no mittens.

See? There could be worse places to live. Where else can you go from snow angel to swingset in 48 hours?  

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Maybe it's Maybelline

Seriously, ladies, what would you give?

Will the real Mark Bittman please stand up?

This morning Greg showed Sidamo a photo of Mark Bittman in How to Cook Everything, and said, "See? This is Bitt-Man."

"That's Bitt-Man?" he asked, incredulous. "Why doesn't he have something on his face? That's not how you be Bitt-Man. This is how you be Bitt-Man!" and pulled his hood over his eyes like a mask.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Just recently Sidamo has started taking an interest in Batman and friends. He hasn't seen the movies, but the merch is unavoidable.

Today Sidamo pulled his sweatshirt hood over his eyes, sort of in cape/mask fashion, and started yelling, "I'm Bitt-Man!"

"Bitt-Man?" I asked. "Who's Bitt-Man?"

"He's a superhero!" Sidamo replied, while doing his caped, masked superhero moves.

"Bitt-Man?" I asked, racking my brain. "You mean, like Mark Bittman? The one who wrote that cookbook?"

"Yes! Bitt-Man! I'm Bitt-Man!"

Okay, I'll bite. "What's your superpower?"

"I teach Daddy how to make pancakes!"

Finally, a superhero I can get behind. Now where's the Bitt-Man merch?


Tooth count: 3
And not where you'd expect them.

First came the bottom two. Not surprising.

Then came the top one, to the right of center. It's just hanging out there by itself, waiting for some neighbors to join it. It's kinda ridiculous looking, but also kinda ridiculously cute.

Word count: 20-ish
These are the ones I can think of right now:
  • More (pronounced muh, and used to mean "Gimme that!")
  • Mommy
  • Daddy
  • Daisy (used for every dog)
  • Uh-oh
  • Beans
  • Mine (love that one)
  • Stop
  • Baby
  • Apple
  • Diaper
  • Poop
  • Pop-pop
  • Pappy (pronounced Popeye)
  • Damo (pronounced Dado)
  • Hi
  • Bye
  • Eye
  • Woof
  • Duck

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Nora is fearless, bordering on reckless. My hair is graying even more rapidly than was predestined by my genetics (did you see Pop-pop's snowy white coif? He had that by age 30). Exhibit A:

A Man, a Plan, a Canal, Ohio

About an hour from my father's home in Ohio runs a canal. On this canal one can take an historic canal tour on a replica of an old canal boat. Given the fact that this is my second time on the tour and each tour is narrated by a person very passionate about the history of the canal, I should be able to tell you more about it—even its name, maybe—but I can't. I am drawn to it more for the scenery and serenity, both of which are abundant.

Pop-pop with his youngest grandchild

The girls (me, Nora, and my beautiful niece Zoe) looking for turtles

Xavier, Zoe, and Sidamo at the front of the boat. Or the back.

After our tour, we all went to a fantastic playground to burn off some energy. It was so nice to see the big cousins playing so well with their little cousins. Because we're all scattered about the country, we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like. That means that every time I see Xavier and Zoe, they've grown about a foot apiece. I can't believe these were my teensy little niece and nephew three blinks ago. And that I used to change their diapers, and they used to spit up (profusely) on me, and I used to wake up with them in the middle of the night like I now do with my own kids, and now they're inches away from surpassing me in height. It's just not right.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sorry, hips

But fresh, homemade bread is so, so good.

And so much easier, thanks to my recent Craigslist find.

And so much more scrumptious, thanks to a book borrowed from a friend.


One kids loves 'em.

One kid hates 'em.

But they both love that beets equal bath.

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chicken pickin'

No, it's not a done deal (Greg and the municipal board have yet to sign off), but that doesn't keep me from obsessing. I've found the fantastically helpful site, which provides pretty much every ounce of education a hopeful chicken owner could ask for. The sucker of most of my time is the Breed Selection Tool, which I've tried with just about every iteration of possible requirements and preferences to determine just which chickens are right for us. My main criteria: egg production, winter hardiness, and docility. Nine breeds seem suited to our needs, and some click on a visceral level in ways others don't.

Yes, I'm talking about visceral connections with poultry.

So here are the ones that are clucking and pecking their way through my dreams (all images and descriptions from Read up, obsess a little, and cast your vote.


©2005-2009 MY PET CHICKEN, LLC.

"Australorps are the Australian take on the Orpington breed. They are calm and friendly, and excellent layers of light brown eggs. The Australorp's exceptionally soft, shiny black plumage has hints of green and purple in the sunlight. Peaceful and dignified, Australorps are an absolutely delightful bird which we highly recommend to anyone who wants a pet chicken that lays dependably."

Easter Eggers

©2005-2009 MY PET CHICKEN, LLC.

"Easter Eggers are not a breed per se, but a variety of chicken that does not conform to any breed standard but lays large to extra large eggs that vary in shade from blue to green to olive to aqua and sometimes even pinkish. Easter Eggers vary widely in color and conformation, and are exceptionally friendly and hardy. Since they are usually quite friendly to children and humans in general, they are a great choice for a family flock. Most hatcheries mistakenly label their Easter Eggers as Ameraucanas or Araucanas (or various misspellings thereof). True Ameraucanas and Araucanas are currently only available through breeders. Eater Eggers do not qualify to be shown, since they do not conform to a breed standard."


©2005-2009 MY PET CHICKEN, LLC.

"Faverolles are one of our favorite chicken breeds. They're wonderfully odd-looking, with muffs, a beard, feathered feet and five toes. Salmon Faverolles are the most commonly available variety. Hens are beautiful, with snowy breasts and fluffy white faces: their backs are a lovely honeyed salmon color with white lacing. Roosters are huge and magnificent, parading around with a virtual rainbow of colors: iridescent black where the hens are white, burnished with bronze on their backs and wings, while their hackles and saddles the color of pale straw. Faverolles roosters are particularly calm and dignified, and make great roosters for the home flock since they are not as aggressive as some others. The hens lay medium-sized light brown or creamy eggs in prolific numbers, and they are good winter layers, too. They are shy and sweet-natured, but so docile that they tend to find themselves at the bottom of the pecking order in a mixed flock.

Rhode Island

©2005-2009 MY PET CHICKEN, LLC.

"Rhode Island Reds are held in such high esteem that they're the official Rhode Island state bird. They were once hugely popular in America, though they declined right along with the small farmer. Today they're making a comeback due to small flock owners (like us!). They're the do-everything bird: they lay exceptionally well, they're valued for their meat, they're extremely cold hardy, and hardy in general. In fact, if you're not certain what type of bird to raise in your climate, chances are, the Rhode Island Reds will do well. Sadly, White Rhode Islands don't enjoy nearly the same popularity despite all their redeeming characteristics.


©2005-2009 MY PET CHICKEN, LLC.

"Stars are 'sex link' chickens, meaning they're bred specifically so that males and females are different colors when they hatch. Females are egg-laying machines that continue to lay well in the heat and cold, when many others slow down. The males are said to be good "fryers". Stars are not recognized by the American Poultry Association and are just one of many hybrid sex-link crosses available on the market today.


©2005-2009 MY PET CHICKEN, LLC.

"The Sussex have everything: they are great layers of tinted or light brown eggs--and they lay right through the coldest weather. They are dual purpose birds, though: fat-bodied and not prone to flying when mature, so they are easily fenced. In England, they used to be THE standard table bird, before the modern Cornish Crosses came along. They forage well and are economical eaters that are friendly and easily handled. Their curious nature means they will often follow you around the yard if they think they can beg a treat from you. The 'speckled' variety has plumage that gives them some camouflage from predators, too. Many tend to get more speckles after each successive molt, so they just get prettier with age. Seriously, what more could you ask for in a chicken?"


©2005-2009 MY PET CHICKEN, LLC.

"Wyandottes are a favorite amongst backyard flock owners for their dependable egg laying, easygoing nature, hardiness, and the great variety of beautiful feather patterns available. Silver Penciled, Golden Laced, Blue, Columbian and White Wyandottes are all rather rare."