Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My where has this week gone post?

I can't believe it's Wednesday, yes Wednesday folks and I just now pulled up my blog to update. Ok, got sidetracked again, and again today. I actually have 2 big posts to write, but today is not the day.

Seriously folks, this week has been on crack. and really for no good reason. Monday was a teacher workday so I spent most of the morning grading and working on NHS stuff. As much as I wanted to give it up as I am doing it alone this year. I know, get in line to tell me I Told You So.

Ben is a whole post unto itself. Needless to say the intersection of not napping, not eating lunch, and a change BACK to pull ups after a year in undies due to the ongoing pooping issues. In the last week he has hit, slapped, kicked me to the point of leaving marks. I am at the end of my rope and yesterday's trip to the park was the final straw. Again, this is a post once I can write it without every other word being of the 4 letter variety.

I am crazy tired. Like fell asleep eating dinner last night tired. Like tried to watch night 2 of the Ken Burns new documentary and woke up after midnight and realized I missed most of the show. Insert your own "PBS Documentary = cure for insomnia" joke here, but what I did watch made me want more than anything to achieve a lifelong goal of a 2 week camping and paddling trip in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark.

You know, one day when the kids don't poop on themselves, I don't have to clean dog puke off the rug, and I'm not waking up in my rice pilaf. I don't think this trip is happening anytime soon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Phone Photo Friday- The Preschool Edition

Title: The better side of age 3.33. Why do I think "chain gang" when I walked into my friend's house and saw the boys in this state of play.

Simply put parenting this age is hard, frustrating, exhausting, and would try the patience of Job. The gender difference it also becoming more evident in that when Ben plays with girls I notice a much more calm, peaceful play date. Given that last weekend I was horrified that it was MY son who was leading the charge to play as if he was a crazed animal on a free pass from the zoo. I think I am just going to have to resign myself that raising a boy involves lots of running around for no reason and screaming, "You're my prisoner!" to the trees.

It feels like the past couple of weeks I have been one step forward and two steps back. I am definitely in a parenting funk and looking for the emergency exit. Ben is not napping at school. Knowing the set up of his class of 3-5 year olds given from 1-2pm to lay down, fall asleep, and then be up at 2 pm I'm not surprised. Ben's entire life he has needed at least 30 mins to settle down/talk/sing himself to sleep.

Add to this that our "no thank you bite" plan to try new foods is failing miserably. Most nights I am giving in to the pbj, goldfish, applesauce trifecta because I simply too tired to keep pushing him to try to eat something new.

Ben's school is all nut free, so needless to say my attempts at cheese sticks and other protein sources is ALSO going to pot. At least one day his lunch box was completely full when I picked him up. When I asked his teacher she commented that he often is so hyped up at lunch that getting him to eat is a struggle. If we are going anywhere after school I am now packing a super snack to avoid meltdown in the store.

And oh yes, the pooping in the underwear continues. My friend reminded me that it has almost been a year since we when undies/poopy undies only. I think I blocked out that I should have bought stock in Borax. Seriously, anything with the word "mule" on the box can get out anything.

Yesterday he was both poopy and wet on the playground. I was almost ready to we myself when I didn't see the auspicious plastic bag containing that day's undies tied to his lunchbox. As I approached I was thinking, Goodberrys! as both Ben and Mommy reward. Oh no, HELL NO when I approach he is yelling from across the playground. Mommy I pooped!

Breathe...this too shall pass and one day you will miss more than anything the running commentary about firetrucks vs. monsters in his sweet voice.

At least we have a babysitter for the 1st time since before the layoff to have dinner with our friends and their 6 week old beautiful daughter. Get my baby love on, you bet.

Come home and wish like anything for one day of that with Ben for old times sake, even more.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fifteen In, and Least Fifteen More to Go

Happy First Date circa Sept. 24, 1994.

The circumstances: My sorority pledge bash. I was suppose to go with a friend but at the last minute he wrecked his car and had to go home for the weekend. In comes to the rescue my sorority sister Angie (and her future husband David who was Bill's roommate). We went to the party followed by watching PCU in their dorm. Nice that David and Bill didn't pick the Shannon Tweed movie they kept laughing about much to my and Angie's ignorance while we were at Blockbuster.

It wasn't a blind date as who on our campus didn't know the infamous Bill Vinson? Up at 3 am in the computer lab typing a paper? Hey there's Bill, who can fix any computer emergency. He doesn't remember this, but I asked him for help in the fall of 1993 in the Foreign Language computer lab thinking, hey that guy in my French 2 class, and he looks nice enough to help get my paper to print.

Fifteen years in we are celebrating 13 years married in December. We have a beautiful son to show for daily perseverance of the bitter and sweet.

Here's to all that 2010 holds as well as the next fifteen years together.

love you-


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Biscuits So Good You Will Slap yo' Momma!

Over the weekend my friend Katie and I went the the 2nd installment of Southern Biscuits, an encore cooking class to one we did 2 years ago that taught the fine art of the dropped vs rolled biscuit. Both classes were taught at foodies mecca and Chapel Hill establishment, A Southern Season. I seriously went here once a week in grad school just to eat and troll the store.

Saturdays class was not a disappointment! On the menu to make and eat: Pimento cheese biscuits, sweet potato biscuits, chicken and dumplings, pulled cider-glazed pork with pineapple chutney, peach cobbler, and buttermilk ice cream.

Of these quite yummy recipes I feel necessary to post the pimento cheese biscuit recipe.I am scrapping my entire planned menu to host October book club just to make these biscuits with thinly sliced country ham. I also think I am going to make the sweet potato biscuits and pulled pork with a Cooks Illustrated Carrot Cake to finish. I need a veggie or salad option for this harvest meal, ideas?

Simply put, these biscuits are SO good you will Slap Your Momma and then ask for more!

Pimento Cheese Biscuits- Southern Season (Marilyn Markel)

2 cups all- purpose four
2 tsp white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cream of tartar
1/2 shortening (used chilled Crisco sticks)
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (they demo with a sharp white Cheddar)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (I would add less as I'm not a pepper fan)
2 TBS pimentos (small jar)
2/3 whole milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until the shortening. Add the cheese, green pepper, and pimento with a fork. Stir in milk and mix well.

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead 5 times, scraping well after each time and leveling out the dough into a 1/2 inch. Roll out and cut with a small biscuit cutter. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake 15 mins and brush with melted butter as soon as removed. Eat until you beg for mercy or the pan runs out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This is just so wrong, I had to post it to prove it!

I had thought of a name for my annual fall concoction, maybe Food of the Gods?

More like recipie to throw up at 7 am after eating a big handfull sitting in my car not wanting to go into school (TRUE)

I can't help it, I LOVE freakin' candy corn mixed with peanuts. Top that with the bag of popcorn Bill brought me from Chicago that I promptly finished in place of dinner last night and I really should be ashamed of my food choices.

Ok... real recipies from my weekend awesome cooking class coming tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ben/Mommy Home Alone Wrap Up

Bill got home safely from Chicago last night to find me grading tests and watching the Emmys. Oh hell it was Jon Hamm vs Gabriel Byrne again and that Breaking Bad Guy Won NOOOOO! For the last 72 hours I have had Ben on my own and have been the kids program director on the Camp Mommy Cruise ship. Seeing the forecast was originally suppose to be rainy and cool all weekend long I planned for some activities with other kids. There is only so much a mom born without the gene for enjoying children's programing can stand!

Luckily the weather held out and other than my child who has been on a strike from eating anything other than an pbj sandwich the weekend was good. Being the mean mother I am and refusing to become a short order cook, we have been trying to get him to eat a "no thank you bite" before he gets something different. My hope was a little peer pressure from other kids would lead to at least trying other foods. Unfortunately this as become an issue of wills and has lead to much whininess and mom exasperation.

On the positive, here are the highlights of the weekend.

Friday night we when to the Raleigh Railhawks game as his soccer team was allowed to run the field at halftime. I don't think they would have thought 3 year olds attempting to rip down a penalty flag would be a draw along with the free bounce house and hot dogs. Luckily we rescued the flag and promptly left.

Saturday I took Ben to his first soccer practice. I left early to pick up a friend who had tickets to a Cooking Class already planned before Bill's trip. Separate post with recipes later this week. Alas friends to the rescue to take Ben home for lunch and a nap.. what nap? When I picked him up the boys were chained at the feet with a slinky like 2 convicts dragging a giant Cars themed car carrier around the house.

Sunday we headed over for an early lunch and then to Durham Science and Life to visit the new Dinosaur exhibit. The boys especially liked the butterfly house.

Finally a tired Ben and very tired mommy came home where naps ensued followed by a yummy dinner of falafal and couscous for mommy and you guessed it, a pbj for Ben.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Phone Photo Friday

WOW... what a different 75 lbs lost makes. Bill is flying to Chicago this morning for a celebration weekend after meeting his first major weight loss goals.

Last night he was packing and decided to have a mini fashion show for us. He started pulling out clothes that I haven't seen in over 10 years and they FIT! SO, SO, SO proud of you Honey and hope you have a great weekend.

Ben and I of course have a jam packed weekend of fun including a soccer game tonight (if the rain holds off), soccer practice tomorrow, getting together with friends to play, and making both pancakes and cookies.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

When There is Candy Corn in the Cart, Summer is Officially OVER!

Ben and I were wandering around the Halloween displays at Target yesterday buying the first of MANY bags of candy corn when it hit me, Summer is OVER!

I guess I have been in denial, but I went back an reread my June post Now Taking Applications for Camp Mommy and Daddy about hopes for summer plans and it made me smile to think that between his June 9th third birthday and the start of school on Aug 25th we have had a memorable summer 2009

Of the list of 25 goals, all family oriented things to try and do over the summer I got 17/25 completed. Some Favorite outings: Overnight Beach trip, New Hill Railroad, NC Zoo and Aquarium, Swim lessons, water week and washing the school bus at Ben's new school, and our week long family road trip to Destin, Fl.

Items not accomplished that I really wanted to do and hope to make a priority for the fall or next summer: Nature Hike at a state park, see a car race, host a gallery walk of summer artwork created by Ben, invite friends down for a Preschool car wash, workshop at the Scrap Exchange, start a family cooking night.

It has been a stressful, crazy summer on the adult end. I hope never again to have so much facing us in a matter of months. I can take away from the past 3 months that we have spent more time than we ever have as a family and for that there are no regrets.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Purple Soccer Balls, Chick Fil-A, and POOP... they are related!

Yesterday was one of those almost surreal busy days. After a full day of teaching these horrible cheesy mnemonic devices to my Civics kids to learn the Amendments, I went to get my hair cut and then to the grocery. When I finally got home, Bill and Ben were kicking a purple soccer ball throughout the downstairs of our house. Nice!

Supposedly Ben pooped on the school potty yesterday and from my questions it appeared legit. Bill took him to get a soccer ball as a reward. Of course what does Ben pick out immediately but a neon pink ball. Bill got him settle on a purple one.

Once home Ben proceeded to poop on his little potty, in case you counting that is TWO on the potty, no accidents in his pants in ONE DAY!!!! You cannot imagine how much excitement there was going on in my kitchen. Even funnier Bill said later was my "how to wipe yourself" blow by blow desciption in helping him clean up the potty. Who cares... this is HUGE!

We headed out to our new Chick Fil-A premier night after I being the total cheap scape entered a local contest to win Chick Fil-A for a year. While I didn't win, the event was really nice. They had a red carpet complete with the mascot cow, flowers and candles on the tables, string quartet, you could order whatever you wanted for free from the menu and every person invited to premier night got 10 free sandwich coupons and kids got a plush cow.

I had Fall Open House at school so Bill stayed to see if we won any of the raffles and I took Ben with me to school.... really big mistake. He was a crazed animal running around ducking in between desks yelling into a giant plastic microphone, near killing himself shoving stuff into the overhead projector plug, and then almost broke my laptop by shoving post it notes in the CD ROM drive. Ben also decided that in a room full of parents that announcing "I gotta go potty... I poop" not once, but to 2 different classes. Neither did the school administration that were dropping into rooms randomly thought this was nearly as funny as Ben did. Luckily most parents commented they remembered those days and didn't stick around after the dog and pony show.

Oh well, what did I expect from a child with no nap, excitement of a purple soccer ball, overall poopling craziness, loaded up on croutons and ice cream and then a captive audience to watch his antics.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A 3 Year Olds Libray Book Selection Compared to a 34 Year Old

Bill decided to attend an all day conference at a local tech venue so I tried to think what I could pack into our morning to wear Ben out. We are 5 for 5 days at not napping at school :-( We are heading over to friends house tonight as they have the new Beatles Rock Band game and are hosting a party so I tried to do a late nap so Ben will last late to play with the bevy of boys that will be there.

1st Stop- The local library to return books and pick up new ones.

Ben's walked away with:

All About Machines
Trucks, Trucks, Trucks
Garbage Trucks
A Spanish Language Picture Dictionary for Kids

Heather walked away with:

The Yiddish Policeman's Union- Michael Chabon
Still Life with June- Darren Greer (totally picked this up based on the cover and the insane blurb on the back)
God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian- Kurt Vonnegut
125 Best Biscuit Mix Recipes (after picking up Reduced Fat Bisquick on a mega sale, I'm inspired)

We then hit a local soccer club that Bill signed us up for classes for the next few months. Ben was totally in love with kicking the balls, sitting on the balls (insert how big are your balls joke here), and gathering all the balls into the middle of the playing field.

We had gone back and forth about either doing soccer this fall or indoor swim lessons at Bill's gym. We decided on the soccer after Ben played it at school and incessantly talked about playing "balls". Again, insert inappropriate joke here.

I hope that Bill and I both get something out of these classes. For Bill a change to rediscover organized sports and for me a chance to clean my house in peace while Bill takes him to class. Either way, with a tuckered out child in for a long Sat afternoon nap, we all win.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Phone Friday- Total Randomness

Earlier in the week I made a berry cobbler using the following cookbook. I have collected cookbooks for about 15 years and have quite a collection. One of my well- stained favorites is from my grandmother Hendricks' church in Easley, SC. When I got married, all the Hendricks women threw a family recipe shower and I got 3 copies of this cookbook. Really and truly it has some AWESOME food. After all I don't know any self respecting lady in that church that would show up at a church potluck and serve something out of a box.

In particular my fav recipe is for Crusty Cream Cheese Pound Cake by my great aunt Hope. It literally has a pound each of butter, flour, eggs, and sugar. There is also a section dedicated to "in memory of recipes". Most are from the same woman who dedicated a recipe to everyone in the church cemetery. I think she even dedicated her famous frosted pickle recipe to someone who was not even dead yet!

My other picture is of my back wall in my classroom. After watching Obama's health care speech, I could not be more hopeful that something MIGHT change. Most of my "shrine" of pictures and newspaper headlines came from the Inauguration trip. I still can't believe that I was there, in person standing in that moment of history. It was definitely a highlight of 2009, if not to say my entire life. Watching the speech reminded me how much I miss the excitement of last year's election and most of all working with my AP kids on the campaigns. I had 100% of my AP kids pass and get credit on the national exam. I have to think some of them like politics as much as I do!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hot House Action, SC Style

Once again I am proud of my home state to reinforce the sterotype that we are home of the loony, irate, bitter, and nuts citizentry. When I pulled up my email this morning there several messages from friends dating back to high school regaling that South Carolina once again has proven their stupidity when Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouted out "You lie" when the president said illegal immigrants would not benefit from his proposals during his speech on Healthcare last night. Thanks SC, you never fail to give the Daily Show it's headline sketch.

Is it not enough that the sitting Governor is refusing to vacate his office pending removal for his "appalachian digressions", or that one of their Senators sounds like that whiny kid you know would out the class to the teacher for playing eraser chase on the sub.

In honor of my utter lover (and embarrassment) of my home state and my desire to at some point serve as their Public Relations Director, I bring you my greatest hits of the stupidity of the state that started the Civil War.

1. 1856- In retialitation for a anti-slavery speech, SC Rep Preston Brooks beat MA Senator Charles Sumner with his cane, proving that even boys with pansy ass names and likely a seersucker suit are really rednecks ready to "git a fight on" if defamed

2. In the 1980s Gov Carroll Campbell opened the states boarders to accept nuclear waste from across the nation at the Barnwell Site in the name of the education funds that it would raise. Once again, giving credence to Cory Hart's famous song, " I wear my sunglasses at night"... for real

3. The state still offers a license plate emboldened with the phrase "In God we Trust" with the flag of the great state of the confederacy just under the stars and stripes.

4. Road Work Signs throughout the state that read, "Let'em Work, Let' Em Live". An example of SC's stellar educational system. Don't even get me started on the long time Tourism campaign, "Smilin' Faces, Beautiful Places"

5. While we are on statistics, 1st in Domestistic Violence, 1st in Teen Pregnancy, 1st in Rickets.

6. The mini-bottle law leading to being 1st in Drunk Driving for the fact that your non-watered down bar drinks is the perfect way to cap off a Tuesday am bender with a 24 oz Long Island Ice on your way to before work.

7. My friend's 2nd grade teacher who misprounced every spelling word, like D-U-N-K-Y. Seriously, my 10th grade homeroom teacher bragged she had been kicked in the head by a horse. My Geometry teacher's favorite quote before she put her head on her desk to sleep was, "I can answer that question with a NO or a HELL No"

8. The sitting Governor (the one being investigated), showed up for his 1st day in office carrying 2 pigs, just in case you didn't catch either he wanted to reduce pork barrel spending, or maybe just that he ALSO has a farm fetish.

9. The re-election of the late, great Strom Thurman. The man who holds the filibuster record at over 24 hours railing against a truly horrible bill, the 1957 Civil Rights Bill. I wonder if by the end if he fell into the arms of the sweet young thing that was with him when I had the unfortunate meeting with him in 1983. Even in 3rd grader on a Girl Scout trip I knew he was a total sell out.

Gone are the days when a low country accent evoked images of bow-tied gentlemen sipping cocktails on a shady front porch, yes ma'am/no sir manners and home cooking so good you would slap your mamma. These have been replaced with images of NASCAR sponsored BBQ sauces, secretly gay pastors, and super sized people shopping for XXX-L Git-R-Done shirts at Wal Mart.

Thank you Joe Wilson, for making me once again glad I escaped north of the border.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I promise not to get on a soapbox or another political jag two days in a row, but rather to say everyone should watch Obama's speech before Congress tonight about health care. This is an issue WAY to long in the making not to take seriously and to think about how you want your elected representatives to vote.

I find it fascinating (in that civics teacher way) that when Social Security was proposed during the Great Depression and Medicare/Medicaid as part of LBJ's Great Society initiatives there was overwhelming support and a desire for government to play a role to provide essential services to the most needy citizens.

How is this different? What does it take to convince people that we do need some type of reform when 50 million Americans, many of them children, have little to no medical coverage. I cannot imagine my life without the saving graces of medical care. It was loss of our medical insurance more than anything else that was hardest to swallow with this recent job loss. And I can firsthand account that my family would have likely declared bankruptcy had my dad not had insurance with a decade long fight with long term illness. Insurance should not be a luxury for who have jobs or can afford it, it's a necessity and we all pay the price to cover the uninsured.

I can't think of a better story that represents that in a country of so much wealth, so many do without. Check out a Times story about Remote Area Medical's recent LA stop in which thousand were served. This is thinking BIG and not letting partisan politics mire down much needed change in the way we think about health care.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Worthy Education

All last week I followed the ongoing news story about protest over Obama's speech to American schools, but it didn't hit home that this was a story playing out in my school just as much as schools across the country. As I was leaving Friday afternoon I was talking to our school receptionist who commented that the phone had rung off the hook with irate parents demanding that the video not be aired.

Wow... I wonder if these same people can quote drop out stats for our state/nation or knows that under No Child Left Behind that kids that are classified as Special Education students must meet the SAME standards that non-identified kids must meet for the school to be deemed "successful."

I wonder if they even read the text of the speech before jumping to the conclusion that a message about staying in school and being responsible MUST have a political agenda.

For 8 years I didn't allow students to disparage the sitting President in my classroom. It was often hard to teach both sides of the aisle and even harder to sit through an assignment I created on defending the constitutionality of GITMO. What I got out my students was what I wanted, to push them out of their comfort zone, practicing research skills, and most of all speaking up with an educated opinion.

It makes me sad to know of all the hoops required of me to show this video if I HAD the time given the 900 (not a typo) terms and 78 objectives I have to teach/shove into 90 days. Simply put it's easier to NOT show it than to warrant irate attention.

Given this a time period where I didn't receive even a COLA raise this year, was not paid for my above state average test scores, and just spent at least a hundred bucks on new supplies given we have no supply budget this year, I would much rather play it safe than get battled down in fight I have no time for.

I know that I am teaching my kids all the tenants of Obama's message whether they see the video or not. Don't tell anyone that I might encourage your child to stay in school and make something of themselves!

Just in case you are missing "the way thing used to be" to quote the great historian Rush Limbaugh,

From my "Pardon My President" desk calendar, an apology on behalf of the English Language for such Bush Jr. classics as uninalienable rights, nuke-u-ler, misunderestimated, and who could forget "is our children learning?" What's a schoolchild supposed to thinking with the holder of our nation's highest office has such poor speaking skills? For crying out loud, wasn't his wife a librarian?

God I miss Dan Quayle!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Roundup

Make this Labor Day with little labor... ok I lied I am going to clean the house/laundry, but all in all it's been a weekend of relaxing. Here are the highlights in pictures.

Friday night Bill and I watched State of Play... not bad, kinda another Spy Game rip off.

Sat am we picked up our friend's daughter at 8 am on the way to the NC Zoo. Their family is in the middle of moving into a new house and I figured a few hours of moving minus of 3 year old would be helpful.

We had a great time at the Zoo, but whew... I was tired. The kids did really well and we strategically planned what to see and what to skip and most importantly how to best not walk ourselves to death and use the tram between the Africa and Americas campus

We did nothing Sat night but eat BOGO take out Mexican and watch the already cancelled show Kings on Netflix... good and Ian McShane is amazing! Ben did help Bill measure for the new cable before he went to bed. He is obsessed with calling himself a "workerman" these days and loves the Mighty Machines about garbarge trucks

Sunday am Ben and I went to church and then met Bill at the pool for one final time before the outdoor pool closes and we cancel our free month of a family pass at the gym. on the way home I hit the grocery and hit the motherload of marked down food. I felt the need to artistically arrange the food including a whole line of discountinued spices (not expired) that were only a dollar each!!!!

Our longtime friends the Pressley family came down Sunday afternoon and we took the boys (all 3) to the neighborhood pool with the men ran cable under the house. I SO got the better end of that deal! We enjoyed way too much food including homemade churned ice cream with "sparkles" according to Ben.

The kids played, we dished and laughed, and once again another weekend with friends we have known almost our entire 10 years in NC. Three kids, Three companies Matt and Bill have worked for together, and lots of weekend nights together over yummy food.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Phone Photo Friday

I know LauraC is out of town, but had the perfect pic to post this week. I recently posted about my fear of the H1 N1 and have offered my students mad extra credit to keep us well stocked in hand sanitizer and Kleenex.

Think teaching my classes in a hazmat suit might be overkill, but do check out the Gov't PSA competion to educate about Swine Flu at Freakonomics blog.

Remember this is the same gov't that told you that duct tape and plastic sheeting would protect you from a chemical attatck. Yeah, sure...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Why Barbara Kingsolver Would Not Eat Porkrinds

I have been playing with the title for this post this morning. Here were some other options: I Really Don't Want to Admit that I am Eating a Poptart and Drinking Kool Aid with Splenda for Breakfast

OR I AM a Good Person Even if I Don't Grow my own Food and Frankly am Ok Buying something shipped on a Truck.

OR I Teach School for Pennies for what my Degree Could Earn Me, If I Want to Eat Lunchables that Cost a Dollar on Sale, Don't Preach to Me!

I tried really hard to get into Barbara Kingsolver's nonfiction narrative of living a year on sustainable food soucres. I already had heard that Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was a little on the preachy side, but I loved thePoison Wood Bible and overall the purpose of the book so I added it to my summer reading list.

Instead I am stopping on the 5th Chapter and returning this book to the library for someone else to enjoy/feel bad that they are contributing to the demise of the earth because in a pinch they used Ziploc bags to pack a lunch.

It's not that she doesn't make very valid points about how much fossil fuels are used bringing food to market, the wasteful nature of farm subsidies, or the increased use of pesticides in our foods. I am concerned about these things and yes try to be cognizant when shopping and choosing food.

If given the chance to buy my veggies from our local farmer's market, like last weekend, I will. If given the chance to buy organic milk and cut down on meat we eat weekly,I do. BUT, I am also going to eat porkrinds when I am traveling on the road. Interstate Travel Plazas call to me on a long road trips.

Our family food bill has plummeted since Bill's surgery. We no longer eat out :-( and most weeks our grocery bill is down by 60%-70%. Packing Ben's lunch everyday with food he will eat (peanut butter avoided) has been a challenge. Most nights back at school I have been making salads or eating out of my freezer full of dinners carefully prepared for the return of busy nights.

Bringing attention to the American public about the real source of their food is honorable, but making me feel that I need to forgo any conveniences is why I stopped reading this book.

On the positive I did copy several recipes to try with the tomatoes and herbs I have growing in my yard so all is not lost. I might come back to this book in a crisis of conscious, but likely I would invest that energy in school reform given the nature of lower graduation rates, social promotion, and the changing demographics of schools nationwide that need to be address with real solutions not a Civics lesson by your local politician.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Obligatory 1st Day School Photo

This not so great shot was the best of about 15 pics I snapped with my phone in an attempt to get the best of the best 1st day of school photos. In most of the pics Ben is holding his Lighting McQueen Lunchbox in front of his face or stuffing his face with the bag of Cheerios, OR a common pic technique squinting his eyes and yelling cheese.

As we were driving to school in the pouring down rain Monday we passed at least 2 other people posing their kids on the front steps to get that famous 1st day shot. I so wish I had my all time favorite of myself in 1980 standing in front of a baby blue Ford LTD boat wearing a halter top and short shorts with Little House on the Prairie Braids. Classy!

I play Bunco with one of his new teachers and I resisted all temptation to ask last night about Ben's progress. I brought her a bag of tissues, wipes, and some other "dream" items like an electric pencil sharpener and hand towels for the class to pass off and she immediately she had to tell me that Ben was making new friends and seemed to be loving the class.

As expected he is gravitating towards the the older boys who had helped him in the bathroom on Monday when he of course pooped on himself. He had a poop-free day yesterday until just as we were getting to car. I have to believe being back in a structured daily environment is going to help.

One thing that is really different about this school is that due to the extremely limited parking, they run carpool for am/pm pickup. It seems strange that I/Bill literally just pulls up and a teacher opens the door, I hand him his lunchbox, and he hops out to walk in with the teacher.

My big, big boy is nowhere near the baby I so wish for him to be (for like an hour until he screams uncontrollably at 3 am).