Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What if

head were eyeball?
The Smaller Hooligan wants to know.

As one of the Godmothers observed years ago, "He's really weird!"

Monday, August 30, 2010

I guess they don't think of me as a girl...

The Hooligans met a nice girl somewhere in between them in age at a park.  In no time, she had them roped together with her jump rope.  She held the ends and trained them:  "Faster, right, left! Stop! Bark! Jump!".  They were very obedient.  Actually, they were falling all over themselves to outperform one-another in their efforts to be subservient.

Later, I overheard the following conversation:
Smaller Hooligan (crossly), "Girls are so weird!  They always want to tell you what to do!"
Larger Hooligan (earnestly), "Well you just do what they want!  Then they like you."

I wish, just once, they would be slavish for me (and the week before Christmas does not count.).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

rund oft

Every morning this week, I drop the hooligans off at camp--I've finally wised up.  The last week of summer is when summer gets too long.  I've outsourced it this year.

Each day I come home, and  there is the dog, sitting on the front steps, grinning.  He bounds over, absurdly pleased with himself.  He is all tail, wagging from one end to the other.

How is he getting out?  All the doors are closed, all the gates are closed.  I think he's leaping out the dining room window.  Or he's magic.  (I had a magical labrador, years ago.  She could levitate to the top of the  fridge and devour a whole cheese cake in the time it took to take a shower. Why do I like dogs?) I'm sure he left a horrible steaming pile in one of my neighbor's yards--my apologies.  We will add "close all downstairs windows" to our morning checklist, right after "make your bed" and before "brush your teeth".

Meanwhile, out on the back forty...one of the three box turtles has gone AWOL.  This is bad, as they are very quiet, well camouflaged and disinclined to draw attention to themselves. They're the opposite of the Hooligans.  Finding her will be a matter of luck. (We know it's a her because there is one boy and two girls--it's kind of turtle porn scene sometimes. Very educational....)

 Once last summer, the dog was actually useful, when he located a lost turtle. Turtles climb better and move faster than you would think.  Also, would you expect a turtle to even have the urge to explore?  They seem like sedentary creatures.  We keep them well supplied with snails and slugs aka:  crunchy wiggles. Today I will be improving the top of the turtle pen.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not dull, just dirty

When we were little, my clever sister inferred that dull was short for adult.  It made sense.  The grown ups would sit around the table FOREVER, just talking and talking, and drinking nasty things like wine and coffee.  Sometimes they would laugh very loudly at things that made no sense whatsoever.

Friday night we got to go out to dinner in Portland with friends.  We left our assorted offspring with a babysitter and a movie.  Our friends took us to a relatively new place in Portland, the Irving Street Kitchen--it was excellent. And we talked and talked and laughed uproariously and drank wine and espresso.  A snippet of the conversation went as follows:

Adult #1 "You can get anything on Amazon."
Adult #2 "Yes!  Our espresso machine died of over-use--I just ordered a new one on Amazon!"
Adult #3 "I ordered my new vibrator." (Did the last one die of over use?)
Adult #4  "I just got one of those hand pump espresso makers--it's sort of a cross between the two."

Ho ho ho.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Science experiment, and a recipe

My chickens used to have their outdoor run in what had been a raised garden bed.
Then it rained even more than usual all spring, and the roof of the chicken house collapsed.  I had just given away my old chickens, so there were no fatalities.
I hired a very competent guy to re-build the coop for me, and while we were at it, we made it more efficient, space-wise.

There is room for a hooligan in the coop now.  This could come in handy.

So I was able to re-claim my garden bed for some tomatoes.  We all know chicken shit is good fertilizer, but seriously!  It is amazing!  Here are the tomatoes in the regular bed:

Here are the chicken-shit tomatoes:

I think I need more chickens.

We ate caprese salads almost every day while we were traveling.  Fortunately, they are well within my capabilities to replicate, and it's easy to grow all the produce.  I need a buffalo, for the mozzarella.  Since I am also fond of melon with proscuitto, perhaps we should get a pig, too.  I wonder what the city codes are....

Sliced tomatoes
Sliced up fresh mozzarella
basil leaves
Arugula (optional)

Pesto dressing:
minced basil(6 sprigs)
minced parsly (2 sprigs)
minced mint (1 sprig)
one or two garlic cloves-minced
juice of one lemon
1/3 C olive oil (better is better)

You can leave out the pesto part and just do a lemon garlic olive oil thing if the basil leaves in the salad are enough for you, or you can buy a tub of pesto and thin it with a little lemon juice if you are short on time.  I could live on this.  I like to expand it with sliced grilled eggplant or sausages and grilled french bread.  I think we'll have it tonight.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A question of no particular import

What does the ubiquitous taffy at the beach have to do with salt water?
And why do I buy it and eat it when I don't even like it?  The Hooligans love it, because, you know--it has corn syrup!  They ate my share.

Monday, August 16, 2010

They'll Eat Anything

After finishing a plate of escargot, the Smaller's Hooligan's comment:
"Those are so good!  And now we can have frog legs!"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guest Blog-- The Man Who Lives in My House-- "Those Rollerblades Suck"

The Hooligans' Mother is too addicted to her new knitting project to do her "real" job-- writing this blog.  So, I, the Man Who Lives in Her House, am charged with the duty.  Hopefully, this will not be as lame as when Bill Keane, the creator of the evil Family Circus, goes on "vacation" (too drunk to draw right) and "Billy" takes over.

Larger Hooligan recently scored tennis shoe roller-skates at a garage sale (see figure 1).

Figure 1
Smaller Hooligan has been busy stealing them at every opportunity even though they are far too big: They are the new cool thing. It seems to have slipped his mind that we have a basket full of excellent rollerblades that were Christmas presents two years ago.  I happened to know that the smaller hooligan's feet now fit the larger out grown rollerblades.  After the predictable squabble over attempted roller-skate theft, this was our conversation this morning:

Me: "Go and get those red rollerblades, they will fit you perfectly!'

SH: "Huh?  Those rollerblades suck!"

"No they don't.  They are FINE."

"The straps always come right off."

"No they don't.  Go get them"

"Well, they have spider webs and spiders on them!" (from dis-use)

"Just wipe them off!  See, they are great!"

(After sliding the rollerblades on to a perfect fit) "Oh, I think I was thinking about my old ones."

"Let's go get your helmet and pads."

"Goodbye friendly father."

"Goodbye friendly son." (see figure 2)
Figure 2

Five minutes later:

"EMERGENCY!  EMERGENCY! [The larger hooligan] scraped his knee and needs the BIG kind of bandaid!!"

Believe it or not, this actually got the Hooligan's Mother off the couch and out to the street, where she administered first aid.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Orthadonture Couture

Look at this!

Here's the link, in case you want to order one.

I find this so entertaining, I think I would wear it, even though it is completely revolting.
It's too bad I didn't have a chain to attach my retainer to back in the sixth grade....it would have saved me (and my mom. sorry mom.) from an afternoon of looking through the school dumpster after I scraped it off my lunch tray...oops.

I spotted this trinket on the blog Whorange, by Tula Jeng.  If you haven't come across Whorange, just click here: http://www.whorange.net/whorange/page/2/ .  You'll be captivated.  Where does she find this stuff?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Delinquents of Heroic Proportions

My college town has a very well funded football team (thanks in large part to alum/nike founder, Phil Knight).  It is somewhat ironic, given that our university (and education system in general) is chronically underfunded.  In a typical week, our local paper might report that we have difficulty keeping professors because our pay is below standard, and also that the newly completed athletes' center (funded by the aforementioned Mr. Knight) cost in the neighborhood of $1100 per square foot.  Many folks here care deeply about football.  Unfortunately, a number of our players have had run-ins with the law.  A few stand-outs seem to have proclivities for brawling and larceny.  That makes a big splash in the paper, too.  To the university's credit, those players have (for the most part) been benched or booted.  The Hooligans follow all of this with great interest.  Hence the following conversation:

SM. Hooligan, "Mom, does Eugene have a lot of crime?"
Me, "Um, no, not really.  I mean, a lot of bikes get stolen, but not the really bad crime stuff, like in Baltimore."
Larger Hooligan, "Mainly, the criminals are football players."

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Where have we been?  Well, to the land of really big sausages:
Larger Hooligan is clearly enthused about such a vast quantity of bologna.

And really small cars:
He could drive this!  Just give him a chance!

That would be Italy, mostly.  We had a lot of miles.  Some of our children were horrible travelers in the early years.  We gritted our teeth and assured each other (over the howling from the car seat--how he hated the car seat!) that someday it would be fun to go places as a family.

It was crazy fun.  I would do it again in a minute.  But I am really happy to be home.  Thanks to our housesitter all the plants are alive, the chickens and turtles are accounted for, and the dog seems to be well adjusted.  And my bed....I love my own bed more than words can say.  Now that I have plowed through the mountains of mail and laundry I plan spend the rest of the summer blogging, gardening, and going for very minor outings with the Hooligans--like maybe to the library.  Or to pick some blueberries.  That's it.  Oh, and I'm taking a vacation from wine and dessert, because even though we walked miles every day, we also ate gelato and swilled mucho vino.  All my clothes seem to have shrunk, funny.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

very old friends

When we were very young friends....20 years ago...in college.... we were roommates. Let's call her the Force of Nature.  Like a Tornado, or a tsunami.  I mean that in a good way.  Her sheets had dinosaurs.  Mine were floral.  Her poster was star wars.  I had a faux Monet.  She frequently stayed up until 4 in the morning, studying Japanese and serving as an unpaid therapist to various guys who needed to "talk." In the morning she would hit the snooze about fifty times before she dragged herself out of bed, swearing about being late for the language lab.  Since i tend to be irritatingly cheerful in the morning,  I would sometimes accompany The Force to breakfast in the dining hall just for fun.  I would have eggs and salsa.  I think she had a bowl of Surly-O's. And black coffee.

I was an English major, so none of my classes started before 10 a.m.  Instead of studying, I just read myself to sleep every night--passing out around 10.  I like a good 7 or 8 or 12 hours of sleep.  Plus a nap in the afternoon if possible.  My nickname was ten o'clock Kate.  We were the worst possible combination of lifestyle preferences for roommate-dom, but after surviving one another for a year,  we're stuck with each other for life. 

At the beginning of this summer,  I ran off to the Bay Area for the Force's bachelorette party.  She is going to marry a lovely man who knows how to make duck confit.  Score!  It was an ideal mix of chi-chi shopping, food, wine, dancing in an African bar in the Mission, more beverages in the Gold Dust bar (I stayed up 'til 2 in the morning!), a drive through Napa with breaks for wine and picnicking,  and the finale of a clothing optional hot spring spa.  That's quite a run on sentence.  Appropriate--it was quite a run-on weekend.

There were many best parts, but the one that really stands out is that The Force has many similarly powerful friends, who did all the (flawless) planning and organizing.  It was like being in the company of goddesses.  It would be cool if they formed a junta and took over the world. We'd all be better off.  I'm hoping for a cabinet post as official blogger.
The cat who once kept me up all night.          Two Goddesses.
Wine tasting in Napa.               The bride. She's so demure.