|It's amazing what some Aldi flowers and a fourteen year old can do.|
Dorot frozen herb cubes are a helpful cooking timesaver. I mentioned these in a comment on this post. I just used the basil in some pasta last night. The garlic works the best. The parsley and basil seem to lose a little flavor, I think because they are so finely chopped.
I read The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson this week. LOVED it! The cover is very off putting, but inside the book, there is an entire illustrated Bestiary. The story is about a dystopian future where everything is made of plastic, and everyone has cell phones, children spend their school days in front of computers, their evenings in front of tvs, ads are everywhere. The main characters, Henrietta, Gary, and Rose find a way to escape into the past for a few hours every afternoon. They discover a wild housecat, learn to savor old things, especially books, and have a final showdown with the Wikkeling.
I also read Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look. These easy read paperbacks are super fast-paced.
I was a little disconcerted with Chapter 2. Alvin receives a Houdini escape kit, but he and his siblings realize that it lacks a straitjacket, so his brother makes one. Alvin ends up left in the basement restrained by the straitjacket, tied, handcuffed and taped up in a cardboard box (that fortunately has air holes) where no one can here his cries. His dad comes and finds him and saves his life, which has apparently happened before (the life saving not the restrained-in-a-box scenario). I really hope no kids try that out. The description of Alvin getting claustrophobia in the box, plus the real risk of suffocation are super scary.
Other than that, Alvin and his family appear to be Christians, praying and talking about God, without mockery. Alvin has some cool friends, including Flea, who is blind in one eye so she gets to wear an eye patch all the time and look like a pirate. Flea also wears special shoes because one leg is longer than the other. I was most impressed with Alvin's love and regard for his parents. They are both caring and engaged parents, and Alvin sees them as heroes in his life. All very cool characteristics not often found in popular juvenile fiction .
Spring is nearly here. The Chef ordered a pump with which to drain the rink. No, it doesn't ruin the grass, and no, we don't get any water in our basement and we don't flood the neighbors' yards. It will take a few days for the water to all get pumped to the gutter. Then, we will slice up the liner, letting any remaining water seep into the lawn. The liner will get put out with the trash, the wooden boards and stakes will be stored away until November. Sort of sad that there's no more skating. Sort of glad that this won't be my view from the back door anymore.
The Chef and I picked up a huge bulk meat order from Zaycon Foods this week. I had first heard of Zaycon Foods from Mashup Mom, and then I saw some of my cousins in Missouri had liked them on Facebook. So, we signed up for their emails, ordered when the window opened. and are now the proud owners of 40 lbs. of ground beef, 40 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and 30 lbs. of thick-sliced meaty bacon.
The website says that the chicken is 100% natural with no hormones, additives or artificial ingredients. I did like how the color wasn't that funky Perdue yellow, or Kirkland pink. But dang, those are some mighty big breasted chickens. The Chef, after re-packaging the chicken into meal-sized quantities, referred to them as "nuclear" chickens.
It was about four months between when their products were last available in this area and now. That means I will have to ration the bacon to make it last that long
Baby J has been wearing Trumpette socks for ten months. Yes, she is ten months old! The socks are adorable and are a huge hit with her daily Mass entourage. They do have one drawback though: big, black sock lint on tiny baby toes. The rest of my fam is grossed out by this, and especially by the fact that I took photos of it, but I think it's adorable. I could save it for her Baby book, because as Baby #5, the Lord knows, there's not much else in there.
--- *Bonus Quick Take*---
I found this nifty explosive device in the basement near the computer. Note the melted, plastic Easter egg. Note the roll caps for cap guns inside said egg. And lastly, note the charred fuse. Hmmm. No more Burn Notice for these kids.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!