Monday, September 24, 2012

Separated at Birth

The Pooh Tree and the Sesame Street Martians.

 BRRRRRRR-innng...BRRRRRRiiinnngg.  Yip yip yip.  COW.  Uh-huh.  Yip yip yip.

Twenty Five Hours in the Woods

Sunday, 7:00 am:  Arrived at camping unit: Ridge Lodge.  Met trainer.  Cleaned latrine.  Hoisted flag into tree.
Other campers arrived.  Eggs, bacon and toast were cooked.  Dishes were washed and hung to dry in dunk bags:

9:30-ish.  Hiked down to the Pooh Tree:

Yip yip yip yip...uh-huh, uh-huh

And walked along the Potomac:

Discovered poison ivy.  Leaves of three, Let them be!

Around noon:  Learned some fire-building skills:

Got my fire started with vaseline and cotton balls.  Was given the honor of being inducted into the One Match Club for starting my fire on the first try and keeping it going.  Felt pretty awesome.

 1:00 or so:  Lunchtime!  Chili on the propane stove, and this corn bread, cooked in a box oven.  That is an OVEN made out of a cardboard BOX!  You can really cook stuff in a box!

After lunch, we practiced putting up tents, learned some knots, learned some knife-safety skills, sawed some wood, and had a little down time.  I took some pictures.  Signs of fall:

At dinner, I was in charge of the camp fire.  Here is my fire.  I built it myself!

After dinner it was time for s'mores and entertainment.  I was assigned to be the entertainment.  I played the ukulele and taught everyone a song that Daphne and Kevin wrote about camping and marshmallows and bears.  It was a hit.  Plus, we heard GREAT HORNED OWLS! 

Then, it was time for bed.  We all slept inside the lodge.  I didn't sleep very well.  But only partly because of the SPECTACULAR snoring going on across the room.*  Mostly because I was too excited to sleep.  I loved camping and was awake in the night thinking about taking my troop camping and how much fun it will be.

(*There was also some audible passing gas going on over there!  Possibly my fault for cooking chili for lunch.  But in my defense, there WAS a jar of Bean-O on the fixins table next to the Fritos and cheese.  I took some and had no problems.)

Monday, 6:00 am.  Woke up, packed up my stuff.  Cleaned the latrine.  Checked and cleaned campsite. Received training card signature and became officially Camp Certified.
7:00: Said goodbye to everyone and took a long peaceful walk by myself through the woods and down to the river again.  Only sort of worried about bears trying to get me.

8:00:  Said goodbye to Ridge Lodge, and went home for breakfast.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pin-Testing and Pie-Making and Musical Parenting

Yesterday, I was browsing around Pinterest when I came across this pin.  "I will try that right now!" I said to myself.  And I did.  Above is my oven door BEFORE.  (So embarrassing).

Here is my oven door covered in a paste made of water and baking soda:


Then (cue the Jeopardy music) I went upstairs to shower, check email, make the bed, etc.

And below, is my oven door AFTER wiping off the paste.  WHOA!  The GLARE!  It's not spotless, but it's pretty dang clean.


You can actually SEE through it!

Sad and Empty
I thought to myself, this oven looks sad and empty.  Why not make PIE!?!  So, I did.

Happier Oven - with Pie
Now, baking soda and water paste is no big secret in the world of cleaning stuff.  I've just never tried it.  Until now.  And I'm sold.  I wonder if this will work on the tiles in my shower.  It seems another experiment is in order.

The other night, Daphne was lamenting that she doesn't know all the songs her friends sing and talk about at school.  That is because we don't listen to Top 40 at home.  Ever.  Because to us, it is bad bad music.  But we felt sort of bad for Daphne.  So Kev youTubed some Dynamite song she was talking about and played it for her, and then I googled DC Top 40 radio, and we set the receiver to Hot 99.5 so she could listen for a little while.  It was sort of excruciating.  We listened to about 5 songs, but it sounded more like one long (really bad) song.  I think Daphne appreciated the gesture, but I could tell she wasn't really enjoying the music much either.  Kev said, "Daph, just let us know if you want to listen to something else."  And she did.  And I was cheering on the inside.

That being said, I don't want her to not listen to that music just because I don't like it.  My parents pretty much let me listen to whatever I wanted as a kid, and that was a good thing.  I went through phases, from Sound of Music to Andy Gibb to Kiss to the Beatles to Iron Maiden to Adam and the Ants to REM to Hank Williams and so on and they never said a word, even though they probably hated most of it.

So, Daphne, you can listen to whatever you want.  Except Lady Gaga.  No, you can even listen to Lady Gaga if you really want to.  With headphones, please.

But I don't think she's gonna really want to.  It isn't what she likes.  Here she is, listening to what she likes:

Which is this: of the best songs ever written. In my Top Ten for sure. Good girl.

 Rock on, Little Peanut. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Toast

Not only have I been making toast to eat, but I have also been making Toast to wear.  The other day, I was telling my friend Jill that I really wanted to knit this pattern, called Toast, for some fingerless gloves (or what may be more appropriately called arm-warmers).  And she said something to the effect of, "Tara.  Just knit them already.  You've been saying that since I met you."  Which is apparently what I needed to hear because, guess what!  I did!  Well, I knit half of them, anyway.  I still have to do the other one.  But I love this one so much that I am motivated to get the other one done.  Sometimes, there is an upside to getting sick and sitting on the couch for a couple days.  (Please ignore the hanging out ends that haven't been woven in yet).

And then, I am going to knit another pair in a neutral color, like grey, and make them a little longer.  I kept these ones shorter because I was afraid I might run out of yarn before I finish the second one.

And then, I am going to get back to the cardigan I can't remember when I started it.  It was a long time ago.  I have been procrastinating.  It's a LOT of knitting, and kind of complicated.  Not easy instant gratification like Toast.  But I know that if I ever when I finish it, I am going to be really proud of it and wear it all the time.  So I just need to do it. 

Right now, though, I am going downstairs to test something I saw on Pinterest.  Results coming soon, so stay tuned!

PS.  I learned two things with this project.  Double pointed needles aren't so bad, and it's hard to take a good  picture of your own arm.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Highs and Lows

Thursday morning, I sent Daphne off to school in her Daisy tunic (and hedgehog socks), all ready for the first meeting of the year.  Then, I headed off on my bike, determined to make it past the barn.  And I did.  I got all the way to this little rest area near the fairgrounds, adding a little over a mile to my trip.  Woohoo!

These guys were there, waiting for me.  Turkey vultures looking for an easy meal.  But I showed them!  I was hardly even tired!

These guys were there, too.  It's such a pretty ride on the trail.  And it's only going to get prettier over the next few weeks.  Fall is my favorite.

Thursday afternoon, I went to school for our Big First Meeting.  Decoupage.  So much fun.  And the girls were awesome.  Very meticulous and neat.  I think they had fun with the project and now we have a place to put all of Daphne's girl scout SWAPS.  Plus any time you get to use Mod Podge is a good time.

Friday night, Kev went to the pub with Misters Tim and Jeff.  They were on a mission to see what the open mic situation is like in there, as there is some talk of taking our little house band out into the world of Live Performance.   I'm not sure how I feel about all that.  But Kev said nobody in the bar was even paying attention to the music, so maybe I could do it.  We'll see.

While they were out, I had a delightful evening with a bowl of ice cream, some yarn and needles, and Project Runway.

And then I woke up Saturday morning with a head cold.  It was a bummer, too, because Kev and I had big plans involving bike rides and Oktoberfests.  Daphne went to spend the night with G-ma, G-pa, and Uncle Jeff, but instead of having fun with Kev, I got reacquainted with my old friend, Neti Pot.  We did get out for some really good Indian food at Rangoli before my cold got full-blown.  It was DE-licious.  I can't wait to go back there.  But yesterday, I spent the entire day on the couch, feeling like a zombie.

Today I am a little better.  My family took good care of me.  Kev made chicken soup with dumplings (Daphne peeled the carrots!), and Daphne made me a nice card.  I plan to get some rest today so I can get back to my groove tomorrow.  Nothing can throw off a groove like being sick.  At least I'm getting some knitting done.

OK...back to the couch!  Hope y'all had a good weekend! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Barreling Through September

I love September.  The weather has turned fallish.  It's still warm in the afternoon, but it's delightfully cool in the mornings and evenings.  We are well into the third week of school.  Things are going well.  Daphne loves her teacher and going to Specials (art, music, PE).  And I am getting into a good fall groove.  I've been walking almost every morning, and yesterday, I even took a bike ride.  I rode on the trail to this barn (above) and back...about 6 miles.  My goal is to go riding a couple times a week and work my way up to riding all the way to Purcellville without getting winded so that Kev and I can ride our bikes to Magnolia's.  Yum.

I am in full on Girl Scout Leader mode now.  Our first meeting is tomorrow, and we're starting off big - with decoupage.  We have some really cool stuff planned for the troop this year, and I'm excited about it all.  Plus, I am in the middle of my training to become "camp certified" which means I will be allowed to take my troop camping.  Last weekend, I cooked a pizza in a box oven and learned to clean the latrine.  Next weekend is the real overnight campout with outdoor cooking.  I cannot tell you how excited I am.  I am hoping for an owl sighting.  Or at least an owl hearing.  And there will be s'mores. Bring it on.

I just finished reading a book called "Cleaning House" which was written by a mom who decided her kids, and most kids these days, need to get away from this whole feeling of entitlement and start learning how to do things for themselves.  I got a lot out of reading that book.  It is so easy to just do things for our kids.  It's easier.  It's faster.  It avoids arguments.  But it isn't doing them any favors.  So, I am slowly giving Daphne more responsibilities and opportunities to do things for herself.  And I am surprisingly being met with excitement instead of resistance.  She has been making her own breakfast, packing her own lunchbox, helping with dishes, setting the table, making her bed, and getting herself dressed.  She even made me and Kevin breakfast over the weekend!

A couple days ago, she folded her own laundry.  All of it.  She asked me to teach her how to "barrel" her socks.

That is what she calls putting pairs of socks into rolls.  I don't know why, but she does.  So, I taught her my sock-barreling technique, and she barreled all of her socks.  And she said, "This is fun! Can I do this every time?!"

And then, she put all of her clean and folded and barreled clothes away.  With a big smile. 

Kids can do a whole lot more than we give them credit for if we just give them a chance.  It isn't easy.  I don't like giving up control.  But if I can get over the fact that there WILL be spilled milk, and a dish probably WILL get broken at some point, and she might pick out a really terrible outfit to wear to school, I think we'll both be better off.  Daphne has been SO proud of all the "big kid" stuff she's been doing.  It's pretty cool.

Now that Daphne is in school all day, I am planning some house projects that involve organizing and getting rid of stuff.  I love getting rid of stuff.  I am going to get the house in order this year.  And I am also going to try to start every weekend with a clean house.  Lofty, but do-able.

And, now that it's time for fall cooking, I am going to get back to the food blog I started in January, but neglected all summer.  My first fall post is all about the greatness of toast.

I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of fall.  I am going to get off the computer now, and go sit on the porch.  Because it's FALL!