Friday, April 26, 2013


My kids usually get me up somewhere in the neighborhood of 6:30, which always feels way too early. This morning they let me sleep in until just about 7, at which point the garbage truck rumbled past, reminding me it was Friday morning. Slacker that I am, I hadn't put the trash out. Of course, slacker me has been aided lately by the fact that the garbage truck hasn't come until the afternoon for the last several weeks. Recycling? Sure, that occasionally comes nice and early. Trash? Always late.

I wasn't the only one caught off guard. In fact, when I ran outside I saw that all of two houses on the entire block had bins out, which went a long way to explaining why the truck was already past my house by the time I got out. Again, usually I hear it at the beginning of the block and can get things out by the time it reaches our house.

Like several neighbors I dragged my bin across the street (which hadn't been collected yet) and then waited for the truck to come again. About fifteen minutes later it arrived, dumped my bin, and continued on. Since I was outside with my ever excitable children I immediately picked up my bin. My bin which was still completely full. My lovely husband had filled the trash styrofoam, which I'm guessing was just static-y enough to prevent it and everything below it from actually falling out of the trash bin. Damn physics.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kitchen help

Remember how I said in my last post that Sylvia's gotten interested in helping me cook lately? Well, Paul is also interested in helping in the kitchen. He's especially interested in the oven.

So last night I pulled out the last of the plums and made what's almost certainly the last plum cake of the season. It's supposed to be cooked at about 325, maybe 350 degrees. Paul turned the oven up to 400. I smelled it early enough only the edges were singed and we ate it even if it wasn't the best.

Tonight we had Brussels sprouts, which I usually cook at about, oh, 375 to 400 degrees. Paul turned the oven all the way up, so they cooked at something around 500 degrees. Again, I smelled them before they burst into flames, but they were kinda black on one side. Not what I was hoping for dinner, and now my whole house smells like burned cabbage. Yum, yum.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


We're finally falling into what more or less could be termed a routine around here. One that obviously doesn't include much time for blogging, but hey, you can't have everything.

Sylvia's still liking her school, though she also still complains about getting ready in the morning. I hope she grows out of that, but I'm not holding my breath.

Paul, on the other hand, loves getting ready in the morning, especially on school days. He loves going to the bus stop. Loves. He's familiar enough with the sequence of events that have to happen before going to the bus stop that he spontaneously gets his shoes on in the morning. Pants...well, he still considers them optional.

Derrick has his bike and he bikes in to work probably as often as he rides the bus, which I like. The buses around here are nice, but a little unpredictable, so Derrick's commute can be anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour. Biking is pretty much 25 minutes.

In less than happy news, Sylvia's Skuut, which she loved, died a little more than a week ago. One of the bearings on the rear wheel fell apart and now the wheel is so wobbly it's not really safe to ride anymore. I've been trying to find replacement parts, but haven't had much luck so far. Supposedly you can buy a new wheel (including two bearings) for about $30. Supposedly you can also buy a new bearing of the right size, also for about $30. Guess which option I'd prefer.

I'm getting writing done on my novel. Feeling vaguely less guilty most days for quitting my PhD and focusing on fiction. Some days I'm still pretty frustrated and angry about the situation, but those days are getting fewer and turning into afternoons of frustration instead of days on end of frustration.

On a happier note, Sylvia's taken a definite interest in cooking lately. This week we made lemon bars after she badgered me to make a lemon pie for days. She's even been eating them, which I didn't expect. Last time I made them I seem to remember the flavor was too strong for her to enjoy (though I admit that may be a self-serving memory). We also made pizza last night (yeah! Friday pizza night!) and the kids helped me put together the dough. Cooking with kids is certainly an exercise in shushing the inner perfectionist. Good times.