Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ice Cream

Desperate to get out of the house, I took the girls to...the Ben and Jerry's factory store! They both had chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (the classics are always the best) and I watched and waited to scavenge what was left. Then we went to the playground there where Fiona immediately rounded up about 3 girls her age and led them in play. I don't have an iota of these leader skills and I never have, so it is just fascinating to watch. Sophia followed...or dug up mulch to drop from the top of the structure. Can't resist sand and mulch, that one. I'm thinking of giving her a big bag of mulch for her birthday.

It was actually a sunny and warm day for it... and it was so crowded. I guess it is a popular tourist destination, because most of the license plates were from out of state. The guy we bought the ice creams from gave us two kid cones for the price of one. Maybe they were small, but they were plenty big. He was so sweet to the girls. They sang Happy Birthday to Ben and Jerry's along with the staff for free sprinkles. I guess Ben and Jerry's have been around 30 years this year. And look! A new flavor. I love the name. And fudge peace signs. Now the real question is: will I be able to FIND it?

Compare this picture to this one.

Mom, lick this for me:

Tired of asking me for a lift, she tries to construct her own stool:

They loved this:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gulf Carts

That is what the sign says in front of the RV shop on the way to Montpelier. It makes my eye twitch every time I see it. I thought, okay, maybe it's a type of cart that I am unaware of. Certainly possible. However, there are several golf carts lined up behind it.

Unfortunately, it is on a busy narrow road, so I have no picture to share.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Drying Out



We got pummeled with even more pounding rain last night, but today, the sun finally seems to be out. The ground is still squishy wet and everything is still very, very wet. Our yard is shady, so it will be a while before everything dries out. The concrete in the backyard is becoming a green carpet of algae. Actually, maybe it's moss. We have a lot of moss.

Even the daisies are flat.

Our little bean tepee with morning glories! Alas, the moonflower got dug up by something. We'll pretend this would have been the first summer it would have bloomed before it got too cold. Actually, most of the morning glories got dug up, too. And something is eating the leaves off of the beans. I suspect deer.

Just for fun, here are some of the zinnias. Slugs have claimed about half of them. Slugs may also keep us from growing a pumpkin. They keep eating the blossoms. That orange dish you see in the back is a beer trap for the slugs. It works very well, but there are just too many slugs. Plus, I drink most of the beer before I can dole it out into the traps.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When Calvin and Hobbes is Your Summer Reading

So Fiona calls from the kitchen, "Mom? Can we go out for pizza tonight?" I say, "Noooo...we aren't going out tonight and I made pizza for lunch." She starts trying to say "So, mom, what you're saying is you'd rather stay home and cook and clean rather than spend a few bucks for dinner?" Only she gets maybe 2 of the words out and starts laughing. She spurts out the rest of the words with considerable effort. I paraphrase here. I know exactly which Calvin and Hobbes strip she is talking about.

She is still laughing.

Here is the strip.


So we went to The Main Street Grill for brunch last Sunday. Usually the brunch is an outlet for the students to make cool little delicacies like pork rillette, head cheese, pates, mousses, and salads--not to mention a selection of hot dishes, omelettes and waffles cooked to order, and an ice sculpture. Hopefully, the students get this experience at the campus in Essex their second year, because now the brunch is no longer a buffet, it is a prix fixe menu/a la carte. The menu is perfectly fine (I had a very nice crab and corn cake and a cheese platter) but it's noticeably lacking in the cool funky French preparations. There is still a nice dessert buffet table, however. The kids menu (and the kids eat free in July if you order the prix fixe brunch) is quite simple, however. It's fine if your kids want just a regular breakfast: eggs, pancakes, waffles (i.e. if your child is not my 3 year old Sophia). If your child wants pasta, however, they will make what they have...but you must pay for it. It seemed a little off key considering it was brunch. The total bill from our trip was another reason that this will be a once in a while trip. One nice change is that the brunch is on Saturday now, too, instead of just Sunday.

Taking Sophia somewhere like this is always a risk as she does not want to sit still for long. Anywhere. She is someone who needs to be on the move. Guess who wanted nothing on the menu? (Hence the pasta). And did not eat it? Well, it is the first time we have taken her to The Fancy Brunch.

I do recommend the lemon drop martini.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I hate to complain about rain when so many places need it so badly know, at least it's not a hurricane. But damn. We've had enough. The yard is so buggy and the basement is so stinky and we want to play outside in the sun. That thing we don't see so much of in the winter, right? /Rant off.

Fiona did very well as a sailor in her play H.M.S. Pinafore. Video taping the play and getting Sophia to sit in one place was not an easy task, however. That added some special interest to the video, I'm sure. The auditorium was stifling hot (I can't imagine how it must have been on stage) so Sophia was even more wiggly than usual. Everyone in the play did an amazing job, especially considering they had only been working on it for two weeks. Alas, I do not have pictures, only video. Doug was in Oregon at the time, which is why I was solo.

We've dropped the chess for Frog Juice for the moment. Fiona was getting too frustrated at not winning every game now that her parents are remembering how to play. However, Frog Juice is very cool. I recommend it. Made by the same people who make Sleeping Queens, also fun.

The swimming lessons, despite my pessimistic moaning (sometimes I have to roll my eyes at myself), actually went very well. It did not rain (for a change!). The water temperature was bearable. The kids, of course, had a fabulous time.

I think we may actually have a firewood source. Our second source called back and said, "Oops. Sorry. We have too many customers and not enough wood. Bye." (Really, I feel quite privileged that we got a phone call at all). Our first source is not returning my calls. However! We have Third Source. Third Source is very much on the ball and has given me an actual delivery date. Has actually asked WHERE they should drop off the wood and where they can pick up the check if I am not around when they drop off the wood (only in Vermont, I think, would this not sound suspicious...but I will still be here when they come with the wood). So. I know it's not that exciting, but believe me, it will be very exciting for us to have wood this winter.

Ah, thunder! Perhaps another day where the electricity goes out for hours. We've had some high (for here) wind storms this summer and the trees just keep coming down. Not ours yet, thank goodness. It's fun for a while with the kids when there is no electricity. The fun does not last as long as you think it would, though. Oh, no. No it does not.

I hope those in the path of Dolly come out safe and sound today.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Fiona has been learning chess (I think she was inspired by my Foxtrot comic book--the dad loves chess and is always hounding his family to play with him). She just came to us and said she wanted to learn chess. She is doing really well. She and Doug play every day and she writes little notes about how much she loves chess.

Despite repeated correction, however, she keeps calling the bishop piece "The Butcher".

We're going to brunch this morning--kids eat free in July! Woot! It's the NECI restaurant, so there should be yummy nibblies like pate, rillette, cheeses, and salads. Including the usual brunch fare. There may or may not be adult beverages involved. Depends on the kids.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Time for a Bracing Two Weeks

So today starts two weeks of swimming lessons for the girls and music theater camp for Fiona in the afternoon. Hopefully, Fiona will enjoy the camp and I won't turn into ice during the lessons. See, because Sophia is a "Tiny Tot" until she turns 5 (meaning I'll be doing this next summer as well, I'll wager), I get to go in the water with her. The water is always bitter cold. It's not necessarily warm during the summer here. It rains quite often (but the lessons go on). Oh well, it will probably wake me up. I haven't been sleeping well (except for last night, thank goodness). Insomnia and wakeful creatures who need you in the night seem to go hand in hand to exasperate the problem.

Yesterday, we tried to finally get Sophia her own bicycle, but she now just wants her tricycle and not one "pink like Fiona's". We tried to get Fiona a bike helmet and she doesn't like the strap under her chin (I was exasperated and sympathetic at the same time...I hate things around my neck or under my chin). So I guess we'll be getting our exercise by swimming and, hopefully, hiking this summer. Both girls are getting the cutest freckles. I'll try to get close ups soon. They are getting tan lines despite copious amounts of sunscreen that says it protects against UVA and UVB rays.

I have, for the first time since we moved into our house, actually been trying to get firewood for next winter. It's been like trying to get a carpenter or contractor to work on your house. No one returns my calls. If you talk to a person, they say they will call later. And don't. There are the few who are exceptions and it is work to find them. Because of this, I have somehow made 2 orders for 2 cords of wood each (I thought one guy was a flake and wasn't going to call me back). We're going to wait until we have an enormous pile o' wood in the driveway before I cancel the other one. We don't need 4 cords of wood (I hope), but we sure do need wood. After our last heating oil bill, I wonder if we will be sleeping in front of our tiny wood stove next winter.

Fiona just came down the stairs. I thought she had fallen back asleep (feel free to laugh at me here). She just spent about an hour silently in her room reading a Calvin and Hobbes book she found hiding in her room. It was hiding in her bookcase, you see. You see that the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Pass the Tissues

Well, Ellen Aim wasn't impressed, and I can see what she means, but I enjoyed Wall*E. It's true the message was about as subtle as Kool Aid, but it was entertaining. Plus, who can resist mushy robots and cute cockroches? Okay, then.

Sophia didn't like it. She thought the robots were scary. I am not sure this is an age thing (although she is not quite 4 yet), I think in this case, it is a personality thing. Fiona did like it, which does not surprise me. It was fun to see her face change throughout the movie. So I cuddled Sophia and ate her popcorn (I promise it was okay with her). I only blubbed a little bit during the movie, but I blub at everything. It helps that I am not taking Lexapro anymore, however. But even then I still get teary. I mean, I totally bawled at Fiona's kindergarten graduation (they even have 8th grade graduation now??). Why? No one else was. Did I bring tissues? Of course not. I got to be a slimy mess during my child's graduation. Oh well, I'm sure they all think I'm bizarre anyway. Now they think I am unstable and bizarre, I am sure.

Recently, Doug told me he was driving the kids home the other week and he looked back in the mirror at the kids and Fiona was silently crying. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. They had just passed a dead fox, and she was sad.

At times like this, I am pretty sure she will use her powers for good.