Archive for March, 2009

what we saw on our walk back from the coffee shop

It was a busy day walking home from Joe Van Gogh’s yesterday.  We had to wade through crowds of people who were milling outside of  Watts Grocery because they didn’t get there early enough before the brunch stampede began.  But, we were rewarded with this odd sight of a bee and a ladybug which little w. discussed all the rest of the afternoon:


And then by the School of Science and Math, we saw “tree snow.”  In March!



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next time we just play in the backyard

It’s a beautiful sunny day today, so we decided to go to the Museum of Life + Science.  We played outside in the sandbox, checked on the animals, and ogled the insects.



Lunch was fine–grilled cheeses all around with only minimal detritus on the floor.

We should have left then.

But, as I said, it was such a pleasant day, out and it the morning chill had finally left the air.  We decided to walk down to see the bears, and that is where it all fell apart.  Little w. wanted to walk on the handrails and play with the water fountain that looks like it’s peeing (his words, not mine), and little e., oh, e.  What to do with her?  If there were a theme song to her life at this point it would be Culture Beat’s “Mr. Vain”–“I know what I want and I want it now….”

Yeesh, all she wanted was for me to carry her, and as I am enjoying not having pulled chest muscles at the moment, that was simply not going to happen.  She refused the stroller and refused to walk.  w. would bolt down the path, and she would just stand there investigating some dandelions or an interesting pine cone.

After the bear viewing, sailboat adventures, and podshooter fun, she finally deigned to ride in the stroller and promptly poured half the contents of her sigg bottle over her and onto the stroller seat which then had w. in tears because he wanted to ride in it and it was all wet.  Double yeesh.  So no one rode in the stroller all the way back to the main building.  I bribed w. inside by offering to make him a souvenir penny in the gift shop (I love playing with that machine).  No sooner did he push the money in than we heard this awful siren/bell thing go off.  For half a minute I thought that we had hit the jackpot in Vegas, and I expected to see pennies with images of trains, butterflies, and space rockets come pouring out of the machine.  We, however, were promptly swarmed by Museum employees holding walkie talkies, and I realized  that the howling noise that has us clutching our ears was actually a fire alarm positioned directly above the penny making machine.  I ignored the gift shop employee who was telling me to go back in the store and exit through Door #1, and we left through the main entrance and got in our car and went home.

The oddest part, though, was that while patrons of the Museum were dutifully filing through the parking lot to a grassy patch, presumably to be counted and told to stand quietly in a single file line or they will have detention (that’s at least what I did as a middle school teacher), you can hear children laughing and drums being played on the Museum’s outdoor playground.  Who gets to evacuate them or the ones stuck walking back from the podshooters with a wet stroller and two exhausted kids?

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a howling good time

It’s not exactly a surprise to many people that know me, but I am not the biggest fan of canine companions.  Still, I do not have a heart of stone, and I do like other people’s well behaved dogs.  So we will most likely be attending Watts-Hillandale’s First Ever Wattsminster Dog Show to be held on the School of Science and Math’s baseball field (I bet the grounds crew is going to love that one) on Sat. April 18.  With events such as the Musical Sit and the owner/pet look-a-like contest (can I nominate the woman who is always walking her dog by our house?), how could one stay away?

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high time for pie time

It might not be the best news for swimsuit season, but the Durham News had a tasty article about an upcoming pie social:

The folks over at SEEDS (South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces, 706 E. Gilbert St., are no dummies. They know that pies are just the way to lure in donations for the Durham Inner-City Gardeners program.

The Pie Social and Skill Share Silent Auction on Sunday, April 19, will raise money for stipends of the group of teens employed from urban neighborhoods to grow produce at the SEEDS campus, then sell their harvest at the Durham Farmers’ Market.

For a suggested donation of $10, you can sample pies from 2 to 6 p.m. donated by local restaurants including Watts Grocery, Scratch Bakery, Lantern, The Farmer’s Daughter, Ninth Street Bakery, Crooks Corner, Parker & Otis and Foster’s Market.

Offerings are rumored to include buttermilk and strawberry rhubarb, as well as savory quiches and veggie pot pies. Skills to be auctioned include a day of cheese making, heirloom Southern baking and pickling lessons.

The folks at SEEDS are still looking for more skills and more volunteers so contact them at 683-1197 if you’d like to help out.

How can you go wrong with strawberry rhubarb pie??

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in honor of the past four rainy, cloudy days

here is a photo.


Today is sunny and warm, so we will banish thoughts of the dreary past (until the next rainy spell hits).

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smoothie helper

Around these parts we love ourselves a good smoothie–a little yogurt, banana, strawberries, touch of honey.  Little w. decided that he wanted to help his daddy make an extra special smoothie last night and got out all of the important ingredients.


Introducing from left to right, our tasty ingredients:  Italian salad dressing, plain yogurt, brown mustard, butter (from a local dairy, thank you), applesauce, lime juice, and half and half.

Who’s lining up for a taste of this one?  I’m hard pressed to think of anything else that he could have added that would make you more likely to throw up when you ingest this drink.  Hot sauce maybe?  This lineup truly looks like something that 11 year old boys would drink on a triple dog dare during a sleepover party.  Little w. should take notes–this concoction could come in handy some day.

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more wanderlust

Who’s up for a train trip?  I do like how the narrator tries to temper the rail romance by mentioning that the trip does take a lot longer, becomes less comfortable the farther east and south you go, and is quite a bit more expensive than a flight would have been.  Still, the images are beautiful and imagine all the reading you could have gotten through!

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