Archive for August, 2009

me and you and everyone we know

were at the Regulator tonight for Peter Holsapple’s first Pajama Party.  Sadly, the kids were overdressed due to a profound lack of planning or joining-in-ness of their parents, but they hardly seemed to care.  Little e. did come dressed in her duck-head-hat from last year’s Halloween costume which had the advantage of making it a bit easier to find her.

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At ten ’til seven, the downstairs was practically deserted; maybe 8 or so kids and their attendant parents were in the basement.  Then, the floodgates opened, and the bookstore was swarming with kids.  Dozens and dozens of them sitting on tuffets, squirming on the quilts, lounging on parents’ laps.

Little w. and e. were mesmerized by the stories and songs even getting up to perform downward facing dogs and pumping their fists in the air shouting, “Hooray!”

Along with the rest of Durham with kids under the age of 7, we’ll be back.

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peas, peas everywhere

Who honestly knew there were so many kinds of peas?  When I think of peas, I think of one kind–the green peas sitting patiently in a bag in our freezer waiting to be a last minute addition to the kids’ dinner plates.

Our CSA list for the week just arrived, and I am left wondering what on earth are “cream peas.”  I know what the purple hull peas are as we have happily had a couple bags of them already.  I know what roma beans are now, and they were tasty.  I have even shelled butterbeans with the assistance of little w., and they came out great.  I am, however, still confused about these cream peas.

A brief google search does little to enlighten; most results seem to relate to “creamed peas” which I am most definitely sure I do not want to make nor consume.

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And I thought my food photography was off-putting??

This next search result from a member of the University of Florida Vegetable Crop Dept. seemed promising but does little to actually make my head stop hurting.  I honestly never realized that there was so much going on in the legume world.

The Victory Seed Company, however, starts to clear this mess up.  According to these fine folks, the cream pea is one of four types of cowpea.

Cowpeas or Southern Peas are probably native to the continent of Africa and brought to the United States in early Colonial times. They became a staple food in the Southeastern U.S. where they are eaten as green shelled peas or left to dry on the vine for later use.

They are more likely to succeed in areas with warm soil temperatures (at least 60F) and no danger of frost for ninety to one hundred days after planting. They are highly tolerant of drought and a wide variety of soil conditions, including heavy clay and sandy soils. Soil pH can range from 5.5 to 7. In areas with cooler climates, the plants will tend to be plagued with pests and disease.

Now, I’ll just have to figure out how to prepare them…

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why we can’t return to asheville

It started as a lesson from Opa on how to spit watermelon seeds (a dubious skill any day of the week) and quickly devolved into an all out watermelon chunk assault.

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It was brother against sister (here, little e. is asking her brother to spit melon on her).

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It was daddy setting a good example.

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It was Opa preparing to conduct the final movement.

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take the kiddos bowling, take them bowling

It was a sweltering August day; even by 9:30 you had already dissolved into a puddle of your base mineral makeup with no hope of being reconstituted into a solid form in sight.  To preserve our sanity, we decided to take the kiddos bowling.

After calling around to places that had the most bowling aids (ramps and bumpers), we made the trip over to Mardi Gras in Chapel Hill.  First of all, let it be said that this place was not the bowling alley of my formative years. Admittedly, it was 11:00 in the morning which is not an hour that I have ever bowled at before, but this place was clean.  Startling clean.  No smoking inside and the decor curiously matched little e’s outfit–all lavender and mint green.

And if one needed further proof that almost anything is cuter when it is minature, check out these kicks:

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I mean, you have to have a heart as hard as a bowling ball (we used six pounders when we bowled) not to find little e’s size seven shoes pretty cute.

The kids took their bowling pretty seriously.  Little w. sized up his lane before each frame though technique really didn’t come into play for any of the kids.

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The ramp paid off handsomely as the kids’ balls achieved amazing speeds–check out the mph at the bottom of the screen below:

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Yes, that says 5.47 mph, and yes, it took a long time to bowl a whole game.  The kids did tire of flinging heavy balls down ramps by the end of it and had to celebrate with a “lollipop cheerst” on the way home.  A successful outing for all.

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go green death!

Laughing so hard, I practically spit out my Organic Morning O’s while reading this treatise reprinted in Harper’s the other day.  If my kid could get a coach who would send me emails like this, I might just change my mind on organized sports for children.

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der schmetterling

Add to the list of fauna that we regularly see in our yard (squirrel, cat, barking dog next door, roly-poly, robin) the lovely butterfly.  Thank goodness our shrubs in front of the house are overgrown with butterflyliciousness growing amongst the leaves!  Otherwise Herr Schmetterling might have passed our house over for some tasty treats elsewhere.

butterfly

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is this seriously a game?

Have all the games ever to be invented already been made?  If not, why is this…this… thing taking up valuable real estate on the toy store shelf?

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I can’t figure out which part of this game I, the parent who makes the purchases, am supposed to be enchanted by:  the opportunity for my child to pretend to be a pachyderm without using any of his creativity, the chance to fit a plastic mask made in China oh-so-snugly against my child’s nose and mouth, or being able to fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing my offspring in a brightly colored plastic gas mask.

I truly don’t get it.  Where is a nice game of checkers when you need it?

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