29 September 2014

a fruit in season

It is a little funny, America's annual affair with pumpkin. That chunky orange sphere is one of the few foods that actually holds up really well over time, and that tastes perfectly fine after being preserved. You can make an equally delicious pumpkin cake in March as in October. But somehow we've got it into our heads that we must make all of our pumpkin rolls and lattes and pies in the autumn, or bust.

(Now asparagus? Blueberries, tomatoes? Those seasonal obsessions I understand. They are truly wretched out of season.)

Perhaps the autumn pumpkin fling is a way for us to pretend that we're still close to nature, that we care about the seasons God created, when really, we have separated ourselves as much as possible. Ironically, I think the people who are most into pumpkin lattes tend to live furthest away from the natural way of things: the big city hipsters who have probably never seen a cornfield or petted a pig.

Not that I dislike big cities. I also like my air conditioning, which allows me to escape seasonal heat, and my car, which allows me to drive south to the beach when it's freezing at home. But I sometimes think that living seasonally is good for us. It reminds us that we can't have everything we want, when we want it. That the world moves in a rhythm larger than our own whims.

I wish I could find a luscious peach in darkest February, though. Though I could find a peach, "luscious" would not describe it.

26 September 2014

Weekend linkage // Family snippets

J: Maybe we could talk about this on our next date night.
Me: Sigh. I'm not a very fun date.
J: Or we could just talk about chipmunks.

Me: We went to Pine View and Ellie terrorized the cows with her screeching.
J: Now they know how I feel.

Ellie's fun for the week included "helping" to unload the dishwasher, visiting the tractors and goats at the fair, chucking a teddy bear into the tub and turning on the water, covertly eating crayons but being betrayed by her blue mouth, picking a huge bowl of tomatoes (at least half were still green), and insisting that Baby Sister lives inside her belly.


So, this may be the best use ever made of the internet. (I say this as an English major and a secret lover of atrocious pop music.)


Speaking of my major, Things English Majors Are Tired of Hearing. Nobody says this stuff to me anymore because I have successfully conducted my life for five years post-graduation, but . . . I remember well.


We just got a dishwasher, so this pin seems apropos.


"What An Elite Ballerina Sees When She Looks In The Mirror." This simultaneously causes me to want to get back into ballet, and thank the good Lord above that I got out of it.

18 September 2014

pretty happy funny real #12

Linked up with Like Mother Like Daughter.

Maybe not many people would consider a large collection of produce "pretty," but I do.


I have two happy things this week.

First, a huge whiteboard on which to organize my life. Meal plans, weekly chores, extra things to do, shopping lists, you name it.

I needed a new, large diaper bag before Jellybean's arrival and I was prepared to spend $100+ on a good one. Well, this week I found a perfect Eddie Bauer bag at Target. What's more, even though it's in perfect condition, it was only $10 because someone had ordered it online and returned it to the store! Huge blessing.


Ellie's new pastimes include playing with her Melissa and Doug animal magnets . . . and wearing my shoes.


What the living room looks like after fifteen minutes of Ellie.

13 September 2014

Weekend linkage


Laura Ingalls Wilder's original memoir was a lot . . . earthier than Little House.
It contains stories omitted from her novels, tales that Wilder herself felt "would not be appropriate" for children, such as her family's sojourn in the town of Burr Oak, where she once saw a man became so drunk that, when he lit a cigar, the whisky fumes on his breath ignited and killed him instantly.

Your guide to medieval shopping.
A vintner caught selling foul wine is dragged to the pillory on a hurdle, forced to drink a draught of the offending liquor, and then set in the pillory where the remainder is poured over his head. The sweetness of the revenge makes up for the sourness of the wine.

"Great Mistakes In English Medieval Architecture." Most amusing.


From The Federalist: being pro-life isn't about defending "beautiful" babies.
The babies whom we wish to save will not all be happy, healthy children who will be adopted by picture-perfect, loving families. Some of them will grow up in tragic circumstances. Some will suffer tragic illnesses. All of them, one way or another, will face the brokenness of life in this world. Knowing this, all we can do is give. Barbarism takes. Civilization gives.

09 September 2014

4 ways in which I am just like my toddler

Or she is just like me.

1) I get very excited about breakfast.

Ellie requests breakfast within fifteen minutes of waking up. She eats a lot of it, too. I have always been the same. I typically need a couple of eggs, some fruit, and something else-- cheese? toast? yogurt?-- to get me going. I don't think I have ever skipped breakfast in my life. The very thought is horrible. How do you "coffee and half a banana" people make it through the morning?

2) I have a hard time dealing with large crowds.

Not that either of us are afraid of people. It's just that we can't handle interacting with more than one or two of them at a time. More than that and we get cranky and overwhelmed. When there are a lot of people, all talking at once, we both start zoning out and go off to do our own thing. (After church, for example, Ellie will dart around the lobby, intent on her private exploration and totally refusing to interact with any of the people around her. THERE ARE TOO MANY OF YOU LEAVE ME ALONE.)

3) I like shoes.

Ellie is obsessed with shoes. If she sees an unworn pair sitting around, she becomes very distressed  and tries to find someone to put them on. If you tell her that we're going to put on shoes to go outside, she makes an excited beeline for the closet.

Myself, I don't have a huge collection, but those I do have are very nice. I buy good shoes, ones I can wear for years without growing tired of them or getting blisters on my heels. My wedding shoes, for example, were a pair of gorgeous gray suede pumps from Naturalizer. I'm still wearing them five years later and they just have (very) minor scuffing on the toes. I don't need twenty pairs to choose from; I prefer having five that I really like.

4) I complain a lot.

We have started to tell Ellie "No whining" and "No complaining" when she breaks down over minor mishaps, such as a slight delay in snacktime. She has very little patience and tends to shriek in anger or just burst into tears, and we'd like for her to learn self-control. That requires lots of hand-holding, comforting, and generally showing her that no, this is not the end of the world and she can choose to be cheerful if she wants to.

Anyway, at the end of one long hot afternoon, I found myself sprawled on the couch whining over everything I'd had to do that day, everything I had failed to do, all the pregnancy aches and pains I had to deal with, etc. I realized that I sounded just like Ellie when she doesn't want to clean up her toys. My new mantra is "No complaining."

05 September 2014

Weekend linkage // Family snippets

Ellie's latest life skills include prancing about on tiptoe; scribbling with crayons; perfecting her princess wave; not yanking out her hair clips; correctly identifying her head, ears, nose, and belly; pretending to give her stuffed animals water out of her sippy cup; and making "soup" with kitchen tools purloined from my cupboards.


Here's a great post from Time Warp Wife on what it means for us to be our husbands' "helpers":

You are not called to make him sandwiches or refill his drinks, though that is a nice thing to do. Your calling is be such a strength and power in the life of your husband that your conduct, your words, and your actions point him to Christ and make him want to be a more godly person.

If you live around here and are looking for fun this weekend, why don't you hit up The Importance of Being Earnest, performed by the Servant Stage Company at the Lancaster Trust? It's going to be a fab production, as Wilde is wont to be (my brother is playing Jack).

Tickets are $12 at the door . . . follow the link for more info.


Something pretty: a carpet of 750,000 flowers in Belgium.