Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Line Was Too Long

DSC_0003-2  It was the perfect almost-autumn day to go apple picking,

We drove to the orchard,  but nary an apple did we spy.

Turns out, everybody else in town thought it was the perfect day, too.


DSC_0046-3So we swung the car around and headed for the other side of the park.

Luckily,  it was also the perfect picture-taking day.


DSC_0108-2We had a lot of ‘splaining to do when we got home.

“Where are the Honey Crisp apples?” the boys asked.

“We didn’t get any.”

“WHY NOT???!!!”


DSC_0068-2“It was so crowded when we got there, that we decided to take pictures instead.  Doesn’t your sister look nice?”


DSC_0172-2 “It looks like she has a bunch of moldy spaghetti hanging around her neck.”

SUCH a little brother response.


DSC_0181-2 Of all the grown-up shots I took that day this was my favorite.

Berry juice, blood-stained finger-panting imp.

She’ll always be my little girl with a bit of mischief in her.

Someone Has a Birthday Today


“The Promise” DVD Winner is….

DSC_0060-1It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to give away Todd’s movie today. Like wearing a kitten under your chin.  (They make the best winter scarves.)

And you know I can’t just tell you who won.  At What’s Going On Here, I have to show you.

I tried to get Tristan to show you, but he got impatient…

“Come stand in front of the tree. Wait, no. You have to move forward, forward, no that’s bad light. Try over here.”

“Mom? Can Sawyer just do it?”

Yes, yes he can.








DSC_0242-4Congratulations, Naomi!  We’ll get The Promise shipped out to you from the studio, pronto.

Thank you everyone, for giving it the ol’ college try. And here’s those links again so you can get your very own copy:

Buy The Promise at Amazon>>>>>>>>>>

But The Promise at>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I’m thinking about kitten scarves for my next giveaway.

What a Kid Hates Most…

I found this list I made years ago and I think it’s time to add to it. Please check and see if I forgot anything:
firecrackerBiggest annoyances of childhood:
Trying to open a pocket knife with a flimsy thumbnail
Catching the back of your heel on the screen door
Sticky popsicle juice and no place to wash your hands
Dud firecrackers
Balloons too hard to blow up
Gum that lost its flavor after 45 seconds
Hitting your teeth on a pop bottle
Bazooka comic strips that you couldn’t understand
Plain slush left in the bottom after sucking a slushy dry
Being last
Getting your hair caught in a closing window
Waxy crayons
That panicky feeling of not having a hiding place in hide-n-go-seek
Getting hit with an iceball in a snowball fight
Cats that slid out from under your petting hand
Dogs that knocked you down
Someone touching your side of the seat
The kid holding the hose and spraying everybody
Tasting baking cocoa and feeling betrayed
Grasshoppers that flew drunkenly into your face
Finding out your brother ate all the chips
Breathing in powdered sugar
Falling on your tailbone
Biggest Annoyances of Adulthood
lineCustomer service people that can’t think outside the box
Waiting in line
Paper cuts
Dull potato peelers
Static cling
Losing the whole email you just composed
Stuck staples in a stapler
Low batteries
Weak flush toilets
Losing the cordless phone
Losing the tv remote
Waxy chap-stick
People who merge out of turn
How the smell of vanilla extract and its taste are polar opposites.
Clerks who act annoyed when helping you
Pens that won’t write
Wearing socks and stepping in something wet
Recorded phone options when you need a live person
The copyright warning on dvds that you can’t skip
A hair in the shower
Cats that slink out from under your petting hand
Finding out someone ate all the chips

Don’t Do What You Think They Want

This is the only shot I got of Greyson’s birthday.  I was trying to be nice and not overwhelm him with the camera because he doesn’t like his picture taken.


He later asked why I hadn’t taken so many pictures?

“I didn’t think you liked pictures.”

“I don’t mind them.”

Great job, mom.

On top of that his birthday present got stuck in the mail and didn’t arrive.

I decided to redeem myself by taking pictures when it DID arrive…


What is it? What is it?

At this point I was seriously wondering if he was going to like it because it was not a typical present for someone his age.


I think Sawyer might be more excited than Greyson is.


Oh, yay!  It’s, it’s… — what is it?


It’s lighting for his movie set.

At this point we’re still not sure if he really likes it or he’s just being polite.  But then he reads how the lights are battery powered, can be set up anywhere, and don’t get hot. They come with gels to make them have a blue, pink, or diffused cast, AND they can be dimmed!

Hey Greyson, IIIII want these lights. Can I use them for my camera?


That would be no. He is possessive of his lights. Whew. He likes them.

If you know Greyson, you know that he’d give you his last piece of cake, so he’ll share these lights with me.

As can be seen in the following photos…


Todd showed me how the light actually fits on the boot of my camera, kind of like a flash, but huge and blinding….

“Greyson, look, this is the diffuser, it’s rather pale.”


This is the pink filter. Tristan, look at me.


Why won’t anybody look at me?


I guess it may not work as a photo shoot light unless you want your subject half-lidded and washed out.

But I think it will make a great addition to his movie equipment.

We’ll see when they yell, “That’s a wrap!”

Why Haven’t We Heard of This?

By the end of this post you are either going to love me or hate me,

Because you are going to be able to get one of these (love) or wish you could (hate).

In either case, your life will never be the same.

And your faith in American ingenuity may falter.


Let me splain…


I am going to cook a chicken without the aid of electricity. Remember without the aid of electricity because I couldn’t grasp it at first.

 I kept imagining a crock pot. (Keep crock pot out of your brain for the next 5 minutes and you’ll be okay…)

My friend Angie from Singapore started with–“Have you ever heard of a thermo pot?”


“You can cook a whole chicken, fall of the bone in only 3 hours. Right on your counter top!”


“Yes, you bring the chicken to a boil on the stove for 10 minutes.”

(In this case with soy sauce, ginger and garlic.)

(And in all cases, whatever the recipe, the common theme is: rolling boil for 10 minutes.)


Then you lower the pot into the thermal sleeve.


Put the lid on..


Shut the outer lid…


“Wait 3 hours, or 4, or 6, whenever you want to eat dinner. It cooks and keeps it warm.”

“Like a crock pot?”

“NO, it’s not plugged in.”

“It’s not plugged in?”

“Nope. It’s not plugged in.”

“But how can it cook if it doesn’t have a heat source?”


“It’s like a giant thermos and it keeps it hot. We’ve been using them for years in Singapore.”


“Is it safe? Why haven’t we heard of these here? I bet I can’t even find one in North America.”

“I make ribs, chicken, rice, it’s perfectly safe. I’ll bring you one back from Singapore.”


I love Angie.


Thermal pots even come with a second little pot that rests on top of your main dish so you can cook steamed rice.

I can imagine all sorts of uses for these.

Church pot lucks, camping, traveling to a friends house for dinner where you’ve promised to bring something hot.

No plug required.

Now, if you don’t have a friend from Singapore who can bring you back one, how can you get one?  Amazon lists thermal pots in even larger sizes than this 5 liter. The cheaper versions cost about $60, and it looks to me like they have even better quality pots for over $200. The 5 liter just fits a 3 pound chicken.

Just make sure if you venture into the market for a thermal pot that you find one with a substantially thick cooking bottom.

I also noticed some that used electricity, but what’s the point of that?

It’s beautiful to be cord free.


Oh, the chicken? It seems food was meant to be cooked in a slow, even heat. It was more moist and tender than any I’ve ever had.


It Was Warm Enough to do THIS Here…

Come on guys, it’s time to walk to Dairy Queen, or Dairy “Cream” as Sawyer thinks it’s called.

Where’s your sister?


Ah. Last out the door.

It’s her trademark.


This is as close to a family picture as we’re going to get. Except, where’s Sawyer? I thought I saw his legs there for minute, in front of Greyson.  If you look closely you can see his shadow?

At this stage, shadows count.


Are you coming, Mom?

Yep. Don’t worry, I’ll be right behind you. It’s the duty of a photographer to capture life as it happens.

This means I won’t be participating much.

But it will all be digitally preserved.


We came for 99 cent Blizzards, only to find out the hard, cold truth…


It was the second Blizzard that was 99 cents, the first one was full price.

We felt so betrayed.


Would we sit?

Would we stay?

Would we partake of all things Blizzardy?




Yes, we would.


Pay no attention to the boy sulking in the corner. Since the special was more expensive than we thought, we drew straws and he lost out.


The short straw missed the Skor Blizzard.

Poor kid.


Our favorite kid got two.

Okay, here’s what really happened– Tristan thought he was getting a S’more Blizzard. The Skor Blizzard wasn’t worthy of his tastebuds, so he gave it to me, but I couldn’t eat it because it wasn’t my splurge day, so I gave it to Greyson who offered to trade.

The fact that S’more Blizzards don’t exist rocked Tristan’s world to the core. He went Blizzardless.

Isn’t it much less confusing for me to just make up the stories to these pictures?


It’s such a happy family outing, these Dairy Queen dates.


It’s the Dairy Queen daze.


Hey Kiki, what are you thinking about? Nail polish?

Looks like we’ll have to move on to Sawyer to get something substantial…


Sawyer was spying on the other people eating ice cream.

One of them was teasing him.


It wasn’t me. I was watching to see what he’d do.


Ignore them and smile– the best antidote to teasing.

Although, the camera did miss what happened first which was shyness and giggles and hiding behind his brother because the instigator was a teenage girl who thought he was a little cutie.

For once a silly, giggly, teenage girl and I were of the same mind.

Don’t Sit Down

You’ll squash the squadron.


Watch your step, or you’ll tromp the troops.


The boys are into an airplane making phase.

“Mom, watch THIS one!”

“It goes REALLY FAR!”

Each round produces improvements and happy accidents that make bombers, gliders, and spiraling stunt planes.

And the best part– it’s not a video game.


I don’t know what happened to these poor fellows.

The last time I saw them, a dog was headed their way.


One of these is even standing in for Sawyer’s French assignment: bring something to class that you love and tell us about it.

“Ceci est mon avion. Il est fait de papier. Je peux le faire voler et de tourner en rond.”

“This is my airplane.  It’s made out of papier. I can make it fly and go in circles.”

One of the more useful phrases you’ll need on the street in Paris.

Memorize it and you’ll have the perfect line if you’re ever handed a ticket by a policeman.

SO handy!

Does Anybody Know When Canadian Thanksgiving Is?

Does anybody care?

Is it weird that Thanksgiving Monday on October 10th makes me sad?  Thanksgiving MONDAY?


I’m rebelling and making grilled cheese and Kool-Aid. I’ll serve it with a punctuated thwack upon the table: “Drink your Kool-aid, no pumpkin pie for you!”

It’s all about having a thankful spirit.

Before I moved here I had no idea that Canadian Thanksgiving existed.   I asked my hairdresser, the grocery cashier, my neighbor and they all said it’s really just a day off.  “It’s a big deal for YOU in de states, no?”  they all added.  Yes. Yes it is.

Living here, I don’t get the pilgrim decorations or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  There’s no four day weekend. I don’t get the free turkey deals and the black Friday afterward. Most of all, I don’t get the crowded family table, and fat, lolling, nap-inducing afternoon.  I miss it all.

If anybody close to the border wants 6 strange Americans at your table, we’ll come down. Oh, wait. Todd doesn’t have Nov. 24th off  BECAUSE IT’S JUST ANOTHER WORK DAY HERE.


In honor of the Thanksgiving I’ll be missing I’m taking a poll to see how important this holiday is to both sides of the border.

Turning the Tables

Tristan, why are you vacumming a table?


OH, I see.  It’s the table you’re building with Daddy, or Daddy is building with you.

He uses the sander, and you shop vac it up.


I’ve never known you to be so eager to vacuum.

I guess there’s a novelty to vacuuming in the garage and at waist height.


The dust must be extra special out there.


This table is for the movie editing suite that Todd is setting up downstairs for the boys.

It holds two computers on the top, and a keyboard slides out underneath, but not just any keyboard…


A musical keyboard.  This one is specific to a computer program that helps you score music for soundtracks.


Pretty fancy-schmancy, Tristan, scoring movies and all.

I guess you’re going to have to take some piano lessons and learn how to play.


Greyson will show us how the table works.





I think he likes it.