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Showing posts from April, 2011

Motherhood Math

Math really isn’t a prerequisite of motherhood, unless you consider counting the breaths between contractions that you learn in Lamaze class. But soon after you first realize you are carrying life, the numbers begin. The average pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Ask a pregnant woman and they will prove they have mastered the art of subtraction by rambling off how many weeks they are along and instantly how much longer they have to go. After the birth of the child, the mother will tell you how many hours she was in labor, and perhaps practice multiplication and spit out exactly how many minutes she sacrificed for that beautiful baby. And once the baby is born, ages are counted in days…and then weeks…and then months…and then finally, years. But that’s not where the numbers end. We learn to study decimals whenever the child has even the slightest fever, learn metric when we administer medicine. We count hours of naps, servings of vegetables, and certainly how many sleeps until

A need for weeds: Dandelion Fritters

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Of all places, this recipe came to us in a Smucker's cookbook we got at the local Bunny Trail. I was surprised to find something as "odd" as dandelion fritters, but even more shocked to find a full recipe for acorn pancakes. (We'll have to tackle those later. When we move to an oak forest.) When your son says he wants to cook, you say YES no matter the recipe, and so we gave this one a whirl to make the most interesting after school snack of the week. He ate the whole plate. You will need: 1 cup biscuit mix 1 cup milk 1 Tbl honey + More for dipping Oil for frying Fresh dandelion flowers with no stems/leaves- rinsed and dried. ****MAKE SURE YOU ARE PICKING FROM A SPRAY-FREE ZONE!!***** 1. Mix biscuit mix, milk, and honey in a large bowl. 2. Heat oil (about 1/2 inch) in a skillet until water sizzles when dropped in. 3. Batter the dandelion flowers a few at a time and drop them into the oil, flower side first. 4. Fry until golden brown, drain on paper towels. 5.

To each his own: beer and Earth Day

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My grandparents used to have a novelty sign that hung in their basement. “A man’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.” I spent most of my childhood not quite understanding it (not that I was supposed to) and most of my young adult life ignoring it. As it turned out , as a young adult I ignored most things, including my parents, some of my teachers, many of my peers, and most certainly the people who truly believed in something and wanted to tell me about it. Most specifically I can recall sitting in debate class, assigned to argue about cryogenics and really not caring one way or the other, and I couldn’t imagine how anyone could think frozen people was something to make a big deal over. In college there were plenty of people who believed in something and gobs and gobs of them trying to convince me at every turn. Sign this petition, march in this parade, hold these signs. I don’t remember anyone burning their bras per se, but if someone wou

Earth day clean up and the world's best cleaner recipe

It's Earth Week and I'm proud to say we'll be knee deep in trash this week, weather permitting. Three community clean-ups on tap for my family and just a general reminder of how important good, clean nature is to us. (Brace yourselves, readers. It's about this time every year I get a little nature crazy. There's a very good chance upcoming columns will be as much about wildlife as my wild life.) But in honor of this step into the summer outdoor season, when the plants all come back to life, I wanted to quickly share one of my favorite recipes. -For those who have used cleaner with bleach and stained their countertops (me)... -For those who have watched their children spray cleanser backwards into their tiny faces (me)... -For those who feel a strong sense of wholesomeness when it comes to things like soap and water (me)... -And for those who go gaga over the smell of pure lavender and tea tree oil (also me)... Make your own all-purpose cleaner In a 16 ounce con

Shock and horror and bachelor gray

I had a sad epiphany the other day while scrubbing spoiled soy milk out of a recovered sippy cup. I realized that if I actually put forth the effort, I could spend my entire day either at the kitchen sink or the laundry room. As fast as I can wash dishes, my kids can dirty them faster, a constant cycle of plastic cups and snack bowls, princess silverware and full-sized plates that were apparently necessary for a single mini pretzel twist. What food doesn’t end up in them ends up on them which takes me to my second treadmill position of household duty: the laundry. By far it is the chore I complain about the most, which is why after a week of buildup that filled every laundry basket we own, I pouted on the couch and whined instead of hauling it all to the washer. And while I’m not so good at actually accomplishing the laundry, I’m quite good at whining so when my dear husband showed up with a giant heap of stinky clothes, I felt an internal smile coming on. Doing the lau

History of a hugger

“What, no hug? I thought you hugged everyone,” said a friend of a friend one day, and of course I could do nothing else but to wrap my arms around this semi-stranger. Not because he asked me to, but because he was right. I do hug a lot of people. It wasn’t always this way, though. Growing up I was the child who hugged her parents and grandparents every chance I got, but making physical contact with strangers was not something I did. It just didn’t feel right for some reason, as if I was as afraid of invading their personal space as I was of them invading mine. Not only that, but it always seemed to be my luck that there would be an exchange of unpleasant cologne that would stick to me or, more likely, I’d leave a deodorant smudge on someone’s black shirt. For those reasons and more, I avoided personal contact with non-family members for quite some time, and it wasn’t until I met one particular preschool teacher that my life as a hugger began. Back when my first child left the nest

Pigeon Poo. Snack time just got a little better.

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Oh, the pigeon. Dirty bird that it is, is most commonly found around cities and farmyards, scratching for seeds and flocking around old ladies who carry paper bags full of stale bread. And what goes in must come out, right? While looking for a "nature themed snack" I came across this recipe where it delighted the folks at the 30 th Annual Project WILD training with the Ohio Division of Wildlife. And if a container of poo can do that, it's a recipe worth sharing. I admit to not knowing much about the biology of pigeon poop, although I did read in one of my favorite books, " The Truth About Poop " by Susan E. Goodman that Ancient Romans used pigeon poop to bleach their hair. Oh. My. Goodness. I also know that bird poop is not really poop, it's actually pee. And thus ends your lesson for the day. Can't say you "wasted" any time reading this-- chances are you learned something. Don't put this pigeon poo in your hair. It's much b