Saturday, September 29, 2012

Meet Our New Pets

See the black and yellow caterpillars?

These guys are parsley worms than accidentally came inside in our bundle of herbs. Hopefully we can keep them fed and happy with parsley and they will turn into butterflies. That shouldn't be a problem given the giant parsley plant in the herb garden.

I have named them Prezze and Persil, which is Italian and French for parsley! Actually, Grammie the fluent Italian speaker may correct me that it prezzemolo....but that's kind of a mouthful.

I'm way more excited about these guys than I probably should be.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Lunchboxes Get Famous

Look, I got asked to be a 'guest author' on someone else's blog!! I'm apparently more famous than I thought. I feel like a real journalist or something. Check it out and also check out Amanda's blog. She does all sorts of amazingly cute things with her son's lunches.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

First Field Trip....and the Very Very Orange Pumpkins

We headed to an apple orchard for Tessa's first kindergarten field trip. Charley headed to the zoo with friends. And everyone at peanut butter for lunch!

(Like that heading? I still think the heading this is kinda dumb. We'll see)

Let me start by sharing a conversation I had with Jeremy. 

Me- Do you think that I have been overusing the 'super vivid' setting on my camera? (refer to the last month of blog posts)
Jer- Yes
Me- But I love it. Look how orange the pumpkins are and how green the grass.
Jer- Yes but look how blue your daughter's skin is and how your hair looks like it's on fire.
Me- But that's sexy right?
That part of the conversation never actually happened. 
Jer- When I'm making my annual slideshow, there's going to by like one month of everybody looking weird and blue with green green grass behind them. 
Me- Like smurfs in Ireland?

We had alot of fun enjoying the super super orange pumpkins at Apple works. 

We rode on a wagon and saw the apple orchards, then got a little lecture from the apple lady about harvesting apples. Mostly it was about how depressing this last year's freaky weather made life at Appleworks. Droughts and warm winters suck for everyone, self included. 

This school amazes me.  There were literally as many parent volunteers as kids. Like a 1:1 ratio. It was fun but also didn't leave room for little brother to come along. He became an honorary kid at my friend's house which is already filled with kids and got to go on a suprise trip to zoo. 

Outdoor fun was had by all! I love fall!!

Except last fall. There were very few things I loved about last fall. Confused about what I mean? Start here.

We were feeding the animals pirate's booty because I didn't have a quarter to buy feed with. Hey, it's baked not fried.

I think we need one of these horse walkin' circles in our backyard for when the small group kids come over every week. Best kid exercise ever.

Original Music

This is what an original musical composition sounds like when you're five.

MVI 1982 from Laura Sargent Bennington on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

When Mommies Nap

 Daddies Cook 

 (This is called a heading...looks like a news article huh? It's supposed to help me in my flailing pursuit of becoming a real bonafied blogger by giving Google a topic to latch onto. Whatever, who  knows. I'm famous in my own mind.)

Sometimes....SOMETIMES....when Mommies go upstairs to relax and read a few pages of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer and then accidentally fall asleep for an hour and half, when they come downstairs they find that their family has been busy prepping a wonderful dinner. Sometimes.

They might find their five year old dicing up mushrooms with her safety and telling secrets like...'sshhh, Daddy let me use the big knife too!' I'm sure there was mucho supervision.

 They might find the three year old ripping up (mutilating) some spinach for sauteing.

 They might find fresh pasta drying on racks.

They might even notice that their husband found the five year old's new fancy apron, sent all the way from Mom-Mom in Colorado.

 They might see and smell a beautiful plate of chicken marsala with spinach.

 And notice that the five year old has even made up the table outside, complete with napkin triangles.

 And when after dinner the kids and Dad go out front to ride bikes while Mom does dishes, they might find themselves surprised with some fresh cookies as a thank you.

And everybody might find themselves feeling happy and blessed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our Family Flag

 Last night Tessa got a stick and a piece of paper and decided we needed a family flag. She made it while I was at band rehearsal but when I woke up this morning I caught sight of it. Pretty darn cute right...especially because she taped it to a stick. 

 So I found a good plant to stick it in. 

That's our fridge by the way. I make a collage of all the picture postcards we get each year (90% of which are from Christmas). Look closely, you might see yourself! After new year's I take down the ones from the year before and put up all the new ones. I love looking at all your smiling facing in my kitchen each day!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Melt My Heart

Tessa did this all on her own. She just asked me how to spell 'beautiful' as I was washing dishes. Melt my heart.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Our Garden- the Herbs and Spices Section

On one side of the house we have the grape arbor, asparagus and about a dozen tomato plants. One the side by Jeremy's office, we have herbs and spices and such. This is the section where we grew garlic earlier in the summer, with a yield of about 30 heads.

I also planted cabbage and lettuce in this section in the spring but a rogue bunny came along and ate before Jeremy had to chance to pee around the perimeter. Yes he did. And it worked.

What you're looking at in this pic is a lot of basil and some rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Also in there is a jalapeno and bell pepper plant and a cucumber vine-ing up the fence.

5 basil plants full and hardy. Just about six weeks ago I had cut these down to the ground to make copious amounts of pesto to freeze. Looks like it's time to do the same again. 

Rosemary, star of my delicious herb butter. 

Better late that never, our big cucumber plant is coming along. All the yellow flowers will eventually be cukes ready to eat. At the rate they are going up, we may be eating them out of the gutters! 

Our one jalapeno plant has us overrun at the moment. Jeremy pickled some and we made some into poppers. I think we need to eat a LOT more poppers to catch up. Every day this week...I'm mandating it! Okay, that sounds like a recipe for gastronomical distress.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Bennington Suburban Vineyard Part 2- Press

Primary fermentation of our grapes is done, and today Jeremy removed all the skins and contained the juice in glass carboy. 

No more 'punching the cap' or sniffing the juice. It's all closed up now in the glass with a bubbler on top to release the gasses produced by fermentation.

And now it sits for the long rest.

First he took the chunky juice with skins (aka the must) and pushed it all through a sieve. The skins are what have given the wine it's nice dark color and flavor, but now it's time for them to go before they mold and rot. By the way...the only difference between white and red wines are that red does primary fermentation with the skins on and white does not. It doesn't come from white grapes. Mind blowing I know.

Then Jeremy made a holy mess of my kitchen by filling up the carboy to exactly 6 gallons.That was his ultimate goal was to get one full carboy from our own grapevines. He was over by just a couple of cups. Remember it took more than 30 gallons of grape clusters to get us here. Holy reduction batman!

The beautiful purple skins and seeds, after their work has been done. Good job fellas.

By the way, all these years I thought the word for that glass jug was carboid. Blogger says that's not a word and Jeremy informed me that it's spelled carboy. That just sounds goofy. That sounds like a character from West Side Story.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Stop the Presses for My Shotty Workmanship

Today I sewed Tessa nightgown. The reason it's not a dress is because it doesn't look nice enough to be seen in public. It's a nightgown.

I don't sew. Ever. My sewing kit is the kind that bachelors own for fixing their buttons. So I thought the road to how I ended up sewing a nightgown would best be explained in a bulleted list.

-- Mamaw taught us all sewing basics when we were kids, including my brother. But I'm still really bad at it. I just know how to make a sewers knot. I do not have a sewing machine because that would require me knowing how to use it.

--The Indiana forecast for this fine labor day weekend called for a gully washer all three days, so we planned for some needed indoor relaxation and laziness. Sorry about the weed jungle out their neighbors....but it's raining SO HARD. Okay actually it's Saturday night and we've only seen like 15 min of rain all day. But the point is we planned for it.

--Tessa had found a piece of fabric she had been 'sewing' on like a year ago in the junk drawer and almost begged that one of our indoor activities be sewing.

-- I had a bought a kit of fabric circles to made into yo-yos last fall when I was laid up, of which I probably made less than 20 (with my bachelor sewing kit). There's still a lot of circles to yo-yo. I figured if I start yo-yoing NOW, we may have a 3 foot strand of yo-yo garland for the Christmas tree.

(This is a yo-yo)

--Tessa did decently well making two yo-yos herself and declared it boring, but she still wanted to sew.

-- Like a month ago I had posted on facebook that my fabulous shiny bronze throw pillow had a hole and I was looking for a cool piece of fabric to patch it with. I know lots of crafty people with fabric. I'm not one of them, to be clear. 

-- Aunt Jessie sent me a whole bag of fabric scraps from NYC which begs the question...Jessie what have you been making??

-- I promptly found out that Jeremy had thrown away my fabulous bronze pillow. He doesn't really read facebook.

-- After yo-yoing was deemed boring, I sent Jeremy upstairs to get the fabric so he and Tessa could make a pillow! And I could continue yo-yoing like a machine!

-- Except we didn't have any stuffing and nobody really wanted a new pillow.

-- Then I told Jeremy to make a doll outfit! Or a dress! Or a toga!...with all of our fabulous scrap material, so that I could yo-yo like a machine!

-- He said no, that was too hard.

-- Then I declared him to be a wimp. How hard could it be?! Plus I had SO MUCH yo-yoing to complete.

-- He said no, he and Charley had a marble race to build. 

-- So I had to prove myself and made this nightgown by hand in about 30 minutes. Then I was over sewing, and everyone else was wrapped up in a movie.

-- My nightgown kicks ass. But nobody should pull on the seem too hard, and I'm not sure it can withstand the washing machine.

-- I only got two yo-yos made.

The end.