Mutiny from the Bounty

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Every week.

There are few things that make me feel richer and more fortunate that putting away my groceries. I grew up *hours* from the nearest grocery store. My parents went shopping once a month (with exceptions for milk). I, meanwhile, live minutes from the nearest grocery store. And Peapod delivers. But if you looked at my pantry, you’d think I was stocking up for the quarter. So when it’s time to put produce away, I practice a form of meditative ‘fridge reorganization that bears a striking resemblance to Jenga with Carrots. (This is aided not at all by the fact my kitchen organization requires a smaller-than-average ‘fridge. This is “on the list”. Tragically, about $20k of more pressing updates [see also: furnace, windows, attic redo] are above the it “on the list”.)

Typical Monday night fridge

Since about the first of June, I’ve been signed up for Farmer Dave’s CSA. This is our fifth or sixth year as Farmer Davers, and the first year I’ve been able to stomach the thought of extending the season into the late fall share. (It’s a sign your CSA is working on changing your eating habits when you’re tempted to keep it going because broccoli.) Every week, when I get that ginormous box of farm-fresh produce, I have this mental dialogue as I put it away.

Hippy Brenda: Oh! Arugula! Let’s make lots of salads this week!
Skeptical Brenda: You’re gone for like three days this week, and Adam isn’t going to make salad. You might as well kiss this arugula goodbye.
Homesteader Brenda: I bet there are some great arugula pesto recipes out there. I could just spend the next three hours whipping up a batch of arugula pesto to see us through the winter.
Sleepy Brenda: It’s already 11 pm. Seriously?
Liberal Guilt Brenda: How can you contemplate wasting arugula? Don’t you know that most families across America lack access to affordable healthy food? There are people out there who work three jobs and just DREAM of arugula! And don’t get me started on food insecurity in Africa. You better enjoy this arugula, because you are darn lucky to have it.
Practical Brenda: Let’s compromise. We’ll wash & spin the arugula, beet tops & red lettuce together in salad mix, and cram it in the left drawer which almost still closes. Then in the off chance we can find a time for salad, at least we have the salad fixings.

Repeat for an entire crate of luscious produce.

Worse than zucchini

Of course, then there are the _other_ bits of produce. Let us take kohlrabi as an example. Kohlrabi grows amazingly well in New England. You just think about kohlrabi while looking at a patch of soil, and it starts growing. Kohlrabi is what we call “edible” which means that if you can deep fry it in butter the butter tastes good. I have yet to find a recipe improved by the addition of kohlrabi (after six years of trying) and have frankly given up. My new goal with kohlrabi is plausible deniability. My favorite technique in this regard is to put it on the counter and ignore it until it goes bad. Kohlrabi, of course, requires about three straight weeks of ignoring before I don’t feel too guilty composting it.

What you bring to parties when you have a veggie share. Everything but the carrots was seasonable farm share produce.

In truth, I think the farm share has fundamentally transformed the way my family eats. If you ask my children for their favorite vegetable, they cheerfully profess a string of vegetable-adorations. Spending week after week wracking your brain for yet another use of arugula (see also: romanesco, cabbage) you develop a much more robust repertoire of veggie heavy dishes. You serve your children (and, let’s be honest, your husband) vegetables over and over again in desperation, and on some glorious day those veggies go from despised to a favorite. (True fact: Thane loves cooked collard greens! Grey adores broccoli, even raw!) Last week, at our last pickup, I found myself thinking “yum!” at almost all the produce (there was no kohlrabi). That’s a huge improvement from my attitude toward veggies ten years ago!

Medley of root vegetables, thanks to an entire crisper teeming with root vegetables

Farmer Dave reckons he saves us something like 30 – 40% over buying the produce in a store. There are several ways in which this is a completely useless calculation. For example, I have never once seen some of my favorite veggies in a store. Romanesco? Garlic scapes? Purslane? Amazingly, Stop & Shop does not stock these delicious offerings. (Of course, they’ve also never inflicted kohlrabi on me.) But it’s very difficult to use all your weekly onslaught of produce. (Did I mention we got fresh sweet corn in NOVEMBER this year?! Craziness!) I would never, in the normal course of things, buy nearly as much produce as Farmer Dave brings me every week. And that’s a bit of the point, my friends. We eat SO MUCH MORE produce in order to be able to see the fridge light again than I normally would. And that’s great for all of us.

I adore garlic scapes. They’re basically scallions, but for garlic. Also, they look like hydra heads.

So if you’re interested in kohlrabi, contact me and I’ll send you mine. Otherwise, if you’d like romanesco, herbs, root veggies, garlic scapes, greens and a wide variety of foods-not-found-in-stores, now is the right time to sign up for the 2015 Farm Share! I find the small vegetable share is enough, and I combine it with a fruit share. (Mmmmm fruit.) Farmer Dave has pick up locations all across Massachusetts. If you aren’t near Farmer Dave, there are CSAs available in most regions now!

Ooh look! Is that arugula?!

Meanwhile, I’m personally looking forward to a few months where the only produce in my crisper is stuff I actually bought on purpose and know how to use. We get to eat asparagus (which Farmer Dave does not yet produce) and tropical fruits! I can buy frozen veggies that are pre-cut! I know that by June I’ll be dying for some fresh local goodness, but for now… bring on the bagged spinach!

Bring on the heat

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Heating in 2+ hours… or never.

I woke up yesterday morning to a cold house. I contemplated whether my son figured out how to open his heat vent and steal the heat back into his room (after we’ve rightfully stolen it into ours)… but no. Too cold. The hallway was cold too. The heated floor in the bathroom couldn’t get up to temperature against the chill of the air. I went downstairs praying the battery in the NEST had just died, but no. It was the furnace. We had quick and chilly morning ablution with two icicle-boys eating breakfast in their coats. I called my amazing furnace company Royal Air Systems, and they sent someone right away. This hero of heating replaced something as part of my plan, then checked back an hour or two later. No dice – it still wasn’t working right.

At 7 pm last night he was just leaving my house, having ordered a part from the warehouse. “I adjusted your furnace manually, so the pipes won’t freeze. But please, don’t sleep in the house with those boys. There’s a chance there might be Carbon Monoxide.” Right. Cold temperatures I can handle, but even with CO monitors throughout the house, I’m not a fan of dying in my sleep. The boys were thrilled, THRILLED to have a sleep over with our kind next door neighbors, who opened their home to us last night. They were awfully cute together this morning!

The furnace news is not good. Either it needs to be replaced like today, or it needs to be replaced really soon. If it has to be replaced, it’s entirely possible I’ll need to impose on my friends’ hospitality for another night. (The kids are rooting for this outcome, since they think their sleepover is SO COOL.) I’m cheering for really soon since I am not a fan of snap purchases. My beloved husband is also – conveniently for him – traveling this week, so it’s all on me.

I would say something cheerful about how times like this make me feel lucky because I have such amazing friends, and am capable of handling projects, and am impressed as heck with my service provider, and lucky enough that we can postpone our planned home improvement project (the freaking windows) and do this instead but… I don’t feel 100% and it’s a gray rainy nor’easter outside and I’m not feeling cheerful. So bah humbug!


UPDATED: Just got the call from my dude. He managed to fix the part that needed fixing. He checked on the part that that might have required a new furnace and it’s ok. He ran tests on Carbon Monoxide, and there is none. So we can go home and sleep tonight in a warm house and not die. Yay! We probably need to replace the furnace this year – likely in January. But I don’t have to do it like today. YAY YAY!

And the total out of pocket with my service plan? Not a single red cent. $0. No invoice. The parts alone cost $700 and the dude was there for HOURS and it cost me nothing. YAY YAY YAY!

Liturgically Red Winter

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Thaxted

Three years ago, in December, I stood in the sanctuary I was raised in, confirmed in, married in. I was dressed in red, and slung my trumpet up to play “Thaxted” (from Holst’s planets). It was in celebration of a rare sacrament – a once in a life sacrament. My brother was being ordained, and the spirit of the Lord was with him as it was in Pentecost.

On January 3rd, I will stand once again in that century-old sanctuary with the view of Mt. Rainier. I will be dressed in red. I will sling my trumpet once more, and play Thaxted. It will again be for a once-in-life ceremony. My brother and his bride will become husband and wife on that day.

My l33t photography skills failed to get a single picture of them with all their eyes open, but you get the idea.

My l33t photography skills failed to get a single picture of them with all their eyes open, but you get the idea.

Guys, that’s pretty awesome. I’ve had the chance to meet my brother’s intended (who has been patient enough to put up with me calling her my “sister-in-law-elect”). She’s fantastic. I could go into details, but that would probably be bragging on my part. Let’s just say that she’s a Space Lawyer (working on becoming a Space Doctor because just one 7 year degree isn’t enough) and – best of all – she loves my brother. Also, I’m currently batting 1000 for her bringing me donuts when she comes. And there’s an extremely cute Beagle that comes into the family with the ceremony.

I’m really looking forward to spending the Holiday Interregnum with my family, in Washington State. That weekend ordination aside, we don’t all make it home for Christmas very often. (My parents, souls of gracious practicality that they are, encourage us to come home for Camp Gramp instead, which is at our convenience.) We’ll be there for about 10 days, with a mix of chillaxing, weddinging, taking off with my own husband, staying together and generally being a family. The older I get, the more I appreciate both the family of my birth, and the combined family of my married life. It seems rare to luck out on both sides!

So a little googling reveals that there’s actually a lovely wedding hymn set to Thaxted. I’ll leave you with this lovely thought:

We pledge to one another,
before the Lord above,
entire and whole and perfect,
this union of our love —
a love that will be patient,
a love that will be wise,
that will not twist with envy,
nor lose itself in lies;
a love that will not falter,
a love to hold us fast,
and bind us to each other
as long as life shall last.

We pray that God will guide us
through all the years to be,
our lives be shaped by courage,
hope and serenity.
Through joy and celebration,
through loneliness and pain,
may loyalty, compassion
and tenderness remain,
that those who share the blessing
of love that cannot cease
may walk the paths of gentleness
into the place of peace.

(Youtube for those of you who can’t immediately come up with the hymn tune… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2rednwDOd8)

The Birthday of Ten Thousand Pieces (or Thane Turns Six)

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Thane as a gigantic, nearly grown person

At some point after Thane’s birthday, I did a mental count of the number of individual pieces he got. Two tubs of Perler Beads (one regular and one glow in the dark) – 12,000 pieces. 200 piece puzzle. Four Lego sets (~1000 pieces). Box of actual sand (gazillion pieces). In truth, it was probably the birthday of 20,000 pieces, but that’s far less poetic.

Scientist Thane investigates the shells.

It is, however, very much Thane. From the first, he would patiently try to force tiny fingers into minute actions far too finicky for toddlers. He would try persistently, over and over, until he got it to his satisfaction. He still does. He sat down and did two “6 – 12″ Lego sets, back to back. He created completely symmetrical designs with his beads. He has this capacity for quiet, by himself play that still astonishes me.

He holds his own with the big brother contingent.

One of his favorite gifts from his birthday was a Science Kit. For quite a while he was going to be a Chef/Scientist/Judge. He’s sort of settled on Scientist now, so he was super excited for the Science Kit. As we walked to the Library on Monday, he told me about how his laboratory was going to be right next to the Library so he could get science books to do experiments. It was an awesome plan.

Even on a cold October day, I could not keep Thane out of the water.

I asked Thane the other day (in a fit of trying out various cameras) how Kindergarten was going. He said, “Well… it’s so-so.” He’s actually doing very well. His writing is emerging out of appalling and into almost legible. (That whole forcing your hands to do the small motor things you desperately want? He’s never really wanted to write legibly.) He writes his full name, which still looks strange to me. (He went through a phase of wanting to be called “Nathan” at home. Although I like the name Nathan very much, I was pleased that he wasn’t very adamant and I still get to call him my sweet Thane.) He does not like to color much, I think. His reading is coming well. The books he can read get longer and harder, although it still seems very tiring to him. He is making good friends at school, and has emerged with a new best friend (whom I haven’t even met yet!)

His creations are usually very innovative.

We’re currently between obsessions. He told me, disdainfully, that he doesn’t like Scooby Doo. DOESN’T LIKE SCOOBY?!?!?! He’s spent most of his life completely obsessed with Scooby. There isn’t a Scooby episode, toy, book, spinoff series or live action theater event in the last four years that we haven’t been in the throes of. No Scooby? He’s always had an area of massive interest: Scooby, puzzles, dinosaurs. Legos, of course, persist. I have to guess that he’ll discover a new passion soon. Perhaps Science?

He’s just about too big to swing.

Soccer this fall went much better than in the Spring. This year, he was a big kid who actually kind of knew what he was doing. (Attending each of his big brother’s practices was a completely unfair advantage overlooked in second sons.) He’s incredibly tough and shrugs off physical discomfort. He ran fast and strong, although he does not seem to like the sensation of physical exertion. He’s looking forward to it in the spring, which is indeed progress!

He loves games. He’s been working his way on reading all the cards in King of Tokyo.

He’s still a homebody. He’d far rather hang out in his room doing Legos than go on whatever crazy adventure you’re proposing now MOM. Once we cajole him into the adventure, though, he usually ends up enjoying it quite a bit. He’s still often very glad to return to his own bed and his own Puppy. For a long time we were putting he and Grey to bed at the same time. Now we’ve separated the boys’ bedtimes, he falls asleep much more quickly and easily. He doesn’t even protest the injustice as much as, well, I would’ve at his age.

Making the best of a beach closed due to thunder

Thane is still, to my joy, young and snuggly. He’s shy in the face of new people. He holds my hand with this fingers interlaced through mine. He never walks – he bounces, jumps, spins, hops, drags or dances whenever he moves. He likes to play the “line game” which involves jumping over lines and ignoring the fact you’re about to run into traffic. He giggles when you blow on his belly and tells wild tales about how he thinks reality should work (“I don’t think there should be other planets. It’s unfair!”). He sings to himself while he plays. He asks questions, repeatedly, to which he knows the answer without listening for your response. He thinks its hilarious to wear his underwear on his head, but is grown enough to only do that with clean underwear. He carries his heart in his smile, and my heart in his every small, unconscious act of joy.

We’re going to have a great year together, kid.

Thane and his two best preschool friends

PS – I have up pictures from the end of October! You can See them here!

Update on the Stoneham Greenway!

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Last night Grey and I got to join a lot of other families in town on our local tv station talking about what the Greenway means to me. Those fresh, young faces really helped remind me what this project is about: doing something awesome to make our town an even better place to live. Check out the video!

For those of you who are dying for more details on exactly where the project stands, what it does (and exactly how much of Rec park would be impacted), the Greenway Site has an excellent update you should review!

I’m excited to work with so many great, excited people to make this happen!

Brenda Flynn

Get the Greenway Going!

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Friends, I had the opportunity to attend a Town Meeting last night. This is my letter to the editor about the topic. If you don’t live in Stoneham, feel free to ignore. If you do live here, please – in addition to reading my note – contact your Selectmen to let them know you expect their enthusiastic support of the bikeway!

Fellow Residents of Stoneham,

I’m a mother to two young boys: six and nine. In just a few years, my oldest son will get to go to the great new Middle School we’ve built. In order to get there, though, he’s going to have to cross Montvale and Main Streets. Right now those crossings make me nervous. When the Bikeway becomes a reality, my kids – along with many of others in town – will have a much safer way to walk or bike to school. The bikeway will give us a safe place to teach our kids to ride, connect our community and bring biking enthusiasts to spend time and money in Stoneham!

Recently I attended a session on the future of Main Street. One of the points that was made was that Stoneham needs to attract young families to stay vibrant. Our population is aging. To support them at the level they deserve, we need to promote growth and vibrancy in this town. Our Main Street lacks the foot traffic it needs to attract new companies like Starbucks, and to support local businesses like Angelo’s or Cleveland Fence. In an amazing coincidence, Stoneham has a nearly finished plan for a Greenway (multi-use trail and park) with $5.5 million dollars of outside funding to make more foot traffic happen. Construction could begin as early as next year. By the time my 3rd grader is headed to Middle School, he could take the Greenway!

At the Town Meeting last night, there was a lot of impassioned discussion, and the Board of Selectmen was not authorized to begin negotiations on the temporary construction space needed build the Greenway. (Funny note: John DePinto and Robert Sweeney both voted against giving themselves the authority to help move the Greenway forward!) I worry that MassDOT, who’s giving us the $5.5 million, may think Stoneham doesn’t want or support the investment in public space and resources. They might pass us over in favor of another town that speaks with a more unanimous voice about wanting that investment. The no voters on article 10 last night said they needed more time and more clarity, but we don’t have an infinite amount of time to make this happen before we might need to look at funding this ourselves. Delaying the support of this project could risk our funding.

Not a single person at the meeting last night said they DON’T want the Greenway for Stoneham, but I’m afraid that might be the unintended outcome of delay. So I’m asking all of you: local businesses, Selectmen, football parents, voters, leaders and visionaries in Stoneham. Ask your questions. Get your answers. Find your clarity. Do it fast, and once you understand, throw your whole-hearted, active and vocal support behind this phenomenal opportunity to make Stoneham an amazing place to live.

Brenda Flynn

Camera Obscura

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My backpacking trip this summer to Mt. Rainier was fabulous. Fantabulous. Fantabuloustic. Really, really good. There were really only two things I’d change about it: give me 2 hours at Spray Park before the clouds rolled in, and give me a better camera. The first one is obvious. I had a sinking feeling as I raced up the face of the mountain ahead of a roiling ocean of clouds that I would be thwarted, and I was right. It just means I need to go back.

Data prefers catnip to mountains, thanks.

But my camera? I was in one of the most scenic places in the world. Some of the places I planted my feet can’t be gotten to without either real labor or a helicopter. Some of the things I saw are beyond beautiful. I still walk those paths in my mind when I can’t sleep. But my camera. Well. Let’s just say that Thane’s baby pictures were taken on this camera. He’s in Kindergarten. He’s an OLD Kindergartner. There are baby monitors with more megapixels than that thing. It struggled mightily trying to capture the nasty, back-lit conditions that are the mountain at sunrise. Or sunset. Many of the pictures I took just weren’t as good as they could have been. And the video? So 2007!

Thane dropped that same camera that had recorded his borning cry. (Or actually didn’t. As Adam said at the time, “I don’t want anyone seeing *this* mess!”) It doesn’t turn on. Awwwww, shucks.

Not a baby anymore.

So with my birthday coming up, I asked for a camera. I did some research and went to a camera shop, and the guy wrote down what I looked at. I passed off the card to my husband, and looked forward to a Mega-Pixel future. The camera came. I pulled it out with glee and started taking pictures. They, um, didn’t look so hot. And there were no manual functions. I’ve invested a lot of time and love into learning how to really use my camera. I want something that *can* hold my hand, but doesn’t necessarily do so.

I returned the camera.

My last attempt to like camera #2

My last attempt to like camera #2

I went to Hunts Camera in Melrose, the grownup version of a toy store. (With an extra 0 or two added to the end of the price, the way grownup toys are.) The helpful salesman walked through my desires: fits in my pocket (the horror was writ large on his face), manual controls. I’m not too picky. I got my new camera and brought it home and gave it a run.

I really wanted to like it. I really, really, really did! It had a 20x zoom! It was, um, fancy! It has all the controls of my DSLR but in a camera that can fit in my coat pocket, if not so easily my jeans pocket. Yay! I brought it to the soccer field. I brought it to Cape Code. I took pictures hiking.I took pictures apple picking. I took pictures at home. And you know? It drove me nuts. It was hard to focus and slow to turn on. It kept on accidentally turning on when I put it in the case. My kids usually had at least one blurry part of their body. Not only did I not dig it, I didn’t like it. I spent WAY TOO MUCH on it not to like it. With great reluctance, I went back today.

Fractious fractals of romanesco

Truthfully, I was kind of expecting a hassle. I took a few hundred pictures on the camera attempting to like it. I even brought my kids with me to the swap – my prior failure before had been that I hadn’t attempted any photography with vibrating subjects who like to perform photobombs. I asked my assistants to be as obnoxious as possible while I attempted to capture their hijinks on camera. They were naturals.

Many props to Hunts – they swapped out my camera without demur or delay. When the camera I wanted was (of course) out of stock, they sent me home with the floor model and a promise to call me when the new one comes in so I can immediately swap it out.

And guys, I love it. Phew. Third time’s the charm!

Here are the last pictures I took on the second camera and my “trying it out” pictures I took on the new one!

Mr. Puppy in very low light

Mr. Puppy in very low light

PS – one of my daydreams is to turn the attic bedroom into a camera obscura. Someday…..

Like a hole in his head

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I sent a perfectly intact child to school this morning. The kid I came home to has a hole in his head!

He’s flawed! Flawed I tell you!

As if I don’t have enough angsty change to deal with, with one of my sweet little babies turning nine, one of my sweet little babies starting Kindergarten, and now a missing tooth! It’s like the universe is trying to tell me that I don’t have any babies, I have boys!

Thane swallowed his tooth. (Rookie move.) I tried to convince him that the tooth fairy would just operate on him in his sleep (he still clearly totally buys the whole tooth fairy thing), but he insisted that his stomach acid would dissolve the tooth. How can a kid be so smart and yet so gullible?

He wrote a note to the tooth fairy, in lieu of the tooth. Being that he’s in his third week in Kindergarten, it’s pretty unreadable. As far as I can tell it says, Dear Tooth Fairy, I lost my too-th. It fell out and I don’t know where my lost tooth is.” He said he wrote it in bands like a rainbow, only this was three bands and rainbows have seven. I think the green thing is a picture of the tooth. I promise that the actual tooth was not green at the time of loss.

Accepted as legal tender by tooth fairies everywhere.

Grey Turns Nine

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Grey has 7 teeth (seven!) and is doing very well eating solids. His parents are perhaps doing less well in figuring out what solids are kid-friendly, nutritious and easy to make. Grey can now hold his own sippy cup to drink water.

Grey at nine

Grey at nine

Wait, what’s that you say? My son is not nine months old, but nine years?! Impossible! Irrational! Unbelievable! Why, nine years old is practically a grownup! A real person! I was in Mr. White’s class when I was nine, learning about the Civil War and charting weather patterns based on newspapers. My son can’t be nine, can he?

He can be, and he is.

Writing about Grey has gotten harder. He dislikes it when I’ve posted some cute picture or story on Facebook, and he hears about it Sunday from the wonderful, caring grownups there. He’s asked – fairly – that I get his permission before I post stories or pictures about him. The editing makes perfect sense from his point of view, but I miss getting to tell you everything. He’ll read, and approve, this story before I publish it. (This is my excuse for why it’s late.) Only he and I know which lines got crossed out. He would like me to tell you, though, that he’s got his oft-neglected blog Wacky Wonder Comics.

My son and me

The most notable difference about Grey is his steadiness. He will always be a person who feels life deeply, with meteoric highs and abysmal lows. First grade, in particular, roiled for us, with far too much time spent in subterranean unhappiness. But second grade, with a beloved teacher, went much better. This summer was profoundly marked by his adventures in Camp Wilmot. He came back a bit more centered, confident, quieter and capable. Since then, there have been small but profound changes. For example, he now does his chores quickly and without delay or whining right when he gets home. He seems to rebound faster from disappointments. He is trying harder – he has picked himself up from the dirt of the soccer field and taken off running. I didn’t see that from him even this spring. His grit is catching up to his smarts.

Grey’s self-portrait (on iPad)

Grey only wanted one thing for his birthday: a Chromebook. He, like his parents, loves video games. Although we have taught him how to live in a world without screens, there’s no denying that given his druthers he be online and connected. His homework has gotten more serious about online work lately, with some great math, typing and science programs. So… for his birthday he got a Chromebook. I loaded the bookmarks with the best of the internet. I set him up with a Khan Academy account. I put algebra games into his app store.

He figured out where to find the best online games, changed the background, and commented on a G+ picture I posted.

The boy and his gear

For the first time, today, he and I had an email exchange that I had not had to choreograph. The internet has been a wonderful thing for me, but I still have trepidation on seeing his first steps onto the road of the larger digital world, where the best and the worst of humanity and human history lurk mere clicks away from each other.

Grey is growing in every way. He’s watching M*A*S*H with me at night. He’s arguing that he’s too big for his booster seat. He’s three inches away from being right, at four and a half feet. He has a sense of style and a clothing preference. When he draws comics, he includes guidelines so the boxes are square. He loves cats, my chili and comic books. When he and his friends play Minecraft together, every other word is “Dude”. He asked me the other day if he’d always be my baby. I told him that no doubt, he’d always be my baby. But with the quickly passing years, he is also now my boy, quickly growing to be my young man. I love him, and I’m proud of him.

Grey and his two best friends at his birthday celebration at the Lego Discovery Center, with their Minecraft Lego statues. (Two great tastes…)

Haikus and apple butter

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I don’t have much time for contemplation in my life. I’m a knowledge worker, so most of my tasks require the better parts of my brain, leaving little time when my hands are busy and my mind is free. But this last weekend we obtained a bushel of apples. A bushel of apples means apple butter time, which means peeling, coring and cutting 20 apples, followed by much stirring. One finds oneself thinking of the infinite variety of apple seeds (apple trees don’t grow true from seeds – varietals are made by grafting), or how rarely I’ve made apple butter with Joe and Don keeping me company during playoff season.

My mind wandered. The result was two appallingly bad haikus, which I of course share with you:

Peels and cores piled high
Throwing away apple seeds
Russets never known.

Playoff baseball sounds
Peeling six pounds of apples
My team sits at home.

The tools of the meditation

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