stars and angels gave the sign

Hello from the time warp that is Christmas. Seriously, the day before Christmas Eve (Mom calls it Christmas Adam), Christmas Eve, and Christmas (or Christmas Day One, as I call it) felt like a whole week all by themselves. There was cleaning, decorating (I made paper chains and stars, and the stars still haven’t made it up…), church-going, and then on the night of Christmas Eve, feasting and gingerbread-house-making. Also Dad read us “The Night Before Christmas”, as is traditional. Or not.
Dad: “When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but–”
Poncho: “A chocolate cow. HEHEHEHEHEEEEE”
Dad: shakes head sadly, muttering, “Blasphemy.”

Yep, that's the gingerbread house. You either think it's cute, or else you are imagining a fairy tale witch living in there, pre-heating her oven...
Yep, that’s the gingerbread house. You either think it’s cute, or else you are imagining a fairy tale witch living in there, pre-heating her oven…

Oh yeah, and the dead Lego people in the background… The battle of Helm’s Deep spilled over. Because that’s what Poncho got for Christmas! He opened it with much excitement, and Dodge and I just looked at each other and I said, “Can we play?”

Anyway… Christmas itself was laid-back, with us basically taking turns laying on the couch with the television tuned into sleep-inducing nature shows, or new video games, or movies. I never got a nap, though, because right as I fell asleep it was time for dinner. Which was ham.
Ham, my personal nemesis.
Well, one of them. Because if ham was the mayor, Canadian bacon would be vice mayor, and why did I use mayors as an analogy. I do not know. What I’m getting at is, ham creeps me out.
Grandma: “Aren’t you going to have some meat?”
Me: “I don’t eat ham.”
Grandpa: “You’re a vegetarian!?!”
Me: “No… I just don’t eat ham.”
Grandpa: “So you just don’t like pork, huh?”
Me: “I like pork. Just not ham.”
Or Canadian bacon. But I did not mention that.
Next Christmas I think we should have catfish instead. At least one for me. (And if catfish was the mayor, corn muffins would be vice mayor and mashed potatoes would be secretary of state–)

Oh, and everyone seemed to like the presents I got or made for them, which made me happy. I was overly excited to give gifts to people. Probably because I’m about as good as keeping secrets as mashed potatoes would be at foreign affairs, so I would have just burst out “PONCHO I MADE YOU A NARWHAL” at any minute if I’d had to wait longer.

That’s kind of all I have to say about Christmas (so far, that is…). I mean, I ought to have more to say, or some touching words, or something. But nope.

Right now Mom is watching the news, and they were showing snowfall stats for different cities.
Mom: “Way to go, Little Rock!!! …I’m so happy for them.”

I’m happy for us too, that we had snow. The news tried to make it sound like it was going to be a deadly blizzard, and even the library closed early. It wasn’t a blizzard. It was more of, uhhh, normal snowfall amounts for this region.
But that’s probably not as fun to say as “SNOWPOCALYPSE!” so, yeah.

(on the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me–)
That’s all for now…
~Pen

If music be the food of love, what’s the food of facepalms?

Right now, I’m at Bethesda House, all alone.
And I am hungry.

I checked the cabinets for snacks. Generally, they are stocked with food, but it is generally unappealing to me. Except this time, there was…. Raisin Bran!

I ran to the fridge to see if there was milk. There was! I dumped a ton of cereal ionto a bowl and poured the milk on top. Picked up the spoon. Glanced at the milk carton.

July 25.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

So, I emptied the bowl, tossed out the carton of milk– and then, to spare anyone else from the emotional roller coaster I went through, I selflessly consumed the last of the Raisin Bran.

(It would have been better with milk.)

Well, well, well. Today was the last day of having-dance-every-day-for-a-week, and I am feeling the burn. I am also feeling a huge bruise/scrape on my left knee. Oh, was that a dance injury, you ask? Why, what an interesting question. It was not, in fact. In fact, it was…

Mom and I ran into Giant Evil yesterday at eight o’clock in the morning to get ice cream for her students. As we were checking out, she said, “Oh, Pen, I really need some breakfast. The bakery’s right over there, go get me something.”

We were almost done checking out, so I ran. Down the aisle! Around the produce booth and– OOF! I slipped and fell flat on the ground, landing in a sprawling position remeniscient of a bug on a windshield. (And yes, I actually said “oof.” Lord help me.)

Me: “Ow. Crap.” (as I hop to my feet)
Ten Employees: “Are you OK???”
Me: “Yeah! I’m fine!” as I ran off, waving to them over my shoulder.

Then, I didn’t realize that you could just take a muffin, and then I didn’t realize that when you take a muffin you’re supposed to put it in a bag or something. Yep, I just ran right back through the store holding a muffin out in front of me. I waved to the employees again. They clung to the produce booths, bracing for impact.

For your information, I did not fall again. Hmph.

My knee was scraped, but it didn’t turn dark purple and swell up and start to hurt until a few hours later.

Mom: “We should sue!”
Me: “Psh, I’m fine!”

Francis: “You should sue!”
Me: “Haha, right.”

Dad: “We should sue!”
Me: “Hmmmm….”

And one more thing…

Eliza left for Kansas this morning.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner…. Right?

~Pen

Smooth, Dad.

Dad: “Try this, Pen.” He held a mug out to me, a mug which was filled with–
Me: “That looks like crud from the bottom of a pond.”
Dad: “It’s coffee and oatmeal and–” (tastes) “I think it needs more ice.”
VRRRRR, VRRRRRRRRRRR went the blender.

That’s right: Dad’s new obsession is, as Mom put it, “smoothifying everything.”

Including…
Dad: “Oh, and there was a sandwich in the fridge today, which I ate.”
Mom: “That’s okay, it was for you.”
Dad: “Oh, good.” (evil smile) “VRRRRRRRR.”
Me: “You did not. blend. a sandwich!”
Dad: “Everything’s a smoothie to me now.”
He went on to explain how it’s a “much more efficient way to eat” and that we should all be doing it. Well, it is 2012. Isn’t it time all those visions of the future where we wear spacesuits and drink our food come true?

Now he makes stupid blender jokes: “What’s green and red and goes a hundred miles an hour?”
Dodge: “Oh, oh, I know this one! A frog in a blender!”
Dad: “Haha– Hmmmm….”

Mom: “I liked it better when he made lawn furniture.”

Fat Tuesday musing…

I’ve been thinking about sacrifices and things, and I’ve come to realize that *news flash* nearly all food is delicious. I mean, one would practically have to live on bread and water– but bread is actually quite good. Come to think of it, I really like water, too. (It’s so refreshing!) And sweets… Tea is sweet, juice is sweet, fruit and cooked carrots and sweet potaotes are sweet. And Eliza’s broccoli might as well be dessert!

And fish? First, if it’s a dead animal, how is it not meat; second, unless you eat them like Smeagol, they’re delicious; thirdly, no one can even pretend eating anything fried is a sacrifice. Then there’s, what? Pierogies? Potatoes and cheese and onions swathed in soft, buttery noodles is considered fasting?

Has sainthood ever been more attainable?


PS: I guess I could just live on ham and grape juice… But then I probably wouldn’t. Live, I mean.

Photographic Memory

A picture is worth a thousand words…. But I can’t seem to resist captions.

Owen-ito El Burrito!
ripping up carpet. My bedroom looks much better now.
Dodge, Mom, and I all went to the Lego Store on the way to the Columbus Feis. The Lego store was located in...
...the scariest Fakeworld EVER.
Driving to Queen Right Colonies with Dad. Now you have proof of my city-slicker-ness.
Poncho is the family food critic. Five stars for my pasta dinner!
Speaking of food... apple scone = YUM.
Daisy wanted a taste.
It looks like snow. But its actually fluff from the dogwood/cottonwood trees.

 

clover for drying.
My fleet of sprouts, most of which have since ventured bravely into the out-of-doors.
Daisy, with her "Please? / "It wasn't me" face.
Fond "Lost" memories...
This is what it's like to live with boys.
My first spinach crop!!!
Dodge took this picture of "the accidental strawberry".
The strawberries came up because Dodge threw some moldy strawberries in here last fall. We were surprised come spring! Unfortunately, the slugs had a picnic.
That is our yard. How do you like me now, Mr Perfect Lawn? Dodge took this picture, too, btw.

Tis all for now.

Love,
Pen

Thumbing Our Noses

So we had to go grocery shopping… my least-favorite thing to do, like, ever. I HATE the big grocery store! We try to get everything we can from this little marketplace/store that sells all Ohio-grown produce, homemade sauces and soups, and really good meat… But they don’t sell soymilk, cereal, shedded cheese, stuff like that. So we always have to go to the EVIL grocery store. Whenever I go there I always feel such rage against the world… It makes you feel very trapped in this system, and especially after watching Food, Inc and reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, that is not where I want to be.

This time, my mom came with me. We brought our reusable bags…

This is really a whole other post, but... Me disliking feeling like a billboard + Dad disliking foreign cars + one giant permanent marker = this.

Since I’ve of course been talking up a storm about organic foods, Mom decided to be very loving and supportive and buy as much organic food as we possibly could. My soymilk. The beans. The cereal, the meats. The granola bars, peanut butter, pasta and frozen veggies. We checked out and used a total of ZERO plastic bags (Cashier: “Would you like me to put this meat in a plastic bag?” Mom: “Would you like my daughter to have a heart attack?”) Everything was more expensive, of course, but once we read the labels we realized that the food we were getting was mostly made with less and healthier ingredients. The peanut butter was made with (shocker) Peanuts. That was all. The applesauce was made from Apples and Water. Though I knew Mom was not exactly happy about the higher prices, she was still very, very nice and supportive of me and decided to just go with it. Thanks, Mommy!

We left the Evil Grocery feeling actually victorious. I didn’t feel as trapped. Of course it wasn’t perfect (I would prefer all-local, too, but we take it step by step) but we felt like we were thumbing our noses at the system. We didn’t need the big, evil store or the big, evil companies that were trying to make us eat clones and chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients. “Better open a window, cuz somebody just got BURNED!” Oh yeah.

So that was our day. I’m very proud of Mom for being so adventurous. <3

And while we’re on the topic of thumbing our noses at the system, on Friday we were out gallivanting around town after our dentist appointments (I am already growing wisdom teeth, which is not supposed to happen until age 18. I said I must be very wise for my age). We stopped to grab a bite and the lady at the register was all, “Oh, is school out already?” (It was like, noon.) We were like, “uh… sure….” But now I’m wondering why people feel this uncontrollable need to ask me why I’m not “in school”. Do you ask adults why they’re not at work? Is school supposed to be my life or something? So, next time I get asked that question I’m just gonna say, “Nah. I cut classes again today.” Now THAT will freak people out GOOD. Hahaha. Hilarious. The best part is when they look at you like they can’t decide if you’re joking or not. 

Breaking out of the system is not only good for you, it’s FUN. :D

Till the cardboard boxes,
–Pen