Thursday, July 31, 2008

Family-friendly Friday Fill-In

1. If I could travel back in time, I'd go to the days I gave birth to each of my boys...after the pain part. Those days were the happiest days of my life.

2. Give me a fresh garden tomato sandwich or give me homemade sangria. Really, either would do. Why do I have to choose?

3. I am listening to the dishwasher running and my husband snoring while he "watches" the baseball game.

4. Somewhere, someone is thinking boy, he sure is a loud snorer.

5. I'll always be glad that I married my husband. Well maybe not EVERY moment, but...overall. Really, really glad.

6. My idea of a good time includes doing just about anything with my family. It is not hard for me to have a good time. Usually.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching The Alamo with my oldest, tomorrow my plans include cleaning up the house and preparing some food for a party and Sunday, I want to have a lovely lunch here for my mom's birthday, then take everyone over to the local polo matches. We've lived here ten years and have never been!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Beach Magic

Yesterday was a beautiful summer day here in New England. We had nothing on the schedule, the boys all slept in, and the afternoon was spread out before us. The beach seemed an obvious choice, so we suited up and gathered our things and, as usual, tried to solicit some friends to come along or meet us there. It is prime day camp season and most of the boys' friends are gone all day so it ended up being just the four of us.

I cannot remember the last time that just the four of us went to the beach together. These are the simple, unplanned moments that are easy to take for granted, but today I savored it. I watched them squeal when the big waves came in and I saw them look for each other after the waves passed by. They were smiling, laughing, and high-fiving each other. They built Sauron's Tower at the edge of the water and had sword fights with their whiffle ball bats up away from the crowds. We ate and talked and rested and swam together some more.

I loved having my boys to myself at the beach. I loved being together with them and watching them be with just each other. My oldest turns twelve next week and I wonder how much longer he will be content with this kind of a day. I know I could never get sick of it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Learn Nothing Day Disaster!!

It all started off with such promise. It was raining. We had been on vacation in Vermont for about ten days with family and we were all a bit quiet and restful. Conditions were perfect for learning absolutely nothing.

Then I opened my big mouth...."Is buffalo mozzarella made with buffalo milk?"

You see, the day before LND, we had been to a farmer's market where local goods are sold. I was drawn to a table where they were selling cheese and yogurt and had started chatting with the farmer. He told me that their products were made with buffalo milk right there in Vermont, then he got distracted and the kids all wanted their yogurts, so off we went. This is the setting for that fateful Learn Nothing Day disaster. My husband was under the impression that buffalo mozzarella was a term rather than an indication that buffalo milk was used. "Really?" I said, "I know he said that they used buffalo milk."

But maybe I misheard?

Was I having a Jessica Simpson moment?

Husband says:

"You can't milk a buffalo!!"

"Have you seen many buffalo roaming around since we got here? There's no way."

I had to find out. Learn Nothing Day, be damned!!

Here is what I found out from the website. If you click on the link, you may see for yourself:

Bufala di Vermont, based in South Woodstock, Vermont, is the site of the first water buffalo farmstead creamery in the United States and has the largest and the best quality milking herd of water buffalo in North America. Although water buffalo milk and its products have been consumed around the world for thousands of years, there are only three water dairies in the United States. All Bufala di Vermont products are made in Vermont and are 100% pure water buffalo. Water buffalo, or bufala, are a completely different species than North American buffalo, which are actually bison. One of the greatest differences between these two animals is that water buffalo are an excellent source of dairy, as well as meat. Water buffalo produce approximately 15% of the world's milk, primarily in Southeast Asia, South America and Italy. Italians have been using water buffalo for over 200 years where the meat and mozzarella are highly regarded delicacies.

Bufala di Vermont produces fresh and aged cheeses, yogurt, and specialty meats. All products are all natural and free of antibiotics, growth hormones and anything artificial.

AHA!! So we drove 20 minutes to visit the only dairy-based water buffalo herd in North America and we all got to pat them and meet the farmer and see the dairy operation. We were doomed.

SO, it was me....I ruined a perfectly good Learn Nothing Day for all of us. Except one of my boys reminded me that they were still boycotting it anyway, so it was okay with them.

Better luck next year, I guess.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Learn Nothing Day Boycott!!

My kids have decided to boycott Learn Nothing Day. They have decided that it sounds way too boring and they refuse to participate.

The other night while we were waiting for the beach fireworks to start, I finally sat down and the free-form chatter started.

My youngest started talking about odd and even numbers, and figuring out that in one had to add an odd and an even together to get another odd. The other two had fun trying to test the theory. Other discussions were as follows:

Why do we have fireworks again?
Which one of those songs is the national anthem?
If I jump up and down in the same place, do I ever land EXACTLY in the same place or is it always different?
Why do most stars have five points? Why not four or seven? Why do Jewish stars have six points?
Why can we hear that boat horn so clearly from so far away?

I reminded them that Learn Nothing Day was coming, and that we needed to practice, so shhh!!

They laughed. And that's when they decided to boycott it. And then we started talking about boycotts...