Archive for April, 2011

Upstairs, Downstairs Open Thread

April 25, 2011 @ 5:52 am | Filed under:

Well that was quick! I’m glad I saw Laurie’s comment about there being only three episodes before I watched the show. I hadn’t realized.

More surprises last night, and more than a few touching moments. I’m left feeling like there was at least one underdeveloped thread (Lady Percy) and one character who didn’t really have a growth arc (Agnes), and I want to see more, more, more of Rose and Hallam (who turned out to be a really interesting, layered character) and the rest. I absolutely loved the scene with the cook and the photographer. Delightful.

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Happy Easter

April 24, 2011 @ 11:33 am | Filed under: ,

Our Easter morning began at 4 a.m., when I jolted out of a deep sleep with an actual shriek. You remember that bit in Bedtime for Frances, when Frances can’t sleep and creeps into her parents’ bedroom and stands beside her slumbering father, staring at him? “She was so quiet that she was the quietest thing in the room. She was so quiet that her father woke with a start.”

Yeah, that was Rilla this morning.

She was completely unfazed by my outcry, which Scott later said sounded like a flock of screeching birds. “I can’t sleep,” she said matter-of-factly. Groggily I lifted up the covers and she slipped in beside me, and ten seconds later she was snoring. Oh, but I was awake, yes indeed.

At 6:30 she came wide awake in one gasp and said, “It’s Easter!” and dashed out of our room. And we lay there listening to rustles and squeals from the bedroom she shares with Rose and Beanie. Huck snoozed for another twenty minutes before joining the candy fray. Jane and Wonderboy had the sense to wait for the sun to come up. The (candy-filled) egg hunt was a delight: Huck considered this the finest hour our family has ever spent and seemed baffled as to why we don’t begin every morning this way.

We’re missing Mass today, still observing the voluntary quarantine recommended by Wonderboy’s doctor. This wave of strep has crashed through most of the families in our homeschooling circle, even smacking some kids a second time, a few weeks later. As far as I know, Wonderboy’s the only one in whom it has erupted as scarlet fever, but I know it’s been a pretty miserable slog for several of the families. Huck woke up from his nap with a fever yesterday. We’re assuming it’s likely to barrel through all of us, one by one, dragging out the fun as long as possible. Given its obvious virulence, we don’t want to risk exposing anyone else—certainly not a crowd of churchgoers. So home we stay, gorging on candy, feasting our eyes on the backyard flowers which have exploded into a crazy extravagance of bloom. There are decidedly worse fates. 🙂

Scarlet Fever

April 21, 2011 @ 7:43 pm | Filed under:

Well! Wonderboy has scarlet fever. Which, when you’re raised on Mary Ingalls and Helen Keller, is a really alarming thing to hear about your own kid. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am SO GRATEFUL I live in the magical age of antibiotics.

Did you know scarlet fever is when you have strep and it causes your entire body to break out in a rash? Yeah, I didn’t know that. Strep! Half the kids in our circle of friends have been down with strep in the past few weeks—strep throat, I mean. I haven’t heard about anyone else having the rash. I suppose the rest of my kids are next. Looks like we’ll be spending Easter right here at home, this year. (more…)

We’re also stealing the term “rerack.”

April 21, 2011 @ 8:28 am | Filed under:

Scott sent me this recipe from an interview with actress Julie Bowen:

“The recipe is embarrassingly easy,” Bowen admits. “I put a little grated cheese on top, and honestly, my husband thinks I’m a chef every time I serve it. All my kids eat it because it’s one of the only things I can make,” she says with a laugh. Here, in her own words, is the secret recipe. Just don’t tell her husband.

1. Pour two 32-oz. cartons of chicken broth into a pot.*

2. Buy one of those roasted chickens at the supermarket, take all the meat off, and dump it into the pot.

3. Add two cans of cannellini beans, a big jar of salsa verde, and some cumin. Let it sit on the stove for an hour.

4. Throw some grated cheese on top and serve.

*Note: CHICKEN BROTH. Not chai tea latte!

So, yeah, that’s dinner tonight. I even have an open jar of salsa verde in the fridge that needs using up. The salsa verde, not the fridge.

You’re wondering why Scott’s reading a Parade magazine interview of Julie Bowen. I’m telling you, the guy reads everything.

If you read a girl a story…

April 18, 2011 @ 4:54 pm | Filed under:

…she will want to go to Paris so she can tell the tiger, “Pooh-pooh!”

You will tweet about it and get an email from a friend, introducing you to a new friend who is exploring Paris with her own young daughter and blogging the whole thing in a most delicious manner.

Your little girl will ask for the same story the next day, and the day after, and on one of these days she will pore over the page where the “twelve little girls in two straight lines” frown at the bad thief, and she will furrow her brow and say, “But how can there be EVIL in PARIS??”

She will want to know all about appendectomies and scars and boarding school and more about appendectomies and the function or lack thereof of the appendix and other internal organs, and when you explain about liver and heart and lungs, she will want to know what lungs do, and when you explain about breathing, she will say, “OH GROSS!” and you will think she means lungs but it’ll turn out she means AIR goes in through your NOSE, that’s DISGUSTING!

You will demonstrate that breathing through her nose is something she does all the time, quite unconsciously, and then the two of you will lie on your bed snorting air in and out your noses, laughing hysterically along with your teenaged daughter who happened by in time for the demonstration.

You will come to the end of the book and your little girl will want to hear it again, and again, and again, every day for a week or more, and this will be just fine with you, because you learn something new every single time.