Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dreams, First Year

Last night I had nightmare after nightmare about my husband dying. It was horrible. I'd wake up from one dream with my heart in my stomach, then full of relief that it was a dream, only to fall back asleep and dream another one. Ugh. In one of the dreams he was being chased by a buffalo-dinosaur thing. When my son woke up, he said he had a "pile of bad dreams" so I think maybe it was something in the air or something we ate.

In thinking about it this morning, I imagined our life span together. You must understand, I met my husband when we were 12 years old. We fell in love at age 15 and have grown together since then. We've been together over half our lives. I picture us being 60 years old and going on sweet honeymoons, 75 years old and sitting in the movie theater, 99 years old and holding great-grandbabies and feeling 33 on the inside.

We got married when we were 21, near the end of our junior year of university. We married, had a party at my grandma's house, and then moved into married student housing. We lived there for a little over a year. After we graduated we bought our house and have been here since. Even though we've lived here for 11 years, and only lived there for 1, my memories of that apartment are so vivid. It's as if we spent a lifetime there. Such sweetness.

I remember borrowing movies from the library a couple buildings over. Walking to the swing-set across the field. Cooking spaghetti dinners with candlelight to greet him as he came home from work. Having our friends over and feeling very grown up. Watering my new houseplant in the sill of that huge window.

I remember a lot.

Walking back to our apartment building, from the swing-set.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

She Says

Here are some quotes from my 3 year old daughter, all from this morning.

1. "I really love your bloomed flowers. I can't believe how you made them! Did you really make them, mama?"

2. "When I was a kid, I used to visit my granny bear."

3. "Mama, will you sing that song about how 'my bunnies fly over the ocean, bring back my bunnies to me?' I love that song."

4. "I wish my Nana could come back today."

She took this self-portrait of her feet.

I love her so deeply.


Friday, July 15, 2011

John Deere Combine Cake Directions

You may ignore this post unless you are my sister or my niece. Or I suppose if you are really curious how to make a combine cake, you could read this. It's heavy on the pictures, because my niece is planning to make one for her 4-H project and this was the easiest way to share my pictures. At times like these, I'm thankful that my husband is a photographer.

So I started with a quarter sheet cake. (I suppose you'll start with a 16"x20"x2" styrofoam block. I cut a piece of wood about 5x8 inches. Maybe not quite that big? I covered it with foil. Then I cut 2 slabs of cake that size as well, and piled them on top, with icing in between. Here is a picture of that:

Then I picked an end to be the back, and rounded the edges, like this:

I cut a wedge shaped piece of cake to be the cab, and attached it with icing and shish-kabob skewers. I also made a hopper like a rectangle with a bowl hollowed out inside. Here are some pictures of those:

Then I covered the whole thing in green stars, like so:

Here is a close-up of the cab, after I iced the top, but before I did the windows. Notice how the hopper is right up to the cab on top:

I poked in a bendy straw to be the auger. I cut the bent part a little shorter. I used a smooth tip to pipe icing on all around it:

I dipped my finger in corn starch to pat the icing smooth. The corn starch just soaks in:

I put on the toy combine head. (I'll get it to you somehow!) I attached a ding dong with frosting for the front wheels, and chocolate covered donettes for the back wheels, and a little yellow icing for details. Candy corn in the hopper:

Gray for the windows, lined in black:

Good luck! I know you can do it.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Down Time

It is wonderfully hot here, high 90s. We are spending hours in our pool.

One day a gray tree frog joined us. He was too jumpy to catch.

But he let us pet him.

We've baked some things. It's really nice to make something special
and not have to take it to a pitch-in. I do love pitch-ins, but I realized
I rarely make this kind of thing to have at home.

Playtime in the front yard, when it's not too hot. (This was not the same day, Goose
wore that dress for about a week.) They made a small dirt patch, then
peeled the seedy things off a certain kind of weed and filled it up.

Time out for a hug.

This is a funny story. I found a wolf spider in our kitchen. I grabbed a towel to dry
my hands, and it jumped out and I really, truly overreacted. My son ran down to see
what was up, and when I told him it was a wolf spider, he ran out into the yard
and said he was moving out. I checked on him after I got rid of the spider. (A
euphemism, I actually killed it.) Anyway, he was on this stack of tires.
He asked me to take the picture, as he re-enacted his scared face.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Spin The Night

Here is a sweet picture of my kiddos with my dad.

My kids are lucky to have all the grandparents they do. They love them very much and all of them are so involved.

Tomorrow my son is going to my dad's house to spend the night. He did that for the first time when he was 3, and he thought I was saying, "Spin the night." He wondered if it would be like spinning inside a tornado. Yet, he was willing to go along with it, and was even excited. That's a pretty great level of trust and love.

It reminds me of when we went to Paris when he was 4. We went to the Eiffel Tower, and told him we were going to go up to the top. He asked if we could go only to the second level, because he was nervous about going all the way to the top. We told him that was fine. After we had that adventure and were safely back on the ground, he told us he had thought we were going to climb up the outside of the tower, as if it were a big jungle gym.