Tender bits of non-sequiturial goodness

By Mir
April 29, 2009

It feels like we’ve been laying low, the last few days. Sure, we’re doing our regular things—school, work, shuffling the kids to and fro—but it all feels kind of… muted. Every morning I check the news; the perpetrator of last weekend’s tragedy is still at large, and swine flu is still scaring the crap out of everyone. [Though you sort of have to love today’s BIG STORY on CNN about “patient zero” in the epidemic, which includes this: “Five-year-old Edgar Hernandez credits ice cream for helping him feel better.” Awesome reporting, CNN! Getting the world the information they need, right when they need it. Because tonight is 39 cent scoop night at Baskin-Robbins, y’know. BRING YOUR MASK!]

Life goes on, and the minutiae of the day to day continues, and I feel a little melancholic about it all, but that could just be the swine flu. I’m not sure. Possibly I’ll have to get some ice cream, just to be on the safe side.

Random things from Planet Recently:

My name is Mir, and I have a planting addiction. My garden is spiraling out of control, and STILL I PLANT. I ordered a bunch of dwarf trees and some raspberry plants, too, just for good measure. As well as having just forced my husband to rig me a third planting box for the additional eight tomato plants I decided I needed (and started from seed; my pretty, precious baybees!) and just set out a couple of nights ago. Will we eat it all? I have no idea. All I know is that when I called Kira yesterday to see how she and her (actual) baby were holding up, I mentioned that I’ve been wondering if maybe I was a little overzealous with the zucchini plants. She asked how many I set and when I told her six she laughed so hard I was afraid she’d rupture something. Can I ship a box of zucchini to Colorado? I THINK WE’RE GONNA FIND OUT.

Nothing keeps you humble like baking. So I’ve been baking bread. Um, that is to say, I’ve been baking ALL of our bread. And feeling very pleased and smug with myself about it, too. And then I tried a new recipe that looked delicious and it just would not rise. And that batch yielded two bricks. So I changed some things and tried it again the next day, and that batch yielded two slightly larger bricks. Because, you know, I was starting to think of myself as a pretty decent baker, and clearly I needed a humility smackdown. (WHY, molasses oatmeal bread? Why won’t you work for me??)

Jack Sprat and his wife live at my house. Last night for dinner we had a delightful spread of various items, despite the fact that my daughter enjoys tormenting her father over the phone. “What are we having for dinner? Zucchini, I think. No, just zucchini.” (He was probably calling DFACS right after he hung up with her.) I made a delicious cucumber and tomato salad, full of cucumbers and tomatoes (duh) and also some sweet onion and some oregano from our herb box and some olive oil and some pomegranate red wine vinegar and feta cheese. It seemed just the thing for the warm weather we’ve been having. The children sit across from each other at the table and could not see one another’s plates because of the dishes of food in the center. I sat between them and watched as Monkey carefully ate all the tomatoes out of his salad and Chickadee picked out and ate all of the cucumbers in hers. Both of them chased their feta around the plate until every morsel larger than a molecule was consumed, and I was left wondering if I should’ve had a third child, one who only eats onions.

My name is Sneaky McSneakerpants, even though I’m not very good at it. Yesterday I had lunch with Natasha, which was lovely, and I filled her car up with various items we no longer need which she will hopefully sell for big bucks at her upcoming yard sale. I had enlisted the children’s help with some cleaning, a few days prior, and Chickadee was loathe to give up her (giant, plastic) dollhouse even though she hasn’t played with it in a very long time. I coaxed and cajoled and pointed out that she’d have more room without it, and she got teary and insisted she loved it best of anything in the world (of course), and finally before bed she turned to me and said, “I’ll make you a deal. You can get rid of the dollhouse if you keep your wedding dress for me.” I thought about it for a second and told her that was fine, we would send the dress to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, but they would keep it for her until she was older, and she was happy and went to sleep. I gave Natasha the dollhouse (and a bunch of other crap). Yesterday when the kids got home from school and the pile of “to the yard sale” stuff was gone, Chickadee asked me if I’d already decided to keep the dress before she offered me the deal. I did not feel so suave, and admitted that Grandma had been kind enough to offer this solution a week earlier, and yes, I’d pretty much already decided. Whoops.

Doctor, doctor—I have a mystery pain in my foot! It started last night, and this morning I still have a very sore spot kind of next to the ball of my left foot, in that deep spot on the underside that’s just a few inches below the second toe. I don’t think I stepped on anything or whacked it in any way. But it’s killing me. I think it’s swine flu. Someone get me some ice cream, STAT!


  1. Leandra

    I also loved CNN’s story about the fact that 36,000 people died from regular flu last year. I mean, I don’t love the fact that people DIED of course, but that maybe the reaction to the swine flu is a tad, um, overdone? Last saturday when we were desperately searching the news on the way home from downtown about the shootings here in town, CNN on our satellite radio promised to give us the details, but then spent, no lie, a good half hour squeezing every drop of panic they could from the swine flu story. Very frustrating.

    I get that pain in my foot sometimes. I think you’ve strained a ligament in your foot or something. Ice cream should cure it for sure.

  2. Tracy

    Oh my. Sounds like you are having a week such as mine. I’m glad, so glad, you decided to let Grandma and Grandpa keep the dress for Chickie. I’m confident you have just saved yourself some heartache in the future.
    I can NOT believe they haven’t caught the Professor. I just can’t believe it! Where in the heck could he have gone in such a short time? I don’t get it! I just don’t get it!

  3. MomCat

    Ice cream cures many ailments!

    This is the first year I tried zucchini, and I have six plants with many flowers, but no zucchini yet. The flowers are bright for a day, then wilt and fall off, leaving a blunt stem end. Do I need to play romantic music or something to get these things to pollinate? The squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans are all pollinating. Maybe the zucchini are shy? Soon I’m going to give up and take my Italian neighbor’s suggestion to make fiori di zucchine ripiene e fritti: fried zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese.

  4. liz

    Thank goodness Mayfield was on sale at Kroger this week! I think we’re safe from the swine flu. I’m just not safe from a malady called Thigh Expansion. Much harder to get rid of than the swine flu.

  5. RuthWells

    Six zucchini plants? I fear for you, even with a vegetarian in the house.

    @MomCat, don’t worry about the flowers dropping off the zuke plants — there are male flowers and female flowers, and the male flowers (I think) drop off after their duty is done. You’ll start seeing flowers that stay, with little bulging areas behind the flowers. Those are the zucchinis!

  6. Debora Silkotch

    RuthWells beat me to it, Momcat! Also, zukes tend to put out male blossoms first, to ensure that the females won’t go unrequited when they do appear.

  7. Sheila

    But do the male zucchini flowers immediately begin snoring and hogging the covers too?

    Mir, I have the same mystery foot pain. My theory? Wii Fitting without shoes on. Since I’ve switched to wearing shoes, the foot pain is mostly gone, but the Tree Pose is a lot more uncomfortable…

  8. StephLove

    Do they switch plates when they are through with what they like? My kids do that sometimes.

    I will be interested to hear what happens on your zucchini farm.

  9. My Kids Mom

    Find thee a food bank that will accept your extra produce. Pronto.

    I once had such a tough time getting my pumpkins to pollinate that I gave up and gave them hand jobs. Take a Qtip and rub it inside each blossom and then in each again. I blamed the bees for not doing their part. I got four lovely pumpkin babies from my work.

  10. Megan

    But I want to know what KIIIIIIIIND of trees! Because I do really covet some lovely potted dwarf citrus trees that I really and truly could find room for in my teeny tiny house. No really. I could.

    If I turfed out a Child or two…

  11. Kelly

    Well at least you can combine your baking and your garden and make zucchini bread!

  12. Lylah

    I’ve got a great bruchetta recipe and a great tomato chuntney recipe, both for hot-water bath canning. Very yum. Let me know if you want ’em.

    As for the six zucchini plants… did you know you could puree zucchini and use the puree like applesauce in baking? If you make a gingerbread or chocolate cake, you can’t taste the veg at all!

  13. MomCat

    Thanks for the zucchini answers! So male flowers fall off and leave a blunt end, and female flowers have a little bulge in the rear? How appropriate.

  14. MomCat

    Ooh, I’d forgotten that! My sister makes the awesome-ist zucchini bread. And it (might) even be vegetarian – for real.

  15. Heidi

    You may be feeling an accupuncture point. How are your adrenal glands and/or kidneys doing? Using your thumbs, sorta prod yourself on the outer edges of your back, at or just above the belly button level. If you yelp (or at least feel tenderness), that may be your answer. Adrenals get grumpy during stressful times, and there’s been plenty of stress as of late.

    Or hey, it would be because your doing Wii Fit sans shoes, just like Sheila suggested.

  16. Katherine

    I had a really sore spot on my foot the last 2 days – it’s all better now. It must have been the ice cream that helped. Just to make sure, I’ll have to go by Baskin-Robbins and get some of their ice cream later today too – you know, so I don’t have a relapse.

  17. annette

    Can’t help you with anything except possibly the foot. Google Morton’s neuroma. I am/was/whatever a physical therapist in my previous life before 6 kids. Also, I have in the past and am currently experiencing the joy of Morton’s neuroma. The good news…we shall both live:).

  18. Jamie AZ

    We planted two zuccini this year and I’m sure we could find something to do with six! Grasshoppers got most of our zucs last year and I’m not sure how I’m going to stop them this year, but we’re going to try. We did get two HUGE zucs last year, unexpectedly, so we shredded them and put them into the freezer in 2-cup quantities. Good for bread and zuccini fritters (squeeze really well first). On Monday night, we had the first five cherry tomatoes from our plant and they were deemed delicious.

    LOL@ Sheila and My Kids Mom. Hand jobs…….

  19. exile on mom street

    I had a great time at lunch yesterday too!

    I shall endeavor to sell Chickie’s most favoritist doll house for buckets of money so that we can tell her that she alone is responsible for our being able to proceed with our second adoption!

  20. Little Bird

    Haggen-Daz makes a very fancy, extremely tasty “Fleur de Sel Caramel” flavor. It’s caramel ice cream with swirls of caramel, teeny tiny chocolate bars that have caramel and sea salt in them. Those chocolate bars are roughly the size of an m&m, so it’s not awkward. It’s one of their “reserve” flavors, so is a little harder to come by, but totally worth it. It’ll probably kick the swine flu’s butt.

  21. Half Assed Kitchen

    I was thinking the same thing about the swine flu and the one death. Tragic, awful death, yes! I’m not disputing that. But the regular flu can be deadly too. As can chicken pox and lots of other viruses.

  22. Sharkey

    I would not recommend Googling “Morton’s neuroma” if you’re squeamish about doctors sticking needles in your painful foot, or operating thereon. Just have some ice cream and hope the pain goes away.

  23. Scottsdale Girl

    Um Little Bird? STOP WITH THE FOOD PORN!!!!!!!

  24. Kailani

    I think there is more sex talk here today than in all of the entire post about the phallic toy party you went to…..
    I think I need some ice cream to cool off!

    And if they zukes make it to CO maybe you can zip some off to MI? They’re welcome to crash at my place!

  25. Cheryl

    Yum – zucchini chocolate cake!!! Made a LOT of that the year my mom planted 25 zucchini plants. She actually stood out at the bus stop behind her yard and gave zucchini away to people getting off the bus. Next year, she planted two plants. We still laugh about that one.
    And, about the foot – could it be the beginning of a plantar’s wart? Hubby gets those, and that is usually how they start for him.
    Also, if I had been at your house for supper I would have eaten everyone’s onions!!

  26. Lisa

    Oh my, Mir. You may have the funniest comments on the blogosphere. Pumpkin handjobs? baaaaaaah!

  27. Flea

    Is Baskin Robbins really having 39 cent scoop night?

  28. Heather

    #9 comment from “My Kids Mom” is the best ever…laughing my butt off over here :)

  29. Kelly

    The foot pain could be just a stone bruise. I get these occasionally if I step on something in my bare feet. It leaves no marks, and no visible bruising, but it feels like you are stepping on a tack with every step. It usually goes away after a few days, however. Good Luck.

  30. elza

    the foot pain sounds like a Morton’s Neuroma….

  31. Lindy

    I read recently if you have some large plastic red christmas ornament balls, once your tomato plant gets kinda big, you hang the ornaments on them or the conical shaped metal thing i forget the name of that you set around the plants. Then when critters and whatnot who like you eat at your maters will try to eat the ornaments, they’ll be like, “whoa, this tomato sucks” and will move on. So ideally, when your real tomatos start growing, tomato predator will leave the plants alone.

    Never tried it, but it kinda makes sense. Or if you’re feeling cheap you could probably just steal some of those plastic ball pit balls from McDonalds playgrounds here and there. And if it doesn’t work, well then I guess you just get pretty plants for a while. Or look like a looney to your neighbors.

  32. Kira

    Okay, maybe I did laugh a little harder than strictly warranted.
    SIX zucchini plants!
    If it helps at all, I’ll confess that I’ve never been able to grow zucchini. No, really. The weed of the vegetable garden, the bane of everyone’s August, just won’t grow for me. It hates me. So in reality, I wasn’t mocking you, I was dealing with my own vegetal pain. Totally.

  33. Lady M

    It’s good that your children can split the salad so well. Neither SwingDaddy nor I like black jellybeans, but conveniently, the little dude loves them. I suppose it’s also a way for him to guarantee that he gets his share.

  34. Jo

    Oh my, the pumpkin hand jobs got me as bad as the “more nose” comment from your sex toys posts! Do tomatoes put out male flowers first too? I’ve just noticed the tomato plant in my sideyard, which is a narrow concrete jungle, is making and dropping flowers but no sign of buds yet. I wonder if I will have to Q-tip them? Should I put on some mellow music first to get them in the mood?

    Anyway, glad the wedding dress topic came back up, as I forgot to comment the first time. My mother never expected to have a daughter after her 2 sons. (Now that I have 2 sons of my own, I better understand her reasoning). I used to drool over the dress that she wore when marrying her first husband (not my dad). Absolutely GORGEOUS, but it was long gone before I came on the scene. She had donated it to a Catholic nunnery for the sisters to take their vows in. (Now that I think of it, that might have been an ironic destiny for your dress after all….)

    When I got married myself, I had to go buy a dress since there were none in the family for me to have altered. And it turned out fine. I got a dress that I loved, that fit me perfectly, suited the season and location I got married in, and it too was GORGEOUS.

    So, whatever happens to that dress in the coming years, and whether Chickadee ends up wearing *that* dress or another one, the joy of her wedding will override it all in the end. Because it won’t be about the dress at the end of the day, it will be about the person she chooses to marry. And she will wear a dress she loves, wherever it came from.

  35. Michelle

    My right foot hurts, on the nub that grows next to and below my big toe. I’m going to presume that my birth-nub is not now suddenly growing.

  36. Ann from Minnesota

    Ha! The first time I planted a garden, I planted a whole ROW of zuchinni! I didn’t know they should be planted in individual hills. Do you know that a zuke can grow a bazillion inches in just one night? Ones too small to see one day become as big as small dogs overnight. At least, that’s my experience. Now – someone tell me why my bush cucumbers end up looking as round as tennis balls?

  37. shannon in oregon

    you need a metatarsal support…trust me, i work in the comfort shoe world and have heard of almost every pain to human! :) that little soft spot is your metatarsal. they get tired if they have to support themselves all the time. they are not the only ones who tire of that. :)

  38. Katie in MA

    Ha ha – oh, I totally vote for hanging christmas ornaments on your plants if ONLY because you know we’ll get a hilarious post out of that later! And the looks on your kids FACES! Bwa!

  39. Tami

    Just one phrase comes to mind when reading this post:
    “zucchini ice cream with bacon swirls” (or is that bacon hand jobs?)

  40. ImpostorMom

    Hey I can offer a great home to any surplus vegetables you might have on your hands. :)

  41. Trish

    Ok, I’ll make up for my snotty comment on your camping post (see, I’m gonna spend all weekend angsting about it) by offering to send you all the information you need to get you canning those many, many tomatoes you will soon have (trust me on that).

    Do yourself a favor – ignore anyone who says that 1)you can only can roma tomatoes; you can can any type of tomato. I’ve even canned cherry tomatoes without a problem, and 2) you have to make sauce with them first. The last thing you want to do in August is sit over a pot of tomatoes cooking down to sauce for hoursandhoursandhours. Trust me, I watched my friend do it last year and it was HELL. Well, hell for her. Highly amusing (and “I told you so”-filled) for me.

    I also ditto on the zucchini bread. Great way to use up the stuff (seeing as how you will have a metric ton of the stuff, oh yes you will!), and if you just freeze them after grating them raw you don’t have to actually make the bread until autumn when it cools off. Email me if you want the canning/bread info. Trust me – you will thank me ;)

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