Duck for Fat Albert

I shouldn't be writing. I should be accomplishing something. But today is the last day of summer for me...I start home school on Monday. So while my husband is in the next room watching Fat Albert with the kids, I'm going to do this.

This is my new oven. My new, forty plus year old oven. It is in my new house. My new, forty plus year old house. This house feels very much like home to me, since it was built in the same decade as the house I grew up in.

And this oven is the very model my mom used to cook with when she first moved into my childhood home.

Now let me tell you a little bit about me and cooking. I like to cook. I think. I can't quite remember what it's like to cook for normal people. People who are not children. And my kids aren't even picky. But they do have the normal restrictions most children would have...nothing that's too mixed up together, nothing extremely spicy, nothing that looks weird.

Not to mention the fact that cooking takes some level of concentration. Whether you're trying to follow a recipe or sort of making it up as you go along, you need to be in the groove. Be devoting your mind to the task.

Now I don't have to tell you how hard it is to do this when you have the chaos around you that I'm dealing with here. I find myself interrupted by everything from scraped knees that need bandaged to "MOM! CAN YOU WIPE ME?" to phone calls to random messes that need attention. How am I expected to cook with all this going on?

This is why pretty much everything I make lately is just okay. Edible, but not excellent. I hate it. I want my kids to remember their mom being an awesome cook. Instead, they beg me for Mac n Cheese.

I'm hoping the G.E. wall oven will turn things around for me. I love this oven.

It gets hot quickly. It doesn't make the kitchen terribly hot. It is vintage and thus stylistically cool. It must have cooked amazing things over the years. It's the same type of oven my mom made our Thanksgiving dinners in. (Until they remodeled the kitchen in the late 80's.) It is mysterious, since it has no window in the door.

And you know what else I like about it? It tells me what temperature to cook things at. Because you know me, always roasting duck. Or lamb. Or veal. I'll have to use the trusty internet to find out how long to cook these things, but at least I have the temp.

So here's to my wall oven from the '60's. May it be my culinary good luck charm. May I look like June Cleaver or Donna Reed with a small waist and fancy apron as I use it, saying to my husband "Hi Dear" and giving him a generous yet conservative peck on the cheek as I pull a double crusted pie out of the oven. May it take my "okay" meals that I put into it and magically change them into savory dishes worthy of a cool vintage wall oven.

Fat Albert's over. Thus, so is my blog. Hey Hey Hey, Julie's cooking up a feast today. Maybe even Fat Albert will love my cooking.


Baby Mine

Baby mine, don't you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine

From your head to your toes
You're not much, goodness knows
But you're so precious to me
Cute as can be, baby of mine

Little one when you play
Don't you mind what you say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine

If they knew sweet little you
They'd end up loving you too
All those same people who scold you
What they'd give just for
The right to hold you

Baby mine, don't you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine

I've been singing the song Baby Mine* to Juliet lately...I haven't been able to remember all the words so I listened to it tonight and looked it up. I know it by Allison Krauss but it was originally in the Dumbo soundtrack and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song that year (1941).

...been meaning to write/post about Juliet for a few months now but life has gotten in the way. She is extremely good natured and nothing but a blessing every single day. She loves to rock and listen to my singing with her ear to my chest. As long as I'll keep singing she'll stay that way, sucking her thumb and warming me in every way. It doesn't even matter to me that on the other side of the locked nursery door there is another child (who used to be good natured and a blessing every day...just kidding...sorta...) pounding on the door and calling my name. I just keep rocking and singing to Juliet and we soak up the moment for a little longer.

Sweet baby Juliet...rest your head close to my heart...never to part...baby of mine. I love you!

* Music: Frank Churchill • Lyrics: Ned Washington


Life without Internet

Hello blog! We have been without phone and internet for about two and a half weeks...due to the move and other obstacles. I didn't really notice it much for the first five or six days. Then, I sort of wanted to look some things up and check mail and watch Netflix. But we have survived and broke the internet fast and I'm watching Father of the Bride on Netflix while writing this blog. Why don't they make movies like this anymore? ("Welcome to the 90's Mr. Bahnks.")

I was still writing blogs though. In my head. Here is a list of everything I would have blogged about if I'd had an internet connection. And time. We've been pretty busy working on moving out and moving in.

1. I would have blogged about how much dirt and dust was unearthed when we moved the furniture. I could have stuffed a small pillow with all the dust balls.

2. I would have blogged about finding an uncountable number of dried boogers on the walls when cleaning the bunk room in our old house.

3. I would have blogged about my kids watching Annie for the first time and Cash saying to me, "Mom, I gotta go baf-room" and somebody answering "When you gotta go, you gotta go!"

4. I would have blogged about Penelope's current cute words like "prastic" (practice) and "berember" (remember) and me catching her saying "Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider." (I said, "We don't say stupid," and she said, "I didn't say stupid, I said stupider!")

5. I would have blogged about life without internet. How you feel a little "stupider" than the rest of the world because you don't have a wealth of information at your fingertips. When I was growing up, we went to the set of encyclopedias and dictionary. We used cookbooks. Now, I can google "what to cook if you only have a can of chicken soup a sweet potato and some grapes" or answer questions from the children about presidents or bugs or Bill Cosby with the click of my mouse.

6. I would have blogged about how hot it is. How I want to take a shower every five minutes. How my kids have enjoyed riding their bikes in our new driveway and playing outside but they come in looking like the orphans from Annie and smelling like kid sweat and the outdoors.

7. I would have blogged about how the stuff from my old house fit in there like a puzzle. There was only one place each piece of furniture could fit. And now, I keep moving things around trying to figure out the puzzle of this house. And how can we move from a house with no garage to a house with a two car garage and have it full of junk? How I'd like to throw it all away sometimes instead of find a place for everything. And about how hard it is to get to all this organizing when you have five children!

8. Lastly, I would have blogged about how cute my baby is and how she's growing up so quickly and how I can barely get time with her because everyone loves her so much and kisses her constantly. She is a precious gift.

The kids have done great with the move and though it has been crazy we have been brought closer as a family (much of that is due to life without internet too) and I am grateful for our new house and neighborhood. We love it here. We have great neighbors all around. I am trying to hide the crazy madness that is my life. I don't want to bring the neighborhood down with my semi-white trash family. Don't worry mom. We have stopped throwing our dirty dishes in the yard.