Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Just Can't Get Enough

People requested this so here it is. The credit for this goes to Margie, who, though I doubt she came up with the recipe, first coined the phrase, "it tastes a lot better than it sounds."
Tomato Pie
crust: 1 3/4 c flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 c butter, 1 egg
Stir together flour and salt. Add butter and blend to meal consistency. Add egg. Press dough into 11-inch pie plate. Chill for 30 minutes.
pie: 1/4 c Dijon mustard, 1/4lb gruyere cheese (grated), 3 large (1 1/2lbs) tomatoes (sliced), 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley, 1 Tbsp minced fresh oregano or thyme, 1 tsp. garlic (minced), 1/4 c olive oil.
Spread mustard over chilled pie shell and sprinkle with cheese. Arrange the tomato slices over the cheese. Sprinkle with herbs, garlic, and oil. Bake in 400° oven for 40 minutes.
comments: There's just no way to make this taste bad. I've been using prepared crusts and substituting Swiss cheese for gruyere. I've also made it in the winter with all dried herbs. It's funny because I hate mustard on sandwiches, but I love it in this recipe.

song: Just Can't Get Enough • artist: Depeche Mode

All I Want is You

I feel that I'm missing out on the true pregnancy experience because I've yet, in two-and-a-half pregnancies, had to send Ken out to the store at 2PM for pickles and ice cream. Instead, this is what I've been craving: waffles (which I also craved in huge quantities when I was pregnant with C), tomato pie (which is a lot better than it sounds, trust me, I made one yesterday and it's half gone today), and corn on the cob (but who doesn't crave that, pregnant or not). We've managed to keep all these foods on hand for the most part so, alas, no midnight runs to Tony Andrews Farm Stand. I'm glad to be craving relatively healthy foods (crust on the tomato pie - not so healthy) and not Yodels, jelly doughnuts, and Oreos, but the corn is a bit of a problem since I can't floss my teeth due to a heightened gag reflex. If someone would let my dentist know maybe he'd make a midnight run to CVS and get me a water pick.

song: All I Want is You • artist: U2

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nights in White Satin

What's worse than playing checkers with a four-year old? Playing chess with a four-year old. In a way it's good that we've moved on to chess because he kicked my butt in checkers last week, I didn't know what hit me. Chess, though, is worse because there's no room for chance or dumb luck, just pure strategy. When Ken and I were first dating I bought him a chess set. As I recall we played once and then I couldn't take the pressure. I enjoy cribbage, a game where skill and luck both play a part. Luckily we squirreled away the pieces for ten years and miraculously were able to find them after my dad taught C to play. I've managed to win all the games we've played so far but I don't know how much longer I can hold out. I'm hoping he scores a Chinese checkers set for his birthday.

song: Nights in White Satin • artist: Moody Blues

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New York, New York

I know what you're thinking, "good grief, how long does it take her to read one book?" Answer: a long time.
I just finished the "Here is New York" essay in my E.B. White book and I know I'm not the first to point this out, if you google "Here is New York," E.B.White, and September 11, about 1,000 hits come up.
Nevertheless, it was new to me; keep in mind E.B.White wrote this in 1949.
"The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now; in the sounds of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest editions. . . . All dwellers in cities must live with the stubborn fact of annihilation; in New York the fact is somewhat more concentrated because of the concentration of the city itself, and because, of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm."
The paragraphs were underlined in my copy of the book so I couldn't miss them, no doubt by Marshall.

song: New York, New York • artist: Frank Sinatra

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Say, Say, Say

I don't know what I'll do when preschool starts and I'm left without a translator for H three mornings a week. C now tells me what his younger brother is saying without me even asking. Thursday night they were in the tub and H held up his washcloth and announced "be ge fa!"
"It's his big jelly fish," said C.
Then H turned over on his belly and utter some more toddler nonsense. C copied him and said, "I'm a fish too!"
Yesterday morning H took one of Ken's Gatorade bottles, mumbled something and started carrying it around the kitchen.
"He says daddy's juice is big and heavy," yelled C from out in the living room.

song: say, say, say • artist: Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

Friday, August 24, 2007

Can't Keep It In

I'm thinking that I should start putting notches on the bathroom wall, like prisoners do, to keep a record of how many times I get up at night to use the bathroom. Last night it was five. Maybe I should just start sleeping on the bathroom floor.

song: Can't Keep It In • artist: Cat Stevens

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Harden My Heart

No doubt everyone reacts to a new pregnancy differently and in a hundred odd, idiosyncratic ways. One of the things I began doing immediately was squirreling away a third set of commemorative state quarters for the new baby. H and C each have a set in the works, both are neatly ensconced in deluxe government-issued folders.
So one of the funnier things that crossed my mind last week when I was driving home from the doctor's office, after I got the car turned around and headed in the right direction, was that I'd better get going on a fourth set - right away!
Can't you just see my kids 30 years from now?
"Isn't it great Mom saved all these quarters for us?"
"Sure is. What'd you spend your $12.50 on?"

song: Harden My Heart • artist: Quarterflash

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Eat It

This morning C examined what we had on hand for breakfast cereals (Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios), and announced we didn't have very much in the way of selection.
"When is Daddy going to buy some raisin bran?" he asked.

song: Eat It • artist: Weird Al Yankovic

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Everything I Own

It's strange the things you crave when pregnant. Ironically it's not the fresh lettuce you've been growing by the bucketful in the garden all summer. Friday night it was bread sticks for dinner. They came in an innocent enough looking cardboard box but inside there were five individual hermetically sealed plastic sleeves with five bread sticks a piece in them. These plastic sleeves were all inside another clear plastic bag - no humidity was getting to those babies.
Thankfully at the check-out line I had at least declined the offer of a plastic bag for my two purchases.
I'll tell you what I really crave: less packaging.

song: Everything I Own • artist: Bread
song: Pieces of Eight • artist: Styx

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Don't Do It

So, one day in late June you find yourself pregnant. And you're not entirely surprised, after all, you're old enough to know how babies are made. You tell your husband and he's not shocked by the news either. He knew you were in the running though he is a bit amazed that all the equipment is still working.
After this personal revelation who is the next person to find out that you're pregnant? A total stranger, naturally. It's the receptionist at the ob/gyn when you call to make an appointment with the doctor. And even though she says "congratulations," it's hard not to have the feeling that she says that to "all the girls."
Then there's having to tell your parents you're pregnant, which always makes me feel uncomfortable.
When I was a senior in high school I went with a friend to the city to an open house at Boston University. The last thing my mother said when we went out the door of our house was "don't have an accident."
Of course we had an accident.
After Amy had gotten off on the subway to an aunt's house and her car had been towed out of the street, I went up to my boyfriend's dorm room. I told him there was no way I could call my mother and tell her about the accident and miraculously he offered to do it for me.
Unfortunately young love is different from married life and this time around I was out of luck. Ken declined and I had to make the call myself.
Telling your parents you are pregnant is basically admitting to them that you've been having S E X; even though it's with your husband and you've been married almost 8 years, and it was bound to happen sometime. Not to mention that it's not like those first two kids were conceived immaculately. Nevertheless, I'm sure that for parents, the thought of their children having sex is about as uncomfortable for them as it is for us to imagine our parents "doing it."

song: Don't Do It • artist: The Band


Hey Liz!
You know what having twins at 39 is?
It's inane!
That is so ironic.

song: Ironic • artist: Alanis Morissette

Friday, August 17, 2007

30 years ago (death week couplet #2)

When Elvis died,
all the girls cried.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It Takes Two

So I was planning to tell you today that we're having a baby in February. But after having an ultrasound today, it looks as if we're having twins in January. So either after the first of the year I'll never have time to write these posts again, or it will be all I have time to do since I won't be leaving my house for the next five years.
Good thing I was already lying down when the doctor told me.
Then she asked me if I could drive myself home. I said that I could, left, and proceeded to get on the highway going in the wrong direction.

song: It Takes Two • artist: Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston

It's Not Easy Being Green

Rounding out our trip to Maine was a stop on the way home at the Brunswick Diner. What a great diner! They served breakfast all day (which we all ordered), the place was very clean, and the waitress did not seem repulsed by the fact that my son brought in two large, green, monarch butterfly caterpillars in a plastic blueberry container and perched them prominently on our table. They are now on our dining room table, I guess the logic being they will to do better if they are around people who are eating. They are ensconced in a terrarium and have already formed two small, green, chrysalis.

song: It's Not Easy Being Green • artist: Kermit the Frog

Monday, August 13, 2007

death week couplet #1

Here's to the King,
he sure could sing.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another Saturday Night

Ken is working the next four Saturdays in a row. Saturdays are the worst because the kids don't have any of their usual activities going on, plus it's too ridiculously crowded to go into town or to the beach so we end up hanging out in the backyard. Today we hung out in the backyard until it was time to go to Clayton and Lydia's wedding. It took me all morning to make this card I wanted to make them using scrabble pieces. It would have been less time consuming to just buy them a present. Then I had to clean yogurt off H twice, leaving him in his diaper (so he couldn't get dirty) while I went upstairs to change my outfit four times. When I got back downstairs he'd pooped in his diaper, stuck his hand in it and smeared it on his belly. Then the phone rings and it's my cousin calling from the family reunion I'm not attending this weekend and I have to practically hang up on her to prevent further poop smearing, plus it's 1:45 and the wedding's at 2PM and I'm the only one dressed so far.
From the wedding we went to the Falmouth Mile Invitational at the high school track. The mile is actually my favorite road race weekend event because it's over in four minutes but even more so because you can see the whole drama of the race unfold from beginning to end. With a road race you only get a small snippet of the race depending on where you're standing along the course: the finish line, the five-mile mark, the start, whatever - you rarely see anything dramatic happen.
Then we stopped to check our community garden plot where we harvested two lemon cucumbers, two carrots, and a handful of tomatoes, most of which were suffering, tragically, from bottom rot.
Finally we went to Courtney and Carolyn's for spaghetti dinner which I didn't feel I deserved since I wasn't running Sunday's race, but I ate my share and topped it off with two cookies anyway.

song: Another Saturday Night • artist: Cat Stevens

It Sure Was Better Back Then

We've got Plimoth Plantation and New Harbor Maine has Colonial Pemaquid. Never heard of Colonial Pemaquid? I'm not surprised. As far as early settlements go, it wasn't exactly a success. The settlement was sacked by just about everybody: the Abenakis, the French, and even the pirate Dixie Bull who made off with a load of the supplies and ammunition.
In order to protect the settlement a fort was built. It's known today as Fort William Henry though that was the fort's second name. Originally it was Fort Charles, and for 30 years after it was Fort William Henry it was Fort Frederick. Fort William Henry, despite being named for the current publisher of the Enterprise as well as one of the kings of England, was a miserably ineffective fort. It was destroyed by Native Americans and their French allies a mere four years after it was built.
One of the fort's towers has been reconstructed, and history buffs (and the rest of us) can climb it and visit the museum housed next door for just $2 each.
On the other hand, the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is a success story. It's the lighthouse featured on the Maine State quarter. A tour of the lighthouse keepers home (now a fisherman's museum) is also $2.

song: It Sure Was Better Back Then • artist: Steve Forbert

Friday, August 10, 2007

lament: a couplet

I wish I could write
like E.B. White.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

maine couplet

i hear the waves outside our door,
crashing against the rocky shore

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sweet Dreams

Chamberlain Maine is one of those tiny summer vacation communities where everyone knows everyone and all the houses go back two or three generations in a family. If your family doesn't already own a home here your only hope of getting in is to marry someone whose family does.
Chamberlain is the kind of summer resort town on the water where all the houses have names. The one we're staying in is very accurately referred to as the Yellow Cottage but we're surrounded by less descriptively specific homes with names like Sea Owl, Gray Gull, and Shore Leave.
Chamberlain is the kind of place where the next-door neighbor's have a son who is also four years old and the boy's mother, whose name is Patsy, invites your son over to play and makes him egg salad for lunch.
Chamberlain is a place where the stars blaze at night and the milky way is visible like a reverse rainbow which ends at a distant lighthouse instead of a pot of gold.
Inside the Yellow Cottage none of the plates or silverware match. The assortment of drinking glasses contains one of the old Archie jam-jar glasses just like my aunt used to have. My personal favorite is the mug with the chinook salmon on it that I've been taking my tea out of for the past three days.
The Yellow Cottage is full of shell art and painted rocks created by grandchildren long since grown up.
The Yellow Cottage has an outhouse. Actually, because the Yellow Cottage is really two cottages put together, it has two bathrooms, but Adria said today during the power outage that the outhouse was always available should we run out of water for flushing. The outhouse comes equipped with two back issues of The New Yorker - just because one doesn't have indoor plumbing doesn't necessarily make one a primitive thinker.
And - the Yellow Cottage has wireless access! No doubt that's because next-door-neighbor Patsy is a lawyer who used to work in Washington DC but now works from her home in Maine; which just goes to show that one should never underestimate people named Patsy.

song: Sweet Dreams • artist: Patsy Cline

Friday, August 03, 2007

Too Darn Hot

Weather like we've had the past two weeks makes me miss the air-conditioned comfort of full time office work.
I know I shouldn't complain about the weather, it's such a boring topic and it is much hotter other places, but it's really been hot in my house lately! Too hot to answer e-mail. Too hot to plan the story list for Fall Home and Garden. Too hot to cook up all the zucchinis we've been harvesting, too hot to weed the garden or fold clothes. Too hot even to read in bed; not to mention showering before bed to cool off means that my wet hair drips all over the pages of the book.
Thankfully we're going to Maine tonight, where, if it's not cooler at least it's not my house so I don't have to worry about mold growing on Uncle Cabe's table, or too much humidity in the computer room.

song: Too Darn Hot • musical: Kiss Me Kate

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

When Will I See You Again?

C met a new friend at Coonamesset Farm on Monday. She was quite taken with C and followed us to pick raspberries, she and C yucking it up all the while over things that only preschoolers find funny. Then she sat with us as we waited for our grilled cheese sandwiches to come. As she left with her family she recited her address (in Washington D.C.) to us in case C might be able to "take a plane" and come visit her.
He gave it some serious thought and then answered.
"I can't come next week because we're going to Maine."

song: When Will I See You Again? • artist: Three Degrees