Posted by: Angela | June 23, 2007

1st Three Letter Word

As far as I can tell, children learn to spell/read/write three letter words first. Usual suspects are things like C-A-T or D-O-G or maybe G-O-D. But not for us…

Getting out of the car (also three letters) to go for lunch at the Coffee Traders

Daughter pointing to sign: Mom, I know those letters.

Me: You do? What are they?

Daughter: B…A…R  What does that spell, Mom?

Me: It is spells “bar”

Daughter: Oh

Later that evening

Daughter gives paper to her dad: Look what can I spell, Daddy?

Dad: B-A-R

What do you say to this? We suggested other uses for the word bar like candy bar. But as my boss said, BAR in large easy to read lettering is a very common sign in Montana.

Posted by: Angela | June 20, 2007

As you might have suspected…

Turns out I am allergic to fun. No you say. Well how do you explain me returning from the first overnight away from child and with husband with a massive case of hives? Since I don’t really know what caused my immune system to freak out. I am going with the fact that I had fun.

We left the small girl with friends and headed to the big city, Spokane, for a show featuring Glen Phillips (once of Toad the Wet Spocket fame), Sean and Sara Watkins (of Nickle Creek), Grant-Lee Phillips (once of Grant-Lee Buffalo fame & Gilmore Girl fame), and Luke Bulla (who doesn’t have a site, but is an amazing fiddler player). It was absolutely fabulous and sorry to say if you didn’t see these people somewhere on the West Coast in the past few weeks, you missed it altogether.

We had meals at resturants that didn’t involve me coaching someone to actually eat the food I was paying for, we wandered through a real mall and I found out that the sight of an actual children’s shoe department greatly excites me. Those who live in more rural areas will know what I mean when I say that it is ridiculously difficult to find shoes for your kids if you don’t want to shop in discount stores and your child has an equally ridiculous small and skinny foot for her age.

On the way home, I had a weird scratchy spot on neck/head. Then I was itchy all night, then in the morning, well let’s say it wasn’t pretty. After enduring children’s church and buying Benadryl,  I itched my way through Sunday and into Monday when I went to the doctor.

The diagnosis was an acute case of hives, cause medically unknown. But we do know the truth, it had to be that I had real fun for the first time in a long time.

Posted by: Angela | May 25, 2007

Pondering childhood and food

If you are at all interested in the ideas of food and how we procure our food, you have heard the myriad conversations, books, interviews, etc. on the subject of eating locally. Barbara Kingsolver (if you have not read The Poisonwood Bible, go read it now, then read this post), has written Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. I haven’t read the book yet, just heard the NPR interview. Another book on the subject is Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon. Again haven’t read it yet but here is the NPR interview.  Okay I am sure you are wondering where this is all leading…well I was setting the stage to reveal…

My parents were revolutionary people. By the measures of these books and much discussion today, they were globally conscious as they raised us out in the country. And here all this time, I was under the mistaken impression that they were simply cheap and wanted to make our lives miserable. I had the childhood that many families that you can read about on the blogosphere are trying to create for their kids.

My mother did not have a garden out of anything more than that’s how she was raised, that’s how it is done on a farm, and it saves a boatload of money. She wasn’t trying to reduce the world’s oil consumption or slow global warming. No, just trying to keep food on the table.

Whenever I read or hear about families doing what I grew up doing deliberately, my first thought is always “do you know how much work it is”. Because you are going to spend an inordinately large amount of time thinking about food, preparing food, and thwarting your child’s reading time with snipping green beans. But then that child grows up and discovers she really hates canned green beans from the store. So she will only eat fresh or frozen if she absolutely has to. We were so spoiled and we whined about it all summer, every summer.

Our meat largely came from our place or other family members. We ate so much venison (a deer license is cheap source of meat) that I just can’t eat it now for the most part.  Beef from our cows, pork from our hogs, and fish from the Platte River. There are people willing to pay money for this childhood of mine.  I swore out vow upon vow I would not work this hard for food when I grew up.

I will have to admit I am still often astounded at the determination of people to have this life. I now see the value and the gift in it. I want a big garden and hope to begin preserving some foods. But honestly, I don’t know if I want my childhood back.

Those are thoughts for another time. Right now I will leave you with the magical thoughts of my all natural, wholesome, full of sunshine childhood out in the country in Nebraska.

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