Thursday, March 12, 2009

[day 70 ... march 11]

These are the absolute favorites around here: the indubitable pumpkin muffins I've been making for time immemorial (decades, literally). Cory likes his without raisins (so far :-) so I make eight with, four without and it works out pretty well. Perfect for a breakfast-on-the-run for the older boys and a hearty school snack for the younger ones.

They're even reasonably healthy as well as hearty. The recipe is actually for pumpkin bread from "Cooking with Whole Grains" - a cookbook we had in my teen years. The only other cookbook I remember from those days (aside from "The Joy of Cooking," of course) is one with "Alaskan" in its name. Now I can't even remember the name of it! But it had two fabulous recipes: applesauce raisin cake with lemon frosting, which I always had for my birthday, and Top of the Stove cookies, which I still make today (but they're sinfully rich and caloric, so not very often).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

[day 69 ... march 10]

I picked up the boys after school again yesterday, after just a brief time in Extended Day (contrary to my original plans). No snow today - my class just got out earlier than expected. Cory and I found Niall in the library, researching recipes from countries around the world by using CultureGrams. Librarian Nancy was assisting him by printing recipes out so he could make a "cookbook" for me. Fun new things to try like Swedish Saffron Buns and something else that involved 30 clams of a special type. (Now I'll have to go look at the recipe and see what they were! :-)

While Niall finished up printing out "just one last recipe" (several times over), Cory amused himself climbing on the enormous polar bear in Nancy's read-to-classes area. We also read a book together: "The Barking Mouse." The author, Antonio Sacres, came to Little School today to read his book and tell stories about his life. The kids enjoyed it immensely. Cory was telling me some of the stories that Antonio shared - clearly they tickled Cory's funny bone (and stuck with him!)

Monday, March 9, 2009

[day 68 ... march 9]

Another sudden blizzard of snow struck today while I was in a class at work. One minute big flakes were swirling down but not sticking, and the next time I checked - just a few minutes later - there was an inch or two on the ground and more coming down fast. I decided to head over to school and get the boys, remembering many past times when I've been stuck at work forever, just trying to get out of the parking garages.
But this time, by the time I picked up Niall and Cory, the snow had abated, and there was only slush on the roads. Still, Woodinville got 2-3 inches and the school buses were all stuck at the schools and there were accidents on the hill. Lucky for us that it came through so quickly and left again, or it would have been a much bigger mess.

Niall dashed out and made a snowman while we still had some snow on the ground. The snow was so wet, he was able to roll up some big snowballs pretty quickly, much to his satisfaction.

[day 67 ... march 8]

Rolly and Garland came by to drop off Grandma Shannon for a visit today, and they stopped in to see the chicks. Rolly was more interested in the "toy store" his mom brought him to LOL. We haven't seen them much for a few months (since Thanksgiving, I think), so he was eager to stay and play. But they were off to Grandpa David's for the afternoon so we'll have to make it another day.

It started snowing great big flakes, and lots of them, in the afternoon. Grandma went outside with the boys to play for a bit while I got dinner started. She's a good sport, she is!

[day 66 ... march 7]

Niall is quite into feeding and holding the chicks. I'm helping him learn that they are programmed to scatter and squawk if something big and dark (like his hand) comes down at them from the "sky." He just wants to interact with them, of course; they're new and exciting!

They peep a lot when they get excited but just off and on when they're milling around. They sleep a LOT. Worries me, of course. If they're up and milling around, I can see if they look ok, but if they're resting, it's hard to say.

They've already given me a scare: one of them really didn't seem to be doing well yesterday evening before I went to bed and I thought for sure we'd have a dead chick in the morning. But by morning, she had miraculously recovered. Still looked a bit off: kind of drooping and lying down more than the others, but definitely looking better.

By late evening, when Tynor and I were about to head up to bed, she just looked a bit lopsided but relatively perky. One of her wings is noticably longer than the other and down a bit. Maybe she'll be our eccentric. :-)

[day 65 ... march 6]

Today was the big day! We picked up four little Rhode Island Red chicks from DeYoung's Farm and Garden in Woodinville. Cory, Niall and I drove there after school. It was so fun to see all the darling little chicks.

DeYoung's has 4-5 different kinds. The Reds are much darker brown than the others, with even darker stripes. After seeing the other kinds and hearing another family choose two of one kind, two of another, and one of a third (!), I was almost wishing I'd researched a little more and chosen a few different kinds - if only so we could tell them apart. They are virtually indistinguishable so far, so we haven't named them yet. But I'm sure as we get to know them, they'll look unique.

Niall already held one tonight, but Cory is still thinking about it. :-)

I sure hope we're doing this right! It's a little complicated with the lamp for just the right amount of heat, making sure they have food and enough grit, clean water and bedding. Lots of care for some very new little creatures. I found myself wishing they just had their mom to take care of them tonight. She'd do a fine job, I'm sure.