Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gloucester, er, Glosta... Part 1

Wow. It was quite a trip, and I don't even know where to start. So why not start at the beginning?

Thursday we got up early. Very early. We flew out, connected somewhere (i don't remember where), and arrived in Manchester around 12:00. We were all pretty tired.

It took an hour to get our car, and between stopping for potty breaks, food, and bad iPhone navigation, it took another few to get to Gloucester.

We settled in at the motel and soon Jeff and Kelly were there to take us off to the Fiesta. We rode rides and ate cotton candy and fried dough, then walked along to the Big Fisherman statue.

I know it has a better, more romantic name for real, but I don't remember it, so there ya go.

It was starting to rain as we headed back to the car, and after a mild soaking we were back at the hotel for a good night's sleep.

In the morning, Elliot woke up chipper and ready for fun. He ran in circles on the front porch for a half hour till everybody got to the condo.

Then we headed out for food and shopping in Rockport, home of many colored fishing floats, quaint rowboats, ice cream, and pirate ships.

We had a lovely day overall, but Elliot was a little off his normally charming game. I couldn't talk him into having ice cream with us, and he really wanted to be carried everywhere. When we got back to the motel, he was running a bit of a fever, so once everybody had headed back home, I sent mom out for Tylenol.

You might notice a decided lack of photos at this point. That's because after Mom left, Elliot went downhill fast, and soon my hands were full of vomit. This was his first big boy puke, so he was pretty freaked out. I was a little wide eyed myself as I sat staring in the sink trying to remember and/or identify the food he had had that day.

He ran a high fever most of the night, but fortunately didn't have anything else come back up. He remained out of sorts with on again, off again fever for the rest of the trip.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Defining a Family...

We went to the botanical gardens today, one of my favorite places in STL. We were sitting with the sheep and I was telling Elliot about their family structure:

There on the left are 3 ewes, which I explained were the mommy sheep. In the center were two lambs, which I told him were the baby sheep. He didn't have a problem with three mommies having two babies, but when I told him the one with the horns was the daddy sheep, he looked at me like I was crazy.

"That's not a daddy. It's a mommy." He was adamant.

That's when I realized that, despite the fact that he can recognize Karl in photos and videos, he has no idea what a father is. He's only just starting to realize there are two genders, but it wasn't about that. His own father is a character in a story, and these were concrete (literally) things. A little thing is a baby. The big thing that cares for it is it's mommy. That is how the world works.

It's something time will change. As he gets older I'm sure he'll come to a better understanding, but it will be a process, not an epiphany. When I think about it, my own understanding isn't necessarily any clearer - if anything knowing more means there's more not to understand...

So I didn't try to go into details; we just moved on to the lake. There were tadpoles swimming in the shallows.

"Those are baby frogs," I told him.

"Those aren't frogs," he replied, with certainty. "Those are fishies." He grinned and darted off to run across the big stone bridge.

So much to learn in such a strange and surprising world. I'm so lucky I get to be his teacher.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So, I can follow a recipe, but it doesn't mean I can cook. Looking at a few recipes online, then improvising a version of the dish based on what you have in the kitchen isn't always successful, but isn't necessarily a disaster either, and sometimes it's both.

I bought peppers last time we were at the store. I never buy them because I never use them, but Karl used to make stuffed peppers and I loved them both out of the oven and as leftovers. Well, why not give it a shot?

I did a little research, then without printing a thing headed into the kitchen. I cooked up some rice with a little salt and butter, sauteed some onions and celery, scooped up some peppers, stuffed, and cooked. The results: pretty, but bland and a little gummy. Sigh.

I ate enough to make myself feel that it wasn't a total waste, offered Elliot some, which he picked at then fell asleep eating (did I mention it's blandness?), and tossed the rest in a plastic bag in the fridge.

I have been trying to do two things - eat more veggies and throw away less food - so I couldn't just get rid of it, but what to do? Sauces didn't seem the thing, but then I had an inspiration. I could do a stir fry, thus giving a chance to put flavor in and redeem myself.

Chopped up the remaining peppers, rice and all, into little bitesize bits. Tossed in skillet with hot oil and soy sauce. Threw in leftover peas from 2 nights ago. Stirred. Fried. Tasted...

I thought it was a huge improvement! I got out the chopsticks and devoured a bowl.

Elliot stuck his tongue on the fork, gagged, and refused to swallow more than one small bite.

And that was tonight's dinner at Circle K.

So, anybody got a good recipe for stuffed peppers?