I don't really know what I am musing on these days. It's more like an irregular stream of consciousness thing...it seems to be working.


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w August 31, 2005


In an effort to streamline our lives a bit, I recently stopped our cleaning service, reckoning I could manage, over a series of days, what they had done (not that well) in about two hours. Sat myself down with a schedule, and yeah, totally easy and do-able. And honestly, my hope is that the house will look better because I will actually care a bit more.

At any rate, today was "marketing and clean up outside" day. Did the grocery shopping when the Bean was at school, and when she went down for her nap after lunch, I tackled outside. Washed all the windows I could get to, swept and tidied all three decks. It only took two hours, but I have to say...it was reallyreallyreally hot out there. I had a baseball hat on but it was almost making it worse, so before I did the last few things, I grabbed a bandana and tried to approximate that classic "dust cap" look from the 1940s, sort of wrapped up around your head, with a big ole lump on the forehead. Actually, I wasn't really trying to approximate the lump, but I discovered that's what happens when you pile long hair up on top of your head and wrap a bandana around. Never mind, I was a hell of a lot cooler and it was kind of amusing, though I am somewhat glad no neighbors caught a glimpse.

My new name is Madge. I do windows.

by Heather Hoffman at 10:07 PM

w August 29, 2005

It Continues

Tried two different stuffed animals with Bean today...one a small penguin, the other a "dress up bear" with buttons, zipper, velcro shoes, etc. Wanted to see if she just remembered Olivia or whether she was really processing what I was telling her.

Damn smart kid.

Wings? No problem. Beak? No problem. Buttons? No problem. Zipper? No problem.

It's a good Monday.

by Heather Hoffman at 10:53 AM

w August 28, 2005

Toddler Salt Lick

In deference to my friend who told me to stop being a perfectionist and blog more, I offer the brief but amusing story of Bean eating french fries. She doesn't really "eat" them per se...she just sucks the salt off and discards the actual fry. Sort of toddler Atkins, dunno. What is funny is finding all the soggy desalted fries wedged down the sides of her car seat if we occasionally stop at, say, McDonald's (which we *rarely* do, so y'all settle down). It's gross, but funny.

My friend was suggesting pretzels, as they last longer, or perhaps just a miniaturized salt lick. I think he's on to something.

by Heather Hoffman at 2:29 PM


The World Expands

Was working with Bean today on the floor, with her Olivia doll, showing her the hands, the nose, the ears, the legs, etc. We've been talking to her about her OWN body parts and she's usually pretty good at finding them, but I was curious to see if her spatial memory would extend past herself.

I showed her the basic appendages, then asked her to locate them by herself. You could see the wheels turning as she thought for a minute, then reached out...and found them. Sometimes she would run her hands over the whole doll, as if to memorize the reference points, then there, there's the nose. There are the ears. There's the dress. She really really really was creating a whole out of parts. This is how visually impaired kids have to sort out the world...you don't see the whole and then pick out the discrete parts. You have to cobble together an "image" of the whole from the various parts you're given.

I don't have to expound on how thrilled and relieved I was to have her do this.

by Heather Hoffman at 11:43 AM

w August 21, 2005

The 3rd Floor

Has been reached officially, I think. Gene and I discussed it, and we agreed that since I was born in the eastern time zone, I have technically been 30 for just over 2 hours now, even though it's not quite 12:01 am in California yet. Yep, I was actually born at almost the witching hour.

Explains so much, doesn't it?

Had a good conversation with a friend this evening about my kind of unintentional "welcoming ritual" for this new decade and I think it's pretty accurate and comforting...had a weekend that encompassed big tall trees, ocean beaches, margaritas, chick flicks, bright red nail polish, pizza and French food tomorrow evening. Somehow, it seems fitting. It was sort of everything from hiking boots to heels and from what I can figure...that's not a bad metaphor for your 30s.

I'm pretty happy to finally be here. Having been treated and expected to act like I was already well ensconced in my third decade for quite a while, it's quite a relief to finally *be* 30.

Good grief. I am no longer a 20-something.

by Heather Hoffman at 11:20 PM

w August 10, 2005

Happy Hippy Mama

Yeah, I admit it. That's my aspiration. I have, in the past, ranted about the lack of whole wheat bread in the supermarkets made with fewer than 19 unpronounceable ingredients. Today's Huzzah will be just that...a huzzah to a humble little legume, overlooked and often unloved, but such a perfect basis for dinner.

Ah, lentils. Bean is working on her final molars and it's just agonizing for her; I am on a constant quest to find healthy but slightly mushy food to pique her appetite. Enter the aforementioned legume and our trusty crockpot. It works well during the summer, and it will be exquisite when it's raining cats and dogs this winter:

1 lb dried lentils
1 carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (or to taste)
3 cups water (add EXTRA 2 cups if cooking on HIGH)
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce (optional)
Sliced Polish sausage (optional)
Plain yogurt (optional)

If you need to soak the lentils, do so overnight. Alternatively, buy the ones that don't require it. Wash them and pick over quickly just in case there are nasty gritty things left. Put in crockpot with the veggies and water, cover, and put on LOW setting for 8 to 10 hours (if you are in a hurry, you can cook it for 4-5 hours on HIGH but make sure you add extra water). If you like, you can add hot sauce and sausage near the end of cooking or right before serving just to warm through. Serve with a glop of plain yogurt if desired.

Excellent with crusty, non-high-fructose-corn-syrup bread and definitely a glass of chewy wine.

by Heather Hoffman at 7:49 PM