June 15, 2009

Monday Montage

Lately it seems like my life has been a lot of little amusements strung together like a hodge podge of broken seashells, sea glass, driftwood and smooth, colored stones. Apart they are little gems that don't amount to much, but together make something more substantial. The building blocks of life, I guess.

What better spot for them than a montage?



* * *

On an early morning ride to drop Tristan off at daycare, my mind wanders. I am deeply lost in thought, so deep that, frankly, I don't even know what part of my brain I was strolling through.

I tuned out the usual backseat chatter of the kids bickering, "STOP THAT!" and "MINE!" and "NOOOOO, MIIIIINE!", etc etc.

After a couple of minutes I tuned back in to listen and realized with a start that Tristan was alone in the backseat and the entire argument he'd been having was with himself. Or maybe an imaginary play friend. Imagination-induced schizophrenia.

* * *

A series of phone calls in which I discover I am better informed than usual (which is rare in my life since I'm almost always the last to know anything):

Phone call #1:

Bob: Listen, I have to tell you something that isn't really ready to be announced, but you need to know.

Me: Okay...

Bob: [blah blah blah] they're doing a study of our town [blah blah blah] I was hoping you could help...

Me: Steve already called and asked me to be on the steering committee.

Bob: [sighs heavily] I was supposed to be the one getting everyone. I wish he'd told me he'd done all this already!

Phone call #2:

Darren: Hey, I need to show that house of yours [blah blah blah] around 6 or 7. I have a golf tournament, though. The guy showed up unexpectedly. I'll call you later with a more specific time.

Me: Sounds great, I'll let the owners know.

Phone rings about two minutes later...

Linda: I need to show that house of yours [blah blah blah]. Darren has a golf tournament so I'm going to show it for him. The guy showed up without calling again. Can we show it at 6?

Me: Um, yeah.

* * *

The metamorphosis of various things as related by my 6-year old.

"Mom, did you know that crawdads turn into lobsters when they get big?"


"Mom, this juice is half orange and half grapefruit juice. That makes pomegranate juice."

* * *

My signature dessert around our house is strawberry shortcake. It's a family favorite and awesome for someone like me who has very little cooking talent. We had some leftover poundcake and a new batch of strawberries and after I got everything ready I realized we had no whipped cream.

I came up with this brilliant idea that I'd make some HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM which is basically, you know, cream that's whipped. Clever, I know. Just 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Whenever Rob and I are in the kitchen it's like this dueling dance of power. He's the cook and I'm just basically a hack that fakes her way through a meal. However, our approach to cooking frequently reveals our approach to life and our levels of optimism about the world around us.

For example, he's a recipe studier, analyzer, follower. I'm a recipe skimmer, jumper-inner, winger. His attention span is long when it comes to cooking. He's fast and adept and flings food around while he's stirring. I am slow and agonizing, taking twice as long to do everything, frequently do it the hard way and always keep everything inside the pan. He washes as he goes. I do not. I assume it's all going to work out fine, he's certain it won't work out at all.

So, when I got out the whisk to start whipping the cream, I hear from behind me, "Oh no. No, no, no." He got out the electric mixer. I will admit that is a far better choice but for some reason the thought of getting the mixer out and finding the right little metal whirligigs seemed way more trouble than standing there three times as long with a hand whisk. I'm just screwed up that way.

* * *

During dinner, Tristan was his usual spastic self. It's hard to keep him in the chair for the duration. At one point he ran through the kitchen and into the living room where he started spinning in circles until he fell down. I was certain vomit would shortly follow.

Julius sighed, "Little kids are sure a lot of trouble sometimes."

I nodded and said, "Yeah, but sometimes they are pretty cool, too."

He nodded. I continued, "Do you think you'll have kids someday?"

He shook his head violently. "NO WAY!"

"Well, what if your wife wants kids?"

He gave this quandary some serious consideration and after quite a pause said, "Well, I would let her, but I AM NOT CHANGING ANY STINKY DIAPERS!"

* * *

The homemade whipped cream was completely fabulous and I highly recommend it over storebought. The children went berzerk, licking metal whirligigs, then devouring plates of cake and strawberries and whipped cream.

After a moment of sitting in front of his empty dessert bowl Julius says, "Mom, I didn't like that. Can I have some jello?"

I said, "Are you kidding me?"

He said, "Well, it's sugar free."

I said, "No, definitely not. You'll explode."

* * *

I had to call my mother, of course, and brag on how fabulous the whipped cream was. (I know, good grief, it's just whipped cream but it was a first for me!) I tell her how awesome it was, how great a job Rob did on it.


While mom was still on the phone, I rudely yell back, "YOU DID IT. ALL I DID WAS GET THE RECIPE."


My mom was irritated. "What is he yelling about?"

"Oh, he's trying to give me credit for it, but I didn't do anything. He's the one who did it. He gets the credit."

She says, "So you're arguing over giving each other the credit?"


I can hear her rolling her eyes. "You're such a nice married couple."

* * *

Over dishes (me washing, him doing everything else) Rob opens the fridge door. Something flies out and he growls, "Argh, would you eat some of this food already?"

I said, "Stop complaining. There are people starving in China." Then I realize that didn't sound right. "Or Africa. Or wherever people are starving right now."

My level of human compassion and global awareness is truly stunning.

* * *

I think with some effort and a little more time, this could be us in a few years...

What tidbits from your life can you share with me today?


  1. Hi Wendy! Have a great day! I enjoyed stopping by today! Enjoyable reading for me as usual.

  2. Great post, thanks for the funny and your visit to my blog.
    Gee, I always use the electric beater, I am kind of lazy like that.

  3. I smiled,, it is amazing how someone else's story can generate a giggle concerning you of your own. My wife and I cook in a similar manner. I sling crap everywhich way and wash pots and pans as I go. She is slow and methodical and has pots stacked to the ceiling when she is finished.... I smiled.. Thnx, Glenn

  4. Trey recently taught me that the sun does not exist, and that the bright, burning orb in the daytime sky is, in fact, the moon. It's just hot. It's a hot moon. At night, naturally, it's not hot anymore, so then it's just the moon. It is best not to argue with his logic.

    Coquetting Tarradiddles

  5. Reading Julius' "dirty diaper" comment reminded me of the first time I met him. I saw Rob change his diaper, which was pretty nasty, and he yelled "Shields Up!" The two of you quickly pulled the necks of your shirts up over your noses until the dangerous odors were gone. You too are adorable together, and I love you both!!

  6. He was totally right on the mixer. Otherwise you'd still be whisking that cream. If you really want to feel triumphant, make some meringue.

  7. I was laughing at changing the diapers, totally related to the cooking scene, and giggling at a 6 year old's idea of juice! My husband is the cook, I'm the chief bottle washer and cleaner. It didn't start that way, but sure am happy to have graduated to this.

    Thanks for the heads up on the Small Town Snapshot Sunday...joined..added a button...will be posting on Sundays. Great idea!

  8. Loved todays post. Kids really keep you on your toes and sometimes they say the funniest things. Great job on the whipped cream. I would have just run out to the convenience store and bought some. I wouldn't know where to begin to just make some.

  9. i really enjoyed reading this blog; i seemed to stop what i was doing to read it :) x

  10. You keep heavy cream on hand? I'd be more likely to have the whipped cream, which I have in a spray can. The flavor isn't the best but the grandkids like it. GREAT Monday post BTW, lots of fun reading.

  11. Wendy, I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award this morining on my blog. Check it out here: http://busymama7.blogspot.com/2009/06/thank-you.html

    Have a great day, I really enjoy your blog!

  12. A tidbit from my life ... and one for which I'm deeply ashamed (I think). I plan to post about it in a couple of days, so won't give details here. I hammered my 6yr old grandson's Dollar General Store, battery operated, noise making gun. Twice. Into a gazillion pieces. On purpose. In front of him. Yes, I know ... who was having the tantrum here?

    Loved the kitchen story - I'm with you on not being much of a cook! My basic meal is a meat under the broiler, a baked potato, and a salad, and a package of store bought cookies. You can't go wrong (unless you burn the meat or use bitter onions).

  13. Okay, for all you non-cooks, I'm sharing the recipe I used. YOU MUST TRY IT. Come on, just try it one little tiny time! It will make you happy and what else am I here for, really, but to make you happy? :D


  14. Mary's Mom: Thanks for coming by. One of your posts inspired me to jot some stuff down for a future post. :)

    Martha: I am the Queen of Lazy already. You can't have my throne!

    Glenn: Opposites attract?

    Kristian: Children are brilliant!

    Tati: Aah, the good old days when we changed diapers together. On our second we'd do "scissors, rock, paper" or sit for 5 minutes saying, "Your turn", "no, your turn", "no YOUR turn", "NOOOO..." (You get the idea.)

    Alicia: Delighted you'll be playing on Sunday. I hope we get lots more. It's fun doing the "tour" of the small towns. Love it.

    Linn: You inspired me to post the recipe in the comments.

    Caysieee: Low in calorie and high in fiber (if you print it out). I think you might even be able to lose weight reading this blog (if you're on a treadmill at the same time). Wow, so many legal disclaimers to do this. Whew.

    Elizabeth: Thanks! I will check it out!

    Wayside: I'm not allowed to have hammers at my house. You might have to start making that rule at your house, too!

  15. If I make your recipe, can I borrow your husband to help with the mixing? Mine is useless.

  16. I love my cobalt blue Kitchen Aid. Stick the bowl in the freezer (if I have room) for about 10 minutes before adding whipping cream, sugahhhh, and a dash of vanilla. The really cold metal bowl makes the whipped cream whip up faster. Yummmmm~~

    Didn't I sound "all Susie Homemakerish"...oops dating myself... errr I mean Martha Stewartish?

    Awwww... no need to feel inferior. It usually takes me 20 minutes just to wipe the cat hair off of it cuz its been sitting there collecting dust and stuff since last Thanksgiving.

    But "when" I do have time to make it fresh.... it's the Best!

    Wonderful post. I want some strawberry shortcake and a 6 year old now....

    Thanks for stopping by the tree house to look at my poppies, Wendy.

  17. I love this set of glimpses into your life. It's sweet to read about how much you love your family.

  18. Well, since you asked:

    Today it was again reinforced for me that for every pro in life there is at least one con. I was reminded that denial isn't always a bad thing, but it always has a shelf-life. I basked in the certain rootedness that one feels with being with their best-friends, the ones who know you inside and out and who "can't find a single flaw"; and I ignored the immense sadness that clung to all of the moments we shared today as our trio silently mourned the relocation of one. Soon, gone will be the days of hanging out and celebrating just being friends. Having the ability to drop everything and rush over to congregate, commiserate, vent, hug, pull a prank, meet for a drink or lend a loving helping hand. Today, I remembered that sometimes saying goodbye feels too akin to abandoment. But most of all, today it all sunk even deeper into my soul that I am more grateful than ever to have those life connections, my chosen family. Today THEY learned...they are stuck with me! LOL :D

  19. I sooo track with you!

    My Life is a bunch of fragments all pasted together with some sort of metaphysical cement...sometimes it makes a nice little montage and sometimes... it looks like my kitchen floor after the dog ate all the garbage from the can, from the under the kitchen sink and then, well...barfed it up.

    Your post however was more than a montage it was a artful creation...thanks.

  20. I would've called my mom too. :o

  21. Bwah hah hah. The video has me trying to imagine me and my hubby like that. Our dishwasher has been defunct since MARCH and I am about to lose my mind. So, no, no scenes like that in my near future. Thanks for the laugh!

  22. Madame DeFarge: Well, in this economy, I can't let you borrow him for free, but I WILL rent him out for pretty cheap.

    Lille Diane: Whew, yeah, I was well on the verge of feeling inferior. But cat hair really IS the great equalizer. :)

    MJ: Thanks. Most days, anyway. LOL.

    Mamapeas: Sorry you're losing a pal, but glad you have such great friends!

    Kim: Wow, I wonder if my blog would be better with dog vomit...

    Golden Touch: I'm happy. Thanks for visiting!

    Senora: You have to celebrate the little victories, right?

    Andrea: Well, I *DID* say to give us a few years. :)

  23. The absolute best was the pomegranite juice comment!

    Shawna's Study Abroad

  24. Agreed! Pomegranate juice rocks! The comment anyway. I don't think I've ever actually bought pomegranate juice. But I have made whipped cream.

    My tidbit today was about the ice cream that melted while I finished grocery shopping at Sam's. I wrote about that for three hours when I got home. I am a Compulsive Blogger.

  25. I so agree with your philosophy of cooking! It takes me forever too, and since I'm the only who has to eat it, I'm always pretty optimistic. Of course, I try to avoid cooking like the plague, except for rare occasions when I am attacked by a surge of domestic flair and I turn into "Suzy Homemaker" for a day. Happens about once a month...

  26. You ARE such a nice married couple!

    And I love your transcripts of your phone convos. I don't know why that is so fun, but it is.

  27. You are so FUNNY! Thanks for stopping by Saddlepotatoes! I will be hanging out here for more laughs. Thanks!

  28. Dear Wendy :) thank you for stop by my blog today :) you are my first visitor ! hurray ... i logged in quickly as I have over sleep today and my son has miss his school but , a treck across the mountain now about 3 kms to the school .. its not the best start to what will be a busy 48 hours .. I have birthday cake, cookies, jellies , pizza to bake and plan for his big day tomorrow yikes haha and ive use up all my lovely free range hen and duck eggs ! 9 is an important day for him ! so I must be organised he he ... have a lovely day ... its not raining so we have much to be thankful for ... Kittibee

  29. *school bus* oh dear i better wake up a bit quicker heheh ...!

  30. My Monday tidbits would include discovering I can make a mean veggie chilli, it was very nice, but those beans lived up to their reputation.....argh!

    Also, I tried a fruit called a loquat for the first time, very nice and I stole a seed which I'm going to plant and see what happens, apparently they're quite lovely even as ornamental trees :o)

    Hope you have a great day xx

  31. Don't worry Wendy - I'm sure someone's starving in China too.

  32. and here, in indonesia.

    and in my last experiment, my noodle went quite... bitter.

  33. Ahh the life of a young mother, I remember those days. Hectic is the only word that comes to mind.

  34. Hi Wendy I'm just getting into the whole world of blogging. I really enjoy reading your posts when i get online. I live in a small town and am surrounded by a ton more. I may have to start a adding to the small town sundays. In august I will have a good one as we are going camping and minning my kids love it. But for now I just want to say thanks. Christine from http://mycrazylifeilove.blogspot.com

  35. In our house I'm the cook but, John can make a mean chili. I've never made homemade whipped cream before so I don't know if I could do it or not. Julius will probably marry someday and have beautiful children. He just doesn't know it yet. Hope all is well. Have a great day.

  36. Understand totally about the cooking thing...I don't clean as I go either, and I somehow manage to use every bowl, spoon, spatula and utensil that the kitchen holds in the process!

  37. Hi Wendy,

    How old are your kids now?

  38. Your tidbits are delicious.

    Stupid video made me all weepy and mushy....I've got something in my eye.

  39. Just getting caught up on your blog. Here's a couple of bits from our house recently: http://juniandpip.blogspot.com/2009/06/he-says-it-there-and-it-comes-out-here.html.

    Enjoying your writing!


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