Tuesday, June 27, 2017

the kid cooks, and then plays.

I've been allowing our little princess to help me in the kitchen for a long time, and it's finally paying  off.  Once a week she makes pancakes with my assistance.  Nowadays she doesn't make as big a mess, and goes as far as measuring some of the ingredients (pouring the milk into the measuring cup herself), cracking the egg, using my hand egg beater to mix the liquid ingredients, adding the liquids to the dry ingredients she has already mixed thoroughly, and stirring those together.  She scrapes the bowl as she stirs, like any good cook would.  She can name all the ingredients as I set them out for her:  flour, sugar, baking powder (sometimes she forgets and says baking soda), and oil.

She will soon be four years old, but it will be awhile before I let her do the actual cooking.  

I've had people online tell me I have remarkable patience, allowing her to do all this.  Well folks, I have a confession to make:  I'm a slob.  I barely keep house at all.  So here's the way I look at it:  How much is a little more mess going to hurt?

And does she ever LOVE eating pancakes!

On another note.  When little Princess arrived this morning, her parent was carrying a tote bag.  Once the bag was on the floor, I saw it was FULL of little toy things, similar in size to Little People figures.  My first thought was, "Oh no, something else to be strung around all over the house."  

As I was looking at it from a distance, she proudly announced, "Dalmatians!"

Trying to feign interest, I got up and went closer as she started removing them from the bag.  That's when my interest became real, because these were some of the cutest little things I've ever seen, and they are made plenty tough, so they'll probably last forever.  I don't know that there are 110 Dalmatians, but there are dozens of them, for sure.
Look at the detail!  Every single dog is different from the others.  Their legs are movable, so you can stand them up, sit them up, or lay them down.  I got down in the floor to play with them, although since they are new, the girl isn't sharing too well.  

Then Cliff got up.  He wasn't ready to get in the floor yet, so I brought in a cookie sheet the dogs could play in and do their tricks (yes, some of them do tricks.  

Thank you, Iowa grandma, for getting her these toys.  She loves them, and so do we.  Of course, they aren't staying here, but perhaps she will bring them another day and let me play with them.

Friday, June 23, 2017

"A Man Called Ove"

When I checked this digital library book out on my Kindle, I didn't realize the story was set in Sweden or I wouldn't have bothered.  I know I'm narrow-minded, but I like to read a book in which the characters use the same sort of currency I'm familiar with, and visit towns and areas I know.

After the first couple of chapters I was hooked.  Poor Ove couldn't kill himself no matter how he tried.  

This is one of those books that will make you laugh, cry, and experience every emotion in between.  Its my favorite of all the novels I've read in the past three years or so.  I don't think anyone would be offended by it, unless you don't like a minor character in the book being gay (I'm pretty sure homosexuality isn't contagious, especially just from reading about it), or if perhaps the word "bloody" seems like too strong a curse word.  Read the book, and learn that even the grumpiest curmudgeon can have a heart of gold.  And it all started with a mangy cat.

I bring up the book to tell you a story about Buttons, the cat.  He came here as a kitten with his brother Grady, who later disappeared (after we spent $70 getting him fixed).  Grady was playful and fearless and everybody's favorite.  We don't know if a fox got him or somebody took him because he was so amazing, but he is gone, and we were left with Buttons.

Buttons loves to park himself under the hummingbird feeder
When the kittens first arrived, they decided Cliff's shop was a great place to hang out.  I was a little concerned about the situation because Cliff has never been fond of cats, unless it's one that lives in the barn catches lots of mice.  But the little girl we babysit loved the kittens, so he endured the situation, even when I had to put a litter box in the shop after one of the cats pooped in the Oil-dry stuff under a tractor.  The two kittens immediately took to curling up in Cliff's favorite chair, although there are at least four similar chairs available.  Again, my husband endured the shame of being put out of his own chair.  Buttons still owns that same chair, although he doesn't spend nearly as much time in the shop as he used to.  

I was relaxing in the shade the other evening when I saw the grandson getting ready to close up the shop, and Cliff moseying toward the house.  Behind him, Buttons capered and romped, frolicking all around my husband and following in his footsteps.

I laughed as hard as I have in a long, long time.  You see, I had just read about the cat that Ove hated so much getting injured and finally being hauled into Ove's house to spend the rest of his days.  Cliff isn't a curmudgeon, but somehow a cat following playfully around him like that was almost too much for me to process.