August 28, 2009
Most of the ripe tomatoes (above) went into a Gazpacho tonight, which I served on a bed of our very own mesclun greens. (Did you know that the proper spelling is "mesclun"? I made this realization only a few months ago. I've been saying mesculin for years and feel like a complete arse.)
And of course, the string beans overfloweth. I tried a variety pack this year which included yellow, green and purple beans. The purple variety turns green when cooked, but looks and tastes great raw in salads. Alden loves feeding them to us, but has no interest in eating them at all. Besides feeding beans to adults, he is quite fond of mashing beans into the fibers of the living room carpet and tossing them into the trunk of his tractor.
So far the only vegetable we've been able to get Alden to eat straight from the garden are cherry tomatoes. The rest are utter poison unless they are cooked and pureed or otherwise rendered completely unrecognizable.I received artichoke seedlings from Joaquin (post doc in the lab) who smuggled them into the country from Grenada. Joaquin's dad is an agricultural engineer and insists they'll survive Maine winters, but also claimed that they wouldn't flower until their second year. I've never heard of any one here growing artichokes, but we thought we'd give it a try. So far, we have 6 little flower buds on our little plants, so his dad was wrong on that account. It will be interesting to see if the plants return in the spring. I hope so, I'd love to be able to eat fresh artichokes next year.
August 27, 2009
The little red monster finger puppet is Alden's favorite thing these days. It's pronounced "mah-tehr", and Alden thinks it's the best thing ever since he discovered it on a tuning peg of my guitar two weeks ago. He carries it around everywhere while at home. He clings to it while eating his meals, running around the house, taking bathes, and sometimes insists on taking it to bed. This one may be the closest thing Alden has to a comfort item.
The fuzzy lizard head and the pink doughnut were his favorite things until the mah-tehr bumped them from the top spot. They are still very dear however.
Favorite reading includes Go Dog Go, Dr Seuss's ABC and I like It When. Runners up include Hurray For Fish, the Boynton ABC book, and Good Night Moon
Past favorite books include The Everything Book, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Fox in Socks, Museum Shapes and the Little White Duck. While he still enjoys these, he doesn't ask for them as often these days.
August 24, 2009
Karen and Alden have been beating the recent heat swimming in the inflatable pool and by going to Jimmy Pond and the bookstore.Alden inspecting our pumpkin and squash patch.
Alden is just old enough to wander around our back yard semi-unsupervised! I have dreamed of this day, when I don't have to hold him or be actively playing with him outside. He is curious and cautious and easily distracted by the neighbor's dog.
August 16, 2009
During the day however Alden is usually really charming and happy. He is extremely verbal and is developing a since of humor. His biggest joke is with Karen. It started last week when she was over for a BBQ. Alden pointed to the briquettes and said "Poo". Karen thought it was hilarious. Now whenever he sees her he says "Poo", and she laughs. It's kind of an 'in' joke between them because he doesn't try it with us. I think we're better at not laughing at such things since we would have to put up with the Poo Joke every day if it caught on here.
Alden learned that he can blow bubbles in his water a couple days ago. We are very impressed.
Alden with his vodka bottle and my pal Darrell with a beer. Having a drink before going off to the Artwalk Gardiner.
August 15, 2009
Out of all the AWESOME things Alden has seen me do in his lifetime, he picks the oddest things to imitate. Given that he's very particular about dirt/grass/ sand/ etc. touching his hands and feet and the relative squalor in which we live, it does not come as too much of a surprise that he has decided to demonstrate cleaning techniques.
Its rather embarrassing really. I was sitting on the porch having a beer when Alden decided to do the cleaning... I felt some shame, yes.
I particularly like how he picks up the door-stop wedge and tries to put that away, but the shelf is so full of crap it falls to the floor. Shameful.
August 9, 2009
Sam and Ellen had a bunch of lake-gear. Alden particularly loved this inflatable with a membrane bottom. No sand to touch, no cold water to ruin things, just a fun ride in a warm doughnut thanks to the thermal properties of PVC.
This weekend we took a family hike up Mt. Pisgah where, you may recall, last year at about this time we took Joshua, Cheyenne and Ronin and came home with several bags full of blueberries. A few years before that Joshua, Cheyenne and Kerstin stumbled on a large patch of chanterelles at Mt. Pisgah, so we were hoping that we would be able to come home with something tasty. Alas, it seems that without Joshua and Cheyenne, the forest is reluctant to give up its bounty. The blueberry and huckleberry pickings up the main trail were slim. We managed a scant half a cup of berries after nearly an hour of effort. Either our fellow hikers had denuded the bushes or the weather contributed to severely decreased yield. We had no luck with mushrooms either. The forest was shockingly bereft of all kinds of fungi! This was especially surprising since we've had nearly 3 weeks of straight rain, with the sun returning for only the past 3 or 4 days. We glimpsed a few Indian Pipes (actually not a fungus), but no amanitas, boletes, lepiotas, or psilocybes (we even found the crooked tree where we'd found psilocybes on a rotting log last year. Rotting log was still there, but no mushrooms). We were pretty sad. Alden picked out his hiking outfit below by himself (no really!) and kept us pretty entertained, but in the end, mosquitoes and biting flies forced us to put a shirt on Alden and put him in more comfortable shoes.
Alden at the Mt. Pisgah tower.
August 3, 2009
August 1, 2009
Here is a picture of Alden at about the same age. I had forgotten just how horizontal babies are.