Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Dinner is cooking in the crock pot. It's May in Minnesota but the weather today is screaming for late fall comfort food. Bourguigon and Mashed Potatoes, a caesar salad and fresh peas... Dogs, after a day of play and trips outside every 25 minutes, have exhausted themselves and are lying at my feet. Always at my feet- makes clogs no longer safe for their paws or my balance. I have cleared off my desk as well as sorted through my forever growing recipe stack. It's a rotten rainy day and the only redeeming qualities of this dismal day are getting things done in the house and knowing that my flowers and ground cover are no longer thirsty.

My kids, on the other hand are insatiable. They arrived home from school, music and tennis lessons in the last hour. I have watched as they devoured what was remaining of the Wheat Thins box, the now empty carton of Goldfish Crackers and all of the cheese that was left in the refrigerator drawer, a few rows of Oreos, hummus and carrots, and lots of milk and water. I watch them- partly in disbelief of what they can consume in under 15 minutes and partly envious that they can. And, I try not to ask too many questions about their day. It's not easy. Before they come through the door I promise myself that I will limit my inquiries and ask open ended questions. Otherwise I get bubkas.
"How was your day?"
"How did the spelling test go?"
"Anything good for lunch today?"
"Did you get back your science test corrections?"
"What did Mr. Ratliff say about your report?"
"Mom! Enough! Stop asking so many questions!!!!"
Darn. Goofed it up again. Should have started with the open ended one...

The door of opportunity for conversation has closed. I know this side of the door well. After all, I live with 5 males. I know the signs. The exhale. The eyes no longer looking to me for interaction and instead now focusing elsewhere. When they are done. they are done.

And so, they have moved on to homework. I suggested they do their lessons in the kitchen as I work. We can parallel work. Just like when they were little. They would bang on pots and pans and pull stuff out of my carefully arranged cabinets while I prepared dinner and managed work projects at my desk.

It's cold and wet outside. It's warm and wonderful in my kitchen. Don't tell my husband but I believe we could have just built this kitchen with a big bunk room off the back. After all, everything happens in the kitchen. Gotta love my kitchen.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:My Kitchen

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dog Training

Still in my kitchen. Yup. And my little family will enjoy another homemade fresh baked bread and a lovely, savory pot roast. All because we have a new puppy, I'm tied to the kitchen and I'll be darned if this Little Miss Daisy isn't going to be potty trained within the month...

Every 20 minutes the timer goes off and out the dogs go. Now, with the entire cooking frenzy, I've had to adjust. One timer is solely dedicated to food timing. But the little red timer... That is the timer that alerts anyone within ear shot, that it's time to run outside. Again. And again. And again.

I'm like an ongoing Pavlovian experiment. The timer goes off and my immediate response is to either look to the cooking triangle of my kitchen or to look to the floor to find the dogs. I imagine that if there was a camera on me the scene would be laughable. See Debbie. See Debbie as she sets the timer. See Debbie as she resets the timer. Don't see Debbie? She's outside again. And again. And again.

If you're looking for me, I'm in the kitchen. Stop by... Visit the dogs. Have something to eat. Tomorrow I'll be testing a new recipe for a lovely Vermont Cheddar Bread and maybe I'll begin setting the timer for every 25 minutes...
Is this dog trained yet...?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:My Kitchen

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Zoo I Call Home

I love my new kitchen. Really I do. But recently, it's become a bit of...well, a bit of a prison. I love my new puppy. Really I do. But recently, she's become a bit of...well, a bit of an appendage.

What is it about selective memory? I remember telling myself during the labor of our first son, "don't forget. Don't allow yourself to forget this pain. You must not do this again. It's so horrible. Delivering a baby is so incredibly painful." Dan yelled, "breathe!" And I seethed, "you try birthing a watermelon through your nose!"
I told myself I would not join the ranks of those women who have delivery amnesia. I would remember so as not to forget the past and be condemned to relive it.
Then Elliott was conceived and born. Thank G-d.
Then Jeremy was conceived and born. Thank G-d.
Told myself the same thing when we brought home our first puppy...

Our three babies have turned into 3 very grown, very convincing sons. We have at any given time dogs, fish, frogs, leopard gekkos, a snake (another blog, another time as I'm still traumatized), 17 chickens, a dozen ducks... You get the picture.
Just imagine a zoo. "Mommy?" Jeremy inquires last Monday on the drive to school. "Mommy, do you ever feel like you live in a zoo?" Only every day!!!!!!!!

A couple of years ago my boys (three sons, one husband) began the campaign for a new puppy. I played every card I could think of but they would not let up. Finally, I played the trump card. "I cannot possibly consider another 50 pound dog in this house. There is barely enough space for three growing boys, the pets we have, and all of your athletic shoes!" There was, I thought. no counter argument for this one. And in fact, the conversation ended.

Or so I thought. In July we moved into a new house. My dream house with my dream kitchen. The boys fit nicely too. The pets all have a place to call home. And the athletic shoes, though not always arranged in the cubby room in a manner that would be considered orderly, do fit. Dan finally has an office that suits his, shall we say- unique organizational style. Clearly, it works for him. Magnet 360 seems to grow and expand at a rate similar to the bunnies the kids are now begging me to have in our zoo.

And so, here I sit. An opportunity to blog because I'm tied to my kitchen. A bread rising on the counter because I can. A rich and fragrant vegetable stock waiting to boil on the stove because I am here. Here wearing my coat and clogs because I am on permanent puppy training duty and that means every 20 minutes, the kitchen timer rings, and me and my girls, Dog Ricky and Puppy Daisy, go outside. Come rain or shine, we go outside every 20 minutes. While picking out our new puppy, I somehow forgot that the boys don't really help with the puppies as they promise they will and it falls on me- Honorary Zoo Keeper.

Selective amnesia has given me some of my greatest gifts and blessings. Thank you G-d for allowing me to forget the pain of birthing my beautiful boys and all of the countless trips outside to train a puppy. Thank you G-d for a place to call home. Thank you G-d for my zoo.
Timer just went off. Gotta go...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:My Kitchen