Monday, October 24, 2011

What Goes On

The blog does not get updated when:

1) I am too cranky and cannot find anything amusing to say, particularly as regards my job.

2) I am in Fort Wayne, enjoying some quality time with my six favorite people in the whole world, plus Pastor and Jacqui.

On the job front, I gave notice on Thursday. Everyone cheer! I have another situation lined up, which should be much more reasonable in its demands and much less frustrating. It will also--I anticipate--furnish much less in the way of blog-fodder, so be prepared. I'll be taking care of the 8 mo. old son of one of Evan's classmates. This means that my husband and I will be on the same schedule, most of the time AND I will have Fridays off. Way back in September, I did commit to giving a full month's notice, though, so I will be stuck with my Indian friends through November 18. Oh well. Discounting vacation days (theirs), I only have 16 full days of work left. I imagine I'll pull through just fine.

As to our weekend in Fort Wayne, it was as wonderful as might have been anticipated. We stayed Thursday night at my father's this-is-NOT-a-bachelor-pad. My daddy and I had a nice drive over to Fort Wayne on Friday morning, while Evan attended a career fair in Chicago. Shopping, cooking, eating, visiting with the Petersens over dinner and cake, church at Redeemer, attention from my cat and my little brothers...all awesome.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Paid Jukebox

Prita likes for me to sing to her. A lot. Any time one of her little toys plays music*, she demands that I sing along. If it's a song that doesn't actually have words, I need to make them up on the spot or risk incurring her wrath. She particularly likes lyrics that involve babies. My best effort so far goes something like this:

Big baby, big baby
Small baby, small baby
Babies big and babies small
Big babies and small babies.

Look out, Oscar Hammerstein II. There's a new lyricist in town.

She also likes going through her alphabet cards and asking for songs that correspond with the pictures. "M for Monkey song!!!!" means Pop! Goes the Weasel because--hey!--there's a monkey in the song. M is also good for Hickory Dickory Dock (the mouse, right?). Bye Baby Bunting goes with R for Rabbit. F for Fish results in Have You Ever Been A-Fishin'. Sometimes, though, I'm just stumped. My knowledge of silly children's songs only goes so far, and it certainly stops well before "X for X-ray song!" When she started crying out for a "W for Watch" song today, though, I knew exactly where to go.

Rise, my soul to watch and pray;
From your sleep awaken!
Be not by the evil day
Unawares o'ertaken;
For the foe,
Well we know,
Is a harvest reaping
While the saints are sleeping.

Etc. etc. and so forth.

*I really want to know two things: Who writes the songs that modern children's toys play and WHO PERFORMS IT?!?! Have they no shame? No pride?

Monday, October 17, 2011

On a more cheerful note:


That's all I'm going to say.


I don't normally like to post pure complaints without at least a little sense of humor...but can we just forget today ever happened?

Prita's parents are in the process of getting her to sleep alone--instead of sprawled on top of her mother--and part of their strategy is skip naps so that she's so tired she'll sleep anywhere, anyhow. This works really well for a parent who works full time and doesn't have to deal with a nap-less two-year-old. I really felt very sorry for the poor little thing. By 1:30, she was begging me for a nap. "Sleepy time now? Sleepy time now? Pleeeeease?" I was under orders, however.

You can imagine how well this went. By 3:00, the child was a total basketcase. Everything caused tantrums and crying. Each time I would pick something up from the floor, be it a length of yarn, trash, or a book, she would start screaming for it and would not calm down until I handed it to her. As soon as the random object was in her hands, however, it would be forgotten. She cried because she wanted a bath. When I gave her a bath, she cried because she didn't like it. When I tried to put her anklets back on after her bath, it was as if I was torturing her. She went from sobbing like her heart was breaking to arching her back and screaming to running to her grandma to tattle on me. I'm still not sure why that last one resulted in Granny coming in to yell at me. I'm still confused.

Better still, the time that would usually be devoted to her nap--the best hour and a half of my day--was spent scrubbing the drip pans of their electric range. I'm not sure this had ever been done before,  but Granny decided that today was the day and I was the girl to get it done.

Tomorrow starts at 7:00 a.m. God grant me patience. Please.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apple Butter

I made up a batch of apple butter yesterday and am preparing to can it right now.

I sorta-kinda used this recipe...but then I changed everything. So this is basically what I did:

5 1/2 pounds apples - cut into eighths
1 scant cup white sugar (I cut this back because the apples were pretty sweet, but you could probably add a little more)
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

Fill a crockpot with the apple pieces and turn it on high. Let that go for something like an hour (or two, if you're like me an a little forgetful). Stir the apples around and turn the crockpot down to low. Let it all simmer down for as long as it takes you to get up the courage to prepare your canning supplies. In my case, this was about 24 hours. Stir whenever you remember to do so, or as often as you want the smell of condensing apples to fill your house. The next day, run the apple mush through a food mill or, if you're like me and just don't get around to buying a food mill in time, squish it through a strainer or mesh colander, just to remove the stringy bits, seeds, and whole cloves.

I have no business telling anyone how to can, so just follow the directions here. Or eat it, fresh, by the spoonful. That works, too.

If you choose to can, this recipe yields approximately 3 pints of apple butter. From 5 1/2 pounds of apples. It's that strong.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Long weekends are the best. I wasn't needed at work Friday, so I 1) stayed out a little later than usual on Thursday, 2) slept until 8:30 and 3) didn't deal with vomit or rude men all day.

One of Evan's classmates held a nice, low-key get-together at her apartment--right across the street from us--that evening.  It was lovely; just a few adults eating snacks, drinking wine, talking like grown-ups, watching YouTube videos.... Four words: LeRoy Jenkins, Chuck Testa.

This morning, we had a tailgate for the WI-IU homecoming game at 9:00. Tailgating in the morning just  doesn't work out as well. There were burgers and brats, as usual, but also a table of baked goods and a Gatorade cooler full of screwdrivers. (The drink, that is, not the tool.) Those got me in trouble, but not for the expected reason. I had no issue with the vodka, but that much orange juice left me feeling utterly wretched. We left a little before 11:00 and went home to take a nap.

This afternoon, Evan spent entirely too long on the phone with Charter, trying to figure out why our internet was not working...again. They got everything straightened out (hence the blog post), and he has moved on to bottling his homebrew. I just cleaned and chopped 5 1/2 pounds of apples, which are now in the process of turning into apple butter.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Excuse me while I smash that plate over your head.

So yes. The father-in-law.

He met me at the door when I arrived this morning with a brief "Good morning" and a "What is your name?" and that was the extent of our conversation for the day. It isn't due to any language barrier; my employeress assured me that he speaks fluent English, "because he's an ophthalmologist." For most of the day, he just pretended I wasn't there. Okay, fine with me.

Not that we didn't interact, after a fashion. I think there was definitely some communication going on when he rattled his dirty dishes at me from his position in front of the TV, waiting for me to take them to the kitchen. His eyes never wavered from the screen. Plate. Bowl. Spoon. Rattle-rattle. This happened three times over the course of the late morning.  On the positive side, the Granny seemed determined to be extra-friendly, as if to make up for her son's treatment. My employeress told me this morning that her grandmother's only complaint about me over the last month is that I simply do not eat enough. I knew she was trying to fatten me up.

On another subject, we had our first "Sig O's" bookclub meeting tonight and it seemed to go pretty well. We read and discussed "A Visit from the Good Squad" by Jennifer Egan. The conversation was more thoughtful and less faux-intellectual than any bookclub I've ever heard of. My one complaint is that I fixed my mother's famous, nationally-known, award-winning buffalo chicken dip and no one ate any. Except me, of course. But then, the other goodies were...let's just say, not up to bunko levels. Wine, cheese, and veggies, nothing fattening, no beer, very little chocolate. That's gotta change.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday, Friday, etc.

Ahhhhh, the sweet smell of the weekend. No really. Something smelled really amazing on the way home tonight. Someone was grilling brats and someone was burning leaves (is that legal, here?) and the combination of those smells--along with the earthy smell of the leaves lining the sidewalks--was just heavenly.

Not much to report on the job front. Today was a fine day, despite the fact that I was overly tired and cranky when I got to the apartment this morning. That grumpiness evaporated when I found that my employeress had a canister of chocolate-covered almond butter toffees to which I was welcome to help myself.

Om nom nom nom nom.

The father-in-law arrives on Tuesday, and I'm not quite sure what to expect on that front. Updates will follow, I am sure. The good news is that it sounds like I have next Friday off AND I also have the Friday after that off so we can fit in a long weekend trip to Fort Wayne.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

It's a phase, right?

Prita has a charming new trick. I say something, and she repeats it back precisely, with a loud "NO!" appended to the end of the last word. It goes something like this:

Me: Please pick up your matching cards.
Prita: Please pick up your matching cardsNO!

Me: It's time for yogurt.
Prita: 's'time for yogurtNO!

Me: Get your fingers out of your nose!
Prita: Get your fingers out of your noseNO!

Ah, yes. The Terrible Twos, but with a language gap. She's not quite sure what I'm saying, but she is NOT GOING TO DO IT!!!

This is why Evan and I have decided that all of our children are going to be naturally obedient and compliant....
Just kidding. I know we're doomed.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

It's the little things you notice.

Prita has two stuffed bunnies that she loves. One is purple, the other is white.

I'm trying not to read anything into the fact that, after playing with said bunnies today, she threw up her snack of blueberries (purple) and a later snack of yogurt (white).

Monday, October 03, 2011

Today: A story.

Once upon a time...
We had a good weekend. Rumor has it there were parties and keg stands involved, but I wouldn't give that too much credence. Unless you've seen the video Evan sent my mom.

Things went swimmingly today. The morning hours flew by, the child ate, the child slept, we went to the park, and my employeress came back at a reasonable hour, despite her dire warning that "hours will be longer this week." Of course, she also came home 3 minutes after the bus I had hoped to catch was gone, giving me the choice to 1) wait an hour for the next bus or 2) do my walking thing and meet the bus as far away as I could get in an hour.

My job isn't that bad, but given the chance to but some space between myself and them, I'm always going to choose that option.

Anyway, I walked four miles, rode the bus for about 1 mile, and got back off to meet my husband at Grainger (the business school building).  We did some shopping and headed home. The end.

Epilogue: I found out this morning that my employeress's father-in-law--son of Granny--is going to be coming from India next week to spend "5 days." I put "5 days" in scare-quotes because I'm scared. They told me that Granny was originally intending to stay a month, but she has now been there 5. If they say the father is staying 5 days, what does that actually translate to? This would not trouble me so much were it not for the fact that it sounds as if he'll just be hanging around the apartment all day..... But who am I kidding? More stories!