Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Very Difficult Lesson

When Owen had his ENT appointment in Birmingham this summer, we hauled the ol' portable DVD player out of hiding and strapped it in front of him, to make the six hours of sitting in a carseat more exciting for him. I don't know what came over us, but this time we offered him control over the tiny remote.

Actually I do know what came over us. I didn't want to be bothered with reaching back to start and stop his movies. I had a bag of magazines to read, and was wanting a mini-vacation from being mommy! Anyone who knows Owen is also familiar with his fascination for all things mechanical and electronic. He loves switches, lights and buttons, and the intoxicating little thing called control over inanimate objects. When he was little, he was the kid who would open and close cupboard doors, just to watch them turn on their hinges. When he turned two, he played with his Leapfrog bus for hours at a time, and learned the whole alphabet and the letter sounds very quickly. So we knew that access to the portable DVD remote would be a enjoyable for him, to put it very mildly, and it would keep him occupied and quiet for basically the whole trip. Good? Great!

When we returned home, it was late and we left the DVD player in the truck. We didn't even bother to put the remote away. I knew Owen would be disappointed to relinquish the privilege, and I didn't feel like dealing with the fuss, so I let it slide. Unfortunately. Not one of my better moments as a responsible adult. It stayed for a week, maybe?

Several mornings ago, Jason came into the house for lunch and called Owen aside to show him something Grandpa had found in the lane, right in front of the farm shop where we usually stop to say hi on our way home from errands.
Oops. Quite unusable, all pulverized into the red dirt and all. Apparently some little person had thrown or dropped it out the window, and then hadn't spoken up about it. That is what he admitted, anyway. His words of remorse: "That makes me very sad!!"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jack's Real Live Photo Shoot

Done by a real live photographer and not just his mama pretending. I love them. Thanks, Les!

Click on the Jack link.

P.S. The big white tunic and gray pants Jack is wearing belonged to my grandpa Herman J Bontrager, for whom Jack was named. Grandpa wore them as a little Amish boy. The suspenders have been lost, so that's why the pants are gone in most of the pictures! Poor Jack was intensely frustrated that his pants kept biting his ankles.

Friday, September 11, 2009


My garden happened to succeed this year, and we have an absolute bumper crop of okra. The plants are ridiculously huge, the stalks several inches in diameter and the tops waving way past our heads. A lot of it has gone to waste because I hate the scratchy prickliness of the plants that leaves you itching for a good fifteen minutes post-pick, but we have certainly eaten our fill. I have fried it, stewed it, cooked it with tomatoes, pickled it and put a ton in the freezer for future pots of gumbo.

I was not introduced to gumbo until I came to the South. You poor, poor northerners have no idea what you're missing! It's right up there with cheese grits, crawfish and boiled peanuts. OK, some may argue about boiled peanuts making that list, but I like them. At any rate, you can't beat a good bowl of gumbo. Jason's mom makes it every year at Christmas, our old neighbors cooked up a pot before a football game, every respectable seafood joint boasts some version. The best kind is the kind you can't see through. Yes, the worse it looks, the better it tastes, my friends. There now, doesn't that look appetizing? If only your monitor were scratch-n-sniff!

Cook up some fluffy white riceand eat up!
The funny-looking green stuff in there is the okra.