Alligators Always Win

I was going to blab about our move (in a week and a half!) to the country (the beautiful country!) to our car-home (our wee car-home!) where we'll roast lots of wieners (living off the grid!)...


John just arrived home from a NYC run, and there are alligators prowling around the house and a three-layer slice of fancy cake waiting for me on the table.

Alligators win every time.

(And John's not half bad, himself.)

Bone Yard

On our way home from a book sale-- yes, we're moving into a car-home soon; why do you ask?-- Millie begged me to stop at our cemetery. I'd thought about taking them to the park, but, really, this serves some of the same purposes.

Hide and seek.

Strolling about.

Jungle gym. (No, they're not allowed to vault over or climb on any headstones.)

Lots of running.

And small bits of blessed rest.

Came Rolling Home

The grassy slopes were not neglected.

Next Time Won't You Sing with Me

Susannah likes to finger-trace the names and dates. This cemetery is quite old. It contains graves of men who fought in The Great War, and we even found the grave of a man who fought in the War for Independence.

You'd Never Know It Unless I Told You

After racing around headstones like a comet on fire, Millie finally stopped to catch her breath.


If you're wondering how Piper occupied herself, I hauled her around for a while before setting her down, at which point she enjoyed eating leaves. This can't surprise you.

Beans in Water

Mildred thought these dried beans soaking on the stove looked pretty. I agreed.

Conversations with Mildred Elise

Since my camera's injury, it's been throwing all sorts of sulky fits. Thankfully, the only permanent problem is the frozen zoom switch, so I can still take lots of pictures. (Whew!)

This causes a problem, though, when I try to take pictures of Millie. In the past, I would zoom in from far off, which allowed me to take pictures without her knowledge. No longer. Now that I have to be physically close in order to get close pictures, I hesitate to take many in consideration of my girl who doesn't much care for cameras.

I discovered something a few days ago, though, when I found the girls playing with paper dolls in the bathroom. If I talk to her about something she finds interesting, she barely notices the camera! We lucked out.

In the order in which she appeared, here she talks about the different fruit trees and berry bushes we can plant when we settle in the country.

Here she scowls while trying to remember the name of "the red berry she wants to plant."

And more furrowed attempts to remember...

I'll have to brainstorm bathroom conversation topics anytime her shotsnaps presence is too sparse.

Two More

...because I like them. You don't have to.

Lest We Forget This Girl

Annie sat on the other side, blowing kisses...

And making big-mouth faces.

With No Frills Upon It

Piper wore a vintage bonnet on Sunday. I thought she looked mighty cute in it.

But I only thought that because it was absolutely true.

They All Have Excellent Manners

My mom-in-law gave me party favors for Annika's birthday, lots of shiny, satin bags filled with fairy dust. She also gave us wands and ten-ton bags of candy. Since we only had cousins over for cake-eating on Annika's actual birthday, we threw a pirate-fairy-elephant tea party last Friday. We invited the next door cousins and our neighbor Corynn. It was loads of fun, but I only took a half-dozen pictures, and they were awful. (If I steal some off of Becky's camera, I'll post more another day.)

Lots of fairy-princess-pirates and one lovely mother of pirates sat on this bench. (The mother is the girl in white.)

The sun-bleached tea party table. (It was appropriately decorated with fairies, elephants, and, you guessed it, pirates.)

We had a little scavenger hunt to uncover the scattered pieces of a treasure map. Then the girls followed the map to dig up the treasure, which was brilliantly buried in the garden. Who would've thought?! They dug like frenzied moles, and found the treasure chest, inside of which were bags of glitter and mounds of candy.

This morning, I found three pieces of the treasure map tucked under the table. I think there are three girls waiting with hope to reuse it, but there's no way they'd find the treasure without the missing piece.

Sail Away

We made a lot of pirate hats out of newspaper the morning of the tea party.

I guess we were overzealous because we had a lot of leftovers.

Never fear! We hold to the "waste not, want not" motto, so the hats were put to good use. Proof as follows.

Piper Pirate, Or, Pippi in the South Seas

This little Piper sitting on the chair is cute enough, but she's missing something...

AH! There we are!

Much better, don't you think?

She even thought so.

Blood is Thicker than Water

1/3 of 90

One down, two to go...

Tax Day came and went. I'm thirty now. I could write a thoughtful post about the passage of time and all that rot, but I won't. Here are a few pictures instead.

John didn't have to work the day before my birthday, so the girls and I took a break from school. Right after I tucked the girls in for naptime, my mom poked her head through the door. John had arranged a surprise, it's-the-day-before-your-birthday date for us. He completely surprised me (it's not that hard), and we took off, just the two of us.

It was a very good day. Here are the few pictures I took.

We went bowling. The last time we bowled together was on our honeymoon, so this was awfully fun, even as the lonely man on our right bowled a series of strikes, which made my gutter balls seem more gutter-y. In fact, I don't think I saw him bowl anything but a strike the entire time we were there. Neither John nor I broke 100, though John came close. (He whupped me seven years ago, too.)

Then he drove us to a fancy Indian restaurant. FANCY! I haven't dined often in fancy restaurants (this is the second; remember the first?), and I always feel a bit nervous, but this restaurant was wonderful. John's parents gave us a plump gift card for Christmas, and it was so much fun to choose whatever we wanted from the menu.

We began the meal with shrimp poori. The shrimp was the size of my head.

Followed by potato curry and mulligatawny (lentil soup). Sorry-- we ate the soup before I took a picture. So you can imagine it, the color was brownish-green. Above is the potato curry.

John ordered the tandoori mixed grill, A.K.A., an intimidating platter of sizzling meat. My favorite of these was the reshmi kebab. Oh, yum.

I confidently ordered chicken vindaloo (enter stage left), not knowing exactly what it was. The waitress asked, "Um. Do you know how spicy it is?" I hadn't, but I told her we liked spicy food. We do. It was delicious.

We had yummy leftovers for lunch the next day, and then some. Thank you, Mom-Owen and Dude! Now if only I could discover a way to replicate these dreamy dishes in my kitchen, we'd be set.

Lastly, the requisite serious portrait of Self in Public Restroom, Presumably Resting.

Look at that 29-year old, never again to walk this earth. She looks so YOUNG!