It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Playdough Recipe

Ask and you shall receive…

In fact, my recipe comes from the More With Less Cookbook, our family’s primary cookbook, put out by the Mennonite Central Committee. (No, I’m not Mennonite, but I went to university in an area of the country jam-packed with them! To this day, when I find myself at an occasion where people have segregated themselves by gender – you know, all the men at one table, or down one side of the picnic table, all the women on the other side – I think of it as “sitting Mennonite”, a term used by the Mennonite students themselves in gentle self-deprecation.) I don’t follow the recipe exactly, though, so here’s my variation of the MWL recipe:

Mix together in a bowl:
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons alum

In a pot, heat to boiling:
2 cups water (cookbook says 1.5 cups)
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
food colouring

Stir liquids into dry ingredients. Knead* until smooth. Store in airtight container.

*Kneading can be a treat, given that the stuff is boiling hot! Put on a pair of rubber gloves and rub a dot of oil onto the palms to prevent the dough from sticking. Knead lightly at first: it becomes less sticky as it cools. I sometimes put out a sheet of wax paper to knead on to prevent it sticking to the counter. (Sometimes. More often I forget…)

March 22, 2006 Posted by | crafts | 8 Comments

Come Again?

Sam: Is today the 21st?
Me: Yes, it is.
Sam: Well, last year it was the 22nd now.

March 21, 2006 Posted by | quirks and quirkiness, random and odd, the things they say! | 10 Comments

Playdough Press

Take a blob of playdough and a garlic press. Put together with a mechanically-inclined child, and you have hours – well, 45 minutes at least – of absorption.

March 21, 2006 Posted by | individuality, quirks and quirkiness | 9 Comments

Earthy Vernacular

The boys are playing with the playdough. We’ve finally made another batch, and they thoroughly enjoy its bright yellow creamy softness. They are busily playing away at the dining room table as I sit on the couch writing to you, and the murmur of their chatter flows around my concentration. It’s a nice sound, punctuated by frequent giggles.

Gradually, though, I realise that I’m hearing the same rhythmic pulse over and over again. They have been playing a lot with rhythm these days. Stories that have a pulse, chants, poetry – they revel in them. Recently we’ve been reading Hippos Go Berserk, much to everyone’s glee. So, the boys are chanting as they play. How delightful. My attention caught, my ears belatedly comprehend:

Put your playdough up your aaaaass!” Followed by lovely melodious little-boy giggles.

Hmmm…Well, it’s rhythmic! And it’s risque. You can see the appeal. However, it is my job to civilise them, and this is unquestionably vulgar. They’ve already had a nice, satisfactory wallow in toddler naughtiness, but the forces of propriety and order, namely, me, are about to assert themselves once more.

The problem is, you give this stuff attention, you reward it. I’m not shocked, but I don’t want to encourage it. The solution? Be oblique. Indirect often works best in this situation.

“What was that, guys? I didn’t quite hear you?” Oh, so casual. I keep my gaze on my laptop as I speak, look up only as I finish the question. No piercing glances from me. Because I haven’t heard anything untoward, oh, no.

“Oh,” says George, generally the quickest on his mental feet in such chancey situations, “I was just talkin’ to Darcy and Arthur.” The tone of voice is casual, but the grin is wicked. In another twenty years, this boy will be just the kind of man who caused me a lot of trouble in my youth.

“All right, then,” say I, and their conversation moves seamlessly into less bawdy realms.

My mission accomplished, I return to posting photographs for your entertainment. The forces of propriety have spoken, the vulgarity reigned in. This is only standard three-year-old mischief, and after all, even such well-brought-up, obedient, and generally civilized little men can enjoy a dip into the earthy vernacular from time to time.

March 20, 2006 Posted by | George, Mischief, the things they say! | 11 Comments


March 19, 2006 Posted by | Mischief, random and odd | 4 Comments

Saturday Throw-away

I’ll be back to normal posting next week, when I’m back to work, but for today, those of you who enjoy yer pint (and have a sense of humour) might enjoy this.

Just occurred to me. If I were totally into St. Patrick’s day – which, despite my predilection for Irish Cream Ales, I’m not, unlike so many of my American friends – I’d have posted this yesterday! You can pretend I did.

March 18, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Gift Ideas

I was cleaning up at the end of my workday, when I hit upon the Perfect gift. I was envisioning all my parents contributing to this wonderful, personal, supportive gift. All you out there who have caregivers, I’m about to tell you something that will make your caregiver love you forever. No favour you ask – well, almost – will ever be too great, from here on in.

You ready?

The monthly, or bi-monthly services of a cleaning service!

There are six of them. So, if they each paid for two days, that would get me monthly cleaning. If they paid for four days each, I could have someone come in and beat back the grime twice a month.

I can only imagine such luxury.

March 16, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Is this Weird, or is it Just Me?

I was checking out some blogs on the weekend, and stumbled across a few blogs from New Zealand. One little family decided to take a trip to Zion Wildlife Preserve for the day. A family trip to see big wild cats – what could be nicer on a warm, sunny day (which they’re having down there, this being the end of their summer)?

It’s very exciting! Look! You can take your child, and they can stick their hands through the bars and pet the nice kitty!

And look to the right of this shot. See that gap? When your child has petted the kitty, the kitty can stick his paw through and pet your baby!!

I know we’re risk-phobic in this neck of the world – it’s a trait that drives me nuts most days – and I can see that the dad in this shot has a firm grip on the child, but even for me, this is pretty wild…

March 15, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Draw a House

Found this at Ms. Sisyphus. If you have time this is kind of fun. Your older children, home on school break, might enjoy trying this out, too!

You draw a house, and then you are provided with an in-depth analysis of your personality. Well, an analysis. Your kids will probably like doing it without the analysis, though that might increase the entertainment factor for you!

If you like, you can see my house. (Obviously, someone has lots of time on her hands…) You don’t get to colour it until the very last step, which might have changed how I proceeded if I’d realized! Still, as you can see, I had a lot of fun with the colour.

You can also see my character analysis there, too.

Let’s see…

You are sensitive and indecisive at times. (Check)
You are a freedom lover and a strong person. (Check)
You love your house and family. (Yes, indeed)
You are a gifted artist as well. (I laugh out loud…)
Once you have a problem, you need a friend with you. (Sometimes, I guess. Other times I prefer to worry it through on my own.)
Your life is always full of changes. (Not particularly.)
You are very tidy person. (Picture me rolling about on the floor laughing at this one.)
There’s nothing wrong with that because you’re pretty popular among friends. (No idea, though I doubt it. Friends are important, popularity isn’t. Why would there be anything wrong with being tidy, anyway?)
Your life is always full of changes. (Not really.)

You will avoid being alone and seek the company of others whenever possible. (Absolutely NOT true.)
You love excitement and create it wherever you go. (So NOT true.)
You see the world as it is, not as you believe it should be. (I like to think so.)

You added a flower into your drawing. The flower signifies that you long for love. (Don’t long. Got it.)
We also see that you are sensuous, sexual, and privately passionate. (No comment. Like it says, privately.)
You are self-confident and happy with your life. (Yes.)

March 14, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

I Forgot to Mention…

that the upcoming week is the school Spring Break, and I have closed the daycare, too. I don’t know if I’ll post or not over the week, but if I don’t, I will be back on Monday, March 20.

Yay, a week off! I need it!

March 12, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments