The G Man – An Update

Yes, yes, I’m still here.  Just incredibly busy; it’s summer at the Sushi Bar which means lots of fresh produce from the garden which needs to be eaten or cooked or preserved – as of today, we’ve had zucchini and summer squash approximately 27 times in the last week.  Which is quite a feat, considering we were in Cincinnati last Wednesday and Thursday to visit this guy:

The G Man at Benihana

Remember that little guy with the dimples and the big blue eyes?  He is now a month away from his 8th birthday – EIGHTH! BIRTHDAY! – and attempting to stab Meema’s out eyes using a set of chopsticks with corn kernels stuck on the tips.

Oh, I kid.

He was just trying to shove them up my nose – Benihana seems to have that affect on 8-year-old boys.*

Anyhoo, we were thrilled to see him; two years ago he moved to Michigan with his Mom, then last year they moved back to Texas.  We’ve been down there several times to see him (among other people), but it has been about six months since the last time, so we were anxious to visit while he was in Ohio for summer vacation with his dad.

In the fall he’ll be starting the 3rd grade – THIRD! GRADE! – where he is in the Talented and Gifted program in math and science, and little girls precede him everywhere, throwing rose petals in his path.

Well, they OUGHT to.

Stick around and in a few days I’ll introduce you to yet another heart breaker.

*(Actually, he loves his Meema because she is one of the few people over the age of 10 who can, and willingly does, intelligently discuss the merits of his video game du jour.  And she does a mean cannonball into the hotel swimming pool.  Not to toot my own horn or anything.)

A Marigold’s Tale

The subject of this week’s Spin Cycle is “Best and Worst.”

I can do that.

Okay, so you know Beloved’s we’ve gone off the deep end with our back yard gardening.  Not surprisingly, this has turned out to be a mixed blessing.

Best:  Sprouting our own seeds, replanting them in the back yard and knowing they’ll likely survive.

Worst:  The back yard garden has begun to take over our living room.

This has engendered some interesting conversations, though.

The G Man, as he hangs over the back of the love seat:  “What’s wrong with the lids on the plants?”

The Young One:  “It’s called ‘condensation.'”

Best:  Nurturing all of our plants, knowing they will eventually be blog fodder dinner.

Worst:  What – I need to water and weed AGAIN??

It should be noted that I am not the most trustworthy person to weed; I often cannot distinguish between the seedling of something I’m really going to want to eat later, and the weed I won’t.

Best:  Loving the Spring weather in Ohio even more.

It amazed me when I first moved here that you could practically just throw stuff in the ground and it would grow like gangbusters.  We had a beautiful ornamental garden in our back yard in Texas, but due to the searing heat 7 months of the year, we had to be very careful about what we planted, and tend it vigilantly.  Up here, we plant stuff, water it occasionally and that’s it – we have a gorgeous bed of impatiens in our front garden all summer long every year.

Worst:  Learning to HATE The Weather Channel.

The same Weather Channel that promised our over night low would be 38 F.  He Of The Green Thumb was out of town, leaving Hopelessly Inept Gardener on her own for the week.  Hopelessly Inept Gardener thought it would be safe to simply water the garden, rather than covering it, before retiring for the night.

You don’t know terror until you’ve left your husband’s precious garden uncovered all night, only to wake up at 5 a.m. and realize it’s 31 F degrees outside.

Best:  Having He Of The Green Thumb declare that the damage isn’t as bad as you thought; all of the cold/cool weather plants (lettuces, peas, collards, carrots, parsnips, beets) are fine and he shouldn’t have transplanted the peppers, squash, okra and tomatoes outside so soon.

Worst: The realization that the marigold your precious grandson started from a seed at preschool, and which was on the verge of blooming, was one of the items that had been transplanted outside too soon.

You have never seen two people search for a marigold at the local gardening centers quite as frantically as Meema and Papa.

the Marigold

Fortunately, three-year-olds have a limited grasp on the fact that marigolds don’t grow so large quite so quickly.

 

20 Questions…More Or Less

Just a reminder:  I’ve been nominated for Best Recipe Blog, Best Healthy Cooking Blog and Best Food Photography on a Blog at The Kitchn’s 2013 Homies Awards (along with a lot of other nice blogs). Take a minute and check it out – and vote (for me!) if you’re so inclined. Thanks!

Last summer when I completed a Whole30, I also began to exercise every day.  The “every day” aspect didn’t last long beyond the end of the program, and exercise pretty fell completely by the wayside during the holidays.  Since I’ve been keeping a closer eye on my blood sugar lately, I’ve begun regularly exercising again; because of the weather, that means the treadmill in the basement.  I’ve been walking at least a mile, if not a little more, twice a day during the week, and once a day on the weekend.  It’s been good for me.

Friday, The G Man came over so he could spend the night with Meema and Papa.  He loves playing in the basement – the only place in the house he can throw a ball around – so when I went down for my evening walk on the treadmill, he was right behind me.  After a few minutes of climbing on the futon and the BowFlex, he came over to watch me.

At 3 1/2, he’s entered the “why?” stage of toddlerhood with a vengeance, so I can’t say I was surprised by what followed.

“Meema, what are you doing?”

“I’m going for a walk!” I replied.

“Why are you going for a walk?”

“Because I need the exercise!”

“Why do you need to exercise?”

“Because I’m too fat!”

“What’s ‘too fat’?”

Ah, sweet boy…Meema adores you, you know.

Trick or Treat Has Obviously Become Passe

The fun has been sucked right out of Halloween, all in the name of “safety.”  Kids trick or treat in the middle of the afternoon on the weekend before Halloween, if it falls on a weekday.  Or they trick or treat at the mall – there were kids trick-or-treating in our local grocery store last week, for crying out loud.  Some parents take it even further, if Alton Brown was to be believed on Good Morning, America today, and don’t let their kids trick or treat at all – they have a party and call it good.

I’m certainly not in favor of letting kids eat twelve tons of refined sugar, given a boost by carcinogenic artificial food colors, but this is Halloween, for crying out loud – is it so wrong to let your kids trick or treat (chaperoned by an adult, of course) on the evening of the actual holiday?  I’ll be 50 years old in December, and neither I nor anyone I’ve ever met has ever received an apple with a razor blade in it, or been carried off by a psychopath.  In fact, with the single exception of a child who was poisoned by his own parent for the insurance money (and that happened many, many years ago), I’ve never heard of any of the bad things that people seem so frightened of ever happening while trick-or-treating.

At any rate, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Halloween, the scariest of all holidays, has been robbed of it’s bite, so to speak.  We haven’t had a child young enough to actually go trick-or-treating in many years and stopped giving out candy when we changed our diet two years ago.  But now there’s The G Man and his mom, who is VERY big on childhood traditions (and good for her!).  She, too, mourns the passing of the time honored tradition of trick-or-treating the evening of Halloween, so when she couldn’t find a neighborhood within driving distance that actually did it, she at least found one where they did it in the evening between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., even if it was the Saturday before.

We didn’t go – both of us are working on big projects, Beloved for the business and me on a personal one – but here is a pic of our little trick-or-treater, who stopped by Meema and Poppa’s house before embarking on his sugar-laden yearly tradition:

G Man and the Neverland Pirates
G Man and the Neverland Pirates

Yup – that would be our little rough-and-tumble bundle of joy dressed up as Jake from the Disney Jr. show, Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  (If you haven’t seen it, you don’t know WHAT you’re missing.)

With the exception of the time Meema made a gargantuan mistake and bought G a ring pop while we were out running errands one Saturday morning (you wouldn’t believe a kid could bounce off the sides of a moving vehicle while strapped in a car seat, but he managed it), we simply don’t give him crap.  We really don’t have to, because he loves things like fruit, cheese and nuts, so that’s what he gets as “treats” at our house.  Now, having said that, we did give him a handful of gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins when he stopped by to show off his costume, for what is a pirate without gold doubloons?

At any rate, we wish we’d gone with them, for Jolly told us that The G Man had a bit of trouble with the whole “trick or treat” concept.  Perhaps he simply thinks it’s rude, because instead of running up to houses and shouting, “Trick or Treat!” he held out his bag and politely said, “Please, may I have some candy?  Thank you!”

I’m buying him an ascot for Christmas.

For more Halloween Show and Tell posts, run over and visit Gretchen and the Spin Cycle at Second Blooming.  She may not have candy, but I hear she makes a wicked martini.