This is what happens when you score a new cookbook from the library (Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day – Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois) and pick up a few ingredients at Walmart because the "real" grocery store is just too far away and you unload it all (plus a few non-ingredients) onto your counter and you're too excited to wait and so you mix up a batch of Olive Oil Dough amidst all the crap and you put all the crap away much later when the dough is rising.
And this is what you get when the next day you think you're pretty darn awesome because your dough turned out so fabulous so you think you'll try your hand at some pumpkin bread and you think, "Dang, I can have my too kids and eat my cake too," and you try to delegate one simple task – navigating around an enormous baby swing which shouldn't be in the kitchen anyway, but darn it, the kid likes to hear the water run – and somewhere between said baby swing and a wide swinging refrigerator door you think just for a second that your 4-year-old can put away a dozen eggs. Then you realize that you should hang up your apron for the day and just go outside until the Pumpkin Bread is ready.
The boys and I had a picnic in the most awesome piece of art today! An artist named Patrick Dougherty creates installations made from sticks around the country and he happened to build one right near our house, on the property of St. Johns University.
Made entirely by the bending and shaping of twigs and branches, this permanent structure is one fabulous work of art. It's very "Seussical" yet elegant, it blends-in yet stands-out. Click HERE to learn more about the Stickworks project.
Let's just say that this sculpture captured our attention for the better part of two hours (thank goodness we had friends along). About the time we were ready to leave the key fob for the van stopped working. Not to take away from the splendor of a happy boy-meets-stick-house story, just tack on an additional two hours, two breast-feeding mamas (parked in lawn chairs next to said stick house), a diaper bag stuck inside the van and several frantic text messages to Dad requesting a rescue.
Just as I was starting to wonder what the sunset would look like over Patrick's stick vision, my knight arrived. Overall, not a bad place to be stranded, not a bad day to be forced to enjoy.
I had the perfectly balanced weekend – a lot of "boy," as usual, time carved out for a cooking class with Mom and some reading. What am I reading? Thanks for asking! I'm charging full speed ahead through the "Flavia de Luce" mystery series by Alan Bradley and loving every poisonous second!
Here are the reviews:
Cooking class - WONDERFUL! Taken through Cooks of Crocus Hill on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. It was a brief, basic class on homemade pizza and more importantly a fabulous dough technique. While sitting along the stone counter watching three masters at work, I was recharged for this weeks cooking demands.
Book series - An 11-year-old girl obsessed with chemistry and poisons. She is a super sleuth who stumbles upon trouble (a.k.a - dead body) and digs for more (a.k.a - breaking and entering) with unmatched wit and charm. Set in 1950's England, you'll absorb a bit of culture, a bit of class and a bit of academia. I LOVE this book series in which there are six for now...will there be more? A TV series?
Remainder of weekend - Boys, boys, boys. One enjoyed the outdoors, a sleepover with Nana and helped with Grandpas project. The other I spent most of my time "dancing to sleep."
That's what I've been up to :)
Today I was at the library with my traveling circus, a.k.a. two kids and a packed stroller, when I spotted a woman sprinting to catch up with me. The fact that she was solo and yet had to run to catch up with me and my entourage was quite funny. Anyhow, this woman nearly cuts me off and chuckles saying, "I just had to tell you that your son looks like Opie Taylor."
This is starting to get weird. Since Axel was little, people (specifically my uncle Wes) would tell me that he looked like Opie (a character from the Andy Griffith Show). Apparently the look hasn't faded?! I guess I don't see it...you can decide. Just in case it's hard to tell, Axel is on the left, Opie (the original) is on the right.
Garden parties, lunchtime strolls through luscious perennials, and two boyfriends who think you're the queen of the universe – this must be how the other half live. How lucky that I tapped into that today as my boys and I experienced what can only be described as Autumn Magic.
This weekend was a "fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants" weekend. It started off with Jahred and I splitting, dividing and conquering, each taking a kid. I headed east with Oliver to help paint at my parents new home (it's looking so cute we might just have to move in...jk). And Jahred headed west with Axel to Amazin' Farmyard.
While I was wildly successful with the paint roller (however not so much at getting Oliver to sleep), Axel was bit by a deer in the petting portion of the farm. A self-proclaimed Dr. Doolittle, Axel was put in his place by a feisty doe who had a taste for fingers instead of corn. Axel's comment, "His back teeth were sharp!" Just how far did he have his hand in that deers mouth? I may never know.
We rejoined forces on Saturday afternoon to greet Jahred's sister-plus-husband for a sleepover! We were so happy they came and Axel was pleased as punch to entertain.
On Sunday, with sister still on site, we threw an accidental surprise party for my brother (the accidental part meaning he surprised us by driving south to ring in his 26th). One burnt cake and several meals later we were all together, my boys and his "group of parents" as he calls us.
I made an important observation this weekend. I had two parties, with two sides of my family on two beautiful weekend days. Life is about people that "show up," because those are the ones who love the crap out of your kids.
Happy Fall, Happy Birthday, Happy Life.
Last spring we planned a garden before meeting our little Oliver. It was so fun to plant our giant sunflowers envisioning that he would be alive when they bloomed. At first they grew to Axel's height, then mine, next Jahred's and finally to the height of our garage. At last, much later than our neighbors, our flowers bloomed and yesterday Oliver got to see them up close.
In addition to the garden lovelies we harvested tomatoes, carrots, and our singular pumpkin is still on the vine.
Here's a quick pic of the boys as they watched from a blanket in the yard as I clipped the last beautiful blooms from our "Wishing to Meet Oliver Garden." (Don't take his grouchy face personally. He was doing just fine until I got the camera.)
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